Nuclear Waste dump in Texas, Who here lives near it?

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Muto
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Nuclear Waste dump in Texas, Who here lives near it?

Just read this and of all the crap that you would not want to live near, this has to to be the top dog;
https://news.yahoo.com/private-equity-backed-company-got-215904995.html

I live between 2 Nuclear plants, one of which had the worst meltdown ever in America (Thee Mile Island) and it still has all of it’s nasty never ending spent fuel in it with no where to go.

Don’t envy anyone in Texas within 150 miles of this proposed facility.

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Parametrek
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I would absolutely prefer to live next to a nuclear power plant and a nuclear waste storage site for my entire life than spend 1 week next to a coal power plant.

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Parametrek wrote:
I would absolutely prefer to live next to a nuclear power plant and a nuclear waste storage site for my entire life than spend 1 week next to a coal power plant.

True for me as well, but don’t build the nuke on or near an earthquake fault. The odds are in your favor that the nuke plant will not harm you whereas we know that the coal plant will shorten your life. However, long-term, what do we do with the nuke waste?

Parametrek
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MtnDon wrote:
However, long-term, what do we do with the nuke waste?

In a perfect world we’d stop mining/refining uranium and use all the existing waste for fuel in breeder reactors.

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Muto
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Parametrek wrote:
I would absolutely prefer to live next to a nuclear power plant and a nuclear waste storage site for my entire life than spend 1 week next to a coal power plant.

Agree with the pollution aspect.

But if something were to “break” the Coal plant into many pieces all you would be left with would be a mess of coal, ash, steel and bricks/concrete.
Nuclear on the other hand, you would be left with lot’s of uncontrolled Radiation with no easy way to gather and clean it up and the results would be very bad for lots of people.

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jeff51
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How close is close?
I’ll be about 85 miles away by auto. Less as the bird flies.
And as is proper in Texas politics, there has been attempted bribery during the permitting.
There is already low level storage out here.

Supposedly the coffins they put the spent cooties in are bomb proof.
But look at what some of what the WWII era Reich built to last 1000 years looks like today.
Or even the US cold war era stuff.
500 – 5000 years from now?

Remember that this area is one of the largest oil production areas in the continental US.
Would hate to think of the problems some sort of leak could cause.
All the Best,
Jeff

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Oh, and had a few earthquakes in the last month. Smallish. 3.5
Epicenter? Just this side of Andrews, the proposed location of the site.

Perception
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We’ve got great hydro where I’m at, but if we didn’t I would love to have nuclear as the next option.

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In La. we have been the dumping grounds and bad dealings for a very long time — Look at the Salt Mine Fiascos we’ve had —- Not to mention how much crap they dump in the rivers—- Now they act like sink holes are of a natural occurrence

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Muto wrote:
Just read this and of all the crap that you would not want to live near, this has to to be the top dog; https://news.yahoo.com/private-equity-backed-company-got-215904995.html(link is external)

It’s not even close to top dog. Even freeways are actually documented in epidemiological studies to have quantifiable negative effects on the health of those living nearby. A fertilizer plant explosion a few years ago killed 15 people and injured dozens more. A metals coating business located near downtown in my area a few years ago resulted in an emergency evacuation of nearby residents when it caught on fire due to the chemicals present there. This isn’t even scratching the surface of hazards one might live near. Real, serious hazards abound and kill thousands of people per year just in US workplaces. This waste facility would not scare me any more than the guy driving the truck that collects the waste fryer oil from the cafeteria at my workplace.

Researchers following the residents around Three Mile Island have struggled to even quantify difference in thyroid cancer rates, the most likely risk (but also, fortunately, one of the most easily treated cancers), and have been unable to clearly correlate the differences in some nearby counties to the accident rather than normal variation or confirmation bias due to closer scrutiny.

Of course, none of that is to suggest that accidents like Three Mile Island are acceptable, much less what happened in Japan. The risks of that and worse can and need to be controlled if we want to continue using nuclear power.

But whether to continue use of nuclear power is a separate topic. We have 60+ years worth of waste now that needs to be dealt with. This Andrews, Texas interim storage facility is being built directly due to the decision made by a certain politician a little over a decade ago as one of his first acts in office to cancel the long term storage plan the country had funded and been working on building for 20+ years. It was openly understood as a return favor to the senator who had been instrumental in getting him their party’s nomination.

There is unfortunately no more accurate description of his replacement plan for the waste except, “Our grandchildren can deal with it.” He didn’t say that, but that simply is what the replacement plan amounted to. Because the current plan was not perfect, we knowingly and deliberately as a country switched to a plan that was far worse.

It was particularly frustrating to me to watch this all take place, since during the lead up to this, I lived down river from Hanford, which was struggling to get their plan to deal with all the weapons production related waste from the Cold War into action. On the one hand were my neighbors, friends, and even family members among the tens of thousands of people working to fix the problems from the last time we fell back on “our grandchildren can deal with it.” On the other hand were politicians making a big deal about uncertainties in the plan on 100,000+ year time frames, when the primary risk period (due to decay over time) is 10,000 years, as a justification for choosing a plan that requires a follow-on plan within 50 years.

So this Andrews interim storage facility is the DOE getting a head-start on part of the needed follow-on plan The temporary storage casks that currently exist in 81 locations around the country that have to be kept safe and secure will be consolidated to 2 locations, and then left for future generations to deal with.

Muto wrote:
I live between 2 Nuclear plants, one of which had the worst meltdown ever in America (Thee Mile Island) and it still has all of it’s nasty never ending spent fuel in it with no where to go.

The fuel removal was completed 31 years ago. I think it is all in dry casks, including the partially melted assemblies. Decontamination of the radioactive water from the reactor was completed 28 years ago. The structure of the reactor vessel remains. I don’t know the planned time frame for removal, but eventually it will be removed, wrapped, and moved to a greater than class C low level waste facility for burial and additional covering.

jeff51 wrote:
Oh, and had a few earthquakes in the last month. Smallish. 3.5 Epicenter? Just this side of Andrews, the proposed location of the site.

Much of the world has regular 3.5 earthquakes. This area in question has fairly frequent, but low level earthquakes. The USGS shows an M2.9 in that area today. But the worst recorded earthquake in the area was M5.0. The USGS believes a fault roughly 100 miles away in the panhandle could produce M7+ quakes with similarly intense shaking in Andews as an M5.0 locally. I looked up an example of the safety analysis of one of the cask designs to be used at the interim facility, and was not surprised to find they are not designed for local earthquakes. Rather, they are designed for the worst earthquakes anywhere. The design basis for the model I’m looking goes up to 2.25G – imagine a quake so strong cars are sliding back and forth on their tires as if they were on ice, and semi-trucks potentially tip over outright (pending the dampening effect of their suspension).

jeff51 wrote:
Supposedly the coffins they put the spent cooties in are bomb proof. But look at what some of what the WWII era Reich built to last 1000 years looks like today. Or even the US cold war era stuff. 500 – 5000 years from now?

The material is still hazardous 500 years from now, although in the ballpark of 1/10,000 as hazardous as when it was removed from the reactor.

However, it is not supposed to still be at this interim facility in 500 years. The initial license is for 40 years. Knowing how politics goes, but also a little bit about the design of the storage casks, I expect in about 25 years, the casks are still going to be in perfect condition, and they’re going to start the process requesting an extension, because Congress will view the next step as not urgent. Unlike Hanford, where there was no design for extended storage of waste, and no good monitoring, so the problem got critical before anyone noticed, I expect routine inspections to start to create pressure to do something in the 100-200 year time frame.

However, I would love for Congress to prove me wrong and give the DOE the authorizations they need to have a deep geological repository ready to start accepting waste before the 40 year initial license is up. There should still be enough money left from the waste tax on nuclear energy to finish Yucca Mountain, but if the DOE is forced to start over from scratch, the federal government’s decision to waste the half the money already collected for this project will presumably necessitate further funding.

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NPP are aloud a certain amount of radioactive releases per year and constantly have issues which can lead to leaks, wouldn’t call them clean. Not to mention the amount of material that goes into building a NPP and making the fuel. Coal plant just dig and burn while uranium need to be mined and processed a bunch of times then shipped then processed again and again. How much energy goes into keep the fuel cooled over its lifetime? How much energy is used to process spent fuel. Lots of plants have fuel 40 years old still in pools. The bigger reason why plants are still going is keep a fresh supply of Plutonium in stock.
A Fukushima style of style event could have happen just the other week when Waterfords Nuclear plant plant lost of site power for like 4-5 days from the last hurricane.

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The reason why nuclear accidents have happened was all due to unnecessary human error.

  1. 3-Mile Island – equipment failure and the inability of plant operators to understand the reactor’s condition at certain times during the event; all preventable, had equipment checks been sufficiently thorough and plant operators had better training plus improved procedures.
  2. Chernobyl – human arrogance and ignorance allowed this to happen. An experiment was going wrong and certain high officials refused to accept it… until it was too late.
  3. Fukushima – nuclear plant director knew that the diesel backup generators were in a vulnerable location and should’ve been relocated 10 meters higher up. Reports had been filed, but were ignored due to the costs. Then a tsunami had to prove the reports right.

Nuclear reactor designs today are 1/10th the size of original reactors, many times safer, and produce far less radioactive waste. In fact, some designs like salt-bromine really can’t suffer a meltdown. This is really the cheapest form of energy available, once sufficiently monetized after installation. But unfortunately the word “nuclear” is a trigger word for most citizens who don’t bother to educate themselves, also compounded by the fossil fuel industry who actively fearmongers over nuclear power in order to sustain their fossil energy profits.

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Yep, I wish the U.S. (or the world) would invest in new nuclear power plants.

Muto
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iamlucky13][quote=Muto wrote:
Just read this and of all the crap that you would not want to live near, this has to to be the top dog; https://news.yahoo.com/private-equity-backed-company-got-215904995.html(link is external)

It’s not even close to top dog. Even freeways are actually documented in epidemiological studies to have quantifiable negative effects on the health of those living nearby. A fertilizer plant explosion a few years ago killed 15 people and injured dozens more. A metals coating business located near downtown in my area a few years ago resulted in an emergency evacuation of nearby residents when it caught on fire due to the chemicals present there. This isn’t even scratching the surface of hazards one might live near. Real, serious hazards abound and kill thousands of people per year just in US workplaces. This waste facility would not scare me any more than the guy driving the truck that collects the waste fryer oil from the cafeteria at my workplace.

Muto wrote:
I live between 2 Nuclear plants, one of which had the worst meltdown ever in America (Thee Mile Island) and it still has all of it’s nasty never ending spent fuel in it with no where to go.

The fuel removal was completed 31 years ago. I think it is all in dry casks, including the partially melted assemblies. Decontamination of the radioactive water from the reactor was completed 28 years ago. The structure of the reactor vessel remains. I don’t know the planned time frame for removal, but eventually it will be removed, wrapped, and moved to a greater than class C low level waste facility for burial and additional covering.

I was actually referring to the fuel remaining in the Unit 1 reactor which was decommissioned, has that fuel been moved and if so where?
That is one of obvious problems that we have in this country is that we have no viable safe plan for transportation and long term disposal of Nuclear waste.
Granted after 9/11 no one wants to load radioactive material onto Trains without serious planning and protection. Moving it during WW2 would have been easy due to lack of oversight and controlled media access. Today is a different world as they say.

All through high school we were told of Nuclear being the cure/answer to all of our energy needs in a safe non polluting form.
Where are the savings of it if it cost more to deal with the after effects (Hangovers if you will) of the technology than was ever saved vs coal/gas fired power plants?

iamlucky13, good info by the way about this topic.

Anyway, enough from me.
Later
Keith

The difference between Hoarding and Collecting is the illusion of Organization
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If we’d be allowed to build IFRs, Integral Fast Reactors, we could use that spent waste as actual fuel, to the point it’d have so much wrung out of it you could probably bury it in an old lunchbox in your backyard.

Conventional nuke plants take highly processed U (Th would be a much better choice anyway) and dump the fuel as “spent” when it’s still highly radioactive and filled with lots of yummy nuclear goodness. It’s like filling up your car’s gas 15gal tank and then dumping the entire tank with probably 13-14 gal of fuel still locked inside it, then trying to keep it from seeping into the ground, evaporating, bursting into flames, etc.

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Lightbringer wrote:
If we’d be allowed to build IFRs, Integral Fast Reactors, we could use that spent waste as actual fuel, to the point it’d have so much wrung out of it you could probably bury it in an old lunchbox in your backyard.

Conventional nuke plants take highly processed U (Th would be a much better choice anyway) and dump the fuel as “spent” when it’s still highly radioactive and filled with lots of yummy nuclear goodness. It’s like filling up your car’s gas 15gal tank and then dumping the entire tank with probably 13-14 gal of fuel still locked inside it, then trying to keep it from seeping into the ground, evaporating, bursting into flames, etc.

Molt and salt reactors where a solid choice but they lost out to the LWRs as they produce a nice amount of waste plutonium which is used in weapons. Government subsidized the LWRs for that reason.
Some reactors run on MOX fuel now.

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That’s one of the bennies of IFRs, the I part of being integral, so the Pu ain’t easy to extract, so burns off like the rest of the fuel.

CANDU came close, but ain’t sure how many were actually put into service, if any.

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Load the spent fuel on a SpaceX rocket and send it out to circle the solar system with the roadster

grin
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Dangerous and complicated way to boil water

Photon Master
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This is a really interesting thread… I was fascinated to learn recently that the “waste” is simply unburned fuel that can be used in the new molten salt reactors. Apparently if you burned all of that fuel it would generate like $100 trillion worth of electricity. Most of the reactors that are out there and have been running for decades only burn something like 3% of the fuel.

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Yeh, like I said…

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So what’s the catch with these new reactors that can use waste fuel rods? There’s always a catch.

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Politix.

At least in the US, new reactors can only be built with tried’n‘true tek, ie, from the ’50s.

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Photon Master
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Here’s an interesting article about how we have 5 billion years of uranium in ocean water

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/07/01/uranium-seawater-extr...

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chops728 wrote:
In La. we have been the dumping grounds and bad dealings for a very long time — Look at the Salt Mine Fiascos we’ve had —- Not to mention how much crap they dump in the rivers—- Now they act like sink holes are of a natural occurrence
Speaking of “Louisiana Salt Mine Fiascoes”, the Lake Peigneur incident would have to be close to the top of the list.
.