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Intelligent Absorbent Removes Radioactive Material

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the in-with-the-bad-out-with-the-good dept.

Science 107

Zothecula writes "Nuclear power plants are located close to sources of water, which is used as a coolant to handle the waste heat discharged by the plants. This means that water contaminated with radioactive material is often one of the problems to arise after a nuclear disaster. Researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have now developed what they say is a world-first intelligent absorbent that is capable of removing radioactive material from large amounts of contaminated water, resulting in clean water and concentrated waste that can be stored more efficiently."

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too bad (0)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924782)

too bad all nuclear power innovations are now moot, since nobody wants 'em.

Re:too bad (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924918)

India and China do. Though given the shorter lifespans of their new range of reactors it might not be regarded as a problem.

However, there's plenty of spills that need cleaning. The Irish Sea is the most radioactive in the world because of contamination from nuclear power stations and recycling. Strathclyde is now considered "incurably" contaminated from Dounray power station, as conventional cleanup would likely stir up radioactive sediment that would be far more dangerous if mobile. Something that would clean up these locations would be of enormous interest to a LOT of people, especially the power station owners who are under enormous pressure to do something.

Re:too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925486)

The Irish Sea is the most radioactive in the world because of contamination from nuclear power stations and recycling.

Yeah, that's it. That's really why stuff is radioactive.... *face palm*

If we could actually see x-rays like we see visible spectrum, these arguments about contamination would mostly become quite comical. For starters, the oceans would glow very dimply and there would be no difference between Irish Sea and middle of nowhere. You would only see more *under* the sea bed! So dig it up and spread it around?

Secondly, it would be quite amusing how people would go for medical x-rays or CT scans or even the airport x-ray scanners, getting scanned with beams 1000+x brighter then the sun, but then panic because of imperceptible increase in glow of Tokyo following Fukushima. Move your embassies!!

I am certainly not in favour of more contamination. But spending lots of money to try to deal with contamination that does not affect anyone seems just as foolish.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925906)

The University of Manchester collected house dust from people living in the Seascale area. There was BLOODY PLUTONIUM in the sea spray contaminating nearby houses! So much of the damn stuff, they had to remove the house dust because it exceeded the University's limit for nuclear material.

Shove a telescope over the Irish Sea and you'd end up with a glowing telescope. That is how dangerous the blasted place is. It is so frigging dangerous that BNFL advised workers and local inhabitants not to have children. (Caused an outrage amongst the public at the time, as did Granada's documentary on the place "Fighting For Gemma", but nothing much was done. The workers lost their lawsuit against BNFL and the newspapers lost interest.)

I strolled along the beach with a geiger counter, just to see what regular alpha particle emitters I could find. The beach was littered in the damn things. 14x background was commonplace.

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37927898)

I'm sure there was also Lead-210 in it - which is almost exactly 1000 times more radioactive than Plutonium-239 ... and occurs naturally.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37928022)

So what if it occurs naturally? It wasn't in the seaspray, wasn't on the beach and wasn't in people's homes.

The isotope ratios for uranium, plutonium and americium match the ratios produced by Windscale and Sellafield - which is as good as a fingerprint. Further, leukemia rates are 2000x the national level -- with considerably smaller spikes near other nuclear power plants but even those aren't as drastic.

And, yes, I've read the papers on what WAS found. This was research carried out starting 1979 through to 1994. I've done the background reading. I've read the court notes. (I was even periphially involved in the court case and the later research.) I was there. Where were you? Plugging your lugholes and crying lalalalala, like BNFL?

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931508)

Wrong. It is in seaspray, it is on the beach and it is in everybody's homes, and lungs, and stomachs and what have you.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37938734)

Show me. Link to the papers charting everything that has been found at Seascale and show me, line and paragraph, where lead-210 is mentioned by isotope and quantity. Go on.

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37938944)

Strange. Now that it is no longer your argument, you suddenly demand "line and paragraph" and mentioning by "isotope and quantity". None of which you yourself provided so long as it was your argument.

Don't you think that you should stop just dropping the term Plutonium as if this was a viable argument, if you can't even accept it yourself when somebody else does it?

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37939114)

See my other post. I have provided more than enough. And any damn fool can look up either the Gardner Report or the CERRIE report.

Further, I did indeed provide references earlier. You ignored them, sure, but I did provide them. You refusing to bother to look them up is not my concern. You, however, provided NOTHING. NADA. ZIPPO. ZILCH.

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941184)

Having searched the CERRIE report for all places in which plutonium was mentioned, not one of them managed to provide either isotopes or amounts of plutonium actually found anywhere. Nor did you. Having done this to no avail, I will not so much as twitch a finger before you stop the subterfuges and provide those numbers. Having pointed out that you are a "researcher involved in the work" you should have very little trouble to provide them and you should do so, as you happen to go around, telling people to provide numbers for you.

You're the researcher, you work for the public - go do your work. Provide the isotopes and amount of Plutonium found at those houses supposedly contaminated by the sea spray of the Irish sea.

In fact, you can find plutonium wherever you care to take samples, because people put them into huge bombs blowing them up all over the world. Some 500 of them all told (not counting subsurface tests). Just saying that you found plutonium at some place without providing isotopes and amount means nothing at all.

But still, just by mentioning plutonium being found somewhere was proof of how badly the Irish sea is contaminated. As a researcher, you should have known very well, that this is insufficient.

Conclusions, anyone?

(Mine would be, that picking a fight and trying to win it by pointing out "I'm a researcher" doesn't work with people who have dealt with enough "researchers" of that field who couldn't tell an atom from a molecule if you put a gun to their head.)

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941496)

You did not read the report. You didn't even bother with the report. You aren't twitching a finger because you know you've lost the argument. You're trolling because that's all you have left. You're pathetic.

