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Waspie_Dwarf

Nuclear test debris 'persistent'

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Nuclear weapon test debris 'persists' in atmosphere

Radioactive particles from nuclear tests that took place decades ago persist in the upper atmosphere, a study suggests.

Previously, scientists believed that nuclear debris found high above the Earth would now be negligible.

However this research shows that plutonium and caesium isotopes are still present at surprisingly high concentrations

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Given the half-life of any of those substances I am very surprised somebody would claim that they would "just go away". Plutonium 239 will be floating around in considerable amounts for the next 75,000 years.

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I am very surprised somebody would claim that they would "just go away".

No one is claiming that they will "go away".

What is surprising is that particles of heavy elements are persisting in the upper atmosphere for so long

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No one is claiming that they will "go away".

What is surprising is that particles of heavy elements are persisting in the upper atmosphere for so long

Same thing, even in the upper atmosphere there are conventional aerosols that stay there pretty persistently. There is no real reason that there should be a difference just because the aerosol is radioactive.

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Is there a chance that it will settle on the ground eventually, or in the ocean? That is scary. Radioactivity is not something you want hanging around in a high concentration, especially since the Fukushima mess a few years ago.

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Is there a chance that it will settle on the ground eventually, or in the ocean? That is scary. Radioactivity is not something you want hanging around in a high concentration, especially since the Fukushima mess a few years ago.

Over a large period of time it will. Nothing stays up. But given the radioactive contamination around certain government plants, the Russian Navy Baltic ports, Sellafield, Le Hague, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima and a few other atomic plants that "popped just a little" the stuff is quite innocuous in comparison and much less dangerous.

The evident error was that heavier aerosols would fall back to earth much faster than lighter ones.

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