Monday, January 26, 2009

Scientific American on Nuclear Energy

Scientific American Cover And a lot of interesting information on uranium, too. When I worked at Scientific American during the late eighties, the rule for the magazine was that one story per issue should be comprehensible to laymen, but every other article could go into as much technical detail as a specialist could stand. This appears to have changed – while not nearly at the dumbed-down level of, say, Psychology Today, all the articles in the current set are informative and graspable to any interested party.

So you can learn how long the uranium supply will last – 200 years – unless an economical method emerges that can pull it from sea water – then it’s 60,000 years. (No mention of Thorium, which may throw these numbers askew one day.) Or the first nuclear reactor – 2 billion years old and counting. Or what to look for in the next generation of plants.

That last story dates from 2003, so they may be pulling some stuff out of the archives to support the newer material. Still, good reads.

The cover of the current issue. We’re not sure if this is an on-line only collection or if it will appear in the magazine.

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