Every time Congress designates a dump site for radioactive material in the U.S., the local NIMBY group says, "Not in My Back Yard." There's not only the problem of storing dangerous waste underground, where it will remain active for thousands of years, but the issue of transporting it over city streets and highways to reach the dump site. Also, there?s the question of whether radioactivity will pollute the underground water table, sending dangerous drinking water to nearby suburbs and cities. But there's one place we can take our trash where none of this will be a problem?the moon.
"No site for a long term, nuclear waste repository within Earth's biome or accessible to low-tech terrorist threat is acceptable," says environmental engineer Sherwin Gormly. "We need to seriously reconsider more advanced concepts, including repository options on the Moon."
Gormly?s plan is to use intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to send the trash to the moon dump. The target would be a small crater with steep sides. The soft lunar soil means that any waste container dropped on the moon will immediately sink several feet beneath the surface. Since the moon has no underground water, there?s no way for the radioactive material to spread.
Future astronauts could even retrieve and reuse the material. Gormly says, "The reality of the situation is that this material is a political liability today and a resource tomorrow."
There?s something depressing about using the moon as a rubbish dump. Learn how ancient civilizations dealt with their problems from ?Galactic Alignment? by John Major Jenkins,click here.
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