Forget Fukushima, Nuclear Power Has Saved 1.8 Million Lives

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posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:14 AM
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Originally posted by deadeyedick
I can't believe so many people have problems with nuclear plants.
How else are we going to slowly mutate everyone and kill the earth?


Pollution from coal stations does a pretty good job


how else are we gonna blow everyone to kingdom come?


How are nuclear power stations going to blow anyone up??



I mean really we would not be living in a state of peace without having nuclear threats.


We manage to live in (more or less) a state of peace with cars killing 10's of thousands of people and the threat of being hit by hem every day - why would nuclear power stations that barely register in injury statistics be a problem???




posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


Well i am no expert but i believe it is called fission.

If the state of the world is what you would call peace then you are confused.
Surely you see the connection between nuclear bombs and nuclear plants.
edit on 8-4-2013 by deadeyedick because: (no reason given)


On second thought i concede all points to you because the sad reality is that we are past the point of making any meaningful changes with talk. We are screwed and i would rather be oblivious to reality just like many on here. Plug me back in to the matrix please.
edit on 8-4-2013 by deadeyedick because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by RAY1990
 


Good facts there Ray, thanks for your comments.
The half-life of Plutonium-239, one particularly lethal component of nuclear waste, is 24,000 years,
that is a long time, It is safe to say the the earth potentially would never recover from a continued
use of nuclear fuel, if anything goes wrong, and it has.

The use of fossil fuels seems very reasonable in comparison.



posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 01:36 AM
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Part of the reason nuclear power is so safe in aggregate to fossil fuels (also in aggregate), is because a large amount of deaths from fossil fuels are due to people in third worlds doing things like heating their homes or cooking with wood or biomass without proper ventilation. The figures would likely be far less startling if you compared for example, natural gas in western countries, with nuclear reactors in western countries. Giving people proper ways to heat their home and cook food, would save a huge amount of lives (that's the value of technology!).

When a nuclear accident occurs, people are evacuated to ensure that the consequences are primarily economic, rather than health impacts resulting form radiation - there is evidence that the evacuation of the area around Fukushima killed more than the radiation will (note this does not imply the evacuation was a waste of time).

I think this study was extremely over-optimistic in its assumptions about nuclear, for example WHO/IAEA predicted ~9000 deaths from Chernobyl, The Other Report on CHernobyl (TORCH), if I recall correctly predicted 30,000 to 60,000 deaths. However I think the end conclusion is correct, nuclear is safer than burning coal.
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posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 01:39 AM
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I'm sure the irradiated seals washing ashore would love to weigh in on this one.



posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 02:35 AM
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Also, a few comments from reading this thread:

1. The most radioactive components of nuclear waste are fission products. Fission products are hundreds if not thousands of times more radioactive than actinides, but an extremely high activity rate like this also means that they aren't radioactive for as long. Most of the contamination at Chernobyl and Fukushima are not due to actinides (although they too are present) but due to fission products like Cesium-137. Overall fission products are only significantly more radioactive than the ore from which the Uranium was mined for about 500 years. Containing these from spent fuel for 500 years is relatively easy.

Actinides however, typically have half lifes of several ten thousand years, but they are far less radioactive. Plutonium is an example of an Actinide. So the waste in a thousand years will still be dangerous, but it will be hundreds or thousands of times less dangerous than it is today. Most of the concern about storing nuclear waste relates to actinides since it will take many thousands of years for it to become as radioactive as the ore from which the Uranium was mined.

2. Actinides could be used as fuel in fast reactors, leaving only fission products as the final waste. However, development of these are difficult and they still need more. An example of a fast reactor concept is the IFR.

3. The notion that fossil fuels have no lasting impacts and only nuclear does is incorrect. For example, if mining for fossil fuel frees up heavy metals, then unless there is some natural process that disperses or sequesters those heavy metals back to their original state, permanent contamination will occur. If a species goes extinct due to fossil fuels then this is likely permanent unless we clone them. So while nuclear waste is obviously much worse qualitatively since it is radioactive too, at least they will change into stable elements over time. This also does not include climate impacts.

4. Nuclear reactors pose a threat, mostly because most current reactors require active cooling to keep the fuel cool. If cooling is lost for anything other than a small amount of time, then a release will occur. In addition, all the fission products have had no time to decay - so the amount of activity from 1 tonne of 'new' spent fuel (or fuel in the core) will be far higher than fuel that has been sitting in a cask after being actively cooled for several decades. Spent nuclear fuel after several decades no longer requires active cooling. On the other hand, there is also a massive amount more of spent fuel than fuel inside reactors, so an accident involving spent fuel may involve a massive amount of material (i,e, spent fuel pools).

5. Nuclear waste from nuclear power reactors may be able to be used to make nuclear weapons. However, the isotropic ratio of Plutonium isotopes from waste is not ideal which means this is rarely if ever done. The only known device that used reactor grade plutonium was detonated in a test by the USA several decades ago, and this was likely from a gas cooled reactor (which was originally designed to produce weapons grade plutonium). Unfortunately over the time of thousands of years, the Plutonium will become purer as the unideal isotopes decay faster.

6. The release of radioactive isotopes from nuclear power stations under normal operation into the environment is very small. The release from some coal power stations used to be higher (the study was old, I don't know what the current situation is with improved emission control on coal power stations).

7. Often power uprates occur because new instrumentation is more accurate, showing that power increases could occur without detriment to safety. I don't see the problem with such uprates. Others (like those at San Onofre) point to issues with steam generator replacement and uprates.

8. I think a big point that we can take away from the study, is that renewables should primarily go into replacing fossil fuels, rather than replacing nuclear.

9. Of course the study likely set out to prove that nuclear was far safer than fossil fuels. Unfortunately a massive amount of those both for and against nuclear power do the same. Someone in this thread for example linked IEER.

My opinion is that nuclear power is far safer than fossil fuels right up until the point you have a Fukushima on your hands. And unfortunately, the probability of such events are hard to predict and the consequences of such events are hard to measure. New reactors have much better protections against these events, so I feel they are probably worth building if renewables cannot do the job.
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posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by deadeyedick
 


You clearly don't have any idea what you're talking about. A nuclear reactor cannot be repurposed as a bomb, period. Reactor-grade uranium is 2-4% U-235 (which is the only fissile isotope of uranium). Highly-enriched uranium for single-stage nuclear weapons, naval reactors and research is more like 90% U-235. WWII uranium was enriched to about 20%, and once you get past that, not having your materials go critical in your face gets very difficult.

Never mind that straight uranium hasn't been used in weapons since plutonium synthesis became easy, since plutonium requires a lot less processing.



posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by ShadeWolf
 


I don't disagree that i don't know the science behind all of it.
However that will not stop the death and deformations from occurring.
The death i speak of will be brought to us by nuclear power you could take that to the bank but by the time you understand it there will be no banks.



posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 09:12 PM
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This is all great and all, but building nuclear power plants on coastlines prone to seismic activity is idiotic and cannot be justified. I'm sure nuclear power can be utilized safely in certain places, but we're doing it wrong.



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by Lothbrok
 


Indeed, they are doing it wrong, very pertinent points concerning the water usage.



For every three units of energy produced by the reactor core of a U.S. nuclear power plants, two units are discharged to the environment as waste heat. Nuclear plants are built on the shores of lakes, rivers, and oceans because these bodies provide the large quantities of cooling water needed to handle the waste heat discharge.
www.ucsusa.org...



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Sek82
I'm sure the irradiated seals washing ashore would love to weigh in on this one.


Yup. I just found a great thread here on ATS about this very thing.


Scientists test sick Alaska seals for radiation
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Apr, 10 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by burntheships
 


All thermal power stations require cooling water, nuclear isn't significantly different. Nuclear power stations tend to be large so they need more cooling water, and their thermal efficiency is lower than natural gas power stations and slightly lower than that of coal.
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