[ RadSafe ] New book - Nuclear Roulette
Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Oct 29 13:34:31 CDT 2012
Plutonium from spent commercial fuel is indeed not easy to extract, and not very good for bombs. Extracting the Pu requires complex and exciting chemistry, requiring VAST amounts of money and technical know-how. The fresher the fuel, the more exciting the process, and the greater the chances that, if you don't have the know-how and didn't spend the money right, things will go horribly, horribly wrong. Such an event isn't going to destroy the world, but that may be small consolation to the people in the facility.
If you do get the Pu out of the fuel, you will not be pleased with the isotopic mix. Some isotopes have shorter half lives, and so make the finished product hotter. Some fission, but not as promptly as desired, and so suck up neutrons without adding much to the explosion. The longer the fuel was in the reactor, the higher percentage of undesirable isotopes will be in the mix.
This isn't to say that you can't use that material to make a bomb that will get some, maybe most, of its energy from fission. However, it would be far easier to make a bomb that would fizzle. It would make an impressive PR stunt, but I suspect that with the same amount of resources I could come up with a number of equally flashy operations with greater chance of success, and more actual damage.
As for "the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth", the clear winner of that is wood. Every year untold thousands (millions?) of people are killed or injured in wood fires, or structure fires started from people heating and cooking with wood. Huge numbers of people have their lives shortened by respiratory problems cause by wood smoke. Person-millennia are consumed cutting and hauling wood. Land and water resources almost beyond calculation are damaged due to erosion due to deforestation. The great irony is that the area effected by Fukushima will be richer and more productive biologically due to the results of the accident. But a really good deforestation event can change a thriving forest into a desert for the foreseeable future.
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Roger Helbig
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 2:55 AM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] New book - Nuclear Roulette
Presume that this is yet another attempt to cash in on the aftermath of Fukushima as told to you by those who have always hated nuclear power. Wonder how accurate it is or if anyone will take on its inaccuracies. Presume that plutonium is not that easy to extract from commerical reactor fuel rods, a handy fact that the author appears to conveniently ignore.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: nuclear-news <comment-reply at wordpress.com>
Date: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Christina MacPherson posted: "All-Time Darwin Award: The Nuclear Industry Rady Ananda Activist Post 18 Oct 12, Gar Smith's Nuclear
Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth is a 14-point condemnation of President Eisenhower's "peaceful atom," a"
New book - Nuclear Roulette
by Christina MacPherson
All-Time Darwin Award: The Nuclear Industry Rady Ananda Activist Post
18 Oct 12, Gar Smith's Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth is a 14-point condemnation of President Eisenhower's "peaceful atom," an exposé of official and corporate lies, and a multi-pronged platform of alternatives.
When Ike okayed nuclear power, "they screwed the pooch," says political cartoonist Mike DiBari. Ike's military-industrial complex wrote our death sentence when the US authorized the development of nuclear energy: humanity will not survive this technology, nor will most other species.
"In 2000 alone, civilian reactors produced enough plutonium to make more than 34,000 nuclear bombs," writes Smith.  Read more of this post Christina MacPherson | October 29, 2012 at 7:35 am | Categories:
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