[ RadSafe ] 600 years

Theo Richel theo at richel.org
Fri Sep 24 15:26:00 CDT 2010


I m a journalist from the Netherlands interested in nuclear waste. Petr
Beckman (whom I suppose many of you know) wrote in his newsletter
'Access to energy' (1978) the following:

"But there is one and only one type of wastes that can be completely
removed from the biosphere: nuclear. Their volume is more than one
million times 
smaller than that of coal wastes from a power plant of equal capacity (a
mere 2 m3/year from a 1,000 MW plant); they can be solidified, sealed
into glass and put in earthquakeproof, fireproof, waterproof steel drums
for burial 1800 feet deep in salt formations where there has been no
water for the last 100 million years, and if water does threaten to get
in next week, 
the salt will seal up and keep it out. The wastes are easy to monitor
because, thank God, they are radioactive; and within 600 years, their
radioactivity will have decayed below the level of the uranium ore 
that they originally came from."

Spent fuel is just as radioactive as the ore it came from after 600
years? I cannot ask Beckman anymore, he died in 1993. Is there anyone
here who understands why he said that? What percentage of that 2 m3/yr
waste has decayed to that level then?

I will not quote you without your permission.


Theo Richel

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Bernard L.
Sent: dinsdag 21 september 2010 22:02
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Cc: Teachout, Anna M. CIV AFRRI/HPD
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] [ RadSafe Yucca Mtn.

  The Nuclear Waste Policy Act is the problem, as explained in the 

On 9/20/2010 4:02 PM, Teachout, Anna M. CIV AFRRI/HPD wrote:
> The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA, P.L. 97-425, 96 Stat. 2201
> )recognizes that the federal government has the primary responsibility
> for permanent radwaste disposal, as well as the important
> roles of the states and the public.  Various agencies within the
> government predicted (decades ago) that the site selection process and
> the construction would likely be controversial because there are so
> entities involved (Sec DoE, Congress, the President, the states,
> American Tribes, and the general public).  Political posturing and
> anti-nuclear activism haven't made the undertaking any less
> or less expensive.  Democracies can be oftentimes be rather messy, but
> that doesn't mean we should yearn for dictatorships, does it?

Bernard L. Cohen
Physics Dept., University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Tel: (412)624-9245  Fax: (412)624-9163
e-mail: blc at pitt.edu  web site: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc

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