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View Diary: 90-Strontium Released from the Fukushima Disaster Compared to Other Human Sources (44 comments)

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  •  The strontium-90 source for the 3/11 tsunami (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, Deward Hastings

    was the old nuclear weapons test debris that had been washed down from upland areas for decades.

    Nuclear cooling systems have virtually no strontium in them. The overheated spent fuel rods that produced the hydrogen that exploded also had next to no strontium.

    So what happened? Where did the strontium come from?

    Now we know. Japan was covered with weapon test debris for 20 years. High strontium levels. Concentrations test out slightly stronger on the west and northwest coast of Honshu than on the east coast where you find Fukushima. (And stronger yet on Hokkaido. Most tests were Russian.)

    One good thing to come from the 3/11 disaster is that the Japanese put resources to mapping fallout concentration patterns and effects of rain runoff. They had ignored these threats previously.

    Complaints related to nuclear power need to be double checked. The Air Pollution Biz has a large propaganda operation, as you might have noticed. Same folks as the Global warming deniers.

    No one was killed from radiation at Fukushima. Quite possibly, no one will be killed. At most two or three people, but that combines the residual radiation from tsunami churned fallout debris with Fukushima power plant effects.  In America no one has been killed by radiation release from a nuclear power plant in the 60 years of commercial use. Likely you can operated these plants for 1,000 years and no one will be killed. Residual debris from nuclear weapons tests remain the big radiation threat -- still less than 1% of the health damage of direct solar radiation.

    Modern plants are a mature technology. They are really pretty simple. Uranium rods heat up naturally and the heat is converted to electricity. No biggie. And the waste material from running a large power plant for a year is about the size of four filing cabinets.

    Technology is well understood.

    But if you are trying to spare coal and natgas the competition, it's all bugaboos and threats of people dying by the millions.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 04:15:40 AM PDT

    •  Nuclear energy is not perfect, but especially (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2013, notrouble

      in an age of climate crisis, its advantages far outweigh its disadvantages. It's a tragedy really that a fearful and ignorant public has made further building of plants nearly impossible.

      •  nuclear's carbon footprint is no smaller than (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim P, JesseCW, wonmug, LNK, maregug

        renewables. It is not the magic bullet that will kill global warming.

        And when Duke Energy recently cancelled the two nukes it was planning for Florida, it wasn't because of an ignorant public or too many new regulations or tree-hugging hippies or sue sue sueing lawyers boo hoo hoo---it was because the costs for the plants had already tripled and they hadn't even stuck a shovel into the ground yet.

        Nukes are a non-starter.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:21:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason that nuke plants are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lenny Flank

          too expensive is that it takes a decade or more to get them through the approval process. If the nation decided to dramatically expand nuclear power in order to avert the coming climate catastrophe, we could build modern, light reactors all over the place fairly quickly.

          •  this is simply not true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maregug

            There have been no major changes to the approval process.  Duke was dealing with the approval process just fine and dandy without a single complaint from them--and they were facing minimal legal opposition to their permit.

            They killed the plants because they cost a goddamn fortune. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

            If the nation decided to dramatically expand nuclear power in order to avert the coming climate catastrophe
            What would be the point to this? Nuclear plants have NO lower carbon footprint than renewables do. They simply are not the magic bullet against global warming that you seem to think they are.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 09:46:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  lots of seismic zones (0+ / 0-)

            we could put racs there

          •  yes, just eliminate the site surveys (0+ / 0-)

            why worry about floods, or tsunami's or earthquakes.

    •  It's not the inherent danger. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      Nuclear power is extremely capital intensive, and almost all plants are built by private industry. Is that a recipe for corruption? Safe nuclear power is possible, but I don't expect Halliburton to provide it.

      Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

      by Boundegar on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:19:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's also an economic money pit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, LeftCoastTom, wonmug

        The only places where nukes become a viable option is when they are government-owned, where costs don't matter.

        And of course the for-profit electric companies have every incentive to try to save money at the expense of safe operations.  Do a Google for Progress Energy's recent attempt to upgrade its Crystal River nuke, for a good example--they decided to save a few bucks by using a non-standard process to open their containment building, they broke their containment building, they lied to their insurance company about it (who refused to pay for the repairs), and then went begging to the state to raise its rates to make its customers pay for the repairs instead. And now the plant is dead as a mackerel (and guess who gets to pay for the decommissioning).

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:51:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  it is not a binary choice (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, LeftCoastTom, maregug

      "no nukes" does not equal "more coal". PS--nobody here is "trying to spare the coal and natgas the competition". Nobody here is a shill for the coal companies.  Nobody.  N-O-B-O-D-Y.  Saying that, is every bit as idiotic as those who yammer that anyone who defends nukes must be a troll or a shill for TEPCO. So stop doing it.

