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The Chernobyl Disaster: 25 Years Ago by Larryh86GT
Started on: 03-24-2011 10:04 AM
Replies: 45
Last post by: Larryh86GT on 03-28-2011 02:33 PM
Larryh86GT
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Report this Post03-24-2011 10:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Larryh86GTSend a Private Message to Larryh86GTDirect Link to This Post
The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is next month. On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions destroyed Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 station and several hundred staff and firefighters tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world in the worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed at the time. Assessing the larger impact on human health remains a difficult task, with estimates of related deaths from cancer ranging from 4,000 to over 200,000. The government of Ukraine indicated early this year that it will lift restrictions on tourism around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, formally opening the scene to visitors. It's expected, meanwhile, that a 20,000-ton steel case called the New Safe Confinement (NSC), designed as a permanent containment structure for the whole plant, will be completed in 2013. [39 photos]

http://www.theatlantic.com/...25-years-ago/100033/
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Report this Post03-24-2011 10:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
is it true that wildlife is thriving in the region?
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Gridlock
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Report this Post03-24-2011 11:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GridlockClick Here to Email GridlockSend a Private Message to GridlockDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Pyrthian:

is it true that wildlife is thriving in the region?


Yes, but more due to the lack of human interest in the area. I'm not sure if I have read anything regarding the animals level of exposure to radiation. I'm sure they thrive...on a shorter life span.
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Report this Post03-24-2011 11:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Pyrthian:

is it true that wildlife is thriving in the region?


To some extent as Gridlock said. The animals with shorter generational periods are doing best as they evolve to the new environment. All edible animals and plants have relatively high levels of various radioactive isotopes so are unsafe for human consumption, so no hunting, farming, fishing, or foraging can ever be allowed in the affected area and fallout zone.

I remember when this happened. There was a lot of fear, much unjustified but some was. The pattern that Russia set of minimizing negative news and outright lying to the rest of the world created a lack of trust that could only feed that fear.
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Report this Post03-24-2011 11:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
They previously opened the area to guided tours once before. As long as you stayed on the road, you were safe. Radiation levels increased rapidly walking across the soil; however.

Most people didn't like the tour. Being in a city that is completely devoid of human life is eerie in a way most people have never experienced and can't deal with.
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Report this Post03-24-2011 11:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dennis_6Send a Private Message to dennis_6Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

They previously opened the area to guided tours once before. As long as you stayed on the road, you were safe. Radiation levels increased rapidly walking across the soil; however.

Most people didn't like the tour. Being in a city that is completely devoid of human life is eerie in a way most people have never experienced and can't deal with.


Peace at last. lol

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Report this Post03-24-2011 12:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

They previously opened the area to guided tours once before. As long as you stayed on the road, you were safe. Radiation levels increased rapidly walking across the soil; however.

Most people didn't like the tour. Being in a city that is completely devoid of human life is eerie in a way most people have never experienced and can't deal with.


Amazing, that one mere power plant was capable of doing all of that, killing an entire region's meaningful human presence for the rest of time.
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Report this Post03-24-2011 04:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gokart MozartClick Here to visit Gokart Mozart's HomePageSend a Private Message to Gokart MozartDirect Link to This Post
http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

Kiddofspeed - GHOST TOWN - Chernobyl Pictures - Elena's Motorcyle Ride through Chernobyl
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Report this Post03-24-2011 06:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


Amazing, that one mere power plant was capable of doing all of that, killing an entire region's meaningful human presence for the rest of time.


Yep, and imagine the shortsighted people, with Fukushima staring them in the face, who still claim that fission is the way to go. I never hear any of them calling for conservation instead.
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Report this Post03-24-2011 06:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for proffClick Here to visit proff's HomePageClick Here to Email proffSend a Private Message to proffDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gridlock:


Yes, but more due to the lack of human interest in the area. I'm not sure if I have read anything regarding the animals level of exposure to radiation. I'm sure they thrive...on a shorter life span.


No humans = chance for wildlife
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Report this Post03-24-2011 08:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


Amazing, that one mere power plant was capable of doing all of that, killing an entire region's meaningful human presence for the rest of time.


