Author Topic: Rockets and radioactivity?  (Read 964 times)

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Online CarbShark

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Re: Rockets and radioactivity?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2017, 01:53:59 PM »
Radioactive waste is very dense (heavy) which makes the cost of putting in space the millions of tons we have now and the hundreds of thousands produced every year prohibitive.

Actually, it would be easier to put a ton of radioactive waste into space than to put a ton of feathers into space. ;D You have the same payload weight either way, but the dense radioactive waste would fit into a smaller payload capsule.

The issue is not its density. The issue is the sheer quantity of it.


Yes, you are correct, mass, not density.

Although nuclear waste is quite dense, it is the mass (weight) that is the issue.
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Offline samson

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Re: Rockets and radioactivity?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 07:25:55 AM »
Not that hard from everything I have read.

Basically you throw the object towards the sun. The object will still have the Earth's orbital energy so probably not be a straight shot into the sun but instead something like what some comets do where they end up diving into the sun.

We can launch probes that enter into orbit of Mercury so much easier just to fall into the sun.

The energy difference for the earths orbit and the suns surface is huge. It's cheaper energy wise to send it out of the the solar system. XKCD gives a visual idea of the differences. There are slingshot techniques to borrow energy or change direction but that is just adding complexity, cost and risk.

One idea that I saw on another forum was to use boring techniques to put chains of waste in solid rock. They suggested granite for containment. They then suggested that if enough waste was stored at a location then the rock could be used as a "geo thermal" heat source. Once there is an income stream from the resource then its maintenance becomes easier. Once the waste has had enough half lives to cool then it could be recovered for reprocessing.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Rockets and radioactivity?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 07:46:40 AM »
The Yucca Mountain storage facility would have been a better long term solution than a volcano, but that’s not gonna happen.

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