nuclear composting

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Old Rocks, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Old Rocks

    Old Rocks Diamond Member

    Oct 31, 2008
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    Portland, Ore.
    One of the problems of nuclear reactors, at least the gen 1 and 2, are that they produce a lot of nuclear waste. As we are learning in so many fields, waste is simply fortunes without intelligence applied to it.

    Energy from Thorium: Nuclear Composting

    What's next? Neodymium is pretty common from fission (#3 on our list). Neodymium's longest lived radioactive isotope (147) only has a half-life of 10.9 days, so after 110 days (to be conservative) our neodymium could be extracted and sold. What do we use neodymium for? Hey, do you have any of those little earbud headphones? Ever wonder why they're so small compared to those clunky headphones we had when we were kids? The answer is small, high-strength neodymium magnets. The wind industry needs lightweight neodymium magnets for their huge generators they put up on those absurdly tall towers. There's neodymium in my children's magnet toys. Neodymium is valuable.

    Let's talk about some more--molybdenum, whose longest-lived isotope (99) could be extracted through fluorination to MoF6 and used in medical procedures that would save lives (Tc-99m). Mo-99 has a half-live of 2.8 days, so in a month the molybdenum would have "composted" to readiness.

    Barium: Ba-140 is the longest at 12.7 days. Give it 4 months and the barium is "composted".

    Lanthanum: La-140 at 1.7 days. Three weeks to "compost" lanthanum.

    Praseodymium: Pr-143 at 13.5 days needs 4 months to "compost".

    Cerium: Ce-144 at 9.5 months takes about 7-8 years to "compost".

    Ruthenium: Ru-106 at 1 yr takes a decade to "compost".

    Then some of the longer-lived stuff is still useful even in its radioactive state. Cesium-137 is quite radioactive and has a half-life of 30 years. But we could use Cs-137 to sterilize medical instruments, destroy pathogens in sewage, or preserve easily-spoiled fruits and vegetables. Cs-137 could be more useful radioactive than stable!

    So think about the results of fission like the folks at the gin think about the cottonseed hulls. Give them time and space and after a little while, there will be a lot of things in there that people will really want.
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  2. CrusaderFrank

    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

    May 20, 2009
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    Our suicidal national energy policy prevents sane development and progress. Great find

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