Waste From Solar Panels: 300 Times That of Nuclear Power

Note: The title of the post was changed at 5:12 PM CDT, June 29, 2017.  The original title was “Toxic Waste From Solar Panels: 300 Times That of Nuclear Power.”  Please see addendum for an explanation.

Guest post by David Middleton

Are We Headed for a Solar Waste Crisis?

June 28, 2017 by Mark Nelson

Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.

Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives.

All of which begs the question: just how big of a problem is solar waste?

Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste.

We found:

  • Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.
  • If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).
  • In countries like China, India, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.

The study defines as toxic waste the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear plants and the solar panels themselves, which contain similar heavy metals and toxins as other electronics, such as computers and smartphones.

[…]

By Jemin Desai and Mark Nelson

Jemin Desai is an EP Fellow and a student at UC Berkeley. Mark Nelson is EP Senior Researcher.

Energy Collective

Piling on a bit here… Nuclear waste can easily be safely disposed of:

SANDIA REPORT

SAND2009-4401
Unlimited Release
Printed July 2009

Deep Borehole Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Waste

Patrick V. Brady, Bill W. Arnold, Geoff A. Freeze, Peter N. Swift, Stephen J. Bauer, Joseph L.  Kanney, Robert P. Rechard, Joshua S. Stein

Prepared by
Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185 and Livermore, California 94550

[…]

Preliminary evaluation of deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel indicates the potential for excellent long-term safety performance at costs competitive with mined repositories. Significant fluid flow through basementrock is prevented, in part, by low permeabilities, poorly connected transport pathways, and overburden self-sealing. Deep fluids also resist vertical movement because they are density stratified. Thermal hydrologic calculations estimate the thermal pulse from emplaced waste to be small (less than 20° C at 10 meters from the borehole, for less than a few hundred years), and to result in maximum total vertical fluid movement of ~100 m. Reducing conditions will sharply limit solubilities of most dose-critical radionuclides at depth, and high ionic strengths of deep fluids will prevent colloidal transport.

[…]

DOE estimates that 109,300 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM) of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel – primarily commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF), but also DOE spent nuclear fuel (DSNF), and high-level waste glass (HLWG) – will need to be disposed of in the US (the projected US HLW and SNF inventory is summarized in Appendix A).,Deep borehole disposal, characterization and excavation costs should scale linearly with waste inventory: small inventories require fewer boreholes; large inventories require more boreholes. Not needing a specially engineered waste package would also lower overall borehole disposal costs. Both aspects might make borehole disposal attractive for smaller national nuclear power efforts (having an inventory of 10,000 MTHM or less). In the US, the 70,000 MTHM of waste currently proposed for Yucca Mountain could be accommodated in about 600 deep boreholes (assuming each deep borehole had a 2 km long waste disposal zone that contained approximately 400 vertically stacked fuel assemblies). The remainder of the projected inventory of 109,300 MTHM could be fit into an additional 350 or so boreholes.

Because crystalline basement rocks are relatively common at 2-5 km depth (See Figure 2; also see O’Brien et al. 1979; Heiken et al. 1996), the US waste disposal burden might be shared by shipping waste to regional borehole disposal facilities. If located near existing waste inventories and production, shipping would be minimized. A disposal length of ~2km, and holes spaced 0.2km apart suggests the total projected US inventory could be disposed in several borehole fields totaling ~30 square kilometers.

Petroleum drilling costs have decreased to the point where boreholes are now routinely drilled to multi-kilometer depths. Research boreholes in Russia and Germany have been drilled to 8-12 km. The drilling costs for 950 deep boreholes to dispose of the entire 109,300 MTHM inventory, assuming a cost of $20 million per borehole (see Section 3.1), would be ~ $19 billion. Very rough estimates of other costs are $10 billion for associated site characterization, performance assessment analysis, and license application, $20 billion for disposal operations, monitoring, and decommissioning, $12 billion for ancillary program activities, and $10 billion for transportation, resulting in a total life-cycle cost for a hypothetical deep borehole disposal program of $71 billion (in 2007 dollars). Although there are significant uncertainties in the cost estimates for deep borehole disposal presented here, the estimated total life-cycle cost may be significantly lower than the estimated total cost of Yucca Mountain. Note in particular the lower construction/operation and transportation outlays that borehole disposal would allow.

This document outlines a technical and performance assessment analysis of deep borehole disposal of US HLW and SNF.

[…]

Sandia National Laboratories, 2009

Sandia.png

Left: Deep Borehole Disposal Schematic.  Right: Depth the Crystalline Basement Map

This is worth repeating:

The drilling costs for 950 deep boreholes to dispose of the entire 109,300 MTHM inventory, assuming a cost of $20 million per borehole (see Section 3.1), would be ~ $19 billion. Very rough estimates of other costs are $10 billion for associated site characterization, performance assessment analysis, and license application, $20 billion for disposal operations, monitoring, and decommissioning, $12 billion for ancillary program activities, and $10 billion for transportation, resulting in a total life-cycle cost for a hypothetical deep borehole disposal program of $71 billion (in 2007 dollars).

$71 billion (in 2007 dollars) to safely and permanently dispose of the entire inventory of 109,300 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM) of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel.

That would be $84 billion in 2017 USD.

According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy June 2017, from 1965-2016, US nuclear generating stations produced 26,386 TWh of electricity (26.4 trillion kWh).

$84 billion divided by 26.4 trillion kWh is $0.0032/kWh… 1/3 of one penny per kWh to dispose of the entire inventory of high-level nuclear waste.

If solar panels and the rest of the toxic waste associated with solar installations could be compacted in such a manner that they could be disposed of in deep boreholes, the cost would be greater than $1.00/kWh (300 * $0.0032 = $0.96 plus the cost of compacting the panels, etc.).

So… Why would anyone in their right mind prefer solar over nuclear power?

As if that wasn’t bad enough for solar…

252491_5_1

Wind breaks even, solar sucks wind, gas kicks @$$ and nukes finish s strong second. Real Clear Energy.

While I personally don’t ascribe much value to the reduction of carbon emissions, the advocates of solar power probably do… Yet most of them oppose nuclear power and/or natural gas.

  1. Solar = 1/4 the availability of nuclear.
  2. Solar = $500,000/MW less valuable than nuclear in emssions reduction.
  3. Solar = 300 times the toxic waste per MWh compared to nuclear.

 

Addendum: June 29, 2017 5:00 PM CDT

The Energy Collective article doesn’t clearly distinguish “waste” from “toxic waste.”  So, wherever the phrase “toxic waste” appears in this post, it probably should have been written as “toxic and/or other waste products.”

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375 thoughts on “Waste From Solar Panels: 300 Times That of Nuclear Power

    • My goal in life would be to have Spock’s logic and George Carlin’s sense of humor… LOL!

      • What would be illogical is to compare radioactive materials to the so-called “toxic” elements in solar panels.

        300 times more what ??? This is not even stated. The big number with no units or justification is apparently all we need to know.

        So is it mass, volume, toxicity? This is a science free claim that WUWT is jumping on without question or due reflection.


        Solar panels are NOT radioactive. It’s a typical, motivated, apples to oranges comparison to backup a preconceived position.

        This is exactly what AGW alarmists have been playing at for years. Sad to see WUWT abandoning objective evidence and getting into agenda driven misinformation.

      • The article clearly states that it is 300 times the volume… Roughly 33,000 cubic meters per TWh vs 110 cubic meters per TWh.

        At no point does the article state that toxic waste from solar panels is as toxic as nuclear waste. It simply points out the staggering difference in volume.

        The article never states that the toxic waste from solar panels is radioactive; although it does state this:

        While nuclear waste is contained in heavy drums and regularly monitored, solar waste outside of Europe today ends up in the larger global stream of electronic waste.

      • In countries like China, India, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.

        So whose fault is that? They presumably do the same with household wiring does that mean ALL electricity is “carcinogenic”?

        None of this even applies ot solar panels which do not contain any copper connections.

        This is just stupid.

      • The study defines as toxic waste the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear plants and the solar panels themselves, which contain similar heavy metals and toxins as other electronics, such as computers and smartphones.

        So solar panels are now responsible to the “heavy metals” contained in computers? WTF?

        Doping levels in PV silicon is something microscopic and by definition is already vitrified in the silicon crystal.

        This is misrepresentation at every level. Total BS.

      • So solar panels are now responsible to the “heavy metals” contained in computers? WTF?

        Yes. It is a misrepresentation… on your part. The article makes no such argument.

      • It simply points out the staggering difference in volume.

        Thanks David. but that is exactly the problem. without comparing toxicity the whole thing is meaningless. We also produce a staggering volume disposable nappies for babies but there’s not much point in working how much more volume that is compared to nuclear waste.

        It’s just dumb and has no scientific meaning or merit.

      • It is not meaningless. It is very pertinent to the assertion that solar power can be scaled up.

        Just scaling it up to the level of nuclear generation would yield a toxic waste nightmare. Irrespective of the level of toxicity, the volume would be unmanageable.

      • Remember it was Mr. Spock that narrated the coming ice age “In Search of” Since I was a kid and he was Spock I believed him and was scared poopless. I think the upside is that episode pretty much vaccinated me from the global warming scare.

      • At least Nemoy throws it out there that it is conjecture, unlike the current scaremongers

      • You have made the Carlin grade as this article is pure dark humor.

        I’ll take toxic over radioactive any day of week.

        All the radioactive byproducts (radioisotopes) produced by nuclear power generation are manmade, additions to the periodic table.

        Lumping plutonium in with ‘toxic’ waste could only be done by a paid shill from the nuclear propaganda industry. You couldn’t find a handful of plutonium on planet earth before man started fissioning uranium, now it is measured in hundreds of tons. There was no cesium-137, now it poisons the earth. Same with strontium-90.

        If radioactive wastes eres so easy to dispose of then General Electric, Westinghouse, Chicago Bridge & Iron, TEPCO, France, etc. wouldn’t be always going broke, which taxpayers continually backstop because militaries desire the nuke bomb making materials.

        California is producing more electricity than it needs through solar and other renewables, nuclear power radioactive wastes will live on in infamy.

      • George Carlin sounded angry to me in his last decade.
        When I read his material, it seems funny,
        but when he recited his material on stage, he sounded angry.

        I do frequently recite his following quote, when driving:

        “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
        and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?”

    • I don’t know anything about the waste from solar panels. What I do know is it saves me $240 a month in electricity and having it for three months so far, I also have a credit of $280 from SCE.

      • Although our wooded site doesn’t make photovoltaics practical, we’ve had solar water heating for forty years. Maintenance has cost very little, but we’ve saved a bundle of cash while using fewer energy resources than standard gas or electric. I guess when our four decades old panels finally have to be ditched someone will come up with stats on how we’re contributing to global pollution… that is, if anyone is left after continual exposure to radioactive particles from nuclear meltdowns.

        P.S. David A & oldfossil, who do you think is paying the price for those aging nuclear rustbuckets providing YOU with hot water and power?

      • “Patrick Vu June 30, 2017 at 1:05 am”

        Yes. In Australia, people like you are subsidised by people like me.

      • @oldfossil – It is great getting other people’s money. You have to understand the people doing this have guns. You can take the high moral ground and pay absurd energy prices or you can take the money they’re stealing from the poor and laugh all the way to the bank.

        I didn’t vote for these folks. I’ve never understood the pathological fear of nuclear energy that “the poor” seem so obsessed by. But I won’t be taken advantage of either.

        If “the poor” have a problem with me taking their money, it’s on them. They vote just like everyone else. There’s an old saying about getting the government you deserve, and getting it good ‘n hard. That isn’t my problem.

  1. The only thing surprising about this post is the fact that anyone would be surprised by it. Maybe the 300-1 ratio could be a surprise, but I thought it would be worse quite frankly.

    • I wouldn’t give a lot of credibility to sources that refer to manmade toxic materials as toxins. In my experience such sources tend to exaggerate things or repeat exaggerated figures, in addition to being unaware that such usage of the word toxin is incorrect.

      • They definitely should have referred to it as toxic materials rather than toxins…

        The study defines as toxic waste the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear plants and the solar panels themselves, which contain similar heavy metals and toxins

        Although, lead is a neurotoxin…

        How toxic are your solar panels? The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC), a group that has done more than any other to clean up the electronics industry, attempted to answer that question today with the release of its Solar Scorecard. It didn’t get very far. Of the 25 solar manufacturers that SVTC contacted, only 14, which together represent just 24 percent of the solar market, even responded. And their answers weren’t always heartening. Among SVTC’s findings:

        Six companies report that their products contain lead, a potent neurotoxin.
        Three companies report that their products contain cadmium, a known carcinogen.
        One company uses nitrogen triflouride, a potent greenhouse gas
        Only seven companies provide recycling free of charge
        Only eight companies said their would support “extended producer responsibility” laws that would require them to take back or recycle their products
        That many solar panels contain lead and cadmium, which are being phased out by computer manufacturers, is no small matter. In the coming years, SVTC estimates that 1.5 billion pounds of solar panel waste containing 2 million pounds of lead and 600,000 pounds of cadmium will be disposed of in California alone. Some older solar panels are already being ditched well ahead of their 20-year lifespans as cheaper, more efficient versions hit the market. Nevertheless, even the stringent recyling laws of California and Europe exempt solar panels (though Europe’s may soon include them).

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/03/are-your-solar-panels-toxic/

      • A silicon solar cell that is not soldered with leaded solder does not contain nsignificant amounts of toxic heavy metals or toxic anything else. Although not considered edible if ground, they can be disposed of in regular trash.

      • David, you are a reasonably intelligent person…. “One company uses nitrogen triflouride, a potent greenhouse gas”

        Now, please go find a solar panel, and point out to me where in that panel the nitrogen trifluoride is stored.

      • Where does the Energy Collective article state that nitrogen triflouride is a component of solar panels?

      • “That many solar panels contain lead and cadmium, which are being phased out by computer manufacturers”

        WOW, oh WOW….when did computer manufactures start making solar panels????????????/

      • Dave, you posted: :the solar panels themselves, which contain similar heavy metals and toxins”

        You explain it, if you can’t stop posting stuff you don’t read.

      • You did have a good point that the EC article blurred the distinction between “waste” and “toxic waste;” otherwise you either have a severe addiction to sraw man and red herring fallacies or a severe reading deficiency.

      • Lead was once used on all electronics. It was part o the solder used to make the electrical connections. The EU implemented strong led restrictions years ago and most solders today contain no lead. Now solder is used to make the electrical connections in a panel. But most companies due to the size of the EU market and lead restrictions in many other nations stopped using lead based solders. But I would not be surprised that if some companies in china might be still using it.

        In any case most of the materials in solar panels are sealed between two pieces of glass with an aluminum frame and silicon rubber sealant. Solar panels in use will not release any toxins into the environment. And if they are recycled properly will not release any. This is very different then nuclear waste. With nuclear wast you cannot recycle cesium, strontium, iodine or many of the other radio active materials for hundreds or even many thousands of years You can burn off some of the wast like plutonium on the reactor buy any others will still be around for a very long period of time.

      • You are quite wrong if you think that lead is no longer used in most electronics. Commercial products like TV and radios … maybe. There are still many high rel products that require leaded solders including medical and implantable devices. Solders without lead content suck. When lead is bound up in an alloy it’s not much of a problem. Another example of good intentions gone way wrong. But at least the EU can get a warm fuzzy.

      • Mark,
        Regarding

        Mark S Johnson June 29, 2017 at 3:18 pm
        David, you are a reasonably intelligent person…. “One company uses nitrogen triflouride, a potent greenhouse gas”

        Now, please go find a solar panel, and point out to me where in that panel the nitrogen trifluoride is stored

        The nitrogen trifluoride gas is used in the manufacturing process
        Further facts about NF3
        During the past 15 years, manufacturers have adopted NF3 for cleaning during electronics manufacturing, because it creates fewer overall emissions than previous cleaners.
        Back in 2008, Michael Prather, who was the lead author of the 2007 IPCC assessment, referred to NF3 as “the greenhouse gas missing from Kyoto.”
        The gas is estimated to linger in the atmosphere for about 550 years, with a global warming potential almost 17,000 times greater than CO2.

    • They compare everything in the solar panel with only “highly” radioactive waste from nuclear plants. Nuclear plants produce much more medium and low radioactive waste by volume then of the “highly” radioactive variety. This is not worthy of being posted, sounds like it was written by climate scientist.
      Why is the other waste not counted? Was the concrete and electrical wires from the decommissioned nuclear plants counted? etc., etc. do a real study then get back to us.
      “If solar panels and the rest of the toxic waste associated with solar installations could be compacted in such a manner that they could be disposed of in deep boreholes, the cost would be greater than $1.00/kWh (300 * $0.0032 = $0.96 plus the cost of compacting the panels, etc.” Why on god’s green earth would you need to dispose of a solar panel in a deep borehole? Lead and cadmium are only toxic if you ingest them. Radiation you just need to get near it.
      The stupid it burns!!! I recommend people come to this site to get real science quit embarrassing me by posting such vapid drivel.

      • If you are going down that path, you damn well better start counting the cost of disposing of the toxic crap used in the production of solar panels, as well as the cost of the buildings used to create those panels.
        If you are not willing to count the numbers of factories built to produce solar panels as compared to nuclear power stations, you are failing, by your own argument,to count the true cost.

        As a side note, lead and cadmium are toxic by contact with the skin, by inhalation (dust/vapor) and ingestion.
        Cadmium is also a carcinogen and classified as a highly toxic industrial and environmental pollutant.

      • Lead is not toxic by contact with the skin, I have read the MSDS, having worked w/lead. Also, I am not defending solar, and I wish the author did go down that road, it would have at least been intellectually honest. How am I failing by my own argument. Let’s see what is the bare minimum that is needed to generate electricity w/solar, that would be the panel, it’s casing, and it’s stand (you could argue inverters also to make ac). What is the bare minimum needed to generate w/nuclear? The fuel rods, the containment pod, a steam turbine, a cooling tower…pretty much the whole plant. Seems a lot more apples to apples then just a little piece of what is needed for nuclear.

    • I apologize for putting this here, instead of in the thread where it should be, but there were no “reply” buttons that I could see.

      The claim was made that “Solar panels are NOT radioactive. It’s a typical, motivated, apples to oranges comparison to backup a preconceived position.”, as if this was a good thing.

      The problem of solar panel waste not being radioactive is that it is dangerous to the environment ***FOREVER***, while spent nuclear fuel is only harmful for as long as it is more radioactive than its natural surroundings. The great thing about nuclear power that no one ever talks about is how nuclear power accelerates the reduction of global radioactivity. Those radioactive beaches in India, contaminated with naturally occurring thorium, could be cleaned up without having to just dump all of the thorium somewhere else. It gets used as nuclear fuel and the resulting waste is only dangerous for hundreds of years, instead of billions, thanks to the production of electricity, the cleanup pays for itself. [this is not purely sarcastic irony, as the use of nuclear power really does lower the overall radioactivity, and the localized increase in radioactivity can be done while isolated from the biosphere.]

      Dumping the waste from solar panel production and defunct solar panels themselves into a landfill does nothing to reduce the environmental dangers of the waste. The toxic aspects have to be properly contained to prevent ecological harm and they must be contained for as long as they can do harm, which is practically forever, as they do not decay faster than proton decay, which has yet to be observed, so the toxins must be contained for at least as long as there is a biosphere.

    • It is only 300:1 because nuclear fuel is so far used only a small fraction of its capacity.
      Put it through a fast breeder and voila! We have limitless supply of energy with no waste to speak of…..

  2. Apparently David Middleton is not fully aware of the more ingenious method of dealing with “nuclear wastes.” Nuclear wastes,” as many have said, are not wastes at all. While the spent uranium that comprises this so-called waste no longer possesses the energy required to drive the electrical turbines of a nuclear power plant, it is not even remotely depeleted of energy. Stored in dry casks, they heat the concrete casks to a temperature well beyond the boiling point of water and can be used to provide the energy required to do many things, including heating buildings and producing desalinated water on a massive scale. All with little cost for the energy required. If we are storing this material for all those years until its energy drops to a low level, why aren’t we using that energy for the next hundreds of years instead? I’m astounded that the “best minds in the business” have overlooked this obvious solution for spent nuclear fuel. It must be the fact that it is radiactive that leads people to the false belief that it is dangerous and must be stored below thousands of feet of earth, where it will warm the underground with no benefit for humans whatsoever. Obvioiusly, I am not impressed by the current thinking about spent nuclear fuel. It has become center of another emotional and nonsensical series of arguments with no observable intelligence involved.
    Here is an article by a guy who deflates many green claims and presents his thoughts about using spent nuclear fuel for our economic benefit. Instead of costing money to store the fuel, we can utilize its remaining energy to perform :

    mahttp://nuclearstreet.com/virginia_nuclear_energy_consortium/w/wiki/330.a-novel-way-ti-recycle-spent-nuclear-fuelny valuable tasks, at lgreat savings to boot.

    • For starters, the people who have an irrational fear of radiation oppose managed storage facilities like the operational WIPP and proposed Yucca Mountain sites. They are unlikely to suddenly accept casks of nuclear waste heating their homes like Matt Damon heated the rover in The Martian.

      However, you have a very good point. Congress should reverse the Carter-era ban on reprocessing nuclear waste… https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/10/01/why-doesnt-u-s-recycle-nuclear-fuel/#52f6f022390f

      This could reduce the waste in need of disposal by 50%.

      • Why couldn’t the bore holes incorporate heat transfer loops similar to geothermal energy generation? That way the nuclear waste remains safely ensconced under ground and the heat is still extracted.

      • The design cannot be modified to allow recapture some of the otherwise lost heat energy?
        The cost would go up significantly, but it’s not just a waste pit. I suppose a cost/benefit analysis would need to be made.

      • The waste would be buried 13,000′ to 16,000′ down in crystalline basement rock.

      • One more reason for deep brehole disposal…

        A preliminary Energy Department investigation found more than 30 safety lapses at the plant, including technical shortcomings and failures in the overall approach to safety. Only nine days before the radiation release, a giant salt-hauling truck caught fire underground and burned for hours before anybody discovered it.

        Although the drum that exploded was from the nuclear weapons program, not a commercial reactor.

      • At those depths the subterranean temperature is near or above 100 °C. Although the depth is great, the Germans have drilled geothermal bore holes 13,000 ft (3900 m) deep. The hydrostatic pressures will be about 6000 psi, not insurmountable.
        The big issue is what would the heat be used for, heating buildings, generating electricity?

      • Minor correction: at 13000′ (3900 m) the geothermal temperatures are closer to 130 °C

      • Different reactors could use 90% plus of what we now call waste. Then the volume changes to 3000 times more volume of waste in solar.
        Yes the remaing nuclear “waste” could then be utilized as heat.

      • Presumably, the places where the boreholes are drilled won’t be in populated areas.
        Unfortunately heat is pretty much useless, unless the thing that is going to use the heat, is close by.

      • Apart from the Carter-era ban on reprocessing nuclear waste, it could become fuel.

      • Yup, Gen IV reactors will soon be using “spent” fuel, if only we could get congress to do something useful.

      • That was my understanding too. I believe the Norwegians have a prototype nuclear site called Thor which uses mainly thorium with some plutonium and burns it….thereby getting rid of the plutonium.

      • Thorium breeder reactors can only consume the waste that has an atomic number higher than thorium. It cannot consume any of the radioactive elements that have a an atomic number less than that of thorium. Also the react is made of metal. That metal will become radioactive due to neutron radiation they are exposed to. they don’t solve the nuclear waste problem.

      • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
        Even if it can’t completely solve the nuclear waste problem, it makes it a lot less. Which is a good thing.

    • I’ve always wondered why we couldn’t have a little nuclear waste hot water heater for our homes.

      • Such a device would have top be made especially idiot proof and we all know that is very difficult if not impossible.
        While I might accept most of the contributors to this page could very easily manage a partially spent nuclear fueled water heater in their homes, I would be very nervous allowing the general public, which cannot even manage their cars, to have such a potentially lethal device in their cellars until it falls apart due to neglect or abuse. Imagine the increased costs of home owner’s insurance.

      • … and not to say anything about how terrorists might remanufacture such water heaters into weapons for their own purposes ..

      • Ok, but the utility could use this nuclear waste to pre heat the steam for solar like Ivanpoh.
        ( sarc)

  3. This is test. One solar manufacturer builds recycling into the selling price that covers reclamation. Which one is it?

  4. Yes, but how many nations have actually built a nuclear waste storage/disposal site?
    UK waste is sitting under open pools of water (in which seagulls swim!)

    And as you say, the EU has this covered:
    http://www.solarwaste.eu/

    No reason other regions can’t provide for this.

    not an issue!

    • The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, is the world’s third deep geological repository (after closure of Germany’s Repository for radioactive waste Morsleben and the Schacht Asse II Salt Mine) licensed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste for 10,000 years[1] that is left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. The plant is estimated to incur a total cost of $19B.[2]

      It is located approximately 26 miles (42 km) east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in eastern Eddy County, in an area known as the southeastern New Mexico nuclear corridor which also includes the National Enrichment Facility near Eunice, New Mexico, the Waste Control Specialists low-level waste disposal facility just over the border near Andrews, Texas, and the International Isotopes, Inc. facility to be built near Eunice, New Mexico.[3]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_Isolation_Pilot_Plant

      The EU has what “covered”?

      This website aims at explaining the legal implications of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) for the photovoltaic sector, offering a wealth of information and resources for everyone interested in the disposal and recycling of photovoltaic modules in the European Union.
      Please be aware that WEEE does not cover the disposal and recycling of solar thermal panels and hence the topic is not covered on this website.
      The disposal and recycling of solar inverters from photovoltaic installations is also not covered here.

      That’s like saying that Henry Waxman had decarbonization covered here:

      The way we have to do it is to change and transform our economy by moving to a low carbon emission economy. For example, we’ve got to be more efficient in the use of energy; we’ve got to use more renewable fuels; we’ve got to invest in technologies that will allow us to reduce or eliminate the sulfur in something like coal, which is a heavily polluted source of energy.

      We’ve got to do all of these, and one of the best ways to accomplish the overall goal is through what’s called a cap-and-trade mechanism. We unleash the competition and the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans to develop technologies and try to figure out how to accomplish the goal, especially when there’s a cap on the total amount of pollution that will be going down over the years.

      […]

      If we raise the price of energy, which will happen if we’re reducing the amount of carbon emissions, and industries have to figure out how to live in a carbon-constrained environment, they are going to have to figure it out because it’s in their profitable interest to figure it out.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/quote-of-the-week-5-waxmans-stunningly-stupid-statement/

      • Excerpted from the last quoted paragraph in the above, to wit:

        and industries have to figure out how to live in a carbon-constrained environment,

        Me thinks the above comment is rooted in socialist “speak” because Socialist governments are well known for dictating how and where the citizenry will live and work …… as well as what all the industries will be producers of and where they all will be located.

        American capitalism, to continue its existence, doesn’t need to figure out how to live. …. it needs to figure out ways to continue being profitable, …….. and when that fails their only recourse is to “close the industry down” ………. or move the industry, bag and baggage, to a location where profits can again be earned.

        No one or government entity can force American capitalism to be “non-profit-earning” producers of goods or services ……. any more than one can force a lefty liberal public employee “troughfeeder” to be a productive public sector employee.

      • “We unleash the competition and the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans to develop technologies and try to figure out how to accomplish the goal, especially when there’s a cap on the total amount of pollution that will be going down over the years.” ~ Henry Waxman

        Reminds me of a plan to unleash the competition and the entrepreneurial spirit of another people, once upon a time . .

        And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves … And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.

      • You seem very confident Griff. What could possibly go wrong, you may ask. The opposite of sceptical really is gullible.

        You may or may not have noticed that the author did a calculation of COST of disposal. But then again when you are building Utopia cost is never an issue. Especially when you are using other people’s money.

      • Would this be the same EU which subjected its citizens to unnecessarily high levels of ground-level ozone and particulates to avoid the demon gas CO2? I wonder how many thousands have died due to that alone. Just another log on the fire (but not too many logs or they might solve fuel poverty and reduced those deaths).

      • Forrest G. why would anyone waste the time to calculate the cost of disposing of silicon in a deep borehole? How about just the lead or cadmium, maybe he thought we would just dispose of it in the deep borehole? Oh wait we dig huge holes in order to get lead and cadmium not to dispose of them! A simple thermal smelting will separate the heavy metals and make them useful again. Lets see the cost to make a spent fuel rod non-radioactive, about the same cost to turn lead into gold which is the only reason a borehole is needed!

      • Griff, everything has a cost. You just raised the cost again.

        We are short on facilities to safely store nuclear waste because of political reasons.

  5. There is something about nuclear waste that people forget. Radioactive isotopes are relatively rare. Some of them have known value such as Cobalt 60. Others may have a use that we discover in the future. The idea of burying waste is a legacy from the days when we did not want a human to be around the stuff. With our advancements in robotics and remote control, the work of manipulating a waste stream so that the valuable parts can be separated can be done without endangering human health. I’m not convinced that dumping a potentially valuable material down a borehole is such a great idea.

    When most people think of nuclear power they mean nuclear power that was designed in the ’50s and ’60s or even worse nuclear power that was designed by a communist dictatorship in the ’60s. We don’t do that with any other technology. Imagine if we based our opinion of air travel on the reliability of old airplanes or old Russian airplanes.

    Some people whom we label ‘liberal’ are actually very conservative in their outlook. They get it in their mind that they don’t like something and they will not change for love or money. My eighty-nine year old mother hates computers. She still uses a typewriter. I find the anti-nuke people to be as exasperating as my mother.

    • Material can be recovered from managed storage sites like WIPP. But this is significantly more expensive than deep borehole disposal. And… The ideal managed disposal site, Yucca Mountain has been blocked by NIMBY’ism for 30 years.

    • “I find the anti-nuke people to be as exasperating as my mother.”

      And all this time I thought I was completely alone on that subject…

  6. What about the ‘Social’ costs, if included would easily show solar being cost effective, my feelings have been hurt once again. /sarc

  7. It won’t cost that much. They’ll either be left to decay where they are (like derelict pinwheels) or put in landfills.

    • What’s with the cost comparison using the cost of disposal in deep boreholes? Solar panel waste doesn’t need that kind of disposal because it’s not (significantly at least) radioactive.

      • With borehole disposal of nuclear waste in the range of $0.003/kWh and solar toxic waste at 300 times the volume per kWh, I doubt there’s a comparison that works well for solar.

      • David nice dodge! Answer Donald’s question. Instead of using something that doesn’t work well for solar, you use a disposal method for solar that has no basis in logic. Why did you use the disposal method for deep boreholes? If your going to go crazy why not the cost of rocketing it all into the sun or feeding it to magic unicorns who will then fart it out into rainbows. Seriously, justify why you used that comparison.

      • There is no way to draw a direct comparison because there are no plans, infrastructure or cost estimates to handle the waste of solar panels if solar power was scaled up to the level of nuclear power. There are just platitudes and directives that it will be recycled or safely disposed of.

        With nuclear, there are multiple plans, using existing infrastructure in most cases and detailed cost estimates for handling the waste. I cited the Sandia study because it uses existing infrastructure (drilling rigs and plugging & abandonment tools) with known cost estimates (~$0.003/kWh).

        The article states that solar PV produces 300 times the waste by volume (including toxic waste) per TWh of generation. Nowhere in the article or my post is it argued that the waste from solar power is as toxic as that from nuclear power. I even changed the title of the post and added an addendum to make this more clear than it already was.

        Idiotic questions about which would you rather have in your pocket or backyard are straw man fallacies.

  8. Don’t forget these guys kill birds with impunity and have a licence to kill. Their economics is different than yours. Rare-earth’s for windmills, also are killers, and environmentally worse: heavy rare earth’s needed for magnets comes mainly from China where they dig pits into Re clays, fill with sulphuric acid and then pump the “filtrate” out and precipitate the RE! This is Chinese sustainability for saving the planet. If they cared a whit about economics and the environment, windmills would cost twice as much as they do now.

    Why are neomarxbrothers so enamoured with China’s political economy?

    • It really eases my mind that First Solar funded specially designed experiments to show the safety of CdTe solar panels during fire and recycling.

      Other than the large amount of non-cadmium was generated by solar panels, most of which could be recycled but probably will go to landfills, the negative effects appear to be similar to that of carbon dioxide- insignificant.

    • Studies funded (even at a distance of ten arms) by fossil fuel and / or nuclear industries. ALL LIES!

      Studies directly funded (even done in house by their own salaried people) by solar and / or wind and / or biofuel industries. BETTER THAN GOSPEL TRUTH! STRAIGHT FROM THE MOUTH OF GAIA!

      Yep. Mildly rephrased – “If Greens didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.”

  9. The story above is incomplete, of course. I’m positive about nuclear, but there are risks, caused by people. People who think it a good idea to switch off the safety systems to do a production experiment (Chernobyl). People who think they know better than the automated control systems (3 mile island). Design engineers who don’t think about the possibility of tsumanis (Fukushima).
    I lived in the Netherlands at the time of Chernobyl, working in a photographic factory. I remember the panic of neighbours who didn’t know whether they could eat the vegetables from their garden, were they lethal? And all the problems of how to clean up the public space.
    The worries about long-term safety and maintence of old installations continues. The Dutch government are handing out iodine pills to people near the Belgian border, as they’re worried about the safety of old Belgian installations.
    These kind of events stay in the folk memory for a long time. The population as a whole need to be comfortable with nuclear, and they simply aren’t, and won’t be soon.
    And remember: it’s quite difficult for a terrorist to make a dirty bomb from solar panel waste.

    • Bob,

      Meanwhile the Dutch government extended the life of their (only) nuclear reactor, with 20 years, so that it will be 10 years older than the oldest Belgian reactor when closing… A little hypocrite there.
      As I live at less than 5 km in the main wind direction of Doel with 2500 MW nuclear power, we have received our iodine pills too from the Belgian government…

      The main difference is the way communication was done: at the time of the Chernobyl disaster, lots of panic in the Dutch media. none in Belgium, as the “cloud” just moved over our country and all fallout was before and after that, so said the local weatherman (influenced by?) on TV. Which of course was nonsense, as in all cases there was fallout, but in quantities far under any real danger.

      The opposite happens now: in Belgium all nuclear facilities are obliged to report every accident to the media, even if nothing to do with the nuclear part, like recently a failing steam valve at the power generator causing a shutdown of the generator and consequently of the nuclear reactor. Not even a nuclear incident, but broadly used in the media to show how bad the “old” nuclear facilities are… Dutch and German nuclear reactors don’t have such an obligation, while the Dutch reactor has far more incidents per year, including several (low level) nuclear…

      • Never in the Belgian media : April ’17 not less dan 1°C colder on average / Windturbines tumbling down on A-roads near the Belgian border / Antarctic sea ice extend hits record in 35 years last week / Still 1 m of snow in US Colorado in summertime / Fishing vessels stuck in heavy Canadian sea ice in June / politicians NOT having any plans for futur stable energy supply / NASA admitting coming little ice age / Google admitting renewable energy will never slow climate change nor be profitable….

        Daily news in Belgium : CO2-alarmism / defective unimportant auxiliary components outside nuclear reactors / Every single country phasing out and closing down nuclear plants / warmest 17th of may on record in …. Amsterdam / ….

    • There’s no designing for people who go out of their way to defeat safety features. :[

      As one example, exhaust fans in central heating systems are deliberately constructed to only go in one way, because being installed the wrong way will cause the exhaust to blow *into* the building instead of out. An entire family in Colorado Springs died from carbon monoxide pumped into their rental house by a reversed exhaust fan in the central heating. Turned out the landlord had taken it upon himself to replace a broken fan in the system, got frustrated when he couldn’t get it to go in, and ended up using a hammer to force it in. The wrong way. The Homicide Hunter show on ID had an episode about it.

    • Designers did think about the possibilities of Tsunami’s at Fukishima, even built a wall. The odds of a 9.0 earthquake hitting there, pretty low. How many people were killed by radiation at Fukishma? How many may die early from the radiation? How many people may die early from the poison spread all over the ground and into the ocean from all the toxic chemicals spread by the earthquake and resulting tsunami? How many people died from the tsunami? If a meteor hit a nuclear plant people would blame the nuclear plant and not the meteor for the resulting deaths and spend billions to protect reactors from meteors instead of cities from meteors.
      Frankly, I think they should have let the reactors melt down and the containment vessels do what they were designed to, but apparently nobody was willing to bet on the models/science being right so instead they pumped sea water into the reactor which then got irradiated and leaked out. But they couldn’t risk letting a plant “melt down”. Irrrational fears brought by media hysteria is the problem.

  10. Entropy. It’s a bitch. (excuse sexism, pls.) Entropy is not taught in high school except as AP classes in physics. But it shouldn’t be ignored by the elevated intellects in the environmental debates!

  11. Quote:

    “…….This is not to even mention the environmental damage done by making solar panels in the first place. A 2013 investigation by the Associated Press found that from 2007 to 2011, the manufacture of solar panels in California “produced 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water. Roughly 97 percent of it was taken to hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but more than 1.4 million pounds were transported to nine other states.” That’s no way for a state to keep its carbon footprint small; one renewable-energy analyst quoted by the AP estimated it would take “one to three months of generating electricity [from the solar panels] to pay off the energy invested in driving those hazardous waste emissions out of state.” Six years later, it’s safe to assume the amount of toxic waste is even higher as solar-panel production continues to ramp up…..”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449026/solar-panel-waste-environmental-threat-clean-energy.

    Coupled with all the other issues with solar (massive land requirements, lack of cost effective high capacity storage, waste from rare earth mining, etc, etc.) it has become apparent to me that we have done things bass ackwards here when we began implementing solar panels. We put the cart before the horse.

    But I suppose we can make that same argument with other energy generating technologies as well, especially the wastes from coal and nuclear. But at least those technologies are capable of powering a developed 21st century society without an irrationally large expenditure of resources and other issues that solar suffers from.

    BTW, I am keeping my fingers crossed for GE’s PRISM Reactor and Bill Gates Travelling Wave Reactor as a solution to the plutonium waste issue. I realize there is no guarantee that these technologies will find their way to commercial use anytime soon, but I can’t think of any other technology or solution to the plutonium issue that would work better.

  12. ok….this is just a hyped up bunch of BS….
    Just move all production to China….everyone knows there’s no toxic waste problems there

    /snark <– just in case there's someone that hasn't had enough coffee yet

  13. In the definition of waste, it says the study is talking about the panels themselves. What about the waste from production of the panels? Semiconductor production, as I recall, produces some significant toxic waste.

    • What about the low and medium radioactive waste generated by nuclear plants? You are correct however, this is a non-story it compares select pieces of a system in order to come to a desired conclusion. Do all the costs then publish a real story. I would not be surprised to see that solar waste costs more. Especially since the most toxic part is the batteries needed.

  14. I also wonder what the analysis would say if they started at the raw material stage, mining uranium versus getting the material needed for solar panels, include all the material needed to build a nuke plant compared to the materials for the equivalent reliable solar power. It’s probably already been done but how much energy is consumed to build a 500MW nuclear plant compared to 2000MW worth of solar panels?

    • The amount of “energy” consumed is irrelevant. The only costs that matter are measured in $.

      The costs cane be derived from the LCOE. The costs of the raw materials to build the power plants is part of the capital costs. The cost of mining uranium is part of the variable O&M of nuclear plants.

      The LCOE of a new solar PV farm is a bit less than the LCOE of a new nuke plant. However, the LCOE of the PV farm doesn’t include backup or storage.

      Since, very few nuke plants are being built in the US, the most relevant comparison would be the LCOE of new solar farms vs. existing nuke plants. In which case nukes are much cheaper.

      • David,

        “the amount of energy consumed is irrelevant”. Instead the costs are the measure that counts. This is what you are saying.

        The issue with costs is that they hardly show a good compariosn of two technologies since mining, manufacturing etc. is done in different countries with different technologies, different currency vaalues and different subsidies. At the end of the day costs aren’t telling you anything. The only way to compare different energy sources is by comparing their energy output to the energy input over liefetime and after disposal.

        This way you get an EROI (energy returned on energy invested) of about 2 for solar panels. (incl. storage, which they need to compare to baseload technologies). That compares to an EROI of 75 for a nuclear power plant. That tells you everything you need to compare.

        If you compare just costs it would be far more benefitial for solar becuase of their subsidies and because they are currently produced with cheap chinese coal power. Once the whole world would theoretically switch to renewables that would change dramatically because then you will need to produce 2 panels and a portion of battery to get the energy of one. That would drive the costs dramatically.

        With a cost comparison you do not see this effect. With an EROI comparison you clearly see the future without needing to know the costs at any point of time.

      • Businesses don’t exist to make energy. They exist to make money. It doesn’t matter how much energy it takes to extract, refine and transport fossil fuels. EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested) is even dopier than CAGW. I don’t spend energy to fill my tank. I don’t give energy back to the gas & electric companies in exchange for them being nice enough to heat and light my home. My company doesn’t drill for oil & gas to make energy.

        I spend money to fill my tank. My company drills wells for oil & gas to make money. My gas & electric bills are paid for with money. My pay check, ExxonMobil & Shell credit card statements and checks to the gas & electric companies aren’t denominated in joules, kilowatts or btu – They are denominated in $.

        I don’t give a rat’s @$$ if 1 barrel of amoeba farts uses less energy to produce than 1 barrel of crude oil… Because the barrel of amoeba farts costs $1,100 and can’t be produced in sufficient quantities to be waiting for me at the Exxon or Shell station when I need it.

        If oil companies (or any businesses) used EROEI to guide their investment decisions, they would go out of business (unless the gov’t was footing the bill).

  15. “If solar panels and the rest of the toxic waste associated with solar installations could be compacted in such a manner that they could be disposed of in deep boreholes….”

    You are kidding us. Why would someone want to dispose solar installation toxic waste in such expensive manner? It is not necessary at all. Solar installation toxic waste is nothing like nuclear power plants toxic waste.

  16. Merchants of Despair, a book by nuclear PhD engineer Robert Zubrin deals with the hysterical, illogical & frankly stupid reactions engineered through the presstitute M$M to safe clean nuclear power & waste disposal.

    This most valuable book also deals with the depopulation agenda behind the worthy but hijacked “environmentalist” movement.

    Nuclear “waste” could be utilised as fuel in Thorium molten salt reactors, if sanity was given a chance.
    & fusion could be a pathway to the planets & stars, if research was any way adequately funded.

    Zubrin has 9 patents, granted or pending, to his name.

    Burying depleted fuel rods deep underground, at vast cost, is an idiotic proposal possible only in these insane times of political correctness.

    John Doran.

    • The article is totally biased. You cannot compare 1 ton of nuclear plant waste to 1 ton of solar plant waste.

      • The comparison is roughly 33,000 cubic meters of solar panel toxic waste per TWh vs. 110 cubic meters of toxic nuclear waste per TWh.

        The more hazardous nuclear waste can be safely disposed of for about $0.003 per kWh.

        The admittedly less hazardous, but 300x voluminous, toxic waste from solar panels… ??? Assurances that it can be recycled at a reasonable cost at some point in the future, are about as good as it gets right now.

      • Mine tailings: No. These are not high level waste products.

        DU from enrichment: Only if that is part of the DOE’s spent nuclear fuel.

        The Sandia study included commercial spent nuclear fuel, DOE spent nuclear fule and high-level waste glass.

      • So the study cherry picks the nuclear waste (high-level) and lumps ALL solar panel waste (i.e. aluminum frames.)

        Toxic Mind is right, this study is biased.

        Does the $0,003 per kWh disposal costs include grinding up the decommissioned core and stuffing it down the borehole?

      • There are two different studies.

        The Sandia study only looked at high level nuclear waste. The $0.003/kWh is derived from this. That’s the full estimate cost of disposal divided by the total kWh of nuclear power generation since 1965.

        The Energy Collective article compared “the study defines as toxic waste the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear plants and the solar panels themselves.”

      • As are the mine tailings of many of the metals which go into solar panels.

        Prior to the 1970’s the disposal of mine tailings was largely unregulated.

      • Mark J: Both the ore and the mine tailings are safe to handle. Backfilling the mine with much lower grade waste than the original ore is even less “hazardous” than Nature’s ore deposit.

        This century is the one in which we will emerge, at last, from the constant state of fear of everything generated by the Nouveau left elites. The dive that the neomarxbrothers climoenviros are on the verge of taking over this near destruction of civilization and its economic engines, will not be forgotten.

        With population peaking around mid century (75% there) the last of the schitzoid Malthusian will be gone.

        With nuclear by far the safest, reliable, cheap energy source we have and will make better (70 odd deaths since 1950,only one in France the most advanced nuke juice maker) and the Ukraine Chernobyl “exclusion zone” developing into the Serengeti of Europe

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11912972/Chernobyl-animals-thrive-in-exclusion-zone-without-humans.html

        I regret that I would have to reach 110 years old to taste this new world. Maybe if I became a squatter in the Chernobyl exclusion zone…

      • “As are the mine tailings of many of the metals which go into solar panels”

        The predominant component of solar panels is silicon. You can obtain the raw material, silicon dioxide, from of all places……beach sand. Hardly any tailing digging up that stuff.

      • As the demand for solar energy has increased so has the demand for the metals needed in the production of solar or photovoltaic panels and the batteries. However, a number of renewable energy forms (wind turbines, for example) and technology items (such as mobile phones) that we use daily have added to that growing demand as they also require metals for their production. As a result it can be hard to quantify what is required by solar specifically.

        Metals used in solar panels and batteries

        There is a very wide range of metals used in solar panels and many are used in minute quantities. These are, in alphabetical order: Arsenic (used in semi-conductor chips), Aluminum, Boron minerals (used in semi-conductor chips), Cadmium (used in certain types of cells), copper (used in wiring and certain types of cells), Gallium, Indium (used in cells), Iron ore (steel), Molybdenum (used in photovoltaic cells), Phosphorous, Selenium, Silica, Silver, Tellurium, and Titanium.

        Some of these metals, such as Iron and Copper, are plentiful and mined in numerous locations. Others, including the so-called “rare earth” minerals are expensive and or scarce and or only available in one or few countries.

        […]

        Nicola Jones wrote an article titled A Scarcity of Rare Metals is Hindering Green Technologies published by Yale Environment 360. She discusses the situation in vivid and worrying terms. For example: “The move toward new and better technologies… means an ever-increasing demand for exotic metals that are scarce thanks to both geology and politics. Thin, cheap solar panels need tellurium, which makes up a scant 0.0000001% of the earth’s crust, making it three times rarer than gold.”

        […]

        http://www.resourceinvestor.com/2016/04/06/effect-solar-power-growth-metals-demand

      • David, thanks for posting the obvious. What you’ve now done is add batteries and wind turbines into the mix. If you do that, then the entire post above about solar panels is rendered even more asinine (aka-goal post moving). You’ve also mixed thin film technologies with mono/poly crystalline PV panels, and not mentioning the % mix of the two. Big difference in materials and/or wastes with regard to each.

        For your education:
        1) Solar installation do not need batteries. Inverter technologies have seen to that
        2) Wind turbines do not need rare-earth magnets. You can energize the armature in the wind turbine the same way the alternator in your vehicle is energized…….with an electromagnet.
        3) Copper, lead, iron and aluminum are currently being recycled, and are not considered “waste.”

      • The tailings from mining copper, lead, iron, aluminum, gold, silver, etc. would be the equivalent waste to tailings from uranium mines.

        Nowhere in my comment did I say that solar installations require batteries or that wind turbines require rare-earth magnets.

      • Apart from the “fossil material” used to make steel, concrete, etc. and transport the materials to the construction sites, what “fossil material” is used in solar or nuclear power?

      • 1) “Nowhere in my comment did I say that solar installations require batteries”…..true, so I suggest you don’t copy and paste such things into your comments, unless you aren’t reading what you are copy and pasting?
        2) Your graphic is titled: “Materials Throughput for Each Energy Source” ….. It’s missing the metric for fossil fuels. You do realize that fossil fuels are an “energy source” correct? So what is the material/Twh for a typical coal burning plant?. Why was it excluded in the graphic?

      • 1)The quoted passage didn’t say that batteries were required in solar installations.

        2)Because they weren’t comparing fossil fuels to solar. They were comparing nuclear to solar.

      • “They were comparing nuclear to solar.”

        Wow, so they threw in hydro, geothermal and wind for laughs.

        Ha ha ha ha ha.
        ..
        I think they left out coal, because there wouldn’t be enough space on the page to display how high it was.

      • In terms of raw materials per TWh, coal- and natural gas-fired plants would be in the same ballpark as nuclear power.

      • The quoted passage didn’t say that batteries were required in solar installations: “Metals used in solar panels and batteries”

        Yup, they must have been talking about the batteries used in Teslas

      • Yes. The article was about the demand for metals in solar power plants and other greenschist.

        Do you have any actual point? Or just an addiction to serial straw man and red herring fallacies?

      • “coal- and natural gas-fired plants would be in the same ballpark as nuclear power.”

        OK, that explains why twice a month a 30-50 car train load of nuclear fuel rods are delivered to a nuke plant. Are the spent fuel ponds the same size as the coal ash ponds?

      • Are you incapable of avoiding straw man fallacies?

        The raw materials graph was not of fuel. It was of raw materials used in the construction of the power plants.

      • “The raw materials graph was not of fuel.”

        There were six colors, blue for cement, green for concrete, red for steel, yellowish for glass, purple for other, and…….(drum roll)…..DARK GREY FOR FUEL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Fuel is in the legend; but not on the graph itself. It doesn’t appear on the nuclear column, which is the only source on the graph which uses fuel.

        It is based on the DOE table I just plotted, which excludes fuel. Here it is again…

      • Fuel is just not noticeable on the graph because nuclear power plants only require about 3 tons of fuel per TWh.

        So, while coal and natural gas consume about the same raw materials per TWh as nuclear, they consume much more fuel per TWh.

        While solar consumes far more raw materials per kWh than nuclear, coal or natural gas.

      • I get it Dave, the comparison is between apples and oranges. Leaving out the fuel for coal and nat-gas makes the comparison come out the way the creator of the graphic wanted it to come out. Nice cherries.

      • The article isn’t comparing solar or nuclear to natural gas or coal.

        The article is comparing solar to nuclear. The primary concern about nuclear power is waste disposal. The article is point out that on a per TWh basis, solar power produces 300 times the volume of toxic waste.

      • “While solar consumes far more raw materials per kWh than nuclear, coal or natural gas.”………only when you ignore the fact that “fuel” is a “raw material.”

        Again, nice cherry you picked there Davie.

      • Sorry Dave, this was a very bad choice of article.

        From the table you provided, shows 16447 tons of material for Solar PV/Twh.

        Of that 16447 tons, I will consider 210 of plastic to be “toxic”

        Steel, concrete, cement, aluminum, copper, glass, and slicon are not “toxic”

        So, 1.25% of the volume of PV panel waste is “toxic”
        ..
        Too bad you can’t retract this article, it’s really indefensible.

      • Tons is not a measure of volume.

        The table for toxic waste is in cubic meters/TWh (volume/TWh).

        The material throughput is in tons/TWh (mass/TWh.

      • You do have a point. The article did not clearly distinguish between waste and toxic waste. I’ve added an addendum to the post.

      • Dave, you should consider a new profession. I suggest you should become a baker. You could specialize in baking cherry pies, because you are such a great cherry picker.

        Please post a graph that compares the “wastes” from a coal plant compared to nuclear, solar, hydro, etc.

        Until you do that, your nuclear bias is shining brighter than a 100 watt flood lamp.

      • PS Dave…..you can dump 100 used solar panels in my backyard, but please don’t dump 100 used fuel rods there…..there’s a slight difference in “toxicity” between the two items.

      • I don’t know which to pity more: Mark’s lack of basic understanding of grammar or his innumeracy. Therefore, I choose to pity both equally. He frequently confuses volume with mass and toxicity with volume. I realize that solar panels are a religious relic in your world view but at least try to understand what was a very comprehensible post.

      • Tsk, Tsk, answer this question:
        ..
        You have a choice, to put 1 cubic inch of a spent fuel rod in your pocket, or 1 cubic inch of a discarded solar panel. You must put it in your pants pocket for 24 hours. Which would you choose?

      • Luis, here’s your choice: live for the rest of your life on the energy output of that 1cc of nuclear fuel or on the power output of 1cc of solar panel. Or perhaps we should compare sticking your head in a cooling pond versus a vacuum dep chamber. Deal?

      • Mark J: Why do physicians rant against nuclear? They don’t this is a typical fake news toss away which the neomarxbrothers are famous for, like CAGW, a manufactured fear. And if they did rail about nuclear, who are they to know anything about it. With less than one death average at nuclear plants a year, most of them over fifty years having occurred in the soviet no safety features design at Chernobyl in the year it fell apart.

        And the study you are bashing was done at Berkeley, the much admired soviet California academy of sciences where your comrades at arms are hunkering down with their playdough in huge safe places. After scares by the institutions climateer faculty.

      • Mark S Johnson June 29, 2017 at 11:58 am

        … 1) Solar installation do not need batteries. Inverter technologies have seen to that …

        That approach uses the grid for de facto energy storage. It breaks down once there is a certain percent of solar PV attached to the grid. Then you have to supply explicit dispatchable generation or storage.

        2) Wind turbines do not need rare-earth magnets. You can energize the armature in the wind turbine the same way the alternator in your vehicle is energized…….with an electromagnet.

        Many do. The trend seems to be to permanent magnet generators (PMG). link By the same token, you could point out that I don’t need a BIC lighter to start a fire, I could rub two sticks together, and you would be right … as far as that goes.

      • If you want to include the tailings from uranium mines, then you need to include the tailings from the mines used for all the materials that go into solar panels as well.
        Try being honest for once.

  17. Many of you need to be reminded that the half-life of uranium-238 is 4.5 billion years, and 700 million years for uranium-235… When comparing waste in the form of old silicon boards to depleted uranium, you need to have some kind o perspective, the volume comparison are misleading at best.

    In Fallujah, Iraq, about one in six birth displays signs of genetic damage from the depleted uranium left from US bombings.

    We’ve got 500 years worth of coal in the US alone, we’re awash in natural gas, and peak oil is a myth. we know that CO2 as a greenhouse gas is marginal as best. So why are climate skeptics so keen on nuclear energy and dismissive about its dangers when there is no need for it in its current form?

    • The comparison is about 33,000 cubic meters of toxic waste per TWh for solar vs. about 110 cubic meters of toxic waste per TWh of nuclear power. The nuclear wast is more hazardous; but it’s 1/300 voluminous.

      Depleted uranium doesn’t come from bombing. The A-10’s GAU-8 30 mm cannon fires armor piercing DU shells. I don’t think it was used very often against urban targets in populated areas.

      Safely disposing of high level nuclear wasted in sealed deep boreholes in crystalline basement rock 4-5 km (13-16,000 ft) deep for $0.003/kWh is a bit different than scattering it around the streets of Fallujah.

      We probably have more than 1,000 years worth of coal with stable prices as far as the eye can see.

      While we currently have a glut of natural gas, that won’t last very long. If demand continues to escalate, the price will go up. If the price doesn’t go up, capital will dry up. The break-even price for most shale plays is $3.50/mcf. The current price is about $3.00/mcf.

      Peak oil is not a “myth.” It’s a mathematical function of resource extraction. But, it’s not really relevant to anything.

      This CAGW skeptic is keen on nuclear power in its current form because it’s: 1) safe, 2) reliable and 3) relatively inexpensive, particularly from existing NGS. I lke to pay less than $01.2/kWh and know that I can run my AC all summer long.

    • “In Fallujah, Iraq, about one in six birth displays signs of genetic damage from the depleted uranium left from US bombings.” mmm just curious what type of bomb did the US use that left the depleted uranium?

      Cheers,

      Joe

      • A-10s were used in CAS roles in and around Fallujah, but I don’t know the ordnance expended mix of GAU, Maverick missile, Hydra rockets, cluster munitions and LGBs. But definitely no bombs containing DU. The only bombs with DU are thermonuclear.

        Should be easy to survey the environment to locate any radioactive hotspots, if such exist. Also, AARs would say where and when GAU was used and how many rounds.

      • The M829 sabot has a DU dart at its core. But this is an antitank round. It was designed specifically for penetrating advance armor of T-72, T-80 and T-90 tanks.

        The M830 HEAT round would he a more likely choice for blowing holes in buildings. I don’t think it employed DU.

      • A-10s also dropped propaganda leaflets.

        Dave,

        While M289 Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot rounds may well have been expended in or around Fallujah, they’re expensive and generally reserved for anti-tank work.

        There might have been some obstacle in urban fighting requiring a DU round, but couldn’t have been many, if any.

        But I can’t say with any degree of certainty that US tanks did not fire any in or around Fallujah.

      • Oops. Sorry. Meant M829. Old age onset dysnumeria, or whatever the numerical equivalent of dyslexia might be.

      • This says Iraqi health ministry found no excessive rate of birth defects.

        Also that some 300,000 DU rounds were fired in Iraq (might include first Gulf War). The vast majority of those would be 30mm from Warthog, not 120mm (27mm penetrating rod diameter) from Abrams.

        http://wise-uranium.org/dissgw.html

      • The tank gun round’s DU long-rod penetrator weighs 4.6 kg. The GAU round weighs 300 g.

        I’ve read that the M829A3 round’s penetrator weighs 10 kg. It was only type classified in 2003, and Iraq might not have had any tanks requiring its superior penetration ability.

      • The consanguineous marriage rate in Iraq is >50%, so it seems highly remarkable that 5 out of 6 births are normal.

      • TTY,

        Yup. In much of the Arab and Muslim world generally, first cousin marriage is normal and preferred, or uncle-niece. With a large number of children from such consanguineous unions, continuing into the mom’s 40s, a high rate of birth defects would be expected.

      • “Depleted uranium doesn’t come from bombing. The A-10’s GAU-8 30 mm cannon fires armor piercing DU shells. I don’t think it was used very often against urban targets in populated areas.”

        Not true. Most of the DU fired by A10s were used against “normal” targets (buildings, vehicles, infantry etc). And it is used in bunker buster bombs.

        [img]http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/images/520_a552.png[/img]

        http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/us-broke-own-rules-firing-depleted-uranium-in-iraq

        There are over 350 sites in Iraq that have been heavily contaminated with DU from US bombings/attacks. This subject is not peripheral to the discussion here, as the production of depleted uranium weapons has been one of the main avenues for disposing of nuclear energy waste. This might be the worst environmental problem in the world today, and one of the most egregious crime against humanity. Cancer rates in Fallujah, one of the worst hit areas in Iraq, have gone up 4,000% since the city was bombed by US forces.

        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/03/2013315171951838638.html

        Peak Oil IS a myth, because known global oil reserves have been rising faster than the current extraction rate:

        [img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Oil_Reserves_Top_5_Countries.png[/img]

        …And natural gas reserves have been rising even faster. The world is also awash with fossil fuels, and as you’ve mentioned, coal alone could power the world for centuries. The only reason for not relying on fossil fuels as the main energy source for this century is the artificial and irrational fear of man-made CO2 as a greenhouse gas. We of all people should know better…

        The variable cost of nuclear energy is low on existing plants, but

        1) it doesn’t account for the cost of treating and disposing of nuclear waste
        2) or the risks from another Chernobyl or Fukushima, and
        3) the cost of new plants is now far too prohibitive and nowhere near as competitive with fossil fuels.

      • Rising or falling reserves have nothing to do with Peak Oil. Peak Oil is a function of the size of the recoverable resource and the extraction rate. The size of the recoverable resource is much larger than Hubbert thought it was.

        1) The cost would be minimal if not for NIMBY’ism.

        2a)There are no Chernobyl-type risks associate with U.S. nuclear power plants.

        2b)Fukushima was not a nuclear technology problem. It was a massive earthquake and tsunami problem.

        3a) Correct at this time.

      • Sam R. June 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm

        Most GAU ammo was not expended in cities against buildings and civilians. Its “normal targets” in Iraq did include tanks and light armored vehicles, but also thin-skinned vehicle convoys, artillery positions and sometimes infantry in the open or barricaded.

        In some cases, the autocannon is preferable to missiles, rockets and bombs, as creating less unwanted collateral damage. Your notion that DU bombs were used in Iraq is so wrong as to be beyond laughable.

      • as I have a much greater than cursory knowledge of such military things, I figured at best Sam R was mistaken.

        Cheers,

        Joe

      • What study found a 4000% increase in cancer? A 2010 study found an overall increase of four times, but its authors cautioned, that “owing to the structural problems associated with surveys of this kind, care should be exercised in interpreting the findings quantitatively”.

        Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi (2010), “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009”, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2010, 7, 2828–2837; doi:10.3390/ijerph7072828

      • I love the way trolls trot out discredited studies from discredited propaganda sites as if they were God’s own truth.

    • Sam R: You need to be reminded that toxic non-radioactive materials such as heavy metals have no half-life. In other words they remain toxic forever.

      As for your depleted uranium and genetic damage from weapons comment, this meme has be debunked time and time again. I suspect you have little understanding of the half-life concept. Fudging the math a whole bunch to make the image clear, If you have 5 billion atoms of U-238, there will be one emission per year from the entire 5 billion atoms. The longer the half-life, the lower the emissivity rate (specific activity) for a same number of atoms comparison. U-238 has a very low specific activity at 3.3 e-7 Curies/gram or 0.33 uCi/gm. If you are the “standard man”, you will have about 0.0007 grams of uranium already in your body from natural sources. If you would like more info about the effects and potential harm (relatively low) of uranium, please respond and I’ll continue with my tutorial.

      • Which of course is why DU (U-238) isn’t fissile except when bombarded by high energy neutrons during a thermonuclear reaction (H-bomb).

        TTY,

        I failed to mention also the higher rate of older fathers (aged 40-80+) in the Muslim world, making babies with second, third and fourth wives in their teens, twenties, thirties and forties. Men accumulate mutations in their germ cells throughout their lives, some of which are negative.

      • “I failed to mention also the higher rate of older fathers (aged 40-80+) in the Muslim world, making babies with second, third and fourth wives in their teens, twenties, thirties and forties. Men accumulate mutations in their germ cells throughout their lives, some of which are negative.”

        Sure, Gabro, this accounts for the 4,000% increase in cancer rates in Fallujah overnight between 2001 and 2005, those darn Muslim fathers got 4 years older!

        AGrimm: “If you have 5 billion atoms of U-238, there will be one emission per year from the entire 5 billion atoms”
        There’s been over 1000 tonnes of depleted uranium dropped on Iraq. That’s approximately 15,530,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 uranium atoms. Five billionth of that is still an annual emission of 3,177,000,000,000,000,000 radioactive particles.

        The birth defect rate observed in Fallujah after it was bombed to bits is the highest ever observed on any population in the history of mankind (Caputi, Ross (25 October 2012) “The victims of Fallujah’s health crisis are stifled by western silence”). Do you also think that is from old muslim dads aGrimm, or maybe it was from the Aspartame in their diet soda?!? And who has been doing the debunking here, the Pentagon, or the trillion dollar defense industry?

    • Sam R: You need to be reminded that toxic non-radioactive materials such as heavy metals have no half-life. In other words they remain toxic forever.

      As for your depleted uranium and genetic damage from weapons comment, this meme has be debunked time and time again. [small snip…no need for that -mod] Fudging the math a whole bunch to make the image clear, If you have 5 billion atoms of U-238, there will be one emission per year from the entire 5 billion atoms. The longer the half-life, the lower the emissivity rate (specific activity) for a same number of atoms comparison. U-238 has a very low specific activity at 3.3 e-7 Curies/gram or 0.33 uCi/gm. If you are the “standard man”, you will have about 0.0007 grams of uranium already in your body from natural sources. If you would like more info about the effects and potential harm (relatively low) of uranium, please respond and I’ll continue with my tutorial.

      • Replying to Sam R’s posting at 1:57.
        I have no idea if your 1000 tonnes of DU employed in Iraq is correct, but how much of that can be ingested by any single person? Your math for the number of emissions from this amount has no relevance to what an individual might ingest or take up into the body. There are basically six factors that need to be taken into account when determining the hazard of a radionuclide.

        1) Half- life: uranium has a very long half-life at 4.5 billion years. The odds of a single uranium atom emitting its radiation in your body is your life-span, e.g. 72 years, divided by the 4.5 billion years.
        2) Emission Type (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Neutron, X-ray): U is an alpha emitter. It poses no risk from external exposure. It poses a risk if taken internally and adsorbed by the body.
        3) Emission Energy: typical for alpha emitters at 4.2 and 4.15 MeV.
        4) Decay Path: an alpha emission that goes through the entire U decay series. For each decay path, the new nuclide needs to get the same six step evaluation.
        5) Quantity (number of Curies): this is the big, big factor that must be determined regarding an individual’s potential for uptake from the use of DU weapons. You would have eat hundreds of pounds and have that quantity taken up by the body to get a lethal dose from Uranium. Our body does not absorb elemental Uranium easily. DU in weapons is elemental uranium. Of course vaporized DU can be inhaled, but if you are close enough to vaporized DU you are likely already dead. As vaporized DU falls out of the atmosphere quite quickly, vaporized DU loses its threat to the innocents within a few feet.
        6) Chemical and Physical Nature of Material: the chemical and physical nature of any radionuclide is critical to how it may be taken up by the body. Regarding its physical nature, uranium is a heavy metal and like any heavy metal can be quite toxic to the body. As a heavy metal, uranium is quite toxic to the kidneys in large quantities. It should be noted that that uranium has no analogous chemical which the body uses. Therefore there is no storage of it in our bodies such as can happen with Strontium (analogous to calcium and gets stored in bone). Elemental DU, as noted above, via oral ingestion results in little uptake by the gastrointestinal tract. There are uranium compounds that are readily adsorbed by the body but these are not found in the use of DU weapons. The chemical and physical nature of DU cannot be emphasized too much. The pathways to the body can include environmental movement where both dilution (a good thing) or concentration (potentially bad) must be analyzed.

        So I leave it up to you to give me an amount of DU that you think the average Iraquian might have ingested and taken up. With that info, I can calculate the dose rate and projected number of DNA mutations (results vary greatly but there are models that come up with a number – not that I have great faith in the models).

        Please do not connect me to any unproven theory such as the older dad, global warming, better reporting, made up numbers, or any other unproven theory about the so-called rise of birth mutations in any third world country. There are too many unknowns and dang few studies that are worth a dang.

    • Sam,

      In your first paragraph, you seem to have a common misconception about radioactivity. The longer the half-life, the lower the radioactivity. Uranium and Plutonium are not the problems in the nuclear industry – you could have a stack of uranium sitting on the desk beside you and have no problems whatsoever. We have to use an external neutron source to start the fission reaction in the reactor in most cases (different designs use different solutions). The problem is in the decay daughters in the neutron induced fission of Uranium or Plutonium found in spent fuel rods. Some have half-lives in the seconds, while others are measured in days to years. Freshly minted fuel rods could be moved around by hand, but “spent” rods have a large number of short half-life highly radioactive elements in them (called poisons in the industry because they suck all the neutrons up and stop the fission reaction). The reason the rods are “spent” is because of these varying radioactivity (from not at all to extremely) daughter elements. If we were allowed to reprocess these rods, we wouldn’t need to mine another ounce of Uranium for at least 100 years, and the highly radioactive waste level would drop to a few hundred pounds per year, greatly reducing the problems in using nuclear energy. This is part of the reason that President Carter canceled the US reprocessing projects – to appease anti-nuclear groups that wanted to make nuclear energy as hard as possible.

      Have those genetic problems been corrected for about 100 generations of predominately marrying ones first cousins as is prevalent in Islamic countries of the middle east? This is a problem that has been seen in Britain’s Islamic populations as well. DU might cause these problems but the causation pathway is not clear cut – all the studies are based on fairly weak epidemiological studies which are notoriously bad for causation analysis – great for what they were designed for – finding pockets of disease and outbreaks, but statistically incapable of showing causation. One can think of epidemiology as a great tool for showing scientists where to look for disease causes.

      Depleted uranium has an extremely low radioactivity. The gypsum board and concrete used in most houses will set a Geiger counter off at a greater click frequency than a depleted uranium shell. DU is an alpha emitter so is only really a problem at all if it is eaten or breathed in with breathing being the worse of the two. If it is eaten or drunk in water it will pass through the body with very small chance of a decay occurring. If it is breathed, it can lodge in the lungs for extended period and contribute to increased incidence of lung cancer and other tissue damage. Alpha emissions in general can be stopped by a piece of paper and generally won’t pass through clothing or the layers of dead skin cells on a body. The ones that are normally worried about are the alpha emitters that mimic other essential elements (same column on periodic table) and can get actively transported for use in tissue. They become ticking time bombs for future tissue damage.

      • “Have those genetic problems been corrected for about 100 generations of predominately marrying ones first cousins as is prevalent in Islamic countries of the middle east? This is a problem that has been seen in Britain’s Islamic populations as well.”

        Once again, the baseline here was pre-war Iraq vs post-war Iraq, so we’re talking about same population and genetic pool. Cancer rates and birth defects rates have skyrocketed in that short span, and were observed by local doctors. Reducing the problem to neoconservative anthropology canards is at best dishonest.

      • @Sam – were corrections also made for other environmental factors? War produces a lot of disruption. Contaminated water supplies, chemical leaks (not war chemicals, just chemicals), fuel spills, higher use of more toxic fuels (such as animal dung, treated wood, etc.) for heating and cooking – a whole host of things that are well known to increase cancers and birth defects.

        In fact, I’m not sure you can even adjust for all of the confounding factors – they will be extremely regional and varied between regions.

        In other words – these “studies” found exactly what they were looking for, and stopped right there before the “researchers” could get confused…

      • Sam,

        I’ll see your canard and raise you one jack___.

        The pathway still needs to be explored.

        Before you start throwing “neo-conservative” at other posters – get real. The DU connection needs serious research – and the genetic problems in conservative Islam (more liberal Islamic societies are far less impacted by this) is a known problem. Just because a fact doesn’t fit your politics doesn’t make it a non-fact or a “canard” of your perceived political strawman opponents

      • Owen in GA June 29, 2017 at 3:39 pm

        Sam,

        I’ll see your canard and raise you one jack___.

        The pathway still needs to be explored.

        Before you start throwing “neo-conservative” at other posters – get real. The DU connection needs serious research – and the genetic problems in conservative Islam (more liberal Islamic societies are far less impacted by this) is a known problem. Just because a fact doesn’t fit your politics doesn’t make it a non-fact or a “canard” of your perceived political strawman opponents. Please stop clinging to …

        —————————————————————————————————————————————–

        Blaming “Islam” for the explosive SPIKE in cancer rates and birth defects that took place right after 2003-05 in cities like Basra and Fallujah is really appalling. Those cities were heavily bombed with hundreds of tons of depleted uranium, the explosion in birth defects in those cities took place right after these bombings, and those types of birth defects were never observed there before:

        “Dr Samira Alani, a pediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005.

        “We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Al Jazeera at her office in the hospital last year, while showing countless photos of shocking birth defects.

        Alani also co-authored a study in 2010 that showed the rate of heart defects in Fallujah to be 13 times the rate found in Europe. And, for birth defects involving the nervous system, the rate was calculated to be 33 times that found in Europe for the same number of births.”

        “Alani showed Al Jazeera hundreds of photos of babies born with cleft pallets, elongated heads, a baby born with one eye in the centre of its face, overgrown limbs, short limbs, and malformed ears, noses and spines.
        Multiple birth defects have become common with babies born in the aftermath of US assaults on the city

        “…It’s been found by a coroner’s court that cancer was caused by an exposure to depleted uranium,” Busby told Al Jazeera.

        “In the last ten years, research has emerged that has made it quite clear that uranium is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, certainly in the form that it takes when used in these wars.”

        In July 2010, Busby released a study that showed a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in Fallujah since the 2004 attacks. The report also showed the sex ratio had become skewed to 86 boys born to every 100 girls, together with a spread of diseases indicative of genetic damage – similar to, but of far greater incidence than Hiroshima.

        She said that, when the DU munitions explode or strike their targets, they generate “fine metal-containing dust particles as well as DU-containing particles that persist in the environment. These particles can enter the food chain and enter the human body via contaminated food. Toxic particles can also become airborne with the wind and be inhaled by the public. Iraq is prone to frequent sand and dust storms. Continuous public inhalation of toxic materials can lead to cancer. Ingested or inhaled particles that emit alpha radiation can cause cancer.”

        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/03/2013315171951838638.html

        On cancer rates:

        “Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

        As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research, and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest.”

        Bottom line: DU is a huge problem and its use is a crime against humanity. It’s the ugliest part of the nuclear energy picture, and the worst form of nuclear waste recycling.

      • First, NO BOMB IN THE ALLIED INVENTORY CONTAINS DU! Now if you want to talk about machine gun/gatlin gun bullets that is a different story. Your rant reads like a political activist and doesn’t give anything but emotional appeal.

        I do not blame Islam for the problems in southern Iraq. Though I also wonder if attribution to DU is proven. The Iraqi government had been bombing and burning the people of southern Iraq out since 1989-90. They were not that careful with their chemical weapons either, but the only intentional use of chemicals we know of was in the north. There had been continuous military activity down there since the invasion of Kuwait.

        I don’t usually consider Al Jazeera a reliable source. We caught them red handed aiding Al Qaieda operations and otherwise acting as pseudo-combatants way too often, and they seem to be the propaganda arm of ISIS today. So while I feel for those who were caught in the middle of the war, your comment on it being a war crime is patently false! All the international treaties exclude DU from them and there have been several rulings on that excluding DU. You want to MAKE it illegal? Fine, go convince all the governments to add it to the conventions – until then you are simply virtue signaling.

    • Let me see… What is the half-life of lead, or cadmium, or arsenic? Let us Google…

      Oh yes, infinite. Essentially. Unless you subscribe to the universal collapse back to singularity cosmology, in which case a few tens of billions of years. If you subscribe to the heat death cosmology, a googol (hah!) of years. (10 ^ 100 years, for the mathematically illiterate.)

      And, of course, U238 is quite useful – for radiation shielding. The only radiation hazard lies in one of its decay products – radon. Which is only a (somewhat) significant hazard these days thanks to energy “efficient” buildings that concentrate it, rather than venting to the general environment.

    • As always, total and complete garbage. Depleted uranium is barely above background when it comes to radiation.

  18. Let’s get all the Manufacturers and Sellers of Solar Panels to dispose of the waste.
    Oh wait a minute, they are all going bankcrupt aren’t they?
    So who does that leave, I know the poor old taxpayer.

  19. If you read the sources …for http://www.theenergycollective.com/energybants/2407383/headed-solar-waste-crisis
    “The study defines as toxic waste the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear plants and the solar panels themselves, which is only a tiny fraction of total waste for former …
    EP estimated that a typical 1 GW nuclear reactor produces 27 tonnes of waste annually.”
    citing http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-wastes/radioactive-waste-management.aspx
    So basically comparing used solar panels to spent fuel rod assemblies to used which are high level waste (HLW).
    There is a lot of low level nuclear waste also, and would assume toxins from manufacture of solar panels.
    The citing doc also
    “HLW accounts for just 3% of the volume, but 95% of the total radioactivity of produced waste.”

    Comparing just the spent nuclear fuel rods to solar panels as toxic waste by energy produced is a half hour study and far from any real analysis. It is like comparing apples to oranges plus ignores the brunt of waste. It is clearly not a good study, but has a citeable sound bite bottom line about the ratio of nuclear to solar waste which can be used as propaganda against the latter.

    The TheEnergyCollective.com is funded by Siemens Energy and Royal Dutch Shell. Not surprised, but would have to look at rest of so called studies to assess a bias or agenda.

    I am not too worried about low level nuclear waste which decays quickly, but on other end worried about the danger of high level nuclear waste if say a terrorist target, think about a 9/11 event ramming a plane into a spent fuel rod pool which could be Chernobyl times 50. A bit different risk than say cancer from an old solar panel tossed into a land fill.

    Government should not debate or chose energy generation sources, however real costs should be added in by producers such as safe disposal/storage of toxic by-products, and costs not decided by politics. The current subsidies to solar are a total waste driven by lobbyists and political donations in search of corporate profits in the vise of being marketable as environmentally friendly when may be not. Half a $ billion wasted on Solyndra alone, and Elon Musk and Tesla using the old building now for second round of feeding. It is a blend of marketing, socialism, and crony capitalism lining someone’s pockets with green where the purchased perception of green or black is no more than a thin layer of paint.

    • “if say a terrorist target, think about a 9/11 event ramming a plane into a spent fuel rod pool which could be Chernobyl times 50. ”

      No, Chernobyl was an operating reaction without moderating rods in place so it melted and caught fire. Ramming a plane into a spent rod pool would drown the occupants and put out the (jet fuel) fire.

    • A plane crashing into one of the pools would cause a mess in the immediate vicinity, but would be cleaned up pretty quickly. Robots would be used to collect the scattered fuel casks and place them in another pool. There would be very little long term impact.

      Of course, if we were reprocessing these rods and removing the useful isotopes and encasing the rest in glass for permanent storage, there would be no fuel rods in pools for people to worry about. All of these problems in nuclear power were CAUSED by political people who refused to look deeper into how this stuff really works.

      • ZOMG! THEY HAD TO REPLACE THE CAMERA ON THE ROBOT! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!111eleventy!!!!

        First, these bots were going into a very hot zone which was the site of an actual meltdown. The cooling ponds aren’t that hot and while they will have problems if left exposed indefinitely they do have time to service them. But the hysteria’s cute. Really.

      • All of these problems in nuclear power were CAUSED by political people who refused to look deeper into how this stuff really works.

        Well the economics aren’t as great as once through so reprocessing has been a dud in the US. But, hey, the greed energy guys like to claim that their pony is coming real soon now if we just keep up the subsidies, so why not play the counterfactual game and claim that reprocessing and vitrification would be cost effective now if we had just spent decades investing in it?

      • More like a better use for the waste stream. It should have been the process all along. Then the storage pools at the reactors wouldn’t be full of decades worth of spent fuel, just the last couple of years while waiting for a processing slot. At this point it is a cleanup problem more than just an economic one and the politics keep driving the costs through the roof. The antinuclear crowd is EXTREMELY good at frivolous lawfare.

  20. The sediment thickness map is incorrect and entirely misses what is probably the best place for disposal of nuclear waste in bore holes, the Midcontinent Rift System, because it is entirely closed in by hard basement rock and is very deep. In Kansas and Iowa the depth is well over 10,000′.

    • The map is of sediment thickness. It’s based on the 1978 AAPG Basement Map of North America…

      The MCRS wouldn’t be apparent on it.

      The MCRS is based on a strong Bouger gravity anomaly in the middle of the craton.

      The sediment thickness map correlates with sedimentary basins…

      According to the Sandia study, a sediment overburden of ~3 km would be ideal. The less sedimentary overburden the harder and more expensive the boreholes. Drilling through 10,000′ of sedimenary rock and 3,000′ to 6,000′ of igneous/metamorphic rock is a lot easier than drilling through 13,000′ to 16,000′ of igneous/metamorphic rock.

      • David, that’s exactly my point, the MCR is perfect for this because it is a 10-15,000′ Precambrian aged basin filled mostly with a thick synrift sedimentary rocks capped with extrusive volcanics. I guess the thickness of sedimentary section would depend on whether you call the volcanic cap rock the basement. I don’t consider it to be since there are thousands of feet of sedimentary rocks below extrusive rocks.

        http://www.iihr.uiowa.edu/igs/introduction-to-the-midcontinental-rift/?doing_wp_cron=1498760654.6537489891052246093750

        http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Publications/Bulletins/237/Woelk1/midcontinent.pdf

      • The map shows 0.5 to 1 km of sediment over most of Iowa…

        The Texaco Poersch #1, drilled through the MCR in Kansas, drilled through Precambrian basement at 867 m and then drilled through an extensive igneous rock section before entering a thick section of arkosic sandstone, with interbedded diabase and basalt layers.

        I think this is kind of the opposite of what the Sandia report suggested would be a good deep borehole disposal site.

      • What I’m saying is that is not the actual Precambrian Basement, it’s a Precambrian Aged extrusive overlying a thick section of sedimentary, metasediment, and basalt rocks. Do you consider Black Mesa to be the basement? It’s a mafic igneous rock on the surface, so why does the USGS show over a km of sedimentary section there? The basement is defined as the crystalline igneous and metamorphics below the sedimentary section, not the first occurrence of any crystalline rock, therefore the basement under the MCR is much deeper than the old USGS map proposes.

        I think the Noel-Porsche drilled the horst whereas the Eischand #1 in Carroll Co, Iowa drilled in the graben just to the west of the horst block and “penetrated over 2.5 miles of the sedimentary rocks”. “These basins contain an astounding 36,000 cubic miles of sedimentary rocks, nearly 3 times all the earth materials above sea level in Iowa!”

        http://www.iihr.uiowa.edu/igs/introduction-to-the-midcontinental-rift/?doing_wp_cron=1498760654.6537489891052246093750

        “Assessment of this segment is based on analysis of 40 core and cuttings samples from the 17,851-foot (5,440 m)-deep Amoco M.G. Eischeid No. 1 well drilled in 1987 in an asymmetric halfgraben-like basin northwest of the medial horst (Iowa horst), Carroll County, Iowa (figs. 1, 2) (Palacas and others, 1990). The Eischeid well penetrated 2,802 ft (854 m) of Phanerozoic (mostly Paleozoic) strata, 14,898 ft (4,541 m) of Middle
        Proterozoic (Keweenawan) unmetamorphosed sedimentary rocks, and 151 ft (46 m) of Middle Proterozoic gabbroic intrusive rocks.”

        https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/b2146/J.pdf

      • I wouldn’t consider Black Mesa to be basement because the Raton basalt is aPliocene extrusive.

        36,000 cubic miles sounds like a lot. Iowa covers 56,272 mi². The sediment thickness map shows an average of 0.5-1 km of sediment over most of Iowa.

        The rift system is a narrow band covering 42,000 mi². The sedimentary section in the rift would average 1.2 miles thick. This isn’t inconsistent with the average over the State being less than 0.5 mi thick.

      • The rift comprises 42,000 sq mi of Iowa’s basement alone and averages 5.5-6.5 miles thick in the grabens where the bulk of the sedimentary section is.

        You keep going back to that USGS map, it’s an erroneous map that does not include the several thousand feet of sedimentary section of the MCR.

      • The 1978 AAPG map is not a detailed map of every sub-basin. 36.000 mi^3 of sediment over a 42,000 mi^2 area is an average thickness of less than 1 mile.

        The rift system covers 42,000 square miles of Iowa’s geologic “basement” and is dominated by the central horst (see map above), bounded by fault zones (heavy lines), and by a series of flanking basins. Volcanic rocks within the horst are up to 7.5 miles thick, while the adjacent basins reach depths of 5.5 to 6.5 miles. These basins contain an astounding 36,000 cubic miles of sedimentary rocks, nearly 3 times all the earth materials above sea level in Iowa!*

        36,000 / 42,000 = 0.9

      • But we don’t use the term “petrogeologists”… ;)

        “Petro” means “rock” or “stone.”

      • Aargh. Blame it on 103 in the office at the time. That one I knew. “Rock oil” or “petroleum” geologists. Sigh.

        At least I didn’t double down on sounding like an idiot and mention that I’d only heard astrologers use the terms before…

      • That’s OK. My first day in Earth Science 201: Physical Geology, I thought petrology was the study of oil.

        Petros = rock
        Oleum = liquid

        I always get a kick out of “petrodollars”… makes me think of the Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing… ;)

  21. DUMB QUESTION: Exactly what is/are the substance or substances that we are calling, “Toxic Waste From Solar Panels” ? Okay, I’ll Google it, while the rest of you shake your heads at my ignorance.

    • What exactly produces the waste? I need to see a list. Is it the panels themselves? Do panels wear out this fast that enough of them mount up in a short time span? Is it the chemicals in the panels? Is there leakage of chemicals? What?

      I just do not know anything about this aspect of it.

      Thanks for cluing me in. (^_^)

      • Depends on the panel type. First Solar’s CdTe (cadmium tellurium on glass) thin film is obviously toxic. But First Solar has its own 100% recycling program at end of life. For crystalline and polycrystaline silicon, there really isnt anything. Glass, doped silicon, copper, silver. The Japan study included the mounting frames made of aluminum. The articles cited are a little overwrought.

    • Depends to some degree on what country you are in and in the US, what state you are in. California has a list 50 miles long of chemicals known to cause cancer, many of which are probably used in the panels. I don’t think the definition of toxic is any where close to universal.

  22. Sell the panels on Craigslist for $1 apiece. They’d make good siding for a shed or small building.

  23. But what if the plane explosion caused the spent fuel rods to be spewed in the air?
    The at reactor pools at Fukushima were above ground (and some used MOX type fuel), and nearby was quite a bit larger secondary long term storage pond.
    I also really doubt the water in the spent fuel pool would simply “put out the (jet fuel) fire.”

    Merely having the water escape from the SNF pools, or no emergency power to cool reactors, would be comparable to what actually occurred, less or ignoring the possibility of a Chernobyl type event by a plane exploding. Tepco can give a yen figure assessment.

    I will defer risk assessment, but comparing plutonium, etc., in spent fuel rods to a pile of used solar panels eventually stripped off a roof is not a good comparison. I am not sure what would stack better in a football stadium (and if authors thought about need to fill it with water), but makes good graphics. It is still apples and oranges despite any theoretic terrorist risk.

    • A highly toxic Leaning Tower of Pisa-high football field is more easily disposed of than a two Mount Everest-high football field of less toxic materials.

      If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).

    • Fukushima reactor #4’s spent fuel pool sits 100′ in the air on top of the damaged reactor building. If it had collapsed due to an earthquake or ground subsidence, the amount of radiation released to the atmosphere would threatened the entire northern hemisphere. Fortunately, they were able to empty the pool after about 3 years’ effort. We dodged a bullet.

      • The radiation in those ponds is almost 100% in the rods. Had the pond collapsed lots of mildly radioactive water would have spilled, and the rods would have laid there until a robot could be sent in to move them to another pond.

    • Shouldn’t we be looking at the toxic waste where the panels are produced? Driving a D9 into the storage area for toxic waste at a copper mine, or composite carcinogens stored on site, is a better comparison. Also, let’s assume the waste is immediately dumped into a river or water supply, just for this scenario. What if someone liberates stored or dumped arsenic used in gold mining in the 1800’s? Dumps it into a river because they don’t know it’s there. How many people die and how much cleanup? I agree there’s no half-life involved, but try and separate toxins from water and dirt.

  24. When it comes to the disposal of nuclear waste, why not fight “fire with fire?” – i.e. Instead of having multiple borehole disposal sites, just have a few deep sites that are designed to do the following:

    Once the nuclear waste in a deep hole builds up to a certain volume, lower a nuclear device for exploding its transmuting nuclear particles into the waste, thereby turning the waste into a potpourri of hopefully, (have to do some research here), radioactive isotopes with shorter half-lives of radiation. Repeat until a site becomes overused – whatever criteria that may involve.

    OK, I’m sure such an approach is fraught with many problems – not the least of which would be to sell the idea to greenies.

    • Won’t work. The troublesome part of nuclear waste is the transuranics, particularily the plutonium. The strongly radioactive fission products become harmless fairly quickly. To make your idea work you would have to get all the transuranics to fission. You just work out how big a nuclear explosion that would take and how big the resulting nuclear explosion would be to realiza that it isn’t a good idea.

  25. Storing solar plant toxic waste does not require expensive drilling technology. I am not an expert but I guess that a shed in the desert could do the job. At some point of time a recycling technology could make it even cheaper. It could easily be say 100 times less expensive than nuclear waste storage. The final cost will be hardly $1 per kWh.

    • It might be one day, but…

      A recent report found that it would take 19 years for Toshiba Environmental Solutions to finish recycling all of the solar waste Japan produced by 2020. By 2034, the annual waste production will be 70 – 80 times larger than that of 2020.

      The more they try to scale-up solar, the worse it will get.

      • Scaling would not increase $ per kWh value. On the contrary – the more you produce the cheaper it gets. This also applies to waste storage.

      • toxic—please explain. Are you saying the more waste we produce, the cheaper the disposal? I think NYC and LA would beg to differ. The more garbage, the higher the cost. Maybe “per unit” the cost goes down, but there are a pile more of units as you increase the waste amount. The cost goes up.

      • to Sheri: The total cost goes up indeed. The “per unit” disposal cost goes slightly down. The additional $ per kWh cost also goes slightly down.

  26. side note: today is the first day in the past 8 days that the temp has risen above 80F.at my house in central Indiana. NOT a hot summer so far!

  27. Has everyone forgotten the programs, cost, effort, etc. associated with those small mercury batteries? The asbestos removal programs?
    How soon till the local garbage dump becomes a supper fund site?

    • Over the years, asbestos removal rules seem to have become more lax – at least where I live. At first, asbestos removal crews would wear Level-A hazmat suits, and the removal cost would be very high. But now, I know workmen who remove asbestos popcorn ceilings just come in and remove it in their every-day work clothes and dump the stuff who-knows-where?

    • How about lighting your house with curly mercury lamps run on solar energy. The greens don’t care about the real environment or human, bat’s bald eagles, etc health.
      Asbestos, CFCs and now the CO2 molecule, what’s next?

