[ExI] EP and Peak oil.
sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Apr 5 20:01:52 UTC 2008
John K Clark wrote:
> "Keith Henson" <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
>> I don't think you understand the problem. Neutrons plus depleted uranium
>> equals weapons grade plutonium
> I know.
>> better than any made in the cold war.
> You're right, I don't know what that means.
>> Why does it [plutonium] scare you?
> Besides being far more toxic than uranium a Plutonium economy world probably
> require breeder reactors, and they have a much higher energy density than a
> regular reactor and that means it's inherently more dangerous with less
> margin of error. A conventional reactor uses Uranium as fuel in which the
> U235 has been enriched from the naturally occurring .7% concentration to
> about 4%, you need about 85% to make a bomb.
On the other hand breeder reactors use fuel much more efficiently
producing less waste. They can also use some current types of "nuclear
waste" in their fuel cycle. If we are going to nuclear power there is
no question that breeders are desirable.
There are many kinds of reactors only some of which are initially fueled
with plutonium. What is "conventional" seems to have been as much due
to the old anti-nuclear power hysteria than sound technical limitations.
> A breeder uses weapons grade plutonium as a fuel, and lots of it.
That is not entirely accurate. See
Many types of breeders can be built.
> Also, a
> conventional reactor uses water as a coolant and to slow down the neutrons,
> a breeder uses molten sodium that burns in the air and explodes in the
> presents of water.
There are different existing breeders with different cooling mechanisms
including using water.
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