Saturday, 29 June 2013

the long now or end-station mellrichstadt

After decades of protest focused around the rallying point of Gorleben in Lower Saxony, a commission has been appointed to seek out other candidate locations to host this onerous and unending olympiad of atomic waste.
One place being considered among a list of many is the sleepy town of Mellrichstadt, on the border with Thuringia and not very far away from us.
The town is being considered because of its relatively sparse population and similarly geologically constituted for long-term stability. Besides the fact it's in our backyard, consideration probably discounts the fact that the Rhön mountains here are a range of extinct volcanoes, and, as with virtually any spot in Germany that may appear like a suitable place for the long-term sequestering of spent nuclear fuel, that surety is threatened by the ambitions of prospectors who peddle American-style fracking as a solution to help meet the goals of the Energy Reform mandate. Germany will not simply export its problems but dealing with not inconsequential by-products takes foresight and commitment, not necessarily to be conduced into accepting this toxic burden but also looking further down the line towards legacies that are hard to imagine or keep in perspective.