Originally posted on March 24, 2018. Reposted July 5, 2019
Could Fracking Solve the Nuclear Waste Problem? by the Presidential Daily Brief, March 24, 2018, ozy.com
Storing nuclear waste well into the future is one of America’s most vexing energy problems. But the father-daughter team of Richard and Elizabeth Muller have an answer: reverse fracking. Their startup, Deep Isolation, would use hydraulic fracturing to bury radioactive waste in horizontal tunnels through shale a mile underground.
Now they have to convince communities to allow deep dumps in their backyards, persuade investors to cough up an initial $10 million and get the government to permit the technique.
Meanwhile, 2,000 more tons of hot U.S. waste pile up each year.
At what rate would the endless proven frac harms escalate if frac fluids were nuclear waste?
2018 03 13: Compendium 5: ‘The Harms of Fracking’: New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer. Dr. Sandra Steingraber: “Fracking is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Dr. Pouné Saberi: “There is a code of silence….” Workers rarely report injuries or hazards, for fear of losing their jobs.
All together, findings to date from scientific, medical, and journalistic investigations combine to demonstrate that fracking poses significant threats to air, water, health, public safety, climate stability, seismic stability, community cohesion, and long-term economic vitality. Emerging data from a rapidly expanding body of evidence continue to reveal a plethora of recurring problems and harms that cannot be sufficiently averted through regulatory frameworks.There is no evidence that fracking can operate without threatening public health directly or without imperiling climate stability upon which public health depends. In the words of investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk:
Industry swore that its cracking rock technology was safe and proven, but science now tells a different story. Brute force combined with ignorance … has authored thousands of earthquakes … [and] called forth clouds of migrating methane…. The science is complicated but clear: cracking rock with fluids is a chaotic activity and no computer model can predict where those fractures will go. The regulatory record shows that they often go out of zone; extend into water; and rattle existing oil and gas wells, and these rattled wells are leaking more methane.1123
We close with an observation by Maryland physician Judy Stone, MD, whose recent essay in Forbes speaks for all who have contributed to this Compendium:
Fracking profits go to private industry but the public—families and communities—bear the costs of the many health complications from the drilling. There is growing evidence of a variety of health problems being associated with fracking.
Common sense dictates that drinking and breathing cancer-causing agents will take their toll.
The correlation is too strong to ignore, especially when we have other, cleaner energy options. For our safety and that of future generations, we should not allow the new administration to sell off public lands, nor allow drilling on our land, and should ban fracking completely.1124 [Emphasis added]
1123 Nikiforuk, A. (2016, October 16). Acceptance speech, USA National Science in Society Journalism Awards reception, San Antonio, Texas.
Retrieved from https://www.ernstversusencana.ca/andrew-nikiforuk-wins-usa-national-science-in-society-award-slick-water-nasws-awards-honor-outstanding-investigative-interpretive-reporting-sciences-their-impact-for-good-and-ill/
1124 Stone, J. (2017, February 23). Fracking is dangerous to your health—here’s why. Forbes.