[ RadSafe ] 600 years

blreider at aol.com blreider at aol.com
Fri Sep 24 19:55:16 CDT 2010

Dear Mr. Richel:

I found a statement to the US Senate by Dr. Dade Moeller regarding a Health Physics Society recommendation for spent fuel storage; this includes a discussion on the radioactivity of spent fuel.  Dr. Moeller is a reputable source, and a great communicator.  He is retired now but, among other accomplishments, was for years a professor/department head of Harvard University's Radiation Safety department.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Moeller an attending some of his lectures.


I believe this is a quotable source as it is on the Health Physics Society website.  You could also look Dr. Moeller up to ask him directly.  Hope this helps.

Barbara Reider, CHP

-----Original Message-----
From: Theo Richel <theo at richel.org>
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) MailingList <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 5:02 pm
Subject: [ RadSafe ] 600 years

I m a journalist from the Netherlands interested in nuclear waste. Petr
eckman (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
emoved from the biosphere: nuclear. Their volume is more than one
illion times 
maller than that of coal wastes from a power plant of equal capacity (a
ere 2 m3/year from a 1,000 MW plant); they can be solidified, sealed
nto glass and put in earthquakeproof, fireproof, waterproof steel drums
or burial 1800 feet deep in salt formations where there has been no
ater for the last 100 million years, and if water does threaten to get
n next week, 
he salt will seal up and keep it out. The wastes are easy to monitor
ecause, thank God, they are radioactive; and within 600 years, their
adioactivity will have decayed below the level of the uranium ore 
hat they originally came from."
Spent fuel is just as radioactive as the ore it came from after 600
ears? I cannot ask Beckman anymore, he died in 1993. Is there anyone
ere who understands why he said that? What percentage of that 2 m3/yr
aste has decayed to that level then?
I will not quote you without your permission.
Theo Richel

-----Original Message-----
rom: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Bernard L.
ent: dinsdag 21 september 2010 22:02
o: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
c: Teachout, Anna M. CIV AFRRI/HPD
ubject: 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?

ernard L. Cohen
hysics Dept., University of Pittsburgh
ittsburgh, PA 15260
el: (412)624-9245  Fax: (412)624-9163
-mail: blc at pitt.edu  web site: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc
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