Is Nuclear Power Safe
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10-02-2014, 12:16 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
I think everyone needs to do whatever Sweden is doing. They make so much energy the apparently export a lot of it.

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10-02-2014, 12:34 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
(10-02-2014 12:07 AM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  I'll wager that coal plants have been in greater number, and running much longer than nuclear plants. If nuclear plants were scaled up to that number, for that length of time, how would pollution and safety compare?

According to http://www.world-nuclear.org/Nuclear-Bas...-reactors, there are 435 active nuclear power plants worldwide. According to http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/frequ...questions, there are 2300 coal fired plants world wide. Nuclear power generation is roughly 2500 TWh, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nucle...ation.png, and coal generation is roughly 17000 TWh/year https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World...ption.svg. In round numbers, nuclear is 1/7th of coal.

There have been 3 nuclear accidents that resulted in deaths over the entire history of nuclear energy. One was a steam explosion that killed 2, one was at a processing plant that killed 5, and then there's Chernobyl, with an estimated long term count of 4000. Chernobyl pretty much accounts for the deaths related to nuclear accidents.

All that added up, if we had used nuclear instead of coal for the past ~50 years, we might have seen 30000 deaths related to nuclear accidents (assuming we learn nothing from each one). According to this highly biased site, http://www.coal-is-dirty.com/the-coal-hard-facts, there are 24,000 deaths caused by coal each year. That might not be so far fetched, when you considr that 250,000 die each year just from athsma. http://www.aaaai.org/about-the-aaaai/new...stics.aspx

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10-02-2014, 01:00 AM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2014 01:19 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
History may well record Nuclear killing > 4000
And for coal " the entire planet"

I read a scifi book once where, pollution on a water world type planet caused a runaway greenhouse effect that killed the planet (VENUS) all the oceans evaporated and became the dense atmosphere is today
, a few thousand escaped to create ice cannons on Mars that shifted its water to earth. But a third party alien entity intervened in the terra forming as earth had just evolved sentient beings and was protected.

And im off topic again.

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10-02-2014, 08:17 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
(08-02-2014 11:00 PM)sporehux Wrote:  [Image: tidal1.gif]

You can't explain that!

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

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10-02-2014, 09:17 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
(10-02-2014 08:17 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  
(08-02-2014 11:00 PM)sporehux Wrote:  [Image: tidal1.gif]

You can't explain that!

You'll have to pay your electric bill to the church. (or fox news)

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10-02-2014, 09:23 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
(08-02-2014 01:43 AM)sporehux Wrote:  
(08-02-2014 01:26 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Question: "Is nuclear power safe".

Answer: Yes.

That was easy. Smile

Its a loaded question, because its equally valid to call it unsafe.

It's a false dichotomy. Death is safe. For everything else, there's entropy. Undecided

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10-02-2014, 10:45 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
Nuclear power is relatively safe.

Our ability to cope and manage the things that go wrong are not.

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10-02-2014, 11:54 PM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
(10-02-2014 12:07 AM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Thoughts:

A coal plant has to run several decades continuously to build up unsafe pollution, in increments.
A nuclear plant can run just as long, with no pollution, but a single incident can generate the same amount of unsafe pollution in a single instant.

So do you want 1 punch a day to the gut for 10 days, or do you want a kick to the head after waiting 10 days?

A coal plants pollution doesn't last as long as a nuclear plants. Radioactive waste lives on, and on, and on. We have the technology to clean pollution from coal as it's being generated - it just has to be implemented. The best we can hope for nuclear waste is to bury it until future generations have to deal with it. Sound familiar?

Wrong.

We do have the technology to completely clean up radioactive waste. It's called 'Breeder reactors'. It's quite possible to built nuclear reactors that generate more fissile materials than it uses, allowing them to be run off of actual nuclear waste.

Even less efficient types would enable us to eliminate the problem of nuclear waste by producing relatively harmless waste in the end themselves.

Why isn't this being developed? For different reasons in different places.

In Sweden, it's political suicide to even hint at building new nuclear reactors. Because of public idiocy, we're not even allowed to properly upgrade the reactors we do have.

In the US, the bigtime politicians are too deep in the pockets of other interest groups that they'd never risk doing something that would jeopardize their profits. Maybe the US should give some thought to actually outlawing corruption rather than relying on it?
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11-02-2014, 12:09 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
Yes and no.
Radioactive material is the last thing anyone wants to be in contact with in any for ...but it is a very effective way of attaining a high yield of energy and it is better than depleting what fossil fuel resources remain isnt it Big Grin

Coming from a city associated with coal I can say that coal has many more dangers for the community as a whole... if things go VERY badly you dont just lose a mine you lose a city or town. If you accidentally hit an underwater reservoir then you are completely f***ed and nothing can undo the damage. ...Then there is the general health problems for the miners and their families, and dont forget the problems caused by inhaling dust of smoke.

The social impact on mining communities is even harder to understand the industry effectively leads to indentured labour - to put it simply noone wants to do the job so eventually you end up with families of miners limited to an existence as a miner only because noone else has the skills or desire to spend their lives miles underground. And because towns are built around mines it makes it hard for people growing up in these towns/places to find any other work or even raise the cash to get out of the community. Thankfully this industry is in decline ^_^
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11-02-2014, 12:25 AM
RE: Is Nuclear Power Safe
(09-02-2014 11:40 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(08-02-2014 10:27 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Nuclear power is probably as safe as any other type of power plant...as long as you don't build it on or near a fault line, or a coastline that might be swept by a tsunami, or some such other positioning error. The problem is that humans never seem to learn.

Of course the other problem with nuclear fission reactors is the radioactive waste which, in the case of U-239, has a halflife of 24,000 years or, to put it another way... roughly 5 times as long as all of recorded history.

Let's just not pretend that this is not an issue.

There are modern designs that consume long long lived waste, rather than producing it, which kills 2 birds with one radioactive stone.

The last nuclear power plant built in the US was in 1996. How modern do we suppose that is?

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