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US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities 187

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-make-sure-not-to-use-organic-litter dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes with news of nuclear plants across the U.S. dealing with the consequences of the failure of Yucca Mountain. From the article: "The steel and concrete containers used to store the waste on-site were envisioned as only a short-term solution when introduced in the 1980s. Now they are the subject of reviews by industry and government to determine how they might hold up — if needed — for decades or longer. With nowhere else to put its nuclear waste, the Millstone Power Station overlooking Long Island Sound is sealing it up in massive steel canisters on what used to be a parking lot. The storage pad, first built in 2005, was recently expanded to make room for seven times as many canisters filled with spent fuel. ... The government is pursuing a new plan for nuclear waste storage, hoping to break an impasse left by the collapse of a proposal for Nevada's Yucca Mountain. The Energy Department says it expects other states will compete for a repository ... But the plan faces hurdles including a need for new legislation that has stalled in Congress." There's always recycling or transmutation.
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US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

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  • by ghack (454608) on Monday May 26, 2014 @11:18PM (#47097095)

    The link goes to information about proposed accelerator driven subcritical reactors, but you can transmute plutonium, minor actinides, and fission products in sodium fast reactors (SFRs) or light water reactors with inert matrix fuel (LWRs). SFRs have nearly the same spectrum neutron energy spectrum as most proposed ADS blankets, and the technology readiness level is much higher. Basically anything you can do in an ADS you can do in an SFR, but you don't have the added cost of an accelerator. Moderated targets would be required for fission product transmutation.

    Passive decay heat removal is necessary whether you are talking about an ADS or an SFR. Other than the worst reactivity insertion accidents (which can be mitigated by negative reactivity coefficients) I do not see serious benefits to an ADS over an SFR.

    • by F34nor (321515)

      What about that wired article from YEARS ago about putting the waste in from of high energy (gamma?) ray to accelerate the half-life? Anyone?

      • Unmaking the waste is the only responsible course. Using an accelerator to do that may require as much energy as nuclear power has provided. So, nuclear power is a battery that you use once and then have to pay back. Fossil fuels have some characteristics like this, but biochar production for carbon sequestration can be energy positive.
        • by ghack (454608)

          This comment is simply not true. Long-lived minor actinide/fission product waste transmutation can be accomplished in an energy-producing power reactor.

          • by mdsolar (1045926)
            Not necessarily in a safe manner.
            • Not necessarily in a safe manner.

              Not necessarily in an economic manner either. Conventional nukes have safe-to-handle inputs, and highly radioactive outputs. If both the inputs and outputs are highly radioactive, costs go way up. Nukes are already uncompetitive with shale gas, and in many markets, can't even compete with wind. Nuke costs are rising while everything else is falling. That isn't even considering that nukes receive subsidized insurance, and have chronically underfunded their decommissioning reserves. Before making any lo

              • by mdsolar (1045926)
                Regardless of Reid, Yucca can't go forward. There was too much pressure to make it happen and the quality assurance measures broke. Now we don't know what else is wrong with the project. A new look at transmutation is what we really need. If transmutation is the policy, then shorter term storage is an interim option. That means that we can pull back from sea level rise and other power plant site specific problems.
          • You know why your claim is nonsense? There is a simple saying: "In theory practice and theory don't differ. In practice they do!"
            So, in theory you can transmute an element in a reactor, either by neutron capture or probably proton. Or you could aim for spallatation (smashing the nucleus into smithereens).
            However the first problem is: you need to have neutrons - or what ever is suitable for your particular element - that have the correct speed to be captured, otherwise they just get deflected like a ping pon

            • In practice the real problem is we're stuck with the dirtiest nuclear reactor design. The solid fuel, water cooled ones. Powered by Uranium.
              There are quite a few designs that consume more transuranics than are produced (molten salt reactors, any fast reactor just to name two options).
              Current nuclear reactors take 250tons of uranium, reject 215tons during enrichment (depleted uranium), making 35tons of nuclear fuel.
              Of those 35 tons, just a single ton is converted into electricity (producing fission products)

              • Again I have to say: in theory.
                Germany built two Thorium Reactors. Both needed to be shut down due to serious security and simple operating problems. In other words: they simply did not work as intended.
                While the nuclear reaction such reactors looks nice on paper, the technical challenges are not overcome yet.
                And: it does not solve the base problem, there always will be waste. So you need a waste processing industry, and that is what no anti nukey wants in his country (me included).

