[ RadSafe ] " Radioactive cocktail: Blending waste won't lessen the danger "

Jaro jaro-10kbq at sympatico.ca
Wed Jul 2 17:00:31 CDT 2008

Presumably this will affect all sorts of Rad users ?


Radioactive cocktail: Blending waste won't lessen the danger
Tribune Editorial
Article Last Updated: 07/01/2008 05:37:06 PM MDT

Officials from our nation's nuclear power industry have devised a magical
mathematical formula that miraculously transforms dangerous Class B and
Class C nuclear waste into less-ominous Class A waste. Anxious to dispose of
their radioactive garbage, they pitched the proposal to the federal Nuclear
Regulatory Commission last week.
    Now, all it will take is a few foolish strokes of the rule-writing pen
at the NRC, and the industry will be allowed to mix waste from each category
to achieve a blend that qualifies as Class A. That, in turn, would open the
door for disposal of hotter waste at EnergySolutions' radioactive waste
landfill in Tooele County, circumventing a Utah law that prohibits the more
dangerous waste classifications.
    The trouble is, the formula defies the associative property of
mathematics, the laws of science and the canons of common sense. The only
way to make A + B + C = A is to remove B and C from the equation.
    Simply put, dilution is not the solution to pollution. No matter how you
mix it, or how long you stir, the nature of the materials won't change. The
Class B waste in the mix will still be hazardous for 300 years, and the
Class C waste will still be hazardous for 500 years. Only time, and we're
talking centuries, can render nuclear waste benign.
    Federal regulators need to see through the facade. The industry's
proposal, an act born of desperation, is nothing
more than a way to foist hotter waste on Utah, a state where the Legislature
has wisely banned all but Class A waste, which is considered safe after 100
    Obviously, after South Carolina this week closed the last remaining
Class B and C waste depository available for 36 states, the nuclear power
industry needs another place to toss its trash. And once again, the
radioactive waste facility within our bounds, and the profit-driven private
company that operates it, have proven to be attractive nuisances.
    Congress needs to move quickly to solve the problem and establish a
national disposal site for all radioactive waste. Until that happens,
nuclear power plant operators can store their poison at the plants that
produce them.
    Utah lawmakers and Gov. Jon Huntsman need to monitor this situation very
closely, and let their opinions be known. And should the NRC opt to rewrite
the rules to allow blending, the state Legislature should quickly rewrite
the law to ban blended waste from the state.


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