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941656)

Go, read it yourself. You don't even read the links you're posting. And you still haven't said a single word about the amounts and isotopes of plutonium that were found. You're a researcher of the field. You should know them, but obviously they are insignificant.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37942374)

I've read it, I've understood it, you're trolling it and ignoring it. That's the end of it.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37942576)

Still not seeing any links from you that rebut a damn thing. Just spittle. Link or be damned.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37939560)

So, we're apparently agreed that I have 24 references to peer-reviewed papers to your bugger all, my experience to your zilch and my being there and involved in the work to your nothing whatsoever.

Conclusions, anyone?

(Mine would probably be that picking a fight with a researcher involved in the work is NEVER a good way to win an argument.)

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940620)

And those 24 references would be which? Please include paragraph, line, isotopes and amount. Those are your demands, not mine. Also, for all I know you're a dog in front of a keyboard.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941160)

Well, paper is to a decent degree C12, though there's some C14 as it's organic. The toner was probably graphite, so C12 and C14 again. Amounts - well, all of it.

There are 2 links on the 2nd paragraph, 1 on the 4th and the rest are on the unordered list as part of the 5th.

No, those are NOT my demands. Bloody Flat-Earther. My demands, as you know damn well, were that you show me the paper YOU got YOUR claim from. I've shown what papers I've got mine from, not that any other person needed those links - they googled them on their own, using the information I had already provided. A skill you apparently have yet to learn.

Are you a Fox News reporter? They're the only ones THIS incompetent.

The 24 references are listed in another of my posts and you are quite capable of going to my profile, selecting from this topic and looking them up. You won't? Ohhhh, now THERE'S a surprise! Not bothering to read is something that should have been evident to anyone within a mile of this thread.

Oh, and for those others still bothering to read, polonium-210 [defra.gov.uk] is the only radioisotope weighing at 210 reported in the Sellafield area. (Why bother with the link? Well, it's handy for illustrating the difference in credibility. I *CAN* show links, you CANNOT.)

Re:too bad (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941228)

I followed the link and I read it:

The offshore oil and gas industry is responsible for a large proportion of the total alpha-emitting radioactivity entering UK waters, as a result of discharges of the ‘produced water’, which contains elevated levels of the naturally occurring radionuclides radium-226 (226Ra), radium-228 (228Ra) and lead-210 (210Pb).

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941474)

How many offshore oil rigs are there in the estuary around Seascale? (If you answered "lots", you're probably from Texas and haven't a bloody clue where Seascale is. Clue - it's not in the fucking North Sea, where the bloody oil rigs are.)

Go read what it says about the Irish Sea, Sellafield/Seascale specifically, and stop with your bullshit crap.

Re:too bad (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37928052)

Don't get hysterical, the risk of cancer from heavy diet of seafood from Irish sea is on the order of one in over perhaps fifteen to twenty million, while all Irish people have a 1 in 550 chance of getting cancer anyway. (see the nice wikipedia article on Irish sea). As for the alpha emitting pieces of garbage you found on beach, public service announcement: *don't eat the alpha-emitting garbage". Most anything equal to or thicker than a sheet of paper will stop those alphas, you know, and those that do hit your skin might burrow in a bit and then soak up a couple electrons to become the dreaded He gas that terrorists put in rubber bladders and sell to children.

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37928266)

As I noted elsewhere, the risk of childhood leukemia in the Seascale region is 2000x the national average. Repeated investigations by Greenpeace (the university lent them boats + geiger counters and provided free radionuclide analysis), the BBC and several Universities in the Manchester/Lancashire region have shown that there is a sizable plutonium sludge in the estuary and that plutonium is migrating both round the coastlines and up rivers.

This isn't something to be hysterical about, but there's a difference between knowing the facts on the ground and imagining that nothing is there. I am not telling you or anyone to panic, I'm not the one who is outside the scope of reality. I AM telling you that levels that Universities themselves cannot legally handle are FAR too high for households to handle.

I am ALSO telling you that this is extremely manageable. The Original Article (the one you've not read, apparently) talks about filtering nuclear waste. Well, here we have an estuary full of the stuff. Pump the sludge up, filter it and pump the water back out. That's not hysteria, that's cleaning up the environment in a way that avoids the risks being touted for the old-fashioned clean-up. Where's YOUR bright idea?

Re:too bad (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37928508)

I just read a 1999 report number of leukemia cases in Seascale, five cases of which four were before 1970. Did things suddenly go south in the 21st century, or is "a handful" just about the right phrase for the absolute number of total cases? There is a hereditary component to risk for that disease.

Now I don't like pollution of any kind, and my brilliant idea is to first mandating true filtration of ejected waste or else closing down all places pumping or leaking rad crap into the ocean and groundwater. I'd rather the Irish sea was much cleaner, but your first post gave impression that the cerenkov radation from the sea made it an eerie blue daylight 24x7

Re:too bad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37939074)

Certainly not daylight, but probably quite visible to any decent gamma ray detector. If you did a Google Earth but at the gamma or x-ray frequencies, the Irish Sea would certainly be the brightest mass of water anywhere in the world and quite possibly THE brightest mass of anything outside of the remnants of nuclear test sites.

Well, the one from the NRPB [nih.gov] might be a better one to look at. There have certainly been more than 5 cases - indeed the only 5 I could see in this report [antenna.nl] is to a specific section in the references. The Gardner Report [jstor.org] , which DOES mention 5 cases, refers to 5 cases that occurred in a specific time interval over the entire nation where 4 of those occurred in Seascale. The Gardner Report is the one which is the most-cited reference to childhood leukemia in Britain.

In fact, the table at the bottom-right for the Gardner Report is the most interesting for this purpose - a six-fold rise in leukemia incidents in the region surrounding Seascale with levels of leukemia remaining (a) constant and (b) at expected levels everywhere else over the same time period.

Radionuclide research groups *fried* [llrc.org] the attempts by BNFL to conceal the link at the time and would doubtless be disgusted by the other posters here trying to attribute the cancers to "natural lead poisoning". I look forward to seeing these alleged papers "proving" that these distinguished experts were wrong and that a pseud-anonymous Slashdot poster is so vastly better and brighter that they can identify a wholly imagined lead isotope as the cause without having done an ounce of legwork.

Other links to papers that may be of interest:

Re:too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37926924)

You didn't actually read up on the Irish Sea did you, and just generalized something for all oceans.

And right on time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924796)

How much of this is going to be needed for hosing down half of Honshu?

Intelligent?! (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925850)

Fucking SELECTIVE, goddammit.

Old news? (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924852)

Researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have now developed what they say is a world-first intelligent absorbent that is capable of removing radioactive material from large amounts of contaminated water

So, they've reinvented zeolite filters which have been used since the 40s to do the exact same task exactly the same way?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeolite#Nuclear_industry [wikipedia.org]

Re:Old news? (4, Informative)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924934)

RTFA, How does it work?

"the world-first intelligent absorbent, which uses titanate nanofibre and nanotube technology, differed from current clean-up methods, such as layered clays and zeolites, because it could efficiently lock in deadly radioactive material from contaminated water."

Re:Old news? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37929582)

RTFA, How does it work?

"the world-first intelligent absorbent, which uses titanate nanofibre and nanotube technology, differed from current clean-up methods, such as layered clays and zeolites, because it could efficiently lock in deadly radioactive material from contaminated water."

Great, now define "efficiently", because by many measurements, Zeolites are quite efficient at this purpose. They are also incredibly inexpensive; you can get food-grade Zeolites at any ag supply store for practically nothing, though you can also buy a tiny bottle at the health food store for the same amount. Zeolites are a bit gritty though, at least the cheap ones. They were used with great success to treat isotope poisoning after chernobyl, baking them into breads. I made some corn bread with Sweet PDZ, but like I said, it was a bit gritty. I prefer diatoms for ingestion. For cleaning water, though, Zeolites are an incredibly effective method. And they probably work through the same mechanism as the new method, so the question is, how much better is this new method than Zeolites which occur naturally in abundance and which actually work amazingly well?

Re:Old news? (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925150)

You must have missed the part where they said this is the first "intelligent" absorbent. Apparently they have developed a radiation filter with the capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding. Pretty impressive! :D

Can't be that intelligent (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37926446)

if it's willing to just sit there and absorb radiation like that.

Re:Old news? (1)

kramer2718 (598033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37926172)

Researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have now developed what they say is a world-first intelligent absorbent that is capable of removing radioactive material from large amounts of contaminated water

So, they've reinvented zeolite filters which have been used since the 40s to do the exact same task exactly the same way?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeolite#Nuclear_industry [wikipedia.org]

"One gram of the nanofibres can effectively purify at least one tonne of polluted water," Professor Zhu said.

That's extremely efficient.

What to call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924858)

Are they calling it Rad-Away

Re:What to call it (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924916)

Rad-X

Re:What to call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37928130)

The Japanese Miracle.

Unfortunately (5, Insightful)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924862)

It's a case of too little, too late. I have zero trust in the nuclear industry because no matter how urgent, present, demanding, and obvious the need to make double-extra super-safe reactors presents itself to the manufacturers of these facilities, they seem hell-bent on cutting corners and cheaping out on the front-end, to disastrous consequences (insert whatever link to "Japanese Reactor Meltdown / Chernobyl / Three Mile Island" you want here) which in retrospect were the result of shoddy workmanship, sloppy maintenance, wilfully stupid cost-cutting and just general all-around stupid douchebaggery of the kind you get when you give too much power and responsibility unto the hands of those fatally unprepared for the responsibility part.

While zombie-like steps continue to be made towards legitimizing this super-expensive but also unbelievably fraught with peril method of boiling fucking water the public's opinion on nuclear power seems to have solidified somewhere around the spectrum of "Holy Fucking Shit Those Things Are Massively Unsafe" and thank God and the FSM for it. There seems to be no amount of regulation or incentive that can persuade private or public nuclear power plant operators to actually operate safely, and none of that would even matter one damn bit if Mother Nature brought on sufficient catastrophe.

Can we please be done with nuclear energy? Yesterday? Solar, geothermal and wind are all coming rapidly into their own, already cost less than traditional non-renewables (especially if we take away Big Oil/Gas/Nuclear's free rides and subisdies) and it looks like about 30 years down the road give or take we could be living with a distributed power grid that takes inputs from every single solar roof/windmill/vent in the country.

Proof positive that this cultural shift in the trust of big, unaccountable institutions to manage such dangerous materials is the ever-burned-into-our-brains image of Homer Dumbass Simpson, nuclear power plant worker who routinely blows up his plant with his fumbling incompetence. THAT is what most of America and the world think of when we think "nuclear power plant."

Re:Unfortunately (2)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925044)

There are more. In fact Washington State back in the 1970s had a consortium of Public Utility Districts sell some $200 million in municipal bonds to build several nuclear power plants around the Pacific Northwest. The consortium, called Washington Public Power System (nicknamed "whoops") was plagued by corruption in the design and building of their nuclear plants. Finally they gave up... leaving several partially-built but never operated nuclear plants sprinkled here and there across the landscape. Then they repudiated $200 million in municipal bonds. That was big money in the 1970s and for many people who depended upon the supposed "safety" of municipal bonds it was a disaster. Largely forgotten now. But not for those of us who lived through it.

If you can't trust a corporation (and you can't) you REALLY can't trust any corporation that's going to build a nuclear plant. Or a public utility district, either.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925140)

Actually, they did finish one nuclear power plant that is still in operation today.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925296)

oh, that's interesting, which one?

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925138)

Solar if you do not live for example in countries too north, where for 6 month you do not have light.
But creating solar panels, are not as clean as we would want yet.

Geothermal only if you live in a place where there is geothermal energy available.

  and wind. There are places on earth where you do not have much wind either.

You forgot tides energy.

Of course wherever is posible, those kind of solutions are the best. Also creating intelligent houses, where all the resources you mention are optimized. Specially the solar energy.

