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Mar. 16th, 2011 @ 06:08 pm Energy safety?
Current Mood: irritatedirritated
We know that nuclear power plants are ridiculously over-specified to be able to withstand forces that are very unlikely to occur. The current situation in Japan would not have occured if the mobile diesel generators had the right kind of plug, not because of the quake. In fact, as far as I can determine from the information available to me, all safety systems worked like they were supposed to.
This whole thing is being used by the anti-nuclear lobby to point to the dangers of nuclear power -- even though everything went right during and right after the quake.

I live close to a power plant. I don't know what it burns to generate the electricity -- but there is always a large smoke plume visible. Weurt, the small village that's next to the power plant, has a statistically higher number of cancer-related deaths. But of course there has never been a scientific link between the power plant and the cancer (but hey, if the anti-lobby's vague feelings of unrest are a reason to change policy, mine should too).
I don't know what measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the plant. I don't know if it could withstand a plane crashing on top of it. If it blows up, there will probably be a huge cloud of god-knows-what descending on the whole city. Or what's left of it, anyway.
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From:merle_
Date:March 16th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
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The news out here is full of Tremendous Fear over nuclear power (they made a list of the "most earthquake/tsunami unsafe" reactors, including one in an inland state that has never had an earthquake). Pfft. It's clean and cheap. As for the waste it produces? Build a rocket, have robotic arms to move the waste into it, and shoot it into the sun.
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From:fub
Date:March 16th, 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
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The waste products of the nuclear power plants are processed with great care. With a coal-fired plant, it's just run though a filter and then pumped into the atmosphere...
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From:merle_
Date:March 16th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
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Exactly. We get warnings from the local oil refinery about flares and notices like "stay indoors if you have respiratory problems" several times a year. Even with the earthquake threats where I live I am much more worried about constant threats than the possibility of an 8.0 quake, which will disable us anyway.

For your amusement, last year Kansas (home to great movements like banning the teaching of evolution in schools) decided to replace their power grid with.. coal plants. If you are ever nostalgic for 1900, you will know where to visit. (hmm.. maybe it was a y2k bug...)
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From:culculhen
Date:April 1st, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
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seeing that rockets explode a lot, lot more often then reactors that isn't that good an idea. A 1,5% change to set of a nuke in the upper atmosphere would probably be worse then just letting lay out in the open.

Not to mention that the power costs to actually get it in the sun is a good chunk of the power that waste generated it's horribly inefficient. Best to just bury it in a geologically stable place. There are (natural) nuclear reactors whose waste is buried safely for over 2 billion years now. Go for Yucca Mountain and when there is an earthquake, the only result will be that it's even more buried then it was.
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From:merle_
Date:April 2nd, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure how often rockets explode, but it is a good point that you don't want to have a dirty nuke in the air. Unless it was over an enemy country and you knew the air currents.. but even then it would be dangerous.

Mostly I was thinking that they have these recently decomissioned shuttles lying around, and one shuttle could carry quite a bit of waste.

Burying it deep in unused salt mines has been the time-honoured tradition. It does work.. in the short term. But if the waste has a long half-life eventually something will leach out of it.

Another solution, one I kind of like, is to put it into lead cubes, seal those with a thick coating of glass, stack them in the middle of a remote desert, and build a huge fence around the area saying "beyond here is death".
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From:vleeg
Date:March 17th, 2011 09:55 am (UTC)
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Ik hoorde op BNR een paar mensen op een bijeenkomst roepen dat dit een teken was dat we hie rniet aan mee moesten doen.

Sommige mensen moeten beschermd worden tegen hun eigen dommigheid! Als een kerncentrale van bijna 40 jaar oud een aardbeving kan doorstaan die waarschijnlijk de meeste infrastructuur in Nederland zou wegvagen, gevolgd door een tsunami die alles tot net over de Duitse grens zou wegspoelen, dan zou ik het liefst zo'n kerncentrale in mijn achtertuin willen zodat ik daar kon schuilen in geval van een ramp!
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