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Should all nuclear power stations be decommissioned? Options · View
nicola
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:00:26 PM

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It's very likely that the nuclear power station in Fukishima is going to go into meltdown, and cause a catastrophe far worse than Chernobyl. The whole of Japan will be affected, and who knows how far the radiation will travel. I've read reports the jet stream could carry the fallout to the US.

Nuclear power provides around 6% of the world's electricity. Is it worth the risk?

Jacknife
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:50:24 PM

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Location: United Kingdom
Well, it would screw the French (who get over 75% of there electricity from nuclear) up so part of me is for it.

However the more sensible part thinks no not really. We should just be more sensible about where we allow them to be. Putting them in a country which are a group of islands created by what is called the Pacific Ring of Fire and where earthquakes and other seismic hazards are a huge problem doesn't seem to be the most sensible of ideas.

In the same way I wouldn't have them in New Zealand, Hawai or along the San Andreas fault line to name a few. Its a shame we have to use it at all, but as some sort of stopgap between us getting off fossil fuels and renewables (or my hope, laser fusion) coming in it is really necessary, if people like electricity.
ElseiMei
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 7:43:04 PM

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Quote:

Nuclear power provides around 6% of the world's electricity. Is it worth the risk?


Yes, yes, a million times yes. Nuclear power is the only viable solution to a greener and growing population such as the one our planet is experiencing today. Fossil fuels are on the way out, and green energy simply cannot meet the huge demands for energy needed by developed and devolping industrial powers. We need more nuclear poweplants, more funding spent on nuclear goals such as fusion and more public relations and education for the media when they report nuclear crises.

The Japanese reactor will not meltdown, and if the media has told you this it's either poorly sourced or lying to your face. In the tiny, miniscule, one in a billion chance a meltdown does occur, you'll be more than safe in the US of A.

Nuclear power plants are like the elephant in the room when it comes to energy. Everybody loves the idea of huge amounts of cheap, efficient, and managable energy, but nobody would like to live near one, whether they live near a fault line or not. The simple fact of the matter is thus: Nuclear Power has not killed anybody since Chernobyl. The tsunami swept in and wiped out a whole bunch of people (RIP), but as of yet, not a single person has died or been harmed by radiation. Even those who live nearby have only been exposed to an amount less than our equal to 3 CT scans available at any hospital.

TL;DR There will not be a chernobyl, and water has killed more people since radiation in the last 20 years. It's safe, m'lady. ;)
Rembacher
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:08:53 PM

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Posts: 1,107
ElseiMei wrote:
Quote:

Nuclear power provides around 6% of the world's electricity. Is it worth the risk?


Yes, yes, a million times yes. Nuclear power is the only viable solution to a greener and growing population such as the one our planet is experiencing today. Fossil fuels are on the way out, and green energy simply cannot meet the huge demands for energy needed by developed and devolping industrial powers. We need more nuclear poweplants, more funding spent on nuclear goals such as fusion and more public relations and education for the media when they report nuclear crises.

The Japanese reactor will not meltdown, and if the media has told you this it's either poorly sourced or lying to your face. In the tiny, miniscule, one in a billion chance a meltdown does occur, you'll be more than safe in the US of A.

Nuclear power plants are like the elephant in the room when it comes to energy. Everybody loves the idea of huge amounts of cheap, efficient, and managable energy, but nobody would like to live near one, whether they live near a fault line or not. The simple fact of the matter is thus: Nuclear Power has not killed anybody since Chernobyl. The tsunami swept in and wiped out a whole bunch of people (RIP), but as of yet, not a single person has died or been harmed by radiation. Even those who live nearby have only been exposed to an amount less than our equal to 3 CT scans available at any hospital.

TL;DR There will not be a chernobyl, and water has killed more people since radiation in the last 20 years. It's safe, m'lady. ;)


It must be nice to live in whatever fantasy land you are in and smoke whatever psychotropic drugs you are smoking.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:39:12 AM

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Joined: 9/30/2009
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Location: Cakeland, United States
ElseiMei wrote:
[quote]
There will not be a chernobyl, and water has killed more people since radiation in the last 20 years. It's safe, m'lady. ;)


Chernobyl, the gift which keeps on giving/taking, errr...whatever. For at least another 30 centuries.



Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Jacknife
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:54:44 AM

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Interesting article here to back up my previous post.

wikileaks-japan-was-warned-about-nuclear-plant-safety-cables

Its like with anything, things should be designed to cope with the environment they are placed in.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:34:53 AM

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This (non-radioactive fusion generation) is where the majority of any future funding should be focused. Either that, or we gamble with fission forever.



Of course, the Dept of Defense loves the plutonium they can extract from current spent fission rods. As far as confining the deadly waste material, who cares?

The US Dept of Energy (at 1:15 onward) seems to be the political wall, which bitches about the funding and territory of research.

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:25:58 AM

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Joined: 9/25/2009
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Quote:

Yes, yes, a million times yes. Nuclear power is the only viable solution to a greener and growing population such as the one our planet is experiencing today. Fossil fuels are on the way out, and green energy simply cannot meet the huge demands for energy needed by developed and devolping industrial powers. We need more nuclear poweplants, more funding spent on nuclear goals such as fusion and more public relations and education for the media when they report nuclear crises.

The Japanese reactor will not meltdown, and if the media has told you this it's either poorly sourced or lying to your face. In the tiny, miniscule, one in a billion chance a meltdown does occur, you'll be more than safe in the US of A.

Nuclear power plants are like the elephant in the room when it comes to energy. Everybody loves the idea of huge amounts of cheap, efficient, and managable energy, but nobody would like to live near one, whether they live near a fault line or not. The simple fact of the matter is thus: Nuclear Power has not killed anybody since Chernobyl. The tsunami swept in and wiped out a whole bunch of people (RIP), but as of yet, not a single person has died or been harmed by radiation. Even those who live nearby have only been exposed to an amount less than our equal to 3 CT scans available at any hospital.

TL;DR There will not be a chernobyl, and water has killed more people since radiation in the last 20 years. It's safe, m'lady. ;)


I think that whether or not the crisis in Japan ends up being catastrophic or not remains to be seen. Otherwise, this is close to my take on it as well.

Oil is finite (apologies WMM, I'm not quite on board with the 'we can make all the oil we want' bandwagon yet), especially when it comes to the easy, high-quality, inexpensive to extract, supplies of it. We need it for all kinds of things, and that's been covered before here, so I won't go into it, other than to say that it makes me sick to think about the fact that we burn it for electricity! We might as well burn hundred dollar bills.

So, a 9.0 superquake and a tsunami hit, the plant runs into a safety crisis, and like clockwork- here come the articles:

"Is Nuclear Power safe?!"
"Should we re-evaluate our commitment to nuclear power?"
"If the Japanese can't do nuclear power safely, who can?"

Could somebody please explain to me what, exactly, we should expect to remain intact in a 9-point-fucking-oh earthquake and a 30-foot tsunami surge? It's not like the plant malfunctioned on a random, sunny Tuesday.

There is a stigma to nuclear power, based on past incidents, both of which were user error and/or negligence, and that makes it a knee-jerk target anytime anything remotely goes wrong. Saying that nuclear power is unsafe because of Chernobyl or 3-Mile Island is like saying that shipping oil by sea is unsafe because of the Exxon Valdez disaster.

I can see the point that perhaps the slim risk of radiation leakage is reason enough to not put nuclear plants near major faultlines, etc. But to the larger point, this seems like just another case of people being unable to have any perspective in the days following a once-in-several-lifetimes natural disaster. If your house falls in that same earthquake, should we now call into question the safety of home construction?

It also is another example of us all feeling somehow entitled to 100 percent safety, 100 percent of the time. We'll never get it, nor would it be worth it. The earth shook incredibly hard and it did all kinds of damage, including to a nuclear power plant.

Rembacher
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:45:54 AM

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Oil vs Nuclear is an interesting debate since both have harmful side effects. Oil does its damage a little at a time, but all the time, whereas nuclear only really does damage in the big incidents. It's why it gets sensationalized more than oil. I still feel that catastrophic events such as this with nuclear have longer lasting effects than a similar event with oil. I don't like either as a solution, but I concede that if nuclear is maintained properly, it is the cleaner option for our energy needs.
Jillicious
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:11:46 PM

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Jebru wrote:
Oil vs Nuclear is an interesting debate...


Nice! Mind if I try to steer this conversation a bit? Then I'll just continue to watch.

Coal vs Nuclear is a more direct comparison since coal is used for electrical generation while oil goes into cars.

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Rembacher
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:38:00 PM

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We still use oil to heat our homes, and there are still a small percentage of power plants which use oil. I mention oil rather than coal because especially when factoring in transportation, oil is a more common energy source than coal. The Ontario government goes back and forth on shutting down coal plants altogether hear. People don't like the pollution, but a viable alternative hasn't been built yet. The recession killed any plans of new natural gas plants to take over for the few remaining coal plants in the province.
Guest
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 8:26:26 PM

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Joined: 12/1/2006
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Reconsidering

"When the apparently impossible happens in such a highly developed country as Japan ... then the whole situation changes," Merkel, a former environment minister, told parliament, according to Agence France-Presse."

That is a devastating lesson.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:53:01 PM

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Location: Cakeland, United States
eviotis wrote:
That is a devastating lesson.


It is disasters such as this current one, which make me glad I am closer to my end than my beginning.

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:44:20 AM

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I'm really disappointed in this thread. I thought there would be more of a discussion.

I had consigned myself to not participate in this thread for many reasons. I will state right up front that I am pro-nuclear. I guess if you want to use that bit of information to ignore what I say then so be it. No skin off my back. I would only like to throw out a few things to think about. I'll try to keep the numbers and calculations to a minimum. Those seem to scare people off. Maybe that is why I am a pretty good thread killer. I will hopefully be able to incorporate a few numbers from the NEA or the Department of Energy (DOE). WMM you are free to ignore those numbers. People who work with, regulate, and who are in favor of nuclear can in no way have proper data.


@Nicola: It actually contributes somewhere between 12-14% of the world's electricity, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. (NEA)


@Jacknife: No reason to hate the French. Up until 2009 Lithuania generated 76% of their power from nuclear. A whole 1% higher than France :) Yes, placement of nuclear reactors needs to come under scrutiny. The majority are in fairly safe locations but some are in precarious locations.


@ElseiMei: Your response sounds more emotional than necessary. This is one of the fundamental issues with nuclear power. It is emotional and political before it is useful. Nothing in the nuclear world can get done wihtout some political banter and emotional feelings. Nuclear was first used in a very destructive way. A birth which set the tone for its life.


@WMM: I completely agree with you concerning fusion. Fusion is the technology we should be putting our efforts into. The video you posted of Robert Bussard's lecture was very compelling. If only they would have removed the annoying laugher in the background!

He has extremely valid points about the Tokamak. Not being able to create a spherical magnetic field is a huge problem. One thing he does not say is that despite its problems, expense, and other myriad of issues, the Tokamak CAN contain a fusion reaction without it running into the walls of its container. It can not, however, sustain a reaction. Dr. Bussard has an awesome design and discusses some of those issues of fusion power. One thing he mentions and aknowledges but never really addresses is that though his design is obviously superior, it still is not in a working order. Nor is it being massed produced for use. He didn't mention any drawbacks of his design. I doubt it is perfect.

I wish him all the best in his reasearch and hope that he is able to produce a working and sustainable fusion reaction. A reaction that will take some doing to continue because it has no delayed neutron reactions. Delayed neutrons are the only reason fission works.


@LadyX: Yes, oil is finite. So is uranium. I'll get more into power of both later on. I will hopefully bring to everyone's attention some of the nuclear accidents that have occured compared to other means of power generation.


@Jeb: Sorry to put you last. You actually have said a few things that I would like to discuss. In my locale oil is not used for much other than cars. I'm not from the Eastern US but I do know that they use oil to heat their homes much more than we do out west. As far as power generation oil and natural gas are both very expensive to run. But it is quick to turn on and quick to turn off. The reason I suggested coal is that it is a bit easier to compare to nuclear. I would like to apologise up front if my comments are US centric.

And one more thing Jeb, wasn't it you that had cancer on your kidneys? Removed by surgury if I remember correctly? Yeah, I read the posts in the forum. Most cancer patients undergo chemo therapy. The radioactive material used to do this comes from nuclear reactors, specifically the type that are used in Canada. I've had an uncle, an aunt, and two friends who's cancer has gone into remission because of chemo. I've also had another aunt and two cousins who have died of cancer complications. Complications made worse by chemo. So at this point I'm neither for or against it but chemo radiation is a byproduct of heavy water (duterium oxide) reactors using natural uranium.


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Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:46:48 AM

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ON TO THE GOOD STUFF!



A fission reaction in one uranium or plutonium atom will produce 200 Million electron volts. (200 MeV). One carbon based molecule undergoing a chemical burn up, lets say CH4 (natural gas), will produce 4 electron Volts (4eV). That is a ratio of 50 million to one. Quite a large number!

E=mc^2 We all know this equation. We can use this equation to find a change in mass of fission from one gram of uranium. It turns out to be 9.6x10^-7 kg. Roughly one milligram. One milligram of fissile material is converted into energy. It no longer exists as mass. This energy produces one MegaWatt Day (1 MWD). The remaining is primarly the mass of fission products, U-236, and several neutrons released in each fission. There is roughly 6.3% atom burnup.

The thermal efficiency for the power plants in the US is about 30%. Part of that has to do with age. Most power stations are over 25 years old. Nuclear plants now in service have a thermal efficiency of about 34%. Gen III PWR nuclear plants have an efficiency of about 37%. Thermal efficiency means that we can convert about 30% of the energy released from burning coal, or any carbon based power, into electricity.

In my locale, natural gas rates are around $10 per million BTU (British Thermal Unit). About 1000 cubic feet of natural gas.

Heating oil and propane are at about $3 per gallon. Roughly $24 per million BTU.

Coal is not used residentially but used at my University. They pay about $48 per ton. That is the US ton, about 240 pounds less than the UK metric ton. It has a heating value of 10,500 BTU per pound giving an overall cost of $2.30 per million BTU.

The US Energy Information Administration has a very interesting graph of total energy usage in the USA in 2009. It includes power usage for, industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation. The reason that nuclear shows up at 8.35% and not the 20% we use for power generation alone. This is a DOE administration so you know what to do WMM! :)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/aer/diagram1.html

this link is cool too:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/aer/contents.html


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Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:48:46 AM

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WHEW! Anyone still with me?



There is a huge difference between nuclear energy compared to chemical energy. Consequences, safety, and environmental effects vary widely. Their benefits also vary quite a bit.

Environmentally the waste products from nuclear are incredibly smaller than that of chemical energy. But these small amounts are very dangerous. Did you hear me?! I said they were very dangerous! These small amounts are easily contained, making its overall environmental effect very minimal. To put this in perspective go get yourself a can of soda. Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, it doesn't matter really. A 12 ounce can of soda is about the same amount of volume of uranium needed to power a home of the average American family (two adults and two children) for 40 years. It takes more mass of highly refined uranium to create a fission bomb.

The amount of carbon in the Earth's crust is about 300 ppm (parts per million) by weight; 2.7 ppm by weight for Uranium and 9 ppm for thorium. Uranium and thorum have a mass about 20 times larger than that of carbon. So, there are about 500 times more carbon atoms in the Earth's crust than Uranium and Thorium!

So the ratio of nuclear resource to carbon resource is about (insert geeky calculation here) = 75,000:1
In other words there is 75,000 times more energy stored in Uranium on the Earth than there is carbon resources.


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Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:49:41 AM

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Ignore me when you have had enough


There are six basic types of nuclear reactors. I'm not talking designs, I'm talking ways to fission uranium in a controllable way.

1- Natural Uranium Graphite Moderated - These are CO_2 cooled. Used in the UK and France.

2- LWR (light water reactor) using enriched uranium - The USA chose this type. We already had enrichment plants as a result of our activities during WWII.

3- Organic cooled ractor using enriched uranium - Prototypes were built in Italy and one in the USA. The coolant experienced radiation damage which caused it to polymerize. Lots of cleanup and not really feasible.

4- Natural Uranium Heavy Water Moderated - 48 of this type are operating around the world. Canada has 22 of those.

5- Fast Breeder Reactor - cooled by liquid sodium or a sodium potassium mixture. The USA uses this type for research and development. The fast spectrum makes it possible to actually 'breed' more fuel than the reactor consumes. It is not used in commercial applications because of concerns over nuclear weapons proliferation.

6- Liquid Uranium Chemical Fueled Reactor. Uranium is the coolant as well as the fuel. Built and sucessfully tested at the Oakridge National Labratory; the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment.





Swords into plowshares


Nuclear reactors can use any type of uranium, from natural to highly enriched, depending on type. A large amount of enriched uranium used in the reactors in the USA is imported from Russia, taken from their old nuclear weapons. We have also used a large amount of the enriched uranium of our own nuclear arsenal. I believe, and don't quote me on this, we had well over 20,000 nuclear bombs. We now have just over 2,000. A majority of the natural uranium used in the USA is imported from Australia. The enriched uranium that the USA uses for nuclear power plants is about 20% enriched. It takes enriching uranium to over 95% to make a bomb.


