|MadSci Network: Environment/Ecology|
Rebecca, There are two types of methods for generating Nuclear energy: Fusion and Fission. Fusion reactors generate very little nuclear waste. However, the technology is immature, and is not yet ready for commercial use. Fission reactors on the other hand, are a well-known technology, but have many negative issues to be considered. For instance: - Uranium fuel rods must be discarded after their usable lifetime. Often, too many of these used rods are stored for long periods in holding pools next to the reactor, creating a considerable safety hazard. - Radioactive waste water is often stored in inadequate containers that tend to leak over time and allow their contents to mix with water in underground aquifers. Occasionally, radioactive water is deliberately released into our streams and rivers. - Excess low-grade uranium used in fuel rod manufacturing processes must be disposed. There have been incidents involving shipments of this material, causing accidental exposure to the public. - Inadequate reactor safety procedures and training. - Inadequate governmental oversite. Just to name a few. Scientists hope Fusion reactors can be a viable power generation method in the near future, but must oversome various technical problems. Until then, we must solve the largest issue with Fission reactors -- the waste disposal problem. For more information, just click on the following link: http://www.ymp.gov Have a great day! Keith Little
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