'Your water is 'safe' to drink don't worry!' (Buys up property, pays for 11.5 million dollar water treatment plant.)
Apparently Plutonium has life span of like 200 thousand years. That means after 200 thousand years it is no longer harmful to humans.
Actually, external exposure to plutonium or ingestion of it through food or water is relatively safe. Plutonium emits alpha particles and almost no beta particles or gamma rays, and alpha particles can’t penetrate flesh. The gastro-intestinal tract doesn’t readily absorb plutonium, so it’s excreted from the body. Inhalation merely increases the chance that you may develop cancer later in life.
By the way, no fission products have a half-life of between 100,000 years and 210,000 years, so I’m afraid your numbers are incorrect. Plutonium-244, which has a half-life of 80,000,000 years, isn’t produced by the nuclear fuel cycle; it occurs naturally. Even then, the longest-lived isotopes of plutonium are the most stable (or least radioactive).
Proper research must be hard to come by these days.
It was my interpretation of the information I consumed, obviously I was incorrect. thank you for the correct information. And From my understanding, any radiation is harmful, it is just a matter of continuously being exposed to radiation that your chances of contracting cancer increases, also from my understanding of information presented to me.
My understanding is that most of the byproducts of nuclear waste from nuclear power production have half lifes of 100 year or more, plutonium, which is a byproduct/waste of nuclear production has one of the highest half-life of all the other wastes.
The point being Nuclear power production is still inefficient in it’s current implementation (seeing as how in order for a plant to even be build the organization building the plant requires massive government subsidies.) and in it’s regulation. The technology from my understanding of information presented to me is still in its infancy and as a species hardly understands how to implement it to the greatest benefit. If people and life die by a byproduct of a particular power generation, or by the power generation itself, that is one strike against it. If it requires tax subsidies to be built, it doesn’t deserve to exist. If the waste product of that generation can’t be safely stored until it is safe to dispose of, that is strike three. If Radioactive material leaches into the groundwater by it’s very existence in an area, that is strike four. People shouldn’t die or get sick(deathly sick) while power is being generated.
You and I could spend hours arguing in circles with each other, I’m sure. I’ll try to make this is as short and as understandable as possible. I don’t mean to insult your intelligence if it seems like I am, I’ve just found that a large portion of people who have negative opinions on nuclear power don’t truly understand the subject.
The assertion that any exposure to radiation is harmful is called the linear no threshold model (LNTM). Essentially, it assumes that there is no threshold radiation exposure has to reach before causing harm. There are two other models that oppose this - the threshold model (assumes that relatively low doses of radiation are harmless) and radiation hormesis (assumes that relatively low doses of radiation can be beneficial). The problem is that there is no industry-wide consensus on which should be regarded as correct. There is substantial evidence of health risks after a high dose of radiation exposure, but no definitive evidence that a low dose is harmful, either because they go unnoticed or flat out don’t exist. Whether or not low doses are harmful has yet to be proven so no, you can’t definitively say LNTM is accurate or reliable.
As far as half-lives go, long-lived fission products and actinides are the least dangerous to human beings because they’re weak emitters, typically of alpha and beta particles (gamma rays are the most concerning). Short-lived fission products are intensely radioactive and decay 100% in a short amount of time, meaning that they’re the most harmful to humans. Radioisotopes are constantly decaying every single day, therefore they become less radioactive on a daily basis. What is important to remember is just how trivial this particular opinion is, because fission products and actinides are rarely released into the environment, except in the event of a serious accident and not really even then unless the containment building has been compromised.
Nuclear power is incredibly efficient, actually. Nuclear power plants typically operate at or very near to 100% capacity and don’t require sources that human beings can’t control. A single uranium fuel pellet contains energy equivalent to hundreds of pounds of coal. Nuclear technology is hardly still in its “infancy.” It might be if this were 1945, but as I’m sure you know, it isn’t. Advanced nuclear reactors are being built all over the world, particularly in China and India, and more are expected in the near future. In fact, a downstate nuclear power plant here in Illinois will be installing an AP1000 reactor in the next few years. As far as your idea that nuclear power has yet to be implemented “to the greatest benefit”, no. Nope. Experimental reactors have been doing exactly that for decades. Several advanced designs are slated for commercial production in the coming years. At any rate, I would imagine most technology, not just for power generation, has yet to be implemented to the greatest benefit. If technology were perfect, new versions and updates wouldn’t constantly be coming out. To think that this applies only to nuclear reactors is asinine.
Evidently you have done very little research re: energy subsidies. Every modern form of power generation is subsidized, so it’s unwarranted to declare that if something requires subsidies, it shouldn’t exist. Germany’s recent switch to wind power is heavily subsidized, mainly through a renewable energy surcharge on electric bills. In March of this year, the surcharge reportedly made up about 14% of the total bill, making electric bills in Germany some of the highest in the European Union. So, essentially, you’re saying no form of power generation should exist, since they all rely on billions of dollars of government funds, tax breaks, incentives like fixed prices, etc.
I hate to break this to you because you seem so convinced of your reasons to be anti-nuclear, but the nuclear industry has very few fatalities. The number of fatal nuclear and radiological accidents since its birth is 20. The number of fatal wind turbine accidents since its birth is over 100. Not only that, but Duke Energy was just fined a hefty sum because one of its wind farms was killing migratory birds (including several golden eagles), which is a direct violation of the federal Migratory Bird Act. Dams for hydro power have broken, flooding large areas, killing a massive amount of people (about 1,000,000 people were killed after a dam in China broke in the 1970s) and displacing even more people because their homes were destroyed. Nuclear power has saved more lives than have been taken due to the reduction of smog that would typically come from coal fired power plants.
Your research concerning nuclear waste is, again, lacking. Spent fuel is stored in spent fuel pools at the site of the reactor it came from for years. There is no particular danger here, except in the highly unlikely event that the pool will stop cooling and the water will boil. When spent fuel is determined to be safe enough as to not start a chain reaction near other spent fuel assemblies, it’s dried and placed in dry casks, where it can remain for ~90 years safely without ever leaving the power plant’s perimeter.
Unless there is severe damage to a power plant’s components, it’s highly unlikely that radioactive water will reach the water table. There are a number of redundant safety systems in place to prevent this from occurring. I have never encountered any leaks or equipment failures since I began working at a nuclear power plant, nor have I encountered any unintentional releases of radioactivity into the atmosphere. While the Hanford site has unfortunately been experiencing this throughout its cleanup, it stems from poor knowledge of how waste should be stored way back in the 1950s (including when the B Reactor was decommissioned) and taken care of, as well as poor record-keeping. That’s unheard of today. Besides, production of hazardous waste is not specific to just nuclear power generation.
In order to have an opinion or pass judgement on nuclear power, at least do your own research instead of regurgitating information from someone who doesn’t have any credibility where nuclear power is concerned.