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Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:52:55 AM

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Lets talk nuclear accidents


USA:

1- Los Alamos, Aug 21,1945 – Hand stacking of tungsten carbide reflector around a pseudo spherical (6.3 kg) Pu core. - ONE FATALITY

2- Los Alamos, May 21, 1946 – Hand stacking of Be reflector around a pseudo spherical (63 kg) Pu core. - ONE FATALITY

3- Idaho Test Station, July 22, 1954 – BORAX reactor was put on a planned transient test, which was a worse transient than had been calculated. The core was destroyed. 135 MJ of energy released, equivalent to about 70 pounds of high explosive. Remote operation. - NO ONE HURT OR OVER EXPOSED

4- EBR-1, National Reactor Test Station, Idaho, Nov 11, 1955 – Delayed scram (human caused) on planned transient. Extensive core melting. - NO INJURIES

5- Los Alamos National Lab, Feb 12, 1957 – Unreflected 54 kg sphere of U-235 shifted position. Severe damage to assembly - NO INJURIES

6- Y-12 Chemical Processing Plant, Oak Ridge. June 16, 1958 – Wash water added to U-235 solution. Several exposed. Largest dose 461 Rem - NO FATALITIES

7- Test Area North, National Reactor Testing Station, Idaho, Nov 11, 1958 – Nichrome clad fuel, aircraft nuclear propulsion core with attached jet engine. Put on automatic control, but the temperature scram thermocouple was not at the hottest spot in the core for flow conditions. Fuel melted. Fission products distributed over nearby sage brush and some farms. - NO INJURIES - Side note: One of my professors was working on this project. It was intended to be a high flying spy plane that could stay in the air for weeks at a time. It was cancelled because we developed satellites.

8- Los Alamos, Plutonium Recovery, Dec 20, 1958 – Stirrer changed geometry to super critical. - ONE FATALITY

9- Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Oct 10, 1959 – Solution inadvertently siphoned. - NO INJURIES

10- SL-1 Reactor, National Reactor Testing Station, Idaho, Jan 3,1961 – Control rod pulled up 7 inches, possibly inadvertently, possibly deliberately. Reactor went supercritical. Destroyed the reactor. - THREE FATALITIES - This was a nuclear meltdown. It is not talked about by the media because they really don't know about it despite it being public knowledge. It was contained properly and cleaned up quickly. - Side note: The guy who pulled the control rod was pinned to the ceiling. There is a rumor that he pulled it as a result of a love triangle, nothing has been confirmed.

11- Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Jan 25, 1961 – Solution moved to non-safe geometry. - NO INJURIES

12- National Reactor Testing Station, Nov 5, 1962 – SPERT Reactor. Transient worse than predicted. Extensive damage. - NO INJURIES

13- Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Mar 26, 1963 – Split table assembly, hung up on being closed. Extensive damage - NO INJURIES

14- Wood River Junction, RI, July 24, 1964 – Solution moved to non-safe geometry. - ONE FATALITY

15- Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD, Sept 6, 1968 – Incorrect operation cylindrical assembly. Gross damage - NO INJURIES

16- Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, October 17, 1978 – U-235 stripped from a solvent by a non-specified aqueous stream. - NO INJURIES

17- Three Mile Island II, near Harrisburg, PA, March 26, 1979 – PWR reactor lost pressure, coolant boiled, core melted. Very minor exposures. Destroyed reactor worth $2 billion. - NO INJURIES


Submarines – The USA has lost two submarines: The Thresher in April 1963, and the Scorpion in May 1968. The causes are uncertain or unknown. However, all causes are believed to be the ultimate result of the structure being crushed. No radioactivity escaped.




Russia:

Mayak in 1953. Two major personnel exposures. Eighteen other major accidents through to June 1997, with 13 significant or serious exposures. All these were non-military activities.

Nuclear submarine accidents have been several, including at least two lost submarines, and one prompt criticality while refueling. A number of fatalities occurred in these accidents.

Chernobyl, April 28, 1986 – Reactor went supercritical and blew the top off the reactor. One killed instantly. 31 fireman suffered gross exposures fighting the fire, and died soon after. Perhaps two dozen children deaths occurred from thyroid cancer, the result of drinking milk that came from cows who had ingested radioactive iodine.




