U.S. Nuclear reactors are not known for their fuel
efficiency. At a mere three to four percent burn-up, much of the uranium fuel
is wasted and current reactors produce large amounts of unsightly nuclear
waste. Advanced gas reactors may offer a better choice for the aging U.S.
nuclear power posse.
Working together with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the Babcock &
Wilcox Company, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with funding from the
Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Science, has produced a new fuel for
the high temperatures of advanced gas reactors. In tests conducted at the
Advanced Test Reactor at INL, the fuel reached a nine percent burn-up, a near
three-fold efficiency gain from traditional water-cooled nuclear plant fuel and
halfway to the targeted 16 to 18 percent.
The fuel, produced in the ORNL Materials Science and Technology Division, is
made up of thousands of tiny carbon and silicon carbide coated spheres of
uranium, which are compressed into fuel sticks and loaded into a graphite form.
With growing concerns about nuclear
reactor waste products, skeptical
outlooks for the future of nuclear power and foreign
companies selling mini-plants to U.S. customers, a new, more efficient fuel
made in America is a ray of hope for U.S. nuclear power advocates. Though it
will possibly never be without its own pollution problems, further refinement
and research into fission reactors may yield a very efficient and comparatively
clean energy generation model.
quote: it's only costly in comparison to the price of raw uranium
quote: Gee, I don't know if that's feasible...
quote: Radioisotope Thermoeletric generators (generators which convert the heat from a radioactive material into electricity) are compact and have been used in satellites
quote: Converting heat directly into electricity is the key. Just think of the things we have today that weren't feasible 50 years ago.
quote: It would have, had we not stopped building new plants, particularly the newer designs which are safer, cleaner, and more efficient.
quote: Built in Britain - God Save the Queen :)
quote: Once the chain reaction gets out of control it's bend over and kiss your bottom goodbye.
quote: Its statements like these that will keep us forever tied to energy sources controlled by some of the most evil regimes in history.
quote: Would you live within a line of sight of a nuclear plant?
quote: and not just Allied soldiers, taking all sides into consideration
quote: to secure oil reserves
quote: Yes thats why we're fighting. Because we're getting so much from Iraq's oil. The first oil contract out of Iraq went to China.
quote: If you think nuclear is so great, ask yourself this: Would you live within a line of sight of a nuclear plant?
quote: U.S. Nuclear reactors are not known for their fuel efficiency.
quote: You are mistaken with your idea that if someone expresses a fact, or opinion, that differs with your own, that it is then THEIR burden to prove something you didn't bother to yourself. You are the one making the claim this is incorrect and as such it is you who has the initial contradictory burden if anyone does.
quote: unsightly nuclear waste