[ RadSafe ] Yucca Mountain / o.4 Sv extra radiation over 10years.... / Miller and McClain, 2007

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Jul 7 14:14:43 CDT 2008


Here is your entire post I responded to:


Thank you for your question:

> Again, what connection do you bring between at-reactor spent fuel 
> storage pools and weather?

Rapid loss of load caused by flooding or forest fire, leading to cooling
needs beyond the scope of the facility will have people in large
vehicles scrambling around everywhere and that can not be good for

What is the current rate of U238 seepage from the storage facilities?

James Salsman

The question I answered was "What is the current rate of U238 seepage
from the storage facilities?"  By the context I took "storage facility"
to mean "at-reactor spent fuel storage pools".  I further assumed that
the storage pools under discussion were connected with commercial
reactors in the United States: the validity of the "commercial"
assumption supported by your definition in another post of "load" as
being an electrical load.  "Current" in this context, means "now; at
this moment, not the past or the future".  "Rate", again in context,
means "amount per unit of time (let's use day in this case)".  "Seepage"
means "something that seeps or leaks out".  Seep means "to pass, flow,
or ooze gradually through a porous substance: Water seeps through cracks
in the wall."  U238 is a pretty specific isotope, with well defined
meaning.  So, your question was "What is the amount of U238 per day
passing or oozing from the at-reactor spent fuel storage pools in the
United States?"  

The answer is, indeed, zero.  First, the pools are designed with
multiple redundancies to not leak, to detect any leaks, and are
maintained to prevent leaks.  Should a leak be detected, the liquid
would be contained and the leak fixed.  There is, at this moment,
"currently", if you will, no indication that there are any spent fuel
storage pools at any commercial reactors in the United States that are
leaking.  The current rate is "zero".  There is also no indication that
there has, in the past, been leakage that has ever reached the outside
environment from any of these pools.  

Second, the U238 is chemically in a form that is very resistant to being
dissolved in water.  It is, after all expected to be very hot in very
hot water, and not dissolve.  The U238 is also inside of multiple layers
of cladding (how many depending on the type of fuel).  The cladding is
very resistant to leaking, and thus prevents the U238 from being in
contact with the water.  

So, James, I answered the question you asked, based on the words you
used to ask it.  If that was not the question you wanted answered, then
perhaps you should have used different words that would have let people
know what question you wanted answered.  I acknowledge that it is
possible for me to be wrong, and even foolish, however, in this case
there is no indication that I am either. 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of James Salsman
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2008 3:10 AM
To: radsafelist; Dan McCarn; ROY HERREN; Steven Dapra;
Rainer.Facius at dlr.de
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Yucca Mountain / o.4 Sv extra radiation over
10years.... / Miller and McClain, 2007

Dan McCarn wrote:

> Mike Brennan has sufficiently answered your question....

No, Mike's answer of "zero" is wrong and foolish.  He hasn't even begun
to enumerate all of the ways spent fuel has entered the environment.
For example, that answer also omits this:

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