Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby GIDGE » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:30 pm

I really don't understand how people can continue to defend nuclear power given the current situation.
In my mind it creates suffering and it's greedy.
:shrug:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:23 pm

GIDGE wrote:I really don't understand how people can continue to defend nuclear power given the current situation.
In my mind it creates suffering and it's greedy.
:shrug:


Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.

Energy Source.........................Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average.................161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China...........................278
Coal – USA.............................15
Oil......................................36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas.............................4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass......................12
Peat....................................12
Solar (rooftop)........................0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind...................................0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro..................................0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)...1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear................................0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:25 pm

(Source?)
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:39 pm

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:02 pm

poto wrote:
Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.


Just how safe it is has become obvious in the last days.

Why don't you go in with those 50 men who work 4 hour shifts there and help them if it is so safe.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby GIDGE » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:07 pm

poto wrote:
GIDGE wrote:I really don't understand how people can continue to defend nuclear power given the current situation.
In my mind it creates suffering and it's greedy.
:shrug:


Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.

Energy Source.........................Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average.................161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China...........................278
Coal – USA.............................15
Oil......................................36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas.............................4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass......................12
Peat....................................12
Solar (rooftop)........................0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind...................................0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro..................................0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)...1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear................................0.04 (5.9% of world energy)


I don't know you and I would never call you an evil or greedy person.
My opinions are based on my own experience and circumstances....our home (2500 sq ft in Texas) is powered 100% by solar and wind. In fact we sell back to the grid because we produce more energy than we require. Myself, my husband our 3 teenagers live there. It's possible to meet "needs" with alternative, safe means.
I know experts keep saying nuclear IS safe - but the conditions in Japan don't appear to be particularly safe atm.

No disrespect meant
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:09 pm

poto wrote:Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.

Energy Source.........................Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average.................161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China...........................278
Coal – USA.............................15
Oil......................................36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas.............................4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass......................12
Peat....................................12
Solar (rooftop)........................0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind...................................0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro..................................0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)...1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear................................0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

Hi, Poto,
Good list, but a couple of minor problems:
Figures seem to be a bit out of date. Renewables as a percentage of world energy supply have been going up very quickly.
Non-rooftop solar doesn't appear at all. Do you have figures for installations like the solar power farms in the American deserts, or the Spanish base-load solar power stations?
Nuclear deaths don't include longer-term deaths from Chernobyl. They could easily knock nuclear of its 'safest' perch, if non-rooftop solar hasn't already done so. Are you then going to support Wind and Solar instead of Nuclear?
:juggling:
It's all a matter of juggling competing imperatives, costs and benefits. As I said a little while ago, I think our best solution will be a patchwork of partial solutions. Nuclear power probably does have a place but I hope it's not too big a place.
:namaste:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:12 pm

Greetings,

What are the solar deaths from... people falling off the roof?

:shrug:

Metta,
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If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:17 pm

This is chiming in the end of nuclear energy.

Some things become larger than their trivializations.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby nathan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:29 pm

I would think the low figures do not take into account deaths directly related to the growing use of depleted uranium or the deaths from nuclear warheads of any other kind, all of which are still contemporary and growing uses of these radioactive materials. Among other little known facts, the overall planet-wide background radiation has increased significantly more from the subsequent uses of DU than it did from all of the previous testing of atomic bombs combined.

Sources of information quoted in this Wikipedia article are predominantly official and not as shocking as the information which has been disclosed by various industry and government whistle blowers. I will leave researching that kind of information to those with the interest to undertake such study for themselves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby nathan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:49 pm

The causes and conditions we observe and experience today and which will be observed and experienced in the future are not the result of human beings in general being significantly more intelligent or skillful now than they were in past generations. It took only a very small number of human beings to develop the various means for rapidly increasing and improving on our methodologies and technologies for exploiting the planetary resources. This has enabled both the vast resulting human population growth and the rapid widespread growth in human desires for ever more resource consumption. However the overall quantities and qualities of planetary resources remains limited, increasingly subjected to forces of entropy and increasingly more resource intensive to acquire. When the global population grows daily by the equivalent of the population of Germany and the amount of land suitable for growing food continues to be lessened by the development of other land uses and soil continues to loose more micro-nutrients every year, the long term consequences for the human population numbers are fairly obvious. The need for more energy to heat and light ever bigger homes and other buildings containing ever more devices in the service of of the 1000 people who consume half of the total available global resources or the 10% who consume 90% of the total available global resources is a relatively minor problem. An increasing amount of energy, nuclear and otherwise is going to have to continue to go into various forms of class warfare in order to maintain these worldwide inequities. Half of the human population of the planet still uses about the same amounts of energy and other resources as did people in pre-industrial times and more often than not less food than previous generations, therefore radical reductions in energy and resource use are demonstrably possible for at least one in two human beings. The frequent allegation that increasingly high levels of energy and resource use is NEEDED by SOME, is highly questionable.

The level of intelligence necessary for increases in desires is common. The level of intelligence necessary to develop new means for more efficient kinds of resource exploitation is relatively rare. The level of intelligence necessary for discerning the wisdom in abandoning all desires is exceedingly rare.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby octathlon » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:06 pm

Humans just aren't very good at assessing risk. If something has a low probability of happening, people translate that in their minds to zero and act accordingly. Looking at the number of deaths that have occurred so far per amount of power generated, is something to consider but comes nowhere near proving nuclear power safe. It has the potential, even if probability is low, to kill and sicken tens of thousands (or more) people, render large areas uninhabitable for hundreds of years, severely damage the whole economy, etc, levels of suffering the other power types listed do not approach (although of course many of them also cause huge suffering, especially if you count wars fought over petroleum).

But even if all goes well, you have to put all that waste somewhere and keep it safely isolated for thousands of years. So far no one has managed to even start doing that, even for the amounts of waste we have now. The more power plants built, the more all these risks and the probability of accidents increase. There have already been many close calls that are not taken into consideration when only number of deaths is counted. Here is some info on that. A few excerpts from it:
Despite claims by the nuclear industry that "no one died at Three Mile Island," a study by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, professor of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that the accident led to a minimum of 430 infant deaths.

25 February 1983
A catastrophe at the Salem 1 reactor in New Jersey was averted by just 90 seconds when the plant was shut down manually, following the failure of automatic shutdown systems to act properly. The same automatic systems had failed to respond in an incident three days before, and other problems plagued this plant as well, such as a 3,000 gallon leak of radioactive water in June 1981 at the Salem 2 reactor, a 23,000 gallon leak of "mildly" radioactive water (which splashed onto 16 workers) in February 1982, and radioactive gas leaks in March 1981 and September 1982 from Salem 1.

15 February 2000
New York's Indian Point II power plant vented a small amount of radioactive steam when a an aging steam generator ruptured. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission initially reported that no radioactive material was released, but later changed their report to say that there was a leak, but not of a sufficient amount to threaten public safety.

Nov 2005
High tritium levels, the result of leaking pipes, were discovered to have contaminated groundwater immediately adjacent to the Braidwood Generating Station in Braceville, Illinois.


<my rant> When people say "we have to go to nuclear power to meet our energy needs", as if it goes without saying that we must meet whatever "needs" we decide we have, like there is just no choice but to use however much energy we feel like using.

Sure, all this energy has made life much more comfortable (for those of us who have it). What if nuclear power wasn't possible? We would have spent time and money finding other sources, or we just wouldn't have them. It is not some kind of divine law that we have to consider using nuclear energy. If we eliminate it we can stop wasting time trying to make it "safe" and focus on doing something better.
</rant>
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:15 pm

octathlon wrote:<my rant> When people say "we have to go to nuclear power to meet our energy needs", as if it goes without saying that we must meet whatever "needs" we decide we have, like there is just no choice but to use however much energy we feel like using.

Sure, all this energy has made life much more comfortable (for those of us who have it). What if nuclear power wasn't possible? We would have spent time and money finding other sources, or we just wouldn't have them. It is not some kind of divine law that we have to consider using nuclear energy. If we eliminate it we can stop wasting time trying to make it "safe" and focus on doing something better.
</rant>

That's not a rant, Octathlon - that's excellent commonsense!
It's just a pity that commonsense isn't common.
:namaste:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby octathlon » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:18 pm

nathan wrote:The causes and conditions we observe and experience today and which will be observed and experienced in the future are not the result of human beings in general being significantly more intelligent or skillful now than they were in past generations. It took only a very small number of human beings to develop the various means for rapidly increasing and improving on our methodologies and technologies for exploiting the planetary resources. This has enabled both the vast resulting human population growth and the rapid widespread growth in human desires for ever more resource consumption. However the overall quantities and qualities of planetary resources remains limited, increasingly subjected to forces of entropy and increasingly more resource intensive to acquire. When the global population grows daily by the equivalent of the population of Germany and the amount of land suitable for growing food continues to be lessened by the development of other land uses and soil continues to loose more micro-nutrients every year, the long term consequences for the human population numbers are fairly obvious. The need for more energy to heat and light ever bigger homes and other buildings containing ever more devices in the service of of the 1000 people who consume half of the total available global resources or the 10% who consume 90% of the total available global resources is a relatively minor problem. An increasing amount of energy, nuclear and otherwise is going to have to continue to go into various forms of class warfare in order to maintain these worldwide inequities. Half of the human population of the planet still uses about the same amounts of energy and other resources as did people in pre-industrial times and more often than not less food than previous generations, therefore radical reductions in energy and resource use are demonstrably possible for at least one in two human beings. The frequent allegation that increasingly high levels of energy and resource use is NEEDED by SOME, is highly questionable.

