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THE Nuclear Waste Thread (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 04 Jun 2013, 18:16:29

C8 wrote:Whoa- I am not part of that debate, ask Socrates, I am just genuinely interested in learning more about this explosion of nuclear plants planned by China and thought your list was a good starting point- especially since I don't know what the numbers behind each plant listed means, Thanks for the link- your check is in the mail!


PWR=Pressurized (light) Water Reactor
BWR=Boiling (light) Water Reactor
ABWR=Advanced (light) Boiling Water Reactor
PHWR=Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor

The number that follows is the number of MW(e) the plant produces at full rated power, 1600 would be pumping out 1,600 MegaWatts electric current every second.

Anything else just ask and if I don't know myself I can probably point you in the right direction.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby C8 » Tue 04 Jun 2013, 19:56:38

Tanada wrote:
C8 wrote:Whoa- I am not part of that debate, ask Socrates, I am just genuinely interested in learning more about this explosion of nuclear plants planned by China and thought your list was a good starting point- especially since I don't know what the numbers behind each plant listed means, Thanks for the link- your check is in the mail!


PWR=Pressurized (light) Water Reactor
BWR=Boiling (light) Water Reactor
ABWR=Advanced (light) Boiling Water Reactor
PHWR=Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor

The number that follows is the number of MW(e) the plant produces at full rated power, 1600 would be pumping out 1,600 MegaWatts electric current every second.

Anything else just ask and if I don't know myself I can probably point you in the right direction.


That's an interesting website- the year numbers next to the plants indicate when they will begin operating.

Also:
1. India currently has more reactors than China (and the Russians build them)
2. china plans to increase its nuke capacity by 4 times just by 2020!!!
3. the race seems to be Russian vs. Chinese builders
4. a great deal of nuke capacity is being added just by upgrading existing plants- this is a number many miss and its makes the nuke build up even larger than I thought
5. many plants are being modified to not be shut down when their leases expire
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 07:39:14

Plantagenet wrote:Now, would you or Socrates please provide a link for Socrates' claim that "many" countries are phasing out nuclear power so it is "less and less of a concern".


Countries in different "green colors" are phasing out nukes or have already done so:

Image

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Nucl ... e-2009.svg

Currently 30 countries use nukes, 163 do not.

4 countries stopped their nuclear plans: Austria, Ireland, Phlippines and Cuba
2 country switched of their nuclear reactors: Italy and Lithuania
4 made political discussions to phase them out: Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain
1 countriy stopped to build new ones: Sweden (I'm not sure about that)

This is the new capacity of nukes worldwide:

Image

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Kern ... Jahren.svg

In Germany a 2 week blackout would cause most of our nuclear facilities to collapse and will contaminate most of our country. I don't know about other countries...

I do carry a small Geiger counter in my bug out bag. Just in case.

There has already been a large accident with nuclear waste so far, this was in Kyshtym in 1957:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyshtym_disaster

I do not care about reactors in China. That's far enough from my home...
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 08:33:36

socrates1fan wrote:The spent fuel will be radioactive for a very long time, however it won't be catastrophically radioactive for very long. After a certain point the radioactivity of the spent fuel becomes irrelevant to people (unless people come into direct contact with it).


I will name just one example of radiaktiv waste:

There is around 500,000kg of plutonium "waste" from nuclear reactors around.

This has a radiocative half time of 24,000 years, so it will still by very harmful in 100,000 years.

It's also enough to make around 85,000 Nagasaki type bombs. (Plutonium bombs are quite easy to make, even 3rd world countries like India or Pakistan have been able to do so many years ago...) With access to Plutonium Iran would already have its nukes...

You can use Plutonium as a fuel in nuclear reactors (typical designes are cooled by liquid sodium), but sadly those reactors tend to have many security problems, so most nations have stopped to use them. Russia instead is building a new Plutonium reactor in Obninsk. I would bet some of my money that this reactor will melt down during the next decades, zombi apocalypse or not...

---

If it would be easy to store nuclear waste and if that waste would be ahrmless in just 300 years, nations would not spent several billions of $/€ on research for long term storage facilities...
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 08:42:46

mmasters wrote:95% of waste can be recycled...


"can be" will become "could have been" after the collapse and is of very little help, as long as the waste is not recycled yet...

95% is a pointless number anyway, if you are not talking about the type of waste. Nobody is recycling radioactive concrete over here and I doubt that there are any plans to do so. ( of course the harm potential is not large, as long as you do keep that concrete away from people)

As I already said, I do have a little Geiger counter. (A Russian model that got decent reviews in Japan) This thing is not very accurate, but "after the collapse" I will be able to detect contaminated and harmful stuff (alpha and beta) and this is much better than no detection device at all.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby dissident » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 11:27:38

In Germany a 2 week blackout would cause most of our nuclear facilities to collapse and will contaminate most of our country. I don't know about other countries...


Only if you are all total morons. Will the backup generators, that only need to run for a few days, disappear or be comprised? The only reason we had the Fukushima disaster is because of idiotic deployment of a US building design to a tsunami prone coastal area in Japan. If they paid some high school student to revise the design the first thing that would have been suggested was to move the backup generators out of the basement and onto the rocky hill right behind the plant.

And anyway, in the long run water cooled non-breeder reactors are not viable. They squander too much of the fuel thereby leaving "waste" and have too many safety issues even with the so-called generation 3+ designs. Russia, China and likely India will proceed with nuclear power plant construction and the eventual transition to molten metal fast neutron breeder designs. Hysterical idiots in the west will wake up about 10 years from now when the magical alternatives have demonstrated their inability to replace declining fossil fuel production on any timescale that matters to the economy. Germany will be burning coal in the next 10 years like crazy as well. Who cares about the mother of all threats called anthropogenic climate change, we just all want our precious insecurities to be coddled.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 12:17:34

cephalotus wrote:
Countries in different "green colors" are phasing out nukes or have already done so:


I don't have time to check all of these claims, but some of your data is clearly out-of-date and wrong. For instance, Spain isn't "phasing out nukes"---Spain recently voted to issue licenses to extend the life of all their operating reactors.

Spain to extend life of their reactors

Other countries you mention are EU countries whose credibility isn't the best. These same EU countries promised for years that the Euro would create a strong economy in Europe, and they promised that that free trade within the EU would produce lots of jobs for young people, and they promised that Greece's economy would be fixed with one bailout and that would end the EU's economic problems. These same EU countries also promised to cut their CO2 emissions, something that will be impossible to do if they shut down zero-emission nukes and replace them with coal-fired power plants as Germany is doing. It certainly is possible a few EU countries will phase out nuclear power 2030....but it is also possible that as the climate changes and they flip back to wanting to cut CO2 emission and as peak oil bites harder and energy becomes even more expensive they will change their minds yet again.

cephalotus wrote:I do not care about reactors in China.


I don't care either. But the facts don't change depending on whether or not you care about them...and its a fact that China and Russia and other countries are still building lots of new nuclear power plants.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby socrates1fan » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 13:56:57

cephalotus wrote:
socrates1fan wrote:The spent fuel will be radioactive for a very long time, however it won't be catastrophically radioactive for very long. After a certain point the radioactivity of the spent fuel becomes irrelevant to people (unless people come into direct contact with it).


I will name just one example of radiaktiv waste:

There is around 500,000kg of plutonium "waste" from nuclear reactors around.

This has a radiocative half time of 24,000 years, so it will still by very harmful in 100,000 years.

It's also enough to make around 85,000 Nagasaki type bombs. (Plutonium bombs are quite easy to make, even 3rd world countries like India or Pakistan have been able to do so many years ago...) With access to Plutonium Iran would already have its nukes...

You can use Plutonium as a fuel in nuclear reactors (typical designes are cooled by liquid sodium), but sadly those reactors tend to have many security problems, so most nations have stopped to use them. Russia instead is building a new Plutonium reactor in Obninsk. I would bet some of my money that this reactor will melt down during the next decades, zombi apocalypse or not...

---

If it would be easy to store nuclear waste and if that waste would be ahrmless in just 300 years, nations would not spent several billions of $/€ on research for long term storage facilities...


In a post-peak world not much of anyone is going to be making nuclear bombs my friend. You can have all the plutonium you can imagine, but unless you have a highly modern civilization you aren't going to be making any nukes anytime soon.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 14:08:02

socrates1fan wrote:In a post-peak world ... unless you have a highly modern civilization you aren't going to be making any nukes anytime soon.


We are in the post-peak world right now. Global conventional oil production hit a plateau in 2005 and hasn't gone much higher since.

And yet somehow civilization hasn't collapsed. And dozens of nuclear power plants are being built right now, even though we are in the post-peak world.

Imagine that! [smilie=5shocking.gif]
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby socrates1fan » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 14:20:16

Plantagenet wrote:
socrates1fan wrote:In a post-peak world ... unless you have a highly modern civilization you aren't going to be making any nukes anytime soon.


We are in the post-peak world right now. Global conventional oil production hit a plateau in 2005 and hasn't gone much higher since.

And yet somehow civilization hasn't collapsed. And dozens of nuclear power plants are being built right now, even though we are in the post-peak world.

Imagine that! [smilie=5shocking.gif]


I'm not part of the overnight collapse camp (I think there will be a slow decline that will continue beyond my lifetime), but you can see the severe effects of PO on a lot of society. The recession, the boom of gardening, conservation, off-grid supplies, and small livestock raising are all reactions to less cheap fuel.

The fact that we are ringing out the last bit of oil we can from things like tar sands, shale, off-shore drilling, etc. is another symptom of our post peak world.

Also, I should correct myself (post peak isn't the appropriate wording).. What I mean to say is after significant decline in civilization (which would result in abandoned nuclear plants).
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 14:46:12

Plantagenet wrote:I don't have time to check all of these claims, but some of your data is clearly out-of-date and wrong. For instance, Spain isn't "phasing out nukes"---Spain recently voted to issue licenses to extend the life of all their operating reactors.


Afaik Spain has a law that forbids building new reactors. Maybe that's why they have been rated as phase out?

Maybe it's an error.

In Germany we change the law every few months...

Other countries you mention are EU countries whose credibility isn't the best.


???

These same EU countries also promised to cut their CO2 emissions, something that will be impossible to do if they shut down zero-emission nukes and replace them with coal-fired power plants as Germany is doing.


So far our emissions are lower than in 1990 when more nukes have been operating.

It certainly is possible a few EU countries will phase out nuclear power 2030....


It has been possible to shut down all nuclear reactors in Japan for some time. It has been possible to shut down 9 nukes in Germany from one week to the next and having record electricity export rates just one year later..

but it is also possible that as the climate changes and they flip back to wanting to cut CO2 emission


Climate change ???

You mean that thing where the EU at least tried to do something for two decades with the US and China heavily oposing any laws to do anything?
The world now agrees that we do not care about climate change anymore and this includes Europe. The oil and coal lobbyists have already won...

and as peak oil bites harder and energy becomes even more expensive they will change their minds yet again.


peak oil?

We have so much fossil fuel resources to heat up our planet to make parts of it unliveable. The peak oil problem does not exist.
Expensive energy?
Our energy already is expensive and so what, it is not significant...
You currently enjoy cheap natural gas prices and what do you gain?

The US and China will burn any fossil fuels they can get their hands on, so I see very little reason why we should leave ours in the ground.

The only way, climate change could be avoided would be international negotiations on which fossil fuels we are allowed to burn and which have to stay in the ground.

Today this sees to be completely unrealistic.

Of course there is a threat of short term shortages from oil or other resources, but I doubt that it will have a significant impact on our live.

I don't care either. But the facts don't change depending on whether or not you care about them...and its a fact that China and Russia and other countries are still building lots of new nuclear power plants.
[/quote]

So far it is fact that China's nuclear power addition during the last years is almost negligible. Maybe they will expand their nuclear fleet significantly, maybe not. Time will tell.
The same is true for Russia. They "build" dozens of new reactors, but most of those reactors are in "building" status since 30 years.

I'm not anti nuclear. I prefer if China builds new nukes vs. new coal power plants.

The question of this thread was not about climate change or the Euro or whatever direction you want to direct it, the question was, if nukes are are threat during/after a disaster and of course they are.

People dreaming about some mediaeval post peak oil apocalypse with fantasies of framing their own land are fooling themselves. They will not enter that world without docends of burning nuclear facilities and the treat of significant radioactive contamination.

