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(Drudge)   Drudge reporting U.S. may resume plutonium production, first time since end of Cold War   (drudgereport.com) divider line 288
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11118 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Jun 2005 at 12:44 AM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-06-27 06:27:15 AM
TMI is a valid issue, smackem yackem, however, we don't shut down all oil refineries after one of those, fairly routiney, blows up, we figure out what happened, and try to make things safer. Considering that there have only been a few incidents with nuclear power, and the only one which really is worth a damn, Chernobyl, happened because they almost intentionally provoked the meltdown, I'd say that the shrill voices should be listened to for the occasional nugget of wistom, but the entire industry should not be shut down.
 
2005-06-27 06:28:10 AM
Zebra_555:

Worse, an anonymous asshole like the registrant of that domain is kinda like walking around in a big crowd spewing dubious opinions left and right like rancid farts after an all night binge of cheap beer and pickled eggs. Not only does it stink all the way to hell, it's downright farking inconsiderate.

Yeah, if someone believes that the American Government is out to kill some of his citizens, he really ought to register using it's real informations for anyone to grab
 
2005-06-27 06:28:49 AM
consudubya, the UN is no better than the sum of its parts. If France, the US, Iran, North Korea, etc., cannot be trusted with nukes alone, why should they be trusted with nukes collectively? Where would they be stored? Who would have the access codes? Who would have the go/no go decision on whether to launch them?

To be honest, I don't have that much of a problem with Iran having nukes. We tolerate the existence of Israel's secret arsenal (which, by the way, has helped prevent open conflict for over 20 years, and open state-state warfare for over 30.)

If Iran gets to play a nuclear card, then Israel can come out of the closet. Both sides have a ready-made interest in keeping their nukes out of the hands of the REAL crazies (and trust me, if Israel follows through with its plans to get out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank, the Jewish equivalents of Hezbollah will start showing up. Try www.kahane.org for starters.)

Let's not pretend that Iran is a democracy; at the same time, this isn't Khomeini's 'Spread the Islamic Revolution around the world' Iran from the 1980s, either. I suspect they want to take a page out of China's handbook, whereby they modernise their economy, diversify it beyond oil (they have auto makers, for example) but manage to keep in power without allowing real freedom of expression.

I find it amusing how criticism of Israel that is published in Ha'aretz gets denounced by the 'more Israeli than the Actual Israelis' crowd here. (This crowd is mostly NON-Jewish. It's the 'Rapture Ready' folks who have a hardon for wanting to live in the end times. Such arrogance IMO, and the whole concept of pre/post-millenialism is Scripturally shaky.)
 
2005-06-27 06:32:43 AM
Tatsuma

And why would it be so hard to keep it a secret? I don't think we have a problem keeping lots of black ops and secret branches & governments from our citizens.

That's not really a valid comparison, most of the black ops type stuff is of considerably smaller scale and not the kind of stuff that even makes the news. Something that big and that public would be exponentially harder to cover up.

You're also assuming that nobody involved would ever have any moral objections to what happened. It's a lot easier to not feel bad about it when you send in operatives to take out a couple of nameless faceless people in *stan or the like that probably were a boil on the ass of the world to begin with.

Contrast that with thousands of innocents in your own country in a non-wartime situation such as 9/11. Even if it's only 20-50 people, I can guarantee that something like 9/11 is not going to sit well with someone in the bunch and they're going to try to do something about it for which the media is the easiest outlet. Sure, on a purely technical level, it's possible, but it's just not likely.
 
2005-06-27 06:43:36 AM
Tatsuma

Yeah, if someone believes that the American Government is out to kill some of his citizens, he really ought to register using it's real informations for anyone to grab

Oh come on, there's plenty of people that go on radio shows like Coast-to-coast with Art Bell/George Noory that have no problem giving their names with similar theories. And seeing as a P.O. box was used, it's not like the government would have much trouble tracking someone down that way anyway if they wanted to. The reason for this guy's anonymity is that he's afraid more of the lynching he might get from people who disagree with him and nothing more and is too chicken to nut up and put his name behind the sensationalism. Not to say that it isn't a legitimate concern, extremists in any direction are bad news and the people that are this guy's polar opposite are every bit as goofy as the registrant is.

