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Volunteer Towns Sought For Nuclear Waste 279

Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Wingfield writes in Bloomberg that the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future has sent a draft report to Energy Secretary Steven Chu recommending that US communities should be encouraged to vie for becoming a federal nuclear-waste site as a way to end a decades-long dilemma over disposing of spent radioactive fuel and says this 'consent-based' approach will help cut costs and end delays caused when the federal government picks a site over the objections of local residents, 'This means encouraging communities to volunteer (PDF) to be considered to host a new nuclear-waste management facility,' says the commission. Chu named the panelists after Obama canceled plans to build a permanent repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain after the Yucca site was opposed by politicians from the state. 'The United States has traveled nearly 25 years down the current path only to come to a point where continuing to rely on the same approach seems destined to bring further controversy, litigation, and protracted delay,' says the report. The Blue Ribbon Commission cited as a 'success' the US Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, which has accepted and disposed of some defense-related nuclear waste for more than a decade demonstrating that that 'nuclear wastes can be transported safely over long distances and placed securely in a deep, mined repository.' With the right incentives, 'there will be a great deal of support' for a waste site near the New Mexico facility, says former Senator Pete Domenici."
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Volunteer Towns Sought For Nuclear Waste

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  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 31, 2011 @06:47PM (#36941904)

    No it can't. []

  • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Informative)

    by an unsound mind ( 1419599 ) on Sunday July 31, 2011 @08:59PM (#36942706)

    I'm gonna answer your questions in order.

    First, it's not weaponizable. Problem solved.

    Greenpeace isn't the most reliable organization. Problem solved.

    Guaranteeing security for the next five-ten years is trivial. That part of the problem solved. Heck, the transports can handle being abandoned.

    They should have full insurance up to Chernobyl style accidents? Nevermind the fact that a Chernobyl style accident is physically impossible with any US reactor? You're just giving them impossible requirements.

  • Re:How About D.C.? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nukenerd ( 172703 ) on Monday August 01, 2011 @05:31AM (#36944796)
    Campersio wrote :-

    If the casks are shielded adequately, equip them with heat exchangers and use them to heat government buildings, maybe give the guys recreation areas with hot tubs
    It's the decay heat that has been the serious problem ..... It starts at about 7.5% of the full operating thermal energy and decays from there. 7.5% of roughly a gigawatt is a tremendous amount of heat energy to cope with.

    The 7.5% of heat is only immediately after shutdown. It decays rapidly after that. After discharge from the reactor the fuel spends some time (in the UK that means years) in cooling ponds until it is much safer and easier to transport. By then the heat being produced is trivial - with a spent fuel flask (containing several hundred fuel elements) being despatched from a UK power station you cannot even detect any warmth if you put your hand on it. I have done it, I worked in that industry.

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