What to do with all the spent nuclear fuel rods that will be around for billions of years after a few megawatts have been fissioned out of them? That’s always been a problem nuclear energy has kicked to the side for addressing later because nobody & I mean nobody wants a nuclear waste dump near them. That’s why all over the USA we have Fukushima type pools of water on top of active nuclear power units.
Yes, we must find a better solution. Do we want this one? Basically this plan calls for regional short term storage for 100 years, then ??????
Oh yes, then these people proposing the plan won’t be around for the next round of nuclear containment required to keep the waste from killing everybody & everything.
Brilliant! I’m sure future generations will thank us. Maybe they’ll be able to clean it up? Our best minds don’t have answers, so they are willing to sweep it under the carpet so to speak, to be found as a grisly present to our posterity.
You’ll know my unscientific opinion is just stop the insanity of nuclear power as it now functions for good only a few decades, then turns into death to haunt the world ever after. Simple minded? Yes, what’s wrong with that? Anyhow, here’s their video conference 1hour & 30minutes approximate running time.
P.S. Notice pay special attention to who sponsors this conference is the people, corporations, universities who make the money from nuclear.
MIT Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference April 26 2011
Recommends Regional 100-Year Waste Sites
Electric Power Research Institute
Idaho National Laboratory
Nuclear Energy Institute
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Academic Media Production Services. Room: NE48-308 617.253.7603
MIT Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study Recommends Regional 100-Year Waste Sites
Nuclear Street News Team Wed, Apr 27 2011With the station blackout at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant providing a stark illustration of the risks inherent to storing spent fuel at reactors, an MIT study released Tuesday argues the United States needs to build centralized repositories for its nuclear waste.
“The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle,” a set of recommendations from scientists and nuclear experts two years in the making, points out that spent-fuel tanks at U.S. reactors are even more full than those in Japan. While a permanent repository for the waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain is decades behind schedule and mothballed by the Obama administration, the study makes the case for regional storage facilities with shorter design lives.
“Planning for long term managed storage of spent nuclear fuel—for about a century—should be an integral part of nuclear fuel cycle design. While managed storage is believed to be safe for these periods, an R&D program should be devoted to confirm and extend the safe storage and transport period.
The possibility of storage for a century, which is longer than the anticipated operating lifetimes of nuclear reactors, suggests that the U.S. should move toward centralized SNF [spent nuclear fuel] storage sites—starting with SNF from decommissioned reactor sites and in support of a long-term SNF management strategy,” the report recommends.
While the report notes the potential of breeder reactors and other technologies to reprocess fuel rods and create a “closed loop” for nuclear fuel, it acknowledges that today’s plant designs and the current availability of uranium mean the U.S. nuclear industry is likely to continue to use a once-through fuel cycle for some time. In the future, though, spent fuel from the intermediate repositories could be recovered if fuel reprocessing becomes widespread.
Even if the fuel is permanently stored after 100 years instead of reprocessed, the report notes, the fuel’s radioactive decay and its most dangerous isotopes lose much of their potency during the first 50 years, making longer-term storage easier to manage. In the meantime, the report says, engineers would face no scientific hurdles to designing the intermediate storage facilities proposed.