Safety of Nuclear vs. Gas
Posted in the Brattleboro Forum
#1 Sep 26, 2013
Safety of Nuclear vs. Gas
The Prisoner's Dilemma
My blog post The Prisoner's Dilemma and New Types of Nuclear Energy Reactors was posted at The Energy Collective.(The post originally appeared at ANS Nuclear Cafe.) In this post, I compared the types of support given to current and advanced reactors.
N Nadir wrote a comment on the post, and he has generously allowed me to use his comment as a guest post.(I posted another one of his comments as a guest post in August: Vermont is Part of the World.)
The Best in Terms of Risk
Yes, it (nuclear) is the very best form of energy in terms of risk
#2 Sep 26, 2013
Yes, it (nuclear) is the very best form of energy in terms of risk.
Nuclear energy need not be perfect; it need not be risk free to be better than everything else, it merely needs to be better than everything else, which it is.
There is no form of energy ever invented by humanity that has ever, at any time, produced as much energy as nuclear energy has produced with as small a loss of life. Zero. None.
The problem that nuclear has, and no other form of energy has, is that all other disasters - and there are too many to mention - go down the memory hole rapidly, whereas any problem with nuclear plants is rehashed over and over and over ad absurdum.
Gas Explosions and Oil Wars
#3 Sep 26, 2013
The Piper Alpha oil platform explosion took place around the same time as the Three Mile Island meltdown. Quick, without Google, how many people were killed at Piper Alpha? How many at Three Mile Island? How much oil gas and coal has been burned to run websites where people carry on about Three Mile Island? How much oil, gas and coal has been burned to discuss Piper Alpha?
How many major gas explosions took place this year? How much attention did they get compared to say, Fukushima? How many gas explosions took place in the same year as Fukushima? How did they compare in direct injury and death to Fukushima? How long will any of these gas explosions be remembered or discussed?
We can go further:
How many oil wars have there been? How many nuclear wars?
How many people die each year from oil, coal and gas waste? How many people have died from the storage of so called "nuclear waste" in the more than half a century of commercial nuclear reactions?
The Impossible Standard for Nuclear
#4 Sep 26, 2013
Nuclear's problem is not technical, nor is it even rational. Nuclear energy suffers from being held to a standard that no other form of energy can meet, with the result that we continue to cause huge losses of life, property, and the ecosphere because of our irrational fears of it.
Quite frankly, the pressurized water reactor has unquestionably been the greatest and safest large scale energy device ever invented. As reported by Jim Hansen in Environmental Science and Technology nuclear energy, dominated by this kind of reactor, is responsible for saving 1.8 million lives. It might have saved more, were it not for fear and ignorance.
One might build different kinds of reactors with different advantages (and disadvantages) when compared to the LWR but the great engineering success of the LWR is nothing to be ashamed of. What people should be ashamed of is their picayune objections to this fine technology that limited its expansion and use
#5 Sep 26, 2013
N Nadir is a well-known blogger about energy: for a long time, he blogged at Daily Kos. A few years ago, Charles Barton of Nuclear Green described and listed many of his posts.
#6 Sep 26, 2013
#7 Sep 26, 2013
Any calculation of the human cost of nuclear is incomplete because there is still, even after a half century of trying, no economically feasible way to reliably protect humans from the deadly waste nuclear power creates.
Pretending that anyone can predict the course of humanities future and the safety of nuclear waste for 100,000 years is patently ludicrous.
Continuing to create such immensely poisonous waste without any sort of workable plan to treat or contain it over such gigantic time scales is not only grossly irresponsible, it ought to be a crime.
Furthermore, as technology progresses, the need to use such an expensive, crude and dirty source of power as nuclear disappears.
We don't need nuclear, or it's expensive 100,000 year liability. Humanity will already paying for this mistake for many thousands of years, it would be madness to compound it.
#8 Sep 26, 2013
Chernobyl caused One Million people to die young from cancer-
TMI caused only dozens to die from cancer.
The radiation from those three GE Mark I reactors (google 'the GE Three') over in Fuktupshita Japan will cause More cancer deaths than that.
No incidents of other energy calamities, even if added together, come close to the megadeaths caused by nukedom.
#9 Sep 26, 2013
The Industrial Hub
The Brattleboro area can attempt to get another manufacturing facility into the town, either at the Vermont Yankee site or elsewhere.
Frankly, I think they have shot themselves in the foot about this one. Given the “protesting” spirit of Brattleboro, most manufacturers would be hesitant to locate there. Every factory has raw materials: many raw materials are poisonous if spilled. If I were a manufacturer, I wouldn’t locate in a place where people are likely to begin tying themselves to the gate of my plant if they heard I had a spill of toxic paints within the plant premises.
The people of Brattleboro might think....oh no, we ONLY protest nuclear plants! We'd love other types of factories! However, most manufacturers will NOT want to locate in an area where protesting so-called "environmental issues" at factory gates is a way of life.
In short, I think Brattleboro has messed itself up big-time by its attitude to Vermont Yankee. In this WPTZ video, you can see Arnie Gundersen suggesting that a new power plant be built on the Vermont Yankee site. He doesn’t say what kind of plant, however! Can you imagine the local protests if they attempted to run a gas pipeline to the site, build a coal plant, or build a biomass plant? Heavens!
#10 Sep 28, 2013
Well, I have always said the nuclear industry has been plagued by a grossly ineffective carrying ideology.
They believed the mad dog republican teabagger extremist could save them...
And further, they have been wasting money and capacity factor like a drunken sailor with extremely poor maintenance...
Nuclear power could be a model we could all aspire to with an enlightened belief system...
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