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The floating nuclear reactors would provide power and heat to Arctic regions

Russia's Atomic Power Agency and an Arctic military shipbuilding plant have both agreed to build the world's first commercial floating nuclear fission reactor, which should be in use in as early as 2010.  The first floating reactor that Rosenergoatom and Sevmash build is estimated to cost around $336 million -- it will be deployed in a remote, sparsely-populated region on Siberia's northern coast, where electric and thermal supply is very limited.  Russian president Vladimir Putin hopes to bump the nation's electricity generated by nuclear reactors from 17 percent to 25 percent.   

Although Russian authorities believe floating nuclear plants are safe, not everyone is as supportive.  Environmentalists like Charles Digges, editor of a Norwegian and Russian arctic nuclear publication, believes that floating nuclear plants are "absolutely unsafe - inherently so."  However, the head of Russia's Federal Atomic Power Agency has dismissed all criticism while saying that there will not be a floating Chernobyl incident.

Nuclear fission isn't the only game in town anymore.  ITER, JT-60 and EAST are all racing to increase the world's knowledge on nuclear fusion as well.


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good idea
By ForumMaster on 6/19/2006 4:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
it's not dangerous anymore and chernobyl can't happen again as long as they use modern designs which they will. people have been living happily near nuclear reactors in ships and submarines for a long time without anything happening to them. nuclear technology is a lot safer then it was 15 years ago and even a lot of environmentalists now agree that nuclear technology is the key to saving the earth.




RE: good idea
By NT78stonewobble on 6/19/2006 5:03:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well I wouldn't say that it wasn't dangerous, a lot of things are.

But still even chernobyl resultet in a relatively "local" pollution compaired to the worldwide effects of CFC gases and co2 pollution.

Personally I think we should all have gone a head in the sixties and built as many plants as possible. We wouldn't have to catch up to base energy production on something else than oil today. And the practical problems of waste and others from the nuclear power plants would have been solved by now atleast by actual experience on the subject...


RE: good idea
By xit2nowhere on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: good idea
By Griswold on 6/19/2006 7:15:30 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
But still even chernobyl resultet in a relatively "local" pollution compaired to the worldwide effects of CFC gases and co2 pollution.


This "local" pollution affected all of europe, which translates to a radius of like 2000km around ukraine. So, if increased radiation levels on all of the eurasian continent, that can still be meassured today in some european regions, is the result of just one reactor block blowing up, what could the effects of 2,4, 10 such incidents be? And there will be more incidents in the future. Nothing is 100% foolproof.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 9:26:29 AM , Rating: 1
> "This "local" pollution affected all of europe"

No, it "affected" nothing. It was measureable (briefly) across a large swath of Europe, as a tiny increase in the background radiation we're all constantly bombarded with. Of course, anyone living in a mountainous state already receives a far higher dose than Europeans did from Chernobyl...and they receive that dose day in and day out, each and every year of their lives.

> "Nothing is 100% foolproof"

Exactly! Which is why we should use the safest technology we know to generate power. Which is western-style commercial nuclear power plants. Cumulatively, they've logged over 10,000 reactor-years of operation, all without one single fatality. Coal, oil, not even hydoelectric is as safe.


RE: good idea
By DEMO24 on 6/19/2006 9:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
The radiation was measurable across the entire planet. Obviously it was not enough to cause any harm to say someone in the U.S, but there was still a slight increase.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 10:03:38 AM , Rating: 3
> "The radiation was measurable across the entire planet"

Quite incorrect. It was measurable across most of the Northern Hemisphere, but not at all anywhere in the Southern. And we have to understand what "measureable" even means in this context....radiation counters are sensitive enough to detect decay of a single nucleus. The radiation measured from Chernobyl in other nations was less than you can measure standing across from a large load of bananas (due to the radioactive potassium found naturally in them).

Outside of the immediate area around Chernobyl, no one received a radiation dose that was any way, shape, or form harmful.


RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/2006 4:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Outside of the immediate area around Chernobyl, no one received a radiation dose that was any way, shape, or form harmful.
That's at least debatable - depending on your definition of "immediate". My mom got some harmful dose on May 1st 1986 (4 days after the incident) when a portion of fallout went to Kiev (which was about 70 kilometers away, not quite "immediate area", right?) so she got some light radiation sickness symptoms, not very noticeable immediately, but discovered later anyway - a lower level of white blood cells and some chronic lung disease since then, like an uncurable cough or something - she coughs all the time since summer 1986 - I guess this is because she went cleaning our garage roof, old and rusty, and inhaled some of that radioactive dust that was brought from the disaster site by wind. I've heard of several incidents like that, although this kind of information was classified then and is not very welcome even now - the government hates the idea of giving any help to people suffered then, hence they don't welcome any inquiries into that, and never will. There was also serious pollution in Belarus, several hundred kilometers from the blown reactor, also brought on by the wind. I've heard stories of deserted towns there, around Mohilev and area, but don't ask their main boss President Lukashenko - this guy is a little nasty Saddam, he's even more secretive about that than Ukrainian government.

On a side note - I love your comment about bananas, you seem to be very educated guy, unlike many other AT readers here, always pleasure to read your posts. Keep it up :)


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 6:19:16 PM , Rating: 1
Just wanted to ask, if you have any info on contamination in Belarus or Ukraine, to please pass it my way. Always willing to read up on the subject, and correct myself if I'm wrong.


RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: good idea
By Strunf on 6/19/2006 8:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
Saw a documentary about Chernobyl long time ago, with a black and white movie of the Russian officials sending the army men remove some things near the reactor area, and instead of masks they only had a piece of cloth to filter the air… some governments are just too full of themselves and they rather let their men die than let others help.


RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 9:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
> " doubt I can give you any hard facts other than in Russian, one can dig 'em up on Russian sites, so you probably have to stay with wikipedia's English language content for now :) "

I can read Russian, albeit rather slow and haltingly. I attended graduate school in Moscow, not that long after the Chernobyl incident, actually.

> "cautious people never buy mushrooms and any other stuff picked up in those forests"

Yes, that's the problem with isotypes like cesium-137...they stay in the soil for several years, and plants like mushrooms can actually concentrate them. On farmed land, its not so bad...a few years of good plowing will usually disperse the cesium well enough, but in a forest, obvious, one cannot do this.



RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/21/06, Rating: -1
RE: good idea
By tuteja1986 on 6/19/2006 6:18:04 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
nuclear technology is the key to saving the earth.


yeah but the dark side of nuclear engery is the key of blowing up the world.


RE: good idea
By The Cheeba on 6/19/2006 6:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
yeah but the dark side of nuclear engery is the key of blowing up the world.

As opposed to a garunteed slow choke to death.


RE: good idea
By Griswold on 6/19/2006 7:16:48 AM , Rating: 1
You're definitely living in a dreamworld.

No, I dont have a more efficient solution handy, but to say nuclear energy is safe is just naive.


RE: good idea
By lewisc on 6/19/2006 7:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't they maybe prioritise the repair of those barely floating nuclear reactors they have in submarines and aircraft carriers rotting in ports across Russia? Just a thought.


RE: good idea
By patentman on 6/19/2006 7:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
"No, I dont have a more efficient solution handy, but to say nuclear energy is safe is just naive."

Nuclear energy is more safe then most other readily available sources of energy (solar probably being the safest, but hardest to obtain). There are at least two failsafes in modern reactors designs, coolant and control. Most modern reactors are water cooled and built around a system employing control rods which, in very simplified terms, control whether or not the fission reaction is allowed to proceed. The water is used to cool the reactor, and, in most power stations, is converted to steam to drive a turbine that generates electricity. Further, in most modern designs, the control rods can be dropped in a matter of seconds (either by computer or a manual override), shutting the reaction down.

Further, while I'm not making light of the accident at three mile island (the only real "modern" facility to have a nuclear incident), the average human being in the surrounding area received an increased radiation dosage of ~100 millirem, which is equivalent to about 12 chest x-rays or a 33% increase in background exposure over an entire year.

Finally, I wonder if people would feel differently about nuclear power if it didn;t have the word "nuclear" in it. A number of devices that are basee don the same fundamental technologies have been renamed to avoid public outcry because they had the word "nuclear" in their title. I.e. the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine used to be called the "Nuclear" Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine until someone noticed that a lot of people wouldn't get in them for fear of being irradiated because the machine was "nuclear."

I sum, I'm all for nuclear power, so long as appropriate precautions are taken and a modern design is used. Are they 100% safe? No. Is anything 100% safe? No. And as someone said before, better to die quickly then to choke ourselves slowly to death by filling the air with the sulfate and carbon monoxide produced in coal fire power plants. That stuff is every bit as deadly as radiation, it just takes long to have an effect.



RE: good idea
By peternelson on 6/19/2006 8:43:08 AM , Rating: 2

Be aware that Chernobyl had BOTH failsafes for cooling and control rods.

An accident still occured because the fool in charge of the plant decided to disable them so he could run a test and impress his colleagues.

The most dangerous part of a nuclear plant is the people (or the terrorists outside).


RE: good idea
By The Cheeba on 6/19/2006 9:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Be aware that Chernobyl had BOTH failsafes for cooling and control rods.

Chernobyl was a first generation design, and there were still dozens of cascading errors that occurred (same with 3MI). No facility built today even has the ability to disable the failsafes.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 9:55:05 AM , Rating: 1
> "Chernobyl was a first generation design..."

Chernobyl was a first-generation Soviet design. The Western world wisely never once built a single graphite-moderated, water-cooled reactor. Such designs are inherently dangerous.


RE: good idea
By nightdagger on 6/20/2006 1:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the accident was caused because some idiot operators were seeing how long it would still produce power without cooling. They overrode the safety precautions.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 9:51:49 AM , Rating: 2
> "the average human being [at Three Mile Island] in the surrounding area received an increased radiation dosage of ~100 millirem"

In other words, he received a SMALLER dose than a person receives simply by working in Grand Central Station in NYC, naturally radioactive by virtue of the granite used in its construction. So much for scare tactics.

> "solar probably being the safest, but hardest to obtain). "

Solar power generation is far from safe, especially on a large commercial basis. Not when you look at the full picture.

Solar power requires massive arrays of batteries for power storage. Batteries made from toxic materials and which are-- in the high power densities required-- quite dangerous. A little too much heat, a failure of an overcharge regulator, or some similar accident, and the entire bank explodes...releasing all its stored energy when it does. Not a lnuclear explosion of course...but one large enough to decimate a facility, and kill any nearby workers.

Nuclear, coal, and hydroelectric plants are small. To generate the same amount of power with solar would require covering hundreds of millions of acres with solar cells. At least some of those would be rooftop mounted...and that means thousands of people scrambling around to clean and maintain those cells. If you don't think that's dangerous, look up the insurance rates on roofers, antenna and mini-dish installers, and similar professions.

You can make cells more efficient by using concentrative mirrors or other devices, but they carry a risk as well-- a worker in the '80s was killed by accidently passing through the focus of just such a device.

The result? With solar power, you don't risk a single large accident, but you guarantee yourself a steady stream of yearly fatalities. A couple here, a couple there...once in a while a major accident that might kill ten or twenty. Similar to the death rates in the coal or oil industry. But stil far more dangerous than nuclear power based on western-style reactors...an industry that has never caused a single fatality.

I won't even point out that solar power is far too diffuse to ever solve our energy needs...not unless we have a major breakthrough, or we begin collecting solar power from orbit.



RE: good idea
By patentman on 6/19/2006 3:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Solar power requires massive arrays of batteries for power storage. Batteries made from toxic materials and which are-- in the high power densities required-- quite dangerous. A little too much heat, a failure of an overcharge regulator, or some similar accident, and the entire bank explodes...releasing all its stored energy when it does. Not a lnuclear explosion of course...but one large enough to decimate a facility, and kill any nearby workers."

While I acknowledge the issue you are trying to bring up, it should be noted that large scale batteries are currently employed in most power grids today, including those supplied by Nuclear, Coal-Fire, Hydroelectric, and Solar Power.

Also, I never said solar was the most efficient way to obtain power, just probably the safest. Even if a solar plant blows, only a few people are killed. If a nuclear plant blows, potentially millions are killed (however unlikely that may be). Coal-fire in my opinion is the most dangerous, because it pollutes indiscriminately.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 3:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "it should be noted that large scale batteries are currently employed in most power grids today, including those supplied by Nuclear, Coal-Fire, Hydroelectric, and Solar Power. "

Incorrect. The current power grid operates by matching supply exactly to demand. There is some experimentation going on for large-scale power storage, but such a thing is well in the future.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 3:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
> "Also, I never said solar was the most efficient way to obtain power, just probably the safest"

If you define safety as the lowest number of expected fatalities-- it isn't. Each risk is minor...but when summed across the vast scale required for commercial generation of solar power, its the least safe of all.

