Saturday, 7 November 2020

Nuclear con-fusion at i newspaper

Two letters on nuclear issues submitted to the "i" newspaper: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> If the i is going to write about nuclear power, please use reporters who know something about it! In an article labelled “exclusive” on 6 November, your reporters asserted that Boris Johnson is “poised to give the go ahead to a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C”. The PM is not in any position to give any such green light: the UK energy planning system requires a proper examination in the Infrastructure Planning commission and a full design evaluation by the nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear regulation (ONR), neither of which has been done. You also assert “nuclear power offers the PM a solution to reaching net zero carbon by 2025”. Earlier, in another article on nuclear power (i 29 October) your environment reporter made the same factual error. Nuclear is not, nor can ever be, “zero carbon” when the full production chain of its uranium- based fuel is considered. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Your article on nuclear fusion power (“Hotter than the Sun” i 7 November) asserts that fusion “does not produce long-lived radioactive waste.” This is untrue. Dr Daniel Jassby, who was a principal research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab and for 25 years worked on plasma physics and neutron production related to fusion energy wrote in the prestigious Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on April 19, 2017 (“Fusion reactors: Not what they’re cracked up to be”) “the fuel assemblies themselves will be transformed into tons of radioactive waste to be removed annually from each [fusion] reactor…” adding “while the radioactivity level per kilogram of waste would be much smaller than for fission-reactor wastes, the volume and mass of wastes would be many times larger.”

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