POLICY: Putting Brakes on the Fast Breeder

Scientists have a cute name for it: "ploot." But plutonium, a man-made element created by bombarding uranium 238 with neutrons, has awesome properties. On the plus side, fast-breeder nuclear reactors, which are generally fueled with plutonium and U-238, can not only generate electricity but also produce more plutonium fuel than they consume. On the other hand, plutonium, even in tiny quantities, is searingly radioactive and ranks with botulin toxin as one of the world's most poisonous substances. Moreover, with as little as 12 Ibs. of plutonium, the right equipment and expertise in...

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