Nuclear power is the orange amongst apples when evaluating America’s energy future. There exist factors that must not be ignored that do not apply to alternative sources.
In addition to the relatively unknown impact of long-term exposure to low level radiation for those living near a nuclear power plant, or the cataclysmic effects of a major accident such as the one that occurred at Chernobyl, there exist far-reaching consequences that come at an unfathomable price; one which no nation can afford.
This, today, from the New York Times via the Boston Globe:
N. Korea reprocessing spent nuclear rods
Says material will be used to make nuclear weapons
By Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times / April 26, 2009
SEOUL – North Korea announced yesterday that it had begun reprocessing thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods, adding that it would use plutonium extracted from the rods to make nuclear weapons.
Reprocessing the rods, which were unloaded from the nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, 60 miles north of Pyongyang, the capital, “will contribute to bolstering the nuclear deterrence for self-defense in every way to cope with the increasing military threats from the hostile forces,” an unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told the nation’s official news agency.
Reassembling the partly disabled Yongbyon complex to its operational state could take at least several months. But specialists and officials in Seoul have said North Korea could have quickly reopened the reprocessing plant to produce plutonium from thousands of spent fuel rods. Specialists say the rods can yield enough plutonium for one or two bombs.
Read the entire article: http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2009/04/26/n_korea_reprocessing_spent_nuclear_rods/