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Nuclear power, clean, safe, too cheap {er… complicated} to meter
Posted: 30 March 2011 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Wow, melt down.
I know it won’t make it all the way to China, not even considering the hard left the blob would have to make.
But, if it has become a rock melting mass of radioactivity how deep might it burrow?
Or are they convinced the reinforced concrete base will contain it… well excepting cracks and leaks and such details.


and the beat goes on. . .

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Posted: 31 March 2011 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 30 March 2011 09:04 PM

Wow, melt down.
I know it won’t make it all the way to China, not even considering the hard left the blob would have to make.
But, if it has become a rock melting mass of radioactivity how deep might it burrow?
Or are they convinced the reinforced concrete base will contain it… well excepting cracks and leaks and such details.


and the beat goes on. . .

From the wiki on The China Syndrome smile

The China Syndrome is a term invented to describe one possible result of a severe nuclear meltdown in which molten reactor core components penetrate their containment vessel and building. The term is misleading, since molten material from such an event could not melt through the crust of the Earth and reach China.

And the wiki on nuclear meltdown

Some believe a molten reactor core could actually penetrate the reactor pressure vessel and containment structure and burn downwards into the earth beneath, to the level of the groundwater.

Where, presumably it will RIP.

Seriously, the Japanese are calling for help from America and France ASAP.

From this report at the BBC

The US is to send a 140-member radiation control team to assist Japanese authorities at the plant, Kyodo News agency quoted Japan’s military chief, General Ryoichi Oriki, as saying.

French nuclear-reactor maker Areva was also offering help with containing contaminated water, reports from Japan said.

Also, robots and gadgets as well. From this report HERE

The robots could handle the radiation but would suffer because of the tons of seawater that has been bombarded into the Daichi No1 and 2 reactors for preventing the fuel rods from overheating. With death hanging overhead, the teams may have to resort to using gadgets.

[ Edited: 31 March 2011 06:44 AM by kkwan ]
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Posted: 31 March 2011 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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interesting links, thanks.  [thumbs up smilie]

That’s what folks were scared of back when.  Sure nuclear power can be made super safe, but accidents will happen and with nuclear power plants any serious accident is outrageously dangerous on a level people have no senses to deal with.  But, we build these incredibly huge and complex and expensive nuclear power plants all over.  With a safety record to be proud of, but when the unthinkable happens as it does - the crisis is extreme and goes on nearly forever. 

No one will ever go back in there to restart it, nor to tear it down and reclaim the land.  It will become another monument, surrounded by a death zone.

There was an obscure school of thought, back in the sixties, seventies that questioned our compulsion to maximize consumption, growth, complexity.  It felt that people/society were not smart enough to sustain ever increasing complexity.  To say nothing of the fact that our planet could not support ever increasing degradation and stress.  It proclaimed a need to slow down, both our consumption and our baby making.

Interestingly, Reaganomics the good ‘ol Republicans made clear what the battle cry was when one of President Reagan’s first acts was to tear down the White House solar panels that President Carter has installed. Greed is good was the mantra to live by. 

I don’t know, but from the looks of things I think it’s going to bite us yet, why am I not surprised.  sick

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Posted: 31 March 2011 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 31 March 2011 08:06 AM

There was an obscure school of thought, back in the sixties, seventies that questioned our compulsion to maximize consumption, growth, complexity.  It felt that people/society were not smart enough to sustain ever increasing complexity.  To say nothing of the fact that our planet could not support ever increasing degradation and stress.  It proclaimed a need to slow down, both our consumption and our baby making.

From the wiki on The Limits of Growth

The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies, commissioned by the Club of Rome.

In 2010:

In 2010, Professors Peet, Nørgård, and Ragnarsdóttir called the book a “pioneering report”, but said that, “unfortunately the report has been largely dismissed by critics as a doomsday prophecy that has not held up to scrutiny.”

In 2008, after thirty year of reality:

In 2008 Graham Turner at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia published a paper called “A Comparison of `The Limits to Growth` with Thirty Years of Reality”. It examined the past thirty years of reality with the predictions made in 1972 and found that changes in industrial production, food production and pollution are all in line with the book’s predictions of economic and societal collapse in the 21st century.

From the wiki on world population

The world population is the total population of humans on the planet Earth, currently estimated to be 6.91 billion by the United States Census Bureau. The world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Bubonic Plague around the years 1348-1350.

Until and unless clean, safe, affordable, efficient and reliable sources of energy are developed/found ASAP, the future for sustainable growth with population control, clean environment, food and water resources etc. remains bleak.

