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By Robert Rapier on Oct 3, 2011 with 57 responses

Germany – It’s Not Easy Being Green

The following is a guest post from OilPrice.com. The subject matter is of great interest, as Germany is in the early stages of an experiment that is likely to prove challenging. Nuclear power advocates in Germany — including members of Merkel’s cabinet — have insisted that they can’t meet their greenhouse gas targets without nuclear power. Many have predicted that they will be forced to use more coal, and as this article points out they may end up importing nuclear power. Whether and how Germany adjusts to the sudden loss of nuclear power will demonstrate to the rest of the world that in fact it isn’t easy being green.

——————————-
Germany – It’s Not Easy Being Green

Forty-one years ago on Sesame Street, Kermit the frog sang a plaintive song, “It’s not easy being green.”

In a gesture of solidarity, perhaps he should fax the lyrics to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government is suddenly discovering the costs of weaning itself off nuclear energy.

In the wake of Fukushima, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on 30 May that Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy and Europe’s biggest, would become the first industrialized nation to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants (NPPs) between 2015 and 2022, an extraordinary commitment, given that Germany’s 17 NPPS Germany produce about 28 percent of the country’s electricity and that the country’s first NPP came online in 1969.

The seven nuclear power plants immediately shut down after Fukushima include Biblis A and B, Neckarwestheim 1, Brunsbuettel, Isar 1, Unterweser and Philippsburg 1 and the offline reactor in Kruemmel. The remaining nine to be shut down by 2022 are Grafenrheinfeld in 2015, Gundremmingen B in 2017, Philippsburg II in 2019, Grohnde, Brokdorf, and Gundremmingen C in 2021, Isar II, Neckarwestheim II and Emsland in 2022.

Truly the end of an era.

Merkel added that her government’s goal was to draw 35 percent of production from renewable energy sources by 2022.

While Fukushima proved the final impetus for the decision, Germany has long had one of the most anti-nuclear green movements in Europe. The Japanese meltdown was the final straw in convincing the electorate that Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, as well as hundreds of smaller incidents that the risks inherent in NPPs were in fact real and lethal, that nuclear-waste storage was a problem yet to be resolved and that renewable-alternative energy was the way of the future.

Not that the decision was unanimous. The German nuclear industry insisted that its shutdown would cause major damage to the country’s industrial base and E.ON AG and Vattenfall Europe AG announced their intention to sue for billions of euros in compensation, with RWE AG and EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG expected to follow suit. As an immediate indication of their displeasure, two months ago Germany’s four nuclear operators announced that they would stop paying into a government renewables fund, which was set up in September 2010 as compensation for the government agreeing to license nuclear plants for a longer period.

Adding to awakening consumer anxiety about “quality of life” issues, last month Germany’s Federal Network Agency announced that it decided not to keep any NPPs as back-up in case of electricity shortfalls for the upcoming winter.

So, what to do?

Why, use Germany’s massive euro reserves to buy in electricity from neighboring countries to ease shortfalls during the bumpy transitional period.

Neighbors only too glad to export electricity to der Vaterland include Austria, the Czech Republic and France.

And here’s where it gets interesting, as the latter two nation’s electrical exports are generated by… nuclear power.

Quite aside from the ideological contradictions inherent in the policy, it won’t come cheap. In a report last July Deutsche Bank noted that because of the nuclear prohibition Germany will become a net importer of about 4 terawatt hours of power by the end of the year after exporting 14 terawatt hours in 2010.

In another sobering statistic from the Dena Energy Agency, a research institute partly owned by the German government, Germany will have to spend nearly $14.3 billion over the next decade to upgrade its electrical grid if the country is to stop using neighboring networks.

Speaking of neighboring networks, importing electricity from former communist Eastern European states presents an additional range of problems, as their elderly grids were built over 30 years ago solely to handle domestic demand, years before the countries joined the European power-trading system.

Not that the government hasn’t been warned – in May national electricity-grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur said that Germany’s unilateral decommissioning of its NPPs risked straining utility networks in at least seven neighboring countries.

According to the European Nuclear Society, as of January 2011 there were 195 nuclear plants in operation and under construction in Europe. No doubt all the operators of these NPPs will be watching the German experience weaning itself off its nuclear addition with great attention.

It’s not easy being green.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Germany-Its-Not-Easy-Being-Green.html

By. John C.K. Daly of Oil Price

  1. By perry1961 on October 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

    When did nuclear stop being green?

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  2. By Rufus on October 3, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Complicating the case is that Berlin is just a touch North of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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  3. By Wendell Mercantile on October 3, 2011 at 10:39 am

    When did nuclear stop being green?

    Good question Perry. Nuclear power is nothing more than a fundamental and natural characteristic of a handful of fissile elements and their isotopes that have binding energies giving them the ability to support a chain reaction.

    Nuclear power does present challenges, but it is one of the greenest and most natural forms of energy available to us.

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  4. By Frank Weigert on October 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

    perry1961 said:

    When did nuclear stop being green?


     

    It never was. There are two major issues. What does society do with wastes that remain dangerous for millions of years?

    How will society compensate the victims of rare but catastrophic accidents. The Price Anderson Act in the United States says the taxpayers will pay.

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  5. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

    First off we have another misleading headline. I have never thought of Germany as being green, more yellow than green.

     

    http://www.world-nuclear-news……%20map.jpg

     

    Second we have another unreliable source of information. Like many very smart people, Dr. Daly does not know much about nuclear power. Dr. Daly and RR sound like tweedly dee and tweedly dum. They say the same thing over and over. What is the point?

     

    Is being green an ideology measured by how politically correct you are or is it something that can be measured by the quality of your air and water?

     

    Here is where green ideology has a problem. When start measuring things, nuclear has the best safety record and the lowest environmental impact.

     

    “were in fact real and lethal, ”

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  6. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

    “were in fact real and lethal, ”

     

    This is more about safety than environmental protection but nobody has been harmed by radiation from commercial power plants (or US Navy LWRs) designed and operated to western standards. The normal state of coal and gas power plants is to release toxic and carcinogenic gas to the environment. I have no reason to think that Germany does not operate coal plants to similar standards as the US.

     

    “nuclear-waste storage was a problem yet to be resolved ”

     

    A small problem if one at all. Renewable energy produces larger amounts of hazardous waste in the manufacturing process.

     

    “So, what to do? ”

     

    Keep your nuke plants running while German companies build power plants in other countries. German courts are already rejecting measures aimed at just the nuclear industry.

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  7. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

    “that have binding energies giving them the ability to support a chain reaction. ”

     

    You have all the words Wendell but you missed the concept. Binding energy is the energy released nucleus either fissions or fusions to a atom with a lower binding energy similar to the chemical energy releases when H2 and O2 form H2O. The difference between a chemical reaction and a nuclear reaction is that mass is converted to energy.

     

    To support a chain reaction each fission must produce more neutrons to cause a the next reaction than are lost to the process.

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  8. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 11:38 am

    “What does society do with wastes that remain dangerous for millions of years? ”

     

    Frank you do know that the waste from renewable energy stays ‘dangerous for millions of years’?

     

    You also have to wonder how dangerous something is when we have been doing something for more than 50 years and no one has been hurt. Frank I recommend that you avoid going to a nuke plant and eat spent nuclear fuel. The guards might not understand and shoot foolish you.

     

    “The Price Anderson Act in the United States says the taxpayers will pay. ”

     

    No, it says that the insurance companies pay. Since the insurance companies collect more in premiums that they have had to pay out, they make a profit.

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  9. By Wendell Mercantile on October 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    You have all the words Wendell but you missed the concept.

    Kit P.

    I know the concept very well. In my hast for brevity, I just explained it poorly. The main point is that nuclear energy is a fundamental and natural process, and as Perry pointed out, is in no way “un-green.”

    Thanks for jumping in.

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  10. By rrapier on October 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Kit P said:

    Second we have another unreliable source of information. Like many very smart people, Dr. Daly does not know much about nuclear power. Dr. Daly and RR sound like tweedly dee and tweedly dum. They say the same thing over and over. What is the point?


     

    One point is that you are obviously an a idiot who doesn’t know how to read, so you simply see the same thing over and over and then criticize based on your mistaken perceptions. I thought the article was pretty clear, but let’s dumb it down for you. From the article itself it is about “the costs of weaning itself off nuclear energy.” This is about Germany’s difficulty in replacing their shuttered nuclear power. They are going to find that it is very difficult to replace that nuclear power with renewable energy, hence it isn’t easy being green.

    Thus, the headline is appropriate and the only tweedle dum here is the guy who sees nuclear boogiemen any time the subject is nuclear, and predictably lashes out like a child. Paranoid much?

    RR

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  11. By Wendell Mercantile on October 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Frank Weigert said, It never was.(green) There are two major issues. What does society do with wastes that remain dangerous for millions of years? How will society compensate the victims of rare but catastrophic accidents.

    Frank,

    Both legitimate questions. Those are safety and liability issues, and should be part of the cost-benefit calculus, but neither has anything to do with whether or not nuclear power is green.

    Nuclear energy is a natural process and no less green than using geothermal energy from nuclear transmutations deep inside the earth; or using solar panels to harness the nuclear energy the Sun sends our way.

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  12. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    “I know the concept very well. ”

     

    Okay then smarty pants, for 60 points and a chance to advance to the bonus round name each factor in the 6 factor formula.

     

    “un-green.”

     

    Nuclear power is not politically correct, collecting manure to make electricity is not sexy, and windmills chop birds. Location, location, location. Tell me the location, then we can debate good choices.

     

    Back when I was heavy into biomass renewable energy in the PNW, I was surprised when Finland said they were going to build a new nuke near the arctic circle. This surprised me a little bit because I knew they had lots of trees for renewable energy.

     

    In Finland, they know you can not run an industrial society on renewable energy. They had 4 nukes that ran very well. They determined that the spent fuel could be stored in granite deep under the existing nuke plants

     

    They do have choices. They could import electricity or NG from Russia. Now that that new nuke is nearing completion, they are putting out bids on another new nuke.

     

    It is one thing to be ‘green’ but it is another thing to look down the road 20 years and see where your power is coming from. So I am a little skeptical about announcements about closing nukes. I also see the announcements about investing a billion here and there to make a nuke last 60 years.

     

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  13. By perry1961 on October 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    When you look at various life cycle analysis’s, nuclear power is the greenest of the green. Greener than wind or solar. While it’s not renewable, neither is hydropower. The two provide almost 20% of the world’s energy though. Renewables provide only about 3%. Knee-jerk reactions to safety scares aren’t helpful to anyone. Are we going to shut down all the hydropower plants if a dam bursts and floods surrounding countryside in China? Wind and solar can provide SOME of our energy mix. Maybe 20-30%. The rest of the mix has to offer baseload power. Hydropower is pretty much tapped out. Geothermal is growing, but very slowly. On the green side, that leaves nuclear power to do the heavy lifting. Without it, the use of coal and gas will just continue growing.

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  14. By Wendell Mercantile on October 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Six-factor formula

    k = ηfpεPFNLPTNL

    η ~ Reproduction Factor

    f ~ The thermal utilization factor .

    p ~ The resonance escape probability

    ε ~ The fast fission factor

    PFNL ~ The fast non-leakage probability

    PTNL ~ The thermal non-leakage probability .

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  15. By william power on October 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    The real issue is the centralization of power generation.If many make power then the monopoly is frustrated in their tyranny.A panel or windcharger on your roof is a continuing insult to the status quo,but The Chinese are not dragging their feet like Europe or America does.The future of renewables is no longer controlled by Oil and Wall st.This is the New World Order.

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  16. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    “Six-factor formula”

    Wendell baby, you get me so hot (pun intended)! Wendell moves to the bonus round.

