An event this weekend will mark the 70th anniversary of the Nuclear Age, and raise more concerns about high-level radioactive waste.
On December 2nd, 1942, scientists created the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago. Eventually, about 100 commercial nuclear power plants have operated in the U.S., including two power plants still running near Manitowoc. But anti-nuclear activists continue to raise concerns about radioactive waste from the power plants and other sites. Dr. Jeff Patterson is a professor of family medicine at UW-Madison and is incoming national president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He says he'd like to see the Obama Administration order more changes for in-plant waste storage pools and move more waste to dry cask storage.
"I think it would lower the risk of accident," he says.
Patterson says he's also like to see more reductions and controls on nuclear weapons. Patterson will speak this weekend in Chicago at a conference called Ending the Nuclear Age. The nuclear power industry argues it supplies electricity vital to the nation's energy mix.