Gallery: New Nuclear Reactors May Almost Completely Destroy Atomic Wast...


Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant

Despite its lack of carbon emissions, many environmentalists fear wider adoption of nuclear power. One main concern is where to store all that atomic waste produced by nuclear fission. A group of French scientists aim to allay that particular worry. They’re developing a new type of nuclear reactor that burns up nuclear waste, reducing the need for geological repository sites like Yucca Mountain.

Read the rest of this entry »


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Mike Conley January 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    @ Taylen24 – “Burning” is a misnomer. Reactors have nothing to do with combustion. Combustion is what got us into this mess. Reactors “fission” or split big fat nuclear fuel atoms into smaller atoms (yep, they make big ones into little ones…). Splitting the atom releases the fusion energy stored in the nucleus – ancient supernovas at the start of the universe formed all elements heavier than iron, by fusing little ones into big ones. Fission just reverses the process.

    The best new reactor concept is the Molten Salt Reactor (MSR.) The design is totally different than any other, including the reactors we’re currently using.

    MSRs use liquid fuel – a salt form of uranium (Uranium Fluoride or Uranium Chloride) melted in a hot “kettle” of molten fluoride or chloride salt – similar to the molten salt used to store solar heat.

    It’s super-efficient because the fuel atoms can be bombarded from all directions, all the time, and thus have a far better chance of fissioning (of being “split”).

    Solid fuel reactors fission about 1-3% of their fuel. The rest is waste. Molten Salt Reactors can fission about 99% of their fuel. And the waste that remains will become benign in 300 years, not 300 centuries.

    Nuclear waste is wasted fuel.

  2. mattban January 7, 2011 at 4:04 am

    they can do what ever they like, but solar and wind is still the most environmentally friendly way to go.
    why they waste time and money, r&d, etc on coal and nuke is beyond me…..

  3. fabrice March 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    We keep earing great break thru but we will see in a few 100’000 years, by the way looking forward to see the nuclear greats going to digg up all the old stuff to make it safe.
    How would i know i guess i am a pessimist (for nuks that is)

  4. taylen24 March 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    i hope it works because that would be huge, but “burning” nuclear waste just sounds scary to me!

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home