For many years, the closed – minded and dogmatic mindset has been that radio – isotopes are absolutely immutable, and there’s nothing you can do. If it takes a million years, then that’s how long it takes.
However, there has been considerable scientific evidence over the years that nuclear waste can be artificially stimmulated to decay faster. Long – lived isotopes can be converted to very short – lived isotpes. The problem with most radioactive isotopes is too many neutrons. But these excess neutrons can be knocked – out of the nucleus by a photon if it’s energetic enough. This usually entails highly energetic gamma or X – rays. Some researchers have reported electric and magnetic means of somehow accomplishing this as well (I don’t know exactly how). Even cold fusion researchers have reported this strange anomaly of isotope remediation by stimmulated decay.
Which leads to another possibility which either may or may not work. In the FF device you have a very energetic environment of intense electric charges and magnetic fields within the plasma. You also have X – rays. Is there any possibility that some long – lived isotopes could be converted to short – lived ones if injected directly into the energetic plasma within the FF device?
But unfortunately, even if it was to work successfully, the hysteric loonies would still be opposed to nuclear waste being transported to the nearest focus fusion reactor to be destroyed. Typical backwards irrational logic. An ongoing nuclear problem is always better than any solution. Rather than use focus fusion to clean – up the leaky underground tanks at Hanford, I can just hear the irrational loonies say: ” Don’t try to move dat nookla waste …… let it sit dare n’ rot in da ground ! ! ! “
Here’s another alternative possibility that might work better. Instead of direct injection of waste into the fusion reactor itself, the electric power output from the fusion reactor could be used to power some sort of X – ray or gamma source external to the fusion powerplant. One method is to accelerate a beam of electrons until they stike a target. Still yet another way to generate rays energetic enough to convert isotopes may be to have the energetic alpha particles from the fusion reaction strike a target instead. Some FF reactors could be specifically designed to generate X – rays instead of electric power with the alpha emission they produce. I’m curious about how much nuclear waste a single FF device could destroy in a given amount of time. It probably would not take very many FF converters to destroy all of the thousands of tons that have been produced so far.
Already been covered in other threads:
For more general information on fusion driven, subcritical, superfast neutron, nuclear waste burning reactors:
The trouble with destroying nuclear waste is often that it is low-level. For example, the low levels of cesium-137, strontium-90, and technetium-99 in the vicinity of Chernobyl. They’re just long-lived enough, and just dispersed enough, to create a thousand-year lasting hazard.
So you need to find ways to concentrate the radioisotopes, from among the many tonnes of inert matter. It’s annoying, and very expensive to do so.
The public might not like transporting nuclear waste, but right now Chernobyl is as good a place as any to put it.
Here’s just a thought: instead of transporting your high-level nuclear waste to your fusion-fission hybrid reactor,
why not transport your reactor to the brown-field?
I like that idea of putting the incinerator on a trailer. Solves a lot of problems at once.
I know several of my friends from my masters course are now working on accelerator driven sub-critical and fission-fusion hybrid designs. I think they are definitely viable way of disposing of the longer lied actinides.
But I do wonder at the cost and benefit of them. I still think the best way of getting rid of the waste is to just wait 50-100 years for the short live stuff to decay then drop the rest, encased in concrete, into an ocean trench.
jamesr wrote: I still think the best way of getting rid of the waste is to just wait 50-100 years for the short live stuff to decay then drop the rest, encased in concrete, into an ocean trench.
I banish you to watch Star trek Voyager’s season 5 opener, “Night”, and then convince Greenpeace this is a good idea.
Why not wait 1 year and see if we can build a plasma torch? The 50 years or so approach rightfully belongs to the modular reactor design over at Babcock & Wilcox. I suspect that Hyperion also involves the postpone strategy.
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