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Kaku too extreme on Nuclear Waste

  1. Jan 31, 2004 #1
    I have to say I agree 100% with the thrust of Kaku's argument that Element 92 is generally just a bad thing for humanity and we do not need and should not use it - especially now at this stage in our development. However his arguments that nuclear waste which is contained in the mountain in Nevada is a serious threat because in 10,000 years there might be another flood in that region is simply outlandish especially for someone of his level of vision.

    If we destroy our civilisation, then maybe it will be a problem - but we will be screwed anyway

    If we are not destroyed and continue to develop, then obiously in just 100 years or so we will have vastly supeior technology - hopefully space elevators and things like this - and we really could lift it up relatively safely and send it off right into the sun.

    Again - I greatly fear nuclear technology - but the threat it poses to us diminishes with increasing levels of technology and social development.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2004 #2
    I agree with the last part of your post. Worrying about waste 10,000 years in the future is incredibly naive. It will likely be removed in less than 50 years for recycling. By which time recycling technology will hopefully have been allowed to develop further. It was always intended to be a part of the nuclear cycle but rabied anti-technologists pressured the US administration into banning it. Thereby escalating the cost of nuclear plants and allowing filthy disgusting coal plants to outcompete them. Now one in four children have asthma thanks to atmospheric coal dust shortening our lifespans. Thanks a lot GreenPeace!
  4. Feb 4, 2004 #3
    Head Banger Science


    Feb. 2, 2004

    Bush’s Proposal to Inflate Yucca Mountain Budget Is Irresponsible

    Congress Should Not Boost Budget for Nuclear Waste Dump While Legal Challenges and Key Safety Issues Remain Unresolved

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Bush’s proposal to boost the budget for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump to $880 million and change how the project is funded is irresponsible given the pending legal challenges against the project and unresolved questions about the site’s safety, Public Citizen said today.

    In the 2005 budget released today, Bush allocated much of the additional funding – a 50 percent increase from 2004 – to develop and operate the transportation system for shipments to Yucca Mountain. The budget calls for the purchase of truck and rail casks and other equipment for waste shipments in 2010.

    "The idea of buying equipment for transporting waste to Yucca Mountain before questions about the safety of the site are resolved, and before the routes and mode of transport are even determined, is ludicrous," said Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. "The Department of Energy (DOE) is obviously trying to sink so much money into this hole in the ground that the project becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

    One of the most alarming proposals in the administration’s Yucca Mountain budget is the elimination of congressional oversight of much of the project’s funding. Since 1982, nuclear power utility consumers have paid fees to the Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for the establishment of a national repository for high-level nuclear waste. Bush proposes that these fees be paid directly to the DOE, thereby cutting Congress out of decisions regarding how the fees are used.

    "This is just a budgeting gimmick that artificially reduces federal spending and hides the real costs to consumers and taxpayers," said Hauter.

    Contained in the budget was the DOE’s annual programmatic assessment of the Yucca Mountain project. The agency rated the project "adequate" despite the many fundamental questions that remain unresolved regarding the suitability of the site to safely and permanently isolate high-level radioactive waste. Not only is the site located over a drinking water aquifer, but it is in an earthquake zone.

    The DOE has been working since September 2001 to answer 293 scientific questions, or key technical issues, that revolve around Yucca Mountain’s ability to keep radiation from contaminating the surrounding environment. So far, answers to 83 questions have been completed and accepted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In a December 2003 letter, the NRC informed the DOE that it could not evaluate many of the answers that the DOE had submitted because the DOE had not supplied all the necessary technical documents.

    "Due to the doubts and uncertainties plaguing the Yucca Mountain project, Congress should not increase its budget or change the funding practices," said Hauter. "It appears that the Bush administration is steamrolling scientific concerns to ram this project through."

    Recent developments point to the need to rein in funding for the project. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is deciding a slate of lawsuits against the project. One key case against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charges that the EPA’s standards setting the amount of radiation that can be released are not consistent with recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), as Congress directed in the 1992 Energy Policy Act. The EPA rule arbitrarily limits the period for which Yucca Mountain must comply with radiation release rules at 10,000 years, even though the NAS has found that the maximum doses from the dump are likely to occur for 300,000 years.

    The DOE intends to submit its license application for the high-level waste dump to the NRC at the end of 2004. The court’s decisions on these cases, which are expected this spring, could force a significant reassessment of Yucca Mountain that would necessarily take years and perhaps even permanently derail the project.

  5. Feb 19, 2004 #4
    Burying Nuclear Waste Will Not Work

    Radioactive environmental contamination IS the paramount issue
    of our times. Unless we stop the nuclear Juggernaut the future of
    life on earth is bleak indeed. There IS 'off the shelf' science which
    will denature and forever eliminate high level nuclear waste, plutonium
    and so-called 'dirty bomb' elements. http://members.cox.net/theroyprocess

    Yucca Mountain could leak nuclear waste, says scientist

    Thursday, February 19, 2004
    By Scott Sonner, Associated Press

    http://www.enn.com/news/2004-02-19/s_13273.asp [Broken]

    RENO, Nevada — The U.S. nuclear waste dump proposed for
    Nevada is poorly designed and could leak highly radioactive
    waste, said a scientist who recently resigned from a federal
    panel of experts on Yucca Mountain. Paul Craig, a physicist
    and engineering professor at the University of
    California-Davis, said Wednesday that he quit the panel last
    month so he could speak more freely about the waste dump's

    Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of
    Las Vegas, is planned to begin receiving waste in 2010. Some
    77,000 tons of highly radioactive waste at commercial and
    military sites in 39 states would be stored in metal
    canisters underground in tunnels.

    "The science is very clear," said Craig before his first
    public speech about the Energy Department's design for the
    canisters. "If we get high-temperature liquids, the metal
    would corrode and that would eventually lead to leakage of
    nuclear waste," Craig said. "Therefore, it is a bad design.
    And that is very, very bad news for the Department of Energy
    because they are committed to that design," he said.

    Craig, who was appointed to the Nuclear Waste Technical
    Review Board by President Bill Clinton in 1997, planned to
    speak Wednesday night at a forum sponsored by the Sierra
    Club. He said he's convinced the Energy Department will have
    to postpone the project and change to metal less liable to

    "It would require years of delay and my guess is that is
    what is going to happen. The bad science is so clear they
    will be unable to ignore it forever," Craig said.

    The 11-member technical review board outlined its concerns
    about the potential for corrosion in a report to the Energy
    Department in November about the metal for the canisters,
    called Alloy-22 — "an upscale version of stainless steel,"
    Craig said. It was the most important report the board has
    produced since Congress created the panel in 1987, he said,
    but largely has been ignored by Congress and the department.

    "The report says in ordinary English that under the
    conditions proposed by the Department of Energy, the
    canisters will leak," Craig said. "It was signed by every
    single member of the board so there would be no confusion."

    Energy Department spokesman Allen Benson defended the design
    plans for the repository and the metal in the storage casks.
    "We stand by our work," he said Wednesday in Las Vegas.

    In Washington, D.C., officials with the industry's Nuclear
    Energy Institute did not immediately return telephone calls
    seeking comment. The board's report in November said the
    government had failed to take into account "deliquescence" —
    a phenomenon regarding the reaction of salt to moisture — in
    its plans to operate the dump at temperatures well above
    boiling water, or about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees
    Celsius). At those temperatures, the metal canisters would
    heat up, causing salts in the surrounding ground to liquefy,
    thus leading to corrosion, Craig said.

    "It turns out the metals which look like they act pretty
    good at temperature levels below boiling water — those same
    metals act badly with temperatures that could exist" at
    Yucca Mountain, he said.

    Craig, who also has served as a member of National Academy
    of Sciences National Research Council Board on Radioactive
    Waste Management, said he sent his resignation letter to the
    White House in January before his term was to expire in
    April so he could shine more light on the government's plans.

    "When you serve as a member of one of those boards, you
    cannot talk about the political consequences of the science
    or the big picture. You are supposed to stick to the science
    and you should stick to the science," Craig said. "You
    cannot have the kind of conversation we are having now if I
    was still on the board."