OTHER NATIONS:

1- Chalk River, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12, 1952 – Heavy water moderated, light water cooled. Positive void coefficient. Extensive damage to core and support. - NO INJURIES

2- Windscale, Great Britain 1957 – Annealing neutron damage to graphite moderator, by running it at high temperatures. Thermocouple monitoring the temperature was not at the core hot spot under flowing conditions. Part of core melted, and fission products were dispersed on the nearby farmland. Milk production was bought up by government for a number of months. - NO INJURIES

3- Vinca, Yugoslavia, Oct 15, 1958 – Fuel rods in heavy water. Faulty power monitoring. No serious damage, but 5 RECEIVED EXTENSIVE EXPOSURES, ONE NEARLY IMMEDIATE FATALITY. All were flown to Paris for bone marrow transplants.

4- Mol, Belgium, Dec 20, 1965 – Heavy water system. Misoperation, and not draining tank. No damage but ONE SEVERE EXPOSURE.

5- Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 23, 1983 – Failure to drain tank - ONE FATALITY

6- Tokaimura, Japan, Sept 30, 1999 – Uncontrolled chain reaction in a Uranium processing nuclear fuel plant, spewed high levels of radioactive liquid (and gas) into the air. TWO NEARBY WORKERS WERE KILLED AND ANOTHER WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED.

7- Earthquake beneath the Kashiwazaki, Japan power plants, July 17, 2007 – Despite the earthquake magnitude being nearly twice as intense as the design earthquake for the plant, no significant damage has been observed to any of the seven nuclear power plants. The spent fuel storage pool in one of the plants experienced wave action, which resulted in some of the slightly contaminated water overflowing onto worker walkways. The press reports have been much exaggerated about damage. There apparently were some fires at substations when electrical lines touched each other.

8- Fukushima, Japan, March 11, 2011 - 9.0 rated earthquake hits Japan. Final results still unknown.



NOTABLE RADIATION ACCIDENTS NOT INVOLVING REACTORS:

1- (1970 period) Mexico – A lost Co-60 radiation source from a well logging truck was taken home by the boy who found it. It was placed in the kitchen cabinets, and a month or so later many of the family (except the father who was out of the home much of the day) developed radiation sickness. Some died.

2- 1982, Taipei, Taiwan, (Republic of China) – A number of new apartment buildings and a school were constructed using re-bar that was radioactive with Co-60. The radioactivity was not discovered until 1992. Despite exposures as high as 91 rads of those 10 years, the only indication of excess cancers was for leukemia, mostly in younger children, and numbered only in the range of 10, out of total population of nearly 10,000. However, deaths from cancer were remarkably lower than normal for Japan, with ~230 deaths to have been expected from cancer over the subsequent 20 year period, but only 7 were known to have died of cancer.

3- Sept 18, 1987, Golania, Brazil – 244 people were contaminated with Cs-137 from a cancer-
therapy machine that had been sold for steel scrap. Four died. Note, Cs-137 has 30 year half life.

4- In the early 1990 period, at cancer therapy accelerators, two in Oklahoma and one in Washington State. AECL machines, developed a flaw whereby the patients were to have been exposed to gamma rays from electrons on a tungsten target, were instead exposed directly to the electrons. The three patients died.

5- About 1992, at a cancer therapy clinic at Indiana, PA (near Pittsburgh) – A female patient
undergoing high dose radiation therapy from a strong source was injected through a catheter into her vagina for a short period for vaginal cancer therapy. When the source was removed (all done remotely), the lead wire on the source capsule broke, and the source was inadvertently left in the patient for more than a day. The sources injector device had indicated that the source was safely stored in the device. The trash collection company found the source in the trash a day later. The patient died from a massive overdose, and several nurses and the other patient in the hospital room were exposed to high doses of radiation.



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Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 1:01:19 AM

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COMPARED TO ONE YEAR OF COAL MINING IN CHINA:


From Wikipedia on Coal Mining:
"China, in particular, has the highest number of coal mining related deaths in the world, with official statistic 6,027 deaths in 2004."

Also, this article on coal is rather compelling.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1595235,00.html




PERSONAL THOUGHT ON COAL MINING IN CHINA:

The majority of products purchased in the USA are manufactured/produced in other countries. Wal-Mart is a prime example of a China fed USA indulgence. Every year thousands of Chinese miners die in coal mines so we can buy our products for less. An entire thread could be started discussing such hypocritical behavior.



PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON USING COAL FOR POWER GENERATION:

Consider 100 train cars of coal used for generation in a coal fired power plant. Those train cars of coal are burned, releasing insane amounts of pollutants directly into the air we breathe. Those 100 train cars worth of coal are burned down to about 10 train cars worth of waste.

For 100 train cars of uranium sent to a nuclear plant; 1 is shipped out as waste. Nothing but water gets into the atmosphere. The waste is easily contained in concrete castes.

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Jillicious
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 1:04:06 AM

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Now my head hurts and my ISP is acting extremely flaky. So if anyone wants to continue a conversation with me about this I'm open to do so. I'm not open to an argument. I believe I've been very straight forward about nuclear power.

Thousands of user submitted stories removed from the site. You are nothing without your users or their freely submitted stories.
Jacknife
Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011 9:13:38 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/27/2008
Posts: 197
Location: United Kingdom
Jillicious wrote:



@Jacknife: No reason to hate the French. Up until 2009 Lithuania generated 76% of their power from nuclear. A whole 1% higher than France :) Yes, placement of nuclear reactors needs to come under scrutiny. The majority are in fairly safe locations but some are in precarious locations.



I am in the UK, we have banter with the french having having fought wars with them for 800 hundred years. It is nothing personel.

I am also pro nuclear for similar reasons to the ones you have mentioned and the problems in Japan have not changed my mind.
mercianknight
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:58:43 AM

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Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,027
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Wow! Jill, that was fabulous. Well said - way better than I could have done when I started reading this thread...oh, and I am also pro-nuclear.

Fingers crossed for Fusioon technology though binky

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:18:38 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,226
Location: United States
There's been much discussion about the fact that nuclear reactors should only be placed in "safe" areas, but I have to question that. In this age, are there any areas that are actually safe from not only natural disasters, but man-made acts of terrorism? I doubt it. Nevertheless, place me firmly in the pro-nuke camp. I do think that nuclear power is just another stopgap as fissionable material gets burned up and is non-recoverable, just as coal and oil do. I think any sane long-term energy program must invent new means for producing energy from renewable sources. We don't have them now - think up ways to promote their development. Cost? When oil is US$1000 a barrel, and coal is US$2400 a ton, what kind of a bargain will nuclear power be? And any working, cheap, renewable-resource power source will be an even better bargain.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:22:34 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,781
Location: Cakeland, United States
This may ease your thoughts. Then again, you may decide to curtail your frequent flying around the globe or cross-country.

A layman's compiled, Layman's pictograph to radiation exposure and lethal levels.

This might be the 'as close to current' view you would receive if you were to purchase the top shelf - Google Earth Enterprise package, on a yearly basis. It is almost humanitarian of Google to provide this view free of charge, at the moment.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=200910826786863242067.00049e4d08c67e68fe83e&ll=38.272689,140.756836&spn=22.232593,53.569336&t=h&z=5

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 11:48:42 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,781
Location: Cakeland, United States
Seems like the global media have abandoned Japan for the last 10 days or so. But like the BP oil fiasco in the Gulf last summer, just because the cameras are no longer being pointed at the disaster, it does not mean everything is fine and back to normal.

It just means that our mainstream media are a pack of ADHD enablers. Feeding us sound bytes and snippets of what they deem to be ratings worthy news items.

Shit is beyond hitting the fan in Japan. Alternate media will be our source for real news from Japan, it appears.



Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Chase
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 12:46:17 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/21/2011
Posts: 695
I all for nuclear power....bring it on, and the sooner the better. How many Americans have felt an earthquake, been in a massive flood, or seen a tsunami. There is plenty of land, plenty of Yucca Flats, and not enough worry. People have to smarten up and dispense with and cut through the hype.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 3:50:33 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,781
Location: Cakeland, United States
A month out now and this story has pretty much disappeared from mainstream media coverage.

http://vimeo.com/22865967

Rational and fcking scary 8 minute video discussion from nuclear engineer - Arnie Gunderson. I should probably check his credentials ... but the information shown here and discussed is a helluva lot more in depth than anything we've seen on American mainstream media.

Perhaps those of you around the globe have actually seen better and harder news already.

We are seriously fucked in the USA, as far as truthful 'news' being delivered to the population.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tepco311/

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 7:55:23 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,781
Location: Cakeland, United States
Fukushima is much worse than you think or have heard.

"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

"Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed," he said, "You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively."

