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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:28 PM
Original message
3 Reasons to Avoid Nuclear Power
After commenting on the proplem Fukushima created for the nuclear industry, this Motley Fool

3 Reasons to Avoid Nuclear Power
By Travis Hoium, The Motley Fool
Posted 10:39AM 12/09/11 Investing


For safety's sake
Whether it's mechanical failure, human error, or a natural disaster, there are major risks associated with nuclear plants. Boosters may count these as one-time events, but they've happened more than once, and with Japan looking at billions of dollars to rebuild what was lost after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, the risk should be a major factor in any investment.

Costs are rising, not falling
The cost per watt of nuclear energy is lower than that of many other energy sources, but the costs are heading in the wrong direction. When NRG Energy (NYS: NRG) nixed its planned nuclear expansion, rapidly rising cost estimates were a major factor. Estimates tripled in the planning stage, making the power that would be delivered less cost effective.

Nuclear also benefits from a variety of government subsidies including limited liability, without which nuclear would be nearly impossible to build. And NRG was counting on a government loan guarantee to complete its plant. Compared to other alternative energy sources like wind and solar, whose costs are falling, nuclear is headed in the wrong direction.

It's a dying business
A look at how financial markets view nuclear power may give even the most hardened supporters pause. Rating agencies have downgraded companies with nuclear assets, and nuclear stocks have plummeted this year.

Investors should also consider that...

The Fool's opinion can be read in full here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/12/09/3-reasons-to-avoid-nuclear-power/
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. three reasons to avoid nuclear power:
three mile island
chernobyl
"china syndrome"
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. which are...
three mile island
chernobyl
"china syndrome"
===========================

Which are a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania that had an accident that was a non-incident
in terms of public health and safety.

A reactor that had a terrible accident due to a horrible unstable design, and the Soviet
"must do" environment that did not promote an atmosphere that allowed the operators to abort
a bad situation.

The third is a poorly-researched movie based on a scientific fantasy of the results of a nuclear meltdown.

PamW

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lob1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. They make money for a few decades, but then they
have to take care of the waste for several hundred years.
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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. The point of this report by the Fool...
is that nuclear is not a good investment. It's not a place to make money.

Imagine, for a moment. You're a deep pocket investor and you put a few million into a new reactor.

It's likely to take ten years or more before that reactor starts generating income.

In ten years we could easily have another TMI/Chernobyl/Fukushima. Citizens in the US decide that they've had enough nuclear, thank you, and decide to shut reactors down like has happened in other countries lately. Kiss those millions goodbye.

And since it will take well more than ten years after startup to recoup your investment you're exposed for two decades. We've had a major nuclear meltdown on average every ten years. The odds are not on your side.

OR -

Let's imagine you get lucky and Homer doesn't manage to melt one. What else could go wrong with your investment?

Other power generation methods could turn out to be cheaper than what your plant can produce and your lunch gets eaten.

The odds of that? Wind is already cheaper. Natural gas is already cheaper. Geothermal is already cheaper. Solar is probably already cheaper, certainly will be before you get your plant on line. Why is someone not going to install wind, solar or geothermal or even natural gas and take the market away from you?

Now, you might still make money if you are in a regulated utility district. That means that even though there are cheaper ways to produce electricity you can still shove your high cost down your customers' throats. At least for a while. Just remember that your customers have the power of the ballot box. They can vote to change the rules if they get really pissed.


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lob1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. My point was that it's a bad investment, too.
I agree with everything you said.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Not your call to make....
My point was that it's a bad investment, too.
============================================

That's not your call to make. That's for the people making the investment.

For example, one of the largest operators of nuclear reactors in the USA is a
company called Exelon, which owns Commonwealth Edison of Chicago, and actually
grew out of that company. The bulk of their business is running nuclear power
plants and selling the electricity in northern Illinois. In fact, northern Illinois,
the service area of Commonwealth Edison is as nuclear as France is.

For about half a century, this company has been making its money by selling nuclear
generated electricity to the Commonwealth Edison service area. I can't see why one
would call it a bad investment.

PamW

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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. Exelon does make money off nuclear...
I think they own something like 17 reactors.

That said, Exelon's CEO, John Rowe, recently stated that they aren't going to build any more reactors.

Rowe stated that new nuclear is not a good investment. Nuclear has been undercut by other sources of electricity, especially natural gas.

Exelon is now investing in wind, solar and natural gas....

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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #23
69. Exelon CEO...

"Exelon Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Rowe said he expects natural-gas prices to remain low, pushing back the construction of new U.S. nuclear power plants by a decade, maybe two.

We think natural gas will stay cheap for a very long time, Rowe said in an interview today at Bloombergs headquarters in New York. As long as natural gas is anywhere near current price forecasts, you cant economically build a merchant nuclear plant.

Absent a price on carbon dioxide emissions, gas would have to rise to $9 or $9.50 to make the reactors economically attractive, Rowe said."

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2010/10/12/206854/exelon-john-rowe-nuclear-renaissance-constellation-energy/

The futures market is thinking that natural gas will be around $6.50 by 2020. That's good news for wind and solar since it will be up enough to keep turbines shut down a lot, but it's not anywhere close to making nuclear profitable.

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Not if you reprocess / recycle
have to take care of the waste for several hundred years.
==============================================

only if you don't reprocess / recycle which Congress has prohibited for the USA.

ALL the long lived radioactive species ( the actinides ) are usable
as fuel, and should be recycled to the reactor to be burned. The only
true waste are the fission products, and they have relatively short lives.

See the following from a PBS Frontline show interview with a nuclear physicist
from Argonne National Lab, Dr. Charles Till:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interviews/till.html

Q: The fission products.

A: Fission products. But none of the long-lived toxic elements like plutonium and americium or curium, the so-called manmade elements. They're the long-lived toxic ones. And they're recycled back into the reactor ... and work every bit as well as plutonium.

Q: So they go in, and then those are broken into fission products, or some of it is. Right?

A: Yes.

Q: And you repeat the process.

A: Eventually, what happens is that you wind up with only fission products, that the waste is only fission products that have, most have lives of hours, days, months, some a few tens of years. There are a few very long-lived ones that are not very radioactive.



PamW
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Nope.
On a life-cycle basis, French-style reprocessing and recycle increases the volume of waste that would have to disposed of in a geologic repository. Reprocessing results in high-level radioactive waste and large volumes of Greater than Class C waste, both of which must be managed by deep geologic disposal. Their combined volume on a life-cycle basis is estimated to be about six times more than the no-reprocessing approach that is current U.S. policy, according to Department of Energy estimates. Low-level waste volume and waste transportation shipments are also estimated to increase several-fold.

Attempting to combine reprocessing with breeder reactors to convert uranium in U.S. spent fuel in plutonium will create intolerable costs and risks. Reprocessing plus breeder reactors are much more expensive than light water reactors today, which are themselves expensive. Such a system is required to convert most of the uranium in spent fuel into a reactor fuel. Even a single penny in excess generation cost per kilowatt-hour in a breeder reactor- reprocessing system would lead to an added $8 trillion in costs to convert nearly all of the uranium in the 100,000 metric tons of U.S. spent into usable fuel. It would take hundreds of years to accomplish the task and require separation of tens of thousands of bombs equivalent of fissile material each year. The proliferation risks will be far greater than today.

Adoption of French-style reprocessing program would not eliminate the need for a deep geologic repository. Even complete fissioning of all actinides an unrealistic proposition will leave behind large amounts of very long-lived fission and activation products like iodine-129, cesium-135, and chlorine-36 that will pose risks far into the future -- much beyond the 24,100-year half-life of plutonium-239. In fact, France needs a geologic repository and opposition to one has been intense there. The French appear to dislike nuclear waste in their backyards as much as people in the United States.

Proliferation risks are inherently part of the French (and any other) approach to reprocessing. Even advanced reprocessing technologies will not significantly reduce proliferation risks. For instance a study authored by scientists from DOE laboratories, including Los Alamos and Sandia, concluded that it would take only a few days or a few weeks for proliferant country to make material for nuclear bombs once it had reprocessing plants. It found that new technologies, including electrometallurgical processing, resulted in only a modest improvement in reducing proliferation risk over existing PUREX technologies and these modest improvements apply primarily for non-state actors. The IEER report concluded that electrometallurgical increases risks in other ways. For instance, it is far less difficult to conceal a plant than the present PUREX technology.

-IEER: FRENCH-STYLE NUCLEAR REPROCESSING WILL NOT SOLVE U.S. NUCLEAR WASTE PROBLEMS




Name: Alan Leshner Address:
1200 New York Avenue NW Washington, DC, 20005
American Association for the Advancement of Science

General Comment
Docket ID NRC-2010-0372 To the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

The Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science submits the following comment on behalf of the Association:
"The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) supports the American Physical Society's petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that would require that those seeking Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval of new uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing technologies provide a formal Nuclear Proliferation Assessment as part of their application. AAAS recognizes that new technologies can have far-reaching social consequences. New uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies not only have safety and environmental consequences, but can pose a proliferation risk. All three consequences are within the NRC's regulatory purview.

"Although the NRC states that the proliferation consequences of new technologies are assessed as the "net effect" of its entire review process, the AAAS believes that nuclear weapons proliferation is important enough to merit explicit attention in the NRC application and review process. Given the critical significance of nuclear weapons proliferation for U.S. and international security, it is reasonable to ask applicants for NRC licenses for enrichment or reprocessing technologies to address potential proliferation risks of their technologies prior to approval. Including a mandatory proliferation assessment as part of the NRC's licensing process will reinforce the U.S. commitment to non-proliferation and is consistent with the NRC's role "to protect the health and safety" of Americans, and we believe it is consistent with the AAAS objective of having public policy made with the best available technical input. Therefore, the AAAS urges that the American Physical Society's petition be accepted."

We thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Alan I. Leshner Chief Executive Officer
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Just because anti-nukes say it doesn't make it true.
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 05:06 PM by PamW
Kris - I know the questionable biased sources that you use say that
reprocessing increases waste volume; but it is just not true.

95% of spent nuclear fuel is Uranium-238. That U-238 is the same
U-238 that was dug out of the ground. It is no more radioactive
than the day it was dug out of the ground. If you separate out
the U-238; we could just put it back in the ground from where we got it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fuel_cycle

When 3% enriched LEU fuel is used, the spent fuel typically consists of roughly 1% U-235, 95% U-238, 1% plutonium and 3% fission products.


The people that wrote your source and believe it are under the mistaken
impression that radioactivity is "contagious" because that's what you see
on TV and in the movies. That is scientifically WRONG

For the true science read "Physics for Future Presidents" by University of
California Berkeley Physics Professor Richard Muller:

http://books.google.com/books?id=6DBnS2g-KrQC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=Muller+Physics+radioactivity+contagious&source=bl&ots=_0jUUFyjAq&sig=8wm2lsfYeKX7xxbYfwfKzMgRcDg&hl=en&ei=5tTjTqWGDobJiQLbpKjbBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

If you are exposed to something that is radioactive, do you become more radioactive, yourself?
Do you "catch" it like you catch a cold? In the world of science fiction, the answer is yes.
In the movies, people exposed to atomic bombs come away glowing in the dark. In the real world,
the answer is no, it is not contagious -- at least most of the time for most kinds of radioactivity.

The article you reference is from people who "think" that the materials used to do the
reprocessing get radioactive, and hence the net amount of radioactivity increases. Prof. Muller
says that is a LIE.

Quit quoting propaganda from anti-nukes; they don't know the science.

Professor Muller is a professor of Physics and does know the science, as do I.

The 95% of the nuclear waste that is Uranium-238 could be just put back in the ground where
we got it. It is no more radioactive than when it was dug up. The 2% that is actinides can
be recycled as fuel as Dr. Till states. Only the 3% that is fission products needs to be
treated special; and NOT for "thousands of years". Dr. Till told us the lifetime
of the fission products in the Frontline interview referenced above.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. This is tiresome. You are making another assertion that you KNOW to be false.
The specific point you are trying to use to discredit the entire, long list of problems pointed out by the IEER is that "reprocessing increases waste volume".

You are making your usual nonspecific rant (as usual accompanied by a supposedly authoritative source that does not support your claim) and trying to dress it up in the trappings of "science".

You are, simply put, full of it.

As was pointed out to you before, the claim is not that of an "antinuke". It is the conclusion of the DOE in their study titled Draft Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (GNEP PEIS; DOE/EIS-0396), accomplished in Oct 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Table 4.8-6 (p. 4-139).

Here is one portion of the text that supports the table.
"Other Wastes: Compared to the open fuel cycle alternatives, recycling SNF creates much higher quantities of other wastes that would require management. For example, as shown in Table 4.8-1, the closed fuel cycle alternatives would create separate wastes streams consisting of GTCC LLW and, potentially, cesium and strontium. If cesium and strontium wastes are stored for approximately 300 years, their radioactivity levels would have decayed sufficiently so that these wastes potentially could be disposed of as LLW. Another option would be to send these wastes to an off-site HLW storage or disposal facility after they are separated from the SNF. About 24 metric tons per year of cesium and strontium wastes could be generated for the Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, Thermal/Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, and Thermal Reactor Recycle Alternative (Options 1 and 3) in the peak year of operation for 200 GWe. The Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, Thermal/Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, and Thermal Reactor Recycle Alternative (Option 1) would generate (considering the upper bound estimates) relatively large quantities of GTCC LLW (more than 13,000 m3/yr of GTCC LLW in the peak year of operation) that would also need to be managed annually for the 200 GWe capacity. From reprocessing the SNF generated between 2010 and approximately 20602070, each of these alternatives would cumulatively generate more than approximately 400,000 m3 (520,000 yd3) of GTCC LLW (Figure 4.8-3). The cladding and assembly hardware recovered at the separations facility have been included in the estimated quantity of GTCC LLW. Non-radioactive wastes (e.g., hazardous, sanitary, and industrial) would also be generated, but should be similar for all programmatic domestic alternatives."

You can only arrive at your claim as you used it by an excruciating act of convoluted cherry picking.

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. You misinterpret

The wording of the PEIS is bad; I see how someone who doesn't know the science can
think that more nuclear waste was created with that wording.

However, this document was meant for intelligent people that know that chemical
processing, which is what reprocessing is; doesn't increase the amount of radioactivity
or waste.

Bad wording has made the scientifically ignorant jump to conclusions that are not justified.

I've asked you this time and again. Go to your local high school and seek out a chemistry
or physics teacher and ask them if chemical processing increases the amount of radioactivity
or the amount of radioactive material.

The words "higher quantities of other wastes". Higher than what, the initial amount?

NO!! It can not be interpreted that way. At least not by intelligent people.

Kris - the plain simple FACT is that chemical reactions just flat out do not
create more radioactivity. I've attempted to explain this to you time and time again; but
you either refuse or are incapable at learning.

As a challenge for ALL here; go to your local high school, seek out the chemistry or
physics teacher and ask them if chemical reactions or chemical processing increases the amount
of radioactivity or radioactive material.

Then you will all know what to think about Kris and his interpretation.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. The table lays all of the alternatives out in the same column.
Will you please stop making deliberately false claims.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. NOT FALSE
Kris,

The FACT of the matter is that 95% of spent fuel is just
good old Uranium-238 that is no more radioactive than the day it
was dug out of the ground. U-238 has a given radioactivity because
it is U-238; and if the reactor didn't change it to something else;
then it is still U-238.

So 95% of all spent fuel is the EXACT SAME STUFF that is
sitting in the ground all over the world courtesy of Mother Nature.

We could take this 95% of spent fuel and just put it back where we
got it - no harm, no foul. It would be exactly as if we never took
it out for the reactor. That would drop the amount of waste by
a factor of 20 times.

We have U-238 that is not any more dangerous than as it is found in
Nature sitting mixed in with a bunch of really radioactive stuff.

Just take the mildly radioactive U-238 out; and put it back where we got it.

The chemistry that does that will NOT create more radioactive stuff.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. The original point is unambiguously answered here, and you are wrong.
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 09:35 PM by kristopher
Draft Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (GNEP PEIS; DOE/EIS-0396), accomplished in Oct 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Table 4.8-6 (p. 4-139).



Orginal point you said was not true.
On a life-cycle basis, French-style reprocessing and recycle increases the volume of waste that would have to disposed of in a geologic repository. Reprocessing results in high-level radioactive waste and large volumes of Greater than Class C waste, both of which must be managed by deep geologic disposal. Their combined volume on a life-cycle basis is estimated to be about six times more than the no-reprocessing approach that is current U.S. policy, according to Department of Energy estimates. Low-level waste volume and waste transportation shipments are also estimated to increase several-fold.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. FAULTY ERROR ERROR
The original point is unambiguously answered here, and you are wrong.
==============

Kris can repost and repost that line until the cows come home.

The fact of the matter is that his lack of scientific understanding
means he can NOT properly interpret the table he keeps citing.

Kris, if you point to the word "cat" and say "dog", because of your
poor reading skills; then repeatedly pointing to "cat" and saying "dog"
is not going to increase your credibility.

It only reinforces the original opinion that you can't read.

Likewise, you have a FAULTLY interpretation of said Table, because
you don't understand that chemical reactions can NOT increase the
amount of radioactivity.

The table doesn't say what you "think" it says. You don't know that
chemical reactions can't make things more radioactive; so you FALSELY
interpret said table.

There's nothing wrong with DOE's table or data. The stuff that is FAULTY
is not the stuff that goes into your brain; just the stuff that come out.

PamW

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Unfortunately....
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 08:29 PM by PamW
Unfortunately, we have some members here who are
appallingly ignorant of the sciences and chemistry
and physics in particular.

They don't know a damn thing about nuclear science and intimate that they
do by misinterpreting documents and confounding good discourse.

As a public service, let me go through a little course in the basics
of the science of radioactivity. You can find out what stuff is
radioactive and what isn't.

The nucleus of each atom has protons and neutrons. By convention, we
call the number of protons "Z" and the number of neutrons "N". The sum
of these Z + N is called "A" and is the atomic weight or atomic mass.

The number Z tells us what element something is. Z=1 is hydrogen, Z=2 is
helium, Z=3 is lithium, .... Z=92 is uranium..... There is a chemical
name and symbol that corresponds to each Z.

So for a given nuclide, how do we know if it is radioactive or not. For
example let's take Z=13 and N = 14. Because Z=13, this nuclide is Aluminum.
Because Z + N = 13 + 14 = 27; it is Aluminum-27 or Al-27.

You can find out if something is radioactive by asking the Chart of the Nuclides
available at Brookhaven National Laboratory:

http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/chart/

See the little box at right next to the "go" button. Type "Al-27" there and return.
The answer comes back under the heading of half-life T1/2 and it says STABLE

That's because Aluminum-27 is good old everyday aluminum and is not radioactive.

Suppose we ask it about Cesium-137 which is in the news as released from Fukushima.
Type Cs-137 in the box. Under T1/2 it replies with 30.08 y or 30.08 years. Cesium-137
is radioactive and has a half-life of 30.08 years.

How do we make something radioactive? Let's start with something that is not. Let's
take Z = 27 and N = 32. Z = 27 is Cobalt. A = Z + N = 27 + 32 = 59. So we have
Cobalt-59 or Co-59. Type that in the box.

The answer that comes back is that Cobalt-59 is STABLE. Let's modify the above. Let's
keep Z=27; so it will still be Cobalt. But let's set N = 33. Now A = Z + N = 27 + 33 = 60.
So we will now have Cobalt-60 or Co-60. Enter that in the box.

The reply is a half-life of 1925.28 d or 1925.28 days. So Co-60 is radioactive.

The Chart can tell if something is radioactive by knowing what Z and A are. The combination
of Z and A determines if something is radioactive. Therefore, if we have something that is
not radioactive, the ONLY way to make it radioactive is to CHANGE Z or A.

It's that simple. If you want to make something radioactive; you have to change either Z or
A and that means you have to change the NUCLEUS of the atom.

Now what happens when you have chemical reactions. Whole atoms rearrange what molecules they
are in, and new product molecules are made from the atoms of the reactants. However, chemical
reactions DO NOT CHANGE the nucleus. Chemical reactions do not make atoms that were
not radioactive into atoms that are radioactive.

Consider that most of the fission products that we find in nuclear waste are beta emitters.
That means that the radiation they emit is an electron. Can an electron change the number of
protons and / or neutrons. NO WAY!! The rest energy represented by an electron is 0.511 MeV.

Protons and Neutrons have a rest energy of about 930 MeV. So protons and neutrons are about
2000 times as massive as an electron. Therefore, beta radiation doesn't have enough
energy to change the number of protons or neutrons in the nucleus. So just because an atom is
exposed to the electrons emitted by a beta emitter WILL NOT cause the atom to become radioactive.

This is all very basic high school level science.

Unfortunately, some word smiths in DOE when they wrote various reports were writing with a much more
intelligent audience in mind. They didn't consider that some of the people who were reading and interpreting
their words would have a command of basic high school chemistry and physics that was below the
level of the high school graduate. Their reports were meant to be read by intelligent people.

How could they have realized that their reports are sometime read by people who do NOT have this
basic high school level of understanding. The report writers weren't worried about their words implying
that chemical processes increased the amounts of radioactive material. The writers knew that their
audience of scientifically intelligent readers would reject such an interpretation because
it is physically impossible.

However, they weren't counting on the fact that their words would find their way into the hands of
scientifically unintelligent readers who would foist there FAULTY interpretation on the
unsuspecting readership of an online forum.

See what happens when we assume an intelligence when there is none?

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. You can't worm your way out with the "baffle 'em with bullshit" tactic either.
There is no ambiguity in the study and the table lays all of the quantities out in one column for easy comparison.

You are deliberately making false claims. Please stop.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. NOPE!!
There is no ambiguity in the study and the table lays all of the quantities out in one column for easy comparison.

You are deliberately making false claims. Please stop.
------------------

I am NOT making false claims. More and more people are seeing that you don't
know what you are talking about.

Go ask your local high school physics or chemistry teacher if chemical processing
increases the amount or volume of a radioactive substance.

You know you would NEVER take up my challenge because you know what answer you'd get.

You, a non-scientist; should please stop telling a scientist that she is wrong about science.

Science is my field, not yours. You are just demonstrating to the readership that you lack
the scientific understanding of a high school student. Please keep it up because the intelligent
readers are assessing your credibility to be in the basement.

They are saying, "Kris doesn't know that chemical reactions don't create or increase radioactivity?
GEESH - he must not know much about science. His whole diatribe is lot of hot air".

You sure are showing your "true colors" to the scientifically astute.

If you took up my challenge of talking to a high school teacher; you'd die of embarrassment, thereafter.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Tell that to the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, it is their data.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
37. I have no beef with DOE. Only your FAULTY interpretation
Tell that to the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, it is their data.
---------------------------------------------------------

Kris, I work with the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy. I'm a scientist
at a national lab.

