[ RadSafe ] [ RadSafe Yucca Mtn.
jjc105 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 21 21:20:50 CDT 2010
Certainly not in the US Congress, but hopefully there may be a few on radsafe. I
suspect that you are one of them Jerry
From: Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com>
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Sent: Tue, September 21, 2010 5:26:51 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] [ RadSafe Yucca Mtn.
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 suitable drums
> 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.
> Jerry Cohen
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