Can Nuclear Ever Be Safe? ? ?

I generally try to direct my comments to local and state concerns; however, I think that this announcement about nuclear waste is a concern to all of us. Especially, since North Carolina is in line to receive at least two new power plants very soon and nuclear power is a big consideration in developing these plants.

The Raleigh N&O reports that President Bush wants to spend $250 million to research a process that would produce a mixture of plutonium and neptunium.

From AP on-line: "The plan is part of an effort to take a fresh look at how to deal with the thousands of tons of used reactor fuel piling up at U.S. commercial power plants, while also gaining control over future nuclear materials in developing countries where the demand for nuclear energy is expected to grow."

The United States stopped all reprocessing of used reactor fuel in 1979 when President Carter banned it because of proliferation worries. The present system produces pure plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon.

(I don't understand this, but the Bush Administration thinks that this combination waste product would be harder to handle and that would make it "more secure.")

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Department of Energy

What do you think?

1 comment:

James Aach said...

If you'd like an entertaining inside look at the US nuclear industry, see for a novel on the topic by a longtime nuclear engineer (who's not involved in the current NC issue), available at no cost to readers.