I don't think nuclear power is economically feasible. The only reason we think it is is that we hide the true costs or don't even know them.
The waste disposal cost is unknown because we haven't figured out a way to dispose of it yet.
And the insurance cost is unknown because for example in the US, the insurance cap is something like $10 billion. I don't think it's higher in Japan, the whole industry is underinsured. The cost of cleaning up Fukushima is going to run into hundreds of billions of dollars, which would bankrupt TEPCO, so consumers will end up footing the bill.
If the industry was properly insured, that alone might make nuclear power economically impractical. But add in the unknown cost of disposing of nuclear waste, and it's even less economically feasible.
We let the nuclear company lobbies get away with letting the consumers subsidize their insurance and not have to dispose of the waste, and that's the only reason nuclear power exists. If those economics were figured in, we wouldn't have nuclear power according to my back-of-the napkin calculations.
I'm not sure what your point about 13 year olds is. Are you suggesting that economics don't drive decision-making processes in the real world? I think even a lot of 13 year olds know that.
Originally posted by MACchineYes there are some interesting ideas for the future like the mass driver, but we're not there yet. I frankly have no idea how they are going to safely dispose of waste for tens of thousands of years, other than space disposal.
I did not know that GOOD IDEAS !!!
Any other method I've heard, and 10,000 years from now it seems like it could show up somewhere to poison our descendants.
edit on 18-6-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification