Nuclear industry too big to fail? Watch

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@*=-+1!<>6
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#141
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#141
(Original post by Teaddict)
1975: Shimantan/Banqiao Dam Failure
Cost: $8,700,000,000
Peanuts.
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hungryaardvark
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#142
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
Well it was built in a known tsunami zone. So maybe you know have the back up generators a little less tsunami prone?:eek:
Stupid comment, frankly. What else were they supposed to do? Firstly, almost the whole of japan is a tsunami/earthquake zone: siting all of their generators away from danger would be nigh-on impossible. Secondly, what was the alternative? say they had instead only used renewables/coal fire (for the sake of argument). Neither of those plants would be immune to disastrous weather: far from it. In fact, I would have thought that renewable platforms would have suffered even more from the damage.

Nuclear is a stepping stone, yes. But renewables dont generate enough constant power from their material cost/size to be a viable option at this point. the most efficient solar cells in the world can only transfer 21.6% of sunlight energy to power: the most efficient wind turbines are even worse. And this is theoretical lab technology: the stuff we would use would be lucky to hit ~10%. that's simply not enough. so until we have >=50% efficiency renewable energy available, an efficient nuclear generator provides a much better option.
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#143
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(Original post by hungryaardvark)
siting all of their generators away from danger would be nigh-on impossible.
*******s.
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hungryaardvark
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#144
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
*******s.
You know what? instead of negging me and swearing, try responding with a well reasoned argument. You're clearly not being very open about any of this, so why bother asking the question?
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mfaxford
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#145
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(Original post by hungryaardvark)
siting all of their generators away from danger would be nigh-on impossible.
(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
*******s.
I'm guessing you don't have any idea about the requirement of most oil/gas/coal/nuclear power plants. They generally need lots of cooling. The usual method of doing this is by being on the coast and using sea water. This makes it hard to site yourself away from the dangers. Like most things it's a delicate balance of risk and cost. The nuclear industry has a lot of regulataion to ensure that risk is minimised other forms of power generation have much less regulation. Do we know that the wind turbines being put up are safe. Would they hold up in a hurricane ?

In terms of the costs of renewable vs Nuclear (as I think that's all you're trying to argue about). This report from last year suggests that offshore wind is still more expensive than nuclear overall. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/ene...ectricity.html. I've not been able to find any recent numbers to do a proper comparison but what's in that report looks believable.

Wind power is currently heavily subsidised. New nuclear in this country won't be. In terms of the loophole you were linking to earlier that reads along the lines of the Government might provide funding if changes to the design are required after the plant has been built. That seems like a fair backing. To put it another way: If the government said that all cars have to have some new feature added by christmas for safety and it's going to cost £2k per car who would you expect to foot the bill. Would you be willing to pay the £2k bill on your £500 car ? (That's effectivly how I read the loophole article).
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#146
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(Original post by mfaxford)
I'm guessing you don't have any idea about the requirement of most oil/gas/coal/nuclear power plants. They generally need lots of cooling. The usual method of doing this is by being on the coast and using sea water. This makes it hard to site yourself away from the dangers. Like most things it's a delicate balance of risk and cost.
I'm guessing you have difficulty reading. We were talking about the backup generators. Which clearly could have been protected from the tsunami as evident by the newer intact reactors at Fukushima.
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mfaxford
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#147
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
I'm guessing you have difficulty reading. We were talking about the backup generators. Which clearly could have been protected from the tsunami as evident by the newer intact reactors at Fukushima.
Which will need to be close to the power plant and so need to be close to the sea. If they were placed several miles away from the plant you'de be complaining that the cables had been washed away (ignoring the technological issues that you'de have putting the backup generators a long way from where they're needed.)

Your post that I replied to suggests that you believe the generators could have been put somewhere safer (suggesting not near the sea) I was just saying that's not possible. Maybe they could have built somewhere stronger for the generators but I suspect that might have caused other problems. It's all about doing a suitable risk analysis of what's acceptable and I doubt anyone on here is qualified to do that for Nuclear or Renewable power. Unless someone comes out with a report saying they made big mistakes none of us are in a position to say it was a bad design. Or do you think you can design something that never fails and that you've thought of absolutly everything that could go wrong in it's lifetime and have features designed in to mitigate those risks?
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#148
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#148
(Original post by mfaxford)
Which will need to be close to the power plant and so need to be close to the sea. If they were placed several miles away from the plant you'de be complaining that the cables had been washed away (ignoring the technological issues that you'de have putting the backup generators a long way from where they're needed.)

Your post that I replied to suggests that you believe the generators could have been put somewhere safer (suggesting not near the sea) I was just saying that's not possible. Maybe they could have built somewhere stronger for the generators but I suspect that might have caused other problems. It's all about doing a suitable risk analysis of what's acceptable and I doubt anyone on here is qualified to do that for Nuclear or Renewable power. Unless someone comes out with a report saying they made big mistakes none of us are in a position to say it was a bad design. Or do you think you can design something that never fails and that you've thought of absolutly everything that could go wrong in it's lifetime and have features designed in to mitigate those risks?
:rolleyes:

A design flaw at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant -- one that senior engineers had known about for years -- caused the cooling systems to fail at four reactors after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to company records and interviews with current and former employees.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, used two different designs for protecting the backup generators for its cooling systems at 10 reactors in the Fukushima region. The cooling systems at the reactors with the older design failed, causing fuel meltdowns and explosions.

The older Fukushima reactors, dating back to the 1960s and built with General Electric Co.'s Mark I design, housed their electric-switching stations in exterior buildings vulnerable to the tsunami's waves. Newer reactors, meanwhile, house these stations in their sturdy main buildings.

When the waves knocked out the switching stations at the older reactors, they rendered the backup generators useless. "Once water gets in there, the whole thing is kaput," said Katsuya Tomono, a former TEPCO executive vice president.

GE said its reactors are safe and that any design flaws are TEPCO's fault because the company was in charge of design changes. Current and former TEPCO engineers say that in retrospect, they should have done something about the flaw.
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Mad Vlad
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#149
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
:rolleyes:
So in essence, your rant against nuclear power can be completely put to bed if we just over-engineer the plants a little more.

Ok, that's fine by me. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't respond to my previous post about cost/kWh, though.
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#150
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(Original post by Mad Vlad)
So in essence, your rant against nuclear power can be completely put to bed if we just over-engineer the plants a little more.
Its never been a rant against all nuclear. Some is clearly needed but its not the cheapest now and renewables will in the near future be cheaper. All i'm against is an over reliance on nuclear at the cost of renewables which will likely cost us more in the long run. Over engineered plants are clearly preferable to having a Fukushima and no doubt cheaper, but is having backup generators away from possible flood damage really overengineering?

(Original post by Mad Vlad)
Ok, that's fine by me. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't respond to my previous post about cost/kWh, though.
The costs of nuclear energy are opaque, it probably is cheaper now, but its not going to be for much longer.
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Aj12
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#151
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
Its never been a rant against all nuclear. Some is clearly needed but its not the cheapest now and renewables will in the near future be cheaper. All i'm against is an over reliance on nuclear at the cost of renewables which will likely cost us more in the long run. Over engineered plants are clearly preferable to having a Fukushima and no doubt cheaper, but is having backup generators away from possible flood damage really overengineering?



The costs of nuclear energy are opaque, it probably is cheaper now, but its not going to be for much longer.
Your not really getting that cheapest is not the only consideration, in fact it is a very minor one.

Most technologies get cheaper as they go on not more expensive.
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#152
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#152
(Original post by Aj12)
Your not really getting that cheapest is not the only consideration, in fact it is a very minor one.
Of course its not the only consideration but its most certainly not a very minor one. :rolleyes: If it were only a very minor consideration then its unlikely we would ever have had a Windscale, Chernobyl or Fukushima.