Ironically, science and technology has no viable solution for this global human created problem.

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Posted: 01 April 2011 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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kkwan - 31 March 2011 08:55 PM

In 2008 Graham Turner at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia published a paper called “A Comparison of `The Limits to Growth` with Thirty Years of Reality”. It examined the past thirty years of reality with the predictions made in 1972 and found that changes in industrial production, food production and pollution are all in line with the book’s predictions of economic and societal collapse in the 21st century.

Yup, yup and yup… thanks for that tip, I’ll have to look it up.

========================================

Speaking of a good tip, my hero Terry Gross, over at NPR’s Fresh Air has done it again.  {Admittedly I watch very little TV, but I do know that every time I do stumble on an interview show it stinks.  Whereas most the time I listen to her I walk away more informed and satisfied with time well spent.} Thursday she had an excellent and informative interview with Matt Wald that offered a good overview of America’s Nuclear Energy sector.

The Future Of Nuclear Energy In The U.S.
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/31/134982512/the-future-of-nuclear-energy-in-the-u-s

On today’s Fresh Air, New York Times energy reporter Matthew Wald joins Terry Gross for a wide-ranging conversation about the history — and future — of nuclear energy in the United States.

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Posted: 02 April 2011 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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I head part of that on the way home from work.  Granted, I only heard part of it, but it didn’t sound like the usual “We’re all gonna die!” crap that usually gets screamed whenever people talk about nuclear energy.

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Posted: 03 April 2011 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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Dead Monky - 02 April 2011 10:46 AM

I head part of that on the way home from work.  Granted, I only heard part of it, but it didn’t sound like the usual “We’re all gonna die!” crap that usually gets screamed whenever people talk about nuclear energy.

That’s what I thought too, it seemed like a reasonable assessment.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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We need more of these so-called “reasonable assessments”.  Where do we find them?

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Posted: 05 April 2011 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Dead Monky - 04 April 2011 12:51 PM

We need more of these so-called “reasonable assessments”.  Where do we find them?

Yea,
But, what we really need is more “reasonable people” who allow these assessments to soak in.    tongue wink

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Posted: 05 April 2011 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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There’s no way we can function as a species without producing the huge amount of energy that drives our civilization.  The problem is that nuclear has gotten bad press because, like an airline crash that kills a couple of hundred people and is all over the news, but the fact that many thousands of people killed in automobile accidents is not news because it’s only a few at a specific time and place.  Coal and oil pollution accounts for thousands of times as many deaths as has occurred with Chernobe, Three Mile Island, and now this Japanese event.  The unfortunate thing about this is that it’s put a damper on construction of new nuclear plants. 

If we did just two things we could do quite well with nuclear.  1) Use all the information we’ve gotten from the prior catastrophes and 2) have them designed and built by the governments so that they aren’t designed for minimum cost and maximum profit at the expense of safety.

As I’ve said before, our long term energy suppliies have to be from a) renewable, such as oil from plants and b) direct capture of solar to generate electricity.  However, it’ll take too long to develop and switch to these if we keep dumping pollution from oil and coal into our atmosphere.  Nuclear is a great interim (not long term) source.

Occam

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Posted: 05 April 2011 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Nuclear is a great interim (not long term) source.

That’s my thought as well.  But stuff like the recent Fukushima disaster really feed the Nuclear-Power-Will-Kill-Us-And-Mutate-Our-Children people.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Occam. - 05 April 2011 03:52 PM

Nuclear is a great interim (not long term) source.

Occam

No one has found a solution to storing the spent nuclear fuel. All we are doing with nuclear power is putting off the problem of dealing with the waste until after we are dead. I have a hunch future generations will have a very different view on nuclear power than a lot of people have now.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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I agree, Darron, but I think future generations are also going to have a very different view of carbon and hydtrocarbon combustion for power than a lot of people have now.  As much of a problem as spent nuclear fuel is, I don’t think it’s as much as a catastrophe (albeit a quiet one) that the present petroleum and coal waste product (CO2) contamination is.

I wouldn’t be surprised if new technologies figure out how to use spent nuclear fuel productively and use robots to process it.  Although, I’d far rather see it stored in abandoned salt mines rather than dumped in the ocean since we could retrieve it from the former while it would just continue to contaminate the latter.

Occam

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Posted: 05 April 2011 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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I’m not willing to bet future generations’s safety on technology that has not been developed. That is akin to magical thinking. But you are right; we know carbon fuels are destroying the environment. Maybe future generations will forgive us the spent nuclear fuel in exchange for fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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I’ve heard and read that most of the spent nuclear fuel could be reused.

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