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I invite you to take a look at a Paris trash can by following this link.

If you've been to the city of light - and let's be clear that the electricity generated for that famous light is nuclear electricity - it is somewhat surprising, given the French passion for beauty and elegance, to see that their municipal litter receptacles are clear plastic bags hanging on a stick.  


Well there's the matter of terrorists.   Terrorists going back to 1995 have been dropping bombs in Paris trash cans, so they took the trash cans away.

The French are sort of matter-of-fact about terrorism.   Here's a true story:  I have seen bags blown up at Charles DeGaulle Airport.   Someone leaves their bag somewhere either by mistake or to go to the bathroom and the police show up.    They cordon off the area with yellow tape.    Someone in protective gear walks up to the bag and places an explosive charge next to it.   The guy or gal walks away and a police officer blows a whistle.   The explosive charge is detonated and some unfortunate person's underwear goes flying with shreds of leather and shreds of suits around the airport.    

De rien.   You leave a bag unattended there it is assumed to be a terrorist bomb.

We, of course, have terrorism here in the United States as well.   The very same year that the garbage cans of Paris went under attack, a bad fellow with some very bad ideas drove a rented truck filled with diesel fuel and fertilizer up to the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and detonated it, killing 168 people.   This fellow, Timothy McVeigh, claimed that his justification included "defending," at least in his own twisted mind, the US Constitution or his own particular fetish about its Second Amendment.   Actually the attack did nothing either to advance or harm the constitution.   The perpetrators of the attack were arrested, tried in accordance with Constitutional and local laws, convicted and punished.   The nation more or less forgot about the whole thing.   Neither rental trucks, nor fertilizer, nor diesel fuel were banned.

Later, more famously, some very bad people hijacked aircraft filled with jet fuel and flew them into the tallest buildings in New York.   These terrorists were not citizens of the United States, but represented a class of Arabs who were upset about the US interaction with their oil exporting nations.  

Unlike the French trashcans, the mechanism of the attacks were largely unaffected.   Neither tall buildings, nor commercial aircraft, nor jet fuel were banned, although there were some cosmetic changes to commercial aviation.  

To the extent that the latter attack involved the US Constitution, the effect was mostly to emasculate it.   Provisions about habeas corpus, cruel and unusual punishment, Presidential powers, the right to privacy, etc, were discarded, meaning that the terrorists in this case quite nearly managed the difficult trick of destroying the American system of government.

All of a sudden there began to be lots of talk about "nuclear terrorism," not only schemes like dirty bombs, but terrorist nuclear bombs.  The people of the United States were collectively inspired to go commit murder in someone else's country merely by the evocation of "nuclear terrorism."   Even though no such terrorist plot with real participants having a real demonstrated ability to perpetuate such an attack has ever been discovered anywhere on earth, suddenly everybody was talking and thinking about a nuclear terrorist attack.

For me, a pro-nuclear power anti-climate change activist, it was particularly odd - and mind you - in my position you really get to see some very twisted thinking, thinking that is so incredibly bad that you have a real time imagining the quality of the minds that generate it.   After years of hearing endlessly about so called "dangerous nuclear waste" that has not actually proved dangerous to anyone, since no one has ever been injured or killed by it, I faced a new "issue" in justifications for "refuting" my points from those who attack my views:   The threat of nuclear terrorism.   Suddenly everybody wanted me to contemplate what a terrorist nuclear attack on New York would do.   The proponents of the case who said that I needed to contemplate this issue of course, were perfectly ready to assume that I would of course accept the equation of this sort of event as a near certainty with my support for nuclear energy.   That is, they wished to imply that my support for nuclear power plants in say, Alabama or my home state of New Jersey, was identical to supporting a nuclear terrorist attack on New York City.

C'est la vie.  Sigh...

Of course, New York is the perfect place to strike, because it's always in the imagination.   King Kong climbed the Empire State Building.    At the end of Planet of the Apes, Charlton Heston - nutcase - stumbles across the Statue of Liberty sinking in the sand.   The climate change tidal wave in "The Day After Tomorrow" sweeps away mid-town Manhattan.   Maybe this is why the World Trade Attack caused Americans to attack their own two century old constitution - New York is so embedded in their imagination.

OK.  Let's do it.   Let's contemplate the terrorist who will strike New York as a result of me getting what I want - more nuclear power plants.   How does might it happen?   What's involved?

Let's say my advocacy of nuclear power results in the construction of the "NNadir Memorial Nuclear Station" at the New Jersey shore.   First off, we will have to ignore those options that do not involve nuclear power per se, like the possibility that a terrorist will take over a uranium enrichment plant and run it for several years consuming megawatt-hours of electricity in order to produce a highly enriched uranium bomb.  One could build a bomb in this way, but doing so would not involve would not involve the "NNadir Memorial Nuclear Station" or any other commercial nuclear plant.   So what's left?

In order to demonstrate the case, I am going to need to make some assumptions.   Since this is the "NNadir Memorial Nuclear Plant" (hereafter NNMNP) it will be a typical nuclear plant that I advocate, a Gen III EPR, a pressurized water reactor achieving a fuel burn up 55,000 MW-days per ton.   There are other types of reactors that might be better optimized to produce a nuclear weapon, but don't forget, my opponents contend that typical performance raises the risk of "nuclear terrorism."

Since the contention is that the NNMNP is raising the risk of nuclear terrorism, it follows that the weapon will be a plutonium based nuclear weapon and not a uranium based nuclear weapon.   Normally, for those who do not know, weapons grade plutonium contains plutonium that is at least 95% pure isotopically, consisting almost wholly of plutonium-239.   The plutonium in the NNMNP however, since it is commercial plutonium, will not be this type of plutonium, but will be reactor grade.   Its isotopic composition is given  in this link.  Please note that this composition while not weapons grade, can still be made into a nuclear weapon.   It will require more plutonium (e.g. a higher critical mass) for the terrorists to make a bomb than the 10 kg normally required, but it can be done.   Reactor grade plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons and the United States, for the purpose of verifying this, actually conducted a nuclear test in 1962 to prove this.   However the bomb while it worked, fizzled to some extent, and gave a low yield.

I have discussed in another diary entry the similar North Korean nuclear bomb fizzle, called a "waste of plutonium."  

A fairly detailed discussion of some of the differences between reactor grade and weapons grade plutonium are explained in this link:   Yes, you can make a nuclear weapon with reactor grade plutonium.

According to the link, the critical mass of a nuclear weapon produced from reactor grade plutonium would be around 13 kg, as opposed to 10 kg for a sphere.

So you want 13 kg of plutonium from the NNMNP that you could make into a nuclear weapon.   Well drive on over to the plant.   You could of course apply for a visitor's pass to get into the plant, but you, being a terrorist, might have generated some security concerns.   I leave it to the reader to determine whether shooting your way in or trying to pull the wool over the security officials would be the best idea.

Next you have to get to the fuel.   How much fuel?  Well, typically spent nuclear fuel contains about 1 to 2% plutonium, the bulk of the remaining material being unchanged uranium and a hell of a lot of highly radioactive fission products that generate a fair amount of heat and gamma radiation.   If the fuel contains 2% plutonium, you're going to need a minimum of 650 kg of spent fuel, contained in its fuel assembly.   You will need, then at least a ton of fuel, minimally.

Did you bring in a forklift?   I hope so.

However your fork lift will need shielding as well, since the plutonium is contained with fission products.   You have to haul the shielding out with the fuel, and I don't think Tim McVeigh's Ryder Truck rental is going to be sufficient, especially because you don't want anyone to notice what you're up to.

Well let's say you get two tons of fuel out somehow.   Now what?

You have to dissolve the fuel, preferably in nitric acid.   You need many tons of nitric acid and some rather large shielded chemical reactors that are resistant to attack by nitric acid.   You also need a few tons of kerosene and some esoteric complexing agents, butyl phosphates and things like that.

OK.  Mission accomplished.   You've got to take your isolated plutonium and reduce it to metallic form.   Be careful, plutonium metal is pyrophorric and spontaneously bursts into flame when finely divided.   It also undergoes phase changes so be sure to remove the excess heat associated with that plutonium-238 contaminant.   Also, remember you have excess neutrons here and you don't want to go critical accidentally.

Oh, and by the way, the safe exposure time for this plutonium is about 1/10th as much as it is for weapons grade plutonium, so work fast.

Now you have to melt the plutonium into a lump of metal and machine it into a sphere.   Now, find yourself some moldable plastic explosives to induce implosion - no you can't buy them at Home Depot - and wire them with the timing you have calculated, and build the structure for transporting the bomb.

Now you have to deliver the bomb.

Although the entire nation of North Korea worked for years and managed a bomb - working in isolation from any authorities - that only yielded a bomb that was the equivalent of 1000 metric tons of TNT or less.  But you are much more clever than they are of course, and I'm going to assume that you have made a bomb that has a yield of 10 kt.   Why?  Because it's possible and "possible" is, apparently, exactly the same as "inevitable."

You are taking the bomb to New York, of course and detonating it downtown.  You rent your Ryder truck, and nobody notices all of your previous activities and you get it off.

Here are your results:

Blast pressure maps, New York City.

(Note:  You will have to plug in the yield of "10" kt, but since you are a bomb designer, and are scientifically sophisticated, you will have no problem doing that.)

Wow, you've done slightly more damage than the airplanes did in 2001, and released (gasp) radiation as well.   It was all so easy too.  You took out most of the structures in 9 sq. km (3.5 sq miles) of downtown Manhattan, and maybe killed 100,000 people as well.

Of course, if you wanted to destroy this amount of Manhattan, and kill way more people, you could have, were you more lazy, just waited around for sea level rise to do the same thing.   However this sort of outcome is more certain and thus less impressive.    Everybody likes a go getter.

Speaking of risk, there is something called an "expectation value," which is the product of the number of persons or things likely to be effected by an event and the probability of that event occurring.

Climate change is now a certainty.  Look out your window one of these days.  (If you expect a nuclear blast out there, don't look directly at the flash.)  Climate change will affect everyone now living.

Originally posted to NNadir on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:21 PM PST.


Are you considering a career in nuclear terrorism?

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Comment Preferences

    •  Interesting diary... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but I do think it's a straw man to some extent.  I don't think anyone believes that the threat of nuclear terrorism is chiefly that some blogger will gain access to plutonium and replicate the highly sensitive process of weaponizing it.  The threat as I've heard it articulated is that a lost or stolen weapon manufactured by a rogue nuclear nation will find its way into the hands of a terrorist, which I think is infinitely more possible.  The A.Q. Khan story evidences as much.

      I don't lose sleep over it, but it's not as preposterous as you attempt to make it sound here.

      Say hello to my little subpoena!

      by The Termite on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:41:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, but Khan is a weapons scientist. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plutonium Page, wonmug, abbeysbooks

        I have not said that building nuclear power plants will disinvent nuclear weapons or suddenly tranform the world's uranium ores into ores than cannot either in theory or practice be made into nuclear weapons.

        I have said that the use of nuclear power does not do much to increase the probability of nuclear terrorism.   The contrary position is another absurd contention of those who oppose nuclear power.   People who oppose nuclear power in my view are people who insist on raising the risk of climate change.

        It happens that the only valid route to nuclear disarmament, which I support whole heartedly, is by lowering the ease through which nuclear weapons can be made.   It is therefore essential to change the isotopic composition of both plutonium and even uranium that has been isolated.

  •  I think you meant... (0+ / 0-)

    ...10,000 KT, not 10,000 MT.

    10,000 megatons would leave a flooded crater that encompassed all NYC bouroughs.

    Say hello to my little subpoena!

    by The Termite on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:35:36 PM PST

  •  Mont Blanc, Halifax Harbor, WWI. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, The Termite

    Look it up. That showed what an exploding ship in the harbor can do to a city.

    Just one more cargo container on a freighter...

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

    by Loboguara on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:37:04 PM PST

    •  Sorry, I make a distinction between what is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ignorant bystander

      probable and what is possible.   I object to the notion that merely contemplating the issue is the same as saying that it is likely.

      I have no doubt that someone putting a nuclear weapon on a ship "could" do considerable damage to a harbor.   That it has not happened may be a function of the fact that it is not really easy to make or possess nuclear weapons.

      By the way a similar event took place during the US Civil War and it was perpetrated by terrorists, Confederate agents.

      I favor banning gun powder weapons, and for that matter, nuclear weapons.  

      •  I don't think that anyone thinks it's "easy" (0+ / 0-)

        Especially to make them.

        I just think you're doing a bit of "look over here!" in ridiculing the concern while ignoring the fact that Pakistan -- a country I confess to trusting about as far as I can throw it -- has nuclear weapons and feels quite ambivalent about the United States.

        Say hello to my little subpoena!

        by The Termite on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:47:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um... (0+ / 0-)

        I favor banning gun powder weapons

        Theft, rape and murder are banned, too, y'know.

        It...doesn't exactly stop it from happening. Criminals and dictators tend to ignore laws.

        "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

        by Loboguara on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:17:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

    you are bad. Stop makin' sense.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:41:59 PM PST

  •  'spent' nuclear fuel = euphemism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    emphasis added:

    "typically spent nuclear fuel contains about 1 to 2% plutonium, the bulk of the remaining material being unchanged uranium and a hell of a lot of highly radioactive fission products that generate a fair amount of heat and gamma radiation"

    — NNadir


    Highly radioactive wastes include solid irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies (euphemistically called "spent" or "used" by the industry that creates them) and liquid high-level radioactive wastes resulting from the "reprocessing" (extraction of fissile plutonium and uranium) of solid irradiated fuel rods. The vast majority of highly radioactive wastes generated in the U.S. come from commercial nuclear power reactors.

    Irradiated nuclear fuel rods discharged from commercial nuclear power plants are highly radioactive, a million times more so than when they were first loaded into a reactor core as "fresh" fuel. If unshielded, irradiated nuclear fuel just removed from a reactor core could deliver a lethal dose of radiation to a person standing three feet away in just seconds. Even after decades of radioactive decay, a few minutes unshielded exposure could deliver a lethal dose. Certain radioactive elements (such as plutonium-239) in "spent" fuel will remain hazardous to humans and other living beings for hundreds of thousands of years. Other radioisotopes will remain hazardous for millions of years. Thus, these wastes must be shielded for centuries and isolated from the living environment for hundreds of millenia.

    Highly radioactive wastes are dangerous and deadly wherever they are, whether stored at reactor sites (indoors in pools or outdoors in dry casks); transported on the roads, rails, or waterways; or dumped on Native American lands out West.

    Nuclear Information and Resource Service

    No nukes is good nukes


  •  Will you need to link this dumb website for (0+ / 0-)

    every one of my diary entries?

    If so I will need to repeat that it is an evocation of vast ignorance and poor thinking.

    •  Who are you addressing? (0+ / 0-)

      Say hello to my little subpoena!

      by The Termite on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:47:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Peace voter. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Termite

        Every day he or she links the same "highly radioactive dangerous..." blah, blah, blah website.

        I clicked on the wrong post.  

          •  Yeah, I think I told you this site was stupid (0+ / 0-)


            Here it is today, all the same.  

            Are you going to answer my question about whether or not you think that the disposal of fossil fuel waste into the atmosphere is acceptable?

            Here is the question I asked you after answering fully your loaded questions - all of which were silly and easily dismissed - yesterday.

            Now that I have answered all of your questions, I am going to ask you a question and hopefully you will answer it:   Do you think the policy for the storage of dangerous fossil fuel wastes - dumping them into the atmosphere and seas without restriction - is working?

            In response to this obvious question you offered me this dumb link which does not answer my question at all.

            Here is the diary entry where you offered remarks that were as useless as your remarks are today:

            Answers to your (loaded and silly) questions.

            •  so... (0+ / 0-)

              in your world two days in a row equals "everyday".

              You write that while scoffing at Greenpeace and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service.  Do you also hold the Committee to Bridge the Gap in such low regard?

              I didn't answer your questions yesterday because you and your friends drove me away with your arrogance and hostility.  I checked out your diary yesterday because someone I respect had recommended your writing - sheesh - I felt like I had fallen into a den of venemous vipers.  Not fun - not productive - and unfortunately not any different from what I have been witnessing for years.

              You, however, continue to churn out your pro-nuke diaries. Assisted by a pro-nuke chorus. Some might actually get the impression that nuclear power is a viable option and that those of us advocating clean, safe, sustainable options are laboring under an unrealistic fantasy.


              •  Look (0+ / 0-)

                I'm a Greenpeace activist, and NNadir hates us, but I'm willing to meet him in the middle when it comes to nuclear disarmament.  That's at the very top of my list of priorities in the world.

                If we can make progress there, we can compromise on nuclear power, and that's paramount.

                In other words, NNadir is on our side when it comes to bomb disassembly and non-proliferation, and we must be able to have substantive discussions with each other.

                I'm committed to that, after being an ass to him on various occasions.  I'm not very happy with myself there.

                < / navel-gazing >

                NNadir, drop me an e-mail, like I said.

                And now I must go brave the homicidal Albuquerque drivers.

                I'm on the wrong side of humanity.

                by Page van der Linden on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:47:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I hold all people advancing Greenpeace type (0+ / 0-)

                arguments in pure contempt.   So yes, if you need it stated explicitly, I hold your new Committee in contempt.

                I make no secret of it, since I regard the anti-nuclear power position as murder, since climate change and air pollution are both real, and not imagined events like planes crashing into nuclear power plants or someone actually being injured at some point by the storage of spent nuclear fuel.

                Your attempt to place nuclear risks in isolation from infinitely more serious risks does not obscure the fact that you are either incompetent or unwilling to answer my question.   You are hiding from offering the answer because you have no answer.  You are playing a game of pretend.

                If you are to enter my diaries and engage in discussion with me, you should be aware that I am in no way affected by whining and crying.   I am a rationalist and not anybody's Mommy.

                And yes, I am arrogant.  What of it?

                I am very hostile to ignorance.   I always have been and I always will be.

                •  Is what you just said rational? (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you know anything about the Committee to Bridge the Gap?

                  I'm not hiding anything - And quite frankly I've wasted far too much time here today.

                  Thanks for the assignment - I may get to it. If I can find the time.  But I must tell you that I am not inclined to try to have a discussion in such a hostile environment.


                  •  It is completely rational. (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't think you're in any better a position to discuss rationality than you are in to discuss energy wastes.

                    •  have you ever considered (0+ / 0-)

                      that you may be mistaken?

                      I probably know more about nuclear waste disposal than 99% of the people who post here.


                      •  No. I am not wrong. And no you do not know... (0+ / 0-)

                        anything at all about spent nuclear fuel.   I have direct experience with many thousands of people who can discuss spent nuclear fuel intelligently and I assure you that you do not know more than 99% of them.   You are not even close.

                        I am right because I have devoted decades of intense and difficult evaluation.  I for instance am aware of why the study of the stability of plutonium hexafluoride might include an relativistic hartree-fock type calculation and you have no idea whatsoever what this means.

                        Now it happens I could be wrong about the scientific details of plutonium chemistry, for instance the oxidation state connected with migration (at mm per year) in a vadose zone, but I am not wrong about the general case that plutonium produced in industrial nuclear power plants will ever be as dangerous as sitting on your ass while the world burns increasing amounts of coal.

                        I have been studying this issue on a highly technical level, including extensive reading of the primary scientific literature.   You have been googling your way to websites recommended by other people who know as little as you do.  Your self congratulatory remarks aside, I do not consider "knowledge" to consist of googling one's way to web sites designed to validate preconceived notions.

