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Workers Raise First Section of New Chernobyl Shelter

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the giant-portable-stadium-roofs dept.

Science 149

An anonymous reader writes with this AP report: "Workers have raised the first section of a colossal arch-shaped structure that eventually will cover the exploded nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power station. Project officials on Tuesday hailed the raising as a significant step in a complex effort to clean up the consequences of the 1986 explosion, the world's worst nuclear accident. Upon completion, the shelter will be moved on tracks over the building containing the destroyed reactor, allowing work to begin on dismantling the reactor and disposing of radioactive waste.'"

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Just goes to show (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#42115119)

In the words of the great William Topaz McGonagall [mcgonagall-online.org.uk] :

I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115345)

Any reference to McGonagall gets a +1 from me.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115369)

Any reference to McGonagall gets a +1 from me.

I didn't think ACs got to moderate?

Re: Just goes to show (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about 2 years ago | (#42115385)

Well you comment in AC so that you can still moderate, right?

Re: Just goes to show (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42115801)

Yep, but if you comment as AC after moderating, your previous moderation on that topic are nuked.

Unless, of course, you comment as AC from another computer.

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115451)

Just imagine the potential for job-creation in the US and Europe coming soon because of ancient nuclear technology!
Also positively bullish for the health-sector!

Captcha: cringe

Re:Just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115803)

Burma shave.

Nuclear... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115127)

Would be an awesome powersource. For some other species that isn't driven by profit above all else.

Re:Nuclear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115207)

If you're willing to dump a bunch of money into it without regard to cost, I can think of at least three better power sources. Nuclear is actually pretty bad if you remove the monetary element.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42115813)

what are the other three?

Re:Nuclear... (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#42117589)

Hopes, dreams, unicorn horn combustion

Re:Nuclear... (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 2 years ago | (#42115217)

For some other species that isn't driven by profit above all else.

Isn't this the same driver that prevents all the current living species from going extinct?

Re:Nuclear... (5, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#42116017)

No. Because it doesn't. Species go extinct all the time, and always have done, in spite of their "profit first" behaviour.

Bacteria do nothing but eat and make more bacteria. They can get away with this because their world is so vast and the resources so plentiful compared to their unit size - even then, they eat themselves into a corner and die from a lack of resources.

Humans are now running up against the edges of their own Petri dish, as a direct result of the intelligence that has made us so adaptable, which let us slip our environmental constraints for a while. We're starting to run into some new ones.

The one distinct survival advantage humans have is they can out-think evolution. Alas, we seem to be mostly engaged in trying to out-stupid it.

Re:Nuclear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117533)

the comparisson works with bacteria. The bacteria that produce alcohol do so until the alcohol they produce becomes so abundant that they kill themselves. This is why the maximum alcohol pecentage is about that of wine (13% - 14%). If you want more, you have to distill.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#42117679)

"If you want more, you have to distill."

And not long after you do that, you stop worrying about the bacteria, and try to explain to the nice officer that, yes, doing donuts around the (thankfully) empty school playground in the cement truck you somehow acquired during the evening really was a sensible idea.

Re:Nuclear... (2)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#42117539)

"Alas, we seem to be mostly engaged in trying to out-stupid it."

Add to that large numbers of groups each saying "You must implement only our plan for the future or disaster will occur".

However the plans seem to be different for every such group.

Re:Nuclear... (2, Informative)

qazsedcft (911254) | about 2 years ago | (#42115273)

Um... in case you weren't aware Chernobyl was run by the Soviet Union and certainly not driven by profit.

Re:Nuclear... (4, Informative)

Spazztastic (814296) | about 2 years ago | (#42115301)

On top of that it wasn't because of profits that the incident happened. They intentionally disabled multiple safety triggers to perform an experiment and that's what caused it all.

Re:Nuclear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115339)

Greed to know without regard to safety. Sure sounds like a profit motive. Not all profit means money.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#42115381)

1. Conduct experiment
2. ???
3. Profit!

Re:Nuclear... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116343)

Greed to know without regard to safety. Sure sounds like a profit motive. Not all profit means money.

The person you responded to was not correct, it was a test not an experiment.

Specifically what happened was they were running the cooling system off the plant's own output instead of external generators or external power sources. The idea being that in the event of a complete power loss to the backup generators the plant's own power could be used to continue cooling the reactor. When the reactor temp began to climb into dangerous levels, instead of aborting the test and switching back to external power they just turned up the reactor output in order to increase cooling capacity, which of course in turn increased the reactor core's heat output. Turning down the output would have reduced the cooling capacity, and heat would have kept climbing. The reason they didn't just abort the test, which is what the automatic controls attempted to do, is because they didn't want to end up in a Siberian Labor "camp" for the rest of their miserable lives.

And you need to look up the definition of "profit" and "benefit", they aren't the same thing. Yes, they did it for their own benefit, but not for "profit".

Re:Nuclear... (5, Informative)

ravenlord_hun (2715033) | about 2 years ago | (#42116791)

Not really. They wouldn't have been sent to Siberia, as they weren't even the guys who were supposed to run the test. These were the night shift guys; the day shift - who were supposed to do this task and actually prepared for it - were told to stand by because of another plant falling out of the power grid in Ukraine. By the time the plant recevied the green signal for the test, the shifts rotated and this detail never seemed to be important to anybody. It's not widely publicized because it's not a very "interesting" detail, but this very test was attempted three times before the accident by the other crew; they failed to safely shut off the reactor on every three, but they neither blew up the reactor. (They simply aborted the test and switched back to external power for cooling.)

The primary cause of the accident is two-founded. Firstly, the reactor was not safe by design, being a positive coefficient reactor. Secondarily, the crew was utterly ignorant on even the basic principles of nuclear power, let alone the operation of their own reactor. The reason why they never aborted the test was not out of fear. They never realized the reactor was in danger! Even after the fuel rods were strewn across Pripyat, these guys reported to Moscow that the reactor is intact and being fed with fresh coolant water - even though at this point the water they pumped in only flooded the electrical controls of the other units, almost causing a second catastrophe.

The final bit of irony: the reason for the test? Israel bombed a nuclear plant in Iraq prior, and some people in Russia started to get worried if the RBMK reactors could safely shut down when NATO started bombing their power grid.

Re:Nuclear... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117219)

There are two additional issues that nobody has yet discussed. First, multiple RBMK plants refused to perform this test due to the danger involved, but Chernobyl had claimed that it had successfully done it years before (and the plant manager got a bonus). If they would have refused to perform a test that they faked the paperwork for, then there would be severe political consequences. Second, while a reduction in steam pressure caused a reduction in coolant flow which due to the positive void coefficient for this reactor caused it to increase in power, the real cause of the explosion was the control rod followers, ends of the control rods that were not neutron poisons but were designed to distribute the neutron flux better. When all rods were withdrawn and the scram initiated, only the control rod followers entered first. With a positive void coefficient, this was adding a void and a massive amount of reactivity was added. The reactor probably exploded before any of the neutron absorbing parts of the control rods were inserted.

test OR experiment (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 2 years ago | (#42117229)

I don't understand why you see a big difference in calling that a test rather than an experiment.
I speak English however I was taught by mostly unmotivated public school employees in Western Washington.
Anyway, one mans [experiment | test] is another mans meltdown.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

Elros (735454) | about 2 years ago | (#42115791)

Correct. In fact, Accident is the wrong word. World's worst nuclear _incident_, maybe?

Re:Nuclear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116189)

Yes and that experiment was to improve production of plutonium.
How many people died as a direct cause of that experiment we will never know.
My coworker father was working in longhaul tracking company one guy died from radioactive poisoning was driving his truck 200km away from Pripyaty when reactor blew. They had quite a few trucks parked because they were radioactive.
In russian magazine Radio there was an article from a person drafted to fix remote cameras " most common problem with cameras were lenses which become non transparent from radiation. There was no health hasard per ce just a litle sore throat from low level of radioactive dust" I still do not know if guy was not smart enough or just wrote that way to go around censure.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117747)

No it wasn't. They wanted to know if, in the event of a loss of grid power and a SCRAM, the cooling pumps could run from the inertia of the steam turbines for a minute while the backup diesel generators started. It had nothing at all to do with plutonium.

Re:Nuclear... (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#42115393)

You're wrong, it was most certainly driven for its beneficial economic effects. The Soviet planning system was most certainly counting the inputs and the outputs of its nuclear power stations more or less along the lines of a Western corporation. Believe it or not, they were even using double entry accounting.

Nothing in the likes of a Western Corporation (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#42116601)

it was wholly a perfect representation of a totalitarian regime.

A western corporation, any corporation, is held in check by the governments it operates under, which can rarely be said about most government controlled groups. Yeah I am quite certain people can dredge up problems that corporations have caused but there was someone you could go to about it to prevent it from happening again.

When the watcher is the offender your pretty much betting against time something bad will happen.

Re:Nothing in the likes of a Western Corporation (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#42116767)

socialist enterprises were under tight government control, but organisationally separated from the government.

the things that were markedly different from a Western private corporation were that instead of sales and marketing you'd have a "planning" department which would coordinate production and sales goals with a ministry; instead of getting capital from a VC you'd get it from the government; a loan would not only be approved by the bank, it'd be approved by a ministry official as well and then given to you by the bank; that surplus would not be retained or distributed to shareholders, but go into the government budget at the end of the fiscal year, and, of course, that personnel decisions at high levels would involve the party.

Other than that it was much the same crap.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 2 years ago | (#42115851)

Profit isn't only driven by currency.

Look at ever despotic socialist country out there (N. Korea comes to mind).

Even if you ignore that Soviet era Russia used money (I have a couple Soviet era ruble and kopeka coins to prove it), can you honestly deny that the higher ups in the party have/had it better than the workers? Just as with capitalism, greed and profit is still factor that breaks the system, the difference is how it is represented (less focus on currency in socialism) and how you move up (luck, effort and PR skills in communism, vs. luck, effort and PR skills applied to a slightly different window-dressing for capitalism).

The more the upper echelon saved in work and money on labor, the more they could afford on themselves.

Re:Nuclear... (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#42115989)

The more the upper echelon saved in work and money on labor, the more they could afford on themselves.

From the era :

We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.

Re:Nuclear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115993)

This just in: the ruling class of a state-capitalist system (i.e. that of the USSR) not driven by profit. More interesting inversions from Slashdot user qazsedcft soon to follow.

there K19 sub also failed (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42116381)

the Soviet where about performance over safety.

Re:Nuclear... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42116383)

Do you really believe that or are you trolling?

The entire Soviet Union was run as one big profit making enterprise. It was state capitalism at its finest. The whole point of the test that caused the failure was to increase the profitability of the Soviet State.

Yeah right, those Soviet capitalists had it coming (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#42115333)

You do realize what you're talking about, huh?

Cheap commies had it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117615)

You do realize that the reactor design was heavily modified from the original to cut costs?? The original design was considered overbuilt and too costly to build.

In addition to reactor changes, the building was modified as well. Instead of full reinforced concrete enclosure, it was changed to a wooden roof. We all know how well that went.

So please, know what you are talking about before you start talking about it.

The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115157)

Lets hope it stays that way.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#42115229)

I think you underestimate the severity of Fukushima.. the Japanese government has been shown to be downplaying the amounts of radiation there, and there's plenty being swept across the Pacific as we speak.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115405)

the Japanese government has been shown to be downplaying the amounts of radiation there

And that is why we check those reports against measurements done by concerned individuals. Those measurements are reported as above normal levels and above the IAEA recommendations but they are still less than the background radiation in Sweden and Finland where life goes on as usual. (The granite there contains high amounts of uranium and radon.)

Whenever the radiation levels are reported as 10 times above normal or two times the "safe level" or something similar, check the numbers and compare to the background radiation of other places.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42115553)

And that is why we check those reports against measurements done by concerned individuals. Those measurements are reported as above normal levels and above the IAEA recommendations

[citation needed]

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | about 2 years ago | (#42117045)

all measurements inside and outside the reactor done from multiple impartial sources is a walk in the park compared to Chernobyl. Still... I wouldn't recommend the sushi without checking it first.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#42115257)

It might be the worst nuclear accident but it's nowhere close to the world's worst nuclear "deliberate", of which there were at least two with much more cost.

To be honest, for the world's worst nuclear accident, it shows how scared we are of nuclear power.

There are men in the pictures, assembling a structure to trundle over the top of the reactor in the background. They no doubt have exposure limits and suitable apparatus but the fact remains that they are standing around it. There's a 19 mile exclusion zone. That's about equivalent to the zones put around nuclear testing sites anyway (and there are even tourist trips into that exclusion zone on a regular basis).

Sure, there *was* fallout and biological effects, and it's not something you want to ever repeat - that's undeniable, but in terms of taking out countries, or killing millions, it hasn't exactly worked out that way even under the shoddiest of safety regimes. It can be argued that all of the worst nuclear accidents combined are significantly "safer" than the best output from modern coal plants combined, in terms of long-term damage. Hell, it's safer than cars, which are currently being linked to everything from asthma to autism.

We just need to handle it sensibly. Put a 25 mile exclusion zone around them. Site them away from centres of population. Encase them in the equivalent of the measures being put around Chernobyl already, by default - rather than waiting for an accident before you do so. And stop being sloppy when running them (admittedly the hardest to do).

The fact is that, even with Chernobyl, the knock-on effects aren't Armageddon as predicted. Fukushima had a fecking tsunami wash over it and similar ineptness in terms of safety (the only other "Level 7" accident ever), and the deaths were almost exclusively due to the tsunami itself, not the reactor, and all the local population (again... grrr....) were not exposed to a radiation level that affected health (only a couple of workers who were on the site). And, again, outside of the ten miles exclusion zone, not much happens at all.

No-one is saying they're "safe". But because their danger is much more visible when exposed, they get a worse rap than some silent gases being spewed off into the air for decades on end and killing us and the atmosphere. They are "safer" still. Still.

Keep building them, keep decommissioning old ones, and make sure you stick them out of the way and suffer the transfer losses BY LAW before you build new ones. By modern law, you wouldn't be allowed to have a 1960's coal power plant within that distance of a population anyway (if at all) because of the same amount of hazard to health. We just need to get them AWAY from people and accept that out of over 400 power stations currently in operation (not including those that have been decommissioned) worldwide, there have only been a handful of incidents and the vast majority of those have little, if any, impact. And even the "big" accidents are no worse than a pretty minor natural disaster.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115359)

there have only been a handful of incidents and the vast majority of those have little, if any, impact

Lies.

List of civilian nuclear accidents [wikipedia.org]

List of civilian nuclear incidents [wikipedia.org]

List of civilian radiation accidents [wikipedia.org]

List of crimes involving radioactive substances [wikipedia.org]

List of military nuclear accidents [wikipedia.org]

List of nuclear and radiation accidents by death toll [wikipedia.org]

Accidents involving nuclear waste [wikipedia.org]

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (3, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#42115493)

The Rwandan genocide was conducted with a few container loads of cheap Chinese machetes, clearly, we must ban the production of steel and any material that can be made to have a sharp edge.

Most explosives contain nitrogen compounds that can be made in fertilizer production. Explosives and fireguns are the main weapon of choice in conflicts all over the world, killing hundreds of thousands each year. Clearly, we cannot allow the pest of nitrogen fertilizer factories to spread over the planet. The naysayers who claim they are needed for food production are just lackeys of the weapon industry.

Cars kill 1.3 million people worldwide each year. Clearly, this technology must be banned.

You have no sense of proportion.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (4, Informative)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#42115809)

And here's another list for you:

Number of people killed due to wind power in 2008: 41
Number of blade failures from wind power in 2008: 39
Number of wind turbine fires in 2008: 110 (in which nothing can be done, since the fire is 300+ feet in the air)
Number of wind turbine structural failures in 2008: 60
Number of wind turbine "ice incidents" in 2008: 24
Number of people killed in the US by candles per annum: 126
Number of people killed in the US due to nuclear power in 40+ years of reactor operations (currently 104 generating stations): 0

More people die from candles in one year, than have died from 40 years of commercial nuclear energy. Having reliable electric generation could save those 126 people, because they could use a light bulb instead of a candle.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116115)

And here's another list for you:

Number of people killed due to wind power in 2008: 41
Number of blade failures from wind power in 2008: 39
Number of wind turbine fires in 2008: 110 (in which nothing can be done, since the fire is 300+ feet in the air)
Number of wind turbine structural failures in 2008: 60
Number of wind turbine "ice incidents" in 2008: 24
Number of people killed in the US by candles per annum: 126
Number of people killed in the US due to nuclear power in 40+ years of reactor operations (currently 104 generating stations): 0

[citation needed]

More people die from candles in one year, than have died from 40 years of commercial nuclear energy. Having reliable electric generation could save those 126 people, because they could use a light bulb instead of a candle.

Sorry... a light bulb doesn't fit into the gas tank so well as a candle does!

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116309)

That's not exactly true. Many died in Chernobyl (I know you said in the US, but Chernobyl is an excellent example of what CAN go wrong). Additionally, Three Mile Island, the most highly publicized nuclear meltdown in the US released significant levels of radiation into the background. Incidents of cancer trippled over the decade following the accident. Food and water supplies were tainted. It's not direct correlation, but it's kind of hard to deny the impact. I'm for nuclear power by the way, but let's stick to truth while stating our case hmmm?

Not sure where you get your wind numbers. I'd be interested to know being that I work in the electrical utility industry. I can say that wind is hands down the most expensive and least reliable form of generation. If it wasn't for the government subsidies, and legal requirements to purchase power from them at a premium they wouldn't even exist. To all the rest of you, be advised that this is increasing our costs, and will eventually be passed down to the customer.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42116423)

Incidents of cancer trippled over the decade following the accident.
Citation needed.

Does this report also deduct the massive increase in ability to diagnose patients that occurred at the same time?

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117033)

Does this report also deduct the massive increase in ability to diagnose patients that occurred at the same time?

Not only diagnostics, without an additional decrease in overall livespan a growing cancer rate can be caused by living long enough to get chancer (better treatments for once lethal illnesses) or just a better quality of live enabling all sorts of unhealthy livestyle options (smoking,drinking,sunbathing,........).

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116571)

Oh, I forgot about SL1 in ID. One of the first nuclear reactors. An engineer was pinned to the ceiling by a control rod when he inserted it too fast. Some will dismiss it as suicide, but after all I've read I lean more toward carelessness as the most plausible explanation. Also, I get a report from the Department of Homeland Security everyday. It's called "Daily Open Source Infrastructure Report for U.S. Department of Homeland Security" in it there is all news related to the security of energy infrasturcture. Included in it are often minor nuclear incidents that are never reported in the mainstream news. Some might take this as an opportunity to condemn nuclear power, but to me it shows that we catch things through a very thorough set of checks and balances that ensure problems are caught before they become catastrophic. The nuclear industry has regulations for their regulations regulations. And violation often means being shut down depending on assessment of safety concern. If it's a small problem that's likely to have no impact they can continue to operate, but they still get fined. But if there's any chance it might become a large problem that reactor is offline until it's fixed. Losses in the millions result from a reactor going down. The companies don't like to do it, so they do their level best to comply with the regulations.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#42116859)

Three Mile Island, the most highly publicized nuclear meltdown in the US released significant levels of radiation into the background. Incidents of cancer trippled over the decade following the accident. Food and water supplies were tainted.

That's patently false. A Blatant Lie.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

Attila the Bun (952109) | about 2 years ago | (#42117337)

Chernobyl was a horrific design even by the standards of the time. Modern designs are immune to the kinds of accidents which happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and even Fukushima.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42117521)

Chernobyl was a horrific design even by the standards of the time.

Yes, nobody is or will be using uncontained reactors like Chernobyl. Only the Russians...

Modern designs are immune to the kinds of accidents which happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and even Fukushima.

Here is the little problem. Those moderately safe Gen I reactors - they're still in use.

If commercial nuclear power managed to keep up with the original decommissioning of older plants and built new plants on a production line basis so each one wasn't a special (very expensive) snowflake AND we came up with the political will to store the high level waste somewhere (my vote is New Jersey) then nuclear power would be a reasonable choice. Since the industry and government haven't managed to do any of those, it looks to be not such a good idea.

There is nothing inherently wrong with fission power, but the way it's set up is a guaranteed failure.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117945)

The only problem is that most of these older reactors are still running because of the costs of trying to get new sites or even reactors online, due to the stigma around nuclear power left by the accident of TMI and Chernobyl. Anything with the word nuclear in it is automatically treated as evil.
But I'm preaching to the choir here....

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#42116481)

This accident probably happened before you were born, the problems are still being dealt with, yet you are pretending it was insignificant and bringing up some irrelevant crap about a different industry, and a fairly immature industry at that? It's telling us more about your own shortcomings than anything else.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2, Interesting)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#42117511)

That's an incredible list of assumptions that you're making.

1. In no way does anything in my post suggest anything about age. You, however, seem to think that disagreeing with your views means that someone was born after 1986.

2. In no way does my post suggest that the Chernobyl disaster wasn't a massive disaster, with lasting consequences that will far outstrip both of our lifetimes. You, however, assume that I'm in some kind of denial, where there is no actual reason to think so.

3. As a matter of fact, I remember when Chernobyl actually happened, and I actually know why it happened. It was a terribly designed reactor with an incredibly dangerous positive void coefficient, built and operated in a culture that didn't give a damn about safety or human life, and had operators doing things they should have never been doing in the first place.

Thanks for playing.

Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117837)

If you really are going to include things like structural failures, you should include any deaths that occurred at a nuclear plant due to some mechanical accident unrelated to the nuclear production. Surely someone probably even got in a car accident on the way to work at a nuclear plant. And how many people died when building and testing the original tech? Especially when it was still in its beginnings.

What you cant say is that some wind turbine spilled some wind and that wind destroyed the land for 100+ years.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

X.25 (255792) | about 2 years ago | (#42117291)

Lies.

List of civilian nuclear accidents

List of civilian nuclear incidents

List of civilian radiation accidents

List of crimes involving radioactive substances

List of military nuclear accidents

List of nuclear and radiation accidents by death toll

Accidents involving nuclear waste

Would you like me to link you to lists of car accidents, for example?

He's talking about impact, not about stupid Wikipedia lists.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115465)

Alexei Ananenko
Valeri Bezpalov
Boris Baranov

Were it not for the efforts of these three men Europe could have quite possibly been wiped out due to fallout. We are should be forever fortunate they decided to lay down their lives.

Just because the world's worst accident didn't go a wrong as it could doesn't negate that the way we were constructing plants was horrendously stupid.

I believe Nuclear has a place, even a prominant one, in fulfilling our energy needs. But let's not think that people don't have a right to be afraid.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42116443)

Europe wiped out?
Please show your work. Was there even enough fissile material for that to occur?

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 years ago | (#42117695)

>

Just because the world's worst accident didn't go a wrong as it could doesn't negate that the way we were constructing plants was horrendously stupid.

Just to make sure... The RUSSIANS where the ONLY folks building and operating plants of this design. These plants would not have been legally acceptable in most of the industrialized world, at least for power generation. This is not to say that such designs are "stupid" or that such plants cannot be operated safely, they can. Only that it wasn't that everybody was using this kind of reactor design (Stupid or not).

How stupid the design was is an open question that can be argued both ways. There where reasons that drove them down this path, most of which where about the economics of things and the cold war. Yea, they took risks that in hindsight look foolish, but except for the operator error, this plant could easily operated for decades. Had the mistake not been made, what would be said about this reactor? Not much.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115489)

Yes, this is positively bullish for the health-sector regarding "mysterious" chronic diseases as well!

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115793)

It's really the fear that makes it dangerous. One can't swing a sword around while fearing the blade, at least not without hurting themselves and/or others nearby. One must respect it for what it is capable of, both the good and the bad, to think with a level head.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (5, Insightful)

coofercat (719737) | about 2 years ago | (#42115979)

The fact this blew up in 1986 and it's still being sorted in 2012 tells you how dangerous it is. I don't disagree with much of what you say, but a coal power station can be dismantled in a few years without breaking too much of a sweat.

Personally, I don't think nuclear is nearly as terrible as it's perceived to be. However, we humans are pretty rubbish at anything 'abstract', and so will never run nuclear power safely in the long term. Either we'll do safety badly, or we won't have saved up enough money for the decom, or we'll push the limits of the design too far, or whatever else. I don't know why, but we just will. So with that in mind, I'd rather less nuclear than more.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42116467)

I think what it really tells us is that the original fix was no good. Which most of us already knew.

You can dismantle a coal power plant, but what do you plan to do with all the collected waste material? It is full of heavy metals.

Once you dismantle the coal plant, you still have not removed all the pollution it let out.

I agree with your over all point about people, but I disagree that coal power is a solution to that.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#42117007)

"but a coal power station can be dismantled in a few years without breaking too much of a sweat."

There are lots of toxic areas left behind by coal power plants or coal mines a century after the plant has been closed. And that's with normal operation.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Attila the Bun (952109) | about 2 years ago | (#42117283)

Coal burning also releases more radiation than nuclear power does. If the same safety rules were applied equally to both types of power, nuclear would come out way ahead.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#42117959)

"Coal burning also releases more radiation than nuclear power does. If the same safety rules were applied equally to both types of power, nuclear would come out way ahead."

I don't care about safety rules. Come back when you can get the same insurance for a nuke that you can get for a coal one. Then we'll talk.
I live in Luxemburg and I still can't eat as much mushrooms from the forests here as I want, still too much nasty isotopes from that old thing thousands of miles away.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 years ago | (#42117081)

I don't know how it is where you are, but in the US, you pay an extra charge per KW/h of nuclear energy that has to be saved for decommissioning costs. Now its possible that the money gets embezzled (though I think the DoE holds it in trust?), or the costs exceed expectations, but otherwise the people who use the power pay for the decommissioning over the life of the plant.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2, Informative)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#42117725)

The fact this blew up in 1986 and it's still being sorted in 2012 tells you how dangerous it is. -

Wrong - all it tells you is how incompetent the original Soviet government was. If it had been dealt with from the beginning correctly it never would have happened (multiple safety features were disabled that would have prevented it to begin with).

More to the point if they had correctly cleaned it up to begin with they wouldn't have this mess today. The Soviet Union and their vassal states had a deplorable environmental record. Leaving the environment trashed was status quo for them far more than it ever was for the West. A quick google search will find many, many examples of this that have nothing to do with nuclear. The only reason you ever heard about this instead of all of the others is because of the nuclear element.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117793)

The fact this blew up in 1986 and it's still being sorted in 2012 tells you how dangerous it is. I don't disagree with much of what you say, but a coal power station can be dismantled in a few years without breaking too much of a sweat.

How long will it take for that CO2 in the atmosphere fucking our climate to get sequestered? 10,000 years? 100,000 years? Chernobyl will be LONG forgotten and disappeared and the CO2 from the coal plants will continue to wreck havoc.

The problem with your understanding is you are not looking at the timescale properly. CO2 hasn't even been felt much. Last time we had same CO2 concentrations water level in the oceans was 25m higher. That may cause a little bit more problems for a much longer time than some local nuclear plant melting down every once in a while. Instead of moving 1 million people, you just have to move 1000x as many at a rate 10x as quick for a period 100x as long (if we are lucky).

But then again, if we are looking at next Q numbers, we might as well build all natural gas power plants. Fracking gas is the cheapest after all. Who cares about long term damage. Our kids may curse us for it, but there is always the almighty dollar.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#42118003)

No, it tells you just how fucked up the Soviet Union was after it fell apart. Hint: life expectancy dropped to levels not seen since the Stalin era, some 3 million people starved, froze to death or died for lack of access to medical care. Russia declared bankruptcy a mere 7 years later and neither Belarus nor Ukraine fared any better. Unlike Russia, they didn't have any resources to export, but instead were dependent on Russia for theirs.

The fact they are still working on the reactor is a result of the fact that Ukraine couldn't muster the $1bn to build the new shelter itself at any earlier time.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

qazsedcft (911254) | about 2 years ago | (#42116157)

I agree with your post in general, except:

We just need to handle it sensibly. Put a 25 mile exclusion zone around them. Site them away from centres of population.

In the US maybe, but in Europe this is hard to do as population density is pretty high everywhere except way out in the North. In a country like Germany you won't find a large mostly empty area far from any population. But if you ask me I'd rather live next to a nuclear reactor than next to a coal power plant.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Magada (741361) | about 2 years ago | (#42116161)

There are men in the pictures, assembling a structure to trundle over the top of the reactor in the background. They no doubt have exposure limits and suitable apparatus but the fact remains that they are standing around it.

The structure is assembled off-site. Fucktard.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

Dins (2538550) | about 2 years ago | (#42116689)

The structure is assembled off-site. Fucktard.

Yeah, actually if you RTFA and look at the pictures included with it, they are assembling it on site. Yes, the trusses themselves were constructed elsewhere and brought in assembled, but the structure itself is being erected next to the reactor and will then be moved into place over the reactor on rails once it is completed.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116191)

There are men in the pictures, assembling a structure to trundle over the top of the reactor in the background. They no doubt have exposure limits and suitable apparatus but the fact remains that they are standing around it. There's a 19 mile exclusion zone. That's about equivalent to the zones put around nuclear testing sites anyway (and there are even tourist trips into that exclusion zone on a regular basis).

They are not building the arch and truss over the reactor, TFA states they are assembling it elsewhere and will later go through the arduous process of moving it in place...

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42117575)

There are men in the pictures, assembling a structure to trundle over the top of the reactor in the background. They no doubt have exposure limits and suitable apparatus but the fact remains that they are standing around it. There's a 19 mile exclusion zone. That's about equivalent to the zones put around nuclear testing sites anyway (and there are even tourist trips into that exclusion zone on a regular basis).

They are not building the arch and truss over the reactor, TFA states they are assembling it elsewhere and will later go through the arduous process of moving it in place...

Look at the pictures again. The reactor is in the background. The truss is in the foreground. When completed, it will be moved over the remains of the reactor / concrete sarcophagus. Probably on a bunch of train rails. Russians like train rails for moving heavy things (works well, is cheap). Given that it is paid for and overseen by an International agency, they likely are keeping close track of everybody's exposure.

Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42115463)

It's not the worst, but it was the one detected by Western countries so the Soviet Union couldn't keep it a secret like they dd with the Chelyabinsk accidents [wikipedia.org] .

Obligatory Soviet Propaganda (0)

otuz (85014) | about 2 years ago | (#42115203)

In Soviet Russia, shelter raises you!

There will be no reactor dismantelling (3, Informative)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#42115211)

There are no plans to dismantel the reactor at this time, except some parts that prevent the cover from getting into place. The new cover will allow dismantelling of the current sarcophagus and protect the reactor and what remains of the building from the weather.

Re:There will be no reactor dismantelling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115227)

The original plans certainly include a pair of large rail-mounted cranes inside the Safe Containment Structure, that will be used to dismantle the Sarcophagus once the SCS is in place. The biggest risk isn't the reactor itself, it's the Sarcophagus collapsing.

Re:There will be no reactor dismantelling (1)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#42115881)

That is still planned. They are not planning to remove the reactor as the article says.

They have been working on this for awhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42115435)

having said that, they have had trouble getting materials, and funding otherwise it would have already been done. I would also take a the risk of helping aid in covering up the plant with the new cover, especially since the pacth work job the plant currently has could collapse at anytime from now until they actually get that damn dome built.

From the article (0)

hey_popey (1285712) | about 2 years ago | (#42115705)

"Originally, that was intended to be destroyed. But I think this (shelter) will be so impressive that even in 100 years people will come to look at it," Yeah, sure: "Honey, let's go take the kids near that radioactive site that was they covered by a shelter some guys build a 100 years ago" Seriously...?

It's all a scam by the Ukrainian government anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116139)

98% of the radioactive material is no longer inside the reactor.
It got blown out the second it blew up in 1986.

The Ukraine profits massively from this scam.

Re:It's all a scam by the Ukrainian government any (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42116453)

That may be true, but surely the 2% that is left is bad enough?

Re:It's all a scam by the Ukrainian government any (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117935)

No, it's not.
You can actually walk around inside the reactor today, if you know the hot-spots to avoid.
Note that I'm all for shutting down nuclear power plants. If they would be so save, utilities wouldn't need to have the state carry the risk of a big accident, which is how things work(ed) here in Germany.

Big (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 2 years ago | (#42116305)

Sweet monkey Jesus that thing is big.

How long until we have one over Fukushima?

uh oh (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42116359)

They better watch out for those radioactive bears (as seen on slashdot)

Took 26 years? (1)

Arrow_Raider (1157283) | about 2 years ago | (#42116501)

I can't believe it took them 26 years to start working on a proper containment shelter. The original sarcophagus was meant as a temporary solution and wasn't supposed to be relied upon for 26 years.

Re:Took 26 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117273)

I can't believe it took them 26 years to start working on a proper containment shelter. The original sarcophagus was meant as a temporary solution and wasn't supposed to be relied upon for 26 years.

Really? You do know that we're talking about the Russians, right?

Re:Took 26 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117633)

think about it in terms or radioactive half life, 26 years is nothing, worry about the the other couple of thousand

article was posted by zeroum, 49ers #1, it's all about the 415

GET OUT OF HERE STALKER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42116599)

sorry

I don't understand the need (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 2 years ago | (#42116607)

I recently saw a documentary about how the remaining populace of Pripyat are not only surviving but in some form thriving. Clearly all of the reactors shown still have their containment buildings intact.

Seriously... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 2 years ago | (#42116695)

It's been over a 1/4 century, and this is just getting done.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT

Re:Seriously... (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#42117041)

Radiation levels drop considerably over the first few decades as the short half life, intensely active elements decay. Why not leave it for 25 years? It hasn't been hurting anyone and waiting will probably save several lives and lessen the cost of this phase of the cleanup.

the schedule is very tight (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#42116763)

FTFA: "There's no room for error ... the schedule is very tight," said Vince Novak, director of the EBRD's nuclear safety department, who added that staying within budget is also a concern.

30 years to get this figured out and they still wait till the last possible minute. Seems to illustrates the fundamental problem with a lot of problems we face today.

good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42117419)

this is good news.
this's strange that this tech was first used for killing people (in bombform).
maybe that is the reason no backup plan was ever envisioned if the
"peaceful" version of this tech should turn destructive.

still awesome how the communist soviet union dealt
with the disaster (or "accident" if you speak japanese)
and built the first sarcophagus!

obviously there's no real reason to use nuclear power plants,
except maybe to boot-strap a fusion based energy source, or
built a DAMN-BIG-LASER(tm) to zap a life ending asteroid : P
even in the above cases, saner minds would prolly built a sarcophagus
at the same time they build the nuke plant .. you know ... just in case.
-
anyways, let's wish this project good luck and may it get done ... soon.

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