Nuclear waste, especially nuclear fuel wastes from reactors, also called high-level radioactive wastes, is the greatest danger caused by the nuclear industry. This fuel, otherwise known as irradiated fuel or “spent” fuel, contains hundreds of radioactive elements that are the products of fission in a reactor. Many of them are not found in nature. This fuel is lethal in seconds to anyone nearby. It will leave an indelible mark on the planet for eons.
Determined to allay long-standing public concerns about this waste, the
George Bush is doing it. So is China, and the province of Ontario. Not too surprising, but some of the other proponents of new nuclear power plants are startling. If it will allow industrial extraction to continue unabated, we might expect Patrick Moore to be in favour of nuclear as part of a “sustainable future.”
Building nuclear plants is a waste of time, money, and fossil fuels. It is not sustainable. Here’s why.
by Jim Harding
I have been closely watching the controversy over the Energy Alberta-AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) proposal to build nuclear plants in the Peace River area to power the tar sands extraction. While some local politicians may think this presents great economic opportunities, I think the “golden egg” will again prove to be a myth. Without huge subsidies, nuclear power might not even survive in today’s energy market. It’s no coincidence that private investors avoid nuclear, and that the government must
The crippled and leaking nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Japan continue to emit radiation into the air, ocean, and probably groundwater, and the Japanese struggle to keep the fuel rods covered with water to prevent further explosions. The disaster at Fukushima, just 6 weeks prior to the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe, is a tragedy of utmost proportions.
The Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 has caused thousands of deaths and has left behind a highly radioactive uninhabitable wasteland. Even far to the west, in areas of England, to this day farm produce has to be tested because the sheep accumulate radioactive cesium that came from Chernobyl.
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Yablokov et al, eds, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-57331-757-3 US $150/CDN $180, 400 pages, ppb. Also available as Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, www.nyas.org
Reviewed by Anna Tilman and Gordon Albright
Physicians were restricted from calling any medical findings radiation-related unless the patient had been a certified "acute radiation sickness" patient during the disaster.
See also this excellent free documentary video which does a fair job of describing and visualizing the whole scope of that disaster,
A series of 4 articles, "The Yellowcake Trail," is now available in our special feature section or click HERE
The articles track all aspects of uranium in Canada from the mining and milling, to processing and use, throughout its eighty-year history. The series begins with the history of uranium in Canada, from its initial discovery to the rapid development of mines that placed Canada as the prominent world leader in uranium production. Each mine has a story and each story has a common thread and legacy.
This series of articles tracks all aspects of the uranium in Canada from mining and milling, to processing and use, throughout its eighty year history. Part 4 examines radioactive waste produced by the nuclear industry (excluding mining and milling, which is in Part 1, June-Juy 2009). This waste has placed a heavy burden on several communities in Canada.
This series of articles, "On the Yellowcake Trail", tracks the history of all aspects of uranium mining in Canadafrom the mining and the milling, to processing and use, throughout its eighty year history. This article examines the state of nuclear power plants around the world today. It asks if the industry can be a climate saviour, or is it just an expensive white elephant?
This series of articles, "On The Yellowcake Trail," tracks the history of all aspects of uranium in Canada from the mining and milling, to processing and use, throughout its eighty-year history. The series began with the history of uranium mining in Canada. This article examines the various stages involved in processing uranium and the issues that emerge with each of these stages.
This series of articles, "The Yellowcake Trail," tracks all aspects of uranium in Canada from the mining and milling, to processing and use, throughout its eighty-year history. The series begins with the history of uranium in Canada, from its initial discovery to the rapid development of mines that placed Canada as the prominent world leader in uranium production. Each mine has a story and each story has a common thread and legacy.