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Re: Spent Fuel and Possible Bomb Material

Myung -

You are NOT entering into a scientific debate.

Citizen Alert has a mission: shut down the dreaded nuclear industry and save
an unsuspecting planet from eventual destruction.

The no-nuke INDUSTRY (they're huge and well funded) consistently "kicks-butt"
in the PR arena by combining truth, half-truths, and out right fabrications.
Favorite buss words: Hirosima, Chernobyl, Plutonium, scare the willy's out of
your next door neighbors every time. They even got you wondering!

The simple truth is that 10's of thousands of people die each year on the
highway -- none have ever died from the radioactive nature of a spent fuel
shipments (and probably will never).

Transportation of spent fuel is fundamentally safe because the containers are
nearly indestructible.

Aside from that, the material inside is not explosive like gasoline trucks
(which go boom from time-to-time), does not emit toxic chemical gases (like
chlorine railroad tankers) but is basically solid and difficult to disperse.

If your interested in truth and willing to object to scare tatics, contact
NEI at 202 739 8052 and ask them to provide some facts.

Good luck.  Mike Russell (russelmj@songs.sce.com)

This city where I live is having a few activities against proposed passage
of spent fuel from research reactors around the world (and maybe US Navy)
passing through the city.  The returned spent fuel would arrive at
Concord, CA and will be headed to a western state via Nevada.  An
anti-nuclear group called "Citizen Alert" claims that the shipment have
equivalent material to make 60 nuclear bombs dropped in Hiroshima.

Could anyone tell me how this type of group derive these numbers in
general?  I do not know any info about volume or weight of the spent fuel 
being shipped.

What is the critical mass for U-235 and Pu-239?  20 pounds is coming
to my mind somehow?  Is this a classified information?

What fraction of the spent fuel would be U-235?  I assume these fuels are
highly enriched with U-235.  

This is only my opinion...
Myung Chul Jo <mjo@scs.unr.edu>
(702) 784-4540(voice)
(702) 784-4553(fax)