It's human nature, too many of us are stupid assholes to each other and for all of our humanity, some portion of us are always going to be at odds with another portion, the extremes in any capacity are just the ones that tend to act stupidly on their opinions and of those there is never a shortage it would seem. Unfortunately, some people are always going to be shiats to other people and put their own selfish beliefs and desires ahead of other peoples lives. Regrettably, a certain amount of losses are all part of the experience as they always have been, we just hear about them more now than we used to thanks to all the wonderful technology we have. Huzzah!
 
2005-06-27 06:48:50 AM
KaponoFor3:

I mean, I know why they would. But don't we already have enough weapons? Us and Russia have something like 500 times more than anyone else, right?


RTFA

"Plutonium 238 has no central role in nuclear arms. Instead, it is valued for its steady heat, which can be turned into electricity. Nuclear batteries made of it are best known for powering spacecraft that go where sunlight is too dim to energize solar cells. For instance, they now power the Cassini probe exploring Saturn and its moons."
 
2005-06-27 07:33:27 AM
Looks like we are going to be building some nuclear power plants here pretty soon.
 
2005-06-27 07:38:31 AM
Zebra_555:

That's not really a valid comparison, most of the black ops type stuff is of considerably smaller scale and not the kind of stuff that even makes the news. Something that big and that public would be exponentially harder to cover up.

What tells you it isn't? If a black op operation is to pose as terrorist and attack a country in order to start a rebellion or whatever, it'll certainly make the news but we'll never know

Another example. The failed venezuelian military coup was a black op operation, but it failed AND americans were seen... it's one of the very rare example of indsight we have into american destabilization process...

For all we know, it might have been our government who killed anti-syria lybians only to create the current situation there!

You're also assuming that nobody involved would ever have any moral objections to what happened. It's a lot easier to not feel bad about it when you send in operatives to take out a couple of nameless faceless people in *stan or the like that probably were a boil on the ass of the world to begin with.

Well if you are black-ops and recruiting people to do this, I'm pretty sure you make sure your selection is up for the task

you also make a very big error: You assume that these people are like us. They are not. For them, 3,000 civilian casualties is NOTHING to be able to achieve their goal. They think of it as "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs", etc..

Contrast that with thousands of innocents in your own country in a non-wartime situation such as 9/11. Even if it's only 20-50 people, I can guarantee that something like 9/11 is not going to sit well with someone in the bunch and they're going to try to do something about it for which the media is the easiest outlet. Sure, on a purely technical level, it's possible, but it's just not likely.

Again, read my last post. If we're talking about people who are sure that it's for the best interest of america, because there's "a threat and we need to wake up to it", they'll let it happen

Point in case? Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor. We basically had a policy to force the japanese to attack us so we'd join into WW2

Americans needed to die so they could rally the necessary support...


I'm sure that a LOT of pro War on Terrorism people are "glad" that 9/11 happened, glad in the sense that it "woke up" a good part of america to the problem of islamic terrorism and that they are taking the steps to "eradicate" it, if you will

Of course, they'd never say it out loud
 
2005-06-27 07:49:12 AM
I have no issue with nuclear plants. But get real, the NRC in the United States is a joke.

There's at least one reactor on a farkin' fault line (Indian Point) just north of New York City. No, it's not real active like the one in California. Still, geology 101: Don't build nuclear plants on fault lines near cities of 8 million people. Duh.

The Pilgrim plant Cape Cod was built with no thought to the reality that there's only one way off the island unless you have your own rowboat.

Bechtel built the one in California backwards so that in the event of a Californian earthquake the protections built to protect the plant will actually exacerbate the danger. You remember Bechtel right? The friendly people who brought us Three Mile Island?

If someone can convince me that the companies running/wanting to build plants in the U.S. are more than asshats looking to make a buck, I'll consider nuclear power.
 
2005-06-27 08:03:35 AM
 
2005-06-27 08:36:15 AM
I for one welcome our plutonium producing overlords...
 
2005-06-27 08:52:58 AM
Don't some of you think that since it's 238 that it is far more likely that they are working on the stealth satellites that were at issue a couple weeks ago? (They were a huge cost consideration, and it leaked from a secret part of an intelligence appropriations bill).

No, ok... continue with your 'does this violate the npt vs. we must make the world our biatch' discussion.

Firefly
 
2005-06-27 08:58:46 AM
Sure, they are all running to get some Pu 238 right now, but in a few months, Pu 239 will be all the rage, and you'll be able to get cheap 238 on ebay.
 
2005-06-27 09:26:37 AM
Steel

So when you fill up your gas tank you aren't doing the same thing?

Time for you to STFU!
 
2005-06-27 09:48:45 AM
i hope no one invades us for possible producing materials used for WMD's....oh wait, that rule applies to every other country except us? then nevermind.
 
2005-06-27 10:03:18 AM
 
2005-06-27 10:25:06 AM
In my day, we had plutonium in every house. We had 235 and 238. Sometimes, we mixed it with Uranium. Now...the world has gone to heck ina handbasket. All I can get in my house is Radon. And some jerk wants me to pay $1000 to put some worthless vent into the ground to get rid of it.

I miss the good old days of lead paint.
 
2005-06-27 10:27:47 AM
can we bill the production costs to WalMart shoppers?
 
2005-06-27 10:44:00 AM
Nice government. Stupid Repbilicans.
 
2005-06-27 10:48:13 AM
Plutonium is great. It constitutes a large portion of usable energy in spent nuclear fuel. What's better is that we can modify plants to use a mixed oxide fuel (MOX), that is a mixture of plutonium and uranium that's left over in the spent fuel. If only we'd reprocess instead of dumping all of our minor actinides into storage pools, then we'd have more than enough energy for a long time, which would be even better if, or should I say when, we switch to a hydrogen economy we could use the excess nuclear power to produce hydrogen. Think of it this way, this is already being done by France and Japan, worse is that we sell them our spent fuel and buy back new MOX fuel for use in a few of our plants. It'd be great if we did that on our own soil to create some new jobs. Reprocessing != Proliferation of weapons
 
2005-06-27 11:01:27 AM
consdubya
As for threatening Israel, why do you ignore the fact that Israel has nukes, and also threatens Iran?
----------------------------------------------------------

Well, for one we trust Israel. They share intel and diplomatic relations with us. They do not advocate the destruction of the US. Remember 'Death to the Great Satan" perhaps?

Also, there's that little itsy bitsy teensy incident in 1979 involving a violent revolution that overthrew a pro-western ruler and took Americans hostage after storming a diplomatic embassy.

By the way, I think it is pretty pathetic that you are a Kraut living in Australia and you pick a GW handle.

Ha ha, we really do rule the universe!
 
2005-06-27 11:03:39 AM
BearToy:

Right. The people in power in the White House now became rich and powerful through the sale of fossil fuels and weapons. And now out of the altruistic goodness of their ample and warm hearts they will help wean us off of $60/barrel oil because they already have too much money.

No, but the way I understand it, they have most of the patents on alternative energy sources in their pockets. You're damn right the oil companies will be the ones to ween us off oil when oil runs out. They'll be the ones making a killing of having the defacto monopoly on its replacement. Why wouldn't they develop the technology that will make them richer than ever?
 
2005-06-27 11:22:32 AM
I would just like to add that I also find the slash additions to posts annoying and self gratifying.
 
2005-06-27 11:26:12 AM
There's a long list of things that can kill you, and radiation is one of them. It's not special.

Then why do we care about terrorism? Why did we send thousands of troops to their deaths over the possibility of Iraq developing a WMD?

I mean, after all, terrorism is just one thing on a long list of things that can kill you.
 
2005-06-27 12:20:06 PM
Pu 238 has a half life of 87.7 years
This is not going to be used in nuclear weapons
This is not going to be used in commercial reactors
This is going to be used as a radioisotopic power supply for some cool spy junk.
 
2005-06-27 12:21:01 PM
We need more plutonium just like we need submarines designed for fighting terrorists. It's a good thing we have a strong economy producing huge budget surplusses to pay for all this, otherwise we'd be farked.

/ Sarcasm.
 
2005-06-27 12:46:20 PM
Though at this time reprocessing of spent fuel is not cost effective and a small percentage of plutonium is allowed in the MOX fuel as it has vastly different characteristics (prompt and delayed neutrons and such) when used in the power plants of today. This would be shown when the operators conducted an approach to critical procedure
 
2005-06-27 01:52:16 PM
f*CK America, F*ck its leaders, and f*ck those who support these devils.
 
2005-06-27 02:05:55 PM
Ahh Good old internet arguments..

Remember kids, if you can't attack the post, attack the poster.

A lack of info is no reason to not post your opinion! Made up facts are just as good if not better than the real ones!
 
2005-06-27 03:19:33 PM
Tatsuma

I'm sure that a LOT of pro War on Terrorism people are "glad" that 9/11 happened, glad in the sense that it "woke up" a good part of america to the problem of islamic terrorism and that they are taking the steps to "eradicate" it, if you will...Of course, they'd never say it out loud


Y'know, it must've been nice to be all safe watching 9/11 on television. That way you can act like it was just another Bruckheimer movie. You're pathetic.

Me, I sucked a bit too much skyscraper dust into my lungs on 9/11 to be glad about it, or even to think that any reasonable person might be glad about it. In fact, the only people I know of who are glad about it are the wackjob-lefties like Ward Churchill and the rest of that assheaded crowd, and the Muslims who danced in the streets that day. Those folks said quite a bit "out loud," actually.

You can "be sure" all you like.

Me, I'm sure you're a jackass.

/Not arguing.
//Berating.
 
2005-06-27 03:35:46 PM
BearToy

just because you were so quick to hatch up a conspiracy to ruin you wife's and your children's lives doesn't mean everyone in the world is as big of a piece of shiat as you are -

I don't understand how you don't kill yourself after what you pulled - but your horrible jaded view of the world is understandable being that is is viewed through your evil, beyond farked up eyes

/not condemning your gayness
//but taking a woman thru the cleaners like and having kids??? what the fark is wrong with you - thats the most horrible, selfish and evil godamned thing ever -
 
2005-06-27 03:58:42 PM
So is this low yield isotopes that feed some reaction in a battery? Or bombs?
 
2005-06-27 04:49:46 PM


I'm sure that in 2005, plutonium is available at every corner drug store, but in 1955, it's a little hard to come by!
 
2005-06-27 05:40:50 PM
The Pu238 is going to end up in radioisotope thermal generators - solid-state devices that use the heat from nuclear decay to produce electricity, with zero moving parts. They'll keep generating power for decades with no maintanence. My guess is that they're for an updated undersea passive sonar network, to locate Chinese subs while they're still far away from the continental US. We built such a network before during the Cold War, but those stations likely don't even work anymore, nevermind the massive improvements in sonar technology over the last two or three decades.
 
2005-06-27 07:12:07 PM
monkeysay:

Our government would never make Pu 239 at a restricted secret site when they say they are making Pu 238.


It's not like you have to do anything to "make" Pu239, you just PUREX some old reactor rods. Besides which, there's beaucoup pits laying around from the teardown in the late '80s in Europe.

consdubya:

The article also says that the use of the plutonium is "secret". How do you explain that?

It's used for power in a black project.

And that it will be used for "National Security Purposes"..... how do you explain that?

Said project involves national security/something that gives the US some tactical advantage.

Code_Archeologist:

The energy needed to create Plutonium precludes its use in energy production. Put simply... it takes more energy to create Plutonium than one can get out of it in a controlled reaction. A Plutonium reactor would create a net energy loss because of the cost of fuel production.

And yet, Pu238 thermoelectric modules are used in spacecraft all the time.

Gelatinous:

In other words, is there a scenario where only Pu-238 is produced, or do we always get Pu-239 as well?

You generally make it by bombarding neptunium 237 with neutrons in a reactor. You generally get Pu239 out of reactor rods, transmuted from U238.

redstater:

I can also go along with the theory that this is for compact power sources for new non-conventional less-lethal style directed energy beam weapons.

Probably not. RTG's just don't produce that much power. You get something like 500W per kg of heat energy. You lose a lot of that with your typical TE module, maybe 90%. If you used a little Stirling you could get more. Still, even if you had a magic wand that gave you 100% of that as electricity, you'd only have 75kW for the entire 150kg they're talking about making over the next 30 years. Maybe enough to power 3 houses.

