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The Guardian: Nuclear Waste
TIME Magazine, February 14, 1955:|
Britain's Atomic Energy Authority told last week what it is doing with the radioactive waste from its nuclear reactors: it dumps the worrisome stuff into the ocean 200 miles southeast of Land's End, where the continental shelf dips steeply away and the bottom of the Atlantic is 12,000 ft. down.
This is the Authority's second attempt to shed some of its embarrassing wastes. Looking for a likely wasteland in densely populated Britain, it first picked the Forest of Dean on the Welsh border, where the rugged surface is pocked with long-abandoned coal mines. The Authority innocently assumed that no one would object if it slipped a little mildly "hot" material into a moss-grown shaft.
The Authority was wrong: the very suggestion stirred up a hullabaloo. The Forest of Dean Miners (who mine no coal) met in council to resist any atomic invasion of their ancient diggings. Nature lovers deployed behind them, fearful of what might happen to the birds and beasts of the forest. Titled voices were raised in majestic wrath.
Retreating in disorder, the Authority built a remotely controlled apparatus to load its most dangerous wastes into massive concrete cylinders lined with steel. Before fishermen and ocean lovers could organize in opposition, the Authority loaded 1,500 tons of the sealed drums on an ammunition ship and unloaded them in the atomic dump off Land's End. There they will be safe from the deepest trawling nets, and long before their skins have corroded away, the radioactive stuff inside them will have become harmless.
Time apparently was taking the word of the British Atomic Energy Authority for their last suppostion...
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