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Everyone actually involved in this deal seem pretty clear on the details: 50 "rods", totaling a couple hundred pounds of spent fuel. See here: http://www.localnews8.com/news/otter-agree…. I don't know how Andrus got confused, but he's certainly the odd man out in describing a deal of which he has no first hand knowledge.
The rest of your comment veers a little too close to conspiracy theory for me to be really willing to engage. As I said before, you can complain about the politics of the deal, but you should not resort to misrepresenting the science and appealing to public ignorance in doing so.
"Spent fuel rods contain many smaller rods of highly radioactive material housed in a containment. These bigger housing are the 50 each of which the concern is over. They do NOT crack open the containers until after it has sufficiently "cooled" - i.e. stored for quite a while in processing phase... "
This is simply, scintillatingly, wrong. You're mistaking a fuel rod for a bundle.
Look. This stuff is coming here because INL is heavily involved in learning how to reprocess spent fuel in a way that doesn't allow atom bomb production. This is a good thing for us and the world, because it enables us to 1) increase the potential of the only carbon neutral base load electricity, while 2) substantially reducing the amount of high level nuclear waste destined for long term storage.
You can complain about the politics of the deal, but you should not resort to misrepresenting the science and appealing to public ignorance in doing so.
Your (incorrect) assumptions of my political party and feelings about Otter don't change the fact that your "most knowledgeable in Idaho" source is sensationally wrong (as I detailed above). He also doesn't bother to mention that INL already holds hundreds of tons (or millions of tons, by Andrus math) of high level waste, or that INL does in fact have significant capability to examine spent fuel, including 1- or 2-of a kind instruments (so there's really no reason to disbelieve the claim that this is research based).
I'm sorry that facts and math don't support your (political) conclusions, but that's not really my problem.
"But in spite of that 1995 pact, Otter and Wasden have agreed to receive 50 spent nuclear rods, each weighting 1,500 pounds, for a total of 37.5 tons of nuclear waste, according to Andrus. "
A fuel rod is half an inch in diameter, around 12 feet long, and holds around 6 lbs of uranium dioxide and a couple more pounds of zirconium (for the heavier BWR). Andrus is off by around 1441 lbs per rod.
There are literally thousands of these rods in a commercial reactor, and we're supposed to freak out because Idaho National Lab is taking 50 for science? Is Andrus ignorant, or is he senile?
Having brewed a lavender wit for years, I'm excited to see what other interesting herbal blends will appear in these brews!
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