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  • Will nuclear waste fuel new nuclear facilities?

    July 19, 2012
    by Stefano Valentino
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    Nuclear waste(Copyright www.ilcittadinoonline.it)

    It is called MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hybrid research reactor for high-tech applications), it will cost about one billion euros and it is a nuclear project that Italy is helping to develop with The National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA).

    It is funded by the European Union and the Belgian Government together, where scientists are proceeding with its implementation.

    The basic idea is therefore to create a nuclear power station which creates clean energy by recycling nuclear waste: which means to get a more durable, secure and safer world without waste due to the disasters of the past.

    Nuclear energy, a term which suggests only suspiciousness. It represents a very difficult challenge since people do not trust this sort of energy, remembering the terrible events of the past decades.

    ENEA performs studies in strict collaboration with the Belgian project since several years in the scientific centre of Lake Brasinone, in the northern Apennines on the border between the provinces of Bologna and Pistoia.

    Although in Italy the refusal of  nuclear power is definitely established, the problem of disposing of radioactive wastes is not solved. These continue do radiate, and there is still no satisfactory solution for their final disposal.

    In fact these chemical substances retain their radioactivity for hundreds of thousands of years and no one is able to ensure control of this highly dangerous and toxic material for extended periods of time.

    Last year the European Union stated its intention to encourage the research about radioactive waste with the creation of an industrial accelerator. The final design of this instrument will begin in 2014 in the zone of the nuclear research centre SCK-CEN.

    The accelerator, which will have a maximum output of 70 megawatts, will begin operations in 2023.

    MYRRHA will have to demonstrate that the technologies work not only in laboratory, but also in producing some megawatts and if successful the world could have clean energy on a large scale.

    Read the full story in italian on Ilsole24ore

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