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Cold War Nuclear Fallout Is Still Affecting the Pacific, What Does That Mean for Us?

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 Government & Politics   |   Society / Culture   |   Environmental   |   Science   |   Social Science
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Dr. Ken Buesseler and his team returned to remote Pacific nuclear testing sites to measure radioactive elements left over from the Cold War. Seventy years later, these sites remain uninhabitable—a fact that will only become more salient as sea levels rise.

How Seeker Will Collect The Most Extensive Data Set of the Pacific Ocean | The Swim -

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Read Dr. Ken Buesseler's Full Paper: "Lingering radioactivity at the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls"

NASA Is Testing a Compact Nuclear Reactor to Power Astronauts on Mars
“The reactor has the delightful acronym of KRUSTY (Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling TechnologY), and can continuously provide up to 10 kilowatts of power for at least 10 years. Its compact dimensions could enable the delivery of multiple units on a single lander that could collectively provide the 40-50 kilowatts of power that NASA expects a human mission will require.”

Even a Limited Nuclear Strike Could Have Disastrous Environmental Costs
“The violent destruction of all of this carbonaceous material would launch 5 million metric tons of black carbon into the atmosphere, blocking out enough solar radiation to drastically lower global temperatures and significantly decrease rainfall for years. The study estimates that global temperatures would reach 1,000-year lows in the short-term and not return to normal for 25 years. In monsoon regions, annual rainfall could drop by 20 to 80 percent, according to the study. Growing seasons would shrink and agricultural production would dry up, leading to a global “nuclear drought” and resulting famines that could claim a billion lives.”

In ‘Shocking’ Discovery, Lightning Triggers Nuclear Reactions
“For years, scientists have wondered if these collisions were powerful enough to knock neutrons out of stable nuclei, creating radioactive isotopes of gases like nitrogen and oxygen. Thanks to a powerful winter thunderstorm and some well-placed radiation detectors, a team of Japanese researchers captured the first definitive proof that lightning can trigger a type of nuclear reaction.”

Seawater Could Provide an ‘Endless’ Source of Uranium for Nuclear Plants
“When uranium dissolves in seawater, it combines with oxygen to form uranyl ions, which can be collected by dipping plastic fibers coated with a compound called amidoxime, which makes the uranyl stick to the plastic.
The Stanford researchers created a hybrid amidoxime-carbon fiber, and then sent pulses of electricity down the fiber, which improved the amount of the uranyl collected, the speed in which their collected, and the ability to reuse the fibers.”


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Written By: Paige Keipper

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