|A conservative calculation can be made of the flux of
neutrinos (actually anti-neutrinos) expected from beta decay components of
the waste destined to be placed in WIPP over the planned 35-yr lifetime of
the facility. The accompanying graph shows the projected flux (red
line) in the experiment gallery from the waste.
The calculation assumes all of the inventory is "in place",
and that it is all at a point source at the nearest distance to the
experiment gallery (1km). The neutrino flux from naturally occurring
Uranium, Thorium and Potassium in the crust of the earth (blue, purple and
green lines) is calculated assuming all natural sources are uniformly
distributed within a 100km thick crustal shell. The black line shows
the sum of all naturally occurring neutrino flux sources.
As shown by the red line, the greatest flux from waste components is due to
the decay of Pu241. However, ßmax for Pu241
is only 21keV, and the neutrino background at this low energy should be of no
concern for experimental neutrino research in the foreseeable future. For
higher energy beta decay components, the projected neutrino flux from the waste
is about 1-2 orders of magnitude below that projected due to natural sources in
the crust of the earth.
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