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PostPosted: Jan 03, 2010 9:56 pm 
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SL Tribune: Radioactive waste soon to find home in Utah

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Vanessa Pierce, director of the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, called the plans disappointing. She questioned the reason for what she considers a rush. "It's horribly short-sighted and backwards to do this hastily," she said. One factor contributing to the decision-making is that the Savannah River cleanup received $1.6 billion in stimulus funds. The Energy Department must spend the $22 million for loading, shipping and storing the three-part Savannah River campaign, which includes work by several contractors, by the end of next year. "At the end of the day," said Pierce, "it's disappointing because this is not a trivial amount of waste they will be accepting. The health and safety of Utahns deserves more consideration than this."


The comments section show how quickly anything becomes an anti-Mormon screed in Utah.


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2010 3:56 am 
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When you are losing the argument and you know anything about the subject it is easy to just name call. Or In the case of Utah just start trashing the LDS church.


Last edited by Ida-Russkie on Jan 05, 2010 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2010 11:22 am 
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Is this stuff being stored as UF6, UF4, U3O8, UO2, or in some other form?
I could see Utah insisting that any proposed long term storage of depleted uranium should be as an oxide.


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Lars wrote:
Is this stuff being stored as UF6, UF4, U3O8, UO2, or in some other form?
I could see Utah insisting that any proposed long term storage of depleted uranium should be as an oxide.


Generally, it's stored as UF6, which is regrettable, I think. That is, from what I understand, what the material at Fernald is, at least.

I agree that it should be converted to the oxide. The chemotoxicity of UF6 easily outstrips and putative radiotoxicity.

I have a cute paper somewhere in my files suggesting the use of this material as a fluorinating agent, to make HFC's and certain other organofluorine compounds, which actually UF6 is quite good at doing. Controlled fluorination of organics is generally non-trivial.

I'll see if I can dig the paper up.


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Yeah, I think they're sending UF6 to Utah, and I agree--the chemical danger is far greater than any radiological hazard. They need to convert it to oxide before shipping and recover the useful fluorine for us.


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PostPosted: Jan 27, 2010 1:23 am 
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Deseret News: Utahns voice opposition to depleted uranium storage


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PostPosted: Jan 27, 2010 3:59 am 
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Here is an excerpt from one post on the site linked to by Kirk:

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DU is not the same as background radiation. Depleted uranium does not exist in nature, it's man made (used as reactor fuel and bomb manufacturing). It's the agent used in so called "dirty bombs" meant to kill long after the initial explosion. Also it's much more compacted than normal background radiation. It's like getting hit in the head with a particle of sand, versus getting 40 tons of sand dumped on you.


Here is another post from that site:

Quote:
Provo resident Jeri Roos called depleted uranium "a very nasty waste."
"We may not understand all the science, but what matters is we don't want it," Roos said.


The above accurately describes the problem, i.e., that people do not understand the science. That's not because the science is difficult or because they would be unable to understand it. Rather, the problem is that either they haven't listened or, more likely, there has been no significant attempt to educate the public. The media won't do the job since the function of the media is to maximize advertising revenue by getting the largest possible audience, and they do not get the largest possible audience by offering technical explanations. Rather, they get the largest possible audience by airing disturbing and lurid events. PBS often does a good job of explaining things in depth, but as a result, it has a much smaller audience than the commercial media.

The post that states that DU becomes more radioactive as it ages is a half-truth.

This is so simple that even a high school graduate who had never taken a course in physics could, with adequate explanation, understand it.

Kirk's post was excellent. The problem with it is that few people will ever see it.

Perhaps it would be possible to capitalize on the public's fear of DU by pointing out that it can be disposed of in reactors designed to use it as fuel.


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PostPosted: Jan 27, 2010 5:52 am 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:


I added my $0.02 in the comments.

It is simply amazing that people can be ignorant about a topic (and admit it) and still demand that their view is correct.


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PostPosted: Jan 27, 2010 1:55 pm 
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cld12pk2go wrote:
Kirk Sorensen wrote:


I added my $0.02 in the comments.

It is simply amazing that people can be ignorant about a topic (and admit it) and still demand that their view is correct.


Quite so. If they realize that they are ignorant, they should expend the necessary effort to become informed. Unfortunately, they are not guided to information which would conveniently inform them. One would suppose that the nuclear industry would do so, but it doesn't.

In September 2009, while on my 5,500 motorcycle trip, I stopped at a nuclear "educational" site near the nuclear plant near Point Beach State Park in Wisconsin. They had displays that showed the very very basics of nuclear power with a pressurized water thermal reactor, but that's about all they did. There was no way to learn about DU, heavy water, different types of reactors, etc. The personnel at the site were not well informed either. Thus, the nuclear power industry must bear a considerable part of the blame for the fact that the public is inadequately informed.

It's only in the last few months that I myself have learned about base load plants, load following plants, spinning reserve, and the difficulties of managing the grid when intermittent power sources are connected to it. However, I did know about peaking plants. Much of this I learned from this site, but I have also bought books on nuclear power and alternative energy sources. It took considerable effort on my part to get the information; there was no one place where I could conveniently get it. I have an advantage over much of the public because I have studied most of the physics that would be required for an engineering degree; most people have not. Moreover, because I am retired, I have the necessary time to gather the information; many people do not have the time.

Some high schools occasionally have speakers from the business community to address classes to explain how their business operates and what their personal function is in the business. Surely it would be possible to have speakers from academia and the nuclear industry explain nuclear power to high school classes. When I lived in San Diego, a neighbor explained stamp collecting to high school classes. If he could do that, it should be possible to have people explain nuclear energy to classes.

Also consider high school and college physics text books. Do they adequately cover nuclear and renewable energy? Does anyone here know?


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PostPosted: Jan 28, 2010 8:31 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:


I'm not sure but perhaps my arguments have carried the day. Either that or the antagonists have given up. It's very different from the comments section of the Salt Lake Tribune where every single comments thread eventually devolves into an anti-Mormon screed.


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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2010 11:13 pm 
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The Salt Lake Tribune is ginning up opposition to DU burial in Utah:

Poll: Radioactive waste not welcome here

Image


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PostPosted: Apr 02, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Deseret News: Depleted uranium not that scary

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As the meeting wore on, one common theme became clear: DU definitely does not scare these scientists.

In their view, it's sure not Public Enemy No. 1.

On the danger scale, they seemed to rank it somewhere just above or just below eating too much sugar.


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PostPosted: Aug 31, 2018 10:20 am 
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EnergySolutions asks to bring thousands of tons of depleted uranium to Utah

Depleted uranium is no big deal. After all, Utah has millions of pounds of natural uranium in the ground, utterly uncontained. But the anti-nukes are getting all kinds of mileage out of this phrase:

Quote:
She said depleted uranium gets hotter over a million years, and her organization has fought efforts to bring depleted uranium to the state.


True, as depleted uranium is left alone, the daughter products grow in, and the total radioactivity of the group of them increase. But consider this: when that uranium was mined from the state of Utah, years ago, those same daughter products were left behind, and have been decaying ever since. Deprived of "source" material (uranium) their total radioactivity continues to go down, matching precisely the increase of radioactivity of the daughter products of the depleted uranium. The net effect would be exactly zero if the uranium brought back to the state matched the uranium removed from the state back in the 40s and 50s.

The big difference would be that the daughter products of the uranium that were left in the ground are still moving around the environment, uncontained, whereas these would be contained in barrels at the proposed disposal site.


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PostPosted: Sep 07, 2018 6:28 pm 
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Public Comment Period Begins for EnergySolutions Request for Exemption from Depleted Uranium Rules

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Public comment begins September 6, 2018, on a request by EnergySolutions for an exemption from state rules requiring a performance assessment for the receipt and disposal of concentrated depleted uranium (DU) in excess of one metric ton total accumulation. The full public notice, correspondence, and supporting documents regarding EnergySolutions‘ request for an exemption are available on the DEQ Public Notices page. EnergySolutions, a radioactive waste management company with facilities in Tooele County, Utah, wants to dispose of approximately 6,000 metric tons of solid depleted uranium metal from the disassembly of munitions (depleted uranium solid metal penetrators, also known as DU Penetrators) from the Department of Defense. Under the rules, a performance assessment is required to demonstrate that the applicable performance standards will be met prior to disposal of more than one metric ton (total accumulation) of concentrated depleted uranium. If the exemption is granted as requested, EnergySolutions would not be required to complete a performance assessment. The Waste Management and Radiation Control Board directed the Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control to solicit public comment on this request. The 30-day public comment period will begin on September 6, 2018, and end on October 9, 2018.


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PostPosted: Sep 08, 2018 9:29 am 
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I'd say: Don't dispose depleted uranium. Breed it into fissile material. That is one of the reasons we need generation IV reactors.

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Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life.
– Sapphire & Steel intro


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