YouTube influencer’s amorous affair with nuclear

February 14, 2024, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
Kyle Hill appreciates a Dresden nuclear waste cask. (Photo: Kyle Hill)

On this holiday that celebrates all things love, here’s a look at the love affair that Kyle Hill has with nuclear energy—even its waste.

Background: Hill is an award-winning science educator and entertainer. In addition to being science editor for and hosting the YouTube show “Because Science” from 2014 to 2020, he was a science communication advisor to the White House in 2022 and a social media ambassador to the Dogs of Chernobyl program in 2023.

His YouTube channel, @kylehill, has more than 2 million subscribers. And for a recent YouTube stint, Hill visited Constellation’s Dresden nuclear power plant in Illinois and even kissed one of its nuclear waste storage casks. That video has attracted more than 1 million views in the past three months.

Waste safety: Hill makes a fact-based case for the safety of nuclear energy and the waste produced, and he challenges viewers to listen to the science and make an informed opinion about nuclear.

“Nuclear waste, despite its reputation, is some of the safest energy production-related waste there is,” Hill says as he walks among dozens of dry cask storage units at the Dresden plant that are built to withstand “basically Superman.”

Then Hill puckers up and gives the steel-reinforced concrete container nearby a big kiss.

Nuclear facts: Here are a few misconceptions Hill tackles in his video at Dresden:

  • Radiation exposure is slightly higher in some areas of the nuclear plant, and even surrounding the dry cask storage units—where it’s roughly the same as the dose you would you experience on an airplane at cruising altitude.
  • And the nuclear fuel housed in the plant? It’s stored deep in water that’s cleaner than the stuff most people drink. Hill wanted to prove his point by swimming in the spent fuel pool at Dresden, but plant officials told him to leave his swim trunks at home.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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