Saturday, January 30, 2010

Safe, Clean Nuclear Power plants

This is the last in the series, responding to the STOU address, addressing that Presidential pitch for Safe Clean Nuclear Power Plants. Although all three items- Coal, Offshore drilling, & Nuclear power plants that the President mentioned can be highly toxic & dangerous, I think nuclear power presents gargantuan, long term problems. The surrounding area near Chernobyl has dangerous levels of radiation more than 20 YEARS later, as well as birth defects, and deformities. If you have waste that is toxic and will remain toxic for 1/4 million years, then it is neither clean or safe.

The problem with Nuclear energy-- waste.

Greenpeace clip on Chernobyl Nuclear power plant 20 years later

Something closer to home..... Three Mile Island

The question was raised about France. According to Greenpeace, France continues to ship nuclear power plant waste to Siberia, Russia.
The waste facilities they do have within France have problems.


Christopher said...

France gets 70% or 80% of its electricity from nuclear energy. I think it's the largest of any nation in the European Union.

I don't have a dog in the debate about nuclear energy pro or con, but I am curious how France addresses the problem of nuclear waste? Is it safer than what we tried here in the USA? To my knowledge, France hasn't had any Three Mile Islands or Chernobyl events.

What are they doing differently?

Fran said...

A popular French response to the question of why they have so much nuclear energy is "no oil, no gas, no coal, no choice."

The answer of what do they do with their nuclear waste?
Illegal shipments of nuclear waste to Siberia.,,4786672,00.html

Greenpeace has blockaded nuke waste headed for Russia. In response, a French
government decree states that all nuclear matters are "confidential" and "national security" issues.

Measures like this do not mean that France - like the rest of Europe that has utilised atomic energy in the past - is off the hook for dealing with the problem of nuclear waste storage, including plutonium, which takes 24,000 years to lose just half of its radioactivity.

A 1990 law established that in 2006 at the latest, France has to identify a geological site appropriate for building a radioactive waste deposit. Despite hundreds of tests on numerous sites throughout the country, the National Assembly is expected in January to extend the search deadline to 2016.

Meanwhile, according to the national radioactive waste agency, there are more than a thousand sites in France being used for temporary nuclear waste storage, and some lack any type of protection. The volume of all types of radioactive waste in France grows by 1,200 tonnes a year.

Greenpeace was still at it, just 6 days ago, France was again shipping NUclear waste to Russia\

European nations have for years been illegally shipping radioactive waste to Russia and leaving it there.

Current research in industry leader France — which relies on nuclear energy for more than 70 percent of its electricity, more than any other country — is focusing on new chemical processes that would shrink nuclear waste and cool it faster.

It will be at least 2040, though, before these might be put to use, scientists estimate. Schneider says scientists are “creating work for themselves” by researching methods that may never be commercially feasible or do much to solve the long-term waste quandary.

Personally, I think the French nuclear issue is a ticking time bomb.
If a nuclear power plant does not fail & contaminate them, the radioactive waste will.

Fran said...

Oh! Chack out this article re Radioactive Champagne from Greenpeace.

A safe nuclear waste dump has contaminated the groundwater.

nonnie9999 said...

i read that nobody will sell insurance to anyone building a nuclear power plant. what does that tell you about their safety?

Christopher said...

How can France get away with this?

Siberia is part of Russia and last I checked, Russia still had a big and powerful military to threaten nations with who mess with them?

I am so lacking in knowledge about this topic. The nuclear waste, can it be burned? Kinda' turned in on itself? Can it be repurposed in a useful way?

Maybe send it into space?

Fran said...

Apparently they have an arrangement w Russia to ship their nuclear waste there ($$$$$), but their own attempts @ waste storage have resulted in leakage & contamination.
I added a final vid specifically about France.
One engineer explains that the toxic waste can breach stainless steel. France does use a process where they "reclaim" part of the elements they can reuse from the waste, but other parts cannot & therein lies the problem.
This ultra toxic waste remains toxic for 1/4 million years. They do not know the long term results, but they do know the toxins are deadly.
Space has been ruled out for the following reasons:
• it is very expensive to launch anything into space and there are THOUSANDS of tons of
nuclear waste.

• Another obvious problem is safety. What if the rocket should malfunction after liftoff? It might plummet back to Earth, quite
probably leading to catastrophic nuclear contamination at the crash site.

Many options have been explored.They are all problematic, and or actually have a legal restriction- in the form of an international treaty.

Personally, I think the ide of tossing our highly toxic waste to space or moon or sun is highly irresponsible. It is our mess to clean up... let's not take down the galaxy too!

Fran said...

Oh! I meant to post this link to other options explored: