Still_Small_Voice

8 Reasons Gasoline Prices Are Going Up in America

Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Traveler said:

For most of my working travel - I commuted on a bicycle.  For many years I commuted 25 miles one way.  With the heavy traffic I added about an hour a day in commute time but since I did not have to exercise (because I have a desk job) commuting by bicycle saved me time, money and significantly improved my health.   Any area of high density travel should have public transportation.  It should be part of our infrastructure as much as a freeway is - and if properly designed would be even faster and cheaper for everyone.

I believe that using public transportation or commuting by bicycle (especially bicycle 😎) should have tax incentives - if we as an nation are serious about pollution.

I'm always up for tax incentives, for sure.

That said, biking isn't for everybody.  It would be nice if it were.  

I also agree that areas of high density should have better public transit, I think we need solutions between cities that are better than what we have.  For instance, when working in Baltimore or DC I could take a MARC commuter train, but when I looked into it during my time working at Johns Hopkins, here's what it would have entailed:

I'd have to drive (or bus) to the train station which was about 5 miles from where I lived at the time.  From there, it would be about a half hour train ride to downtown Baltimore, where I'd get off and then have to take 2 separate buses to get to work for a total trip time of 1.5 - 2 hours.  Alternatively, I could go to a different train station that was more like 12 miles away, and take a different MARC train on a different line to a different station in Baltimore, where I would  then take the Light Rail to a bus stop for the final leg of the trip, or I could walk the last piece if the weather was nice.  Total travel time would be about the same, only that option would mean having limits to my working hours because of the Light Rail schedule.

So, lots of room for improvement there.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

I'm a basket case on nuclear power. This is one I actually don't want privatized, because the best way to keep it sustainable is to have every plant operate with the same design and interchangeable parts.  That, of course, means regulation.  One of the reasons the U.S. nuclear industry failed is that each plant was uniquely designed, and getting replacement parts was time consuming and expensive.  Most of the nuclear plants in Canada and Europe are similar enough that they can trade parts.

But then I also get concerns about the number of nuclear plants we would need to build.  If each nuclear plant can support about 1 million households, we'd need about 100 nuclear plants to support our current needs. As we build more, we open more doors for an catastrophic event.  That concerns me a bit.

But I want it!

I have no problem with standardization.  But it needs to be done through private organizations like the building code council.  This is a private organization of industry professionals who have recognized the need for standardization.  If the government were to be more of an adviser and encourager rather than big brother, I think we might have something in this vein.  After the industry professionals get together to determine the standards, then government can then adopt the industry standards as codified and then regulate them.

The problem with getting government to set the standards is that it tends to work backwards.  With the code council, they will redo the codes every few years based on the latest research, data, and so forth.  With government, you end up getting a bureaucrat enforcing outdated ideas for 20 years.

The catastrophic event is what really gets people.  Did you know that an average refinery will generate a blast as large as a nuclear power plant?  Did you know that the radiation expelled from all our fossil fuels are about 200 times that of a nuclear explosion?  It just happens to be spread out over time and over a greater areas, so we don't notice it.

How many power plants do we currently have in the US?  Well, switch them out for a nuclear plant and we have the same number of plants, possibly fewer.

But I'm with you.  I would like nuclear as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Traveler said:

There are indication that hydrocarbons (what we call fossil fuels) are very renewable.  There are even advertisements of generating fossil fuels with algae - we already use corn but that just is not as advertised - yet.

Traveler,

I have read enough of your posts to see that you are a very talented and knowledgeable scientist.  But you seem to have a real problem with vocabulary.  "Fossil Fuels" are those fuels that have extreme age associate with them, hence, fossils.  Any NEW fuels that have similar chemical compositions are not "fossils". Hydrocarbons produced from modern organics is considered "bio-fuel".  And I mentioned that in previous posts.  They are developing them.  There is a biofuel refinery going up in <location redacted due to NDA> that has been approved by the DOE.

2 hours ago, Vort said:

Not really. Effectively, nuclear power is unlimited. If we extracted uranium from seawater (which would cost ten times as much as mining it, but still be waaaaaaaay cheaper than anything else), it will naturally replenish itself for hundreds of thousands of years with no diminution in the uranium seawater concentration. And we can always use thorium as a breeder material, which is about FOUR HUNDRED times more common than the uranium used in reactors.

The key is to abandon the horrific solid pellet fuel reactors that today constitute 100% of all nuclear plants and move to molten salt reactors. This would boost efficiency (because the reactor runs much hotter), be immensely safer, and solve almost all of MoE's nightmares.

Explain how it naturally replenishes itself.  I'm unfamiliar with that process.  How does something from a lower state of (I'm going to coin a phrase if it doesn't already exist) nuclear entropy move to a higher state of nuclear entropy (maybe it's enthalpy, I always mixed those up) by "absorbing" a tremendous amount of strong nuclear force?  And this is done through natural processes?  I've never heard that.  Please explain.

1 hour ago, MarginOfError said:

I don't like this solution. I'm a democrat. I wouldn't know what to do without nightmares.

Don't worry.  You've always got red baseball caps.

Edited by Mores

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Mores said:

Explain how it naturally replenishes itself.  I'm unfamiliar with that process.  How does something from a lower state of (I'm going to coin a phrase if it doesn't already exist) nuclear entropy move to a higher state of nuclear entropy (maybe it's enthalpy, I always mixed those up) by "absorbing" a tremendous amount of strong nuclear force?  And this is done through natural processes?  I've never heard that.  Please explain.

Uranium concentration in seawater is limited by uranium solubility. This will remain constant (unless the oceans freeze or boil) through time; as we extract (relatively tiny) amounts of uranium from seawater, the concentration will drop (very minutely) and be replenished by the many diffuse uranium sources in the ocean beds.

I did a quick Google search and found a not-too-old Forbes article that does a decent job of explaining what's up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/07/01/uranium-seawater-extraction-makes-nuclear-power-completely-renewable/#1e4ab9ee159a

Quote

Nuclear fuel made with uranium extracted from seawater makes nuclear power completely renewable. It’s not just that the 4 billion tons of uranium in seawater now would fuel a thousand 1,000-MW nuclear power plants for a 100,000 years. It’s that uranium extracted from seawater is replenished continuously, so nuclear becomes as endless as solar, hydro and wind.

This Canadian Nuclear Association article (which cites the above-mentioned Forbes article) explains things pretty well.

Edited by Vort

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Vort said:

Uranium concentration in seawater is limited by uranium solubility. This will remain constant (unless the oceans freeze or boil) through time; as we extract (relatively tiny) amounts of uranium from seawater, the concentration will drop (very minutely) and be replenished by the many diffuse uranium sources in the ocean beds.

I did a quick Google search and found a not-too-old Forbes article that does a decent job of explaining what's up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/07/01/uranium-seawater-extraction-makes-nuclear-power-completely-renewable/#1e4ab9ee159a

This Canadian Nuclear Association article (which cites the above-mentioned Forbes article) explains things pretty well.

And we only need seven conventional uranium power plants to provide the energy to produce enough seawater uranium to power one of those!!!! (I'm sure there's a trade off somewhere. Not sure what, and not saying it isn't worth pursuing....just being a....pain in the neck?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Vort said:

as we extract (relatively tiny) amounts of uranium from seawater, the concentration will drop (very minutely) and be replenished by the many diffuse uranium sources in the ocean beds.

For the record, this is sort of the standard high-school explanation, but it really isn't minutely accurate. The reality is that uranium goes into and out of solution at uranium deposits constantly. Thus, as you extract uranium from seawater, it's already being replenished; you just have microscopically less uranium coming out of solution because of that taken out of the seawater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

And we only need seven conventional uranium power plants to provide the energy to produce enough seawater uranium to power one of those!!!! (I'm sure there's a trade off somewhere. Not sure what, and not saying it isn't worth pursuing....just being a....pain in the neck?)

My understanding is that the technology already exists (as of 2016) to pull uranium from seawater with very little—effectively zero—energy expenditure. But the resulting product costs between two and twenty times more than just mining uranium. So it's an economic issue. And since the cost of uranium itself is only a small part of the current uranium fuel cost, which is itself only a tiny part of the actual cost of a uranium power plant, it's all but irrelevant. If the government were to decree that, from now on, only seawater-extracted uranium could be used in power plants, it would imperceptibly affect the cost of power, except perhaps in the very short term while extraction plants got up and going. (Investment idea note to self: Invest heavily in uranium-from-seawater extraction plants, then get the government to outlaw non-seawater-extracted uranium.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Vort said:

(Investment idea note to self: Invest heavily in uranium-from-seawater extraction plants, then get the government elected to Congress to outlaw non-seawater-extracted uranium.)

Fixed to what I believe that's the usual course of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Vort said:

Uranium concentration in seawater is limited by uranium solubility. This will remain constant (unless the oceans freeze or boil) through time; as we extract (relatively tiny) amounts of uranium from seawater, the concentration will drop (very minutely) and be replenished by the many diffuse uranium sources in the ocean beds.

I did a quick Google search and found a not-too-old Forbes article that does a decent job of explaining what's up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/07/01/uranium-seawater-extraction-makes-nuclear-power-completely-renewable/#1e4ab9ee159a

This Canadian Nuclear Association article (which cites the above-mentioned Forbes article) explains things pretty well.

Quote

It’s not just that the 4 billion tons of uranium in seawater now would fuel a thousand 1,000-MW nuclear power plants for a 100,000 years. It’s that uranium extracted from seawater is replenished continuously, so nuclear becomes as endless as solar, hydro and wind.

Well, it doesn't really nullify what I said about enthalpy.  It is that "renewable" is never truly renewable.  It is just a question of EXTREME longevity.  Uranium is not "reformed".  It is "replenished" from other pre-existing sources.  And there is such an abundance of it that it will last an extremely long time.

But even the sun itself will not last forever.  It will only last for the foreseeable future.

OK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Mores said:

Well, it doesn't really nullify what I said about enthalpy.  It is that "renewable" is never truly renewable.  It is just a question of EXTREME longevity.  Uranium is not "reformed".  It is "replenished" from other pre-existing sources.  And there is such an abundance of it that it will last an extremely long time.

But even the sun itself will not last forever.  It will only last for the foreseeable future.

OK.

Right you are, which is why I originally wrote:

2 hours ago, Vort said:

Effectively, nuclear power is unlimited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Mores said:

Well, it doesn't really nullify what I said about enthalpy.  It is that "renewable" is never truly renewable.  It is just a question of EXTREME longevity.  Uranium is not "reformed".  It is "replenished" from other pre-existing sources.  And there is such an abundance of it that it will last an extremely long time.

But even the sun itself will not last forever.  It will only last for the foreseeable future.

OK.

This points out a defect in our language. No, not really a language defect; more like a defect in our interpretation. Does a term like "renewable" have any meaning? Only if we assign it a meaning. But if we consider the second law of thermodynamics as disallowing "true renewability" because that would involve "winding up the clock again", something we think to be impossible, then of course you're right: Nothing is renewable. But in that case, the term "renewable" itself is meaningless. If we instead agree beforehand that "renewable" will be a meaningful term, to be understood within the context of human civilization and existing structures in the universe (like the sun), then the word "renewable" becomes a useful token for discussing ideas about how we can make things work in a long-term situation.

This happens all the time in religious and  philosophical discussions, to the point that I determined some years ago that the foundation and ultimate output of all philosophy is basically word definitions. Many people may disagree, but I have yet to hear an argument that convinces me that I'm wrong or guilty of oversimplification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Vort said:

This points out a defect in our language. No, not really a language defect; more like a defect in our interpretation. Does a term like "renewable" have any meaning? Only if we assign it a meaning. But if we consider the second law of thermodynamics as disallowing "true renewability" because that would involve "winding up the clock again", something we think to be impossible, then of course you're right: Nothing is renewable. But in that case, the term "renewable" itself is meaningless. If we instead agree beforehand that "renewable" will be a meaningful term, to be understood within the context of human civilization and existing structures in the universe (like the sun), then the word "renewable" becomes a useful token for discussing ideas about how we can make things work in a long-term situation.

This happens all the time in religious and  philosophical discussions, to the point that I determined some years ago that the foundation and ultimate output of all philosophy is basically word definitions. Many people may disagree, but I have yet to hear an argument that convinces me that I'm wrong or guilty of oversimplification.

I agree in principle.  But I wouldn't word it that way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, unixknight said:

I'm not sure parts interchangeability would be the fix, though I don't see that as a bad thing.  Also, they can be privatized and regulated.  No reason we can't have the best of both worlds.  It's also worth noting that because of such tight regulation, nuclear power plants actually result in less radiation release into the atmosphere than coal burning power plants.  It's true.  Coal plants often burn coal that contains radon gas, which isn't regulated by the EPA or the  NRC because the radon is naturally occurring.  The coal is burnt in the plant and the radiation is released into the atmosphere.  To switch from coal plants to nuclear plants would result in less radiation released into the atmosphere.  My source on that?  A conversation with a former engineer at a nuclear power plant in my state.

