Daniel Halliday
Apr 26 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
Why is it so hard to clear up after a nuclear disaster?
The 26th April is International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, marking a day of remembrance for the explosion and following nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. Nuclear disasters have unfortunately repeated since this unfortunate time, so while we are remembering the 8.4 million victims of radioactivity exposure in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, let’s try and understand why is it so hard to clean up after a nuclear disaster... un.org/en/events/chernobylday/index.shtml
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Complex scenarios, different in every case
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Radioactivity and its slow decay
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Complex scenarios, different in every case

Nuclear reactors have been such a complicated mess to address when they have become disaster areas in the past, and with multiple types of nuclear reactor, using different cooling systems, and having very different topography and population in the surrounding areas, each power station poses a very individualistic threat. In Fukushima, Japan the cleanup plan is estimated to take a further forty years; the main concern is maintaining a frozen soil barrier in an attempt to prevent contaminated groundwater seepage. In Chernobyl, Ukraine the scale of the explosion and the threat of nuclear contamination were so great that an exclusion zone and a containment structure have been the only way to address the disaster, confinement being the only viable solution.

theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/09/fukushima-nuclear-cleanup-falters-six-years-after-tsunami

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Radioactivity and its slow decay

The underlying problem behind the difficulty in clearing up nuclear disasters is similar to the dilemma of how to “get rid” or more accurately store nuclear waste. Current methods for dealing with nuclear waste involve segregation and storage, or reuse in some limited forms, but in nuclear disasters this material, hazardous to all life forms, is spread far and wide by the nuclear explosion. Some of these chemicals may stay radioactive for a long time, having a half-life of hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years. This radioactivity poses a serve threat to all life it comes into contact with, meaning that some clean-up efforts may require protective equipment, or special techniques to remove such chemicals from the environment they pollute, while some may remain impossible to remediate due to the cost and difficulty.

greentumble.com/7-reasons-why-nuclear-waste-is-dangerous

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