Power Generation and Distribution Blog Blog

Power Generation and Distribution Blog

The Power Generation and Distribution Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about electrical power generation, designing and installing power systems, high voltage power lines, power distribution, design & installation services, and anything else related to the power generation industry. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Lights Out for South Africa?   Next in Blog: Can Coal and Nuclear Energy Really be Phased Out?
Close
Close
Close
36 comments

Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

Posted April 16, 2011 9:00 AM

Decades after the Chernobyl disaster, nuclear power seemed to be on the verge of finally shedding its negative public image and being embraced as a cleaner energy alternative to fossil-based energy. Then the Japanese earthquake and tsunami happened, and experts are predicting a shift away from nuclear energy once again. Is what happened in Japan a warning about nuclear power? Or is it an unfair representation of a reliable and relatively green energy source?

The preceding article is a "sneak peek" from Power Generation & Distribution, a newsletter from GlobalSpec. To stay up-to-date and informed on industry trends, products, and technologies, subscribe to Power Generation & Distribution today.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20963
Good Answers: 780
#1

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/16/2011 9:41 AM

I would think "yes" to each of the last two sentences.

A valid warning is that all processes with significant potential hazards should be continually reviewed for exposure (and resistance) to hazardous events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, vehicle crashes, floods, sabotage, other malicious behavior, operational mistakes, etc.

Such matters should be studied deliberately and cautiously, but not hysterically. In that respect, I think nuclear energy is getting a bad rap. Even in the very worst nuclear cases to date, the number of deaths and diseases is consistently overshadowed by other events in which nuclear processes are not involved.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3499
Good Answers: 144
#2

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/16/2011 1:35 PM

What happened in Japan is a warning and a 'black eye' for the industry, however the focus on accidental releases of radioactive material due to natural catastrophes at active power plants is a bit skewed. The real problem, which applies as well to fully functional plants in optimal circumstances, is the storage and containment issues for nuclear waste with longer-term hazards.

I cannot agree that nuclear power is a "reliable and relatively green" energy source, since the issue of nuclear waste that persists and must be contained for centuries or millenia has yet to be addressed. The present containment plans and practices are not adequate nor settled. We are able to generate this waste, but seemingly incapable of the long-term planning and commitment to deal with it responsibly. Darwin awards may be pending.

__________________
incus opella
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20963
Good Answers: 780
#6
In reply to #2

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 1:59 PM

I think nuclear waste storage is much more a "political football" problem rather than a bona fide technical problem. The cited article explains well the different needs for short, intermediate, and long term storage.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3499
Good Answers: 144
#8
In reply to #6

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 2:20 PM

Don't forget that the spent fuel rods are really the bigger issue in the present case in Japan. The containment pools were wrecked by the natural disaster. If this isn't a bona fide technical problem, everywhere there is nuclear power, please explain why there's no evidence that a bona fide technical solution is in place... anywhere.

__________________
incus opella
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20963
Good Answers: 780
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 4:50 PM

Because bona fide technical solutions are roadblocked by NIMBY and other political footballery.

Hell, just dig a deep hole in some remote place where the water table is really low. Admittedly, it might be a bit more complicated than that, but it shouldn't be much more complicated. But Luddism rules, and many people are not helping.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3499
Good Answers: 144
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 5:07 PM

Okely dokely, we can dig the hole in your backyard I guess, and it'll all go away. Maybe throw a few luddites in for good measure. (and how bout a skull and crossbones map, for the kids - funnily donely.)

__________________
incus opella
Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20963
Good Answers: 780
#11
In reply to #10

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 5:20 PM

I will give you one chance to retract that before I really reply.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3499
Good Answers: 144
#13
In reply to #11

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 5:31 PM

Don't get upset. I think it's a fair response to your suggestion to dig a hole. But I did not make the post to get you angry. I expected you to laugh.

__________________
incus opella
Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Richland, WA, USA
Posts: 20963
Good Answers: 780
#18
In reply to #13

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 11:07 PM

Well, I did laugh, on one level--but was (and may still be) prepared to protest stoutly. It reminded me of Harry Shearer's Le Show shtick of twisting that old "too cheap to meter" phrase around in various sound-bite ways.

Doing without nuclear power, or substituting other types such as coal, hydro, wind, etc., has risks also. On balance, the alternatives, especially coal, may be even worse.

__________________
In vino veritas; in cervisia carmen; in aqua E. coli.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: May 2010
Location: in optimism
Posts: 4050
Good Answers: 129
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 11:32 PM

There is no doubt coal is the worst possible choice for generating power.

It releases far more radiation than these accidents, or atmospheric detonation, did, or will.

It releases/concentrates far more toxic waste [bar concentrated plutonium] than nuclear can. And does so in vast tonnages.

And it's fundamentally efficiency compromised due to 'water media' and NO limits.

However, nuclear is still a compromise, and far more 'dirty' than the big one in the sky.

Another advantage nuclear is it is more scale-able than coal - you needn't build huge and risk huge impact.

Disposal wise you could just put nuclear waste back in exhausted uranium mines. The only argument against this seems to be, as the scarcity increases, so the price go's up, what was 'uneconomical', then can't be safely mined again.

__________________
There is no sin except stupidity. (Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900))
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3499
Good Answers: 144
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/18/2011 6:01 AM

Any design approach and consideration that makes nuclear power safer is a good thing. The industry has unresolved safety issues, which have been brought to public attention in the Fukushima crisis. It would be foolish to shrug this off as a one-time unpredictable event, and it makes sense to re-evaluate the industry standards.

Will the industry be 'scaleable' without cutting corners on containment and disposal issues. Will all reactors have backup power in place sufficient for the full ten days or more in which power is required to cool a reactor on shutdown. What advances are necessary for handling spent fuel rods on site before they are secured in a permanent disposal/containment site. These are important questions for the industry to resolve.

__________________
incus opella
Reply
Power-User
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
Good Answers: 8
#12
In reply to #9

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 5:23 PM

The Water Table is plenty low at Yucca Mountain, but water still flows through to get there. There probably is no perfect site, and sites that are merely better than the current locations will need perpetual maintenance or regional abandonment. Handled badly, nuclear waste could permanently degrade life due to extra mutations.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1061
Good Answers: 12
#33
In reply to #12

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

10/08/2011 5:31 PM

Unfortunately mankind is not trustworthy enough to handle nuclear waste in the long term. Many would not even address the issue if not forced to.

Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Near Delaware Water Gap
Posts: 1325
Good Answers: 83
#14
In reply to #9

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 5:31 PM

Somebody said dig a hole? Smaller reactors, partly underground...

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Popular Science - Biology - New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3499
Good Answers: 144
#16
In reply to #14

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 7:19 PM

I don't know where people are getting the idea that burying a reactor and/or its waste in a natural rock formation is secure containment.

What do we know about natural rock formations? Earthquakes split the ground, I believe? Aquifers and ground water are down below? The below-ground structure created by water flow is altered even by surface blasting as well. Where is the premise coming from, that this is any safer than a man-made containment structure?

__________________
incus opella
Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Near Delaware Water Gap
Posts: 1325
Good Answers: 83
#17
In reply to #16

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 10:21 PM

I believe the premise is to have an additional barrier--in terms of earth-berming or solid rock enclosure--augmenting the containment. And with the relatively smaller size of the reactor and passive safety systems, an accident/malfunction should be of a magnitude easier to address than that at Fukushima or Chernobyl.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1061
Good Answers: 12
#32
In reply to #6

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

10/08/2011 5:25 PM

Until all the storage problems are solved, new safety rules implemented, and terrorism addressed we should put nuclear power on hold. There is no need for it when and where there is abundant, clean, cheap natural gas. The risks of natural gas are miniscule comparatively.

Reply
Power-User
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
Good Answers: 8
#3

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/16/2011 10:51 PM

"The peaceful atom" program was a scam to get electricity users to subsidize weapons production. There is still no way to store the waste, and setting up a trust fund for it would wipe out all the power generated. Risks have been carefully hidden, but even more carefully avoided by those responsible. Economically, renewables are far preferable even to the projected costs, let alone the real ones we usually pay. Even the "Green" label is misused, since so much oil is used to create, fuel, and partially clean up a nuke.

This isn't an unfair black eye, just an unlucky break in the news. Oil and Coal have also had their downsides minimized, although their effects are not as lasting. With nukes, humanity could be impoverished by the effects of mutations for far longer than human history so far.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 355
Good Answers: 13
#4

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 12:38 AM

Nassim Nicholas Taleb a Lebanese American philosopher author of book The Black Swan, which a Sunday Times review described as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II has offered a very thought provoking analysis of the Japan's nuclear disaster under title "Time to understand a few facts about small probabilities [criminal stupidity of statistical science]" in http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/notebook.htm

Reply
Guru
Safety - ESD - New Member Popular Science - Cosmology - Amateur Astronomer Technical Fields - Technical Writing - Writer India - Member - Regular CR4 participant Engineering Fields - Optical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: 18 29 N 73 57E
Posts: 1388
Good Answers: 31
#5

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 1:37 PM

We always say that the Nuke power is greener of all.

But has anybody put the account of total greenness of this power including, what energy goes in erecting the plant, manufacturing enriched Uranium / other fuel used in Nuke processes and the hot water generated and releases in sea?

The total balance needs to be put as balance sheet.

Also, in the list of the natural calamities, we need to add one more emerging non-natural calamity... terrorism.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
Good Answers: 8
#7
In reply to #5

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 2:11 PM

Yes, exhaustive studies have been done about the "greenness" of nukes. Currently, if everything goes according to plan (a rather rare case) it takes eleven years to pay back the energy used to build and fuel a nuke. As the richest uranium mines are depleted, that figure rises steadily. The incidental costs of radiation leakage and decommissioning are unknown, but high. Given the longevity of radiation, they seem likely to exceed all the profits extracted from the process.

Being an uneconomic proposition, the nuclear industry only survives by spending further huge sums on manipulating public opinion and politics. If you want the truth about the safety and cost of nuclear power, just notice how the companies never make a move until the public provides free insurance.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 355
Good Answers: 13
#15

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/17/2011 5:35 PM

The nuclear crisis immediately brings to my mind the thought provoking theory of "The Black Swan" by Nassim Taleb referring to a class of events that shares three essential features namely 1) Outliers in that they lie outside the bounds of rational expectations. 2) These outliers, the so called black swans, have huge impacts. 3) We tend to adopt rationalisations on damage after the event has wrecked havoc.


Similar to 9/11 New York terror attack, the crisis at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant clearly was a Black Swan event as it was caused by crisis out side the expectations of system designers. Where the designers could foresee the possibility of severe earth quake and design a back up local power supply in the event of any incident, such an earthquake, that knocked out the grid, would have little impact. The local power generator itself was also designed to withstand a tsunami of 6.5 meters. This tsunami exceeded that figure and so knocked out the secondary power source. A battery remained, but it was designed to last only for four hours, hardly enough for the magnitude of the accident. This earthquake is the largest ever recorded in Japan and its associated secondary effects, the tsunami, were clearly outside the calculations of Fukushima's engineers, truly a Black Swan event.


The Black Swan is critical here because proponents of nuclear power have focused on the earthquake and tsunami, arguing that other regions of the world are more geologically stable than Japan. However that misses the point entirely. What is at issue in the Fukushima case is the cascading loss of power. That loss was outside of expectations. There may be other Black Swans leading to the loss of power generation and, thereby, resulting in an accident. This consideration is important if we have to use more nuclear power generated by more nuclear reactors. Do we really want to spread nuclear technology far and wide, knowing what we know about Black Swans, normal accidents and so on?


Also there has never been a workable solution to the highly toxic nuclear waste from the power plants. No one sane one would like it in their back yard. or underneath their back yard. A better safe and environmentally friendly solution is to discard the present assumption that large scale power grids are inevitable and plan for localized production. Millions of homes can be run on sun or wind energy which is not susceptible terror attacks on the grid or huge power out age in general.


In "The Breakdown of Nations" Leopold Kohr masterfully argues for radical decentralization and I quote " consider that bigness, or oversize, is really much more than just a social problem. It appears to be the one and only problem permeating all creation. Whenever something is wrong, something is too big. And if the body of a people becomes diseased with the fever of aggression, brutality, collectivism, or massive idiocy, it is not because it has fallen victim to bad leadership or mental derangement. It is because human beings, so charming as individuals or in small aggregations have been welded onto over concentrated social units. That is when they begin to slide into uncontrollable catastrophe"

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User
Engineering Fields - Civil Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Construction Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Mining Engineering - Member United States - Member - Member Popular Science - Weaponology - Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - Member Hobbies - Car Customizing - Member

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cary, NC, USA
Posts: 131
Good Answers: 7
#21

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/18/2011 10:12 AM

Like everything else in the world, this is another example of a knee jerk reaction by the press, which leads the uneducated to speak about issues they know nothing about. Merkel has been talking about shutting all of the nuclear reactors in Germany. Now her energy commission tells her if she does that, there will be black outs and the cost of electricity will triple or quadruple overnight. Now she says she needs to take a second look. When will politicians quit making decisions based on poll numbers? When will politicians stand up and make educated decisions based on facts? Too many politicians are in politics for the money and power. They make decisions based on what they think will make their voters happy. Not on what is the best decision. We need fewer lawyers elected and more real business men and engineers. Also, make public, every dollar that a politician receives. And enact a rule similar to what judges....if they receive money from or have an interest in a particular topic, then they have to recuse themselves from any associated votes. This one thing could change government as we know it. Instead of lobbyists and unions controlling the way our elected officials vote, the populace would control them. If they get caught taking money and peddling their influence, remove them from office, just like we do judges. There needs to be some morality in politics today, and the way I see it, we are doomed to repeat Rome's missteps if we don't pay attention.

__________________
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today - Abraham Lincoln
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1061
Good Answers: 12
#34
In reply to #21

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

10/08/2011 5:41 PM

Do you think engineers and other technocrats are more moral and wiser than politicians? The global warming controversies point out that they are not. The technocrats seem to be in league with the politicians as much as the financiers are. Solyndra also comes to mind. Not to mention Atoms for Peace. Never did see that cheap electricity I was promised.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User
Engineering Fields - Civil Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Construction Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Mining Engineering - Member United States - Member - Member Popular Science - Weaponology - Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - Member Hobbies - Car Customizing - Member

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cary, NC, USA
Posts: 131
Good Answers: 7
#35
In reply to #34

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

10/28/2011 12:22 PM

I think we need more ethics classes taught in college. I think politicians should have to sign ethics contracts. When they break it, they are out!

__________________
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today - Abraham Lincoln
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: OZ, otherwise known as Oklahoma were the wind comes sweeping down the plains.
Posts: 159
Good Answers: 4
#36
In reply to #35

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

10/28/2011 1:15 PM

Not just out, but in jail where they belong!

Reply Off Topic (Score 5)
Anonymous Poster #1
#22

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/18/2011 2:13 PM

Nuclear sounds so good for the most part. But I've gone back and forth over the years about it's ultimate desire-ability.

Other posters can correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that nuclear power was really a side issue outcome of the development of the atomic bomb. The following quote is from "The 1952 Annual Report, Commonwealth Edison Company, Chicago." The website link is to an, admittedly, biased organization. But that doesn't change the outright statement in the report.

"In last year's report, we announced that our companies, as one of four non-governmental groups, had entered into an agreement with the Atomic Energy Commission to study the practicability of applying nuclear energy to the production of power. The first year's study has been completed and a report has been completed and a report has been made to the Commission. Included in the report were preliminary designs of two dual-purpose reactor plants. By "dual-purpose" we mean that the plants would be primarily for the production of power but would also produce plutonium for military purposes as a by-product. In our judgment, these plants...would be justified from an economic standpoint only if a substantial value were assigned to the plutonium produced."

It seems the idea of nuclear power generation was co-conceived as part of our military strategy. Which, I think, means, less thought was given to the problems of waste disposal, etc. This was the era of the Cold War and I'm sure national security trumped the difficulties encountered in using atomic energy peacefully. The fact that there are nuclear power plants operating without incidents is a testimony to nuclear engineering. But waste disposal does detract from the, otherwise, wonderful picture painted for nuclear power generation... as well as nuclear "accidents" that have unfortunately happened. I always wondered why the spent material can't be sent into space on a journey to be "grabbed" by the Sun's gravitational pull and eventually going back to it's true "source" for recycling. Seems to me that would be a good business for private satellite companies to get in to. Of course, if a payload happened to explode, like the space shuttle launch, that would be a real disaster.

I note there are quite a few threads on CR4 about nuclear waste. Looks like I've got some reading to do.

Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Aerospace Engineering - Member United States - Member - Army Vet in the aviation industry

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bridgewater, Va.
Posts: 2023
Good Answers: 112
#26
In reply to #22

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/19/2011 4:30 PM

"Of course, if a payload happened to explode, like the space shuttle launch, that would be a real disaster."

A potential catastrophic accident with the delivery rocket is the reason it hasn't/won't be done. The idea was proposed back in the 60's I believe. The same uprising caused NASA to drop its development of plutonium based reactors for space craft power generation. The naysayers convinced the politicians that it's too risky in both cases.

BTW, for the reactor design, a casing was designed that was akin to an aircraft black box. It would have been virtually indestructible in an accident. Didn't matter. Emotion held sway.

But I've lately read that the Russians are continuing strong with nuclear power rocket engines.

Hooker

Reply
Guru
Technical Fields - Technical Writing - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Near Delaware Water Gap
Posts: 1325
Good Answers: 83
#27
In reply to #26

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/19/2011 9:49 PM

Indeed.

NASA, Roscosmos to discuss nuclear powered rocketry

Anatoly Perminov, director of the Russian Space agency Roscosmos, has announced plans for an upcoming meeting between the Russian space agency, and its counterparts in the United States, France, Germany and Japan (countries with a high level of nuclear engineering capability) on April 15. The meeting is being held to discuss the possibility of cooperation between the nations in building a nuclear powered rocket.

Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: OZ, otherwise known as Oklahoma were the wind comes sweeping down the plains.
Posts: 159
Good Answers: 4
#23

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/18/2011 3:35 PM

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about nuclear power is mans own hubris. The Japanese reactor's design handled the earthquake easily, but the designers had not thought of a tsunami knocking out all auxiliary power to the reactors.

Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Circe,9 Majadahonda 28220. SPAIN
Posts: 94
Good Answers: 2
#24

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/18/2011 5:09 PM

"It is an unfair representation of a reliable and relatively green energy source".

I agree.

The catastrophes of Chernobyl and Fukushima were caused by defects of design and mismanagement.

The case of the Chernobyl plant it is well known.

In Fukushima (and in other plants at the seaside) the plant or at least the ancillary equipment of pumps and electrical and hydraulic services should have been designed to be installed at a height of a number of meters above the sea level big enough to protect them from the maremoto (tsunami). The reactor itself withstood very well the earthquake.

Therefore, we should continue building nuclear electricity plants, properly designed to withstand all the possible accidents, because in itself is very safe, CO2 emission free, and the nuclear waste is confined and fully controllable.

Now days is the only way to effectively reduce the CO2 emissions.

The fossil fuels should be reserved to power the on the road vehicles, because the electrical accumulators are not yet suitable to be installed in a car truck etc. I think they will never be suitable.

__________________
QUIMERA
Reply
3
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Aloha or
Posts: 580
Good Answers: 17
#25

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/19/2011 3:59 PM

What no one has mentioned here is that in all cases of nuclear accidents so far it has been with 50 year old technology. Look it up. Todays newest designs do not have many of the problems brought up. even waste is much less of a problem and may be going away completely. The newest designs use the waste of older designs to run. It is no longer waste. we have an uneducated political class that responds to hysteria and seldom to real facts that is causing most of the problems. Also part of the problem are some very politically active greens that don't want any technology period. If we could leave this to well informed people we would have more than enough small nuclear plants spaced out all over the world. See this link for some details and doing some searching for yourself will find a lot more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba_4S There are even smaller versions.

Instead of worrying, do some research. The world and our technology have changed a lot in 50 years but nuclear hysteria does not seemed to have changed at all.

crow

__________________
Closed biased minds are utterly impervious to any factual evidence which contradicts their beliefs
Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Power-User
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
Good Answers: 8
#28
In reply to #25

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/22/2011 3:11 PM

The old reactors were once considered safe. We don't seem to be doing any better at this: http://old.rmi.org/sitepages/pid601.php Complex systems surprise us, and we are very prone to corruption in dealing with any problems or opportunities that do arise.

Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Aloha or
Posts: 580
Good Answers: 17
#29
In reply to #28

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/22/2011 3:41 PM

I see no need to respond to what is obviously a far left website. How about something factually based instead of opinion.

__________________
Closed biased minds are utterly impervious to any factual evidence which contradicts their beliefs
Reply
Power-User
Canada - Member - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 128
Good Answers: 8
#30
In reply to #29

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

04/22/2011 3:51 PM

Nice sig line, silvCrow.

Reply
Participant

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pakistan
Posts: 1
#31

Re: Is Nuclear Power Getting an Unfair Black Eye?

05/14/2011 2:00 PM

Yes because technology is knowledge based and nuclear power production is not that old where all developments could be about half-a-century old. knowledge has no-limits. What ever we acquire, at a later stage we see room for improvement

The Japan Tsunami devastation although tragic but may have a 'silver lining' that will lead us to a higher Safety & Reliability Level in Nuclear Power industry for future. Both human-nature and mother-nature are inter-active with each other. Human-nature taking up the challenges and mother-nature indicating the smallness of the acquired knowledge. Einstein, while standing on a sea-shore compared his acquired knowledge to that what is yet to be acquired as 'like a pebble on the shore as compared to sea'. Conclusion is that the largest and economical source of 'Green energy' is of-course 'Nuclear' since knowledge has no limits so lets keep-going. Success is an up-hill task whose path may be treacherous and unkind but ends in glory.

__________________
muslimneer
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 36 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

34point5 (1); Anonymous Poster (1); artsmith (6); ARTURO (1); Easyway (5); Grand Poobah (2); gsuhas (1); Hooker (1); krishnan.ng (2); Old Coal Man (2); Pakineer (1); ronwagn (3); silvCrow (2); sue (3); Tornado (5)

Previous in Blog: Lights Out for South Africa?   Next in Blog: Can Coal and Nuclear Energy Really be Phased Out?

Advertisement