Home Forums General Discussions Open Topic something to ponder

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  • #45072

    sarsaparilly
    Participant
    #70616

    rosa
    Participant

    I don’t understand why nuclear waste can’t be broken down into something else. Or combined into something else, I guess. If there are any chemistry majors in the house, please explain for me.

    It just seems like it would make more sense to either neutralize it or use it for something different. <img> Can they do that??

    rosa

    p.s. happy 37th birthday Slash!

    <small>[ 07-23-2002, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: rosa ]</small>

    #70617

    buckingham rabbit
    Participant

    My grandfather was a nuclear chemist, but I sure as hell am not. However, I don’t think they can do that. <img>

    #70618

    squeapler
    Participant

    Hi Rosa,
    Theoretically a lot of nuclear waste Can be recycled (i.e. chemically changed into useful compounds) but in the U.S. this is not being done on a large scale. One reason is that it costs more to recycle the waste than to dump it. Another big reason is that U.S. citizens would probably object to recycled nuclear waste being used, and might vote politicians out of office who supported such a scheme. So there is no economic incentive to do it in the U.S. I think some other countries are recycling the waste, generally these are countries that have less waste, less space to bury it and where the government operates a little differently so public opinion may not matter so much as it does in the U.S. If you Google on "nuclear waste"+recycling you’ll find a bunch of pages dedicated to this issue. here is one (scroll to the bottom)

    http://www.wiskit.com/marilyn/nucwaste.html

    (I edited this to take out "in most products" because most of it would probably end up back in the govt devices that used it in the first place, but consumers would still worry about accidents working with it, quality control etc.)

    <small>[ 07-23-2002, 07:23 PM: Message edited by: squeapler ]</small>

    #70619

    rosa
    Participant

    Hey squeapler,

    Thanks so much for that link. It’s fascinating. Also, it’s funny that it started out by mentioning Marilyn Vos Savant; I hate ‘Ask Marilyn’ and she recently pissed me off enough to write a rant on my web page. I occasionally wonder whether ‘Vos Savant’ is actually her real last name, or if she’s just trying to be clever.

    But about the nuclear waste. There is that old law of physics that says matter doesn’t disappear, it just changes shape. If there were a safe way to manipulate nuclear by-products for positive enterprises, I would support it. It’s just energy; there must be a way to water it down from bomb-strength to, say, ship-strength or car-strength.

    Will start by re-reading the link you sent, and trying the search you suggested. I’m’a learn me some nuclear physics <img>

    thanks again,
    Rosa

    <small>[ 07-23-2002, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: rosa ]</small>

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