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Author Topic:   Japan
Taq
Member
Posts: 10190
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 76 of 175 (609097)
03-16-2011 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Rahvin
03-16-2011 2:25 PM


Re: for Rahvin . . .
63 people died [from the Chernobyl catastrophe], with another ~200 over the next decade (the World Heath Organization actually lists only 50 fatalities due to Chernobyl, but I can be generous).
Any number put out there is going to be speculative. How many people developed cancers that they would not have otherwise developed due to the Chernobyl meltdown? Impossible to say, but I don't think anyone would argue that people probably did develop cancer due to genetic damage caused by contamination from the meltdown. WHO focused on acute cases of radiation poisoning, and those numbers are accurate and are not speculative.
Part of the issue is the psychology of radioactivity. People can't see it, taste it, or even see it under a microscope like we can with bacteria. People have irrational fears when it comes to something dangerous that they can't understand through one of the five senses. I have personally handled radioactive materials, and it is a bit spooky to hear the Geiger counter start screaming for the brief period that you are transferring concentrated working stocks. I have had to work with I-125 for a some protocols and I know that I followed every safety precaution, but I still get a little tense waiting for my thyroid scans to come back (every single one has been clean, but still . . . ). I consider myself to be a very rational person, but isotope work still makes me a little queasy.
It is very different for other forms of pollution. We can see and smell cigarette smoke and car fumes. We can see the smoke coming out of coal stacks. We can look at pictures of germs and mold to help us understand how disease is caused. We see these things all of the time in our regular day to day life. Radioactivity is just . . . different.

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dronestar
Member
Posts: 1425
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008


Message 77 of 175 (609106)
03-16-2011 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Rahvin
03-16-2011 2:25 PM


Re: for Rahvin . . .
Hey Rahvin,
Did you rush your last post? It was all over the place. My response will awkwardly follow its path.
Rahvin writes:
despite your red herrings about evacuation orders and "increased radiation" being detected
"MY"? "MY" red herrings? I'm just reporting the facts, M'am, just reporting the facts. If you have a problem with the facts, take it up with the people who reported them. I'm just the messenger. I can only base my argument on what other people are reporting from Japan. I am not there.
Rahvin writes:
I have provided solid numbers regarding the casualties caused by nuclear power.
Solid? You mean SPECULATIVE. Because how can anyone give SOLID numbers of the total cancer victims killed by Hiroshima and Negasaki? How about cancers caused by Neveda test sites and the winds that carried over towns to see if populations were affected? Same with Chernabyl, can you give me SOLID numbers who have died from cancer and who WILL die from cancer from that accident?
Rahvin writes:
Again, hydro is NOT a primary form of generation
Niagara is the biggest electricity producer in New York State. How could BIGGEST be construed as SUPPLEMENTAL?
Rahvin writes:
There just are not enough geographical locations to build enough plants,
Yes, I heard your bare-assertion before. Do you have studies that show that small hydro plants, constructed every dozen miles on the Mississippi River or any other major river in N America, could only ever be supplemental?
Rahvin writes:
Those numbers objectively refute the idea that nuclear power is unsafe when compared to other main-line power generators.
Oh, puhlease . . .
Rahvin writes:
112 people died during the construction of the Hoover Dam
Oh, come on now. Are you joking? You're gonna use people who died in construction as "victims" of hydro power?
Rahvin writes:
47 people died at a Russian hydroelectric plant
Oh, come on now. Are you joking? How many hours did it take you to find this obscure-hardly-related-to-hydro-power-plant statistic? (What's next, a wash room attendant slipped on a wet floor in a Hydro Power plant, absolutely proving that hydro power plant wash rooms are 100% more dangerous than nuclear power washrooms ). From your site. . .
Authorities say the disaster occurred when an oil-filled transformer exploded Monday and flooded a machine room housing the plant's turbines.
C'mon.
Rahvin writes:
per terawatt of energy produced, hydroelectric power kills 885, coal kills 342, natural gas kills 85, but nuclear kills only 8.
First of all, you got this statistic from a highly biased nuclear-fuel propaganda site. Secondly, it doesn't describe what these numbers mean or how they were derived.
Rahvin writes:
Nuclear power seems to scare your pants off, dronester, for absolutely no rational reason.
Curiously, for some illogical reason, you think the following is "absolutely no rational reason".
ordering 140,000 people living near nuclear power plants to stay indoors and seal their doors and windows.
we are at a level six, which is an intermediate level between what happened at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl
You're still not hearing me Rahvin. For the third time, I am not anti-nuclear. Did you read my post Message 65 regarding Small Town Nukes? I like it.
For the many-th time: It appears that the Fukushima and Chernabyl power plants are catastrophes caused by the lack of: extraordinary regulations, extraordinary designs, extraordinary laws, extraordinary laws, extraordinary diligence, and extraordinary maintenance. The same companies that built Fukushima, are hoping to build more nuclear power plants in the US. There's a saying, "you cannot fix a problem by the same mind that continues to cause the problem". There's a god reason I do not want Michael Jackson baby-sitting my kids, and there's a good reason why I fear the companies who will build the nuclear power plants with continuing inattentive regulations, bad designs, and corrupt oversight from the government. Have the Bush Jr. year's taught us nothing? Did you read my last post with the link about Greed/lax oversight?:
Reports: Lax oversight, 'greed' preceded Japan nuclear crisis - CSMonitor.com
Rahvin writes:
"Increased radiation" doesn't mean you're going to die, or get cancer,
Yes, I agree. Just like smoking a carton of cigarettes will not necessarily mean you'll get lung cancer. Or eating a gross of twinkles everyday will not necessarily make you obese. However, what's the rule and what's the exception? if you were a good father, would you still allow your children to do either?
Rahvin writes:
More people die in a single day from car accidents.
Yes, and if I had a BETTER, SAFER, CLEANER option than car transportation, I would urge its use too. (cough, cough, . . . Amtrak)
Rahvin writes:
Now either provide numbers proving my assertions wrong, or concede that you haven't looked at a single goddamned fatality statistic to back up your emotionally-spawned irrational fearmongering.
First of all, what's with the attitude? "goddammed"? "emotionally-spawned irrational fearmongering"? I am reminded of Crashfrog. Rahvin, I enjoy our debate whether I win or lose, so unless this is a childish debating technique, let's try to stay civil.
Secondly, your numbers from your last post were a little, let's say, . . . dubious.
Rahvin writes:
Fukushima would have to be worse than Chernobyl, by far.
OK, then why don't we revisit this thread after the Fukushima disaster ends and then we can tally. I sincerely hope your rose-coloured-glass-prediction is correct and I am wrong.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Rahvin, posted 03-16-2011 2:25 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 78 of 175 (609110)
03-16-2011 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Dr Jack
03-16-2011 3:17 PM


