May 1, 2020
Some states are beginning to open their economies after weeks of shutting down to try to flatten the COVID curve. But there are some things that we really want to keep sheltered in place...and never come out.
here are hundreds of thousands of pounds of nuclear waste largely stored by nuclear power plants around the world. And all of that extremely dangerous material—which will remain extremely dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years—has no permanent place to go.
In the US, the government allows private companies to temporarily store nuclear waste, but it’s illegal for private companies to actually dispose of it. That's the government's job, and it just hasn’t happened.
Enter environmentalist Elizabeth Muller. Her company Deep Isolation has pioneered what she says is a safe method of storing nuclear waste deep underground—really deep.
Elizabeth argues that such storage, which would still allow for the material to be recovered if desired, would keep ground-dwelling earthlings like Homo sapiens and other living beings safe from our civilization’s nuclear waste for perhaps a million years, and she’s attracting venture capital from investors who’ve already pumped $14 million into her company.
These social impact investors are betting that Elizabeth will be able to make a real impact by helping solve one of our society’s most intractable problems: safe nuclear waste storage.
Discussed in this episode