Rachel Dellia Benaim edited a report on the Weather Channel I saw today Feb 20 2020 that contained content of some excitement on nuclear waste and appeared to attempt to create some level of drama.
In short some ‘2 Million Pounds’ (that is what, 1,000 tons) of Radioactive Nuclear Waste illegally buried in Oregon and at the end of the story was embedded a cute piece of comedy on nuclear waste and it horrors.
I would ask that some care and education be applied to such reporting.
Nuclear waste in our society is nearly always picturing bi-products of nuclear weapon development or testing or nuclear reactors that are in use or perhaps had a spill. I think that is first thing you (and I would think of ). It could also include by products of medical and dental x-ray machines and life saving cancer treatment and other items that have been researched as to their proper handling and while an issue are necessary it seems at this time.
But his article left me at a loss. The ‘Radioactive Waste’ is from the naturally occurring element Radium that is a breakdown of the naturally occurring element Uranium and yields radon gas while you (and certainly I ) have may have to deal with and mitigate in our homes and businesses. It naturally occurs in the earth and will continue to do so for the extreme future.
Thus any drilling and mining has this issue when it is encountered in the earth and dissolved in fluids such as ground water or mixed with the trailings of a mine or water pumped from the well or ‘waste; water from the process or in this case a fracking well. Throw in all the oil wells, gas wells, coal mines and of course uranium mines and the amount of waste water is enormous, mostly unrelated and in situations impossible to filter or clean.
Effectively, any water on the earths surface or under its surface contains radium so avoid that water cooler over in the corner. And better stop mining gold and silver as the ground material is often found to contain radium.
All this long winded writing is really about taking care not to cut and paste without review any stories that are basically ‘scare tactics’ without the scientific background and understanding of what they mean, and take care not to be a possible quotable source of such tactics.
Natural radiation contained in a solution even when concentrated has no comparison to the generally accepted nuclear waste of weapon manufacturing or bomb testing.