Saturday, June 10, 2017

Nuclear Waste - Finland Vs. US

Here is a report about how Finland is handling their nuclear waste. Sounds like they have a workable plan:

The US, on the other hand, has no plan, other than the Yucca Mountain fiasco. I doubt Trump will be able to revive it.

The Finnish plan uses copper tubes lined with clay. The US non-plan intended to use stainless steel tubes filled with glass.

One disadvantage of the US non-plan is its complexity. The facility to produce the steel/glass tubes is complicated and expensive. I worked there for a year a long time ago. The glass melter has a short working life and must be replaced often (roughly once per year). It has lots of moving parts.

The US always seems to choose expensive, complicated "solutions" to its problems. Another example of this is the "space shuttle" which replaced the rocket launch systems created by Werner von Braun. The German rockets were complex, but they worked. The shuttle was even more complicated, and in ways it was a spectacular failure (see Bruce Murray's 1989 book Journey into Space for a further discussion of this issue).

Sometimes "new school" is NOT any better than "old school", but we seem incapable of learning that lesson. And quite often small countries like Finland come up with systems which are far better than those developed by behemoths such as the US.

No comments:

Post a Comment