1. I think THEY need to be challenged with what they are always accusing our side of doing….what to do with “nuclear waste”? What is THEIR solution? How do THEY want to solve the problem?

    We are offering a solution(s) to this issue…they are putting their heads in the sand.


    1. David,
      you write:
      “How do THEY want to solve the problem?”

      Why do you think they would want to solve this problem? They don’t.

  2. Maybe someone should challenge the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s use of the term “Clean Energy”, since they are obviously opposed to the biggest and best form of it?

    Maybe the ANS or NEI should call on its members to write the consumer protection bureau of the state of Tennessee and report SACE’s false and misleading advertising?

    And when SACE makes demonstrably false claims against atomic energy facilities, the plants’ lawyers should file defamation suits.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, if the gander weren’t such a PR wimp.

    1. Rabbit – The problem is that the word “clean” is whatever you want it to be. It’s a meaningless term.

      Witness: “clean” coal, “clean” natural gas, “clean” municipal waste burning (i.e., burning trash).

      Perhaps a rebranding campaign is in order:

      SACE = Southern Alliance for Complete Empty-headedness

  3. Speaking of challenges to the nuclear cause, did you know that Mark Lynas’ most recent pro nuclear book ‘The God species’ was taken off Amazon UK.

    Reason from Amazon: the book had been withdrawn from sale “because a customer recently told us that the item he or she received was not as described”

    1. Daniel – I am reading Lynas’s book now. It is available in the US Amazon store for Kindles. Nearly every tablet and smart phone on the market has a Kindle ap available.

    2. Lynas was giving frequent updates on his ‘adventure’ with Amazon UK on his website.

      Then at 3:15pm this message started popping when I was trying to acces:


      You don’t have permission to access /about/ on this server.
      Apache/1.3.41 Ben-SSL/1.60 Server at http://www.marklynas.org Port 80

    3. To tell you the truth, it’s hard for me to have much sympathy for someone who once thought that throwing a pie in someone’s face is an acceptable substitute for rational debate.

  4. @ Rod,

    Just a heads up, your photo no longer shows up when you post a message.

  5. Hi!

    “Reprocessing is like nuclear waste generation on steroids–hardly an apt characterization of what the public considers recycling”

    That’s the old argument against the recycling of spent nuclear fuel – more nuclear waste comes out of the reprocessing plant than goes in.

    This, of course is true with all recycling, isn’t it? From the waste stream, that goes into glass recycling for example, only a part ends up as the glass resource. There is a lot of other stuff with it like paper labels, plastic and metal caps, leftovers of contents, etc. Then there will be some waste water etc. Now, if you define everything that comes out as waste, then you will end up with more of it.

    And this is what they do. In their eyes everything radioactive is nuclear waste. Everything that comes out of a reprocessing plant is radioactive. And this is more material than goes in. So there you have it.

    Off topic: May I point your attention to this:

    Fleeing crisis takes deadly toll on elderly / 77 Fukushima evacuees died within 3 months
    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Nearly 80 elderly people who were evacuated from nursing homes near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant died within three months of the accidents at the plant that forced them to move, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

    The 77 deaths are more than triple the 25 recorded at the nursing homes during the corresponding period last year.

    Officials at the homes believe many of this year’s deaths resulted from a decline in physical strength caused by moving far from the nursing homes and living in an unfamiliar environment.



    1. “Reprocessing is like nuclear waste generation on steroids — hardly an apt characterization of what the public considers recycling …”

      That’s the old argument against the recycling of spent nuclear fuel …

      You give these charlatans too much credit. That’s not an argument, it’s a catch phrase.

      Their statements are not based in science, they’re based in propaganda.

    2. Elderly people are not through their suffering. Hot season is around the corner and the refusal to restart the nuclear plants will likely kill many.

      Japanese are not trusting their government to restart the nuclear plants. Why are they trusting the government when they tell them to evacuate when the ridiculously low threshold of 20 milli sievert per year is reached? Wake up Japan.

      And is anyone in Japan having access to the internet to realize that cities in the world are exposed to more than 250 msv per year?

      Japanese families should just walk back to their homes. Most of them are perfectly safe.

    3. Nuclear medicine feeds from the waste generated from the nuclear industry.

      Millions of people are saved every year with technecium 99 that is injected in the body for precise medical diagnosis.

      Pieces of radio active metal are used in Curie Therapy to destroy tumors that otherwise would kill.

      Will people wake up ?

      1. Daniel – actually, the Tc-99 used in medical procedures is produced in specialized reactors, not in commercial nuclear power plants. Commercial plants do produce the isotope, but it remains locked up inside the fuel rods.

    4. It is clearly Japan’s irrational fear of radiation that killed those old people. Here is the email I sent to dy@yomiuri.com:

      If I lived at Fukushima, and my house had not been damaged by the tsunami, I would not evacuate.  The radiation from the reactor has not exceeded natural background radiation in many inhabited places on Earth.  

      book:  “Power to Save the World; The Truth About Nuclear Energy” by Gwyneth Cravens, 2007   Gwyneth Cravens is a former anti-nuclear activist.

      Page 77:   Natural gas contains radon, a radioactive gas.

      Page 86:   Among 80000 nuclear bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cancer rate was only 6% higher than expected.   Radiation is very weak at causing cancer.   

      Page 98:   There is a table of millirems per year from the
      background in a list of inhabited places.   
      Chernobyl:  490 millirem/year
      Guarapari, Brazil:  3700 millirem/year   [=3.7 rem]
      Tamil Nadu, India:  5300 millirem/year    [=5.3 rem]
      Ramsar, Iran:  8900 to 13200 millirem/year   [=8.9 to 13.2 rem]
      All are natural except for Chernobyl.

      Don’t take iodine pills unless your doctor tells you to.   You are not getting enough radioactive iodine [iodine131 or Iodine 129] from Fukushima to cause you any harm.   There has always been natural background radiation.   We date ancient mummies by the radioactive carbon they ate thousands of years ago.   The half life of iodine131 is 8 days.   That means that every 8 days, iodine becomes only half as radioactive.   Iodine129 has a half life of 17 million years.   It decays so slowly that it is almost not radioactive.   Iodine 131 is the highly radioactive one.   Cesium has a more dangerous half life because its half life is comparable to half a human lifetime, but cesium is not an element needed by living things.   Iodine pills have side effects.   

      If you live in Chernobyl the total radiation dose you get each year is 390 millirem.   That’s natural plus residual from the accident and fire.   In Denver, Colorado, the natural dose is over 1000 millirem/year.   Denver gets more than 2.56 times as much  radiation as Chernobyl!   But Denver has a low cancer rate.

      Calculate your annual radiation dose:

      The Average American gets 361 millirems/year.   Smokers add 280 millirems/year from lead210.   Radon accounts for 200 mrem/year.


      Coal contains:   URANIUM, ARSENIC, LEAD, MERCURY, Antimony, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Selenium, Barium, Fluorine, Silver, Beryllium, Iron, Sulfur, Boron, Titanium, Cadmium, Magnesium, Thorium, Calcium, Manganese, Vanadium, Chlorine, Aluminum, Chromium, Molybdenum and Zinc.   There is so much of these elements in coal that cinders and coal smoke are actually valuable ores.   We should be able to get all the uranium and thorium we need to fuel nuclear power plants for centuries by using cinders and smoke as ore.   Unburned Coal also contains BENZENE, THE CANCER CAUSER.   We could get all of our uranium and thorium from coal ashes and cinders.   The carbon content of coal ranges from 96% down to 25%, the remainder being rock of various kinds.   See:

      “Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII – Phase 2”  National Academies Press page 66, 331, 80, 70
      page 66 in pdf or page 49 in hardcopy:  “[T]he extrapolation of dose-response data for genomic instability to radiation-induced cancers in the low-dose range <100 mGy is not warranted."   100mGy= 100 millisieverts = 10 rem.     

