[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sat Jun 12 19:17:49 PDT 2010

On Jun 12, 2010, at 11:06 AM, Reese wrote:
> If you mean the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, I can't think
> of a single reason not to build and store very nasty radioactive waste
> in containers that can't be given realistic storage lives of +10,000
> years, let alone 100 years, in close proximity to a fault line.
> http://www.google.com/search?q=nevada+earthquakes
> http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqscanv/
> A 4.3 just a couple of hours ago. Drivel, build anyway!

Right, because designing structures in a region with frequent minor earthquakes is a major engineering challenge. It is remarkable how stable the underground mines in that part of the country are in light of this new information. 

And it isn't as though we've been routinely storing nuclear waste in regions around the world that have a far higher seismic risk. Then there is the problem that seismic risk is largely unpredictable on time frames of tens of thousands of years. On that scale, a major earthquake can happen almost anywhere.

Minor earthquakes are not a very convincing argument against Yucca Mountain. The geological structures that cause earthquakes in that part of the world don't produce monster earthquakes, just a lot of tiny ones.

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