Nuclear Power: Boon or bane

It started a couple years ago. Everybody was talking about the 'greenhouse effect' and 'global warming' and the terrible consequences we will have to face if we do not change our lifestyles and our energy ... Full Story

Since: May 07

New York, NY

#21 Jul 20, 2007
Whilst Hydroelectric power is by far the most dangerous, it is the only renewable source that has the reliability and scale to actually be a viable choice. Frankly, I think France has it on the money. Nuclear is by far the best choice at this stage of human technological progress.
Donnie

Shippingport, PA

#22 Jul 20, 2007
captdallas wrote:
Sex increases the risk of contracting AIDS.
And of cervical cancer.

“Question everything.”

Since: Jan 07

Lookingglass Land

#23 Jul 20, 2007
Is there any new information on nuclear waste reprocessing? This all looks very pricey.

http://www.ccnr.org/nuclear_primer.html#NH
"Scientists at Whiteshell have studied the solidification of high level radioactive liquid waste left over from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.

Nuclear proponents anticipate that plutonium will be extracted from spent fuel before the waste is placed in geologic disposal. For this reason, they define "nuclear fuel waste" to be either (1) unreprocessed fuel bundles or (2) solidified post-reprocessing waste.

At Chalk River, there are six underground tanks of high level radioactive liquid waste left over from reprocessing operations carried out in the late 1940s. Some of this liquid waste was cast into glass blocks and buried in sandy soil near the Ottawa River; it was the world's first liquid radwaste solidification pilot project.

NUCLEAR RESEARCH
Plutonium Fuel
Chalk River operated a pilot plutonium fuel fabrication line for years, planning for the day when plutonium fuel would become standard. These plans were given reduced priority when U.S. President Carter opposed reprocessing on global security grounds. President Clinton has since adopted a similar policy perspective.

But Canada still keeps the plutonium fuel option open. In 1997 plutonium from dismantled American and Russian warheads was approved for testing as reactor fuel at Chalk River. If the test goes well, 100 tons of weapons plutonium may be imported into Canada over 25 years.

Spent nuclear fuel is extremely radioactive; as a result, it spontaneously generates a form of heat called "radioactive decay heat".

RADIOACTIVE DECAY HEAT
Wet Storage
Used fuel bundles removed from a CANDU reactor must be cooled in pools of circulating water for [b]at least seven years[/b]. During that time, if cooling water were to become unavailable for a protracted period, the spent fuel would overheat and its metallic cladding would rupture, releasing radioactive gases and vapours.

Every nuclear power reactor has one or more spent fuel pools to accommodate its high level radioactive waste.

After years of wet storage, CANDU spent fuel bundles can be moved into dry storage silos to make room for additional waste in the pools.

The fuel bundles are still intensely radioactive, and they must be [b] handled robotically[/b]; but the radioactive decay heat has now subsided enough so that the fuel can be cooled by the unforced circulation of air through vents in the silos. Blockage of the natural air flow would cause a temperature rise inside the concrete containers.

Dry storage is another interim measure, made necessary by [b] the lack of a permanent solution[/b] to the long term radioactive waste storage problem.

Once spent fuel has been cooled for [b] ten years or more[/b], the nuclear industry wants to bury it in the Canadian shield; but an environmental panel has recently recommended against proceeding.

If the underground repository is sealed, radioactive decay heat can no longer be removed; so it will be absorbed by the surrounding rock. The rock formation in which the fuel is stored will increase in temperature, reach a peak, and then gradually return back to its original ambient temperature. This so-called [b]"thermal pulse"[/b] could create new cracks in the repository, accelerating the leakage of radioactive materials.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited predicts that the thermal pulse from burying spent CANDU fuel in the Canadian Shield will last [b] 50,000 years[/b]. The pyramids of Egypt are 5,000 years old."

RIP Dimebag

United States

#24 Jul 20, 2007
Nuclear power is the way to go people, and anyone who is afraid of it, is clearly an idiot. To get the same power generation, equivelent to 1 kg of uranium, you'd need 8,000 cubic metres of natural gas, 780 kg of coal or even turn most of alberta into wind/solar generators. Nuclear power is friendly, clean, reliable, and EFFICIENT

“Loud Pipes For All!”

Since: Mar 07

Voorhees, NJ

#25 Jul 20, 2007
RIP Dimebag wrote:
Nuclear power is the way to go people, and anyone who is afraid of it, is clearly an idiot. To get the same power generation, equivelent to 1 kg of uranium, you'd need 8,000 cubic metres of natural gas, 780 kg of coal or even turn most of alberta into wind/solar generators. Nuclear power is friendly, clean, reliable, and EFFICIENT
Until the terrorists blow up your plant..or it does another 3MI or Tjernobyl.

Since: May 07

New York, NY

#26 Jul 20, 2007
River wrote:
<quoted text>
Until the terrorists blow up your plant..or it does another 3MI or Tjernobyl.
weehhayy! another uneducated person!

tell me river, how many people died from TMI? How much radiation was leaked? Did the containment facility work properly? How many people died from Chernobyl? What level of impact are nuclear reactors designed to take from a terrorist attack?

“What!”

Since: Feb 07

Marathon, Florida

#27 Jul 20, 2007
Engineer,

The warm and fuzzies are just too hard to deal with. I agree we need to deversify. More like 35, 40 and 25 in my opinion. The left side can't seem to understand that solar has several generations before it is practical. Let the rich warm and fuzzies spend the bucks in the meantime. Wind is closer to peak efficiency, but can only handle 15 to 20 % if completely maxed. Hydro as in wave swing has promise but is decades away from making a dent.

Algea scrubbing has promise in several ways but again is decades away from being a player. So coal and natural gas has to play a major role in the next 20 years. For the warm and fussies, sorry, that is just the way it is. If algea scrubbing is viable, coal may be king for the next 50 years.

If the warm and fuzzies still think solar/wind is the ticket right now at this time and history, install a solar/wind system in your home reguardless of the cost. I personally would wait at least five years.
Donnie

Shippingport, PA

#28 Jul 20, 2007
Abbey Yoyo wrote:
Spent nuclear fuel is extremely radioactive; as a result, it spontaneously generates a form of heat called "radioactive decay heat".
That heat should be used instead of wasted.
Abbey Yoyo wrote:
Used fuel bundles removed from a CANDU reactor must be cooled in pools of circulating water for [b]at least seven years[/b]. During that time, if cooling water were to become unavailable for a protracted period, the spent fuel would overheat and its metallic cladding would rupture, releasing radioactive gases and vapours.
Back in 1986, I learned that this heat generation is wildly overstated. I observed a test at Davis-Besse, I believe it is docmented in an NRC inspection report. The reactor had been shut down for about 14 months and some work needed to be done on the residual heat removal (RHR) system. The work would require both trains of RHR to be shut down. So while the work was being done, there would be no cooling for the fuel in the reactor. As I recall, the work was expected to take about two hours to complete. The concern was that there might be some delay, so the operators wanted to know exactly how fast the spent fuel would heat up. The engineers provided an estimate based on calculations, but everybody agreed that the calculations needed to be verified with a test. The test involved shutting down the operating RHR pump and monitoring the reactor coolant temperature. The accuracy of the coolant temperature monitoring was reduced when there was no flow, so the RHR pump was restarted periodically to verify the accuracy of the temperature instrumentation. I watched the entire test from the control room. During the test, to my surprise, the coolant temperature slowly decreased. That was because the heat losses from the reactor to the containment structure and air were greater than the heat being generated by the fuel. The containment was at about 80 degrees F during the test. Normally, with the RHR pump running the heat input from the RHR pump plus the decay heat from the fuel were enough so that cooling water had to be supplied to the RHR heat exchanger to maintain reactor coolant temperature in the desired range. Pump heat can be significant. Usually when pressurized water reactors prepare to start up, the initial heatup is done by running the reactor coolant pumps to heat up to about 330 degrees F, then the reactor is taken critical and reactor power is increased to the point of adding (nuclear) heat.

Since: Apr 07

Evergreen, CO

#29 Jul 20, 2007
RIP Dimebag wrote:
Nuclear power is the way to go people, and anyone who is afraid of it, is clearly an idiot. To get the same power generation, equivelent to 1 kg of uranium, you'd need 8,000 cubic metres of natural gas, 780 kg of coal or even turn most of alberta into wind/solar generators. Nuclear power is friendly, clean, reliable, and EFFICIENT
RIP,

You forgot "safe".

It is all of those.

In fact, it is the ONLY reasonable way to generate energy at the moment. From ANY perspective, including environmental. INCLUDING radiation releases to the public.

It is a little known dirty secret that there is not ONE SINGLE coal fired or oil fired power plant in the country that can pass the RADIATION EMISSION standards of a nuke. The fact is that with their thousands of tons of gaseous emissions and tens of thousands of tons of particulate emissions, coal & oil fired plants also emit radioactive particulates.

Where do oil & coal come from? Deep in the ground. What is down there as well? Heavy radioactive elements.

It is also true that not one oil refinery (and likely no coal processing plant) could pass the worker exposure limits of a nuke.

It's just that they've been grandfathered in, and are not required to measure radiation.

There is no technical problem remaining with using nuclear power. Not waste disposal, nothing. They are solved problems.

The ONLY problems left are political & legal ones.

tk

Since: Apr 07

Evergreen, CO

#30 Jul 20, 2007
Donnie wrote:
That heat should be used instead of wasted.
I looked into this once. VERY difficult to do. Very low quality heat (i.e., low temp difference above environment). Carnot efficiencies (proportional to hot/cold temp ratio). Low temp difference = low heat transfer. The only way to do it efficiently is to evaporate ~2% of the water. And for what do you need all that steam? Lots o' laundry?(This is, of course, how the cooling towers do it now.)

You COULD decrease the flow to increase the temperature, but then you're playing with all kinds of other design features, including safety.

Plus you need a CONSTANT heat sink. If you don't need any more heat in your sink, then you need a fully functional system like they have now to pull out the excess heat. At this point, you simply need two parallel systems. Too expensive.

tk

Since: May 07

Brooklyn, NY

#31 Jul 20, 2007
tomk52 wrote:
<quoted text>
I looked into this once. VERY difficult to do. Very low quality heat (i.e., low temp difference above environment). Carnot efficiencies (proportional to hot/cold temp ratio). Low temp difference = low heat transfer. The only way to do it efficiently is to evaporate ~2% of the water. And for what do you need all that steam? Lots o' laundry?(This is, of course, how the cooling towers do it now.)
You COULD decrease the flow to increase the temperature, but then you're playing with all kinds of other design features, including safety.
Plus you need a CONSTANT heat sink. If you don't need any more heat in your sink, then you need a fully functional system like they have now to pull out the excess heat. At this point, you simply need two parallel systems. Too expensive.
tk
You've pretty much got it. It is basic thermodynamics. Entropy really. What gives it energy is not the temperature, but the temperature gradient. The cooling part of an energy generation unit is just as important as the heating part.
Ellen Mattaban

Elmont, NY

#32 Jul 21, 2007
Appanouki wrote:
<quoted text>
because idiots like you do not know the difference between a nuclear weapon and a nuclear power plant.
Unfortunately, neither do the operators of Oyster Creek nuclear plant. EM
Ellen Mattaban

Elmont, NY

#33 Jul 21, 2007
captdallas wrote:
Amazing, absolutely amazing. There are risks in any endeavor. "Tritium exposure increases the risk of developing cancer." No Sh$$! At was concentrations? How much is the increased statistical risk? Sex increases the risk of contracting AIDS. Is the AIDS thing as scary as the big C?
Note: Ellen "lives" within fourteen miles of one of those abominations. Most French "live" within a hundred miles of one of those abominations. Members of the US Navy often "live" within a couple of hundred feet of one of those abmoninations.
And your point is??? Actually, my abomination is the FIRST and OLDEST nuke plant in the US and is coming apart at the "seams". Hence, it is an abomination to me. Cheers, EM
Ellen Mattaban

Elmont, NY

#34 Jul 21, 2007
old vet wrote:
<quoted text>A badly designed abomination? What standard do you have for declaring something an abomination? What is wrong with living 14 miles away, is that too far?
Dear Old Vet: thank you for your service to our country. Sincerely, EM
old vet

New Castle, PA

#35 Jul 21, 2007
Ellen Mattaban wrote:
<quoted text> Actually, my abomination is the FIRST and OLDEST nuke plant in the US and is coming apart at the "seams".
Oyster Creek isn't coming apart at all.
Ellen Mattaban wrote:
<quoted text> Hence, it is an abomination to me. Cheers, EM
Why would any of that make Oyster Creek an abomination, even if it were true?

