• Most of the waste generated in nuclear power plants is NOT fission products. Fission products are contained within the fuel elements, and are disposed of with the spent core. These fission products, mostly Krypton and Xenon and their decay daughters, are relatively short-lived, decaying over a period of hours or days, not years. Most waste instead comes from activation of corrosion products from the reactor plant plumbing, traveling through the high neutron flux in the core. These are minimized with modern reactor chemistry and modern reactor plant construction materials.
  • Most spent cores do release some decay heat, but nearly enough to require active refrigeration of their storage media. In most cases, passive cooling is more than sufficient to prevent damage to spent cores.
  • Even if seismic activity DID rupture storage containment, what would cause the radioactive material to migrate to the surface? As long as no air or water circulates through the buried waste, there is no risk of release. Most high-level waste is incinerated and bedded in glass anyway, making it very difficult for the radioactive material to diffuse into the surrounding environment.

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