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Senator Dianne Feinstein, seen here giving a self-facepalm has suggested the federal government perform a massive expensive reevaluation of U.S. plant quake risks. An almost identical comprehensive study was performed three years ago and concluded the nation was safe.  (Source: NewsReal)
Apparently they missed the first study's conclusions

Yesterday we pointed out that a newly released study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concluded that nuclear power plants in the U.S. were well within acceptable levels of risk and should be deemed safe.  Unfortunately a report by MSNBC largely missed that conclusion.

And apparently they weren't the only ones.  The report has apparently touched off a bout of nuclear hysteria in Congress.  

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee demanded that the NRC perform a costly extensive study to determine if the plants are safe.

They write, "We call on the NRC to conduct a comprehensive investigation of all nuclear facilities in the United States to assess their capacity to withstand catastrophic natural or man-made disasters including scenarios that may be considered remote like the recent events in Japan."

"These domestic nuclear reactors must be fully evaluated to ensure that they are as safe and resilient as possible, that worst case scenarios are examined and addressed, and that personnel training and equipment for emergency responses are in place and up-to-date. Special and immediate attention should be given to those U.S. nuclear reactors that share similar characteristics as the failing reactors in Japan, including similar designs or located near a coastline or seismic fault line."

Apparently they missed the fact that the NRC did almost exactly that 3 years ago in 2008 (the study we referenced in yesterday's piece).  And their conclusion?  We're safe.

The only remaining question is whether Japan's nuclear plant situation would actually change any of the conclusions in the paper.  The answer, for most plants, is probably not.  

Only plants near flood-prone regions, or coastal regions in danger of tsunami strikes, might have additional risks due to the possibility of knocked out backup generators.

While the Senators do suggest an inquiry of such locations, they also ask for much more -- an investigation of "all nuclear facilities" with little factual justification provided.

The proposal also calls for other possibly expensive and unusual suggestions, such as requesting:

How comprehensive is the radiation monitoring system in Japan? Would the U.S. take a similar monitoring approach if a serious accident were to occur here? What increased risk is associated with exposure to mixed oxide fuel?

It also contains alarming language, such as:

Has the NRC modeled what could happen if the U.S. had multiple nuclear accidents simultaneously? If so, how would the NRC respond to such a disaster?

At a time when our nation's federal and state governments are facing huge budget deficits, this should be an excellent test of exactly how frenzied the public is about nuclear power in the U.S.  Will they stand by and support this expensive study, which is essentially a repeat of one just done a couple years ago?

One person is awfully satisfied with the news -- the original MSNBC report's author, Bill Dedman.  He brags of how he motivated the government to push the expensive study repeat, writing, "Three U.S. senators on Thursday called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to answer for the safety and emergency preparedness at all nuclear facilities in the United States."

"As msnbc.com reported on Wednesday, the NRC has raised its earthquake damage estimates for the nation's 104 commercial nuclear power plants, particularly for those in the eastern and central states, where seismologists say the earthquake risk is higher than previously thought. The estimates by the NRC were provided to msnbc.com, which ranked the reactors by risk."


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America is ruled by idiots
By Pirks on 3/17/2011 4:43:33 PM , Rating: 5
The only way to win in a global war for a status of a real superpower is to replace idiots in White House with scientists, make scientists and really educated/smart people rule the country. If you don't make PhD in science a MANDATORY requirement to be a member of the government - you Americans will go down down down... just watch how China/India quickly build more and more of nuclear power plants while uneducated religious imbeciles in White House/Senate drag you down down down... har har har :P




RE: America is ruled by idiots
By chmilz on 3/17/2011 4:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
Give him a 6 for the subject header. For once, he's entirely too accurate.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By FastEddieLB on 3/18/2011 12:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
Seconded, give the man a 6.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By quiksilvr on 3/18/2011 9:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, give...Pirks a 6? Oh, god did I just say that?


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By TheRequiem on 3/18/2011 9:40:39 AM , Rating: 1
I agree, the only thing is... China and India building nuclear power plants? Last I checked they were still on a roll with Coal. God only knows what the quality is like in a nuclear plant over there, I've lived there before and I don't see perfection, for sure.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Dorkyman on 3/18/2011 5:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, dozens for China alone. For all the faults of the Chinese system of government, their leaders aren't stupid folk easily swayed by a bullsh1t movie called "China Syndrome" like our leaders are.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Etern205 on 3/21/2011 5:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes!


