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(Toronto Star)   Politicians refuse to install warning sirens for nuclear plant, demand better solution. Citizens recommend sign with messages ranging from "Relax. Everything is fine'' to "Core explosion. Repent sins"   ( divider line
    More: Scary  
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6207 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Mar 2004 at 2:43 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

129 Comments     (+0 »)
2004-03-03 09:34:22 AM  
Hah! If there was a meltdown how would he have power for the sirens?
2004-03-03 09:42:09 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-03-03 09:57:09 AM  
If I lived next to nuclear friggin reactor, I'd really like to know if something went wrong. It's hard to miss the sound of a loud ass air-raid siren here in the midwest every time there's a tornado warning.
2004-03-03 11:15:23 AM  
How about "Minor nuclear leak, roll up windows?"
2004-03-03 12:32:03 PM  
Cores don't detonate- they overheat and melt down (hence, meltdown) through the ground till it hits water, where the water becomes steam and makes a few dozen radioactive geysers on the surface.

...that then 'expole'.
2004-03-03 01:31:24 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
Heh heh heh ... the joke's on them. If the core explodes, there won't be any power to light up that sign!!
2004-03-03 01:34:08 PM  
Fine, they're ugly, but a five year decision process is a long time to be able to raise those concerns. What's the real story here? Is it election time?

Thought so...
2004-03-03 01:39:33 PM  
That place has been so close to meltdown for years. I remember learning in school about what to do in case it blew...and then realizing that there would be no way to get all the way downtown if that ever happened.
2004-03-03 02:46:58 PM  
What good would a siren do? Give you time to kiss your ass goodbye.
2004-03-03 02:47:05 PM  
if Pickering's property values go down i guess that means more people will move to the "status" towns of Ajax or Oshawa?

/making fun of the burbs
2004-03-03 02:47:39 PM  
"Ignore that glowing man."
2004-03-03 02:48:05 PM  
dang, xkenny13 beat me to it. :)
2004-03-03 02:49:29 PM  
Nuclear warning sirens = cold war monstronsities = red herring.
2004-03-03 02:49:50 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-03-03 02:49:54 PM  
"Abandon Hope all ye that enter Here."
2004-03-03 02:51:25 PM  
Haven't they heard of camouflage?
2004-03-03 02:51:35 PM  
How about a really loud badly translated computer voice?

"Your plant a splode."
2004-03-03 02:51:36 PM  
great headline, thanks for brightening my day.
2004-03-03 02:51:57 PM  
yeah when i die from a nuclear explosion at the local power plant, the first i think of is "i wonder what my property is worth now"

cmon asshats, install the stuff or else god only knows what will happen next at that plant.......

/moving further south, away from canada.

2004-03-03 02:52:51 PM  
maybe they can notify everyone the way that company in south korea fired everyone, text messaging.
2004-03-03 02:52:57 PM  
"Don't Panic"??
2004-03-03 02:53:39 PM  
Damn...too late...

Good job C4mp3r
2004-03-03 02:53:52 PM  
I think they should come back with a detailed plan for digging 20,000 holes in the ground for residents to stick their heads in so they don't have to think about the nuclear facility, which is there whether or not they choose to acknowledge it.
2004-03-03 02:54:14 PM  
"He said homes around the plant haven't been a hard sell."
and they are biatching about this why? what happens when a survivor sues because they couldnt get out in time? would it then be worth the 1.5 million?
2004-03-03 02:55:12 PM  
I'm sorry, but when buying a house near a nuclear plant would you be thinking:

a) Oh good, no ugly sirens to warn me of my impending doom


b) I'm glad there's a system in place to warn me of my impending doom

2004-03-03 02:56:29 PM  
EvilPete - I think the values go down because people see them and think about impending doom period.
2004-03-03 02:56:33 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

2004-03-03 02:56:43 PM  
How about: Don't worry. You won't suffer long.
2004-03-03 02:57:06 PM  
"Fall down. Go boom."
2004-03-03 02:57:19 PM  
This reminds me of the flyer I got at the dorm during my first year in college. It was in Fulton, MO which was about 8 miles from the Callaway nuclear reactor. The flyer gave instructions on what directions to flee to in case of a nuclear 'incident'. I always figured the radiation would head towards St. Louis, so I pitched it.
2004-03-03 02:57:36 PM  
"Meltdown" is such an ugly word. I prefer "unintended fission surplus."
2004-03-03 02:58:55 PM  
We have those sirens everywhere and people LOVE them because they SAVE YOUR ASS FROM TORNADOES.

If I lived that close to a nuclear plant I wouldn't mind having five of them in my front yard and one strapped around my neck.
2004-03-03 02:59:13 PM  
They're first option was to have a polite lady go door to door warning everyone and hand out cookies, but Martha Stewart is currently unavailable.
2004-03-03 02:59:17 PM  
We're talking about PROPERTY VALUES here, priorities people, priorities!
2004-03-03 03:01:51 PM  
That's why I'm gonna move West of the power plant. If it goes up, the prevailing winds will push the fallout East.
2004-03-03 03:04:11 PM  
c'mon farkers - yer slackin off! isn't there some way you can blame GWB for this?
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2004-03-03 03:06:52 PM  
Massachusetts Governor Dukakis tried something similar. He prohibited the state from installing warning sirens near a reactor because he didn't think the reactor should be there. The reactor is still there. He's not.
2004-03-03 03:07:21 PM  
okay, yes I can, a0helsux.

They have been ordered to hold out until Halliburton can provide earpieces and blinders for each citizen so that they can be told what to think and where to go.
2004-03-03 03:08:06 PM  
Why would this DECREASE property values. Having a good early warning system should INCREASE property values. Put one in my front yard, A soon as I hear that thing go off I'll be in the basement in a flash. Couple of years ago we had a 100mph windstorm. The sirens gave people, including myself, a good 15 min warning that all hell was about to break loose, and it did, with no warning. My house was without power for 2 days after. Good thing my neighbor has a 5000 watt generator.
2004-03-03 03:08:24 PM  
Hmmm... the process that American reactors use to create fission require water as a catalyst as well as a coolant. Without the water, the reaction stops. Hence, if a reactor begins to run "too hot/fast" (ie - moving towards a meltdown) the coolant/catalyst water turns into steam, removing the water from the carbon/uranium rods. Without the water, the fission stops and the reactor never gets hot enough to melt down, reach the water table, and shoot those geysers of radioactive material into the sky.
2004-03-03 03:09:01 PM  
"We believe in the need for an alerting system, but these sirens just don't cut it," said Pickering Councillor Kevin Ashe. "We have asked them to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better way to notify residents of any imminent danger from the nuclear plant."

How about a naked guy running door-to-door wearing a rainbow wig - when somebody answers the knock, he screams "KISS YOUR ASS GOODBYE MOTHERfarkERS!" in their face?

Well? How about it? Hello?
2004-03-03 03:09:01 PM  
Simple solution: when there's nothing wrong, have the speakers play soft dinner music. Ahh, soothing.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2004-03-03 03:09:05 PM  
Last week I tried to submit a story about a man who reacted to contaminated groundwater by refusing to pay his taxes. Death was a secondary consideration to property value.

(Fark rejected the link because the newspaper uses a fixed URL for each day of the week and somebody had submitted the URL for Tuesday a month earlier when it contained a different story.)
2004-03-03 03:12:05 PM  
I worked at Oak Ridge National Lab years ago, and all of the buildings had a big red light that, I guess, would flash in the event of an emergency. There was one building that had a sign outside warning that particularly 'hot' levels of radiation may be present in the building. That building also had a big blue light in addition to the red light.

We all figured if the blue light went off, it was time to kiss your ass goodbye.
2004-03-03 03:14:07 PM  

Ever heard of an incident called Three Mile Island.
2004-03-03 03:14:14 PM  

I was out on the river
And in the darkness before me
In the light of the domed city
I saw rose lightning rose
She wasnt perfect
But she was semi-perfect
And she remembered all about her days in yale
Before they turned it into a sheet
Of radio-active glass
Thirty miles across

Ill be the one
She said
Ill be the only one
In the aftermath of atomic fire
Ill carry us through next year

2004-03-03 03:18:37 PM  
Everybody gets a kazoo, when you hair starts to fall out blow.
[image from too old to be available]
2004-03-03 03:19:10 PM  
I suppose they want Homer's "Everything is OK alarm" instead? As long as everything is OK, the alarm goes off every 5 seconds. As soon as there's a problem it stops.
2004-03-03 03:22:35 PM  
Great. As of April 1st, I will be a 5-minute drive from this reactor.

Life is good.
2004-03-03 03:24:15 PM  

You are thinking of a heavy water (duterium oxide) moderated reactor. None of those have been built commercialy, The water is there to cool the reactor, the water provides VERY little moderating capability. The reaction is controled by nutron absorbing control rods made of substances like grapite. Also, reactors can't be fliped off instantly, even if you SCRAM (emergency shutdown, control rods fully lowered), the uranium/plutonium is still in a chain reaction, the control rods of any reactor simply can't stop a reaction cold. The reactor MUST still have coolant flowing through it for hours or even days. That is what the big danger of fission power is, you can't just shut it off instantly/quickly like other sources of power.
2004-03-03 03:28:21 PM  
Ever heard of an incident called Three Mile Island.

Yea, I believe that was the venting of irradidated steam. I don't remember the details very well.

Still, American reactors are still better than Russian (control rod) reactors.
2004-03-03 03:29:11 PM  
I love how the city politician says "This would just be another blight on the city of Pickering." Way to sell your town, Councillor!

/yeah, Pickering's a hole, but c'mon
2004-03-03 03:31:12 PM  
Pussies. If you live anywhere in Tornado Alley you're damn happy there are sirens all over the place. You just don't want to hear them but you're happy they're there. When they do go off you know it's time to take shelter.

Although I don't know what you would do when the radiation sirens go off. Start glowing?
2004-03-03 03:31:19 PM  

Last I knew the reactors I'm talking about don't use control rods.
2004-03-03 03:33:03 PM  
Although I don't know what you would do when the radiation sirens go off. Start glowing?

Repent sins.
2004-03-03 03:35:56 PM  
Property values? Wouldnt those huge evaporator towers clue them in that this is definitely not the place to live.

"Oh look honey its a reactor, you always said you wanted to have more monkey babies, well here is our chance".

"just make sure we don't have one of those ugly sirens around, they may wake the babies, and you know how hard it is to get them to calm down and get back in their jars"
2004-03-03 03:36:49 PM  

What about inanimate carbon rods?
2004-03-03 03:38:02 PM  
"Hello, Washington? Yep...we're farked."
2004-03-03 03:38:09 PM  
Without the water, the fission stops and the reactor never gets hot enough to melt down,

That is very wrong. Without operational cooling systems (circulating water), the decay heat from the core is more than enough to cause a meltdown. It's necessary to run the cooling systems for at least a couple of days after a reactor is shutdown.

A Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) is a worst case scenario for commerical nuclear reactors. The Three Mile Island accident was a "small" LOCA. Small in that the coolant was "lost" slowly. The total radiation release from TMI was not "really" that large, not that any release is good, and there was plenty of time to run for the hills (or kiss your a$$ goodbye).
2004-03-03 03:38:47 PM  
One thing a sysadmin doesn't want to see in a nuclear power plant: Segmentation fault: core dumped

Oh shiat...
2004-03-03 03:39:11 PM  
Why the hell does the image work in preview, but not in posting?

[image from too old to be available]
2004-03-03 03:39:39 PM  

Yep. In fact, one of those inanimate carbon rods was featured on the cover of Time last week.
2004-03-03 03:40:43 PM  
just remember:

You can never put too much water in the cooling unit of a nuclear reactor.
2004-03-03 03:41:51 PM  
Worried about property values?

Well, we can clearly see where human life stands on the value scale of these idiots minds.

Port St. Lucie, Fla., one of the fastest growing cities on the East coast of Florida is directly across the Indian River from a nuclear power plant. There are emergency loudspeakers/sirens all over the place and they haven't slowed the explosive growth of that place one bit. PLUS, periodically they test the sirens to make sure the system works.

Without the plant, these idiots in that city would be crying about high power bills and biatching about pollution from coal or oil fired power plants. The plant down here is 25 miles from me and there has been not one primary warning or alert condition since it opened a couple of decades ago. The only problems they had was first with the security firm they hired, which turned out to be too lax and then with some employees smoking crack while on duty. There have been no radiation leaks, nothing close to core meltdowns or breaches and when they have stumbled upon construction flaws, they promptly had them fixed.

I used to deliver there as a courier and getting into the plant requires you to go through a security room where armed guards stand in bullet proof cubicles by metal detectors checking everyone who goes through. I never got past them. During the aftermath of 9/11, they increased security tremendously. No employee cars are allowed very close to the plant. If you crash through security, the guards will shoot you before you can get deep enough into the plant to cause harm.

There are routes in Pt. St. Lucie designated as escape routes if the sirens go off for real, though the explosive growth means that they'll clog pretty quickly. However, that's the fault of the Realtors and the city leaders who keep packing people in to a city that was never designed to hold as many people as it does. The explosive growth started long AFTER the nuclear plant was built.

When property values are more important than the lives of the people, then it is time to put in a new group of city leaders.

During the cold war, Florida's proximity to Cuba was a serious thing. People around here built bomb shelters. (I have one still.) Emergency escape routes were set up the people informed of them, the CONRAD system periodically interrupted TV and radio with early warning tests, and military copters and transports traveled up and own the roads heading south.

That didn't stop the growth of the city and Miami boomed explosively in development and through the tourist industry.

Yeah. That city needs new leaders when real estate becomes more important than lives.
2004-03-03 03:43:09 PM  
Yeah Whatever

Right, but what happens when the catalyst of the reaction is gone? If water is required for fission to even occur then wouldn't the begin to cool down and not meltdown (assuming it isn't hot enough already for it to be a problem)?
2004-03-03 03:47:41 PM  

All commercial reactors in the US (Boiling Water and Pressurized Water) use control rods. Canadian reactors are called "CANDU" reactors and use "heavy" water for moderation. These also use control rods.

The control rods absorb neutrons and slow the reaction.
2004-03-03 03:49:11 PM  

Sellafield 2 will produce 7.5 tons of plutonium every year
1.5 kilogram of plutonium make the nuclear bomb
Sellafield 2 will release the same amount of radioactivity
Into the environment as the Tschernobyl every 4.5 years
One of these radioactive substances
Krypton 85, will cause death and skin cancer

/Ralf & Florian
2004-03-03 03:49:25 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
"This Horn will sound every 3 seconds unless something isn't OK!"
2004-03-03 03:49:47 PM  

The only fission reactors that don't use control rods are,

1. TEG's (Thermoelectric Generators) Used on deep space probes.

2. Nuclear Weapons.

3. Experamental reactors, though I can't rhink of any.

Yes, I agree that US reactors are safer that their Russian counterparts.

Ever heard of an incident called Three Mile Island.

Yea, I believe that was the venting of irradidated steam. I don't remember the details very well.

Um, no. Three mile Island happened because there was a loss of coolant in reactor #2. The control rods where not enough to stop the reaction. Soon the exposed reactor melted the control rods and the core itself. People don't like to talk about it, but it was a partial meltdown. Over 50% of the core melted to the bottom of the steel containment vessle. The only reason there was not a full meltdown was the operators restored coolant to the reactor and stoped the meltdown from progresing further(by solidifying the melted core). It took about 2 years before the radiation was low enough for people to enter the containment building and lower cameras into the reactor.

The venting of radioactive fumes was a relativly minor problem in the scale of things. (Tidbit for you, water/steam cannot become radioactive (that's why it is used in reactors), there where radioactive particles in the steam however.)
2004-03-03 03:50:07 PM  
Yeah Whatever

Well, ya learn something new every day.

So what are those "fail-safe" reactors they're always talking about?
2004-03-03 03:51:39 PM  

My thanks for the info.
2004-03-03 03:58:06 PM  
Great info from Crosshair & linewalker. I'd like to contribute that the TMI (partial) meltdown was mostly due to energy from decay heat - energy deposited from short-lived radioactive by-products of fission - rather than from fission itself, which pretty much stopped when the water went away.
2004-03-03 03:58:27 PM  
I had the pleasure of living down the street frmo the Indian Point nuclear plant near Peekskill, NY - widely known for having horrible security and maintenance records and total lack of managerial responsibility. They used to 'test' the air-raid sirens at random times of day and night. Luckily I found out that their emergency response tactic is to detonate a fault line under the plant, dropping the whole facility (and half the Hudson river) into the depts of the earth. Great.
2004-03-03 03:59:20 PM  
Great. As of April 1st, I will be a 5-minute drive from this reactor.

Then you won't suffer, like those of us 50 miles away.

2004-03-03 04:00:16 PM  

After a chain reaction starts, you don't need a catalyst, the reaction continues by itself. If the rate of reaction is slow, you have a commercial reactor. If the rate of reaction is (very) fast, you have a bomb.

An uncooled reactor has more than enough heat to melt if cooling water is cut off. And, even if all control rods are inserted, the reaction does not stop immediately, so heat continues to be generated.

The reaction is from the uranium and such in the "fuel" rods. The water does threee things, it "moderates" the reaction by slowing down neutrons (since "slow" neutrons are more efficient in continuing the fission process), it provides cooling, and it transfers the heat of reaction to where it is useful (as in generating steam and then electricity).


Simple version: At TMI, there was a small coolant leak (stuck valve). The operators misinterpreted the data and shut off the systems that replenished the coolant.
2004-03-03 04:00:48 PM  
Sirens make sense to me....
2004-03-03 04:03:49 PM  
Good headline. And I just saw that ep, too.
2004-03-03 04:05:10 PM  
The sirens should say: "You're all going to die! And if you run, it will only be slower and more painful. Have a nice day."
2004-03-03 04:05:14 PM  
I'd love to blame this one on Dubya, but the reactor is in Pickering, Ontario. Definitely not America.
2004-03-03 04:05:49 PM  
Nu-cue-ler. It's pronounced Nu-cue-ler.

/Simpsons dominates serious posts. YES!
2004-03-03 04:06:59 PM  
Frankie Goes to Hollywood is doing Nuclear Warning Signs?

Frankie Says: Core Meltdown -- Panic!
2004-03-03 04:11:48 PM  
No point having sirens a couple of miles away from the plant. Folks living there would be screwed anyway. Place the sirens a dozen miles or more downwind, among the folks that might actually have a chance of getting out of harms's way.

/and I actually APPROVE of nukes.
2004-03-03 04:11:54 PM  
Thanks for the positive spin, Swamp Thing!

Of course, I always did plan on running directly into any sort of nuclear accident for exactly that reason.
2004-03-03 04:11:58 PM  

your welcome, always good to help out.

Basicly, the theory behind a "fail safe reactor" is instead of building 1 megawatt reactors, they would build several smaller, 300-400 kilowatt, reactors. The reasoning being that there is not as much uranium in one spot, so there are fewer residual nutrons when the reactor is shut down. Also they are simpiler to build and simpler in design. There are simply less things to break.

There are newer developments in materials for comtrol rods and nutron absorbing materials. I believe one plan is for a nutron absorbing material to coat the bottom of the containment vessle. The difference between normal nutron absorbers is that instad of floating on top of the melted uranium, it would mix with it instead, robbing uranium of the nutrons needed for fission. Again, that is a last resort safety measure.

No new reactors have been ordered since Three Mile Island. Reactor design's have come a long way since then. The US Navy reactors are the best in the world and provide the proof that bigger is not alway's better. There have been no major accidents on navy ships that where atributed to the reactor.

The biggest problem with fission power today is that the tree huggers and the media are so biased and have not researched the progress of nuclear science and engeneering since the 70's.

/class dismissed
2004-03-03 04:14:35 PM  
This is where I live.

My neighbors are idiots.
2004-03-03 04:15:24 PM  
Yeah Whatever

Crap, I go into an essay about the disaster and you explain it better in a few sentances.
2004-03-03 04:15:34 PM  
linewalker i emailed you. just so you don't think its spam or anything. and on the topic, i saw a really good special on three mile island on discovery. i hadn't realized how terrifyingly close they came to a major disaster like chernobyl. wow
2004-03-03 04:16:49 PM  

well, you could blame it on Dalton, Paul or Jean...
2004-03-03 04:21:38 PM  

I cheated. I had the TMI Report (to the NRC) on my desk. It was much too complicated so I abbreviated.
2004-03-03 04:23:13 PM  
No point having sirens a couple of miles away from the plant. Folks living there would be screwed anyway.

Didn't we just go over this? Have you never heard of a car? Lots of people have them.

As in "the siren's wailing honey, get in the car and let's go!"

Evacuation worked at TMI (don't actually remember if they had sirens, but lots of people did evacuate) and it'd work anywhere else there's a nuclear plant. N-plants don't explode in massive nuclear fireballs. Even at Chernobyl, most people had time to evacuate (and even more people would have had time to evac if the Soviets had a real instant warning system in place for citizens during radioactive accidents).

The danger from a nuclear accident is radiation, and radiation takes time to spread, usually many hours. In the worst accident I could imagine you'd still have plenty of time to get in your car and high-tail it out of there before receiving a dose that would even make you sick.
2004-03-03 04:29:25 PM  
Yeah Whatever

Darn you.

Say, do you have anything on the Kenedy assasination or Roswell just lying around on your desk. Want to compare note's. Just post everything in the form here.
2004-03-03 04:33:13 PM  
ok, i'm going to try to post a link or two. my html skills are limited as of yet, so be kind. heheh....or make fun. i'm game.
three mile island
hope it works. thanks for letting me practice
2004-03-03 04:33:30 PM  

The biggest problem with fission power today is that the tree huggers and the media are so biased and have not researched the progress of nuclear science and engeneering since the 70's.

really ? I Thought it was becasue most of the major problems with nuclear power in the 70's are still with us in this millenium

still produces the same waste. still causes a comparable level of heat pollution. still requires us to purchase most uranium from foreign (and unstable) countries (not counting Australia and Canada) Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Namibia, Russia. Uranium processing is still toxic. Granted there is an oversupply on todays uranium market that would evaporate pretty fast if we tripled our nuclear energy program.

in addition, nuclear power generation leads to plutonium production (in most designs) thus inceasing the supply of a product that we have a hard time monitoring already.
2004-03-03 04:35:53 PM  
badasscat, as long as you realize that radiation is instant. What actually takes time to spread is the radioactive particles, or contamination.
2004-03-03 04:36:53 PM  

yeah, what he said.

leaving the area is feasible in the case of a nuclear accident at a plant. Even if evacuation is not possible, simple closing all your house windows and waiting a few days can mean the difference between cancer and radiation sickness, and the dose a typical x-ray patient would receive.
2004-03-03 04:38:31 PM  
oh yay, it worked. anyway, i just did a google search for three mile island. there's lots of information, and i think sirens are a good idea. even though i live in the mon valley, and sirens are how they summon the fire department(haven't discovered pagers here yet) and i live a hundred yards from the siren. at least i know every time there is a fire.
2004-03-03 04:39:16 PM  
the only radiation the locals need to be concerned with at a nuclear plant accident is radioactive particles and trace isotopes.

actual radiation is only a concern in the immediate (forty meters-ish) of the actual melting core.
2004-03-03 04:40:06 PM  
dbaggins sure but look at the side effects of coal power, or for that fact, the process of making solar panels, everything jacks up the earth and relies on forgien countries some how.

