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Glom
2003-Jun-08, 07:49 PM
One of the great bits of pseudoscience: misconceptions about nuclear power. Could make a good addition to the Bad Science series.

Suggestions for chapters:
The difference between RTGs and fission reactors
The radiation produced from nuclear power stations.
Pollution from nuclear power stations.
The irreplaceability of nuclear power.
The reliability of nuclear power stations.
Misconceptions about nuclear physics in medicine.And other stuff.

BA, if you're planning on doing a second edition of Bad Astronomy, perhaps you could include a chapter on nuclear power in spaceflight and try to set straight some of the hysteria about it. Stop Cassini wackos etc.

David Hall
2003-Jun-08, 09:20 PM
Sounds to me more like a topic for a Bad Physics book.

Speaking of which, what is the next book in the series supposed to cover anyway?

BigJim
2003-Jun-11, 10:20 PM
More chapters:

Misconceptions about nuclear power plant accidents

Comparison of nuclear power with other forms of power

Misconceptions about nuclear power for spaceflight

Little-known facts about radiation (For example, did you know that natural radiation keeps your immune system stimulated? There is actually a certain amount of radiation you need a year to keep healthy. There is a medical condition that occurs when someone receives no radiation.)

A great title for such a book: Bad Physics: Why a Nuclear Plant Will Not Explode Like a Nuclear Bomb

Of course the anti-nukyular anarchists will consider it all propaganda. But everyone here agrees on nuclear power. I'm just itching to debate an anti-nukyular power activist.

Glom
2003-Jun-12, 10:20 AM
Of course the anti-nukyular anarchists will consider it all propaganda.

As we've said, they have the mentality of conspiracists.


But everyone here agrees on nuclear power.

Everyone here actually knows something about it.


I'm just itching to debate an anti-nukyular power activist.

May Cynthia have mercy on your soul when you do.

wedgebert
2003-Jun-13, 05:34 AM
Just wait until we develop something capable of creating enough anti-matter to power a small probe or something. All the anti-nuclear people are going to rush over and become anti-anti-matter people.

They'll start picketing hospitals once they learn that PET scans use anti-matter (positrons). They'll think we're going to blow us all up and irradiate those who survive.

But maybe they'll let us use nukes in space then....

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-15, 01:54 AM
This thread reminded me of a book I own. It's called "That's The Way The
Cookie Crumbles: 65 All New Commentaries On The Fascinating
Chemistry Of Everday Life" by Dr. Joe Schwarcz (What a mouthful, eh? Ah! I made a pun!)

It is basically a "Bad Chemistry" book but it mentions that there is
actually a product out there called a "radiation sock". You are supossed to put it over your cell phone and it "absords" the radiation. You then put the sock into the washing machine to "wash out" all of the absorbed radiation.
It just goes to show how frightened people are of and sort of radiation. (By the way, the book THOROUGHLY debunks the sock)



Here's the book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1550225200/qid=1055642030/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-1994083-6436722?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Edited to fix link

Peter B
2003-Jun-16, 01:56 AM
There's a guy by the name of Colin Keay who's written a couple of books about nuclear and atomic misconceptions. He's a member of the Australian Skeptic, lives in Newcastle in Australia, and among his other claims to fame - he has an asteroid named after him, and he saw two Apollo launches live (11 and 15 I think).

He'll also be giving a talk about radiation hormesis at the next Australian Skeptics National Convention in August (here in Sunny Canberra).

BigJim
2003-Jun-25, 02:13 AM
They'll start picketing hospitals once they learn that PET scans use anti-matter (positrons). They'll think we're going to blow us all up and irradiate those who survive.

Radiation is used to cure cancers. Many scans have radioactive dyes inserted for visiblity. MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, was orginally called NMRI for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging, but it was changed so the public wouldn't fear it.

The typical public reaction to the mention of anything nuclear:

Typical person: "Oh, no! Nukyular! It'll kill us all with the radiation stuff!"

Informed person: "What do you know about nuclear power?"

Typical person: "I know that nukyular plants make radiation that causes cancer and that makes people die! And nukyular stuff makes big explosions!"

That is, sadly, the extent of the average person's knowledge on nuclear power or applications. I would bet a box of donuts that the vast majority of Americans (and British, for you UK posters out there) do not know that they receive approximately 350 mrem of radiation a year. I would not expect them to know that they receive any radiation at all. I have not yet found someone who both opposes and knows about nuclear power at the same time.

What really makes me angry are the anti-space nuclear activists. We've discussed this in GA, but nuclear power in space really presents no threat to us at all, and not to use would forever limit our opportunites until there is practically no hope left for us. As someone here said, we build rockets to smash huge nuclear weapons into gigantic cities but worry about peaceful missions of science and exploration that have hope for us all. Not to mention that the facts contradict the anti-nukyular power activists of both Earth and space. Why is it that instead of confronting the problems of war, poverty, hunger, disease, hate, greed, and crime, they pick on missions of science and discovery or an incredibly clean and powerful energy source? If I were an environmentalist, I would be totally for nuclear power. It puts out virtually no air pollution, does not cause deaths from coal mining, takes far less room than coal plants, and provides far more power at a lower price than coal. The radiation output from nuclear plants, as I've stated over and over, is less than that from coal plants. Yet instead of supporting a clean, powerful energy source that produces virtually no pollution, they violently attack it.

vovfisk
2003-Jun-25, 11:00 AM
Why a Nuclear Plant Will Not Explode Like a Nuclear Bomb

em.. why?

Glom
2003-Jun-25, 12:17 PM
Why a Nuclear Plant Will Not Explode Like a Nuclear Bomb

em.. why?

Because they don't use enough mass in the reactor for a cascade reaction.

Valiant Dancer
2003-Jun-25, 03:05 PM
They'll start picketing hospitals once they learn that PET scans use anti-matter (positrons). They'll think we're going to blow us all up and irradiate those who survive.

Radiation is used to cure cancers. Many scans have radioactive dyes inserted for visiblity. MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, was orginally called NMRI for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging, but it was changed so the public wouldn't fear it.

The typical public reaction to the mention of anything nuclear:

Typical person: "Oh, no! Nukyular! It'll kill us all with the radiation stuff!"

Informed person: "What do you know about nuclear power?"

Typical person: "I know that nukyular plants make radiation that causes cancer and that makes people die! And nukyular stuff makes big explosions!"

That is, sadly, the extent of the average person's knowledge on nuclear power or applications. I would bet a box of donuts that the vast majority of Americans (and British, for you UK posters out there) do not know that they receive approximately 350 mrem of radiation a year. I would not expect them to know that they receive any radiation at all. I have not yet found someone who both opposes and knows about nuclear power at the same time.

What really makes me angry are the anti-space nuclear activists. We've discussed this in GA, but nuclear power in space really presents no threat to us at all, and not to use would forever limit our opportunites until there is practically no hope left for us. As someone here said, we build rockets to smash huge nuclear weapons into gigantic cities but worry about peaceful missions of science and exploration that have hope for us all. Not to mention that the facts contradict the anti-nukyular power activists of both Earth and space. Why is it that instead of confronting the problems of war, poverty, hunger, disease, hate, greed, and crime, they pick on missions of science and discovery or an incredibly clean and powerful energy source? If I were an environmentalist, I would be totally for nuclear power. It puts out virtually no air pollution, does not cause deaths from coal mining, takes far less room than coal plants, and provides far more power at a lower price than coal. The radiation output from nuclear plants, as I've stated over and over, is less than that from coal plants. Yet instead of supporting a clean, powerful energy source that produces virtually no pollution, they violently attack it.

Why do I think the exchange when the average person is informed of them recieving 350 mrem of radiation per year would go something like this.

JSP: That much radiation?!?!?!?!? We gotta stop it or at least significantly reduce it!

IP: Then blow up the Sun.

BigJim
2003-Jun-25, 03:51 PM
JSP: That much radiation?!?!?!?!? We gotta stop it or at least significantly reduce it!

IP: Then blow up the Sun.

Actually our background radiation comes from the Earth, and a tiny bit from cosmic rays. The Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from most solar radiation.




Why a Nuclear Plant Will Not Explode Like a Nuclear Bomb


em.. why?


Because they don't use enough mass in the reactor for a cascade reaction.