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By tigz1218 on 3/17/2011 4:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
"make scientists and really educated/smart people rule the country"

Scientists and people educated by our FEDERAL Education System? I sure hope not.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Pirks on 3/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: America is ruled by idiots
By mdogs444 on 3/17/2011 5:22:25 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Bright scientists from all over the world should be welcomed to become the members of the US government.

That would work...if you didn't want to be a sovereign nation with people representing the actual citizens of that country. Else, you'd be nothing more than a citizen of the world, not a citizen of the country.

Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer to live in a country bounded by our own rules, wants, and beliefs...rather than those imposed on us from people of other countries.
quote:
will push religious uneducated losers out of the US government and will return the glorious days of the 1960s when Moon was conquered by the US and all

Wow...you mean the "religious uneducated loser" by the name of John F. Kennedy, who was a Catholic, who pushed the space program?


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Pirks on 3/17/2011 6:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you'd be nothing more than a citizen of the world
Most advanced/successful people are the citizens of the world. They move between countries freely and find better employment or business opportunities exactly because they are citizens of the world and are not bound to one single country. World has became one global arena a while ago, time to free yourself from the local "country" chains. You can't possibly imagine how much fun and excitement is to move from the US to Germany for instance. Your chains won't let ya!
quote:
John F. Kennedy, who was a Catholic, who pushed the space program
It's not Kennedy, it's the science-oriented USSR government of that time who was kicking the US a$$ and pushing Kennedy to move as fast as he can with the space exploration program. (the USSR government was overtaken by dumb uneducated Stalinist fanatics since then and all their scientific and economic progress went down the toilet later, as you know from history)

I guess if Kennedy and all the other presidents after him were top-notch scientists they'd invest much more money in science instead of wars like Iraq and there would be no questions about who's replacing the Space Shuttle now, who's planning the mission to Mars and stuff like that. Even global futuristic science projects like ITER (or prematurely shut down nuclear space engine program) would find a home on the US soil which would be a super major win for the US science and economy. Alas, this is just dreams. Presidents are not educated enough and hence invest money in botched lunacy projects like Iraq etc


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Amiga500 on 3/17/2011 6:47:05 PM , Rating: 3
It was actually LBJ that pushed the space program. :-)


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By GaryJohnson on 3/18/2011 12:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I prefer to live in a country bounded by our own rules, wants, and beliefs...rather than those imposed on us from people of other countries.


"I prefer to live in a country bounded by rules imposed on us from people of our own country...rather than those imposed on us from people of other countries."

Fixed.

I prefer to not assume that everyone in my country is looking out for my best interests and that everyone in other countries is looking to harm me.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By TSS on 3/18/2011 9:34:56 AM , Rating: 2
Mdogs has a point though. You should vote your own best and brightest into office.

If your own best and brightest aren't good enough to govern the country adequately you deserve to go down in flames, so you can rebuild something that's worth a damn. No outside intervention will help you in that case anyway.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Ammohunt on 3/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: America is ruled by idiots
By CharonPDX on 3/17/2011 7:53:04 PM , Rating: 4
Last time I checked, we don't have a FEDERAL education system. We have a whole lot of LOCAL education systems.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By inighthawki on 3/17/2011 10:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well, we have state public schools (funded by state taxes). Then many colleges and universities are privately funded, with no or very little help from the federal or state governments. Even WITH funding from the federal government, I fail to see what the OP is getting at. While funding can generally influence curriculum, it rarely has any real outcome on what students leave the school with. It's not like the schools are teaching the students how to be corrupt politicians and lowering budgets on things like maths and sciences.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By AEvangel on 3/18/2011 10:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then many colleges and universities are privately funded, with no or very little help from the federal or state governments.


Not quite true...do you like those Pell Grants or guaranteed federal student loans?

Almost all higher education in this country is in some way funded by the Federal Govt, thus the reason it's becoming too expensive and not worth the cost anymore.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By The Raven on 3/18/2011 12:15:31 PM , Rating: 1
Ever heard of the Dept. of Education or No Child Left Behind?
Two unneccesary parts of the fed. gov't.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rikulus on 3/17/2011 4:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
while uneducated religious imbeciles in White House/Senate drag you down down down

I think you forgot to mention the House of Representatives.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By tng on 3/17/2011 4:58:20 PM , Rating: 5
Correction it should read "America is ruled by a bureaucracy."

