Nuclear power safe?

Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
reohn2
Posts: 37486
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Nuclear power safe?

Postby reohn2 » 21 Nov 2017, 6:12pm

-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Stevek76
Posts: 510
Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby Stevek76 » 21 Nov 2017, 7:05pm

Well the Russians aren't exactly known for their safety record in this area.

Still, in terms of overall deaths, it's vastly safer than any fossil fuel, even with Chernobyl included.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17151
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 21 Nov 2017, 8:16pm

It’s far safer than any other form of power generation...

Let me guess before zimread the article...

A 50 year old design (still of the type originally designed for weapons production) has had a minor leak meaning that a few people will have fractionally over background levels of radiation exposure for a while. Unlikely that said extra will amount to as much as coming from somewhere like Cornwall...

Off to read...


I was wrong, not even a reactor...
The IRSN on Thursday ruled out an accident in a nuclear reactor, saying it was likely to be in a nuclear fuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine. There has been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe, it said.
Last edited by [XAP]Bob on 22 Nov 2017, 7:38am, edited 1 time in total.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

rjb
Posts: 3568
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby rjb » 21 Nov 2017, 8:38pm

All forms of energy use / production come with an inherrant risk. Cast your mind back to some of the uk incidents, Winscale fire (nuclear),
Aberfan (coal), Flixborough (chemical plant), Piper Alpha (gas), Bunsfield (oil).
What matters is how you contain an incident and deal with it.
The popular press know that they can frighten the public. 1000 times a previous reading sounds frightening but a 1000 times may still be safe as reported so is it news?
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

pwa
Posts: 11273
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby pwa » 21 Nov 2017, 9:09pm

I'd say coal was and still is the big killer energy source. Consider the mining disasters, the smog, and the fact that increasing Chinese coal burning is still upping the carbon put in the atmosphere, making it harder to live on this planet. Compared to that nuclear is not so bad.

Stevek76
Posts: 510
Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby Stevek76 » 22 Nov 2017, 10:47am

Almost certainly, even excluding pollution/climate change related impacts. Even in countries where high standards are (now) operated the mining is still a very dangerous job. In somewhere like china its much worse, rather more like it was here in days gone by.

Nuclear suffers from the same risk perception issues affects travelling in cars vs planes/trains or things like terrorism, incidents are much rarer so get a disproportionate amount of media coverage plus the 'unknown' elements. Fossil fuel related deaths, like road fatalities are pretty much a ten a penny so 'accepted' by the public.

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby meic » 22 Nov 2017, 11:24am

Nuclear suffers from the same risk perception issues affects travelling in cars vs planes/trains or things like terrorism, incidents are much rarer so get a disproportionate amount of media coverage plus the 'unknown' elements. Fossil fuel related deaths, like road fatalities are pretty much a ten a penny so 'accepted' by the public.


Nuclear's risk perception is due to the long term harm. The other industries' disasters are pretty terminal for the individuals involved but the disaster is contained. The results of a nuclear disaster permeate to an ever increasing area and keep on going for an incredibly long time. It isnt just a smashed lamp like in other industries, it is the genie that escapes from that smashed lamp which keeps on causing damage.
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17151
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 22 Nov 2017, 1:13pm

meic wrote:
Nuclear suffers from the same risk perception issues affects travelling in cars vs planes/trains or things like terrorism, incidents are much rarer so get a disproportionate amount of media coverage plus the 'unknown' elements. Fossil fuel related deaths, like road fatalities are pretty much a ten a penny so 'accepted' by the public.


Nuclear's risk perception is due to the long term harm. The other industries' disasters are pretty terminal for the individuals involved but the disaster is contained. The results of a nuclear disaster permeate to an ever increasing area and keep on going for an incredibly long time. It isnt just a smashed lamp like in other industries, it is the genie that escapes from that smashed lamp which keeps on causing damage.


And yet the public refuses to look at what that genie actually is or does.

If you look at the area around Chernobyl now - it's a pretty significant nature reserve. There aren't a wide range of 8 legged wolves hunting 4 headed deer.
Fukushima has no chance of ever causing nearly as much devastation as the rest of the results of that particular earthquake (chemical refineries demolished etc) let alone the damage from the tsunami.

Fukushima Daiichi
Chernobyl
Three Mile Island
Enrico Fermi Unit 1
SL-1
Sodium Reactor Experiment
Windscale

That's the sum list of 'serious' accidents (note that the definition of serious includes the Fermi Unit - which overheated and was safely cooled. It was periodically operated for years afterwards - though never at full capacity again.)

Almost all are incidents involving human misjudgment (particularly Chernobyl) and the total attributable death toll is *teeny* *tiny*.

Newer reactor designs cannot fail in the same way as those above - they can also 'burn' fuel that has been used in the older reactors and leave us with pretty short half life products (you don't want stuff that's *too* short).

The image of "nuclear" is so tainted that we renamed Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (which is an accurate description of the technology) to MRI.
That's how badly society has fallen - we can't even use NMR any more. Radiotherapy is of course not called radiation therapy (radiation bad, but I have a radio in the car)...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

rjb
Posts: 3568
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby rjb » 22 Nov 2017, 5:52pm

meic wrote:
Nuclear's risk perception is due to the long term harm. The other industries' disasters are pretty terminal for the individuals involved but the disaster is contained. The results of a nuclear disaster permeate to an ever increasing area and keep on going for an incredibly long time. It isnt just a smashed lamp like in other industries, it is the genie that escapes from that smashed lamp which keeps on causing damage.


Nuclear accidents can be cleaned up, at a cost and willingness to do so. I would expect the Japanese to clean up Fukushima in the not too distant future. Hiroshima is now a pretty safe place to live in, as is windscale ( renamed Sellafield).
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 9983
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby Cunobelin » 22 Nov 2017, 6:11pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
meic wrote:
Nuclear suffers from the same risk perception issues affects travelling in cars vs planes/trains or things like terrorism, incidents are much rarer so get a disproportionate amount of media coverage plus the 'unknown' elements. Fossil fuel related deaths, like road fatalities are pretty much a ten a penny so 'accepted' by the public.


Nuclear's risk perception is due to the long term harm. The other industries' disasters are pretty terminal for the individuals involved but the disaster is contained. The results of a nuclear disaster permeate to an ever increasing area and keep on going for an incredibly long time. It isnt just a smashed lamp like in other industries, it is the genie that escapes from that smashed lamp which keeps on causing damage.


And yet the public refuses to look at what that genie actually is or does.

If you look at the area around Chernobyl now - it's a pretty significant nature reserve. There aren't a wide range of 8 legged wolves hunting 4 headed deer.
Fukushima has no chance of ever causing nearly as much devastation as the rest of the results of that particular earthquake (chemical refineries demolished etc) let alone the damage from the tsunami.

Fukushima Daiichi
Chernobyl
Three Mile Island
Enrico Fermi Unit 1
SL-1
Sodium Reactor Experiment
Windscale

That's the sum list of 'serious' accidents (note that the definition of serious includes the Fermi Unit - which overheated and was safely cooled. It was periodically operated for years afterwards - though never at full capacity again.)

Almost all are incidents involving human misjudgment (particularly Chernobyl) and the total attributable death toll is *teeny* *tiny*.

Newer reactor designs cannot fail in the same way as those above - they can also 'burn' fuel that has been used in the older reactors and leave us with pretty short half life products (you don't want stuff that's *too* short).

The image of "nuclear" is so tainted that we renamed Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (which is an accurate description of the technology) to MRI.
That's how badly society has fallen - we can't even use NMR any more. Radiotherapy is of course not called radiation therapy (radiation bad, but I have a radio in the car)...


I work in "Nuclear Medicine"

Some years ago the DoH tried to stop the use of the name, but it simply states what is in the tin

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby old_windbag » 22 Nov 2017, 6:16pm

rjb wrote: Hiroshima is now a pretty safe place to live in


I think this is partly due to the bomb being detonated at 1500ft so acting as a blast/heat explosion. It didn't pick up and contaminate in the same way as it may have being detonated on the ground. Chernobyls exploding reactor spread its core material over the surrounding area and the plume was spread europe wide.

As much as chernobyl may be viewed as a nature reserve it's the long term effect on wildlife and human life thats important. These things can take a long time to show their affect, just as with the aftermath of asbestos mishandling. I'd rather not eat meat of a deer feeding there( hypothetically as I'd not eat it at all ). I am not opposed to nuclear power but I am opposed to some humans need to cut corners at any cost, this is it's main weakness I feel unfortunately. Decommisioning is rather expensive too.

If all the material had super short half lives then all may be well but not sure that was the case.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17151
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 22 Nov 2017, 11:30pm

The effective dose equivalents in Talesh Mahalleh are a few times higher than the ICRP-recommended radiation dose limits for radiation workers.


Measured at >130mSv/year

Chernobyl (and surrounds), with the exception of a few lone artefacts, measures somewhere under a uSv/hour (8mSv/year)

I think we have a pretty good idea what long term radiation looks like, we just have to look at areas of the planet which have naturally high background radiation...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

old_windbag
Posts: 1869
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 3:55pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby old_windbag » 23 Nov 2017, 12:11am

I think the problem from my perspective in chernobyl for example is not the dose received standing around which may be very low but rather ingestion of strongly ionizing contaminants from crops and meat that has fed from the land and watercourses. We have built in DNA repair to a degree and alpha, beta particle emitters will not penetrate far, if at all, externally, but if we ingested alpha emitting material then we could be creating unecessary problems down the line. Its the material that has found its way into the soil and beyond that is critical. The half life being an important factor.

The a-bomb tests the americans did in nevada and elsewhere weren't without incident. Why should anyone have an increased risk of cancer through nuclear errors whether weapons or energy, we aren't happy having it from other sources and are always striving to reduce damage to health....... though many may ignore advice given.

I don't have a fear of radiation as described in the name changes to equipment as I know it can be used for good. But I wouldn't choose to drink a radium tonic as was often promoted in the early days of the discovery. There are many walking the planet into their 70's/80's who were exposed to quite high doses of radiation but their stories aren't of a life without serious health issues that they need not have incurred.

francovendee
Posts: 1172
Joined: 5 May 2009, 6:32am

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby francovendee » 23 Nov 2017, 8:02am

Safe? Maybe but would you choose to live near one if you have a choice?

pwa
Posts: 11273
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Nuclear power safe?

Postby pwa » 23 Nov 2017, 8:28am

francovendee wrote:Safe? Maybe but would you choose to live near one if you have a choice?


I live near the South Wales coast. A couple of miles east of here on our B road I often catch a glimpse of Hinkley Point. Not exactly next door but not far away. And I welcome it.