[ RadSafe ] 600 years

Bernard L. Cohen blc at pitt.edu
Mon Sep 27 15:00:56 CDT 2010

  The 600 year figure applies to the residue after very sophisticated 
chemical processing (which has yet to be demonstrated on a commercial 
scale). Without chemical processing, the time for the spent fuel to 
decay as specified would be several tens of thousands of years

On 9/24/2010 4:26 PM, Theo Richel wrote:
> Hello,
> 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.
> Thanks
> 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.
> Cohen
> 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
> attachment.
> 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
> participatory
>> roles of the states and the public.  Various agencies within the
> federal
>> government predicted (decades ago) that the site selection process and
>> the construction would likely be controversial because there are so
> many
>> entities involved (Sec DoE, Congress, the President, the states,
> Native
>> American Tribes, and the general public).  Political posturing and
>> anti-nuclear activism haven't made the undertaking any less
> complicated
>> 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

More information about the RadSafe mailing list