Saturday, August 4, 2012

Are Fast-Breeder Reactors A Nuclear Power Panacea?

The Breakthrough Institute: Are Fast-Breeder Reactors A Nuclear Power Panacea?:
Plutonium is the nuclear nightmare. A by-product of conventional power-station reactors, it is the key ingredient in nuclear weapons. And even when not made into bombs, it is a million-year radioactive waste legacy that is already costing the world billions of dollars a year to contain.
And yet, some scientists say, we have the technology to burn plutonium in a new generation of "fast" reactors. That could dispose of the waste problem, reducing the threat of radiation and nuclear proliferation, and at the same time generate vast amounts of low-carbon energy. It sounds too good to be true. So are the techno-optimists right -- or should the conventional environmental revulsion at all things nuclear still hold?
Fast-breeder technology is almost as old as nuclear power. But after almost two decades in the wilderness, it could be poised to take off.
Continue reading at The Breakthrough Institute:

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