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Old 08-10-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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Chernobyl 2.0?



http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/11/wo...a.html?_r=2&hp

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MOSCOW — As if things in Russia were not looking sufficiently apocalyptic already, with 100-degree temperatures and noxious fumes rolling in from burning peat bogs and forests, there is growing alarm here that fires in regions coated with fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 24 years ago could now be emitting plumes of radioactive smoke.
There hasn't been much coverage of the fires, but apparently most of Russia is burning.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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This whole situation is sad beyond belief...

Will those that deny climate change and embrace nuclear energy think twice?

Probably not...
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:22 AM   #3
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A Quarter Century after Chernobyl: Radioactive Boar on the Rise in Germany -
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
This whole situation is sad beyond belief...

Will those that deny climate change and embrace nuclear energy think twice?

Probably not...
The better question is how people can accept climate change and reject nuclear energy.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:09 AM   #5
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Great article.

We were discussing this yesterday, I had to stop cause of the freak out factor. It really is scary to see the world turn on itself.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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The better question is how people can accept climate change and reject nuclear energy.
I agree. A horrendously implemented graphite-core reactor--reactors that were inherently unstable by design, let alone unable to handle poor Soviet operation (and subsequently obsolete)--shouldn't scare people away from nuclear energy. Reactor designs over the last 30 years are incapable of a Chernobyl-style meltdown.

By contrast, burning fossil fuels are destroying the planet, both geopolitically (unstable oil-producing nations having the upper hand against the West) and environmentally. There's no such thing as consequence-free energy at this stage of civilization, and while I don't rule out eventual advances in solar energy efficiency--in fact, I believe it to be inevitable--the technological advances required to achieve that efficiency are likely many decades away. The energy that will power the 22nd century may be, indeed, primarily solar. And it's undeniable that the 20th century was powered by oil and related fossil fuels. The 21st century, for better or for worse, should be nuclear powered, as it is a sufficiently mature technology with ample stable output.

The U.S. has a horrendous energy strategy (if one could say that they have one at all), so it's no surprise that nuclear power isn't as consistent as it should be (i.e., erratic shutdowns on 30+ year old plants), but that is a failure of policy mostly. France, on the other hand, is primarily nuclear and has operated very well with it for decades.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
This whole situation is sad beyond belief...

Will those that deny climate change and embrace nuclear energy think twice?

Probably not...
We don't deny natural climate change. Loaded terminology like that doesn't convince. If we had to use only solar and wind to achieve useless U.N. goals climate would still change and we would have to deindustrialize. I believe you have the disease of your administration that looks at all disasters as reasons to stop economic growth. I can't wait for November.

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The 21st century, for better or for worse, should be nuclear powered, as it is a sufficiently mature technology with ample stable output.

The U.S. has a horrendous energy strategy (if one could say that they have one at all), so it's no surprise that nuclear power isn't as consistent as it should be (i.e., erratic shutdowns on 30+ year old plants), but that is a failure of policy mostly. France, on the other hand, is primarily nuclear and has operated very well with it for decades.
Finally some positivity.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
The better question is how people can accept climate change and reject nuclear energy.
Yeah, I should have worded that differently. I'm actually not against nuclear energy, I just find that some hastily embrace it just because and haven't actually thought it through.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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Yeah, I should have worded that differently. I'm actually not against nuclear energy, I just find that some hastily embrace it just because and haven't actually thought it through.
I am against nuclear energy because it still involves digging for and using a limited, contentious resource. There have been amazing advances in solar tech in even the last few months. The U.S. government should coordinate an energy policy and in that, they should establish the next generation of energy transfer and storage, including a new transmission line plan. The government does get to pick winners and losers (just ask the street car manufacturers/mechanics who lost to the personal car manufacturers).

Anyway, I'm surprised we haven't seen the smoke from Russia here in the U.S. yet. Anyone in Western Canada seeing it?
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:38 PM   #10
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Anyway, I'm surprised we haven't seen the smoke from Russia here in the U.S. yet. Anyone in Western Canada seeing it?
I think Palin can.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #11
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I think Palin can.
I was breathing in some secondhand smoke from Russia because I'm unemployed and can't afford my own cigs, but now my insurance company won't cover my lung problems. I blame Obama.