      1. Edward,

        Another oddity is the Uranium mining ban in Virginia. I heard the US need jobs.

    5. You know, I’ve wondered about this – why not leave anyone who’s over 70 in place? I mean, I doubt that the *potential* (if the plant had actually leaked a huge amount of radiation, which it didn’t) for an increased chance of getting cancer in 20 years hold much terror a 70 year old.

      Although, I suppose the problem is that they need to be nursed/assisted by younger people, who need to evacuate, so the elderly must evacuate with their caretakers.

      1. You get cancer from BENZENE, dioxins and other chemicals. NOT from radiation. BENZENE comes from coal and crude oil. Cancer rates are highest near oil refineries. Birth defects are highest near toxic CHEMICAL dumps. Look up “Love Canal”.

        AGAIN: NATURAL BACKGROUND RADIATION has been around since the beginning of time. That is how we date ancient things like mummies and once-living artifacts of ancient civilizations. NATURAL BACKGROUND RADIATION is higher in many places than the radiation leak at Fukushima.

        Reference: “Power to Save the World; The Truth About Nuclear Energy” by Gwyneth Cravens, 2007 Finally a truthful book about nuclear power. This book is very easy to read and understand. Gwyneth Cravens is a former anti-nuclear activist.
        Page 98: There is a table of millirems per year from the
        background in a list of inhabited places.
        Chernobyl: 490 millirem/year
        Guarapari, Brazil: 3700 millirem/year
        Tamil Nadu, India: 5300 millirem/year
        Ramsar, Iran: 8900 to 13200 millirem/year
        Zero excess cancer deaths are recorded. All are natural except for Chernobyl.

  6. Why be concerned with what SACE has to say about recycling used fuel; as time passes by the stuff will self-reprocess. Each concrete cylinder is a well packaged gift to future generations.

    1. Agreed, but doing some recycling now proves the point. Will not quiet the confirmed opposition, but will reassure uncommitted fence sitters who “have heard” there is a problem with disposing of nuclear waste. Easy answer would be to say “we recycle it” and here is the place where we do it.

      I’ve visited the recycling facilities in France at La Hague and Melox. Pretty darned impressive, especially when compared to the complete lack of any ability to recycle fossil fuel waste products.

      1. I would restart the IFR project at INL along with the advanced fuels work that was going on. I wouldn’t spend too much money recovering uranium and plutonium from our current inventory of spent fuel because the cost right now is much greater than fresh uranium. Maybe take a few fuel bundles apart for R&D purposes; look at how the fuel holds up sitting in storage pools for years and such. I think the progression should be 1) license a few existing reactors to burn MOX, 2) re-start development of reactors that can burn U-Pu mixed with a few fission products and minor actinides, 3) a. Move fuel to dry cask storage b. plan for new storage solutions that take 1 and 2 and 3a into account. I’ve worked with a lot of people who would do this work and many of them are much closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. Doing this kind of work also maintains our ability to assess other country’s nuclear fuel cycles and work with the IAEA on making sure they aren’t diverting to weapons programs.

  7. Rod:

    I hope you excuse my being presumptuous of involving you here, but when I heard over the weekend that some NYC public summer school classes are using this guy’s blog as a _reference_ I got royally ticked off. The following I posted there.

    Issued to http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/ on July 10:

    So much of what you’ve reported here is such contrived crap that if you were a business I’d sue you for false advertising. We would be long living on a dead world if all the Doomsday propositions nuclear alarmists have been hawking for ages had any meat to them. It’s one thing to have a green grudge against nuclear energy and another to grossly exaggerate and color what facts the mainstream media slips through to get your way.