      But then, you are wasting your time anyway bitching at the "complainers"--it's not the public that is killing nukes, it's the electric companies themselves. They thought nukes would be cheap cheap cheap--instead they turned out to be expensive money pits. That's why Duke Energy just cancelled their nuke plans for Florida--the cost had swelled from $2.5 billion each to almost $10 billion each, and it would still be another 20 years before the plants ever generated a single kilowatt. By which time the costs would likely double or triple again.

      Nukes simply can't compete economically. That's what killed them 35 years ago, and it's what still kills them today.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:30:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  China is delivering nuclear plants (0+ / 0-)

        at $2,000/KWE. Five year delivery cycle.

        That's for any rational environment with the engineering necessities.

        That's way below $10-billion for a Florida plant.

        We're not rational. We like holes in the ground. We also vote for Republicans way too often.

        In Florida, this is Republican theft. A total of $3.2-billion going from taxpayers to Duke Power and both the Crystal River and Levy County plants are shut down/gone. Typical GOPer bad government.

        Failure of nuclear technology or financing had nothing to do with it. It's a Republican scam. 100%.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:58:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  China has also had major conferences (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, LNK, maregug, Joieau

          on the shocking incompetence, corruption, and shoddiness of their construction industry. It's even been officially recognized as a major problem they have as recently as five years ago.

          "China does it" ... shit, what do you think is going to happen?


          When the Oceans rise, what's the plan for moving the nuke plants? Anyone?

          by Jim P on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 07:12:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  like I said, nukes are only economically viable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, maregug

          where they are owned (and subsidized) by the government and costs don't matter. Such as China and France.

          For-profit electric companies in the US are not exactly clamoring for new nukes.  Only a handful have actually been requested for a permit--and, like Duke, it's likely that virtually none of them will ever actually be built. Certainly not enough of them to have any measurable influence on carbon levels (and remember that nukes have NO lower carbon footprint than renewables do).

          And as for all the new technology wonder-nukes we keep hearing about (like thorium or pebble-bed or liquid-sodium), nobody is even asking to build any of those. It's vaporware.

          Nuclear is simply a non-starter.  (shrug)

          Failure of nuclear technology or financing had nothing to do with it. It's a Republican scam. 100%.
          Not true. The reality is that nukes CANNOT get financing from banks or Wall Street investors, like other industries do---they are too unprofitable and nobody is interested in paying for them upfront. That is why the nuclear industry itself pushed so hard to get the "nuclear cost recovery" policy in Florida in the first place (the Goppers didn't come up with the idea all on their own, the entire bill was written by electric company lobbyists). It was the ONLY way they could afford to build any nukes at all--have their ratepayers cover all the costs.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 07:13:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ps--it was not the Goppers in the Florida (0+ / 0-)

            Legislature that made Progress Energy use a money-saving non-standard method of opening up their containment building for upgrade, nor was it consumers or lawyers or regulators.  It was Progress management itself. Period. We now have the internal memos--just as we now have the internal memos from their own engineers who TOLD THEM that using the non-standard method would damage the building. They did it anyway. Completely on their own.

            That has zip-all to do with any "Republican scam". It is pure malfeasance on the electric company's part.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 07:52:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Republicans let PE shift the cost to consumers. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lenny Flank

              A scam.

              "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

              by waterstreet2013 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 09:54:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the electric company lobbyists wrote the bill. (0+ / 0-)

                Then the electric company broke its own nuke, lied to their insurance company about it, and tried to pass the costs onto us.

                Plus the electric company already has a built-in guaranteed rate of return on all the money we've already paid for the unbuilt nukes--which it doesn't have to give a dime back.

                THEY are the scammers.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  the chinese are fabulously corrupt (0+ / 0-)

          http://i.telegraph.co.uk/...

          do you want to trust these builders with nukes?

    •  Hi waterstreet2013 (5+ / 0-)

      The increase in 90-Sr is unequivocally from the meltdowns at the reactor sites.  If you consult the primary reference for release to the ocean Casacuberta et al. (2013) they also measured 89-Sr which has a 50.52 day half-life.  They report:

      "Concentrations of 90-Sr and 89-Sr in both surface waters and shallow profiles ranged from 0.8±0.2 to 85±3 Bq/ m^3 and from 19±6 to 265±74 Bq/m^3, respectively. Because of its short half-life, all measured 89-Sr was due to the accident..."
      You do not get 89-Sr correlated with significant 90-Sr above oceanic background from weapons test fallout just as you do not see short-lived 134-Cs with 137-Cs except with release from Fukushima.  89-Sr values are reported in Table 1 of Casacuberta et al. (2013)

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