Nuclear wastes: Rod A. on Jon F.:s problem

Rolf Martens rolf.martens at
Sun Aug 4 18:57:44 MDT 1996

Nuclear wastes: Rod A. on Jon F.:s problem  [Fwd: 05.08.96]

[The below I forward from newsgroup '' to the
Marxism list in connection with the "red-green" debate, in
which Jon F. on 02.08 expressed his worry about the
transporting of nuclear wastes. It so happens that Rod Adams,
who obviously has some knowledge of these things, touched
on that question on 03.08.

For myself, this article contains i.a. the interesting news that
in the USA, consumers apparently don't pay the $0.003 per
kWh electricity that we do here in Sweden - to which is added
$0.001 for future disposal of spent reactors - but only 1 mill,
i.e. $0.001, per kWh, if I understand this correctly. So the
politicians here are playing it "safer" but a little more
expensive - still not among the things which today really bleed
people. - RM]

From: atomicrod at (Atomic Rod)
Subject: Re: Court decides DOE obligated to accept spent fuel
Date: 3 Aug 1996 10:02:10 -0400

Mike Baker wrote:

/* I think DOE will try to just pay the utilities to keep the
stuff on site unitl they get there act together. In this case it
will do little to increase pressure for some action, only if
they are required to take the fuel to an interim storage site, as
bills working through congress would require, will pressure to act
increase. If this doesn't happen cost shifts from the ratepayer
to the taxpayer, and that is the only effect this ruling will have. */

Mike, IMHO this would be the best possible solution. The waste is
not dangerous where it is; there are many adequate and licensed
storage systems that can be implemented on rather short notice.
This solution would be far less costly overall than building up the
ability to move all of that material to a "central" storage
location in Nevada. Moving spent fuel to Nevada probably MAXIMIZES
the ton-miles that would need transportation services and MAXIMIZES
the cost of the transportation.

Though we know how to build cannisters for this transportation,
they would be very expensive, single use devices under present
notions of how they should be designed and used. According to
some studies that I have read, it would require about 9000 multi-
purpose cannisters to move the spent fuel that has accumulated
and will accumulate by the year 2010. The estimated cost of a
cannister licensed to be transported on rail is about $1.0-$1.5
million. The cannisters alone would cost about $9-$14 BILLION.
Of course, you would also have to pay for the special trains, the
special security, and the liability.

(I do not suggest that moving the material risks much radioactive
contamination, just that moving it produces a grave risk of
interrupting the vital business of rail and truck travel. You have
been around the nuclear business; do you really want to see a
bunch of nukes carrying procedures escorting trains around the
country? NOTHING would move for days!!)

No, for my money the easiest, safest and cheapest way is to
store the material on site until we figure out that it has huge
value. At that point, entrepreneurs will set up regional recycling
facilities sited to take advantage of concentrations of raw material
(perhaps one in South Carolina to service the southeast, one in
New Jersey to service the Northeast, one in Southern California to
service the west coast, and one in Illinois to service the Midwest).

The government should refund what it has collected, shut down
Yucca Mountain, fire a whole bunch of bureaucrats and get out of
the business of nuclear fuel. The utilities should use the 1 mill
per kilowatt hour to fund the on-site storage. Someday their
stockholders will reap the benefits of not having thrown away
valuable material.

Rod Adams
Adams Atomic Engines, Inc P. O. Box 1017 Tarpon Springs,
Fl. 34688-1017

Nuclear powered barges are making a comeback! Check out
the August 1996 issue of AEI for information on the historical
precedents and the future of this market. For a free sample of
Atomic Energy Insights send an e-mail request (subject line:
Atomic Energy Insights) that includes your postal address to atomicrod at

Back issues of AEI are on the WWW at URL

[So far Rod Adams to '' on 03.08.96.]

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