Reflections on High-Level Radwaste

by J. R. R. Tolkien

excerpted from

"The Council of Elrond"

"Two things only remain for us to attempt: to send it over the Sea, or to destroy it," said Glorfindel.

"But Gandalf has revealed to us that we cannot destroy it by any craft that we here possess," said Elrond.

"And they who dwell beyond the Sea would not receive it: for good or ill it belongs to us; it is for us who still dwell here to deal with it."

"Then," said Glorfindel, "let us cast it into the deeps. In the Sea it would be safe."

"Not safe for ever," said Gandalf. "There are many things in the deep waters; and seas and land may change. And it is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world. We should seek a final end to this menace."

"Then," said Erestor, "there are but two courses, as Glorfindel has already declared: to hide it for ever, or to unmake it. But both are beyond our power. Who will read this riddle for us?"

"None here can do so," said Elrond gravely. "At least none can foretell what will come to pass, if we take this road or that. But it seems to me now clear which is the road that we must take."

Lord of the Rings,
by J.R.R. Tolkien,
Book 2, Chapter 2

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