                        Now, have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong about the advisabilty of laying all life on this planet on an unsupportable fantasy about renewable energy?

                        No?  You haven't?  

                        Why am I in no way surprised?

                        You may think that this conversation about the wonders of renewable energy is new and original but it isn't.   The failure of renewable energy to reduce the quantity of fossil fuels burned is more than 5 decades old.

                        You are full of shit.

                        Oh yeah, Peace.

                        •  did you read my post? (0+ / 0-)
                          I wrote:

                          I probably know more about nuclear waste disposal than 99% of the people who post here.

                          you responded:

                          " I have direct experience with many thousands of people who can discuss spent nuclear fuel intelligently and I assure you that you do not know more than 99% of them. You are not even close."

                          do you see your mistake?

                          I did not claim to know more about nuclear waste than the thousands of people with whom you've had direct experience. I wrote that I probably know more about nuclear waste disposal than 99% of the people who post here - here as it daily kos.  I wasn't congratulating myself about having spent years reading scientific reports, legislation, testimony, attending technical meetings, attending policy meetings and hearings, speaking with policy makers and scientists.  

                          My primary focus has been on the facility in Southern New Mexico for the disposal of plutonium contaminated nuclear weapons waste - I know a great deal about the flawed political/regulatory process that led to the opening of that facility.  I know a great deal about the hydrology and geology of the site - I know a great deal about the inadequate tests used to certify the containers for transport of  that waste.  As I said my primary focus has been on WIPP,  but my knowledge is not limited to the things  I've listed.  

                          If you feel compelled to continue to tell me what I know and what I've thought about - you may be wrong again.


                          •  Except that I observe that you don't know (0+ / 0-)

                            more than 99% of the people I read at DKos either.

                            My opinion is formulated on what I do know.

                            But OK, you say know all about the hydrology of the plutonium disposal site in New Mexico.   You are perfectly free to produce technical details at any time.

                            You could produce technical details about the tests about which you are making claims for instance.

                            Let's start with a quiz, since you are asserting expert status about the geochemical behavior of plutonium.

                            What is the most common oxidation state of plutonium in when adsorbed on to particulates in the presence of oxygenated water?   What is the oxidation state of plutonium when it is solvated?

                            What do you know about the distribution coefficients for the various oxidation states.

                            The migration of plutonium has been experimentally observed in the vadose zone at the Savannah River Site under 11 years of natural rainfall and reported in the scientific literature.    Based on your attendance at all of the functions you describe, which I'm sure involved a consideration of risk, how far do you estimate the plutonium migrated in that period?   Please estimate to a first approximation, the farthest distance traveled at which any was detectable, and the distance traveled by 95% of the material.

                            Based on your experience with plutonium geochemistry, what form of plutonium would you expect to migrate the fastest?   In what form would you expect it to migrate the most slowly?

                            Finally you assert that "inadquate" tests were used to evaluate the site - presumably you are talking about the WIPP site.   Give us some technical details of the alledged inadequacies so that we can determine if, in fact, you know anything about what the tests are supposed to measure.

                            Finally, what special features of the area of the WIPP area indicate that there will be a single loss of life in association with this facility.   When would you expect the first fatality and when would you predict the second?

            •  Answer (0+ / 0-)

                Do you think the policy for the storage of dangerous fossil fuel wastes - dumping them into the atmosphere and seas without restriction - is working?

              — NNadir

              No I don't think the policy is working - I do not agree that it follows that because that policy is not working that we are compelled to develop more nuclear power generators or face environmental catastrophy.  


              •  Oh. What a surprise. You don't think... (0+ / 0-)

                ...that dumping dangerous fossil fuel wastes into the atmosphere is a good idea.

                Well that's a start.   I'm very happy to learn that because I had an extremely strong impression that you somehow thought that transporting a container of spent nuclear fuel on a truck or a ship was far more dangerous than dumping 27 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

                In any case, you don't like nuclear power plants, because you've googled your way to lots of websites that are identical with the Greenpeace website.

                Why don't we stroll over there together, to the Greenpeace website, since now we're such good friends.   Would you mind if I lead us to a particular page there?

                Wind power can produce one third of our electricity by 2050.


                Look at that!   That is so impressive.   All of the references are links to the wind industry, but who cares?   It's all so wonderful.   I'll probably sleep better tonight.

                One third of electricity by 2050.  I'm so relieved.

                I don't mean to be rude or less than perfectly supportive, but is it official Greenpeace policy to assume that climate change will become a problem 43 years from now?

                I kind of thought it was a problem ten years ago.   In fact 15 years ago, a fellow named Al Gore - maybe you've heard of him - wrote a book called "Earth in Balance" that said that climate change was a problem.

                One more thing, since you are opposed to the indiscriminate dumping of billions of tons of fossil fuel waste into the atmosphere, um, well, I hate to be rude, but where the fuck is the other 70% of the electricity supposed to come from?

                You keep trying to represent that you have a program for banning fossil fuels.   You don't.   In case you haven't figured it out over there at Greenpeace, the growth of renewable energy production is not even keeping pace with the growth of consumption.   In fact, if you look at the Greenpeace website, they tell you that the matter requires less than one-third of a solution.  How realistic!   How encouraging!

                Maybe you think I should trust the lives of my family to your Greenpeace links.

                •  I haven't studied the greenpeace site (0+ / 0-)
                  so I won't attempt to defend it

                  "I don't mean to be rude or less than perfectly supportive"

                  — NNadir

                  there you go - joking again

                  I guess all those thousands of  folks who said that you have no sense of humor, don't know you very well.

                  You may know that there have been great advances in battery technology  - Solar, wind and tidal energy are the future - and once we redirect our resources and our focus on clean, sustainable, renewable energy sources there will undoubtedly be more discoveries and break-throughs.  

                  The petrolem/coal and nuclear industries have had far too great an influence on energy policy in this country - it's time that we stop subsidizing  big energy.


  •  Bookmarked, hotlisted, and recommended (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Termite, Drocket

    Also, if you can get hold of a copy, check out the November/December 2006 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  It has a great article on nuclear terrorism and the little problem we have with securing nuclear materials.

    I wish it was available online.  It's one of the better articles I've read on the topic.

    I'm on the wrong side of humanity.

    by Page van der Linden on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:52:45 PM PST

  •  Nuclear Power Plants are vulnerable (0+ / 0-)

    "Nuclear power stations are vulnerable to terrorist attack. Maps of Britain's most nuclear sites were reportedly found in the boot of a car linked to the July 2005 London bombers. A terrorist strike on the storage tanks holding dangerous liquid high-level radioactive waste at Sellafield has the potential to kill over two million people."



