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Name: John
Status: Other
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
You might be interested to know that I searched for safe nuclear reactors' in Britannica and got no hits. 'Unsafe nuclear reactors' however got plenty of hits -- all from the antis. That's why nuclear engineering is declining. We simply are not proactive. Why aren't nuclear reactors safe?



Replies:
Nothing is free from risk. Nuclear accidents WILL occur, no matter how many safeguards are in place. Bridges will collapse, people will die in auto accidents, and babies will die from food poisoning. So what can be considered safe?

But don't worry, as reducing carbon dioxide emissions becomes more politically necessary as a method to reduce greenhouse warming, I assure you that nuclear power will gain prominence. There just aren't many other ways to generate electricity that produce no carbon dioxide.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois


Assuming that a nuclear power reactor is run according to safe engineering practices - which is often not the case as witnessed by Three Mile Island and other reactor "accidents", the technological problem of what to do with the highly radioactive "wastes" from the spent nuclear rods, whose radioactivity lasts for centuries, remains unanswered. Right now we just bury them, but that can only be a temporary solution to buy time to answer the "waste" problem. Until that problem is solved nuclear power will remain suspect as a major source of electrical or steam power.

Vince Calder



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