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(Science Daily)   Study proves that nuclear power is safe for twenty years, every twenty years   (sciencedaily.com ) divider line
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7018 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 May 2012 at 7:06 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-23 12:24:55 PM  
FTA:

To determine the likelihood of a nuclear meltdown, the researchers applied a simple calculation. They divided the operating hours of all civilian nuclear reactors in the world, from the commissioning of the first up to the present, by the number of reactor meltdowns that have actually occurred. The total number of operating hours is 14,500 years, the number of reactor meltdowns comes to four -- one in Chernobyl and three in Fukushima. This translates into one major accident, being defined according to the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), every 3,625 years.

This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-05-23 12:25:38 PM  
The total number of operating hours is 14,500 years, the number of reactor meltdowns comes to four -- one in Chernobyl and three in Fukushima

Fukushima should count as one incident because it was a common mode failure and not three times as bad as a single meltdown. (That's two separate but related reasons.)

We can expect the failure rate to follow the decline of a maturing technology. Both meltdowns were due to bad engineering practices that were known in advance to be bad and already avoided by more cautious countries. For example, Japan designed for 100 year disasters while America designed for over 1,000 year disasters. Thus in the normal course of events a Japanese reactor should experience incidents outside of design parameters several times per decade. In America the rate should be less than once per century.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-05-23 12:57:50 PM  
Japan has a much poorer safety record than any western European country because it's nuclear regulatory agency is controlled by the utility companies.

It also doesn't consider that newer reactors are safer than existing ones and that existing reactors are safer than the ones in the past. The RBMKs have all been upgraded and the ones in Western Europe have been shut down.
 
2012-05-23 01:02:01 PM  

toraque: This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.


Uh, there are quite a few reactors running here now that are quite unsafe. Well, unsafe by their original design requirements. They've gradually made the , standards less and less over time, because they couldn't come close to passing the original standards.

For example, Link
 
2012-05-23 01:19:44 PM  

GAT_00: toraque: This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.

Uh, there are quite a few reactors running here now that are quite unsafe. Well, unsafe by their original design requirements. They've gradually made the , standards less and less over time, because they couldn't come close to passing the original standards.

For example, Link


That article doesn't really seem to indicate an increasing risk of catastrophe in US reactors. It says that over the years, tritium contaminated water has leaked or been spilled, and goes on at length about how trivial the threat is from this.

FTA:
The agency estimates seven of 200,000 people who drink such water for decades would develop cancer.

Each of the known releases has been less radioactive than a single X-ray.

Still, the NRC and industry consider the leaks a public relations problem, not a public health or accident threat, records and interviews show.


Look into what actually happened at Chernobyl sometime, and what caused it. It's less a story about nuclear power than it is proof that anything can turn into a catastrophe if you manage to generate a critical mass of stupidity.
 
2012-05-23 01:27:42 PM  

toraque: Look into what actually happened at Chernobyl sometime, and what caused it. It's less a story about nuclear power than it is proof that anything can turn into a catastrophe if you manage to generate a critical mass of stupidity.


Exactly.

"The reactor is melting down!"
"Open a window and turn on a fan, dumbass"
 
2012-05-23 02:16:11 PM  

toraque: FTA:

To determine the likelihood of a nuclear meltdown, the researchers applied a simple calculation. They divided the operating hours of all civilian nuclear reactors in the world, from the commissioning of the first up to the present, by the number of reactor meltdowns that have actually occurred. The total number of operating hours is 14,500 years, the number of reactor meltdowns comes to four -- one in Chernobyl and three in Fukushima. This translates into one major accident, being defined according to the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), every 3,625 years.

This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.


And running either with several safety systems deliberately disabled in order to "test" the one remaining safety system (Chernobyl), or beyond its original design lifetime (Fukushima).
 
2012-05-23 02:16:48 PM  

toraque: GAT_00: toraque: This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.

Uh, there are quite a few reactors running here now that are quite unsafe. Well, unsafe by their original design requirements. They've gradually made the , standards less and less over time, because they couldn't come close to passing the original standards.

For example, Link

That article doesn't really seem to indicate an increasing risk of catastrophe in US reactors. It says that over the years, tritium contaminated water has leaked or been spilled, and goes on at length about how trivial the threat is from this.

FTA:
The agency estimates seven of 200,000 people who drink such water for decades would develop cancer.

Each of the known releases has been less radioactive than a single X-ray.

Still, the NRC and industry consider the leaks a public relations problem, not a public health or accident threat, records and interviews show.

Look into what actually happened at Chernobyl sometime, and what caused it. It's less a story about nuclear power than it is proof that anything can turn into a catastrophe if you manage to generate a critical mass of stupidity.


This

Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.
 
2012-05-23 02:47:16 PM  

cman: Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.


You're just looking to shift blame from the technology and trying to find fault, whatever fault you can, with the operators. This is nothing more than a fission expedition.
 
2012-05-23 03:14:39 PM  

toraque: Look into what actually happened at Chernobyl sometime, and what caused it. It's less a story about nuclear power than it is proof that anything can turn into a catastrophe if you manage to generate a critical mass of stupidity.


I'm not saying Chernobyl wasn't caused almost entirely by stupid and the rest by bad reactor design. I looked into it one time in depth and it was basically 6 completely human errors in a row in the worst possible way at the worst possible time.

That doesn't mean US reactors are safe. Hell, there were 14 different incidents just in 2010 here in the US. Things such as:

Indian Point. Inspectors documented that the liner of the refueling cavity had been leaking since 1993; NRC management chose to ignore the problem.

The NRC is becoming more and more lax every year because big problems are cropping up every year. When the NRC started, one year of that would have been enough to close the reactor, assuming that the leak was tolerated for a minute after it was found. Now it's been left to leak for nearly two decades.

US nuclear power is a disaster waiting to happen.
 
2012-05-23 03:21:33 PM  

GAT_00: US nuclear power is a disaster waiting to happen.


get some perspective.

do our existing reactors need to have some fixes made? absolutely
are any of our existing reactors in ANY danger of coming anywhere near a meltdown anytime? no
 
2012-05-23 04:18:48 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: cman: Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.

You're just looking to shift blame from the technology and trying to find fault, whatever fault you can, with the operators. This is nothing more than a fission expedition.


Let's not over react by being too critical. The curie for most of the problems with this industry would be to focus on the nucleus of the problem, and split it into manageable parts.
 
2012-05-23 06:49:55 PM  

GAT_00: US nuclear power is a disaster waiting to happen.


What do you think should be done?
 
2012-05-23 07:10:30 PM  
Power is something that has no easy fix.

We cannot rely upon fossil fuels for too much longer. Coal is too bad for the environment, and damming waterways can do damage as well. Nuclear power can be unsafe. Wind Mills dont produce enough juice. Solar is WAAAAY to damn expensive (not to mention a logistical nightmare).

I'm not saying that there is any simple fix out there, and we as a society rely upon electricity for our existence this day in age.
 
2012-05-23 07:11:45 PM  
We should instead use more "clean coal" which, unlike nuclear reactors, actually emits a constant stream of radioactive material into the atmosphere.
 
2012-05-23 07:12:18 PM  

cman: We cannot rely upon fossil fuels for too much longer. Coal is too bad for the environment, and damming waterways can do damage as well. Nuclear power can be unsafe. Wind Mills dont produce enough juice. Solar is WAAAAY to damn expensive (not to mention a logistical nightmare).


I'm sure that for every dollar gas goes up it removes billions from the US economy.
 
2012-05-23 07:13:28 PM  
If the world was of full of well run reactors, you would still get far more radiation exposure from the sky, and from naturally occurring radon. Got a granite countertop? Wanna bet it's mildly radioactive?
 
2012-05-23 07:13:32 PM  

toraque: Look into what actually happened at Chernobyl sometime, and what caused it. It's less a story about nuclear power than it is proof that anything can turn into a catastrophe if you manage to generate a critical mass of stupidity.


Human stupidity is abundant and limitless. To say that a plant is safe because nothing stupid will ever happen there, is stupid.
 
2012-05-23 07:15:22 PM  
40 kilobecquerels sounds a lot worse than 1 microcurie
 
2012-05-23 07:16:06 PM  

GAT_00: toraque: Look into what actually happened at Chernobyl sometime, and what caused it. It's less a story about nuclear power than it is proof that anything can turn into a catastrophe if you manage to generate a critical mass of stupidity.

I'm not saying Chernobyl wasn't caused almost entirely by stupid and the rest by bad reactor design. I looked into it one time in depth and it was basically 6 completely human errors in a row in the worst possible way at the worst possible time.

That doesn't mean US reactors are safe. Hell, there were 14 different incidents just in 2010 here in the US. Things such as:

Indian Point. Inspectors documented that the liner of the refueling cavity had been leaking since 1993; NRC management chose to ignore the problem.

The NRC is becoming more and more lax every year because big problems are cropping up every year. When the NRC started, one year of that would have been enough to close the reactor, assuming that the leak was tolerated for a minute after it was found. Now it's been left to leak for nearly two decades.

US nuclear power is a disaster waiting to happen.


The US Navy would like to have a word with you. They have a great safety record.
 
2012-05-23 07:16:26 PM  
Good luck with all that

Signed
Australia and New Zealand
 
2012-05-23 07:17:24 PM  
All I know is that the "small chance of meltdown" from a nuclear plant generally means "100% chance of meltdown" in a game of Civ 4. Those things are farking useless.
 
2012-05-23 07:19:19 PM  
The insurance industry came to the same conclusion in the Sixties.
And Wall Street deemed to financial risk too high in the 1970s.
So the nuclear industry looked around to find someone really stupid to give them more money and they found ... politicians!
 
2012-05-23 07:22:23 PM  
In my opinion, we need more radiation, not less. Our naturally mutating past the TeaBagger/Republican/Cro-Magnon phase is taking far too long.
 
2012-05-23 07:26:28 PM  

vpb: It also doesn't consider that newer reactors are safer than existing ones and that existing reactors are safer than the ones in the past. The RBMKs have all been upgraded and the ones in Western Europe have been shut down.


They also cost a lot more and are more expensive than solar and other forms of energy.
 
2012-05-23 07:31:08 PM  

toraque: FTA:

To determine the likelihood of a nuclear meltdown, the researchers applied a simple calculation. They divided the operating hours of all civilian nuclear reactors in the world, from the commissioning of the first up to the present, by the number of reactor meltdowns that have actually occurred. The total number of operating hours is 14,500 years, the number of reactor meltdowns comes to four -- one in Chernobyl and three in Fukushima. This translates into one major accident, being defined according to the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), every 3,625 years.

This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.


Done in one.

Study proves...

hardly
 
2012-05-23 07:31:46 PM  
Every form of energy has some kind of impact.

Nuclear, when managed well, like it is here in the US, and in Europe, is one of the most benign, especially in terms of its effectiveness.

Completely benign? Nope, problems can and do occur, like the inconsequential tritium issue hysterically reported on above. But in terms of what it is displacing, it is a net win for everybody.

With a robust commitment to wind and solar where they are viable, nuclear plants, and responsible, well regulated natural gas drilling, and a commitment to NGVs (trucks, trains, and personal vehicles), we wouldn't have to burn another lump of coal, and we wouldn't have to import another barrel of oil.

In the aggregate, this is a huge win for everybody, economically AND environmentally, but the knee jerk absolutists on the left (and I say that has a gay marriage loving, health care supporting, anti war liberal) can't pull their head out of their ass long enough to realize it.
 
2012-05-23 07:37:46 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-05-23 07:37:46 PM  

toraque: This would be a valid interpretation of the data if all the reactors in the world were situated on fault lines next to the ocean or were built and operated at the high quality standards of the Soviet Union.


Done in one.

Nuclear power - it is the only viable alternative to fighting for the last of the oil for the next 100 years until it is gone. At which point, we will go to Nuclear power because it will be the only option, other than spending much more per kilowatt on renuables.
 
2012-05-23 07:38:39 PM  
Well, thank God because I accidentally swallowed Plutonium 239 and I thought I would have to go to a doctor.
 
2012-05-23 07:39:11 PM  
If it is good enough for Europe, then it should be good enough for the US.

we should get 70% of our electricity from nukes just like France does.

let's start building on a massive scale.

