As slow as litigation goes when parties are motivated to keep up the
fight, I would at least double that 2-3 years. I also see new litigation
battles being sprung up by the luddites as things move along.
At least those who do construction are better at pushing to stay on a
schedule and getting actual work done than litigating luddites, so I think
15 years still sounds realistic.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
It would be better if we could utilize the nuclear generated electricity
in a more environmentally friendly way such as providing charging power
for electric cars and plug in hybrids, and producing hydrogen for the
combustion side of the hybrids and for non hybrid vehicles. And of
course eventually transition from nuclear generated electricity and onto
renewable generated electricity once the renewable are viable in large
That would be great,EXCEPT that battery storage is not good enough to be
really practical yet.
Although I've read Toshiba has come out with a new Li-ion battery that
recharges to 90% in 10 minutes. That could make a difference.
Also,hydrogen storage for autos is in even worse shape.
So far,nothing beats gasoline/diesel for autos,and that's where our
vulnerability is,WRT the Middle East;petroleum.
using nuclear power for our electric generation is a no-brainer.
That's sort of my point, if you provide free electricity from those
nukes for charging EVs / PIHs *everywhere* so you can drive your PIH 10
miles to the store and plug it in in the parking space while you shop,
replacing much of the electricity used on the trip there, then the range
issues would be less of a problem and more people would be able to
effectively use EVs or PIHs.
Battery technology continues to improve, but just not fast enough. If
batteries improved at the rate that hard drives do, we'd all be driving
electric SUVs with 500+ mile range, great performance and 10 minute
It's hard to beat the hydrocarbons for energy density, but if there were
hydrogen fueling stations at even 1/4 of the density of current gas
stations it would be pretty viable for general use. I recall seeing a
piece on TV about a relatively compact and efficient hydrogen production
unit that combined with cheap power from the nukes (and eventually RE
when it catches up) would make hydrogen a viable replacement for a large
percentage of vehicles. Commercial vehicles are particularly good for a
hydrogen alternative since they travel pretty well defined routes making
it easy to insure they stay within range of a fueling station. City
busses and UPS trucks commonly use CNG currently and do just fine.
Certainly it is the only technology that is a viable replacement for all
our coal and NG electric generation currently. It can eliminate a huge
amount of emissions now and provide a few decades breathing room to
improve and deploy RE technologies to eventually replace it.
Many if not most states that developed nuclear weapons did it with
government-owned reactors;there's no such animal as a "civilian" nuclear
power plant in Russia,China or North Korea.I suspect Israel's Dimona
reactor is gov't owned,too.
Given that, I guess we'll just have to live, warm and illuminated, in a more
dangerous world since we'll not be giving-up nuclear power plants.
As TMI (a few cubic yards of irradiated steam do NOT a disaster make) and
Chernobyl fade from memory, we will build more nukes.
Most benefits do NOT come with such dire consequences.
However, it is indeed refreshing, and surprising, that you declare nuclear
electric power a "benefit". It is, in many ways.
Oh, it's definitely a benefit. My concerns about it stem from seeing so much
homeland security cash spent for fire trucks and not enough for things like
chemical plant security. If I recall, that industry purchased the right to
take care of security without government intervention. I'm not encouraged by
that, and I wonder about nuclear plant security as well.
You can stop wondering. You can probably even relax a bit.
There is a nuke operating perhaps 25 miles from where I am typing. It's along
the Missouri river. Security there is ridiculously tight. Also, my
son-in-law is an engineer at a nuke perhaps 40 miles east of his home. The
(generic) stories he tells about security are impressive.
Besides, any terrorist strike on a U.S. nuclear-powered, electricity
generating station will not be a ground-based assault. It will come from the
air - and will be a dismal failure as core containment here is extremely OVER
built. FWIW: There was NO containment structure at Chernobyl.
If these features are present everywhere, I'll be happy. Actually, though,
security is pretty tight at the Ginna plant east of here (Rochester).
Fishing boats occasionally drift too close to the security zone, and it
raises holy hell. The containment structure is another issue - I have no
idea what it's like.
My other concern is whether it would be possible for a bunch of idiots to
plan another joke like the Shoreham plant (Long Island). It eventually died
an appropriate death because the evacuation plan was also conceived by
idiots who never bothered to look at a map of Long Island.
Those features _ARE_ present everywhere as it is a standard part of NRC
As for containment, it'll stand anything up to a direct hit from a
bunker-buster or similar ordinance. If there were anywhere I'd choose
to be in an earthquake or such, inside containment would be one real
safe choice... :)
In reality, any external assault is extremely unlikely to do any damage
to anything other than secondary equipment outside containment such as
the turbine-generators or the switchyard. The most likely way for a
real incident to occur would be as an "inside job" where an employee
became a mole.
In reality, there would never be a need for a massive evacuation in a
panic mode--the requirement for one is simply a current licensing
stipulation inserted as a pacifier to the anti-nuke crowd. A LWR fuel
assembly simply is not highly enriched enough to make a nuclear
explosion--the worst that can happen is a core melt incident similar to
TMI which takes on the order of hours even if the operators make
essentially every possible wrong decision as they did there in the early
stages of the accident(*).
(*) If they had simply left the situation alone and let the HPI and RC
pump systems on, all would have been over within a couple hours and they
could have restarted in a few weeks at the outside after reworking the
HP relief valve on the pressurizer that stuck open after the reactor trip.
Although I don't know for sure, I suspect they are. Obviously, I hope they
The typical core containment makes, by comparison, the Pentagon appear to have
been built of straw.
Especially after 9/11, if a flight strays too close to a nuke, all hell breaks
loose. If the flight doesn't deviate from its apparent collision path, the
nuke operator can do an emergency shutdown, ramming the control rods back into
the core pretty quickly. Even if the containment were seriously breached by a
direct hit, the reactor vessel would probably survive intact.
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