Recycling the Ashes of Nuclear Fission March 31, 2020
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#1. Which countries are recycling their used nuclear fuel now?
France and Russia
UK and India
All of the above
#2. Which is the cheapest way to deal with used nuclear fuel?
Deep geological disposal
Leaving used fuel on each reactor site
Recycling using pyroprocessing and fast reactors to extract power.
#3. Which industry has pre-paid the costs of decommissioning and disposition of their used fuel?
#4. What is being done with used nuclear fuel after it sits in a water cooling pool for 5-7 years?
It is being sent to a central storage location awaiting final disposition.
It is being buried in deep geologic permanent storage on each reactor site.
It is being recycled on each site to prepare for next generation reactors.
It is being stored in reinforced concrete canisters and cooled above ground on each site.
#5. If untreated, used nuclear fuel is required to be shielded from human contact for:
Three Hundred years
One thousand years
Hundreds of thousands of years
#6. What is the biggest complaint about using nuclear fuel to produce electricity?
The industry has not dealt with the used fuel issue yet.
Wind and solar are far cheaper and efficient to produce electricity.
Coal and natural gas are cheaper to use than nuclear reactors.
Transportation of nuclear fuel is too risky.
#7. One process for recycling used nuclear fuel is called pyroprocessing. What is pyroprocessing?
It is a method for recycling named after the famous nuclear scientist Dr. Gerald J. Pyro from the University of Michigan.
It is a method that sequesters uranium and plutonium from the other components of used nuclear fuel by dissolving them in a non-aqueous molten salt and using electrorefining.
It is a method whereby used nuclear fuel is heated to such a high temperature that the individual components separate physically with the lightest floating on the heaviest.
d. It uses the pyrophoresis methodology in which a specially-designed membrane separates the super-heated molecules by selectively passing smaller atoms through the mesh.
#8. Why is the United States not recycling now, even though other nuclear power users in the world do so?
Our Government refuses to subsidize the process like the other recycling countries do.
North Korea refined bomb-grade plutonium from used fuel, so it was deemed too risky.
The nuclear industry started to recycle, but President Carter stopped it.
Too many people complain about recycling, so the Congress will not approve it.
#9. If pyroprocessing is used in conjunction with a fast reactor, what percent of the nuclear fuel can be used to produce energy?
Between 5 and 15 %
Between 45 and 50%
Greater than 96%
#10. Recycling Used Nuclear Fuel is:
Too dangerous to consider.
More expensive than burying used fuel in a deep geological repository.
The right thing to do so our grandchildren will benefit from it.
a and d