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Bomb fission has an extermely hard (fast) neutron spectrum, so relatively few long lived isotopes are formed. Thus the steep dropoff. in another ca 350 years, almost all of the decay chains will have run to completion, and the only readily detectable isotope will be technetium.
The fact that we deploy soft spectrum fission in power generation is kind of daft - The very long term toxicity of nuclear waste is wholly a product of the fact that most reactors use thermalized neutrons.  
by Thomas on Mon Apr 9th, 2012 at 06:02:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet another argument for fast reactors, breeder or not, I suppose?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 9th, 2012 at 06:11:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except the western nuclear industry seems to operate with a scavenger mentality. They will fight to the death to keep their old reactors running until they break down, try to sell the exact same thing with additional ribbons but have mostly given up on long term development.
by generic on Mon Apr 9th, 2012 at 08:21:27 AM EST
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