                • Thorium reactor means nothing to me. Thorium fuel can be used on many types of reactors, and usually it's a mix of thorium and something else.
                  So be it in theory or in practice, it seems pretty clear you don't understand what is proposed or the problems that happened in the past, and ways to avoid those.
                  Plus the anti nuclear people insist on taking any problems that happened 25+ years ago as representative of current risks of nuclear technology.
                  From the way you write, it's pretty clear to me you are just rea

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Yup. Remember the IFR design?

      I think one of the statistics was that it could meet all of our electrical needs for a century - using only waste from existing reactors. (and that statistic was two decades ago.)

      In addition to extracting much more energy from the fuel, the waste was much easier to manage. While it was EXTREMELY radioactive initially, the volume of the waste was very low, and more importantly, within 200 years it would decay to the point where it was safe (radiologically speaking, at least.

    • by delt0r (999393)
      Every liquid sodium reactor built to date has suffered periodic sodium fires. Its not as ready as you think. Also you are leaving out the fact that fast reactors are much harder to control and even more so, as in impossible, with too much actinides in the fuel. Sub critical assembly's with ADS was suggested for this reason.
      • by Cyberax (705495)
        Beloyarsk power plant has a fast-neutron reactor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org] ). It's been working without major incidents for about 35 years.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday May 26, 2014 @11:19PM (#47097099) Journal
    Thankfully, the American Mall, once a backbone of the consumer experience, has apparently hit hard times, thus freeing up a substantial (probably depressing) amount of parking lot. If Millstone Station has developed advanced parking-lot-storage technology, we should be set for centuries to come!
  • by ks*nut (985334)
    There is a disconnect - there is an incredible amount of nuclear waste from our power generation plants and from weapon production. That waste needs to be safely stored for thousands of years. Somehow steel storage tanks don't address the reality of the situation.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      The reality is pressure groups who do not wish the stuff stored in any form in the desert in California or an apparently less suitable site in Nevada. It could scare off the tourists.
      Cut back on lobbying from the gambling industry, or bribery in general, and there's some hope other than storing the stuff in place waiting for another comedy of errors like what happened at Fukushima.
    • by Firethorn (177587)

      Thing is, storing it above ground is so much cheaper(and the only current option), that it's currently the best option.

      Besides, give it a few hundred years and the radiation guards for reprocessing it should be trivial. The above-ground casks can easily last that long.

      • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @06:04AM (#47098187)

        > The above-ground casks can easily last that long.

        Really, no. Between simple exposure and the fascinating chemical interactions with the low level radio-active material of numerous kinds, there's no evidence that the inexpensive containers will last that long. It's much like a start-up companies sales chart: a few early bits of information are extrapolated into a hopelessly optimistic long term graph that is unlikely to be relevent even for the next six months, much less the next 50 years.

        There's a reasonable Scientific American article about this at http://www.scientificamerican.... [scientificamerican.com]. They're apparently only rated for 100 years, and I consider that _extremely_ optimistic.

        • Actually, there is very good data on how concrete and steel interact in an irradiated environment over the long term. Not 1000 years, but 100 years for a thick stainless steel and concrete container that has no need to serve as a pressure boundary is not hard to achieve, and its likely with more work needed that they can be shown to last for much longer, with some modifications if needed of course.

          Why do you consider them inexpensive?
          • Hm, we can not even build a concrete/steel building/bridge that lasts significantly longer than hundred years ... bold claims you make.

            • Actually, we can build bridges that last 100 years. The fact that not all bridges were built to last that long is not the measure. Bridges in many respects are a challenge because of the multiple forces they experience in combination with a wide range of environmental interfaces that controlled storage doesn't have to deal with. Not to say that there isn't a list of technical challenges for fuel storage, but we've been able to build some pretty hefty structures that withstand huge forces over time, and we'v
              • That is not my point. My point is: simple concrete won't do it.
                At a minimum you have to coat the surface to prevent erosion, at least areas where it is freezing in winter.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Besides, give it a few hundred years and the radiation guards for reprocessing it should be trivial. The above-ground casks can easily last that long.

        Out of curiosity, the same kind of curiosity engendered by a train derailment which kills several hundred, why would you think that the above-ground casks can easily last that long? A hundred years is a good estimate of a practical upper limit before a concrete and steel structure has serious problems. Steel is an incredible failure waiting to happen in this context.

