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I feel a chill, when I hear the way our politicians speak of this. It is not true that nuclear technology is ignored. Blair is pushing for a major programme of new nuclear plants in the UK, and the fuss over Iran's plans is simply hypocrisy. Meanwhile, little or nothing is done to halt the exponential rise in oil use and the world's biggest economic power is not a signatory to the Kyoto protocol.
I agree with Harishankar. The dangers of nuclear power are just too great. In the end, the solution is massive investment in renewables. It is often said (sometimes by people who should know better) that renewables cannot meet our energy needs. This may be true at present, but they would slow the exhaustion of fossil fuels, and if the sort of sums that are spent on research in the nuclear, oil and gas industries were to be spent on research into renewables, then it is reasonable to believe that the capacity of renewable energy could be vastly increased.
Meanwhile, let's look seriously at conservation. I admit that I'm a geek, I like computers. But computers don't have to be as wasteful as they are at present. Most modern PCs use 350+ Watts, while the Mac Mini uses 85W peak, and do most of us really need to leave our PCs powered up overnight? Then we have transport systems based too much on private car use, that are not only wasteful but also growing increasingly inefficient. Here in Leeds we are rapidly approaching gridlock, with traffic often moving at less than walking pace. Investment in decent integrated public transport systems (with incentives to use it) would benefit everybody. Then there's insulation of homes, increasing efficiency of appliances, et j'en passe.
In order for there to be real change, governments and industry will have to be put under pressure to act.
As an ex submarine sailor, I don't have the built in aversion to nuclear power plants many people do. I do believe, however, that the way nuclear power has been implemented in the U.S. is stuckin fupid. Of all people we need to learn from, its the French.
In the U.S., every single civilian nuclear power plant is a unique and one-off design. The French have standardized on a plant, reactor, and control systems design. This makes operating the plant much easier and makes training of personnel orders of magnitude easier. Easier is safer. It also simplifies getting through the regulatory approvals necessary to build a new plant.
None of this resolves the issue of what to do with spent fuel. Other than Yucca Mountain (which is not yet in operation, and may never be) I don't have an answer. Do you?
This one always makes me laugh you do know that a few coal fired power plants puts out about as much radiation straight into the atmosphere as all the nuclear plants in use today combined. At least with a nuclear plant you have the radiation contained in a confined space not spread across the countryside.
I'm talking about the spent fuel not the operational emissions of the plant. Of course a nuclear power plant is cleaner in operation. Doesn't solve the problem of what to do with the spent fuel which remains lethal for 100 of thousands of years.
If your so glib about it we'll leave it all at your house shall we?
Originally Posted by Agrouf
The sun is radioactive and sun rays are radioactive.
You're quite right and if it wasn't for the ozone layer (which we're buisily destroying and the earths magnetic field shielding us from the worst of it we'd all fry to crispy critters in a matter of minutes.
Even with it anyone out in the sun for too long gets radiation burns.
In fact the whole planet has a natural background level of radiation which the life on this planet has evolved to deal with, doesn't mean you can pop a handful of depleted uranium in your pocket and not get radiation burns. (If you're lucky, cancer if not)
I hate to jump into this fray, but that is a perspective - and a valid one. The citizens of new, clear, free New Zealand are actually exposed to greater levels of radiation from coal plants than I am 30 miles north of Calvert Cliffs and 50 miles south of Three Mile Island.
I'm absolutely with you, no satisfactory resolution to the spent fuel problem yet exists. But his point is valid.
There is enough oil. Don't believe the government.
Peak Oil Hoax -
The Energy Non-Crisis
By Lindsey Williams
The following are small excerpts from chapters in Mr. Willims book 'The Energy Non-Crisis'
CHAPTER 1 - The Great Oil Deception ... There is no true energy crisis. There never has been an energy crisis . . . except as it has been produced by the Federal government for the purpose of controlling the American people. ...
CHAPTER 3 - Shut Down That Pipeline ... My friend answered, "Well, Brother Lindsey, that's one of the major cross-country pipelines carrying crude oil from the West to the East." "Ah," I answered, "That's rather interesting. I've heard there's a possibility of an energy crisis. I'm sure glad those pumps are running full speed ahead." ... That was in 1972. You will remember that 1973 was the first time we were told there was really an energy crisis. The East Coast was used as a test for that energy crisis, and there were long lines of people waiting, burning fuel while they waited in line for gas they couldn't get. ... Well, the man finally recognized that I was getting a little bit indignant and he said, "well, mister, if you really want to know the truth, the truth is the Federal government has ordered us to close this pipeline down." The old Westerner went on and told how he stood up to the boss man, "Why man, I can hardly believe that. After all, we've got an energy crisis." The boss man answered him, "Sir, we're closing it down because we've been ordered to." ...
CHAPTER 4 - An Important Visit by Senator Hugh Chance ... What followed included some of the most astonishing answers I have ever heard in my life. This is not opinion, but is actually what I heard from a man who was one of the original developers of the Prudhoe Bay oil field. He said, "Senator Chance, there is no energy crisis! There is an artificially produced energy crisis, and it is for the purpose of controlling the American people. You see, if the government can control energy, they can control industry, they can control an individual, and they can control business. It is well known that everything relates back to crude oil." ...
CHAPTER 11 - The Barges Froze and Cracked and Popped ... I watched as they stalled, and stalled, and stalled for time ... until they had finally stalled long enough! The barges froze, and cracked, and popped. The big steel plates were literally destroyed, and millions of dollars worth of equipment was crushed by ice-Why? Could it be that the government did not want that flow of oil? Could it really be that there is no energy crisis, except the one they want to produce? ...
CHAPTER 13 - Why Are These Arabs Here? ... What follows is an approximate recall of the questions and answers betweenSenator Chance and Mr. X, one and a half years earlier. If you like, this is the good old "flashback" method. The questions and answers went like this. Senator Hugh Chance had asked, "Mr. X, how much oil is there on the North Slope of Alaska?" "Senator Chance, I'm persuaded there is as much oil as there is in all of Saudi Arabia." "Then, Mr. X, if there is that much oil there, there is not an energy crisis." (Mr. X's only answer was a smile, implying that Senator Chance had hit the nail on the head.) "Mr. X, what do you think the Federal government is really out to do?" "Senator, I personally feel that the American government wants to nationalize the oil companies of America." "Then, Mr. X, if you are so convinced of that fact, have you calculated how long you can remain solvent with present Federal control?" Mr. X was reluctant to answer at first, but then he looked at Senator Chance and said, "Yes, we are so convinced that in fact we, as oil company executives, have made that calculation." "Then how much longer do you think you can remain solvent?" "Until the year 1982." "Then, if what you say is true, why don't you oil companies warn the American people of what is going on? After all, it is your neck that is at stake." "Senator, we can't afford to tell the truth." "Why not?" "Because, Senator, the Federal government already has so many laws passed, and regulations imposed on us as oil companies, that if they decided to enforce these rules they could put us into bankruptcy within six months. Sir, we don't dare tell the truth." ...
CHAPTER 15 - Waiting for a Huge New Oil Field ... A "burn"-in layman's terms-is a method of proof used when an oil field or an oil well is brought in. I was to watch that day what is probably one of the most phenomenal bits of intelligence information that has ever been discovered since the original oil discovery at Prudhoe Bay. However, this was also to be one of the most devastating things that the government of the United States has ever done to the American people in relation to the energy crisis. ...
CHAPTER 16 - Gull Island Will Blow Your Mind! ... I went to his office and sat down, and wondered why it was that on this day the trumpets were not sounding. This was a phenomenal thing, and yet there seemed to be no fuss at all about it. Sure enough, without delay, the oil company official soon walked into his office and closed the door behind him. He looked at me with a frown on his face and said, "Chaplain, what you saw yesterday, don't you ever as long as you live, let anything out that would tell anyone the data that you saw on those technical sheets." I said, "But sir, that's going to end the energy crisis in America!" He said, "No, Chaplain, it's not. Quite to the contrary." As he sat down behind his desk, I noticed that he was very worried, and then he continued, "Chaplain, you weren't supposed to see what I showed you yesterday. I'm sorry I let you go with me out there to watch that burn. I'm even more perturbed that I let you look at the technical data, because, Chaplain, you and I might both be in trouble if you ever tell the story of Gull Island." ... This company official said to me,"Chaplain, that great pool of oil is probably as big as the Prudhoe oil field, it has been proven, drilled into, and tested-we know what is there and we know the amount that is there, but the government has ordered us not to produce that well, or reveal any information as to what is at Gull Island."
I could hardly believe what I heard that day. I walked out of the oil company official's office very perturbed, because again we could be lied to, the American people would be deceived again-the truth would not be told. As I walked out of that office I realized that I was only one of about six men alive who would even know the truth about Gull Island, or would ever even see the technical data. I was astonished that day because of this restriction on releasing data about the production from beneath a small island out in the Arctic Ocean. This could end the oil crisis, but I had come to the conclusion in my mind, with no doubt whatsoever, that the Federal government would never want that oil produced.
It was not the oil companies that ordered the rig removed and the well capped. It was not the oil companies that said, "We cannot go beyond our 100-mile boundary." It was not the oil companies that said, "We will not tell the American people the truth." Rather, it was your Federal and State government ... and my Federal and State government-the officials elected by us to represent us for our welfare.
Gull Island was capped and the rig was removed, and the truth has never been' told ... until now! ...
CHAPTER 17 - If Gull Island Didn't Blow Your Mind-This Will! Gull Island just proved what the oil companies have believed for some time. It authenticated the seismographic findings. Seismographic testing has indicated that there is as much crude oil on the North Slope of Alaska as in Saudi Arabia. Since the Gull Island find proved to be seismographically correct, then the other testings are correct also. There are many hundreds of square miles of oil under the North Slope of Alaska. ... The Gull Island burn produced 30,000 barrels of oil per day through a 3 1/2 inch pipe at 900 feet.
Three wells have been drilled, proven, and capped at Gull Island. The East Dock well also hit the Gull Island oil pool (you can tell by the chemical structure). For forty miles to the east of Gull Island, there has not been a single dry hole drilled, although many wells have been drilled. This shows the immensity of the size of the field. ...
The following is a comparison between the three oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska which have been drilled into with numerous wells, tested, and proven. Prudhoe Bay can produce two (2) million barrels of oil every 24 hours for 20 to 40 years at artesian pressure. Imagine what the production of the Kuparuk and Gull Island fields could be.
Field Pay Zone Oil Area of Field
(Average depth of oil pool)
Prudhoe 600 Ft. of pay zone 100 square miles
Kuparuk 300 Ft. of pay zone Twice the size of Prudhoe
Gull Island 1,200 Ft. of pay zone At least four times the size of Prudhoe . . .
Estimates are that it is the richest oil field on the face of the earth. ...
CHAPTER 19 - The Energy Non-Crisis of Natural Gas: A StartlingPrediction Comes True ... "Yes," Mr. X answered, "There's enough natural gas on the North Slope of Alaska to provide the entire United States with natural gas for the next two hundred years. If every other natural gas well in America were shut off, there would still be enough natural gas on the North Slope to provide for the total projected natural gas needs for all of the United States for 200 years.
That is based on the present calculated rate of consumption and the expected increased consumption year by year -there's still enough there to provide all the projected needs of the United States for 200 years." ...
And what about Alaska? You guessed it! Morris Udahl's bill came along, so now we will take most of the land in Alaska, and lock it up in wilderness areas for all time and eternity. This was just one more part of the great plan to lock up all the energy that is so abundant in the North Slope of Alaska. The D-2 land bill has passed, the natural resources can never be produced. It can never be drilled, and it can never be used. We will never be allowed in to find out more, to make the tests to see what is there. They say it is being preserved for our future generations. Future generations? With the technology of today, you mean we cannot develop some alternative means of supplying energy? . . . even when we have at least enough (with crude oil and natural gas) to supply our nation's energy needs for generations ahead from just a few pools of oil on the North Slope of Alaska? What is the real answer? If a satisfactory alternate energy source cannot be discovered and developed in that length of time, it's because nobody is trying .. . or somebody doesn't want one found! ...
CHAPTER 20 - A Scandal Greater Than Watergate? ... In the year 1973, we experienced the first real so-called energy crisis per se. By the way, have you ever noticed that each of these energy crises have affected only one portion of the country at a time? In 1973 it was only the East Coast (the northern part, in particular). There was no crisis in the West. There was no crisis in the Midwest. There was no crisis in the South. Why the Northeast? Because, you see, that was the first testing ground to find out how far the government could take gullible Americans. Then about the time folks were ready to revolt, suddenly there was no longer a crisis in the Northeast. All of a sudden, out of a clear blue sky, for no known reason, it ceased to exist ... all the gas you wanted!
Next, if you remember, it was California. The lines had disappeared in the Northeast. Then they thought, "We'll try the farming section of the country." However, that one did not get too much publicity, so that "crisis" didn't last too long.
It seemed strange to me that I was told by oil company officials a number of months in advance where the next "crisis" would occur.
One section after another of America has been tried, to see just how far they could be pushed before they rebel. Then, at the point of rebellion, the government backs off. All of a sudden there is no energy crisis in that area anymore. ...
