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1 Destro  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 12:36:10pm

There are safer nuclear power plant options - the French designed a closed system where the water constantly cools the rods in the event of a meltdown by evaporation and condensation model (water falls from above in an enclosed dome, gets superheated and turns to steam, rises and turns back to liquid and rains down on the fuel cooling it enough that it does not melt through the reactor and on and on till infinity.

The problem is such a reactor needs to be build in stable geological zones (not near bodies of water or earthquakes zones), be protected from terrorist attacks and costs a billions to build.

So it can be done but hella expensive.

2 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 1:24:43pm

re: #1 Destro

The draw of coal and gas and oil is the price. But we don’t calculate the damage to the ecosphere, or the fact that it’s all finite resources. What the most expensive option of all is continuing with fossil fuels. The price? The deaths of millions in climate changes.
I looked up the French design, very interesting.
The Hyperion reactor looks interesting as does many of the later generation designs. Thorium is one possibility but it may not work out. Fission power is a natural bridge to fusion power. One technology teaches the lessons needed for the next. Just as wood and coal taught us about how to advance metallurgy to construct steam engines that led to combustion engines that led to electric motors. Each builds a foundation for the next.

3 EiMitch  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 3:15:23pm

re: #1 Destro

re: #2 Political Atheist

While we’re at it, we should rescind the ban on recycling nuclear fuel. We could drastically cut down the amount of nuclear waste we have to deal with simply by making it reusable.

The practice was banned in the USA because we were afraid soviet agents would steal it to make nuclear weapons. I’m too lazy to count the reasons that was mouth-breathing stupid.

Today, anti-nuclear folks have recycled (pun) that fear into hype over terrorism. If you think our nuclear waste is more secure as is, then I’d like to sell you a bridge made of uranium.

About the only legitimate complaint against nuclear fuel recycling is that it could contaminate groundwater if disaster strikes. Can’t argue with that. Its not like the nuclear waste we’ve been storing instead has been leaking from corroded containers. Oh, wait a minute…!


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