    “f ~ The thermal utilization factor .”

    The reason that commercial reactors can not blow up like a nuke weapon is that thermal neutrons are relied on to cause most fissions. Neutrons travel very fast when ejected from the fissioning atom. Neutron in thermal equilibrium have a higher probability of causing a fission with U-235. The process of slowing down the neutrons is by a series of collisions with light atoms such as hydrogen or carbon. So you have light water moderated reactors and graphite moderated reactors.

    So Wendell, answering in the form of question, what should you do in the presence of a ‘prompt’ criticality?

    “When you look at various life cycle analysis’s, nuclear power is the greenest of the green.”

    The largest factor for ghg in the LCA is enrichment. Natural uranium can not support a chain reaction in a LWR unless the number of U-235 isotopes is increased to about 4%. In France, nukes power enrichment facilities. In the US, we use coal. Centrifuge enrichment takes less power than gaseous diffusion.

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  17. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    “tyranny”

    Oh come on now WP. Making you electricity is a regulated public service. Be careful who you call a tyrant. Avoid getting in the face of you neighbor if he works at the local power plant. He may be grouchy after shift work all night or being called in on the weekend. SSBN – Saturday, Sunday, Birthday, and nights!

    Speaking of tyranny, there is the tyranny of the wind and sun. If you are a Wall Street banker you can afford panels or a wind turbine but they will not make electricity when you need it. Next thing you know you are a slave to putting gasoline in your backup generator in the middle of the night. Until you spill gasoline on your robe and set your self ablaze going out like a true Buddhist Monk protesting tyranny.

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  18. By Wendell Mercantile on October 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    …answering in the form of question,

    This isn’t Jeopardy.

    what should you do in the presence of a ‘prompt’ criticality?

    A well-designed reactor would be incapable of “prompt criticality” — the geometry of the design automatically balances the proportion of fast and thermal neutrons. That’s the essential difference between an atomic bomb and a nuclear reactor — in a bomb’s geometry, the thermal neutrons create a chain reaction, rapidly cascading in a self-reinforcing feedback loop and an almost instantaneous release of energy.

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  19. By Kit P on October 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    “This isn’t Jeopardy.”

    Boo hiss! Sorry Wendell that is not correct, I guess that is why the Air Force builds really long run ways! Kit P what is your answer. Well Alex, what is bend over and kiss you ass goodbye?

    That is how I actually a question posed by two navy four stripers interviewiing me and another less experienced nuke officer. We had been up all night and I knew we had passed the interview but they always try to stump you with trick questions. The other guy did not know the answer so I responded over the top.

    “A well-designed reactor would be incapable of “prompt criticality””

    It was a really well designed reactor. While it would not be ‘atomic bomb’ ugly it would ugly enough to muster parts through the hull.

    I saw a myth buster show where they launched a hot water heater through a two story house by overriding multiple safety interlocks but it was nothing compared to a video of a test reactor in Idaho where the used explosives to blow control rods out of the core.

    Wendell is of course correct that commercial LWR can not go prompt critical including if there is a rod ejection accident.

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  20. By Walt on October 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

    This is interesting…where is it going?

     

    ———————–

    The CCS dilemma

    In a “Roadmap” report, published in 2009, the
    International Energy Agency (IEA) sets out the case for carbon capture
    and storage (CCS) in no uncertain terms. CCS, the IEA argues, must play a
    major role in reducing worlwide carbon emissions. The nations of the
    world, says the IEA, must be prepared to spend an ‘additional’ $ 2500 to
    3000 billion up to 2050 to create a global infrastructure to capture
    CO2 and store it underground.

     

    The Apollo program pales in comparison to this “Project
    CCS”: the IEA’s target is for 3,400 CCS-projects to be operative by
    2050, which together would capture 10 billion tons of CO2 or one-third
    of current global emissions. That means that from today on one
    CCS-project would have to be realised every 4 days for the next 38
    years - and we have hardly even started yet.

    http://www.europeanenergyrevie…..2&id=3

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  21. By russ on October 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Kit P said:

     ”The normal state of coal and gas power plants is to release toxic and carcinogenic gas to the environment. I have no reason to think that Germany does not operate coal plants to similar standards as the US”.

    This is a new twist – Kit is always saying that coal plants do no such thing.

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  22. By Kit P on October 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    “This is a new twist – Kit is always saying that coal plants do no such thing.”

    No Russ, I did not say that. If that is what you understood, you were mistaken.

    LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

    I make statements about how we make electricity in the US and the environmental impact. Germany is a different country. Sorry it is necessary to dumb down for you Russ but apparently certain concepts need to be explained to you.

    New concept for Russ! It is the dose that makes the poison. While this is a very complex issue, we can apply the KISS principle by keeping environmental pollutants below the threshold of harm. If you look at the WHO graphic, we have accomplished that in the US.

    If you are above the threshold like it appears to be in Germany, then you need to evaluate how much harm is being done so that you can reduce it.

    I have some experience with steel mill towns in the US in the 60s & 70s. Local air pollution was very bad. Those towns have clean air today. I do not know what they die. Maybe the added pollution controls or maybe they closed down and took the dirty air to some third world country.

    I do know that SOx, NOx, particulate, and mercury can removed from stack gases to a level that is not harmful. I am not an expert on these systems but I am an expert on removing fission product gases from the exhaust of a nuke plant.

    Back to my point. A modern nuke plant operating normally produces no detectable environmental pollution. After an accident with significant core damage, the dose at the fence of TMI was equivalent to eating a banana.

     

    Not that I really care what they do in Germany but the source of information has more addenda than knowledge.

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  23. By Wendell Mercantile on October 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Sorry it is necessary to dumb down for you Russ but apparently certain concepts need to be explained to you.

    Kit P.

    Totally uncalled for. At times you make strong points, but there was no need to preface your remarks to Russ in that manner.

