Friday, May 12, 2017

Nuclear Not Cheap, Not Clean, Not Safe

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal ran an article covering efforts to open Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste:
Kris Maher. (May 11, 2017). Plan Revived for Nuclear Waste Dump in Nevada. The Wall Street Journal, A3.
... there are 121 locations in 39 ates currently storing spent fuel from civilian reactors and nuclear waste from the military's nuclear-weapons stockpile, submarines, and aircraft carriers. Today 99 nuclear power-plants provide nearly 20% of the nation's electricity.... more facilities are being mothballed as they become less competitive with plants burning cheap natural gas.
The article states that the federal government has payed utilities over $6 billion for storing nuclear waste, as the government is responsible for removing spent fuel under the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

Unfortunately, the Yucca Mountain facility has some significant technological challenges stemming primarily from water entering the site (see here for discussion).

The mobility, chemical toxicity, and radioactivity of nuclear waste particles defy human efforts at containment. See the film embedded below, Into Eternity, exploring Finaland's efforts to establish a secure containment for millennia:

Radioactive waste takes thousands and thousands of years to become less radioactive, depending upon the particular radioactive decay chain of the particular element. And "lead," a very chemically toxic element, is the at the end of the decay chain for many radioactive elements, including thorium, uranium, and actinium.

Nuclear isn't cheap. It isn't clean. And it isn't safe for human health or the environment.

Nuclear is the fantasy of men and women who have aligned themselves with the forces of chaos and disintegration in their pursuit of the power of gods.

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