    I hate people being misled by Pied Piers with agendas, so I’m presenting you a challenge which I’ll be posting on other science and media blogs and if you refuse this to present your assertions here at the credible blogs concerned, then I leave it to your readers to decide the “unchallengable” truth and fidelity of all your postings.

    I invite you and all your readers to the arena at either of two blogs to view you presenting all your arguments and “facts” in the clear:

    Rod Adams at https://atomicinsights.com/

    Will Davis at http://atomicpowerreview.blogspot.com/

    If you don’t respond or delete this challenge for “truth” on this page, then I leave it to others viewing this post on other blogs to mull the reason for your decline or rejection. It’s one thing to gush a “truth”, it’s another to put it where your mouth is.

    James Greenidge

  8. @Edward Greisch – I agree with you. The big challenge would be the long drive to the nearest open grocery store.

  9. Downloaded from:
    Government agencies investigated missing uranium, NUMEC
    By Mary Ann Thomas and Ramesh Santanam
    Sunday, August 25, 2002
    Editor’s note: This the first of three parts on the history of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. Part II will appear Monday and Part III will appear Tuesday.

    The colorful history of the former Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. is rich with intrigue and mystery and unwinds like the plot of a Tom Clancy novel.

    There are stories of missing uranium, allegations of illegal shipments to Israel, FBI sleuthing, meetings with possible Israeli spies, talk of special “encoded” telephones the FBI could not tap, concern by the CIA, congressional inquiries and interest from the White House.

    The reason for all the cloak-and-dagger actions was an innocuous acronym – MUF.

    MUF stands for “Materials Unaccounted For,” and, in the case of NUMEC, referred to large quantities of weapons-grade uranium that went missing from the Apollo plant in the 1960s. [Wrong. It couldn’t be weapons grade uranium. The US uses only plutonium to make bombs. A uranium bomb is primitive, lacking in sophistication, overweight and inefficient. Uranium bombs are for countries that are new to the club.]

    The unaccounted for uranium piqued the curiosity of the FBI, the CIA, Congress, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its successor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter presidential administrations.
    …..article continues……..

  10. We don’t recycle nuclear fuel because it is valuable and people steal it. The place it went that it wasn’t supposed to go to is Israel. This happened in a small town near Pittsburgh, PA circa 1970. A company called Numec was in the business of reprocessing nuclear fuel.

    [I almost took a job there in 1968, designing a nuclear battery for a heart pacemaker. [A nuclear battery would have the advantage of lasting many times as long as any other battery, eliminating many surgeries to replace batteries.]]

    Numec did not have a reactor. Numec “lost” some nuclear fuel. It wound up in Israel. The Israelis have fueled both their nuclear power plants and their nuclear weapons by stealing nuclear “waste.” It could work for any other country, such as Iran or the United States.

    It is only when you don’t have access to nuclear “waste” that you have to do the difficult process of enriching uranium. Numec is no longer in business. Terrorists can’t compete with Mossad and Israeli dual citizens who are CEOs of companies like Numec. Israeli nuclear weapons are exact duplicates of American nuclear weapons. Since the US can’t and shouldn’t discriminate, the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in the US stopped. That was the only politically possible solution at that time, given that private corporations did the reprocessing.

    My solution would be to reprocess the fuel at a Government Owned Government Operated [GOGO] facility. At a GOGO plant, bureaucracy and the multiplicity of ethnicity and religion would disable the transportation of uranium to Israel or to any unauthorized place. Nothing heavier than a secret would get out.

    The problem is political: The Republicans think GOGO plants are socialist/communist, which is nonsense. If a COCO [Contractor Owned Contractor Operated] plant is the low bidder, it is inevitably a front for Israel or some other country. We could send our spent fuel to France to be recycled.

    1. Even without reprocessing, we still have waste which could be stolen. So, how does recycling the waste *increase* the risk of fissile material theft? I guess the key thing is that after reprocessing, the “good stuff” is separated from the inert stuff and the neutron poisons, meaning you have a much smaller weight and volume of material to smuggle?

