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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 05, 2010 1:20 am 
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NNadir wrote:
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.


So they might use UF6 to fluorinate water, instead of NaF? Propose that and see what the political reaction is.


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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2010 2:48 am 
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http://www.intisoid.com/?cat=5

This company is planing a de-conversion processing plant in New Mexico to reclaim the Florine.


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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:

Quote:
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: Jan 28, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
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.


Why don't you tell them how much space would be required to store the DU? Tell them that it's much heavier than lead and would require very little space. Tell them that's why it's so good for sailboat keels.


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PostPosted: Jan 28, 2010 8:52 pm 
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Maybe they should use DU to make heavy flywheels for steam turbines. It would help to maintain a steady output when a gust of wind hits the wind generators.


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PostPosted: Jan 28, 2010 9:12 pm 
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OR use it to be the stabilizing base instead of so much concrete.


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PostPosted: Jan 31, 2010 12:50 am 
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Or use it for energy storage.

One professor asserts that the solution to energy storage is to make it the responsibility of end users. So, if an end user wanted uninterrupted power, he'd buy the amount of storage he wanted from the local Montgomery Ward store. That's where the DU comes in.

According to my calculations, a 44,235 weight, made from DU would, if suspended at a hight of 60 feet, provide 1 KW for an hour. The weight would be suspended by a cable wrapped around a drum, and the drum would drive a generator. For recharge, a motor would turn the drum to lift the weight back up to 60 feet.

In any case, that's an interesting way to illustrate how much more energy can be obtained from fission. Probably 0.0000001 gram of mass converted to energy would provide more energy than that suspended weight.


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PostPosted: Jan 31, 2010 9:25 am 
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FRE wrote:
Or use it for energy storage.

One professor asserts that the solution to energy storage is to make it the responsibility of end users. So, if an end user wanted uninterrupted power, he'd buy the amount of storage he wanted from the local Montgomery Ward store. That's where the DU comes in.

According to my calculations, a 44,235 weight, made from DU would, if suspended at a hight of 60 feet, provide 1 KW for an hour. The weight would be suspended by a cable wrapped around a drum, and the drum would drive a generator. For recharge, a motor would turn the drum to lift the weight back up to 60 feet.

In any case, that's an interesting way to illustrate how much more energy can be obtained from fission. Probably 0.0000001 gram of mass converted to energy would provide more energy than that suspended weight.


Uranium metal burns violently upon hard kinetic impact. One could use the safer UO2 but that isn't quite as heavy.

My unrealistic imagination conjures up an image of a 10 mile deep vertical mining shaft with a huge massive uranium cylinder for gravity energy storage. I guess it's not as bad as the pumped mercury :!: electric storage idea I had earlier...


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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: Feb 02, 2010 11:17 pm 
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That is a good argument to begin using ASAP reactors that can burn the NU.


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