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US nuke plants ranked by quake risk

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US nuke plants ranked by quake risk

AV .
After looking at the nuclear disaster in Japan, I have to question whether nuclear power is such a good energy option. This article makes me question it even more. Find your local nuke plant in the list and what the odds are that it might suffer a catastrophic failure.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/

AV
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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    But if the reactors in the US Stood up to a Earthquake as well as those adversely affected ones in Japan you would be very happy.

    When the Earthquake hit Japan the Reactors Scrammed and started the Shut Down Process. Officially Fusion was ceased and it was the remnants that where left to cool down and pass till the reactors where either restarted or stripped refueled and serviced.

    Unfortunately in Japan there was a Tsunami that came alone in under 30 minutes of the Quake which destroyed the Power Input tot he Plant which powered the Pumps that pushed water through the system to finish the Cool Down Process.

    But even then the Buildings are still in place and the reactors and Fuel Pools are intact.

    Currently the main problems in Japan revolve around a Empty Fuel Pool where the Used and any new Fuel Rods have not only been exposed but have remained dry for several days. Hence the increase of Radiation.

    Any gas releases from the actual reactors are very low level and have a short half life so they are relatively safe and there is limited cooling water int he Reactor System which while potentially explosive really isn't enough to be a major worry to the Containment Building. You would have more of a worry about the Fuel in the Reactor getting so hot that it starts liberating Hydrogen of the majority of the Cooling Water which isn't likely particularly with the Uranium Reactors that are commonly used in Electricity Generation.

    Of course if you where to look at the Plutonium Reactors predominantly used in Europe that is a completely different Story.

    The actual biggest potential problem is a Holding Tank will get ruptured as a result of a very local Earthquake and the Water will leak into the Ground Water f that area. Even then it's all Low Level and while not Best Practice it's certainly not a Deadly event either.

    Forget most of what is being reported about the 5 Working Reactors in Japan it's Media Hype and completely wrong. Even the So called Experts who the Media goes to for comment are only giving opinion on what is being reported in the Media so it's much worse than what is actually happening.

    So far there is no proof that any of the Reactors have been breached or that a Serious Melt Down has even began which is very unlikely days after the reactors are Scrammed. If something like that was to happen it happens to running Reactors which where at Full or higher Operating Temperature when a Major Incident adversely impacts on their Cooling Systems.

    Even then the worst with a Uranium Reactor that is likely to happen is a Steam Explosion which is really a Misnomer as there is no real explosion just the steam builds up pressure and ruptures the Outer Containment. The reactor has a **** Off Valve to prevent actual damage to the Reactor Casing so the worst that is going to happen is that a amount of Low Level Steam gets loose.

    Steam Explosions are far more likely than anything else this is because when you boil a bit of water and turn it to steam it occupies 817 times the volume of Water. So if you where to boil 1 Liter of Water it would occupy 817 Liters of space. When we are talking about Nuclear Reactors they Superheat the Steam and it expands to a much bigger volume and blows out what is restraining it after it exceeds the Strength of what is enclosing it. Normally a Containment Building around a Reactor is big enough to take the pressure of all the cooling Water boiling off as Super Heated Steam where the real problem could occur is if the Fuel burnt it's way out of the reactor and interacted with Ground Water.

    Uranium Reactors tend not to have enough energy to do that even if a full meltdown to the Fuel Rods where to happen the Reactor Casing should stay intact.

    These plants are safe enough if the Operators Follow the rules when they are built and follow the Maintains Procedures.

    Of course if they cut corners and mix in Plutonium with the Uranium to get more energy and push the reactor outside it's limits there are some very real potential dangers.

    OK for those who work Nuclear Power Plants some of the terminology isn't right but I was trying to allow someone to understand me without the Jargon. :0

    Col

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    AV .

    Its unknown to me if our reactors here in the states are as well maintained and also worrisome is how many corners we cut here to get more energy.

    We did have a nuclear episode back in 1979 - Three Mile Island in PA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident It wasn't caused by a quake, but there was damage to the environment that was downwind from the plant.

    I think the media doesn't know for sure how significant the danger is. Personally I think its far worse than is reported.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    The same reactors (General Electric) are used in the US, but they would not necessarily be built with the same standards for the buildings and containment vessels. I worked for a company that built reactors and the customer always specifies some site specific changes for the local environment and building codes, and the codes in Japan are very very strict.

    As for maintenance thats an open question. Our federal government is very strict on nuclear operations regulations, and thats why the reactor that is used for much of the medical isotopes was closed down for many months, despite the fact that the company who designed it, built it, and ran it, said it was safe to operate. Obviously some operators face different standards. Chernobyl wouldn't have opened under Canadian standards, let alone operated for years.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The damage is proportional to the Energy of the Fuel involved and it's volatility

    While the Nuclear Incidents no matter the cause get a lot of attention in the media because of the damage that they do do there are plenty of other fuels that can do massive damage when things go wrong and some while not lasting as long as Nuclear Contamination can be very long lived.

    One of the most dangerous Fuels that is commonly used is Gas of the LPG or Natural variety as when that gets let loose it does cause massive damage when it explodes. Depending on the type of container it gets free from and it's mixture ratio when it ignites it can be a relatively small explosion to something unbelievably destructive. It is however very short term damage tot he environment.

    Crude oil like that spilled in the Exxon Valdez incident is going to be around for a very long time as well as that spilled by BP in the Gulf of Mexico which most likely is going to have a very long term adverse impact on the environment in a very large area.

    I remember a Gas Tanker used to refill domestic Gas Bottles exploding in Spain several years ago which is a common thing well the Gas Tanker at least as most countries use these instead of running underground pipes around the cities and it destroyed a 4 Square Mile area if I remember correctly.

    With Nuclear particularly those types used in the US the Fuel is inside Metal Containers and then these Rods are inserted into the Reactor there is no bare Uranium involved so leaks need to have something drastic happen to be really serious. I'm not making light of what is going on in Japan at the moment as it's not good but it's certainly not in the league of Chernobyl either.

    What is currently happening is what gets the headlines and starts the Fear Mongering by the Media but in reality is no where near as dangerous as the Media is making out.

    Currently to my knowledge this GE Type Reactor has never suffered a Leak of Fuel in their entire history and that type of reactor has been redesigned to make it safer when newer models where released. The main problem here is the Tsunami which destroyed supplementary Buildings and most likely Reactor 4 which was taken off line in November 2010 had it's fuel rods removed and placed in a Holding Pool while the reactor was serviced. These Holding Tanks need to be constantly Topped Up as they do have evaporation and the water is used to shield the Fuel Rods and prevent Radiation Leaks from occurring. Unfortunately when the Tsunami occurred it rendered access to this particular building impossible and the Water which was no longer being topped up started to evaporate off. Not really sure how much per day disappears as there are numerous factors but I have heard mention about a Meter a Day is not overly unexpected.

    So after a 3 or 4 day time period it is reasonable to expect that the water in that particular Holding Tank had dropped significantly and the shielding proprieties had reduced dramatically.

    For the Three Mile Island Incident this was traced back to a Faulty Gage and Human Nature. When things start to show wrong it's normal for Humans to ignore the gages that read correctly and concentrate on the one that isn't. Hence a Water Level Gage was sticking in an overly high position so the operators only looking at that Gage took remedial steps to reduce it's reading and in the process uncovered the Fuel of the Reactor without realizing exactly what it is that they where doing.

    The idiot thing is if they had of ignored that Gage there wouldn't have been an issue or any problem but unfortunately Human Nature doesn't work that way. And as we do not currently trust Computer Systems well enough to monitor these installations without Human Oversight it's a Problem without any easy solution. .

    But in Modern Civilizations there are many dangers which can be devastating to the surrounding communities ranging from that Petrol Refinery to the Gas Plant down the road to that Reasonably Large Gas Tank used by so many Industries which are not properly maintained. The more that we require volatile energy the more likely it is to hurt us when something unexpected happens.

    At least in the US there is enough Land to move the more dangerous Human Endevours to areas where when things go wrong the Impacts will be limited even if it's not happening at the moment. The Simpson's Springvale Reactor which Homer removes a lump of Plutonium from and looses in the street isn't going to happen in reality.

    Col

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    JamesRL

    About 4000 died immediately, another 4000 over the next few days. Over the next few years it was up to 15,000 deaths.

    Yet people forget Bhopal and remember Three Mile Island, where the health impact was highly disputed. Chernobyl was a train wreck, bad management all around. But Bhopal had a bigger impact.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    If it's a Chemical Incident the Press may mention it but if it's a Nuclear Incident you can guarantee that the Press will be all over it with incorrect information and will continually push it's dangers weather they exist or not.

    Col

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    AV .

    The worst rated reactor, Indian Point, in NY, is only 34 miles from New York City. They built the reactor one mile from an active fault line. Brilliant!

    We usually don't get earthquakes in New Jersey, but when Toronto had an earthquake in 2010, we felt it here in New Jersey. I was parked in my car when it happened and it shook my car for about 30 seconds. I was never in any kind of earthquake, so I didn't know what was going on. It made me dizzy.

    It would make sense to build reactors somewhere less populated, but thats not what they did. If anything goes wrong now and it can't be contained, it will truly be a disaster.

    We need more investment in safer energy technologies like solar and wind.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    Nuclear plants need to be near bodies of water, and many are built near cities.

    Solar and Wind power are only economically feasable at this point, because the governments around the world will pay them more to make electricity than they pay other sources.

    As I mentioned in another post, if the US wanted to replace 20% of its electrical production with wind power, they would need an area the size of Rhode Island.

    And the wind and sun are not constant.

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    AV .

    There are areas in the US that could accommodate alternative energy farms. There is a small wind farm down in Atlantic City, NJ, that I know of. I'm sure its not good for the sea birds, but its a start.

    http://www.njwind.com/project.html

    We have to start somewhere. Nuclear is probably the lesser of two evils, but any new money should be invested in other types of energy that are more human-friendly.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    They have huge wind farms. But those are in desolate desert areas, with canyons funnelling the wind to the turbines - an ideal conditions for maximizing efficiency.

    Ontario has had a few proposals for offshore wind farms, in Lake Ontario and Lake Huron, but they are being rethought. Some of the smaller ones on lake shores have caused the small nearby communities to complain.

    Let me be clear, I'm not against solar and wind, I just know that they aren't economical without massive subsidies at this time. But I am in favour of limited subsidies to help develop the demand to improve the technology.

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    JamesRL

    As Colin mentions, and is repeated by the experts, it wasn't the quake itself, it was the Tsunami that caused the problems by knocking out the power to the pumps.

    Our Candus in Canada are even safer.

    In a "light" water reactor, uranium is highly enriched to the point where the rods will react just from proximity. So you require a constant flow of water to cool them, and to do a stop you lower control rods of a graphite like material to absorb the neutrons to stop the reaction. Most of the world's reactors are like this.

    In the Candu scenario, the uranium is slighlty enriched, and won't react without the presense of heavy water. So if the case of a problem, you don't need power to circulate the water to cool the reactor, you can simply drain the heavy water (using gravity and a valve)and stop the reaction. Doing it that quickly will permanently damage the reactor, but its pretty fool proof. The problem is that heavy water is expensive. Candus are in Canada, Korea and China, though both Korea and China have more light water reactors than Candus.

    I'm not suggesting that nuclear is failsafe. But look at the alternatives. Right now if you shut down reactors, you'd have to dramatically increase the use of coal. Even with clean coal technology, you still increase the air pollution. Burning coal emits mercury, as well as sulphur and other pollutants. There are definate health problems caused by burning coal. The acid rain caused by Ohio's coal fired plants kills lakes in Ontario. I've seen first hand lakes that are dead because of acid rain. No fish live in them, the animals that rely on fish move away.

    Ontario relies on nuclear for over 50% of its power, and is working to shut down its coal plants. It has one left, the biggest one in the country.

    I'd be much happier beside a nuke plant than beside a coal plant. The odds are low that a nuke plant will cause a real health problem, the odds of a coal plant emitting mercury are 100%, even with the cleanest coal and the best technology.

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    AV .

    Clean coal is an oxymoron to me. We should be at the point now where we are developing alternative energies that aren't going to kill us, like wind and solar energy.

    Where I live in New Jersey, we are between 3 nuclear power plants. If anything goes wrong with any of them, I would have to evacuate, if I could get out. I don't like to think about that, but given the extreme disasters worldwide and the ongoing terrorism threat for the New York metro area, its a cause of concern.

    I know Ohio's coal plants are very deadly. We get the pollution here carried by the jet stream. The acid rain was of great concern, even here.

    AV

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    Ed Woychowsky

    Fusion!

    How about Fision?

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    AV .

    When I look at how the Japanese people have dealt with the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, I am truly in awe of their determination and spirit. These people strive to be above the rest and they are real survivors. If they can't make it, we're all in trouble.

    The technology for fusion and fission isn't there yet and is that the real answer? No one knows what the best answer is yet, but we have to deal with what we have right now. Legacy systems.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    You do what you can to mitigate the unacceptable risks to a point where they are acceptable. You also have to be careful that your steps to mitigate don't increase another risk to the point where it's unacceptable. A 1 in 19,000 chance of nuclear reactor damage due to earthquake is more acceptable to me than the almost certain chance of reduced air quality from burning coal.

    You pays your money and you takes your chances...

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    But if the reactors in the US Stood up to a Earthquake as well as those adversely affected ones in Japan you would be very happy.

    When the Earthquake hit Japan the Reactors Scrammed and started the Shut Down Process. Officially Fusion was ceased and it was the remnants that where left to cool down and pass till the reactors where either restarted or stripped refueled and serviced.

    Unfortunately in Japan there was a Tsunami that came alone in under 30 minutes of the Quake which destroyed the Power Input tot he Plant which powered the Pumps that pushed water through the system to finish the Cool Down Process.

    But even then the Buildings are still in place and the reactors and Fuel Pools are intact.

    Currently the main problems in Japan revolve around a Empty Fuel Pool where the Used and any new Fuel Rods have not only been exposed but have remained dry for several days. Hence the increase of Radiation.

    Any gas releases from the actual reactors are very low level and have a short half life so they are relatively safe and there is limited cooling water int he Reactor System which while potentially explosive really isn't enough to be a major worry to the Containment Building. You would have more of a worry about the Fuel in the Reactor getting so hot that it starts liberating Hydrogen of the majority of the Cooling Water which isn't likely particularly with the Uranium Reactors that are commonly used in Electricity Generation.

    Of course if you where to look at the Plutonium Reactors predominantly used in Europe that is a completely different Story.

    The actual biggest potential problem is a Holding Tank will get ruptured as a result of a very local Earthquake and the Water will leak into the Ground Water f that area. Even then it's all Low Level and while not Best Practice it's certainly not a Deadly event either.

    Forget most of what is being reported about the 5 Working Reactors in Japan it's Media Hype and completely wrong. Even the So called Experts who the Media goes to for comment are only giving opinion on what is being reported in the Media so it's much worse than what is actually happening.

    So far there is no proof that any of the Reactors have been breached or that a Serious Melt Down has even began which is very unlikely days after the reactors are Scrammed. If something like that was to happen it happens to running Reactors which where at Full or higher Operating Temperature when a Major Incident adversely impacts on their Cooling Systems.

    Even then the worst with a Uranium Reactor that is likely to happen is a Steam Explosion which is really a Misnomer as there is no real explosion just the steam builds up pressure and ruptures the Outer Containment. The reactor has a **** Off Valve to prevent actual damage to the Reactor Casing so the worst that is going to happen is that a amount of Low Level Steam gets loose.

    Steam Explosions are far more likely than anything else this is because when you boil a bit of water and turn it to steam it occupies 817 times the volume of Water. So if you where to boil 1 Liter of Water it would occupy 817 Liters of space. When we are talking about Nuclear Reactors they Superheat the Steam and it expands to a much bigger volume and blows out what is restraining it after it exceeds the Strength of what is enclosing it. Normally a Containment Building around a Reactor is big enough to take the pressure of all the cooling Water boiling off as Super Heated Steam where the real problem could occur is if the Fuel burnt it's way out of the reactor and interacted with Ground Water.

    Uranium Reactors tend not to have enough energy to do that even if a full meltdown to the Fuel Rods where to happen the Reactor Casing should stay intact.

    These plants are safe enough if the Operators Follow the rules when they are built and follow the Maintains Procedures.

    Of course if they cut corners and mix in Plutonium with the Uranium to get more energy and push the reactor outside it's limits there are some very real potential dangers.

    OK for those who work Nuclear Power Plants some of the terminology isn't right but I was trying to allow someone to understand me without the Jargon. :0

    Col

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    AV .

    Its unknown to me if our reactors here in the states are as well maintained and also worrisome is how many corners we cut here to get more energy.

    We did have a nuclear episode back in 1979 - Three Mile Island in PA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident It wasn't caused by a quake, but there was damage to the environment that was downwind from the plant.

    I think the media doesn't know for sure how significant the danger is. Personally I think its far worse than is reported.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    The same reactors (General Electric) are used in the US, but they would not necessarily be built with the same standards for the buildings and containment vessels. I worked for a company that built reactors and the customer always specifies some site specific changes for the local environment and building codes, and the codes in Japan are very very strict.

    As for maintenance thats an open question. Our federal government is very strict on nuclear operations regulations, and thats why the reactor that is used for much of the medical isotopes was closed down for many months, despite the fact that the company who designed it, built it, and ran it, said it was safe to operate. Obviously some operators face different standards. Chernobyl wouldn't have opened under Canadian standards, let alone operated for years.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    The damage is proportional to the Energy of the Fuel involved and it's volatility

    While the Nuclear Incidents no matter the cause get a lot of attention in the media because of the damage that they do do there are plenty of other fuels that can do massive damage when things go wrong and some while not lasting as long as Nuclear Contamination can be very long lived.

    One of the most dangerous Fuels that is commonly used is Gas of the LPG or Natural variety as when that gets let loose it does cause massive damage when it explodes. Depending on the type of container it gets free from and it's mixture ratio when it ignites it can be a relatively small explosion to something unbelievably destructive. It is however very short term damage tot he environment.

    Crude oil like that spilled in the Exxon Valdez incident is going to be around for a very long time as well as that spilled by BP in the Gulf of Mexico which most likely is going to have a very long term adverse impact on the environment in a very large area.

    I remember a Gas Tanker used to refill domestic Gas Bottles exploding in Spain several years ago which is a common thing well the Gas Tanker at least as most countries use these instead of running underground pipes around the cities and it destroyed a 4 Square Mile area if I remember correctly.

    With Nuclear particularly those types used in the US the Fuel is inside Metal Containers and then these Rods are inserted into the Reactor there is no bare Uranium involved so leaks need to have something drastic happen to be really serious. I'm not making light of what is going on in Japan at the moment as it's not good but it's certainly not in the league of Chernobyl either.

    What is currently happening is what gets the headlines and starts the Fear Mongering by the Media but in reality is no where near as dangerous as the Media is making out.

    Currently to my knowledge this GE Type Reactor has never suffered a Leak of Fuel in their entire history and that type of reactor has been redesigned to make it safer when newer models where released. The main problem here is the Tsunami which destroyed supplementary Buildings and most likely Reactor 4 which was taken off line in November 2010 had it's fuel rods removed and placed in a Holding Pool while the reactor was serviced. These Holding Tanks need to be constantly Topped Up as they do have evaporation and the water is used to shield the Fuel Rods and prevent Radiation Leaks from occurring. Unfortunately when the Tsunami occurred it rendered access to this particular building impossible and the Water which was no longer being topped up started to evaporate off. Not really sure how much per day disappears as there are numerous factors but I have heard mention about a Meter a Day is not overly unexpected.

    So after a 3 or 4 day time period it is reasonable to expect that the water in that particular Holding Tank had dropped significantly and the shielding proprieties had reduced dramatically.

    For the Three Mile Island Incident this was traced back to a Faulty Gage and Human Nature. When things start to show wrong it's normal for Humans to ignore the gages that read correctly and concentrate on the one that isn't. Hence a Water Level Gage was sticking in an overly high position so the operators only looking at that Gage took remedial steps to reduce it's reading and in the process uncovered the Fuel of the Reactor without realizing exactly what it is that they where doing.

    The idiot thing is if they had of ignored that Gage there wouldn't have been an issue or any problem but unfortunately Human Nature doesn't work that way. And as we do not currently trust Computer Systems well enough to monitor these installations without Human Oversight it's a Problem without any easy solution. .

    But in Modern Civilizations there are many dangers which can be devastating to the surrounding communities ranging from that Petrol Refinery to the Gas Plant down the road to that Reasonably Large Gas Tank used by so many Industries which are not properly maintained. The more that we require volatile energy the more likely it is to hurt us when something unexpected happens.

    At least in the US there is enough Land to move the more dangerous Human Endevours to areas where when things go wrong the Impacts will be limited even if it's not happening at the moment. The Simpson's Springvale Reactor which Homer removes a lump of Plutonium from and looses in the street isn't going to happen in reality.

    Col

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    JamesRL

    About 4000 died immediately, another 4000 over the next few days. Over the next few years it was up to 15,000 deaths.

    Yet people forget Bhopal and remember Three Mile Island, where the health impact was highly disputed. Chernobyl was a train wreck, bad management all around. But Bhopal had a bigger impact.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    If it's a Chemical Incident the Press may mention it but if it's a Nuclear Incident you can guarantee that the Press will be all over it with incorrect information and will continually push it's dangers weather they exist or not.

    Col

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    AV .

    The worst rated reactor, Indian Point, in NY, is only 34 miles from New York City. They built the reactor one mile from an active fault line. Brilliant!

    We usually don't get earthquakes in New Jersey, but when Toronto had an earthquake in 2010, we felt it here in New Jersey. I was parked in my car when it happened and it shook my car for about 30 seconds. I was never in any kind of earthquake, so I didn't know what was going on. It made me dizzy.

    It would make sense to build reactors somewhere less populated, but thats not what they did. If anything goes wrong now and it can't be contained, it will truly be a disaster.

    We need more investment in safer energy technologies like solar and wind.

    AV

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    0 Votes
    JamesRL

    Nuclear plants need to be near bodies of water, and many are built near cities.

    Solar and Wind power are only economically feasable at this point, because the governments around the world will pay them more to make electricity than they pay other sources.

    As I mentioned in another post, if the US wanted to replace 20% of its electrical production with wind power, they would need an area the size of Rhode Island.

    And the wind and sun are not constant.

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    AV .

    There are areas in the US that could accommodate alternative energy farms. There is a small wind farm down in Atlantic City, NJ, that I know of. I'm sure its not good for the sea birds, but its a start.

    http://www.njwind.com/project.html

    We have to start somewhere. Nuclear is probably the lesser of two evils, but any new money should be invested in other types of energy that are more human-friendly.

    AV

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    0 Votes
    JamesRL

    They have huge wind farms. But those are in desolate desert areas, with canyons funnelling the wind to the turbines - an ideal conditions for maximizing efficiency.

    Ontario has had a few proposals for offshore wind farms, in Lake Ontario and Lake Huron, but they are being rethought. Some of the smaller ones on lake shores have caused the small nearby communities to complain.

    Let me be clear, I'm not against solar and wind, I just know that they aren't economical without massive subsidies at this time. But I am in favour of limited subsidies to help develop the demand to improve the technology.

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    0 Votes
    JamesRL

    As Colin mentions, and is repeated by the experts, it wasn't the quake itself, it was the Tsunami that caused the problems by knocking out the power to the pumps.

    Our Candus in Canada are even safer.

    In a "light" water reactor, uranium is highly enriched to the point where the rods will react just from proximity. So you require a constant flow of water to cool them, and to do a stop you lower control rods of a graphite like material to absorb the neutrons to stop the reaction. Most of the world's reactors are like this.

    In the Candu scenario, the uranium is slighlty enriched, and won't react without the presense of heavy water. So if the case of a problem, you don't need power to circulate the water to cool the reactor, you can simply drain the heavy water (using gravity and a valve)and stop the reaction. Doing it that quickly will permanently damage the reactor, but its pretty fool proof. The problem is that heavy water is expensive. Candus are in Canada, Korea and China, though both Korea and China have more light water reactors than Candus.

    I'm not suggesting that nuclear is failsafe. But look at the alternatives. Right now if you shut down reactors, you'd have to dramatically increase the use of coal. Even with clean coal technology, you still increase the air pollution. Burning coal emits mercury, as well as sulphur and other pollutants. There are definate health problems caused by burning coal. The acid rain caused by Ohio's coal fired plants kills lakes in Ontario. I've seen first hand lakes that are dead because of acid rain. No fish live in them, the animals that rely on fish move away.

    Ontario relies on nuclear for over 50% of its power, and is working to shut down its coal plants. It has one left, the biggest one in the country.

    I'd be much happier beside a nuke plant than beside a coal plant. The odds are low that a nuke plant will cause a real health problem, the odds of a coal plant emitting mercury are 100%, even with the cleanest coal and the best technology.

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    AV .

    Clean coal is an oxymoron to me. We should be at the point now where we are developing alternative energies that aren't going to kill us, like wind and solar energy.

    Where I live in New Jersey, we are between 3 nuclear power plants. If anything goes wrong with any of them, I would have to evacuate, if I could get out. I don't like to think about that, but given the extreme disasters worldwide and the ongoing terrorism threat for the New York metro area, its a cause of concern.

    I know Ohio's coal plants are very deadly. We get the pollution here carried by the jet stream. The acid rain was of great concern, even here.

    AV

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    0 Votes
    Ed Woychowsky

    Fusion!

    How about Fision?

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    0 Votes
    AV .

    When I look at how the Japanese people have dealt with the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, I am truly in awe of their determination and spirit. These people strive to be above the rest and they are real survivors. If they can't make it, we're all in trouble.

    The technology for fusion and fission isn't there yet and is that the real answer? No one knows what the best answer is yet, but we have to deal with what we have right now. Legacy systems.

    AV

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    0 Votes
    NickNielsen Moderator

    You do what you can to mitigate the unacceptable risks to a point where they are acceptable. You also have to be careful that your steps to mitigate don't increase another risk to the point where it's unacceptable. A 1 in 19,000 chance of nuclear reactor damage due to earthquake is more acceptable to me than the almost certain chance of reduced air quality from burning coal.

    You pays your money and you takes your chances...