(Note: Video credit to Barry Brook of Brave New Climate.)
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is taking issue with the idea of recycling used nuclear fuel to recover the energy that remains after the first pass of the fuel through a nuclear reactor. They have issued a call for action to encourage their members to demand that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stop making any progress towards acceptance of the technology.
As part of their call for action, they take issue with the very idea of using the friendly and supportive term of recycling.
The NRC must thoroughly reject the nuclear industry’s and proponents’ inaccurate and misleading greenwashing effort of referring to reprocessing as “recycling.” Reprocessing is like nuclear waste generation on steroids–hardly an apt characterization of what the public considers recycling;
That quote linked to an article published in the June 21, 2011 issue of the Atlanta Chronicle that led with a discussion about about the activist effort to force the NRC to avoid using the accurate term of “recycling”.
Here is the comment that I posted in response:
I like to think I am one of the nuclear proponents that has worked hard to teach my colleagues that recycling used nuclear fuel to recover the unused energy value is simply the right thing to do. I have been writing about this for more than 15 years. Here is one example article that I first posted on the web in 1995 – soon after it came into existence.
The fuel that we remove from our current generation of reactors still contains about 95% of its potential energy. The value of that energy is incredibly large – 20 times more than the already large amount of energy that we have been able to use during the first pass through the reactors.
Did you know that US nuclear power plants produce the energy equivalent of 4 million barrels of oil per day using just 2,000 tons of commercial nuclear fuel every year? Anyone who wants to conserve resources and reduce the material impact of human society on the earth’s environment should stop saying “no nukes” and start saying “know nukes.”
Publisher, Atomic Insights
Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast