[ RadSafe ] The world's first permanent disposal site forused nuclear fuel will be at Forsmark, Sweden's SKB announced today.
Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed Jun 3 15:38:28 CDT 2009
I am highly skeptical about "...the 100,000 years it will take until their levels of radiation return to the original low levels of natural uranium." I suspect that there is someone playing with numbers to make things look worse (not a rare occurrence). I think George's 500 years as "too low to worry about" is pretty good, and I would say only about 100 years in order to be able to handle it easily (I know that spent fuel can be reprocessed MUCH sooner, as at Hanford, however "easily" wasn't a good description).
On the bright side, everything they are planning to do is reversible, and easier for the amount of valuable material obtained than mining and processing uranium ore, so I think Forsmark will be no worse (and no better, and no more needed) than Yucca Mountain.
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf Of George Stanford
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 12:14 PM
To: Cary Renquist
Cc: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] The world's first permanent disposal site forused nuclear fuel will be at Forsmark, Sweden's SKB announced today.
Is there nobody influential in Sweden who knows that the used fuel that they're going to bury in clay -- presumably irretrievably -- still retains 95% of the energy it started with?
Nobody who knows that fast reactors can access that energy?
Nobody who knows that the waste form fast reactors (such as the IFR) is mainly fission products (one ton per GWe-year)?
Nobody who knows that the activity of that waste becomes too low to worry about within 500 years?
Nobody who knows that 90% of the ore's energy remains in the depleted uranium that's left over from the enrichment process -- energy that also can be used by fast reactors?
Nobody who knows that the IFR technology is ready now for a commercial-scale demonstration?
We don't seem to be very good at telling people about what nuclear power can do for the world, do we?
Reactor physicist, retired
At 01:43 PM 6/3/2009, Cary Renquist wrote:
Forsmark for Swedish nuclear waste
03 June 2009
The world's first permanent disposal site for used nuclear fuel will be at Forsmark, Sweden's SKB announced today.
The decision was announced by SKB President,
Claes Thegerström today after a board meeting
yesterday. Forsmark, in the municipality of
Östhammar, was selected in favour of Laxemar in
the Oskarshamn municipality after a process of
investigation and engagement that has lasted since 2002.
Site works towards the underground facility could
begin in 2013, with full construction starting in
2015 and operation in 2023. This single facility,
using only 15 hectares above ground, would hold
all of the high-level radioactive waste from the
nuclear power reactors that provide about 45% of
Sweden's electricity. SKB will apply to nuclear
safety regulators for premission to build in around one year's time.
The repository is designed to isolate the wastes
for the 100,000 years it will take until their
levels of radiation return to the original low
levels of natural uranium. Used nuclear fuel
assemblies are to be packed in cast iron baskets
within thick copper canisters and packed in clay
almost 500 metres below gound in a continguous
section of igneous rock. At that level,
groundwater movement is so slow that the wastes
could never affect life at the surface. The
method, known as KBS-3, was selected in 1983.
The competition to host the site was hard fought,
with both communities taking keen interest - both
municipalities already have nuclear facilities.
Forsmark already hosts a nuclear power plant and
the final repository for short-lived radioactive
waste, but its selection for this facility comes
as something of a surprise. The used fuel for
disposition at the CLAB interim store is in the
Oskarshamn municipality near Laxemar, as will be
the encapsulation plant. Also in that region is
the Äspö hard rock laboratory where much of the
practical work to demonstrate the disposal method has taken place
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