READER COMMENTS ON
"[Live Blog] EXPLOSION ROCKS NUCLEAR PLANT AT FUKUSHIMA | INJURIES, PLUMES OF SMOKE, WALLS COLLAPSED | EVAC AREA WIDENED"
(52 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:16 am PT...
... Brad blogged...
"Of course, didn't they also say the BP oil spill would "deal a severe blow to advocates" of off-shore drilling?"
The difference being that BP et al enforce the oligarch's hold on power while fission nuclear plants are just a necessary evil to our lords and masters... albeit one with which they can play "who's got the bomb?" games...
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:25 am PT...
A voice of reason from Iran.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has spoken strongly against the warmongering nations of the world, calling them devoid of care for humanity.
“Rulers, who have launched the wars, their hearts are devoid of affection for mankind,” President Ahmadinejad said on Saturday, IRIB reported.
“The emptier their hearts are of affection, the more [there are] crime and war,” the Iranian chief executive said.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:33 am PT...
meltdown has happened according to japanese officials
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:37 am PT...
Moral: nuclear technology is too dangerous to use.If a mere tsunami can cause a catastrophe, if you have to beweare of any mere terrorist...then its far to dangerous to be allowed on earth...
sooner or later every continient will have its Chernobyl and worse.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:40 am PT...
'Cirincione continues: "If there's no meltdown, well then, we've dodged a nuclear bullet and there won't be anything for Japan or the U.S. to have to worry about."'
how long do we go on dodging nuclear bullets? This macho posturing is irresponsibile...Sooner or later we will fail to dodge one bullet too many.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 5:10 am PT...
So, Brian... if coal and oil will kill off most life on the planet (and they will, sooner than you think) and if you will not permit nuclear energy of any kind (even thorium or fusion) and if renewables can't take up the load fast enough (they can't)... then how many billions will you condemn to death because they can't get enough power?
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 5:39 am PT...
There are plenty of geniuses employed by the weapons industry who could tackle a problem of that magnitude and get results, if priorities are restructured.
All the top grads from MIT, Cal Tech, etc. go to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc. for the big bucks. How can that be changed?
Suggestion. Lock Bush and Cheney up for crimes against humanity and send a message that war crimes do not pay.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:16 am PT...
There is no way that nuclear technology can be made perfectly safe...genius or no genius...thats wishful thinking of the desperate nuke lovers
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:23 am PT...
You missed the point. Geniuses think out of the box. They come up with solutions to problems that you and I cannot fathom. Steer that creative energy away from bomb-making and they'll find non-nuclear solutions to the energy challenge.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:58 am PT...
... brian said...
"There is no way that nuclear technology can be made perfectly safe..."
Bullshit. As nothing can be perfectly safe you've set an impossible standard and thus have automatically declared the technology of your choice the winner... safe or not.
Now try reality on for size: what energy source would you like a nuclear replacement to be as safe as...
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 3/12/2011 @ 7:00 am PT...
Yes, Ghost, geniuses can do things most people can't. The woman who discovered nuclear fission was one of those geniuses. She wanted to get funding for research on how to safely dispose of nuclear wastes, but all the funding went to morons willing to work on nuclear weapons and power plants, so she never got that funding.
It is an interesting story. She had doctorates in both math and physics and was one of the dozen or so people in Einstein's inner circle. But her Nobel Prize when to a guy who had never studied either math or physics, because he was a German war criminal and the allies needed a way to de-Nazify him. He and many other scientists had done the same experiments that Meitner did, but since they weren't geniuses of her caliber, they couldn't understand what they were doing and couldn't interpret the results correctly.
If there has been another genius like Meitner since then, it is unlikely that she ever got to attend school, and she probably died illiterate in some third world brothel or while being pimped on the mean streets of a developed capitalist country.
I truly believe that it was because she lived in a world where nobody else had half her genius, yet nobody, not even Einstein himself, considered her fully human and entitled to equal rights, that she gave the world nuclear fission. I think she saw clearly that the only weak point of patriarchy was it's uncontrollable lust for power, so she gave it a power it could never control.
For another genius like that to emerge, everyone would have to have the same opportunities, regardless of sex, race, wealth, or any other factors, because we who are less intelligent, have no way of recognizing genius. During her lifetime, and even now, Meitner has never gotten the recognition she deserved.
But the world that couldn't recognize her genius will pay a heavy price. I'm surprised that it has taken this long, but I've known since I learned about Dr. Prof. Lise Meitner, whom Einstein called, "The Mother of the Bomb," that it was inevitable. And, in my opinion, well deserved.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 7:04 am PT...
CNN this morning seems to be trying to pretend this didn't happen. They're still talking about radiation 6x normal not 1000x. Footage is recycled from the Tsunami. Only saw the explosion here at BradBlog (via the other sources). Don't want to say it's a news blackout, maybe I missed their microsecond of coverage on this topic, but....
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:21 am PT...
I think it important to keep several things in mind.
First, it is probably not possible to design a fail-safe system that can avoid the impact of an 8.9 magnitude quake.
Second, no one questions the hazards of nuclear power in terms of either what we appear to face here, “meltdown,” or the more common problem of nuclear waste.
But, as Dr. James Hansen points out in Storms of My Grandchildren, “Today’s nuclear power plants are ‘thermal’ reactors, so-called because the neutrons released in the fission of uranium fuel are slowed down by a moderating material [water].”
These “slow” reactors extract less than 1% of the uranium, leaving most of the energy in the form nuclear waste such as the especially dangerous "depleted uranium."
Hansen speaks of third and fourth generation “fast” nuclear reactors which “’burn’ not only all the uranium fuel but also all of the transuranic actnides…Fast reactors can burn about 99 percent of the uranium that is mined, compared to less than 1 percent by light-water reactors…” and, according to Hansen, the remaining radioactivity is inconsequential.
Hansen contends that what he calls fourth generation nuclear power plants would put an end to the need to mine uranium because “we already have stockpiled, in nuclear waste and the by-products of nuclear weapons production, to supply all our fuel needs for about a thousand years.”
Hansen sees fourth generation nuclear power, along with solar and wind, as a critical component to ending reliance on coal and oil.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:42 am PT...
Sounds promising, but before giant steps like fourth generation power plants can occur, baby steps like throwing Bush and Cheney into prison must occur first.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:47 am PT...
Has anyone suggested that the containment building was blown up so they can get cement hauling helicopters in to encase the containment vessel? I think the core is gone beyond recovery and now they are going to bury it like Chernobyl. I just hope it doesn't melt it's way to the water table below the surface a cement dome might not contain that.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 9:42 am PT...
How is it possible to contain http://thumbsnap.com/2gVhhUXE?
It is not a pretty sight. As always, thanks for your good lead work, brad and company!
Heard you on randi's show last night - good job.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 2:56 pm PT...
'You missed the point. Geniuses think out of the box. They come up with solutions to problems that you and I cannot fathom. Steer that creative energy away from bomb-making and they'll find non-nuclear solutions to the energy challeng'
well ghost, i can not fathom how anyone can think these geniuses are our salvation after gthey have given us such deadly wonders as nuclear bombs, nuclear power(chernobyl, sellafield), GM(now threatens agriculture, plastic pollution , SSRI pollution, etc
ts just bizarre, abnd i cant fathom the sort of blindnes that cant see just where many of our modern problems lie.
But thats me!
and njo they wont make the perfect accident free nuke station...that i can confidentally predict.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 3:03 pm PT...
'I think the core is gone beyond recovery and now they are going to bury it like Chernobyl. I just hope it doesn't melt it's way to the water table below the surface a cement dome might not contain that. '
WELL Bob if you bury something like that in the groundm sooner or later it will make pollute the watertable...thats what modern life and geniuses do so well: pollute.
and as for zapkitty:
'Bullshit. As nothing can be perfectly safe you've set an impossible standard and thus have automatically declared the technology of your choice the winner... safe or not.
Now try reality on for size: what energy source would you like a nuclear replacement to be as safe as... '
reality zapkitty is our world has been pollutted and degraded by human activity , and moder geniuses have only accelerated this disastrous trend. Ever see the movie Erik Brokavitch? Ever hear of the Great Garbage Patch? The dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico...well with the BP apocalypse its all dead now..
if you wanr a nuke powe station in yoru back yard, you can bury the waste in your back yard...you neightbors may object
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 3:16 pm PT...
humans are so made that only a disaster of epic proportions can make them move their sorry asses:
in gemany, they are reading th lessons in the Japan nuke disaster....that no where on earth are these genius made instutions safe. and no amount of genius can make them safe.
rememeber: it take only one meltdown to make a region uninhabitable
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 3:20 pm PT...
'Hansen sees fourth generation nuclear power, along with solar and wind, as a critical component to ending reliance on coal and oil. '
this faith that genius will solve all our problems thru refining the problem shows an inabilty to see what the real problem is. Nuke power thats waste free is hooey and reminds me of those defenders who keep claiming nuke power is green and clean.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:28 pm PT...
on the lighter side:
'ukushima Daiichi, built 40 years ago by General Electric, uses what is supposed to be a carefully controlled process of nuclear fission to boil water, create steam, power turbines and generate electricity. But Friday the Fukushima complex was hit by a double-whammy: violent shaking from a historic earthquake, and then a battering-ram wave that crashed ashore.
its a nuclear powered steam engine! You wonder why not an ordinary non-nuclear steam engine, or is it that lion/atom taming is more macho and exciting....indeed the splitting of the atom had a very masculine lion-taming ethos to it.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 3/12/2011 @ 4:32 pm PT...
Brian, I sincerely appreciate your emotional reaction. I too share your concerns, but, unlike you, I am an adherent to the scientific method.
Dr. James Hansen is an adjunct professor in the Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and was the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
He has been at the forefront of global climate science since the 1980s.
What are your qualifications? What scientific studies can you point to that would refute Hansen's scientific assessment of fourth generation "fast" nuclear reactors, which, by the way Hansen does not assert are "waste free" but, instead "produce nuclear waste, but in volumes much less than slow (thermal) reactors. More important, the radioactivity becomes inconsequential in a few hundred years, rather than ten thousand years. The waste from a fast reactor can be vitrified--transformed into a glasslike substance--placed in lead-lined steel casket, and stored on-site or transported for storage elsewhere."
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 5:15 pm PT...
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 5:27 pm PT...
And Brian, crunch time:
Are you so wedded to that nuke storyline that was so carefully manipulated by the likes of Halliburton and the Koch-suckers... so intent on dancing to the tune that they composed... that you would condemn billions to death simply to enforce your "no nukes whatsoever" ideology.
If someone was to place before you a fusion reactor that could never melt down, never explode, produced no nuclear waste whatsoever and was cheaper than all other current and foreseeable power sources... would you reject it because it had the words "nuclear fusion" in the patent descriptions?
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 3/12/2011 @ 5:42 pm PT...
Zapkitty, are you saying that anyone who doesn't support nukes is a Republican, just like anyone who doesn't support the Obama/Hillary wars of aggression based on Bush lies?
I just love it when neo-cons, knowing how much they are hated, try to smear decent people by falsely linking anti-capitalists to capitalist pigs.
No, those who oppose nukes aren't Republicans or sell-outs to the energy industry robber barons like the Koch brothers--those who support nukes are.
If somebody could create that safe nuke you hypothesize, they certainly would have by now.
And Brian nailed it. I think it was Einstein himself who first pointed out that nuclear energy was the most expensive and dangerous way to boil water ever invented. But they had to try to find some ostensibly non-military use for nukes in order to keep making them during peacetime.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:32 pm PT...
... Mark E. Smith said...
"Zapkitty, are you saying that anyone who doesn't support nukes is a Republican, just like anyone who doesn't support the Obama/Hillary wars of aggression based on Bush lies?"
Welcome to the discusion. But you've missed a few things along the way... what I actually said in an earlier reply to Brian was:
"And nuke proponents would correctly point out your persistence in overgeneralizing almost to the point of demagoguery.
Unfortunately the nuke proponents are themselves limited by the oiligarchs control of energy and their royal fiat that only meltdown-prone, bomb-capable uranium fission plants can be built.
Even so the Japanese plants in question are dated and there are current uranium-fueled designs that would have avoided this particular catastrophe.
But new nuke plants are very expensive and that's not because of the "greenies" per se... they are expensive because that's the way the oligarchs like it."
... and that's not even mentioning the thorium plants... and of course workable fusion is simply verboten (that's how we ended up with ITER btw)... and the financial encouragement of big carbon to anti-nuke groups is an old story.
Y'see? The situation we face is one that was carefully engineered to the specifications of our lords and masters. You may feel genuine outrage at the thought of having to build uranium plants, and you might well love to see at least the tools of the oligarchs rotting in cells even if the oligarchs are beyond our reach...
... but your genuine rage does not alter the simple fact that the situation with the power plants was custom-ordered by the oligarchs and the tools of the oligarchs are still running, and ruining, the planet.
So I've not called Brian a "Republican" or anything else for the matter. I'm just pointing out that the tune he's dancing to is copyrighted by Halliburton with musical arrangement by BP.
I think he should be aware of that fact, don't you?
So I don't think the "neocon" label is an appropriate one for me, to say the least
"If somebody could create that safe nuke you hypothesize, they certainly would have by now."
The original concepts were floated during the 70's-80's, actually.
(And much-safer-than-uranium-but-not-perfect thorium got the knife in the back decades before that, of course.)
And NASA was working on this concept (because it makes a heck of a space drive) when Bush was selected president and the order promptly came down in 2001 banning NASA from working on anything involving fusion.
So yeah, the perfect reactor I described is possible and several parties are trying to privately fund several different versions. You can imagine the difficulties they have in overcoming the niagra of money from big carbon, the malign neglect of governments ( who only fund dirty "tokamak" fusion that's always
30 50 years away) and the well-meant but frankly hysterical screeching of the anti-nukes...
So, Brian, the question remains.
That near-perfect fusion reactor is placed before you.
What would you do?
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:33 pm PT...
'Brian, I sincerely appreciate your emotional reaction. I too share your concerns, but, unlike you, I am an adherent to the scientific method.'
lets be earnest...i know about Dr Hansen...but hes a climate scientist not a nuclear scientist, so he i and u are on the same level. Anyone who thinks Nuclear power is clean and green or that science (aka the scientist) will solve the problems that current keep it from being clean and green are really in cloud cuckoo land.
'by the way Hansen does not assert are "waste free" but, instead "produce nuclear waste, but in volumes much less than slow (thermal) reactors'
thus proving my point...Nuclear waste is not like your weekly garbage!It cant be stored anywhere on earth
and for zapkitty...is this how you zapped your kitty:
'that you would condemn billions to death simply to enforce your "no nukes whatsoever" ideology.
If someone was to place before you a fusion reactor that could never melt down, never explode, produced no nuclear waste whatsoever and was cheaper than all other current and foreseeable power sources... would you reject it because it had the words "nuclear fusion" in the patent descriptions? '
condemn billions to death? you mean like the victims of Chernobyl? death toll now stands at about 60000 to 90000:
thats just from one melt down...
the 2nD part of your reply is not science but techno fantasy.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:36 pm PT...
from zapkittys technofantasy playbook vol 2:
'So yeah, the perfect reactor I described is possible and several parties are trying to privately fund several different versions'
right..so its on the drawing board...just like the safe clean power of the atoms for peace brigade of the 1950s....and after that PR spin, we know what happened next...
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 6:45 pm PT...
Id just like to add that an unacknowledged problem of any kind of mass power generatin is that its mostly used for industry, which turns raw materials into garbage, which ends up in water table polluting landfills or the sea:
now,lets be even more radical: even if you had lean clean green mean your nuclear fusion, how long before the earth becomes uninhabitable due to garbage overload?
the industrial revolution was a mistake that is both devourning the earth igniting wars, and slowly turning the earth into a garbage dump
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 7:33 pm PT...
Brian, please stop dodging the question.
Or do you actually mean to say that if such a device were placed in front of you that you would simply declare it "impossible"...?
As for what is done with the power, again the problems you describe come from dancing to the tune called by the oligarchs... not from the source of the power.
And even given the worst-inflated figures the fallout from Chernobyl hasn't killed nearly as many people as the fallout from coal power plants.
So you are offered a solution that doesn't kill anyone and will actually save lives as basic power is brought even to the poorest regions of a world in the grip of climate change.
The reactor is in front of you. Depending on the particular design it could be a box 2 meters x 2 meters x 3 meters or a sphere 10 meters in diameter or a tube 2 meters wide by 8 meters long. It could come from a lab in Middlesex NJ, San Diego CA or even a town called Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.
Cheap, limitless power with no possibility of meltdown, explosion, or nuclear waste.
What would you do?
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:25 pm PT...
interview on the Japan nuke plant problem
AND Stratfor has this to say
'apan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12 that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in which he said “the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode.”
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:41 pm PT...
if japan has this sort of problem, what of third world countries keen to go nuclear? nand any place that has quakes means one two three Chernobyls
how many chernobyls or Fukushimas before the nuke advocates get the message?Will radioation have to lap at their doors before they get the message?
A wise man learnsE from the mistakes of others
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:51 pm PT...
FYI from whatreallyhappened.com:
Japan hits panic button: using sea water to try to cool down reactor!
Japanese officials continued their battle to control dangerous reactor overheating in the nation's worst nuclear accident that followed Friday's earthquake, as they resorted to an unprecedented attempt to cool the reactor with seawater.
Using Seawater will destroy the reactor. Taking this step means they have given up all hope of recovering and repairing the reactor. Now they are just trying to shut it down by any means necessary.
Read more: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED | The History The US Government HOPES You Never Learn! http://whatreallyhappened.com/#ixzz1GS5crQWL
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 8:54 pm PT...
This site is a Tokyo radiation level monitoring site for the nuclear reactors in Japan. This site shows the radiation release when the explosion occurred in reactor 1. It shows the levels around the site and that the sensor closest to reactor 1 had the highest release readings.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 9:04 pm PT...
My mother's ex-boyfriend was an engineer for the Air Force. He always told me that nuke power could be done safely in terms of the fusion, but that the gov't either wouldn't or couldn't fund it. He didn't say what/how, but just that the gov't was going about it all the wrong way, and he never told me what the deal would be with the waste storage/disposal. Plus, he was a right-wingnut, so I always took what he said with...well, a salt-lick. If it can be done, I'm all for it. If the waste can be disposed of without environmental damage, I'm all for it.
So why doesn't Warren Buffett or George Soros go into this business? It's not like Buffett couldn't scrape up the investors, and he strikes me as being progressive enough in his vision for the future of the world to take the plunge. That any of these liberal-ish moguls haven't gone that route with their power of investment is probably the thing that I am most skeptical about.
Zapkitty is right that the conditions of poverty in much of the world are due to lack of access to cheap and clean energy. Would the oil/coal industry have the power to stand in Buffett's way if he decided to move on this?
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 10:01 pm PT...
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 3/12/2011 @ 11:00 pm PT...
... Soul Rebel said...
"My mother's ex-boyfriend was an engineer for the Air Force. He always told me that nuke power could be done safely in terms of the fusion, but that the gov't either wouldn't or couldn't fund it. He didn't say what/how, but just that the gov't was going about it all the wrong way, and he never told me what the deal would be with the waste storage/disposal."
Okay, here's the condensed version:
(yes, this is the short version)
Fusion power research veered down a wrong path in the late '60s, encouraged by Russian reports of promising results from a device called a "tokamak." or "tok" for short.
If tokamaks could be made to fuse hydrogen isotopes the result would be much the same as with a fission reactor: the neutrons from the reaction would be used to heat water to spin turbines to provide power.
Also as with a fission plant the neutrons would activate (make radioactive) materials in the reactor and the reaction byproducts would contain a range of radioactive elements depending on the isotopes used as fuel.
But (and it's a big but)the fusion plant would provide much more power than a fission plant and would generate far less nuclear waste than a fission plant... and meltdowns or explosions or any other runaway reactions are simply not possible in a fusion plant. So it was a worthwhile effort.
But (the other big but) the goal kept slipping further away as research progressed. A tok tries to hold a relatively large field of very hot plasma stable long enough for fusion reactions to occur in the plasma. But the bigger the field and the hotter the plasma the more the field wants to become unstable. "Unstable plasma" sounds Star Trek dramatic but in a tok it does... nothing much.
The chase continues. It continues to this day. And yet the target of actual fusion power from a tok is further away than ever.
The oligarchs noted that tok research kept slipping and as fusion was a potential impactor on their overall grip on power sources they... encouraged... governments to keep chasing that rabbit down the money hole.
Here it gets depressing in a manner that is all too familiar. The amount of money that the U.S. spends on fusion power research is pitiable. Considering the importance of energy it's actually criminally small. Scientists who want a slice of that research money must forsake all other fusion methods and chase the tok.
Small grants and certain universities have funded what tiny efforts at alternative fusion power research there have been... and the alternatives have gotten results. Some of those results showed that fuels that couldn't be fused in even the biggest toks conceived might be fused in much smaller and cheaper devices. And power could be derived from those reactions without using neutrons, steam or turbines. Direct conversion to electricity. Cheap. Clean.
But anyone associated with the U.S. tok research or who gets fusion funding from the U.S. and who attempts to point out that the time and careers devoted to toks have been wasted is well on their way to losing their grants... or their jobs.
"So why doesn't Warren Buffett or George Soros go into this business? It's not like Buffett couldn't scrape up the investors, and he strikes me as being progressive enough in his vision for the future of the world to take the plunge. That any of these liberal-ish moguls haven't gone that route with their power of investment is probably the thing that I am most skeptical about."
Here, again as with Brian and his fellow anti-nukes, the oligarchs have succeeded in separating their goal from their politics... in the minds of their prey, that is.
Tok research, thinly funded and currently manifested in the form of ITER, has become an academic lifeline for fusion researchers. Academics knowledgeable on the subject tend to praise toks above all else... and I'm sure that Soros and Buffett have noticed that toks keep going nowhere slowly.
But one group has slowly progressed using private funding, another has a Navy contract for some development work (Navy can say "We need this power for our ships. Period" ... but onlookers half-expect the results to be locked down) and a third group is using venture capital and keeping an extremely low profile.
"Zapkitty is right that the conditions of poverty in much of the world are due to lack of access to cheap and clean energy. Would the oil/coal industry have the power to stand in Buffett's way if he decided to move on this?"
So far it's been neatly arranged to not even occur as a problem... but how many hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi citizens for (supposedly) a little oil?... and at what cost? Our owners play for keeps.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 12:37 am PT...
For some sanity from experts rather than sensationalized MSM see this
Something to note about the events in Japan:
deaths from oil and gas plants = more than 100
deaths from nuclear plants = 1 (crane operator unrelated to the explosion)
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 12:38 am PT...
This could and should have been predicted. It was predicted by scientists and NGOs such as CNIC. We warned that Japan's nuclear power plants could be subjected to much stronger earthquakes and much bigger tsunamis than they were designed to withstand
'Last December the Japanese government began a review of its nuclear energy policy. The review was commenced in the spirit of essentially confirming the existing policy. That approach is no longer viable. The direction of the policy review must be completely reversed. It must be redirected towards developing a policy of phasing out nuclear energy as smoothly and swiftly as possible.
International Liaison Officer
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 12:44 am PT...
'deaths from nuclear plants = 1 (crane operator unrelated to the explosion) '
hm..another konstantin may ahve said the same think about Ukraines nuke plants in 1985
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:08 am PT...
Soul Rebel wrote in comment #35 "Zapkitty is right that the conditions of poverty in much of the world are due to lack of access to cheap and clean energy."
Have you ever read Irene Khan's book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights? Khan, the Secretary General of Amnesty International make the case that conditions of poverty are not due to lack of access to cheap, clean energy, or to any other form of industrial development.
A person who is self-sufficient is not poor even if they have no money. If you are an indigenous person living on your land with access to food, water, shelter, and traditional medicinal herbs, you are not experiencing poverty even if you have no electricity and have never seen any money. It is only when the greed for resources by the developed world pushes you off your land that you become poor. There is no more sustainable ecosystem than the one nature gave us, and unless it is commodified and polluted, it can sustain human life for tens of thousands of years unless patriarchy rears its ugly head and forces overpopulation by subjugating females. When not subjugated, females enable us to be an ecologically viable species that controls its rate of reproduction in accordance with available resources.
Contrary to everything we've been taught, indigenous people who haven't been invaded by civilization are happier, healthier, live longer, and have much more leisure time than people in developed societies. We are the barbarians and compared to them we cannot be considered civilized at all. As we continue to wipe them out, we lose our only source for millenia of knowledge about traditional medicine, just as we mindlessly destroy the natural ecosystems containing the plants that cure diseases.
Humanity has sold its birthright for a mess of toxic pottage. You need gas for your car because you can't simply gather food from the forest around you, so you have to be able to shop quickly in the few hours you get off from working to make the payments on your car. You need electricity because you spend most of your daylight hours enriching multi-trillionaires and by the time you get home you are much too tired to entertain yourself with singing and dancing and creative arts, even if you still knew how. Because you can't watch the endlessly fascinating natural world, with constantly changing plants, birds, insects, and animals, you can either stare at blank walls or turn on the TV to be desensitized to the violence that is needed to get you that electricity.
Having lived both off the grid and on, I know that being off the grid is a less stressful lifestyle. Those who think it is worth permanently contaminating the only planet we have, so that they can have gadgets they don't even have time to enjoy, have devolved to a point where I'm no longer certain they can reasonably be called sentient.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:15 am PT...
well said Mark
Its poverty vs destitution
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:38 am PT...
Workers doused the stricken reactor with sea water to try to avert catastrophe, after the quake knocked out power to the cooling system.
What occurred at the plant was a "station blackout," which is the loss of offsite air-conditioning power combined with the failure of onsite power, in this case diesel generators.
"It is considered to be extremely unlikely but the station blackout has been one of the great concerns for decades," said Ken Bergeron, a physicist who has worked on nuclear reactor accident simulation.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 6:54 am PT...
Brian, it serves no purpose nor adds any value to the discussion of future energy generation when your arguments are taken strictly from emotional sources.
3rd generation light water BWR reactors have inherent safety issues. Specifically, the need for external power supply to keep the coolant pumps running. That was the situation at Fukushima.
Molten Salt Reactors do not rely upon pumped in or gravity fed light water as a coolant, as light water always brings the risk of hydrogen generation. Very explosive.
