The problem with nuclear reactors is not just the possibility of melt-down and explosion, but most of all is the disposal of spent fuel rods. There have been a multitude of disposal schemes proposed: dumping them into the ocean, storing them in a mountain, even launching them into the Sun, just to regurgitate a few.
But the downside of accident, failed launch, “blow back” etc. and the thousands of years of half-life are so much more of a gamble than just shutting these monsters down.
In the early to mid 1990s, Metropolitan Water District and So. Cal. Edison were attempting to circumvent a ban on the development and installation of any new nuclear power electricity generating stations by disguising them as, nuclear powered sea water desalination stations, that just coincidentally give off as waste material huge amounts of heat energy, enough to heat an acre foot of sea water from mean temp of about 55 dgrees to the point of boiling in the matter of a little over a minute or so.
The redeeming value of this installation is that instead of being directly, “thermal pollution,” it could be first used to generate an acre foot of desalinated sea water in about as much time before releasing the thermal pollution.
There is one method that I conceived that was only briefly addressed, one that I proposed to the Department of Energy and Dr. Hammond of General Atomic, La Jolla, Calif. There was no response from DOE, but Dr. Hammond rejected this method because, as he said, we have other uses for this “spent” material. At the time he would not let on what that use was, but with the advent of Desert Storm, we found out: depleted uranium armor piercing rounds, millions of them. Just remember, “For Every Dollar Paid is Another Bullet Made.”
So here is the means for permanent disposal that I proposed. Using deep oil well steerable drilling techniques, through the mass of an over-ducting tectonic plate, drill completely through it and deep into the leading edge of the sub-ducting plate, depositing at safe intervals and distances, the spent fuel. After eons of micro movements, the leading edge containing the spent fuel, will eventually feed into, be consumed and diluted to safe concentrations within the mantle and be permanently disposed of.
David Wetzel, Laguna Beach