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Organized Crime Cleaning Up With Nuclear Waste

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the sleep-with-the-three-eyed-fishes dept.

EU 138

mdsolar writes "The Mafia has been involved with waste disposal for forever but they seem to be getting very interested in nuclear waste disposal these days. In Europe they scuttle ships containing nuclear waste in the sea. Now in Japan, their Asian counterparts are angling for disposal contracts resulting from the Fukushima nuclear disaster."

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So... (4, Insightful)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456182)

So, when this starts happening in the US, I'm guessing Yucca mountain will sound a lot more appealing to all those naysayers. Just a guess, though.

Speaking of the US (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456332)

You know what is so funny. Any time you attempt to have a rational discussion about something like illegal immigration in the US you won't get very far. See, immigration is all about respecting a country's laws. It's about not trying to be where you are not wanted because no one owes you a goddamned thing. It's about not permanently moving to the US unless you plan to become an American, just like I'd never consider permanently moving to Mexico unless i planned to become a Mexican. I'd also never permanently move to Mexico unless I knew that its citizens, through their government, actually want me to be there and have allowed me to come.

But this is the only widespread criminal behavior that is routinely excused. Even drug users don't have legions of bed-wetters making excuses for them and telling you that you're a bad person for wanting our laws to be respected and the fucking drug laws don't make half as much sense as the immigration laws.

But the second you want the Mexican invasion to be stopped you're immediately a "racist". You're a "racist" even if you are happy to have Mexicans come to this country so long as they do it legally. Figure that one out. Just try. A real racist who had a problem with Mexicans wouldn't want them here under any circumstance. But the emotional nancyboys who scream "RACISM!" don't see the contradiction. They just keep talking about "brown people".

Well here's some facts about "brown people". Ever notice that all of the problem areas of the world are populated by brown people? Mexico, what a lovely place -- nothing like drug cartels with military hardware! The Middle East, well, need I say more? How are things in South America, places like Columbia and Venezuela, how'd you like a permanent visa and a free one-way ticket so you can go live there? How much free speech do you think you'd enjoy in Peru? What's wrong, got a problem with "brown people?"

Or hey, maybe it's got nothing to do with race and everything to do with appreciating that USA is one of the few non-shithole places to live in the world and maybe we'd like to keep it that way, Maybe we can take in thousands or even millions of people who want a better life but maybe, just maybe, we can't single-handedly save the entire fucking world from its own corruption and mismanagement. Maybe we already do more than our fair share of that. Maybe some of those "brown people" should try putting together a prosperous free nation so that sneaking over somebody else's border becomes less important to them. There's a thought. Oh but that's so racist, and so is anything else you don't want to hear that happens to be the fuckin' truth, it's all just horrible terrible racism. Yeah.

Ever think that the failure to face the truth combined with the childish tendency to scapegoat every real problem by blaming some kind of "ism" is the reason nothing ever gets better? Did you ever think that immediately bringing race into every possible issue makes YOU the racist? Do you bleeding-heart pansy-ass bed-wetters ever get enough contact with reality to entertain that notion? Would you know what reality was and have the guts to face it if you saw it?

Re:Speaking of the US (-1, Offtopic)

FatSean (18753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456372)

I like paying less for my lawn care. I like cheap fruit and veggies. Americans won't work for the wages American businesses pay these people.

The "debate" about illegal immigration is a laugh because the frothy angry low rent whiners don't want to see the real fix implemented: severely punish anyone who hires a person residing in the USA illegally.

Re:Speaking of the US (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457072)

That will not work. What will happen is people will slow down on hiring 'brown people'. Too risky.

The national registry get 3 out of every 100 people wrong. Flags them as illegal. So that's 3 out of 100 people that can't get work.

Having the companies do more then check ID puts too much of a burden on the employer.

Here is the fix:
Stop caring about it. Now everyone competes at the same wage. No one can undercut wages because they aren't hiring Illegal that can't turn them in.

The response to that solution will tell you who is racist.

Also assuming only brown people come here illegally is a sure sign of stupidity and racism.

Re:Speaking of the US (2)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457406)

Also assuming only brown people come here illegally is a sure sign of stupidity and racism.

And short memory. The entire furor died down back when they caught that hot russian spy woman and everyone realized that white people like them could be accused of being illegal too, and realized white Americans don't really carry around anything that proves their citizenship. Now everyone's forgotten about that, and the calls for people to carry their papers are coming back too.

Re:Speaking of the US (1)

reasterling (1942300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458100)

Stop caring about it.

The IRS will like to have a talk with you.

Re:Speaking of the US (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457868)

This is utter crap.

I know lots of white people that would love to have a Job right now. *ANY* damn job. And can't because someone that doesn't have the right has it instead.

- Dan.

Re:Speaking of the US (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459790)

Sure, and the person who hired them for 50% of the wage of a documented worker because they know the person is illegal and can't complain, all the while pocketing most of the extra 40%, is blameless, right? It's only those brown folks' fault for wanting to leave a country with few economic opportunities or fleeing drug-war fueled violence pushed by the USA.

