Thursday, October 20, 2016

Modular Reactors: A Bad Idea

The Guardian is pushing modular nuclear reactors by promoting the misinformation that nuclear power plants emit no emissions:
Debbie Carlson. 16 October 2016. This new technology could save the troubled nuclear power industry. The Guardian,

... Nuclear power plants emit no emissions, but existing designs have become too costly to be a popular solution for climate change. The new technology has gotten significant funding from investors such as Bill Gates…
The entire uranium fuel cycle is VERY carbon intensive (i.e., polluting) and produces vast amounts of waste that we cannot manage. Additionally, nuclear power plants produce vast amounts of heat and contaminate the atmosphere with tritium and Krypton-85. In fact, the EPA is planning on regulating Krypton-85 emissions from NPPs:
Silverstein, Ken (2014, June 13) EPA Hits Nuclear Power With Kryptonite. Forbes,

See nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen's video here describing why nuclear is NO SOLUTION for global climate change:

The Guardian article's author is misinformed. However, the author of the article, Carlson, does offer an alternative view point to the otherwise approving discussion of modular nukes:
Mike Pasqualetti, senior sustainability scientist at Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, isn’t convinced the world needs this technology.
These new plants may be cheaper to build in theory than conventional nuclear projects, but it delays the transition to a more sustainable future in which 100% of the US’ electricity needs come from renewable sources and energy storage, he said.
“Small scale nuclear has advantages to it, but there’s still waste. Are they safer? Probably. Are they cheaper to build? Probably. Do we have any experience doing it? Not really,” Pasqualetti said.
As Dr. Pasqualetti points out, small scale nuclear reactors simply delay transition to a more sustainable future and are an inherently risky endeavor.

Fukushima Daiichi October 20, 2016

Fukushima Daiichi 5:13

Sunrise over Daiichi Futaba Cam

Several hours later pink glow persists over plant: