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View Diary: Fukushima: Stage Two (232 comments)

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  •  Depends on what you mean... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Joieau, Creosote, jeanette0605

    ... by "relatively."

    If you mean you probably won't die if you live within 20 miles of the plant, yeah, odds are you won't.

    If you mean that the high-level waste created by the plant won't keep killing for a million year, you're delusional.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace. - Jimi Hendrix

    by CharlieHipHop on Thu Nov 03, 2011 at 06:26:12 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Let me clarify by stating... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...that the idealist in me wants to believe that if ALL the costs are honestly considered - including the so-called "externalities" - the only nuclear power plants that would be built from here on out would be for subs and carriers. And that might change in a couple of decades with new advances in energy production and storage and large vessel propulsion.

      The realist in me understands that the Nuclear lobby use whatever means it can bring to bear to not just stay alive, but grow. That includes minimizing the risks, socializing the externalities, fighting against regulations that would illuminate hidden costs, and insisting that their profitability ought to be allowed to trump any other consideration that might conflict with it.

      I don't really think that Nuclear Power can be "safe." It can only be somewhat contained and the impacts somewhat minimized. I am under no illusions that Navy Nuclear Power is "better." Rather, they have institutionalized safety and security to a degree that if practiced at the same level in the commercial energy production sector would render it an absolute non-starter in terms of ANY investment consideration today (and probably a couple of decades ago).

      I believe that research in "next tech" Nuclear technologies should be pursued because I believe in knowledge for knowledge sake. But I am confident that advances in wind, solar, tidal/low-head hydro - combined with energy storage, better insulation, better efficiency standards, practical expansion of mass transit, etc. -  will ALWAYS render Nuclear Power an interesting science experiment, but commercially a stupendously impractical means of boiling water to generate electricity.

      Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

      by Egalitare on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:49:45 AM PDT

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      •  Naval power (0+ / 0-)

        You hit a raw nerve there because I am tremendously respectful of the Navy.  To my mind it is the most important element of self defense and world peace.

        That said, I do not trust that nuclear subs will be well managed for the next million years.  This is one of the more terrifying aspects of nuclear power.   We have single submarines with enough firepower to obliterate all of Europe or North America.  Any one of these could sink and melt down in the middle of the ocean and who would know about it.  What would the ramifications be?  We really don't know what happens when you burn a hole to the center of the planet, and that's what happens in a true meltdown scenario.  It just keeps burning and burning hotter than the sun, melting everything in its path.

        Nuclear power is not "an interesting science experiment." It's goddamn foolish, and it needs to be stopped now.  Our efforts should be focused on mitigating the enormous damage (hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level waste and God-knows-how-much lower-level waste) that has already been done.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace. - Jimi Hendrix

        by CharlieHipHop on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:21:26 PM PDT

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        •  I spent 10 years... (0+ / 0-)

          ...building nuclear carriers and subs. My father and uncle put in 30+ years and I have cousins, nieces and nephews who are now the 4 generation of our family "in the business."

          In short, the Navy is simply less bad at Nuclear energy than the commercial sector. I suspect that given the advances in battery technology that some subs could be built within 10-15 years that could operate essentially like Tesla vehicles: enough battery life to perform normal operations for 2, maybe 3 weeks, surface near a "recharging vessel" at sea or go to port for a  "quick charge" and repeat as needed. Given the size of a carrier -  hence the potential for even more space for battery storage - that is also not out of the realm of possibility.

          The technology is less daunting than overcoming the doctrine mindset.

          Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

          by Egalitare on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 12:08:25 AM PST

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          •  Why the hell (0+ / 0-)

            would anyone with any sanity want to run an aircraft carrier on batteries?!

            That has to be the stupidest idea I have heard in a long time.

            Hey, an aircraft carrier also has plenty of upper deck space. Perhaps they should put up some huge sails there and run the ship on wind power?

            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
            -- Albert Einstein

            by bryfry on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 09:18:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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