Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today's Trivia

Fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, including Russian ones, generates about 10 percent of America's electricity.
Wow! I might have guessed that about 20% of our domestic electricity came from nuclear power (it looks like the official number is 20.6%), but I would have in no way imagined that half of that was from fuel recovered from bombs, nor that 90% of that was from Soviet warheads. From today's NYT.
Salvaged bomb material now generates about 10 percent of electricity in the United States — by comparison, hydropower generates about 6 percent and solar, biomass, wind and geothermal together account for 3 percent.

Utilities have been loath to publicize the Russian bomb supply line for fear of spooking consumers: the fuel from missiles that may have once been aimed at your home may now be lighting it.

But at times, recycled Soviet bomb cores have made up the majority of the American market for low-enriched uranium fuel. Today, former bomb material from Russia accounts for 45 percent of the fuel in American nuclear reactors, while another 5 percent comes from American bombs, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade association in Washington.

1 comment:

Andy Cohen said...

I'm not normally a big fan of nuclear power plants, but if they can turn violently explosive stuff into merely violently poisonous stuff, while enabling me to watch TV, then maybe they're not all bad.