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The Chernobyl explosion in 1986 was the only nuclear disaster to be rated a Level 7 until now  (Source: Wordpress)
The Chernobyl explosion in 1986 was the only nuclear disaster to be rated a Level 7 until now

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RE: *face palm*
By Solandri on 4/13/2011 7:26:49 AM , Rating: 4
Solar panels aren't drifting across the sky and contaminating other countries... If a country can't keep it's radiation to itself then they can go and **** themselves :)

Too often, people miss the sense of scale when thinking about nuclear power, and do ridiculous things like compare a nuclear power plant to the solar panels on their roof.

The Fukushima Daiichi power station has 4.7 GW of generation capacity. Nuclear plants typically have about a 90% capacity factor (that is, over a year, they generate 90% of their maximum capacity). So that'd be 4.23 GW average power generation.

1 square meter of solar panels has an average power generation of about 20 Watts after you factor in losses (night, angle to the sun, cloudy days, etc). To generate an average 4.23 GW with solar panels would thus take 211.5 million square meters, or 211.5 square km of solar panels.

In other words, 1 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant = area the size of Chicago completely covered in solar panels.

I can guarantee you that the pollution from the materials and energy needed to manufacture that many solar panels is considerable, and would drift across the sky and through the water contaminating other countries.

RE: *face palm*
By Jaybus on 4/13/2011 9:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
The global silicon wafer production capcity is around 315 million square meters. If all of the electronics and automotive, etc. industries are shut down for a year, we might be able to make enough to build one such power station. It has ramped way up in recent years, though. A few years ago it would have taken several years of the global wafer production to make one nuclear plant replacement.

Like it or not, there isn't much choice. It will be decades before there is sufficient capacity to actually build PV plants capable of replacing nuclear. The Japanese government is going to be between a rock and a hard place. They have to somehow replace more than 4 GW of continuos power lost from the grid. They are going to be forced to tell the Japanese people that they must build, or approve to be built, a new nuclear facility. To appease the public, they are likely to build as large a PV plant as they can in addition to a new nuclear facility. That way they can say they minimized the nuclear, even though the PV plant will be 5% of the replacement capacity and the new nuke will be 95%.

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