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Costs and Climate Be Damned, Rick Perry Seeks to Prop Up Coal, Nuclear Plants


#1

Costs and Climate Be Damned, Rick Perry Seeks to Prop Up Coal, Nuclear Plants

Trump's Energy Secretary is "simply doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry," says Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt


#2

It’s kind of hard to get mad when someone who is so clearly a doofus acts like the dimwit he is. I blame Trump for this–he knowingly saddled us with Perry and Carson, two individuals who struggle to put coherent thoughts together.


#3

Nuclear is fine, but coal has got to go…


#4

Need to replace all that imported electrical power with domestically generated electricity.–
those nasty Canadians can’t be trusted


#5

How about a little fine Three Mile Island for ya backyard, Scarecrow?


#6

Elites are scrapping the bottom of the barrel for candidates and this has long
been the case. Basically, we are being governed by criminals and they also
control our MIC/CIA/NSA.


#7

Can you imagine Rick Perry in “charge” of anything higher than National Dogcatcher? President Slump has got to be exposed for all of these appointees who are made in light of their inexperience, Perry though holds a special place in my heart for Major Dunce,


#8

WTF, i thought stupidity had a lower limit!


#9

How do we oppose these bastards and get rid of them FAAAAAAAST!


#10

"environmental advocacy groups who says it’s based on an erroneous argument and spells bad news for customers and the climate alike. (from the article)

Is that the best you can do - “erroneous” ???

‘Were we just too stupid - or on some level did we not think we were worth saving’ (Age of Stupid)

That’s closer - and nuclear is not OK:


#11

Sorry, nuclear is not fine with me. We’re not smart enough to deal with the waste or melt-downs.


#12

So let me get this straight…Rick Perry wants guaranteed returns (profits) for plants that are too obsolete to be competitive. Boy, these so-called “Free Market” guys want it both ways, don’t they?
Heads they win, tails we lose! They have no allegiance to anything but $$$$$$$$, and white male supremacy.


#13

And the fact of nuclear waste: What do you propose we do with it?

The fact that this is Indian Land and the rape continues on what little territory the indigenes have left poisoning their land, water, skyrocketing cancer rates, how does it figure in your support for nuclear energy?

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/nuclear-war-uranium-mining-and-nuclear-tests-indigenous

http://www.republicoflakotah.com/2010/native-americans-bear-the-nuclear-burden/


#14

Here is a factoid. All Dutch electric trains since Jan., 2017 are powered by wind energy. Dutch electric 100% wind powered trains provide 5,500 train trips daily, commuting 600,000 train passengers daily, with one windmill running for a hour can power a train for 120 miles. Furthermore, the Dutch national railway company NS states that they hope to reduce the energy used per passenger by a further 35% by 2020 compared with 2005. Hey, the sooner we cart these criminals from the Trump Crime Syndicate off to their very own super max prison cells, we here in America will also have our very own 100% wind powered electric trains, and so very, very much more.


#15

Oh you mean the accident that has been proven to cause literally ZERO medical harm to the surrounding area?


#16

We probably have to build electric rail lines first, before we are even concerned about if the electricity that supplies them is coming from wind. Over 70% of all rail lines in the USA run off of diesel. You would have to convert the infrastructure, plus convert all the passenger and transport trains.


#17

Current US policy is to develop a geological depository for long term storage (rated for 10,000 years) of nuclear waste. I disagree with this proposition however. Yes we do have a waste problem, but we have an even bigger where the majority of American society doesn’t understand what nuclear waste actually is. The most concerning type of nuclear waste (high level waste) containing 98% of radioactivity comprises only about 3% of the actual volume. Now this is still a concern, but its important to understand what is in HLW. HLW is comprised of three major categories: Unspent fuel, Spent fuel, and Transuranics.

Unspent Fuel- 96.5% of HLW is made out of Uranium 238 that was never transmuted into Uranium 235 fissile fuel. .5% of HLW is comprised of Uranium 235 fissil fuel that didn’t actually fission. This is due to a variety reasons from probability of fission reaction to number of cycles. The point is the supermajority of high level nuclear waste is actually nuclear fuel that wasn’t utilized by the reactor.

