DailyDirt: With Great Fission Power Comes Great Responsibility...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Renewable energy sources like solar and hydroelectric are great, but they generally can't provide enough baseload power. Sure, maybe we need to upgrade our electrical grid to handle more distributed power plants and circumvent traditional baseload power requirements, but in the short term, the only carbon-free power source comes from nuclear reactors. However, after the Fukushima accident, there seems to be growing distaste for nuclear energy -- with Germany closing about half of its nuclear power plants and pledging to close all of them by 2022, and more plants around the world have been closing rather than opening since 2011. Hold on. If you're still reading this, head over to our Daily Deals to save an additional 10% on any item in our Black Friday collection -- using the code: 'EARLY10' -- just through this Sunday, November 22nd.
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Filed Under: energy, fission, fukushima, molten salt nuclear reactors, nuclear energy, nuclear reactor, us nuclear regulatory commission


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2015 @ 6:05pm

    crowdfund the cleanup!

    yah.. nuclear power is great until it shuts down and you actually need to find a place to store all of the waste -- instead of just letting it pile up inside the reactor somewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Nov 2015 @ 8:14pm

    “100 gigawatts of nuclear energy capacity”

    Physics-geek nitpick: that’s “100 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity”. Power is the rate of transfer or production of energy, and is measured in watts, or joules (energy unit) per second.

    Your electricity company probably bills you in kWh. That’s a kilowatt (1000 watts) of power transferred/consumed over a period of 1 hour (3600) seconds. Which is equivalent to 1000 × 3600 = 3.6 million joules, or 3.6MJ.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 16 Nov 2015 @ 8:21pm

    Techdirt gone amok

    Are you high?

    This is a story about nuclear energy.

    What kind of "we don't edit our own spam" is this "Hold on. If you're still reading this, head over to our Daily Deals to save an additional 10% on any item in our Black Friday collection" stuff?

    If you don't think people read your articles,that's your business.

    Trying to spam everyone who DID read it with a "save 10% on crap" link is despicable.

    Disgusting.
    E

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael Ho (profile), 17 Nov 2015 @ 5:20pm

      Re: Techdirt gone amok

      Seriously? A link to a storefront that helps support this site is despicable/disgusting spam... that's a bit harsh, don't you think?

      What's so offensive about this gentle nudge towards buying stuff? Have you seen the rest of the internet? This is pretty tame in comparison.

      Sorry if you feel like I "tricked you" into reading an extra couple of sentences. I honestly think some of the crap products on StackCommerce is stuff I would buy myself (and I *have* purchased a couple things in the past).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 16 Nov 2015 @ 9:49pm

    Why so expensive?

    Here's a good description of why nuclear plants have become so expensive to build. Spoiler - it's not safety.

    http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      pixelpusher220 (profile), 17 Nov 2015 @ 7:25am

      Re: Why so expensive?

      is it not safety or is it the over-engineering regulations require for insurance against accident? which would be safety, no?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 17 Nov 2015 @ 10:37am

        Re: Re: Why so expensive?

        It's neither. You obviously didn't read it. Additional safety measures added perhaps a few percent to the cost. The vast majority of the price increase is due to: 1) labor cost increases - it was found that contractors were labeling EVERYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the work as a professional in order to increase the price by a couple orders of magnitude. Think "sanitation engineer" rather than janitor. 2) Regulatory capture combined with regulatory change. This was basically politicians constantly changing the rules (without regard to whether they were actually needed) for two purposes - to be "seen doing something", and to make money for contractors who were constituents/campaign contributors. 3) Delays due to frequently changing regulations, which added millions per day for periods that often could exceed a year.

        Things that were not factors more than a few percent: materials, extra safety features, or general inflation. Basically, a modern nuclear plant shouldn't cost more than a few hundred million, but is seen as such a big cash-cow by all concerned that the price is jacked up more than 20 times to make all involved rich at the public's expense.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2015 @ 11:36am

        Re: Re: Why so expensive?

        "over-engineering regulations"

        You mean like at Fukushima?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 19 Nov 2015 @ 10:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why so expensive?

          Engineering had nothing to do with Fukushima. Building below the water line for historically known occurring tidal waves were what went wrong.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    skye, 17 Nov 2015 @ 11:03am

    Nuclear is not clean

    This article is Nulear industy propaganda.

    Nuclear is NOT clean. The waste which piles up in the open air around the power plants in open tanks is not clean nor is it safe. The waste is highly radioactive and as such a serious poison to the environment and people. Carcinogen. The nuclear power plants do nothing in the USA to clean up their waste. They just keep claiming that their product is "clean" despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

    "Plutonium-239, which is in irradiated fuel, has a half-life of 24,400 years. It is dangerous for a quarter million years..."
    http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/hlwfcst.htm


    Hanford
    " And despite some progress, the site's most complicated and potentially dangerous waste issue - 56 million gallons (255 million litres) of high-level radioactive waste sitting inside tanks at the centre of the site - is facing more problems. "

    San Onofre
    Or hey just bury it in an earthquake zone at the beach.

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/oct/06/nuclear-waste-permit-approved/

    Stop looking for engery solutions in nuclear it is not the way. Especially when alternatives exist. Distributed solar, wind etc.

    The problem with distributed solar is the power companies don't make as much money. Sucks that the world gets destroyed and not just the world but always the most beautiful settings get polluted by the nuclear industry. And it sucks that companies and the government keeps prioritizing profit over the health and safety of humanity and the planet.

    We need to stop using this technology. Period. No more nuckear anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Nov 2015 @ 7:46pm

      Re: Nuclear is not clean

      If it’s that highly radioactive, then it’s a source of a great deal of power that we are simply not using at the moment. Seems to me that might change in future.

      Also, highly radioactive waste doesn’t need to be stored for that long, since its radioactivity dies away quicker. It’s the less radioactive stuff that lasts longer. But conversely, that isn’t such a high risk.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sky, 18 Nov 2015 @ 5:11am

    whaaaat?

    @ lawrence. "highly radioactive waste doesn't need to be stored for that long?"

    Are you fking kidding me? Radioactive waste was dumped near a creek in Missouri in 1942 and still people are getting cancer from it.

    There are no containers that will hold the waste for as long as it needs to be held. So claiming that it does not need to be is just so much BS. You are just a shill for the nuclear industry.

    Cancer study finds higher rates of cancer near nuclear power plants:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-42066/New-study-links-nuclear-sites-cancer.html

    NRC cancels study and falsifies results:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/nuclear-power-kills-the-real-reason-the-nrc-cancelled-its-nucle ar-site-cancer-study/5477413

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 18 Nov 2015 @ 10:39am

      Re: Radioactive waste was dumped near a creek in Missouri in 1942 and still people are getting cancer from it.

      Whatever they’re getting cancer from, it’s not the radioactivity.

      Look at Chernobyl. Yes, that Chernobyl. The fallout from the radioactive cloud released from the accident irradiated hundreds of millions across Europe. Where was the predicted massive spike in cancers? There was none, that anybody could notice. Since the people left the area, the wildlife has been thriving. It’s actually now a tourist attraction.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    skye, 19 Nov 2015 @ 2:24pm

    Nuclear is not clean - radiation causes cancer

    Ionizing radiation is a known cause of certain types of leukaemia

    http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/

    "The present study demonstrates a significant association between increasing radiation dose and risk of all solid cancers,"

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/853452

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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