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Monday message board

May 22nd, 2006

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. As usual, civilised discussion and absolutely no coarse language, please.

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  1. Dogz
    May 28th, 2006 at 18:24 | #1

    SJ, what is my demonstrated level of understanding of the issues? You referred to waste from reprocessed fuel. I gave you the figure for that. Then you objected that there is medium and low-level waste too, so I pointed you to a reliable online reference for how such waste is dealt with safely. Your response? Quote the source out of context.

    I’ll leave it up to other readers to decide whether you accurately reflected the intent of the discussion on mine tailings on that site with your paraphrase:

    BTW, the page you linked to makes this outrageous assertion: “Mine tailings:… Strictly speaking these are not classified as radioactive wastes.â€?

    The full quote:

    Types of radioactive wastes
    Mine tailings: Traditional uranium mining generates fine sandy tailings, which contain virtually all the naturally occurring radioactive elements naturally found in uranium ore. These are collected in engineered tailings dams and finally covered with a layer of clay and rock to inhibit the leakage of radon gas and ensure long-term stability. In the short term, the tailings material is often covered with water. After a few months, the tailings material contains about 75% of the radioactivity of the original ore. Strictly speaking these are not classified as radioactive wastes.

    Anyway, this could go on forever. It seems you’ve already made your mind up that nuclear is irredeemably bad, SJ. Nothing I say is going to change that, so why don’t we just agree to disagree?

  2. SJ
    May 28th, 2006 at 19:56 | #2

    Then you objected that there is medium and low-level waste too, so I pointed you to a reliable online reference for how such waste is dealt with safely.

    It’s not the safety or otherwise that’s at issue, it’s the quantity. You made a false claim as to the quantity. All of it might be manageable, but that doesn’t mean that part of doesn’t exist at all. You can’t just wish it away.

    I’ll leave it up to other readers to decide whether you accurately reflected the intent of the discussion on mine tailings on that site with your paraphrase:

    It’s called ellipsis, not paraphrasing. Anyway, I suppose you interpret the passage you quoted to mean something like “after a few months, these aren’t classified as radioactive waste”. That’s still false. The code says:

    The relevant regulatory authority also has responsibility to ensure that upon decommissioning of facilities to which the Code applies, appropriate administrative and other procedures are in place to ensure the long-term integrity of sites, particularly waste disposal sites.

    I tend to think that the document you quoted was deliberately misleading, but perhaps it was simply written by someone who didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

    I refer you back to an earlier quote from the same site.

    Uranium Mill Tailings

    Uranium mill tailings are the residual waste from the process of uranium extraction from the uranium ore. Since only uranium is extracted, all other members of the uranium decay chains remain in the tailings at their original activities. In addition, small residual amounts of uranium are left in the tailings, depending on the efficiency of the extraction process used.

    Within a few months, the isotopes of Th-234 and Pa-234m decay to the value given by the residual activity of the U-238. The total activity in the tailings then remains constant for more than 10,000 years at about 85% of that in the ore.

    Only after several hundred thousand years, when the Th-230 has decayed to the level of the residual U-234, a major decrease of total activity takes place.

    After this time, the activity of all members of the U-238 chain is equal to that of the residual U-238 and U-234, and it remains at this level for some billion years. (see also: Uranium Decay Calculator)

    Compared to uranium ore, the alpha radiation of uranium mill tailings and thus the radiation hazard on ingestion or inhalation of tailings (dust) is approx. 25% lower, while the hazard from radon is unchanged. The external radiation hazard from gamma radiation remains nearly unchanged, while that from beta radiation is reduced. The chemical toxicity of uranium plays a minor role only in tailings.

    P.S. where I said “after a few months, these aren’t classified as radioactive waste”, that’s what’s called a paraphrase.

  3. 翻译公�
    May 22nd, 2008 at 11:42 | #3

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