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NRC Releases Audio of Fukushima Disaster

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the sounds-of-disaster dept.

Japan 56

mdsolar writes "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today released transcripts and audio recordings made at the NRC Operations Center during last year's meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. The release of these audio recordings comes at the request of the public radio program 'BURN: An Energy Journal,' and its host Alex Chadwick. The recordings show the inside workings of the U.S. government's highest level efforts to understand and deal with the unfolding nuclear crisis as the reactors meltdown. In the course of a week, the NRC is repeatedly alarmed that the situation may turn even more catastrophic. The NRC emergency staff discusses what to do — and what the consequences may be — as it learns that reactor containment safeguards are failing, and that spent fuel pools are boiling away their cooling water, and in one case perhaps catching fire."

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56 comments

I give it a 7 (-1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132135)

Nice beat but so-so lyrics......

Here's the audio transcript while being .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132183)

Here's the audio transcript while being burnt by radioactive shit ..

Stop the pain!!!

Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132157)

remember back when the incident first started and people were screaming on forums/slashdot that the reactor was fine, meltdown won't happen, "STFU luddites", etc? Good times... good times.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (5, Interesting)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132501)

Actually I don't remember any of that. Checking the initial article reveals that I don't remember it because it didn't happen. One person said it wasn't a meltdown, and nobody said anything like "STFU luddites" (nothing even close to that quote ever appears).

I also wouldn't gloat... given the most costly natural disaster in human history, which claimed 20,000 lives, only two workers died from the nuclear plant, and there have been no cases of radiation poisoning. Compare this to the six who immediately died in the nearby oil refinery.

At worse, there may be a 0.1% increase in cancer risk due to radiation for the locals (per the most pessimistic scientist opining on the topic), but a lot more have died from the simple loss of electricity. Plus, that works out to ~1,000 deaths over ~50 years, compared to 1,200 cancer deaths due to coal mining (not burning) in Appalachia in the US each year.

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but that comment did make me curious enough to see how Slashdot fares at predicting the future.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132561)

It was terrible, but it's not even in the top ten as natural disasters go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_disasters_by_death_toll

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (3, Informative)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132955)

You're completely right, I should have clarified "the most economically costly". It is estimated to have caused $235 billion (World Bank) to $309 billion (Japan) in immediate damages, which is 2-3 times that of the Kobe Earthquake (1995) and 3-4 times that of Hurricane Katrina (2005).

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39136525)

You're completely right, I should have clarified "the most economically costly".

No, you were fine. When talking about death toll, we don't call things "costly", we call them "deadly".

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133539)

I actually do remember a whole lot of that stuff, and they had mod points too. Japan got off lucky on this one. Being an already overpopulated island nation they can hardly bear to give up the hundreds of square kilometers of territory that will be a no-man's land for the next few centuries, but it could have been much worse. Another plant further down the coast just barely managed to keep just enough generators running to complete their shutdown, or they'd have had two whole plants melting down. If the wind had been blowing a little more Easterly and a little faster, Tokyo would be in the No-man's land. Let's be happy it wasn't worse than we already know it was, and hope they still aren't holding out information on us like they were then.

In 30 years whey they can crack the reactor and grope about with robots for the corium my kids may get to find out how bad it really was - because until then we really won't know. What we do know is that for Japan at least the cost of abandoning this land, the cost of cleaning up this mess, the "~1000 deaths" as you so callously put it is a part of the cost of nuclear power they're no longer willing to invest in - and those costs weren't previously figured into their energy budget.

Japan's going to have money and energy issues for 30 years as they turn away from nuclear and burn more imported fossil fuels as a result. If they had not been so overcommitted to nuclear it wouldn't be so bad for them. Their economy will be depressed from this for the rest of my life because Japan is not rich in fossil fuels. It also makes their economy dependent on the foreign fossil fuels market, which is never going to get cheaper, and makes them vulnerable to foreign diplomatic negotiations with a big energy stick.

But hey, let's talk about the evils of coal and petroleum because fossil fuels are the only alternative baseload power to nuclear, particularly for Japan. There's no such thing as effectively limitless safe cheap clean sustainable carbon-neutral freshwater miserly locally-derived geothermal baseload power on a volcanic island chain like Japan. If they had such a thing they'd be using it already, right?

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133617)

geothermal works for new zealand, and the islands are certainly similar in a lot of ways.

however, there's a bit of a population and industry gap there. and not even new zealand's very small population is entirely geothermal.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133843)

Did you know that offshore territorial geothermal resources count? In fact they more than count, as the delta-t and thermal transer properties of seawater are always better. There's stuff that needs inventing here but the electrical energy that Japan needs is local, cheaper than nuclear, and far more abundant than they need for the next thousand years. The very subduction zone that caused the recent tsunami is a vast cauldron of magma just offshore - a reservoir of thermal energy begging to be tapped. New Zealand has such a subduction zone but they're on the very south end of it, and it's more difficult to tap for New Zealand. Same ring of fire, but the fire burns a little dimmer there. Anyway, for New Zealand I would guess the best geothermal resources lie below North Island.

It's early days in geothermal yet. Once upon a time oil bubbled up from the ground and we didn't know what to do with it. Then we discovered it would burn for a long time in a torch. That's about where we're at with geothermal.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39184195)

we can hardly turn it into plastic though.

and something tells me a power plant built on the very fault that caused the 10.0 earthquake and tsunami would not last very long.

but yes, hot rocks can boil water just as well as hot metallic oxides in pressure vessels. i'm all for tapping that stuff, but i'm also all for nuclear being developed beyond the hopeless pressure-cookers they are now and into something that can solve more than just the problem of where to get power, but what to do with all the G1-3 reactor spent fuel and what to do to get away from fossil fuel, and what to do to prevent proliferation (ie closed fuel cycle, like the TWR or similar).

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

djscoumoune (1731422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134777)

The official count is 4 deaths, but I remember seeing an unofficial count a few month ago and it was something like 500 because most workers are reported as missing. And based on Three Miles Island studies there'll be a 1 million cancer increase in the next 20 years. http://enenews.com/gundersen-in-japan-1000000-additional-cancers-from-fukushima-over-next-20-years-based-on-university-studies-after-three-mile-island-1-5-hour-video [enenews.com]

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

stooo (2202012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135433)

>> The official count is 4 deaths

No, the official is now 573 deaths.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120204003191.htm [yomiuri.co.jp]

As you may know, this number is probably underestimated due to the jap gov. lying daily to their citizens.

Also, you may know that many cancers take much time to develop, and that the large scale food contamination is ongoing. an example of future cancers :
http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/01/1117-children-over-30-of-3739-tested.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

Tomji (142759) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135635)

Actually let's be honest and say people like you caused the 571 deaths, because well... it's true. The panic style evacuation encouraged by fear mongering left patients and old people stranded while the caregivers had run for the hills. Thanks for that, I hope you can gloat more about your 573.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

CnlPepper (140772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135491)

enenews isn't exactly an unbiased source, it is heavily anti-nuclear. They regularly post cherry picked information from scientists who form very much the minority views. Given that the TMI accident was in 1979, ~33 years ago, any significant rises in observable cancers should already been apparent. I've encountered no evidence that this is the case.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134945)

A lot of people on Slashdot don't seem to understand how radiation affects the body. Radiation from outside the body isn't too much of a problem because the skin acts as a barrier and it will be washed away fairly quickly. Radioactive material inside the body, particularly inside organs, is much more serious though. It can sit there for years slowly damaging the organ, which is what leads to cancer and other health problems.

Thousands of children got seriously ill after getting radioactive material into their oesophagus when the much worse Chernobyl disaster happened. Sure, most of the didn't die so didn't make the stats, but clearly no-one is going to accept that as an acceptable "solution" in Japan so the exclusion zone and massive clean-up operation is necessary.

