Same old, same old: Taxpayer will pick up cost of Hinkley C waste storage

On Sunday, 30 October 2016 11:32:11 UTC, Mike Tomlinson wrote:

Well, who else is there to cover it?
NT
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A more pertinent question is to wonder why it should soar.
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Lady Astor: "If you were my husband I'd give you poison." Churchill: "If
you were my wife, I'd drink it."
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Yucca Mountain: $9 billion and counting. Unused (abandoned)
Construction started in 2002, project abandoned in 2009. "the federal government owes utility companies somewhere between $300 and $500 million per year in compensation for failing to comply with the contract it signed to take the spent nuclear fuel by 1998"
WIPP: $19 billion and counting. In use
"Deep geological repository" aka big hole in the ground. In 2014 a barrel of waste from Los Alamos packed with the wrong kind of cat litter exploded and contaminated part of the plant. Radioactive waste was spread by the ventilation system and vented to the outside.
I think it would be safe to say that $9bn/$19bn is "soaring".
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On 31/10/16 20:37, Mike Tomlinson wrote:

Sigh. More guardian scare stories. More received wisdom. Zero original thought.
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Canada is all right really, though not for the whole weekend.

"Saki"
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On Mon, 31 Oct 2016 20:37:08 +0000, Mike Tomlinson

I have to admit I was quite shocked by that! Plenty of reports here http://tinyurl.com/hb6hfyo Bentonite is an extremely fine clay mineral, with a very high specific surface area (760 m^2/g IIRC), and a very high absorptive capacity, so ideal for soaking up nasties such as cat pee on the one hand or leaks from containers of nuclear waste, on the other. It's often mentioned when nuclear waste depositories are being discussed, for example at the Finnish site on the island of Olkiluoto http://www.posiva.fi/en/final_disposal/safety
But that someone somewhere should have specified 'cat litter', or even just used the words, rather than 'bentonite' specifically, opens the door to the sort of mistake that was made at Los Alamos, as 'cat litter' can be a whole range of things. It's not as though bentonite is scarce: Wyoming is full of the stuff! http://www.wyomingmining.org/minerals/bentonite/
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Chris

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The best laid plans of mice and men...
You have to wonder how they could get something as prosaic as bentonite/cat litter wrong (I know it wasn't WIPP to blame, but contractors at Los Alamos responsible for packing the waste into barrels before transportation to WIPP)
Speaking of Los Alamos, this is an interesting read:
<https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/nov/01/atomic-city-los-alamos- secret-town-nuclear-millionaires> >But that someone somewhere should have specified 'cat litter', or even

Americans are famously literal, so when the contractors ran short, someone probably nipped down to Wal-Mart and picked up a few bags of the stuff. And the rest is history :)
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On 11/1/2016 7:19 PM, Mike Tomlinson wrote:

A few years ago, Sellafield did a trial to find the most effective cleaners for removing contamination from surfaces. Along with the long established specialist products like the Decon range of detergent solutions, they tested domestic cleaners. Cillit Bang came out better than anything.
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I wrote the above with tongue firmly in cheek, but it looks like it wasn't so far off the mark.
<http://www.chron.com/technology/businessinsider/article/A-typo-and-a- bag-of-kitty-litter-might-cost-US-9186568.php>
"Investigators also discovered the trigger of the "thermal runaway event," also known as an "explosion": a dangerous combination of nitric acid and salts, triethanolamine, and "sWheat Scoop" organic kitty litter"
"The "organic" part of the kitty litter in question is crucial.
"That's because wheat, which makes up the pee-absorbing bulk of organic kitty litter, contains plant cellulose that can burn. Standard kitty litter, meanwhile, is inorganic, since it's primarily made of clay"
"So when drum-packing workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) followed instructions to add an organic variety to soak up radioactive fluids, they were unknowingly packing up what Sarah Zhang at Gizmodo called "the ingredients of a bomb""
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On 11/1/2016 6:27 PM, Chris Hogg wrote:

It was, of course, "green" and sustainable kitty litter. So that should have been alright, then.
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