It is simply IMPOSSIBLE for a normal nuclear power plant to explode like a nuclear bomb. They simply use different mechanisms. Nuclear power plants provide electricity from the fission of uranium-235. Uranium-235 makes up about 1% of normal uranium. Nuclear plants use enriched uranium with about 3% U-235. U-235 fissions; the other uranium isotope, uranium-238, does not. There are two reasons why nuclear power plants cannot explode like bombs. Uranium fission bombs, or "gun-type" fission bombs, work by having a "critical mass" of uranium. The critical mass is a certain amount of uranium that, when brought together, will have a chain reaction and explode. Gun-type fission bombs, like the one that destroyed Hiroshima, work by having two subcritical masses of uranium at the ends of a long tube. When detonated, chemical explosives launch one subcritical mass into the other, and it fissions and explodes. Nuclear power plants never have anywhere near critical masses of uranium - the uranium they use is in small (I tihnk about one gram) pellets. Also, the uranium in nuclear bombs is very highly enriched - over 90% U-235, almost 99% in some bombs. So nuclear plants will not explode like bombs because, as Glom said, they don't have enough mass for a chain reaction, and because it is the wrong type of uranium anyway. But the fact that they don't have enough mass for a chain reaction is far more important.

Glom
2003-Jun-25, 07:45 PM
While we're on the subject, what exactly was wrong with Chernobyl?

Glom
2003-Jun-25, 07:59 PM
Been reading a government page (http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/nuclear/technology/history.shtml) on nuclear power.


while nuclear is currently an important source of carbon free electricity, the current economics of nuclear power make it an unattractive option for new generating capacity and there are also important issues for nuclear waste to be resolved.

I thought that nuclear power was far more efficient that any other form of power and that nuclear waste can be reprocessed to obtain more fuel.

Glom
2003-Jun-25, 08:22 PM
I got this excellent site (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/) off NuclearSpace.com.

BigJim
2003-Jun-25, 08:56 PM
Why do I sense a long post coming on...... :wink:

That's a British government page, but I believe that the US government has a similar view of nuclear power. Their view, while biased, holds some truths, but not for the reason that you would originally think. They state:


while nuclear is currently an important source of carbon free electricity, the current economics of nuclear power make it an unattractive option for new generating capacity and there are also important issues for nuclear waste to be resolved.

First, the statement about economics. They are not saying that nuclear power is not efficient - it most certainly is. What they are saying is that the current economics of nuclear power make it difficult to use. I do not know of the nuclear power situation in the UK but I do know of the situation in the United States, and it would not surprise me if they are similar.

Since TMI, the NRC has levied numerous, often arbitrary requirements for nuclear power plants to get licenses that make it almost impossible to get them. The US Capitol building in Washington, DC would be illegal to use as a nuclear power plant because the radiation levels are too high. Paperwork for setting up a nuclear plant is almost endless. It can take longer to finish it than to build the plant. Sometimes in the midst of construction requirements are changed, requiring new construction in place of what has already happened. Because of the extreme requirements put on nuclear power plants and the way they are built, each one is currently built slightly differently from others. There is not as of yet any "expertise" on building nuclear power plants because new teams of engineers build each one, causing the same mistakes to be made over and over. Once a reactor vessel at a California plant was installed backwards. And then the environmentalists can file hundreds of lawsuits, making it impossible to get the required licenses. Several nuclear power plants have been changed to coal in midconstruction because of the difficulty in obtaining licenses. Some plants were nearly finished for ten to fifteen years before obtaining licenses to operate.

The nuclear industry needs two things to become more economical. First, much of the paperwork needs to simplified as a great deal of it is arbitrary. If licenses are easier to get, plants will become easier to build. Second, there needs to be a more standard design for nuclear power plants, which will prevent mistakes from being made over and over. Right now, nuclear power plants can cost from $1 billion to $3 billion to build.

However, once built, nuclear power plants are far cheaper to operate than coal plants. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Almost all of coal plants' cost comes from their operating costs. They require thousands of trainloads of coal a year to operate. A nuclear power plant only requires a few truckloads of fresh fuel per year. Coal plants also must constantly run mining operations to get coal, in which many miners die. The pollution from coal plants is estimated to kill 50 people a day. The volume of waste produced is actually more than the orginal fuel, and they put more radiation into the environment than nuclear plants do.

So, because of the operating costs, the final cost per kilowatt hour to the customer is virtually the same to the customer. If nuclear power becomes easier to build by relaxing many of the arbitrary requirements and by using common designs, it will become much cheaper.




that nuclear waste can be reprocessed to obtain more fuel.

Spent nuclear fuel rods can be reproccessed for their uranium. However, if I remember correctly, the only reprocessing plant ever built for commerical reactors was in New York state, and it had a problem with radiation leakage, I believe. But I think that the government operates some for plutonium removal. So if some technical issues are solved, than, yes, it can be reprocessed. But politics has prevented any such measure from taking place. The Carter administration took great pride in wrecking many nuclear power programs, and I believe this was one of them.


While we're on the subject, what exactly was wrong with Chernobyl?

Chernobyl was a poorly designed Soviet reactor of a design known as RBMK in the Ukraine. This page (http://www.chernobyl.co.uk/) describes the accident in detail, and this one (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/chernobyl/inf07.htm) provides a little bit more information. On April 25-26, 1986, reactor number 4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant the chain reaction went out of control, causing a meltdown.

Reactor 4 was being tested late at night by inexperienced engineers. There were several causes of the accident. First, the RBMK design was flawed. It was very unstable at low power levels, which could lead to power surges. It used a graphite moderator and a water coolant. Numerous safety procedures were disregarded. The emergency control system was disabled and only 6-8 control rods were used despite 30 being required as a minimum to operate the reactor.

From the site:

Design Fault In The RBMK Reactor - The RBMK reactor type used at Chernobyl suffers from instability at low power and thus may experience a rapid , uncontrollable power increase. Although other reactor types have this problem they incorporate design features to stop instability from occurring. The cause of this instability is:
Water is a better coolant than steam
The water acts as a moderator and neutron absorber (slowing down the reaction) whilst steam does not.

Excess steam pockets in the RBMK design lead to increased power generation this is known as a positive void coefficient. This excess power causes additional heating thus producing more steam and means less neutron absorption causing the problem to escalate. This all happens very rapidly and if it is not stopped quickly it is very hard to stop as it supplies itself.


The reactor was shut down for maintainence, and it was decided to run a test to see if in a shutdown enough electricity was available to operate the emergency cooling systems before the diesel backup came online. Operational error, however, caused the power to fall during the test, and the control rods were withdrawn to stabilize the reactor. Here the positive void coefficient became a problem. The flow of water was reduced to maintain the steam pressure. This created additional steam from the positive void coefficient. The power surged to an estimated 100 times the normal amount. The temperature increase caused the fuel to react with the steam, causing an explosion which destroyed the reactor. It completely melted down. The total estimated deaths were approximately 31. The total number of deaths from cancer is unknown. The Ukranian Radiological Institute estimated it at 2,500, but a UN report estimates only 10.


The fuel elements ruptured and the resultant explosive force of steam lifted off the cover plate of the reactor, releasing fission products to the atmosphere. A second explosion threw out fragments of burning fuel and graphite from the core and allowed air to rush in, causing the graphite moderator to burst into flames.

Approximately five percent of the reactor core was vented to the air. The reactor had no containment structure as Western reactors do and they would not have met American or British standards for reactor design. [/quote]

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-26, 03:22 AM
A picture is worth a thousand words. If nuclear power plants are so dangerous, why are these people not dead?

http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/bundle2.jpg
http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/clndria.jpg
http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/clnd2_sm.jpg

Here's an example of hysteria caused by nuclear power from the same site:


Rosalie Bertell, a popular figure in the Canadian anti-nuclear scene, claims in her 1985 book, No Immediate Danger? Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth (Women's Educational Press, Toronto), that the NRX reactor exploded and one man was killed. In fact, as described above, the reactor did not explode and nobody was killed, and this has been a matter of public record since the 1952 accident. Bertell is possibly confused by a Chalk River incident happening two years before the NRX accident. In December 1950 an operator named Stephen Whalen died when a container of ammonium nitrate exploded in a plutonium separation plant at the site; this incident is also in the public record, and is quite clearly not associated with the NRX reactor. Both the 1985 book and its author are held in high regard by the anti-nuclear community.

Hmmm... sounds to me like a chemical reation, not a nuclear one...

Another picture (This one's a graph!):
http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/sources_radiation.gif

BigJim
2003-Jun-27, 09:07 PM
Perhaps we should join Nuclear Space. They must get an occasional anti-nuclear nut or two.

Glom
2003-Jun-27, 09:27 PM
Perhaps we should join Nuclear Space. They must get an occasional anti-nuclear nut or two.

You go ahead. I read their stuff quite often and a lot of it is very good, but they're a bit too right wing for me. Apparently, according to politicalcompass (http://www.politicalcompass.org), I'm a bit of a lefty, far more lefty than I would have liked. But at the NuclearSpace forum, they do have a tendancy to make the fight against anti-nukyular protestors, a battle between the left and the right. I don't like that stereotyping.

BigJim
2003-Jun-28, 12:05 AM
I consider myself aligned with the right although I will bend on many issues; to be frank, if one side showed a strong support for spaceflight I would support it. It does happen that most (read as all) of the environmentalists are leftist.

Glom
2003-Jun-28, 01:12 AM
I like to think of myself as lying central to all. I see valid arguments in all sides as well as specious arguments in all sides. Unfortunately, my test revealed that, while I'm fairly moderate, I'm just a little bit libertarian (on par with the LibDems, yay) and a little bit more socialist, which is weird because when have you ever heard of a socialist monarchist.

It's not a case that I am opposed to environmentalism. I like environmentalism, I just don't like environmentalists. They are radical nutjobs, who won't be happy until we are all living in caves again. But, I think that trying to preserve the environment is a noble cause and I applaud when proper scientists do things to allow our cosmopolitan society to integrate with environment. I liked it when that coral reef in the Red Sea was declared a national park. There looks like there is good relationship going on. The coral reef allows the resort to make profit and therefore boosts the economy and the resort ensures that the reef is protected. Also, I hate clunker cars. You may not have seen British roads, but they're not the widest things you've ever seen, especially around schools, and yet mothers insist on driving their SUVs down the congested road to pick up their one child. I drive a Nissan Micra, which is very efficient.

Of course, that all leads back to issue at hand. Nuclear power is very environmentally friendly in the right hands and promoting nuclear power is also helping to preserve the environment.

BigJim
2003-Jun-28, 03:05 PM
Could you run a car on an RTG? Probably, although you wouldn't want to use all that plutonium for average people. Seems like the car type of the future will be fuel cells or electricity from nuclear power plants.


It's not a case that I am opposed to environmentalism. I like environmentalism, I just don't like environmentalists.

I see what you're saying, but I think that the "environmentalism" of today has been defined as supporting these insane environmentalists. Is it possible to be an environmentalist without being an environmentalist, so to speak? I would like to protect the environment, sure. But the vast majority of people would assume that because I said that, I support other things too, namely the anti-nukyular crowd and anti-oil drilling groups. But I would say that by supporting nuclear power I am doing more to protect the environment than the environmentalists, whether they understand that or not.

I've never been to Great Britain, but the United States has a huge variety of landforms across the country. I'd like to protect them. But the way to do that is not by moving into caves. Have the environmentaist groups ever clearly defined a goal, or is there goal to attack other things such as nuclear power and technology? Sometimes I just think about the pure rationality or irrationality of some of the environmentalists' arguments. For example, take the oil drilling in Alaska issue. Alaska has huge reserves of oil - really huge. They do not want us to drill there because a possible oil spill from another pipeline could harm wildlife. While true, they are ignoring something else. Alaska is big. Really, really, really, really big. Most of it is a frozen waste. It's the size of a large part of Europe. An oil spill would simply not affect a large enough portion of the Alaskan ecosystem to do serious harm. And as big as Alaska is, the world is that much larger, as is the world's biosphere.

Of course, the prime thing that the environmentalists tend to attack is nuclear power. But I wonder: WHY? As we've discussed, it's the safest, cleanest form of power. Dams can break, killing hundreds or thousands. Coal power is proven to kill up to 16,000 people a year from pollution alone. Solar power is extremely expensive and needs large (really large) land areas to produce significant amounts of power. I haven't yet done the calculations for how large solar panels to satisfy the electrical demand of the US or UK would be, but I'm sure it would be gargantuan. And solar panels cost money. Plus, they have to be manufactured. And the manufacturing plants use electricity, and guess where that's from. Geothermal power is reasonably clean and efficient, but not available in most places. Nuclear is our safest, cleanest, most eco-friendly alternative.

I took the poll and it placed me in the center and up a little bit. Since I usually think of myself as right and you seem to think it put you farther left than you are, it probably has a tendency to put people more left of where they are. There's another website with a similar poll that I think may be more accurate - let me see if I can find it.

BigJim
2003-Jun-28, 03:10 PM
OK, I found it but it doesn't seem to be working - it's an old website.

Glom
2003-Jun-28, 03:26 PM
Since I usually think of myself as right and you seem to think it put you farther left than you are, it probably has a tendency to put people more left of where they are.

Of course, it could be a product of the seperation of economic and social politics. Perhaps we thing of ourselves as further right than we are because we judging that based on traits than define our social politics rather than our economic politics.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-29, 12:21 AM
No, I think it's biased:


Our race has many superior qualities.

Significantly physically disabled people should not be allowed to reproduce.


These are 2 questions from the test. Obviously most people are going to "Strongly disagree" (myself included). By doing this, you are skewing the results to the left and to the libertarian. There are other questions like this that I left out because these are the most powerful and pertinent examples.

