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Engineering360: "Weighing the resource life cycle of nuclear power"

07/20/2022 11:00 AM

Read Engineering360 article: Weighing the resource life cycle of nuclear power.

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Guru

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Aggieland, Texas
Posts: 666
Good Answers: 8
#1

Re: Weighing the resource life cycle of nuclear power

07/21/2022 7:47 AM

As usual, they slid over the storage of nuclear waste.

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Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 211
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Weighing the resource life cycle of nuclear power

07/21/2022 11:47 AM

That issue was indirectly addressed, even though it is not a topic of the article. Did you not see that the TMR of a reprocessing cycle is 26% less than than the one-and-done practice? That means reprocessing reduces the mass of waste (including ore tailings) by that much.

The problem of waste disposal, while not insignificant, is all too frequently greatly exaggerated. The ash produced in a year from a single 1 GW coal-fired plant is about double the volume of nuclear waste produced in the entire world since the first commercial power reactor came on line. In that coal ash there are 10-15 tons of toxic heavy metals, plus the mercury that was vaporized during combustion. The heavy metals are a far greater hazard because they are diffused throughout the ash pile and cannot be readily captured and sequestered or put to use like the components in spent nuclear fuel.

Thirty years ago it was observed that the greatest difficulty with nuclear waste disposal was the politics, not an engineering problem. That has not changed. Perhaps even the engineering issue will soon be simplified; the Chinese Institute of Modern Physics claims to have developed a practical means to transmute elements in nuclear waste:


China’s ‘Particle Beam Cannon’ Is a Nuclear-Power Breakthrough - Defense One

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