Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















Nuclear Waste Land

A nuclear power plant in France
by Staff Writers
New York NY (SPX) Jan 19, 2007
As it happens, there is now an ideal test case to evaluate that enticing proposition. France, which has never backed away from nuclear energy, has long relied on reprocessing as the linchpin of its nuclear electricity system. France's chemical processing of nuclear waste takes place at La Hague, on the country's west coast, where a sprawling facility was upgraded in the 1970s and 1980s.

At that time, France cut a deal with five countries--Belgium, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland--to finance its modernization. In exchange, France agreed to reprocess those countries' spent fuel and return their separated plutonium, so as to reduce high-level waste volumes and provide additional fresh nuclear fuel.

Even some of the nuclear industry's most tenacious opponents acknowledge that the result is a technical marvel. The leader of Greenpeace France's antinuclear program, Yannick Rousselet, says he no longer cites technical challenges in his criticism of La Hague.

But despite that record of technical success, the La Hague business has lost much of its shine during the past decade. France's European partners rethought the wisdom of their investment in La Hague and, one by one, stopped shipping their spent fuel.

From its 1997 to 1998 peak of 1700 metric tons per year, La Hague's throughput sharply decreased by 2003 to an average of 1100 metric tons per year.

The ultimate cause for the slump traces back to the demise of the next-generation reactors designed to consume La Hague's plutonium, the so-called fast breeders.

France made the most serious effort of any country to build such reactors, but its full-scale commercial prototype ended in failure. The net result: reprocessing as practiced in France does not achieve the dramatic reductions in nuclear waste volumes originally advertised.

Source: IEEE Spectrum Magazine

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
IEEE Spectrum Magazine
Civil Nuclear Energy Science, Technology and News
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up
China News From SinoDaily.com
Global Trade News
The Economy
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com
Civil Nuclear Energy Science, Technology and News
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Zapatero Pins Faith In Renewable Energy Amid Nuclear Debate
Madrid (AFP) Jan 17, 2007
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ruled out increasing Spain's reliance on nuclear energy for the time being, in remarks on Wednesday. "It does not figure in the government's plans to develop or expand nuclear energy," Zapatero told an economic forum in Madrid.







  • Canada's New Government Launches EcoEnergy Technology Initiative
  • New Fuel Cell Design Adds Better Control While Reducing Complexity
  • Survey Shows Strong Support For Offshore Wind Power
  • Dynamotive Launches Higher Energy Content Renewable Biofuel For Industry

  • Zapatero Pins Faith In Renewable Energy Amid Nuclear Debate
  • Nuclear Waste Land
  • Most Germans Oppose Nuclear Power Phase-Out
  • Iran To 'Honor Principles' Of Nuclear Control Treaty

  • U.S. wood-fired boilers cause concern
  • Climate Change Affecting Outermost Atmosphere Of Earth
  • TIMED Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary
  • Steering Clear Of Icy Skies

  • Sweden's Tree Line Moving At Fastest Rate For 7,000 Years
  • Soil Nutrients Shape Tropical Forests, Large-Scale Study Indicates
  • Health Of Brazilian Rainforest Depends On Dust From One Valley In Africa
  • Forests Can Also Raise Temperature Of Earth

  • California Fruit Crops Devastated By Freeze Says Schwarzenegger
  • California's Big Freeze Threatening Citrus Crops
  • 150,000 Trout Killed At Fish Farm In Storm Off Norway
  • Clear Strong Guidelines Needed For Marine Aquaculture

  • When Will Russian Cars Go To Detroit
  • New Battery Era Fires Up GM
  • What Will Russians Drive In 2010
  • Chinese Carmakers Head West

  • Operational Testing And Evaluation Of Guardian Commercial Airline Anti-Missile System Begins
  • USGS Examines Environmental Impacts Of Aircraft De-Icers
  • China Gives Rare Glimpse Of Homegrown Jet Fighter
  • IATA Gives Cautious Welcome To EU Emissions Trading Plan

  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear
  • NASA plans to send new robot to Jupiter
  • Los Alamos Hopes To Lead New Era Of Nuclear Space Tranportion With Jovian Mission
  • Boeing Selects Leader for Nuclear Space Systems Program

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement