Possible webpage title: Is the Nuclear Industry Putting Public Safety at Risk?

In summary, a nuclear watchdog group and environmental organization are petitioning for the shutdown of the two Indian Point reactors in New York due to a safety problem with the emergency cooling system. This problem, which has been recognized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, could cause a catastrophic meltdown in the event of a ruptured water pipe. The issue is that the system could potentially fail due to debris clogging the coolant pumps. The Union of Concerned Scientists has determined that this problem affects 69 pressurized water reactors, with the Indian Point reactors ranking in the worst five. The group is urging the NRC to address this issue before considering any license renewal or power uprate requests from other plants.
  • #1

September 8, 2003
Safety Problem at Nuclear Plants Is Cited

ASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — The emergency cooling systems that are meant to protect nuclear reactors from melting down in case of a ruptured water pipe could fail after a few minutes of use at most reactors, according to a nuclear watchdog group that is citing a government study to argue that the problem makes a catastrophe at one power plant in New York 100 times more likely.

The group, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a New York environmental organization, Riverkeeper, plan to petition the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week to ask that the two Indian Point reactors in Buchanan, N.Y., on the east bank of the Hudson River, should be shut until corrections are made. The problem, they argue, is that leaking water or steam would scour off pipe insulation, paint and other materials, forming debris that would clog the coolant pumps.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recognized the possibility years ago, and in September 1996 classified it as a serious problem, but does not anticipate that corrective action will be completed until early 2007. A commission official said, however, that the problem is complicated to solve and need not be fixed immediately because the accident that would require use of the safety system was unlikely in the first place.

David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists, contended that the emergency core cooling system "is virtually certain to fail at some plants."

"Right now you're relying on a pipe not breaking," he said.

According to Mr. Lochbaum and to data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the problem involves 69 plants of a design called pressurized water reactors, in which the water that is used to carry off the useful heat, and to keep the fuel from over-heating, is kept at a pressure of about 2,200 pounds per square inch. If a pipe breaks and the pressure is released, the water would boil into steam because it is heated to more than 500 degrees. The steam could not cool the fuel, and the fuel would melt.

So the plants are equipped with an automatic emergency core cooling system. Drawing water from a tank outside the reactor dome, the system can dump thousands of gallons a minute into the reactor, making up for even a large leak.

In this design, water from a broken pipe would flow into the reactor basement. The outdoor tank typically holds 125,000 to 300,000 gallons, and when it was nearly empty, the system would start drawing water from the basement instead. The problem is that if the water picks up debris along the way, that debris could clog the screens over the pipes that lead back to the emergency pumps.

At the request of the commission, the Los Alamos National Laboratory studied the 69 plants, and found that for some, the risk of core damage was multiplied 100 times because of the debris problem. It ranked the plants but did not name them; Mr. Lochbaum's group used various detailed characteristics included in the report to determine which plant was which, and discovered that the Indian Point reactors were both in the worst five.



Dave Lochbaum
Nuclear Safety Engineer
Union of Concerned Scientists
1707 H Street NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006-3962
(202) 223-6133 x113
(202) 223-6162 fax

From the UCS fact sheet:
Who is exposed to undue risk?
Anyone living near anyone of the following PWRs is at unnecessarily
high risk as long as NRC allows the reactors to operate seriously
impaired by the containment sump problem:
PWR Name Location
Farley 1 Dothan, AL
Farley 2 Dothan, AL
Arkansas Nuclear One 1 Russellville, AR
Arkansas Nuclear One 2 Russellville, AR
Palo Verde 1 Wintersburg, AZ
Palo Verde 2 Wintersburg, AZ
Palo Verde 3 Wintersburg, AZ
Diablo Canyon 1 Avila Beach, CA
Diablo Canyon 2 Avila Beach, CA
San Onofre 2 San Clemente, CA
San Onofre 3 San Clemente, CA
Millstone 2 Waterford, CT
Millstone 3 Waterford, CT
Crystal River 3 Red Level, FL
St. Lucie 1 Hutchinson Island, FL
St. Lucie 2 Hutchinson Island, FL
Turkey Point 3 Florida City, FL
Turkey Point 4 Florida City, FL
Vogtle 1 Waynesboro, GA
Vogtle 2 Waynesboro, GA
Braidwood 1 Braidwood, IL
Braidwood 2 Braidwood, IL
Byron 1 Rockford, IL
Byron 2 Rockford, IL
Wolf Creek Burlington, KS
Waterford 3 Taft, LA
Calvert Cliffs 1 Lusby, MD
Calvert Cliffs 2 Lusby, MD
DC Cook 1 Bridgman, MI
DC Cook 2 Bridgman, MI
Palisades South Haven, MI
Prairie Island 1 Red Wing, MN
Prairie Island 2 Red Wing, MN
Callaway Fulton, MO
McGuire 1 Cornelius, NC
McGuire 2 Cornelius, NC
Shearon Harris New Hill, NC
Fort Calhoun Fort Calhoun, NE
Seabrook Seabrook, NH
Salem 1 Salem, NJ
Salem 2 Salem, NJ
Indian Point 2 Buchanan, NY
Indian Point 3 Buchanan, NY
R. E. Ginna Ontario, NY
Beaver Valley 1 Shippingport, PA
Beaver Valley 2 Shippingport, PA
Three Mile Island 1 Londonderry Township, PA
Catawba 1 Clover, SC
Catawba 2 Clover, SC
H. B. Robinson 2 Hartsville, SC
Oconee 1 Seneca, SC
Oconee 2 Seneca, SC
Oconee 3 Seneca, SC
Virgil C. Summer Parr, SC
Sequoyah 1 Soddy-Daisy, TN
Sequoyah 2 Soddy-Daisy, TN
Comanche Peak 1 Glen Rose, TX
Comanche Peak 2 Glen Rose, TX
South Texas Project 1 Palacios, TX
South Texas Project 2 Palacios, TX
North Anna 1 Mineral , VA
North Anna 2 Mineral, VA
Surry 1 Gravel Neck, VA
Surry 2 Gravel Neck, VA
Kewaunee Carlton, WI
Point Beach 1 Two Rivers, WI
Point Beach 2 Two Rivers, WI

What can you do?
If you work at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant, pat yourself on the back
for voluntarily fixing a serious
safety problem and being the first PWR in the United States to have done so.

If you work for the NRC, put aside the license renewal applications and
power uprate amendment
requests until this PWR containment sump problem is fixed.

If you are a member of the US Congress, ask the NRC why it is putting
the financial safety of the nuclear industry ahead of public safety.

If you live near one of the 68 PWRs, tell the NRC (opa@nrc.gov) or your
US Senators and/or
Representative that you want the NRC to fix the PWR containment sump
problem THIS year.

What will UCS do?

UCS will interface with the NRC trying to get the PWR containment sump
problem fixed sooner rather than later. And we will interface with the
US Congress, the media, and people living around the unnecessarily
dangerous reactors to try to pressure the NRC to fix this problem THIS year.
Prepared by: David Lochbaum
Nuclear Safety Engineer
Union of Concerned Scientists
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
As serious a problem as that is, much more serious ones exist which would not merely create a large mess effecting people in the immediate area, but could easily lead to another Chernoble. General Electric has been selling cheap nuclear reactors without even a containment dome in countries such as mexico. As occurred with Chernoble, if one achieves meltdown the damage to the environment would be catastrophic and cross international boarders.

This is similar to most of the really serious problems threatening people worldwide today. Countries like the US ban the use of such technology within their own boarders, but become the major exporters of the technology. They ban certain unsafe working conditions and environmental practices, then promptly export those jobs to third world countries. Americans may feel safe or that they can only take of their own back yard, but this is an illusion. A huge percentage of the air pollution on the west coast, for example, comes from asia. Likewise, a huge percentage of the air pollution in europe comes from the east coast of the US, and the US receives a significant amount from Canada as well.

Bottom line, the world is getting smaller by the minute and the biggest threat to US citizens and nuclear power industry today is the nearsightedness of the american public and the greed of multi-national corporations.
  • #3

- - - A D V I S O R Y - - -

For Immediate Release: Contact: Brendan Hoffman (202) 454-5130
Sept. 8, 2003 Erica Hartman (202) 454-5174

Blackout Demonstrates Vulnerability of Nuclear Plants and Failure
of Electricity Deregulation

Public Citizen Urges Congress to Make Amends in Energy Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The August electricity blackout, which shut down 21
nuclear reactors in the United States and Canada, was a spectacular
demonstration of the heightened vulnerability of nuclear power plants in
a deregulated electricity market, according to a report released by
Public Citizen today.

Nonetheless, powerful members of Congress are disingenuously exploiting
the blackout to promote more reliance on nuclear power and further
electricity deregulation, says the report, The Big Blackout and Amnesia
in Congress: Lawmakers Turn a Blind Eye to the Danger of Nuclear Power
and the Failure of Deregulation.

"The intrinsic dangers and vulnerabilities of nuclear power are only
exacerbated by power outages caused by the chaos of deregulated
electricity markets," said Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's
Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. "Meanwhile, Congress is
shamefully considering legislation that would actually promote nuclear
power and further deregulation, making nuclear power even more dangerous
to the public."

The report details the dilapidated state of the country's 103 nuclear
reactors and their heightened vulnerability during power outages,
debunking nuclear proponents' claims of reliability. Despite a detailed
history of leaks, maintenance problems, weak security and overall
deteriorating conditions of U.S. nuclear plants, the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) has granted operating license renewals to
all 16 reactors that have submitted applications.


§ When a plant loses offsite electrical supply, it automatically shuts
down. It must then connect to a generator to keep coolant circulating
and prevent the reactor core from overheating and causing a meltdown.
All nuclear power plants maintain several diesel-powered backup
generators on-site to be used in the event of power loss, but they don't
always automatically start when needed. In the past 12 months, there
were 15 reported cases in which emergency diesel generators were
declared inoperable.

§ In case of an emergency, many sirens in place to alert officials and
the public may not operate because of a lack of power. In reports
submitted to the NRC after the blackout, both the Indian Point and Ginna
nuclear stations (both in New York) noted that many of their emergency
sirens malfunctioned. In the case of Indian Point, if the sirens in
four surrounding counties - including the densely populated Westchester
County, with nearly 1 million people - were to fail in the event of a
meltdown, the region would be left in a tragic state of ignorance.

§ Local emergency personnel, who would be risking their lives in the
event of an accident or attack, are not confident that they would be
able to handle the overwhelming problems that would come with a
disaster. In May, 175 Indian Point-area first responders signed a
petition to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NRC
expressing their concerns that "even [their] best efforts may not be
enough to adequately protect the public health and safety of the
citizens of this region."

By next summer, the United States will have a 34 percent reserve margin
for electricity generation capacity, according to Goldman Sachs & Co.'s
managing director, Larry Kellerman.

"This glut of power plants weakens the Bush administration's claims
that the recent electricity blackouts give us a reason to build more
nuclear power plants or at least keep the current, dilapidated nuclear
fleet running," said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. "The same
is true for transmission capacity; at the time of the blackout, the grid
was only at 75 percent capacity. We don't need to relicense or build
more nuclear plants."

The blackout demonstrated the current bottlenecks and strains on the
nation's electric grid. The transmission system was designed to
accommodate local electricity markets, not the large, free-wheeling
trading of electricity and movement of power over long distances under
deregulation, in which energy companies seek to supply power to the
highest bidder. Sending power over a much wider area decreases
efficiency and burdens a transmission system designed to serve local

The House-Senate energy conference committee will meet shortly to
consider energy legislation that piles on subsidies for nuclear power,
including incentives for research and development and tax breaks for
nuclear operators. Both bills authorize the U.S. Department of Energy's
Nuclear Power 2010 program to promote the construction of new nuclear
reactors and the Generation IV program to develop new reactor designs.
Further, both bills reauthorize the Price-Anderson Act to extend federal
insurance protection to potential new reactors.

To read the report, please go to

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  • #4
Two Bullet Roulette

Two Bullet Roulette: THE NATION

1 in 3 chance of a nuclear plant accident by 2007.

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  • #5
What do you guys think of the Gen-IV designs the DOE has called for? These would encase the materials in graphite rather than zerconium, making Threemile Island-type events impossible.

Unfortunately, none of these designs addresses the problem of the disposal of waste. That seems to me to be a major concern.
  • #6
Is nuclear powere safe.

DUh, this is a no brainer for anyone with any educational background on the subject.

Humanity can probably survive --no gurrantees-- global warming green house effects, genetic engering, lessoning fresh water supplys etc, but, we cannot survive effects ionizing radiation beyond the natural and accepted lower background levels unless it is de-activated or returned to the sun.

  • #7
So why do you personally support the Linear-No Threshold Hypothesis for radiation exposure?

The answer to this question is the crux of your argument. If you have the educational backgroud that you claim, you should have no trouble pointing out the reasons for using this method.
  • #8
French Nukes

Nuclear watchdog raises safety questions over French reactor design

PARIS (AFP) Oct 30, 2003


France's nuclear watchdog said Thursday it had questioned the safety
standards of a cooling system used across the country's nuclear power
industry, saying that a design flaw could theoretically unleash a major

The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), a state agency that vets safety
standards in France's nuclear energy sector, said it had told operator
Electricite de France (EDF) to give "priority to examining this
question" and wanted a reply by the end of the year.

"It is a potential anomaly. It has not been confirmed 100 percent, but
we have doubts in the present circumstances," ASN's deputy
director-general, Alain Schmitt, told AFP.

The suspected problem lies in part of the cooling system. The system,
which draws heat away from the reactor vessel by bathing it in cold
water, is vital for controlling the nuclear process.

The water has to circulate all the time; if it stops, an operational
reactor can explode or melt down.

Under the French system, there is a primary and backup coolant system,
both of which are supplied by tanks that, in turn, are fed from a
central reservoir of water drawn from the sea or a nearby river.

If the primary coolant system ruptures, the backup is automatically

The potential problem, said ASN, is in the filters in the tanks.

If these filters are blocked by debris, that could cripple the backup
system, it said.

"If the points we raise turn out to be true, safety standards would be
affected, because there would not be a reliable long-term cooling of the
reactor if the primary coolant system breaks down," it said.

A spokesman for EDF confirmed that "questions had been raised" about the

"We attach importance to this problem, which does not mean however that
there is any risk to reactor operations," it said.

French nuclear experts said the filter issue was common to the design of
pressurised water reactors around the world.

France derives nearly three-quarters of its electricity needs from the atom.

EDF, a state-owned giant that is the de-facto monopoly supplier of
electricity in France, has 19 power stations, with 58 reactors.


Posted for educational and research purposes only,
~ in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 ~

See also http://nucnews.net - NucNews Links and Archives
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  • #9
So a blackout that was caused (in part) by lack of generation capacity is evidence that we should reduce generation capacity even further? Frankly, theroyprocess, that's idiotic.

Also, 4 posts and you didn't write a single word of it - do you think for yourself or not?
  • #11
So that would be a "no, russ, I do not think for myself"?

edit: to be fair, since virtually everything you post is flawed, it is understandable that you do not wish to discuss/defend your posts.
  • #12


Atomic age legacy:


It is not surprising that pro-nuke industry spin
doctors and apologists are claiming the plutonium
and other isotopes found in baby teeth from the
Sellafield contamination cited in the news stories
allegedly pose little threat to health. Cancer rates
are nearly 1 in 2 today from the chemical and
radioactive cess pool we live in.

On other web sites, it has been argued that there
is no difference between death from man made
radioactive environmental contamination...and
being killed in a car crash or any other lethality.
This is a confabulated argument used to distract
and confuse the very real health threat from
radiation. It is an ancient psy-ops technique to cause
doubt and befuddle the publics mind, also known
as 'divide and conquer'...by creating doubt.
If the nuclear juggernaut is allowed to carry on
as they have, the future is bleak indeed. Gort...
klaatu, barada, nickto...kapish!

Eminent nuclear chemist and cardiologist Dr. John Gofman
wrote the following letter, May 11, 1999:



To Whom It May Concern,

During 1942, I led "The Plutonium Group" at the University of California, Berkeley, which managed to isolate the first milligram of plutonium from irradiated uranium. [Plutonium-239 had previously been discovered by Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan]. During subsequent decades, I have studied the biological effects of ionizing radiation---- including the alpha particles emitted by the decay of plutonium.

By any reasonable standard of biomedical proof, there is no safe dose, which means that just one decaying radioactive atom can produce permanent mutation in a cell's genetic molecules [Gofman 1990: "Radiation Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure"]. For alpha particles, the logic of no safe dose was confirmed experimentally in 1997 by Tom K. Hei and co-workers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [USA] Vol. 94, pp. 3765-3770, April 1997, "Mutagenic Effects of A Single and an Exact Number of Alpha Particles in Mammilian Cells."]

It follows from such evidence that citizens worldwide have a strong biological basis for opposing activities which produce an appreciable risk of exposing humans and others to plutonium and other radioactive pollution at any level. The fact that humans cannot escape exposure to ionizing radiation from various natural sources ---which may well account for a large share of humanity's inherited afflictions- is no reason to let human activities INCREASE exposure to ionizing radiation. The fact that ionizing radiation is a mutagen was first demonstrated in 1927 by Herman Joseph Muller, and subsequent evidence has shown it to be a mutagen of unique potency. Mutation is the basis not only for inherited afflictions, but also for cancer.

Very truly yours,

John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph D
Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology
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  • #13
I'm sorry, theroyprocess, but there isn't anything more I can do to help you. You simply don't understand what you are reading and saying and refuse to listen to people who try to explain it to you. So I'll just post my usual question:

Are you terrified of the SUN?
  • #14
No...I'm not 'terrified' of the Sun!

I am terrified that the public remains unaware of the
true realites of the nuclear industry:

Nuclear whistleblowers still retaliated against which
was dramatized in the Silkwood movie.

  • #15


Plutonium can be neutralized and totally
eliminated forever via the Roy Process.

Sunday Herald - 28 December 2003
Enough plutonium for five bombs ‘missing’ at Sellafield
By Liam McDougall


ENOUGH plutonium to make five nuclear bombs has gone missing from Sellafield in Cumbria in the past 12 months, it has been revealed. The official report which lists “materials unaccounted for” at the UK’s nuclear sites found that 19.1kg of the highly toxic substance was apparently missing from the reprocessing plant.
At the Dounreay plant in Caithness, meanwhile, the annual audit recorded a surplus 1.16kg of highly enriched uranium, which can also be used to make nuclear weapons.

Spokesmen for each plant were quick to play down the figures, saying they were estimates and “gave rise to no concern over either the safety or security” of the sites. But independent nuclear experts have expressed concern.

A look back at Sellafield’s records reveals that auditors have found large quantities of plutonium regularly unaccounted for. Although the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority does not have a complete record of its annual nuclear materials balance on its website, Sellafield was found to have 5.6kg of plutonium unaccounted for in 2001 and as much as 24.9kg in 1999.

After the latest figures were revealed, Dr Frank Barnaby, a nuclear consultant who used to work at the Aldermaston atomic weapons factory in Berkshire, said: “In reprocessing, a small amount of material is bound to be lost in the process, but 19kg is a very sig nificant amount of plutonium. The company might say this is not a cause for concern, but if they cannot be sure where the plutonium is, how can they say it has not been stolen?

“If a terrorist group were to claim it had stolen 5kg of plutonium from Sellafield, the authorities could not say with any certainty that they had not taken it. It’s a very unsatisfactory situation indeed. This amount of material could be made into five or six nuclear weapons.”

John Large, a nuclear engineer who advised the Soviet Union following the Kursk submarine disaster, described Sellafield’s figure as “a very serious shortfall”.

“ If it’s an accounting lapse, then maybe it never existed in the first place, but it’s worrying. The inventory controls for plutonium are extremely tight.

“British Nuclear Fuels [the company that runs Sellafield] needs to be more accountable. It cannot simply record that it has a 19kg deficit and simply say there is no cause for concern. ”

Dr Dan Barlow, head of research at Friends of the Earth Scotland, also said he believed the situation was unsatisfactory.

“The fact that material such as this is unaccounted for, whether lost or in surplus, is of deep concern. No other industry would be allowed to get away with such poor industrial practices. For bomb-grade material to go missing in such large quantities has to be a cause for concern. The question of where this material has gone is one that demands an answer.”

The latest criticisms of the nuclear industry come after scientists found the teeth of children in Northern Ireland were con taminated with plutonium from the Sellafield nuclear plant. The research, published earlier this month, found traces of the radio active material in every single milk tooth of 3000 children studied.

Scientists believe leaks and discharges into the sea have put the material into the food chain over recent decades. The day after the research was published, British Nuclear Fuels admitted that “lightly radioactively contaminated” pipes from Sellafield had been washing up on beaches in Northern Ireland.

Spokesman Alan Hughes said the figures for “unaccounted for” plutonium were normal.

“It is impossible to measure absolutely exactly that amount of material going into the plant and the amount coming out because of the changes material undergoes in the process.

“There is also a degree of uncertainty in the measuring process and some material may remain in the internal pipe system. We would expect to see a slightly larger figure at Sellafield than for other reprocessing plants because of the huge amount of material that is put through it each year.”

When asked how he could be sure no substances had been taken away from the plant, Hughes said the strict security measures employed at Sellafield would make it “virtually impossible” for radioactive material to be stolen.

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  • #16

Originally posted by theroyprocess
No...I'm not 'terrified' of the Sun!
You should be. It'll kill you unless you protect yourself.
  • #17
Russ...Are You Afraid of Water?

Russ...are you afraid of water? The Earth is something like 4/5ths
oceans. Better warn the Navy...they could drown!
  • #18

Originally posted by theroyprocess
Russ...are you afraid of water? The Earth is something like 4/5ths
oceans. Better warn the Navy...they could drown!
No. I can swim and I understand the RISKS. See my point now? You don't understand the risks you are talking about. Thats why you are afraid of nuclear power and not the sun even though the sun is orders of magnitude more likely to kill you.
  • #19
The Nuclear "headbanger" Cutlure

The real danger from man made radioactive environmental
where as even a blind man knows when he is in direct sun
light and you KNOW when you are in deep water... KAPISH !
Irrational confabulated arguments is all the pro-nukers can offer.

TVA Disciplines Employees for Hazing

December 30, 2003
Filed at 2:40 p.m. ET


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Valley Authority has disciplined
employees for hazing a new worker at a nuclear power plant, and a report
concluded that such rituals had been going on for years.

The worker, an employee of an independent contractor serving the
Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, was placed in a basket above the nuclear reactor
while ice chips were blown over her. The baskets of chipped ice are used
to absorb heat. She also was sent on a bogus assignment.

The incident involved both employees of the TVA and employees of outside
contractors, Inspector General Richard W. Moore said in a report issued
earlier this month.

``We found the practice of initiating people was common and had been
ongoing for many years. Numerous contractor and TVA employees and
managers knew about the practice, and several people knew the female
contractor was going to be initiated. Most individuals we interviewed
who knew about the practice generally believed it was harmless,'' the
report said.

Disciplinary actions ranged from a written complaint to ``release from
the company,'' TVA said in a statement. The agency declined to give
details, including the names of the employees involved.

The same report also found eight TVA employees received golf outings and
meals, along with other gratuities, from coal contractors that do
business with the federal utility.

Posted for educational and research purposes only,
~ in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 ~

Living With Nuclear Waste URL:

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  • #20
theroyprocess wrote: The real danger from man made radioactive environmental contamination ... IS THAT IT IS IMPERCEPTIBLE, INVISIBLE, where as even a blind man knows when he is in direct sun light and you KNOW when you are in deep water... KAPISH ! Irrational confabulated arguments is all the pro-nukers can offer.
Cosmic rays are 'imperceptible, invisible'; radiation from radon, K-40, C-14, and so on is also 'imperceptible, invisible'.

Stooping to your low standards of debate, WHY IS PROTECTING PEOPLE FROM 'man made radioactive environmental contamination' MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROTECTING THEM FROM NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY (which is MORE THAN ONE MILLION TIMES GREATER)?

'Irrational confabulated arguments is all [THEROYPROCESS] can offer'
  • #21


than natural sources of arsenic in drinking water...is an excuse to allow
  • #22

Originally posted by theroyprocess
than natural sources of arsenic in drinking water...is an excuse to allow
So the consensus of the scientific community that the actual risk is somewhere between nonexistant and insignificant isn't a relevant consideration?
  • #23
Too Many Lies


You can't accept political positions as hard science i.e.

Nuclear power isn't an answer

By WENONAH HAUTER, Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program at Public

January 12, 2004 Knoxville News


Lee Martin wrote in a recent opinion piece in the Business section ("U.S.
needs nuclear power" Jan. 5) that "in a free market economy, the most
economical method of total production ultimately wins." But nuclear power is
not economically viable.

It continues only because of enormous government subsidies, typified by the
$4 billion handout in the current energy bill and a generous taxpayer-backed
insurance scheme. This contradiction betrays an argument littered with
half-truths and dubious claims.

Even the Department of Energy admitted that "economic viability for a
nuclear plant is difficult to demonstrate." Martin asserts that nuclear
power costs less than other power sources, but this is only true if one
looks at day-to-day operating costs and ignores other expenses such as
construction and waste disposal. A recent French study found that the same
investment planned for a new nuclear plant could create double the energy
and almost five times as many jobs if spent on wind power.

Twice, Martin claims that nuclear power causes no air pollution. In 1998,
the Better Business Bureau recommended that ads by the nuclear industry that
made similar pollution-free assertions were misleading and should be taken
off the air. Uranium enrichment involves the creation of dangerously
radioactive uranium hexafluoride gas, which several weeks ago leaked in such
quantities from a plant in Illinois that entire neighborhoods were evacuated
at 3 a.m.

Carbon-14 and iodine-131 are routinely released into the air from nuclear
plants. And from construction to waste disposal, nuclear plants require
burning of fossil fuels. The average nuclear plant has to operate for at
least 10 years before it generates as much energy as is required to build
and fuel it.

Claims that "operational and proven repositories for waste products" address
that problem are similarly wrong. There are no permanent operational
repositories for spent fuel from reactors.

The proven repository referenced is Yucca Mountain, which is anything but
proven. The government's independent oversight panel has repeatedly found
serious flaws with the proposed design, which isn't even finished. A
half-dozen court cases filed by Nevada will be heard this month, and a
Supreme Court battle is likely; a victory in any of the six could nix
repository plans. Even if the Yucca repository is built, it's too small to
handle future waste inventories.

Other points that Martin should have clarified: U.S. energy independence
won't be a result of nuclear power; most imported oil is used to fuel cars,
which won't run on nuclear power anytime soon. Assertions that wind and
solar can only meet 2 percent of our energy needs contradict a recent
Washington Post article that stated wind farms on "(t)he plains of North
Dakota alone could supply one-third of the nation's demand for energy." And
while France might be adding reactors, Germany just announced plans to end
use of nuclear power.

There's no doubt that demand for energy in the United States will increase
in coming decades. But Martin never once mentions the cheapest and most
effective methods for meeting higher demand: energy efficiency and

Wenonah Hauter is the director of the Critical Mass Energy and Environment
Program at Public Citizen, a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy
organization based in Washington, D.C. More information may be found at

* See also: NucNews Links and Archives (by date) at [URL]http://nucnews.net[/URL] * (Posted for educational and research purposes only, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107) *
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  • #24

Originally posted by theroyprocess

You can't accept political positions as hard science i.e.
Who said anything about politics (besides you of course)? I'm talking about the real conclusions of real scientists.
  • #25
Lemme see if I can distill the argument down to the two choices I see, theroyprocess:

In your left hand, you have coal power.

Coal kills an average of about 40,000 civilians people per year through air pollution, to say nothing of the environmental effects or the effects on the people who work in the industry. You also are exposed to more radiation living downwind of a coal plant than downwind of a nuclear plant (coal, like most things you dig up out of the ground contains trace amounts of radioactive isotopes).

In your right hand, you have nuclear power.

The risks of nuclear power come from two sources (you've mentioned both): accidents, and normal operation. Accidents have killed something like 100 people altogether in the past 40 years (I'll let go for now that the vast majority were not civilians but plant workers/emergency workers). Worst case estimates for death toll are about 100,000 people over a couple of years in a catastrophic accident and the odds of a catastrophic accident are extremely low. Terrorism may represent the biggest threat - not really an accident though. And despite what you may think, flying an airliner into a reactor will not cause a catastrophic accident. Nevertheless, its still possible.

The normal operation risks are the more difficult. You've failed to provide any evidence of the actual risks, but instead said its something to be concerned about because its a hidden risk. Be that as it may, I can't see how it would be possible for nuclear power to result in more than a few hundred cancers a year, as the levels of radiation involved are so far below background levels (setting aside of course that most man-made nuclear radiation in the environment comes from bombs, not reactors).

So, to further boil the choice down: 1. A guaranteed 40,000 deaths a year.
2. A miniscule risk (frankly, I'm not even sure its big enough to list) of 100,000 deaths at once, and a "hidden" threat of maybe 100 deaths a year.

Your choice is killing more than 40,000 people a year (thats in the US alone of course).

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=11 has several active threads on nuclear power. They may be of interest.
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  • #26
Russian Roulette


January 26, 2004
Safety of Adding to Nuclear Plants' Capacity Is Questioned

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — Safety experts are questioning an effort by the
nation's nuclear industry that has expanded its output by the equivalent
of three large reactors without adding a single new plant.

In the last two decades, nuclear plants have won permits to uprate,
meaning add capacity to reactors, with almost no opposition. With these
upgrades, plus expanded working hours and 20-year extensions on
operating licenses, the nuclear industry has expanded its electrical
output to a point that safety experts say could be dangerous.

  • #27
A motor vehicle death occurs on average once every 13 minutes and an injury every 14 seconds, according to the National Safety Council. Motor vehicle accidents claimed 42,103 lives in 1997.
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  • #28
Nuclear Power Health Impact

President Eisenhower's memo when asked what to tell the
public about the dangers of
nuclear weapons testing and the construction of
power plants: "Keep them confused."


