Hyman Rickover Quotes

Until about two billion years ago, it was impossible to have any life on earth; that is, there was so much radiation on earth you couldn't have any life — fish or anything. Gradually, about two billion years ago, the amount of radiation on this planet—and probably in the entire system—reduced and made it possible for some form of life to begin... Now when we go back to using nuclear power, we are creating something which nature tried to destroy to make life possible... Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.

 
Context
Any object that has been contaminated gradually loses its radioactive strength. It has a “half life”. This is the amount of time that it takes for the radiation in an object to lose half its strength. Different materials have different half lives. Nuclear waste from a power plant for example might have a half life of tens of thousands of years.
Hyman Rickover
Hyman Rickover
  • Born: January 27, 1900
  • Died: July 9, 1986
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Soldier

Hyman G. Rickover, was an Admiral in the U.S. Navy. He directed the original development of naval nuclear propulsion and controlled its operations for three decades as director of the U.S. Naval Reactors office. In addition, he oversaw the development of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world's first commercial pressurized water reactor used for generating electricity.