In the 1950s I joined a leading firm of consultants as a 'trainee under agreement' and worked on the design of a 'state of the art' new colliery in south Wales.
It had an estimated life of many decades but was closed in the 1980s as uneconomic.
Now only a steel pipe sticking out the landscaped hillside marks the site of the main shaft. I would like to think that mines such as this could be re-opened if the technology for burning coal efficiently for power generation can be developed (NCE 13 July).
The same firm of consultants was, at the time, involved in the design of a number of nuclear power stations; it now looks as if most of these face closure as well. We all realise that the prime problem with nuclear power is what to do with the waste.
Years ago there was a proposal to project rockets filled with waste into deep space, but understandably this was not pursued.
The Sun would be an ideal place to dispose of nuclear waste. It is an immense furnace, virtually fuelled by nuclear energy, and its gravity would draw an insignificant projectile into instant destruction.
I have not discussed this idea with any experts, but could this be the solution that Nirex is looking for?
Dr. Colin Anderson, canderson@waitrose. com