Pandora's Promise

I can’t remember who recommended this documentary. It was pretty good. It follows several big names in the environmental movement as they struggle with accepting nuclear power as a viable option. Interesting not just for the history of the nuclear industry, but seeing how people who are seemingly doing good, can be just as blinded by bad science as fundamentalists, or anti-global warming people. It is one of the most balanced documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.
A few fun facts; Coal is responsible for thousands of deaths a year, nuclear, hardly any. The area around Chernobyl was abandoned, but people have returned, despite the warnings, and are doing just fine. It’s fear. And Chernobyl was poorly built, there are no other plants as unsafe as it. The waste problem is not a problem at all, it’s something 600 cubic meters, and the next generation of plant will be able to use it, so it’s not waste at all.

Lausten sometimes you impress, other time you befuddle.
As for this longing for yet more nuclear power…
The addict can’t imagine anything beyond the next fix.
Allow me a couple minutes, I’ll be back.

Yeah kids aren’t being born with two heads, fish are returning, in fact thanks to all the debris that ended up in the ocean seems more habitat was created and sea life loves it, thanks to heavy currents flushing the waters.
All is fine. Let’s build more of these time bombs.
Too much is never enough.

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows MARCH 7, 2016 https://www.whoi.edu/news-release/fukushima-site-still-leaking Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, there is still no U.S. federal agency responsible for studies of radioactive contaminants in the ocean. But scientific data about the levels of radioactivity in the ocean off our shores are available publicly thanks to ongoing efforts of independent researchers, including Ken Buesseler, a radiochemist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), who has led the effort to create and maintain an ocean monitoring network along the U.S. West Coast. ... Buesseler’s work reveals that levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, his analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control," a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits. ...
How is Fukushima’s cleanup going five years after its meltdown? Not so well. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/five-years-after-nuclear-meltdown-no-one-knows-what-to-do-with-fukushima/2016/02/10/a9682194-c9dc-11e5-b9ab-26591104bb19_story.html “In the last five years, radiation levels have been reduced substantially, and we can say that the plant is stable now," said Akira Ono, the Tepco plant superintendent. Efforts to contain the contamination have progressed, according to Tepco, including the completion Tuesday of a subterranean “ice wall" around the plant that, once operational, is meant to freeze the ground and stop leakage. Moves to decommission the plant — a process that could take 30 or 40 years, Ono estimated — are getting underway. People will be allowed to return to their homes in the nearby town of Naraha next month and to Tomioka, even closer to the plant, next year. ...
Fukushima nuclear crisis estimated to cost ¥11 trillion: study KYODO AUG 27, 2014 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/27/national/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-estimated-to-cost-¥11-trillion-study/#.V6C2WVeTnzL The Fukushima nuclear accident will cost an estimated ¥11.08 trillion, almost double the government projection made at the end of 2011, according to a recent study by Japanese college professors. The figure includes ¥4.91 trillion to compensate affected residents, ¥2.48 trillion for radiation cleanup work, ¥2.17 trillion to scrap the Fukushima No. 1 plant and ¥1.06 trillion to temporarily store radioactive soil and other waste generated by decontamination work, according to the study.
Costs and Consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster By Steven Starr http://www.psr.org/environment-and-health/environmental-health-policy-institute/responses/costs-and-consequences-of-fukushima.html
Oh course, cutting back on our addiction isn't even in the cards.

What addiction? To having light and powering our computers?
Note how you don’t quote numbers. It’s a lot like anti-Monsanto people who keep quoting one statement about cancer, but nothing about the actual levels of Roundup found in our food.
http://science.time.com/2013/06/21/radioactive-green-pandoras-promise-rethinks-nuclear-power/
Since you love links so much, read the above. It says the UN has determined health affects are minimal. I’m not going to attempt to recalculate the costs you lay out because I would need access to the science behind them. You apparently are just accepting that they should dig up a bunch of dirt and store it somewhere for 10,000 years. You seem to believe that because you can detect some low level radiation coming from the plant that means “it’s leaking”. Leaking what? How much? Compared to what? If you can’t answer those questions, you aren’t saying anything more than an anti-vaxxers says when they scream about formaldehyde, ignoring the formaldehyde they consume every time they eat a pear.

What addiction? To having light and powering our computers? Note how you don't quote numbers. It's a lot like anti-Monsanto people who keep quoting one statement about cancer, but nothing about the actual levels of Roundup found in our food. http://science.time.com/2013/06/21/radioactive-green-pandoras-promise-rethinks-nuclear-power/ Since you love links so much, read the above. It says the UN has determined health affects are minimal. I'm not going to attempt to recalculate the costs you lay out because I would need access to the science behind them. You apparently are just accepting that they should dig up a bunch of dirt and store it somewhere for 10,000 years. You seem to believe that because you can detect some low level radiation coming from the plant that means "it's leaking". Leaking what? How much? Compared to what? If you can't answer those questions, you aren't saying anything more than an anti-vaxxers says when they scream about formaldehyde, ignoring the formaldehyde they consume every time they eat a pear.
But at least there isn't a movement (supported with billions of capitalist dollars) to keep information from the public about fossil fuels and its dangers--or even the source of our energy. We should be happy for small mercies. Lois
Lausten sometimes you impress, other time you befuddle. As for this longing for yet more nuclear power... The addict can't imagine anything beyond the next fix. Allow me a couple minutes, I'll be back.
Are you researching, or is this just not worth your time?
Lausten sometimes you impress, other time you befuddle. As for this longing for yet more nuclear power... The addict can't imagine anything beyond the next fix. Allow me a couple minutes, I'll be back.
Are you researching, or is this just not worth your time?I did my dimes worth of research on this one. To many other more immediate things to deal with. Reaching for Nuclear Power development at this point is something that only someone still under the spell of Reaganomics can consider. Someone that's managed to delude themselves that's all's well with the world and there is no fundamental difference between today and 1980s. Oh about dreaded Reaganomics voodoo. The fundamentals of Reaganomics are endless growth and consumption is a realistic goal to strive for. Ever increasing profits is all that matters. Ignore responsibilities and externalities as much a politically and lawyerly-possible. Oh yeah also, hate taxes and never acknowledge the benefits you receive thanks to other's taxes. Oh as for nuclear power plants The time for the insanely complex power plants that take decades to develop is over. the 2010s, 20s, 30s ain't going to be anything like the 1980s and 90s. Nuclear once you consider the mining and materials and waste and all the rest, has nothing to do with "environmentally friendly". - nough said. It's the Hazen lecture that I'm really looking forward to getting back to when I have the time. :cheese:
What addiction?
The addiction to unsustainable consumerism. The addiction to ever increasing energy consumption. Dependence on energy sources that make today's life easier, but that will make tomorrow's life untenable.

I studied nuclear power plants few years ago while working on my degree. CC raises a good point. As far as I can tell no one has ever done a cradle-to-grave analysis of the cost and carbon emissions of nuclear plants. Power companies and even some environmentalists tout nuclear plants as zero-carbon, but that is transparent bullshit. A true analysis would include building the plant, the energy it takes to run and maintain the plant, and the energy required to decommission the plant. The last is a big one. You can’t just bulldoze and nuclear plant and build a subdivision on the land.
What are you going to do with the concrete in the cooling towers? What about other areas subject to radiation? How do you safely dismantle a nuclear plant a dispose of the contaminated building materials? How much does that cost and how much energy will it require? Who will pay for it? OK. I know the answer to that one. Taxpayers. You and me. See the history of mining companies in Montana for an example of how energy companies operate. They form dummy corporations to run local mines, then declare bankruptcy and leave town when the mine plays out, leaving the locals to deal with the mess.
Do you know how current nuclear plant operators store the radioactive waste? They put it in ponds on site because we have no safe place to store it long term. Remember Yucca Mountain? Even if that project had been built getting the waste from the nuclear plants to long-term storage would be extremely difficult and dangerous because the storage containers were not meant for transporting cargo, so there is the problem of keeping the radioactive waste from spilling all over our roadways and railroad rights-of-way.
Anyone who wants to convince me nuclear power is a viable solution to our energy problems will have to address these issues.

What happened to THORIUM?
We had to have technology that would make bombs.
psik

DarronS, most of your questions are answered in the documentary, so no sense in my trying to repeat them.
CC: Your rambling diatribe seems to be mostly about consumption. That is a problem for a small percentage of the world that uses much more than its share of the available resources. But it is blatantly ethnocentric. Tell the 2 billion people living on a few dollars a day to cut back. How does my not buying Doritos help put up a fully functioning hospital in Zambia?
I agree we have a strange economic system where disposable is good, and making different flavors of gum creates jobs and helps build the middle class. That’s a different problem. It is tangential to the questions of what powers systems to invest in.
It’s not really clear what you’re saying. Are you saying we should starve people of power so they will conserve their use of it? I agree energy conservation is part of the solution, but what policy are you suggesting?

DarronS, most of your questions are answered in the documentary, so no sense in my trying to repeat them. CC: Your rambling diatribe seems to be mostly about consumption. That is a problem for a small percentage of the world that uses much more than its share of the available resources. But it is blatantly ethnocentric. Tell the 2 billion people living on a few dollars a day to cut back. How does my not buying Doritos help put up a fully functioning hospital in Zambia? I agree we have a strange economic system where disposable is good, and making different flavors of gum creates jobs and helps build the middle class. That’s a different problem. It is tangential to the questions of what powers systems to invest in. It’s not really clear what you’re saying. Are you saying we should starve people of power so they will conserve their use of it? I agree energy conservation is part of the solution, but what policy are you suggesting?
No Lausten, it's about living on a finite planet, on an increasingly spent planet. Over populating and over consuming. We're squandering its resources and destroying it's lebensraum and polluting it's biosphere, fast as we can. These are observations. Call it rambling because I can't explain it well enough - although, looks like you can hold your own in the rambling game. ;-P Call without solutions, but the reality is there. Oh you really think you can speak for these huddled desperate masses in stranded regions all over the planet? I don't think you, or I, have a clue what their aspirations are. Nor that we could fit it into our All-American hollyworld outlook. (or understand through the eyes of...) It's why our interventions so often go to shit and create more misery than they solve.

Right. And nuclear is less polluting uses less of those resources. Are we going to run out of uranium?

Right. And nuclear is less polluting uses less of those resources. Are we going to run out of uranium?
Yes, we are, in less than 100 years. Didn't the documentary address that?
David Thorpe Friday 5 December 2008 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/dec/05/nuclear-greenpolitics To produce the 25 tonnes or so of uranium fuel needed to keep your average reactor going for a year entails the extraction of half a million tonnes of waste rock and over 100,000 tonnes of mill tailings. These are toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. The conversion plant will generate another 144 tonnes of solid waste and 1343 cubic metres of liquid waste. Contamination of local water supplies around uranium mines and processing plants has been documented in Brazil, Colorado, Texas, Australia, Namibia and many other sites. To supply even a fraction of the power stations the industry expects to be online worldwide in 2020 would mean generating 50 million tonnes of toxic radioactive residues every single year. ...
Health Effects of Uranium Mining http://www.ippnw.org/pdf/uranium-factsheet4.pdf
Uranium Mining:Australia and Globally Author: Gavin M. Mudd http://www.energyscience.org.au/FS06 Uranium Mining.pdf Common Questions: . What is uranium and how is it mined? 2. Is uranium mining like any other mining? 3. Are there suf cient uranium resources for the future? 4. What are the environmental impacts of uranium mining? 5. How much radioactive waste does uranium mining produce? 6. What are the radioactivity releases from uranium mining? 7. Can uranium mines be operated safely? 8. Can uranium mines be satisfactorily rehabilitated?
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/mining-of-uranium/environmental-aspects-of-uranium-mining.aspx
National Academies Press: Uranium Mining in Virginia: Scientific, Technical, Environmental, Human Health and Safety, and Regulatory Aspects of Uranium Mining and Processing in Virginia (2012) http://www.nap.edu/read/13266/chapter/9
These issue raised may be ignorable "externalities" for nuke builders and boosters to simply ignore. But they are real world consequences, that just keep inflicting cascading harm on real environments and people. Sometimes when we just get deeper and deeper into the shit, we simply back need to off and reconsider our approach. Perhaps even radically change our direction.
Right. And nuclear is less polluting uses less of those resources. Are we going to run out of uranium?
Yes, we are, in less than 100 years. Didn't the documentary address that? If they did, I missed it. Pretty sure they didn't. There are other factors though]
These issue raised may be ignorable "externalities" for nuke builders and boosters to simply ignore. But they are real world consequences, that just keep inflicting cascading harm on real environments and people. Sometimes when we just get deeper and deeper into the shit, we simply back need to off and reconsider our approach. Perhaps even radically change our direction.
I never said we shouldn't conserve. And you are ignoring comparative figures.
These issue raised may be ignorable "externalities" for nuke builders and boosters to simply ignore. But they are real world consequences, that just keep inflicting cascading harm on real environments and people. Sometimes when we just get deeper and deeper into the shit, we simply back need to off and reconsider our approach. Perhaps even radically change our direction.
I never said we shouldn't conserve. And you are ignoring comparative figures.And I'm pretty sure Nuclear Power proponents are ignoring full accounting. Externalities and all that. Beyond that betting on power plants that take decades to come on line, is betting against the disruptive impacts of rising sea levels and extreme events. Impact that informed minds assure us will be formidable another two, three, four decades out. Oh and after that, for quite a while, before Earth's systems can start repairing the damage and finding a new equilibrium. :down: I know it's dark, but that's where the facts point.
Right. And nuclear is less polluting uses less of those resources. Are we going to run out of uranium?
Yes, we are, in less than 100 years. Didn't the documentary address that? If they did, I missed it. Pretty sure they didn't. There are other factors though]
From time to time concerns are raised that the known resources might be insufficient when judged as a multiple of present rate of use. But this is the Limits to Growth fallacy, a major intellectual blunder recycled from the 1970s, which takes no account of the very limited nature of the knowledge we have at any time of what is actually in the Earth's crust. Our knowledge of geology is such that we can be confident that identified resources of metal minerals are a small fraction of what is there. Factors affecting the supply of resources are discussed further and illustrated in the Appendix.
Of course, this is all nice and rosy but I notice they ignore the impact of mining and processing. Their ending also seems quite optimistic and one dimensional - seem convinced that limitless increased consumption is possible. Also seem oblivious to the dark side