posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 11:32 PM
This article takes a look at the past, present, and future of nuclear power in the US. It discusses new technology that could help make nuclear power
even more effecient. It also touches upon nuclear power's role in producing hydrogen for cars.
America's nuclear power plants will soon have to be replaced--but with what?
Leaning over the rail of the metal catwalk, I peer down through 16 ft. of crystal-clear water at the cool, blue glow coming from the shapes at the
bottom: partially spent uranium fuel rods. "Blue," says Joel Duling, my guide to America's most sophisticated nuclear test reactor, "not green like on
The Simpsons." The narrow canal snakes under the catwalk and makes a dogleg through an opening in the wall into the reactor area, a cavernous room
that feels like a jet hangar. The top of the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) pokes unobtrusively above the concrete floor. Most of the 35-ft.-high steel
cylinder housing the reactor core lies underground. The chain reaction occurring there produces 250 megawatts--enough to power 201,000 homes. But, the
ATR does something more important than generate energy. The machine tests fuels and alloys against the extreme conditions expected in exotic new
reactors--radical designs that could produce power in molten salt, snap together like LEGOs and operate without water, safely and affordably
fulfilling the decades-old dream of clean, abundant nuclear power.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Personally, I feel nuclear power will be extremely useful in the next several hundred years. The more we work with it the more we will understand
it. Not only could it help to solve global warming but it could also help to open up the our solar system for affordable exploration.
As far as it being too expensive, I figure whatever it costs extra compared to alternative fuels should just be considered an investment into nuclear
research and development.