The Dangers of Nuclear Power

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Is nuclear power safe? John Howland and his vast readership offer observations on nuke power on its most intimate terms: a submarine.

And how’s that working?

From the other side of the leaded glass pane….

I spent three years and five specops in fast attacks and enjoy showing nuke-doubters my radiological med-record for that period: I received less high-energy bombardment that if I had been on a small boy or (sorry for forgetting…) fossil-fueled CV deployed anywhere. 0. ZERO.

sub_pentaposse_philadelphia_yoest.JPG

[The Penta-Posse is pictured in the forward torpedo room of a WWII submarine. There is not much more room in the new subs.]

And that was with about half of my workspaces next to the Tunnel, just forward and a deck or two above the you-know-what. Whatever other scientific wonders we were near is unknown to me, but I once heard a rumor that our detachment’s enlisted people slept in the torpedo room.

It being true in any endeavor of consequence that “One Oh-heck” wipes out a billion atta-boys, the nuclear field cannot tolerate any mistakes greater than a burnt out lightbulb, and our erstwhile Comradette Jane used her cinematic best to take it well beyond the Pale in that regard.

Chernobyl’s long term effects will not be known for several thousand years, but there are data that suggest BOTH that life of both flora and fauna types were impacted by the 1986 accident AND that renewed organic chemistry has burgeoned there since a couple of years after it. For fascinating details, see website “kidofspeed.com” a photographic reportage made by a recklessly brave (kinda cute, too!) Ukrainian lady motorcyclist who managed to enter the permanently closed region around the defunct power plant and record its emptiness for posterity. Thanks be, Chernobyl did not start Nuclear Winter — and our photog lives to do other reckless things (politics, for one) without her suntan turning into a full-body keloid scar.

“Wer rastet, rostet,” the Germans say: “He who stops, rusts.” What, with the clear and present danger of merely being alive faces us TODAY, nuclear power, with its Rickoverian no-mistake rules looks mighty advantageous to this former cryppie.

If we don’t have some new benefits from same, who will provide all that electricity to cook the Sierra Club’s granola bars, assemble their Birkenstocks, or to blend blue and yellow basic colors to make green ones?

Forgive an old salt for waxing poetic over an X-ray film, but….

Steve

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If France can manage to produce 80% of their power from nuclear piles, I have to think we have it within us to do likewise.

With vast respect & ear-trumpets for sea-daddies everywhere,

Jason W.

There is no way to eliminate all risk on this side of eternity. Nuclear power is the safest method to generate power.

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7 Responses

  1. J says:

    if France is doing it, it must be wrong…

  2. If we are going to attain energy independence, nuclear power is going to have to be part of the mix. I am all for wind, solar and biofuels but none of these sources can fill all of our energy needs. With proper safeguards, nuclear power can be a safe and reliable source of energy.

  3. Jack Yoest says:

    Dear Right Democrat, it is most refreshing to find a D with its head screwed on straight… just like the handful of Pro-Life Democrats.

    Even though only 3 percent of oil is used in the generation of electricity, we should build the nuke power plants for energy independence and security — with some redundancy in the power grid.

    Nuke’s are safe. Build ’em.

    Thanks for your comment,

    Jack

  4. Even Greenpeace has had to admit (reluctantly) that nuclear power is the least-unacceptable option.

  5. Jack Yoest says:

    Suricou, you are right — politics is the art of the compromise and the left-leaners should learn that nuke power is indeed the “least-unacceptable option.”

    Thanks,

    Jack

  6. Jack Yoest says:

    Suricou, you are right — politics is the art of the compromise and the left-leaners should learn that nuke power is indeed the “least-unacceptable option.”

    Thanks,

    Jack

  7. John H says:

    From the USNA-AT-Large:

    While I agree nukey power will provide many folk with illumination and warmth, especially if the reactor coolant leaks and leaches into the surrounding soil’s water table, I think there are a few OTHER statistics that need to be looked at before casting away all the other elements within the Periodic Table except Uranium.

    Right now, all around the Earth, the current human population requires a steady state of energy at about 13 terawatts (TW) (that’s 13 trillion watts) [that’s a whole bunch of Energizer bunnies!] of which about 85 percent is provided by fossil fuels; petroleum, coal, etc. “Experts,” whoever the h3ll these are, predict that by 2050, well within your grandkids productive adulthood, the world will need 40 TW just to enjoy a standard day as we do today.

    With most fossil fuel reserves already half way, or more, gone, you can see the urgent need to sort of make something happen TODAY while choice is still ours rather than wait until portions of the Earth are starving and invading those who “have” something left to take. Sure, current “reserves” are enough based on today’s usage plus a couple of percent per year, but what we here in the US fail to grasp is Chindia is going to consume more energy resources in the next thirty years than the world has to date.

    So you are correct, we DO need nuclear power. The cost of getting it is getting “cheaper,” relatively, due to the increasing cost per barrel of petroleum but none-the-less we will NOT be able to have all the plants we need without giving something up we already have.

    Which of all of you are ready to give up some ‘toys’ and return to the days of yesteryear…for the rest of your natural life? Probably zero if we’re really honest.

    Now what will nuke power do for us? Or do against us? First off, with lots of nuke power plants it will be easier to have really nasty wars as the waste material from making power could contribute to lots of weapons of mass destruction. After all, we already know how risky it is to process and store the current levels of nuke waste. And if Third and Fourth World nations, like a future US, that cares little about “security” then this stuff is going to be trucked just about anywhere NAFTA truckers are permitted to roll.

    What about raw material supply? Fission reactors require uranium which, as a resource, is in far SHORTER supply than oil! Right now there are approximately 3.4 million metric tons of proven uranium reserves and 17 million metric tons of recoverable resources.

    To produce JUST 10 TW of electricity using nuclear methods would require 10,000 NEW reactors! This would require building 1 Gigawatt (GW) reactor every two days for the next fifty years and even then all those plants would use up all the uranium supplies with six to thirty years.

    So at the very best in eighty years all the fuel for the plants is gone and the plants just sit there soaking up the rays of the sun and parting the winds blowing about them…

    Wait just one minute. What did I just write? Something about sun and wind that would be around long after the last of the uranium is gone!

    Could it be that IF we created a number of alternative energy sources factored to provide most effectively for what they could power, that this COMBINATION of means MIGHT assure humanity’s continuation as a thriving civilization and not just brute gangs of thugs rampaging running about like cells of Mad Max’s? Return the Dark Knight to his lair, Gotham is saved, IF we just do more than put ONE egg in ONE basket.

    Wait a minute. For this to transpire everyone must sacrifice and that means me and you. Forget it. Never gonna happen. H3ll, the stockholders would revolt if their profit dipped while capitalizing other alternatives.

    John Haddick`62

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    “…especially if the reactor coolant leaks….”

    FYI – Our Navy currently has more than 5,400 YEARS of operating nuclear reactor experience. Does that mean we could successively operate nuclear reactors ashore, or should we again wimp out because of yet another “global warming” type bogeyman?

    We need to decide based on FACTS, not fears!

    WDA ’53

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