The difference is that in the bureaucracy, people who have no other skills other than public relations, can rise to levels of leadership within it base on their own PR. People who are intelligent and have real skills don't want the job and you can't blame them.

Since they live by the PR it does not matter if they have all the info at hand, since they have to be seen to do something, so they will ask for a whole new study.

Government is full of people who have no real idea of the realities of life outside the bureaucracy they are in and hence will make bad policy since they have no connections to the rest of us and will never have to experience first hand the damage they inflict on the rest of us.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By dgingeri on 3/17/2011 6:25:50 PM , Rating: 3
"The greatest enemy to democracy is a bureaucracy that is untouchable by the voters."

in the US, we have 4, that I have counted: the EPA, the FCC, the FTC, and the SEC. If anyone knows any more, please chime in. :)


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By kdogg4536 on 3/17/2011 7:01:26 PM , Rating: 5
FEMA and Homeland Security trump all others.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By YashBudini on 3/17/2011 7:45:02 PM , Rating: 5
Lobbyists run the country.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By chick0n on 3/17/2011 11:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
What about TSA?


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Totally on 3/17/2011 11:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
TSA falls under Homeland Security


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By TSS on 3/18/2011 9:55:54 AM , Rating: 4
For that matter we need to stop saying America is capitalist too. America today is Corperalist. The interest of Corperations goes above everything else, including sound fiscal policy.

Besides it's not very capitalist to expand the money supply until everybody is broke. I doubt many capitalists of old would devalue their currency 95% over 50 years. Not to mention borrow money you don't have far beyond the point of ever beeing able to pay it back, thats just not sound business practice.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Ammohunt on 3/18/2011 2:43:31 PM , Rating: 1
From your professor’s mouth to typed word for word in this forum. I guess you skipped instruction in deductive reasoning. EVIL CORPORATIONS! CORPORATING!


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By ClownPuncher on 3/18/2011 3:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
It sounded more like "no more federally funded corporate wellfare".

Can I introduce you to TARP and Stimulus? No? OK, continue rant.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By fteoath64 on 3/18/11, Rating: -1
RE: America is ruled by idiots
By tng on 3/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rcc on 3/18/2011 1:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree they have serious issues, however, for your sake, and everyone else's, I hope you never have to experience a country that has no such oversight.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rcc on 3/18/2011 1:09:21 PM , Rating: 3
IRS


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By fic2 on 3/18/2011 1:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
BLM which controls mining and mineral management. They have the same incestuous relationship with the big corps as the SEC does with Wall Street.
Whichever bureaucracy controls the Native American trust - probably the BLM also but I am not sure.

For a good look at the SEC and Wall Street read:
Why Isn't Wall Street In Jail
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt...


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rcc on 3/18/2011 1:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs), Department of the Interior.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Breakfast Susej on 3/17/2011 6:42:53 PM , Rating: 5
One of the unfortunate and ultimately fatal flaws of democratic society. No human political system is anywhere near adequate much less perfect mind you. But if it were easy to dream up a perfect solution someone might have by now.

It is my fear that western society will inevitably be crushed under it's own decadence as we become more and more reliant on other cultures to provide us with the cheap goods our corporations use to keep us all placated in an orgy of spending and consumption.

At least that is what it seems like more and more to me. We exist only to consume all the gadgets, toys, media, and other nonsense. All these material goods we don't actually need that we wear the yoke around our necks churning away, working for, to show our status among each-other. All the while blind to what it really exists for. To keep us churning away and passing our dollars up the line to the ruling class who is holding the carrot on the stick in front of our face saying, look! You too can be rich like us if you just work, work, work(but you never will because in reality you are just throwing all your earnings down the status tube to buy the shit you don't need, blunt your misery with material goods, and make them even richer.)

Meanwhile the rising nations such as China who work slave labor to make all these goods to pander to our ego's our desires, our never ending pageant of status and wealth, continue to labor away, eclipsing us in knowledge, numbers, and initiative.

Eventually the rising nations will throw off the yoke and grind our fat decadent uneducated selves beneath their boot. Or at least this is what I fear when I think about society at length.

Maybe I just need a tinfoil hat, or maybe it ultimately doesn't matter, at least to me. Since I will be long dead(or so I hope,) by the time that day dawns.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Pirks on 3/17/11, Rating: 0
By Breakfast Susej on 3/18/2011 12:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
I try not to base my conclusions in such a way as to let an opinion piece that I read on a tech site be the single deciding factor in where the wind blows my opinion any given day.