TEPCO has been spraying water on several of the reactors and fuel cores, but this has led to even greater problems, such as radiation being emitted into the air in steam and evaporated sea water - as well as generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water that has to be disposed of.

"The problem is how to keep it cool," says Gundersen. "They are pouring in water and the question is what are they going to do with the waste that comes out of that system, because it is going to contain plutonium and uranium. Where do you put the water?"

Even though the plant is now shut down, fission products such as uranium continue to generate heat, and therefore require cooling.

"The fuels are now a molten blob at the bottom of the reactor," Gundersen added. "TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water."

Independent scientists have been monitoring the locations of radioactive "hot spots" around Japan, and their findings are disconcerting.

"We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl," said Gundersen. "The data I'm seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man's-land for Chernobyl. We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor. You can't clean all this up. We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl."





Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 9:30:28 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,781
Location: Cakeland, United States
Most nuclear power plants in America, are older...and in worse condition physically...than most members of LushStories.com.

By JEFF DONN, AP National Writer – Mon Jun 20, 3:38 am ET

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews.

The result? Rising fears that these accommodations by the NRC are significantly undermining safety — and inching the reactors closer to an accident that could harm the public and jeopardize the future of nuclear power in the United States.

Examples abound. When valves leaked, more leakage was allowed — up to 20 times the original limit. When rampant cracking caused radioactive leaks from steam generator tubing, an easier test of the tubes was devised, so plants could meet standards.

Failed cables. Busted seals. Broken nozzles, clogged screens, cracked concrete, dented containers, corroded metals and rusty underground pipes — all of these and thousands of other problems linked to aging were uncovered in the AP's yearlong investigation. And all of them could escalate dangers in the event of an accident.

Yet despite the many problems linked to aging, not a single official body in government or industry has studied the overall frequency and potential impact on safety of such breakdowns in recent years, even as the NRC has extended the licenses of dozens of reactors.

Industry and government officials defend their actions, and insist that no chances are being taken. But the AP investigation found that with billions of dollars and 19 percent of America's electricity supply at stake, a cozy relationship prevails between the industry and its regulator, the NRC.

Records show a recurring pattern: Reactor parts or systems fall out of compliance with the rules. Studies are conducted by the industry and government, and all agree that existing standards are "unnecessarily conservative."

Regulations are loosened, and the reactors are back in compliance.

"That's what they say for everything, whether that's the case or not," said Demetrios Basdekas, an engineer retired from the NRC. "Every time you turn around, they say `We have all this built-in conservatism.'"

The ongoing crisis at the stricken, decades-old Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Japan has focused attention on the safety of plants elsewhere in the world; it prompted the NRC to look at U.S. reactors, and a report is due in July.

But the factor of aging goes far beyond the issues posed by the disaster at Fukushima.

Commercial nuclear reactors in the United States were designed and licensed for 40 years. When the first ones were being built in the 1960s and 1970s, it was expected that they would be replaced with improved models long before those licenses expired.

But that never happened. The 1979 accident at Three Mile Island, massive cost overruns, crushing debt and high interest rates ended new construction proposals for several decades.

Instead, 66 of the 104 operating units have been relicensed for 20 more years, mostly with scant public attention. Renewal applications are under review for 16 other reactors.

By the standards in place when they were built, these reactors are old and getting older. As of today, 82 reactors are more than 25 years old.


The AP found proof that aging reactors have been allowed to run less safely to prolong operations. As equipment has approached or violated safety limits, regulators and reactor operators have loosened or bent the rules.

Last year, the NRC weakened the safety margin for acceptable radiation damage to reactor vessels — for a second time. The standard is based on a measurement known as a reactor vessel's "reference temperature," which predicts when it will become dangerously brittle and vulnerable to failure. Over the years, many plants have violated or come close to violating the standard.

As a result, the minimum standard was relaxed first by raising the reference temperature 50 percent, and then 78 percent above the original — even though a broken vessel could spill its radioactive contents into the environment.

"We've seen the pattern," said nuclear safety scientist Dana Powers, who works for Sandia National Laboratories and also sits on an NRC advisory committee. "They're ... trying to get more and more out of these plants."


Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
Guest
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011 1:00:04 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 781,118
Strange no one's mentioned the safe, clean, cheap to set up, limitless sources of solar, wind, tidal, wave, and geothermal energy...

Fossil-fuel vs. nuclear is another false dichotomy the establishment has hypnotized us into seeing as the only available options. They're not.

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