Nuclear power- The future, or the END?

Posted on December 17, 2009 by

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Where's that fish with three eyes...

At present there are 24 Nuclear reactors in the United Kingdom, with a further ten new Nuclear stations given the go-ahead, each of which will cost the tax-payer £5 billion to build. You have to wonder; given the state of the economy, can we really afford them? Add on top of that, the costs of running them, providing security for them, and the ever growing conundrum of waste disposal.

There is currently no way to dispose of nuclear waste products. In the United States alone, there are ‘Millions of gallons of Radioactive waste, thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel, and vast quantities of contaminated soil and water. A large nuclear plant will produce 25-30 metric tonnes of waste per year. The disposal of low level waste costs around £2000 per cubic meter, with high level waste disposal costing between £67,000 and £201,000 per cubic meter, to store and transport to disposal sites. While waste can be reduced by reprocessing, the remaining waste will still be substantially radioactive for at least 300 years.

The cost of constructing a wind turbine is between £1.2 and £2.6 million pounds. You could build a considerable number of turbines for the £50 billion the new nuclear stations will cost. These new stations also present targets for terrorist organisations, who might be eager to bring about a new Chernobyl.

While a large-scale move to nuclear power will significantly cut CO2 emissions, it doesn’t solve the problem, and only introduces the problem of what to do with the waste, which is already building up. We’re getting rid of one problem for another, but it has the bonus of being a problem we don’t have to deal with right now, which seems to make it okay. For the vast quantities of money being injected into nuclear power, you could create enormous wind farms, do research into hydrogen power, which is now widely used in California, and which wont eventually kill us. Scientists suggest that in a hundred years they may discern a way to deal with nuclear waste, but cannot be certain. Perhaps we could just dump it all on the moon instead?

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