So here's the kicker, when global warming (that thing all the neo-cons and Tea Partiers are in denial about) really gets to messing with the livability in the tropics through more powerful tropical storms, flooding, heatwaves, etc., the migration from Central America through the Mexico border is going to make the last few decades look like a trickle.

Re:Speaking of the US (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459892)

Sure, and the person who hired them for 50% of the wage of a documented worker because they know the person is illegal and can't complain, all the while pocketing most of the extra 40%, is blameless, right? It's only those brown folks' fault for wanting to leave a country with few economic opportunities or fleeing drug-war fueled violence pushed by the USA.

This is the natural pull of a Free Economy, New laws are being laid down to penalize these practices, and enforce existing Laws.
http://www.facebook.com/StandWithArizona [facebook.com]

So here's the kicker, when global warming (that thing all the neo-cons and Tea Partiers are in denial about) really gets to messing with the livability in the tropics through more powerful tropical storms, flooding, heatwaves, etc., the migration from Central America through the Mexico border is going to make the last few decades look like a trickle.

Not a denier, and not a chicken little, but congressional hearings have exposed gore's financial interest and research bias. Where ice shelves melt on one side of the polar caps, they have been growing on the other. Furthermore there have been demonstrated cycles of temperature extremes going back thousands of years. Recordings with a variety of primitive equipment over the course of a handful of Millennia (sp) cannot come close to adequately explaining the current .7c shift. Especially when the impact of the Solar Cycle or other factors is not fully understood.

I will agree with you on the War on Drugs promoted violence at the borders. But everyone coming north 'cause people that have lived in a hot climate for generations suddenly cannot handle a little more than half a degree? Humans have proven to be far more adaptable than that.

- Dan.

Re:Speaking of the US (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456816)

uhh, offtopic much?

Re:Speaking of the US (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456894)

There's really no difference in illegal activity between undocumented immigrants and natural-born citizens. Except that whole illegal-immigrant label, really.

So if you are singling out illegal immigrants as a source of crime, while ignoring the same statistical prevalence in the majority population of the nation, then you are a racist. Or a bigot, if you prefer to see brown-skinned white-folks as genetic white-folks, though the rest of us know you're really ticked off because they're as different as another race. But you'll get called racist and you won't have the moral authority to win the semantic argument against it.

So how about focussing on a real problem, like the way the rich are manipulating the laws to create a nation of poor people regardless of citizenship, instead of a fake one based on the racism you insist you don't have while nobody's buying that for a second.

Re:So... (1)

ALeader71 (687693) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457920)

Nahh, Green Peace hates Yucca Mtn. They oppose everything except wind, solar, and 18th century farming techniques. We'll end up with slag heaps of un-recycled nuclear waste for the next 300 years, when we should have recycled the waste and turned it into lower level wastes with shorter half lives.

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36457984)

"lower level wastes with shorter half lives."

Wanna know how I know you're clueless?

Re:So... (-1, Flamebait)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458768)

I can't speak for greenpeace, but I think dealing with nuclear waste could be much more of a priority it the problem were not made constantly worse by making more of it. End fission, and the problem becomes finite and perhaps tractable, continue with fission and it is just a fools game to try to deal with the waste.

Re:So... (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459124)

when we should have recycled the waste and turned it into lower level wastes with shorter half lives.

There is an inverse relationship between radioactivity and half-life. The idea of having something with both less emissions and a shorter half-life is nonsense.

Re:So... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459484)

If you assume energy content is constant, yes, but what if it isn't constant (such as if, say, "recycling" it meant using it as fuel some more)?

Re:So... (0)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460358)

Greenpeace hates humans, more than anything.

Re:So... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461300)

Could we get them classified as a hate group so they no longer get tax advantages.

Just when I thought I was out... (2)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456228)

...they keep pulling me back in...to the emergency room for more blood transfusions.

RAD +1!

Re:Just when I thought I was out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456278)

I'll need an extra $500 for... uh... consulting fees. You wouldn't want something bad should happen to your shipment of Rad-Away.

model of management and commitment (1)

LavouraArcaica (2012798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456262)

So, again, the problem isn't the nuclear technology itself, but the lack of commitment and the problem with the model of management. And the question that I make to myself about nuclear reactors is: Is possible a good enough level of commitment and a almost perfect model of management (state managing have problems, corporations have other problems too. so...)?

Re:model of management and commitment (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456292)

The biggest problem with nuclear power is exemplified by a headline I saw when the earthquake happened: "NUCLEAR REACTOR BLOWS UP! 10000 DEAD!". In very small letters underneath: "Earthquake was the biggest in Japan history".

Re:model of management and commitment (4, Informative)

Elros (735454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456318)

Never mind the fact that the 10000 dead was the earthquake, not the reactor. Sensationalist media is the biggest contributor to stupidity in this world.

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456982)

Never mind the fact that the 10000 dead was the earthquake, not the reactor. Sensationalist media is the biggest contributor to stupidity in this world.

The earthquake itself didn't kill that many people - the resultant tsunami did.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

paulo.casanova (2222146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457152)

It might be the other way around: sensationalist media exists because of stupidity in this world... :)

<sarcasm> Why do we assume people are stupid because of something? Many of them were just born that way ;) </sarcasm>

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

n0tWorthy (796556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458896)

Half the population has an IQ LOWER than 100. Just sayin...

