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View Diary: Sen. Wyden Sounds The Alarm on Fukushima (291 comments)

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  •  Sorry guys I am a physicist working in the (4+ / 0-)
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    bryfry, JayBat, mojo workin, mdmslle

    nuclear industry for twenty years...Just trying to get the facts out as I understand them. I am a pro-nuclear liberal and not a troll. It is because of global warming that I believe that nuclear base load power has a future in America's energy portfolio.

    The linear no-threshold relationship model was developed as a radiation protection model, not a measure of health effects.

    There are many studies in the Journal Radiology, and in particular A test of the linear-no threshold theory of radiation carcinogenesis by  Bernard L. Cohen  which demonstrates that the human response to low level exposure is definitely not linear.

    Health Physics Society does not apply the LNR to calculate health effects of radiaton exposure, while the French Academy of Sciences endorses the existence of radiation hormesis.

    There are some risks from the use of nuclear power, but those risks need to be kept in perspective.  Where is the ourage when 100 people die in an gasoline explosion in Africa as these poor souls are collecting gas from a leaking pipeline with buckets.

    Let's count the deaths from nuclear power vs fossile fuel use and production. I'll play that game.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

    by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 06:29:46 AM PDT

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    •  I didn't call you troll. (5+ / 0-)

      But I know what a waste of time it is to try to explain the truth to someone whose livelihood depends on not understanding it.

      I can see your outrage at the death toll in uranium mines.

      Somehow, it all just magically shows up as fuel at the refinery with no human or environmental cost, in all the models the Nuke Proponents present.

      Kos should start a PvP server for this game.

      by JesseCW on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 07:58:51 AM PDT

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      •  what gives you more knowledge than he or she has? (0+ / 0-)

        What makes you understand things better?

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 08:15:26 AM PDT

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      •  There was an increase in Lung cancers from long... (3+ / 0-)
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        SpeedyGonzales, jrooth, bryfry

        term (10+ years) exposure to radon in Uranium mines in the 40s and 50s. Since then, ventilation systems and other measures have been used to reduce radon levels in the few underground mines that continue to operate.

        In recent decades, The average annual exposure of uranium miners has fallen to levels similar to some homes. This has greatly reduced the risk of occupationally induced cancer from radon. But I will concede that it is still an issue for those workers.

        Mining Radon exposure is regulated by the US Department of Labor:

        OSHA Maximum Permissible Concentration (MPC) for General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1096(c)(1) -- 100 pCi/L (This is the limit that a worker (over 18 years of age) can be exposed to in 40 hours in a consecutive 7 day period.)

        BTW,

        Coal contains a small amount of radioactive uranium, barium, thorium and potassium. In terms of overall world public health, and the huge amount of coal consumed, I would think this is a bigger problem.

        "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:06:24 AM PDT

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    •  Storing nuclear waste safely is not possible. (5+ / 0-)

      The end.  Comparisons to other forms of energy break down when you consider that spent nuclear fuel like that which is in SFP#4 is more the norm than the exception if we fast forward about 1000 years.  

      •  Fast breeder reactors are the answer... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpeedyGonzales, bryfry, dharmasyd

        Breeder reactors could in principle extract almost all of the energy contained in uranium or thorium.

        This would decrease fuel requirements by nearly two orders of magnitude compared to traditional light water reactors, which extract less than 1% of the energy.

        The thorium in our spent coal ash could power the planet for thousands of years.

        With seawater uranium extraction, there is enough fuel for breeder reactors to satisfy our energy needs for as long as the  sun and Earth relationship persists, about 5 billion years.

        "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:28:39 AM PDT

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        •  I gave you a rec on this... (0+ / 0-)

          ...not because I agree with your ideas, but because I agree with your presentation.  You are, as they say, collegial and polite.  

          But I must level with you, and I don't say this for me personally.  At 79, I've lived my life, and although one never wishes to die, that would be okay.  So when I say that fast breeder reactors really scare me; I'm not saying it in regard to my own personal life.