Nor would I be as presumptuous to call someone out as wrong on an ultimately philosophical opinion point based on yet another opinion point that I read.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Iaiken on 3/18/2011 9:48:25 AM , Rating: 2
If you are smart enough to be the president, then you know better than to run for president... ;)


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By carniver on 3/17/2011 5:03:52 PM , Rating: 3
America isn't really ruled by idiots. Real idiots don't really know what's going on, they do. They'd announce "There is a problem!!!one1" when they know there's no problem. And they'd announce "There are no problems!" when they know things are too f***ed up to fix.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By AEvangel on 3/17/2011 5:10:02 PM , Rating: 5
This is just another in a long line of bought and paid for politicians...it wont matter if they are educated with degrees they will still succumb to the corporate greed.

But in your defense Pirks....Barbara Boxer's education...

quote:
In 1962, she married Stewart Boxer and graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in Economics. While in college she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon (social) sorority and was a cheerleader for the Brooklyn College basketball team.


Dude...she is highly qualified she was a cheerleader!!


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Pirks on 3/17/2011 5:28:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
they will still succumb to the corporate greed
Everybody succumbs to greed but at least scientists are less prone to making idiotic decisions. Cheerleader will definitely make more dumb decisions, since she can't think. Cheerleaders are not trained to think and their place is definitely not in the government. Their occupation is entertainment, and they should stay there.

Besides, scientists are not as interested in flexing military muscles, hence less chance to get into another Iraq, you know.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By AEvangel on 3/17/2011 5:56:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Everybody succumbs to greed but at least scientists are less prone to making idiotic decisions.


I would not say everyone....there are a few members of Congress and Senate that have not, also I'm sure given time we can find plenty of examples where scientists have succumb to the greed of funding and misrepresented their data and made complete fools of themselves...AGW come to mind.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By torpor on 3/17/2011 5:51:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Dude...she is highly qualified she was a cheerleader!!

Explains why she's screwing everything in sight....


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rcc on 3/18/2011 1:41:16 PM , Rating: 3
Hot Damn!!! Can we send her back to Brooklyn????


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By nafhan on 3/17/2011 5:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's insulting - to idiots. Idiots get stuff right every once in a while.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By dgingeri on 3/17/2011 5:49:46 PM , Rating: 3
Of course the US is ruled by idiots:

1. most of the human race are idiots (You can see this driving to work nearly any morning or driving home in the evening.)
2. the US is run by citizen voting, thereby majority rule
3. therefore, the US is ruled by idiots.

plain and simple.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By dgingeri on 3/17/2011 5:56:30 PM , Rating: 3
oh, and education has no bearing on whether someone is an idiot or not. Just as coffee doesn't cancel out alcohol (you just get a wide awake drunk) education doesn't cancel out an idiot. You just get an educated idiot.

I just watched an episode of Penn&Teller's Bulls**t show last night on the educational system. Some idiot was being paid by our wonderful educational system to teach people on how to be culturally sensitive. One of his lessons was on how different cultures perceive the importance on being on time. His idea was that white people were raised to be on time, while black people weren't, so we are supposed to just accept that flaw and ignore when black people are always late. (That was just about the most asinine idea I have ever heard.) Perfect example of an educated idiot.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By YashBudini on 3/17/2011 7:48:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.


Ben Franklin


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By therealnickdanger on 3/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: America is ruled by idiots
By YashBudini on 3/20/2011 6:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why would anybody rate this comment down?
Are there people here who don't understand the vernacular?


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Shining Arcanine on 3/17/2011 6:25:04 PM , Rating: 3
I was thinking this earlier. A PhD in a science (not an art) should be mandatory.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By dgingeri on 3/17/2011 6:30:52 PM , Rating: 3
They still have to go through our educational system to get there. That, in and of itself, roots out so many brilliant minds just because they don't believe in "throwing away the baby with the bathwater" so to say.

IMO, academics think way too much of themselves. Far to many people instructing in US colleges, especially history and English teachers, think that because they're been through so much college, they know everything and they are the best experts. In learning more, they have left wisdom behind.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Pirks on 3/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rcc on 3/18/2011 1:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
Pirks, are you naturally full of it, or do you have to practice??


