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FortKnox's Journal: Asteroid Coming in 18 Years + Nuclear Waste 16

Journal by FortKnox
First, pardon my ignorance in the matters of nuclear weapons and waste.

Ok, I'm reading this story about an asteroid possibly hitting the earth in about 18 years. Now I recall stories about a nuclear waste facility being built in a mountain (sorry, I have a bad memory, and can't find a link, atm). Is it possible to load this waste into warheads and start firing them at the asteroid? At least it'll get the waste off the earth, and maybe we can break up/alter the trajectory of the asteroid?
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Asteroid Coming in 18 Years + Nuclear Waste

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  • is the location of the facility. There will be so much waste there that it really wouldn't do any good to take one bomb's worth out.

    It would probably be easier to simply make a new weapon and launch it. If we could safely and cost-effectively launch large amounts of waste long distances into space then we could probably just send our waste towards the sun. Somehow I don't think this is going to happen.

    • There will be so much waste there that it really wouldn't do any good to take one bomb's worth out.

      I mean trying to make as many bombs as possible, and hurl them one after another at the asteroid.

      If we could safely and cost-effectively launch large amounts of waste long distances into space then we could probably just send our waste towards the sun.

      Its definately not cost-effective, but it could be life saving. I don't think the government would mind throwing all money at it and going into major debt rather than just waiting a few days for non-existance to set in.
    • There will be so much waste there that it really wouldn't do any good to take one bomb's worth out.

      Then why not spend some time any money to figure out how to repackage the waste into weapons we can use to destroy each other with? Seems better than trying to figure out where to mine this stuff and then ruining our natural resources to get it.

      Who am I kidding? I forgot the government was in charge of this...
  • by JMZero (449047)
    The warhead would just glance off the comet's surface. You'd need a ragtag group of tough talking oil men to drill into the comet's surface.

    And there's only one man who could lead them.

    Honestly, though, it sucks that we're all going to die.
    • Honestly, though, it sucks that we're all going to die.

      Depends. If it hits asia, and you are prepared, we could just live life in a 'midieval-like' era. Time to brush up on my fencing and smithing.
      • by JMZero (449047)
        Yeah.. cause after the comet hits, guns won't work anymore. At least I hope so, cause I've always wanted to be a blacksmith. A dwarven blacksmith in particular.
        • I hope you are short (very short), stalky, and harry. Better work on your alcohol tolerance, too!

          I've always wanted to be a shapeshifter, myself. I hope I get enough radiation to be mutated enough. I'll call myself...

          MR. SQUEEGEE

          *Thunder crackling*
          • s/harry/hairy/

            Forgot to mention that the asteroid is packing radiation that will harmlessly mutate us. At least I hope so...
      • by gmhowell (26755)
        You can tend to the fencing. I'm settin' up a brewery and planting hops.

  • The risk of the rockets exploding and showering waste on to the world seems too high.

    If one day a safer form of launching materials into orbit was developed (giant railguns or something scifi like that) that didn't involve combustive chemicals, then I say launch the stuff, but until then I really think Yucca or something like it is the way to go.

  • The ions used in nuclear energy are the same needed in nuclear weapons, so they have probably already been "used up." I think that most of the nuclear waste is actually contaminated water and fuel rods containing very little of the original radioactive elements.

    Also, it should be noted that weapons-grade uranium and plutonium are much purer than energy-grade (for Uranium, 20% U-235 instead of 3%), so it would take way more effort than it's worth to reprocess the waste for weapons.

    Maybe we should just shoot a giant laser gun at the asteroid. :)
    • You forgot to put quotes: "LASER"

      Now then, you are correct in that much of the radioactive waste is garbage (gloves, cameras, and angry, drunken dwarves). National geophgraphic had a pretty decent article [nationalgeographic.com] on nuclear waste and how it is being mishandled like everything else.

  • Is that Steven Tyler in the background?

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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