          Again:  Fast Breeder Reactors really scare me.  I won't pretend to know much about them.  But since we are having so much trouble even managing BWRs with safety (you'll probably disagree with that); nevertheless I would not feel comfortable with humans at our stage of development attempting to safely manage these much more volatile breeders -- as they breed PU.

          The Monju fast breeder in Japan, after having 2 major accidents,  has only been on line to generate energy for 1 hour during it's 20 year existence.  Have you seen this film of their FAILED fast breeder Monju?

          Monju (もんじゅ?) is a Japanese sodium-cooled fast reactor, located in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture. Construction started in 1986 and the reactor achieved criticality for the first time in April 1994... MOX-fueled, loop-type reactor...
          “An accident in December 1995, in which a sodium leak caused a major fire, forced a shutdown. A subsequent scandal involving a cover-up of the scope of the accident delayed its restart until May 6, 2010, with renewed criticality reached on May 8, 2010.[1] In August 2010 another accident, involving dropped machinery, shut down the reactor again. As of June 2011, the reactor has only generated electricity for one hour since its first testing two decades prior.[2]…
          And you can read more here

          I do not believe humankind is yet sufficiently evolved to be able to handle this kind of energy.  Our morality and our greed must change first.

          "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

          by dharmasyd on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 11:01:43 PM PDT

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    •  You know, the whole (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, Sandino, ozsea1

      "I'm a physicist working in the industry" is industry propaganda all by itself. The physicists who discovered and developed nuclear energy - first to kill the greatest number of human beings with WMDs, then to kill the greatest number of human beings long term by boiling water - do not run nuclear power plants. Technicians do.

      Yet another instance of the modern truism that Technicians Run The World.

      A health physics technician - or even a management-level HP with a degree instead of 6-18 years in Rickover's Navy - can't claim equivalence to Einstein, Oppenheimer or Teller. Though that's how the deliberately kept ignorant public is supposed to understand the "I'm a physicist" claim, isn't it?

      Pshaw.

      •  We can't afford to wait until it's "too late". (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, Joieau, ozsea1, dharmasyd

        Adm. Hyman Rickover, “father of the nuclear navy,” came out AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER near the end of his life:

        “I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. . . .

        Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.

        I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

      •  I started out as a nuke machinist mate in the navy (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, jrooth, bryfry, dharmasyd

        The point is that this is largely an emotional and one sided argument. I am providing the other side. I am not claiming that I am a genius therefore your concerns should be dismissed. I am saying that my work around this material on a daily basis, and the knowledge gained from that experience creates understanding that perhaps allows me to see things a little more objectively. I always provide facts to back up my claims; and I am not an industry shill. Just a big fan of abundant clean electricity.

        "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by rclendan on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 10:40:45 AM PDT

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        •  Going from Rickover's Navy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rclendan, dharmasyd

          straight to the civilian power industry SHOULD have informed you in no uncertain terms that something big is wrong with the entire conceptualization. These beasties simply don't scale well. So where a single drop of leaked coolant reading 100 mr/hr on 'the boat' would be a regular Big Deal, you'd see room-sized puddles reading 10 or more R/hr in a commercial plant merely taped off while management shrugs, hires a few grunts from day labor to mop it up, then goes right on as if nothing's wrong.

          Back in my long-ago day (30+ years ago) MOST of the responsible techs in the civilian industry were ex-Navy. Because nuke school meant that the utilities didn't have to bother with either a) their own in-depth training (just familiarize the ops with the particular system and controls), or b) transfer of clearances.

          Many ex-Navy nukes didn't last long at all, disgusted with how filthy and ultimately dangerous civilian nukes truly are. Others put up with it because the pay was pretty good, and the management usually took the heat when things went wrong. Then Three Mile Island melted down, and 4 rather brilliant - and immensely brave - ex-Navy operators got slated to take the historical blame for singularly lousy engineering and utterly criminal corporate mismanagement.

          Now they get their techs mostly from specialty 2-year community colleges that teach only enough to do the specified task and no more. Hell, one in Tennessee brags it can get you certified and on the job in 14 months. The industry likes it, because they don't have to deal with squids who know more about everything from metallurgy to thermodynamics than they do.

          Go figure...

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