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Alexvrb on 3/17/2011 8:50:41 PM , Rating: 1
I was about to say that Pirks was again making one of those rare posts where he doesn't make an ass of himself. But then he goes for the "uneducated religious imbeciles" routine. What does being religious have to do with anything? Our President and half of Congress aren't religious (except perhaps in name alone), and it doesn't preclude them from being moronic in any way. Way to be a bigot, Prick. I mean Pirks.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By RedemptionAD on 3/17/2011 9:28:22 PM , Rating: 3
I declare that to run for a a political office you must pass both an IQ test and score above 120 and an ethics test which you should score "not a dbag" or its equivalent.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By rcc on 3/18/2011 1:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'd agree, except that I know a lot of people with sub 120 IQs that are awesome administrators.

Not to mention that traditional IQ testing really just tests your ability to take a test. People that choke on tests won't score to their potential.

Now, if they can make a working ethics test......
Hey, make them play the intro to the early Ultima games where they used you answers to questions to determine your class. : )


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By RedemptionAD on 3/18/2011 11:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
Either way, 116 is average so 120 isn't asking for much more than competence. I scored a 167 like ten years ago and I'm a lot smarter even proportionately than I was then. So it should at least eliminate the complete idiots. We should also remember that being a secretary isn't the same as being a politician. Politicians walk around with a loaded gun aimed at the general public they should have half a brain about how the affect of what they do will have on us. Heck, they don't even pay taxes, yet they are in charge of tax code, WTF.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By RedemptionAD on 3/18/2011 11:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
People need to understand that the bigger the government is, the more tax burden gets placed on non-government employees. Either they need to get smaller, or start paying taxes like the rest of us. It should be "By the people, for the people, like the people."


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Totally on 3/17/2011 11:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
What a... pleasant surprise. Logged in to say that these retards just should resign from their positions because they clearly have just demonstrate that they aren't doing their job or just are incompetent. How hard is to read a report.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By FITCamaro on 3/18/2011 7:26:20 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
while uneducated religious imbeciles


Last I checked liberals, who are generally not as religious as conservative, are the ones who are against nuclear power.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By jay401 on 3/18/2011 8:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
Whether or not America is ruled by idiots (it is), your anti-religious rhetoric is misplaced and ill-timed, considering several of the least religious-friendly congresspeople are the ones promoting this waste of money and the vast majority of politicians are amoral, self-serving thieves. But how typical to try to turn anything into an anti-religious argument no matter how irrelevant it is to the matter and how absurd such a claim is upon even the most subtle reflection and examination of the facts.

It's also patently absurd to think that a doctorate in a science makes a person actually more intelligent in the general sense that would be most useful for congresspeople to be. They already have panels of "experts" to draw on and with which to conduct studies, hearings, and the like. The problem isn't a lack of highly-educated SMEs to call on, it is a lack of common sense among the congresspeople themselves.

But your over-reliance and borderline worship of higher education is itself problematic. If anything, the slavery to human education is one of the pillars of the ignorance our country suffers from and is a source of more debt and wasted money by individuals and families than nearly anything else, as they blindly accept the claims that having higher and higher levels of degrees will ensure them or their kids of success in life or somehow make them wise. All it really does is make them sheep and suckers for one of the biggest scams going, which is the parasitic moneysuck that is post-grad education. All you've really done in your angst over the church is replaced one organized institution for another, only this one you've turned to now controls your very standard of living.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Denigrate on 3/18/2011 8:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
A doctorate means jack squat. Plenty of educated idiots running around out there, and most of them have a Dr in front of their name because they couldn't hack it in the REAL WORLD. Those who can get into private industry, those who can't go back to school and get a doctorate.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By RjBass on 3/18/2011 9:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
I live right in the middle of the good ol USA and I agree, give him a 6.


RE: America is ruled by idiots
By Lerianis on 3/20/2011 3:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
With all due respect, do you REALLY think that China and India have those type of people in office?

No, the reason that they are able to get ahead of us is:

1. They pay their people slave wages.
2. They have no problem with poisoning their people while building industry.
3. They devalue their currency.

America is not going to do those two things.

Now, that said, I do think that American reactors are as redundant when taking into account how damned OLD the designs for our nuclear reactors are as they can be.

There is no need for this massive re-inspection.


By rika13 on 3/17/2011 6:06:19 PM , Rating: 4
cut/paste from the Wikipedia article on Sievert (the SI unit of radiation exposure).

Living near a nuclear power station: 0.0001–0.01 mSv/year[5][1]
Living near a coal power station: 0.0003 mSv/year[1]
Cosmic radiation (from sky) at sea level: 0.24 mSv/year[5]
Terrestrial radiation (from ground): 0.28 mSv/year[5]
Natural radiation in the human body: 0.40 mSv/year[5]
Radiation produced by the granite of the United States Capitol building: 0.85 mSv/year[7]
Average individual background radiation dose: 2 mSv/year; 1.5 mSv/year for Australians, 3.0 for Americans[1][8]
New York-Tokyo flights for airline crew: 9 mSv/year[8]
Atmospheric sources (mostly radon): 2 mSv/year[9][5]
Total average radiation dose for Americans: 6.2 mSv/year[10]
Smoking 1.5 packs/day: 13-60 mSv/year[7][11]
Current average limit for nuclear workers: 20 mSv/year[8]
Background radiation in parts of Iran, India and Europe: 50 mSv/year[8]
Lowest clearly carcinogenic level: 100 mSv/year[8]
Elevated limit for workers during Fukushima emergency: 250 mSv/year[12]

The problem that the two senators from California have is that nuclear power is not only cost effective, but (unlike everything else) actually CLEAN (if done right, as in not with bad designs and reactors old enough to be president). Coal and oil give us smog and crap which has to be scrubbed at great expense, all the renewable energy sources also harm the environment (wind turbines slaughter birds and their lubricants pollute the ground, solar causes problems with localized heating and takes large amounts of land) in addition to being stupidly expensive. Ms. Palin is 100% correct, the Obama energy platform is to increase prices. High energy and food prices mean more dependence on government assistance, a decrease in actual wages, and the spread of the Democrat's most faithful voters, those whom depend on government assistance to live.

America has the ability to end the need for fossil fuel plants (which put crap in the air), stupid expensive alternative power, and severely cut our need for fossil fuels with nuclear power. It is possible (with the government doing the heavy lifting) to replace ALL power generation in America with thorium-based molten salt reactors at no cost to the operators, except retraining. This would, of course, use a standardized design, which reduces both plant and training costs as parts and training are universal.




By Keeir on 3/18/2011 3:02:54 AM , Rating: 1
You know, Nuclear Waste is generated all during the plant's lifetime right?

Currently, we just let the waste -sit there-, even though with reprocessing significant fractions could be reused...



By Iaiken on 3/18/2011 1:25:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Currently, we just let the waste -sit there-, even though with reprocessing significant fractions could be reused...


By significant fractions he means around 80%.

What's more, refined fuels like this that have been depleted can actually be used in other reactor designs with minimal reprocessing.

Designs like the CANDU are actually shockingly efficient in their use of fuel and can fission U-235, PU-239 and PU-241. In most other reactor designs Plutonium atoms are a waste product from the capture of neutrons by the non-fissile U-238.

The other interesting aspect is that they are dramatically less likely to produce PU-240 (a self heating, spontaneously fissioning element) through the capture of neutrons by PU-239. What's more, any PU-241 produced via neutron capture by these smaller quantities of PU-240 will also be fissioned.

This means that spent fuel rods from a CANDU reactor contain dramatically less plutonium in them than other designs.I most cases, the spent fuel is closer to depleted uranium than to raw uranium.


By Lerianis on 3/20/2011 3:40:51 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, some people have been pointing it more at the 95% mark with newer methods to reprocess uranium.


By angryplayer on 3/20/2011 10:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
People also forget to mention, the 5% unrecoverable is... DUN DUN DUN:

Converted to the energy that makes this whole thing work! *SHOCK*.


I've seen this before
By Solandri on 3/17/2011 4:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
In high school science lab, we ran the experiment over and over again, until we got the results we wanted.




RE: I've seen this before
By adiposity on 3/17/2011 5:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
You did it wrong!

I took one measurement, and derived the other measurement from the ideal results!

Sheesh!


RE: I've seen this before
By darckhart on 3/17/2011 5:07:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
In every scientific institution's lab s , we ran the experiment over and over again, until we got the results we wanted.


There. Fixed that for you. (Well at least that's how R&D goes...)


RE: I've seen this before
By mdogs444 on 3/17/2011 5:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
we ran the experiment over and over again, until we got the results we wanted.

Sounds like climate change science.


RE: I've seen this before
By Scabies on 3/17/2011 6:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
+1
let the desired result be proved, and conflicting data be discarded!


