Rising sea levels threaten nuke dump sites

June 29, 2005

Britain's only nuclear waste dump could be underwater in 500 years if sea levels keep rising.

One million cubic meters of low-level radioactive waste are stored at Drigg on the coast of Cumbria on the Irish Sea, New Scientist reports. The Environment Agency says that the waste is likely to leak if the sea rises, posing a major health threat to residents of the area.

Similar problems are likely to affect waste dumps at Rokkashomura in Japan and Lan Yu island in Taiwan, as well as the 13 nuclear reactors on the British Coast.

"Climate change is now an issue that has to be taken into account in siting new facilities," Phil Richardson, an expert on nuclear waste with Enviros Consulting, told New Scientist. "Coastal sites used to be considered a good idea, but rising sea levels are bringing this assessment into question."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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