Wednesday, December 12, 2007

USA Today on New Nukes

... leaves a lot to be desired.

From the article:

Nuclear reactors generate heat that produces electricity when uranium atoms split. In the reactor core, uranium is kept in water to prevent it from overheating, melting down and releasing radiation.

A meltdown by itself typically would not be disastrous because the reactor sits in a concrete containment structure to prevent radiation from escaping.

However, a meltdown could cause a buildup of temperature and pressure that ruptures the containment building. A massive release of radioactive gas into a surrounding community could destroy or damage human cells and cause death or cancer.

Lots of uncritical reporting from a recent Union of Concerned Scientists report, too. But note one bright spot in the UCS press release:

"The risks posed by global warming may turn out to be so grave that the United States and the world cannot afford to rule out a substantial expansion of nuclear power," said Dr. Gronlund."

Can you imagine a UCS scientist making this statement even five years ago? Perhaps there's hope for them after all. We should make every possible effort to build bridges with the open-minded and reasonable "nuclear power skeptics"- the long-term outcome of the current nuclear debate depends on it.


John said...

I clicked on one of my interests in my profile, and it looks like we have "nuclear warfare" in common.

Check this out:

Ashutosh said...

The book on nuclear energy by Gwyneth Cravens which I am reading currently is pretty good.

Sovietologist said...

I'm hoping to get the Cravens book for Christmas- hopefully I won't be disappointed.