We already had several examples what happens if nuclear reactors or nuclear waste gets out of control...

So far we have to live with this threat. This is not a necessity, many countries so far avoided that threat and live very happily without any nuclear reactors...
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 14:51:00

socrates1fan wrote:In a post-peak world not much of anyone is going to be making nuclear bombs my friend. You can have all the plutonium you can imagine, but unless you have a highly modern civilization you aren't going to be making any nukes anytime soon.


Pakistan was able to make several plutonium bombs and I wouldn't count Pakistan as a "highly modern civilization"

Even if you only make a dirty bomb out of plutonium this is enough of a threat to me...

I really wonder why it didn't happen already.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 15:06:18

cephalotus wrote:The world now agrees that we do not care about climate change anymore and this includes Europe.


Dream on. Scientists remain very concerned about climate change.

cephalotus wrote:
peak oil?

We have so much fossil fuel resources to heat up our planet to make parts of it unliveable. The peak oil problem does not exist.


Dream on. Global conventional oil production has been on a bumpy plateau since 2005.

cephalotus wrote:it is fact that China's nuclear power addition during the last years is almost negligible.


Dream on. As of 2012, the People's Republic of China has 16 nuclear power reactors spread out over 4 separate sites.

cephalotus wrote:Maybe they will expand their nuclear fleet significantly, maybe not.


Dream on. China currently has 26 nuclear power plants under construction.

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Dream on!
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 15:09:52

dissident wrote:Only if you are all total morons. Will the backup generators, that only need to run for a few days, disappear or be comprised?


Only for a few days???

Take for example Krümmel, a German AKW that was shut four years ago. We now have a flood approaching that facility and they have to built flood walls to protect it.

Stop cooling the Fukushima facilities and the spent fuel tanks will start boiling and after the water evaporated they start to melt within 3-4 weeks...

Germany is not able to handle a country wide blackout. Here is the official version from the German Bundestag on that topic:

http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/056/1705672.pdf

Russia, China and likely India will proceed with nuclear power plant construction and the eventual transition to molten metal fast neutron breeder designs. Hysterical idiots in the west will wake up about 10 years from now when the magical alternatives have demonstrated their inability to replace declining fossil fuel production on any timescale that matters to the economy.


Germany tried almost every nuclear technology in the past. Thorium reactors, breeders, etc. pp. we tried everything and nothing worked.
Maybe others will do better than we...
The new gen reactors are way to expensive, but we will watch with interest what the UK is planing.

Germany will be burning coal in the next 10 years like crazy as well. Who cares about the mother of all threats called anthropogenic climate change, we just all want our precious insecurities to be coddled.


Look at your CO2 emissions per capita vs. ours and THEN talk to me again about the threat of climate change!!!

Don't fool yourself. You do not lower your CO2 emissions because of some climate change policies (the opposite is true, it's mainly the US policy, why all attempts on international climate change policy have failed in the past and now it is too late anyway), it's just a side effect of natural gas being cheaper than hard coal for the moment. If gas gets more expensive you will switch back to coal again...
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 15:24:16

Plantagenet wrote:Dream on. Scientists remain very concerned about climate change.


Of course. It seems to be a HUGE threat.

But the world already agreed that we do not care anymore.

It's already to late, only a collapse would stop the CO2 emissions fast enough to avoid the worst.

I think that the very last chance would have been Kopenhagen.

Today we have nothing. No international CO2 limits, no limits on digging out resources (the exact opposite happened when the US now even uses fracking technologies), no taxes on fuels for international flights, nothing...
It's to late.

Even if we would only burn the known conventional and "easy" oil and gas reserves the temperature would rise to around +4K, but we both know that we burn much more, hard coal, lignite, gas and oil from fracking, tar sands, maybe methane hydrates...

If the majority of the climate experts is not wrong our planet will get fucking hot.

Building nukes will not change anything on this.

Dream on. Global conventional oil production has been on a bumpy plateau since 2005.


There is more than enough gas, oil and coal to make our planet unliveable. It's quite simple mathematics. Count the amount of known oil, gas and coal reserves, count the amount of Carbon and you will know the additional amount of CO2 in the air.
Multiply that with a factor you like about the seas absorbing some of it (and getting quite acid that way) and you end up with a new CO2 concentration in the air.

