If you talk to most governors (Jerry Brown is the exception) they're all for nuclear energy. But there is one problem -- no governor wants to accept the nuclear waste that is produced by the energy. Everyone thinks it should be buried in another state.
Since we only have 50 states, our options as to where to dump the stuff are limited.
Nuclear waste is not your everyday garbage. Its life is anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 years. While it doesn't give off any smell, it radiates like mad, and there doesn't seem to be any canister which will hold it more than a couple of decades.
What's the answer? A broker friend thinks he has it.
"We must make nuclear waste a precious commodity like gold or silver and have people start speculating in it. The government could hold an auction on the waste, and then the commodity people would begin dealing in futures. A pound might start off at $100, and then the speculators would take it from there. In a good market I could see it going up to $500, with delivery in six months."
"Wouldn't the traders be afraid of taking delivery on the nuclear waste they bought?"
"Commodity speculators never know what they're dealing in," he said. "To them it's all paper. Do you think they have ever seen a soybean or a pork belly? All they're trying to do is make a killing and if they can't make it in silver, they'll make it in garbage.
"But eventually someone is going to be stuck with the nuclear waste."
"You don't understand the people who play the commodity game. They never believe they're going to be the last guy in line. They always hope to unload the commodity before delivery time. If someone gets stuck, it's his tough luck. He'll have to bury it in his own back yard."
"His wife won't like that," I said.
"Commodity speculators don't think about their wives. If they did, they'd never be in the business. Look, I've got this thing all worked out. Once you put nuclear waste on the market everyone is going to believe it must be valuable or people wouldn't be speculating in it. If nuclear water goes up and the dollar goes down, you'll have people all over the world trying to buy in. The Arabs will figure there must be something to the waste or we wouldn't be selling it at auction. The gnomes of Switzerland will recommend it to their clients, and pretty soon all the big banks will start stockpiling the waste in their safes.
"If we get everyone buying it, we could wind up with a shortage."
"It's a good plan" I agreed, "particularly if the OPEC countries start demanding to be paid for their oil in nuclear sludge. How do we get it off the ground?"
"The first thing we have to do is persuade the president to go on television and say the country is running out of nuclear waste and unless we all conserve, there will be none left 100,000 years from now. That's all the speculators will need to dump their holdings in wheat and start gambling in radioactive garbage."