Air Quality

Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Jo Borrás


MIT Study: 200,000 Premature Deaths Caused by Emissions

September 5th, 2013 by  

After spending over 15 years surrounded by race cars, engine dynos, motorcycles, and loud, angry combustion-engines in general, it was easy to form a positive opinion on ethanol. Simply put, the engines (when tuned for the fuel) made more power, my eyes didn’t water, my throat didn’t hurt, and I never once felt faint or dizzy — even after a full day on the dyno. Years later, the use of ethanol as a fuel became politicized, which brought out a bunch of anti-ethanol hysterics who knew more about flipping channels than turning wrenches, but even the most ridiculous ethanol hater doesn’t like to talk about gas and diesel’s potentially fatal carbon emissions.

Still, I’ve always been curious: how many people actually die from those emissions every year?

Hold on to your hats, kids, because that 200,000 number up there in the title? That’s just part of it — the full report, courtesy of the super-brains at MIT, indicates the number could reach 360,000 if just a few variables swing one way or another. Here’s more on MIT’s new emissions report, below, from an article I originally posted to Gas 2.

MIT Study: Vehicle Emissions Cause 200,000 US Deaths per Year

Diesel Emissions Kill

In the past, we’ve written about the dangers of harmful emissions from diesels and the clear and present dangers of commuting. We’ve talked about the American Lung Association’s Minnesota division coming out in favor of cleaner-burning fuels, and we’ve talked about the Chinese government threatening to enforce emissions laws with the death penalty. Until now, though, we haven’t seen too much in the way of hard figures. Luckily, the big-brains at MIT have been crunching the numbers, and here’s what they came up with: 200,000.

That’s right. The research team from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment concluded that “ground-level emissions” from combustion engines like those in, cars, ships, trains, and more cause about 200,000 premature deaths each year, with another 10,000 or so Americans dropping dead from “changes in the ozone concentration.”

Visually, the MIT emissions data looks like this graph …

deaths by emissions data

… and the team behind the study explains the graph as a description of the “annual average concentrations of fine particulates from US sources of combustion emissions from (a) electric power generation; (b) industry; (c) commercial and residential sources; (d) road transportation; (e) marine transportation; (f) rail transportation; (g) sum of all combustion sources; (h) all sources,” but the short version is that emissions are concentrated with population, for the most part. That, and “lots of people are being killed by tailpipe emissions.”

Steven Barrett, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT says that a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause typically dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise might have. His data also indicated that the biggest killers were, of course, cars and trucks, with 53,000 early deaths per year attributed to tailpipe emissions.

You can check out the whole MIT report over at Science Direct — and, if you still think ethanol isn’t at least a step in the right direction, feel free to read this post again.

Sources | Photos: Green Car Congress, MIT, via Motorpasion.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

  • CharliePeters

    Is ethanol in your water supply?

    • A Real Libertarian

      Why, yes indeedy.

      It ranges from 5% in the type of water know as “beer” all the way up to 70% in the type of water know as “absinthe”.

  • SA Kiteman

    Looks like the worst offender is electricity generation. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors could solve that!

    • Bob_Wallace

      If anyone builds one and shows that they can produce electricity at a competitive price then they will get considered.

      Since baseload/”always on” generation is being pushed off the grid I would suggest you not hold out a lot of hope.

      • SA Kiteman

        One can hope that the insanity that is the “mandatory purchase requirement” will be ended before it can do TOO much damage to the US economy. When it does, the sanity of clean, reliable baseload power will return.

        • Bob_Wallace

          There is no “clean, reliable baseload” beast. None exists except perhaps for hydro. And we simply don’t have very much more hydro potential to tap.
          Baseload is a 20th Century concept that is fading away. There’s no need for generation with is “always on”.

          The need is to provide electricity in the amount needed, when it is needed. A mix of renewables, storage, and load-shifting is our route to cheap, clean, reliable electricity.

          • SA Kiteman

            Your bias is interfereing with your mentation. The greatest source of clean reliable baseload is nuclear. It provides ~20% of the total US energy or close to 35% of the baseload.

            Now watch as BW pulls that stupid “not clean because of the waste” schtick. Well, wind creates about 6-8 times the weight of radioactive waste per unit energy produced than does nuclear. So if nuclear ain’t clean, wind is truly terrible.

            What is truly needed is baseload nuclear and additional load following Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors. This would be the cleanest, most reliable source set possible until either fusion, LENR, or some other as yet unknown source comes along.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ll just point out that nuclear is too expensive to make it part of our energy future.

            Nuclear provided 20% of our electricity at one time. It will now fall as more and more reactors are shut down and few replacements built.

            Coal topped out at 57%. It has now fallen under 40% and will continue to fall as we close coal plants and build no new ones.

            The only “baseload” generation we will have will be run of the river hydro. We may run geothermal as ‘always-on’ but it’s likely that it will be used as dispatchable supply as solar and wind price it off the grid during parts of the day.

          • SA Kiteman

            Yet even now, in countries that DON’T have that insane mandatory purchase requirement, nuclear is well cheaper than any other source. Indeed, it is here too but cheapness doesn’t matter when utilities MUST buy unreliable power. So your “too expensive” seems to be a perversion, not a rule.

            River hydro can’t provide NEARLY enough, and despite decades, even a century, of continuous effort, geothermal still is just a niche market.

            Dispatchable? Solar? Wind? Hahahahahahaha, bwa-hahahaha. That is just so amazingly silly as to be funny! Heehee, snort, chortle. Heh. SMH

          • Bob_Wallace

            You have a reading comprehension problem, don’t you? So sorry.

            And it seems an interesting take on math.

            What do we know about the price of electricity from a new reactor? Well, when Ontario and San Antonio asked for ‘no BS’ turnkey bids what they got was something that would have produced electricity around 20c/kWh. Turkey asked for a fixed price kWh number and they got 20c/kWh.

            Right now EDF is telling the UK that they can’t build a new reactor without a 15c/kWh guarantee for all the electricity they produce for the next 20 years. The UK offered 12c and EDF walked away.

            For the last two years new wind contracts in the US have averaged in 4c/kWh. Add back in the PTC and you get 6.2c/kWh.

            We’ve seen multiple PPAs for solar in the 6c to 7c range. Add back in the PTC and you get something in the 9c – 11c/kWh range.

            So, I suppose that if in your brain 15c – 20c is less than 6c – 11c then nuclear is a winner.

            At least in your brain.

          • SA Kiteman

            The wind and solar were with massive direct subsidies and no reliability requirements. The price didn’t include the cost of the natural gas system needed to back them up. Their cost is equivelent to the MARGINAL cost of fuel saved in the natural gas back-up generator which whould be maybe 3 to 4 cents at current rates. Anti-nukes always twist the truth in favor of their unreliables.

            Since nuclear plants are designed to go for maybe 60 years, but anti-nuke activity can disrupt their reasonable business plan, asking for enough to pay it back in a shorter time makes sense. Ask what the cost would be with a 60 year guarentee.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Wind and solar do not get direct subsidies. The government does not give wind and solar money.

            They are given the opportunity to avoid paying taxes. Which, using your criterion, is not a subsidy.

            According to you allowing nuclear reactors the freedom to not purchase liability insurance, having taxpayers accept the liability for a major nuclear disaster is not a subsidy.

            The average life of a nuclear reactor in the US is less than 60 years. 60 year lifetimes for reactors is wishful thinking.

          • SA Kiteman

            Companies that build wind and solar get about a 30% tax credit (gift of money), they also get a production tax credit (gift of money), and they get mandatory purchase requirements, (a gift of a captive market that results in free money). Please tell me where I said that a tax credit was not a subsidy. I don’t recall ever saying that. I did once say it wasn’t a “nuclear” subsidy since the PTCs seem to go exclusively (or at least predominantly) to the unreliables ($18 billion over the last half dozen years or so with another $10billion promised over the next 5 more IIRC).

            W & S are the most subsidized energy sector there is, per unit energy generated.

            Please stop lying, or fibbing if you like the word better. At no time has the taxpayer accepted any liability for nuclear accidents. The PAA merely allows congress to assess the situation and apportion further liability as IT sees fit. But since it is VERY unlikely to ever happen, that situation will not apply. 50 years, and no taxpayer money, not a subsidy.

            You re mistaken about the design life of reactors, reactors are designed for that kind of life span. They will need to replace some components along the way, but that is how they were designed. They are typically certified for 20 years at a time so their design can be reviewed against the reality at several stages along the way. A well maintained plant should have no difficulty in getting extensions for 60 or even more years.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Wind farms get a choice between a PTC or ITC, not both. The PTC lasts for the first 10 years of production.

            Solar farms get a PTC. End-user solar purchasers get a 30% ITC. That 30% drops to 10% in a few years.

            Nuclear, when it comes on line will also get a PTC.

            Clearly were we to have a major nuclear meltdown most of the cost would fall on taxpayers exactly as it is now happening in Japan.

          • SA Kiteman

            There is no need for the JapGov to step in except to calm the needless fears generated by anti-nukes. So far, a goodly part of TEPCO’s “problems” are nothing but FUD related stupidity by their neighbors. So now their neighbors are paying for it. Stupid on their part, but you can’t cure stupid.

            Of course, TEPCO being hamstrung in their ability to carry the cost by that same JapGov has also played a part.

          • SA Kiteman

            I do find it typical of the prevaricative nature of your argument style that our discussion has been about subsidies to Commercial Nuclear POWER Industry (CNPI) and you show a list so heavily skewed to military nuclear weapons and propulsion activity.

            Of the “historical” summary, the first two lines are so dominated by handling to results of military activity as to be inconsequential to the CNPI. The last is R&D which is conducted for government purposes (I never agreed with government R&D as it never seems to do much good in the long run).

            Of the RECENT summary:
            * The “tax credit” is a price the gov pays ANY provider for carbon free energy. It is hardly a “nuclear” subsidy but it is a subsidy.
            * The “modification” is a situation where they stopped taking a tax that ONLY nuclear power providers had to pay, one that reduced their ability to pay for decommissioning costs and for which, if they did a grat job at decommissioning and held down the cost they would have been double taxed on.
            * I can’t find any info on the “decommissioning pilot program, but since CNPI plants have been decommissioned several times without the need for a pilot project, I suspect this is for the recent military (submarine) related work.
            * The “Hydrogen” project was government work at a government lab for government purposes, not a CNPI subsidy.
            * The last two are basically insurance by the government that if the government causes delays or cancelations, the government will pay for it. If the government doesn’t do either, there is no payment and no subsidy. If the government DOES do one or both, the government SHOULD pay, and the company gets no money so that is not a subsidy either.

            SO, the ONLY subsidy in the lot is the common “no carbon” purchase agreement that all no carbon sources get, but at a MUCH lower rate.

            Yup, nuclear power sure relies on those non-subsidies all rightee! SMH

          • Bob_Wallace

            It really doesn’t matter what data I give you. You simply dismiss what doesn’t support your belief.

            Commercial nuclear is subsidized. It is subsidized more than renewable energy.

            Yes, renewables are receiving more subsidy right now because they are being installed. If there was any new nuclear production on line it would be receiving production subsidy as wind and solar do.

            Nuclear enjoys other subsidies in terms of loan guarantees and taxpayer assumed liability which are not given to renewables. I know you wish to define those financial benefits away because they bother your argument for nuclear.

            But aside from the subsidies, nuclear is simply priced off the table. New nuclear is being built only where it receives massive governmental support. Private money will no longer build nuclear reactors.

            The history of nuclear is one of missed deadlines, budget overruns and increasing costs. That is continuing with the few current builds in the western hemisphere.

            Now, I suspect that will be my final exchange on the topic here with you. I find discussion with someone who cares not for facts to be most unpleasant. And a waste of my time.

            I’m making this (likely) last post in order to lay out the facts for anyone who might stumble on this thread and be mislead by your remarks.

          • SA Kiteman

            I dismissed that whih was false, and aknowledged the very little amount that was true, but pointed out that the amounts were small be comparison to that provided to renewable. The fact that you cannot accept the obvious merely points out your failings, not mine.

            The PTC lasts longer for renewables than for nuclear and it does not have a limit for renewables like nuclear does. Even the PTC you tout favors renewables.

            You keep trotting out the lies about loan guarentees and liability assumption as if repetition makes it true. No money = no subsidy. The promise of a subsidy is just words. The nuclear industry has gotten ZERO dollars from either of those so called “subsidies” in the past 20+ years, indeed FOREVER with the PAA. Please quit … prevaricating. 😉

          • Bob_Wallace

            Folks, what we have here is an “_____” that cannot, or refuses, to understand that taxpayer assumption of liability and taxpayer loan guarantees have value.

            This is like someones grandmother paying for their car insurance for a year and then, when they don’t have a claim during the year, telling everyone that their damned grandmother stiffed them for Christmas.

            (SA isn’t going to get it. But just in case it isn’t clear to others….)

          • SA Kiteman

            Folks, what we have here is an “—–” that cannot understand that the taxpayer has NEVER assumed one penny of liability and in all probability never will. No money, no subsidy. Nor have they spent a penny for the loan guarentees. No money, no subsidy. The LGs are really just a guarentee to banks that the government won’t arbitrarily increase the cost like they have in the past. If the government plays fair, the government pays nothing. No money, no subsidy.

            That may be how BW treats his grandma but in fact it is really like the government saying that you the individual driver needs to purchase X dollars of liability insurance, but not more. It also says that if you are in an accident, you pay even if it is not your fault.

            BW refuses to understand but I am making it clear to others in the hopes that they might.

          • JP Pierce Chardon OH

            Please avoid the name gaming:

            Taxpayers paying in , not buying nor affording, pay the tax credit subsidized === money did not grow on your president’s tree, maybe printed though,
            30,000 dollar solar or geothermal heat pump with hot water production and heat recovery (

            or a 5kwh 35000 to 70,000 dollar wind mill for a small home use…
            all getting ~ 9,000 to 20,000 dollars OFF THE AMOUNT DUE came from the anti-credit-buster / wanting continuation of tax-credits and non-worker handouts to mysteriously appear.

            STOP the credits, I still profit too from and my customers so do…
            and work on some government engineering to encourage more support of research and production of a better volkswagen-solar-or-wind-or GTHP , FIRST then…
            after taking that money and getting rid of glass-house-federal buildings and related maintenance’s of 100,000 homes equivalency.

            Better Ut’y rates (that could EASILY be the credit for everyone to have)
            Better Buildings and distribution of HVAC and Hot Water
            better equipment…

  • SA Kiteman

    Does burning alcohol change that at all?

  • Ian Arnell

    hopefully this study can lead to some ways to cut down on these numbers and really do some good, and not just be a sad reminder at how everything around us seems be killing us

    • Bob_Wallace

      The route is simple.

      Renewable electricity generation.

      Electrified transportation.

      • T.A. Clark

        It’s not quite that simple; you’d be re-routing deaths from vehicle emissions to greater electricity generation, and you can see by the graph above in sample A that electricity generation isn’t an insignificant cause already. Even most renewable generation methods come with a significant environmental impact to the point where it’d take years of study to even see if you improved the problem or just moved it or changed it.

        That’s not to say it isn’t worth pursuing, but it’s definitely not simple.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The solution is simple.

          Implementation will take time.

          As we move more of our transportation to electricity and our electricity generation to renewables we’ll clean our air.

        • Randy

          Even on coal an EV is cleaner than the average car because it is so efficient. Coal is quickly declining and being replaced with cheap natural gas too. I don’t see why went don’t just plug a few dozen new nuclear plants in the mid west and east to produce ultra clean energy…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Because it would take several decades to build a few dozen new nuclear plants. And the cost of electricity from them would be economy killers.

            However we could build a bunch of new wind farms very quickly. We could use their output to charge EVs at night and their output during the day to lower the cost of our electricity bills.

            New nuclear electricity costs about 16 cents/kWh.

            New onshore wind electricity costs about 5 cents/kWh.

          • Randy

            “Several decades” It might take A decade, not several. And the cost of electricity from nuclear is very, very cheap. It is building a reactor that is expensive. If nuclear was heavily subsidized and not over regulated like some of the other energy sources, it would be much, much cheaper.

            You said it would take decades to build those nukes but only a few years for the wind turbines? It takes a ton of resources to build a massive wind farm. It would take a very long time. Wind WOULD be economic killers, far too expensive. You have to have grid storage, a new grid, and/or ultra fast backup to make it work.

            How did you get the new nuclear costs? There hasn’t been a new reactor in this country for decades. If wind was cheaper than coal and NG, then there would be no debate. It is not.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Nuclear is heavily subsidized and “over regulated”? Tough falloutboys! You whining about having to put containment domes on your reactors? Too bad, the rest of us like that.

            “How did you get the new nuclear costs?”

            Hinkley point C

            “If wind was cheaper than coal and NG, then there would be no debate. It is not.”

            If smoking was a cause of cancer, then there would be no debate. It is not.

            Go FUD elsewhere.

          • Randy

            What I am talking about is how every single minor issue must be approved, long processes, lot of bureaucracy. If someone accidentally pours concrete wrong at a new reactor building it can delay the whole project for over a year until the change is approved. It is nonsense like that. Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things. The coal industry releases far more radioactive material. It is so extremely unlikely that only two plants have had actual meltdowns, one wasn’t really an accident. 3 mile island was a partial meltdown and not a single death has been linked to it. Read the study on how many lives nuclear has actually saved, compared to other forms of conventional energy, it is the safest. It has actually saved way over a million lives, even if you count in the deaths caused by the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities.

            Wind IS more expensive than natural gas. Wind actually requires natural gas, unless you want to invest in some extremely expensive storage.

            Your analogy is a total fail.

            It is not FUD. I run this computer off of renewable energy, I have an off-grid solar setup, for my electronics. I am not against renewable energy. I wish it was windy here and I did not live in a valley, then I could put a wind turbine on it for the winter. So I could then add more things to my setup, like the TV. My goal is to run the refrigerator off of it… But renewable energy is too expensive for industry. Our economy couldn’t handle it.

            If you look at the countries with high wind power capacity, like Denmark with 30% of energy from wind, you see the highest energy rates in the world.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things.”

            “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things.”

            “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things.”

            “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things.”

            “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things.”

            “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things.”

          • Randy

            Ok, and? If you look at the statistics, and compare it to other conventional energy, it really is not.

          • A Real Libertarian


            That was your 47% remark.

          • Randy


          • A Real Libertarian

            Romneys 47% remark sank his presidential campaign by showing what he really thought about average Americans.

            Your “Even if a reactor melts down, it isn’t really that big of a deal on the grand scheme of things” remark sank your credibility by showing what you really think about victims of nuclear power.

          • Randy

            Nuclear power is safer and cleaner than the alternatives and can be linked to saving almost 2 million lives. When you average out the disasters, an event like Fukushima that hasn’t killed a single person isn’t as bad as something like the BP oil spill. Wh for Wh, Nuclear is the safest. Just burning coal kills more people.

            What are you doing about the oil spills you cause, by buying oil products? I do my best not to buy oil products, but sadly most things require oil for at least transportation. Luckily I do not need oil for transportation… Hopefully trucks and trains quickly switch over to much cleaner natural gas for fuel.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Fukushima caused more than 50 deaths during the evacuation.


            In addition there have been multiple fatigue deaths and suicides which are considered to be results of the Fukushima meltdown.

            We won’t know the final total for many more years while we wait for radiation-caused cancer cases to emerge.

            Again, Randy, it is not a coal or nuclear decision to be made. We have a ‘none of the above’ option.

            Nuclear is too expensive, too dangerous and takes too long to install. Nuclear energy is a dead man walking.

          • Randy

            Many of those deaths would have probably happened regardless.

            What is your “None-of-the-above” plan? Build wind farms everywhere? Works for denmark, you know, sense they only get 30% of their power from wind farms and their rates are already 3.5 times higher than the US average, over 4 times higher than mine.

            Nuclear is by far the safest conventional energy source. The amount of radiation non-workers received was very insignificant, way less than they would have near a coal power plant

          • Bob_Wallace

            So if someone had gone into those hospitals and nursing homes and hit those people in the head with a hammer that would have been OK with you because they were going to die someday anyway.

            Do you not know how we could power the world with renewables Randy? Did you show up on a renewable energy site to babble on foolishness about nuclear energy while knowing next to nothing about renewable energy?

            What a doofus.

          • Randy

            If wind was so cheap, Japan would be investing in it instead of importing expensive LNG and coal to replace nuclear.

            I came here because of this article, about the deaths related to vehicle emissions. I am big into alternative fueled vehicles.

            No matter the energy source, people will die, its part of the beast.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You aren’t aware of Japan’s massive wind and solar pushes?

            Japan had an immediate need to increase generation when they shut down nuclear and they had fossil fuel capacity so they increased output while they build solar and wind.

            I don’t understand their thinking behind constructing some new coal capacity but, like Germany, they may feel a need to keep themselves protected against disruptions in NG supplies.

          • Randy

            They are building new coal to replace that clean nuclear energy… They are not building wind and solar anywhere close to fast enough to make up for it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            More ignorance on your part, Randy.

          • Guest

            *sigh…I came here for the article too, not to engage in mud-slinging debate…I wonder if the article did mention that MIT had one of the best Nuclear engineering program in the country…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Denmark’s high residential electricity rates are due to taxes, not the actual cost of electricity.

            Denmark’s wholesale and industrial electricity rates are lower than the EU27 average.


          • Randy

            And that is still twice the industrial rate here…

          • Bob_Wallace

            So your contention is that Denmark’s wind turbines cause the average wholesale electricity price for the EU27 to be higher than the US price?

            When Denmark’s price is lower than the EU27?

            That, my friend, is some very talented tap dancing.

            Why don’t you climb down from the Cathedral of Nuclear Energy and spend a bit of time learning about renewable energy? You’re wasting a large hunk of our time playing WhackAMole with your stuff.

            You know some things about nuclear energy and almost nothing about renewables.

          • Randy

            I don’t know anything about renewable energy, i am just an ignorant person, huh? You know that I set up an off-grid solar circuit to run my electronics off of? I thnk renewables are great, for some places. Hawaii, for example. Arizona, I’m a fan of Solona. But in Ohio, we should build more nuclear.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You’ve demonstrated your ignorance over and over, Randy. You’re ignorant when it comes to both renewables and nuclear.

            Why don’t you spend some time learning rather than wasting your time posting and demonstrating how little you know?

          • Randy

            Instead of wasting time with someone who thinks they are right and everyone else is stupid, and is being a total asshole, I think I’ll do something more productive.

          • Randy

            “Your wrong I’m right it doesn’t matter what you say!”

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Nuclear power is safer and cleaner than the alternatives and can be linked to saving almost 2 million lives.”

            So that’s why a Chernobyl or three doesn’t matter?

            “Hopefully trucks and trains quickly switch over to much cleaner natural gas for fuel.”

            In reality they’re going to switch to much cleaner electric.

          • Randy

            No other accident was anything close to the scale of the Chernobyl disaster. No new reactor-related disaster could come close to the level the Chernobyl disaster was, I doubt any of old reactors could either.

            As someone who’s main focus is alternative fueled transportation, I have to disagree with you. I drive a 100% electric car. I think that the future of personal transportation is definitely electric, I have no doubt. But large trucks and trains are not going to go BEV any time soon. Natural gas is far to cheap and would be easier to use. A company can get NG for a dollar a gallon. An “eGallon” is about 3 dollars where I live, which is pretty cheap. The average is 4 dollars.

            The amount of electricity running these vehicles would require would mean massive, massive batteries. They would be extremely expensive, and the batteries would not last as long as an NG system, and it would cost more to charge. Trains are already electric vehicles, they simple run massive generators, like a Chevy Volt after the battery is drained. My car has a 24kWh battery pack, which is equivalent to 0.7 gallons of gas. That battery pack weighs 660 pounds. That is 950 pounds per “eGallon” of space, and not all that is usable. On a train or truck, a long life system would mean only 60% usable capacity, so that means it would weigh closer to 1600 pounds per “egallon.” Of course there are more energy dense chemistries and the larger the pack, the less it will weigh in total per Wh, but it will still weigh tons and take up a massive amount of space. One thing I always wonder though, why are trains not hybrids? The train can run off of the generators on the long hauls, but when they come to an area with overhead electric lines, where supported, they can turn off the generators or significantly cut fuel use. Batteries would not be needed for this.