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

rockout (1039072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457270)

Citation needed. I'm a bit skeptical you ever saw that headline.

Not saying I'm 100% sure it didn't happen; I'd just like to see the proof before I buy into your malarkey.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457370)

I can't remember the exact words, but I read a headline in exactly that spirit.

How many reports have you seen about the Fukushima reactors? How many reports have you seen about the oil refineries that blew up in the earthquake? How many reports about potential nuclear contamination? How many reports about the diseases that may be spread by the decomposing organic matter that has been spread around?

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

rockout (1039072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458880)

So, in other words, you made it up. Thanks for confirming.

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459222)

It's a pretty common newspaper tactic, there's a reason the front of the newspaper often looks like it was designed by someone who just found out that you can change the font size.

Re:model of management and commitment (5, Informative)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457626)

I've seen such sensationalist headlines with my own eyes

this is a slashdot comment about CNN headline from one of the earliest entries about fukushima
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2036214&cid=35478190 [slashdot.org]

It's disgusting; CNN.com's current main page headline is "Japan's reactor problems mount; death toll rises."
WTF?

which was a reply to another post saying that summary makes it look like the deaths are the direct result of fukushima (which it did).

iamrmani was one of several people reporting updates on the Fukushima Nuclear plant that has been struggling following last Friday's disaster. A third explosion (Japanese) has been reported, along with other earlier information. MSNBC has a story about similiar reactors in the US. We also ran into a story which predicts that there won't be significant radiation. But already Japan is facing rolling blackouts, electricity rationing, evacuating the area around the plant, and thousands dead already.

example of article
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/blast-at-japan-nuclear-plant-death-toll-rises/145722-2.html [in.com]

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461326)

That may not be the headline, But that is how it seems. They cover the earthquake and the nuclear plant problems in the same story explaining the death counts all together.

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456644)

I still think we should be working harder on getting fusion working, as that solves a lot of the actual technical issues of fission (such as what to do with waste that will outlast humanity even if it stays contained).

As for the scuttling of ships carrying nuke waste, those pose all kinds of threats. Not just the immediate ones of pollution, etc, but they also constitute a source of extremely deadly material that will kill either through radiation or toxicity, parked in fairly accessible locations right off the coast of a nation with no meaningful government and a lot of warring factions all looking for an edge. Ohhhhhkay. Not good.

Re:model of management and commitment (5, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457044)

scuttling ships full of dangerous waste is pretty terrible even if it's not radioactive.
There's no shortage of non nuclear mutagens which aren't radioactive and they'll fuck you up just as badly, there's no shortage of industrial wastes which don't have any half life at all.

it's more disgusting that this appears to only really be getting attention when the word nuclear is attached.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457134)

The waste from a modern 4th gen plant will last 200-500 years, depending on the material, and it will burn existing waste.

So no, not longer then humanity..probably *looks up for comets.*

AS for the ship, it depends on depth and containment type. We could put are waste in the trench at the bottom of the ocean, and there would be no change in the ocean. however bury material that we might find out how to use later in a permanent way isn't the best thing to do.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459840)

Should probably qualify that: the waste from *some* of the 4th gen designs would be no more radioactive than the natural ore the fuel came from within 200-500 years.

Re:model of management and commitment (0)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456778)

Seems it is also the company it attracts.

Big reactors, big prizes, big problems (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457046)

Considering the time scale required to construct a large nuclear power plant the problems of scope creep and short term fads are going to be a problem unless serious long term adult supervision is applied. TMI is a classic example - it started with the best containment vessels of the time (which saved the day) but by the time construction had finished standards had slipped and it had control systems and sensors that would not have passed inspection in a fertilizer works (not an exaggeration - those things blow up too). For a while after TMI nuclear power was taken seriously again in the running plants, but attempts at applying adult supervision from the direction of government devolved into departmental empire building. By 1986 things were not pretty in the USA nuclear industry either but some degree of professionalism had been preserved after the scare of TMI, and was revived by the example of a real disaster. Fast forward to today and there have been so many generations of management since then that the problems of the past are put down to stupid Russians or idiots in the 1970s - the disaster in Japan could have happened in any of a dozen places given such a trigger of a sudden loss of cooling - too many people think that problems will never happen so many corners were cut thus increasing exposure to potential problems.
With the current situation of subsidised faux-commercial civilian nuclear power and very long construction times the odds of getting highly professional management for the entire time until commissioning instead of a well connected horse judge or two is very low. Running such a project is full of pork and prestige which tends to squeeze out the merely competant for those that are seen to deserve a reward. Because so much capital is at stake and expectations are high it generates a situation where the lies, evasions and shortcuts seen in Japan maintain the prestige of the position in the short term unless something goes wrong to expose how badly things are run, so such lies become the default. It's about the size of the project and the perceived commercial gains after careful cooking of the financial books - research reactors don't seem to suffer from it due to clear goals and not being as desirable as a nepotistic reward.
We've had it very clearly demonstrated to us since the 1970s that big reactors that require active cooling are bad news for many reasons. Smaller reactors have the promise of greater safety and significantly shorter construction times - they have the potential to get built while the initial goal is still in sight and are not seen as such a big deal so may not attract the flies that will instead go to corrupt other pots of honey.

