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March 27, 2006



"The Department of Energy estimates it may cost $13 billion over a decade to develop a fast-reactor and reprocessing capability."

Uhh huh. And the Iraq War and rebuilding was supposed to cost US taxpayers 1.7 billion according to administration experts before it started.

Another independent expert estimated 1.9 trillion would be the cost to taxpayers, he made that estimate before the war.

The bill is up to a trillion so far? Oh well. Good thing the red staters are faith based instead of fact based in their voting.

That is why these "new improved safer" reactors will be built in the southland.

And if we wait ten years to find out these reactors are a deadly dangerous boondoggle costing 100s of billions instead, before acting to halt global climate disaster? Why then the nukers will claim we have spent too much money and it is too late to change course.

Sounds kinda like the rationale to continue the Vietnam War and now this latest war doesn't it?

I still like this compromise anyway...


...but make nuclear plant owners pay for the waste processing research reactors and put them in a spot like Yucca moutain or Hanford, that is already contaminated.

With ratepayers rushing to buy clean wind power instead (the demand is so fierce in texas because wind is less expensive that wind electric power is being raffled off to consumers)only those who are forced to pay extra high rates for nuclear power will accept it, rather than have no power at all.

Robert McLeod

Amazingdrx, you really need to stop blog whoring, it's impolite and it won't attract me to visit your site.


"...it won't attract me to visit your site."

That's a shame.


I appreciate this blog precisely because the author is not a ranting ideologue. Rants do not have as much value as level headed analysis.


He doesn't need to rant. Amazingdrx rants enough for 5 people.

It seems to me that the technological promise of fast-breeder reactors coupled with RTG's answer the environmentalist call of the three R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) perfectly.

I'm not sure why anyone would be against pursuing this technology.



Take your political rants elsewhere. This is not the place for them.


Thanks for reposting these two articles. I have been meaning to spend more time looking in to nuclear power and associated waste disposal/recycling options. Haven't had too much time to go looking for anything so thanks for posting these here. Cheers...


Is this the same technology as the IFR (Integral Fast Reactor) that was brought to the prototype stage in the late eighties to early nineties?


Or is it the same technology used in Paducah, Kentucky at the main nuclear reactor fuel processing plant?


The one that is contaminating the groundwater with plutonium at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers.


Well Dr. X (I reserve judgement on the amazing part) I can tell you from personal experience that it is not the reactor designs that cause contamination. It is the lackadasical way in which many of these facilities were originally operated. At least for the utilities that I have experience with they have learned that cleaner and safer are also more profitable. I would encourage you to compare the mess created by the civil nuclear program (not weapons stuff) to the mess created by fossile plants.


That's not really very comforting flapjak. Considering that this is only one of countless contamination events, covered up for decades and still going on. With zero government response.

And this facility produces fuel for power plants, not material for weapons. That excuse doesn't cover it in this case.

Besides which, the dire emergency that compelled the Manhattan project has been over for awhile. All those facilities like rocky flats, hanford, oak ridge and on and on are yet to be cleaned up.

The contamination is still migrating through groundwater towards the related river systems.

Clean up the messes the nuclear industry has already made, then and only then should we the people consider permitting more nuclear power.


I think perhaps you misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that contaminating the surrounding environment is okay. What I am saying is that a civil nuclear power generating facility does not contaminate the local environment by design and any fossile plant does. So whether you are burning coal, natural gas, or nuts & twigs you are spreading carbon far and wide. And, in the case of coal you are emitting more radionuclides than a nuc station. So unless you want to go back to squatting in a cold dark cave I think we should choose the design with the lowest impact and if the companies/governments that operate these plants contaminate the environment now or in the past they should be held to account for that.


"I think we should choose the design with the lowest impact"

Me too. And that is wind, solar, wave power, electric vehicles, geothermal heat pumps, and other renwable technology. Not nuclear power.

Nuclear power may not be designed to emit more radiation than other sources (that is debatable), but it does.

Unless/until some majical new regulation of nuclear power that actually works to clean up the messes already made and contamination ongoing at the present moment, that somehow beats the cost of windpower at 2 cents per kwh, the US ought to abandon nukes in favor of renwables like wind,just as Germany is now doing.

The cost of the cleanup added on to the present cost of nuclear power would make it cost 50 cents per kwh? Maybe more.

Who knows how severe the contamination really is with the decades of industry/government coverup.


Dr. X,

Nuclear power actually cleanses the earth of radiation.

When uranium is mined out of the ground to make nuclear fuel, it is no longer there as a source of radon emission. This is a point which has not been recognized until recently because the radon that percolates out of the ground originates largely within 1 meter of the surface; anything coming from much farther down will decay away before reaching the surface. Since the great majority of uranium mined comes from depths well below 1 meter, the radon emanating from it was always viewed as harmless. The fallacy of this reasoning is that it ignores erosion. As the ground erodes away at a rate of 1 meter every 22,000 years, any uranium in it will eventually approach the surface, spending its 22,000 years in the top meter, where it will presumably do great damage. The magnitude of this damage is calculated in the Chapter 12 Appendix, where it is shown that mining uranium to fuel one large nuclear power plant for one year will eventually save 420 lives! This completely overshadows all other health impacts of the nuclear industry, making it one of the greatest lifesaving enterprises of all time if one adopts a very long-term viewpoint.

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