Saturday, February 16, 2008

No Nukes for Idaho...

I realize there are a lot of pros and cons to nuclear energy... and since science was never a favorite subject of mine, I won't pretend to understand all of it. My resistance comes from my belief that nuclear power is unsafe, I don't trust the "government" to be honest with us about the long-term affects, and I don't believe we have developed a safe way to deal with waste. I will NEVER support a "solution" that will impact my grandchildren (who aren't born yet).

That being said, I found this very interesting and important for us to know:

Nuclear Power and France: The Most Complex and Unsolved Radioactive Waste Problem in the World

France gets nearly 80% of its electricity from its 58 reactors.

However, such a heavy reliance on nuclear power brings with it many major, unsolved problems, most especially that of radioactive waste. In fact, the French nuclear power program has resulted in the most complex nuclear waste problem in the world and includes an accumulated "pile of plutonium" with no safe disposal option of more than 80 metric tons sitting in tens of thousands of vulnerable containers.

France reprocesses domestic and foreign reactor waste - chemically separating the plutonium from the unfissioned uranium. Only about one percent of this mass is plutonium and only a small fraction of this is "recyled" as reactor fuel in "MOX" reactors. Operating MOX reactors in France - that use a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide fuel - comprise only 16of the fleet and all the waste these reactors generated has to be transported and stored. It is not reprocessed.

Reprocessing itself results in large quantities of liquid wastes that are discharged into the English Channel. This has resulted in radioactive contamination of the seas as far as the Arctic Circle and in leukemia clusters around the French reprocessing plant (La Hague.) Aerial discharges are also highly radioactive - thousands of times higher than natural background radiation.

Read our fact sheet on Nuclear Power in France: Setting the Record Straight to learn more about the French nuclear mess.

And read The Cogema File to better understand the culture of cover-ups and contamination that has marked the corporate nuclear history of France.


Anonymous said...

Hi Diana... First of all, are you related to Bob Rowe of Twin Falls? He's my uncle. :)

Check out "Power to Save the World" by Gwyneth Cravens.


IdahoRocks said...

Great work, Diana! You found some very good articles with numerous footnotes. This "new" idea that nuclear is now "okay," is so full of false data and inaccurate assumptions, that I find it difficult to believe that people actually think it's true.... What a sad commentary about an uninformed public.... Thanks!

djysrv said...

MidAmerican pulled out because of unfavorable economics linked to several poor choices. The poor choices included a "greenfield" site with no infrastructure and an advanced reactor design with first-of-a-kind components. Details at Idaho Samizdat.

Seane-Anna said...

What, then, is YOUR solution to the energy problem?

Environmentalists won't let America drill for oil in the Artic reserve or in the Gulf of Mexico. Ted Kennedy doesn't want wind turbines off the Atlantic coast because they obscure his Hyannis Port view. Yet liberals constantly scream that we must end our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels in general.

I'm not saying that nuclear energy is the answer, but then I'm also not the one saying that mankind will become extinct if we don't reduce carbon emissions. You liberals had better start coming up with some viable solutions and stop just ranting and raving about "saving the earth" because you think it makes you look righteous.

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