The notion that a nuclear accident-- no matter how serious-- could result in "millions of deaths" is fallacious as well. Look at Chernobyl. A dangerous reactor design rejected by the US industry half a century ago....a accident involving multiple failures and breakdowns on several levels...and, worst of all, a government that refuses to even issue an evecuation order for several days after the accident. There were people FISHING in Chernobyl's cooling pond three days AFTER the meltdown, for god's sake. And what was the fatality count from that? 30-odd deaths immediately...all plant workers. If you count increased cancer risks and factor in every possible death since the accident...nearly 1000 more fatalities. All of which could have been saved by fast evacuation and remedial iodine treatments after the incident.

Even if you built a Chernobyl-style reactor in the middle of downtown Manhattan, operated it with a team of chimpanzees, and gave al Qaeda all the access codes, you wouldn't get "millions dead" from an accident.


RE: good idea
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: good idea
By patentman on 6/21/2006 12:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Wow, I couldn't stomp on and smash patentman's lies about "millions dead" better than you. I just wanted to comment a little on his stupid remark about millions of dead, from my Kiev experience (I was theer in 1986) but I'm late - you shot patentman's BS lies like Carlos Hathcock."

Did I ever say millions would die as a result of an accident at a nuclear plant? NO DUMBASS, I DIDN'T. I said that there is a POTENTIAL for millions to die as a result of a nuclear accident. Further, if you knew your ass from your mouth you would realize that people are STILL being affected by Chernoble...... And if you don't believe me, go talk to some kids over there who have thyroid cancer, three fingers (or some other birth defect), there are in fact thousands upon thousands of them (See http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/hazmat/arti...).

Glad to know this forum attracts some real geniuses... And yes, although I do not have first hand knowledge, I have a pretty clear understanding of what it is like to live in a communist country as my Father grew up in Czechoslovakia when it was still communist.

As for Batteries not being used in modern power grids, I disagree. While they are not widely used, they are used.


RE: good idea
By huges84 on 6/19/2006 6:16:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you define safety as the lowest number of expected fatalities-- it isn't. Each risk is minor...but when summed across the vast scale required for commercial generation of solar power, its the least safe of all.


That is a completely retarted definition!!! You define safety based on the HIGHEST number of POSSIBLE INJURIES. You also have to wiegh in the severity of the injuries and the likelihood of them happening. More people probably choke to death on food each year then die from radiation. However you are retarted if you say that food is more dangerous than concentrated radiation. It is just that the number of times people eat food is much greater than the number of times someone is exposed to concentrated radiation.

<qoute>The notion that a nuclear accident-- no matter how serious-- could result in "millions of deaths" is fallacious as well.

You obviously do not fully understand logic because you are contradicting yourself there.

quote:
Even if you built a Chernobyl-style reactor in the middle of downtown Manhattan, operated it with a team of chimpanzees, and gave al Qaeda all the access codes, you wouldn't get "millions dead" from an accident.


You have got to be kidding! While it may be difficult to destroy a well designed, built, and maintained nuclear plant, it is still very possible. It is not like they are made of some totally indestructable material. And don't start quoting the explosive forces they are built to withstand. There is nothing that you can't use chemical reactions to eat right through, nothing.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 6:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "You define safety based on the HIGHEST number of POSSIBLE INJURIES."

I got a nice chuckle out of this one. Lets quickly disprove this little gem before we go any further. Let's imagine two different machines. One kills one person a day, each and every day. Guaranteed. The other one has a one-in-a billion chance of killing two people on any given day.

By your notions, the first machine is inherently safer. After all, it can never kill more than one person. So what if it kills 365 people each and every year.

Solar power is like this. The deaths come in ones and twos...possibly 20 or 30 for that rare larger accident. But-- if we actually ever tried to generate large-scale solar power, they'd come in a daily stream.

Compare that to the Western nuclear power industry, which has racked up 10,000+ reactor YEARS of operation, all without a single fatality. Impressive, to say the least.

> "While it may be difficult to destroy a well designed, built, and maintained nuclear plant, it is still very possible"

Of course. But it wouldn't kill "millions" of people if you did, even if it was in the middle of Manhattan. If you built the plant somewhere outside of a urban area, it wouldn't even kill hundreds of people, assuming the government took proper steps to evacuate and decontam.


RE: good idea
By Eris23007 on 6/19/2006 6:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
The problem in your reasoning is that you assume any destruction of a nuclear facility will result in a critical reaction akin to an atomic bomb exploding.

This is not true.

Nuclear power reactors place uranium or plutonium in such a configuration that, even if unregulated, they will not result in a critical reaction - instead they react in a very slow growth toward criticality that results in the heat they generate being sufficient to melt through the container holding them, the concrete beneath, the earth, etc. This the notion commonly referred to as a "meltdown": the reactants melt through the surface of the earth.

In fact, Chernobyl was a case of a meltdown - what happened was that when the molten core material had melted through the innermost vessel, it actually mixed with some of the material it has melted through, making the molten material less concentrated and therefore easing the nuclear reaction. In the case of Three Mile Island, the core melted, but was unable to penetrate the innermost vessel.

However, at no point does a thermonuclear explosion take place. For that to happen, not only would the core have to melt down - but it would have to be highly compressed to the point where it achieved sufficient density as to go critical. This is one of the parts that makes nuclear weapons so hard to build - you really have to compress it down to extraordinarily high densities, and it will not do so itself.

Look at the first two nukes that the US built: "Fat Man" used a very carefully-designed array of high explosives assembled into a shell configuration that would create extraordinary implosive force inside the shell. Then a critical mass (approx 50lbs if I recall correctly) of highly-purified (much more highly purified than is used in commercial reactors, incidentally) plutonium was placed at the center. When the reaction was desired, the implosion took place, compressing the plutonium to the degree necessary to create a critical reaction.

With uranium, on the other hand, the density required is much lower, but the purity of the fissionables must be much higher - and the purity of the fissionables used in commercial reactors is nowhere near enough.

Long story short, the Chernobyl meltdown was just about as bad of a scenario as is realistic - and did not kill anywhere near the "millions" you so breathlessly imagine.

All in all, the evidence supports masher's conclusions: the notion that a nuclear accident at a commercial power reactor could result in "millions of deaths" is fallacious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meltdown

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_man

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy


RE: good idea
By DigitalFreak on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: good idea
By rushnrockt on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 12:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well, that's blatant ignorance. Russian Space Station Mir outlived its expected lifespand by a factor of three (3) ...

Not to mention we're servicing the current Space Station with Russian launches, since the space shuttle wasn't reliable enough for the task.

And let's not forget the AK-47 either, the most reliable assault rifle ever produced. Other examples abound.


RE: good idea
By RMSe17 on 6/19/2006 8:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
"it's not dangerous anymore and Chernobyl can't happen again as long as they use modern designs which they will. "

Chernobyl design power plants are safe anyway. You do realize that Chernobyl power plant has been and still is operational? The meltdown occurred at one of the tree reactors, so while one is "shut down" (or more like.. oozed out), the other two are still providing energy to the regions around the station.

The design is that good, even after a reactor meltdown, the other two continue to work flawlessly.

By the way, the reason why one of the reactors melted down was not flawed design either, it was because of the stupidity of the operators who manually deactivated several automated security features in order to run a test to see how far the reactor can really go. The operators thought they could provide all the safety needed, and had no need for automated security of the reactor. Unfortunately they were very wrong. Had they not turned off the full functionality of the reactor, the incident would never have happened.


RE: good idea
By peternelson on 6/19/2006 8:49:26 AM , Rating: 2

If you build a city like New Orleans BELOW sea level, that is an accident waiting to happen. Build your cities on higher ground.

The earth's water and/or ice levels has changed vastly over time. It WILL fluctuate. Current rising levels may actually have nothing to do with CO2 levels, if it does affect it this could simply accelerate what will happen anyway.

Wasting millions of dollars rebuilding New Orleans in the SAME place is one of the craziest things I've seen. The flooding was a great opportunity for a fresh start (using insurance and government aid), and they seem to miss it.

Building walls will not keep back the sea forever.


RE: good idea
By wiiz3rd on 6/19/2006 9:24:36 AM , Rating: 2
It'll probably take another Katrina for city planners to abandon ship.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 10:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
nuclear technology is a lot safer then it was 15 years ago

And we have far safer designs on the books, aka "pebble beds" and others. We've just never been allowed to build them.


