The waste problem is not a problem!

When we demonstrated against nuclear bombs, “the baby was thrown out with the bathwater” and too many were tricked to be against nuclear power as well.
In connection with the ongoing struggle to demonize nuclear power, the discussion about the waste became totally disconnected from reality.
In a way, what is called The Waste Problem is not an engineering task, but a task for psychologists or others.

Almost no matter what you do and how well it is handled, there will always be some self-proclaimed environmentalists who invent new and absurd objections in order to call for more security.
Despite repeated explanations from many sources and requests for clarification, the ‘green organizations’, mostly Greenpeace, continue to present obviously misleading “information” about nuclear power.
For the time being this misinformation concentrates on waste management.

This is the reason for the following, which is an excerpt from another page: Nuclear power – What is wrong?
On this page I have attempted a confrontation against decades of systematic misinformation about nuclear power.

The problem of waste

In many heated discussions opponents raise the question
“What about the waste problem?”

Here it is natural to emphasize that the real waste problem is the emission of greenhouse gases, especially from coal, oil and natural gas, and therefore it is imperative to move to the use of nuclear power.

Despite persistent allegations, safe disposal of radioactive wastes is no problem.

KK affald SverigeThus, the Swedish plan for waste disposal was approved in 1979 as a condition for start of the last six reactors.
In view of the long storage time on the power plant and the move towards recycling instead of “final disposal”, the plan has obviously not been locked in final details.

The discussion regarding radioactive waste has slowly, but surely, been decoupled from the facts.
Therefore it can best be compared to false trade description when it still is described as “the waste problem”.
Unlike much other waste, the management of the small amount of waste from civilian nuclear power is treated 100% safe – both by recycling and final depositing.

The spent fuel rods from reactors are stored under water.
The first three years at the power plant (6) within the two meter thick reactor containment. (1)
Thereafter, at an intermediate storage for up to 30 years.
This is because one will wait with final disposal or reprocessing, until it has “cooled down”. (Atoms with relatively short ”half-life” decompose into harmlesswill will decompose into harmless atoms.) Opbevares under vand

It is not because you do not know what to do about these used fuel rods and if a terrorist should try to take them out of the water and out of this temporary storage, he will soon die of acute radiation sickness.

However, this material, still regarded as waste, is a valuable future  resource containing large amounts of useable fuel for use in the future. Thus the former “final depots” are now rebuilt to be “safe but accessible depots”.

In sharp contrast to waste management in connection with the civil use of nuclear energy, there has sometimes been quite a lot of careless treatment of waste at military installations.
It was widely done in the old Soviet Union but also took place in England (Sellafield) and in the United States.
Despite many (deliberate?) misunderstandings, this has obviously nothing to do with nuclear power for civilian use.


Swedish waste
In my view, nuclear waste management has slowly but surely been subject to a “race against the unnecessary”:
We witness an everlasting gift for absurd demands and the introduction of new, technically completely superfluous security measures.
No matter how good it is, yes, there are new requirements.
In order to get peace, you have apparently failed to put the heels in, take the bull at the horns and say that we have it’s enough.
(If you give Greenpeace a little finger, they will take the whole arm.)

It will not surprise me if, for example, Germany has been tired of this circus and has said something like:
“Now we do not want to go on anymore. Find out what you want.”

Unlike the many expensive and unnecessary “innovations” on the new EPR reactor type, the additional costs are limited.
But the damage has occurred and the discussion has moved to an increasingly absurd level.

Quite utopically, one could wish that “truth” was a legal person who could bring an injunction case.
Then we might want peace.

Greetings from Thorkil Søe


Several times I’m asked:
“But when you can not even manage the waste from the abandoned test site at Risø.
What about all the rest?”
I would like to respond a bit cryptically.

  • As an engineer, it’s easy to see that it’s not even a storm in a glass of water.
  • I still hope that it will be possible to get stable and pollution-free energy – also in Denmark.
  • I’m not a journalist, and do not need to write nerve puzzling about potential horrors.
  • I’m not a politician.
    I don’t have to follow the public opinion in order to be re-elected.
  • Fortunately, I’m not a psychiatrist, because then I should cure the popular anxiety neurosis.
  • I’m not a polluter.
    I do not need to change the subject, getting people to talk about something else.
  • Fortunately, I’m not Greenpeace.
    There credibility is a myth. See

What are you?
Are you just premiered by a skilled but fake, frightening propaganda?

Plutonium for Nuclear Bombs

With pourley hidden horror, we are told – also in Denmark’s radio – that in Japan there are tons of plutonium that can be used for nuclear bombs.
Understanding: If it falls into the hands of North Korea.

This, like so much else, is based upon a (deliberate?) misunderstanding:
It is relatively easy to make weapon greade plutonium and the actual challenge is the initiator and the design of different explosives.
On the other hand, the plutonium, that is “waste” from nuclear power, is contaminated with another isotope that makes it unusable for nuclear bombs.

It has long been a sophisticated myth that this plutonium ‘just easily’ can be reprocessed and used for nuclear bombs.
Often it is told, as a hidden secret, that plutonium is the most poisonous material that exists.
Also this is far from the truth. See


waste amount
Of course, the left part of this picture is falsehood.
No one would mix small and large containers in that way.
One of the small containers is empty and without a lid.
Two small dices came in – by mistake?
No one would leave waste in this way ready for photography.
Who’s so stupid that they think I’m so stupid?