As I got further into this book the more I enjoyed it. The use of end of chapter discussion questions, references, and the relatively uniform breakdown of each chapter (historical, cultural, and economic geographies and ethics) made for a very thought provoking and easy to follow info session about the past and present happenings of human-animal relations and their study in geography. Furthermore, the author was very well learned in this sub-discipline which can be validated by the great deal of differing sources provided in each chapter, which I greatly appreciated as it will allow me to study these subjects in further detail at a later time.
It is clear that there has been an evolution in terms of the analysis of human-animal interactions (zoogeography to “new” animal geography) and that human-animal relationships have changed in major ways (factory farming, research labs, etc.) I was personally very interested in the discussion of mice in chapter 4. I was amazed that birds, mice, and rats are not considered animals by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). That is just staggering, in this day (however, this book was written in 2012 and this may have changed). I would definitely like to look further into the practice of inserting foreign genes into particular species (mentioned later with regards to mice, ex. GFP transgenic mice). I will end with this statement from Robert and Baylis (2003), which left me a bit confused (maybe someone can help me out with this), “humans have a ‘strong interest in avoiding any practice that would lead us to doubt the claim that humanness is a necessary (if not sufficient) condition for full moral standing’” (Urbanik 95).
Safer Nuclear Power:
Fast Neuron Reactors
(Updated October 2017)
- Fast neutron reactors are a technological step beyond conventional power reactors, but are poised to become mainstream.
- They offer the prospect of vastly more efficient use of uranium resources and the ability to burn actinides which are otherwise the long-lived component of high-level nuclear wastes.
- Some 400 reactor-years experience has been gained in operating them.
- Generation IV reactor designs are largely FNRs, and international collaboration on FNR designs is proceeding with high priority.
About 20 fast neutron reactors (FNR) have already been operating, some since the 1950s, and some supplying electricity commercially. About 400 reactor-years of operating experience have been accumulated to the end of 2010. Fast reactors more deliberately use the uranium-238 as well as the fissile U-235 isotope used in most reactors. If they are designed to produce more plutonium than the uranium and plutonium they consume, they are called fast breeder reactors (FBRs). But many designs are net consumers of fissile material including plutonium.* Fast neutron reactors also can burn long-lived actinides which are recovered from used fuel out of ordinary reactors.
* If the ratio of final to initial fissile content is less than 1 they are burners, consuming more fissile material (U-235, Pu and minor actinides) than they produce (fissile Pu), if more than 1 they are breeders. This is the burn ratio or breeding ratio. If the ratio is 1 they are iso-breeders, producing the same amount of fuel as they consume during operation.
Several countries have research and development programs for improved fast neutron reactors, and the IAEA’s INPRO program involving 22 countries (see later section) has fast neutron reactors as a major emphasis, in connection with closed fuel cycle. For instance one scenario in France is for half of the present nuclear capacity to be replaced by fast neutron reactors by 2050 (the first half being replaced by 3rd-generation EPR units).
An agreement between Japan’s Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), France’s CEA and the US Department of Energy was signed in October 2010. This expanded previous FNR collaboration towards the joint design and development of reliable world-class FNRs and getting private manufacturers involved. JAEA is working on the design of a demonstration reactor to succeed the prototype FBR Monju, France is developing the Advanced Sodium Technical Reactor for Industrial Demonstration (ASTRID) with Japan, and wanted Japan to test its fuel in Monju. The USA is standing back from new plants and is focused on systems, materials and safety analysis but has an extensive base of information and experiences as a result of past efforts to develop FNRs, notably FFTF and EBR-II. GE Hitachi is taking forward some of this work with its new PRISM, which is under serious consideration in the UK for burning its reactor-grade plutonium stockpile while producing electricity. Both pool-type and loop-type FNR designs are seen to have potential, though most larger designs are pool-type. The work will include FNR fuel cycles.
Check out this video of a graduating senior (in high school) who had previously built a nuclear fusion (yea fusion) reactor in his garage (when he was 14) talking about neutron absorbers.