Re: for Rahvin . . .
I would have thought Three Mile Island would qualify if this event does.
Nobody died. TMI was a near disaster, not a real disaster. Additionally, TMI taught us a great deal and has significantly influenced designs since then. It was definitely a big scare, but with no casualties, I can;t call it a disaster.
The list I used earlier was a compilation of nuclear power plant accidents totally greater than $100 million in property damage and/or multiple fatalities. There are likely several "incidents" that didn;t qualify under those terms.

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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 79 of 175 (609117)
03-16-2011 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by dronestar
03-16-2011 4:55 PM


Re: for Rahvin . . .
"MY"? "MY" red herrings? I'm just reporting the facts, M'am, just reporting the facts. If you have a problem with the facts, take it up with the people who reported them. I'm just the messenger. I can only base my argument on what other people are reporting from Japan. I am not there.
Every single solitary thing you have posted regarding evacuations and such has been a red herring, because it has nothing to do with the actual dangers of nuclear power. Over a hundred thousand people were evacuated at Chernobyl, yet only 63 people died with ~200 following over the next decade! Evacuations are a precaution, a safety measure to prevent unnecessary casualties. If I knew a coal plant was about to explode, I'd evacuate the area too!
Per terawatt generated, roughly 8 people die due to nuclear power. Coal, oil, and even hydroelectric cause hundreds of deaths per terawatt generated. If you dispute those numbers, give me different numbers and your source. If you cannot, you have no evidence to support your argument.
Because how can anyone give SOLID numbers of the total cancer victims killed by Hiroshima and Negasaki? How about cancers caused by Neveda test sites and the winds that carried over towns to see if populations were affected?
Are you mentally challenged?!. Those were bombs, they have nothing whatsoever to do with nuclear power, that's like comparing the gas in your car as a fuel source to a MOAB fuel-air explosive bomb in a risk assessment!
I gave the actual recorded casualty numbers for every incident involving nuclear power from the 50s to the present. I also gave casualty numbers for other nuclear incidents, things that involved handling, storage, and processing of nuclear material not at a power plant. If you want to dispute those numbers, provide your own source. Until and unless you can give an independently-sourced casualty number that records a higher death toll than what I found, you have no evidence to support your argument. End of fucking story.
You cannot argue with supported evidence unless you can either point out a logical fallacy in my argument or provide new evidence of your own that shows my data to be suspect. You have not done so. It's time to put up or shut up. Do you have data that shows that nuclear power causes more death than other primary means of power generation? If so, present it. If not, concede.
OK, then why don't we revisit this thread after the Fukushima disaster ends and then we can tally. I sincerely hope your rose-coloured-glass-prediction is correct and I am wrong.
The news I hear is continually worse and worse. I think it goes withotu saying that we all hope for a minimal loss of life.
Even so, to make up for the difference in the numbers I was able to research, Fukushima would have to go up like a nuclear warhead...and that's just not how they work, even when they break.
ABE:
The same companies that built Fukushima, are hoping to build more nuclear power plants in the US. There's a saying, "you cannot fix a problem by the same mind that continues to cause the problem".
The type of reactor in the Fukushima plant was banned from new construction in the US in the early 70s because it's frankly not very good. There are far better designs in use, and any new construction would obviously involve a design newer than a plant that should have been decommissioned long ago. In fact, as I recall, Fukushima was scheduled to be shut down until it got an extension...just months ago.
Edited by Rahvin, : No reason given.

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fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 4251 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 80 of 175 (609129)
03-16-2011 7:05 PM


on a differnt note
I would like to acknowledge the men/women who are trying to bring this crisis under control at the power plant. By doing their jobs, they are putting their health on the line. No matter how you feel about nuclear power these people need to be recognized. No matter the outcome these people are HEROS, though I suspect most of them would disagree.
Edited by fearandloathing, : No reason given.

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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 81 of 175 (609131)
03-16-2011 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by fearandloathing
03-16-2011 7:05 PM


Re: on a differnt note
I would like to acknowledge the men/women who are trying to bring this crisis under control at the power plant. By doing their jobs, they are putting their health on the line. No matter how you feel about nuclear power these people need to be recognized. No matter the outcome these people are HEROS, though I suspect most of them would disagree.
Because deaths caused by major nuclear disasters are, on the whole, not immediate (even acute radiation sickness can take hours or days depending on exposure, and by the time you actually feel the effects it's already too late), at least some of those working to contain the problem are already doomed, and know it. Just as in the Chernobyl disaster, they continue to work and do their jobs, knowing their lives are already forfeit, because by continuing to do their duty they will save the lives of others.
If that's not a hero, I don't know what is.
Still, I'd rather not need the heroes in the first place. This reactor should have been retired and replaced with a far more modern design...or at least retrofitted with the safety upgrades that everyone else performed post-TMI.

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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 82 of 175 (609132)
03-16-2011 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Rahvin
03-16-2011 7:26 PM


Re: on a differnt note
The area of power production and distribution is one (of many) that IMHO should be highly regulated as a limited vested monopoly where profit is NOT based on revenue but rather a percentage of infrastructure investment.
It's time to toss capitalism out of the energy field again.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 83 of 175 (609133)
03-16-2011 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by jar
03-16-2011 7:38 PM


Re: on a differnt note
The area of power production and distribution is one (of many) that IMHO should be highly regulated as a limited vested monopoly where profit is NOT based on revenue but rather a percentage of infrastructure investment.
It's time to toss capitalism out of the energy field again
I can agree with that. Learning from our mistakes is worthless without additional spending to update infrastructure with the lessons learned...and private industry has a rather large disincentive to spend money as it is.

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1.61803
Member (Idle past 1610 days)
Posts: 2928
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 84 of 175 (609182)
03-17-2011 10:40 AM


I am still do not like the attitudes of many of the talking heads, and nuclear power shills continually down playing the severity of this crisis. It is just as bad in the other camp in the media exploiting this as well. What does one believe? I am no expert or academic in the field of nuclear power production. I do understand many of the points brought up about how one or two accidents decades apart with minimal body count does not constitute scrapping nuclear power as a option.
I simply do not think humanity is responsible enough to take on the responsibilty of harnessing the atom for power. There are so many fucking things that can go very wrong, very fast and with very long lasting effects.
Arguments for nuclear power can point out the amount of deaths from a forrest fire started by some dipshit using fire to boil water at a camp site exceeds the amount who died in Chernobyl.
But hell when a fire goes out grasses and trees grow back.
Look at Chernobyl today. That is the difference folks. imo.
One can say more people die from accidents at home, so should we ban homes? Argument from absurdity.
One can say more people die from car accidents or your more likely to get struck by lightning than die from a nuclear plant fall out. etc. Really? When people die from a accident at home or a car accident they die from trauma not some incidious invisible energy cooking theyre cells. Animal life and plant life do not get contaminated. That is the difference folks. All the glossing over the death toll numbers will not change how long lasting the contamination last, and that should at least give pause to using such means to boil our water for power.
Oh but the new designs are better, safer, etc.. really? is'nt that what they say about every freakin power plant that ever went online?

