Scientific Basis for Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENRs) for Nuclear Waste Amelioration 1999-01-2725
Two alternative methods are currently under evaluation by the Department of Energy to handle high-level nuclear wastes: deep storage at Yucca Mountain and particle induced transmutation, typically utilizing neutrons via a proton accelerator-target facility . While the transmutation approach is favored in that the net radioactivity is reduced in the process, the great expense involved in an accelerator facility forces consideration of the more economical storage approach. Consequently, alternative methods to carry out transmutation treatment are being sought. One novel alternative method involves an electrolytic process initially investigated by J. Patterson . Other studies have also demonstrated the possibility of utilizing related electrolytic methods for conducting radioactive amelioration . However, before a complete evaluation is possible, additional research is necessary to verify and optimize these previous experiments. This presentation will review studies conducted by Miley et al. [4-5] and by Okuniewski et al. , including experiments and results, possible mechanisms involved, energy balance issues, and key issues to be addressed in the continuing evaluation of this approach.