Re: Safe Energy

Sean Morgan (
Sat, 03 May 1997 23:07:31 -0600

John K Clark <> described some of the problems with fast
breeders, but missed my pet peeve: the time constant is milliseconds (vs.
minutes or hours for more sensible reactors). That's about enough time for
the control system to tell the operator, "oops." As fond as I am of nuclear
power, I wouldn't want to live downwind of a fast breeder. It does not rely
on a moderator in the same way as a enriched uranium/water (American), or
natural uranium/heavy water (Canadian) reactor: instead of slowing down the
neutrons to meet a resonance point in the nucleus of the fuel, they let the
neutrons slam into the fuel at full power which is the process atomic bombs
use. Whereas a North American reactor can't explode like an atomic bomb,
fast breeders can as I understand it.

Of course it doesn't take a fast breeder to make plutonium. India got its
atomic bomb from a Canadian reactor. Inefficient, but it worked.
Sean Morgan (