[ RadSafe ] [ RadSafe Yucca Mtn.
sjd at swcp.com
Tue Sep 21 19:26:51 CDT 2010
You ended your proposal by saying " , , , and for that
reason ought to be acceptable to reasonable people."
Where do you propose to find these "reasonable
people"? (Rhetorical question, of course --- heh, heh).
At 09:03 PM 9/20/2010, Jerry Cohen wrote:
>Since my views on the Yucca Mountain Project to the effect that the
>YMP is, and always has been a dumb idea seem to have elicited some
>comments (mostly negative), from Radsafers, perhaps I should
>elaborate. To provide some perspective on the subject, allow me
>first to discuss the history of the development of HLW policy in the
>USA to give some idea on how the situation degenerated into its
>currently dismal state. Then, for what it is worth, I shall give my
>ideas on how nuclear waste should be managed in this country.
>The problem began, I believe, in 1957 when the AEC decided it needed
>to establish a policy for managing HLW. Accordingly, the AEC
>requested the NAS to form an expert committee to make
>recommendations. Unfortunately, since this committee consisted
>almost entirely of geologists and other earth scientists, it was
>apparently predetermined that underground burial of the HLW was the
>only reasonable method for disposing the waste. Initially, it was
>recommended that HLW, appropriately solidified, be emplaced in
>abandoned salt mines, where it could remain indefinitely since it
>was unlikely that water would infiltrate. Several years and millions
>of dollars later, for various political and technical reasons the
>idea was abandoned and the AEC, and successor organizations (ERDA, &
>DOE) embarked on a series of unsuccessful, schemes to bury the waste
>somewhere that would be technologically and politically acceptable.
>This approach also turned out to be a fiasco because pretty much
>everywhere (including Nevada) was in somebody's "backyard". During
>this period a few "voices in the wilderness" ,including myself,
>recommended that oceanic deposal, might be the best bet. Foremost,
>among them was Charles Osterberg, a prominent oceanographer working
>with the IAEA and, Director of their Marine Laboratory. The capacity
>of the ocean to dilute is so great that even if all the HLW
>were to dissolve (an absurd possibility) the radioactive
>concentration would still be insignificant from a public health
>standpoint. If the HLW were vitrified or solidified into an
>insoluble form, the health and safety consequences would be of no
>consequence. Of course, the actual consequences are unimportant
>compared to the perceived effects. This simple observation was
>apparent to just about everyone involved with HLW policy.
>Accordingly , if the perception of hazard (real or imagined) is the
>overriding consideration in gaining acceptability for any HLW
>management policy, why have we wasted billions of dollars on
>technological research including waste solidification methods and
>geologic studies? Does anyone really believe that Senator Reid cares
>about the solubility of the waste form, the migration rate of
>dissolved waste, or the calculated radiation dose that might result
>from any "worst case" scenario. I seriously doubt it. He just
>doesn't want it in his backyard!
> OK, so what policy for HLW management should be applied, I suggest:
>1. All nuclear fuel should be reprocessed and all fissile material
>recovered for fuel fabrication or other useful purposes.
>2. The raffinates including all unusable fission products should be
>solidified by mixing it in concrete and emplaced and solidified in
>3. The waste containing drums should be transported to the deepest
>part of the ocean, and dropped to descend (>10 km.) to the ocean floor.
>I realize that the actual application would be much more complex,
>but I think you can get the idea from the suggested steps . I am
>sure you can think or lots of reasons why this will not work, but I
>really believe that no matter how distasteful this approach might be
>to the "Greenies" , it would absolutely minimize resultant radiation
>exposure and for that reason ought to be acceptable to reasonable people.
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