    "I would be intellectually embarrassed if I ever had anything to do with Greenpeace.   It is an organization for promoting ignorance.


    no nukes is good nukes


    •  Nuclear power is our way out of global warming... (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:

      It's our ONLY chance. No CO2, no burning coal or oil.

      You can't be against nuclear power and for the environment, or you're contradicting yourself. At the moment, it's the only solution for the real non-hippie world.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

      by Loboguara on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:20:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is what the nuclear power industry desperately wants us to believe.


      •  you are 100% (0+ / 0-)

        if want to continue to be greedy, soulsucking creatures.

        Yup ..

        Like Bush said, "Let's show those terrorists they have not won - GO SHOPPING".

        'Not a Call for Impeachment'
        Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
        If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

        by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:24:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then what's your solution? (0+ / 0-)

          REALISTIC solution, mind you. American society is not going to turn to solar panels, once-weekly showers and growing hemp.

          "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

          by Loboguara on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 06:41:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  nah, (0+ / 0-)

            let's stay the fucking course and see what happens.

            'Not a Call for Impeachment'
            Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
            If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

            by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:09:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, you'd provide a solution. (0+ / 0-)

              Kicking down other people's ideas is easy.

              But you have to offer your own constructive solution, or it's just petulant.

              "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

              by Loboguara on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:33:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  you started the bullshit with the (0+ / 0-)

                'hippie crap', so go figure it out for yourself.

                I'm sure you don't give fuck about anything except your own comfort, anyway. God forbid you'd have to give up something.

                Progressive? My ass.

                You aren't worth spending another second typing to.

                I'm fucking done.  

                'Not a Call for Impeachment'
                Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
                If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

                by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:55:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I figured. (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:

                  No solution, just ad hominems and profanity.

                  Profanity is the final retort of those with a weak argument. Can't back it up with anything, so they pull a Tourette's episode to "end" the argument.

                  Yes, you're quite done. Thanks for playing! Insert more pleasant vocabulary for a better score...and more respect next time.

                  "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

                  by Loboguara on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 08:58:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And shplk abuses the troll rating, yet! (0+ / 0-)

                    Can't even reply like an intelligent debater, just flairs and smacks trollrating on someone who calls them on five-year-old-attitude petulance.

                    Congratulations! Real winner, there!

                    (And just for the record, you may wish to consider switching affiliations, there. It's NEOCONS who excel at whining, foot-stomping, and throwing tantrums. Progressives generally live in the reality-based community, come up with real solutions, and discuss them without resorting to monkey-like excrement flinging. You fail.)

                    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

                    by Loboguara on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 07:40:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Plastique? (0+ / 0-)

    f you've been to the city of light - and let's be clear that the electricity generated for famous light is nuclear electricity - it is somewhat surprising, given the French passion for beauty and elegance, to see that their municipal litter receptacles are clear plastic bags hanging on a stick.

    Thse plastic bags are no match for a bomb.

    Plastic explosives will take care of them.....

    As far as the rest of your diary... well...

    I know you are all hip on Nuke Power and think those of us who are a bit skeptical of it are uneducated and backwards, but really, as was always my objection back in the old country, Nuke Power looks great on paper and the arguments for it are sterling.

    But capitalism encourages shortcuts and shoddiness and fingerpointing AFTER the fact.

    Nuke power is not like a few bees in a jar.

    I worry more about bad reactor construction (oh yes, we will use an HONEST construction company) than terrorism.

    Human beings, outside of NNAdir, are not yet technically ready to build everyhting they can conceive of. Sort of like "Ballistic missle defense" - it's a huge longshot.

    And yes I know - Chernobyl was a freak accident and 3 mile island was blown out of proportion.

    Nuke power has promise, to be certain, but I doubt it will be SAFE enough in my lifetime (I am 46).

    Good show, anyway, Mr. NNadir.

    •  Are you still advocating growing pot to fight (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx

      climate change?

      I haven't seen you since the old days over at SmirkingChimp.   How are you?   I hope you're well.

      Let's insult one another for old times sake... ;-)

      Oh, by the way, my views on nuclear energy have begun to prevail since then.   It seems pretty certain that there will be at least 60 exajoules of energy per year.

      Since the old days when I was "more out there," the nuclear phaseouts in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium have all been heaved on the waste heap of ignorance.   I feel vindicated.

      How's the fight against pot laws going?  Are you vindicated?  You know I don't believe in smoking pot but I hope you will also remember that I think you are right in the sense that the laws themselves suck worse than the drug.

      •  I'd welcome a good discussion... (0+ / 0-)

        ... about how to store the waste in the safest possible way.  I don't know much about that at all.  My only experience with waste "storage" was working with the horrible crap at the Hanford Site, and that's hardly a representative example of waste storage.

        On the topic of global warming, I'm on the verge of posting an irrational rant about politically correct "environmentalists" who insist on reproducing, naming their children Dillon, Justin, and Brie, and jumping into their huge-ass SUVs to go home and brag about how they recycle everything.

        That's the mood I'm in right now.

        But back to the topic at hand - I'm serious about a waste storage discussion.  Even if you and I don't agree on nuclear power, the discussion would be fun.

        I'm on the wrong side of humanity.

        by Page van der Linden on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:21:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am certainly willing to engage in this (0+ / 0-)


          Be forewarned however that while I fully acknowledge that Hanford is a complete mess, I do not regard it as the worst environmental disaster of all time.  

          In any case, Hanford, as you know, was a weapons plant and not a commercial facility.   It is also the place where many aspects of actinide and fission product chemistry were developed on the fly, in a great hurry, with little advance knowledge of the best approaches.   For instance, nobody uses bismuth phosphate to isolate plutonium any more, but once they did, and the Hanford tanks are a legacy of that time.

          Neither do I consider that spent nuclear fuel is properly called "nuclear waste."   Nor do I favor burying it.

          I have routine familiarity with the chemistry of practically every fission product and every actinide however, and please feel free to open the discussion in any way you choose.   We can have this discussion in this diary entry, but you may have allow for several days.

          •  Like I said, Hanford is a bad example (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            peace voter

            and I wouldn't wish a job working with that stuff on my worst enemy.  Their lab safety was almost non-existent when I worked there.  The chemistry was fascinating (I'm a chemist, and was doing research there), but that was the only fun part of the job.  You're a nerd, so you'll understand what I mean by "fun" ;-)  and "nerd" is a compliment, of course.

