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Author Topic: Nuclear power, how safe is it?  (Read 1287 times)

yor_on

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Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« on: 11/02/2012 14:52:32 »
Apropos nuclear power and long range effects of radioactive fallout. Seems that too many debate this from a political view in stead of looking at facts as they come forth. In Sweden Vattefall in a epic moment of greed and stupidity bought both coal, and nuclear, power plants in Germany. Don't ask me what a government owned corporation, meaning owned by all Swedes, had to do in Germany? Only the board can answer that question I guess.. Now both nuclear plants are closed as unsafe, and I'm wondering who is going to pay for the dismantling of them? Swedish taxpayers? As well as Vattenfalls idea of burying the German brown coal-plants CO2 in the ground has been stopped by the German government, with good reason as it leak up, as shown in Canada.


But read this, and see what you think.

Chernobyl.

CliffordK

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Re: Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« Reply #1 on: 11/02/2012 19:46:37 »
If you are talking about the Kruemmel nuclear power station, it sounds like it was shut down due to a faulty transformer, and not a problem with the reactor core.  Although, Vattenfall has had other faults with their reactors including cooling system failures.

They've sacked a middle-manager because of failure to install safety devices in the transformer at the plant (which apparently had been promised to the local government).  Although, perhaps it was only a secondary transformer this time.

I think this is an older picture that was in the article, covering the 2007 fire at the plant.



What is obvious is that this transformer is HUGE.

Anyway, what this may highlight is two things. 
  • The propensity of private companies to cut corners
  • The scale of some of these nuke plants is just enormous
Would we be better off to have more, smaller reactors, rather than a few enormous reactors?

I might also ask, if the Kruemmel plant has been shut down more than it has been operating over the most recent few years, then is it really necessary?

Geezer

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Re: Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« Reply #2 on: 11/02/2012 21:31:19 »
It depends how you define "safe".

It's probably orders of magnitude safer than coal fired generation based on its impact on humans and the environment. Coal production kills thousands of miners, and coal consumption causes lots of insidious health and environmental problems.

yor_on

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Re: Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« Reply #3 on: 12/02/2012 12:48:27 »
As everything else it depends on what one define as 'safe' indeed. :)

Most of the, later found to be unsafe, procedures for gaining energy has killed a lot of people before we realized how to protect ourselves. The London smog is a good example, and that town in USA where a lot of people died due to industrial pollution (smog) , none realizing, or maybe just not wanting to admit to why. But if you read the link you will see that the estimate from scientists inside Russia, using their own sources, are considerably higher than IAEA:s.

In a way you could define it as it doesn't matter, as our reproductive rate still is fast enough to to compensate for those deaths. But it's also a moral and ethical question, as well as we pollute.

"The world now has 435 nuclear reactors and of these, 104 are in the United States.

The authors of the study say not enough attention has been paid to Eastern European research studies on the effects of Chernobyl at a time when corporations in several nations, including the United States, are attempting to build more nuclear reactors and to extend the years of operation of aging reactors.

The authors said in a statement, "Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations' agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments."

yor_on

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Re: Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« Reply #4 on: 12/02/2012 13:00:25 »
I meant both Krümmel and Brunsbütte. It has already cost 10.5 billion Swedish kronas for vattenfall (And Eon too as a presumption.) to have them closed. And it sux terribly to see a company that should be geared to deliver cheap energy to its owners, meaning the Swedish people, do the direct opposite, because they want to be 'aggressive' and 'market adapted'. But with our right-wing government most of the public institutions seems doomed to become private, if they're not already are. And they sell them for cheap too :) All to 'change' it to a political 'vision' of  private happiness. But we had a working, and very good infrastructure before this which now is shoot to pieces. On the other hand, people get what they want someone said once, but I guess the younger generations ignorance and indifference also plays a big role here. Seems we're losing most of the good things we had to it.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2012 13:04:55 by yor_on »

CliffordK

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Re: Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« Reply #5 on: 12/02/2012 16:27:30 »
Have you read about the WPPSS (also known as the WHOOPS) nuclear project in the Sate of Washington?

The State of Washington ranks #1 in the nation for renewable energy production, and #2 for percent renewable.  Perhaps it was even a higher percentage in the 80's.

So, Washington Public Power Supply System decided to build 4 new nuclear power plants.

With various cost overruns, and power requirement underruns, they eventually cancelled the construction on three of the plants, and only completed one. 

They ended up with a $2.25 Billion Dollar Public Bond Default (in 80's money).  The utilities which had bought into the project across the states of Oregon and Washington had significant increases in their power rates.  Of course, not all utilities had chosen to make the investments.

yor_on

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Re: Nuclear power, how safe is it?
« Reply #6 on: 12/02/2012 21:26:13 »
 A interesting read Clifford. Seems the problems come when those in charge lose sight of what they are sat to do? As when Vattenfalls board of directors wanted to become 'European leaders in energy', or whatever they thought they were doing there in Germany?

 

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