Nuclear waste from power plants is causing the
Transmutex is developing a new type of nuclear reactor that uses thorium instead of uranium. These plants could produce electricity more safely and without generating highly radioactive waste. An ambitious project that could change the landscape of nuclear energy.
Ticino journalist based in Bern, I cover scientific and societal issues with reports, articles, interviews and analyses. I am interested in climate, energy and environmental issues, as well as everything related to migration, development aid and human rights in general.
Several countries are already working to make nuclear reactors more compact, simpler, safer and cheaper. U.S. President Joe Biden has earmarked $2.5 billion for research and industrial demonstration of advanced reactors, while TerraPower, a company founded by Bill Gates, is poised to build the first of hundreds of miniature sodium nuclear power plants. In China, the first thorium-fueled nuclear reactors will soon come on line, but with a different technology from Transmutex.
Hospital radioactive waste
Transmutex’s solution is to use thorium instead of uranium. Thorium is a weakly radioactive metal found in rocks throughout most of the earth’s crust and would be fissioned inside the reactor in a subcritical state and fed with neutrons through a particle accelerator. This means that, unlike conventional reactors, the plant would be unable to sustain a chain reaction. Once the neutron flow is interrupted, the reactor shuts down immediately.
In addition, a thorium reactor could also be fed with nuclear waste from existing nuclear power plants and, in what is technically known as “transmutation,” some of the short-lived radioactive waste could also be transformed into stable elements.
What is radioactive waste examples
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What is nuclear waste
If you are exposed to ionizing radiation, there are many factors that determine whether it will adversely affect you. These factors include the dose, (the amount), the duration (how long) and the type of radiation. You should also consider the chemicals you are exposed to, your age, sex, diet, personal characteristics, lifestyle and health condition.
To explain what ionizing radiation is, we will begin with a discussion of atoms, how they acquire radioactivity and how they emit ionizing radiation. Next, we will explain where the radiation comes from. Finally, we will describe the most important types of radiation to which you may be exposed. This summary will discuss the three main types of ionizing radiation (alpha, beta and gamma radiation) and their sources.
What does not constitute ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is not a substance such as salt, air, water, or a hazardous chemical that can be eaten, breathed, or drunk, or that can be spilled on the skin. However, many substances can be contaminated with radioactive material, and people can be exposed to ionizing radiation from these radioactive contaminants.