Expert: We must act fast on warming

There are 20 comments on the Sep 24, 2008, Kansas.com story titled Expert: We must act fast on warming. In it, Kansas.com reports that:

Droughts, melting ice caps and glaciers, rising sea levels and mass extinctions will all be a reality unless the U.S. and the world cut back on carbon emissions dramatically, said James Hansen, director of ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Kansas.com.

SoE

Rozet, WY

#26711 Apr 3, 2013
PHD wrote:
<quoted text>Sorry I'm not as quick as you can be but than again it takes time to understand scientific science fiction you and your pals post daily. Got real Science?
PHD your initials ?

You have provided a bit of humor for my neighbor (recieving his PhD this year)and me...
There are NO pals in science...that is your fiction among others..

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#26712 Apr 3, 2013
SoE wrote:
<quoted text>
The point that were at now given the fact that the clean-up of Hanford by Bechtel is going so poorly (design on the fly)is going to surpass the national debt..
Please don't confuse Hanford, a nuclear weapons site, with typical nuclear power plant sites. They are worlds apart. First thing is that Hanford used the PUREX method to extract ultra-pure Plutonium for bombs. PUREX results in a LOT of nasty waste products.
Here in the US, NPPs are required to set aside a certain percentage of their income for decommissioning costs. The Trojan NPP that WAS downriver from Hanford is gone now. Their decommissioning seems to have gone just fine.
What NPPs have is a political issue. They have been paying the FedGov a fee to be used to handle the Spent Nuclear Fuel in a consolidated manner but the FedGov has been dithering for decades.

What COULD be done is to use a variation of something called pyro-processing to segregate the SNF into three pots, the big one being the UNspent Uranium. That can be either vitrified and returned to the earth or reprocessed for LWR fuel. This represents about 95%-97% of the total.

The second pot is Fission Products (~2%-3%). Those can be dry casked for medium term storage (~500 years). Many of the FPs are stable after 10 years and can, if economical, be separated further; reducing the amount that needs to be stored. Some of the radioactive FPs are valuable because of their special radioactive properties. These can also be further separated and thus reduce the storage needed.

The third pot (~1%-2%) is the stuff that Yucca Mountain was intended for. It is comprised of the stuff bred from some of the U238 in the original fuel. These are the "transuranics" including Neptunium, Plutonium, Americium, and Curium. These are nasty and have fairly long half-lives. These would need to be stored or 10s or 100s of thousands of years. However, these can also be put into Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers and burned up.
Bernard Forand

Cape Coral, FL

#26713 Apr 3, 2013


In my observations of radioactive elements and their existence dates back to when we first entered into this realm of energy. Various experiments conducted openly and secretly exposed us to radioactive elements. One example of how we can observe the spread rate and separate it from natural radioactive elements. Let us take Strontium 90 which has ½ life span of 300 years. This was produced with the testing of one particular bomb we will call it the U-Bomb. Only 15 were tested. Strontium 90 was one of its radioactive elements. Deductive reasoning gives us the realization that all the Strontium 90 in our present day atmosphere was man-made. Strontium 90 is of the calcium class. Now consider that at present not one living organism does not contain a portion of this element. I will not go into the various medical factors that this could be affecting other than note the rise in bone marrow cancer from say 60 years ago. Now consider radioactive elements with ½ life times of 20,000 years and their dispersals. Keep in mind the affects of radioactive accumulation that will not be flushed out of living organisms. Dispersal of radioactive elements will be global in virtually all additional contributions. Accident or not.
KitemanSA brings forth one small method for treating one particular radioactive element. There are also chemical processes but neither can address the more ardent radioactive elements. Radioactive desegregation from say U-235 to Plutonium and its various purities are constantly affected only by time.{Note when earth is closest to the sun radioactive elements slow in their radioactivity and increase at a greater distance from the sun. Einstein again proven correct.}
This leaves me with one bottom-line answerer to radioactive elements production, is presently, needs to be extremely limited. For medical and R&D research, BUT not as a source of energy generation. We have not matured our responsibilities to our technology presently. Advancement on Alternative Green Energies would be a prudent course. Future generations, requires us to reign in our intelligence to keep pace with our abilities to contain the responsibilities of wisdom.

