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Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-where-will-we-get-our-superheroes dept.

Earth 344

separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"

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Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576404)

The anti-nuclear group will always come up with something to deter nuclear plants from taking off.

Re:Doesn't matter (1, Troll)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576520)

That is a great defeatist attitude. I guess we don't have you to thank for civil rights, women's rights and now healthcare. I mean, why bother ?

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576558)

The last time a reactor like this came up, then President Bill Clinton signed the bill killing at, after Senator John Kerry led the charge to end the program. Read the wikipedia article on the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR). Oh, and that was 1994.

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577038)

And the times before that it was Reagan and Bush Sr. who killed the breeder reactor research project. And before that is was Carter. This is not a partisan issue, both parties are equally retarded in respect to nuclear power.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577268)

He knows it's not partisan, he's pointing out that Democrats, being the only party in DC that can currently "get stuff done," has a big history of killing these bills. It probably doesn't help that they have a larger base of environmentally whacko nutjobs as party members (note: I'm just speaking about the nutjobs, I think we all should be environmentally friendly).

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577576)

Or as most of them know it as, Nukulur Pow'r. The S is silent.

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576818)

"I guess we don't have you to thank for civil rights, women's rights and now healthcare. I mean, why bother ?"

Those are emotional issues, which attract the same sort of emotional activists who HATE nuclear power. Their particular flavor of idealistic outlook is not pro-technology.

Come up with something that uses solar, ponies, or solar ponies and they might bite.

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576868)

Come up with something that uses solar, ponies, or solar ponies and they might bite.

And then you'll have the animal right activists complaining.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577118)

No. the liberal feel goods hate Solar [huffingtonpost.com] too.

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577188)

Come up with something that uses solar, ponies, or solar ponies and they might bite.

Your solar ponies are an affront to God, a crime against Nature, and completely Awesome. Please make more!

And for the record, they definitely bite.

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577192)

Solar *is* nuclear power. The reactor is just rather... large.

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577384)

And unlicensed, we must shut it down ASAP!

Re:Doesn't matter (1, Funny)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577436)

Sun: "Unlicensed? Shut me down? Ha! Love to see you try"

"By the way, I'm sending shitloads of free energy your way every day...why the fuck are you wasting it?"

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Interesting)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577594)

I'm sending shitloads of free energy your way every day...why the fuck are you wasting it?"

Because nobody's making a shitload of money with it. When they invent a way to cover the sun and charge you for sunlight, solar will be a success!

Re:Doesn't matter (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577672)

"By the way, I'm sending shitloads of free energy your way every day...why the fuck are you wasting it?"

You think the sun's trying to help us? Ha! The sun's been trying to murder us for as long as we've been around, but the stupid ozone layer and magnetosphere keep getting in the way!

You realize you're basically teasing it right? It's like you're wearing a bulletproof vest that turns impacts into electricity for your iphone, and you're telling the guy in the machinegun turret "Hey thanks for the free kinetic energy!"

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577710)

But it's not in my backyard, or yours. Even so, I still find it necessary to use radiation shielding in the summer.

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577450)

Solar-thermic power plants? Helooohooo?? ;)
Water, glass, steel, aluminium, desert wasteland, perhaps some ceramics, DONE!
Cheap as shit, simple design, completely recyclable, out of the most abundant resources, and shitloads of free energy from the sun.
If someone doesn’t like that, he’s not an activist, but mentally insane. ^^

If you want to use them at night, create liquid hydrogen or a similar clean fuel. With the amount of power that the sun delivers, it doesn’t matter much that that is a pretty inefficient process.
Or use the electricity right on place, to produce something. Like aluminium. If one has a brain, there is a solution.

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577448)

You equate healthcare with rights HA, thanks for the laugh

Yea and what about that 1% (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576612)

I don't care if coal outputs an order of magnitude of radiation than all of the nuclear reactors combined. I don't care if the number of terrorists in the world will be stopped by reducing access to this deadly radioactive material. I don't even care if we are entrusting the French (yea the FRENCH!) with coming up with a solution to the world's power generation problems and global warming at the same time. No sir! I'm thinking of the Children. The C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N! And they are not too happy about this development. Even the children have a right to die of lung cancer in 50 years from the filthy air like the rest of us. Remember 3 mile island! The end is near! The march of socialism is upon us! They're coming for you! ... Ah gosh darn it, who am I foolooin? Ok I give up, Obama just passed health care I guess this isn't the end times after all. There's always 2012!

