HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » Chinese Government Divide... » Reply #3

Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 12:14 AM

3. “China must alter nuclear policy” (2)

“China must alter nuclear policy” (2)
He Zuoxiu
October 12, 2011

China not only needs to guarantee the absolute, long-term safety of existing and new nuclear power plants to avoid a Fukushima-style disaster, it also needs to find ways of dealing with the large quantities of highly radioactive waste its reactors produce. This waste must not be allowed to pollute the environment or groundwater over its lifespan (which could be thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years).

It needs stating from the outset that, when talking about the paramount importance of nuclear safety, I am not focusing on the number of fatalities in the immediate aftermath of an accident. People who compare these figures to the numbers of people killed in airplane or car crashes are missing the point: a nuclear accident could affect the environment of future generations for tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years.

Experts who base pro-nuclear arguments on the fact the number of deaths per terawatt-year (a unit for measuring produced energy, electricity and heat) are among the lowest for nuclear power – only eight compared to 342 for coal, 85 for natural gas and 883 for hydropower according to statistics from the International Atomic Energy Agency – should be criticised. They are making the wrong comparison.

In the United States, government policy has so far failed to deal with the waste issue. For many years, the US has converted nuclear waste into solid form, placed it in stainless-steel containers, and buried it. But available storage space is dwindling, while the country still has almost 80,000 tonnes of waste material waiting to be dealt with.

In France and the United Kingdom...


Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Please login to view edit histories.