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Radiation.
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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5913 posts

Re: Radiation.

Well the future might contain a solution, but it's been how many years so far with nuclear energy? And no good solution yet. Sorry if I'm skeptical, but creating something with this kind of waste longevity seems ridiculous and almost downright evil. I mean to create something this dangerous and dirty, that lasts well beyond your own lifetime, to put the burden on the future? I know we've done this in countless ways in our human foolishness, but nothing of this magnitude as far as waste longevity.

Apr 25, 2011, 19:08


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wracket
wracket
1425 posts

Re: Radiation.

But it's not like we haven't made huge strides towards dealing with the waste. Between reactors recycling fuel to better vitrification techniques of the waste it does produce, there's no comparison between where we are now on this issue and where we were several decades ago (when environmental concerns were barely raised in any industry). So just because we don't have the perfect plan now doesn't necessarily mean that we won't.

And who knows, with technological advancements, maybe the entire scope of the nuclear reactor will change radically. Take, for example, the concept of thorium (as opposed to uranium or uranium/plutonium) reactors. This theoretical technology would produce NO WASTE, would be structurally incapable of a chain reaction meltdown (one could simply pull the plug if things went wrong and it would stay contained). Perhaps our focus should be more in this direction in the long run (over the next three to five generations of our species, assuming we make it that long), but we still have to deal with rising electricity consumption for the nearer term somehow.

Apr 25, 2011, 20:15


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c in dc
c in dc
1032 posts

Re: Radiation.

labadore wrote:
Burying the radioactive waste underground or at the bottom of the oceans with a decay rate of anywhere from10,000 to a million years, depending on the particular isotopes, would likewise require a society to remain stable for those periods of time in order to remember where the radioactive waste is. Society has never been stable for such a period of time in terms of record keeping or otherwise. Ultimately, this buried deadly treasure would end up being discovered by unknowing excavators or deep sea explorers. I say if you cannot safely launch the radioactive waste into the sun then do not burden our planet with it to begin with.




Apr 25, 2011, 20:22


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GaryB2
GaryB2
2322 posts

Re: Radiation.

Mu Mu wrote:
wangjiwei wrote:
...there are so many styles about the red wedding dresses.. a new series of wedding dresses among which red wedding dresses


You might want to think about offering a white/off-white wedding dress, in my limited experience, they seem to be very popular.


Lol

Apr 25, 2011, 20:35


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Babylon01
Babylon01
183 posts

Re: Radiation.

I think the rise of techniques for the extraction of fuel from shale, and the vast coal reserves still untapped should ensure there are other means of destroying the planet over the next decades besides nuclear power.

And as Wracket mentioned, the increasing use of Thorium in reactors, plus increasingly sophisticated methods of recycling the waste will reduce the risk over time.

Once the fuel has been cooled, which happens fairly rapidly, it poses very little threat under current storage protocol, but poses a lot of political inconvenience.

I have it on good authority that Fukushima was never close to Chernobyl in terms of the scale of danger it represented -Chernobyl exploded; Fukushima's cooling systems and backup merely failed -no comparison, basically.

Monbiot is probably right, in my opinion, to stay nuke; he is a highly credible, independent and knowledgeable source with long-term involvement in the green movement.

That's my two pence' worth, anyway.

Apr 25, 2011, 20:54


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5913 posts

Re: Radiation.

Babylon01 wrote:


Once the fuel has been cooled, which happens fairly rapidly, it poses very little threat under current storage protocol, but poses a lot of political inconvenience.

I have it on good authority that Fukushima was never close to Chernobyl in terms of the scale of danger it represented -Chernobyl exploded; Fukushima's cooling systems and backup merely failed -no comparison, basically.


From what I understand, this is what is happening. (Feel free to correct any errors in this explanation.) There have been at least three hydrogen explosions at the plant. Destroying the roof but supposedly not the inner containment, unlike Chernobyl which completely breached it's containment for it's hydrogen explosion. Radiation has been released into the air from inside the plant from steam and possibly from partial meltdowns of the fuel.

Also, once the cooling pool for the spent fuel rods dried out, they started burning in at least one pool, which is producing smoke with radiation in it. This is why storing waste above ground, in populated areas on site is a bad bad thing. But that is what just about all nuclear power plants do with their high level waste.

They had to evacuate the area around the plant, people have gotten lethal doses of radiation, people have gotten lesser doses, smaller exposure is ongoing. Tokyo's drinking water has been affected. They're also dumping thousands of gallons of contaminated water into the ocean. The cooling for the fuel rods has not been resolved yet, so there is still a risk of a meltdown which could breach the inner containment and create a horrific catastrophe in the enviroment.

But no worries, no prob, it's all under control.

Apr 26, 2011, 03:47


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hito
hito
1745 posts

Re: Radiation.

wracket wrote:
hito wrote:
Given that, nuclear accidents will continue to happen (if anyone wishes to raise the idea that the USSR was communist; it wasn't. It was a dictatorship with many monopolistic businesses. For proof, check the number of millionaires post "communism").

The USSR obviously never achieved anything like communism is the purest sense, but the number of millionaires/billionaires post-perestroika has nothing to do with how the USSR was run. It has everything to do with how the privatization of state industry was carried out (under the watchful eye of guys like Anatoly Chubais, who would take a political slap on the wrist but then rise up to claim some of the top corporate slots for himself, of course) and how the desperate and uninformed populace was duped into giving up their equity in these state industries for a tiny fraction of its already deflated face value.

hito wrote:
It is no good pointing the finger at businesses that cut corners as that is what will always happen. If businesses (even one) cannot be trusted then there should be no nuclear energy.

Yes, businesses do tend to look to maximize profits. That's why for so many industries, with nuclear perhaps at the top of the list, it is important that we give a true economic incentive to the private sector to conform. We should never "trust" any private company when the results of that private company's mishaps could impact others (even their own employees).

hito wrote:
2. Nuclear waste is bad news. The plants themselves are a hazard when it comes to disposal. The waste from production is frightening. The waste from uranium mining is terrible. How bad is debatable but only between hideous and horrendous. It is not remotely safe.

Nuclear waste is potentially very bad news indeed, which is why we have to address this aspect. If we can't, well then maybe nuclear energy just isn't a viable option. But we have not fully explored the possible solutions, so to do so based on this alone would be premature.

As for uranium mining, yes, it is potentially very problematic for the surrounding area indeed. But here's a dirty little secret--nearly all mining is just as dangerous as uranium mining. And I'm not just talking about walls collapsing and that kind of danger, as the very kind of waste you are talking about (radioactive mill tailings) is produced is comparable amounts in gold mining, copper mining, chromium mining (just to name a few). So again, this goes more to the urgent need to rethink our entire way of regulating the mining industry (particularly in placed like Africa, where there is virtually no regulation) than as a condemnation of the nuclear power supply chain.

hito wrote:
3. Comparing nuclear accidents to car crashes, cyclones, storms, even oil spills is a bit rich. Nuclear waste lasts for hundreds of years and kills those that try to clean it up.

If you are referring to my post in response to cyberpainter, I'm afraid you missed the point. I was asked what I would do it warned of a fallout in my area. I said I would leave. (As I would if I were warned of a hurricane, etc.) And I acknowledged that not everyone in that area would be as able to just pick up and leave as I would.

hito wrote:
4. There are many vested interests in this matter. I always oppose dishonest debate whether it be for the side I support or not. Unfortunately, in western society, liars are often allowed to spout lies and have their views published. I would hazard at a guess to say that 95% of the lies that are disembled and supported are backed by big business dollars. I assume HC exaggerates to compete with this financial might and I sadly think that only weakens the anti-nuke case. Nonethless, I understand why she does it in a world of lies.

Does the ubiquitous presence of lies and liars among mean we should stop seeking the truth? Of course not. Does it mean one should result to lying to counteract the lies which are being spouted in disservice to one's personal interests? I should hope not (but maybe I'm naive).

If big business is infused with our political structure and our media (and I'm convinced it is), does that mean that there can be no more public discourse through the traditional means? Has our potential to exist as individuals and control our own destinies been manipulated beyond the point of no return? Are we sheep just obediently rounding the bend, hoping a corporate nail gun doesn't await us on the other side? Is there any point in going on? Should we just end it all here and now, for SBJ's sake, give me the gun, give me the fucking gun, I'm going to take a few of those ominous suits out with me!?

Er, that's one path. Another path is to admit that there are a lot of people trying to distort reality and, in this age of information noise, it is harder than ever to make sense of it all. But let's try to at the very least demand the scientific method of our scientists, to ask reasonable and level-headed questions when the answers we've been given don't seem to add up (and to educate ourselves sufficiently so that we're capable of the basic addition to begin with), shall we?


I think I agree with most of what you say.

I wasn't criticising you with the accident analogy. I have heard it a lot since the Tsunami. People saying things like "we don't stop driving cars because of crashes". I think it is a poor analogy, that is all. No swipe at you.

As for your last comment, I think I said it all in my original post (4). I prefer honesty.

I do think you need to look at your stance on this issue. Although you are expecting honesty of HC and putting her under the spotlight, you have to consider the effect of doing this to her. What is the message that nuclear supporters get when you attack HC. I think you are being pretty tough on her and other nuclear opponents whilst being very optimistic about nuclear potential. Editing by omission is certainly one of HC's crimes but it could also be one of your own. Many people say they are just scrutinising a person which, whilst true, also means they don't scrutinise others.
Having said that, none of us are immune from this. I myself am being more critical of your stance because I oppose nuclear and have not criticised CP because her opinions are closer to mine on this matter.

Apr 26, 2011, 10:26


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wracket
wracket
1425 posts

Re: Radiation.

hito wrote:
I do think you need to look at your stance on this issue. Although you are expecting honesty of HC and putting her under the spotlight, you have to consider the effect of doing this to her. What is the message that nuclear supporters get when you attack HC. I think you are being pretty tough on her and other nuclear opponents whilst being very optimistic about nuclear potential. Editing by omission is certainly one of HC's crimes but it could also be one of your own. Many people say they are just scrutinising a person which, whilst true, also means they don't scrutinise others.

Let me be clear--I didn't seek out an opportunity to attack Caldicott, nor do I hope that I have in any way suggested that in questioning the reliability of some of her claims I am positioning myself in the "opposing" camp. I listened to CP's posted link and a few things didn't jive with what I had read in my own (limited) research into the matter, so I dug a bit deeper and happened upon the dialogue between Monbiot and Caldicott.

There was no intentional editing by omission here, though there clearly was inherently a lot of omission of details which could be quite important when discussing these topics, due primarily to a relatively shallow level of knowledge on my part when compared to the true specialists whose lives are devoted to this subject. If I chose not to attack Monbiot's own biases with the same vigor, it is because I truly believe that his role in this debate is primarily that of the journalist looking to challenge not-entirely-factual claims being passed off as fact by a relatively prominent champion of this cause. The more I have read, the more it appears that Monbiot may indeed be guilty of cutting more corners in terms of mastering the subject than he would have his readers believe. But I still think it would be more appropriate to hold up the UN/WHO/etc. studies which Monbiot relies upon as the counterpoint to Caldicott's (and those specialists who would defend her) side than a journalist, even one as vocal as Monbiot.

You are absolutely right that we all tend to challenge the opposing viewpoint more than the one which supports our preconceived opinion, but I think I'm being pretty honest with myself when I say that I'm really not sure where I stand on the nuclear issue (now more than ever), so my loyalties don't firmly lie on one side or the other. They do, however, rather firmly lie with those who would defend honest debate and the triumph of the scientific method over faux-science, and I hope that I would generally be capable of applying these principles fairly in regards to either side of any polarizing issue. My own biases will undeniably enter into it, of course, but a little introspection can go a long way in helping one overcome such prejudicial limitations.

Apr 26, 2011, 17:42


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hito
hito
1745 posts

Re: Radiation.

I agree

Apr 26, 2011, 21:27


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5913 posts

Re: Radiation.

wracket wrote:
But it's not like we haven't made huge strides towards dealing with the waste. Between reactors recycling fuel to better vitrification techniques of the waste it does produce, there's no comparison between where we are now on this issue and where we were several decades ago (when environmental concerns were barely raised in any industry). So just because we don't have the perfect plan now doesn't necessarily mean that we won't.

And who knows, with technological advancements, maybe the entire scope of the nuclear reactor will change radically. Take, for example, the concept of thorium (as opposed to uranium or uranium/plutonium) reactors. This theoretical technology would produce NO WASTE, would be structurally incapable of a chain reaction meltdown (one could simply pull the plug if things went wrong and it would stay contained). Perhaps our focus should be more in this direction in the long run (over the next three to five generations of our species, assuming we make it that long), but we still have to deal with rising electricity consumption for the nearer term somehow.


Well I hope you're right. We've actually been creating nuclear waste since the 1940's. So 60-70 years or so. I suppose in the big scheme of things that's a short span of scientific history, but we've at least been aware of risks of nuclear power since the 1960's when power generation with nuclear plants started happening, with the first generation safeguards, it's not as though nobody thought there was any risk to this technology or the waste. And much greater public awareness in the 1970's, culminating with a spike after the 3 Mile Island accident.

Helen Caldicott may be past it, she getting elderly after all, she may be losing her edge and may come out with exaggerations and say things that are meant to make people wake up. But she's worked for decades on this issue, up against some incredibly powerful interests. She founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, wrote many anti-nuke books, etc etc. Words like "faux-science" are an easy label, but I do think there is plenty of evidence, beyond some loose statements of HC, to defend an anti-nuclear energy stance, and to come to a conclusion that the risk is too great.

Apr 27, 2011, 04:07

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