[ RadSafe ] Spent Nuclear Fuel Utilization

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed Sep 22 17:16:05 CDT 2010

For the stuff your REALLY will never want again, rather than drop it
into the deepest part of the ocean, drop it into deep ocean subduction
zones, on the side sliding under the other tectonic plate.  After a
quick trip to the mantel and back up through volcanoes, the species that
replaces the species that replaces mankind can deal with what hasn't

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Blaine Howard
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:17 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Spent Nuclear Fuel Utilization

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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