We have been generating nuclear waste for 70 years now. All this time there has been no method of safely storing this incredibly toxic waste. There still isn’t. And there probably never will be. The USA now generates 2000 tons (4 million pounds) of toxic nuclear waste every year according to the nuclear power industry. And we have had serious to major accidents at Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and Chernobyl. Chernobyl especially took many lives, will be causing genetic defects to the surrounding population for years and years. The jury is still out on Fukushima.
Here are some of the EPA’s statistics on the half-lives of “commonly encountered radionuclides” generated by nuclear reactors.
The half-life of iodine-131 is 8 days.
The half-life of cobalt-60 is 5.27 years.
The half-life of tritium is 12.3 years
The half-life of strontium-90 is 29.1 years.
The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years.
The half-life of technetium-99 is 212,000 years.
The half-life of iodine-129 is 15.7 million years.
Generally, artificial isotopes of thorium come from decay of other man-made radionuclides, or absorption in nuclear reactions.
The half-life of thorium-228 is 1.9 years.
The half-life of thorium-230 is 75,400 years.
Thorium-232 has a half-life of 14 billion years.
Plutonium has at least 15 different isotopes, all of which are radioactive. The most common ones are Plutonium-238, Plutonium-239, and Plutonium-240.
Plutonium-238 has a half-life of 87.7 years.
Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,100 years.
Plutonium-240 has a half-life 6,560 years.
The range of these half-lives goes from days, to 10’s of years, to thousands of years, to millions of years, to billions of years. The persons promoting the nuclear power industry, then, are saying to our descendants: “For the next billion years or so, you take care of the dangerous, very highly toxic, cancer-causing wastes that we have produced in vast quantities. That is our legacy to you.” This, simply put, is criminal insanity. And this is what needs to be shouted out every day that a single nuclear power plant is still in operation.