mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Christopher::: that's a helpful chart. It's always useful to have an idea of the real data. It clearly explains why this is potentially more serious for the public than Three Mile Island and what the natural radiation exposures are (though of course, these vary a depending on what sort of soil/rock you live on, how your house is constructed, and so on, e.g. whether you have exposed bricks inside your house...).
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.
chownah wrote:There have been many comments in this thread that claimed that renewables can not provide the bulk of the electric power for a country....below is a link to a Yahoo article that claims that in the month of March, 2011 in Spain MORE THAN 60% OF THE ELECTRIC POWER CAME FROM RENEWABLES NAMELY WIND, HYDRO, AND SOLAR......
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110331/sc ... 93ZXJpbnM-
PLease note that every year the cost of renewables goes down and the efficiency of renewables goes up.....while every year it seems the cost of nuclear goes up and I don't know about the efficiency of nuclear....
The plant operators also deliberately dumped 10,000 tons of tainted water — measuring about 500 times above the legal limit for radiactivity — into the ocean Monday to make space at a storage site for water that is even more highly radiactive.
"We must keep putting water into the reactors to cool to prevent further fuel damage, even though we know that there is a side effect, which is the leakage," Nishiyama said. "We want to get rid of the stagnant water and decontaminate the place so that we can return to our primary task to restore the sustainable cooling capacity as quickly as possible." To that end, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said it jettisoned the 10,000 tons of water Monday, clearing space in a waste-storage facility. The government decided to allow the step as "an unavoidable emergency measure," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
An additional 1,500 tons will be dumped from a trench under the plant's units 5 and 6. That water is threatening to interfere with the workings at those units, whose reactors are under control.
Radioactivity is quickly diluted in the ocean, and Edano said the dump should not affect the safety of seafood in the area.
Thousands of radioactive waste barrels rusting
Greenpeace research unveils nuclear legacy
Paris, 19 June 2000 Greenpeace today released new images of the legacy of radioactive waste dumping at sea from ships. The shocking footage was taken in the Hurd Deep, in UK territorial waters just off the Channel Islands and some 15km north-west of Cap de La Hague (France).
It shows corroding, broken and disintegrated barrels of radioactive waste, remnants of some 28,500 barrels tipped into the sea by the UK between 1950 and 1963. Hurd Deep is one of many such dumpsites used until a global ban was agreed in 1993.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency's 1999 Global Inventory of Radioactive Wastes in the Marine Environment, the total radioactive inventory of the Hurd Deep is a staggering 57,942 GigaBequerels.
"Although dumping radioactive wastes at sea from ships is now banned, paradoxically the discharge of radioactive wastes into the sea via pipelines from land is not," said Mike Townsley of Greenpeace. "Such 'double standards' are not maintained for technical or scientific reasons, but only because the operators of the nuclear reprocessing facilities in La Hague (France) and Sellafield (UK) want to save money."
"It is cheaper for them to continue to use the sea as a radioactive garbage bin than to store this radioactive waste on land; for the nuclear industry, money comes first and the environment second", said Mike Townsley (2).
Each year, Europe's giant nuclear reprocessing facilities at Sellafield in the UK and La Hague in France, discharge hundreds of millions of litters of radioactive waste into the sea. The amount of radioactivity discharged from La Hague and Sellafield in only 9 months exceeds that dumped in the Hurd Deep.
"Hurd Deep and the other former ocean dump sites stand testament to the irreversibility of dumping radioactive wastes in the ocean -- regardless of whether from a ship or a land-based pipe", said Mike Townsley.
Carried by the ocean currents, radioactivity from La Hague and Sellafield has already been detected in sea life around the coasts of Scandinavia, Iceland and the Arctic, and will continue to build up in the food chain, threatening the health of millions of people, unless the discharges stop immediately.
Anyway, a quick search revealed that this kinda radioactive waste dumping has been going on in various ways, for a long long time...Thousands of radioactive waste barrels rusting
Greenpeace research unveils nuclear legacy
Paris, 19 June 2000 Greenpeace today released new images
octathlon wrote:The situation continues to go from bad to worse and at this point they're playing it by ear. Yeah, it's pretty bad when you deal with a nuclear accident by making it up as you go along. Have you read about their efforts to plug up the cracks by pouring different kinds of stuff in it, even trying the absorbent stuff used in baby diapers? didn't work of course. It reminds me of the BP spill last year.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Worrying stuff, Christopher. Have you got anything more recent on the Sellafield and La Hague discharges?
There’s a joke in the solar industry about when “grid parity” – the time when solar becomes as cheap as fossil sources – will happen.
…The truth is, it will happen in phases – one market and one technology at a time. But according to two top solar executives – Tom Dinwoodie, CTO of SunPower and Dan Shugar, formerly of SunPower and current CEO of Solaria – “ferocious cost reductions,” are accelerating that crossover in a variety of markets today.
…Manufacturing costs have come down steadily, from $60 a watt in the mid-1970’s to $1.50 today. People often point to a “Moore’s Law” in solar – meaning that for every cumulative doubling of manufacturing capacity, costs fall 20%. In solar PV manufacturing, costs have fallen about 18% for every doubling of production. “It holds up very closely,” says Solaria’s Shugar.
…As SunPower’s Dinwoodie puts it: The 17 GW installed in 2010 is the equivalent of 17 nuclear power plants – manufactured, shipped and installed in one year. It can take decades just to install a nuclear plant. Think about that. I heard Bill Gates recently call solar “cute.” Well, that’s 17 GW of “cute” adding up at an astonishing pace.
…Here’s another important statistic: When SunPower built the 14-MW Nellis Air Force Base system in 2007, it cost $7 per watt. Today, commercial and utility systems are getting installed at around $3 per watt. In 2010 alone, the average installed cost of installing solar PV dropped 20%.
…So what does all this mean? It means that the notion that “solar is too expensive” doesn’t hold up anymore. When financing providers can offer a home or business owner solar electricity for less than the cost of their current services; when utilities start investing in solar themselves to reduce operating costs; and when the technology starts moving into the range of new nuclear and new coal, it’s impossible to ignore.
According to SunPower’s Tom Dinwoodie: “The cross-over has occurred.”
What happens now?
In the short term, workers will continue to cool the reactors and clean up as much contamination as possible. But in the longer term they will have to actually remove the uranium from the reactor cores and transport it away from the coast, where it poses a major environmental and health risk.
This will create an unprecedented challenge. The radioactive fuel inside the reactors is believed to have melted down completely, and some or all of it has probably leaked from the stainless-steel pressure vessel in which it was housed into the concrete enclosure below the reactor. The radiation will remain powerful enough to kill for decades to come, so workers will have to find a way to clean up and remove the fuel remotely.
Given the current levels of radiation near the reactors, it may be years before workers are even able to take a first look at what has happened inside.
octathlon wrote:There is also a huge mass of debris that was swept out to sea by the tsunami, slowly floating across the ocean:
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/c ... ns-tsunami
The tsunami's mess is expected to make a major local contribution to the worldwide problem of human refuse spreading across the world’s oceans. The items range from mile-long ghost nets that strangle marine life to tiny bits of plastic indistinguishable from plankton.
"Even before the tsunami, (oceans were) a dump for rubbish flowing in from rivers, washed off beaches, and jettisoned from oil and gas platforms and from fishing, tourist, and merchant vessels," the researchers said in this story posted last spring soon after the quake. "The massive, concentrated debris launched by the devastating tsunami is now magnifying the hazards."
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-28/fukushima-nuclear-decommission/3605094 wrote:30 years needed to decommission Fukushima: experts
A draft report by Japan's nuclear agency says it will take more than 30 years to decommission the shattered Fukushima nuclear plant.
Authorities hope to have the stricken reactors in a state of cold shutdown by the end of the year.