Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear fuel and waste has the “Midas touch” when it comes to radioactive contamination

Thought for the day:  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, Derek Abbott, 13 Mar 17  Nuclear advocates love to wax lyrical about how dense nuclear fuel (and hence waste) is. They say the darnedest simplistic things such as “all the world’s fuel rods would barely fill a football pitch.”

But they are forgetting that nuclear fuel & waste has the “Midas touch”….everything it touches also becomes non-recyclable waste: the dry casks, the nuclear vessels, all containment materials, rod assemblies, cladding, reaction moderators, the metals within processing and enrichment plants, centrifuges, robotic equipment that touches fuel, clothing of workers that comes into contact with fuel/waste dust etc etc. The list is endless and the waste mountain is huge.

A case in point is Fukushima. Whilst it is indeed a more extreme example, it nevertheless highlights the ‘magic’ of the Midas touch that nuclear has. For example, to date, in addition to the fuel itself Fukushima has accumulated:

a) 870,000 tons of stored contaminated water with nowhere to go
b) 3,519 containers of radioactive sludge
c) 64,700 cubic metres of discarded compressed safety clothing
d) 80,000 cubic meters of contaminated trees
e) 200,400 cubic meters of radioactive rubble
f) 3.5 billion gallons of contaminated soil

That’s a heck of a waste management problem that will run into hundreds of billions of dollars by the time they are done.


March 13, 2017 - Posted by | General News

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: