1 result for (session:899 AND stemmed:meltdown)

DEaVF1 Chapter 5: Session 899, February 6, 1980 3/24 (12%) creatures meltdown isotope plutonium nuclear

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As for the nuclear power generating plant on Three Mile Island, engineers have not yet been able to enter the contaminated containment building housing the reactor—Unit No. 2—which came so close to a meltdown of its uranium fuel rods on March 28, 1979. Such an entry, to gather radiological data, is now planned for this April (1980). To insure the safety of workers, however, over 55,000 curies of radioactive krypton-85 gas will first be vented from the containment building into the atmosphere.

This prospect has already aroused much opposition—it’s another example of the psychological stress placed upon the population of southeastern Pennsylvania. Studies involving the psychology of the fear of nuclear power, irrational and otherwise, are growing, so once again consciousness proliferates and explores itself in new ways: When will a meltdown happen? people ask, even though some of the more than 200 nuclear power plants around the world have operated for more than 20 years now, without a single death caused by radiation. These studies are accompanied by the horde of challenges surrounding the still unresolved, unglamorous disposal of a constantly growing accumulation of nuclear waste products.

(And I wonder: In case of a meltdown, somewhere, sometime, and the release of radiation into the atmosphere, how will the consciousnesses of uranium and plutonium fit into the overall consciousness engendered by that accident? In ordinary terms, synthetic plutonium is probably the most toxic substance on earth. Its 15 known isotopes have radioactive half-lives of from one-fifth of a second to about 88 million years. Pu238, a high-quality isotope consumed in commercial nuclear reactors, has a half-life of about 88 years. [A bomb-quality isotope, Pu239, has a half-life of around 24,400 years.])

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