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That age-old question… September 10, 2006

Posted by samwyse in Editorials.
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Over at Wired News, there’s an article about WIPP (or, as they call it, the “Nuclear Dump of the Future” Someone visiting the site asks that age-old question:

Instead of spending so many millions of tax payer dollars on this facility, why not shoot this stuff to the sun? 10,000 years is a lot of time, and too much can happen in such a long time.These nuclear substances should have no place on our planet.

 

Let’s see, China’s Long March 3B can put 11,466 lbs of cargo into a geosynchronous transfer orbit at a price of $5,233/lb. While that’s not quite all the way to the sun, an object in such an orbit won’t decay until after the radiation has all decayed. I can’t find out exactly how much waste will be stored, but let’s say it’s 2,000 tons. That works out to just shy of $21 billion dollars. WIPP is expected to cost $1 billion, a real bargain. Also, shooting it into space will take 350 launches. Do you want to be downwind if one of them explodes on the launchpad?

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1. phrenseed - September 23, 2006

Read about Hanford Nuclear Reserve in Washington State. Hanford produced most of the plutonium in America, and enough during the war to raise the temperature of the Columbia River one degree (the Columbia is the largest river in the Western Hemisphere flowing into the Pacific Ocean, some years with more volume than the Mississippi); and heating the Columbia River – even one degree – is no mean feat. Nuclear waste kept in ‘safe containers’ now makes its way underground to the Columbia River… a little late to load it on board anything, but I sure wish it wasn’t here. Phrenseed. http://gnuzworks.com


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