To discuss my experience with mitigating nuclear hazards, I like to say that I am the only person I know of who has worked on almost every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle. Please let me know if you know anyone else making such a bold claim so perhaps we can gain their perspective? Groups that gave me this experience include the University of Wyoming, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as well as several consulting assignments.
Ironically, in the U.S. we do not have a complete nuclear fuel cycle so a person would need to work with the French on reprocessing spent fuel to go full circle. The examination of the nuclear fuel cycle for mitigating hazards is relevant to nations and taxpayers under the construct of Conserve & Pro$per on many levels that will be discussed.
As shown on the figure, the nuclear fuel cycle is the process necessary to generate electric power (as well as medical isotopes) in a reactor. The cycle begins with mining, involves several steps to produce and burn fuel rods, store spent fuel, then ultimately burial in a engineered-geological repository. As discussed on my blog post about the Green New Deal, we all use nuclear energy, which accounts for about 20% or one-fifth of our electricity generated in the U.S. So even for the anti-nuclear activists, we all must be aware of the risks and costs involving the nuclear fuel cycle including the fact that we must properly deal with existing nuclear waste.
I will need many blog postings to explain my experience with the nuclear fuel cycle and provide examples of mitigating nuclear hazards. Here is my proposed outline to be provided in upcoming blog posts:
Uranium Mills and Clean Up
Yellowcake Conversion, Enrichment, and Fuel
Nuclear Reactors - Operations, Relicensing, and Decommissioning
Spent Fuel Storage
Reprocessing (in France)
High-level Waste Disposal
Summary of Mitigating Nuclear Hazards
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