Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Found this article fascinating. It relates to Iran and how to escape our boot. The interesting note is about "new" nuclear plants.
China will actually begin construction of such a revolutionary nuclear reactor this year near Weihai, in eastern China's Shandong province. The 190-megawatt prototype "pebble-bed" nuclear reactor is expected to be generating electricity in 2010.James Lovelock (Gaia theory) has stated:
A pebble-bed reactor is like a giant, radiation-shielded, self-contained gumball machine, containing hundreds of thousands of billiard-ball-sized fuel elements, together with hundreds of thousands of billiard-ball-sized carbon moderators.
In operation, hundreds of the balls are continually removed (robotically) from the bottom of the gumball machine, checked (robotically) for remaining fissile-material content, logged, and reintroduced (robotically) into the top of the machine.
Once the gumball machine begins operation, it never again needs external refueling throughout its 50-plus-year continuous operating life.
The coolant, helium gas, which is chemically and physically inert, is forced down through the pebble-bed from top to bottom. Exiting through a closed loop, the hot helium gas drives electric generators before being cooled and reintroduced to the top of the machine.
The proliferation-proof, meltdown-proof pebble-bed technology development began in Germany more than 30 years ago and was continued in South Africa, but has apparently now been perfected in China.
If, as planned, similar units are produced modularly in factories in China, by 2020 China will be the world's only supplier of first-rate nuclear power plants.
Large-scale nuclear power is the only practical way that we have to solve the greenhouse gas problemIs this the "safe" nuclear plant that I can support?