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Ryan Muller

Original questions and topics

  1. nuclear
  2. biomass
  3. How is the remaining supply of fossil fuels estimated? What does peak oil imply for society?

Pre-research questions for nuclear fission

  • What is the process of nuclear fission? (I know as much as atom splitting.)
  • Why is nuclear fission pursued (especially when many say it won’t be enough)?
  • What is the status of nuclear waste management?
  • How are nuclear meltdowns and other dangers avoided today?
  • What are the inputs for a fission plant?
  • How can fission scale within a plant?
  • What is the long-term ability to build more plants?

Presentation 1

Presentation 1

Follow-up questions

  1. What is the difference between thermal and fast reactors?
  2. Why are pebble bed reactors safer than many other designs?
  3. How does laser isotopic separation work?
  4. What is the potential for using thorium as a fuel, instead of uranium?
  5. What is the current stance of the U.S. government on changing away from the once-through approach we currently use?
  6. How serious is the nuclear waste disposal problem? Should we attempt to develop Yucca Mountain? Some other centralized repository? Or, should we continue to temporize, hoping that a way to reuse the waste is developed?
  7. How great a threat does nuclear waste stored on-site at power plants pose? Could a terrorist network use it for nefarious purposes?

Presentation 2

Presentation 2PDF version of Presentation 2

Sources

General

Ch 8 - Radioactivity and Death Ch 9 - Radioactive Decay Ch 11 - Nuclear Madness Ch 12 - Nuclear Power Ch 13 - Nuclear Waste

Types of reactor

Thorium

Nuclear Waste

Japan Earthquake