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China Goes Nuclear 1058

Posted by michael
from the power-to-the-people dept.
Rei writes "Wired reports that the People's Republic of China has announced plans to build 30 new nuclear reactors by the year 2020, and by 2050 have almost as much nuclear power as the entire world produces today. The reactors are to be pebble bed reactors, in which helium replaces radioactive, pressurized water. A Chinese research institution demonstrated the safety of their test reactor against meltdown by shutting off the coolant."
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China Goes Nuclear

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  • by (54)T-Dub (642521) * <tpaine@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:17PM (#10143260) Journal
    I hope that China can help show the world what a viable source of clean energy nuclear power really is. The "danger" stigmatism that is attached to it is rediculous. The worst nuclear disaster in history, Cherynobl, killed a total of 3,000 people. That includes long term deaths attributed to radiation poisoning and increased cancer rates. Coal mining on the other hand kills around 30,000 people every year in mining accidents alone. Not to mention the pollution and enviromental damage that coal power plants generate. As for the nuclear waste generated aftewards there are a number of clever idea's about how to deal with it including one which disposes of it in the giant fusion reaction that is our Sun.

    Que unfounded paranoia

    warning : sig contains ad you may not like, but i'll give you a gmail account if you sign up ;-)
    • by sneakers563 (759525) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:19PM (#10143286)
      As for the nuclear waste generated aftewards there are a number of clever idea's about how to deal with it including one which disposes of it in the giant fusion reaction that is our Sun.

      And we all know that rockets never blow up or otherwise fail on launch.

      • by filth grinder (577043) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:22PM (#10143324)
        And we all know that rockets never blow up or otherwise fail on launch.

        That is why we have Superman to fly the waste up and out of our atomosphere and fling them at the sun.
    • by radixvir (659331) * on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:21PM (#10143309) Homepage

      there are a number of clever idea's about how to deal with it including one which disposes of it in the giant fusion reaction that is our Sun.

      except everyone is way too afraid to put anything radioactive on a rocket. what happens if it explodes and rains down radioactive waste upon a city? i agree however that fear of nuclear power is exaggerated. the only reason china is building plants and the US is not, is because no one wants one in their backyard. in china they dont have much choice in what the government determines for them.

      • What happens if a nuclear bomb is detonated in Nevada? Will people flee from Las Vegas? Ever hear of Voyager, Pioneer and etc...they had "radioisotope thermoelectric generators" or RTGs. Also, China isn't new to the nuclear power scene. They've been doing it for years and years. It's just that they're taking it a step beyond what the US did. Face it, our (the US's) current nuclear power infrastructuce is marginal.
      • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:49PM (#10143689) Homepage
        Their government has no choice. Their oil imports are expanding a lot, and oil is expensive enough as it is.
      • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:55PM (#10143748)
        I keep hearing stories about the Japanese working on some type of orbital projectile launcher, same type of thing Gerald Bull was working on before his untimely death. I don't know if they are true, but this would provide a safe way of getting non-human cargo to orbit without the risk of explosion. Encased blocks of radioactive waste could be shot to orbit, then nudged towards the sun by an orbiting sat.

        How about the space elevator I keep hearing about here on Slashdot?... No explosive danger there either! Small/medium sized containers could be hoisted to orbit, then directed towards the sun with just a little force. Could make the containers or lift cars with some type of balistic parachute too, so if the cord breaks, the containers land safely in the sea where they can be recovered without exposure.

        I'm not too fond of the idea of exploding radioactive bottle-rockets, but the way things are going, we may not have to think like that for too much longer. There are lots of new technologies that could help us safely get our waste to the sun. Best part about that...it's not on earth anymore! No need to worry about theft from the terrorists now and no need to worry about warning the the rabbit-people 50,000 years from now. Yucca mountain may just become a "low-level" waste type site for materials that just don't need to be hoisted to the sun, like all those slightly used Tyvec suits and minimally contaminated whatnot.

        The idea of putting our nuclear waste on the sun isn't so far fetched. We just need to come up with a safe way of handling it until it gets there.

        • by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:20PM (#10144009) Journal
          I'm all for the "get it off the earth" idea, but why is everyone so dead set on sending it into the Sun?
          Dump it on the Moon. It's still safely out of the hands of bad people, it still won't get into the ground water, and despite Jules Vern's stories, there is nothing living there to care about the radiation. Plus, this has the added benefit of being retreivable. Who knows, in a few hundred years there may be a good use for all of that stuff, or a good way to recycle it. If it's on the Moon, all it requires is a short trip, and a nice stroll in a spacesuit, to get it back; if it's in the Sun, its a further trip, a more difficult landing, and the stoll in the spacesuit is far less comfortable. <bad joke>Unless we go at night, but landing in the dark would suck.</bad joke>
          In the end, I think nuclear power is inevitable. Sure, solar, wind, and geothermal have their place, and maybe a big one, but we are still going to need nuclear to fill in the gaps.

          • by Caseyscrib (728790) on Friday September 03, 2004 @02:32AM (#10146793)
            I'm disappointed that no one has mentioned that we can cut our energy demand by at least 30-50% by simply *saving* energy. On my way home from work I see lights on all over people's houses and nobody is using them. People don't carpool to work, instead they take their 12 MPG SUV. People waste an incredible amount of everything, and instead of asking "how can I use less", the question is, "where do I get more?"

            We have recycling and reusable goods, but its more convient to throw it in the trash. All of this trash has to go somewhere, and nobody seems to care. There's many reasons to conserve: You save money, the environment, and feel good about it. I'm not anti-science, but I feel like 95% of the crap we manufacture today is complete crap. We live in huge houses, own 4 cars per family, several TV sets and multiple computers. We've gotten all this stuff within the past century. Before that, we didn't even have electricity. Its disappointing to see that because we can spend more, we feel that we must consume more. There's a direct correlation between the two and I would like to know why.

    • by kaan (88626) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:23PM (#10143334)
      Not only does nuclear energy work, but it is a major source of power all over Europe. For instance, France currently generates 75% of its total power from nuclear sources (from this BBC story [bbc.co.uk]). Like many things, nuclear power can be a good thing if it is generated safely, and it can be very dangerous if not. The key is to be safe in how the nuclear power plant is built, operated and maintained.
      • by Kinniken (624803) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:53PM (#10143725) Homepage
        ...there has never been a fatal casualty in the French civil nuclear program, which has been running for at least thirty years. End result? We are the only major EU country to produce more energy than we need, and make quite a lot of money selling it to our neighbours. Our biggest client? Germany, forced to import electricity from us after declaring the country a nuclear free zone... lol.
        As for the whole "yeah but you don't want to live next to one", true enough but on the whole I would rather live close to a nuclear power plant than close to a coal or oil one.
      • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:01PM (#10143812) Homepage
        IIRC, France is scaling back their nuclear power generation. The only countries I can think of with a serious commitment to nuclear power are France and Japan.

        This is an incredibly smart move by China. They can clearly see the problems our dependence on foreign oil has caused. When oil hits $75/barrel in several years, Americans are going to look at China's cheap nuclear power facilities and say "Why didn't we think of that?".

        -B
        • Why? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @07:43PM (#10144664)
          We have very few oil power plants. The majority of our power comes from coal which is cheap and very abundant within our own borders. Natural gas and oil are also used (as well as nuclear) but coal is the main non-nuclear source.

          That, combined with the scare factor, is the reason the US is so bleh about nuclear power. We have coal, more than we can use in a long time, so why not just keep burning it? I mean nuclear is all evil and scary and shit.

          But no, oil going up won't crunch our grid, it'll crunch our cars.
    • Parent is absolutely right. Despite the demonization of nuclear energy (from Chernobyl to Three Mile Island to Mr. Burns), it really does have the potential, if implemented responsibly (which it looks like this IS), to be one of the safest and most productive energy sources ever.

      And in China, of course, there won't be any of those pesky worker protests, singing:

      "Come gather round children
      it's high time you learned
      bout a hero named Homer
      and a devil named Burns.

      We'll march till we drop
      the girls and the fe
    • by Camel Pilot (78781) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:25PM (#10143373) Homepage Journal
      Yes, but it does scare me a little that China is a country that is a totalitarian regime with no free press or independent reporting/investigation, or accountability!

      It took Eastern Europe to alert the world that there might be problem at Cherynobl. Do you think the Chinese govnerment will be seeking public input on were and how to store the waste?

    • by br0ck (237309) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:28PM (#10143419)
      Coal releases more radioactivity that nuclear power anyway.

      From this article [ornl.gov], "the population effective dose equivalent from coal plants is 100 times that from nuclear plants."
    • Part of what scares people is the far reaching and long lasting effects of any disaster. An enormous amount of land was affected by Chernobyl (as far away as Cumbria in England, see here [bbc.co.uk]) and could remain unusable for 100's of years.

      It is also almost impossible to carry out any "clean up", even if the money was available.

      Having said this, I personally believe the chances of an accident in a modern reactor are very low. If they could be sited in useless land (e.g. desert) as well, they benefits would outwe

      • by moreati (119629) <alex@moreati.org.uk> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:57PM (#10143770) Homepage
        Read up on the reactor design they're using, Pebble Bed Reactors [wikipedia.org].

        These are not your traditional nuclear reactors, they don't suffer from a run-away failure mode, they're designed such that even if all control rods are removed and the coolant gets shut off the increased temperature itself slows down the reaction to a stable idle - below the temperature at which the fuel or reactor melts. Ie they inherently can't blow up or go into meltdown.

        Additionally the coolant used is helium, an atom that has very low neutron absorbtion, meaning in the case of a leak there is no atmospheric or groundwater contamination.

        Additionlly-additionally the nuclear fuel is at a much lower density, compared to a conventional reactor, greatly simplifying refueling and disposal. Each 210 g pebble contains 9g of uranium grains, sealed inside an exetremely tough ceramic casing that doesn't burn or break - hence no radioactive dust or smoke in an accident.

        These things seem very safe and very clean. My main concern will be the lack of public criticism and independant oversight in a country such as China.

        Alex
  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GypC (7592) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:19PM (#10143282) Homepage Journal

    Yes, pebble bed reactors are very safe.

    I just wish nuclear power wasn't politically dead in the USA. It's really the only way to replace all the coal and oil we burn to produce the huge amount of electricity we use.

    • Re:Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Neophytus (642863) * on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:24PM (#10143357)
      I read a statistic once. Had we been able to harness all the uranium released from burning coal for fuel since 1970 and created reactor grade material, we could have created approx. the same amount of electricity as the coal burning itself.
      • Re:Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

        Of course, you couldn't harness all that uranium, it being so highly diluted in the coal veins that you can't efficiently refine the uranium. So it's kindof a moot point, aside from illustrating that coal is extremely dirty.
  • by Talondel (693866) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:19PM (#10143283)
    China might actually be able to pull something like this off at a reasonable price. In the U.S. this would never get done. Between the "not in my backyard" protests, and over-regulation, the time and cost would simply be too great. Not that I like China's government, but there are certain advantages to their style.
    • by Naffer (720686) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:21PM (#10143310) Journal
      I'm all for nuclear power, but overregulation is the only way I'll let it happen. I'd rather have more expensive pwower and a regulator for every employee then risk a disaster related to negligence or other preventable failures.
      • by mrchaotica (681592) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:30PM (#10143440)
        But the point is that a pebble bed design doesn't risk a disaster! From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:
        he primary advantage of pebble bed reactors is that they can be designed to be inherently safe. As they get hotter, the fissionables' molecules move faster, widening the range of speeds of the nuclei. The neutrons are less likely to interact with very fast nuclei, and the reactor's criticality falls. The reactor vessel is designed so that without mechanical aids it loses more heat than the reactor can generate in this idle state. The design adapts well to safety features (see below). In particular, most of the fuel containment resides in the pebbles, and the pebbles are designed so that a containment failure releases at most a 0.5 mm sphere of radioactive material.
      • That's the kind of mentality that keeps us from making any progress away from fossil fuels in this country. You don't worry about how many regulators or regulations they have at FF plants? Why? Do fewer people die in accidents at FF plants? No. Do they pose less risk to the enviornment? No. Heck, coal fired plants even release more radiation into the enviornment than a Nuke plant does, but no one notices that. Even for non-nuclear alternative fuel plants we can't get past these irrational fears. We can't
  • Excellent news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turgid (580780) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:20PM (#10143290) Journal
    This is wonderful news for China, the environment and nuclear scientists and engineers the world over.

    China is showing that it is forward-thinking enough to look beyond fossil fuels for its electricity. This can only be good for the environment and global warming in particular.

    I hope this reopens the nuclear power debate in the West. The USA and Europe should seriously consider comitting to new nuclear power plants for both economic and environmental reasons.

    • Re:Excellent news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @10:41PM (#10145663) Homepage
      Come on, face it. The "real" solution to both all our environmental problems and global warming is to simply scale our use of resources back to the point at which it wasn't a problem.

      I believe if the Earth's population was at the level it was in 1850, there would be no environmental problems and no global warming.

      It might be difficult to convince the rest of the world that this was the solution, however. It seems like the "solution" proposed by most is that "those guys" are using too many resources and need to be "scaled back", sometimes drastically. Sort of how Dresden was "scaled back" in WW II. We need to take the initiative and show the rest of the world that we are forward looking enough to address the problem unilaterally.

      Of course, this means we need 75% of the US population to report to euthanasia centers, but what the heck, we are talking about the survival of the planet here.

  • by MrMr (219533) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:20PM (#10143295)
    Isn't that what they call running a reactor without coolant until meltdown in China?
  • by Foggiano (722250) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:20PM (#10143298)
    China's need for energy in the future is going to be enormous, and I'd much rather see it produced by nuclear fission than by buring coal. No matter how bad you might think nuclear power is, buring coal is even worse.
  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:20PM (#10143301) Homepage
    Take a look at the current fossil fuel situation We're bumping right up against maximum output, and China's energy needs are growing rapidly--and showing no signs of letting up any time soon. (Same goes for the rest of Asia, for that matter.)

    You think China -or- the US wants to duke it out over $100+ barrels of oil in the next few years?

  • Space (Score:5, Funny)

    by daeley (126313) * on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:21PM (#10143306) Homepage
    A Chinese research institution demonstrated the safety of their test reactor against meltdown by shutting off the coolant. ...thus creating in an explosive instant the second thing in China you can see from space. ;)
  • Safety test (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marco0009 (716718) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .9000ocram.> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:21PM (#10143313)
    "A Chinese research institution demonstrated the safety of their test reactor against meltdown by shutting off the coolant."

    And what would have happened (other than the obvious) had done had their safety system failed?

    • Re:Safety test (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tmack (593755) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:57PM (#10143774) Homepage Journal
      Go read what a pebble bed reactor is [wikipedia.org] and then you probably wouldnt ask that question. Pebble beds use pebbles of a radioactive fuel mixture thats part uranium and part mediator. Where most reactors use fuel rods of highly concentrated uranium, with mediator rods between them that are moved in and out of the core to control the reaction, these pebbled basically have the control rods built into the fuel. They are designed such that they increase power only if the coolant is flowing, thus they are inharently safe. If the temperature goes up, the reaction slows and the reactor gives off more heat than it creates. The only "safety device" would be a failure to turn off the coolant, in which case the coolant would be taking the heat away from the reactor anyway, but might heat some other areas of the plant unexpectedly (heat exchangers/turbines/etc).

      Tm

  • by Azathoth!EDC (222280) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:21PM (#10143314)
    One word: Godzilla.
  • by tuxlove (316502) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:22PM (#10143327)
    ...China syndrome. At least this way, the sizzling ball of radioactivity won't have to burn all the way through the earth's core to get there.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:24PM (#10143354)
    There is a good writeup as well on wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
  • Now only if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by isa-kuruption (317695) <kuruption.kuruption@net> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:24PM (#10143359) Homepage
    .. the econo-nuts would let the US build more nuclear reactors within the United States in order to reduce our dependency on foreign oil...

    Nah, that would never happen!

    Instead, their socialist buddies claim the Bush administration liberated Iraq for oil, althought Bush-Chenery energy policy has been, since the 2000 election campaign, to increase the number of nuclear reactors.

    • Re:Now only if... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Stevyn (691306) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:41PM (#10143580)
      Exactly.

      These people protest and call this a "war for oil". Well when they fight like hell to prevent expansion for nuclear energy, it doesn't leave Bush many options. Remember how Bush wanted to drill in the frozen tundras of Alaska? The Alaskans were on television saying what a good idea this was and that the land they were going to drill was just a frozen tundra anyway.

      Bush and his cabinet have been pushing for nuclear power and moving off foreign dependency for oil all along and people who just jump on the eco bandwagon don't know what they're talking about half the time.

      More radiation has leaked into the environment from burning coal then nuclear waste. More people have died as a result of coal mining and oil drilling than from nuclear power. We spent all this money years ago to develop nuclear power and now no new plants are being built because of these enviro-nuts.
  • Helium. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:24PM (#10143367) Journal
    We had Helium cooling here in Colorado, USA. It was down more often than it was up. Problem was that Helium does a lot of leaking unless everything is absolutely right on.

    Though, I do wish them luck. I hope that USA will re-examine nuclear power combined with energy storage.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:24PM (#10143369)
    ...here's a Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] about pebble bed reactors.
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:25PM (#10143378)
    These are a completely different design (which is the whole _point_) than regular reactors. Pebble bed reactors have small 'pebbles' (billiard ball-size) with little flecks (0.04", if I remember correctly) of Uranium in them - putting them in the pebbles keeps them spread apart, and makes it (dare I use the word) 'impossible' for a meltdown to occur, such as Chernobyl. There is no radioactive water or cooling rods in this design, and the pebbles are designed for a million year life, plenty of time for the radioactivity to lose its lethality, so storage of the used pebbles is _much_ easier than with current nuclear reactor waste. The university in Beijing that has been developing this has had a plant running for around ten years, with no problems, and, as mentioned, shut down the cooling system to prove that it's safe.

    This is a really great development, and I hope it gets presented accurately in the press. The Wired article is very well written, though the blurb on the cover about the relationship between these plants and hydrogen is completely bogus. There is no more relationship between these plants and hydrogen than there is between any other power source and hydrogen.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:04PM (#10143833)
      It's also important to note WHY it's safe to shut off the cooling system. Pebble bed reactors are LESS reactive without the coolant, therefore they 'starve' themselves if they overheat (yeah that was for the layman). Thus it is safe to remove the coolant from a pebble bed reactor.
  • by vectus (193351) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:27PM (#10143405)
    China is certainly learning lessons on development from the failings of her neighbour, North Korea. Back in the day, NK went through a rash of development, building new capital goods and buildings. They intended to pay for the new capital goods/buildings with the profits the machinery, etc would earn. However, oil prices spiked and NK was left unable to keep their machinery running, making it impossible to pay for their expensive infrastructure upgrades.
    China is in the middle of an enormous boom, and it's excellent to see that they have learned from the mistakes of their neighbours, and aren't heading down the path that the rest of us seem intent on going down.
  • Misspelling (Score:3, Funny)

    by acidblood (247709) <decio AT decpp DOT net> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:27PM (#10143407) Homepage
    It's `nucular' not `nuclear'...
  • 2050? (Score:5, Funny)

    by FlipmodePlaya (719010) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:29PM (#10143434) Journal
    Jeez, have we learned nothing from Sim City 3000? By the time they finish this thing, the rest of us will have fusion power.
  • prediction (Score:5, Funny)

    by flacco (324089) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:31PM (#10143457)
    i bet the local walmart will take on a subtle, eerie glow at night.
  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:33PM (#10143491) Homepage Journal
    the antinuclear crowd doesn't seem to understand how advanced nuclear technology is today

    these pebble bed reactors just can not melt down, the design is such that their no possibility of a run away self-sustaining chain reaction taking hold

    do antinuclear types like the alternative? middle east conflicts fueled by oil prices? air pollution and smog?

    and proponents of green energy do not seem to understand their science: you can't scale up geothermal, wind, solar, tidal, ocean thermal gradient, etc, to meet one tenth of the modern world's energy needs

    the much vaunted vaporware hydrogen promise: where do hydrogen proponents think the hydrogen comes from? i don't know why people don't understand such a simple concept: you need to spend more energy freeing hydrogen from water or hydrocarbons than anything you gain from using it as an energy medium

    biodiesel sounds interesting to me, and fusion is always the holy grail, but these are unproven technoogies today... if you are a true green energy believer, then get to work here, and roll up your sleeves working on fusion or biodiesel: this is where the most promise lies for your efforts

    and of course, the "just use less energy" crowd: when you figure out how to tell people to stop using gas and nuclear and start riding bikes, get back to me

    meanwhile, i applaud the chinese, they see the writing on the wall: an overactive economy, demanding more and more gas and coal, and skyhigh oil prices and a volatile middle east... for the chinese, a pebble bed reactor commitment is a no-brainer

    now if only the nimby types in the us could understand the wisdom of embracing pebble bed nuclear energy to combat reliance on middle east oil

    but of course, simple fear of the unknown and ignorance of simple tech means the us will be left dependent on volatile undependable oil and gas and coal, while the chinese enjoy a safe, stable, cheap energy source

    apparently, the nimby crowd in the us sees less risk in sending their sons and daughters to iraq than building a nuclear reactor of new design without any chernobyl or 3 mile island implications

    this is not silkwood or the china syndrome folks, the stakes are accutely high in today's world: adjust your antinuclear opinion appropriately please
  • by dykofone (787059) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @05:36PM (#10143533) Homepage
    I did some work designing steam turbines for power plants, and one of our main customers was China. They were hitting an industrial boom and needed power like crazy, and also happened to have ridiculous amounts of coal. Problem was, this coal was considered poor quality because of the large amounts of sulfur, so it wasn't fit for exportation. Instead, they bought a bunch of 30 year old inefficient turbines and would pretty much throw the shitty coal out of the ground and into the burner.

    I think this is a much much better solution for them, both economically and especially environmentally. There were stories that they could only ramp up the turbines from stop(a process that took about 6 hours) at night, because the resulting ploom of yellow sulfur smoke couldn't be seen. Once the burner was at full temperature by dawn, no more yellow smoke, and thus no more concerned citizens.

  • by The OPTiCIAN (8190) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:04PM (#10143845)
    I'm disappointed Australia can't get elbow-deep into nuclear technology. We've got the best disposal sites, high-yield uranium sites and the second worst rate of greenhous emissions per-capita behind the USA. We could have centres of excellence in nuclear technology in universities around the country, turn Whyalla into a boom-town by importing and disposing nuclear waste, build energy plants in the middle of the desert and export green-house-friendly energy around Asia. Yet every time anything 'nuclear' comes up people have a hysteric response against it.

    For more than a decade, the federal government have been unable to create low or medium-sized respositories for nuclear waste anywhere in the country. Every time the issue comes up opposition parties (including of course so-called green parties) hammer it for all its worth from the most superficial angles imaginable. Even the South Australian Liberal government got in on the act a few years ago, chanting "Not in *our* back yard" despite the middle of the Australian desert being no closer to Adelaide than high-level nuclear stores in France are to Prague.

    So instead we have low-level nuclear waste scattered in sites all around the metropolitan area of several cities, which leads to situations like that of us having substantial waste stores sitting in the bottom of the university of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital, both of them right next to a river. This inconsistency is one of many that shows up scum political forces who harvest stupid people's irrational fears about nuclear issues.

    If Australian green politicians were genuinely passionate about our global environmental responsponsibilities they'd be comfortable with the idea of Australia as a major player in nuclear power and as a site for waste disposal.

    The above opinions guarantee I would have no hope of ever making it in politics. :)

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