1.3 BILLION People Killed, Maimed, Sickened
By Atmpospheric Testing & Nuke Plants
The following is from the November 1999 "The Ecologist" Volume 29, No. 7 from pages 408 to 411.

Copies can be obtained in the USA at: Phone:510-548-2032, Fax:510-548-4916

Main Office in UK: Phone:0171-351-3578, Fax:0171-351-3617 E-mail: ecologist@gn.apc.org

"VICTIMS OF THE NUCLEAR AGE" Up to 1,300 million people have been killed, maimed or diseased by nuclear
power since it's inception. The industry's figures massively underestimate the real cost of nuclear power, in an
attempt to hide its victims from the world. Here, the author calculates the real number of victims of the nuclear age.

By Dr. Rosalie Bertell

On the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, I was standing at a public meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, listening to the
story of one of the firemen employed to clean up the site after the explosion. These workers took huge doses of radiation
during this task, and their story is a terrifying one.About 600,000 men were conscripted as Chernobyl 'liquidators' [also
called bio-robots']: farmers, factory workers,miners, and soldiers- as well as professionals like the firemen- from all
across Russia. Some of these men lifted pieces of radioactive metal with their bare hands. They had to fight more than 300
fires created by the chunks of burning material spewed off by the inferno. They buried trucks, fire engines, cars and all
sorts of personal belongings. They felled a forest and completely buried it, removed topsoil, bulldozed houses and filled
all available clay-lined trenches with radioactive debris. The minimum conscription time was 180 days, but many stayed for a
year. Some were threatened with severe punishment to their families if they failed to stay and do their duty.

These 'liquidators' are now discarded and forgotten, many vainly trying to establish that the ill health most have
suffered ever since 1986 is a result of their massive exposure to radiation. At the Centre for Radiation Research outside
Kiev, there is an organization of former liquidators. This group reports that by 1995, 13,000 of their members had died-
almost 20 percent of which deaths were suicides. About 70,000 members were estimated to be permanently disabled. But the
members of this organization are the lucky ones. Because many former liquidators are now scattered throughout Russia, they
neither have the benefit of the organization's special hospital, nor of membership of a survivor organization. They are
known as the 'living dead.'

The fireman whose story I was listening to seemed to be an exception to this grim litany of illness and death. He was telling
the meeting how pleased and excited he was that, for the first time in ten years, his blood test findings were in the normal
range. I was standing next to a delegate from the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]- the organisation
charged with promoting the use of atomic energy. On hearing the fireman's story, he leaned over to me and said:
"You see! We said these were only transient disorders." A rough translation might read: Chernobyl? What's the problem?

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  • #29
This unsubstantiated drivel wasn't very impressive the first time you posted it either.

Related to Possible webpage title: Is the Nuclear Industry Putting Public Safety at Risk?

What is nuclear power safety?

Nuclear power safety refers to the measures and protocols put in place to prevent accidents and mitigate risks associated with nuclear power plants. These include strict regulations, training for personnel, and safety systems.

What are the potential safety problems associated with nuclear power?

The main safety problems associated with nuclear power are the risk of accidents, radioactive waste management, and the potential for nuclear proliferation. Accidents can lead to radiation leaks and contamination, while radioactive waste must be carefully managed and stored for thousands of years. Nuclear technology can also be used to develop nuclear weapons, posing a threat to global security.

What measures are in place to ensure nuclear power safety?

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sets safety standards and provides guidance to member states for the safe operation of nuclear power plants. In addition, strict regulations and licensing processes are in place to ensure that nuclear facilities meet safety requirements. Nuclear power plants also have multiple safety systems and protocols in place to prevent accidents and respond to emergencies.

What are the benefits of using nuclear power as a source of energy?

Nuclear power can provide a reliable and consistent source of energy without emitting greenhouse gases. It also has a high energy density, meaning that a small amount of fuel can produce a large amount of energy. Additionally, nuclear power can reduce dependence on fossil fuels and decrease air pollution from other energy sources.

What are the risks of using nuclear power?

The main risks of using nuclear power are the potential for accidents and the long-term management of radioactive waste. Nuclear accidents can have severe consequences for human health and the environment. There is also the risk of nuclear technology being used for malicious purposes. Proper safety measures and regulations can mitigate these risks, but they can never be completely eliminated.

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