US to Offer Nuclear Waste Technology to Other Countries
The U.S. Department of Energy's nuclear security office is developing a project to help other countries deal with nuclear waste. The information comes from two sources who spoke to the Reuters news agency. They asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The sources say the plan aims to keep the United States competitive against other countries that are developing their own waste technology. For example, both Russia and France offer services to take care of nuclear waste.
Dov Schwartz is the spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He confirmed the group is thinking about how to help other countries reduce nuclear waste. However, Schwartz did not give details.
The NNSA also declined a Reuters request for an interview with Brent Park, who is leading the effort.
What would the technology do?
The unnamed sources say the technology could involve crushing, heating or sending an electric current through nuclear waste to reduce its size.
The machinery to do so would be put in a "black box" the size of a shipping container. It would be sent to other countries with nuclear energy programs; however, it would remain owned and operated by the United States, the sources said.
The sources did not name countries to which the service would be offered. They also did not say where the waste would be stored after it is run through the equipment. But they said they were worried the processes could increase the risk of dangerous materials reaching militant groups or nations unfriendly to the United States.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter banned nuclear waste reprocessing in 1977. The reprocessing opens pure amounts of uranium and plutonium, both of which could be used to make nuclear bombs.
NNSA spokesperson Dov Schwartz said the plans under consideration do not involve reprocessing. But he did not say what technologies could be used.
The government of U.S. President Donald Trump has made promoting nuclear technology abroad a high priority. The U.S. Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, visited Saudi Arabia this month for talks on a nuclear energy deal with the kingdom. And the American business Westinghouse hopes to sell nuclear power technology to countries from Saudi Arabia to India.
But a top arms control officer during the Obama administration questions the direction of the Trump government. Thomas Countryman said the U.S. should improve its ability to get rid of its own nuclear waste before helping other countries.
A nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists also expressed some doubt about the NNSA plan. Edwin Lyman said NNSA should not be focused so much on reducing the size of nuclear waste. Instead, it should be concerned about the dangers of nuclear waste that make it hard to store.
Lyman said even a small amount of nuclear waste gives off radioactivity and heat. It "remains dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years," he said.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.give off 发出
Many household products give off noxious fumes.
2.deal with 处理；应付
He's a hard man to deal with.
3.run through 贯穿
I'd run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
4.nuclear waste 核废料
The safe disposal of nuclear waste is a major problem.
5.It "remains dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years," he said.
hundreds of thousands of years 数十万年
Giant pandas had existed hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans started selecting partners who were more intelligent.
6.For example, both Russia and France offer services to take care of nuclear waste.
take care of 照顾；照料
I take care of them to the best of my abilities.
You have to learn to take care of your possessions.
美国能源部的核安全部门正在开发一个项目，帮助其它国家处理核废料 。该信息来自两位接受路透社采访的消息人士 。鉴于问题的敏感性，他们要求匿名 。
据消息人士称，该计划旨在保持美国与其它自行开发核废料处理技术国家的竞争力 。例如，俄罗斯和法国都提供核废料处理服务 。
多夫·施瓦茨（Dov Schwartz）是美国国家核安全管理局的发言人 。他证实，该机构正在考虑如何帮其它国家减少核废料 。然而，施瓦茨没有透露细节 。
美国国家核安全管理局还回绝了路透社邀请该项目负责人布伦特·帕克（Brent Park）接受采访的要求 。
消息人士称，这些机器将被装进一个集装箱大小的“黑匣子”内，然后送往拥有核能项目的国家 。然而，消息人士称，该技术仍将由美国拥有和经营 。
消息人士并未透露将向哪些国家提供这项服务，也没有说明核废料通过该设备处理后储存的地点 。但是他们表示，担心输送过程会增加风险，导致危险材料落入激进组织或对美国不友好的国家手中 。
美国总统特朗普领导的政府将推广核技术出口作为重中之重 。美国能源部部长里克·佩里（Rick Perry）本月访问了沙特，并就该国的核能协议进行了会谈 。美国西屋电气公司希望将核电技术出售给沙特、印度等国 。
但是，任职于奥巴马政府的高级武器管制官员托马斯·科斯特曼（Thomas Countryman）质疑了特朗普政府的发展方向 。科斯特曼表示，美国应该在帮助其它国家之前提高自身处理核废料的能力 。
忧思科学家联盟的核专家埃德温·莱曼（Edwin Lyman）也对美国国家核安全管理局的计划提出质疑 。莱曼说，美国核管理安全局不应该如此专注于缩小核废料的体积，而是应该关注核废料难以储存的危险 。
莱曼表示，即使是少量核废料也会产生放射性和热量 。他说，这种伤害会持续数十万年 。