|Photo of the Three Mile Island cooling towers taken|
by me about a half hour ago.
Two quick excerpts:
and, why you cannot depend on FEMA,
I took the photo of Three Mile Island a little while ago. I'm at the Harrisburg Airport awaiting my flight back to Wichita and the airport is nearly in the shadow of TMI. I bring this up because I have been accused of "drinking the Kool-Aid of the nuclear industry." Not at all, but let me clarify in case my position is not clear.
I believe TMI and other U.S. nuclear plants are safe. That said, there is a bit of a Rube Goldberg aspect to them that makes them complex and expensive. I do not support building any more of those. I do -- strongly -- support the new generation thorium reactors. I have read quite a bit about them and I believe they offer numerous advantages. From Wikipedia,
Thorium as a nuclear fuel
Thorium, as well as uranium and plutonium, can be used as fuel in a nuclear reactor. A thorium fuel cycle offers several potential advantages over a uranium fuel cycle including much greater abundance on Earth, superior physical and nuclear properties of the fuel, enhanced proliferationresistance, and reduced nuclear waste production. Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), has worked on developing the use of thorium as a cheap, clean and safe alternative to uranium in reactors. Rubbia states that a tonne of thorium can produce as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. One of the early pioneers of the technology was U.S. physicist Alvin Weinberg at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, who helped develop a working nuclear plant using liquid fuel in the 1960s...
According to Australian science writer Tim Dean, "thorium promises what uranium never delivered: abundant, safe and clean energy - and a way to burn up old radioactive waste." With a thorium nuclear reactor, Dean stresses a number of added benefits: there is no possibility of a meltdown, it generates power inexpensively, it does not produce weapons-grade by-products, and will burn up existing high-level waste as well as nuclear weapon stockpiles. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, of the British Telegraph daily, suggests that "Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium," and could put "an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years."
Let me emphasize: They burn up existing nuclear waste as well as offering relatively inexpensive, abundant fuel. There are no 'greenhouse gasses.'
As I indicate in the "Amen" posting below, I do not understand why the environment movement doesn't get strongly behind this.