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

Date: Fri Jan 26 2001 - 09:59:16 MST

In a message dated 1/26/2001 7:41:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< They are being used already,
 after all, in Japan, France (the Super-Phenix), and for all I know Israel
 and Iran. I get really really nervous about machines that make plutonium,
 even if burning it produces power that's too cheap to meter. (Cheap crack;
 Damien Broderick >>
The bad thing is, for economic, and policy choices, governments and industry
have back-burner-ed the examination of proliferation-resistant reactors.
There are a few like Argonne Lab's 'once-through' urnaium oxide reactor that
poisions plutonium formations as it processes uranium; as well as the
Canadian Candu reactor that utilizes Thorium as reactor fuel. The point
is what kind of power sources can be put into place that are affordable,
reasonably easy to run, and can make a profit?

The answer seems to point away from nukes because it takes so much investment
to assemble these plants and then have to watch out for radiation releases.
Possibly, according to a recent article in New Scientist, we may begin to see
crops raised for fuel for cars and power plants, for a large fraction of our
needs. The point of the article is that the economics may finally be right
(though many will scream that it will be forever uneconomical).

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