Nuclear Waste Needs to Be Part of the Conversation on Climate Change

Congratulations are in order for Berkeley Earth’s sister organization Deep Isolation, who announced today the closing of a $20m Series A funding round, led by nuclear industry leaders NAC International. Founded by Berkeley Earth Co-Founder and President Elizabeth Muller, Deep Isolation is developing a patented process to safely dispose of nuclear waste, a major issue facing the transition to low carbon energy sources.

In this post originally published by Deep Isolation, Elizabeth explores the connection between nuclear waste and climate change.

By Elizabeth Muller, CEO, Deep Isolation

As CEO of the nuclear waste disposal company Deep Isolation my main focus is using innovation to solve the decades-old problem of what to do with nuclear waste. But finding solutions to the world’s toughest environmental problems is also reflected in my work with Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit that’s a widely respected source of independent unbiased climate change and air pollution data.

Ten years ago I co-founded Berkeley Earth to bring robust data and analysis to the question of global warming. Seeking facts over opinions, we organized a group of scientists to reanalyze the earth’s surface temperature record and published our initial findings in 2012. Yes, climate change is real, and we need to act. While recent severe fires have raised the profile of our work, this has always been a core belief of the organization.   

So how does my concern about climate change relate to nuclear waste disposal? The climate crisis requires immediate action to reduce carbon-based energy sources. Nuclear energy is part of the low-carbon, energy mix, but if we don’t solve the waste problem then we’re not being responsible.  It’s also true that without a waste solution it’s highly unlikely that the next generation of nuclear energy reactors will come to life.

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