Re:Big reactors, big prizes, big problems (1)

IceNinjaNine (2026774) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461114)

Considering the time scale required to construct a large nuclear power plant the problems of scope creep and short term fads are going to be a problem unless serious long term adult supervision is applied.

I stopped reading right there. Sigh.

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457114)

Yes, yeas it isd.

We almost ahd it, but the people started lying about Yucca mtn and the politicians are to afraid to tell those people to STFU and let the scientists and engineers who are experts in this fields do their job.

Hell. most people don't know what nuclear waste consists of, how it is moved, what it is stored in, or how much(little) there is.

At this point, they should be run buy the government. Take away bonus and people using it to get rich, and you take away the incentive to cheat. Private industry has failed up here. Cut them out.

Re:model of management and commitment (0)

MrL0G1C (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457300)

Hell. most people don't know what nuclear waste consists of, how it is moved, what it is stored in, or how much(little) there is.

1,188,273 Tons of depleted Uranium, Half life of 4.5 billions years and the storage only lasts decades and had already leaked! [wikipedia.org]

Depleted Uranium is extremely toxic.

So enough crap about there not being much or the half-life being short etc.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36458054)

Oh god. Here we go.

Read the MSDS on water sometime. Most things are extremely bad for you when inhaled as a dust. Supposing for a second that spent fuel was a useless health hazard, refining uranium for reactor use is much more efficient than using natural uranium. By removing the U-235 from the natural uranium extracted from soil or ocean water, you are taking a nasty substance OUT of the environment and putting it to good use. If the complaint is that we don't want uranium to be highly concentrated then we should powder the U-238 and dump it in the ocean so it can be diluted back to the concentration that we found it.

We are wasting Cesium and Strontium and Polonium which could be used as an RTG to power freight ships and you are concerned about Depleted Uranium? The people who oppose nuclear think we can just use alternative energy for the rest of eternity if we all just live like granolas and have 1 child per family. They are deliberately trying to muzzle progress out of some irrational pagan idolism of mother nature, feeling guilty for creating Co2 in the process of breathing. Those of us who want to see civilization outlive the Sun going supernova or a comet turning us in to cavemen are doing our best to colonize our species beyond this gravity well and its an uphill battle because the greenicks would rather us humanists stayed divided and conquered for the benefit of social darwinists than work together to eliminate coal and oil consumption and expand the middle class. Their core beliefs are unworkable and doom the species to extinction. Their opinions should be given no weight beyond as a persuasive tactic to accomplish a cranial rectal extraction.

Re:model of management and commitment (0)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458262)

Mod parent up.

I'm always surprised at how energetic the pro-nuke zealots are on /. The fact is nuclear energy has some nasty-ass waste AND IT SUCKS. Yes I know there are other designs that don't make the 4.5-billion-year stuff. Anybody who says it isn't a big deal can volunteer to host it in their own fucking back yard (for pay of course and only provided those in the affected radius approve).

That folks say renewables will "never" work is also irritating. Some facts::
1) according to a government agency, Nuclear produces 9% of US energy, Renewables produce 8%. That's not the huge difference some would have you believe:
http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energy_consump/rea_prereport.html [eia.gov]
2) More than half our the US trade deficit is due to Petroleum imports:
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/06/trade-deficit-decreased-to-437-billion.html [calculatedriskblog.com]

Please note these facts stand quite independently of any controversial discussions about the environment or evil petroleum dictatorships.

More importantly, whatever happened to innovation? People moaning about the government funding research in renewable energy while they drive their Hummer and watch the Miami Heat on their giant screen plasma TV while they play Playstation over the Internet need to STFU. If it weren't for government-funded innovation, there'd be no Hummer, no computers, and no Internet.

Paying for research is good. It makes things better for everyone. Clean energy is good because it doesn't leave nasty shit behind (as much anyway). Lastly, you can make money building it and exporting it. Surely people on /. can appreciate that.

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459920)

Mod parent up.

I'm always surprised at how energetic the pro-nuke zealots are on /.

That's probably because of the amount of misinformation coming from many of the anti-nuclear zealots.

The fact is nuclear energy has some nasty-ass waste AND IT SUCKS.

Fair comment as far as it goes. The pro-nuclear argument is that despite this, the alternatives are worse.

Yes I know there are other designs that don't make the 4.5-billion-year stuff.

The '4.5-billion-year stuff' was made before the earth formed, not by us, and in any case is only mildly radioactive.

That folks say renewables will "never" work is also irritating.

Who seriously say that though?

I don't think I've ever seen anyone argue against renewables forming part of the mix. Hydroelectric power is great for load balancing, and in the right circumstances wind, solar and geothermal power can all work well. The point at issue whether a 100% renewable solution could work, and while it would be wrong to say 'never', I think it is fair to say that with current technology the sums don't add up.

