Homo sapiens sapiens, or anatomically modern humans, emerged on the African continent about 200,000 years ago. They started migrating to various parts of the globe around 60,000 years ago with some eventually reaching the Japanese archipelago. The Paleolithic era came and went, and rice cultivation began in the Neolithic era. I started thinking about these prehistoric times after a recent news report mentioned “100,000 years” in connection with radioactive waste that must be disposed of when nuclear reactors are dismantled. It takes a mind-boggling number of years for nuclear waste, stored deep underground, to decrease in radioactivity to a level that is no longer a health hazard. With respect to highly radioactive waste such as reactor control rods, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has just set its basic policy, which is that electric power companies will be responsible for the management of such waste for 300 to 400 years, and then the government will take over for the next 100,000 years.
Asahi Shimbun 2nd Sept 2016 read more »