• We hope all of you have a great holiday season and an incredible New Year. Thanks so much for being part of the Space community!

Nuclear waste

Status
Not open for further replies.
T

t4daydreamer

Guest
Could nuclear waste be sent to our sun via rocket? Or is it to cost prohibitive &/or no material to contain it all the way to the surface of the sun?
 
C

crazyeddie

Guest
t4daydreamer":3sm64ipe said:
Could nuclear waste be sent to our sun via rocket? Or is it to cost prohibitive &/or no material to contain it all the way to the surface of the sun?
Imagine what might happen if there were a "Challenger"-type launch accident, and tons and tons of lethal radioactive material came raining down into the ocean or lands below. The planet would be poisoned for hundreds of years.

This isn't feasible until we develop and almost-foolproof launch system.....and even then it will be a tough sell.
 
3

3488

Guest
Hi t4daydreamer.

Welcome to SDC.

Great idea, one I too have heard of being toyed around before.

Whilst probably not impossible, the main problems I can see are:

1). Sheer cost of launching the stuff into interplanetary space.

2). Risk of launch failure, spreading the radioactive cargo over a large area, particularly dangerous if high level waste. We would be dealing with largish quantities I assume each launch.

3). Risk of reaching LEO, but upper stage failing to ignite, thus waste could be in orbital decay (like the ISS, which requires periodical reboosts to maintain a safe orbit).

4). Security of getting such waste to the launch pad.

5). Risk of accident with waste during preparation for launch.

6). Risk of accident with waste whilst it is attached to the upper stage of the launch vehicle.

7). Security concerns during wait for launch window to open & during possible launch delays.

I think these are the main points, but I'm sure others can think of more.

Andrew Brown.
 
3

3488

Guest
crazyeddie":2262t2ws said:
t4daydreamer":2262t2ws said:
Could nuclear waste be sent to our sun via rocket? Or is it to cost prohibitive &/or no material to contain it all the way to the surface of the sun?
Imagine what might happen if there were a "Challenger"-type launch accident, and tons and tons of lethal radioactive material came raining down into the ocean or lands below. The planet would be poisoned for hundreds of years.

This isn't feasible until we develop and almost-foolproof launch system.....and even then it will be a tough sell.
Hi Eddie.

You are correct there. It would be a very hard sell. Think of the fuss made during the launches of the Galileo, Ulysses & Cassini missions, & yet their RTGs are not fuelled with Nuclear grade materials & we're talking only a few KGs too in ceramic form.

Imagine the fuss with nuclear grade materials. Mind you, the Russians, then Soviets had done.

Andrew Brown.
 
A

atlantisworp

Guest
What if by the next nuclear test we put all existing waste together to let it Vanish?
 
A

aphh

Guest
Man-made fissionable material and waste generated by fission are terrible, because they do not exist in nature in significant quantities.

Only very small amount of uranium is in the form of isotope U-235 and even less as Pu-239, which are the materials for the nuclear reactors and atomic bombs. By concentrating large amounts of U-235 or Pu-239 or their fission products in one place is simply something that doesn't exist naturally on earth.
 
D

drwayne

Guest
If I recall correctly, it is not a trivial exercise to put an object into the sun.
 
D

DrRocket

Guest
t4daydreamer":wisg2a9y said:
Could nuclear waste be sent to our sun via rocket? Or is it to cost prohibitive &/or no material to contain it all the way to the surface of the sun?
With at heavy lift launcher, the most cost-effective per pound, the cost of a pound to low earth orbit was about $3000 20 years ago, and it has not gotten cheaper. You can about double that for getting out of the neighborhood of the Earth.
 
V

vogon13

Guest
It takes more delta vee to get to Mercury than it does to Pluto.

Dropping something in the sun is harder still.


I still think nuclear waste should be put in cigarettes.
 
A

aphh

Guest
vogon13":1b69kx6q said:
It takes more delta vee to get to Mercury than it does to Pluto.
This is because of Earth's rotation. At 28N, which is about Florida, launch for a prograde orbit gets a boost of about 1500 m/s from Earth's rotation.

Now if you needed to launch for a Retrograde orbit around the sun (to Venus or Mercury), forget about the 1500 m/s boost and even add 1500 m/s for the required Delta-V to negate Earth's rotation. That would be 3000 m/s more Delta-V for a launch to a Retrograde orbit.

3000 m/s is significant amount of velocity change.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
aphh":brwj21c4 said:
vogon13":brwj21c4 said:
It takes more delta vee to get to Mercury than it does to Pluto.
This is because of Earth's rotation. At 28N, which is about Florida, launch for a prograde orbit gets a boost of about 1500 m/s from Earth's rotation.

Now if you needed to launch for a Retrograde orbit around the sun (to Venus or Mercury), forget about the 1500 m/s boost and even add 1500 m/s for the required Delta-V to negate Earth's rotation. That would be 3000 m/s more Delta-V for a launch to a Retrograde orbit.

3000 m/s is significant amount of velocity change.
Sorry, but that has nothing to do with it. The earth's rotation speed is insignificant; if you recall the earth is moving ~ 30 kilometers per second around the sun. If you wanted to lose velocity using the earths rotation, you just launch during the daytime when the rotation is in the opposite direction to the earth's motion....it is still insignificant.
 
A

aphh

Guest
MeteorWayne":113unuxu said:
Sorry, but that has nothing to do with it. The earth's rotation speed is insignificant; if you recall the earth is moving ~ 30 kilometers per second around the sun. If you wanted to lose velocity using the earths rotation, you just launch during the daytime when the rotation is in the opposite direction to the earth's motion....it is still insignificant.
To escape earth's gravity escape velocity is required. You need to leave Earth behind either way. Earth's own orbital velocity around the sun doesn't change the requirements for Earth escape velocity, but earth's rotation can lower the required Delta-V.

By launching for a retrograde orbit around the Sun, you are still moving prograde, only slower than Earth thus making the orbit look like retrograde orbit from Earth's point of view. You are still moving prograde relative to Sun, but distancing away from Earth to the opposite direction.

You are probably right in that the same boost from Earth's rotation can be had to both directions. But if you first needed to orbit the earth retrograde, then I would think what I stated above stands.

I'm sure you have more knowledge about orbits than I do. Interplanetary crafts are probably launched directly without need to orbit Earth first.

Edit: spelling corrections
 
S

Saiph

Guest
Imagine the fuss indeed. We have problems just trying to store the stuff. Nobody wants it anywhere near them.
 
A

aphh

Guest
Saiph":cpncl58r said:
Imagine the fuss indeed. We have problems just trying to store the stuff. Nobody wants it anywhere near them.
Extreme radiochemical isotopes do not exist in nature concentrated in significant quanitites. This is entirely manmade problem.

Just like orbital junk. "We'll deal with it later".

In Chernobyl enough toxic waste to poison whole Europe or Russia resides inside the sarcophagus that they hastily built over the exploded reactor. If the cover collapses, resulting dust cloud will once again poison large areas.
 
S

Saiph

Guest
The collapse of the concrete dome over cherynobyl will not poison large areas, as it would create only a small dust cloud, and all dangerous gases they feared venting from the steam plant have long since cooled and been absorbed. While it wouldn't be a picnic it wouldn't poison the entirety of Europe.
 
A

aphh

Guest
Saiph":1dldf0lu said:
The collapse of the concrete dome over cherynobyl will not poison large areas, as it would create only a small dust cloud, and all dangerous gases they feared venting from the steam plant have long since cooled and been absorbed. While it wouldn't be a picnic it wouldn't poison the entirety of Europe.
That's one assesment of the situation, and I hope you're right.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts