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Posted on 21 Apr 2007 5:51 pm
There is such a deja vu feeling to this debate - its as if the last thirty plus years did not happen - when the IAEA in 1970 was projecting 2-3,000 reactors - there are sound reasons why this did not happen and why there 440 today. To reach fifty percent of global electricty from nuclear power - say by 2050 - would require an eightfold increase in today's installed capacity (350GW) to 3000GW. To cite Professor Fieveson of Princeton:
"The management of a nuclear system of 3000 GW would be truly challenging. If based on a once-through fuel cycle using light water reactors, such a system would generate roughly 600 tons of plutonium annually, and would require on the order of one-half million tons of natural uranium annually. If based on liquid-metal plutonium breeder reactors, it would involve the fabrication into fresh fuel annually of over four thousand tons of plutonium (though the cumulative inventory of plutonium would be much less than for a system based on light water reactors). Is a nuclear future of such magnitude thinkable?" http://units.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters
Patrick Moore may find it easy to throw about such figures but he has either not or is incapable of thinking through the consequences. Members of Parliament would be ill advised to follow his example.
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