Nuclear Power

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russ_watters

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ohwilleke said:
A UN report ( www.chernobyl.info/resources/undpReport10_2_02.pdf[/URL] ) puts the increase in thyroid cancer deaths at about 2,000 and estimates that could grow to 8,000-10,000, while stating that there is not a consensus on the cancer impact in other types of cancers.[/QUOTE] The report (page 52) says 6-8,000 [b]cases[/b], not deaths. Thyroid cancer has a relatively low fatality rate (not sure what it is in the former eastern bloc countries and didn't see it in the report). And for the sake of comparison to the US (for assessing the risk to us), the fatality rate is even lower here (roughly 5%) because of better healthcare and in addition getting the cancer in the first place can be prevented by simple things such as iodized salt.

Frankly, I consider long-term death projections to be a little bit sketchy though.
 
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Morbius

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ohwilleke said:
I

The fact that there have been dozens of major oil spills and numerous major industrial accidents in the history of the fossil fuel industry, at gas pipelines, oil pipelines, coal mines and more, still supports the conclusion that nuclear energy is safer by comparison. But, to reduce the harm caused by Chernobyl to the 31 people who died in short order, is to drastically understate the mortality effects of that disaster.
ohwilleke,

I'm not claiming the 31 short-term fatalities as the total number. [ In
fact, I didn't even quote a number ].

I'm refering to a fairly recent report from the National Academies.
Since it has been nearly 3 decades since the accident - practically all
the cancers and other latent effects will have already manifested
themselves. Although I can't recall the specific numbers at present;
they were less than what one would expect from a single serious
airline accident.

Additionally, Chernobyl is an anomally - not characteristic at all of
the experience of nuclear power in this nation and others.

Nobody is contemplating building a reactor like Chernobyl that is
unstable. Nobody is contemplating performing an ill-designed
experiment on the reactor. Nobody is contemplating disabling all
the safety systems when performing such an experiment.

Since nobody is contemplating doing anything remotely like the
Chernobyl scenario - it will continue to be an anomally.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 
I just had a lecture about Chernobyl today. I am glad, for once I know what you are discussing. And are they any records to compare cancer patients before the accident to afterward?
 
911
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ohwilleke said:
The Chernobyl accident [...] isn't killing tens of thousands of people
--
The best judgment of the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) is that even for low-level radiation, deaths due to cancer occur at a rate of 0.04 per person-sievert (400 per million person-rem). There is little dispute over the collective exposure to the population of the European community and the (former) USSR as 600,000 person-Sv. The cancer deaths are thus likely to be 24,000 [....]
--
http://www.fas.org/rlg/ljan99.html
 

Morbius

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hitssquad said:
--
The best judgment of the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) is that even for low-level radiation, deaths due to cancer occur at a rate of 0.04 per person-sievert (400 per million person-rem). There is little dispute over the collective exposure to the population of the European community and the (former) USSR as 600,000 person-Sv. The cancer deaths are thus likely to be 24,000 [....]
hitssquad,

Such predictions are based on the old linear no-threshold extrapolation.

However, more recent research indicates that this model grossly over-
predicts radiation mortality.

Because the human body has a radiation-damage repair mechanism -
the no-threshold assumption is very questionable. At low-level doses,
the body repairs the damage. In fact, low-level doses of radiation
actually appear to be protective - as they stimulate the cellular
radiation response.

The radiation-damage repair mechanism is looking more and more
like the body's immune system. Courtesy of LLNL:

http://www.llnl.gov/str/JulAug03/Wyrobek.html

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 

brewnog

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Three cheers for Ferrybridge! Hip hip.....?
 

Moonbear

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russ_watters said:
The report (page 52) says 6-8,000 cases, not deaths. Thyroid cancer has a relatively low fatality rate (not sure what it is in the former eastern bloc countries and didn't see it in the report). And for the sake of comparison to the US (for assessing the risk to us), the fatality rate is even lower here (roughly 5%) because of better healthcare and in addition getting the cancer in the first place can be prevented by simple things such as iodized salt.

Frankly, I consider long-term death projections to be a little bit sketchy though.
The reason the thyroid is a target organ is that it rapidly concentrates iodine (thyroid hormones contain iodide). If you ingest cold iodine at the time of exposure, you can compete out the radioactive iodine. Also, while it's far more convenient to have your thyroid, you can survive without it as long as you supplement the hormones it produces, which are readily available and not that expensive. The thyroid is also easily accessible for removal should it become cancerous. I wouldn't expect mortality rates to be very high unless the cancer is undetected until it metastasizes.

*This has been a message from the biology sponsor; I now return you to your regularly scheduled engineering discussion.* :biggrin:
 
First of all, nuclear fission is very safe(if you are talking about an American reactor) Nuclear fission and fusion aren't very efficent, but they are a lot better than that coal crap. The problem is, uneducated hippies, who whine and (profane word) about finding a clean form of energy ignore nuclear because the news told them it is dangerous. Meanwhile, oil/coal barrons bribe scientists to slow production on nuclear/hydrogen fuel cell so they can make more money. (all the while i go off topic because i am in to politics) There is nuclear waste from uranium fission, but not hydrogen fusion, only helium. enentually, we will run out of hydrogen, but before we even eat up 1% of the world's hydrogen, a new energy source will be found (perhas matter/antimatter)
 
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I love these discussion. I used to wear a TLD because I worked at a nuc plant. I decided to take a TLD on a flight just to see what kind of exposure I'd get--4 hour flight about 50mR. 1 month of doing primary samples--25mR. Flying was about twice as bad as standing in front of a sample sink. Flying was worse than any single month on the job. With the reactor shut down I still received about 5mR. I worked at an OEM manufacturer that used x-rays to verify foil runs on circuit boards. I got about 10-20mR every quarter there (again as read from a TLD). The added exposure from living close to a nuclear power plant is effectively zero. Even with minor accidents the exposure is still zero.

I will never again work in a plant(to much paperwork) but I don't fear them. They are not evil. US plants do not spew and belch radiation into the atmosphere. Heck, the worse US accident resulted in TMI resulted in a miniscule 1mR

"Health Effects

Detailed studies of the radiological consequences of the accident have been conducted by the NRC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services), the Department of Energy, and the State of Pennsylvania. Several independent studies have also been conducted. Estimates are that the average dose to about 2 million people in the area was only about 1 millirem. To put this into context, exposure from a full set of chest x-rays is about 6 millirem. Compared to the natural radioactive background dose of about 100-125 millirem per year for the area, the collective dose to the community from the accident was very small. The maximum dose to a person at the site boundary would have been less than 100 millirem.

In the months following the accident, although questions were raised about possible adverse effects from radiation on human, animal, and plant life in the TMI area, none could be directly correlated to the accident. Thousands of environmental samples of air, water, milk, vegetation, soil, and foodstuffs were collected by various groups monitoring the area. Very low levels of radionuclides could be attributed to releases from the accident. However, comprehensive investigations and assessments by several well-respected organizations have concluded that in spite of serious damage to the reactor, most of the radiation was contained and that the actual release had negligible effects on the physical health of individuals or the environment."

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/3mile-isle.html

We need more nuclear power plants. Build them breathe the fresh air. Love them.
 
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Morbius

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There is nuclear waste from uranium fission, but not hydrogen fusion, only helium.
1,2,3...

That's not quite correct. There is waste from nuclear fusion. The primary
reaction being considered is "D-T" fusion:

D + T --> He4 + n + 17.6 MeV

The byproducts of the reaction are Helium-4 which is not radioactive
and a 14.1 MeV neutron. However, that 14.1 MeV neutron is going to
make whatever it hits next radioactive, in all probability. Therefore,
you do have to dispose of the "first wall" as radioactive waste.

enentually, we will run out of hydrogen, but before we even eat up 1% of the world's hydrogen, a new energy source will be found (perhas matter/antimatter)
I wouldn't put much hope in matter/antimatter unless we find someplace
in space where we can mine anti-matter.

One can always make anti-matter - but where do you get the energy to
do that?

It's just like using hydrogen as a chemical fuel. We don't have much in
the way of a supply of hydrogen gas - only the hydrogen in water. But
water is hydrogen "ash" - it's hydrogen that has already been burned -
so there's no energy source there.

One can make hydrogen gas by electrolyzing water - but that takes
energy to do that - the same energy one gets when one burns the
resulting hydrogen. So if one already has the energy, one could just
use it instead of making hydrogen.

Making hydrogen only makes sense as an energy storage technique. One
could use nuclear power plants to cleanly make the energy to electrolyze
the hydrogen - which then could be burned in cars, airliners, and other
vehicles.

That would be a way to power our cars, airliners, etc on nuclear power
when they are too small to carry a reactor around.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Physicist
 
I have a question about inertial fusion. I read an article on it on worldenergy.org which said that most of the kinetic energy of the d-t gas being compressed will be converted to internal energy leaving only the innermost part to fuse.

How will the kinetic energy be converted to internal energy. Could anyone elaborate?

Thank you
 
911
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Thermochemical vs electrolytic hydrogen-reduction processes

Morbius said:
One could use nuclear power plants to cleanly make the energy to electrolyze the hydrogen
Wouldn't it make more sense to reduce water to hydrogen thermochemically?
http://www.greatchange.org/bb-thermochemical_hydrogen.html

--
Thermochemical decomposition of water results in hydrogen and oxygen through a process that allows an endothermic reaction to be induced at high temperatures and an exothermic reaction at low temperatures. The high temperature reactors, such as HTTR, are fitted as the source of high temperatures.
--
 

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