June 06 2011

How the Fission-Fusion Loop Can Eliminate Nuclear Waste

It’s true. Nuclear fission is a lucrative power source and nuclear reactions can be quite dangerous.

Nuclear fission is a lucrative power source in two ways:

Nuclear reactions can be dangerous because Uranium-235 is radioactive.

Radioactive means that an element can cause unexpected changes in things around it (cure cancer, cause cancer, etcetera) mostly on a cellular level. This in itself is dangerous. Also, splitting a nucleus by firing a neutron at it just sounds dangerous. The draw to radioactive elements is that the nuclei are naturally unstable and will naturally break down into more stable elements. This is why firing at the nucleus can split it; if the element were more stable, the strong nuclear force would be too strong. The most dangerous thing, though, is that fission and fusion require chain reactions to produce the massive power they do. The neutron is fired into a nucleus to split it which sends another neutron seeking another nucleus to split.

A slow controlled reaction produces unlimited power, and very fast chaotic one produces a nuclear explosion.

Therefore, any time you deal with breaking apart or fusing together a nucleus, it is a very dangerous endeavor. It requires intense heat, pressure, speed, and requires unstable radioactive elements. Besides, where are we going to stash all the uranium-235 isotopes that have a 10,000 year isotope?

I have a solution that will reconcile the two power sources and severely lessen, if not eliminate, the dangers and the storage problem. With no dangers, there is no hindrance to the power of the nucleus.

The solution is easy, but the physics may prove difficult.

Since fission is splitting the atom and fusion is fusing it back together just make it so the outputs of one become the inputs of another in a never-ending loop. It will be a closed loop until the uranium-235 needs to be replaced and there will be absolutely no waste product. For example, let’s say the uranium atom is split in a fission reactor into krypton and barium generating intense heat, some of this heat could be used in a fusion reactor to fuse the krypton and barium back into uranium generating more heat. This process would continue until all of the uranium is gone and a new canister needs to replace the old and depleted uranium. The process would still be dangerous, because the unimaginable massive amounts of heat energy would have to be monitored constantly and cooled continually but there would be no radioactive wastes.

The fission fusion loop would essentially be a dynamo generating enormous energies and we could start cleaning out the radioactive waste from all our storage facilities because we would have created a machine that essentially eats it. Nuclear waste would never have to be stored again because there would be no such thing.

What are your thoughts on using nuclear waste for a fission-fusion loop? What, in your opinion, are the pros and cons?

Jeff P Jilek

Jeff Jilek has earned a B.S. in Architecture with a Minor in City & Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He has been involved with architecture since his junior year of High School when he attended Eastland Career Center’s Architecture program. Sustainable Design is something that he is most interested in but also has taken many college level courses in psychology, political science, and philosophy. He will be attends Arizona State University for continuing education. He is pursuing both his M.B.A and Master of Architecture degrees. He blogged about pertinent issues in design and how design relates to global dynamics, culture, and economy.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 11:11 am and is filed under Engineering, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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