All really sensible men agree that the prudent course is to be neither bigoted in our attachment to the old nor rash and unpractical in keeping an open mind for the new, but to make the best of both dispensations.
Bernard Shaw
litesong

Lynnwood, WA

#26714 Apr 3, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
Please don't confuse Hanford, a nuclear weapons site, with typical nuclear power plant sites.
yeah, I would hope no other nuke plant has radioactive waste entering a river system.
PHD

Montalba, TX

#26715 Apr 3, 2013
SoE wrote:
<quoted text>
PHD your initials ?
You have provided a bit of humor for my neighbor (recieving his PhD this year)and me...
There are NO pals in science...that is your fiction among others..
There are no pals in scientific science fiction. You’re a bit confused again. Yes PHD is my initials and so... All my friends say you provide much humor and it would be no surprise being the Son of Entertainment.A professor said what did they do before Wikipedia? A studnet shouted out Know things.

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#26716 Apr 3, 2013
Bernard Forand wrote:
Let us take Strontium 90 which has ½ life span of 300 years.
Sorry, Sr90 half life is 30 years, not 300.
KitemanSA brings forth one small method for treating one particular radioactive element.
Actually, I discussed a method that can handle all the different elements we would wish to handle. I'm not sure what BF means here.
SoE

Rozet, WY

#26717 Apr 3, 2013
PHD wrote:
<quoted text>There are no pals in scientific science fiction. You’re a bit confused again. Yes PHD is my initials and so... All my friends say you provide much humor and it would be no surprise being the Son of Entertainment.A professor said what did they do before Wikipedia? A studnet shouted out Know things.
All STUD NETS shout..:-)
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#26718 Apr 3, 2013
SoE wrote:
<quoted text>
All STUD NETS shout..:-)
Nuts.
:-D
LOL.
SoE

Rozet, WY

#26719 Apr 3, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Please don't confuse Hanford, a nuclear weapons site, with typical nuclear power plant sites. They are worlds apart. First thing is that Hanford used the PUREX method to extract ultra-pure Plutonium for bombs. PUREX results in a LOT of nasty waste products.
Here in the US, NPPs are required to set aside a certain percentage of their income for decommissioning costs. The Trojan NPP that WAS downriver from Hanford is gone now. Their decommissioning seems to have gone just fine.
What NPPs have is a political issue. They have been paying the FedGov a fee to be used to handle the Spent Nuclear Fuel in a consolidated manner but the FedGov has been dithering for decades.
What COULD be done is to use a variation of something called pyro-processing to segregate the SNF into three pots, the big one being the UNspent Uranium. That can be either vitrified and returned to the earth or reprocessed for LWR fuel. This represents about 95%-97% of the total.
The second pot is Fission Products (~2%-3%). Those can be dry casked for medium term storage (~500 years). Many of the FPs are stable after 10 years and can, if economical, be separated further; reducing the amount that needs to be stored. Some of the radioactive FPs are valuable because of their special radioactive properties. These can also be further separated and thus reduce the storage needed.
The third pot (~1%-2%) is the stuff that Yucca Mountain was intended for. It is comprised of the stuff bred from some of the U238 in the original fuel. These are the "transuranics" including Neptunium, Plutonium, Americium, and Curium. These are nasty and have fairly long half-lives. These would need to be stored or 10s or 100s of thousands of years. However, these can also be put into Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers and burned up.

The waste sequestering part of your post i'm familiar with. You have jogged some memories surrounding the rest...
I haven't much time at the moment..i'll be back as soon as i find the time...
PHD

Montalba, TX

#26720 Apr 4, 2013
SoE wrote:
<quoted text>
All STUD NETS shout..:-)
So stop your shouting...
PHD

Montalba, TX

#26721 Apr 4, 2013
SpaceBlues wrote:
<quoted text>Nuts.
:-D
LOL.
Go away or post your peer reviewed published work. You had plenty of time to prove your scientific science fiction cut and paste babble. To date you have proved zero. You’re dismissed.
SoE

United States

#26722 Apr 4, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Please don't confuse Hanford, a nuclear weapons site, with typical nuclear power plant sites. They are worlds apart.
I'm having a problem getting past this point...

http://www.ippnw-students.org/medicalvoices/e...
SoE

United States

#26723 Apr 4, 2013
PHD wrote:
<quoted text>Go away or post your peer reviewed published work. You had plenty of time to prove your scientific science fiction cut and paste babble. To date you have proved zero. You’re dismissed.
Why should SB be required to post peer reviewed work ?
I don't believe anyone has asked that you produce your beer reviewed work...

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#26724 Apr 4, 2013
SoE wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm having a problem getting past this point...
http://www.ippnw-students.org/medicalvoices/e...
it is a rather long page so I am not all that interested in replying to the whole thing, but just for starters:
The very first paragraph sets a standard of dishonesty followed throughout the article. The implication is that there are two types of energy resources, "finite" and though not specifically mentioned, "infinite". Nuclear power is lumped with the finite.

In truth, all energy sources are finite. It is merely a question of HOW finite, i.e., when will the resource run out. For fossil fuels, the answer is typically taken to be <1000 years. Four "renewables", a.k.a. "unreliables", the answer is about 5 billion years. For nuclear, the answer is somewhere around one billion years. I'd call that a lot closer to the "infinite" designation, and thus it shouldn't be lumped with the fossil fuels.

Given the tone set by the opening paragraph, I don't expect to find much of value in the rest. I will probably remark on another item or two, but...
SoE

United States

#26725 Apr 4, 2013
PHD wrote:
<quoted text> You’re a bit confused again. Yes PHD is my initials and so... All my friends say you provide much humor and it would be no surprise being the Son of Entertainment.
Yes PHD is my initials and so..........
..........
If P.H.D. are your initials that would serve to clear up some potential misunderstandings.
..........
All my friends say you provide much humor and it would be no surprise being the Son of Entertainment
..........
Have your friends explained, to you, the core and focus of the humor ? Actually given your direction and persistent path they are friends you may wish to keep....
SoE

United States

#26726 Apr 4, 2013
PHD wrote:
<quoted text>So stop your shouting...
Even if the NET result is i am a STUD it would be crass to shout..

Since: Mar 13

Alexandria, VA

#26727 Apr 4, 2013
Another faux pas in the SoE provided link: http://www.ippnw-students.org/medicalvoices/e...
"People often times think that nuclear energy is the “clean alternative” to fossil fuels, but that’s not true… only because it doesn’t produce CO2, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. In fact, radiation is pretty much the most unhealthy thing you can imagine "
Tell that to the 10s and even 100s of thousands of people world wide who flock to radioactive hot-springs for their healing powers. Radiation in low continuing doses are not only not BAD for people, they are GOOD, up to a point. And that point is quite high.
There are certain isotopes, like I131, that can bio-concentrate and become a problem if not proprely handled. The Russians after were an example of not doing it right. The Japanese after Fukushima were an example of maybe half overdoing it.(They overdid around a given radius but did not track the plume and do it under said plume outside that radius.
But in reality, radiation is a minor issue compared to the toxic chemicle assault from all the alternative power sources. Is you want a cleaner environment, replace coal power with nuclear.
Bernard Forand

Cape Coral, FL

#26728 Apr 4, 2013
KitemanSA wrote:
<quoted text> Sorry, Sr90 half life is 30 years, not 300. <quoted text> Actually, I discussed a method that can handle all the different elements we would wish to handle. I'm not sure what BF means here.

Thank you for your reply. Have been many years since I last paid attention to this issue. This will be more accurate that what my memories of 45 years ago when I was more active in this area. I will also send additional info on some of those elements I was refering to, here are some excerpts from;
Transmutation of Radioactive Wastes is “Nuclear Alchemy Gamble”

In both the commercial and military sectors, some of the radioactive wastes generated are mixed with hazardous substances, such as organic solvents or other toxic chemicals. Much of this waste (especially the transuranic waste) contains substantial quantities of long-lived radionuclides, such as plutonium-239 and technetium-99. The radioactive components of mixed wastes are regulated under the Atomic Energy Act by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for commercial sources, and by the Department of Energy for military sources. The hazardous components, however, are subject to regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency according to an environmental law known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
One of the major problems associated with radioactive waste is the fact that much of it will be radioactive — and thus will require isolation from the human environment — for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years. Since this is a time period far longer than all of recorded history, the problem of waste disposal presents an enormous challenge.
Bernard Forand

Cape Coral, FL

#26729 Apr 4, 2013
Here is just some of the elements I referred to and their disposal methods. Includes the cask methods. Disposal of Technetium-99
Koyel Bhattacharyya
March 19, 2011
Submitted as coursework for Physics 241, Stanford University, Winter 2011
Technetium (Tc) is the lowest molecular weight element that is exclusively radioactive. Because of its instability, it occurs naturally only very rarely, and is found in but trace amounts in the Earth's crust from fission reactions in uranium ores. It is almost exclusively synthetically produced. The more stable isotopes, Tc-97, Tc-98, and Tc-99, have half-lives of 2.6 million, 4.6 million, and 213,000 years, respectively. These long half-lives make Tc a potentially dangerous source of radiation.[1]
While Tc-97 and Tc-98 exist only in very small quantities, due to the necessity for their artificial synthesis, large amounts of Tc-99 are produced from the fission of uranium (U)-235 or plutonium (Pu)-239 in about 5 % yield with respect to U or Pu. An estimated 78 tonnes of Tc-99 were produced by nuclear reactors between 1983 and 1994.[2] Such large amounts of a radioactive material make the production and disposal of Tc-99 an important environmental consideration, and in 2000, regulations were put in place to limit Tc-99 production to about 140 kg/year.[3]
Its long half-life, and our ability to extract it from radioactive waste with high chemical and isotopic purity, permits Tc-99 to be used for industrial purposes.[4] One such method of isolation involves the cathodic electrodeposition of a TcO2 hydrate onto a thin silver foil from a basic solution of the water soluble ion TcO4-(pertechnetate). Its consistent, low-energy output of &#946; particles makes it ideal for instrument calibration and optoelectronic nuclear batteries. Such batteries may last for decades and provide high energy density, but their prohibitively high prices prevent them from being used very commonly. Tc(VII) may also serve as a corrosion inhibitor and oxidizing agent. However, the industrial uses of Tc far outstrip its production, making the remaining radioactive Tc a danger to both health and environment.
The water solubility of pertechnetate makes its long half-life an ever more important problem. The ion is not only water soluble, but also highly geochemically mobile, permitting facile uptake by plants and aquatic life from Tc-rich soil.[5] Further, the mobile pertechnetate ion is easily fixed in plants into less mobile Tc organics, oxides, or sulfides. Plant-fixed Tc is likely one of the key sources of Tc radiation to humans. Once in the body, pertechnetate is readily transferred to the bloodstream with high efficiency by the intestines and lungs. It deposits in high concentration in the thyroid, stomach wall, and liver, where the emission of &#946; particles may induce cancer.
To be continued;
Bernard Forand

Cape Coral, FL

#26730 Apr 4, 2013
Continued Alchemy;
A key approach to reducing the uptake of Tc by humans is to reduce Tc(VII) levels in plants, and thus in soils, and thus ultimately its water solubility. In order to render it insoluble, Tc(VII), a redox-active element, may be reduced to a lower oxidation state, thereby controlling its levels in plants. Soils contaminated with Tc may also be heated to roughly 1000 °C in order to volatilize the Tc; however, this does not eliminate all of the Tc within a sample, and repeated efforts of volatilization do not substantially lower Tc levels. Most disposal techniques for nuclear waste deal with the removal of cationic species, which are much more common.[6] This makes the elimination of the anionic pertechnetate species more difficult. Transmutation is an alternative disposal method, in which Tc-99 is bombarded with neutrons to form Tc-100, which quickly decays to ruthenium-100.
The large-scale production of Tc-99, in conjunction with its long half-life, makes the removal of this isotope an important problem. While few efficient methods for its removal are currently in place, the development of such methods is an active field of research.
[1] "Technetium," in CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics, 84th Ed., D. R. Lide, ed.(CRC Press, 2004), pp. 4-29.
[2] M. García-León, "Tc-99 in the Environment: Sources, Distribution and Methods," J. Nucl. Radiochem. Sci. 6, 253 (2005).
[3] K. Tagami, "Technetium-99 Behavior in the Terrestrial Environment - Field Observations and Radiotracer Experiments," J. Nucl. Radiochem. Sci. 4, A1 (2003).
[4] K. Schwochau, Technetium: Chemistry and Radiopharmaceutical Applications (Wiley, 2000).
[5] J. D. Harrison and A. Phipps, "Gut Transfer and Doses from Environmental Technetium," J. Radiological Protection 21, 9 (2001).
[6] P. Altomare et al., "Alternative Disposal Concepts for High-level and Transuranic Radioactive Waste Disposal," Mitre Corporation, Technical Report MTR-7718, May 1979.

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