Russia Today reported August 30, 2007, about a mineral discovered in northwest Russia.
Russian scientists in the Khibinsky Mountains in the Arctic Circle have made an important scientific discovery. They've found a new mineral which absorbs radiation.
It does not yet have an official name and is known only as number 27-4. It can absorb radioactivity from liquid nuclear waste.
After coming into contact with the mineral, radioactive water becomes completely safe. Had this mineral been available to physicists after the Chernobyl or Three Mile Island disasters, the consequences might have been very different, as both accidents resulted in contamination from radioactive water.
However, it is not as simple as it sounds. Scientists say they need tonnes of it and so far they have only discovered a few grammes. But they are confident that they can chemically reproduce it on a much larger scale.
This is a great discovery, especially if the mineral can be replicated. Part of the objection to nuclear power is the risk of radioactive waste contaminating the water supply. Perhaps soon (or by the time another nuclear power plant can be built) this mineral can be in plentiful supply. Then we'd have a non-global-warming-contributing power supply without the risk to our drinking water.
But my cynical side says Russia may keep the discovery to themselves, refusing to share it with the West, particularly with the US. In light of Russia's recent missile tests and their antagonism over the missile shield proposed for installation in Poland, I wouldn't put it past them. It would give them a huge advantage if nuclear war broke out. They could nuke us and let the radioactivity kill us, but if we retaliated, they'd be able to decontaminate their water. This kind of discovery, coupled with Putin's menace, could prove to be a further destabilizing factor in a world already made unstable by Islamic fanaticism.
I like the discovery, but I'm not going to hold my breath until Russia shares it.