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Nuclear Waste in Western Europe

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Abstract

In continental western Europe, as in the UK and the USA, the political problem of managing radioactive wastes arrived by stealth. In the early years of development of nuclear energy as a soi-disant, cheap, safe and clean source of power the drawbacks, particularly the gradual accumulation of long-lived dangerous radioactive wastes, were largely discounted. As the nuclear programmes of various countries expanded so wastes accumulated and the technical problem of their management had to be tackled. At the same time throughout Western Europe (and increasingly in Eastern Europe too1) there has been growing concern about the health and environmental risks from radioactive wastes. Failure to secure public support for waste management policies would be a major factor in limiting the development even continuance of the nuclear energy option. Thus the political stakes in the radioactive waste issue are high. Radioactive waste became an increasing source of political conflict in several Western European countries during the 1980s, especially in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986.2

Keywords

  • Radioactive Waste
  • Nuclear Fuel
  • Nuclear Waste
  • Spend Fuel
  • Nuclear Industry

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

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Blowers, A., Lowry, D., Solomon, B.D. (1991). Nuclear Waste in Western Europe. In: The International Politics of Nuclear Waste. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-21246-0_6

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