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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Nuclear power, thorium and LFTR in Fun Stuff; Originally Posted by localzuk I'd love to see the evidence that the risks in a nuclear plant are higher. Not ...
  1. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'd love to see the evidence that the risks in a nuclear plant are higher. Not to mention, you've just perpetuated several known fallacies with the whole issue - one, that nuclear power is dangerous and two, that we will be stuck with 'waste' for 20,000 years... Like we're not stuck with coal slag piles? For example the one that shifted a few days ago and destroyed 100m of our railways - if a train had not noticed and gone across? Many lives would've been lost.

    No, what you've basically said there is what the media consistently says - "nuclear is dangerous!" but without any actual evidence of deaths, of injuries, of actual consequences. So, you're saying policy should be based on perception rather than actual consequences.
    No. I said the RISK is higher. Risk is a technical term which is used to mean a product of probability and consequence. So the probability of an accident at a nuclear plant might be small, but the consequences if it does happen are potentially much more severe.

    IF you want to see why risk is higher, look at Chernobyl or Fukashima. No disaster at any coal plant has ever resulted in a 20 mile exclusion zone.

    Not to mention, the issues are regarding *old* technology. Not the new technologies appearing.

    Some interesting numbers - 170,000 people die per trillion kWh of electricity produced from coal. 90 people die for the same amount from nuclear energy. How Deadly Is Your Kilowatt? We Rank The Killer Energy Sources - Forbes
    I was responding to what you said - where you seem surprised that the process for approving a nuclear plant was different from a coal plant. You can take it out of context if you like, but it doesn't alter the point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Comparatively a coal plant is exploding all the time slowly throughout its lifespan spewing radiation and co2. A nuclear plant just goes all at once if at all.
    And the legacy of nuclear? Products with ten thousand year half lives?
    Micro reactors based on newer tech are quicker to build, safer and more efficient. Politics will sabotage progress as always though.
    Both fossil fuel and nuclear suffer the same problem IMO, the costs of our energy needs end up being paid for by our children. If we want energy, then we should pay the true cost of it.

    It seems a tragedy that we choose to saddle future generations with our waste when there is enough energy in the sunlight hitting the earth to supply our energy needs millions of times over. We just don't want to pay for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    No. I said the RISK is higher. Risk is a technical term which is used to mean a product of probability and consequence. So the probability of an accident at a nuclear plant might be small, but the consequences if it does happen are potentially much more severe.
    And that is what I'm disagreeing with. The consequence of a problem is not as severe as everyone keeps trying to say. The numbers simply don't show that it is. How many people died because of Chernobyl? Direct deaths? 31. Some say 6000, but the evidence to support this is very thin.

    How about Fukishima? Death toll? None so far... Predictions are that over the lifetime of the people who were involved, up to 100 could have their lives prematurely damaged by the radiation dose they received.

    IF you want to see why risk is higher, look at Chernobyl or Fukashima. No disaster at any coal plant has ever resulted in a 20 mile exclusion zone.
    Why were 20 mile exclusion zones imposed? Because policy is based on nonsense, perception, fear, uncertainty and not scientific fact. I'm saying that these decisions should be based on evidence.

    I was responding to what you said - where you seem surprised that the process for approving a nuclear plant was different from a coal plant. You can take it out of context if you like, but it doesn't alter the point.
    I'm not saying I'm surprised, I'm saying it is wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    And the legacy of nuclear? Products with ten thousand year half lives?
    Coal releases more radiation than nuclear waste. Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste: Scientific American

    So what, it lasts a long time, so does coal ash.

    Both fossil fuel and nuclear suffer the same problem IMO, the costs of our energy needs end up being paid for by our children. If we want energy, then we should pay the true cost of it.

    It seems a tragedy that we choose to saddle future generations with our waste when there is enough energy in the sunlight hitting the earth to supply our energy needs millions of times over. We just don't want to pay for it.
    That's a great ideological viewpoint to have, and one I share, however it is simply impossible to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    How about Fukishima? Death toll? None so far... Predictions are that over the lifetime of the people who were involved, up to 100 could have their lives prematurely damaged by the radiation dose they received.
    Death isn't necessarily the issue. What is the *cost* of a 10 mile exclusion zone in a place like Japan? What is the cost of dealing with the clean-up of two breached reactors with melted cores?
    Why were 20 mile exclusion zones imposed? Because policy is based on nonsense, perception, fear, uncertainty and not scientific fact. I'm saying that these decisions should be based on evidence.
    And your evidence that those decision are not based on evidence is ... what exactly? For someone who at the beginning of the thread admitted ignorance, you seem to think a mere two hour video has left you in a better position to judge than people who are actually responsible for decisions which affect the safety of people. Good call.

    As far as I am aware they have measured and are still measuring elevated levels of radiation in the exclusion zone around the plant. That's also still true of the area around Chernobyl. Those elevated readings are caused by radioactive contamination from the plant. There is a risk that people and high energy radionuclide's will come together and the evidence says that when that happens, it can be quite unpleasant (usually for the people rather than the radionuclide).

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    That's a great ideological viewpoint to have, and one I share, however it is simply impossible to do.
    Something like that is certainly impossible if you have already decided it is impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Death isn't necessarily the issue. What is the *cost* of a 10 mile exclusion zone in a place like Japan? What is the cost of dealing with the clean-up of two breached reactors with melted cores?
    Doesn't really deal with my comment about why they put this exclusion zone in place... Sure, the cost of cleanup is going to be a chunk of cash, but so is the cost of cleanup for the damage done by coal...

    And your evidence that those decision are not based on evidence is ... what exactly? For someone who at the beginning of the thread admitted ignorance, you seem to think a mere two hour video has left you in a better position to judge than people who are actually responsible for decisions which affect the safety of people. Good call.
    Yup. Have you watched the video? Done some further reading to confirm what has been said? Looked for any evidence of the dangers of nuclear beyond what you are repeating over and over again - pointing at cleanup and exclusion zones without any scientific evidence?

    As far as I am aware they have measured and are still measuring elevated levels of radiation in the exclusion zone around the plant. That's also still true of the area around Chernobyl. Those elevated readings are caused by radioactive contamination from the plant. There is a risk that people and high energy radionuclide's will come together and the evidence says that when that happens, it can be quite unpleasant (usually for the people rather than the radionuclide).
    You are once again perpetuating the same thing! You're saying "elevated levels of radiation" as if that instantly means "dangerous to health". And I'm saying, again, I want evidence of this. The numbers simply don't lead to this conclusion. If they did, there would be more deaths from radiation poisoning from Chernobyl and Fukishima, from Windscale, or from Three Mile Island. It simply doesn't add up.

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    @pcstru - have you watched the video? Seen the designs of LFTR systems? Seen how they are safer than those from the past? If not, you're not really engaging in a discussion on the topic, you're arguing without actually looking at what has been presented.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenlong1985 View Post
    @localzuk Woah fella

    I'm interested in Thorium. I believe LFTR can work.

    The Documentary I posted backs explains how The UK government didn’t make a Nuclear power station at first. They used it to refine uranium so they can show off to the Americans back in the 1950s. The documentary explains how the rectors was cooled down with FANs not a by a means of heavy water as it’s done today.

    I posted this Documentary as not many people knew Britain has its own disaster and backs up your post why we should start using LFTR. The only main reason why we have these nuclear power plants is for weapons
    I've just watched it. Interesting video, however, it does perpetuate this idea that radiation from this sort of accident is somehow massively dangerous, yet they have interviews with basically all the men involved who are still alive (yes, there were around 33 people who died due to cancer from the incident, but how many have died from cancer due to coal related radiation?). I'd be keen on changing the term from 'disaster' to 'accident' personally, as a disaster in my mind leads to deaths...
    Last edited by localzuk; 15th February 2013 at 05:05 PM.

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    LFTR is the way forward, simple. Whether or not this will happen is another thing entirely. Don't forget, beyond the safety concerns and everything else there is money. That's right, money. The thing that drives our governments. They will follow and support the technology that benefits them financially whether it's a proven concept or not. Think they're going to be able make money from, or apply environmental levies to a technology that has such a tiny environmental impact? Pah, you have to be kidding. That's why they love coal and gas and dirty nuclear sites.... Because they can stuff them for a ton of cash. And let's face it, nothing will ever change that. So until private business begins to develop this technology we won't see any change in energy production methods. If the government had any sense at all, they'd be ploughing cash into this in order to take the technological lead..... Like the guy said at the end of the video, develop the technology ourselves now, or face the cost of purchasing it in years to come from other countries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Doesn't really deal with my comment about why they put this exclusion zone in place... Sure, the cost of cleanup is going to be a chunk of cash, but so is the cost of cleanup for the damage done by coal...
    I'm not quite sure why you want to compare with coal. They both have risks and those risks are different. Seems like asking someone if they would like to be hit with a bat or a hammer. Just because the hammer makes a bigger dent in the skull, doesn't mean I want to be hit with a bat.
    Yup. Have you watched the video? Done some further reading to confirm what has been said? Looked for any evidence of the dangers of nuclear beyond what you are repeating over and over again - pointing at cleanup and exclusion zones without any scientific evidence?
    Evidence of what exactly? That (say) radiation is linked to cancer? That statistically, those living in areas with higher levels of radiation suffer higher death rates? If you can be clear as to what evidence you want, perhaps I can put you in touch with it. We stopped putting novelty x-ray machines in shops for a reason.

    You are once again perpetuating the same thing! You're saying "elevated levels of radiation" as if that instantly means "dangerous to health". And I'm saying, again, I want evidence of this. The numbers simply don't lead to this conclusion.
    Numbers? You have numbers! Excellent. Let's see them then.
    If they did, there would be more deaths from radiation poisoning from Chernobyl and Fukishima, from Windscale, or from Three Mile Island. It simply doesn't add up.
    Right. So what should the numbers be? Why should they be more? You are keen on evidence based but aren't actually supplying any - just making broad brush statements and suggesting you know more after a 2 hour video than people who have actually had to take decisions about peoples lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I'm not quite sure why you want to compare with coal. They both have risks and those risks are different. Seems like asking someone if they would like to be hit with a bat or a hammer. Just because the hammer makes a bigger dent in the skull, doesn't mean I want to be hit with a bat.
    Because we don't have the technologies to produce the electricity that we need from renewable sources. Plain and simple. We can't maintain baseline with wind and solar, even if we add in tidal - that has been accepted by renewable energy proponents for quite some time, so the 'backup' supply needs to come from somewhere. Our energy mix will therefore consist of more fossil fuels, such as coal and gas. And considering there is a hell of a lot more coal around than gas, that's where we'll end up without nuclear.

