Robert Ariail by Robert Ariail

Robert Ariail

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  1. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    Just bury it where they’re using the power generated from nuclear! If they can drill, and fracking is safe, and nothing ever escapes, then drilling holes for the nuclear waste isn’t a problem, right?

  2. Baslim the beggar says, "Vanished is not vanquished."

    Baslim the beggar says, "Vanished is not vanquished." GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    Much of the radioactive waste has a relatively short half-life (that’s why it is dangerous). But that means that it converts to something else fairly quickly. While people try to go around and declare that we must safely hold all wastes for tens of thousands of years, much of the material will have decayed so that only 1/10 of the original amount is left in a few hundred years. In a thousand years only 1% of the original would be left.

    .

    And worst case scenarios talk about all the radioactive material getting loose, which is unlikely in a site like Yucca Mtn., earthquakes or no. Whereas leaving it lying around in ponds and rusting barrels near nuclear plants is a really good way to see lots of radioactive material get loose. (google Richland, Washington’s problems.)

    .

    The uranium found in the rocks around the Colorado River drainage system is soluble and is present in drinking water.
    (You do remember that uranium was extensively mined in Colorado, Utah, etc?) Richard Mueller has done the numbers and found that if Yucca Mtn had some unimaginable catastrophic leak of it’s full capacity immediately into ground water, the dosage would still be 20 times less than the dosage due to natural leaching of Uranium in the Colorado River!

    .

    Plutonium, on the other hand does have a half life of about 24,000 years. So, it could conceivably be around for a lot longer. But plutonium is not very soluble in water. It is very dangerous if inhaled, but we are talking about not only burying the stuff but wrapping it up,

    .

    Plutonium can be consumed in reactors. Part of the reason it has not been done extensively is that it has been cheaper to just mine more uranium (and thus create more plutonium). But the accounting does not consider the expense of storage. Consume the plutonium and you don’t have to keep storing it.

    .

    This is all discussed in Mueller’s Physics for Future Presidents

  3. Robert Landers

    Robert Landers said, 11 months ago

    @dtroutma

    Back in the mid 1970’s when the battle over the Space Shuttle was going on, I got hold of a NASA report on actually taking the long lived nuclear wastes (which is only a very small percentage of the over all waste) and placing it in stainless steel spheres on the shuttle and placing in a parking orbit until enough was there to justify using a rocket to send the entire mess into the sun. This was thought feasible as the cost per flight of the shuttle was only going to be a fraction of what it eventually did cost.


    Of course, the main objection would not have been the cost, but something like the Challenger accident spreading high level radioactive waste all over Florida. But, the report then showed the extraordinary (and expensive) steps that NASA then took to test if such spheres would still be safe. They placed some low level radioactive material into the spheres and then flung them from low flying planes into the ground at some 500+ mph. There was no leakage, even after NASA had to dig the spheres out of a deep trench in the ground. However, the real ultimate test came when NASA built a large 20 foot thick reinforced concrete pill box, and flung a sphere at that. The sphere did deform, but still no leakage. I remember a picture of the deformed sphere taken through the large hole drilled entirely through the re-bared pill box, it was quite a sight sitting about 50 feet on the other side of the box!


    Now, there are private rocket launch interests such as spacex that want to launch rockets at a fraction of the cost of a space shuttle launch. It is this long lived radioactive waste that is the real problem here. Perhaps, it might be feasible to some day get the cost of such launches down to a level that this method of getting rid of such materials for all time would not be just a laugh? Perhaps this would only have to continue until fusion methods that generate a lot less radioactive materials could come on line. By the way, I never usually had to give back such reports, but his one they did want back, I often wondered why?

  4. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, 11 months ago

    A man on diy tv has taken his home and three of his vehicles off of the grid. He uses solar and wind power to run the crucible he uses to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water. The hydrogen goes to storage tanks and some of the oxygen is diverted to his house as part of the AC/heating. His electricity, heating, and cooling is all powered by hydrogen gas. Three of his vehicles run off of hydrogen gas, though he has one standard gas vehicle for when he goes on longer drives.
    There seems so many options for clean renewable energy that this cartoon is painful to see. Coal pollutes the air. Mining for coal and uranium pollutes water and land. The sludge and radioactive residue from coal and power plants/military ships create storage and landfill problems.
    Why aren’t we able to do better than this?
    Respectfully,
    C.

  5. Ottodesu

    Ottodesu GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    One part per million of coal is uranium, so leftover fly ash is now being considered for uranium extraction.

