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Old 11-16-2007, 05:53 PM   #21
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Gosh, I thought this thread was about safe nuclear reactor design. I'm all for the pebble-bed reactor proposals.
I heard that they were building some pebble bed reactors in South Africa. Sounded interesting.

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Old 11-16-2007, 09:23 PM   #22
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The title of the thread is "Nuclear Energy....... why not??

The other "why not" for me is the inevitable failure that must come with anything mankind designs and operates. It takes a loooong time for spilled radiation to cool down. We've only even been a country for 200 years. How many people on this forum trust the government to regulate industry well enough to prevent a catastrophe for the next 10,000 years?
Being from Alaska, where a drunken ship captain ran a single hulled oil tanker onto a charted reef and spilled oil that is still there 18 years later, I'm a skeptic of the "oh, that will never happen" types.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:33 PM   #23
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TFFMC - good example of the dangers of fossil fuel.

How many deaths have been caused by the kinds of Nuke designs that would be used for new plants. Zero, I think. A Chernobyl design would never be built again, most never thought it should have been built in the first place. TMI? No deaths.

I'm not finding a good link, but I thought I heard that the 10,000 year number is very misleading. That some high % of the waste has a half life of a few years. Something like >90% of the rad is gone after 50 or 100 years?

Anyone have a good source for this?

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Old 11-16-2007, 09:47 PM   #24
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To all those who have expressed support for more nuclear power in the US- would you agree to have a new plant built in your town? How about in your neighborhood? Would you like to own a house near Three Mile Island? That is what I thought.:confused:Grumpy
i've already got one north of me on hutchinson island (north of jupiter) and one south of me at turkey point (south of miami) so either way the wind blows on a bad day they've got me glowing green (think homer--as in donuts, not the iliad).

even though i was recycling glass since i was a young teen (we used to collect & separate the clear from the pretty colored glass) i never could get myself to rally against nuclear. but i was also never able to speak up for it either because, well, as someone already mentioned the musicians, it came as a package deal with litter and water pollution.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:01 PM   #25
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i've already got one north of me on hutchinson island (north of jupiter) and one south of me at turkey point (south of miami) so either way the wind blows on a bad day they've got me glowing green
Except for the fact that coal plants release more radiation into the surrounding area than do nuclear plants. 100x more.

Nuclear power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dig that coal out of the ground and you get some trace radiation. Burn tons and tons of coal, and it adds up. So if there is any glowing in the dark, it is from the people near coal plants, not the Nukes.

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Old 11-16-2007, 11:20 PM   #26
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ERD450 wrote: TFFMC - good example of the dangers of fossil fuel.

True, oil is filthy stuff. Ask me if I wanted the pipeline. But the oil will probably be gone from Prince William Sound in maybe 1000 years, I bet, not 10,000. I'm glad I've sent my pennies to Cook Inlet Keeper, one of the organizations who pressed for double hull tankers. Too bad no one listened to them in time.
I'm no nuke engineer, just a recovering biologist, so maybe I'm wrong on nuclear wastes being toxic for 10,000 years. I'd be interested to see a reputable source state otherwise. In fact, I see Wikipedia says about spent fuel:
Radioactive waste - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Critics of the latter idea point out that the half-life of Pu-240 is 6,560 years and Pu-239 is 24,110 years, and thus the relative enrichment of one isotope to the other with time occurs with a half-life of 9,000 years (that is, it takes 9000 years for the fraction of Pu-240 in a sample of mixed plutonium isotopes, to spontaneously decrease by half-- a typical enrichment needed to turn reactor-grade into weapons-grade Pu). Thus "weapons grade plutonium mines" would be a problem for the very far future (>9,000 years from now), so that there remains a great deal of time for technology to advance to solve this problem, before it becomes acute."

From this I read (correct me please, nuke engineers) that one isotope of plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years, and nuclear waste dumps actually generate weapons grade plutonium, albeit very slowly. The waste storage problem is even worse than I thought! Mind you, this is only Wikipedia.

I am more concerned about safely storing the waste for tens of thousands of years, than the nuclear plants themselves, although I wouldn't want to live next to one anyway. And we're supposed to be worried about how the next generation will fund Medicare? That's sissy stuff compared to burdening the next 300 GENERATIONS OR MORE with our nuke waste.
Other than reducing coal plant emissions with tougher regulations (Bush Out NOW), and trying to have as small a negative impact on the planet myself as I can, I don't have any solution myself. But let's not add to the problem with the horrible mess of nuclear power.
If everyone lived like me there wouldn't be an energy shortage. But then the economy would be flat and I couldn't have ERed.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:16 AM   #27
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:31 AM   #28
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I am more concerned about safely storing the waste for tens of thousands of years, than the nuclear plants themselves, although I wouldn't want to live next to one anyway. And we're supposed to be worried about how the next generation will fund Medicare? That's sissy stuff compared to burdening the next 300 GENERATIONS OR MORE with our nuke waste.
How many generations will the mercury from Coal plants be around? You keep comparing nuclear power to 'no power'. Anything will look bad compared to 'nothing'. Wind will look bad, you need to mine the copper, make fiberglas, kill birds.

Here's a different angle. If the country is REALLY concerned about pollution from power sources, put a moratorium on new power plants. Make do with what we have. If demand goes up, prices will go up. That will drive conservation efforts. See how serious we are then.

Renewables? Fine, but they don't come w/o some price. So, maybe define that in terms of coal. If wind is say, 10X less harmful than coal, allow 10MW of wind to go on-line but ONLY if you take 1MW of coal OFF-LINE. Net zero increase in environmental damage.

I'm sure we will hear a lot about plans like these in the Presidential debates, right?

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Old 11-17-2007, 12:54 PM   #29
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To all those who have expressed support for more nuclear power in the US- would you agree to have a new plant built in your town? How about in your neighborhood? Would you like to own a house near Three Mile Island? That is what I thought.:confused:
Grumpy
I wouldn't mind a nuke plant in my town, but I think a LOT of other people would. The state here owns a TON of land that is remote. Who says that a nuke plant HAS to be near a large city or town?? :confused:

Let's put it another way.............I would rather have a nuclear plant than a coal plant spewing clouds of emissions from a big smokestack which would according to Murphy's law, blow directly into my windows..........
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:46 PM   #30
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I wouldn't mind a nuke plant in my town, but I think a LOT of other people would. The state here owns a TON of land that is remote. Who says that a nuke plant HAS to be near a large city or town?? :confused:
Let's put it another way.............I would rather have a nuclear plant than a coal plant spewing clouds of emissions from a big smokestack which would according to Murphy's law, blow directly into my windows..........
Hey, the bustling megalopolis of Ballston Spa, NY (near Saratoga Springs) used to have several nuclear plants nearby, and they couldn't even access the electricity they generated!

The majority tonnage of "nuclear waste" is old bulk metal with a much shorter half-life. As designs get smarter the waste-disposal problem will get smaller, although we have plenty problems already.

In 1958 the U.S. Navy finished testing the S1G reactor system ("S" for submarine, "1" for first prototype, "G" for General Electric) and decommissioned it. The nuclear core and various other highly-radioactive parts were encased in concrete and shipped off to Washington state's Hanford reservation for processing, but the pressure vessel and other piping was buried outside the S3G Core 3 building where I was training. You could tell where because the snow always melted there first (in a nice neat military circle) and spring's flowers always sprouted there in late February.

In late 1983, after the completion of five half-lives of cobalt-60 (a primary component of some types of stainless-steel piping & vessels) the cache was excavated and loaded on a flatbed railroad car. It was packed in dirt until the load's total curies/pound ratio was below the federal limits, and then the train left at midnight for Washington state. The civic authorities of Ballston Spa, its county, and the great state of New York were not notified because (under federal & military regulations in effect at the time) it was not deemed to be any of their business.

