Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

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GIDGE
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by GIDGE » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:30 pm

I really don't understand how people can continue to defend nuclear power given the current situation.
In my mind it creates suffering and it's greedy.
:shrug:

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poto
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by poto » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:23 pm

GIDGE wrote:I really don't understand how people can continue to defend nuclear power given the current situation.
In my mind it creates suffering and it's greedy.
:shrug:
Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.

Energy Source.........................Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average.................161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China...........................278
Coal – USA.............................15
Oil......................................36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas.............................4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass......................12
Peat....................................12
Solar (rooftop)........................0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind...................................0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro..................................0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)...1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear................................0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis

Mawkish1983
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Mawkish1983 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:25 pm

(Source?)

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poto
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by poto » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:39 pm

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis

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Annapurna
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Annapurna » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:02 pm

poto wrote:
Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.
Just how safe it is has become obvious in the last days.

Why don't you go in with those 50 men who work 4 hour shifts there and help them if it is so safe.

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GIDGE
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by GIDGE » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:07 pm

poto wrote:
GIDGE wrote:I really don't understand how people can continue to defend nuclear power given the current situation.
In my mind it creates suffering and it's greedy.
:shrug:
Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.

Energy Source.........................Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average.................161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China...........................278
Coal – USA.............................15
Oil......................................36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas.............................4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass......................12
Peat....................................12
Solar (rooftop)........................0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind...................................0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro..................................0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)...1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear................................0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
I don't know you and I would never call you an evil or greedy person.
My opinions are based on my own experience and circumstances....our home (2500 sq ft in Texas) is powered 100% by solar and wind. In fact we sell back to the grid because we produce more energy than we require. Myself, my husband our 3 teenagers live there. It's possible to meet "needs" with alternative, safe means.
I know experts keep saying nuclear IS safe - but the conditions in Japan don't appear to be particularly safe atm.

No disrespect meant
:anjali:

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Kim OHara
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:09 pm

poto wrote: Oh, I must be an evil greedy person because I support what is still the safest form of energy that man has yet developed.

Energy Source.........................Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average.................161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China...........................278
Coal – USA.............................15
Oil......................................36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas.............................4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass......................12
Peat....................................12
Solar (rooftop)........................0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind...................................0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro..................................0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)...1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear................................0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
Hi, Poto,
Good list, but a couple of minor problems:
Figures seem to be a bit out of date. Renewables as a percentage of world energy supply have been going up very quickly.
Non-rooftop solar doesn't appear at all. Do you have figures for installations like the solar power farms in the American deserts, or the Spanish base-load solar power stations?
Nuclear deaths don't include longer-term deaths from Chernobyl. They could easily knock nuclear of its 'safest' perch, if non-rooftop solar hasn't already done so. Are you then going to support Wind and Solar instead of Nuclear?
:juggling:
It's all a matter of juggling competing imperatives, costs and benefits. As I said a little while ago, I think our best solution will be a patchwork of partial solutions. Nuclear power probably does have a place but I hope it's not too big a place.
:namaste:
Kim

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retrofuturist
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:12 pm

Greetings,

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

:shrug:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Annapurna
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Annapurna » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:17 pm

This is chiming in the end of nuclear energy.

Some things become larger than their trivializations.

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by nathan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:29 pm

I would think the low figures do not take into account deaths directly related to the growing use of depleted uranium or the deaths from nuclear warheads of any other kind, all of which are still contemporary and growing uses of these radioactive materials. Among other little known facts, the overall planet-wide background radiation has increased significantly more from the subsequent uses of DU than it did from all of the previous testing of atomic bombs combined.

Sources of information quoted in this Wikipedia article are predominantly official and not as shocking as the information which has been disclosed by various industry and government whistle blowers. I will leave researching that kind of information to those with the interest to undertake such study for themselves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by nathan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:49 pm

The causes and conditions we observe and experience today and which will be observed and experienced in the future are not the result of human beings in general being significantly more intelligent or skillful now than they were in past generations. It took only a very small number of human beings to develop the various means for rapidly increasing and improving on our methodologies and technologies for exploiting the planetary resources. This has enabled both the vast resulting human population growth and the rapid widespread growth in human desires for ever more resource consumption. However the overall quantities and qualities of planetary resources remains limited, increasingly subjected to forces of entropy and increasingly more resource intensive to acquire. When the global population grows daily by the equivalent of the population of Germany and the amount of land suitable for growing food continues to be lessened by the development of other land uses and soil continues to loose more micro-nutrients every year, the long term consequences for the human population numbers are fairly obvious. The need for more energy to heat and light ever bigger homes and other buildings containing ever more devices in the service of of the 1000 people who consume half of the total available global resources or the 10% who consume 90% of the total available global resources is a relatively minor problem. An increasing amount of energy, nuclear and otherwise is going to have to continue to go into various forms of class warfare in order to maintain these worldwide inequities. Half of the human population of the planet still uses about the same amounts of energy and other resources as did people in pre-industrial times and more often than not less food than previous generations, therefore radical reductions in energy and resource use are demonstrably possible for at least one in two human beings. The frequent allegation that increasingly high levels of energy and resource use is NEEDED by SOME, is highly questionable.

The level of intelligence necessary for increases in desires is common. The level of intelligence necessary to develop new means for more efficient kinds of resource exploitation is relatively rare. The level of intelligence necessary for discerning the wisdom in abandoning all desires is exceedingly rare.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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octathlon
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by octathlon » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:06 pm

Humans just aren't very good at assessing risk. If something has a low probability of happening, people translate that in their minds to zero and act accordingly. Looking at the number of deaths that have occurred so far per amount of power generated, is something to consider but comes nowhere near proving nuclear power safe. It has the potential, even if probability is low, to kill and sicken tens of thousands (or more) people, render large areas uninhabitable for hundreds of years, severely damage the whole economy, etc, levels of suffering the other power types listed do not approach (although of course many of them also cause huge suffering, especially if you count wars fought over petroleum).

But even if all goes well, you have to put all that waste somewhere and keep it safely isolated for thousands of years. So far no one has managed to even start doing that, even for the amounts of waste we have now. The more power plants built, the more all these risks and the probability of accidents increase. There have already been many close calls that are not taken into consideration when only number of deaths is counted. Here is some info on that. A few excerpts from it:
Despite claims by the nuclear industry that "no one died at Three Mile Island," a study by Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, professor of radiation physics at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that the accident led to a minimum of 430 infant deaths.

25 February 1983
A catastrophe at the Salem 1 reactor in New Jersey was averted by just 90 seconds when the plant was shut down manually, following the failure of automatic shutdown systems to act properly. The same automatic systems had failed to respond in an incident three days before, and other problems plagued this plant as well, such as a 3,000 gallon leak of radioactive water in June 1981 at the Salem 2 reactor, a 23,000 gallon leak of "mildly" radioactive water (which splashed onto 16 workers) in February 1982, and radioactive gas leaks in March 1981 and September 1982 from Salem 1.

15 February 2000
New York's Indian Point II power plant vented a small amount of radioactive steam when a an aging steam generator ruptured. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission initially reported that no radioactive material was released, but later changed their report to say that there was a leak, but not of a sufficient amount to threaten public safety.

Nov 2005
High tritium levels, the result of leaking pipes, were discovered to have contaminated groundwater immediately adjacent to the Braidwood Generating Station in Braceville, Illinois.
<my rant> When people say "we have to go to nuclear power to meet our energy needs", as if it goes without saying that we must meet whatever "needs" we decide we have, like there is just no choice but to use however much energy we feel like using.

Sure, all this energy has made life much more comfortable (for those of us who have it). What if nuclear power wasn't possible? We would have spent time and money finding other sources, or we just wouldn't have them. It is not some kind of divine law that we have to consider using nuclear energy. If we eliminate it we can stop wasting time trying to make it "safe" and focus on doing something better.
</rant>

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Kim OHara
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:15 pm

octathlon wrote: <my rant> When people say "we have to go to nuclear power to meet our energy needs", as if it goes without saying that we must meet whatever "needs" we decide we have, like there is just no choice but to use however much energy we feel like using.

Sure, all this energy has made life much more comfortable (for those of us who have it). What if nuclear power wasn't possible? We would have spent time and money finding other sources, or we just wouldn't have them. It is not some kind of divine law that we have to consider using nuclear energy. If we eliminate it we can stop wasting time trying to make it "safe" and focus on doing something better.
</rant>
That's not a rant, Octathlon - that's excellent commonsense!
It's just a pity that commonsense isn't common.
:namaste:
Kim

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octathlon
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by octathlon » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:18 pm

nathan wrote:The causes and conditions we observe and experience today and which will be observed and experienced in the future are not the result of human beings in general being significantly more intelligent or skillful now than they were in past generations. It took only a very small number of human beings to develop the various means for rapidly increasing and improving on our methodologies and technologies for exploiting the planetary resources. This has enabled both the vast resulting human population growth and the rapid widespread growth in human desires for ever more resource consumption. However the overall quantities and qualities of planetary resources remains limited, increasingly subjected to forces of entropy and increasingly more resource intensive to acquire. When the global population grows daily by the equivalent of the population of Germany and the amount of land suitable for growing food continues to be lessened by the development of other land uses and soil continues to loose more micro-nutrients every year, the long term consequences for the human population numbers are fairly obvious. The need for more energy to heat and light ever bigger homes and other buildings containing ever more devices in the service of of the 1000 people who consume half of the total available global resources or the 10% who consume 90% of the total available global resources is a relatively minor problem. An increasing amount of energy, nuclear and otherwise is going to have to continue to go into various forms of class warfare in order to maintain these worldwide inequities. Half of the human population of the planet still uses about the same amounts of energy and other resources as did people in pre-industrial times and more often than not less food than previous generations, therefore radical reductions in energy and resource use are demonstrably possible for at least one in two human beings. The frequent allegation that increasingly high levels of energy and resource use is NEEDED by SOME, is highly questionable.

The level of intelligence necessary for increases in desires is common. The level of intelligence necessary to develop new means for more efficient kinds of resource exploitation is relatively rare. The level of intelligence necessary for discerning the wisdom in abandoning all desires is exceedingly rare.
Excellent points and explanation, nathan!
:goodpost:

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mikenz66
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:53 pm

Annapurna wrote: Why don't you go in with those 50 men who work 4 hour shifts there and help them if it is so safe.
The point is that no source of energy is safe. Take the 29 men who died in a coal mine a few hours drive from me last year...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_River_Mine_disaster" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's all a matter of risk assessment, and that's what those numbers are the sort of thing you use to measure risk.

Hurtling through the stratosphere in an aluminium can (airplane...) or riding on a train is inherently risky, and if something goes wrong, hundreds die. Hundreds of thousands die in car crashes, or just crossing the street, every year.

:anjali:
Mike

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