Ive also read of a way of constructing homes to be able to use the wind generated by the chimney effect to obtain electricity. not sure in what stage that is. But it sounds interesting

Re:Unfortunately (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934288)

Solar if you do not live for example in countries too north, where for 6 month you do not have light.

You must have missed the "grid" part of what I was saying.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934312)

Solar if you do not live for example in countries too north, where for 6 month you do not have light.

Also, what percentage of the population lives where there is no sun for 6 months a year?

0.001%? 0.000001%? 0.0000000000123535332%?

I don't know. But for the same reason that 6 months of darkness a year sounds unappealing to us humans, very few of us choose or will stay in such a circumstance.

I mean, could you come up with a MORE TOTALLY FUCKING USELESS caveat?

Re:Unfortunately (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925382)

You may want to check out, well, the facts. [nextbigfuture.com] . Nuclear is safer, by far, than any other power source. Yes, nuclear power, for all it's "shoddy" construction (never mind the concrete chimneys are designed to survive jumbo jets flying into them), the fact that power plants have been run for decades longer than intended instead of being replaced by newer, safer, and more efficient models (in part due to regulative costs. I won't get into the irony of that, since most of them have apparently been fixed recently), and counting in the horror that was Chernobyl (which still only managed to kill ~4000 people total), is safer than solar power.

Also, the best sources I can find agree that renewables aren't cheaper than other sources (and won't be for another good 5-15 years. Hence why there are government subsidies for them, at least in the US.) If that were true, we would be seeing a lot more of them. Companies don't buy gas and oil because they like ruining the environment, they do it because it is the cheapest option. Once you make solar, et al. cheaper than the alternatives, then people will start using them.

If the choice was really between solar and nuclear, I would agree with you. The problem is, that isn't the choice. The choice is between coal/ oil and nuclear. Solar (or geothermal and definitely not wind) isn't even a viable option yet. And presented with the dichotomy between nuclear and coal, I will vote for nuclear every single time. So would anyone else who understands how bad coal is (it's worse in normal operation than a nuclear plant is when it breaks down.)

Re:Unfortunately (1, Insightful)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37926022)

Nuclear is safer, by far, than any other power source

Yet tens of thousands of people from Fukushima are unable to return to their homes. The problem with nuclear power is that when it goes wrong it tends to go very wrong. The economic and human cost of nuclear power failures can be huge. 80,000 people have been displaced as a result of the Fukushima meltdowns: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3343819.htm [abc.net.au]

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37926204)

Nuclear is safer, by far, than any other power source

Yet tens of thousands of people from Fukushima are unable to return to their homes. The problem with nuclear power is that when it goes wrong it tends to go very wrong. The economic and human cost of nuclear power failures can be huge. 80,000 people have been displaced as a result of the Fukushima meltdowns: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3343819.htm [abc.net.au]

Not really. The difference is that in the case of nuclear disaster the effects happen in a very small timeframe, whereas with e.g. coal plants the effects accumulate over time. That's why it SEEMS like nuclear is the worse choice of the two. People just forget to take into account that e.g. coal plants constantly pollute environment and create all kinds of secondary negative effects all the way from the pollution and environmental destruction caused by coal mining, and all this happens even when the plants are operating normally!

So yes, nuclear IS indeed safer and cheaper, it's just human tendency to look at things in very small timeframes that makes it look like it's not and then we exaggerate things when they happen unexpectedly.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37927100)

Not really. The difference is that in the case of nuclear disaster the effects happen in a very small timeframe, whereas with e.g. coal plants the effects accumulate over time. That's why it SEEMS like nuclear is the worse choice of the two.

I wasn't comparing it to coal. The original claim that "nuclear is safer, by far, than any other power source" is difficult to reconcile in comparison to hydro or solar power. As for the timeframe, parts of Fukushima will be affected for decades. I don't consider a quarter or a third of a lifetime a small timeframe.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37928534)

There are incidents with hydro where hundreds of thousands have died because a damn failed. But of course that can't happen ever again. Damns will never fail again... Yeah, just like no one will ever die in production of solar panels or there will never be some mishap at a nuclear plant....

Also, you are missing the point completely. How long until ALL the mercury pollution in the oceans is cleaned up as result of burning coal? How long? How many people are affected? BILLIONS are poisoned by secondary coal pollution, but that's OK, that's "normal".

An estimated 1,000,000-3,000,000 people die each and every year as a result of of coal, gas and oil pollution. But again, that is "normal".

A nuclear power plant melts because of lack of planning, few thousand people are evacuated for *safety reasons*, and people freak out because that is "not normal".

There a quote from a movie Dark Knight, that applies to this entire drama very well,

You know... You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan". But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
[Joker hands Two-Face a gun and points it at himself]
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/quotes?qt0499831 [imdb.com]

That's exactly the case of nuclear vs. rest-of-them. You upset the lives of a few people because of abundance of caution, and everyone panics. But if people die left and right because something pollutes, as it polluted for hundreds of years, well, that's fine!! It's according to the fail-plan!

Re:Unfortunately (1)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37929026)

Yeah, just like no one will ever die in production of solar panels or there will never be some mishap at a nuclear plant....

Congratulations. You've conceded my point.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37937094)

Did you read the link a bit higher?

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html [nextbigfuture.com]

Solar has .44 deaths/TWh
Nuclear has .04 deaths/TWh

That doesn't even include all the deaths from solar panel construction waste products in China.

Yes, solar power kills more than nuclear ever has.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37926550)

"Deaths per terawatt hour" is unlikely to be accepted by the general public as a valid measure of the overall safety or desirability of nuclear power.

