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Reply #76: this is a matter of reading what I write and not words stuffed in my mouth [View All]

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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-20-10 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #57
76. this is a matter of reading what I write and not words stuffed in my mouth
First, I'll thank you to refrain from casting aspersions on my science education, about which you know literally nothing. Incidentally, I'll add that I know nothing of yours, either. After all,...

Perhaps I'm a dog! ;)

Second, in no way does my saying that 10% of the material is treated as radioactive waste imply that I assume, believe, or in any way remotely suggest that the returned material is anything other than mostly stable material with a mixed-in portion of radioactive material. That's true, for all practical purposes, virtually any radioactive waste that I can think of - even things hot enough to kill you!

I'm simply reporting what the article in the OP said:

They were going to stay there permanently, but Bruce Power learned about a Swedish company that could recycle 90 percent of the machines, Peevers said.

The recycling process reduces the radioactivity of the material, which can then be used as scrap. The remaining 10 percent is too contaminated to recycle and will be returned to Bruce Power for storage. (emphasis added)

The fact that the material was depositing in the generator by the coolant is immaterial. I never claimed that the activation occurred in situ; I was merely pointing out that the radioactive material is actually present within the physical object they are shipping. And that would pass any reasonable test for saying "the object is radioactive." For instance, one time I was in my shared office taking a background reading on a survey meter before doing a routine set of measurements and got a big countrate. One of the guys in my office said, "Oh, I just came back from having a thallium scan." Under any sane use of language, he was radioactive beyond the usual natural radioactivity we all have in our bodies. But by your reasoning, I'd be wrong to say this, because the thallium wasn't produced in his body by direct irradiation, but by becoming lodged in his tissues following injection?!?!?!

Now I have no problem with the proposed shipment; the risks seem minimal, and if this thing sinks to the bottom of one of the Great Lakes the worst-case harm is dwarfed by, say, the coming of Asian carp. But it's hard to put this kind of thing into perspective for those worried about the effects of radioactive waste when nuclear advocates spend so much effort arguing that things that are patently radioactive, are not!
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