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The Hidden Truth About Nuclear Power

The Hidden Truth About Nuclear Power

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Published by Michael Collins
The truth is simple. The future reactors are more exotic, complicated, and dangerous; they're ticking time bombs.
The truth is simple. The future reactors are more exotic, complicated, and dangerous; they're ticking time bombs.

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Published by: Michael Collins on Mar 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Hidden Truth About Nuclear Power 
Michael CollinsA poster atThe Agonist,Joaquin, published an elegant and important analysis this weekend. His tightly packed, brief post made three key points. We're headed for an uglyfuture with nuclear power based on shortages and future fuel cycles more volatile thanthose imploding and exploding in Japan. Governments, the nuclear industry, and themedia are avoiding this issue entirely. As a result, the rulers and technocrats who got usto the latest meltdown cannot be trusted to make any more decisions about energy needs.(Image)"The truth is, there is a big fat lie that the nuclear power industry and the mediaare foisting on the public and that has not changed." Joaquin"What is it", the big fat lie, Joaquin asks."This lie has to do with the nature of nuclear power in the future. Everyone is asking, canwe make nuclear technology,
the current
, nuclear technology safe? In truth, the currentrisks with the nuclear fuel cycle i.e., the risks of contaminating the environment, are notthe risks of the future because the current nuclear fuel cycle is not the fuel cycle that will
be used in the future. There's justnot that muchuranium left to fuel an extensiveexpansion of nuclear power generation."Joaquin(See Note 1
)By 2015, the supplies of uranium will be in sufficient decline to limit nuclear energy. Or will they?"This assessment results in the conclusion that in the short term, until about 2015, thelong lead times of new and the decommissioning of aging reactors perform the barrier for fast extension, and after about 2020 severe uranium supply shortages become likelywhich, again will limit the extension of nuclear energy."Uranium Resources andNuclear Energy, 2006The United States and France, heavy nuclear users, will be out of domestic supply andworld supply is questionable. It takes semantic tricks by industry representatives toclaim otherwise. (See Note 2
)Joaquin offers up the future of nuclear power, the future carefully avoided bygovernments, the nuclear industry, and the media. Instead of the current generation of plants, the nuclear industry will give us "improved reactors" and fuel cycles that requireless uranium. Supplementing that will be imports from the same type of unreliablesuppliers that we have for petroleum (e.g., Kazakhstan, the Soviet Union)."So, where's all the nuclear fuel going to come from? The answer has to be that thenuclear industry and U.S. government intend to use more exotic fuel cycles in the future
power plants including,MOX(currently leaking our of Fukushima1, unit 3), reprocessedUranium, Thorium, and breeder reactors of various types (See Note)"The industry and their government and media proxies don't want to talk about this facttoo much because the waste from these future fuel cycles is far more dangerous than mostof the stuff slowly making a large part of Japan uninhabitable for the next few dozenmillennium. In other words, the discussion in the media about future nuclear safety iscompletely dishonest."JoaquinThe "See Note" link provides more details on the dangers and questionable availability of these future nuclear fuel cycles. We're witnessing a preview of the future with the MOXcycle. Fukushima I, unit 3, began using MOX in September 2010. Here's a nuclear engineer formerly with Tokyo Power on unit 3:"Goto said that the MOX also has a lower melting point than the other reactor fuels. TheFukushima facility began using MOX fuel in September 2010, becoming the third plantin Japan to do so, according to MOX supplier AREVA."D.C. Bureau March 15Joaquin's point on the dangers of new fuel cycles is well taken. One of the fuels of thefuture, MOX, has a low melting point than the other reactors at Fukushima. Maybe that'swhy it had an, as of yet, unexplained hydrogen explosion in MOX fueled reactor 3. Theothers outlined in the note are no more assuring as a future source. Nevertheless, thenuclear industry persists in acting like it has a viable supply to meet it's demands andpromises."We are supposed to believe that this hydrogen explosion (first image above) at unit 3,March 14, isno biggie; of course it isn't; it's just a direct hit. WTF, there is a huge amount of concrete flying hundreds of meters in the air not a tin roof; the nature of the damagedone by this explosion has proven to be the subject of one lie after another."JoaquinThe dangers of unit 3 are clear:"The No. 3 reactor is a particular concern because it is the only one of six at the plant touse a potentially volatile mix of uranium and plutonium."ABC News, March 26Joaquin examined a perfect example of media denial in reporting toxic dangers from thedisaster."The media is confusing everyone about radiation because they refuse or are unable todiscern the difference between contamination and direct radiation. That's because themedia are run by people who are either trying to obfuscate what is going on or are justplain idiots; your choice.Look at this picture: compiled from Sources: Tepco (TokyoPower); International Atomic Energy Agency; Federal Aviation Administration; Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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