Sen. Lindsey Graham’s recent op-ed column defending the MOX plant was correct in citing that our nation should honor the nuclear non-proliferation treaty of 2000, even though this resulted in our being a dumping ground for nuclear waste.
What the senator didn’t address was how the fuel processed from weapons-grade plutonium could be used. A facility has yet to be designed or built that has proven capable of safely burning MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The MOX reactors in Europe burn MOX fuel made from spent reactor-grade plutonium – not from weapons-grade plutonium. Nor is it clear if the U.S. plans to continue accepting the world’s increasing tonnage of waste. A person’s lethal amount of plutonium would fit on the point of a pencil, and we have countless tons in our backyard.
Hindsight is golden, they say, and it is now obvious that before we embraced nuclear technology, this very big problem should have been solved. Some scientists have opted for storage deep in the earth until a solution is found, but after 60 years, there is nothing on the horizon and we continue to poison the Earth.