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Comments about ‘EnergySolutions gets delay on issues surrounding depleted uranium storage’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 4 2014 7:06 a.m. MDT

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cjb
Bountiful, UT

Why is all this uranium being buried? 800,000 tons? If this were made use of in a breeder reactor, this amount of uranium would produce as much energy as 12 trillion barrels of oil.

Swiss
Price, Utah

Remember this is not as radioactive as when it was mined in Utah. The U238 has been removed.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

There is still too much misinformation on nuclear radiation abounding in this country. There are 3 types of nuclear radiation, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and gamma being the most dangerous. Alpha and Beta are particulate shrapnel of an exploding bomb that have a short radius of damage to the first half mile of ground zero.

However Gamma ray energy created by the implosion by pressure and protons triggered by a proton generator in the bomb shoots millions of protons into the U238 creating the nuclear explosion that you see. This chain reaction creates the million degree Gamma radiation which is what kills and dissolves the flesh and bones. Gamma radiation has a half life rate of decay of thousands of years and takes many half life's to become safe dirt.

It is the materials infused with Gamma radiation they want to haul through Utah and bury in shallow bore holes/caves in the west desert.

Gamma can pass through anything for hundreds of miles or infinity in a solid ball of energy. When Gamma rays penetrate or pass through a body or objects it leaves trace radiation causing cancers. Common lead is the only thing Gamma rays won't penetrate.

lket
Bluffdale, UT

its a land mine for people in the future and we don't have the right to hide it and forget it and it kill others in the future we don't even know.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "cjb" it is being buried because it is depleted, that means it is not very radioactive. Depleted uranium is used as armor in tanks and is also used in tank busting munitions. It would be a very bad product to use in a nuclear reactor.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

@My2Cents

"There is still too much misinformation on nuclear radiation abounding in this country."

Agreed, and your post is a perfect example. The half life of U238 is about 4.5 billion years, meaning the decay is so slow that it is negligible. Depleted uranium is actually 60% less radioactive than our normal atmosphere. That's right - DU is actually radioactively "cleaner" than the earth itself. On top of that, the decay mode of U238 is Alpha, not Gamma, as you not-so-subtly tried to imply in your post.

In fact, did you know that depleted uranium is actually used to protect you from radiation? Yep, it's true. Today's "lead vests" you wear when you get an x-ray are actually made from depleted uranium! They don't make them from lead any more because of toxicity. The reason they're still called "lead vests" is because people are so afraid of the word "uranium" that they would never put it on...and it's thanks to misinformation in the media and posts like yours.

And no, I don't work for Energy Solutions or any other company in the nuclear business. I just studied this stuff in college.

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