Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

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Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:00 pm UTC

The largest downside to nuclear energy is that no one has a good idea of what to do with the waste. The best, and only, solution I have ever heard is burying the waste, and then praying that no earthquakes happen. About 30 minutes ago I thought of another solution. What if we sent nuclear waste to the Moon? Putting it in low Earth orbit would be cheaper; but if a casing fails the waste would fall back to Earth, because of the slight amount of atmospheric drag it would experience. The Moon's gravitational pull would ensure that this could never happen. Alternatively, the waste could be put in orbit outside the Earth magnetosphere. Seeing how well it protects us from the Sun, I have a hunch that it would easily deflect a couple kilograms of charged particles.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby ahammel » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:04 pm UTC

Old thread on storing radwaste various places in the solar system.

The biggest problem would be the cost. It would also be rather inconvenient if a rocket full of nuclear waste exploded on the platform.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby speising » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:12 pm UTC

The best solution is to actually use it, in a breeder reactor. It's insane to let all this nice energy radiate away uselessly.


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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:54 pm UTC

We need more superheroes. Thus I suggest we 'store' all nuclear waste on badly-maintained trailers being recklessly towed around urban areas with a high population of children, and similar....

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:01 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:We need more superheroes. Thus I suggest we 'store' all nuclear waste on badly-maintained trailers being recklessly towed around urban areas with a high population of children orphans, and similar....

Fixed it for you.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby ucim » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:57 am UTC

speising wrote:The best solution is to actually use it, in a breeder reactor. It's insane to let all this nice energy radiate away uselessly.

This.

The problem is that nuclear waste can be easily abused. But so can nuclear fuel. And that is a problem. The abuse can be deliberate (e.g. terrorism) or inadvertent (i.e. human carelessness). And this is the main reason (that I see) for opposition to nuclear energy in the first place. If you can't handle the waste, it's an indication that you shouldn't do the thing, for the very same reasons. And if you can and should do the thing, then handling the waste should be easily within the same parameters.

Storing the waste on the moon is a solution to the wrong problem. (And that is the reason for most of the world's problems - solving the wrong problem adds another problem to the list).

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:49 am UTC

Since using nuclear waste in a breeder reactor produces energy extremely inefficiently, that is only a "solution" if you are willing to spend many times more for your electricity. At that point, you might as well use renewable sources of energy.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Minerva » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:51 am UTC

If nuclear waste is so terrible, then don't waste it!
Wasting used-once LWR fuel, with 97% unreacted good fuel, is a terrible idea.

We can make containers that will survive launch vehicle accidents. RTGs are designed to do just this.
For example the Apollo 13 ALSEP fuel cask survived uncontrolled atmospheric reentry and landed on the bottom of the deep ocean, where it remains to this day with no detectable leakage or contamination.

But used nuclear fuel has never ever hurt any person in the history of the world. Why do we need to go to such expense and such trouble to fear it?

Launching mass into space is also extremely expensive, and it's just not economically viable.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby p1t1o » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:13 am UTC

This series of documentaries on the dangers of storing the waste on the moon is an eye-opener:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_1999

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:15 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:This series of documentaries on the dangers of storing the waste on the moon is an eye-opener:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_1999

That must have been one hell of an explosion...

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:22 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The largest downside to nuclear energy is that no one has a good idea of what to do with the waste. The best, and only, solution I have ever heard is burying the waste, and then praying that no earthquakes happen. About 30 minutes ago I thought of another solution. What if we sent nuclear waste to the Moon? Putting it in low Earth orbit would be cheaper; but if a casing fails the waste would fall back to Earth, because of the slight amount of atmospheric drag it would experience. The Moon's gravitational pull would ensure that this could never happen. Alternatively, the waste could be put in orbit outside the Earth magnetosphere. Seeing how well it protects us from the Sun, I have a hunch that it would easily deflect a couple kilograms of charged particles.


Is the waste really so big of a problem? I mean, we don't have all that much of it (250,000 tonnes), and don't generate too much every year (only a few thousand tonnes). Assuming you can't use it in some productive way, as some others have suggested, the volume is small enough that doing more or less what we're currently doing--just dumping it into a really deep unused mine, and eventually sealing it off--should be enough to manage all of the waste we'll ever produce. There's plenty of mines we can use.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby mfb » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:05 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:This series of documentaries on the dangers of storing the waste on the moon is an eye-opener:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_1999
"Documentaries"
nuclear waste stored on the Moon's far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space


Launching it to space safely would be possible, and with a tolerable increase in the cost of nuclear power if we limit it to the worst waste. And with current rockets. Launch prices should go down a lot in the next years.

A 1 GW reactor produces something like 5 tons of high-level waste per year. Modify Dragon to get rid of all the stuff it doesn't need, fill 5 tons of waste in (the Wikipedia payload numbers are outdated - it can handle more), put in on top of a Falcon 9, and send it to a Medium Earth Orbit. ~$60 million for the rocket, ~60 million for the Dragon, both numbers get lower if we can re-use them.
With the worst case of 120 million, we increase the cost of nuclear power by 1.7 cent/kWh. Reusing the Dragon capsules and the first stage of F9, that number should go down to less than 1 cent/kWh. Not negligible, but not a large increase in the costs. Future fully reusable rockets could make that price go down so much that it becomes negligible.
Dragon has a launch escape system, it can safely escape and land even if the whole rocket explodes behind it. SpaceX is working on a man-rated version of it. Orbital decay times in Medium Earth Orbit are way longer than the half-life of the relevant isotopes in the waste.

Possible? Yes.
Politically feasible? No way. Too many people will hear "atoms/nuclear" and "rocket" and go crazy.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:25 pm UTC

It still seems like an inferior solution to simply burying the waste in a mountain. Apparently that is also politically difficult.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:15 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:It still seems like an inferior solution to simply burying the waste in a mountain. Apparently that is also politically difficult.

Mountains wear down.

Bury it in an oceanic trench!

(Might be awkward if the associated volcanic arc starts spewing >trace amounts of material in VEI 2+ plumes. Check your cumulative half-lives of all daughter/granddaughter products of concern, and match that with the rate of subduction to the distance to wear it might appear... It might be long enough to no longer be a problem. To us, at least. Might be troublesome to so far undiscovered magmatic life-forms, assuming they aren't as proof from that as they are from the extreme heat and pressure they clearly need... )

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:17 pm UTC

To everyone who suggested burying the waste somewhere:

Spoiler:
20% of the worlds fresh water is in the Great Lakes basin*, 10% of the U.S. population depends on these lakes for fresh water*, and 84.87 million people live in a U.S. state of Canadian providence bordering the Great Lakes**. There are currently several proposed mines next to the Great Lakes***. If you buried radioactive waste in one of these mines and it leaked, you would effectively destabilize the U.S. (and possibly Canada) enough to kill the country****.

Mines go really deep*****, so just detecting a leak would be difficult and repairing it would be next to impossible. Ignoring the inherent dangers of mines that have been abandoned for 100s, possibly 1,000's of years, the entire place is filled with radioactive waste! I do not care what kind of safety gear you have on, entering that place would be a death sentence. To everyone who just said, 'We could just send robots', radiation has damaging effects on robotic parts******, the more complex the more damaging. Controlling a robot remotely through several miles of solid rock and radioactive isotopes, which tend to be fairly dense, is not the easiest thing in the world. Oh, and if you lined the mine with a casing to reinforce it structurally and the casing includes lead, then the only way you could even communicate this the robot is with neutrinos and [insert all the obvious reasons trying to communicate with neutrinos instead of radio waves is a stupid idea].

This is a worst case scenario, but I think it gets my points across. This is one of those really great idea that solves all the factors in the presented problem, but compounds the effects of any mistakes or unaccounted for factors exponentially.


Spoiler:
*https://www.americanrivers.org/region/great-lakes/

**https://www.reference.com/geography/states-border-great-lakes-2202fcd47d3b5001
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=p ... nd+Indiana
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=8 ... ssumption={%22C%22,+%22Quebec%22}+-%3E+{%22AdministrativeDivision%22}

***https://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Protect-Habitat/Waters/Great-Lakes/Sulfide-Mining.aspx

****Spider-Man comic, I can look up the exact issue if you want.

*****Citation needed

******https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11162.html

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Zohar » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:27 pm UTC

You know it's much easier to just use superscript numbers for your references.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:14 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:To everyone who suggested burying the waste somewhere:
...
If you buried radioactive waste in one of these mines and it leaked, you would effectively destabilize the U.S. (and possibly Canada) enough to kill the country.
So don't bury it in one of those mines?