By this I don't necessarily mean that it is physically impossible. It's a matter of cost versus benefit: even if you only look at the environmental and/or safety impact then nuclear wins most of the time.

More importantly, whatever happened to innovation?

I agree with you about R&D, and if someone were to come up with a 100% replacement for nuclear power and fossil fuels that was genuinely safer and less environmentally damaging then I suspect that most of the 'pro-nuclear zealots' you refer to would vanish overnight. Pro-nuclear sentiment is very rarely grounded in any form of ideology, other than (as was once famously noted) being 'pro-arithmetic'.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460674)

That's probably because of the amount of misinformation coming from many of the anti-nuclear zealots.

Currently, and especially since the Fukushima disaster, it has appeared to me that most of the disinformation, FUD and blatant lies were on side of the nuclear islamists; I'm thinking of arguments about radioactivity of bananas, nothing wrong coming out of Fukushima, the quake/tsunami being an incredibly rare and unpredictable event, anyone concerned about nuclear contamination being a "luddite", "hippie", "joe-six-pack", "moron", etc, etc. I find this more annoying than simple uninformed fear of layman people because the guys who push that bullshit have the appearance and arrogance of knowledgeable or rational people.

The pro-nuclear argument is that despite this, the alternatives are worse.

No. Everybody agrees that renewable energy is the best thing possible hands off. Nuclear islamists only insist that it is not a viable solution by itself alone (which to me remains an open and important question) and are very eager to provide any argument to defend this credo, however contrived and ridiculous it gets (things about windmills killing birds by the thousands, plumbers falling from the rooftops, solar being incredibly expensive, etc).

The point at issue whether a 100% renewable solution could work, and while it would be wrong to say 'never', I think it is fair to say that with current technology the sums don't add up.

That's exactly what is so irritating with nuclear islamists, they insist that nuclear energy is ok because all of its current very serious issues (fuel, waste, risks, proliferation, etc) are solved by newer designs (LFTR, fast breeders) that do not exist yet in any commercially viable form and that would undoubtedly require huge investments in research, prototypes, trial-and-error, etc, before ever being viable if they ever get there. And then dismiss renewable energy as impractical because the technology "is not there yet" despite the minuscule amounts of money that have been invested into its development compared to anything else. This would be funny if it weren't so sad.

even if you only look at the environmental and/or safety impact then nuclear wins most of the time

It wins all of the time indeed in the minds of its proponents, who insist that they base their convictions on facts and rationality while nuclear skeptics simply follow ignorance and stupidity. But from my point of view it is very obvious that those guys base their beliefs on faith alone, and just like any true believers adapt their belief and discourse to fit reality and work around the contradictions it throws in their way. That was very clear during the development of the Fukushima disaster.

then I suspect that most of the 'pro-nuclear zealots' you refer to would vanish overnight

I very much doubt that.

Pro-nuclear sentiment is very rarely grounded in any form of ideology, other than (as was once famously noted) being 'pro-arithmetic'.

On the very contrary it is so deeply grounded in ideology that the people affected with that condition are not even able to recognize it at all anylonger; it has become more than just an opinion to them, it is their frame of reference now. In that way they are quite similar to islamists indeed, persuaded that they bath in the truth, that anybody who doesn't accept their ideology is inferior somehow (hence "infidels" on one side, "luddites/morons/joe-six-packs" on the other) and are extremely eager to shove their belief down the throat of everybody else for their own good (hence the recent arguments on slashdot about the adequacy to get rid of democracy and replace it with fascism because nuclear power is more important for the masses to have than anything else, despite the fact that they are not able or too stupid to recognize it).

Re:model of management and commitment (3, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459354)

The fact that it has a half life as old as the universe demonstrates that it is very very very mildly radioactive - any less radioactive and it would be considered stable. The "depleted" term is a giveaway.

The main risk is that it is a heavy metal, like lead, and can bioacumulate. We just need to bury it somewhere with no liquid water and it will be fine.

Re:model of management and commitment (0)

MrL0G1C (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460954)

It has 50% of the radioactivity of full Uranium, that's like half a pint of cyanide instead of a full pint - Depleted uranium is extremely toxic, it is not in any way very very very mildly radioactive - that is complete BS.

Re:model of management and commitment (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461088)

I quote

The U.S. Army has commissioned ongoing research into potential risks of depleted uranium and other projectile weapon materials like tungsten, which the U.S. Navy has used in place of DU since 1993. Studies by the U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute conclude that moderate exposures to either depleted uranium or uranium present a significant toxicological threat.[100]

Note how is says "depleted uranuim or uranium" - the toxicity is similar.

Re:model of management and commitment (2)

MrL0G1C (867445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461144)

You people are un-fucking-believable, not matter how bad nuclear power gets you just don't get that humans can't yet be trusted to manage it safely. Nuclear accidents, oh well it won't happen again. Corruption? Mafia dumping the shit in the sea? I swear the only thing that would stop the nuclear zealots here would be all out nuclear war.

Americas politicians are corrupt and can't be trusted to manage nuclear power.