    Evidence of what exactly? That (say) radiation is linked to cancer? That statistically, those living in areas with higher levels of radiation suffer higher death rates? If you can be clear as to what evidence you want, perhaps I can put you in touch with it. We stopped putting novelty x-ray machines in shops for a reason.
    Evidence of deaths, evidence of higher death levels, in comparison to the technologies that we're competing against.

    Numbers? You have numbers! Excellent. Let's see them then.
    Already provided earlier. Forbes have a good, well sourced, article covering deaths from the different technologies. Remember, renewable technologies require difficult to acquire materials - rare earth metals in wind turbines for example. So they aren't purely 'clean'.

    Right. So what should the numbers be? Why should they be more? You are keen on evidence based but aren't actually supplying any - just making broad brush statements and suggesting you know more after a 2 hour video than people who have actually had to take decisions about peoples lives.
    Ok, lets count up. Provided by me? 1 video, 2 articles and a link to a wikipedia page (which is also heavily sourced). Provided to support your arguments? Nothing. Just repeating the same scare-mongering that exists all over the place about nuclear.
    Last edited by localzuk; 15th February 2013 at 05:56 PM.

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    One of your articles compares radiation released by coal and nuclear plants *per energy unit generated*. So operationally, coal produces more radiation than nuclear. But that doesn't factor accidents which is where nuclear consequences far outdo consequences of coal per individual power station.

    Deaths from coal vs nuclear. Many of the deaths from coal are directly attributable in the production process. There is a difference between choosing to work down a mine (and accepting the risk inherent in that) and living somewhere where they then choose to site a nuclear power plant.

    Are you seriously saying you don't believe radiation can kill you? Are you saying there is no correlation between radiation levels and cancer? You think there should be no exclusion zone around Fukushima or that if they hadn't evacuated around Chernobyl everyone would have been just hunky dory?

    I've seen a growth in the promotion of Thorium processes over the last few years. It's certainly less risky than some other nuclear processes and in theory produces less (not no) waste - which is good because we don't really know what to do with the waste we already have, so I guess less would be better. So if we have to have nuclear Thorium might be an OK choice and if we were starting from scratch it would probably be a no-brainer. Neither of those are necessarily a given.

    I've no doubt that nuclear needs to be part of the energy equation in the immediate future. Yes, you can't magic renewable and sustainable generation out of nothing, nor the storage such a switch would need. But that's a different thing to saying it can never be done. It CAN be done and it MUST be done. The only question should be, how do we get there. Do we need a whole new nuclear infrastructure based around a new fuel process or should we be looking at new plants based on a limited operational lifetime while a longer term strategy is put in place that doesn't involve us scrounging off our children to give us our energy fix. If the latter, then a few new plants based on existing technology just might be cheaper than pursuing an entirely new Thorium process. We need a coherent, cohesive, rational energy strategy in which nuclear might play a transitional part, it shouldn't be the basket for our long term eggs.
    Last edited by pcstru; 15th February 2013 at 07:00 PM.

  14. #29

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    No, I'm not saying that radiation can't kill you, that would be dumb. I'm saying that the dangers of a release from a nuclear power station have and are being overplayed.

    No-one has said it can never be done, but you've been arguing against nuclear very stubbornly here - and now admit it needs to be included in our energy mix. So, why get so annoyed about it, and about my view that more effort needs to be put into LFTR research?

    Your arguments have almost consistently ignored the original post and have focussed nearly entirely on the current and prior generations of nuclear power plants, whilst perpetuating flawed arguments.

    Even your latest post tries to say that accidents have caused massive damage to the world, but the evidence simply doesn't support it. The number of deaths from nuclear accidents is tiny, even if you go with the upper numbers for them (well, ignoring greenpeace who seem to have come up with crazy numbers for Chernobyl, which no-one else has agreed with).

    Also, your comment about people dying directly in the production chain is somewhat misleading - we all use electricity, voluntarily. So we're all as 'involved' in that process as everyone who works at the stations or mines.

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    THey've not made Water Cooled reactors for years, I don't think we've ever had them in the UK. THere is a fundamental flaw in water cooled reactors (as pointed out in the video) and this is what happened at Chernobyl - the reactor heated too fast, the water turned to steam; created a positive void coefficient, the steam couldn't take the heat away and this resulted in a thermal (not nuclear) explosion.
    Modern reactors are never made this way, even the 1960's reactors in the UK are gas cooled (CO2) and sometimes cooled with liquid sodium - thus this type of accident can't happen on most reactors.



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