One of the biggest problems that we have to deal with in the modern world has arisen from one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Harnessing nuclear power, and the dawn of the nuclear age, meant that electricity could be supplied much more cheaply and efficiently than ever before, with the creation of the nuclear power station.
Of course, this brought with it problems as well as solutions – disasters such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Windscale, as well as more recently Fukushima all warned us of our need to respect this new found power source, as the damage it was able to cause was colossal.
As well as this, there is the problem of disposing of the nuclear waste produced by these power plants. Containers of this waste exist al over the world, many harking back to the dawn of the nuclear age, and they are all waiting for us to solve one problem – what do we do with it?
As they wait, it is a race against time – the containers themselves are starting to corrode, and then they can leak their poisonous contents, creating a threat to human life and the environment.
Since then, solutions for storing the waste have included making sure that the containers are more resistant to corrosion – using processes such as plasma polymer composite to try to ensure that the radioactive contents are stored in a safer way.
But as of yet, there is no definite solution to this problem as the waste remains poisonous for hundreds of years.