Dumping Nuclear Waste In Space
Nuclear waste is produced when nuclear power is generated by conducting scientific studies or experiments. They consist of radioactive elements that are hazardous to environment and mankind. So, the nuclear waste should not reach the sun due to several reasons. The nuclear waste is always stored in the nuclear plant or is cast to harmless materials.
Why don’t we shoot nuclear waste into the sun?
The sun is the prime source of energy in the universe. Due to the process of fusion of hydrogen element, helium informed and this element helps to infuse four proton particles into one alpha particle and also release positrons and two neutrinos. So, in this process of fusion, the tremendous amount of energy is released. So, the energy released by the Sun in this process is about thirty-three thousand times more than the energy produced on this earth. So, the sun can easily absorb the nuclear energy of the nuclear elements of this earth. But, the risks involved in shooting the nuclear waste in the sun outweigh the benefits. If the rocket contains more than hundred pounds of radioactive elements such as uranium and if the rocket is trapped by fire, then this object would not return to earth for at least a year and would release ash or carbon content to the earth. So, by inhaling the excessive carbon content in the atmosphere, many people would lose their lives too due to suffocation. A large portion of this earth would be contaminated like Chernobyl.
The reason behind why does not send nuclear waste into the sun
If the rocket is not launched into space, then the nuclear waste or the satellite is dumped into the water or earth. Then the lives of the mankind and other organisms are endangered due to the poisonous or toxic air into the atmosphere. The cost of launching a rocket into the orbit is very high about twenty thousand dollars and these spacecraft cannot be reused again on this earth and hence the world would experience wastage of more than million tonnes of waste. When the satellites take-off from the ground, at least a tonne of the radioactive element and so that region is disrupted.
Spacecraft into the sun
The rocket that is launched into space should not fall down again on this earth, so the velocity of launching the rocket should be higher. But yet, it should enter into an orbit that is closer to the sun also. So, the velocity should be again reduced to enter into an orbit that is closer to the sun. So, the risk of failure for launching is higher. The space engineers should literally stress their mind to launch a spacecraft that moves in the direction closer to the sun and yet the velocity should be proper so that it does not escape to earth again.
If the escape velocity of launching a spacecraft into space is 11.2 seconds, then to launch, the rocket from the space to the sun, it should be accelerated to 41 km per second. So, combining both the energies, the velocity required to launch the rocket from the earth to space is 32 km/sec. So, a very large size rocket is required to directly launch the rocket to the sun, but only one tonne of waste can be dumped into the rocket. According to the estimation, to dump just a tonne of waste into the rocket, 44,000 tonnes rocket should be manufactured. Nearly 90 % of the total mass of the rocket comprises of fuel and the other parts of the fuel such as engine system, control system and fuel tank constitute to 10 % only. The rocket should be directed to the opposite direction of the earth because it can enter an elliptical orbit that is closer to the sun. Then it can complete its orbit around the sun within a year. Otherwise, if it is moving in the same direction of the earth, then it enters into an orbit that is farther from the sun and hence takes more than a year to complete an orbit. So, the velocity of the rocket should be reduced to 30 sec to hit the sun. To launch this spacecraft into space, the best type of fuel liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen should be used. If any excessive load is added to the rocket, then the velocity becomes low and due to the low velocity the rocket can fall down into this earth again.
Difficulties for dumping nuclear waste into space
The nuclear waste cannot easily conduct the heat in the outer space because the thermal density is very high. So, the nuclear waste should be sealed in containers or metal matrix to conduct heat. So, due to the additional weight of the rocket, the velocity again becomes lower. So, for disposing of nuclear waste, the costs also become higher.
So, the scientists are aiming to shoot the nuclear waste to the stars because the rocket can be easily put into interstellar space easily because the velocity need not be lowered to launch the rocket to the stars.