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Good evening, I am Stewart Brand from the Long Now foundation. Well I looked all over for a bow tie to wear tonight because this is really a New Mexico event, this book. Gwyneth Cravens grew up there and Rip Anderson has worked there all his life. They got to be friends and they are on opposite sides of nuclear issues and probably others as well and whose mind got changed, it was not Rip's, it was Gwyneth's. And she has spent half a decade working up a book which comes out later this month. You can order it now from Amazon. There is a cover out in the table on the lobby called "Power to Save the World" and it will be send to me for board which I did and I did that and I invited them to speak here because it's a such a damn good book. Basically it gets away from a lot of the hand waving on both sides that you see around nuclear and go straight into the the guts of the matter and that's why I was hoping that they could come and they agree to even before they go on the road show for the book. So please welcome the guts of the matter, Gwyneth and Rip. Hi, I am the writer and here is my virgil in the nuclear world; D. Richard Anderson or Rip as we call him. First of all I want to thank Stewart Brand for inviting us to speak. After an article about him appeared in The New York Times, a retired nuclear engineer wrote a letter to the editor saying, "The nuclear industry and the environmental movement need each other in order to arrive at the common goal of the environmentally acceptable energy generation on a large scale, kudos to Stewart Brand for helping to bridge the gap between the two." Because of Stewart we have now all seen the picture of the whole earth. There is not really an environmentalist earth and a nuclear power earth. There is just one planet. The poet Rumi said, "Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there". That's what my hope is and Rip's too. We hope that people in the environmental knew you and members of the nuclear world can come together to face the immense challenge that is upon us. We need to put aside assumptions, and look at facts. As Marie Curie said, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." Now, it's the time to understand more so that we fear less. About 10 years ago at a party in Albuquerque my home town, I fell into a conversation with Rip about nuclear power. He and his wife Marsha Fernandez, who is over there handling the slides; Marsha is a community activist and educator, and they have an organic sustainable farm near the Rio Grande. Rip stage up is as a scientist, but he has another job. He is also a bee keeper. And here he is looks like a nuclear decontamination suit, but it's really a bee keeper's outfit rescuing a hive. Of thinking globally, Rip and Marsha work hard locally to preserve clean air, the aquifer and open land. They rescued a 10 acre former air field from the threat of development and rounded up on tears from the community, and sowed grain, planted trees, and pretty soon they had a wild life sanctuary. Those are [0:04:37] ____ not migrating cranes actually. If you want to learn about Rip's youth as a cowboy in the rodeo and on the range or his dive into a reactor and how he became a theoretical chemist, an oceanographer and an internationally known expert on risk assessment and environmental health and nuclear safety, you will just have to read the book. But back to that conversation we had at the party, he happened to mention that a lot of our nuclear warheads are now being dismantled and their cores will be turned into fuel for nuclear plants. He said 10 percent of our electricity already comes from former Soviet warheads. That surprised me, and the surprise just was the beginning, I didn't know that thing. Until that evening most of what I knew about nuclear energy had come from organizations that opposed nuclear power. I had marched to ban the bomb in Greenwich Village and by the way would march again today in a minute to ban the bomb. And later on I protested the opening of Shoreham a nuclear plant at Long Island. I wouldn't do that to you. In addition to writing literary fiction and the occasional science article, I have been a contributor to various liberal and left publications and a magazine editor as well. I am an organic gardener too and a member of a sustainable organic community farm in Eastern Long Island. When Rip spoke favorably about nuclear power that night, I was annoyed. And I think those of you in the audience who are in the nuclear world are probably familiar with that irritated tone that some one will take in a social event that at you. But the dialogue continued each time I saw him because he kept referring to the long term, to the big picture, to what the overall risks and benefits are. I saw that he thought on a big scale and in terms of 1000s of years. He also spoke about catastrophic climate change. He said, "We are heating up the planet because of the sources of energy we choose." People get trapped by short term thinking and narrow focus. He emphasized the importance of objective; science based, pure reviewed information, whether the topic is global warming or nuclear power. He told me that the same probabilistic risk assessment that gives us a portrait of what we can expect from rising temperatures is also used to analyze nuclear safety. Yes-but was usually my response. I brought up various nuclear disaster scenarios. He provided many explanations and invoked laws of physics. Finally, he said, "Why don't we visit the nuclear world and you can see for yourself". So he and Marsha and I went on the Nuclear American tour. It took a lot of inquiry and fact checking to change my mind. We will give you some of the highlights. As we go along, some of you will be thinking, yes-but, as Stewart said, there will be a Q&A after the talk. So you can tell us your yes-buts then or no-but, no-and. Because of Rip's fear about the