Dear Katie,Let's first consider what is "nuclear waste."A pretty general definition used by some folks is byproducts of nuclear reactions.By this definition, the! material from which all the trains running through your village, as well as your village and all the rest of this planet is "nuclear waste," as it was all produced by the nuclear reactions in stars, novae and supernovae (this excludes hydrogen in water etc., an un-burnt nuclear fusion fuel).Other folks prefer to define nuclear waste as radioactive byproducts of nuclear reactions.But this is also a fairly general definition, that would include things like medical radiopharmaceuticals used in diagnosing diseases and treating cancers, etc.Radiopharmaceuticals typically do not become "waste" until they are disch! arged by patients, for example in urine.Also, radiopharmaceuticals are shipped by automobile or helicopter, not train.Besides which, the radioactive byproducts definition includes a good deal of what the earth is made of, since some of those primordial siderogenic products remain radioactive to this day -- particularly Potassium-40, Uranium-238 and Thorium-232.Other cosmogenic radionuclides are constantly supplied to the surface of the earth by interactions with cosmic radiation -- most notably Carbon-14, which scientists use to date animal and human remains.Still others prefer the far more specific definition of used fuel from nuclear power stations.While it is certainly radioactive, calling it "waste" is misleading, in my opinion.Only about 1% of the material in used nuclear fuel is true "waste," the rest being mostly unchanged uranium, as it was dug up from the ground.That 1% incidentally, has a radioactive half-life many millions of times shorter than the radioactive substances in the earth a! nd in our bodies (Potassium-40 accounts for about 2/3 of our body's radioactivity of about 8,000 disintegrations per second, and has a half-life of ~1.8 billion years; uranium has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, which ! is why its still here, long since the earth has formed).So as you can see, we are effectively converting the long-lived radioactive "waste" in the earth, to very short-lived stuff -- and getting a lot of energy out of it in the process !Hope this helps you understand a bit better.Cheers,Jaro Franta, P.Eng.
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From: email@example.com.McMaster.CA [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.McMaster.CA]On Behalf Of Odellsclarey@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:30 AM
Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] nuclear waste train routesHi there,
I have heard rumers that a nuclear waste train runs through my local villiage of Poleworth (Nr Tamworth-Middlands) and im looking for evidence supporting this to make it public knowledge if the rumers are true, can you help?