Deadly Wastes of War

The doomsday clock, stopped just before midnight as the cold war ended, is still ticking. Rand Corp. study for the U.S. Pentagon warns that the world will accumulate enough plutonium -- the radioactive ingredient used in many nuclear warheads -- to build 87,000 "primitive" bombs by 2003. Weapons dismantled by the U.S. and the former U.S.S.R. will account for 199 tons of the lethal substance. Adding to the problem will be more than 300 tons of plutonium extracted from spent uranium fuel retrieved from nuclear power plants. "Separated plutonium held in inventory," says the report, "could be diverted and reworked to...

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