long term impacts from burning fossil fuels and now mine tonight we want to talk about how nuclear power can be a major part of the solution in the coming decades and centuries. We will talk about the overall picture of the resources we have to make, electricity, the increasing need for it and the risks and benefits of different forms of energy generation now and in the future. We are lucky in this society to have a lot of choices, but Rip when it comes to electricity production, how many options do we really have? Gwyn, we only really have three options for base load electrical energy. They are hydro, fossil fuels and nuclear. I need to stop for just a second and explain what I mean by base load. Base load is the capacity of the electrical industry to instantaneously supply you or me with 24x7 electricity on demand. Now that means that you have to have an instantaneous way of generating additional electricity when the demand goes up. It turns out that solar and geothermal and wind cannot do that. It only can be done by hydro, by fossil fuels and by nuclear Okay, so that narrows it down tonight to talking about nuclear power to some to a great extend anyway. When nuclear plants are shut down they are replaced by fossil fuel plants not wind or solar or conservation. For example Germany decided to face a nuclear power and they have started plans to build 26 new conventional coal fire plants if they hue to this plan and face out nuclear and build more coal plants despite the impressive wind and solar installations in the country, green house gas emissions will rise there, but it sounds like they are backing off on the nuclear plant shut down. Okay this is projected energy use in coming years, there has been an increased efficiency in better conservation methods coming along very nicely especially in the industrial sector for 20 or 30 years. But the private sector has lagged behind in terms of conservation and efficiency, the digital revolution and fancy new electronics and appliances and bigger homes suck up a lot of electricity. Then there are the developing nations that really desperately need more electricity in places without it, the average life span is 43 years, bringing even a few watts to a village increases survival. At the present rate, electricity will probably double by electricity demand will probably double by 2030 as you can see from the 2030 slot up over there. We must be vigilant about wastefulness but conservation alone is just a finite resource we have to actually provide more power and so we are on the coast about the big choice here as a society, if we continue the way we have fossil fuels are going to be providing most of that new electricity. If you look at the amount of electricity that's generated in the United States, you will see that coal generates about 39, gas 19, oil 7, hydro 16, nuclear 17 and all of the others are about two percent. If you look at this circle, you will notice that in the essence all except the hydro or the the energy is generated by burning something. Could I have the next slide? I don't want to make this look silly but really what every one of those do is boil water, the water turns the turbine, the turbine swings magnets through a field and generates the power that you and I want to use. So in essence everything is burning water, I didn't get the paper work here - could I have the next slide? From this figure you will see that there is different amounts of material generating different kilowatt hours of electricity, the real point here is that seven grams approximately the size of a pencil eraser of uranium oxide will generate a lot of energy comparing one kilogram of oil for 4 kilowatt hours and one kilogram of uranium for 50,000 kilowatt hours of energy. The next slide, this is a detailed slide the real thing that I want to for you to pick from this slide is that uranium pellets and the nuclear fuel cycle is a very very concentrated energy source, very more concentrated than any other source that we have available to us. Lets talk a little bit about green house gases from world wide electricity production, you can see here the red indicates direct emissions from power sources, the white the indirect emissions from the life the comprehensive life cycle which includes mining and waste disposal and all of that. So you can see the coal goes a way up as the big killer and on the other end nuclear you can barely see, it ranges between 21 and 9 grams of carbon dioxide or CO2 equivalent for kilowatt hour. So nuclear power actually is has lower emissions in terms of green house gases than wind and certainly lower than solar. Okay to give you an idea about the volume of waste from the coal as compared to nuclear waste this is the picture of the beautiful Sandia Mountains above Albuquerque and they are about a a mile and a quarter high above the city. Fossil fuel combustion produces 27 billion tones of carbon dioxide yearly in the world. If it was solidified, it would make a mountain of the size of the Sandias there with a base of over six miles in circumference. The same quantity of energy provided by nuclear fuel would produce only 14,000 tones of solid waste, it would occupy a cube that was about 18 yards on a side about the volume of a big town house. The waste is always shielded and isolated from the public and of course as we saw this now, the gaseous waste is negligible with nuclear. Okay if you got all of your energy, all of your electricity for your entire life about 77 years is the average lifespan in America, then your share of the waste would fit it in one Coke can, if you got all of your electricity just from coal instead of the 51 percent on average we are getting in this country, over your life you would be responsible for 69 tonnes of solid waste and 77 tones of CO2 and you can see that we take the - all those rail road cars to hold your waste around. So can we go back one slide? Thanks, so there is the story - the coal waste statistics are so staggering that when you begin to learn about the we don't why people aren't out marching about this and picketing and demanding coal plants be shut down. And of course we can't because we are totally addicted to them, we are dependent on them based for electricity but the solid waste from coal combustion contains the arsenic mercury lead and other toxins - Don't forget uranium. I was going to get to that it also contains uranium, thorium, radium and we will talk about that little more later. And so our share of the waste at present is 890 pounds per year per American, the total amount of waste from coal combustion would take a million rail road cars to Holland and that the train made of those rail road cars would be 9600 miles long over three times the distance between New York and LA. But we also don't see about coal combustion as what its doing to public health, it's not high drama for - you know you don't see a TV - made for scary movie about coal combustion but its scary and the next thing is the health impacts of coal which are quite worrisome, you can see that around 24,000 people die a year from power plant pollution in the United States and that's chiefly coal, you know there is some natural gas and some oil but really they are talking about coal here. In China over 400,000 deaths a year from coal pollution which you are now receiving here in California - coal pollution which Richard Rhodes, author of 'Making of the atomic bomb' has written "the world health organization has estimated that indoor and outdoor pollution from fossil fuel burning causes some three million deaths per year world wide substituting small sequestered volumes of nuclear wastes for vast dispersed volumes of toxic wastes from fossil fuels would be an improvement in public health, so obvious that it is astonishing that the physicians throughout the world have not demanded such a conversion." Global warming it's to me is one of the biggest challenges that man has ever faced. In the first - it is the first time man has been has the capability of doing some thing that can impact the total earth. In 1960 when I was studying oceanography I was really concerned about it but at that point of time, it was only only a theory, now I am convinced that global warming is real and hope we are really arguing about is how hard or how high the temperature the global warming well will occur over the next while. In addition I am very very worried about the negative effects are worst of that in addition to the - the temperature increase. I am worried about the fact that Carbon dioxide when it dissolves in the ocean generates carbonic acid and carbonic acid dissolves any carbonate shells of any species in the ocean, so they will eliminate many of the creatures that we eat and enjoy of watching like coral, oysters and and clams but even more importantly when when ocean which is now basic but changing slightly in PH values in it in acidity when it becomes acid, it will no longer act as a matter and the huge bunch for sucking up CO2 that it is now and it won't suck up any more CO2 therefore the the thermo or global warming will be accelerated and it - I think we are heading for a very very large problem both in acidification in the ocean and in just increasing the temperature of our globe. Uh-huh. Those green house gases are mitigated in a to a huge extend for nuclear power which accounts for 71 percent of green house gas free electricity in the United States. It's the single largest displacer of green house gases in the world and is likely to be so for a long time to come, it can and must replace fossil fuel as base load of course we will lead all the things we can - all the other solutions we can get like solar power you know whatever solar power can do and wind power and geothermal and tidal and these are all part of the deal but the heavy lifting is gone to have to be done, the green house gas free heavy lifting will have to be done by nuclear if we are going to try to save ourselves in this scenario we are just talking about. We are about to get to the nuclear America to orbit, but first lets talk a bit about radiation exposure. I needed it to know about that before I was willing to go to nuclear facilities like a I tended not to distinguish high radiation - high dose radiation of the kind and that people suffered from in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and if I fire fighters and emergency workers at Chernobyl. I didn't distinguish that from the low dose radiating radiation that we get and we even emit in everyday life, there is lot of ignorance about low dose radiation and fears that are completely unwanted. We evolved in ocean under radiation. That was actually much more intense than it is today, the ocean of natural radiation is deeper in some places than others, salt beds for example how extremely low natural radioactivity and then there are parts of world like a part a part of Iran where there is lot of radium in the soil and the water and it's very highly radioactive and parts of Brazil and India and China where people live quite healthy lives by the way. Most of our exposure human - exposure from natural background is from Radon that comes out of rocks like uranium and thorium and also the sea the seawater is actually high in uranium content which washes off that contents then into the ocean and then there is cosmic radiation from you know the solar system and the universe which is greater at higher altitudes. To understand the the reference here, a millorem rum is a measure of the biological damage to living tissue from radiation exposure below 10,000 millorem, there is no scientific bases for confirming whether damage occurs or not. They it's just very hard to know the effects of low dose radiation because of all the noise as it where of natural background radiation so right now a lot of our regulations about radiation have to do with estimates, the science is really not there. Recent research on low dose radiation had found that it can stimulate DNA repair mechanism. So this shows how we evolved you know that that radiation actually played a role in our our the way our DNA developed and helps our immune system and this is very tantalizing subject and a controversial one and obviously deserves more research. The panel on the biological effects of ionizing radiation has called for more low dose research that panel establishes or upholds standards and advises congresses and so on, on how to promulgate the right level of radiation standards. There is a campaign among radiation biologists around the world to establish an ultra low dose laboratory to get really solid facts from carefully controlled studies in a very low background radiation setting half a mile under the ground you know salt bed - and we are going to talk more about that very interesting salt bed later. Then we have all sources of radiation, this graphic which I like so much is actually now out of date the national committee on radiation protection announced in July that medical radiation, the average dose per American is about the same as natural background radiation - 300 a year - 300 millorem a year average for medical radiations on average 300 millorem a year for natural background. So you can see that there are different types of radiation and I just want to talk a little about where they come from, food for example is one way we have taken radiation from nature, by eating isotopes. There are isotopes in fruits and therefore we emit low dose radiation because of the radio isotopes in food we eat. So here are certain and the thing to know about this chart - this graphic is that radiation has different penetrating power so you can hold plutonium in your hand on a piece of paper as rip has done and the rays coming out of plutonium don't even penetrate the paper and skin stops them too but others like beta and gamma are more penetrating and neutrons but you can see that they are all stopped by concrete and concrete place a very big role in the nuclear world as you are going to hear. So I just wanted to show you something that is in daily life that are radioactive. For starters a self substitute which in radiation protection classes they now use instead of a radioactive source like americium or plutonium or something, no salt will set off a Gager counter. Brazil nuts the ones it are from brazil are grown in the thorium soils and they a radiation biologists I know uses brazil nuts to calibrate his Gager counter and - cigarettes if you smoke two packs a day of cigarettes, then in one year you have a dose to your lungs of 8,000 to 20,000 millorem, so every percent in the nuclear world that I - and I interviewed a lot of people and I would say well how how can a person avoid excess radiation and I thought they may say "well shut down nuclear plants" or something like that, they said to a man and woman "don't smoke" and then this beautiful orange plate is fiesta ware which will also set off a Gager counter now we couldn't find a Gager counter that clicked, Rip has one, but it doesn't click and so it's no fun, but this is radioactive, and then bananas,0.01 millorem for every time you eat a banana and a nuclear power plant, if you live next to it for a year, they estimate because it's so tiny, they can't really tell, that your exposure is 0.009 millorem in a year. So some people in the nuclear world like to rate things in banana years. So something to think about, if you like bananas as much as I do is you are really you know, sucking up the radiation. Okay, so I stopped worrying about excess radiation exposure. But then one day we were - Rip and I were talking and he was talking about reactors and I said, you know, they are really unnatural. This is not something humans should be it's something humans have brought into the world, we didn't have this before now, we have this terrible thing to deal with reactors. He just replied that there were reactors in nature Mother Nature's reactors. And I could not believe that I thought oh as in the early days with Rip every now and then I would thought is he pulling my leg or is he a little nuts or something like that, so I would always look up everything he told me. Well, I looked up natural reactors and I found out about the Oklo natural reactors in Gabon, West Africa. Starting around two billion years ago, in a river delta you know, they called it Oklo, 16 reactors natural reactors produced power at about the 100 Kilowatt level for about a 150 million years. Well, Rip publish you your secrets. To be honest with you, I did everyone know how I pulled her leg, just to see if she was paying attention you know, and almost always she was. The Gabon reactor is a very interesting one, in fact there are a 12 of them now that they have found through out the united or through out the globe and I am sure as they look into other geologic formations they will find others. In many geologic formations which contain uranium, the conditions were just right to allow the chain reaction that occurs in a reactor to occur. There was sufficient amount of uranium of the right kind of course, there was water to carry away the heat and they ran for a long period of time. And what happened at the end of that time, they ran out of fuel and they stopped. That the unstable atoms that were being burnt were finally gone and they left the radionuclide some of them and some stable atoms there which was the key to the French experimentalist that found the first one that said, "one, it was a reactor. Two, it ran for a long period of time and three most of the fission fragments, the radionuclides never moved out of the geologic formation which was the first natural proof that that geological formations really do contain radioactivity. Well when we talk about the Gabon reactor, we have to start back and say, what is a chain reaction and a chain or what is radioactive decay first I jumped over a slide, radioactive decay is in effect an unstable atom breaking apart in some way, giving off particles, radiation and a lot of heat of course and that heat then, it can be used if you can figure it out how to trap it. And the next slide then, is what is, a nuclear chain reaction. A nuclear chain reaction is when a neutron from one unstable atom, flies out and hits another unstable atom and breaks it apart and that chain continues until all of the unstable atoms have been used up or enough neutrons escape without hitting an unstable atom, that the chain reaction stops. Next slide, how does a reactor work? Well, by now with that crazy cartoon of Frank you probably know. It the unstable atoms break apart being hit by neutrons and causing others to break apart and that energy boils water and the water is cycled through the appropriate tool to generate electricity and electricity goes out on the waters. Gwyn. Well, I just want to talk a little bit on that nuclear tour we started out at the looking at the cradle of uranium in the United States. It really starts out in the sun or in rather in a supernova. Supernovae make uranium atoms but we went to Ambrosia lake in New Mexico and looked at what sort of the remains of a completely more abound uranium mining industry, it used to - during the cold war and early development of nuclear power was a very busy place. The Colorado plateau is very rich in uranium that volcanic action brought up from the core of the earth's you know, mantle and a typical I am sure a lot of you will be would be familiar with the landscape of the Colorado plateau which is rugged and beautiful and contains things like the Grand Canyon. That's the Colorado plateau and that's you know, the kind of place that they would bring uranium out of, but they are not doing it uranium mining in the US is virtually shut down. I heard there are about a 121 uranium miners actually doing mining and it's a kind of thing called insight to leaching where they just take water out of old mines and take their uranium out of that water. Okay, so and this is different, types of uranium, this is a uranium refinery that we visited, that was the biggest refinery of Yellow Cake you know, producer of Yellow Cake in the free world and it's heyday and it was being dismantled when we visited and now, if you go there, there is no trace of it, it's been completely torn down and the soil is been planted and the tailings - piles which were once huge have been kind of graded and smooth out and caped and stabilized. So that you know, new refineries will have to be built if mining resumes. So the ore was trucked from here and by the way, one truck load of uranium ore contains this equivalent energy of one million pound of tones in coal. And it was taken to the ore was taken to a plant where the yellow I mean not the ore, the yellow cake was taken to a plant where it was turned into a gas through chemical processes and then that gas was sent to an enrichment plant to create to produce more to isolate out more Uranium-235 from the other isotopes. Uranium for nuclear fuel has been enriched to four percent, so in one of those pellets like you saw in the earlier picture has four percent U-235 which is the fissile isotope. To enrich for a bomb, you would need to enrich it 90 percent which is why you can never have a nuclear plant explode atomically, no matter how how would you try to make that happen, it can't it's not possible. So this is a - the pellets go into fuel rods and you can going get an idea of the size of a fuel rod from the hand there. And the fuel rods then are put into fuel assembly which they are just bundled together and then that fuel assembly winds up in a reactor core. This is a research reactor core, and here is a plug for research reactors, they are responsible for making medical isotopes for among other things and those isotopes and by Lasic and therapeutic radiation save millions of lives annually. Did you want to say something about the No, I was just showing the top of the fuel bundle you saw on earlier one and then this is where it sets in in the reactor itself Then we have a plant reactor core and it's hard to tell from the picture of what how big that is but it is surprisingly small reactor core is about 12 feet in diameter and 12 feet tall. So it could fit in a kitchen in Menlo Park or Palo Alto. Gwyneth, just one other thought, each one of this little squares is the top of one of those fuel bundles that you saw earlier. And then this is our Oconee nuclear station in South Carolina we visited, it's in a very wooded surrounded by woods and big lake, a dam that Duke Energy make. The cylinders you see in the back there are that - where that reactors are in the containment buildings and we will get to that in a minute, in the foreground is the turbine building which is a gigantic building with a floor so clean you really could eat off of it as they were proud of pointing out. Okay, Oconee is a phenomenal plant but it's just a typical one, so the amount of the electricity generated in a day or week or years is mentioned in kilowatt hours or megawatt hours. Oconee recently became the first nuclear station in the country to generate 500 million megawatt hours of electricity, enough power to supply electricity for 20 years to every house in South Carolina, that's two million households and they Oconee did all this take up less than a square mile, so keep that in mind the environmental footprint of nuclear plant is really small compared to the power it puts out. So, okay that the white cylinders I pointed out to you in the the photograph of the Oconee plant, here is what they look like inside which you we have already seen this - that's here is the inside and note that the reactor core is below ground and how about to spent fuel from Oconee, first of all we know we it produced all energy with emitting virtually now green house gases, all the spent fuel generated by one of Oconee's reactors in a single year about 25 tons could fit in the bed of the Rip's pick up truck. The annual total of spent fuel from all of our 104 power reactors comes to about 2000 tones and how does this compare to coal combustion? Uranium yields pound for pound the greatest amount of energy of any fuel we have. Yeah, but what about safety? A nuclear plant as I said can never explode atomically and I didn't know that for quite for a while and so Rip and I would have conversations that I kept thinking yeah but you know one of those things could blow but you know they can't, this is we have visited Oregon west which is now merged with Idaho national laboratory anyway it's all called Idaho national laboratory but that times, a Argonne for a lot of pioneering of reactors was done in the 50s, 60s, they took reactors past their limits to find out just what it took to create melt downs and they figured out the fuel configuration and all kinds of important things about that - that are used world wide now came from places labs like this one, note the containment building it's a pressurized dome to so that if anything happened there wasn't some kind of release of radiation inside the building radioactive material the air would flow into the dome and not out and there was also that the turbine building is separate from the reactor, there was an uproar of a minor kind about the problem in with the turbine at a a reactor for a month - the power plant for a month as if this was a terrible thing that was just proved that nuclear power didn't work, but turbines are in a separate building, they don't have anything really to do with the nuclear power. They just turn - you know the steam just turns the turbines. So back to that pressurized water reactor diagram again, note the size of the containment relative to the reactor core and as I said the core is underground, the reactor the reactor buildings at Oconee are each 90 stories high and a twelfth of those stories are underground the reactors are anchored in the bottom in bed rock, a hundred feet below the surface to provide natural shielding. The core is enclosed by a large carbon steel vessel with a thick steel liner and walls of dense concrete about five inches thick and remember concrete stops radiation, this concrete vessel in turn fits within the containment building which is made of a shell of steel covered with four to six feet concrete reinforced with steel bars and negatively pressurized as I said before. They can contain any explosion or leak and in the case of Female Island they definitely did. Anyone entering has to pass through an air lock, this of course we did not get in a containment building at Oconee or the other nuclear plant we visited on our tour this is at Oregon at this former reactor you know where a reactor was formerly tested and so on has been cleaned up and so we could walk in to the building, go through the air lock, take pictures of the air lock door and all of that with no concern about radioactivity and you can see how - just how thick that door is. There have been two partial core melt downs in the history of commercial or civilian nuclear power, the containment of three mile island prevented the escape of radioactive material and no one was hurt. I couldn't believe it when I heard when Rip told me that the death toll from Chernobyl was very small and then actually in one month in the United States coal kills more people by far than were killed in the Chernobyl incident. there have been a 60 deaths that can be directly attributed to Chernobyl, most of them were the emergency workers, the fire fighters and nine have been unfortunately children who had got thyroid cancer that wasn't treated and that was completely they if they had been given potassium iodide pills, there would have been no problem with the thyroid cancer and Poland and other areas that were exposed to radiation from Chernobyl where people were given the potassium iodide, there was no problem Potassium iodide blocks the uptake to the thyroid of radioactive iodine. All US nuclear plants have to have containment, Chernobyl had no containment, that is why Chernobyl is such a bad thing that happened, it was completely unnecessary if it had containment it would been in other Three Mile Island there are details about the design and everything but that's the basically the bottom line on Chernobyl. All US nuclear plants plants have to have containment and they have to have back up provisions for water - keeping water supplied to the reactor to keep it cool and back up electrical systems in case of a power failure sometime. Okay the other thing you see it on a nuclear plant or don't see in our case, they didn't want us to see that was that subterranean spent fuel pool its by the way for the security reasons that they didn't want us to, we did get to see a spent fuel - after a lot of security clearance and all of that stuff we got to see a spent fuel pool at the Idaho national lab and to see people working with spent fuel there and walk along the pool and perfectly safely by the way, there - these pools are subterranean so again they would present a very difficult target for any terrorists who wanted to try to crash a plane into what is in effect a swimming pool and - people worry what if terrorists stole spent nuclear fuel, well they would just die immediately because its so radioactive if they had and they need to get big cranes to load it on to a van with the with specially reinforced axils and then they need to get out out of nuclear plant without anyone noticing and they are very well guarded plants I just don't think you know a terrorist with a brain would try that. Then you have again people worry about planes flying into nuclear plants, just looking at this graphic will tell you why it wouldn't work very well. Rip told me - Rip is in charge of - during 9/11 you were in charge of - one of you charge was counter terrorism at Sandia national labs and so I was calling him every two minutes about - disaster scenarios and he said the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are as made of paper in comparison to what a nuclear plant is made of, so a plane would just pancake against that a structure like that and did in fact at a test at Sandia. Okay so nuclear plants are very safety conscious, we were nagged - like you know with - all by over protective grandma type people, the whole time we were there and we had to wear a special protective gear and we had to be wanted and we have to be we had to fasten our seatbelts if we drove from one of the turbine building to the reactor building or whatever, they are very - very safety conscious and in fact they have often extremely low accident rate and I believe it was also discovered that you are actually got greater risk for an accident working in real estate than in nuclear plants. So this is a gamma ray counter at the - at Oregon West , we had been in a fuel processing facility reprocessing and when you enter and exit these plants, you are always checked for excess radiation which is another reason terrorist couldn't disguise themselves as a nuclear tourist and just put some radio active material in his pocket and slip out and then do damage of it couldn't happen. So I was quite satisfied by this point that nuclear plants were operated safely, we also visited Coal-fire plant which was you know meeting the standards of Coal-fire plants expected to meet especially giving that the regulations tend to be written by the coal industry and it's the only time I saw Rip looking nervous in the whole nuclear tour because of leaky pipes and stuff that would never be permitted on nuclear facility. Okay so and - just to make sure that I didn't pick up any radiation on that part of the tour, after ended I had a whole body scan with national institutes of health state of the art of gamma ray detector whole body, no excess radiation found. Alright very well, but what about the waste from making electricity? I asked that question lot and since Rip is an experts on nuclear waste disposal, I learnt a lot from him about it. Everyone always asks about the waste. I now say when people bring up the stag the nuclear waste is just is staggering quantity and we don't know what to do with that. I now say yeah but what about fossil fuel waste and its lethal components? This is a slurry dam at a coal processing operation where they cut off the top of the Mount Allison and those slurry dam sometimes break and the toxic waste gets in to the water supply in a big way that happened in Kentucky. This is the beautiful fort corners area and these are huge coal-fire plants that you can see the plume I have thought over sometimes if the plume goes for - it is tens - hundreds of miles it's a huge operation and you begin to realize that fossil fuel waste is not stored in a - its not sequestered and stored in an underground depository, it's stored in our tissues, in the air, in the water, in the soil and by the way it produces a low dose radiation if you are concerned about radiation, you should be fighting coal plants because you get exposure from a coal-fire plant - the fort corners plants would expose you to a four millorem a year and remember a nuclear plant 0.009 millorem a year. You can be pretty sure that none of us will ever encounter spent nuclear fuel in our life times it took some doing for us to even get a glimpse of it at in - at the Idaho national laboratory. As for the quantity of spent nuclear fuel - that's how much is being produced in 50 years of commercial power. 77,000 tons and it's about one tenth of what one big coal-fire plant can produce in one day. Those 77,000 tons could all fit in a big target or best buy store with room left over. Now most people - you know when I would come back from these nuclear excursions and tell about things we are surprised to learn that the United States already has a successfully operating deep geologic nuclear waste repository. It only stores defense waste at this point but tests show it could store spent nuclear fuel too. Rip led the risk assessment team that got this side the waste isolation pilot plant or WIPP certified by the environmental protection agency, so Rip can nuclear waste be safely stored? Be sure it can. The WIPP program was a wonderful program and it's been alternating for some - quite some time okay next slide, this is a true pack being carrying nuclear waste from some where like Idaho to Carlsbad which is south east in the Mexico. The three barrels which we saw in there and here they are again each contain 14 barrels 55 gallon in drums of waste and this guy is swabbing the barrels to check and see if there is any contamination before it's taken into the WIPP site. This is the waste that is in those barrels and you can see it's a mark up of course there is lab coat, there is paper towels, there is lab wear, there is resins, there is a junk, that's what it's being put there. Next slide, I won't go through this slide at all but it was open in 1999 and there has been no accidents up to date. And New Mexicans are at peace with it and the local people in Carlsbad in New Mexico, the nearest city love WIPP. They love it. Okay this is the design in in Victoria format the place where you saw the truck being scanned for radioactivity, this is the receiving dock, there are four shafts that go down from the surface a half a mile and the shafts penetrate rock for about a 1000 feet and then the rest of the time is bedded salt, the haulage ways here are for taking waste to the repository rooms, these are the rooms, each room is is about a 100metres long and 30 meters wide. This is the cutter that's cutting the salt to make the the rooms and you can see the teeth there, you can see where its chewed up the room, salt mines are very easily - next slide, the drums that are being put in in the WIPP room or right now on you can see that they have got some support members in the in the ceiling just because salt is like slippery and it tends to creep that's why salt is a good place to put the waste in a few tens to hundred years the salt will creep in both from the ceiling, the floor and the sides incase all of this waste in a salt cocoon and then finally when the when the repository is full, the shafts are sealed, there will be some kind of a marker system, we had marker study to try to tell future societies that there was danger underground and don't drill hear, don't dig hear and this is one of the pictures they had. Nuclear plants are moving spent fuel from pools after the fuel cools down to interim storage and air cool dry casks of thick concrete. The nuclear industry pays one tenths of the cent for kilowatt hour which goes into a waste repository fund, no US tax payer dollars are collected to pay for commercial nuclear waste. This fund is financing the study to determine the feasibility of the central repository in Nevada, at the Nevada test site. And this is on top of the Yucca Mountain looking toward a - a place where a lot of bomb creators are from atomic explosions over 900 have taken place at the Nevada test site. It's a 5,000 mile square mile reservation surrounded by other federal land, the decision to put up waste repository was mainly a political one the land was federally owned. A tunnel has been board five miles into the ground at the top of the mountain and studies are being conducted there. Rip has been participating in an internal peer review of the science of the Yucca Mountain project. And this is schematic, this is just it's everything is at the conceptual stage with Yucca mountain in terms of how exactly the waste is going to be put in there. They are looking at all kinds of possibilities; this is one system that's a possible way they will do it. As I said earlier, WIPP is wanted by the the people in Carlsbad and has been accepted by the people of New Mexico. Even the anti nuclear guys in New Mexico grudgingly admit that WIPP is safer than they have thought it was going to be. But the state of Nevada does not want a repository, so there are ongoing court battles; every single person I talk to about Yucca Mountain who was associated with the project said the problems are political, not technical. Okay, this is it. in May 2007, the international panel the inter governmental panel on climate change as a draft report, stated that only a concerted action requiring a huge monitory investment and a profound change in policy can avert a climate collapse. And that intervention must be accomplished by 2020. The IPCC recommended a variety of interventions of all kinds, hybrid cars, carbon capture, nuclear power and the UN expects a large increase in human fatalities especially in poor countries as microclimates disappear and whole ecological assistances give way. Will the civilization that has been elaborated for hundreds of generations withstand the greatest challenge it has ever faced? Ultimately, the whole nuclear tour has led me to that question. It's clear that the benefits of nuclear power far outweigh the risks. And these - I am going to if you will bear with me, I am going to read them aloud because this is really these are all the things that change my mind about nuclear power and led me to be sitting up here today telling you why I think it's so important that we really take a good look in nuclear power. Uranium is very energy dense; a small quantity equals a huge amount of power. There are huge reserves of uranium in geopolitically favorable spots. Fuel can be recycled many times, only two percent used if the fuel is just takes one trip to the reactor. Mature - it's a mature technology, the new reactor designs, there are many and prototypes show that you can have a reactor that consumes its own waste, you can produce hydrogen on a large scale, there is a project going on Idaho right now with a reactor like that. US reactors operator over 95 percent capacity, no other system of energy generation can claim that kind of capacity. Over 12,000 reactor in US have been passed in safety. As I said a nuclear plant has a very small environmental foot print. Or nuclear plant radiations are or radiation emissions are less than you get from eating a banana a year. The lowest environmental impact of any large scale energy source and as I said before the biggest displace of green house gasses on the planet. Harvard MIT study suggests that a tripling of the world's 440 reactors would result in a 25 percent reduction in green house gases. Rip one day told me a story about a man was warned about a flood. Rip would you tell the story? Yes, this was kind of an old joke but I hope you will bear with me. There was a man that got caught up in a flood and the police came by his house and said, "You better evacuate" and he said, "God will save me". And then the water rose up the ways and a boat come by and the boat said, "do you want us to save you" and he said, "no, god will me save me" the water got to the top of the roof and a helicopter come by and he - they said, "do you want me to do you want us to save you" and he said, "No, god will save me". Well, the man drowned and when he arrived at St. Peters, the pearly gates where St. Peter was, he said "why didn't you save me?" and St. Peters said, "I sent the policemen, a boat and as helicopter, you all ignored them all". Well, one day god could very well say, "I gave you the brainiest people, ladies and men, I gave you an understanding of radioactive decay, I gave you enough uranium and thorium to last thousands of years, I gave you the knowledge and how to harness the energy so it wouldn't harm the environment or you while you were using it. What else do you want?". Well, I think tonight we have skinned the top of many of the argument for nuclear energy, if you want to learn more about it, read the book.