Let’s round off the week with some amazing facts from the whacky world of nuclear energy…
• The UK’s 60,000 tonnes of nuclear waste is difficult to visualise. Instead, imagine a pile of 15,000 elephants. That’s around a quarter of the world’s Asian elephant population.
• The Shoreham nuclear power plant in East Shoreham, New York cost $6 billion to build and was closed in 1989 without generating a single watt of electricity. That $6 billion translates as around $7000 for each customer the plant was supposed to serve.
• Iodine-129, a by-product of nuclear fission, has a half-life of 16 million years but is still dangerous after 160 million years. Or to put it another way, if the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period had had nuclear power, we’d still be looking after their waste.
• The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility being constructed in Nevada, US is 20 years behind schedule at a cost of $90 billion. The facility is permitted to hold 63,000 tonnes of spent commercial nuclear fuel. The US’s nuclear reactors will have collectively produced that amount of waste by 2014.
• The amount of hot air produced by the nuclear industry’s public relations spokespeople each week is enough to heat 500,000 homes.
Have a good weekend.