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View Diary: The Wisdom of Deathbed (Nuclear) Conversion (39 comments)

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  •  Have to include the commercial interests (2+ / 0-)
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    barath, Joieau

    in all this. They've a finger in the pie every step of the way, from scientific calculations, through engineering specs, though regulation.

    For instance, Fukushima site was some tens of feet higher than it now stands, but the economics of delivering water uptake and discharging over the expected life of the plants made it cheaper in the long run to dig out that earth. Similarly, the probability speculations about what scale local earth-events can possibly happen are limited to geologically short moments when compared to the historical record.  Less money in building costs. Again, Fukushima reality fell outside of that "scientific estimate" (really just a bet), and a once-a-millennia event happened. If that had been planned for, instead of 300 or 500 year window, the cost would have been much higher to build the plant.

    I had someone tell me that France's plants are safe from earthquakes because they haven't had a major one in 300 years. I don't know what they planned for over there, 300 years, 600 years, but I'm sure they didn't look at 2,000 years.

    Then of course there's the corruption businessmen go for, well documented (I think even proven in court) in Japan at other plants a decade ago. Cutting corners on quality of materials, and the like.

    So the entire complex in building comes down to "Science / Engineering / Regulators / Commercial Interests" all of which have likely points of failure in their models and assumptions, most especially the latter.

    One miscalculation, one expression of contempt by Nature for our assumptions about what it will do (and our earth/sun sciences are at the beginning of their infancy, really), you lose half-a-trillion dollars, minimum, not counting all other costs.

    An aside: at Fukushima, where they are talking about 40 years to get it all under control (optimistically, I'd think) people are also realizing that you have a set pool of nuclear professionals to work and monitor the site, and this pool gets used up as exposure limits are hit. So where are the workers for 20 years from now, 30, 40 years, going to come from?


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:34:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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