Essay on Nuclear Chain Reactions

Submitted By gsandhu97
Words: 461
Pages: 2

Nuclear waste is the material that nuclear fuel becomes after it is used in a reactor. A nuclear reactor is a system that contains and controls sustained nuclear chain reactions. Reactors are used for generating electricity and much more. Before producing power, the fuel was mostly uranium, oxygen, and steel. Later, many uranium atoms have split into various isotopes of almost all of the transition metals. The nuclear waste is dangerously radioactive. If you stood near the reactor unshielded you would die in a few seconds because of acute radiation.
Furthermore, people think we can send nuclear waste into space, but we shouldn’t take the risk because the rocket could blow up during lift-off. Currently, nuclear waste is stored underwater in spent fuel pools near nuclear power plants. Nevada is geology stable and the location is suitable. However, the repository is designed to a certain capacity of nuclear waste. The nuclear waste still has 90% usable fuel, so we can recycle. France and Japan currently recycle nuclear waste with great success.
The US had a recycling program that was shut down because it created plutonium, which is the easiest material with which to make a nuclear weapon. Also, by recycling we can reduce the concerns of long-term storages. The main barriers of geological disposal are; immobilize waste in an insoluble matrix such as borosilicate glass or synthetic rock, seal it inside a corrosion-resistant container, such as stainless steel, locate it deep underground in a stable rock structure, and surround containers with an impermeable backfill such as bentonite clay if the repository is wet. The cost of managing and disposing of nuclear power plant wastes represents about 5% of the total cost of the electricity generated.
Transmutation is the process of transforming one radionuclide into another via neutron bombardment in a nuclear reactor or accelerator-driven…