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Nuclear Power?

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Nuclear Power?

Postby AstusAleator » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:16 am

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnf ... 366468.htm

Do you think nuclear power is a reasonable alternative for the bulk of our energy consumption?

Do you agree with the U.S. policy of not recycling used nuclear fuel from reactors?

What should we do with all of our nuclear waste? Right now I think the plan is to dump it into a cavern in New Mexico.
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Postby alextemplet » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:36 am

Can nuclear waste be recycled?

Nuclear power can be a good idea as long as we make sure not to cause another Chernoble.
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Postby AstusAleator » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:33 pm

Nuclear fuel (Uranium) is converted into Plutonium - which in turn can be used as fuel or bomb-material. The bomb part is what scares the U.S. into not re-using nuclear fuel. They're afraid the wrong people will get their hands on it. France has been doing it for decades though, and hasn't had any problems.

Of course, in the end you'll still have nuclear waste - regardless of how many times you recycle it - just a different isotope. So what to do with it? Store it in our back-yards where an accident could dump it into our air and drinking water? How should we transport the waste?

Yucca Mt. in Nevada seems to be where they intend to bury our nuclear waste, even though it's on a fault-line and the area has been volcanically active in the last hundred thousand years. These isotopes have half-lifes of hundreds of thousands of years.
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Postby alextemplet » Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:54 am

Is there any safer way to dispose of nuclear waste than burying it and hoping nobody digs it up?
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Postby AstusAleator » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:29 pm

Right now most of our nuclear waste is stored in above-ground storage containers at secure facilities. They move it around from time to time - which is risky in itself. That can only be a temporary solution though, and an expensive one.

Other ideas have been buring it under the ocean...
Sending it into space...

In my opinion there's really no safe or ironclad way of dealing with it, therefore we should try to limit how much nuclear waste we produce to begin with. We'll have to deal with the waste we already have, but we should make a concentrated effort to re-use and recycle and diminish our waste output.
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Postby mith » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:30 pm

Have you thought about transmutation?

Not related to philosopher's stone.
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Postby AstusAleator » Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:55 pm

Hot damn! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. That seems like a pretty reasonable way to deal with isotopes that can be transmuted. I'll have to read into it further. It looks promising.
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Postby alextemplet » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:15 am

That sounds like just crazy enough of an idea to work.
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Postby Linn » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:27 am

What about bacteria? I thought they were researching this a few years ago?
I know there is a Uranium eating bacteria.
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Postby mith » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:11 am

eating it doesn't change the fact that it's still uranium(atomically).
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Postby MichaelXY » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:29 am

I mentioned that transmutation thing to my chem prof and he looked at me like I was crazy.
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Postby mith » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:10 am

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