Spent Fuel- Comprising about 2% of the volume, spent fuel waste is all of the fission, transmutation and decay products that form in a reactor during the cycle and after shutdown. This category contains hundreds of isotopes, but most have between very short half lifes (less than 1 minute) to mid range half lives ( about 30 years). While the media commonly points to uranium and plutonium in waste this category is actually what you should pay attention to, because these materials can exposure you to greater amounts of radiation in amounts of time. Plus many of these isotopes are beta emitters, which pass through human skin. This contains Cesium 137, Iodine 131, Strontium 90, Xenon 135 etc.

Transuranics- Comprising about 1% of the volume, this category is concerning because these materials typically have long half lives, but also contain hazardous chemical structures. This is where your plutonium 239 is. Most of these materials are formed through transmutation, which occurs when neutrons attach themselves to another isotope changing the isotope. This can lead to rapid changes in half lives and other properties. For example Plutonium 239 is not natural. Plutonium 239 is formed when Uranium 238 attaches another neutron changing into Uranium 239. Uranium 238’s half life is over 4 billion years, but Uranium 239’ s half life is 24 minutes. Uranium 239 decays into Neptunium 239, which decays into Plutonium 239.


#18

Now that we got the basics of HLW done, let me offer a different proposal than US policy. What would you prefer: Waiting 200,000 years for plutonium decay in a hole, or waiting 390 days for plutonium fission products to become safe?

By throwing all nuclear waste into a depository we would quite literally be throwing away hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars of resources into the ground. If your so concerned about Plutonium 239 waste, then fission Plutonium 239. The most common fission products of Pu-239 are Xenon 134 and Zirconium 103. Xenon 134 is a stable isotope with application in lighting, film, medical and space applications. Zirconium has a 1.3 second half life. If we follow the decay chain from Zirconium it looks like this:
Zr 103 -> Nb103 (1.5 s lf) -> Mo 103* (67.5 s hl) -> Tc 103* (54.2 s lf) -> Ru 103 (39.3 d hlf) -> Rh (stable)

A general rule of thumb is 10 half lives and its gone. Therefore, all fission and decay products of Plutonium 239 after fission will become safe in about 393 days. If you are concerned about building sustainable infrastructure to store all Pu-239 waste, then this is extremely significant, but this also benefits society because Pu-239 is fissile fuel. Instead of throwing it into a depository, how about lets use this fissile fuel in a fast spectrum reactor to generate electricity for society.

This same concept can be applied to Uranium 238 fertile fuel, Uranium 235 fissile fuel, Thorium 232 fertile fuel and Uranium 233 fissile fuel. Instead of mining more out of the ground, we should be looking for new ways to improve the economics of reprocessing so that we can separate unspent nuclear fuel and reuse it again and again until it has all been fissioned.

Reprocessing can also be used for more than just fertile and fissile unspent fuel and transuranics. By separating nuclear waste by isotope we can actually remove materials that has significant application in society. For example, instead of waiting for Cesium 137 to contaminate water from a waste site; how about we remove it and use it in food irradiation to terminate e coli found in foreign imports of food. We can use Iodine 131 for thyroid cancer treatment. We can use Strontium 90 for gages to determine fractures in concrete structures. We can use Technetium 99 for neuroimaging devices in the medical industry. We can use Xenon 134 and Xenon 135 for light bulbs and energy efficient windows. We can use Neodymium 122 for the manufacturing of sound equipment. Rhodium 102 and Rhodium 103 can be used in industrial processes for catalytic conversions.

Not only would we be finding use for nuclear waste and thus reducing volume, but you could also generate economic activity by trading these sources, some of which are extremely valuable.

Lastly, I need to point out why we don’t do this today. This because reprocessing is not economic. Now the reason for this has to do in part with proliferation concern, as military reprocessing is used to separate Plutonium and Uranium for weapons development in PUREX and UREX cycles. However these methods are not only uneconomical but they are also less efficient when compared to Metallurgical Pyro-processing. If you want to talk about what I think of the proliferation risk we can talk about that separately. However to learn about pyroprocessing please see these links:
http://www.ne.anl.gov/pdfs/12_Pyroprocessing_bro_5_12_v14[6].pdf
http://world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/fuel-recycling/processing-of-used-nuclear-fuel.aspx