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View Diary: Would a little American nuclear emergency make you look up? We're having one (225 comments)

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  •  For starts... (3+ / 0-)

    1. No containment vessel as I noted has ever sustained a direct hit by a CAT 5 tornado.

    So bottom line... their design has not been tested under actual conditions. Any engineer is going to tell you that you don't really know until it is tested under actual conditions and design spec is an estimate at best.

    2. Fukishima Japan's meltdowns were the result of inadequate support periphery... ie battery life, generators, external storage rod pools outside of the containment vessel, etc. etc.

    Nothing could have exposed all of the real dangers inherent in reactor design like what happened in Japan and now the public knows a whole lot more, enough that Germany has decided to phase out all of its reactors by 2022.

    You're "all is well" comment is typical of nuclear power supporters who are arguing from a point of not really knowing. Engineers also told us the Titanic was unsinkable too!

    •  I support nuclear energy Flint but you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods, vets74, Flint

      are correct. They have done computer modeling of course for high winds and we know that reactors stand up well to earth quakes.

      Engineers have also looked at buildings that have stood up to Cat 5 tornadoes and drawn lessons from them.

      I agree with your point too. And so from an engineering perspective pro-nuclear engineers are looking into this because we see a problem, we try to fix it. We try to address these issues to make them better, etc.

      Most pro-nuclear folks I know want to see the older BWRs phase out in favor of reactors with passive/ambient cooling features like the AP1000 and the APR-1400.

      The method of assuming something unforseen will happen is hardly a way to develop energy sources. I'm not a big fan of hydro, but earthquakes have destroyed dams in the past, they've let go because flaws and wiped out huge areas. This is something to look at, ponder, analyse and come up with retrofits. I do not advocate tearing down Hoover or Grand Coolie because of what "might happen" but to address the issues.

      Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

      by davidwalters on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 11:04:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I support fusion research... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Russgirl, worldlotus

        While to most of the scientific community it remains somewhere between "The Holy Grail" and "Leprechauns' pot of gold"... there continue to be new revelations that suggest it may be possible:

        March 31, 2011
        Overturned scientific explanation may be good news for nuclear fusion

        Flat out wrong.

        That’s what a team of Duke researchers has discovered, much to its surprise, about a long-accepted explanation of how nuclei collide to produce charged particles for electricity – a process receiving intense interest lately from scientists, entrepreneurs and policy makers in the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

        Plasma physicists have been trying for 25 years to create electricity from the fusion of boron and hydrogen atoms.

        The new study says their efforts have been based on a misunderstanding of the underlying physics – although the error could end up actually helping those looking to fusion energy as an alternative energy source.


        Now, 75 years later, the new insight makes the boron-fusion reaction even more interesting as a possible alternative to the nuclear fission process used in reactors in Japan and other parts of the world. A reactor based on this process could produce electricity without radioactive wastes. It also would not produce the carbon dioxide and other gases emitted by coal-powered plants.

        Nuclear fusion still faces formidable challenges, one of the greatest being that hydrogen and boron only begin to fuse at temperatures close to 1 billion degrees Kelvin (nearly 2 billion degrees Fahrenheit). But building this type of reactor is realistic, says Weller, whose team is continuing to study the process at TUNL.

        Reagan cut the funding for Lawrence Livermore Labs fusion research projects in 1981 (code named Shiva and Nova). This was a mistake in my opinion and arguments against its viability rank up there with "you can't break the sound barrier."

        New breakthroughs continue to come down the line that seem to be making the impossible... possible.

        Right now that research is being done on a grand scale in China:

        Special report: In China the big nuclear question is "how soon"?

        I'd rather see an increase in funding for clean technologies than to continue down a path that has so many obvious dangers.

        I'd love to see and "energy race" similar to the "space race" of the bygone era.

        Yes I'd like to see a full development of wind and solar too... anything but a continuation of fission reaction.

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