Glom
2003-Jun-29, 12:45 AM
But would it really be skewing? The second one was most certainly a very clear trait of the extreme authoritarian. Obviously there aren't many people who would seriously answer strongly agree, unless they were doing a joke test, but then that means that they do possess libertarian qualities. Perhaps as culture has shied away from the authoritarian in the recent decades, we tend to thing of those who are actually libertarian as right wing. It's a relativity thing. It might not be skewing, just that we are more libertarian than we realise.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-29, 12:54 AM
Well I guess it also depends on how one defines "libertarian".

lib·er·tar·i·an ( P ) Pronunciation Key (lbr-tār-n)
n.
1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
2. One who believes in free will.

If you use the first definition, libertarians are right wing and try to reduce the roles of government. If you use the second definition, anyone who believes in a representative government is a libertarian. Our actual views may have shifted over the past few decades, but so has our definition of "libertarian".

Glom
2003-Jun-29, 01:07 AM
Well I guess it also depends on how one defines "libertarian".

That of course is a major issue. We probably have a hard time defining an absolute political and hence we tend to think of it as a matter of where one stands with respect to another. So, their origin may be slightly different to what others would choose.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-29, 01:13 AM
That's a very good point. What they consider a "libertarian" could be what I consider a communist or a nazi. *Sigh* Why can't things be simple?

Glom
2003-Jun-29, 01:16 AM
Why can't things be simple?

Politics is never simple. Just when you think Boris Johnson MP will be entertaining us on Question Time, it turns out he missed his train.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-29, 01:24 AM
Things get worse when your government is corrupt. Like ours. Ugh. The Liberal party is full of corruption. The PM spends government money beutifying his home town. Senators and Ministers rack up massive bills that are written off and paid for by taxpayers. One minister actually spent $500 000 of government money on food in one year. We need an election... :cry:

Musashi
2003-Jun-29, 02:34 AM
Things get worse when your government is corrupt. Like ours.

I am not, I repeat NOT a conspiricy theorist, but really, which governments aren't corrupt? Here in beautiful California we have Guvnah Davis running things into the ground with his secret settlements and evasive fact reporting techniques, and I doubt he is even the worst of the lot in the good ole USA.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-29, 11:32 PM
Good point. But it seems like every other day there is a new form of corruption found in the Liberal party. It's getting to be very bad up here.

TriangleMan
2003-Jun-29, 11:36 PM
Does any particular political party in Canada not have some corruption in it Supreme Canuck? It didn't take Reform too long to suddenly become just like all the other parties in terms of perks and spending. Don't know much about the PQ though, I was from the west.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jun-29, 11:46 PM
They are all pretty corrupt, but since the Liberals have access to more resources, they're the most corrupt. As they say, power corrupts...

Mr. X
2003-Jul-01, 02:35 AM
Reactor 4 was being tested late at night by inexperienced engineers.

Hey hey hey come on now... easy on the inexperienced engineer bashing! :P

We all have to start some place, now don't we?

Why I myself am looking up to my first nuclear reactor I send to meltdown. Sure it will be horrible with the burning and the radiations and all, but it will all seem so silly a few years later, and we'll all be laughing about it I'm sure... wherever we are, and regardless of in how many places each will be. :P

Why I do believe all those people who caused it must be at home, laughing it up and remembering those good times, and how silly it all was. :P

snowcelt
2003-Jul-05, 01:01 PM
Let us be aware. All of us need power. Recriminations do no good. Therefore, know, that, we have too do what we have too do. If you are a person with hydro---you do the hydro thing: if you have a country that is like the Bonnyville salt tracks; you do what you have to do. BUT. Think ahead (duh),and maybe things will work out.

wedgebert
2003-Jul-06, 04:04 AM
Let us be aware. All of us need power. Recriminations do no good. Therefore, know, that, we have too do what we have too do. If you are a person with hydro---you do the hydro thing: if you have a country that is like the Bonnyville salt tracks; you do what you have to do. BUT. Think ahead (duh),and maybe things will work out.

No, only I need power. The rest of you peons should just grovel at my feet!!

:evil:

:lol:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-06, 04:28 AM
How many people are going for global domination on this board?

There's you, Humphrey and myself. Anyone else?

wedgebert
2003-Jul-06, 04:59 AM
Well let's face it, power is there for one reason and one reason only. To be abused. All these petty tyrants are on the right path, but they always fall short by wasting their power on abusing their subjects.

