Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is the safest, cleanest, most carbon free, and the energy source most capable of supplying the needed power for the world to transition from oil and gas to sustainable carbon-free energy within a reasonable time frame. The fuel source is essentially inexhaustable within the time frame relevant to humans. Nuclear power plants do not have weapons grade materials and cannot "blow up." Modern installations have passive meltdown protection so electrical power can be lost and still prevent meltdown. Some advanced nuclear plants have systems that literally cannot melt down. The amount of radioactive material that is left over from nuclear power plants, is very small compared to the waste produced by burning coal, oil, or gas. There are strict rules on how it is to be disposed. Despite fears, modern scientific research demonstrates that low dose radiation is not necessarily harmful and can actually work to lessen the incidence of cancer.

Nuclear Power Plants

Summary

Global warming is the result of human activity releasing excess greenhouse gases. Nuclear power plants are capable of delivering prodigious amounts of greenhouse gas free electrical power or heat once they have been installed. Since their introduction nuclear power plants have provided a large proportion of the electrical power that does not contribute to global warming, out-producing the sum of wind, water, and solar power. Given the clear need to make the transition from fossil fuels to a carbon free or at least a carbon-neutral energy source, why is nuclear so slow on the implementation? The technology is rapidly advancing with emphasis on the large infrastructure installations and a newer interest in innovative small modular reactors. The modern installations are essentially meltdown proof with passive systems that do not depend on electricity, or types of fuels that cannot meltdown (such as thorium).

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  Image courtesy Nuclear Waste Management Organization

Image courtesy Nuclear Waste Management Organization

Where it all began

This PowerPoint presentation is by Dan Meneley PhD a professional nuclear engineer who spent many years as an expert in the field of nuclear power generation and was the Chief Engineer for the Ontario installation of nuclear power plants.

TED Talk

by Michael Schellenberger, The Breakthrough Institute

An Interview

With Eric Loewen

Brief Summary

America’s reliance on fossil fuels is contributing to global warming, posing a threat to the future of the planet. Much of the discussion around mitigating climate change centers on sources like solar and wind power, while nuclear power is often left out of the conversation. Fear about safety and expense have hindered the development of nuclear power as a sustainable energy source for the United States, but Eric Loewen hopes to change that perception.

He is the chief consulting engineer at the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy facility in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he works to develop fourth generation nuclear power technology. Loewen is also the past president of the American Nuclear Society. Host Frank Stasio talks with Loewen about his path to nuclear engineering and his hopes for the future of nuclear power.

PLENTIFUL ENERGY, THE IFR STORY, AND RELATED MATTERS

by

Charles E. Till

(Excerpted from a series of articles in THE REPUBLIC News and Issues Magazine, June-September 2005. Preface by Terry Robinson.)

Preface

Soaring fuel prices, with the accompanying economic vulnerabilities, and environmental concerns about nuclear power plants in our own back yard has brought increased attention to energy needs in the past few months.

The Republic Magazine wishes to review in the next months just what should play major roles in filling our future energy needs, and in particular, a nuclear energy program of the recent past that appears to have been bypassed for political reasons.

Nuclear energy in some form promises abundant, safe, environmentally friendly, and economic power, and it is worthwhile examining what is known about advanced forms of nuclear power technology. When hearing the term nuclear power, many people conjure up images of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, nuclear weapons, and vast quantities of radioactive waste lasting forever. We here at The Republic shared these concerns, but were pleased to learn that there had been advanced nuclear technology research that eliminated or at least minimized the major concerns about nuclear power generation. We questioned why this research was terminated.

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