This also pretty much eliminates the new power plant theory as well.

DesertOtter: actualy...I would bet it is going to sub power plants..

Not enough power. Not even if you used that alpha particle direct conversion trick to double the output. You couldn't turn the screws over on a nuke sub with the entire 330 pounds.



signine:

Pu-238 is in fact only used for energy generation, but the big question is why use plutonium when we can use good-old-fashioned uranium?

Uranium doesn't get that hot just sitting there, and if you bring it to critical to get it TO heat up, you get lots of zoomies. Pu-238 just emits alphas. All you got to do is wrap it in aluminum foil, no more zoomies.

Uranium power plant: big, complex, heavy. Pu238: small, simple, easy.

faethe:

but yeah certainly some of those are bound to end up being for weapons (that sure is one helluva lotta plutonium they are going to make).

Pu238 is not fissile, and cannot be made to explode like a nuclear weapon.

midbc: dirty bombs

It's not that radioactive. If you want really good dirty bombs, you want a gamma emitter. It's poisonous, and you don't want to inhale or ingest it. But you'd probably want something like cesium, americium or cobalt.



cds9333:

StereoVision- not to nickpick but, Pu238 is fissile, just happens to be about 3% the probability of U235, so rather insignificant.

Sorry to jump in, the reactivity is so low (and, I think, it only does resonance capture but I digress) that it cannot under any circumstances sustain a chain reaction. Thus, it is useless for a nuclear weapon, unless you wanted to make a nuclear branding iron and run around poking people with it.

StereoVision:

They replace the tritium which has a half-life of 12.5 years. Yes, there are some issues with the Pu going "stale" through certain decays, but as far as I know, that is not really too much of a concern. Although, please correct me if I am wrong.

Ur, yes on the tritium. The Pu doesn't exactly go stale, but the slow self-decay leaves bazillions of tiny crystal damage sites in the pit. This causes the pits to swell ever so slightly. And changes the already nasty compression problems: plutonium in general has about 15 distinct stable states mechanically, so if you have just the stuff you want in the pit, the little pinholes can possibly change that. Only they® tested for this in very old pits and have decided that at least up to 60 years old, they're still just fine.

cds9333:

To get Pu239 directly from Pu238 would be impossible as Pu238 has no thermal absorption cross section.

What he said

firefly212:

Don't some of you think that since it's 238 that it is far more likely that they are working on the stealth satellites that were at issue a couple weeks ago?

[sardonic grin: on] Shhh. Be vewy quiet. People get in trouble on Fark for making such statements.

peepee mcpoop: i hope no one invades us for possible producing materials used for WMD's

Which material would that be? What WMD uses Pu238?



Come on folks, this stuff isn't usable in bombs. Period. It doesn't have that much stored energy, it won't be powering evil death lasers, or mind control rays or anything else. It makes little 50W and 100W power supplies that run for 50 years. That's all.

Next astonishing truth, it isn't some evil means to sneak the manufacture of more Pu239. You don't make them the same way. Pu239 is there for the taking, all over the US, if you want to separate it out. Every pile of spent rods at every power plant has Pu239 in it. But why bother with that,even, when we have scads of it already processed in the form of "retired" pits? All the nuclear weapons that go obsolete, where did you think that went? It doesn't just go away or get tossed in the dump. We have enough pits in storage to fabricate all the damn bombs you might ever want.

Think about where you'd like to have 100W power supplies that you'll never have to change, and you'll be off to a good start.
 
2005-06-27 08:42:07 PM
2077 Baby.

War with China!!!!

/getting his powersuit ready
//check my pipboy pic to understand
///too damn obvious, sometimes
 
2005-06-27 10:43:45 PM
sean007

f*CK America, F*ck its leaders, and f*ck those who support these devils.

How's that impotent rage thing working out for you?
 
2005-06-28 03:51:53 PM
redstater: I think if there is anything that W understands very well it is the energy markets.



Yeah, that's why Arbusto is trading at like $500/share, right?

Oh, wait..
 
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