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A new evaluation of fast reactors and recycling spent fuel is badly needed; the time to start is now. To recycle spent light water reactor fuel and use the product to fuel a fast neutron reactor will solve at least two major problems – adequate electricity (with no emissions) for the indefinite future (millennia) and elimination of the current red herring, spent light water reactor fuel disposal. The power stations of the future, equipped with fast neutron reactors, burn everything – plutonium does not accumulate.
The United States has 28 large light water reactors in the nuclear regulatory review pipeline and as the political pressure to tax the burning of carbon – coal, oil and gas – grows, so will the utilities’ need to build more nuclear power stations.
We now have 104 operating superbly. Arizona Sen. John McCain suggested during his campaign that 45 be built and recently, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has recommended 100 new reactors. Our studies show that 200 new gigawatt nuclear power stations could replace all the coal plants in the United States.
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