Many environmentalists are conflicted by geological disposal. They may recognise it is the best available solution for safely disposing of our most radioactive waste, but are concerned that by supporting the GDF site selection process they are tacitly supporting the new nuclear build programme, which they oppose.
GDFWatch is ‘nuclear neutral’. Whether we need to build new nuclear reactors is a quite separate debate from what to do with the waste we have already acquired.
Even if the UK unilaterally disarmed its nuclear arsenal and declined to build new nuclear reactors, we would still have Europe’s largest stockpile of higher activity radioactive waste, which would still need sorting out.
Germany and Switzerland have both decided to phase out nuclear power, but are still pursuing geological disposal of the radioactive waste they have already accumulated.
When interviewing residents involved in the GDF process in Switzerland, the majority noted that, while supporting geological disposal, they had voted in the 2015 referendum to support the ending of Switzerland’s civil nuclear energy programme. These people have no sense of being conflicted in their views. They see the issue as one of social morality and maturity, ie this generation should still tidy up its own mess rather than pass the buck to future generations with all the burdens of rising costs and the health, environmental and security risks associated with keeping radioactive waste in interim surface facilities.