It’s not often addressed in mainstream news, but whether or not we see nuclear war, the future of our existence is most likely to be radioactive doom. And while the disaster at Fukushima has made some headlines in recent years, the world’s radiation problem is far worse than what is being acknowledged.
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, there are close to 500 nuclear reactors on planet earth, and the number continues to grow. Accompanying these sites are the requisite nuclear waste dumps, which also include dumps for weapons and other military testing.
Spent fuel rods, of the kind used in nuclear power plants like Fukushima, have a half-life of 220,000 to 15.7 million years, meaning that all of the fuel rods being used today will far outlive the human race in radioactivity.
WIKI: How long are spent nuclear fuel rods radioactive?
Of particular concern in nuclear waste management are two long-lived fission products, Tc-99 (half-life 220,000 years) and I-129 (half-life 15.7 million years), which dominate spent fuel radioactivity after a few thousand years.
Storage of spent radioactive material is criminally negligent in many cases, and delusional in so far as humans can absolutely not predict, nor negate, the long-term possible impacts of weather and natural disasters on active plants and storage facilities.
“Robert Alvarez, a nuclear policy specialist since 1975, reports that spent nuclear fuel in the United States comprises the largest concentration of radioactivity on the planet: 71,000 metric tons. Worse, since the Yucca Mountain waste repository has been scrapped due to its proximity to active faults (see last image), the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has allowed reactor operators to store four times more waste in the spent fuel pools than they’re designed to handle.” [Source]
In the U.S. there is an alarming situation already emerging as annual production of radioactive waste outpaces storage capacity and many facilities are winging it with overcrowded containment pools.
But nearly all of the nuclear power plants in the U.S. have already run out of storage space, because these pools were not designed to be long-term containers and enough room needs to be preserved in case of a crisis such as a meltdown. In the absence of a long-term solution (such as burying the waste deep inside Yucca Mountain), the nuclear industry has turned to so-called dry cask storage. [Source]
As Scientific American says, it is a trash heap that will be deadly for 250,000 years, Assuming, of course, that we are somehow able to manage these facilities for that long, and, that nothing goes wrong, like a major earthquake.
This is purely delusional thinking, of course.
The Real Threat of Climate Change is Nuclear
During the U.S. Military’s nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific after World War II, a giant concrete tomb was constructed in the Marshall Islands to hold radioactive waste. “Buried beneath this vast disc is 85,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste — a toxic legacy from the dawning of the thermonuclear age.”
The facility on Runit island is already leaking, a result of cutting corners during construction for lack of budget.
“An assessment of the Runit or “Cactus Dome“, as it is also known, was released in 2013, detailing the weathering and minor cracking of the structure… On particular concern is that in order to save costs the original plan to line the bottom crater with concrete was abandoned.” [Source]
Around the world, though, nations are dumping and storing radioactive waste wherever they can, typically in near-surface disposal facilities, or in deep geological disposal facilities, both of which are susceptible to earthquakes and sea level changes.
This has been happening for decades, and the nuclear industry is still seeking options for providing, “publicly acceptable, safe, and environmentally sound solutions to the final management of radioactive waste.” Meaning that what we have now is admittedly insufficient. Yet the industry continues to proliferate, even though in places like Fukushima and Runit Island we can already see how this big idea does not work.
“That dome is the connection between the nuclear age and the climate change age,” says Marshall Islands climate change activist Alson Kelen. “It’ll be a very devastating event if it really leaks. We’re not just talking the Marshall Islands, we’re talking the whole Pacific.” [Source]
The definition of insanity is, “the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness. Extreme foolishness or irrationality.” Some define it as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. Unleashing nuclear energy, then living in denial about what we have created is definitely insane.
“There is nothing but insanity and suicide in nuclear power. Either humankind is truly blind, delusional, mad, and sunk in a miasma of amnesia — or some other species is benefiting from these toxic irreversible technologies.”~V. Susan Ferguson