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Rolls-Royce launches nuclear reactor business


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3 ( +4 / -1 )

Friends of the Earth said renewable resources were "woefully under-funded" in last month's government spending review.

The main reason being that most renewables just don't have the generating capacity for an industrialized society.

Go ahead and use solar on all of your rooftops. I agree.

Wind? Tough to get the efficiency.

Tidal? Sigh.

Hydro? Need more geological changes to make waterfalls.

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Good news honestly.

As a leftwing environmentalist, I always tend to be on the opposite side of the fence from many of my colleagues on the nuclear power issue. I still think it is our best transitory step until we can reach a point where renewable sources cover all our power needs; it is a heck of a lot better than coal. Even in the unlikely worst case scenario where every safeguard fails simultaneously it causes less damage over the long term than such fossil fuels do.

If we could flip a switch tomorrow and every country could be on 100% renewable power? Great! That isn't how things work though, and even with the waste nuclear power is safer and cleaner than coal.

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How about radiation emissions ?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Radiation emissions? I’ve recently personally visited a place just neighboring a nuclear power plant, an information and education center, explaining all that stuff, and of course I had a Geiger counter with me, just for fun. And…nothing. The same low base values of radiation as everywhere else, caused by natural radiation of radon in the ground, about 0.05~0.14 microSv/h or so.

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Reprocessing spent fuel and breeder reactors solve much of the disposal problem. It also greatly reduces the amount of new uranium that must be mined to make new nuclear fuel. The really high level long lived radioactive elements are re-used. Lower level wastes do not remain radioactive as long. Spent uranium loses 99% of its radioactivity in about 40 years. The hotter elements like plutonium can be re-used as reactor fuel. Most of the opposition to re-processing revolves around the fear of P240 reactor waste being diverted into nuclear weapons programs. Combine reprocessing with breeder reactors and you can avoid much new uranium mining while using high level waste from light water reactors. There are ways to make nuclear power work for mankind if people would overcome their phobias.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not quite true zichi: the plutonium is NOT weapons-grade, it is in the spent nuclear fuel, mixed in with the remaining uranium fuel and highly radioactive actinides. It would be a gargantuan task to separate the weapons-grade plutonium from all that and produce a viable weapon, if it were possible at all.

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I want one !

I think it's a wonderful idea along the renewable.

Always good to carry yar eggs in different baskets.


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It took a global energy crisis for this to happen.

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Britain now only gets 3% of its electricity from wind. More than half comes from combined cycle gas power plants and 16% nuclear. A week ago Britain got 40% of its power from wind.

So these SMR projects makes sense.

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They could be an anwser in countries which do not have powerful earthquakes like Japan.

The reactors at Fukushima survived the earthquake just fine. It was the tsunami that was fatal. Reactors can be built to withstand earthquakes.

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