Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nuclear Waste

I thought I would pass on this blog on Nuclear Waste. It is probably the best analysis of the problem of Nuclear waste I have ever seen. Usually if you just learn about Nuclear power from the mainstream media you get the idea that the plants produce huge amounts of highly dangerous waste that lasts for hundreds of thousands of years. It however does nothing of the sort.

When looking at Nuclear waste there is a very clear fact you always have to remember. How dangerous an isotope is, is inversely proportional to its half life. Something with a short half life is releasing a huge amount of energy. Something with a really long half life is releasing very little energy. With the exception of the rather nasty poison that is Plutonium, which can easily be extracted from Nuclear fuel and burned up in a reactor, there just isn't Nuclear waste that is more dangerous than the ore it came from for more than a few hundred years(I have heard other sources say as long as 2500 years, but certainly the number is shorter than the oldest human built structures still standing). The most dangerous Nuclear waste decays first so if someone does happen to blow up a nuclear waste dump in five hundred years it will not be all that dangerous in comparison to how it is today. There is little doubt we can drill a hole, and put Nuclear waste in it in a form that it will stay trapped for a few hundred years. Even the Egyptians were capable of building structures that could last that long. In comparison to the dramatic threat that is global warming, the problems with Nuclear energy can easily be managed.

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