Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nuclear Power Plant ... Oxymorons and Solutions

The Economist has a useful tool for looking up which have nuclear power and how much electricity they produce in a year. The U.S. leads the pack.

One of the oddities of nuclear power is that some countries like Greece are strongly opposed to nuclear power, yet less than 100 miles away their Bulgarian neighbors already have nuclear power plants ... This reminds me of Hawaii with its nuclear power plant constitutional prohibition and the 15 nuclear submarines home ported in Pearl Harbor.

The difficult management of a failing power plant due to major force of nature as witnessed in Japan makes a strong case for locating them on off shore floating platforms (e.g., refurbished decommissioned air carriers.) These platforms, like off shore rigs can be manned as required by helicopter flights but they can be engineered for self power and management by remote control (like the unmanned drones of the air force.)

In the extremely rare care of nuclear reactor failure the floating platform can be de-anchored and de-tethered, and then robotically powered away from populations. This plan offers significant economic, safety and psychological benefits. Perhaps the state of Georgia should look into a floating platform 10-20 miles out in the Atlantic among its alternatives for locating a very large nuclear power plant.