To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the first sustained nuclear chain reaction “A Mountain of Waste Seventy Years High” nuclear symposium was held at the University of Chicago December 1 and 2, 2012. The first sustained nuclear chain reaction occurred 70-years ago at a squash court in Chicago on December 2, 1942. Fairewinds Associates’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen was one of the symposium’s invited speakers. According to Gundersen, the five problems with nuclear power in 1942 that remain true today are:
- Secrecy controlled by the nuclear priesthood;
- Financial subsidies that could have been spent elsewhere;
- Waste heat discharged into rivers;
- Decay heat that continues even after a nuclear plant shuts down;
- And, finally, high-level waste that must be sequestered for a quarter of a million years.