We are trying to reduce waste from sellafield and need to come up with an experiment of some sort. We have access to a cyclotron and access to a neutron bath.
We are drawing up blanks when it comes to finding something to test or carry out an experiment on. We do not have access to plutonium or uranium or highly radioactive waste/material.
Can anyone give us some ideas on what to do? We are looking at mainly the storage pools and the excess waste of plutonium. Any replies will be appreciated. Thank you.
Reduce which kind of waste? There is a huge range of stuff from waste material when making fuel to highly radioactive waste material from spent fuel and low level radioactive material such as used clothing.
Anyway, getting depleted uranium should not be too hard, there is a mountain of the stuff and people have no idea what to do with it.
Since I am a phycisist and have always wanted to exclaim "Stand back! I am a scientist!!" I'll offer a free suggestion: reduce waste by turning it to something useful.
Get some low level waste (avoid neutron and gamma sources) and place it on a solar cell to see how much energy you get out and how quickly the solar cell is damaged by radiation.
Next place a fluorescent material between the waste and the solar cell to convert radiation to light and lower radiation level. Again measure cell damage over time.
Literally, all the waste. Either find some use for it or help reduce it. The storage ponds are the biggest concern over here. No one literally knows what's down there. This is a huge safety concern but as of now we're running a project of sorts.
Need some sort of experimentation to do but the problem is we're not going to be handed spent fuel rods or any sort of radioactive waste. Just hoping someone can suggest some sort of experimentation to do in relation to reducing radioactive waste or decommissioning
Since changing the half life of decay so far has not been possible (and is Nobel prize level stuff) the only way I can think of is to reduce the amount by removing the non-radioactive part of the waste from the rest. As waste decays there will always be more non-radioactive daughter products
If you want to do a theory study (since you cannot get hold of the hot stuff) you could check the decay process for the waste (yes, I am reeeeally confident to hear "No one literally knows what's down there", then again not too surprising to hear that is Sellafield). See if there is a branch where the material and subsequent daughter products are all alpha emitters or low level beta emitters. This you can propose for use in alphavoltaic cells.