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New Lasers Make Radioactive Waste Safe

Radioactive waste is only a problem when it remains radioactive for vast amounts of cialis mexico time. Unfortunately, many of the byproducts of nuclear fission have half-lives of millions of years. Right now, we have no idea what to do with this stuff. It's hard to i recommend 50mg viagra retail price imagine next century, let alone 15 million years from now. Do we really want to leave this stuff lying around? It will almost certainly escape from anywhere we put it.

Luckily, scientists are working on female herbal levitra ways to avoid these long-term problems. British scientists have "transmuted" iodine-129 into iodine-128 with a high-powered laser. Now, dropping one neutron might not seem like a big deal, but the half-life of iodine-129 is 15 million years while the half-life of iodine 128 is 25 minutes.

They've done it by focusing a high-powered laser on a pellet of gold for an extremely brief amount of time. The gold ionizes, becomes plasma, and emits gamma rays. The gamma rays then smash into the lowest price viagra iodine, forcing out a neutron and making the material safe.

Now, scientists just have to figure out how to scale the process up to levels necessary in disposing of nuclear wastes, while keeping costs lower than the planned facility at Yucca Mountain. I wish them luck.


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Comments (11)Add Comment
Call me a Dumbass....but...
written by Gavin D. J. Harper, September 20, 2007
Call me a dumbass, but lasers require *energy*, which sucks a bit, because if they didn't we could go around zapping all this nuclear waste with reckless abandon, rendering it virtually inert in the process.

However... as we live in a world where these things require watts, I think we need to ask questions about how this EcoGeekery really stacks up - it could become the self-fulfilling prophecy that the nuclear industry is looking for... building all these nuclear reactors, to power nuclear waste zapping lasers.

Now... don't get me wrong, I *LOVE* the idea of vast solar arrays or turbines producing clean energy to power nuke-zapping lasers to get rid of the last vestiges of man's reckless folly with nuclear power... but I can't fathom the levitra online shop idea of a new generation of Nukes - which will probably cost overun, under-perform and cheap propecia be built too late - just like the last generation of Nuclear Power Stations... and... come to think of it... all the nuclear power stations that have ever been built.

Having said that - they all work well on paper... which is probably the best place for them to stay.

At the moment, it's more a case of cheap generic cialis uNclear power than Nuclear power.

Love and Best Wishes to all the EcoGeeks out there...

Gavin D. J. Harper
written by Hank, September 20, 2007
I very nearly put in a bit about how EcoGeek's official position is still anti-fission power but I've written that so many times, and the article was already long.

You're absolutely right, it's a good technology to take care of the waste we've already got, not an open enviro-license to go around creating more. The lasers, however, at 360 joules certainly eat energy...but it could be worse.
It might take a lot of energy
written by weee, September 20, 2007
but compared to cheap viagra india the energy and risk of burying radioactive material for thousands of years this is a pretty clever trick.
nuclear waste
written by Miguel V., September 20, 2007
There're many missconceptions about the nuclear waste. First, all those long lived isotopes have very low radioctivity, even if they emit gamma rays, because this energy is spread in a long period of time, thus are mostly harmless.

Similar is the case of the short live, which can be kept safe in facilities besides the reactor for a while, and then they become "innert"

I use the "" because many isotopes transmutate into another, which may be even more radioactive. Fortunately the processes are quite well studied.

The main problem are those isotopes with midle half lives, few years to tens of years. They are radioactive enough to cause health problems and thus they must be stored safetly. But methods have been developed and look promising.

Wikipedia has very accurate articles about nuclear waste and the latest methods to store it.

Of course, any method to improve it, is welcome.
written by Joel, September 20, 2007
It should also be noted that you can produce petawatts if you're able to take that energy in femtosecond bursts from a machine that takes only a few hundred watts of tramadol fed ex overnight wall power.

That is to say, the energies here are not so extreme from a macroscopic perspective, only the time scales in which the energy is released.
Recycling is the solution
written by EV, September 21, 2007
The best way to cialis 100mg get rid of nuclear "waste" is to recycle it. Giving back to us most of it in a useable form and some very dangerous actual waste. It was Carters idiocy on banning recycling of the "spent" rods that's caused us to have this problem in the first place. Additionally, modern methods will at no point have pure plutonium, meaning there is no fear of weapons proliferation either.
written by EV, September 21, 2007
That should be "some not very dangerous actual waste"
written by celia, November 24, 2007
Use solar energy (THE original nuclear energy) to power the laser. Duh.
what about the fact that...
written by Shawn, January 07, 2008
alternative energy sources such as solar energy and wind energy might not build up enough energy to power a full size laser. And if it doesnt within a few minutes it would require a large battery to store it and then release it in a burst or a pulsed laser. The way that it will probabally be powered is through nuclear power, which will be quite a paradox. Also, it might not even work on a large scale, which would really suck.
written by Aydin, August 26, 2008
You Guys are Nerds Its a Laser
Recycle the cialis no doctor nuclear 'Waste'!
written by BkWdsDrftr, February 18, 2009
Slowly, the world will re-discover how to do what America knew all along.

Just an idea, but suppose the 'waste' might never be destroyed. All the plans for destruction seem to go nowhere except continue stirring-up fear. After the population re-duction takes place, there will be a ready supply of perfectly useable nuclear fuel conveniently stored for the new world order. The same people who are storing all those seeds in doomsday vaults.

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