[ RadSafe ] Spent Nuclear Fuel Utilization

Blaine Howard blainehoward at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 22 14:17:01 CDT 2010

Dear RadSafers,
  With regard to an ideal solution for spent nuclear fuel, I like Jerry Cohen's suggestion:
"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."

  However, I would suggest a slightly different approach.
1.  All spent nuclear fuel should be reprocessed and the fissile material recovered for fuel fabrication.
2.  The U-238 should also be recovered and used in breeder reactors to convert it to a fissile material to recover all available energy from the SNF.
3.  The fission products (at least much of them) should be incorporated into small glass or ceramic sources which could be utilized for food irradiation facilities and agricultural produce irradiation.

  I have worked at a food irradiation facility and know some of the advantages of preserving food by irradiation.  Agricultural produce can be allowed to ripen on the trees and irradiated to allow shipping with less spoilage.  And the tree ripened flavor is much superior.
  I regard all of the spent nuclear fuel as a valuable resource for both energy and food preservation.
Of course, the public would have to overcome its radiophobia.

 Just a thought.
Blaine N. Howard
blainehoward at yahoo.com

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