        • A hundred years is a good estimate of a practical upper limit before a concrete and steel structure has serious problems.

          Steel maybe, but we have concrete structures up to 2000 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome [wikipedia.org]

          • A hundred years is a good estimate of a practical upper limit before a concrete and steel structure has serious problems.

            Steel maybe, but we have concrete structures up to 2000 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome [wikipedia.org]

            Yes, but none of those thousands of year old structures are reinforced concrete. While reinforced concrete is stronger, the iron in the reinforced steel part oxidizes over time, even when in concrete. Our modern reinforced structures will last no where near as long as those older structures have.

          • The dome is made of concrete, the rest is marble and granite ... and for the matter of fact: with roman concrete, not with our days shit. The formula how to make such concrete was just rediscovered a year ago.

    • When discussing storage of nuclear waste eveyone seems to think about storage underground first.

      For me it seems that since we are talking about often 1000 years and more this is actually a bad idea. AFAIK there is no container capable of storing nuclear wase for so long. So it seems to me that it would be best to store it above the ground in a remote and geological stable and secure building but with the necessary processing capabilities for transferring the content to a new container when the curren one st

      • by rally2xs (1093023)

        Had someone stuck this nuclear waste in an Egyptian pyramid, it would still be there, 3000 years later. So, why can't we do as well now?

        • We could even get people to pay to help build the thing as part of a theme vacation. Everyone put on an Egyptian kilt and eyeshadow and grab a rope. On three now: heave!
        • by necro81 (917438)

          Had someone stuck this nuclear waste in an Egyptian pyramid, it would still be there, 3000 years later

          No - the pyramids are still there, but the contents were cleaned out ages ago. The entire history of humanity shows that we aren't very good at hiding, protecting, or forgetting things that are valuable, beautiful, or otherwise useful to other people. All the pyramids were broken into an looted. Building pyramid tombs were abandoned because they couldn't be protected, and the pharaohs started being bur

          • by rossdee (243626)

            Having radioactive waste in a pyramid would be a real curse for the tomb robbers...

            • by grahamsz (150076)

              Only over a very long timeline.

              I almost thing the best solution would be to put something so radioactive right by the door that anyone who enters will be dead within a few days. That way there's much less chance of future archaeologists from pulling out fuel rods and stuff that will cause a slow death to many people.

      • by unrtst (777550)

        Agreed.
        I know just enough that I don't know why this is still being debated. AFAIK:

        a) Yucca mountain (or similar) plan: dig a really deep hole in a (presumably) very stable and large rock; shove all the waste from NN years in it (waste with a giant half life); cap it off decades from now and hang a sign saying, "in year YYYY, please review, reprocess, recontain, or come up with a new magic bullet to clean up this dump"... where YYYY is something like 500-5000 years from now.

        b) There *are* ways to reprocess

        • The waste from those is more volitile (ex. weapons grade stuff) but, as such, has a MUCH smaller half life.

          Umm, weapons grade Pu/U have half-lives measured in tens of thousands of years (Pu) to hundreds of millions of years (U).

          And neither should properly be considered "waste". Both can be used as fuel for nuclear reactors.

        • by Chas (5144)

          Sorry, but your power storage fantasies for solar are just that. There's, quite literally nothing in the pipeline suitable for storing the raw amount of power you're talking about. That's also failing to mention the types of environmental damage that such solar installations go hand in hand with.

          Honestly, the money would be better put into better reactor tech. Things like LFTR. Where the the few byproducts that AREN'T industrially, scientifically or medically useful are EXTREMELY short-lived.

          If Nevada w

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      " there is an incredible amount of"
      Actually the amount is very small when you compare it to the other waste produced making power. The difference is 100% is captured vs just pumped into the air.

      " That waste needs to be safely stored for thousands of years"

      Not if the fuel is reprocessed.

      • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @09:14AM (#47099099)
        There is a great skew in risk perception, in large part due to association with weapons, Hollywood portrayals, and general FUD mongering. I find it interesting that the average person exposes themselves to an untold number of toxic chemicals and materials. We live and work among pesticides, herbicides, and material coatings and preservatives. We expose great numbers of workers to manufacturing process hazards, breath dust from construction materials and lists of other airborne contaminant sources, and eat foods with additives we don't even recognize.

