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PostPosted: Sep 23, 2009 10:21 pm 
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The anti-nuclear Salt Lake Tribune continues to use any excuse to bash nuclear:

Utahns hear plans to regulate uranium disposal

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The material is a low-level radioactive waste that becomes more dangerous over time as it creates radon gas. Some panel members Wednesday questioned whether EnergySolutions' site could be controlled and protected perpetually against both geological catastrophe and unsuspecting future settlers.


Heaven forbid--it's not as if the rest of the state is devoid of uranium or something!

Count how many comments it takes before uranium disposal is a vast Mormon conspiracy.


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PostPosted: Sep 25, 2009 4:50 am 
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If you proceed with IFR or any other fast reactor, the depleted uranium is an energy resource. The main change you have to make is a less fire-prone coolant. You could have chlorides(Cl37) or even Tin-lead eutectic or fluorides. As discussed for LFTR, there is no paucity of starter fissile feed if you extract it from LWR's SNF.


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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2009 9:57 pm 
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SL Tribune: Depleted uranium shipments delayed

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U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson is applauding reports that a South Carolina cleanup site is delaying its shipment of depleted uranium by at least two months.


That's because Matheson doesn't know two beans about uranium.


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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2009 10:41 pm 
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When moderate activists raise concerns about the accuracy of the increasingly alarmist claims about DU, they become the target of character assassination campaigns. In fact, the debate over DU has declined to the point where the simple act of questioning a claim made by Doug Rokke, Asaf Durakovic, or other prominent activists is labeled a heresy by a small jury of vocal extremists who operate mainly through the Internet. Rational discourse about the use and effects of DU munitions has become increasingly difficult and rare.

As far as the people suffering from the health effects of being in combat, it would seem to me that it would be very, very hard to isolate exposure to any one material from the hazmat background in an active theater; such places are not exactly OSHA compliant to begin with.


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PostPosted: Oct 07, 2009 3:00 am 
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What is the main motivation of anti-DU activists? Anti-war, or anti-nuclear-power?


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PostPosted: Oct 07, 2009 3:16 am 
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GCarty wrote:
What is the main motivation of anti-DU activists? Anti-war, or anti-nuclear-power?


It started out as anti-war, became anti-American and now domestically the cry has been taken up by anti-nukes. Following the development of this phenomena is instructive

Depleted uranium first emerged as a social, political, and scientific issue after the 1991 Gulf War. The decline of rational discourse about DU can be traced to the 1999 Kosovo conflict. At that time, the DU issue took on a more overtly political role. The Yugoslav government under Sloboban Milosevic suggested the use of DU in the Balkans would have genocidal effects, and when the U.S. government refused to release information about its use of DU following the war, activists and propagandists alike suggested that the United States was responsible for causing widespread and severe effects from its use of DU munitions. Saddam Hussein similarly blamed the United States (and DU) for a sharp increase in cancers and birth defects, and Yasser Arafat joined the chorus by accusing Israel of using DU in Palestinian territories. In the years since 1999, politicians, propagandists, and activists have intoxicated each other with heart-wrenching but extremely misleading and unsubstantiated claims about the effects of DU munitions, radicalizing the issue in a way that has had a chilling effect upon serious debate.

Ironically, U.S. propaganda fueled the uncertainty surrounding the effects of DU munitions on Iraqis, which in turn facilitated the Saddam Hussein regime’s own propaganda. A policy of “proponency” to prevent DU munitions from becoming “politically unacceptable” was recommended shortly as the war ended, and in the subsequent years, Pentagon spokesmen dismissed concerns about DU munitions in the same breath as they overstated its success in defeating the Iraqi tank corps. The hype helped create the impression that the battlefield was far more contaminated by DU dust than it probably was, thereby enabling the Iraqi government to effectively exploit an reported rise in cancers and birth defects by blaming the effects on DU munitions and, more importantly, the United States.

The scientific debate is now bogged down in confusion over the extent and severity of DU exposures, but many of the statements made by extremists have become a muddled mixture of verifiable facts, speculative assertions, and politically motivated falsehoods.

