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America’s Nuclear Waste

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Waste Not, Want Not
Photograph by Peter Essick

Each of these steel cylinders at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky holds 14 tons (13 metric tons) of depleted uranium left over from an enrichment process that changes ore to fuel for reactors. The nation’s 770,000 tons (700,000 metric tons) of depleted uranium are not officially classified as waste, because the dense material can be used as ammunition and tank armor. Uranium processing at Paducah has tainted local groundwater. To help alleviate the problem, the government is experimenting with chemicals to dissolve the pollutants.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1-N
Film Type: Fuji Velvia
Lens: 70-200mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/16
Weather Conditions: Sunny
Time of Day: Afternoon
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

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