        Yet, when we have a comparably small amount of waste, kept away from us, that has not harmed a soul, in tightly controlled containers, is easy to monitor and detect even the smallest presence outside its compartment, it causes the country to freeze in fear. And considering that the waste is from an energy source that has offset the generation of more airborne pollutants than wind and solar combined can hope to offset in the next two decades, and you just have to wonder. Yes, there are problems with nuclear waste, but in the bigger scheme of things, we have to weigh those risks against the risk of failure to reduce the continued increasing emissions globally, betting that less affordable and reliable sources in a few countries will really get us where we need to be.
    • by cusco (717999)

      Glassification (mixing waste with sand, heating, and turning the stuff into glass) works really well. Stable, leak-proof, easy to handle. Hanford was going to start glassifying waste there a couple of decades ago, and some idiots gave the contract to Bechtel. Bechtel put up a building, got the equipment delivered, found it wouldn't fit into the building, and left it out in the rain all winter while they cashed their check. Not sure why the project didn't get re-started, I've never heard any actual objec

  • what a waste (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @12:02AM (#47097255) Journal
    What is really needed is for the feds to spend some of that storage money on new molten thorium salt reactors that can convert nearly all of the 'waste' into fuel. In fact, I wonder if we could build a conversion unit into several rail-road cars that would allow on-site processing and then move to a new site.

    Regardless, all of these short term solutions are SO wasteful, while ignoring better long-term solutions.
    While I appreciate that Obama is pushing for a solution on the illegals (which if done right, will also solve the minimum wage issues), he also needs to focus on his 'all of the above' that he spoke about WRT energy.
    • Why would the feds have to invest in that? What you propose is just another subsidy by a government that is already almost bankrupt. Why not allow the corporations to exploit this very interesting and profitable market? [/sarcasm]

      • Re:what a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @05:43AM (#47098097)

        It would not be a subsidy. The Nuclear Waste Fund [wikipedia.org] has accumulated a balance of $25 billion dollars, paid in fees over the years by nuclear plant operators. The parent is only suggesting that it be spent on developing the technology which has the greatest potential for managing the "waste", rather than waiting it out. In the end, those are the only two options: fission it, or bury it.

        Nuclear "waste" and "spent fuel" are misnomers, as conventional reactors extract less than 1% of the energy from mined uranium. It is insane to treat it as waste, when the technology exists to completely transform the remainder into energy, while eliminating virtually all of the long term radioactivity. The technology was proven decades ago, and the remaining development and commercialization could be completed using a small fraction of the available fund.

        Molten salt reactors like LFTR [wikipedia.org] would not only produce enormous amounts of electricity from that "waste", but also valuable medical isotopes, radioisotopic fuel for space probes, and rare earths. As a high temperature reactor, even the rejected "waste" heat has many potential uses, including desalination and producing ammonia [energyfromthorium.com] or other synthetic liquid fuels. Another interesting application is carbon neutral cement [energyfromthorium.com].

        Discouraging development of nuclear not only prevents safer designs and a solution for the waste issue, but also assures continuing dependence on fossil fuels in the many cases for which renewables are not suitable. (Including the production of more renewables, which require a whole lot of steel and concrete. Or to provide energy while the wind and sun are unavailable.)

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Even if you used it in an LFTR you would still have waste at the end of it, only now it is high level waste that is very hard to deal with during decommissioning. It has to go somewhere, so even though there is less off it you still need to spend billions on a long term storage facility. Given that inevitability it doesn't seem sensible to start throwing money at LFTR until you have the storage facility in place.

          In any case you ignored the GP's point. If LFTR is such a great idea and an opportunity to turn

          • Decommissioning a LFTR poses no special difficulty, and all of the salt can be recycled for use in a new plant. If anything, the liquid fuel simplifies the process. The fission products are continuously removed so that they do not build up, and can be stored safely. The bulk of them (87%) stabilize within ten years, and the remaining require storage for only a few hundred years. Starting with thorium, very few long lived actinides are produced, and those are continuously recycled into the fuel salt. On

            • I don't get why people who have not the singles clue how a (nuclear) reactor actually works are always hyping LFTRs.
              When you decommission the reactor: everything in the inside is radioactive and needs to be treated accordingly.
              Your claim that there is no special treatment necessary is just: bullshit. It needs at least THE SAME treatment any other fission reactor needs, and that already is very very expensive and very very special.

