Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:44 am

octathlon wrote: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).


Yes. Good post.

Only make it thousands of years.

Highly radioactive particles radiate for thousands of years,

medium range is 15 000 years.

Uranium 200 000
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:57 am

My old PhD supervisor (Prof. Andrew Sherry) was just on TV on the BBC Breakfast news program. Seems the heating problem is caused by the corrosion of the fuel rod cladding, which is an exothermic reaction.

Not sure if I believe an exothermic corrosion reaction could heat the fuel rods enough for them to catch fire... a bit skeptical here.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:58 am

Poto,
Thanks for the links....they're both great.....
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:58 am

He should stick his head in the reactor and make sure, if it is so safe.

Sorry if I'm caustic.

The first contamination has arrived in Germany, 2 hours from me, on the Airport Munich.

The airplane's surface is contaminated.

WONDERFUL....where will it go from here?
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:52 am

Using this video in a lesson this afternoon about the ethics of nuclear power. Should generate some good discussion.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:49 pm

It is all too late
Nuclear Power
has nailed our fate.
Closed the coffin
all upon us.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:29 pm

Dear... :console:

We continued after Chernobyl.

Perhaps we'll find a way out of this too.

But then,- it has to stop.

Which will be hard, because some people still can't read the signs...

Yesterday, I watched on TV how the different nations are reacting to this....it seems in some parts of the Czech republic the 'message' hasn't arrived yet.

There are rather uneducated people working in nuclear plants, it feeds their bellies, work is all they want, and since their boss told them their reactor is safe they believe him....

They think the rest of the wolrd is being hysterical and has bad plants.

And that they have a good one, of course.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:43 pm

Annapurna wrote:He should stick his head in the reactor and make sure, if it is so safe.

Sorry if I'm caustic.

The first contamination has arrived in Germany, 2 hours from me, on the Airport Munich.

The airplane's surface is contaminated.

WONDERFUL....where will it go from here?


I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you those around you end up being safe.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Annapurna » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:55 pm

Dear Jhana, thank you.

Perhaps they wíll wash down the airplane, -how this may be done and where the water or the chemicals will go I don't know...in any case it will radiate here now. I'm sure it's not any different with other airlines and other lands...

They said inside of the airplane there weren't any radioactive particles.

Or perhaps they only say so...?

:shrug:
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:41 pm

christopher::: wrote:Where did you hear this, about leaked oil?


It was in a previous update from the NEI website that I posted.

At Unit 4 on March 14 at approximately 8:38 p.m. EDT, a fire was reported in the reactor building. It is believed to have been from a lube oil leak in a system that drives recirculation water pumps. Fire fighting efforts extinguished the fire. The roof of the reactor building was damaged.


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


Yes. Working on roofs is quite dangerous.


Kim O'Hara wrote: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?


Nope, but if you find some numbers on that, let me know.

Kim O'Hara wrote:Nuclear deaths don't include longer-term deaths from Chernobyl.


Because they haven't been any yet? Also, even if you assume a doubling of the mortality rate, nuclear energy still comes out the safest form of power.

Kim O'Hara wrote: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?


Not unless we can figure out how to make the sun shine and wind blow 24/7. We still will need reliable baseload power generation.

Also, since I have a few minutes, and everybody seems to ignore thorium, I'd like to rant about it again. Thorium is much safer than our present uranium and plutonium technologies. It is the future of fission power. Anybody who lumps convention nuclear power in with thorium-based reactor technology is a fool. We also have much more thorium than uranium. By some estimates I'd read we have over 10,000 years worth of thorium already mined. Much of it was mined decades ago and put into storage because we didn't know what to do with it at the time. Thousands of years worth of clean and safe nuclear power is at our fingertips. That should give us more than enough time to perfect fusion technology. As I see it, that is our real energy future.

Renewables, should be a growing part of the grid (as they are) and I do support them as part of our energy matrix. However, I think it would be foolish to try to rely on that technology solely.
"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 GIDGE » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:02 pm

Among the renewable energy sources, hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas, biomass, solar thermal with storage and ocean thermal energy conversion can provide baseload power.
So many people argue that demands won't be meant and I completely disagree.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:17 pm

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby poto » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:26 pm

GIDGE wrote:Among the renewable energy sources, hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas, biomass, solar thermal with storage and ocean thermal energy conversion can provide baseload power.
So many people argue that demands won't be meant and I completely disagree.


I have no doubt that those technologies can provide reliable baseload power in some instances. The problem is with scale and implementation. Hydro and geothermal are limited to certain areas. In the developed world almost all the suitable sites for large hydroelectric dams have been built. We are pretty much maxed out on hydroelectric already.

I'm a fan of solar thermal, and in fact I have a solar thermal panel on my roof to help provide a bit of extra heat in the winter. The problem is, solar thermal is not suitable for all areas. I live in Ohio and we do not get nearly as much sun in the winter months as you do in Texas. Solar thermal with storage may be a better bet for regions that get more sun year round.

Ocean thermal and wave power technologies are promising, but that technology is still in it's infancy. Also, I live pretty far away from the ocean, so getting power to my state with that technology would require new and very expensive long distance transmission lines with all the inefficiency that entails.
"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::: » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:02 am

poto wrote:
christopher::: wrote:Where did you hear this, about leaked oil?


It was in a previous update from the NEI website that I posted.

At Unit 4 on March 14 at approximately 8:38 p.m. EDT, a fire was reported in the reactor building. It is believed to have been from a lube oil leak in a system that drives recirculation water pumps. Fire fighting efforts extinguished the fire. The roof of the reactor building was damaged.



While its possible that your information is correct why should we believe it to be "truer" then other reports that say the fuel rods may be exposed and the pools empty of water? With the explosions and fires no one knows for sure now. We don't know if there's been further damage to cooling systems. They're trying to connect power lines to those cooling systems now, and yet what condition are the electric motors, pumps, valves and pipes in?

What we do know is radiation levels have been rising to incredibly dangerous levels, coming from somewhere....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110317/wl_ ... apan_quake

Even if TEPCO manages to connect the power, it is not clear the pumps will work as they may have been damaged by the natural disaster or subsequent explosions. Work has been slowed by the need to frequently monitor radiation levels to protect workers.

COOLING POOL MAY HAVE RUN DRY

The top U.S. nuclear regulator said the cooling pool for spent fuel rods at the complex's reactor No.4 may have run dry and another was leaking. Gregory Jaczko, head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told a congressional hearing that radiation levels around the cooling pool were extremely high, posing deadly risks for workers still toiling in the wreckage of the power plant.

Japan's nuclear agency said it could not confirm if water was covering the fuel rods. The plant operator said it believed the reactor spent-fuel pool still had water as of Wednesday, and made clear its priority was the spent-fuel pool at the No.3 reactor.

On Thursday, military helicopters dumped about 30 tons of water, all aimed at this reactor. One emergency crew temporarily put off spraying the same reactor with a water cannon due to high radiation, broadcaster NHK said, but another crew later began hosing it.

Latest images from the plant showed severe damage, with two of the buildings a twisted mangle of steel and concrete.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:34 am

I think that the biggest problem with nuclear power is that the bureaucrats who make the decisions do not understand it very well......these same bureaucrats are running society in general and it often looks like they don't understand society very well either......maybe we should retire the bureaucrats and let the nuclear engineers run society?.....don't you think that would be better....
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby phil » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:00 am



Thanks for this tiltbillings, my wife works with Greenpeace in Japan but had never seen this video, even as we speak it is probably being tweeted around Japan.
I hope that every time I post it will be accompanied by a wish for the wellbeing of everyone in this sangha and all beings.
(so I don't have to write "metta" every time!)


Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby phil » Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:18 am

Today the head of the Keidanren, which is the most influential business special interest group in Japan spoke out in praise of Japanese technology, how Tokyo Electric should (and I grasp for a suitable translation) walk around proudly with its chest pufed out today because...and I kid you not...its reactors stood up to the strongest earthquake on record. Shows how blind the profit motive can make people.

I haven't followed this thread, but forgive me for being cynical. There is a Japanese proverb that says someting like "once it's past the throat, the heat is forgotten." In a few months, it'll be back to business around the world. The global economy will collapse without nuclear energy, and nobody will let that happen. We wouldn't be here clicking away merrily at Dhammawheel without nuclear energy, I suppose someone's brought that up by now. Not praising it, just accepting it as a necessary evil for now. That will change, gradually, but the industrialized nations are not going to accept a global economic meltdown in order to avoid the risk of further nuclear meltdowns. Ain't going to happen.

To show that I am not a complete nuke apologist, here is some info about a campaign that is going on in Japan now to shut dwn plants that are still operating in Japan. Both are within the broad range of the earthquake fault that caused this, there was a strong aftershock in Shizuoka where one of them is the other day, very strong, but they are still in operation. I guess the justification is that the electricity grid obviously would collapse completely with the current shortages. Again an example where the reality of living in modern society makes nuclear energy an inevitable evil for now. (Here I go again.) If info on these campaigns has already been posted, sorry.

http://hamaokan.hamazo.tv/c578993.html
http://yumikikuchi.blogspot.com/2011/03 ... clear.html
I hope that every time I post it will be accompanied by a wish for the wellbeing of everyone in this sangha and all beings.
(so I don't have to write "metta" every time!)


Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby christopher::: » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:11 am

How you doing there, phil?
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby octathlon » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:05 pm

The IAEA site has a page with the latest conditions related to the power plant with details about each of the reactors conditions and what they are working on:
http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsu ... ate01.html

Excerpt: As of March 19th:
Radiation Measurements

Radiation levels near Fukushima Daiichi and beyond have elevated since the reactor damage began. However, dose rates in Tokyo and other areas outside the 30-kilometre zone remain far from levels which would require any protective action. In other words they are not dangerous to human health.

At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, radiation levels spiked three times since the earthquake, but have stabilized since 16 March at levels which are, although significantly higher than the normal levels, within the range that allows workers to continue onsite recovery measures.


Another excerpt:
Contamination in Food Products around Fukushima

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has confirmed the presence of radioactive iodine contamination in food products measured in the Fukushima Prefecture, the area around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. According to the latest data, the food products were measured from 16-18 March and indicated the presence of radioactive iodine. To date, no other radioactive isotopes have been shown to increase in the analysis of food products around Fukushima.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby christopher::: » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:07 pm

thanks octathlon.

A friend just showed me this chart. If accurate it's very interesting. Shows how dangerous a total meltdown like Chernobyl was but also gives a much better sense of how radiation levels from Fukushima, 3 Mile Island and various sources compare.

As i understand it the workers at Fukushima recently had their radiation dose limit raised from 100 to 250mSv....

http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/03/19/radiation-chart/


radiation.png
radiation.png (88.27 KiB) Viewed 1082 times
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
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