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Engineering360: "Recommendations address spent nuclear fuel management and research"

08/06/2021 12:51 PM

Read Engineering360 article: Recommendations address spent nuclear fuel management and research.

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Guru

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Aggieland, Texas
Posts: 582
Good Answers: 7
#1

Re: Recommendations address spent nuclear fuel management and research

08/07/2021 4:43 AM

The greatest engineering failure of all time is nuclear waste. More and more nuclear waste is accumulating in storage. This storage must be managed by humans for 50000 years. As time goes on, more and more must be managed. One major release and good-by life on earth. Who really believes humans can safely handle this storage for 50000 years and beyond?

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Guru
Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
Posts: 1489
Good Answers: 28
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Recommendations address spent nuclear fuel management and research

08/07/2021 9:08 PM

This waste (I call it used fuel--you'll see why.) is a problem. However, it can be used as fuel in a Gen IV nuclear reactor. That is, one that uses a fast spectrum of neutrons instead of the thermal neutrons now in use in most reactors. The Gen IV reactor can utilize the "used fuel" from thermal reactors as fuel, thus getting more energy from that fuel while also reducing, by a factor of about 100, the volume and radioactivity of the waste. It can also use thorium and depleted uranium as fuel.

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Lehman57
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Guru

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Aggieland, Texas
Posts: 582
Good Answers: 7
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Recommendations address spent nuclear fuel management and research

08/08/2021 4:28 AM

This seems like the way to go right now. But there will still be waste that would have to be stored for a long time. And the fusion reactors create long term storage, too. Acquiring safe, affordable, energy seems to be quite a challenge. Fossil fuels pollute the air and will run out of supplies some day, solar panels create magnum waste piles, Hydro power depends on climate and location. Wind power is subject to climate changes but with my world wide grid plan, this could be mediated and all that metal is recyclable. Geothermal power from the earth is currently very expensive except for utilizing volcanoes. There doesn't seem to be a way to "harness the power of nature for the betterment of mankind" in a safe and sustainable way. It reinforces what I've said many times, "for every good thing in life, there's a down side".

The scary process right now is using nuclear power to desalinate. People are going to do whatever they can to get water. To get it from the sea requires a lot on energy. Nuclear power is the cheapest form of energy to desalinate. And, produces lots of waste that must be stored for 50000 years!!

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