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The Nuclear Waste Problem


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Published: 3 weeks ago
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Animation by Josh Sherrington (https://www.youtube.com/heliosphere)
Sound by Graham Haerther (http://www.Haerther.net)
Thumbnail by Joe Cieplinski (http://joecieplinski.com/)

Nuclear reactor footage courtesy Canada Science and Technology Museum
Spent fuel pool courtesy IAEA Imagebank
Onkalo photo courtesy Posiva

Music: "Raw Deal" by Gunner Olsen, "Divider" by Chris Zabriskie, "My Luck" by Broke for Free, and "I Wanted to Live" by Lee Rosevere

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comment  Comments

I did check a documentary on the onkalo (which the nuclear grave is called) apparently the plan is to always remember to forget about it.

19 minutes from now

Such a good vide

3 hours ago

7:50 Imagine in hundreds of years, finding this message. Sounds so, ancient, cryptic, sublime. That, is how you write a warning into the future. LOL

And then the landscape of spikes and such. Sounds like a science fiction movie/novel.

12 hours ago

I mean, if they know the site existed, they probably also know that they should not open it. It is very unlikely that they will know the location but not what's inside it.

18 hours ago

6:00 east sweden*

1 day ago

Nuclear Energy is the future.

1 day ago

I think it's great that humans are starting to worry about the generations to come, even far future ones. Through history most people have only been concerned with their own time. Then again we are the first humans we know of to create such a toxic "curse".

1 day ago

...the message should also say ..."OR ELSE!" (that'll cure their curiosity)

1 day ago

Well this video does not take into account the newer nuclear power plants that can use up to 95% of the rods which basically means less waste

1 day ago

We are fucked

2 days ago

Terrifyingly cryptic message in an ancient language? Foreboding environment? We are literally setting the future up to be a high-fantasy dystopic YA Novel.

2 days ago

This could have been much better done

2 days ago

why you talking about nations falling is this a propaganda

2 days ago

Why not consider Waste management by depositing in a dormant lifeless planet? Costly but safety is of more importance here right. There must be a lot of Planet which could be opted and since it is life less there will not be further problems

2 days ago

This was not a well researched or well argued video. The majority of the actual physics and facts of nuclear power was ignored and replaced with grand narrative story telling.

3 days ago

I think it's a mistake to think we could possibly make anything today that would be "uninteresting" to a civilization thousands of years from now. Most of the priceless Egyptian artifacts we now keep in museums would have been entirely uninteresting to everyday ancient Egyptians. The whole point is that it's a manmade object from thousands of years ago, which makes it inherently interesting no matter what it is. The actual artifact itself doesn't really matter.

3 days ago

Best case scenario would be that in a couple hundred years, we invent a form of propulsion way more efficient and powerful than modern rockets and are able to cheaply and safely send all this waste into a nicely inclined solar orbit...

3 days ago

That warning text seems really bad for keeping people away. Far to vague and far to sinister. They literally have a variation of that text in every Sci-Fi or Fantasy movie where they discover some ancient buried danger. And they always open it up immediately after reading it.

A better approach seems to explain exactly what is down there, maybe even leave a small sample near the description. State that that is all there is and now that they know they might as well just leave it be and go away. And if they still want to open it up they better know what they'r doing.

4 days ago

I wanted a wendover productions video not a vsauce video!
I can feel the existentialism gnawing at my feet already.

4 days ago

You didn't cover the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada that was built and rated to last over a million years even taking into account natural disasters in the area but was shut down due to political reasons.

4 days ago

We have used fosile fuels for far less than 250 years so that's shouldn't scare anyone alive.

4 days ago

why couldn't we just put this onto a rocket and crash the payload in the sun?? What would happen then?. Is the risk of rocket exploding in atmosphere keeping us from choosing such a solution?

4 days ago

Interesting fact: burning coal releases more radiation than all of the nuclear waste ever produced!

4 days ago

This video drastically understates the Fukushima catastrophe. Thumbs down.

4 days ago

More people die from cars

4 days ago

We still have a little bit of nuclear waste in Orange County California even after Edison shut the plant off

4 days ago

The Mongols were more powerful than the Romans. Only they could invade Russia in the winter and succeed. No one else!

4 days ago

Thorium over uranium take a look - https://youtu.be/jjM9E6d42-M

4 days ago

How bout we throw them nuclear waste in ocean?

4 days ago

Ugh... that pitiful warning message would make me want to explore it even more.

5 days ago

Please! Make a video about the importance of Net Neutrality!!

5 days ago

Cleaner than solar??? Except for manufacturing solar panels don't emit anything harmful🌎

5 days ago

Brian Linderman Thank you for that insight...I should have put more thought into my response...n yes I'm aware of the downside to solar, hence the "except for manufacturing" ill make sure i comment on anything else I will think more precisely.

4 days ago

Nuclear is statistically cleaner based on the fact that it has a lower GHG lifecycle emission count, and produces less total waste. Granted radioactive waste is not comparable to solar chemical waste, but we can evaluate the risk and look at mortality rates of specific types of waste materials to determine which have a greater chance of causing harm.

