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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1000 on: May 25, 2019, 01:19:00 PM »
Yes, Sam, the French have their ITER (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER), the Russians have their Tokamak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak) and there are others doing science on the topic.

The technology is really worth investing.

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1001 on: May 28, 2019, 12:11:18 PM »
Yes, Sam, the French have their ITER (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER), the Russians have their Tokamak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokamak) and there are others doing science on the topic.

The technology is really worth investing.

I am afraid here I must disagree. The big projects are likely hopeless. ITER is a demonstration of concept only. Dealing with 14 Mev neutron damage to the structure in the hostile electromagnetic environment of a fusion bottle is vastly harder than dealing with N-16 gamma damage and the neutron fluences that light water reactors have to deal with. Containing all of the tritium is harder yet. And risks from tritium contamination are severe.

I seriously doubt that either of these projects will reach breakeven on energy in my lifetime, much less reach net energy production. Even at their best, they are projecting costs for the power produced that cannot compete with light water reactors, and which in turn cannot now compete with wind or solar, let alone natural gas.

Until there are fundamental breakthroughs in the physics, this is still a dead end. It is the very small scale projects that I actually find interesting, not these.

In my view, one of the very unfortunate byproducts of the Cold War was the development and use of the Technkcal Readiness Level (TRL) idea and its spin offs. The TRL was used originally to funnel down the projects selected based on demonstrated capability, and to push projects to realization almost without regard to cost or wisdom. That has morphed into a process for identifying where to spend immense amounts of money to move projects up the pyramid. The process has no off ramps. At no stage are there checks about the reasonableness of the technology, or its consequences. No project ever dies. They just slow down and are pushed again later.

In doing that they become a forever drain on financial and technical resources. The big fusion projects are one such example. They end up sucking the financial air out of the room for a lot of other vastly better potential expenditures.

All of the processes for technological development and deployment need analysis points that strongly consider consequences and feasibilities, and which can truly end various projects - at least until major and well defined breakthroughs occur, outside of the process.

Sam

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1002 on: May 28, 2019, 12:30:05 PM »
We don't disagree, Sam, on the fact that these projects will reach breakeven on energy. They are just needed in the process of figuring this out.

If fusion plants never become a thing, i'm even fine with that. My bucks are all in the renewables pot when it comes to solving the energy problem.

But hey, it's fundamental science. For that alone, it is worth investigating furthermore.

Yes, it's costly. Science can be costly. Given we spend trillions for bombs, i'd rather spend more money on science.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1003 on: May 30, 2019, 01:27:23 PM »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

bluice

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1004 on: May 30, 2019, 01:36:29 PM »
You just can't win...less nuke, more CO2:
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/445815-collapse-of-nuclear-would-increase-reliance-on-fossil-fuels-study

That's kind of no-brainer, isn't it? Remove zero-carbon generation from the mix and emissions will increase.

Replacing it with renewables doesn't help either, because that same new renewable capacity could have been used to replace fossil fuels.
In PIOMAS we trust

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1005 on: May 30, 2019, 01:40:11 PM »
because that same new renewable capacity could have been used to replace fossil fuels.

Elaborate on that, please. I don't understand.

bluice

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1006 on: May 30, 2019, 01:47:26 PM »
Let's assume a Country generates it's electricity by 20% nuclear, 20% renewables and 60% fossil fuels. This means 40% is zero carbon.

It then builds 20% worth of additional renewable generation and
A)closes down the nuclear. Mix after this is 40% renewable and 60% fossil, meaning 40% is zero carbon.

If the Country had instead
B) opted to close down 20% worth of fossil capacity instead of nuclear, it's mix would be 40% renewable, 20% nuclear, 40% FF, meaning 60% of zero carbon.

As we can see closing down the nuclear capacity in option A increased emissions compared to option B despite replacing new renewable capacity. Without new renewables situation would be even worse of course.
In PIOMAS we trust

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1007 on: May 30, 2019, 01:56:49 PM »
Sorry Bluice, i still don't get it.

Quote
average life-cycle emissions for nuclear energy, based on mining high-grade uranium ore, of 60 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh), for wind of 10–20 g/kWh and for natural gas 500–600 g/kWh.

If you replace nuclear with wind, you save at least 40 g/KWh.

If you replace gas power with wind, you save between 500 and 600 g/KWh.

bluice

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1008 on: May 30, 2019, 02:10:03 PM »
Sorry Bluice, i still don't get it.

Quote
average life-cycle emissions for nuclear energy, based on mining high-grade uranium ore, of 60 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh), for wind of 10–20 g/kWh and for natural gas 500–600 g/kWh.

If you replace nuclear with wind, you save at least 40 g/KWh.

If you replace gas power with wind, you save between 500 and 600 g/KWh.
Ok perhaps it's not accurate to call any power generation zero carbon because they all cause some level of emissions.

However, even if we assume these figures are correct, it is obvious to replace gas instead of nuclear. Saving in emissions is tenfold.

And we shouldn't forget we are talking about life-cycle emissions. Nuclear power requires a massive upfront investment which obviously means a lot of life-cycle emissions are also upfront. Same applies to wind power of course. Running existing plants requires smaller CO2 emissions per KWh produced, meaning old nuclear plants generate electricity with even less than 1/10 emissions compared to gas.
In PIOMAS we trust

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1009 on: May 30, 2019, 02:20:01 PM »
However, even if we assume these figures are correct, it is obvious to replace gas instead of nuclear. Saving in emissions is tenfold.

From a climate change standpoint, you are correct.
From an environmental standpoint, we could argue about that.
From a political standpoint, nukes are hard.

So the no-brainer here is to just opt for renewables.

oren

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1010 on: May 30, 2019, 02:35:04 PM »
New nuclear plants should not be built.  Existing nuclear plants should be maintained as much as possible until most FF plants are retired.

gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1011 on: May 30, 2019, 03:17:13 PM »
New nuclear plants should not be built.  Existing nuclear plants should be maintained as much as possible until most FF plants are retired.
Bingo!

Now that statement is the no-brainer.

ps: And stiffen up the inspectorate / regulations / enforcement. We need nuclear police.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1012 on: May 30, 2019, 03:32:48 PM »
As long as there is no secure way to handle nuclear waste, the best regulations will not prevent future cultures to get contaminated when our time is long gone.

We didn't manage to keep this world livable for our own children, what gives us the right to poison future life on earth so far out?

gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1013 on: May 30, 2019, 03:54:01 PM »
As long as there is no secure way to handle nuclear waste, the best regulations will not prevent future cultures to get contaminated when our time is long gone.

We didn't manage to keep this world livable for our own children, what gives us the right to poison future life on earth so far out?
Nuclear plants that are operating have a better chance of staying safe for a bit than those that are closed. The greatest risk seems to be the safe (haha) disposal of the contaminated wreckage. So might as well use them until they are worn out and not do what Germany did, switch to lignite.

So NO to new plants, and use up existing plants. We did not have the right to poison the earth, but we have done it. It is simply a case of mitigation now. Mind you, wild-life (e.g. the European Bison) did say thank you for the new grazing land around Chernobyl. And a little extract from the quote below.....
...would suggest that the pressures generated by human activities would be more negative for wildlife in the medium-term than a nuclear accident — a quite revealing vision of the human impact on the natural environment.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-05-13/chernobyl-has-become-refuge-wildlife-33-years-after-nuclear-accident
Chernobyl has become a refuge for wildlife 33 years after the nuclear accident
Quote
But today, 33 years after the accident, the Chernobyl exclusion zone, which covers an area now in Ukraine and Belarus, is inhabited by brown bears, bison, wolves, lynx, Przewalski horses and more than 200 bird species, among other animals.

In March 2019, most of the main research groups working with Chernobyl wildlife met in Portsmouth, England. About 30 researchers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, Norway, Spain and Ukraine presented the latest results of our work. These studies included work on big mammals, nesting birds, amphibians, fish, bumblebees, earthworms, bacteria and leaf litter decomposition.

These studies showed that at present the area hosts great biodiversity. In addition, they confirmed the general lack of big negative effects of current radiation levels on the animal and plant populations living in Chernobyl. All the studied groups maintain stable and viable populations inside the exclusion zone.

Our own work with the amphibians of Chernobyl has also detected abundant populations across the exclusion zone, even on the more contaminated areas. Furthermore, we have also found signs that could represent adaptive responses to life with radiation. For instance, frogs within the exclusion zone are darker than frogs living outside it, which is a possible defense against radiation.

Studies have also detected some negative effects of radiation at an individual level. For example, some insects seem to have a shorter lifespan and are more affected by parasites in areas of high radiation. Some birds also have higher levels of albinism, as well as physiological and genetic alterations when living in highly contaminated areas. But these effects don’t seem to affect the maintenance of the wildlife population in the area.

The general absence of negative effects of radiation on Chernobyl wildlife can be a consequence of several factors:

First, wildlife could be much more resistant to radiation than previously thought. Another alternative possibility is that some organisms could be starting to show adaptive responses that would allow them to cope with radiation and live inside the exclusion zone without harm. In addition, the absence of humans inside the exclusion zone could be favoring many species — big mammals in particular.

That final option would suggest that the pressures generated by human activities would be more negative for wildlife in the medium-term than a nuclear accident — a quite revealing vision of the human impact on the natural environment.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1014 on: May 30, 2019, 04:36:31 PM »
Quote
It is simply a case of mitigation now.

Correct. And my understanding of mitigation also takes the timeframe into account the poison is poisonous. When there is something that could be dug up in 100000 years, and still kill them, we should stop producing this substance.

be cause

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1015 on: May 30, 2019, 04:51:28 PM »
the studies of Chernobyl wildlife tallys with the records after the Atomic bombs in Japan . Every midwife was rewarded for reporting birth defects etc . They were fewer in the bomb areas than the general population ... b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1016 on: May 30, 2019, 05:28:53 PM »

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1017 on: May 30, 2019, 08:38:45 PM »
Re: natgas and nuke power

Different use cases. Natgas today is peaker, nuke today is baseload.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1018 on: May 30, 2019, 08:57:57 PM »
Re: natgas and nuke power

Different use cases. Natgas today is peaker, nuke today is baseload.

sidd
Yes Natgas can be peaker but combined cycle which is far more efficient is baseload.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1019 on: May 31, 2019, 07:03:54 AM »
Re:  combined cycle is baseload.