-snip-

*The reason Chernobyl happened and why that can't happen here is in the design of the reactor.  Soviet reactors were just scaled up versions of the reactors used in their nuclear submarines.  One feature of their reactor cores is they use carbon to absorb stray neutrons from the reaction.  The Chernobyl power plant was running a safety test with the reactor improperly configured.  As a result, the carbon caught fire and the pressure from the heat caused the reactor to blow apart.  It was not a nuclear explosion.  Carbon burns really really well, and the burning carbon released all the trapped radiation into the atmosphere in a very dirty cloud of smoke.  What do we do in the U.S.?  Instead of carbon to absorb trapped neutrons, we just use water.

And more radiation & acids & others chemical nasties, are released by volcanoes.  Volcanoes makes mankind look like an amateur in chemical pollution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

That's one of those nightmares that keeps me going. :)

I was raised a republican - my father was a prominent and influential party member.  But I fell out of favor because of corruption in the republican party (both in Utah and Maryland).  I joined the Democratic Party and you are so right about nightmares and you could add migraines.  Ending my membership in the democratic party ended my nightmares and migraines.  I can now honestly blame all the nations problems on just about everybody else and how they vote.  Other that being able to blame republicans and democrats for everything there  is no advantage in being a libertarian - except for the being able to sleep at night thing and the occasional attempts to explain my politics to family and inlaws. 

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question that everyone never asks, but never wants in their backyard either (even Utah doesn't want one permanently) is where do we put all the nuclear waste?

You use the power, you get the waste.  What do you do with it?

Even with our current technology that is going to be something that is around a LOOONG time.  WE will all be dead before the nuclear waste we produce today is no longer a danger.

No one wants it and no one wants it in their backyard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC there's gold in seawater.  So if you're gonna use the nuclear facility to process seawater for U, you can also get strontium and other rare earth elements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

The question that everyone never asks, but never wants in their backyard either (even Utah doesn't want one permanently) is where do we put all the nuclear waste?

You use the power, you get the waste.  What do you do with it?

Even with our current technology that is going to be something that is around a LOOONG time.  WE will all be dead before the nuclear waste we produce today is no longer a danger.

No one wants it and no one wants it in their backyard.

That "LOOOONG time" time is really only a "Long time".  Please educate yourself on the subject of radioactive decay before spreading fear about something you don't understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

No one wants it and no one wants it in their backyard.

That is true. It's like homeless shelters and legal weed stores. Everyone wants more homeless shelters built, as long as it doesn't effect the view from their Malibu mansion. 

Sadly, it's usually liberals who act like this. They love affirmative action, as long as their own kids get into white, rich prep schools. They love legalized marijuana-as long as the shops are in the ghettos. They love homeless shelters, but not near the wine and cheese shops. They love gun control, as long as they have armed guards. I could go on and on. 

Edited by MormonGator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

The question that everyone never asks, but never wants in their backyard either (even Utah doesn't want one permanently) is where do we put all the nuclear waste?

You use the power, you get the waste.  What do you do with it?

Even with our current technology that is going to be something that is around a LOOONG time.  WE will all be dead before the nuclear waste we produce today is no longer a danger.

No one wants it and no one wants it in their backyard.

This is something that really does need to be dealt with.  For all the benefits we would see form more nuclear power, it would boost the urgency of solving this issue.  

There's always...

7d129ec2e0ccbe0fef40abe37e5d221e.jpg

(Always curious to see how many will get a reference like this.)

Edited by unixknight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, unixknight said:

This is something that really does need to be dealt with.  For all the benefits we would see form more nuclear power, it would boost the urgency of solving this issue.  

There's always...

7d129ec2e0ccbe0fef40abe37e5d221e.jpg

(Always curious to see how many will get a reference like this.)

Well, yes.  That would actually work.:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Mores said:

I agree in principle.  But I wouldn't word it that way...

It depends on what the definition of the word “definition” is . . .

1 hour ago, Mores said:

That "LOOOONG time" time is really only a "Long time".  Please educate yourself on the subject of radioactive decay before spreading fear about something you don't understand.

Any links would be very much appreciated.  I’ve seen articles suggesting that the amount of extant waste, by volume, is much lower than commonly believed; but nothing suggesting the stuff reactors produce can be safe in under a couple of thousand years.

I want to love nuclear; but at this point, it still scares me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mores said:

That "LOOOONG time" time is really only a "Long time".  Please educate yourself on the subject of radioactive decay before spreading fear about something you don't understand.