"Bury the waste somewhere" doesn't mean "dump the waste wherever there happens to be a deep enough hole already conveniently dug for you".
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:10 pm UTC

I DARE you to name 1 place that does not contribute to the global ecosystem in someway. It may not be obvious and the effects may not be immediate, but doing anything anywhere on this planet affects everything everywhere else.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

Anything that happens anywhere in the solar system also affects everything everywhere else. The point is that some places have less of an effect than others, and you can't reasonably support your argument with an appeal to hypotheticals about the worst- and dumbest-case scenario.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:02 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I DARE you to name 1 place that does not contribute to the global ecosystem in someway. It may not be obvious and the effects may not be immediate, but doing anything anywhere on this planet affects everything everywhere else.


Stripped of the few simple caveats I gave (and that you can go back and read...)
Soupspoon wrote:Bury it in an oceanic trench!

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby SDK » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:22 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I DARE you to name 1 place that does not contribute to the global ecosystem in someway. It may not be obvious and the effects may not be immediate, but doing anything anywhere on this planet affects everything everywhere else.

Are the best-case scenario effects of nuclear energy better or worse than the worst-case scenario effects of basically any other form of power generation? I can already guess what your answer will be, but I can also guess that you'll be wrong. Nuclear waste is bad, but it's not THAT bad. It can be handled if you don't let morons do the job and have good legislation covering waste disposal.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:54 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I DARE you to name 1 place that does not contribute to the global ecosystem in someway. It may not be obvious and the effects may not be immediate, but doing anything anywhere on this planet affects everything everywhere else.


Groundwater is the primary danger to longterm radioactive storage locations. Not just because of potential contamination, but because of erosion--over the long term, the ground water will wear down the structure and permit escape. The regions typically considered for geological storage are crystalline or clay, which have little-to-no groundwater access. This is the primary consideration of virtually all nuclear waste disposal solutions

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:29 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:To everyone who suggested burying the waste somewhere:

Spoiler:
20% of the worlds fresh water is in the Great Lakes basin*, 10% of the U.S. population depends on these lakes for fresh water*, and 84.87 million people live in a U.S. state of Canadian providence bordering the Great Lakes**. There are currently several proposed mines next to the Great Lakes***. If you buried radioactive waste in one of these mines and it leaked, you would effectively destabilize the U.S. (and possibly Canada) enough to kill the country****.

Mines go really deep*****, so just detecting a leak would be difficult and repairing it would be next to impossible. Ignoring the inherent dangers of mines that have been abandoned for 100s, possibly 1,000's of years, the entire place is filled with radioactive waste! I do not care what kind of safety gear you have on, entering that place would be a death sentence. To everyone who just said, 'We could just send robots', radiation has damaging effects on robotic parts******, the more complex the more damaging. Controlling a robot remotely through several miles of solid rock and radioactive isotopes, which tend to be fairly dense, is not the easiest thing in the world. Oh, and if you lined the mine with a casing to reinforce it structurally and the casing includes lead, then the only way you could even communicate this the robot is with neutrinos and [insert all the obvious reasons trying to communicate with neutrinos instead of radio waves is a stupid idea].

This is a worst case scenario, but I think it gets my points across. This is one of those really great idea that solves all the factors in the presented problem, but compounds the effects of any mistakes or unaccounted for factors exponentially.


Spoiler:
*https://www.americanrivers.org/region/great-lakes/

**https://www.reference.com/geography/states-border-great-lakes-2202fcd47d3b5001
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=p ... nd+Indiana
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=8 ... ssumption={%22C%22,+%22Quebec%22}+-%3E+{%22AdministrativeDivision%22}

***https://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Protect-Habitat/Waters/Great-Lakes/Sulfide-Mining.aspx

****Spider-Man comic, I can look up the exact issue if you want.

*****Citation needed

******https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11162.html

When I said "a mountain," was talking about a particular mountain.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby p1t1o » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:14 am UTC

Lets also remember for a second that a significant amount of nuclear waste is produced by coal-fired power stations, and Im not sure about modern power stations or "clean coal" but most of it is ejected into the atmosphere apparently.

