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View Poll Results: What concerns you more : Nuclear Reactors or Nuclear Waste ?
Nuclear Reactors bother me most. 1 3.57%
Nuclear waste disturbs me even more. 8 28.57%
Neither bother me. 15 53.57%
Both concern me and the ( possible damage ) and effects. 4 14.29%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-26-2011, 04:00 PM
 
9,847 posts, read 11,872,872 times
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Paths of Radiation to the Body : What can we do about nuclear waste?
  • According to a report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, it will take 3 million years for radioactive waste stored in the United States as of 1983 to decay to background levels. So, presently, the only solution is to store the waste in a place so that the environment won't be contaminated. The problem with storing nuclear waste is both political as well as technological. In terms of politics, no one wants it stored near them. So there's much dispute as to where radioactive waste should be stored. In addition, storing so much waste is a major technological challenge. According to a report issued by the British Parliament, "In considering arrangements for dealing safely with such wastes, man is faced with time scales that transcend his experience."
Radioactive wastes come in many different forms including the following:
  • protective clothing of people in contact with radioactive materials
  • the remains of lab animals used in experiments with radionuclides
  • cooling water, used fuel rods, and old tools and parts from nuclear power plants
  • mill tailings from uranium-enrichment factories
  • old medical radiation equipment from hospitals and clinics
  • used smoke detectors which contain radioactive americium-241 sensors
What bothers you more , Nuclear Reactors or Nuclear Waste ?
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:39 PM
 
Location: somewhere in the woods
16,885 posts, read 13,000,772 times
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the federal goverment and its stupidity bothers me more than anything coming from nuclear power.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:45 PM
 
Location: You Ta Zhou
870 posts, read 1,352,673 times
Reputation: 399
Nuclear waste is more concerning to me because there is a lot of it near where I live, but no reactors. I also feel that reactors are safer than waste.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:55 PM
 
Location: USA - midwest
5,945 posts, read 4,861,035 times
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I support nuclear power.

I have a lot of apprehension over disposal of the gawdawful waste. And there simply isn't a good answer to that problem yet. And it remains hazardous for 250,000 years. Mankind hasn't demonstrated the ability to safely handle such hazardous material and keep is sealed off for anything approaching that time frame.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,922,707 times
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It is incredibly stupid to say we need to store anything for X-thousand years, let alone X-million years. If we're not all dead, it is incredibly unlikely that in 1000 years nuclear waste is going to be any sort of issue at all for the technology of the day.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:20 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,111,839 times
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Realistically I am in more danger from the radon in my basement than any nuclear reactor/waste. That said, I'd like to see an independent inspection team taking a look over the 30 yr. old + reactors in the USA. We'd be better off using the new technology and replacing old reactors with new.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:35 AM
 
23,851 posts, read 19,808,548 times
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Nuclear waste by far.

BUT, this country of ours is huge with lots of expansive population-free areas. There's absolutely no reason why we can't designate a "nuclear waste refuge" in the middle of BFE and build a massive waste storage facility that everyone can agree on. Something similar to Area 51. Somewhere in the midwest that doesn't favor one coast over the other logistically. Then, in order to stop state governments from restricting movement of waste to the facility, the U.S. DOT should designate interstates as "nuclear corridors" and prohibit passage of waste through state and local highways and other roads. Transport of the waste should only be carried by military transport for safety and security reasons. Perhaps the facility should fall under the Department of Defense since energy independence is a matter of national security and since environmentalist have a harder time fighting the DOD Machine.

There's plenty of room for a facility in this nation. This should be the cornerstone of a nationwide nuclear energy program, not an offshoot idea that only certain facilities use to store waste. Until we get a centralized nuclear storage solution in place, then I believe we will always be subject to the Forces of NIMBY and political maneuvering. Yucca Mountain is perfect evidence of this.

