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Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste

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ISBN-13: 000-0262633329
ISBN-10: 0262633329
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you want to understand the full range of technical issues related to Yucca Mountain and nuclear wastefrom rainwater flow through the mountain to corrosion of nuclear waste containers and the consequent movement of radioactive material to Nevada's Amargosa Valleythis is the place to start. The book's strength is that it also makes clear that essential scientific questions about this matter remain unanswered." Victor Gilinsky, energy consultant



"*Sustainable Energy* provides the intellectual tools and perspectives needed to devise a sound strategy for ensuring sustainability."--John H. Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (1993-98)



"If you want to understand the full range of technical issues related to Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste -- from rainwater flow through the mountain to corrosion of nuclear waste containers and the consequent movement of radioactive material to Nevada's Amargosa Valley -- this is the place to start. The book's strength is that it also makes clear that essential scientific questions about this matter remain unanswered."--Victor Gilinsky, energy consultant

About the Author

Rodney C. Ewing is Donald R. Peacor Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Michigan, where he also holds appointments in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Emeritus Regents' Professor at the University of New Mexico.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (April 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262633329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262633321
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Earl R. Beaver on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
I work in the field and yet, I found the revelations in book to be disturbing. It is professionally and objectively done. It is not an alarmist call to action, but rather a thoughtful description of what has been done, what is being done and what could be done about high-level nuclear waste.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is an anthology of articles related to research concerning the long-term stability of the Yucca Mountain repository. The articles discuss such things as earthquakes, volcanism, changes in water-table levels over time, diffusive versus fracture hydrology, the stability of radwaste-containing containers and ceramics, bacterially-mediated changes in plutonium chemistry, and transport of radionuclides in a colloidal rather than dissolved state.

Some of the authors are candid about the uncertainties. For instance, hydrological models cannot be tested, and just because they account for current phenomenon doesn't necessarily mean that they have successfully predicted future phenomenon. There is also the ever-present problem of taking observations conducted for a few years and extrapolating them to over a period of 10,000 years or more into the future. In fact, we know of examples where sophisticated models turned out to be wrong even within our very limited time-frame of experience. In addition, models which attempt to factor rare events (e. g. volcanoes) may give overly optimistic estimates of their recurrence. We do not know how important groundwater movement in fractures may be around Yucca Mountain. And what do the high strain rates measured in the area mean?

What if the safety conclusions are wrong? For a fictional account of a Yucca Mountain disaster, see Yucca Mountain Dirty Bomb.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tommi Makinen on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work provides factual basis for the discussion of suitability of the geological set up at the mountain. also, there is some, albeit limited discussion of the technical aspects of nuclar waste storage (glass packs ect.), but only in the context of the storage at the site. excellent book, full of well explained facts.
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