The WHO recommended that Japanese children not drink some of the water in the area around Fukushima, especially babies. That was not scaremongering or being overly cautious, it was based on well understood risks. They are now having to clean everything in the affected areas and replace all the top soil because the danger of something getting inside people is quite real.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136613)

A lot of people on Slashdot don't seem to understand how radiation affects the body. Radiation from outside the body isn't too much of a problem because the skin acts as a barrier and it will be washed away fairly quickly.

You must distinguish between sources ON the skin vs sources in the environment (both of which are outside the body).

The skin provides decent protection only against alpha particles. Beta radiation penetrates skin [wikipedia.org] (they use it for radiotherapy), and gamma goes very deep indeed [wikipedia.org] - sometimes right through.

The skin does not help against beta or gamma emitters on the skin or in the environment. All emitters in the environment pose an ingestion hazard as you said, but the free mean path of an alpha is so short it's unlikely to get any significant exposure thru the air.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135443)

nothing even close to that quote ever appears

Some reactions [slashdot.org] were truely priceless though. On March 16, 2011, AnonGCB (1398517) wrote:

It's funny because what is happening in Japan is exactly why Nuclear Power is SAFE!

An earthquake 7 times more powerful than the biggest it was built for hit, and all that happened to the reactors that didn't shut down cleanly was a small amount of radioactive noble gases, which decay within minutes. Even if the cores DO melt, they're safely contained in ... wait for it... containment chambers!

People don't realize the amount of engineering that goes into nuclear to make it safe.

Well, containment chamber indeed! To which kannibal_klown (531544) answers:

Hey, I know it. But Joe Sixpack is gonna say "But look at their problems now, I don't want that here." Bla bla bla

I guess this courageous gentleman has bought some cheap real estate and moved to Fukushima since. Or perhaps not?

that comment did make me curious enough to see how Slashdot fares at predicting the future

Pretty bad it seems since the posts in question were submitted after the first two major hydrogen explosions. In fact this level of blind faith in nuclear technology, akin to crazy religious bigotry, might be one of the reasons these accidents (Chernobyl, Fukushima) happened in the past, and probably will again in the future.

At worse, there may be a 0.1% increase in cancer risk due to radiation for the locals

The number of direct radiation deaths is one way of assessing the risks associated with the technology, but not necessarily a very reliable one. What I found notable about The Fukushima disaster is that things went for a while inches away from possibly destroying Japan as a country [guardian.co.uk] it seems - imagine a situation where the greater Tokyo area would heave had to be evacuated for a couple of months for instance.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136521)

I remember how the first building exploded and a specialist in the news said that that really isn't a big deal and that nothing really was wrong.

Re:Delicious Pro-Nuclear butthurt tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39137399)

Will they reclaim Fukishima for power generation?

  How long before they can?

How frequently does this happen per hours of operation around the world?

What will the coast line look like in 500 - 1,000 years?

Note that article mostly has negative comments (3, Interesting)

Mr 44 (180750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132289)

Most of the comments on the linked site are pretty critical, here's a typical post:

rfordwm - Feb 21, 2012:

I don't understand what the point of this piece was. All I heard on the recordings were cool headed honest assessments of what information they had on Japan.

Yet Ryssdal says such things as "Wow. Scary when nuclear guys start using phrases like alarming language,' betraying a predisposition to distrust in these "nuclear guys." But for those listeners who don't share that predisposition what is it exactly we were to be scared of?

Perhaps Mr. Chadwick will enlighten us:
  "this is the NRC -- they'e watching YouTube and CNN."

Huh... So there is a breakdown in information I should perhaps be concerned about?

Again Chadwick gives us the answer:

"Because this area is so devastated by the tsunami. So many people are lost, 20,000. The infrastructure is all blown away."

Well that seems like a good reason for information being sparse. Not to mention the NRC is a national agency, concerned with domestic nuclear safety.

Again, what was the point of this? Why were Mr. Ryssdal and Mr. Chadwick using words and tones that denote alarm and concern? Perhaps they could clarify?

Re:Note that article mostly has negative comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39136597)

Because 'nuclear' is scary if if you drum up alarmists bullshit and smear ignorance and stupidity about, you become a massive hereo to the ludtite anti-nukers.

