Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


High-level radioactive waste produced by nuclear power generation, weapons production, and medical research has been accumulating in temporary storage pools in many countries. A permanent method of disposal will soon benecessary to ensure against contamination of man and the environment. Land-based geologic formations, such as salt domes, are the preferred sites for disposal at this time in the United States. Subseabed emplacement is one option under consideration and the technological aspects of this method are currently being studied. In order to resolve these issues, it is proposed that relevant laws be conditionally amended to legalize subseabed emplacement, but only after all experimentation and observation has been completed, an international management system is operational, arguments by all actors have been considered, and international laws have been altered to explicitly cover emplacement. It is further proposed that the international management system be developed within the framework of the convention on the Law of the Sea, in order to take advantage af an existing institution, and minimize conflicts with the International Seabed Authority.