A 1,000 MW coal-burning power plant could have an uncontrolled release of as much as 5.2 metric tons per year of uranium (containing 74 pounds (34 kg) of uranium-235) and 12.8 metric tons per year of thorium.[31] In comparison, a 1,000 MW nuclear plant will generate about 30 metric tons of high-level radioactive solid packed waste per year.[32]

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby morriswalters » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:57 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I DARE you to name 1 place that does not contribute to the global ecosystem in someway. It may not be obvious and the effects may not be immediate, but doing anything anywhere on this planet affects everything everywhere else.
I'll state the obvious. The waste is already stored somewhere. Yucca Flats Mountain or someplace like it are meant to be safer than storage at the facility.
Last edited by morriswalters on Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby p1t1o » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:49 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I DARE you to name 1 place that does not contribute to the global ecosystem in someway. It may not be obvious and the effects may not be immediate, but doing anything anywhere on this planet affects everything everywhere else.


This logic does not quite pan out, since naturally occuring radioactives have not rendered all drinking water toxic.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby mfb » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:59 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:Lets also remember for a second that a significant amount of nuclear waste is produced by coal-fired power stations, and Im not sure about modern power stations or "clean coal" but most of it is ejected into the atmosphere apparently.

A 1,000 MW coal-burning power plant could have an uncontrolled release of as much as 5.2 metric tons per year of uranium (containing 74 pounds (34 kg) of uranium-235) and 12.8 metric tons per year of thorium.[31] In comparison, a 1,000 MW nuclear plant will generate about 30 metric tons of high-level radioactive solid packed waste per year.[32]
The high-level waste has a much higher activity than uranium and thorium, but it is contained, not spread in the air. Coal power plants release more radioactive material than nuclear power plants.
"But Chernobyl, Fukushima and TMI!" The statement is true including all nuclear accidents.

Let's count total decays. Chernobyl emitted (source, p33-35):
- 85 ± 26 PBq of caesium-137 with a half-life of 30 years, leading to (1.2+-0.4)E26 decays.
- 10 PBq of strontium-90 with a half-life of 28 years, leading to 1.3E25 decays.
- 6500 PBq of xenon-133 with a half-life of 5 days, leading to 4.1E24 decays.
- 1800 PBq of iodone-131 with a half-life of 8 days, leading to 1.8E24 decays.
- various smaller contributions, in sum way below the uncertainty on the amount of caesium.
Fukushima emitted something like 10% the amount Chernobyl did, and TMI and all other reactor accidents are just a rounding error. Operating power plants are negligible as well.
In total we get about 1.4+-0.4E26 nuclear decays due to nuclear power plants. A large fraction of those radioactive elements landed in the area around Chernobyl, where people moved away - they won't decay close to humans.


Uranium and thorium from coal power plants don't lead to very impressive Bq numbers. But they will stay radioactive basically forever, and we didn't start using coal last year. Integrating the emissions over the years, the released activity is now 2.7E6 curies or 10E17 Bq. That corresponds to 3.2E24 decays per year. Even if we completely ignore the historical decays and suddenly stop all coal power plants, we'll get the radioactivity of all nuclear accidents together from coal in 40 years. And again in the following 40 years, and the following 40 years, ... In reality we will get them much faster because we burn more coal than ever before (scary graph).
The material is washed away eventually, ending up in the oceans. While that is fast compared to uranium and thorium lifetimes, it is a very slow process on human timescales.
Unlike Chernobyl, you cannot really move away from coal power plants. They are built where people live, and the fallout is not limited to two sites.