--Just thinking of how many threads we could collide here.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:13 PM   #12
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Here's a very good reason why I'd like for the U.S. to switch away from fossil fuels to nuclear power and the hydrogen fuel it can generate from such plants. FYI, the largest uranium producer in the world is Canada, so, at least, the raw materials can come from a nearby ally.

The Point of No Return - Magazine - The Atlantic

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But none of these things—least of all the notion that Barack Obama, for whom initiating new wars in the Middle East is not a foreign-policy goal, will soon order the American military into action against Iran—seems, at this moment, terribly likely. What is more likely, then, is that one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft. (It’s so crowded, in fact, that the United States Central Command, whose area of responsibility is the greater Middle East, has already asked the Pentagon what to do should Israeli aircraft invade its airspace. According to multiple sources, the answer came back: do not shoot them down.)

In these conversations, which will be fraught, the Israelis will tell their American counterparts that they are taking this drastic step because a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people. The Israelis will also state that they believe they have a reasonable chance of delaying the Iranian nuclear program for at least three to five years. They will tell their American colleagues that Israel was left with no choice. They will not be asking for permission, because it will be too late to ask for permission.

...

When the Israelis begin to bomb the uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, the formerly secret enrichment site at Qom, the nuclear-research center at Esfahan, and possibly even the Bushehr reactor, along with the other main sites of the Iranian nuclear program, a short while after they depart en masse from their bases across Israel—regardless of whether they succeed in destroying Iran’s centrifuges and warhead and missile plants, or whether they fail miserably to even make a dent in Iran’s nuclear program—they stand a good chance of changing the Middle East forever; of sparking lethal reprisals, and even a full-blown regional war that could lead to the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Iranians, and possibly Arabs and Americans as well; of creating a crisis for Barack Obama that will dwarf Afghanistan in significance and complexity; of rupturing relations between Jerusalem and Washington, which is Israel’s only meaningful ally; of inadvertently solidifying the somewhat tenuous rule of the mullahs in Tehran; of causing the price of oil to spike to cataclysmic highs, launching the world economy into a period of turbulence not experienced since the autumn of 2008, or possibly since the oil shock of 1973; of placing communities across the Jewish diaspora in mortal danger, by making them targets of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks, as they have been in the past, in a limited though already lethal way; and of accelerating Israel’s conversion from a once-admired refuge for a persecuted people into a leper among nations.
More or less, our entire energy security is dependent on a region of the world that is bound to explode, sooner or later. And even if we're not directly involved, just imagine what will happen if all the Middle Eastern oil producing countries are embroiled in war and just cease production?
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:16 PM   #13
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On the news last night, I think it was ABC, they said over 700 people a day are dying in Russia. I was shocked by that.

Earlier in the summer we had smoke from Canada wildfires in New England for a couple of days, I went out for a walk and it was so bad that I had trouble breathing. It was nowhere near as bad as Russia but it gives me a small idea. I can't imagine having to worry about radioactive smoke.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:45 PM   #14
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We don't need nuclear power:

Sonnenschiff: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

(It's in Germany which from what I understand is not exactly in the "Sun Belt")

And, that project is using PV versus Solar Thermal--which is more efficient and easier to store.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramwest1 View Post
We don't need nuclear power:

Sonnenschiff: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

(It's in Germany which from what I understand is not exactly in the "Sun Belt")

And, that project is using PV versus Solar Thermal--which is more efficient and easier to store.
if the sum of investment into solar energy would be as high as the investment in fossile fuel, the problems we face now could be solved in the next ten years.

the main problem are the industries who continue to make billions with fossile fuel and nuclear power plants and refuse to diminish their profits. the second main problem is waste of energy by humans.

as to chernobyl 2.0, i think it won´t happen right now if we´re lucky. however, it can happen anywhere anytime, even in france (@melon). history has proved nuclear power is dangerous. 57% of french are opposed to nuclear power, according to a BBC/globe span poll in 2006. there were quite a few accidents and incidents in france, including sub-standard electrical cables in 2005, spill of 18 cubic metres of uranium solution in 2008, etc. - luckily most of those incidents and accidents were controllable.
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