              The rest of your post lost every credibility by claiming such nonsense, if it

              • by Whorhay (1319089)

                The way I read it was that s/he meant special in relation to other existing reactors.

                • Perhaps ;) but s/he writes more or less bollocks anyway, so I don't feel the need to apologize. Shame on me!

          • Actually, you would have about 6% of what we have and it would be so low energy that it would be pretty much safe after 200 years, rather than 20,000 years.
          • by Chas (5144)

            Actually, a good chunk of the waste from LFTR are either industrially, medically or scientifically useful.

            The little that's left may be what you classify as "high level" waste. But it's totally useless for making bombs. And while it's very "hot", it's also extremely short-lived.
            Properly built and timelined, a good chunk of the waste generated will have decayed into safety by the time it comes to decommission the reactor and most of the material will decay into safety within a human lifetime. Instead of t

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          It would not be a subsidy. The Nuclear Waste Fund has accumulated a balance of $25 billion dollars, paid in fees over the years by nuclear plant operators.

          The Nuclear Waste Fund is not going to cover 100% of the costs going forward.
          Any money spent out of that fund is going to be money spent by the government later.

          Why? Well, as we've been finding out, just about every nuclear plant designer/builder/operator underestimated how much it would cost to shut down and re-mediate nuclear power sites.

        • wow. I thought it was over 100 B? Only 25B? That sux. Still, with say 10B from it invested into MST along with reprocessing of the waste, it would enable our nuke copmpanies to not only make a profit, but remove their waste.
          • It is probably more since wikipedia was last updated, and plant operators will continue to pay into it for decades in some cases. Two things to consider: decommissioning plants early reduces such funding, and as more are decommissioned, the cost should fall.

            Virtually all of the costs associated with nuclear are artificial, wether the endless litigation and permitting barriers, or the industrial base and technology development which has stagnated for decades. These problems are solvable, and nuclear could

      • by stdarg (456557)

        Why not allow the corporations to exploit this very interesting and profitable market? [/sarcasm]

        You know that the market in enriching nuclear fuel, is umm rather tightly regulated?

        That's why the feds would have to invest in that.

      • Considering that we have some odd 100's of billions for nuke storage (supposedly), I would say lets invest that into pushing MTS reactors. That way, less than 6% of 'waste' has to be dealt with.
    • Re:what a waste (Score:4, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @02:11AM (#47097579)
      The nuclear industry killed off the molten thorium salt reactor by lobbying against it due to fears of it's success cutting back on the lifetime of their investment in Uranium reactors and infrastructure. They drove the head of that project out of the nuclear industry for daring to suggest that thorium designs would be safer than existing plants. Unless something changes to prevent their opposition or to prevent them getting money into the right pockets your thorium dream is not going to happen in the USA.
      However there is some hope in India, although some of their earlier thorium stuff was partly smokescreen for a weapon program. Molten stuff is potentially vastly cheaper than conventional reprocessing.
      • ^I think that's a fair characterization of the path we took, I'll only add that PWR technology was a bit easier to develop and refine for defense applications, making it the 'most commercial ready' technology available at the time when commercial nuclear power emerged.

        I certainly think we continue to miss the boat with other nuclear generation technologies as a country.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          Some time before Carter it became about being a taxpayer funded cashcow instead of viable commercial projects. There has been no incentive to improve and a large incentive to prevent anything that makes the installed reactors look obsolete.
      • by delt0r (999393)
        No it wasn't. Its a lot more complicated and more difficult that plain PWR and BWR. Plain and simple. Also solid fuel designs keep the radiation much more localized which makes maintenance much cheaper. Thorium salt reactors are a very long way from ready or even so much as demonstrated. Sure there was a small one, that *didn't* breed, that *didn't* do the in situ processing, that was tiny and only *suggested* materials to fix the corrosion problems. It did not demonstrate any of that. On top of all that is
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      If they can make the molten salt reactor (MSR) that Alvin Weinberg worked on in the 1960's work on a commercial scale, it could not only eliminate the depleted uranium-235 fuel rod waste disposal issue, it could also be used to get rid of the plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons, too. And there is a lot of leftover plutonium in both the USA and Russia due to the retirement of many nuclear weapons due to the START treaty.

    • The economy runs on waste. If the government did things even moderately efficiently 90% of the population would need to be unemployed, which would cut into the the profits of everyone.

