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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #41
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Well duh, you don't just dump waste in the ground without proper preparation. The wells would obviously have to be sealed off before any such move was made. Underground storage is a safe option when done properly.
My sincerest apologies if I inadvertently insulted anyone's intelligence. It was not my intention. Some that have not been born, raised and worked in oil & gas territory may not understand the possible properties of reservoirs, and I was merely explaining my post.

You are right, there probably are millions of D&A wells in the world, but not very many of them would be attached to secure contained reservoirs large enough for this type of operation. Many of those are already in use as gas storage units.

That said, I agree that it's a good idea, and reservoirs can be contained and secure or made to be that way.

You come and stand with me while we both explain to the EUB and the millions of potentially impacted, interested citizens and interest groups why it is safe to inject radioactive material deep into the ground in the neighborhood, village, district, province, country where they live, work and travel and raise their families and livestock. And just to top it off, we will also explain why it is in all of their best interests for them to stop opposing it and start supporting our project.

You bring the coffee - it's going to be many long days/weeks/months/years.

I'll bring the band-aids: We're gonna need 'em.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #42
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My sincerest apologies if I inadvertently insulted anyone's intelligence. It was not my intention. Some that have not been born, raised and worked in oil & gas territory may not understand the possible properties of reservoirs, and I was merely explaining my post.

You are right, there probably are millions of D&A wells in the world, but not very many of them would be attached to secure contained reservoirs large enough for this type of operation. Many of those are already in use as gas storage units.

That said, I agree that it's a good idea, and reservoirs can be contained and secure or made to be that way.

You come and stand with me while we both explain to the EUB and the millions of potentially impacted, interested citizens and interest groups why it is safe to inject radioactive material deep into the ground in the neighborhood, village, district, province, country where they live, work and travel and raise their families and livestock. And just to top it off, we will also explain why it is in all of their best interests for them to stop opposing it and start supporting our project.

You bring the coffee - it's going to be many long days/weeks/months/years.

I'll bring the band-aids: We're gonna need 'em.
Yes and No!

This has to be sealed not for years but for Millennia. We also have to assume that at some point mankind will lose track of these sealed reservoirs meaning they may be accidentally breached. There is no way to seal things to be completely earthquake proof. Once sequestered safe recovery would be very difficult if a better solution than sweeping it under the crust is found.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #43
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What's the problem with launching it into space? Cheap, permanent, safe.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 10:57 AM   #44
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1. Ridiculous amounts of energy getting it past the tug of Earth's gravity. Gonna have to work on that one. Yo, space elevator people! Step it up!

2. Great. We get to be known as the species who uses space as their own private dump. Neighbours are gonna love us.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #45
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What's the problem with launching it into space? Cheap, permanent, safe.
I haven't put much thought into this, but wouldn't the fuel required to launch these ships into space (I am assuming fossil because I don't electricity can launch thrusters) outweigh any benefits of even having nuclear as an alternative. Imagine how many ships we would be sending. An insane amount certainly, and considering that they can't really carry that much weight, it seems like a game of diminishing returns.

A space elevator, and shoot them towards the sun and we are talking
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #46
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Yes and No!

This has to be sealed not for years but for Millennia. We also have to assume that at some point mankind will lose track of these sealed reservoirs meaning they may be accidentally breached. There is no way to seal things to be completely earthquake proof. Once sequestered safe recovery would be very difficult if a better solution than sweeping it under the crust is found.
Yup, exactly. While we are technologically advanced enough to do just about anything we apply or minds to, the one thing that continually vexes and humbles us is Mother Nature. Every time we think we've got her mastered and in control, she shows us who's boss.

And our inability to prove/guarantee control over her for the millennia, would be our achilles heel in trying to get such a project proved.

The EUB/public would not likely even accept a documented industry "guarantee" as one of conditions of approval, because they aren't stupid either and would know that Force Majeure would apply.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #47
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Radioactive contamination of ground water is really not much of an issue. It's a Red Herring that "seems logical" but doesn't stand up to scrutiny. If someone starts talking about radioactive contamination of your water, it's a clue that they might be fear-mongering.

Water is an excellent radiation barrier ... that's why they use it in nuclear power plants to cover the waste (and our current storage method is storing it all at the nuclear generating plant under water. Working for 50+ years so far, but is not a "permanent solution").

Although they do use "heavy water", it's more a case of "because we can" than "we must". Heavy water is slightly more effective than natural water ... means you need a few feet less of it, and I do mean "a few", to do the job.

Radioactive ground water is very, very common; many hot springs and spas spew or contain radioactive water, for example. How? Because Radon gas is everywhere in the Earth, and water exposed to it absorbs some radioactivity.

But, the amount is small (seeing as water is surrounded by ... you know ... water, a very effective barrier) and dissipates so quickly that if you don't measure it right at the spring, and instead transport it somewhere, by the time you get to where you're going, it's dissipated into the air and you have perfectly ordinary water that won't make a counter even murmur.

Quack cures of the 20's promised radiation cures, and at first they were water-based. At one point the US American Medical Association (AMA) stepped in and insisted that if the water didn't emit at least 2 microCuries of radiation over a 24 hour period, it could not be advertised as being a radioactive cure.

Few products could; even the infamous "Revigator", which was a radium containing crock you were supposed to add water to and let sit overnight, and then drink, and which most certainly did contain real radium, could not manage to create AMA-legal radioactive water.

By way of comparison, your home smoke detector can emit 5 microCuries, and a commercial detector, probably a few where you work, are allowed to emit 100 microCuries.

Later, because of that particular issue, quacks began selling the Radium itself; perhaps suggesting you wear a chunk of it "like a jockstrap". You could buy Radium bearing toothpaste, salves, chocolate bars, soaps, suppositories, ear plugs and even contraceptives.

The Radioendocrinator, for a cool $150 in 1920's dollars, was a radium cube encased in 14 carat gold. You wore it against whatever part of your body was ailing.

That's when people started to keel over dead. US amateur golf champion Eben Byers, took up the habit of drinking 3 bottles a day of a drink called Radithor. Although water based, it contained suspended particles of Radium metal 226 and 228. He died in 1932. It was guaranteed to emit either 1 or 2 microcuries, depending on who you read.

A famous Wall Street Journal article entitled "The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Came Off" brought about the end of the radiation quack cures and led to the strong regulatory power of the FDA.

Headlines like that can add to the confusion; metal-carrying "Radium Water" is not the same as "radioactive water" alone.

It does properly illustrates the real dangers; radioactive metal stays in the body, and continues to do it's damage forever.

That's the kind of stuff you need to worry about ... eating radioactive heavy metals, which is very, very bad, and breathing radioactive dust particles, which still does embed in the lungs, and is merely "very bad".

For an interesting time-waster, check out the Radioactive Consumer Products Page at Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Note that your IP will be logged and your surfing might be monitored; it's a Government domain.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #48
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1. Ridiculous amounts of energy getting it past the tug of Earth's gravity. Gonna have to work on that one. Yo, space elevator people! Step it up!
Rail guns, light weight gas guns, and scram guns can all launch small (few kg) projectiles fast enough to get out of orbit, so a space elevator isn't necessary. The amount of energy necessary is trivial compared to the amount of energy harvested from the expended fuel pellet before it needs to be gotten rid of.

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2. Great. We get to be known as the species who uses space as their own private dump. Neighbours are gonna love us.
I know you're being facetious, but this is really the only semi-rational objection I can think of, and it's based on a very serious misconception regarding how big space is. If we ground up the whole planet and spread it all over the solar system, there'd be effectively no change in the density of the debris.

The only constraint I can think of on this approach is that you'd have to make sure you didn't accidentally hit satellites on the way out.

Cheers
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #49
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Excellent Post Gordguide!

You're hired to stand with SINC and I at the regulatory hearings! Bring sandwiches, but skip the radioactive metal fillings....they will surely be provided anyways by some special interest groups.


(chuckle) radioactive toothpaste.... "for that GLOWING smile"
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #50
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I haven't put much thought into this, but wouldn't the fuel required to launch these ships into space (I am assuming fossil because I don't electricity can launch thrusters) outweigh any benefits of even having nuclear as an alternative. Imagine how many ships we would be sending. An insane amount certainly, and considering that they can't really carry that much weight, it seems like a game of diminishing returns.

A space elevator, and shoot them towards the sun and we are talking
You would be correct, since it takes about 3.5 tonnes of fuel to launch 1 kilogram of payload into orbit, and an even greater amount of fuel in order to have a payload escape the gravitational well of the Earth.

Perhaps the only benefit of most rockets (barring the solid boosters used on the Shuttle) is that they are propelled by burning hydrogen and oxygen - which creates water as the exhaust, and hence, is only a source of pollution to those adverse to water. (Of course, the preparation of the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen creates pollution.)

Launching garbage is not only crazy wasteful, failed launches would make a big mess, especially in orbit where there is already enough junk floating around. It was only this week when the Shuttle had to do a stunt in order to keep the ISS from colliding into large bits of a failed Chinese rocket.
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