Talk:Deep geological repository

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The German repositories[edit]

Well, it's time we started a talk page on this one. It's good that there is an attempt at balance in this article, but the point made in

Existing repositories in deep geological formations (e.g. Asse II and Morsleben in Germany) show that solutions to the problem of radioactive waste remain elusive and that safe and environmentally sound storage cannot be guaranteed, especially over long periods of time.

is not encyclopedic. This is just "proof by example", which isn't proof of anything. We can't generalize from these experiences to say that all deep geologic repositories are inherently unsafe. I'll add the "citiation needed" tags for now, then we'll see how we can rewrite this section with some factual basis.--Freeinfo (talk) 21:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

- Agree Gierszep (talk) 02:51, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Duplicate text[edit]

The current draft has random discussions of a few facilities or proposed facilities. But these all have their own Wiki articles with more complete and up-to-date description. e.g. Yucca Mountain. Other than keeping the summary info table complete in this article, I propose to delete such text from here and leave only the links. This article would be about general features of deep geologic repositories. Gierszep (talk) 02:51, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Change of last paragraph to a conclusion[edit]

On 9 July 2008 an anonymous editor changed the final paragraph from:

"But despite a long-standing agreement among experts that geological disposal can be safe, technologically feasible and environmentally sound, a large part of the general public in many countries remains skeptical. One of the challenges facing the supporters of these efforts is to demonstrate confidently that a repository will contain wastes for so long that any releases that might take place in the future will pose no significant health or environmental risk."

to:

"But despite a long-standing agreement among experts (names and publications?) that geological disposal can be safe, technologically feasible and environmentally sound, a large part of the general public in many countries remains skeptical. Major environmental and security problems at existing repositories such as Morsleben in East Germany have also cast doubt on the quality and objectivity of such safety assessments. One of the challenges facing the supporters of these efforts is to demonstrate that a repository will contain wastes for so long that any releases that might take place in the future will pose no significant health or environmental risk. Existing repositories in deep geological formations (e.g. Asse II and Morsleben in Germany) show that solutions to the problem of radioactive waste remain elusive and that safe and environmentally sound storage cannot be guaranteed, especially over long periods of time."

That's a problem because it changes the meaning from a clear and probably generally agreed statement of a problem to a conclusion that the problem can't be solved. A conclusion that strong requires good sources and none were given at the time.

For the claim "Major environmental and security problems at existing repositories such as Morsleben in East Germany have also cast doubt on the quality and objectivity of such safety assessments." a source was subsequently added that doesn't make the claim made in the article, so it remains unsourced.

For the claim "Existing repositories in deep geological formations (e.g. Asse II and Morsleben in Germany) show that solutions to the problem of radioactive waste remain elusive and that safe and environmentally sound storage cannot be guaranteed, especially over long periods of time" a source was subsequently added that is hard to check but appears unlikely to make this claim from the summaries I've read of that source, and from the simple fact that the source was added after the fact, making it unlikely that it was really the source of the statement.

This leaves us with two main problems to solve:

  1. satisfying ourselves that there is a broad consensus that it is true that "Major environmental and security problems at existing repositories such as Morsleben in East Germany have also cast doubt on the quality and objectivity of such safety assessments" and providing reliable and authoritative cites for that conclusion, particularly that the quality and objectivity of the safety assessments is unreliable, and at all possible jurisdictions and sites, a strong conclusion.
  2. satisfying ourselves that there is broad consensus that it is true that "safe and environmentally sound storage cannot be guaranteed" and providing reliable and authoritative cites that state that conclusion.

The first of those might be possible, though I doubt it. I don't see any reasonable prospect of the second conclusion being supportable because there's a considerable amount of time available to find a solution that is satisfactory.

So, comments and solutions, particularly with authoritative sources making the actual claims made, are needed. Or those doing the opposite. Then we might end up with something that is properly neutral rather than coming to a poorly supported conclusion. Jamesday (talk) 10:25, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

I have no sources to use for the latter wording, but I am worried that the former (and now restored) wording may be partisan or slightly misquoted. I think there is consensus among experts that "geological disposal can be safe, ...", but the question is whether any proposed or planned solution is safe. This is probably a concern of many more people than those questioning the possibility of safe deposits. --LPfi (talk) 08:25, 17 October 2012 (UTC)