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The Uranium Film Festival & The Perils of Nuclear Power via Clean Technica


The International Uranium Film Festival is dedicated to all films about nuclear power and its associated risks of radioactivity. This educational event merges art, ecology, environmentalism, and environmental justice as it informs the public about uranium mining and milling, nuclear power issues, nuclear weapons, and the nuclear fuel cycle. The dynamic media of film and video allow organizers and festival participants to educate and activate the international public as it brings together cultures and generations around the effects of radioactivity and radioactive materials. […]

What’s Wrong with Uranium and Nuclear Power, Anyway?

Uranium is a radioactive element that occurs naturally in the earth’s surface, according to the Depleted UF6 Guide. Uranium is used as a fuel for nuclear reactors. Uranium-bearing ores are mined, and the uranium is processed to make reactor fuel. Using uranium as a fuel in the types of nuclear reactors common in the United States requires that the uranium be enriched so that the percentage of U-235 is increased, typically to 3 to 5%.

To enrich the uranium, a gaseous diffusion process creates two products: enriched uranium hexafluoride, and depleted uranium hexafluoride (depleted UF6). Large quantities of depleted UF6 have accumulated at the gaseous diffusion plants where it was created. If a cylinder leak (breach) occurs and the depleted UF6 is exposed to water vapor in the air, uranyl fluoride (UO2F2) and hydrogen fluoride (HF) are formed.

UF6 poses potential health risks for three primary reasons:

  • Uranium is radioactive and can therefore increase the likelihood of cancer in exposed individuals.
  • Uranium is a heavy metal that can have toxic effects (primarily on the kidneys) if it enters the bloodstream through ingestion or inhalation.
  • UF6 can react with moisture in the air to produce HF, a corrosive gas that can damage the lungs if inhaled.

In addition to the radiological and chemical health risks associated with depleted UF6 cylinders, there are also risks of industrial accidents and transportation-related accidents during handling, storage, or transport of depleted UF6.


We are at a turning point in which many investors are shying away from fossil fuels as energy sources due to their imminent status as stranded assets because of the serious risk they pose to our health and our environment. Shockingly, however, nuclear power is gaining appeal for investors looking for a fast return. Nuclear power is being pitched by some financial planners as “necessary” and — are you ready for it? — “actually good for the environment.”

Solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hybrid and electric cars, and aggressive energy efficiency are climate solutions that are safer, cheaper, faster, more secure, and less wasteful than nuclear power. The Uranium Film Festival can help people around the world to understand how our transition from fossil fuels to an equally dangerous source is not a climate solution.



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