Uranium and thorium are by far not the worst parts of coal ash. You also have various other toxic elements, dust and so on. Wikipedia has a table.
Coal ash is responsible for about 2 percent of all deaths globally. 100,000 deaths/(1E12 kWh)* 0.413*23322 TWh/y = 960,000 deaths/year. One every 30 seconds. At 56 million deaths per year in total, that is a fraction of about 2%. Similar to road accidents and more than war and other violence combined. But unlike road accidents, we could avoid it without influencing our lifestyle.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:21 am UTC

mfb wrote:Even if we completely ignore the historical decays and suddenly stop all coal power plants, we'll get the radioactivity of all nuclear accidents together from coal in 40 years.

I completely agree on the health-and-safety merits of nuclear power relative to coal, but this statistic feels slightly disingenuous. Am I remembering incorrectly that for radioactivity to pose a significant health hazard, it has to pass at least a certain background level? And, as such, the concentration (in both space and time) of the decays is more important than their raw number?

(Given the coal-ash death figures provided, that may not be a particularly meaningful worry, but still.)
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Zamfir » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:54 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote: Am I remembering incorrectly that for radioactivity to pose a significant health hazard, it has to pass at least a certain background level? And, as such, the concentration (in both space and time) of the decays is more important than their raw number?

That's not a hard fact. Regulators typically use the 'linear no threshold' model, which assumes that 1 dose for 1 person is the same as 1/1000th of a dose to a 1000 people. Simplicity is the greatest virtue of that model, but it's reasonable starting assumption. After all, cancer is the main risk of low-dose radiation, and that's largely a lottery. One ionising event has to hit DNA exactly right to cause a mutation that contributes to cancer. Less radiation means less tickets for the lottery, while the risk per event stays.

But that is mostly conjecture - DNA repair mechanism are not understood well enough to be sure. There's no empirical evidence that conclusively affirms or rejects the LNT model. The postulated effect for small doses (below 50mSv or so) gets swamped in confounding factors. There are so many other factors that nudge cancer rates slightly up or down.

I think the evidence is strong enough to say that LNT does not greatly underestimate cancer risks at low doses. Most people assume that LNT is conservative, overestimates cancer from low doses. That's good enough for most regulatory purposes - if a health risk is acceptable under LNT, it's probably OK.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby mfb » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:33 pm UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
mfb wrote:Even if we completely ignore the historical decays and suddenly stop all coal power plants, we'll get the radioactivity of all nuclear accidents together from coal in 40 years.

I completely agree on the health-and-safety merits of nuclear power relative to coal, but this statistic feels slightly disingenuous. Am I remembering incorrectly that for radioactivity to pose a significant health hazard, it has to pass at least a certain background level? And, as such, the concentration (in both space and time) of the decays is more important than their raw number?
Radiation sickness is nonlinear, but that needs very high doses (>100 mSv) - it applies only to a few workers directly at the nuclear power plants.

For cancer, we don't even have evidence that low dose rates increase the cancer risk at all. But no matter how the cancer risk as function of radiation looks like, we can do a Taylor approximation around the natural background dose: Higher-order terms should be completely negligible for small additional dose rates. The additional cancer risk from low additional doses will be linear even if (we don't know) the overall cancer risk is not linear with radiation dose.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:16 pm UTC

Ah, my mistake - I think I was primarily thinking of radiation sickness rather than long-term cancer risk (as referenced in Issues Of Weighty Importance such as "is the decay from potassium in bananas a health risk"). Overall decays seems like a reasonable way to calculate it under LNT model, especially given long-term decay, reasonable levels of spread through the atmosphere, and coal plants not in general being highly sequestered from urban centers.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Chen » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:46 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:To everyone who suggested burying the waste somewhere:

Spoiler:
20% of the worlds fresh water is in the Great Lakes basin*, 10% of the U.S. population depends on these lakes for fresh water*, and 84.87 million people live in a U.S. state of Canadian providence bordering the Great Lakes**. There are currently several proposed mines next to the Great Lakes***. If you buried radioactive waste in one of these mines and it leaked, you would effectively destabilize the U.S. (and possibly Canada) enough to kill the country****.

