HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
High-density storage of nuclear waste heightens terrorism risks

A space-saving method for storing spent nuclear fuel has dramatically heightened the risk of a catastrophic radiation release in the event of a terrorist attack, according to a study initiated at Princeton.

Terrorists targeting the high-density storage systems used at nuclear power plants throughout the nation could cause contamination problems "significantly worse than those from Chernobyl," the study found.

The study authors, a multi-institutional team of researchers led by Frank von Hippel of Princeton, called on the U.S. Congress to mandate the construction of new facilities to house spent fuel in less risky configurations and estimated a cost of $3.5 billion to $7 billion for the project.

The paper is scheduled to be published in the spring in the journal Science and Global Security.

Strapped for long-term storage options, the nation's 103 nuclear power plants routinely pack four to five times the number of spent fuel rods into water-cooled tanks than the tanks were designed to hold, the authors reported. This high-density configuration is safe when cooled by water, but would likely cause a fire -- with catastrophic results -- if the cooling water leaked. The tanks could be ruptured by a hijacked jet or sabotage, the study contends.

The consequences of such a fire would be the release of a radiation plume that would contaminate eight to 70 times more land than the area affected by the 1986 accident in Chernobyl. The cost of such a disaster would run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, the researchers reported.

The study builds in large part on analyses already done by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, pulling together disparate sources and adding new calculations to put the issues in sharper focus, said von Hippel.

"The NRC has been chewing on this for 20 years," said von Hippel. "That's one of the reasons why we did this paper -- because they never seem to do anything about it."

Von Hippel,
'"/>

Contact: Steven Schultz
sschultz@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University
13-Feb-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Underground carbon dioxide storage reduces emissions
2. Livestock health sensors and wireless data storage in the works
3. Air dried sperm could allow home storage
4. Fire frequency determines forest carbon storage
5. Scientists identify hundreds of worm genes that regulate fat storage
6. Scientists find grass yield, carbon storage not affected by creepy-crawlies in the soil
7. Research identifies enzyme involved in fat storage
8. New research could spearhead permanent nuclear waste storage
9. Muscle gene influences fat storage in mice; may be target to prevent or treat obesity and diabetes
10. A novel cardiac glycogen storage disease
11. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute show most people with the genetic mutation for an iron-storage disease stay healthy

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements ... presents an analysis of the digital and computed radiography ... Malaysia , and Indonesia ... trends and market size, as well as regional market ... country and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, both ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive ... through 2020   --> ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... -- Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of human ... December 31, 2015. --> --> ... 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to $470.5 ... $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior year ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... (NASDAQ: NBIX ) today announced its financial results for the ... --> --> For the fourth quarter of 2015, ... loss per share, compared to a net loss of $19.4 million, ... For the year ended December 31, 2015, the Company reported a ... compared to a net loss of $60.5 million, or $0.81 loss ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Spectra BioPharma Selling Solutions (Spectra) is a new ... the experience, expertise, operational delivery and customer focus ... Created in concert with industry leading commercial experts, ... tactical needs of its clients by providing value-based ... and non-personal promotion. --> ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Florida , February 11, 2016 ... PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: PSID), a ... announced today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, which markets ... on its growth plan in January 2016, including ... distributors, increasing sequential monthly sales growth, and establishing ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... new stem cell treatment clinic in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide ... applications to patients from around the world. , The new GSCG clinic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: