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Topic Title: POLL: Nuclear Waste Storage Solutions
Topic Summary: The results of this poll will appear in the February 2008 JOM.
Created On: 12/12/2007 9:48 AM

 12/12/2007 9:48 AM

James Robinson

Posts: 69
Joined: 2/2/2007

The January 2008 issue of JOM examines the issue of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposition. What long-term waste storage solution do you believe to be most promising?
 12/20/2007 8:04 AM

James Robinson

Posts: 69
Joined: 2/2/2007

The only long term viable solution is to reprocess and reuse the material. Storage must be such that this can be accomplished without unnecessary cost.
 12/20/2007 8:12 AM

James Robinson

Posts: 69
Joined: 2/2/2007

Of course do what ever recycling is possibe, then bury the rest in Yucca Mt. When I lived in Nevada during he construction of the Yucca Mt site, they were glad to have the work and the money that came with it. Now after it is built, they don't want the waste to go there. Sorry, you got paid for it, now store it!
 3/31/2008 10:06 AM

James Robinson

Posts: 69
Joined: 2/2/2007

Any strategy has to be better than the one we are currently using. Storing the used rods at the nuclear site in "short term" storage pools will eventually cause problems. One of the biggest issues is that we need to educate the public on the real dangers of radiation. Radiation is a four letter word to most people. You should see the eye brows raise when I tell people their bananas contain radiation. Many people couldn't correctly answer the question, Who gets more annual radiation dose a nuclear power plant worker or an airline pilot. The answer is an airline pilot. If the public was aware of the real dangers, then we would not have to make the rules for the perceived dangers.

I found this post on the internet by another DOE person. Quite interesting.

- Captain Internal Dosimetry!

Banana Equivalent Dose

re: The Radiation Dose from a "Reference Banana."

Some time ago (when I almost had time to do such things) I calculated the dose
one receives from the average banana. Here's how it goes:

On page 620 of the CRD Handbook on Rad Measurement and Protection, the
concentration of K-40 in a "Reference Banana" is listed as 3520 picocuries per
kilogram of banana. For those of us who are stuck in certain unit ruts, this
is equivalent to 3.52E-6 microcuries of K-40 per gram of banana.

An average "Reference" banana weighs (masses) about 150 grams (I think.) So,
the ICRP Reference Banana contains about 5.28E-4 microcuries of probably
deadly K-40.

Federal Guidance Report #11 lists the ingestion dose (committed effective dose
equivalent) for K-40 as 5.02E-9 Sv/Bq or (again, for those of us who are
"unit-challenged," 1.86E-2 rem per microcurie ingested.)

Thus, the CEDE from ingestion of a Reference Banana is 5.28E-4 x 1.86E-2 =
9.82E-6 rem or about 0.01 millirem.

I have found this "Banana Equivalent Dose" very useful in attempting to
explain infinitesmal doses (and corresponding infinitesmal risks) to members
of the public. (Interestingly, the anti-nukes just HATE this, and severely
critisize us for using such a deceptive concept.)

Would love to go into more detail, but have to get back to our DEADLY Human
Radiation Experiments (i.e., eating bananas.)

The same table in the CRC Handbook lists 3400 pCi/kg for white potatoes and
4450 pCi/kg for sweet potatoes - so you could carry through the same sort of
calculation for Reference Potatoes. Interestingly, raw lima beans come in at
4640 pCi/kg, "dry, sweet" coconut comes in at 6400 pCi/kg, and raw spinach
(yum!) comes in at 6500 pCi/kg.

Considering the fact that the DOE has officially stated that "there is no safe
dose of radiation" my advice to you all is to stop eating immediately.

Oh yes! Almost forgot. Regarding K-40, go into your local grocery store, buy
some salt-substitute (there are two common brands, and the one in the white
and orange labeled container works best) spread some out on a table and check
it out with a GM survey instrument. There it is folks, deadly radioactivity
in your grocery store!

Yours for healthful diets . . .

Captain Internal Dosimetry
aka Gary Mansfield, LLNL, (


Neither Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of California,
nor the Department of Energy recommends eating bananas.

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