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Web Letters | The Nation

New nuclear technology: “safe, clean and competitively inexpensive”

The central thesis of Pandora’s Promise is that the dangers of radiation produced by nuclear power have been exaggerated, and that these dangers should be reconsidered in the context of the perhaps greater dangers of global warming. By itself, this is a reasonable stance. What is missing, however, is the arrival of a new generation of nuclear technology that is safe, clean and competitively inexpensive. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that one version of this new technology consumes existing nuclear waste. So while the perspective that global warming requires that we accommodate to the problems of (existing) nuclear technology, the bigger, better news is that we don’t have to. There is plenty of material available with which to become informed. Numerous links to expositions that I find especially informative are contained in my “Point of View” essay in Physics Today:  Any thought that the virtues of the new nuclear technology enumerated above are overstated should be reduced, if not eliminated, by the technical team that Transatomic Power has assembled. Transatomic is an MIT-based startup focused on the commercialization of the form of the new technology that consumes existing nuclear waste—while producing safe, clean and inexpensive power. Its technical team reads like the Who’s Who of nuclear power, both academic and industrial.

So, please get informed, and write a follow-on article.

Arthur Williams, PhD

Princeton, MA

Jul 6 2013 - 8:15am