Plutonium is the nuclear nightmare. A by-product of conventional power-station reactors, it is the key ingredient in nuclear weapons. And even when not made into bombs, it is a million-year radioactive waste legacy that is already costing the world billions of dollars a year to contain.
It seems like an audacious claim, but Uranium-238 might just be the solution the world needs to solve the energy crisis. As many of the intellectual thinkers, serial entrepreneurs and research stalwarts all over the world combine their efforts to solve the energy crisis, Uranium 238 seems to pop up more often than not.
Before dismissing this as yet another pipe dream or a media publicity stunt, consider this – the best minds of the scientific and research community are already involved in this project. Bill Gates has recently classified this as an ‘Energy Miracle’ if successful. This is a total revolution and not an incremental improvement of existing technologies. This is why, if successful, it can redefine the way we look at all forms of energy and indeed the entire geo-politics and socio-economics of the world.
(Reuters) – The lack of a permanent home for the nation’s radioactive waste is dampening prospects for a resurgence of the U.S. nuclear industry, federal commissioners said at their first public hearing on the subject.
The Energy Department set up the panel of former Congressmen, academics, and business leaders after deciding to scrap the long delayed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada.
Commissioners said nuclear waste does not pose an immediate threat to the nation, but a plan on its disposal must be hatched to address the concerns average Americans have about expanding nuclear power.
“This is a major impediment to the development of new nuclear sites,” said commissioner John Rowe, chief executive officer of power company Exelon Corp. “While we don’t have to do anything quickly to keep the public safe, we do have to do something decisive to have public credibility.”
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Friday that the United States needs to come up with a better system for storing or disposing of radioactive nuclear waste than a planned repository near Las Vegas.
“The president has made it very clear that we are going to go beyond Yucca mountain. You should go beyond Yucca mountain,” Chu said. “But instead of wringing my hands, let’s go forward and do something better.”
The Obama administration, in January, announced it was stopping the license application for a long-planned multi-billion dollar nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain near Las Vegas, which is opposed by environmental groups.
CleanTechies is fortunate to have some of the sharpest minds in the energy and clean tech industries as regular readers, but even if you don’t have a Ph.D., you should be able to answer this quick math quiz: “Which price tag is cheaper, $8 billion or free?”
Don’t hurt yourselves!
On Tuesday, President Obama officially announced $8 billion in government loan guarantees for construction of two new nuclear plants in Georgia, the country’s first expansion of nukes in more than 30 years.
A day later, the Vermont state legislature officially began deliberations on the question of relicensure of Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. While there are some transaction costs associated with keeping Vermont Yankee open past 2012, the cost is nowhere near $4 billion.
Given the commitment the president made to clean, domestic nuclear power just 24 hours earlier, you would expect the White House to jump right in on the question of relicensure in Vermont, right? Not so fast.