When the universe formed, there was hydrogen, helium with a light smattering of lithium – every atom in the universe heavier than a lithium atom was created inside a star. Stars like our Sun can produce atoms up to about the mass of iron. Every heavier atom formed in one of the rare stars heavy enough to end their lives in the titanic explosion of a supernova.
nuclear waste disposal
Over the years, I’ve generated tens of thousands of cubic feet of radioactive waste, managing the radioactive waste program at a large Midwestern university, and as the Radiation Safety Officer at a mid-sized university in the Northeast. None of this was glowing – in any color – and none of it looked much different from any of the other laboratory, medical, or remediation waste produced in so many places around the world every year.