      The permissible “asbestiform” particles per m^3 is an order of magnitude less than what is found in natural streams or wind blown in metamorphic terrain of which half of Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, etc is made out of and where the healthiest people on the planet live.

      The ozone hole has been growing again despite the Montreal protocol.

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/615822/NASA-ozone-hole-grown-larger-Earth-warning

      Buy they won’t let go of a busted theory.

  28. Toxic solar panel waste is only one of the environmental problems from solar energy. Solar power rare earth metal strip mining operations pollute vast amounts of ground water. Solar farms destroy acres of wildlife habitat. In addition, solar panel construction, maintenance, backup and decommissioning consume more energy than the panels can possibly produce in their lifetime. There is nothing “green” about solar power.

  29. In the event of an EMP attack, every PV solar panel facing the sky will instantly be destroyed. So, there is yet another side to the disposal story.

    • Twenty years ago while in the military I was taught that all solid state electronic devices above ground or connected to an antenna would be destroyed beyond repair. Now that most of the needs home solar panels have micro-inverters it seems to me that these too will be “fried.”
      My years in the electrical power generation industry tell me that the best chance for power will be the old pneumatic and mechanical control/protection system plants. Have personally witnessed direct lightning hits with immediate recovery.

    • The worst thing that can happen to a solar panel from an attack is to be rendered nonfunctional. A nuclear plant that is bombed would be a whole different problem…

      • Nuclear plants are designed with the risk of bombing in mind. To my knowledge, no thought is given to broken or damaged solar panels and what risks are associated with those. I have read firemen do not like the panels due to electrocution risks. You comparison is weak, to say the least.

      • Sam R: kind of a moot point if it is a nuclear bomb that hits the nuclear power plant, isn’t it? If a foe can get a bomber with conventional bombs into our country, we would have more problems than the nuclear plant, wouldn’t we? Like all out war maybe?

        PS: please see my response to your 8:39 post. It is always my pleasure to get into a discussion where I can share my knowledge of radiation effects.

      • Which further supports the argument that they, solar/wind will be worthless regardless of how far they are “distributed” after a CME, Carrington Event or EMP. Which envirowhackos would be less likely to loss due to distribution.

    • I have a tile roof in an earthquake country. Does anybody know what guarantees are provided for rooftop solar panels in a M6+ earthquake?

  30. If faced with the resposibility to dispose of high volumes of waste I can easily imagine European manufacturers of PV cells taking one of two courses: wind up the company after 25 or so years; or export the waste to somewhere offering cheaper landfill costs than in Europe.

  31. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.
    By definition, there’s no such thing as “green” toxic waste.
    Sure, the greens have no problem wasting our green. Many of them consider our green to be toxic so wasting it is part of the world “going green”.
    Now, nuclear power, on the other hand, actually works. So despite no CO2 emissions, it would be “toxic” even if it had no waste.

  32. Another political myth is dispelled. Green drivers. Gray converters.

    Utility-scale photovoltaic panels (and windmills) are low-density, non-renewable, intermittent energy converters that are a blight on the environment. This characteristic of “green” energy products should be considered when determining the weighting of technologies in the energy production basket.

  33. s important to note that although much of the waste produced is considered toxic (in the form of carcinogenic cadmium-contaminated water), there is no evidence it has harmed human health. Conversely, energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel. Although the U.S. solar industry has been dutiful about reporting its waste and sending it to approved storage facilities, coal-fired power plants send mercury, cadmium and other toxins directly into the air, which pollutes water and land around the facility.

    Fromgreenbiz.com

    • The article and the post are not about solar vs coal.

      However, if we were taking about the full impact of estimated premature deaths per unit of generation, nuclear power wins by a wide margin…

      Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

      Coal – global average 100,000 (41% global electricity)

      Coal – China 170,000 (75% China’s electricity)

      Coal – U.S. 10,000 (32% U.S. electricity)

      Oil 36,000 (33% of energy, 8% of electricity)

      Natural Gas 4,000 (22% global electricity)

      Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)

      Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)

      Wind 150 (2% global electricity)

      Hydro – global average 1,400 (16% global electricity)

      Hydro – U.S. 5 (6% U.S. electricity)

      Nuclear – global average 90 (11% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)

      Nuclear – U.S. 0.1 (19% U.S. electricity)

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#75615bd4709b

      • The fallouts from nuclear accidents are harder to quantify because their health effects are delayed, and the fallout zones affected are widely and irregularly distributed, and thus those effects are easier to dismiss in industry studies like these. Those studies are often commissioned by the industry, or at least driven by an agenda. we’ve seen it in the MSM coverage of global warming.

        Globalist agencies like the WHO are blatantly pro-nuclear, as are most science media outlets. You see the same positive biases towards GMOs for instance.The problem with nuclear energy media coverage is that both the MSM and large swaths of the skeptic community (to which I belong) have positive biases towards it (see Monbiot).

        Independent scientific studies like that of Jiřina Vitázková and Errico Cazzoli estimate the number of Fukushima victims in the hundreds of thousands:

        “The results with respect to health effects show that within 80 years the number of victims of the Fukushima disaster can be expected to be AT LEAST in the range of 10,000 to 300,000 people in terms of deaths due to infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, genetic diseases, and cancers;and about the same number of sicknesses/syndromes needing prolonged hospitalization and health care are expected to occur. This estimates accounts only for the population already living at the time of the accident.

        A comparable number of excess deaths and sicknesses may be expected in the population that will be born in the period. In addition to these, more than 100,000 excess still-births and a comparable or larger number of excess children born with genetic deformations (e.g. Down syndrome) are expected.”

        http://www.npsag.org/upload/reports/00-004/00-004%20Castle%20Meeting%202011%2009%20-%20Paper.pdf

      • Just a quick follow-up about the Fukushima cover-up and “no one died in Fukushima” narrative: hundreds of US Navy sailors who were in the vicinity of the accident came down with cancers and other radiation-related illnesses, at least two have died:

        “200 young sailors [say] TEPCO deliberately lied to the public and the U.S. Navy about the radiation levels… The lawsuit includes claims for illnesses such as Leukemia, ulcers, gall bladder removals, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults… One Sailor, age 22… states, “Upon my return from Operation Tomodachi, I began losing my eyesight.I lost all vision in my left eye and most vision in my right eye. I am unable to read street signs and am no longer able to drive… I know of no family members who have had leukemia.”…

      • Sam R: You’ve got to be more sceptical than that! This stuff is cranked out by the neomarxbrothers scare mongers. Did you know, at Hiroshima, no question the biggest nuclear disaster, the whole city was back down below ordinary radioactive background before a year had elapsed? They rebuilt the city and it is a thriving healthy tourist destination. Did you know that the Chernobyl exclusion zone is now the Serengeti of Europe with large and small animals and birds thought to have been extirpated making an African grade game park.

        All these stories you read are the hysterical activist stuff you get at the time. Few bother to go back and recheck. I’ve given the links a hundred times here. Don’t be a lazy browser of the hyped “news” of decades ago. Do some real research and remember these guys are experts with meta data and have clogged searches with their B’S. Move to Missouri if you are having trouble not being sceptical of virtually everything you read, even here and it is the best you will ever find!

        The usual ugly manipulators were greatly disappointed that the death toll at Fukushima was virtually all caused by the Tsunami. They cooked a fairytale that those who have had the modern designer-brained lefty education would believe without question.

      • Sam R, you read too much fake news. That one-eye sailor is Popeye. He didn’t get leukemia from Fukushima. He got diarrhea from spinach. Don’t you get the joke?

      • Translation, anyone who doesn’t buy into the nonsense I’m spewing is blatantly pro-nuclear.

      • Earlier in the year we had a nutcase who tried to convince us that the Pacific Ocean had become lifeless because of all the radiation from Fukushima that leaked into it.
        Sam R is equally as nutty.

  34. When talking radiation and Chernobyl, it’s worthwhile looking at how things are going there now:

    “It may seem strange that Chernobyl, an area known for the deadliest nuclear accident in history, could become a refuge for all kinds of animals—from moose, deer, beaver, and owls to more exotic species like brown bear, lynx, and wolves—but that is exactly what Shkvyria and some other scientists think has happened. Without people hunting them or ruining their habitat, the thinking goes, wildlife is thriving despite high radiation levels.”
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/060418-chernobyl-wildlife-thirty-year-anniversary-science/

    Some people even want to visit:

    “Can there be a more unlikely location for visitors than the corner of Ukraine that was the site of one of the most notorious and disturbing incidents ever to cast a shadow across our planet? Cast your mind back, if you will – and if you are of a suitable age to remember – to the bleakness of the east European spring three decades ago, and ask yourself: Could you ever imagine that the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant would be a tourist destination?”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/ukraine/articles/how-can-i-visit-chernobyl-and-is-it-safe/

  35. I’m all for nuclear power as baseload but to compare toxicity of the nuclear waste to toxicity of solar panels is beyond a joke.

      • Unlike you, some people read more than the title, and I guess this is what you need to read: “Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.” It’s not that far below the title, you’d have seen it if you read the article.

      • The article clearly states that it is 300 times the volume of waste (including toxic waste); not 300 times the toxicity of waste

      • Granted… The EC article did blur the distinction between toxic and other waste products, as did my original title of this post.

      • David writes

        The article clearly states that it is 300 times the volume of waste (including toxic waste); not 300 times the toxicity of waste

        Nobody said 300 times the toxicity. The article says its toxic and there’s 300 times more of it with the implication that the toxicity is somehow comparable. Its just not. At all. The comparison is stupid.

    • Solar panel waste.
      Nuclear waste is collected and stored safely in specified sites.
      Dumping old solar panels goes to … the same place the mercury from burnt out compact florescent light bulbs go? Back into the wide, wide world?
      After the CAGW scare dies, will they throw “solar powered” tuna against the wall?

  36. Solar panels essentiallly do what CO2 purports to do; but more efficiently.
    If you wish to warm up the planet, then plaster it with Solar Panels.
    They are designed to capture as much radiation as possible, prevent it being reflected back and to convert the absorbed energy to a higher level as heat or electricity. Result: Captured energy – >> increased temperature.
    Weird Green logic!

      • About a half dozen miles south of me, so I know it well. The problem with the panels is essentially the same as the problem with asphalt paving – they both change the spectrum of the reflection / emission drastically.

        The natural soils there are the same as in my back yard – very reflective of wavelengths that are not in the absorption bands of the atmosphere. Put asphalt, or solar panels, over that soil and you have them absorbing those wavelengths and then emitting wavelengths that are in the absorption bands.

        So you get more heat retention in that area and the surrounding region. Which is, of course, the UHI effect in a nutshell…

        Second hand, not official, story, but… I knew a road engineer that told me about their putting in a test section for the durability of various line painting materials. As part of that, they had a temperature monitor right at the side of the road. When they freshly painted that section with their white test materials, the average temperature dropped by 2 degrees F (~1.1 C). As the paint degraded, and accumulated gunk, the average temperature went back to “normal.” (Why my block wall house is painted gloss white, and I keep the dust washed off…)

      • Confirming Writing Observer comment
        In my younger days we used to get off the boat in the back bay, swim ashore and walk over to the beach barefoot, on the way the hot summer sand was brutal enough, but crossing a hot asphalt road was even worse. The only refuge was to get to the while line in the middle of the road, let the feet cool off a bit and then run across the other half of the road back to the sand.
        No actual temperature measurements but real data.

  37. California greens in government deny solar waste at behest of favored industries. Who would have imagined

  38. With proper recycling, the volume of the longest lived nuclear waste drops dramatically. The long lived elements in nuclear waste are actually fuel with the right tech. But that supposedly enables diversion of nuclear material to terrorist use. I presume recycling of solar panels would also greatly reduce the volume of toxic waste, but the cost is a problem, both in money and energy.

    • actinide waste can be consumed in a reactor. Most of the fission products decay in 300 years or so. However there are some fission products present in reactors with half lives of 100,000 years to 24 million years. They are TC99, Sn126, Se79, Zr93, Cs 135, PD107, I129. So you cannot fully recycle nuclear waste some will simply be reactive for too long and should be disposed of in some way. Solar panels can be fully recycled. In fact any consumer product can be recycled Plastics can be fully vaporized and burned. once the flammables are burned off cleanly the rest can be processed as ore. So in theory solar can be 100% recycled once it has failed. Same for all of the electronic that handle the power produced. You cannot say that for nuclear.

    • Yes, there are fission byproducts that have no commercial use at this time.
      However the other 99.9999% of the waste can either be recycled or will decay to background in a few decades.

  39. Investigating the deficiencies of competing technologies is essential.
    Papering over those of one’s favoured choices is fatal.

    As Gertrude noted – “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.
    Comparing volumes of waste generated is entirely legitimate and something which is worth noting.
    To suggest that the problem of long term nuclear ‘waste’ storage has been solved with anything like the confidence level demanded of such a potential hazard is disingenuous at very very best.
    The quoted 2009 Sandia “we can do this” report has it’s place, but needs to put in perspective by looking at documents such as.the hundreds of publicly available US Nuclear Technical Review Board reports, releases, fact sheets, announcements … .

    A useful overview of the current position is given by

    U.S. NUCLEAR WASTE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD:
    Technical Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy Deep Borehole Disposal Research and Development Program. January 2016.

    A read through of the 3 page press release is strongly recommended – it makes it very clear that “the Science is far from settled”

    Press release http://www.nwtrb.gov/press/prl202.pdf
    Full Report: http://www.nwtrb.gov/reports/DBD_final.pdf

    From the report’s “Conclusions & Recommendations: ” … it is clear that substantial time and effort will be required to fully evaluate the concept of deep borehole disposal. In the Board’s view, the Deep Borehole Field Test should carefully consider the key parameters and information that would be needed to fully evaluate the feasibility of deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste. This would provide a basis for additional planning, including definition of specific technological and scientific goals, and obtaining a broader range of data, such as those from surface-based characterization methods and those needed to support regulatory interactions, and greatly improve the technical basis and rationale for the DOE Deep Borehole Research and Development Program. Specific Board recommendations are as follows: ….”

    USNWTR Refs:

    Press releases http://www.nwtrb.gov/press/press.html (with links to reports etc)
    Reports, 50+ http://www.nwtrb.gov/reports/reports.html
    Fact sheets http://www.nwtrb.gov/facts/factsheets.html
    Home page http://www.nwtrb.gov/index.html

    Russell

  40. Dave Middleton, let me shake your hand. You must be a most remarkable person. I read the fifty insulting, information-free offerings by S Johnson, that are essentially the course work for today’s corrupted humanities curricula in our universities. The thrusts and snark I have seen so much of from these unfortunate young folks who don’t know that what they got was not an education, that I instantly know what they studied, where they studied (I use the word studied because I don’t know what to call what they’ve done), how old they are, who they are and who they voted for.

    Nevertheless, you responded with grace, a flood of data and logic that was a fine education for all of your readers. Doing this kindness, is like reading Shakespearean soliloquies to Tweedledee and Tweedledum with the likes S Johnson and the millions of clones like him.

    Man, how do we begin to unravel the mess when this unhappy and destructive chapter in human affairs finally collapses under the weight of a global epidemic of mindlessness, and Machiavellian evil?