            If trains had fuel cells and ran directly off of natural gas, their efficiency would be higher than generating it at a power plant. Same with trucks. The problem is, fuel cells require platinum group materials and are very expensive, so even at a power plant with the extra efficiency, it just isn’t cost competitive. With very expensive fuels, that may be different. 9% of US CO2e emissions is methane (which is mostly what NG is), most of that comes from land fills and agriculture. We could collect that and use it in transportation. It is a renewable fuel and collecting it and burning it is far cleaner than allowing it to enter the atmosphere.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Fukushima came close to being much worse than Chernobyl.

            Take a look at Indian Point on a Google satellite map. Think about the cost in both human lives and infrastructure if that plant were to melt down. We simply have no way to get all those people out of harm’s way quickly.

            Probably the best solution for rail is electrification. The Trans-Siberian Railway runs roughly twice the width of the US and hauls tremendous amounts of freight using electricity.

            We could move much of our highway freight to rail and use battery powered trucks for “the last mile”. Someone has already built a 100 mile range BEV 18-wheeler. We’re already using battery powered trucks in our harbors to move shipping containers. Trucks running from rail siding to warehouse would be ideal candidates for battery swapping.

            We can build fuel cells without platinum, but using NG does not address our GHG problem.

          • Randy

            “Fukushima came close to being much worse than Chernobyl.” It did not.

            Yeah, and guess what, that plant hasn’t blown up, and if it did, it probably wouldn’t cause significant damage, only the fear would. It is plenty far enough from NYC, but there are some dense suburbs pretty close to it. If you live in NYC, your does would be less than a CT scan. I wouldn’t worry if I lived there. It would be nice to see it replaced with some nice thorium reactors though…

            It would be cheaper and easier to run the trains directly off of natural gas than to electrify all that rail. It would be just as efficient, if not more efficient, than electrification, especially if a FEV system was used.

            On the truck, yes, there are some slow-speed trucks that are great for warehouses and ports. Sadly the government ripped up a lot of rail to promote trucks decades ago. Investing in more rail and taxing trucks could definitely help… But that would be “socialist” and we can’t have any of that commie stuff in the USA. We can only do that for airlines.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Fukushima came close to being much worse than Chernobyl.” It did not.

            Do you not know the Fukushima facts or are you being dishonest?

            NG does not fix the GHG problem. And our supply is limited.

            Do you not understand GHG and climate change as well?

            Do you not understand that we are upgrading our rail lines and preparing to build our first HSR?

            Randy, how about stopping posting crap and spend a couple days reading some of the articles on this site. If you learn the basics then we can have some intelligent conversation about how to solve our problems.

            Suggest you start up on the right hand side of the page with the “100% Renewable” link. Work your way through those articles. Get current on wind and solar.

          • Randy

            *stop posting

          • AegysLTS

            I couldn’t help chuckling to see you and him able to come to agreement about electrified transportation….if only my kids will learn to do that…

          • Randy

            I set up National Plug In Day here in Ohio, first time the event was held here in Ohio, I have participated in numerous EV events, and have been working with Clean Fuels Ohio. I spend hours on Green Car Reports every week, I am the top commenter on the site. I think I know a bit about alternative fueled vehicles…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Please list the conventional energy disasters that are in the same category as Chernobyl and Fukushima.

          • Randy

            Fukushima hasn’t killed anyone and will release far less radiation into the environment than burning coal elsewhere does in a month. Chernobyl is unique and is the only nuclear power plant that has killed people in the public. New reactors, if they experienced meltdown, would be far, far, less serious. But when you average together the disasters per Wh of energy, nuclear is the safest conventional energy source. A NASA study proved that.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Charlestown, Rhode Island, 24 July 1964, Robert Peabody.


          • Randy

            He was working there, work place accidents happen. I was talking about non-worker deaths, people who live in the near by community.

          • Bob_Wallace

            The Fukushima radiation deaths won’t show up for a few more years.

            Over 50 people who lived in the nearby community died during their evacuation during the period in which it was feared that the damaged reactors would further deteriorate and go critical.

          • Randy

            I doubt there will be any non-worker radiation deaths. I haven’t seen any sources that showed people not working at the plant received any significant amount of radiation. When I got my CT scan I probably received more radiation than any non-worked in the area.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “The negative health effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster for populations living in the most contaminated areas include a moderately increased risk of thyroid cancer for girls, and a slightly increased risk of other cancers for infants.[24] In particular, a 2013 WHO report predicts that for populations living in the most affected areas there is a 70% higher risk of developing thyroid cancer for girls exposed as infants, a 7% higher risk of leukemia in males exposed as infants, a 6% higher risk of breast cancer in females exposed as infants and a 4% higher risk, overall, of developing solid cancers for females.[24]

            A screening program found that more than a third (36%) of children in Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal growths in their thyroid glands, however whether these growths can be attributed to exposure to nuclear radiation has not yet been proven.[25] As of August 2013, there have been more than 40 children newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer and other cancers in Fukushima prefecture as a whole. The government says the recent cases are unlikely to be connected with the Fukushima releases as it generally takes several years after radiation exposure for thyroid cancer to develop and similar rates of cancer occurred before the accident. Data from the Chernobyl accident showed that there was a steady then sharp increase in thyroid cancer rates following the disaster in 1986, however whether this data can be directly compared to the Fukushima nuclear disaster is still yet to be determined.[26][27]”


          • Randy

            We will see what happens, but the disaster wasn’t nearly as bad as the media and opposition would lead you to believe. The plant was a poorly planned old one. New nuclear is far safer and some designs can not even melt down.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually a number of people died during the evacuation.

            Coal is dangerous. Nuclear is also dangerous.

            This gives lie to your Chernobyl statement….

            Some news agencies stated that in 2012, the Department of Atomic Energy for the first time admitted that the deaths of some employees and their dependents at the Kalpakkam nuclear site were caused by multiple myeloma, a rare form of bone marrow cancer linked to nuclear radiation. The DAE acknowledged that nine people, including three employees working at the Madras Atomic Power Station at Kalpakkam died of multiple myeloma and bone cancer between 1995 and 2011. This information came to light in response to a Right to Information (RTI) inquiry from October 2011. The DAE had previously stonewalled all previous requests for information.[5] BARC director R K Sinha dismissed press reports regarding cancer deaths around the Kalpakkam atomic power plant near Chennai caused by radiation as baseless.[6]


            The world’s first fatal atomic accident occurred on January 3, 1961 when a small, 3MW experimental BWR called SL-1 (Stationary Low-Power Plant No. 1) in Idaho was destroyed after a control rod was removed manually.

            At 9:01pm, alarms sounded at the fire stations and security headquarters of the U.S. National Reactor Testing Station where the reactor was located. Investigation found two operators dead (third died later), and detected high radiation levels in the building.

            According to FirstEnergy, the utility which operates the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County Ohio, a medical incident occurred inside of the plant in a contaminated area while supporting work for an upcoming refueling outage, subsequently leading to the death of a worker while on the job.

            Due to the severity of the medical condition the worker was in, he was transported in anti-contamination clothing and not surveyed by a Health Physics tech prior to transportation to the local TriPoint Medical Center where he was declared deceased.


            You can find more radiation deaths here –


            It doesn’t matter if nuclear kills fewer people than coal. We don’t need either.

          • AegysLTS

            Nuclear reactor is dangerous but I need to point out that the workers at the SL-1 facility were killed by an exploding parts from the steam equipment and the other by steam exposure, not because of the nuclear reactor itself. It could happen with a coal boiler or any other heat source.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, what you report is true. The part about the three workers being killed by the explosion and steam.

            But what you hide is the fact that had they not been killed by the explosion they would have soon died from the level of radiation they received. These poor guys were cooked by the released radiation.

            You accuse this site, at least the commenters here, of being anti-nuclear.

            When we point out the high cost and dangers of nuclear that makes us anti-nuclear?

            When we are unwilling to accept the dishonesty of nuclear advocates that makes us anti-nuclear?

            I’d say it makes us pro-facts.

          • Randy

            People will die in work place accidents no matter what. People will die clearing the land for wind farms, people will die mining the resources for the wind turbines, people will die building them. Those are work place accidents. Only one civilian nuclear accident has killed people that could not be considered a work place accident, Chernobyl. Our reactors are MUCH safer now. Where do you plan to get the electricity to power the world? You can’t power the world with wind and think it will be cost competitive. The economy couldn’t handle it and it would take far too much money without the government financing it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Randy, time for you to stop lying.

            People died at Fukushima. Over 50 people died due to the evacuation.

            People don’t have to be evacuated because a wind turbine or a solar panel fails.

            “You can’t power the world with wind and think it will be cost competitive”

            That is simply an ignorant statement. And a dishonest statement, the type we see all the time from nuclear fans.

            No one (other than nuclear fanboys) talks about powering the world with only wind or only solar. The smart and affordable answer is a mix of renewables.

            Furthermore it will be much cheaper to power our world with renewables than with nuclear energy. Wind and solar are now in the 5c/kWh range, nuclear is around 15c/kWh.

            And, before you represent the storage/backup lie again, both renewables and nuclear have to be backed up and high penetration of both requires storage.

          • Randy

            Nuclear does NOT require storage, you are the one lying. Nuclear requires the same back up any other plant requires, another power plant somewhere else for then the plant is turned off. This is planned and isn’t nearly as expensive as renewables. A nuclear plant does not require storage because the electricity cane used to boil water. It is wasted energy, but storage is so expensive that many power plants boil water to get rid of the excess energy at night. Because nuclear is sold base load, it does not require storage or fast back up, which most renewable energy does. Hourly rates can help balance the grid and other, throttle able power sources can be used.

            The problem is the grid is already there for nuclear. For wind, we would need to completely overhaul the grid and still implement fast acting generators or energy storage buffers. That makes wind more expensive than the cheap amount you quoted.

            You like throwing out numbers, I would really like to see your sources. If wind was cheaper, better, and safer than natural gas, then why is natural gas energy still being installed? Natural gas has grown unbelievably fast. Wind still makes up a tiny fraction of the energy used in this country…

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Nuclear does NOT require storage, you are the one lying. Nuclear
            requires the same back up any other plant requires, another power plant
            somewhere else for then the plant is turned off.”

            And that is exactly what wind and solar require. Dispatchable fill-in generation. Storage is a type of dispatchable generation.

            The grid is already there for wind and solar. The grid doesn’t care how the electricity is generated. It’s source neutral.

            “If wind was cheaper, better, and safer than natural gas, then why is natural gas energy still being installed? Natural gas has grown unbelievably fast. Wind still makes up a tiny fraction of the energy used in this country…”

            Actually installation rates for NG are fairly low and have been for the last few years. We’re installing mostly wind and solar in the US. Wind provided 3.5% of US electricity in 2012 and is around 5% for 2013.

          • Randy

            Look at the website. In 2012 alone, the energy generated from natural gas went from 24.7% to 30.4%, that difference of 5.7% is more than ALL wind and solar on the entire grid. The grid is quickly switching to natural gas over more expensive coal. It is the reason our carbon emissions have fallen to 90s levels, than natural gas!

            It is very different. When a nuclear plant is shut down, it is planned months ahead of time and the transition is simple, there is plenty to time to spin up the generators at another plant. With renewables, it can happen at any moment and it has to happen MUCH faster.

            It does not matter where the energy comes from on the grid. But the problem is a strong intermittent-renewable system needs a more dispatched grid, longer transmission distances, more energy sources. It is why people want a HVDC smart grid for wind… You can use something like solar-thermal and it can work just like any other power plant, you can use natural gas to heat up the water when the sun isn’t shining.

          • Bob_Wallace

            In 2011 the capacity factor (CF) for coal was 57.56%. NG’s CF was 24.24%.

            It’s not that we’re building a lot more NG capacity. We’re simply switching the amount of coal and NG we use based on fuel prices. In fact, coal rose by 4% in 2013 and NG fell due to the rise in NG prices.

            ” When a nuclear plant is shut down, it is planned months ahead of time and the transition is simple, there is plenty to time to spin up the generators at another plant.”

            Right. We got a lot of lead time at TMI. At North Anna when those two reactors closed in an earthquake. At SOMES.

            When Hurricane Sandy hit we knew months ahead that Nine Mile Point 1, Indian Point 3, and Salem Unit 1 would be disappearing from the grid.

            And we knew months ahead that Shippingport would go off line three weeks ago due to a “scheduled” fire and explosion.

            That’s a short list of unplanned reactor outages.

            Got it Randy. You’re either badly informed even about nuclear energy. (Or very dishonest. Only you know which.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, to move Midwest wind to the eastern seaboard we would need to build HVDC. And if we did that would be a long term (100+ years) installation. Not a big deal when put in the proper perspective.

