A Promising Cement Looks to Be our Safest Solution in Storing Nuclear Waste

by Samantha Englert

Fossil fuels remain the current major source of energy globally. However, the supply is limited and over-consumption is associated with carbon dioxide emission and environmental pollution. As an alternative, the world has increasingly produced its electricity through nuclear fission power. While this transition is associated with significant reductions in carbon dioxide release, the waste generated by nuclear power is radioactive, and difficult to dispose of.

Recently, a group of British scientists working for the Diamond Light Source (DLS), a UK science center, have shown that cement may safely and efficiently store radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants. Key to the research team’s success, is the construction of a geological disposal facility (GDF), deep underground, to bury the radioactive waste within this cement backbone. However, the British government will not commence GDF development until the scientists can guarantee that the nuclear waste may be safely stored for approximately 100,000 years. Continue reading