This handbook is concerned with developing principles and standards for the safe disposal of solid radioactive wastes by burial deep in the Earth's crust. Radioactive wastes have focussed thinking on long-term environmental protection issues in an unprecedented way. Consequently, the way in which principles and standards are set, and the thinking behind this, is of wider interest than to the nuclear field alone. The issues are not just technical and scientific. There is also a much wider philosophical context to the debate, centering on ethics, human values and the expectations of society.
In this handbook it is intended that all theses issues are brought together, suggesting appropriate ways forward in each area, culminating in a proposed structure for safety regulations. It also aims to provide a detailed discussion of some of the most difficult logical an ethical issues facing those wishing to dispose of long-lived radioactive wastes.