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Reply #20: The 'spent fuel rods' label is actually a misnomer... [View All]

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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. The 'spent fuel rods' label is actually a misnomer...
what they really are is contaminated. A reprocessing plant takes the cooled and contaminated rods and removes those products of fission that 'poison' the fuel still in the rods. This fuel is reprocessed, reloaded in the rods, and is good to refuel nuclear electrical generating plants. The total amount of fissionable material that needs long term storage is unbelievably small in comparison to the total weight of the rods.

Normal refueling cycles on most reactors of this size is about 3 years. The rods and the reprocessed fuel in them can be reused over and over again.

People often make wild statements about the tons and tons of material that has to be contained. They frequently only have themselves to blame for stopping the building of sufficient reprocessing plants over the lives of existing plants.

The thorium reactors show great promise in what underfunded programs that are researching them.
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