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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of January 28, 1961

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SEE ATOMIC WASTE USE IN SALT WATER CONVERSION — Radioactive waste products from atomic plants may soon be a source of energy for converting salt water to fresh water. This use could help solve the problem of disposing of highly radioactive material, and also help combat the growing water shortage in the United States.... The energy from the waste products could provide the heat source for a salt water distillation plant. One batch of radioactive material, in powder form, could give off heat for 15 years.... The powder is left as a residue when highly radioactive liquid waste material is heated at high temperature, driving off all the gases. The powder remaining is easier to transport and safer to handle than the bulky liquids.

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