Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:14 am

I'M really anti nuclear but I was thinking, two horrific accidents in 30-40 Years?? of nuclear power out of how many plants? Imagine if we had never had nuclear power and all that electricity had to be produced by conventional means like coal, would we actually be better off environmentally???? Even wind power kills native birds, I guess solar power is the least dangerous, but basically right now most of our power world wide comes from coal, is coal safer and have a better track record for the environment than nuclear??
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:57 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:I'M really anti nuclear but I was thinking, two horrific accidents in 30-40 Years?? of nuclear power out of how many plants? Imagine if we had never had nuclear power and all that electricity had to be produced by conventional means like coal, would we actually be better off environmentally???? Even wind power kills native birds, I guess solar power is the least dangerous, but basically right now most of our power world wide comes from coal, is coal safer and have a better track record for the environment than nuclear??

The short answer to your last question is "no", because coal - with help of other fossil fuels - is driving climate change which has already boosted super storms, heat waves and floods which have killed thousands, and is on track to create tens of millions of climate refugees.

The slightly longer answer to your string of questions ...
1. Two horrific accidents, yes, but enormous quantities of dangerous waste which no-one knows how to store safely for the very long time it needs to be stored.
2. If we didn't have nuclear power 30 - 40 years ago, then yes, coal was the only real alternative. If we had gone for coal instead of nuclear at that stage, we would be further down the global warming track than we are now.
3. There are indeed drawbacks to wind and solar but they are minuscule compared to the drawbacks of fossil fuels (don't forget smog and acid rain and whole mountains strip-mined and ... etc)
4. NASA concluded recently that nuclear is better for the world than coal - http://climate.nasa.gov/news/903 - but in that article they don't mention the renewable technologies which are now available and could (and should) replace both coal and nuclear.

But there's a whole thread on climate change - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=18897 - so that's the place to explore these issues if you want to.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:31 pm

Obviously looking to the future we need to focus on renewable energies, but if we look at the present crisis in Japan, the closing of all the nuclear plants has been 90%+ replaced by excess coal sourced power, not solar. So it is a very complicated issue, with no easy answers, while renewables are the future they still only amount to a very small amount of power produced, shutting nuclear plants isn't really going to be a boost for renewables in the short term as much as it will increase reliance on coal.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:05 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Obviously looking to the future we need to focus on renewable energies, but if we look at the present crisis in Japan, the closing of all the nuclear plants has been 90%+ replaced by excess coal sourced power, not solar. So it is a very complicated issue, with no easy answers, while renewables are the future they still only amount to a very small amount of power produced, shutting nuclear plants isn't really going to be a boost for renewables in the short term as much as it will increase reliance on coal.

Yes, it's complicated - but how it plays out depends crucially on policy choices. For instance, Germany chose to downsize both nuclear and coal and switch to renewables, and is doing just fine - http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/23/3-reasons-germans-going-renewable-costs/.
Plausible timescales for replacing all nuclear with renewables are in the 5 - 50 year range, not 50 - 500 - if we try. Or we could replace all the coal with renewables first, as NASA implicitly recommends. Most likely it's going to be messy, patchy, haphazard - there are too many players and too many competing interests for it to be otherwise - but the best recommendation and (I'm sure) the eventual outcome is clearly a big shift to renewables.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:22 am

Don't forget about increased efficiencies. Most power is wasted and more efficient technologies are evolving every day.....and more efficient technologies already in existence are being slowly implemented......housing, transportation, and even industrial technology is all improving in efficiency......and the common wisdom is that there are huge improvements still to come.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby JustinJones » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:49 am

chownah wrote:I just read at Slashdot that a couple of weeks ago a contractor working on the Fukushima nuclear powerplant cleanup reported a measurement of the radioactivity of the water which is seeping into the ground (I think) as being 100 millisieverts. It turns out that the meter they used to measure it COULD ONLY GO UP TO 100 millisieverts!!!!!!!....now, with better equipment they are reporting that THE ACTUAL RADIATION LEVELS IS 1,800 MILLISIEVERTS!!!!!!!.......enough to kill a person in 4 hours!!!!!!

Yes, but how stupid is this really you might ask. Well, how stupid would it be if Ferrari put speedometers in there sports cars that only went up to 20 kilometers per hour?

I suppose that anyone can make a mistake but should we allow an industry to continue to exist when its quality assurance protocols can allow this to happen within the context of a 40 billion dollar plus cleanup of a nuclear disaster? Can we really be sure that this was just a case of utter and total incompetence or might it have been a concerted effort to lie about the severity to minimize the seriousness of what was happening?

There was also a report of a solar disaster. A Jaguar (automobile) was parked near a very tall and wide building whose entire front was curved and since that face of the building is all glass it just so happened that the building reflected the sunlight and concentrated it onto the Jaguar (automobile) and melted one of its panels.....really, that's what happened or at least what was reported. Total cost of repairing the damage from the solar panel disaster.......less than 1000 Pounds.

chownah


We need to understand the importance of nuclear and other renewable sources of energy.. Each country must try encourage usage of solar and wind energy to decrease our dependency on nuclear and fossil fuels.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:23 am

JustinJones wrote:We need to understand the importance of nuclear and other renewable sources of energy.. Each country must try encourage usage of solar and wind energy to decrease our dependency on nuclear and fossil fuels.

:twothumbsup:
Here's a report on balancing the priorities.
It comes from the president of the NRDC, a US environmental defence group, so it has no particular industry bias; the summary is,
We face no greater environmental challenge than climate change.  Nuclear power, though, is no panacea.

What we can do, and must, is to invest in what we know will make a difference: clean up our power plants, make our economy more efficient and get power from the wind and sun.


The whole thing is here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/the_clean_energy_way_to_fight.html

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Wind and solar alone can never power the grid because they only work in sunlight or when the wind blows, they are great to supplement power that can be generated any time of day or night, but obviously a clean source of power for when the suns gone and the wind is not blowing is of the utmost importance. Fortunately we do use more power during daylight, so solar can go a long way to reduce reliance on other forms of power, but there are not, and presumably never will be batteries big enough to store gigawatts of power during the day from solar and use the power at night.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:08 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Wind and solar alone can never power the grid because they only work in sunlight or when the wind blows, they are great to supplement power that can be generated any time of day or night, but obviously a clean source of power for when the suns gone and the wind is not blowing is of the utmost importance. Fortunately we do use more power during daylight, so solar can go a long way to reduce reliance on other forms of power, but there are not, and presumably never will be batteries big enough to store gigawatts of power during the day from solar and use the power at night.

I think you would benefit by reading about all the various ways surplus energy can be stored.....there is a large solar project which is just coming on line which can generate power up to six hours after the sun goes down by storing heat on site in eutectic salt beds for instance...also there is considerable research going on to make solar cells which split water and store the hydrogen which can be stored until whenever.....also there is a lot of research into growing algae from which oil can be extracted......also etc.......also etc.

If anyone would like to keep abreast of the latest advances in most technologies (including energy technology) check out phys.org. Nano, superconductors, energy, robotics, medicine, if it is science or technology they probably will report about it.

Back to the batteries. Seems like there are about 230,000,000 cars on the US. The Tesla model S can be bought with an 85 kilowatt hour battery (standard equip is 65 kilowatt hours). If every vehicle had this same size battery they could collectively store 19,550,000,000,000.......that is 19,550 gigawatt hours. (Do check my math.) From this I would say that it is very likely that in the future there will on fact be enough battery storage to supply night time demand (even though with the advances like I mentioned above there will probably be no need to rely on batteries).
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:18 pm

chownah wrote:Back to the batteries. Seems like there are about 230,000,000 cars on the US. The Tesla model S can be bought with an 85 kilowatt hour battery (standard equip is 65 kilowatt hours). If every vehicle had this same size battery they could collectively store 19,550,000,000,000.......that is 19,550 gigawatt hours. (Do check my math.) From this I would say that it is very likely that in the future there will on fact be enough battery storage to supply night time demand (even though with the advances like I mentioned above there will probably be no need to rely on batteries).
chownah

There are already trials of integrated car/house electrical systems in which the car's battery is (part of) the storage solution for the house's generating capacity.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:24 pm

Fukushima Pledges To Go 100 Percent Renewable While Japan Grapples With Nuclear Future
The province of Fukushima in northeast Japan, devastated nearly three years ago by the earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has pledged to go 100 percent renewable by 2040.
The energy will be generated through local community initiatives throughout the province of nearly two million. Announced at a Community Power Conference held in Fukushima this week, it goes against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda to reboot nuclear power throughout the country.


Interesting from two sides: the rejection of nuclear power and the viability of renewables. Sources will include large-scale wind and solar.
There's more at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/05/3247591/fukushima-pledges-100-percent-renewable/ and it's well worth reading.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby rowboat » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:41 pm



Skip to 3:00

Some dark prospects for Fukushima from David Suzuki
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:07 am

rowboat wrote:

Skip to 3:00

Some dark prospects for Fukushima from David Suzuki

Yes, this has been posted before, though I can't remember if it was in this thread or another.
Chernobyl woke a few people up, but Fukushima has been a better eye-opener in that we have been given a good look into how and why it happened and then into the incompetence and denialism of the authorities. They really don't know how to fix it and, until they show that they do, we know that any future event can be just as disastrous and just as unfixable.

