Friday, November 10, 2006


The N-Club are singing their wicked little tune again. Whispering sweet nothings into the ears of government officials around the world. Promising the world, including solving the intractable N-waste problem. Here is a well written article from the Ecologist; http://www.theecologist.org/archive_detail.asp?content_id=627 .

8 Comments:

At 12:11 pm, Blogger Pete Smith said...

Shame the bloke can't spell, kind of reduces the impact a touch.

 
At 4:31 pm, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Ha! Yes, I noticed that too.

Some interesting carbon footprints on uranium mining though.

 
At 8:05 pm, Blogger frances said...

Well, nobody said nuclear was nice!

Unfortunately, nothing comes in neat little packages. Even coal waste contains radioactive material! And I think (though am not sure) that thorium can be used without breeder reactors.

Still, love it or loathe it - and, despite its undoubted problems - what's the (real) alternative?

(We even have asbestos in our bloomin' bathroom tiles! :))

PS. Matt did you make a comment on my blog. Apologies if you didn't (cos my blog isn't really what you might want to admit to reading!) and apologies if you did, because I accidentally deleted it! :)

 
At 9:41 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Don't recall commenting on your blog...sorry!

As you & I and others discussed many times last year on other forums, there needs to be a good mix of energy resources/sources used. Not only for energy security and economic reasons but because they all emit their own poison. One policy option doesn't however cause more pollution; increased efficiency (e.g. CHP at one end & more efficient boilers at the other).

 
At 9:29 am, Blogger Stephan Smith said...

Just a few comments about the nuclear issue, and not wanting to voice an opinion for or against, I just think we should all try to take on board different views on the what might lay ahead should we continue with this source of energy.
Firstly the idea that we might run out of fissionable materials (in 20 years I think the article said); this is based on known recoverable reserves, if you had a 20 year supply of long-life (or should that be half-life) beer in the fridge would you be shopping for more? When demand or prices increase it is likely that we will find more reserves, or better ways of using what we have. After all the earth’s mantle is typically several tens of kilometres thick and we have only scratched the surface so-to-speak.
With regards the waste problem, this might not be as intractable as you think. There is some interesting work going on right now on half-life shortening; by mixing radioactive materials with other metals half-lives can be shortened significantly. In some cases a 60% reduction has been achieved using this poorly understood phenomenon. This could ultimately mean that nuclear waste only had to be contained for a few decades or even years before being as harmless as background radiation.

 
At 11:02 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Ah, the scientist among us is back! Can you provide link(s) to info 'on half-life shortening'? Sounds promising.

 
At 12:57 pm, Blogger Stephan Smith said...

http://www.iop.org/Media/Press%20Releases/press_6762.html

 
At 1:14 pm, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Thanks Stephan. It does look like our German scientist friend may be onto something there. Hopefully you can track his progress for us over the next few years(?)!

 

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