How many ways the nuclear waste can be transmuted?
Transmutation also poses a solution for long term disposal.
It specifically involves converting a chemical element into another less harmful one.
Common conversions include going from Chlorine to Argon or from Potassium to Argon. The driving force behind transmutation is chemical reactions that are caused from an outside stimulus, such as a proton hitting the reaction materials.
Natural transmutation can also occur over a long period of time.
Natural transmutation also serves as the principle force behind geological storage on the assumption that giving the waste enough isolated time will allow it to become a non-fissionable material that poses little or no risk.
can see details:
S. Charalambus, "Nuclear Transmutation by Negative Stopped Muons and the Activity Induced by the Cosmic-Ray Muons," Nucl. Phys. A 166 145 (1971).
Since transmutation is a nuclear process, it require a nuclear reaction, which could be induced by neutrons, protons, or other particles.
Neutron reaction may include capture (n, γ), an inelastic collision (n,n'), or a spallation reaction, e.g., (n,p), (n,α), . . . The outcome of a neutron reaction is dependent on the energy and the target nucleus.
Protons may also be used, in which case, one might observe a (p,n) reaction or some spallation reaction depending on the proton energy and target nucleus.
For practical purposes, one would seek to minimize the energy input into the reacting particle. It is relatively easy to generate protons and neutrons. Accelerator driven spallation systems have been proposed.
One might also separate isotopes chemically for transmutation with different reactions.
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