Re: breeder reactors (was: Re: Breaking News: World is 10 deg chillier)

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Fri Jan 26 2001 - 09:10:35 MST

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 01:05 PM 25/01/01 -0500, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> >Just as the anti-nuke crowd opposes the
> >construction of breeder reactors here in the US for the simple reason
> >that such reactors would eliminate the problem of accumulating nuclear
> >waste (and thus they would have to get new jobs and wouldn't have the
> >waste issue to harp over)
> This sort of assertion is not worthy of your intelligence, Mike.

Its not worthy of your intelligence, Damien, to be quoting from an
anti-nuke website.

> That's the only conceivable reason for opposing fast breeder reactors, eh?
> Let's see:
> < Reactors designed specifically to produce more fissile material than they
> consume as a result of the conversion of uranium-238 into fissile plutonium
> isotopes are called "breeder reactors.">
> Hey! That's a great idea! Let's breed lots and lots of fissile plutonium
> isotopes! We could set up another plant down the road to pump out
> industrial quantities of Sarin gas while we're at it, but we'd make sure to
> keep it in very safe bottles.

Whether or not it produces plutonium isotopes depends on how it is

> Oh, by the way, the same report claims:
> < Despite its theoretical attractiveness in converting non-fissile into
> fissile material, the breeder reactor has turned out to be a far tougher
> technology than thermal reactors. Despite five decades of effort during
> which many pilot and "demonstration" plants have been built, the
> sodium-cooled breeder reactor design remains on the margin of commercial
> nuclear technology. The magic of fuel multiplication has not yet been
> realized on any meaningful scale relative to nuclear electricity generation
> levels. >
> Is that to be believed? After all, the Institute for Energy and
> Environmental Research is almost certainly a bunch of pinko self-serving
> sky-are-fallers. And it might be that the reason breeders are not yet
> financially plausible is precisely because ninny bureaucracies have
> mandated orders of magnitude more safety provisions over their deployment
> than is warranted. I can accept that. I mean, this is just nice, clean
> *plutonium* we're talking about making here, right, all around the world?

I have the advantage of having taken a nuclear engineering course in
college, as well as my father being involved in the construction of a
breeder reactor in the 60's at Hanford. Since your cite is an anti-nuke
website, its rather obvious what their agenda is, and where their bias
is. Their statement here is most certainly false.

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