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US to Offer Nuclear Waste Technology to Other Countries

美国准备向其它国家提供核废料技术

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.

美国能源部旗下的核安全部门正在开发一个项目,以帮助其它国家处理核废料。这一信息出自路透社的两个消息来源。由于问题的敏感性,他们要求匿名。

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.

消息人士称,该计划旨在使美国保持对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。

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.

多夫·施瓦茨(Dov Schwartz)是美国核安全管理局的发言人。他证实该机构正在考虑如何帮助其它国家减少核废料。然而,施瓦茨没有提供细节。

The NNSA also declined a Reuters request for an interview with Brent Park, who is leading the effort.

美国核安全管理局还拒绝了路透社对该项目负责人布伦特·帕克(Brent Park)提出的采访要求。

What would the technology do?

这项技术会怎么做?

The unnamed sources say the technology could involve crushing, heating or sending an electric current through nuclear waste to reduce its size.

这些匿名的消息人士称,这项技术可能涉及破碎、加热或向核废料通电以减小其体积。

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.

消息人士称,这些机器将被装在一个集装箱大小的“黑匣子”中,然后运送到拥有核能项目的其它国家。然而,它仍将由美国拥有和经营。

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.

这些消息人士并未指明可能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将会储存在哪里。但是他们表示担心这些过程会增加危险材料流入激进组织或对美国不友好国家的风险。

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.

美国前总统卡特于1977年禁止核废料再处理,因为这会释放出高纯度的铀和钚,两者都可用于制造核弹。

NNSA spokesperson Dov Schwartz said the plans under consideration do not involve reprocessing. But he did not say what technologies could be used.

美国核安全管理局的施瓦茨表示,正在考虑中的计划不涉及再处理,但他没有透露会采用何种技术。

Concerns

担忧

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.

美国总统川普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,同沙特国王就一项核能协议进行了会谈。美国西屋公司希望将核电技术卖给从沙特到印度等国家。

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.

但是奥巴马政府期间的高级武器管制官员托马斯·科斯特曼(Thomas Countryman)质疑了川普政府的发展方向。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。

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.

忧思科学家联盟的核专家埃德温·莱曼(Edwin Lyman)也对美国核安全管理局的计划表示了质疑。莱曼说,美国核管理安全局不应该如此关注减少核废料的体积,相反它应该关注核废料难以储存的危险。

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.

莱曼表示,即使是少量核废料也会产生放射性和热量。他说,这种危险会持续数十万年。

I'm Susan Shand.

苏珊·珊德报道。

 

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.

Concerns

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.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

source – n. a person, book, etc., that gives information

uranium – n. a radioactive element that is used to make nuclear energy and nuclear weapons

plutonium – n. a radioactive element that is used to make nuclear energy and nuclear weapons

priority – n. something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first

radioactive – adj. having or producing a powerful and dangerous form of energy


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