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576980)

Because they hate progress, not nuclear power. If the general public could understand who really apposes Nuclear power and their reasons are simply that they want to return us to some mythical agrarian society where everyone lives off vegetables they grow in their back yards and spends the evening reading books and listening to bluegrass, I think we might have a chance. But as-is they just associate any nuclear reaction with BOMB and all the sheep get scared.

Re:Doesn't matter (0, Offtopic)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577122)

What do they place nuclear power beside?

Re:Doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577298)

They just want to be able to say "Get off my lawn!" like their parents did!

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577072)

The anti-nuclear group will always come up with something to deter nuclear plants from taking off.

Sure, but there are detractors for almost all ideas, good and bad. There are people who hate animal testing. We're still going to continue making sure medicines are safe though. Animal testing is one of the only real ways to do that, like it or not. Furthermore, good ideas don't implement themselves even when there's not vague misgivings about them, as there is with nuclear power. Most people don't know why chernobyl happened, they think it's inherent to nuclear power. That could be changed, it would just require investing in an awareness campaign. I guess that's more investment than anyone is willing to do.

To sum up, I see public ignorance, not an active anti-nuclear group, preventing nuclear power from taking off.

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577398)

Most people do not hate animal testing, just unnecessary cruelty and waste. Destroying animals that are no danger to others and would make suitable pets is one example. Another is not sharing data properly so many different labs conduct the same tests on similar animals. Even worse are tests that seem to serve no purpose, for instance dripping known irritants into the eyes of rabbits. When animal testing is done in a rational and ethical manner few would oppose it.

Re:Doesn't matter (2, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577620)

Destroying animals that are no danger to others and would make suitable pets is one example.

It's a liability issue. My S.O. is taking a biotech course, and has learned that most animals in studies are euthanized as a matter of course. The reason is apparently the fear of lawsuits should the animal ever do anything and it being blamed on whatever treatments they gave it. This made her very sad. It sounds retarded and lazy to me. Is it not possible to sign a waiver that says "This animal was once treated with a new kind of doggie aspirin. It is completely safe as far as we know, but if somehow it turns the dog into Kujo in five years, you've been warned." No, just kill em and the problem goes away...

Re:Doesn't matter (0, Flamebait)

domatic (1128127) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577638)

I wonder if chucking in a few hippies might help the efficiency of the whole operation.

Re:Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577720)

The anti-nuclear group will always come up with something to deter nuclear plants from taking off.

And the pro-nuclear group will always have a reason why nuclear plants are never a danger, any accident would never happen again, and nuclear waste is absolutely no problem because waste from burning coal is more radioactive, so that means concentrated nuclear waste has to be safer than diffuse coal plant waste, just like a glass of arsenic is safer to drink than a glass of sea water because there's more arsenic in the ocean than in a glass of arsenic. Strawmen are fun on both sides!

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576414)

first!

Re:first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576620)

first!

Absolute fuckin' fail...

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576420)

first post

Rock-paper-? (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576432)

Nuclear Reactors destroys atomic waste Atomic waste destroys ? ? destroys Nuclean Reactor ?

Do not fear nuclear power (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576436)

This is one more reason that we should move ahead with the green (no greenhouse gases) technology of nuclear fission based electricity generation. One of the classic arguments against fission reactors is waste containment. Now that problem is behind us. Race ahead, my brothers, to a greener future.

Location (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576448)

I bet they will put the new reactor on a border somewhere, like most of their reactors, so when they fuck it up it will be only half the territory that will be uninhabitable for 100,000 years on their side of the border.

This is a good start (3, Insightful)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576450)

Nuclear, like it or not, is the intermediate solution to first world energy needs. As long as we can mitigate past mistakes (sloppy arms races) with technology such as this, nuclear will also have a promising future.

Re:This is a good start (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576750)

No one ever mentions the other possible solution: Use less energy. We must continue to consume more and faster and hope that some fantasy technology in the future will make it sustainable.

