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Planetary Emergencies: Averting Disaster: Science for Peace in a Perilous Age

By Everett & Associates on Dec 28, 2016 at 06:18 PM in LEA Announcements

LEA CEO, Dr. Lorne Everett has contributed to this book of testimonials from participants of the famous Erice International Seminars on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies. Since 1981, The Erice International Seminars, with their multidisciplinary scientific teams, have addressed a long list of planetary problems and emergencies. This book describes one of the most exciting intellectual and political ventures of the later part of the 20th century: the decades of the Cold War, a period of growing East-West tension with the possibility that management of nuclear capabilities might get out of hand. The Erice International Seminars — held in an idyllic setting of a small retreat center in Western Sicily — were focused on stemming these perilous tides, and to put science at the service of political problem-solving in a new, open and interdisciplinary approach. Thousands of the most respected scientists in their fields (among them many Nobel Prize laureates) have participated in the Seminars and their interdisciplinary working groups and have helped to generate a steady and influential flow of scientific insight.

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Everett’s contribution to this important volume:
“For two decades it has been my distinct pleasure and honor to participate in the International Seminars on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies in Erice, Italy. While the issue of nuclear waste stewardship and repository design has been fundamental to the pollution panel, a number of pollution emergencies have been thoroughly vetted over the years. Beginning with the disposal of municipal wastes, petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, plastics, and now pharmaceutical wastes, the pollution panel has sought an understanding and developed a series of recommendations relative to the above planetary emergencies. This back end-of-the-pipe approach, however, has now lent itself to a Green Chemistry approach which is a front end-of-the-pipe realization that getting hazardous materials out of the system prior to its disposal should be the path forward. Underlying and interspersed with many of the pollution panel meetings were issues related to high-level radioactive waste repositories and the commensurate issues associated with mining, milling, delivery, risk, and security. Early in our meetings, I conceived of a Memo of Understanding (MOU) amongst representatives of several nuclear powers including Japan, United Kingdom, Russia, Canada and the United States on a Long-Term High-Level Radioactive Waste Stewardship Program. That draft MOU has contributed to the current Panel recommendations for the development of a multinational high-level radioactive waste repository which is proposed to be managed and safeguarded by all members of the nuclear energy community.”