Frost: Wyoming should look to nuclear power

Frost: Wyoming should look to nuclear power

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Editor:

One of the most important resources for powering the globe and the United States are not wind turbines or solar panels, but 4th generation nuclear reactors that produce insignificant waste. These designs burn much of our previous waste from light water reactors, and many are capable of producing valuable isotopes for industry, research and medicine besides producing electric power. Rolls Royce, for example, has just received license from the British Government to build its first 4th generation reactors built in a plant assembly line fashion.

Power densities that can lift people out of poverty cannot be achieved by wind or solar. They are complimentary power generation technologies and produce their own industrial waste. In 4th generation nuclear the amount of radioactive waste each person would produce in an entire lifetime is about the size of a soda can! The fact is, our current light water pressure vessel nuclear reactors were originally designed for U.S. Navy ships and submarines, not power generation. On that smaller shipboard scale there has been no know serious incident and in the '60s into the '70s Oak Ridge National Nuclear Laboratories ran a molten salt reactor capable of producing electricity, useful isotopes and industrial grade heat for manufacturing needs in proposed modern designs based on that original research. The Communist Chinese obtained the U.S. Research documents and are near building a prototype. Unable to catastrophically fail and capable of automated shutdown without human intervention, Wyoming should be looking to attract 4 generation nuclear reactor development and manufacturing the modular components like Rolls Royce is moving towards in Great Britain.

GARY FROST, Cody

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