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

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 19:19:51 MST

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.

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.

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?

Damien Broderick

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