James Lovelock wants nuclear waste in his garden

Professor James Lovelock, a scientist who inspired the Greens, yesterday offered to store nuclear waste on his land if it would help to revive the fortunes of atomic energy in Britain.

Last month the Prime Minister said that a new generation of nuclear power stations will have to be built to meet British energy needs and avoid dependence on foreign fuel.

In April the argument over what to do with Britain's 60 years-worth of nuclear waste returned to where it was a decade ago. A committee recommended burying it in a hole in the ground.

Whether burying it is safe is the issue. One nuclear establishment (Dounreay) buried some of its low-level waste years ago, in an old shaft . Years later it all had to be recovered, at enormous cost. Perhaps it should have been stored properly in the first place...

"I have offered to take the whole output of a nuclear power station in my back yard" said Professor Lovelock, who lives on the Devon Cornwall border.

"I would be glad to have it. I would use it for home heating. It would be a waste not to use it".

"The Green movement has built up a miasma of fear about nuclear waste" he said. "I am a scientist when they are mostly not" he added, arguing that new reactors should be built on the old sites, where the infrastructure is already in place.

Comment from N.D.

After the fuel has been removed from the old reactors, we wouldn't need "decommissioning" of old power stations, either, if new stations were built on the old sites. Turning the land back into green fields sounds good for the environment, but it's scientific and economic nonsense. The worst thing you can do with a old reactor is to cut it up and spread the radioactivity around.

It's hardly rocket science to use a small amount of nuclear waste, suitably shielded, to heat hot water for a house or several houses. Odd that it's not been done already.

ND/Habitat21 website

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