What's your definition of a Loooong time?

radioactive fuel rods silent threat

Quote

When the uranium fuel is used up, usually after about 18 months, the spent rods are generally moved to deep pools of circulating water to cool down for about 10 years, though they remain dangerously radioactive for about 10,000 years.

world nuclear dot org's radioactive wastes myths and realities

Quote

Many industries produce hazardous and toxic waste. All toxic waste need to be dealt with safely, not just radioactive waste.

The radioactivity of nuclear waste naturally decays, and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. Within a period of 1,000-10,000 years, the radioactivity of HLW decays to that of the originally mined ore. Its hazard then depends on how concentrated it is. By comparison, other industrial wastes (e.g. heavy metals, such as cadmium and mercury) remain hazardous indefinitely.

Most nuclear waste produced is hazardous, due to its radioactivity, for only a few tens of years and is routinely disposed of in near-surface disposal facilities (see above). Only a small volume of nuclear waste (~3% of the total volume) is long-lived and highly radioactive and requires isolation from the environment for many thousands of years.

nuclear regulatory commission

Quote

During the fission process, two things happen to the uranium in the fuel. First, uranium atoms split, creating energy that is used to produce electricity. The fission creates radioactive isotopes of lighter elements such as cesium-137 and strontium-90. These isotopes, called "fission products," account for most of the heat and penetrating radiation in high-level waste. Second, some uranium atoms capture neutrons produced during fission. These atoms form heavier elements such as plutonium. These heavier-than-uranium, or "transuranic," elements do not produce nearly the amount of heat or penetrating radiation that fission products do, but they take much longer to decay. Transuranic wastes, sometimes called TRU, account for most of the radioactive hazard remaining in high-level waste after 1,000 years.

Radioactive isotopes eventually decay, or disintegrate, to harmless materials. Some isotopes decay in hours or even minutes, but others decay very slowly. Strontium-90 and cesium-137 have half-lives of about 30 years (half the radioactivity will decay in 30 years). Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years.

High-level wastes are hazardous because they produce fatal radiation doses during short periods of direct exposure. For example, 10 years after removal from a reactor, the surface dose rate for a typical spent fuel assembly exceeds 10,000 rem/hour – far greater than the fatal whole-body dose for humans of about 500 rem received all at once. If isotopes from these high-level wastes get into groundwater or rivers, they may enter food chains. The dose produced through this indirect exposure would be

Rods in reactors have both strontium AND Plutonium

and finally Wikipedia last because if I listed it first many would probably discount it...

Radioactive Waste

Quote

High-level waste (HLW) is produced by nuclear reactors. The exact definition of HLW differs internationally. After a nuclear fuel rod serves one fuel cycle and is removed from the core, it is considered HLW.[35] Fuel rods contain fission products and transuranic elements generated in the reactor core. Spent fuel is highly radioactive and often hot. HLW accounts for over 95 percent of the total radioactivity produced in the process of nuclear electricity generation. The amount of HLW worldwide is currently increasing by about 12,000 metric tons every year, which is the equivalent to about 100 double-decker buses (~200 single-decker buses) or a two-story structure with a footprint the size of a basketball court.[36] A 1000-MW nuclear power plant produces about 27 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel (unreprocessed) every year.[37] In 2010, there was very roughly estimated to be stored some 250,000 tons of nuclear HLW,[38] that does not include amounts that have escaped into the environment from accidents or tests. Japan estimated to hold 17,000 tons of HLW in storage in 2015.[39] HLW have been shipped to other countries to be stored or reprocessed, and in some cases, shipped back as active fuel.

The radioactive waste from spent fuel rods consist primarily of cesium-137 and strontium-90, but it may also include plutonium, which can be considered a transuranic waste.[32] The half-lives of these radioactive elements can differ quite extremely. Some elements, such as cesium-137 and strontium-90 have half-lives of approximately 30 years. Meanwhile, plutonium has a half-life of that can stretch to as long as 24,000 years.[32]

The ongoing controversy over high-level radioactive waste disposal is a major constraint on the nuclear power's global expansion.[40] Most scientists agree[41] that the main proposed long-term solution is deep geological burial, either in a mine or a deep borehole. However, almost six decades after commercial nuclear energy began, no government has succeeded in opening such a repository for civilian high-level nuclear waste,[40] although Finland is in the advanced stage of the construction of such facility, the Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository. Reprocessing or recycling spent nuclear fuel options already available or under active development still generate waste and so are not a total solution, but can reduce the sheer quantity of waste, and there are many such active programs worldwide. Deep geological burial remains the only responsible way to deal with high-level nuclear waste.[42] The Morris Operation is currently the only de facto high-level radioactive waste storage site in the United States.

