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  1. #1
    Jenna's Avatar
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    What do you think of nuclear power?

    What do you think of nuclear power? I think it would be fine to use it after science progresses to a point where we can make it safer than it is now, but I don't think we're there yet. This essay makes some good points. And it's critical of Obama, too, so those who don't like Obama might be interested.....

    On Thursday, President Obama ordered a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear plants. Let's hope it's more than talk. Germany is rescinding its plan to extend the operating lives of its aging nuclear power plants. China is freezing and reviewing plans to build new nuclear plants. Switzerland has suspended approval of three new nuclear plants. New England is considering reconsidering what to do now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has relicensed a plant in Vermont that is similar in age and design to the one now in crisis in Japan. Another similar plant, in Iowa, was relicensed just in December. Earlier this past week, President Obama clearly still supported expansion of nuclear power, while the White House said they will learn from the crisis in Japan. Presumably, that learning will include not repeating this:
    Speaking at a town hall meeting in October 2009, Obama specifically cited Japan as a model for America's nuclear renaissance. "There's no reason why, technologically, we can't employ nuclear energy in a safe and effective way," Obama said. "Japan does it and France does it, and it doesn't have greenhouse gas emissions, so it would be stupid for us not to do that in a much more effective way."
    Well, he still has France. Sort of. But Stupid? The real stupidity would be in trusting anything the nuclear industry says or does. With Japan still in crisis, the nuclear industry has been quick to assert that it can't happen here, and that the Japanese plants were old and poorly designed. And never mind that the industry has been extending the lives of and relicensing similar plants here. The industry always tells us their designs are safe. They told us that about the plants now in at least partial meltdown. They tell us that about the similar plants that are being relicensed. They tell us that about new plant designs. Of course, the design of the Japanese reactors had been criticized as potentially dangerous as long ago as 1972. But back then they assured everyone that it was all okay. Now the same industry that assured us that these reactors were all okay wants us to believe that the new reactor designs are all okay. We can trust them, this time.

    With Japan still in crisis, the nuclear industry has been quick to assert that it can't happen here, and that the Japanese plants were old and poorly designed. And never mind that the industry has been extending the lives of and relicensing similar plants here. The industry always tells us their designs are safe. They told us that about the plants now in at least partial meltdown. They tell us that about the similar plants that are being relicensed. They tell us that about new plant designs. Of course, the design of the Japanese reactors had been criticized as potentially dangerous as long ago as 1972. But back then they assured everyone that it was all okay. Now the same industry that assured us that these reactors were all okay wants us to believe that the new reactor designs are all okay. We can trust them, this time. This is an industry with a long record of cover-ups of dangerously damaged facilities, and cover-ups of safety violations, and unreported radioactive leaks, and inadequate waste storage protections, and napping guards, and more radioactive leaks, and more radioactive leaks, and on and on. WikiLeaks even comes into play, with the revelation that in December 2008 an official of the International Atomic Energy Agency specifically warned that seismic safeguards at nuclear plants were outdated and inadequate. Which was dutifully ignored by the typically dutiful media, the industry, and governments. Which may be the real but unintended meaning of the president's words about nuclear power, that we can "do that in a much more effective way."
    More here: Daily Kos: It's time to leave nuclear power behind

  2. #2
    StoleIt is offline Officer First Class
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    I am all for nuclear power.

    Candle's have killed more people than nuclear power FYI.

    It is a relatively safe and efficient source of power. Every western country EXCEPT the US pretty much widely uses it. The French as by far the most efficient with it. They have pretty much mastered recycling spent fuel rods to the point where it would make places like Yucca Mt pointless.

    The Japanese reactors were built in the 70s and still pretty much withstood a 9.1 earthquake and tsunami. The main issue with those reactors was the back up generators were damaged and diesel fuel was contaminated with sea water.

    I think it's just fear mongering by Hippies that really prevents the US from advancing nuclear power. I mean we invented the fucking thing but don't use it. Really frustrating.

    In the words of any politicians: "Never let a crisis go to waste."

    In a time where energy is becoming finite the last thing we need to do is cross off a proven and efficient technology.

    Sure a solar panel or wind farm doesn't have the potential to melt down...but it also doesn't have the potential to power a city anywhere close to that of a nuclear plant.

  3. #3
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    I'm all for today's nuclear reactor.

    To meet that growing demand, China's leaders are pursuing two strategies. They're turning to established nuke plant makers like AECL, Framatome, Mitsubishi, and Westinghouse, which supplied key technology for China's nine existing atomic power facilities. But they're also pursuing a second, more audacious course. Physicists and engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility that promises to be a better way to harness the atom: a pebble-bed reactor. A reactor small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for customers without billion-dollar bank accounts. A reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. And, for a bona fide fairy-tale ending, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is labeled hydrogen.
    Zhang Zuoyi, the project's 42-year-old director, explains why. The key trick is a phenomenon known as Doppler broadening - the hotter atoms get, the more they spread apart, making it harder for an incoming neutron to strike a nucleus. In the dense core of a conventional reactor, the effect is marginal. But HTR-10's carefully designed geometry, low fuel density, and small size make for a very different story. In the event of a catastrophic cooling-system failure, instead of skyrocketing into a bad movie plot, the core temperature climbs to only about 1,600 degrees Celsius - comfortably below the balls' 2,000-plus-degree melting point - and then falls. This temperature ceiling makes HTR-10 what engineers privately call walk-away safe. As in, you can walk away from any situation and go have a pizza.
    "In a conventional reactor emergency, you have only seconds to make the right decision," Zhang notes. "With HTR-10, it's days, even weeks - as much time as we could ever need to fix a problem."

    This unusual margin of safety isn't merely theoretical. INET's engineers have already done what would be unthinkable in a conventional reactor: switched off HTR-10's helium coolant and let the reactor cool down all by itself. Indeed, Zhang plans a show-stopping repeat performance at an international conference of reactor physicists in Beijing in September. "We think our kind of test may be required in the market someday," he adds.
    Read the whole article: Wired 12.09: Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

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  4. #4
    Five-0's Avatar
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    I want a reactor in my back yard yesterday.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

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  5. #5
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Coal kills far more people.

    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  6. #6
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    People are being sheltered in buildings around other reactors in Japan, because they were built so well they survived the quakes.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  7. #7
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Nuclear power hasn't killed as many people as coal and oil only because nuclear power is not as widespread as coal and oil; if nuclear power becomes more widespread, it will kill more people. Also nuclear power produces radioactive particles that spread all over the world and take much longer to become harmless than pollution from fossil fuels. Wine connoisseurs test wine for radioactive carbon to determine when the wine was produced, because no grapes before nuclear power had radioactive carbon in them, while all grapes since nuclear power was produced contain radioactive carbon, and those produced in later years, after more nuclear testing, bombings, and disasters, have more than those produced in earlier years. Right now there's not enough radiation to be harmful from the few nuclear tests, bombings, and nuclear disasters we've had (Chernobyl, 3 Mile Island, and now Fukushima), but if every city had its own nuclear reactor with the science we have today, in a few centuries we could have so much radiation from so many disasters and terrorist attacks and so much radioactive waste piling up that the Earth could become unlivable for hundreds of thousands of years after we stop using them. Whereas if we wait just a few more centuries, we'll probably develop safe nuclear technologies and/or solar and wind power efficient enough to fulfill our energy needs.

    Not that I like fossil fuels either, but since people are already dependent on them, it's hard to cut back. Nuclear power isn't as established yet, so we still have a chance to slow it down long enough for scientists and engineers to find ways to make it safer. And at least with fossil fuels, we'll probably run out of them before we make Earth's environment permanently unlivable, and their pollution will become harmless sooner than nuclear pollution will.

  8. #8
    pgg's Avatar
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    I'll go with the others. Bring on the nukes
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  9. #9
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    I'm nuts for Nukes! One can only imagine how many people would be killed if Hoover Dam were to burst as the result of an Earthquake. As it is, it wasn't the inital earthquake that caused the problems at the Nuke plants, but rather the after- effects. As long as we continue to reject the progress that inititatives offered by Nuke plants offer in this country, we'll have to continue to be dependent on fossil fuels.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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  10. #10
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    I'm all for nuke plants , especially if they microwave as many sheep as possible.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

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  11. #11
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    I'm all for nuke plants , especially if they microwave as many sheep as possible.
    :sheep:


  12. #12
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    This:

    Contemporary Mortality (Death) Rates in Wind Energy by Paul Gipe

    Summary of Deaths in Wind Energy
    Copyright 2010 by Paul Gipe. All rights reserved. This data is provided as a public service. Please provide full citation.