      • by delt0r (999393)
        I think you need a new tin foil hat, the current one you have is not working.
  • by cyn1c77 (928549) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @12:53AM (#47097411)

    Who would have thought that it would be THAT hard to get rid of something composed of 95% Uranium?

  • Politics of Yucca (Score:3, Informative)

    by mdsolar (1045926) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:47AM (#47097965) Homepage Journal
    The link on the failure of Yucca Mountain misses the key issue: http://www.macalester.edu/acad... [macalester.edu] Scientists at USGS falsified Quality Assurance reports. Doing this meant that no confidence could be placed in the work. There was no way to know if Yucca was suitable and every reason to think it was not.
    • Re:Politics of Yucca (Score:5, Interesting)

      by homey of my owney (975234) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @06:49AM (#47098353)
      Well sure. It was an incredible find for the opponents, and an incredibly sloppy move on behalf of USGS. But the science was redone by Sandia Laboratories and it, not the prior science, was submitted to the NRC during the licensing process.

      The POLITICS of Yucca was that Harry Reid did not want it, Obama had a Nobel prize winner (Chu) illegally cancel the project by pulling the license. The two had the NRC deliberately disobey a law, passed by Congress and signed by the prior President. A Federal court has so ruled that to be the case - http://www.world-nuclear-news.... [world-nuclear-news.org].

      But again, the POLITICS of Yucca, left a site and Congressional mandate unable to move because there is no funding.
    • Politics of administering the Brogans to the cylindrical metal container to further its advance down the pathway.

      There is no political will for a highly unpopular project like nuclear waste disposal. Though it's clear leaving the spent fuel laying about is a disaster waiting to happen, they're not harming anything this election cycle so let's worry with that later.

      I don't know if it works this way everywhere, but in the American school of political discipline, it's a given that troublesome legislative age

  • One of the first sentences on the nuclear reprocessing page linked reads "Nuclear reprocessing reduces the volume of high-level waste, but by itself does not reduce radioactivity or heat generation and therefore does not eliminate the need for a geological waste repository." Emphasis mine.

    Of course reprocessing would be great, but it doesn't let us side-step the political bungling of the repository issue.

    • by delt0r (999393)
      The thing is that the volume reduction is about 65x. Quite a lot. In fact with correct on site processing and neutron spectrum control, and sub critialicaly in the right places. A 1GW plant needs a fairly small room to store all active waste for the required times. That is after about 100-200 years, the first stuff you put in there is now safe and can be taken out.

      Such a nuclear plant however would be a major R & D project and there is nothing to say it would be cost effective.
  • Consume spent fuel and waste, and turn it into power:

    http://gehitachiprism.com/what... [gehitachiprism.com]

    Though I think avoiding sodium (in a LFTR, for example) is a safer choice, given its behavior when wet..

  • Judging from the comments, it looks like we still don't have a solution to the problem of nuclear waste in spite of years of study and research.
    It would probably be best to stop making more nuclear waste until we have a safe method of getting rid of it.

  • We should store it all up Harry Reid's ass. Plenty of room there for all the waste ever generated.

  • Isn't that what was done before? With Nevada winning the competition, and all those jobs building the repository at Yucca Mountain?
    • by mdsolar (1045926)
      No, it was a hot potato and Nevada got stuck with it owing to lack of seniority. The correct thing to do is to evaluate a large number of promising sites using science, find a few that could work and then find which place will take the lowest bribe to accept the site.
  • ok, no one wants to store the stuff. No one seems to want molten salt reactors. No one seems to want sodium cooled (or lead cooled). IFR was canned (it's a sodium cooled reactor, if I recall correctly). Hi temp gas cooled fast-neutron breeder reactors are not on the shopping list either. Can we consider something like CANDU heavy-water reactors, which at least can burn up more of the fissionable stuff than a standard PWR or BWR?

    I'm not particularly a CANDU fan, the design isn't perfect... They've had

  • The number of conspiracy theories expounded here is like a garden of skunk cabbage. There is one conspiracy in this matter, the effort to falsify quality assurance data at Yucca. Everyone's unstable and and cracked vessel reactors failed on their own lack of merit. We tried them, they were not any good. It is a matter of attrition. The next big accident in the US will kill the other reactors as well. Nuclear power is too expensive to survive in any case so maybe we'll be lucky and Fukushima will be th

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