Also plutonium producing reactors are actually not the most common, they are called breeder reactors and use slightly different intial fuel, a standard commericial reactor is unlikely to produce significant amounts of plutonium.
2004-03-03 04:43:59 PM  
breeders produce an unusual excess of plutonium, but all reactors have plutonium as a waste by-product. so either you process it out and turn "hot" waste into "cool" waste, and then ahve to deal with it, or you leave it mixed in your waste stream and pay the price of eternal for pollution reasons.

I think we will have "clean coal" before we solve these problems with nuclear power.
2004-03-03 04:45:53 PM  

Would you rather be reliant on oil.

One of the proposed "Fail-safe" reactors is a scaled up version of the TEG's used on space probes, by themselves they have no moving parts (an earth bound TEG yould need something for some cooling though) They are fued by P-238, relativly easily made from P-239. P-238 Is useless for nukes. I believe there have been designs for TEG's of up to 100 killowatt output. Have 10 of these safe reactors and you have one of the older reactors. There are way's to use nuclear waste for power, but the government doesn't have the guts to promote it.

Fussion power is still several decades away and we need something to fill in the gaps. Nothing is perfect, but we need to pick something.
2004-03-03 04:51:33 PM  
Rik01 - not trying to start the crossborder nonsense but I happened to be thinking about this the other day. Since NAFTA these folks in Pickering can't buy the power any cheaper then from your plant in Florida (or more specifically it can't be sold to them at a preferred price).

I can see the not in my backyard syndrome go crazy on that.
2004-03-03 04:52:00 PM  
directed (and enforced) conservation can exceed our energy needs for the next twenty years. In addition to fueling novel research and new job fields. Assuming it takes a few year to bring a new technology nuclear plant online, I'd say we could continue to ignore nuclear for at least 15 years.
2004-03-03 04:56:19 PM  
dbaggins -

and finding and enslaving a race of mole-people to turn giant wheels to generate our power could do it too. And unfortunately as likely (and more politically viable)
2004-03-03 04:56:51 PM  
As for a fuel soruce to get us the electricity we need while shedding our international dependence, I'd vote for coal gasification generation. Then we can utilize our vast bitumous coal resorces without acid rain or particulate polution. LAter, these plats can incorporate carbon sequestering to reduce greenhouse gas production.
2004-03-03 05:01:28 PM  
We already know motivated energy conservation can work.

look at California. In the span of one year of conservation efforts they managed a good start

According statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy for 1999, the latest year available, the lowest per capita user is California at 7.085 thousand kilowatt-hours (kWh) per capita. Following are Rhode Island (7.261 thousand kWh per capita); New York (7.660 thousand kWh per capita); Hawaii (7.913 thousand kWh) and Massachusetts (8.001 thousand kWh per capita).

The national average electricity use for 1999 was 12.146 thousand kWh per capita; Californians use 42 percent less.

Texas, with a 15.059 thousand kWh per capita ranked 13th highest in electricity use, more than double California's per capita use, the governor's office was quick to point out.

I think in ten years all americans can use the same technology and techniques used in California and New York
2004-03-03 05:01:54 PM  
Didn't we just go over this? Have you never heard of a car? Lots of people have them.

As in "the siren's wailing honey, get in the car and let's go!"

Evacuation worked at TMI (don't actually remember if they had sirens, but lots of people did evacuate) and it'd work anywhere else there's a nuclear plant.

What about those without cars? will they take the bus? And those with cars might be okay if it weren't for the instant traffic jam. I know Pickering. It takes these people an hour or more to drive to work in Toronto, which is right next door. Evacuating the entire community to a safe distance would take a day or more.

N-plants don't explode in massive nuclear fireballs. Even at Chernobyl, most people had time to evacuate (and even more people would have had time to evac if the Soviets had a real instant warning system in place for citizens during radioactive accidents).

The danger from a nuclear accident is radiation, and radiation takes time to spread, usually many hours. In the worst accident I could imagine you'd still have plenty of time to get in your car and high-tail it out of there before receiving a dose that would even make you sick.

Of course nuclear plants aren't nuclear bombs. TMI, though on the verge of being a catastrophe, vented little enough radioactive particulate into the surrounding area to be hardly siren-worthy.

