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Author: Subject: Japanese nuclear reactor problems
Sedit
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[*] posted on 17-3-2011 at 18:06


My question is why does the body absorb Strontium or Cesium for that matter if its worthless, is there some hidden use for these trace minerals that we haven't fully understood?

Has there been studys on the form of cancer either the Strontium or the Cesium can cause? If so it could be a huge breakthru in study of radioactive waste and cancer causes.

I agree with Entropy on this one, Nuke power is far and wide the safest aside from perhaps solar or wind. All the rest including hydroelectric has killed thousands.





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[*] posted on 17-3-2011 at 19:02


Sedit, I believe cesium is similar enough to potassium, and strontium similar enough to calcium, to be absorbed and retained.

Quote:
If you check, you will find that any power plant, nuclear or not, has to be situated near a large body of water to provide cooling. In Japan, that's the ocean. I will resist the temptation to add "Duh!"


They didn't design a plant that could deal with flooding. And then they built it in a place susceptible to tsunamis and hurricanes, both of which cause flooding. What part of this is responsible? Nuclear power plants should not be constructed in such places when they are unwilling or unable to prepare for contingencies!

If it happens once in 1000 years, it needs to be taken into account. The ravaging of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina serves as a case study of what can happen when you only plan on a 100 year timescale. The Dutch built levees to protect Amsterdam from a 10,000 year flood. Flood damage doesn't last for 10,000 years. Radioactive contamination does.

<a href=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8384059/Japan-earthquake-Japan-warned-over-nuclear-plants-WikiLeaks-cables-show.html>The Fukushima plant was not designed to withstand a 7.9, but only a 7.0. The dangers facing Japanese nuclear power plants were well known.</a>

<a href=http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-15/ge-staff-quit-in-1970s-over-design-in-japan-reactor-abc-says.html>Additionally, problems with the containment vessel design were well known almost 40 years ago.</a>

<a href=http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/03/japan-events-leading-up-to-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster.html>Harold Denton of the NRC was quoted by the New York Times in the 1980s stating that the containment vessel had a 90% chance of failure in the event of a serious accident.</a>

<a href=http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iU29-CtBza8xA01r9IzPwksyP1WQ?docId=9e518d4998224fd8b705cc3fe9903eb6>The whole business is plagued with corruption, cover-ups, and cutting corners on safety.</a>
Quote:
In 1989 Sugaoka received an order that horrified him: edit out footage showing cracks in plant steam pipes in video being submitted to regulators.


As far as deaths go outside of acute radiation poisoning, it's common knowledge they happen - cancer! Are you really claiming a radioactive cloud that floated over much of Europe didn't cause cancer? People in Europe weren't taking iodide to treat radiation sickness, it was to prevent thyroid cancer. :P

<a href=http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1573317578.html>Here's the book that estimated the death toll at nearly a million.</a>

<a href=http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs303/en/index.html>From the WHO itself:</a>
Quote:
Although there is controversy about the magnitude of the cancer risk from exposure to low doses of radiation, the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII Committee, published in 2006, a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, and concluded that the risk seems to continue in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold (this is called the “linear no-threshold” or LNT model). However, there are uncertainties concerning the magnitude of the effect, particularly at doses much lower than about 100 mSv.
The Expert Group concluded that there may be up to 4 000 additional cancer deaths among the three highest exposed groups over their lifetime (240 000 liquidators; 116 000 evacuees and the 270 000 residents of the SCZs). Since more than 120 000 people in these three groups may eventually die of cancer, the additional cancer deaths from radiation exposure correspond to 3-4% above the normal incidence of cancers from all causes.


<a href=http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070530080956.htm>Cancer risk rose in Sweden after Chernobyl:</a>
Quote:
The cancer risk increased with rising fallout intensity: up to a 20-percent increase in the highest of six categories. This means that 3.8 percent of the cancer cases up to 1999 can be ascribed to the fallout.


<a href=http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/chernobyl-still-causing-cancer-in-british-children-475263.html>Cancer rates jumped in Britain after the disaster and remain elevated:</a>
Quote:
More than a third of Britain is still contaminated by radioactivity from the Chernobyl disaster two decades ago, and children are getting cancer as a result, an Independent on Sunday investigation has established.
...
And scientists have found rates of thyroid cancer in children in Cumbria, the worst-affected part of England, rose 12-fold after the catastrophe - and blame fallout from the radioactive cloud that spread from the stricken reactor. This confounds government assurances at the time that the radiation in Britain was "nowhere near the levels at which there is any hazard to health".


<a href=http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2011/nci-17.htm>The NIH writes on the still elevated risk of thyroid cancer due to Chernobyl.</a>

<a href=http://www.cancer.fi/syoparekisteri/en/research/breast-cancer-in-areas-with-high/>The Finnish Cancer Registry writes on elevated risk of breast cancer in contaminated parts of Belarus and Ukraine:</a>
(A mention of the incubation period is highlighted.)
Quote:
Our study demonstrated increases in breast cancer incidence in all areas following the Chernobyl accident, reflecting improvements in cancer diagnosis and registration. In addition, a significant two-fold increase in risk was observed, during the period 1997-2001, in the most contaminated districts (average cumulative dose of 40.0 mSv or more) compared to the least contaminated districts (RR in Belarus 2.24, 95% CI 1.51-3.32 and in Ukraine 1.78, 95% CI 1.08-2.93). The increase appeared approximately 10 years after the accident, was highest among women who were younger at the time of exposure and was observed for both localised and metastatic diseases.


<a href=http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/1/125.full>A paper published in The International Journal of Epidemiology on the subject of leukemia:</a>
Quote:
An observed increase in leukaemia cases in Belarus was reported for the 7-year period following the Chernobyl accident.8 Rates were 1.2 times higher after the accident compared to the pre-accident period among the population living in territories with a level of radioactive pollution exceeding 555 kBq per m2.


As far as the Three Mile Island studies go, as stated by the WHO, it is virtually impossible to know whether a cancer death resulted from fallout or from other causes. It can only be proven when it becomes such a big phenomenon that it can be identified in the broad population with statistical methods. The Three Mile Island incident involved a comparatively minor release of radiation, so any cancer deaths that resulted would be virtually impossible to identify.

Also, don't forget that coal isn't the only energy source that has to be mined. Uranium mining isn't a happy business.




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[*] posted on 17-3-2011 at 19:41


The body has so many uses for trace metals: nerve transmissions, transport, biological catalysis/enzymatic reactions, etc. When unstable isotopes of these metals are incorporated into the body, radioactive decay destroys biological molecules near the isotope. This is especially dangerous if it damages DNA in just the right way to prevent cell-death or to cause mutations. Also, while alpha radiation is a very minor risk outside the body, it is extremely dangerous inside the body for the reasons mentioned. The same applies to beta particles while gamma is dangerous no matter where it is.

Iodine-131, strontium-90, and cesium-137 are some of the more dangerous isotopes present in nuclear fallout.

Taken from the following PDF: www.evs.anl.gov/pub/doc/Cesium.pdf

Quote:
After being taken in, cesium behaves in a manner similar to potassium and distributes
uniformly throughout the body. Gastrointestinal absorption from food or water is the principal source of
internally deposited cesium in the general population. Essentially all cesium that is ingested is absorbed into
the bloodstream through the intestines. Cesium tends to concentrate in muscles because of their relatively
large mass. Like potassium, cesium is excreted from the body fairly quickly. In an adult, 10% is excreted
with a biological half-life of 2 days, and the rest leaves the body with a biological half-life of 110 days.
Clearance from the body is somewhat quicker for children and adolescents. This means that if someone is
exposed to radioactive cesium and the source of exposure is removed, much of the cesium will readily clear
the body along the normal pathways for potassium excretion within several months.


Additionally:

Quote:
While in the body, cesium poses a health hazard from both beta and gamma
radiation, and the main health concern is associated with the increased likelihood for inducing cancer.


Regarding strontium from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strontium#Effect_on_the_human_b... :
Quote:
The human body absorbs strontium as if it were calcium. Due to the elements being sufficiently similar chemically, the stable forms of strontium might not pose a significant health threat—in fact, the levels found naturally may actually be beneficial (see below) -- but the radioactive 90Sr can lead to various bone disorders and diseases, including bone cancer. The strontium unit is used in measuring radioactivity from absorbed 90Sr.


