Red Charlie comments in our recent post about nuclear power.
Nuclear waste is the elephant in the room when it comes to nuke power. Everything else pales in comparison. A nuke plant has at most a 50 year lifespan, the high level waste will remain “worse than natural ore” for at least 10 to 100 times that long, and if you think natural ores are safe go test your basement for Radon.
But there is one technology that would make me a fan of nuclear power. Converting radiation directly into electricity (reminds me of solar panels).
If this stuff works, it would allow for completely solid-state, passive, and safe nuclear “batteries” that would produce power for as long as their contents are radioactive.
Storing nuclear waste in (very) long term facilities where it generates electricity for the foreseeable future is definitely turning a liability into something that is mostly an asset.
BTW, Processing nuclear material to be reused does not result in weapons grade material, as I’d surmised from reading various articles. An engineer who has worked on nuclear projects tells me the process can be used to create weapons grade material, but what is used by nukes is not.