            But since we are more likely to power the eastern seaboard with much closer offshore wind we aren’t likely to build a lot of HVDC for that reason.

            We are likely to build a relatively short run from windy Wyoming to connect with the existing Pacific Intertie and Intermountain Interties. Wyoming wind times very nicely with West Coast solar. And connecting the two existing HVDC increases overall system reliability.

            A new nuclear plant would also require large transmission installation. Very few communities would allow a reactor in their midst so transmission would be needed to move power from a more remote location.

            BTW, have you ever considered the dearth of suitable reactor sites in the US? The midlands have a cooling water supply problem, what with increasing flooding/drought/heat wave problems. Our coastlines are pretty highly populated and resistance to reactors would be very high in most areas.

          • Randy

            If people were not so ignorant on new nuclear, they wouldn’t care about it being built.

            The problem is wind is extremely intermittent and unpredictable, so a dispersed grid can bring in power from elsewhere to make up for the differences.

            New nuclear wouldn’t require near as much more infrastructure as wind, especially if it was built to replace the large coal and NG plants in the the east part of the US…

            Rivers and large lakes.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Again, Randy, you do not know what you’re talking about.

            Spend some time and learn the basics.

          • AegysLTS

            Maybe before you start your ignorant name calling you should read up on valid facts and data first….


            The strike price for the power from the Hinkley Point C is BP92.5 per MWhr, but if you look at the “actual” government data, it still a lot lower than some other form renewables such as solar (BP125 per MWhr) or wind (100 ~ 155)….

            Numbers don’t lie do they…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Number don’t lie. But people can pick and choose numbers in a dishonest way.

            Let’s look at the Hinkley deal. A guarantee that the UK will buy every kWh produced by the reactors for the next 35 years and the 16c/kWh price will escalate with inflation.

            35 years.

            Yes, offshore wind and solar may be getting FiT prices higher than 16c but that won’t hold. The price of both wind and solar are falling and will continue to fall.

            The UK recently installed a large solar array for around $1.50/w. Even with their lower solar resource that is going to produce <16 cent electricity. By the time a new reactor can be brought on line, 5-10 years from now, it is almost certain that both wind and solar will be well under 16c/kWh and UK ratepayers will be stuck with 35 years of expensive nuclear electricity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Randy, we simply don’t have the trained personnel to build a lot of reactors at the same time.

            The cost of electricity from a new reactor has to pay for construction and finance costs. That makes electricity from a new reactor expensive. 16c/kWh is the most current price we have.

            The price comes from the apparently agreed upon strike price for the new nuclear plant which may be built in the UK by French and Chinese companies.

            It takes less than two years to build most wind farms. Some have been built in less than one year.

            Wind farms do take a fair amount of material but those costs are included in the cost of electricity. And the cost of onshore wind electricity in the US is about 5c/kWh.

            We can convert about 40% of our current grid to wind and solar without adding storage. Past 40% we would need more storage and dispatchable generation.

            Nuclear also needs storage.

            Wind is cheaper than new coal and cheaper than new nuclear.

            New wind is not cheaper than “old coal” and some “old nuclear”. Some old nuclear is too expensive and going bankrupt.

            When comparing prices one must compare new:new and old:old, not new:old.

            Old, in this case, means generation already built and paid for.

          • Randy

            If we had standard designs, it could be done, and cheaper too.

            Wind would have the same issues.

            Nuclear does not require storage, it is total base load, so you would lose energy at night. Storage is too expensive to not just waste that energy. We could also require everyone to move to hourly rates to lower the peak requirements.

            You can not replace 40% of the power without fast acting generators or storage.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “If we had standard designs, it could be done, and cheaper too.”

            The AP 1000 reactors being built at the Vogtle site are standard designs. And they are not bringing us cheap reactors.

            “Nuclear does not require storage, it is total base load, so you would lose energy at night.”

            You simply don’t understand how the grid functions. We built 21 GW of storage in order to incorporate only 20% nuclear on our grids.

            “You can not replace 40% of the power without fast acting generators or storage.”

            Take it up with the NREL. They did the research which proves your claim incorrect. They found we had sufficient dispatchable supply/load and storage to permit ~40% wind and solar on US grids.

          • Randy

            Show me a source to this claimed 21 gWh of storage for nuclear energy.

          • Bob_Wallace
          • Randy

            Those are storage methods. I want to see a source for the claim that there is 21 gWh of installed storage capacity because of nuclear…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Get real Randy.

          • Randy

            I asked you for a source for your claim, and you did not provide one, and you tell me to get real? You seem to be the one making a claim with a negative number under the radical here…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Randy, do you not know the history of nuclear energy? Being a fan I would think you would be up to speed and not require someone to do your homework for you.

            If you’re ignorant then Google.

          • Randy

            I think it is sad you always have to resort to insults and call people ignorant if you disagree with them. You ignored my request for a source on the storage claim you made, then called me ignorant. I am familiar with nuclear safety in the past. I cited a source by NASA that state it has actually saved lives, compared to coal.

          • Bob_Wallace


            We are not faced with the terrible “coal or nuclear” choice.

            We have better, safer, cheaper options.

            Now, as to storage, here are a couple of pages for you to read so that you can catch up….



            I found them with a Google search. Do you need someone to teach you how to search for information?

          • Randy

            Again, I told you, I know EXACTLY what pumped storage is. You told me that there is 21 gWh of storage for nuclear, I want to see that source. I asked it as plainly as possible.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Read the links. Your explanation is there.

          • Randy

            No, it is NOT there. It is about a TYPE of storage, you have no source showing that there has been 21 gWh of installed capacity BECAUSE of nuclear energy, nor do you have any source showing that there IS 21 gWh of capacity. I looked at the EIA site and there are many nuclear plants that are no where near any pumped storage.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Had you thought a little you might have hit upon the fact that now all grids were likely to have the same need for storage. Some would have had much more dispatchable generation than others.

            BTW, I thought you were going to stop posting for a while and spend some time educating yourself.

          • Randy

            You sound like someone who is dead set in believing what they believe no matter what they are told, no matter the evidence, I have no reason to talk to someone like you…

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, Randy. Let’s review the evidence and see who is dead set in their beliefs and who flows with the facts.