(Original post by Aj12)
Most technologies get cheaper as they go on not more expensive.
But not nuclear.
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Aphotic Cosmos
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#153
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
Its never been a rant against all nuclear. Some is clearly needed but its not the cheapest now and renewables will in the near future be cheaper. All i'm against is an over reliance on nuclear at the cost of renewables which will likely cost us more in the long run. Over engineered plants are clearly preferable to having a Fukushima and no doubt cheaper, but is having backup generators away from possible flood damage really overengineering?



The costs of nuclear energy are opaque, it probably is cheaper now, but its not going to be for much longer.
Why do you say that? The nuclear industry isn't going to just stand still - they've been developing new technology for decades. EPR reactors are vastly more efficient and safe than Magnox reactors. Thorium reactors are even safer and less wasteful.

No matter how much money you pump into wind and wave, there is the inherent unreliability of the wind (which is also a major factor in the creation of waves) not being subject to human demands for energy. Wind can be a part of our future - our energy demand is generally greatest in the winter when we see some ferocious gales in our territorial waters - but even with microgeneration schemes, next generation solar/IR panels, wave farms, tidal barrages, district heating (I don't know why on earth this isn't government policy yet) and whatnot, you will still need nuclear power as the core of our energy policy.
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Aj12
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#154
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#154
(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
Of course its not the only consideration but its most certainly not a very minor one. :rolleyes: If it were only a very minor consideration then its unlikely we would ever have had a Windscale, Chernobyl or Fukushima.



But not nuclear.
What are you talking about? Do you even know what caused Chernobyl? It was a human failing.

Renewable s may be cheaper but they are not in any way efficient and do not stand a chance of ever being a primary power source only ever a minor one.
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#155
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(Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
Why do you say that? The nuclear industry isn't going to just stand still - they've been developing new technology for decades. EPR reactors are vastly more efficient and safe than Magnox reactors. Thorium reactors are even safer and less wasteful.

No matter how much money you pump into wind and wave, there is the inherent unreliability of the wind (which is also a major factor in the creation of waves) not being subject to human demands for energy. Wind can be a part of our future - our energy demand is generally greatest in the winter when we see some ferocious gales in our territorial waters - but even with microgeneration schemes, next generation solar/IR panels, wave farms, tidal barrages, district heating (I don't know why on earth this isn't government policy yet) and whatnot, you will still need nuclear power as the core of our energy policy.
I'm not really in disagreement with any of this. They wont be cheap but thats not important as we’re not constructing thorium reactors anyway. We seem to have lurched back to an overreliance on uranium reactors which is the cheap option now but in the long term will end up costing us more.
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#156
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(Original post by Aj12)
Do you even know what caused Chernobyl?
You clearly don't.

(Original post by Aj12)
Renewable s may be cheaper but they are not in any way efficient and do not stand a chance of ever being a primary power source only ever a minor one.
Of course renewables can be our primary power source, especially if as you claim money is of no consequence. They just can't be our only power source.
Last edited by @*=-+1!<>6; 7 years ago
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ANARCHY__
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#157
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(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
You clearly don't.
Please click here.

Of course renewables can be our primary power source, they just can't be our only power source.
I am astounded that you clearly take no other view into account.
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Mad Vlad
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#158
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#158
(Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
Its never been a rant against all nuclear. Some is clearly needed but its not the cheapest now and renewables will in the near future be cheaper. All i'm against is an over reliance on nuclear at the cost of renewables which will likely cost us more in the long run. Over engineered plants are clearly preferable to having a Fukushima and no doubt cheaper, but is having backup generators away from possible flood damage really overengineering?

The costs of nuclear energy are opaque, it probably is cheaper now, but its not going to be for much longer.
This is a really trite comment tbh. Nobody could have anticipated an earthquake, and subsequent tsunami of that magnitude. The tsunami overcame a massive sea wall that was designed to withstand what engineers thought would be every possible tsunami.

