[ RadSafe ] " Toxicity from buried radioactive waste deemed less damaging tha n coal burning "

Franta, Jaroslav frantaj at aecl.ca
Fri Nov 11 08:52:06 CST 2005

Toxicity from buried radioactive waste deemed less damaging than coal
Life Science Weekly, 15 November 2005
2005 NOV 15 - (NewsRx.com) -- The toxicity from buried radioactive waste was
deemed less damaging than coal burning. 

According to recent research from the United States, "The oral ingestion
toxicities of buried high level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants
and of the natural radioactivity in the ground are calculated and expressed
as cancer doses, the number of fatal cancers predicted by the linear
no-threshold theory if all of the material were fed to people. Unless the
size of the U.S. nuclear power industry is greatly expanded, there will
probably never be more than 2 trillion cancer doses (CD) in U.S.
repositories, as compared with 31 trillion CD in the ground above them." 

"Measurements of the uranium, thorium, and radium in human bodies indicate
that the latter cause 500 deaths per year in U.S. The great majority of this
material is derived from the top few meters of soil that are penetrated by
plant roots," explained B.L. Cohen and colleagues, University of Pittsburgh.

The researchers concluded, "It is concluded that the annual number of U.S.
deaths from buried nuclear wastes will be about 1.0 (or less), orders of
magnitude less than the number from coal burning electricity generation, the
principal competitor of nuclear power." 

Cohen and colleagues published their study in Health Physics (Understanding
the toxicity of buried radioactive waste and its impacts. Health Phys,

For additional information, contact B.L. Cohen, University of Pittsburgh,
Dept. Physics, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


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