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Feds move closer to approving new nuclear reactor

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posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 08:53 AM
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The Feds are move closer to approving a new nuclear reactor.

It amazes me that our government considers building any type of reactor after the recent event in Japan.

www.sfgate.com...
www.sfgate.com.../n/a/2011/12/14/national/a092353S76.DTL&type=science


Federal regulators are leaning toward approving a nuclear reactor designed by Westinghouse Electric Co. that could power the first nuclear plants built from scratch in a generation.

A majority of the members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have released statements saying they voted to approve the AP1000 reactor, most recently Commissioner William Magwood IV late Tuesday. Magwood is the third of the five commissioners to vote in favor of the reactor, although it is possible that others on the board have voted but not publicly released their ballots.

The commissioners can change their preliminary votes, which are not official until the NRC holds a final tally during a public meeting.

Still, the early support is a step forward for utility companies in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas that have billions of dollars riding on plans to build that reactor in the Southeast. Until the NRC approves the reactor design, those utilities cannot get a license to build their plants.

Westinghouse, based in Cranberry Township, Pa., says its new reactor is safer because it relies on what it calls passive forces such as gravity and convection — not diesel generators and electric pumps and motors — to run emergency cooling systems. That contrasts with the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan, which suffered three meltdowns, explosions and released radiation into the environment after a March 11 tsunami wrecked its backup power systems.

"The combination of passive safety, severe accident, and defense-in-depth features gives me confidence that the AP1000 design is sufficiently safe," NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said in a written statement accompanying his ballot.

Federal officials approved an earlier version of the AP1000 reactor in 2006, but it was never built in the United States. Four AP1000 reactors are now under construction in China.

The biggest difference between the AP1000 and existing reactors is its safety systems, including a massive water tank on top of its cylindrical concrete-and-steel shielding building. In case of an accident, water would flow down and cool the steel container that holds critical parts of the reactor — including its hot, radioactive nuclear fuel. An NRC taskforce examining the Fukushima crisis earlier said licensing for the AP1000 should go forward because it would be better equipped to deal with a prolonged loss of power — the problem that doomed the Japanese plant.




edit on 15-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 09:21 AM
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Especially considering how "safe" and "cost effective" nuclear power is...
I currently have a surcharge on my electric bill from a private energy company because they want to build a reactor. Shouldn't their profits from the monopoly on energy production in the area cover the cost? Yet, say the word regulation and in come the clowns...



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 09:21 AM
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The AP1000 has been ready for nearly a decade. One wonders why it has taken them this long.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:26 AM
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Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer hired by groups opposed to the reactor, warned regulators that the steel container that surrounds sensitive reactor parts — such as a vessel holding the nuclear fuel — could corrode or be damaged in a severe accident. He said a system that uses naturally circulating air to cool the plant during an accident would send radioactivity seeping from the containment into the outside environment.

"In solving one set of problems, they've created another problem," he said. "It's the law of unanticipated consequences."

abcnews.go.com...


edit on 15-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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Where do you think energy comes from, pixie dust? Nuclear, especially new reactor designs focused on safety, is much safer than fossil fuels per energy produced. That alone as an argument is enough to show that opposition to nuclear has no merit.

This is a new modern Generation III+ reactor. Comparison to almost 50 years old Fukushima reactor designs is inapplicable.


edit on 15/12/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


Nuclear energy is just too risky to use until we have a %100 handle on the technology. Fossil fuels are not the answer either. There are some potentials for solar and wind power, but on a large scale it's just not practical. IMO it's more reasonable to focus research on geothermal and hydroelectric from the oceans.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by Maslo
Where do you think energy comes from, pixie dust? Nuclear, especially new reactor designs focused on safety, is much safer than fossil fuels per energy produced. That alone as an argument is enough to show that opposition to nuclear has no merit.

This is a new modern Generation III+ reactor. Comparison to almost 50 years old Fukushima reactor designs is inapplicable.


edit on 15/12/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)


but no merit against an argument of Nuclear Versus Free Energy,

there is no logical explanation, nor debate on 'why' we are utilizing nuclear energy, besides the monetary profit the elitist receive



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by Darth_Prime
 


If "free energy" comes around... So far, all such claims turned out to be a scam. You cant cheat physics.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


Well, nuclear will be here to stay for a long time. It will be extremely challenging to get us off of the primary threat, fossil fuels. It is downright impossible to get rid of nuclear in foreseeable future, if ever.

If you care about the environment, you should embrace this new safer design.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


Do you really think that our governments want us to have "free energy"?

Nikola Tesla
edit on 15-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by isyeye
reply to post by Maslo
 


Do you really think that our governments want us to have "free energy"?


I dont know, I am just not convinced it exists. If it exists and is shown to be practical, I will be the first to oppose new nuclear reactors. But not a second sooner.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by isyeye
reply to post by Maslo
 


Do you really think that our governments want us to have "free energy"?

Nikola Tesla
edit on 15-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



there have been many, 'Suspicious Deaths' for those that have tried to put Free Energy out to the public,


though on the topic at hand, shouldn't the US be worried about Sanctions? i mean, we are provoking Iran, based on their Nuclear Reactors, and yet we build more? it shows how hypocritical Governments are



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by Maslo
 




If you care about the environment, you should embrace this new safer design.



I have no problem using nuclear technology for energy, as long as it can be done completely safe. Our technology at this point just does not allow it. I know there are improvements on this reactor from the ones in Japan, but there is too great of a liability in the use of nuclear reactors for energy.

We need to be look at ways to generate "safe energy" as well as "free energy"



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by isyeye
reply to post by Maslo
 


Do you really think that our governments want us to have "free energy"?

Nikola Tesla
edit on 15-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)


Do you have any input on the OP ? Or would you like to derail this subject on "free energy" debate ? .. Make a new thread IMO about free energy or give some of your input on the new nuke plants being discussed here..

IMO Nuke plants should for the most part shut down.

IMO Tesla could not give us any Ideas about Space travel and alternative ways of energy capture other then on the planet ..

I just think ( as another poster put it ) that unless the facilities are 100% contained ( and also a way to use the byproduct ) should be revamped and thought out again and again.

You know.. a good Idea is put up all the plans for a nuke plant .. put them up on a web site so All of the world can help in its design. .. you never know if some 8 year old has a better idea for a shut off valve ( or whatever ) from playing with his legos.

Just saying ..

JG.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 11:21 AM
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It is quotes like these that make me nervous about using the AP1000

www.businessweek.com...


The NRC hasn’t issued a construction license for a U.S. nuclear plant since a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island facility near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1979.



Jaczko and Magwood voted to move ahead with the AP1000 while reserving the option of requiring added safeguards later.


Jaczko also h/as said the commission’s majority “loosened the agency’s safety standards” over his opposition.



The AP1000’s design is inadequate to withstand potentially high pressure inside the reactor, according to a November report commissioned by the environmental groups Friends of the Earth, based in San Francisco, and the North Carolina Waste Awareness & Reduction Network. The environmental groups have vowed to block the AP1000’s construction in the courts unless the NRC reconsiders the design.



edit on 15-12-2011 by isyeye because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 11:30 AM
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20% of the power generated in the US is generated by nuclear plants. There are far more in existance then people think.

That being said, my issue with them is the insane amount of costs to build them, which make them not very cost worthy, and the byproducts, which are hazardous.

If Americans really want to stop the building of more plants, then maybe they should seek ways to reduce their usage of power.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 11:50 AM
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I have 3 reactors nearby and they are getting ready to add 2 more. Doing the basics clearing the ground and hiring designers and putting up better fences. I hope they start soon I could use the money to retire on.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


Do you stop driving your car because someone else had an accident?
Do you stop flying because another airlines plane crashed?


If we gave up everytime we faced an adverse event we would still be living in caves.

You study the problem, find the cause, correct it and keep moving forward. In the history of everything thats been invented, there was a time it never worked.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


It gets a lot of money to build nuclear plants, but they also generate a lot of power, so cost per GWh produced is still low, lowest after fossil power plants.
And there are ways to make nuclear even cheaper and more scalable (and more safe in the process), such as small modular reactors.

The "waste" is not waste, but future nuclear fuel and a valuable resource. We have already solved the waste problem long ago, there are reactors that can burn actinide waste into short-lived isotopes (300 years as opposed to 100 000s of years) while generating energy in the process. In fact, there is already enough nuclear "waste" on earth to meet the world’s energy needs for several hundred years with no futhrer mining of new uranium needed, when used in such reactors.

I dont believe much conspiracy theories, but the fact that some people still consider crazy ideas such as geological disposal or still use the waste argument and get away with it, the fact that reactor design like LFTR was simply "forgotten" after its huge potential was realised in the 70s, and project like IFR was shut down by politicians right after its feasibility and potential was proven in practice screams of conspiracy by fossil energy lobby to shut down the only real alternative capable to threaten their monopoly - breeder reactors.

George Monbiot: A Waste of Waste
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