AuthorTopic: Spent Fuel Rods  (Read 2897 times)

Offline Theta

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Spent Fuel Rods
« on: October 22, 2015, 12:33:32 PM »
Spent Fuel Rods are a thing that will be serious post collapse as we will lack the capacity to decommission nuclear power plants, what do you think, every animal in the world will die pretty much.

Offline Mercury

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 10:07:58 PM »
Spent Fuel Rods are a thing that will be serious post collapse as we will lack the capacity to decommission nuclear power plants, what do you think, every animal in the world will die pretty much.

The things in the sea and critters that live underground should be ok. Large land animals are toast in this scenario. They're probably toast anyway => "sixth extinction".
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Offline Theta

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 02:26:51 PM »
I bet the powers that be know this and are trying to extend the life of Business as Usual so that they can decommission nuclear power plants, that's why they're not preparing, because once the plants explode, one may as well put a noose around their neck.

Offline Mercury

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 12:00:44 AM »
I bet the powers that be know this and are trying to extend the life of Business as Usual so that they can decommission nuclear power plants, that's why they're not preparing, because once the plants explode, one may as well put a noose around their neck.

I think you are being too kind. There is no plan B.
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2015, 02:51:12 AM »
They blast sattelites into orbit all the time,  i dont see any reason they cant also blast the nuclear waste into space.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 04:05:22 AM »
They blast sattelites into orbit all the time,  i dont see any reason they cant also blast the nuclear waste into space.

Here's one thought:
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Theta

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2015, 01:55:03 PM »
Perhaps we're fucked after all.

Quote
Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814

The problem is if the spent fuel gets too close, they will produce a fission reaction and explode with a force much larger than any fission bomb given the total amount of fuel on the site. All the fuel in all the reactors and all the storage pools at this site (1760 tons of Uranium per slide #4) would be consumed in such a mega-explosion.

In comparison, Fat Man and Little Boy weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained less than a hundred pounds each of fissile material See more at: http://www.dcbureau.org/20110314781/natural-resources-news-service/fission-criticality-in-cooling-ponds-threaten-explosion-at-fukushima.html

Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to cause the metal cladding encasing the uranium fuel to rupture and catch fire, which in turn could further heat up the fuel until it suffers damage. Such an event could release large amounts of radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, into the environment.

This would start in more recently discharged spent fuel, which is hotter than fuel that has been in the pool for a longer time. A typical spent fuel pool in the United States holds several hundred tons of fuel, so if a fire were to propagate from the hotter to the colder fuel a radioactive release could be very large.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/making-nuclear-power-safer/handling-nuclear-waste/safer-storage-of-spent-fuel.html#.VUp3n5Om2J8

Offline RE

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2015, 02:09:49 PM »
Perhaps we're fucked after all.

Quote
Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814

The problem is if the spent fuel gets too close, they will produce a fission reaction and explode with a force much larger than any fission bomb given the total amount of fuel on the site. All the fuel in all the reactors and all the storage pools at this site (1760 tons of Uranium per slide #4) would be consumed in such a mega-explosion.

In comparison, Fat Man and Little Boy weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained less than a hundred pounds each of fissile material See more at: http://www.dcbureau.org/20110314781/natural-resources-news-service/fission-criticality-in-cooling-ponds-threaten-explosion-at-fukushima.html

Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to cause the metal cladding encasing the uranium fuel to rupture and catch fire, which in turn could further heat up the fuel until it suffers damage. Such an event could release large amounts of radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, into the environment.

This would start in more recently discharged spent fuel, which is hotter than fuel that has been in the pool for a longer time. A typical spent fuel pool in the United States holds several hundred tons of fuel, so if a fire were to propagate from the hotter to the colder fuel a radioactive release could be very large.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/making-nuclear-power-safer/handling-nuclear-waste/safer-storage-of-spent-fuel.html#.VUp3n5Om2J8

Except once ruptured, the fissile material does not consolidate, it disperses.  Entropically speaking, it's thermodynamically impossible for this stuff to come together to reach Critical Mass and do a full on Chain Reaction.  Have you ever looked at the design for an Atomic Bomb of even the simple Fission Type?

Not to say the Nuke Puke won't get in the groundwater around the plant and be further dispersed to the environment though, it certainly will.  The likelihood of a typical Nuke Puke plant going up in a Nuclear Fireball though?  Slim to None on that one with the current storage systems for the waste.  Pack it all together under Yucca Mountain, it's another story.  That COULD go Super Critical packed up too close.

RE
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Offline Theta

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2015, 02:39:09 PM »
Perhaps we're fucked after all.

Quote
Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814

The problem is if the spent fuel gets too close, they will produce a fission reaction and explode with a force much larger than any fission bomb given the total amount of fuel on the site. All the fuel in all the reactors and all the storage pools at this site (1760 tons of Uranium per slide #4) would be consumed in such a mega-explosion.

In comparison, Fat Man and Little Boy weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained less than a hundred pounds each of fissile material See more at: http://www.dcbureau.org/20110314781/natural-resources-news-service/fission-criticality-in-cooling-ponds-threaten-explosion-at-fukushima.html

Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to cause the metal cladding encasing the uranium fuel to rupture and catch fire, which in turn could further heat up the fuel until it suffers damage. Such an event could release large amounts of radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, into the environment.

This would start in more recently discharged spent fuel, which is hotter than fuel that has been in the pool for a longer time. A typical spent fuel pool in the United States holds several hundred tons of fuel, so if a fire were to propagate from the hotter to the colder fuel a radioactive release could be very large.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/making-nuclear-power-safer/handling-nuclear-waste/safer-storage-of-spent-fuel.html#.VUp3n5Om2J8

Except once ruptured, the fissile material does not consolidate, it disperses.  Entropically speaking, it's thermodynamically impossible for this stuff to come together to reach Critical Mass and do a full on Chain Reaction.  Have you ever looked at the design for an Atomic Bomb of even the simple Fission Type?

Not to say the Nuke Puke won't get in the groundwater around the plant and be further dispersed to the environment though, it certainly will.  The likelihood of a typical Nuke Puke plant going up in a Nuclear Fireball though?  Slim to None on that one with the current storage systems for the waste.  Pack it all together under Yucca Mountain, it's another story.  That COULD go Super Critical packed up too close.

RE

I'm aware that it wouldn't be a super dramatic fireball, but the consequences of the content becoming scattered through the air will be devastating, like the radioactive consequences of a nuclear bomb being dropped everywhere, except the radiation lasts for quite a while.

Offline RE

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2015, 02:58:46 PM »

I'm aware that it wouldn't be a super dramatic fireball, but the consequences of the content becoming scattered through the air will be devastating, like the radioactive consequences of a nuclear bomb being dropped everywhere, except the radiation lasts for quite a while.

Definitely not good consequences, but neither is it the End of Life on Earth either.

Look at Hiroshima and Nagaski just 70 years after getting bombed.  More or less livable locations.

100 miles out from any of the Nuke Puke plants, things will not deteriorate all that rapidly I suspect.  Best not to live nearby one though.

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Offline Theta

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2015, 03:18:59 PM »

I'm aware that it wouldn't be a super dramatic fireball, but the consequences of the content becoming scattered through the air will be devastating, like the radioactive consequences of a nuclear bomb being dropped everywhere, except the radiation lasts for quite a while.

Definitely not good consequences, but neither is it the End of Life on Earth either.

Look at Hiroshima and Nagaski just 70 years after getting bombed.  More or less livable locations.

100 miles out from any of the Nuke Puke plants, things will not deteriorate all that rapidly I suspect.  Best not to live nearby one though.

RE

Hmm, but these will continue to spew out radioactive material though, wouldn't the wind carry the material globally?

Offline MKing

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2015, 03:29:12 PM »
Spent Fuel Rods are a thing that will be serious post collapse as we will lack the capacity to decommission nuclear power plants, what do you think, every animal in the world will die pretty much.