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  24. By perry1961 on October 5, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Check out all the commodities close to, or at 52-week lows. That’s bound to provide some economic stimulous.

    http://money.cnn.com/data/commodities/

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  25. By moiety on October 5, 2011 at 6:00 am

    I wrote on this elsewhere. France will actually be unable to export as it in general imports electricity from germany to shore up its north east region.

     

    ”This winter, Amprion predicts its grid will have 84,000 megawatts of
    electricity at its disposal, to provide 81,000 megawatts needed for consumption
    — an uncomfortably slim margin of safety, Vanzetta said. In prior years,
    electricity was readily available for purchase on the European grid if the
    price was right. But exported German power is what helped keep France glowing
    in winter.”

     

    We see that Germany will rely on dirty coal and imports to power itself (Platts: Nuclear not needed). Germany is no longer an electricity exporter

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  26. By carbonbridge on October 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    This is getting ridiculous!  I support Germany’s move (post Fukushima) to shut-off their nukes yet I also realize the very real problems which they face in producing new MW’s of electricity to replace the old and incredibly dangerous variety.  I do NOT consider Nuke Electric to be ‘green’ in any sense of the word.  And I remember Albert Einstein making some statements post Hiroshima and the Manhattan Project about “what have we unleashed!!!”

    Why are all the nuke plants storing spent fuel rods if spent-waste disposal is really not a serious global problem?  Why is HomeLand Security legitimately worried about certain people [terrorists] getting their hands on this type of stuff to concoct dirty bombs?

    I vote that Obama step up and disclose that UFO’s are real and have been officially covered up by Governments globally for decades.  He should invite some of them to drop down on the White House lawn with news cameras rolling live – and invite these aliens to disclose their version of Tesla-type black boxes which create electricity from the ether of the atmosphere which surrounds us – and further detail how they use this power to charge magnets or something similar to propel their own spaceships with great speed and agility.

    Then we can all get busy creating new jobs for mankind and develop a new, really clean decentralized economy devoid of traditional Monopolist control and begin dismantling much of the grid so vulnerable to neutron bombs and electromagnetic pulses.

    -Mark

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  27. By Walt on October 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    DOE Awards $156 Million for Groundbreaking Energy Research Projects

    DOE announced on September 29 awards of $156
    million for 60 cutting-edge research initiatives under DOE’s Advanced
    Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) agency that are aimed at
    dramatically improving how the United States produces and uses energy.
    The new ARPA-E selections focus on accelerating innovations in clean
    technology while increasing U.S. competitiveness in rare earth
    alternatives and breakthroughs in biofuels, thermal storage, grid
    controls, and solar power electronics. The selected projects are located
    in 25 states, with 50% of endeavors led by universities, 23% by small
    businesses, 12% by large businesses, 13% by national labs, and 2% by
    nonprofits. This round of selections brings the total of ARPA-E awards
    to date to 180 projects, 12 program areas, and $521.7 million.

    Ten of the selections are part of the new
    Plants Engineered to Replace Oil category, which has projects seeking to
    create biofuels from domestic sources such as tobacco and pine trees
    for half their current cost, making them cost-competitive with fuels
    from oil. For example, the University of Florida—Gainesville will
    increase the production of turpentine, a natural liquid biofuel isolated
    from pine trees. The type of pine tree developed for this project is
    designed to increase the turpentine storage capacity of the wood, upping
    turpentine production from 3% to 20%. Another 14 projects are part of
    the Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies category, which is
    designed to fund early-stage technology alternatives that reduce or
    eliminate the dependence on rare earth materials by developing
    substitutes in electric vehicle motors and wind turbines.

    See the DOE press release, the list of projectsPDF, and the ARPA-E website.

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  28. By moiety on October 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    CarbonBridge said:

    This is getting ridiculous!  I support Germany’s move (post Fukushima) to shut-off their nukes yet I also realize the very real problems which they face in producing new MW’s of electricity to replace the old and incredibly dangerous variety. 

    -Mark

     


     

    Germany will move to older technology whether it is older nuke plants from abroad or older coal plants inside its own grid. The problem is not necessarily the decision to get rid of nukes but the fact that the politicians are not facing reality. My previous quotes has the 4th largest grid operator in Germany essentially saying that there is no spare capacity. Even with the additional power that will come on line, the spare capacity will still be below 10%. The politicans making the decision are keeping the simple fact from the population Germany moves from a robust situation to a fragile situation in its electricity production.

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  29. By Kit P on October 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    “China to Become World Leader in Nuclear Energy by 2030”

    See page 16 for article on new construction in China.

    http://online.qmags.com/NPI091…..;eid=15911

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  30. By Kit P on October 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    “Germany will move to older technology ”

     

    Everything you ever wanted to know about electricity in France but were afraid to ask.

    http://www.rte-france.com/uplo…..010_an.pdf

     

    While France exports lots of power to Italy and Switzerland, France imported net power from Germany in 2010.

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  31. By Kit P on October 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Vogtle Units 3 & 4 Construction Update Video

    http://nuclearstreet.com/nucle…..00502.aspx

     

    I think communication tools like this will help counter anti-nuke claims of poor quality during construction.

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  32. By carbonbridge on October 7, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Kit P said:

    I think communication tools like this will help counter anti-nuke claims of poor quality during construction.


     

    Kit P,

    Thank you for sharing the last video link.  Watching this ‘let’s build more Nukes advertisement’ was definitely educational.  Others reading this discussion may also wish to learn details about Southern Company’s first two additional nuke reactors being constructed during the past 30 years…

    While their exit tag line is “Emissions-free, Affordable, Reliable Energy,” - I still beg to disagree with these folks and others who have financed your own career and that of thousands of other nuclear industry workers for decades.  

    While I can agree that these nuke reactors are designed to be almost bulletproof – together we’ve sadly learned via Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima that the unexpected incident WILL sometimes happen somewhere, someplace, somehow via the least expected mechanisms, etc.  To put it bluntly, s_ _ _ happens!  And when it does, the utmost deleterious effects of this ‘emissions-free, affordable and reliable energy’ source then breaks loose and begins blanketing windborne radiation to each and every creature great and small on planet Earth. 

    Most of us viewing such promo nuke pieces sadly realize that deadly nuclear radiation WILL definitely waft around the entire globe effecting the PLANETARY population of plants and animals when some unforseen incident does unfortunately occur.

    Thus, with such real and negative consequences being so great in these unplanned nuclear meltdown occurrences, I and others cannot condone nor accept such nuclear-generated steam electric production systems when even one in two hundred unexpectedly goes bad every decade or so.  Such planetary risk does not outweigh commercial benefits to a small group of core investors nor salaries to nuke employees…

    Thank you for sharing the pro nuke url above…

    -Mark

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  33. By Kit P on October 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Mark have you ever taken the time to read a Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) for a US nuke plant? Each nuke reactor has one and they are available at the NRC web site. These would address all your concerns about safety and protecting the environment.

     

    “that deadly nuclear radiation ”

     

    What deadly radiation are you talking about Mark? I have been doing this a long time. No body has been harmed let alone killed by radiation from commercial nukes in the US. Nor has the environment been significantly harmed. Protecting people is an absolute and easy to do as demonstrated by our record. Protecting the environment is qualified by the word ‘significant’ and easy to do as demonstrated by our record.

     

    “I and others cannot condone nor accept such nuclear-generated steam electric production systems ”

     

    Do you live in Georgia? Then it is none of your business because there is no planetary risk. Zip, Zero, nada. Generally we can say there is not such thing a zero risk but in the case of the planet where fission occurs naturally it is just part of nature.

     

    One thing I really love about so called environmentalists is that they do not take the time to learn about nature. Man did not invent fission. Man discovered fission. Natural reactors no longer exist be cause the natural enrichment of U-235 is now lower because U-235 has a shorter half-life than U-238. We can and do study there natural systems to learn how to design geological repositories.

     

    We can assume that Mark is using electricity to communicate is concerns via the internet. The means Mark accepts the risk to enjoy the benefits. The power industry is regulated and must meet safety and environmental regulations. People like Mark often express their views. There are people who make a living expressing their views. Before Vogle 3 &4 get a COL and their concerns addressed.

     

    Mark is also free to joint the power industry but he will have to follow the rules. When renewable energy produces enough electricity that we do not need NG, then NG plants will sit idle. When renewable energy produces enough electricity that we do not need coal, then coal plants will sit idle. When renewable energy produces enough electricity that we do not need nukes, then nuke plants will sit idle.

     

    One final point, we do listen to people like Mark and address their concern. What they choose to do with that is up to them.

     

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  34. By Herm on October 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Very nice links Kit.

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  35. By rate-crimes on October 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “The Price Anderson Act in the United States says the taxpayers will pay. ”

    “No, it says that the insurance companies pay. Since the insurance companies collect more in premiums that they have had to pay out, they make a profit.” – Kit P

    A quick Price-Anderson vs. Fukushima cost comparison:

    http://www.consumerenergyrepor…..-11/#p9708

    “Renewable energy produces larger amounts of hazardous waste in the manufacturing process.” – Kit P

    LOL.  If this dreck was anything more than absurd, then where has The Renewable Energy Industries Indemnity Act been for the past five decades?

     

     

    [link]      
  36. By Wendell Mercantile on October 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I do NOT consider Nuke Electric to be ‘green’ in any sense of the word.

    Mark,

    Nuclear power is absolutely green. It’s true, without protection or proper procedures, radiation can be harmful, but that doesn’t mean nuclear power is not green. Radiation is a completely natural byproduct of nuclear transmutation.

    Standing in the Sun too long without proper protection can also be harmful. Does that mean solar power is not green?

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  37. By rate-crimes on October 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    “Nuclear power is absolutely green.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Yes, nuclear glows green.

    Nuclear glows green

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  38. By rate-crimes on October 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    “Radiation is a completely natural byproduct of nuclear transmutation.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Radiation from nuclear waste is “completely natural” like . . .

    Natural Processed Food

    [link]      
  39. By carbonbridge on October 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Rate Crimes said:

    “Nuclear power is absolutely green.” – Wendell Mercantile

    Yes, nuclear glows green.

    Nuclear glows green


    I agree completely…

    Thank you for this visual definition of “GREEN.”  I prefer to avoid it at all costs.  Problem is that rads are invisible, I can’t see, smell nor taste them in my breakfast cereal nor in my milk…  Ouch!  But they are there none-the-less…

    Wendell, I can’t figure you out now.  Have you been employed in the nuclear industry your whole career too — just as Kit P has?

    -Mark

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  40. By Kit P on October 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    “Problem is that rads are invisible”

    Not a problem at all, radiation is easy to measure. For example, maybe you have been to the dentist and had your teeth x-ray. Film detects radiation as Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen demonstrated in 1895 by taking a ‘picture’ of his wife’s hand. Got the first Noble Prize in Physics for that one.

    I built an x-ray machine out of old radio tubes to win the science fair in 9th grade. One of the things I learned is that x-rays was one of the fastest scientific discoveries to be accepted in widespread application.

    “I prefer to avoid it at all costs.”

    Last year there were 5 billion medical images taken. Mark are you telling me that you avoid the doctors and dentist office? 50% of total ionizing radiation exposure in the United States is medical.

    Zip, zero, nada is what you got from a nuke plant. Mark check under the bed to see if the boogy man is there.

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  41. By Wendell Mercantile on October 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Yes, nuclear glows green.

    Rate Crimes,

    You’ve been reading too many comic books. Actually, radiation — when visible — is more likely to be blue. Čerenkov Radiation

    Wendell, I can’t figure you out now. Have you been employed in the nuclear industry your whole career too…

    Mark,

    No, I have never worked in the nuclear industry.

