Wasteland: the 50-year battle to entomb our toxic nuclear remains via The Verge


“We have something quite similar with nuclear power,” he said. “Even in the wake of Fukushima, people have become reasonably comfortable with the reactor. The reactor has the potential to be dangerous. If mismanaged, it can cause a catastrophe. But not the waste. And yet, for some reason, people are more afraid of the waste. Which defies logic. The waste is stationary. It doesn’t go anywhere. Every day it’s less hazardous than the day before.” He would have no problem living next to a nuclear waste repository. “We’ve got to get to a point where we can look at these things in context,” he said. “It’s not like this stuff’s going to come up out of the ground and kill people.”

Dr. Kim Kearfott is a professor of nuclear engineering, radiological sciences, and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. She specializes in radiation detection, internal radiation dose assessment, and radiation safety practices. In the 1990s, she was integral to studies about possible radiation exposure at Yucca. She is, in other words, familiar with radiological nuclear waste risks.

Kearfott calls Hanson’s assessment too simplistic. Two kinds of effects concern her, neither involving waste coming out of the ground to kill people.

Read the entire article at Wasteland: the 50-year battle to entomb our toxic nuclear remains

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