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PostPosted: Feb 17, 2009 11:01 pm 
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I think I lost my main point in the details. My point is that every generation leaves both good and bad things for the next one. Of the bad things, nuclear waste is less bad than many other things such as abandoned dams and garbage dumps.

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PostPosted: Feb 18, 2009 1:27 am 
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All advanced fuel cycles will produce some waste streams that will require geologic disposal, because it's not physically possible (nor economically justified) to provide perfect separation of transuranics from waste streams (both fission products and worn-out equipment).

The ideal media for disposal of these types of materials, which clearly have no potential future economic value, is in salt. The U.S. has a deep salt repository operating today in southern New Mexico, and there is sufficient room nearby to support a second repository that could be designed to manage civilian wastes.

The characteristics of this salt, around the existing Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, are amazingly good for providing permanent isolation of wastes. It's probably the best place in the entire Permian Salt Basin deposit that stretches from Kansas down to Texas.

A site like Yucca Mountain makes more sense for storing materials that might have future long-term economic value to recycle. For commercial light water reactor spent fuel, surface dry-cask storage makes the most sense because LWR spent fuel provides an excellent source of fissile material for starting up future advanced fuel cycles and is likely to have value to recycle in the relatively near term.


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PostPosted: Feb 18, 2009 2:00 am 
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Per Peterson wrote:
All advanced fuel cycles will produce some waste streams that will require geologic disposal, because it's not physically possible (nor economically justified) to provide perfect separation of transuranics from waste streams (both fission products and worn-out equipment).

The ideal media for disposal of these types of materials, which clearly have no potential future economic value, is in salt. The U.S. has a deep salt repository operating today in southern New Mexico, and there is sufficient room nearby to support a second repository that could be designed to manage civilian wastes.

The characteristics of this salt, around the existing Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, are amazingly good for providing permanent isolation of wastes. It's probably the best place in the entire Permian Salt Basin deposit that stretches from Kansas down to Texas.

A site like Yucca Mountain makes more sense for storing materials that might have future long-term economic value to recycle. For commercial light water reactor spent fuel, surface dry-cask storage makes the most sense because LWR spent fuel provides an excellent source of fissile material for starting up future advanced fuel cycles and is likely to have value to recycle in the relatively near term.


There is extensive R&D currently underway in the government involving deep burn TRISO fuel. Over time, this TRISO waste form will come to dominate in the US nuclear waste stream. Is this salt depository for nuclear waste sequestration your recommendation for this type of TRISO waste?

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PostPosted: Feb 19, 2009 5:53 am 
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Axil wrote:
...Over time, this TRISO waste form will come to dominate in the US nuclear waste stream.


You know this how? Because right now and for the foreseeable future TRISO fuel is Gen IV experimental fuel in the USA. Zero operating reactors using it other than small research cores.


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PostPosted: Feb 19, 2009 9:55 am 
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Energy chief says keep Yucca license on track -- for now

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a group of state officials Wednesday he favors moving toward licensing a nuclear waste repository in Nevada, although whether it would ever be built is another thing altogether.


Sounds like the administration is trying to have it both ways...


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PostPosted: Feb 19, 2009 12:39 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Energy chief says keep Yucca license on track -- for now

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a group of state officials Wednesday he favors moving toward licensing a nuclear waste repository in Nevada, although whether it would ever be built is another thing altogether.


Sounds like the administration is trying to have it both ways...


The Obama position on the Yucca Mountain Project was based on gaining support in Arizona. He lost Arizona to McCain so all bets are now off.

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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Many news sites are reporting today that Obama has killed the Yucca Mountain Project.

Reid Celebrates Obama's Yucca Mountain Decision

Quote:
Today was an extremely important day in our fight against the proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. In his budget request for 2010, President Obama will announce plans to devise a new strategy to find another solution to deal with the nation's nuclear waste that does not include storing it in Nevada.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2009 3:12 pm 
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We have got to get LFTR on the table, these decision makers need to know about the LFTR option.

I actually think this is good news for LFTR. Congress by law is responsible for the waste. If not Yucca then it has to be reprocessing or some type of burner doesn't it?


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2009 3:34 pm 
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charlesH wrote:
.... If not Yucca then it has to be reprocessing or some type of burner doesn't it?


No, the most likely course of action is to do nothing and blame the nuclear industry for creating the waste in the first place.
After all, there are 10s of billions of dollars collected already for disposal. The politicians want to get their hands on that for pork projects, not for something that does not buy voters.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2009 4:37 pm 
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Klaus Allmendinger wrote:
After all, there are 10s of billions of dollars collected already for disposal. The politicians want to get their hands on that for pork projects, not for something that does not buy voters.

They will be lost as the utilities sue the federal government (successfully) for failure to take possession of the waste.

The most likely scenario I see in the near-term is that the federal government will take possession of spent nuclear fuel on-site (at the reactor) and a federal agency will assume responsibility for its protection for the foreseeable future.

Reactors that produce a minimal waste stream like LFTR will be increasingly attractive in such a scenario.


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PostPosted: Feb 27, 2009 5:24 pm 
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From my point of view it does shift somewhat my focus away from Sen Reid to even more the Senate Energy Committee who will be incharge of a non-Yucca waste handling strategy.

Of course this assumes Obama's ideas regarding Yucca will be supported in congress.


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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2009 8:25 am 
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Controversy Over Yucca Mountain May Be Ending

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More than two decades after Yucca Mountain in Nevada was selected to be the national nuclear waste repository, the controversial proposal may finally be put to rest by the Obama administration.

In keeping with a pledge President Obama made during the campaign, the budget released last week cuts off almost all funding for creating a permanent burial site for a large portion of the nation's radioactive nuclear waste at the site in the Nevada desert. Congress selected the location in 1987 and reaffirmed the choice in 2002. About $7.7 billion has been sunk into the project since its inception.


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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2009 7:47 pm 
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Slate: Good Riddance, Yucca Mountain

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The entire discussion was, of course, outlandishly hubristic. It was made necessary by the outlandishly severe and long-lasting environmental dangers posed by nuclear waste. Six decades after the dawn of the nuclear era, the only plausible answer to the question "What do we do with this stuff?" is "Don't create any more of it." That, in effect, is what President Obama is saying in fulfilling his campaign promise to shut down Yucca Mountain. The program, Obama's new budget states, "will be scaled back to those costs necessary to answer inquiries from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission while the administration devises a new strategy toward nuclear waste disposal." That's bureaucratese for "Yucca Mountain is dead."


What a bone-head.


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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2009 9:25 pm 
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I do take heart from the fact that the comments on Noah's Slate piece were overwhelmingly negative. He also conveniently ignores some pertinent facts, like the consideration that the Federal government is legally OBLIGATED to take possession of spent nuclear fuel and do something with it. But this is what happens when you mistake someone like NIRS' Kevin Kamps for a "nuclear waste expert."


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PostPosted: Mar 04, 2009 10:43 pm 
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The federal obligation to do something with waste won't go away (I don't think) and nobody wants to bury it.

Is there any other option than to burn it? That means the DOE has to come up with a way, right?

Would that mean that the rejection of Yucca could be a good thing?


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