Just how safe are molten salt and pebble bed reactors?

  • Thread starter greswd
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703
16
According to popular news, these two kinds of reactor designs can never cause another Chernobyl or Fukushima, the polluting of a vast area of land and rendering it uninhabitable for a vast length of time.

I just wanna know how true this is. If so, it is really good news, and the world can certainly have more of such reactors.

Even an extremely minuscule risk of another Fukushima spooks the bejesus out of people, because the consequences are so immediate and devastating. Furthermore, tiny nations can be eradicated by such disasters, as their population is forced to relocate.
 

anorlunda

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Nuclear plant safety is much too complicated for a one paragraph flip answer.


You're getting deep into hyperbole in the following.
Even an extremely minuscule risk of another Fukushima spooks the bejesus out of people, because the consequences are so immediate and devastating. Furthermore, tiny nations can be eradicated by such disasters, as their population is forced to relocate.
 
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Nuclear plant safety is much too complicated for a one paragraph flip answer.
As a comment about the details of the subject, this is of course true. However, I think there is a simple answer to the key question the OP poses:

According to popular news, these two kinds of reactor designs can never cause another Chernobyl or Fukushima, the polluting of a vast area of land and rendering it uninhabitable for a vast length of time.

I just wanna know how true this is.
It's true.

That said, your post contains a hidden assumption that should be brought out: that people being "spooked" by the possibility of another Chernobyl or Fukushima is sufficient reason for them to be unwilling to accept nuclear energy. The problem with that assumption is that, even taking Chernobyl and Fukushima into account, nuclear energy has still caused much less harm than any other energy source--many more people have been killed by other energy sources as compared to nuclear. If you compare deaths per unit of energy produced, the disparity is even greater. But the harms from other energy sources are not as concentrated, so it's easier to ignore them.
 
703
16
As a comment about the details of the subject, this is of course true. However, I think there is a simple answer to the key question the OP poses:



It's true.

That said, your post contains a hidden assumption that should be brought out: that people being "spooked" by the possibility of another Chernobyl or Fukushima is sufficient reason for them to be unwilling to accept nuclear energy. The problem with that assumption is that, even taking Chernobyl and Fukushima into account, nuclear energy has still caused much less harm than any other energy source--many more people have been killed by other energy sources as compared to nuclear. If you compare deaths per unit of energy produced, the disparity is even greater. But the harms from other energy sources are not as concentrated, so it's easier to ignore them.
Oh, nah, I'm not trying to raise any points about whether its a sufficient reason or not. But yeah, people aren't always so logical and rational.

Anyway, that's great news, such plants could serve us well for low-emissions in the intermediate time it takes for fusion to become viable.
 

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