    [link]      
  42. By carbonbridge on October 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Kit P said:

    I built an x-ray machine out of old radio tubes to win the science fair in 9th grade.

    Last year there were 5 billion medical images taken. Mark are you telling me that you avoid the doctors and dentist office?


     

    Yes Kit:  I’ve been very, very lucky and have been able to avoid Physicians most of my life and only occasionally have needed a well-placed piece of xray film behind a tooth or other injured limb.  I do NOT classify medical xrays in any way with runaway nuclear plant core meltdowns spewing a wide variety of radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere and closest water bodies.  Get real Kit. 

    Should we be plunking down maps surrounding Chernobyl which identify the current ‘dead man’s land zone’ or other maps which attempt to show where the most people have been effected and died from this first, huge planetary core meltdown accident?  This kind of visual data exists.  These drawings depict a very real and current, daily living boogy man to those most effected by this earlier nuke accident disaster.  Radiation spewing from Chernobyl and Fukushima has touched us all.  The question is how much divided by 7 billion people for starters?  Three Mile Island releases in retrospect now pales in comparison to either of these two other total core meltdown scenarios…

    Last time I heard, Fukushima had three such cores meltdown.  Like three x Chernobyls.  Can you count Kit?

    Thank you…  I simply prefer No nukes…!!!

    -Mark

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  43. By Kit P on October 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

    “No, I have never worked in the nuclear industry. ”

     

    But Wendell you and I have been in the same building at Purdue. A link has been established, it is a conspiracy. Next to that building is one that teaches physics and next to that one that does engineering. It may be the education we got that helps us understand physics.

     

    “Get real Kit. ”

     

    Getting there! Mark I am trying to help you understand your irrational fear so you do not sound like such a little girl around people who understand physics. I am not trying to trick you.

     

    The point is Mark is afraid of radiation that is beyond the capacity to see with his eyes. Yet we all take have seen the effect of x-rays (high energy gamma rays produced by hitting a metal with an accelerated electron) on film. After Chernobyl, our film was not exposed such that we could see it.

     

    The point that follows is that radiation can be measured at very low levels. Trillion of times below a harmful level.

     

    “radioactive isotopes ”

     

     

    As it turns out radioactive isotopes are not harmful, it the radiation absorbed in your body that causes harm. So the radioactive isotopes need to decay in or near your body to cause harm and again this is easy to measure.

     

    “Radiation spewing from Chernobyl and Fukushima has touched us all.  ”

     

    You measured it? Mark got zero exposure from Chernobyl. I know this because I got zero exposure from Chernobyl. Since I was working at a nuke plant at the time in a capacity to get internal exposure from radioactive isotopes. I would routinely get ‘whole body scans’ to measure radioactive isotopes in my body.

     

    The technician reading the result determined that I did not have any radioactive isotopes from the power plant or Chernobyl. However, he was able to determine some of my personal habits from radioactive isotopes in my body. He correctly characterized me as a non-smoking banana eater.

     

    The point here is that radioactive isotopes are easy to measure but it takes a little more equipment. The point that follows that when you measure it Mark has a personal boogy man under his bed.

     

    “The question is how much divided by 7 billion people for starters?”

     

    I wonder if Mark works for the EPA, they do not understand physics either and applied this logic to radon. A radioactive atom can only be in one place at time, It can only affect one person at a time. Since radon has a short half-life (3.8 days) it has to travel to the lungs of a person before it decays.

     

    The shorter the half-life, the more radioactive it is. One method of protecting people by applied physics is to slow down the travel of radioactive isotopes so they decay before they reach people.

     

    The point here is that taking about ’7 billion people’ is just drama. What is important is how many were exposed and what was there exposure.

     

    “Last time I heard, Fukushima had three such cores meltdown.  Like three x Chernobyls.  Can you count Kit? ”

     

    Not only can I count, I can integrate dose over time to calculate exposure. The reason calculus is needed because the model considers decay rate, transport time, body uptake, and body stay time. Using models we can design nuke plant to protect people. At Fukushima, the reactors are surrounded by a containment building that slowed down the release so people were not exposed to harmful levels.

     

    Models are one thing but measurement of actual exposures is another. It is easy to count the number of people harmed by the release of radioactive isotopes. Zero! No one was harmed.

     

    “Thank you…  I simply prefer No nukes…!!! ”

     

    That’s fine. It is a free country. Maybe you can write your congresswoman and get that put into 10CFR50 and I will consider it as a design criteria.

     

    My final point here is that addressing concerns of people is important. However, when people like Mark and RC just keep repeating the same concern over and over it becomes about drama. Protesting a nuke plant is drama not a public service. Making electricity is a public service. Show us how to do a better job and we will.

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  44. By Wendell Mercantile on October 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    But Wendell you and I have been in the same building at Purdue.

    Kit P.

    That is true, and I am proud of my engineering degree from Purdue.

    As an undergraduate at another school I was required to take physics course, including classical physics, thermodynamics, and modern physics, even though my area of specialization was civil engineering. That school has a robust undergraduate core curriculum — I was also required to take courses in English, German, astronomy, chemistry, geology, history, economics, geography, sociology, political science, and psychology.

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  45. By rrapier on October 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Wendell Mercantile said:

    But Wendell you and I have been in the same building at Purdue.

    Kit P.

    That is true, and I am proud of my engineering degree from Purdue.


     

    And that differentiates you from Kit. I honestly think that failure to get his degree is why he constantly lashes out at people as he does. He thinks that if can just tear down the actual degreed people, then everyone will think he is just as qualified. He attempts to overcompensate, but does it in entirely inappropriate ways.

    RR

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  46. By Kit P on October 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    “That is true, and I am proud of my engineering degree from Purdue.”

    Me too! BSME 1975

    “That school has a robust undergraduate core curriculum”

    As did Purdue. Purdue wanted its engineers to be well rounded. We would have a lot fewer lawyers if liberal arts majors had to pass calculus and physics. Purdue had low admission standards and low in state tuition providing opportunities to get a good education. However, the academic standards were brutal to finish. Not a party school.

