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Opportunities for US-Russian collaboration on the safe disposal of nuclear waste

Opportunities for US-Russian collaboration on the safe disposal of nuclear waste, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists  By Cameron TracySulgiye ParkMaria PlevakaEkaterina Bogdanova, May 13, 2021

Russia and the United States share a common legacy of nuclear waste production and a common need to safely and effectively manage this waste. Both have operated nuclear reactors for more than six decades. 

……. . This nuclear energy is unavoidably accompanied by the production of vast quantities of nuclear wastes. The United States possesses approximately 80,000 metric tons of civilian high-level radioactive waste; Russia possesses about 24,000 metric tons (Laverov 2016; Nuclear Energy Institute 2019). Much of this is in the form of spent fuel composed largely of uranium, as well as transmutation productions (e.g., plutonium, neptunium, and americium) and fission products (e.g., cesium, strontium, and iodine) produced during the irradiation of fuel (Bruno and Ewing 2006).  Low level wastes resulting from nuclear energy generation, including contaminated clothing or equipment exposed to neutron irradiation, constitute another nuclear waste stream (Yim and Simonson 2000).

Alongside these civilian inventories, Russia and the United States possess the vast majority of the world’s weapons plutonium and highly enriched uranium—fissile materials from which nuclear weapons are constructed (International Panel on Fillile Materials 2015). Much of this material has been declared excess to military needs and must be disposed of. Furthermore, the past production of these fissile material stockpiles and of nuclear arsenals has yielded large quantities of radionuclide-contaminated wastes. This totals 340,000 metric tons of material in the United States, and likely similar quantities in Russia (US Department of Energy 1997)……… (subscribers only)


May 15, 2021 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

If Bitcoin is virtual, why are there environmental concerns?

Why does Elon Musk say Bitcoin is bad for the environment?  ABC, By Jordan Hayne, 14 May 21,

……………If Bitcoin is virtual, why are there environmental concerns?

The issue is that all these computer farms working overtime to mine bitcoin use up a lot of real-world energy.The grunt work of adding to the block chain has computers run guessing games involving an astronomically large number of guesses each second.

To be more precise, the network is currently estimated as being able to handle 176,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s 176 quintillion) computations every single second.

All those numbers are energy intensive, so the power consumption of the Bitcoin network is huge. 

According to the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance, the estimated annualised consumption of electricity by the Bitcoin network is 149.6 terawatt hours and growing.

That’s more than countries like Sweden, Pakistan and Malaysia, and about 61 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption….

May 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment