Lustrously yellow in the sun, blazing red at dusk, their huge molehill shapes provide the city with its distinctive skyline. For 16 hours a day, she is hooked up to an oxygen tank, her lungs debilitated by dust from the waste heap. She feels fortunate, though. A number of her elderly neighbours have died from respiratory disease.
Radiometric dating - Wikipedia
Enormous concrete storage units that Shell wants to abandon in the North Sea contain radioactive waste which campaigners fear will eventually leach into the surrounding water, The Independent has learned. Shell wants to leave 64 concrete storage cells, which were part of offshore drilling rigs , on the seabed. Each is the size of seven Olympic swimming pools, and several still contain toxic oil and contaminated sediment. Waste materials with elevated levels of radioactivity are routinely created by the oil and gas industry through the drilling process as particles such as uranium, thorium and radium are drawn to the surface.
Radioactive city: how Johannesburg’s townships are paying for its mining past
More than a million tonnes of water remains on the Fukushima site, and the Japanese government has debated for years over how to dispose of the waste. Fishing groups and environmentalists have raised concerns over the release of the radioactive waste, but some scientists have deemed the risk to the area as being low. The liquid at Fukushima includes water used to cool the nuclear power plant before it was devastated by the huge tsunami which followed a magnitude 9. The release of the water from the site to the ocean would start next year at the earliest, with the waste further diluted before being allowed into the sea over a year period.
Recent puzzling observations of tiny variations in nuclear decay rates have led some to question the science of using decay rates to determine the relative ages of rocks and organic materials. Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST , working with researchers from Purdue University, the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Wabash College, tested the hypothesis that solar radiation might affect the rate at which radioactive elements decay and found no detectable effect. Atoms of radioactive isotopes are unstable and decay over time by shooting off particles at a fixed rate, transmuting the material into a more stable substance. For instance, half the mass of carbon, an unstable isotope of carbon, will decay into nitrogen over a period of 5, years. The unswerving regularity of this decay allows scientists to determine the age of extremely old organic materials -- such as remains of Paleolithic campfires -- with a fair degree of precision.