Today’s terrible idea – nuke the tar sands

The protests in the US around the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline have actually slowed construction of this controversial pipeline.  But at the source of these tar sands, Japan has a novel new proposal: let’s put small nuclear power plants to help provide energy for the development of these tar sands pits or wells.

Keystone protesters in Oklahoma

Keystone protesters in Oklahoma

Now the first reason this is a terrible idea is that both tar sands and reactors need lots of water to operate.  Early studies showed that water shortages would be the limiting factor on tar sands production.  Adding reactors to this parched environment is like throwing gasoline in a fire.