• Global Warming

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 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-03-13 07:32 PM


When Professor Lowe says " That is why most of the developed world is rejecting nuclear power in favour of renewable energy and improved efficiency." he is dodging the issue just like the Green groups, many mainstream politicians, and you too!  There is nothing wrong with renewable energy and better efficiency, of course, but he doesn't address the core issue of how most of our electricity is going to be generated. There is  no possibility, at least in the foreseable future,  that a combination of the the so-called renewables and better efficiency is is going to be able, reliably, to generate the quantities of energy which are currently generated by coal and nuclear power.

So , unless we are all prepared to drastically cut down on our electricity usage, and  accept that we may not have any at all for periods of time, then the stark choice is between coal and nuclear power. You obviously don't like to say which one you prefer!  

BTW If there is any radioactivity under my collar the chances are that it emanated from a coal fired power station!


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-03-15 07:58 PM


"The nuclear option does not make sense on any level: economically, environmentally, politically or socially. It is too costly, too dangerous, too slow and has too small an impact on global warming."

We hear this kind of unsubstantiated argument all the time. 

I would point to the French experience of nuclear power to refute every one of these points. The French generate close to 80% of their electricity from nuclear power and it has had no discernable political or social cost. Economically, the French have their problems like many other European countries, but the they haven't been caused by high electricity prices. If it were really too costly,  why are Germany, the UK and others buying as much electricity as the French can physically supply?

Too dangerous? All the evidence is that when nuclear power stations are properly designed, and operated correctly, they are safer than coal fired alternatives. Coal has to be mined and that is where the real danger is.

Too slow? I'm not sure what you mean by this. Would you prefer them to be speeded up somehow? Having decided that they are going to follow the nuclear path, the French do seem to just get on with it all without too much fuss.

Environmentally and on Global Warming?  Far from making 'no sense', nuclear power stations  do in fact make the most sense on these points. They emit less radioactivity than coal fired power stations and their CO2 emissions are on a par with the renewables like solar and wind. The French figures for per capita emission of CO2, even though they are a big electricity exporter,  are less than half of those for the UK and Germany and less than a quarter of those for the USA, Canada and Australia.

After Chernobyl, it has been easy to be critical of nuclear power. That type of accident must never be allowed to happen again. It is a bit more difficult to suggest an alternative that doesn't involve either condemning the planet to environmentally disastrous global warming or completely shutting down the world economy.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-03-24 11:50 PM

Cyberman, now that you have moved over to the dark side you may not want to consider this report:

It points out that the nuclear program in France was set up to be free of public scrutiny with no parliamentary oversight and to be completely secret. The Government investment in the program basically bankrupted France for many years.

So this is the future as seen by Cyberman and his LS mates; secret government funded (Muggins us - taxpayers) programs designed to benefit a narrow clique of corporate/government bodies.

There is no way a nuclear program in any country can compete with all the new low carbon technologies that are coming on line (some are base load). What you and your new found allies want to do is lock us into an already antiquated technology that requires fascist type government/corporation arrangements to be in any way viable.

If you want armoured trains plying the Adelaide to Darwin railway line through 30km exlusion zones and constant overflights by predator drones and a ring of steel around Darwin; you will get it when Australia agrees to become the repository of the world's nuclear waste.

Welcome to the Brave New world of radio-active Cybermen.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-03-25 07:53 AM




I thought you’d let the argument go unopposed! Well, yes, I do have to admit it. I am radioactive, but, then again, so are you. Typically the average Australian would contain 10000Bq of radioactivity and be exposed to 3mSv of radiation per year. That would be the same amount as 5kg of coal ash, which is quite highly radioactive by comparison.



Averages do not give the complete story, An Australian living in certain areas, on top of naturally occurring Thorium or Uranium ores, could be ten times more radioactive than average and receive an annual dose of radioactivity of 30-50mSv. The most naturally radioactive part of the world is the Ramsar region of Iran, where the inhabitants are reported to receive typically 260mSv per year, which are two orders of magnitude higher than the average Australian or American. Surprisingly, the life expectation of people living in the region is not measurably different from those living in similar, but less radioactive regions of Iran.



If, and when, nuclear reactors are built in Australia, the radiation received by the average person, even if they have jobs at the reactor or happen to live near a nuclear waste geological storage site,  will be little different to what it is at present. In fact, if nuclear power displaces coal, it probably will fall slightly!



The LS comrades have probably already accepted the scientific advice that nuclear power is a relatively safe, and clean,  technology with no immediate fuel supply problems . You have already accepted the scientific advice that AGW is a serious issue. I would say that we should not pick and choose on matters scientific. Either we accept scientific theory, and scientific advice,  as a general package or not at all.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-03-25 09:25 PM



I meant to ask you about "There is no way a nuclear program in any country can compete with all the new low carbon technologies that are coming on line (some are base load). "


Well OK I'm listening. I would be very interested to know more, and how and where this is happening in the world. Oh , and please don't forget to include the % figures and all the relevant details.


Wind turbines, geothermal and solar generation may be OK for a few percent of energy supply but I have yet to see any examples of how any low carbon emission technology, other than nuclear, can offer a serious alternative to coal-fired electricity generation.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-03-25 09:31 PM

Oh boy - so the Cyberman solution to the nuclear waste probelm is to distribute it uniformly around the globe and the problem will go away! Now that's lateral thinking for you.

Well we can have nuclear reacors in every city and province, the police state that must go with them, to keep the "Terrorists" away from these tempting targets, will no doubt be of great comfort to Cyberman and his LS "comrades". 

Get this "I would say that we should not pick and choose on matters scientific". So in your pathetic world view science is to be unmediated by human needs and social requirements ?

No doubt the totalitarian control you advocate would be massively improved if they implanted a transmitter/video camera and microphone and a GPS in every  person. Such a brave new world Cyberman. "I would say that we should not pick and choose on matters scientific". Remember?


On scientific advice; I do not blindly accept it, I test it. I check out its source - if I am looking for advice on nuclear power I tend to discount the advice of the nuclear pimps that you so admire.

I guess if you want every nation to build bombs to protect them from the "Islamofascists" then you will advocate a global nuclear program. Now there's a slogan for you "Global nukes against Islamofascism".


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-03-26 12:12 AM



You're getting a bit silly now! I didn't say that we should spread nuclear waste evenly around the world. The Iranian radioactivity has been there for millions of years and is all natural. There are those who would say that natural radiation is wholesome and 'organic' but scientifically there is no reason to believe that it is any better or any worse than the human induced variety. Not that I am advocating setting the safety limits anywhere near what we find naturally in some parts of the world. I just make the point that the words radiation and radioactivity are not synonymous with death and cancer.


You may have taken 'The Simpsons' TV program too literally, as it seems to have been highly influential on your world view of the nuclear power industry. You don't see quite the same number of hot lumps of flourescent green coloured metal on a real nuclear reactor site! Civil nuclear power chiefs are no worse and no better than anyone else in the capitalist world. If they see an argument in favour of their product then they'll use it. Why wouldn't they? But, to you they are all the evil Mr Burns.


When you've calmed down you should take a look at some safety figures such as these

The figures for the world and particularly the non-OECD are very much skewed by the Chernobyl incident. But even so the figures for nuclear power look very good by comparison with the alternatives.


There are many more tempting targets for terrorists than a modern nuclear reactor. They'd probably kill more people if they hijacked a plane and crashed it into a large dam or an oil refinery especially one with large fuel storage  tanks. Is that an argument against hydro power or oil ? Of course the right level of security on a nuclear plant is needed but there is no need to get too hysterical about it all. Its much less of a problem than maintaining security at an international airport.


Of course, you and anyone else, can look at all the information and still decide  they don't want nuclear power. That's fair enough. My wife wouldn't buy anything that was genetically modified no matter how strong the scientific advice that it was safe. But let's not pretend that any rejection of nuclear power is based on  scientific evidence.

Edited by Anita as the above link was too long in the form it was done and affected the width of this post.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-13 08:17 PM



Your infatuation with nuclear power needs to be tempered by a few realities.

  1. Nuclear power requires the most extensive and intensive support structures of all power generation technologies, so much so that these structures had to be financed by the nuclear weapons programs (Taxpayer funded)
  2. So far a safe and permanent waste repository has yet to be found despite over 40 years of work, all repositories investigated so far have been shown to have serious safety problems
  3. No insurance company in the world will insure reactors against civil damage
  4. Governments have to fund the de-commissioning of reactors, or the power generated becomes too costly
  5. The new "enhanced " fuels rods will require at least twice the present volume for safe and permament storage.



