Consumer Energy Report is now Energy Trends Insider -- Read More »

By Robert Rapier on Mar 17, 2011 with 483 responses

How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?

A Plan to Phase Out “Dirty” Energy

After the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, someone said to me “We have to stop all offshore drilling.” My response was that I could get behind that idea, but I wanted to know what sacrifices the person was willing to make. That turned out to be the end of the conversation, because usually the people campaigning against these sorts of things believe that the consequences will be all good (no more oil spills) with no real downside (like less energy available). I can tell you with absolute certainty that we can live with no offshore drilling, but I can also tell you that the price of your fuel would be greater — and probably far greater — than it is today.

Nuclear power plants fill a need -- cheap energy -- that consumers demand. Are you willing to give it up?

I believe that the reason we have so much “dirty” energy is that we demand cheap energy. I spoke to a reporter in Japan this week about the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and he said he couldn’t help but notice that despite some rolling blackouts now, Japan remains very much a country with all of the lights on.

Root Cause: Consumers Demand Cheap, Abundant Energy

This gets right to the heart of why we have nuclear power: We demand cheap energy; energy so cheap that we can afford to leave all of the lights in the house on all day long. Both coal and nuclear-generated electricity are viewed as cheap relative to many other options — admittedly debatable given charges of government subsidies and the occasional environmental calamity — as well as reliable (again, environmental calamities notwithstanding).

My response to the reporter was that I love lobster, but I rarely eat it because it is so expensive. If they served $2 lobster at McDonalds, we would all consume much more lobster and of course the supply of lobsters would be under pressure. If we all demanded cheap lobster and got angry when our lobsters became more expensive, politicians would work to give us what we want lest they be voted out of office. We would see all sorts of lobster-related subsidies designed to bring us all cheap lobsters (which have to be paid through taxes and/or deficit spending). Consequences of our cheap lobster demands — higher deficits and possibly no more lobsters — would be pushed onto another generation.

Nuclear's share of electricity net generation jumped from just 5% in the early 1970's to roughly 20% by the late 1980's and has remained there ever since.

This of course describes our energy dilemma. We demand cheap energy. Politicians recognize that, so they strive to deliver cheap energy or they lose their jobs. When energy prices go up, finger-pointing and congressional hearings follow. And at the end of the day, it means that our energy usage is so high that we “need” offshore drilling, tar sands, nuclear power, and coal power. It is a self-sustaining cycle that diminishes resources and potentially spoils the environment for future generations.

Forcing a Change Begins With “Us” Modifying Our Habits

Instead of being part of that cycle, I wish more politicians would have the guts to stand up and say “Enough! We have to break this cycle.” The problem is that many of them have idealistic views that renewable energy can step up and fill the gap if we had no nuclear power or offshore drilling. I confess that I have an idealistic streak within me, but I am mostly a realist. I understand why nuclear power rather than solar power fills a third of Japan’s electricity needs. It is all about the size of their electric bills and the convenience of having cheap electricity available around the clock.

Nuclear and fossil fuels accounted for nearly 90% of U.S. net electric power generation in 2009.

Albert Einstein reportedly once said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” If we are to do without nuclear power, the way to lessen our dependence on it is to change our mindset on cheap energy. We just need to make electricity expensive enough that people don’t leave all their lights on all day long. It is as simple as that. And we could accomplish that without further burdening consumers already struggling with high energy prices.

Shifting the Tax Burden

Imagine a family whose income is $50,000 per year, pays $10,000 per year in income taxes, spends $2,500 on gasoline, and $2,500 on electricity. I would propose to shift their tax burden from income to energy so that it ultimately ends up something like this: $5,000 in income taxes, $2,500 in additional gasoline taxes, and $2,500 in additional electricity taxes. I would exempt renewable sources of energy from these higher taxes. Note that the family is still out of pocket $10,000 in taxes, but the burden is shifted from income toward addressing our dirty sources of energy. People often complain that oil companies receive subsidies and that this puts renewable energy at a disadvantage. As I have argued, what better way to get those subsidies back than by raising the price of the product they sell via higher taxes? Again, that’s usually as far as the conversation goes because people believe that you can take away subsidies and the consumer won’t feel a thing.

In response to the above scenario, the knee-jerk reaction from small-minded thinkers is often “You want to raise our taxes!” But that isn’t true, I want to shift them in such a way that it encourages us to conserve, while at the same time incentivizing renewable energy. As I have written before, E85 could dominate the marketplace in the Midwest if it could consistently compete with the price of gasoline. Well, what if gasoline cost $8 a gallon? The entire ethanol supply would be consumed close to the source of production, and we wouldn’t need to process tar sands so Iowans could put gasoline in their cars — even as they export their ethanol out of the region.

U.S. Primary Energy Flow by Source and Sector, 2009 (Quadrillion Btu). Source: EIA.

There are admittedly many considerations for higher energy prices beyond how it might impact an average family. Consideration would have to be given to businesses that presently require high energy consumption such that an increase in taxes doesn’t put them out of business. Exemptions would need to be given to hospitals, fire and police departments, and numerous other critical services that are heavy consumers of energy. In the longer term, everyone will have to become more efficient, but the low-hanging fruit is discretionary energy usage by consumers.

Conclusion – Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

So during this debate on whether we really need nuclear power, I will ask the same questions I asked when the topic was offshore drilling: How much are you willing to pay to be rid of it? If your answer is “nothing” then you are simply engaging in wishful thinking. Personally, I would be willing to pay a price to stop some of these energy options that pose risks to our environment. I can’t say that a majority would be willing to pay more, but I think the idea could be sold on the basis that your overall tax burden does not change. In that case, you are paying more for energy — potentially enabling a phase-out of nuclear plants as demand falls — but your overall budget isn’t impacted.

The fatal flaw in the plan, of course, will be politics as usual. As soon as someone proposes such a thing, the focus will be “My opponent wants to raise your gas taxes.” Of course that is the kind of thinking that got us to this point. But we will need to change our thinking to seriously consider a phase-out of nuclear power.

  1. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 7:02 am

    What will our children pay to be nuke-free?

    [link]      
  2. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 7:16 am

    “Collectively, the energy-intensive manufacturing industries—bulk chemicals, refining, paper products, iron and steel, aluminum, food, glass, and cement—produce about one-quarter of the total dollar value of industrial shipments while accounting for two-thirds of industrial delivered energy consumption.”

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/forecas…..mption.cfm

    (Note: this summary considers all energy; not just electricity.)

    [link]      
  3. By Stuart Staniford on March 17, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Robert:

    It’s worth noting that, as a matter of individual choice, there are many states where one can pay extra to not use energy from the dirty sources. Eg in New York state, I pay a few extra cents per kWhr to buy my power 100% from renewable suppliers (via Stirling Planet). If we all did the same over time, the problem would eventually be solved. And I feel a good deal less guilty when I leave a light on, because all it means that I’m paying a few more cents to the renewable providers.

    [link]      
  4. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

    “Are You Willing to Sacrifice?” – Robert Rapier

    For my part: 2,000 car miles in 2009, zero car miles in 2010, zero car miles in 2011.  During that same period I had to take one emergency plane flight, but took several long-distance train trips.   I’ve bicycled 14,000 miles during that same period.  I have a few bikes, one of which has more dollar value than my early-year Honda Insight (which I really should sell, so someone could use it).

    No grid at home.  Yes, grid at work (and lots of it).  My permaculture garden provides about a fifth of my food.  I’m generally vegetarian, but I will eat chicken when no other source of protein is available (typically during travel).  Once or twice a year I eat a little red meat (July 4th, etc.).  I also use a whey protein supplement after training sessions. 

    I’ve played only acoutic instruments during the past several years.  I miss my Les Paul, but I love my Breedlove.

    I’ve helped to build a few homes with Habitat for Humanity, but I have yet to get them to consider cob construction, or even solar.

    No TV.  Yes, Internet.  Even though my computer is an ASUS netbook, there’s still a lot of embedded energy in it.

    I don’t consider any of these behaviors to be a sacrifice.  However, quite a few of the women that I’ve dated do.  Frown

    (Enjoy!, ’ad hominemists’.)

    [link]      
  5. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Stuart Staniford said:

    Robert:

    It’s worth noting that, as a matter of individual choice, there are many states where one can pay extra to not use energy from the dirty sources. Eg in New York state, I pay a few extra cents per kWhr to buy my power 100% from renewable suppliers (via Stirling Planet). If we all did the same over time, the problem would eventually be solved. And I feel a good deal less guilty when I leave a light on, because all it means that I’m paying a few more cents to the renewable providers.


     

    Stuart, in sunny Arizona, with available incentives, a personal investment in solar energy for your home or business will often outperform the historical, long-term average annual return of the S&P 500.  Without solar incentives, investment returns compare with those of other low-risk investments (e.g. T-bills).  (You are investing in growing your savings by no longer purchasing energy from the utility.)

    When these investments are compared, and the avoided cost of the additional premium for the utility’s clean energy program is included, the returns for a personal investment in on-site solar generation become extraordinary. 

    This begs a few questions:  If you live where there is a good solar resource, why is your utility charging you a premium for energy from its clean sources?  Why doesn’t every home and business have some solar on its roof in places like Arizona?

    [link]      
  6. By daniel maris on March 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I think this approach is overall pretty sound.

    However, I am more positive than the author about the way costs are going for green energy. Both wind and solar have been on a relentless downward path.
    The problem tends to be that the costs are all front loaded as capital, so we need to find financing mechanisms to amortise the costs.

    We also need to get to grips with the energy storage problem – to make wind and solar fully base load contributors.

    t is something that needs to be hit in several directions at once I would suspect.

    [link]      
  7. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

    We also need to get to grips with the energy storage problem – to make wind and solar fully base load contributors.” – daniel maris


     

    Storage is indeed the key. Efficient storage solutions would make energy sustainable so that our children would no longer have to rely on finite resources. Efficient energy concentration would be another important goal. Another goal should be highly-efficient, clean technologies for traditional fuels. The industry and we the people should invest more of our efforts and wealth towards these goals.

    However, today, we are far from making solar, or even wind, “baseload” sources. Even in sunny Arizona solar only provides ~1% of the electricity generated in the state. For now, in places like Arizona, the focus should be to design solar into the grid to mitigate demand peaks.

    P.S. I quote “baseload”, because it is a misleading term. As Japan has shown us, when it fails, “baseload”, which correlates strongly with central generation, carries ‘zero load’ and leaves a large hole. This makes one wonder at the true meaning of the term ‘base’ in “baseload”.

    [link]      
  8. By Will on March 17, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I like the idea of shifting the same burden to different areas to change behavior. We have a water shortage in Atlanta, GA, and it’s hard to get people to save water because we are billed in 1000 gallon increments. I’m charged just over $5 per 1000 gallons for drinkable water in a city with a water shortage. Some months I’m charged for using 1000, other months 2000, but nothing between. Increase billing resolution, something smart meters hope to do for electricity usage, and at least awareness will improve.

    [link]      
  9. By robert on March 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Nuclear power isn’t cheap. It’s a guessimated $10 a watt to put one of those babies up. You could frame the question as why do we burn so much coal and write the same article.

    [link]      
  10. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    “Increase billing resolution, something smart meters hope to do for electricity usage, and at least awareness will improve.” – Will


     

    Good thoughts, Will.  At every scale of the system, feedback should be improved: it should be made more visible and more immediate.  This is one of the advantages enjoyed by those of us who generate our own power.

    [link]      
  11. By OD on March 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Personally, I would be willing to pay a price to stop some of these energy options that pose risks to our environment.

    This statement needs clarification. What energy source does not pose environmental risks? One of the major downsides to solar and wind is the amount of land that must be dedicated for the farms. How do we decide which habitats will possibly be destroyed to place solar/wind farms on? Granted these risks are much lower than with other “dirty” power sources, but they also make up a very small % of our energy mix. Are there unforseen consequences once they contribute a sizeable amount of energy? I also find it interesting that natural gas was left out of this post. Is that considered clean or “dirty”?

    I was hoping this post would delve deeper into the technical side of things. Storage issues aside, which is a big one, can renewable energy maintain itself? Can the materials needed to build/maintain/expand renewable energy be done using the energy it creates?

    I would gladly pay more for newable energy, but is it technically feasible, with current technology, for renewables to replace coal & nuclear? That is the real question.

    [link]      
  12. By Wendell Mercantile on March 17, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    In 2006 President Bush famously said, “America is addicted to oil.” That wasn’t true. He would have been more correct to say, “We are addicted to using energy.” But, even that wouldn’t have been entirely correct.

    Our True Addiction

    What we are addicted to are the luxuries and the quality of life that consuming energy gives us.

    Just as people addicted to crack or heroin will do almost anything to satisfy that addiction, we will continue to do anything to satisfy our addiction to the standard of life that using vast quantities of energy has given us — and that includes energy from nuclear power.

    If it were a choice of living in the cold with no lights or having nuclear reactors, we would have nuclear reactors. Of course the choice isn’t that stark. But nuclear reactors can — and should — be part of our future energy plans. And if you consider the cost v. benefit, they are still one of the better sources. If one discounts the vast psychological impact of TMI, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima Dai-ichi, it’s even difficult to say they’ve even done much harm — especially when compared to what extracting and burning coal has done to the atmosphere.

    Nuclear power should continue being part of our energy calculus, and we should all look forward to the day when fusion reactors at last become practical and economical.

    [link]      
  13. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    “How do we decide which habitats will possibly be destroyed to place solar/wind farms on? [emphasis mine]” – OD


     
     

    “destroyed”? Yes, some locations pose special risks to flora and fauna. For the most part, wind on farmland, offshore, desert passes, and mountain ridgelines presents few threats.

    As for solar, we have plenty of human habitat to cover first.

    [link]      
  14. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    “I would gladly pay more for newable energy, but is it technically feasible, with current technology, for renewables to replace coal & nuclear? That is the real question.” – OD

    What is this fetish for “replacement”? How is that the “real question”?

    “Can the materials needed to build/maintain/expand renewable energy be done using the energy it creates?”- OD

    No.  Certainly not today.  Given that traditional forms of energy are based on finite resources, perhaps we should be conserving/reserving them in order to manufacture cleaner means of power generation?

    I also find it interesting that natural gas was left out of this post. Is that considered clean or “dirty”?

    If one considers the entire system of extraction of methane (‘natural’ gas), then one understands why that extractive industry needs to spend so much wealth on public relations and advertising.

    [link]      
  15. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    “Nuclear power should continue being part of our energy calculus, and we should all look forward to the day when fusion reactors at last become practical and economical.” – Wendell Mercantile”

    The Jevons Paradox notwithstanding?

    Perhaps it is our addiction to babies that should first be addressed?

    [link]      
  16. By OD on March 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm

     If one discounts the vast psychological impact of TMI, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima Dai-ichi, it’s even difficult to say they’ve even done much harm — especially when compared to what extracting and burning coal has done to the atmosphere.

    I agree, although I might be slightly biased as my 2nd home has seen a lot of devastation due to coal.

     

    Debating nuclear energy seems to be a very futile exercise. It’s one of those issues like abortion, to use a crude example, that people feel very strongly about one way or the other, and there is not much that can be done to change one’s mind on either side.  To use a favorite quote of mine; “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.”

    [link]      
  17. By Wendell Mercantile on March 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Perhaps it is our addiction to babies that should first be addressed?

    It’s difficult to argue with that. The entire anthropogenic global warming issue is really an over-population issue. Al Gore has never addressed the issue of what is actually behind AGW.

    On the other hand, climate change is natural; has always existed; and will always exist. It’s been colder and warmer in the past than it is now — it will be colder and warmer in the future than it is now. And there is nothing we can do about it, no matter what type of energy we use.

    [link]      
  18. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    “Debating nuclear energy seems to be a very futile exercise. It’s one of those issues like abortion, to use a crude example, that people feel very strongly about one way or the other, and there is not much that can be done to change one’s mind on either side.” – OD

     

    Is there any other choice other than to continue debating?

    From my experience in this forum, any suggestion that there may be a role for solar, or any even mild criticism of nuclear power, is met rapidly with censure and scorn by a small, but strepitous contingent.  Such behavior hardly encourages conversation.

    When I first published on this site, my article in support of solar was met only with attacks.  I welcome challenges if I can learn from them, but in the case of the responses to my article, there was only one comment that provided an opportunity for further understanding and growth.  One commenter began hurling abuse with minutes of the publication of the article.  He was quickly joined by his compatriots.  It was painfully obvious that this commenter had made no effort to read the details of my work.  He read one unrelated, narrow criticism of nuclear energy on my blog and immediately launched his reactionary, empty tirade.

    Through his writing, and by providing this forum, Robert does a wonderful job enlightening us on many important issues.  Yet, I often hesitate to contribute here because of the reactionary labeling and incessant ad hominem attacks.  I do not consider myself to be “anti-nuclear”, but the rants of those I call ‘nuclear fetishists’ make very hard the work of maintaining a generous outlook.

    I know people in both the solar and the nuclear industries.  There are those in both industries who have their ‘blind spots’.  But, I think because the nuclear industry has so long been under cautious watch, it has developed much more of a tendency for defensive, reactionary thinking.

    We are all creatures of our environments; but if we cannot create a safe, common space where we can meet and even confront each other between our seeming separate lands, we will not be able even to discover what we should discuss.

    [link]      
  19. By rrapier on March 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    OD said:

    What energy source does not pose environmental risks? 


     

    That’s the rub, of course. They all have risks and some negative aspects. But I suspect there are going to be a lot of people taking a long, hard look at nuclear power after this. Politicians will have to react; at a minimum it will slow down momentum for nuclear. At a maximum some countries will decide to completely forego nuclear power. So I think it is well worth having the debate.

    Imagine for a moment that this incident had happened 10 miles from your home. We might agree that the risks of an accident are very low indeed, but the possible consequences are like no other.

    RR

    [link]      
  20. By Wendell Mercantile on March 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    But I suspect there are going to be a lot of people taking a long, hard look at nuclear power after this.

    Of course they will, but that will be more out of fear and media sensationalism than out of science-based knowledge and reality. If I had to choose, I’d buy a house next to a nuclear reactor before living next to a coal-fired power plant — that is unless it was on the coast at sea level near the fault line where the Pacific tectonic plate slides under the Eurasian tectonic plate.

    [link]      
  21. By Warren on March 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I know this isn’t really the forum for this, but one thing that might ultimately need to be looked at is population control. For every major leap this world has ever made in technology, there has been a corresponding increase in population, thus mitigating whatever benefit was achieved from the short lived excess available to people. Now, I for one, am heavily against such a concept, and enjoy the idea of government staying out of my life as much as possible. But a time might come when some forms of incentives might be in order to slow or reverse population growth in the name of extending our resources.

    [link]      
  22. By Benny BND Cole on March 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    An excellent commentary by RR.

    However, I don’t think the Japan nuke story has legs. If Japan avoids a catastrophe, then most people will assume nukes are safe, despite some theatrics.
    Really, I just don’t see most Americans as terribly concerned about nukes. They fear neighborhood crime, they hate taxes, they hate the other political party. Mostly, they want economic prosperity. They want jobs, they want boom times. I want boom times too.

    For myself, I like nukes, and would go even heavier into nukes, ala France. A nuked up, PHEV’ed USA would be a cleaner and more prosperous place. CNG for trucks.
    We could even run the PHEVs on methanol, abundant from domestic supplies of natural gas.

    Seriously, we could go back to exporting oil.

    [link]      
  23. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    “Really, I just don’t see most Americans as terribly concerned about nukes. They fear neighborhood crime, they hate taxes, they hate the other political party. Mostly, they want economic prosperity. They want jobs, they want boom times. I want boom times too.” – Benny BND Cole

    Those aren’t the Americans that I know:  At least, not the ones who carry so much hate and fear, yet so little concern.  Perhaps it’s the neighborhood you have chosen in The Big Sort.

    [link]      
  24. By Wendell Mercantile on March 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Really, I just don’t see most Americans as terribly concerned about nukes.

    Benny,

    They’re afraid of nukes because of the fear the media has whipped up, not of nuclear reactors themselves. It’s what FDR said in his first inaugural.

    To be fair, the reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi aren’t even the problem — it’s the spent fuel rods that have accumulated there since the reactors started up. The reactors survived the magnitude nine earthquake just fine.

    In the US we actually have a great place to store spent nuclear fuel while it cools down — it’s geologically stable, remote, and we’ve already invested billions of dollars studying it and getting it ready — it’s called Yucca Mountain. The main reason we aren’t using it is political — Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.

    [link]      
  25. By Nick on March 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I don’t usually respond to blog posts, and I honestly didn’t even give you the civility of honoring your ramblings with more than a brief glance, but the amount of ill-conceived ideas is just overwhelming.

    First off, the idea of what “clean” energy is is completely unclear. Sure, a solar power plant doesn’t output any harmful chemicals when it is in use, but what about all the manufacturing costs and labors associated with making the requisite components? How clean is that. Consider this: research found that a Hummer was more environmentally friendly than a Toyota Prius when taking the whole of the manufacturing process into account alongside the driving lifecycle of the vehicle. The reason is due to the environmental damage caused by the nickel mines required for the high energy batteries. How, then, does solar, coal, gas, etc. compare with nuclear?

    And when you say clean are you saying the overall effect, or the net pollution per kWh? In the latter case I’m relatively certain that nuclear is one of the cleanest solutions available.

    Also your plan of reducing income tax and then taxing on “dirty” energy uses is backward. Generally people in higher income brackets use more renewable resources, likewise people in lower income brackets use less. This is because, unfortunately, “clean” energy sources are usually more expensive.

    Regardless, you’re just spewing more anti-nuclear rhetoric for no reason other than that you are horribly misinformed. Research is good.

    [link]      
  26. By Anonymous One on March 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm
    [link]      
  27. By robert on March 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Why doesn’t every home and business have some solar on its roof in places like Arizona?

    After I get a job I’ll put some solar on my Tucson house. I know they are practically giving the stuff away but I still don’t have the scratch at the moment.

    Most of the installations going up are on government or university property. They know they’ll be around in 30 years. Nobody else does.

    Most businesses and many people are in rented quarters. I don’t know how to make tenants look at utility costs when they rent. When I rent out my California house I advertise free electricity but I don’t know how much value people put in that. Can I charge an extra $50 a month because of that? In a rational world I could.

    [link]      
  28. By rrapier on March 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Nick said:

    I don’t usually respond to blog posts, and I honestly didn’t even give you the civility of honoring your ramblings with more than a brief glance…


     

    That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? You barely glanced at the post, and yet felt the need to share your opinion on a post that you obviously didn’t read. They thing about doing that is that it causes you to jump to a lot of unfounded conclusions.

    Also your plan of reducing income tax and then taxing on “dirty”

    energy uses is backward. Generally people in higher income brackets use

    more renewable resources, likewise people in lower income brackets use

    less. This is because, unfortunately, “clean” energy sources are

    usually more expensive.

    Right. And if we made dirty energy more expensive, it would make clean energy relatively more competitive while not penalizing the people in lower income brackets. That doesn’t seem very backwards to me if the goal is to favor renewable energy over fossil (or nuclear) energy.

    Regardless, you’re just spewing more anti-nuclear rhetoric for no

    reason other than that you are horribly misinformed. Research is good.

    I am not anti-nuclear. But you wouldn’t know that, because you didn’t do any research. Hypocrite. See my previous essay “What’s Wrong With Nuclear Power?” Do a bit of research yourself, and perhaps next time if you do give me enough civilty to read what I wrote then you won’t look stupid if you ever choose to respond again.

    This essay is about what it would take to get us moving away from nuclear power and offshore drilling. And my proposal would do it. We can debate the merits of either, and we can debate the meaning of clean energy — but you can’t accuse me of being anti-nuclear.

    RR

    [link]      
  29. By George on March 17, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    How about what we would pay to get MORE power from nuclear energy?

    The reason the Japanese plant is having issues is that it is their OLDEST one still in use. And ours are all ancient. Of course something made of flint and sticks is going to have problems, but the Pavlovian idiotic response of older generations that “Nukular iz bad” is going to doom future generations.

    Heck I’d put a modern reactor in my basement if I could. (something like the Toshiba 4S)

    As for why AZ isn’t all solar panels yet, solar panels have heat related efficiency issues.. They overheat in our climate and provide less power than they would somewhere where they can stay in their temperature range and still get light. So the payoff time becomes longer here, even with government subsidies to encourage people to buy them.

    [link]      
  30. By robert on March 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    The reason the Japanese plant is having issues is that they had a 6.5 meter tsunami wall and a 7.5 meter tsumani. Ancient as their technology may be, their problem stems from underestimating the largest possible earthquake. If you retire your 20 billion dollar nuke before its 40 or 60 year life span, it becomes even more expensive.

    Some solar panels have a larger temperature coefficient than others. The heat isn’t a show stopper with a little care.

    [link]      
  31. By Jonas on March 17, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    The Fukushima Power Plant survived an earthquake 5 times more powerful than it was designed to withstand and a tsunami on top of that. The wondrous thing here is that damage to the reactor chambers was minimal and that the situation was under control almost the entire time. This in addition to the fact that nuclear power is ecological and clean means that there really isn’t any controversy or cause for revisions here.

    [link]      
  32. By Benny BND Cole on March 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Rate Crimes-

     

    No doubt Americans are sorting themsleves, but I think that happens more on the Internet than in the real world.

     

    I think my neighborhood, work environment, gym, friends, overheard conversations in the bar etc.  are roughly mainstream.  We talk a lot about jobs and making money, not much about nuclear reactors.  I have yet to walk into a bar and hear people talking about nuclear reactors, but many, many times about making money or their jobs.  I assume you are part of an enegineering elite, and I admire that.

     

    Sheesh, I asked a bicyling buddy did any of his bicycling buddies have a view on, or care about, Afghanistan (he rides in a large group)?  His response? “The topic has never come up.”

     

    In short, no one cares about Afghanistan, where we have committed $1.5 trillion, and thousands of lives.

     

    For better or worse, that is the way Americans are.  I also grow vegetables, drive a car I bought used in 1990.  I try to be good.  But mostly, people respond to price signals and go their own way in life. So be it.

    [link]      
  33. By PeteS on March 17, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I don’t get how the tax proposal will work. Half of the tax you currently pay will be shifted to a tax on energy usage. This will pay for increased production costs of “green” energy. So far so good (assuming you agree with the aim).

    Ok, now what about all the other things your tax was paying for. How are they getting funded now? Surely it’s obvious that far from shifting the burden of tax, taxes need to increase in absolute terms. Renewable energy is going to cost more — if it cost less we’d presumably be using it now. So unless consumers are going to pay more, things don’t add up.

    The only way your costs can stay the same is if you pay the same amount for a lot less of the services your tax currently pays for.

    [link]      
  34. By rrapier on March 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    PeteS said:

    I don’t get how the tax proposal will work. Half of the tax you currently pay will be shifted to a tax on energy usage. This will pay for increased production costs of “green” energy. So far so good (assuming you agree with the aim).


     

    No, the tax on energy continues to pay for the things it pays for now. It isn’t paying for green energy. It is making fossil energy more expensive so green energy is more affordable relative to fossil energy. So $10,000 in taxes is still $10,000 in taxes; none of it went toward paying for the green energy except to the extent that it made it competitive with higher priced fossil energy.

    RR

    [link]      
  35. By OD on March 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    The blog nextbigfuture did a post along these lines, except he calculated ‘Deaths per TWH by energy source’. It is abundantly clear that we should be replacing all our coal plants with new nuke plants.

    The Fukushima Power Plant survived an earthquake 5 times more powerful than it was designed to withstand and a tsunami on top of that. The wondrous thing here is that damage to the reactor chambers was minimal and that the situation was under control almost the entire time. This in addition to the fact that nuclear power is ecological and clean means that there really isn’t any controversy or cause for revisions here.

    Absolutely. We are seeing problems because the generator tanks were flooded, which meant the cooling system failed. If this had been a gravity-fed plant or a pebble-bed reactor, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now. The 4 planned plants for SC, US will use the gravity-fed system.

    [link]      
  36. By j noonan on March 17, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Great. The fear mongering after this tragedy is going to cause America to waste another 30 years debating whether to implement clean and pretty safe nuclear technology. Eventually we will. No one, myself included, expects anything less than technological progress.

    [link]      
  37. By OD on March 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    No, the tax on energy continues to pay for the things it pays for now. It isn’t paying for green energy. It is making fossil energy more expensive so green energy is more affordable relative to fossil energy. So $10,000 in taxes is still $10,000 in taxes; none of it went toward paying for the green energy except to the extent that it made it competitive with higher priced fossil energy.

     

    So if i’m understanding you, average Joe would see a 50% reduction in taxes taken out of his paycheck but he would see a 50% increase at the pump & electric bill via added taxes? That should definitely force some changes. I’m going to assume, for the US at least, the new tax on energy becomes more of a general fund source of revenue instead of mostly dedicated to roads/infrastructure, since a 50% reduction in income taxes would do shocking things to the already enormous deficit.

    [link]      
  38. By OD on March 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Great. The fear mongering after this tragedy….

    I don’t know if you are referring to the general public/media or Robert, but I can assure you he is no fear monger. I have been coming to his blog for a long time now and find him to be one of the least alarmist and most level-headed in the energy debate. He has stated nuclear power will be needed in the future, unless this opinion has changed in the last 24 hours or so. Laugh

    [link]      
  39. By rrapier on March 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    OD said:

    Great. The fear mongering after this tragedy….

    I don’t know if you are referring to the general public/media or Robert, but I can assure you he is no fear monger. I have been coming to his blog for a long time now and find him to be one of the least alarmist and most level-headed in the energy debate. He has stated nuclear power will be needed in the future, unless this opinion has changed in the last 24 hours or so. Laugh


     

    There have been many, many people who viewed this as an alarmist, anti-nuclear post. It is no such thing, and I can only presume that people didn’t read the post and don’t know my positions in general.

    I am not trying to argue here that we shouldn’t do nuclear power; the debate here is that if the public at large decides they can’t live with that risk — there are trade-offs. My point is that “no nuclear” doesn’t mesh with the way we live our lives today. We can change the way we live, or we can live with nuclear power.

    RR

    [link]      
  40. By rrapier on March 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    OD said:

    No, the tax on energy continues to pay for the things it pays for now. It isn’t paying for green energy. It is making fossil energy more expensive so green energy is more affordable relative to fossil energy. So $10,000 in taxes is still $10,000 in taxes; none of it went toward paying for the green energy except to the extent that it made it competitive with higher priced fossil energy.

     

    So if i’m understanding you, average Joe would see a 50% reduction in taxes taken out of his paycheck but he would see a 50% increase at the pump & electric bill via added taxes? That should definitely force some changes. I’m going to assume, for the US at least, the new tax on energy becomes more of a general fund source of revenue instead of mostly dedicated to roads/infrastructure, since a 50% reduction in income taxes would do shocking things to the already enormous deficit.


     

    Yeah, as I indicated to Pete, I would just shift the money over. It would continue to pay for the things it was already paying for.

    There are many complexities that would need to be addressed; for instance, as consumption goes down, so will tax revenue. So there will have to be a mechanism there for that.

    RR

    [link]      
  41. By Terry on March 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Robert Rapier said:

    No, the tax on energy continues to pay for the things it pays for now. It isn’t paying for green energy. It is making fossil energy more expensive so green energy is more affordable relative to fossil energy. So $10,000 in taxes is still $10,000 in taxes; none of it went toward paying for the green energy except to the extent that it made it competitive with higher priced fossil energy.

    RR

    It’s an interesting idea that I’ve heard Al Gore propose before.  Create a revenue neutral carbon tax so that it incentivizes people to choose low-carbon sources of energy.  The problem I see with that is most of these plans will create a certain set of winners and losers (as far as taxpayers go) in the scheme and that will be your source of political opposition.  Some people just can’t live without the higher carbon sources and will wind up paying more in total.

    I was trying to think of another way we could do this without creating that set of winners and losers (on the taxpayer side).  What if you had a carbon tax, but refunded it to the tax payer at the end in the form of a tax credit?  In the end the taxpayer pays the same amount of money but it makes low-carbon sources cheaper in the market.  But I fear because in the end the taxpayer pays the same amount no matter what, they lose a lot of the incentives they would have in the previous scheme.

     

    -Terry

    [link]      
  42. By rrapier on March 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Terry said:

    I was trying to think of another way we could do this without creating that set of winners and losers (on the taxpayer side).  What if you had a carbon tax, but refunded it to the tax payer at the end in the form of a tax credit?  In the end the taxpayer pays the same amount of money but it makes low-carbon sources cheaper in the market.  But I fear because in the end the taxpayer pays the same amount no matter what, they lose a lot of the incentives they would have in the previous scheme.

     

    -Terry


     

    I have discussed this in greater detail at times, but tax credits would definitely need to be included. For low income people who don’t pay taxes, there would need to be tax credits to offset their higher costs.

    RR

    [link]      
  43. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    “As for why AZ isn’t all solar panels yet, solar panels have heat related efficiency issues.. They overheat in our climate and provide less power than they would somewhere where they can stay in their temperature range and still get light. So the payoff time becomes longer here, even with government subsidies to encourage people to buy them.” – George

    Solar modules are qualified to standards that require constant cycling with 0.5 hour dwell at 85°C (185°F) and -40°C. What you exaggerate as “issues” are really only effects. Modules do not “overheat” unless their is a rare and serious design error, or a manufacturing fault. Modules are typically guaranteed for 25 years.

    A distant solar installation will lose far more energy in transmission than it would if it were generating locally in the hottest climate. This is the case for any energy source in hot climates, as transmission is especially vulnerable to heat-related losses.

    Payoff time is much higher where the sun shines.

    You understand neither the technology, nor the economics. Please stop repeating nonsense.

    [link]      
  44. By rate-crimes on March 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Jonas said:

    The Fukushima Power Plant survived an earthquake 5 times more powerful than it was designed to withstand and a tsunami on top of that. The wondrous thing here is that damage to the reactor chambers was minimal and that the situation was under control almost the entire time. This in addition to the fact that nuclear power is ecological and clean means that there really isn’t any controversy or cause for revisions here.


     

    Please provide us your precise definitions of “survived”, “wondrous”, “minimal”, “control”, “entire”, “ecological”, and “clean”.  I do not think these words mean what you think they mean.

    [link]      
  45. By PeteS on March 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    You understand neither the technology, nor the economics. Please stop repeating nonsense.


     

    That’s pretty belligerent for someone who’s just been getting all hissy about ad hominems. How about toning it down and just presenting your evidence? You will get more people on side that way.

    [link]      
  46. By PeteS on March 18, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    No, the tax on energy continues to pay for the things it pays for now. It isn’t paying for green energy. It is making fossil energy more expensive so green energy is more affordable relative to fossil energy. So $10,000 in taxes is still $10,000 in taxes; none of it went toward paying for the green energy except to the extent that it made it competitive with higher priced fossil energy.

    RR


     

    Ok, I get it now. But is the expectation that (perhaps after a suitable ramp up time) that green energy will cost the same or less than fossil energy? Or will energy prices rise steeply too? Taxpayers aren’t always a rational bunch and may not acknowledge that their income taxes are falling while their energy taxes are rising. They will see increasing tax on fuel just as base prices are rising too. That’s usually a cue for politicians to promise to cut taxes or complain about price gouging by energy companies, or some other populist drivel. (I know you know this … just sayin’ :)

    [link]      
  47. By rrapier on March 18, 2011 at 1:50 am

    PeteS said:

     

    Ok, I get it now. But is the expectation that (perhaps after a suitable ramp up time) that green energy will cost the same or less than fossil energy? Or will energy prices rise steeply too? Taxpayers aren’t always a rational bunch and may not acknowledge that their income taxes are falling while their energy taxes are rising. They will see increasing tax on fuel just as base prices are rising too. That’s usually a cue for politicians to promise to cut taxes or complain about price gouging by energy companies, or some other populist drivel. (I know you know this … just sayin’ :)


     

    That’s why, in reality, the plan will never fly. Taxpayers aren’t rational, and political opponents will exploit that. Fear of having that exploited will keep us from implementing anything like that.

    My expectation is that the break even for most renewable energy is higher than where fossil fuel prices are now, and always will be. So overall energy costs will rise. But I think if gasoline was double what it is now, you would definitely see serious penetration of specific renewables.

    RR

    [link]      
  48. By russ on March 18, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Benny BND Cole said:

    An excellent commentary by RR.

    However, I don’t think the Japan nuke story has legs. If Japan avoids a catastrophe, then most people will assume nukes are safe, despite some theatrics.


     

    Agreed Benny – The tempest in a tea cup types like rate crimes will work themselves up to a real hissy fit while the average person has no idea and does not really care.

    Strange part is that the ones getting excited talk to their buddies and decide that others agree with their position. They have no idea that they are preaching to a very small subset of the population that already agrees with their position. The entire green movement is a very small percentage of the population though a vocal one.

    New generation nuclear plants are the way to go.

    [link]      
  49. By arnchair261 on March 18, 2011 at 3:25 am

    “What would we pay to be nuke-free” seems to be mostly considered and discussed in the context of “what would relatively prosperous western individuals with discretionary income pay”. While reducing energy consumption in the west and moving to cleaner sources would of course be very significant, I think we also need to be asking, to make a global difference, what would Chinese, or even Ugandans or Bolivians pay to be nuke-free, or free of offshore oil. Removing something like 30% of the world’s oil production from the global market would have serious short term cost consequences for a lot of people for whom the affordability question takes on a whole different meaning. How would small businesses cope? How can we pull this off at even a regional scale without sending economies into a tailspin?

    [link]      
  50. By MJP on March 18, 2011 at 5:05 am

    How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?

    How much are you willing to pay for nuclear energy?
    The industry is highly subsidized (in R&D). It has no idea what to do with radioactive wastes and what terminal storage will cost. Ukraine still pays around 5% GDP on Chernobyl…
    Would you leave all of the lights in the house on all day long if these cost would show up on your bill?

    [link]      
  51. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 6:38 am

    “New generation nuclear plants are the way to go.” – russ

    Are you able to be a bit more specific than “new generation”? Are you suggesting that some or all of the unsafe ‘old generation’ reactors be mothballed? How soon will these “new generation” reactors be “the way to go”?

    [link]      
  52. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 6:45 am

    “The tempest in a tea cup types like rate crimes will work themselves up to a real hissy fit while the average person has no idea and does not really care.” – russ

    Should you not have used a more appropriate mixed metaphor?  Like, ‘meltdown in a tea cup’?

    Thank you for not including me in your group of “the average person who has no idea and does not really care”.  That’s not a herd anyone should aspire to join.

    [link]      
  53. By Jonas on March 18, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Rate Crimes said:

    Jonas said:

    The Fukushima Power Plant survived an earthquake 5 times more powerful than it was designed to withstand and a tsunami on top of that. The wondrous thing here is that damage to the reactor chambers was minimal and that the situation was under control almost the entire time. This in addition to the fact that nuclear power is ecological and clean means that there really isn’t any controversy or cause for revisions here.


     

    Please provide us your precise definitions of “survived”, “wondrous”, “minimal”, “control”, “entire”, “ecological”, and “clean”.  I do not think these words mean what you think they mean.


     

    Survived: The reactor chambers suffered so little damage that there was minimal(as in dismissable) chance of a meltdown. Wondrous: The quality of japanese engineering never ceases to amaze me. Control almost the entire time: The successful use of seawater and boric acid to cool down the reactors meant that the cooling could be sustained indefinitely(there’s lots of seawater available). Ecological: Nuclear Power Plants do not cause emissions that harm the environment. Clean: The system used to contain the fuel and spent fuel has many backups(e.g. multiple air locks to prevent the spreading of radioactive material).

    [link]      
  54. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 7:04 am

    MJP said:

    How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?

    How much are you willing to pay for nuclear energy?
    The industry is highly subsidized (in R&D). It has no idea what to do with radioactive wastes and what terminal storage will cost. Ukraine still pays around 5% GDP on Chernobyl…
    Would you leave all of the lights in the house on all day long if these cost would show up on your bill?


     

    Why does the established nuclear industry pay so little for R&D while simultaneously claiming that its energy is cheap?   Would the nuclear industry even exist in the U.S. if its risks hadn’t been pushed onto the public sector through the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act? 

    [link]      
  55. By kizmiaz on March 18, 2011 at 7:20 am

    “I can tell you with absolute certainty that we can live with no offshore drilling”
    Thank God we have the Internet that enables mental midgets, such as the author of this opinion piece to masturbate their ego through trite dribble such as this article.

    [link]      
  56. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Jonas said:

    Rate Crimes said:

    Jonas said:

    The Fukushima Power Plant survived an earthquake 5 times more powerful than it was designed to withstand and a tsunami on top of that. The wondrous thing here is that damage to the reactor chambers was minimal and that the situation was under control almost the entire time. This in addition to the fact that nuclear power is ecological and clean means that there really isn’t any controversy or cause for revisions here.


     
    Please provide us your precise definitions of “survived”, “wondrous”, “minimal”, “control”, “entire”, “ecological”, and “clean”.  I do not think these words mean what you think they mean.


     
    Survived: The reactor chambers suffered so little damage that there was minimal(as in dismissable) chance of a meltdown. Wondrous: The quality of japanese engineering never ceases to amaze me. Control almost the entire time: The successful use of seawater and boric acid to cool down the reactors meant that the cooling could be sustained indefinitely(there’s lots of seawater available). Ecological: Nuclear Power Plants do not cause emissions that harm the environment. Clean: The system used to contain the fuel and spent fuel has many backups(e.g. multiple air locks to prevent the spreading of radioactive material).


     

    It appears that your conclusions fail logically because of your error in divorcing “The reactor chambers” (in your definition) from your “The Fukushima Power Plant” (in your earlier assertion).  Next, relying on your own amazement to provide your definition of “wondrous”.  Not everyone is so easily amazed.  Next, using the term “successful” to define your “control”.  My hope is that you are not in “control” of any critical systems.  Here, again, you divorce “the reactors” from ‘The Fukushima Power Plant’.  Where exactly is the “lots of seawater” that is being used to cool the damaged spent fuel rods being contained?  Next, you sandbox “Nuclear Power Plants”, omitting mention of the entire nuclear fuel system that requires much energy and generates many emissions in the mining, transportation, refining, securing, and waste management of nuclear fuels.  Finally, you are apparently unaware of the breach of containment problem occurring in Japan.

    [link]      
  57. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 7:39 am

    kizmiaz said:

    “I can tell you with absolute certainty that we can live with no offshore drilling”
    Thank God we have the Internet that enables mental midgets, such as the author of this opinion piece to masturbate their ego through trite dribble such as this article.


     
     

    With reasonable certainty, it can be confirmed that both humanity and the dreck of ad hominem attacks lived even before Titusville.

    [link]      
  58. By Jonas on March 18, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Rate Crimes said:

    Jonas said:

    Rate Crimes said:

    Jonas said:

    The Fukushima Power Plant survived an earthquake 5 times more powerful than it was designed to withstand and a tsunami on top of that. The wondrous thing here is that damage to the reactor chambers was minimal and that the situation was under control almost the entire time. This in addition to the fact that nuclear power is ecological and clean means that there really isn’t any controversy or cause for revisions here.


    Please provide us your precise definitions of “survived”, “wondrous”, “minimal”, “control”, “entire”, “ecological”, and “clean”.  I do not think these words mean what you think they mean.
     


    Survived: The reactor chambers suffered so little damage that there was minimal(as in dismissable) chance of a meltdown. Wondrous: The quality of japanese engineering never ceases to amaze me. Control almost the entire time: The successful use of seawater and boric acid to cool down the reactors meant that the cooling could be sustained indefinitely(there’s lots of seawater available). Ecological: Nuclear Power Plants do not cause emissions that harm the environment. Clean: The system used to contain the fuel and spent fuel has many backups(e.g. multiple air locks to prevent the spreading of radioactive material).
     


     

    It appears that your conclusions fail logically because of your error in divorcing “The reactor chambers” (in your definition) from your “The Fukushima Power Plant” (in your earlier assertion).  Next, relying on your own amazement to provide your definition of “wondrous”.  Not everyone is so easily amazed.  Next, using the term “successful” to define your “control”.  My hope is that you are not in “control” of any critical systems.  Here, again, you divorce “the reactors” from ‘The Fukushima Power Plant’.  Where exactly is the “lots of seawater” that is being used to cool the damaged spent fuel rods being contained?  Next, you sandbox “Nuclear Power Plants”, omitting mention of the entire nuclear fuel system that requires much energy and generates many emissions in the mining, transportation, refining, securing, and waste management of nuclear fuels.  Finally, you are apparently unaware of the breach of containment problem occurring in Japan.


     

    Ok, if I wasn’t so tired, I would keep arguing against you, so I’m just gonna make some final remarks instead.

     

    I’m not a bored man, many things amaze me. I think “they poured seawater into the reactor chambers and the reactants cooled down” is an example of “successful cooling”, I don’t think you can really refute that. Also, I would probably be better at being in control of critical systems than you, since my conclusions are drawn from observation, whereas you seem to have to question everything. And finally, there is no serious breach of containment in Japan. No one, I repeat, no one is in danger because of radioactive fallout in Japan. Nuclear power plants are a safe, ecological and clean source of energy. The mining and refining process causes some pollution, true, but that holds true for just about all sources of energy.

    [link]      
  59. By OD on March 18, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Thank God we have the Internet that enables mental midgets, such as the author of this opinion piece to masturbate their ego through trite dribble such as this article.

    Why don’t you go read the author’s resume which he makes pubically available for all of us to see You will see how ludacris your statement is. Why don’t you also post your resume, so we can see if you are just another armchair expert with no professional background in energy.

    [link]      
  60. By russ-finley on March 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Excellent series of posts, Robert. You are doing the world a great service. Thank you.

    The fact that you have attracted a swarm of trolls on their respective missions to whatever energy God they worship (with accompanying obfuscating cloud of self-righteous ignorance) just goes with the territory. The commenter who didn’t like your looks who was planning to surround her compound with barbed wire and presumably a fire zone was …disturbing/disturbed. Those are the personality types most susceptible to influence by gurus. Troll control, like pest control, has to be maintained lest a site be overrun.

    One point I’d like to make is that there would be more than just an economic cost to eliminating nuclear. The hole left would certainly be filled mostly by fossil fuels. So there is a huge environmental cost that would be paid as well. Although I’m a big solar advocate I’m also aware that it can’t scale very far without a lot of help with load following power of some kind and nuclear is the lowest carbon version we have for that.

    [link]      
  61. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    “you seem to have to question everything” – Jonas

    …especially, your conclusions.  Besides, when questions remain unanswered, all one can do is ask again.  How and where, exactly, is the “lots of seawater” that is being used to cool the damaged spent fuel rods being contained?

    U.S. nuclear officials suspect Japanese plant has a dire breach

    U.S. government nuclear experts believe a spent fuel pool at Japan’s crippled Fukushima reactor complex has a breach in the wall or floor, a situation that creates a major obstacle to refilling the pool with cooling water and keeping dangerous levels of radiation from escaping.

    “I think ‘they poured seawater into the reactor chambers and the reactants cooled down’ is an example of ‘successful cooling’, I don’t think you can really refute that.” – Jonas

    Your assessment is very simple to refute:  How much was it cooled down, and for how long?  Some success will be met when all materials reach ambient temperature and remain there permanently.

    “The mining and refining process causes some pollution, true, but that holds true for just about all sources of energy.” – Jonas

    How many superfund sites are a result of uranium mining or nuclear contamination?

    [link]      
  62. By rrapier on March 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    kizmiaz said:

    “I can tell you with absolute certainty that we can live with no offshore drilling”

    Thank God we have the Internet that enables mental midgets…


     

    And trolls. Don’t forget about anonymous trolls who lack the mental capacity for debate, so they hurl mud and run away.

    RR

    [link]      
  63. By russ-finley on March 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    RR said:

    The above poster is the Director of IT at a power plant:

    Anonymity is a double-edged sword. It can protect you from physical harm. Nobody wants a deranged commenter doing drive-bys or making threatening phone calls to the family (both have happened to me and both were related to biodiesel).

    On the other hand it emboldens people to say things they would never dare say to a guy on an adjacent bar stool, who might reach over and secure a hold on their neck. Hiding behind a firewall to insult debate partners  is like calling someone a poopyhead–failed spell check–from behind your mom’s skirt. Most of us outgrew that but had to relearn it when the Internet came along  ; )

     

     

     

    [link]      
  64. By rrapier on March 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    OD said:

    Thank God we have the Internet that enables mental midgets, such as the author of this opinion piece to masturbate their ego through trite dribble such as this article.

    Why don’t you go read the author’s resume which he makes pubically available for all of us to see You will see how ludacris your statement is. Why don’t you also post your resume, so we can see if you are just another armchair expert with no professional background in energy.


     

    I did that for you, because I am always curious about agendas. The above poster is the Director of IT at a power plant:

    Ken Statham, Director of Information Technology at GreyStone Power Corporation, Douglasville, GA

    I would be happy to discuss this “trite dribble” with Ken any time he has the courage to do anything other than quote half a sentence, post an insult based on that, and run away. How he got to be the Director of IT with such a low comprehension level — or alternatively a low willingness to understand something before sharing his comments with us — only he knows.

    As Sam told me yesterday, you got to love posters who start out “I didn’t really read what you wrote, but how on earth could you think….” Ken is one of those guys.

    RR

    [link]      
  65. By Anonymous One on March 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Status of nuclear power plants in Fukushima as of 16:00 March 18
    Unit #2
    Core and Fuel Integrity: Damaged
    Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity: Unknown
    Containment Vessel Integrity: Damage Suspected

    Core cooling requiring AC power: Not Functional
    Core cooling not requiring AC power: Not Functional
    Building Integrity: Slightly Damaged
    Water Level of the Reactor Pressure Vessel: Fuel exposed
    Pressure of the Reactor Pressure Vessel: Unknown
    Containment Vessel Pressure: Low
    Remarks: Immediate threat is damage of the fuels in the fuel pool outside the containment vessel at Unit-1,2,3 and 4. The operation for filling the pool with water has been conducted since March 17 at Unit-3.

    [link]      
  66. By joanne on March 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Seems to me that we’ve already paid quite enough. Change is due!

    [link]      
  67. By Kit P on March 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    “nuclear power or offshore drilling”

     

    From the standpoint of protecting the environment, producing electricity and producing transportation fuel should be evaluated separately. The environmental impact of transportation fuel is almost entirely in the consumption. It is very hard to regulate a million non-point sources to clean up city air.

    Most electricity is produced at central generating facilities in rural areas. The added cost form my family is $20 per month for back fitting pollution controls on coal plants. That is about 10% increase. The best renewable energy resource in my region biomass. I would estimate that 10% of power could be generated at the same cost as a new coal plant with out stripping the forest of wood. That only leaves 80% more coal to replace.

    The conclusion is to reduce the environmental impact of making electrical with coal to an acceptable level.

    “They fear neighborhood crime, they hate taxes, they hate the other political party. Mostly, they want economic prosperity. They want jobs, they want boom times. I want boom times too.”

     

    Hey Benny, we have not locked out doors since moving from California. Our property taxes are lesson than $1000/month. We have clean air too.

     

    “Senator Harry Reid of Nevada.”

     

    Wendell, how about a little warning next time. I will take an extra pill for blood pressure.

    [link]      
  68. By rrapier on March 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Russ Finley said:

    RR said:

    The above poster is the Director of IT at a power plant:

    Anonymity is a double-edged sword. It can protect you from physical harm. Nobody wants a deranged commenter doing drive-bys or making threatening phone calls to the family (both have happened to me and both were related to biodiesel).


     

    I have gotten the same, which is why I don’t have a problem with anonymous posters. But when they cross the line into personal attacks, as far I am concerned they gave up their right to be anonymous here. I am not anonymous, so if someone wants to attack me personally let’s see who they are and what their agenda may be. One of the recent personal attacks came from a David Blume cultist, and now this one comes from an executive with a power company. One might imagine that they could have agendas — and neither of them had the foggiest clue of what I was actually saying.

    RR

    [link]      
  69. By Kit P on March 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “Status of nuclear power plants in Fukushima as of 16:00 March 18”

     

    Nice link Anonymous One, that about sums it up. The safest place to be in case of a massive earthquake and tsunami is in a reactor building of a nuke plant.

     

    I think the intent of RR essay is to discuss energy options for those of us who do not want to move back into caves while wanting to protect the environment. However, for those who are interested I will try to keep explaining what is going on in Japan.

     

    Looking at the dose rates, if I saw those levels of radiation in my capacity as radiation safety officer I would be recommending abounding ship. If the captain said 20% would die from cold weather, we would risk the radiation. The presumption being that reaching L/D 50 in 4 days would provide time to be rescued and betaken someplace where medical treatment for radiation sickness would result in near 100% survival.

     

    Put it another way, I would not evacuate my family from my house 12 miles from a nuke plant by helicopter.

     

    I was SRO certified on BWR-3, 4, 5. and 6. The essential feature of BWR containment is having a suppression pool inside the containment. This allows energy from decay heat to be absorbed. Even with a loss of off site power and loss of EDGs, the core can be cooled for a period of time only need batteries for control power. At some point, more electricity than can be supplied by batteries are need to run pumps to remove heat from the containment by cooling the suppression pool.

     

    What remains to be seen now is how well damaged building do their job of containing fission products. Since radiation is easy detect at even very low levels, protecting the public and workers is straight forward. It looks like the Japanese are doing a good job.

    [link]      
  70. By paul-n on March 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Kit P wrote:

    From the standpoint of protecting the environment, producing electricity and producing transportation fuel should be evaluated separately.

    I think this point is often missed, and, really, almost all aspects of transportation (liquid) fuel and electricity should be treated separately, as they are not presently interchangeable.  The number of people that think wind turbines/solar panels/other renewable electricity can reduce oil usage is amazing

    The environmental impact of transportation fuel is almost entirely in the consumption.

    I will disagree on this -in addition to the accidents (BP GOM last year, Exxon Valdez, Enbridge pipeline leak into Kalamazoo river, etc) the oil production/refining/storage/retailing areas can have significant environmental impacts – I used to clean them up for a living.  one site where we were looking for contamination from a 30yr ago decommissioned storage site, we could find it easily by seeing oil seeps into Sydney Harbour.   These are managed much better now than they used to be, and they are mostly out of sight of the city people, and smaller than the impact of cities themselves, but they are still there.  I am told that the production areas in some of the ” less well managed countries” are particularly bad. 

     

    It looks like the Japanese are doing a good job.

    I am pleased to hear this from our resident nuke expert – which really implies that the tv talking heads are doing a bad job of communicating facts, though they seem to be doing a good job of stirring up people.  There has been a run on Potassium Iodide pills on Vancouver Island, such that the chief medical officer has ordered their removal from sale, so that if there is a real need, then they can distribute properly rather than have people hoarding.  I think the real beneficiaries of the news channels are the companies that sell blood pressure medications.

     

    [link]      
  71. By paul-n on March 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    On the topic of how much are you prepared to pay for fuel, this sign was seen last week in Hazelton, northern BC;

     

    The actual price is $1.29/L , or about US$ 4.95/gal (for regular unleaded).  I think this would sum up the reactions of most US drivers to such prices.

     

     

     

    [link]      
  72. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    “The safest place to be in case of a massive earthquake and tsunami is in a reactor building of a nuke plant.” – Kit P

    Not withstanding that it would be difficult to squeeze 100,000 people into the building, if you were the fortunate one to get in and shut the door before the flood hit, and you were somehow shielded in your space from any toxic effects, how would you navigate the zone of death surrounding you in order to later escape?  How long would we be able to drop food and fresh water to you from our lead-shieded Chinooks?

    [link]      
  73. By rate-crimes on March 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Kit P said:

    “Status of nuclear power plants in Fukushima as of 16:00 March 18”

     

    Nice link Anonymous One, that about sums it up. The safest place to be in case of a massive earthquake and tsunami is in a reactor building of a nuke plant.

     

    I think the intent of RR essay is to discuss energy options for those of us who do not want to move back into caves while wanting to protect the environment. However, for those who are interested I will try to keep explaining what is going on in Japan.

     

    Looking at the dose rates, if I saw those levels of radiation in my capacity as radiation safety officer I would be recommending abounding ship. If the captain said 20% would die from cold weather, we would risk the radiation. The presumption being that reaching L/D 50 in 4 days would provide time to be rescued and betaken someplace where medical treatment for radiation sickness would result in near 100% survival.

     

    Put it another way, I would not evacuate my family from my house 12 miles from a nuke plant by helicopter.

     

    I was SRO certified on BWR-3, 4, 5. and 6. The essential feature of BWR containment is having a suppression pool inside the containment. This allows energy from decay heat to be absorbed. Even with a loss of off site power and loss of EDGs, the core can be cooled for a period of time only need batteries for control power. At some point, more electricity than can be supplied by batteries are need to run pumps to remove heat from the containment by cooling the suppression pool.

     

    What remains to be seen now is how well damaged building do their job of containing fission products. Since radiation is easy detect at even very low levels, protecting the public and workers is straight forward. It looks like the Japanese are doing a good job.


     

    Is atrocious grammar one of the effects of radiation sickness?

    [link]      
  74. By art on March 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    RR, We pay for comfort, in theory we could watch tv for free(ok a small one) while moving feet on a hometrainer connected to a generator, in practice that is not the way we like to live. It is not only about prices and money.
    we simply do not match energy with effort anymore and even isolating homes or quit using dishwashers or laundry dryers is to much effort…

    Kit, japan is doing a great job but still the area of 400 km2 or so seems to be uninhabitable for the coming eon. please correct me if you have a more educated estimate of the area spoiled for normal life…

    [link]      
  75. By Mark Goldes on March 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    A cheap green Low Energy Nuclear Reactor (LENR) is now in production.

    It is inherently much safer than existing nuclear plants and uses Nickel, not Uranium, as fuel. Power cost is projected at one penny per kilowatt hour.

    See Cold Fusion at http://www.aesopinstitute.org to learn more.

    A one Megawatt heating plant is scheduled to open in Athens, Greece, in October.

    A scientist has said when these compact modular units, which can be linked like solar panels to produce any desired power level, begin producing cost-competitive electricity it will begin a “stampede”.

    At least one competitive design is being developed. It may prove superior. Since it is well understood by the inventor, early regulatory approval may prove possible.

    These developments could cost-competitively undercut any need for new Uranium fueled nuclear plant production.

    And LENR designs have no possible chance of a meltdown!

    For a few other revolutionary, inexpensive, breakthroughs in energy, see Black Swans on the same Aesop Institute website.

    Small is still beautiful.

    [link]      
  76. By Kit P on March 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    “I will disagree on this ..”

     

    You would be wrong of course (again). Bad, bad, bad for an environmental engineer. While I was thinking of air quality, you must also think about water quality related to tire and road wear and minor oil leaks. I am sure PaulN can tell me about current regulation for storm water runoff and such.

    “30yr ago”

     

    It is not 30yr ago. Many who talk about ‘dirty’ energy are really talking about how we used to do things. Twenty years ago I was very anti-coal but I am impressed with how the ‘competition’ has cleaned. KitP remembers when he used to buy oil by the case. My old PU drips or burns almost no oil.

     

    While accidents make headlines, please observe how mush concrete there is allowing oily runoff.

     

    “run on Potassium Iodide pills on Vancouver Island”

     

    Did any of these folks go to the beach to take pictures up close of tsunami?

     

    “100,000 people into the building”

     

    I am not a structural engineer but my understanding is that modern building codes provide some assurance that occupants will be able to get out before the building collapses. Safety related nuke building maintain their safety function after the earth quake.

     

    “navigate the zone of death surrounding you in order to later escape”

     

    What zone of death? There is no zone of death around any of the nuke plants. How hard is it to read a dosimeter and limit your stay time? Radiation is not that big of a hazard. I do understand the irrational fear that some have but you might notice no matter how many times the talking heads on TV talk about ‘deadly’ radiation there are no dead people.

    [link]      
  77. By Eddie Devere on March 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    RR–
    What you are calling this “self-sustaining cycle” of energy consumption is not a bad thing. In fact, the goal of life is to consume energy (i.e. exergy). The problem with consuming energy/exergy is that sometimes the act of consuming energy causes us to destroy our means of consuming more energy/exergy. (i.e. pollution can sometimes cause more damage than we can recover in the selling of the electricity/fuels.)
    So, there’s a reason that politicians try to keep electricity/gasoline prices as low as possible, and that reason is that consuming energy/exergy is the goal of all life, not just human life.
    You should expect to get nasty comments from people when you write an article suggesting that taxes to promote consuming less energy/exergy is a good thing.
    I think that you should focus (as you do in most of your posts) on how to keep energy/exergy cheap and as environmentally benign as possible.

    [link]      
  78. By Kit P on March 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    “if you have a more educated estimate of the area spoiled for normal life…”

     

    None so far! You have to look at the nature of the release so far. Most will decay away in 30 days. If Unit 4 fuel pool gets hot enough to generate a zirconium fire, lots of long lived particulate fission products could be carried into the wind. Seeing high pressure fire nozzles put water onto the roofs is reassuring.

    [link]      
  79. By rrapier on March 19, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Eddie Devere said:

    RR–

    What you are calling this “self-sustaining cycle” of energy consumption is not a bad thing. In fact, the goal of life is to consume energy (i.e. exergy). 


     

    Then maybe we should embark upon a campaign for people to leave more lights on and consume as much energy as they can. Then we can embark upon a major campaign of building new power plants to fuel all of this energy consumption, and we can burn through our fossil reserves as quickly as we can. Then, when we are thoroughly overextended and are scrambling to find energy to sustain society, we can at least die knowing that we had a good thing for a brief period of time.

    Or, maybe you are not differentiating between biological organisms using energy for life and humans wasting energy that has to be supplied by depleting resources, thus depleting them even faster. So I don’t agree with the premise. There are plenty of people who live rich, full lives while consuming a fraction of the energy we consume. And if energy was more expensive, we would tend to waste less of it so some might be left for future generations.

    RR

    [link]      
  80. By paul-n on March 19, 2011 at 5:00 am

    You would be wrong of course (again).

    Hmm, I must have just imagined all those oil contaminated sites I investigated or cleaned up

    Bad, bad, bad for an environmental engineer.

    .So you would not clean them up?  

    While I was thinking of air quality,

    I was actually solving environmental problems.

    It is not 30yr ago.

    No, but the reactors in question here are even older than that.

     

    Regardless of the outcome in Japan,  I expect we will be seeing quite some discussion at national government levels about the future of nuclear power.  I doubt it will change anything much – those governments that support it, will likely continue to do so, and those that don’t, won’t.  

    [link]      
  81. By tennie davis on March 19, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Good post Robert. To answer the question “how much are you willing to pay to be nuke free”
    My answer would be, not one cent, because I don’t want to be nuke free.
    Nuclear radiation provides me with free vitamin d.
    I like sunshine but it does not come without risk.
    Skin cancer is a risk I have to accept.
    I also like cheap electricity from paloverde nuke plant (I live about 130 mi east of it.)
    Call me silly if you wish, but I’m more afraid of Arizona sun cancer risk than 4000 mw of electricity that pays tons of taxes in my state.
    paloverde nuke electricity also provides affordable electricity to coppermines in my state which pay tons of taxes and supplies jobs.
    We need more nuke power, not less!
    I would cheerfully pay about 1-3 cents more per kwh of clean safe nuke electricity if, and only if, it meant reducing the % of coal for electricty use from the current 50% to lets say 20%? and save coal reserves for future use/emergencies.
    simply put, our energy reserves (coal nat gas oil ect) needs to “outlast” our enemies desire/ability to kill us.
    Another way of saying that, which may be more politically correct, is we can continue to produce gross domestic product longer than our competitors can,thus demonstrating American exeptionalism……….oh wait…that ain’t pc either….forgive me!

    [link]      
  82. By Kit P on March 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

    “I must have just imagined ..”

     

    No but it sounds like you have a bad case of tunnel vision. Focus on one event and ignore a million.

    “So you would not clean them up?”

     

    I would evaluate if nature would do a faster job than man. How many times I you seen that while evaluating what to do, nature remediated itself. That does not mean, man can not take credit, who will know.

    “I was actually solving environmental problems.”

     

    Always found that it was better not to make them in the first place.

    “No, but the reactors in question here are even older than that.”

     

    Yes, demonstrating to the oil industry how to produce energy without killing people or having major environment disasters.

    “discussion at national government levels about the future of nuclear power.”

     

    Actually we already did that. Because of events 2004, the US NRC looked at earthquakes and tsunamis that could be worse that considered in the original design. Sam posted a story discussing the results.

    “Nuclear radiation provides me with free vitamin d.”

     

    That comes from the sun not commercial nuke plants tennie. The only thing you will get standing near a US nuke plant is a sunburn. When I was radiation safety officer on a surface nuke, bridge officers got more exposure from the sun than officers standing watch in the engine room just aft of the reactor compartment. The reason of course is shielding. Sorry no free vitamins.

     

    [link]      
  83. By PeteS on March 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Eddie Devere said:

    …the goal of life is to consume energy (i.e. exergy)… So, there’s a reason that politicians try to keep electricity/gasoline prices as low as possible, and that reason is that consuming energy/exergy is the goal of all life, not just human life.


     

    Exergy is about the extraction of useful energy, not just the profligate use of energy. Darwin’s concept of the “struggle for life” assumed that resources were always scarce. Lotka’s idea, developed by Odum, of the “Maximum Power Principle” described natural selection as the conferring of evolutionary advantage on those organisms who used energy most efficiently. And Schrodinger similarly said that “life feeds on negative entropy“, explaining that he intentionally avoided the use of the term “free energy” because it would mean a different thing to a lay person than to a physicist. And he was right, because to say that “the goal of life is to consume energy” is exactly the mistake he anticipated.

    [link]      
  84. By rate-crimes on March 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

    “In fact, the goal of life is to consume energy (i.e. exergy).” – Eddie Devere

    Do you mean the primary, essential goal? Do you mean for all life? Do mean limitless consumption?

    As a human being, I have the will to say, “no”. I choose to exercise my will to consume as little as possible. Perhaps life is only a temporary container for matter and energy so that a higher purpose can be discovered and realized?

    “The problem with consuming energy/exergy is that sometimes the act of consuming energy causes us to destroy our means of consuming more energy/exergy.” – Eddie Devere

    You describe cancer.

    [link]      
  85. By PeteS on March 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Robert Rapier said:

    My expectation is that the break even for most renewable energy is higher than where fossil fuel prices are now, and always will be. So overall energy costs will rise. But I think if gasoline was double what it is now, you would definitely see serious penetration of specific renewables.

    RR


     

    On the other hand, I just paid the equivalent of US$8.50/gallon (imperial) for petrol, which is by no means the most expensive in Europe, and there was nary a sign of a renewable alternative on offer. This, despite the evidence that people will opt for cheapness and efficiency where available, judging by the ever-increasing use of diesel.

     

    [link]      
  86. By rate-crimes on March 19, 2011 at 9:38 am

    “No, but the reactors in question here are even older than that.”

    “Yes, demonstrating to the oil industry how to produce energy without killing people or having major environment disasters.” – Kit P

    Kit P, you’re sandboxing again…

    “Hunter Diehl, a 28-year-old Moab man, died in the mine this May, crushed by rock falling from the mine’s ceiling. It was the first uranium mining death in the country since 1998, and the first since uranium’s fickle resurgence.” from Let’s not forget the hidden costs of uranium mining

    Uranium mining left a legacy of death

    Toxic legacy of uranium haunts proposed Colorado mill

    etc., etc., etc.

    [link]      
  87. By sameer-kulkarni on March 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

    PeteS said:

    On the other hand, I just paid the equivalent of US$8.50/gallon (imperial) for petrol, which is by no means the most expensive in Europe, and there was nary a sign of a renewable alternative on offer. This, despite the evidence that people will opt for cheapness and efficiency where available, judging by the ever-increasing use of diesel.

     


     

    Pete, Here in India I am shelling out US$ 5.33 for petrol. However like many in Europe & other Asian countries we have a highly effective mode of subsidized mass transit. So even if the price of petrol touches US$ 8.5/gal we can opt for a cheaper & efficient mode of transportation, which I believe is a short-term solution until biofuels (read Drop-In) become feasible & available in large volumes. It’s funny as to I have not heard of one VC who is promoting smart Mass Transit as an alternative.

     

    [link]      
  88. By Kit P on March 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Our favorite Luddite is is worried about the hidden costs. Of course the one of the consequences of modern society is that people live longer and and therefore are more likely to die of cancer. Ignoring the real cost, that retired people pay for energy, when I hear lung cancer and emphysema I wonder how many packs a day they smoked

     

    “Rell Frederick, now 68, lost a lung to cancer working in the uranium mines in Marysvale in the 1950s. Most of his co-workers are dead from emphysema and various forms of cancer, mostly lung cancer.”

     

    “Arden “Tommy” Higgins, 67, worked 12 years in the mines. He lost part of a lung to cancer and later an ear. He considers himself lucky.”

     

    Second, mining for that period was for weapons production not making electricity. Third, OSHA, EPA, and the NRC was not around back then. While I think ‘legacy of death’ is nothing more than hyperbole; modern practices requires that energy can be produced with insignificant environmental impact and done safely.

    [link]      
  89. By JN2 on March 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Pete S, I just paid $8.60 for a US (not imperial) gallon of diesel (£1.40 per litre in Aberystwyth, UK). This is $10.30 per imperial gallon.

    [link]      
  90. By rrapier on March 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    PeteS said:

    Robert Rapier said:

    My expectation is that the break even for most renewable energy is higher than where fossil fuel prices are now, and always will be. So overall energy costs will rise. But I think if gasoline was double what it is now, you would definitely see serious penetration of specific renewables.

    RR


     

    On the other hand, I just paid the equivalent of US$8.50/gallon (imperial) for petrol, which is by no means the most expensive in Europe, and there was nary a sign of a renewable alternative on offer. This, despite the evidence that people will opt for cheapness and efficiency where available, judging by the ever-increasing use of diesel.

     


     

    I have actually used Europe as an example when people ask at what price biofuels may be competitive. But SAM hit upon this in his comments; you do exhibit different behaviors at that price point. While the UK’s public transportation systems are less developed than those of continental Europe, you still have much better options than are available in most of the U.S. You also drive more fuel efficient cars, and the result is that you consume half the energy per capita that we do in the U.S. (and Canada). So higher prices do influence behavior, and despite an earlier contention that the goal of life is to consume energy, I don’t suspect anyone would like to argue that your lives in Europe are only half as good because you consume half the energy.

    I suspect what we would see in the U.S. is an expansion of public transportation, and much higher usage of ethanol — especially close to the source of production. We would also see a surge in the sale of more fuel efficient cars. So from the perspective of a long-range energy planner, I think it would tick most of the boxes for the kinds of changes you want to see.

    RR

    [link]      
  91. By rate-crimes on March 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    “Our favorite Luddite is is worried about the hidden costs.” – Kit P

    Either you don’t understand the meaning of “Luddite”, or you’re once again accusing someone else of exhibiting your own sins.  While destroying existing assets would be foolish, accounting for all the costs of all the possibilities should be a goal shared by all.

    “While I think ‘legacy of death’ is nothing more than hyperbole” – Kit P

    The history of people dying from uranium mining meets the definition of a legacy of death. How is that hyperbolic? Don’t we diminish those deaths if we ignore them? If we diminish those deaths, how much do we diminish efforts to avoid further fatalities?

    “modern practices requires that energy can be produced with insignificant environmental impact and done safely.” – Kit P

    Deaths at West Virginia Mine Raise Issues About Safety April 2010 . . . that’s “modern”.

    “mining for that period was for weapons production not making electricity.” – Kit P

    The uranium used in nuclear power reactors since 1958 appeared magically and continues to do so? Actually, we now rely on other countries to mine the resource:

    Global Distribution of Uranium Mine Production

    [link]      
  92. By tennie davis on March 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Kit, my point was, I dont get nuclear radiation from paloverde nuke plant, I get it from the intense arizona sunshine, thats the radiation I was referring to.
    This discussion brings me to an obvious question.
    What is the most dangerous way to produce electricity per gwh?

    [link]      
  93. By Kit P on March 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I was pretty sure I knew the gist of your point tennie. Glad top see you are hanging in on the debate.

     

    “What is the most dangerous way to produce electricity per gwh?”

     

    Why do you ask tennie? Are you concerned about each human life or do you want to win a petty argument? It has been a tragic week. I read a story about 30 children in Japan who are still waiting for their parents to come pick them up. If you are a parent you know no force on earth that would keep you from finding your children unless you were dead.

     

    The answer to your question is that they are all about the same in western countries that have strict safety regulations. China is in a class of its own. However, China has reduced fatalities associated with coal by a factor of 10 in the last few years.

     

    In other words, making electricity is safe in the US. Furthermore, the cost of safety is low. It is more of a matter of good management. The nuke industry is one of the most regulated but produces electricity at the the lowest cost.

    [link]      
  94. By rrapier on March 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Excessive Radiation Levels Found in Food Near Nuke Plant

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan – In the first sign that contamination from Japan’s
    stricken nuclear complex had seeped into the food chain, officials said
    Saturday that radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near the
    tsunami-crippled facility exceeded government safety limits.

    Minuscule amounts of radioactive iodine also were found in tap water
    Friday in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan — although experts said none of
    those tests showed any health risks. The Health Ministry also said that
    radioactive iodine slightly above government safety limits was found in
    drinking water at one point Thursday in a sampling from Fukushima
    prefecture, the site of the nuclear plant, but later tests showed the
    level had fallen again.

    Six workers trying to bring the Fukushima Dai-ichi
    plant back under control were exposed to more than 100 millisieverts of
    radiation — Japan’s normal limit for those involved in emergency
    operations, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the
    complex. The government raised that limit to 250 millisieverts on
    Tuesday as the crisis escalated.

    [link]      
  95. By Kit P on March 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    More evidence that the authorities are properly managing the event. In an emergency, radiation workers can exceed annual does to protect equipment to reduce releases and a higher limit to save a life. For example, if a worker had a heart attack; first aid comes before paper work.

     

    Second they are testing the most obvious routes of contamination into the food supply, I-131. Since I-131 has a half life of about 8 days; if contamination is twice the limit; in 8 days it will be at the limit, 16 days half the limit and so forth. Keep in mind that limits for food safety are very conservative. Spill milk on the Hanford reservation and the dirt has to be disposed of as low level radioactive waste. Many food have relatively high level of activity naturally.

     

    I am a little irritated with the arm chair quarter backing by the US officials. Japanese officials have a lot of other things to worry about.

     

    “More than 11,000 people are still missing, and more than 452,000 are living in shelters.”

     

    With respect to radiation, it appears that Japanese officials have made conservative decisions but must consider risk of expanding the evacuation when emergency services are already taxed.

    The crux of the event was:

     

    “The complex was protected against tsunamis of up to 5 meters (16 feet), he said. Media reports say the tsunami was at least 6 meters (20 feet) high when it struck Fukushima.

    Spokesman Motoyasu Tamaki also acknowledged that the complex was old, and might not have been as well-equipped as newer facilities. “

    [link]      
  96. By Anonymous One on March 20, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Radiation Dose Chart
    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    [link]      
  97. By rate-crimes on March 20, 2011 at 3:05 am

    “The nuke industry is one of the most regulated but produces electricity at the the lowest cost.” – Kit P

    Should instead read, “The nuke industry likes to pretend its energy is cheap because it pushes its risks into the public sector through schemes like the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act and by disregarding a host of other real costs.”

    [link]      
  98. By rate-crimes on March 20, 2011 at 3:30 am

    “Second they are testing the most obvious routes of contamination into the food supply, I-131.” – Kit P

    You neglected to mention the cesium-137

    The spinach also contained slightly higher than allowable amounts of cesium 137.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03…..japan.html

     

    The “crux of the event” is that the Japanese nuclear industry was unprepared at a plant where they had the longest period of time to prepare?  If they were prepared at newer plants, why could they not be prepared at older plants?  Looks like cost-cutting earned its payback.  ”Electricity at the lowest cost”, indeed. 

    “The nuke industry is one of the most regulated but produces electricity at the the lowest cost.” – Kit P

    Why couldn’t Japan’s old plants meet the same standards as their new plants?  What were the regulations and where were the regulators?

    [link]      
  99. By Kit P on March 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

    “You neglected to mention the cesium-137…”

    I did not neglect to mention anything but if Rate Crimes wants to talk about safe levels of cesium-137 I will. From the NYT link,

    “Iodine 131 and cesium 137 are two of the more dangerous elements that are feared to have been released from the plants in Fukushima.”

     

    That is just not true. Above SDW limits does not imply dangerous. Below the limit is an indication that it is safe. Above the limit requires that precautions be taken. In the USSR even the simplest precautions to protect the public and workers were not taken after Chernobyl.

     

    I do not know what the Japanese will do. It is like this, if you have to eat more than two pounds of spinach a day to get exceed a limit, I am not thinking it is very dangerous. I suspect that the Japanese will err on the side of caution and destroy the crops.

    [link]      
  100. By Kit P on March 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

    “The “crux of the event” is that the Japanese nuclear industry was unprepared at a plant where they had the longest period of time to prepare?  If they were prepared at newer plants, why could they not be prepared at older plants?  Looks like cost-cutting earned its payback.  ”Electricity at the lowest cost”, indeed.”

     

    Wendell how much does it cost to build a breakwater? This something almost everyone should be able to understand from watching the news. If you knew a tsunami of X feet was going to rollover your break water and kill thousands and cause property damage in the billions, would you build a breakwater X +5 feet?

     

    A thousand year event happened. Everyone would now will be building to the ‘new’ worse case. In the US, we have examined these issue because of events that occurred in 2004. I was in a containment building building last week. Readers ask if what about the New Madrid earthquake. This containment building design requirements are 5 times the last New Madrid earthquake.

    [link]      
  101. By rate-crimes on March 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

    In 1959, the Santa Susana field laboratory operated by Rocketdyne experienced a meltdown (YouTube video).

    [link]      
  102. By Kit P on March 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Wow, another ‘little known deadly disaster! I am think it can not be much of a disaster if not very many people know about about it. It can not be very deadly if no one dies.

     

    When you look at the number of horror moves, people love to be frightened by drama. Unfortunately, the news media loves drama too. I do understand the irrational fear of radioactive contamination and radiation. However, enough links have been provided that those who want to understand the risk can.

    Radioactive contamination and radiation are predictable properties of materials. If you know the chemical properties you can predict how they will affect people.

     

    If the radiation levels are high move away farther away. If food is contaminated, do not eat it.

     

    How hard is that?

    [link]      
  103. By rrapier on March 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Kit P said:

    That is just not true. Above SDW limits does not imply dangerous. Below the limit is an indication that it is safe.


     

    I don’t agree with that statement. I do know a fair amount of radiation, having worked extensively with Californium 252 in college. I also understand the mechanisms by which radiation causes cancer. It is all about probabilities. We can say that below a certain threshold the probability that a radioactive particle will impact upon a specific segment of DNA and thus lead to uncontrolled cell growth (cancer) is low enough to be acceptable. But we can’t say that at that level it is “safe” if safe is defined as “no possibility of causing harm at that level.”

    In fact, one chest X-ray, which we deem as safe, can theoretically lead to cancer. But against the background probability of cancer, the risk is deemed to be very low. For instance, if we all have a 40% chance of getting cancer in our lives, a chest X-ray may increase that probability to 40.001% (just as a for instance). That is small enough that we deem it insignificant. But if you understand how radiation causes cancer, you know why that percentage went up ever so slightly, and why more chest X-rays (or airline flights) slightly increase the chance of cancer (and thus why X-ray techs wear lead aprons).

    RR

    [link]      
  104. By Kit P on March 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Do not be offended RR but doing something in college does not make you qualified to discuss it. The level of your knowledge is better than most however.

    “But we can’t say that at that level it is “safe” if safe is defined as “no possibility of causing harm at that level.”

     

    By RR’s definition, everything is dangerous. Clearly, I-131 is more dangerous than say californium but that is not the point. Safe is defined as having an ‘insignificant’ risk rather than “no possibility of causing harm”. It is a matter of practicality. In our world there is more risk in doing something than nothing.

    “For instance, if we all have a 40% chance of getting cancer in our lives, a chest X-ray may increase that probability to 40.001% (just as a for instance). That is small enough that we deem it insignificant.”

     

    Actually insignificant is more like 40.00001%. That is the risk of getting cancer if the X-ray machine screws up you get at fatal dose (L/D 50) but survive.  While there is a statistacal relationship between high levels of expsoure (surviving Hiroshema) or crude medical tratments there is a big deabte about the lenear treshold theory.   It is a problem with measurement. We live in a world of smokers and genetics.

    “and thus why X-ray techs wear lead aprons”

     

    No! X-ray techs wear lead aprons because why not. Lead aprons cause no harm. It is called ALARA. The risk of occupational exposure is insignificant. 

    My statement is correct. Exceeding a safety limit does not imply dangerous. If you are above a limit, added management of the hazard is necessary to evaluate the risk.

    One of the ironies of my career is getting more exposure from chest X-rays than from the power plant. The rules said I had to have a chest X-rays to wear a respirator. In the plant, we work hard to limit exposure. Then we go sickbay for a routine chest X-rays just to hear oops, screwed that up, step for another one.

    [link]      
  105. By rate-crimes on March 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    “By RR’s definition, everything is dangerous.” – Kit P

    That’s not what I understood Robert to be saying. He provided a thoughtful analysis, while you paint with a brush of banal generalities.

    “In our world there is more risk in doing something than nothing.” – Kit P

    Now there is a banal generality.  The “our world” that you see is not the same one that most of us see. Why could there not be more risk in doing nothing?

    “While there is a statistacal [sic] relationship between high levels of expsoure [sic] (surviving Hiroshema [sic]) or crude medical tratments [sic] there is a big deabte[sic] about the lenear [sic] treshold [sic] theory.   It is a problem with measurement. We live in a world of smokers and genetics.” – Kit P

    You claim there is a debate, mention problems with measurement, and then pawn if off to “smokers and genetics”?

    If your’s is the type of thinking that is representative of a “radiation safety officer” then just how safe can we really be?

     

    P.S. Please invest in a spell checker.

    [link]      
  106. By doggydogworld on March 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Kit P said:

    In an emergency, radiation workers can exceed annual does to protect equipment to reduce releases and a higher limit to save a life. For example, if a worker had a heart attack; first aid comes before paper work.


     

    I’m confused. No workers had heart attacks and needed rescue. So why raise the allowable dose to 250 mSv? That level is only permitted if necessary to save human life. But you said the reactors are “walk away safe”, so by definition they were never a threat to human life. What then is the justification for raising the allowable dose instead of just walking away?

    I also don’t understand your comment about not abandoning ship into cold water at the dosage rates you’re seeing. What dosage rates are you talking about? 50 km away? At the facility gates? Next to reactor 3? Gazing into reactor 4′s spent fuel pool? I agree about dosage rates 50 km away or even at the gate, but the 400 mSv/hour measured near to reactor 3 will cause health issues in a couple hours and kill in a few days. As for standing next to the spent fuel pool, I haven’t seen a measurement but when the rods were uncovered the radiation was likely intense enough to kill in an hour.

    [link]      
  107. By doggydogworld on March 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    One nitpick on the income tax proposal. A family of four making $50k does not  pay anywhere near $10k in income tax. The number is below $2k, and that assumes the standard deduction and no IRAs or other adjustments or credits. With a typical mortgage, IRAs, etc. this family would pay less than $1000 and possibly zero. I realize you used $10k for illustration purposes only, but it’s worth noting that roughly half the population pays no income tax already and your approach would require that more than half would not only pay nothing but would in fact receive large government checks. This has social implications.

    My bigger issue with your energy/income tax swap is fairness. The rural poor would bear the brunt of the hardship while urban poor, who have access to alternatives, would get a windfall. Attempts to adjust for this would be extremely cumbersome and prone to being gamed.

    I continue to believe a gas tax applied at the new car point of purchase would be 10x more effective with much less disruption than a tax applied at the pump. Every gas-only car and truck we make commits us to burning 6000-15000 gallons of gas during that vehicle’s lifetime. A feebate that increases the cost of new gas-only vehicles and reduces the cost of non-gas vehicles such as EVs would equalize sticker prices and drive mass production of non-gas cars and trucks while being revenue-neutral and causing minimal hardship to our 250m+ drivers. The fee would start out very small (10-20 cents/gal) and scale up to a buck/gallon as non-gas vehicle production ramps. Even at $1/gal buyers of gas-only vehicles would probably still come out ahead as reduced demand leads to reduced pump prices (it only takes a few percent demand reduction to have a drastic impact on pump price).

     

    [link]      
  108. By rrapier on March 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    doggydogworld said:

    I continue to believe a gas tax applied at the new car point of purchase would be 10x more effective with much less disruption than a tax applied at the pump. Every gas-only car and truck we make commits us to burning 6000-15000 gallons of gas during that vehicle’s lifetime. A feebate that increases the cost of new gas-only vehicles and reduces the cost of non-gas vehicles such as EVs would equalize sticker prices and drive mass production of non-gas cars and trucks while being revenue-neutral and causing minimal hardship to our 250m+ drivers. The fee would start out very small (10-20 cents/gal) and scale up to a buck/gallon as non-gas vehicle production ramps. Even at $1/gal buyers of gas-only vehicles would probably still come out ahead as reduced demand leads to reduced pump prices (it only takes a few percent demand reduction to have a drastic impact on pump price).

     


     

    But the auto industry would never get behind that, and I am not sure that it could be applied in such a way to ever get them behind it.

    My “plan” isn’t so much a plan as an idea. The idea could be implemented in many different ways, but I do believe such a shift from income to energy taxes is feasible and a plan can be devised so that it is fair. It may in fact hit some people harder than others: Those who use the most energy. That will give them plenty of incentive to make changes. And you would ramp the program in over time, so they would have time to make sure future vehicle purchases are fuel efficient.

    RR

    [link]      
  109. By paul-n on March 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I continue to believe a gas tax applied at the new car point of purchase would be 10x more effective with much less disruption than a tax applied at the pump.

    A feebate that increases the cost of new gas-only vehicles and reduces the cost of non-gas vehicles such as EVs would equalize sticker prices and drive mass production of non-gas cars and trucks

    The problem with this thinking, is that this already exists, and is not working.  There is a $7k tax credit on the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, today, which is 28,000 gallons at your starting rate of 20c/gal, and 7000 gal at $1/gal, which is your lifetime fuel use for a small/midsize passenger vehicle.  So your price equalisation scheme is already in full force, just applied in reverse, and is achieving squat – there has hardly been a stampede for these vehicles.  

    The main result of such a scheme would be to encourage everyone to hold onto their existing vehicles for even longer, which will not decrease oil usage as these vehicles are less efficient than the new ones.

    You are keeping the consumption act cheap, while raising the price of the vehicles.  Once people have them, they might as well drive them, as they have already paid the gas tax.  Look at what happens with any pre-paid things, from all you can eat to cellphone text plans – the cheaper unit cost, the more people engage in  the activity, long after the pain of the upfront charge is gone.

     

     

     

     

    [link]      
  110. By Kit P on March 21, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    “So why raise the allowable dose to 250 mSv?”

    This is the level to protect equipment not to save lives. Workers are not getting dangerous levels of radiation.

    “As for standing next to the spent fuel pool, I haven’t seen a measurement but when the rods were uncovered the radiation was likely intense enough to kill in an hour.”

    You are correct. I am trained to know that losing the water above the spent fuel pool will hurt me. I am also trained to leave an area if you do not have properly functioning radiation detection. That is why fire fighters using truck to spray water up and only coming to the trucks to fuel them.

    [link]      
  111. By Anonymous One on March 22, 2011 at 3:44 am


    Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions For Nuclear Incidents

    Page 2-9
    Table 2-2 Guidance on Dose Limits for Workers Performing Emergency Services
    Dose limit : 5 rem (50mSv) Activity: all
    Dose limit: 10 rem (100mSv) Activity: protecting valuable property
    Dose limit: 25 rem (250mSv) Activity: life saving or protection of large populations

    [link]      
  112. By Doug on March 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Robert, I’m not sure it simply comes down to cost.  Many of us would be willing to pay more for the energy we use, and to use less, but I at least would draw the line at reliability.  If I’m addicted to anything, it’s technological civilization – I don’t want to give that up.  When doing any calculus about harms and benefits, people too quickly forget the benefits of having safe food and drinking water, high-tech health care, amulances and fire trucks to dispatch to emergencies, etc. etc.  You need to consider those benefits when accepting some downside, even a small one, from a power source.

     

    If cost wasn’t an issue, here’s my question: could we run something like our present civilization, meaning one where power is available when needed, not on mother nature’s schedule but ours, and at something like European levels of consumption, on renewables alone?  What about if we make that same statement and include everyone currently living in poor countries?

     

    This is where I fall off the renewables-only bus – my back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the scale of (say) solar we’d need is impossibly large, requiring far too much land to be covered just to produce power, and requiring unrealistic amounts of concrete, steel, and an aluminum.  And that completely leaves aside the problem of how to store power from intermittent sources.  I don’t accept hand-wavy assertions that (for example) a continental super-grid will average out the intermittency from wind – show me the data, please.  Or that vehicle-to-grid will actually work – has anyone calculated how many rare metals would be needed to build that many batteries?

