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March 08, 2009



"Hard to see how abandoning the Yucca Mountain depository helps."

Using what's left our our brain trust to form a scientific push for fusion would help.

IOW, Maguire stop 'fishin' for Kerr-McGee, for whom you are, no doubt, a 'consultant'


Please buckle up for safety. We are experiencing a re-emergence of trolls on all conservative blogs.

Jim Ryan

We are experiencing a re-emergence of trolls on all conservative blogs.

Of course. Teleprompter Jesus turned out to be as competent as a stick of wood and their spasms of twee rage drive them out from their holes. From a president whom they hated to one of whom they must be ashamed. Trolls can't get a lousy break.


Time scale and feasibility study please Septic.No use instigating the quest for the "Philosopher's Stone" with the lights out,so in the meantime what are you going to do?



STFU please, Yucca Mountain was selected after 10 years of investigation and testing. If it wasn't for the environazis, we would already be using it. They have dragged the process out ad infinitum and there are simply no good reasons to cancel the project. This has NIMBY stamped all over it.

Nuclear waste is being stored on site all over the country in less than optimum conditions. Burying it securely until we can figure out how to reuse it efficiently is the best idea so far.

There must be some "talking point" directive on Twit - er to the mass of Obozos to "get the word out"

Rick Ballard

The Ras approval ratings show a second consecutive 8 point day. That's a first and may explain what's drawing scum from under the bridges. Puffball and Axeltoad must have blown the big horn.

One may wonder if Zero will manage to sober up long enough to distract the electorate from the fact that Chicago gutter trash is cluttering Pennsylvania Avenue.


If you're wondering what Yucca Mountain looks like, here it is. Right in the middle of the Nellis AFB bombing range, which I didn't know.


Burying it securely until we can figure out how to reuse it efficiently is the best idea so far.

Actually, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is well established. Carter killed it to "prevent terrorists from making a bomb." Right.

The irony is that congress acted on all of this in 1982, with the High-Level Nuclear Waste Policy Act. That was to lead to the first operational waste repository in 1998. Clearly that didn't happen, and will not for some time it seems.

Another irony is that I actually did my doctoral thesis in one component of nuclear waste storage. It was directed to a different repository (up at near Hanford, WA). In those days the leading candidate sites were Yucca Mountain and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (or WIPP), a salt dome in NM IIRC.

No site is perfect, but this topic has been studied to death. This is a political action that has nothing to do with technical feasibility.



Doubtful. Wondered why he always seemed to spend so much time at "the gym"?

And +8 isn't so bad and should start to increase once that 8 bucks starts hitting the pay packet.

And something I've always been curious about-Obama has never had to leverage his popularity. He has never been in a position in which his unpopularity became an issue. He was a back bencher but well connected in the Illinois state house; he ran virtually unopposed for his US Senate seat; was a backbencher in the US Senate (and 1 of 100 voices so it doesn't really matter how popular or unpopular he was)...I'm worried what his next step will be if his strongly approve/strongly disapprove number turns negative.

Clinton at least lost a couple of elections and knew generally when he had to change course.

JM Hanes

Some reporter asked Obama about actually being President now, and he said "It turns out I'm pretty good at it."

I love Jennifer Rubin who said, "He's just not that into governing."

Jim Miller

During the campaign, I was struck by how ingenious Obama's stand on nuclear power was. If you didn't read his proposals very carefully, you would think that he was a moderate on the subject.

But if you read them carefully, you found that he favored nuclear power in principle, but opposes it in practice. Because, as he explained in his campaign documents, the problem of waste storage has not been solved.

For years, I have been saying that anyone who thinks that nuclear waste storage is an unsolved technical problem is either misinformed, or dishonest. (It's a difficult political problem, but not a difficult technical problem.)

In Obama's case, I think his position on nuclear power reveals his scientific ignorance. He doesn't know the facts on the subject -- and can't be bothered to learn them. But it is possible that he is conning us.


That, JMH, was my first sign of Obama's psychotic delusion, that he thinks he's good at being President. He's presiding alright, over a catastrophe.


The part of the Yucca Mountain question that always seems to be lost is that the nuclear industry has been paying the federal government billions of dollars to have a permanent repository for nuclear waste established.
A "no" on Yucca Mountain means it must go somewhere else.


During the campaign, I was struck by how ingenious Obama's stand on nuclear power was.

I guess it was ingenious for those not paying attention but, like you, I knew from the "if the problem of waste storage can be solved" caveat that it was all b.s.


Ingenious is not a positive attribute in government. Clear is a positive attribute.




Back in the late seventies I was around a few conservative scientists from Hanford WA--mainly for political reasons. They gave all kinds of talks on glassing--something like that and do not know the technical term--of nuclear waste.

As far as Yucca is concerned--why don't the Jommers buy it from the governement--cheap--and turn it into St. Jane's. Perfect year round temperature--has everything in the world in there to support a huge community. Just a little fantasy here............


"They gave all kinds of talks on glassing"

Vitrification. Then comes the cladding, and the overpack and ...


why don't the Jommers buy it from the governement--cheap--and turn it into St. Jane's.

Seems to me that would be an open invitation to start dumping waste on us. "Oops, sorry we forgot".

We need to be out of the country.

Jim Miller

sbw - I was being a little ironic with "ingenious" -- perhaps too ironic for the Internet. If you prefer, substitute "cleverly deceptive" for "ingenious", since that is what I meant.