That is a better use of stimulus money than filling ditches.
 
2012-05-23 07:39:41 PM  

SpaceButler: GAT_00: US nuclear power is a disaster waiting to happen.

What do you think should be done?


To start with? Return these reactors to their original safe guidelines. If they can't pass, shut them down.
 
2012-05-23 07:42:16 PM  

GAT_00: That doesn't mean US reactors are safe. Hell, there were 14 different incidents just in 2010 here in the US. Things such as:

Indian Point. Inspectors documented that the liner of the refueling cavity had been leaking since 1993; NRC management chose to ignore the problem.


How many people died or were injured? Oh, zero? yeah, that's not very many. How many people died or were injured in pursuit of fossil fuels in the same time-frame?

I line was failing an some radiation got out ... yeah that's not great, but it isn't catastrophic.
 
2012-05-23 07:42:18 PM  

dforkus: Completely benign? Nope, problems can and do occur, like the inconsequential tritium issue hysterically reported on above.


And even when the problems do occur, they often have relatively minor consequences that come nowhere close to the Chernobyls, Daiichis, and Three Mile Islands.
 
2012-05-23 07:42:54 PM  

toraque: I_Am_Weasel: cman: Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.

You're just looking to shift blame from the technology and trying to find fault, whatever fault you can, with the operators. This is nothing more than a fission expedition.

Let's not over react by being too critical. The curie for most of the problems with this industry would be to focus on the nucleus of the problem, and split it into manageable parts.


www.threadbombing.com

Chernobyl was a perfect storm of stupid. Both the technology and the operators were at fault. That plant used a miserable design, with a moderator of highly flammable graphite, which also created a positive void coefficient. So when the reactor power spiked, the control rods that are supposed to stop the reaction actually caused it to spike even higher. That was about the time it exploded. Shortly after, when flaming chunks of the core started to hit the ground, the Soviets realized those expensive containment vessels they avoided building around their reactors might have been a good idea after all.

That being said, what happened at Chernobyl likely could not have happened had they not decided to find out what happens when you disable all the safety systems and then try to run the reactor at low power.

/I have a weird fascination with Chernobyl for some reason
 
2012-05-23 07:43:03 PM  
I wonder why Thorium reactors haven't been used more often than traditional Uranium fission reactors.
 
2012-05-23 07:43:20 PM  
Say what you will about nuclear power, but the rewards for utilizing it are worth the risks.

It's an abundant source of clean energy if properly maintained. It adds competition in the energy sector. It makes godzillas and is an extremely efficient way to raze buildings.

I understand why people are nervous about it though. Unfortunately, there will be no "next great leap" for mankind without it.
 
2012-05-23 07:44:15 PM  
Only total uniformed idiots would put Chernobyl and Fukushima in the same sentence, unless that sentence was "both these plants had accidents." They're different designs and totally different situations. They're literally worlds apart, and frankly, the RBMK and BWR designs are as related as my ass is to the dark side of Europa.

Canada has a tritium release limit. Tritium is harmless, or next to harmless. It's so low energy it requires special distillation processes to even find the freaking stuff. Normal monitoring equipment will not see it.

United States Nuclear Power, Commercial side, has had ONE reactor accident and it resulted in NO exposure to the public, as confirmed by MULTIPLE surveys by a grand assortment of organizations. And we're building new plants now so the old ones can retire without leaving giant, gaping holes in the grid. Remember, US Nuclear is over a fifth of the grid.

That being said: Navy Nuclear and DOE has next to no relation to Commercial Nuclear. A naval reactor and a commercial reactor are only related by wont of both being .. reactors. In fact, DOE is so disconnected from Commercial that DOE experience counts for next to nothing on your resume. Naval counts for a bit more but Naval people will still be a bit lost initially. Keep size in mind: your standard commercial reactor's waste heat creates more power than most submarine reactors.

/anything else?
//Commercial nuclear contractor
 
2012-05-23 07:45:32 PM  

Ringshadow: They're literally worlds apart, and frankly, the RBMK and BWR designs are as related as my ass is to the dark side of Europa.


This is a beautiful sentence.
 
2012-05-23 07:46:12 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: cman: Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.

