There are seven nuclear power stations operating in Germany and they will close by 2022. The decision was a fallout of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. The million-dollar question for the country is where to offload the huge volume of highly radioactive nuclear waste. It is dangerous to all living beings and will be there for millions of years. Hence, there must be adequate protection and such a location is difficult to find. Professor Miranda Schreurs is associated with the team that is searching for a suitable storage site. Her team has broadly identified certain parameters.

Some of these are – it must “be beyond rock-solid, with no groundwater or earthquakes that could cause a leakage.” Then there are major issues of transporting the lethal waste and informing all concerned about its existence. It must be understandable to future generations because it will be there on a long term basis, for millions of years.

CNN reports that apart from various technological challenges, the most important aspect is to locate a community that would accept a dumping ground of this nature in their backyard. Germany wants to get this done by 2031.

It will test the ingenuity of not just the country but also the whole world.

It is the tip of the iceberg

The task ahead for Germany is to zero in on a site "which offers the best possible safety and security for a period of a million years." This is what Germany's Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy says. At present, such nuclear waste is stored in temporary facilities, which are useful for a limited period.

There are several of these across Germany, the need of the hour is to have something more permanent, and it should be at a depth of at least one kilometer.

This is the tip of the iceberg.

CNN says there are more than 400 nuclear power plants around the world. Many of these are at the lower end of their operating lifetimes. Obviously, there has to be a permanent graveyard of sorts to take care of the reactors that have outlived their useful lives.

Nuclear energy is clean energy

According to Republic World, radioactive nuclear waste is lethal. There are fuel rods used in nuclear power plants. These are stored in special containers and if an ignorant person tries to open it, he will die. The rods are hot and difficult to transport and the normal practice is to keep them in cool containers at a sufficient depth considering safety. Professor Miranda Schreurs says - “Beds of granite work best for nuclear disposal but Germany lacks an abundance of granite.” Incidentally, Nuclear Energy is a zero-emission source of clean Renewable Energy.

It eliminates the harmful byproducts of fossil fuels. However, the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste is an area of concern. It is an issue that experts will have to study and come up with a solution.