Goodbye 100w, 75w Incandescent Lamps

Page 10 of 16  
Doug Miller wrote:

Oh fer shure...I wasn't arguing, only trying to clarify/amplify...commercial nuclear generation has one of if not the best safety record of any industry segment in not only the US but all of the developed countries utilizing LWR technology(*).
This, of course, is owing to the extreme diligence of the operating utilities w/ stringent operating rules combined w/ what is probably the most extensive use of safety features and designs with lesser regard to implementation costs in any commercial activity.
The down side of the latter combined of course w/ the fervent denial of any possibility of any risk whatever of the JoeBedroom's of the world is that we have neglected to develop the most appropriate technology there is for large-scale electrical power generation at the expense of wasting prodigious amounts of natural gas and oil and continuing to require older, less-efficient and more polluting coal-fired units to remain on-grid to make up the difference. Combined w/ the previously discussed decision during the Carter administration to not close the nuclear fuel cycle we have in a remarkably shortsighted fashion arrived at the present dilemma.
(*) France generates some 80% of their power via nuclear.
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dpb wrote:

A worker was killed by direct radiation at an experimental reactor in Idaho (not commercial power generation).
Some people were killed by direct radiation at Chernobyl, including firemen spraying water on the reactor. And many in the general population died from more indirect effects, like fallout. Different reactor type than US. None of these fit Doug's 'nobody killed in the US in power generation'.
I don't remember the radiation released from Three Mile Island, but there could have been indirect deaths as at Chernobyl. And uranium miners have died from radon breakdown or other radiation effects.
Coal miners have died from black lung.
And people have died from polluting effects from coal burning. Indirect deaths, like from nuclear, don't leave fingerprints.
I agree that, bottom line, nukes are reasonable sources of power.
--
bud--




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bud-- wrote:

Yes, I specifically excluded research reactors and laboratories. There was also a criticality accident that killed one (or maybe two, I forget) at the Oak Ridge Y-12 facility. Those incidents are at least 30 years ago now, all of them.

Yes, I also specifically limited the discussion to LWR reactors. As somebody else mentioned way back in the thread, the Chernobyl reactor did not have a containment building at all in the sense of what we think of--it was simply in a metal-clad building. Such a reactor would never have been built in any of the western nations. The Chernobyl design and the operational misdeeds that lead to the event are prime examples of "how _NOT_ to do it".

While TMI is a "could be", there are no confirmable injuries or deaths in the general public (or in the workforce at the plant, either) around TMI that can be attributed to those releases. In talking w/ a co-worker who spent a great deal of time on site during and immediately after the event (while they were still dealing with the "H bubble" in the SG upper leg), he said his greatest concern was being run over by the teeming hordes of media reporters every time he approached or left the plant. :) I spent the days at the time looking at data from the plant instrumentation and in phone consultations on trying to infer state of the core from the incore instrumentation system which was my area of special expertise.

Overall, hard to refute it's probably the cleanest overall practical and reliable source for large scale electricity central-stateion generation we presently have (or will have for the foreseeable future).
--dpb
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I wonder who would stand to lose FINANCIALLY if we could quickly replace all oil & coal burning plants with nuclear.
If your first reaction is to focus on the word "quickly", please don't bother responding, because it would mean you're pretending not to understand the real point of the question.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The reason the 20 or more canceled plants were canceled (some at near completion w/ billions already invested--TVA Bellefonte as one example), plus those that were shortsightedly shut down (Shoreham isn't the only example) were not done so for anything to do with somebody _else_ losing out. Nor has the 30-yr hiatus in new construction of nuclear units had anything to do with anything other than licensing a construction delays made it excessively risky to commit to nuclear generation. Again, nothing whatsoever to do with your conspiracy theories.
--
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Conspiracy? A number of utilities have purchased changes in the rules so they can avoid paying for improvements to coal burning facilities. And I do mean purchased.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote: ...

Oh, gawd, not this again....we went 'round that barn only a few months ago and your claims were shown false at that time. :(
--
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They're still true, which you missed.
The point here is that someday, I think you'll find that not all the blame for the lack of nuke plants can be placed with environmentalists and their legal actions. That's the simple, most visible answer, though. The invisible answers are the ones we need to know more about. Cheney knew this when he classified all information surrounding his energy policy meetings.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

No, they're not. You provided no substantiation of _any_ of your previous claims.

I've never said environmentalists were the entire cause, but surely had a major impact with both delaying and in poisoning public opinion by similar scare tactics as those you try (whether you really believe this crap or just like to spout off, I've not yet been able to tell for absolute certain. One hopes for the latter; suspects the former). TMI was key while of no consequence whatsoever in causing any detectable offsite injury or damage it did provide a much-needed-at-the-time focus and re-impetus for the anti-nuke lobby.
The actual straw that broke the camel's back was the resulting apparently unending increase in retrofits, upgrades and additional licensing burdens placed on the other plants under construction or still in licensing hearings that stretched completion times to as much as 15 years and untold billions in additional cost. That created such an unfavorable economic climate the utilities simply cut their losses and either canceled orders or quit construction and abandoned units in somce cases nearly complete at the cost of billions.
--
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Been following this thread with interest, and sometimes a little amusement, I might add.
In general, I agree with the position that nuclear is probably the best short/medium term solution to providing our energy needs.
But it seems to me that vilifying environmentalists as having done no good by opposing nuclear power is an inconsistent argument when at the same time one praises the nuclear industry's safety record. Here's why:
The current state of affairs, both good and bad aspects, was arrived at via long series of events. Demands of the market, developments by industry, regulation and oversight by federal agencies, and yes, opposition by citizens and environmental groups, all intertwine in a system of action, reaction, checks, balances, disturbances and corrections.
One can't rationally blame environmentalists for all the bad and give credit to industry for all the good in such a complex situation. Reality is somewhere in the middle.
If there was no environmental opposition ever, the current state would be different for sure. But no one can be sure whether or not it would be better, just different. Once can never be certain about the outcome of a path not chosen.
Once would like to think that industry, free of oversight and regulation, would always act in the best interests of citizens. But history is chock full of counter examples. So when the stakes are high, as they certainly are here, government watches over industry, and the citizens watch over government. I for one think that's how it should work, despite getting out of kilter at times.
It may well be that the balance swung too far toward the nuclear power opponents in the last 2 decades. That appears to be changing. But vilifying environmentalists and others who oppose nuclear energy without recognizing that they have had and should have a valid role in the system of checks and balances is wrong, IMO.
Paul F.
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Paul Franklin wrote: ...

...
If you're criticizing me, I've never said there wasn't value in environmental work -- I've only criticized the demonization of nuclear and the manner in which many environmentalist organizations have told less than the honest story of what the relative risks are of one alternative vis a vis another.
--
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Unfortunately for the power generating industry, they get lumped into the same category as corporations which *do* foist their questionable practices on the public on a regular basis. Oh well. I guess they have to deal with that fate.
Meanwhile, there's an important word to keep in mind when you're tempted to use the word "environmentalist". Try substituting the word "customer", which pretty much ends all disagreements about whether it's important to address people's concerns. My doctor has stopped using the word "patient", and uses "customer" instead, since it's much more correct, and it takes him down a notch from the pedestal on which some doctors place themselves. Your industry should do the same.
You will now ask why ALL customers don't express the same concerns as the subset you like to call "environmentalists". The answer is a very simple one. Let's see if you know the answer.
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Not at all. Call them what you like, they are still extremists with an anti-nuke agenda. As such, they should be mostly, if not completely, discounted.

For tripping over such semantics, your doctor is an idiot.
I can just see the kindly, old, bespectacled M.D. enter his PATIENT'S room during grand rounds and ask, "How is my CUSTOMER doing this morning?" Gag me.

As usual, you're wrong again. (Habit-forming, isn't it?)
It is those the M.D. SAVES and cures that place him/her on a pedestal. Admittedly, some physicians LIKE it "up there" and make no effort to come down, but few self-ascend to such a status.
Then there's you: Not an M.D. yet you have ascended to a pedestal of your own making. It must be quite a balancing act to stay up there considering the stack of chips on each shoulder.

Why ask something to which I already know the answer?

Of course, you won't like it but, here it is: They are informed and rational. The subset to which you refer is not.
Now wasn't that simple? No wonder it eluded you.
--
:)
JR

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wrote:

No. 54% of the country questions nothing at all. For the remaining 46%, further discussion is in order.
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dpb wrote:

But, I will add I do believe the environmental movement had no significant role in the development of reactor safety standards -- those rules were put in place by the NRC almost solely on the basis of engineering principles to eliminate insofar as possible any serious accident and to provide systems to mitigate the consequences of various failures.
In my experience environmental concerns were raised was almost always on the basis of siting issues and environmental impact statements. Many of these objections I personally believe were knowingly filed simply as obstructionist tactics to delay and hopefully cause enough extra cost and difficulty that a utility would choose to withdraw the application rather than continue the battle. I really don't believe many of these cases had any real significant environmental issues at stake.
As a result of these, there may be a few ancillary improvements in how given plants are situated on a site or similar small improvements locally, but overall I think the effect has been minimal at best. There's probably more to be said for some of their work in the area of spent fuel storage, but again, that's kinda' a toss-up because we were prevented from closing the fuel cycle by the earlier decision confusing nuclear weapons proliferation w/ commercial nuclear power fuel reprocessing.
As in many things, I'm sure it depends on whose ox is being gored... :)
--

--

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CUSTOMERS
That's your mantra. CUSTOMERS
Another reason to repeat the mantra forever is that when it becomes obvious that you're ignoring your customers' concerns, we make a logical leap to a conclusion that's been proven for other industries: You have purchased the appropriate regulators so you can wildcat without concern for your customers. Whether it's true or not, this is the assumption, based on solid facts from other industries.
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And I agree with you. It's unfortunate that groups of all types on all sides of most issues, not just this one, seem to feel it's necessary to take extreme positions or overstate their case to make a point. This just generally seems to contribute more noise, when we need more signal. (Don't get me started on the appalling lack of critical thinking we see on all fronts :-) )
It is indeed unfortunate that the US nuclear power industry has been stalled, for whatever reasons, for so long. If we do turn back in that direction, we will greatly miss the additional experience and history we would have gained with even a few new plants. Slow but steady rollout and testing of new designs, materials, operating procedures, maintenance, security, etc. would have provided not only invaluable real world data, but would have given the public more confidence in the industry and would have helped silence some of the most extreme rhetoric. Restarting the domestic nuclear program will require lots of talent with rather specialized skills, and we haven't been doing much to build the talent pool. If we're going to restart, let's do it soon so the industry can grow slowly and cautiously.
Paul F.
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I respectfully disagree.
The environmental movement did MUCH to vilify nuclear power generation with no basis in fact or experience. TMI's little "belch" of irradiated steam, magnified a million times by a mass media with a well documented anti-nuke bias and Hanoi Jane's little movie did the rest.
Any group with a baseless counter agenda should NOT be part of a system of checks and balances.
--
:)
JR

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On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 22:14:14 -0600, Jim Redelfs

In any discourse, there will always be outliers. Groups with extreme views driven by ignorance, hidden (or not) agendas, or other motivations.
In science and engineering, outliers in data receive special scrutiny. When such scrutiny reveals valid reasons for excluding them from further consideration, they are set aside. Not removed from the record, but set aside for valid reasons.
We need to do the same in public discourse and policy. Critically examine the points and counter points and set aside the ones that are truly outliers and invalid. This requires a great deal of leadership, critical thinking, and impartiality.
You don't have to convince me that those skills are way too rare in our chosen leaders. We need leaders who can identify and set aside the outliers, and then make an informed decision on the basis of what remains.
So I agree with you. If a group's position, under the cold light of critical thinking, is determined to be an outlier, then it should be excluded from the remainder of the decision making process.
But a point I am would like to make is this. One can't exclude a post ion just because it appears to be outside the mainstream. (I don't mean to imply that's what your doing, but there's a lot of it going on out there) One must do the study, do the analysis, apply critical thinking, and make the informed decision.
Now what I didn't take care to do in my previous post was to make it clear that I believe environmental groups and other opponents of nuclear power should not be lumped all together and painted with a broad brush. Some are outliers, others can add value to the discussion. I believe this is true with the other side(s) as well.
Paul F.
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Agree completely.
Won't work in this thread though. Here everything is either good or evil.
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