For last 6 months I've been leading a team of Physicists here at the University of Melbourne in the development of a wiki website that explains all the issues of nuclear power. Today we sent a media release announcing the website.
We did this because we felt we had something to offer to a debate about Nuclear Energy in Australia. We have no vested interest in Nuclear Power other than ensure everyone fully understands the risks and benefits of either employing it or not employing it. No one funded our research. We donated our time to the work much like what happens in Open Source software project. Because of this we could be free of accusations of bias. (But I'm sure we'll get some accusations anyway.)
Much of the anti-nuclear argument centers on an incorrect model of the energy costs in mining Uranium and Nuclear Power plants by Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith . The implication of their work is that once the current crop of Uranium mines are exhausted, the energy cost of mining the less abundant Uranium will be so great that it will not be repaid in operating the power plant. We show that van Leeuwen and Smith both over-estimate the cost energy cost of mining the Uranium by at least a factor 10 and also over-estimate the cost of building and operating a Nuclear Plant by over a factor of 10.
The upshot is that Uranium at far lower concentrations that what are currently mined can be efficiently extracted. The implication is that there is hundreds of times more minable Uranium in the world than predicted by van Leeuwen and Smith. Enough to provide the entire energy needs of everyone on the planet for hundreds of years.
But that is just one of our findings. We look at everything to do with Nuclear power. We cover Waste Disposal, Advanced Reactors, Accelerator Driven reactors, Other energy sources, Radiation Safety, What happened at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, Greenhouse Gas emission, Costs of Nuclear Power and alternative energy sources, electricity prices in different Countries plus more.
Have a look. If you find it useful give us a link and tell tell your friends!