Yeah. The magnitude of the disaster was enormous. When the reactor building exploded, people from town heard it and like most people went outside to look and see what happened. Many reported seeing a bright blue light glowing in the building and blue light shooting into the sky. They didn't realize they were staring directly at the nuclear reaction in the fuel core.

 
quote
Originally posted by carnut122:


Yep, and imagine the shortsighted people, with Fukushima staring them in the face, who still claim that fission is the way to go. I never hear any of them calling for conservation instead.


Not really a valid comparison. Chernobyl didn't use a containment structure like the U.S. or Japan's, or any other modern reactor. If Fukushima was a Chernobyl design, all of Japan would have been irradiated by now and the fallout would cover the globe. That type of accident is virtually impossible. It's like the Apollo 1 fire with 100% oxygen in the space craft. Later craft didn't do that, so that same type of accident was virtually impossible.

[This message has been edited by Formula88 (edited 03-24-2011).]

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Report this Post03-24-2011 08:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ZebSend a Private Message to ZebDirect Link to This Post
Instead, now we can have different kinds of accidents!
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Report this Post03-24-2011 08:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
We don't know exactly what has happened in Japan yet either so those denouncing Nuclear power already are no less shortsighted than those supporting it.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 07:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JonesySend a Private Message to JonesyDirect Link to This Post
If you want to know what its like, play the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R - Shadow of Chernobyl.. Thats what happens after a nuke meltdown! Mutants! Monsters! Bandits! & Fallout everywhere! lol.. Well not really, although the fallout part is true, and who knows, there may be mutants because of that..

Try the game though! Its a great game, and you get the explore a accurate recreation of the power plant, and the surrounding city and towns.. Only... With mutants! lol.

Stalker
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Report this Post03-25-2011 08:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dsnoverSend a Private Message to dsnoverDirect Link to This Post
Well, it's the WHO who estimates the number of long term deaths will be 4k, and Greenpeace says '200k'. I tend not to believer either of them, as neither has a great track record of accuracy, and both tend to exaggerate for maximum publicity (and funding).

That being said, even according to the WHO, as of 2005 only about 57 deaths could be DIRECTLY attributed to the accident (well, if you want to call it an accident. I really call it a colossal screw up, which could have been prevented). I'm certain that health problems associated with radioactivity (thyroid cancer as an example) are much higher in number.

Even more interesting, and something I didn't know until recently, was that Chernobyl was still a producing power plant until December 15, 2000, when reactor 3 was shut down.

Wikipedia is a decent read on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

There's more hype than fact surrounding these things. Yes, it was a big deal (Is a big deal in Japan), but it IS NOT the end of the world, and there have been many other 'disasters' which have killed far more people.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 08:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderDirect Link to This Post
Don't forget, in Japan, it was the spent rod containment area that is the problem and NOT a reactor. If they had the spent rods somewhere else (like we do in the US), then they wouldn't have had this problem. As for Chernobyl, they use graphite which isn't used other places... basically, Chernobyl was going to happen sooner or later, because of the design.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Scottzilla79:

We don't know exactly what has happened in Japan yet either so those denouncing Nuclear power already are no less shortsighted than those supporting it.


We do know what we do know in Japan right now. Radioactive iodine found in tap water multiple cities, produce and milk testing positive for radiation levels high enough to make it unfit for consumption, cleanup costs guaranteed to be in the billions of dollars and will take guaranteed many years.

No other power generating scheme has the *ability* to cost so much in dollars and resources in case of an unanticipated worst case failure scenario. Not geothermal, not hydro, not PV or thermal solar, not thorium-nuclear, not wind, not wave/tidal, not Peltier, not anything. That's the whole issue. It isn't the anticipated and engineered-against failure scenarios, it's the unanticipated failure scenarios. We are not Gods. We cannot anticipate every possible thing that can happen. What we can do is not built power plants that have the potential to do so much damage and cost so much in resources to deal with after an unanticipated failure scenario happens. And they will happen, Not if. When. It's only a matter of time, and given the number of major catastrophes that have happened in the last 50 years it seems like not all that much time until the next one.

It's playing Russian Roulette with a revolver instead of a squirt gun. Sooner or later the worst will happen. If anything, it's short-sighted to believe that somehow we can engineer our way out of a future laden with concrete-capped melted reactors surrounded with millions of acres of contaminated land that can never be farmed on, forested, or lived on by humans again; that we can somehow find a secure waste storage system that has to last 250 thousand years longer than the pyramids to store millions of pounds of liquid, solid, and powdered death.

Short-sighted is thinking about the next dividend check. Far-sighted is thinking about what America and the world will look like in one century, five centuries, ten centuries.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 10:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


We do know what we do know in Japan right now. Radioactive iodine found in tap water multiple cities, produce and milk testing positive for radiation levels high enough to make it unfit for consumption, cleanup costs guaranteed to be in the billions of dollars and will take guaranteed many years.

No other power generating scheme has the *ability* to cost so much in dollars and resources in case of an unanticipated worst case failure scenario. Not geothermal, not hydro, not PV or thermal solar, not thorium-nuclear, not wind, not wave/tidal, not Peltier, not anything. That's the whole issue. It isn't the anticipated and engineered-against failure scenarios, it's the unanticipated failure scenarios. We are not Gods. We cannot anticipate every possible thing that can happen. What we can do is not built power plants that have the potential to do so much damage and cost so much in resources to deal with after an unanticipated failure scenario happens. And they will happen, Not if. When. It's only a matter of time, and given the number of major catastrophes that have happened in the last 50 years it seems like not all that much time until the next one.

It's playing Russian Roulette with a revolver instead of a squirt gun. Sooner or later the worst will happen. If anything, it's short-sighted to believe that somehow we can engineer our way out of a future laden with concrete-capped melted reactors surrounded with millions of acres of contaminated land that can never be farmed on, forested, or lived on by humans again; that we can somehow find a secure waste storage system that has to last 250 thousand years longer than the pyramids to store millions of pounds of liquid, solid, and powdered death.

Short-sighted is thinking about the next dividend check. Far-sighted is thinking about what America and the world will look like in one century, five centuries, ten centuries.



What is your solution to our power needs? And how much will power go up, in cost, under your plan?
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Report this Post03-25-2011 11:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:
What is your solution to our power needs? And how much will power go up, in cost, under your plan?


It's not "my plan". A plan implies a course of action that can be taken by the planner. I have no influence whatsoever on energy infrastructure planning in this country, but I can sure make observations, see and understand facts, and devote mental resources to arrive at opinions as to what I think would work well for the future.

I've stated multiple times what I think would work, even in this very thread. We already know what will work. The reason uranium fission is even considered for any term is because that industry, dominated by multibillion dollar companies, has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying our government (and other governments around the world) for tax breaks, liability exemptions (oh, yeah, did you know that the nuclear industry is exempt from liability in this country?), subsidies in the billions of dollars in terms of actual cash as well as free handling and storage of waste, even the fuel itself. That's why nuclear is touted as the lowest cost way to produce electricity, because the nuclear industry pays almost nothing relatively speaking. We the taxpayer pick up the rest, billions and billions of dollars every year. Probably one of the worst examples of undeserved welfare in this nation.

Anyway, back to part of your original question: Wind power. Proven. Works. Here, now. Today. Geothermal. Proven. Works, Here, now. Today. Solar. Works. here, now. Today. Natural gas fuel cell. Here, now. Today. (As a bridge until other sources can be brought online, large domestic supply). Nuclear thorium. Here, now. Today. We invented it, started to develop it, but the billion dollar companies invested in building nuclear uranium processing for weapons plutonium manufacturing had a large lobby in Washington and no investment in thorium, so guess which way R&D tax dollars went? India, China, other countries taking the lead from us, we should take it back. Geothermal Peltier. Test units in Texas working well, using existing dry wells, too many of those to keep track of. Basically free electricity.

There is no silver-bullet solution, one stop electron volt shopping, never was. Multiple solutions spread out across the technological spectrum. It's a huge problem, energy independence, it will either make us or break us as a nation, and no single technology will solve it alone.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 11:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


We do know what we do know in Japan right now. Radioactive iodine found in tap water multiple cities, produce and milk testing positive for radiation levels high enough to make it unfit for consumption, cleanup costs guaranteed to be in the billions of dollars and will take guaranteed many years.

No other power generating scheme has the *ability* to cost so much in dollars and resources in case of an unanticipated worst case failure scenario. Not geothermal, not hydro, not PV or thermal solar, not thorium-nuclear, not wind, not wave/tidal, not Peltier, not anything. That's the whole issue. It isn't the anticipated and engineered-against failure scenarios, it's the unanticipated failure scenarios. We are not Gods. We cannot anticipate every possible thing that can happen. What we can do is not built power plants that have the potential to do so much damage and cost so much in resources to deal with after an unanticipated failure scenario happens. And they will happen, Not if. When. It's only a matter of time, and given the number of major catastrophes that have happened in the last 50 years it seems like not all that much time until the next one.

