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Old December 25 2013, 01:27 AM   #1
TheMasterOfOrion
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Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

I'm all in support of getting away from US dependence on middle east oil but did Nuclear energy jump the shark?

a vid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7np9QdKmvMk

Sickened by service: More US sailors claim cancer from helping at Fukushima
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/20...-at-fukushima/
When the USS Ronald Reagan responded to the tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Navy sailors including Quartermaster Maurice Enis gladly pitched in with rescue efforts.But months later, while still serving aboard the aircraft carrier, he began to notice strange lumps all over his body. Testing revealed he'd been poisoned with radiation, and his illness would get worse.

Learning lessons from Fukushima
http://www.dw.de/learning-lessons-fr...ima/a-17286613
Two years after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, measures are being taken to protect the German population from accidents

another clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwn1PU6GiPQ
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Old December 25 2013, 03:30 AM   #2
FPAlpha
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

Yeah.. what can someone expect when the build nuclear reactors in an area called the Ring of Fire?

Nuclear energy has hailed as the one safe, dependable and clean energy source back then but i'm honestly surprised there weren't more Tchernobyls happening as i grew up (i dimly remember that time period).

It is safe but in order to be so you can't skimp on anything there which drives up costs. At a coal plant no one would lose their shit with a faulty valve or that some procedures may be outdated but given Murphy's Law these small things may be deadly with a nuclear reactor.
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Old December 25 2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

I'm big on advocating for renewables, but I'm also big on realistically advocating for nuclear to provide our needs until safe clear renewables are ready. Nuclear plants aren't a perfect choice by any means, but they are our BEST choice right now. There are four big things ruining the reputation of nuclear power, though, that need to be overcome:

1. We're letting "private" industry run these things for "profit". But you'll note the quotes, because when an industry is so heavily subsidized and regulated, it is really neither of these things, and pretending otherwise is just inefficient.

2. We're running plants designed to run safely for 40 years for 50 years or more - some are at 55 right now.

3. We *aren't* building the newer, safer designs that can't meltdown and can't be used to generate fuel for nuclear explosives.

4. We have a large percentage of undereducated citizens in general, and specific to this issue, an undereducated but very vocal element that equates nuclear power with nuclear weapons.

My solution to 1 and 2 would be to figure out exactly how much power we need to be generating (with room for growth in need) and where it needs to be generated for use, and turn the whole thing over to Naval Nuclear with orders to get it done. My solution to 3 is that they would then start building those. And my solution to 4 is to try to educate the ignorant but to ignore them in the meantime.
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Old December 25 2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
I'm big on advocating for renewables, but I'm also big on realistically advocating for nuclear to provide our needs until safe clear renewables are ready. Nuclear plants aren't a perfect choice by any means, but they are our BEST choice right now. There are four big things ruining the reputation of nuclear power, though, that need to be overcome:

1. We're letting "private" industry run these things for "profit". But you'll note the quotes, because when an industry is so heavily subsidized and regulated, it is really neither of these things, and pretending otherwise is just inefficient.

2. We're running plants designed to run safely for 40 years for 50 years or more - some are at 55 right now.

3. We *aren't* building the newer, safer designs that can't meltdown and can't be used to generate fuel for nuclear explosives.

4. We have a large percentage of undereducated citizens in general, and specific to this issue, an undereducated but very vocal element that equates nuclear power with nuclear weapons.

My solution to 1 and 2 would be to figure out exactly how much power we need to be generating (with room for growth in need) and where it needs to be generated for use, and turn the whole thing over to Naval Nuclear with orders to get it done. My solution to 3 is that they would then start building those. And my solution to 4 is to try to educate the ignorant but to ignore them in the meantime.
You say that nuclear is the best choice right now [emphasis yours], and yet you talk in terms of plans that will take decades to execute, and reactors that will last that long. Seriously, that's quite a disconnect, there, that reeks of spin-doctoring, not only to create the impression that the use of nuclear is only temporary but also thereby to downplay its negatives.

Also, you can't really ignore people in a democracy; all you can do is outvote them.

So, if you expect nuclear not to be needed in the long-term, then what's next, and what's preventing us from investing in and developing that right now?
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Last edited by CorporalCaptain; December 25 2013 at 07:55 PM.
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Old December 25 2013, 07:46 PM   #5
gturner
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

Other than hydroelectric, renewables aren't good for base load power because wind and solar are intermittent, and hydroelectric was maxed out many decades ago. Currently 40% of US electricity comes from coal, with an average efficiency of about 30%. That efficiency could be easily improved (and is with newer plants), but unfortunately the EPA is determined to stop coal plant construction.

So producers are switching to natural gas for new base load applications, but natural gas prices are historically very volatile since natural gas is very expensive to stockpile (unlike coal, which can just be heaped in piles on open ground).

Ideally, we should probably rely on thorium reactors for the base load, and also use them to provide the thermal energy to turn coal into liquid motor fuels.
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Old December 25 2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

Nuclear power is messy, accidents do and will happen, and some people will develop cancer as a result. Areas around these accidents will suffer serious consequences economically. These are great concerns, and all the steps necessary need to be taken to ensure safety. But at the same time these things need to be put into perspective, because there are two things that should never be among those steps – coal and unsafe dams.

Without the necessary safety, hydroelectric power is one or two orders of magnitude more dangerous to your health and life than nuclear. The largest accident in a hydroelectric plant caused 170 thousand deaths and ten million misplaced people, more than twenty times all nuclear accidents combined.

Without some severe control on emissions, fossil fuels cause polution which poses more dangers to your health too. I've read studies talking of twenty thousand people dying of lung desease a year. I am not sure if I should believe them, but even if they are greatly exaggerated, this is more than you have in the greatly exaggerated Green Peace "studies" of Chernobyl.

Either way, when the majority of Earth's energy is generated in fossil fuel plants, I'd opt out for more nuclear plants. I would not worry about them. Extreme measures to avoid accidents are taken, and they work so well that nuclear accidents are so rare that if they were any rarer, people falling off roofs installing solar panels would make up for victims of nuclear power for amount of power generated. Of course, the accidents are concentrated and affecting every unsuspecting soul living nearby, so nuclear should be replaced with solar and wind if possible, but never with coal or petroleum. And gas neither, for its contribution to global warming, but then I'd rather have gas than petroleum and coal too.

In short, in energy generation, you don't have the luxury to cross out options for being "dangerous". You need to carefully weigh the options and pick the better ones. Cause they all suck. Particularly the default ones you get when you vote to exclude one of the others.
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Old December 25 2013, 08:56 PM   #7
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
You say that nuclear is the best choice right now [emphasis yours], and yet you talk in terms of plans that will take decades to execute, and reactors that will last that long. Seriously, that's quite a disconnect, there, that reeks of spin-doctoring, not only to create the impression that the use of nuclear is only temporary but also thereby to downplay its negatives.
First, I don't appreciate your attitude toward me. I haven't gone on the attack with anyone else here, and I would appreciate the same courtesy. The enemy isn't anyone who is offering an actual solution to our future power production problems - you OR me. It is the people in charge who are letting our current production dwindle and continuing to run decrepit plants while future demand continues to increase. Things are looking ugly if we don't get *something* real, looking at actual NEED vs actual production capacity, going Real Soon Now.

Second, there is no disconnect. Nuclear is a proven technology for base load production. And I'm not spin doctoring anything - I'll freely admit that nuclear might be here to stay under the scenario I'm describing, but only if other (hopefully even cleaner) technologies don't rise up in sufficient quantity to supplant it. Nor am I playing down negatives - when a plant is poorly built, poorly run, or built in a really dumb place, bad bad things can happen. But run properly, they are actually cleaner than most other techs available now, and certainly cleaner than any other proven base load tech available right now, save maybe hydro, which as gturner pointed out, is pretty much maxed out, not counting experimental variants that need time for proving.
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Also, you can't really ignore people in a democracy; all you can do is outvote them.
I guess it's a good thing we don't live in a democracy, then, isn't it? I'm being facetious here, but only barely, if you look at how our government is actually run. Unfortunately, not only is the democratic process corrupt and bent, but it is bent in the wrong direction to get things that need doing done: we should NOT be making these decisions based on the coal lobby, or the solar lobby, or whatever. We should be making them by figuring out what we need, and then figuring out the best way to fill that need.

I would prefer to see an educated populace and government returned to the control of men and women who take their oath to serve the people and uphold the Constitution seriously, of course. But if that doesn't look likely, I would settle for now for someone or someones running things that can at least get the stuff that needs doing done!
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
So, if you expect nuclear not to be needed in the long-term, then what's next, and what's preventing us from investing in and developing that right now?
I believe that we will expand the use of solar, and that some of these underwater hydro designs have potential, too. I would like to think that fusion (or even anti-matter) reactors will become feasible soon. Wind and deep geothermal may be viable in some select regions. But while I would love to see expansion and proving for those techs, I'm not willing to gamble on any of those for our needs.

Don't assume, however, that I am against development of those techs by any means. My ideal would be to develop nuclear in sufficient quantities to fill our projected needs, but then actually only add it to the grid (a grid, btw, that also needs massive reworking) as needed to fill out what isn't provided by the technologies that we are still proving. I would like for us to *overproduce* - I think current projections are low. Look into "the Internet of Things" and imagine the power requirements.
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Old December 25 2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
In short, in energy generation, you don't have the luxury to cross out options for being "dangerous". You need to carefully weigh the options and pick the better ones. Cause they all suck. Particularly the default ones you get when you vote to exclude one of the others.
Word.
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Old December 25 2013, 10:56 PM   #9
gturner
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

I'd also point out that if we switch from coal to primarily natural gas, but then export all the coal we were already mining to India, we're not really accomplishing a whole lot for the environment or electricity prices.
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Old December 26 2013, 12:27 AM   #10
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Coach Comet wrote: View Post
You say that nuclear is the best choice right now [emphasis yours], and yet you talk in terms of plans that will take decades to execute, and reactors that will last that long. Seriously, that's quite a disconnect, there, that reeks of spin-doctoring, not only to create the impression that the use of nuclear is only temporary but also thereby to downplay its negatives.
First, I don't appreciate your attitude toward me. I haven't gone on the attack with anyone else here, and I would appreciate the same courtesy. The enemy isn't anyone who is offering an actual solution to our future power production problems - you OR me. It is the people in charge who are letting our current production dwindle and continuing to run decrepit plants while future demand continues to increase. Things are looking ugly if we don't get *something* real, looking at actual NEED vs actual production capacity, going Real Soon Now.

Second, there is no disconnect. Nuclear is a proven technology for base load production. And I'm not spin doctoring anything - I'll freely admit that nuclear might be here to stay under the scenario I'm describing, but only if other (hopefully even cleaner) technologies don't rise up in sufficient quantity to supplant it. Nor am I playing down negatives - when a plant is poorly built, poorly run, or built in a really dumb place, bad bad things can happen. But run properly, they are actually cleaner than most other techs available now, and certainly cleaner than any other proven base load tech available right now, save maybe hydro, which as gturner pointed out, is pretty much maxed out, not counting experimental variants that need time for proving.
Dude. I intended no hostility in my post, and certainly none directed towards you personally.

However, I did call the disconnect between your claim that nuclear is only a temporary solution and your advocacy of long-term plans. You admitted it. Rather than lead with the claim that nuclear is the best choice right now, why not lead with the claim that it is the best choice for the foreseeable future, since that is really what you're claiming?

If you can't count on other alternatives to save you from pushing for more nuclear power, then I can't count on other alternatives to save me from the world you would create.

Downplaying is actually a problem, because what's sold as cheap and ideal often in the end turns out to be expensive and problematic. Running things properly entails expense.

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
Also, you can't really ignore people in a democracy; all you can do is outvote them.
I guess it's a good thing we don't live in a democracy, then, isn't it? I'm being facetious here, but only barely, if you look at how our government is actually run. Unfortunately, not only is the democratic process corrupt and bent, but it is bent in the wrong direction to get things that need doing done: we should NOT be making these decisions based on the coal lobby, or the solar lobby, or whatever. We should be making them by figuring out what we need, and then figuring out the best way to fill that need.
Here's another disconnect right here. You say that the government is mired in corruption, and yet you want the expansion of nuclear power in the US to be placed directly in the hands of the same government. If I can't trust the government to represent the will of the people, then why should I trust the government to double nuclear power production while observing adequate safeguards? Or just how much are you proposing to increase nuclear power? Right now, in the US, only 20% of our electric energy comes from nuclear power. I believe that that's roughly half the level it would need to be at, to meet base load demand.

I would prefer to see an educated populace and government returned to the control of men and women who take their oath to serve the people and uphold the Constitution seriously, of course. But if that doesn't look likely, I would settle for now for someone or someones running things that can at least get the stuff that needs doing done!
So, let me get this straight. Of course, you want people to uphold the Constitution. Of course. But, you'll settle for people who can just get things done, and again you assure me and us that it would be just "for now". Yet another disconnect: sounds like you want a dictator! This is where I start to get pissed off. Good to know that you aren't going on the attack!

Let's get one other thing straight. By proposing to get government involved, you are proposing how to spend my tax dollars, too. In that sphere, I don't respond well to attempts to triangulate me, even if it is against "the man." Just to be clear, I've underlined where you did that. The triangulation thing is a problem for me, because I'm not at all convinced that your interests and mine coincide.

Coach Comet wrote: View Post
So, if you expect nuclear not to be needed in the long-term, then what's next, and what's preventing us from investing in and developing that right now?
I believe that we will expand the use of solar, and that some of these underwater hydro designs have potential, too. I would like to think that fusion (or even anti-matter) reactors will become feasible soon. Wind and deep geothermal may be viable in some select regions. But while I would love to see expansion and proving for those techs, I'm not willing to gamble on any of those for our needs.

Don't assume, however, that I am against development of those techs by any means. My ideal would be to develop nuclear in sufficient quantities to fill our projected needs, but then actually only add it to the grid (a grid, btw, that also needs massive reworking) as needed to fill out what isn't provided by the technologies that we are still proving. I would like for us to *overproduce* - I think current projections are low. Look into "the Internet of Things" and imagine the power requirements.
Frankly, I think that we're going to need to solve the energy crisis long before nuclear power could be workable in the US on any significantly larger scale than where it's at. I consider that a strong argument against going down the path to drastically expand nuclear power production. The energy problem needs to be attacked not only on the production side, but also by reducing consumption. We have a great incentive both to increase efficiency and, among other things, to eliminate certain types of household devices altogether, or to reduce the level at which they are used, by, e.g., washing dishes by hand, letting clothes air-dry, turning thermostats down, etc.
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Old December 26 2013, 01:21 AM   #11
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

There is some merit in parts of what you are saying - but mostly you seem more interested in an argument over semantics and setting up strawmen moreso than an actual discussion on this subject, so I'll leave you to that.

Happy Holidays.
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Old December 26 2013, 01:40 AM   #12
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

All methods have electricty generation have pros and cons.

Wind power need wind

Solar needs the sun, sure even when it's cloudy and overcast some electricity will be generated but it's most efficent when we have bright clear sunny skies.

You also need hectarces of space given over to wind farms and solar farms to generate large amounts of power. Some consider them a blot on the landscape, true that might be NIMBY syndrome, but the point still stands sometimes people can be in favour of something until it directly impacts them. Unless you go for the more expensive offshore wind farms.

Of course the biggest pro is that they are clean, and one possible solution might be to go down the route of micro-generation and have every new house built have at least one solar power panel.

Tidal and wave power could possible work. But is that tech developed as well as wind or solar?

Coal, Oil and Gas whilst being able to generate large amounts are enviromentally unfriendly

Nuclear is relatively clean aside from the waste which is procduced and until we can invent a technology for dealing with it we have little choice but to bury it underground.

So what method of electricity generation do we use that is realtively clean and realibale and not depend on say the weather? Out of the current technology Nuclear would seem to be the answer, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't develop other techs and use a mix of other methods of generation other than Nuclear.

And I live within 20 miles of a Nuclear power station, do I think it might go into melt-down, no of course not.

As for the consumption side modern appliances are far more energy efficent than they used to be. I could walk into a shop today to buy say a new fridge, and it would be clearly labelled how energy efficent it was (on a scale i.e A-G) with A being the most energy efficent and I like many consumers would look to get the most efficent appliances.
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Old December 26 2013, 01:52 AM   #13
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Solar needs the sun, sure even when it's cloudy and overcast some electricity will be generated but it's most efficent when we have bright clear sunny skies. :snip:
Of course the biggest pro is that they are clean...
I don't disagree with you, really. I just wanted to add two things: a positive, and a negative. The positive is that while you are correct about optimal efficiency, molten salt storage allows for solar power to be more effective during low light periods than it might otherwise be. The negative is that solar isn't entirely clean, since the solar cells in wide use now require petroleum to produce, nor is wind, because the current designs in wide use cause problems for migratory birds. (They're *both* a heck of a lot cleaner than *coal*, though.)
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Old December 26 2013, 02:29 AM   #14
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
Yeah.. what can someone expect when the build nuclear reactors in an area called the Ring of Fire?

Nuclear energy has hailed as the one safe, dependable and clean energy source back then but i'm honestly surprised there weren't more Tchernobyls happening as i grew up (i dimly remember that time period).

It is safe but in order to be so you can't skimp on anything there which drives up costs. At a coal plant no one would lose their shit with a faulty valve or that some procedures may be outdated but given Murphy's Law these small things may be deadly with a nuclear reactor.
Nuclear power is safe, dependable and clean (which is the not so surprising reason more Tchernobyls weren't happening), unless you build it in an earthquake region and a tsunami strikes. Murphy's Law isn't actually a law.

Germany pushing the panic button was ridiculous. There are no earthquakes and tsunami in your country.
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Old December 26 2013, 02:59 AM   #15
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Re: Has Nuke power just nukedthefridge, worse than 3 Mile Island?

Nuclear power was already on the outs in Germany, even before Fukushima. Fukushima was just a catalyst to fully commit to and accelerate the process. Storing nuclear waste remains an ongoing issue with no ideal solutions.

All energy sources have benefits and drawbacks, though. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.
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