Nuclear energy

A foolish consistency

Consistency is good – there’s a sense of security in knowing that some things will generally remain constant over time. We can always count on gravity, for example, to hold us firmly to the ground; politicians are typically pandering and self-serving; I can count on radioactivity to consistently decay away; and so forth. Of course, […] The post A foolish consistency appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Once more into the breach

I’d been planning on waiting a little longer before returning to the topics of Fukushima and radiation health effects, but a particularly egregiously bad New York Times op-ed piece deserves some attention. So once more into the breach. Writing in the October 30 New York Times, pediatrician and anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott used the nuclear […] The post Once more into the breach appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Where does the plutonium come from?

Last week I wrote about how the shortage of Pu-238 might impact the exploration of the outer Solar System, but I didn’t much get into where the plutonium comes from. After all, while there are trace amounts of natural plutonium, there certainly isn’t nearly enough to fuel a space probe. So this week it seemed […] The post Where does the plutonium come from? appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Yucca Mountain: Questions and Concerns

Yucca Mountain raises a lot of controversy – let’s face it; if it didn’t then a 4-part series of blog postings would hardly be necessary. Part of the reason for the controversy is that there are a number of worries about the impact of spent fuel disposal on the environment and on the health of […] The post Yucca Mountain: Questions and Concerns appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Yucca Mountain – Packaging and Storing Radioactive Waste

So – thus far we’ve gone over a little of the history of the Yucca Mountain project and how both geology and hydrogeology can affect waste disposal. What I thought could be interesting today would be to talk a little about how the spent reactor fuel is packaged – both for transport and for disposal […] The post Yucca Mountain – Packaging and Storing Radioactive Waste appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Yucca Mountain – hydrogeology

Although I’m a radiation safety professional I studied geology as an undergrad and for my MS (my doctorate is in Environmental Science). This included several classes in hydrogeology – these were some interesting classes, and I added to the experience by doing some work as a field hydrogeologist for a project at a Department of […] The post Yucca Mountain – hydrogeology appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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The rocks of Yucca Mountain

As I noted in last week’s posting, nuclear reactors produce high-level radioactive waste during their normal operation. This waste is not voluminous, but it can be dangerous and it needs to be sequestered in an out-of-the-way location for several millennia – in the 70 years since the first nuclear reactor was built there have been […] The post The rocks of Yucca Mountain appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Yucca Mountain

In the mid-1990s I was on a technical advisory committee to the organization that was working to find a location for a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility that was to service several states in the Midwest. Even with stringent siting criteria there were a number of locations that would have been acceptable; what stopped the […] The post Yucca Mountain appears on ScienceWonk, FAS's blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Up for Debate: Nuclear Energy

Dr. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute and Ms. Ellen Vancko of the Union of Concerned Scientists debate below about the potential for nuclear power to lead to energy…

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