The level of intelligence necessary for increases in desires is common. The level of intelligence necessary to develop new means for more efficient kinds of resource exploitation is relatively rare. The level of intelligence necessary for discerning the wisdom in abandoning all desires is exceedingly rare.

Excellent points and explanation, nathan!
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:53 pm

Annapurna wrote:Why don't you go in with those 50 men who work 4 hour shifts there and help them if it is so safe.


The point is that no source of energy is safe. Take the 29 men who died in a coal mine a few hours drive from me last year...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_River_Mine_disaster

It's all a matter of risk assessment, and that's what those numbers are the sort of thing you use to measure risk.

Hurtling through the stratosphere in an aluminium can (airplane...) or riding on a train is inherently risky, and if something goes wrong, hundreds die. Hundreds of thousands die in car crashes, or just crossing the street, every year.

:anjali:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:47 am

It would be interesting to see the results for solar and wind power generation industries of comparable governmental subsidies and supports to those which have been provided to the nuclear power industry. Canada has long mined 20% of the global uranium resources but there are no substantial indications yet of what percentages of the global solar radiation or wind energy resources might be accessible.

Solar power outshines nuclear power: Study
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/arti ... study?bn=1

Richard J. Brennan National Affairs Writer

A year-long Queen’s University study has concluded that nuclear power is simply not worth the risk when compared to solar energy.
“The current situation at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant and the anxiety of a possible meltdown are once again calling into question the use of nuclear power as a long-term energy option here in Canada,” Joshua Pearce, a mechanical and materials engineering professor told the Star.

The university team looked at the 100 nuclear plants in the U.S. and factored in the indirect public subsidy, which amounts to the cost of insuring a nuclear plant in the event of a catastrophic accident, and the power produced over the lifetime of a nuclear power plant.

“In my mind it is basically insanity to shoulder the public with risk to get relatively small amount of electricity out of it,” Pearce said.

He noted that in the U.S. there is a $10-billion cap on liability in the event of an accident, which amounts to an indirect subsidy of about $33 million per plant per year over the lifetime of a nuclear plant.
The study, funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, took this indirect subsidy and transferred it in the form of a loan guarantees for solar panel manufacturing plants over 100 years.

“At the end of all of this you end up with $5.3 trillion in additional electricity (from solar). That for us was somewhat surprising that it was so high,” he said.

Ivana Zelenika-Zovko, a master’s student in environmental studies at Queen’s who worked on the project, said that, all things considered, nuclear power is “just not worth the risk.”

The study concluded: “In light of these results and with the recent economic challenges, climate destabilization and a new-found emphasis on sustainability, U.S. energy policy needs to re-evaluate its options and appropriate available funds wisely by moving away from nuclear power and diversifying their energy portfolio to maximize the renewable (not alternative) energy potential.”

Governments should support solar power manufacturing: study
http://www.queensu.ca/news/articles/gov ... ring-study

2010-05-20

Joshua Pearce's feel governments should be aggressively supporting large-scale solar power manufacturing plants.

Canadian and provincial governments could spend $2.4 billion to build a large scale solar photovoltaic manufacturing plant and then give it away for free and still earn a profit in the long run, according to a financial analysis conducted by the Queen’s University Applied Sustainability Research Group.

Queen’s University Mechanical Engineering Professor Joshua Pearce conducted the study – to be published in the August edition of the academic journal Energy Policy – to find out if it makes economic sense for governments to support solar cell manufacturing in Canada. He was surprised to discover the answer is an overwhelming yes even in extreme situations and feels governments should be aggressively supporting this industry to take advantage of the financial opportunity.

“This study uses hard financial numbers. Everything we did is transparent and all our equations are in the study,” says Professor Pearce. “The benefits of encouraging solar manufacturing in Canada are clear and massively outweigh the costs.”

The report looked at six different scenarios: everything from building a plant and giving it away or selling it to more traditional and less costly loan guarantees or tax holidays for a private sector company to construct the plant. In all the scenarios, both federal and provincial governments enjoyed positive cash flows in less than 12 years and in many of the scenarios both governments earned well over an eight per cent return on investments ranging from hundreds of millions to $2.4 billion.

The revenues for the governments of nearly $500 million a year, were determined from taxation (personal, corporate and sales), sales of panels, and saved health, environmental and economic costs associated with offsetting coal-fired electricity.
Queen's started the study last summer, before the Ontario government announced a $7-billion power production and manufacturing deal with Samsung in January. Some criticized the deal but Professor Pearce says Canadians are the winners.

“Canada will really make out if Samsung comes through with what they said they are going to do. We gave them a little bit of incentive and Samsung will give us a lot of jobs, less pollution, and a long term substantial source of revenue. We are absolutely winning on this deal – there is no question,” Professor Pearce says. “The market is much larger than the Samsung deal. The question now is how to bring even more photovoltaic manufacturers to the province.”

The Energy Policy report, co-authored by Queen’s student Kadra Branker, studied the financial impact in Ontario but Professor Pearce says the numbers can apply to all provinces in Canada.

But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:25 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:It's all a matter of risk assessment, and that's what those numbers are the sort of thing you use to measure risk.

Hurtling through the stratosphere in an aluminium can (airplane...) or riding on a train is inherently risky, and if something goes wrong, hundreds die. Hundreds of thousands die in car crashes, or just crossing the street, every year.

Indeed. Sober non-emotive risk assessments should be the key contributor into such decision making.

As some further examples... smoking, obesity and alcoholism only ever kill one person at a time, but have each wreaked massive damage compared to nuclear energy production.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:35 am

poto wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:Emergency neutron absorbers (boron is common) should have been automatically deployed, shich would have stopped the reactor heating up by stopping the chain reaction. It seems this hasn't happened, because the core is heating up; the chain reaction may be happening still. It shouldn't be, but it looks like it is.


Boron was injected. In fact, they injected boron almost right away, writing off the reactors as a total loss. There is no sustained reaction going on in the cores. What they are dealing with is the decay heat.
.................
Numerous people have died just from touching high voltage power lines. Any way you look at it, there are risks associated with building and maintaining a large high capacity grid. .

Poto,
Interesting information....I wish I had a source giving more details about what was exactly done at the plants in Japan....will you please share the source for this information?

People dieing from touching high voltage power lines is a non issue in terms of safety against DISASTERS.....the number of people touching high voltage power lines is pretty much insignificant in the scope of the discussion...(people die from choking on bones so packaged meat should have a bone warning?)...but....the use of high voltage power grids can be reduced or even eliminated through distributed generation and renewables are far superior to nuclear if eliminating the power grid is a goal...in fact nuclear is probably the electric source which is most reliant on a massive power grid (with its inherent power inefficiencies) and should be the first to be dropped if eliminating or minimizing our need for a massive power grid.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:51 am

chownah wrote:Interesting information....I wish I had a source giving more details about what was exactly done at the plants in Japan....will you please share the source for this information?


try here:
http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/information-on-the-japanese-earthquake-and-reactors-in-that-region/
and here:
http://mitnse.com/
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby christopher::: » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:41 am

poto wrote:
Boron was injected. In fact, they injected boron almost right away, writing off the reactors as a total loss. There is no sustained reaction going on in the cores. What they are dealing with is the decay heat. Within a day or so of shutting down the reactor, the decay heat is reduced to about 1% of what it was when operating. Of course, that 1% is still millions of watts of thermal energy and needs to be dealt with.

Also, I heard the fire in reactor 4 was from leaked oil, not burning fuel rods as some in the media have claimed.

It is unfortunate that a small amount of fission products were released. However, there still has not been a large release and nothing really nasty so far. Every day that goes by without a complete meltdown is a good thing. More decay heat is dissipated with every passing hour. Either in a few days or a few weeks the reactors will cool enough to be below the boiling point of water. Then they won't have any more pressure or steam building up and things will be pretty much under control.


Where did you hear this, about leaked oil?

From the link you just provided:

"Spokesmen for TEPCO and Japan’s regulatory agency, Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency, on March 17 Japan time refuted reports that there was a complete loss of cooling water in the used fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4.

The spokesmen said the situation at reactor 4 has changed little during the day today and water remained in the fuel pool. However, both officials said that the reactor had not been inspected in recent hours.

"We can’t get inside to check, but we’ve been carefully watching the building’s environs, and there has not been any particular problem," said TEPCO spokesman Hajime Motojuku.

At about 7 p.m. EDT, NISA spokesman Takumi Koyamada said the temperature reading from the used fuel pool on Wednesday was 84 degrees Celsius and that no change had been reported since then. Typically, used uranium fuel rods are stored in deep water pools at temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius."

source:

http://www.nei.org/newsandevents/inform ... at-region/



I sure hope this information is correct, but wonder why it conflicts with all major media reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12762608
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