Saturday, May 21, 2005

CNN Poll On Nuclear Energy

CNN.com is running an online poll on whether or not nuclear energy should be used as a replacement for fossil fuels. Get over there and make your voice be heard.

Thanks to Rod Adams for the heads up.

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6 comments:

nonukes said...

Please tell my grandchildren just where and how the high-level radioactive waste already produced at the nation's 103 nuclear power plants will be safely stored for 100,000-300,000 years

Brian Mays said...

If your grandchildren can read, I suggest that they look at the following site, which contains some useful information:
http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/about/

matthew bohun said...

There are a number of options available for long term storage of used fuel in a once through system, see http://www.uic.com.au/nip.htm for a number of briefing papers prepared by the Uranium Infomation Centre in Australia. My preferred option is to reprocess (currently illegal in the USA) to recover the fissile and fertile materials (including U235, U238 and Pu) for recycling as fuel, and isolating the remaining wastes in Synroc®. Pu has a half life of 24,000 years, however if it is recycled, it will be transmuted into other elements by the chain reaction. Waste products from reprocessing have much shorter half-lives and only need to be isolated for approximately 300 years. The toxic waste from the nuclear fuel cycle is far smaller in quantity than the toxic waste from coal fired plants - which is largely unregulated.

Kelly L. Taylor said...

Reprocessing is *not* illegal in the USA. Although President Carter was against it, President Reagan reversed his reprocessing policies. Economics do not currently favor reprocessing in the US; nobody is doing it because there is no profit in it, when compared to the cost of producing fuel via the once-through uranium fuel cycle.

Matthew Bohun said...

I stand corrected re the lawfulness of reprocessing in the US. I am not sure that reprocessing is an economic source of reactor fuel anywhere, however, I believe that other countries pursue reprocessing as a waste minimization strategy. Perhaps the DOE should consider establishing a reprocessing facility to minimize the waste, paid for out of the disposal fund, with sales of mox used to partially offset the cost of reprocessing. The isolated vitrified or synroced waste left over could then be stored at Yucca Mountain.

Kelly L. Taylor said...

Matthew, I owe you an apology. As it turns out, President Clinton reinstated Carter's ban on reprocessing. So in the off-again on-again world of energy 'leadership' it currently is neither economic nor permitted, by effect of executive policy.

Here's one reference.

http://www.nei.org/index.asp?catnum=4&catid=822

I did find others on 'net...