NASA puts population, commerce, and environment at risk by using a Plutonium-238 energy source for the Mars Rover


February 25, 2021

NASA put the population, commerce, and environment at great risk by using Plutonium-238 as the energy source for the Perseverance Mars Rover.

Plutonium-238 is 280 times more radioactive than plutonium-239, the isotope used in atomic bombs and as a “trigger” in hydrogen bombs. It has a half-life of 88 years, meaning it will remain dangerously radioactive for almost a thousand years. There are 10.6 pounds of plutonium-238 on Perseverance, the rover that landed on Mars on February 18, 2021.

While plutonium has been used in previous space missions, this is the first time it’s been delivered to another planet on our behalf, and NASA appears to be ramping up their dependence on it for future space missions.

The following is just a portion of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that NASA submitted to get approval to use Plutonium-238:

“In addition to the potential human health consequences of launch accidents that could result in a release of plutonium dioxide, environmental impacts could also include contamination of natural vegetation, wetlands, agricultural land, cultural, archaeological and historic sites, urban areas, inland water and the ocean, as well as impacts on wildlife.”

It adds:

“In addition to the potential direct costs of radiological surveys, monitoring and potential cleanup following an accident, there are potential secondary societal costs associated with the decontamination and mitigation activities due to launch area accidents. Those costs may include: temporary or longer term relocation of residents; temporary or longer term loss of employment; destruction or quarantine of agricultural products, including citrus crops; land use restrictions; restrictions or bans on commercial fishing; and public health effects and medical care.”

In his article, Applause for Perseverance Ignores Plutonium Bullet We Dodged, Karl Grossman sites several space nuclear accidents that have already occurred and much more about the threat that Plutonium-238 poses if NASA continues on this dangerous path.

Read Karl Grossman’s article, Applause for Perseverance Ignores Plutonium Bullet We Dodged, on the FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) website.