This article reviews the Roy process for neutralizing or "transmuting" nuclear waste, which most would agree is a significant environmental and health hazard. Dr. Radha Roy, professor emeritus from Arizona State University, has designed nuclear physics research facilities at the University of Brussels, Belgium, and Pennsylvania State University. He has authored more than 60 articles and several books and won a variety of awards. He is internationally known as a nuclear physicist. In 1979, Dr. Roy invented a process for transmuting radioactive nuclear isotopes to harmless, stable isotopes.
This process is viable for nuclear waste from reactors and low-level radioactive waste products. The process does not require storage of radioactive materials. There is no need for new equipment. All of the equipment and chemical separation processes needed are already well known. Radioactive elements tend to have too many neutrons.
Dr. Roy's process transmutes these unstable isotopes to stable one by knocking out the extra neutrons. When a neutron is removed, the resulting isotope has a shorter half-life which then decays to a stable form in a reasonable amount of time. The neutrons can be eliminated by bombarding them with photons, produced as x-rays, in a high-powered electron linear accelerator.
Before this process, the isotopes must be separated by a known chemical process. These portable units could be built and transported to hazardous transmutation of nuclear waste and radioactive waste.
The following are examples of how this process can work: cesium 137 with a half-life of 30.17 years can be transformed into cesium 1136 with a half- life of 13 days. Plutonium 239 with a half-life of 24,300 years can be transformed into plutonium 237 with a half-life of 45.6 days. Subsequent radioactive elements produced from the decay of plutonium 237 can be treated same manner as mentioned above. The total cost estimate for the 3-phases is approximately $80 million. Dr. Roy states, "There is no way one can change nuclear structure other than by nuclear reaction. Burial of nuclear waste is not a solution." 18826
"The Roy Process for Neutralizing (Transmuting) Nuclear Waste", Lee, Lita, Ph.D., Earth Letter, Summer 1993;3(2):1-4. (Address: Dennis Nester, Agent for Dr. Roy, 4510 E. Willow Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85032. (602)494-9361).
Reprints of this article are available from Mr. Nester/Radha Roy, Ph.D., 1021
Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.
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