Climate change and nuclear waste are a toxic stew

Climate change and nuclear waste are a toxic stew

One of global warming’s more colorful dangers is the possibility that melting permafrost will revive prehistoric diseases and trigger horrific pandemics. But the more immediate candidates for a disastrous, climate-fueled comeback are newer and man-made.

A hotter and more chaotic atmosphere is making it harder to build nuclear weapons and store waste safely in an unhappy union of two of humanity’s biggest headaches. There’s little evidence we’re prepared for what could come next.

We got a stark reminder recently when one of the wildfires scorching the Texas Panhandle came perilously close to the Pantex nuclear-weapons facility just outside of Amarillo. The plant shut down briefly and workers scrambled to build a wildfire barrier — raising the question of why a nuclear-weapons facility in the parched Texas Panhandle didn’t already have a wildfire barrier.

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