nuclear energy

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Christ Reynolds, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i happen to live in a town with a nuclear power plant. it has been in this town for about 35 years or so, and i'd like to know what peoples opinions are about having one in their town. i felt pretty safe having it only a few miles down the road, but i was never really sure, until i did my summer internship there one year. i was amazed at the amount of paperwork you had to go through just to do a simple repair or inspection, among other things. anyway, what are your thoughts? keep in mind the rules of the HTF, and please dont comment on any attacks or anything. what if it was someone's idea to put one in your town, how would you react? i feel its a clean source of power, however not without flaws. anyone have opinions?

    CJ
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Public opinion of nuclear plants is terrible. Either that or the media would have you believe it is. The NIMBY crowd goes ape shit whenever the topic is raised.

    I've lived next to nuclear plants all my life. If I had a choice between living next to a coal burning plant and a nuke plant I'd take the nuke any day. Contrary to popular belief, nuclear plants don't blow up and kill everyone in the city, or give everyone cancer. If Chernobyl would have had a containment dome like we use in the United States, the citizens of the town wouldn't have been harmed.
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, living near one has never been an issue with me (well, there was the time when I was five and one of my mother's friends convinced her these things should be protested and bring the kids, but people who give elementary school kids signs and thell them to yell things they can't understand are a different subject).

    Anyway, as long as I knew the thing met US safety standards, which are incredibly stringent, I'd be in favor of it. The way I see it, it's inexpensive power whose waste products are at least easily containable versus just being belched into the air and ground water the way fossil fuels are.
     
  4. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    I believe that there is a lot of incorrect information in regards to Nuclear Power that leads to Fear. In Fact it is one of the cleaner/best fuel sources that we "Currently" have available to us. The down fall of Nuclear Power are the inherent risks involved. A melt down like Chernobyl is really not likely simply with how they are built now but Spent Fuel rods will always be a problem. Where do we put them, How to store them, etc. We used to have one in Oregon but it was shut down due to environmental concerns from certain lobbying groups.

    Would I be worried if they put one in my backyard.. Sure but it may be the best option for some towns/cities. IMO what we need to do is to develop safer alternatives or to work on clean energy like Hard water Fission reactors. (Yeah I know they don't exist.. YET). [​IMG]

    KyleS
     
  5. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  6. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    It's really incorrect to say that nuclear energy is clean.
    Sure if you choose to ignore the spent fuel rods you can get away with that kind of miss-statement but the fact remains that nuclear power generation always produces spent fuel rods.

    That being the case any discussion on how clean nuclear energy is should include the disposal of the spend fuel rods. Taking the spent fuel rods into account really dismisses the notion that nuclear power is clean.
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    About 80% of France is powered by nuclear energy. They are not going nuts over it.

    --
    Holadem
     
  9. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  10. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I remember when MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners replaced NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) scanners because of the word “nuclear.” People feared that the NMR was nuclear powered, or used near lethal doses of radiation from toxic plutonium, or some such thing. The bottom line is that it’s simply the word they feared, because the word “nuclear” in the NMR acronym refers to the nuclei of the atoms being imaged, like brain cells and tumors - not the “engine” or probative beam of the device itself.

    But you can’t argue with such willful and fear-based ignorance, so to allay these fears, all installed NMR scanners were dutifully replaced by MRI scanners. What is the difference between them? Only the acronym.

    As long as a nuclear power plant isn’t built on an active fault line or rising caldera, and as long as it’s not held together by duct tape (unless it’s the good stuff that’s plenum-rated and really sticky), I wouldn’t mind living near a nuclear power plant.

    BTW – I understand that most dictionaries being published now include the word “nucular” because of its “common usage.” Ugh.
     
  11. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I'd have no beef whatsoever living near a nuclear power plant. I'd prefer it over a coal plant. The matter of storing spent fuel rods (get the word "disposal" out of your head) is really the only downside, and not a big one, IMO. One place like Yucca Mountain can hold an enormous amount of this type of waste (decades worth, from every US plant). Given the design of most of the US plants, Chernobyl-style catastrophes are simply not possible. I'm not talking about the containment building, either- Chernobyl's ensuing steam explosion would likely have ruptured most vessels here, as well.

    Given that we haven't permitted a new nuclear plant in nearly 30 years, I don't see a big future for it- which is too bad. Coal-fired is still our #1 source, which is also too bad. Gas turbine plants are good for peak-demand, but lacking in the sort of "brute force" capacity of a big (3000MW) coal, nuclear, or big-hydro (Hoover) facility.

    Todd

    P.S. I suppose it helps that I used to BE a Nuclear Reactor Operator.[​IMG]
     
  12. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    If there wasn't the issue of non-proliferation, we would have a method of recycling those spent fuel "rods." We were very close to the end of development, in 1992, for a reactor power plant design that burned up spent fuel as it's source. The unfortunate side effect was that it was a breeder. Thus it died an early death.

