[ RadSafe ] Reprocessing

JPreisig at aol.com JPreisig at aol.com
Mon May 28 23:11:11 CDT 2012

Dear Radsafe:
      This is from:    _jpreisig at aol.com_ (mailto:jpreisig at aol.com)       .
      Hello again.
             Reprocessing HLW (High Level Waste) is a technical as well as 
a political  decision.
      With the $$$ available in the Yucca Mountain  and/or Nuclear Savings 
Funds, one might be
      able to set up one test reprocessing  facility in the USA.  Other 
regional reprocessing
      facilities could be built eventually.   Guess these centers could be 
built in areas/states which
      would welcome them.
            One  argument against reprocessing is nuclear proliferation.  
The products of  reprocessing
     are fission fragments, U235, U238, Pu, Long lived  radionuclides and 
so on.  See the Fission/
     Reactor Book by Nero and Nuclear Physics  books by Kaplan, Segre etc.
            I guess  French and/or US companies could be sought to run such 
a facility.
           Pu from  reprocessing could be sent directly to the US 
government.  Or perhaps it  could
      be mixed with U238 (at a 5% Pu enrichment  level) and used in an 
eventual Pu reactor.
      Would this fuel mixing scenario be viable???  --- the question is 
directed at nuclear engineers
      and/or Health Physicists working at US  and/or other reactors.
           U238 could be  used in reactor fuel for re-use.
           Fission  fragments (Sr-90, Cs-137, etc.) could be sent to Yucca 
Mountain (perhaps  WIPP??)
       for 300 year decay (10  half-lives).  Long-lived radionuclides could 
be put in Yucca mountain, 
       or perhaps somewhere else.  
             Reprocessing separates off the various fuel components, 
allowing the volume for  long-lived 
       storage (disposal???) to be less than  the original spent fuel 
            The USA  doesn't have to reprocess HLW, but maybe it should 
develop expertise in  this
        area.  What actually will  happen --- your guess is as good as 
mine.  After 50+ years,
        we're still waiting on Fusion to  come through.  Ho Hum.
             Be  Good...    Regards,     Joseph R. (Joe)  Preisig, PhD

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