[ RadSafe ] Subduction Zones and Nuclear Waste

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Thu Oct 21 19:42:34 CDT 2010

Howdy Radsafe:
     This is from:  _jpreisig at aol.com_ (mailto:jpreisig at aol.com) 
     One poster to radsafe or more keeps suggesting we  put nuclear waste 
into subduction zones for 
disposal (in the ocean) and the subduction/convection cycle will carry the  
nuclear waste down into 
the Earth and keep it there.  I doubt that this would work.  The  surface 
areas at the entrance ways to 
subduction zones are usually covered by layers of sediment (accretionary  
wedges???) which would 
keep the waste from being subducted.  The nuclear waste would just sit  
there on top of the sediment layers
without ever moving downward.  Duh...
     Let's keep the nuclear waste up here on the  surface of the Earth, 
with no need to put nuclear waste in
the ocean.  Nuclear waste in the ocean was an idea for the 1950's ---  not 
very viable today.
I don't mind opening up Yucca Mountain at all.  So what will happen in  the 
November 2010 election---
eh, boys and girls.  If that republican woman upsets Reid in Nevada,  will 
the Nuclear Waste trucks be
headed to Yucca Mountain???
     Tell me it ain't so, Dr. Stabin,... HP types  sitting for the HP CHP 
exam and not knowing the difference
between Roentgens, rads and rems???  Isn't this material covered in  
many/most first health physics
courses???  HP's who don't know about plateau curves for gas filled  
detectors???  Boy, long ago,
I remember running a rad spectrum using a SCA (Single Channel Analyzer) and 
 not a MCA (Multi-Channel
Analyzer).  Talk about tedious.  This story reminds  me about my Dad 
telling me about having Dr. Geiger
as a lecturer for lab demonstrations in Germany.  Still don't know if  that 
story is true.  I'm told Geiger
was highly animated in his lab lectures and they were very well  attended.
     An interesting older book on radioisotope  methodology is by Chase and 
     Nuclear waste is Cs/Sr and things like that,  longer-lived low level 
(alpha) components and perhaps
some mobile (in groundwater) radionuclides (Tritium, C-14, Tc-99, I-129,  
etc.).  I guess the French have
limited other energy resources, and need to reprocess their nuclear  waste. 
 The USA has other energy
options, doesn't reprocess much Nuclear Power plant waste, leaving it at  
the power generation sites.
The USA spends money for storage, but doesn't waste money on reprocessing  
right now, get it???
     Global warming, oh my.  Perhaps the guy at  Penn State and the people 
at East Anglia were early
bearers of the the  global warming message.  If there was  scientific 
wrong-doing, then they should be
treated accordingly.  But this is important stuff!!!!  The  work/results 
should be revisited, re-analyzed by
more serious, more credible, better funded scientists.   The  hockey stick 
(dog leg????) in the
global warming data appears real to me, although my atmospheric training is 
 rather lacking.
     Another curve of interest that can be garnered  from the Internet is 
that of world population versus time
for the last 100 years or so.  Those data have somewhat of a  hockey stick 
(dog leg?) shape also, with 
the change in the data slope taking place in about 1945 or thereabouts  
(the start of the baby boom???).
One can imagine a 20 year lag/lead time between a person's birth and the  
time they enter the adult
(and perhaps industrial) workplace.  Compare the two curves.  I  don't want 
to support global
warming all that much, because I know so very little about it.
     Funny, in about 1991, folks at Goddard Space  Flight Center (NASA USA) 
were making Global
Circulation (Atmospheric) Model runs on an IBM 3090 Mainframe  computer, 
which might have been called
a supercomputer by some.  I also used that computer for geophysics  
calculational spectrum estimation,
and that computer's memory was stretched to the limit just to run one of my 
 programs.  I'm
sitting here, typing this e-mail, on a personal computer which far exceeds  
the memory capability of that
IBM computer.  Sounds like, one day soon, the average JOE scientist  could 
be running GCM runs on
a computer sitting right on his/her desk.
     I should end here, but I can't resist  offering.  One poster to 
readsafe offered the observation that  tritium
will leak out of vacuum systems using O-Ring Vacuum Sealing  technology.  
Boy, isn't that the truth.
One doing work with tritium should try to use Varian Flange vacuum line  
technology, or something 
similar.  Expensive???, perhaps yes.  Also in 1978, EMR  
Photoelectric/Schlumberger (Princeton Jct.,
NJ) (No, not EML in New York City!!!!) switched from using some metal which 
 I cannot recall, to Uranium
or depleted Uranium as a gas storage getter material in their Minitron  
(Also known as a Bit__otron to one
of our former QC inspectors) neutron generator processing stations.   The 
tritium is no longer introduced 
during tube processing directly from the tritium (also deuterium)  
laboratory cylinder, but rather from a
batch of uranium powder.  One heats and cools the Uranium powder to  get 
the deuterium and/or tritium
in and out of the powder.  The deuterium and/or tritium is then  absorbed 
in a filament (of the other metal)
in each Minitron tube.  Each Minitron, if it makes it through the  life, 
voltage, performance testing heads
to the oilfields for use in oil well logging.  One reaction I expect  they 
use in the well logging is 
(n, gamma) with the neutrons being produced in one part of the oil well  
logging device and a hardy
Schlumberger photomultiplier tube receiving any produced gamma  returns.  
The gas gettering technology
using Uranium was described in a brief article in a scientific journal from 
 around 1978 or before.  Such an
article might be on the internet now???  I'm not all that sure  
Schlumberger/EMR Photoelectric/Weston,
etc. sees a need to disseminate information about how their neutron  
generator tubes are built, used and
    That's all for now.  Enjoy your weekend!!!!
    Regards,   Joseph R. (Joe) Preisig,  Ph.D.
                     (not Joseph O. Preisig, formerly of RCA Princeton, 
Hightstown and Somerville, NJ  USA)

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