No. of Recommendations: 1
Alan I personally think only some of those nuclear fission problems are valid. Fuel isn't scarce, there are still plenty of nuclear warheads (talk about beating swords into plowshares)., plutonium reactors are feasible, breeder reactors ,can produce more fuel than they burn. All of these bring up the danger of theft, but that's a matter of design and security. The feds don't seem to have any trouble guarding Fort Knox.
I also think the problem of disposal of radioactive products is mostly political. Most of this stuff is low level with fairly short half lives. For the remainder there are plenty of geologic formations present unchanged for hundreds of millions of years with impermeable salt dome caps. (old oil fields) . I understand the possible future radiation on Yucca Flat (a bad location choice probably but again that's politics) is less than half that of downtown Denver.

****Fusion waste products***

<<<First, the deuterium - tritium or D-T reaction that you are referring to is:

1D2 + 1T3 --> 2He4 + 0n1 + 17.6 MeV

That is deuterium + tritium --> Helium-4 + a neutron + energy.

The direct "waste products" are Helium-4 and the neutron. The Helium-4 is
nothing to be concerned about - it's ordinary stable Helium.

What is of concern is that 14.1 MeV neutron - or more specifically - what
that 14.1 MeV neutron hits. That's where the "waste" of a fusion reactor
is going to come from - the radioactivity induced by the neutron that comes
out ot the reaction. Since the designs aren't finalized - we're still trying to get
the reaction to work - we don't know what will be used to stop that neutron.

So unlike fission - where the waste products are the direct result of the reaction,
in fusion, the waste products are an indirect result of the reaction - so we can't
really say what they will be with 100% certainty as of yet.>>>

So the problem is the very high neutron flux which will degrade whatever the fusion reactor is lined with, changing them to isotopes or worse from one atomic number to another with unpleasant results.

I couldn't agree more about pushing fission reactors. Most of the world's plants are old, some with 40 year old designs. Certainly we can do better now, look how much cars or TV have improved during that time.
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