RE: good idea
By Xavian on 6/19/2006 1:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
chernobyl was caused by in-experienced staff rather then dangerous equipment.

I guess Chernobyl is what happens when you put a bunch of trainee's into the control center of the power station and dont supervise them.


RE: good idea
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 1:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "chernobyl was caused by in-experienced staff rather then dangerous equipment"

Rather more correct to say that Chernobyl was caused by inexperienced staff using dangerous equipment. Western-style reactors are inherently safer...and some of the designs on the books can be operated by an untrained chimpanzee with no fear of any explosion or radioactivity release.


first....?
By bru on 6/19/2006 4:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
ok so what are all those nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers........dont they count as floating or something.




RE: first....?
By leonowski on 6/19/2006 4:16:14 AM , Rating: 5
You're right!

I get my local power from the submarine 2 blocks away. It's AWESOME!


RE: first....?
By bru on 6/19/2006 4:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're right!

I get my local power from the submarine 2 blocks away. It's AWESOME!


lol.......now obviously if the heading of this article had been "Russia to Build World's First Floating Nuclear Power Station" then your comment might have actually had some merrit..... :-)


RE: first....?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/19/2006 5:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
Technically that wouldn't have been right either. I changed the title though anyway to something a little more specific.


RE: first....?
By jtdwab on 6/19/2006 12:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
If say just for commercial power generation then they will be the first to complete one but they were not the first with the idea. As I remember this type of design was started back in teh 70's when we were building nuclear plants as fast as we could. I believe the GE but maybe some other large company. They started construction in Jacksonville FL. Then a well known almost disaster occured at Three Mile Island that stoped all desire for nuclear power in the US. The closed down sometime after.


RE: first....?
By Ulfhednar on 6/25/2006 2:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Since when were nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers "commercial" reactors? Read before you post!


Sounds Like a Great Idea. What Could Go Wrong?
By leonowski on 6/19/2006 4:15:25 AM , Rating: 3
Sounds like a great idea! What could go wrong?

In Soviet Russia, nuclear reactors float on you!

Fortunately, the ice will never melt and our oceans will never rise. So, these floating reactors will never be out of control.




By rushfan2006 on 6/19/2006 10:10:18 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Fortunately, the ice will never melt and our oceans will never rise. So, these floating reactors will never be out of control.


OI! My anal retentive environmental science teacher would have had a stroke at that statement...lol.

All the boring science jargon and reasoning aside...in over simplified summary....Actually our oceans are in a constant state of rising and dropping, and ice melts all the time -- been this way for billions of years now, let alone the little episodes we call "ice ages" that happen every what 100,000 years or so...or is my decimal off and its millions of years? LOL.





By TTowntom2 on 6/19/2006 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
> " let alone the little episodes we call "ice ages" that happen every what 100,000 years or so"

Sea levels 20,000 years ago almost 400 FEET lower than they are today. The ocean has been rising for quite some time....since long before we began driving SUVs.


By johnsonx on 6/19/2006 12:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about 400 feet, but they certainly were far lower. All evidence says Asian tribes WALKED across the Bering Sea 20,000 to 25,000 years ago and populated the American continents.


How to do it
By NT78stonewobble on 6/20/2006 5:59:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well In my oppinion nuclear power is very safe.

Not as in 100 % safe, but 99.999 or what ever the number is.

As some have pointed out even the Tjernobyl disaster was also only really dangerous very close.

Thats not to say that people got cancer from tjernobyl or other diseases.

Thats to say that not alot more people got cancer from tjernobyl than would normally get ill.

Still there are issues that needs to be considered before starting a nuclear power project.

First of all, I wouldn't personally want a privately owned company to run the plants.

There should be no cutting costs incentive. Secondarily there should be some kind of tax on the electricity bought from the plants.

The tax would go into a big ass moneybin to draw from should an accident happen and at the very least in the waste disposal.

Actually the nuclear sector and its funding would have to be written into the constitutions.

Thats just my social democrat view on it tho...

PS. IMO theres a slight double standard in not wanting to use nuclear power because its dangerous and driving a car. Car pollution causes gods know how many deaths. Add to that the death toll from carcrashes... Its millions...

