Is spent nuclear fuel really “harmless after four years?”
In this video, James Conca, who styles himself as a “scientist,” is falsely claiming that the nuclear waste at the beachfront San Onofre Nuclear Waste Dump is harmless after four years. He then suggests that people who are concerned about it “don’t understand the science.” Both statements are outrageously deceptive.
According to Scientific American, the USA’s oldest and most respected science journal, nuclear waste — otherwise known as “spent nuclear fuel,” — is deadly for at least 250,000 years. However, that statement wildly underestimates the actual reality because it only accounts for plutonium, which is often considered to be the deadliest stuff on earth. For example, the half-life of Uranium 238 at SONGS is 4.5 Billion years. When the Russians decided to kill Alexander Litvinenko with nuclear waste, they used Polonium, which has a half life of 1.8 years.
A “half-life” is the amount of time it takes for a radioactive isotope (such as uranium 238) to lose half of its original level of radiation. In the case of Plutonium 239 (P239), the half life is 25,000 years, but it takes at least ten successive half lives for it to finally stop emitting radiation. What this means is that Plutonium is poisonous for at least 250,000 years.
Adolph Hitler’s public relations manager, Joseph Goebbels, believed in the “Big Lie Theory,” which relies on the fact that the more outrageous the lie, the easier it is for people to believe, especially if it is repeated often. Our concern about Mr. Conca is that he frequently appears in the media as a qualified, competent expert.
Mr. Conca may be an “expert,” but there is an abundance of evidence that he is not a truthful man.