[ RadSafe ] Plutonium from Power Reactors

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Thu Apr 10 18:58:56 CDT 2008

I have done some reading on this, though I am not an expert.  The long
and short of it, however, seems to be that proposing to run cars on
hydrogen is like the proposal to run cars on ethanol from corn, i.e. a
sham.  It is a way to look like something is being done without actually
risking cutting into the power and money of the oil industry.  

Hydrogen looks good until you start seeing how it would work in cars.
Hydrogen can't be liquefied for use in cars due to its low boiling point
(14 degrees K), so it has to be stored onboard a vehicle as a gas.  H2
has a low density (about 1/10,000 of water), which means you need a
large tank to carry enough to be worthwhile.  H2 is a small molecule,
and leaks through almost any gasket material you want to use.

The REAL farce in using H2 as a "green" fuel, however, is that while H2
can be made by electrolysis of water (we did it on my submarine for the
O2) the economically preferred way to make it is from methane.  This
produces H2, but also CO2.  It would be more efficient, and less
polluting, to run the vehicle on the methane, and skip the H2 step.

IF someone comes up with a really, really good, light, cheep,
ecologically-friendly-to-make fuel cell, H2 MIGHT be a viable vehicle
fuel.  My breath remains unheld. 

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Gary Isenhower
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 3:57 PM
To: radsafe
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Plutonium from Power Reactors

Amen to all your comments.  I wonder why France has not gone the
hydrogen car route yet, or perhaps they have and I am unaware of it.
Anybody know if they are exploring such options?  I thought gas
(petrol?) was more expensive in the EU for some time now.  Currently
they seem way ahead in the nuclear field, and it would be a logical
extension of that lead.

Gary Isenhower

> With plentiful nuclear electricity we can produce hydrogen by 
> electrolysis for use in electrical motor vehicles powered by fuel 
> cells. That will get us off foreign oil and clean up our air pollution
as well.
> Sadly, our elected leaders are driven by widespread apprehension about

> nuclear power.
> Otto
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