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View Diary: Biggest Blunders in Technology History (76 comments)

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  •  Yes, there are designs for reactors that run (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Uncle Cosmo

    almost entirely on nuclear waste (yes, it eats up that insanely dangerous stuff in the "cooling ponds" and turns it into power) and are considered walk away safe in that you can just pull the plug and walk away.  One such design includes things like frozen salt plugs so that if it fails all the radioactive material gets dumped into one or more containment tanks designed to survive anything short of a dinosaur killer asteroid.  Still a medium term solution and thorium reactors are better in the long term as it is much more common than uranium (and can also be built using inherent/passive safety rather than the active safety systems used today).

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:37:06 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Just to clarify, molten salt reactors qualify (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, Throw The Bums Out

      as candidates for "nuclear pigs" to gobble up those radioactive "slops"--you separate the elements in the reprocessing loop & run the ones with long-lived isotopes back through the core until they suck up enough neutrons to turn into fissile species & then get split by one more. In the end you're left with a much smaller amount of radioactive waste, primarily fission products with half-lives of 30 years or less, which after 200-300 years in secure & geologically stable facilities are no more radiologically hazardous than uranium ore. Still not an ideal situation, but consider that CO2 has a half life in the atmosphere of roughly 80 years...


      by Uncle Cosmo on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 06:45:02 AM PDT

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