Blog by Deep Isolation Staff, June 10, 2020

Expert Discusses Nuclear Waste Dangers and Disposal Options

We’re proud to present the debut episode of Nuclear Waste: The Whole Story, an interview with Dr. Arjun Makhijani, an electrical and nuclear engineer with decades of experience in the nuclear waste field. 

We hope this series will help demystify some of the issues surrounding nuclear waste because we know it’s not something everyone understands or is comfortable discussing. Nevertheless, we have a social responsibility to foster a dialogue that touches upon all sides of the story.  

In this episode, “Nuclear Waste Disposal Difficulties Plague the Industry,” Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and Deep Isolation Advisor David Hoffman talks to Makhijani, President of Science Matters, LLC, to frame the problem and explore solutions.

Arjun Makhijani a Widely Respected Expert

We chose to lead off the series with Makhijani’s interview because of his extensive knowledge and because he speaks so candidly about why one should care about permanently disposing of nuclear waste.

Nuclear waste expert Arjun Makhijani.
Dr. Arjun Makhijani

In fact, Deep Isolation commissioned an in-depth report from Makhijani that culminated in a more than 130-page analysis of the history of U.S. nuclear waste disposal that explores even the most far-fetched options for disposing of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

While Makhijani doesn’t believe there’s a completely “safe” solution for permanently containing nuclear waste, he agrees with the general scientific consensus that the best option is deep geologic disposal.

“Decades of analysis, review, research, and real-world events have shown that deep geologic disposal poses risks that are orders of magnitude smaller than any other approach for long-term spent-fuel management,” he wrote in his paper.

You can listen to this interview and others on our website or subscribe to the series on your favorite player. Watch the videos on our YouTube playlist.

The opinions of the subjects interviewed do not represent Deep Isolation’s position on the matters discussed. Have a suggestion for someone we should interview? Email us at podcast@deepisolation.com. Learn more at deepisolation.com/nuclear-waste-podcast.