Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally Someone is Talking About Nuclear Waste Recycling

We are finally getting serious discussions into reusing nuclear fuels instead of burying it in the middle of the Nevada Desert.

The Technical Review Board, which holds public meetings about three times a year, on Wednesday therefore focused on alternative strategies like building a new class of reactors that could accept the “spent” fuel from existing reactors, deriving some energy from the wastes and breaking down the most difficult, long-lived materials into elements that are easier to handle.

Why this isn't happening right now is because of the "Worst President of all Time" Jimmy Carter was short sighted about nuclear waste in the 70s. Some of this stuff had the possibility of maybe being weaponized sometime in the distant future so he banned the whole practice.

This recycling should have been going on in the US for decades so we would not even need Yucca Mountain right now. Hell, if the UN is worried about proliferation they can station an IEAE representative on the grounds of each and every one of these recycling reactors to make damn sure that material isn't used for weapons.

But the basic premise of reuse is open to question, said Ernest J. Moniz, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former deputy secretary of energy.

I think this Moniz character needs to give up teaching because he has obviously lost his mind. The basic premise of reusing this stuff is so we don't have to store radioactive elements for 1000s of years under the ground. There is no other reason to do it and due to some idiot Peanut Farmer we haven't been doing it since the 70s.

He told the group that most of the thinking on reusing the fuel dated from decades ago, when uranium was thought to be scarce. But now, “roughly speaking, we’ve got uranium coming out of our ears, for a long, long time,” Professor Moniz said.

Who cares if we have uranium coming out of our ears. Every ton of waste that powers a feeder reactor is a ton of waste that does not have to be stuck in a barrel and buried under the desert.
How this Moniz guy is advising anyone on nuclear power is totally beyond me.

I mean he is a physicist and not a nuclear engineer but he should know that nuclear waste in a barrel has the potential of seeping into the ground water. These barrels will need to be guarded 24/7/365 so they aren't stolen and they will have to last for 1000 years. But using that same waste to power another nuclear plant gets rid of the vast majority of this waste while providing power as well. I'm still taken aback that an MIT physicist could say such an ignorant thing.

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