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Iceless Roads

Nuclear waste to keep icy roads melted durring winter.
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Thousands of people crash on icy roads every winter. If we were to take nuclear waste including golves, barrels, hoses, spent fuel rods etc and:

1. melted it with sand to contain it 2. crush the glass mixture it into gravel 3. Add it as a bottom layer to an asphalt road base.

The result would be a low radiation, ice-less driving surface.

Advantages * Less car crashes = lots of lives saved * Less maintenance costs of snow removal * Less damage to cars from salt and sand.

Disadvantages * A few people are going to die earlier from cancer * It will never happen because people are afraid of radiation and cancer, but quite willing to risk dying in car crashes.

I believe such a policy would save many more lives than it would cost. And conveniently get rid of nuclear waste :)

EricNutsch, Apr 27 2010

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       Would the children of road repair crews become mutants?
Aristotle, Apr 27 2010
  

       Would it glow in the dark?
Dub, Apr 27 2010
  

       Impractical for public roads, for the reason you give, but good for an ICBM system like the late, unlamented American MX, where the launchers are shuffled around to keep the enemy targeters guessing. In the Cold war, ICBMs were aimed over the north pole, hence launched from snowy places like North Dakota and Siberia.   

       And welcome to the halfbakery, by the way.
mouseposture, Apr 27 2010
  

       Waste glasification for high level materials is baked.   

       The low-level contaminated materials (gloves, pipes, barrels) emit no signigicant amounts of heat.   

       The problem with this idea is that it would inevitably result in high-activity nuclides being leached from the roadbed into the groundwater, despite the glasification process. And to keep a road ice-free in winter is going to need a lot of energy; in the summer, the same energy input would soften or melt the surface (unless concrete was used).
8th of 7, Apr 27 2010
  

       So, radioactive re-bar it is then.   

       Interesting application mouseposture, didnt think of that.   

       8th of 7 knows his nuclear. In response:   

       The low-level materials would be placed in the road more for the storage sake than the heat production.   

       A properly designed and maintained road does not allow the permeation of moisture. (in places where the ground freezes, leaks destroy the road very fast)   

       Your right about the temperature. The road surface would likely have the same temperature differential in the summer, leaving it to melt asphalt. woops :)   

       Thanks for all the replies!
EricNutsch, Apr 28 2010
  

       //A properly designed and maintained road does not allow the permeation of moisture//   

       So, um.... Do you have properly designed and maintained roads where you're from?
Custardguts, Apr 28 2010
  
      
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