Replies to this message:
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Son
Member (Idle past 3936 days)
Posts: 346
From: France,Paris
Joined: 03-11-2009


Message 85 of 175 (609184)
03-17-2011 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by jar
03-16-2011 7:38 PM


Re: on a differnt note
Yeah, I've never understood why people want to privatize energy production and distribution. The large infrastructures needed for it will always garantee a monopoly/near monopoly for the producer meaning there is no advantages(for consumers) when compared to public ownership and only disadvantages.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by jar, posted 03-16-2011 7:38 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 86 of 175 (609190)
03-17-2011 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by 1.61803
03-17-2011 10:40 AM


How different is it?
1.61803 writes:
Arguments for nuclear power can point out the amount of deaths from a forrest fire started by some dipshit using fire to boil water at a camp site exceeds the amount who died in Chernobyl.
But hell when a fire goes out grasses and trees grow back.
Look at Chernobyl today. That is the difference folks. imo.
Look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did grass and trees grow back? And NO nuclear plant accident would be of the magnitude of those two events.
And let's look at Chernobyl and Pripyat (the city). Grass, trees and animals have returned and almost no signs of mutation in plants or animals have been found. In addition the exclusionary zone has a radius of 19 miles and within that area the amount of contamination varies with only a small percentage of the zone showing major contamination.
Kiev, only 60 miles or so from Chernobyl is still a functioning city last time I checked.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by 1.61803, posted 03-17-2011 10:40 AM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 87 of 175 (609192)
03-17-2011 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Son
03-17-2011 11:02 AM


Re: on a differnt note
Son writes:
Yeah, I've never understood why people want to privatize energy production and distribution. The large infrastructures needed for it will always garantee a monopoly/near monopoly for the producer meaning there is no advantages(for consumers) when compared to public ownership and only disadvantages.
The US had a system that served both the needs of the consumers and also provided a large part of the social safety net, but we decided to throw it away.
In the US, Utilities (power, water, communications, sewer, etc) were granted limited monopolies for an area. Their coverage, services and rates were controlled and they were guaranteed a set rate of return on their investments in plant, service and infrastructure.
That, the guaranteed rate of return, also made Utilities a very safe and secure investment, one that could provide a reasonable base for someones' retirement income.
It was a win win situation for all.
So we threw it away.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Son, posted 03-17-2011 11:02 AM Son has not replied

  
1.61803
Member (Idle past 1610 days)
Posts: 2928
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 88 of 175 (609198)
03-17-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by jar
03-17-2011 11:37 AM


Re: How different is it?
Hi Jar, yes trees and grass grew back, I sort of meant it tounge in cheek. Even though the trees and grass grew back the town is still a ghost town due to still high levels of radio activity.
The Bikini Islands has minimal if any detectable radioactivity in the surrounding waters, but the islands fruits, particularly coconuts are still contain radioactive cesium.
A forest fire even though kills more people does not pose a long term potential for contamination was my point.

This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34120
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 89 of 175 (609199)
03-17-2011 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by 1.61803
03-17-2011 12:15 PM


Re: How different is it?
But the areas that are actually contaminated are only a very small percentage of the exclusionary zone. The town itself was only existed to house the on site people that worked at Chernobyl and at the abandoned Soviet Area over the horizon radar facility.
There are lots of abandoned towns, many for environmental reasons, many like Pripyat for economic reasons.
Look at Centralia, PA. For long term contamination, look at the list of US Superfund sites.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 88 by 1.61803, posted 03-17-2011 12:15 PM 1.61803 has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 90 of 175 (609202)
03-17-2011 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by 1.61803
03-17-2011 10:40 AM


Wrong.
I am still do not like the attitudes of many of the talking heads, and nuclear power shills continually down playing the severity of this crisis.
What news are you watching? All I keep seeing is "nuclear power BAD!" and "ZOMG RADIOACTIVE!" There's no careful analysis of facts going on, just pandering to public hysteria. We have media outlets in some countries suggesting that California and even places as far away as Poland are at risk of radiation sickness from the Fukushima plant, and saying that all of Tokyo will become a depopulated ghost town!
I'd like to read some downplayed news at this point. It will likely be closer to the truth than the hyperventilating pinheads who think nuclear power plants are like nuclear warheads.
It is just as bad in the other camp in the media exploiting this as well. What does one believe? I am no expert or academic in the field of nuclear power production.
And neither am I, but there is a lot of information readily available if you take some time and look. I was easily able to find information about radiation sickness and fatality rates for given amounts of exposure, as well as details on reactor design. The Fukushima plant is a pretty old model whose new construction was banned in the US in the early 70s. It was popular around the time ot Three Mile Island, and after that near-miss, multiple safety upgrades were retrofitted to reactors of that type - but apparently not the Fukushima plant. The turbines used to pump coolant water were too weak, the tsunami took out most of their external diesel power generators (used for running the coolant and other emergency systems in an emergency)...as time goes on the picture of what went wrong is becoming more and more clear.
I do understand many of the points brought up about how one or two accidents decades apart with minimal body count does not constitute scrapping nuclear power as a option.
More than that, it means that nuclear power is safer than other methods. When 9/11 happened, lots of people avoided flying and drove instead. Did 9/11, an individual disaster with the added emotional impact of being a terrorist act rather than a mechanical failure, actually mean that flying was suddenly more dangerous than driving? Of course not - but fear is stronger right after a disaster, and human beings are frankly terrible at estimating real risk.
I simply do not think humanity is responsible enough to take on the responsibilty of harnessing the atom for power. There are so many fucking things that can go very wrong, very fast and with very long lasting effects.
Why? France alone has 59 nuclear power plants, none of which have ever experienced a meltdown or other major disaster. In fact, the accidents France has experienced have been no worse than accidents experienced at fossil fuel plants - a few employees hospitalized in the worst cases, some extended reactor shutdowns in others.
They even reprocess their spent fuel - pundits and political idiots in the US are terrified of following suit due to the fear that terrorists will somehow steal the processed fuel and make a weapon, yet this has not happened in France.
I have to argue very, very strongly that, even though plenty of mistakes were made with the Fukushima plant, the problem here is not human irresponsibility, but rather the 1-2 punch of one of the worst earthquakes on record (it's been upgraded to a 9.0), something nobody could have predicted or prepared for, followed by a massive tsunami. The plant actually held up pretty well to the earthquake; it was the wall of water disabling their backup diesel generators and hindered emergency response that really caused problems. I don't think this example demonstrates at all the lack of sufficient responsibility to manage nuclear power. I think this incident rather demonstrates that it takes a major disaster to cause a nuclear power plant to damage it sufficiently to cause a nuclear incident, even with major safety oversights.
I'm curious - what do you think wouldn't break down in a 9.0 earthquake followed up by a tsunami and strong aftershocks? Do you think disasters on that scale are something that can be prepared for? If so, how? If not, then how can this be the result of human irresponsibility?
Chernobyl was an example of human irresponsibility and stupidity, as they simultaneously tried to test how long the reactor could hold up if all of the safety measures failed, while seeing how hot they could take the core. The heat from the uncontrolled reaction distorted the tubes through which the control rods would lower such that they got stuck, disabling their ability to lower the rods and regain control.
Fukushima is an example of how mother nature can fuck up your plans. I don;t think it's reasonable to expect anyone to have prepared for a 9.0 earthquake followed by a tsunami, not when all the other quakes recorded in the area have been in the low-7's range.
Arguments for nuclear power can point out the amount of deaths from a forrest fire started by some dipshit using fire to boil water at a camp site exceeds the amount who died in Chernobyl.
But hell when a fire goes out grasses and trees grow back.
Look at Chernobyl today. That is the difference folks. imo.
Yes, granted, in the case of a major nuclear disaster like Chernobyl, the presence of the radioactive core creates an exclusion zone where it is dangerous for humans to venture for long (depending on how close; you can cross the line into the exclusion zone at Chernobyl and be just fine if you don't stick around for days, but if you actually approach the plant itself...well, just don't do that).
Fukushima may wind up that bad (it depends on whether the fuel rods go critical and start an uncontrolled reaction, an actual meltdown. If that doesn't happen, we might still be able to clean up the site and remove the damaged fuel rods and reactors). In that case, this would be the second such exclusion zone in the history of nuclear power.
One can say more people die from accidents at home, so should we ban homes? Argument from absurdity.
Pointing out the real relative risks involved is necessary to make an objective analysis. This is a time of fear, where people will irrationally assign a higher risk factor to nuclear power than is justified by any analysis of data. The objective facts state that nuclear power causes the fewest fatalities per terawatt of power generated among reasonable competing methods of power generation by far, meaning nuclear power is objectively the safest among those methods. It's no different than pointing out to people just after 9/11 that they're more likely to die of a heart attack or a car crash or a lightning strike than to be the victim of an airline hijacking.
One can say more people die from car accidents or your more likely to get struck by lightning than die from a nuclear plant fall out. etc. Really? When people die from a accident at home or a car accident they die from trauma not some incidious invisible energy cooking theyre cells.
Dead is dead. Insidious invisible energy attacks our cells all the time - you're more likely to get skin cancer from solar UV exposure than to suffer a single negative effect from radiation from a nuclear power plant.
Coal power plants release ash directly into the air that not only causes acid rain but also increases the natural concentration of Uranium and other radioactive elements in coal by several orders of magnitude, such that people living in the so-called "stack shadow" of a plant can ingest radioactive materials and have an increased risk of cancer.
You're more likely to get radiation-induced cancer from a coal power plant than from a nuclear plant.
These risk factors are all necessary to point out, because again, this is a time of extreme fear, during an ongoing nuclear crisis. When other forms of power plants have disasters, it's typically not a drawn-out horrific media event like a nuclear reactor disaster. We have a media feeding frenzy building up fear and outrage and nobody is stopping to a) remember that the real culprit here was an earthquake and tsunami that have killed over 11,000 people that we know of so far and b) remember that even after this disaster, unless it turns out to kill thousands of people, nuclear power still causes fewer fatalities per terawatt generated than any other major power generation method.
Animal life and plant life do not get contaminated. That is the difference folks.
Absolutely false. Have you ever heard of a coal seam fire? The most notable example occurred in Centralia, Pennsylvania in 1962. The entire town and surrounding area now have an exclusion zone much like Chernobyl, except instead of radiation, there is a literal fire burning underground that has been burning since 1962 and continues to burn today. This has contaminated the air, earth, and water in the region beyond repair.
Nuclear incidents are not the only ways human beings can completely ruin an area.
All the glossing over the death toll numbers will not change how long lasting the contamination last, and that should at least give pause to using such means to boil our water for power.
We should give proper pause and real concern regardless of the method of power generation we choose. Centralia, Pennsylvania is every much the cautionary tale of what can go wrong as Chernobyl, with the invisible killer of carbon monoxide gas instead of radiation. I have not in any way "glossed over" fatality numbers in this thread - I have been the only one, in fact, to attempt to accurately report them using actual reported statistics. That the death tolls do not justify a level of fear you may personally find appropriate is a problem with your own irrationality in analyzing the data, not a problem of discounting the deaths.
If you value human life, you must then agree that the method of power generation that produces the fewest fatalities per unit of power is the safest, regardless of how frightened you are of the specific manner in which those fatalities are generated. A human life is a human life, and the loss of a life to radiation is no more or less important than a life lost to black lung, or a natural gas explosion.
Only by accurately and objectively stating the fatality rates can we avoid understating any death and accurately choose the safest method of power generation going forward. If we let our emotions rule us in a time of crisis, if we choose a method that objectively causes more people to die per unit of power as a matter of simple fact, then we will cause more death, not less.
Oh but the new designs are better, safer, etc.. really? is'nt that what they say about every freakin power plant that ever went online?
New models of automobiles are safer than older models. We have seatbelts now, and airbags, and crumple zones.
Nuclear power plant design has evolved significantly due to the analysis of what went wrong in such cases as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. I'm certain we'll learn more from Fukushima as well. The reactors being built today do not use even a similar design to the Fukushima plant, whose design was banned from new construction in the US four decades ago.
The problem is that because of the large cost of building a nuclear power plant (as opposed to the relatively cheap cost of running it) makes private industry reluctant to decommission older models. That means that the older, less-safe and less-efficient designs are still in use today, long after their designed lifetimes. They've been largely retrofitted with upgrades to their containment and coolant systems, but their inherent design is still outdated and they should be decommissioned in favor of new designs that incorporate the lessons we've learned from the start.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by 1.61803, posted 03-17-2011 10:40 AM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by 1.61803, posted 03-17-2011 2:50 PM Rahvin has replied

  
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