Vermont Yankee has too much waste

A recent report states that “Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, reports that Vermont Yankee has generated more than 600 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste during its 41 years of operation. He urged that it be moved more quickly from the plant’s spent fuel storage pool to dry concrete and steel casks on the plant’s grounds, where he said it would be safer.  Here is his full report.

spent fuel rods

The pool “contains about nine times more cesium-137 (a radioactive isotope) than was released from the more than 600 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests around the world,” said Alvarez… Alvarez added that the Vermont Yankee pool “contains more than the entire inventory of spent fuel in the four damaged reactors at the Fukushima site” in Japan.

A separate scholar named Alvarez, Luis Alvarez, reported a layer of iridium  marks the KP border,  The boundary marks the end of the Cretaceous period, which is the last period of theMesozoic era, and marks the beginning of the Paleogene period of theCenozoic era. The boundary is associated with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, a mass extinction, thought to be an asteroid that hit in the Yucatan about 60 million years ago and marked one of the major extinctions of the world.  The iridium, from the asteroid, settled in a thin layer found around the world.

Cesium 137, so abundant at Vermont Yankee, is only found as the byproduct of nuclear reactors.  There are now deposits of cesium found around the world, and its presence is used as a dating marker.     It is water soluble and the body identifies it as being like potassium.  Cesium 137 is a significant problem in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

When sentient beings arrive on our plant in a few million years they will see the iridium layer, and say how unfortunate.   When they see the layer of Cesium 137 around the world, they will say, but this is what they did to themselves.  Will we cause our own extinction because of a  failure to  control the nuclear power, which is our civilization’s Pandora’s box.

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