Thats why i included the word "today"

when i look at FERC permitting for natgas, all i see is peakers being comissioned these days

sidd

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1020 on: June 02, 2019, 11:35:24 AM »
Ok Fine Ill Talk About Nuclear Power


Tom_Mazanec

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SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1022 on: June 03, 2019, 06:54:01 PM »
My home state bails out nukes and coal, kills renewables  :(
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/31052019/ohio-nuclear-bailout-coal-plants-kills-renewable-energy-efficiency-standards?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social
I would say that nobody much cares about stupid, venal decisions made in an obscure mid western part of America, except for the inconvenient fact that this legislation is a model for what the current administration wants to see for America as a whole. Fortunately, raising electricity bills for individuals and businesses to support failing nukes and coals unlikely to be popular even among climate deniers.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1023 on: June 03, 2019, 07:08:58 PM »
I think i spot a new pattern evolving.

The fossil fuel industry invested a lot in marketing and disinformation campaigns. This seems to have stopped working for them. The public opinion is shifting towards climate change acceptance.

I think the new thing they are doing is going through legislation.

They lobby for bogus bills, that will clutter the public debate as a result. That should buy them a few years.

I had this thought recently when i learned about a proposed bill in Germany that would render teleheating not obviously, but surely illegal. Teleheating is a waste product that is there for free and which saves CO2 if you utilize it.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1024 on: June 03, 2019, 08:50:58 PM »
Re: ohio nuke,coal bill

still has to pass ohio senate ?

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1025 on: June 03, 2019, 11:14:00 PM »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1026 on: June 04, 2019, 03:16:37 AM »
Sadly, truth is one of the first victims of the continued use of nuclear power. The proponents livelihoods depend on it. And they fervently believe in it. Is it any wonder that the scales of justice and truth get mangled in the process. 

The rate of birth defects is but one example of this.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-defect-chernobyl-idUSTRE62N4L820100324

We will never know the full impacts of Chernobyl, or Tomsk, or Fukushima, or Three Mike Island, or Kyshtym, or ... the list goes on. There will never be agreement on the data.

That alone should be a strong enough indicator by itself that this is a field unworthy of continuation.

As to the arguments that the wildlife are doing fine, they aren’t. But how do we measure that. If we apply the simple before and after metrics, the wildlife is doing great. That however is only because mankind is no longer there hunting and killing them, or driving them away. If we compare based on an equivalent pristine area, they are not doing well at all. If we look at the health of individual animals that becomes even more clear. They will survive and ultimately thrive if man stays away. He won’t. The damage to the ecosystems was severe. It was not so great as to cause destruction beyond the rate at which new generations can be born that are healthy enough to grow the population. That is a far cry from good.

As to the argument that we should run nuclear plants until they fail. That is absurd! When they fail they cause massive harm. They must always be closed long long before they fail. And yet we have no metric or regulatory description for that. Instead, we close them only when they can no longer produce profit. All the while we weaken the safety standards to allow them to make profit.

These plants are extremely old. Their licenses have been extended far beyond reason and tempt fate. They are deep into the old age portion of the normal failure curve, the famous U curve. Their problems will grown with every passing year. Failure rates large and small will increase until one day there is a catastrophe. And that seems a perfect definition of insanity.

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1027 on: June 06, 2019, 04:38:17 AM »
US to Label Nuclear Waste as Less Dangerous to Quicken Cleanup 
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/05/us-to-label-nuclear-waste-as-less-dangerous-to-quicken-cleanup

The Department of Energy said on Wednesday that labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.

... Critics said it’s a way for federal officials to walk away from their obligation to properly clean up a massive quantity of radioactive waste left from nuclear weapons production dating to the second world war and the cold war.

The new rules would allow the energy department to eventually abandon storage tanks containing more than 100m gallons (378m liters) of radioactive waste in the three states, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.



--------------------

Years of Mismanagement, Delays at Nuclear Waste Sites Could Pose Risk, Report Says 
https://www.wsbtv.com/amp/news/2-investigates/years-of-mismanagement-delays-at-nuclear-waste-sites-could-pose-risk-report-says/949422394

JACKSON, S.C. - A scathing government report showed years of mismanagement of nuclear waste disposal could be creating a real risk to people living near decades-old nuclear waste sites. One of those sites sits miles from the Savannah River and is home to 35 million gallons of radioactive waste. 

https://www.gao.gov/mobile/products/GAO-19-207

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, cost estimates to clean up the legacy radioactive tank waste and contamination at the facilities increased $214 billion from 2011 through 2018. During that same period, DOE spent $45 billion on cleanup efforts.

https://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/post/federal-report-says-hanford-s-radioactive-waste-treatment-plant-built-questionable-parts

DOE spent $170 billion on cleanup since 1989, but the most challenging work remains. Estimates now stand at $377 billion to clean up the waste, but that amount does not include cost to clean sites where no feasible remedy exists.

“It's not a pretty picture,” said David Trimble, director of GAO’s natural resources and environment team.

... “They don’t have a plan, they’re not following program management best practices, they’re not following project management practices, and they have no data to know how well they’re doing,” Trimble said.


Plan?! There ain't no plan!!! 

---------------------

Under the Dome: Fears Pacific Nuclear 'Coffin' is Leaking 
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-dome-pacific-nuclear-coffin-leaking.html



As nuclear explosions go, the US "Cactus" bomb test in May 1958 was relatively small—but it has left a lasting legacy for the Marshall Islands in a dome-shaped radioactive dump.

The dome—described by a UN chief Antonio Guterres as "a kind of coffin"—was built two decades after the blast in the Pacific ocean region.