You're just looking to shift blame from the technology and trying to find fault, whatever fault you can, with the operators. This is nothing more than a fission expedition.


HA!!
 
2012-05-23 07:48:37 PM  
I like nuclear power. The only problem is that when something bad DOES happen, the fallout (PUN!) is terrible. Still, it's pretty badass.
 
2012-05-23 07:48:51 PM  

LadyBelgara: Ringshadow: They're literally worlds apart, and frankly, the RBMK and BWR designs are as related as my ass is to the dark side of Europa.

This is a beautiful sentence.


Credit where credit is due.. I stole the last bit from Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation.

blogs.theage.com.au

But it is a fantastic saying.
 
2012-05-23 07:50:12 PM  

toraque: I_Am_Weasel: cman: Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.

You're just looking to shift blame from the technology and trying to find fault, whatever fault you can, with the operators. This is nothing more than a fission expedition.

Let's not over react by being too critical. The curie for most of the problems with this industry would be to focus on the nucleus of the problem, and split it into manageable parts.


I
 
2012-05-23 07:51:13 PM  
Sigh... was just trying to say how great this place is... thanks FF.
 
2012-05-23 07:51:42 PM  

indarwinsshadow: I wonder why Thorium reactors haven't been used more often than traditional Uranium fission reactors.


Nuclear Navy and nuclear bomb testing in the USA.

Seriously. Look up Kirk Sorensen on Youtube, he'll tell you all about it in mind shattering detail. He's a NASA dude who's campaigning for thorium reactor designs. We'll probably see thorium come back in Reactor Generation IV.

Duke Phillips' Singing Bears: I like nuclear power. The only problem is that when something bad DOES happen, the fallout (PUN!) is terrible. Still, it's pretty badass.


This applies to any large industry, including ones that do a lot more damage to everything and everyone. Like the Chemical industry.

/See: Bhopal Disaster, Love Canal, Times Beach, the list goes on
//also please see the oil, coal, and gas industry, like all of it
 
2012-05-23 07:53:08 PM  

LadyBelgara: toraque: I_Am_Weasel: cman: Here is a program called Seconds from Disaster. This episode was situated upon the Chernobyl mess.

Ended up that the supervisors were extremely negligent in their duties along with little-to-no training of the operators.

You're just looking to shift blame from the technology and trying to find fault, whatever fault you can, with the operators. This is nothing more than a fission expedition.

Let's not over react by being too critical. The curie for most of the problems with this industry would be to focus on the nucleus of the problem, and split it into manageable parts.

Chernobyl was a perfect storm of stupid. Both the technology and the operators were at fault. That plant used a miserable design, with a moderator of highly flammable graphite, which also created a positive void coefficient. So when the reactor power spiked, the control rods that are supposed to stop the reaction actually caused it to spike even higher. That was about the time it exploded. Shortly after, when flaming chunks of the core started to hit the ground, the Soviets realized those expensive containment vessels they avoided building around their reactors might have been a good idea after all.

That being said, what happened at Chernobyl likely could not have happened had they not decided to find out what happens when you disable all the safety systems and then try to run the reactor at low power.

/I have a weird fascination with Chernobyl for some reason


To be fairy they weren't trying to RUN it on low power. They were trying to test it. To see, perhaps what happens when you pull the control rods completely out of a reactor.
 
2012-05-23 07:54:08 PM  
Really autocorrect? Fairy? You couldn't figure out I was trying to type fair?
 
2012-05-23 07:55:15 PM  
When WWIII starts the lands without nuclear targets dotting the countryside near major population centers will be the ones laughing.

Decentralize the grid with solar everywhere. It's a national security issue.
 
2012-05-23 07:57:36 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: If it is good enough for Europe, then it should be good enough for the US.


I'll be saving this for future use.
 
2012-05-23 07:57:38 PM  

indarwinsshadow: I wonder why Thorium reactors haven't been used more often than traditional Uranium fission reactors.


1. Greek deities > Norse deities
2. 'Thorium' thounds like thomething that that liberal Barney Frank might thay, so iths bad.
3. Fuel is expensive because Thorium has no naturally critical isotopes and must be alloyed with U or Pt to get it to rock and roll
 
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