Nothing to worry about (5, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456312)

Now that we finally have a free market solution to this problem, I'm sure that there's nothing to worry about and everything will be fine.

Re:Nothing to worry about (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456416)

Don't you just love the free market [youtube.com] ?

Re:Nothing to worry about (2)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456802)

If there were a free market, then the Mafia wouldn't have a monopolistic racket.

Re:Nothing to worry about (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456912)

The Mafia is about as monolithic as Anonymous is. It's only a monopoly to those on the outside.

Goes back to the Italian Rennaisance (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458764)

Mafia, meh. This goes farther back in history. Perhaps to Cosimo Landfilli, who became wealth on the waste disposal contracts for Firenze and then became a great patron of the arts.

Or perhaps even earlier to Maximus Recyclimus, who engineered the waste management system in the 2nd century B.C.E. Roman Republic.

Re:Goes back to the Italian Rennaisance (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461340)

you kid, but the cloaca maxima [wikipedia.org] , rome's sewer system, was one of their earliest engineering triumphs, and was traditionally said to have been built by the last king of rome. (and we all know where governments come from....)

Re:Nothing to worry about (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457148)

corrcet. anyone could dump the waste in the ocean..or next to a kids school, or what ever.

Pssst.. the mafia isn't a single organization.

Re:Nothing to worry about (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457366)

just to get this clear:

a perfectly free market is impossible.

no ifs, no buts.

let's move on to something more realistic.

Criminal Enterprise (-1, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456320)

I think that if one aspect of the nuclear power cycle is a criminal enterprise, then perhaps the whole thing is. And, certainly the disposal of waste is one of the most risk ladened parts of the whole dirty business.

Re:Criminal Enterprise (3, Funny)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456384)

I think that if one aspect of the nuclear power cycle is a criminal enterprise, then perhaps the whole thing is.

Just like the banksters.

Re:Criminal Enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456490)

So... "I think that if one aspect of the solar power cycle is a criminal enterprise, then perhaps the whole thing is. And, certainly the disposal of waste is one of the most risk ladened parts of the whole dirty business." Right??

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/08/AR2008030802595.html [washingtonpost.com]

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/solar_pollution_china.php [treehugger.com]

Yikes! And i thought it wasn't just "too cheap to measure" but it was FREE!

Re:Criminal Enterprise (-1, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456734)

Hard to make dirty bombs from any of that.

Re:Criminal Enterprise (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456726)

Just like the recycling industry [guardian.co.uk] , eh?

Re:Criminal Enterprise (0)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457972)

It's worse, the whole civil nuclear industry is just a fig leaf to make nuclear weapons more acceptable to the public. Google "Atoms for peace".

That is why, to this day, the IAEA is able to censor the WHO when it comes to nuclear accidents.

This in africa (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456340)

This is one region Somali pirates were helping with. By scaring ships out of their coast, where a ton of the waste was being dumped, local fisheries had better catches and better business.

Re:This in africa (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459422)

Somalia is under-polluted.

wait (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456342)

i thought the free market fairy took care of all problems, and government regulation is for freedom-destroying control freaks

Re:wait (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456436)

i thought the free market fairy took care of all problems, and government regulation is for freedom-destroying control freaks

Well, this story seems to confirm that impression. We have free enterprise in the form of organized crime expediters triumphing over the tyrannical forces of regulation.

You can't make a highly radioactive omelet without dropping a few dozen fuel rods over the side, amirite?

Re:wait (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456670)

I'm not fan of a regulation-free environment, but what the hell does that have to do with this situation? The linked article talks about how the Yakuza are tightly linked and will likely be brought in on a contract. How is that at all a conflict between regulation and the market? I suppose one can say, in the general sense, that the concentration of wealth in the hands of crooked individuals allows them to use dirty tricks to expand that power, but the only kind of government regulation that could address that would be some kind of cap on wealth.

Re:wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456716)

A *TRUE* free market would take care of those sorts of things.

But is it free if Jimmy shows up and makes sure you buy something? That is not freedom. That is extortion and is oh I dont know ... illegal?

Take cable companies. There is no freedom in those markets. Why? The companies made sure they had a law mandated monopoly. Not exactly free market going on there.

You see a market distortion can come from anywhere. It is up to the law to make distortions such as the above not work right or not worth doing. But the first example they did, the second they helped create.

So which would you rather have law mandated extortion where the cops show up and take everything you own or jimmy showing up saying it would be a 'shame if something happened'.

If you think laws will magically fix things... your dreaming and have not been paying attention to what happens in legislatures around the world.

Re:wait (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456942)

truth:

the free market is best in some things. example: grocery store

the government is best in some things. example: health care

not truth:

the free market solves all problems

the government solves all problems

are we clear now?

don't read into my words a position i didn't take and then react to that

Re:wait (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457804)

the government is best in some things. example: health care

debatable, my country proves the opposite: ungodly long lines, months if not years of waiting even for potentially life saving procedures, people picking up private insurance even with 8% of their wage already taken to fund public hc. If you said 'something that is bound to be a natural monopoly' then i would be willing to agree with you.

Re:wait (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457990)

'something that is bound to be a natural monopoly'

then you agree with me

because

'something that is bound to be a natural monopoly' is ALWAYS the government, and you are just allergic to the terminology, even though conceptually you and i understand each other

Incompatable with a free market (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457398)

A *TRUE* free market would take care of those sorts of things.

If one of those applied to civilian nuclear power there would not be an industry at all. Taxpayers money is behind every single nuclear power plant on earth. The high capital cost and very long construction times mean that the short term focused world of commerce is just not interested in financing nuclear power. That's not to say nuclear power is bad (although the clueless fanboys that only want to hear loud cheering will see it that way), just that it's a lot of money spent a very long time before there is any sort of return. Don't blame the hippies or others with no say at all for a lack of new generation plants - blame the bankers and governments.

Re:Incompatable with a free market (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460712)

Don't blame the hippies or others with no say at all for a lack of new generation plants - blame the bankers and governments.

And blame the end of the cold war arm race, because without the prospect/need to produce large amounts of nuclear weapons, civil nuclear power generation loses most of its appeal and becomes again the very risky, dirty and financially unsound business it truly is.

Now they've done it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456500)

Before when they were just involved with:
drug trafficing, murder, ransom, arson, extortion, robbery, money laundering, fraud, prostitution, theft, bribery, corruption... and who knows what else.

But now - NOW - they've gone too far! Some fish could be hurt by this!

(Yes - I'm fully aware what they did is very bad, but let get some perspective with their usual activities)

Re:Now they've done it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456878)

All of your list are immediate things with short term results. Dumping waste has a much longer effect.

Re:Now they've done it... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458560)

Or, maybe some group would pay them for materials to make a dirty bomb. President Carter got a job in nuclear clean up because he had a security clearance. Now you need the opposite I guess.

Hopefully, for the USA, we will do it differently (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456516)

Namely, I would like to see B&W move from doing small nuke generators, to doing a small IFR. If they can build a small reactor to handle to the waste AND a small container room that goes with this, it could be put on sites that have been shutdown and then burn the remaining fuel. Many of those plants are close to cities, have cooling, transmission, generators, etc. Basically, they are ready to rock and roll and be used for another 50-100 years. Safely. And then once the current on-site waste is spent, then the sites are buried for 200 years or less, with none of it being useful for a bomb.
One thing is that I would like to see ONE IFR be used to breed for plutonium for space operations. We need that.

Article has almost nothing to do with nuclear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36456600)

Standard Slashdot summary misinformation. The article talks about the yakuza and Chinese syndicates angling for construction projects. There's literally one line that mentions Fukushima.

Re:Article has almost nothing to do with nuclear. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456818)

Construction is mentioned only twice, near the bottom of the article. The majority is about rubble removal. There are three mentions of the word "Fukushima", two of which are in sentences about contracts to remove radioactive waste/rubble. I agree that the article isn't about organized crime trying to remove the plant waste (unlike TFHeadline suggests), but I still believe that TFS is related enough that this calls for a "NO U".

More mdsolar pseudo-factual trolling (5, Insightful)

Xeth (614132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456610)

From the first article linked, there is a single informant that claims nuclear material was aboard a scuttled ship. The article as linked provides no further information, but mere allegation is sufficient for mdsolar to blame nuclear power.

In the actual article, one will note that there is no actual speculation about the Yakuza having any ill-intent. Indeed, it seems to be a general article about how the Yakuza win contracts in construction and cleanup. And after a massive earthquake and tsunami, there's lots of cleanup to be done.

As an interesting aside, he article claims that the Yakuza get 3% of the total construction in Japan. I see no reason to suspect that wouldn't include projects related to all forms of energy. I trust mdsolar would agree with my "Japanese solar power in bed with organized crime" headline.

There are legitimate gripes about nuclear power. Indeed, the numbers I've seen suggest operating costs that aren't substantially below any other forms of energy. But the sort of fear campaign spread by mdsolar (someone who himself stands to profit from such fears, see his profile for links) is unacceptable.

Re:More mdsolar pseudo-factual trolling (0)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456688)

Besides, the Yakuza shed real tears when they attend the opera so they must be OK.

Re:More mdsolar pseudo-factual trolling (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456852)

No, they're not. But there's no reason to suspect they can do more damage here than disposing many of the other nasty, non-nuclear things that need to be cleaned up.

Re:More mdsolar pseudo-factual trolling (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458300)

It's entirely acceptable. It would still be acceptable if he tried to conceal his beliefs, although somewhat annoying.

Re:More mdsolar pseudo-factual trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459378)

What do you expect from mdsolar. The actual article headline,

Japanese underworld tries to cash in on tsunami clean-up
The yakuza is turning its attention from helping disaster victims to winning contracts for the massive rebuilding effort

while mdsolar aludes that the tsunami was somehow caused by nuclear problems!! The article linked mentions nuclear exactly once and in passing!

Asian counterparts are angling for disposal contracts resulting from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

No mdsolar! Your propaganda is ridicules. There is a metric teratons of waste, including lots and lots of asbestos floating around extending much, much further than any radiation hazard areas. But then what do you expect from someone not understanding basic laws of thermodynamics (for proof, see his journal about "energy storage" to make renewables viable. Fusion is much closer to viable than those "solutions"!).

Re:More mdsolar pseudo-factual trolling (-1, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460904)

I presume you mean this 2007 article http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/07/closets.html [blogspot.com]

No problems with understanding thermodynamics there. If you think so, perhaps you should study up a little.

And, since a Beacon Power commercial sale hit slashdot recently, http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/06/01/1549209/Using-Flywheels-to-Meet-Peak-Power-Grid-Demands [slashdot.org] I'd say these things are much closer than conventional fusion, in fact, they are here now.

From the fine article:

The government and police fear they are losing the battle to prevent crime syndicates from winning lucrative contracts to remove millions of tonnes of debris left in the tsunami's wake, including contaminated rubble near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that many firms are reluctant to handle.

RTFA

Not surprising (5, Interesting)

maspatra (1031940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456748)

This is actually par for the course when it comes to Japanese organized crime syndicates. The Yakuza have always been quick responders to natural disasters and their cleanup efforts. Japanese criminal syndicates aren't entirely illicit operations and run a lot of legitimate businesses as well, and are heavily involved in the construction industry in particular. Being generally faster and more efficient than the bureaucracy-laden government, (and not restricted by those silly "laws") whenever there's a major natural disaster, the Yakuza have always been some of the first on the scene to distribute food and medical supplies, and do cleanup and reconstruction for really low rates. They gain goodwill in the community and an opportunity to expand their power base, and the government saves money and hassle in the cleanup effort. Heck, half of Kobe was rebuilt by Yakuza after the great Hanshin quake. The whole thing is an open secret really.

That they're doing this now is really to be expected, and not as alarming or terrible as the article would seem to suggest. This has been going on with criminal groups in Japan for generations, and isn't likely to stop any time soon.

Re:Not surprising (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461296)

every now now and then, organized crime starts spontaneously turning into government again. i read somewhere that during the rodney king riots, the chinese gangs (tong/triads/whatever) that all the chinese-owned businesses in the area had been paying "protection" money to for so many years actually showed up and protected them from the rioters.

cough up the cabbage, Vito... (1)

speedwaystar (1124435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456772)

or you'll find yourself six feet under in depleted uranium boots sleeping with the mutant fishes in the nuclear waste dump.

Hell of a business model. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457000)

Sales, to prospective account: "Yeah, we can get rid of that for you, but it's gonna cost. That shit's dangerous, and there's a stack of regulations as tall as your beautiful daughter (whom it would be a shame for anything to happen to, by the way) that we have to follow to the T. Price per pound is gonna be three, four figures at least."

Engineering, to Capo: "Yeah, we can dump that for you. You want the barge back? Effectively cheaper to just sink the whole thing. Nickel a ton, if we don't have to buy a new chain cutter to hijack it, or the tug don't break down."

Consigliere, to Accountant: "Fuhgedaboudit." (Translation: Do it.)

Enough money there it'd almost be worth having to eat ricotta 5 meals a day to get into it.

Re:Hell of a business model. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457610)

i would love 5 meals a day including ricotta.

man, the mob know how to live

not a bad plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36457324)

buy a used ship on the open market. One that barely floats and was about to be scrapped. Fill it with waste that you're getting paid to dispose of, to the tune of at least 100x the cost of the ship. If necessary tow it out to the Marianas Trench. Oops, the keel ruptured. There was a terrible accident but not to worry. Your waste problem is taken care of.

Mutants are concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459198)

Nuclear has been abused to the max. The underworld mutant people are revolting very soon.

Nuclear Power, No Thanks.
Fusion Power, Hell Yes !

The real Superpower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459304)

The crime syndicates aren't thinking for now, it's 20 years from now what matters for them. Their interest in such a situation only exhibits their interest for more power. All power must vector from them and all power must gyrate around and finally usurp resistances slow and steady. Wrong or right, bad or good is a reality that far exceeds the rationale for this puny planet and midget head scratching thinkers, including us.

Mafia already good at "waste" disposal (1)

mehu (92260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459462)

Hey, the mafia already have their own internal "waste disposal" procedures- for getting rid of bodies! Getting some actual toxic waste to dump alongside them just makes it that much more unlikely that anyone will go snooping around. :D

The mafia is at it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36459674)

Just look at the waste turned environmental crisis in Italy thanks to the mafia having (not) done the job.

No doubt.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36459808)

..their service will be the lowest cost bidder, which is all you need to win a bid. Expect glowing reviews :-(.

what is the damage if.... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461380)

If all the nuclear waste was sent to an island like hawaii that had a volcano, then all the materials were sent down inside the volcano, would that not sort of take care of all the crap we deal with such as contamination and all....I know it sounds stupid in sorts, but if someone gave me 10000 tons of nuclear waste to dispose of, and 10 millions dollars to do it, i would transport it there, and drop it in, no worries of barrels leaking, water being contaminated, etc....all would be disintegrated.

I know the hawai people would not be welcoming this ....but if the needs of the few are super seeded for the needs of the many, then we can maybe get a handle on the disaster....

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