Here we go again: Northern Wisconsin granite as high-level nuclear waste site? | WisCommunity

Here we go again: Northern Wisconsin granite as high-level nuclear waste site?

Granite formations in central and northern Wisconsin may be back in the running to be the site of a national repository for high-level radioactive waste, the Associated Press

This is a battle Wisconsin fought and won nearly 30 years ago, but some of these issues --like nuclear waste itself -- never go away.

Up for reconsideration, perhaps, is the granite formations of the Wolf River Batholith, which is found in Waupaca, Langlade, Shawano, Menomonee, Portage, Marathon and Oconto Counties in Wisconsin. Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula also are part of the larger granite formation, known as the Canadian Shield.

You'll no doubt hear much more from me on the subject if this becomes a serious issue, but here are a couple of facts to consider in the meantime:

--The high-level waste that would be buried in the repository is so deadly that it must be kept out of the environment and away from humans for at least 500,000 years. To put that challenge into some perspective, 10,000 years ago Wisconsin was covered by glaciers.

--In 1983, voters of Wisconsin were asked in a statewide referendum whether they favored having a high-level nuclear waste respository in the state. They voted no by an 8 to 1 margin.

--If State Rep. Mark Honadel follows through on his recent threat to try again this session to repeal Wisconsin's safeguards on new nuclear reactors, let's ask whether he's also willing to bury the deadly by-products here.


December 19, 2011 - 11:43am