I don't care what my subjects do as long as it doesn't interfere with me doing whatever I want. But I think the world would be better off with me in charge, abuse or not.

First I'd have all the people like Bart and Nancy killed in a manner befitting their crimes. Bart would get a one way ticket to an Apollo landing site, sans space suit. Nancy would just get shot into space in the general direction she claims PX to be.

In fact, life would be good for most people. Only downside for yall would be that I would keep all the attractive women in my palace. 8)

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-06, 05:01 AM
And that "yall" would become a real word... but the women thing is much worse. There'd be a revolution!

Humphrey
2003-Jul-06, 05:17 AM
Life under me will be pure bliss. I promise all minions...errr..People will have a beautiful/handsome perfect ten in their arms to be as their girlfreind/boyfriend. You will have plenty of food ans free shelter in mansion like homes. Plus Free beer of your choice for life.

All i ask in return is ownership of the entire world and unquestioned rule. Vote for me!


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-06, 05:20 AM
Hmmm... sounds pretty good, but I already have all that...

Well, not really. :(

Stonegiant
2003-Jul-06, 12:49 PM
Why a Nuclear Plant Will Not Explode Like a Nuclear Bomb

em.. why?

The geometry is all wrong. A bomb has a roughly spherical mass of plutonium in the middle of explosive blocks. A nuclear power plant has hundreds to to thousands of 1/4" thick plates that are used to maximize heat transfer from the coolant and/or moderator. Also, there isn't enough plutonium mass for the runaway reaction. Comercial power plants fuel cells are only about 3 to 4 percent uranium-235 by volume. That means that it's spread fairly thinly inside the 1/4" deep x ~6" wide x (WILD guess) 10' long fuel plates. You'd have to remove all of the filler material and and then compress all the uranium together to achieve a critical mass. If, by some chance that were to happen, there wouldn't be enough moderator around this mass to slow the fast neutrons down to thermal velocities so they can be absorbed my U-235.

The chances of a nuclear reactor exploding like a bomb (as I give it) are about 1 in 1 billion. Lotta ifs, there. Now, if you went prompt critical, you could have a steam explosion....

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-06, 04:33 PM
Here's a woman holding a fuel bundle from a CANDU reactor. 10" seems about right, not 10'. For a CANDU, at least. :wink:

http://www.ada.com.tr/~hkose/me427/Image20.gif

snowcelt
2003-Jul-12, 01:35 PM
no bang. Just a whimper. Nanoglue, biologics, phycocide. Try this.

man on the moon
2003-Jul-14, 02:50 PM
Here's a woman holding a fuel bundle from a CANDU reactor. 10" seems about right, not 10'. For a CANDU, at least. :wink:

http://www.ada.com.tr/~hkose/me427/Image20.gif

i'm impressed! for a canadian you sure know a lot about how we notate feet and inches here in the states! kudos to you! =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
it's good to know one who even knows the difference, muth less how much of a difference! and then to know how to write it...i am dually impressed.

i still support musashi in that duel over in the cafe though :wink:

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-14, 05:55 PM
Hey, you spend long enough living next to a country that used a non-metric system, you pick up a few things...

And the duel? Fine. I don't need no stinkin' support!




I hope... :o

Humphrey
2003-Jul-14, 05:57 PM
Canuck: since you are my card playing buddy i will support you in that duel.

I will give back your half of the gold to Musashi.

Now win, or else i am in for it. I can expect Musashi to next come after me.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Jul-14, 05:59 PM
Thank you! Someone cares. :D

Musashi
2003-Jul-15, 12:10 AM
Treachery!

Humphrey
2003-Jul-15, 12:41 AM
Treachery!

I hate to see someone stand alone and by themselves. :-)

ahb
2003-Oct-02, 03:23 AM
What will we do with all the nuclear waste generated by new plants?

There are enough problems dealing with the current waste. Do we really need more?

freddo
2003-Oct-02, 04:24 AM
What will we do with all the nuclear waste generated by new plants?

There are enough problems dealing with the current waste. Do we really need more?

Glom and BigJim know a truckload more than I on the topic, but from what I understand nuclear fuel can be reprocessed to be used again. It does not happen now due to political hamstringing - and much of the waste that gets stored to this day is perfectly usable.

