nuclear - not so hot
Helen Caldicott has been agitating from the left against nuclear energy for a long time. One of the advantages of reading her latest missive against nuclear is it is full of useful details. Years of practice.
Yeah, she's biased. So maybe one should gather information from industry flacks and marketing pros instead. Always remember - toxic sludge is good for you.
Nuclear Power is the Problem, Not a Solution
In the US, where much of the world's uranium is enriched, including Australia's, the enrichment facility at Paducah, Kentucky, requires the electrical output of two 1000-megawatt coal-fired plants, which emit large quantities of carbon dioxide, the gas responsible for 50per cent of global warming.
Another place for traditional energy costs to sneak in for nuclear (add to, mining of uranium, transport of uranium, cleanup ... oh wait, we don't do that - see below)
The dire subject of massive quantities of radioactive waste accruing at the 442 nuclear reactors across the world is also rarely, if ever, addressed by the nuclear industry. Each typical 1000-megawatt nuclear reactor manufactures 33tonnes of thermally hot, intensely radioactive waste per year.
To make matters worse, a study released last week by the National Academy of Sciences shows that the cooling pools at nuclear reactors, which store 10 to 30 times more radioactive material than that contained in the reactor core, are subject to catastrophic attacks by terrorists, which could unleash an inferno and release massive quantities of deadly radiation -- significantly worse than the radiation released by Chernobyl, according to some scientists.
15,000 tons of nuclear waste a year - (worldwide) - no wonder a mountain is needed to sweep it under.
Them cooling ponds are no abstraction. Their contents could melt down and burn up, like Chernobyl. Except, as pointed out above, more material is stored in many of the sites than physically existed in the reactor core at Chernobyl.
But I am sure "in the future" we will solve these problems.