Small Town Nukes
Small nuclear underground generators would be carbon-free, relatively cheap, and can power a village, but wouldn't wind and solar energy do that as well minus the radioactive waste?
Besides, what exactly is a "village"? Approximately 8,000 households can be powered by a 10-megawatt mini-reactor. So, how many mini-reactors must there be to power, say, average cities across this nation?
Richard Lester, head of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, says that there's a way to mass produce inexpensive mini-nukes that, when used by the dozens in tandem, can match the output of a traditional nuclear plant.
Here's the million dollar question: doesn't a lot of cheap mini-nukes simply add up to being close to an expensive behemoth nuclear power plant?
This new approach simply makes the dangers and cost of a conventional nuclear power plant look acceptable by making the nuke smaller and distributing the mini-nukes all over the place!
Such an approach fails to address the concerns of where to put the radioactive waste that comes from nuclear power. Even though these mini-nukes are safer because they are self-contained, buried under the ground, and have no moving parts, they will run out of power in 30 years, which is less than two generations. So they are not as sustainable as wind or solar power.
When the mini-nukes expire all at once, who will pay for the cost of digging them up, transporting them to recycling facilities, and putting the tiny percent of non-recyclable radioactive waste into a safe place?
What will become of the used up mini-nukes with radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods? The National Geographic article admits that "With any of the new reactors, of course, there will still be radioactive waste to contend with" but then says nothing more about the problem of disposing of toxic radioactive waste.Continued on the next page