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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Plutonium and ” fourth generation nuclear power”

Bill Gates’ Nuclear Pipe Dream: Convert Depleted Uranium to Plutonium to Power Earth for Centuries, Truth Out Tuesday, 15 March 2016 By Josh Cunnings and Emerson UrryEnviroNews | Video Report Cunnings: “………..EnviroNews Editor-in-Chief Emerson Urry chatted with the esteemed nuclear industry expert and whistleblower Arnie Gundersen to explore whether Gates’ plan is a good idea or not.

plutonium_04Emerson Urry: Let’s go back to Bill Gates again, [and] the fourth generation nuclear power. I’ve heard him out there speaking about this, and essentially his ambition to, let’s say, convert Paducah, Kentucky [to plutonium]. What can you tell us about Paducah, Kentucky? We understand it went bankrupt a couple years back, and I think there is quite a bit of radioactive material still there. We’ve heard at one point in time it was also one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters from the Freon — not to mention having four allocated coal-fired power plants. What can you tell us about Paducah, Kentucky? What does the situation on the ground look like there, and how do you think they will deal with all that?

Arnie Gundersen: Paducah didn’t have centrifuges, it had gaseous diffusion, and there’s no need for the plant anymore, so the plant has to be decommissioned and destroyed. What’s happened is, the way they shut the plant down was, to be nice, sub-optimal. And what they allowed it to do was for all that uranium to cake inside the pipes. So, had they done it in a more orderly fashion, the plant could have been much cleaner when they went to shut it down — but they didn’t. So, the Paducah site is a very expensive cleanup that is going to take 20 or 30 years to decontaminate. You know, it’s like all of these bomb legacy sites — Hanford in Washington State…

Urry: … that has the plutonium leak in AY-102 correct? Which has that been ratcheted down? Have they been able to ratchet down AY-102?

Gundersen: No. Hanford is going to take 70 years and cost 110 billion dollars to clean up. So, here we are paying over half of a century for the legacy of building bombs for five years in 1940. And so, Paducah is another one of those sites. It was built to enrich uranium. Why did we do that? Because we had a bomb program. And now we’re stuck with these huge costs that are underfunded or unfunded by Congress. That plant is going to sit there for 30 years. It will create a lot of employment for a lot of people knocking it down, but it also is highly radioactive, and it’s got to be done so cautiously, and it’s a really difficult problem.

Cunnings: There’s no known disintegration of plutonium small enough that doesn’t possess the ability to cause cancer. To be clear, there is no safe amount to be exposed to whatsoever.

Plutonium, though a naturally occurring element was virtually non-existent on planet earth before the dawn of the nuclear age. Now, each of the roughly 400 uranium-powered nuclear reactors in the world create approximately 500 pounds of plutonium each year — or enough to create about 100 nuclear warheads each.

Coming from a “humanitarian” concerned with curing diseases, the notion that plutonium is the way to save ourselves from a runaway climate catastrophe seems the epitome of oxymoronic — utterly and woefully contradictory. But stay tuned for more on that topic, as in episode 14 of this series we examine whether or not we really need nuclear to solve the climate quandary.

But, in the meanwhile, let’s just say that Bill Gates’ nuclear ambitions go beyond mere ideas. He actually possesses financial holdings in one very dangerous situation indeed — a situation that is presently causing residents around St. Louis, Missouri to live under an all-out nuclear nightmare. And that scenario will be the topic of discussion in the next episode of our short series.

So please, tune in tomorrow for part three, where we explore the scary situation at hand in the Westlake Landfill in St. Louis, Missouri. Signing off for now, this is Josh Cunnings…… http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35229-bill-gates-nuclear-pipe-dream-convert-mountains-of-depleted-uranium-to-plutonium-to-power-earth-for-centuries

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March 16, 2016 - Posted by | - plutonium, USA, wastes

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