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South Korea To Restart Its Oldest Nuclear Reactor

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the fire-it-up dept.

Power 129

ananyo writes "South Korea's oldest nuclear reactor is set to restart after a four-month closure, despite strong opposition from local residents and activists. The Kori-1 reactor in Busan was shut down on 13 March, after it was revealed that the reactor and its emergency generator had temporarily lost power during routine maintenance the month before, causing the coolant temperature to rise. The power failure did not cause an accident, but a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna discovered that senior engineers from Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, which runs the reactor, had neglected the safety problems for more than a month after the loss of power. In June, after a safety check, the IAEA gave the green light for Kori-1 to resume operation. Korea's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) approved the restart on 4 July, but activists and local residents remain strongly opposed to restarting the reactor. At first, the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy, which oversees energy policy, had said that the restart would be delayed to alleviate anxiety. But the government changed its mind as a result of a nationwide heatwave that has put a strain on the country's electricity supply in recent days."

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129 comments

The needs of the few (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853609)

Would Koreans agree to pay more for, and use less, electricity as a whole so this reactor can remain offline?

Their problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853631)

So what, if it melted down it would be a great way to get rid of the n. koreans. I happily advocate nuclear power for my enemies.

Re:Their problem (2)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853893)

So what, if it melted down it would be a great way to get rid of the n. koreans. I happily advocate nuclear power for my enemies.

And you would happily destroy your friends ( south Korea ) to also destroy your perceived enemies ( north Korea. ) ?

Re:Their problem (1, Flamebait)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854449)

Even better is how he thinks that every innocent person in North Korea should die just because their leaders are douches. If that were true, we should have nuked the US when Dubya was in power.

Re:Their problem (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856895)

Um, Busan (or Pusan...spelled either way) is in South Korea, not the north, and about as far away from the north as it could be.

Re:The needs of the few (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853691)

With a title like that, more like:

The Koreans run into the reactor room, get hit with radiation, heroically pull out the uranium rod and replace it with a new one, while Kirk watches behind the glass in horror, and say to him "The needs of the few... i have always been... and shall be... your friend"

Re:The needs of the few (4, Informative)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853903)

For comparison, America's oldesr operational reactor Oyster Creek in NJ is 9 years older than this one

Re:The needs of the few (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854417)

Also, Oyster Creek is substantially the same GE design of plant as Fukushima Daiichi. I have a close family member who worked at OC several years, and the two plants would routinely send teams to each other to compare notes...

For comparison, America's oldesr operational reactor Oyster Creek in NJ is 9 years older than this one

Re:The needs of the few (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854551)

I understand what you're saying, but you are very much scaremongering here.

The differences are:
o The US reactor is not on in a tsunami zone.
o The US reactor is geologically stable.
o The US reactor's batteries are above sea level.
o The US reactor's generator is above sea level.
o The US reactor has at least three generators, shared between several other reactors, available on call.
o The IAEA repeatedly gave bad marks to the Japanese reactor, for all of the elements which failed. They have given good marks to the US reactor.

Basically, while it certainly is a reactor to keep our eye on simply because of its age, it has none of the risks which directly and/or indirectly initiated and exacerbated the situation in Japan. Basically they are the same design but the US reactor not only has none of the same risks, all of the known risks have been intelligently mitigated. Whereas in Japan, they were literally ignored.

As such, a comparison without providing such details only serves to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt and scaremonger without any rational justification whatsoever.

Re:The needs of the few (1, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855363)

Well, as with Spanish inquisition, accidents are seldom expected. That's why they are called accidents.

Re:The needs of the few (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857713)

Nobody's expecting an accident involving a paperclip puncturing a hole between universes causing a matter-antimater reaction that destroys all reality either, therefore we must devote 100% of our resources to preventing it, because like the Spanish Inquisition accidents are seldom expected. That's why they are called accidents.

Re:The needs of the few (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#40859229)

You seem to expect it, making your point very much moot.
My point was that people say "no such kind of accident/circumstances can ever happen here" and think "no kind of accident/circumstances can ever happen here". Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

"Activists" eh? (5, Insightful)

DeathToBill (601486) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853627)

These things are always well-spun, from either side. For "strong opposition from local residents and activists" read "strong opposition from activists and the local residents they've frightened out of their wits."

Activists *exist* to provide strong opposition to things. You never see something happening "despite luke-warm opposition from activists." The volume of their opposition does not make them right.

Re:"Activists" eh? (1, Flamebait)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853647)

Beeing activists doesn't make them wrong either. What's the point of your comment ?

Re:"Activists" eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853819)

What's the point of your comment ?

Simple word mincing to try to discredit those who oppose nuclear power.

Re:"Activists" eh? (2)

Rostin (691447) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855031)

Astroturfing is a way that activists try to take advantage of our bias in favor of "grassroots" movements. Pointing out that astroturfing might be occuring obviously doesn't prove the activists wrong, but it is a warning against being manipulated.

Re:"Activists" eh? (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854715)

This has to be the biggest straw man ever seen on Slashdot. Every debate about anything nuclear related always gets dragged back to the foaming-at-the-mouth screaming fear-mongering lunatic anti-nuclear extremists.

I agree that the volume of their opposition does not make them right, but your attack of them (or rather a straw man version of them) doesn't make you right either. Debate the actual points being made.

I actually joined some anti-nuclear protesters in Tokyo. They were noisy but clam and rational. They set up a family area away from the shouting for people with children and the elderly to join in. They made some good points. Care to debate them?

Re:"Activists" eh? (2)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855111)

OK,

The point is that they had a minor glitch, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.

They figured out what happened, fixed it, and now are going to restart it.

What is the debate? There is no debate other than "activists" don't want it restarted because of their irrational fear of nuclear power.

Re:"Activists" eh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40855405)

The problem wasn't the minor glitch, it was the engineers that ignored the safety problems after the glitch. The only thing that gives me second thoughts about nuclear power is the human element. People cutting corners or not doing their jobs properly are the most dangerous part of nuclear power.

Re:"Activists" eh? (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855569)

Evidently, since the safety problems have been identified and the facility has passed safety inspections, then the "glitch" was fixed.

So what was the debate again?

And if you are at all involved in software, you know better than to put all your trust in it.

Re:"Activists" eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40856639)

Actually, they could not have made good points as those do not exist (aside from human ignorance and greed - on both sides of the nuclear "debate").

There is no alternative to nuclear power - no one cared enough to get fusion going. 50% nuclear power is probably minimum required such that renewables can bring in the rest. Aside from nuclear, there is no other non-fossil fuel baseload power source that can replace fossil fuels. And fossil fuels are by far more dangerous. We just can't see it, like a deer caught in the high beams of a speeding semi. Most so called environmentalists can't see it either.

As an oilman once said - there is enough non-conventional oil and gas on this planet to turn it into another Venus. Let's hope we stop before that perhaps?

Heck, these "nuclear activists" protest fusion power too!! And that is beyond *any* rationality..

Re:"Activists" eh? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#40860315)

Point: we should have new, safe nuclear reactors instead of the ancient designs.

Anti-nuclear Counterpoint: No, absolutely not. We need no nuclear power whatsoever.

Point: We need more power, and nuclear power is the best option.

Anti-nuclear Counterpoint: No. We need less power, period. People must suffer for their sins against the environment.

Point: aren't you just a bunch of extremists who get lovey-dovey treatment from the mainsteam media because the MSM shares your views?

Anti-nuclear Counterpoint: No. We are the mainstream ones. Why, everyone we know is anti-nuclear - this means everyone is!

Had to restart because there (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853651)

They had to restart because there is a need for more electricity. I wish people started to realize this when they block new generators.
They are safer, and you aren't exactly going to consume a lot less, are you? Thus either you are forcing us to hold older plants open for a lot longer than intended, or you allow us to make a new and better plant.

By stopping new ones from being made, you are only making it more dangerous for everybody.

Re:Had to restart because there (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853731)

This sounds like crap. What we need to do is reduce the need for energy. We need to look at the times in which we are running out of power and figure out how we can reduce consumption of power during these times. This might be as simple are upgrading air conditioning units to newer more efficient models in more places, shutting off air conditioning in largely unoccupied buildings (such as office buildings during the night and houses during the day), not utilising washers, dryers, and other energy demanding appliances, etc.

Re:Had to restart because there (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853899)

You are right, I say that in order to reduce cooling costs we mandate that all Korean women aged 18-35 must walk around naked during the summer months. Save the earth!

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854125)

You are right, I say that in order to reduce cooling costs we mandate that all Korean women aged 18-35 must walk around naked during the summer months. Save the earth!

The ones who had esthetic surgery or the regular ones?

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855197)

...all Korean women aged 18-35 must walk around naked during the summer months...

On a serious note... can't we just require that only the attractive women have to to do that?

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853929)

Power is cheap, why buy a new air conditioning.

Re:Had to restart because there (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854377)

The problems with "saving energy" is that it reduces your standard of living for next to no benefits.

If we are going to truly have an increase in your standard of living we need more power plants and better technology. The "green" movement wants us to take away centuries of progress and live worse just because they think it's "better".

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855083)

How does adding extra insulation to your house reduce your standard of living?

Oh, right. It's less money for luxuries...I think I'm beginning to understand.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857691)

Two problems: 1) extra insulation is only going to do so much to reduce energy consumption. Sure, you might reduce consumption 10-20% in some older buildings, but that's not going to make a giant difference in the overall power consumption.

2) If you make peoples' houses more efficient, many of them will simply crank up the A/C even more, so they end up using the same amount of power as before.

And finally, even if #2 didn't happen, the population is constantly increasing, so energy usage is going to increase along with it. Improving efficiency is just delaying the inevitable (although, to be fair, this factor doesn't apply to Japan, but I'm not sure about SK).

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40855157)

That's not even close to accurate. There are easy to implement programs which can easily and conservatively save 30%-50% of the US' energy. The problem? Americans are fat, dumb, and lazy. Groups constantly lobby Washington to force these programs into place. The energy lobbies always win.

The real problem is, Americans are fat, dumb, and lazy, and the energy lobbies have far, far more clout that there is intelligence to counter.

Do you honestly believe things like white roofs, intelligent vehicle legislation (CAFE standards - absolutely no legitimate reason to exclude trucks and especially SUVs), power adapter changes, and water heater changes are really going to change your standard of living? No, they are not. And yet, changes like these can make massive differences. Obviously these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Again, the real problem is that Americans are fat, dumb, lazy, and extremely spoiled. And at the end of the day, its always someone else's problem.

Re:Had to restart because there (2)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855637)

Americans are fat

What's that got to do with anything?

High efficiency standards(whether legislated for, or voluntarily adopted by a better educated populace) would help mitigate a lot of the harm, but the simple fact is population growth shits all over any efficiency gains. By far the simplest and most effective way to combat environmental disruption is to reduce the population. Perhaps some kind of incentive - like if you get to 60 and have had 2 or less kids, you get a free pension or something.

The optimal solution is to just come up with better ways of generating more power, and that is difficult and expensive, but I think ultimately worth it.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857011)

Rubbish, we want to make things better by reducing the pollution and other negative effects of high levels of energy wastage.

Modern devices are more energy efficient than older ones, and are also better. First we burned stuff for light, including gas. Then we invented electric lightbulbs which were safer and more efficient. Then we invented energy saving bulbs and finally LED lighting. Each of these things improved on the previous generation without reducing quality of life, and in fact improved the general standard of living.

Early cars needed several gallons per mile. Now we can get 70+ miles per gallon. Less pollution, less soot and dust, lower cost of ownership, less dependence on oil and fighting other countries for it... What is not to like?

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857273)

The new CFL bulbs have terrible lighting (so do LEDs), I'd much rather have incandescent lightbulbs. For me actually having nice light is worth paying a few extra pennies in my electricity bill. But you soon won't be able to even have the choice to choose between the two.

And when it comes down to cars, unless you go cross country frequently it makes zero economic sense to trade in your car thats already paid for that gets 10 MPG to spend $25,000 on a new car that gets 25 MPG.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857453)

I much prefer CCFL and newer LED lighting to the old incandescents. They light they produce is a much nicer tone and softer.

Re:Had to restart because there (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854587)

I have actually worked for a company that focuses on energy strategies and saw one of their studies result. In a modern country (IIRC the results were from UK) with reasonable architecture and infrastructure, at a high cost, you could save ~25% of energy, mainly through better insulation and smarter heating/AC.

On the other hand, we have reached the plateau of the peak oil since 2007 (production stopped to increase and prices skyrocketed). THIS is the challenge we will have to face in the two next decades. Electrical vehicles will be needed. Not just personal cars, but also trucks, construction vehicles (my bet is that most will be wired), agricultural vehicles, possibly planes. That will take a lot more than the mere 25% we could save for a budget that would exceed the construction of 25% supplemental production capabilities.

The best governmental strategy right now is :
- save the energy that can be saved cheaply or even for free (~5-10%, actually probably less in well managed countries)

- build lots of nuclear plants NOW that oil and energy to build them is cheap (compared to fuel costs in 10 years). Make them modern, make them safe. Make it possible that they use plutonium : it is a fuel that is basically free, foreign countries without the tech will even pay you to take care of their.

- invest a lot in research. Make a courageous choice : do you believe in solar energy or fusion power? Choose one and invest massively. And remember : if a trillion dollars could give you Iraq's oil reserves, the result of these projects can give you a durable amount of energy that is far greater. Investment should be of a comparable scale.

- if you live in US : do not shut down tokamaks. This is one of the dumbest long-term move. Realize this : in 20 years, there will be fusion power. The first to have it will either build plants for the whole world or even sell electricity directly. And China wants that badly.

Re:Had to restart because there (2)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855495)

Reduce the need for energy? There are twice as many people on the planet as when these reactors went online. How are you going to provide power for ten billion people without building more reactors, because shutting off a few lights here and there isn't going to cut it.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

sula9876 (1194819) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855563)

This sounds like crap. What we need to do is reduce the need for energy. We need to look at the times in which we are running out of power and figure out how we can reduce consumption of power during these times. This might be as simple are upgrading air conditioning units to newer more efficient models in more places, shutting off air conditioning in largely unoccupied buildings (such as office buildings during the night and houses during the day), not utilising washers, dryers, and other energy demanding appliances, etc.

I'm sorry but that will lead to a increased consumption !, (Google Jevons effect). The only way to combat Jeevons effect is by increasing taxes on energy.

Re:Had to restart because there (1, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853907)

They had to restart because there is a need for more electricity. I wish people started to realize this when they block new generators. They are safer, and you aren't exactly going to consume a lot less, are you? Thus either you are forcing us to hold older plants open for a lot longer than intended, or you allow us to make a new and better plant.

By stopping new ones from being made, you are only making it more dangerous for everybody

I know this will likely be modded down, but screw it. It's the truth.

Well, get ready for blackouts and brownouts across the whole US, as the Obama administration is forcing coal-fired generator plants to shut down by drastically increasing regulation-compliance costs. This year, 57 plants will be shut down with nothing to replace the lost capacity. That's 8.5% of total US power generation capacity! Summers and winters are going to be increasingly-lethal seasons for the poor and working-poor.

Meanwhile, demand continues to increase. If EVs are to be the US solution to automobile pollution, how will the increased electrical demand from electric vehicles be supplied with a diminishing US generation capacity? Or is the plan to simply "nudge" people away from personal transportation altogether?

Lack of widespread ownership of personal transportation, high recharging costs for the few with EVs, and limited range would make living outside of city/metropolitan areas nearly impossible. This fits in with the UNs' "Agenda for the 21st Century" which includes forcing people out of rural and suburban areas into mass centralized housing as part of the agenda. I guess they like the Chinese practice of housing workers in the same facilities as the factories in which they work. That would certainly make it easier for government to monitor and control the population.

If that's their plan, it's no wonder that they are also pushing to disarm the US population to remove any possibility of resistance. That would have to be one of the first steps.

Buy guns. Lots and lots of guns. Hide caches of guns and ammo in multiple locations along with reloading equipment and supplies. Better do it quick while it's still possible.

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854195)

Sad to see your post descend into paranoid ranting after such a strong start. How the hell did this get +5:Interesting?

Re:Had to restart because there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854219)

The government should implement regulations on coal fired plants because they emit a lot of CO2 and pollution for which they don't compensate society. This is a market failure the government is correcting, not some UN conspiracy to destroy America.

Re:Had to restart because there (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854403)

Well, what is the cost of the CO2 they emit? The term "correcting market failure" makes sense only if the cost imposed is roughly the same size as the externality which existed. I don't think that happened here.

Re:Had to restart because there (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854959)

So forget about the CO2, you know how much other garbage coal plants spew?

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Spamalope (91802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855881)

Well, what is the cost of the CO2 they emit?

There is something far more important at stake, political reputations! The failure of solar power companies associated with Obama's administration has been a terrible black eye, and no cost (borne by others) is too high to make solar a more attractive alternative. We, no cost short of giving individuals the same tax breaks utilities enjoy. We can't get too crazy...

There is a political effort to throw a cloud over our non wind/solar energy alternatives, to make it seem that the 'other guy' has problems too. It all serves the same political purpose. Note that this has nothing to do with the desirability of any specific energy policy.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#40858731)

Don't be so sure. The problem with externalities is that they generally cannot be fully accounted for. Externalities from dirty coal plants includes damage to our food supply (they are why women are advised not to eat too much fish due to mercury), extra health care costs for lung and heart disease, more rapid breakdown of rubber products, increased maintenance on buildings and on and on and on.

That still doesn't even touch on things like several towns and square miles of Pennsylvania rendered uninhabitable for the foreseeable future due to coal seam fires from mining. If you didn't know better you might think there was a nuclear accident there except you need a CO alarm rather than radiation and there is a risk of sudden sinkholes dropping you into a fire.

Now, you get to add the extra damage from increasingly severe storms due to global warming (even fossil fuel companies are starting to admit the likelihood of anthropogenic global warming).

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856971)

The government should implement regulations on coal fired plants because they emit a lot of CO2 and pollution for which they don't compensate society.

So, who will "compensate society" for the loss of generation capacity, nationwide brownouts/blackouts, and skyrocketing electricity prices that will affect the poorest the most, and for the additional deaths from freezing/heat among those on disability with fixed incomes, and the poor and working-poor? Or do you expect them to grow wings and migrate each season like birds?

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#40858767)

That's why it is foolish to shut down coal plants without simultaneously encouraging nuclear and solar thermal.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40860457)

That's why it is foolish to shut down coal plants without simultaneously encouraging nuclear and solar thermal.

That's the point...the coal plants are being shut down with nothing to take up the slack except ideas that are barely beyond the experimental stage, and non-existent nuke plants that will take decades to be approved, battles with the NIMBY crowd and environmental/no-nukes activists to be won, and finally construction to be completed.

That doesn't prevent people from freezing to death in winter or dying from heat prostration in summer in the meantime. Never mind the economic cost of businesses closing, never being started, or moving offshore and the resulting unemployment and economic troubles.

Then where will the tax revenues to pay for all the government programs, including all the renewable energy programs, and service the national debt come from?

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854235)

And not a single link to back up your claims. Obama has expanded gun rights since going in to office. Looking through your post history, every single one of them are frantic pro-gun, pro-military posts. Maybe you should go outside once in a while.

Re:Had to restart because there (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856665)

And not a single link to back up your claims.

http://peakoil.com/publicpolicy/record-number-of-coal-fired-generators-to-be-shut-down-in-2012/ [peakoil.com]

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml [un.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21 [wikipedia.org]

Apologies for not including links. I know that doing a simple Google search is beyond many people's intellectual capabilities thanks to teacher's unions' grip on US schools.

Obama has expanded gun rights since going in to office.

Now that's just a bad joke.

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (2)

datapharmer (1099455) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854455)

The UN boogeyman is just that, but your comment about housing workers in the factories reminds me of joking that the new super walmart being built in town was going to have apartments for the employees upstairs. I expected "yikes, scary" but what I got was "that makes sense!" which is even scarier coming from fellow Americans. Don't be fooled: people are for more complacent than you would like to think, and that was a decade ago.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856443)

The UN boogeyman is just that..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21 [wikipedia.org]

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml [un.org]

You were saying?

Look, I know it makes people uncomfortable, and that it's easy to allow normalcy bias to convince you to dismiss it out of hand, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. It's being implemented at the local level in many hundreds of towns and cities across the US.

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855121)

Buy guns. Lots and lots of guns. Hide caches of guns and ammo in multiple locations along with reloading equipment and supplies. Better do it quick while it's still possible.

You will NEVER have as many guns as the government.

Plus they've got tanks and stuff. And Apache helicopters. People aren't worried about how many ammo caches you've got when they've got Apache helicopters.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856809)

You will NEVER have as many guns as the government.

Fortunately, the military is made up of US citizens, a large fraction of which will not comply with orders to fire on US citizens or confiscate weapons, round up people into camps, etc. They understand that their oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, includes political leaders.

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/ [oathkeepers.org]

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#40859129)

I guess you never heard of Stanley Milgram and his little experiment.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40859341)

Fortunately, the military is made up of US citizens, a large fraction of which will not comply with orders to fire on US citizens or confiscate weapons, round up people into camps, etc. They understand that their oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, includes political leaders.

http://oathkeepers.org/oath/ [oathkeepers.org] [oathkeepers.org]

I guess you never heard of Stanley Milgram and his little experiment.

I guess you never checked the Oathkeepers link I provided, ignoring that which doesn't fit your preconceived notions.

Good work.

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856973)

Parent comment is not interesting, is insane. We have witnessed hundreds of times that the UN is absolutely unable to twist even a little tiny bit USA's arm, even when doing so would be in USA middle long term self interest.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#40859495)

Parent comment is not interesting, is insane. We have witnessed hundreds of times that the UN is absolutely unable to twist even a little tiny bit USA's arm, even when doing so would be in USA middle long term self interest.

Except for the *fact* that Agenda 21 "sustainable development" programs are currently being implemented in cities and towns across the US, along with destruction of private property rights and personal gun ownership rights

The difference between this and other UN programs and initiatives being that US Liberal/Progressives are on-board politically & ideologically with Agenda 21, as their goals are mostly the same.

Strat

Re:Had to restart because there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854225)

but what do the Electricity company do with the "profit" they made in the previous years ?
did they not foresee that demand is only going up ? surely it would be wise to take that "profit" and keep/invest it for a rain(hot) days such as this where they need more infrastructure, after all, it is profit so everything else (wages/running costs) are paid.

short term thinking is obviously a real problem, "i will be dead so fuck it" isnt really a good strategy for the human race

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857821)

That is not the strategy at all. The strategy is "10 years from now, I'll have moved on from my position here as CEO of XYZ Energy Co., so what do I care about investing in infrastructure? I want a bigger bonus!"

Re:Had to restart because there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854419)

How does that bullshit argument get modded up every time? The story is about NORTH FUCKING KOREA. If the great leader says "let there be a new reactor", there won't be people picketing against nuclear power. Wanna know why they reactivate an existing reactor instead? Because it's CHEAPER than building a new reactor, the same reason old reactors are kept running all over the world. The overall power mix varies from country to country, but it doesn't matter if a country is very anti-nuclear like Germany or pro-nuclear like France: They all have active old reactors. Because it's CHEAPER. The only people making it more dangerous for everybody are people like you who drink the nuclear power lobby's kool-aid.

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854727)

I don't want to stop new power plants being made, I just want them to be non-nuclear. Instead of spending billions on a new nuclear plant and then billions cleaning up after it why not just build something cleaner and cheaper? Oh, that's right, it won't generate as much profit for friends of the people in charge...

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857087)

Oh, that's right, it won't generate as much power, because no current technology comes close

Fixed that for you

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#40857837)

Are you stupid? Exactly what technology is available which is "cleaner and cheaper" than nuclear?

Re:Had to restart because there (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855059)

I wish people started to realize this when they block new generators.

You're all mixed up.

I WANT new reactors, I think they're a good thing. I just don't want them anywhere near my house, that's all.

Safety? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853655)

... it was revealed that the reactor and its emergency generator had temporarily lost power ...

So does this actually pose a safety risk? I thought that all modern reactors were protected by passive safety mechanisms (i.e., not requiring external power).

Re:Safety? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853831)

(i.e., not requiring external power).

Well it did have an emergency generator which is internal. Thank god backup systems never fail. We're all safe!

Re:Safety? (5, Informative)

subreality (157447) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853849)

... thought that all modern reactors were protected by passive safety mechanisms ...

Kori-1 is a PWR from 1978 and like most reactors currently in service, it is a generation II design. These have many passive safety features, but they are generally not fully passively safe.

Some Gen-III reactors (1990s tech) and most Gen-III+ reactors (2000s tech) have full passive safety, in addition to many other safety improvements like simplified designs, better containment, better redundancy, etc. Gen-IV designs (future) step it up to inherent safety - for example pebble beds (meltdown is impossible because thermal expansion stops the reaction even if all cooling strategies fail) or my favorite, the LFTR [wikipedia.org] (liquid fuel - you can't melt down when you're already melted, and thermal runaway just drains it into a basin in a noncritical configuration; and it's an unpressurized design, which eliminates tons of problems).

So does this actually pose a safety risk?

Yes - like everything worth doing in life, there is always risk. In this case the risk is that the reactor requires water to be actively pumped for a while after shutdown. The risk is generally acceptable: a failure like the one that happened a few months back doesn't cause a sudden catastrophic failure. There is considerable thermal mass in the water inside the reactor so the temperature rise is gradual. In event of a failure you have days to get some power back online. In the case of the failure a few months back, the power was back within minutes and there was little chance that they wouldn't be able to manage it in time. The incident wasn't an acute safety risk; but it was a failure that shouldn't have happened in the first place, so it's somewhat worrying.

The problem is if you have a disaster like the Japan earthquake: if the power is knocked out and all your infrastructure is too crippled to fix the grid or truck in some generators; then things go sideways. These are low frequency events, but they happen, which is why in my opinion we need to start building modern reactors so we can decommission these old Gen-II relics.

Re:Safety? (5, Informative)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854221)

Actually, the Gen III+ is Soviet 1980ies tech, but don't let Westinghouse hear that. The Soviet Union published its AES-88 design in 1988 and handed it over for review in Germany - after Chernobyl, this was called for. The AES-88 is a passive design and predates the AP-600 by 10 years. There were several other designs as well all designed until about the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union. (After this some 2-3 million people starved/froze to death or otherwise perished in the worst economic crisis the world has never heard of. Life expectancy in Russia dropped to levels not seen since a certain Josef Stalin. In short: They had other problems.)

More designs followed much later. The latest being the AES-2006. Which adds a core catcher and is more economical than the AES-88, without sacrifying the passive safety, as it was in the AES-92. The AES-92 had a large pool of cooling water to provide emergency cooling without electricity for 12 hours or so, but no heat removal systems to recondense and recycle the cooling water. AFAIK those that have been build were refitted since, but I might be wrong. The AES-2006 also has hydrogen catalyzers by design, I'm not sure if this was the case in the older ones.

(Please note: Russian designes distinguish between the reactor/power system and the power plant design as a whole. The AES-2006 design is implemented in all of the VVER-1200 power stations, for example.)

Better still are the breeder reactors, which are fully passive by design. The BN-600 is still operating, three BN-800 are under construction, two in China, one in Russia. The main problem is, of course, the flamable coolant (sodium). A lead cooled commercial reactor is supposed to be finished in 2017.

To make a long story short: If you're looking for the latest in nuclear power, look at Russia. (And yes, this came as a surprise to me as well.)

Re:Safety? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854713)

I really like the LFTR design because it doesn't need a large body of water for coolant.

Re:Safety? (1)

makomk (752139) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855669)

for example pebble beds (meltdown is impossible because thermal expansion stops the reaction even if all cooling strategies fail)

Weren't those the ones that had all kinds of problems with the pebbles breaking down due to hot spots and poor thermal control, contaminating the reactor with radioactive particles that made it hard to decommission and that potentially leaked into the atmosphere in case of failure?

For the love of God (3, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853669)

Just don't let any Iguanas near the reactor. We all know what happened with Japan! Worst of all there might be a bad US remake of the movie staring Matthew Broderick. Just safer all round to keep lizards away from any radiation.

Re:For the love of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853699)

If you thought that was bad, wait till the next remake.

Re:For the love of God (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854749)

Actually Godzilla was created by US undersea nuclear testing. The original movie (the Japanese version, the English dub was substantially re-written) was a reaction to the horrors of the atomic bombings and the continued stockpiling of weapons by the USSR and US. Back then atomic annihilation of the entire world was a real possibility, and Godzilla was the embodiment of that.

Not usually for safety first - but this is insane (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40853689)

Nuclear power is such a major health hazard when things go wrong it is amazes me we sweep these dangerous situations under the bridge. These reactors should be shut down. It's one thing to accept a risk in the name of freedom (eliminating drivers licenses or speed limits) and another to do so in the name of keeping houses cool. I'm a fan of air conditioning although not at the expense of my life. There should be a system in place to ensure the young, elderly, sick, and even prison populations stay cool in the time of a heat wave. The rest of society though can generally fend for themselves as there is no serious health risk. The general population can seek relief in any number of ways. Sadly the politicians ignore the danger to keep the population happy. Unfortunately the population react in anger for both the failure to keep the lights on and the failure to prevent dangerous reactors from being restarted.

I'm not suggesting that there is or was a serious risk in this situation. I'm only making the point that these aging reactors are a threat. That threat has been identified 3-4 times and multiple MAJOR catastrophes have resulted. None of which are as bad what might happen.

We need solar and other renewable forms of energy. I think we can probably accept some newer nuclear reactors to replace older ones as a condition of shutting down older reactors and funding improvements to less hazardous renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and similar.

this year... (0)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year and a half ago | (#40853755)

This year, they'll "have" to restart to avoid a choice between heat affected lives, including lost, and industry losses. Next year and the year after that they'll have fewer excuses.

The problem of nuclear power (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854011)

It's the people who run it... most often the people who run it without consideration of safe operation.

Just as in the case of the BP oil spill and of the Fukushima, the common thread is someone refusing to spend the money on safety. Had they done so, neither one of those would be a topic for discussion.

Blame needs to be laid squarely on those decision makers and not on the rather successful and viable technology of nuclear energy. Nuclear works. It can, and mostly is, done safely.

Worse, though, is the allowed secrecy of corporate interests. Sorry, but we all share an interest in the environment, so fuck you very much. The only reason I feel nuclear energy should be done away with is if it can't be done safely. We already know this isn't the case. After that, it's a business decision. If they can't make money at the same time, let them shut it down.

It's all about the people. They are the root of the problem. They are in the middle of the problem. They are the end of the problem. This perception that technology is the problem doesn't stop at nuclear... it's guns, cars, clothes [hoodies?], phones and all that.

No one will come out and say "people are not responsible for their actions" but that's what we are implying every time we blame the tools or the technology. Fine... if I shoot someone, please put my gun in jail.

Re:The problem of nuclear power (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854381)

No, it’s a combination of tech and humans. The problem is that the old reactors rely far too much on humans to keep things safe, and even with 100% competent and scrupulous people, they could be considered too dangerous. Newer reactor designs reduce the chance of a mishap when the reactor staff screws up, and also reduce the effects of such mishaps. The idea that technology can make these things 100% foolproof is delusional. But by the same token, dismissing nuclear power (or worse: arguing against improving reactor designs) because our perception of technology as the problem is false, amounts to dangerous intellectual laziness. Say what you will about technology not being the problem, but it can provide solutions and make things safer.

If a nuclear plant could be made as safe* as a gas fired plant, would we worry as much about sloppy procedures, incompetent staff and corner-cutting management? No, and that should be our goal. Which, by the way, might be attainable.

*) in terms of both the chance of accidents happening and the effects of those accidents

Re:The problem of nuclear power (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855845)

Safe? In the 20th century, coal power killed thousands of times as many people as nuclear power - even if you include Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Sorry, but I don't have time to look up the safety rating of natural gas.)

Activists FOR better safety systems would be new (4, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854085)

Sure, this is pie-in-the-sky thinking. But imagine what would happen if activists would not protest *against* the restart because of safety problems, but *for* better safety systems before the reactor is to be restarted.

They might actually end up doing something good for a change. Of course, this would require a much more cerebral process than a pavlovian reflex. You would actually have to understand what happened and understand what needs to be done about it. Finally, you'd need to protest for some specific activity - not just against a very general one - which is certainly not going to be a nice catchy phrase.

This case calls for a thorough investigation of the generator failure and review of all generators. Perhaps (actually quite likely) the addition of more emergency generators to provide for redundancy and finally the investigation of all similar reactors. (Although Kori-1 seems to be unique in Korea, while the other reactors in Kori are more advanced Westinghouse designs. So this may or may not limit the applicability.)

Obviously, not a nice catchy phrase, but much more useful.

Re:Activists FOR better safety systems would be ne (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854825)

But imagine what would happen if activists would not protest *against* the restart because of safety problems, but *for* better safety systems before the reactor is to be restarted.

That is one of the things that people in Japan have been asking for. The problem is that to be really safe the bar has to be set so high that no reactor would pass it. For example the 11/3 quake was a magnitude 9, and most Japanese reactors are only certified to magnitude 7.3. If the epicentre were close to one of them it would not be certified to survive it without the reactor cracking, the control rod mechanism failing or the cooling system being damaged and so forth.

Japan is mostly earthquake proof, but even so when there are big ones there is still damage and people are still killed. The belief was that Japan could overcome this with its reactors and make them safe, but it appears that predictions of the maximum amount of lateral force experienced and the height of any resulting tsunami were wrong, and it is hard to escape the conclusion that our understanding of earthquakes is not as good as we thought it was. Remember that we are not just talking about Fukushima here.

Earthquakes happen all the time in Japan. When there is damage the Japanese learn from it and take steps to prevent the same thing happening. The worry here is that no steps have been taken because, well, there are not really any to take short of demolishing and re-building the reactor based on a more resilient design.

Re:Activists FOR better safety systems would be ne (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855503)

Are you worried, right now, that a stone or other heavy item will drop on your head from 50m height? No? That's probably because there is nothing to suggest that such an item is anywhere 50m above your head.

If I go to a place a bit of a way down the road, there may actually be that possibility, but not here. Hence, I don't need to worry about this. It's the same with the earthquake. A mag 9 earthquake cannot happen in Japan for tectonic reasons.The mechanism depends on having a subduction zone in the immediate vicinity and not 100km further away. Preparing to seismically proof anything for a mag9 earthquake on mainland Japan is pointless because it's not going to happen there.

You may argue that the Tokai region in Japan is especially vulnerable to strong earthquakes, indeed it is, and the Hamaoka Nuclear Power plant has been designed to withstand a mag 8.5 earthquake (in line with historic records). However, given the way Japan has handled nuclear safety in other respects e.g. by attending international conferences and being the only country not to take any action whatsoever - as for example the Paris conference on filtered containment vents in 1988 - structural earthquake proofing is not the weak spot in Japanese nuclear power plants at all. The weak spot is disregarding a quarter century of developments, investigations and remedies after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

Re:Activists FOR better safety systems would be ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40856623)

A mag 9 is not impossible in mainland Japan. But it would most likely crack the tectonic plate sinking Japan into the sea if not magma. No Nuclear plant could be built for that level of destruction.

Re:Activists FOR better safety systems would be ne (1)

johncompsci21 (2696853) | about a year and a half ago | (#40856657)

very good response. I wished activist protested for improvements. One of the biggest problems in the US in the 24 hour news channel era era is that it has led to making complicated issues with a lot of gray area such as nuclear power totally polorizing with the average public not know the truth . How much toxic material is produced in solar power production. Is it really clean vs. nuclear long term. what do you do with the old solar cells. Nuclear is not as bad or unsafe as activist make it seem. The worst nuclear accident in the US with ancient tech kills far fewer than coal power over the years

Just what the worlds needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854239)

This is just what the world needs, glow in the dark kmichi!

THEY EAT DOG LIKE YOU AMERICANS EAT ROO !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854473)

I mean Australians !! Always get the two mixed up: One was colonized by criminals, the other is populated by criminals !!

YUO FAIL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854501)

share. FrreBSD iKs has steadily

understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40854691)

afterall, since the last (newest) nuclear fission reactor came online in south korea, they have been
building solarcell powerplants, small scale hydro dams, windturbines etc etc like crazy.
south korea makes some of the best (still not radioactive) electronics in the world.
they deserve more power ... (the cliff is this way>>>

Heat wave (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | about a year and a half ago | (#40854779)

it is very simple and straightforward to cover heat wave peaks with solar energy. Demand from air conditioning is proportional to production from solar panels and with sun intensity. It sounds really stupid to use nuclear, coal, or any other type of electricity)for air-conditioning peaks.

Whose fault? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year and a half ago | (#40855045)

Whose fault is it that we have so many old reactors on our planet? Why do we have so many reactors using old designs when we know how to make safer ones? Why so many aging power plants?

Maybe if we didn't have so many anti-anything nuclear protesters we would have new, safer ones and these things would have been torn down years ago.

Military/Navy Styel Leadership For Nuclear Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40856435)

When I see News of this nature. It really makes me wonder if we should buy out the private Nuclear Industry or some how replace the day to day running of the plant with one based on a military hierarchy with very strict accountability. When I say accountability I mean everything from jail for mismanagement to even execution for gross negligence/profiteering. Pay should be good for all the people involved with a promise of great retirement but only if the plant is managed to a high standard. I also think their retirement should be cancelled if latter operators find fault with their management of the plant. The problem comes done to who and how are they to be judged in a disaster. Obviously, It's better to vent some radiation early then risk the plant to blowing up. How foreseeable where the problems that lead to the disaster??? Should anyone be punished if the core melted down but the bravery and training of the personal prevented any major problems outside the plant?? The main thing is to create an environment where the people feel they have an obligation to run the plant correctly and safely even above their own safety. This leadership also be in-charge of budget for it's for running the plant.

Obliviously, the old reactors are currently the biggest problem with nuclear power combined with the fact that many companies have gone from Engineers to MBAs in the management. Running a company shouldn't be as difficult as understanding Nuclear Physics and guess what it isn't. I personally blame a lot of the rise of "professional Managers" on insane and illogical business regulations.

Hell, the Scariest part of the old reactors is that we'd be better off building carbon copies of our old reactor designs than running the surviving plants into the ground like where doing today. I am damn thankful that no plant has melted down due to age alone, yet...

Were I in the area... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40857275)

...what I would be protesting is not nuclear power, but rather that they, "discovered that senior engineers from Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, which runs the reactor, had neglected the safety problems for more than a month after the loss of power." And I would want some level of assurance that when there are problems affecting safety they are *never* ignored or delayed - they are fixed with all available resources immediately. (Whether we're talking cooling systems or banana peels in the hallways.)

Nuke vs. Coal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40857943)

If people want to talk about nuclear safety they really need to look at how much life is involved in all the other power production systems... And I'm not even going to get into oil an war.

I'm from West Virginia where coal is king, and I know people who have been terribly injured in the mining industry.

Per Wikipedia, over 100,000 people have died mining coal last century!
In 2004 6,027 people died in China! In only 1 year! That's way more than any deaths cause by nuclear accidents (I know this might be debatable, but 6000 people in 1 year?!)

The only reason I can figure why nuclear power is so scary is that it's "invisible" and hard to understand, and is associated to horrible bombs.
How is that worse than our current system that keeps all its casualties underground (pun intended)

From TFA : (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year and a half ago | (#40859867)

"Soon Hwang, a nuclear scientist at Seoul National University, says that a thorough government investigation found that the pressure vessel is safe. However, he adds that a more democratic process is needed to get a consensus on the reactor from local residents."

A consensus on the reactor from local residents? That would never happen.
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