In theory, I love the idea of new nuclear tech enabling us to do more with less risk and less emissions and all, but between
I kinda conclude that we are just not mature enough of a culture to responsibly make this work yet.
On #1 usually you would see an experiment taking place underground if possible so that if there is going to be a massive contamination, it’ll just be stuck underground, but as you probably guessed, there’s still a risk of contaminating the water table which leads to #2.
Fundamentally, Nuclear Waste will simply last for far too long and are just too toxic that we’re basically stuck with it for thousands of years. On a geological scale of time, we’re basically consuming energy for 20 to 50 years with nuclear energy and having to hold onto the nuclear waste for next 10,000 years which is pretty absurd in that perspective. The 6 favorite words in the nuclear industry is: “We will figure it out later.”
There is simply no way to make a storage of nuclear waste actually guaranteed to last until the half-life consume the nuclear waste, next best would be to simply launch the waste into the sun though that impose another set of risk, what if rocket explodes with the nuclear waste, now it’s going to spew all over the planet.
That why I’m 50/50 on nuclear energy and the reason why I support the other 50% FOR Nuclear Energy is that it mostly to serve as a “battery” to stabilize the global warming situation (since it’s causing irreparable harm to our planet) while we’re trying to shift our energy production to green energy and providing more time to nuclear fusion research to hopefully establish a permanent clean energy production for the world.
I feel like we’re trying to do a mad dash for Nuclear Fusion, because that would be the only thing that can hypothetically support Capitalism model for infinite growth scenario in an increasingly overpopulated planet with a thirst for rising standard of living for everyone. (Solar energy doesn’t work everywhere and neither does wind energy, just fyi.)
TL;DR: We’re 100% f***ed unless we get Nuclear Fusion to dig our way out of this mess.
Until we get fusion working (yay, only real by-product would be helium), I think SMR is a good path to go down. Still nuclear, but much smaller and generally far safer design. Wouldn’t have big power plants blowing up because of badly implemented sea walls.
Though they would still be left holding the bag of nuclear waste however.
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