Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Not Ready for Prime Time Subcommittee Speaks

Blogger is back up. During the last month, major outages have effected Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo. Most of the problems were due to the cloud or "human error," or both. Unfortunately Google had to delete posts made on May 12, in its effort to restore Blogger. When Brian Wang attempted to restore his deleted posts, Blogger shut down his blog, "due to unusual activity." Fortunately The Energy Collective, keeps an echo of all of my posts, whether or not they are published. I was able to recover my "lost post" from the EC echo. Google has not attempted to shut Nuclear Green down.

During Yesterday's meeting, Reactor & Fuel Cycle Technology Subcommittee punted on first down. The Subcommittee's goals had been to
“to evaluate existing fuel cycle technologies and R&D programs in terms of multiple criteria. Criteria for evaluation should include cost, safety, resource utilization and sustainability, and the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and counter- terrorism goals.”
The Subcommittee clearly failed to do this. Instead it recommended,
Advances in nuclear reactor and fuel cycle technologies may hold promise for achieving substantial benefits in terms of broadly held safety, economic, environmental, and energy security challenges. To capture these benefits, the United States should continue to pursue a program of nuclear energy RD&D both to improve the safety and performance of existing technologies and to develop new technologies that could offer significant advantages in terms of the multiple evaluation criteria listed in our charter.

No currently available or reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technologies including current or potential reprocess or recycle technologies have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenge this nation confronts over at least the next several decade

Put another way – we do not believe that new technology developments in the next three to four decades will change the underlying need for an integrated strategy that combines safe, interim storage of spent nuclear fuel with expeditious progress toward siting and licensing a permanent disposal facility.
Clearly, the Subcommittee was not motivated by
the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before.
But then I did not expect the Blue Ribbon Commission to offer us a vision of the future.
In order to have a vision, we must be willing to take bod action, to undergo risk, and indeed to risk failure. Unfortunately a fear of failure will most assuredly lead us to the very failure that we fear the most. The Subcommittee recommends a business as usual approach to a society that faces a crisis,
The U.S. government should provide stable, long- term RD&D (research, development, and demonstration) support for advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies that have the potential to offer substantial benefits relative to currently available technologies in terms of safety, cost, resource utilization and sustainability, the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and counter-terrorism goals, and waste storage and disposal needs.
Fortunately we have not yet heard the last word on the nuclear future with the Subcommittee's report. We will have other chances.


Rick Maltese said...

The written document available at the government site
predicts a 30 year wait for an effective reprocessing solution. Shocking pessimism.

Some good public comments at the end were recorded on a cellphone by Kirk Sorensen. Very good comments in favor of LFTR by Mike Conley

and Robert Orr

Atomikrabbit said...

Have they not heard of LFTR, IFR, CoEx, pyroprocessing?

It’s almost like for the past year they have been living in a deep tunnel underneath the Nevada desert.

Charles Barton said...

Atomikrabbit They have heard, the problem is not knowing, but not believing in what we can accomplish if we are committed.

carl said...

On the contrary, we have heard the final word. It is amply clear no conclusions, either positive or negative, neither for nor against anything, will ever be issued by this committee. Not this year, not next, and not ever.

Greg Barton said...

Indecision is the purist form of skulduggery.


Blog Archive

Some neat videos

Nuclear Advocacy Webring
Ring Owner: Nuclear is Our Future Site: Nuclear is Our Future
Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet
Get Your Free Web Ring
Dr. Joe Bonometti speaking on thorium/LFTR technology at Georgia Tech David LeBlanc on LFTR/MSR technology Robert Hargraves on AIM High