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NASC 130 Essentials3_ch12

S storage of high level radioactive waste essentials

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Unformatted text preview: be heavily guarded With final approval, Yucca Mountain will begin receiving wastes by 2017. Essentials of Geology, 3rd edition, by Stephen Marshak Chapter 12: Riches in Rock: Energy & Mineral Resources Why Yucca Mountain? Remote and unpopulated Minimal risk of earthquakes Dry climate minimizes groundwater contamination Water table is deep underground, on top of an isolated Water aquifer aquifer Location on federal land can be protected from Location sabotage sabotage However, nuclear waste will need to be moved from 120 However, current storage areas, nuclear plants, and military installations installations Shipments by rail and truck across hundreds of Shipments public highways through all the states could create high risk of accident or sabotage high Essentials of Geology, 3rd edition, by Stephen Marshak Chapter 12: Riches in Rock: Energy & Mineral Resources Nuclear Energy Problems Generates highly-radioactive wastes Extremely toxic, wastes are poisonous for 1000s of years High-level waste storage is a major societal issue Yucca Mountain, Nevada Wastes also generated by processing uranium ore Essentials of Geology, 3rd edition, by Stephen Marshak Chapter 12: Riches in Rock: Energy & Mineral Resources Geothermal Energy Energy from Earth's internal heat Geothermal gradient: Earth becomes hotter with depth Geothermal gradients vary (15oC/km to 50oC/km) High geothermal gradients: hotter at shallower depths High No wastes; no greenhouse gases or air pollution Essen...
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