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View Diary: Thirty-Five USA Nukes at risk of Fukushima-style flooding and disasters (112 comments)

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  •  You pinpointed a big problem (6+ / 0-)

    in saying (1) they are not willing to go the extra mile for plant safety.  Thank you.

    But, that's not the only problem. There's also:

    2) the waste problem.  It was my job to review the Yucca Mountain status reports and those were simply appalling.
    3) the emergency preparedness problem: flawed testing, negligence and whitewashes.  
    4) the cost problem: constant patching, toversight, preparedness, waste disposal, insurance and, when something blows up, the cost of cleanup, compensation, and replacement.
    5) the environmental impacts--and not just from accidents. Nukes need a lot of water, and we're going to run short of that before long due to global warming. Already, some plants have had to shut down due to lack of water needed for other purposes.
    6) the human impacts--the fear, health consequences, and displacement that come with an accident like Fukushima. Farmers' livelihoods and traditions crushed. Families fractured. Thyroid cancers.  And more.

    I've always been open to the idea that nuclear energy might be a reasonable choice, but these negatives are hard to ignore.

    •  I share all of your concerns about nukes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Harm, subtropolis

      especially water use.  But Climate Change and the rising carbon dioxide percentage in the air has me utterly dismayed.

      I don't see any way out, short of curtailing future fossil-fuel-fired power generation.

      And nukes are the only carbon-free large base-load power provider.

      I was unnerved to watch all the reactors at Fukushima explode, though.

      •  There are no simple solutions surely nt (1+ / 0-)
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      •  Why "only" baseload (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, oldpotsmuggler

        source? Hydro is certainly a viable technology, and that does not need to be gigawatt plants at all if we don't box ourselves into the bad planning of the early 20th century (nothing "new" in that, is there?). Decentralization is the smarter way to go, and there are literally multi-thousands of villages, towns and cities all across this country with flowing water that can be used to turn wheels. No need for big dams and impounded land-hogging lakes, undershots work just fine.

        Geothermal could be developed as well, though that doesn't seem to be happening very fast. I've suggested many times that Japan has immense geothermal resources and people complain that they can't build in the mountains. Well, then drill slant-wells to tap the heat. It's not like we don't have THAT technology or anything.

        Insist on site generation for industry, solar on their acre-sized roofs and wind on the property. It would certainly dent their consumption from the grid. Subsidies for farms, homesteads and rural counties to install site generation as well. Tidal technologies are making big strides as well, and surely no one claims the tides are somehow "intermittent." We need to get away from simply boiling water and go for direct generation without adding heat or hogging the water supplies.

        Look up "nuclear fuel cycle carbon" and you'll get lots of returns on just how NOT carbon neutral nukes really are. They will not save our planet, so we're better off doing something smart.

        •  We need to keep thinking (0+ / 0-)

          It would take an awful lot of small hydros to make 1000 Mw, and some of those would degrade aquatic habitat.  In the Pacific NW the big dams have destroyed salmon runs.  

          I've reviewed "bundles" of a dozen or so proposed small hydros in the 1-20 MW range. Usually most of them choked off the upstream areas from the fishies.

          Government Folks don't want dams on the Mekong because of habitat destruction. What a shame.

          Smaller hydros will also run dry in the summer.

          Geothermal has plugged away my whole adult life and is only up to a few thousands megawatts in the USA, despite opening up new fields like Imperial County and Mammoth and China Lakes.

          On site generation for industry will probably include cogeneration gas turbines to firm up their power supply, and natural gas, my former favorite, is under attack for the fracking impacts.

          I strongly favor the on site solar you mentioned, and let's not forget massive energy conservation efforts; insulation and so on.

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