Sounds pretty bad. Good thing collapse is being envisioned by most as more of a "decline of the Roman empire" thing as opposed to the power going out tomorrow afternoon. Fortunate indeed.
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Offline RE

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2015, 04:15:33 PM »

I'm aware that it wouldn't be a super dramatic fireball, but the consequences of the content becoming scattered through the air will be devastating, like the radioactive consequences of a nuclear bomb being dropped everywhere, except the radiation lasts for quite a while.

Definitely not good consequences, but neither is it the End of Life on Earth either.

Look at Hiroshima and Nagaski just 70 years after getting bombed.  More or less livable locations.

100 miles out from any of the Nuke Puke plants, things will not deteriorate all that rapidly I suspect.  Best not to live nearby one though.

RE

Hmm, but these will continue to spew out radioactive material though, wouldn't the wind carry the material globally?

There are a lot of Unknown Unknowns in this question.

First thing you don't know is the dispersal pattern, which is unlikely to be uniform.

Next you don't know how fast the radionucleotides get washed from the local environement into the ocean.

Once in the ocean, you don't know how various marine organisms will adapt.  As I point out quite often, there are Extremophiles like Tardigrades which can tolerate 1000s of times the radiation a Homo Sap can.

Back in your local environment, you don't know how much the Cancer rate for Reproductive age Adults or the Infant Child Mortality rate will increase, or over what period of time that will occur.  As long as the successful reproduction rate is higher than the mortality rate, you have a going concern.  Even if the mortality rate is greater than the reproduction rate, you have a decay period of population that takes some time to play out.  Everybody does not die overnight here you see.

Without knowing all the parameters of these Unknown Unknowns, you can't definitively state whether Homo Sap can survive the knockdown or not, nor can you state how long it will take to completely exterminate the species if the conditions are not long term survivable.

If you are a fan of Guy McPherson, you believe that within 15 years, ALL HOMO SAPS on Earth will be DEAD, resultant either from Climate Change or Nuclear  Poisoning, or both.  What I am trying to point out is this is an absurd hypothesis, NOBODY KNOWS exactly how all these parameters work together.,

My hypothesis is that this IS survivable, although not for a huge percentage of the current 7.2B Homo Saps walking the Earth.  It doesn't take many to survive the Zero Point though, 10,000 Human Souls or 1000 Breeding Pairs is ENOUGH.  We built a population of 7.2B people from a gene pool no larger than that.  DONE ONCE, IT CAN BE DONE AGAIN.  There just needs to be ONE place left on Earth where that Tribe can survive, but I think there will be a number of them.  In Tasmania, In New Zealand, in Finland, in Siberia, in Amazonia, and of course also here on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska:icon_sunny:


It ain't OVAH till the Fat Lady Sings.

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Offline agelbert

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2015, 05:12:29 PM »
Perhaps we're fucked after all.

Quote
Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUSBRE97D00M20130814

The problem is if the spent fuel gets too close, they will produce a fission reaction and explode with a force much larger than any fission bomb given the total amount of fuel on the site. All the fuel in all the reactors and all the storage pools at this site (1760 tons of Uranium per slide #4) would be consumed in such a mega-explosion.

In comparison, Fat Man and Little Boy weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained less than a hundred pounds each of fissile material See more at: http://www.dcbureau.org/20110314781/natural-resources-news-service/fission-criticality-in-cooling-ponds-threaten-explosion-at-fukushima.html

Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to cause the metal cladding encasing the uranium fuel to rupture and catch fire, which in turn could further heat up the fuel until it suffers damage. Such an event could release large amounts of radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, into the environment.

This would start in more recently discharged spent fuel, which is hotter than fuel that has been in the pool for a longer time. A typical spent fuel pool in the United States holds several hundred tons of fuel, so if a fire were to propagate from the hotter to the colder fuel a radioactive release could be very large.

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/making-nuclear-power-safer/handling-nuclear-waste/safer-storage-of-spent-fuel.html#.VUp3n5Om2J8

You may be right. RE will wait for the "fat lady" to sing. I just keep adding and subtracting in the biosphere math equation. The subtraction is rather consistent and the trajectory looks suicidal.

Only Bagdad Bob could be optimistic about out trajectory as a species. WHEN the last homo SAP buys the farm is not the issue. Also, the "long enough time line" excuse that somehow ignores all the crap and poisons and evil bastards adding more that we have to deal with is like dancing on a plank you are walking. Of course we are all alive until we die. Everybody has their own timeline and some have a longer one than others.

But optimism has no place in the biosphere math we are witnessing. We are walking a plank. The fact that it "ain't over yet" isn't the issue. All of us will do what we can to extend our stay in the valley of tears.

That's why I think comments that describe graphically how fucked we are have a proper place in this discussion. I think, if we are to survive, a bare bones, no bullshit, no happy talk, no "we can do this" locker room coach optimism is what we need to prevent our species from buying the farm. Things are not just "iffy"; they are AWFUL, and getting WORSE!

Here's a fictional tale about our very possible future that you might enjoy. Feel free to pass it on with, or without, attribution.


Star Date 344,757.093821 (late naked ape tool makers date 2066): Gardener Commander Zarkploof Report 747:


The last of the naked ape tool makers ceased biochemical activity in the most recent revolution of the blue planet around it's sun. It fell in a nuclear waste pool while being chased at night by a pack of large canines. The canines left at dawn. The ape swam, then crawled, out but lapsed into unconsciousness from treading water for so long. It was then bitten by several large rodents and bled to death while trying to fend them off. The rodents, the canines and a nearby ant colony disposed of the remains. All of those creatures subsequently died of radionuclide poisoning. The radionuclide pollution is extensive. We have sent probes to aid existing species in maintaining some vitality. We are doing this in order to provide the biochemical substrate for reseeding efforts so we won't have to start from microscopic autotrophs in rebuilding the biological energy absorption pyramid.

It is estimated that 245,000 local years will be required for the nuclear contaminants (Mostly the one the naked apes called Plutonium but there are several others) to cease degrading the biosphere with harmful mutations.

Our DNA bank has 157% of the species populating the planetary biosphere prior to the naked ape polluting millennium that destroyed the naked apes. NOTE: We will file a detailed report on the extinct species such as the giant reptiles and mammals in regard to the reseeding timeline.

For the next 100,000 years we will seed various fungi to absorb radionuclides for the purpose of collecting them and depositing them in the local sun. Perhaps, because of this activity, the time for active reseeding can take place somewhat earlier than 245,000 years. But we must bear in mind what happened on the Zeta 382, which required an increase in wait time, instead of a decrease. As was the case at Zeta 382, there are chemicals the naked killer apes produced in their ignorance that, though not radioactive, are deleterious to life and even more difficult to eliminate than the radioactive elements. The glyphosate poison is one of many that are ubiquitous in this thoroughly degraded biosphere.  So caution is advised.

As to the naked killer ape tool makers, we recommend the DNA of this species be modified to prevent self awareness. It seems that self awareness, though it does help them develop primitive cause and effect horizon logic, does not aid them in avoiding the manufacture of tools to wantonly exploit the biosphere they require for life. These beings always seem to fail through the "fool with a tool" axiom of degenerate self aware species development postulated by the philosopher Glado the Putzenko in his "Beings that Don't Understand Being" treatise. They cannot seem to grasp the idea that defecating where one obtains nourishment is suicidal when the product of defecation is an industrial pollutant.

This planet is a very depressing and sad place to visit at the moment. Speaking for myself and all of the crew, I request home leave equivalent to 20 local planet years on our home planets.

One of the factors creating stress in our crew is the fact that the naked killer ape tool makers looked so much like us.




Respecfully,

Gardener Commander Zarkploof

   

 


« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 05:15:44 PM by agelbert »
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Spent Fuel Rods
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 05:30:52 PM »
It could be even worse than that - maybe we are so revolting the aliens don't even want to talk to us.

http://www.terrybisson.com/
They're made out of meat
by Terry Bisson

"They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"Meat. They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"

"Both."

"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."
The State is a body of armed men

 

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