     

    I believe we can get some power from renewables – I’m not a “basher”.  But I’m skeptical that it can make up more than 20% or so of our power grid, which needs to expand if we’re going to electrify at least some of our transport.  I think we can lower our consumption of energy somewhat, but I don’t think we can give up reliability.  Also, I think that in the aggregate, grid demand is likely to go up even in the face of conservation measures, because of population growth, development of poor countries, and electrified transport.  So given that, what’s the answer for carbon-free power?  It’s this apparent truth, not cost, that puts me in the pro-nuke camp.  Prove me wrong, please!

    [link]      
  113. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

    “If I’m addicted to anything, it’s technological civilization – I don’t want to give that up.” – Doug

    Doug, what you are addicted to is a particular expression of “technological civilization”. What may determine the sustainability of this or any civilization is its wisdom in surrendering its fictions.

    “If cost wasn’t an issue, here’s my question: could we run something like our present civilization, meaning one where power is available when needed, not on mother nature’s schedule but ours” – Doug

    One must ask, what is your definition of “needed”?  As has been recently shown once again, believing that mankind is running on ‘our schedule’ rather than nature’s schedule is the very definition of hubris. Should we not be designing both from and for nature? Are our systems too rigid?

    “This is where I fall off the renewables-only bus – my back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the scale of (say) solar we’d need is impossibly large, requiring far too much land to be covered just to produce power, and requiring unrealistic amounts of concrete, steel, and an aluminum. [emphasis mine]” – Doug

    You fell off any bus you were riding when you succumbed to the fallacy that renewables are an ‘all-or-nothing’ proposition. Furthermore, you neglect to account for the full parallel costs traditional fuel sources: that is “unrealistic”. Many people living comfortable, modern lifestyles are able to provide all the energy they require at their home with only the energy that is generated on-site. Land is not an issue.

    “has anyone calculated how many rare metals would be needed to build that many batteries?” – Doug

    Just like calculations for the finitude of uranium, coal, gas, petroleum, etc., such numbers are always debatable.

    “I’m skeptical that it can make up more than 20% or so of our power grid, which needs to expand if we’re going to electrify at least some of our transport.” – Doug

    Let’s try first for that 20%, shall we? Renewables are currently (bad pun) such a small percentage that arguments against it are rather ridiculous.

    “I think we can lower our consumption of energy somewhat

    How much is “somewhat”?

    “but I don’t think we can give up reliability.” – Doug

    Japan just ‘gave up’ reliability. Or, rather, they lost it because of a vulnerable design relying on expensive, central generation.

    “So given that, what’s the answer for carbon-free power?” – Doug

    A greater exercise of muscle power between the ears.

    “It’s this apparent truth, not cost, that puts me in the pro-nuke camp.” – Doug

    Doug, you display quite a number of the favorite fallacies of the nuclear fetishists camp.

    “Prove me wrong, please!” – Doug

    There.

    [link]      
  114. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Source of 30-mile oil spill in Gulf puzzles officials  March 21, 2011

    “Emulsified oil, oil mousse and tar balls from an unknown source were washing up on beaches from Grand Isle to West Timbalier Island along the Gulf of Mexico, a stretch of about 30 miles, and it was still heading west Monday afternoon, a Louisiana official said. The state is testing the material to see if it matches oil from last April’s BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.”

    [link]      
  115. By Wendell Mercantile on March 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    …oil mousse and tar balls from an unknown source.

    Not directed at you Rate Crimes, just commenting on the link you pointed us to.

    Oil mousse? Give me a break. “Mousse” is the French word for froth or foam. Why would they select the pretentious word mousse for oil that had been whipped into foam by wind and wave action, instead of just calling it “oil foam?”

    When small, one of my favorite colors was sea foam green. I guess I can now start calling it sea mousse green, right?

    [link]      
  116. By Doug on March 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    Doug, you display quite a number of the favorite fallacies of the nuclear fetishists camp.

    “Prove me wrong, please!” – Doug

    There.


     

    And your arrogant reply, completely lacking in specifics, proving absolutely nothing despite your smug closing line, is a favourite tactic of the renewables fetishists “camp”.

    Care to actually address my concerns about intermittency and scalability with some specifics?  For instance, if we’re supposed to work around lack of reliability of a renewables-only energy system, what are people in cold climates supposed to do for heat in winter, move south?  Or does your plan have enough storage to avoid this?  What about manufacturing operations that need energy?  Are we supposed to move to a system where  workers are “on call” to come to the factory when power is available, and idle when it’s not?  Are we moving to bicycles as our primary form of transport, accepting limited range, longer travel times, and having some other solution for the elderly and infirm? What about during the transition?  If you actually had that 20% renewable capacity on line tomorrow, and you could shut down a nuke plant or a coal plant, with the knowledge that the plant you don’t shut down will be running for several more decades, which are you intending to shut down?  What about if it’s a nat gas plant versus a nuke?

    Be as specific as possible, please, so everyone gets where you’d like to lead us.  Because, frankly, those of us who think we need both renewables and nuclear can’t help suspecting a bait-and-switch from the renewables-only side, when specifics are lacking.  We can’t help being suspicious, as I’ll be you would be if someone tryed to sell you an energy plan that sounded pain-free but that you suspected wasn’t going to work, and that lacked enough detail for you to critique it.  We can’t help suspecting that you’d rather accept a higher level of CO2 emissions during a long transition period than accept the perceived risks of nuclear, but you don’t want to say so.  We can’t help suspecting that you’d rather see us roll back a good part of the industrial revolution, perhaps at the expense of living standards in poor countries, in the name of environmental protection.  And we can’t help suspecting that you know this is a tough sell politically, and so are careful never to put words to paper.

    [link]      
  117. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    “if we’re supposed to work around lack of reliability of a renewables-only energy system” – Doug

    Apparently, you can’t read…

    “This is where I fall off the renewables-only bus – my back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the scale of (say) solar we’d need is impossibly large, requiring far too much land to be covered just to produce power, and requiring unrealistic amounts of concrete, steel, and an aluminum. [emphasis mine]” – Doug

    You fell off any bus you were riding when you succumbed to the fallacy that renewables are an ‘all-or-nothing’ proposition.

    [link]      
  118. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    …oil mousse and tar balls from an unknown source.

    Not directed at you Rate Crimes, just commenting on the link you pointed us to.

    Oil mousse? Give me a break. “Mousse” is the French word for froth or foam. Why would they select the pretentious word mousse for oil that had been whipped into foam by wind and wave action, instead of just calling it “oil foam?”

    When small, one of my favorite colors was sea foam green. I guess I can now start calling it sea mousse green, right?


     

    Peut-être, parce que le reportage est du Times-Picayune, un journal de La Nouvelle-Orléans, où le français est souvent parlé.  Le mot, mousse, est utilisé souvent en anglais aussi. 

    Vous pouvez bien l’appeler la mousse verte de mer, où si vous preferez, on peut l’appeler par le terme moins prétentieux, santorum.

    [link]      
  119. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    “Or does your plan have [...]” – Doug

    I don’t have a ‘plan’, as you imagine. My only agenda is to promote the fair accounting of all the costs involved, for all potential energy sources.

    Japan’s big ‘plans’ have left them in a predicament, even though the Fukushima reactor flaws were predicted – 35 years ago.

    [link]      
  120. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    “This is where I fall off the renewables-only bus” – Doug

    “those of us who think we need both renewables and nuclear” – Doug

    Make up your mind.

    [link]      
  121. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    “Are we moving to bicycles as our primary form of transport, accepting limited range, longer travel times, and having some other solution for the elderly and infirm?” – Doug

    Yes.

    P.S. I bicycle about 10K km each year, use public transportation, and use trains for long-distance travel.  It’s healthier, less stressful, and provides more time to read.  I hope that the elderly and the infirm aren’t behind the wheel!

    [link]      
  122. By Kit P on March 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    “I believe we can get some power from renewables – I’m not a “basher”. But I’m skeptical that it can make up more than 20% or so of our power grid”

    That is a pretty good assessment Doug if you include large hydro as renewable energy.

    ‘Clean’ energy is not any cleaner than how we get our electricity today. Since renewable energy is such a small part of the mix there is not much to object to. When something stops being a niche, people start objecting. Spectacular equipment failures will start becoming too frequent and too close to home.

    The real problem with many sources of renewable energy is the reliability of the equipment that produces it. At some point in time, it breaks faster than it can get repaired.

    [link]      
  123. By rate-crimes on March 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    “But I’m skeptical that it can make up more than 20% or so of our power grid” – Doug

    “That is a pretty good assessment Doug if you include large hydro as renewable energy.” – Kit P

    That’s a poor conjecture.  Especially, when we consider that utilities will spend millions to maintain hydro in severe droughts.   Even large hydro is susceptible to failure whereas the sun, wind, and (some) geothermal can assure at least some continuity.

    “‘Clean’ energy is not any cleaner than how we get our electricity today.” – Kit P

    It’s not precisely clear what you mean by “‘clean’ energy”, but I’m sure the people of Fukushima Prefecture might beg to differ; as would many Nigerians, or many West Virginians who have lost their lands to mountaintop removal, or those familiar with the Athabascan oil sands, or those threatened by tailings from uranium mining, etc., etc., etc.

    “When something stops being a niche, people start objecting.” – Kit P

    “People” start objecting because “something” is no longer “a niche”? Rather, when new, unfamiliar technologies emerge they are perceived as a threat by vested interests.

    “The real problem with many sources of renewable energy is the reliability of the equipment that produces it.”- Kit P

    The real advantage is that the reliability of renewable energy systems is quite high.  Even with the MTBF of the previous generation of inverters, solar outperformed traditional investments in sunny climates.  The even greater advantage of distributed generation is that failures are localized and the repairs are easier and less costly.  The greatest advantage of renewables is that even their most spectacular failures don’t risk polluting the ecosystem for generations while creating enormous, sudden gaps in regional energy provision.

    “At some point in time, it breaks faster than it can get repaired.” – Kit P

    Are you now including nuclear energy as a renewable source?

    [link]      
  124. By Kit P on March 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    “Fukushima reactor flaws were predicted – 35 years ago.”

    Sounds like a Bridenbaugh is not a very good engineer.

    “The reactors “did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant,” Bridenbaugh told ABC News.”

    The GE design responded very well to the natural disaster. The reactor scrammed as designed because a large earthquake was detected. The earthquake also caused a loss of offsite power. RCIC started up and supplied cooling water to the core as designed. There was no loss of coolant accident (LOCA).

    Then the tsunami hit taking out the emergency diesels. The design of the breakwater and the emergency diesels is not done by GE.

    In any case, RCIC does not need AC power to function so it continued to supply cooling water to the core as designed. Again no LOCA.

    The details of what happened when batteries died is still not clear. The GE plants I was could vent without a hydrogen explosion damaging the roof of the Reactor building or anything else for that matter. It will take a lots of investigation to determine how things have gone better.

    Again, no one has received levels of exposure that will cause harm. A massive natural disaster occurred.

    [link]      
  125. By xenang's on March 22, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Reports from Duke University revealed that solar energy is cheaper than nuclear energy that have dangerous side effects. In addition to clean, solar energy can also be renewed. Looking at the experience in Fukushima we should be more prudent to determine the best choice of alternative energy.

    [link]      
  126. By rate-crimes on March 23, 2011 at 12:04 am

    “A massive natural disaster occurred.” – Kit P

    Thank you for reminding us of the earthquake and tsunami that transformed a multibillion dollar asset into a multibillion dollar liability, and left an enormous gap in Japan’s power generation.

    [link]      
  127. By rate-crimes on March 23, 2011 at 10:31 am
    [link]      
  128. By Wendell Mercantile on March 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Nothing wrong with either the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, or their design.

    But they built these reactors in the subduction zone where the Pacific tectonic plate is sliding under the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Nuclear reactors where three tectonic plates meet — what could possibly go wrong?

    [link]      
  129. By doggydogworld on March 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Paul N said:

    The problem with this thinking, is that this already exists, and is not working. 


     

    There are long waiting lists for both Volt and LEAF.

    There is a $7k tax credit on the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, today,
    which is 28,000 gallons at your starting rate of 20c/gal,

    20 cents/gal is what the gas-only vehicle buyers pay. Since gas-only vehicles dwarf EV and PHEV sales a small (c. $1000 per car) fee will easily fund the $7000 rebate. As EV/PHEVs gain market share (and economies of scale) the gas fee will increase toward $1/gal and the rebate will decline. You are correct that the net effect is about the same as today’s $7k tax credit. The difference is my scheme is self-funding, whereas a $7k tax credit scheme will collapse under it’s own weight long before PHEVs and EVs achieve critical mass.

    You are keeping the consumption act cheap, while raising the price of the vehicles. 

    True, and my scheme has some other issues as well. But let’s not overstate fuel and vehicle price elasticity. People won’t stop buying $30k new cars because they cost $31k. Or $30.5k if the fee started at a dime/gallon, which would still easily fund the rebate side of the scheme to start out. Conversely, people don’t start driving 20% more when gas prices drop 20%. Or even 2% more, and probably not even 0.2% more. You are correct about directionality but the effect is negligible.

    [link]      
  130. By rate-crimes on March 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    “Nothing wrong with either the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, or their design. – Wendell Mercantile

    Are you sandboxing the reactors? Or, do you believe that storing several hundred tons of spent fuel within close proximity of the reactors is a good design?

    Fukushima’s Spent Fuel Rods Pose Grave Danger

    [link]      
  131. By Wendell Mercantile on March 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Or, do you believe that storing several hundred tons of spent fuel within close proximity of the reactors is a good design?

    No, I don’t. And it’s almost criminal that in the U.S. only politics keeps us from using the repository at Yucca Mountain. It’s just sitting there, ready to be used.

    [link]      
  132. By rate-crimes on March 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    Or, do you believe that storing several hundred tons of spent fuel within close proximity of the reactors is a good design?

    No, I don’t. And it’s almost criminal that in the U.S. only politics keeps us from using the repository at Yucca Mountain. It’s just sitting there, ready to be used.


     

    Excuse me, but you said,

    “Nothing wrong with either the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, or their design.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Are you suggesting that Japan should be shipping their nuclear waste to Nevada?!

    [link]      
  133. By rate-crimes on March 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

    “it’s almost criminal that in the U.S. only politics keeps us from using the repository at Yucca Mountain. It’s just sitting there, ready to be used.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Yucca Mountain wouldn’t be enough for 72K tons of spent nuclear fuel at US plants

     

    From the Clark County, Nevada Nuclear Waste: FAQ:

    Q. Who opposes Yucca Mountain?
    A.
    Clark County, the State of Nevada, and the cities of Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Mesquite have all gone on record as opposing this project.

    Q. What do people in Southern Nevada think about Yucca Mountain?
    A.
    Clark County-commissioned opinion polls consistently indicate a majority of Southern Nevadans oppose the Yucca Mountain Project.

    Q. What is Clark County’s position on Yucca Mountain?
    A.
    The county has passed resolutions opposing the Yucca Mountain Project since 1985.

    [link]      
  134. By Wendell Mercantile on March 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Are you suggesting that Japan should be shipping their nuclear waste to Nevada?!

    Of course not, I clearly said, “…keeps us from using the repository at Yucca Mountain. But, then again…on second thought…

    Considering the Japanese Islands formed where they are because the Pacific Plate is sliding under the North American and Eurasian Plates, there may not be a good place in Japan to store nuclear waste. But that could open the possibility of some poor — but geologically stable — country making big bucks by selling to Japan a suitable place to store nuclear waste.

    The way things are going, that poor country might even be us. Perhaps we could help balance our trade deficit by selling Japan space inside the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. But first we have to get the Nevada politicians to allow our own nuclear power companies to start using Yucca Mountain.

    [link]      
  135. By rate-crimes on March 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    Are you suggesting that Japan should be shipping their nuclear waste to Nevada?!

    Of course not, I clearly said, “…keeps us from using the repository at Yucca Mountain. But, then again…on second thought…

    Considering the Japanese Islands formed where they are because the Pacific Plate is sliding under the North American and Eurasian Plates, there may not be a good place in Japan to store nuclear waste. But that could open the possibility of some poor — but geologically stable — country making big bucks by selling to Japan a suitable place to store nuclear waste.

    The way things are going, that poor country might even be us. Perhaps we could help balance our trade deficit by selling Japan space inside the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. But first we have to get the Nevada politicians to allow our own nuclear power companies to start using Yucca Mountain.

    Because you started the topic by proclaiming . . .

    “Nothing wrong with either the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, or their design.” – Wendell Mercantile

    and then shifted the topic to Yucca Mountain, your “us” could easily be interepreted as meaning all the global nuclear citizens.

    Now, you state,

    “Perhaps we could help balance our trade deficit by selling Japan space inside the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Apparently, you did not read the article that I linked to above.  There is not enough space available in the design of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository for even the existing domestic spent nuclear fuel.

    If your fantasy could be fulfilled, what port would you suggest to use to bring foreign nuclear waste into the U.S?

    “But first we have to get the Nevada politicians to allow our own nuclear power companies to start using Yucca Mountain.” – Wendell Mercantile

    The majority of Nevadans have long opposed the repository.  How do you propose to change their minds?

    [link]      
  136. By Wendell Mercantile on March 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

    The majority of Nevadans have long opposed the repository. How do you propose to change their minds?

    Many people in the south also wanted to keep slavery — we changed their minds, didn’t we?

    [link]      
  137. By rate-crimes on March 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    “Many people in the south also wanted to keep slavery — we changed their minds, didn’t we?” – Wendell Mercantile

    Even after they declared secession, began a civil war by bombarding Fort Sumter, and lost the war, it still took many generations and a Civil Rights Movement before many minds were changed.

    Comparing the wish of the citizens of Nevada to prevent nuclear waste from travelling through, and being stored in their state to slavery is, at best, disrespectful to those who fought slavery, as well as to Nevadans; even if your words were intended as jest.

    [link]      
  138. By Wendell Mercantile on March 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Not disrespectful at all. It just shows that even people so strongly committed to an idea they will go to war, can be made to change their minds. (I am glad you detected at least a hint of jesting in that comment.)

    I might also point out that Yucca Mountain — though within the perimeter of the State of Nevada — is on Federal land.

    [link]      
  139. By rate-crimes on March 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    Not disrespectful at all. It just shows that even people so strongly committed to an idea they will go to war, can be made to change their minds. (I am glad you detected at least a hint of jesting in that comment.)

    I might also point out that Yucca Mountain — though within the perimeter of the State of Nevada — is on Federal land.


     

    By your awkward comparison of the legal actions of citizens to a deadly insurrection leading to civil war, can we then assume that you are recommending force as a valid solution in this circumstance?  Do you have any less drastic recommendations?

    Regardless of where any repository might be located, the hazardous materials must still be transported through many different communities.  As U.S. citizens, those communities and Nevada are also owners of our Federal land.

    Even if the repository was expanded so that it could contain all the existing nuclear waste, when would the expanded repository become full?  Would it be expanded perpetually?

    [link]      
  140. By Wendell Mercantile on March 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Rate Crimes,

    We’ve certainly gone off on a tangent, haven’t we? My original point was that there was nothing wrong with the reactor design at Fukushima, but that it was a grievous error to store spent nuclear fuel above a subduction zone where three tectonic plates meet.

    Then we did some brainstorming on what alternatives there might be. You’ve correctly pointed out that the storage capacity at Yucca Mountain is limited — even if we could wave a magic wand and make the political problems go away.

    So I’ll return to my original idea: There must be some poor country somewhere in the world with no resources — other than being seismically stable — that could profit and improve the lives of its people by building safe repositories for the nuclear waste of geologically unstable countries.

    [link]      
  141. By Kit P on March 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    “what could possibly go wrong?”

     

    I suspect this was a rhetorical question Wendell but let me recap two weeks later. Tens of thousands dead, half a million evacuated from their homes, hundred of thousands with out power. For those who are worried about radiation, no one has been hurt by radiation. The worse exposure so far is about 10 Rem.

     

    The interesting thing about people who are concerned radiation you never hear thanks Kit for the good news.

     

    “but that it was a grievous error to store spent nuclear fuel above a subduction zone where three tectonic plates meet.”

     

    Nonsense, storing spent fuel is not a difficult problem. Wendell you simple design for the environmental conditions. Geology is cool.

    [link]      
  142. By rrapier on March 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Kit P said:

    For those who are worried about radiation, no one has been hurt by radiation. The worse exposure so far is about 10 Rem.
     


     

    From a Yahoo news story I just read about the possibility of a breach at the reactor:

    Suspicions of a possible breach were raised when two workers suffered
    skin burns after wading into water 10,000 times more radioactive than
    levels normally found in water in or around a reactor, the Nuclear and
    Industrial Safety Agency said.

    But they don’t make it clear whether those were radiation burns or whether the water was hot.

    RR

    [link]      
  143. By Wendell Mercantile on March 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Nonsense, storing spent fuel is not a difficult problem.

    Perhaps not, but it becomes a lot less risky doing it in a seismically stable area such as Yucca Mountain, rather than above a subduction zone — which is virtually all the Japanese Islands.

    There are two places within a couple of hours drive of me that store spent nuclear fuel. No one is particularly concerned about it, and there is no reason to be.

    [link]      
  144. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    Rate Crimes,

    We’ve certainly gone off on a tangent, haven’t we? My original point was that there was nothing wrong with the reactor design at Fukushima, but that it was a grievous error to store spent nuclear fuel above a subduction zone where three tectonic plates meet.

    Then we did some brainstorming on what alternatives there might be. You’ve correctly pointed out that the storage capacity at Yucca Mountain is limited — even if we could wave a magic wand and make the political problems go away.

    So I’ll return to my original idea: There must be some poor country somewhere in the world with no resources — other than being seismically stable — that could profit and improve the lives of its people by building safe repositories for the nuclear waste of geologically unstable countries.


    We‘ve certainly gone off on a tangent, haven’t we?” – Wendell Mercantile

    Speak for yourself. In comment #129 you stated . . .

    “Nothing wrong with either the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, or their design.” – Wendell Mercantile

    I questioned your assertion by asking in comment #131,

    “Are you sandboxing the reactors? Or, do you believe that storing several hundred tons of spent fuel within close proximity of the reactors is a good design?” – Rate Crimes

    You gave no answer to these questions. Now, you claim that the question was about the location of the spent fuel, not in relationship to the reactors, but to the subduction zone!

    It is hardly a “tangent” to discuss the storage of spent fuel in a conversation about the costs of nuclear energy and, more specifically, the inherent dangers in the design of a nuclear power plant.

    “So I’ll return to my original idea” – Wendell Mercantile

    Your “original idea” was stated in comment #129. That assertion is still under question.

    “There must be some poor country somewhere in the world with no resources” – Wendell Mercantile

    Your later idea depends on the poverty and desperation of others so that a perpetual burden can be placed on them and their children. Furthermore, your idea ignores the fact that the hazardous waste would likely have to travel through perhaps many other jurisdictions.

    [link]      
  145. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    “There are two places within a couple of hours drive of me that store spent nuclear fuel. No one is particularly concerned about it, and there is no reason to be.” – Wendell Mercantile

    How much is stored there? What geologic and anthropologic features are nearby?

    You claim, “no one is particularly concerned”. Is that assessment from polling or studies? What is the general level of knowledge in the area concerning nuclear waste storage?

    Plenty of knowledgeable people are concerned about nuclear waste storage in myriad locations; and for good reason.

    [link]      
  146. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    “The interesting thing about people who are concerned radiation you never hear thanks Kit for the good news. [sic]” – Kit P

    The only interesting thing there is that you, as a cheerleader, would be seeking praise for your questionable assertions and untempered enthusiasm.

    “people who are concerned radiation [sic]” – Kit P

    You’re sandboxing again: The concerns go far beyond radiation.

    “storing spent fuel is not a difficult problem.” – Kit P

    Nonsense. It is challenging and expensive; and perpetually so. The nuclear industry is suing the federal government (i.e. we U.S. citizens) over the issue. Much money has been spent in attempts to solve the problem.

    “Wendell you simple [sic] design for the environmental conditions. Geology is cool.” – Kit P

    That is the kind of summary analysis that one would expect to hear from a middle school student.

    [link]      
  147. By Wendell Mercantile on March 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    What is the general level of knowledge in the area concerning nuclear waste storage?

    High. One of the sites was among the first in the U.S. to go on line. It has been decommissioned and is no longer operative, but spent nuclear fuel is still stored there.

    It’s in a rural area, and one of the most seismically stable parts of the U.S.

    To say “No one is concerned.” is probably not correct, as someone will always be concerned. It would be more correct to say, “Concern of the people who live in the area is generally low.”

    [link]      
  148. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    What is the general level of knowledge in the area concerning nuclear waste storage?

    High. One of the sites was among the first in the U.S. to go on line. It has been decommissioned and is no longer operative, but spent nuclear fuel is still stored there.

    It’s in a rural area, and one of the most seismically stable parts of the U.S.

    To say “No one is concerned.” is probably not correct, as someone will always be concerned. It would be more correct to say, “Concern of the people who live in the area is generally low.”


     

    Why can you not name the decommissioned sites?  Are they perhaps amongst these?…

    States sue NRC over spent nuclear fuel storage at decommissioned plants

    [link]      
  149. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    “But they don’t make it clear whether those were radiation burns or whether the water was hot.” – Robert Rapier

    This article suggests that someone has called them “beta-burns” . . .

    Fukushima No.3 reactor more seriously damaged than thought
    “these two men that we talked about yesterday were standing in a puddle and that’s when they sustained their so-called beta-burns, their radiation burns.”

    [link]      
  150. By Kit P on March 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    “I just read about the possibility of a breach at the reactor: ..”

     

    Most media stories are basically incoherent because journalist do not understand the terminology. Here are some links that are updated frequently.

     

    http://nei.cachefly.net/newsan…..at-region/

    http://www.iaea.org/newscenter…..ate01.html

    http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/index.php

     

    I can explain in about 5 minutes the issues associated with BWRs to engineers who work in nuclear power but I would sound equally incoherent trying to explain it to a neighbor. The basic problem know what is going on is that instrumentation was lost as batteries were depleted. Whatever core damage occurred can only be deduced from chemistry and analysis of radioactive isotopes. Subsequent to loss of I&C power, fuel rods (long zirconium tubes holding ceramic uranium oxide pellets ) the first barrier to release of fission products. Since Iodine is a gas at higher temperatures, it easily escapes to the reactor coolant. I-131 would be the first to be detected.

     

    It is very unlikely that the reactor vessel is damaged but I have seen smaller piping in the reactor coolant pressure boundary damaged by a hydrogen explosion.

     

    It is alos very unlikely that the primary containment is damaged. The structural damage to the reactor building is to the roof covering the fuel pools.

     

    “those were radiation burns ”

     

    Beta radiation is non-pentrating radiation that is a hazard to the skin and the eyes. A sheet of paper and face shield provides protection. It would be as harmful a sun burn. A lot depends on the extent of the skip burned. I suspect that the workers went wading in turbine building water that they did not think was contaminated. Boots would have provided protection. What is odd is that reactor coolant was detected in the turbine building. One way for that to happen is to feed seawater into feed water lines and then allow water to come out the steam lines.

    [link]      
  151. By Kit P on March 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    “No one is particularly concerned about it, and there is no reason to be.”

     

    You are correct Wendell.

     

    “Plenty of knowledgeable people are concerned about nuclear waste storage in myriad locations; and for good reason.”

     

    I am very knowledgeable. I am not concerned.

    [link]      
  152. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Kit P said:

    “Plenty of knowledgeable people are concerned about nuclear waste storage in myriad locations; and for good reason.”

    I am very knowledgeable. I am not concerned.


     

    Happily, your absence of concern is not widely shared.

    [link]      
  153. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm
    [link]      
  154. By Kit P on March 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Part of my job is protecting the public from radiation not addressing concerns of those who want to be concerned when there is not reason to be concerned. Excuse me for not sharing the drama.

     

    Like most headlines, the purpose is to be misleading not informative. The affect of 17 REM may be a slight reddening of the skin.

    [link]      
  155. By rate-crimes on March 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Part of my job is protecting the public from radiation” – Kit P

    “Plenty of knowledgeable people are concerned about nuclear waste storage in myriad locations; and for good reason.”

    I am not concerned.”- Kit P

    Which is it?

    [link]      
  156. By rate-crimes on March 26, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Reactors Had High Rate of Problems

    TOKYO—The crippled Japanese power plant at the heart of the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a quarter-century has a history of operational and mechanical flaws, including a recent incident in which workers used the wrong plans to work on a reactor.

    [...]

    “The troubles at Fukushima Daiichi came as records from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or METI, showed comparatively high levels of mechanical and operational issues at the plant in years before the earthquake.”

     

    Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning

    “the committee recommended that Tokyo Electric be given permission to run the No. 1 unit, which was built by General Electric and began operating in 1971, for an additional decade. During the approval process, the company claimed that the reactor was capable of running for 60 years.”

    [link]      
  157. By Kit P on March 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    “Which is it?”

     

    Last night our teenage son went bowling. When he is driving we are always concerned that he could be hit by a drunk driver. We do not go to bed until he is home safely. Now that he is home, I am not concerned that spent fuel assemblies in dry cask storage containers will magically become air borne then fall on my house. Once the decay heat in spent fuel assemblies is low enough that they can be air cooled in dry cask storage containers, there is no reason to be concerned.

     

    While I think it is admirable to value human life, I do not see much point in being concerned things that can not hurt human life. Furthermore, I think it is admirable to value protecting the environment. I can not see a way that dry cask storage containers sitting on a concrete pad inside the fence at a power plant is going to harm the environment. Even if there is a massive earth quake.

     

    The point is that there has to be a mechanism to cause harm for me to be concerned. Some people make up absurd situations and infer that those in the nuclear industry are unethical for not considering them. The fact is that we have considered them. If someone like Rate Crimes comments during a licensing process the NRC has to consider it. Of course with out some material evidence that the concern is credible, the NRC is only going to point to where that concern has been addressed before.

     

    So no I am not concerned but let me check. Done, no one has been hurt from radiation from making electricity in the US for the 40 years that I have been working in the nuclear industry.

    [link]      
  158. By rate-crimes on March 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    “I am not concerned that spent fuel assemblies in dry cask storage containers will magically become air borne then fall on my house.” – Kit P

    That is a cute, little, absurd, distracting anecdote.

    “Once the decay heat in spent fuel assemblies is low enough that they can be air cooled in dry cask storage containers, there is no reason to be concerned.” – Kit P

    You must be the King of Sandboxing.  You write at length about the safety of dry cask storage containers while not once mentioning spent fuel pools.

    U.S. NRC Nuclear Fuel Pool Capacity

    You also seem to ignore the fact that nuclear energy is not restricted to the U.S.

    “no one has been hurt from radiation from making electricity in the US for the 40 years that I have been working in the nuclear industry”  – Kit P

    Are you claiming that no one was hurt from TMI? Or, are you simply ignoring economic damage?

    [link]      
  159. By Kit P on March 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “You must be the King of Sandboxing.  You write at length about the safety of dry cask storage containers while not once mentioning spent fuel pools.”

     

    That is because we were discussing long term storage of spent nuclear fuel. I am an expert on spent fuel pools. What would you like to know?

     

    The previous page on the NRC to the graph explains why pools being at capacity is not an issue.

    “If pool capacity is reached, licensees may move toward use of above-ground dry storage casks.

     

    Like I said, after some point spent fuel can be air cooled.

     

    “Are you claiming that no one was hurt from TMI?”

     

    No one was hurt by radiation as a result of TMI.

     

    “You also seem to ignore the fact that nuclear energy is not restricted to the U.S.”

     

    Not at all, making a specific statements about the areas of my expertise does not infer anything about the whole world. The World Nuclear Association shares information about experience around world. I am sure there will be lots of lessons to be learned about when a 45′ wall of water hits a nuke plant.

     

    We will have no new lessons about treating radiation sickness. We know how to limit exposure even under extreme conditions. Maybe not as low as we would like but low enough that no one is hurt.

    [link]      
  160. By rate-crimes on March 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    “Are you claiming that no one was hurt from TMI?”

    “No one was hurt by radiation as a result of TMI.” – Kit P

    You are again being selective in order to shape an obvious answer to suit your agenda. You negelected to respond to the real question, “Or, are you simply ignoring economic damage?”

    [link]      
  161. By rate-crimes on March 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I am sure there will be lots of lessons to be learned about when a 45′ wall of water hits a nuke plant.”- Kit P

    Just as there are and will be many lessons to be learned from this, past, and future catastrophes about unheeded warnings and other poor judgements.

    [link]      
  162. By Kit P on March 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    “You are again being selective in order to shape an obvious answer to suit your agenda. You negelected to respond to the real question, “Or, are you simply ignoring economic damage?” ”

     

    My agenda is producing electrical without hurting people. I am not sure why Rate Crimes wants to change the subject to cost of the cleanup of TMI. I did not see the question of ‘economic damage’ as areal question. Rate Crimes jumps around a lot.

    “about unheeded warnings and other poor judgements.”

     

    Did I miss the warnings about a 45 foot tsunami? The Japanese designed for a 15 foot tsunami with a design margin that was thought sufficient. As for poor judgment, I have not seen any on the part of the Japanese. The Japanese are dealing with a natural disaster. When they could not restore electrical power to the cooling systems they evacuated. The Japanese monitored the local crops and prevented them from becoming part of the food chain when samples were above regulations.

    [link]      
  163. By paul-n on March 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I am an expert on spent fuel pools. What would you like to know?

    From my limited knowledge of nukes I understand there is a difference in the spent fuel between LWR and the CANDU heavy water reactors – that the CANDU waste is not as active/heat generating – your take on that?

     

     And, supposedly, CANDU’s can run on spent fuel from LWR, though this does not appear to be happening either.  On the surface, this seems like an excellent thing to do with all the LWR spent fuel, but I presume there are some good reasons why this is not being done – or is it being done and just not publicised?

    [link]      
  164. By Anonymous One on March 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    TEPCO workers not warned of radiation risk

    The worker’s exposure to highly radioactive ankle-deep water in the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor was most likely due to TEPCO’s failure to share information about the leakage of radioactive materials with the workers, the company admitted.

    [link]      
  165. By Kit P on March 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “that the CANDU waste is not as active/heat generating”

     

    Fission products are fission products. The amount is proportional to the heat generated. Should be the same.

     

    Yes you can reprocess LWR fuel and put in a CANDU or also in a LWR.

     

    “TEPCO workers not warned of radiation risk”

     That was the misleading headline.

    “Another cause of the mishap was the failure on the part of the workers to pay attention to the pool of radiation-polluted water while laying power cables in spite of radiation alarms sounding, according to TEPCO.”

     

    and

     

    “Working with their feet submerged in the water up to their ankles, the three continued working even when the dosimeters they were wearing began sounding alarms. The workers later said they thought the dosimeters might be malfunctioning.”

     

    Apparently they were warned. It was that loud shrill noise coming from the alarming dosimeter.

     

    [link]      
  166. By Anonymous One on March 27, 2011 at 1:22 am

    “about unheeded warnings and other poor judgements.”

    [link]      
  167. By rate-crimes on March 27, 2011 at 4:56 am

    [1:30 a.m. ET Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Radiation levels in pooled water tested in the No. 2 nuclear reactor’s turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant are 10 million times normal, a power company official said Sunday.

    Japan’s nuclear and industrial safety agency reports the surface water showed 1,000 millisieverts of radiation. By comparison, an individual in a developed country is naturally exposed to 3 millisieverts per year, though Japan’s health ministry has set a 250 millisievert per year cumulative limit before workers must leave the plant.

    One person was working in and around the No. 2 reactor when the test result became known, according to an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant. That individual subsequently left, and work there has stopped until the government signs off on the power company’s plan to address the issue.

    The process to start removing pooled water from that building had been set for late Sunday morning, Hidehiko Nishiyama, an official with Japan’s nuclear safety agency, previously told reporters.

    [link]      
  168. By rate-crimes on March 27, 2011 at 5:44 am

    “My agenda is producing electrical without hurting people.” – Kit P

    An agenda we share.  However, the method you vigorously support (nuclear) to the point of excluding alternatives (conservation, renewables), has hurt many people by its high costs (many of which are hidden and long-term), it’s vulnerability to catastrophe, directly (due to its inherent dangers), its exclusivity (at least as expressed by many of its promoters), and the fundamentally finite nature of extant nuclear technology.

    “I am not sure why Rate Crimes wants to change the subject to cost of the cleanup of TMI. I did not see the question of ‘economic damage’ as areal question. Rate Crimes jumps around a lot.” – Kit P

    First, to include appropriate topics does not even imply an intent to ”change the subject”.  We should be attending to the economic issues inherent in the pertinent question, “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”

    [link]      
  169. By rate-crimes on March 27, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Japan says very high radiation reading at reactor was wrong
    “The operator of Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said on Monday a very high radiation reading that had sent workers fleeing the No. 2 reactor was erroneous.”

    Let’s hope that all high readings are erroneous.

    [link]      
  170. By Kit P on March 27, 2011 at 11:55 am

    “to the point of excluding alternatives”

     

    I am a really, really, really, really big supporter of alternatives both personally and professional. Rate Crimes may be confused by the fact that I correct uniformed comments such as:

     

    “has hurt many people by its high costs”

     

    Nuclear power is the lowest cost and most reliable source of base load power. The cost of nuclear power generated electricity is trending down. Electricity is a cheap commodity, it the cost of it is hurting someone it is because they use a lot.

     

    “(many of which are hidden and long-term”

     

    Nonsense, but if you would like to be specific I will address them.

     

    “vulnerability to catastrophe”

     

    It sure looks to me like the nuke plants in Japan stood up to the catastrophe better than anything else. Yes a few workers got of dose of 10 Rem which is twice the annual dose for normal operation but that is an exposure that will not harm those workers.

    “due to its inherent dangers”

     

    Hey buddy, producing energy is inherently dangerous. The energy industry as a whole has a very good safety record with nuclear power having the best. Producing energy should not be done by armatures with a death wish.

     

    “the fundamentally finite nature of extant nuclear technology”

     

    We can make all the electricity the world needs till the sun dies by splitting heavy atoms. Relative to demand, nuclear power is infinite.

    [link]      
  171. By Kit P on March 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    “Japan’s nuclear and industrial safety agency reports the surface water showed 1,000 millisieverts of radiation.”

    For those interested in getting information from the source and not journalists:

     

    http://nei.cachefly.net/newsan…..at-region/

     

    http://www.world-nuclear-news……fault.aspx

     

    http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/index.php

     

    An area with a general area radiation level of 100 Rem/hr is a locked high radiation area. Stay there for 4 hours and it could kill you. The key word is ‘surface’.

     

    From the news story,

    “surface water”

    From the Jaif news release.

    “radiation on the surface of water”

     

    What that tell me me is they were measuring for alpha and beta radiation. Alpha and beta radiation is not penetrating radiation but is a hazard when ingested. When you see news reports of people being checked for ‘contamination’, the technician should be moving the probe slowly about a half inch from the surface. 

    The general area radiation level would be much lower which may explain why the workers thought their alarming dosimeters were malfunctioning.

    I had to do a 15 second inspection of an instrument in a sump in the reactor building. Since the health physics technician would get more dose doing a survey and no ‘contamination’ was suspected; a bunch of dosimeters were taped to my boots. Then they tied a rope to my waist. I asked what it was for. If you are not out in 30 seconds we are pulling you out.

     

    Generically speaking removing fission products from reactor coolant is done by filtering it through ion exchangers. The ion exchangers are housed in concrete vaults for shielding.

    [link]      
  172. By rate-crimes on March 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    “Did I miss the warnings about a 45 foot tsunami? The Japanese designed for a 15 foot tsunami with a design margin that was thought sufficient. As for poor judgment, I have not seen any on the part of the Japanese.” – Kit P

    Expert: Japan nuclear plant owner warned of tsunami threat

     

    “A seismic researcher told CNN Sunday that he warned the owner of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago that the facility could be vulnerable to a tsunami.
    The owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company, appeared to ignore the warning, said seismologist Yukinobu Okamura.

    TEPCO has not responded to Okamura’s allegation.”

    [link]      
  173. By Kit P on March 28, 2011 at 12:34 am

    “Okamura heads Japan’s Active Fault & Earthquake Center. He said he told members of a TEPCO safety committee two years ago that data collected from layers of earth show that in the year 869 a massive tsunami devastated where the plant now is.”

     

    Too bad he did not tell those 10,000 people who died. He should tell people in coastal areas of the west coast too. Maybe he should tell people near Seattle to move too. When I was in the Navy I visited Pompeii. Millions are at risk in Italy.

     

    Not only that, every 600,000 years a massive lava flow across the PNW. Not only that, every 20,000 ice sheet cover the northern hemisphere.

     

    Also it gets hot every summer and cold every winter. Consider yourself warned. Anytime anything bad happens, I can go to to CNN and claim that my warnings went unheeded.

     

    The absurdity of irrational fear of radiation but not fear of being swept our to sea is mind boggling. Again, thousands are dead from a thousand year event no one is hurt from radiation.

    [link]      
  174. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 11:30 am

    “The absurdity of irrational fear of radiation but not fear of being swept our [sic] to sea is mind boggling.” – Kit P

    A rational, considered aversion to radioactive materials escaping containment and seeping into the environment is a feeling shared by many.  One would hope that a “nuclear safety engineer” would share such a cautious outlook.

    Highly radioactive water leaks from Japanese nuclear plant

    Japan says plutonium found in soil at Fukushima nuclear complex

     

    Who was it that claimed to have no fear of being swept out to sea and thereby boggled your mind?

    [link]      
  175. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    “For those interested in getting information from the source and not journalists:
    http://nei.cachefly.net/newsan…..at-region/
    http://www.world-nuclear-news……fault.aspx
    http://www.jaif.or.jp/english/index.php
    - Kit P”

    The messages emitted from those sources are susceptible to bias; similar to that exhibited by Kit P. All the sources that Kit P provides are from the nuclear industry:

    • Nuclear Energy Institute – “NEI is the policy organization for the nuclear technologies industry.
    • World Nuclear News – “The WNN service is supported administratively and with technical advice by the World Nuclear Association.
    • World Nuclear Association – “WNA’s role is to support the global nuclear energy industry.
    • Japan Atomic Industrial Forum – “Promotion of Nuclear Energy Development Policy

    It is unlikely that receiving information from only these sources will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the issues. While reading these sources has some value for the discriminating student of nuclear energy and nuclear energy policy, it would be wise to broaden your horizons. Other websites that might be found to be useful include:

    There are many others, including the timely and valuable work of journalists. You are encouraged to explore as many as is possible in order to better exercise judgement.

    [link]      
  176. By Kit P on March 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    “One would hope that a “nuclear safety engineer” would share such a cautious outlook.”

     

    Let me check the facts. No one has been hurt by radiation released by this event. Looks like a cautious approach to me.

     

    No irrational fear mongering would be complete without misleading headlines about Plutonium but what does the story actually say.

     

    “Plutonium found this time is at a similar level seen in soil in a regular environment and it’s not at the level that’s harmful to human health,”

     

    Thanks to above ground nuclear weapons testing Plutonium is ubiquitous in the the environment. The good news is the most toxic element on the planet is actually less toxic than than nicotine. So Rate Crimes if you want to make the world a better place ride bike over to the local high school and wag your figure and the children smoking behind the gym.

    [link]      
  177. By Doug on March 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    “This is where I fall off the renewables-only bus” – Doug

    “those of us who think we need both renewables and nuclear” – Doug

    Make up your mind.


     

    “Renewables and nuclear” versus “renwables-only”.  Improve your reading comprehension.

    [link]      
  178. By Doug on March 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    “Or does your plan have [...]” – Doug

    I don’t have a ‘plan’, as you imagine. My only agenda is to promote the fair accounting of all the costs involved, for all potential energy sources.

    Japan’s big ‘plans’ have left them in a predicament, even though the Fukushima reactor flaws were predicted – 35 years ago.


     

    Not having an alternative to nukes is tantamount to having the status quo as a “plan”.  The status quo is a largely fossil-powered grid.  Is that what you want?  If not, then if you intend to oppose expansion nuclear, and indeed to shut down what we have, and ditto for fossils, and yet don’t have a technology to replace them, then your position is tantamount to saying your “plan” is to roll back to the 18th century, with intermittent availability of 21rst century technology (e.g. you can charge your iPad when power’s available, then get your ass back to work on the farm).  It’s easy to oppose everything, while making hand-wavy assertions about how we’ll all be fine if we follow a course away from what you call “dirty” energy.  I don’t think we will, and I’m honest about my position that I don’t think we’ll be fine.  To name one of many things that I view as problematic, I don’t see how we can possibly feed 9 billion people in 2050 without large-scale energy sources powering something like our current civilization.

    My original position, in response to RR’s post, is that he’s not quite on target in saying that we demand cheap energy and build nukes because we’re unwilling to give it up.  I don’t think that’s quite right.  We like cheap energy, but what we demand is reliable energy.

    [link]      
  179. By Kit P on March 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    “It is unlikely that receiving information from only these sources will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the issues.”

     

    Very true. If you want to keep up to date you go to the source. UCS, IAEA, and US NRC all have the same source of information. As of right now they are all out of date. The fairest source of anti-nuke information is at the UCS with David Lochbaum and Edwin Lyman. Both are knowledgeable in general but there latest press release is just speculation. They know what I know.

    [link]      
  180. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

     

    “No irrational fear mongering would be complete without misleading headlines about Plutonium” – Kit P

     As you point out, the article is an example of considered journalism.  The article also states,

    “Although experts said radiation in the Pacific would quickly dissipate, the levels at the site were clearly dangerous, and the 450 or so engineers there have won admiration and sympathy around the world for their bravery and sense of duty.”

    I did not see any ”fear mongering” in the article.  How is its headline, “Japan says plutonium found in soil at Fukushima nuclear complex”, in any way “misleading”?

    The word “fear” and the phrase “fear mongering” are yours.  Perhaps, if you uttered these less, there would be less of it.

    It is poor logic to dismiss concerns of plutonium, while simultaneously calling a report of plutonium having possibly escaped containment to be “fear mongering”.

    There is even less logic in comparing plutonium to nicotine because of the differences of the vectors of delivery, the concentrations for toxicity, and persistence in the environment.

     

    [link]      
  181. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Doug said:

    Rate Crimes said:

    “This is where I fall off the renewables-only bus” – Doug

    “those of us who think we need both renewables and nuclear” – Doug

    Make up your mind.


     
    “Renewables and nuclear” versus “renwables-only”.  Improve your reading comprehension.


     

    My comprehension appears to be clearer than yours:  First, you claim that you were on an imaginary ”renewables-only bus”, and then fell off.  Then, you claim that you are among we “who think we need both renewables and nuclear”.  You don’t see a logical inconsistency between these statements?  Or, at least, that it makes little sense to pose a question from an unreasonable position that you no longer hold?  Why were you even ever on your lonely “renewables-only bus”?

    [link]      
  182. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    “Is that what you want?” – Doug

    I thought I was quite clear, “My only agenda is to promote the fair accounting of all the costs involved, for all potential energy sources.”

    “ I don’t see how we can possibly feed 9 billion people in 2050 without large-scale energy sources powering something like our current civilization.” – Doug

    The challenge of feeding, clothing, and sheltering 6-point-some billion people is today a challenge.  Feeding an additional 2-point-some billion people (~30% increase) within the next 40 years is daunting.  Will there then be 14 billion people by 2100?  Electricity and iPods are of relatively little concern.

    How “reliable” is the sudden, irretrievable loss of 4.7 GWe

    How can any power source that is dependent on finite resources, let alone on a complex system of fragile dependencies, be ”reliable” in the long-term?

    I am far from convinced that the current technology of nuclear power is anything more than a temporary, convenient delusion.  That said, if the economics are justified, I would be in favor of maintaining and improving existing nuclear assets.  Future nuclear development should be contingent on far more rigorous standards that are coincident with a long-term vision for a sustainable world.

    [link]      
  183. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

     ”then get your ass back to work on the farm” – Doug

    You haven’t farmed, have you?  It seems that you have little familiarity with permaculture.  Of course, working to feed billions is entirely another matter.

    [link]      
  184. By Kit P on March 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    “How “reliable” is the sudden, irretrievable loss of 4.7 GWe? ”

     

    Not irretrievable, they will build new ones

     

    Very reliable! Reliability is the measure of the ability to deliver electricity to customers when and where they need it. While Rate Crimes is focused on just one aspect of a complex issue, this is not the first earth Japan has experienced. More than likely NG power power plants were also damaged along with transmission lines. Since nuclear power is the most reliable way of making electricity, I wonder how reliable replacement power for nukes will be.

     

    I suspect that Japan will be using a lot more fossil fuel until it rebuild new nukes. Only 2800 MWe of capacity had core damaged which can be replaced with two reactors . All these plants were over 30 years old.

     

    “How can any power source that is dependent on finite resources,”

     

    Rate Crimes is repeating himself. We have enough fissionable material to last a billions or so years.

     

    “of fragile dependencies, ”

     

    Now the South Koreans are competing with the US, French, Russians, and the Japaneses in selling heavy components. Looks like a robust market not a fragile one.

     

    “a long-term vision for a sustainable world”

     

    I do not think you are going to find a vision that is more sustainability than nuke plants that lat 100 years. I understand that Rate Crimes does not understand nuclear power but in the world of competing ideas Rate Crimes has to convince others of his vision. If others who share Rate Crimes vision do not make electricity, the vision does not matter.

     

    Tell me what you vision is again?

    [link]      
  185. By rate-crimes on March 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    “Not irretrievable, they will build new ones.” – Kit P

    Of course, the point was that the specific facilities and the land at Fukushima I are irretrievable; and, that is only the first cost that is being incurred from the catastrophe.  There will be little surprise if Japan tries to build more nuclear power plants.  It will be interesting to see what technologies they employ.  It will be even more interesting to see the costs.  I wish them good fortune on any path they choose.

    “Reliability is the measure of the ability to deliver electricity to customers when and where they need it. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    This definition is just a wee bit warped, being from the rigid perspective of a vested supplier.  Some of us prefer more reliable, less costly, and more independent alternatives.

    “Since nuclear power is the most reliable way of making electricity” – Kit P

    They’re not really saying that in Japan today, are they?  Especially, if your concept of ‘reliability’ includes safety.

    “We have enough fissionable material to last a billions [sic] or so years.” – Kit P

    Do you have a guarantee that there is enough “fissionable material” that can be economically extracted, refined, secured, and disposed of safely for even a few more generations?  You’re beginning to sound the like the last King of Rapa Nui.

    Even if you deny even the possibility of peak uranium, do you realize that the U.S. is already importing over 90% of its uranium?:

    Uranium purchased by US nuclear power sector

    “Energy independence” indeed.

    “Looks like a robust market not a fragile one” – Kit P

    You may have missed the reports of entire factories being shut because of the loss of Japanese parts suppliers.  That is a more than subtle indicator of the fragility of a complex system.

    “I do not think you are going to find a vision that is more sustainability [sic] than nuke plants that lat [sic] 100 years.” – Kit P

    Or, following the logic of your definition of ‘sustainability’, hazardous waste that endures longer than the span of recorded history.

    “Tell me what you [sic] vision is again?” – Kit P

    Again, my broad vision, that I hope most will share, is only that the true, full costs of all alternatives — both for generating power and for our choice of lifestyles — will be honestly accounted.

    [link]      
  186. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 6:30 am

    “Another topic Japanese officials are already beginning to debate is the country’s energy policy — and particularly its reliance on nuclear power.

    ‘As part of the vision that will bring our nation hope for the future, we will further strongly promote clean energies,’ Edano (Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano) said Tuesday [emphasis mine].

    It will be interesting to learn how Japan will define, “clean energies”.  The general feeling there about nuclear power might not include it in the list.

    [link]      
  187. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 6:48 am

    “The 1,000 millisievert per hour reading was more than 330 times the dose an average person in a developed country receives per year and can result in vomiting and up to a 30 percent higher risk of cancer, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The level is also four times the top dose Japan’s Health Ministry has set for emergency workers struggling to control further emission of radioactive material from the damaged plant.

    Edano told reporters Tuesday that officials hope to find workers to relieve those at the plant [emphasis  mine].

    ‘On the ground at the nuclear power plant, the workers are working under very dangerous and very hard conditions, and I feel a great deal of respect for them,’ he said.”

     

    It is impossible to imagine all the feelings that those currently working on-site must be experiencing.  The experience must be akin to combat.  There will be many ongoing, and perhaps unending health issues for the workers.

    What does the phrase, “hope to find workers” imply about the preparedness of the nuclear industry?  What are the ethics of broadcasting such a request for new workers?  What are the inherent responsibilities of each of us who is using nuclear power?  What will be the costs of compensating the current and future workers and their families?  Who will insure any future nuclear plants in Japan and elsewhere?

    So many questions.

    [link]      
  188. By Kit P on March 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “So many questions. ”

     

    Some people think that you have the moral high ground by having a ‘vision’, putting the ‘clean’ in front of energy or by spreading lies by innuendo.

     

    As expected only a few have received a dose of 10 REM. No one has been hurt by radiation in Japan recently. I checked updates this morning. No one is vomiting. No one is standing in water seeing if they can get sick. Even the 3 workers who ignored their alarming dosimeters and were taken to the hospital as a precaution, checked, then sent home.

     

    Here is a link to the CNN story that Rate Crimes quoted out of context.

     

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/…..tml?hpt=T2

     

    “It is impossible to imagine all the feelings that those currently working on-site must be experiencing.  The experience must be akin to combat.  There will be many ongoing, and perhaps unending health issues for the workers.”

     

    It may be impossible for a fence post. Most nuke plants have about 500 workers per unit. During a refuel outage there may be 2000 workers at a reactor. My company has a program where we train technicians to work outages. The may only work at a nuke plant 12 weeks a year. The rest of the time they are training on mockup at our training facilities. We also work with local universities so that these technicians can get their engineering degrees in 7 years.

     

    “What are the ethics of broadcasting such a request for new workers?”

     

    Rate Crimes gets confused between the statements made made by politicians and the real world. My company does not broadcasting it recruits. If you use drugs or have a criminal record, you can not work at a nuke plant. Most of our workers are from local high schools and universities and train you. If you are a navy nuke, we will hire you. If you have a nuclear engineering degree we will will hire you. We like mechanical and chemical engineers too. No drama majors please, the work is often boring and not at all like combat.

     

    Job satisfaction is very high in the the nuclear industry. We are trained as radiation workers and do not find it stressful. I am ready to go help in Japan if they need me. However, more than likely Japan has an ample supply of workers in the nuclear industry.

     

    “imply about the preparedness of the nuclear industry?”

     

    Nothing! My company just filled the worlds largest cargo plane with supplies. Things like replacement filters respirators to tons of boron. We are prepared even if Rate Crimes chooses to ignore those facts.

     

    [link]      
  189. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

    “the work is often boring and not at all like combat.” – Kit P

    Are you comparing the mundane tasks of regular operations to what the workers at Fukushima 1 are now experiencing?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    More specifics…

    Fukushima 50

    Fukushima 50 is the name given by the media to a group of employees of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. When a nuclear accident resulted in a serious fire at the plant’s unit 4 on 15 March 2011, these 50 employees remained on-site after 750 other workers were evacuated.[1][2]

    The original Fukushima 50 were joined by extra workers in the following days, and the Fukushima 50 has remained the name used by media to refer to the group of workers at Fukushima. The number of the workers involved rose to 580 on the morning of 18 March[1] as staff from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant and workers installing the new power line joined in. More than 1,000 workers, firefighters and soldiers toiling at the site on 23 March.[3] [4] The Fukushima 50 were drawn from Toshiba, Hitachi, local small-to-mid-size companies in Fukushima, Kajima, firefighters from Tokyo, Osaka [5] , Yokohama[6], Kawasaki, Nagoya and Kyoto, TEPCO and its subsidiaries such as Kandenko[7], TEP Industry and TEP Environmental Engineering.[1][8]

    Over 20 workers had been injured by 18 March, including one who was exposed to a large amount of ionizing radiation when the worker tried to vent vapour from a valve of the containment building.[1] 3 more workers were exposed to radiation over 100mSv, and 2 of them were sent to a hospital due to beta ray burns on 24 March.[9]

    The workers and volunteers were assigned the mission of stabilising the reactors. Their activities included assessing the damage and radiation levels caused by the explosions, cooling stricken reactors with seawater and preventing any risk of fire. These workers remained on-site despite risks of radiation poisoning.[10] Levels of radiation on site are far higher than in the 20 km exclusion zone and media outlets reported that the severity of the situation could have grave implications on their future health, with possibly fatal consequences for the workers.[11] On March 18, according to Prime Minister Naoto Kan the workers were “prepared for death”.[12]

    A day before the unit 4 fire, a complete withdrawal proposed by TEPCO was rejected by the prime minister,[13][14][15] to continue attempts at bringing the reactors under control during the Fukushima I nuclear accidents.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “We are prepared even if Rate Crimes chooses to ignore those facts.” – Kit P

    Thank you for attempting to answer at least one of my many questions.  Notwithstanding that you failed to answer my other questions, you raise some additional questions:  Where did I ignore any facts? A second question: Are you able to answer questions without making ad hominem attacks?

    [link]      
  190. By Kit P on March 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    “Fukushima 50”

    So much for media drama! If you go to a nuke plant at nights or on the week end it is likely that you will not find fifty people. While a nuke plant might have a staff of 500 not all of them are there at the same time. Some of shift workers, some are trainers working at the simulator, some are engineers. Long before any damage was done to the core, non essential workers went to the technical support center to be available to work on the emergency.

    Nuke plants also practice their emergency plans with community emergency response people. There is an art to not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The drill team likes to find the subject matter expert and make him the ‘contaminated victim with a broken leg’ so the can haul off to the hospital while the rest of the team figures out how to solve the crisis.

    I have a funny story (because no one was seriously hurt) about that. I was working at a nuke plant just before fuel load when all the phones started ringing. The new media had reported an explosion at the nuke plant with several people hurt. Frantic wives and mothers stated calling. There an explosion but at coal plant. We had trained the local emergency room to put up yellow barrier tape to isolate area incase of a ‘contaminated victim’ so naturally the hospital put up yellow barrier tape. Seeing this, the news media went wild with stories of an explosion at the nuke plant. OMG the world is going to end, news at six.

    For example,

    “Over 20 workers had been injured by 18 March, including one who was exposed to a large amount of ionizing radiation when…”

    One worker was killed and two were seriously injured in the earth quake. Several more were injured by hydrogen expositions (a very serious matter). Once again no one has received a large enough amount of radiation to cause harm. A few have received does of 10 Rem which is twice the annual limit.

    “Notwithstanding that you failed to answer my other questions, you raise some additional questions:”

    Try asking them one at a time. I will stick with a specific topic until you are satisfied.

    “Are you able to answer questions without making ad hominem attacks?”

    Of course but it is a question like this, which makes me think you are not sincere in wanting to have an informative discussion.

    A tactic used by anti-nukes is to ask a hundred questions then claim there is unanswered questions.

    [link]      
  191. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    “Try asking them one at a time. I will stick with a specific topic until you are satisfied.” -  Kit P

    OK, Here’s a good one to begin with . . .

    How do you define, “anti-nuke”?

    “A tactic used by anti-nukes” – Kit P

    It appears that anyone disagreeing with you on any point, or who challenges your preconceptions, or who asks uncomfortable questions, or who does not accept unrestrained nuclear power as a matter of faith is immediately labeled as an “anti-nuke”.

    [link]      
  192. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    There is a discrepancy between your description of the human resources available to nuclear operations and the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s saying, “officials hope to find workers to relieve those at the plant.”  Perhaps, he was misinterpreted or misquoted?

    [link]      
  193. By thomas398 on March 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Most people are anti nuke.  If you are not willing to live within 25 miles of a nuclear plant, a nuclear waste storage site, or allow the transportation of nuclear waste within the same radius—you cannot be pro nuke.  The same goes for politicians and the districts they represent. I’m not “against” nuclear power in principal but when I apply the above rule to my family’s farm in north western Mississippi, I hesitate.  So I,too, am a NIMBY nuke “supporter”. No wind and too much cloud cover for solar so I guess I’d be ok with a NG plant. 

    I don’t think we should build anymore nukes until we have a “permanent” solution for the existing and future long lived waste. But again please don’t bury it near my family’s farm…

    So if we can’t bury in a geologically stable place in the U.S. that leaves:

    Bury it in another country that is geologically and politically stable–unlikely and destined to be labeled as 21st century colonialism

    Nuclear waste reprocessing– major tech breakthroughs required; appears to be at least a generation away

    Dump it in space– same as above

     

    Rate Crimes– You’re arguing with a 12 year old over why their favorite baseball player should not be their favorite baseball player. Life is too short.

    [link]      
  194. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    “Actually, Rate Crimes, why don;t you tell us your point, instead of just going on and on quoting media bites that know little about the situation?” – Paul N

    Actually, Paul N, I’ve provided links to nearly all the items.  All the items are apropo to the question, “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?“  As I have said, my “point” is “only that the true, full costs of all alternatives — both for generating power and for our choice of lifestyles — will be honestly accounted.”  I’ve done more than “just going on and on quoting media bites”.

    Here is an article that quotes two U.S. nuclear industry whistleblowers:

    SoCal nuclear plant’s safety questioned

    “History of safety concerns and alleged stifling of whistle-blowers raises questions about plant that’s just five miles from an earthquake fault”

    This article appears to refute your (and Kit P’s) assertion that, “nuke power is managed to a higher degree than any other energy industry, has the most highly trained people and has a better safety record than any of them.”

    Even the best, most highly-trained people can be mismanaged.

    P.S. Did I say, “refute”?  I meant to say, “refudiate”.  :)

    [link]      
  195. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    “If you don’t like the nuke industry” – Paul N

    You are making an incorrect assumption.  If an industry is unable to answer difficult questions, especially an industry that has as many risks as does the nuclear power industry, then that inability to answer only inspires suspicion.

    You appear to be, like Kit P, a reactionary who is quick to label and to dismiss anyone who disagrees with you on any point, or who challenges your preconceptions, or who asks uncomfortable questions, or who does not accept an unrestrained nuclear power industry as a matter of faith.

    Instead of criticizing the questioner, why don’t you instead expend your energy in addressing any of the many questions that I have asked, but remain unanswered?

    [link]      
  196. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    In your comment #191, you essentially repeated what the article on the “Fukushima 50” stated.  What was your point?

    [link]      
  197. By paul-n on March 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Actually, Rate Crimes, why don;t you tell us your point, instead of just going on and on quoting media bites that know little about the situation?

    Kit’s point is, if you haven’t got it, that nuke power is managed to a higher degree than any other energy industry, has the most highly trained people and has a better safety record than any of them.  No one has died in the US nuke industry in decades (if ever?)   Coal, natural gas, hydro, wind and solar cannot make this claim.

    If you don’t like the nuke industry – fine, you can give your specific reasons and we may even discuss them.  But you are posting like you are trying to pick a fight, and will keep lobbing media sourced grenades until something goes off – it is very tiresome.

    This thread has become the most painful I have ever seen on Robert’s blog.

    [link]      
  198. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    This from The World Nuclear University Primer:

    “Nuclear energy is a mature, safe and reliable technology capable of supplying electricity and / or heat on a large scale, at an affordable price, and without pollution or greenhouse gases. Because of these virtues, and the technology’s ability to confer greater energy independence, governments around the world are turning increasingly to nuclear power as a central element in national energy strategies [emphasis mine].”

     

    How does nuclear energy provide us ”energy independence” when over 90% of U.S. uranium is imported, let alone when nuclear is not (yet?) a substitute for fuels for mobility?

     

    Should this propaganda not be challenged?

    [link]      
  199. By rate-crimes on March 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    “Notwithstanding that you failed to answer my other questions, you raise some additional questions:” – Rate Crimes

    “Try asking them one at a time. I will stick with a specific topic until you are satisfied.” – Kit P

    I’m sorry . . . I want those who claim to be experts in the nuclear industry to exhibit some ability to multi-task.

    [link]      
  200. By Kit P on March 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    “No one has died in the US nuke industry in decades (if ever?)”

     

    Nice post Pual but let me clarify. No one has died as a result of radiation exposure. The nuclear industry has a very good industrial safety record too in part because of the radiation safety also translates in safety in other areas. Producing electricity should be done by those trained to understand the risks.

     

    “Most people are anti nuke.”

     

    Thomas your information is out of date. Most Americans favor nuclear power by a wide margin. Nuke plants are most popular with those who ‘live within 25 miles of a nuclear plant’.

    “”permanent” solution”

     

    We do have a permanent solutions but we will have to get a new president and Senate Majority leader.

     

    “But again please don’t bury it near my family’s farm ..”

     

    Has anyone suggested that? If did not know it Yucca Mountain is a wasteland next to the Nevada Test site where nuclear weapon were tested underground. Yes, I have been there.

     

    “geologically stable”

     

    Very stable!

     

    “12 year old”

     

    I have been a nuclear professional for 40 years and was a Navy officer. I also volunteer time to teach chess to inter city kids. You can call me Mr. P or Sir. I will be happy to treat you with respect. Have you ever did anything to deserve it. Being against something does not count.

    [link]      
  201. By Kit P on March 29, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    “How do you define, “anti-nuke”?”

     

    Those who misrepresent the facts about nuclear power and have not interest in debating’s those facts.

     

    My turn, Rate Crimes has made numerous statements about alternatives. What are those alternatives?

     

    [link]      
  202. By paul-n on March 30, 2011 at 2:25 am

    You appear to be, like Kit P, a reactionary who is quick to label and to dismiss anyone who disagrees with you on any point, or who challenges your preconceptions, or who asks uncomfortable questions, or who does not accept an unrestrained nuclear power industry as a matter of faith.

    A reactionary who is a nuke industry guy?- was that meant to be a pun?  In any case I am neither.  I am an energy pragmatist, and I do like to learn, discuss and debate matters/ideas on energy, in a civilised way.  There is no better place for this than here – that is why I, and most others, are on this blog.  

    Instead of criticizing the questioner, why don’t you instead expend your energy in addressing any of the many questions that I have asked, but remain unanswered?

    I am not criticising you personally – you may be a good bloke for all I know- I am criticising the way you have carried on here.  You have been the equivalent of the guy at a public hearing who takes up all the question time and everyone else loses interest- which they have here.   It almost seems you are really interested in just asking more questions, rather than the answers you receive to them.  I have no energy left to answer them (and nuke is not my field anyway) as you have used up all the oxygen on this thread.

    The signal to noise ratio is dropping to where you just turn off the radio…

    [link]      
  203. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 6:01 am

    “Thomas your information is out of date. Most Americans favor nuclear power by a wide margin. Nuke plants are most popular with those who ‘live within 25 miles of a nuclear plant’.” – Kit P

    For what it’s worth, the fickle citizens of the U.S., in the most recent polls, now disagree with you . . .

    Nuclear Power Loses Support in New Poll

    “Only 43 percent of those polled after the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan said they would approve building such new facilities in the United States to generate electricity.”

    [link]      
  204. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 6:11 am

    “We do have a permanent solutions but we will have to get a new president and Senate Majority leader.” – Kit P

    That point has been previously discussed here.  Please see the conversation beginning with comment #133.  You may have missed it.

    From my response (comment #134):

    Yucca Mountain wouldn’t be enough for 72K tons of spent nuclear fuel at US plants

     

    From the Clark County, Nevada Nuclear Waste: FAQ:

    Q. Who opposes Yucca Mountain?
    A.
    Clark County, the State of Nevada, and the cities of Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Mesquite have all gone on record as opposing this project.

    Q. What do people in Southern Nevada think about Yucca Mountain?
    A.
    Clark County-commissioned opinion polls consistently indicate a majority of Southern Nevadans oppose the Yucca Mountain Project.

    Q. What is Clark County’s position on Yucca Mountain?
    A.
    The county has passed resolutions opposing the Yucca Mountain Project since 1985.

    [link]      
  205. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 6:30 am

    “I have been a nuclear professional for 40 years and was a Navy officer. I also volunteer time to teach chess to inter city kids. You can call me Mr. P or Sir. I will be happy to treat you with respect. Have you ever did anything to deserve it. Being against something does not count.” – Kit P

    You exhibit a monotonous, unfettered fetish for unverifiable credentials intermingled with ad hominem attacks. 

    Stating credentials in this, or any similar forum has meager worth.  Providing thoughtful answers would have worth.

    Still, there is no reason to doubt the credentials you offer:  Thank you for your service.  Chess is an excellent game.  Qe8#.

     

    [link]      
  206. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Kit P said:

    “How do you define, “anti-nuke”?”

    Those who misrepresent the facts about nuclear power and have not interest in debating’s those facts.

    My turn, Rate Crimes has made numerous statements about alternatives. What are those alternatives?


     

    Your “facts” have been consistently questioned in this forum, with scant response from you.

    I will state once again (see comment #114) that the ‘all-or-nothing’ approach to alternatives (including nuclear) for power generation is a false notion.  Of course, solutions should be regional.  Generally, it makes little sense to abandon existing assets.  Generally, in the U.S., conservation and more efficient energy capture should be the first priority.  Just as important is the full accounting of the costs (financial, risk, social, etc.) of each source of power.  For example, pricing schemes that promote profligate consumption in order to maintain a captive market should be abandoned.  I believe that distributed, local, and even redundant power generation has numerous advantages as an uncertain future approaches.

    [link]      
  207. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 7:16 am

    “It almost seems you are really interested in just asking more questions, rather than the answers you receive to them.” – Paul N

    Yes, I am interested in asking more questions, and in having them answered.  Please carefully review my questions and then tell me how many of them have been answered . . . even by those who pretend a desire to offer answers.   If the ‘answers’ are unsatisfactory, one can only continue to ask.

    Of course, rather than attempt to answer, for example, my question,

    “How does nuclear energy provide us ”energy independence” when over 90% of U.S. uranium is imported, let alone when nuclear is not (yet?) a substitute for fuels for mobility?” – Rate Crimes

    you simply respond with excuses, complaints, and a dismissive attitude.  If you “have no energy left’, perhaps you should exercise.  One would think that the air around Vancouver, BC would be energizing.

    “You have been the equivalent of the guy at a public hearing who takes up all the question time and everyone else loses interest- which they have here.”  – Paul N

    Bad analogy.  In this forum, there is no time limit due to everyone’s pressing desire to get home for dinner.

    [link]      
  208. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Rate Crimes said:

    “the work is often boring and not at all like combat.” – Kit P

    Are you comparing the mundane tasks of regular operations to what the workers at Fukushima 1 are now experiencing?


     

    Letters From Fukushima: Tepco Worker Emails

    [link]      
  209. By Kit P on March 30, 2011 at 8:38 am

    “I’m sorry . . . I want those who claim to be experts in the nuclear industry to exhibit some ability to multi-task.”

     

    I did ask Rate Crimes to describe his vision so far he has not responded.

     

    My vision is called sustainable energy integration. Looking at the environmental issues of the PNW (forest health and dairy farm manure) I figured out how to use renewable energy technologies to address those problems. Taking the drafts of my environmental engineering masters thesis I developed a marketing plan (did not know what it was called at the time). I succeeded in getting the interest (as in contracts to do work which I was paid for) of 4 power companies including the one I worked. My timing sucked however. On 9/11 I figured out that the timing was not right for they type of renewable energy I was doing.

     

    PualN and I share a common interest in forest health and dairy farm manure. If someone would guarantee 5 years if employment, we would move back to the PNW.

     

    Besides commercial nuclear power there are five different hats I can put on to do work for my company. When I accepted my current position, designing new nuclear power plants my company was not developing wind, solar, and biomass in the US but now they are.

     

    Furthermore, my over arching vision to provide all who want it clean drinking water and electricity. While I think the sustainable energy integration would be idea for small village. I also think that each new nuke plant in China provide electricity for a million families.

    [link]      
  210. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

    “I did ask Rate Crimes to describe his vision so far he has not responded.” – Kit P

    (sigh) See, comment #207 above. 

    “Furthermore, my over arching vision to provide all who want it clean drinking water and electricity.” – Kit P

    http://www.pottersforpeace.org/

    “I also think that each new nuke plant in China provide electricity for a million families.” – Kit P

    1.4b people / a generous 5 per family / ”a million families” per nuke = 280 nuclear power plants (ignoring future population change, hydro, etc.) every three or four generations for nuclear ‘totality’.

    “As of 2011, the People’s Republic of China has 13 nuclear power reactors spread out over 4 separate sites and 27 under construction.[1][2]China’s National Development and Reform Commission has indicated the intention to raise the percentage of China’s electricity produced by nuclear power from the current 1% to 6% by 2020 (compared to 20% in the USA as of 2008). This will require the current installed capacity of 10.2 GW to be increased to 70–80 GW (more than France at 63 GW).[3] However, rapid nuclear expansion may lead to a shortfall of fuel, equipment, qualified plant workers, and safety inspectors.[4]

    Nuclear power will certainly be an important part of China’s energy future.  Where are they planning to store their hazardous waste?  How will this affect the cost of nuclear fuel?  Will China lure the world’s nuclear engineers away?

    能您說,大金錢

    [link]      
  211. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

    “Nuclear power will certainly be an important part of China’s energy future.” – Rate Crimes

    Oops!  I may have spoken too soon . . .

    Power Group: China Lowering Nuclear Target

    “China is likely to scale back its ambitious plans to construct nuclear power plants under a new policy that stresses safety instead of rapid development, an industry official said in comments reported Tuesday by state media.”

    “Beijing is promoting nuclear power to curb surging demand for oil and gas, but analysts say the industry’s rapid growth is straining China’s ability to supply equipment and technicians.”

    “Beijing’s nuclear power plan for the next five years changes its stance from “energetic development” to “safe and highly efficient development,” said the deputy director of the China Electricity Council, Wei Zhaofeng, according to newspapers.

    That should lead to a reduction of about 10 gigawatts in generating capacity from the 90 gigawatts previously expected to be built by 2020, Wei said. Government plans called for nuclear to supply up to 5 percent of China’s power by 2020 but Wei said under the new policy, that should be closer to 3 percent.”

    Coal it is. (sigh)

    [link]      
  212. By rate-crimes on March 30, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Anonymous One said:

    Radiation Dose Chart
    http://xkcd.com/radiation/


     

    Read this response to that chart.

    [link]      
  213. By paul-n on April 2, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Beijing’s nuclear power plan for the next five years changes its stance from “energetic development” to “safe and highly efficient development

    Sounds like good news to me – safe and highly efficient is always good – who would want it any other way? Now they just need to apply the same safety policy to their coal industry, where 2631 people died in 2009.  Or their roads where, depending on who you believe, 80,000 to 220,000 people die each year.

    On the topic of safety (and other) standards for nuclear, a very good write up on the Seven Double Standards applied to the nuclear industry by George Monbiot of the UK Guardian newspaper.

    While this is written from a UK perspective, I think it is equally applicable to this side of the pond.

    For a good example of the double standard, consider this treatise of wind industry deaths, by wind power specialist Paul Gipe.  For the last four years, the worldwide wind industry has averaged three deaths pear year, or 0.0023 deaths per TWh produced (before that it was much worse).

    The total production of the US nuke industry in 2010 was 807 TWh (EIA).  if it had the same death rate as the wind industry, there would have been 1.85 deaths last year, and about 1.5 each year, since the industry’s inception.  IF this had happened, the nuke industry would possibly have been shut down some time ago – yet we continue to grow the wind industry.  

    Of course, the wind industry is inherently dangerous – working at heights in areas that are – windy – is asking for trouble.  Doing it offshore is even worse.  That is why all normal power plants are built on (or sometimes under) terra firma. 

    [link]      
  214. By rate-crimes on April 2, 2011 at 8:03 am

    From Maniot’s Seven Double Standards,

    “Anti-nuclear campaigners emphasise the damage and pollution inflicted by uranium mines. They are right to do so. Some of these mines are hideous, and they are one of the many reasons why we should urgently develop new reactor technologies which sharply reduce the need for fresh supplies. [emphasis mine]

    Agreed.  But what are those “new reactor technologies”?  When will they be available?  In the meantime, should we continue to construct new plants using the old technology?

    [link]      
  215. By rate-crimes on April 2, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Also from Maniot’s Seven Double Standards,

    “My point is that we have to take responsibility for every component of our energy supply and the consequences it carries; not just the section of it that’s produced by nuclear reactors. And we should apply the same standards to all generating technologies.” 

    In the U.S., the responsibility for risks of nuclear energy fall upon the public sector via the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.  How is such a shifting of risk considered to be applying “the same standards to all generating technologies”?

     

    [link]      
  216. By Kit P on April 2, 2011 at 9:31 am

    American and world dairy farmers are very productive producing more milk than rich people can afford to buy in a recession. It is sad that governments did not find a way to get this resource to the poor.

     

    “For a good example of the double standard ..”

     

    The good new in the US is that there is no double standard. Paul is confused between the real world of making electricity and the perceptions of those who do not make electricity. Utilities have the same procedures for ‘working at heights’ at nuke plants, coal plants, and wind farms.

     

    “We rightly lament the horrible consequences of industrial exposure to radiation.”

     

    Monboit incorrectly laments exposure to radiation that has no consequences.

     

    “Two workers at Fukushima have so far received radiation burns and 17 have been exposed to levels of radiation considered unsafe.”

     

    No workers have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.

     

    [link]      
  217. By Kit P on April 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

    “Agreed.”

     

    If you are agreeing with Monboit you would be wrong. The nuclear industry is not having a problem safely supplying fresh uranium.

     

    “the responsibility for risks of nuclear energy fall upon the public sector”

     

    Of course this is not true. Through the Price-Anderson Act, the U.S. nuclear power industry has more than $12 billion in liability insurance protection to be used in the event of a reactor incident at no cost to the public. The nuclear industry pays.

     

    Then there was the 1977 failure of the Teton Dam in Idaho which caused $500 million in property damage. I lived in Idaho at the time. It was a minor miracle that more lives were not lost.

     

    [link]      
  218. By paul-n on April 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Paul is confused between the real world of making electricity and the perceptions of those who do not make electricity. Utilities have the same procedures for ‘working at heights’ at nuke plants, coal plants, and wind farms.

    No confusion here at all.  The difference is not necessarily the industry procedures – the difference is the way people judge it – as we have seen in the Japan example, or even TMI.

    While utilities have the same working procedures, the man hours spent working at heights with wind is much higher – other electrical generation methods minimise this risk by minimising height work, but with wind, some of it just can;t be avoided.   A portion of those deaths were from people working on/with small home scale windturbines.  While this may not strictly be the “industry”, you just can;t have homescale coal or nuclear, and untrained people working on it, so this hazard is eliminated from the outset.

    [link]      
  219. By rate-crimes on April 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    “the responsibility for risks of nuclear energy fall upon the public sector” – Rate Crimes

    “Of course this is not true. Through the Price-Anderson Act, the U.S. nuclear power industry has more than $12 billion in liability insurance protection to be used in the event of a reactor incident at no cost to the public. The nuclear industry pays.” – Kit P

    “Any claims above the $12.6 billion would be covered by a Congressional mandate to retroactively increase nuclear utility liability or would be covered by the federal government. At the time of the Act’s passing, it was considered necessary as an incentive for the private production of nuclear power — this was because electric utilities viewed the available liability coverage (only $60 million) as inadequate. [1]

     

    TEPCO faces massive costs over disaster / Compensation likely to add to burden

    Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to scrap reactors Nos. 1-4 at a crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture means the power utility will have to shoulder a colossal expense–possibly about 400 billion yen (~$5B USD) to decommission the reactors and several trillion yen (several tens of billions USD) in compensation.”

     

     

    [link]      
  220. By rate-crimes on April 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Japan PM tells Fukushima nuclear plant workers to hold firm

    “Radiation levels in the plant and its vicinity have reached such high levels that Tepco is looking to hire special workers who are prepared to enter contaminated areas to perform essential tasks before rushing out to avoid prolonged exposure. In return for their bravery the “jumpers” are reportedly being offered up to $5,000 (£3,000) a shift, Japanese media has reported.”

    RT flight to Tokyo from New York ~$1200.

    [link]      
  221. By Wendell Mercantile on April 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    But what are those “new reactor technologies?”

    Pebble bed reactors, which the Chinese are pressing ahead with: Pressing Ahead Where Others Have Failed

    [link]      
  222. By rate-crimes on April 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    But what are those “new reactor technologies?”

    Pebble bed reactors, which the Chinese are pressing ahead with: Pressing Ahead Where Others Have Failed


     

    The last sentence of the article:

    Dr. Xu said, “but the economics are not so clear.”

     

    Pebble Bed Reactor: Criticisms of the reactor design

    “Since the fuel is contained in graphite pebbles, the volume of radioactive waste is much greater.” 

    “Current US legislation requires all waste to be safely contained, therefore pebble bed reactors would increase existing storage problems.”

    [link]      
  223. By rate-crimes on April 3, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens
    March 17, 2011

    WASHINGTON—Responding to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sought Thursday to reassure nervous Americans that U.S. reactors were 100 percent safe and posed absolutely no threat to the public health as long as no unforeseeable system failure or sudden accident were to occur. “With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down,” said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s. “When you consider all of our backup cooling processes, containment vessels, and contingency plans, you realize that, barring the fact that all of those safety measures could be wiped away in an instant by a natural disaster or electrical error, our reactors are indestructible.” Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks, except those no one could have predicted.

    [link]      
  224. By rate-crimes on April 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    “The nuclear industry is not having a problem safely supplying fresh uranium. – Kit P”

    From comment #186:

    The U.S. is already importing over 90% of its uranium:

    [link]      
  225. By Kit P on April 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    “A portion of those deaths were from people working on/with small home scale windturbines. While this may not strictly be the “industry”,”

    Paul let me suggest that those who debate safety do not have any standards (double or otherwis) for safety for the most part. It is just a way to debate pro’s and con’s on a topic that they do no have any understanding.

    If you are going to be in the business of producing energy in the US, you have to meet US safety standards. The same standards apply to producing energy for yourself. If your wind turbine or woodstove results in the death of your children, you could be held accountable if you were negligent.

    “Pebble bed reactors”

    Just so you know Wendell NGNP prototype is scheduled to be completed in Idaho in 2021. If the NRC approves the COLA it still may not get built. In a world of cheap and safe electricity, current designs of nuke plants are very, very safe and cheap. While new designs may address false criticism, notice how Rate Crimes can find a new false criticism in WIKI.

    US legalization does allow new reactors to be built because existing regulations provides for the safe storage of spent fuel.

    “Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens”

    First off Rate Crimes, THE ONION is satire.

    “Harry Connick, Jr. Dies In Piano”

    Second something bad did happen in Japan. No one was hurt by radiation. That is what safe is, not hurting people.

    In the US, nuke plant diesel are bunkered, fuel oil ‘day’ and ‘7 day’ tanks are bunkered, essential service water pumps are in seismic building with water tight doors, hydrogen is hard piped to above the roof not to enclosed buildings.

    For more than 50 years we have been making electricity and driving sub and surface ships. My industry has kept its promise to protect the American people safe from radiation.

    [link]      
  226. By rate-crimes on April 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    “First off Rate Crimes, THE ONION is satire.” – Kit P

    Duh, . . . ya  think? Laugh   Your statement is almost as comical as The Onion itself, unless it was meant as satire.  In that case, it was just dull.

    “notice how Rate Crimes can find a new false criticism in WIKI. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    Notice how every concern, question, or criticism of nuclear power is “false” in your world.  Your facile dismissal of any question about nuclear power makes it easy for you to ignore uncomfortable facts.  Such a display of willful ignorance from a self-proclaimed “nuclear safety expert” can only generate more concerns.

    “For more than 50 years we have been making electricity and driving sub and surface ships. My industry has kept its promise to protect the American people safe from radiation.” – Kit P

    Like Hanford, for example?  What “industry” are you referring to?  The Military–industrial complex?

    Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens

    [link]      
  227. By rate-crimes on April 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Japanese nuclear workers pump radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi plant into ocean

    April 4th 2011

    “We have no choice but to release water tainted with radioactive materials into the ocean as a security measure,” said government spokesman Yukio Edano [emphasis mine].

     

    Apparently, the term “security” is open to interpretation.

    [link]      
  228. By Kit P on April 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    “Notice how every concern, question, or criticism of nuclear power is “false” in your world.”

    So you are saying that the criticism in WIKI is correct and my response is wrong? Or are you saying that all your concern, question, or criticism of nuclear power are “false” and you choose not to defend them by asking the same questions over and over?

    Again, US nuke plants store spent fuel per regulation.

    “Like Hanford, for example?”

    No, Hanford is not an example of light water moderated power reactors widely used in the US. Handford is an example of graphite moderated reactors used to make plutonium for weapons. The Manhattan Project maintained a large amount of space around the reactors to protect the public. While I am not an expert on weapon material production; I did live in Richland for many years. I am not aware of any reactor accidents at Handford or the public being harmed.

    “Apparently, the term “security” is open to interpretation.”

    Keep in mind they speak Japanese in Japan. If Rate Cimes had read further their was an explanation.

    “The facility’s operator said it was necessary to release water contaminated with low-level radiation because they needed to make space for even more highly toxic water.”

    I will explain further. Nuke plants have lots of storage tanks to store very clean slightly radioactive water to be recycled in the plant. Right now the best use of the tank is to put the highly radioactive water in those tanks to reduce the site dose rate and prevent the uncontrolled release of more fission products.

    [link]      
  229. By Wendell Mercantile on April 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Hanford’s “Atomic Man”

    Dr. Bryce Breitenstein speaks with admiration for the patient at the
    center of his most famous case — the Prosser man who came to be called
    “Atomic Man” after surviving the nation’s worst radiological accident.

    Harold
    McCluskey was tough, intelligent and endlessly patient during the
    months of treatment he endured to save his life after an explosion at
    Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant Aug. 30, 1976, Breitenstein said.

    [link]      
  230. By rate-crimes on April 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    “ If Rate Cimes had read further their was an explanation.” – Kit P

    Yep, I read the entire first sentence, the second sentence you quoted, and the four following sentences, including the concluding summation,

    “But the pile-up of toxic run-off has started to slow crucial repair work and had begun leaking into the ocean on its own.”

    Thank you for sharing your interpretation of “security”.

    “I will explain further”: The frequent repetition of phrases like “very clean slightly radioactive water” from someone who purports to be a “nuclear safety expert” engenders little sense of security.  The hubris you exhibit is precisely the attitude that should be prohibitied from the nuclear industry.

     

    [link]      
  231. By rate-crimes on April 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    “I will explain further. Nuke plants have lots of storage tanks to store very clean slightly radioactive water to be recycled in the plant.” – Kit P

     ”The scope of the dump was staggering.

    ‘For an idea about how much is 11,500 tons, one metric ton is 1,000 kilograms or about 2,200 pounds, which is close to an English ton. Water is about 8.5 pounds per gallon, so one ton is about 260 gallons,’ said Gary Was, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan. ‘So 11,500 tons is about 3 million gallons. A spent fuel pool holds around 300,000 gallons. So this amount of water is equivalent to the volume of roughly 10 (spent fuel pools).’

    It could take 50 hours to dump all the water, Tokyo Electric said.”

    Japan dumps thousands of tons of radioactive water into sea

    [link]      
  232. By Kit P on April 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    “The hubris you exhibit is precisely the attitude that should be prohibitied from the nuclear industry.”

    Water quality is very important to all steam plants. Boiler scale is bad for tube. It has to do with heat transfer and metallurgy. Power plants have numerous water treatment systems. Ion exchangers remove things like chlorides but also filters out thing like fission products and activated corrosion products such as cobalt-60. The difference between ion exchange resin beds in a coal plant and nuke plant is that nuke plant use shielded concrete vaults to protect workers.

    I have also put a diver into the very clean slightly radioactive water of spent fuel pool. In that case, it is important for clarity of the water.

    So yes, the water stored in the tanks is very clean slightly radioactive water. It is a little sad that the professor of nuclear engineering did not mention ‘activity’ is the measure radioactivity of water not weight or volume no matter how staggering might seem to college professors or journalists of even Rate Crimes. Furthermore, reading further in Rate Crimes linked story.

    “To put this in perspective, the Pacific Ocean holds about 300 trillion swimming pools full of water and they’re going to release about five swimming pools full of water. So hopefully the churning of the ocean and the currents will quickly disperse this so that it gets to very dilute concentrations relatively quickly,” said Timothy Jorgensen, chair of the radiation safety committee at Georgetown University Medical Center.

    [link]      
  233. By rate-crimes on April 5, 2011 at 6:37 am

    “no matter how staggering might seem [sic] to college professors or journalists of even Rate Crimes” – Kit P

    Now you attempt to diminish the expertise of a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan!

    “So yes, the water stored in the tanks is very clean slightly radioactive water.” - Kit P

    Are you talking about the sandbox of your quaint diving pools or the reality of Fukushima?:

    Radiation in water rushing into sea tests millions of times over limit

    “Japanese utility and government authorities suffered fresh setbacks Tuesday with the detection of radiation in a fish and news that water gushing from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the Pacific had radiation levels more than millions of times above the regulatory limit [emphasis mine].

    . . . and, the conclusion of the article . . .

    “Another big problem may be that authorities still don’t know how exactly the gushing water got contaminated, where it came from, or how to fix potential leaks and cracks deep inside the reactor complex and nuclear fuel.

    Michael Friedlander, a former senior U.S. nuclear engineer, said late Monday that authorities will continue to have problems related to excess, radioactive water — and the need to dump some of it — as long as they inject huge amounts in to prevent fuel rods from overheating in reactors’ cores and spent fuel pools.

    ‘This is not a one-off deal,’ Friedlander said of dumping adioactive water into the ocean. ‘This issue of water and water management is going to plague them until they can get (fully operating) long-term core cooling.’”

    [link]      
  234. By russ on April 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Rate Crimes is wound up like a cheap watch on this one!

    Being a college professor that makes quotes makes him a ‘good guy’? Never heard of him before and most likely never will again. The expertise of some college professors is hardly a cover for all. Some professors are world class and some are fools.

    Would I pay extra for power to do away with the nuclear plants? Easy answer and it is no – I would not.

    The world we live in will be a very different place in 100 and 500 years – most likely the greens will all have died from heart attacks along the way.

    [link]      
  235. By Kit P on April 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    We have kept our promise to protect the American people safe from radiation. For more than 50 years we have been using LWRs for making electricity and driving sub and surface ships. I use 50 years because forty years has included my promise and the ten years of the dedicated people who trained me.

    That is the record; it is not hubris or arrogance.

    At one nuke plant, I was responsible for ensuring radioactive releases were minimized. An independent group was responsible for sampling releases. A third group of environmental scientist evaluated the data before it was reported to the regulators.

    My even clean and less slightly radioactive water that I discharged was several orders magnitude cleaner and less radioactive that the river water we used for cooling tower make up. Sometimes the ‘activity’ was so low that our instruments could not measure it. Some public relations guy had the water sent to UC Berkely for measurement. The local newspaper reported the result as ‘tainted’ water.

    “Now you attempt to diminish the expertise of a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan!”

    I am pointing that ‘activity’ is the physical parameter of interest.

    “Are you talking about the sandbox of your quaint diving pools or the reality of Fukushima?”

    The reality at Fukushima is that nuclear power is safe, no one has been hurt by radiation. The regulator limits that are being violated are to protect the environment and is not a public safety issue. Considering how readily ‘activity’ is dispersed by the ocean, I do not expect any significant impact. Nothing compared to the recent environmental impact of the recent gulf oil spill or the coal ash spill in Tennessee which has now been cleaned up.

    The reason safety is more important the environment is that cleanup is easier than fixing bodies. Taking care of both is the best choice.

    [link]      
  236. By rate-crimes on April 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    “Rate Crimes is wound up like a cheap watch on this one!” – russ

    Don’t have a meltdown, russ.  Laugh  I’m just asking (unanswered) questions.

    [link]      
  237. By rate-crimes on April 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    “We have kept our promise to protect the American people safe from radiation.” – Kit P

    Who is “we”?  Are you back to including subs and ships again?  Or, are you staying in your power generation sandbox?  Your position shifts like a sand dune, . . . or like the foundations of a nuclear plant in an earthquake.

    “The reality at Fukushima is that nuclear power is safe, no one has been hurt by radiation.” – Kit P

    Your reality is not a shared reality; nor is your preoccupation with direct, localized radiation.  The sudden loss alone of so much centralized power generation is crippling Japan’s now unsafe economy.

    “Nothing compared to the recent environmental impact of the recent gulf oil spill or the coal ash spill in Tennessee which has now been cleaned up.” – Kit P

    If you’re talking about the spill of December 22, 2008, it is doubtful that Fukushima 1 will be cleaned up in two years for a little over a billion USD.  Yes, the Gulf Spill is an unprecedented catastrophe.

    [link]      
  238. By rate-crimes on April 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    “Rate Crimes is wound up like a cheap watch on this one!” – russ

    Don’t have a meltdown, russ.  Laugh  I’m just asking (unanswered) questions.


     

    BTW, just how old are you?  When was the last time you wound a watch? Laugh

    [link]      
  239. By Kit P on April 6, 2011 at 6:04 am

    “Your reality is not a shared reality; nor is your preoccupation with direct, localized radiation. ”

    Not preoccupation, but occupation. When I was the Chem/Radcon Assistant on my last ship that was my responsibility. Rate Crimes keeps asking question, then suggests that answering them indicates a preoccupation.

    “The sudden loss alone of so much centralized power generation is crippling Japan’s now unsafe economy.”

    I am not an economist nor do I live in Japan. Japan has suffered a terrible natural disaster. I think it a bit of a stretch to use the term ‘unsafe’ when describing an economy.

    Two interesting things to note. I heard at work that one side of Japan uses 50 Hz like the EU and the other side uses 60 Hz as we do. This has restricted the ability to move power to where it is not needed. Second, the Japanese were investing in US nuke plants and now investment priorities may have changed.

    [link]      
  240. By rate-crimes on April 6, 2011 at 7:39 am

    “Your reality is not a shared reality; nor is your preoccupation with direct, localized radiation.” – Rate Crimes

    “Not preoccupation, but occupation.” – Kit P

    You are stating that making comments in this forum is your occupation?

    “I think it a bit of a stretch to use the term ‘unsafe’ when describing an economy.” – Kit P

     Then, ‘precarious’.

    “From a high level, commonsensical view, Japan started this crisis in a precarious economic position. [emphasis mine]

    Why are Markets Crashing If Japan Recovery Will Create Billions in Economic Activity?

    “I heard at work that one side of Japan uses 50 Hz like the EU and the other side uses 60 Hz as we do.” – Kit P

    You are just now discovering this?  I suppose I do have the advantage of having actually lived in Japan.

    “Second, the Japanese were investing in US nuke plants and now investment priorities may have changed.” – Kit  P

    Have the Japanese received their maximum dose of reality?

    [link]      
  241. By rate-crimes on April 6, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Plant radiation monitor says levels immeasurable  Tuesday, April 05, 2011

    “A radiation monitor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says workers there are exposed to immeasurable levels of radiation.

    The monitor told NHK that no one can enter the plant’s No. 1 through 3 reactor buildings because radiation levels are so high that monitoring devices have been rendered useless. He said even levels outside the buildings exceed 100 millisieverts in some places.”

     

    Has this been confirmed?

    [link]      
  242. By Kit P on April 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “You are just now discovering this? I suppose I do have the advantage of having actually lived in Japan.”

    Judging from what Rate Crimes has written I would have thought that an Arizona fence post knows more about Japan. Maybe Rate Crimes could write about what he knows instead of asking dishonest questions. Feel free to provide information but I will call you dishonest if you ridicule me for answering your questions.

    If there are still other readers, I am skeptical that Rate Crimes honestly wants an answer. However, just in case others are still interested, I will keep answering because I know the answer.

    “Has this been confirmed?”

    Radiation monitors are similar to Radio Shack volt meters that can select different scales for reading a 12 V dc battery or 120 V ac. Area Radiation Monitors and Continuous Air Monitors provide an adjustable alarm over a wide range of levels. When the amount of radiation level changes beyond the set point, workers leave.

    Since the workers left those areas, they are not being exposed to ‘immeasurable levels of radiation’.

    Radiation Monitors are installed in the reactor to measure reactor power. Even very high levels of radiation can be measured.

    [link]      
  243. By rate-crimes on April 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    “if you ridicule me for answering your questions” – Kit P

    I was just stunned that you would not know that half of Japan runs on 50Hz.  I’ve known that for several decades, and would assume that any “fence post” would also know this.  Even more so, I would assume that someone who purports to be an expert in energy generation would be aware of that well-known and interesting fact.

    If you feel that I am ridiculing you, it is not because of my responses as much as it is the quality of your “answers”.

    “Has this been confirmed?” – Rate Crimes

    Did you answer whether the story that Plant radiation monitor says levels immeasurable has been confirmed?  It would seem that your indirect answer that “even very high levels of radiation can be measured” discredits the report.  However, with the extent of the damage at the plant, and the likely impossibility of replacing damaged monitors, or even approaching the nos. 1 through 3 reactor buildings in order to do so, might make the levels directly ”immeasurable”.

    “I know the answer.” – Kit P

    What error tolerances are there for extrapolated measurements?  Has the validity of the story and its sources been confirmed?

    [link]      
  244. By Kit P on April 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    “interesting fact”

    The interesting fact is that Japan has both 50 & 60 hz grids.

    “Did you answer”

    Yes, the information was provided to understand the issue. I am not going to spend the time to write a 5 page essay on the topic. Rate Crimes your bait and switch style makes me think that are not interested in learning.

    “What error tolerances are there for extrapolated measurements?”

    Each nuclear worker wears a personal dosimeter to determine exposure. These are very accurate. There are also portable devices for detecting radiation. The training in the navy and every nuke plant that I have been at, it to know what dose you are receiving.

    Say I was going down to the RHR pump in the lowest level of the reactor building (which I have done hundreds of times) and the dose level was higher than expected. I would turn around and leave. However, I would not be going down to the RHR pump to make sure they are running okay after core damage. It would be like running into a burning house to see if the smoke detector is working.

    “The monitor said he takes measurements as soon as he finds water, because he can’t determine whether it’s contaminated just by looking at it. He said he’s very worried about the safety of workers there.”

    I agree with this statement. If you find water where it does not belong, the assumption is that it is contaminated. The task of the cleanup will be monumental.

    This article is a case of lost in translation. Japanese to English, English to technical.

    [link]      
  245. By rate-crimes on April 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    “interesting fact” – Rate Crimes

    “The interesting fact is that Japan has both 50 & 60 hz grids.” – Kit P

    Why are you repeating my statements?

    “Did you answer”

    “Yes, the information was provided to understand the issue.” – Kit P

    No. You misunderstand what is the issue.

    “your bait and switch style”- Kit P

    You are projecting your own regular sin while again exhibiting said style with yet another ad hominem attack . . .

    “makes me think that are not interested in learning.” – Kit P

    . . . while you extend your ad hominem attack and embellish it with a posture of arrogance.  Anyone with more experience than a child will immediately recognize that you are little more than posture.

    “What error tolerances are there for extrapolated measurements?” – Rate Crimes

    “[blah blah blah irrelevant blah blah blah]” – Kit P

    So, what error tolerances are there for extrapolated measurements?  Has the validity of the story and its sources been confirmed?

    “I know the answer.” – Kit P

    Or, preferably, please someone else answer who really does know something.

    [link]      
  246. By paul-n on April 7, 2011 at 1:22 am

    If there are still other readers,

    No, there are not.  My BS dosimeter has gone off – if I read any more of this from Rate Crimes my brain will be irrepairably damaged.  

    As HAL said to Dave in 2001:A Space Odyssey;

    -  this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

     

     

    [link]      
  247. By tennie davis on April 7, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Out of morbid curiosity,I thought I’d check back in.Looks like kit’s still babysitting.To his credit, he has more patience with watermelons than I.

    [link]      
  248. By rate-crimes on April 7, 2011 at 6:46 am

    “I am not going to spend the time to write a 5 page essay on the topic.” – Kit  P

    But you will write endless ad hominem attacks while not even attempting answers to real questions.

    “if I read any more of this from Rate Crimes my brain will be irrepairably damaged.” – Paul N

    More of what, exactly?  More vague ad hominem.  Yawn.

    “To his credit, he has more patience with watermelons than I.”- tennie davis

    You couldn’t resist, could you?  You just HAD to throw in your profound ad hominem, rather than attempt to respond to any question.  Welcome to the propaganda arm of your confederacy of dunces.

    Is there any guest on this blog who can do anything more than spout irrelevancies, stroke a fetish, cast vague aspersions, or spew ad hominem nonsense?

     

    [link]      
  249. By 8th Sister Energy on April 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    This is the problem …. everyone wants to impress everyone with their knowledge or lack of it. No one wants to actually take a stand and be proactive.

    [link]      
  250. By tennie davis on April 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Take a stand and be proactive about what? safe clean cheap nuke energy?

    I’ll stand for that.

    [link]      
  251. By rate-crimes on April 8, 2011 at 7:35 am

    “Take a stand and be proactive about what? safe clean cheap nuke energy?

    I’ll stand for that.” – tennie davis

    Simply repeating your cult’s favorite propaganda line is not sufficient in the face of vivid evidence that the reality is much different.  Does your cult issue pom-poms as well as blinders?  Your facile chant is little more than cheerleading.

    In the light of the clearly enormous costs of Fukushima, how can nuclear energy be declared to be “safe, “clean”, or “cheap”?

    TEPCO faces massive costs over disaster / Compensation likely to add to burden

    Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to scrap reactors Nos. 1-4 at a crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture means the power utility will have to shoulder a colossal expense–possibly about 400 billion yen (~$5B USD) to decommission the reactors and several trillion yen (several tens of billions USD) in compensation.”

    [link]      
  252. By Wendell Mercantile on April 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

    In the light of the clearly enormous costs of Fukushima, how can nuclear energy be declaried (sic) to be “safe, “clean”, or “cheap?”

    Because it is. The fault at Fukushima was not with the nuclear reactors. The problem was not even the earthquake. The problem was a tsunami that was much greater than anyone had planned for.

    Likewise the cost of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was enormous. But that wasn’t because of the hurricane, it was because of inadequate planning for handling storm surges and destruction of wetland storm barriers. People had been predicting for decades what would happen if a major hurricane hit New Orleans.

    If you are advocating we should give up nuclear power because of poor planning for a tsunami, you may as well advocate we abandon all of southern Louisiana because of their poor planning.

    [link]      
  253. By rate-crimes on April 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    In the light of the clearly enormous costs of Fukushima, how can nuclear energy be declared to be “safe, “clean”, or “cheap?” – Rate Crimes

    “Because it is. The fault at Fukushima was not with the nuclear reactors. The problem was not even the earthquake. The problem was a tsunami that was much greater than anyone had planned for.” – Wendell Mercantile

    … except Yukinobu Okamura.

    Japanese nuclear plant’s safety analysts brushed off risk of tsunami

    “Yukinobu Okamura, a prominent seismologist, warned of a debilitating tsunami in June 2009 at one of a series of meetings held by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to evaluate the readiness of Daiichi, as well as Japan’s 16 other nuclear power plants, to withstand a massive natural disaster. But in the discussion about Daiichi, Okamura was rebuffed by an executive from the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, because the utility and the government believed that earthquakes posed a greater threat.”

    Or, by “anyone”, do you mean ‘anyone in the nuclear industry’?

    [disaster of your choice] ”was much greater than anyone had planned for” is precisely the problem.  The real risks and costs of nuclear energy are often too quickly dismissed by nuclear dogmatists.

    Likewise the cost of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was enormous. But that wasn’t because of the hurricane, it was because of inadequate planning for handling storm surges and destruction of wetland storm barriers. People had been predicting for decades what would happen if a major hurricane hit New Orleans. [emphasis mine]” – Wendell Mercantile

    “Likewise” and “But that wasn’t because” conflict.  Your explanation of “inadequate planning for handling storm surges” is relevant to the Fukushima 1 nuclear disaster.  Just as people had predicted a storm surge in New Orleans, Yokinobu Okamura had at least raised the likelihood of a devastating tsunami.

    In general, I do not advocate the abandonment of existing nuclear assets.  I do advocate that the real costs and risks of all power generation be fully accounted.

    “you may as well advocate we abandon all of southern Louisiana because of their poor planning. [emphasis mine]” – Wendell Mercantile

    A dumb idea and a bad analogy.  Can you be more specific about who you believe was responsible for poor planning in Louisiana?

    Judge says U.S. liable in Katrina
    “In a ruling that could leave the government open to billions of dollars in claims from Hurricane Katrina victims, a federal judge said late Wednesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had displayed “gross negligence” in failing to maintain a navigation channel — resulting in levee breaches that flooded large swaths of greater New Orleans.”

    [link]      
  254. By tennie davis on April 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Crimes,in my cult we practice a strange ritual.
    We call it “logic”.
    You should try it sometime,it works with or without pom-poms.

    [link]      
  255. By rate-crimes on April 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    “Crimes,in my cult we practice a strange ritual.
    We call it “logic”.
    You should try it sometime,it works with or without pom-poms.” – tennie davis

    I agree with you:  Your “logic” is ritualistic and strange to we who are more familiar with the traditional logic and science that have been developed over the past few millennia.  We develop theories and seek evidence.  Its practice requires that our hands be free from pom-poms.

    You are invited to present a clear theory and associated evidence.

    [link]      
  256. By rate-crimes on April 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    “safe clean cheap nuke energy” – tennie davis

    “n order to produce enriched uranium, the process of isotope separation removes a substantial portion of the U-235 for use in nuclear power, weapons, or other uses. The remainder, depleted uranium, contains only 0.2% to 0.4% U-235. Because natural uranium begins with such a low percentage of U-235, enrichment produces large quantities of depleted uranium. For example, producing 1 kg of 5% enriched uranium requires 11.8 kg of natural uranium, and leaves about 10.8 kg of depleted uranium with only 0.3% U-235 remaining. [emphasis mine]“

    “The use of DU in munitions is controversial because of questions about potential long-term health effects.[4][5] Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because uranium is a toxic metal.[6] It is weakly radioactive and remains so because of its long physical half-life (4.468 billion years for uranium-238). The biological half-life (the average time it takes for the human body to eliminate half the amount in the body) for uranium is about 15 days.[7] The aerosol produced during impact and combustion of depleted uranium munitions can potentially contaminate wide areas around the impact sites leading to possible inhalation by human beings.[8] During a three week period of conflict in 2003 in Iraq, 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes of DU munitions were used.[9]

    You may be keeping your own sandbox clean, but your cat is leaving his turds in the neighbor kid’s box.

    [link]      
  257. By tennie davis on April 8, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Crimes, I don’t worry about depleted uranium.
    I’m not dumb enough to drive around in a tank taunting US Marines.

    [link]      
  258. By rate-crimes on April 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    “I don’t worry about depleted uranium.” – tennie davis

    Yet, you say,

    “safe clean cheap nuke energy” – tennie davis

    DU is a toxic byproduct of nuclear fuel production.  Perhaps, you did not fully understand the process described in comment #257 above?

    “I’m not dumb enough to drive around in a tank taunting US Marines.”- tennie davis

    … but just brave enough to hide behind them?

    [link]      
  259. By tennie davis on April 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Crimes,you depend (hide behind)our boys for your freedoms as much as I do.
    I appreciate them.
    Do you?

    [link]      
  260. By rate-crimes on April 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

    “Crimes,you depend (hide behind)our boys for your freedoms as much as I do.
    I appreciate them.
    Do you?” – tennie davis

    The point of my response was that you used a boast of the military prowess of the U.S. Marines in order to dismiss the real danger of depleted uranium to those living where DU is dispersed; including American soldiers.  Your thoughtless comment shows little real appreciation of the Marines who in many ways risk their lives and their future health.

    This is not a forum for empty chest thumping, unverifiable tests of patriotism, or (counter to common practice in this forum) ad hominem attacks.  Any ideas pertinent to “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?” may be more deserving of considered response.

    That said, and recognizing that American soldiers are, in part, fighting for the ’average’ American’s ‘right to consume’, I make efforts to minimize my personal consumption.

    • Although accounting for only 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume a quarter of the world’s energy.
    • America uses about 15 times more energy per person than the typical developing country.
    [link]      
  261. By Kit P on April 11, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Rate Crimes keeps talking about safety but the reality at Fukushima is that nuclear power is safe, no one has been hurt by radiation.  He talks about the cost of the natural disaster but the nuclear power plants held up better than most costal installations.  Now it is DU!

     

    “So far no health problems associated with DU exposure have been found in Veterans exposed to DU.”

     

    Finally we get to the guilt trip about using energy.  While I am not suggesting to anyone that they should waste energy, using electricity to protect your family from the elements is not wasting energy.  You can use electricity produced in the US knowing that the environmental impact is insignificant.

     

    Cleaning your plate because wasting food means there are starving children in China is just as silly as a guilt trip as being uncomfortable in your home means ‘typical developing country’ has to use less electricity.

     

    The goal is to provide all clean water and electricity.  Nuclear power is a means to that end.  

     

    [link]      
  262. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 7:56 am

    “Cleaning your plate because wasting food means there are starving children in China is just as silly as a guilt trip as being uncomfortable in your home means ‘typical developing country’ has to use less electricity.” – Kit P

    What generated this ridiculous discursion?  Your analogy is bad:  Food is shipped worldwide; electricity is not.  Even though, the U.S. now imports over 90% of its uranium that then spawns the depleted uranium that is exported to places like Iraq and Afghanistan in the form of munitions.  Furthermore, you are again sandboxing with “in your home” when the statistics were about the broader consumption of ”energy per person”, both inside and outside the home.

    World Energy Outlook – Access to Electricity

    “The goal is to provide all clean water and electricity.  Nuclear power is a means to that end.” – Kit P

    Nuclear power is one of many means to that end; but one where the costs are not fully accounted.

    “You can use electricity produced in the US knowing that the environmental impact is insignificant. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    There are myriad examples of significant environmental impact in the U.S. due to the production of electricity.  It takes only a few seconds of Internet search to discover these.  Furthermore, many of these impacts have been mentioned and discussed in this forum.  Therefore, one must conclude that you are either in denial, or a propagandist.

    “the nuclear power plants held up better than most costal [sic] installations” – Kit P

    Your comparison of a nuclear power plant to harbors is an example of the poor quality of your thinking.  The highest-risk installation on the coast was inundated, lost power, suffered explosions, both accidentally and intentionally released radioactive materials into the environment, is still in an unknown condition, has risked (at least) the health of (at least) many nuclear workers, will cost many billions to clean up, and exacerbates an already horrific catastrophe.

    [link]      
  263. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

    “Now it is DU!” – Kit P

    “So far no health problems associated with DU exposure have been found in Veterans exposed to DU.”

    Kit P, you can always be trusted to cherry-pick one sentence out of context in order to maintain your pretense.  Let’s see your cherry-picked sentence in wider context:

    “The potential for health effects from internal exposure is related to the amount of DU that enters a person’s body. If DU enters the body, it may remain in the body. Studies show high doses may especially affect the kidneys.

    So far no health problems associated with DU exposure have been found in Veterans exposed to DU. Researchers and clinicians continue to monitor the health of these Veterans.”

    - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards

    One must also consider the source.  Here’s an alternative perspective from outside of the U.S. government:


    Veteran thrown into new battle

    Soldier who fought Taliban while fighting cancer now being nickel-and-dimed on disability pension


    “No less than five doctors, medical experts in the field, wrote letters supporting Dornan’s case for a pension, stating the cancer was caused, or at a minimum aggravated by, his exposure to the uranium.

    Yet Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board have poo-pooed the experts’ opinions to deny Dornan his pension.

    Welcome to the twilight zone where a quasi-judicial body of political appointees can refuse to compensate the injuries of a wounded veteran because they read something in a book.”

    [link]      
  264. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    “Finally we get to the guilt trip about using energy.” – Kit P

    Estimated U.S. Energy Use in 2009

    Estimated U.S. Energy Use in 2009

    54.64 quads of rejected energy out of ~94.6 quads (58%).

    [link]      
  265. By Kit P on April 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Where Rate Crimes has taken the time to share his thoughts, I will reply.

    “is still in an unknown condition”

    Well informed people know. As expected, the radiation levels are 100 times lower than three weeks ago because radioactive material decays exponentially.

    “has risked (at least) the health of (at least) many nuclear workers”

    Again we know what the dose workers received and none received a dose that would hurt them. The highest does is 17 Rem. As a reference point, 50 Rem is where short term changes might be seen in blood counts.

    “Therefore, one must conclude that you are either in denial, or a propagandist.”

    Actually, I am an environmental engineer trained in evaluating the potential risk and provide protective measures to mitigate those risks. For example,

    “Depleted-uranium readings more than 1,000 times the level considered safe for human exposure were found by a UN agency at the sites he inspected a decade after the contaminated equipment was removed, Dornan said.”

    I have worked in a facility that handles uranium. Many Americans have levels of uranium in the body as measured by the CDC more than 1,000 times the NRC action level for for uranium workers. The source of the high level in the public is natural. Furthermore kidney function testing shows no harm has occurred.

    On the planet that I live on, uranium is ubiquitous and varies by many orders of magnitude from place to place. If you have high levels of radon in your area, then your soils have high levels of uranium.

    First Rate Crimes posts a quote about uranium affecting the kidneys, then a story about an unfortunate soldier with cancer. Two different things!

    When we consider making electricity with coal, uranium is the largest risk factor associated with the hazards to the general public. This is based on 20 year old data. The risk is also insignificant being on the order of 0.000001. In the next 10 years, old coal plants will either be shut down or have modern pollution control.

    In the real world it is easy to tell the difference between a significant problem and an insignificant problem. When it comes to making electricity, the Russian and Chinese stack the bodies up like cord wood while creating environmental disasters.

    Meanwhile Japan had a earth quake ten times larger than they designed for and tsunami the like of which has not been seen for a thousand years. The dead and missing are on the order of 25,000. A worker getting 17 Rem is not significant in either absolute or relative terms.

     

    As bad as things are in Japan, a billion or so people do not have access to electricity or clean drinking water. Many of the children will die before their first birthday. Meanwhile some candidate for the Darwin award by playing chicken on his bike with teenage girls texting on their cell, wants to explain risk of radiation exposure.

    [link]      
  266. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    “Well informed [sic] people know. – Kit P”

    A self-proclaimed “nuclear safety expert” making a point of pride of the opacity of the nuclear industry priesthood is hardly reassuring.  Even expert nuclear analysts have been reduced to guesses, at best.

    “wants to explain risk of radiation exposure” – Kit P

    I have made no such explanation.  I have presented evidence of risks and costs of nuclear power.  Address the evidence.  Skip the ad hominem.

     

     

    [link]      
  267. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    “In the real world it is easy to tell the difference between a significant problem and an insignificant problem.” – Kit P

    Is that always so?  For everyone?  Is that what Japan’s nuclear executives said to Yukinobu Okamura?

    Japanese nuclear plant’s safety analysts brushed off risk of tsunami

    “Yukinobu Okamura, a prominent seismologist, warned of a debilitating tsunami in June 2009 at one of a series of meetings held by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency to evaluate the readiness of Daiichi, as well as Japan’s 16 other nuclear power plants, to withstand a massive natural disaster. But in the discussion about Daiichi, Okamura was rebuffed by an executive from the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, because the utility and the government believed that earthquakes posed a greater threat.”

    [link]      
  268. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    “As bad as things are in Japan, a billion or so people do not have access to electricity or clean drinking water. Many of the children will die before their first birthday. Meanwhile some candidate for the Darwin award by playing chicken on his bike with teenage girls texting on their cell, wants to explain risk of radiation exposure.” – Kit P

    In two sentences, you have managed to insult Japan, the world’s poor, bicyclists, teenage girls, me, and thoughtful readers of this forum.  Before that, you hit the Russians, the Chinese, and Fukushima’s nuclear workers.

    That leaves nearly only “environmental engineers” untouched.

    [link]      
  269. By rate-crimes on April 11, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Yutaka Endo said he feels like his life has been put on hold because of the nuclear crisis.

    He fled Minami Soma and has been living in a shelter in Fukushima city for three weeks with his family.

    “I can’t make any plans because of the nuclear crisis. My home was fine, but I can’t go back there because it is in a restricted area,” said the 32-year-old, who used to tend bar. “I need to find a new job and a place to live so that we can get out of here. But I can’t do anything until these zones are lifted.”

    Japan raises nuclear crisis alert level

    [link]      
  270. By rate-crimes on April 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    “As expected, the radiation levels are 100 times lower than three weeks ago because radioactive material decays exponentially.” – Kit P

    Spike in iodine levels may signal new leak

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    The government on Saturday said that levels of radioactivity in seawater near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had risen significantly in recent days, according to samples taken Friday.

    Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the level of radioactive iodine-131 spiked to 6,500 times the legal limit, up from 1,100 times over the limit the day before. Levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137 rose nearly fourfold.

    [link]      
  271. By thomas398 on April 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Everyone has stated their position. No one is changing their mind.

    Its safe to say nuclear energy is dead in Japan for the next 5- 10 years.

    Its on hold in the rest of the world for a year or two.

    In the U.S., the industry was headed for a great decade. Let’s check back in a year to see if public opinion has softened on nuclear power.  Most likely its going to have an effect similar to the gulf oil spill.  Communities that were against it  before (offshore FL, CA) will fortify their positions and neutral communities are going to ask a lot more questions.  The Obama admin is not going to change its pro nuclear position, technically, but its not going to cheerlead for new plants.  NG is the only winner out of all of this.

    [link]      
  272. By rate-crimes on April 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    “Everyone has stated their position. No one is changing their mind.” – Thomas398

    Position(s) on what?  Are you suggesting a dichotomy, where a spectrum or a field might be a correct metaphor?  Your own position on others’ rigidity is probably true for many, but it would be wiser to remain open and flexible. 

    “Its [sic] safe to say nuclear energy is dead in Japan for the next 5- 10 years.” – Thomas398

    “Dead” is a rather extreme pronouncement.  Certainly, there should be a radical rethinking of Japan’s energy systems and lifestyles.  Perhaps, affordable, secure, safe, clean nuclear energy will become a reality within another generation?

    “Let’s check back in a year to see if public opinion has softened on nuclear power.” – Thomas398

    Ill-informed opinions will likely determine our energy future.  The extremists who create false dichotomies will continue to frame the debate.

    “NG is the only winner out of all of this.” – Thomas398

    Hopefully, energy conservation and renewables will share some of the glory.

    [link]      
  273. By Wendell Mercantile on April 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    NG is the only winner out of all of this.

     

    Not the only winner — also methane clathrates. Japan was one of the few countries working on ways to access and use the vast amount of methane locked in the frozen clathrates under the Pacific.  The nuclear mess will only spur them to work harder unlocking that resource.

    Japan will have electricity. If not from nuclear, their only real option is from gas turbine generators burning NG and methane.

     

    [link]      
  274. By rate-crimes on April 20, 2011 at 7:19 am

    “[Japan's] only real option is from gas turbine generators burning NG and methane. [emphasis mine]” – Wendell Mercantile

    It seems that the oil & gas industry agrees with you:

    Japan LNG Imports To Surge In Wake Of Disaster

    …but, is that a viable long-term solution?

    Methane clathrates pose a whole new set of problems, both technological and political.  Even if Japan achieves commercial extraction of methane hydrate by 2016, at best, it will remain a small percentage of Japan’s energy for many years afterwards.  Then there is the challenge of competition with China for available methane hydrate resources.  Finally, considering Japan’s record of stewardship of the world’s whales, does the world really want Japan sifting the ocean for fire ice?

    Your suggested options are temporary, not very real, ultimately risky, and certainly not the only options.

    [link]      
  275. By Kit P on April 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

     

    “Let’s check back in a year to see if public opinion has softened on nuclear power.”

     

    Decisions to build power plants are not based on public opinion, they are based on resource management plans which are subject to public comment. So, public opinion is considered. Whatever the choice, it something that the community must accept. So no one is planning on putting a nuke plant in SF or West Virginia. In SF you can not build anything, the California RPS is mostly met with wind from the PNW.

     

    In communities with nuke plant, efforts are being made to reassure community leaders and everyone else in the area how well US plants are designed and additional measure that are being taken based on the lesson learned.

     

    Like it or not, public opinion does not produce electricity.

     

    “Its on hold in the rest of the world for a year or two.”

     

    I do not see any evidence of that Thomas. Of course, no one is planning on starting construction of an old design of nuke plants subject to tsunami. Deciding to build a nuke plant is not an easy choice, it is a hard sell. Why does France use so much nuclear generated electricity? No coal, no gas, no choice.

     

    Even in the US where we have plenty of coal, the farther you get from the coal fields the higher the transportation costs. There is that pesky issue of spent nuclear fuel. Utilities with 50 year old coal plants have a mountain of fly ash which is a bigger problems than dry storage of spent fuel assemblies.

     

    [link]      
  276. By thomas398 on April 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

     

    “Its on hold in the rest of the world for a year or two.”

     

    I do not see any evidence of that Thomas. Of course, no one is planning on starting construction of an old design of nuke plants subject to tsunami. Deciding to build a nuke plant is not an easy choice, it is a hard sell. Why does France use so much nuclear generated electricity? No coal, no gas, no choice.

     

    A quick search on google with phrase “nuclear energy on hold” and I’m presented with articles detailing the current limbo state of new nuclear power in China, Poland, UK, Germany and our dear old U.S.A. All of these countries are going to spend a year or two reassuring the public and reevaluating their safety plans for planned and existing installations.

     

    Decisions to build power plants are not based on public opinion, they are based on resource management plans which are subject to public comment.

    Wow Kit, you should be a Russian or Chinese autocrat.   I think the World Nuclear Association says it best:

    “During the early years of nuclear power, there was a greater tendency amongst the public to respect the decisions of authorities licensing the plants, but this changed for a variety of reasons. No revival of nuclear power is possible without the acceptance of communities living next to facilities and the public at large as well as the politicians they elect.”

    Its not a coincidence that no new nuclear power plants have been constructed since TMI.  After decades in the doghouse, public opinion  was softening towards new nuclear construction.  We shall see the long term effect of Fukishima on this softening.  My opinion: fewer plants will be built than had this disaster not happened or been quickly brought under control.  The reason why some politicians support solar and wind is because these power sources are popular.   If you want to see how public opinion and popularly elected state officials can derail a strongly supported federal plan look no farther than Yucca Mountain.

     

     

     

     

    [link]      
  277. By Wendell Mercantile on April 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    …and certainly not the only options.

     

    Rate Crimes.

    I don’t believe I said methane clathrates are the only options. What I said was that the use of methane clathrates in Japan would benefit from any nuclear scare Fukushima causes.

    Japan had already been doing work with clathrates. It has to be immediately obvious to them that exploiting the frozen clathrates off their coast can be a stopgap for the plans they had to expand nuclear power, and that they will now have to shelve.

    Would the use of frozen clathrates be risky?  Potentially, but weighed in the balance against expanding their reliance on nuclear plants, and a growing demand for electricity, what do you think they will do?

     

     

     

    [link]      
  278. By rate-crimes on April 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    “I don’t believe I said methane clathrates are the only options.” – Wendell Mercantile

    No, you said,

    “Japan will have electricity. If not from nuclear, their only real option is from gas turbine generators burning NG and methane.” – Wendell Mercantile 

    I addressed both methane gas and methane hydrates in my response.   I concluded with,

     ”Your suggested options are temporary, not very real, ultimately risky, and certainly not the only options.” – Rate Crimes

     

    “weighed in the balance against expanding their reliance on nuclear plants, and a growing demand for electricity, what do you think they will do?” – Wendell Mercantile

    Actually, there are two questions: what they will do, and what they should do.  The Fukushima nuclear disaster has shown that Japan will do what they should not do.  Their record on whaling is, perhaps, further evidence of a cultural mindset.

    I suspect that, like most, Japan will satisfy its short-term desires.  It is difficult to leave an unhappy baby crying in its crib, even though it will eventually fall sleep, dream sweetly, and learn its real needs.  What are Japan’s real needs?  The loss of arable land, living space, and the potential loss of ocean foodstocks may remain high on the nation’s list of concerns.

    [link]      
  279. By rate-crimes on April 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Apropos of nuclear power cost accounting . . .

    As Fukushima bill looms, nations weigh dilemma: nuclear plants viable only when uninsured

    From the U.S. to Japan, it’s illegal to drive a car without sufficient insurance, yet governments around the world choose to run over 440 nuclear power plants with hardly any coverage whatsoever.
    Japan’s Fukushima disaster, which will leave taxpayers there with a massive bill, brings to the fore one of the industry’s key weaknesses — that nuclear power is a viable source for cheap energy only if it goes uninsured.

      

    In financial terms, nuclear incidents can be so devastating that the cost of full insurance would be so high as to make nuclear energy more expensive than fossil fuels.

    Governments could opt for a middle road, taking out more insurance to protect taxpayers from massive bills, but that would make the energy cost more. Ultimately, the decision to keep insurance on nuclear plants to a minimum is a way of supporting the industry.

    “Capping the insurance was a clear decision to provide a non-negligible subsidy to the technology,” Klaus Toepfer, a former German environment minister and longtime head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said.

    Several countries advocate nuclear energy as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels, even though there still is no solution for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste.

    [link]      
  280. By russ on April 26, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Rate Crimes – At least you could learn some new stuff to spread around – rehashing the same old garbage is not all that interesting.

    I realize that is asking a lot as you would have to think rather than simply regurgitate what greens are spoon fed by your masters.

    You might consider changing the user name to ‘crime against humanity’ – would be quite fitting.

    Best Regards!

    [link]      
  281. By rate-crimes on April 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    “At least you could learn some new stuff to spread around” – russ

    russula, please make a hard, reflective examination of your preceding, thuggish, fatuous comment; then consider who it is that is practicing regurgitation and spreading dreck.  Empty criticism, sarcasm, and the addition of another plop onto the mountain of ad hominen in this forum are hardly “interesting”.  Perhaps, instead, you could actually address any of the pertinent questions?

    [link]      
  282. By rate-crimes on April 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “spoon fed by your masters.” – russ

    “In his 2012 budget, President Obama included $54 billion in federal loan guarantees for new reactors — far more than the $18 billion available for renewable energy.”

     

    “Over the past decade, the nuclear industry has contributed more than $4.6 million to members of Congress — and last year alone, it spent $1.7 million on federal lobbying. Given the generous flow of nuclear money, the NRC is essentially rigged to operate in the industry’s favor.”

    America’s Nuclear Nightmare

    [link]      
  283. By rate-crimes on April 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    “the same old garbage” – russ

    You want to talk “old”?…

    “After all, there are now 104 reactors scattered across the country, generating 20 percent of America’s power. All of them were designed in the 1960s and ’70s, and are nearing the end of their planned life expectancy. [emphasis mine]

     

    “America’s current fleet of reactors exists only because Congress passed the Price-Anderson Act in 1957, limiting the liability of nuclear plant operators in case of disaster. And even with taxpayers assuming most of the risk, Wall Street still won’t finance nuclear reactors without direct federal assistance, in part because construction costs are so high (up to $20 billion per plant) and in part because nukes are the only energy investment that can be rendered worthless in a matter of hours. [emphasis mine]

    America’s Nuclear Nightmare

    [link]      
  284. By rate-crimes on April 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    “You might consider changing the user name” – russ

    “Rate Crimes” is the title of the blog which describes in detail the manipulation of rate schedules by the utility that operates the nation’s largest nuclear power plant.  These rate schedule structures are now nearly unique to the utilities that have ownership interest in the PVNGS.

    The design of the rate schedules defeats the value of independent investments in energy conservation and solar energy in the nation’s sunniest state.  Such manipulations of the market are in direct opposition to the declared values of many of the proponents of nuclear energy.  The rate schedules have established a culture of profligate consumption in order to maintain a captive market (or a market of captives).  This is yet another well-disguised subsidy for the nuclear power industry.

    [link]      
  285. By Kit P on April 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Storing fuel for a long period of time causes various problems.

     

    For 40 years I have been listening to people like Rate Crimes talk about why nuclear power is a failed technology.

     

    “and are nearing the end of their planned life expectancy. ”

     

    Yet 40 years later nuke plants are running better than ever. When considering the ‘design’ life of a nuke plant, 40 years later we find that they still have 20 good years left in them.

     

    Rate Crimes operates under the assumption that solar somehow is inhibited by nuclear. The reason that not much electricity is produced by solar is that it does not work very well. We never hear stories of a old solar panels running breaker to breaker producing huge amounts of electricity on cold winter nights at 1.2 cents/kwh.

     

    “solar energy in the nation’s sunniest state ”

     

    That is kind of the point Rate Crimes, solar is a failed technology even when it should work the best. In the electricity industry, success is measured by how much electricity is produced when customers need it. Selling junk to rich consumers to put on their roofs is just a scam.

    [link]      
  286. By rate-crimes on April 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    “Yet 40 years later nuke plants are running better than ever.” – Kit P

    And yet, because of fundamental design flaws in nuclear power plants, and because the warnings of experts went unheeded, one of the world’s worst nuclear power disasters has been exacerbated and remains unresolved.  Nuclear power plants will run “better than ever” until they suddenly don’t.  Then, those living within the permanent exclusion zone better run . . . forever.

    That’s not even considering the perpetual waste management problem.

    “Rate Crimes operates under the assumption that solar somehow is inhibited by nuclear.” – Kit P

    Yet another faulty interpretation on your part.  How the rate schedules defeat independent investments in energy conservation and solar energy is shown precisely.  There is no “assumption” and there is no “somehow”.  The coincidence that these rate schedules have long been established and maintained uniquely by those utilities associated with the nation’s largest nuclear power plant is an interesting fact.

    “We never hear stories of a old solar panels running breaker to breaker producing huge amounts of electricity on cold winter nights at 1.2 cents/kwh.” – Kit P

    Could that be because you’re not listening carefully (or at all)?  Your fictional prices and delusions of grandeur aside, in Arizona, an individual investment in solar energy will outperform traditional investments.  In other words, your best investment is to NOT buy electricity from the utility; whether that is by conserving energy, or generating your own.  There are myriad real-world stories of people living quite happily — and to the benefit of their fortune — off the grid.  There are ever more real-world stories of people and businesses supplementing their energy with on-site solar generation.

    “success is measured by how much electricity is produced when customers need it. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    You expose your prejudices eloquently.  You see a world of “customers”.  You are a creature living in the box of your rigid paradigm.  But of course you require a system to maintain your ‘market’ captives.

    [link]      
  287. By Kit P on April 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

    “better run . . . forever”

     

    A 45 foot tsunami killed forever 25,000 people including 1200 who lived near the nuke plant. I suspect the reason that these people did not run was because they had not seen a 45 foot tsunami in a thousand years. The unexpected happened. A half a million people have evacuated, some of them to emergency fatalities at other nukes.

     

    Furthermore, running from radiation was not necessary. As I have said before, core damage is an accident that happens in slow motion. There is plenty of time to evacuate if the unexpected happened.

     

    It is also not true that there is a permanent evacuation zone. If people went back now the radiation are low enough that they would not be hurt. We live in a world of risk but radiation is the least of them.

     

    “That’s not even considering the perpetual waste management problem.”

     

    Another lie that Rate Crimes repeats over and over.

     

    “Yet another faulty interpretation on your part.”

     

    Maybe, but when I lived in California, I was not inhibited from building a solar system and conserving and that was 25 years ago. What I learned was that conservation was very economical and made solar very uneconomical.

     

    “associated with the nation’s largest nuclear power plant is an interesting fact. ”

     

    Not really interesting, not a fact, and association is not causation in any case. These leaps of logic make Rate Crimes look like a crack pot. When Rate Crimes provides data of the amount of electricity generated by solar along with the cost using standard accounting methods, that will be different. For the record, there are several excellent utility scale solar projects in Arizona.

     

    “because you’re not listening carefully ”

     

    I read every serious economic report on solar and other methods of generating electricity.

     

    “There are ever more real-world stories ”

     

    I do not take these very seriously.

     

    “off the grid”

     

    Most of human history was before the grid. Except for a billion or so people, almost all who have a choice use electricity.

     

    “You see a world of “customers”. ”

     

    Well duh!

     

    “your rigid paradigm ”

     

    Not mine, those ‘captive’ customers are very demanding. They want reliable and affordable electricity.

     

    The bottom line here is that Americans are free to choose their life style. You do not hear from the Amish about how electric rates are unfair. If Rate Crimes thinks solar is better fine. However, I do not really think Rate Crimes knows much about solar. Rate Crimes only talks about solar in the context of being against nukes.

    [link]      
  288. By rate-crimes on April 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

    “A 45 foot tsunami” – Kit P

    Stay on topic, please.  The issues are the exacerbation of the catastrophe due to poor nuclear power plant design and the expanded exclusion zone from which tens of thousands of people have been expelled.  Whether any exclusion zone will become permanent is yet to be determined.  Would anyone be willing to bet their Tepco evacuee compensation money on the likelihood that there will be a permanent exclusion zone?

    “That’s not even considering the perpetual waste management problem.”

     ”Another lie that Rate Crimes repeats over and over.” – Kit P

    U.S. storage sites overfilled with spent nuclear fuel

    NY, VT, Conn. Suing NRC Over Nuclear Waste Storage

    Too much nuclear waste in U.S. for Yucca Mountain

    Nevada delegation to lawmakers touring Yucca Mountain: go away

    “We live in a world of risk but radiation is the least of them.” – Kit P

    Are you again conflating radiation with the dispersal of radioactive materials into the environment?  If the nuclear industry holds to the same dismissive mindset as a self-proclaimed “nuclear safety expert” who consistently minimizes risks, then we have an even greater problem.

    “[Nuclear customers] want reliable and affordable electricity.” – Kit P

    Yet, they get all of nuclear power’s risks while paying all the hidden and postponed costs.

    “I do not really think Rate Crimes knows much about solar. Rate Crimes only talks about solar in the context of being against nukes.” – Kit P

    Once again, you are wrong. See the Rate Crimes blog.

    Also, I am not “against nukes”.  Your accusation is far too broad to have valid meaning.  I am against poor cost accounting, and poor arguments.

    [link]      
  289. By rate-crimes on April 29, 2011 at 7:31 am

    In light of recent news, perhaps, instead of asking the question, “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”, a more pertinent question is, “How much compensation from your local nuclear power company would you require to be made whole in the event of a major nuclear accident?”

    Tug-of-war intensifies between TEPCO and gov’t over compensation payments

    “A tug-of-war is intensifying between Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which wants to reduce its burden of compensation payments for residents affected by its tsunami-hit nuclear power plant, and the national government, which wants to avoid using taxpayers’ money for the compensation.”

    “Moreover, power suppliers other than TEPCO have expressed reluctance over financial contributions to a nuclear accident compensation organization that the government is planning to set up.”

    [link]      
  290. By Kit P on April 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

    “accident ”

     

    It is expensive to clean up after an accident. It cost more to clean up clean up after the failure of a coal ash mound in Tennessee than TMI cost including compensating people for being evacuated. I have seen the result of the Tetons Dam failure. In the last year, numerous people have been killed and evacuated related to natural gas.

     

    I have just covered 95% of the amount of electricity generation in the US. Typically anti-nukes focus on the risk of making electricity with nuclear power while ignoring that it has the lowest actually risk by several orders of magnitude. I suspect Rate Crimes want to ignore house fires associated with PV.

     

    In the US we have done an excellent job of of generating electricity without hurting are customers. Rate Crimes will provide any information on how he will do it better.

    [link]      
  291. By rate-crimes on April 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    “It is expensive to clean up after an accident. It cost more to clean up clean up after the failure of a coal ash mound in Tennessee than TMI cost including compensating people for being evacuated. I have seen the result of the Tetons Dam failure. In the last year, numerous people have been killed and evacuated related to natural gas.” – Kit P

    OK, the previous comments were in regards to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which you proceed to entirely ignore.

    “I have just covered 95% of the amount of electricity generation in the US.” – Kit P

    Then you sandbox the discussion to within the borders of the U.S, further ignoring the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    “anti-nukes focus on the risk of making electricity with nuclear power” – Kit P

    Of course, in your world, anyone who raises any question regarding nuclear power generation is immediately labelled, “anti-nuke”.  Those who question are not so much focused on the risks of “making electricity with nuclear power”, but rather what happens when nuclear power stations suddenly and catastrophically stop making electricity; and instead begin dispersing radioactive materials into the surrounding and even global environment.

    “ignoring that [nuclear power] has the lowest actually [sic] risk by several orders of magnitude.” – Kit P

    Only in your sandbox.  It is doubtful that the Japanese would agree with you.

    “I suspect Rate Crimes want to ignore house fires associated with PV” – Kit P

    Please provide some numbers.  Then we will see if they should be considered or ignored.  What percentage of fires induced by electrical systems can be attributed to solar power systems.  What percentage can be attributed to grid faults?

    “In the US we have done an excellent job of of generating electricity without hurting are [sic] customers.” – Kit  P

    Who is “we”?  The U.S. nuclear industry has certainly helped the nations from which it imports over 90 percent of its uranium.

    “Rate Crimes will provide any information on how he will do it better.” – Kit P

    I suspect that your last sentence was a Freudian slip.  However, as I have consistently stated, my primary goal is to provide an accurate cost (economical, social, ethical, long-term) accounting for all sources of power and its consumption.

    [link]      
  292. By Kit P on April 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    “further ignoring the Fukushima nuclear disaster.”

    I have not ignored events at Fukushima. Like almost all nuclear professional, I have followed the situation carefully. I have looked at the doses to workers and public received and assessed that no one is hurt. A nuclear disaster in which no one was hurt by radiation, which is exactly the purpose of having emergency plans.

    “anyone who raises any question regarding nuclear power generation is immediately labelled, “anti-nuke”.”

    No an anti-nuke is one who ignores the answer but keeps asking the question, for example:

    “Those who question are not so much focused on the risks of “making electricity with nuclear power”, but rather what happens when nuclear power stations suddenly and catastrophically stop making electricity; and instead begin dispersing radioactive materials into the surrounding and even global environment.”

    There are some basic concepts that Rate Crimes does not understand. A major natural disaster occurred. That magnitude of earth quake will take out most steam turbines. It is a moot point because the transmission system was damaged. Power plants are designed to ‘suddenly’ shut down when there is no place to send the power.

    To date, no nuke based on US designs have failed to perform as designed even in this case when seismic event was 10 times the design basis.

    Then a second major natural disaster occurred. A massive tsunami slammed into Japan. Since Japan is prepared for a tsunami following an earth quake, this tsunami must have been worse than anything expected judging by the number killed. Why did these people not get to high ground, they had the time?

    This set into motion core damage that ‘dispersing radioactive materials into the surrounding and even global environment’.

    The basic concept that Rate Crimes does not understand is that radioactivity is a property of material just like toxicity is for arsenic. Everything in nature is radioactive and toxic. It is the dose that makes the poison (harm).

    So you have a bunch of journalist going OMG, OMG, OMG. Nuclear professionals are trained to follow STAR. Stop, think, act, & review. At some point at TMI and Fukushima, ‘sh** that ain’t right’ must have been said.

    TMI and Fukushima were different than Chernobyl for two reasons. Core damage was not sudden and LWR have containment buildings. Second, the proper actions were taken to protect the public.

    One of the sad things about Chernobyl is that fear may have caused more harm than the radiation. Huge numbers of abortions occurred. Again it is important to evaluate the exposure and assess the risk. While Rate Crimes seems to think I am not concerned because I do not go OMG, I do take the time to asses the harm.

    [link]      
  293. By rate-crimes on April 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    “I have not ignored events at Fukushima.” – Kit P

    In general, perhaps not.  But, as I said, you conveniently ignored the Fukushima nuclear disaster in your previous response.

    “It is the dose that makes the poison (harm).” – Kit P

    Just as you neglect to appropriately employ the term: ‘cumulative dose’.

    [link]      
  294. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 10:28 am

    “One of the sad things about Chernobyl is that fear may have caused more harm than the radiation. Huge numbers of abortions occurred. Again it is important to evaluate the exposure and assess the risk.” – Kit P

    Can you provide any authoritative information that supports your conjecture regarding spontaneous abortions in the aftermath of Chernobyl?

    [link]      
  295. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

    “Since Japan is prepared for a tsunami following an earth quake, this tsunami must have been worse than anything expected” – Kit P

    You are repeating the false argument that you put forth in comment #163.  Perhaps you forgot the evidence presented in comment #173 that dismissed your argument:

    Expert: Japan nuclear plant owner warned of tsunami threat

    “A seismic researcher told CNN Sunday that he warned the owner of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago that the facility could be vulnerable to a tsunami.
    The owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company, appeared to ignore the warning, said seismologist Yukinobu Okamura.

    TEPCO has not responded to Okamura’s allegation.”

    [link]      
  296. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

    As an antidote to the propaganda of minimization, dismissal, and dissembly that is being disseminated by nuclear fetishists, thoughtful readers may wish to experience the photojournalism of Donald Weber.

    Because of the exclusion zone resulting from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe many of the dead still lie where they fell.

    [link]      
  297. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

    “Nuclear professionals are trained to follow STAR. Stop, think, act, & review.” – Kit P

    Very cute.  But, if those managing the complexities of nuclear power require insipid mnemonic crutches for such common sense behaviors, then disaster is indeed imminent.

    When did it devolve into ‘Pause, Restart, Accelerate, Yada yada’ ?

    [link]      
  298. By Kit P on April 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

     

    “you conveniently ignored ”

     

    Go back and read again.

     

    “Just as you neglect to appropriately employ the term: ‘dose’”

     

    Does reported are cumulative. The only thing I am trying to ignore is Rate Crimes failure to stick with one point until it is settled and how often he tells me I am ignoring something.

     

    “regarding spontaneous abortions ”

     

    The abortions were apparently a choice by parents concerned about birth defects. NPR recently carried a story about a women (grew up in the US) who was born after Chernobyl. Because of the events in Japan she discussed the issue with her mother who had considered an abortion. Her mother and older siblings evacuated but her grandparents did not. She discussed how her grandfather had thyroid problems. Of course, in this cause thyroid problems was caused by old age.

     

    After exposure to I-131 there is a latency period for thyroid cancer is several years. Anyone with thyroid cancer shortly after exposure already had it just had not been diagnosed. We will not know for five years if the Japanese were effective at protecting children from.

     

    Presently there is no evidence anyone has been harmed from radiation. The effects of radioactive material ingested and external does of radiation are very well studied because of the beneficial uses in medicine. Ironically, large doses of I-131 are used to treat thyroid cancer.

     

    Let’s objectively look at the cost/benefit of containment buildings and timely evacuations. It is very high. In the US, cost is no object when it comes to avoiding exposing children to I-131.

     

    Now lets look at the cost/benefit of getting above the tsunami. Think about the benefit of not having 25,000 dead and missing. Everyone had time.

     

    “You are repeating the false argument that you put forth in comment #163.  Perhaps you forgot the evidence presented in comment #173 that dismissed your argument:”

     

    To be clear my argument is not false and you only provided a news story which is not evidence. As a result of the tsunami two workers died who were in the basement of the turbine building compared with 1200 in the nearby city. Whatever the societal issues in Japan for how they design for a natural disaster, clearly one of the safest places is at a nuke plant.

     

    Nuclear power is not independent of society. I had to make calls to family who were concerned because I was in Alabama a few weeks ago at a nuke plant. I was back in Virginia and had not 6-foot concrete walled building for evacuations. At the plant everyone went to the tornado safe buildings.

     

    One of the things that irks me in nuclear power is that I have no trouble getting workers to not stand near a hot spot but you can talk to your blue in the face about the dangers of compressed air.

     

    “Because of the exclusion zone resulting from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe many of the dead still lie where they fell.”

     

    You mean washed up? Thoughtful reader (as in logical verses emotional) have to be a little skeptical of the conclusions of photo journalist. When I see this body, I think about the children waiting at school for their father to come and pick them. This is truly a tragedy.

     

    To go some place and take a picture of a dead body and then link it to your obsessive fear is just a little sick

    [link]      
  299. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    “Because of the exclusion zone resulting from the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe many of the dead still lie where they fell.” – Rate Crimes

    “You mean washed up? Thoughtful reader (as in logical verses emotional) have to be a little skeptical of the conclusions of photo journalist. When I see this body, I think about the children waiting at school for their father to come and pick them. This is truly a tragedy.

    To go some place and take a picture of a dead body and then link it to your obsessive fear is just a little sick” – Kit P

    You either did not view the video, did not attend to it, did not comprehend it, or simply deny its evidence.  It was NOT “some place”.  It was “linked to” the exclusion zone surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    At 10 minutes into the video, Donald Weber states, “I use to really think we were the only people . . . no, I KNOW we were the only people to tell that story.  To go to the exclusion zone and to acturally see what the reality is there.

    And, ironically enough, I read a report yesterday on CNN saying, ‘There are bodies, yes, there are bodies still in the exclusion zone, but the bodies that are left are ones we can’t get to because they’re inside; and it’s a ‘radioactive thing’ , but we’ve cleaned, there are no bodies on the streets.’

    And, we had specifically seen a body in Odaka.  And, if we’ve seen one, there’s definietly more.  Because it was pretty much not in plain sight, but all you had to do was walk thirty seconds off the main street . . . and there was a body.”

    At 10:43 Donald Weber is shown with his camera at the site where he discovered the body in Odaka.  A few moments later is shown the terrible sight of a man’s body half-submerged in the cracking mud of a field.

    “You mean washed up?” – Kit P

    No.  The video provides ample context.  There is no beach in sight.   It appears that the body was left by the tsunami; and is now abandoned because it lies within the exclusion zone of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    Here is the link again: Post Atomic: Life After Zero Hour

    “To go some place and take a picture of a dead body and then link it to your obsessive fear is just a little sick.”

    Sanctimony, dismissal of the record of events, and the use of a tragedy as leverage for an insult is more than just “a little sick”.

    [link]      
  300. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    “you conveniently ignored ”

    Go back and read again.

    In my comment #290 my topic addressed Fukushima.  In your response in comment #291, you start your second paragraph with, “I have just covered 95% of the amount of electricity generation in the US.”   You start your third and final paragraph with, “In the US,”.  You make no mention of any activities beyond U.S. borders, let alone even a brief mention of Fukushima.

    In comment #292, I responded, “OK, the previous comments were in regards to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which you proceed to entirely ignore.” Then, I include, “Then you sandbox the discussion to within the borders of the U.S, further ignoring the Fukushima nuclear disaster.”

    In your response, #293, you snip a quote out of context and then respond, “I have not ignored events at Fukushima.”  By doing so, you have, of course, expanded the scope from your inability to address the immediate issue into the broad, fuzzy, “events at Fukushima”, rather than the issue at hand: your ignoring of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in your previous response:  Just as I noted, in my next comment, #294, “But, as I said, you conveniently ignored the Fukushima nuclear disaster in your previous response.”

    You start your next comment with another snipped quote out of context and snarkily command, “Go back and read again.”

    Perhaps you should go back and again study your books on rhetoric?

    [link]      
  301. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    “I have not ignored events at Fukushima. Like almost all nuclear professional, I have followed the situation carefully. I have looked at the doses to workers and public received and assessed that no one is hurt. A nuclear disaster in which no one was hurt by radiation, which is exactly the purpose of having emergency plans. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    Apparently, your view is not the consensus…

    Japanese government nuclear adviser quits

    Toshiso Kosako says radiation limits too high

    “A senior nuclear adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has resigned, criticizing the government for ignoring his advice on radiation limits and not doing enough to deal with the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant

    [link]      
  302. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    [link]      
  303. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    NIRS – Nuclear Crisis in Japan

    “The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that temperatures in all three reactors (Units 1-3) with fuel in their cores remains above 100 degrees Centigrade, or above the boiling point. Thus, water continues to be boiled off and released as radioactive steam, and must be replenished. However, Tepco has called off efforts to inject massive amounts of water into the reactors to turn them into the “water coffins” described below. Tepco had begun doing that in Unit 1 but has stopped over concerns that increasing water pressure could produce leaks in the pressure vessel that could lead to outside air coming in that might result in a new hydrogen explosion.”

    [link]      
  304. By rate-crimes on April 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    “Nuclear professionals are trained to follow STAR. Stop, think, act, & review.” – Kit P

    Very cute.  But, if those managing the complexities of nuclear power require insipid mnemonic crutches for such common sense behaviors, then disaster is indeed imminent.

    When did it devolve into ‘Pause, Resume, Accelerate, Yada yada’ ?

    [link]      
  305. By Kit P on April 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    “Apparently, your view is not the consensus… “

     

    Rate crimes do you even bother to read the links with misleading headlines and make an effort to understand them?

     

    My view does agree with the consensus. I happen to agree with the man who resigned. I might resign to too.

     

    However, that does not change the good news. No one has been hurt by radiation from Fukushima. I am not optimistic that people like Rate Crimes will ever understand the difference between conservative regulatory limits and actually hurting people.

     

    “Radiation Readings in Fukushima Reactor Rise to Highest Since Crisis Began”

     

    Nothing has happened to cause reading to increase other than send a robot into the reactor building to take readings.

     

    “NIRS – Nuclear Crisis in Japan”

     

    Gosh how silly of me to think Rate Crimes is an anti-nuke when he keeps linking anti-nuke web sites. For those actually interested in what is going on try:

     

    http://nei.cachefly.net/newsan…..at-region/

     

    “Overall, site radiation dose rates are stabilizing or decreasing. The most recent radiation readings reported at the plant site gates ranged from 4.8 millirem per hour to 2.2 millirem per hour. ”

     

    [link]      
  306. By rate-crimes on May 1, 2011 at 5:56 am

    “Gosh how silly of me to think Rate Crimes is an anti-nuke when he keeps linking anti-nuke web sites.” – Kit P

    Yes, you are silly.  Anyone who cares to survey will see that my compendium of links come agnostically from a wide variety of sources.  My goal is not to react, label, divide, and dismiss; but rather to inform.  Perhaps if you were willing to focus on the quality of the content, rather than its source, you might appear to be less silly.

    [link]      
  307. By rate-crimes on May 1, 2011 at 6:38 am

    “Rate crimes do you even bother to read the links with misleading headlines and make an effort to understand them?” – Kit P

    Are you referring to?:

    “‘I cannot allow this as a scholar,” he said, adding that he also opposed the government raising the limit for radiation exposure for workers at the plant.

    The government has set 20-millisievert limit for radiation exposure as safe, but according to Kosako, that is 20 times too high, especially for children, who are considered more vulnerable to radiation than adults.”

    “Kosako went on to criticize the lack of transparency in Kan’s government in dealing with the radiation leak and blasted it for not taking long-term action.”

    “Almost every day there are protests in Japan against the use of nuclear power.”

    “More than 150,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in northeastern Japan due to the tsunami and nuclear catastrophe.”

    “Nothing has happened to cause reading to increase other than send a robot into the reactor building to take readings.” – Kit P

    Or, were you referring to the title of the story about the most recent radiation readings as being “misleading”?

    The peak readings came four days ago on April 27th.  Robots were taking measurements in the same reactor at least as early as April 21st.

    Robots Inspect Damaged Fukushima Reactor

    [link]      
  308. By Kit P on May 1, 2011 at 10:30 am

     

    “but rather to inform ”

     

    Based on the use of emotional language rather than scientific language, It looks to me like Rate Crimes is only interesting in inciting an argument.

     

    In any case, Rate Crimes has failed to inform. It is not the number of links provided but the quality of the information.

     

    I will keep hammering at the basic until Rate Crimes understands them. The overarching principle of safety is to protect human life. It would be nice if Rate Crimes would acknowledge the sanctity of human life.

     

    The is a subset of environmentalist who value the environment over human life. They take pictures of litter in parking lots and rotting corpses. They think human are a terrible evil plague infesting the planet

     

    So if Rate Crimes values human life, I will ‘inform’ how we protect people from being harmed by radiation.

    [link]      
  309. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Dying for TEPCO? Fukushima’s Nuclear Contract Workers Friday 29 April 2011

    “People who live in precarious conditions are then exposed to high levels of radiation, doing the most dirty and dangerous jobs in the nuclear plants, then are sent back to the yoseba. Those who fall ill will not even appear in the statistics.”

    [link]      
  310. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 10:06 am
    [link]      
  311. By Wendell Mercantile on May 2, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Fukushoma’s contract workers

    Rate Crimes~

    Think of them as soldiers.  After all, the last
    Japanese soldiers of WW II didn’t surrender until 1974 — one on the Philippines,
    the other in Indonesia — both became national heroes.

    [link]      
  312. By Kit P on May 2, 2011 at 11:08 am

    It was a simple question Rate Crimes, do you value human life?

     

    “Dying for TEPCO?”

     

    It would appear that Rate Crimes values misleading headlines that infer that human life is at risk so he can spread lies.

     

    “then exposed to high levels of radiation, doing the most dirty and dangerous jobs in the nuclear plants,”

     

    No one is being exposed to ‘high levels of radiation’ that are dangerous.

     

    If you are responsible for protecting human life you learn the basic which is not that difficult. Protecting workers from radiation is based on time, distance, and shielding.

     

    When a task is in a higher radiation area, sometimes more workers are used to perform the task so that the dose for each worker is lower. The author provided by Rate Crimes, Paul Jobin, infers some evil conspiracy for a practice that is used to actually protect workers

     

    “That day, three sub-contractors were taken to the hospital because they were seriously irradiated.”

     

    Of course they were not ‘seriously irradiated’ and were taken to the hospital only as a precaution and then released. Also, these workers ignored alarming dosimeters. When your employer provides you protective equipment to keep you safe, you have a responsibility to use it.

     

    Distance is another way of protecting people. The radiation level from a point source decrease by the square of the distance. The nuclear industry uses robots for many task that require getting close such as ultrasonic testing.

     

    “Robots were taking measurements in the same reactor at least as early as April 21st.”

     

    If you move the robot closer to the source of radiation the level reading will go up.

     

    No one has been hurt by radiation in Japan. Over and over we seen that precautions are being taken that ensure that the value human life is a primary concern.

    [link]      
  313. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    “Think of them as soldiers.  After all, the last Japanese soldiers of WW II didn’t surrender until 1974 — one on the Philippines, the other in Indonesia — both became national heroes.” – Wendell Mercantile

    “Rumor has it that many of the cleanup workers are burakumin.”

    “The burakumin are descendants of outcast communities of the feudal era, which mainly comprised those with occupations considered “tainted” with death or ritual impurity (such as executioners, undertakers, workers in slaughterhouses, butchers or tanners), and traditionally lived in their own secluded hamlets and ghettos.”

    “There is still a stigma attached to being a resident of certain areas traditionally associated with the burakumin and some lingering discrimination in matters such as marriage and employment.”

    [link]      
  314. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Weather chief draws flak over plea not to release radiation forecasts  April 30, 2011

    “The chief of the Meteorological Society of Japan has drawn flak from within the academic society over a request for member specialists to refrain from releasing forecasts on the spread of radioactive substances from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.”

    “The controversy over Niino’s statements came to light when a series of delays in the release by the government of information related to the spread of radioactive substances have come under intense public scrutiny.

    The outcry stemmed partly from revelations that the government has not released much of the data on radiation spread forecasts computed by its Nuclear Safety Technology Center’s computer system, called the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information, known as SPEEDI.”

    Prediction system found useless in nuke emergency, evacuation plans April 29, 2011

    Belated release of radiation forecast data May 2, 2011

    [link]      
  315. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    U.S. medical group blasts Tokyo radiation policy on Fukushima children May 2, 2011

    “Physicians for Social Responsibility, a U.S. nonprofit organization of medical experts, has condemned as ‘unconscionable’ the Japanese government’s safety standards on radiation levels at elementary and middle schools in nuclear disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture.”

    [link]      
  316. By Kit P on May 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    “Physicians for Social Responsibility”

    I see more evidence of ‘consensus’ that no one was hurt by radiation in Japan by the folks at PSR. After Chernobyl, we were talking about people being hurt because workers exposed to levels that caused radiation sickness. Vomiting is one symptom, dying is another. Children were not evacuated in a timely manner exposing them to I-131 which resulted in additional cases of thyroid cancer. When you have a smoking gun, you do not talk about risk, you talk about symptoms and casualties.

    The PSR hold the consensus view that there is not zero risk from exposure to radiation. The risk of dying of cancer is about 0.20 and the risk of getting cancer is 0.33. If after exposure in Japan the risk is 0.2000001 and 0.33000001, I would have to agree that the increased risk is not zero but very close to zero.

    This is amusing.

    “This was because data about the nuclear reactors and radioactive substances needed for making a prediction became unavailable after the plant lost power supply due to the earthquake and tsunami, the commission said.”

    So much for models and computer programs! This is why we evacuate for 10 miles. We do not evacuate for 50 miles because the risk is too small. You can show me a model that takes all the release, sends it into the shy, and have it come down 50 miles away before dispersing into NYC but I hope you do not mind if I am skeptical. Next you tell me you can get all the folks in NYC run outside and drink rain water to increase exposure.

    The reason for studying risk is to know when to run. If you hear tsunami is coming or that the levee is about to break; garb the kids and run for high ground. If you hear core damage is likely, close your windows, pack a bag, gets some water, and then evacuate 10 miles from the nuke plant or whatever authorities tell you to do.

    [link]      
  317. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    “I would have to agree that the increased risk is not zero but very close to zero” – Kit P

    So, to clarify, where an “organization of medical experts, has condemned as ‘unconscionable‘ the Japanese government’s safety standards on radiation levels”, you “agree that the increased risk is not zero but very close to zero” [emphases mine]?

    By your ‘logic’, they find unconscionable a near-zero risk. 

    Laugh

    [link]      
  318. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    “This is why we evacuate for 10 miles. We do not evacuate for 50 miles because the risk is too small.” – Kit P

    The Evacuation Zones Around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant March25. 2011

    “The American Embassy recommended on March 17 that Americans within 50 miles of the Fukushima reactors evacuate.”

    “This is a much larger than the area established by the Japanese, who have advised everyone within 19 miles to evacuate.”

     

    Life in Limbo for Japanese Near Nuclear Plant  May 1, 2011

    “But Tokyo proved reluctant to expand evacuation areas, despite the urgings of the International Atomic Energy Agency and recommendations by the United States that its citizens stay 50 miles from the plant.”

     

    Fukushima Exclusion Zone Update: 5-hr. Visits Allowed, Euthanizing Begins April 29, 2011

    “Both the Japanese federal government and Fukushima Prefecture officials announced new, but incomplete, action plans yesterday concerning the pets and farm animals left behind in the 20-kilometer (12-mile) radiation evacuation zone.”

    [link]      
  319. By rate-crimes on May 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    “garb the kids and run for high ground.” – Kit P

    Why are your kids naked?!  Surprised

    [link]      
  320. By rate-crimes on May 3, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Japan Atomic to close Tsuruga nucelar plant’s No 2 reactor May 3, 2011

    “Japan Atomic Power said it may shut No. 2 reactor at its Tsuruga nuclear plant due to a technical problem.

    The company said it identified a possible leak of iodine from the 1,160MW reactor’s nuclear fuel assemblies into its coolant.”

     

    A bad time to be cutting power in Japan . . .

    Japan struggles to save power before a blackout summer

    [link]      
  321. By Kit P on May 3, 2011 at 8:55 am

    “By your ‘logic’, they find unconscionable a near-zero risk.”

     

    No, that is the logic of PSR. ‘Experts’ who do not quantify the risk are kind of useless. Except for drama majors, no on listens to them. My ethics requires protecting people for harm and to minimize risk. It appears that has been done in Japan.

     

    Now that Rate Crimes agrees that no one was hurt by radiation in Japan, I will move on and talk about risk. What so we know about the risk of radiation exposure. Very large doses of radiation (being exposed to a nuke bomb, cancer therapy) have a small risk of cancer. Long term cumulative exposure has a small risk of cancer.

     

    You can not cause someone to get cancer even if you nearly kill them with the acute affects.

     

    For all practical purposes the risk of cancer from small doses are essentially zero. Fear of small doses of radiation is irrational. Folks like PSR know this and exploit this fear as part of their agenda against nuclear weapons.

     

    If you have an irrational fear radiation, then evacuate as far away as you want. Rate Crimes can link as many articles has he wants about stupid people and irresponsible people.

     

    “Life in Limbo for Japanese Near Nuclear Plant May 1, 2011”

     

    Speaking of stupid, a picture is worth a thousand words. There must be a lot of people in Japan who are sanding drywall. If I was worried about high airborne levels of contamination, I would be wearing a respirator with a charcoal HEPA filter. From the NYT picture, it does look like a natural disaster has occurred. Maybe there is disease associated with that that requires the wearing of protective equipment.

     

    If there is high levels of radiation it is just stupid to stand around and hold a press conference.

     

    “Fukushima Exclusion Zone Update: 5-hr. Visits Allowed, Euthanizing Begins April 29, 2011”

     

    Moving down the scale of valuing human life and up the drama scale, lets talk about animals. As a father why might I not pick up my kids from school or take care of my beloved pet after a natural disaster. It could be because I am among the 25,000 dead or missing.

     

    “Yesterday, the vets removed five dogs and one cat, all of whom had nearly non-existent radiation exposure levels. ”

     

    Evacuations has negative consequences, who knew? Responsible emergency planners know and make decisions based on taking all the risk and benefits into account. Animal being living thing are also not harmed by the levels of radiation in Japan. If they depend on human for food and water, then human should rescue those animals.

     

    Based on the evidence, anyone who suggested a 50 mile evacuation was being irrational and irresponsible.

    [link]      
  322. By rate-crimes on May 3, 2011 at 11:36 am

    “‘Experts’ who do not quantify the risk are kind of useless.” – Kit P

     . . . in the very next paragraph . . .

    Very large doses of radiation (being exposed to a nuke bomb, cancer therapy) have a small risk of cancer. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

     . . . and a few sentences later . . .

    “For all practical purposes the risk of cancer from small doses are essentially zero. [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    . . . and then . . .

    “If there is [sic] high levels of radiation [...] [emphasis mine]” – Kit P

    Does your intial claim stand even for self-proclaimed ‘experts’?  Laugh

    Foot in Mouth

    [link]      
  323. By rate-crimes on May 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    “Based on the evidence, anyone who suggested a 50 mile evacuation was being irrational and irresponsible.” – Kit P

    Such as, the “irrational and irresponsible” International Atomic Energy Agency and the United States . . .

    Life in Limbo for Japanese Near Nuclear Plant  May 1, 2011

    “But Tokyo proved reluctant to expand evacuation areas, despite the urgings of the International Atomic Energy Agency and recommendations by the United States that its citizens stay 50 miles from the plant.”

    Laugh

    [link]      
  324. By rate-crimes on May 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    “the responsibility for risks of nuclear energy fall upon the public sector” – Rate Crimes

    “Of course this is not true. Through the Price-Anderson Act, the U.S. nuclear power industry has more than $12 billion in liability insurance protection to be used in the event of a reactor incident at no cost to the public. The nuclear industry pays.” – Kit P

    (see: comment #220)

    Update:

    Tokyo Electric may face $25 billion in liabilities: report  May 3, 2011

    “Tokyo Electric Power may be asked to shoulder half of an estimated $49 billion in total compensation for damages stemming from its crippled nuclear power plant with other power firms to bear the rest, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.”

    Which further begs the question: “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”

    [link]      
  325. By Kit P on May 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Rate Crimes posting the same link over and over will not change my opinion especially when if you do not bother to read past the head line it supports my position. For example,

    “Experts say the fact that the Japanese government has not evacuated more areas reflects the balance it has struggled to strike between public safety and a desire to limit the size of affected areas in a cramped nation with little space to spare. “Fleeing is simply not an option,” said Gen Suzuki, an expert on radioactivity at the International University of Health and Welfare in Otawara, Japan. “The debate now should not be whether 10 millisieverts is safer than 20, but what steps we should be taking to decrease radiation levels.””

     

    Like I said,

     

    “Mr. Suzuki and others say the risks are not as high as some people fear. ”

     

    and

     

    “But researchers are left to rely on educated guesses in trying to extrapolate those results down to lower doses, he said. ”

     

    and

     

    “Mr. Nagataki and other experts agreed that whatever additional cancer stemmed from the radiation levels seen in many of the evacuation zones around the Fukushima plant would probably be very low, even if residents remained in them. ”

     

    Repeating  what I said,

     

    “With health risks so low, Mr. Nagataki said that evacuation was not only unnecessary, but potentially more dangerous than the radiation.”

     

    Rated Crimes in his ignorance does not know that the US government idiots and the IAEA idiots have no responsibility in these matter and that makes them irresponsible.

    [link]      
  326. By Kit P on May 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Here is a NYT article that I recommend reading:

     

    Drumbeat of Nuclear Fallout Fear Doesn’t Resound With Experts

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05…..ation.html

     

    The basic point is that radiation has been around a long time and we know the risks are low.

     

    ““Most people don’t have a good handle on the risks,” Dr. Fred A. Mettler Jr., professor of radiology at the University of New Mexico and the American representative to a United Nations panel on radiation assessment, said in an interview. “They don’t know the magnitude of the sources, so they don’t know how to put the risks in perspective.” ”

     

    Scary movies often use radioactive contamination as a backdrop for drama.

     

    ““Risk resides mostly as a feeling,” said Paul Slovic, a pioneer of nuclear psychology at the University of Oregon. “It’s a quick gut reaction often triggered by an image,” especially ones in the movies and on television. ”

     

    Speaking of scary,

     

    “Figures from the United Nations put the total bomb radiation from decades of atmospheric testing at almost 70 billion curies. By contrast, the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant released about 100 million curies of the most dangerous materials. ”

     

    But orders of magnitudes lower,

    “As for Fukushima Daiichi, Japanese officials said on April 12 that the reactor complex had released about 10 million curies. In 1979, the reactor accident at Three Mile Island released about 50 curies into the environment. ”

     

    So from my childhood bomb exposure the addition risk is very small. Polio and riding in cars without seat belts not such a small risk.

     

    “Ethel S. Gilbert, a radiation epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues used statistical methods to gauge the cancer risk to Americans from the global bomb fallout. The scientists projected that citizens over the course of their lifetimes would suffer 11,000 more deaths from solid cancers compared with the normal rate of 40 million cancer fatalities. “It’s a tiny proportion of the total cancers,” she said. ”

     

    This expert supports my statements,

    “Dr. Gilbert added that it was too early to analyze the Japanese accident because of the incompleteness of the picture. But she said that given the relatively small size of the radiation release and the precautions Japanese officials have taken to evacuate the danger zone, the result would probably be a “tiny increase in cases” of cancer. ”

     

    And if you are really lucky to live in a great country,

    “For several countries, the United Nations said in a recent report, the doses from X-rays and CT scans “for the first time in history” have exceeded the natural background radiation. ”

     

    [link]      
  327. By rate-crimes on May 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Returning to the topic at hand, i.e., ”How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”, and the $25,000,000,000 (US) for which the ‘owner’ of the irrecoverably damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may be liable:

    Tokyo Electric may face $25 billion in liabilities: report  May 3, 2011

    “Tokyo Electric Power may be asked to shoulder half of an estimated $49 billion in total compensation for damages stemming from its crippled nuclear power plant with other power firms to bear the rest, a Japanese newspaper reported on Tuesday.”

    Some illuminating statements have been made by Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Nippon Keidanren business leaders’ body, the Japanese employers’ federation:

    Japan, not TEPCO, liable for nuclear damage, official says   May2, 2011

    Of course, when Mr. Yonekura argues that Japan’s Nuclear Power Generation Compensation Law has a clause exempting reactor operators from responsibility in the event of “a disaster which cannot be usually imagined.”, he is either unaware of, or omits the fact that warnings about a devastating tsunami had been previously ignored by TEPCO:

    Expert: Japan nuclear plant owner warned of tsunami threat   March 26, 2011

    When Mr. Yonekura states, “They [the Japanese government] are getting away from taking any kind of responsibility. Avoiding it.  So I am openly criticizing the government in respect of compensation.”, he appears oblivious to the fact that he is asking the Japanese people to directly assume the liability.  This is analogous to the situation in the U.S. where the risks of nuclear power generation – the assets of which are held primarily by ostensibly ‘private’ corporations – are pushed onto the public sector by schemes such as the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.

    Of course, the reality is that the Japanese people will ultimately pay the costs, whether or not they compensate the immediate victims through direct payments made by their government.  Ultimately, the costs of energy – and all related costs – will increase.  The good news is that the costs of some forms of power generation have been long trending downwards.

    Furthermore, the compensation for damages is only a small part of the total costs.  The sudden and permanent loss of power generation alone is staggering.  Though, perhaps, this dramatic loss will not only force a reassessment of the risks and real costs of existing nuclear technology, but also expose the falacy of nuclear dependency, and inspire Japan and others to adopt existing cleaner, and less risky solutions, and to invest in seeking new ones.

    [link]      
  328. By Wendell Mercantile on May 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Japan nuclear plant owner warned of tsunami threat

    So what? I could warn the people of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Memphis that someday there will be a catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid Fault that will literally flatten their cities and kill tens or even hundreds of thousands.  I’d be correct too, but that doesn’t mean they would (or could) do anything to prepare for it.

    I could also warn those in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho that the huge volcano under Yellowstone Park will once again erupt covering hundreds of thousands of square miles with several feet of ash. Again I’d be correct, but they won’t do anything to prepare.

    There are all manner of predictable exingencies for which we should be preparing, but most are of the nature that someone on the job now can hold his/her breath and reasonably expect that it won’t happen on their watch.

     

    [link]      
  329. By rate-crimes on May 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    “So what? I could warn the people of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Memphis that someday there will be a catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid Fault” – Wendell Mercantile

    You are not a qualified seismologist or geologist warning about a specific threat to a vulnerable, concentrated, high-risk source of nuclear power generation.

    The inattentiveness and inaction of risk-dismissing profiteers should not be excused by foreseen and forewarned ‘acts of God’ that arrive “on their watch”.  That is dereliction of duty.

    “someone on the job now can hold his/her breath and reasonably expect that it won’t happen on their watch.” – Wendell Mercantile

    You exhibit precisely the kind of thinking that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

     

    [link]      
  330. By Wendell Mercantile on May 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    warned the owner of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
    power plant two years ago that the facility could be vulnerable to a
    tsunami.

     

    The operative word is “could.” Books, magazines, and the Internet are full of warnings about what could happen. “Could be vulnerable” is not much of a warning.

    My warning to Memphis is much more specific. I can reliably say that at some date in the future, Memphis will be flattened by a massive earthquake along the New Madrid Fault and the Reelfoot Rift. What I or no one else can predict is when that will be. Might be tomorrow — might be 150 years in the future.  Memphis Emergency Management and the industries in that area are betting it won’t be for 150 years or more. If that earthquake happens next month, they will have bet wrong.

    Are there any nuclear reactors in the Memphis area?

    [link]      
  331. By rate-crimes on May 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    “The operative word is ‘could.’” - Wendell Mercantile

    No, that is a qualifier, and a broad one at that.  In truth, the “operative word” is ‘tsunami’; for which a warning was provided, years before it occurred.

    “Okamura heads Japan’s Active Fault & Earthquake Center.  He said he told members of a TEPCO safety committee two years ago that data collected from layers of earth show that in the year 869 a massive tsunami devastated where the plant now is.”

    “Without adequate safety measures, a repeat of the first millennium disaster at the site of a nuclear power plant could be far worse, Okamura said he told the committee then.”

    “‘I found that odd so I really wanted to speak out and let people know about it,’ Okamura said. ‘No one reacted in any way.’”

    “Are there any nuclear reactors in the Memphis area?” – Wendell Mercantile

    Nuclear reactors superimposed on seismic zones in the U.S.

    [link]      
  332. By Wendell Mercantile on May 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Rate Crimes,

    Thanks for the link showing the reactors and seismic zones in the U.S.

    [link]      
  333. By rate-crimes on May 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Japan Orders Nuclear Plant to Suspend Operations  May 6, 2011

    “The Japanese prime minister said Friday that he has ordered a nuclear plant in central Japan closed until it can build stronger defenses against earthquake and tsunami risks in the region.”

    “In 2009, Hamaoka’s operator, Chubu Electric Power, decommissioned the plant’s two oldest reactors after deciding that upgrading them to withstand the earthquake risks would be too costly. Those two reactors were built in the 1970s, around the same time as those at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was ravaged in the March 11 quake and tsunami.”

    No details on what are ”stronger defenses against earthquake and tsunami risks”.

    [link]      
  334. By Wendell Mercantile on May 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    No details on what are ”stronger defenses against earthquake and tsunami risks”.

    If it’s in central Japan, I’d guess there’s not much of a tsunami risk. That’d be like deciding to protect one of the TVA reactors in northern Alabama against a tsunami.

    As far as protecting against earthquakes, no one could guarantee a defense was ever strong enough. They can strengthen the defense, but there will never be any guarantee it is sufficient.

     

    [link]      
  335. By rate-crimes on May 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “If it’s in central Japan, I’d guess there’s not much of a tsunami risk.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Bad guess.  From the second sentence of the article . . .

    “Nuclear safety advocates have long warned that the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, about 120 miles southwest of Tokyo, lies on a swath of the Japanese coast especially prone to seismic activity.”

    “no one could guarantee a defense was ever strong enough.” – Wendell Mercantile

    If that is the case, then should the nuclear power plant shut-down become permanent?

    [link]      
  336. By Wendell Mercantile on May 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    lies on a swath of the Japanese coast especially prone to seismic activity.”

     

    If it’s on the coast, it’s not in central Japan.

    [link]      
  337. By Wendell Mercantile on May 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    If that is the case, then should the nuclear power plant shut-down become permanent?

    Eventually perhaps, but no, there are risks involved in everything, and the span of human life on earth is finite anyway.

    I would opposed building any new reactors in known seismic areas. For example. it would be extremely foolhardy to think of building reactors at Memphis, TN or Blytheville, AR.

    [link]      
  338. By Kit P on May 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Wendell I am with Rate Crimes on this. Heads should roll. There are more than 26,000 dead and missing that should not have died except for poor emergency planning. Two individuals that died were at the nuke plants. In a natural disaster one of the safest places to be is at a nuke because they are designed to survive them and not hurt anyone. So what do politicians do when they failed to do the job correctly? The respond with meaningless requests direct away from the real issue which is safety:

    ““I have asked Chubu Electric to halt all its reactors at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a press conference late Friday.”

    The first thing we should note is that the headline is not supported by the story. You can pretty much count on the NYT to provide misleading information such as,

    “Plant on the Sea of Japan coast, was damaged in a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in 2007. Fire broke out at one of the reactors, though it was quickly put out, and Tepco officials said there had not been a widespread release of radiation. .”

    Large electric transformers explode and catch fire all the time. It is generally news worthy locally because they make good video. It is not at all surprising that a fire broke after a major earth quake. The safety related part of the nuke plant was not damaged by the seismic activity. Some water splashed out the fuel pool into a cable tray and essentially there was no release.

    “No details on what are “stronger defenses against earthquake and tsunami risks”.”

    Did you even bother to look?

    “Chubu will have to have install additional air-cooled emergency diesel generators and stock spare parts for seawater pumps that run the residual heat removal system. Carrying out this work and satisfying NISA of the plant’s fitness to restart could take many months.”

    http://www.world-nuclear-news……05111.html

    Then there is reality:

    “There is no legal precedent in Japan for a politician to order the closure of a nuclear power plant that is in line with NISA’s independently set regulations, or for him to influence NISA into ordering a suspension of operation. Another consideration for government and the electric company is the effect on people that a sudden drop in power supply could have, particularly with seasonal demand increases.”

    So how does the Japanese nuclear industry respond to new information?

    “Hamaoka nuclear power plant consists of five boiling water reactors. The first two are now permanently shut down after Chubu decided it would not be economic to upgrade their seismic safety when regulations were revised after the earthquake of July 2007.”

    And what about the remaining units.

    “Remaining units 3, 4 and 5 were built in 1987, 1993 and 2005 respectively”

    [link]      
  339. By rate-crimes on May 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “Did you even bother to look?” – Kit P

    Sure, that is why I pulled quotes from the article and included them in my comments.  In fact, my statement was meant as a criticism of the article by highlighting this shortcoming.  That specific article should have been more precise and informative.

    Looking beyond that article, one should be hesitant to quote World Nuclear News.  As they state of themselves: “The WNN service is supported administratively and with technical advice by the World Nuclear Association”.  The goal of the World Nuclear Association is to “support the global nuclear energy industry”.   ’nuff said, perhaps, but let’s say more . . .

    Whereas WNN states,

    Chubu will have to have install additional air-cooled emergency diesel generators and stock spare parts for seawater pumps that run the residual heat removal system.  Carrying out this work and satisfying NISA of the plant’s fitness to restart could take many months [emphasis mine].” – World Nuclear News

    Hamaoka asked to shut down   May 6, 2011

    United Press International states,

    “Another plant at Tsuruga needs 3,500 kilowatts to safely cool its reactors, but the backups can only deliver 1,020 kilowatts, Kyodo reported, a situation that can’t be remedied until next March. [emphasis mine]” – UPI

    Risks remain at Japan’s nuclear plants April 26, 2011

    According to WNN, one plant’s work will take “many months”, whereas UPI states that similar work at another plant cannot be accomplished for nearly a year.  Why the discrepancy?

    [link]      
  340. By rate-crimes on May 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    U.S. nuclear plant costs may soar after Japan quake   March 25, 2011

    “[U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission] could consider an array of new safety measures at U.S. plants, from requiring passive cooling systems that could keep reactors and spent-fuel pools safe in the event of a power loss such as the Fukushima plant faces, to seeking stronger containment around spent-fuel pools, to mandating additional backup generators, experts interviewed by Reuters said. [emphasis mine]

    [link]      
  341. By Kit P on May 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    “one should be hesitant to quote”

     

    WNN is one first places I go daily for nuclear information, a timely and accurate source of info. POWER ENGINEERING and PLATTS also are a good source of information on the entire electric generating industry.

     

    “Why the discrepancy?”

     

    Rate Crime you like to get your information from sources that do not understand these complex issues or have an ax to grind with the nuclear industry. There are people who have a full time job of convincing the public that nuclear power is dangerous. It is called free speech and I am all for it.

     

    If I make a ‘material false statement’ to the NRC I could go to jail. If I provide a load of BS to the CEO of my company and he makes public statements based on that load of BS, he could go to jail. This called responsible speech.

     

    Specifically, the design basis of emergency diesel generators (EDG) to to supply enough electricity after a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) concurrent with a Loss of Offsite Power (LOOP) to keep the core cooled and take the plant to cold shutdown.