    [link]      
  47. By Walt on October 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Kit, do you see any concerns in this report?

     

    ———————

    Iranian flag_20110417150557_JPG

    Flag of Iran (CIA World Factbook)

    Insider: Iran Will Be ‘Next Chernobyl’

    Updated: Thursday, 06 Oct 2011, 6:31 PM EDT
    Published : Thursday, 06 Oct 2011, 6:31 PM EDT

    (NewsCore) – The first Iranian nuclear power
    station is inherently unsafe and will probably cause a “tragic disaster
    for humankind,” according to a document apparently written by an Iranian
    whistleblower.

    http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp…..6_15364303

    ——————-

     

    What if a Gas power station were to explode like this potential Nuclear explosion…do you see any difference as a “tragic disaster for humankind”?

    [link]      
  48. By Kit P on October 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    “Kit, do you see any concerns in this report? ”

     

    I do not have any general concerns about Iran operating a LWR with a containment building. However, I do not study either Russian or Iranian safety standards.

     

    “Iran is the only country with a nuclear power plant that has not joined the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which obliges signatories to observe international safety standards and share information.”

     

    Anyone can down load this information from the US NRC web site. Since the Russian share information it is reasonable to think that the Russians have passed along lesson learned and good practices developed over the last 30 years.

     

    “What if a Gas power station were to explode like this potential Nuclear explosion…do you see any difference as a “tragic disaster for humankind”? ”

     

    Well Walt help me out here. Since everything is a crisis or disaster or a tragedy, what is your criteria?

     

    This is a list of accidents and disasters by death toll.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..death_toll

     

    Lots of tragedies.

     

    For the record, there is not a danger or a nuclear explosion. The hazard from a nuke plant is the slow release of radioactive material. There is no reason to think damaging the core of a LWR with a containment building will result in any loss of life.

     

    [link]      
  49. By Walt on October 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Kit P said:

     

    “What if a Gas power station were to explode like this potential Nuclear explosion…do you see any difference as a “tragic disaster for humankind”? ”

     

    Well Walt help me out here. Since everything is a crisis or disaster or a tragedy, what is your criteria?

     

    This is a list of accidents and disasters by death toll.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..death_toll

     

    Lots of tragedies.

     

    For the record, there is not a danger or a nuclear explosion. The hazard from a nuke plant is the slow release of radioactive material. There is no reason to think damaging the core of a LWR with a containment building will result in any loss of life.


     

    What I was specifically asking relates to the potential deaths (whether immediate or via contamination fallout) by production of electricity.  For example, if a natural gas power plant were to explode, then there would/could be deaths within the immediate area most likely.  If a nuclear reactor PLANT were to explode (I’m only going off of the video’s I saw in Japan where it appeared there were some explosions), there would/could be deaths in the immediate area as well.

    Do you see any greater risk in one or the other when comparing the potential damage/death between gas turbine explosions vs. nuke explosions (or slow release)?  It seems the answer is obvious that Nuke disasters could have a far greater impact on the world, or what the article says (their words not mine) is a “tragic disaster for humankind”.

    [link]      
  50. By Kit P on October 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    “What I was specifically asking relates to the potential deaths”

    But what about actual deaths?

    “It seems the answer is obvious that Nuke disasters could have a far greater impact on the world, or what the article says (their words not mine) is a “tragic disaster for humankind”.”

    Actually the opposite is obvious if you looking at recent events in Japan sorting out the facts from the media drama. No one was hurt by radiation let alone killed. The is essentially no risk of increased cancer. That is the facts when you look at actual measured exposure and levels of contamination. It will only take a couple of years to clean up the areas that are contaminated the worse outside of the containment building.

    Based on insignificant risk, most people evacuated could return to their homes if the were not damaged otherwise.

    So a record earth quake and tsunami beyond the design basis of the plants caused significant damage to three reactors and the containments had to be vented. Venting hydrogen can be done without blowing things up. The hydrogen explosions were dramatic but did not increase the release.

    So Walt look at a difference way for Iran. I maintain that potential deaths from LWR with containment building are not credible. If Walt was an evil person in Iran how would he kill people if they reactor in Iran has a damaged the core.

    Walt could collect school children at gun point and drive them out to the nuke plant. They he would take them into the containment building to get a fatal dose.

    I suspect that this will not work for the same reason as in the US. Nuke plants like many industrial facilities have a security force to protect investment from crazy people. They will shoot Walt in the head.

    There is an easier way for Walt to kill school children, give a little bit of the fuel he wants to produce and distribute without adequate controls.

    [link]      
  51. By Kit P on October 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I provided a link to see if Walt would answer his own question,

    “What if a Gas power station were to explode”

    You mean like gas power plants actually explode. The answer is that thousand are killed.

    Familiarity breeds contempt. Walt understands how gas explosions kill people and hopefully methanol poisoning. I would expect that Walt can explain safety precautions to prevent killing people with C1 chain fuel.  Indeed the safety precuation work very well.

    When we make electricity with uranium, we take safety precautions to prevent hurting people. It is just that Walt does not understand those precautions.

    So how are we doing? Last year in the US more than 10 people were killed in just two accidents, Both made national news for about a day but once the fire truck are gone it is not news worth. No one hurt by radiation last year from the 104 nukes in the US which an unbroken record since the beginning of commercial.

    It is a good think that radiation poisoning is unfamiliar. We intend to keep it that way.

    [link]      
  52. By Walt on October 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Kit P said:

    There is an easier way for Walt to kill school children, give a little bit of the fuel he wants to produce and distribute without adequate controls.


     

    I am not comfortable commenting on your analogy the way you wrote it, but it sounds to me that you see no risks at all with nuclear power beyond forcing someone into the reactor where they are exposed.  Do you know how long it takes for people to die of nuclear radiation exposure?  If nobody died in Japan’s disaster so far, do you think anyone was exposed to fatal limits?  Here is the chart you may or may not agree with on doses.

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    [link]      
  53. By Walt on October 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Kit P said:

    I provided a link to see if Walt would answer his own question,

    “What if a Gas power station were to explode”

    You mean like gas power plants actually explode. The answer is that thousand are killed.

    Familiarity breeds contempt. Walt understands how gas explosions kill people and hopefully methanol poisoning. I would expect that Walt can explain safety precautions to prevent killing people with C1 chain fuel.  Indeed the safety precuation work very well.

    When we make electricity with uranium, we take safety precautions to prevent hurting people. It is just that Walt does not understand those precautions.

    So how are we doing? Last year in the US more than 10 people were killed in just two accidents, Both made national news for about a day but once the fire truck are gone it is not news worth. No one hurt by radiation last year from the 104 nukes in the US which an unbroken record since the beginning of commercial.

    It is a good think that radiation poisoning is unfamiliar. We intend to keep it that way.


     

    Let’s stay focused on radiation please.  I could care less that you dislike methanol.  My focus here is to determine the potential dangers of nuclear explosions, nuclear blasts or even nuclear war if you want to get serious about the subject.  I don’t understand why after the nuclear explosion in Japan that they asked people to move out of an evaculation zone if there is no danger.  Your link shows, 4,056[33][34]Chernobyl disaster, Ukraine, April 26, 1986. 56 direct deaths and 4,000 extra cancer deaths.[35]

    That is a lot of direct and indirect deaths…absolutely.

    [link]      
  54. By Kit P on October 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    “but it sounds to me that you see no risks at all”

    No Walt, it is important to be precise in the choice of terms. Where there is a hazard, there is a risk. The safety goal of designing nuke plants is to not expose children living near the nuke to I-131. The design at Chernobyl did not include a containment building. In Japan, it was clear after the tsunami that the core would be damaged and eventually the containment would need to be vented. This is why children were evacuated, to reduce risk to an insignificant level and therefore protect children.

    “Do you know how long it takes for people to die of nuclear radiation exposure?”

    Again it is important to be precise. An acute exposure causes a deterministic of radiation poisoning with symptom ranging from vomiting to death. Death can occur from 2 days to a month.

    “If nobody died in Japan’s disaster so far, do you think anyone was exposed to fatal limits? ”

    What the chart is showing is that nobody was even hurt be radiation in Japan. No cases of radiation poisoning at all. Even at Chernobyl there were no cases of radiation poisoning among children.

    At Chernobyl there were some very disturbing cases of radiation poisoning among workers. They did not have a containment building to protect them.

    Then there is the long term risk of cancer. At Chernobyl there were 1800 additional cases (info may be out of date) of thyroid cancer among children resulting in at least one death.

    “I am not comfortable commenting on your analogy the way you wrote it,”

    Good, you understand that people who work at nuke plants have children and we take protecting them very seriously. From what I have observed, they have done a very good job of protecting their children in Japan from radiation and contamination. Some cases of workers getting internal dose of I-131 have been reported.

    Radiation safety is not just about nuclear power. The medical industry is big on it too. It is widely studied and we have lots of data. Large exposures to check shoe size and treat acne was a lot stupid in hindsight but there is no reason to be concerned about the levels of exposure in Japan.

    [link]      
  55. By Wendell Mercantile on October 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    There is an easier way for Walt to kill school children, give a little bit of the fuel he wants to produce and distribute without adequate controls.

    Kit P.

    What a ridiculous thing for you to say. Almost every household with a garage already has a jug of methanol sitting an a shelf for filling their car’s windshield washer with de-icing fluid.

    Do you think buying a jug of windshield washer fluid at the local Stop and Go requires “adequate controls,” or that school children across the country are dying from methanol poisoning because of a lack of adequate controls?

    There is a myriad of substances as lethal as methanol you can easily buy at your local lawn and garden, hardware, or grocery store, and you probably have some of them in your kitchen, garage, or basement. Do you have any any malathion*, glyphosphate, methoxychlor, permethrin, or atrazine for use in the garden? Any household ammonia, or sodium hydroxide drain cleaner in your kitchen? Any mothballs? Any ethylene glycol antifreeze in your garage which because it tastes sweet, little kids are partial to drinking?

    ________
    * Malathion is not much different than the Zyklon-B crystals the Nazis used in WW II.

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  56. By Kit P on October 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Along the lines of my last post:

    Thyroid tests begin for children in Japan

    Japan began testing about 360,000 children in Fukushima for any thyroid gland damage caused by radiation from the nuclear crisis in the prefecture.

    The children are receiving the ultrasonic thyroid examinations

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Wo…..1318299624

    I am not a medical doctor but this sounds like a placebo. In this case, a medical treatment on children will make parents feel better.

    [link]      
  57. By Kit P on October 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    What a ridiculous thing for you to say.

    Of course, that is why I said it. Wendell did make my point nicely however, there are lots of ways to hurt children. No, I do not think Wendell is a shill for Stop and Go.

    “Any household ammonia”

    Did that, had to rush our toddler to the ER when I was at Purdue. Both ERs were on the rail road tracks and a coal train was coming. I thought I was good at keeping bad stuff out of little hands but our first born was quicker that an NBA guard. One of those life events that you remember in slow motion. That son was hell bent on destruction. You show up at the ER, again, and the doctors start the coy questing because that many visits indicates child abuse. He getting a cast on and the doctors ask how he did it. ‘Soccer, and I finished the game’. The doctor rolls his eyes know this kid will be back. Can’t play with a cast but you be a referee. Back to the ER for stitches. Basketball is safe. The team liked to make a grand show of coming into the gym. Door flies open and then closed. No team! A few minutes later the team comes out minus our son. That’s right back to the ER.

    The point here is that life is full of risk. Protecting children from radiation from nuke plants is the easiest one that I know of.

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