Nuclear Power

by Fred von Graf on March 24, 2011

My son has to do a project each month for school.   Sometimes this involves creating statues, paintings, dioramas, but it always includes some form of report and often requires a presentation. This month he’s doing a report on nuclear power along with a display and a presentation. He got this topic before the disaster hit Japan, so it just turned out that the media would be covering his topic at length, which helped make his research easier.

Now I’ve learned quite a bit about power generation in general and nuclear power generation specifically along this journey. I ran across an interesting blog post by Seth Godin talking about Marketing Coal, and how one disaster will easily skew our perception of how safe a technology is. The fact is that 4000 people die from coal energy production for every 1 in nuclear power when producing the same amount of energy, yet the general (ignorant) population thinks that nuclear power is not safe.  What do you think?

Plus I learned about a technology called traveling wave reactors at SXSW, which I shared with Markus for his report.  The neat part about traveling wave reactors is that they are fueled by depleted uranium (the waste product from normal nuclear reactors) and they can power a city of 2.5 million homes for a year on 8 tons of fuel.  There is currently 770,000 tons of fuel available in the US, so we could power the entire world for some time using these reactors.  The best part is that they allow us to power our cities with the harmful waste and are able to run for decades.  Now if I could just have my Mr. Fussion for my DeLorean…


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