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Thread: Phoronix 2011 Chernobyl Nuclear Tour

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  1. #1
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    Default Phoronix 2011 Chernobyl Nuclear Tour

    Phoronix: Phoronix 2011 Chernobyl Nuclear Tour

    Last April I toured the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site and areas like the Red Forest and Pripyat within Chernobyl's Zone of Alienation. It was an incredibly fascinating trip and ever since returning I've still wanted to go back to spend more days around Chernobyl. All of the recent nuclear coverage and mentions of Chernobyl in the news due to the unfortunate events taking place in Japan (and US / European news media and politicians now over-reacting about nuclear energy concerns), has only made me want to go back sooner. Judging by traffic in recent days to last year's Chernobyl photographs, there's lots of other people interested too. So it may be time to revisit this interesting travel destination...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTIxNQ

  2. #2
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    Default Media over reacting??

    I am sorry, but have to react on this. What do you mean by the media is over reacting on this? Together with Chernobyl this incident clearly shows that nuclear power is NOT a sustainable option. What I do not understand about all this pro nuclear lobby is how you can minimize the nuclear risk? What else has to happen to proof otherwises? Remember that risk equals the chance of something going wrong multiplied with the consequence. Well, the chance of something might be lower than a plane crashing (which actually might be wrong, but just for the sake of the argument), but the consequences are...well you witnessed that first hand.

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    The media is overreacting. And since sensationalism is the favorite subject of the media these days, well, we can all see it now. What happened in Japan is an unfortunate event, but it is not the rule. Nuclear power is viable option for power solutions. Itīs just that, as they say, shit happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melcar View Post
    The media is overreacting. And since sensationalism is the favorite subject of the media these days, well, we can all see it now. What happened in Japan is an unfortunate event, but it is not the rule. Nuclear power is viable option for power solutions. Itīs just that, as they say, shit happens.
    I guess you meant that. In case I missed some irony, ignore me.

    Of course media is taking sensations as welcome events since they earn money with them. But, how many times have you heard nuclear power is save. Or "only old reactors are problematic - not the ones build state of the art.".

    If ANY OTHER powerplant suffers from "unforeseen circumstances" it explodes and perhaps some people die. In Tschernobyl the Ukraine spends 5% of its GDP just because of the catastrophe. Many thousands of people died and 800 000 hectares (= 1 976 843.05 acres) are still not usable for agricultural use. 30km around the reactor are restricted area. But people living today "near" the area still suffer from multiple diseases.

    This IS a catastrophe in Japan and if not every country thinks about changing their future plans for power plants... Well who cares about our children anyways...

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    I agree that the media are passionate about sensationalism. But honestly, how can you say this is an unfortunate event? Do you even realise how serious the situation is? Can you even begin to imagine what the consequences already are? Or what could happen if it keeps going bad? Mind you, things are far from being under control! Shit happens yes, but there are viable alternatives to nuclear despite what the nuclear lobby would likes you to believe. And of course, for things to change you need investments. Do you know how much was invested in the nuclear roll out? So the nuclear is cheap is a false argument. Can you tell me what nuclear costs if you include Chernobyl and now Japan? What's the value of a few thousand of lives?

    Japan is not the only country with nuclear power plants on earth quake territory. Further, what will happen in, lets say, 10-20 years with all those power plants very close at sea? With the sea level rising each year considerably, there might be some serious problems coming up. You know how cheap nuclear will turn out to be when we need to secure those sites?

    What if the government is not able to secure nuclear waste any more in 300 years? Sure, not my problem. Etc etc etc....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidovitch View Post
    I agree that the media are passionate about sensationalism. But honestly, how can you say this is an unfortunate event? Do you even realise how serious the situation is? Can you even begin to imagine what the consequences already are?
    Yes, of course. The current consequences: costly cleanup near the of the power plant site, probably a small restricted area around the plant and basically that's all. Well, maybe some residential buildings will require cleanup.

    Considering that this has happened with old reactors (older than Chernobyl) and after the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami, I'd say nuclear power so far looks OK.

    It looks like things are getting calmer now (as reactors are cooling down) and probably the extent of damage won't grow.

    And certainly, cutting its use completely is NOT a good decision "for the people".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberax View Post
    Yes, of course. The current consequences: costly cleanup near the of the power plant site, probably a small restricted area around the plant and basically that's all. Well, maybe some residential buildings will require cleanup.

    Considering that this has happened with old reactors (older than Chernobyl) and after the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami, I'd say nuclear power so far looks OK.
    I presume that you're volunteering in joining the workers who have to clean up the site, right? And you'll surely be willing to switch places with someone living in the fallout area, after all, it's only cancer, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberax View Post
    Yes, of course. The current consequences: costly cleanup near the of the power plant site, probably a small restricted area around the plant and basically that's all. Well, maybe some residential buildings will require cleanup.
    How come you are assuming the situation is under control and no serious radiation leeks have been reported? When I looking at the facts, I tend to disagree: almost all nuclear personnel has been evacuated because the reactors (all 4 of them) are not under control, serious radiation leeks have been measured, etc etc,...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberax View Post
    Considering that this has happened with old reactors (older than Chernobyl) and after the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami, I'd say nuclear power so far looks OK.
    That sounds like a compelling argument: lets keep all those nukes up and running because only old ones could be dangerous. There are always unprecedented events which trigger catastrophic failures. The point is that at some point in the near future there will be another unprecedented event leading to an unforeseen failure of a nuclear site (San Andreas fault and nearby Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant anyone?). Why are you trying to think what is happening in Japan is an isolated event which can only be the fault of the plant being old?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberax View Post
    And certainly, cutting its use completely is NOT a good decision "for the people".
    I am an aerospace engineer working every day on those alternatives. I can tell you, every day more capacity is being installed and in that process manufactures, investors and utilities are earning money and giving jobs to millions of people. Mind you that this has been done so far with only a fraction of the nuclear research funding. Sure, more work has to be done to fully prepare the electricity grid for distributed and fluctuating energy sources. But these challenges are nothing compared one nuclear disaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidovitch View Post
    I agree that the media are passionate about sensationalism. But honestly, how can you say this is an unfortunate event? Do you even realise how serious the situation is? Can you even begin to imagine what the consequences already are? Or what could happen if it keeps going bad? Mind you, things are far from being under control! Shit happens yes, but there are viable alternatives to nuclear despite what the nuclear lobby would likes you to believe.
    such as? Coal plants? Oil plants? I guess that's covering it pretty much. There are some powerplants driven by waterfalls...so you suggest to build waterfalls?

    If you go for those windpower thingis, forget it, they're big, they aren't safe (everytime a bigger storm comes down, one of those things breaks) and they don't generate enough power. And those photovoltaic cells? You need rare earth elements for them and the complete IT technology relies on those aswell and even if we would turnover everything for the cells, it wouldn't be enough (not even close). [the biggest photovoltaik power plants deliver 40MW, a nuclear fission power plant delivers (such as the nuclear fission power plant "Biblis" in Germany, near Biblis delivers at least 1167 MW per reactor block)

    So, at the end, there are 3 "real" power plant technologies: nuclear fission, nuclear fusion (which is not ready yet...I guess they need at least 20 years to build the first plant that really generates power) and geothermal energy.

    So, there is no technology capable of handling our need for power.

  10. #10
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    *"So, there is no technology capable of handling our need for power. " -> So, there is no "green" technology capable of handling our need for power.

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