Wednesday, April 06, 2011
No matter how it is spun, the fatal flaw of nuclear power is waste. No one knows where to put it and no one wants a nuclear waste storage facility to be anywhere near them. From a public relations point of view, nuclear power will have an overpowering negative until practical ways are developed to handle irradiated materials with half-lives of 100,000 years. Billions have been spent in the US trying to develop a facility for commercial use. Billions more will be poured into research and development. Still the NIMBY issue will be at the forefront of considerations. There is urgency to solve the problem because tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel rods are stored throughout the Unites States at working reactors. The rods can't stay in pools of water forever. It will take a prolonged public relations campaign to get a US community to agree to a facility, if one ever does. Once that happens, the government will need to tackle the transport issue -- how to get spent rods to the storage area without going through too many towns. The real cost of nuclear power is far higher than one would think.