It's playing Russian Roulette with a revolver instead of a squirt gun. Sooner or later the worst will happen. If anything, it's short-sighted to believe that somehow we can engineer our way out of a future laden with concrete-capped melted reactors surrounded with millions of acres of contaminated land that can never be farmed on, forested, or lived on by humans again; that we can somehow find a secure waste storage system that has to last 250 thousand years longer than the pyramids to store millions of pounds of liquid, solid, and powdered death.

Short-sighted is thinking about the next dividend check. Far-sighted is thinking about what America and the world will look like in one century, five centuries, ten centuries.


Ugh, I'm not saying there isn't some impact. I'm saying that we don't know the extent. Obviously we know there is some radiation. We do not know the extent of the damage It's only been a week or so. The phrase "rush to judgment" comes to mind.
Say the Fukashima results in the same deaths WHO attributes to Chernobyl. 57 deaths amongst a count that is already over 10,000 from the earthquake and tsunami.
I'm sure many deaths were caused by roofs caving in; should we only sleep in tents? Many of those deaths I'm sure were drownings; should we wear life vests everyday?
You can't eliminate all risk from life.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 11:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


Basically free electricity.



No such thing Power companies have to pay to use the resources. For example, hydroelectric companies here in MI have to pay the state for the water than runs through their turbine. (I should say that the consumer pays, as we all know that companies don't pay for items like this).

I want cheap electricity and I am all for other sources of power, if they are cost effective. Nuclear can be cost effective, if done right, with the correct safeguards.

As for safety, nothing is 100% safe. More people are killed by the automobile, than from nuclear plant meltdowns, even if you include radiation fallout.

Geothermal is good, but I doubt anyone will let us tap into Yellowstone.... which is why we have nuclear, because people don't want windmills, solar panels, dams, etc in their backyard. They want cheap, unseen, electricity. Nuclear is pretty close to that. What we are seeing with Japan and Chernobyl is human error.... and in Japan's case, it was the storage of the spent rods on site.

Just as Japan learned to built quake proof buildings, they will build safer nuclear power plants.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 01:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Scottzilla79:

You can't eliminate all risk from life.


No, but you can eliminate the grossly high risks, the inherently unsafe. For instance, I ride a motorcycle. Risky? Sure, but manageable. I don't run on foot on the freeway at night because it's grossly high risk. I shoot guns, low risk because I practice high safety standards. I don't play Russian Roulette, because it's grossly risky. You get the picture. But the real issue is that the potential risks of uranium fission nuclear power are so far beyond anything else that there's nothing that can truthfully be used in comparison. Nothing. It's in a complete category all by itself: "Technology that by breaking down or sabotaged can damage the world for longer than humans have existed., and can cost more to clean up and remediate than is possible to pay by any entity in the industry." Only a catastrophe such as a large asteroid impact has the capacity to mess up the planet for the rest of us as badly as uranium fission can.

Until the day comes when Man can truthfully say that he can build the perfect machine that not only can never break down but can also withstand the full depth and breadth of human stupidity and malice, the risks of uranium fission power generation do not justify the rewards IMHO.

[This message has been edited by JazzMan (edited 03-25-2011).]

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Report this Post03-25-2011 01:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post

JazzMan

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quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:
Nuclear can be cost effective, if done right, with the correct safeguards.


Then let them pay their own disposal costs, pay their own insurance for full liability with no limits, let them buy and process their own fuel. Let them pay for all of their costs to clean up TMI, Japan, etc. Lord knows, we the taxpayers can sure use those tens of billions of dollars elsewhere.

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Report this Post03-25-2011 01:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:
No, but you can eliminate the grossly high risks, the inherently unsafe. For instance, I ride a motorcycle. Risky? Sure, but manageable.


Well this is opinion isn't it? I would say a motorcycle is an unnecessary risk. Good analogy you made for my argument actually. Because an accident on a motorcycle usually has much worse consequences than a similar accident in a car, yet you choose to take that risk.

 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:
Only a catastrophe such as a large asteroid impact has the capacity to mess up the planet for the rest of us as badly as uranium fission can.


Only asteroids? I guess you don't believe in global warming caused by coal plants. Or I suppose you don't have any problems with dams failing and wiping out entire towns in china not to mention the environmental impact on wildlife of rivers which are dammed.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 02:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Scottzilla79:

Well this is opinion isn't it? I would say a motorcycle is an unnecessary risk. Good analogy you made for my argument actually. Because an accident on a motorcycle usually has much worse consequences than a similar accident in a car, yet you choose to take that risk..


It's all opinion. I'm of the opinion that the potential risks from nuclear energy are unacceptable, you're of the opinion that they are. A better analogy would be a car wreck that only caused local short-term damage vs a car wreck that caused wide-spread damage that continued incurring costs for centuries.

 
quote
Originally posted by Scottzilla79:
Only asteroids? I guess you don't believe in global warming caused by coal plants. Or I suppose you don't have any problems with dams failing and wiping out entire towns in china not to mention the environmental impact on wildlife of rivers which are dammed.


Even the worst case damn failure still produces limited damage that is far less expensive to remediate than any significant reactor accident. Heck, the worst case cleanup costs of *any* kind of power plant failure over any short, mid, and long-term pales in comparison to nuclear. How much non-nuclear sustainable generating capacity could have been built for $235,000,000,000.00 that has been spent cleaning up Chernobyl? An amount that climbs daily, BTW, since it's not done and likely will never be done. The best they can hope for not a cleanup, but rather a somewhat stable stopping point. A true cleanup would restore the city of Pripyat to it's former population of 50,000 men, women, and children, as well as all the forests, lands, farms, etc of the 200 square mile Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone. It would also clean up the hundreds of other square miles contaminated by fallout from Chernobyl.



I cannot honestly figure out a way in my mind to consider this to be an acceptable cost of doing business.

Oh, and apparently there is no such thing as global warming... http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum6/HTML/057033.html

Also, I'll note that I've never mentioned coal as a long-term or even mid-term option. If carbon-sequestering technology or offsets can be developed I wouldn't have a problem. Offsets can include plankton seeding, easy to do and low-tech.

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Report this Post03-25-2011 02:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:
I cannot honestly figure out a way in my mind to consider this to be an acceptable cost of doing business.



How about the impossibility of a Chernobyl type accident happening in a modern reactor?
Your example is like saying all building insulation is too risky to use because of the potential for asbestos poisoning, neglecting that you can buy asbestos-free insulation.

How do you define risk? Certainly Chernobyl will have long term impact, but if you measure the cost in lives, how many lives are lost to provide by oil, natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal, or anything else? Is the risk only unacceptable if there is capability of a huge massively destructive event, even though it has a miniscule chance of happening? Or the very real possibility of regular and recurring deaths that happen to fewer people at a time, but are much more likely to happen?

You say you "manage" the risk of riding a motorcycle. How? What are your chances of surviving a wreck at highway speeds? How do you mitigate that? Or, do you simply accept that you might spread yourself across 5 miles of asphalt, but it probably won't happen, so you're ok with that?

There's a difference between accepting and taking a risk and trying to mitigate the risk.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 03:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
and, the diffeernce between risk to oneself and risk to others


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Report this Post03-25-2011 03:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:


How about the impossibility of a Chernobyl type accident happening in a modern reactor?
Your example is like saying all building insulation is too risky to use because of the potential for asbestos poisoning, neglecting that you can buy asbestos-free insulation.

How do you define risk? Certainly Chernobyl will have long term impact, but if you measure the cost in lives, how many lives are lost to provide by oil, natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal, or anything else? Is the risk only unacceptable if there is capability of a huge massively destructive event, even though it has a miniscule chance of happening? Or the very real possibility of regular and recurring deaths that happen to fewer people at a time, but are much more likely to happen?

You say you "manage" the risk of riding a motorcycle. How? What are your chances of surviving a wreck at highway speeds? How do you mitigate that? Or, do you simply accept that you might spread yourself across 5 miles of asphalt, but it probably won't happen, so you're ok with that?

There's a difference between accepting and taking a risk and trying to mitigate the risk.


It's becoming clear to me that my car wreck metaphor wasn't good enough to get my point across. I don't think there can be a real comparison, a meaningful analogy, because the results of a failure in the nuclear industry are so far outside the scale of human existence as to make all other comparisons almost petty by comparison. I guess it boils down to how much of some other person's land are you ok with being rendered uninhabitable, unfarmable, unusable by humans forever.

