Unit 5 Discussion: Radioactive Waste
It is time to take on the role of a scientist again trying to develop a hypothesis so as to pursue a line of study. Do not look up the following, just use your imagination. Do not concern yourself with being wrong or right. The scientist is in the pursuit of knowledge and we must begin.
Radioactive waste can remain dangerous for a hundred thousand years. GE Hitachi created a new power plant that can use radioactive waste and reduce the storage requirements to 300 years. In GEH’s view, what is generally considered to be “nuclear waste” these days is not really waste at all. Light Water Reactor (LWR) used nuclear fuel is composed of 95 percent uranium, 1 percent transuranics, and 4 percent fission products. Many of these transuranic isotopes have long half-lives, which can create long-term engineering challenges for geologic disposal. By using electro-metallurgical separations, PRISM is designed to perform the recycling of the 96 percent of the fissionable material (uranium and transuranics) remaining in used nuclear fuel.
Think about our current and possible future uses of nuclear power. In your initial post, please discuss the following questions:
- What do you see as potential problems?
- What do you see as the dangers today and in the future?
- If you were in the position to make decisions about the output of nuclear power production, what would you do and why?
Note: You may not use the GE example.
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