Letter from the Editor: Recycling: Practice What You Preach

Recycle, reuse, reduce. These are the watchwords of people who are concerned about reducing the impact that man and his activities have on the world’s natural resources. The ideas that the words embody are logical and can be reasonably applied to making the world a more prosperous place to live. I was introduced to the […]

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In the news: May 1995

Mescalero’s reverse waste storage vote (Mar 11, 1995) The Mescalero Apache nation voted 593-372 to proceed with a lucrative project to store spent nuclear fuel for some U.S. utilities. New Mexico Attorney General Tom Udall noted that the state legislature may exercise a veto over the agreement. Mescalero leaders said that the state can “claim […]

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Long Term Exposure: Health Studies of Nuclear Pros

Large populations of people have been exposed to carefully measured quantities of radiation in their professional work with nuclear power plant systems. These long term exposures to low level radiation offer a unique opportunity to determine what risk, if any, this new industry has added to the general level of risk in people’s daily lives. […]

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Learning from the Past: Lesson from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Following the end of World War II, an extensive study was performed on the survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The study involved 91,230 people; 37,173 of whom were far enough from the explosion that they received virtually no radiation. This group served as the control group because their living environment […]

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Letter from the Editor: Exaggerated Truths are Falsehoods

The dose makes the poison. Almost anything can be a poison or health hazard if the dose is high enough. Most people are aware of this idea and use it in their daily decision making. Unfortunately, people do not often question just what constitutes a small, harmless dose and what constitutes a poisonous dose. Over […]

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How Deadly is Plutonium?

Rarely is the word “plutonium” published in a major news source without the adjective “deadly” nearby. Ralph Nader, noted activist and lawyer, once claimed that plutonium was “the most toxic substance known to mankind.” Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent each year in the United States doing studies of the characteristics of a […]

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Constant Exposure: How Much Radiation is Normal?

Everyone on earth is continually exposed to radiation. It comes from the certain isotopes of carbon and potassium in the food we eat, from cosmic radiation, from radon gas and from the decay of naturally occurring uranium, thorium and their decay products. Radiation: A Part of Daily Life There is a wide variation in the […]

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Common Myths: Is Nuclear Waste a Huge Problem?

One of the main reasons for publishing this letter is to add a healthy dose of reality to the mythology that has surrounded the atomic energy field. There are so many of these myths that this column will be a regular feature of the Atomic Energy Insights. One of the most prevalent myths is that […]

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Really Cool Stuff: Batteries That Last for Decades

Atomic energy provides an amazing source of concentrated power. The potential applications that have been proposed are widely varied. There is room for unlimited innovation and creativity. Imagine what it would be like to have a battery that could provide power for several decades without recharging. Sounds almost like science fiction. Fact, in this case, […]

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In the beginning: A 1942 Experiment Shows the World It Can Be Done

On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi and a small band of scientists and engineers demonstrated that a simple construction of graphite bricks and uranium lumps could produce controlled heat. Let’s look back to see how simple that first reactor was. Behind the Scenes The space chosen for the reactor was a squash court under the […]

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