Re: Nuclear Power

From: John Clark (
Date: Wed Mar 15 2000 - 22:57:47 MST

 Michael S. Lorrey <> Wrote:

>France's entire nuke program is made up of breeder reactors,

The entire program? I don't think so!

>which are also capable of burning off nuclear waste.

Burning off? Please explain what that means. Exactly what nuclear waste
product are we talking about? What is the nuclear reaction that renders
this "waste" harmless. What stops this "burning" from making more waste
than it gets rid of.

>Thats why France has nowhere near the waste problem we do,

They may not have the political problem that the USA has as to where to
permanently store highly radioactive material but that has nothing to do
with technology.

Chuck Kuecker <> Wrote:

> Plutonium in the IFR would never leave the containment.

Maybe, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.

>High level wastes were blanketed around the reactor to absorb
>stray neutrons, thereby speeding their decay.

How is that going to work? OK, a neutron might turn a cobalt 60
atom into a harmless isotope of nickel but a neutron could also
turn U238 into plutonium or cause U235 to fission and produce
more cobalt 60, or turn common potassium into potassium 40.

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

Getting rid of weapons grade plutonium in power plants might be a good idea
but you don't need a breeder for that.

> The problem here in the US is that the anti-nuke crowd refuses to allow
> reprocessing,

Thousands of tons of plutonium exist on the earth and more is made every day,
but most of it is mixed in with other extremely lethal radioactive waste so it's
very hard to work with without separating it out in a chemical reprocessing plant.
It only takes a few pounds to make a bomb so I want it hard to work with, I don't
want a reprocessing plant.

      John K Clark

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