O/T: Nuclear Reactor Problems

Page 14 of 16  
I'd like to point put that all of the known nuclear accidents combined, including the current problems in Japan, have resulted in fewer deaths than those caused by mining and burning coal for electrical power in a single year. And the environmental degradation attributable to nuclear power, no matter how you choose to measure it, is several orders of magnitude less than that caused by coal mining.
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote in

We shouldn't let the nuclear power industry get away with recertifying 50 year-old power plants with known deficiencies without updating and fixing all the known deficiencies.
Neither should we let the coal industry get away with carelessness as evident from the Massey accident(s) and nor let them dump their flyash anywhere they want to.
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Han
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On 3/30/2011 6:37 AM, Han wrote:

...
License extensions are only granted after a thorough review.
It is simply not practical to re-engineer/rebuild an existing facility entirely so your apparent request is to shut all operating plants. Unfortunately, since it isn't also possible to build replacements of any ilk in general, the US would be at a 20% shortfall if that were to happen. Needless to say, that would have serious economic consequences, too.
"There is no free lunch"
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I know there is no free lunch, and I'm not advocating scrapping the plants that do conform to safety rules. It just appears to the layman that if nature deals you a bad hand (Japan quakes & tsunami) or a set of combinations of other extreme factors, some power plants get into extreme problems.
From this layman's view there ought to be something done to at least better ensure continued operation of cooling systems. I am really in favor of nuclear energy, but it seems we're doing not enough to ensure safety, and counting on luck only goes so far, as the Japanese found out. Granted there was some real bad luck and operator errors
I think that the same should go for oil and coal. (Stupid drilling, flyash disposal).
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On 3/30/2011 3:30 PM, Han wrote: ...

If they don't conform to the rules, they don't get licensed...you're asking to change the rules after the kickoff, basically. That's fair game for a new game; not so much for the one in play.

There's very little luck intended in the design. I don't know what the design basis earthquake for Fukushima facility was (I've posted before that since I don't read Japanese I can't go to the source of the actual filed FSARs and I've not seen it reported in the press) but it appears that there wasn't much actual earthquake damage that was totally critical from the earthquake alone. If so, that says that part of the design was probably adequate or nearly so. US reactors are also designed to withstand a site-specific earthquake the magnitude and input energy waveforms which are based on best estimates for the particular site.
It appears that the problems at Fukushima that really got them were related to the following tsunami damage--it appears quite possible that was underestimated in the design. I agree there probably should be more stringent siting requirements with respect to nearness to known faults and particularly those that would be susceptible to tsunamis such that they aren't place in low-lying tidal areas in the future.
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> I think that the same should go for oil and coal. (Stupid drilling,
> flyash disposal).
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"dpb" wrote:

------------------------------ If it is not possible to repair and upgrade a facility to make it safe, then it needs to be shut down.
As stated elsewhere, the nuclear process allows absolutely ZERO tolerance for error.
Lew
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On 3/30/2011 8:06 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Nothing in the world is "safe" by your criterion. They meet applicable requirements or they are; what is unreasonable is to think one can change the entire design requirement and then retrofit an existing facility to that.

...
Well, that's clearly not true, either...there's been quite a lot of error as well as natural disaster it would seem and the overall effect is, afaict, no serious injuries to date even, what more any direct deaths. Quite a lot of property damage of course, but then in the big picture of the rest of the property damaged....
One might as well say there should be absolutely zero tolerance for error in passenger aircraft; your chances there aren't good in comparison. They're built as best know how; that's where we are in anything and everything we do.
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I agree 100% on both those counts.
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There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
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On 3/30/2011 4:21 PM, Larry W wrote:

That would be good since neither is true.
There are always bad eggs; Massey operations were in some instances criminal--all the laws in the world don't do anything except after the fact for those who chose to break them.
Flyash is very much under regulation as to where it goes--they don't just "dump anywhere they want to". Again, there's nothing man does that doesn't occasionally go wrong so to expect there to _never_ be a problem is simply unrealistic irregardless of how much regulation or care is taken. Sometimes the commonplace gets less attention than it might; certainly TVA had no intention of the Kingston flyash pond dam letting go...
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On 3/30/2011 5:21 PM, Larry W wrote:

We don't let 50 year old plants be re certified with known deficiencies. I believe it was about 10 or 12 years ago the Nuclear Plant at Southport North Carolina, was shut down and had to be fitted with some new modern equipment before it could be re certified.
For those complaining about spent fuel, I believe Carter made it against the law to reprocess spent rods.
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On 3/30/2011 6:32 PM, k-nuttle wrote: ...

Not exactly against the law; it was an Executive Order that decreed the NRC was not permitted to process a licensing application for a reprocessing facility. IOW, it's an administrative decision as opposed to law, a minor point in end result granted.
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Three cheers for Carter, the shining example of why nice guys shouldn't be in politics.
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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 19:32:39 -0400, k-nuttle

Carter was supposedly the "nuclear trained" president. Pshaw! I think he took the Navy's 8-hour course. ;)
He can hack out a nice piece of wood, though.
-- The general effect was exactly like a microscopic view of a small detachment of black beetles, in search of a dead rat. -- John Ruskin
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On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 20:57:23 -0700, Larry Jaques

Try looking up his bio. You're not far from wrong.

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"Han" wrote:

--------------------------------- You are preaching to the choir here Han.
Lew
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"Larry W" wrote:

------------------------------------ All the more reason to recognize the obvious.
Fossil fuel consumption must be reduced unless we knowingly want to do irreparable harm to the planet.
The present energy industry has very deep pockets and will fight development of alternate energy forms, but so be it.
It's time to get serious about our planet.
Lew
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On 3/30/2011 8:29 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

...
We _don't_ know that...
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I wrote:

------------------------------- "dpb" wrote:

------------------------------ Another member of the flat earth society I see.
Lew
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On 03/30/2011 07:42 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Another member of the Chicken Little society, I see.
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On 3/29/2011 8:53 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

...
I _THINK_ he's kicking about the investment in and subsequent abandonment of the Yucca Mountain site for "monitored retrievable storage" (which, granted, was always a gross overkill from the git-go as a concept but was intended to get around the objections of permanent disposal at the cost of a terribly complex (hence expensive) dry storage facility.
Instead, it became yet another political football on top of the gold-plating and eventually sank under the weight of disinterest in Congress to actually do something useful as opposed to punt the ball down the road and Harry R's great personal vendetta used to keep himself being re-elected. (Meanwhile, of course, NV was _very_ content to take all the construction and engineering $$ spent locally for 20 years or so...Harry's nothing if not self-opportune)
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