Deep-sea sediments recovered during a just-concluded North Pacific expedition appear to have been undisturbed by either cataclysmic or chronic occurrences in the earth's history. This degree of stability could make such sediments suitable for disposal of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors.
The red clay sediments were recovered from a site about 965 kilometers north of Honolulu during a recent scientific expedition directed by Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque. The expedition is part of a research program which Sandia is conducting for the Energy Research and Development Administration. Its long-range objective is to determine the technical and economic feasibility of providing terminal storage of high-level radioactive waste in canisters buried in geologic formations beneath the ocean floor.