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Chapter Eight Sub-Seabed Disposal of High Level Radioactive Waste: The Policy Context Then and Now

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Chapter Summary

The origin of the Sub-Seabed Disposal (SSD) idea emerged in conversation between William Bishop and Charles Hollister in 1974 in the context of developing a U.S. plan for disposing permanently of High Level Radioactive Waste (HLRW) based on scientific and technical rationality. High level wastes were defined by the U.S. as wastes "which consist either of spent fuel or of wastes generated in the chemical reprocessing of spent fuel. The nuclear option then declined under the combined weight of severe cost and management problems and loss of public confidence in most advanced industrial states except France and Japan. The nuclear option is coming around again from the 1990s, but on a different carousel. With all forms of ocean sequestration, we return to all the policy issues raised by both the low-level and high-level radioactive waste disposal options experienced in the 1970s and 1980s.

Keywords: Charles Hollister; France; High Level Radioactive Waste (HLRW); High level wastes; Japan; ocean sequestration; radioactive waste; Sub-Seabed Disposal (SSD); William Bishop



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