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Israelis develop 'safe' plutonium: good for power, bad for weapons
The Register ^ | Lewis Page

Posted on 03/05/2009 9:38:58 AM PST by Yollopoliuhqui

Israeli boffins have developed a promising technique for "declawing" plutonium, which would let it be used as fuel but not for building bombs. They believe the technique could greatly expand peaceful use of nuclear power worldwide, while preventing weapons proliferation.

Almost all plutonium is produced in nuclear reactors, which can run on either uranium or plutonium fuel rods. When the rods are replaced with new ones, the old fuel can be reprocessed - so yielding useful fissionable fuel including plutonium, and reducing the amount of waste requiring disposal or storage.

Beyond basic reprocessing, there is also scope for more advanced techniques such as the use of fast-breeder reactors or perhaps hybrid fusion/fission ones, so turning almost all of the high-level radioactive waste produced by today's power reactors into useful fissile fuel.

(more)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: israel; nuclear; plutonium

1 posted on 03/05/2009 9:38:59 AM PST by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Yollopoliuhqui; neverdem; sionnsar; CYBER; Liberty; patton; EODGUY; VRWCmember

Hmmmn.

Ideas?


2 posted on 03/05/2009 9:42:30 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Spike it with Americium 241 (or Neptunium 237)?

Shouldn’t be all that hard to chemically separate them out.


3 posted on 03/05/2009 9:43:34 AM PST by null and void (We are now in day 43 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

“But Professor Yigal Ronen of Ben-Gurion University says he and his colleagues have cracked a method whereby plutonium can be robbed of usefulness for weapons, yet remain a good power source. He believes this would let the established five nuclear-weapon states of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (the US, UK, France, Russia and China) trade and supply nuclear fuel to other nations with a guarantee that no weapons would result.

It seems the secret is to add the rare-earth isotope Americium-241 in due proportion.”


But he claims that Np237 didn’t work as well as the Am241.


4 posted on 03/05/2009 9:44:37 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: null and void
Most (if not all) of the Pu239 comes from 1n0 absorption by U239, then a decay sequence down to Pu239. So it's mixed intimately with the original U235-U238 fuel mix.

Reprocessing begins by dissolving the rods into their separate chemicals, then selectively removing the non-fuel waste from the radioactive waste.

I agree - So how is he gong to prevent somebody from removing the Am241 - if they already have the ability to handle and separate the hundreds of other elements already in the old fuel rods?

5 posted on 03/05/2009 9:48:44 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

Just remove the americium 241 and you’ve got weapons-grade plutonium.

I’m not getting it.


6 posted on 03/05/2009 9:49:21 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Yollopoliuhqui
MIT has a new technology blog that has some information on a traveling wave nuclear reactor that needed a film of U235 to start it and it ran on depleted uranium. It produced a little Plutonium and used it almost immediately. The reaction saturated on one side of the fuel and reacted its way through to the other side. It could run for 200 years.

Lots of stuff to drive the envro-commies to fits.http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22114/

7 posted on 03/05/2009 9:55:21 AM PST by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui
Plutonium: something so toxic, for so long a period that God never created it.
8 posted on 03/05/2009 9:56:37 AM PST by Mikey_1962 (Obama: The Affirmative Action President)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Ideas?

Too efficient.

"We must scrap ALL energy production and may the strongest humans survive", the dogma of the loony left liberals.

9 posted on 03/05/2009 9:58:21 AM PST by EGPWS (Trust in God, Question everyone else)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

I hope the name of the scientist who developed it isn’t “Dead Meat” Thompson.


10 posted on 03/05/2009 10:17:57 AM PST by Hazwaste (Liberals love the average American the same way that foxes love the average chicken.)
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To: Yollopoliuhqui

And they’re NOT philistinian scientists either!


11 posted on 03/05/2009 10:49:54 AM PST by onedoug
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...
Ping!
12 posted on 03/05/2009 5:58:15 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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