Since: May 07

Brooklyn, NY

#36 Jul 21, 2007
Ellen Mattaban wrote:
<quoted text>Unfortunately, neither do the operators of Oyster Creek nuclear plant. EM
Considering about 10 people just shat all over your dumb ass, you've got balls coming back here.
Ellen Mattaban

Elmont, NY

#37 Jul 21, 2007
engineer wrote:
Fear is the name if the game for all these anti-nuke nutcases. I can't wait to see if this Ellen responds to the education question (my guess is liberal arts degree from a community college, now making "organic" pottery).
The line about increasing cancer risks is one of the funniest things I have ever read on this board, it even takes coolmind and jdv.
If you don't like nuclear power, move to France... oh wait, nevermined. Try Afghanistan, they probably don't have a reactor.
Nuclear power is safe. The next generation of nuclear power plants will be even safer. We need to move ahead, quickly, with Yucca Mountain to ease disposal concerns. We need to build new plants in every state. We need to permit and bring new mines into production. We need to diversify all our energy production.
I feel a safe and effective ratio goal would be 25% coal and natural gas, 50% nuclear, and 25% renewable (hydro, solar, wind, etc). We could do that in under 20 years, probably 15 if the environuts don't get in the way.
I got my BA from Rutgers U. in 1970; some master's work, got accepted in a PhD program at Rutger's (only four people were accepted) but raised my kids instead. My "education" consists of reading documents on the NRC website almost daily. I gave testimony before the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in May on the subject of the corroded drywell liner of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant, the oldest in the US. My testimony is quoted on the NRC's site. One of my short quotes concerning the deteriorating condition of Oyster Creek's safety systems appeared in "Business Week" and other publications serviced by AP. I am not an anti-nuke nut. The NRC takes me seriously. I suggest that you do also.......Oh, and by the way, concerning Yucca Mountain being ready to receive waste.....when I was in college in the 1960's, we heard the SAME exact thing....about using the salt
caverns in Carlsbad for the storage of our high level radioactive waste. That didn't happen, obviously. I truly hope that Yucca pans out. Cheers, EM
Ellen Mattaban

Elmont, NY

#38 Jul 21, 2007
old vet wrote:
<quoted text>Oyster Creek isn't coming apart at all. <quoted text>Why would any of that make Oyster Creek an abomination, even if it were true?
Oyster Creek just scrammed on Tuesday morning and is releasing tritium. The drywell liner has corroded to the point that even the Sandia Laboratories report commissioned by the NRC pointed out that there is degradation beyond established limits in two areas of the liner. The Rutgers Univ. Law Clinc has a legal contention concerning Oyster Creek's drywell liner which will be heard before the Atomic Safety Licensing Board in Sept. This is the FIRST time a contention has been accepted by the NRC during a re-licensing. Because even the NRC knows that OC is a "bomb" waiting to happen. An abomination, if you will. EM
Ellen Mattaban

Elmont, NY

#39 Jul 21, 2007
Appanouki wrote:
<quoted text>
Considering about 10 people just shat all over your dumb ass, you've got balls coming back here.
The NRC thinks so also! EM P.S. guys have balls. Women have guts! Learn the diff!

Since: May 07

Brooklyn, NY

#40 Jul 21, 2007
Ellen Mattaban wrote:
<quoted text> I got my BA from Rutgers U. in 1970; some master's work, got accepted in a PhD program at Rutger's (only four people were accepted) but raised my kids instead. My "education" consists of reading documents on the NRC website almost daily. I gave testimony before the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in May on the subject of the corroded drywell liner of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant, the oldest in the US. My testimony is quoted on the NRC's site. One of my short quotes concerning the deteriorating condition of Oyster Creek's safety systems appeared in "Business Week" and other publications serviced by AP. I am not an anti-nuke nut. The NRC takes me seriously. I suggest that you do also.......Oh, and by the way, concerning Yucca Mountain being ready to receive waste.....when I was in college in the 1960's, we heard the SAME exact thing....about using the salt
caverns in Carlsbad for the storage of our high level radioactive waste. That didn't happen, obviously. I truly hope that Yucca pans out. Cheers, EM
Actually what you say is true, however, I seriously doubt you understand the proportionality of what happened. Care to quote us a figure on the mmrems of radiation released?

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