Real Resources Review: A little makes a lot?
I sent John Busby's 7th August article to a friend who understands more about nuclear power than I do. His reaction was that 'Mr Busby is not conversant with the concept of pebble bed reactors'. I would like to ask Mr Busby how he views that technology and whether he would care to tackle it in an article for the uninitiated like myself?
Kind regards, Paddy Imhof
The problem is that mining of uranium is running down, whatever form of reactor is envisaged.
See Die Welt which reports the imminent closure of some of the French reactors due to fuel shortages.
The thorium alternative and fast breeders are dependent on vast development programmes which with the rapid and progressive failure of the nuclear industry will never be funded.
As far as the pebble bed reactor is concerned it depends on the integrity of the pebbles and as these contain graphite this is likely to lead to the demise of this technology.
The seven UK AGR's are likely to close prematurely as the graphite moderator blocks are disintegrating due to the irradiation which causes structural breakdown. Also there is an overheating due to the Wigner Energy effect which leaves a residual heat in the graphite.
The gas-cooled fast reactor is also an unlikely candidate for funding for this reason as it relies on graphite moderation.
The nuclear lobby in desperation is arguing that uranium can be extracted from the earth's crust and seawater and looks to fast breeders to generate ever more plutonium. All of which is fantasy.We do not have to wait too long for some of the lights to go out in France, which will hopefully lead to a reality check!
Kind regards, John Busby