As to motorcycle risk management, that's a function of safety gear, training, experience, behavior, and diligence. There is a non-zero chance that I'll be critically injured or killed despite my best efforts, but in any case a wreck on my part won't have widespread and long-lasting negative effects upon anyone but myself. It also won't damage the local or worldwide economy no matter how bad it gets because it just can't.

The same can't be said for uranium fission power.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 05:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Scottzilla79Send a Private Message to Scottzilla79Direct Link to This Post
It's funny that rather than discussing the Chernobyl disaster someone has taken this thread into the territory of whether or not nuclear power is safe or is only forced on us by greedy corporations. Is this thread marked politics?

Anyway back on topic, I saw a very good show on HD theatre I think about the wildlife in the exclusion zone. Followed a few of the animals around just like in some nature preserve.

I think if I could afford that kind of travel I would be into going on a tour of the place long as it was reasonably safe.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 06:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


It's becoming clear to me that my car wreck metaphor wasn't good enough to get my point across. I don't think there can be a real comparison, a meaningful analogy, because the results of a failure in the nuclear industry are so far outside the scale of human existence as to make all other comparisons almost petty by comparison. I guess it boils down to how much of some other person's land are you ok with being rendered uninhabitable, unfarmable, unusable by humans forever.

As to motorcycle risk management, that's a function of safety gear, training, experience, behavior, and diligence. There is a non-zero chance that I'll be critically injured or killed despite my best efforts, but in any case a wreck on my part won't have widespread and long-lasting negative effects upon anyone but myself. It also won't damage the local or worldwide economy no matter how bad it gets because it just can't.

The same can't be said for uranium fission power.


Your point comes across fine. I think it's how you assess the risk where the disconnect is.
You're making a heavy risk assessment on something based almost solely on the catastrophic event without taking into consideration the possibility of that catastrophic event.
Then your motorcycle example, while it may not be as far reaching to humanity, it has the potential to be just as catastrophic on a personal level, yet even though the chances are much greater, you feel this is acceptable risk.

I'm not saying your opinions are wrong. I'm just discussing how the risk assessment is different. A Chernobyl style disaster basically cannot happen with current design reactors. Chernobyl was a bad, unsafe design back when it was built. It would never have been allowed in the U.S. due to it's lack of safety precautions.

If we add the global warming scenario into the mix, it gets even more interesting. If we accept that the current dire predictions of global warming are accurate, then fission power is even less of an overall risk because global warming will devastate the climate of the entire globe - guaranteed. It's only a matter of how soon. Nuclear power when working properly is environmentally clean and can help to prevent that. Even in a worst case scenario like Chernobyl, you're devastating only a portion of the globe instead of the entire planet.

Everything is a trade off. Living near the San Andreas fault is a high risk environment. We've seen earthquakes devastate the West coast on multiple occasions. It will happen again, the only question is when. But people feel safe living there.

I do agree nuclear power can and should be made safer. The Japan incident has shown that even redundant systems can fail, all things being equal you'd want to build a reactor and fuel storage that could survive a total loss of all facility utilities for an extended period of time without a catastrophic event.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 09:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


It's not "my plan". A plan implies a course of action that can be taken by the planner. I have no influence whatsoever on energy infrastructure planning in this country, but I can sure make observations, see and understand facts, and devote mental resources to arrive at opinions as to what I think would work well for the future.

I've stated multiple times what I think would work, even in this very thread. We already know what will work. The reason uranium fission is even considered for any term is because that industry, dominated by multibillion dollar companies, has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying our government (and other governments around the world) for tax breaks, liability exemptions (oh, yeah, did you know that the nuclear industry is exempt from liability in this country?), subsidies in the billions of dollars in terms of actual cash as well as free handling and storage of waste, even the fuel itself. That's why nuclear is touted as the lowest cost way to produce electricity, because the nuclear industry pays almost nothing relatively speaking. We the taxpayer pick up the rest, billions and billions of dollars every year. Probably one of the worst examples of undeserved welfare in this nation.