The only calculation you have to believe others is the way how CO2 concentration will change the global average temperature.

We are already fucked.

It is too late to stop climate change.

Dream on. As of 2012, the People's Republic of China has 16 nuclear power reactors spread out over 4 separate sites.


Neglible, as I said. They build two new coal power plants every week. They even add much more wind energy capacity than nuclear capacity.

Dream on. China currently has 26 nuclear power plants under construction.


That's a drop of water on a hot stone. In other words: Irrelevant

The share of nuclear energy is 1,8% in China. And this is steadily shrinking.

1,8%!

That's about their rise in overall energy demand in China during 3-4 months.

Any economic crises for just 1 month will have a larger impact on CO2 emissions than the whole "ambitious" nuke programme in China during the next decades.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 18:17:37

cephalotus wrote: only a collapse would stop the CO2 emissions....Building nukes will not change anything on this.


Nukes have zero CO2 emissions. Of course building nukes would reduce CO2 emissions. Its quite simple mathematics. Replace existing fossil fuel power plants with solar and and wind and nuke that have Zero CO2 emissions and you get......zero CO2 emissions.

Image
Solar and wind and Nukes with zero CO2 emissions emit zero CO2. Its quite simple mathematics.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 06 Jun 2013, 19:37:17

Plantagenet wrote:
Nukes have zero CO2 emissions. Of course building nukes would reduce CO2 emissions. Its quite simple mathematics. Replace existing fossil fuel power plants with solar and and wind and nuke that have Zero CO2 emissions and you get......zero CO2 emissions...


You have to leave near 100% of our hard coal, lignite, tar sands and shale gas/oil in the ground and use only 50% of the remaining oil and gas if you want to keep the temperature below +2K.

Do you think that this is possible with just adding a few nuclear power plants and renewables here and there?

I doubt it and that#s the reason why I believe that the fight on climate change is already lost and peak oil is not a significant threat anymore.
Sadly we have to much fossil fuels, not to little...

This thread was about nuclear facilities in case of a collapse scenario.

I believe that those facilities will become a huge threat to humans in a collapse scenario, because they will release huge amounts of harmful radioactivity in such a scenario and because the remaining plutonium could be used to build nuclear bombs with little technological knowledge...

I also believe that Fukushima will not be the last big accident in nuclear history.

I think that from a benefit to (lifetime) cost to threat analysis nuclear is a bad option if you want to make electricity, we have much better and cheaper options now (solar+wind).

I also think that there is not enough Uranium/Thorium to make enough standard reactors to have a real impact on world energy use. Today those 400+ nuclear reactors just make around 2% of all end energy usage, this is less than the anual rise in energy consumption. All those nukes built in the last decades delay climate change by less than one year...

The other option would be Plutonium breeders, which are super expensive, very risky and will be the basis of a world wide plutonium industry and the option of easy nuclear bombs for everyone.
The Nagasaki bomb only needed 6kg.

I do not believe that this is a wise option.

Anual risk of harmful radioactive contamination by nuclear power plants:

I do not want to have (and to pay for) 50 times more nukes than today.

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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby socrates1fan » Fri 07 Jun 2013, 16:34:11

Some American Nuclear news.

$1 Billion Nuclear Power Project Abandoned In Iowa

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/06/1-b ... d-in-iowa/

Calif. utility to retire troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-575 ... wer-plant/

U.S. May Face Inevitable Nuclear Power Exit
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 122927.htm
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 07 Jun 2013, 17:27:07

cephalotus wrote:
I believe that those facilities will become a huge threat to humans in a collapse scenario


I believe a collapse scenario is a huge threat to humans, and those facilities could prevent collapse.
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Re: Nuclear waste after collapse scenario

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 07 Jun 2013, 17:33:32

socrates1fan wrote:
U.S. May Face Inevitable Nuclear Power Exit
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 122927.htm


Thats a misleading title, as the article is about the Obama administration providing money to support the construction of two new nuclear power plants in the USA.

Backing from Obama and the dems for nuclear power isn't bad for nuclear power---its really really GOOD for nuclear power.
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