Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

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Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby phil » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:34 pm

christopher::: wrote:Let's hope there is not too much radiation released. For most people living in Japan there isn't much one can do. There is now a gas shortage in many parts of northern Japan, and trains have stopped running. If millions of people did panic they wouldn't be able to travel very far.


No news is good news here...but unfortunately the whole world is going to have to accept nuke power as a necessary evil...alternative sources will never catch up to demand...
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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Annapurna » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:50 pm

phil wrote:
christopher::: wrote:Let's hope there is not too much radiation released. For most people living in Japan there isn't much one can do. There is now a gas shortage in many parts of northern Japan, and trains have stopped running. If millions of people did panic they wouldn't be able to travel very far.


No news is good news here...but unfortunately the whole world is going to have to accept nuke power as a necessary evil...alternative sources will never catch up to demand...


Wrong...sorry... :smile:

The technology is already there, and is constantly getting refined.

The problem is, that replacing what we have costs a lot of money, and can only be done step by step to avoid an energy crisis.

Or do you think that one of the lands with the strongest economies, Germany, intends to go back to torches in dungeons when we phase out of the use of nuclear energy? :smile:

In 2000, the German government.... officially announced its intention to phase out the use of nuclear power. Jürgen Trittin, from the German Greens, as the Minister of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, reached an agreement with energy companies on the gradual shutdown of the country's nineteen nuclear power plants and a cessation of civil usage of nuclear power by 2020. This was enacted as the Nuclear Exit Law. Based on the calculation of 32 years as the usual time of operation for a nuclear power plant, the agreement precisely tells how much energy a power plant is allowed to produce before being closed down.

The power plants of Stade and Obrigheim were turned off on 14 November 2003, and 11 May 2005, respectively. The plants' dismantling is scheduled to begin in 2007

Germany has combined the phase-out with an initiative for renewable energy and wants to increase the efficiency of fossil power plants in an effort to reduce the reliance on coal. According to the former German Minister for the Environment Jürgen Trittin, in 2020, this would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels.

Germany has become one of the leaders in the efforts to fulfill the Kyoto protocol. Critics of the German policy have called it a contradiction to abandon nuclear power and build up renewable energy as both have very low CO2 emissions.[8]

As a result of its efforts and subsidies, Germany has become a world leader in the use of non-conventional renewable energy for electricity generation, particularly in photovoltaic and wind turbine installations. At the same time, Germany continues to rely heavily on coal power, with usage actually increasing to offset the phase-out of nuclear energy[17].


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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:15 pm

Just thought I'd say, for the record, I am pro-nuclear power.

There, balance has been restored.
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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:56 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:Just thought I'd say, for the record, I am pro-nuclear power.

There, balance has been restored.

Hi, Mawkish,
One "We have to have it", one "We don't have to have it" and you say one "Pro-nuclear" restores the balance??
Something wrong with your maths there! :tongue:

For the record, I'm anti nuclear power - which does restore the balance. :smile:

We do desperately need alternatives to fossil fuel but nuclear is not a good solution. The CO2 costs of mining the fuel are very high, the capital costs are enormous (look at the government subsidies that have been needed to make it viable) and, as we have just seen again, power plants will always be vulnerable to natural and human violence.
In contrast, wind, solar, geothermal and tidal power are inherently cheap and safe. The first two are already at a point where they are contributing significantly to some countries' grids and the other two are on the way.
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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:26 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:contributing significantly
Global Status Report disagrees. See Page 15, wind, solar and geothermal account for a 'significant' 0.7% contribution.

Fossil fuels cause cancer but nuclear reactors are safe

Edit: The preference is obviously renewable energy, but using dams is not always the most ethical choice. Wind farms are also not the perfect solution they are often made out to be.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby octathlon » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:44 pm

How do you propose to handle the radioactive waste?
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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:13 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:contributing significantly
Global Status Report disagrees. See Page 15, wind, solar and geothermal account for a 'significant' 0.7% contribution.

Hi, Mawkish,
Thanks for the link to that report - lots of good info there.
I haven't got much time just now (work calls, unfortunately) but I'l just (1) note that I did say 'contributing significantly in some countries' and (2) quote that report back at you:
Several countries now meet a significant share of their electricity demand with wind, including Denmark (20 percent); Spain (14.3 percent, where wind overtook coal for the first time in 2009); Portugal (11.4 percent in 2008); Ireland (9.3 percent in 2008); and Germany (6.5 percent in 2009).34 In addition, four German states generated well over 30 percent of their power needs with wind in 2009.35 The state of Iowa led in the United States, obtaining 14 percent of its electricity from wind power, and Texas exceeded the 5 percent mark.36

... and that's just wind.
:juggling:

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:53 am

octathlon wrote:How do you propose to handle the radioactive waste?
Well that wikipedia page has some good suggestions.

Anyway, said my bit :) I'm out
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:55 am

Good point Kim, although I'm not sure I'd call 20% 'significant'

Aaaanyway, I've said what I wanted to say, so I'll stop.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:42 am

Glad to see I'm not the only person here who supports nuclear power.

Although, for the record I'm not a big fan of uranium. I'd much prefer to see us transition to a cleaner safer thorium fuel cycle.

I'm not worried about Japan's reactors. They are well designed and their people seem to have the situation under control. I don't think there is any real risk of losing containment at this point. If I am wrong and a worst-case comes true, the containment vessel that the reactor core is located in is designed to contain a complete core meltdown. This means there is no chance of a Chernobyl happening.

The venting of steam does not pose any significant large-scale radiation risks. It's good that they are able to vent the excess pressure and pump more water to the cores. Just being able to pump water means they are not going to lose containment and a full meltdown is no longer a risk. Really, I think a lot of people are allowing themselves to be subjected to media-induced panic over this.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:31 pm

phil wrote: No news is good news here...but unfortunately the whole world is going to have to accept nuke power as a necessary evil...alternative sources will never catch up to demand...


I wouldn't say that. I read an alternative energy new blog http://ecogeek.org/

Articles about various European countries setting targets for getting significant percentages of their energy from renewable sources by particular years are frequently posted on that blog. Many of those targets have been reached have been reached with just wind power. That is amazing considering how little money has been put into research for renewable resources as compared to nuclear research and oil exploration. In the U.S. the oil companies get 5 billion dollars a year in tax breaks for the purpose of finding more oil.

I could only imagine where wind power, solar power, biomass, geothermal and energy consevation technology would be with 5 billion dollars of research money.

Nobody has to worry about the wind getting loose after an accident at windmill :).

My intuition is that many renewable resources are not pushed as hard as nuclear power since nuclear power is a centralized energy source. Someone can charge you for it and cut off your access. That makes it easier to make more money from it.
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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Annapurna » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:13 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:Just thought I'd say, for the record, I am pro-nuclear power.

There, balance has been restored.


"From a safe distance the dogs barks the loudest."

I am pro-nuclear power


You wouldn't be if you had gotten polluted.
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Re: massive earthquake and tsunamis hit japan

Postby Annapurna » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:23 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:Just thought I'd say, for the record, I am pro-nuclear power.

There, balance has been restored.

Hi, Mawkish,
One "We have to have it", one "We don't have to have it" and you say one "Pro-nuclear" restores the balance??
Something wrong with your maths there! :tongue:


Lol...

You see, for Mawkish, my opinion counts twice. ;)

I For the record, I'm anti nuclear power.


:twothumbsup:

I didn't expect you were pro.

I was wondering how your governments are reacting?

The voices of many German people ring clearly in the ears of the politicians now:

"We want to phase out of nuclear power."

Our children are shocked.

They ask teachers and parents why we could install such dangerous technology.

If it can come to Germany.

To be honest: YES.

Let the situation escalate some further, and have 3 meltdowns, and have nuclear particles transported with the jetstreams to Europe and Mawkish will be in bed with Atomheart Mother.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:54 pm

Wow! Thanks to your well structured and rational arguement I can see the error of my ways! You are right and I was wrong! What a fool I was!

(which is, of course, sarcasm).

I've said what position I take on the matter. I've given some reasons. I am a physicst, I studied nuclear physics in a lot of depth. I spent two years doing doctorate level research about corrosion protection inside nuclear reactor cores. From all of this experience and education I have come to the conclusion that nuclear power is far safer than using fossil fuels and has less of an environmental impact than certain renewable resources (such as hydro- and tidal-electricity). Ultimately, nuclear fusion is the technology we should be investing in. Alas, too much money has been invested in the oil companies.

These are my opinions. Scaremongering and name calling isn't the most effective way of convincing someone as arrogant as I :)

Edit: I actually have a plan for a way of generating electricity using the van Allen belts --- but it requires world peace first. As soon as we've abolished all greed in the world, I'll share the plans :)
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby christopher::: » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:13 pm

poto wrote:I'm not worried about Japan's reactors. They are well designed and their people seem to have the situation under control. I don't think there is any real risk of losing containment at this point. If I am wrong and a worst-case comes true, the containment vessel that the reactor core is located in is designed to contain a complete core meltdown. This means there is no chance of a Chernobyl happening.

The venting of steam does not pose any significant large-scale radiation risks. It's good that they are able to vent the excess pressure and pump more water to the cores. Just being able to pump water means they are not going to lose containment and a full meltdown is no longer a risk. Really, I think a lot of people are allowing themselves to be subjected to media-induced panic over this.


A Japanese friend of mine said the same thing today. Would those of you (such as poto and mawkish) who understand the mechanics of this- how the containment vessel can contain a complete core meltdown- explain it for us, in layperson's terms? Also, why are these hydrogen explosions "safe" - why is there no concern among some scientists that the vessels could crack or break or rupture, while there is great concern among others?

Thanks.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:26 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Aaaanyway, I've said what I wanted to say, so I'll stop.

hahahhahahhahahhahaha,
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:32 pm

poto wrote:Glad to see I'm not the only person here who supports nuclear power.

Although, for the record I'm not a big fan of uranium. I'd much prefer to see us transition to a cleaner safer thorium fuel cycle.

I'm not worried about Japan's reactors. They are well designed and their people seem to have the situation under control. I don't think there is any real risk of losing containment at this point. If I am wrong and a worst-case comes true, the containment vessel that the reactor core is located in is designed to contain a complete core meltdown. This means there is no chance of a Chernobyl happening.

The venting of steam does not pose any significant large-scale radiation risks. It's good that they are able to vent the excess pressure and pump more water to the cores. Just being able to pump water means they are not going to lose containment and a full meltdown is no longer a risk. Really, I think a lot of people are allowing themselves to be subjected to media-induced panic over this.



I'm not worried about Japan's reactors. They are well designed and their people seem to have the situation under control. I don't think there is any real risk of losing containment at this point.


Poto,


How do you explain the contamination of several people then?

Why is iodine medication being given to people?
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:19 pm

Radioactive iodine is one of the ways radiation gets into people's bodies. By taking iodine or kelp tablets ( high in iodine ) their body fills up on iodine, blocking new iodine from getting in.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:04 pm

christopher::: wrote:
poto wrote:I'm not worried about Japan's reactors. They are well designed and their people seem to have the situation under control. I don't think there is any real risk of losing containment at this point. If I am wrong and a worst-case comes true, the containment vessel that the reactor core is located in is designed to contain a complete core meltdown. This means there is no chance of a Chernobyl happening.

The venting of steam does not pose any significant large-scale radiation risks. It's good that they are able to vent the excess pressure and pump more water to the cores. Just being able to pump water means they are not going to lose containment and a full meltdown is no longer a risk. Really, I think a lot of people are allowing themselves to be subjected to media-induced panic over this.


A Japanese friend of mine said the same thing today. Would those of you (such as poto and mawkish) who understand the mechanics of this- how the containment vessel can contain a complete core meltdown- explain it for us, in layperson's terms? Also, why are these hydrogen explosions "safe" - why is there no concern among some scientists that the vessels could crack or break or rupture, while there is great concern among others?

Thanks.


OK, I'll give it a shot. This may not be 100% accurate as I am not a nuclear expert, but this is my take on a worst-case.

The reactor itself at Fukushima is a GE BWR Mark III reactor I believe. In the case of a complete meltdown, they will open the valves designed to vent steam and allow all the water to safely boil off. Then the fuel rods themselves will melt and turn into a shallow pool in the bottom of the containment vessel. Spreading it out will help it cool. Then coolant will be pumped in to further cool it. This will prevent the core from ever exploding and no significant radiation will be released. After a while, the remnants of the core will be collected and shipped to a reprocessing facility. Of course, this worst-case is not going to happen as long as they are able to keep pumping water into the reactors which they have been able to do.

Anybody familiar with the design and engineering of those reactors isn't worried about loss of containment. They are designed to safely contain a complete core meltdown. Chernobyl had a badly flawed designed and incompetent operators. It is not fair to compare the 2 as some in the media have attempted to do. I suspect that many of the people who are spreading fear and panic are anti-nuclear people trying to push an agenda at the expense of others.

The hydrogen released does not contain any uranium or any other nasty particles in significant quantities. Basically, the fission products are being contained in the containment vessel as it was designed to do. I have heard that a small amount of cesium and iodine were released. These are not good, but the amounts were pretty small and diluted in the atmosphere quickly. If anyone was nearby at the time of the venting and got exposed, they probably got about the same exposure as what an airline pilot gets in less than 6 months of flying. Not a big deal and certainly not lethal unless possibly you were standing directly on top of the vent at the time of the venting.

The iodine is really the only thing I'd be worried about, but even it only has a half-life of 8 or 9 days IIRC, so it will be gone fairly quickly. The issuing of iodine tablets is a standard precautionary procedure. People who live down-wind of nuclear plants here in the states are sometimes sent free iodine tablets as a precautionary measure.

To my knowledge not a single person has as yet died of radiation poisoning, and I do not think that any radiation deaths will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, many thousands have died from the earthquake and tsunami. My heart goes out to those who have lost friends and loved ones in this disaster.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:50 pm

I talk with a lot of people who are pronuclear. They tend to work in technical fields and know a little bit more about engineering side of it. What they often don't look at it is the human side of things.

If people as conscientious and disciplined as the Japanese can build a nuclear power plant in an earthquake and tsunami zone where does that leave Americans?

We constantly have corporations selling out the welfare of people to cut costs. The BP/Gulf tragedy is an example of that. If more nuclear power plants are built then there will be more chances for the unscrupulous cutting of corners, unforeseen design flaws, mistakes, incompetence or sabotage.

Multiply all of those things for the situation of nuclear waste, which has a half life of thousands of years. That means many opportunities for unforeseen problems in keeping the waste contained just from natural forces alone. Then there is cutting corners, illegal dumping, terrorism, etc etc.

I think more nuclear power plants will have to be built as an interim energy source and I think its use should stay there.

There are so many promising energy technologies that have come so far, with so little support. I bet if research into alternative energy was funded nearly as well as nuclear technology or oil exploration we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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