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Uranium is among the most common elements on earth.

The reason the uranium industry is at a virtual standstill in the US is partly because the US bought 20,000 nuclear warheads from Russia.  Their highly enriched uranium (over 90%) is being blended down to make reactor fuel (4-6% enriched).  We in the US are getting some of our light and power now from weapons that were once supposed to kill us.  We have a large stockpile of enriched uranium--at least a decade's worth.

As for most uranium mines being on native American lands--this is untrue.

There are proven reserves or uranium and then there are regions where plenty of good quality uranium exists untapped in the American Southwest alone.  Furthermore, depleted uranium can be irradiated in a reactor and turned into nuclear fuel.  Thorium can be turned into nuclear fuel, and the earth has an abundance of it. India has big thorium deposits and is working on that project.

Fusion is a great idea.  But the saying is that it is always going to happen 50 years from now.

Because of the catastrophe of global climate change already underway, we can't wait for fusion or for any other invention that might come along one day.

Germany is the sixth largest contributor of CO2 in the world.  Are they going to stop burning brown coal?  No, they are going to shut down the only large-scale emissions-free source of baseload electricity they have:  nuclear.

I am an environmentalist and I am deeply worried about what is going to happen and what is already happening to the planet, to the oceans.  The Katrina disaster is just a foretaste.  It is expensive to build a new nuclear plant, but they earn out in a short time and in the US are now competitive per kilowatt hour with coal.  

Having looked at all the alternatives and weighed the risks and the benefits, I am convinced that stopping CO2 and other greenhouse emissions as soon as possible is the only way to protect future generations from even worse consequences of global warming than the ones we are already seeing.  If we don't stop burning coal now, by the next century our descendants will have to cope with the acidification of the ocean killing most of the marine life as well as the drowning of many coastal cities.

See http://www.ecolo.org/media/articles/articles.in.english/love-indep-24-05-04.htm

by Plan9 on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 11:33:46 AM EST
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