Friday, December 6, 2013

Nuclear to remain key Japan energy source

Panel: Nuclear to remain key Japan energy source - The Washington Post
TOKYO — Japan should continue to use nuclear power as a key energy source despite the Fukushima power plant disaster, a government panel said Friday in a reversal of a phase-out plan by the previous government.
The draft energy plan issued by the panel underscores Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to restart as many nuclear reactors as possible under new, stricter safety requirements that took effect this past summer.
The draft Basic Energy Plan says nuclear energy should remain “an important and basic power source that supports the stability of Japan’s energy supply and demand structure.”
Allison Macfarlane, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in Tokyo that developing an underground repository remains a challenge despite a global consensus on the need for such facilities to deal with waste from nuclear plants.
“In the nuclear community, we of course have to face the reality of the end product — spent fuel,” Macfarlane said.
The full article can be read at The Washington Post 

The notes on the U.S. nuclear regulator are pretty foolish:
  • The U.S. lacks the political courage to establish a repository and has little moral authority to comment on any other nation's efforts to do so.
  • The end products of the nuclear industry are many, and include the electricity that improves all lives; by-products are used extensively in the medical industry, light signs, provide power to spacecraft, and spent fuel that will likely act as fuel again in the future.
Here's one consequence of how the byproducts of competing generation sources are stored:

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