Ted Leung points to a rosy article in Wired about pebble-bed nuclear reactors as a "safe" way out of the energy crisis.
Even if this approach is safer, is it safe?
The article does not address a couple of, well, problems:
- Security ("dirty" bombs, anyone?)
- Waste Management.
And with the fuel sealed inside layers of graphite and impermeable silicon carbide - designed to last 1 million years - there's no steaming pool for spent fuel rods. Depleted balls can go straight into lead-lined steel bins in the basement.Looking around at our world's politics, not to mention science, I have to sigh just a little at the phrase "designed to last 1 million years". We have no true concept of this.