    I don't have any problems living near a nuke plant. Well I do work at one[​IMG]
     
  13. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Nuclear energy is probably the best source of power that we can and should use. Yes there is the issue with the waste material but with proper storage the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Plus if we can ever develop a controlled nuclear fusion reaction (vs the uncontrolled reactions used in thermonuclear weapons) and harness that for commercial use there will be no waste products at all, other than helium.
    Wouldn't it be amazing if a glass of water could be used to power something the size of New York City?

    Jeff
     
  14. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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    As long as the base underneath the power plant is strong, you'll be fine. I know up here in Ontario, the pickering Nuclear Power plant is built right over 2 fault lines that come together [​IMG]
     
  15. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  16. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I was under the impression that japan recycled its spent fuel rods? no?
     
  17. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Future pebble bed reactors are incredibly safe. However the problems of nuclear plants are not their operation so much as their waste.

    Spent fuel rods are also not the only pollution created by nuclear fuel. You have to remember that before you get those fuel rods, you have to refine and enrich them. This process creates its own mess.
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Scroll several years (or centuries) ahead and imagine nuclear-fusion engines generating a continuous 1G accelaration rate on a manned spacecraft.

    It wouldn't be unrealistic, then, to consider interstellar travel.

    Amazing.
     
  19. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I worked in a nuke plant for a year (doing IT), an incredibly controlled and safely monitored environment. Would have no hesitation working there again and frequently make day trips there for presentations.

    There is a story (never verified by me, perhaps others can comment or provide links) that one time the radiation monitors at a civilian plant started firing off. The plant was placed in emergency status and analysis begun. The slightly elavated levels were not consistent with any type of containment breach and were just as high in the farthest parking lots as they were outside the generation buildings. Not dangerously high, just higher than the naturally occuring background radiation we are all exposed to every day. Actually ended up that the levels were higher outside the plant than inside the reactor's control room

    Ended up the Russians performed a hidden nuclear test, and the radiation monitors were so sensitive they picked it up at our plants. Not even the pentagon picked it up (or adimitted they previously knew about it). A tribute to ultra-senstive monitoring.
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Kirk, I would easily believe that story if it happened in 1962 (61?) when the USSR kicked off its 50+ megaton "Tsar Bomba".

    Nuclear power can be "safe" if it's done right, but I'm not convinced that nuclear power is worth it from a practical perspective for many reasons.

    As pointed out previously, the creation of Nuclear Fuel, enriched uranium, creates huge amounts of waste that is usually not thought of in discussions like this.

    http://www.bechteljacobs.com/port/envirbullports.htm

    Also, after the reaction, the highly radioactive spent fuel has to be stored somewhere. Yukka Mountain is supposed to be a "temporary" storage space. Nobody has yet figured out what to do with the stuff permanently.

    http://nsnfp.inel.gov/whatis.asp

    People seem to think that Nuclear fuel has an unlimited supply. However, the only substnaces that can be used for the "controlled" fission reaction are enriched uranium and plutonium. Both of these substances take a very large, expensive, and not entirely clean enrichment process, and the amount of pitchblende in the world is not endless. It takes a huge amount of pitchblende to yield a small amount of usable nuclear fuel, and there are only a few (albeit very large) deposits in the world. Mining of pitchblende is no less expensive than mining for lead or boxite, but the amount of pitchblende needed to create usable fuel is huge, causing mining costs per usable volume of enriched uranium to be extremely high.

    Because of all all that, nuclear power is incredibly expensive in real dollars. If it weren't for huge amounts of money from the Department of Energy (mostly in the form of the extremely costly enrichment facilities and waste storage programs) it would not be economically feasible in a capitalist economy. If the power is created and regulated by the government, then the costs can be more easily spread out and hidden (heck, most people in the USA are either unaware of or choose to ignore the huge amounts of government funding that goes into the nuclear power industry).

    And at the end of the day, in the current world climate, you've got a potential for serious catastrophe as a terrorist target. An airplane hitting a plant would potentially cause another Chernobyl, talk about a dirty bomb.

    Aside: I've read (can't remember where) that the creation of solar cells is an incredibly dirty process that yields toxic chemical waste that is so bad that it completely defeats the purpose of "clean" solar energy.

    Lastly, not to be political, but the fact can not be ignored that any nation that has the technology and resources to enrich uranium to usability as a nuclear fuel, can create nuclear weapons. Logistically, the enrichment of the fuel is the hard part. Making a simple gun-type bomb like the awful device used over Hiroshima would be very simple. There's no way to know that a country would not want to do so. As far as I know, most if not all nuclear-powered countries have the bomb as well. And North Korea has large pitchblende deposits, who can blame them for having an enrichment program? Wouldn't you want to make the most of your natural resources if you were a nation? Let's just hope they limit their use to safe power plants.

    It's no wonder that no new nuclear plants have come online in the USA in many decades.
     

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