I don't know about you, but I am probably going to be looong dead, even at the best prospect of 1000 years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

It depends on what the definition of the word “definition” is . . .

Any links would be very much appreciated.  I’ve seen articles suggesting that the amount of extant waste, by volume, is much lower than commonly believed; but nothing suggesting the stuff reactors produce can be safe in under a couple of thousand years.

I want to love nuclear; but at this point, it still scares me.

I believe some of your questions were answered by JJ's post.

29 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

What's your definition of a Loooong time?

That's the question isn't it?

29 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

I don't know about you, but I am probably going to be looong dead, even at the best prospect of 1000 years. 

Most people believe that radioactive waste will be dangerous for millions of years.  That's a LOOOOONG time.  1000 years in terms of decay is only a Long Time. 

The primary culprits are Cs and Sr.  These are at the top of the bell curve when considering half-life, radioactive energy, and quantity of product from the fission reactions.  Most other substances will decay rather quickly.  So, if we can separate these from all the other waste products, it will be much easier to dispose of 3% of the original product than close to 100%. Most of the other products will stop being dangerous in a few years.  But those two (and just a few others) will need to be stored for a few thousand years.

The reason these pools and other storage structures you mention are dangerous is that they store LARGE quantities of the waste in a very compact area. Deep burial seems perfectly acceptable to me.  But environmentalists are so scared that they don't accept the best solution because it isn't a complete solution.  So, we're left with more dangerous solutions.

We have salt domes all over the place that are the ideal place to put such waste.  But because environmentalists see "salt dome" as a scary buzzword, we're never going to do it.  Any other deep bury solution seems too expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mores said:

I believe some of your questions were answered by JJ's post.

That's the question isn't it?

Most people believe that radioactive waste will be dangerous for millions of years.  That's a LOOOOONG time.  1000 years in terms of decay is only a Long Time. 

The primary culprits are Cs and Sr.  These are at the top of the bell curve when considering half-life, radioactive energy, and quantity of product from the fission reactions.  Most other substances will decay rather quickly.  So, if we can separate these from all the other waste products, it will be much easier to dispose of 3% of the original product than close to 100%. Most of the other products will stop being dangerous in a few years.  But those two (and just a few others) will need to be stored for a few thousand years.

The reason these pools and other storage structures you mention are dangerous is that they store LARGE quantities of the waste in a very compact area. Deep burial seems perfectly acceptable to me.  But environmentalists are so scared that they don't accept the best solution because it isn't a complete solution.  So, we're left with more dangerous solutions.

We have salt domes all over the place that are the ideal place to put such waste.  But because environmentalists see "salt dome" as a scary buzzword, we're never going to do it.  Any other deep bury solution seems too expensive.

Probably one of the fears of burial is that there are problems that can arise.  While France has many nuclear reactors, it has been far different for Germany.  German fears of radioactive contamination has become a reality that could spread to most of their viable drinking water within some of their lifetimes.

Asse was a salt mine and seemed at the time to be geologically stable.  However, it was not and improper procedures (so, yes, there were improper actions taken that also contributed greatly to the situation)

Quote

Half a kilometre beneath the forests of northern Germany, in an old salt mine, a nightmare is playing out....

....Enough plutonium-bearing radioactive waste is stored here to fill 20 Olympic swimming pools. When engineers backfilled the chambers containing 126,000 drums in the 1970s, they thought they had put it out of harm’s way forever.

But now, the walls of the Asse mine are collapsing and cracks forming, thanks to pressure from surrounding rocks. So the race is on to dig it all up before radioactive residues are flushed to the surface.

radioactive waste dogs germany despite abandoning nuclear power

Now, from what I understand most of this was low or medium nuclear waste.  The problem also arises from them simply tossing it in barrels and now, after a few decades, moisture build up in the barrels and other difficulties are causing the breakdown of the storage mediums.  Further complicating it is that the salt mine is actually NOT as stable as originally thought and now groundwater rushing through it and coming into contact with these barrels is potentially threatening what used to be considered clean water.

Most of this waste was not even from nuclear power (from what I understand) but from x-rays, medical usage and cancer treatments.  Germans have still become VERY touchy about nuclear power and this is a prime reason that some use in their fears about it. 

The difficulty with nuclear power is not the power it generates, but the waste that comes out of it and what to do with it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now