Elon Musk is “professional nuclear.”
So mentioned Musk on Wednesday whereas speaking about making bitcoin mining sustainable at The B-Phrase convention hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation.
Nuclear vitality is taken into account “clear vitality” as a result of producing nuclear vitality doesn’t launch greenhouse gasses. However resulting from some high-profile accidents, legacy nuclear energy crops can have a nasty status.
“I believe trendy nuclear energy crops are protected opposite to what individuals might imagine,” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO mentioned.
“I actually suppose it is doable to make very, extraordinarily protected nuclear.”
And “I am speaking about fission. You do not want fusion,” Musk mentioned.
Nuclear fission is the method utilized in standard nuclear reactors. With a fission response, bigger atoms slam into one another and cut up into smaller atoms, which releases vitality.
Fusion is the other response to fission. With fusion, smaller atoms slam collectively and be a part of right into a heavier atom, thereby releasing vitality. Fusion is the method by which the solar generates vitality.
“You’ve got received that massive fusion reactor within the sky referred to as the solar. It comes up day-after-day,” Musk mentioned.
Some herald fusion as a safer method to generate nuclear vitality, as a result of fission generates radioactive waste that may stay harmful for a really very long time, whereas fusion doesn’t generate long-lived radioactive waste (amongst different causes).
The issue is, with current expertise, fusion usurps all of the vitality it creates to maintain its response, leaving no “web vitality” to energy different issues. A number of corporations are working to commercialize fusion vitality, however to this point, they haven’t been profitable.
On Wednesday, Musk didn’t elaborate on how nuclear energy crops might be made “extraordinarily protected.” However Musk has publicly supported using nuclear vitality for years.
“We must always construct extra nuclear energy crops,” Musk mentioned in 2007 interview with PBS. “I believe that is a greater method to generate vitality than actually a coal energy plant or a pure fuel energy plant.”
At present, about 20% of the vitality generated in america is from nuclear, in response to the U.S. Vitality Info Administration.
Typical nuclear vitality expertise utilizing fission has developed and improved through the years. For instance, Invoice Gates based a complicated nuclear firm, TerraPower, which is innovating on legacy energy plant expertise.
Nonetheless, there may be sturdy opposition to using nuclear energy.
Opponents to nuclear energy say there are nonetheless dangers related to nuclear energy, regardless of technological improvements, and the higher answer is to concentrate on ramping up renewable vitality sources, like wind and photo voltaic.
— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.
This story has been up to date to make clear that Musk didn’t elaborate how nuclear might be made “extraordinarily protected.”
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