I am convinced that there is a definite reason, and at this point I move from observations to personal opinion. There is only one thing on earth by which every human being can be controlled, if that product itself is controlled. That product is energy. The world today has become dependent on energy-for its homes, its lights, its fuel, its automobiles, its airplanes, its trucking industry, its railroads, its delivery of goods, etc.
Electricity is produced by the energy of today. Every facet and aspect of our lives can be controlled when energy is controlled. There is no other product on the face of the earth that can so control the American people-and all the people of the world. Whoever controls the energy ... controls us! The fact is, if energy can be controlled, you can be controlled. It could not be done by money, for methods of bartering could be developed by the people. If your energy is controlled, however, then "Big Brother" can control how you live in your home; when you go and where you go; the products you buy; the style of life that you will live; even the level of life at which you will live. They can control your state of life and your every movement.
In the days of the horse and buggy, this would not have been so, but today we are dependent entirely on energy. Therefore, because of our complete dependence, we have become ready targets. Now, if they can brainwash the people into believing that there is a true energy crisis, when there actually is not, then they can slow down our society, they can destroy our free enterprise way of life, and they can control every area of our being. It certainly points ultimately to one-world control ... and to an evil dictatorship. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Most people on this forum do not seem to understand the qualitative difference between getting radiation burns from spent Uranium and getting exposed to natural UV radiation which is very, very diffused anyway.
Even the natural UV radiation can cause sun-burns when we are overexposed to it and causes so much problem to people around the world. Imagine a 1000+ times exposure to a much higher frequency of electromagnetic radiation called gamma rays. If you didn't die at once, you'd be crippled for life. Cancer is the least of your worries then...
And then in talking about "radioactivity" people forget the chemical toxicity of the nuclear fuels and their byproducts.. Even if the radioactivity was "spent", so to speak, you still have pollution in the form of highly toxic chemical waste which cannot be disposed of naturally.
Most present day nuclear fuels and their byproducts are articial, heavy metals which have no place in the natural world. (By the way, U-235 is the only naturally occurring isotope of natural uranium which is processed in the nuclear reactors).
And then the damage due to radioactive fallout is irreversible and permanent in nature, because it mutates living cells and destroys atoms. The change is an atomic reaction, not a chemical process which can be reversed sometimes. For generations together life can be permanently mutilated thanks to a nuclear disaster. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are testimony to that.
I say all this because people living in their sheltered homes fear that there will be an energy crisis and they cannot use their microwave ovens in the near future and desperately cling on to nuclear energy in spite of the innate risks involved. I really do think that renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydro power can be effectively utilized if we spent time in research. The operating costs would also be much lower than nuclear reactors for these kinds of power plants.
Last edited by vharishankar; 02-16-2006 at 10:14 PM.
We have an acronym in the UK - NIMBY. Its what we call people who want the benefits of power generation technology, prisons, mental hospitals etc, but Not In My Back Yard.
We have communities who protest about having windfarms on their horizon. They make all sorts of objections about them and how we should stick to gas/coal/rubbish powered generation. But when you ask them if they would be happy to have one of these on their horizon instead their real agenda becomes clear.
They want the power, but want someone else to deal with the disadvantages it brings. They don't actually dislike windfarms, thats just an excuse. They don't actually want anything disturbing their cosy view.
I think its a similar problem with all these people who insist that nuclear energy is fine and dandy. Thats only because other people have to live next door to it. Wait till you tell them that the waste depostory is going next door to them. Then you'll find out how the land really lies.
Or some of the billions of watts of power the sun pours down on the planet every day. If we put even a part of the money that goes into looking for new oil fields into developing efficient solar collectors, and more importantly efficient storage methods we'd have free energy forever.
"The sky is raining soup and we're caught without a spoon"
And how does everybody here feel about pebble bed reactors? There is still criticism, but nothing about the whole countryside being wiped out. Do I mind having nuclear waste next to my house? No. I believe in science and technology. I think it's probably the storage facility management who wouldn't want me for a neighbour. I tend to play loud music.
Distribution: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2; Slackware Linux 10.2
I haven't really looked into nuclear energy much until now, but after reading several articles on Wikipedia I'm quickly going against the whole thing. We really should invest more in the completely CLEAN sources of deep-Earth thermal, wind and solar energy in areas where it is possible.
Although I did find it interesting to read that coal-based solutions actually produce more radioactive waste than nuclear power does.