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Old 2011-03-13, 21:56   Link #1
Random32
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Safety of Nuclear Power Plants

Do you think they are safe? What do you think of what is happening at Fukushima Daiichi?

this thread was made to contain all the pro/anti nuke messages in the Japan earthquake thread. please post anything that isn't directly relevant to the earthquake on March 11 in Japan and is relevant to nuclear power plants or the situation at Fukushima here.
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Old 2011-03-13, 21:57   Link #2
synaesthetic
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Nuclear plants are no more dangerous than any other power plant. Don't let Chernobyl fool you--that disaster was a result of human stupidity, not a treatise on the safety of nuclear power.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:01   Link #3
Random32
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I'll try to take devil's advocate until we have an antinuke person here...

The reactors are designed by humans and thus inherently are flawed like humans are. For example, Fukushima was not prepared for the tsunami and thus crap started happening.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:03   Link #4
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The biggest problem with nuclear power plants in America is that stupid law preventing the reprocessing of spent fuel rods. It means we have tons more waste than European or Japanese nuclear plants... because the US government is fucking retarded.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:05   Link #5
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Probably because we can't build something that is completely nature proof. Nature will always have something more powerful than we humans can counter.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:09   Link #6
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I wouldn't say that. Force is force, physics are physics. Whether a structure can withstand a nuclear blast or a hurricane--kinetic and thermal energy are still energy, and the structure doesn't care where the energy comes from.

I suspect we can already build structures that are utterly impervious to any sort of ordinary natural disaster, but they would be terribly, prohibitively expensive.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:13   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
The reactors are designed by humans and thus inherently are flawed like humans are.
Even for devil's advocating that's some dangerous logic to be using... as by that standard we shouldn't be say flying planes, or using boats since they're designed by humans since they aren't flawless againist what nature is possible of doing .

Also I agree with syn on that law, especially in combination with the fact that I think at least 30~40 of the states have banned nuclear waste from being put in their states, so the remaining states take literally tons of it a year.
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:26   Link #8
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is like sayin "Why didnt they prepare for that volcano erupting and hitting that Nuclear plant?"

HAHAH oh god i mispelled that like a child
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Old 2011-03-13, 22:29   Link #9
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Well, considering the recent events and how limited the damage was from the two reactors that made the news, I'd say they're pretty safe.
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Old 2011-03-13, 23:13   Link #10
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It's all statistics.
Everyone drives a car most of their lives yet planes are a great deal safer. It's not about the potential for disaster that should worry you, it's the people behind the wheels.

Essentially, the precautions.

It's been apparent to me that oil plants have proven far more susceptible to ridiculous explosions and damage than nuclear plants, yet oil plants are much more abundant. Goes to show the precautions taken to ensure their safety... Or rather, the budget put into them.

I think it's the simple word "nuclear" that throws people off. The word associates it with WMD's, and wrongly so.
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Old 2011-03-13, 23:21   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuras View Post
It's all statistics.
Everyone drives a car most of their lives yet planes are a great deal safer. It's not about the potential for disaster that should worry you, it's the people behind the wheels.

Essentially, the precautions.

It's been apparent to me that oil plants have proven far more susceptible to ridiculous explosions and damage than nuclear plants, yet oil plants are much more abundant. Goes to show the precautions taken to ensure their safety... Or rather, the budget put into them.

I think it's the simple word "nuclear" that throws people off. The word associates it with WMD's, and wrongly so.
"Nuclear" is the modern noise some people use for "goblins", "ghosts", or "devils". They don't really understand it, its silent, its spooky. Why that is varies.

OTOH... mistakes with nuclear technology can last a *long* time so its a bit insane to let it be driven by profit-motive rather than community infrastructure.My own big show stopper is that the garbage issue is completely unresolved...just "tabled" for the moment.

I personally treat nuclear power like a machete.... it can be very useful, you can also make terrible mistakes with it. Be skeptical and prudent but it doesn't mean don't use it at all. And definitely don't let someone more interested in profit than safety give direction. As a *transitional* technology... it'll help keep the lights on til we get a better plan.
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Old 2011-03-14, 01:33   Link #12
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I'm not sure I trust the current "community infrastructure" people any more than I trust the private sector.

Which is to say, I don't trust either of them any further than I could throw them.
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Old 2011-03-14, 02:11   Link #13
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heh, well you gotta pick one (or some combination) for community projects or its "stone knives and bearskins" technology ... or maybe Gilligan on a coconut bike pedaling furiously.
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Old 2011-03-14, 02:30   Link #14
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This thread is not exactly useful in these forums, since most users here have a rather superficial knowledge of the safety of different power plant designs (and generations), there are so many different concepts of turning fission material into heat and so many different generations of active and passive safety mechanism, fail safe startegies and what not.