Wikipedia quotes Stephanie Cooke:

You have people in Japan right now that are facing either not returning to their homes forever, or if they do return to their homes, living in a contaminated area for basically ever. And knowing that whatever food they eat, it might be contaminated and always living with this sort of shadow of fear over them that they will die early because of cancer and induced by Caesium or Strontium or some other radionuclide that's laced their vegetables. It affects millions of people, it affects our land, it affects our atmosphere, we know now the radio nuclides from Fukushima are going into the sea. It doesn't just kill now, it kills later, and it could kill centuries later. Because the stuff that that's depositing, doesn't just end, it has a long, long life. It's affecting future generations, it's not just affecting this generation. So I'm not a great fan of coal-burning. I don't think any of these great big massive plants that spew pollution into the air are good. But I don't think it's really helpful to make these comparisons just in terms of number of deaths.

BTW, can you show me a currently running US nuclear plant that can survive a hit from a jumbo jet? Because as far as I know, those don't exist yet, except perhaps in socialist countries like France.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37928352)

counting in the horror that was Chernobyl (which still only managed to kill ~4000 people total)

4000? Proof? There are approximately 50-100 people that have died due to Chernobyl. Most as a result of direct exposure to the reactor soon after it had its incident.

It is impossible to assess reliably, with any
precision, numbers of fatal cancers caused
by radiation exposure due to Chernobyl
accident. ... This might eventually represent
up to four thousand fatal cancers in addition to the approximately 100 000 fatal
cancers
to be expected due to all other causes in this population.
[600,000 liquidators]

This means 4% increase in cancer rates. Instead of 100, you have 104. Actual rate is unknown as there is no evidence that cancer rate in moderately exposed population is different from unexposed population, this is only conjecture based on LNT. And LNT has been proven to be wrong over and over again, yet that hasn't stopped it being used. The following is the only exception so far,

However, among the more than 4000 thyroid cancer cases diagnosed in 1992â"2002
in persons who were children or adolescents at the time of the accident, fifteen
deaths
related to the progression of the disease had been documented by 2002.

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernobyl/chernobyl.pdf [iaea.org]

Re:Unfortunately (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37929542)

The problem with your idea is that there's a lot of other power plants around the world that are just as shitty as Fukushima Daiichi and which could have the same problem. Further, it is impossible to calculate the deaths from Chernobyl or Fukushima. BTW, "the horror that was Chernobyl" ... You do realize that they originally claimed that F.D. was only 1/10 of Chernobyl, and now they are claiming that it is 1/2 of Chernobyl, right? At this rate it will be announced that it is worse than Chernobyl soon enough.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37930046)

Safer than solar? How stupid do you want to pretend to be and how stupid do you think we are? Either stop the elaborate and stupid lies or learn a bit about your subject matter instead of treating us all like easy marks in some confidence trick.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37938590)

The figures count construction fatalities. Since most solar panels are roof-mounted (noticed the part were it says "rooftop" next to solar? Yeah, reading a source before commenting on it does help), lots of accidents and therefore lots of deaths. Probably other sources of fatalities too. Another source had non-rooftop solar (which is much lower but still higher than nuclear, ~0.10/TWh IIRC), but I couldn't find it. So... I didn't think you were stupid, no. Might have to revise that estimate now, though.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941146)

Meanwhile the nuclear figures don't contain construction or mining fatalities because it's fairly irrelevant when considering nuclear power, so the solar figures shouldn't either. As I wrote above, it's an elaborate and stupid lie that you've been fooled into telling.
To be more precise, the people near the Ranger Uranium mine in Australia that got sick from contamination of drinking water don't get added to any list of nuclear accidents (and wouldn't even if they died) so why add an estimate of people falling off roofs to solar? Where does that estimate come from anyway and what is it based on?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941300)

Meanwhile the nuclear figures don't contain construction or mining fatalities because it's fairly irrelevant when considering nuclear power, so the solar figures shouldn't either.

Seriously, dude, read the article. He factors in deaths from steel mining for construction, uranium ore mining, concrete workers, etc. Hell, one of the sources he cites factors in radon poisons from uranium ore mine waste. It even mentions greenhouse effects (although obviously that is difficult to determine exactly).

Diagram 6 in this [cyf.gov.pl] (pdf warning) study shows deaths from major accidents alone (so ignoring constant health dangers of coal etc.) This ignores Fukishima (having not happened when the paper was written, and even now can't be precisely determined, but still). Nuclear is safer, just factoring the risk from major accidents, than hydro, gas, coal, and oil.

As others have pointed out, some of this data is based on a WHO study which is questionable, but even if you double or triple the values for nuclear, it is still safer than most sources of renewable energy. But AFAICT that study is extremely comprehensive on the dangers of energy sources, and nuclear is unequivocally one of the safest.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37930754)

Wow! If killing "only 4000" people is safe, I expect to be frightened silly over the vast human death toll from the solar yard lamps that are sold at home depot, much less a 1kw roof panel. How many birds, dogs and goats are also at risk, we need to know the facts!

Re:Unfortunately (2)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931984)

You may want to check out, well, the facts.

Your "facts" are utter bullshit, and you're an idiot for putting them forth. This well-known page, that comes back each time an idiot feels like defending NP, says that the WHO announced 4000 deaths from Chernobyl in 2005 but fails to indicate that the same WHO admitted later that the report was "a political communication tool" [opendemocracy.net] and issued a new statement [who.int] in 2006 pointing at very different figures.

Also comparing rooftop fall deaths to nuclear is ridiculous because you're comparing very shoddy construction practices to the extreme requirements of nuclear, but nothing prevents people from using proper equipments and practices when going on roofs. Also it ignores solar thermal energy which is probably the cleanest and safest way of generating electricity bar none.

Ultimately the issue here is that you need to consider the intrinsic risks, which are high with nuclear, not the mitigated risks, which indeed have been reduced but mostly by pure luck [guardian.co.uk] .

Anyway believe what you want but don't blind yourself with partisan bullshit when trying to form an opinion.

Solar (or geothermal and definitely not wind) isn't even a viable option yet.

Not less than breeder and thorium reactors that people need to push forward as soon as proposing NP as an acceptable solution, because in its current form it is not.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932804)

You're right...it is safe as long as certain criteria are met.
1) it is in a self contained ball
2) 93 million f ing miles from the people who need the power

Re:Unfortunately (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934424)

Nuclear is safer, by far, than any other power source

So explain to me why 1,000+ square miles surrounding Chernobyl are unaccessable without a permit? Explain to me how that's working out for the thousands of people who live near Fukushima. Here are some of the consequences of the "far Far FAR FAR FAR" safer nuclear power:

Tokyo officials temporarily recommended that tap water should not be used to prepare food for infants.[29][30] Plutonium contamination has been detected in the soil at two sites in the plant,[31] although further analysis revealed that the detected densities are within limits from fallout generated from previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.[32] Two workers hospitalized with non-life threatening radiation burns on 25 March had been exposed to between 2000 and 6000 mSv of radiation at their ankles when standing in water in Unit 3. Follow-up examination at 11. april from National Institute of Radiological Sciences was without confirmation. (ref name="nisa_127" german wikipedia)[33][34][35]

Japanese officials initially assessed the accident as Level 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) despite the views of other international agencies that it should be higher. The level was successively raised to 5 and eventually to 7, the maximum scale value.[36][37] The Japanese government and TEPCO have been criticized in the foreign press for poor communication with the public[38][39] and improvised cleanup efforts.[40] Foreign experts have said that a workforce in the hundreds or even thousands would take years or decades to clean up the area.[15] On 20 March, the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano announced that the plant would be decommissioned once the crisis was over.

I don't know what "facts" you think you have, child, but it's pretty obvious that you have confused FACTS with LIES.

Nuclear power IS VERY FUCKINGUNSAFE. The relatively few and small events that have occurred so far have left wrecked communities and areas of the Earth that are not just dirty but COMPLETELY UNINHABITABLE FOR DECADES OR CENTURIES TO COME.

So, I'm not really sure what you think "safe" means, but like Inigo Montoya, I do not think that word MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37937262)

Reread your quote.

Plutonium contamination has been detected in the soil at two sites in the plant

ok, yeah, there was Plutonium found

although further analysis revealed that the detected densities are within limits from fallout generated from previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.

OK, so the Pu could have been fallout from when Japan was bombed? or from atmospheric testing?

Two workers hospitalized with non-life threatening radiation burns on 25 March had been exposed to between 2000 and 6000 mSv of radiation at their ankles when standing in water in Unit 3.

OK, so they were exposed to radiation (not a large amount BTW, and in their ankles, not their lungs)

Follow-up examination at 11. april from National Institute of Radiological Sciences was without confirmation.

IOW, they were unable to find evidence of radiation exposure

Most of the things being done in the area around the plant are of a precautionary nature, as no one knows exactly how much was released, or if it is even an issue. Sure, it was a terrible disaster, but MANY more were killed or displaced by the tsunami than were exposed to radiation.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925508)

[Nuclear power is an] unbelievably fraught with peril method of boiling fucking water

Given how much you said about nuclear power, I'm surprised that you didn't know that the boiling water *isn't* the final product! In fact, it's simply a means to an end- a minor *intermediate* step used to convert the heat created by the nuclear reactions into the final product- electricity!

And yeah, in all seriousness, you damn well know this of course, Which makes your example blatantly disingenuous rather than downright stupid- an attempt to minimise the usefulness and seriousness of nuclear power by painting it as a minor first step towards a relatively unimportant end. By the same token, wind turbines are a massively intrusive way of getting some mechanism to spin and coal power is a very polluting way of creating flames!

Of course, the real problem- and hard part- is getting the energy in the first place. But you knew that too.

And please note that I was specifically attacking the intellectual dishonesty of that part of your argument. Even if I agreed with the rest of what you said (in truth I agree with parts and disagree with others), it doesn't change the dubiousness of that argumentative technique.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925692)

Don't most current methods of generating electricity pretty much break down into somehow generating heat to boil water to force steam to turn a turbine etc etc? Except for maybe hydroelectric, where you have gravity acting on water turning turbines AFAIK.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925738)

Thinking about it more, wind power simply turns the "turbine" with the force of the wind directly, and gas-powered engines use controlled explosions to get the mechanical force wanted,

But at least I'm pretty sure coal, nuclear, and solar all use heat to get water to go through an evaporate -> spin the turbine -> cool -> start over cycle...

Re:Unfortunately (2)

Jonathan_S (25407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925948)

Don't most current methods of generating electricity pretty much break down into somehow generating heat to boil water to force steam to turn a turbine etc etc? Except for maybe hydroelectric, where you have gravity acting on water turning turbines AFAIK.

That depends on how you define "most current methods". In terms of watt/hours produced you're probably right; but in terms of number of methods not necessarily.

Nuclear, Coal, and (most?) Oil, are used to boil water to run steam turbines.
Natural gas peak load plants are usually gas turbines, no intermediate water boiling step.
Hydroelectric, as you mentioned, is water turbines
Solar thermal is boiling water (or other working fluids)
Solar-voltaic is basically direct electricity generation
Wind turbines obviously don't use boiling water, and neither do tidal power plants.
Geothermal plants are (mostly?) steam turbines.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37927736)

Er... "SlippyToad" was in no way attempting to minimise the usefulness and seriousness of nuclear power.

I quote, "shoddy workmanship, sloppy maintenance, wilfully stupid cost-cutting and just general all-around stupid douchebaggery of the kind you get when you give too much power and responsibility unto the hands of those fatally unprepared for the responsibility part".

In that context, the phrase "boiling fucking water" refers to something that should be straightforward - until you add humans.

Nuclear power is indeed useful and serious. It's the latter part which makes me very leery of my species doing anything with it on a large-scale commercial basis.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37939384)

In that context, the phrase "boiling fucking water" refers to something that should be straightforward.

No offence, but you missed the point. It's not the boiling water that is the hard part- that clearly *is*, as you suggest, relatively "straightforward" and a way of converting heat to electricity. It's generating the initial energy to boil the water in the first place that's the hard (and relevant!) part.

