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Nuclear Power Fanboys Take Note - Fuksushima on the Missouri River?
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Nuclear Power Fanboys Take Note - Fuksushima on the Missouri River?

  #21 (permalink)
Fortitudo et Honor
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monpere View Post
I'm no nuclear engineer, but using shredded newspaper to contain a catastrophic nuclear event does not foster feelings of confidence for me in the industry. I'm no fan of coal power either, but until the nuclear industry can instill that confidence in general public, it is going to scare the pants off of the layman.

People fear what they do not understand. It literally took us decades to accept food irradiation, after we did, the number of deaths from certain food born illnesses has GREATLY decreased. But the "layperson" sees the term irradiated and has no clue what that means....they assume the food is radioactive.

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  #22 (permalink)
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RM99 View Post
People fear what they do not understand. It literally took us decades to accept food irradiation, after we did, the number of deaths from certain food born illnesses has GREATLY decreased. But the "layperson" sees the term irradiated and has no clue what that means....they assume the food is radioactive.

It's normal human nature. It's part of our natural survival instinct. Doesn't matter what super new awesome designs you try to explain to the layman. That new super cooled, turbo moderation thingamajig, is still a thingamajig to them. Nuclear power is going to be an uphill battle in the eyes of many, until we stop seeing in the news, nuclear engineers using shredded news paper in desperation to contain meltdowns.

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  #23 (permalink)
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Quoting 
Firstly, it takes a little more than a loss of power to reach a "meltdown."

There are concepts in inherent design here at play that would literally take weeks to explain.

The reactor in Japan was/is a Boiling Water Reactor (GE) and the reactor in Omaha is a Pressurized Water Reactor.

Both are similar in design, but the PWR has a separate cooling/electrical generation system (separated by a series of heat exchangers).

Comparing either of these to Chernobyl is simply ignorant. Chernobyl was a high temperature gas reactor.

In the simplest terms....in a gas reactor, the moderator (a key component of the fission reaction) is large amounts of carbon. The coolant (which is separate), typically Helium, serves to cool the reactor, but the reaction is independent of the coolant.

In lightwater reactors (BWR and PWR) the coolant and the moderator are the same. That way, if there's a loss of coolant, there's a corresponding loss of reaction.

We saw this concept play out at 3mile, where the reactor containment held and the inherent design actually did it's job. 3Mile was/is seen as a failure to opponents, but it's actually a success story. It showed we could have a catastrophic failure and NOT have a total meltdown and rupture of the containment.

Thank you for your irrelevant and misleadnng posting. There is at least ten times more radioactivity on site at Fukushima than there was at Chernobyl. Chernobyl had no containment. The containment at Fukushima is gone. Chernobyl had one big explosion but the releases were stopped in a matter of weeks. Fukushima had lots of not quite so big explosions. The releases from Fukushima have been going on for months and there are still nuclear reactions going on in the open air. The meltdowns were caused by LOSS OF ELECTRIC POWER, causing failure of core and spent fuel cooling. Even at reactors that were NOT RUNNING at the time of the earthquake. Great system.

Now we have two reactors in Nebraska facing possible meltdowns from loss of electric power and the Plutonium Plantation in New Mexico about to go up in flames. We will be raising our standards for allowable exposures to radiation soon....

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  #24 (permalink)
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zxxaxz View Post
"This medal is for the 50 yard dash and this medal is for the high jump, and...

I'm not sure what your point is ?

What if they had not made the efforts they did to try to deal with the situation?
Should we not be in eternal gratitude, irrespective of "medals" ? !

Every moment I wake up I realize I know nothing, and then I smile...
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  #25 (permalink)
Fortitudo et Honor
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Zondor View Post
Thank you for your irrelevant and misleadnng posting. There is at least ten times more radioactivity on site at Fukushima than there was at Chernobyl. Chernobyl had no containment. The containment at Fukushima is gone. Chernobyl had one big explosion but the releases were stopped in a matter of weeks. Fukushima had lots of not quite so big explosions. The releases from Fukushima have been going on for months and there are still nuclear reactions going on in the open air. The meltdowns were caused by LOSS OF ELECTRIC POWER, causing failure of core and spent fuel cooling. Even at reactors that were NOT RUNNING at the time of the earthquake. Great system.

Now we have two reactors in Nebraska facing possible meltdowns from loss of electric power and the Plutonium Plantation in New Mexico about to go up in flames. We will be raising our standards for allowable exposures to radiation soon....

You should hide in your house or buy a farm in the middle of Wyoming and build a bomb shelter. Grow a beard and stockpile guns and food and water. Seriously.

There's not going to be a meltdown at either of those plants. Secondly, as I said, the root cause of the Japanese situation is building a nuclear plant on one of the most active Earthquake zones in the world.

My post in not irrelevant. We've had nuclear plants operating successfully and basically incident free for decades. Now all of a sudden you think the sky is falling.

The plain fact of the matter is that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks or risks. Hydroelectric is tapped and has been for decades. Coal and fossil fired plants kill more people and destroy the environment 1000x worse. Until someone comes up with a viable alternative (both economic AND able to produce the required demand) then it's what we have.

You don't get a meltdown from a simple loss of power. I'm surprised that with your background you're subscribing to that notion. It's a little more complicated than that.

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  #26 (permalink)
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Accident waiting to happen

You MOST CERTAINLY DO get a meltdown from a simple loss of power, because the amount of thermal energy generated by radioactive decay of the irradiated, fully or partially spent fuel demands ACTIVE CIRCULATION water cooling. In the absence of active water cooling the fuel rods will heat up and melt all by themselves.

Without active circulation the cooling water will boil away in a matter of days if the ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN pumps do not maintain the flow of cooling water through the reactor core or spent fuel pool. Of course, loss of power is impossible, isn't it..... The loss of power is what caused the problems at Fukushima, NOT seismic damage.... but that is impossible......it would violate the laws of banksters and Ivy League economists..... who cares about the laws of physics.

Spent fuel pools are more dangerous than reactors. A spent fuel pool may contain fuel from several reactor cores. Spent fuel pools are NOT protected by massive containment structures like reactors are. Why do the spent fuel elements throw off so much energy? Because during their useful life in the reactor less than one percent of the available fissile energy in the fuel is used. By then the neutron flux in the reactor has caused the transmutation of so much of the material in the fuel into elements that poison the chain reaction that the fuel becomes useless for power generation. This is an idiotic, wasteful once through throw away system based on 1950's technology. It creates a waste product millions of times more dangerous than the not yet irradiated virgin fuel that originally went into the reactor. And so far all attempts at reprocessing the spent fuel have been unmitigated environmental and economic disasters. Which the Fanboys blame on "environmentalists".

The nuclear power "industry" is nothing but a handmaiden of nuclear weapons programs. That's what dictated the nature of the nuclear fuel cycle and the inherently dangerous concepts of BWR and PWR reactors. The whole program has been a feeding trough for the biggest and most politically connected defense contractors and government favored construction companies.

.....


Last edited by Zondor; June 28th, 2011 at 07:10 PM.
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  #27 (permalink)
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Zondor View Post
You MOST CERTAINLY DO get a meltdown from a simple loss of power, because the amount of thermal energy generated by radioactive decay of the irradiated, fully or partially spent fuel demands ACTIVE CIRCULATION water cooling. In the absence of active water cooling the fuel rods will heat up and melt all by themselves.

Without active circulation the cooling water will boil away in a matter of days if the ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN pumps do not maintain the flow of cooling water through the reactor core or spent fuel pool. Of course, loss of power is impossible, isn't it..... The loss of power is what caused the problems at Fukushima, NOT seismic damage.... but that is impossible......it would violate the laws of banksters and Ivy League economists..... who cares about the laws of physics.

Spent fuel pools are more dangerous than reactors. A spent fuel pool may contain fuel from several reactor cores. Spent fuel pools are NOT protected by massive containment structures like reactors are. Why do the spent fuel elements throw off so much energy? Because during their useful life in the reactor less than one percent of the available fissile energy in the fuel is used. By then the neutron flux in the reactor has caused the transmutation of so much of the material in the fuel into elements that poison the chain reaction that the fuel becomes useless for power generation. This is an idiotic, wasteful once through throw away system based on 1950's technology. It creates a waste product millions of times more dangerous than the not yet irradiated virgin fuel that originally went into the reactor. And so far all attempts at reprocessing the spent fuel have been unmitigated environmental and economic disasters. Which the Fanboys blame on "environmentalists".

The nuclear power "industry" is nothing but a handmaiden of nuclear weapons programs. That's what dictated the nature of the nuclear fuel cycle and the inherently dangerous concepts of BWR and PWR reactors. The whole program has been a feeding trough for the biggest and most politically connected defense contractors and government favored construction companies.

.....

You know enough to literally be dangerous. When you have a degree in nuke or otherwise some experience, let me know.

Spent fuel is usually stored in "casks." The fuel is still active but it is not active enough to "melt" the fuel so long as the casks are not significantly altered. Many of these metal casks contain thermal distribution features (like fins and structure with surface area to aid heat transfer).

The proof is in the pudding. If what you say were true, then we'd literally be having hundreds of reactor incidents a year. We are not.

You're falling victim to the typical overreaction mode that plagues our society. People use induction (taking a small piece of information and incorrectly applying it to the larger superset of information).

This is how you get the Gulf Oil disaster and people running for the hills declaring that offshore drilling is dangerous and irresponsible.....all of it.

The fact remains that we've had HUNDREDS of reactors operating in the United States for decades. You can count on one hand the number of newsworthy incidents at those reactors. The same story extends internationally where there are THOUSANDS of reactors operating for extended time periods.

I do not deny that ANY energy solution presents challenges, risks and drawbacks, but you should consider the consequences of your assertions.

Like I've already pointed out, plain as day in fact. The fossil fuel electric solution kills orders of magnitude more people in 1 single year, than the entire history of the nuclear program.

You're addressing a smaller and safer portion of the energy system.

It's not unlike the person who doesn't realize that driving a car is much more dangerous than flying in an aircraft. You're statistically much more likely to die or be mamed in a car trip from NY to LA than on a flight. But nonetheless, people fear flying.

What you're doing is akin to mowing the lawn while the entire house is on fire. I'd address the realities of fossil fuel harvesting and mining, fossil fuel accidents and incidents (plants and refinery accidents), fossil fuel impacts to the environment (mining operations, spills, flood leakages, CO2 emissions, sulfate and nitrate/acid rain emissions, AND RADIOACTIVE EMISSIONS).

As I already pointed out, your average American receives radiation from a multitude of sources. The radiation exposure from nuclear operations is so far down the list, it's counterintuitive. You get more radiation from coal fired plants than nuke.

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  #28 (permalink)
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And you need to redefine "meltdown." A meltdown occurs when the reaction continues, unchecked until it totally destroys the fuel structure and violates the containment structure.

You do not get containment structure violation from spent fuel left uncooled. Could it get hot and "melt" the fuel strucutre....I suppose in sufficient concentrations, but the amount of energy required to melt/burn through concrete containment structures is not present in spent fuel secondary applications.

Again, if you were to evaluate the number of plant years (number of years a single plant has operated) we literally end up with an incident rate that's orders of magnitude safer than fossil fuel applications. Thousdands of nuclear power plants operating world wide and like I said, you'd literally have to go fishing/digging to find more than a few incidents that you could remember off hand.

Hell, one mining accident in the harvesting of coal wipes away the number of nuke victims since inception.

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  #29 (permalink)
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Ignorance is bliss

Spent fuel is stored in POOLS OF WATER that are cooled by water circulated by ELECTRIC PUMPS. The spent fuel can be transported in casks after it cools down for a few years in pools of water. When it first comes out of the reactor the fuel is so hot, thermally and radiologically, that there is no safe way to transport it other than by crane from the reactor to the fuel pool.

All the controversy over casks was about how safe it would be to transport spent fuel from its current, extremely dangerous storage sites at power plants to the imaginary Federal high level radioactive waste depository that will probably never be built.

After a few years of water cooling spent fuel can be stored in AIR COOLED racks which are safer in that they do not require electrically driven water circulation. CAN BE but aren't; in the USA they just pack 'em in tight in the water filled pools because that's CHEAPER.

Did you learn about nuclear power in business school, or from Fox News?

Let's be clear about what happened at Fukushima. LOSS OF COOLANT ACCIDENT DUE TO FAILURE OF ELECTRICALLY POWERED COOLING SYSTEMS. Are you capable of understanding that?

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  #30 (permalink)
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Zondor View Post
Spent fuel is stored in POOLS OF WATER that are cooled by water circulated by ELECTRIC PUMPS. The spent fuel can be transported in casks after it cools down for a few years in pools of water. When it first comes out of the reactor the fuel is so hot, thermally and radiologically, that there is no safe way to transport it other than by crane from the reactor to the fuel pool.

All the controversy over casks was about how safe it would be to transport spent fuel from its current, extremely dangerous storage sites at power plants to the imaginary Federal high level radioactive waste depository that will probably never be built.

After a few years of water cooling spent fuel can be stored in AIR COOLED racks which are safer in that they do not require electrically driven water circulation. CAN BE but aren't; in the USA they just pack 'em in tight in the water filled pools because that's CHEAPER.

Did you learn about nuclear power in business school, or from Fox News?

Let's be clear about what happened at Fukushima. LOSS OF COOLANT ACCIDENT DUE TO FAILURE OF ELECTRICALLY POWERED COOLING SYSTEMS. Are you capable of understanding that?

1) What exactly caused the loss of coolant at Fukushima? Are you capable of understanding that? I said, though you must not have understood...you do not build nuclear plants in an active Earthquake zone. Building them in a flood plain is also pretty irresponsible.

2) So what exactly is your solution? eliminate the entire nuclear power program and cut our energy consumption by 20%? Sure that's viable. What would you do? Replace it with the more dangerous fossil fuel solution? Like I've told you, but you seem to gloss over the facts, fossil fuel power solutions kill WAY MORE PEOPLE THAN NUKE EVER HAS.

So even if I go with your sentiment here...that nuke is unsafe.....what exactly is your point? You cannot eliminate it. (nor should we).

The plain facts are there in black and white. More people die from fossil fuel solutions and it completely and totally wrecks the environment.

3). You contradict yourself. You're saying that spent fuel is no longer viable in the nuclear reaction and therefore no longer useful in that vein....and that's true. But then you seem to think that the same said fuel that will not sustain the primary reaction, is now considered risky in terms of nuclear meltdown.

EVEN if you lose coolant to spent fuel pools, the heat generated is much easier to contain than a reactor with fresh fuel.

Like I said....all you conspiracy theorists and naysayers look bad when after 30 and 40 years, there's plenty of reactors STILL operating safely.

Like I said you don't build nuke plants in Earthquake zone or flood zones.

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