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View Diary: Yes, Nuclear - UPDATED (88 comments)

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  •  My understanding is that there are two types of.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dauphin, deepeco

    ...safety issues with Nuclear:

    1. The plants themselves;
    1. The waste disposal

    As I understand it, there have been massive improvements made in the former (assuming that they're actually regulated properly, built to code, inspected properly, etc), which leaves issue #2.

    "When even Arlen Specter is asking why the Dems got him to be their 60th Senator if they weren't gonna use the 60 votes, you know something's wrong!" --nyceve

    by Brainwrap on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 01:22:37 PM PST

    •  Much of the waste that is presently problematic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deepeco, SuperSonic Dog

      the long lived products of neutron capture from fission produced neutrons can be burned in properly designed reactors. Furthermore, we've completely neglected (mostly because of weapons proliferation concern) breeder reactors. Designing the fuel cycle to use some of what is now considered waste will help a lot.

      •  Yes! Gen IV and Gen V (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoesUnionReview, erush1345

        reactors are capable of burning the waste products from older generation reactors and downgrading it to a much lower grade material, with much lower radiation levels and shorter half lives, which makes waste management much easier.  

        The IFR, for instance, can take Weapons grade fissile material and convert it to energy, with the end waste product being a low-grade radioactive lead with a very short half life.

        THe problem is, US research on GEN IV reactors was halted in 1994.   The DOE actually had built an IFR reactor and was ready to take it online in an experimental capacity, but the program was cancelled.  

    •  Also weapons use (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brainwrap

      There is also the problem that nuclear waste can be reprocessed to make weapons.  So we need to very closely watch this stuff.  Big government!

      But still better than what we are doing with coal and oil - dumping the waste into the air where it is destroying the planet.

      --
      Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: @seeingtheforest

      by davej on Thu Feb 18, 2010 at 01:31:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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