Geoffrey Sea’s Nuclear Bulletin #13 – The Burial Euphemism

In my Bulletin #11, I forecast that entombment of the entire facility in sand and concrete was the likely, or only possible, conclusion of this drama. I did not, however, think that would be acknowledged for quite a while.

Today, Reuters is out with a report that the Japanese have broached the option of “burying…in sand and concrete”. [ Japan weighs need to bury nuclear plant | Reuters]. I suppose “burying” sounds a bit better than “entombment” — almost like it’s a pet animal that can fit in shoe-box.

So we now know the end-game. There will be no big cesium plumes that reach across the ocean, but there will be one heck of a big block of cement on the coast of Japan, that will need to outlast the pyramids of Egypt. You heard it here first.

Let the epitaph writing war begin.

— Geoffrey Sea

Geoffrey Sea holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Science from Harvard. He did graduate work in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and in radiological health physics at San Jose State University. He is co-founder of Southern Ohio Neighbors Group, which successfully defeated plans for the centralized storage of spent nuclear fuel at Piketon, Ohio. He has published in the American Scholar, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and many newspapers. He can be contacted via email at

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