Re:This is a good start (3, Informative)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576928)

Maybe in your ass nobody mentions this, but where my head is, it seems like that's all people ever talk about. And we ran the numbers: The low-hanging fruit has been picked. There is still a lot that we can do to reduce our energy use (better insulation and public transportation are the best places to start) but nobody who actually knows the science has any hope that global energy demand would decrease even on the most optimistic scenarios of energy conservation. Of course we should do it. I'd even say it's necessary. But the notion that it would be sufficient must be stamped out of all conversations, and the people who suggest it must be subject to merciless humiliation as deniers of science.

Re:This is a good start (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577014)

The best solution yet, is to just make everything more efficient. Smaller power plants that generate more power with less fuel and waste, and electronics that require less energy to produce the same results of previous generations. By improving both ends of the power line, the improvements at either end of it seem even more productive.

Re:This is a good start (3, Informative)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577406)

Smaller power plants that generate more power with less fuel and waste

AFAIK, bigger power plants are more efficient than small ones.

Re:This is a good start (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577092)

No one ever mentions the other possible solution: Use less energy.

That's because it isn't a solution. Unless you're also going to somehow make there be fewer people, and have them do less, with fewer luxuries like sanitation and refrigeration, it won't work. Energy powers civilization. Hybrid cars, taking the train, fluorescent lighting, and turning the thermostat down to 68F/20C in the winter is not going to make a fart in a thunderstorm worth of difference where it really matters. A ridiculously optimistic projection would have it reduce our dependence on coal from 60% to 40%. That doesn't solve the problem, it just puts it off a little longer. Reducing power use enough to where we can all live on fluffy bunny wind generators and happy little solar panels essentially requires us to throw away the very technological pyramid which supports the manufacture those very same windmills and panels. There simply isn't enough "waste" to make conservation a workable plan for fulfilling our future energy needs.

Re:This is a good start (2, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577190)

Unless you're also going to somehow make there be fewer people, and have them do less, with fewer luxuries like sanitation and refrigeration, [conservation alone] won't work.

That's the dirty little secret a lot of green leaders don't mention; they believe a severe population reduction is inevitable, sometimes even necessary.

Re:This is a good start (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577412)

citation?

Or you just making this shit up?

Re:This is a good start (3, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577330)

Using energy more efficiently isn't a solution in itself, but it can be part of a solution. If you can cut energy use by just 30%, that's 30% fewer nuclear power plants we'll need to build.

Less energy? No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577208)

I want the power consumption of a small city. I want the perfect temperature and the perfect humidity everywhere in my house. I want unlimited hot water, unlimited cold water. I want clear display screens covering every window in my house. Forget an SUV, I want a room of my house that can move using levitation. I want my own sun so I can have a garden in my backyard year round. I have no guilt over wanting unlimited energy. I'm willing to pay market prices. Please stop trying to inflate energy prices so you can make me use less.

Re:Less energy? No way! (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577438)

My wife's like that too. She loves having the heater and the air conditioner running at the same time.

Apparently it takes the humidity out of the air.

Re:This is a good start (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577262)

Yes, of course, no one even mentions energy efficiency, which is why the Obama administration has been pushing for more energy efficient lighting [greenecon.net] , applicances [suite101.com] , homes [nwsource.com] , automobiles [nytimes.com] , and industry [businessweek.com] . But don't tell anyone I mentioned it. It's a secret!

Re:This is a good start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577568)

Fuck you hippy. You go live in a mud hut... everyone else will continue to keep living standards climbing by exploiting new technology.

Not helping (2, Insightful)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576458)

Educating, not sensationalizing, is what the nuclear industry needs. Or at least not exclamation marks.

Alas, I can can guarantee you that 1: it will take another decade minimum of legal wrangling to get large-scale stuff like this in the works
2: This type of research in general is old news. It's still viable, but from reading the summary (I'm lazy) it doesn't seem to be anything new that I haven't heard of before.

P.S. I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to be one who does the educating. (Oh wait, I don't need credentials to educate on the internet, do I? :P )

Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576474)

Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste

Destroy as in convert matter to energy?

a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides

Wait, so it's a chemical reaction (rapid oxidation)?

