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What ever happened to the idea of using nuclear power as a domestic power source?

It works on nuclear subs and the like, why isn’t this being used to power cities and towns? I know it employs a dangerous risk, but truth be told one is more likely to die in a car crash to or from work than from a nuclear meltdown. Is it just not as cost effective as people once thought? Did the current green movement halt this idea? What happened?

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4 Responses to “What ever happened to the idea of using nuclear power as a domestic power source?”

  1. doug_donaghue said :

    Yeah, everybdy started worrying about how to store the (extremely hot) byproducts of fission reactors in such a way that they couldn’t possibly get back into the environment for several half-lives so they’d be ‘cool’ enough not to be dangerous.
    Unfortunately…… We don’t know enough about engineering to build leakproof vaults capable of lasting (guaranteed) for several milion years.
    Where to store the expended fuel we currently have usually turns into a huge NIMBY (‘Not In My Back Yard) brawl between the States. And transporting it is an even more massive circus than moving a nuclear warhead.


  2. Simoney said :

    People are paranoid about nuclear power because they think that every nuclear power plant will cause some type of mutation in the people and wildlife near the plant. If the nuclear waste is properly disposed of, this isn’t a problem. Also, nuclear disasters are usually huge and can affect people for a very, very long time afterward.

    Nuclear energy is very clean though, and it’s pretty cost effective, but the most cost-effective plants are also the ones that cost the most (because they have the most advanced technology).

  3. Nukemann said :

    I believe the main reason’s are greed and risk aversion, nuclear power requires investment up front for long term payback and people want their money now. The anti-nuclear people have shown their ability to drive up building costs through timely court challenges and fear based on emotion more than fact. Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
    !. Fission is the most energy for the least fuel with current technology.
    2. Less fuel means less waste, and the waste is all accounted for, not released into the atmosphere to become someone else’s problem.
    3. Uranium is readily available, very common in the earth’s crust (about the same as tin)
    4. Economical – operating cost about the same as coal, fuel cost is a much smaller percentage of the total, therefore less susceptible to price fluctuations.
    5. Reliable – Nuclear power plants have very high capacity factors.
    6. No combustion, no Co, CO2 or SO2 released.
    7. Creates high paying, skilled jobs.
    8. Reduce dependence on foreign oil/ fuel. Uranium available domestically and in oceans.
    9. High temperature reactors could produce Hydrogen as well as electricity.
    10. Fantastic safety record.

    1. Irrational fear of all things nuclear.
    2. High cost to build and license, large initial investment for long term pay back.
    3. Publicly accepted high level storage facility not domestically available.
    4. Reprocessing facility not domestically available.
    4. High cost of personnel.
    5. Security concerns,
    Nuclear power, I believe is the best, safest, most reliable, current technology to provide energy. The plants operating now are safe and the new designs are even safer.
    Building 100’s of new nuclear power plants would improve the economy, reduce or eliminate dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, reduce pollution, and provide for future technological advancement.
    I have been working with nuclear power for about 30 years, I would be glad to have a Nuclear power plant or high level waste disposal facility in my backyard. My family and I live in a home within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant. (where I work) I have a great understanding of the risks involved and am completely comfortable with a plant “in my backyard”.
    Using Chernobyl as a reason not to build is like saying because of the Hindenburg I will never fly in a commercial airliner.
    Nuclear power has the smallest environmental impact of any current energy production method per unit of energy produced. One fuel pellet about the size of a pencil eraser produces the same energy as about 1 ton of coal, and if reprocessed 2/3 of what’s left can be reclaimed. Nuclear power is our best option for reliable, environmentally friendly, base-load electrical power.

  4. Simeon A said :

    I agree with all of the answers above. However, I think the reason why we don’t use domestic nuclear power is simply due to economies of scale: it is much easier, safer and cheaper to generate the power and dispose of the waste in a large central facility than it is to do so in hundreds of small domestic plants.



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