There are many environmental hazards caused by modern munitions, singling out DU is a bit of a red herring that is leveraging peoples fear of all things nuclear. This stuff has been use in ordnance since 1958, but it wasn't till two tin-pot dictators tried using the issue to discredit NATO in general and the U.S. in particular that anyone noticed it. Never mind Iraq, why haven't epidemiological studies been done to the populations near test ranges in the U.S., the U.K. and France? Why would anyone want to run a study under conditions where the confounding variables will make any conclusion scientifically suspect?


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PostPosted: Oct 12, 2009 7:13 pm 
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More anti-uranium foolishness, courtesy of an editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Uranium reprieve: Depleted uranium shipment delayed

Quote:
It's the waste disposal equivalent of a last-minute call from the governor, a radioactive reprieve.

The trains were to start arriving in Utah this month, carrying 15,000 drums containing 11,000 metric tons of depleted uranium to EnergySolutions' low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Tooele County. Now, the Department of Energy has announced the shipments won't start leaving the yard at DOE's Savannah River site in South Carolina until December.

The delay will buy time for Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to convince the DOE to put the transfer on hold until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission completes an ongoing review of depleted uranium disposal. Matheson has a solid argument.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2009 7:54 am 
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Radioactive waste shipments to Utah site facing year delay


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2009 7:59 am 
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Why not ship it back to northern Canadian uranium mines? Totally needless I agree but it can't cost much and who could argue with putting it back into the mines from which it came? I presume the DU being being buried is UOx not UF4.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2009 8:06 am 
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I'm guessing it's UF6, unfortunately. In which case the chemical hazard is far greater than any radiological hazard.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2009 8:59 am 
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http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/pur ... 752983.pdf
Depleted Uranium Storage and Disposal
Trade Study: Summary Report ORNL/TM-2000/10

UF6 wasn't one of the options for storage but UF4 is and is the lowest cost.
If the storage is as UF6 then I think Utah is right is saying stop.


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PostPosted: Oct 15, 2009 9:04 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
I'm guessing it's UF6, unfortunately. In which case the chemical hazard is far greater than any radiological hazard.


Ya, DU stocks are almost always UF6, because it is all from enrichment tailings and it's too expensive to convert it unless there is an end use for the product.

And there are a number of proven commercial uses if licensing wasn't such an onerous task. Uses include: Aluminum-refining electrodes; Catalyst for hydrocarbon cracking and to promote oxidation for destruction of a range of volatile organic contaminants; Catalyst for fuel cells; Heavy-lifting-vehicle counterweights and in high-traction devices; Oil well penetrators and drilling collars; Gamma shielding; DUCRETE for reactor containment buildings; DUPoly and PYRUC, light weight neutron shielding compounds; and of course hard-point penetrators for anti-armor ordinance, ceramic glazes, and whiteners for dentures. The last three being the more common current uses for the product.

We could get a lot more use out of this stuff if people got their heads out of their asses over the uranium=danger assumptions.


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PostPosted: Oct 16, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Finally, the anti-nuclear SL Tribune has asked someone who knows something to talk about depleted uranium. He pretty much says what I think--I don't care whether they bring DU to Utah or not.

Depleted uranium: How dangerous is it?

Quote:
From now to forever, the radioactivity of the DU will be less than that of the uranium ore from which it was made, because of the removal (depletion) of U235, for fuel or weapons.

I take no stand on whether we should allow this material to be buried in Utah. But I do believe the discussion leading to that decision should be based on facts, not on misinformation and/or hysteria.


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PostPosted: Oct 16, 2009 10:10 pm 
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To me the argument should not be where it is buried, but rather why isn't it being used. The DUCRETE application by itself would put this material to use in an economically positive way rather than incurring the expense of entombing it.

A selection of papers on DUCRETE

Why this stuff isn't mandatory for new nuclear plant builds is beyond me.


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PostPosted: Oct 17, 2009 8:38 am 
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DV82XL wrote:
Why this stuff isn't mandatory for new nuclear plant builds is beyond me.


Probably because "linear, no-threshold" means that any DUCRETE left over at the end has to be treated like radioactive waste rather than natural material.

I really believe that until LNT gets murdalized as a principle and held up the public as a junk theory that we will not be able to have a sane approach to nuclear power. Alvin Weinberg thought the same thing.


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