Philosophically, I'm anti-nuke like toyg, but that's just an extension of my general green dogma. on a practical level, that power has to come from somewhere. I'm no hypocrite. I'm not financially able to invest in what I'd need to go off-grid if that was even viable for my consumption needs. conserve though I may, I'm not going to go without power. Neither are any of the people reading this. We need reporting like yours, Maggie, and unlike toyg I applaud your objectivity and realism.
However, given that, I'm still going to be anti-nuke for one specific reason: time.
Adequately managing these radioactive wastes for 240,000 years is, at best, a daunting proposition. The nuclear industry has already proven itself incapable of keeping track of its high-level nuclear waste for even 30 years. High-level radioactive waste has already gone missing from one, if not several, nuclear reactors. Scientists working on the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain acknowledge that nuclear waste will be hazardous longer than our ability to isolate it from the biosphere. --Greenpeace
To the extent that our waste containment facilities are safe, they're only safe given our current paradigm. Can we make containment safe for 240,000 years, or even just the half-life of 24,000 years?
Homo sapiens originated in Africa, where it reached anatomical modernity about 200,000 years ago and began to exhibit full behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago --Wikipedia
written history in Mesopotamia started around 5000 years ago. Can I stop being rhetorical yet? Even if we never had another meltdown (and there's no way we're not gonna have plenty more) the obvious answer is: we haven't a prayer of containing this waste.
Oh, cold fusion, wherefore art thou?
OK, so here's my question: given we have rocket propulsion that can escape Earth's gravitational pull, given that the sun's gravity sucks everything toward it, given that the sun is a nuclear reactor and Carl Sagan teaches us that we and everything in our system originated there anyway; why can't we blast all this toxic shit back into the sun? I'm serious.
EDIT: well, i suppose the obvious answer is the Challenger disaster. still, is anyone pursuing options that don't involve "bury it in the desert and hope for the best"?