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10% of US Energy Derived From Old Soviet Nukes

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-about-the-peak-nukes-problem dept.

Power 213

Nrbelex writes "The New York Times reports that about 10 percent of electricity generated in the United States comes from fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, mostly Russian. 'It's a great, easy source' of fuel, said Marina V. Alekseyenkova, an analyst at Renaissance Bank and an expert in the Russian nuclear industry that has profited from the arrangement since the end of the cold war. But if more diluted weapons-grade uranium isn't secured soon, the pipeline could run dry, with ramifications for consumers, as well as some American utilities and their Russian suppliers.'"

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Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047288)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047880)

Is there a guidebook for chinks, too? I got myself a slightly used yellow skin and want to make sure it lasts long enough so that I get my money worth. Although it was pretty cheap to begin with, I'd hate to have it stop working just when I need it most.

In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047312)

... oh my goodness, I can't bring myself to do it. Go on without me! For great justice!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047338)

Meme density: Above average.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (4, Funny)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047446)

Don't worry - I'll take one for the team.

In Soviet Russia, nukes derive energy from you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047460)

Come on. The only reason this story got accepted was for the In Soviet Russia jokes!

In Soviet Russia, nukes energize YOU! Oh wait. Isn't that what's supposed to happen?

In Soviet Russia, YOU energize nukes! No that's not right.

In Soviet Russia, nukes get energized by YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047914)

This is just a very roundabout way of nuking the States, I think.

1) In America, you receive nuclear material from missiles from Russia
2) Cause meltdown with nuclear material
3) In Soviet Russia, America returns nuclear material from missiles to YOU!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048684)

In soviet russia, dismantled nuke moves zig?

In Post-Soviet Russia... (3, Funny)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047342)

Nuclear weapon powers USA!

Re:In Post-Soviet Russia... (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047624)

FTFA "But if more diluted weapons-grade uranium isn't secured soon, the pipeline could run dry, with ramifications for consumers, as well as some American utilities and their Russian suppliers."

Gotta end sometime, but was fun while it lasted

Re:In Post-Soviet Russia... (0)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048110)

I wasn't aware that uranium could be piped. I've always pictured it as more of a metal. I suppose if you heated it up enough...

Re:In Post-Soviet Russia... (3, Informative)

aniefer (910494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048742)

I would guess that they were referring to a figurative pipeline, however, part of the enrichment process for uranium is to convert it to Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) which is a gas.

So... the solution is more nukes? (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047344)

So the solution to the energy problems we face, is to stockpile more nukes so we can use them for fuel when they get past their "best used by" date?

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047494)

No, the solution is to let other countries make nukes, then confiscate them and use them for energy.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048034)

Next Target: Iran

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047548)

Well, some people have tried to freeze them, but with mixed results.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048384)

Yea they sometimes get that funny smell when thawed or the explosives get freezer burn, yuk!

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047606)

No. In the path uranium -> nukes -> nuclear fuel, it is cheaper to go directly from A to C. This is talking about going from B to C only because people already went overbroad going from A to B as a solution to "security" problems. You can't justify going from A to B from an energy standpoint.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (2, Insightful)

beatsme (1472991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048074)

Also: the well won't run dry if we continue to dismantle warheads. The article mentions that we've been milking these same "few thousand" warheads since the end of the Cold War. Considering that we have between the US and Russia close to TWENTY thousand warheads, if we take even 20% of that collectively, that'd be enough for another 15-20 years. By which time one would think we'd have gotten our act together on these other more renewable resources.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (4, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048964)

Considering that we have between the US and Russia close to TWENTY thousand warheads, if we take even 20% of that collectively, that'd be enough for another 15-20 years. By which time one would think we'd have gotten our act together on these other more renewable resources.

sounds quite optimistic to me.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048156)

You got your path all wrong. The path is Uranium -> Nuclear Fuel -> Nukes. Going from A to C then back to B is not cost effective. See how much easier it is when you get things right.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (2, Insightful)

godztempus (1081497) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048466)

Well, the making of nukes falls under a large defense budget, but to refine the fuel under the utility budget makes it more expensive.

Re:So... the solution is more nukes? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047902)

Or at least the "sell by" date.

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047360)

Thats because in mother russia, power generates itself

Quick, Another Cold War . . . (3, Funny)

saisuman (1041662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047392)

before we run out of uranium!!

It is already here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047602)

China is quietly engaging in it. Sadly, Obama and the dems are trying hard to ignore it, but.....

Re:It is already here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047862)

China is quietly engaging in it. Sadly, Obama and the dems are trying hard to ignore it, but.....

But what? "Obama and the dems" aren't trying hard to ignore anything. What "Rush and the repubs" are trying hard to ignore is the fact that they lost because America is sick of their shit.

Re:It is already here (-1, Troll)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047944)

Ooooh! That explains why the House and Senate (both with a majority of Democrats for a while) approval rating is extremely low, and why Obama's rating took the sharpest drop that any recent POTUS has had in the first year! People are annoyed with the current Congress/POTUS because they're sick of "Rush and the Repubs." Makes sense...

Re:It is already here (1)

joposer (1595541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048042)

China is quietly engaging in it. Sadly, Obama and the dems are trying hard to ignore it, but.....

But what? "Obama and the dems" aren't trying hard to ignore anything. What "Rush and the repubs" are trying hard to ignore is the fact that they lost because America is sick of their shit.

Eff politics... just play nice and be nice and everything will come out in the nuclear rain.

Re:It is already here (0, Flamebait)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047946)

As opposed to the republicans who are supporting it?

Re:It is already here (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048492)

"China is quietly engaging in it. Sadly, Obama and the dems are trying hard to ignore it, but....."

Those executives who are outsourcing all those jobs to China - are they mostly Democrats, or Republicans? And, what exactly did Herr Bush do about China's undeclared cold war against the US?

I might agree with you if you had simply stated that "American politicans are ignoring the threat of the Asassin's Mace". But, you have to politicize something that both parties are guilty of.

Correction (5, Informative)

bongey (974911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047398)

For about 10 percent of electricity in the United States, it's fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, INCLUDING Russian ones.

10% from all not all from Russia . Dammit it is the first sentence.

Re:Correction (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047428)

Try rereading it.. a bit slower this time.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047680)

How about the title "Most of 10% of US Energy Derived From Old Soviet Nukes"?

Re:Correction (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048054)

Googling shows 22% of our U.S. electric consumption is from nukes (quite surprising to me). 45% of this is roughly 10% of our total consumption.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047642)

Not very good with that reading comprehension thing, are you?

Re:Correction (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047750)

Actually, I just figured out he is disputing the title, not the actual first line of the article. That, at least, makes more sense. But, honestly, titles usually are a bit misleading due to their necessary brevity. If that is the biggest issue with this summary then Slashdot is improving.

Re:Correction (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047778)

Bingo. "mostly Russian" is bullshit.

But at times, recycled Soviet bomb cores have made up the majority of the American market for low-enriched uranium fuel. Today, former bomb material from Russia accounts for 45 percent of the fuel in American nuclear reactors

I guess it's easier to get past the Slashduh "editors" if you inject a suitable dose of hyperbole. It's not like they're going to check, is it?

Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who (4, Funny)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048108)

There were nukes built by Soviets. And there were nukes built for delivery to Soviets. (Intercontinental ballistic missiles: When it absolutely, positively has to be there in twenty minutes.) Whether most of that material would belong to Soviets or Americans depends on who launched first.

Re:Correction (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047856)

45% of the current uranium comes from Russian and 5% from American. That is 50% of about 19-20% of our energy matrix. That means that roughly 10% of energy comes from old bombs, of which 9% of the total US energy is from Russian Bombs.

In the end, who cares? It is cheap energy. Hopefully, this line will go away and America can get back to using Western American Uranium, which new mines and processing is starting up in Colorado.

Re:Correction (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048750)

There are very few countries in the world that have a surplus of nukes - by few I mean two. So imported nukes are usually from the Soviet Surplus store. You can then mix and match the imported and domestic to make a cool energy mix - and it would still be better than Gatorade.

Re:Correction (1)

JesseBHolmes (1063676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048716)

90% of nuclear bomb material that's been converted comes from Russian bombs. Read PAST the first sentence. :-)

The Reason Why U.S. Cars Don't Burn Natural Gas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047402)

Is the gasoline LOBBY !

Yours In Baikonur,
Kilgore Trout

Help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047670)

My goatse is on fire!

What should I do? I need answers quickly please.

So, what we need are . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047416)

But if more diluted weapons-grade uranium isn't secured soon, the pipeline could run dry . . .

. . . new, old Soviet nukes . . .

I'm sure there must be profit for someone in there somewhere . . .

Reprocessing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047424)

Time to reprocess. The reasons the US doesn't are not really valid.

Re:Reprocessing (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047692)

But it being much more expensive than simply mining more uranium is a valid reason.

IIRC, the MOX fabrication cost alone is higher than the current cost of fuel from mined uranium. So even if reprocessing was free, it wouldn't be economic.

Re:Reprocessing (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047838)

IIRC, the MOX fabrication cost alone is higher than the current cost of fuel from mined uranium. So even if reprocessing was free, it wouldn't be economic.

AFAIK, current reactor designs do some in-situ breeding of the fuel.

Such technology also probably increases the costs of post-reactor recycling, since some of the potential fuel is already being bred.

Re:Reprocessing (1)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048308)

Serious question: Does that include the cost of spent fuel storage?

Next fuel source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047434)

The tougher job is to figure out how to make a fuel source out of the next thing poised to destroy the U.S.

Maybe burn the paper health care bill is written on? Or do we go to the source and put all of congress in hamster wheels.

What a waste... (4, Funny)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047448)

Think of all the countries they could have incinerated with those nukes!

Re:What a waste... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047622)

The real question is...

Has Obama admitted that he's powering America's future with his secret Communist/Soviet nuclear power yet?

Someone send an email to Glen Beck

Re:What a waste... (5, Funny)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047802)

If we are sending it to Glen Beck the question is:

Why hasn't Obama denied he is powering America's future with his secret Communist/Soviet nuclear power? What is he hiding?

Re:What a waste... (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048026)

If we are sending it to Glen Beck the question is:

Why hasn't Obama denied he is powering America's future with his secret Communist/Soviet nuclear power? What is he hiding?

Because Obama doesn't run anything. He's there to sign documents, read off the teleprompter and be a punching bag for people who don't like what's going on while the people really in charge are running off with everyone elses money before they finally implode the United States.

It's about money, as usual (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047506)

The United States Enrichment Corporation, a private company spun off from the Department of Energy in the 1990s, is the treaty-designated agent on the Russian imports. It, in turn, sells the fuel to utilities at prevailing market prices, an arrangement that at times has angered the Russians.

So the most likely thing to happen will be that instead of a bunch of US government-connected fatcats reaping a windfall, some Russian government-connected fatcats will reap a windfall (or at least the balance shifts their way), but the fuel keeps flowing.

There would BE no supply problem... (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047554)

... if we'd use common sense and recycle the fuel, as many other nuclear nations already do. The whole terrorist argument against this was bogus from the start. Recycle the damn fuel, and you can reuse 93 percent of it.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047580)

Sure, and with all of that new electricity, the terrorists will build a giant TASER and bring America to her knees...

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047610)

Bah. Recycle 100% of it. Who wouldn't want a glowing paper weight? Mobsters could give people uranium boots, so much more compact. Think of how tiny you could make the heads of hammers with something like spent uranium. The possibilities are endless!.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047674)

Better yet bring radium back to popular use. When Curie first discovered it they made makeup out of the stuff.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047762)

Better yet bring radium back to popular use. When Curie first discovered it they made makeup out of the stuff.

So that's where the term 'hot chick' came from. Thanks, always wondered about that.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048012)

Heh. Never thought of it that way. They put it in aftershave too. I wonder ...

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048022)

You laugh, but my old timex watch really was hot. Back in the 60's, the hands had a little bit of radium to illuminate by. You can still find them floating around.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047754)

Exactly. And then from THAT you could reuse 93 percent as well, and so on and so forth, making our supplies basically last forever...

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1, Insightful)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047798)

what a great idea, wonder why no one has thought of that? could it be that the price of power would have to triple to make it affordable?
would have to increase to nearly $165 per pound in 1981 dollars before the breeder would become financially competitive [wikipedia.org]

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (4, Informative)

SWPadnos (191329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048140)

That type of breeder reactor isn't the only alternative.

Try this one instead:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor [wikipedia.org]

The IFR (Integral Fast Reactor) would be able to extract 99% of the energy in the fuel, rather than the 1% we get from the types of reactor used today.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048558)

Looks like the main drawback is the liquid sodium coolant, because sodium is so reactive. What other metals might work?

Otherwise, I don't see a downside here, at least not compared to traditional reactors. If there is one, someone kindly pipe up.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (1)

IronChef (164482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048944)

Thousands of years from now, an advanced, starfaring race may stumble across the dusty remnants of our civilization. With intelligence of any sort being a rare commodity among the stars, some alien Poindexter will convince the commander to stop and take a look around instead of continuing on to Barnard's Star or wherever they are headed to

As they dig around among our discarded Big Gulp cups and dowsing rods [nytimes.com] they will wonder why we never simply used fgnorg-point energy like everyone else.

I think we can all see the message here.

Re:There would BE no supply problem... (0, Troll)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047808)

Recycle the damn fuel, and you can reuse 93 percent of it.

The problem is that you can't recycle nuclear fuel. There are always residual byproducts that last for long and have a potential to pollute eveything around them.

I feel I must apologies (4, Interesting)

jocks (56885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047560)

Right up until now I thought US foreign policy was extremely poor. I feel I must apologise for thinking that, in fact US foreign policy is an act of unparalleled genius! North Korea is being largely ignored by the US as is Iran, not because they are not dangerous (they are) but you are simply employing them to gather enough nulear armaments together that you will later use to generate power, whilst silmutaneously reducing your dependency on fossil fuel and also creating world stabalisation. Outstanding work, forward thinking and downright cunning. I salute you!

Re:I feel I must apologies (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048660)

Yeah -- who knew a Cold War could be so useful??

Serious question, tho: what is the economic balance here? Is this actually a net profit, given the cost to develop and build the original bombs? At the current price of electricity, maybe it is. Anyone want to take a stab at the math?

Gotta wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047636)

If we are using so much Soviet stockpile how reliable are the sources for nuclear fuel. There are lots of quotes about how many years we can last but when a lot of it is in countries like Russia and Iran how reliable are the supplies? I know Africa has reserves but it's not the most stable place. Are we trading one unstable resource, oil mostly comes from the middle east, for another one? This isn't a pro or against issue it's a serious concern. Reprocessing can last us for a time but it requires more infrastructure and time to put in place. The one benefit to alternative sources is they tend to be homegrown. Like I say not speaking out against nuclear just wondering if we might be asking for trouble if the world becomes more unstable again. Do we end up invading Africa or Iran for nuclear fuel? I know there are other supplies and even some domestic quantities I'm just wondering how reliable the foreign ones are in fact. We can cannibalize our own nuclear reserves for a time but since we've been downsizing I tend to think this has already happened.

Re:Gotta wonder (2, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047840)

Highly enriched nuclear bomb materials are like the old surface oil wells, or gold nuggets lying in the Australian desert, way too easy to pass up. Doesn't mean there aren't stupendous reserves yet to be mined.

Re:Gotta wonder (2, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048546)

"Reprocessing can last us for a time but it requires more infrastructure and time to put in place."

The various estimates I've seen indicate that Reprocessing can last us a *very long* time (hundreds of years, possibly thousands of years). In the meantime, we should be working on solar (both terrestrial and space), wind, etc, and Fusion. Once we can make the leap to fusion, we don't really need any more Uranium (or only relatively small quantities) - fusion just needs water, and most countries on Earth have access to large supplies of water (of course, there are some land-locked semi-arid nations without access to much water, but you don't even really need *much* water for fusion, just some). The water doesn't even need to be fresh water, I believe - places like Israel, Palestine, Southern California, where fresh water is in short supply, still have access to lots of salt water from the Mediterranean (or other Seas/Oceans, for other countries in similar situations).

Heck, once we've unlocked fusion, you could potentially create Fusion-powered desalination plants that could solve the fresh water crises in lots of places like that - instead of using the energy to create electricity, use it to desalinate ocean water; or maybe do both simultaneously (could you create an efficient electric plant, I wonder, which uses the heat energy to boil off water from salt water, generating fresh steam, run the fresh steam through your electric turbines, condense the steam into fresh water, and pump that fresh water out of the electric plant into a water treatment plant for clorination, softening, etc)?

Iraqi uranium & CANDU (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30047720)

This sounds similar to what was done with Saddam Hussein's yellowcake uranium [thestar.com] a year ago. It was shipped from Iraq to Canada and used as fuel for the Bruce nuclear plant.

What a waste of launch vehicles (1, Insightful)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047732)

The real waste is the dismantling of the launch vehicles (from both countries). We all spent billions developing reliable launch technologies and it breaks my heart to see them crushing perfectly good missiles.

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (1)

brianwells (809913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047940)

Nothing says a few empty missiles can't be launched at the Russians to see if they have a sense of humor.

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047994)

The real waste is the dismantling of the launch vehicles (from both countries). We all spent billions developing reliable launch technologies and it breaks my heart to see them crushing perfectly good missiles.

You would seriously prefer that they use them?

(Or is there some non-offensive alternative use I'm unaware of?)

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (2, Informative)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048100)

The only difference between an offensive missile and a non-offensive missle is the orbit.

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048142)

With an upper stage added, space launch.

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047996)

We should just shoot them off, like on the 4th of July or something. Warhead or not, I'm not too picky.

They aren't wasted. (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048290)

I don't know about Russia, but the US military frequently uses it's old launch vehicles (or at least the engines) for suborbital weapons tests and satellite launches. For example, the Minotaur [wikipedia.org] series of rockets by Orbital Sciences use old Minuteman and Peacekeeper engines. I'm sure there are many other examples.

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (4, Informative)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048496)

The real waste is the dismantling of the launch vehicles (from both countries).

Dnepr_rocket [wikipedia.org] reuses SS-18 Satan.

Re:What a waste of launch vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048780)

I think it's about time for an international spud launching competition.

Alternatives (1)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047852)

Rather than trying to secure more weapon grade uranium why don't they consider either licensing the design or designing their own reactors that do not need the enriched uranium. Off the top of my head there are the 2nd generation CANDU reactors.

Unlimited Power (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047894)

So much for the argument that nukes are better than oil because the fuel is less limited.

And how cheap is this ex-Soviet fuel, while it lasts? Shouldn't we count the cost to get them, which includes $TRILLIONS on the Cold War?

Re:Unlimited Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048334)

During the Cold War, you could get it for free...

Re:Unlimited Power (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048702)

Just not the way you would want....

Re:Unlimited Power (2)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048596)

Do you count the cost of the original coke can when the aluminum is recycled and resold and then made into a new coke can in an infinite loop until you say we shouldn't recycle because now that coke can costs $20,000 or do you simply count the cost of the aluminum the recyclers sells you versus the cost the freshly mined/processed aluminum?

Re:Unlimited Power (2, Insightful)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048766)

And how cheap is this ex-Soviet fuel, while it lasts? Shouldn't we count the cost to get them, which includes $TRILLIONS on the Cold War?

In economic terms, that's a sunk or opportunity cost. Those trillions have been paid. Whether we decide to use the material or knowledge or not doesn't change the amount of money put in, and the incremental cost of actually using that is all that we should continue to worry about.

If we can take all those trillions and turn them into something good, why not do it? Ignoring the inherent benefit of breeder reactor, or fuel recycling, what do you think should be done with all that material? Bury it in the ground because it's bad? Or maybe spend it and offset the amount of radiation we're introducing into the atmosphere (from coal)?

I want to see every coal plant in the world shut down and recycled. I think a combination of nuclear, solar (photovoltaic and thermal) and wind can do the job just as well, while costing the same or even less.

We should do more (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30047982)

If anything we should increase the amount of energy created by using nuclear fuel in this country. Every form of 'green' power has some kind of drawback that makes it less than ideal, hyrdo affects fish, solar requires nasty chemicals, geothermal is accused of causing earthquakes, wind power kills birds and so on. Point being if we're going to have widespread energy production it needs to be done on a feasible basis that responds to economy of scale. I'd love to have solar panels for my house (and will probably have them within a couple years), but that doesn't mean where I live is a good location for building solar power plants.

The biggest obstacle keeping us from using the greenest energy source we have is the pushback from groups like greenpeace. Ever notice that greenpeace never actually does research or other work to make the world a greener place? The research they do is politically motivated and centered around preventing others from doing things they are politically intolerant of. When's the last time you read a press release from greenpeace about a new technological development they made? If groups such as greenpeace were actually serious about the environment they would be all over themselves in doing everything they could in order to increase the use of nuclear energy.

The fact that the government feels it had to keep this story below the radar in the first place shows how much damage these groups have done to nuclear power. It's time for greenpeace to stand up, do the right thing, and make amends for decades of harm to the environment they have caused. They are no better than some of the old factories that dumped chemicals into rivers.

Re:We should do more (4, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048728)

I'm a big supporter of nuclear power but to be fair Nuclear power kills fish too nearly any way you wing it. Those puppies need water cooling so most are built near large bodies of water. Even if they cool their water properly (cooling towers or canals) so that they don't mess the fish up by raising the temperature of the body of water at all there's no getting around the fact that those intake pipes are going to suck in some fish and other larger animals can often get stuck on the mesh.

I know one plant was required to build a "slide for life" to get some of the fish out of the intake. Got the fish out all-right, but their fate wasn't much delayed. The birds on the other hand, thought it was the best fucking invention ever.

Pet Peeve (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048064)

Electricity is just one part of our energy supply, but by no means all of it. Far too often the terms energy and electricity get used as if they are interchangeable, when they are not. The summary is correct, the title is not. 10% of our electricity is not the same as 10% of out total energy.

Iran to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048086)

Well I hear that our friends in Iran are progressing nicely with weapons grade material. Perhaps we should ask them for some nicely. If not, there's always our BFF North Korea.

There is, however, plenty of plutonium left. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048158)

Use it.

We are running out of 'x' (1)

Yaos (804128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048534)

Why are there so many articles about how we are running out of something? Are old soviet nukes the only method of supplying power now?

Re:We are running out of 'x' (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048826)

Because headlines that read, we have lots of y don't sell many papers and cause a different group of people to panic and buy it out.

I don't believe it (2, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048610)

The New York Times reports that about 10 percent of electricity generated in the United States comes from fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, mostly Russian.

Wow, that Bono really has a global impact!

Offset (2, Funny)

JesseBHolmes (1063676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048638)

The power from old Russian nukes we use today does not offset the loss of energy we still suffer from as a result of the Cold War-era tapping of our precious bodily fluids!

Solar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30048908)

As US-born unemployed engineer whose job has been displaced by an H1-B visa holder, I'm installing and wiring solar panels in the meantime; hopefully it's helping.

We could just... (1)

misfit815 (875442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30048936)

...get more from Iran and North Korea, right? Oh, wait...

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