Talk:Breeder reactor

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There is another page on this subject fast breeder. To my knowldege, breeders require more highly enriched uranium since the fast-neutron cross section of U235 is smaller, so greater enrichment is needed to sustain fission. I'm no expert, though. The early graphite reactors which produced plutonium used unenriched fuel, enrichment having yet to be accomplished. But I don't know that breeders are designed or in service which, as roadrunner suggests, use unenriched uranium.

Please sign your posts on talk pages, User:BobCMU76. (This is possibly a futile message as your contributions ceased in 2003. Hope you are well.) Andrewa 17:59, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

The lead section needs to better comply with WP:Lead. It is far too long and doesn't present a good summary of the article. And some statements are incorrect, for example, "nuclear waste became a greater concern by the 1990s". In fact, the absence of a working waste management facility became an important issue in the US by the mid-1970s:

In 1976, the California Energy Commission announced that it would not approve any more nuclear plants unless the utilities could specify fuel and waste disposal costs, an impossible task without decision on reprocessing, spent fuel storage and waste disposal. By the late 1970s, over thirty states had passed legislation regulating various activities associated with nuclear waste.[1]

Too promotional and unbalanced[edit]

This article is too promotional in that it does not present a balanced perspective on breeders, warts and all. I've tried to do some editing to present a more realistic picture but have been reverted or the edits have been disputed on this talk page, despite being well sourced. One recent article by independent academics focuses on the many sodium leaks of breeders, yet the term "leaks" is only used twice in the article. Phénix had 31 leaks during its lifetime, BN-600 reactor had 27 sodium leaks, KNK-II had 20 leaks, PFR had 20 leaks. Suffice to say that these leaks have occurred in almost all countries and at various stages of reactor operational life -- which is a significant and continuing problem that needs much more coverage in this article. The frequent sodium leaks in the steam generator suggest poor compatibility of sodium and steel. [1] -- Johnfos (talk) 05:38, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

I should mention that the edit which finally prompted me to write here, is this one: [2]. This is clearly a non-reliable promotional source making a dubious claim. Johnfos (talk) 13:03, 27 April 2014 (UTC)


What do you mean, 'too promotional'? Nobody is building breeders right now. Heck, we don;t NEED breeders except if we decide to burn up wastes. With fracking, we've got so much fossil fuel we literally don't know what to do with it all.

Also, "The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists", despite the name, isn't exactly a credible source for impartial data about nuclear stuff. Indeed, it's pretty stridently anti-nuclear, so take anything from them with a grain of salt. Yes, there's been sodium leaks, but so what? Large industrial installations are messy places. Reactors spring leaks, refineries explode and ooze yucky stuff, windmills fall over, dams break and cause floods, etc, etc. Sodium leaks are nothing unusual or even especially stressful. (For example, how many people have died in those leaks compared to how many have died in refinery accidents?)

You seem to have a disproportionate sense of risk from nuclear technology compared to other technologies. It's easy to do, there's LOTS of over-active fear-mongering about nuclear power.

Should we be careful with it? Heck yes, it's powerful stuff. But stressing yourself over sodium leaks? I wouldn't worry about it. Morg00 (talk) 04:55, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

We had a famous politician in this part of the world, and his favourite saying was "don't you worry about that!" in order to skirt around difficult issues... I thought of him as I read your note...
The article needs to say a lot more about the various problems of breeder reactors and their subsequent demise, as I've said above. I don't see a problem with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists as a source, and their governing board is described here. Which of these people do you see as "stridently anti-nuclear"?
-- Johnfos (talk) 09:50, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
When a study is published, it's credibility is reflected not only in the journal/source, but also in the authors. James Hansen, who I don't always agree with, or Stephen Chu could publish something on a blog and it would still, rightfully, be credible, since these are very smart people. In this particular instance, the BAS article is from a very, very credible source: MV Ramana, a physicist and scholar at Princeton: Prof. Ramana even won the prestigious Leo Szilard Lectureship Award in 2014. So even if the BAS was a dubious source (and I am not saying it is), the qualifications of the authors, and the arguments its presents, make it eminently credible.Bksovacool (talk) 11:35, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
Given the salient points of this discussion, there is no choice but to add an Unbalanced tag... Johnfos (talk) 10:58, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
NPGuy, you are normally so good at bringing things to talk and explaining your viewpoint. But your repeated reverts of the unbalanced tag, with just a cryptic edit summary, have left me a bit mystified. Johnfos (talk) 11:06, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
The unbalanced tag seems to have been based on a single citation in dispute. This seems wholly unjustified, particularly since the source seems reliable. NPguy (talk) 21:50, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ John Byrne and Steven M. Hoffman (1996). Governing the Atom: The Politics of Risk, Transaction Publishers, p. 219.