Mines go really deep*****, so just detecting a leak would be difficult and repairing it would be next to impossible. Ignoring the inherent dangers of mines that have been abandoned for 100s, possibly 1,000's of years, the entire place is filled with radioactive waste! I do not care what kind of safety gear you have on, entering that place would be a death sentence. To everyone who just said, 'We could just send robots', radiation has damaging effects on robotic parts******, the more complex the more damaging. Controlling a robot remotely through several miles of solid rock and radioactive isotopes, which tend to be fairly dense, is not the easiest thing in the world. Oh, and if you lined the mine with a casing to reinforce it structurally and the casing includes lead, then the only way you could even communicate this the robot is with neutrinos and [insert all the obvious reasons trying to communicate with neutrinos instead of radio waves is a stupid idea].

This is a worst case scenario, but I think it gets my points across. This is one of those really great idea that solves all the factors in the presented problem, but compounds the effects of any mistakes or unaccounted for factors exponentially.


Spoiler:
*https://www.americanrivers.org/region/great-lakes/

**https://www.reference.com/geography/states-border-great-lakes-2202fcd47d3b5001
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=p ... nd+Indiana
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=8 ... ssumption={%22C%22,+%22Quebec%22}+-%3E+{%22AdministrativeDivision%22}

***https://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Protect-Habitat/Waters/Great-Lakes/Sulfide-Mining.aspx

****Spider-Man comic, I can look up the exact issue if you want.

*****Citation needed

******https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11162.html


So you present the worst case scenario for waste leaking in a mine, but what about the worst case scenario of launching the waste into orbit? Like the launch vehicle exploding and spreading radiation over some otherwise populated area. Or the thing crashing into some watershed or other populated area.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby jewish_scientist » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:47 pm UTC

SDK: I think that you have misunderstood my intentions. I was not arguing that nuclear power plants should not be built because its negative affects are too great. I was proposing a system designed to minimize the negatives affects of nuclear power.

Eebster the Great: I did not realize that. You were too ambiguous for anyone to understand you

Chen: Really :roll: . You go on a website full of people with actual doctorates and use the Straw Man Fallacy. Maybe you should study some basic logic before making a big fool of yourself again. [/sarcasm]

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:09 pm UTC

Nothing in Chen's post was a straw-man fallacy.

Meaning the person in this thread most in need of a refresher course in logic is you.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby jewish_scientist » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:27 pm UTC

Poe's law, officially more dangerous than nuclear waste.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Mutex » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:33 pm UTC

Poe's law is that it is be impossible to tell a sufficiently accurate parody of an idiot from an actual idiot. Who is the person pretending to be an idiot here?

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:46 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:SDK: I think that you have misunderstood my intentions. I was not arguing that nuclear power plants should not be built because its negative affects are too great. I was proposing a system designed to minimize the negatives affects of nuclear power.

The problem with this is basically statistical. Maybe rockets are "pretty safe" for transporting nuclear waste. But are they safer than ground-based alternatives? I don't know why you would put more faith in the rocket scientists than the geologists here. We have a lot more experience storing waste in the ground than we do sending it into space on rockets in the hope that its container will survive the occasional explosion.


Yucca Mountain is not some obscure site in the West, it is a famous and important planned nuclear waste repository. Many years of research determined the risks of storing it there more precisely than anywhere else on Earth, and they were excellent. Decades of research have demonstrated the long-term insecurity of current methods. Yet the site got shut down because of stupid political misunderstandings like this that have nothing to do with the actual science.

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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby Liri » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:28 pm UTC

Yeah, I knew Eebster was referencing Yucca mtn. It's not unreasonable to take for granted that people are familiar with it in a thread about storing nuclear waste (on the moon or anywhere else).

There's a great article about all the design considerations for long-term nuclear waste storage sites detailing all the techniques to repel people. I think it was linked to in a What-If.
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Re: Storing Nuclear Waste on the Moon

Postby mfb » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:32 pm UTC

Chen wrote:So you present the worst case scenario for waste leaking in a mine, but what about the worst case scenario of launching the waste into orbit? Like the launch vehicle exploding and spreading radiation over some otherwise populated area. Or the thing crashing into some watershed or other populated area.
Rockets are not launched over populated areas, most of them are launched over the ocean. The worst case is godzilla some dead fish, in the incredibly unlikely event that both rocket and spacecraft fail at the same time. See the Falcon 9 explosion for example: The capsule survived an explosion of the full upper stage, even without a launch abort system.


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