[extropy-chat] Nuke 'em

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Sun Oct 23 17:04:47 UTC 2005

"Greg Burch" <gregburch at gregburch.net>

> two issues remain as legitimate problems and therefore major stumbling
> blocks to more widespread use of nuclear power.  These issues are weapons
> proliferation

Weapons proliferation is indeed a very serious problem and all reactors make
Plutonium, but I'm not sure expanding the use of power reactors would make
things much worse. Already about 260 tons of weapon-grade Plutonium have
been produced since 1945, enough for 85,000 bombs; and that's not counting
950 tons of commercial-grade Plutonium that you can also make nuclear bombs
out of with a little more effort.

> and waste storage.

That is a political problem not a technological problem. The Yucca mountain
long term storage facility is designed so that for 10,000 years a person
living 11 miles from it will receive no more 15 millirems a year, a chest X
ray gives you about 10. Recently in a decision so stupid it takes your
breath away a court ruled that 10,000 years was not good enough because from
10,000 to one million years the amount is likely to increase to 350
millirems. A better example of the idiocy of planning too far ahead I've
never seen.

    John K Clark

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