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Nuclear waste storage container may not be as stable

  1. Jan 11, 2007 #1

    ZapperZ

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    This is not a very comforting new. It appears that one of the ceramic material used for storing nuclear wastes deteorates faster than first thought. The damage done by the emitted radiation, especially from alpha and its collision byproducts, are damaging the material faster.

    I've always believed that this storage solution should only be a stop-gap measure while we continue to find better ways to deal with this. Until they consider reprocessing and using breeder reactors, we may not have any good solution to this problem until a completely different technology to generate power arrives.

    Zz.

    Edit: Nature's website is VERY flaky this morning. If you can't get the link, try again later.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2007 #2

    Morbius

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    Zapper,

    The Nature article states that the container deteriorates after 1,400 years.

    What Nature doesn't tell you is that in less than 600 years, the radioactivity of the
    nuclear waste is LESS than the ore that was dug out of the ground.

    No problem - even if the container deteriorates after 1,400 years; that's over 800 years
    after the waste isn't a problem, if one uses reprocessing / recycling of actinides.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist
     
  4. Jan 11, 2007 #3

    ZapperZ

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    But the ore are not in a concentrated form - they are dispersed. Here, the waste are all sitting in one location.

    Zz.
     
  5. Jan 11, 2007 #4

    Morbius

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    Zapper,

    But the waste at that time has so little radioactivity - it's not a problem.

    Besides, ALL the waste that the USA has accumulated in nearly 1/2 century of
    operation of nuclear power plants will fit in a volume the size of a high school gym.

    If we reprocess / recycle, as I alluded to before - reduce that volume by a factor of 25
    or more.

    At the end of 600 years - there's not enough radioactivity to be concerned with.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
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