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This webpage is a discussion about the article, Only Nuclear Power Can Now Halt Global Warming.
what does one do with the waste produced by producing nuclear power?
ah ha! yes... trouble, indeed.
almost everyone agrees we have a dire situation (with global warming)
almost everyone agrees we do not have a good solution
almost everyone agrees we can not just pull the plug
the best solution would likely by nuclear fusion... but we haven't figgered that out yet
so, in terms of energy the next best thing is nuclear fission
in terms of time... it is the ONLY possible answer on the horizon
sooooo... what difference will nuclear waste be, if we don't try?
that is to say... we appear to have 2 options:
1) switch over to nuclear asap... and then move from fission to fusion (this could also solve the problem of the nuclear waste created by fission... use it for fusion?)
2) don't choose option #1 and die in short order
look at 'dry cask storage' 'borosilicate glass containment' 'syncor ceramic'
not like we have a choice ... when people starve in the cold and the dark.. they will elect to build nukes
and then adds:
to expand a lil bit ...
1) right action begins with right thought: design the plant correctly
we are today using 40-60 yr old designs. There are much better ways today ('pebble bed reactor' 'advanced breeder reactor') that produce less waste and reprocess the waste onsite why haul the waste anywhere when you can use it onsite to make more energy
2) existing inventories of waste are stored today in a)initially for a few years underwater in large swimming pools this lets the shortlived reaction products decay (recall that shortlived products are more intense radiation emitters)
b) after the initial cooloff, only the longlived radiators remain these r removed from the swmming pool, enclosed in steel and concrete containers ('dry cask storage') and stored onsite if and until sent off for permanent storage or reprocessing
perhaps this was a good way to do it many decades ago today it is simply mad to leave the waste lying around and discard the energy locked therein
these wastes can and should be reprocessed onsite and fed into other better reactors that will generate energy from them and will produce vastly reduced streams of radioactive wastes
some of the degigns include chemical reprocessing of the final waste stream onsite, resulting in total waste volume reductions of upto a factor of several hundred
3) consider now that some of the reactors have been storing radiactive waste onsite for decades if we reduce the volume of waste by a factor of 100, the very same onsite storage would last millenia... long enuf for the remaining radioactivity to subside below the levels of a basement in the granite strata of colorado.....
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