Read this: http://www.waterkeeper.ca/content/drink/canadas_nuclear_fallout.php

Extract  DEEP RIVER, ONT. -- He was a newcomer to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, a refugee from the Crown-owned nuclear facility at Chalk River who brought with him a sparkling bit of inside knowledge.

His colleagues were reviewing a set of safety upgrades, designed by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. to modernize the NRU, the 50-year-old research reactor that supplies more than half of the world's medical isotopes. "Staff in Ottawa were totally convinced that thewere in," said one CNSC insider who spoke on condition of anonymity.The new man knew better: Not all the upgrades were done.That bit of information - confirmed days later in November by AECL - launched a frenetic 10-week tussle between the company and Canada's independent regulator that led to the shutdown of the isotope-producing nuclear reactor, so vital in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and heart disease. Fearing an international crisis, the government intervened, overruled the regulator and ultimately fired its president, Linda Keen - a move that stunned the global nuclear community.”

Another report from Canada

“In August 2000, safety commission official Barclay Howden said in a public meeting that losses of senior Atomic Energy staff meant the reactor no longer had "the depth to fix the problems or prevent them." Howden heads the CNSC directorate that directly oversees operations at Chalk River.

In May 2001, a safety commission report complained that Atomic Energy of Canada had deliberately concealed test failures of a vital emergency shutdown system at the trouble-plagued new reactors intended to take over isotope production from NRU. Observers said the incident was the most serious breakdown in federal nuclear safety regulation since the 1950s.”


Now Cyberman if a bunch of Grade A anal retentives like the Canadians cannot keep their house in order, cannot go on without sacking their nuclear safety watchdog what hope is there for a country such as Indonesia where feudal corruption is a way of life?

Lest it be thought that the skills to build and operate Nuclear reactors are deficient only in developing feudal countries let us look at the Opal reactor that was built in Sydney recently

Following the discovery of loose fuel plates during a routine inspection, the ANSTO announced on July 27, 2007 that the reactor would be shut down for 8 weeks to fix the fuel plates and a minor fault causing light water to seep into the reactor's heavy water.[5][6]

According to reports, during the examinations no radiation leakages were detected, although it took much longer than 8 weeks to obtain the necessary clearances to complete repairs and readjustments. ANSTO announced on 25 October 2007 that the reactor would remain shutdown until early 2008 while it sought approval from ARPANSA to restart the reactor.[7][8]

As of March 2008, the reactor remains shutdown. According to an ANSTO news release on 22 February 2008, "Late last week, ARPANSA submitted a series of questions on the application, which ANSTO will respond to as quickly as possible. This is expected to take some weeks."[9]


This is a really girly little 200MW pool reactor that any mug should be able to build. Not our technology savvy Aussies apparently. 

More on safety and the fudging of reports:



France the safest nuclear power industry?



Hers is an (old) list of global nuclear accidents




  <"" type="#_x0000_t75" id="_x0000_i1025" o:button="t" alt="" target="_blank" style="WIDTH: 7.5pt; HEIGHT: 7.5pt">

The following nuclear reactor accidents have occurred: 1957, Windscale, UK; 1965, Idaho Falls ID, USA; 1966, Detroit MI, USA; 1969, Saint-Laurent, France; 1975, Brown's Ferry AL, USA; 1979, Three Mile Island PA, USA; 1982, Kozluduj, Bulgaria; 1983, Constituyentes, Argentine; 1984; Greifswald, Germany; 1986, Gore, OK, USA; 1986, Chernobyl, Russia. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) more than 250 nuclear reactor accidents have been kept secret. The costs of such accidents are very high - the Three Mile Island accident was estimated to cost $500 million to clean-up, plus the costs to those inhabitants who lived nearby and left the area either permanently or for a short time, which amounted to $19 million. Nuclear explosion at Chernobyl caused evacuation of 135,000 people, death of 31 workers and immediate fall-out and the poisoning of agricultural land in the Soviet Union and Europe from relatively long-lived radioactive isotopes. The number of fatal cancers that might develop worldwide as a result of the accident could range from zero to 17,400, among local population between 5,000 and 25,000

In 1991, there were 165 incidents with nuclear reactors in Russia. Fifty-eight incidents involved the Chernobyl RMBK reactor, but twice as many reported incidents involved VVK reactors, which are supposedly of a safer design. Of the 165 incidents, only 37 were regarded as insignificant. There were two serious radiation leaks”



Basically Cyberman nuclear technology is too complex, too hard and too unsafe for widespread utilisation. It is yet another fantasy of the order “let’s invade Iraq and make them democratic and bring peace and prosperity to the dark age muslims”  I’m afraid.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-14 03:57 AM


I haven't time to go through your posting on  a point by point basis but I would suggest that you'd make a stronger case for yourself if you referenced your assertions as you made them.

For instance you say that insurance isn't possible for nuclear reactors and yet a quick google on the issue throws up  http://www.uic.com.au/nip70.htm  which tells a different story.

You previously rubbished a reference I posted on the relative safety of nuclear power.  I do agree that the figures were almost unbelievably good. OK fair enough, but where are the alternative figures that would better support your argument and point of view?

Your use of the term  "girly little 200MW pool reactor" is not the most PC of writing :). You'll lose 50% of your target audience if you alienate female readers in this way. I gather that you feel 200MW is quite a low power output. I also remember that you favoured choice of energy generation is geothermal power. So maybe you'd like to tell us, with a few examples for illustration, how 200MW of geothermal power compares?

No-one would be advocating the use of nuclear power if sufficient electricity could be generated with solar and wind power. The renewable energy sources aren't, at present, going to cut it in terms of providing the necessary output with which to power a large scale industrial economy. We need to look again at the arguments, both for and against, nuclear power, in a rational manner,  without getting all emotional and silly, and bringing into the argument the US invasion of Iraq!



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-14 04:21 PM

Cyberman, you have become just another Imperial toady I'm afraid. The push for global nuclear power comes from the US. It is seen as a way for the US to control global power generation. Small reactors (<500MW) will be packaged up in the US and sent to developing countries. They will be sent back to the US for refuelling. Thus the global power generation will be entirely controlled by the US (Russia wants some of the action). In any event the Imperial powers will be able to control the "lesser races" by withdrawing their power generation facilities.

For a proper scientific take on this and allied programs read this: It comes from the Federation of American Scientists.

It's all about  politics Cyberman, and here is my little robot friend thinking he was on to something that transcends politics.


From "New Scientist"

A US government-led plan to design small nuclear reactors for deployment in developing countries is continuing despite ongoing fears about security and proliferation risks.

The Bush administration has ear-marked $20 million in its 2009 budget toward the US Department of Energy's efforts to design nuclear power plants in the 250-to-500 megawatt range as part of its Global Nuclear Energy Program (GNEP).

The money marks the first substantial commitment to building the new plants since President Bush announced the program in February 2006. The latest nuclear plants designed for US domestic use have capacities about 1300 megawatts.

GNEP, which now includes 21 member countries, hopes to begin construction of its first reactor in a country currently without nuclear power in 2015, saying the plants will provide a clean, safe source of electricity.

Nuclear green

"These will be deployed in a responsible way that is safe and secure and offers the lowest possible risk for proliferation," says Daniel Ingersoll of GNEP and the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Global energy demand is expected to be 50% higher in 2030 than it is today with 70% of this growth coming from developing countries. "They are going to grab whatever power sources they can," Ingersoll says. "We think nuclear power offers a better option than fossil fuels and there is no way renewables alone will be enough."

Countries that build the reactors would have to agree to use nuclear power for civilian purposes only and to forego uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities that can be used to develop nuclear weapons, GNEP says.

Nuclear batteries

Nations with established nuclear capacity would supply fuel and collect spent material for reprocessing to ensure no fuel went missing. "Fourth generation" reactors could be built with a sealed load of fuel that lasts the lifetime of the reactor – like a disposable gadget with a non-replacable battery.

But Elena Sokova of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, US, is sceptical.

"At this point, there are no proliferation-proof reactors," Sokova says. "If a country develops a reprocessing program, they then have the ability to turn the fuel into the plutonium needed to make a nuclear bomb."

The "light water" reactor designs proposed require spent fuel to be stored on site at a plant for several years before radiation levels are low enough for shipping, she points out.

Floating reactors

Sokova says the GNEP plans may burden developing countries with challenges and responsibilities they are unprepared for. "If you are start pushing this technology, many countries are not ready for it in terms of highly trained personnel, maintenance, and security against terrorist threats," she says.

"I think we should proceed with caution and make sure we are making good assessments whether there are good reasons for exporting this technology," Sokova adds.

Countries worried about relying on others for fuel may want to develop reprocessing capabilities of their own, she says. Banks of fuel that are guaranteed by multiple countries could lessen such concerns, but do not yet exist.

Until the US and other GNEP member nations – including the UK, Canada, China, and Russia – act together, there is a risk other countries will go it alone with less transparent or secure alternatives.

Russia is also interested in alternative reactor designs, starting work last year on the first of seven floating reactors, some of which it hopes to export. Estonia has its own plans for underwater reactors.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-14 09:16 PM


Well we can all call each other names. I like to think that I haven't done too much of that sort of thing since my primary school days :) Its a sure sign that you are losing the argument. Probably the hardest argument part of the pro-nuclear argument is the waste disposal and storage aspect. So, having failed  to show that nuclear power is intrinsically more unsafe or more expensive than coal power, and that nuclear reactors are uninsurable etc,  you might want to take a look at that aspect of the argument. You might be able to make a few good points.

I've read the links about those small portable reactors too and they may establish a share of the reactor market in the future. Probably not more than a minor part though. If you analyse what you are saying it is along the lines of:  American, European and other capitalists have an interest in selling nuclear power. Therefore nuclear power is a bad thing. I suspect that there is also an element of : Nuclear power can be used for atomic and thermonuclear weapons. Therefore nuclear power, even if used for peaceful purposes,  is a bad thing.

In the main, the French have a different view, which strikes me as being a lot more 'grown -up', on the nuclear question:


There it is possible to be left wing, pro the environment, and still see the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear power without being called a 'flagorneur'.






 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-15 04:00 PM

Cyberman the last paragraph of the URL you posted reads

"Nuclear waste is an enormously difficult political problem which to date no country has solved. It is, in a sense, the Achilles heel of the nuclear industry. Could this issue strike down France's uniquely successful nuclear program? France's politicians and technocrats are in no doubt. If France is unable to solve this issue, says Mandil, then "I do not see how we can continue our nuclear program."

Do you know hoe much progress there has been on the provision of a safe waste repository over the past 50 years ?

Exactly zero. All the "safe' repositories have been found to be inadequate despite the attempts by the nuclear industry to bribe cajole, lie and cheat their way to nirvana.

Of course the Cyberman solution might work, spread the waste uniformly all over the planet.

It's all too hard Cyberman, too hard, too dangerous and too risky and just so last century technology.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-15 06:55 PM

Yes the nuclear waste issue does cause the most problem. As the  article on the French experience explains, it is not so much a technical problem as a human or psychological problem, which means that the wishes and fears of the local populations concerned have to be carefully handled . It looks like the French are on the right track to solving this.

Sites which are geologically suitable for the safe storage of nuclear waste even in a small country like the UK aren't hard to find. Politically, it is a different story of course.

Writing that nuclear power is too hard, and  too risky is quite easy. Substantiating your argument with facts and figures is a bit harder and  obviously too difficult for you.

You seem to be persisting in this strange idea that I've suggested spreading nuclear waste uniformly all over the planet even after I have told you that I haven't ever said anything of the sort. I don't want to worry you, but you do seem to be having some difficulty in  separating fact from fantasy.

You might think that nuclear power in is 20th century technology,  but where is your 21st century alternative to 19th century coal burning CO2 emitting technology? 

This post has been edited by anita because the actual link was too long and it affected the width of the post and made it difficult to read.  (hoping this works first time)

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-15 08:34 PM

Cyberman, this is the best the Yanks can do for nuclear waste storage.



"The most expensive public works project in the US was today in disarray after it emerged that a planned giant nuclear dump would be located on a faultline.

Rock samples from deep within Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, showed that the fault runs directly beneath the site where the US federal government planned to store 70,000 tonnes of highly radioactive waste.

More than $8bn (£4bn) has already been spent on the $58bn project, which had been due to open in 2017, but the proposals - approved by George Bush in 2002 - may now have to be redrawn.

Samples taken from 76 metres below the surface of the mountains, which are around 90 miles north-west of Las Vegas, revealed that the Bow Ridge fault passes hundreds of metres to the east of where scientists believed it lay.

The measurements were backed up by US Geological Survey maps and a letter, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported yesterday.

The fault is now thought to run beneath a storage pad where spent radioactive fuel canisters would be cooled before being sealed in a maze of tunnels inside the mountain."

Now cyberman it may be that you are entirely sanguine about the $58 billion cost for a repository for the us nuclear waste - they have spent $8billion already and it is entirely wasted. It has taken 20 years and they got it totally wrong!

Do you really believe that any-one else is going to have better "luck"?

It was you who made the point that if you didpersed radioactive stuff enough it is perfectly safe, I could only presume that you were offering a solution.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-15 09:55 PM


Well I've done a text search for the words 'dispersed" and 'perfectly safe' and nothing else comes up apart from your usage. Maybe you wouldn't mind copy and pasting what I actually wrote?

I agree that the sums of money do look amazingly high for the work that is involved. From what I'm told by people who work in the UK nuclear power industry, there is so much red tape and bureaucracy  that the costs blow out of all proportion for even the slightest task. So little radiation is allowed to be emitted, that to say the standards are "Rolls Royce " is an understatement. There are two orders of magnitude more radiation emitted from coal fired power stations and yet the same rules do not apply to them. If they did they would all have to close down at once, be treated as radioactive waste, and be decommisioned at the cost of billions of dollars!

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-15 10:30 PM

Cyberman, so its the bureaucracy that  is at fault is it? OK then how about a "free market" approach they could pay you to store some radioactive waste in your backyard. At least you would be able to find your way to the lemon tree at night, it would be sitting there with a pale green glow.

If you had bothered to read my post you would realise that the problem with Yucca mountain was not "bureaucracy" it was plain stupidity. No-one thought to check the actual fault line. Indonesia is building a reactor right on a fault line, right now. You would gain considerable credibility if you went to live right next door to it. The clear implication of your posts have been that radiation is not a problem we just need to learn to live with it.

BTW can you name a single coal fired power station that has exploded like Chernobyl or melted down like Three Mile Island? Or pissed radioactivity into the Irish sea or irradiated the neighbours like Sellafield and just about every Japanese reactor? Or that has been used to manufacture nuclear weapons?  

I think that you are actually making a meal out of the "difficulties" that attend to all the alternative generation sources so that you can pose as a "modernist" by rooting for nuclear.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-16 02:52 PM


I'm quite surprised at your attititude. Normally you like to display your technical knowledge in  posts,  but here we find you equating radioactivity with flourescence which is just a nonsense. You can't expect to learn much science from TV cartoon programs.  Even if I did have radioactive waste in my backyard I still wouldn't be able to see any better in the dark.

"The clear implication of your posts have been that radiation is not a problem we just need to learn to live with it." What I am saying is that we should take a scientific rather than an hysterical view. Radiation occurs naturally and all living things have learned and evolved to live with it for millions of years. If you were so worried about radiation that you sought to minimise your exposure at all times you'd never take another plane trip - ever. Aircrew do receive more radiation, on average, than people working in nuclear power stations but even so there is no statistical data to show that their health is affected as a result.


It seems odd that 60% of the UK is considered technically suitable for the long term storage of nuclear waste and yet the only place considered suitable, leaving aside the question of the possible geological fault line,  in the USA is Mt Yucca. I'd be surprised if this choice wasn't driven by ill informed public opinion. There is a line of argument which goes along the lines of: Radioactive waste contains elements which have a half life of a million years. Therefore it is going to be deadly for a million years. Therefore we need  geological storage which is is stable for a million years or maybe ten million years just to be on the safe side. Again, this is just nonsense. Radioactive waste is at its worst when it contains elements of with a short half life. Spent nuclear fuel rods are highly radioactive but after 50 years most has decayed away and less than 0.1% remains. After 500 to 1000 years the level of radioactivity is back to the level of the Uranium ore which was used to produce the fuel rods. 

Nuclear power is too hard? Why should you think that , Dalek?

PS Can I take it that your failure of supplying the quote that I asked for is tantamount to an apology?  


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-16 04:32 PM

Cyberman you are a humourless little robot.

Your stuff about 'plane trips and radiation is just nonsense, you would have to fly for about 1-2 months/year to even slightly increase your ionising radiation dose. Sure the aircrew are subject to slightly more - perhaps - but it is not as simple as your nuclear wonks at Arpansa would like to make out.

But here's the best bit re the choice of Yucca "I'd be surprised if this choice wasn't driven by ill informed public opinion" wow if "ill informed" public opinion can generate a Government spend of $58 billion how much more would an informed public opinion generate?

The facts are that no country has yet found a safe place to store radioactive waste.

No country has managed to find private insurers for nuclear power,they have to put tyogether agovernment backed consortium. nNo country has yet to design or build a nuclear reactor that is more than 1% efficient. No reactor in production is intrinsically safe. No nuclear power system can operate without a massive infrastructure. Every country with nuclear power has had to contend with serious leaks, meltdowns and "accidents" that result in far more than a few mS to a few people. 

BTW $58 billion would build an awful lot of artificial geo-thermal power stations.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-16 05:36 PM

Oh I see. Your equating radioactivity and fluorescence was an attempt at humour was it? Well, I should point out that those of us who know that they are quite different have heard the 'joke' before, but for those who don't , and you'd just need to ask around at your workplace to find out that by and large people wouldn't be sure, you are just re-inforcing a popular scientific misconception.


There is no insurmountable technical problem to the safe storage of nuclear waste. The problem is largely political. Even if it can be scientifically shown that anyone who may be living directly above a nuclear waste storage site would receive less than a tiny dose of radiation, maybe the equivalent of a couple of transcontinental plane flights, there will always be someone who comes along to say that it is too much. And in a way they are right. You are not correct to say that "you would have to fly for about 1-2 months/year to even slightly increase your ionising radiation dose" . Just one flight will do it. Its a bit like smoking,  every cigarette does you harm but the effects from just one cigarette, or just one flight,  are very tiny. But there will always be a tiny proportion of the worlds population who are unlucky and that tiny risk will turn out to be more significant. But you have to be sensible about it all. Statements like "No reactor in production is intrinsically safe" are quite meaningless. What do you mean by "inrinsically safe" ? Does anything meet a definition that implies absolute perfection? All I can do is give you the figures to compare the safety of nuclear power with the alternatives. They are so good  you can't believe them! And yet you haven't produced any evidence to show they are incorrect.


I wondered how long it would be before you used the word geothermal. I've really nothing against it,  but the idea that all you have to do to create a viable power station is just drill a deep hole pretty much wherever you like is unproven to say the least. Even among the 'renewable' energy sources: solar, hydro, and wind, geothermal would at present be contributing the least. I think we agree that the first three, although they certainly have their uses, aren't capable of taking over from coal. This is the global warming thread and I should just perhaps state the obvious, in that the reason for wanting to get rid of coal fired power stations is because of their high CO2 emissions. The idea that geothermal power could overtake every one of them in the next ten years, which is the sort of timescale we should be looking at, and be a seriously in a position to offer a viable alternative to nuclear power is really quite unlikely. 

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-16 07:09 PM

Cyberman you said. "The idea that geothermal power could overtake every one of them in the next ten years, which is the sort of timescale we should be looking at, and be a seriously in a position to offer a viable alternative to nuclear power is really quite unlikely.

Talk about cloud cuckoo land! How many effing nukes do you think you can build in the next ten years? I can tell you - not many. Read this

You cannot even get planning permission to build a coal fired power station inside 3 years -anywhere.

Nukes have long lead time components - like 5-6 years. Then you have to organise fuel etc.

The new "intrinsically safe" high efficiency reactors are at least 15 years away. The term "intrinsically safe" is not mine it it comes from your beloved nuclear industry.

Get real Cyberman. Here is the list of prospective new nukes for the us   the earliest completion date I can see is 2016. They are all 20th century retards. Note the caveat the list does not mean that the reactors are firmly committed it simply means an expression of interest. Note also that your beloved Bush administration has had to offer a bribe of $500M to even get companies to offer an expression of intent.

Now get some DOE figures for prospective energy production in the US, the table on p13 shows a change from 8.21 Quadrillion Btu's in 2006 to 9.05 Quadrillion Btu's in 2020 and 9.57 Quadrillion Btu's in 2030.

Basicially, a fuck all increase Cyberman and this is a proven and safe technology.

Take some time to read my URL's Cyberman and you might begin to understand that the dream of nuclear power in every back yard is fast fading.

Give me $58 billion dollars (the money they were going to waste in Yucca mountain) and I will have holes and turbines in every back yard.