Gen X at 40

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ry -

Actually, Al. There is a nuclear power plant design that won't have a 'accident'. At least one that won't pose a threat to the people and immediate environment. It's called a pebble bead reactor. They don't use uranium(radium I think, but don't quote me) and insted of heating water they heat a noble gas to push a turbine. The fissionable material is encased in a carbide covering that actually absorbs most alpha and other emmisions. A worker could walk thru the reaction chamber without much danger.

If it leaked the non-neutron absorbing noble gas would vent, and with so little of the actual fuel exposed you'd never have to worry about a melt down. It'd be like a steam engine of your that had a hole in the water tank---fire but no water to carry the energy. The temp just doesn't go that high. CHina is building them like gang-busters. MIT has been experimenting with them since the 1960s. They don't work like the giant domes at San Onefere or Chernobyl. Totally different design. Earth quake wouldn't matter. It'd take someone sneaking inside and blowing the entire place to kingdom come to make it a danger to the public---and that would be about like a 'dirty bomb' in the footprint size and actual danger to the public. No run away fission reactions.

They're actually very, very, very safe. But you just say the word nuclear and the wet panties brigade gets those panties wet and in a twist. I don't necessarily call the wet panties crowd Liberal(or US liberals) since pretty much any political stripe winds up in such NIMBY crowds. and yes, I'd live next to such a thing in a heart beat. Matter of fact I DID live next to one, and slept quite soundly.

If he's talking about this you might want to cut the man a sliver of slack. There's a sliver of truth in what he's saying. If not, well, why shouldn't Harper make the case? They gave Al Gore the Noble Peace Prize for spewing forth scientific bullshit and halftruths. Why not?(I.e. razz him 'til Bessie gets tired and comes on back to the barn.)

Alan -

Maybe because he isn't talking about that? Chalk River is an old reactor (1950s) in an earthquake zone. I used to live near it.