Plutonium Problem

Glass or Cement May Encase Nuclear Waste




J.D.S./Shutterstock.com

Congress might consider authorizing the U.S. Department of Energy to encase much of the nuclear waste at the Washington state Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation’s largest waste repository, in a cement-like mixture, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. It states that when burying the waste, cement would be less expensive and faster than vitrification, an alternative process currently used to turn the waste into glass logs.

A $17 billion vitrification plant, one of the federal government’s most expensive construction projects, is intended to separate much of the waste into high- and low-level radioactive material, but construction has stalled over design and safety concerns. After the highly radioactive waste is immobilized in the glass logs, it would theoretically be shipped to an as-yet-nonexistent national repository proposed for Yucca Mountain, in Nevada.

The 56 million gallons of waste in question is left over from plutonium production for nuclear weapons since World War II, and the site itself has a history of leaks. The Department of Energy likes the cement burial, but state officials believe the best way to safely deal with the waste and protect the environment is by turning it into glass.


Source: enews.earthlink.net


This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Bat Banter

Computer algorithms helped Israeli researchers decode the language of Egyptian fruit bats and discover that bats exchange information about specific problems.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Zensense: The Self-Extinguishing Incense Burner

Product Spotlight
The Zensense self-extinguishing incense burner uses an innovative, sliding block feature to control the perfect amount of incense fragrance.

The Secrets Your DNA Holds: Genetics 101

Because DNA variants can impact an individual’s ability to make and use different nutrients critical for circulatory, immune and even emo­tional health, everyone is susceptible, in their own unique way, to potential health implications.

Protecting Our Pets’ Gut Health

Fluoride Can Compromise the Microbiome in Humans and Animals
Fluoride accumulates in all living things and can have a harmful effect on all aspects of the body’s systems.

Improving Academic Success in Children that Struggle with School

As children return to school this fall, parents often ask about what can be done to help their child achieve academic success.

Floatation Therapy in Boston

Balans Organic Spa and Wellness Studio and Float Boston help people let go and float away.

A Daily Dose of Herbs

Stay Healthy with Anti-Inflammatory and Detoxifying Herbs
A healthy diet of organic whole foods combined with anti-inflammatory and detoxifying herbs helps the immune system to recognize and eliminate microbial invasions and cell mutations.