Nuclear energy is the safest

Discussion in 'Environment' started by skeptic, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. skeptic
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    skeptic BANNED

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    OK, I am convinced. And the safest form of nuclear energy is thorium reactors.

    Since energy and a national energy policy is obviously the second most critical fulcrum that can tip our nation toward or away from prosperity we as a nation should shit and get off the pot and start building thorium reactors.

    So this discussion covers two aspects: is nuclear power the safest energy platform? And is Thorium the safest and most practical nuclear platform?

    Pebble bed has promise, but for cost and availability of fuel as well as tolerable radioisotope waste I can't see pebble bed being as safe as a thorium reactor.

    Plus thorium reactors can actually consume existing nuclear waste that we have as of yet no plan to dispose of, safely or otherwise.

    Thorium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Of course I am no nuclear physicist either....
     
  2. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Granny don't believe `em - she say dis nuclear Sue Nami gonna make the crust o' the earth go spinnin' into outer space like an orange peel...
    :eek:
    Atomic official says Japan situation 'serious' but stable
    17 Mar.`11 — A senior official of the U.N. nuclear agency says the situation in and around the tsunami-stricken Japanese nuclear plant remains "very serious" but relatively stable.
    See also:

    Poll: Fears of nuclear disaster in U.S. rise after Japan quake
    17 Mar.`11 WASHINGTON — Americans' support for nuclear power has fallen, as 70% of those surveyed in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll say they've grown more concerned about the industry's safety based on the crisis unfolding at reactors in Japan.
     
  3. Dot Com
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    Dot Com Nullius in verba Supporting Member

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    Nuclear power still needs subsidies as does Exxon/Mobil apparently.
    Articles & Commentary
     
  4. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    So does Solar and wind.

    The only power you rarely hear about when it comes to subsidies is hydro, and that is limited to finding a good source of flowing water, plus the environmental groups really dont like it either.
     
  5. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    the safest form of energy is no energy at all. Every one has its own risks, trade-offs and downsides.

    The biggest downside of nuclear power is the worst case scenario accident is often far far worse than any other sort of power, with hydro actually being second (dam bursts are bad). The problem is compounded by the fact that the surest way to learn about a safety issue is to experience it first hand. It is this process that has allowed the commerical airline industry to improve its safety and provide one of the safest forms of transportation ever invented.

    The same process holds true to nuclear power, and power generation in general. You learn from each screw up, and implement controls so it doesnt happen again. Unfortunately, as a said, with fission power any major incident has massive repercussions.

    To combat this you have to be proactive with your safety planning, and try to anticipate all likely scenarios, and the counter them. Economics also come into play as the counters have to be viable to the net energy generation of the facility, or the whole operation becomes meaningless.

    Our current situation is a result of a magnitiude 9.0 earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami. In viewing the resulting efforts it is becoming a concern that, as in TMI, the operators may have been doing some things wrong in the response. That being said the reactors survived the inital earthquake and the tsunami, but ancillary systems were effected. One will not know exactly what happened until the report comes out, but what is apparent is the safety net did hold initially, but looks to have experienced failures as time went on.

    I do not think we can rid ourselves of fossil fuel power plants without the use of nuclear to provide base load capacity. One could theoretically use wind/solar as base load, but you would need an energy storing system to allow them to function in off times. A concept such as large storage tanks for water, where you use part of the operating load to pump water to a higher elevations, and then let if low down to a lower one when the main system isnt running would help this, but would be land intensive.

    Sorry for the thread hijack.
     
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  6. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Well said. Nuclear needs to be a part of our package to replace fossil fuels. It is time to work on the thorium reactors. Also time to take a hard look at reactors such as the Diablo Canyon one, which has no earthquake plan in spite of the presence of an major offshore fault only a mile from the plant.
     
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  7. Douger
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    Douger BANNED

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    Easy. It's already flowing........out of the US by your masters like CocaCola and Pepsi.
     
  8. polarbear
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    polarbear I eat morons

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    So far the radiation leaks are no worse, actually less than what is in almost any basement with poor ventilation, because of Radon Gas accumulation. Where is it and what is "safe" when an 8.9R earthquake hits?
    No matter how many seat-belts You wear, not even the inside of a parked car is "safe" under such circumstances.
    Thank God not everybody lives in constant "Angst" else there would have never been any Expeditions to the Poles, a moon landing, probably we would to date not even have aviation + many other things.
    What exactly has an earth quake to do with a nuclear power plant, say in Pinawa Manitoba, which are built on what is probably one of the most stable bed rock layers on this planet. And yes even there we might get hit by one of these Hollywood disaster movie comets.
    With these Power Plants in Japan it was not even the reactor core that leaked.
    It was the storage basin, where fuel rods have been stored. In November last year large new shipments arrived for these plants and an unusually high number of fuel rods happened to be on these sites when the quake hit...that was the problem.
    That was in Reuters, on the BBC and all kinds of other major news outlets...including Tokyo TV.
    It was in these basins where the cooling failed, too much water evaporated, rods overheated and Hydrogen was generated which then ignited and exploded....NOT THE REACTORS!
    Had these extra shipments not been there and these ponds been over stretched in their capacity You would not have seen any of these dooms- day Newspaper headlines.
    It was almost always a series of freak coincidences, same freak bad luck combined with pilot error which brings airliners down, that otherwise had a perfect safety record..in many 5 of more errors that standard procedure should have eliminated lined up perfectly to result in calamity.
    Murray`s law..! Humans are the weak link, not the machinery and the same is true with nuclear power
    Seeing in all 3 Plants also in Chernobyl it was the Hydrogen gas that exploded how safe would these "Al Gore" hydrogen powered cars be?
    Hydrogen gas tanks in city traffic with how many rear end accidents per year?
    Imagine a truck,,,how much hydrogen would it take to substitute for 200+ gallons of diesel fuel?....
    That`s way more hydrogen than put together that blew up in any of these Nuclear Power Plants, Chernobyl included!

    I thought I`d never see this either:

    OldRocks
    I`m speechless and will actually click on "reload" and mark my + Thank You under the user "OldRocks"
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  9. Mr Clean
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    Mr Clean Gold Member

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    Nuclear power is the safest until something goes wrong.

    It's like flying; the safest way to travel until a plane crashes.
     
  10. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    I'm sure they have a contingency plan that covers earthquakes, its just not called an "earthquake plan." You look in a binder and there are several plans for emergency procedures. When you go to "earthquake" in the binder it directs you to a SCRAM and a hard shutdown, (Called Plan ZZ-57-Q or something like that) which is also the plan for several other types of emergency.

    As for thorium reactors one has to remember that they are untried technologies in full scale, and will likely have the same growing pains as others. We have 40 years of experience with PWR's and even though we havent built any new ones recently, the designs have been upgraded repeatedly, and would incorporate far more responsive safety protocols than the older ones.
     

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