.




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 06:32


Madscientist, Your opinion seems to be not that nuclear is bad, it's rather when we keep doing it wrong that's bad?

They did screw this up... The building itself was built to code (at the time). Once reactors go online they are usually grandfathered into regulations etc at that time. Adding to that nuclear reactors can't be moved or changed really once first criticality is achieved.

NHK live was showing pictures of this area that looks like a dock where the generators were. My initiall understanding was the generators were in a safe location(and there was MORE than ONE), near the reactors not this loading area they showed still underwater. I still believe in nuclear power, but I mean we don't have redundancy for the "if it fails, all is lost" backup generator? One single point of failure before totally screwed. Reactors like all massive power stations can't self energize so they can't run one reactor for power and power themselves. They had no plan after there one diesel went down..
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 08:01


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
I agree qs, hindsight is a great thing but we all know that the designers of the plant had at the time believed that the chances of a 'quake occurring at the magnitude of the one that hit were so vanishingly small that safeguarding against such a scenario would have looked like expensive overkill . . .


I'm not totally convinced that there wasn't a few "hold-outs" in Japan; fearing that the island group as a whole was just too unstable.
.....We will probably never know. But they get a hell of a lot of quakes and unfortunately one cannot isolate the plant enough to make it both financially feasible & give enough distance to limit immediate & total disruption.
Perhaps there are places that simply should look to alternatives if they are in a geological location with that type of risk?
It seemed like a no-win choice in that if they didn't have that power they could not have risen to the height of economic growth their potential demanded...... I certainly agree that it's a damn shame & their stoicism is unique in history.




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 09:23


Quote: Originally posted by madscientist  
As far as deaths go outside of acute radiation poisoning, it's common knowledge they happen - cancer! Are you really claiming a radioactive cloud that floated over much of Europe didn't cause cancer? People in Europe weren't taking iodide to treat radiation sickness, it was to prevent thyroid cancer. :P
This report on Chernobyl's Legacy by the UN, WHO, UNSCEAR, IAEA etc. states that claims of deaths numbering even in the tens of thousands are exaggerated. Increasing cancer rates all over Europe does not prove causality as I'm sure you know. Cancer rates have been increasing all over the world for many decades now. You might as well blame radiation emitted by cell phones as Chernobyl.
Quote: Originally posted by madscientist  

As far as the Three Mile Island studies go, as stated by the WHO, it is virtually impossible to know whether a cancer death resulted from fallout or from other causes. It can only be proven when it becomes such a big phenomenon that it can be identified in the broad population with statistical methods.
There is no way to know that a particular cancer was caused by radiation. Cancers caused by radiation are not different in any biological way from other cancers. If you have radation dose data for a population, and you never do, you can sometimes show that they are associated with radiation exposure, but not causality. Epidemiology studies never prove causality.
Quote: Originally posted by madscientist  

The Three Mile Island incident involved a comparatively minor release of radiation, so any cancer deaths that resulted would be virtually impossible to identify.
I'm shocked that you concede that Three Mile Island was not a public health catastrophe. Thank you.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 10:16
Be afraid


very afraid!



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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 10:55


WiZ, I think the frivolous tone sounds a bit off, here . . .

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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 11:02


Looking on the bright side, Japan should have no need anymore for street lights at night when everywhere, everything and everybody, is glowing in the dark.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 11:20


Look at the sources I cited. The rises in cancer rates were strongly correlated with the timing of the accident, manifesting in areas that received fallout. Denying that this constitutes strong evidence that fallout causes cancer is absurd. Even the IAEA estimated that 4000 people died as the result of the accident, mostly from cancer.

Take a look at <a href=http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1573317578.html>Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment</a> before dismissing it. If you live near a university, I imagine the library would likely have a copy. Alexey Yablokov was the environmental advisor to Yeltsin and advisor to Gorbachev. Vassili Nesterenko was the director of the Institute of Nuclear Physics of Minsk, and assisted directly in the liquidation efforts at Chernobyl, suffering great harm to his personal health.

The studies funded by the UN (or whoever doled out the dollars - I don't know offhand) should, as with any literature, be read critically. Patents are a common example that we all know to exaggerate advantages while minimizing or even failing to mention problems. These same issues appear in the scientific literature, and are particularly acute with matters so politicized as the correlation between radiation and cancer. Nuclear weapons and nuclear energy are big issues to big governments and big money, and their influence on research is of course substantial.

Quote:
I'm shocked that you concede that Three Mile Island was not a public health catastrophe. Thank you.


I'm not the one that brought up Three Mile Island, and I never said I had any evidence it caused deaths. Are you going to concede that the fallout from Chernobyl caused more than 28 deaths?




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 12:13


Quote: Originally posted by madscientist  
I'm not the one that brought up Three Mile Island, and I never said I had any evidence it caused deaths. Are you going to concede that the fallout from Chernobyl caused more than 28 deaths?
I do. I had no problem with the 4000 you cited, only the 1 million.

I brought up Three Mile Island because it is a better example of an accident in a commercial power plant than is Chernobyl, which you brought up.:P

But Chernobyl is to nuclear power as meth labs are to chemistry: not exactly representative.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 12:29


I have just one more asinine comment:

Perhaps they should have invested in developing <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power">wave power</a></em> rather than nuclear.

[Edited on 3/18/11 by bfesser]
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 12:57


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
I have just one more asinine comment:

Perhaps they should have invested in developing <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power">wave power</a></em> rather than nuclear.



THAT is basically one of the most difficult problems: the DEVELOPMENT. The functionality of the nuke concept existed; therefore the capital and risk associated w/ failure was set aside in favor of a "sure thing". But with every "sure thing" there is always a temptation to go further.
I have no way of knowing IF nuke power could have been developed safely in a quake zone of that magnitude but it seems like attempting to draw to a straight flush when you have 2 pair already.




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 13:11


Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
I have just one more asinine comment:

Perhaps they should have invested in developing <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power">wave power</a></em> rather than nuclear.

[Edited on 3/18/11 by bfesser]


Sorry. The Econut's are opposed to wave power, wind power,
solar, bio-mass..... &c.

The Econut's in Arizona couple back held their breath until
they turned blue ... pissed and moaned 'bout plans to
build an oil refinery... to close to the city — pollution
hazard/explosion hazard. The refinery people gave in and
agreed to move the plant further from the city. The Econuts
held their breath ....&c. Why? Now the plant was toooo far from the city.

Then came the Native Americans. Those mountains 40 miles
from the plant... they are our Sacred Mountains you can't build you
plant there.

The lowlife's who I have an undying hatred for - Green Peace
want the element chlorine banned.....!

"Crime wouldn't pay if the government ran it," reality if
the Econut's ran it.

Or as the guy from Lizard Lick Towing sez - That the problem
with the country — To many freaks and not enough circuses.


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Problem is, "Thus shall not kill
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commandments in the cannon
of political correctness. So when
the Makan Indian Nation speared
a whale off America's coast on
Monday, the environmentalists
practically choked on their granola
bars. But pity the animal lovers, for
this is no clear cut call. To the
average activist, interfering in
native American cultures is almost
as taboo as chopping down redwood
trees.

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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 13:26


Greenpeace claims many more eventual Chernobyl deaths than the World Health Organization, 93000 vs. 4000. Even if you accept that much higher number, it is no proof that nuclear is worse than the status quo. Greenpeace also estimates that fine particulates from American fossil fuel plants kill 30000 people a year. "Safe and normal" operation of American fossil fuel power is equivalent to multiple Chernobyls per decade, by Greenpeace's own numbers. WHO has different numbers but also estimates that combustion particulate deaths dwarf nuclear deaths. Whether you want to use the numbers of mainstream health organizations or of environmental activists, the comparison is similar: fossil fuel waste products kill far more people than nuclear waste products, even after normalizing to deaths per terawatt hour.

I think that nuclear power is the best (or least bad) option for a lot of energy needs now and in the foreseeable future. To change my support at least one of three things would be needed:

1) Nuclear proves a lot more dangerous. This would mean, for example, excess human morbidity and mortality per terawatt hour comparable to that expected from currently operating coal plants.

