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Nuclear power, clean, safe, too cheap {er… complicated} to meter
Posted: 14 March 2011 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Where is the forum member who called me an “anti-science ideologue” a couple months back when I lobbied against nuclear energy?

[ Edited: 15 March 2011 06:35 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 15 March 2011 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Was that me?  I don’t think I wrote that, but who knows?  I do remember being on the other side of that than you though.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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No, that wasn’t you DM. It was not one of the usual suspects.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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K.  Like I said, I couldn’t remember.

Anyway, to scare the crap out of everyone, I thought I’d share that California’s San Onofre nuke plant is built near the coast and a fault, yet is built to withstand less than the Japanese plant now exploding.  Yay!  We’re all gonna’ die!

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Posted: 15 March 2011 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Nah, you don’t have to worry, DM.  When the San Andreas fault goes and the San Onofre reactpr starts breaking down, California will sink into the Pacific, thus inundating the reactor with sea water, which is what the Japanese are using to cool their reactors down, albeit ruining them.  So, all you have to do is avoid eating any seafood caught in the former California area, especially if it’s glowing.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 15 March 2011 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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After watching the news it sounds like the tsunami knocked out the diesel generators which prevented the reactor from being properly cooled after main power went out.  Not only was the reactor located near a fault, it was also near the coast in low land which made in vulnerable to tsunami.  The generators were not elevated which would have protected them.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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What’s really interesting is that the Japanese…who have more experience with being on the dirtiest possible end of the stick with things nuclear then anybody…have chosen to use a design which has been considered as obsolete just about everywhere else for well over three decades. Even worse, they have concentrated so many reactor units in one location.

What I find really amazing is that the outfit which owns at least one of these plants has a history of some very shady dealings but has not been subjected to greater oversight by the Japanese government.

Keep a watch on CNN for more, particularly John King and Anderson Cooper, who have a noteworthy habit of doing their homework and checking their facts.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I would guess that the choice of area and concentration of units had to do with maximizing profit.  I wonder what would have been different if the Japanese government had built them.  I know we can look at the Russians’ Chernobal but I’d bet that the Japanese government might have functioned more effectively than the Russian government at the times they were built.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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I would guess that the choice of area and concentration of units had to do with maximizing profit.

Mmmmmm…partly. One of the other reasons…at least this is what’s being claimed on CNN…is the “We don’t want one of these things in our backyard” phenomenon and the people who lived at the proposed building sites were able to make it stick.

The consequence of this is that instead of having two or at most three reactors on the site, which is fairly common practice elsewhere, you have as many as six.

The consequence of THAT as we are seeing is that instead of having a bad accident confined to two reactors, we’re seeing an even worse accident involving six.

Doesn’t that just give you the warm and glow in the dark fuzzies? gulp

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Posted: 16 March 2011 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Occam. - 15 March 2011 07:03 PM

I would guess that the choice of area and concentration of units had to do with maximizing profit.

The Japanese government would not have been concerned about cost?

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Posted: 16 March 2011 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Here’s something to amuse everyone.  Or at least those of us who think human stupidity is funny.  The recent nuke crisis in Japan is causing a spike sales of potassium iodide pills.  See, potassium iodide helps protect the thyroid gland against radioactive iodine, which is rather commonly released in fission reactions.  It’s also rather dangerous.  Causes thyroid cancer and all that.  And potassium iodide pills are relatively cheap.  So people think, “RADIATION!!!  I’m gonna’ die!” and rush out to buy them.  Suppliers have been reporting panicked calls and orders.  Hilarity ensues when you realize that even if the Fukushima plant explodes, none of the radiation will reach the US.  Now the Japanese, yeah, they’ll want the pills.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 15 March 2011 05:55 PM

What’s really interesting is that the Japanese…who have more experience with being on the dirtiest possible end of the stick with things nuclear then anybody…have chosen to use a design which has been considered as obsolete just about everywhere else for well over three decades. Even worse, they have concentrated so many reactor units in one location.

The plants were SOTA when they were designed and built.  They might have replaced them but Japan has been in a economic slump for the past 20 odd years and nuke plants are insanely expensive to build ($2-3 billion), and to decommission.  The events of the past week are all very long-tailed events, impossible to predict or to accurately model and as such represent an extremely rare confluence of events, unlikely to happen in any given timespan.

Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 15 March 2011 05:55 PM

Even worse, they have concentrated so many reactor units in one location.

Undoubtedly a case of NIMBY, no one especially the Japanese who are quite sensitive to nuclear issues, wants these plants in the “backyard.”  So they get built in some rural area with easy access, what better place than a coastal plain?

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Posted: 16 March 2011 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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DarronS - 14 March 2011 11:39 PM

Where is the forum member who called me an “anti-science ideologue” a couple months back when I lobbied against nuclear energy?

I am not against nuclear energy and I don’t think a failure at a 30 to 40 year-old plant after a natural disaster of epic proportions should indict an entire industry, especially since newer technology is measurably safer than the older stuff in this case.  That said, no technology is 100% safe and the social costs need to be measured against the social benefits.

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Posted: 16 March 2011 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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brightfut - 15 March 2011 04:34 PM

  Not only was the reactor located near a fault, it was also near the coast in low land which made in vulnerable to tsunami.  The generators were not elevated which would have protected them.

The whole freakin’ place is near a fault!

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Posted: 16 March 2011 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Re: Potassium Iodide pills.  In the unlikely event that any of you may be exposed to radioactive iodine and fear thyroid uptake, there’s a much easier and cheaper protection method.  Buy a bottle of tincture of iodine and put it in the back top shelf of your medicine cabinet.  Then, when the time comes, just paint an inch wide sripe on your forearm.  You’ll absorb enough iodine that your thyroid will be chock full and won’t accept any more so the radioactive iodine isotope won’t be absorbed.

Occam

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