I know what they are attempting to say; and it is NOT what you think
it means.

Someone who knows the science, would exclude or dismiss
your interpretation, because they know that chemical reactions can't
make more radioactivity.

They weren't pitching the level of their writing to someone with such
a low understanding of the sciences of chemistry and physics.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. You ARE disputing the DOE data.
This is what you said was an antinuclear lie.

On a life-cycle basis, French-style reprocessing and recycle increases the volume of waste that would have to disposed of in a geologic repository. Reprocessing results in high-level radioactive waste and large volumes of Greater than Class C waste, both of which must be managed by deep geologic disposal. Their combined volume on a life-cycle basis is estimated to be about six times more than the no-reprocessing approach that is current U.S. policy, according to Department of Energy estimates. Low-level waste volume and waste transportation shipments are also estimated to increase several-fold.

When I gave you the citation you said I didn't understand.

Bullshit.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. Tell us what Class C waste is..

Kris,

What is Class C waste? Do you know?

Because you don't know what they are attempting to say; you
are drawing a faulty conclusion.

For the umpteenth time; you do NOT get more radioactivity
when your reprocess.

You could get a more DILUTE waste with larger volume because
it has more water in it. But that water doesn't have to be
there. You can dry the waste and get rid of the water.

See, Kris; you are talking about amounts of stuff, and you don't
know what the stuff is. Again, the stuff can be a waste product
diluted with water. Big deal! That's not a big problem. We
just remove the water.

But you go off on some "chicken little" tirade about the increase
in volume of stuff that you don't even know the constituents of.

Or do you. Please list in detail the isotopics of said waste and
give their volumetric percentages...I'll at least give you a chance.

But in the end, you do NOT know the composition of any of this material
and don't know what simple processes can lower the volume.

However, the big win in reprocessing is separating U-238 which is 96%
of the waste from the rest.

It's like a doctor's office. They generate two kinds of waste. They
generate medical wastes - the used needles. Then they generate ordinary
office trash which is the bulk. If they mix them together, we have to
dispose of the whole lot as medical waste.

However, if we sort out the ordinary trash, and dispose of that in the
ordinary way; the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of as medical
waste goes down.

I don't care how many Tables somebody has that are unambiguous that shows
all the problems when the wastes are mixed together. Big Deal!

We just separate the medical waste from the office trash and we lower
the amount of medical waste and the costs associated therewith.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. You are trying to create another straw man.
You said that reprocessing will solve our waste problems.

That is false.

You have trie mightily to divert attention from the false statement you made but you are not being successful, it is a transparent and rather pathetic ploy.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #50
52. I note no enlightenment from you.
All you can do is cast vague aspersions.

You can't defend your faulty interpretation.

You just make unsubstantiated claims that I am wrong.

Let's see you make some explanations for your case.

Pointing over and over and over to the same damn table
that you don't understand the meaning of, is NOT
making your point.

You're in WAY over your head, and don't have the
foggiest notion of how to defend your faulty interpretation.

Therefore all we get are vacuous accusations.

PamW

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. You underestimate our readership
You underestimate our readership. I'm not baffling them.

I hope they follow my examples to the letter and really learn something.

The more they learn, the more credible I am; and your sorry credibility is heading
down into the nether regions.

When people understand the science, they will know what can and can not be
done. That's great for me.

When they follow my example and really learn and understand. Then they look
at your protestations that I'm being deliberately misleading. With their new
understanding that I'm correct; they'll know what to make of you.

And it won't be much.

Touche'

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. You are arguing with DOE Pam - their data is unambiguous.
Draft Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (GNEP PEIS; DOE/EIS-0396), accomplished in Oct 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Table 4.8-6 (p. 4-139).

Here is one portion of the text that supports the table. If you want more the study is available online.

"Other Wastes: Compared to the open fuel cycle alternatives, recycling SNF creates much higher quantities of other wastes that would require management. For example, as shown in Table 4.8-1, the closed fuel cycle alternatives would create separate wastes streams consisting of GTCC LLW and, potentially, cesium and strontium. If cesium and strontium wastes are stored for approximately 300 years, their radioactivity levels would have decayed sufficiently so that these wastes potentially could be disposed of as LLW. Another option would be to send these wastes to an off-site HLW storage or disposal facility after they are separated from the SNF. About 24 metric tons per year of cesium and strontium wastes could be generated for the Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, Thermal/Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, and Thermal Reactor Recycle Alternative (Options 1 and 3) in the peak year of operation for 200 GWe. The Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, Thermal/Fast Reactor Recycle Alternative, and Thermal Reactor Recycle Alternative (Option 1) would generate (considering the upper bound estimates) relatively large quantities of GTCC LLW (more than 13,000 m3/yr of GTCC LLW in the peak year of operation) that would also need to be managed annually for the 200 GWe capacity. From reprocessing the SNF generated between 2010 and approximately 20602070, each of these alternatives would cumulatively generate more than approximately 400,000 m3 (520,000 yd3) of GTCC LLW (Figure 4.8-3). The cladding and assembly hardware recovered at the separations facility have been included in the estimated quantity of GTCC LLW. Non-radioactive wastes (e.g., hazardous, sanitary, and industrial) would also be generated, but should be similar for all programmatic domestic alternatives."


Draft Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (GNEP PEIS; DOE/EIS-0396)

Overall the volume is approximately 6X the once through cycle.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. BAD INTERPRETATION
You are arguing with DOE Pam - their data is unambiguous.
------------------------------------------------------------

It says it increases the amount of "other waste".

It doesn't say it increases the amount of "nuclear waste".

The other waste could be waste uniforms, or waste disposable containers...

Kris, it doesn't say what you "think" it says. It doesn't say that
chemical processing increases the amount of radioactivity.

The amount of radioactivity into and out of the process is constant.

However, the U-238 will be separated from the really radioactive stuff.
That U-238 could be put back into the ground where we got it.

As shown above, that U-238 is 96% of the waste.

Keep posting your ERRONEOUS interpretation; it just shows
everyone that you do NOT know your science.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. This is the claim you are disputing
On a life-cycle basis, French-style reprocessing and recycle increases the volume of waste that would have to disposed of in a geologic repository. Reprocessing results in high-level radioactive waste and large volumes of Greater than Class C waste, both of which must be managed by deep geologic disposal. Their combined volume on a life-cycle basis is estimated to be about six times more than the no-reprocessing approach that is current U.S. policy, according to Department of Energy estimates. Low-level waste volume and waste transportation shipments are also estimated to increase several-fold.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #36
48. I'm not disputing DOE - only saying YOU are WRONG!!
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 10:07 PM by PamW
The whole problem here is that Kris doesn't know what Class C
waste is. Here's DOE's definition of Class C waste:

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part061/part061-0055.html

(iii) Class C waste is waste that not only must meet more rigorous requirements on waste form to ensure stability but also requires additional measures at the disposal facility to protect against inadvertent intrusion. The physical form and characteristics of Class C waste must meet both the minimum and stability requirements set forth in 61.56.

Class C waste is basically waste that is volatile which requires a waste form "to ensure stability"
It is waste material that has to be chemically stabilized before it can be disposed of.

However, the vast majority of the spent fuel is U-238. U-238 is not volatile It doesn't require that
it be stabilized. You can bury an ingot of U-238 in the ground and it doesn't become volatile.

There is a very, very small fraction of the nuclear waste that is volatile and requires this stabilization.
So to stabilize this volatile waste, some material is added to it. However, that doesn't increase the amount of
radioactivity. Just the volume of the stuff. It's radioactively more dilute. So it has a greater volume but the
SAME amount of radioactivity. Because it is such a small percentage of the total waste, increasing the volume
of this stuff is no big deal.

