Paul, I'd have a nuclear reactor in my backyard, as long as the nieghbours didn't complain about the associated Sub-station with it. Look mate, all of the fear and rubbish is to a degree un-founded. To quote Chernobyl as an example of what can go wrong is in itself just stupid. Bear in mind that Chernobyl used 1950's (might be even earlier) technology to control a nuclear reactor, is something that is beyond belief. As far as I am aware, nuclear power is a lot "greener" than the alternatives, if controlled properly. As per usual, people don't like what they don't understand. But wait for it, you'll have David Bellamy over there telling you "it's just wrong, from a scientific point of view!".
#145730 - 07/13/0610:05 AMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?
"Nuclear Power" is one of those things that immediately leaves the realm of technology.... and enters into politics.
The "Antis" also find fault with Hydropower, Coal, Oil, Gas, wind, and solar. It seems they simply want us to do without!
As for safety concerns... does anyone really think that the thousands of victims in the sundry conflicts - all centered on the Middle East- would have become victims, had that part of the world NOT been overly enriched by the "blessing" of oil?
Go Nuke. Let the others sit in their tents and milk goats.
#145731 - 07/13/0604:09 PMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?
I don't think the "traditional" nuclear plants will work politically in the future. By traditional I mean above ground fission plants running on uranium.
By placing the reactors underground, I think people will feel much safer. If it makes sense technically or not isn't that important, it's the psychology.
Technically, what you can do is to switch to torium instead of uranium. Very similar but the waste becomes harmless in hundreds, not thousands of years. This should calm people as well. ("Don't worry: This will be harmless to your grandgrandgrandgrandgrandgrandgrandgrandgrandgrandchildren" )
Third, co-locating the reactors and the permanent used fuel storage will eliminate the politically sensitive used fuel transport. It means longer transmission lines which like classicsat writes, will probably be the hardest part to get done.
#145733 - 07/14/0607:56 AMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?
Nuclear power makes sense – the fuel is cheap and plentiful and there are no greenhouse emissions if you are inclined to believe in global warming. The greatest challenge is one of waste disposal and that suffers too much from NIMBYism*. Finland grasped the nettle of deep repository disposal and I believe we should be following their lead.
The trick is always to find a stable terrain with little groundwater circulation in which to do it. Yucca Mountain, Nevada USA is great for its lack of groundwater but I am more than a little concerned that it is situated on a major fault zone (the Walker Lane) that to this day accommodates one third of the net displacement between the North American and Pacific plates – the other two thirds displacement is taken up by the parallel San Andreas system that everyone is more familiar with. I suspect that overall, Minnesota and Michigan would geologically be far more suitable for a disposal site that the back door of Area 51, but just think of the howls of protest that would provoke!
If it wasn’t for various prohibitions in the Law of the Sea, disposal in subducting oceanic trenches would invite the Earth to recycle naturally over a period of scores of millions of years. I don’t think that any malcontented militants would easily go looking for it there either! Unfortunately, this is not going to happen.
NIREX that was looking at deep disposal in the ancient volcanic rocks of the English Lake District should be reopened – one doesn’t have to be the dustbin of the world but all countries that consume nuclear fuel must dispose of their own waste on their own sovereign territory IMHO.
* Not In My BackYard
#145734 - 07/14/0606:23 PMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?
Recent events in the Middle-East have brought this topic into focus again.
Israel can be described as a land that: - has problems getting along with it's neighbors; -is a modern, liberal society; - has virtually no local energy resources; and, -has areas 1000 ft below sea level.
So, here are the varios energy sources, and the popular Israeli reaction to them: HYDRO- Not many rivers of any size. A hydro-power 'tunnel' from the Med to the Dead Sea was nixed because "we don't know what bad ecological things will happen if we add water to the valley;" NUCLEAR- Not with all those pesky terrorists around!; COAL- Messy, polluting, ugly piles, and there isn't any there anyway; and, OIL- Polluting- and look who we have to buy it from!
End result: Israeli development is limited by severly constrained by a lack of available power. And you can't blame some "Anti-Semitic conspiracy;" the opponents to any increased power production are non other than fellow Israelis!.
This again shows how the "Nuclear issue" long ago left the arena of ideas, and entered the Twilight Zone.
Considering all, I'll take my chances with the PoCo geeks and paper-pushers.... rather than the self-appointed saviours who ask me to lie down in front of trains, while endorsing the nuclear dreams of some third-world tyrant (whose country floats on a sea of oil!)
#145735 - 07/15/0604:08 AMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?
Nuclear Fusion power may be closer than you think. France is currently building Iter, a 10,000,000,000 dollar fusion facility. If this technology can be made to work efficiently, we may have a solution to many of our problems; economic, political and ecological. Fusion produces far less and shorter-lived by-products. Fission always produces a mix of radioactive isotopes of the elements as waste products, practically the whole spectrum of isotopes from radium down to deuterium [ heavy hydrogen ]. The fuel for fusion is hydrogen, which is not rare nor located in some tyrant's backyard
BTW, C-H, what is torium, I have looked in my periodic tables but can't find it anywhere?
ps. Want to hear any of my 'atomic' jokes?
Wood work but can't!
#145736 - 07/15/0604:27 AMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?
Some very good comments here. In particular John (Reno) who has had the experience of the area. Could someone please tell me why "nuclear" is such a dirty word these days?. It is after all a simple chemical reaction that produces heat, not unlike an arms-length list of other chemicals that do the same thing. I'm not willing to go into the political side of the argument, but why should Iran not be allowed to use nuclear means to generate electricity, umm, if I'm not wrong it is used in the US to do the same thing. Just the same as the US has Nuclear weapons. Seems to me to be like, you can't, but we can. Nuclear energy is the future. Have I spelt the word nuclear wrong??. I'm pretty sure it had a different spelling a few years back.
#145737 - 07/15/0603:42 PMRe: UK: More nuclear power or.......?