Re: Science Article: A Nuclear Solution to Climate Change?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 06:49:43 MDT wrote:
> In a message dated 7/5/2001 3:49:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> writes:
> << "Nuclear power can play a significant role in mitigating climate change.
> There are no insurmountable technical barriers to nuclear expansion, but
> the expansion must be performed under very high safety standards.
> Additionally,
> capital cost reductions from advanced designs and production methods will be
> required. It is therefore important to maintain and intensify current
> programs
> of research and development on power reactors, waste disposal, and nuclear
> safeguards to assure that safe nuclear power is available when needed" >>
> Questions Arise
> Can these power plants be diversion-resistant?
> Is it economically, competitive in the marketplace?
> Is switching to a thorium-cycle from a uranium-cycle, a possible assistance
> to the above mentioned questions?

If carbon tax based methods of reinternalizing CO2 externalities of
fossil fuel energy sources are instituted, nuclear power actually
becomes one of the most affordable power sources. Today it is the only
one that is mandated by law to internalize its externalities (i.e. pay
for disposal of its waste products, even of all materials from the
decommissioned plant) to the point that the concrete that is used in
plant construction has to be disposed of at nuke customer expense,
despite the fact that much of the latent radioactivity in the concrete
is actually due to the radioactive fly ash mixed in the concrete during
plant construction, fly ash that is produced by coal plants, thereby
causing nuke customers to pay an externality of coal burning power
sources. If coal customers are required to pay this, and other
externalities, coal then becomes a minimum of four times more expensive
than its current day cost.

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