The benefits of reprocessing are that you get to take the 96% of the spent fuel that is U-238 and remove it
from the highly radioactive species. Then we don't have to dispose of U-238 as if it were high level waste
because it is not. It's low level waste if anything.

However, it's not even that because we find U-238 buried in the Earth's crust naturally. As I stated, we
could just put the U-238 back into the same uranium mine that we got it from and Mother Nature would be
none the wiser.

See how not understanding the specifics, like what Class C is; can make the whole difference in the interpretation.

Kris' interpretation was FAULTY because he doesn't know his science.

PamW

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #36
57. All this about...
All this folderol about not knowing what you are talking about.

Kris mistakenly turned a paragraph that dealt with a very, very
small percentage of the waste; into a generalization that he applied
to ALL the waste.

This is all due to the fact that he didn't know the science. He doesn't
know what the constituents of nuclear waste are, their relative amounts,
or how they are classified by DOE.

Because of this limited knowledge, most importantly not knowing what any
high school student should know about chemical reactions not making more
radioactivity, we see that Kris drew a monumentally erroneous conclusion.

Then to defend it his trite rebuttal was nothing more than " it's unambiguous
you are wrong". Well if you don't know your facts, I guess lots of things
that truly are ambiguous may seem unambiguous to those that don't know any
better.

This is why we need good scientists to explain these things. But more
importantly, we need people who are willing to listen to the scientists,
and don't already have their minds, or what passes for same; already made
up, not on the basis of scientific fact, but their own parochial politics.

PamW

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. FAULTY interpretation
Kris,

If you give us more of the document that precedes the part you quote, maybe we
can help you with your FAULTY interpretation.

When the document says "much higher quantities of other wastes" that is much higher
in comparison to WHAT? It can't be much higher in comparison to the initial or total
amount; because anyone with a basic high school level of chemistry and physics knowledge
knows that chemical reactions can't increase the amount of radioactivity.

They were evidently comparing the amount to some other amount, and you couldn't make the
connection of what that other quantity was. Your scientific knowledge is so lacking that
you couldn't reject the interpretation you did make. Those of us that know the basic science
would know to exclude that interpretation as being physically impossible and nonsensical. We'd
go searching for an alternate interpretation. With your flawed science skills, I could see
how this verbiage written for a more scientifically astute audience would confuse you.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Unlike you I have already given a complete reference pam.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Even the devil...
Unlike you I have already given a complete reference
---------------------------------------------------

It's not the reference that is faulty; it's the interpretation.

The reference is fine. It's only the part that was interpreted by you,
and your lack of scientific knowledge that is faulty.

Even the devil can quote the Bible for his own purpose.

That doesn't mean that there is something wrong with the Bible.

PamW
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Tell that to the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, it is their data.
And it is unambiguous.


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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. I have no problem with DOE; only your FAULTY interpretation
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 09:20 PM by PamW
Tell that to the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, it is their data.
=========================================

Why should I tell it to them. I don't fault them.

They just weren't counting on their data being read by someone that didn't
have basic high school level science skills.

I read their work with a TOTALLY DIFFERENT interpretation. That's because
I know the science and know to reject interpretations that don't make
scientific sense.

Chemical reactions that increase the amount of radioactivity is an
interpretation that doesn't make scientific sense - so I know to
exclude that and look for another interpretation.

You don't have the "science filter" to exclude erroneous interpretations
that I do. So you go to a public forum with an erroneous interpretation.

I wonder how many high school physic and chemistry teachers out there reading
this who are asking themselves, "This guy doesn't even know that chemical reactions
can't make things radioactive; how did he ever get a high school diploma?"

I am assuming your graduated high school, even though I have no evidence of such
as exemplified here.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. It isn't subject to interpretation it is unambiguous
Draft Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (GNEP PEIS; DOE/EIS-0396), accomplished in Oct 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Table 4.8-6 (p. 4-139).
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. This is the assertion you said was an anti-nuclear falsehood
On a life-cycle basis, French-style reprocessing and recycle increases the volume of waste that would have to disposed of in a geologic repository. Reprocessing results in high-level radioactive waste and large volumes of Greater than Class C waste, both of which must be managed by deep geologic disposal. Their combined volume on a life-cycle basis is estimated to be about six times more than the no-reprocessing approach that is current U.S. policy, according to Department of Energy estimates. Low-level waste volume and waste transportation shipments are also estimated to increase several-fold.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
40. Kris - this is really quite simple
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 09:39 PM by FBaggins
Do you or do you not believe that chemical reprocessing changes the amount of radioactivity?

No need to dodge. It's a simple yes or no question
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. You're right, but your question is irrelevant to the discussion.
The issue is the ability of reprocessing to serve as the answer to our waste problem.

It isn't and PamW's bullshit does not begin to make the case that it is.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. "Yes or no" cannot be substituted with "you're right"
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 09:45 PM by FBaggins
You two are either talking past one another or you're dead wrong.

There doesn't appear to be a third option.

The issue is the ability of reprocessing to serve as the answer to our waste problem.

An issue that is not clarified by discussing the total volume of waste.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Bullshit.
Ppam's post #7


Reponding to bobwallace saying "have to take care of the waste for several hundred years"
Pam wrote
"Not if you reprocess / recycle"
"only if you don't reprocess / recycle which Congress has prohibited for the USA."

That is false.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Still dodging?
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 09:54 PM by FBaggins
Do you or do you not agree that the amount of radioactivity is entirely enchanged in the process?

She has clearly spent lots of time making a clear statement and you keep posting that she's wrong... but you're building a strawman.

That is false.

It's clear that you would like to believe that. But insisting on it is not in itself evidence. Nor, frankly, is a citation that the volume of waste goes up.

You end up with a very high cut that does NOT need to be "taken care of for several hundred years".
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. Adhering to the point isn't "dodging"
She said that reprocessing solves our waste problem. It doesn't.

Now you are trying to wriggle out with another false claim, that the time involved isn't "several hundred years".

That too is false.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. Inventing the point, OTOH, *IS*
She said that reprocessing solves our waste problem. It doesn't.

And you haven't demonstrated that. You posted a far-from-unbiased diatribe that made largely irrelevant claims. They "sell" fine to the true believers, but aren't persuasive. It's like Arnie's BS about the AP1000 only being able to hold 60 pounds of pressure but estimating an accident causing 59.3 pounds.

When corrected on the error you appear to offer, you focus on demonstrating the claimed fact (the change in volume) instead of whether or not the fact has thing one to do with whether or not reprocessing makes sense.

The author clearly attempts to blow smoke at the reader and leave them with the impression that we'll end up dealing with MORE radiation... and when corrected on that point you continue to focus on the irrelevancies.

Now you are trying to wriggle out with another false claim that the time involved isn't "several hundred years".

That too is false.


Not really. Sorry. If, for instance, you seperate out the U238, you don't have to "deal with" it for hundreds and hundreds of years. The stuff is everywhere already. If you wanted to get rid of it there are dozens of ways to do it permanently. The total volume of "waste" (without opening that can of worms) goes up... but the volume of stuff that you have to pay special attention to goes way down.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. The "true believer" isn't swayed by logic or science...
The "true believer" isn't swayed by logic or science.

Evidently there is a lack of understanding. Kris just parrots
the stuff he gets from UCS - the Union of "pseudo-scientists",
because they are not a scientific society - they are an anti-nuke
activist group.

Because he just parrots their missives, there's no thinking needed
and thus none is provided.

The USA has about 77,000 metric tonnes of nuclear waste that was
accumulated in about 50 years. So we average about 1,500 tons per year.
Now 96% of that is Uranium-238; or 1,440 tons per year. I think we
should put that U-238 back in the ground where we got it? Anyone
have any objection to that?