Additionally like all energy resources, solar requires materials that have to extract from the ground. Silicon mining is extremely hazardous without regulation due to silicosis. Other chemicals and materials are considered pollution and potentially hazardous depending on the mine and the type of solar you are planning to make.

Also, since solar is an intermittent source of energy you should also include the amount of pollution and potentially hazardous materials associated with storage devices including batteries, pumped, flywheel and compressed. Obviously, you should only add this value as it is equal to the amount of storage that solar has. FYI, we don't do this, but we really should. Its very misleading to act as if solar can exist by itself without storage, which is what we do in environmental, economic and sustainable studies.

4 days ago

If our civilization or even our species goes extinct, who's left to give a crap about nuclear waste? So fucking pretentious to make this an issue when we're in dire need of this power source NOW

5 days ago

In 230 years we will probably develop a clean energy solution. Or kill ourselves with greenhouse gases. Either way our problems are solved.

6 days ago

What about thorium?

6 days ago

OK man. this is a pipedream

6 days ago

It is heartening to see so many people being pro nuclear in the comments. He didn't even mention the reactor designs that use the waste of current reactor plants as their fuel. As well as new reactor designs that aren't nearly as dangerous. For those interested in learning more about nuclear power or just to share with people to convince them. I recommend a really good documentary called Pandora's Promise. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora%27s_Promise

6 days ago

I'm gonna keep it short, but here's the things that you didn't factor into your video:
> Thorium (about a hundred times more efficient, cheaper, and extremely abundant in supply)

> Naturally-stabilizing reactors (literally physically impossible to have a meltdown)

> Nuclear waste vitrification (decreases nuclear waste by 90%, physically can't leak into the environment)

> Steam turbine nuclear power was just quick and easy to make in the 1950's when we wanted to have nuclear-bomb nuclear waste produced ASAP. It was extremely cheap on R&D, but also just as extremely inefficient to extract energy. There are forms that are dozens of times more efficient even without the use of Thorium.

> Thorium waste can't be used for nuclear bombs, and neither can vitrified nuclear waste.

> Chernobyl access is restricted NOT because of radiation. It is almost just as radioactive as everything around you now. The reason you can't be in the city for extended periods of time is entirely for psychological reasons pertaining to the rundown environment of the city.

> Uranium rods have lethal doses of radioactivity for about 300 years, and that's if you're right next to it. The claim that they remain lethally radioactive for thousands of years is simply false. After thousands of years, they become indistinguishable from nature by radioactive content. That's where that "thousands of years" comes from.

> We have nuclear waste casks that can withstand a bomb, getting hit by a train, and from being dropped from 30,000 feet, and STILL remain undamaged. So this is not an issue. And even less so when you consider that vitrification solves the issue of nuclear waste leakage as mentioned before.

>> A lot more I don't have space to cover. That was all based off the first 5 minutes of your video, cause it too painful to keep watching this disappointing lack of accurate and legitimate of research.

On a sidenote, on of my siblings majored in nuclear engineering for two years before switching to physics. (I major in aerospace eng, but I have quite a bit of insight since we share eachothers' work quite often).

6 days ago

Yea realistic worries...
...what if aliens explore earth and dig waste up and die?
They bloody well deserve it. This is darwin award worthy stupidity, if you have a star faring civilization, and are not willing to check. Without some concept of radiation, its pretty hard to make the appropriate countermeasures to enable travel in space for extended periods of time.

6 days ago

whats so dangerous that they put it this far down and wanted nothing to do with it.....Lets find out and dig it out :D

6 days ago

8:15 That just makes me want ti dig it more!!!

1 week ago

We should do it “the Genghis khan burial” way

1 week ago

That letter sounds like some kinda of godzilla monster is locked away LOOL gonna make future people hella curious

1 week ago

Suomi mainittu torilla tavataan!! Perkele!

1 week ago

"The Roman Empire fell, and so too will the ____". When you automatically say "the West" is what will "fall", you sound like a communist admirer. Nuclear is a big enough topic without bringing Soviet undercurrents into it. Leave the needless political soothsaying out of it.

1 week ago

wow. A sci-fi novel could be written on this,bunch of explorers discover our dangerous waste, and ignore our warnings cause they dont understand.

1 week ago

That warning is so ambiguous it just begs to be opened haha

1 week ago

When Outer space travel becomes Cheap..why cant we throw it out of Earth using space shuttles ?

1 week ago

Even that I'll see a mesage like that I would like to open it as fast as possible.

1 week ago

you know those ads that start with "Dont read this", and how they're specifically designed to actually make us want to "read this"! It's in our nature to be curious, and those warning messages will probably do just that. If future civilizations ever find them, they'll be like, oh i wonder what all this is about, and the warning signs will trigger their curiosity to want to know more, and then BAAM they open this shit up and they're fucked lol.

1 week ago
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