PPS. Don't know if it's been mentioned but nuclear "reactors" have existed in nature. There was found a couple 500000 year old ones in africa a few years back. Embedded in granite.





RE: How to do it
By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 8:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
> "but nuclear "reactors" have existed in nature. There was found a couple 500000 year old ones in africa a few years back. Embedded in granite. "

You're probably referring to the one in Gabon....a naturally occurring nuclear reactor that ran for 150 million years...putting out 100,000 watts the whole period.

As an aside, I'd like to point out that the nuclear waste formed by this reactor sat for TWO BILLION YEARS without ever moving more than 3 meters from where it was formed. All fully contained, with no leakage. In a "storage location" that wasn't even designed for isolation and containment...but one that just naturally occurred.

And yet enviro-wackos try to convince us that storing waste safely for a measly 10K years isn't possible.


RE: How to do it
By Kim Leo on 6/20/2006 9:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
you can't really compare a car to a nuclear reactor, the only thing they have in common is that they both pollute..

reading some of these posts sure have thought(teached?) me a couple of things, but are still hoping for other and better solutions. i live en danmark and everything with nuclear written on it, is banned, we still have diesel submarines :D and we produce more energy that we can handle, we sell some of it to our neighbours, i'm not so much into what we have here in Denmark, just know that some of it is windmills, we love them :D.


RE: How to do it
By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 9:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
> " i'm not so much into what we have here in Denmark, just know that some of it is windmills"

About 10% is wind. Over 80% of your power is generated from fossil fuels...mostly from burning oil and imported coal.

Coal-fired electricity generation is, of course, far more polluting than either driving a car or running a nuclear reactor.


RE: How to do it
By NT78stonewobble on 6/21/2006 5:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
Rart med en anden dansker her.

My compason with the car was that, on a large scale, cars do kill thousands if not millions of people every year.

Alone in the USA I think there around 40000 deaths related to car accidents. Then add to that the diseases cause by the cars emissions of heavy metals. Lead and stuff...

Not everything nuclear has been banned from Denmark. I am sad though that they have closed down our Risoe experimental reactor. Afaik we have a nuclear waste problem there. Additionally theres used radioactive materials in the hospitals and the universities.

PS: Thx for the correction on the natural nuclear reactors.


The waste is the danger
By johnnyMon on 6/19/2006 2:17:26 PM , Rating: 1
Commercial nuclear power shouldn't be expanded until there's a STABLE and LONG-TERM method for dealing with the waste.

First, this method must be put in place, and the existing waste should be transferred there. The meltdown risk is nothing compared to the issue of the waste they generate.




RE: The waste is the danger
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 2:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Nuclear waste is an issue solved long ago. The truly high-level waste decays rapidly...six months or less in a cooling pond and its down to a small fraction of its original value. As for mid-level waste, a multiplicity of solutions abound. Storage in any arid region is more than safe enough. The solutions currently on the table are down to one chance in ten million of any serious leak, even over a period exceeding several thousand years. Even then you have to assume a major earthquake, shifting of natural aquifers AND no remedial action taken when it occurs....and STILL the enviro-wackos claim its not safe enough. The truth is, nothing will ever satisfy them. They don't want nuclear power, period.

The simplest solution? Drop it in one of the many deep trenches in the ocean. There are already countless millions of tons of uranium, thorium, radium, and radioactive potassium in the ocean. Essentially that's all natural nuclear waste...left over from when the world was formed. And its far more than we'll ever create on our own.


RE: The waste is the danger
By patentman on 6/19/2006 3:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
There are stabl,e and long term solutions to dealing with the waste.

For example:

1. Large portions of the waste, i.e. isotopes of cobalt, cerium, and iodine, are currently converted to commercial use in smoke detectors, medical tracers, chemotherapy, and other devices.

2. The unusable sludge can be buried easily to cool off over a long period of time, with little risk of leakage.

3. Eventually, though the cost currently is astronomical, it may be possible to build a storage site out in space somewhere.

Nuclear waste is so much less dangeour in my opinion then waste produced at coal fire power plants its not even funny. I worked for an environmental chemist while in undergrad for almost four years. My project focused on re-establishing a fishery in a southwestern virginia lake that had become so acidified due to acid rain and the geology of the bedrock that it could not sustain ANY appreciable life whatsoever. Even blue-green algae had a tough time living in that lake (the pH of the lake was ~3.0 before we stepped in). While some of that acid came from the underlying geology, most of it came from acid rain that was generated by the combination of water with airborne sulfate generated by coal fire power plants in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

At least the waste produced by Nuclear Power is contained and localized, unlike coal-fire, which spews filth into the air and is periodically relieved by congress of its obligations to comply with EPA regulations.