            My internet access is sucky over the next 5 days or so.  Maybe you could e-mail me the link if/when you post a diary about nuclear waste, because I might otherwise miss it.  In fact, an e-mail discussion would be great if you're interested.  I have some ideas about an environmental panel at YearlyKos, and I think your input would be good.  

            Incidentally, I'm within about 10 miles of one of the biggest nuclear weapons storage sites in the world.  I'm in Albuquerque, NM visiting my parents.

            I'm on the wrong side of humanity.

            by Page van der Linden on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:42:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK. Don't cause any of those weapons to (0+ / 0-)

              detonate.  I'd rather have access to the actinides for other purposes, as you may know.

              I know that you are an ex-Hanford Chemist, and I am very much interested in having a discussion with you, but I'd rather we do it publicly rather than privately, since this will be far more informative to all concerned.

              I am a chemist as well, although regrettably not a professional nuclear chemist, although if I had my career to do over, it's definitely where I'd go.

              I have radioiodinated proteins, but that's not exactly the same as handling metric ton quantities of uranium hexafluoride.

              I have commented already on some of my views about spent nuclear fuel in previous entries.

      •  Tis good to see you as well (0+ / 0-)

        I'll bypass the insults for now. Go see the new SC, if you haven't yet.

        Times change fast, it seems.

        I don't necessarily "advocate" cannabis plants for climate isues, but it's well known that green leafy plants are lungs for the planet. Fast-growing lungs, great for stabilizing

        And the "drug" is about as harmless as things get - even kittens sctratch people and their dander provokes allergies in some people. The laws are the issue, still.

        The fight against those laws is somewhat similar to your quest to educate people about nuclear power. Fighting ignoarnce, yes?

        And yeah, I do feel pretty vindicated - with a lot of room for further vindication....

        And my ignoarance concern about nuke power boils down to concerns about people's ability to deal with it effectively. You and Bughead had the math and "paper details" down, but nobody ever really addressed the potential shoddiness of construction. My guess that's a hollow concern as well, but I can imagine you might share my dim view of capitalists, their corner-cutting, and general slackness on crucial details.

        The GreenState Project: Putting the grass in the netroots.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:56:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the bullshit wars (0+ / 0-)

    C-SPAN recently aired a forum on the future of nuclear power.  Very interesting.  US nuclear power interests have invested millions of dollars in feasibility studies to build a new generation of nuclear power plants in this country.  The feasibility studies are required for the permit apllications which are the next step - as I recall there are plans for fourteen new plants - I could be mistaken about that number - but I think I'm close.

    The panelists spoke openly about the biggest obstacle to be  overcome prior to building new nuclear power plants in the US being the public's aversion to this form of energy generation.  They said that they believe that it will take about ten years of aggressive public relations campaigning to convince the American people to accept nuclear power.

    I don't think that anyone will dispute the fact that the nuclear energy industry has lots of money to fund such a public relations campaign.  Some of the money goes to fund the Nuclear Energy Institute:

    WASHINGTON, DC, April 24, 2006 (ENS) – The nuclear industry launched a new campaign on Monday to generate support for increased nuclear power, spearheaded by Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman.

    Environmental News Service

    Some of the money undoubtedly goes to create a positive perception about nuclear energy on blogs and in chat rooms. It would be naive to think that an industry with a huge budget money and an even bigger public perception problem would not have employess, consultants and/or independent contrators in places like daily kos.


    •  Well I am glad that the NEI has committed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      money to fight ignorance.  

      I think their efforts are marked by excellence and by direct appeal to scientific fact.

      I see them as a sort of "Planned Parenthood" for fighting climate change.

      I certainly support their efforts and I would happily work for them since they are working for an excellent cause.

      I don't happen to think much of Patrick Moore though.   Why anyone would advance the notion that having anything to do with the illiterates at Greenpeace would extend in some way environmental credibility is something of a huge mystery.

  •  Vulnerabilities & Solutions (0+ / 0-)

    You can view the Committee to Bridge the Gap video narrated by Martin Sheen  

    Find more info at Committee to Bridge the Gap


  •  The real threat: Indian Point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The real threat to NYC, in my mind, is if terrorists wait for a day with southernly winds and drive a Cessna full of plastic explosives into the Indian Point nuclear power plant fairly near NYC. Plant goes into meltdown, radiation everywhere.

    I would really like to hear a response minimizing this as a threat, I do worry about it a little bit.

    I dont think the risk of stolen uranium from power plants in the first world is really near the top of many people's lists. Kind of a strawman argument.

    •  I question that (0+ / 0-)

      unfortunately I can't find a link in the little time I've got, but I remember reading a study that showed that light aircraft don't have sufficient lifting capability to carry enough explosives to do that sort of damage.  Hitting the reactor building with a large jetliner might do the job, there's a lot more energy in that. Using a light aircraft carrying a low yield nuke would work, but if you have that why bother with the reactor?

      An attack on the storage pools for spent fuel rods is more of a concern, although retrofitting it with emergancy cooling facilities should greatly reduce that risk.

    •  indeed why go to all the trouble when (0+ / 0-)

      that is needed to create similar {granted less specatacular destruction, no fireball, no blast overpressure} is to breach the containment vessel at Indian Point, or any nearby nuclear reactor?

      Breaching the containment vessel can be done with a series of Tim McVeighs' Ryder trucks, or a commandeered large commercial jetliner. Both of these are capable of breaking through - most containment vessels are designed to handle a direct impact of a small plane, traveling at a few hundred MPH. Perhaps your concept of loading the plane with some HE might change the equation a bit. I'm not a PE, but you may be correct on that one.

      But even though I'm not a PE, I'd say few if any containment vessels will survive a 737/757 direct impact at 400+MPH. And if that first Ryder truck doesn't totally break through the protection, what says you can't have two or three, and try them sequentially? It would take only a few minutes to try again, too late for any additional protection to arrive.

      Or, worse yet, one of the suitcase nukes the Russians seem to be missing about 100 of: imagine that being detonated inside any nuclear reactor.  

      The nuclear industry is a nightmare waiting to happen. It could happen at any one of over 100 US commercial plants, or at dozens of more lightly protected university or research reactors.  

      'Not a Call for Impeachment'
      Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
      If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

      by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:06:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am sorry, but I did fail in my post below (0+ / 0-)

      minimizing that as a threat. I think about this type of thing happening, everyday - and I live in NH, far away from Indian Point {far enough so that I can pack up and get the hell out if need it be, too}.

      'Not a Call for Impeachment'
      Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
      If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

      by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:20:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Way too much paranoia (0+ / 0-)

    Hell, McVeigh proved it was far easier to do significant damage with improvised explosives.

