Larry Summers, prophet of toxic waste

Two decades after the infamous Summers memo,
The U.S. is reportedly in talks with Mongolia about the country setting up an international repository for nuclear waste.
Via FP Passport, details (fairly speculative) here.

Like a few other Summers statements, the one on toxic waste (which he later asserted was sarcastic) is easily demonized, but upon further examination shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

I find the nuclear waste storage debate in the U.S. intensely frustrating - it is on par with entitlement spending in the political challenges of doing the right thing in the face of short-term incentives that are much stronger and more visible than the long-term ones.

I also liked an idea from Stuart Brand's Whole Earth Discipline: rather than try to prove a storage site will be safe for 10,000 years, use the Iroquois seven generations rule, find somewhere it will be safe for 200 years, and see how far re-processing technology has evolved by then.

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