What is to be done with nuclear waste? It is a question that dominates the Atomic Age. It is also one that has never been satisfactorily answered. If it weren’t for the waste it creates, nuclear power would be a political slam dunk. It produces a vast quantity of electricity at an affordable price. It is also reliable. Unlike solar power, it works when the sun shines. Unlike wind power, it works in the deadest of calms. Over the last few years, more attention has been paid to a different solution — using radioactive waste as fuel to create more nuclear power from so-called small modular reactors (SMRs). The governments of Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick have been particularly interested in developing this new SMR technology. One New Brunswick start-up, Moltex Energy of Saint John, has received $50.5 million in federal funds. Some nuclear experts, including former senior U.S. officials, were so alarmed that seven of them took the unusual step of penning an open letter this week to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In that letter, they warned that reprocessing waste in a manner that creates plutonium would undermine global efforts to limit nuclear proliferation. They also noted that the new technology wouldn’t solve the waste problem. Rather, it would just produce different kinds of nuclear waste. “Moltex, even in the R&D stage, would create a costly legacy of contaminated facilities and radioactive waste streams and require substantial additional government funding for cleanup,” the letter said.
Toronto Star 27th May 2021 read more »
Tri City News 29th May 2021 read more »