We spent quite a few weeks after that driving to our shifts through gauntlets of protestors.

The latest submarine class goes to sea with S9W reactors, and there's barely a common component between them and their ancestors. They're the best that money can buy, but unfortunately they're unaffordable by public utilities.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:12 PM   #31
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Q: When will the car be available?
A: As per GM Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz the plan is to have the car available for mass purchase in late 2010 (probably as a 2011 model year). He is 90% confident it will be built.

Looks like the Chinese might get here first:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- If all goes according to plan, by 2009 you could be sticking it to Big Oil by driving an all electric, Chinese-made sedan for little more than the cost of a Camry.

At $30,000 and 80-mph, an electric car for the common man - Aug. 13, 2007
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:21 PM   #32
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There are a lot of electric car startup companies around. Should be interesting.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:29 PM   #33
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There are a lot of electric car startup companies around. Should be interesting.
Let's hope they fare better than these:

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Old 11-17-2007, 02:32 PM   #34
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Spent 18 months working at Indian Point NPG, most of that in "the elevations", the hot zones. Safety and security were priority one. I would have no trouble whatsoever living with an NPG in my backyard. My total exposure for that 18 months was less than a "caution" dosage for a single month.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:53 PM   #35
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- If all goes according to plan, by 2009 you could be sticking it to Big Oil by driving an all electric....
Ummm, and being 'stuck' by Big Coal (see T-Al's chart above on electric production).

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Old 11-17-2007, 03:05 PM   #36
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I wouldn't mind a nuke plant in my town, but I think a LOT of other people would.
A lot of people might already have one, and simply be unaware of it.

The next town over from where I grew up turned out to have had a research reactor operated by the Army for some years without any public knowledge, even by the state and local politicians. It was in operation for roughly ten years in the 60's and was then deactivated. It and its contents were left to sit until about 8 years ago when the Army acknowledged its existence after testing found that it was leaking some nice stuff into the ground and the river it was positioned next to. Sort of nice since a huge shopping mall was built almost on top of it in the 80's, and homeless were sheltered in the abandoned army buildings during particularly cold periods.

Allegedly a substantial amount of tainted waste product from the reactor was burned in an adjacent incinerator and the rest buried somewhat haphazardly in leaky containers over dozens of acres. Living space including a home for the elderly were later built on the contaminated land, which was sold/annexed to the town over a period of years with apparently a disconnect between the folks who knew about what it had been used for and the folks who were able to transfer the land. Conditions for decontamination were supposed to have been associated with the transfer...but those fell by the wayside.

NRC: SECY-03-0153 - Removal of the General Services Administration Watertown, Massachusetts, Property from the Site Decommissioning Management Plan
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:11 PM   #37
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ERD50 wrote: "Here's a different angle. If the country is REALLY concerned about pollution from power sources, put a moratorium on new power plants. Make do with what we have. If demand goes up, prices will go up. That will drive conservation efforts. See how serious we are then."

Amen. And put a huge tax on gasoline too. You're singing my song. No, I am not kidding. It's our responsibility to future generations to not just pass the buck (and the pollution). I see people around me using two or three times the energy they need to, unthinkingly, just because it's cheap and easy now.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:59 PM   #38
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Ummm, and being 'stuck' by Big Coal (see T-Al's chart above on electric production).
Half coal is still better than all oil
Besides, some of us won't be using any coal. For my electric car it will be all solar.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:13 PM   #39
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I love our north carolina nuke plant, in fact was fishing today in the lake right down stream from the cooling tower. Cool sight. The water is the cleanest around. Oh and electric rates are 30% lower than other places.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:34 PM   #40
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Funny...I used to fish the outlet water at the Plymouth Pilgrim plant when I was a kid. Tons of fish. I think they liked the warmer water.
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