The nuclear industry’s future is bright, but a number of issues – including public acceptance – must first be resolved, according to a panel of industry leaders at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
World Nuclear News 10th Sept 2019 read more »
Jim Green: ‘Advanced’ nuclear reactors are advancing climate change. Another example comes from Canada, where one potential application of small reactors is providing power and heat for the extraction of fossil fuels from tar sands. Some ‘advanced’ reactors could theoretically consume more nuclear waste than they produce. That sounds great ‒ until you dig into the detail. An article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ‒ co-authored by Allison Macfarlane, a former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission ‒ states that “molten salt reactors and sodium-cooled fast reactors – due to the unusual chemical compositions of their fuels – will actually exacerbate spent fuel storage and disposal issues.” The subclass of sodium-cooled fast reactors called ‘integral fast reactors’ (IFRs) could theoretically gobble up nuclear waste and convert it into low-carbon electricity, using a process called pyroprocessing. But an IFR R&D program in Idaho has left a god-awful mess that the Department of Energy (DOE) is struggling to deal with. This saga is detailed in a 2017 article and a longer report by the Union of Concerned Scientists’ senior scientist Dr. Edwin Lyman, drawing on documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation.
Renew Economy 11th Sept 2019 read more »