The long and dirty legacy of nuclear power

By Patrick O'Brien

In the normal course of events, you’d know when you were financing a dodgy venture. It’s hard to imagine your money being ploughed into an enterprise doomed from the start and being ignorant of the fact.

So how many of us knew we’re bankrolling an outfit with a boat in the Irish Sea embarked on a mission guaranteed to be a very bad idea all round?

The craft in question operates with a simple instruction: to blast off underwater seismic guns - to the certain detriment of dolphins and porpoises - as part of a madcap exercise to find a subterranean cemetery for large amounts of lethal radioactive waste from Cumbria’s Sellafield nuclear site.

I refer to pollutants that, for the last 70 years, have contaminated seas off vast coastal areas of Wales and Ireland, and parts of England, with radioactive substances that take, literally, tens of thousands of years to decay.

Let me introduce Nuclear Waste Services, an entirely taxpayer-funded public body under the wing of the UK government, which is engaging marine geological surveyors to comb the seabed for an out-of-sight-out-of-mind repository for the terrifying remnants of a dangerous and long discredited system of energy-generation.

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