If ever there was an unprecedented scientific and engineering undertaking, and one with obvious ethical dimensions, it is the safe disposal of long-lived radioactive wastes from nuclear power generation. Given the extremely long half-lives of the radionuclides in these wastes, repositories must be safe and secure for a time period that greatly exceeds recorded human history. While many nations have tried to address this problem, only Finland and Sweden have successfully sited deep geological repositories. In Deep Time Reckoning, cultural anthropologist Vincent Ialenti provides us with a detailed case study of one of these success stories, Finland, which has built a repository on Olkiluoto Island in the western part of the country. The Onkalo repository is expected to open in 2023. Ialenti spent over 2 years in Finland, observing workers at the spent nuclear fuel management firm Posiva Oy from 2012 to 2014. The author highlights Posiva’s attention to long-term thinking to provide inspiration and guidance worldwide. A promising young scholar, Ialenti has already published several provocative papers on nuclear wastes. This book is a culmination of his ethnographic fieldwork. However, it should attract a wide audience, from social sciences and humanities scholars to nuclear power experts, as well the educated public interested in long-term thinking and solving seemingly intractable problems.
Science & Engineering Ethics (accessed) 29th March 2021 read more »
Cumbria County Council is distancing itself from the group set up to consider the creation of an underground nuclear repository in Copeland. Labour Leader Stewart Young said the County Council’s involvement would give the process a credibility it didn’t deserve. “We’re not going through this charade again.…You would think there would be some sort of scientific approach some kind of study of the geology to find out where places were likely to be suitable.”
Keswick Reminder 26th March 2021 read more »