The crux of your argument against nuclear seems to be that every single nuclear power station is a deathtrap just waiting to fail - that every plant in existence is another Fukushima or Chernobyl. Fukushima was a cascade of ridiculously unlikely events that all collided at the same time causing a perfectly safe and reliable reactor design to fail. Chernobyl, as Teaddict quite rightly said was simply an advertisement for what happens when safe working practices aren't followed. The RBMK reactor design is inherently unsafe and are sadly a legacy of Soviet cost-cutting. Modern reactors however are capable of withstanding total failure of cooling systems and other severe transients - generally with no human intervention required. They can also produce more electricity for less capital outlay, with less fuel and produce far less Level III waste.

I don't see why the cost of renewables are going to decrease dramatically, nor do I see why the cost of nuclear is going to increase dramatically in the future.
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@*=-+1!<>6
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#159
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(Original post by Mad Vlad)
This is a really trite comment tbh. Nobody could have anticipated an earthquake, and subsequent tsunami of that magnitude. The tsunami overcame a massive sea wall that was designed to withstand what engineers thought would be every possible tsunami.

The crux of your argument against nuclear seems to be that every single nuclear power station is a deathtrap just waiting to fail - that every plant in existence is another Fukushima or Chernobyl.
Well its certainly not the crux of my argument and no not a death trap, a potential black hole to pour money into while decreasing in likelihood is still not impossible and should be considered if other costs aren't even making it favourable. I am willing to admit that im not the best at getting my point across clearly but your misrepresentation of my arguments is truly shocking.

(Original post by Mad Vlad)
Fukushima was a cascade of ridiculously unlikely events that all collided at the same time causing a perfectly safe and reliable reactor design to fail.
A tsunami is not a ridiculously unlikely event in that part of the world. One of that size is not likely but one several magnitudes of size smaller still would have knocked out the backup generators. I thought it had been accepted that this was a major design flaw at Fukushima.

(Original post by Mad Vlad)
Chernobyl, as Teaddict quite rightly said was simply an advertisement for what happens when safe working practices aren't followed. The RBMK reactor design is inherently unsafe and are sadly a legacy of Soviet cost-cutting.
Glad we are agreed maybe try telling Aj12 and ANARCHY__

(Original post by Mad Vlad)
I don't see why the cost of renewables are going to decrease dramatically, nor do I see why the cost of nuclear is going to increase dramatically in the future.
The cost of nuclear doesn't need to increase dramatically, it has been and will continue to increase steadily but dramatically in comparison to renewables.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13977038
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Teaddict
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#160
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Look @*=-+1!<>6

I absolutely respect that you believe in renewables, to an extent I also believe in them. I would personally consider myself an environmentalist; I believe in conserving our environment, I believe in reducing emissions (of all kinds not just carbon) and I believe in restoring habitats.

I would agree with you wholeheartedly that the environment is of great importance and we should be doing our best to conserve and restore it.

However, it would appear that whilst we share a similar belief in the environment; I assume that's why you support renewables so much, we differ when it comes to being realistic.

You cannot, I repeat, cannot, develop a sustainable energy policy for the future, devoid of fossil fuels, without nuclear power as the backbone of said policy. It's not going to happen and to attempt it would be grossly expensive; and when we have millions in fuel poverty it's hardly the right decision.

I do believe we should be investing in renewable energy, however, this shouldn't include solar power or wind power. Both are inefficient, inefficient, relatively expensive, use up massive amounts of land and are unbelievably hideous.

Onshore wind farms, which are cheaper to operate than offshore wind farms, take this negativity one step further. Onshore wind farms are responsible for the decline in our bat population; our desire to move towards wind as a renewable energy is killing our native species; that's unacceptable.

The main point of moving to renewables is so that we can rid ourselves of fossil fuels as the core of our energy generation and neither wind nor solar can achieve that. Neither of these renewable energies can do the most important thing which is the closure of traditional fossil fuel-based plants. Because we do not get a guaranteed amount of wind or sun, we cannot plan how much energy we would receive from them and thus we must keep traditional plants on line at stand-by capacity. That means they are operational and it means the energy they produce is more expensive because they aren't at full capacity.

Without nuclear, the idea that we can aim for a low-carbon economy and move away from fossil fuels is nothing but a dream.
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