RE: I've seen this before
By YashBudini on 3/17/2011 7:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
+1
Sounds like military intelligence.


Fusion power anyone.
By Codeman03xx on 3/17/2011 5:29:22 PM , Rating: 1
Well its good to see that our resources are going to waste. Yes right now we need nuclear fisson, but fusion makes more sense so hurry the hell up already because the US Power infrastructure is failing (Power lines, Sub stations, coal plants, etc). Get CERN on this NOW!!! we need FUSION ENERGY. Fusion causes no fallout and is very safe and clean, and oh yeah it 4 times stronger too. With Fusion energy if power is lost over older distribution lines it won't matter as much because the power is soo much stronger. So we would need a max of 15 Fusion power plants over the US.




RE: Fusion power anyone.
By CharonPDX on 3/17/2011 8:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
Uh.........

We have yet to create a fusion power plant that sustainably produces more energy than it requires to run.

And "power is soo much stronger"? What is that supposed to mean?

Finally, as has been shown time and time again, it is a bad idea to use only a few very large power plants. If the entire U.S. were to run on only 15 power plants, what happens when two simultaneously have problems or have something disconnect them from the grid?


RE: Fusion power anyone.
By delphinus100 on 3/17/2011 9:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't cue the fusion cheering section just yet...

http://metamodern.com/2010/01/20/why-fusion-won%E2...

I still have hopes for those who are working on various approaches to hydrogen+boron11 'fusion' though...

And electricity is electricity, no matter how it's generated. No, you don't want to waste it in inefficient distribution.


RE: Fusion power anyone.
By Keeir on 3/18/2011 2:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
errr.. Fusion power is not going to magically fix the power grid.


RE: Fusion power anyone.
By rcc on 3/18/2011 2:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sure it will, any wiring that fusion power passes through will also be made stronger!!!!

I apologize in advance, I just couldn't resist.


With the stipulation
By YashBudini on 3/17/2011 7:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
If Congress wants more tests let them. But if the results are identical then they should pay for the tests, not the public.




RE: With the stipulation
By The Raven on 3/18/2011 12:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Amen. Although the idiots in the public are probably pushing them via union (read: Democrat) lobbyists and alien-abducted Republican whackadoos. These people just need a big ChipIn or Kickstarter account instead of wasting everyone else's time and money.

So if they don't do this, then they won't get reelected.
Although I don't ever see the liberals in CA ever voting Dianne Feinstein out. So she is definitely doing this out of her own stupidity.


<no subject>
By Scabies on 3/17/2011 6:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At a time when our nation's federal and state governments are facing huge budget deficits, this should be an excellent test of exactly how frenzied the public is about nuclear power in the U.S.

should read "ignorant."




Jaczko fraud
By Shadowmaster625 on 3/18/2011 8:45:45 AM , Rating: 2
So some guy at the NRC (his name is Jaczko) goes on tv and says there was no water in one of the spent fuel pools. He had no evidence to back up that hysterical claim. And now the NRC is going to get a bunch more funding? Sounds like fraud to me.




By Arsynic on 3/18/2011 12:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
The situation in Japan has been like blood in the water for the envirowhackos. Why do we assume that our Senators are knowledgeable individuals? They were put into their positions by special interests and have to do their bidding--facts be damned.

This isn't a few misinformed individuals, it's an attack on nuclear energy. It's no surprise it's coming from two left-wing Senators.




A bit off the mark
By Khato on 3/17/2011 5:40:16 PM , Rating: 1
While I've quite appreciated the two recent editorials regarding flaws in the mass media coverage of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident, I can't help but be disappointed in this piece. Why? Well the main reason is that the "newly released study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concluded that nuclear power plants in the U.S. were well within acceptable levels of risk" that you're referencing only covers seismic hazards in central and eastern US nuclear plants. So not only does it not cover the entire country, but it also only investigates one possible type of event.

Anyway, after actually reading the letters the requests aren't really that out of line. Really, they should already be covered by normal NRC activities and simply require a formal write-up... There's nothing wrong with proper supervision and regulation, that's kinda what makes nuclear power the safest and over all best power source available to us at current. After all, left to their own devices companies are all too happy to cut corners in maintenance/inspection and keep on using old reactors that should be decommissioned since the cost to keep a nuclear reactor running is minimal compared to new construction.




Feinstein is an idiot
By overlandpark4me on 3/17/11, Rating: 0
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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