RE: The waste is the danger
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 3:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "Nuclear waste is so much less dangeour in my opinion then waste produced at coal fire power plants its not even funny"

Very, very true. I remember years ago, a spokesman for the UK's Generation Board caused quite a stir by telling reporters that a power plant had been releasing into the atmosphere nearly a kilogram of uranium a day for several years.

Turned out he was talking about a coal-fired plant...the uranium was that found naturally in the coal ash.


RE: The waste is the danger
By johnnyMon on 6/19/2006 4:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the responses - they are thought-provoking.


RE: The waste is the danger
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
Blows up and...
By Nightmare225 on 6/19/06, Rating: 0
RE: Blows up and...
By PaulDriver on 6/19/2006 9:12:09 AM , Rating: 2
New Yorkers are tougher then that, they'll adapt, just like the citizens of Venice have :)


RE: Blows up and...
By wiiz3rd on 6/19/2006 9:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
Of course, they will, but at a cost just like New Orleans after Katrina. Other countries like Bangladesh that are used to floods can adapt better than the USA, which relies too much on technology.


RE: Blows up and...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2006 11:26:48 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
If one of these blows up near some huge icebergs, say good-bye to New York and all those other low-lying cities...

I hope you were joking with this nonsense. Even a hundred nuclear detonations wouldn't melt enough ice to affect sea levels by a millimeter.

I won't even mention the fact that a floating iceberg (iand the entire arctic icecap) can melt totally without affecting sea levels whatsoever. Only ice based on bedrock can do that.


Floating disaster
By crystal clear on 6/19/2006 9:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yes thats exactly the description of whats to come.
The Russians cannot relied upon for safety nor do they have
technology levels to ensure safety-In short their tehnology
& products/systems are plain shoddy like their LADA car.
Plus they have terrorist (chechnia) who can/have/will strike
anywhere with ease-Russians are helpless against them.
Time & time again the terrorist have proved themselves in & anywhere in Russia.




RE: Floating disaster
By Ringold on 6/19/2006 11:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think you got it right. Creative, like how the built a Shuttle-killer design, one of the most astoundingly high-tech, fuel efficient and safe aircraft (I'd have to look it up, but if you compare it from 5 years ago to a current model year C172, it was a fraction the cost and ten times as modern -- talking a general aviation aircraft, not military), and like those diamond-making devices we picked up out of an abandoned wharehouse, or.. Kaspersky Antivirus. They just never get the financial side right, commercialization right, or other implementation right.


RE: Floating disaster
By Pirks on 6/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: Floating disaster
By emboss on 6/20/2006 1:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
You do know that the Russians and the US were on the same side in WW2, right?


RE: Floating disaster
By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 8:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
> "You do know that the Russians and the US were on the same side in WW2, right? "

Barely so. The two sides nearly went to war directly upon conclusion of WW2...and the final days of the war itself were primarily squabbling over which bits of the Axis empire each side would retain.

Pirks is correct. The atomic bomb detonations were as much a demonstration for the Soviets as for the Japanese.


RE: Floating disaster
By Pirks on 6/20/06, Rating: -1
where does the heat go
By ElJefe69 on 6/20/2006 3:20:33 AM , Rating: 1
Floating, I assume that means, heat dissipation in the water. I dont know why this is, as any heat is energy and should be used to create electricity, but it is so with modern nuclear power generators.

im sure the fish will love a 5 centigrade rise in temperatures. go bacteria go!




RE: where does the heat go
By masher2 (blog) on 6/20/2006 8:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
> "I dont know why this is, as any heat is energy and should be used to create electricity"

Basic thermodynamics. Any heat engine (from a lawnmower to a nuclear reactor) is limited by Carnot efficiency. In short, it must generate waste heat.

> "im sure the fish will love a 5 centigrade rise in temperatures"

Don't be silly. The ocean is far too large for even a thousand reactors to heat.




First or worst?
By RLR on 7/10/2006 8:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the Russians history with Nuclear Power . . .




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