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View Diary: Radioactive Isotopes from French Commercial Nuclear Fuel Found In Mississippi River. (77 comments)

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  •  from the nrdc white paper on nuclear power (4+ / 0-)

    For nuclear power to have any appreciable impact on global warming, nuclear capacity globally—now about 440 plants—would have to be increased severalfold over the next few decades. This would mean adding a dozen or so new uranium enrichment plants worldwide, a similar number of Yucca Mountain–type geologic repositories for spent nuclear fuel, and a significant expansion of uranium mining. Current international arrangements are insufficient to prevent a non-weapon state, such as Iran, from suddenly changing course and using "peaceful"
    uranium enrichment or spent-fuel reprocessing plants to separate nuclear material for weapons. Finally, there is not one single long-term geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel in operation anywhere in the world.


    Large-scale nuclear plants remain uneconomic to build. And while the nuclear fuel cycle emits little global warming pollution, nuclear power still poses globally significant risks that need to be further reduced, including:
    • Diversion of "peaceful" nuclear facilities and materials to secret nuclear weapons programs;
    • Theft and terrorist use of nuclear materials;
    • Accidental releases of radioactivity, ranging from locally harmful to potentially catastrophic;
    • The vulnerability of some spent nuclear fuel storage pools to terrorist attack;
    • Occupational and public health risks associated with uranium mining and milling; and
    • Long-term leakage from underground repositories intended to isolate high-level radioactive waste and
    spent fuel from the human and natural environment for tens to hundreds of thousands of years.

    © 2006 "certain thoughts are prayers. there are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body may be, the soul is on its knees." -victor hugo

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Jan 03, 2007 at 01:04:07 PM PST

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