I used to be pro-nuclear, but this is starting to scare the crap out of me.
It scares the crap out of me too. But Im still pro nuclear. Im just not pro building nuclear reactors on earth quake and tsunami prone coasts when the reactor is somehow designed in such a way that a flooding cuts off its electricity supply. I still cant wrap my head around that. As I understand it (but correct me if Im wrong), the only real problem was powering the pumps. How hard can it be to put some generators in a shelter that can withstand just about anything?
The only real problem was not only powering the pumps.
The real problems are how the whole industry works. It does not work, and its all over the world it does not really work.
Problems are ignored and silenced down in Russia, India and all over the world.
This is how it works, or does not work in the US:http://vimeo.com/29929825
They knew about the problem in Japan.
"Japan earthquake: Japan warned over nuclear plants, WikiLeaks cables show
Japan was warned more than two years ago by the international nuclear watchdog that its nuclear power plants were not capable of withstanding powerful earthquakes, leaked diplomatic cables reveal."http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8384059/Japan-earthquake-Japan-warned-over-nuclear-plants-WikiLeaks-cables-show.html
But they chose not to correct them because they thought such event could not happen...
Here is a good lecture about unexpected dangers and why they do happen.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQmwEjL6K1U
These unexpected "impossible" events happen all the time.
In Sweden they recently discovered that jellyfish could clog the water intake leading to a meltdown.
The US three mile island that almost lead to a meltdown was caused by a worker using a candle, since the light was out.
Recently a fire happened in a Swedish nuclear plant...Because a vacum cleaner turned on started burning. This could lead to smoke being released...
Workers could suddenly get stomach sick because of food poisening. There are millions of unexpected events that can occur and sometimes two or more of these happens at the same time and things go really wrong.
In US powerplants are built close to earthquakes epicentra.http://boingboing.net/2011/08/23/virginia-earthquake-epicenter-close-to-nuclear-power-plant.html
"On NBC News, Jim Norvelle of Dominion Power said the plant was designed to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 5.9 to 6.1. As noted earlier by Rob, this earthquake was initially reported as a 5.9, so... that's not too comforting."
In India nuclear powerplants are being built in one of the world worst earthquake zones.
The government is planning to build the world’s largest nuclear power plant in Jaitapur, on the west coast of India, in Maharashtra. The site is an ecological and biodiversity ‘hotspot’ that's also known to have high seismic activity. The plan is an untested, expensive and dangerous gamble with health and land, which is being vehemently opposed.http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/What-We-Do/Nuclear-Unsafe/Nuclear-Power-in-India/Jaitapur-nuclear-power-plant/
Here are other political problems with security of nuclear power plants:http://redgreenandblue.org/2011/06/09/after-fukushima-wikileaks-points-to-the-disasters-waiting-to-happen/
Other problems is that often several plants are built next to eachother. If one explodes has a meltdown it could get impossible to stay in the area meaning that the others can also melt.
One must be utterly naive to think there is such a thing as safe nuclear power.
In theory on drawing table yes. Not in reality.
27-1956: US plane crashes into nuclear ammunition storage in the UK
There is a reason that Germany decided to close and not build any more powerplants.
Fact is, that there has been close to meltdowns on several occasions.
Only this year France had one quite serious accident, Sweden 2 accidents, USA 2 serious situations.
Here are some more...
December 12, 1952
A partial meltdown of a reactor's uranium core at the Chalk River plant near Ottawa, Canada, resulted after the accidental removal of four control rods. Although millions of gallons of radioactive water poured into the reactor, there were no injuries.
Fire destroyed the core of a plutonium-producing reactor at Britain's Windscale nuclear complex - since renamed Sellafield - sending clouds of radioactivity into the atmosphere. An official report said the leaked radiation could have caused dozens of cancer deaths in the vicinity of Liverpool.
A serious accident occurred during the winter of 1957-58 near the town of Kyshtym in the Urals. A Russian scientist who first reported the disaster estimated that hundreds died from radiation sickness.
January 3, 1961
Three technicians died at a U.S. plant in Idaho Falls in an accident at an experimental reactor.
July 4, 1961
The captain and seven crew members died when radiation spread through the Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered submarine. A pipe in the control system of one of the two reactors had ruptured.
October 5, 1966
The core of an experimental reactor near Detroit, Mich., melted partially when a sodium cooling system failed.
January 21, 1969
A coolant malfunction from an experimental underground reactor at Lucens Vad, Switzerland, releases a large amount of radiation into a cave, which was then sealed.
December 7, 1975
At the Lubmin nuclear power complex on the Baltic coast in the former East Germany, a short-circuit caused by an electrician's mistake started a fire. Some news reports said there was almost a meltdown of the reactor core.
March 28, 1979
Near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, America's worst nuclear accident occurred. A partial meltdown of one of the reactors forced the evacuation of the residents after radioactive gas escaped into the atmosphere.
February 11, 1981
Eight workers are contaminated when more than 100,000 gallons of radioactive coolant fluid leaks into the contaminant building of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah 1 plant in Tennessee.
April 25, 1981
Officials said around 45 workers were exposed to radioactivity during repairs to a plant at Tsuruga, Japan.
April 26, 1986
The world's worst nuclear accident occurred after an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It released radiation over much of Europe. Thirty-one people died iin the immediate aftermath of the explosion. Hundreds of thousands of residents were moved from the area and a similar number are belived to have suffered from the effects of radiation exposure.
March 24, 1992
At the Sosnovy Bor station near St. Petersburg, Russia, radioactive iodine escaped into the atmosphere. A loss of pressure in a reactor channel was the source of the accident.
In France's most serious nuclear accident, three workers were contaminated after entering a nuclear particle accelerator in Forbach without protective clothing. Executives were jailed in 1993 for failing to take proper safety measures.
Japan's Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor leaked two to three tons of sodium from the reactor's secondary cooling system.
The state-run Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation reprocessing plant at Tokaimura, Japan, contaminated at least 35 workers with minor radiation after a fire and explosion occurred.
September 30, 1999
Another accident at the uranium processing plant at Tokaimura, Japan, plant exposed fifty-five workers to radiation. More than 300,000 people living near the plant were ordered to stay indoors. Workers had been mixing uranium with nitric acid to make nuclear fuel, but had used too much uranium and set off the accidental uncontrolled reaction.http://www.atomicarchive.com/Reports/Japan/Accidents.shtml
The culprit was as simple as it was troubling: a short-circuit. But that short-circuit caused an electricity failure that nearly led to catastrophe at Sweden's Forsmark 1 nuclear reactor.
Nearly two weeks ago, around noon on July 25, a power outage occured at Forsmark, throwing the plant's control room into a state of chaos.
As the power failed, so did two of the plant's four emergency backup generators. The numbers on the controls started to go berserk, and it took a full 23 minutes before the workers, who for a time had no idea what was happening inside the reactor, were able to bring Forsmark 1 back under control.
1986, 1992 and 2004 Germany
They included a power failure at Germany's Biblis B nuclear reactor on Feb. 8, 2004. "And that was just because the weather was bad and there was a short in the power line," he recalled. Less than a decade earlier, in 1986, lightning disrupted operations at the plant. And in 1992, at a plant in Philippsburg, Germany, a defective electrical component caused an incident that had similarities with the July 25 incident in Sweden.http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,430458,00.html
Another impressive list:http://archive.greenpeace.org/comms/nukes/chernob/rep02.html
Sorry for this long post. But the more you study and learn the more you understand that there is no such thing as safe nuclear power.