Inside the salt
Today, I defer to others to discuss one of the topics that fills me with the most wonder, the role of salt in the long-term storage of nuclear
Through the BLDG BLOG I have learned of a "research collective" named InfraNet Lab. In their blog post, The Advantages of Being Salty, they pose a most brilliant and simple question in response to the topic of salt and WIPP (the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) located in Carlsbad, NM (Carlsbad Caverns is located within 30 miles of the site). WIPP is currently the only site in the United States accepting
InfraNet Lab writes:
"The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) first opened in 1999 with the ambitions to permanently bury transuranic waste in our post-nuclear production age. Located 26 miles from Carlsbad, New Mexico, WIPP houses barrels of waste 2,150 feet below the surface. This site was chosen not only because of its remoteness but also because waste cold be embedded within a 3000 feet thick salt formation that has been stable for 250 million years. The underground salt formation from an ancient sea is just wet enough to move and seep slowly, therefore sealing the caverns after their construction. However, this also means that they would eventually flood. That is if it doesnt first collapse as it is predicted to do so before its 1000th birthday." They go on to write, "Maybe more significantly to us here is the role of salt (ancient seas) as burial grounds for toxic waste."
A statement worth pausing with today...