Thoughts on Nuclear Energy
Let me pass on this morning’s note from Andy Lees regarding the future of nuclear energy. Andy writes:
Reuters highlights that the Obama administration wants Congress to boost loan guarantees from USD18.5bn to USD55bn to help build a dozen nuclear fission reactors. Yesterday I was presenting at Cadarache, the home to the ITER fusion project and the centre of most French and European fission research. On the fusion side it was very clear that a fast track programme (ie increasing funding) could make fusion a commercial reality within 10 years. On the fission side, one of the scientists who asked some questions made it clear from his perspective that the future of fission has to go down the breeder route. He did not specifically say this, but the observation clearly backs up the reports that say the isotope Uranium 235, the only fissile isotope, will have supplies exhausted within 20 years at the present rate of consumption and therefore the only sensible way to use the remaining supplies is in a breeder reactor. It would seem to me therefore that Obama’s USD55bn loan guarantee would be better spent on bringing forward fusion power which is both environmentally green and has no risks of a meltdown.