Look what the coal industry does. Courtesy of scientists from
Oak Ridge National Lab:

http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html

The coal industry is taking several times the amount that I want
to bury, and is ejecting it into the atmosphere for us to breathe.

How come the anti-nukes are so rabid about a benign suggestion from
a scientist, but there's not as big an outcry about coal.

PamW
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #49
54. Read Dr Till's statement on the Argonne process
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 10:33 PM by PamW
She said that reprocessing solves our waste problem. It doesn't.
-------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interviews/till.html

Q: And you repeat the process.


A: Eventually, what happens is that you wind up with only fission products, that the waste is only fission products that have, most have lives of hours, days, months, some a few tens of years. There are a few very long-lived ones that are not very radioactive.

The thing that makes the nuclear waste problem so challenging is the longevity of the actinides.

However, the Argonne process allows us to recycle the actinides as fuel and without
a proliferation problem. So we no longer have long-lived actinides to dispose of.

The only waste we have to dispose of are fission products with lifetimes characterized by Dr. Till as
"most have lives of hours, days, months, some a few tens of years..."

We have turned a multi-thousand year problem that appeared intractable into a problem with a longevity
of at most "..a few tens of years".

Exchanging a multiple thousands of years for "a few tens of years" is solving the problem

We can certainly "babysit" this stuff for the reasonable lifetimes denoted by Dr. Till, in exchange for large amounts of pollution-free energy.

PamW

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. He doesn't know his waste Classes
FBaggins,

Kris found something that applies ONLY to a very, very small subset of the
waste that consist of volatile components to which you have to add something in
order to stabilize them.

It doesn't apply to the vast bulk of the waste which, as you know is just U-238.

Again, if I use my doctors office analogy with medical waste mixed in with ordinary
trash. We may have to put the medical waste in a baggie before we dispose of it as
medical waste. Hence we've increased the volume of the component that is true medical
waste and has to be disposed of as such.

However, sorting the waste and separating out the office trash is a winner even if you
have to put baggies on the used needles.

Every scientific society says that we should be reprocessing and recycling.

The French aren't hollowing out a mountain in the Alps like Yucca. The long lived
waste is recycled back to their reactors to be burned as fuel. The short lived waste
is held in vaults at La Hague until it decays enough to be released. The reduced volume
of the waste allows them to do this.

PamW

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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. ONE reason to avoid nuclear power...
is the erraaa.... difficulty of WHAT to do with the waste. IT'S TOXIC FR IMMER UND EWIG! Decomission, decontaminate, my skinny schwatze Po!

What is happening in Japan is comparable to the global financial markets. It's happening underground and no single entity has a handle on it. We live in "interesting" times fer sure! :crazy:
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
6. One of the biggest, most important reasons - we failed already
When I was growing up, one of the major arguments against nuclear power was that it was so expensive, so dangerous, and so militarized, that it would require at least partial fascist dictatorships to manage it.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. That was the argument; but what is the reality?
When I was growing up, one of the major arguments against nuclear power was that it was so expensive, so dangerous, and so militarized, that it would require at least partial fascist dictatorships to manage it.
=========================================================

That was the argument, but what is the reality.

The reality is that nuclear power is the second-cheapest; only coal is cheaper,
and that assumes you don't account for the externalized costs, like all the negative
health effects and climate effects from coal, as well as the radioactivity ( courtesy of
the scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory):

http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html

The USA has had nuclear power for 54 years, and not one fatality or negative health
effect to the public. Can the airline industry say that? Yet nobody says we should
stop flying.

Nuclear weapons are militarized. Nuclear power is not. The connection is pure propaganda
by those opposed to nuclear power. Commercial reactors owned by private companies are NOT
used for nuclear weapons, AT ALL!!

As far as needing a fascist dictatorship; the USA has used nuclear power for 54 years and
has had no need to impose a fascist dictatorship.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Nuclear cheerleaders live in a fantasy world.
Name: Alan Leshner Address:
1200 New York Avenue NW Washington, DC, 20005
American Association for the Advancement of Science

General Comment
Docket ID NRC-2010-0372 To the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:
The Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science submits the following comment on behalf of the Association:
"The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) supports the American Physical Society's petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that would require that those seeking Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval of new uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing technologies provide a formal Nuclear Proliferation Assessment as part of their application. AAAS recognizes that new technologies can have far-reaching social consequences. New uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing technologies not only have safety and environmental consequences, but can pose a proliferation risk. All three consequences are within the NRC's regulatory purview.

"Although the NRC states that the proliferation consequences of new technologies are assessed as the "net effect" of its entire review process, the AAAS believes that nuclear weapons proliferation is important enough to merit explicit attention in the NRC application and review process. Given the critical significance of nuclear weapons proliferation for U.S. and international security, it is reasonable to ask applicants for NRC licenses for enrichment or reprocessing technologies to address potential proliferation risks of their technologies prior to approval. Including a mandatory proliferation assessment as part of the NRC's licensing process will reinforce the U.S. commitment to non-proliferation and is consistent with the NRC's role "to protect the health and safety" of Americans, and we believe it is consistent with the AAAS objective of having public policy made with the best available technical input. Therefore, the AAAS urges that the American Physical Society's petition be accepted."

We thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Alan I. Leshner Chief Executive Officer
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. For the United States....
Kris, I'm talking about the United States.

What is wrong with the United States reprocessing?

The United States already has reprocessing technology.
The United States already has nuclear weapons.
The United States already has all the plutonium that it
needs for nuclear weapons, which is why it shut down
all of its weapons material production facilities.

The reference above is about sending technology to other nations
because of the proliferation risk. There's no risk that the USA
will become a proliferant nation - that ship has sailed, about
66 years ago


The USA operated nuclear weapons material production facilities
for nearly half a century; and the amount of material that was
diverted was precisely ZERO.

We can do that again.

PamW

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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Proliferation-proof reprocessing
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 06:20 PM by PamW
Additionally, Kris you need to read the Dr. Till interview with
PBS Frontline:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interviews/till.html

Q: So it would be very difficult to handle for weapons, would it?


A: It's impossible to handle for weapons, as it stands.

It's highly radioactive. It's highly heat producing. It has all of the characteristics that make it extremely,
well, make it impossible for someone to make a weapon.

Argonne National Lab has developed a reprocessing technology that makes it impossible
to use for the purpose of making nuclear weapons. That it is impossible to use the
Argonne process for weapons was certified by Lawrence Livermore National Lab, one of the USA's
nuclear weapons design labs in a report referred to by Senators Simon and Kempthorne in a letter
to the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/05/opinion/l-new-reactor-solves-plutonium-problem-586307.html

Leshner of the AAAS in not an authority on this. He has no Q-clearance, and is not
privy to the information as to what can be made into a bomb and what can not. So Leshner is
INVALID as an authority on nuclear weapons risk. However, the scientists at Lawrence
Livermore National Lab who do know what can and can not be used for weapons, after all they
designed the US nuclear weapons are the ones that certified that the Argonne process
makes it impossible to use the resulting product for bombs, as Dr. Till stated.

There's absolutely no reason for the USA not to reprocess. It reduces the amount of waste,
it reduces the longevity of the waste, and it can be done without proliferation risk.

PamW
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. There it is, proof positive that nuclear cheerleaders live in a fantasy world.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #17
65. NOPE

What you have there Kris is called an "assertion".

It's not a proof.

It's time you grew up and learned the difference.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
41. 6 standard false claims of the nuclear industry
1. nuclear power is cheap;
2. learning and new standardized designs solve all past problems;
3. the waste problem is a non-problem, especially if wed follow the lead of many other nations and recycle our spent fuel;
4. climate change makes a renaissance inevitable;
5. there are no other large low-carbon baseload alternatives;
6. theres no particular reason to worry that a rapidly expanding global industry will put nuclear power and weapons technologies in highly unstable nations, often nations with ties to terrorist organizations.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #41
60. This is where knowing the science comes in handy.
theres no particular reason to worry that a rapidly expanding global industry will put nuclear power and weapons technologies in highly unstable nations, often nations with ties to terrorist organizations.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The problem with the above is the unproven, but merely asserted proffer that nuclear power technologies
are the same as nuclear weapons technologies. If one knows the science, one knows that they are not
the same technologies.

It's only when one has this big fuzzy amorphous concept that everything "nuclear" is all the same; that we get this
erroneous connection. Making that connection merely demonstrates the shallowness of the person's thinking, if one
can call it that.

It's like saying that if you know how to design a commercial airliner because your worked at Boeing, that you know
how to build the B-2 Spirit "stealth" bomber. Sure the B-2 uses some of the same principles of aerodynamics in order
to fly; but that's not what makes the B-2 such an awesome weapon. All the stealth technologies that are known by
the B-2's maker Northrup-Grumman, are not readily available to the average Joe working at Boeing on passenger planes.

But if someone said that the B-2 and the 747 were all the same because they both fly; well one would know what to
think about the depth of that person's "thinking".

In spite of all the espoused concern for a nation co-opting a nuclear power program, and obtaining nuclear weapons
that way; the number of actual present nuclear weapons states that actually did it that way is precisely ZERO.

Rather than being Aristotelian, and say "I know how the next proliferant nation is going to get nuclear weapons",
one should look at how the several present nuclear weapons states actually got their weapons. It wasn't by co-opting
a commercial nuclear power program.

PamW


PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. Dual use technologies are part of the nuclear fuel cycles.
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 11:41 PM by kristopher
Access to nuclear power technology provides access to the most of the key technologies needed to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

PS:
Is this an accurate statement of what you believe to be true regarding reprocessing?

1. (U)sed nuclear fuel contain(s) large quantities of valuable nuclear materials that can be recycled for further use in producing electricity...
2. (S)queezing more energy out of used fuel would be good for the nations economy and environment.
3. Over 95 percent of spent fuel (or used fuel or irradiated fuel) can be recycled for recovering the energy in it.
4. The balance of the waste, less than 5 percent of the total, would decay away in a few centuries.
5. Reprocessing would make use of the uranium and plutonium resources in the spent fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
6. (R)ecycling is a proven technology because at least a dozen other countries with nuclear power programs pursue it. France, in particular, has made efficient use of recycling and produces 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.
7. Proliferation is not an issue: President Jimmy Carter banned the use of nuclear recycling on the grounds it could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It doesnt, and other countries know better. France and Great Britain recycle used fuel, and no plutonium has ever been diverted from French or British recycling facilities for weapons production.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #62
67. WRONG WRONG!!!
Access to nuclear power technology provides access to the most of the key technologies needed to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.
-------------------------

There's no "most" about it. A very small amount of the technology is dual use.

But by NO MEANS is "most" of the key technologies common to the two.

The USA declassified reactor technology, but weapons technology is still classified.

Are you telling me that there is little to none in the set of information that is classified?

Have I got news for you, brother. There's LOTS of technology that is classified, and is NOT
part of the nuclear power technologies.

Nuclear weapons operate in a wide regime which spans many, many orders of magnitude in temperature
for example. Nuclear weapons get as hot as the center of the Sun because they can trigger the
fusion reactions that are used in thermonuclear weapons.

Nuclear power reactors never reach such extremes of temperature. So there's no need for the physics
in these high temperature regimes.

For someone who knows so little about basic science, as demonstrated here time and time again; you
glibly make pronouncements on questions of physics and science that you have absolutely no business answering.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
56. Expanding on the IEER points regarding reprocessing:
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 10:57 PM by kristopher
To propose, as some have done, that most of the uranium resource value in existing spent fuel could be used is in the realm of economic mythology, like the too cheap to meter slogan of the 1950s. Reprocessing plus breeder reactors are much more expensive than light water reactors today, which in turn cost more than wind-generated electricity. To use most of the uranium resource, breeder reactors would have to move to the center of U.S. electricity generation. It cannot be done using light water reactors. Even a single penny in excess generation cost per kilowatt-hour in a breeder reactor-reprocessing system would lead to an added $8 trillion in costs if essentially all the uranium, including the uranium-238, and the plutonium in the 100,000 metric tons of spent fuel that existing U.S. reactors have generated or will generate during their licensed lifetimes is to be used as fuel. At present, the economic hurdle is far greater than a penny per kWh. Further, it would take hundreds of years to accomplish the task, involving the separation of tens of thousands of nuclear bombs worth of fissile material every year. The inspection, verification, and materials accounting problems of the adoption of the approach globally would present problems that are far greater than any concerns to date, which have been significant. It will also require storage of a significant part of the spent fuel for very long periods likely in the hundreds of years. On-site storage is the most secure management option available today. But extending on-site storage to hundreds of years will create its own economic and security concerns. This is the principal reason that direct deep geologic disposal of spent fuel should be developed.

No reprocessing program can obviate the need for a deep geologic repository. Even complete fissioning of all actinides an unrealistic proposition will leave behind large amounts of very long-lived fission and activation products like iodine-129, cesium-135, and chlorine-36 that will pose risks far into the future much beyond the 24,100-year half- life of plutonium-239.





This is the essential line of reasoning that nuclear proponents lay out as detailed by Dr. Makhijani in this summary prepared for the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Energy as they examined the issue of nuclear waste.
1. (U)sed nuclear fuel contain(s) large quantities of valuable nuclear materials that can be recycled for further use in producing electricity...
2. (S)queezing more energy out of used fuel would be good for the nations economy and environment.
3. Over 95 percent of spent fuel (or used fuel or irradiated fuel) can be recycled for recovering the energy in it.
4. The balance of the waste, less than 5 percent of the total, would decay away in a few centuries.
5. Reprocessing would make use of the uranium and plutonium resources in the spent fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
6. (R)ecycling is a proven technology because at least a dozen other countries with nuclear power programs pursue it. France, in particular, has made efficient use of recycling and produces 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.
7. Proliferation is not an issue: President Jimmy Carter banned the use of nuclear recycling on the grounds it could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It doesnt, and other countries know better. France and Great Britain recycle used fuel, and no plutonium has ever been diverted from French or British recycling facilities for weapons production.

As we shall see, conclusions such as those put forth by Professor Miller, while typical, do not hold up to the facts. The French have not solved the waste problem. Indeed, reprocessing has not and cannot solve the problem of nuclear waste in the sense implied above that all but a few percent of the used fuel can be recycled efficiently and the remaining problem could be solved by storage for a few hundred years. Nor have the proliferation, cost, and technology problems associated with the so-called recycling been solved. Finally, converting most or all of the uranium-238 into fuel for new reactors will create large amounts of radioactive waste and likely involve huge additional expenses (Section G).

We begin with some background on the French reprocessing because, as noted above, it is a common point of reference in the present discussion in the United States about reprocessing. France has made more extensive use of reprocessing than any other country. It has supplied reprocessing services to other countries. It has had highly favorable conditions for deployment of reprocessing technologies because the two corporations that own the reprocessing plant and use the resulting plutonium fuel were 100 percent government-owned during the main period of deployment and are still about 85 percent French government-owned.18


I strongly urge everyone to read this paper for themselves. It details the claims made regarding reprocessing/recycling and examines them in detail for validity.
The claims do not withstand scrutiny. I particularly recommend section G starting on page 37 for the way it brings reality into the discussion by showing how long it would actually take to burn up the existing stockpiles of spent fuel as proposed by nuclear industry supporters.

http://www.ieer.org/reports/reprocessing2010.pdf
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. I stongly urge...
I strongly urge everyone to read this paper for themselves.
------------------------------------------------------------

I strongly urge people to learn the science so that they can make up their own minds.

