Re: Nuclear Power was : Sun's Tech Chief Has His Head Up His Ass

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Wed Mar 15 2000 - 17:07:22 MST

At 12:25 PM 3/15/2000 -0500, John K Clark wrote:

>A good move, otherwise it would have been an even bigger white elephant than
>the space shuttle. It just makes no economic sense. The thing's claim to
>fame is its
>ability to turn common U238 into Plutonium in a very big way, but there's
>already a
>glut of Plutonium in the world.

Plutonium in the IFR would never leave the containment. The design had a
sealed, built in fuel reprocessing plant, and used the Pu to fuel the
reactor. High level wastes were blanketed around the reactor to absorb
stray neutrons, thereby speeding their decay.

World stocks of Pu are a rich source of power. They are not a liability
unless they are NOT burned in power plants.

The problem here in the US is that the anti-nuke crowd refuses to allow
reprocessing, since that would require transporting of radioactive
material. The safety record of fuel and high level waste transport is very,
very good. If our govt. had any sense, we would be burning Pu in all our
compatible plants today.

>What I like is fusion power, in particular the reaction between non
>radioactive deuterium
>(Hydrogen 2) and non radioactive Helium 3, this produces non radioactive
>Helium 4,
> an easily controlled proton, 18.3 mev of energy, and most important of
>all, no neutron
>to make other things radioactive. Unfortunately there's not much Helium 3
>on Earth and
>you need a higher temperature and pressure to achieve the reaction than the
>tritium reaction most are talking about.

How I yearn for the day ANY kind of useful (non - bomb) fusion becomes

Unfortunately, it's always ten years in the future. The IFR could have been
running commercially for the last 5 years without the veto by Klinton.

Chuck Kuecker

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