'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' reveals terrifying nuclear waste problem in the U.S.

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver tackled the terrifying reality that there is more than 71,000 tons of nuclear waste just sitting around the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors.

The reason there is so much is because scientists are still trying to figure out the best way to dispose of it.

Oliver said, “As any adult with an American Girl doll collection eventually finds out, if you want to keep something around for a disturbingly long time you’ve got to find an appropriate place to put it.”

Oliver also talked about the failed attempts to store the waste. He pointed to Hanford, Wash., which is apparently the “most contaminated place in the entire Western Hemisphere.”

A large storage tunnel was built in Hanford, but engineers used wood to build the tunnels, which are now collapsing. Oliver pointed out, “You can’t build something out of wood and expect it to last forever. You’re supposed to have learned that from the second-dumbest of the three little pigs.”

Current plans call for moving the waste to Yucca Mountain in Nevada. But Oliver claimed Yucca Mountain is a poor solution and likened it to defecating in a paper bag instead of a toilet.

Oliver ended by saying, “We’ve already waited way too long to resolve this issue, and we are dancing with trouble here. So if anyone says the government can just continue to wait, they are, much like a house with no toilet, full of s***.”

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO

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