    Given the amount of conventional explosives around and other options which  I will not detail, the fact that something else has NOT happened says more about how minimal this threat really is - instead of how effective we've been at preventing "terrorism"

    Hell a disgruntled Con Ed worker had NYC terrorized for months in the 50's blowing up bombs all over the place.

    Remember Kazinski?

    •  paranoia (0+ / 0-)

      I think maybe it shows how few people out there really interested in perpetrating terrorist acts not in the prevention. If its so easy couldn't you and I and up and do this at any point? There is no reason to suspect me so no one is watching.

      Ive always felt those few committed to sacrificing their lives in the attempt to set off a terrorist attack are undeterrable and difficult to catch apart from at the border. Those that fund them are where we need to concentrate our efforts- the middle class 'hearts and minds' of the middle east who knowingly contribute to bogus charities.

  •  Just Go To The Reactor With $500K in a Duffel Bag (0+ / 0-)


    This actually happened in PA. The guy had $500K in small bills. he claimed not to know what was in the bag, could not produce ID, but they let him go and eventually returned the cash to him!

    Considering that there was a recent case where the cops siezed $120K based on no evidence whatsoever,
    the Pennsylvania case sounds like some sort of CIA black ops gone wrong.

  •  Actually it is outlined in (0+ / 0-)

    Ted xxxxxxxxx The Curve of Binding Energy the man who miniaturized the A bomb. He tells just where in the World Trade Center you put the little suitcase bomb to blow it up.

    •  When the first WTC attack happened, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I remember Ted Taylor wrote an article that he feared upon first report a small suitcase nuke was detonated there.

      This concept of those missing suitcases goes back a long time. Of course, some say they need to be 'maintained', or they fail to work after a while.

      I certainly hope they are right about that.  

      'Not a Call for Impeachment'
      Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
      If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

      by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:17:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I read it in his book (0+ / 0-)

        I remember thinking why did you explain how to do it asshole? Now someone will just go do it. That was in the 70's I was thinking about terrorists.

        But then I am clairvoyant. It's not hard these days.

  •  The reactor vessels I outlined below, in response (0+ / 0-)

    to a post. The facts are, large vulnerable sections of American power industry are easy targets for a person with tracer ammo and a high powered rifle.

    In South Boston, and in every major metro area, there are huge tanks of pressurized LNG which sit, every day. There are huge chemical facilities with tons of highly toxic chemicals, and unprotected repositories of nuclear waste in dozens if not hundreds of locations.

    The facts are, quite simply that the nuclear power industry is run just like the Bush administration is.
    People have been FIRED FOR FALLING ASLEEP AT THE SWITCH in their jobs protecting and operating nuclear power plants. Feel better now?

    Nice try, with the conflation and huge Overton window you tried to open and shove us all through.

    Better luck next time.  

    'Not a Call for Impeachment'
    Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
    If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

    by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:13:56 PM PST

    •  Many of these risks are really acceptable losses (0+ / 0-)

      A compressed LNG tank gets hit and <100 people die- its a reason to perhaps make political decisions whereby people no longer want to kill our civilians, but its not a catastrophe.</p>

      When you start talking about the fallout from attacks creating set piece dirty bombs near major metropolitan areas like Indian Point I begin to really worry.

      And what do we do if this does happen? How do we strike back at Al Qaeda? How would raining fire on sparsely inhabited mountain ranges in Afghanistan be effective if this were to come to pass?

      •  lol (0+ / 0-)

        the tanks I am talking about in Boston are enough to flatten most of the metro area.

        They hold the equivalent of at least thousands of tons of TNT. One newspaper said the equivalent of 5M tons of TNT, but I won't use that.

        "Acceptable losses."


        'Not a Call for Impeachment'
        Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
        If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

        by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 06:03:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  less than acceptable (0+ / 0-)

          Ah, I was thinking of those bus size tanks you see behind service stations. I dont know anything about the tanks you are referring to, nor how easy they would be to detonate.

          Acceptable losses: its an important concept in this discussion. Its easy but rare for people to blow things up and hurt others. Im ok with the risk of the lunatic fringe acquiring conventional weapons- highly unlikely to die that way. With unconventional ones where a single strike can take out a city I get downright paranoid.

    •  And this alleged risk from a rifle compares to (0+ / 0-)

      the risk of climate change how?

      Suppose that it really was possible to destroy a nuclear plant with a rifle - not that anyone has ever done so in spite of all kinds of nonsensical descriptions of how easy it is - how are you certain that the event would lead to the wholesale distribution of the entire inventory of radioactivity?

      Is it your contention that all of the world's nuclear power plants will be destroyed simultaneously with rifles?   How many megacuries of radioistopes will this magical bullet drag along with it?  What are you estimating, 2 tons of plutonium?   Five hundred kilos of technetium?

      Worse than Chernobyl, where the entire inventory of the reactor was released over more than two weeks of volatilization in a graphite fire?   Is there some special mystical reason that the bullet will not only go through a meter of steel reinforced concrete and also the steel pressure vessel?

      How would this compare to the effect of completely destroying earth's atmosphere with carbon dioxide?

      Is the fact that you have imagined something minimizes the risk of something that is actually occurring constantly.

      How many people do you estimate can be killed by piercing a containment building with a bullet?

      I contend that billions of lives are at risk from climate change.   Is there some reason that your scenario is more frightening than mine?

      Your scenario is not occurring today as I write.  My scenario on the other hand, is occurring, not that you seem to notice.

      One of the least morally supportable anti-nuclear arguments is one that elevates a mere possibility in the imagination of the debater over a reality.

      All of the world's major glaciers, the source of many of the rivers on which earth's people depend for food and sustenance, are disappearing.   I think that's more fucking real than your off hand characterization of nuclear professionals - many of whom have had to spend long hours mastering subjects like neutron diffusion theory, thermal hydraulics, and nuclear physics - as the equivalent as members of the Bush administration.

      In spite of your contention - which is probably just hearsay - about someone sleeping at the job at a nuclear power plant, all of the collective nuclear plants in the United States - more than 100 - has resulted in as much death and destruction as a single large coal plant.    Since they do operate so well when people are - if you are to be believed - asleep at them, they must be pretty damn safe.

      Your remarks are irrational and totally grounded in your imagination.  

      Maybe you should watch Al Gore's movie to find out something about the potential of global climate change.  It couldn't hurt and it may help.

      Mind you, I think Al Gore minimized the risks, but if he wants to be President he can't be a total downer.  

      •  wow (0+ / 0-)

        I am talking about LNG holding vessels and rifles, and you conflate what I type to something else entirely.  