Fun fact: You often hear that nuclear wastes will dangerous for thousands, and even millions, of years. That is misleading since many of the isotopes decay quite rapidly. I recall seeing an article on a Swedish study on the use of lead containers for nuclear wastes. The Swedes figured out that the lead would be more dangeorus than the wastes in about, as I recall, 300 years.


That's right, Jim. Cesium and Strontium are the primary bad actors early on, and they decay to mostly insignificant levels within the first 100 to 1000 years.

The Swedes did good work in the area, FWIW. Neretnieks in particular was great.


actually, Dr J, I was thinking more about how to recycle the waste more efficiently. At present, my understanding is that it is limited and there are huge quantities that are toxic. I know the French were doing a lot of reprocessing, but aren't there leftover highly radioactive byproducts?


Jim, My Ajax Ironiedetekor overloaded on election day and hasn't unwound since.


We need to be out of the country

Sigh--But it could be worse outside of the US.



Well, don't the U-topes decay to lead as it is? There might be just a scooch more than when you started. I've always thought that storing it on the Moon would at least put it within reach when we figure out how to go to the next step.

But I always dream BIG!


aren't there leftover highly radioactive byproducts?

Sure, but not nearly as much as the original waste material, on either an activity or volume basis.



How much do you know about "pebble beds"?

Jim Miller

mel - As I understand it, lead is what you get in natural decay of uranium. Eventually. But reactors also produce other elements, some of them as radioactive isotopes.

But DrJ is really the one who should answer this question.


Here is what little I know, mel. Pebble bed reactors can't melt down, they use a chemically unreactive fluid to transfer energy and they are easily scalable. Also, the Chinese are light years ahead of the rest of the world at developing this technology. I believe they will be franchising pebble bed electrical plants all over the world, supplying the vitrified pebbles and recovering them for reprocessing. They also don't have pesky environmentalists to object when they dump the unrecoverable wastes in the vasts of the Gobi Desert. Hurray for the Middle Kingdom.


Sorry mel, I was involved with disposal back in the day, but since then I've not really followed the generation part of field in any detail.


Speaking of "no nukes", you can now start a war without them ...

Markov, a political analyst who has long been one of Vladimir Putin's glibbest defenders, went on to explain that this assistant happened to be in "one of the unrecognized republics" during the dispute with Estonia and had decided on his own that "something bad had to be done to these fascists." So he went ahead and launched a cyberwar.



Tangent to your reference to the cyber attack on Estonia is the resignation of Rod Beckstrom head of US Cybersecurity.

A line in Drudge--Cybersecurity Chief Resigns put me on the trail to the CNET article linked above.


My $.02: the Licence of Application for Yucca Mtn. now under review by the NRC. Sound science? You bet. Pure politics? Absolutely. Talk about sound science? Of the 321 contentions filed by the state of "neh-vah-da" and the local indian tribes, all but a few were easily dismissed as utter nonsense. A few will be debated in the upcoming NRC/ASLB hearings, but believe me, there are no show-stoppers. The science is solid. What better place on earth to "store" in a deep geologic repository the waste...until such time as it can be retrieved, if desired, left in place for the next 10,000 to one million years (yes, the National Academy of Sciences directed that the modeling had to run out to one million years). No dose limits are exceeded. By the time the Alloy 22 canisters decay the worst isotopes will have decayed to safe half-lives. The site is adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, where over 900 nuclear weapons were detonated (and no, there won't be any condominiums built there by whorehouse Harry Reid anytime soon). To the north is the Nellis AFB and test/bombing range. The whole site is fenced in and protected (the Yucca site; test site, and bombing range/Nellis). Good luck to the terrorists trying to get in. The area receives less than 4 inches of rain a year. The mountain is formed from volcanic rock; water trickles through the rock at an extremely slow rate. The canisters to store the waste are of Alloy-22; they will last at least 10,000 years (as shown in research). Besides the issue of storing the commerical nuclear fuel (fuel rods in canisters); the DOE waste from Hanford and Savannah River Site (including waste from the tank farms at both sites that is immobilized in glass) and the spent naval cores (from submarines and aircraft carriers; currently stored in Idaho) can only be disposed of in a deep geologic repository such as Yucca. It cannot be reprocessed (thus, if not Yucca Mountain, another repository must be found). Mention was made of reprocessing in an earlier post; the French and Japaneese reprocess, but it is a once through process...commerical spent fuel can only be reporcessed once. The waste left over MUST also be disposed of...in a deep geologic repository (earlier studies were conducted looking at the possibility of placing the waste in the deepest parts of the oceans...that didn't fly(!)). The Swedish are currently planning their repository...and two towns are vying for the chance to build it (yes, they want the jobs and the income it will bring to their communities). The French are currently storing their waste from reprocessing until their plans are finished for their repository. The utilities producing nuclear power have paid over $22 Billion into the nuclar waste fund for the purpose of building the repository; this is law as set out in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. President Dope (no Hope) realized that if he let whorehouse Harry kill the project outright the utilities will (again) sue to retrieve those funds and win damages on top of that, including the costs to build dry storage facilities adjacent to the reactor sites (where the spent fuel pools are filling to capacity). So the Dope has decreed that the project can limp along and let the licensing process continue. We shall see. If whorehouse Harry loses the election in 2010 after the Dope has destroyed the country's economy then "sound science" may prevail. Meanwhile, 27 license applications for 35 new nuclear reactors are in play at the NRC....now with no solution to the back end of the fuel cycle. How will the Dope deals with this conundrum???

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