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P.S. Just came across a good article about the difficulties of decommissioning the Fukushima reactors - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/03/fukushima-daiichi-tsunami-nuclear-cleanup-japan
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:07 am

I could be wrong but the idea (from the video clip just presented above) that the collapse of the fourth reactor at Fukushima would be "bye bye Japan" or require the evacuation of west coast US is just fear mongering and I was disappointed to hear it voiced there as it tends to undermine the credibility of the event where it was voiced and the credibility of the person speaking it.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:38 am

chownah wrote:I could be wrong but the idea (from the video clip just presented above) that the collapse of the fourth reactor at Fukushima would be "bye bye Japan" or require the evacuation of west coast US is just fear mongering and I was disappointed to hear it voiced there as it tends to undermine the credibility of the event where it was voiced and the credibility of the person speaking it.
chownah

Yes, it is problematic, but working out what information Suzuki is relying on is quite likely impossible. (Incidentally, I did find the earlier discussion of that clip - over on the other DW, starting at http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6973&start=500#p194072. It doesn't add a lot, though.)
I think "Bye-bye Tokyo" is entirely credible. After all, there was talk of evacuating the city during the crisis - not that they could have done it.
Japan without Tokyo is nearly "Bye-bye Japan." California, though? Much less likely, and probably dependent on the details of the final collapse.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby chownah » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:08 am

Kim OHara wrote:
chownah wrote:I could be wrong but the idea (from the video clip just presented above) that the collapse of the fourth reactor at Fukushima would be "bye bye Japan" or require the evacuation of west coast US is just fear mongering and I was disappointed to hear it voiced there as it tends to undermine the credibility of the event where it was voiced and the credibility of the person speaking it.
chownah

Yes, it is problematic, but working out what information Suzuki is relying on is quite likely impossible. (Incidentally, I did find the earlier discussion of that clip - over on the other DW, starting at http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6973&start=500#p194072. It doesn't add a lot, though.)
I think "Bye-bye Tokyo" is entirely credible. After all, there was talk of evacuating the city during the crisis - not that they could have done it.
Japan without Tokyo is nearly "Bye-bye Japan." California, though? Much less likely, and probably dependent on the details of the final collapse.

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Kim

The detonation of two air burst nuclear bombs in Japan during WWII was not bye bye Tokyo or Japan and did not require evacuation of any coast anywhere...........seems the comments in the video are totally off the scale bullshit......reminds me of when those environmentalist idiots predicted the world would be out of oil before the year 2000......ridiculous fear mongering like this just paints all environmentalists as fools and has done a lot to encourage people to continue to destroy the environment and to ignore those who are trying to point out the problem.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby rowboat » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:21 am

Yes, it is problematic, but working out what information Suzuki is relying on is quite likely impossible.


Suzuki has since walked back from those earlier exaggerated comments, calling them "off the cuff" and "regretful," while holding to the main point that the worst case scenario for Fukushima is an unprecedented global nuclear disaster. We are talking about 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel, radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the United States atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima in 1945. The worst case scenario would be an incident of "inadvertent criticality." An unstoppable chain-reaction unleashing this massive radiation upon the world. I know in August they began preparing to remove the material from the damaged building, but I don't know where they are now in their efforts.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Mkoll » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:47 am

There are tons of Fukushima conspiracy theories all over the internet that have been ongoing since the disaster. These things have a tendency to percolate into people's minds if they become unwary and don't check their sources. And of course this happens all the time.

Kim OHara wrote:Chernobyl woke a few people up, but Fukushima has been a better eye-opener in that we have been given a good look into how and why it happened and then into the incompetence and denialism of the authorities. They really don't know how to fix it and, until they show that they do, we know that any future event can be just as disastrous and just as unfixable.

Fukushima went bad because of an enormous earthquake and ensuing tsunami. They built nuclear power plants that weren't designed to withstand the effects of tectonic events that are common in that part of the world. This was bound to happen. Hopefully they've learned their lesson.

Chernobyl was almost 30 years ago. Technology and power plant design has improved dramatically.

I don't know enough about this subject to speak with any semblence of authority, but I don't see any problems with building nuclear power plants in more stable areas of the Earth with little population. And we'll figure out what to do with the nuclear waste, e.g. breeder reactors.

But the fact is, oil and gas are still cheap for now and there's enough coal resources to last well past our lifetimes. Most of the electricity in the world is produced by coal. The governments will just keep kicking the climate change can down the road until they're actually forced to address it in some unimaginable catastrophe, which may never happen; it will probably just get progressively worse and we'll sit pretty like the frog boiling in the pot. So there's no urgent political or economical need for nuclear.
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:53 pm

On FB this morning ...
:coffee:
:smile:

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Postby Schaublin » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:38 pm

Solar electricity PV (photovoltaic) panels and nuclear fission reactors both require easily extracted (low eroi) oil to make them work. In the case of nuclear power, it is (was) about producing weapons grade material.

All of the embedded energy costs in a solar panel come from oil and coal. Solar panels are toys - ditto nuclear power stations - dangerous toys in this case.

The current "standard of living" in the West is as a result of easily extracted oil. There is no comparable alternative energy.
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