If at least there was some sort of interest in the technology. I doubt most people's affinity and understanding for the matter is high enough to even know some of the basic appreviations for reactor concepts: PWR, BWR, PHWR, RBMK, AGR, (LM)FBR, PBR, MSRE, AHR. And depending on who built/designed them, and when they were built, they operate according to very different safety standards.

For example you cannot compare an RBMK (Chernobyl) with a BWR (Fukushima) reactor. And you cannot compare generation II two power plant safety mechanisms with generation III or IV power plant safety mechanisms.

From a point of complexity, it is suitable, to discuss the safety concept of maybe a single or two power plant designs. But an all out generalized discussion about nuclear power plant safety is doomed to stay in the superficial area of general ignorance. In this case you should introduce the thread accordingly: State your oppinion, do you believe nuclear power plants are safe in your country.
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Old 2011-03-14, 03:40   Link #15
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Well... how many nuclear plants are in range of any 9.0 earthquakes?

In general, nuclear power IS safe because it is controllable. The lessons from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island brought about some safeguards and failsafe systems/procedures to make sure nothing catastrophic happens.

Quote:
all the pro/anti nuke messages
With all prospect of Peak Oil happening, it is necessary to vary the means of energy production. Else, we leave ourselves to very very susceptible to the scarcity of one resource.
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Old 2011-03-14, 04:33   Link #16
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Originally Posted by KyuuA4 View Post
With all prospect of Peak Oil happening, it is necessary to vary the means of energy production. Else, we leave ourselves to very very susceptible to the scarcity of one resource.
I wouldn't trust the prospect of Peak Oil all that much. It was formulated in the '50's when technology was no-where near what it is today. We can drill far deeper and in far more areas than before, and pressure isn't as much of an issue now so we can get a lot more oil out (and there's always the potential to revisit abandoned oil fields down the road once the technology is there). They're even looking at Siberia as a legitimate prospect now. Granted, oil will definitely run out eventually; it just won't happen as soon as a lot of people think.
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Old 2011-03-14, 05:40   Link #17
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The fact is, because Japan needs to import most of its fuel, buying Uranium is the only economical way to support the modern energy demand. It's not due to a lack of trying; Japan has gas, coal, hydro, wind, and solar plants. Hell, fission is "only" supplying 30% of the nation's power.

However, the only way to expand the supply is to build more fission plants. Japan simply ran out of options. They have 55 fission plants, and the recent shut down of just four of them already caused blackouts.

It's not the question of is nuclear power safe; the question is where is an island nation with minimal fossil fuel supplies going to get more electricity for its people?

If you can find a way to generate 55 fission plants worth of electricity in a different way, Japan would love to hear it.
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Old 2011-03-14, 05:58   Link #18
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Nuclear pretty much one safe . media simply hyperbole it as "Dangerous" simply because hiroshima and nagasaki.

easy example is fukushima. it survived 40 years and withstand on earthquake country. you need biggest nuclear in Japan to bring problem
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Old 2011-03-14, 06:17   Link #19
Kyuu
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
If you can find a way to generate 55 fission plants worth of electricity in a different way, Japan would love to hear it.
How about:

Spoiler:
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Old 2011-03-14, 06:40   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Kuroi Hadou View Post
I wouldn't trust the prospect of Peak Oil all that much. It was formulated in the '50's when technology was no-where near what it is today. We can drill far deeper and in far more areas than before, and pressure isn't as much of an issue now so we can get a lot more oil out (and there's always the potential to revisit abandoned oil fields down the road once the technology is there). They're even looking at Siberia as a legitimate prospect now. Granted, oil will definitely run out eventually; it just won't happen as soon as a lot of people think.
Peak Oil isn't just about how much oil exists but how much we consume, and the energy it takes to get more. For example Canadian Tar Sands are a source of oil however the energy spent to refine it is dubious at best.

In order for oil production to be worth it, or any new energy source gathering, we have to overcome the net energy loss or it won't be worth getting in the first place. This is the reason why Peak Oil is an important concept to determine, and unfortunately trying to get clearer numbers for oil and other natural resource estimates from around the world is about as likely as waltzing into the Federal Reserve and peeking into their vaults.

Most energy estimates are based on current consumption, which is a misleading figure. Every time growth doubles, it takes more than all you used in all of the prior growth.

Now as we know growth isn't constant, but note that it happens unless there is something catastrophic that stops or reverses that growth. So while there are factors such as say....price, or weather, that slow demand for energy, we're still using it, and demand will increase exponentially.

The lack of understanding the concept of exponential growth and its effects is a dangerous thing.
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