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6715Re: [hreg] Fwd: Re: I guess I should ask........

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  • Ron Spross
    Aug 21, 2007
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      It turns out, I seem to recall, that to send a rocket into the sun is more expensive energetically than sending into interstellar space (anything starting on the earth is already going around the sun at a considerable speed and to go into the sun it must slow down.  The work required to slow it down sufficiently is greater than the work required to achieve solar system escape velocity).  I don't know if it is possible to use, say, a Venus flyby to reduce the angular momentum enough to plunge the rocket into the sun.

      Furthermore, a number of years ago there was a great controversy about sending up a satellite payload that had plutonium as an energy source in its power supply.  The satellite was launched, but it was in the face of a great hue and cry.  Therefore, even if it turned out to be economical, the controversy and real substantial risk (rockets still occasionally fail during launch) of sending the many existing tons of radioactive waste into either space or the sun probably would be too great.

      Some one mentioned earlier a "nuclear power bandwagon".  There may be such a bandwagon, but there also seems to be a bandwagon that is theologically opposed to doing anything with radioactive waste -- which is sitting in surface storage currently (it is safe from the point of view of radiation containment, but vulnerable to terrorism).  Even if by some miracle of public enlightenment we were to succeed in getting a Congress and Administration dominated by Sierra Club members, the radioactive waste material currently in storage in pools above ground would not disappear -- it would still be a problem to be solved. 

      I believe the following approach to disposal is the safest and most reasonable:   The radioactive material can be placed in ceramic (glass) ingots, which should be stable for tens of millenia, at least.  Then these ingots can be deposited in a number of places where they would be "safe".  One possibility is the bottom of a deep sea trench where there is a geologic subduction zone -- I believe the Marianas Trench is an example -- the material would be beneath 5 miles of water, and over the millenia the ingots would be reabsorbed into the mantel of the earth.  Another safe location, although this would seem counter intuitive, would be on the bottom of the ocean floor, on the "downstream" side of something like the mid-Atlantic ridge.  These regions are among the most geologically stable on earth, expanding slowly away from the ridge where new continental material is being formed.  Material from the surface is constantly being layered down on the sea floor, covering what is there now with sediments.  The results of this slow but stable sedimentary process, which lasts over 100s of millions of years,  are evident in the uniform strata that are exposed almost anywhere a road or river cuts through a hill side, or -- very spectacularly -- in places like the Grand Canyon.


      On 8/21/07, Ariel Thomann <ajthomann@...> wrote:

      -1. I agree with Bashir, except I'd delete the supernatural element.

      -2. Re: space. I've wondered about it for some time. Humanity has some
      reliable big rockets. Could a payload of nuclear waste be sent up with just
      enough ooomph to escape Earth gravity? I guess the sun's gravity would ensure
      delivery to the big furnace, where it wouldn't even make a ripple. Perhaps
      with a pair of gravity assist "slingshots" as it swings by Venus and Mercury.
      I don't know how many such shots it would take, but it should be worth

      - We are all Human beings here together. We have to help one another, since
      otherwise there is NO ONE who will help.
      - All countries need a NO REGRETS strategic energy policy. Think ahead 7

      > What about the suggestion about sending it up to space?
      > Bashir Syed <bsyed@...> wrote: I heard the same
      > program on NPR about French storing such waste based on laws which were
      > enacted under complete secrecy so that people will not express their
      > opposition against such action. Man is blindly following the "SCIENTISTS,"
      > many of whom have been proven wrong about Earth Warming, and many other
      > phenomenon based on "Models" and neglecting many variables. Recently, the
      > false prophets have invented a new technique called "Risk Analysis" completely
      > based on Statistical laws. And we all know what Benjamin Disraeli said about
      > Lies: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics."
      > Earth quakes are a reality, and no matter what assumtions the proponents of
      > disposal of radioactive waste might say, this waste will creep through the
      > "CLAY" which is considered as strog as porcelain (which it is not). It will
      > take relatively longer time, but sure enough it will get through tiny pores,
      > eventually polluting the water table. Once that happens and people or
      > animals drink water contaminated with highly radioactice waste by-products
      > (some of these have a half-life of the order of billions of years) the
      > occurrence of cancer and tumors will increase and many innocent people will
      > die. But then those who decided burying the waste would have been forgotten.
      > But remember, there is an ultimate Judgement by God that these people will
      > face for deceiving their own people just because of Greed. Just see the
      > pictures of victims and fetuses affected by Depleted Uranium and you can
      > figure out the damage. After the Manhattan Project, the scientists at Los
      > Alamos Labs
      > injected Plutoium in terminal patients without their consent or letting their
      > dear ones know about their actions. During Clinton's first term, his
      > Secertary of Energy, Hazel O'Leary declassified lots of documents from that
      > era (including those from Los Alamos Labs) and a book "Plutonium Files" was
      > published to publicize this crime against humanity which ware not less than
      > what the Nazis did during the World Wars. Those of us who have the training
      > in this subject know quite well the hazards involved in handling such
      > materials.
      > Bashir A. Syed
      > Retired aerospace Physicist
      > Former Member: Radiation Safety Committee, NASA/JSC
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: evelyn sardina
      > To: hreg
      > Sent: Monday, August 20, 2007 9:03 PM
      > Subject: [hreg] Fwd: Re: I guess I should ask........
      > I know that the subject of radioactivity has been covered before on this
      > forum. Does anyone want to respond to this question though?

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