    As it is, coal mining is more radioactive than nuclear power, and way more dangerous.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203917304574414713352371376.html


    I won’t even get started on the Greenhouse thing, because lots of American read this page.

  6. ossiningaling

    ossiningaling said, 11 months ago

    @Respectful Troll

    What are you saying? That the DIY man should store all the nuclear waste?

  7. Jeff Kiser

    Jeff Kiser GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    I say we place the waste between the tectonic plates where subversion takes place, have it cycle into the earth overt millions of years. Nuclear energy is a good source and is the only one that doesn’t contribute heavily to greenhouse gasses, the production of windmills by the millions, and solar panels (which require heavy toxic metals) have some long term problems as well. I am always amazed at the electric car crowd that overlooks the heavy metal contamination that will come about when the batteries are no longer usable. Are they dishonest or just dumb?

  8. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    @Jeff Kiser

    most of us are just plain ignorant of all the ramifications.

    Legislators are especially so and seem to make decisions based on short term profit (personal) rather than what is good for society as a whole.

    It is not limited to environmental issues.

    I’ve never thought about sending these wastes to the magma environment. Would it be hot enough, enough pressure to modify the molecular makeup so that it’s just more liquid rock?

    Of course, as usual, my imagination jumps to extremes……LOL

  9. The Wolf In Your Midst

    The Wolf In Your Midst GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    @Robert Landers

    The problem with the idea of launching nuclear waste into space is that sometimes, the things we launch into space don’t actually make it into space, and crash back here on Earth instead.

  10. The Wolf In Your Midst

    The Wolf In Your Midst GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    You know, there are a significant number of people who want to outlaw nuclear power because “terrorists might try to steal the nuclear waste and make a dirty bomb”… I wonder how many of them want to cut American funding to the efforts in Russia to secure all their fissile material from being stolen by terrorists?

  11. Robert Landers

    Robert Landers said, 11 months ago

    @The Wolf In Your Midst

    Note, that I did not say that launching such long life nuclear materials into space was “the” solution to the long life nuclear waste problem, only a possible solution, and possibly not the best solution at that. But, it is also the only solution that gets absolutely rid of the problem forever!


    And hopefully, you did read the part of my post where I (somewhat eloquently I hope) did state the extreme tests that NASA already has taken in regards to your good objections to this method. While it would have its own problems, I also liked the plate tectonics methodology. In fact, every methodology of getting rid of these long life nuclear wastes, should be pursued with a f great deal of vigor!!

  12. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    The idea seems better than other options. I suspect trying to store radioactive waste in international waters would take NIMBY to a whole new level…

  13. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    @Respectful Troll

    The guy is Mike Strizki, who is an engineer for hydrogen fuel projects. He has indeed managed to build a home that is ‘off the grid’, but he needed some large grants to make it happen. This is a picture of his yard of tank to store the hydrogen he needs for his house & vehivles:



    The technology is not ready to scale up for mainstream use. We need to do a lot more work to develop solar & wind to the point where they can supply most of our power. We should continue doing that work, but in the meantime, the low hanging fruit is efficiency. Most of us live in inefficient houses, drive inefficient cars and live in ways that waste energy. Urban sprawl & McMansions waste huge amounts of energy.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2011/11/the-unbearable-cost-of-sprawl/423/

  14. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    Well, thanks for that, With a little more reading I understand what you mean. Who said you can’t teach an old dog…

    Still, I’ve always thought that sending it into the sun or even deep space (how many light years before it ran into anything at sub sonic speed? Half life ain’t that long after all…. LOL

    But then what kind of galactic neighbor would we be…..hahahahahahaha

  15. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, 11 months ago

    There actually ARE a lot of places using the electricity from nuclear where the rock IS more stable than Yucca Mountain, and drilling and storing "hot’ stuff makes more sense than shipping it. Much “waste” is also NOT fissionable material, but merely equipment and well, trash.


    We had two uranium mines and a processing mill in the 1950’s, and a lot of health problems as a result, small things like extremely high cancer rates. The cleanup of the mines and mills cost thousands of times more than the value of the uranium produced. We already have enough fuel material to last a long time, without more mining (the dirtiest and most dangerous part of the process), yet everyone’s screaming to open more areas for mining that isn’t really necessary.


    The REAL issue is that the U.S. WASTES so much energy, and the companies producing all forms, ARE THE SAME “energy” companies! Consumption is profit, conservation is far too rational for the American mind, or corporate interests, period.

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