Nukes for thee, not for me.

Bill Gates is trying to advance next-generation, safe, clean, stable nuclear reactors.  In, of course…China.  Because we don’t need such stuff here in the States. 

But prepare for a startling admission!  Your host’s B.S. detector isn’t 100% accurate.  It’s actually “nine nine point…lots of nines”.  Here was my red flag:

…a Generation IV nuclear reactor that can run on depleted uranium.

“Depleted uranium” reactor smells of cold fusion to me.  But lo and behold!  The “travelling wave reactor” appears legitimate.  Of course, as I knew, it couldn’t be just a depleted uranium reactor.  Wiki states,

 The reactor is fueled primarily by depleted uranium, but requires a small amount of enriched uranium or other fissile fuel to initiate fission.  

Still, here’s yet another elegant advance on our forty-and-fifty year old reactor designs.  (Don’t forget those doddering old relics have yet to kill one single person with radiation.  What’s coal’s record over that time?)   

In a minimally sane world all major power grids would run off nuclear power.  Gas powered vehicles make sense, but burning hydrocarbons for electricity is nuts.

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About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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11 Responses to Nukes for thee, not for me.

  1. SeanB says:

    Just like Thorium reactors then……..

    There have been people killed by nuclear reactors, some of the electricity that used to be used by the Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia Electric Chair to fry would have been nuclear supplying base load. Of course the rest was safe, clean, non polluting and environmentally friendly coal, delivered from nice mountaintop removal.

    • wormme says:

      I’m unaware of anyone ever dying of radiation in an American nuclear plant. They have in early research reactors, radiography accidents, radium paint ingestion, but never a commercial nuke. And of course there have been fatalities at plants for non-radiation reasons.

      • SeanB says:

        Of course not. Most of the deaths amongst the plant workers come from travel to and from work. The annual checkups also prolong life, picking up things that could become dangerous very early.

  2. Edohiguma says:

    I heard some talk that China’s also working on 50+ thorium reactors. Haven’t seen any evidence for it, but given that it’s China and not Italy I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true.

  3. Ed Hering says:

    I did the calculations once.

    Turns out that even if you include the casualties from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, coal killed more people in the 20th century than nuclear power did. I forget what the exact number is, but worldwide something like 2,000 people died in 2007 in coal mining accidents. (Most of the deaths occurred in China, BTW.)

    • wormme says:

      I can believe it. Heck, given the life saving/extending diagnoses and treatments of radiomedicine, “nuclear power” may be in the plus column

    • MG says:

      IIRC, to match the UN numbers for deaths from coal plants you have to have a Chernobyl, causing Greenpeace’s theoretical casualty counts, every 2 years.

      • SeanB says:

        I think you will also have to add in any accidents involving the families of nuclear workers- plant, construction, maintenance, supplier, transport of any part of the plant, deaths from any cause in a nuclear medical facility and such to get close.

  4. MG says:

    I’d assume Intellectual Ventures is the source, since…yeah, Myhrvold and Gates.

    http://www.intellectualventures.com/OurInventions/TerraPower.aspx

    http://www.terrapower.com/home.aspx

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