I'm envisioning something BIG, like a large-scale venting. Otherwise, Pickering could just wait to read about it in the papers.
2004-03-03 05:04:55 PM  
almost a third of Southern California customers cut their electricity use by more than 20% compared to last summer, and some cut their use by more than 40%. The cool summer was no doubt responsible for part of the drop, but separate analyses suggest that consumers reduced overall demand by at least 10%, after adjusting for differences in temperature.
2004-03-03 05:07:24 PM  
Even in the case of a large scale venting, catastrophic even. Just getting everyone (or as many as possible) to stay indoors with the wondows closed would alleviate almost all chronic human impact (what sirens are meant for)

long term (a week) , yes, you have to evacuate.
2004-03-03 05:25:34 PM  
Property next to a nuclear reactor has value ? WTF ?
2004-03-03 05:33:41 PM  
I live not far from these. These politicians need to be tossed into the reactor. Then we can get new one's who put public safety above property values. If there is such a thing. Asswipes.
2004-03-03 05:56:05 PM  
Sigh. Politicians.

Why aren't the fricking sirens up already, isn't there some sort of Atomic Energy Commission standard on that sort of thing?

Yes it's ugly. Sure is. So's radiation poisoning, ever seen that?

Politicians, you got BETTER idea? Maybe cars with loudspeakers on top, cruising around like the Blues Brothers?

Upset. Jesus. They're living in the fallout zone of a nuclear farking reactor. I think they're probably a bit tough skinned, huh? How ugly can these sirens be?

Straight up, if the reactor goes plooey, the property values instantly drop to zero. Land's irradiated, you know. So right now, we're assuming what if the plant never goes plooey.

1. The plant engineers and everybody else says, in the event something goes FUBAR, we want to be able to get everybody the hell out of dodge before radioactive ash starts raining down. For that, we need sirens.
2. The politicians say, sirens will make everybody think "we're gonna die!", and lower property values. No go. I don't give a damn if you did already buy them.

(the engineers on the Challenger said, don't launch. It's too cold, the boosters will crack. The politicians said, launch the thing or we'll look like idiots delaying again. You'd think politicians would learn to listen to engineers, but it hasn't happened yet.)

When property values are more important than the lives of the people, then it is time to put in a new group of city leaders

As a person in training to become a certified safety professional, I salute you.

The problem is, that attitude exists all over the farking place. You'd be appalled how many companies, even today in America, place production over safety: politicians are the same way, except worse, since company owners get zinged by work comp insurance and wrongful death lawsuits when somebody gets killed at work, no such thing stopping politicians from chasing the benjamins.

Sirens? We have them too. For us, the disaster of the day is hurricanes. They test the things regularly too, 11:45 on the first Monday of the month, off they go. All radio stations get pre-empted as well for the siren test. See if we mind; we know why they are there!
2004-03-03 05:56:11 PM  
"Prepare to meet thy God" - actual sign in front of a church

Whenever I read that, I get the feeling somebody has my head in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle.
2004-03-03 06:01:30 PM  
Are you ready
For that great atomic power?
Will you rise and meet your savior in the air?
Will you shout or will you cry
When the fire rains from on high?
Are you ready for that great atomic power?
2004-03-03 06:17:41 PM  
maybe their new system of warning people is to broadcast alerts on muchmusic.
2004-03-03 06:24:37 PM  
atomic pow-errrrr, atomic power,
it was given by the mighty hand of god

i like "relax, everything is fine". reminds me of a douglas adams novel.
2004-03-03 07:20:54 PM  
I remember years ago when they used to have sirens in Schools and such (1970's, Cold War I think). Somehow I never got the note that they test these things every now and then.

/... It's a good thing Mom used to buy jockey shorts by the 12-pack


"if Pickering's property values go down i guess that means more people will move to the "status" towns of Ajax or Oshawa?"

... where do I send the bill for the new keyboard?
2004-03-03 07:25:05 PM  

This is Canada. Everyone knows we give our money to the Federal Liberal Government, then it goes to Quebec in shady deals. There's none left to pay the guys to install them.

/... obvious
2004-03-03 09:19:31 PM  
Coming in late...

I do think the nuclear siren is a bad idea. If I'm about to die or be exposed to the point I'm going to suffer horrendously for the next week before I die I want to be jumped and raped out of the blue by a beautiful woman with big tits. I think that would be much better than just getting a siren out of the blue telling you of the doom you've probably just been exposed to. It's just so... impersonal and uncaring.

Probably be too expensive though. Maybe they could just make prostitution legal and give them a subsidy to perform this service should it ever be necessary.
2004-03-03 09:40:36 PM  
Grr. If they would just take care of nuclear power plants the way they should there wouldn't be a need for any sirens.

Getting rid of overly paranoid people would help as well.

Nuclear power DOES NOT equal a horrible explosion or large catastrophy. (Unless you're in Russia where they didn't take care of things the way they should have.)
2004-03-03 10:38:12 PM  
Here in NC there's a lady suing to have the sirens cut off because her ostriches are a bunch of sissies.
2004-03-03 11:16:29 PM  

Right, but what happens when the catalyst of the reaction is gone? If water is required for fission to even occur then wouldn't the begin to cool down and not meltdown (assuming it isn't hot enough already for it to be a problem)?

