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Chernobyl Reactor Restarted, Claimed Safe for Y2K

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed... dept.

News 219

Ydeologi writes "Usually when you hear 'Chernobyl' and 'Y2K' in the same sentence, it's because someone's using the infamous 1986 nuclear catastrophe as a metaphor to scale the predicted impact of Y2K. But here [MSNBC story], it's no metaphor. The Ukranians say they need money and they need electricity; this was their answer. Funny thing that Y2K concerns are preceding the more obvious ones -- say, uh, the reactor with the 'spotty' history."

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All reactors suck... (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501431)

All reactors suck, and the Ukranians just happened to suck the most. Actualy there operators suck the most, but the design of the reacrot shold have prevented diaster.

The only reactors that come close to not sucking are CANDU rectors, the only 'brand' to be both deployed internationaly (hehe, sory about selling those to India) and without significant incedent.

??? (1)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501432)

Are you for real? Chernobyl? Isn't the area around Chernobly supposed to be irradiated or something? Sounds like a goofy plan to me, but hey -- if they really need it.

What doesn't make sense to me is why they would bother with Chernobly anyway. Would there be anything salvagable from the original working system? I would've thought that the whole thing might have fallen apart.

-----------

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Fire (1)

Double A (34222) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501433)

As long as the moderator rods aren't made of graphite any more...

Re:??? Read the article (1)

lost_it (44553) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501434)

There were several reactors at Chernobyl. One exploded, and it took a second one with it. The reactor that they are restarting was neither of these; it was only down for 5 months.

Y2k crap (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501435)

I'm getting a bit bored with these Y2k problems everyone is talking about... We all know there's not a thing gonna happen besides the sporadic blackout. Any company that is delivering any kind of service to the public has taken all the precautions that are needed. And even if something fails while generating electricity or distributing water than the worst thing that is gonna happen that the service stops for some time. It's certainly not gonna blow or anything ridiculous like that. The only ppl interested in Y2K stories are the media because they still don't understand what it stands for but did hear someone say the words computer, technology and explosion. That's it, nothing to see here, certainly no .sig

not our problem (1)

MeYatch (110355) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501436)

Hey, if the Ukranians really need the reacor and they say it is safe, more power to them. they are the ones who will be irradiated if the reactor blows.

... (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501437)

Please Note: W2K is not suitable for use in nuclear reactors, life support systems, or other mission-critical applications. Manufacturer hereby disclaims any responsibility from meltdown, end of world situation, or the re-emergence of disco.
--

Re:All reactors suck... (2)

lost_it (44553) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501438)

I'd like to hear a better plan for getting electricity. Every other source of significant power is criticized for being environmentally unfriendly.

Note: I included the adjective "significant" because everyone thinks solar power is wonderful, but it just can't produce.

hrmmm. (1)

pest (24214) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501439)

for some reason i feel an urge to dig a fall out shelter all of a sudden. but seriously, what are they thinking? most of the workers at it will probably develop cancer and/or die from full fledged radiation sickness. ahh well.

Wow. (3)

volsung (378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501440)

I'm confused. How exactly is this possible? I thought that the meltdown of reactor 4 scattered radioactive material all over the area. I know they buldozed the topsoil over a huge area into concrete pits, but there's no way that they could have cleaned up everything in the area. Has the radiation dropped below "harmful" levels, or has the Ukraine decided to adopt the old Soviet view of "worker safety"?

Hmm.. If nothing else, having a giant concrete enclosed reactor nearby would be bad for morale.

M: Hey Pyotr, what's Ivan doing?

P: Oh, he's just roasting some marshmallows on reactor 4.

Re:not our problem (1)

Double A (34222) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501441)

Actually, it depends a lot on the prevailing winds...there's a lot of radioactive dust and such that was carried around afterwards...depending on where you are (I'm in Canada), it *could* be your problem...

We hosed it down, good as new... (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501442)

How on earth did they clear away all the radiation?! I thought that area would deadly for many many years. I mean, the decay would take decades (centuries?) right? Is my feeble grasp of physics missing something here?

Not only that, but I thought they pretty much just built walls of cement around the reactor. Did they tunnel their way back in and switich it on?

Help me out here, if they wasn't on MSNBC, I'd swear it was some kind of prank (or at the very least, another devious plot for Bruce Perens to somehow get more Karma :)


Finkployd

Nuclear power our savior! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501443)

I think we owe to ourselves as humans to embrace nuclear power. Regardless of the alleged danger. How can we advance as a species if we don't take chances?

Re:All reactors suck... (3)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501444)

All reactors suck, and the Ukranians just happened to suck the most. Actualy there operators suck the most, but the design of the reacrot shold have prevented diaster.

The design of the reactor at Chernobyl did prevent disaster; the only reason it malfunctioned was because things went wrong while basic safety measures had been circumvented for testing purposes. The Chernobyl disaster was a result of human error and coincidence, not design. Further, nuclear power remains one of the safest and most efficient forms of power today (until we invent cold fusion, anyway)

Re:We hosed it down, good as new... (CORRECTION) (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501445)

*oops*

Upon closer examination of the article, it's the #4 reactor that was encased in carbonite, they were talking about #3

Finkployd

Re:not our problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501446)

I agree completely. So just to make sure, we should rain a couple of nuclear missiles on the reactor to prevent a meltdown.

Re:not our problem (1)

GregWebb (26123) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501447)

Yes, definitely. IIRC it's on their Northern border and the wind at the time was from the south, so most of the radiation wasy dumped on Belarus. Same place then, but not now.

Greg

Isolationism (5)

/ (33804) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501448)

[T]he Ukrainian government says it needs $1.2 billion from the West to finish construction of two new reactors to replace the output that will be lost by closing Chernobyl.

There's nothing quite like nuclear suicide to raise the ante in international treaty negotiations. The Ukrainian economy has taken a harsh beating since the USSR fell apart, and they do need this electricity if they hope to get their industries cranking again.

The fact that this action will precipitate an international crisis and help get the financial aid flowing again is just an added bonus.

NBC Movie (1)

legoboy (39651) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501449)

Gee.. It's too bad that Russia isn't 5 days worth of time zones ahead of the east coast.

If it were, when Chernobyl goes bang, we could turn off all OUR nuclear power plants in time for the fuel to cool off!
(Reference: this comment [slashdot.org] )

------

where did the core go? (0)

neko the frog (94213) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501450)

iirc when a meltdown occurs the core heats to the point where it literally burs itself into the ground; i think i heard somewhere that to this day the core of this thing is still in this state, burning its way down to the center of the earth. anyone know what the latest theories are on this, and if it affects much of anything?

Re:Y2k crap (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501451)

Any company that is delivering any kind of service to the public has taken all the precautions that are needed

We hope. I mean, I don't predict anything dire (unless it's people's reaction to it or the govenrment's reaction to it), but why the sudden blind faith in companies?

It seems the same people who view big companies as evil and technologicaly clueless, are the first in line to attempt to persuade others that they will or have fixed the y2k problem for us.

Finkployd

Re:not our problem (1)

tamyrlin (51) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501452)

Hey, we could trace radioactive material in our nature after that disaster... it is certainly a problem for more than just Ukraina...

One reason why (3)

DanaL (66515) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501453)

I read a newspaper article yesterday about this. IIRC, the G7 nations had agreed to give the Ukraine about a billion dollars to build new reactors to replace Chernobyl, but haven't coughed up the dough yet. Since they need power, the government feels it neccessary to re-open the old plant.

(I was surprised too, I thought the whole area was going to be un-inhabitable for the next few hundred years)

Dana

Radioactivity? (1)

neuroid (6952) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501454)

(*after crawling back out from under my desk*)

I thought major portions of Chernobyl were still radioactive, and would be for another 50 years or so? I seem to remember some sort of 'discovery channel' type program about it.

They have no reason to worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501455)

The Ukranians have stated that their equipment is "far too obsolete to be affected by any computer problems."

I don't know if something was lost (or gained) in the translation though.

But it's true. Only us sophisticated countries have anything to fear from a complete meltdown of the electronic infrastructure. We're addicted to technology and the withdrawls, should it be taken away for even a minute, would be ugly.

Re:not our problem (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501456)

Hey, if the Ukranians really need the reacor and they say it is safe, more power to them.

groannnnnnnnn

It's unlikely to blow up again (1)

jquiroga (94119) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501457)

The original Chernobyl accident was triggered by a careless 'experiment', it did not blow up all by itself. It is unlikely that such disregard of security measures will take place again at the same place.

And by the way, Roblimo:

$your_post =~ s/Ukranians/Ukrainians/g

Re:facility has two reactors left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501458)

Yes, the whole thing has actually *blown* apart. But there were three reactors in the Chernobyl facility; only one went boom.

And about a week later, the background radiation count in the U.S. spiked, to levels not seen since the late 1950's. It wasn't Chernobyl, it was the DOE "secretly" cracking open two bad missle silos and a melted reactor, hoping that the newspaper headlines about fallout arriving from Chernobyl would cover their actions.

That kind of behavior is why I so completely trust the nuclear power industry, and those who regulate it.

Re:not our problem (2)

jilles (20976) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501459)

Radioactive dust from chernobyl settled down in northern Scandinavia (a few thousand kilometers north of chernobyl within the polar circle). The effects of the disaster were measurable (and still are) in most of norther europe.

Nuclear disasters like chernobyl affect large geographical areas and just the ukrainian government's assurance that everything is OK is not enough for me (I live in southern sweden). With the current economic situation in eastern europe, I fear that safety does not always come first as it should.

Chernobyl is a relatively old plant. The only reason it is still used is because there is not enough money to replace it. All this has disaster written all over it. Its only a matter of time before one of the eastern european plants meets with an accident.

Re:Isolationism (1)

johndoh (75516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501460)

Yeah well i saw an aritcle on "Ukrainian Industry" about three years ago??? and it seems that they are not i need of electricity like they are in need of cleaner factories. They do not even put the basic scrubbing systems on their plants that have black smoke bellowing out of them 24 hours a day. Many Ukrainian cities have not seen light in years, there are large numbers of cancer deaths and everything is polluted. Their industries are cranking, just not with clean power. Maybe we as a world we should spend more time worrying about what comes out of the factories besides packaged goods. And why should we as a nation give them aid? They screwed up, they can fix it. America gives out enough money - it would be nice to see the thousands of dollars a year i give to my government do something constructive....

-DoH

Re:All reactors suck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501461)

Yeah, those CANDU reactors are great. Except for that little live-lock problem in the majority of the deployed reactors software...

Chernobyl isn't in Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501462)

I have a secret. Chernobyl is in Ukraine - not in Russia. It is close to Russia though.

If they don't learn the first time...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501463)

You would think that after a disaster such as the one in 1986 would have made some impact on what a country sees as a viable source of energy. I am sorry that is not the case. The only way you can make sure that no mistakes are involved is to make sure no humans are involved. Its sad to see that instead of looking for more sustanable solutions, they are choosing to invest money in something that will cost more than the initial benifit of energy. Most of the children in that area are suffering from thyroid cancer because of the initial disaster. I am curious too see how much money it is costing the country to treat the radiation related illnesses. But I am quite sure that when the radiation has finnaly faded, the cost of treating radiation-related illnesses will far exceed any economic benifits that the Chernoble plant has brought to Ukrain(sp?). Also take into account that you have to house the depleated uranium. I do not think there is much though put into this at all. Our sins shall be visited upon our sons and daughters. This is especially true with regard to radioactive substances.

This news item is somewhat misleading (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501464)

Two of the Chernobyl reactors have been operating for many years, restarted shortly after the accident. The one that is being restarted now has been down for a normal outage since February. It's Unit 4 that is fux0red and enclosed in the "sarcophagus".

The most dangerous legacy of the cold war (4)

RNG (35225) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501465)

This kind of stuff is the most dangerous legacy from the cold war. Even in the west, where we at least have enough money to handle this stuff with proper security, the long term cleanup/deposit of the large amounts of highly radioactive is still an unsolved problem. We don't really know what do with it.

The situation in some the former eastern block, especially in the former USSR, however is much worse. These governments are cronically cash starved with some countries on the brink of insolvency. Pensions and salraies are often not being paid (or payed several weeks/months too late) and the old communist order has collapsed with (in some regions) not much of anything new to replace it. It is this abscence of government which makes the large stockpiles of nuclear fuel, weapons and waste very dangerous. Some/Much of the Russian nuclear (submarine) fleet is rotting in their harbors because there's no money/parts for repairs. Nuclear reactors (any many other vital parts of the infrastructure) don't get proper servicing/repairs. With authority breaking down to such a degree that even high caliber weapons are for sale by corrupt army officials, the question of strongly contaminated or even wapons grade materals is a serious one.

Even if we quit using nuclear power anytime soon (would be nice but don't hold your breath) we'll be stuck with large amounts of highly radioactive stuff for the next few thousand years ...

Re:All reactors suck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501466)

Earlier this morning I bought a new box of grits. I just cooked me up some and I am now dumping them down my pants :)

what must be... (4)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501467)


I was six when the Chernobyl accident happened, so my memories, and my insight, into the time are rather limited. I do remember how scared my parents were however, I do remember hardly being allowed to play outside that whole summer, and I do remember that we only got powdered milk for about six months.

Sometimes I wonder about how much time the downfall in this area took off my life, but then I come to and look at the smoke rising from the highway just a few hundred meters from my house, and wonder how much that is taking off even as we speak.

Nuclear Power as it stands is a dirty, nasty, dangerous business. We are playing with forces which we know can destroy us all, we are creating toxins and wastes that we hardly know how to deal with, and we are putting trust in that the next generations will solve our problems for us. However, it is not alone. POWER is a dirty bussiness. As much as nuclear power is a killer, so are all the other ways we have today. Anyone here going to tell me that greenhouse effect is not real? or that it isn't a bigger deal to our children than having to deal with nuclear waste? or that hydro-electric damns aren't gigantic destruction of some of our last real ecological systems?

The Ukranians need power. For them to have a chance at rebuilding their economy, they will need all the power they can get, and we cannot expect them to pay the price for the global bad conscience about what we are ruthlessly doing power our way of life. If we want that reactor shut down, we are going to have to give them an option, and we obviously aren't.

Until then, I guess we'll just have to stack up on iodine pills and hope that the wind is going the other way next time...


-
We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.

Nuclear Fears (1)

Keefesis (70341) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501468)

I hope it safe, and I suppose it is. After all, the 1986 accident that spewed radation all over europe was caused by operator error. Hopefully they've learned, but it seems that they're being quite arrogant about it. Hold your breath europe...when we US people are partying New Year's Eve, you'll be in your radation bunkers.

Re:Wow. (2)

moonboy (2512) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501469)

Me too. It seems levels would still be too high, even now. I thought there had to be a period of at least 25 years before levels were safe enough. Guess I'm wrong...or am I?

----------------

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

Re:Fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501470)

As long as the operators don't disable every single safety feature... I don't think the control rods' composition had much to do with anything other than some post-disaster fires.

Indeed (2)

/ (33804) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501471)

But if you're already being increadibly reckless with your environment, what is the additional harm in a little nuclear fallout, should it come to that? (Nevermind that the stuff doesn't exactly respect borders or even continents.)

Re:Wow. (1)

Paolo (87425) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501472)

I just saw a program on PBS last week on microbiology. Scientists from Russia and the Ukraine went in to take soil samples from the Chernobyl area in order to asses the genetic mutations of bacteria which live there. One needs a security pass to enter the 15 or so mile radius around the city.

The radiation levels are still dangerous to the northwest of the exploded reactor, as that was where the winds blew the bulk of the sediments. It seems to me that it is very dangerous still, in terms of personal safety.

It is utterly amazing to me that the article focused on Y2K issues, not health issues. Eastern Europe is considered one of the regions that expects to be hit hardest by date rollover issues, because of the lack of government spending on investigation and fixing of mechanical and computer based operations. Chernobyl reactor #3 is not safe to operate, in my book, if protective suits, security clearance, and geiger counters are required to get near the facility.

Propoganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501473)

I thought major portions of Chernobyl were still radioactive, and would be for another 50 years or so? I seem to remember some sort of 'discovery channel' type program about it.

Anti nuclear environmentalist wacko tree-hugging propoganda. Sure, the nuclear fire was awesome, but don't fall for that 'million years of uninhabitible for a thousand miles' bs. Do you think they would allow nuclear reactors in the us if they were so dangerous? It's kind of ironic. The anti nuclear wackos have the best intentions at heart. But nuclear power is much more clean than, say, coal. And what about the damed fish? (sorry, pun intended - see note that follows my incredible Rush Limbaugh inspired wisdom) The entire pollution that was caused by the fire at Chernobyl is nothing compared to the output of the worlds "coal reactors"

note:
That reminds me of a joke.

What did the fish say when it ran into the cement wall?







Dam!

Oh cripes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501474)

Relax a little bit, please.. I know that the rest of Chernobyl (the reactors other than no. 4) have operated fairly safely for quite a long time. Nobody should draw the line from Chernobyl to Y2K -- it just brings up old fears. (Remember, NBC is the one that brought us that stupid Y2K movie...) The true problem is the latent radiation that workers are probably getting exposed to. (but I don't know how much is there..)

Re:Y2k crap (1)

an_Ex-Lurker (118108) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501475)

Usually, I'm one to let others relax in the safety of their own illusions, but this time I'm gonna let one slide.

I used to work for a software company that does CAD for 911 systems (several clients here in the U.S., your town might even be one of 'em) Anyhoo, the point is : the y2k preperation efforts were way behind last time I checked (which was last July, I confess)

Your faith that the companies will take care of everything is kinda quaint, like trusting the government to watch out for your own personal best interests

Consider that the last 3 versions of AIX were supposedly y2k compliant... they were doing "that old one isn't ready for y2k, but this one is" and they did it a few times... then consider that 911 depends on the functionality of AIX on several cities (some of these are major metropolitan areas)

it's gonna be an interesting evening for sure... I don't expect it to be as bad as some suggest, but it's not gonna be smooth either.

I'll be doing tech support at an ISP... I wanna watch the sparks fly from the front row :o)

Re:Isolationism (1)

Maurice (114520) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501476)

We have a Chernobyl type nuclear plant with 6 reactors (4 of them exactly the same as those in Chernobyl) in my country . The European Union wants us to stop those reactors, because of "safety concerns". And when we stop them, they say they will sell us electricity. Obviously the reators are working at full power :-) Oh yeah, my country is Bulgaria by the way.

Re:Wow. (1)

steelhawk (90209) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501477)

I agree...

The area around the reactor that had the meltdown can't possibly be ok to be in on a regular basis.

I think the problem maybe be that if they don't start that reactor people in the cities (and other places where the houses doesn't have stoves (or similar) will freeze to death... And therefore they think it's worth it...

Re:Radioactivity? (1)

Maurice (114520) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501478)

I remember reading a few years ago (in National Geographic magazine) that there was fish again in the lagunas of the Bikini atol. They were amazed that there would be life there so short after the nuclear experiments. And those were no core meltdowns but full fledged atimic bombs dropped on the island. So I am not surprised that Chernobyl is clean -- al the radioactive dust was blown away by winds and since the reactor was encased in concrete there is no more emission. Also, I would think that natural emissions from decay are much much less than those during a normal nuclear reaction Note: the fish in the Bikini atol were normal, i.e. no 4 mouths, human ears or anything of the sort.

Y2K not a big issue. (1)

Skinka (15767) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501479)

Old USSR reactors mostly rely on good old-fashioned analog techonoly, so Y2K should not be a big issue. Besides, while Soviet reactors may not be as safe as their western counterpars, they are by no means unsafe. After all, what happened in 1986, happened because some engineers thought it might be a good idea to turn off safety systems an do some experiments. There have been nuclear acidents in the US too..

Re:Wow. (1)

Skinka (15767) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501480)

I've been wondering that same thing. The city of Chernobyl is still still so polluted that living there is not possible, allthough short-term exposure is quite harmless. I guess they just cleande the plant so well that operation is possible. Chernobyl has been online for a long time, as the article states it was shut only fife months ago for some repairs. Now that the winter is comming, more electricity is needed to keep up with the demand.

Re:Isolationism (1)

Keefesis (70341) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501481)

We have to balance safety and need here. Frankly, I don't trust the Ukranians to do that impartially. During the cold war, Wester Culture made the Russians look like stupid, dirty fools. I dunno on what I base this, but I think they are. I do not trust them with the welfare of Eastern Europe. The plant has enough problems, If they need power then shut down some of their polluting industrial factories, more power for everyone else. They can also buy power, the US buys power from canada on a daily basis, and at other times, we sell it to them, a country's power grid is not 'closed.' I think they're making excuses just so they have another chance to irridiate Europe. My two cents.

Re:Wow. (1)

Maurice (114520) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501482)

I don't think they will be hit as hard as you think by Y2K, because their equipment is so low tech that usually it has no microchips that have date problems. Most factories probably use 60's technology which is Y2K bug free by default i.e. no computers at all. Sometimes low-tech is a good thing then.
I always wondered how would the water supply for example stop on Jan 1,00. What computer might possibly be controlling the water in the pipes and why would it depend on the date?

Re:Y2K not a big issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501483)

Now those engineers had the hacking spirit, eh? I mean hacking a nuclear reactor comapred to hacking an NT server?

Re:where did the core go? (1)

universalcurb (113612) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501484)

Well, thats _is_ what meltdowns do (reference the Hanoi Jane Fonda movie "The China Syndrome"). But not Chernobyl. It didn't melt down, it blew up.

One like it in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501485)

And there's one like it in the US, that is, it's in a sheet metal shed instead of a concrete container.

Chernobyl 3 (it was 4 that blew up) was restarted because there wasn't enough fossil fuel on hand to heat the building to keep the cooling water from freezing. Restarting it runs heat through everything for another winter. C1 and C2 were mothballed years ago.

I hope this paragraph puts your mind at ease, you won't have an explosion with your reactors, because Chernobyl wasn't an accident. The Russian engineers were testing the safety features of the core. They pulled out the moderator rods and shut off the cooling pumps to see how quickly the core would warm up. The core warmed up so fast, the sliders on the rods welded in place, the rods couldn't be zipped back in, and the rest, as they say, is history. So unless your engineers are as dumb as the Russians, you've got nothing to worry about.

Nuclear power vs. the rest (5)

jpatokal (96361) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501486)

I'm probably going to get roundly flamed for posting these heretical viewpoints, but as I happen to be serious, this isn't flamebait. =P

Nuclear Power as it stands is a dirty, nasty, dangerous business. We are playing with forces which we know can destroy us all, we are creating toxins and wastes that we hardly know how to deal with, and we are putting trust in that the next generations will solve our problems for us.

Nuclear power is considerably less dirty, nasty and dangerous than most practical alternatives today. A catastrophic failure of a nuclear power plant (and Chernobyl was about as bad as it can get) might kill a few dozen people, but perfectly normal operation of a coal or oil burning power plant kills a lot more people by releasing all sorts of nasty chemicals into the atmosphere, which then cause lung cancer and similar diseases. (I recall seeing a figure of 28,000 deaths per year quoted, but I can't find a reference right not. Oh well.) Then you have coal mine accidents, general pollution, etc. "Forces that can destroy us all" is ludicrous hyperbole, even a loaf of bread is radioactive and it contains those same forces.

Anyone here going to tell me that greenhouse effect is not real?

I will tell you that it is too early to tell. Global temperatures are rising, but not in the way it should be according to the standard global warming thoery. The reason for it may well be unrelated, as the Earth's average temperature goes up and down anyway. Less than 20 years ago there was widespread fear of a new Ice Age, ie. global cooling, based on exactly the same data.

Just the same, if the global warming theory is correct, the problem is fossil fuels. Nuclear power plants produce next to no greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is not ideal, but solar and wind power just aren't going to cut it, now or quite possibly ever, for places like Finland.

And a few links:

Getting back on topic, most Russian nuclear reactors are sufficiently primitive in design that they have very little software to even worry about. Russian reactors have far worse problems than Y2K, despite everything I said above I don't exactly like living near both Sosnovyi Bor and Ignalina...

Cheers,
-j.

Re:Nuclear power vs. the rest (2)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501487)


Actually this was my point. Nuclear power is bad, everything else is at least as bad.

-
We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.

Re:Propoganda (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501488)

That's a pretty good point. Nuclear fission -- if safely administered -- is a lot cleaner than coal or oil.

The problem seems to be that most nuclear installations are hamstrung by typical government silliness. Its one thing to have gaft, incompetence and corner-cutting and the local Ministry of Transport/Department of Motor Vehicles. Its quite another to do it at a nuclear plant.

Any Canadians here remember the "issues" with the Pickering facility in Southern Ontario:

  • The deuterium being flushed into Lake Ontario
  • the lead blanket that was left in the core area that melted and damaged the safety systems
  • The rather high instance of substance abuse (namely, the heroin-use needles in the garbage cans in the washrooms)
This sort of stuff scares me. How far off is Homer Simpson's work environment from reality? How do people in charge of these places sleep at night?

I'm all for nuclear power if its managed well. I believe France has a very well administered nuclear energy program -- there was an article in National Geographic a few years back that compared the American and French systems (and didn't do the Americans many complements)

Re:Nuclear power vs. the rest (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501489)

Well, there's Hydroelectricity...

Its not great (there's the issue of flooding an ecosystem and disrupting water flow along the rest of a river's course) buts its a damn sight better than burning hydrocarbons. And I feel a lot safer living near the Sir Adam Beck hydro plants in Niagara than I did when I was living near the Pickering nuclear plant (Ontario, Canada).

For the record, I'd never live near a coal/oil plant. I'd never live off of a major highway or near a steel smelter for the same reason

Its a pity geothermal solar and wind-turbine aren't practical alternatives for most of the inhabited world. And not every area has access to an exploitable river for hydro (despite the ecological problems)

Coal/oil and nuclear are about the only power sources that can be deployed regardless of geography. I hope I'm around when that changes

Re:Wow. (2)

legoboy (39651) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501490)

The city of Chernobyl is still still so polluted that living there is not possible, allthough short-term exposure is quite harmless.

A recent ducumentary puts the population of Pripyat (site of the plant) at 15,000 workers, plus a small number of people who returned despite the radioactivity of the area. (The other side: "Today Pripyat is a radioactive ghost town that will be abandoned for thousands of years." - Ukrainian Review no. 94, Spring 1996)

Hyperbole, perhaps? Not that I'm trying to make light of the fact that thousands have died as a direct result of the fallout from the meltdown. Most of the *known* fatalities were in the Soviet government's cleanup crew. As of three years ago, estimates were that eight to ten thousand liquidators had died from the radiation dose they received.

Your point, unresearched, seems a touch inaccurate. The liquidators (cleanup crew) were there for a short time (less than a year) and 10 years later, 1 in 60 of them were dead. Makes me feel slightly sympathetic for the semi-permanent residents. (Living there is possible, obviously, but not a very good idea)

Also, a BBC article [bbc.co.uk] about the first baby being born in the area since the accident.

------

John Andrew Holmes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501491)

Wow! *THE* John Holmes of porn fame?!

Chernobyl? (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501492)

Well, consider that Cernobyl's meltdown could have been prevented, were it not for the fact that Chernobyl's safety mechanisms and procedures made most other nuclear reactor workers cringe even then. If they've improved since then, which I'm sure they have (even the most scatterbrained comittee of politicians, pointy-haired bosses, and Windows zealots couldn't possibly be that stupid), then more power to the Ukranians (no pun intended).

All the same, I think I'll wait a few years to see how this thing runs before I go to the Ukraine...

Stupidity of people (1)

Listerine (7695) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501493)

The stupidity of people will never cease to amaze me. Not the stupidity of putting back up a nuclear reactor, but the stupidity of the tards trying to stop it for some reason or another.

HELLO!!!! We are running ourselves into the ground with Fossil fuels (no pun intended) and there won't be any left, but NOOOO! We cant have nuclear power because that might reck the environment! Yeah, makes sense to me.

People are idiots. I hate them.

Re:Nuclear power vs. the rest (2)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501494)


Noop, not true. The release of greenhouse gasses because of the massive decomposition of biomass under the damn is equal to that of a coal burning plant producing as much power.

If we were more rational about the dangers with nuclear power (no in denial like when the plants were first built, but not paranoia like today) it could be enough to tide us over until we get working fusion power.


-
We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.

Re:Y2k crap (1)

T-K9 (119280) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501495)

Wow! is there a moderator comment: 'Head in the sand'?

I have to admit that I have no idea what is going to happen next year, but for some of us it might not be pretty. You may be bored with Y2K, but it will be shown to be fact that we have immersed ourselves in shoddy technology. Out love afair with the 'New' and 'advanced' has created a world of computer dependcies that should scare you, because when you do not have food supplies (becasue you can't roll trucks), when you don't have heat (because the meters can't meter) and when you don't have water (becasue a chemical spill has detroyed your local water supply, you have a big problem.

Now you are saying, hey we have tornadoes,earthquakes, hurricanes and sure a couple people die but we always seem have the resources. Well, spread that kind of disaster to a global situation and there are no resources except your neighbors (I hope y'all get along) and you might get a glimmer of what this problem could be.

RANT
We have no one to blame except the technologists and business opportunists. It is apparent that our love of technology is taking us down a road that could be morally and spritually baren leaving us in a stirile, poluted, empty world ..

/RANT

Rod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501496)

My rod is solid!

Re:not our problem (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501497)

Read this analysis and then tell me it is "not our problem".

http://www.rain.org/~openmind/chernob3.htm

It's in the Bible...You Sinners! (0)

villeneuvegod (118211) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501498)

Revelations 8:11 talks about a star named Wormwood, which is what Chernyobl means, making waters bitter and killing people. Obviously the 1986 disaster was not the one the Bible was talking about.

I was just talking to a friend about how we were falling behind the timetable for the Apocalypse...This is just the kind of breath of fresh air we needed to prevent pushing the end of the world back another thousand years.

I can't wait to watch Jack van Impe next week!

Re:All reactors suck... (1)

Audin (17719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501499)

The design of the reactor at Chernobyl did prevent disaster; the only reason it malfunctioned was because things went wrong while basic safety measures had been circumvented for testing purposes. The Chernobyl disaster was a result of human error and coincidence, not design. Further, nuclear power remains one of the safest and most efficient forms of power today (until we invent cold fusion, anyway)

Nope. The Chernobyl reactor design was pretty bad. No containment building as a start.

Human error did start off the accident, but a horrible reactor layout let it get out of hand.

Of course whats really sad is that no one will fund advanced reactor design. Some existing (though untested at large scale) designs are physically incapable of Chernobyl-like accidents.

Nuclear is the one technology capable of providing us with practically unlimited amounts of clean, safe evergy. Yet the public is unwilling to expend even a little energy to study it's real capabilities and dangers. The vast majority are happy just to label anything and everything with the world "nuclear" in it's title as automatically mysterious and evil.

I still wonder what would happen if the public were made aware of the radioactive substances that are the core of almost every smoke detector on the planet. Jesus, there would probably be a national "burn your smoke detectors" campaign.

Re:where did the core go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501500)

I have seen a BBC documentary on this. The reactor lid (a vast slab of concrete) was blown off and the bottom of the reactor was forced downwards by the blast. The fuel in the core melted and ran out as a liquid glass-like substance. It then solidified in the rooms under the reactor - in this solidified form it is known as Chernobylite. Since the reactor is not running there is no danger that it will melt through the Earth's crust; but it is feared that the Chernobylite will gradually crumble to dust. If the dust then escapes, the contamination could be terrible.

Re:If they don't learn the first time...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501501)

They know the risks. They need electrical power *today*, not some clean'n'green solution in the waffly future. Radiation and cancer are problems that will occur in years to come. The Ukraine is trying to survive through next *week*. They're too close to the line to worry about next year before next year. Back on-topic: I haven't seen a single coherent discussion of the control systems at Chernobyl, and I have this vision..... Senator: Hey! The Russians are switching Chernobyl back on! Didn't they learn last time? Aide: It gets very cold in the Ukraine in Winter, sir. They may need the power. Senator: Wasn't it a computer glitch that blew it up last time? What are the Russians doing about the Y2K thing? Aide: Very little, sir. Senator: My God! (etc., etc.)

It's been working all along (3)

RelliK (4466) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501502)

This is a general response to those who are wondering what's happening.
Only the reactor 4 (the one that blew up) was shut down. Reactors 1 - 3 never stopped working.
Nobody has lived in Chernobyl since the accident because the radiation levels are too high. Nevertheless the plant was never shut down.

TAKE THAT YOU KARMA WHORE!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501503)

AND THAT GOES TWICE FOR YOUR LITTLE PUPPY DOG!

Re:One reason why (1)

pen (7191) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501504)

Actually, this is more of a guilt maneuver. It's something like "look what you're making us do by delaying the funds!"

--

Re:Isolationism (1)

Audin (17719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501505)

They do not even put the basic scrubbing systems on their plants that have black smoke bellowing out of them 24 hours a day.

How do you think these scrubbers work? Most of them are electrostatic...ie: they need large amounts of ELECTRICITY...exactly what their nuclear plants are there to produce.

Maybe we as a world we should spend more time worrying about what comes out of the factories besides packaged goods.

Then we need a clean energy source. And the only one avalable is nuclear.

And why should we as a nation give them aid? They screwed up, they can fix it.

This is just sad.

Re:Propoganda (5)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501506)

This sort of stuff scares me. How far off is Homer Simpson's work environment from reality? How do people in charge of these places sleep at night?

I grew up about 20 minutes from 3 nuclear reactors in Wisconsin, and also did a research paper about nuclear power in college where I got to have a tour of two reactors. Lets just say this, if all of what I saw and learned is true for all reactors, then I'm all for nuclear power.

First of all, if you've never been inside a nuclear plant, it's truly mind boggling. The amount of engineering that goes into a plant would make any geek scream with delight. I've never seen anything more sophisticated.

With that said, there are TONS of saftey precautions these places take. They have a main control room that is operated 24/7 by many people montitoring everything. If you think that the people in there are like Homer Simpson, you're dead wrong. They don't hire bums off the street. These people go through rigorous training. In fact, training happens as long as their there. They have a second "mock" control room, identical to the real one where they go through simulations of events, and the employees are graded on thier performance. There's obviously a first test before you even get to step foot in a control room, but even after that, I beleive it's every 3 months, they have to go through training again, and must pass.

Even with that there are many fail safes built into the reactor, and you have to really be an idiot to cause a meltdown. Much of what I was told there and read about what happened at Chyrnobyl and Three Mile Island, was just that, human error, and people not reacting to simple warning signs. Those tragedies could have been avoided.

I also live an hour away from a coal burning plant, and let me tell you, that is one of the dirtiest and nastiest things I have seen. I'm not saying that Nuclear Power doesn't have it's side effects (radioactive waste), but coal plants use so much fuel for so little energy and produce so much crap. Whereas, if you filled up a nuclear reacter, you basically could just feed off that fuel for a decade before you'd have used it all up. Nobody that lives around the reactors where I live thinks twice about it. They're quiet, and clean. The only biproduct is hot water, the waste, and electricity.

And the way I see it there are many solutions for the waste. One that has been talked about extensively is the Yucca Mountains, which is in the southwest US. I believe the Trinity test was done in this area (correct me if I'm wrong). This is the main proposed site for long term disposal of all nuclear waste in the US, but it is under much debate (mainly by people who don't know about nuclear energy). If there was a good place to store the waste, Yucca Moutain is it, IMHO. Other ideas are off shore containment facilities at the bottom of the ocean, which could be a good idea, since radioactive particles don't penetrate through water very well (if at all). However, the notion of "polluting our oceans with radioactivity" wouldn't get past the public (even if it is a false claim). There are other alternatives, like space, which are less feasable, but the reality is that there are safe places for this stuff. The waste now is held in caskets. I got to see one of them with waste in it. Perfectly safe. I believe they are tested to take a 100 ft drop and not crack. Basically, to make a long story short, in the right hands Nuclear Energy is VERY safe and reliable. Don't let popular culture tell you otherwise.

Re:where did the core go? (2)

Audin (17719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501507)

As mentioned by others, this isn't what happened to Chernobyl.

It's also extremely unlikely to happen anywhere else. Very likely a core moving in such manner would hit some volitile substance (like water), vaporize it and blow itself up in the process. Or, it would burn up enough of it's U235 such that it would shut itself down.

Finally, the CANDU (canadu?) reactors run on natural uranium. Natural uranium won't react without a moderator. So as soon as the fuel moves out of the reactor vessel it'll put itself out.

Interestingly, natural nuclear reactions in the ground are not unheard of. There is a uranium mine in Africa which has a lower U-235 content then other mines. It has been postulated that at some point in the distant past it's uranium underwent a spontanious chain reaction and burned off part of its U-235.

Re:Propoganda (1)

Audin (17719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501508)

Very well said.

I would only add that coal plants release huge amounts of radioactive contaminants along with their other chemical biproducts.

And in terms of waste, this is why we should be working on breeder reactors.

Re:Wow. (1)

Malatov (118404) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501509)

Not only did they plow topsoil over it, they also built a makeshift cover over the whole thing that was dubbed the "sarcophagus" to keep thousands (millions?) of tons of radioactive dust from being blown everywhere. Anyone remember the half-life of uranium? I don't offhand, but I remember that it is a hell of a long time. There are exposed core rods in there as well. I can't imagine that it would be safe to even work in the vicinity. I suppose they don't really give much of a damn either. People get cold and hungry enough, they will work in apalling conditions just to survive.

Re:If they don't learn the first time...... (1)

Audin (17719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501510)

Also take into account that you have to house the depleated uranium.

Depleated uranium has nothing to do with nuclear power reactors. DU is uranium which has had it's U235 extracted for use in atomic bombs (or nuclear sub reactors). Since there is a glut of extracted U235 on the planet at the moment, no one is refining it anymore.

Depleted uranium is also not terribly radioactive. It is used for tank-piercing shells and armor, for instance. Housing it is not a problem. It is no more dangerous then any other heavy metal.

I suspect the term you are looking for is "Spent fuel."

Why this is *SO* wrong (2)

razvedchik (107358) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501511)

Assuming that you think nuclear power is a good idea...

Assuming that the Former Soviet Countries have reliable industry techniques to control this stuff...

Assuming that the residual radiation in the area has subsided...

This is a very bad idea.

The reactors that melted down are not safe. They were covered with a "sarcophagus" of just plain concrete. Even last year, they were talking about the leaks from this thing getting so bad that they had to go in and repair it, but didn't have the $$.

When the reactors melted, they sacrificed thousands of soldiers that went in to put this concrete over the reactor. They didn't even give them protective equipment. All they gave them was some "anti-radiation" pills that prevented them from getting violently ill.

It's still impossible to get into the area. The residual radiation is too much, even if you don't take into account that it's leaking.

The facilities themselves are in a poor state. Iron beams that form the infrastructure of the facilities are weakened because of the extreme temperatures. Most of the switches on the control panels are melted together. This isn't like TMI, where there was an incidental release of radiation. Theis was a melt-down of critical proportions, just like a nuclear bomb went off.

The radiation from Chernobyl wasn't even reported by the Soviets. They wouldn't have said anything to the West. The only reason that we knew about this is that Finland detected the radioactive cloud over half a continent away (Geography lesson--the Ukraine is located on the Black Sea, way down south, and Finland is on the Arctic Circle). So, this radiation was strong enough to drift all the way north across eastern Europe and still be detected.

So, how do you pull off restarting the reactors?

1) Rebuilt all the facilities from scratch.

2) Get a team of *very* protected specialists to start up the equipment.

3) Network the reactors with a remote control station somewhere in Kiev.

4) Pray like hell--Ukrainians are Catholic.

Supposedly, the thing is Y2K safe, but who cares? I mean, this is such American thinking. Who cares about Y2K when there's Y-now.

Re:The most dangerous legacy of the cold war (2)

Audin (17719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501512)

...the long term cleanup/deposit of the large amounts of highly radioactive is still an unsolved problem. We don't really know what do with it.

Bullshit. Even without investing in breeder technology (which is already developed, but hasn't been proven on a large scale), nuclear waste it not terribly hard to get rid of. It has this vast advantage in that it's so dense it's easy to move and stash places. (As opposed to waste from coal and oil plants, which store their waste in the lungs of every living creature on the planet.)

Probably the best final disposal method is to shoot the waste (in metal containers) into the mud which covers the seafloor un the middle of the pacific. The mud is quite deap and has a very small particle size (to help contain the waste). Plus, of course, water is very good at blocking radiation.

Doing such a thing is terribly stupid, though. This "waste" is in fact a highly valuable fuel source in and of itself. We shouldn't be arguing about how to get rid of it. We should be developing ways the USE it.

Re:Stupidity of people (1)

Malatov (118404) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501513)

There are no perfect energy sources out there, each one has its drawbacks. Fossil fuels are pollutive, and emit gases that destroy the ozone. They are also unrenewable (at least until humanity destroys itself and in a few million years we become the fuel). Nuclear power has had safety issues (although there have been numerous safety advances) but it is not as efficient as was once hoped. Uranium costs a bundle. I think that in the coming century, we need to examine other alternative methods of securing a renewable, realitively safe, non-polluting source of energy. Any ideas?

Re: Solar power not significant??? (2)

techwatcher (112759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501514)

Okay, imagine you've just walked into a walk-in closet and closed the door. Bet you wish you had a light in that closet, right? Maybe you do -- maybe you have a really bright, 150-watt halogen lamp. Still see a lot of impenetrable shadows, do you? Suppose you put, oh, I don't know, a thick cloud of water vapour between your light source and the floor of the closet. Can you still distinguish your shoes down there?

Okay, now walk outside, on the cloudiest day of the year, and look around you. How many lights, placed where, and of what wattage, would you need to employ to achieve this level of illumination without your insignificant solar power???

Thousands of persons still use the sun to illuminate almost every significant activity, to dry their clothes, to warm themselves. Consider, too, the work accomplished by the sun in creating wind, harnessed by green plants to provide practically all our food, etc.

Solar power is far greater than your imagination can conceive -- it is merely our so-far limited ability to harness even a tiny fraction of this power which leaves us wanting more energy. It isn't the sun which "can't produce!"

Re:One like it in US (1)

Maurice (114520) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501515)

My, my. What do you know? For years after it was built the engineers WERE Russian. Oh, by the way I am not worried at all. Also, European standard requires 16 mm thick lead (.66 inch) casing around the reactors. In ours, they installed 45 mm. That's a lot of lead.

Re:Wow. (1)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501516)

Well, for years the soviet government has been bussing workers into the reactor to work and then out again at the end of the day. The area around Chernobyl has been evacuated since the meltdown, and is now inhabited only by a group of scientists that have basically cashed in their health for the possibility of studying the effects of widespread radiation exposure in an ecosystem. I would imagine that they are continuing the same type of deal. There was a very good documentary on TV some years back, probably on TLC on Chernobyl, concerning the scientists that work in the area observing the ecosystem and checking the failed reactor for safety hazards. I wish I could remember the name- wonder if anyone else does. Also, at the time there was a lo of worry because the sarcophagus over reactor 4 was starting to weather poorly, it had been thrown up pretty fast and the concrete was poor quality. Has there been any overhaul or repair performed on it? It seems like it would constitute a serious problem and danger by now.

Re:Why this is *SO* wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501517)

You are wrong. You are exagerrating. The only true thing is that they didn't report it. Only one of the reactors melted down. The others were restarted a few months after the meltdown.

Re:facility has two reactors left (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501518)

And about a week later, the background radiation count in the U.S. spiked, to levels not seen since the late 1950's. It wasn't Chernobyl, it was the DOE "secretly" cracking open two bad missle silos and a melted reactor, hoping that the newspaper headlines about fallout arriving from Chernobyl would cover their actions.

That must have been the same week that aliens abducted the President of the United States and the CIA stole your tin foil hat [tripod.com] .

Re: Want a bridge linking Brooklyn to Manhattan? (1)

techwatcher (112759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501519)

Huge income potential for the right person!

Seriously, folks... I come by my Y2K tremors honestly.. I've worked in the technological headquarters of rather a large number of brokerages and banks. With these eyes I have observed such stupidity and ignorance as would seem incredible to a trusting soul such as yourself.

Then again, you don't know me -- so, did you read the recent story about how NASA lost the probe orbiting Mars? Seems some bright coder failed to translate correctly from metric to feet in calculating the orbit, and it burned up because it entered the atmosphere (at about 60 miles instead of 150). Of course, you have to go to BBC for the horrendous details... the authorities and their media don't want you to realize how bone-headed even NASA's coders -- arguably brighter and more motivated than most -- can be.

If you're living in some cozy suburban home with a fireplace and you have plenty of water and fuel stockpiled, or you're down south where the temperature probably won't drop much below 45 degrees (F) the week after the New Year, you're probably safe enough. But those of us in NYC and other environments highly dependent on deeply interconnected technology have plenty of reason to fear. Just a couple of months ago, a sudden, completely unexpected rainstorm that fell only on Manhattan in the early morning knocked out the subways. So the buses and cabs were also effectively out of service since so many crowded onto them. If you were on your way to the hospital that morning, or desperately needed to get to the airport, you had a tiny taste of what COULD happen here the week of Jan. 1st.

When was the last time you heard of a predicted, expected power-outage??? They still happen in the greater NY metropolitan area -- even just last summer, blocks in uptown Manhattan were completely cut off for more than 24 hours, just because of high demand during a predicted heat wave!

The real danger is that relatively tiny technical failures can quickly cascade into life-threatening consequences in apparently unrelated systems. Remember the implications of complexity theory (one good reason to read the notes prefacing chapters of Jurassic Park, regardless of how you felt about the movie).

Pollution in Ukraine (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501520)

Yeah well i saw an aritcle on "Ukrainian Industry" about three years ago??? and it seems that they are not i need of electricity like they are in need of cleaner factories. They do not even put the basic scrubbing systems on their plants that have black smoke bellowing out of them 24 hours a day.

And does mr. smartass know what do those "factories" produce? Those over-polluting "factories" are either steel plants or, and mostly -- surprise -- power plants. Coal-burning ones because this is what Ukraine has.

Re:Y2k crap (1)

techwatcher (112759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501521)

Gotta agree with you -- a couple of times I've provided documentation for moving facilities or contingency planning, and I can tell you that when a commercial institution decides to move just one major software system from one clump of hardware to another, it takes almost a year of planning and thousands of man-hours to plan the move, test the changes, and actually accomplish the move. Such moves are always carried out over a weekend, usually a holiday (3-day) weekend, to allow for backup and recovery as necessary.

Y2K is equivalent to simultaneous facilities transfers for thousands of critical systems all over the world. To believe there will be no disaster is to have the faith of a small child. Even in the U.S., which is by far the most prepared nation, I expect at least one disaster (i.e., people will die) to ensue, probably in a large, old metropolitan area.

Typical... (1)

FlyHigh (89632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501522)

This is the typical reaction of the West (read US media). There is real need of the electricity there. This reactor may be spotty in it's reputation because of the accident but then that's the reason it's an accident. Do we go around asking whether US will use nuclear bomb on some country when clearly the history shows that the US is the only country that has used nuclear bombs ever and that was not an accident.

Re:Propoganda (1)

neuroid (6952) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501523)

Oh, I didn't say I bought the eco-freak propaganda, but I had heard that the area around chernobyl would be uninhabitable until 20xx..guess not...

Re:TAKE THAT YOU KARMA WHORE!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501524)

Problem is that he is allowed to put a +1 on each of his post and most of his posts are nonsence or restarting everthing in words such as "OH MY GAWD!, that is so AWSOME" and stuff that everyone knows but doesnt want to restate. Also his topics on each post are off-topic. Before this fsck posts anything under me restarting Karama jealousy (which he has in the past), i'd like to tell him to look at me and notice for the first time that I'm an Anonymous Coward.

Re:Chernobyl? (1)

hadron (139) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501525)

There was no meltdown. The only explosion was a regular chemical, which resulted in the release of lots of radioactive stuff. However, there was no meltdown, no nuclear explosion. If there had been, the other reactors at the site wouldn't even exist!

Ummmm... No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501526)

It means "Black Table", in reference to the fertile black soil in the region, and the flatness of the local terrain.


If you subscribe to conspiracy theories, at least make them somewhat consistent with reality.

It is perfectly safe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1501527)

As long as they have stoped the practice of refueling while the reactor is at power.(They didnt do shutdowns before) They tried to refuel number 4 during power operations a misalignment of the new fuel rods occured and created a supercritical reaction which produced a great deal of heat and basicaly caused the graphite coolant to phase change to a gas (like water to steam) and blew the top off of the pressure cooker (reactor). The China syndrome is impossible as the pressure/temp inside the earth is far greater then what any little reactor core could produce. (not to mention heat disapation) Supercritical reaction only means the fision produced more free neutrons then were required for the current reaction. Supercritical is not always a bad thing as when going from 10% power to 11% power all reactors do it. Subcritical meams fewer. Critical by itself means just the right number for current power levels.

Re: Solar power not significant??? (1)

lost_it (44553) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501528)

You are correct, perhaps I should have more carefully worded my statement. *Currently*, solar power is not a reasonable option. I certainly expect that to change in the future. Unfortunately, we're forced to live in the present, which, according to the article, is where the Ukrainians (sp?) are having their trouble.

Re:Isolationism (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501529)

We have to balance safety and need here. Frankly, I don't trust the Ukranians to do that impartially. During the cold war, Wester Culture made the Russians look like stupid, dirty fools. I dunno on what I base this, but I think they are.

I think that you are a stuck up, arrogant, chauvinistic, ignorant, gullible american dumbass -- what is slightly better than how Communist propaganda made Americans look and is slightly worse than what I see in most Americans, yet perfectly describes qualities, you just demonstrated.

Re:If they don't learn the first time...... (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1501530)

Where are your facts and figures? If you're willing to decide that the Ukraine doesn't *need* the electrical power, and that you already know the expected costs and benefits, where are they?

For what it's worth, you have to accept the possibility of mistakes. Ever cross a street? The solution isn't to avoid risk, but to manage it competently. In this industry, that should mean having a well-designed plant where safety measures such as shutting down a reactor happen as smoothly as possible, and having a trained, competent staff... not by running away and pretending that the need for power isn't there.
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