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Shutting down nukes? Absolute stupidity!
Coal and hydrocarbons, whether the latter are liquid or gaseous, create a thousand times more toxins per kilowatt-hour, or more to the point, per gigawatt-year, than nuclear fission even at the miserably inefficient level of today's once-through, no breeding, no reprocessing technology deployed in the USA. They create millions of tons of carbon dioxide, more than three million tons for every ton of carbon (C +O2 ->CO2), and even at 7 parts per thousand of raw uranium, the energy of the fissile isotope U-235 is enough to produce one fifth of our electric energy demand. After separating out perhaps 2/3 of the U-235, and then burning only half of it, and some of the Pu-239 produced by neutron capture, I calculate that the total annual fission products waste is under one hundred tons for the whole USA, probably 75 tons. Our foolish policy of no reprocessing means that that tiny amount is left mixed with about the same amount of plutonium, which is as good a nuclear fuel as the scarce U-235, and all the rest of the original uranium in the fuel rods. That's about 3,000 tons, because we use annually 25,000 tons of raw uranium oxide, and about 7/8ths of it is left in storage as "depleted" uranium hexafluoride.
Posted by SmartAlbert