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Earthquakes and Nuclear Plants

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posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 10:41 PM
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The recent earthquake in California registering 5.9 is still small in comparison to what scientists are expecting in the future. Though they are not sure when the next "big one" is, the are currently scrambling to dig into the ground and monitor both plates for warning signals.
Current plans exist in Parksfield, CA on the edge of the San Adrea Fault. Scientist plan to create an earthquake observatory 2 miles below the surface as a part of EarthScope, "a 20-year, $200 million initiative that aims to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent. " Will it be in time?
www.signonsandiego.com...

The recent California earthquake was only 50 miles from the existing Nuclear facility at Diablo Canyon. Though nuclear facilities have been built to withstand strikes from a missle or from a crashing plane, what amount of safety are we provided by the splitting and shaking of earth beneath these facilities?

Plans are currently underway to examine such future designs and Japan currently has nuclear facilities built to accomodate two levels of earthquakes, but what are we going to do with the current nuclear facilities?

I just wanted to kick off this discussion and see what all of you have to say.



E_T

posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 01:48 AM
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Well, only way would be to make reactor (and cooling system) building so strong that it would stay in one piece.


If earth starts splitting and rising/descending directly under plant there's no way to protect it. Reactor itself could stay in one piece but that wouldn't benefit anything, it will "burn on the bottom" very quickly after cooling systems fail.
(reactor itself would have to have build-in emergency system capable to shutting it down)



posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 02:27 AM
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I know they are doing research on how to build them stronger, but I was also wondering what they will do with all of the spent nuclear waste, over 2000 tons in the US each year. I know they are currently talking about continuing to dump nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain here in the US. They are currently planning on digging way below the surface depth of the mountain, burying the waste into metal secured casks with a drip shield that promise 80,000 years of security before leaking into the water supply or from water leaking in.

Another problem with Yucca Mountain is that it has already experienced earthquakes in June of 2002 and also in 1992. It is not a stable area, and that is not a well planned place to dump nuclear waste. Somehow it was passed through and plans for construction continue. Hopefully one of these presidents will force a better permanent solution for nuclear waste.



posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 03:31 AM
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They are currently planning on digging way below the surface depth of the mountain, burying the waste into metal secured casks with a drip shield that promise 80,000 years of security before leaking into the water supply or from water leaking in.


What about after 80 000 years.... i guess by then the species would either have died out, or moved on... but its still kinda not acceptable to me... i know we'll all be dead and gone, but 80 000 years from now there will still be life around and that life will be affected



posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 04:18 AM
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I would be willing to bet that something goes wrong long before 80,000 years. A major earthquake can cause large changes, as known, and why put the waste into an earthquake zone?

What happens to a plant that has a major earthquake?


E_T

posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 05:17 AM
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Originally posted by infinite8
What happens to a plant that has a major earthquake?
Like I said, earthquake could break external cooling and reactor control systems...
and russians played with cooling system in Chernobyl.



posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 02:53 PM
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Infinite 8, your concerns are certainly justified. Spent fuel is a major concern with nuclear power.

One approach would be to use fast breeders, whuich can turn the spent fuel into usable fuel again. The downside to this is that some of the byproducts of some of the breeders can be weapons grade fuel.

A second approach would be to shoot the spent fuel into the sun. The downside to this is that if the launch rocket malfunctions, the results could prove to be ... unpleasant.

Another apporach would be to bury the fuel in the most geologically quiet place you can think of and wait for it to subducted down into the mantle. Of course, that takes a million years or more, and, meanwhile, there could be leaks.

No matter what your plan is, there are risks that we need to identify and -- to the best of our ability -- ameliorate.

But when you compare nuclear energy to burning hydrocarbons, it is safer to our health by a factor of at least a hundred:

How many people die each year from cardiopulmonary diseases caused by breathing hydrocarbon-produced pollutants?

How many acres of vegetation are destroyed by the acid rain from burning hydrocarbons?

How many acres have we destroyed and how many ecologies have we disrupted merely by drilling for, transporting, and refining hydrocarbons?

How many billions of dollars have we spent on hydrocarbons which not only go out of the country, but go to malevolent hicks and thugs in the Middle East who can and do use our own money to fund economic and military warfare upon us?

And when is the last of the Earth's exploitable hydrocarbons going to go away? And -- if we don't already have another energy source in place -- how many billions of people will die of starvation, exposure, and war as a result of such an upheaval?


E_T

posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
A second approach would be to shoot the spent fuel into the sun. The downside to this is that if the launch rocket malfunctions, the results could prove to be ... unpleasant.

Won't happen in (very looooong) near future, sending one pound to orbit costs thousands of dollars, sending it to sun would cost many times more.



posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 04:21 PM
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I won't argue with the benefits of using nuclear power. It is a much better alternative than other AVAILABLE energy resources. Biggest problem is the disposal. Where is cold fusion and zero point energy when we need it?



posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 12:34 AM
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ET says:

Won't happen in (very looooong) near future, sending one pound to orbit costs thousands of dollars, sending it to sun would cost many times more.

Actually about ten percent more than to get it into orbit. A small kick to give it escape velocity, with the right vector, and it sill spiral down the biggest gravity well in the neighborhood. It might take a couple of years, but itll end up there sooner or later. Of course, youre right about getting the pound into orbit!

If only we had a Sampo to grind up that uranium into salt! Wheres Wainamoinen when you need him?

Infinite8 says:

/ Where is cold fusion and zero point energy when we need it?

Who knows? Maybe theyre for real, maybe theyre fairy-dust! The important thing, I believe, is that we solve todays problems with todays answers, since tomorrows answers might not even exist.



posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 03:01 AM
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I completely disagree with sending any amount of nuclear waste into space.....



posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by infinite8

Plans are currently underway to examine such future designs and Japan currently has nuclear facilities built to accomodate two levels of earthquakes, but what are we going to do with the current nuclear facilities?

I just wanted to kick off this discussion and see what all of you have to say.


Darn good question. In fact Indian Point in NY sits right on top of a fault line in a heavily populated area, and way to close to NYC.

This problem has never been addressed and neither have a whole host of other problems this plant has been plagued with over the years.


Ut

posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 12:40 PM
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One would hope that nuclear plants have built in safety switches that would turn the reactor off in case of such an event.

One would hope. Keep in mind that nuclear plants are some of the safest, most highly regulated energy producing environments in the country.

Frankly, I'm a big fan of the CANDU system, where the coolant is also the moderator. If the cooling system fails, the reactor simply isn't capable of a sustained chain reaction. The downside is that the coolant is heavy water, which is more expensive.



posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 04:25 PM
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The CANDU system also has many reported problems. 1/3 of Canadas CANDU reactors have been shut down and in 1996 CANDU performance was the worst of all reactor types.

CANDU reactors also emit far more radiation than PWR pressurized water reactors. In some cases 100 times more.

As far as Indian Point 2 is concerned, I would worry living anywhere near that place. It has been cited for more violations than any other nuclear facility in the US.
www.riverkeeper.org...

Regardless of how any of our plants are currently built in the US and abroad, a major earthquake will most likely cause some major issues. Im afraid a large portion of the population will be affected when it does.



posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 04:29 PM
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I don't know if is a conection like your thread said we have a nuclear power plant here in Georgia and I have seen it quite impresive and scary, but not earthquakes around here.



posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 04:47 PM
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Hi Marg, you have 2 nuclear plants in Georgia, Hatch and Vogtle, each with 2 units.

Vogtle is ranked as the 9th largest in the US, while Hatch is ranked 87th.

Which one did you see?

Good news for you though. There haven't been any problems over there, and as you mentioned, no major quakes.

[edit on 10/3/2004 by infinite8]



posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 05:32 PM
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I know is located in my way (back way) from Macon to Athens belongs to GA power at least that is what it say in their entrance, one thing I noticed is not guarded non of their entraces or (exits) are guarded You can see the "calderas" I don't know how they call them in Inglish the plant is very impressive and large in a scary way is surrounded by a man made lake.



posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 05:36 PM
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Well thats not so comforting to hear. I hope they have someone posted in guard towers, motion sensors, gates, something.





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