Anyway, back to part of your original question: Wind power. Proven. Works. Here, now. Today. Geothermal. Proven. Works, Here, now. Today. Solar. Works. here, now. Today. Natural gas fuel cell. Here, now. Today. (As a bridge until other sources can be brought online, large domestic supply). Nuclear thorium. Here, now. Today. We invented it, started to develop it, but the billion dollar companies invested in building nuclear uranium processing for weapons plutonium manufacturing had a large lobby in Washington and no investment in thorium, so guess which way R&D tax dollars went? India, China, other countries taking the lead from us, we should take it back. Geothermal Peltier. Test units in Texas working well, using existing dry wells, too many of those to keep track of. Basically free electricity.

There is no silver-bullet solution, one stop electron volt shopping, never was. Multiple solutions spread out across the technological spectrum. It's a huge problem, energy independence, it will either make us or break us as a nation, and no single technology will solve it alone.


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Report this Post03-25-2011 09:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Direct Link to This Post

carnut122

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quote
Originally posted by Scottzilla79:
You can't eliminate all risk from life.


I agree, but I'm not sure you should build into life the possibility of cataclysmic risks.
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carnut122

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quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:
Geothermal is good, but I doubt anyone will let us tap into Yellowstone.... which is why we have nuclear, because people don't want windmills, solar panels, dams, etc in their backyard. They want cheap, unseen, electricity. Nuclear is pretty close to that. What we are seeing with Japan and Chernobyl is human error.... and in Japan's case, it was the storage of the spent rods on site.



I'd rather have any and all of the above in my back yard instead of a nuclear plant. As a matter of fact, I have a hug coal fired plant about 30 miles away. If they baby blows, it might wipe out some employees(yep that's all). The tsunami is human error? Please explain.
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carnut122

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quote
Originally posted by Formula88:



I do agree nuclear power can and should be made safer. The Japan incident has shown that even redundant systems can fail, all things being equal you'd want to build a reactor and fuel storage that could survive a total loss of all facility utilities for an extended period of time without a catastrophic event.


Along those lines, why aren't nuclear power plants built where water can be gravity fed to the reactor? Gravity is pretty fail-safe.
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Report this Post03-25-2011 09:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by carnut122:


Along those lines, why aren't nuclear power plants built where water can be gravity fed to the reactor? Gravity is pretty fail-safe.


Some US reactors, such as Diablo Canyon in California do have a gravity fed water backup, is built to withstand a 7.5 quake in an area where the geology would currently only support a quake up to 6.5, and had a historical max of 7.3. It's also 85 feet above sea level, so tsunami risk is negated.

http://www.marketwatch.com/...they-safe-2011-03-14

It might be something that becomes mandatory in future designs.
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Report this Post03-26-2011 01:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for FriendGregoryClick Here to Email FriendGregorySend a Private Message to FriendGregoryDirect Link to This Post
We should ban all new Chernobyl design plants here in the USA. In fact, we should only allow the newest fail resistant designs to be built. Chernobyl animals are generally not safe to eat. I watched a video about German hunters that they said they did not eat the meat most of the year due to what they eat.
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Report this Post03-26-2011 01:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:


Some US reactors, such as Diablo Canyon in California do have a gravity fed water backup, is built to withstand a 7.5 quake in an area where the geology would currently only support a quake up to 6.5, and had a historical max of 7.3. It's also 85 feet above sea level, so tsunami risk is negated.

http://www.marketwatch.com/...they-safe-2011-03-14

It might be something that becomes mandatory in future designs.


I hope I'm not around if Diablo Canyon ever gets tested.
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Report this Post03-26-2011 04:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FriendGregory:

We should ban all new Chernobyl design plants here in the USA. In fact, we should only allow the newest fail resistant designs to be built. Chernobyl animals are generally not safe to eat. I watched a video about German hunters that they said they did not eat the meat most of the year due to what they eat.


The Chernobyl design would never have been allowed in the U.S. even when it was built back in 1977.
It was an inferior design by our standards in the 70's.
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Report this Post03-28-2011 10:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:


The Chernobyl design would never have been allowed in the U.S. even when it was built back in 1977.
It was an inferior design by our standards in the 70's.


Several US reactors used graphite moderator designs, and some of these are still in use around the world. The reactor design worked well, it's just that it had some potentially disasterous failure modes. To the extent that uranium fission reactors cannot be designed to be inherently safe no matter the failure mode possibilities, using graphite for a moderator isn't as important as one first would believe. From a pure engineering standpoint graphite has advantages. Of course, engineers don't usually take into account all the ways that human idiocy and malevolence come into play. How can they, they're engineers of things, not humans.
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