The US military filled the bomb crater on Runit island with radioactive waste, capped it with concrete, and told displaced residents of the Pacific's remote Enewetak atoll they could safely return home.

But Runit's 45-centimetre (18-inch) thick concrete dome has now developed cracks.

And because the 115-metre wide crater was never lined, there are fears radioactive contaminants are leaching through the island's porous coral rock into the ocean. ...


"What's a little fallout, eh?" .... "Have a nice day!"

---------------

High Levels of Radiation Found in Giant Clams Near Nuclear Dump Site 
https://weather.com/amp/news/news/2019-06-03-radiation-clams-nuclear-marshall-islands.html

Researchers have discovered high levels of radiation in giant clams near a U.S. nuclear dump site in the Marshall Islands, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The disclosure was made during a U.S. Department of Energy presentation to local residents last month. While reporters from the Times were not present at the event, they interviewed several people who were there and recounted the program.

... Scientists and residents alike have been warning for years that rising seas caused by climate change could cause the 111,000 cubic yards of nuclear waste buried underneath the dome to leak into surrounding waters.

Local residents who attended the recent presentation said Terry Hamilton, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy, told them the radiation in the clams was not from Runit Dome, but rather residue that was released at the time of the nuclear tests.

Local officials aren't buying that explanation, citing the fact that the dome rises and falls with the tide.


A 2013 study of the dome concluded that it was susceptible to rising tides and "the potential does exist for contaminated groundwater from Runit Dome to flow into the nearby, subsurface marine environment."

But the report also noted that the amount of radioactive fallout already present in the nearby ocean sediments was higher than that contained in the dome, indicating leakage from the dump wouldn't "necessarily lead to any significant change in the radiation dose delivered."
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Sebastian Jones

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1028 on: June 06, 2019, 07:34:03 AM »
Vox- that is a sadder than usual litany of the horrors foisted upon us by nukes. I do wish they would stop taking about "cleaning up" nuclear waste. It cannot be cleaned in any meaningful way- a ton of nuclear waste will be dirty for hundreds or thousands of years. All that can be done with it is to move it away from wealthy, influential people and try to store it in a way that makes it less likely to leak for at least one electoral cycle.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1029 on: June 06, 2019, 09:22:12 AM »
There are proposals to burn nuclear waste in specified reactors. Except no one is doing that.

Or vitrify it and bury it (skb.com) which sweden is doing.

or just bury it  as in Yucca mountain and Hanford. Yucca turns out to be a boondoggle and Hanford is a disaster.

sidd
 

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1030 on: June 06, 2019, 09:26:57 AM »
Just imagine what happens should civilization collapses mid-century, and no one is left to maintain all these nuclear plants and waste facilities (and huge dams and other unstable human creations requiring constant maintenance to avoid catastrophe).

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1031 on: June 06, 2019, 04:20:54 PM »
Do I have to, Oren?  How do we all crowd into that place that is upstream (wind, water, ground water) from every long-term pollution source?
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1032 on: June 06, 2019, 06:40:28 PM »
Whoops.... some of the ASIF people might be personally affected by this

US to label nuclear waste as less dangerous to quicken cleanup
Energy department says labeling some waste as low-level at sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina will save $40bn

Quote
The US government plans to reclassify some of the nation’s most dangerous radioactive waste to lower its threat level, outraging critics who say the move would make it cheaper and easier to walk away from cleaning up nuclear weapons production sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina.

The Department of Energy said on Wednesday that labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40bn in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.

“This administration is proposing a responsible, results-driven solution that will finally open potential avenues for the safe treatment and removal of the lower-level waste,” said Paul Dabber, the energy undersecretary. “This will accelerate cleanup and reduce risk.”

The agency will maintain standards set by the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “with the goal of getting the lower-level waste out of these states without sacrificing public safety”, Dabber said.

Critics said it was a way for federal officials to walk away from their obligation to properly clean up a massive quantity of radioactive waste left from nuclear weapons production dating to the second world war and the cold war.

The waste is housed at the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina, the Idaho National Laboratory and Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state – the most contaminated nuclear site in the country.

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee, a Democratic presidential candidate, and the state attorney general, Bob Ferguson, said the Trump administration was showing disdain and disregard for state authority.

“Washington will not be sidelined in our efforts to clean up Hanford and protect the Columbia River and the health and safety of our state and our people,” they said in a joint statement.

The new rules would allow the energy department to eventually abandon storage tanks containing more than 100m gallons (378m liters) of radioactive waste in the three states, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The change means that some of the “most toxic and radioactive waste in the world” would not have to be buried deep underground, the environmental group said.

“Pretending this waste is not dangerous is irresponsible and outrageous,” the group’s attorney Geoff Fettus said.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/05/us-to-label-nuclear-waste-as-less-dangerous-to-quicken-cleanup
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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1033 on: June 06, 2019, 07:49:48 PM »
People should also bear in mind the past.

The U.S. Department of Energy never cared about or wanted to “clean up” nuclear waste. In point of fact, the U.S. Department of Energy is in actuality the U.S. Department of Nuclear Weapons, which also incidentally does some energy work. The mission of the department is and always has been fundamentally about building and maintaining nuclear weapons, from the manufacture of plutonium and uranium-233 and other “special” materials, i.e. tritium, polonium, neptunium-237, plutonium-238, and a variety of other isotopes.

In producing these desired end products the department and its predecessors produced an immense amount of radioactive waste and chemical wastes, often mixed wastes. The department spent the lowest possible amount of money to maintain these wastes, focusing almost solely on preventing the wastes and their storage from interfering with production and their workers short term health.

Wastes from dissolving nuclear fuel to extract plutonium, uranium, neptunium, americium and curium we’re dumped into large poorly constructed underground tanks where they sat and still sit for the last 75 years. In Idaho and South Carolina these tanks were made of stainless steel and the wastes were strongly acidic. In Washington State, they went cheap on the tanks and used carbon steel. They then had to add and still have to add copious quantities of sodium hydroxide, caustic, to both neutralize the waste acidity, and to keep the pH in the tanks high to minimize corrosion of the tanks.

In time, they were required because of changes in the environmental laws to build tanks with two walls. Though these are referred to as double shell tanks, in reality they are tanks in pots with very limited abilities to inspect the gap between or under the tanks, and which allow leakage of water into the annulus. They never considered in these designs how air and water react under changing temperatures. As a result, they created what amounts to an uncontrolled heat exchanger under the tanks which condenses water on the bottom of the secondary tanks, the pots, with bottoms that have been steadily corroding, silently, unmonitored and unwitnessed since they were built.

They also failed to understand the chemistry in the tanks, or to control it adequately. And they failed to replace the tanks before they reached the ends of their design lives. Instead they simply extended their lives and did paper studies justifying their actions. Those of course failed to actually protect the tanks from failure. And so over that time, 67 of the single walled tanks or their piping failed releasing over a million gallons of high level waste containing a million curies of radioactive waste to the soil.

One double shell tank completely rotted through its bottom dumping its contents into the outer tank. Just partly emptying that tank of the waste they could easily remove cost over $100 million and took two years. DOE’s planning documents and emergency plans required emptying any tank showing danger of leaking in 24 hours. DOE’s pure incompetence wouldn’t even allow them to admit the tank was leaking for over a year, let alone actually do anything. It then took another year to obtain funding and procure the pumps and piping needed to empty the tanks in a complicated dance that involved moving wastes in and through half a dozen other tanks.

And, oh by the way, the tank that failed had just received radioactively screaming hot (radioactively and thermally) waste from the work to empty tanks from a failing single shell tank farm.

Seven of the double shell tanks have either already rotted through their secondary tank bottoms, or been so damaged by bottom corrosion that they cannot be assured to not have rotted through, rendering them single shell tanks. DOE refuses to even admit that. Instead they rely on an engineering assessment which they funded to say that there is no direct evidence of failure, despite a complete inability to inspect most of the area of the tank bottoms, and a complete lack of testing using other means commonly used in industry (e.g. helium or heavy gases to detect penetrations). Why you ask? Well, because they decided decades ago to use those tanks to feed their treatment plant and to use the money they would spend on tanks building that plant. But now 20 years later that plant is still not running and it won’t start for four or five more years. And the bulk of the plant will never and can never work. Their ideas for how to do it more cheaply by separating the waste turned into a failed $20 billion dollar boondoggle. But, DOE can never admit failure or error. As a result, they never ever learn from their failures.

Through the last 75 years, DOE added immense amounts of caustic to the tank wastes. Much of that is neutralized by carbon dioxide from the air necessitating the addition of even more. They have dumped over a million gallons of high level wastes directly to the soil in addition to the leaks. And they dumped a quarter billion gallons of less contaminated water directly up the soil. 

That leaked and dumped waste they refer to as “past practice waste” and DOE now tries to argue that the moment the high level waste contacted the soil that it ceased being high level waste and hence requires no cleanup at all. This is of course absurd, insane and in direct contravention of the law. But DOE doesn’t care about law. They are after all the Department of Nuclear Weapons. Even today, they do not embrace the mission to resolve their past errors and to protect people and the environment. They cannot. The people who work on that mission were hired by people who in turn were hired by people who philosophically do not believe in the mission. Most have parents and grandparents and relatives who made the messes in the first place. And of course they view them as valiant people who could not have done bad things, so therefor they did valiant and right things and the mess cannot really be a problem.

They change the rules whenever the rules get in the way. And they routinely ignore the laws.

Humans are silly creatures, absurd really; not to mention arrogant and foolish.

In the 1990s an Undersecretary of Energy in trying to avoid cleanup and evade the legal requirements began asking publicly of the public “How clean is clean?”  Well I don’t know sir just how filthy is “clean”?

DOE does not believe in “cleanup”, or in anything anywhere close to it. They have now spread their filth far and wide. And having done so they argue that it is now diluted enough to claim it really isn’t high level waste anymore, and we should just leave it there and kick a skim of dirt over the top, put up fences or signs to prevent people from digging and declare success!  See how much cheaper that is?!

At Savannah’s River, they “closed” their tanks by filling them first with “special” grout. That was intended to chemically convert the technetium to a sulfide. That didn’t work though as the grout and wastes did not mix. So they dumped powdered grout on top then added structural grout to fill the tanks and prepared an analysis that claimed that the technetium sulfide would never oxidize and again become mobile. Even with that, they barely met standards for protecting groundwater. And they “closed” the tanks under the drinking water act, rather than under the toxic and radioactive waste laws. The drinking water act has no provisions for doing that.

In time that foolishness will reveal itself. And those wastes will then need to be cleaned up at incredibly high cost.

As to Hanford’s wastes. Well, no problem there. There are folks in Texas who see profit and dollar signs in dumping the waste in near surface disposal and kicking a skim of dirt over it there. And here in America, we are all about profit.

Sam
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 07:55:30 PM by Sam »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1034 on: June 07, 2019, 01:12:16 AM »
People should also bear in mind that many Trump administration proposals die in court, as will this one.

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1035 on: June 07, 2019, 01:55:47 AM »
I should also make note of a couple of nuclear disasters that few know about which happened at Hanford, and Idaho because of the declassification of information in 1989.

The first was a criticality accident involving a small glass vessel and plutonium nitrate in nitric acid and one cadmium control rod - all situated in a wooden barn. The design was terrible and minor movement of the rod caused a prompt criticality which ejected a large amount of the contents into the room. The workers sopped up the acidic plutonium nitrate. They left rags soaked in that in buckets, where they caught fire. That gutted the barn. And if a fire in a plutonium nitrate soaked barn sounds like a bad idea to you, well then you actually are thinking. This accident was given such little regard by DOE that it wasn't even included in the national summary of criticality accidents until the 1990s.

But that's ok, DOE also suffered a criticality accident in Idaho at the Idaho processing plant when they tried processing civilian fuel in a plant designed to process naval fuel, and managed to over concentrate the solution in one column resulting in a prompt criticality that ruptured the column and spread radioactivity across the desert, something that site workers didn't know about for nearly a day, despite their being contaminated by the plume. That too was so little regarded that it too was not recorded in the national register of criticality events until the 1990s. I wonder how many other such events never made it into the register?

The second was a criticality accident at the plutonium finishing plant. As workers were soacking up spilled plutonium solutions in a glovebox into yet another glass vessel, they managed to over concentrate the solution, and suffered a prompt criticality. Three workers were exposed to high levels of neutron and gamma radiation. In order to assess the risks to their workers (these three), DOE embarked on a secret program to highly irradiate the testes of prisoners in Oregon and Washington jails to see what the effects might. be. They did pay the victims (subjects) $1 a day.

The third is an accident that is hard to believe. DOE had such low regard for how they handled the wastes in the tanks that they designed many of the tanks to be cooled by allowing the wastes to self boil from the heat of radioactive decay and then vented the boiled off water rich in tritium and carbon-14 to the air. Many of the tanks held waste that was so concentrated that they self boiled, even if the tanks were not designed with that in mind.

And in 1965 one of those tanks A-105 was one such tank. The gentleman who normally ran that farm and ensured that water was added to keep the tanks from drying out completely went on vacation. His replacement that week apparently didn't do an adequate job of adding water. In the middle of the night, A-105 concentrated to the point that the heat from the tank caused the concrete beneath the tank to explosively fail as interstitial water in the concrete turned to steam and exploded the concrete. That ripped a 15 foot gash in the bottom of the tank as the steel bottom was blown upward.

DOE was lucky. Many of Hanford's tanks were rich in solvents. A-105 wasn't. A similar tank explosion occurred in Russia at a place named Kyshtym. The consequences of that were horrific and approach Chernobyl scales.

Radioactive steam then vented through the vent tower on an adjacent tank that tank A-105 was connected to. A radiation health worker on hearing the muffled explosion went to the gate of the farm and allegedly measured an open air radiation dose of 500 millirem per hour at the entrance to the farm. Mind you that is a reading from radioactive cesium and strontium being vented in the open air in the steam coming off of the tank.

DOE then added something like 750,000 gallons of water to cool the tank, which then drained out of the bottom of the tank into the soil.

The stories get worse from there. The potential disasters that were avoided are terrifying. I say avoided because DOE largely did not know the dangers even existed. The accidents didn't happen mostly out of pure dumb luck.

And then there were the secret experiments such as the Green Run and operation Bluenose. In these the Federal Government intentionally released immense amounts of radioactive material and then used aircraft to see where it went and at what levels. That was apparently done as a means to calibrate measurements from around Russia to assess how much plutonium the Russians were producing. Little to no regard was paid to the impacts of citizens living in the Pacific Northwest exposed to these releases.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1036 on: June 07, 2019, 03:32:01 AM »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1037 on: June 07, 2019, 07:02:48 AM »
Just imagine what happens should civilization collapses mid-century, and no one is left to maintain all these nuclear plants and waste facilities (and huge dams and other unstable human creations requiring constant maintenance to avoid catastrophe).

The worst thing is that nuclear power plants and large hydropower plants are very vulnerable to powerful earthquakes and sabotage of extremists. Therefore, their presence is dangerous for any country.

The slightest malfunction in a nuclear reactor can lead to a thermal explosion and the release into the atmosphere of a huge number of radioactive elements. In the entire history of nuclear energy there were at least 3 thermal explosions of nuclear reactors.

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1

Quote
The SL-1, or Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a United States Army experimental nuclear power reactor in the United States that underwent a steam explosion and meltdown on January 3, 1961, killing its three operators. The direct cause was the improper withdrawal of the central control rod, responsible for absorbing neutrons in the reactor core. The event is the only reactor accident in the U.S. that resulted in immediate fatalities.[1] The accident released about 80 curies (3.0 TBq) of iodine-131,[2] which was not considered significant due to its location in the remote high desert of eastern Idaho. About 1,100 curies (41 TBq) of fission products were released into the atmosphere.[3]

During the accident the core power level reached nearly 20 GW in just four milliseconds, precipitating the steam explosion.[6][7][8][9]

2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_K-431

Quote
K-431, completed around 1965 as unit K-31, was a Project 675 (Echo II)-class submarine with two pressurized water reactors, each 70 MWt capacity and using 20% enriched uranium as fuel.[3] On 10 August 1985, the submarine was being refuelled at the Chazhma Bay naval facility near Vladivostok. The submarine had been refuelled and the reactor tank lid was being replaced. The lid was laid incorrectly and had to be lifted again with the control rods attached. A beam was supposed to prevent the lid from being lifted too far, but this beam was positioned incorrectly, and the lid with control rods was lifted up too far. At 10:55 AM the starboard reactor became prompt critical, resulting in a criticality excursion of about 5·1018 fissions and a thermal/steam explosion. The explosion expelled the new load of fuel, destroyed the machine enclosures, ruptured the submarine's pressure hull and aft bulkhead, and partially destroyed the fuelling shack, with the shack's roof falling 70 metres away in the water. A fire followed, which was extinguished after 4 hours, after which assessment of the radioactive contamination began. Most of the radioactive debris fell within 50–100 metres (160–330 ft) of the submarine, but a cloud of radioactive gas and particulates blew to the northwest across a 6 km (3.7 mi) stretch of the Dunay Peninsula, missing the town of Shkotovo-22, 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the dock.

3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

Quote
The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR.[1]

The accident occurred during a test simulation of an electrical power outage to develop a safety procedure for keeping reactor cooling water circulating until the emergency generators could provide power. This gap was about one minute and had been identified as a potential safety problem which could cause core overheating. Three such tests had previously been conducted since 1982 but had failed to provide a solution. Unfortunately, on this fourth occasion the failure to follow the test procedure created unstable operating conditions which, combined with inherent RBMK reactor design flaws and the intentional disabling of several emergency safety systems, resulted in an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction.[2] The huge amount of energy suddenly released then vapourised superheated cooling water to rupture the reactor pressure vessel in a highly destructive steam explosion which was followed by an open-air reactor core fire.


Operation of nuclear reactors is too dangerous on Earth. They are suitable only for space or Mars (there is a rarefied atmosphere).

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1038 on: June 07, 2019, 09:55:16 AM »
What Sam said. Hanford (and many other sites) are unmitigated disasters proceeding today.

If you got a nuke dump around, move away if you can. If you dont know if you do have one around, find out pronto.

sidd

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1039 on: June 07, 2019, 09:58:48 AM »
What Sam said. Hanford (and many other sites) are unmitigated disasters proceeding today.

If you got a nuke dump around, move away if you can. If you dont know if you do have one around, find out pronto.

sidd

Nuclear tests worldwide have been banned due to fears of dangerous biological mutations. For a short period, people blew hundreds of bombs in the atmosphere, and were frightened of complete extinction due to radioactive substances.


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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1040 on: June 07, 2019, 10:18:07 AM »

gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1041 on: June 07, 2019, 10:18:43 AM »
What Sam said. Hanford (and many other sites) are unmitigated disasters proceeding today.

If you got a nuke dump around, move away if you can. If you dont know if you do have one around, find out pronto.

sidd

For once, memory served me aright.

Quote from myself.....

Quote
Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #399 on: May 17, 2017, 02:06:24 PM »

I am sure most people noticed the little incident a few days ago at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site in Washington State.

Eventually the penny dropped - and I remembered that I had done some research on the sorry history of that place after British Nuclear Fuels gave up their contract to fix the problems there and a contract manager for Halliburton said it wasn't fixable. I have lost all that research, but here is a 2015 article from Time magazine.

http://time.com/3672177/hanford-radioactive-waste-history/

I wonder if anything has changed.  Nuclear is dangerous because humans are looking after it. I do not love nuclear power, Mr. Hansen.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1042 on: June 07, 2019, 12:13:16 PM »
US to relabel nuclear wastes as less dangerous:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/05/us-to-label-nuclear-waste-as-less-dangerous-to-quicken-cleanup

Perhaps because.....
Cost of Nuclear Waste Clean-up in the U.S. estimated at $377 Billion
Quote
A new report by the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) estimates the total cleanup cost for the radioactive contamination incurred by developing and producing nuclear weapons in the United States at a staggering $377 billion (USD), a number that jumped by more than $100 billion in just one year.
http://hazmatmag.com/2019/02/cost-of-nuclear-waste-clean-up-in-the-u-s-estimated-at-377-billion/
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Aluminium

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1043 on: June 07, 2019, 03:20:27 PM »
Nuclear reactors are definitely better than fossil fuel energy. Dangerous? Yes. It requires exceptionally low probability of any serious accidents. However, strong climate change will affect whole environment with 100% probability. Anyway we have to take it seriously. Then "few" nuclear accidents will not turn into "many". Also there is a way to reduce nuclear waste using fast-neutron reactors.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 03:33:10 PM by Aluminium »

Tim

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1044 on: June 07, 2019, 04:31:38 PM »
Nuclear reactors are definitely no better than fossil fuel energy.

If you look around at how the current market system works, the incentive to build new projects is entirely based on getting in low upon the announcement of a new infrastructure project, and growing your investment as others pile in with their money after you. That's the only incentive. Then, once an infrastructure project is built, there is absolutely no mechanism in the market to generate money to maintain that infrastructure afterward. In fact, the incentive that is there afterward is just to cut costly upkeep, or else the growth of the stock drops, and the money will flee to some other new venture.

If you look around, this is the pattern ... infrastructure failing as it gets old and isn't ever dealt with ...ever. The incentives were about building money as the hype of a new project gets announced, and after that, maintaining infrastructure is nothing but a loss to investors.

One could say ... well, we need to get serious and change that. Except, look around, you won't change that, it's just a flaw built into the nature of the economic system. You won't change that about our society, there is no mechanism to change that about the market system.

I would say nuclear only appeals to people panicking about only just climate change, and who don't pay attention to the hundred other ways civilization has collapsed the biosphere around it. In the long term, because of how our society is, which appears to be impossible to change, nuclear presents the exact same imminent risks to the future of life and the biosphere as fossil fuel burning did. You have to look at the big picture, not just at any desperate attempt to escape climate calamity today, by doing just as much harm to the environment down the road in just some other different way. It's myopic.

Our system isn't designed to deal with nuclear at all, unless you completely ignore the future. Nuclear energy is a fools errand. They're already all collapsing into ruin. That's just how the free market works and always has. Except, nuclear goes haywire when it's infrastructure crumbles into ruin. There is no way to effectively deal with the radioactivity. It's short term thinking, just like fossil fuel burning was, just as bad, not any better, the exact same thinking.

Aluminium

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1045 on: June 07, 2019, 05:18:14 PM »
What about numbers? We had only 3 nuclear events 6+ INES. It more affect emotions than real life. Every accident reduces probability of others because of reassessment in nuclear safety.

The easiest way to collapse is just power off all energy sources. We need in energy and high carbon emission lead to catastrophe. It's not a time to fight against nuclear power.

Tim

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1046 on: June 07, 2019, 05:36:33 PM »
You're just trading one catastrophe for another, a catastrophe today, for a different catastrophe in the future.

Did we learn nothing from CO2? Now, let's trade CO2 damage for radiation damage. It's myopic, and desperate. People ignored CO2 as well, because it wasn't a direct problem to them yet. Same goes for radiation, if you're able to look at the whole big picture and see the trajectory into the future with clear eyes. It's the selfish solution regarding life in the future, past just 'me' today. There's your desperate emotional response, if you want to go there. The current nuclear infrastructure is already starting to crumble around us, didn't you read any of the posts above?

I certainly do advocate against nuclear energy. And I can if I want to.  :D
.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 05:46:14 PM by Tim »

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1047 on: June 07, 2019, 06:41:19 PM »
If nukes were the answer, i would support nukes. But they aren't!

There isn't enough time.

The answer is renewables.

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1048 on: June 07, 2019, 07:24:13 PM »
US to relabel nuclear wastes as less dangerous:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/05/us-to-label-nuclear-waste-as-less-dangerous-to-quicken-cleanup

Perhaps because.....
Cost of Nuclear Waste Clean-up in the U.S. estimated at $377 Billion
Quote
A new report by the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) estimates the total cleanup cost for the radioactive contamination incurred by developing and producing nuclear weapons in the United States at a staggering $377 billion (USD), a number that jumped by more than $100 billion in just one year.
http://hazmatmag.com/2019/02/cost-of-nuclear-waste-clean-up-in-the-u-s-estimated-at-377-billion/


$377B is almost certainly a gross underestimate of the cost to clean up and remediate all the nuclear waste and nuclear sites in America. In fact, the figure quoted is just for cost of nuclear weapons production/research- which is muddied by the fact that some power plants exist to make weapons grade fissile material. So, let's double the cost to $754B? Now let's consider the chronic mis-underestimation of costs that is standard in the nuclear world and lets triple that amount to about $2.2Trillion. Now let's extrapolate that to the rest of the world and....we really screwed up when we let the nuclear genie out of hell.

ArcticMelt2

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1049 on: June 07, 2019, 07:33:59 PM »
$377B is almost certainly a gross underestimate of the cost to clean up and remediate all the nuclear waste and nuclear sites in America. In fact, the figure quoted is just for cost of nuclear weapons production/research- which is muddied by the fact that some power plants exist to make weapons grade fissile material. So, let's double the cost to $754B? Now let's consider the chronic mis-underestimation of costs that is standard in the nuclear world and lets triple that amount to about $2.2Trillion. Now let's extrapolate that to the rest of the world and....we really screwed up when we let the nuclear genie out of hell.

Much more is spent on nuclear weapons. Only in the US at least 10 trillion.

http://www.nuclearweaponsmoney.org/handbook/nuclear-budgets/

Quote
In addition, the nuclear-weapon-possessing States have never comprehensively tracked all nuclear-weapon-related spending. Nuclear weapons expenses are spread over a number of departments – with some expenses such as compensation for nuclear test victims and secret radiation experiments not adequately documented. As Stephen I. Schwartz, author of Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 notes with regard to US nuclear weapons spending:

“The problem is not (…) that the government ‘has never officially disclosed the exact cost’, it’s that no one knows the exact cost because all the relevant data have never been collected and analyzed.’ However, Schwartz acknowledges that even within the margin of uncertainty ‘the nuclear weapons program has consumed an estimated 8.7 trillion USD (in inflation-adjusted 2010 dollars) since 1940, making it the third most expensive government program of all time.”