Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

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chownah
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by chownah » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:38 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
chownah wrote:... don't forget that renewable technology is in its infancy and is gaining both in technical efficiencies and economic efficiencies....while nuclear is pretty much topped out for fission...let's hope that fusion is cleaner....we already know that it will be safe...seems like the best bet is to promote development of renewables for the next 30 years and then see if fusion is acceptable.....just skip further fusion development altogether....too many long term costs and uncertainty with fusion I think....
chownah
Indeed.
Fusion is now only ten or fifteen years away - but then again, it has been 'only ten or fifteen years away' for about the last forty years.
:thinking:

:namaste:
Kim
Kim O'Hare,
I edited my post....you might want to go look but you have given a good reply to the post as it was...just for your info the current fusion scientific community is thinking that it will be about 30 years before a fusion electric power generating system will be built and then it would be ready to deploy for real world generation. For those interested google "iter"...it will return the address for the Iter web site...Iter is the international project to develop the next level of fusion machines...it is being built in France....my opinion is that there is a good chance that this machine will prove the feasability of fusion and from the data collected from running the Iter machine it is hoped that a demonstration electric power generating fusion machine can be designed and built. There is a long enough history now of fusion development that when the progress is viewed it seems pretty clear that this new machine has a good chance of proving the concept but of course nothing is certain....
chownah

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Kim OHara
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:00 am

Hi, Chownah,
I'm not 'perturbed by [your] edit' at all.
I think your preferred strategy - no more fission, develop renewables until fusion is ready to go - is perfectly reasonable. I do have less faith in ITER than you seem to, since it could well turn out to be just the latest iteration of that unrealised promise of fusion just around the corner, but so long as we do push for renewables asap, it won't matter if ITER falls down.
BTW, Kim is 'he' not 'she' - my name is ambiguous but my gender isn't. I sing bass, grow a beard, etc. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim

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Annapurna
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Annapurna » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:22 pm

Interesting. :smile:

Jhana4
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Jhana4 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:40 pm

Japan braces for potential radiation catastrophe
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110315/wl_ ... apan_quake" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Japan faced a potential catastrophe on Tuesday after a quake-crippled nuclear power plant exploded and sent low levels of radiation floating toward Tokyo, prompting some people to flee the capital and others to stock up on essential supplies.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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christopher:::
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by christopher::: » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:21 pm

I just found this, from 2004. Moret predicted what has just happened almost perfectly. Let's hope the rest of her predictions are less accurate.

Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette
By LEUREN MORET; Japan Times, Sunday, May 23, 2004

excerpt:
After visiting the center a few kilometers from Hamaoka, I realized that Japan has no real nuclear-disaster plan in the event that an earthquake damaged a reactor's water-cooling system and triggered a reactor meltdown.

Additionally, but not even mentioned by ERC officials, there is an extreme danger of an earthquake causing a loss of water coolant in the pools where spent fuel rods are kept. As reported last year in the journal Science and Global Security, based on a 2001 study by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if the heat-removing function of those pools is seriously compromised -- by, for example, the water in them draining out -- and the fuel rods heat up enough to combust, the radiation inside them will then be released into the atmosphere. This may create a nuclear disaster even greater than Chernobyl.

If a nuclear disaster occurred, power-plant workers as well as emergency-response personnel in the Hamaoka ERC would immediately be exposed to lethal radiation. During my visit, ERC engineers showed us a tiny shower at the center, which they said would be used for "decontamination' of personnel. However, it would be useless for internally exposed emergency-response workers who inhaled radiation.

When I asked ERC officials how they planned to evacuate millions of people from Shizuoka Prefecture and beyond after a Kobe-magnitude earthquake (Kobe is on the same subduction zone as Hamaoka) destroyed communication lines, roads, railroads, drinking-water supplies and sewage lines, they had no answer.

Last year, James Lee Witt, former director of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, was hired by New York citizens to assess the U.S. government's emergency-response plan for a nuclear power plant disaster. Citizens were shocked to learn that there was no government plan adequate to respond to a disaster at the Indian Point nuclear reactor, just 80 km from New York City.

The Japanese government is no better prepared, because there is no adequate response possible to contain or deal with such a disaster. Prevention is really the only effective measure to consider.
Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who worked at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory on the Yucca Mountain Project, and became a whistle-blower in 1991 by reporting science fraud on the project and at Livermore.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

Mawkish1983
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Mawkish1983 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:00 pm

I just sincerely hope I am not proven wrong, but it is looking more and more likely :(

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christopher:::
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by christopher::: » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:37 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:I just sincerely hope I am not proven wrong, but it is looking more and more likely :(
Would *love* for you and poto to be right here.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Annapurna
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by Annapurna » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:38 pm

Mawkish, I do hope you are right too....

nathan
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by nathan » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:28 pm

Hmmm, pretty quiet thread now. I suppose the pro nuclear folks have all flown to Japan to roast hot dogs over the fire now blazing in reactor #2. Bon appetite.

edit: Scratch that, it's #4 that is on fire now. Have to hurry with roasting the hot dogs though as one will absorb 500 times the yearly allowable radiation in seven minutes.
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 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:00 pm

It's so awful how one thing leads to another which leads to another... Now a fourth reactor that wasn't even in operation is involved, with stored spent fuel burning and releasing radiation. I've seen conflicting reports that the fire was put out but it's on fire again, or else it is a new fire going on now... The workers staying behind at the plant and working to control it may die or suffer severely as a result. :( Thanks to them for their efforts! May they survive and be well!

Back to the thread topic, I saw this article today. I feel more strongly than the author but I think this agrees with my view pretty well (except for his line towards the end "Perhaps there is no other way").

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christopher:::
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by christopher::: » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:32 am

Listening to the news right now it sounds like things are going from bad to worse...

BREAKING NEWS: Japan spokesman: Workers unable to continue at nuclear plant due to radiation risk AP
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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christopher:::
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by christopher::: » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:43 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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phil
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by phil » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:44 am

Speaking as someone living in the midst of a nuclear crisis, I still say any thought of discontinuing nuclear power is a pipe dream that won't stand up to economic reality once this blows over (for the rest of you, it won't blow over for Japan.) No matter what people say, alternative sources of power will not come anywhere close to meeting demand so getting off nuclear power in the short run would lead to global economic collapse. Eventually, gradually, yes, let's continuing moving in the right direction, in that sense it's akin to Dhamma, no belief in sudden breakthroughs to enlightenment for those of us who understand Dhamma.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

chownah
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by chownah » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:00 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I just sincerely hope I am not proven wrong, but it is looking more and more likely :(
Since you are a phsicist and I'm a rice farmer I would appreciate your views on my assertion that there actually is a chain reaction going on in the reactors and this is why they need to be cooled...

also....do you consider nuclear's contribution to US electrical production to be insignificant since it is less than 20%?

chownah

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mikenz66
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Re: Discussion of Nuclear Power and Safety

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:22 am

chownah wrote:
Since you are a phsicist and I'm a rice farmer I would appreciate your views on my assertion that there actually is a chain reaction going on in the reactors and this is why they need to be cooled
Hi Chownah,

It's a chain reaction if the activity (number of nuclei disintegrating) is increasing. That's what you need for an atomic explosion.

If I understand the reactor design correctly, without the water to slow down the neutrons (so that they can be absorbed by other nuclei, which subsequently disintegrate, producing more neutrons...) activity will decrease. (But there are other ways of doing this "moderation" of the neutrons, so what I say in this paragraph may not be technically correct.)

But though the activity is decreasing, the rods will still be heating up and will melt if they are not cooled, which is the problem...

:anjali:
Mike

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