Nuclear energy is supposed to be part of the new U.S. energy strategy. We are assured that the new plants will be fail safe. How safe are they in the event of an unforeseen disaster, like the Japanese quake?
From Yahoo AP:
Japan's nuclear safety agency said pressure inside one of six boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant had risen to 1.5 times the level considered normal. Hours after the evacuation order, the government announced that the plant in northeastern Japan will release slightly radioactive vapor from the unit to lower the pressure in an effort to protect it from a possible meltdown.
The article goes on to say that if cooling to the reactor isn't restored, a meltdown could happen.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_qua … 9yZWxlYQ--
Should we build new reactors in light of this?
The problem seems to be that a power outage is preventing them from pumping water into the reactor to replace that which is being boiled off. Quakes are fairly rare but power outages aren't.
This disaster could get a lot worse if a reactor melts down. The Japanese are technically advanced and experts in dealing with quakes, which is why I find it disconcerting that a nuke may get away from them.
have heard that the US is sending power supplies. Times have changed since dropping an atomic bomb
Every airport is closed. I heard a reporter in Japan interviewed by Anderson Cooper today. As he is experiencing things every place that sells food is closed. He had Ramen and a little container of orange juice available for his meal. The government has made bags of water available. He hasn't slept for 30 hours because the aftershocks about every five minutes won't let him relax. He has electricity and internet but that's all.
I haven't heard from my friend in Japan, not even on Facebook.
This is just awful. Doesn't hurt to pray even if you hardly ever do.
This is terrible, just awful. My nephew's wife (in the U.S.) can't get through to her family but they're not very close to the worst damage.
Radiation is now leaking from the nuke plant and the evacuation zone is being enlarged.
A very rough estimate of the damage is half a trillion dollars. Unfortunately, Japan's debt load is even worse than ours. (About double, in proportion to their GNP).
I hope your friend is OK.
Unfortunately, there has now been an explosion at the nuclear plant and a building has collapsed, and they are trying to find out what caused it and how dangerous it is
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … ppled.html
I did see some reports yesterday about the nuclear plants that had shut down automatically but that one had had some problems, that was the extent of what I had heard reported at the time. I was actually pretty impressed that the plants had auto-shut down, of course the minor problem one had seems now to have possibly been more then just a little minor?
I am off to go read the last article posted here, cheers for that btw.
I'm just online and have read about the explosion on the bbc website. There have a measly 10km exclusion zone in place round the plant, but a BBC reporter was stopped 60km away and not allowed to proceed nearer.
This sounds like their disaster has just been compounded 100-fold
I don't believe this was a particularly new nuclear power plant. From what I understand, this type of meltdown isn't possible with the newest "passively safe" nuclear power plants, which are engineered to decelerate nuclear reactions in the case of unforeseen events that cause a disruption in cooling without having to use any electronic feedback or individual user intervention.
"CNN - Official meltdown may be underway." Japan - US ambassador denying it.
The latest I heard is that there still is no meltdown. A bit of good news.
I think that the U.S. has to revisit the idea of including new nukes as part of our energy policy -- maybe it's still too risky. Like many, I believed that in the decades since 3 mi. Island, technology would have allowed safe nuclear power plants.
Cheap power? With past nuclear disasters factored in, how cheap is it really?
Adding in the cost of the Nuke waste that we've already produced but not disposed of, means we haven't yet paid the tab for the power that we've already used.
The human factor played into all 3 of the largest nuclear incidents. How can this be discounted for future nukes? In Japan, fail safe shutdown was stymied because the tsunami high water wasn't planned for.
I'm going to need more convincing before I support any new Nukes.
With all the Global warning happening, it would not surprise me from 10 to100 million people will lose their lives over tsunamis, in my life time anyways. Only through great nature abuse will change man’s habits.
The reactors concerned were built in 1971 not part of the new fourth generation reactors which are far safer again
I hope you right , more of my concern is global warning and tsunamis
There are 55 nuclear plants in Japan but they only produce 20% of their electricity needs. At a cost of a Billion dollars per, for new plants, it hardly seems cost effective.
I also see that the U.S. has over 30 plants similar in design to the Fukushima facility. It is 40 yrs old, but all new plants get old eventually and if that means they become unsafe, that's a problem.
I think we pay too much to get too little in return with nukes.
Maybe I'm missing something here, if so, I'm sure someone will enlighten me.
If you are a private owner intent on profits, and just as an example you had to pay one dollar a kilowatt hour powering generators with oil, and would pay one cent per kilowatt hour to begin with nuclear, would you decide nuke power safe or unsafe?
I'm not sure I get the intent of the question. Cheaper is better as long as it's safe.
When the 1st nuke was built, Pres. Eisenhower said it would make electricity too cheap to meter. That didn't happen.
We've always been assured that Nukes are safe but there have been 3 major and who knows how many minor nuke plant incidents.
This doesn't exactly make people confident that we're getting the straight scoop -- we may be, who knows? Nuclear scientists and engineers may be convinced that nuclear is the way to go, but if the general population isn't, new nuclear power plants won't be built.
The industry has a big image problem right now and some convincing to do.
If you have a profit motive cheaper production is better. They will always tell it is safe. They believe what the money tells them to believe. Expect a big 'nukes are safe' campaign to start soon.
They have yet to figure out how to dispose of the stuff. I don't think these people are reasonable?
If a dam was built and was breached due to an earthquake the deathtoll & devastation would be much higher (execept in the v event that the nuclear plant will totally blow -extremely unlikely)
In a power plant catastrophe, the death toll may or may not be greater with a nuke accident. Who knows? Any decision to build one should factor in possible radioactive contamination from the accident (lasting for how long?) and vulnerability to terrorists and public resistance to a new plants near them.
Spent nuclear fuel is a danger until it's disposed of. How much spent fuel is now sitting at the plants waiting for some sort of disposal?
The Generation 4 reactors sound like a good idea if they can contribute to using up existing waste. Beyond that, the industry is going to have to convince us that it's not just saying what people like to hear.
In this case as I said previously the plant was built in 1971 & was due to be decommissioned. **( Please note I am not an apologist or spokesman for the Neclear Industry)
Was happened was all the nuclear plants shut down as they should following the Earthquake scare. The Following Tsunami made the cooling system fail.
What failed was the electrical system 1st to cool down the central core. Second a back up gnerator system and third another backup generator system
They are now cooling the plant core down with seawater & awaiting special coolant I believe from the US.
The new 4th Generation plants are much smaller use more of the fission material and operatwe in a different way. As well they have multiple emergency systems.
have heard there is huge subsidence and some of Japan is now underwater permanently, plus parts of coast moved 8 ft (2.5m).
Unfortunately, when nuclear power goes wrong, it goes horribly wrong. But is seems to be a necessary evil in highly populated, developed countries, thanks to modern society's energy demands.
The situation gets worse with every report.
Anyone else think the Japanese Government have been slow to tell the truth in a timely manner?
According the the BBC, the Japanese have always been economical with the truth when it comes to their nuke plants.
NOW, however, they are lying through their teeth to prevent mass panic and I do sympathise with them there. With thousands of people being shifted out of the zone, crowd panic would be a nightmare situation.
But I am really glad I am not part of an international rescue mission, because all those voluntary workers who go to Japan now really are laying their lives on the line.
the Japanese aren't the only one with nuclear plants - which developed countries with high populations don't?
No, but how many plants built on fault lines?
Scotland has several nuclear power plants. When I was a young nurse, I couldn't help noticing how many beds were taken up in the radiotherapy/chemotherapy wards by cancer patients from a certain area well away from the city.
What was there? A nuke plant.
Scotland is still suffering the fall-out effect of Chernobyl. There was a huge upspike in rare cancers throughout the country in the first 10 years afterwards.
My friend's husband became a victim. Died of a rare type of cancer aged 41.
The shops still sell New Zealand lamb instead of prime Scottish lamb because the sheep were nuked too (the radioactive dust settled on the Scottish hills - it is still there).
The government denied it all but they were lying, probably to prevent mass panic.
how many nuclear plants built near fault lines? Apparently some in California, Chile...
I hope they are watching the disaster unfolding in Japan today, and taking steps to ensure it can't happen there.
God help those poor people who having survived the biggest earthquake in living memory, followed by a devastating tsunami, only to find themselves at severe risk of dying from radiation poisoning
My heart goes out to those poor people
I see European and Asian airlines are now not going to Tokyo. Does that mean international rescue teams are staying out too? (wouldn't blame them if they were).
I wouldn't been keen. My husband's cousin studies volcanoes and is due there next week.
People in some parts of the world are asked to avoid non-essential travel to Japan.
I've been wondering what they do with all the dead - over 3000 now. Do they try to formally identify them all? Or do they have to do the cremations etc because of health extra health hazards? (on top of lack of water/sanitation/refrigeration in many parts). A yukky job to do.
It is very sad to hear about the nuclear tragedy in Japan. It is time for the whole world to think of alternatives for energy needs of countries like Japan. In a remote area in Vellore town of South India, a group of women held a condolence meeting on sunday, 13th March. They expressed solidarity with Japanese people in their sorrow. They expressed hope that Japan as usual will rise up early.
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