2) Non-fossil, non-nuclear energy demonstrates real ability to retire coal. X gigawatts of new solar/wind/wave generating capacity come along and replace Y gigawatts of coal capacity, where X is no more than a small multiple of Y. This requires affordable large scale energy storage as well as affordable generation capacity. Solar panels without storage cannot retire coal plants even if they’re very efficient and very inexpensive. Geothermal and hydroelectric power can substitute for coal, but many regions lack those options.

3) The scale of industrial civilization declines dramatically, so our power choices don’t affect the world and the future very much. If the USA had only 30 million people they could all burn coal and it wouldn't mean much in the long term. The dramatic decline of industry, prosperity, and population in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s shows how this could happen in a small way. It also shows that only misanthropes can embrace it as a solution.

The long term waste problem of nuclear power should not be ignored, but neither should the long term waste problems of its fossil competitors. Actinides and technetium from nuclear power last a long time; mercury and arsenic from coal last forever. I don’t object to increased nuclear safety standards but I will be very unhappy if the quest for improved nuclear safety promotes objectively worse fossil-combustion competitors.




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 13:46


Quote:

Perhaps they should have invested in developing <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power">wave power</a></em> rather than nuclear.

Too subtle! Unclear . . .

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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 13:50


Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In  

Sorry. The Econut's are opposed to wave power, wind power, solar, bio-mass..... &c.
Please withdraw the inflammatory language. This thread has remain basically civil to date and we would all benefit if it did not go the way of all flame wars.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 15:37


Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
... even after normalizing to deaths per terawatt hour. snip


I think that this is the way that all energy supplies should be compared. It's not rational to be unduly critical of nuclear energy just because most people are ignorant of its technology.

The nuclear industry has been criticized for building plants near the ocean and fault zones. This same logic could be applied to people who chose to live near fault lines and on flood plains near the ocean. I think the death toll in Japan is now at ~ 10,000 and rising because of where they chose to live.

Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
.
3) The scale of industrial civilization declines dramatically, so our power choices don’t affect the world and the future very much. If the USA had only 30 million people they could all burn coal and it wouldn't mean much in the long term. The dramatic decline of industry, prosperity, and population in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s shows how this could happen in a small way. It also shows that only misanthropes can embrace it as a solution.


I actually like this solution alot. Until the world gets its human breeding under control we are going to continue to place a burden on the environment that is increasing exponentially. Many of our crises will (do) have this as the root cause.




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 15:58


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
WiZ, I think the frivolous tone sounds a bit off, here . . .

Frivolous Mas!?!

Calm down take two quaalude and call me in the morning.

Say ... anyone other then myself remember the murder/suicide
at that US Navy experimental reactor? They had to chop up one
of the sailors and bury parts of him in a hazardous waste site!

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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 16:08


Quote: Originally posted by watson.fawkes  
Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In  

Sorry. The Econut's are opposed to wave power, wind power, solar, bio-mass..... &c.
Please withdraw the inflammatory language. This thread has remain basically civil to date and we would all benefit if it did not go the way of all flame wars.



Boooo-hooooo I seem to have violated another Secret
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posts are allowed in Legal and Societal Issues. Here truth counts
for nothing.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 16:13


For the long term I agree that declining population will mitigate or even solve a lot of problems. Birth rates fall with universal education, and fall even below replacement levels with fairly modest prosperity and stability (the so-called "demographic transition"). For the rest of this century, though, global population is expected to remain higher than it was at century's beginning. If it falls much faster, as in the post-Soviet case, it will almost certainly be due to widespread deprivation and disease rather than increasing choice.

For at least the rest of the century there's going to be a larger population of humans who need energy. It will be late in the 22nd century before global population declines to where it was in my father's childhood, even if the whole world comes to resemble Italy demographically before the 21st is done. I think nuclear power is a pretty good way to provide energy for large populations while minimizing present and future health consequences. I am afraid that this accident will rekindle nuclear resistance for another generation.




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[*] posted on 18-3-2011 at 22:06


Quote:
Whether you want to use the numbers of mainstream health organizations or of environmental activists, the comparison is similar: fossil fuel waste products kill far more people than nuclear waste products, even after normalizing to deaths per terawatt hour.


