10 Mai 2012
May 10, 2012
Experts suggest burying all plutonium underground
A US research team has suggested burying all plutonium stockpiles underground, to avoid the high cost of recycling it as fuel and the risk of it being used by terrorists.
A Princeton University professor and 3 other experts made the suggestion in Thursday's edition of the British science magazine, Nature.
The group says the recycling of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel costs much more than other methods of disposal.
The group also cites fears that the more than 250 tons of plutonium stockpiled around the world for commercial purposes could go into terrorists' hands, because they may be converted into nuclear weapons.
Last year, the British government proposed to build a plant to process plutonium into nuclear fuel. However, the experts describe the idea as unrealistic.
They conclude that burying it underground is the safest and cheapest method of disposal.
Japan has been reviewing its policy of recycling nuclear fuel in the wake of last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima.