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Showing posts from May, 2006

Al Gore's fundamental misunderstanding of nuclear power choices

Read Al Gore in WIRED, part of his media blitz for his movie An Inconvenient Truth. Then, I saw BoingBoing link to an interview in GRIST.

We still have other issues.
For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program.
And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal -- which is the real issue: coal -- then we'd have to put them in so many places we'd run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.
And we'd run short of uranium, unless they went to a breeder cycle or something like it, which would increase the risk of weapons-grade material being available.

Ahem.

Here lies a fundamental misunderstanding of nuclear power choices.

ALL power stations now in service are breeders.

What have been named as "breeder" reactors are optimized for making Pu-239 from U-238, Pu-239 being the best variety of Pu for reactors (and bombs). Some…