X-Message-Number: 15040
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 09:31:53 EST
Subject: plutonium "problem", asteroids

>We also have a large amount of weapon quality plutonium handing around for 
the next 10,000 years and no known way to store it safely for that long and a 
lot of near earth asteriods etc.

  Why would anyone "store" fission fuel? Why not use it up... maybe diverting 
those near-earth asteroids? Or just dilute it into 3% fuel rods so it isn't 
"weapon-grade" anymore. But if you do want to "store" valuable radioactive 
materials so that future generations can marvel at our superstitions, you can 
dilute it with a suitable molten substrate {borosilicate glass has been 
tested for some reactor products} let it cool into blocks which have whatever 
radioactivity level you want, and use it as a water heater, oops, I mean bury 
it in an expensive storage facility patrolled by genetically engineered guard 
  (I would have more sympathy for anti-fission politicians if it weren't for 
the fact that coal plants release 100-400 times more radiation per kw-hr than 
nuclear plants... I just have to suspect there are demogogue motivations 
here, rather than any sincere green concern.)

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