[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ nuclear fission and the future

Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>

The current problem of what to do with nuclear waste is 
more of a political problem than a technical problem.

DOE itself has other technologies available to dispose of fission waste.

One of the most promising is neutralizing the waste with a bombardment of
certain atomic particles which eliminate the current half life of 10,000
years required for it to neutralize itself.

To develop this technology on the scale required to treat all the present
and future waste would require an investment many times greater than
presently being spent on Yucca Mountain, to bury it within an area already
known to a have an earthquake fault.

In short, politics has forced upon us not the best, 
long term solution but the cheapest, short term solution.

Whether you like it or not, nuclear fission power is here to stay and 
with the development of each new generation of designs, the fail-safe
mechanisms are greatly improved.

Given the world's exponentially increasing demand for power and an
exponentially decreasing supply of fossil fuels, there is no other
complete solution to meet the world's future power requirements without
nuclear fission power being utilized.

In addition, these nuclear fission power plants in the future, will be
located in very remote places, as they will be used to produce hydrogen
from water, rather than electricity.

The hydrogen will then be pumped great distances, down pipelines similar
to natural gas, and electricity will then be created at the end point of
use, by fuel cells.

That type of power distribution is something you can not do directly with
electricity transmitted great distances with wire, as the current is
depleted by the resistance of the wire.

In addition, when hydrogen is used in fuel cells to create electricity,
the only by products are pure water and lots of heat which can be
recovered and also utilized.

In effect, hydrogen is the perfect, renewable, sustainable fuel, as there
are no pollutants created in the process of using it in a fuel cell, as
only more water is created from which one can then extract more hydrogen.

Producing electricity with hydrogen via fuel cells, is the future when the
fossil fuels run out, in conjunction with much greater use of photovoltaic
panels to create electricity directly from the sun and also, a much
greater use of wind power to create electricity.

In short, given the chance, engineers can solve most of our problems 
if the politicians would seek the best solutions rather than the most

This could be done now if we had an educated populace to produce the
political will, rather than waiting until we deplete our fossil fuels and
in so doing, possibly pass the point of no return in remediating global

Lowell Prag

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"