        You really have no idea what I typed I guess.
        Don't trouble yourself, I don't want to be a bother.

        This is a pointless.

        Time to move on.

        'Not a Call for Impeachment'
        Simply: Truth.Justice. Reconciliation.
        If Impeachment comes by way of Justice being served, so be it.

        by shpilk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 06:11:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh. Mea Culpa. (0+ / 0-)

          I probably got excited when reading the part about the nuclear industry being run like the Bush administration.

          I tend to scan when reading light stuff, picking out particular phrases to garner the meaning.   This allows me to sort through a great deal of material in a short time.  Only when it's extremely interesting or important, do I slow down for the details.   Occassionally I miscontrue the point.  I see that I missed something here.  

          Of course gas facilities do explode from time to time, but no one ever remembers them.  In order to be memorable, an energy accident seems to need to involve something radioactive.

          I'm not used to people pointing out that natural gas is an extremely dangerous fuel, which by the way, it is.   Mostly people ignore its dangers, which is why most of the electrical generation built around the world in the last decade has involved natural gas.

      •  wtf (0+ / 0-)

        Agreed shpilk im out too.

        The need to prevent global warming is important, but NNadir you are talking about a slow ecological change and its impact on mankind.

        We are talking about weak links in the way energy is created and stored in the US. Your argument would seem to entail that even if Indian Point was somehow compromised and it destroyed NYC its still a net gain in lives saved. Why dont you lead with that first so I know you are a little unhinged in your thinking.

        Your original post was a bizzare straw man argument that no one is proposing. I pointed out the real danger of nuclear plants near NYC that already exists and you never responded. Why go through the effort if you dont really care if the plants are repurposed as weapons?

        •  Really? No one is proposing that nuclear power is (0+ / 0-)

          linked to nuclear weapons?  

          It's a "straw man argument" that no one is takes seriously?

          Here is a blurb from the Nuclear Control Institute:

          <For a finished implosion device using a crude design, terrorists would need something like a critical mass of uranium (U) or plutonium (Pu) or, possibly, UO2 (uranium oxide) or Pu02 (plutonium oxide). For a gun type device, substantially more than a critical mass of uranium is needed, and plutonium cannot be used. It may be assumed that the terrorists would have acquired (or plan to acquire) such an amount either in the form of oxide powder (such as might be found in a fuel fabrication plant), in the form of finished fuel elements for a reactor---whether power, research, or breeder--- [b]or as spent fuel.[/b]</p>

          For a small, sophisticated design, the terrorists may need a similar amount of fissile material since practically all the presumed reductions in size and weight have to be taken from the assembly mechanism, and, with a less powerful assembly, not only will it be important to have the active material in its most effective form, but its amount will have to be sufficient to achieve supercriticality. Alternatively, a smaller amount could be used in a sophis ticated design with a more powerful and heavier assembly mechanism.

          Conceivably oxide powder might be used as is, although terrorists might choose to go through the chemical operation of reducing it to metal. Such a process would take a number of days and would require specialized equip ment and techniques, but these could certainly be within the reach of a dedicated technical team.

          NNadir Examines a Strawman.

          Bold is mine.

          I didn't have to google for 15 seconds to find my way to that blurb which comes from an anti-nuclear group.

          By the way, I don't think that I should stop worrying about climate change because you say it's a slow gradual change.

          You may think that I'm unhinged, but in fact your "slow gradual change" is widely acknowledged by many people to involve the destruction of a great many cities, including parts of New York.    

          Your contention that it is more likely that New York will be destroyed by Indian Point is completely without merit.

          For the record, a major nuclear reactor at the end of its fuel cycle has already released its entire inventory of radioactive materials to the environment.

          That reactor - maybe you heard of it, it was in a place called Chernobyl - was about 100 km from the city of Kiev, which has 2.6 million inhabitants.

          The Wiped Out City of Kiev.

          Indian Point, which unlike a coal plant has killed zero people in spite of many representations by you and your friends that it might do so - is about 2/3 of the distance from mid-town Manhattan.   Moreover, Indian point does not have a graphite core, and you have zero evidence that the containment building can be breached and zero evidence that if it were breached that it would distribute its inventory of nuclides as far as Chernobyl did at Kiev.

          Meanwhile you assert that I am ignoring the possibility that New York will be wiped out.   I contend that you are ignoring the possibility that the nation of Bangladesh will lose 100 million people from climate change.   In fact several islands in Bangladesh disappeared last week.


          Not in theory but in practice.   The island of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people has disappeared below the sea.

          Maybe you didn't hear about these 70,000 climate change refugees.

          Do you have any idea of how many people died in New York City last year from air pollution?   Do you care?   Let me tell you, it's several Chernobyls a week.

          I'm sure I'm unhinged with respect to you, even though I can show what the results of a failed nuclear reactor is, and you choose to ignore this data.   Let me assure you that if you are looking for validation - either for your claims that Indian Point is a serious threat compared to the threat of climate change or that climate change is a small gradual matter - you don't want to read any of my diary entries.   You will find them to be as insane as I regard your response to be.

          Yes, if you insist, there is no way that the destruction of Indian Point - which is the subject of nonsensical speculation - can be as dangerous as climate change.

  •  From what I've read here and there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    new nuclear power plants might best be done as 'farms'.

    Several reactors, a mix of Pu burners and U/Th breeders. This puts the source and consumer of Pu in the same location.

    On site storage and fuel reprocessing, to avoid shipping spend and new fuel around. High level was stays on the farm util it cools some; and there'll be less of it because the Pu is being recycled and burned.

    Earthen berms around the reactors, storage ponds, and other critical areas, to reduce the threat of kinetic impact attacks.

    Possible using neutron flux from a reactor to burn some of the high level but nut fuel-useful isotopes in the waste remaining after fuel recycling.

    Stop being so US-stand-alone centered and put the facilities under IAEA watch, so as to show it's not being used for weapons production.

    This would be a fairly large footprint facility, perhaps difficult to build in the vicinity of large metropolitan centers.  But still, this would seem to  address some concerns about nuclear power production, giving us the short to mid-term solutions needed.  Stop burying Pu and shooting DU at people, turn `em into energy.

    •  I believe that all nuclear plants should operate (0+ / 0-)

      under international regulatory authority.

      The ideas about reactor mixes are also good ones.

      •  You know some in the US would scream (0+ / 0-)

        about furrin intervention. But a strong President, with Congressional backing, could sell the concept on "demonstration that the US was a peace loving nation, we are not afraid to let the world confirm this."  It might take someone with a string military background to pull it off, but I think it could be done.

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