Cites? The only reason I've ever seen is cost. It appears that it's
cheaper to mine and enrich fresh uranium than it is to reprocess it.
The general effect was exactly like a microscopic view of a
small detachment of black beetles, in search of a dead rat.
-- John Ruskin
I am reminded of the old story about what part of the body was the
If the ass hole quit working, the whole body had a real problem.
Right now when it comes to spent fuel rods, the ass hole isn't
And, BTW, perhaps Japan's current situation will be the impetus required
to consider that leaving spent fuel just sitting in the (intended only
for short-term storage) spent fuel pools at the various reactors isn't
Who knows, if somebody were really on the ball, maybe they would
actually for the interim kick H in the teeth and go ahead an put it in
Yucca Mtn where it was intended to go until somebody got the gumption to
actually make a rational policy decision--altho expecting that is
undoubtedly too much to hope for.
I suspect that developing and implementing a safe disposal plan for
spent fuel rods may not be very high on the priority list compared to
all the other problems this disaster has uncovered that need major
One of the key problem areas the Japanese are having is the spent fuel
pools--I have no data on how much spent fuel is onsite there but presume
there isn't 40-yrs of operation worth given that Japan does
recycle/reprocess at least some.
Certainly if they were operating under US constraints every bit of spent
fuel from the first reload would still be there and the problems would
be even greater.
One would hope that realization of that would break the current
political stalemate here and get us moving away from that (altho I hold
little optimism, one can always hope for _some_ enlightenment out of DC
Let's face reality.
The nuclear process allows absolutely ZERO tolerance for error.
Ever since the first reactor was commissioned, 40+ years ago, the
industry has been kicking the "spent fuel disposal" can down the road.
There may be no solution to the problem.
Putting spent fuel rods in a welded cask, or burying them certainly
are not long term solutions.
Again, it isn't "the industry" that's done the kicking, it's been the US
government that has hog-tied the industries hands; most notably w/ the
Carter Executive Order.
Of course there's a solution
Of course not--that's what I've been saying that the legislative
geniuses need to get out of the way.
_BUT_, given the legislative mandates that were in place, certainly
having it located at Yucca Mtn would be better than the current
alternative that there is no alternative permitted except to let it
accumulate in the spent fuel pools at the reactor sites.
Again, the problem is primarily political first and to complain that
"industry" hasn't done something when there's no permitting for them to
do anything is pointing the finger at the wrong party.
This is an interesting idea, if it can be made to work.
Yeah, I've looked at before.
I don't see how they're going to get around the issues of LOCA, etc.,
entirely any more than any other fission reactor--basic thermodynamics
will require a given amount of heat energy from a reactor to produce a
comparable amount of steam to drive the turbines and there's no less
decay heat from a given number of fissions/second spread over some
amorphous blob than there is in a cylindrical fuel rod of the same
number of fissioned nuclei in a conventional reactor design.
I don't see where it really solves the fundamental problems of accidents
or natural disasters however novel the physics.
I don't say there's no chance I'm missing something major here, but I
don't see it. If they're going to generate 1000 MWe, say, they've got
to have something like 3000 MWt from the reactor. What cools it any
Looks like there is some mental and financial horsepower involved, so
even though it may not be the end game, who knows where it will lead.
After all, isn't that what research is all about?
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