NERAC, DOE and others starting back in the late 90's decided that nuclear should be given a rebirth, so a two pronged attack was born. or is that hatched? (NERO and GNEP) To move the goals forward, the Nuclear Power 2010 Initiative was born to puta new plan for a new generation of reactors in front of the NRC for approval on or before the year 2010...problem was, they had a SERIOUS PROBLEM. America's fleet of 103 aging reactors were a desolate, motley group with more problems among them than Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears and Michael Jackson put together. Leaking spent fuel pools, tritium leaks, strongium 90 releases, and for good measure, radioactive water leaking from the bottoms of the reactor cores.
The problem was a simple one...they needed, and still need these ticking time bombs to make the road to their vision of tommorow possible. Some would like to deny this, jump in at this point in the article and accuse me of being a heretic, point their fingers in my face and chant to any one that would listen...LIAR, LIAR, LIAR. Problem is, I am not lying...DOE says as much in their own documents. I've only selected part of the article to share here, but you can read the entire article for yourself. Then ask yourself the REAL QUESTION. If George W. Bush, the DOE, Idaho National Lab, NEI, NRC and the nuclear industry decided they NEEDED these aging reactors to create a Renaissance for Nuclear Power here in America, do you really think they would give ANY COMMUNITY a fair and honest relicensing process? I have deliberately highlighted some key phrases in RED that you should pay close attention to.
Nuclear renaissance At What Cost?
In fact, nuclear power plants already provide 20 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States. There are currently 104 nuclear power plants in 31 states. However, the Department of Energy forecasts that by 2020, the United States will almost double its electrical power consumption to more than 800,000 megawatts. To supply that power will require 1,300 to 1,900 new U.S. power plants, many of which could be nuclear. [figure: U.S. nuclear power plants]
But to expand the use of nuclear power, we must ensure that existing nuclear power plants continue to operate safely beyond their original design lifetime of 40 years, simplify reactor regulations without compromising reactor safety, and build new nuclear power plants that are simpler, cheaper, safer, and less prone to terrorist attack. In addition, we must dispose of spent nuclear fuel both safely and securely and prevent the diversion of weapons-grade nuclear material from existing power plants. Several Los Alamos programs address these issues.
Reactor Safety, Security, and Economics (Anyone else find it odd that public safety is NOT mentioned here?)
Los Alamos scientists first began to work with reactor fuel--specifically, uranium and plutonium--during the Manhattan Project because these elements also fuel nuclear weapons. Since then, Los Alamos studies of uranium and plutonium have contributed to both weapon and reactor science. [figure: Omega West Reactor]
One of the more recent reactor-related programs at Los Alamos has improved the safety of existing power reactors. In 1998, at the request of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Los Alamos scientists began studying a problem with the emergency core-cooling systems of nuclear power plants.
Normally, a nuclear reactor's core is cooled in a bath of water under high pressure; the core and bath are contained in a large vessel. A break or leak in the pipes that circulate water to and from the vessel or in the vessel itself could lead to excessive core heating. The emergency system cools the core if the regular cooling system fails.