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From: John Woodgate
Subject: Re: eer
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 03:44:09 +0000
Organization: JMWA Electronics Consultancy
Reply-To: John Woodgate
NNTP-Posting-Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 06:01:57 +0000 (UTC)
X-Newsreader: Turnpike (32) Version 4.01 <5Z8C9wtxbnpWyFnyfFzqmVF739>
I read in sci.electronics.design that StevJensen
wrote (in <firstname.lastname@example.org>) about 'eer', on
Tue, 29 Oct 2002:
>email@example.com (Richard Steven Walz)
>>>firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Steven Walz)
>>>So, if you really want to get rid of it(which also seems questionable),
>>>why can't you mix the remainder back up with the original talus and put
>>>it back where you found it. Overall less radioactive than when you
No, it isn't less radioactive. See below.
>>U is EASY to get rid of. Pu is NOT.
>So what makes Pu hard to get rid of?
I don't know what Steve has in mind there. U and P are somewhat similar
chemically, although they are different enough to be fairly easy to
separate. Pu239 is a lot more energetically radioactive that either U238
>>Also, wherever we get water is tested,
>>and we are experienced at avoiding deriving city water from radioactive
>>springs, and there are a bunch in the southwest. If we start putting
>>radioactive stuff back, then we wind up putting both Pu and a host of other
>>long-lived isotopes with it, and we risk suddenly finding that we didn't
>>REALLY understand the aquifer very well and that we have polluted the shit
>>out of massive acquifers upon which human life depends!!!
>This is what prompted my question. You took half the radioactivity out of
>an area that was already radioactive. What is it that would actually make
>matters worse by putting the remainder back?
The waste is not less radioactive than the original. It is a LOT more
energetically active. These energetic isotopes have much shorter half-
lives than the significant U isotopes and Pu239.
>Even if an aquifer proves to be a problem it seems, at least to me, that
>it would be an even bigger problem if you had not done anything at all.
>Why won't you get the same brew of isotopes with the stuff sitting right
>where it was? The decay paths do not seem to change much if any
>with the stuff in a reactor, they just get speed up a lot.
The reactor causes *fission*, which does not occur in ore beds now. It
did occur a few times in the geological past; there is at least one such
site in Africa. Fission creates very energetically radioactive isotopes
that are by no means present in natural decay paths. The former consist
of fragments, such as Cs137 and I131 (IIRC), of the heavy nuclei, while
the latter include only some of the elements between Pb and U or Pu.
Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only. http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk
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