Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Issue of Nuclear Waste

In the Baird text it is mention in Chapter 17.12 that while there are several proposals on how to solve the problem of nuclear waste, the issue currently is still unresolved in finding the best method of disposing the waste. One of the methods in disposing of nuclear waste is by vitrifying the waste or turning into glass where it can be buried underground. A second known method is is to cover it in Pu02, better known as plutonium dioxide and mix it with a uranium oxide to create a mixed oxide fuel that can be used in nuclear power plants. However, there is still no currently accepted ultimately decided method as to disposing of nuclear waste.

Some terms I found interesting in this portion of the text was the oxides used in the second method of waste disposal as I personally think that this method of waste disposal is probably the most practical and realistic due to it having a way of recycling energy. I also think it is very important that we find some other more effective way of solving the waste problem as the dumping of nuclear waste can be a severe health hazard to the communities that surround areas where waste is dumped. But in the meantime if we still have no currently accepted method then at the very least I think we should focus on the mixed oxide fuel method as we can also recycle energy in the process. But ultimately we must find a method sooner or later or we will certainly face the risks of health hazards in many surrounding areas where waste is dumped.

Baird,Colin, Chemistry in Your Life,2nd ed. ,pg. 638

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