Last edited by AeroGuyDC; 03-27-2011 at 12:43 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,897 posts, read 23,120,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Realistically I am in more danger from the radon in my basement than any nuclear reactor/waste. That said, I'd like to see an independent inspection team taking a look over the 30 yr. old + reactors in the USA. We'd be better off using the new technology and replacing old reactors with new.
from what I hear they are very close to making nuclear fusion thet already have done short duration tests.
As of July 2010, the largest experiment by means of Magnetic confinement fusion has been the Joint European Torus (JET). In 1997, JET produced a peak of 16.1 megawatts (21,600 hp) of fusion power (65% of input power), with fusion power of over 10 MW (13,000 hp) sustained for over 0.5 sec. In June 2005, the construction of a new experimental reactor, ITER, was announced by the seven parties involved in the project.

These include the U.S., China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, the Russian Federation, and South Korea. ITER is designed to produce ten times more fusion power than the power put into the plasma over many minutes; for example 50 MW of input power to produce 500 MW of output power. ITER is currently under construction in Cadarache, France.

Additionally, the US National Ignition Facility as well as the planned European Union High Power laser Energy Research facility (HiPER) are promising experimental sites in generating power by the different method of Inertial confinement fusion.
The first fusion reactor to generate electrical power is planned for DEMO, the next-generation facility to follow ITER. It has been proposed to begin construction in 2024.

There is no possibility of a catastrophic accident in a fusion reactor resulting in major release of radioactivity to the environment or injury to non-staff, unlike modern fission reactors. The primary reason is that nuclear fusion requires precisely controlled temperature, pressure, and magnetic field parameters to generate net energy. If the reactor were damaged, these parameters would be disrupted and the heat generation in the reactor would rapidly cease. In contrast, the fission products in a fission reactor continue to generate heat through beta-decay for several hours or even days after reactor shut-down, meaning that melting of fuel rods is possible even after the reactor has been stopped due to continued accumulation of heat (Fukushima I incidents demonstrated the problems that can rise in a fission reactor due to beta decay heating even days after SCRAM, an emergency shutdown of the fission reactor).

There is also no risk of a runaway reaction in a fusion reactor, since the plasma is normally burnt at optimal conditions, and any significant change will render it unable to produce excess heat. In fusion reactors the reaction process is so delicate that this level of safety is inherent; no elaborate failsafe mechanism is required. Although the plasma in a fusion power plant will have a volume of 1000 cubic meters or more, the density of the plasma is extremely low, and the total amount of fusion fuel in the vessel is very small, typically a few grams. If the fuel supply is closed, the reaction stops within seconds. In comparison, a fission reactor is typically loaded with enough fuel for one or several years, and no additional fuel is necessary to keep the reaction going.

Fusion power commonly proposes the use of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen, as fuel and in many current designs also use lithium. Assuming a fusion energy output equal to the 1995 global power output of about 100 EJ/yr (= 1 x 10[SIZE=3]20[/SIZE] J/yr) and that this does not increase in the future, then the known current lithium reserves would last 3000 years, lithium from sea water would last 60 million years, and a more complicated fusion process using only deuterium from sea water would have fuel for 150 billion years.To put this in context, 150 billion years is over ten times the currently measured age of the universe, and is close to 30 times the remaining lifespan of the sun.

Last edited by GTOlover; 03-27-2011 at 01:01 AM..
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: USA - midwest
5,945 posts, read 4,861,035 times
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Default I see...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
It is incredibly stupid to say we need to store anything for X-thousand years, let alone X-million years. If we're not all dead, it is incredibly unlikely that in 1000 years nuclear waste is going to be any sort of issue at all for the technology of the day.

But it's not incredibly stupid and irresponsible to simply assume someone in the future will "just take care" of the problem we've left.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:58 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,111,839 times
Reputation: 12758
I guess given the OP, the next logical question would be to ask WHY, in 40 or more years of building/using nuclear reactors, does the DOE not have any policy to deal with the nuclear waste for the long term? Is it that the environmentalists won't allow it and politicians don't want to lose those votes, or something else? Over 40 years and no policy is insanity, IMO. YMMV
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