JimTKirk
2003-Oct-02, 01:01 PM
One of the problems AFAIK is the reprocessing has the unfortunate byproduct of weapons grade material... Can't be used in powerplants and gives terrorists another target to steal. :evil:

Ilya
2003-Nov-04, 05:16 AM
One of the problems AFAIK is the reprocessing has the unfortunate byproduct of weapons grade material... Can't be used in powerplants and gives terrorists another target to steal. :evil:

Actually, it can be used in powerplants, and often is - in places like France. Unfortunately Carter Administration put a stop to all breeder reactors in US.

JimTKirk
2003-Nov-04, 03:34 PM
One of the problems AFAIK is the reprocessing has the unfortunate byproduct of weapons grade material... Can't be used in powerplants and gives terrorists another target to steal. :evil:

Actually, it can be used in powerplants, and often is - in places like France. Unfortunately Carter Administration put a stop to all breeder reactors in US.

#-o You're right Ilya! The US decided it wouldn't be worth the extra cost for the higher security both around the Power Plants and during transportation. Sorry for the states POV.

freddo
2003-Nov-04, 11:40 PM
The US decided it wouldn't be worth the extra cost for the higher security both around the Power Plants and during transportation.

Why is there a higher cost of security?

JimTKirk
2003-Nov-05, 04:39 PM
The US decided it wouldn't be worth the extra cost for the higher security both around the Power Plants and during transportation.

Why is there a higher cost of security?
AFAIK -
More guards, better training, better security devices.

Normal (non-weapons grade) is shipped by truck or train with a two-man armed guard. Weapons-grade gets a military escort of specially trained soldiers.

During the cold war, there was talk of building a breeder reactor and the extra expense of Military guards, minefields, concertina wire, cameras, etc... at the time it was considered necessary by the advisors.

freddo
2003-Nov-06, 03:19 AM
But we dump this 'waste' already, so wouldn't we already have comparable security measures on it? Instead of a storage/dumping ground, we have a breeder reactor.

JimTKirk
2003-Nov-06, 02:40 PM
AFAIK - The 'waste' we dump from normal reactors now is non-fizzle(U235, U238, U241 and U242). Breader reactors introduce other isotopes to increase the reaction and produce more electricity. As a side product, the other isotopes produce weapons grade material(U239). As a consequence, breader reactors can use the same material for reactions.

Glom
2003-Nov-22, 02:32 PM
The nukepills site is still being advertised.

ahb
2003-Nov-26, 03:56 AM
The nukepills site is still being advertised.

According to that site there's seven nuclear plants in my state.
More than any other state.

Just to add something stupid...

If we are to build more nuclear plants they need to be standardized.

Captain Kidd
2003-Nov-26, 02:09 PM
The nukepills site is still being advertised.

According to that site there's seven nuclear plants in my state.
More than any other state.

Just to add something stupid...

If we are to build more nuclear plants they need to be standardized.

Hmm, are those the iodine pills?

We are to a pretty good extent. When built the NRC said each plant shall have X, Y, and Z systems and have to withstand this and that, and it's up to the companies to design said systems. They approve everything from site location to final design. Major changes, esp to the reactor protection systems have to go through them before they can be implemented. They keep resident inspectors at each plant all the time.
If you're talking about a single blueprint design, well, you've got multiple companies (GE, Westinghouse, etc), multiple types of reactors (PWRs, BWRs, ABWR, and multiple generations of said types). You can't just say all nuke plants will be built according to this one and only blueprint. Way too many factors come into play such as river temperature, how much electricity are you going to generate, is it on the coast and will have to survive hurricanes or in the prairie and have to face tornadoes, etc.
And then afterwards when you start changing things or things break and you fix them. Sources of parts change, TVA is a quasi-federal agency and is required to do the government low bid thing, Southern Co. is private so they can sole-source their suppliers.

However, if you mean general standards, yeah they there already, about as many general standards as there are car designs but they all have the same safety features (dependant on their type as a PWR requires diferent safety features than a BWR). :)

Hmm, here's some light reading :^o about TVA's Browns Ferry Operating License Renewal (www.tva.com/environment/reports/brownsferry/index.htm).

AstroSmurf
2003-Nov-26, 02:29 PM
Speaking of disasters, a swedish agency recently evaluated the effect of a plane crashing into one of our plants. According to their evaluation, an accidental crash is no problem, while an intentional suicide attack might possibly release some radioactivity. But the total effect would probably be less than the Three Mile Island incident, and, well, that one's gathered more fame than the danger merited.

Those plants are strong! There's a meter of reinforced concrete around the reactor building, and the tank itself is 20 cm of steel. Sadly, the government is resolved to dismantle them as they become unprofitable. So basically, our plants are aging, and no new ones will be built.