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Hazards of High-Level Radioactive Waste—The Great Myth

  • Bernard L. Cohen

Abstract

The fourth major reason for public misunderstanding of nuclear power is a grossly unjustified fear of the hazards from radioactive waste. Even people whom I know to be intelligent and knowledgeable about energy issues have told me that their principal reservation about use of nuclear power is the disposal of radioactive waste. Often called an “unsolved problem,” many consider it to be the Achilles’ heel of nuclear power. Seven states now have laws prohibiting construction of nuclear power plants until the waste disposal issue is settled. On the other hand there is general agreement among those scientists involved with waste management that radioactive waste disposal is a rather trivial technical problem. Having it as one of my principal research specialties over the past seven years, I am firmly convinced that this radioactive waste from nuclear power operations represents less of a health hazard than the waste from any other large technological industry. Clearly there is a long and complex story to tell.

Keywords

Radioactive Waste Coal Burning Nuclear Waste Chemical Carcinogen Arsenic Trioxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Bernard L. Cohen 1983

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  • Bernard L. Cohen

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