On last night’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the subject of nuclear waste was discussed, and some scary facts about it were revealed.
In the United States, there are gallons upon gallons upon gallons of nuclear waste — and we aren’t really sure what to do with it all.
This was the focus for the bulk of the show on last night’s Last Week Tonight. John Oliver turned on a spotlight and is shining it directly on this issue, which many Americans may not have even realized. But the problem is a bit worse than you would expect.
“Why do we not have a nuclear toilet?” Oliver asks at the start of the show. It’s an issue we’ve been dealing with for decades and still don’t have an answer. What people have been doing, as Oliver shows, are things like dumping barrels of radioactive waste into the ocean, straight off the coast of the Jersey shore. And when barrels float back up to the surface, apparently the navy riddled them with machine guns to make them sink again.
Another idea brought up was to ship all of this nuclear waste into space. Fortunately, this one was shut down before it was implemented. Rockets don’t make it all the way to space every time they’re fired off, and if one were to blow up, well, then we’ve got radioactive matter raining down on people.
Oliver shows his frustration in our claims that we were going to fix this problem for decades, yet, we are not one step closer to figuring it out. He shows a clip from 40 years ago of a reporter reminding us the dangers of not fixing this issue. To that, Oliver says that if anybody out there still thinks the government can wait on this, they are “full of sh-t.”
You can watch the entire segment in the YouTube video below.
New episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver air Sunday nights on HBO.