Or is this fission, where they convert the actinides into other less-dangerous elements via fission?

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (3, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576518)

Destroy as in convert matter to energy?

That is, broadly speaking, the way that nuclear fission works. Got it in one.

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (2, Informative)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576580)

The terms burn, burning, ignite, etc., are frequently used in the nuclear community for nuclear reactions as an analogy to chemical reactions.

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576596)

It's fission. They are fissioning minor actinides which normally do not completely fission. This needs a reactor with improved neutron economy (such as a fast reactor), because these MAs will need more than one neutron per atom to fission (usually they will first capture one more neutrons (transmuting in the process) before fissioning).

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577452)

This needs a reactor with improved neutron economy (such as a fast reactor), because these MAs will need more than one neutron per atom to fission (usually they will first capture one more neutrons (transmuting in the process) before fissioning).

But do they need transmutation circles to do it?

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576944)

What about Bill Gate's talk @ TED about the Travelling Wave Reactor [wikipedia.org]

How does that compare to this?

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577060)

Yes.

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577104)

The idea is that the fission releases most of its energy as neutrons, and these neutrons would get captured by heavy nuclei, which would then undergo either an alpha or beta decay and end up as something non-radioactive.

Re:Converts to energy? Burns? Or fissions? (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577318)

Or is this fission, where they convert the actinides into other less-dangerous elements via fission?

It's not really so much induced fission as in a normal reactor, it's that you push the isotopes past the point where they are long term active into really unstable ones. It's like a fast breeder reactor in reverse. Since they are French, they are probably talking about using a magnetic confined fusion reactor [wikipedia.org] as the neutron source.

The 'burn up' analogy isn't bad really. Partially burnt products of normal combustion like soot and carbon monoxide are toxic. Add more oxygen and heat, and the problem goes away (mostly).

Someone informed here? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576492)

How can it be that they don't know how many waste they created? I would (maybe falsely) assume that practically everything that happens in a reactor is measured? Keeping track of your waste looks to me like single most important job in a reactor besides preventing it to go kaboom on us. But definitely more important than producing power (for me, feel free to disagree). So I find it a bit scary that they 'think' they 'might'...

Re:Someone informed here? (4, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576966)

After reprocessing you don't just pour the waste into storage tanks, you want to stabilize it first. There's two ways to do this. You either mix it with glass and cast it into a stable solid, or you separate it into noble metals and other waste products, the latter of which is usually turned into a ceramic.

Because the amount of material you need to add to the waste to stabilize it can vary depending on the wastes' exact composition ( in particular how much heat it generates ) it's not really possible to accurately know the final waste volume before you've worked out the entire process.

Re:Someone informed here? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577026)

Thank you! Makes sense when you put it like that.

Too early for April fools (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576498)

French Scientists?

A university in Texas?

I think you tried a little too hard on that one. Less is more.

Re:Too early for April fools (2, Funny)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576764)

yea, a University of Texas in Austin would be like a beacon of knowledge in a sea of red necks.

Re:Too early for April fools (1)

Jenming (37265) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576862)

shrugs, they elected a gay mayor in Houston. Sometimes people can surprise you.

Re:Too early for April fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576922)

Yah there is a university in Texas, its a building that contains the only book in the entire state. Its a picture book too :P

LFTR (4, Interesting)

Motor (104119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576500)

The article doesn't make it clear which technology they are referring to... however this google tech talk on LFTR [youtube.com] is absolutely fascinating.

So I heard! (3, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576550)

Watch this [ted.com]

You might not like Gates because of Windows, but if you're a fan of nuclear power this might stop your assassination attempt.

Re:So I heard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577382)

This TED talk is very informative. I was going to post this too. Yeah, I really dislike him but I wish him and his team all the luck on this endeavor. The technology could be really something. I saw an energy expert speak at Montana State who gave evidence that nuclear could never give more than something like 15% of the worlds demand up to 2030 with current technology. With this new technology nuclear could contribute much more, safely... Until Bill's reactor has a Blue Screen Of Death...

The problem?? (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576576)

After 99% of the waste is eliminated, the 1% left is the pure blood of Cthulhu ready to make mankind wilt in horror??

Re:The problem?? (5, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576846)

After 99% of the waste is eliminated, the 1% left is the pure blood of Cthulhu ready to make mankind wilt in horror??

Not quite. Nuclear waste is mostly made up of un-burnt uranium. The long-lived stuff is mainly even heavier elements than uranium, such as plutonium, americium and neptunium. What these new processes do is to recycle the heavy elements like uranium and plutonium from the waste so that it is all burnt. Thus while you still get the same amount of fission fragments per kilowatt hour of electricity, you don't get any of the heavier stuff mixed into it.

There are three huge benefits to this.

a) The waste fits in a much smaller volume
b) You can get almost 100 times as much energy from the same amount of uranium
c) The resulting waste decays to safe levels within a few hundred years as opposed to many thousands of years.

Since we can easily construct structures that can last a few hundred years, and because the waste volume is so much smaller, this technology would essentially solve the nuclear waste problem. The improved utilization of uranium also makes sure that the fuel will last for any foreseeable future.

The snag is that so far all reactors of this type has been prohibitively expensive compared to existing technology, and there are concerns about how to implement the recycling step in a manner that makes it possible for inspectors to monitor the process to ensure no plutonium is diverted for weapons use.

Re:The problem?? (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577204)

Burnt? No argument with the rest of what you said, but "burnt?!?" As a geek, I deeply resent this dumbing down of the science.

My main complaint about nuclear power has always been that people weren't willing to spend the money to do it right. This would be a step in the right direction, but there are so many other necessary steps...

Re:The problem?? (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577554)

I'd like to see complete studies of this before jumping on the bandwagon.
For example, all the neutrons don't nicely run into uranium atoms and make the bad stuff disappear - there will be fallout from this process (so to speak), there will be other bad byproducts created, and there will be byproducts of the normal fission process that are not "made to dissappear" by this new magic (as portrayed) process.
Does anyone have a link to a study conducted over several weeks/months/years analyzing all the products of this process vs. the processes used now?

Re:The problem?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577694)

Can we take all this waste and make more depleted uranium shells to bomb the crap out of {insert group}?

Re:The problem?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577834)

No, but we'll need to dig up all them uranium shells to use in the fast breeder reactors.

Re:The problem?? (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577844)

Some argue that typical waste contains way to much Plutonium 240 along with the Plutonium 239 (Pu-239 is what Plutonium bombs use) for making bombs out of it. Pu-240 causes the would-be bomb to pre-detonate. So yes, it explodes, but only in a small area. It's the so-called fizzle. And Pu-239, being chemically identical to Pu-240 presents a problem of separation, in the same way that it's hard to enrich uranium without gas diffusion or centrifuge techniques.

clean nuclear (4, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576592)

Clean nuclear is far more realistic than the fantasy that is clean coal.

Re:clean nuclear == Thorium (4, Informative)

junglebeast (1497399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576798)

Re:clean nuclear == Thorium (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577034)

I searched for thorium in the comments and found only your post. So that's two people.

Re:clean nuclear (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577220)

Right, the fantasy of the extractive industries. Nobody who's interested in clean energy thinks that clean coal is anything other than a fantasy. Unfortunately, they have bigger PR machines than we do.

Re:clean nuclear (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577264)

A nuclear reactor consuming atomic waste? How perverse!

and yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576664)

we will still waste time, effort, and money on solar which thus far has proven adept at powering calculators but not much else on the scale required for the energy needs of the planet.

Re:and yet (4, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31576722)

I don't see a problem with diversifying. I assume we'll run out of fissionable material at some date, and if solar can help slow that down, then bring it on.

Re:and yet (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577044)

Lol, idiots like you always make me laugh when you completely ignore any advances made by solar in the past several years. Also forgetting that part of the problem for large scale is land requirements

Re:and yet (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577376)

Enough energy falls on the surface of the earth from the sun every day to power the US for a year - capturing and harnessing that energy is the tricky part. Even if you can only grab a small part of that energy, it is still more than "adept" as powering much more than just calculators.

Wait...what's in the swimming pool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31576852)

Is the 1% left over in the swimming pool, or is the 100% prior to "burning up the actinides"? Also, where is this pool?

Re:Wait...what's in the swimming pool? (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577698)

If you ask me, I think it was very irresponsible of them to put all of that material in a swimming pool. They are lucky they didn't suffer a massive criticality accident. [wikipedia.org]

BTM

in soviet russia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577006)

in soviet russia, nuclear waste will destroy you

(sad but true i guess)

Greenpeace (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577020)

Time to go upstairs and find the nearest Greenpeace doom-sayer (I work on a Uni campus, there's usually 2-3 around trying to snag them some suckers) and hand them a print out of this. Lately they've been deriding Obama's nuclear power policy.

Of course they'd probably call me a tree killer, you can't ever win with them.

See? (3, Insightful)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577070)

Some of us have been saying for decades that another way to say "nuclear waste" is "nuclear fuel." The current view of "spent" fuel is akin to refining crude oil to make gasoline and then having to store all the waste diesel, fuel oil and other petroleum byproducts until the end of time.

Re:See? (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577288)

The current view of "spent" fuel is akin to refining crude oil to make gasoline and then having to store all the waste diesel, fuel oil and other petroleum byproducts until the end of time.

So to make sure I have this car analogy right... you're saying that these new reactors are like a Volkswagen Jetta?

Breeder reactor comparison (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577142)

How would this new reactor they're developing compare with a breeder reactor. From what I remember a breeder reactor will take the waste from traditional Uranium fission and convert it into Plutonium. So it's more efficient but the waste has an increased perceived scariness factor. Either way you have hazardous material to contain, perhaps this way we can reduce the amount of it that we must store.

Yeah, sure, for about a millisecond... (2, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577166)

They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.'

Why do the nuclear industry always trot out these cutesy metaphors? They're so easy to pick fun of that even people who are reasonably friendly toward the industry can't resist. I mean, yes, it would all fit into an Olympic swimming pool. For about a millisecond. Then it would go critical, and your swimming pool would be an area the size of texas covered in a very thin layer of radioactive waste, plus a big glass pit in the middle. Or maybe not--I don't actually know if such a pile would go critical, but am I not the only one into whose mind this image sprung the moment we read the metaphor?

Re:Yeah, sure, for about a millisecond... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577308)

Then it would go critical, and your swimming pool would be an area the size of texas covered in a very thin layer of radioactive waste, plus a big glass pit in the middle.

No, it wouldn't. However, well done for acting as a perfect example of the idiotic "OH GOD WONT SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN WE CAN'T HAVE TEH NUCULAR!" response. I hope that was your intention?

Re:Yeah, sure, for about a millisecond... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31577458)

I mean, yes, it would all fit into an Olympic swimming pool. For about a millisecond. Then it would go critical, and your swimming pool would be an area the size of texas covered in a very thin layer of radioactive waste, plus a big glass pit in the middle.

My lungs! The snorkel DOES NOTHING!

Re:Yeah, sure, for about a millisecond... (2, Funny)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577814)

I mean, yes, it would all fit into an Olympic swimming pool. For about a millisecond. Then it would go critical, and your swimming pool would be an area the size of texas covered in a very thin layer of radioactive waste, plus a big glass pit in the middle.

But for that millisecond, you'd have the most awesomely radical Olympic swim meet in the history of mankind.

The anti-nukers still have a fall back position (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577302)

That this thing pollutes by producing lead. (Which last I checked is the end product of alot of this stuff.)

Re:The anti-nukers still have a fall back position (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577532)

So we sell it to the Chinese who can make kids toys out of it, problem solved.

Gotta love marketing (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577432)

A process that doesn't work at all, or in fact that even makes it worse, can still fall under the marketing claim 'up to 99%'. Think about it. The only way that claim can be false is if the marketing claim is EXCEEDED.

Olypic swimming pool (1, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31577456)

Despite the intentions of the summary to say otherwise, the volume of an olympic swimming pool is actually a lot. For example, all gold ever mined would also fit in an a pool of that size. The comparision is therefore meaningless. A better comparision would be the *area* required to safely store all that nuclear waste. That area is orders of magnitudes larger than the area of an olympic swimming pool.
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