Category Archives: Why We Need Nuclear Power

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE OUR CARBON-INTENSIVE ENERGY ECONOMY?

Can anything be done to avoid such a drastic increase in CO2? The World Energy Outlook 2009 report presents an alternative scenario to the reference scenario described above; this alternative is intended to reduce CO2 emissions to 26.4 Gt, which would give an atmospheric concentration of 450 ppm by 2030. This ambi­tious scenario involves reducing coal usage below 2008 levels, […]

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YUCCA MOUNTAIN

To understand the politics, you have to look at the history of the nuclear indus­try. In the early years of the nuclear industry, it was thought that spent nuclear fuel would be reprocessed to remove the plutonium and uranium. But President Gerald Ford halted the reprocessing of commercial reactor fuel in 1976, and President Jimmy Carter shut down the construction […]

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RADIATIVE FORCING

Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence that a particular factor has in altering the earth’s energy balance and is specified by energy rate (power) per area (W/m2). Some factors cause atmospheric warming (greenhouse gases) while some factors cause cooling (aerosols, ice cover, and clouds). The amount of forcing from the most important factors is shown in Figure A.2. […]

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Charged Particle Interactions

Charged particles that are of radiobiological concern are electrons (p particles), protons, and a particles. Neutrons are uncharged, of course, but they mostly inter­act by colliding with protons, and the protons then become energetic charged par­ticles. All charged particles interact with the cloud of electrons circulating around the nucleus in atoms by colliding with them and exciting or ionizing the […]

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Hereditary Effects of Radiation

Cancer is the result of mutations and alterations in the genes in somatic cells (all cells but the gonadal cells) that affect the individual who has them. Hereditary effects, also frequently known somewhat confusingly as genetic effects, result from mutations in the gonadal germ cells and affect following generations. The ability of radiation to cause hereditary mutations in genes was […]

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