  41. As for why I prefer solar over nuclear, the answer is that I can phone someone up, get solar panels installed on my house, and start reducing my electricity bills in a matter of days.

    But no-one round here seems to install nuclear power plants.

  42. >Why would you bury nuclear waste in a deep borehole? Someone will find a use for it one day.

    Indeed. Used fuel assemblies from commercial reactors are 95% unused fuel.

    • Unfortunately, it is currently illegal to reprocess spent fuel in the US. That Carter-era decision should be rescinded.

  43. This is such a poorly written load of headline grabbing rubbish, it’s hard to fathom.

    If it was just pointing out the issues of waste from Old pv panels, it would have ground.

    But no, moronic author puts it against nuclear with so many awful comparisons. Putting nuclear waste underground has often been seen as bad, simply because they have no foolproof way of ensuring it doesn’t effect vital things like the water table, even if buried far below. Those science papers, if anyone read them, are only theory with scarcely anything behind them.

    I’d love for nuclear to be viable, since it’s a low carbon option. However, at the moment, there isn’t a single reactor in service which gives energy at the average strike price with decommissioning and storage of waste taken into account. (all the others haven’t factored this in)

    So apart from everything else, it’s too bloody expensive!

    • If it’s 10K feet below the water table, there is no conceivable way for it to impact the water supply.
      Your paranoid fantasies are duly noted and ridiculed.

  44. E-waste generally can be treated like ore and smelted or otherwise processed. E-waste is a much better source of gold and silver than is ore. link

    Folks paid money to get all the materials that go into solar panels. Almost all of it can be recovered. The only thing standing in the way is economics. ie. Is it more profitable to process and sell the results, or is no profit possible and it’s cheaper to just dump. Urban recycling programs are struggling with this problem.

  45. They already get recycled, almost everywhere.

    Oooooo they all say, how does he know this?

    Well folks, its your Lucky Day and am gonna tell ya.
    Its no big secret, almost any modern day peasant could tell you.

    It is because peasants, being Guardians of Dirt as they are want to be and *always* on the look-out for something/anything cheap, will be regularly offered stuff called Sludge.
    Properly called Sewage Sludge and the folks who create this stuff craic it up to be ‘Ambrosia For The Soil’ and are so convinced of its manifold goodnesses, they actually give it away free. (You see now why peasants get interested. Free Stuff, what could possibly go wrong?)

    Sadly it all does go rather pear-shaped because along come ‘scientists’ We all know the sort, Well Meaning types from Ivory Towers with big dciks and even bigger test tubes. Thats biiiiiiiiiiiiiig.
    These scientists poop on the party by informing the peasants that Sludge, as derived from People Poo at ‘treatment works’ is full of Toxic Heavy Metals (sounds good apart from the toxic bit) and will lay waste their lovely and well-tended dirt.
    Lose lose all round innit. Just like Climate Change, we should be used to it by now yooda thunk.

    The inquisitive peasant (thats most of them) will not give up on the possibility of Free Stuff and will demand to know how this toxic stuff got into the People Poo and hence the Free Stuff Sludge.
    Sadly and just like Climate Science, (s)he will be met by a tsunami of arm waving, buck passing, smoke & obfuscation and after a while will simply be forced into a broken heart and have to walk away from the Free Stuff.
    Completely none-the-wiser. Exactly like Climate Science.

    The Enlightened will realise/know that in fact Sunshine Panels, along with mobile phones, computers, TVs are loaded with Heavy Metal(s) so-
    The Conclusion must be= People Eat Sunshine Panels
    and computers/phones/Tvs

    So, whats the problem with all this waste – folks are eating it. Already. And have been for ages.
    So no problemo.

    And damn good luck to them I say. I’m sure there’s more actual real nutrition in just one old Dell laptop than there is in yer average sized forest of broccoli.

    And so you see, there is hope for humankind – we’re not all completely dumb
    :-D

  46. OT, but the climate extremists are circling back to the “we have 3 years left to save the world” fake news. This time the southern US is going to suffer worse…..coincidental with deplorables who dared to vote for Trump.

  47. Two scientific topics guaranteed to give rise to diverse opinions by less qualified onlookers are toxicity and nuclear. We have both here.

    The reality is that hordes of professionals have done intensive studies of both over the years. As for myself, I was deeply involved in the science of uranium radioactivity and lead poisoning for a couple of decades after about 1970, with trips to places like Oak Ridge and Key Lake to learn more from the experts. If you do not know where these places are, you might not be too qualified to opine here. Indeed, if you have not done the science in some detail, you might choose not to comment as rashly as some above.

    The upshot is that there is very little to fear from either nuclear or toxicity, including from solar panels. Reason? Very many of us have already been exposed to anomalous level of lead, cadmium, uranium, uranium chain radioactivity at level some here seem to think are dangerous. There is essentially no hard evidence that anyone has been harmed, apart from 2 atom bombs on cities and 3 reactor mishaps that led to releases, although they were tiny for Fukushima. By tiny, I mean scarcely able to be distinguished from high background levels that we face every day and are enhanced, for example, when flying in aircraft. Or from medical X-rays, CT scans etc. This is old health physics that has been known for decades. The decay rate is essentially constant over time.

    What is non constant is the fear of things people do not understand. With many toxins, the ‘official’ levels of harm are well above the actual level;s of harm, This is because regulatory people apply safety factors and use faulty models like linear no dose to set health regulations. The party using the regulations commonly adds a further safety factor, because if they reduced the harm level there would be plenty of legal ambulance chasers to take big money from them.

    So there is a common misconception that lead is a dangerous environmental toxin. When you read a significant subset of the voluminous studies, you will see that the evidence is quite slender, even absent. Most lead poisoning cases, probably all, have resulted from very large doses, like kids eating putty painted with lead paint. I am unaware of any deaths arising from levels that could be produced, for example, by the use of leaded gasoline. The whole field of inorganic and radiogenic toxicity has been captured by fearful zealots unable to show any bodies.

    In a brief not like this, one has to generalise and sure, you can pick in detail at some of the points I have made here with brevity. But the overall message is correct. To be win, you have to show the bodies.

    Sleep well Geoff.

    • I think it’s fracking awesome!

      Trump announces efforts to revive nuclear energy, export more American coal

      President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a number of energy initiatives, including a review of U.S. nuclear energy policy and efforts to make sure new coal plants are built overseas.

      The announcements came during a speech on achieving American “energy dominance.”

      […]

      On Thursday, Trump said his administration will attempt to expand the nuclear energy sector by launching a “complete review” of current policy to identify ways to revive the industry.

      […]

      The Treasury Department will attempt to “address barriers” to financing high-efficiency coal plants overseas, Trump said. The administration hopes to increase U.S. coal exports by encouraging the construction of coal plants abroad, he said.

      […]

  48. This article is leaving out an important fact. Solar panels can be recycled. Some estimates show a 90+% recovery rate. Other estimates show that recycling solar panels will become a $10+ billion industry by 2050. Showing that it is not only possible to recycle solar panels but that it will be profitable and therefore likely market driven.
    I am unsure if the same can be said of nuclear waste, but considering we are always looking for safe places to put it for long term storage, I am going to guess it is not cost effective to recycle.

    • Mikel, Nuclear waster can indeed be recycled. Several methods can be used but the politicians will not allow the process to be built. President Carter discontinued an enrichment process located in Barnwell, SC because he feared that a terrorist could hijack one of the trucks transporting the spent fuel and get enough to create a primitive nuclear device. There is a discussion on this issue in another thread.

      • If you want to see the aftereffects of recycling nuclear wastes, there is a good example of it in Hanford Washington. They ran reactors there strictly to breed plutonium. The processed the spent fuel rods to extract the plutonium for making bombs. They are still trying to clean up the mess today.

      • The fact that nuclear could be recycled (but isn’t) does not change the fact that solar panels can be (and are). The point is that this article is leaving that out of the equation. If solar panels are recycled then they entire point of this article is void. There is no potential waste crisis for solar panels.
        Maybe the article should be about why we are not recycling nuclear waste and how doing so would make nuclear energy a more sustainable power source.

  49. Solar rooftop kills more Americans every year than the worst nuclear disaster in history
    Death toll:
    Chernobyl = 43
    Solar rooftop = ave. 100 per year (fatal falls from solar installation & maintenance)

    • Calvin, Before a nuclear power plant was issued a permit to operate money had to be set aside for decommissioning of that plant. It is built into the rate base so those costs are already included in the cost of electricity for those plants.

      • “It is built into the rate base ”

        Except that they haven’t been able to decommission ANY plant yet. They have no place to bury the wastes. So the calculated cost of decommissioning that the rate payers supposedly paid isn’t enough to cover inflation.
        ..
        They forgot to add in the costs of armed guards at places like these: http://www.connyankee.com/assets/images/43_vccs02.jpg

  50. Most of the so called waste from nuclear power can be recycled and used again in power plants.
    Most of the stuff that can’t be recycled will have it’s radioactivity levels decay away to near background in a few decades or less.

  51. Properly, technical development is only a matter of past nuclear power plants when this development process is terminated by force. It is a blessing that Rick Perry has spoken out clearly in the development of nuclear technology at the White House Press Conference. Long-term storage of nuclear waste will in any case be a thing of the past in a few years. In Germany, they search and search for a deposit with endless time both for the camp and the search. This search can one spare soon. The dismantling of old plants costs a lot of money. That’s right. However, the dismantling of wind turbines and solar power plants, which numbers in the case of 100 per cent “clean energy” millions, also costs a lot of money in just a few decades. There is nothing to be had in the world for nothing.

  52. There are companies who specialize in recycling old solar panels–taking them apart, separating elements and testing them to manufacturers for reuse. Think of PC recyclers…. how much of the issue raised in this article is fixed with this information?

    • Little to none. Most of the waste is from the mining and manufacturing.
      About the only part of the solar panel that can be recycled is the glass covering it, and the metal in the frame.

  53. Seems to be a conspiracy of oil Mafia against clean and cheapest energy source. What toxic waste? If plastic is toxic then, 90% of our house hold items are plastic. TV, Airconditioner, chairs, tables, PVC windows frames, sanitary pipes, all electrical installation covers, most clothes, dolls, children toys, boards, computers, mobiles, telephones, water coolers, dust bins, and so on.. all are plastics. Has some one thought of disposal of these items weighing trillions of tons. Solar has brought a revolution for the poors. The only hope for them should not be destroyed by promoting such unscientific articles. What is 300 time toxic???

    • Another troll who has no idea what he is talking about.
      Have you ever checked what the materials that are used to make solar panels?
      PS: The only reason why solar is cheap, is because government subsidizes 90% of the cost.

    • “Bahramand Khan June 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

      If plastic is toxic then, 90% of our house hold items are plastic. …, Airconditioner, … PVC windows frames, sanitary pipes, all electrical installation covers,… dust bins, and so on.. all are plastics.”

      In the last 50 years of my life I have not disposed of these items. They are still installed, including the electrical installation covers I installed in my parents home in 1982. Still there, still doing it’s job!

  54. This article also neglects to consider the life of a solar product (that uses no fuel) vs the life of a reactor fuel rod that doesn’t last nearly as long.

    And it ignores that fact that “easily disposed of” nuclear waste has never been dealt with by the US Congress or Dept of Energy. Limbo doesn’t count as a permanent solution.

  55. An excellent reason to convert to solar is the number of jobs it would create. Already Solar provides almost 400,000 jobs in the US. About twice what Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas combined provide. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/01/25/u-s-solar-energy-employs-more-people-than-oil-coal-and-gas-combined-infographic/#852c9b628000 And it produces only 0.6% of all electric power. So if we converted to 100% solar we could employ 67 million people. Or how do you define the inefficiency of an industry.

  56. An excellent reason to convert to solar is the number of jobs it would create. Already Solar provides almost 400,000 jobs in the US. About twice what Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas combined provide. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/01/25/u-s-solar-energy-employs-more-people-than-oil-coal-and-gas-combined-infographic/#852c9b628000 And it produces only 0.6% of all electric power. So if we converted to 100% solar we could employ 67 million people. Or how do you define the inefficiency of an industry.

  57. An excellent reason to convert to solar is the number of jobs it would create. Already Solar provides almost 400,000 jobs in the US. About twice what Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas combined provide. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/01/25/u-s-solar-energy-employs-more-people-than-oil-coal-and-gas-combined-infographic/#852c9b628000 And it produces only 0.6% of all electric power. So if we converted to 100% solar we could employ 67 million people. Or how do you define the inefficiency of an industry.

  58. A certain someone who posted this editorial needs to look up the meaning of “begs the question,” although it will take more than that to give the article real life credibility.

    P.S. I got here via enenews, and no, I am not an AGW devotee. Just someone who has an aversion to biased “news” stories, no matter what side of the political divide they are emanating from.

  59. My last comment referred to Mark Nelson, EP Senior Researcher… whatever that title is supposed to convey. At 73 years of age I must be a Senior Researcher also, since I spend more time than is healthy researching what the hell is transpiring on this solar heated nuthouse called Earth!

    • Nobody seems to have commented on my post referencing the U.S. NUCLEAR WASTE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD and their many papers. I’m sure you’ll agree that it contains much required reading for anyone serious about this topic.

      From: Technical Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy Deep Borehole Disposal Research and Development Program. January 2016.
      Press release http://www.nwtrb.gov/press/prl202.pdf
      Full Report: http://www.nwtrb.gov/reports/DBD_final.pdf

      From the report’s “Conclusions & Recommendations: ” … it is clear that substantial time and effort will be required to fully evaluate the concept of deep borehole disposal. In the Board’s view, the Deep Borehole Field Test should carefully consider the key parameters and information that would be needed to fully evaluate the feasibility of deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste. This would provide a basis for additional planning, including definition of specific technological and scientific goals, and obtaining a broader range of data, such as those from surface-based characterization methods and those needed to support regulatory interactions, and greatly improve the technical basis and rationale for the DOE Deep Borehole Research and Development Program. Specific Board recommendations are as follows: ….”

      USNWTR Refs:

      Press releases http://www.nwtrb.gov/press/press.html (with links to reports etc)
      Reports, 50+ http://www.nwtrb.gov/reports/reports.html
      Fact sheets http://www.nwtrb.gov/facts/factsheets.html
      Home page http://www.nwtrb.gov/index.html

      [I’m approving this, but in general it is not good form to spam up a thread with a big repeat of an earlier comment ~ mod]

      • I haven’t had time to read, much less reply to, most of the comments. Just filtering out the anti-nuke straw men, red herrings and Alex Jonesish conspiracy theories is time-consuming.

        A lot of good material. If deep borehole disposal was approved for field evaluation, there absolutely would have to be much more detailed studies of the general procedures and extremely detailed site-specific geotechnical analyses, before it could become fully operational.

  60. Maybe 30,000 ft. deep boreholes could be used at Fukishima. Drill the deepest vertical shafts besides the damaged reactors. Then side drill into the vertical shafts at an angle travelling underneath the reactors. The core wants to sink down to the lava bed, why not help it.

      • I know quite a few apt 4-letter words… but I don’t need to go any further than “dumb”

        “Lava bed”?

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