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Nuclear Safety and Hazardous Radioactive Waste

Stoyan Sarg
Year: 2011
Keywords: nuclear safety, radioactive waste

For our expectations of an environment-safe planet, the outcome from the UN nuclear safety meeting in Vienna, 2011, is not a satisfactory solution. The proponents of nuclear power guarantee a safe future, but safety has been guaranteed also in the past. Furthermore, one main issue is avoided: the danger from the growing radioactive waste. The Fukushima disaster is the radioactive contamination that came from such waste. There is no recipe for cure for this man-made radioactivity, other than time spanning hundreds to thousands of years. The radioactive waste grows by 12,000 metric tons per year?a volume equivalent to 100 double-decker buses or a two-story building with a footprint the size of a basketball court. By year 2015, it will have reached about 250,000 tons. Plutonium?one of the most hazardous nuclear waste products?is a difficult-to-detect alpha emitter in the contaminated environment. A micrograms dose of Plutonium leads to illness and a life expectancy of less than ten years.