By Piero Risoluti

Disposal of the wastes produced through the peaceable functions of nuclear power is often perceived as the most complicated environmental difficulties of our time. facts of this drawback is noticeable within the problems encountered in settling on compatible websites for ultimate repositories for this waste – problems that severely impact the full factor of the social recognition of nuclear energy.

Nevertheless, technological know-how and know-how are capable this day to supply secure and trustworthy suggestions for the disposal of nuclear waste, even more so than for the other damaging spinoff of business activities.

This discrepancy among public conception and genuine technological achievements is essentially the results of a disinformation crusade perpetuated for nearly 1 / 4 of century through antinuclear activists. This has been compounded via the shortcoming of an efficient reaction from scientists and engineers thinking about waste administration, a lot of whom, particularly after Chernobyl, didn't think cozy conversing out in public in defence of the expertise they had constructed.

This ebook attempts to provide an explanation for the starting place of the adverse public notion of nuclear strength and introduces the main major around the world technical achievements in nuclear waste disposal.

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Extra resources for Nuclear Waste: A Technological and Political Challenge

Sample text

Watching the video, one of them tells him that it is a miracle that they are all still alive, because the reactor has come close to the China Syndrome. What does this signify? One of the independent experts says that there is a particular type of accident in which the core of a nuclear reactor, having lost cooling and being completely out of control, can melt the concrete base of the building, penetrate into the bowels of the earth, and, with no further obstacle, travel to the opposite side of the world, reappearing in China!

A special energy and its enemies 27 long lasting structure, to complicated mechanical and chemical processes, to destroy and disperse it in various liquid and solid waste streams that must be reconverted into a stable and inert material, adequate for disposal. Paradoxically, it would not be convenient even if the two options, reprocessing and throw away cycle, were economically equivalent. Instead, the reprocessing option is much more expensive. Furthermore, reprocessing generates the problem of safely storing the plutonium recovered by reprocessing.

In the case of reprocessing, the material discharged is divided by plant operations into high and low activity waste; the latter, notwithstanding its large volume, is easier to dispose of, because the disposal can take place in engineered near-surface structures, as will be shown later in some detail. As for the volume, that of the high activity waste from reprocessing is lower by a factor of about four if compared with spent fuel. The waste consists of blocks of glass in steel containers, possessing high stability, chemical inertness and physical durability- even more than the unreprocessed spent fuel element.

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