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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:10 PM   #26
OutThere
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I do feel that nuclear energy has a place in our energy production environment. That said, I regret that the problems in Japan will increase the public anxiety over nuclear power, because it will create opposition to the construction of new, safer, cleaner nuclear plants and place us in a position of having to continue using old nuclear plants which are less efficient and less safe.

Uranium mining can be an ugly process, but nuclear power sounds to me to be a pretty good option, particularly when paired with deep borehole disposal, which could nearly eliminate the ever-present waste question.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:13 PM   #27
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When pumps failed to pump in water and the back up diesel powered generators failed they ran into problems.

If its important - have more than one backup. Risk assessment means always thinking of the worse case scenario. Pumping in sea water seems like a panic back up plan.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:21 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Hellhammer View Post
What is the alternative to nuclear power? These green ways of producing electricity cost a lot more and what I've heard, they can't provide enough power. Plus they don't work everywhere (not enough sun or wind in here for example).

Whether it's a good move to build nuclear plants near tectonic plate joints, that's another question. We don't have seismic activity in here so such natural catastrophes aren't a concern.
Of course you would say that, Finland gets ~30% of its energy from nuclear. Olkiluoto isn't exactly coming in under budget, is it?

It's not just a matter whether it is safe in your country, it's also a matter of whether it's safe for your neighbors. If I remember correctly, y'all had to throw away a lot of caribou meat after Chernobyl.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:25 PM   #29
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Pumping in sea water seems like a panic back up plan.
And if the sea water doesn't reach the bottom of the reactor vessel, well, gravity will cause the bottom to drop out, IF there is sufficient heat to melt the stainless steel.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:31 PM   #30
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NIMBY. I'm okay with nuclear power as long as it's far far away from where I live. Of course, it's not like my town is prone to natural disasters or anything.
Sorry to burst your buble but Charleston SC has operating reactors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship-Su...ycling_Program

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Note for ships marked with refit: Sam Rayburn (SSBN-635) was converted into a training platform — Moored Training Ship (MTS-635). Sam Rayburn arrived for conversion on 1 February 1986, and on 29 July 1989 the first Moored Training Ship achieved initial criticality. Modifications included special mooring arrangements including a mechanism to absorb power generated by the main propulsion shaft. Daniel Webster (SSBN-626) was converted to the second Moored Training Ship (MTS-2 / MTS-626) in 1993. The Moored Training Ship Site is located at Naval Weapons Station Charleston in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Sam Rayburn is scheduled to operate as an MTS until 2014 while undergoing shipyard availabilities at four year intervals.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:35 PM   #31
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Of course you would say that, Finland gets ~30% of its energy from nuclear. Olkiluoto isn't exactly coming in under budget, is it?
Nothing stays in budget here. At least nuclear provides energy all around the year; solar, wind or water energy wouldn't.

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It's not just a matter whether it is safe in your country, it's also a matter of whether it's safe for your neighbors. If I remember correctly, y'all had to throw away a lot of caribou meat after Chernobyl.
I had not even been born when Chernobyl happened so I know very little about how it affected us. Like others have said, it's safe as long as it is used by responsible country. From what I've read, Chernobyl used ancient and much more vulnerable technology than today's plants use plus they were performing some kind of an experiment which fought against safety rules.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:39 PM   #32
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Sorry to burst your buble but Charleston SC has operating reactors
It's a good thing he lives in Chrleston, SC.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 12:47 PM   #33
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More people have died in hydroelectric or coal generated power production. Nuclear is relatively safe and clean.

...but if a coal plant blows it's over soon, if a nuke plant blows it's over in 250 thousand years.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:19 PM   #34
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Japan doesn't really have a choice BUT to build plants on the Pacific Rim, since that's where the country is located.

That, the lack of domestic oil and gas (90% of oil used in electric power is from the Middle East), plus a small highly populated country (rules out big hydropower) and they haven't got many options left. Linky.
I didn't say that they didn't have the need (though I'm betting that they'll turn to green energy, in larger part, when they begin the rebuilding process; solar, wind, etc...).

I just questioned how well thought out the idea was to build these plants in an area that is highly susceptible to volcanic activity.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:21 PM   #35
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...but if a coal plant blows it's over soon, if a nuke plant blows it's over in 250 thousand years.
Where did you get that figure from? Cs-137 (one of the main long-lived dangerous compounds) has a half life of 30.1 years.

Oh yes, and coal contains radioactive material too... which a power station handily sends up it's chimney for distribution in the environment!

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A 1,000 MW coal-burning power plant could have an uncontrolled release of as much as 5.2 metric tons per year of uranium (containing 74 pounds (34 kg) of uranium-235) and 12.8 metric tons per year of thorium.
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it is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much uncontrolled radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island incident. It should also be noted that during normal operation, the effective dose equivalent from coal plants is 100 times that from nuclear plants.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:23 PM   #36
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Where did you get that figure from? Cs-137 (one of the main long-lived dangerous compounds) has a half life of 30.1 years.
He obviously pulled it from where the Sun don't shine.

You responded, where I could not be bothered. Thanks.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:39 PM   #37
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I didn't say that they didn't have the need (though I'm betting that they'll turn to green energy, in larger part, when they begin the rebuilding process; solar, wind, etc...).

I just questioned how well thought out the idea was to build these plants in an area that is highly susceptible to volcanic activity.
Roscoe Wind Farm, which is the largest wind farm in the world, provides only 781.5 MW of power while Fukushima I for example, provides 4.7 GW (over six times as much). That wind farm takes 400km^2 so a wind farm that could replace the Fukushima I would take 2400km^2.

The largest solar power plant provides only 97 MW so even worse.

In the end, earthquake like this doesn't happen that often. Hopefully Japan and other countries learn from this and improve their protection against earthquakes.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:42 PM   #38
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Roscoe Wind Farm, which is the largest wind farm in the world, provides only 781.5 MW of power while Fukushima I for example, provides 4.7 GW (over six times as much). That wind farm takes 400km^2 so a wind farm that could replace the Fukushima I would take 2400km^2.

The largest solar power plant provides only 97 MW so even worse.
Hence why I said in 'larger part' and not 'exclusively'.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:55 PM   #39
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I had not even been born when Chernobyl happened so I know very little about how it affected us. Like others have said, it's safe as long as it is used by responsible country. From what I've read, Chernobyl used ancient and much more vulnerable technology than today's plants use plus they were performing some kind of an experiment which fought against safety rules.
Yes, Chernobyl (a level 7 disaster) is the worst nuclear power disaster to date, but it was caused by massive negligence and using technology that was considered unsafe in the West. The incident in Japan was nothing like this at all.

A nuclear plant had what is classified as the International Nuclear Event Scale as a "level 4 accident" following an enormous earthquake and then a tsunami. The Japanese government have reacted swiftly and evacuated people. The levels of radiation released are nothing to panic about.

I'd love to see a world powered by wind, sun and rainbows but that isn't realistic yet. I'd much rather we move away from fossil fuels to nuclear and renewable, and slowly shifting the balance further towards renewables over time as technology improves.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:58 PM   #40
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It's hard to be a fan of anything on this planet that is capable of destroying the planet.

Natural disaster, terrorism, sabotage, war, human error are all very real risks to nuclear power. Plus, disposing of, rather storing it's waste is just postponing problems...

Therefore nuclear energy is not a good idea, (imo).

Yes, other methods cost more, cause pollution or aren't as efficient, (in their current state) ...

How do you proponents of nuclear power discount the very real risks it poses to mankind itself? War and terrorism especially. HUGE accident(s) waiting to happen.

Decades ago more research and money should of been thrown at alternative energy's. Innovations from that could of put us more safely further ahead.

There is a better way, timely and costly to find them and that takes away from the profits the already rich make from the 'nuclear industry', while they continue to brainwash the citizens of the world how safe it is .... "snap out of it I say"....
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 01:59 PM   #41
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Perfectly fine using the new designs that run safer and can even recycle their own waste. I would not have dismissed the entire car industry just because the early models lacked safety features and had high fatality and breakdown rates. It's early days still for the nuclear power industry. We do need to work on uranium mining and milling practices, however.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:04 PM   #42
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Perfectly fine using the new designs that run safer and can even recycle their own waste. I would not have dismissed the entire car industry just because the early models lacked safety features and had high fatality and breakdown rates. It's early days still for the nuclear power industry. We do need to work on uranium mining and milling practices, however.
Automobile safety features and breakdowns compared to nuclear disaster.

Huh?
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:06 PM   #43
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It's a good thing he lives in Chrleston, SC.
Saved by the typo! Yesssssss!

I'm much less worried about a the reactors onboard Naval submarines. Those can be moved or anchored in the threat of a hurricane, and are less likely to have bad things happen in an earthquake.

Ironically, nuclear reactors provide just over 50% of South Carolina's power. The two in this state are near Columbia and Greenville. Coal provides around 40%.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:09 PM   #44
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But how do you proponents of nuclear power discount the very real risks it poses to mankind itself? War and terrorism especially. HUGE accident(s) waiting to happen.
If you choose not to have nuclear power, you're choosing to have oil - and all the problems that brings with it.

I can't recall a war fought over nuclear power, but we're living through one driven by our need to access cheap oil.

Do you think that our heavy handed approach to Persian Gulf politics increases or decreases the threat of terrorism? Although we've been keen to see regime change in Egypt and Libya, there's no way we'll assist any sort of change in Saudi - since we need the oil. Yet most of the 9/11 hijackers were disaffected Saudi men!

So I think your argument that nuclear power increases the threat of terrorism and war is naive, given that the only other option is oil - which most definitely does!
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:09 PM   #45
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It's hard to be a fan of anything on this planet that is capable of destroying the planet.
What?
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:18 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by entatlrg View Post
How do you proponents of nuclear power discount the very real risks it poses to mankind itself?
I rather take the risks than go back to stone age.

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Decades ago more research and money should of been thrown at alternative energy's. Innovations from that could of put us more safely further ahead.

There is a better way, timely and costly to find them and that takes away from the profits the already rich make from the 'nuclear industry', while they continue to brainwash the citizens of the world how safe it is .... "snap out of it I say"....
That is just speculation. How do you know, for sure, that there is something better? So far every option has its tradeoffs. Although I'm with you that there must be other sources of energy, it's not that simple to find them. Fossil fuels are running out so something must be used in order to keep up with the growing demand of energy. Even if you discover a new source of energy, it will require years, even decades, of testing before it is safe to use it in massive quantities.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:21 PM   #47
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surely other forms need to be developed more so their cost can go down but nuclear power i think is very much needed. after an oil spill do you give up on oil? there is risk in most things.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:21 PM   #48
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Most of the major power sources in use today come with major safety/environmental risks. Nuclear is in some ways potentially the most risky. However, people will continue to use it because it works.

We are only as safe as the weakest nuclear power plant, and some of the old Soviet designs still operating are truly scary. But I see a discussion over whether or not to use nuclear power as being 60 years too late - nuclear power is here to stay, due to pressure to satisfy civil power demands that will require them to remain in operation and even expand in numbers. At this point in time renewable energy sources are producing only a fraction of the energy they must produce if we are to start decommissioning nuclear plants.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:22 PM   #49
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Japans main problem, at this time, seems to be that someone thought it was a good idea to build the plants on the Pacific Rim (Yes, I am well aware that the West Coast of the United States lies on the Pacific Rim). A majority of the problems Japan faces currently appear to stem from the earthquake and the fact that the plants were dated and not built to withstand the magnitude of the quake (they were built to within a 7.5 quake, no?).
From what I heard, it wasn't the quake that was the problem, it was the Tsunami that destroyed the backup generators that were supposed to maintain the cooling system. After that the cooling system defaulted to battery power, which drained within 8 hours. After that the overheating started.

I think if the engineers who designed the plant paid as much attention to protecting the backup generators as they did to protecting the reactors, there'd be no issues right now.
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 02:35 PM   #50
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Yea, this is one of the few controversial posts I've made here, I expected some criticism, and likely deserve it as I definitely don't get the whole picture, then again who does.

I'm not saying oil isn't a HUGE problem, or rebutting some of the good points here.

When a nuclear disaster happens hundreds of thousands of people can die, if unleashed in war it could be the end of the world, plus accidents, human error, countries letting power plants age and neglect updates not because they can't afford it but instead because they want the incredible profits from it.

It's not good, I'll never be convinced otherwise. Look at countries like Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia how well they manage their power, the research, alternative (green) energy sources in play and working NOW ... it's incredible and goes unnoticed.

There is better ways.

NO nuclear.
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