Nukes to face shortage of fuel
The challenge with atomic energy today is that no one is yet able to contain the technology. The whole benefit to atomic energy was that it was safe as long as it was contained. No more after Fukushima. Tritium is leaking at over two-thirds of the U.S. nuclear reactors.
The Hanford facility in Washington state is leaking a radioactive soup including plutonium into the ground. Plutonium indicates an un-moderated criticality. The fuel pools at Fukushima have been leaking for months. This is where Tokyo Electric Power Co. put contaminated water. The radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific Ocean. The best scientists in the world have yet to develop a permanent storage facility for nuclear waste. This leaves full pools and dry casks holding fuel in 65 or more places in the U.S. alone. An issue of containment is about to become quite obvious.
Since the Manhattan Project, the United States Enrichment Corp. has been producing enriched uranium at its gaseous diffusion facility near Paducah Ky. Paducah is scheduled to close this month, because 50 Japanese nuclear reactors are offline. When this facility closes, the ozone layer will receive a gift. Paducah has been the largest source in the country of cfc 114, a far greater heat-trapper, ozone-destroyer than carbon dioxide. Also Paducah shutting will see the 2,000-megawatt coal generators that power the enrichment facility idled.
If humans are unable to contain the effects of smashing atoms to boil water to make electricity, then maybe atomic power has reached the end of its usefulness. The only centrifuge uranium enrichment facility in the country is foreign-owned and operated in New Mexico. It is not completed yet. Paducah has been the source of Vermont Yankee’s fuel.