Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Oh nukemen, will you never change?
Felix hops down to a sandwich show, at which apparently great big swigs of industry Kool-Aid were served to wash down the Pret a Manger. Apparently, the presiding GE nukeman:
was there, talking about nuclear power, and specifically what he calls a PRISM reactor — a fourth-generation nuclear power station which runs on the nuclear waste generated by all the previous generations of nuclear power stations.
Wow! That sounds fantastic, safe, carbon-neutral and most importantly cheap! So, tell me more about this "Integral Fast Reactor", of which you speak:
They’re super-safe: if they fail they just stop working, they don’t melt down. And they can even literally replace coal power stations:
This sounds even better than the old breeder reactors, the last miracle technology to come out of the nuke industry that was going to solve all our energy needs without any of that nasty "radioactive" (wiggles fingers) stuff. And you say that this runs on waste material?
Fast reactors also solve at a stroke the problem of what to do with the vast amounts of nuclear waste which are being stockpiled unhappily around the world.
So, you can just take that nasty toxic waste and basically shovel it into your new IFR reactor and it works!
... (tumbleweeds, crickets)
The answer is unfortunately no. You have to reprocess the waste before it can be used in the IFR. Specifically, you have to reprocess a hell of a lot of it, via a process that has never been made to work on a commercial scale before you can even get started. That's why the only country that's ever had a serious look at this technology (France) decided that this was a technology way too expensive and speculative even for them.
 See past nukemen posts. Lots and lots of things work in labs but can't be scaled, basically because the size and number of blemishes and cracks in an item scales roughly as a power of its size, while the size of atoms doesn't. Very big things, made to very high tolerances, are very expensive.
this item posted by the management 6/24/2009 09:00:00 AM