By focusing on the intermediate "boiling water" step, at the expense of the more significant generation of energy itself, and of the final more useful product, SlippyToad trivialises the difficulty of the process and the usefulness of the final product, and misleadingly bolsters his/her case critical of the nuclear energy process.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37943350)

I'm sorry. I felt your post was a technological argument about how useful and serious nuclear power is, while his post was a sociological argument about how profiteering and corner-cutting are too endemic/entrenched for us to trust the industry on a commercial scale.

I.e. from my POV, Dogtanian and SlippyToad are arguing apples and oranges. Does that make sense?

And I agree with you AND him. Nuclear power is a fantastic technology and I don't trust our society to deploy it safely.

Your "correction" reveals a problem with education (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37930184)

You kids have to learn about context. A reactor boils water, a turbine turns that into motion, and a generator produces electricity from that motion. There is nothing at all wrong with the statement you are pretending to correct and building an enormous house of cards of false superiority on. It appears to all be about winning a spelling bee instead of understanding - the depressing tendancy of seeing science as an incantation where you have to get the spelling correct but don't require the merest clue of what is going on. Pointless attacks over semantics AND GETTING IT WRONG are a depressing thing to see, and an exposure of a lack of knowlege of the subject you are mindlessly cheering for even more so. For fuck sake learn SOMETHING about the subject you are pretending to correct people on before doing so.

Re:Your "correction" reveals a problem with educat (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934270)

A reactor boils water, a turbine turns that into motion, and a generator produces electricity from that motion.

Indeed. Both myself and SlippyToad know this damn well, so what's your point?

There is nothing at all wrong with the statement you are pretending to correct

Yes there is, but it it lies in the implications of the way it was (deliberately) phrased and not in the surface meaning. *That* was correct, but misses the point.

It appears to all be about winning a spelling bee instead of understanding - the depressing tendancy of seeing science as an incantation where you have to get the spelling correct but don't require the merest clue of what is going on.

No. Despite your sanctimonious and condescending rant, you *entirely* missed the whole damn point of what I said.

Stating that nuclear power was an "unbelievably fraught with peril method of boiling fucking water" (while pedantically correct) rather than "...of generating electricity" carries the subtle but deliberate shift of emphasis away from the real and useful end purpose as well as implying that the nuclear part is trivial because it should just be a minor step in the process of boiling water.

No, it's obtaining the energy (in whatever form) to boil the water in the first place that's the whole damn hard part. The remainder is relatively trivial energy conversion.

I'm not implying that SlippyToad put as much conscious thought into his choice of words as I did in dissecting them, but it's pretty clear that on some level he knew damn well why he chose those words. This is how politicians, PR and the real world works, how one shifts arguments by subtly pushing an implied message via the choice of emphasis.

Please continue ranting to yourself if you still don't get that.

Re:Your "correction" reveals a problem with educat (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37941376)

Of course I "get it" otherwise I could not point out your pointless attack over semantics could I? In this case "pedantically correct" is technically correct so you've got a whole lot of bullshit there attacking the truth. Is this inspired by the example of corrupt politics or something?
Also of course it's condescending, how else can such a pathetic example such as your above post be addressed? It's a shining example of what happens when you cut educational spending for years and get kids that think a spelling bee is more important than knowing what the words mean.
Reactors make steam. That is what they do. Beyond that it could be just about any other thermal power station.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925902)

Accidents happen with every kind of power production, nuclear is one of the safest. Yes, boiling water reactors are the most dangerous, and I agree that they should be shut down, however noone is building those anymore anyway.

Can we please be done with nuclear energy? Yesterday? Solar, geothermal and wind are all coming rapidly into their own, already cost less than traditional non-renewables (especially if we take away Big Oil/Gas/Nuclear's free rides and subisdies) and it looks like about 30 years down the road give or take we could be living with a distributed power grid that takes inputs from every single solar roof/windmill/vent in the country.

You must live in an alternative universe I can't even comment on this bullshit.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932160)

nuclear is one of the safest.

You must live in an alternative universe

Holly shit who is living in an alternative universe? How can an industrial process be "one of the safest" when it has the potential to destroy a country and almost did [guardian.co.uk] ? How blind are you willing to be?

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37926114)

Your knowledge of the nuclear power industry, its history, and science, is showing. I would say go educate yourself, but anyone who writes that much without being informed is a lost cause.

Best of luck to your future.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37927870)

Thats a great rant. No need to let facts get in the way of an illogical, vitrolic outburst.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37930020)

It's a case of too little, too late. I have zero trust in the nuclear industry

However this isn't the "nuclear industry" doing it. Please read the article.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37930832)

The problem is, when a hydro dam bursts or some coal fired plant explodes/burns down again etc, I can go in and use the land straight away. I don't have to wait 1000's of years till it is habitable again.
The problem is, humans always fuck shit up, it is not a matter of if, it is just when. Now if we cover the world in Nuclear plants too a much higher density than currently, and now assume the same amount of accident like Chernobyl, Three Mile, Fukushima. Considering 2 of them were quite major and nuclear power plants haven't around for a whole century, the idea of having 3-5 Chernobyls/Fukushimas every 100 years is not that inviting.

Get it safer still, where it can really shut down well and REALLY quick, even in a major even like Fukushima and I would be more pro nuclear power.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931846)

Can we please be done with nuclear energy? Yesterday?

History repeats itself in some way. When steam engines were invented, a whole anti-machine movement emerged, predicting disasters from those infernal constructions. The pope even banned the first trains as the work of the devil. If we go far back enough, when the first wheel was made and the first cart crashed, I guess some humans said wheels were unsafe and should never be used again.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37935878)

Don't lump all nuclear tech into one basket. There was a fantastic reactor run in the 1960s for 5 years that has none of the problems you are concerned about and got canned because you have hell of a time making bombs from the waste. Yep, the DoE fired the guy because he wouldn't shut up about how much safer and no proliferation issues.

- Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZR0UKxNPh8&feature=player_embedded

Intelligent? (1)

craigminah (1885846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924930)

It'd probably be better to say this product specifically targets the contaminants rather than it's self-aware.

A job for Ron Paul! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924950)

A job for Ron Paul, as the intelligent absorbent.

So then what do you do with it? (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924952)

Once it's absorbed radioactive material it becomes a problem all by itself. But at least it doesn't flow downhill.... much.

Solar microwave array vs nuclear reactor (1)

pgpalmer (2015142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925008)

I wonder how much it would cost to construct solar panels in orbit which then transmit their power to Earth's surface through a focused microwave beam, vs the cost of building (and decommissioning) a nuclear reactor. http://space.mike-combs.com/spacsetl.htm#SPS [mike-combs.com]

Re:Solar microwave array vs nuclear reactor (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37925036)

Certainly more than building those panels, you know, on Earth. Also, solar panels have terrible efficiency compared to solar plants.

Re:Solar microwave array vs nuclear reactor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925068)

Here's all the relevant info on microwave power http://home.arcor.de/anroth/simcity/mikrowellenkraftwerk_ui.jpg

Re:Solar microwave array vs nuclear reactor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925126)

Earth based solar is cheaper than orbital solar, since you don't have to launch anything on a rocket.

Re:Solar microwave array vs nuclear reactor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925166)

I wonder if the energy used to put them in orbit will be less than the amount of energy returned before they are worn out and have to be replaced.

Re:Solar microwave array vs nuclear reactor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925478)

Thank you for helping to make /. just a little bit worse.

All you need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37925764)

Is a GECK, the tidal basin, and a whole lotta pipe. Sorted!

Shungite (1)

abhishek822 (1655521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37926016)

http://www.koksu.kz/koksu/gb_en/ecology.html [koksu.kz]
Gamma rays shielding. A layer of shaly shungite provides a more effective level of shielding than equally thick layers of concrete or aluminium. Shungite shields can be used in the areas of potential ecological disasters, such as oil pipelines, gas-condensate reservoirs, handling grounds for combustible materials, sump and sewage tanks, etc. A promising area of shungite application is seen to be the construction of chemical and radioactive waste storages.

http://lists.drizzle.com/pipermail/rockhounds/2009-January/027781.html [drizzle.com]
Shungite occurs in rocks as 1 mm to 20 cm clasts of lustrous shungite that probably represent redeposited, oxidised oil derived from oil spills.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016913680300043X [sciencedirect.com]
The shungite-bearing rocks were accumulated within a volcanic continental rift setting, in a non-euxinic, brackish-water, lagoonal environment developed on the rifted margin of the Archaean craton. The occurrences of shungite-bearing rocks represent a combination of a petrified oil field, petrified organosiliceous diapirs and oil spills.

not smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37926076)

if you go to the website of the american chemical society, and browse titles of the many journals, which are among the top chem journals in the world, you will see that smart is even more trendy and chic then nano.

sounds like some pretty std ion exchange filter, with some selectivity.
nothing here, move along

motivated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37927380)

From my memory of doing a Physics degree there may years ago, they could do with a few grams of these nanofibres in the basement of Q block.....

Intelligent? (1)

FalseModesty (166253) | more than 2 years ago | (#37928134)

Wow, I know a lot of AI researchers who are going to be pretty pissed off that these materials scientists scooped them.

Has it passed the Turing test yet?

Selective for radioactive ions! (1)

AbrasiveCat (999190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37929092)

Wow, I like how this material is so intelligent that it can differentiate and select radioactive ions from non-radioactive ones. Nice work.

Selective for reading between the lines for bullsh (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37930086)

Nobody said that. It's for cleaning up the sort of heavy metals that would be in the water after a leak whether they are radioactive or not. It would be a safe bet that it was tested and perfected with non-radioactive materials.

Speaking of coal... (1)

emaname (1014225) | more than 2 years ago | (#37930208)

YA!!! Coal is safer and cleaner than anything.

Bluff collapse at power plant sends dirt, coal ash into lake [jsonline.com]
Containing the damage at We Energies site [jsonline.com]
Collapsed bluff got pass from state regulators [jsonline.com]
Bluff collapse came weeks after Congress rebuffed EPA on coal ash rule [jsonline.com]

I used to consider myself a Republican. Now I'm embarrassed to admit that. I however am not a Democrat either. I belong to the party of "The Screwed."

The current political party that would like to call itself "Republican" is a party of and for the wealthy elitist businessmen. They have NO interest in the well-being of the general population. Their only concern is for a double-digit profit at the end of the quarter and they don't care how many resources they have to destroy or consume to get it.

The robber barons are back and this time they openly want it all. They're not making any secret of their intentions.

And just like all the spin selling and PR that has been going on for coal, the natural gas guys are starting up their own story-telling machine to support fracking [www.cbc.ca] .

With fresh water shortages developing all over the world, how is a technology that uses fresh water that is loaded with all sorts of nasty stuff (and thus rendered useless to any life form) and can destroy fresh water sources be a sensible solution?

And BTW, several fresh water wells have been contaminated by this WE Energies coal plant. WE Energies has bought the properties after the people have signed agreements to not sue them.

I'd rather take my chances with nuclear.

@Baloroth: thanks for "the facts" link.

Test results? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931198)

Are then any published testing results, experimental data? Sounds great, but we do hear about all kinds of wonderful stuff that "can do XYZ" really soon now.

Not good news, actually... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931686)

"Corporate America's" pattern of behavior suggests to me that a suit in an executive suite somewhere will order a bunch of this material to be put in the water discharges of all the nuke facilities he can affect to contain "minor problems", and then lay all maintenance crews off except one - which will be tasked with doing what they can to prevent a major catastrophe at all of the facilities on a rotating basis.

Thereby generating "shareholder value" by reducing labor costs and increasing the possibility of a major nuclear catastrophe.
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