Governing Nuclear Waste in the Long Term: On the Role of Place.

  • Dr. Melanie Mbah
    Research Coordinator for Transdisciplinary Studies Nuclear Engineering & Facility Safety
  • Dr. Sophie Kuppler
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Published in: Historical Social Research 49 (2024) 1

A major challenge in building and securing a repository for high-level waste is the long-time spans needed for site selection, construction, storage, and closure. Depending on the type of site selection procedure and the chosen repository concept, this can take decades or even more than a century. Even today, this applies to many places in all countries that have or are oper-ating nuclear power plants. These include the sites for interim or final storage or reprocessing. Over time, other places will also be affected during the site selection procedure and afterwards during construction and disposal. The processes will cause landscape transformations to a greater or lesser extent, to allow for activities including transportation and excavation. Nuclear waste governance is an extremely challenging and contested issue, starting with site selection, because nobody wants nuclear waste close by. Technologies and societies can change considerably over time.