In fission, one heavy element splits into two lighter elements plus a number of neutrons. Even once the fission reaction stops, the highly radioactive fission fragments are still left behind (e.g. nuclear waste). The radioactive decay of the fission fragments still produce substantial heat even long after the fission has ceased.
2004-03-03 11:17:49 PM  
There's a silly movie, China Syndrome. It don't really mean anything.
2004-03-03 11:20:51 PM  
polypi....we are so sure we are doing it right?
2004-03-04 01:24:03 AM  
Cowtown: Or, in language that is more likely to be understood...repeating what Yeah Whatever said...

the water is not a catalyst. It's the opposite, it's a controller.

With the water in place, the heat generated by the fission reaction is absorbed by said water. The resulting hot water is used to generate steam (although usually indirectly, through an induction loop, if you want to get really picky about it.)

Take away the water, and the reaction does not stop. It keeps going. However, without the water there to absorb the heat and carry it off to the turbines, the heat builds up in the reactor core until--meltdown.
2004-03-04 02:19:24 AM  
Ishidan You forgot about the carbon controlling rods. I believe they have some say with whether or not the core blows. Water isn't used to control the reaction, it is just there to make steam.
2004-03-04 02:59:53 AM  
Johnny, yes...usually...if you drop em to full secure in time, and if the rods are sufficient to bring the reaction down to controllable temperatures in the first place in the absence of the water.
2004-03-04 07:51:58 AM  
You know.. that's really funny, that episode was on just yesterday, here in what is now known as Triangle NC.
2004-03-04 10:38:05 AM  
I live in Pickering. I really don't think having a siren in your front yard would matter that much, considering that from pretty much wherever you are in Pickering you can see the plant. Also, perhaps they should be a little more concerned about the fact that the project to restart the reactors is billions over budget and still nowhere near completion. Or, they could worry about the fact that not too long ago they found empty beer bottles and used syringes inside the plant.

Farking politicians.
2004-03-04 12:27:54 PM  
A point of interest here.

Years ago, they used gas generating plants that cooked coal and siphoned off the gas to store, then distribute to homes and businesses. There were more explosions at gas plants than ever have been with Nuclear reactors. A few years ago, an underground gas line ruptured in rural Vero at night and I saw it and thought a passenger jet had crashed. I was almost a mile away and could feel the heat. There have been more disasters at gasoline storage and processing plants than in any American Nuclear reactor. In one State, a derailed train cracked a gas pipe buried TOO CLOSE to the tracks, that ruptured long after the wreck had been cleaned up and took out scores of buildings, like homes and businesses.

Diesel, the cheapest of all fuels made from crude oil, is now often more expensive per gallon than regular gas. That affects the trucking industry, which affects transportation costs, which affects the prices stores charge for goods.

No, American nuclear plant has caused the evacuation of an entire city but industry has. Read up on the Love Canal. While you're at it, read up on cities near lead mines where the slag was used to pave roads and how those cities are now poisoned.

Problems with nuclear plants have been caused by corrupt politicians and businessmen hiring crooked contractors who skimmed materials and made big profits while weakening the strength and safety of the plant.

There is a great possibility that the original antinuclear movement was started by the oil companies, seeing the loss of future profits from power not generated by fuel oil. The Movie industry helped propagate this fear through various nuclear power plant disaster films. (Kind of like they've pretty well hung Petersen for the murder of his wife even though he has not gone through a trial yet.)

The biggest problem is disposing of the nuclear waste but, in comparison, oil powered power plants have generated hundreds of thousands of tons of deadly pollutants that fill the air and infect the surrounding lands. So far, this has not happened with an American plant, though there has been a few scares. Like 9 mile island.

In 1972 I paid about $0.75 a gallon for gas and my power bill, with A/C, in my efficiency apartment, was a whopping $19 a month. Now I pay $1.69 per gallon and my power bill hovers, with a/c (bigger house, so divide by half) at $198 a month. ($99)

Tests of ground water around the St. Lucie County nuclear plant have shown no radiation pollution. However, we have discovered major pollution from gasoline at many old gas station sites, pollution at manufacturing plants, and pollution in the Indian River from gas byproducts washed from the roads, through the sewer system and dumped in the river. Several times a year, the river is closed to shell fishing because bacteria from septic systems wash into it along with runoff from agricultural fertilizer and bug spraying.

There is one major industrial plant in Vero Beach, located near some of the deep water wells which service the city. Some time back, they closed several of the wells because they discovered chemical pollution from the plant in them.

So, actually, people are more at danger from normal power and fuel producers and manufacturing plants as well as general over population than nuclear plants.
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