    Number of Deaths in Construction (Installation or Removal) 23
    Number of Deaths in O&M 16
    Number of Deaths of the Public 4
    43

    Number of Deaths Offshore 3


    Number of Deaths in Argentina 2
    Number of Deaths in Germany 5
    Number of Deaths in USA 21
    Number of Deaths in Denmark 5
    Number of Deaths in the Netherlands 3
    Number of Deaths in Canada 2
    Number of Deaths in Sweden 1
    Number of Deaths in Great Britain 5
    44


    compared to this:

    Nuclear Article
    Facts about safety:

    Although not widely realized, the safety record of nuclear power has been phenomenal. There has been only one nuclear plant accident in the world in which radiation affected public health - that at Chemobyl. Here, three children had died by 1995 from thyroid cancer. (28 plant personnel died from radiation and three from explosion and burns.) However, studies by the International 'Atomic Energy Agency in 1991 and by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and

    Development in 1995 concluded there had been no other health effects attributable to radiation among the public anywhere.



    We do not know how many more radiation induced deaths will result from the accident. There will likely be more thyroid-cancer deaths, but beyond that, there is uncertainty. The 800,000 cleanup workers received average radiation exposures of 10 Rem (a unit of exposure), but scientists have no data or experimental evidence showing any health effects of 10-Rem doses. For that and other reasons, many scientists believe the total number of deaths will not exceed a few hundred. In contrast, more-pessimistic scientists theorize that the number could be as high as several hundred per year for a few decades. These numbers should be viewed in the context of producing electricity by other methods. For example, 15,000 people died from a dam failure in India in 1979. In another example, the Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated (based on studies at the Harvard School of Public Health and at the American Cancer Society) that approximately 64,000 people die prematurely every year in 239 American metropolitan areas from tiny particulates released to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. This number extrapolates to about 100,000 deaths per year for the entire country. Coal-fired power plants are leading offenders, and one-third of these deaths (33,000 per year) are estimated to result from discharges from electricity-generating plants. For the entire world, the number would be much higher. Since nuclear plants emit no particulates, they probably save thousands of lives yearly by replacing coal plants.

    Incidentally, Chernobyl-type plants have not been and cannot be built in the U.S.



    What does the dynamite say?

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  13. #13
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Nuclear power hasn't killed as many people as coal and oil only because nuclear power is not as widespread as coal and oil; if nuclear power becomes more widespread, it will kill more people.
    Do you make this stuff up?

    We've put nuclear reactors to sea for 30 years, and to date have not had a radiological accident that killed anyone - or irradiated them - from any of our 104 reactors that provide 20% of our power.

    We are the worlds largest producer of nuclear energy. The nuclear industry in the United States has maintained one of the best industrial safety records in the world.

    Coal ash emits more harmful radiation than nuclear waste.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  14. #14
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith720 View Post
    I'm nuts for Nukes! One can only imagine how many people would be killed if Hoover Dam were to burst as the result of an Earthquake. As it is, it wasn't the inital earthquake that caused the problems at the Nuke plants, but rather the after- effects. As long as we continue to reject the progress that inititatives offered by Nuke plants offer in this country, we'll have to continue to be dependent on fossil fuels.
    No problem with nukes, with reasonable management.

    The thing about the plants in Japan is that they got hit by a massive double-whammy. First, they got hit by an earthquake that was exponentially greater than anything they'd designed or reasonably anticipated. I mean the aftershocks are sizable quakes all by themselves. Even then, they were holding up. But then they got hit by the tsunami, as well. That took out the redundancies.

    And the plant designers will learn from this. New plants will be designed better, and have different or more redundancies developed from the lessons learned here.
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

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  15. #15
    kcnuke's Avatar
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    well, I work in a civilian nuclear reactor facility. All I can say is it is safe, and I'm all for it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcnuke View Post
    well, I work in a civilian nuclear reactor facility. All I can say is it is safe, and I'm all for it.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    I want a reactor in my back yard yesterday.
    Dittos here! Right along side the oil well!

  18. #18
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    I've just realized why the back of my boots keeps getting scuffed, LOL

  19. #19
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcnuke View Post
    I've just realized why the back of my boots keeps getting scuffed, LOL

    ...and why none of your pencils have erasers.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

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  20. #20
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    I've got a nuclear plant (Savannah River Site) 20 minutes from my house, and used to work on the site itself. I've also toured one additional plant (Oak Ridge.) I have no problem with it.
    \\
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