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Cleaning up nuclear waste from power stations, and the hastles it represents

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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 04:09 PM

The liquid wastes can be treated to bring them to set levels and then discharged into the environment. However, even after extensive multi-level treatment, the solid wastes leave a considerable amount of residues of long-life nuclear isotopes.

These have first to be loaded into thick walled lead containers, the containers hermetically sealed by a special technique, ‘vitrified’ and then buried deep in hard rock cavities in shafts of disused metaliferous or coal mines, making sure that the shafts are free of water ingress. Such storage has to be for several decades. This whole process is technically demanding and expensive but has to be done to ensure human and ecological safety.

Original article

Me, I believe that nuclear energy could be relatively safe. The technology exists to make it safe; that much I believe wholeheartedly. The problem I see is actually getting companies to abide by safety protocol and legislators to enforce the laws. After reading this article, it's no wonder people are always wanting to take shortcuts; that's a long, painful, and probably very expensive process.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 04:16 PM
When thin film layers of particulates are dispersed all over vast geographic areas, it is next to impossible to even clean up a small % of it.

This thin film does not just stick to the surface of things it lands on, because with the rain it can hitch a ride down into the ground below the topsoil.

After a few months of it swirling around and depositing all over, there is really no clean up effort that could make a dent in the situation.

Honestly we would need some extremely advanced technology to deal with this. Like some type of electromagnetic device that could use magnetism to isolate the radioactive particles and remove them safely into a type of force-field containment structure. But yeah I admit that's 5,000 years ahead of where we are at now.

But hey on the bright side. Since Fukushima pollution will be here for many thousands of years, maybe that gives someone in the future a reason to invent the devices I envisioned above!

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

Oh indeed. By the time they invent something like that, far into the future, it should be considerably easier to come up with. Every human will have at least 2 heads and 3 arms from the pollution between now and then.

posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 06:31 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

lol. By the time we have the technology to do all that, we'll have evolved the ability to live with the radiation and simply won't need it.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:52 AM
There are a number of possible ways to deal with nuclear waste. It can be; placed in special flasks; vitrified (turned into a glass); or turned into material known as synrock. These can all be buried in geologically stable areas such as; salt-mines; deep boreholes; or deserts. Arguably these are long term hazards. Long lived waste that is significantly radioactive for thousands of years however, makes up a small fraction of the waste, practically all of this long-lived waste can be destroyed while creating enormous amounts of energy using advanced recycling technologies that have already been demonstrated. 1 metric tonne of nuclear waste can create 2.5 gigawatt-years of heat or around 1 gigawatt-year of electricity if utilized in a fast reactor with full recycling.

This of course, only deals with contained nuclear waste. Contaminated land from accidents such as Fukushima are extremely difficult to clean up - about the best we can do is remove the topsoil from the most contaminated areas, prevent firewood collection from these areas, and stop farming in these areas. As far as I know the best thing that can be done is prevent these accidents from happening in the future by only building passively safe reactors (i.e. no electricity required for cooling) located only in relatively geologically stable areas.
edit on 19/6/11 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 12:06 PM
reply to post by gnosticquasar

Cleaning up nuclear waste from power stations, and the hastles it represents

What are hastles?


The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.

1. hostess
2. elastase
3. saltless
4. salts
5. assets
6. Salt Sea
7. sightless
8. East Sea
9. stylus
10. athlete's
11. Aeschylus
12. ascites
13. Scholes
14. stealth
15. stylish
16. sea legs
17. setose
18. sacculus
19. stealthy
20. stash
The dictionary lists 20 alternatives but none of them seem to fit.

Anyway, one thing I read concerns me, which is that the used fuel pools outside the reactors don't have backup cooling systems as good as the reactors. Before Fukushima, I'm not sure that would have alarmed me, because I didn't think they were as dangerous, but as Fukushima showed us, the used fuel pools can be quite dangerous if not cooled properly.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:47 PM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

You know, simply pointing it out would have been sufficient, but I see that you felt a very pressing need to take it to the level of childish mocking.

Kudos on that; give yourself a pat on the back.

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