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Toxic Byproducts

Toxic Byproducts Abstract To the Editor. —I hate to argue with a former classmate, but Dr Orient's letter in the April Archives (1983;143: 843-844) comparing the relative risks of controlled nuclear fission and fossil fuels as energy sources is disingenuous in omitting all reference to one of the central problems of nuclear power plants—their long-lived, lethal waste products. The costs and difficulties of managing those wastes make nuclear fission energy a much less attractive option than it seems when those factors are ignored. Nuclear wastes have not been a major problem to date because the number of reactors in operation has been relatively small, but news reports on the storage problem have already begun to appear. Construction of enough nuclear plants to supply even a substantial fraction of the world's energy requirements would necessarily entail a several-fold increase in the volume of nuclear wastes, and hence in the magnitude of the waste-disposal problem. References 1. Weir GJ Jr: Nuclear arms race. Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1072-1074.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Internal Medicine American Medical Association

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1983 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9926
eISSN
1538-3679
DOI
10.1001/archinte.1983.00350120136035
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract To the Editor. —I hate to argue with a former classmate, but Dr Orient's letter in the April Archives (1983;143: 843-844) comparing the relative risks of controlled nuclear fission and fossil fuels as energy sources is disingenuous in omitting all reference to one of the central problems of nuclear power plants—their long-lived, lethal waste products. The costs and difficulties of managing those wastes make nuclear fission energy a much less attractive option than it seems when those factors are ignored. Nuclear wastes have not been a major problem to date because the number of reactors in operation has been relatively small, but news reports on the storage problem have already begun to appear. Construction of enough nuclear plants to supply even a substantial fraction of the world's energy requirements would necessarily entail a several-fold increase in the volume of nuclear wastes, and hence in the magnitude of the waste-disposal problem. References 1. Weir GJ Jr: Nuclear arms race. Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1072-1074.Crossref

Journal

Archives of Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 1, 1983

References