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Japan Widens Evacuation Zone Around Fukushima

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the get-out-of-town dept.

Japan 483

mdsolar writes "Japan has started the first evacuations of homes outside a government exclusion zone after the earthquake and tsunami crippled one of the country's nuclear power plants. 5100 people are being relocated to public housing, hotels and other facilities in nearby cities."

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As long as ..... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133124)

As long as they make sure that no one leaves their pet lizard behind. The last thing we need is a irradiated mutated lizard from Japan running around!

Oh shit! What about all the moths that are flying around!?

Re:As long as ..... (3, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133172)

The turtles will take care of that.

Re:As long as ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133280)

Cowabunga!

Nuke power (3, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133160)

If the Japanese can't do this shit safely, then who can?

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133170)

nobody can...

Re:Nuke power (3, Insightful)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133176)

Anyone else apparently, that plant was due for replacement/shutdown many years ago.

Re:Nuke power (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133184)

Anyone else apparently, that plant was due for replacement/shutdown many years ago.

Anyone else? Including those who ran the reactor in Chernobyl?

Re:Nuke power (3, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133210)

The Chernobyl reactor was brand new... If you're going to be all panic mode about stuff at least get the easily verifiable facts right.

Re:Nuke power (5, Informative)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133274)

Chernobyl was new but read this:

http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~pbawa/421/ETHICAL%20ISSUES%20CHERNOBYL.htm [purdue.edu]

And before you vilify the Soviet system for fraud, incompetence, corruption etc,; read up on the Diablo canyon reactor. It had serious quality issues as well. Such as the shock absorbers on the foundation which were intended to protect it from, IIRC, 7.3 magnitude earthquakes being installed in reverse. Quality issues abound in all construction even reactors. I don't even trust the Germans to do it right.

Diablo canyon and Chernobyl also points out that if a good reactor design can be made, building it to spec is still a problem.

Trivia tidbit: I do believe that the author of the Chernobyl memo is Uri Andropov who chose Gorbachev as his successor to the post of General Secretary of the CP of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev who instituted Glasnost and Perestroika, which eventually led to the peaceful downfall of the Soviet Union.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133522)

I don't even trust the Germans to do it right.

Ha! We have a bunch of old plants that would probably fail more catastrophically than Fuk-D did. We're just lucky we don't get many earthquakes...

Re:Nuke power (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133328)

The question was not about the age of the reactors, the question was about who can do it safely. Indeed, if you manage to blow up a brand new reactor, it even sheds more bad light on your ability to run it safely.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133222)

or three mile island ?

Re:Nuke power (4, Informative)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133318)

or three mile island ?

"According to the American Nuclear Society, using the official radiation emission figures, "The average radiation dose to people living within ten miles of the plant was eight millirem, and no more than 100 millirem to any single individual. Eight millirem is about equal to a chest X-ray, and 100 millirem is about a third of the average background level of radiation received by US residents in a year.""

Accidents happen. Nobody died. Can we stop bringing up TMI as one of the poster children for why nuclear power is dangerous and deadly, because TMI is a horrible example for that purpose given how it pretty much proves the opposite.

Re:Nuke power (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133520)

I agree, not talking about it is better than educating the public, because its fast, lazy, and wont lead to any misconceptions at all.

Re:Nuke power (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133560)

I agree, not talking about it is better than educating the public, because its fast, lazy, and wont lead to any misconceptions at all.

I didn't say don't talk about it. I said don't say that Three Mile Island is proof that nuclear power is unsafe, because it's not.

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133554)

Can we stop bringing up TMI as one of the poster children for why nuclear power is dangerous and deadly,

No, we can't.

because TMI is a horrible example for that purpose given how it pretty much proves the opposite.

Because your conclusion shows you have no clue at all. Neither about simple logic conclusions nor about what happend at the TMI incident.

To your logic: the fact that in a majour catastrophe nobody died, does not make the technology causing that catastrophe safe. The opposite is true: if the technology would be save the catastrophe would not have happend.

To your lack of knowledge: TMI was so close to go boom it is a miracle that it did not. Why don't you care to read up all the nice stories about it? Miracle I mean literally. Miracle as in: probably there was indeed a god saving that place.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133610)

To your lack of knowledge: TMI was so close to go boom it is a miracle that it did not. Why don't you care to read up all the nice stories about it? Miracle I mean literally. Miracle as in: probably there was indeed a god saving that place.

That's nonsense. TMI had the same "boom" as Fukushima, except the hydrogen burn was inside the containment building, which held. After that, there wasn't a lot more with potential to breach containment, given that the plant still had power and cooling systems were still functional.

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133662)

First of all: no it is not nonsense.

Google and Wikipedia for it or by a book about it. The reports comming out 30 years after the incident draw a very scary picture.

Second: comparing it with Fukushima shows how uninformed you are. In Fukushima we had 2x core melt downs and again it is only a miracle nothing more serious happened.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133704)

I've read plenty about the TMI accident, thank you. The core melted, slumped to the bottom of the vessel, but didn't get much further. Hydrogen burned inside the containment building but didn't cause it to fail. They were worried about additional hydrogen problems at the time, but subsequent analyses showed them to be unfounded.

And you don't seem to have understood what I wrote. At Fukushima, something more serious *did* happen, thanks mostly to the hydrogen explosions causing damage and lack of power for cooling the containment, leading to a large release of iodine and caesium.

Re:Nuke power (5, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133824)

To your logic: the fact that in a majour catastrophe nobody died, does not make the technology causing that catastrophe safe. The opposite is true: if the technology would be save the catastrophe would not have happend.

It wasn't a catastrophe. It was an accident. Nuclear power is not safe in the same definition that almost EVERYTHING we do is not safe. Are cars safe? Nearly 40,000 people die every year in car accidents, let alone the tens of thousands more that are severely injured. Are planes safe? Planes are the safest method of efficient long-range travel in existance, but 1,000 people still die every year. And there are thousands of aviation accidents that don't actually cause any harm... I think earlier you called those "catastrophes". There are thousands of aviation catastrophes every year, resulting in about 1,000 deaths per year.

Let's try some risk-benefit analysis. There are about 140,000,000 automobiles in the United States. Let's just estimate that means 140,000,000 people drive frequently given that most people who own a car drive every day and some households have only one car for several people while some households may have several cars for one person. 40,000 automobile-related deaths per year means that approximately 0.0003% of those served by the automobile industry die because of it each year. Nuclear power accounts for about 20% of all power generation in the United States. Given a population of 307,000,000, I think we can safely approximate that around 61,400,000 people are served by nuclear power in the United States. 3 deaths in the history of nuclear power in the United States (3 people died in an accident at the Nuclear Reactor Testing Station in Idaho Falls on January 3, 1961) means that less than 0.00000005% of people served by the nuclear power industry have ever died because of it. We see 45 deaths per year directly attributed to coal power which produces energy for 150,000,000 people giving us a death rate of 0.0000003% per year, let alone all the wild speculation by the environazis trying to attribute every lung-related death in coal power areas to the coal emissions and we see numbers claimed to be sometimes approaching 10,000 deaths per year. That's all bullshit, of course, but that's what people claim. The fact is that nobody can claim any more deaths in the United States due to nuclear power than those three that died during the technology's infancy, because there is no environmental impact with which to attribute random numbers to.

The media oversensationalizes every little thing that ever happens, and you have been sucked in. Everything we do is dangerous. I suggest you stay inside wrapped in a warm blanket for the rest of your life because that's the only way you'll ever protect yourself from injury. Be careful not to stub your toe on your bedroom door on the way to the kitchen.

Re:Nuke power (2, Insightful)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133896)

You are making the same mistak everyone else is doing here in the discussion.

Car accidents have nothing to do with power plants. My they be nuclear or solar.

Coal mining has nothing to do with power plants.
Be they coal plants or nuclear plants.

You whole posting makes no sense. But it is typical for the way how people in our society believe to make "logical conclusions".

Your risk-benefit analysis holds only so long until we have a really bad accident (or until the true numbers of death in Chernobyl are released).

So it is completely pointless ... I dont get why that is so hard to see.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (4, Insightful)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133776)

"Nobody died"
This is the tired old logic of the nuclear appologist.
Only count the deaths. Ignore the fact that some of the health effects like cancer and birth defects take years to become evident. And ignore the fact that the huge swaiths of land has become uninhabital and that the groundwater has become poisened.
Oh yes, then the idiotic chest x-ray comparison.
Chest x-ray is external radiation, but people living near Fukusima are in danger because of internal radiation (ingesting radioactive isotopes from air, dust, food, etc.)

Re:Nuke power (3, Informative)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133888)

"Nobody died" This is the tired old logic of the nuclear appologist. Only count the deaths. Ignore the fact that some of the health effects like cancer and birth defects take years to become evident. And ignore the fact that the huge swaiths of land has become uninhabital and that the groundwater has become poisened. Oh yes, then the idiotic chest x-ray comparison. Chest x-ray is external radiation, but people living near Fukusima are in danger because of internal radiation (ingesting radioactive isotopes from air, dust, food, etc.)

How many years are we supposed to wait? Three Mile Island happened over 30 years ago and there has been no evidence of increased cancer rates as a result of that accident. And the only other accident that caused any injury in the history of nuclear power in the United States was in 1967 when somebody fucked up and improperly removed a control rod from the reactor, causing an explosion and the death of its three operators. That's it. Stop being blindfolded by the sensationalization and the stigmas related to the word "nuclear" and look at the facts.

Re:Nuke power (1)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133630)

Yes, even TMI. TMI was a contained accident that had no adverse impact on the health and safety of the public. So yes, even when things get totally cocked up it turns out its hard to have a Nuclear accident, with a western designed reactor, that actually causes harm to the public. So far that has not happened, including Fukushima.

Re:Nuke power (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133708)

If by no harm you mean Fukushima and TMI caused no disturbance then you are wrong. Public unrest, cleanup crews and Japan's need to FOREVER evacuate families from their homes and businesses, is in fact extremely harmful. Why does someone have to start dying for this to be news for nerds?

Re:Nuke power (5, Insightful)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133588)

The Soviets sucked. But lets review the three power reactor accidents that have presented any potential or actual risk to the public and lets see how those accidents shook out:

1) Chernobyl: A soviet designed reactor with no containment that had a steam explosion because the operators were not trained for the experiment they were running, and they lost control of the reactor by disabling all the safety systems and doing things all the other reactors in the USSR said no to. No shock there that it had a steam explosion. (Operator error, design flaw)
2) Three Mile Island: A faulty pressure relief valve on the PWRs pressurizer and a bad design for the indicator, plus poor location of the indicators on the back of a panel, no release but core damage. (Operator error, design flaw)
3) Fukushima: a Tsunami induced beyond design basis accident, where the Units survived the earthquake and apparently the safety systems were working until the Tsunami took out the Diesel generators knocking all but the RCIC safety system out. (Beyond DBA)

Effects:

1) Chernobyl: Core Damage and exposure plus release plus fire. Worst case accident. Expected because the soviets just didnt give a fuck, they built a faulty reactor, had no containment and they blew it up with faulty procedures and an arrogant approach to Nuclear engineering. Big shocker to no one that they had a loss of containment accident and killed a lot of people trying to bring it under control. Classic Soviet Engineering Fuckup.

Actual Measurable Effects: Unit destroyed, lots of deaths of personnel involved in controlling the accident. Area contaminated, but effects have been much less over time than expected, tours are available of the area now. Worst case loss of control accident.

Cause: Experiment coupled with Operator Error/Arrogance. Soviet reactor design was unstable at low power, Night shift was untrained for the experiment that they were told to run. Plant tried to run experiment during the day, but was told to stop due to Brown Outs and passed this on to the junior night shift. Shift lost control of reactor, steam explosion took the lid off the uncontained reactor. Because Soviet reactors were designed to be refueled while running it had no containment and the rest is history. No one builds reactors like this except the Soviets, so this kind of accident can not occur with non-soviet designed reactors.

2) TMI: Core damage, no known release. It scared a lot of people at the time because it wasn't clear, at the time, what was wrong or what the effects were. Communication was poor and people understandably were panicked. No known release was measured, and a number of studies have looked into this. Increased rates of cancer were not detected, but its possible it did occur. Unfortunately, at the time the accident occurred the movie China Syndrome came out and this may have also had some impact on public perception of this accident.

Actual measurable effects: Core Damaged, Unit unusable, No deaths, no known direct health effects although there is some debate from residents on this point. Scientific studies so far have concluded that if there was any release (and there is no evidence of , it did not have any impact on public health and safety. The material than ended up the aux building did not contain solids at room temp, so any release was likely xenon (and maybe some argon or krypton), and possibly some radioactive iodine. Data at the time of the accident indicates that the release was less than 2 mrem, or 1/40th the natural dose for residents of a high altitude city. In short, not above background levels and no evidence of I-131 or C-137 in mammalian milk in the surrounding areas. So, the actual effects were scary sounding, but not anything that would have adverse impacts on health.

Cause: The Babcock and Wilcox valve indicated it was closed if the solenoid was de-energized, not when it was actually closed. It stuck open, and the indicators said it was closed. There were sensors on the the relief pipe that indicated it was hot as hell (which means coolant from the pressurizer, which is HOT, was flowing and that also meant that the the valve was open). This indicator was was on the back of panel, so the first shift missed seeing it. A lot of things were done differently then, a lot of confusion occurred, too many people running around, etc. The second shift came on, ran their procedures, noticed it was open and took corrective action. No release because of containment.

3) Fukushima. Beyond DBA. Core damage probably in multiple units, primary containment appears to be intact but we won't know for some time. Site did not follow recommendations from other countries to have portable generators and pumps, Tsunami wall was too small, significant culture resistance to outside assistance. Release probable, but not known completely at this time what type of release as the reactors are still being contained and cold shutdown has not occured yet.

Actual Measurable effects: Units probably total loss. Likely significant core damage in 1 and 3, probably in 2. WHO has stated that there is no evidence of any significant release of radiation. There has been known release of radioactive nitrogen, which decays within seconds and argon (which poses no health risks to humands). Measured increased amounts of radiocative caesium and iodine in the vicinity of the plant, but not at dangerous levels. No evidence that any uranium or plutonium has been released. So far actual health impact low, economic impact high and part of a larger more massive effect from the Tsunami. No known loss of life (one person died a few days ago, but he was in his 60s and had only been working at the plant for a few days, likely this was age related and not due to the accident, but not known yet what the cause was)

Cause: Tsunami (not Earthquake) caused Station Blackout/Loss of backup power to safety systems to cool reactor. Unit was shut down (the control rods are inserted automatically when an Earthquake occurs), but decay heat was not being taken away from the unit due to loss of power to the pumps.

What we believe also is/was occuring (we wont know for sure till we can do a complete analysis): The RCIC was being steam powered, and helped but its not enough so they got core damage, increase in heat and pressure. They vented pressure, causing a hydrogen build up in the ill-named containment building (not actually containment, its the big square building around the unit, its made of corrugated steel and its not designed to contain anything) and they had a hydrogen explosion (not possible in upgraded units that have hardened vents, but the Japanese didnt both to upgrade). Loss of cooling to the temporary cooling pools (permanent because no one wants to admit we have nuclear waste we need to dispose of, so we keep it at the plants) due to loss of cooling, and possible leaking in possibly one pool due to damage (this is speculated, not known).

So, lets see 31 countries with nuclear power, only three power reactor accidents. The world actually seems to be doing pretty well, and we'd be doing a lot better if people would stop treating Nuclear as some kind of evil magical beast and upgrade the plants (which the Japanese didn't do) to modern designs, which are much safer (they use passive cooling systems, and dont require POWER!).

Only other known reactor accident with possible loss of containment:

Jaslovské Bohunice ( Czechoslovakia) - reactor corrosion, contaminated the plant area unit had to be decommissioned. Impact to public believed to be none, but this was a Warsaw Pact unit and information was hard to come by. Area around plant is not known to be contaminated now.

Cause: Another lovely soviet design, poor procedures and poor maintenance. Not an accident in the traditional sense, this was contamination of the plant area over time.

So seriously, lets stop the fear mongering, four accidents of significance and only one - due to a terribly stupid design - resulted in actual threats to the public. Nuclear power is safe, and if people would just take the time to actually understand it they would know it.

Re:Nuke power (4, Insightful)

thermopile (571680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133850)

A fantastic summary, but I quibble with the "no evidence of any significant release of radiation" quote for Fukushima. Two months ago, I would have said it was impossible for a reactor in Japan to contaminate the drinking water in Tokyo, but that's exactly what happened. To the detriment of the industry (and I'm a nuclear engineer), there was a significant release of radiation.

That said, in the grand scheme of things, it has not presented a harm to the general public that is greater than other risks: look at the poor folks in the spillways of the Mississippi. Or the coal ash spill from the coal-fired plant in Kingston, TN.

Three incidents like you describe above, over thirty-two years, is a pretty darned good safety record, with the 440+ commercial power reactors around the world. Why does nuclear have a bad rap? One possibility is it stems from fear [anengineerindc.com] since it all started with a few mushroom clouds, but whatever the reason, it seems awfully visceral.

Re:Nuke power (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133216)

As were many plants across the US of a similar design which are still running.

Re:Nuke power (5, Informative)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133346)

So is Chalk River in Canada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalk_River_Laboratories [wikipedia.org] But our Prime minister fired the nuclear watch dog when she said to shut the plant down after the last time the reactor had a spill. http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/303953 [thestar.com]

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133402)

"Anyone else apparently, that plant was due for replacement/shutdown many years ago."

Would the replacement not have been damaged by the earthquake?

If it had been shut down, how many years until damage due to the earthquake would not have caused leaking of radioactive material?

Re:Nuke power (1)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133650)

The Earthquake was apparently not the cause of the Fukushima accident, the safety systems and pumps were working after the Earthquake and the control rods were in. The Tsunami apparently is the cause, we know it took out the diesels and you absolutely have to have those with an older design that doesnt use passive cooling. Without that you cant do anything about the decay heat (well, you can with portable units, but the Japanese choose not to have those) and you get the current problem. The Japanese also didn't apply any of the upgrades other GE BWR users had, so they had a very old Mark 1 design. Those upgrades would have survived the Earthquake, but unless the Japanese did something to better prepare the site for the Tsunami (such as portable generators and pumps or a higher Tsunami wall) they would have likely still lost the Diesels.

Modern reactors, like the AP1000 (and others too), use passive cooling in accidents and dont require power. So, hypothetically, if Fukushima was a modern reactor this accident would not have occurred. The Tsunami would have been irrelevant, the passive cooling would have kept working.

Re:Nuke power (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133530)

Anyone else apparently, that plant was due for replacement/shutdown many years ago.

Every time there's a nuke plant disaster, some people argue that the particular situation is a special case that can be safely ignored. Undoubtedly, the same arguments will pop up the next time there's a major accident, sabotage or attack (which will undoubtedly be yet another special case).

Re:Nuke power (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133598)

Every time there's a nuke plant disaster, some people argue that the particular situation is a special case that can be safely ignored.

Welcome to slashdot.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133542)

Yep anyone else.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/10/501364/main20061444.shtml

Re:Nuke power (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133236)

Obviously it is impossible, which is why we have yearly meltdowns and hundreds of huge exclusion zones around the wo...

Wait a second. We don't. It seems that, unlke oil or coal, the total number of major disasters is way lower on the nuke side.

It's too bad we can't actually build the newer, safer designs. People might protest. It reminds me of the protests when the Cassini probe was launched, all because it had a plutonium RTG on it.

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133278)

How many oil plant and coal plant explosions did we have in recent years?
According to you they seem to be far more dangerous than nuclear plants ... just wondering.
angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133296)

How many oil plant and coal plant explosions did we have in recent years?
According to you they seem to be far more dangerous than nuclear plants ... just wondering.
angel'o'sphere

BP in the Gulf? Many dead.

Re:Nuke power (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133452)

Sorry, an oil well or refinery aren't an oil plant: they dosn't generate electricity, as far as I can remember. Otherwise you will need to take into account the damage mining for uranium may be doing (not that I know whether it is high or low).

Once you start spreading the net you will need to consider coal mining too... and we aren't talking about mining, be it coal, oil or uranium.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133304)

Oil and coal plants don't explode that much, no.

They just have oil spills. Or has everyone already forgotten about the gulf of Mexico? Exxon's Alaska? or many others that go unreported in poorer nations?

Re:Nuke power (2, Informative)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133706)

Coal pants also release Thorium and Uranium which is a byproduct of coal composition, and is the largest source of radioactive release worldwide. Coal plants produce radiative waste and dump it into the air all day long, Nuclear Power plants do not.

Re:Nuke power (2)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133744)

> Oil and coal plants don't explode that much, no.

Thats splitting the hair, coal plants and oil plants absolutely have explosions and people die all the time. Coal dust is terrifyingly explosive, just google around a little and you'll see that coal dust explosions are unfortunately very common. Usually only a few people die, but plants themselves have been leveed such as the Kleen Energy Systems gas plant in 2010 that was almost destroyed.

You should expect any combustible fuel plant to have explosion hazards.

Re:Nuke power (3, Informative)

Zulkis (839927) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133334)

How about oil spills? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills [wikipedia.org] Or mine disasters? http://www.usmra.com/china/disasterwatch/ [usmra.com] (just China)

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133376)

This are not power plants.

How do you dare to compare a nuclear power plants safety with 3rd worlds mining accidents?

Are you completely nuts?

angel'o'sphere

P.S. how many ppl died in oil spills? And again: what has that to do with a power plant and its safety?

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133470)

No true oil power plants have ever killed anyone.

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133564)

I don't know.

But our GP makes wild accusations ... I only ask if he can point out a singel one ;D

And if there was one: how many residents in the surrounding 20km area where in danger?

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133770)

You want a coal accident? Try this [wikipedia.org] . Yes, it's mining, but it still counts. You can't have coal power stations without mining.

Re:Nuke power (1)

Zulkis (839927) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133736)

This are not power plants.

How do you dare to compare a nuclear power plants safety with 3rd worlds mining accidents?

Are you completely nuts?

angel'o'sphere

P.S. how many ppl died in oil spills? And again: what has that to do with a power plant and its safety?

If you compare nuclear with other types of energy you cant point out to the one link in chain and compare only that. You need factor in supporting industry (coal and uranium mines + oil wells). Please do tell me that no one dies on coal mines and oil wells are safe :) Uranium mines for other hand are pretty rare and you dont need that much uranium than coal.

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133800)

No,
you are not comparing different types of energy.

You are comparing different types of industrial activity.

Mining != power plant.
Mining: does not (potential) kill 100,000ds of people around the mine.
Power Plant: can kill lots of people around the plant.
Mining: people volunteer to work in the mine, unless they are slaves.
Power Plant: (especially in Japan) people live around it and for reasons they can not move away.

It is all completely different stuff.

You are not even mixing apples with oranges, you are mixing apples with iPhones ... Just because the name "apple" rings a bell.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (2)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133426)

Intriguing. Coal kills.

Oh well. Not too different from self-driving cars. The first self-driving car that even injures someone will be a media circus. Yet I guess we're ok with human drivers: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx [dot.gov] .

Re:Nuke power (2)

darkjedi521 (744526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133572)

A natural gas plant in CT blew up a year ago due to improper purging of the gas lines during testing. Managed to rattle windows 30 miles away and if I remember correcltly, it registered as a 2 or 3 on the nearest seismograph. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/07/us-energy-explosion-idUSTRE61619Q20100207 [reuters.com]

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133738)

So,
applying the same logic our GP applied "nuclear is save, or we had super gaus already" we can conclude now: gas plants are save, otherwise we had haved deathes in that gas explosion, or?

Well, don't get me wrong, I'm not primarily arguing against or pro nuclear or anything else. but I'm arguing about brain dead conclusions by jumping from unrelated shit back and forth. The only relation, all the points brought up here have, is: they are related to energy creation. RELATED ...

Coal mining e.g. is no difference than iron ore mining (well, due to coal dust explosions it is). But people here are more or less comparing any industrial activity, especially in the 3rd world, with operating a nuclear power plant (and building it, and its safety).

There is no relation between them, it is at simple as that.

It is as stupid as comparing school bus accidents with plane crashes (yes in a remote sense it is about transportation, but a school bus is bringing children to a School, and everything is under human control of the bus driver and the other car drivers involved. In an air plane crash are very likely no school kids brought to school and very likely the root cause for the accident is out of control of the pilots)

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133710)

How many oil plant and coal plant explosions did we have in recent years?
According to you they seem to be far more dangerous than nuclear plants ... just wondering.
angel'o'sphere

How many people die from smog caused by fossil fuels? How many miners are buried in coal mines? How much toxic crap is thrown into the air by burning these things?

Just because these events are not on the front page of newspapers doesn't mean they don't happen more regularly than the more sensational stories.

Re:Nuke power (3, Insightful)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133716)

How many oil plant and coal plant explosions did we have in recent years?

You don't need explosions for those to harm people. Air pollution, mining incidents, global warming... if all the consequences of coal were piled into a single, per-decade event it would be an appalling accident, far worse than Fukushima.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133822)

Coal ash spills:

[ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/world/americas/07iht-sludge.4.19164565.html ]

Answer: a lot of (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133906)

Why, just last year, 38 people died in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Big_Branch_Mine_disaster [wikipedia.org] . And these are direct immediate deaths.

If you count deaths caused by 'black lung' disease, cancers and other coal-related deaths, you'll be counting in hundreds of thousands pretty soon.

Re:Nuke power (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133374)

We can't build the newer, safer designes for two reasons. The first is that the nuclear industry, by which I mean both the operators and the regulators, have utterly failed to be honest and diligent. By this I mean that they generally do their best to try to paint a happy face on any problem that may come up, rather than saying "here's what's bad about this, and here's what we're doing about it." Consequently, each time something genuinely bad happens, public trust is further undermined. And they do their best to find the cheapest possible solution to any problem, rather than actually trying to solve it, because if they had to actually solve it, it might be cheaper to simply shut down the plant.

The root of this problem is that nuclear, like solar, is not actually economically competitive with carbon sources. We'd like to stop using carbon sources of energy, but it's difficult because it's cheaper (partially because we never count the cost of the externalities). The difference between nuclear and solar is that in the case of nuclear, there's a temptation to cheap out on safety so as to make it more economically feasible, or to simply not account for externalities, like the cost of exclusion zones when a serious accident like the ones at Chernobyl and Fukushima happens.

So the point is not that nuclear is inherently unsafe, or inherently a bad idea, but rather that the economics of nuclear power tend to increase risk, not decrease it, and that what is being risked is an outcome like the ones in Fukushima and Chernobyl.

Re:Nuke power (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133412)

Nuclear energy is quite cheap once the plant is up and running they can be run indefinitely with proper maintenance. Cost wouldn't be an issue if we required the coal and oil industries to pay a fee for the pollution they produce as a byproduct of production.

Re:Nuke power (3, Insightful)

PNutts (199112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133552)

Nuclear energy is quite cheap once the plant is up and running they can be run indefinitely with proper maintenance.

Fukushima Dai-ichi's energy was cheap until 3/11/2011 and it was properly maintained as much as any of them. Also, the Titanic was a great ship that provided excellent transportation until halfway across the Atlantic.

Re:Nuke power (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133576)

The same is true for wind, water and solar plants, or more even for sea wave power plants.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133712)

wind plants cheap? thank government subsidies for that one. solar? only when the sun is shining, which according to my math is only 1/2 the time. water? CBF to bother refuting this one, but, suffice to say, not cheap either.

  google up yourself some articles about decaying windfarms, problems with re-permitting them, the amount of money that it takes to put one up, then keep it running. Ask T. Boone Pickens about his windfarms.

Re:Nuke power (1)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133806)

Wind is not cheap, nor is solar. The only cheaper source of power compare to Nuclear is hydro. Wind and Solar are actually very expensive and unreliable, solar only works if theres sunlight (so no power at night, overcast, snow storms, etc.) and wind of course only works if there is wind, and there isnt enough of either to meet the power needs of the world. Sea wave is also not as cheap as either hydro or Nuclear, and it presents impact to the marine environment and only about 1/5th of the possible power could be captured with current technology.

Both wind and solar are delightful, but there are red herrings, they do not solve the power problem as they can not create enough power (and only at certain times). Wave generation is interesting, but it too suffers from inconsistent power generation yield, its not capable of producing enough power and its inconsistent. At most wave generation is considered to be able to produce maybe 5-10% of the total power needs of the US, so if it works its not a solution.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133778)

Nuclear energy is quite cheap once the plant is up and running they can be run indefinitely with proper maintenance.

The radiation breaks down the reactor and containment vessels over time. They can run "indefinitely with proper maintenance" in the same way that a car can run "indefinitely with proper maintenance": if you are prepared to swap out the engine, chassis and every other single part in the end. The difference may be that because it's so hugely expensive to decommission a nuclear power plant, that option may actually make economic sense there though.

And of course one of the reasons it's so cheap to run is because they haven't actually implemented any long term solution for the waste storage, and because the government foots large parts of the insurance liability.

Re:Nuke power (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133406)

It seems that, unlke oil or coal, the total number of major disasters is way lower on the nuke side.

Of course, the "way lower" number of nuclear plants may have something to do with that. But on you also have to consider the lack of evacuations around a coal plant in the event of disasters - and I don't know of a single coal plant that has a sarcophagus over it, or a vast area around it where people are forbidden to live.

Re:Nuke power (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133460)

I don't know of a single coal plant that has a sarcophagus over it

Good catch. Mostly that's because its toxic materials are either blown into the atmosphere or end up in large reservoirs on site, which have a habit of breaking.

a vast area around it where people are forbidden to live.

I suppose that's mostly because we're ignorant of the hazards of coal plant output. I hear the health effects are quite drastic, let alone living downstream in the event of a fly ash spill.

Re:Nuke power (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133622)

I suppose that's mostly because we're ignorant of the hazards of coal plant output. I hear the health effects are quite drastic, let alone living downstream in the event of a fly ash spill.

You should not believe everything you hear. There is no fly ash anymore in a modern plant since 15 - 20 years (in EU especially, not sure about USA, the last discussion with a /. er from there revealed that they "should" have even stricter limitations but seem not to be enforced).
I don't really know what you mean with a spill ... but I remember this accident a few months ago in an aluminium plant I think in eastern europe where lots of people died to spilled high acid materials.
A flood caused a deposite to over flood and flow into a town.
Anyway, regarding fly ash: it is separated in a way that most of it can be used as building material, e.g. for roads or as hard plaster in buildings. Only a very small amount gets deposited.
angel'o'sphere

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133834)

Kingston Valley TVA coal plant, you ass.

EPA will eventually declare it a Superfund site.

 

Re:Nuke power (1)

trep5 (2159096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133476)

Living nearby a coal ash spill [wikimedia.org] is as bad or worse in terms of possibility to get a cancer. Why isn't it an evacuation area?

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133430)

The difference is, when I Nuke Plant goes, the area is fucked for thousands of years.

While the evacuation zone keeps expanding, at what point does Japan become uninhabitable...forever?

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133802)

The difference is, when I Nuke Plant goes, the area is fucked for thousands of years.

Really? So those tours of Chernobyl are clearly Soviet propaganda.

Re:Nuke power (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133832)

Oh I see what you're doing there! Well, let's see, if we take the rate it expanding now, and assume that it will continue at the same rate unchanged forever... Multiply by batshit insanity, carry the stupidity... And consider the ever increasing exclusion zones around TMI and Chernobyl... I calculate we'll all have to live in submarines on the moon Io by 2035!!!!! How do we let this continue!!!

Re:Nuke power (1)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133846)

> The difference is, when I Nuke Plant goes, the area is fucked for thousands of years.

No, if you have total loss of containment you have certain areas that are unhealthy, not "fucked for thousands of years". That type of accident can not happen with a western style reactor, such as the one at Fukushima. And even when you do have a total loss of containment, such as at Chernobyl, the effects turned out to be less than what was originally projected.

And you don't have that kind of accident at Fukushima, its not a release accident! The reactor had a cooling accident, not a loss of containment accident. Sheesh.

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133628)

Nuclear power is scary because the danger is not as obvious and the damage is not as localized. Mines can collapse, wells can catch fire, and refineries can explode, but these incidents don't force hundreds of thousands from their homes and render the area uninhabitable for decades. Perhaps the cost (in terms of both money and lives) of non-nuclear incidents dwarfs that of nuclear, but the lasting effects may tip the scale in the other direction.

Re:Nuke power (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133638)

Unfortunatley, nuclear power is only really becomes economical when you run the reactors way beyond their designed lifespan.
According to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, "subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away"
http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-subsidies-report.html [ucsusa.org]

Re:Nuke power (1)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133692)

Exactly. Fear mongering amount Nuclear power is actually making people less safe because we can't build modern designs. Not to mention that coal burning releases massive amounts of radiation (I'm not trying to be sarcastic, it does). So ironically, you get less radiation exposure near a nuclear power plant than you do near a coal plant. In fact, coal is the major source of radiation release world wide, it releases thorium and uranium - neither of which have been released by either TMI or Fukushima!

Re:Nuke power (1)

Shienarier (185368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133416)

Anyone not on three fault ridges?
Anyone that uses Thorium instead of Plutonium or Uranium?

Re:Nuke power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133428)

The French

Re:Nuke power (1)

Python (1141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133568)

Thats easy, there have been three reactor accidents for power reactors that have any significance, so lets leave those three countries out, which means these countries are operating Nuclear Power plants just fine: Argentina Armenia Belgium Brazil Bulgaria Canada China Croatia Czech Republic Finland France Germany Hungary India South Korea Mexico Netherlands Pakistan Romania Slovenia South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Ukraine United Kingdom And they haven't had accidents. And the Japanese are hardly leaders in Nucleaer Power. Unit 1 was an ancient Mark 1 GE BWR without upgrades that the Japanese refused to do like everyone else, pure arrogance on their part. You can't extrapolate in some racist manner that because the Japanse make nice cars that they are leaders in all technology, this was an ancient unit that actually worked after the Earthquake. It was the Tsunami that took out the diesel generators, and even then it didn't damage the units themselves. The Japanese didn't bother to listen to anyone else when told they should have portable generators and pumps to deal with a large loss of equipment at the site. This happened because of arrogance, not because of engineering.

Re:Nuke power (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133672)

If the Japanese can't do this shit safely, then who can?

Canada. The CANDU is the safest and most versatile proven reactor design in the world. There are others which, in theory, could be even more foolproof, but none that have actually been used in a real-world scenario (eg. pebble-bed reactors look great on paper, but, IIRC, the few that have been built turned out to have all sorts of unanticipated problems).

Re:Nuke power (1)

joneil (677771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133878)

Canada had TWO major nuclear incidents at Chalk River with the NRX reactors, in 1952 and 58. Most the the information has been removed off the web over the past few years, but you can still read about the 1952 partial meltdown here at:
http://media.cns-snc.ca/history/nrx.html [cns-snc.ca]

    My son had to do a high school project a few years about about the 1952 incident, and modern history books have virtually nothing on the accident. An old early 1960's history book from the stacks at the public library and that report on the web were about the only sources of information he could find.

      As a fellow Canadian, I am not so sure we can be that arrogant in our attitudes. Also, if Canada, supposedly one of the more open and free democracies in the world (whatever that is supposed to mean anymore) can downplay and/or suppress information about it's major nuclear accidents, how many other "incidents" do you think might have happened around the world and we've never heard about?

      Sad thing is, compared to fossil fuels, what real choice do we have? Realistically, conservation, wind and solar (green power) sources just aren't cutting it. I'm not talking about home use, trying running a major manufacturing plant or oil refinery on wind or solar power.
   

homer simpson (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133754)

homer simpson

Re:Nuke power (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133902)

Atoms for the future!

Slashdot on nukes? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133262)

Hey, this is Slashdot, nukes can do no wrong! Clearly this must be propaganda from the bleeding heart eviro-nuts who don't hold the same opinions as me!

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

trep5 (2159096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133388)

No one is saying nukes are perfect. Yet it is the best alternative to the oil that we will run out of shortly. I guess people will have positive opinion about nuclear once they pay an arm and a leg for electricity.

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133436)

Nobody here says that, at least not that I've seen. But a bunch of us do point out that under normal circumstances and ones in which nuclear reactors are supposed to be engineered to handle, things like this don't happen. If you've been paying attention, this wouldn't have been much of an issue had the reactor been properly designed, it's beyond my comprehension as to why they did not have a proper contingency plan for tsunami, given the plant's location and the general likelihood of such a disaster. Had the plant been located in the Gobi Desert, I could understand their not planning for a tsunami, but the plant itself wasn't really that far away from the ocean.

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133618)

under normal circumstances and ones in which nuclear reactors are supposed to be engineered to handle, things like this don't happen

Well, thank goodness! For a while there, I thought we had a major disaster on our hands.

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133644)

Fact is: they had planned for a Tsunami.

Only not for such a big one.

And: they did not even do it properly, instead of putting the emergency power into a truly save spot they had them standing outside on the field. The cheapest solution.

Imho it can't be so hard to make an air tight building with lets say a 30 yards high chimney and air take ins and put the emergency power diesel generators into it. However, if they do that, they surely mess it up as well and it will break exactly in the moment where it is needed.

angel'o'sphere

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133456)

power and money grubbing corporations with lawmakers in their pockets, like Tepco, can do much harm with "nukes". Japan's corporations seem especially gifted with this, for example untrained workers actually unknowingly making a crude nuclear reactor in 1999 by adding one too many buckets of 18% enriched uranyl nitrate to a precipitation tank, with two deaths and a survivor severe radiation poisoning.

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133584)

I can only assume you're reading a different Slashdot, because there have been a large number of anti-nuke comments on every Fukushima story.

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133656)

Might be that you read at -1 and he doesn't, so he can't see those anti-nuke comments that get promptly hammered by the shills of the bury brigade.

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133742)

Is everyone who disagrees with you a shill?

This seems to come up a lot. Are people so utterly certain that they're right that the only reason they can see for someone disagreeing is that they're paid to do so?

Re:Slashdot on nukes? (4, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133790)

No, they probably are not paid, I give you that. They are useful idiots. For every poster that is actually engaging into a discussion, I can give you ten who just spam the site with the usual lies like "coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste". What I find most fascinating is the fact that in the nuclear threads, suddenly stuff like global warming and peak oil is real and nuclear power is our salvation. In every other thread, those two things are usually made up by a global conspiracy of socialist scientists and/or Al Gore for the sole purpose of grabbing your hard earned and well deserved money.

TEPCO has ruined nuclear power for decades (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133556)

Much of this is TEPCO's fault, and specifically the fault of their CEO, Masataka Shimizu. A few weeks after the hydrogen explosions, it came out that the CEO had ruled that only he could authorize any release of radioactive material, including venting hydrogen to the atmosphere to avoid an explosion.

When that decision needed to be made, the CEO was not present when wanted. [reuters.com] When the earthquake occurred, he happened to be in another part of Japan and had trouble getting to TEPCO HQ. But there was no backup plan if the CEO was unavailable. Nobody took over and made the decision. (In the US, policy is that the on-site plant manager can make that decision.)

The CEO wasn't seen in public for weeks after the disaster. He was rumored to have fled the country, that he'd committed suicide, or that he was in a hospital. The Prime Minister of Japan personally went over to TEPCO headquarters to demand answers and action. Even that didn't help, and his office had to directly take over management of the disaster.

Masataka Shimizu is still CEO of TEPCO.

Japan used to have a tradition of seppuku in such situations.

Re:TEPCO has ruined nuclear power for decades (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133604)

He doesn't need to kill himself. He just needs to be on-location at the plant, 24x7, alongside the workers of the plant who are putting themselves at risk, until the problem is solved.

Re:TEPCO has ruined nuclear power for decades (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133748)

So what makes you think the western companies operating nuclear power plants are any better?

1986. (0)

Chardansearavitriol (1946886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133558)

I was born during the chernobyl incident. Like all people from the mid 1980s, I of course developed super powers. Fighting off the soviets..that was easy. But now do we have to prepare to fight the JDF Otaku Division? I dont like beating people who are 5' tall and wearing an Ultraman costume, But ill do it if I have to. Anything to keep the Invisible Civil War from spreading...but man...they have tentacle monsters! Thats no fun for anyone.

Re:1986. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133612)

well, no fun for us guys, but lots of fun for the gals, and i guess fun for us if we get to watch, so what exactly is your point? i for one welcome our new male heterosexual tentacle monster overlords.

chosen ones; passover holycost extendead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36133590)

you call this 'weather'? part of the delay of the completion of our eternal reward system is that the angel of death has run into political & spiritual challenges, whilst attempting to depopulate southern hillary. the hillarians seem to have advance warning of the upcoming divinically inspired 'visits' this time, & have decided to resolve the matter without consulting any fictional deities. the hymenical council reports that the zeus weapon is being fired helter skelter now, & the war of terror vs.more bigger terror is going as planned. our rulers are even more safe & more than comfortable than ever before, so our future looks fake, like the weather, & our pretense of limitless power.

disarm. feed the billions of starving children. read the teepeeleaks etchings, please. merciless monday approaches fast. hang on to your healing intentions.

Compounding problems (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133632)

With each accident, building new facilities gets more difficult. We have many existing plants that are of older designs, that are much more susceptible to failure than modern designs. This leads to our current situation of using these old plants way past their design life. This keeps plants from being replaced by modern designs that are multiple times less prone to meltdown. Irrational fear is compounding the problem of old nuke plants, making future problems more likely.

Re:Compounding problems (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36133808)

Dude, the industry is actively lobbying to extend licenses for each and every plant. And that is not because of the dirty hippies making the construction of new plants impossible (didn't know we had that much power, must have missed that memo), this is because the investments in the old plants are written off by now, so extending the lifetime is PURE PROFIT.
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