Thorium is a far more stable radionucleide. We've known about it since the 50's. And molten salts as the heat transfer AND coolant medium are far more efficient than light water. And even better, Molten Salt thorium based reactors can safely reprocess Uranium 235 and U238 and even plutonium and the Strontium 90 waste does not occur, like it does in Light water reactors. Strontium 90, with a half life of 30,000 years, is instead, converted to a lighter ion with a half life of 30 years in molten salt reactions just by using Flouride salts as an additive.
There's no weapons grade waste.
There's no toxic sludge waste.
It's a viable and safe bridge between fossil fuels and sustainable renewable green energy sources.
The Molten Salt Reactor Project ran at Oak Ridge in TN from 1964 to 1969 and at full power for 2.5 of those years. They successfully used this reactor to treat radioactive toxic waste and the chemistry and math behind the design is well proven.
We've only needed to wait for material sciences to catch up due to the corrosive nature of the plumbing involved.
Don't ever forget that Coal, Oil and gas produce (and release) more radioactive waste than all of the worlds current nuclear power plants combined.
Again, I appreciate where your coming from, but your position is not really grounded in reality. And I mean that in good faith.
Here's your Molten Salt reactor history lesson...
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 2:54 pm PT...
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 3:31 pm PT...
Dan-in-PA...nukes are not dead...nuclear power support has itself melted down and only the diehards have not been swept away by the tsunami of reality
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:26 pm PT...
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:28 pm PT...
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:30 pm PT...
Dan and other nuk supportesr have their echoes in the japanese govt whose problem now is how to contian not the radiation but knowedlege of the scale of the disaster...How to save nukes from a social meltdown!
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 4:32 pm PT...
A NUKE Plant designer speaks:
'Mr Goto said the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant were suffering pressure build-ups way beyond that for which they were designed. There was a severe risk of an explosion, with radioactive material being strewn over a very wide area – beyond the 20km evacuation zone set up by the authorities – he added. Mr Goto calculated that because Reactor No 3 at Fukushima-Daiichi – where pressure is rising and there is a risk of an explosion – used a type of fuel known as Mox, a mixture of p lutonium oxide and uranium oxide, the radioactive fallout from any meltdown might be twice as bad.'
yes its REALLY bad, you nuke lovers
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 3/13/2011 @ 7:58 pm PT...
... brian said...
"yes its REALLY bad, you nuke lovers"
Your behavior is... interesting
So, am I a "nuke lover" by your standards?
If you think so, why would you think so?
Is Dan-in-PA a "nuke lover?"
If you think so, why would you think so?
And the question remains.
You remember, right? The question you never answer.
Are you afraid to answer it?
Here it is again with all the details:
An aneutronic fusion reactor is placed in front of you.
Compared to all equivalent power sources it is inexpensive to build and its construction has a minimal environmental impact. It is quiet in operation, and unlike wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectric dams, geothermal plants or tidal generators it doesn't occupy large portions of the landscape.
Its fuel is a very common isotope of boron, boron 11, which is cheap, not radioactive in the slightest and of which there are billions of years of supply readily available on Earth.
We do laundry and scrub toilets with it.
Its exhaust is small amounts of helium. Yeah, that helium. Not enough to solve the party balloon shortage caused by the oiligarchs deliberate wasting of the gas from their drilling rigs but utterly harmless nonetheless.
No nuclear waste.
If anything happens to the reactor it shuts down.
Not because of any fancy failsafes, although you can have just as many of those as you like, but because a fusion reaction requires power and precise conditions just to keep it going.
The reactor shuts down and becomes, from a fusion plasma point of view, ice cold almost instantly. There are no chain reactions and there can be no chain reactions. Within 9 hours you even can open the reaction chamber itself without worrying about radiation.
It is placed in front of you. The practically perfect power source.
What would you do?
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 3/14/2011 @ 7:16 am PT...