     

    I do not know about regulation in Japan. In the US, the NRC requires a ‘coping’ mechanism for a failure of EDG without a LOCA. One option is a Station Blackout (SBO) Diesel. For example, even after EDGs were lost at Fukishima, the core were being cooled until the batteries ran down and control power was lost.

     

    “keep reactors and spent-fuel pools safe ”

     

    The purpose is to keep people safe. This is a concept beyond the intellect of Rate Crimes.

     

    Events in Japan will not effect the cost of making electricity in the US because nuke plants make huge amounts of electricity to pay for whatever design changes are needed. For the most part, changes have been made a long time ago and are paid for.

     

    [link]      
  342. By rate-crimes on May 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Tepco wants government help for compensation payments May 10, 2011

    “‘They can’t be allowed to face bankruptcy,’ said Penn Bowers, an analyst at CLSA in Tokyo. ‘I think everyone understands they can’t be allowed to fail.’

    Shares in Tepco have plunged since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

    Japanese media has reported that Tepco may have to raise electricity prices in order to help pay for payments.

    Tepco, meanwhile, has said that it may take up to nine months to achieve a cold shut-down at the nuclear plant.”

    Tepco: Leak Suggests Severe Damage May 12, 2011

    “The amount of water leaking from one of the reactors at the earthquake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is much greater than previously thought, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday, a finding that points to severe damage to the reactor and could force a change in plans for stabilizing the unit.”

    “The setback could delay plans for stabilizing Units 2 and 3. The current timetable, published on April 17, envisages having Unit 1 flooded by the end of May and Units 2 and 3 by the end of July. Unit 4 was idle at the time of the earthquake and Units 5 and 6 have already been brought to a safe shutdown.”

    New setbacks at Japan nuclear plant May 12 2011

    “Meanwhile, Kanagawa prefecture southwest of Tokyo said it was recalling its tea after measuring about 570 becquerels of caesium per kilogramme in leaves grown in Minamiashigara city — compared to the legal limit of 500.

    ‘We have not specified the source of the radiation,” said Kangawa agriculture official Hideto Funahashi, “but we cannot imagine any other source than the nuclear power plant.’ [emphasis mine]

    Thereby increasing the already enormous costs, at best.  Will there ever be an end to the costs for the Fukushima nuclear disaster?  In light of this event, what are the real costs of nuclear energy?

    [link]      
  343. By cyrous-khoshroo on May 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    Japan Atomic to close Tsuruga nucelar plant’s No 2 reactor May 3, 2011

    “Japan Atomic Power said it may shut No. 2 reactor at its Tsuruga nuclear plant due to a technical problem.

    The company said it identified a possible leak of iodine from the 1,160MW reactor’s nuclear fuel assemblies into its coolant.”

     

    A bad time to be cutting power in Japan . . .

    Japan struggles to save power before a blackout summer


     Cyrous Khoshroo says:  A Very bad time for not only Japan but the whole world

    [link]      
  344. By Kit P on May 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

     

    “Thereby increasing the already enormous costs, at best.  Will there ever be an end to the costs for the Fukushima nuclear disaster?  In light of this event, what are the real costs of nuclear energy?”

     

    Does anyone expect their utility to pay them for damages caused by natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, ice storms, earth quakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes?

     

    The cost of repairing damage natural disasters is part of your electric rates. Again, a natural disaster occurred in Japan. Japan has 108 active volcanoes and much more severe seismic events. Natural disasters are a way of life in Japan and most places in the world.

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..st_century

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..st_century

     

    So what is the record of damage for US reactors as a result of natural disasters. A perfect record which is not surprising since we design nukes to not be damaged by the worst case event. It is fair ask what about the unexpected. Since everything else in the US is designed to lower standards, you do not want to be around. The least of your worries will be radioactive releases. Just consider the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and if NYC looked this way.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1…..earthquake

     

    So what does the NRC think after evaluating US reactors as a result of events in Japan.

     

    “To date the task force has not identified any issues that undermine our confidence in the continued safety and emergency planning of U.S. plants”

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/…..110512.pdf

    What do I not expect in the US?

     

    “enormous costs”

     

    The record is that US nuke plants are the lowest cost base load power. Those are real cost including all those thing done to maintain that perfect record..

     

    Rate Crimes is worried about cesium on tea leaves. Maybe he should worry about the caffeine in tea! Being slightly above the legal limit indicates that you could consume the tea without harm. It does indicate that monitoring is protecting the public.

     

    I do not know how often farmers lose crops because natural disasters but I am will to pay twice the going rate for ‘imported’ cesium tea but the nanny state has to protect me.

    [link]      
  345. By Kit P on May 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    “A Very bad time ”

     

    Yes, 26000 dead and missing is indeed very bad. If concern about rolling blackouts is high on your ‘bad’ list I thing you should get your priorities in order.

    [link]      
  346. By rate-crimes on May 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    NRC Waives Enforcement of Fire Rules at Nuclear Plants May 11, 2011

    “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is routinely waiving fire rule violations at nearly half the nation’s 104 commercial reactors, even though fire presents one of the chief hazards at nuclear plants.”

    Editor’s Note on Our Investigation Into Fire Risks at Nuclear Power Plants  May 11, 2011

    “Today’s publication of our story on the threat posed by fire to nuclear power plants [1] offers readers a rare opportunity. Two excellent journalists, working independently of each other, have produced a detailed investigative story on the same subject.”

    “Last September, Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Eliot Brenner sent an email in response to our written questions. It said the “fire safety program leadership” had asked him “to relay their conviction that the time devoted to ProPublica’s two years of questions has taken staff away from performing mission critical safety activities on behalf of the public.”
    In my more than three decades of covering the federal government, I have never seen such a response to legitimate questions about a crucial issue.”

    A More Likely Nuclear Nightmare May 11, 2011

    “Fires regularly occur at the 104 U.S. nuclear plants nearly 10 times a year on average. About half the
    accidents that threaten reactor cores begin with fires that can start from a short circuit in an electric cable, a spark that ignites the oil in a pump, or an explosion in a transformer. Even a small fire could trigger a chain of events that threatens a meltdown, and some have come close.”

    [link]      
  347. By Kit P on May 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    It is interesting to say that the NRC is not enforcing regulations then provide a link to evidence that the NRC is enforcing them. Here is the notice of violation (NOV)

    https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/89679-browns-ferry-violations-april-2010

     

    Clear indication of the opposite of lax enforcement.

     

    “Fires are common at U.S. Plants.”

     

    Especially home solar PV plants, 50 house fires. The difference between a power plant with a trained fire brigade and a home fire is that children live in homes.

     

    “Last week, a truck delivering flammable hydrogen to the Duane Arnold plant in Iowa burst into flames near a building holding machines that control the reactor. Plant operators declared an emergency while firefighters poured water over nearby hydrogen tanks.”

     

    A tire caught fire and the fire brigade put it out.

     

    There was a recent fatality caused by a hydrogen explosion. It was at a coal plant.

     

    The bottom line is that US nuke have a excellent safety record and is the safest way to make electricity.

     

    “Fires are common at U.S. plants. In all, there have been at least 153 since 1995, or an average of about 10 a year, according to NRC records. Small fires, brief fires and fires in areas that were not considered critical to reactor safety have damaged essential equipment and forced emergency shutdowns, reports reviewed by ProPublica show. ”

     

    Another way of putting it, is a minor fire about every ten years. This article is very misleading. For example, power to reactor coolant pumps is ‘essential’ for making electricity but not ‘essential’ for safety.

    [link]      
  348. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Children Don Masks, Hats in Fukushima as Radiation Looms  May 11., 2011

    “Students at the Shoyo Junior High School in Fukushima are wearing masks, caps and long-sleeved jerseys to attend classes as their exposure to radiation is on pace to equal annual limits for nuclear industry workers.

    ‘Students are told not to go out to the school yard and we keep windows shut,’ said Yukihide Sato, the vice principal at Shoyo Junior High in Date city, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station. ‘Things are getting worse, but I don’t know what to do.’ “

     

     

     

    [link]      
  349. By Kit P on May 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

     

    “the vice principal at Shoyo Junior High in Date city, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station. “Things are getting worse, but I don’t know what to do.” ”

     

    It looks like teachers in Japan are just as lacking in the understanding of science as the are in the US. What you would do if you are not as stupid as Rate Crimes is assure students that ‘exposure to radiation is on pace to equal annual limits for nuclear industry workers’ is safe. That radiation is natural and all around us.

     

    “Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s administration has led rescue and evacuation efforts since the quake decimated towns and left more than 24,000 dead or missing. ”

     

    Once again Rate Crimes demonstrates is insensitivity to the real tragedy to debate junk science. For those who do not know Godzilla was science fiction.

    [link]      
  350. By Wendell Mercantile on May 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

    “Students at the Shoyo Junior High School  in Fukushima are wearing masks, caps and long-sleeved jerseys

     

    Most reasonable people also wear hats and long-sleeved jerseys when they go out in the Sun. How many real working cowboys have you seen without a big hat and long-sleeved shirt? How many Bedouins or others who live in the desert have you seen who don’t keep their heads and most of their bodies covered when out in the Sun? Energy from the Sun is just another form of radiation, and over the course of the earth’s existence, has probably done as much cumulative damage as any otehr forms of radiation.

    [link]      
  351. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

    An Overview of the U.S. Fire Problem (pdf)

    “Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was the fourth leading cause of home fires. A study by the
    Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that homes with older wiring face an increased risk of electrical wiring fire. Electrical factors can play a role in any fire involving equipment powered by electricity.

    Electrical failures were factors in 14% of home fires.”

    ‘National Pet Fire Safety Day’ Prevention Tips to Keep Pets from Starting Home Fires  July 12, 2010

    nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets, according to a new data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association. [emphasis mine]

    N.Y. fire department powered by biggest fireball  August 25, 2010

    “It’s true; New York’s Bellevue Fire District No. 9 in Cheektowaga, N.Y. completed a 28 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system on the firehouse’s roof earlier this year. The fire department expects to save taxpayers $191,000 in energy costs over the projected 25 year lifespan of the project. But the panels could work for 40 to 50 years, adding even more savings to the project.”

    Solar Panel Fires and Electrical Hazards (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors)

    “Installed properly, PV solar panels do not cause fires. Most PV modules are tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which subjects them to the rigors of everyday use before they are certified. In the rare cases where PV modules have been implicated in house fires, the cause has been electrical arcing due to improper installation, faulty wiring or insufficient insulation.”

    [link]      
  352. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

    “Students at the Shoyo Junior High School  in Fukushima are wearing masks, caps and long-sleeved jerseys “

    “Most reasonable people also wear hats and long-sleeved jerseys when they go out in the Sun.” – Wendell Mercantile

    In this case, the children are wearing masks, caps, and long-sleeved jerseys; and are remaining indoors.

    “‘Students are told not to go out to the school yard and we keep windows shut,’ said Yukihide Sato, the vice principal at Shoyo Junior High in Date city, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest from the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station.”

    [link]      
  353. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

    “What you would do if you are not as stupid as Rate Crimes is assure students that ‘exposure to radiation is on pace to equal annual limits for nuclear industry workers’ is safe.” – Kit P

    So, your recommendation, as a self-proclaimed “nuclear safety expert” is to assure the more vulnerable young that, at their age, cumulative radiation exposure that is equivalent to the maximum annual exposure limit of an adult nuclear industry worker, is “safe”?

    “The purpose is to keep people safe. This is a concept beyond the intellect of Rate Crimes.” – Kit P

    “Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly,
    “‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
      The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
      And I have many curious things to show you when you are there.”
      ”Oh no, no,” said the Fly, “to ask me is in vain;
      For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

    [link]      
  354. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Radiation found in seaweed near crippled Japan plant Friday, May 13, 2011

    “Seaweed collected from the coast near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant and sewage in Tokyo have shown elevated levels of radiation, according to data released by an environmental group and government officials on Friday.”

    “Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the nuclear crisis, said the government would look into the finding by Greenpeace.”

    Of course, this recent news begs the question: Why is the Japanese government relying on outside, volunteer agents to make such measurements?

    [link]      
  355. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 10:50 am

    “The difference between a [nuclear] power plant with a trained fire brigade and a home fire is that children live in homes.” – self-proclaimed “nuclear safety expert” Kit P

    . . . and that homes do not maintain an independent, dedicated, “trained fire brigade”; and that tens, or hundreds of thousands of children are at risk should a nuclear catastrophe occur because of a fire due to lax oversight and enforcement; to name a few other differences.

    NRC Waives Enforcement of Fire Rules at Nuclear Plants May 11, 2011

    “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is routinely waiving fire rule violations at nearly half the nation’s 104 commercial reactors, even though fire presents one of the chief hazards at nuclear plants.”

    [link]      
  356. By Kit P on May 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Let see if I can follow Rate crimes logic here.

    “”Installed properly, PV solar panels do not cause fires.”

    Ignoring for the moment that properly installed and maintained electrical equipment randomly fails; is there a national Solar Regulatory Agency like the NRC that enforces ‘properly’? How about a self regulating group like INPO?

    So Rate Crimes want to put millions of PV panels on home that not ‘tens, or hundreds of thousands of children are at risk’ but millions from a solar catastrophe occur because of a fire.

    And what is the actual record.

    If according to the article there are 153 fires at nuke plants providing 20 % of the electricity, what does that tell us about risk? From the article, we see that the NRC reviews the investigation by plant personal. If ‘random’ failures are occurring more frequently than assumed in the PRA or in the industry in general, why is that?

    So far there have been more than 50 fires for solar providing less than 0.5 % of electricity. Since putting PV panel on the roofs of a home is a voluntary choice that few are interested in, who cares? Not Rate Crimes, children dying in a solar catastrophe is okay. It does not matter how children die as long as they are not exposed to harmless levels of radiation.

    Of course nuclear is still the safest, most reliable, and most economical choice. Coal and natural gas are very good too. The record is clear in the US. We do not hurt our customers producing electricity and we do a good job of protecting employees too.

    Can not say that about the solar industry in general.

    [link]      
  357. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    “Let [sici] see if I can follow Rate crimes logic here.” – Kit P

    Even when you put words in others’ mouths and assign to them your twisted nonsense, you fail miserably.  Laugh

    Considering a regional catastrophe – as we’re seeing in Fukushima where people are being made homeless, power generation is irretrievably lost, land is contaminated, and food systems are being damaged – in comparison to exceedingly rare, evanescent, local events does not even qualify as a specious argument; it is merely spurious.

    Hell, you don’t even provide references.

    However, there is some logic (that apparently escapes you) in considering that even if 50 annual home fires in the U.S. could be attributed directly to photovoltaic systems, then twenty times more fires than your (imagined) number are created by family pets.

    Furthermore, modifying your twisted logic, rather than consider only the ”153 fires at nuke plants providing 20 % of the electricity”, shouldn’t 20 percent of all the house fires that result from electrical sources be attributed to nuclear power?  LOL.  Minus, of course, all those off-grid homes that are happily powered by photovoltaics and other renewables; at least a few of which remain standing.

    At least, you’re regular habit of folly can be mildly entertaining.

     

     

    [link]      
  358. By Kit P on May 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    “then twenty times more fires than your (imagined) number are created by family pets.”

    Are these pets running on tread mills to make electricity? Rate Crimes seems to have a problem with cause and affect and statistics. Nukes are one way to make electricity; it happens to be the safest way when human life is considered.

    Rate Crimes will not tell his values system. One of mine is the importance of human life. If I came home from work and the house was filled with smoke, I would risk my life to save the wife and kids but not the pets.

    Just to be clear and support Rate Crimes concerns. Radiation is not hurting the pets. The level of food contamination will not hurt anyone who eats it. The nuke plants can be rebuilt.

    [link]      
  359. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Kit P, in a lame attempt to distract us from more pertinent issues, you claimed an unverified number of 50 home fires occurring within an unspecified period from photovoltaic power systems.

    “So far there have been more than 50 fires for solar – Kit P

    This report states simply that, nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets, according to a new data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association. [emphasis mine]

    Aren’t you silly. Laugh

    [link]      
  360. By rate-crimes on May 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    The nuke plants can be rebuilt. – Kit P

    With Nuclear Expansion Off the Table, What Do Japan’s Energy Options Look Like?   May 11, 2011

    “On Tuesday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, whose administration has come under fire for its slow and opaque response to the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima, made two surprise announcements. First, that he would forgo his salary as PM until the situation at the embattled power plant was resolved; second, that Japan’s plans to expand its nuclear energy portfolio were officially off the table. [emphasis mine]

    [link]      
  361. By Kit P on May 14, 2011 at 11:37 am

    “pertinent issues ”

     

    What issues? Rate Crimes you keep changing the subject so it is hard to tell what issue you are discussing. For example, you bring up fires in nuke plants which have not hurt anyone but somehow relate it to the risk of hurting children with radiation, If you are concern with the safety of children related to making electricity, the highest risk would be making electricity in the home because that is where children are.

     

    Several times Rate Crimes has brought up pets. The pertinent issue is protecting people. An issue that Rate Crimes want to avoid.

    [link]      
  362. By Kit P on May 14, 2011 at 11:58 am

     

    “emphasis mine ”

     

    Japan can replace older smaller plants with new bigger plants. One reactor would have the same capacity of two older plants. Makes a huge economic sense.

     

    “as the largest importer of liquified natural gas and coal and third largest consumer of oil”

     

    I do not put much stock in plans especially when the plan is politically based and based on reality. Japan will build new nuke plants sooner rather than later.

    [link]      
  363. By rate-crimes on May 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    “I do not put much stock in plans especially when the plan is politically based and based on reality.” – Kit  P

    Other than very strange self-puiffery, what does this even mean?  Laugh

    “Japan will build new nuke plants sooner rather than later.” – Kit P

    A bold proclamation.  What, exactly, is “sooner”?

    Apparently, the Japanese Prime Minister is not in agreement with you.  We can only hope he submits to your greater wisdom.

    With Nuclear Expansion Off the Table, What Do Japan’s Energy Options Look Like?   May 11, 2011

    “On Tuesday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan, whose administration has come under fire for its slow and opaque response to the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima, made two surprise announcements. First, that he would forgo his salary as PM until the situation at the embattled power plant was resolved; second, that Japan’s plans to expand its nuclear energy portfolio were officially off the table. [emphasis mine]

    At least a few Japanese citizens are not excited by the prospect of more nuclear energy:

    Japan anti-nuclear protesters rally after call to close plant  May 7, 2011

    Of course, the public’s mood may change with time.  However, the prospect of the loss of arable land and seafood may change the balance. 

    [link]      
  364. By rate-crimes on May 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    “Several times Rate Crimes has brought up pets.” – Kit P

    No. Not really.  I have provided one reference that shows the number of home fires caused by pets is at least twenty times larger than your lame, unsupported, spurious claim of home fires caused by photovoltaics.

    ‘National Pet Fire Safety Day’ Prevention Tips to Keep Pets from Starting Home Fires  July 12, 2010

    Prior to that, I recall linking an article that, among other things, mentioned the abandonment of pets in the Fukushima exclusion zone after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  You have mentioned pets most often.  It appears that pets are becoming an obsession of yours.

    “The pertinent issue is protecting people.” – Kit P

    Notwithstanding the fact that “protecting people” has been a miserable failing of the Japanese nuclear industry, the pertinent issue is included on every page of this forum, “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”  Discussing the very real costs of nuclear energy, as they are so terribly exhibited by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, is pertinent. 

    [link]      
  365. By rate-crimes on May 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    “you bring up fires in nuke plants which have not hurt anyone but somehow relate it to the risk of hurting children with radiation,” – Kit P

    Kit P, I think you’re losing track of what I have shared and stated amidst the confused statements of your own creation.  I suppose your habit of putting words in others’ mouths can lead to such self-confusion.

    In comment #347 I shared recent reports:

    NRC Waives Enforcement of Fire Rules at Nuclear Plants May 11, 2011

    and

    A More Likely Nuclear Nightmare May 11, 2011

     

    Later, in comment #349 I shared a report on children suffering the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster:

    Children Don Masks, Hats in Fukushima as Radiation Looms  May 11., 2011

     

    I made no relation between the two reports other than sharing them in separate comments within this forum.

    Are you unable to follow multiple threads of thought, so that you must conflate them?  It appears that you are claiming such a disability:

    “you keep changing the subject so it is hard to tell what issue you are discussing.” – Kit P

    [link]      
  366. By Kit P on May 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    “has been a miserable failing of the Japanese nuclear industry ”

     

    No one has been hurt by radiation.

     

    “Kit P, I think you’re losing track of what I have shared ”

     

    Rate Crimes you have not shared any information about people being harmed by radiation. The levels of exposure will not hurt anyone.

     

    Rate Crimes is confused between the difference between ‘hurt’ and ‘concern’. It is not even clear what Rate Crimes is concerned about. I can protect Rate Crimes from being harmed by radiation but he is free to a pity party.

    [link]      
  367. By rate-crimes on May 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    “No one has been hurt by radiation.” – Kit P

    Ya, you keep saying that . . . over, and over, and over again . . . like it’s your last, tenuous, grip on sanity.  It’s also a very foolish pronouncement if one considers the fact that symptoms from radiation exposure can take years to appear.  But, then again, if nothing else, you’re consistent with your ceaseless stream of foolish pronouncements.

    “It is not even clear what Rate Crimes is concerned about.” – Rate Crimes

    It should be.  I have addressed this several times in this forum.  I have even stated my concern directly to you.  For example, see comment #92:

    “accounting for all the costs of all the possibilities” – Rate Crimes

    I also stated this in my response to Doug in comment #120:

    “My only agenda is to promote the fair accounting of all the costs involved, for all potential energy sources.” – Rate Crimes

    Your narrow focus does little more than distract from the more pertinent, topical question:

    “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”

    [link]      
  368. By Kit P on May 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

    “It’s also a very foolish pronouncement if one considers the fact that symptoms from radiation exposure can take years to appear. ”

     

    Not if you look at what the dose people have received. Rate Crimes is confused between the potential for exposure and actual exposure. No one has received an exposure that would hurt them now. Furthermore, no one has received an exposure that would cause a significant risk for cancer later.

     

    “It should be.”

     

    Well it is not Rate Crimes. Comments # 92 &120 are typical of Rate Crimes’ shot gun approach of not saying thing clearly while inferring something that is only clear to Rate Crimes. If you want to have a discussing, try actually discussing your concern. Meanwhile, every time Rate Crimes posts. I will correct the misconceptions he is conveying.

     

    “Your narrow focus does little more than distract from the more pertinent, topical question:

    “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?””

     

    Rate Crimes maybe you should go back and actually read what RR wrote. The purpose of a headline is to get the reader to read the story. The analysis by RR is a little more complex than just the question but I will try to answer the question.

     

    It will not cost anything to be nuke free in the US. We have abundant cheap coal. We have abundant natural gas that also produces affordable electricity. However we make electricity, regulations must be followed to protect the public, workers, and the environment.

     

    [link]      
  369. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Two Other Reactors Suffer Serious Damage May 15, 2011

    “Substantial damage to the fuel cores at two other reactors of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has taken place, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, further complicating the already daunting task of bringing the reactors to a safe shutdown while avoiding the release of high levels of radioactivity.”

    The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe becomes ever more costly.

    [link]      
  370. By Kit P on May 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    “The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe becomes ever more costly.”

     

    Okay then, Rate Crimes wants to talk about economics in the context of of what it would cost to be nuclear free.

     

    “plant was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake and a giant tsunami on the afternoon of March 11.”

     

    Natural disasters are very expensive. While Rate Crimes chooses to ignore the costs of the this natural disaster, it does not change the facts. It was a natural disaster.

     

    I was at a nuke plant in California that was closed after the rate payers voted that SMUD should not continue to operate Rancho Seco. A similar plant was bought and operates as an IPP producing electricity at $12/MWh. Most of this cost is the 1000 people like me that lost their jobs.

     

    Replacement power comes from natural gas. About the lowest this can be is $50/MWh.

     

    I should point out that the cost no longer matters to me since I no longer live in California.

     

    So what what about costs in Japan. It is not my problem. I do worry that a tree might fall on my house but I am not worried about the 108 active volcanoes in Japan. There is always a risk of a natural disaster.

     

    Currently there are a 104 operating nukes in the US. Events in Japan will not change the cost of making electricity because we have already considered a natural disaster in the design. Recently (2004 and since March) we have considered if a natural disaster could be worse.

    So what does the NRC think after evaluating US reactors as a result of events in Japan.

     

    “To date the task force has not identified any issues that undermine our confidence in the continued safety and emergency planning of U.S. plants”

    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/…..110512.pdf

     

    When you are talking about costs each location must be considered in the context of the other choices.

     

    [link]      
  371. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    “Okay then, Rate Crimes wants to talk about economics in the context of of what it would cost to be nuclear free.” – Kit P

    Once again, you got it all wrong.  That is the pertinent question established by Robert.  My concern is only to account for all costs for all alternatives.  As a pertinent example (from comment #220):

    TEPCO faces massive costs over disaster / Compensation likely to add to burden

    Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to scrap reactors Nos. 1-4 at a crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture means the power utility will have to shoulder a colossal expense–possibly about 400 billion yen (~$5B USD) to decommission the reactors and several trillion yen (several tens of billions USD) in compensation.”

    “It was a natural disaster” – Kit P

    Yet another line that you keep repeating over, and over,  . . . and over again.   From comment #173:

    Expert: Japan nuclear plant owner warned of tsunami threat

    “A seismic researcher told CNN Sunday that he warned the owner of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago that the facility could be vulnerable to a tsunami.
    The owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company, appeared to ignore the warning, said seismologist Yukinobu Okamura.

    TEPCO has not responded to Okamura’s allegation.”

     

    [link]      
  372. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Despite recent alerts, nuclear regulators give an ‘all-safe’ May 13, 2011

    “In its first interim report on US nuclear reactor safety since the Fukushima disaster, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported Thursday that no major safety problems were found – but acknowledged it is double-checking key items to verify preparedness.

    [...]

    But nuclear watchdog groups are howling because that regulatory finding comes just two days after a nuclear-industry safety organization, conducting its own safety review, admitted deficiencies at several nuclear power plants – in systems intended to cool reactors in a major emergency.

    Then, Wednesday, the NRC issued its own “bulletin” demanding that reactor licensees immediately report, under penalty of perjury, whether they were meeting obligations in that area – the ability to deal with fires and explosions and keep reactors cool even during a station blackout.

    Independent nuclear safety experts were left shaking their heads over the seeming contradictions, unable to reconcile the NRC’s all-safe finding with the alerts by industry – and the NRC’s own leap to attention following the industry’s report.”

    [link]      
  373. By Kit P on May 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    “My concern is only to account for all costs for all alternatives.”

     

    An I am concerned about not hurting people. Since Rate Crimes has selected an accounting method that not used by most I would suggest that he is being dishonest about his concerns. The bottom line is that there are requirements to to protect people not address every looney concern.

     

    Maybe I could understand of Rate Crimes would explain why he is obsessed with costs in Japan.

     

    “Independent nuclear safety experts were left shaking their heads over the seeming contradictions, ”

     

    These are called anti-nukes. They have no responsibility for safety and spend all their time making misleading statements. If there is a safety issue, you clearly communicate rather than obfuscate.

     

    I see no contradiction. You look at the issues in Japan determining that they are not credible in the US but still have an emergency plan in place in case something happens that is not considered happens. It is called having a robust defense in depth.

    [link]      
  374. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens

    “Responding to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sought Thursday to reassure nervous Americans that U.S. reactors were 100 percent safe and posed absolutely no threat to the public health as long as no unforeseeable system failure or sudden accident were to occur. “With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down,” said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s. “When you consider all of our backup cooling processes, containment vessels, and contingency plans, you realize that, barring the fact that all of those safety measures could be wiped away in an instant by a natural disaster or electrical error, our reactors are indestructible.” Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks, except those no one could have predicted.”

    [link]      
  375. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm

     “Independent nuclear safety experts were left shaking their heads over the seeming contradictions, ”

    “These are called anti-nukes.” – Kit P

    If your odd, constrained definition of ‘anti-nukes’ includes those who are “left shaking their heads over the seeming contradictions”, then we can only hope that this group is coextensive with humanity; with only a few exceptions, in which minority you include yourself.  Internal contradiction appears to be the stock in trade of self-proclaimed “nuclear safety experts” who reject the honor of independence.

    [link]      
  376. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    The costs of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe are interesting on multiple levels; as is true when the artificial divisions between economic and human costs are so suddenly and completely obliterated.

    One primarily economic example that many may find particularly interesting are the direct compensation costs:

    TEPCO faces massive costs over disaster / Compensation likely to add to burden

    Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to scrap reactors Nos. 1-4 at a crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture means the power utility will have to shoulder a colossal expense–possibly about 400 billion yen (~$5B USD) to decommission the reactors and several trillion yen (several tens of billions USD) in compensation.”

    The astonishing amounts in these early estimates exhibit the insufficiency of the resources that are reserved in the United States should a similar catastrophe occur here (in our much larger country).  Such realization also highlights the artifice inherent in the system in the United States where the profits are privatized while the risks are socialized through schemes such as the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.

    Research & Commentary: The Price-Anderson Act

     

    Of course, this is only the first level of the analysis of the economic costs incurred by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    Tepco “Compensation” for Fukushima Nuclear Crisis is a Political Fraud  May 13, 2011

    “Confronted with the fallout from its Fukushima 1 nuclear plant, Tepco’s strategy has been to claim a net loss in 2010 of more than 700 billion yen ($84 billion). The loss should be puzzling because Tepco charges one of the world’s highest retail rates for electricity, far more than other regional utility companies, and controls 44 percent of Japan’s energy market.

    The power company has not reinvested heavily in new equipment or upgrades, as the Japanese public was shocked to discover with the absence of maintenance robots inside the damaged Fukushima plant. Even more shocking is the disclosure that Tepco was not carrying any casualty insurance. Around the world, most nuclear operators go uninsured due to the high cost of coverage following the meltdowns at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Nuclear is probably the only industry that can get away without risk coverage, due to its cozy connections with politicians, bureaucrats and military forces.

    Maximizing one’s debt makes financial sense for large Japanese corporations for purposes of tax evasion. By arranging permanent indebtedness, Tepco does not pay corporate taxes on profits, while its customers bear the tariff on electricity rates.”

    [link]      
  377. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Of course, the “private” nuclear power industry would push more costs onto the “U.S. government” (i.e. the U.S. taxpayer):

    A Call for the Safer Handling of Nuclear Waste  March 25, 2011

    “The cost of moving most fuel to dry casks is on the order of $43 million to $109 million, according to estimates prepared for the Massachusetts attorney general in 2006 (the figures supported a petition to mandate dry cask storage at New England’s Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee nuclear plants).

    Forsberg says that investment would represent an “insignificant” increase in the price of nuclear power. But nuclear utilities in the U.S. are reluctant to absorb any costs associated with spent fuel waste management, citing nearly $18 billion in fees they have collected from ratepayers for a federal trust fund that was supposed to cover the cost of Yucca Mountain. “It remains the U.S. government’s responsibility and contractual obligation to remove used fuel from reactor sites,” says a spokeswoman for Southern Company, which operates six reactors in the southeastern United States.”

    So much for energy “too cheap to meter”.

    [link]      
  378. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Evacuation Outside 20 km Radius of Fukushima Plant Starts  May 15, 2011

    “The Japanese authorities have started evacuation of people who live outside the 20 km radius from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, NHK TV channel reported Sunday.

    Families with babies and children up to kindergarten age and pregnant women are the first of the 7,700 residents of two towns to evacuate, RIA Novosti cited the TV channel as reporting.”

    [link]      
  379. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Tepco Finance Plan Rattles Markets, Banks  May 15, 2011 

    “A government plan to shore up embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co. has markets, investors and creditor banks worried about who will be called upon to help pick up the tab from the nuclear-power crisis.
    The plan to prop up the ailing utility, advanced Friday by the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, calls for the government to create a state-backed institution that will keep the utility, known as Tepco, solvent and has the right to borrow government funds to loan to the company or to other utilities facing a major nuclear-power crisis in the future.

    But the announcement of the plan failed to calm the markets after chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said that “the public will not support” the injection of public funds into the company without some kind of debt waiver by Tepco’s bankers, although he excluded loans made after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.”

    [link]      
  380. By Kit P on May 15, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    “The costs of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe are interesting on multiple levels; ”

     

    But then Rate Crimes among his six post discusses ‘Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act’ as scheme and US waste handling saying,

     

    “Of course, the “private” nuclear power industry would push more costs onto the “U.S. government” (i.e. the U.S. taxpayer): ”

     

    But what does the article actually say,

     

    “citing nearly $18 billion in fees they have collected from ratepayers for a federal trust fund’

     

    Aside from a dishonest characterization, what I said earlier looks accurate.

     

    “It is not even clear what Rate Crimes is concerned about.’“

     

    [link]      
  381. By rate-crimes on May 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    You’ve again confused (and/or created confusion) about the issues, Kit P.

    “nearly $18 billion in fees they have collected from ratepayers for a federal trust fund”

    The more complete quote is:

    “nearly $18 billion in fees they have collected from ratepayers for a federal trust fund that was supposed to cover the cost of Yucca Mountain. [emphasis mine]

    This, of course, is a separate issue from the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.

    Environment & Energy: Catastrophic Liabilities

    “In the field of nuclear risks, the Price-Anderson Act transfers significant liabilities to the Federal Government. If there is an expansion of the use of nuclear power in the next decade, as appears to be the case, then these liabilities could increase further. Although it is clear that the contingent federal liabilities associated with P-A are large, it is hard to be precise about them. The probability of a major accident at a nuclear reactor (e.g. a core meltdown) and its costs are ambiguous.”

    These costs have been made less ambiguous by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

    TEPCO faces massive costs over disaster / Compensation likely to add to burden

    Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to scrap reactors Nos. 1-4 at a crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture means the power utility will have to shoulder a colossal expense–possibly about 400 billion yen (~$5B USD) to decommission the reactors and several trillion yen (several tens of billions USD) in compensation.”

    [link]      
  382. By rate-crimes on May 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Nuke Sushi

    [link]      
  383. By Kit P on May 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Interesting picture! Yes, all food is radioactive which is why we do bother to label food as radioactive. Some food is more radioactive than other food. Milk for example is 10 times more radioactive than rain water. I have done a calculation that shows that children drinking milk have a 100% chance of dying of cancer.

    Using a very conservative model that does not reflect the real world is how we set standards to protect the public. We eat radioactive food because the alternative is starvation. All food is also contaminated with bacteria. If proper safety measures are taken, pathogen bacteria are reduce to a level that will not kill us.

    Anyhow, raw fish is another Japanese custom you can keep.

    “These costs have been made less ambiguous by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.”

    Somebody please tell Rate Crimes that Japan is a different country. In the US we know what the cost of a reactor accident is because of TMI. Furthermore, the cause of damage in Japan was a natural disaster. There is no place in the US where we could expect a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami like hit Japan and we would not put reactors there.

    [link]      
  384. By rate-crimes on May 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    “There is no place in the US where we could expect a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami like hit Japan and we would not put reactors there.” – Kit P(lutonioum)

    Despite warnings from Yukinobu Okamura, the head of Japan’s Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center, TEPCO did not “expect” the tsunami that followed the earthquake.

    Tsunami Wall of Water Risk Known to Engineers, Regulators  May 16, 2011

    “we would not put reactors there.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    that bears repeating . . .

    “we would not put reactors there.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    How to Save California  March 20, 2011

    “The state, which sits at the epicenter of the nation’s most intense seismic activity, has two oceanside nuclear-power plants near active faults (two of which were discovered only after the plants were built) and in the bull’s-eye of tsunamis barreling across the Pacific.”

    [link]      
  385. By Kit P on May 17, 2011 at 8:02 pm

     

    “California has a 99.7 percent chance of being hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 or greater within the next 30 years, explains Richard Allen, associate director of the Seismological Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. The most likely sites are along the Hayward fault, which runs through the San Francisco Bay Area, and the southern San Andreas, east of Los Angeles. “We think that the longest sections of the faults that can rupture are equivalent to a magnitude-8 earthquake,” says Allen. An 8.0 would cause some $100 billion in damage, he says, and kill hundreds and possibly thousands—“way beyond the scale of what people think is possible in a modern, industrial state.” ”

     

    Of course the nuke plants in California are not on those faults. Lots of people assume that everyplace in California has high seismic activity. The nuke plant I worked at in California had low seismic activity. We barely noticed the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake while my sister thought she was going to die just 100 miles away.

     

    The fact is nuke plants are design for earthquakes and no safety system has failed to work as designed after an earthquake. It was the tsunami in in Japan that caused the loss of emergency diesels.

     

    How safe are US nukes?

     

    “Diablo Canyon sits on a rise 85 feet above the ocean, beyond reach of what scientists calculate is the largest possible tsunami, says Jim Becker, PG&E’s site vice president at the reactor. San Onofre is 50 feet above the sea, and behind a concrete tsunami wall 30 feet high, 50 percent higher than the largest tsunami thought possible there. ”

     

    Did you read the article you linked Rate Crimes or are you just really really stupid?

     

    The answer is that nuke plants are safer than anything else.

     

    [link]      
  386. By rate-crimes on May 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    “It was the tsunami in in [sic] Japan that caused the loss of emergency diesels.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    The San Onofre nuclear site in southern California

    San Onofre Nuclear Facility

    [link]      
  387. By rate-crimes on May 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    “The answer is that nuke plants are safer than anything else.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens

    “With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down,” said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s.”

    [link]      
  388. By rate-crimes on May 17, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Vertical displacement around Fukushima between March 1 at 11pm and March 11 at 3pm (pdf)

    Vertical Displacement Near Fukushima

    [link]      
  389. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 9:06 am

    “It was the tsunami in in [sic] Japan that caused the loss of emergency diesels.” – Kit P(lutonium)  (from comment #386)

    from the preceding comment #385:

    Despite warnings from Yukinobu Okamura, the head of Japan’s Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center, TEPCO did not “expect” the tsunami that followed the earthquake.

    Tsunami Wall of Water Risk Known to Engineers, Regulators  May 16, 2011

    [link]      
  390. By Kit P on May 18, 2011 at 9:38 am

    What is point of a picture of San Onofre which is 50 feet above the sea, and behind a concrete tsunami wall 30 feet high, 50 percent higher than the largest tsunami thought possible there? That is pretty clear evidence that they have considered the natural hazard.

    What is point of for the third time a headline from a humorous web site that produces satire?

    What if something bad happens? Bad things happen all the time. More than 26,000 dead and missing is very bad indeed.

    What if something bad happens that affects the nuke plant? The fuel rods could be damaged releasing radioactive fission products to the environment.

    During natural disasters housing is destroyed, food and water supplies interrupted and contaminated. If you have a nuke plant you need to measure for radiation.

    Fear mongers use a circular argument? Something horrific could happen! Therefore should not do something.

    When the horrific could thing happens, we can then measure how horrible it actually is. Are there thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness? No! Are there thousands of babies at risk from thyroid cancer from exposure to I-131? No!

    If fact no one has been hurt by radiation. Why? Because it is easy to measure and protect people!

    So a thousand year disaster strikes and the worst thing that happens to you is that you are in a shelter unhurt. No so horrific!

    [link]      
  391. By Kit P on May 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

    “Despite warnings from Yukinobu Okamura,”

    I suppose that I did not voice myself strongly enough before. Rate Crimes and Yukinobu are evil pond scum. More than 26,000 people are dead and missing because they did not take action to protect the Japanese people. All it would take is better planning.

    Rate Crimes you need to Seattle and warn all the people about the volcanoes. You should go to Alabama and tell people not to live in double wides.

    I am against smoking, drugs, and tattoos because I see no benefit and the potential for harm. How much time should I spend warning people?

    The point here is that warnings are useless unless you can affect change.

    [link]      
  392. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

    “If fact no one has been hurt by radiation. Why? Because it is easy to measure and protect people!” – Kit P(lutonium)

    We’ll see . . .

    Fresh Tales of Chaos Emerge From Early in Nuclear Crisis   May 18, 2011

    “For the motor-driven valve, there was only one option: Crank it open by hand. Fukushima Daiichi’s shift manager decided it was his responsibility to take the first crack at that, Fukushima prefectural officials recall. “Let me be the one,” he said, according to the officials.

    He went in wearing full protective gear, including a mask and an oxygen tank. Even so, by the time he returned, he’d gotten a 106.3 millisievert dose of radiation, these people say. That’s more than twice what Japan normally permits for workers in radioactive environments in one year, and more than one hundred times normal annual exposure.”

    [link]      
  393. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 10:47 am

    “So a thousand year disaster strikes and the worst thing that happens to you is that you are in a shelter unhurt. No so horrific!” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Nearly 3,000 taken to hospitals by ambulances from quake shelters  May 17, 2011

    “Nearly 3,000 evacuees living in shelters in three of the northeastern Japan prefectures worst affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have been taken to hospital by ambulance, according to a Kyodo News survey released Tuesday.

    At least 2,816 evacuees suffering from stress and poor hygienic conditions were rushed to hospitals from shelters in coastal parts of the Pacific prefectures Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi, the survey of 15 local fire departments showed. [emphasis mine] ”

    ——————————-

    “What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this … this is working very well for them.” — Former First Lady Barbara Bush, after touring the Katrina aid camp in the Houston Astrodome, Sept. 5, 2005

    [link]      
  394. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

    “When the horrific could thing happens, we can then measure how horrible it actually is. Are there thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness? No! Are there thousands of babies at risk from thyroid cancer from exposure to I-131? No!” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Are you asserting, as a self-proclaimed “nuclear safety expert”, that “thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness” is a measurement standard employed by your industry?   Not only is the vision you present profoundly disturbing, but your further attribution of a number is contemptible.

    [link]      
  395. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

    “The point here is that warnings are useless unless you can affect change.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Uhhh… no.

    The point is that the people responsible for affecting change – TEPCO and their ‘regulators’ — ignored the warnings of the head of Japan’s Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center:

    Tsunami Wall of Water Risk Known to Engineers, Regulators  May 16, 2011

    [link]      
  396. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 11:33 am

    “What is point of a picture of San Onofre which is 50 feet above the sea, and behind a concrete tsunami wall 30 feet high, 50 percent higher than the largest tsunami thought possible there? That is pretty clear evidence that they have considered the natural hazard.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Clear evidence that not all natural hazards are immediately visible . . .

    How to Save California  March 20, 2011

    “The state, which sits at the epicenter of the nation’s most intense seismic activity, has two oceanside nuclear-power plants near active faults (two of which were discovered only after the plants were built) and in the bull’s-eye of tsunamis barreling across the Pacific. [emphasis mine]

    [link]      
  397. By Kit P on May 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    106.3 millisievert dose of radiation, these people say. That’s more than twice what Japan normally permits for workers in radioactive environments in one year, and more than one hundred times normal annual exposure.

     

     

    As I keep saying.  No one has been hurt by radiation.  A doe of 106.3 millisievert will not hurt anyone.

    [link]      
  398. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    “As I keep saying.  No one has been hurt by radiation.  A doe [sic] of 106.3 millisievert will not hurt anyone.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Yes, you do keep repeating your ‘black-and-white’ interpretation.

    NRC Fact Sheet on Biological Effects of Radiation 

    “Although radiation may cause cancers at high doses and high dose rates, currently there are no data to establish unequivocally the occurrence of cancer following exposure to low doses and dose rates – below about 10,000 mrem (100 mSv). Those people living in areas having high levels of background radiation – above 1,000 mrem (10 mSv) per year – such as Denver, Colorado, have shown no adverse biological effects.

    Even so, the radiation protection community conservatively assumes that any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer and hereditary effect, and that the risk is higher for higher radiation exposures. A linear, no-threshold (LNT) dose response relationship is used to describe the relationship between radiation dose and the occurrence of cancer. This dose-response hypothesis suggests that any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk. The LNT hypothesis is accepted by the NRC as a conservative model for determining radiation dose standards, recognizing that the model may over estimate radiation risk.”

    As a measure of ‘acceptable risk’, receiving within a few minutes twice what is normally permitted as a total annual exposure for workers in radioactive environments is not an event to nonchalantly dismiss in commentary, as is your habit.  Or, do you wish to establish a number of such exposures that you deem acceptable, just as you established the measurement of “thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness”?

    [link]      
  399. By Kit P on May 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    “Yes, you do keep repeating your ‘black-and-white’ interpretation.”

     

    I am an engineer. The real world does not get any more black and white than no one being hurt. Please fell free to provide some other interpretation based on science. Regulatory agencies often pick a low number such as 5 Rem/year. It has no relationship to harm because none has been detected by science. No reason it can not be 10 Rem/year, 20 Rem/year, 40 Rem/year 60 Rem/year or 50 Rem/year. You will see no effect.

     

    Some in the nuclear industry disagree with the ‘LNT hypothesis ‘ as costly over regulation. However; we have no problem in the US with living these restrictions. Every year occupational exposure at nuke plants decease.

     

    I must again point out that Japan is a different country with a substantially higher risk of natural disaster. Rate Crimes has present no rational argument why the Japanese are wrong. Rate Crimes has consistently provided misrepresentations such as.

     

    “receiving within a few minutes twice ”

     

    Nobody is getting such a dose but it does not matter if 10 Rem in 10 minutes or a year. If you get 450 Rem in 10 minutes instead of a year, it matters.

    [link]      
  400. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    “Every year occupational exposure at nuke plants decease.” – Kit P(lutonium)

    Are your slips now including Freudian ones?  Laugh

    [link]      
  401. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Rate Crimes has consistently provided misrepresentations such as.
     

    “receiving within a few minutes twice ”

     

    Nobody is getting such a dose

    You have an odd habit of quoting clipped phrases out of context.  Here is the entire, original sentence . . .

    “As a measure of ‘acceptable risk’, receiving within a few minutes twice what is normally permitted as a total annual exposure for workers in radioactive environments is not an event to nonchalantly dismiss in commentary, as is your habit.”

    Because you appear to have missed comment #393, here it is again…

    Fresh Tales of Chaos Emerge From Early in Nuclear Crisis   May 18, 2011

    “For the motor-driven valve, there was only one option: Crank it open by hand. Fukushima Daiichi’s shift manager decided it was his responsibility to take the first crack at that, Fukushima prefectural officials recall. “Let me be the one,” he said, according to the officials.

    He went in wearing full protective gear, including a mask and an oxygen tank. Even so, by the time he returned, he’d gotten a 106.3 millisievert dose of radiation, these people say. That’s more than twice what Japan normally permits for workers in radioactive environments in one year, and more than one hundred times normal annual exposure. [emphasis mine].

    [link]      
  402. By Kit P on May 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm

     

    “You have an odd habit of quoting clipped phrases out of context.”

     

    Rate Crimes you really do not understand do you?

     

    “106.3 millisievert dose of radiation ”

     

    That is 10.6 Rem. That dose will not hurt anyone.

    [link]      
  403. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Oh, it’s as clear as a vacuum . . .

    Where science and medicine consider probabilities, statistical analysis, and ‘acceptable risk’, Kit P(lutonium) measures in “thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness.”

    [link]      
  404. By rate-crimes on May 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    “Since radiation is easy detect [sic] at even very low levels, protecting the public and workers is straight forward. It looks like the Japanese are doing a good job.” – Kit P(lutonium)   March 18, 2011

    Radiation tests lacking / Nuclear plant workers unsure of internal exposure levels  May 19, 2011

    “Nearly two months after the start of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, only 10 percent of workers there had been tested for internal radiation exposure caused by inhalation or ingestion of radioactive substances, due to a shortage of testing equipment available for them.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled nuclear compound, is finding it impossible to use testing apparatus set up inside the facility because of high radiation levels recorded near the equipment.

    A number of personnel working to overcome the nuclear crisis at the facility are increasingly alarmed by their lack of internal exposure testing. Some have said they may have to continue to work at the facility without knowing whether their radiation exposure levels have exceeded the upper limit set by the government.”

    [link]      
  405. By Kit P on May 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

    “Where science and medicine consider probabilities, statistical analysis, and ‘acceptable risk’ ”

     

    All that stuff says says no one is harmed by 10.6 Rem.

     

    “Kit P(lutonium) measures in “thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness.” ”

     

    My experience has been measuring exposure in millirem for adults over 18. Zero is the number of children or adults that have been exposed harmful levels of radiation in either Japan or the US from nuke plants.

     

    Millions of people are exposed to harmful levels of radiation a year as part of medical treatment. We know what harmful levels are and 10.6 Rem is not close.

    [link]      
  406. By rate-crimes on May 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    “Where science and medicine consider probabilities, statistical analysis, and ‘acceptable risk’ ”

    “All that stuff says says no one is harmed by 10.6 Rem.” – Kit P(u-239)

    No, it doesn’t. 

    Even the conservative Nuclear Regulatory Commission says:

    NRC Fact Sheet on Biological Effects of Radiation 

    “Although radiation may cause cancers at high doses and high dose rates, currently there are no data to establish unequivocally the occurrence of cancer following exposure to low doses and dose rates – below about 10,000 mrem (100 mSv). Those people living in areas having high levels of background radiation – above 1,000 mrem (10 mSv) per year – such as Denver, Colorado, have shown no adverse biological effects.

    Even so, the radiation protection community conservatively assumes that any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer and hereditary effect, and that the risk is higher for higher radiation exposures. A linear, no-threshold (LNT) dose response relationship is used to describe the relationship between radiation dose and the occurrence of cancer. This dose-response hypothesis suggests that any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk. The LNT hypothesis is accepted by the NRC as a conservative model for determining radiation dose standards, recognizing that the model may over estimate radiation risk.”

    [link]      
  407. By rate-crimes on May 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

    “My experience has been measuring exposure in millirem for adults over 18.” – Kit P(u-239)

    If that is the case, then why did you vomit this obscenity? . . . 

    “When the horrific could thing happens, we can then measure how horrible it actually is. Are there thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness? No! Are there thousands of babies at risk from thyroid cancer from exposure to I-131? No!” – Kit P(u-239)

    [link]      
  408. By Kit P on May 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

    “No, it doesn’t.”

     

    Yes, it does. The problem is Rate Crimes does not understand or is being dishonest. I have no problem scribing to conservative theories for setting limits. If you are claiming that I am wrong and that 10.6 Rem does cause harm, that show the harm and stop citing theory.

     

    “no-threshold (LNT) ”

     

    The ‘T’ in ‘LNT’ stands for theory. There is also an accepted theory that low levels of radiation is beneficial.

     

    “If that is the case, then why did you vomit this obscenity? . . ”

     

    There was no obscenity in my statements. However, if there was an obscenity it is the way you twist the my statement. Rate Crimes you keep a making statements that indicate that low does of radiation are very harmful. It is a common belief promoted by the anti nuke community.

     

    My driving principle and that of the US nuclear industry is ALARA. In Japan, the goal of ALARA was missed but the requirement not to hurt people has been achieved.

     

    Rate Crimes I get the sense that you do not work in an industrial setting. My company sets very difficult to meet safety goals. While we always to miss our goal because someone lifts a box wrong or pinches their finger, we fail to meet our goal but do a very good job of protecting employees from serious injury.

     

    The point here is that the western nuclear industry does a better job of making electricity than everyone else. Safety is a relive thing. One of the benefits of having electricity is clean drinking water. There are millions of babies that vomit themselves to death because they do not have clean drinking water. Yes, that is obscene. We have the technology to change that.

     

    [link]      
  409. By rate-crimes on May 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    You vomited,

    “When the horrific could thing happens, we can then measure how horrible it actually is. Are there thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness? No! Are there thousands of babies at risk from thyroid cancer from exposure to I-131? No!” – Kit P

    Now, you belch,

    “There was no obscenity in my statements. However, if there was an obscenity it is the way you twist the my [sic] statement.” – Kit P

    To deny, or not even recognize the obscenity of raising the spectre of “thousands of babies vomiting from radiation sickness” is further grotesquery.  You even applied the qualifier “thousands of” in a sick attempt to make a point.  Then, in your twisted mind, you assign the obscenity to me.

    You need professional help.

    [link]      
  410. By rate-crimes on May 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Super Typhoon Songda Five Day Forecast

    Super Typhoon Songda Five Day Forecast

    Fukushima I-131 Plume

     Fukushima I-131 Plume

     

    [link]      
  411. By rate-crimes on May 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    AP Exclusive: Fukushima tsunami plan a single page  May 27, 2011

    “Japanese nuclear regulators trusted that the reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi were safe from the worst waves an earthquake could muster based on a single-page memo from the plant operator nearly a decade ago.

    In the Dec. 19, 2001 document — one double-sized page obtained by The Associated Press under Japan’s public records law — Tokyo Electric Power Co. rules out the possibility of a tsunami large enough to knock the plant offline and gives scant details to justify this conclusion, which proved to be wildly optimistic.

    Regulators at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, or NISA, had asked plant operators for assessments of their earthquake and tsunami preparedness. They didn’t mind the brevity of TEPCO’s response, and apparently made no moves to verify its calculations or ask for supporting documents.

    ‘This is all we saw,’ said Masaru Kobayashi, who now heads NISA’s quake-safety section. ‘We did not look into the validity of the content.’”

    Tsunami Wall of Water Risk Known to Engineers, Regulators  May 16, 2011

    “Japan’s nuclear regulators and the operator of the crippled Fukushima reactors were warned that a tsunami could overwhelm the plant’s defenses and failed to recognize the threat.

    The Trade Ministry dismissed evidence two years ago from geologists that the power station’s stretch of coast was overdue for a giant wave, minutes from a government committee show. Tokyo Electric Power Co. engineers also didn’t heed lessons from the 2004 tsunami off Indonesia that swamped a reactor 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away in India, even as they advised the nuclear industry on coping with the dangers.”

    [link]      
  412. By rate-crimes on May 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

     

    x

    [link]      
  413. By rate-crimes on May 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Tepco can’t stabilize reactors by year-end: report  May 29, 2011

    “Tokyo Electric Power Co. is coming to the view that it will be impossible to stabilize the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by the end of this year, possibly affecting the timing for the government to consider the return of evacuees to their homes near the plant, Kyodo News reported, citing senior company officials.”

    [link]      
  414. By rate-crimes on May 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Fukushima Debacle Risks Chernobyl ‘Dead Zone’ as Radiation in Soil Soars  May 30, 2011

    “Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japan’s crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a “dead zone” remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded.”

    “Belarus, which absorbed 80 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl explosion, estimates that 2 million, or 20 percent of the population, was affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe, while about 23 percent of the country’s land was contaminated, according to a Belarus embassy website. About a fifth of the country’s agricultural land has been rendered unusable, which means some $700 million in losses each year, according to the website.”

    Ouch, that’s expensive.  It begs the question, “How Much Are You Willing to Pay to be Nuke-Free?”

    [link]      
  415. By Kit P on May 31, 2011 at 8:33 am

    “historical nuclear catastrophe”

     

    Well it was a historic natural disaster, that is for sure. It was the forth largest quake and the forth largest tsunami in recorded history. Not in terms of death toll. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami killed 230,000. The 2010 Haiti earthquake killed 222,000.

     

    Clearly modern building codes reduce the death toll. As does emergency planning. You have to believe if the Japanese did not expect this magnitude of disaster or they would evacuated to higher ground. One of the links provided tells the story of people not hurt by radiation because allowed to return to the evacuated area to put flowers to honor love ones lost. Unfortunately more than half of the residents of the town were being being honored.

     

    You can think of safety as using hindsight to prevent people from being hurt. If you know that an earth quake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, or airplane with terrorist is about to happen; then you would go to a building designed to withstand those things. At Fukushima, that building is called the Reactor Building.

     

    I was working in the control room at a plant in the US of similar design when an earthquake hit. At that moment I happened to be in an adjacent office building discussing an lube oil sample with another engineer. We had both been navy nuke officers (me self proclaiming how much smarter I am the others) so we recognized that the building shaking was not normal. Looking out the window at one of the Great Lakes for a more obvious cause, we said was that a quake. I called the control room because such event are obvious an ‘unusual event’ and notifications must be made. Back in the control room, operators had checked instrumentation which registered a quake.

     

    Some pictures of the 10 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi and Daini station were released. Compared to the destruction at other locations in Japan was much worse but the sites have significant quake and tsunami damage.

     

    It is also historic in the fact that the cores of three reactors were destroyed. With all the radiation released it must be truly terrible. Headline after headline of workers being sentenced to death.

     

    But when you check, nobody received an exposure that would hurt them. What if we had a ‘nuclear catastrophe’ and history showed that it was just another mess to be cleaned up. So far the Japaneses have been very smart protecting people. Having failed to keep fission products inside the containment, they moved people away from the fission products.

    [link]      
  416. By rate-crimes on June 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    “What if we had a ‘nuclear catastrophe’ and history showed that it was just another mess to be cleaned up. [emphasis mine]” – Kit  P(u-239)

    Or rather, ‘what if’ you had a grasp on reality?

    TEPCO faces massive costs over disaster / Compensation likely to add to burden

    Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s decision to scrap reactors Nos. 1-4 at a crippled nuclear power station in Fukushima Prefecture means the power utility will have to shoulder a colossal expense–possibly about 400 billion yen (~$5B USD) to decommission the reactors and several trillion yen (several tens of billions USD) in compensation.”

    Cleanup Lessons from TMI for Fukushima? - April 15, 2011

    “On October 28, 1988, the chairman of the company that owns TMI announced the cleanup would cost $973 million (nearly $2 billion in 2011 dollars).”

    “The amount of time and money required to clean up Fukushima is expected to be much greater than that required for TMI-2.”

    [link]      
  417. By Kit P on June 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    “Thanks, Mr. “nuclear safety expert”, I think the rest of us would prefer to exercise foresight. When one’s head is stuck where yours is, it’s called “hindsight” for good reason.”

    Ouch, that hurts! Wait a second, no on was hut by radiation from a nuke plant in Japan. They had the foresight to have an emergency plan.

    [link]      
  418. By rate-crimes on June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    “You can think of safety as using hindsight to prevent people from being hurt.” – Kit P(u-239)

    Thanks, Mr. “nuclear safety expert”, I think the rest of us would prefer to exercise foresight.  When one’s head is stuck where yours is, it’s called “hindsight” for good reason.

    [link]      
  419. By rate-crimes on June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Expert: Japan nuclear plant owner warned of tsunami threat

     

    “A seismic researcher told CNN Sunday that he warned the owner of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago that the facility could be vulnerable to a tsunami.
    The owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company, appeared to ignore the warning, said seismologist Yukinobu Okamura.

    TEPCO has not responded to Okamura’s allegation.”

    [link]      
  420. By Kit P on June 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

     

    Rate Crimes how many times will post the same links? When you post something, there is a response that you ignore, then you post the link again ignoring the response, that is not a debate.

     

    [link]      
  421. By rate-crimes on June 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Nuclear Energy Advocates Insist U.S. Reactors Completely Safe Unless Something Bad Happens
    March 17, 2011

    WASHINGTON—Responding to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sought Thursday to reassure nervous Americans that U.S. reactors were 100 percent safe and posed absolutely no threat to the public health as long as no unforeseeable system failure or sudden accident were to occur. “With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down,” said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s. “When you consider all of our backup cooling processes, containment vessels, and contingency plans, you realize that, barring the fact that all of those safety measures could be wiped away in an instant by a natural disaster or electrical error, our reactors are indestructible.” Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks, except those no one could have predicted.

    [link]      
  422. By rate-crimes on June 8, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits June 8, 2011

    “Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima.

    It is the first time Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered “melt-through” – a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.”

    [link]      
  423. By Kit P on June 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

    “a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.” ”

     

    A Japanese fisherman whose family was killed and another Japanese fisherman has his boat destroyed. Rate Crimes says, ‘hey dude, like you know, like that’s awful, like you know dude but dude how totaled is your boat?’

     

    Among the ‘things’ destroyed by the tsunami were 10 nuke plants (assuming the damage is not repairable). Whatever the property damage it palls in the light of 26,000 dead and missing.

     

    No one was hurt by radiation, There are no reports of cholera epidemics.

     

    I am no sure why Rate Crimes is worried about property damage in Japan from a natural disaster in Japan that can not happen in the US.

    [link]      
  424. By rate-crimes on June 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits June 8, 2011

    “Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima.

    It is the first time Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered “melt-through” – a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.”

    [link]      
  425. By rate-crimes on June 8, 2011 at 9:29 pm
    [link]      
  426. By rate-crimes on June 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Economy Sends Japanese to Fukushima for Jobs  June 8, 2011

    “The prolonged battle to stabilize the power plant has cast a harsh light on the labor practices of an industry that has long relied on informal contract labor for many of its more dangerous and taxing jobs. Of about 2,500 workers at the plant, all but 300 of them are hires of subcontractors and subsubcontractors who receive little job security, benefits or insurance for injuries or the effects of radiation.”

    [link]      
  427. By Kit P on June 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    “Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen ”

     

    That loon again. Let me summarize. We can not measure it because it it is below detection limits but now it is twice as high as when we could measure very small levles.

     

    Within a short time after the tsunami it was clear that AC power might not be restored before fuel assemblies were damaged. Also the containment may have to be vented.

     

    As expected by the laws of physics, radiation levels are decreasing. Nothing has happened to make it worse. Some are speculating the damage is worse than earlier in the media based on the current speculation in the media.

    [link]      
  428. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits June 8, 2011

    “Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima.

    It is the first time Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered “melt-through” – a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.”

    [link]      
  429. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 7:13 am
    [link]      
  430. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Economy Sends Japanese to Fukushima for Jobs  June 8, 2011

    “The prolonged battle to stabilize the power plant has cast a harsh light on the labor practices of an industry that has long relied on informal contract labor for many of its more dangerous and taxing jobs. Of about 2,500 workers at the plant, all but 300 of them are hires of subcontractors and subsubcontractors who receive little job security, benefits or insurance for injuries or the effects of radiation.”

    [link]      
  431. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Nuke worker speaks out about tsunami taboo  June 9, 2011

    “Mr Kimura says the company did nothing to prepare for a large tsunami at Fukushima.
    “If they’d moved the emergency diesel generators to a position above the expected tsunami level it would have cost the company a lot. So nobody proposed it,” he said.

    The official document on tsunami preparedness at Fukushima that TEPCO submitted to Japan’s Nuclear Safety Agency in 2001 fit onto a single page.”

    [link]      
  432. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Radioactive strontium detected 62 km from Fukushima plant  June 9, 2011

    Radioactive stronium found outside Japan nuclear plant  June 9, 2011

    “Soil samples from outside Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant have revealed concentrations of radioactive strontium, which is known to have adverse effects on humans.

    The substance has even been detected 60 kilometres from the crippled facility.

    Japan’s NHK news is reporting that radioactive strontium-90 has been found at 11 sites in the Fukushima prefecture.

    The substance is generated during the fission of uranium in fuel rods in nuclear reactors.

    It is described as a “bone seeker”, accumulating in bone and bone marrow. Strontium-90 has a half life of 29 years, and can cause cancer and leukaemia.

    Japan’s science ministry says strontium-90 has now been found in Fukushima city, about 60 kilometres from the nuclear plant.”

    [link]      
  433. By Kit P on June 9, 2011 at 8:59 am

    “strontium ”

     

    Oh no Mr. Bill strontium! Of course you will detect strontium just about every place in the world because of above ground testing. If fact the fear mongers said my generation would be the last generation of human because all our children would die. Here we are talking about 6 billion people.

     

    Rate Crimes link would be more useful if the action levels for strontium. I suspect this information was provided to journalists but was unblemished because a reason person would say, no problem.

     

    We are all go to die, we are all go to die. Add up all the ways we are all go to die and there seems to be a conflict by how many of us there are on the planet living longer and healthier.

    [link]      
  434. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits June 8, 2011

    “Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima.

    It is the first time Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered “melt-through” – a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.”

    [link]      
  435. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 10:53 am
    [link]      
  436. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Special Report: After Japan, where’s the next nuclear weak link?  June 9, 2011

    “We must acknowledge the fear is real and deal with it,” said Richard Myers of the Nuclear Energy Institute, before going on to attack the “toxic misinformation that we’ve been exposed to by some of the media. [emphasis mine]

    A revealing and odd choice of words after the recent multiple meltdowns; aside the typical vague, accusatory, dismissive, bullying aspersions. 

    The fear of nuclear catastrophe is as starkly real as are the horrifying catastrophes.  The phrase, “deal with it”, too often means to irrationally dismiss the obviously justified fears and the further concerns that duly arise.

    Such murky, contorted phraseology and the display of twisted psychological projection should be ample warning of the dangers of the mindset of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

    [link]      
  437. By Kit P on June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    “Special Report”

    This Rate Crimes link does make some good points.

    “Imagine a country where corruption is rampant, infrastructure is very poor, or the quality of security is in question. Now what if that country built a nuclear power plant?”

    That would be an indicator of progress. I firmly believe that we should listen to even the wing nuts like ‘Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen’. Of course after you listen, if he waste the time of the people that listens; he will not be taken seriously by those who make decisions. After listening to Arnie Gundersen, if I suddenly said gosh there is a design flaw in our design, I would be documenting it in our problem reporting process. With 24 hours, we could be informing the NRC.

    In the US, I am comfortable that the rule of law and lack of corruption allows me to raise concern without reprisals. If I lived a country where corruption is rampant, I suppose core damage would be the least of my worries. I would like to think that a group of nuclear professional would set a higher standard.

    As for the details of the report, they are mostly wrong.

    “”If Japan can’t cope with the implications of a disaster like this,””

    Actually Japan is doing very good job of coping. The IAEA said they were doing an ‘exemplary’ job of handling the crisis.

    As for Rate Crimes take,

    “The fear of nuclear catastrophe is as starkly real as are the horrifying catastrophes.”

    Yes, irrational fear is real. I did check to see what exposure were. Some individuals received between 10 and 20 Rems. Since that level of exposure will not cause any harm, I certainly am not horrified nor would I call it a catastrophe. A natural disaster resulted in large amount of property loss. This is at least the fourth natural disaster this year that resulted in large amount of property loss.

    “irrationally dismiss the obviously justified fears”

    Rate Crimes you have presented to rational basis for your fears. Furthermore, Rate Crimes you do seem to comprehend that the responsible people who make decisions do not decide based on some level of fear. We must show the NRC that the offsite dose and the onsite dose to operators in the control room do not harm anyone.

    Dismissing the fear of Rate Crimes is a rational exercise on my part.

    “Such murky, contorted phraseology and the display of twisted psychological projection should be ample warning of the dangers of the mindset of the Nuclear Energy Institute.”

    Wow, that is a bit of a stretch Rate Crimes especially since it is most likely a quote taken out of context.

    “The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is the policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry and participates in both the national and global policy-making process.”

    [link]      
  438. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits June 8, 2011

    “Molten nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is likely to have burned through pressure vessels, not just the cores, Japan has said in a report in which it also acknowledges it was unprepared for an accident of the severity of Fukushima.

    It is the first time Japanese authorities have admitted the possibility that the fuel suffered “melt-through” – a more serious scenario than a core meltdown.”

    Japan raises spectre of Fukushima ‘melt-through’ June 9, 2011

    “An official report, which Japan will submit to the UN’s nuclear watchdog, says nuclear fuel in three reactors at Fukushima has possibly melted through the pressure vessels and accumulated in outer containment vessels.
    Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper says this “melt-through” is far worse than a core meltdown, and is the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.

    This is the first official admission that a “melt-through” may have occurred.”

    [link]      
  439. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Special Report: After Japan, where’s the next nuclear weak link?  June 9, 2011

    “We must acknowledge the fear is real and deal with it,” said Richard Myers of the Nuclear Energy Institute, before going on to attack the “toxic misinformation that we’ve been exposed to by some of the media. [emphasis mine]

    A revealing and odd choice of words after the recent multiple meltdowns; aside the typical vague, accusatory, dismissive, bullying aspersions. 

    The fear of nuclear catastrophe is as starkly real as are the horrifying catastrophes.  The phrase, “deal with it”, too often means to irrationally dismiss the obviously justified fears and the further concerns that duly arise.

    Such murky, contorted phraseology and the display of twisted psychological projection should be ample warning of the dangers of the mindset of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

    [link]      
  440. By Wendell Mercantile on June 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    The fear of nuclear catastrophe is as starkly real as are the horrifying catastrophes.

     

    There is certainly no question that Rate Crimes is afraid of nuclear power.

    [link]      
  441. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Wendell, you’re wrong.  However, there is certainly no question that you have no fear of misapplying sweeping generalities and making senseless ad hominem attacks.

    [link]      
  442. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Japan Considers Evacuating More Towns  June 9, 2011

    “Japanese government officials said they are considering evacuating more towns affected by radiation, after recent monitoring data showed new ‘hot spots’ of elevated contamination farther away from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

    The costs of this nuclear catastrophe continue to rise.

    [link]      
  443. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    After Nuclear Crisis, Japan’s Biggest Utility Faces Insolvency Risk   June 9. 2011

    “On Thursday, shares in Tokyo Electric again fell to a record low, at one point slumping to 148 yen ($1.85), down 93 percent from prequake levels. Shares finished at 192 yen ($2.40), down 4 percent from the previous day, and the company already had a 1.25 trillion yen loss in the year ending March 31, the largest annual loss for a nonfinancial institution in Japanese history.”

    Japanese taxpayers to the rescue . . .

    The costs of this nuclear catastrophe continue to rise.

    [link]      
  444. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    After Nuclear Crisis, Japan’s Biggest Utility Faces Insolvency Risk   June 9. 2011

    “On Thursday, shares in Tokyo Electric again fell to a record low, at one point slumping to 148 yen ($1.85), down 93 percent from prequake levels. Shares finished at 192 yen ($2.40), down 4 percent from the previous day, and the company already had a 1.25 trillion yen loss in the year ending March 31, the largest annual loss for a nonfinancial institution in Japanese history.”

    Japanese taxpayers to the rescue . . .

    The costs of this nuclear catastrophe continue to rise.

    [link]      
  445. By Kit P on June 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    “Japanese taxpayers to the rescue . . .

    The costs of this nuclear catastrophe continue to rise.”

    Rate Crimes mean the cost of the historic natural disaster. Before fuel in the nuke plant started to increase in temperature, 26000 were dead or missing. Half a million were homeless. Refineries were destroyed and burning. PAH, a known toxic and carcinogen were released. Rate Crimes does not care about any of that.

    [link]      
  446. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Japan Considers Evacuating More Towns  June 9, 2011

    “Japanese government officials said they are considering evacuating more towns affected by radiation, after recent monitoring data showed new ‘hot spots’ of elevated contamination farther away from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

    The costs of this nuclear catastrophe continue to rise.

    [link]      
  447. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    After Nuclear Crisis, Japan’s Biggest Utility Faces Insolvency Risk   June 9. 2011
    “On Thursday, shares in Tokyo Electric again fell to a record low, at one point slumping to 148 yen ($1.85), down 93 percent from prequake levels. Shares finished at 192 yen ($2.40), down 4 percent from the previous day, and the company already had a 1.25 trillion yen loss in the year ending March 31, the largest annual loss for a nonfinancial institution in Japanese history.”

    Japanese taxpayers to the rescue . . .

    The costs of this nuclear catastrophe continue to rise.

    [link]      
  448. By rate-crimes on June 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Japan’s green tea contaminated with radiation  June 9, 2011

    “JAPANESE green tea, esteemed around the world for its purity and health-enhancing properties, has become contaminated with radiation, as fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant continues to blight Japan’s agricultural heartlands, authorities revealed today.”

    “The high reading was discovered not by the tea grower or the local government, but by a mail order tea company in Tokyo that carried out its own measurements.”

    [link]      
  449. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Toyota expects annual profit to fall 31 percent   June 10, 2011

    “Another problem that Toyota, as well as other Japanese automakers, are facing is an electricity shortage after the quake and tsunami destroyed a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.


    Another nuclear plant in the region where Toyota is headquartered is also being shut down because of growing fears about the safety of nuclear power after reactor cores at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant melted and spewed radiation into the air and the sea.”

    [link]      
  450. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 7:25 am
    [link]      
  451. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Electrical Fire Knocks Out Spent Fuel Cooling at Nebraska Nuke Plant  June 9, 2011

    “A fire in an electrical switch room on Tuesday briefly knocked out cooling for a pool holding spent nuclear fuel at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant outside Omaha, Neb., plant officials said.

    The safety of deep pools used to store used radioactive fuel at nuclear plants has been an issue since the accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant in March. If the cooling water a pool is lost, the used nuclear fuel could catch fire and release radiation.”

    “Workers restored cooling in about 90 minutes, and plant officials said the temperature in the pool only increased by two degrees.

    The fire, reported at 9:30 a.m., led to the loss of electrical power for the system that circulates cooling water through the spent fuel pool, according to a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A chemical fire suppression system discharged, and the plant’s fire brigade cleared smoke from the room and reported that the fire was out at 10:20 a.m., the NRC said.”

    [link]      
  452. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Flooding at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant  June 2011

    Flooding at Fort Calhoon Nuclear Plant June 2011

    [link]      
  453. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 8:02 am
    [link]      
  454. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Fukushima Water Has More Radiation Than Released Into Air   June 2, 2011

    “Tepco has pumped millions of liters of water to cool three reactors that melted down at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out power and backup generators, crippling its cooling systems. With Japan’s rainy season in full swing, heavy downpours threaten to flood the plant and leak more radiation into the sea, soil and air.

    ‘The risk of overflow is as serious as the meltdown of reactor fuel rods that’s already happened,’ Tetsuo Ito, the head of the Atomic Energy Research Institute at Kinki University in western Japan, said in a phone interview. ‘Tepco should’ve acknowledged this risk weeks ago and could’ve taken any urgent measures.’”

    [link]      
  455. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Parents urge Tokyo to rethink radiation monitoring   June 8, 2011

    “According to Ishikawa, her group, which has about 35 members, checked the soil and air in Koto Ward for contaminants between May 21 and 25 with the help of Kobe University professor Tomoya Yamauchi.

    Yamauchi, an expert on radiation physics, said high levels of contamination were detected in soil, especially around a plant in Koto Ward that produces sludge, an ingredient in cement, where the level reached 2,300 becquerels per kilogram.

    That level is about a third of the 6,550 becquerels per kilogram detected at a schoolyard in Fukushima Prefecture in April.

    “But I can say that I wouldn’t let my child play baseball at the ballpark, which is located near the sludge factory,” Yamauchi said, adding there is concern the factory itself could be releasing radioactive particles.”

    [link]      
  456. By Wendell Mercantile on June 10, 2011 at 9:24 am

    …and making senseless ad hominem attacks.


    Rate Crimes,

    Ad hominem attack? It seems perfectly reasonable to conclude you have a deep fear of nuclear power from reading the many posts you have made.

    [link]      
  457. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Wendell, simply repeating an ad hominem attack makes it seem perfectly reasonable that you do not understand the meaning of “ad hominem”.

    If you are representative of the proponents of nuclear power, then there is indeed much to fear, even if not from the technology of nuclear power itself.

    Though, it is encouraging if you are reading the reports.  It would be even more encouraging if you would respond to what is being reported, rather than simply commenting on the individual delivering the reports.

    [link]      
  458. By Kit P on June 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    “Though, it is encouraging if you are reading the reports.  It would be even more encouraging if you would respond to what is being reported, rather than simply commenting on the individual delivering the reports. ”

     

    I have to agree with Wendell, it doe not seem like you are very interested in discussing the topics of your links. That is based on the lack of comments from Rate Crimes.

     

    “Japan’s green tea contaminated with radiation June 9, 2011”

     

    What Rate Crimes left out.

     

    “Dried leaves from the year’s first harvest in the Honyama area of Shizuoka were found to contain radioactive cesium at a level of 679 becquerels per kilogram, above the permitted maximum of 500 becquerels. …

     

    But when they are infused in a tea pot the amount of radiation in the resulting brew is between 30 and 45 times less, according to the agriculture ministry.”

     

    Again much to do about nothing!

     

    “Electrical Fire Knocks Out Spent Fuel Cooling at Nebraska Nuke Plant June 9, 2011”

     

    Again demonstrating the excellent response and openness at US nuke plants. The cause of the fire was an ‘electrical fault’. From reading the event report from the NRC web site. The STA determined that they had almost 4 days to start the redundant unaffected SFP pump which takes less than 5 minutes.

     

    I have preformed similar task to an STA and I have also been the responsible engineer for SFPC at several plants. I will be happy to answer any questions or concern that people might have.

     

    We know an ‘electrical fault’ will occur at a certain frequency. A 480 VAC bus and motor control center are pretty much standard. Take a picture of some one in front of one, they could be at a nuke plant, oil refinery, or WWTP. At a nuke plant, the frequency and the cause of fire will be investigated. For example, we has a fire in a similar location at Rancho Seco. Security and the fire brigade was able to put the fire out and report it in less than two minutes. Therefore an emergency did not need to be declared. The root cause was determined to be an aging component with many similar components in the plant. The manufacture had gone out of business. We found a new manufacture to make replacement components. Within 30 days, the new parts were installed and tested.

     

    If you make electricity you must be prepared for an ‘electrical fault’. If you do not want ‘electrical fault’ to burn down your house or fill it with smoke, do not put a PV system with the associated smoke emitting diodes. If it happens you will have to declare an ‘emergency’ and call 911. That is assuming you and your children have not been killed by smoke inhalation.

     

    Since it does not involve a nuke plant, Rate Crimes & MSM does not care about your death. You will be just another statistic that is not news worth as judged by journalist who do not understand radiation.

     

    [link]      
  459. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Electrical Fire Knocks Out Spent Fuel Cooling at Nebraska Nuke Plant  June 9, 2011
    “A fire in an electrical switch room on Tuesday briefly knocked out cooling for a pool holding spent nuclear fuel at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant outside Omaha, Neb., plant officials said.

    The safety of deep pools used to store used radioactive fuel at nuclear plants has been an issue since the accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant in March. If the cooling water a pool is lost, the used nuclear fuel could catch fire and release radiation.”

    “Workers restored cooling in about 90 minutes, and plant officials said the temperature in the pool only increased by two degrees.

    The fire, reported at 9:30 a.m., led to the loss of electrical power for the system that circulates cooling water through the spent fuel pool, according to a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A chemical fire suppression system discharged, and the plant’s fire brigade cleared smoke from the room and reported that the fire was out at 10:20 a.m., the NRC said.”

    [link]      
  460. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Fukushima Water Has More Radiation Than Released Into Air   June 2, 2011

    “Tepco has pumped millions of liters of water to cool three reactors that melted down at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out power and backup generators, crippling its cooling systems. With Japan’s rainy season in full swing, heavy downpours threaten to flood the plant and leak more radiation into the sea, soil and air.

    ‘The risk of overflow is as serious as the meltdown of reactor fuel rods that’s already happened,’ Tetsuo Ito, the head of the Atomic Energy Research Institute at Kinki University in western Japan, said in a phone interview. ‘Tepco should’ve acknowledged this risk weeks ago and could’ve taken any urgent measures.’”

    [link]      
  461. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Puke Absorbent

    [link]      
  462. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Nuclear fuel has melted through base of Fukushima plant   June 9, 2011

    “The experts have also yet to come up with a plan for decommissioning the ruined plant. Studies have estimated that the cost of the accident at Fukushima may rise as high as $250 billion over the next 10 years. [emphasis mine]

    [link]      
  463. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Toyota expects annual profit to fall 31 percent   June 10, 2011

    “Another problem that Toyota, as well as other Japanese automakers, are facing is an electricity shortage after the quake and tsunami destroyed a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.


    Another nuclear plant in the region where Toyota is headquartered is also being shut down because of growing fears about the safety of nuclear power after reactor cores at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant melted and spewed radiation into the air and the sea.”

    [link]      
  464. By rate-crimes on June 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    As Japan Nuclear Crisis Worsens, Citizen-Led Radiation Monitors Pressure Govt to Increase Evacuations  June 10, 2011

     “What they failed to mention is that they discharged an equally large amount into the ocean,” says our guest Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. “As [the radiation] goes up the food chain, it accumulates, and by the time it reaches people who consume this food, the levels are higher than they originally were when they entered the environment.”

    [link]      
  465. By rate-crimes on June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    BBC News Asia-Pacific: Fukushima plant: Six more workers exposed to radiation June 13, 2011

    Six more workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima plant are reported to have been exposed to excessive radiation levels, bringing the total to eight.

    The workers had been in the control room or cleaning up the nuclear plant following the earthquake and tsunami that damaged it March.

    The disaster caused meltdown at three of the reactors, and radiation leaks.

    It was the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.

    The operators of Fukushima, Tokyo electric Power (Tepco), initially reported that only two employees had been exposed to excessive levels of radiation.

    The possible exposure of six more workers was discovered after almost 2,400 employees underwent preliminary testing, officials said.

    A spokesman for Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Hide Nishiyama, said the development was “extremely regrettable”.

    Tepco said none of those affected were showing immediate health problems, but they would require long-term monitoring.

    [link]      
  466. By Kit P on June 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    “BBC News Asia-Pacific: Fukushima plant: Six more workers exposed to radiation June 13, 2011”

    Same workers as before, same exposure as before. Below certain exposures, no monitoring is required. Radiation workers are monitored more closely. If they exceed pre-established limits then they are monitored even more closely. Results of that closer monitoring is now being reported.

    “Tepco said none of those affected were showing immediate health problems, but they would require long-term monitoring.”

    What that mean? No one was hurt by radiation in Japan.

    From a Rate Crime loony link:

    “ROBERT ALVAREZ: Well, I think it means that the accident was much more prompt and severe, and its radiological consequences are going to be—unfold in a more serious way.”

    “and by the time it reaches people who consume this food”

    Ignoring the fact that the food was not consumed.

    “TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4 SFP Large Vapor Release (video) June 9, 2011”

    Just in the headline but not in the video.

    “Super Typhoon Songda Five Day Forecast

    Fukushima I-131 Plume”

    In a video by wing nut who does not know that I-131 has an eight day half life.

    [link]      
  467. By rate-crimes on June 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Nuclear fuel has melted through base of Fukushima plant   June 9, 2011

    “The experts have also yet to come up with a plan for decommissioning the ruined plant. Studies have estimated that the cost of the accident at Fukushima may rise as high as $250 billion over the next 10 years. [emphasis mine]

    [link]      
  468. By rate-crimes on June 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    As Japan Nuclear Crisis Worsens, Citizen-Led Radiation Monitors Pressure Govt to Increase Evacuations  June 10, 2011

     “What they failed to mention is that they discharged an equally large amount into the ocean,” says our guest Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. “As [the radiation] goes up the food chain, it accumulates, and by the time it reaches people who consume this food, the levels are higher than they originally were when they entered the environment

    [link]      
  469. By rate-crimes on June 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Fukushima Water Has More Radiation Than Released Into Air   June 2, 2011

    “Tepco has pumped millions of liters of water to cool three reactors that melted down at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out power and backup generators, crippling its cooling systems. With Japan’s rainy season in full swing, heavy downpours threaten to flood the plant and leak more radiation into the sea, soil and air.

    ‘The risk of overflow is as serious as the meltdown of reactor fuel rods that’s already happened,’ Tetsuo Ito, the head of the Atomic Energy Research Institute at Kinki University in western Japan, said in a phone interview. ‘Tepco should’ve acknowledged this risk weeks ago and could’ve taken any urgent measures.’”

    [link]      
  470. By rate-crimes on June 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Tepco Faces Radioactive Sludge Crisis  June 13, 2011

    “Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is struggling to contain the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years, has another crisis on its hands: finding storage for enough radioactive sludge to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

    The utility known as Tepco plans to start decontaminating millions of liters of water poured over melted reactors after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems. By the end of the year it expects to have 2,000 cubic meters of highly radioactive sludge separated from the water, said Teruaki Kobayashi, a nuclear facility manager at Tepco.”

    [link]      
  471. By rate-crimes on June 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    In Nuclear Crisis, Crippling Mistrust  June 13, 2011

    “At this crucial moment, it became clear that a prime minister who had built his career on suspicion of the collusive ties between Japan’s industry and bureaucracy was acting nearly in the dark. He had received a confusing risk analysis from the chief nuclear regulator, a fervently pro-nuclear academic whom aides said Mr. Kan did not trust. He was also wary of the company that operated the plant, given its history of trying to cover up troubles.”

     

    [link]      
  472. By Kit P on June 15, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Kit, as I told you, you are not allowed to post for a week. Each time I have to delete one of your posts, I am going to add a day.

    RR

    [link]      
  473. By Kit P on June 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

    “Mr. Kan did not trust. ”

     

    The leader that allowed 26,000 dead and missing does not trust the place where only three people were killed by the tsunami. One of the reason that no one was hurt by radiation, is the plant manger did the right things. Among then, politically motivated orders were ignored causing the plant manager to receive a reprimand.

     

    We have a similar problems in the US. POTUS and his political appointee to head the NRC are idiots. I have no confidence in their ability to make correct decisions in a crisis. All my life the NRC has been apolitical, making decisions on technical merit. Advice the NRC Chairman gave to Japan was wrong and ignored the information provided by the NRC staff.

     

    The good news is that emergency place are in place and practiced so that the health and welfare of Americans does not depend on elected or appointed idiots.

     

    [link]      
  474. By rate-crimes on June 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    How nuclear regulators became captive to industry  March 19, 2011

    “Earlier this year, for example, three states sued the NRC after it extended from 30 to 60 years the amount of time that nuclear waste can be stored on-site at power plants.

    This is no academic issue. A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found 14 “near misses” at U.S. power plants last year, some of them due to oversight failures. Meanwhile, at least one former top NRC official is now working for the nuclear power industry and appearing on television on behalf of the pro-nuclear lobby.”

    [link]      
  475. By rate-crimes on June 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Nuclear power report: 14 ‘near misses’ at US plants due to ‘lax oversight’  March 18, 2011

    “Nuclear plants in the United States last year experienced at least 14 “near misses,” serious failures in which safety was jeopardized, at least in part, due to lapses in oversight and enforcement by US nuclear safety regulators, says a new report.

    While none of the safety problems harmed plant employees or the public, they occurred with alarming frequency – more than once a month – which is high for a mature industry, said the study of nuclear plant safety performance in 2010 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based nuclear watchdog group.”

     

    “Fission Stories”: A Weekly UCS Series on Nuclear Power Safety

     

    “Sooner or later, in any foolproof system, the fools will exceed the proofs.” - Arnie Gunderson

    [link]      
  476. By rate-crimes on June 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Cold Comfort at Senate Nuclear Safety Hearing  June 17, 2011

    “This was the topic of discussion at a hearing by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday—and for the second time since the disaster in Japan, it summoned all five commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to appear and answer questions. The results weren’t exactly comforting, and demonstrated there’s still a long way to go towards a “safe” nuclear power infrastructure in the United States—if that’s even possible.”

    [link]      
  477. By rate-crimes on June 21, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Fukushima report shows nuclear power can never be safe and cheap  June 20, 2011

    “The first ‘independent’ review of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was published today and it does not make reassuring reading.

    Japan is perhaps the most technologically advanced nation on Earth and yet, time after time, the report finds missing measures that I would have expected to already be in place. It highlights the fundamental inability for anyone to anticipate all future events and so deeply undermines the claims of the nuclear industry and its supporters that this time, with the new generation of reactors, things will be different. “

    [link]      
  478. By rate-crimes on June 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Atom industry body urges cost-effective safety   June 21, 2011

    Steps to boost atomic safety after Japan’s Fukushima accident must be “cost-effective,” an industry body said on Tuesday, a day after the UN nuclear chief suggested power firms could help pay for expanded safety checks.

    John Ritch, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said the industry had been struggling in the last decade to limit capital costs while building a new generation of reactors.

    “In this context, it is crucially important that regulatory actions taken in response to Fukushima have demonstrable benefit arising from any increased costs,” he told a major international safety conference, according to a copy of his speech.

    “Focus solely on cost-effective measures,” he said.

    Rather, employ all effective measures that will ensure that the enormous costs of yet another nuclear catastrophe are avoided.

     

    [link]      
  479. By rate-crimes on June 25, 2011 at 12:06 am

    AGING NUKES, PART 1 of 4: Nuke regulators weaken safety rules   June 20, 2011

    “Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.”

    Author interview on Democracy Now!

    [link]      
  480. By Engineer-Poet on August 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Robert, if you’re going to ban Kit, you need to ban Rate Crimes and his cut-and-paste crapflood attacks too.

    [link]      
  481. By rate-crimes on September 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

    “Robert, if you’re going to ban Kit, you need to ban Rate Crimes and his cut-and-paste crapflood attacks too.”  – Engineer-Poet

    And, while you’re at it, ban those whose only contribution is an ad hominem attack.

    Or, ban those who include “Poet” in their moniker, and employ terms such as “crapflood” in their ad hominem attacks.

    [link]      
  482. By rate-crimes on October 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

    New report: Fukushima released twice as much radiation as government estimated  October 27, 2011

    The Fukushima nuclear disaster released twice as much of a radioactive substance into the atmosphere as Japanese authorities estimated, reaching 40 percent of the total from Chernobyl, a preliminary report says.

    [link]      
  483. By Rate Crimes on February 23, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    From Rocky Flats to Fukushima: this nuclear folly
    Naomi Wolf, 21 Feb 2012
    “There’s no such thing as safe and accidents are always covered up. So why let Obama build a whole new generation of reactors?”
     
     

    [link]      
Register or log in now to save your comments and get priority moderation!