    Posted for educational and research purposes only,
    ~ in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 ~
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  6. Feb 19, 2004 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hmm, so if a pro-nuclear project is expensive, thats a reason to cancel it, but if an anti-nuclear (non-nuclear) project is expensive, thats ok? Two what?
  7. Feb 19, 2004 #6
    Good Science--Bad Science


    Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts

    Published: February 18, 2004

    The Bush administration has deliberately and
    systematically distorted scientific fact in the
    service of policy goals on the environment,
    health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry
    at home and abroad, a group of about 60
    influential scientists, including 20 Nobel
    laureates, said in a statement issued today.

    The sweeping charges were later discussed in a
    conference call with some of the scientists that
    was organized by the Union of Concerned
    Scientists, an independent organization that
    focuses on technical issues and has often taken
    stands at odds with administration policy. The
    organization also issued a 37-page report today
    that it said detailed the accusations.

    Together, the two documents accuse the
    administration of repeatedly censoring and
    suppressing reports by its own scientists,
    stacking advisory committees with unqualified
    political appointees, disbanding government panels
    that provide unwanted advice, and refusing to seek
    any independent scientific expertise in some

    "Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged
    in such practices, but not so systematically nor
    on so wide a front," the statement from the
    scientists said, adding that they believed the
    administration had "misrepresented scientific
    knowledge and misled the public about the
    implications of its policies."

    A White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said
    today he had not seen the text of the scientists'
    accusations. "But I can assure you that this is an
    administration that makes decisions based on the
    best available science," he said.

    Dr. Kurt Gottfried, an emeritus professor of
    physics at Cornell University who signed the
    statement and spoke in the conference call, said
    the administration had "engaged in practices that
    are in conflict with the spirit of science and the
    scientific method." Dr. Gottfried asserted that
    what he called "the cavalier attitude toward
    science" could place at risk the basis for the
    nation's long-term prosperity, health and military

    The scientists denied that they had political
    motives in releasing the documents as the 2004
    presidential race began to take shape, with Howard
    Dean dropping out a day after Senator John Kerry
    narrowly defeated Senator John Edwards on the
    Wisconsin Democratic primary. The organization's
    report, Dr. Gottfried said, had taken a year to
    prepare - much longer than originally planned -
    and had been released as soon as it was ready.

    "I don't see it as a partisan issue at all," said
    Russell Train, who served as administrator of the
    Environmental Protection Agency under Presidents
    Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, and who spoke
    in the conference call in support of the
    statement. "If it becomes that way I think it's
    because the White House chooses to make it a
    partisan issue," Mr. Train said.

    * See also: NucNews Links and Archives (by date) at http://nucnews.net * (Posted for educational and research purposes only, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107) *
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  8. Feb 28, 2004 #7
    Deplete Uranium Weapons Report


    By Susan Riordon & Davey Garland

    Great liars are also great magicians" - Adolf Hitler.

    IT IS appropriate to quote from someone so despicable,
    about those who have created a despicable act, and
    have lied and covered up their crimes for over 12
    years. The wall of silence or dis-information over
    Depleted Uranium held by the US and UK government has
    been near impregnable. But cracks have now emerged, be
    it from veterans, or scientists, over a decade of
    collating, researching and painstaking “digging” by
    activists and academics which may rock or even ruin
    some government Ministers and officials. The last
    months have seen a number of incidents which has seen
    the tight DU ship of lies spring a number of leaks.

    It hit choppy waters first at the World Uranium
    Weapons Conference held in Hamburg in October, 2003,
    at which the global DU movement came together
    pro-actively for the first time, with activists,
    veterans, scientists and lawyers agreeing on solid,
    cohesive means of action. The Conference called for
    the abolition of all uranium weapons and confirmed
    acceptance of the United Nations Sub-commission on the
    Promotion and Protection of Human Rights finding, that
    Depleted Uranium weapons are illegal. Accordingly, the
    Hamburg officially called for the abolition of the use
    of and halt to the proliferation of these weapons.

    more on URL
  9. Aug 27, 2004 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Repeat after me

    "Bush was misled by his advisors. Bush was misled by his advisors"

    now try

    "I am Elmer J Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion, and a yacht".
    "I am Elmer J Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion, and a yacht".

  10. Aug 27, 2004 #9

    I wish that was the case......and if it was someone should have been fired
  11. Sep 25, 2004 #10
    the answer is Thorium based nuclear reactions.
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