An Achilles Heel

  • Andrew Blowers
  • David Lowry
  • Barry D. Solomon


Nuclear waste disposal is a growing international problem. In 1990 there were 416 operating commercial nuclear reactor units in the world, 26 per cent (110) of them in the USA and 37 per cent of the total (154) in Western Europe, all producing irradiated (spent) reactor fuel and other toxic wastes. Radioactive wastes are also generated from uranium mining and milling, spent fuel reprocessing, nuclear weapons production, and from industry, research and medical facilities. All nuclear wastes can be dangerous and even deadly, hence they must be isolated from the accessible environment. Yet the rapid proliferation in the production of civil nuclear power, weapons, and other nuclear products has not been matched by the development of safe methods of waste management. Until the 1980s the commitment by governments to the exploitation of the ‘peaceful’ atom was in stark contrast to their wilful neglect of the consequences.


Radioactive Waste Nuclear Waste Spend Fuel Nuclear Industry International Politics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Andrew Blowers, David Lowry, Barry D. Solomon 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Blowers
    • 1
  • David Lowry
    • 2
  • Barry D. Solomon
    • 3
  1. 1.The Open UniversityUK
  2. 2.Energy and Environment Research UnitThe Open UniversityUK
  3. 3.Global Climate Change ProgramUS Environmental Protection AgencyUSA

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