Coal and Nuclear are as bad as each other but for different reasons. Nuclear kills people for subsequent decades as the radioactive effluents make their way through our water and food supply, it also reduces the birth rate because pregnancies fail to come to full term. The key thing is it happens very slowly and the majority of effects are still years away as opposed to coal whose effects are almost instantaneous in comparison.
"radioactive effluents"? You do realize that nuclear reactors don't release any radioactivity under normal operating conditions? Major releases are on the order of once a decade or more, and that's with our aging GenII reactors, world wide. GenIII would be a lot safer.
Also, citation on the birth rates. Citation on "majority of effects" being still years away - if anything we should be recovering from the effects of post WWII above ground nuclear bomb tests.
I would think the GP refers to the effluents released in an nuclear accident, no?
From my understanding of this technology it's spent fuel product is 233 Thallium, IIRC, which is characterized by many daughter products with short half lives. I'm not saying it isn't better reactor technology however it would seem the central issue of current reactor technology, the long term storage of spent fuel products, is an issue for thorium reactor technology as well.
Question, do you know what "short half lives" amounts to? It means that the material in question is much more radioactive - but that means it also decays in radioactivity much faster. Something with a half-life of 10 days will be virtually entirely gone within a year. Something with a half-life in the decades will still be churning a century from now, but it's initially safer to be around.(Safer being a relative quality).
But he said: daugther products with short half life. That implies (I think) that it decays (slowly over years and years) into short lived, highly radioactive daugther products. Which implies (again: I think) a fairly high level of radiation over a long period of time.
Until we have effective, geologically stable and appropriate spent fuel containment facilities then we will always have higher levels of risk with greater levels of impact as a result of accidents in the nuclear industry. For that reason it's important to reduce that level of risk and impact to the community regardless of what reactor technology is deployed.
Above ground caskets are working well. I figure that we'd be digging up anything we bury within a century to reprocess it anyways. Heck, let it sit in a cask for 40 years and so much of the 'hot' stuff has decayed that it should make reprocessing significantly cheaper.
Indeed. I tend to agree with you that storage under ground is pretty useless since you will have to monitor it systematically to check that the caskets are still ok. Only problem: no one wants that. The population in the area doesn't want a building containing highly radioactive products in their neighbourhood. And nuclear energy producers don't want the costs of constantly monitored storage. They are fixed on finding a container where they can put their waste in and a location where they can dump it. No monitoring, just cheap storage.