[ RadSafe ] Plutonium from Power Reactors

Don Jordan DonJordan at ramservicesinc.com
Thu Apr 10 17:53:00 CDT 2008

Otto Raabe wrote:

>We have plenty of relatively cool old fuel rods being stored at
>nuclear plants around the country and I think we should not be
>burying them in Yucca Mountain or anywhere else.

Years ago I attended a short course on radioactive waste disposal and a DOE
representative gave a short description of the care they were taking to
study the Yucca Mt. site.  He mentioned, in particular, that they were also
ruling out the presence of deposits of precious metals like gold & silver
that might tempt someone to breach the containment.  I thought to myself:
"My god, your building a plutonium mine, & you're worried about chump change
like gold?

There are only 2 possible futures: either succeeding generations will be at
least as technologically capable as us, or they won't.  If they are not,
then they have bigger problems than nuclides leaching from Yucca Mt.
Worrying about the potential presence of gold at Yucca Mt. suggests an 1849
gold rush view of the future:  gritty prospectors  hacking into the
repository with picks, shovels, and nitroglycerine.

Maybe we should readjust our attitudes & choice of words & stop calling
Yucca Mt. a nuclear waste dump.  Instead call it a "precious energy legacy
for our heirs" & rename it the Strategic Energy Reserve.  The Pu will be
mined & reprocessed eventually, so why not now?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Otto Raabe" <ograabe at ucdavis.edu>
To: "Brennan, Mike (DOH)" <Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV>; <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: 10 April, 2008 5:04 PM
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Plutonium from Power Reactors

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