24 Nat. Resources J. 967 (1984)
Radioactive Wastes

handle is hein.journals/narj24 and id is 977 raw text is: JOHN WARREN KINDT*

Radioactive Wastest
I. INTRODUCTION
Radioactive wastes and oil pollution were the first two types of marine
pollution to receive international attention. In response to the extremely
dangerous nature of nuclear waste materials, controls have been estab-
lished relatively quickly compared to other forms of marine pollution.
The international community has recognized the importance of minimiz-
ing environmental damage from radioactive wastes. This recognition is
particularly crucial in view of the inevitable increase in the amount of
these wastes.
Several countries have a significant reliance on nuclear power and have
future commitments to nuclear energy programs.' As of 1983, there were
277 nuclear power plants in operation around the world and 241 units
under construction or on order.2 Nuclear power has been considered a
viable energy source especially for developing nations, such as Pakistan,
that neither possess energy resources such as oil or coal,3 nor are able to
finance the importation of these commodities. The developing nations
see nuclear power as their most desirable alternative for rapid economic
growth.
Coal and solar energy are often mentioned as alternative sources but
they do not compare favorably to nuclear power in terms of practical and
environmental considerations. Efficient, low-cost solar collection systems
have not yet been implemented and energy storage continues to be a
problem. Substantial reliance on coal would result in large amounts of
carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. This could eventually
lead to undesirable changes in climate due to the greenhouse effect.4
Therefore, nuclear power could become a major worldwide source of
energy during the 1980s.
With continued reliance on nuclear power, large amounts of radioactive
wastes will necessarily be generated. However, even if the uses of nuclear
*Professor, University of Illinois; A.B. 1972, William & Mary; J.D. 1976, M.B.A. 1977, Uni-
versity of Georgia; LL.M. 1978, S.J.D. 1981, University of Virginia. © 1984.
tJudith E. Baker provided valuable assistance in updating, editing, and cite-checking this article.
1. See World List of Nuclear Power Plants, NUCLEAR NEWS, Aug. 1983, at 83.
2. Id.
3. Approaches to the Prevention of Diversion of Nuclear Fuel to Military Uses, 16 COLUM. J.
TRANSNAT'L L. 451, 463 (1977) (panel discussion, statement of Iqbal Akhund) [hereinafter cited
as Approaches].
4. Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: Environmental, Security, and Safety Considerations, 16
COLUM. J. TRANSNAT'L L. 416, 427 (1977) (panel discussion, statement of Theodore B. Taylor).

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