L14 - NATS 1840 Lecture 15 Nuclear Power and Design...

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NATS 1840 – Lecture 15 – Nuclear Power and Design Momentum - Nuclear reactors produce power without significant greenhouse gas emissions, because of this, they are often put forward as a “green” technology - The current dominant model of power production, large-scale, centralized, distributed power, also fits well with nuclear reactors - However, nuclear technology is not popular, and has not been successful on a worldwide scale - It is generally agreed that nuclear reactors have been much more expensive than expected - From an environmental perspective, there have been serious concerns expressed about nuclear waste and nuclear safety Waste Concerns - Nuclear waste is a serious concern, as it lasts for thousands of years before becoming benign, however, relative amounts should be kept in perspective - For example, in France: nuclear waste approximately 1.2 kg per person per year, 100kg of toxic industrial waste, 15kg of hospital waste, 3000 kg of non-toxic industrial waste, and 700kg of agricultural waste - Uranium mining produces waste products that have not always been safely stored, for example, uranium waste has been used in building construction, spent uranium shell casings - There have been many suggested solutions for dealing with radioactive waste, disposal in space, deep burial (underground and underwater), mixing waste with glass and sealing it in steel containers - Reprocessing of fuel has also been pursued, using reactors to transmute the - harmful isotopes in the fuel into shorter lived materials - One of the key problems with waste management is the life span of nuclear waste, if it lasts thousands of years, how can we guarantee that we will have
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L14 - NATS 1840 Lecture 15 Nuclear Power and Design...

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