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Is replacing carbon with nuclear waste a rational decision?
by paving on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 04:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes. Nuclear waste is a containable problem which becomes less of a threat with time on its own. Halflives, and all that jazz - it doesnt really take all that long before the waste contains less radioactivity than the original ore did, so if you take the long view, nuclear power makes earth less radioactive. Carbon, on the other hand, messes with the climate. Which is going to be just a tiny bit  more of a problem than blocks of glass in copper barrels encased in betonite clay, sealed with concrete and 120 meters of bedrock.
by Thomas on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 05:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulations to Thomas for recommending that we plan our energy policy on geological time scales.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 06:29:59 PM EST
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Global warming shouldn't be encouraged by appealing to irrational fears of possible contamination.

We need to operate on deaths per KwH. Nuke wins hands down.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Thu Jan 5th, 2012 at 10:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irrational fears of possible contamination seem to have a reasonably secure basis in the reality of the past decades.

No one here is advocating for more coal and other fossil burning. So your straw dog disappears. Then the comparison with renewables must take place, on a time scale of millennia.

Not one person on this planet is capable of making an adequate judgement of the effects of nuclear power, since a) we are only just beginning to understand genetics, and b) we don't have a handle on real costs or real time frames.

What we do have is hard, commercial evidence, that overcoming cost barriers and massive supply chain scale up has already been proven on a global scale for renewables, which can't be said about nuclear.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 03:53:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spoken by a true engineer.  You'll feel differently when one of those kw/h kills your family directly.  
by paving on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 06:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the people who die from lungcancer, other airway ailments and a gazillion toxic effects (coal), falling(renewable workers) and in natural gas explosions, are somehow not dead?
One should never forget that Deaths per kwh calculations have rather large errorbars, but they are the best way we have to evaluate the hazards of various generation systems.
by Thomas on Sun Jan 8th, 2012 at 05:11:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's somewhat meaningless to claim anything about deaths from Fukushima at this point. For one, you'll need at least a few more decades, as well as an open process. Second, the entire culture around medical statistics will have to evolve to more transparency and less obfuscation.

No one in their right mind ignores the lethal nature of coal as king killer, and the other fossils as part of a poison in this civilization.

PS. Fish count too, especially in Japan.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Jan 8th, 2012 at 08:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of people have missed that the supposedly open Western democratic free market state of Japan has actually been more secretive and less concerned with the fate of its citizens than the Stalinist socialist etc Soviet Union.

Not that the SU was a textbook example of openness. But it's still rather hard to find solid basic data for contamination and exposure from Fukushima.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jan 9th, 2012 at 09:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of people have missed that the supposedly open Western democratic free market state of Japan has actually been more secretive and less concerned with the fate of its citizens than the Stalinist socialist etc Soviet Union.

More secretive, yes. Less concerned with the fate of its citizens... that's hard to argue when you consider the sort of hazmat gear the Soviets sent their cleanup crews in with (or not).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 9th, 2012 at 09:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - possibly.

One never knows if rumours like these are true.

But when TEPCO has such a reliable record of spin and terminological inexactitude, almost anything could be going on.

It's also interesting that the last radiation survey focused on external sources only and apparently made no attempt to check for internal contamination.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jan 9th, 2012 at 10:18:55 AM EST
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I might start leaning towards believing that when somebody somewhere implements some sort of a spent fuel dump. Right now we've got 70 years of accumulated material with no place to put it.
by asdf on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 06:58:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See How Sweden deals with nuclear waste by Starvid on August 16th, 2006.

But yes, by and large we keep running our nuclear plants with no plans about what to do with the waste. See, for instance Nuclear dump (of final storage and German elections) by DoDo on September 27th, 2009.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 7th, 2012 at 07:11:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wherein I point out:

The original story here, "How Sweden deals with nuclear waste" is the pro-nuclear story. It needs to be read carefully to sort out what "could" be done with the high-level waste from what "is" being done, i.e., it's being stored in "temporary" above-ground sites just like it is everywhere else.
by asdf on Sun Jan 8th, 2012 at 08:32:57 PM EST
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High-level waste is not stored in "temporary" above ground sites in Sweden. The only above ground-storage in Sweden is the hot fuel which is stored for a year in the reactor pool until it can be moved to CLAB. Which is an underground site deep down in the bedrock, 20 metres down IIRC.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Jan 9th, 2012 at 12:35:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is so far moving according to schedule.

Since Starvid wrote that piece, SKB has chosen Forsmark  as location (so much for my industry sources) though the final decision rests with the government. Latest news is contracts with the consultants needed to construct the place where the waste will be encapsulated (new part of CLAB) has been put up for tender. Encapsuling is scheduled to start in 2025 and be in full speed in 2027. The process is lumbering on in its own slow pace with no visible signs of halting.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jan 9th, 2012 at 03:23:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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