Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nuclear Waste Underground Disposal - Primer - 5

The Properties of Rock  -- Living Rock is a Dynamic Thing.  If you look at a piece of rock, you must think of all the huge dynamic forces that brought it in front of you, and all the tremendous forces that are still acting on it.  Miners know that the rock is dynamic.  Nevertheless, the general consensus by those in power, is to ignore the properties of the rock.  You cannot find a piece of open granite that is not riddled with fractures, and leaking like a sieve.

-look up earlier Geofish articles on rock mechanics

The Open Channel Flow in exposed granite is ideal for transporting radionuclides.  There is some hope that they might get adsorbed onto the channel walls, but who knows?  The countries that feel they actually have to do something (other than dream), have now given up on finding non-leaky rock.  They now spin a story of 'perfect containers' that don't need rock for containment.  These containers require one to pour the Copper resources of the world into a shallow grave.

The big problem here is that there is no 'absolute' standard, and there is no hard science behind this.  Thus, we do not know the effect of small modifications.  We can see that in the future they'll be saying things like:

Why do we need so much copper?  Why do we need to go so deep in the rock?  Let's go for leakier rock!

-look up Titanic

And now we go full circle, back to idealism, since there will not be a good solution with the current generation.  The People in Power get paid if things work or they don't.  You, the new generation, with laptops on your desk, must never give up on Civilization, and the improvement of our lives through new technology.  We need a 'Gold Standard' for disposal, and hard science.  We must not give in to political expediency.

I won't be around when we have to figure this out.  I'm sure we'll go through many disasters until then.  But the standard should be 'Diffusion Only'.  That is, if the nasty atoms must try to escape, they must work their way through solid rock.  In 10,000 years, they will only make it a few centimetres!  This can be done by letting real Rock Mechanics people find dry granite.  The excavation should be a tourist site and research centre.  We should plan for it to be open forever, and use the excess heat to ventilate it, and perhaps provide power.  If, by chance there is nuclear war, the moon splits in half, or aliens vaporize us --- To Hell With It!

End of Series

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