This is an important point. The environmental damage from fossil fuels is of course also considerable, as we saw last year during the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Coal spews smog and ashes directly into the atmosphere, and centuries later, we're still here (though it's obviously caused a great deal of problems). If nuclear plants had done the same with their waste for the last 50 years, I don't think our planet would resemble anything we'd consider habitable. Presently, it is true that coal has done more damage, but the scale of the damage nuclear is capable of is unique. Coal is worse now, but nuclear could prove to be worse later.

Of course, most nuclear waste isn't going to end up blown about and liberally distributed across every continent (barring WWIII or total abandonment of containment efforts), but the potency of its hazards make disposal an intimidating problem. It can't just be buried and abandoned. It can't be launched into space (imagine a Challenger full of plutonium!). It can't be dumped in the ocean (though those who hate seafood may disagree).

We're creating a situation where the only option is to carefully store and monitor everything for longer than civilization has existed - a huge commitment that we may not be able to make. Decommissioned reactors will begin to collapse and leak radiation. Waste containers will break down and do the same. Metals become brittle when irradiated, accelerating these processes. Repairs are difficult, as radiation levels can be high enough to instantly deliver lethal doses, and cause robots to break down. Counting on future technology to solve these problems is a gamble.

A modern example of what we may face is the leaking sarcophagus at the Chernobyl site - it's radioactive enough to prohibit repairs, so a new one, to the tune of over a billion dollars, is having to be constructed off-site and placed over the old one. Imagine a world many years from now where we have hundreds of such sites, as old structures collapse and more catastrophic accidents, such as the one in progress at Fukushima Daiichi, are realized. It's not a pleasant thought.

When all issues are considered, it's clear nuclear energy does not constitute a safe or clean form of "alternative energy." It has caused staggering environmental catastrophes, killed thousands of people, and created an intractable waste problem. We urgently need to move away from fossil fuels and nuclear fuels alike, or our descendants will be hacking and choking as they piss glowing green urine on our graves. :P




I weep at the sight of flaming acetic anhydride.
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bquirky
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[*] posted on 19-3-2011 at 00:52


Im fairly sure all that 'waste' will end up being a valuable commodity at some point.

People will say "wow we had heaps of that stuff but we berried it under a tech-tonic plate"
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watson.fawkes
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[*] posted on 19-3-2011 at 07:35


Quote: Originally posted by The WiZard is In  
Boooo-hooooo I seem to have violated another Secret
rule here were science is most mad... only Politically Correct
posts are allowed in Legal and Societal Issues. Here truth counts
for nothing.
Avoiding inflammatory language has nothing to do with political correctness, and everything to do with human civility. Perhaps if this is a secret to you. It is not, fortunately, to others with strongly held opinions, who have enough respect for other members here to forbear such language.
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The WiZard is In
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[*] posted on 19-3-2011 at 07:53


Quote: Originally posted by madscientist  

When all issues are considered, it's clear nuclear energy does not constitute a safe or clean form of "alternative energy." It has caused staggering environmental catastrophes, killed thousands of people, and created an intractable waste problem. We urgently need to move away from fossil fuels and nuclear fuels alike, or our descendants will be hacking and choking as they piss glowing green urine on our graves. :P

Thousands of deaths. Forsooth. The credible death
toll for Chernobyl is 59 firemen and workers plus fewer then 15
deaths of children from thyroid cancer.

I would be remiss in not noting that coal mining caused a multitude
of thousands of deaths every year.

an intractable waste problem No. It is only an intractable
political problem not an engineering problem.

The waste depository in Utah was originally required to store
waste for several thousand years. The Econut's complained ..
we went 10 000 years. The Gov spent money by the wheel barrel..
you got your 10 000 years. The Econut's had a sissy fit ... we want
100 000 years. Another ton of money. You got you 100 000 years.
Once again .... we want a million years. More money... you got
you million year guarantee. Three guesses and the first two don' count ... we
want it guaranteed to the end of time! A SL of gov money latter...
sorry no can do. Econut's ... obviously you can't use this facility.

So now in the US of A waste is stored in the worse possible place.. on site.
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