      Can’t nuclear material be highly auditable? I mean, seems like we should be able to detect if even a few grams of the stuff goes missing, and detect it virtually immediately?

      Instead of GOGO, why not have government regulators on-sight constantly monitoring and auditing the materials?

      I personally think that, as long as your regulator isn’t corrupt or incompetent (yes, I know that’s a big *if*), the very best results come from having someone doing monitoring/regulating who is independent of the owner/operator.

      That is to say, the government’s job is to be the police, not the owner, because if the government is the owner, who’s the police?

      1. @Jeff,

        It’s actually very difficult if not impossible to track the quantities of Pu produced during reprocessing to ensure that enough material has not been diverted to build a bomb. This is based on existing processes such as PUREX where pure U and Pu are the product. This is why we should go to reactors that can burn recovered fuel that still has some FP and minor actinides in it. Remember, if a plant processes say 800 tons per year, that means about 8 tons of plutonium oxide are being produced.

      2. “Can’t nuclear material be highly auditable?”
        It certainly was. How do you suppose the MUF was detected?

        “Instead of GOGO, why not have government regulators on-sight constantly monitoring and auditing the materials?”
        That does not work very well in practice. The cop starts thinking of himself as a company person. And the dual citizenship CEO can always get around him.

        “if the government is the owner, who’s the police?”
        The Inspector General for the agency, the GAO, the justice Department. the FBI, the NRC, umpteen Congressional Committees. The government has lots of internal cops. I am a retired federal employee. Believe me: The GOGO plant works. COCO plants result in fuel diverted or stolen. Corporations are corrupt by nature. Profit = ripoff. And by the way, federal employees are more efficient because profit does not get skimmed off the top.

        Reference book: “The sociopath next door : the ruthless versus the rest of us” by Martha Stout. New York : Broadway Books, 2005.

        According to Martha Stout, 4% of all people are born sociopaths/sciopaths/psychopaths. There is no cure because it is caused by a part of the brain simply being missing. A written test, the MMPI [Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory] can identify sociopaths before they cause destruction.

        Everybody should have to take the MMPI in high school. Psychopaths should be barred from CEO positions and high political offices. Most CEOs and politicians are probably psychopaths. Who is a psychopath should be public knowledge.

  11. Woops! Spent fuel contains Pu240, not the Pu239 required for good bombs. The israelis put the spent fuel back into a short cycle reactor to make Pu239.

  12. The Israelis have fueled both their nuclear power plants and …

    Edward – Israel doesn’t have any nuclear power plants. It has had some research reactors and plutonium production reactors, but it has never had a nuclear power plant.

    Woops! Spent fuel contains Pu240, not the Pu239 required for good bombs. The israelis put the spent fuel back into a short cycle reactor to make Pu239.

    Spent fuel from a typical nuclear power plant contains both Pu-240 and Pu-239.

    Are you trying to say that placing Pu-240 in a “short cycle reactor” magically converts it to Pu-239?

    Pu-239 is normally created in nuclear reactors by transmuting U-238. Thus, natural uranium can be used in a heavy-water moderated nuclear reactor to do the job (and guess what Israel used?). Spent nuclear fuel from a commercial reactor is neither necessary, nor desirable for the process.

  13. Rod,

    I would like to offer a suggestion. You have the following statement in the article:

    “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?”

    You’ve got an apples-to-oranges comparison in there – you compare barrels/day to tonnes/year. To really help people see the scope of this, I think I’d convert barrels/day to barrels/year, to compare with tonnes/year:

    4E6 * 3.65E2 = 1.460 Billion Barrels per year of oil equivalent.

    I do, however, see some value in the bbls/day – it helps you to compare against production rates in the market which, I believe, are usually in bbl/day. I just also like showing people the enormousness of the total output over a year.


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