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Yucca Mountain
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Author:  Cyril R [ Mar 14, 2015 3:41 am ]
Post subject:  Yucca Mountain

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-NR ... 31502.html

Quote:
The commission found that the EIS the Department of Energy (DOE) submitted in 2008 did not adequately address all of the repository-related effects on groundwater, or from surface discharges of groundwater. In 2013, it asked DOE to prepare a supplement. Instead, DOE updated its analysis of potential groundwater impacts after closure of a repository at the site, and in February 2015 the NRC directed its staff to prepare the supplement. They will use the DOE analysis in preparing the supplement.


Let me get this straight. The DOE produced an EIS in 2008. It took the NRC 5 years (!) to ask the DOE a question (!) about it. Now it has asked the question. Wow. Then the NRC takes 2 more years to start to "prepare" the document.

By the time the bureaucrats get off their butts, the fission products will have decayed all on their own and we won't need Yucca Mountain anymore.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Nov 14, 2016 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Harry Reid and the Horse He Rode In On

Quote:
In an under-reported political bargain, Mr. Reid promised Mr. Obama that he would do the President’s dirty work on Capitol Hill if the President blocked the Yucca project. Mr. Obama named Reid aide Gregory Jaczko as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009, and a year later Mr. Jaczko shut it down.

Mr. Jaczko later resigned after the four other commissioners, Democrat and Republican, denounced his abusive management style. A pair of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rulings have since rebuked the Administration for violating the law in relation to Yucca, and in 2014 a government study found that the Yucca design for waste is environmentally safe. The U.S. still needs a solution for nuclear waste that is piling up at sites around the country.

Mr. Trump owes no political debt to Nevada, which due to Mr. Reid’s efforts voted last week for Hillary Clinton and defeated the GOP’s Senate candidate. Reviving Yucca would be a sign the Senate is moving past Mr. Reid’s era of dishonest political manipulation and partisan rancor.


Yucca may be a dumb idea, but the reasons they gave for stopping it are even dumber.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Nov 19, 2016 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Many obstacles remain before Yucca Mountain could accept first nuclear waste shipments

Quote:
The state maintains the Yucca Mountain site, with its engineered barriers to prevent radioactive particles from escaping, is flawed and has more than 200 technical challenges prepared that will “really pose a big obstacle” in the licensing proceedings should they resume, he said.

Key issues that the state could challenge include impacts on groundwater, the Energy Department’s “hot repository” concept – which envisions storage areas where temperatures can reach 96 degrees Celsius (nearly 205 Fahrenheit) — and plans to install titanium drip shields to prevent corrosion of waste canisters.


But the biggest one of these obstacles in leaving office permanently at the end of this year.

Seriously though, storing intact uranium dioxide, zirconium-clad fuel assemblies underground without some form of final processing is incredibly stupid. There's so many things in there looking for a final chemical equilibrium, and given 10,000 years, they'll find it. Our descendants will dig up Yucca Mountain looking for fissile material and marvel we were ever so stupid to try to bury this stuff.

Author:  E Ireland [ Nov 19, 2016 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Is there any reason Yucca Mountain could not be accessed later? As I recall it is just a set of tunnels that will remain intact - unlike the WIPP plant that will collapse the salt domes (or allow them to collapse).
If you go back in 50-100 years when the fuel is far less active chemical processing is likely to be much cheaper. And most fissile materials will still be in the fuel at that time (the only real exception will be 241Pu).

Author:  pstudier [ Nov 19, 2016 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

It would be very much cheaper just to put the fuel in dry storage in a remote area. After 100 years, one may have to repackage the waste, but it will be cheaper then because of less heat and hopefully better technology. IMHO, if our society can not maintain dry storage, then it has bigger problems than a piece of the desert being radioactive.

Author:  jagdish [ Nov 20, 2016 12:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Seriously though, storing intact uranium dioxide, zirconium-clad fuel assemblies underground without some form of final processing is incredibly stupid. There's so many things in there looking for a final chemical equilibrium, and given 10,000 years, they'll find it. Our descendants will dig up Yucca Mountain looking for fissile material and marvel we were ever so stupid to try to bury this stuff.


Processing is the real requirement. The best may be to convert a part of Yucca or nearby nuclear testing site to reprocessing. Conversion to Chlorides or fluorides may enable fractional distillation or crystallisation and cut the amount of waste produced. Chlorides/Fluorides of uranium and plutonium may also lead to MSRs.
Fission products are the real wastes and could be stored till their use is developed. Uranium and transuranics can be recycled.

Author:  Asteroza [ Nov 21, 2016 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Fuel reprocessing is preaching to choir here, but what all the other stuff from reactor teardowns, etc.? Or is that considered covered by other waste management systems, or is everyone still punting on that too?

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Dec 03, 2016 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

DOE urges Trump team to ditch repository

Quote:
In their brief to Trump's team, current Department of Energy leaders said Congress has supported the administration's position that the site is "unworkable" since 2011 by not approving any new funding for the repository.

DOE officials went on to acknowledge that many lawmakers are eager to see Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing of the repository continue, but questioned whether that would happen.

"There are members of Congress who believe the Yucca Mountain NRC repository licensing process should be resumed and, at a minimum, completed to demonstrate that a disposal facility could successfully demonstrate its safety and obtain an authorization from NRC to being construction (even if it is never constructed)," they wrote.

Author:  alexterrell [ Dec 05, 2016 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Kirk Sorensen wrote:
DOE urges Trump team to ditch repository

Quote:
In their brief to Trump's team, current Department of Energy leaders said Congress has supported the administration's position that the site is "unworkable" since 2011 by not approving any new funding for the repository.

DOE officials went on to acknowledge that many lawmakers are eager to see Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing of the repository continue, but questioned whether that would happen.

"There are members of Congress who believe the Yucca Mountain NRC repository licensing process should be resumed and, at a minimum, completed to demonstrate that a disposal facility could successfully demonstrate its safety and obtain an authorization from NRC to being construction (even if it is never constructed)," they wrote.


Hard to see how a repository can demonstrate safety. I think we'll just have to rely on calculations from engineers and geologists.

Assuming the US makes the sensible decision to reprocess spent fuel and close the fuel cycle, would there still be a use for Yucca mountain? Is it useful for fission products or is it cheaper to start over with boreholes for these?

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Dec 21, 2016 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Reid's retirement could rescue Yucca Mountain plan

Author:  Jim L. [ Dec 22, 2016 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Perhaps the new Energy Secretary and Trump administration will be more rational, and have the Congress revise the waste act such that the policy is partitioning the fission products from the transuranics, and reuse at least the zirconium cladding? The fissile could be set aside for future use and the FPs could be mined for the useful isotopes.

And maybe the Yucca Mountain site can be re-purposed as future site of the Reid Memorial Museum, where the Senator could be interred??

Author:  KitemanSA [ Dec 23, 2016 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Perhaps Yucca Mt should be retained as the final repository for the small amount of long lived fission products. In that way they can be VERY densely packed and Yucca could keep accepting such waste for millenia.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Jan 12, 2017 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

Wilson introduces new legislation to block DOE from constructing new facilities until Yucca Mountain decision

Quote:
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced new legislation Wednesday that intends to block any new defense nuclear waste disposal facilities while the fate of Yucca Mountain in Nevada remains uncertain, all while emphasizing the need for a pathway out of South Carolina for high-level nuclear waste. The legislation is called the Sensible Nuclear Waste Disposition Act. Yucca Mountain was approved as the U.S. site for high-level nuclear waste in 2002 and was under development until 2010. Funding was cut by an amendment to a Department of Defense appropriations bill, shuttering the project.

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Jan 20, 2017 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

States press Trump to open Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste

Author:  Kirk Sorensen [ Jan 20, 2017 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yucca Mountain

jagdish wrote:
It confirms the value of Yucca as an interim central storage.


Yucca is not and never will be "interim" storage. It is permanent geological disposal. If spent nuclear fuel goes to Yucca it is unlikely it will ever come out. This is why I believe that interim storage in West Texas is a vastly better option and will be much easier to license and approve. You don't have to figure out what will happen to that waste over the next 10,000 years at an interim storage site. It pretty much only needs to be as safe as all the parking lots at nuclear plants across the country where dry casks are presently being stored. If Rick Perry can get interim storage opened up he will have accomplished more as Energy Secretary than all his predecessors.

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