            1. Nuclear energy is expensive. It’s 2x to 3x more expensive than wind and solar.

            2. Nuclear energy is dangerous. If we follow best practices and don’t screw up then it doesn’t hurt us. But we don’t always follow best practices and we do screw up. Witness TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

            3. Nuclear energy leaves a problem of hazardous waste for those who follow us. Yes we can, at great cost, reduce the amount of hazardous waste we leave for many generation to come but we have no way to eliminate it. And we have no solution for the millions of tons and millions of gallons of radioactive no-fuel waste.

            4. We could power the Earth, electricity, heat and transportation, with either sunshine or wind many times over. There is far more renewable energy available that we could foreseeably use even with 9 billion people living comfortable lives.

            5. We have the technology in hand right now to power our lives with renewable energy for an affordable price and that technology is constantly improving.

            Now, those are facts. And those facts lead me to believe that we should not waste money or endanger ourselves by building more nuclear generation but install renewables while closing down fossil fuel plants.

            What do you choose to believe Randy?

          • 12up.

            I don’t Believe you Bob

          • 13one

            No i don’t believe you bob.

          • AegysLTS

            Although I am for wind energy, they are not entirely safe either…I’ve seen wind turbine maintenance crew at work, dangling on turbine blade for inspection with their lives literally hanging by the rope….if that is not dangerous then I donno what that is…

            Yet it is sad the media don’t often highlights the heroic work of these brave men…

          • Bob_Wallace

            BTW, Randy, new nuclear plants in the US are subsidized much more than new wind and solar installations.

            New nuclear is elgible for the same 2.3 cents/kWh production tax credit (PTC) that wind and solar receive.

            In addition, nuclear plants can get taxpayer guaranteed loans which wind and solar can’t.

            Nuclear plants only have to cover a limited amount of their liability. Taxpayers cover the larger amount.

            And taxpayers are responsible for the long term storage of radioactive waste.

          • Randy

            “Nuclear plants only have to cover a limited amount of their liability. Taxpayers cover the larger amount.” That is the case for literally everything. No insurance company would ever insure anything for an unlimited amount. And coal plants are not responsible for the issues they cause. Wind farms operators do not pay for the birds they kill.

            The government could reprocess it and deregulate the way we treat waste, it makes no sense. And the vast majority of nuclear waste has NOT come from noncommercial nuclear power reactors. We could reprocess the nuclear power plant waste and reuse 90% of it. The stuff we can’t use we can mix with the rock the stuff was originally mined from and throw it back in the mine or glassify it and burry that. Other industries release way more radioactive materials into the environment than the nuclear waste our power plants produce.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “The government could reprocess it and deregulate the way we treat waste”

            Yeah, not going to happen.

          • Randy

            Sadly it will not happen. The way nuclear waste doesn’t make sense.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Yeah, nukes would be way cheaper if big government didn’t get in the way by forbidding the companies from dumping it the river!

            Why do they hate the Free Market©?!!!

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve actually seen nuclear fans suggest we do away with many of the safety regulations to reduce costs and accept the occasional meltdown.

          • A Real Libertarian

            Reductio ad absurdum FTW.

          • Randy

            You aren’t a real libertarian…

          • Bob_Wallace

            Why? Is he not selfish enough to qualify?

          • Bob_Wallace

            The current estimates for dealing with the Fukushima disaster run from $125 billion to well over $500 billion. If we had a similar disaster in the US the nuclear industry would be required to pay for only $12 billion. The rest would fall on taxpayers.

            Coal and nuclear kill far more birds per MWh of electricity produced. When we start charging them then we can send wind a bill as well.

            Your claim that we could reprocess nuclear wastes speaks only to used fuel. Reprocessing used fuel, to date, has not proven to be economically feasible. I’m sure you’ve seen a video on which someone (without data) claims it could happen.

            You’re pretty clueless about most things nuclear, Randy. Especially about the horrendous radioactive waste problem we face.

          • Randy

            Just leave it there! Why waste money freezing the ground. They can do what other people like doing with “carbon offsets” and do a “radioactive offset” by cleaning up a few coal plants in China and just rope off the area.

            According to my sources, the power and oil companies are charged for the deaths of the birds I am talking about

            And we are talking about used fuel. If the total cost of other industries was factored into their feasibility (such as health bill for wind), then they wouldn’t be feasible either. Reprocessing has been proven to work in France. France gets 80% of its power from nuclear and its rates are less than half that of Denmark, where 30% of energy comes from wind. French rates are slightly more than California’s, which uses mostly natural gas.

            I could call you clueless and try personal attacks on you, but I like to actually try to use facts when I debate.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Comparing the cost of electricity from paid off nuclear plants with wind farms which are still paying off their capex and finex costs.

            Is that clueless or are you being dishonest, Randy?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Reprocessing has been proven to work in France.”

            Woohoo! Instead of massive amounts of radioactive waste, now we have moderate amounts of weapons-grade radioactive waste.

            Checkmate greens!

          • Bob_Wallace

            France shipped a lot of their used fuel to Russia for reprocessing. 90% of it simply disappeared. Probably at the bottom of some Russian lake.

            The Russians have this radioactive waste issue solved. They just sink it. So far they’ve dumped 19 radioactive ships and14 nuclear reactors into the ocean. That we know about.

          • A Real Libertarian

            But Lake Karachay is so peaceful without all those people making all that racket.

          • Randy

            We have small amounts of unusable waste and some nice new fuel! And big deal if it is weapons grade! Just about everyone who wants nukes has nukes and the countries that have the reactors that can create that fuel, like France, why does it matter if they could theoretically make a weapon out of it? The US already has tons of nukes, so why would it matter if we reprocessed the waste?

          • Guest

            Randy, I agreed with you on the nuclear energy part and there is great potential for innovations in nuclear energy (i.e. some Gen 4 nuclear reactors are able to consume nuclear waste). But I’m surprised you are here since this is a fiercely anti-nuclear forum, you just can never get it through their head even if you had all the valid facts and figures, trust me from my experience here 🙂

            Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, at least we all love our planet…

          • Randy

            I haven’t been here before, but you seem to be right xD

          • Bob_Wallace

            Caution, Randy.

            You’ve entered a no bullshit zone. Your nuclear misinformation won’t fly here.

          • Randy

            Yeah I know you hate facts…

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