While the nuclear industry and its supporters are working their very hardest to greenwash nuclear power as ‘clean’ energy, the latest findings at Chernobyl are creating new uncertainties about nuclear’s radioactive legacy…
Reinhabiting the large dead zone around the accident site may have to wait longer than expected. Radioactive cesium isn’t disappearing from the environment as quickly as predicted, according to new research presented here [in San Francisco] Monday at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Cesium 137’s half-life — the time it takes for half of a given amount of material to decay — is 30 years, but the amount of cesium in soil near Chernobyl isn’t decreasing nearly that fast. And scientists don’t know why.
Boris Faybishenko, a nuclear remediation expert at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says, ‘There are a lot of unknowns that are probably causing this phenomenon’. It makes you wonder about other assurances given by the nuclear industry over the years.
But nuclear energy is ‘clean’ energy insist the US Environmental Protection Agency, the World Nuclear Agency, and French nuclear corporation AREVA, to name but a few.
We’d like to see these people try to define ‘clean’ in this context and how it compares to an ordinary person’s definition of the word. How, for example, do the radioactive contamination on the streets of Akokan in Niger and the nuclear waste being stored in the open air in Siberia classify as ‘clean’?