David

David 8 months ago on Editorial: A new era for nuclear? Solve waste issue first

I am grateful to see the positive aspects of Nuclear power presented here. The average cost of Nuclear power is 2.4 cents per kwh across the USA. This is below coal and only very very slightly above the cost of current prices for Natural Gas - where pipelines exist.

Also, Waste is not an Elphant it is a mouse. In terms of size, the amount of "waste" would fit in a single football field stacked only a few feet high. In terms of effect - the more long lived a radioactive element is the less dangerous it is. The longest lived elements - those still present after 100 years can be held in your hand. Finally, there are many good solutions to this "waste." The best is to use it for fuel in breeder reactors. These reactors of many types can turn these elements into useful heat - competing directly with Natural Gas, Oil and Coal. If you want to throw away the fuel, the best option is WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Project) in New Mexico. There the waste can be stored safely and cheaply in a community that is begging to receive it. There are many many other technical solutions to the "waste" problem. This is NOT an Elephant technically. It is only an Elephant because comparative risks are not communicated to the public.

Nuclear power is NOT the same as Nuclear weapons. The fuel put into a reactor - even if highly enriched to 20% cannot explode like a bomb. It is physically impossible. The Plutonium from power reactors cannot be used in a bomb unless you spend huge amounts of money to get rid of the parts or types of Plutonium that would destroy the weapon. No nation has decided to do this because it is easier to simply make the weapon's grade Plutonium directly.

These scary stories persist. Could it be because using heat from Nuclear power combined with carbon and hydrogen you can make liquid fuels and even natural gas? It is well known chemistry.

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