[ RadSafe ] Reprocessing

Doug Aitken JAitken at slb.com
Tue May 29 10:33:02 CDT 2012

One of your fission fragments, Cs137, would be very welcome as a GR source for many applications, not the least being Well logging. Currently, all Cs137 is coming from Russia, with costs about 5-10 times what it used to.....
Likewise Am241, besides its use in smoke detectors, when mixed with Be is a primary source of Neutrons for well logging. And again, the only currently commercially available source is Russia, with the same inflation in costs.  

But the good news is that the "smart" logging companies are getting away from the use of these isotopic sources in favor of miniature accelerators (oops: where is the source of tritium.... <G>) 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of JPreisig at aol.com
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 11:11 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Reprocessing

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 volume.
            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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