Here's the important part. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132355)

Someone set us up the bomb! PC LOAD LETTER? What fuck that mean?

Interesting from a historical perspective but... (5, Insightful)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132535)

What's the controversy here? This is a US regulatory agency who regulates US reactors, and the hubbub is that they weren't aware of each detail of events that were going on in Japan? Besides it not being in their job description to keep track of Japanese reactors, I don't think the first reaction of the Japanese was "Call the American nuclear regulators! Otherwise they might have to follow events on CNN!"

If this were the Japanese nuclear regulators, then I'd be worried.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133551)

Then you should be worried because the Japanese nuclear regulators weren't any better informed.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133877)

^^^^ This The regulators here(Japan) were uninformed before the accident, because they have chosen to look the other way for a long time. And they were uninformed during the accident for a number of reasons, broken infrastructure, Face saving, butt rescuing, political games etc etc.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134865)

I know, the shear arrogance is almost unbelievable and I'm sure harrassing the Japanese for information didn't help them in any way.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (4, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39135449)

What's the controversy here?

The controversy is that many of the Nuclear reactors in operation in the U.S are the G.E Mk 1, that Fukushima was. Even the Hitachi and Toshiba reactors are copies of the GE Mk 1.

The second part of the controversy is that the spent fuel cooling pools in the US are much more heavily loaded with pu-239 than Fukushima is/was.

The third part of the controversy is that U.S operators are at least as bad as the Japanese counterparts.

If this were the Japanese nuclear regulators, then I'd be worried.

I've observed that most people on slashdot don't want their belief systems about Nuclear power challenged. People who do are modded into oblivion. The fact remains that the U.S is at least as vulnerable to these accidents because it has many of these types of reactors *still* in operation itself. Coupled with the spent fuel density in many U.S reactor installation's cooling pools and you have a recipe for disaster that rivals the Japanese situation.

Unfortunately the lack of observable consensus between those for (pro) and against (anti) Nuclear power leaves the situation deadlocked against any pragmatic solution to the actual situation. Any form of, what I term "Responsible Nuclear Advocacy" is judged by both parties as against "their" argument when, in reality, if you observe both sides from afar you discover that while the end goal of both sides differ, the means to achieving it is the same: A geologically sound spent fuel facility in granite - built like the Rocky Mountains NORAD military facility (which is an ideal place).

It's actually easier for most people to maintain a certain level of apathy towards the situation so they can remain untroubled by events and not challenge their "ism" and I don't blame them because it's a horrendously complex subject. It encapsulates not only an understanding of physics, but engineering, governance and regulation, political constructs, economics and legislation, medicine and, of course, the Nuclear Industry itself.

I started off as undecided (well slightly pro) but determined to learn more and as I did became increasingly fascinated by this wonderful but also terrifying technology, after all, it's related to the atomic bomb. I encourage everyone who argues for Nuclear Power to really get an understanding of this technology. How much energy does mining take, what is the toxicity of mine tailings, what are the consequences of uranium enrichment and the relation to du weapons and the effect of CFC114 on the environment, how reactors are designed and their operational life cycle how basis design issues affect reactor operations (which lead to accidents like Fukushima AND Chernobyl) and, most importantly why dealing with spent fuel containment (and maintaining it in the U.S) is the most pressing issue that the faces humanity.

Simply put, I have long felt that it is up to our generation to deal with the issue of spent fuel containment if we are going to receive the benefits of the energy that Nuclear fuel provides. These reactors have life spans that are measured in decades, while it's "spent" fuel is toxic to life for thousands of years. We have a responsibility to future human generation to deal with this issue permanently. If we can't solve this, the simplest problem facing the Nuclear industry (spent fuel containment) then how can we ever expect to develop better reactor technology (that I completely support), when we are simply rendering the technology pointless. What actual right do we have to this technology if we are too short sighted to see such far reaching consequences.

I don't care if I'm modded down, I have always spoken to the truth of the Nuclear present and this argument has always been treated too flippantly on slashdot. The truth about the Nuclear industry gets modded down here because the truth about it introduces discomfiture that challenges the established dogma of the Nuclear industry and no one wants to wake from their apathetic somnolence.

If you are comfortable with the Fukushima situation (and Chernobyl for that matter) then you are relying on a belief system instead of the facts, the "Social Proof" of slashdot instead of science and evidence. You should be worried, this is a serious situation and remains so.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136325)

1) Yes, the USA are in many (though not all) regards just as vulnerable as Japan was. There were some improvements in American plants (like hardened, but unfiltered, containment vents, reinforced condensation chambers, hydrogen igniters (of doubtful value if you ask me) etc.), but certainly not enough in terms of redundant power supply and especially the lack of filters. None of which are discussed in mainstream media for political (and entirely wrong headed) reasons - either to avoid the cost of implementing additional safety measures or to avoid talking about their existence. (Which is the case in Germany, where the media are now entirely anti-nuclear - to the point that the fact that laws were issued a quarter of a century past to install filtered containment vents and catalyzers for hydrogen hasn't been mentioned in any of the larger media during the past year, while pretending that the behaviour of nuclear reactors is entirely unpredictable.)

2) The main problem of spent fuel storage is that spent fuel must be reprocessed before any responsible storage is at all possible - an impossible suggestion in the ever paranoid USA. Unreprocessed fuel is a mixture of Uranium (which is neglible compared to either tailings or "natural uranium" in the earth, which is Uranium mixed with tailings), fission products (which decay below the level of the tailings within 200-300 years) and activation products. Activation products from moderated reactors are mostly plutonium, which is responsible for projected storage times of 10k to 1mio years depending upon whom you ask. In short, it is impossible to store activation products in a waste dump in any responsible way whatsoever.

3) Activation products can be split and turned into fission products with fast neutron reactors. This is a straightforward process that consists of switching the reactor on and letting the neutrons do their work. (It depends on neutron cross sections and the neutronicity of the reactor, but it is only slightly more complicated than this.) Those reactors are not new. They are technology over a decade older than Sputnik. (The reactor "Clementine" was build and finished in 1946.) The Russians used lead-cooled fast fission reactors to power their Alfa submarines (of "Hunt for Red October" fame), they also still run the BN-600 (sodium cooled) reactor and have been doing so for decades. The Americans ran the EBR-II for over 30 years until it was shut down by the clinton administration in 1994. (Along with most nuclear research.) The French build and ran the 300MW Phoenix and 1650MW Super-Phoenix plant. (The latter shut down in 1998 IIRC because power was supposed to be too expensive: 4-6ct/kWh. Cheaper than any of todays renewables ... and you can switch them both off and on!)

That's the greatest misconception of them all - we're not talking about hypothetical processes using newfangled, untested, unpredictable technology. This is really old stuff, it just needs doing.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136359)

Actually, storage may not be the best option. Transportation of spent fuel to a central site is sure to lead to accidents. A mobile transmutation facility may be a better option. If we think of nuclear energy as energy that must be repaid to unmake the waste, a sort of deficit spending situation, then the picture of what nuclear energy is may be clearer.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156833)

Actually, storage may not be the best option. Transportation of spent fuel to a central site is sure to lead to accidents. A mobile transmutation facility may be a better option. If we think of nuclear energy as energy that must be repaid to unmake the waste, a sort of deficit spending situation, then the picture of what nuclear energy is may be clearer.

Have you examined the work of Dr Phillip Smith, Nuclear Physicist and Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen (MSc)? They talk of the absence of a "Net energy return" of Nuclear power.

Have you considered any approaches to reducing pu-239 stores near nuclear reactors?

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39158995)

The energy returned on energy invested is pretty low for nuclear power even ignoring the waste clean up. Using centrifuges in the fuel processing can help, but with only about 75 years of uranium left, the whole slug of gas diffusion processed materials from weapons production makes the overall process low quality in energy terms.

Accelerators can break down plutonium so that is a zeroth order approach. We can expect an overshoot in solar panel production and excess energy available after fossil fuels and nuclear power are eliminated. Already nanosolar has an energy payback time of under eight months. http://www.nanosolar.com/company/about-us [nanosolar.com] so repaying the nuclear energy debt should not be too difficult.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39229143)

Accelerators can break down plutonium so that is a zeroth order approach. We can expect an overshoot in solar panel production and excess energy available after fossil fuels and nuclear power are eliminated. Already nanosolar has an energy payback time of under eight months. http://www.nanosolar.com/company/about-us [nanosolar.com] so repaying the nuclear energy debt should not be too difficult.

No need to convince me about solar and other alternatives, they're the only logical and practical energy selection for the next 50 -100 years. To me wind power with it's modular and rapid technology development cycle makes a superior return to nuclear. Solar thermal looks like the industrial level option to replace coal.

At issue though is also the decommissioning of the reactors which is a highly energy intensive operation to do safely. I'm fairly certain accelerators would be too. Do you have any links I could examine with more information. I'd like to compare the energetic expenditure of the Accelerator to an infrastructure plan and storage.

The last point is a political issue. The Nuclear cowboys (pro-nuclear, nuclear fanbois) need to have a common rallying point with anti nuclear that they can support otherwise I fear we will never see any progress on this issue.

It's still quite valuable material, and I sense they would lobby against that fiercely because the current generation of Nuclear cowboys treat radionuclides like baby poo 'unfortunate if it leaks into the environment, but no big deal'. Clearly they do not understand the mutagenic properties of the material and how hazardous it is to life systems.

Solar, wind, tidal and geo-thermal are the future and where I see more investment happening because they make money, nuclear costs money.

The energy returned on energy invested is pretty low for nuclear power even ignoring the waste clean up. Using centrifuges in the fuel processing can help, but with only about 75 years of uranium left, the whole slug of gas diffusion processed materials from weapons production makes the overall process low quality in energy terms.

I'd be surprised if there is 75 years supply left, certainly not in soft ore extraction - perhaps hard ore extraction but that eats into the energy return equation even more. Unless there is a serious advancement in materials technology I think we are unlikely to see any significant advance in reactor technology that makes it economical.

The deployment of AP1000s is no more than a hack. Thermal containment ratios are lower than previous generation reactors and the changes made to the systems, whilst simplifying the reactor, are made to make a reactor installation cheaper. Meanwhile oil companies are plundering the tax incentives for building reactors for there own fudicial reasoning.

The discussions of Nuclear I conduct is because I don't believe future generation need to have any more costs imposed on them than we already have. I am more interested in the business prospect of solar power now and how I can make that available, now. I personally think that creating a solid solar and wind power technology base is the best answer to ending the nuclear industry in its current form. I'd be very interested in contacting you outside the realm of /. if that is acceptable to you.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39285979)

I argue about Nuclear power because I feel I have an obligation to future generations to do something to raise awareness of the problems the Nuclear Industry has so we can deal with the issues. Maybe in a hundred or so years we may have developed better materials technology to advance it, but right now I believe it's important to contain as much as possible in a granite facility. Granite because it contains groundwater penetration of radionucides.

This was the original approach by the DOE 'Defense in Depth' (from memory) it was called and yes, it's an energetic infrastructure project that takes 30 years to set up. Spent fuel containment so even if we fail as a society, we don't, very, very slowly, wipe out humanity. Right now what I see is a bunch of people I refer to as NIMG for Not In My Generation. They want to have their energy party and leave it to some other generation to have to sort out the problem while they make it a bigger problem.

I am deeply interested in developing solar and alternative energy technology and I just wonder from your posts if that is what you do or are you commercialising it? If I've embarrassed you I'm sorry, but you do seem very difficult to engage with in conversation outside of your journal. I barely have enough time to read slashdot. let alone peoples journals.

I find it difficult to believe that we don't already have enough energy from the sun to run society without coal and nuclear, just not enough imagination. I'm seeing leaps in solar and wind technology and wonder if the technologies will (as a collective of technologies) be able to displace coal and nuclear, respectively. I see what you are doing and I applaud your efforts. I am playing a small part in it as well.

Thank you for your posts.

Re:Interesting from a historical perspective but.. (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39288709)

Sorry I did not respond earlier. The solar business I was involved in was a rental model. It had a large growth potential but needed a prosperous economy to work because retaining ownership of the equipment led to certain tax offsets that investment banks could use against other business interests. When tax liabilities fell generally across the economy owing to low profits, the business model fell apart. The company is still going, but in a very limited area, not nationally as planned.

Slashdot has fell really low (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132677)

Why is there a Japanese flag? Who at /. even thought a Japanese flag was a good idea for this story?! The nuclear logo would have been much more appropriate! This story is not about Japan persay, it's about the USA reaction to the Fukushima disaster.
You didn't see idiocy like this when cmdr Taco was still around! Slashdot really has died. This is pathetic. Seriously, wtf /.????

Where's the mighty RIAA now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39132739)

The release of these audio recordings...

Will such brazen acts of piracy go unanswered in a court of law?

I bet it sounds like (-1, Offtopic)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132809)

dubstep. Bzrrrrt Bzrrrt Bzrrrt WUB WUB WUB kaboom!

What, too soon?

Re:I bet it sounds like (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133567)

Some sort of remix of this recording will appear on the top100 charts in the us inside of 30 days. Probably within the week. I wish we could make it a /. contest of some sort.

oh, just some english at the NRC (0)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39132983)

I was hoping to hear Japanese at the plant: "Nani?.........Nanka atta no?... CHIKUSHOU! KUSO! SHIMATTA! CHI!

Re:oh, just some english at the NRC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39133087)

TETSSUUUOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Oh look. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39133257)

Another anti-nuclear energy posting from mdsolar. Color me surprised.

it isn't that he is submitting them (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134995)

its that Slashdot so regularly posts his stories which leads me to believe that there is someone on the staff who is either friends of or supports the same beliefs.

Re:it isn't that he is submitting them (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136145)

A little under 13% of my submissions are accepted and there are many that are highly ranked on firehose that are rejected (declined these days). You have a higher acceptance rate. So, do you have more friends on staff than I? Is that fair? This piece is a follow up to the one about the NRC email. It is informational. Most of the important points were made in the prior discussion, namely that the NRC should have done the simulations it claims it has done so that it would know before an accident happens what to do.

Any links to the audio? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134167)

I read the article but it just has a Soundcloud (whatever the fuck that is) browser player that will not play for me. Anybody have links to the audio files themselves?

Oh and kudos to Slashdot for posting another story that links to some synopsis without the actual data the story is about.

Re:Any links to the audio? (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134503)

I was also (unsuccessfully) looking for the complete audio files. But the linked article has a link to the transcripts. You'll find them at: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1205/ML120520264.html [nrc.gov] 3000 glorious pages of mind blowing nothingness.

Re:Any links to the audio? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134915)

Wow you read them all already? That's pretty amazing.

Thanks for the link.

Re:Any links to the audio? (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39143005)

Well I actually found them a bit earlier than this was published on Slashdot. And I "read" them with a very liberal use of my mouse scroll wheel. Anything that has a potential of being really interesting has been redacted.

The problem wasn't failing safeguards (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134203)

The problem were the safeguards that failed to exist in the first place. Enough emergency generators, sufficient distance between those to ward off common cause failure [google.com] (you may notice research going on in that area for decades in nuclear power), filtered containment vents (aka safety valves, as you would find them in any pressure cooker) and passive autocatalytic recombiners [google.com] to prevent hydrogen explosions, no matter if the vents work or not (as they also vent the hydrogen from both the containment and the building). And that's before considering such things as reinforcing the condensation chambers that were found to be too weak (and fixed) decades ago.

Japan, at least with regard to nuclear power, is anything but a modern country. That's part of the result of losing two decades of economic development [wolframalpha.com] .

My Japanese is quite limited... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39134581)

but I could have sworn somebody said: "Gojiraaa!"

Re:My Japanese is quite limited... (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 2 years ago | (#39136375)

There was also some discussion of cooling off the reactor with "more cowbell." History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.
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