Then I looked into what was on the end of that road - a radioactive metal milling facility which discharged waste water containing various toxic radioactive metals directly off a cliff into the desert (it's also a very beautiful area). They recently cleaned that up and the metal plume went down over 500 feet. In fact, all wastewater from the labs went to a central area in town (now an ecological park) and was simply dumped into the stream. The old metal mill area is now being redeveloped for housing. I asked a nuclear scientist I knew if he'd feel comfortable living there, and he said "Sure! I mean, you might want to get a geiger counter".
Then, I realized I was living 3/4 of a mile from the large material disposal area which is currently the lab's main waste dump - TA 54 I believe?
Reading about all the areas there and what is public about what they've stored was somewhat disturbing. Most of it was stored with very little documentation. But, the scientists and employees don't have any problem with living in town. From what I gather they stopped dumping waste carelessly in the 60s. I think they have it under control at this point, but there continues to be debate about long-term storage.
Radioactivity is, funnily, one of the easier human health hazards to manage for precisely this reason - by definition, it's (generally) detectable. Not as easily as, say, a bear, but easier than a virion or most regular chemical contaminants.
Plus, radionuclides don't actively evolve.
Because humans breathe out CO2, and if the ventilation in the area is poor relative to the number of humans inside of it, then you will get a higher concentration of CO2, and thus you would also be more likely to have a higher concentration of viruses and other substances that can be airborne.
Just because you have high CO2 doesn’t necessarily mean that you have high concentrations of the virus particles that could cause a COVID infection, but there is a high correlation, and high CO2 is bad for you in plenty of other ways as well.
So, yes please — give me a cheap, portable, badge-like way of measuring my exposure to high levels of CO2!
If people stayed home and followed some basic precautions it would be pretty effective.
I say this from New Zealand, with covid finally having a foothold and community spread escalating, seemingly from non-compliance.
Moreover, having a partial solution to the problem is better than no solution at all.
We went from being a few steps away from actively melting the Arctic, to people saying humans couldn't possibly melt ice.
Amazing when you compare with just coal mining deaths and premature death estimate from coal fired electricity generation over the years. It boggles the mind how the fossil fuel / environmentalist lobby anti-nuclear fear propaganda ever took hold in total absence of fact, but I have to hand it to them.
That single coal power station explosion I found on the first page of search killed more people than the Chernobyl explosion.
You joke, but the real key is to buy governments, advertising, and "activists".
If we want to compare the total scale of each disaster from start to finish, in terms of premature deaths then the coal disaster begins the day the boilers were fired up.
Long term radiation from Chernobyl may kill anywhere from 100 to thousands of premature deaths, but I also don't count the continual nuclear and chemical disaster that is a normally operating coal power plant or its contribution to premature deaths, let alone its contribution to climate change. Only the deaths as a direct result of the explosion, just to go a little easier on coal.
i mean, isn't that like exactly how it is always done?
The broad public was introduced to the atomic age by wiping out tens of thousands and humankind had to live for decades under the prospect of a sudden nuclear holocaust with no way to do anything about it. I would not be so quick to blame people alone for rejecting this „atomic age“. In my opinion the history of „nuclear“ is one PR/image fuckup after the other. This is absolutely a problem of its own making.
I‘m physicist, I think that nuclear would be a nice addition in our carbon-free energy toolbox but I also understand why the public opinion is what it is - especially in Germany which was designated playground of nuclear superpowers during the Cold War.
Opinion polls in the 1950s and 1960s showed remarkably high approval of nuclear power , , , . Attitudes regarding construction near a poll respondent’s residence were also positive, with multiple surveys showing majority or plurality approval .
I mostly blame the fossil fuel lobby and the anti nuclear "environmentalist" movement.
They even refused to view a small alpha particle device I bought from United nuclear that had only a tiny piece of uranium ore from Canada inside it (virtually all alpha particles emitted)
Renewables are fusion at a distance.
As a high school senior, I went to visit a college back in 1973. I visited a lab where they were playing around with approaches to fusion reactors, a Tokamak IIRC. Today, 48 years later, we're not really any closer than we were in 1973.
But today we do have both wind energy and PV energy. Commercially viable fusion. We should embrace it.