Rather than read a pre-distilled "position paper" by some group of activists that present
their side of the argument; I would suggest that people learn science from truly authoritative
non-biased sources.

Why let the IEER, or the UCS, or Kris or whoever; do your thinking for you.

When it comes to thinking this out; the average reader here is better equipped than
any of the above.

Look at the monumentally egregious mistakes in understanding demonstrated in
the posts of this thread.

Think for yourself. You are better equipped for it than some here.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Is this an accurate statement of what you believe to be true regarding reprocessing?
1. (U)sed nuclear fuel contain(s) large quantities of valuable nuclear materials that can be recycled for further use in producing electricity...
2. (S)queezing more energy out of used fuel would be good for the nations economy and environment.
3. Over 95 percent of spent fuel (or used fuel or irradiated fuel) can be recycled for recovering the energy in it.
4. The balance of the waste, less than 5 percent of the total, would decay away in a few centuries.
5. Reprocessing would make use of the uranium and plutonium resources in the spent fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
6. (R)ecycling is a proven technology because at least a dozen other countries with nuclear power programs pursue it. France, in particular, has made efficient use of recycling and produces 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.
7. Proliferation is not an issue: President Jimmy Carter banned the use of nuclear recycling on the grounds it could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It doesnt, and other countries know better. France and Great Britain recycle used fuel, and no plutonium has ever been diverted from French or British recycling facilities for weapons production.
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Summary
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 11:52 PM by PamW
1) Yes - if one uses a reactor like Dr. Till's IFR and the Argonne reprocessing technology.
2) Yes - getting more energy from the same fuel is better.
3) No - I didn't say that. I said 95% of the spent fuel is U-238
4) No - read Dr. Till's statement again.
5) Yes - to the extent that usable uranium and plutonium could generate energy and supplant fossil fuels.
6) Yes - proven, but can still be improved upon as the Argonne process is an improvement.
7) Yes - the weapons labs were able to make a nuclear weapon from spent fuel from a Generation 1 reactor
with burnup less than 25,000 Mw-days/metric tonne. We don't have any more Generation 1 reactors; we
have Generation 2 reactors that in the '70s were getting burnups of 45,000 Mw-days per metric tonne.
With improvements through the years; these Gen 2 reactors are now getting burnups in the range of
55,000 to 60,000 Mw-days per metric tonne. The higher the burnup - the more difficult to use as a
weapon fuel.

However, any future reactors don't need to be Gen 2. We could build reactors like Argonne's IFR.
As Dr. Till stated in his interview, and as confirmed / certified by Lawrence Livermore National Lab,
the designers of the USA's nuclear weapons; LLNL certified that it is IMPOSSIBLE to make nuclear
weapons with the material that Argonne's reprocessing methods generate.

On this last point, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore are the true authorities as to what can and
can not be done in the field of nuclear weapon design. Anyone outside those labs that says he / she knows
what truly can or can not be done is bluffing. True nuclear weapons design expertise in the USA resides
ONLY at those labs.

Additionally, the IFR recycling process as actually demonstrated by Argonne National Lab at the prototype
IFR reactor at the Argonne-West site in Idaho; the recycling is done on the reactor site. The process
does not require a large chemical processing facility. The Argonne process is compact enough so that each
reactor has its own reprocessing facility in the high radiation area of the plant. There's no opportunity
for personnel to have access to the area. Everything is done remotely in a high-radiation environment. Also
there's no shipping of either spent fuel or plutonium on the open roads. Natural or depleted uranium can be
used as a feedstock, bred into plutonium in the reactor, recycled in the reactor containment, burned, and
discharged as short-lived fission products.

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. Good. You are clearly on the record.
I strongly urge everyone to read this paper. It details the claims made regarding reprocessing/recycling and examines them for validity.
The claims do not withstand scrutiny. I particularly recommend section G starting on page 37 for the way it brings reality into the discussion by showing how long it would actually take to burn up the existing stockpiles of spent fuel as proposed by nuclear industry supporters.

http://www.ieer.org/reports/reprocessing2010.pdf
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #63
64. The parts I read were just plain WRONG!!
The parts of the report I read were just plain WRONG.

For example, on pages 27-29, they talk about the IFR and make many of the points that
I made. Then they just dismiss the whole lot and say that nuclear weapons can be
made from the Argonne process.

What is IEER's expertise in nuclear weapons anyway. If they have any type of effort in that
regard, then they are legally in VIOLATION of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

But they aren't in violation; because they have no expertise in nuclear weapons. They don't
know what can or can not be done. They have never conducted a nuclear test. They don't have
the computers nor the software, nor the data on certain materials in certain regimes of phase
space because this data is classified.

Without expertise, without tests, without computer modeling, without data; what good are any
scientific conclusion on nuclear weapons from IEER?

They just assert - they don't offer any proof; or even a hint of plausibility.

On the other hand, we have the certification to the Congress by Lawrence Livermore National
Lab that IFR produced materials used in nuclear weapons is physically impossible.

LLNL being one of the two nuclear design labs; does have all the facilities and expertise
that I point out that IEER lacks. It is one of only two sites that can legally possess this
capability under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

So what good are these mere assertions by IEER?

PamW

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #64
66. What good are these mere assertions by you, a known purveyor of false information?
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PamW Donating Member (566 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-11-11 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #66
68. Evidently you aren't reading or at least understanding.
Edited on Sun Dec-11-11 01:14 AM by PamW
You may think that I'm lying; but that's your mistake.

First, I am not telling people to believe me because I say so.

I've been saying that people should believe the things that Dr. Till says.
Or believe the things that Lawrence Livermore National Lab has told Congress...

I'm not saying believe me. For example, on my little lesson on radioactivity,
did I ask people to determine what was radioactive and what was not based on
my say so? NO - I pointed them to a tool at Brookhaven National laboratory.

For the fact that nuclear weapons can not be made with material from the
Argonne process; did I tell people to believe because it what I say?>
NO - I gave them the words of nuclear physicist Dr. Till as told to
historian Richard Rhodes in a PBS Frontline.

I gave you a link to the letter that Senators Simon and Kempthorne wrote
the New York Times about what LLNL said about the IFR and its proliferation
resistance as characterized by Dr. Till.

Sorry - but NO - I have been telling the truth - and telling people where
they can get the information to see for themselves from true scientific sources.

You keep posting crap from activist groups. There's nothing forcing the activitst
group to tell the truth in their reports. So they lie and you believe them.

However, when Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reports something to Congress;
they are telling the truth. They work for Congress. It's Congress that pays them,
not the nuclear industry. The national labs are the Government's and Congress's
best council as to what true scientific truth is. That's part of their function
in the federal Gov't.

The New York Times in its June 26, 1994 editorial evidently fell for the same
claptrap about the Integral Fast Reactor that many here have. However Senators
Simon and Kempthorne wrote the letter that I linked that told the editors of the
New York Times that they were WRONG. The Senators cited a report from
Lawrence Livermore National Lab, which is one of only two true authorities on
nuclear weapons design in the USA that said the New York Times was WRONG.

Senator Paul Simon was a Democrat. He was on our side. Why do you think the good
Senator would say the New York Times was wrong, if it wasn't.

It appears there's no shortage of groups that will claim they know inside
classified stuff, when they are truly clueless. I think they do it because
there are so few labs that have the true expertise and they have better things
to do with their time than correct the missives of the odd greenie group. However,
this time the greenies offered their misinformation on a topic that the Congress
had already asked and got a definitive answer from the definitive authority.

One wonders what it takes in terms of mental faculties to still believe some of
these groups. I guess self-righteousness can cover over a lot of proven lies.

PamW



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