Monday, April 21, 2008

Nuclear Energy - "Why America Needs It Now"

If you've not considered the importance and safety of nuclear energy, watch this video of Skip Bowman at Concerning the waste, here's an excerpt:

To put it in a little bit different way, if you and I received all our lifetime electricity from nuclear power from day of birth to age 70, the amount of waste contribution from our use of nuclear electricity would weigh about two pounds and would fit into a coke can. So you have to put this a little bit into perspective. I am not trivializing what must be done with it but it's not bigger than a bread box.


markymark said...

I am a strong proponent of nuclear energy, particularly having worked in the industry. However, I really take issue with statements such as the ones from Mr Bowman. His statements concerning nuclear waste are egregious at best and do nothing but provide fodder for the anti-nuclear establishment.
A few examples:
The waste is solid stored in steel alloy tubes encased in concrete containers. While that is true of the fuel pellets themselves, it is not true of the heavy/light water. It is the disposal of the contaminated heavy and light water that is the single most problematic aspect of nuclear waste and there is no solution to date.

The waste generated by electricity for 2 people results in 2 pounds of solid fuel waste. Again, he is focusing on the fuel pellets. When you factor in all components of nuclear waste, per person you are looking at approximate 30-50 pounds (this is highly dependent on the model of reactor). It doesnt sound like much. But take this into consideration...give me 2 pounds of that waste and I can render the state of Penn and MD completely uninhabitable for 30-50yrs with less than 4-5 inputs into the water supply.
But my favorite statement...reprocessing the nuclear waste. I would need a book to break down his statements concerning the reprocessing of nuclear waste and non-proliferation of plutonium. But, suffice to say google MOX fuel... It has been in use in France for over 20yrs and for whatever reason, our country is too consumed with hubris to even contemplate solutions that they have implemented.
From an engineering standpoint, the system implemented by France and Framatome (now Areva/Siemens) is the closest thing to being perfect and this country will not even contemplate their system because its...France.
Areva is already the number #1 company in the world when it comes to nuclear design/implementation/servicing of nuclear reactors. Who knows maybe we will just outsource it to them.
Stranger things have happened. ;)

Anonymous said...

2 lbs per person, and at least 300 million Americans = 600 million pounds. And this is manageable?