Essay Sample on the Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Technologies

Published: 2019-06-18
Essay Sample on the Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Technologies
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Environment Physics Energy
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1671 words
14 min read

The promise of this dissertation is to establish strong linkages between science, technology, and environmental challenges of nuclear fuel proliferation. It focus on how to use cutting edge technology through scientific methods and aid in finding solutions for the most environmentally-friendly ways of processing nuclear spent and radioactive material. Such a goal requires identification of barriers and solutions to reduce greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change risk mitigation. Moreover, there would need to identify Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Technologies for sound policy formulation; this can only be possible by using economic models, such as the "MARKAL Models." The MARKAL models would help in the analysis of the long-term integrated technological, environmental, energy, economic and national security impact on nuclear waste. Such a model would provide a detailed procedure of public-private-partnership in policymaking that involves government, public and private sectors; and provide the necessary tools for such policy-formation. Policy formation would be possible only by engaging all stakeholders, particularly the local community.

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Nuclear waste is often stored and deposited in shallow subsurface repositories, and its subsequent leakage drains contaminants through unsaturated soils and sediments. The leakage ultimately reaches the groundwater and causes pollution of drinking water resources. As a result, the cleanup of colloidal particles, small particles that can be suspended in the pore water and susceptible of accelerating the migration of contaminants, requires a particular understanding of subsurface fate and transport of contaminants. This aim of this research is to investigate the role of colloidal particles in the transport of the radionuclide cesium-137, a major contaminant at nuclear facilities, and developing models to address environmental contamination problems. Furthermore, the keen focus will be given to chemical speciation and persistence, and transport and exposure pathways.

The analysis of chemical speciation and persistence, and transport and exposure pathways will be done using fundamental information obtained from laboratory studies with the emphasis on nuclear waste management. Moreover, analysis of environmental contamination problems in air, soil, and groundwater, risk assessment, and decision support would be of great importance to the study. Although considered the most environmentally safe means of energy production, nuclear energy also presents several areas of concern. One of the concerns is that it brings significant inherent issues that also must be addressed such waste disposal and national security issues, such as the potential for nuclear terrorism and proliferation dangers. As the largest low-carbon source of electricity in the United States, other steps in the nuclear fuel cycle are potential producers of significant carbon emissions. The potential producers of significant carbon emissions are such as the processes of refining uranium, mining of uranium and the creation of reactor core and the construction of nuclear power plant that requires large usage of cement.

The Producers of carbon emissions are extremely energy intensive and have the significant environmental impact in addition to the radioactive waste that could last from tens to hundreds of thousands of years, depending on the radioactive isotopes. Additionally, the water usage during this process is also intensive and is of significant environmental concern. Hence, significant energy technology efficiency is imperative to ensure the carbon footprint is law even during this construction process. The research will also make recommendations for collective risk management that involve all stakeholders, particularly empowering the local population, as this is primarily a local issue.

As a cybersecurity policy analyst, my research and investigations involve following the money. In this relation, I analyzed the financial transaction activities of suspected subjects, determined the legitimacy of the funds and the businesses, and made sure the businesses were not front companies for illegal activities. The front companies are usually used by terrorists as charitable organizations as front entities to raise funds and finance their activities and as organized criminals or rug states access to nuclear weapons. Moreover, terrorists use the front companies as companies attempting to ship their industrial wastes to corrupt and developing countries for unsafe disposal. As a research assistant at Brookhaven National Laboratory, however, I now investigated the national security, environmental and health implications of nuclear waste proliferation by working with world-renowned scientists.

Nuclear power is one of the lowest-carbon technologies available to generate electricity, and it can be very significant during the mitigation of climate change and environmental protection. As a result, the worldwide demand for low-carbon nuclear energy capable of mitigating climate change is on the rise. Concurrently, world leaders are entertaining the idea of the nuclear-weapon-free world with an ambitious initiative of eliminating all nuclear arsenals by 2030. Although these initiatives sound noble with the best of intentions, public opinion and concern over another possible nuclear reactor catastrophe is also on the rise. Consequently, the recent worldwide growing interest in nuclear energy production has stalled due in part to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant explosion. This has made the constituents increasingly concerned about the long-term radioactive waste disposal. As demand for energy increases, global warming and rising volatility in the fossil fuel supply also increase. The challenges of proliferation also become increasingly apparent due to mounting stockpiles of used nuclear fuel (UNF) and high-level waste (HLW).

Finding the long-term resolution to the challenges of nuclear fuels requires the development of sustainable energy technology systems that reduce waste and maximize energy generation while improving safety and limiting proliferation risk. This research will make policy recommendations designed to provide clarification over nuances existing around the use of nuclear fuel cycle. This would aim at creating clean energy that can also mitigate nuclear-spent proliferation while promoting environmental safety. This research is the continuation of my work at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and is meant to further investigate how different actors influence policymaking processes. Besides, it helps in investigating how policy outcomes reflect the interests of different groups and sectors, assessing technological innovation implications on environmental policymaking. Moreover, it helps in explaining what such factors imply about energy and the concern of environmental challenges of nuclear fuel cycle proliferation as it relates to US clean energy production.

My dissertation will, therefore, focus on public policy, the role that the nuclear energy industry, government actors, social movements, and stakeholder participation play in shaping energy policy at the state and local level. This research will foster the efficient and safe use of nuclear fuel cycle by providing policy recommendations supporting environmentally-friendly energy programs. It will also engage in catalyzing innovation and building indigenous capability in energy planning, analysis, and nuclear nonproliferation information and knowledge. The focus that this research gives to the environment is to develop understanding of current environmental, technological, and scientific issues and potential local and national policy responses. Energy is a crucial enabler in both short and long-term sustainability. The issue of clean, sustainable, and affordable energy for the future is a complex problem that needs a multidisciplinary approach to insuring an uninterrupted supply of environmentally friendly energy in the United States.

My research gives keen focus on the application of technological innovation to the full nuclear energy production cycle that are the extraction, storage, distribution, usage and particularly the management of spent fuel. Moreover, the involvement of stakeholders in policymaking and public-private-partnership has various implications for politics and public service delivery, taking into consideration the complex nature of regulations, markets, and citizens' involvement. Consequently, the coordination of policy, regulation and technology development is imperative in this process. The research will investigate the growing need to meeting the demand for energy while finding solutions to minimizing related impacts on the environment. Besides it will help in reducing the potential political tensions associated with increased competition for the supply of energy. Meeting these energy-environmental challenges requires a multidisciplinary approach that integrates policy design and technology development to address a range of complex and challenging problems.

Consequently, the coordination of policy, regulation and technology development is imperative in this process. The policy analysis of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Management system that would adequately prevent the proliferation of nuclear waste would help to find sound policy making, strategic planning, and technological development. The analysis would also help in implementing economically efficient, reliable, safe, and proliferation resistant, environmentally sound and more secure fuel cycle of the nuclear and waste management methods. While many countries are increasingly embarking on the nuclear energy option, concerted efforts are needed to ensure that every step of the nuclear fuel cycle is sustainable without posing an undue burden on the environment. To formulate and recommend sound policy to that regard and that is capable of mitigating nonproliferation risk, my research will investigate all stages of nuclear fuel cycle. The nuclear fuel cycle consists of mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication and electricity generation.

The investigation of this process and the analysis of the facts will also include both the front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle consisting of the production of nuclear fuel for electricity generation and the back-end of the cycle that covers all aspects of spent fuel management. The back-end of the cycle includes the disposal and the recycling of the fuel and other wastes that have potentially harmful effects on the environment. As such, this good practice of nuclear fuel cycle management will cover all the steps from "cradle to grave" which includes from uranium mining up to the disposal of the waste.

I would like to be admitted to the Ph.D. Program in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a focus on Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP). The focus of my research is policy-oriented research that is meant to improve the system of nuclear environmental protection regulations, the understudy of sources of major airborne emissions and transport of airborne pollutants, and energy policy analysis. The research will formulate strategic and collaborative decision-making process as related to national energy and environmental systems, and science and technological innovation. While conversing with Professor Susskind, it became clear to me that science and technology help in influencing the decision-making processes on matters of energy security. Engaging people into different levels of decision-making and participation, identifying the linkages between indigenous people and climate change as w...

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