Originally Posted by bat4255
What about the nuclear waste? That's still the biggest concern isn't it?
Absolutely, that is a very valid concern. What to do with it the nuclear waste will continue to be a hotly debated issue.
But remember, we are breathing the waste product from fossil fuel right now. And it is the couse of global warming. Nuclear power dose not couse global warming.
The quote below is from my second link in the first post in this string about the safety of the new nuclear power technology.
This is the link again
" Physicistsand engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility: a pebble-bed reactor (PBR) – sometimes also known as a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). This reactor is small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for emerging economies. Its safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. This reactor is meltdown-proof.
What makes it so safe is the fuel: instead of conventional fuel rods made of enriched uranium, PBRs use small, pyrolytic graphite coated pebbles with uranium cores. As a PBR reactor gets hotter, the rapid motion of atoms in the fuel decreases probability of neutron capture by U-235 atoms. This effect is known as Doppler Broadening. Nuclei of heated uranium move more rapidly in random directions generating a wider range of neutron speeds. U-238, the isotope which makes up most of the uranium in the reactor, is much more likely to absorb the faster moving neutrons. This reduces the number of neutrons available to spark U-235 fission. This, in turn, lowers heat output. This built-in negative feedback places a temperature limit on the fuel without operator intervention.
PBRs use high-pressure helium gas, not water, for cooling. Reactors have been “run dry” – without cooling gas. Result: they simply stabilize at a given temperature – lower than the pebbles’ shell melting point. No meltdown can occur.
PBR from http://www.pbmr.co.za
South Africa may have the most modern PBR on the drawing board. With the help of German scientists – acknowledged leaders in the field - they have planned to build several reactors within the next five years. Images in this article come from their design."
A second quote for the same site:
"The high-temperature gas design also has a silver lining – it can produce hydrogen. Think about that – fuel cell vehicles need expensive-to-produce hydrogen to run on – this reactor could make hydrogen as a byproduct.
Generation of hydrogen has been the biggest stumbling block to it adoption as a clean fuel. Hydrogen, found primarily in water, is expensive to extract as a gas. While the technical problems of handling, storage and use as fuel are largely solved, the high energy cost to produce hydrogen has made it an energy transport medium, not a source.
These new reactors run at high temperatures which are perfect for cracking abundant water or helium gas into hydrogen which can then be used as a green fuel – burning hydrogen just produces water vapor.
PBRs could produce cheap hydrogen that could be piped to areas of need or used in the local communities."