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Deep Isolation of nuclear wastes could be an effective part of permanently shutting down this toxic industry

I don’t usually post James Conca’s work, as he is a propaganda voice for the nuclear industry. Here he’s praising a nuclear waste disposal  technology, because Conca sees it as being able to ensure that the radioactive trash might later be retrieved, and, miraculously, function as fuel for nuclear fast breeder reactor. 

However, this technology has advantages in the cause of PERMANENT disposal of used nuclear fuel rods – disposal that could be done fairly close to the point of origin – each nuclear power station.

This has promise as a viable technique, as part of PERMANENT SHUTDOWN OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY.

Deep Borehole Nuclear Waste Disposal Just Got A Whole Lot More Likely, Forbes, James Conca, 24 June 19  Deep Isolation is a recent start-up company from Berkeley that seeks to dispose of nuclear waste safely at a much lower cost than existing strategies.

The Deep Isolation strategy begins with a one-mile vertical access drillhole that curves into a two-mile horizontal direction where the waste is stored. The horizontal repository portion has a slight upward tilt that provides additional isolation, and isolating any mechanisms that could move radioactive constituents upward. They would have to move down first, then up, something that cannot occur by natural processes.


The borehole technology was developed to frack natural gas and oil wells, but Deep Isolation realized it could dispose of nuclear waste just as well.

Today the company announced it was partnering with nuclear giant Bechtel National, Inc. to bring Deep Isolation’s patented technology to fruition……. The idea of deep borehole disposal for nuclear waste is not new, but Deep Isolation is the first to consider horizontal wells and is the first to actually demonstrate the concept in the field (see figure), showing that the technology is not just theoretical. The field demonstration occurred on January 16th when it placed and retrieved a waste canister from thousands of feet underground.

The technology takes advantage of recently developed fracking technologiesto place nuclear waste in a series of two-mile-long tunnels, a mile below the Earth’s surface, where they’ll be surrounded by a very tight rock known as shale. This type of shale is so tight that it takes fracking technology to get any oil or gas out of it at all. ……..

Under this new agreement, Bechtel will provide support such as project management, financial/business and engineering capability for Deep Isolation’s sales in both domestic and international markets, including those with the U.S. Department of Energy. Deep Isolation will provide options to support Bechtel’s cleanup work at federal government sites around the country. Deep Isolation could also be a key player in Bechtel’s decommissioning contracts at commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S. and worldwide.

James Taylor, general manager of Bechtel’s Environmental business line, said, “Deep geologic disposal is the scientific consensus for permanently removing and disposing used nuclear fuel and high-level waste from their current locations around the country. We have long-term expertise in design, engineering and licensing, as well as the boots-on-the-ground experience with the everyday challenges of cleaning up radioactive waste. “…..



June 25, 2019 - Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes

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