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[MSNBC] - Tritium leaks found at many nuke sites - Page 5

post #41 of 70
Tritium has a half life of a couple weeks. It's not as if it is building up in ground water.
post #42 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuNkDrSpOt View Post
That's a very simple factoid to a very complex issue. At the heart of comparing the radiation of these two you'd have to look at:

- what specific radioactive particles do they release, the amount of each and what are the respective half-lives of each?
- What are the potential and likely ways each will affect the environment?
- What is the likelihood that each will find its way to our many food sources or water ways?
- How likely is it that the specific particles from each are readily absorbed by us
-What is the potential and/or likely effects to exposure to each?




Actually no one is fine with it, it's the lesser evil. I don't know that coal has any potential to release radioactive substances with a 100,000 year half-life.
I got curious about the coal radiation claim so I went reading and found this.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...-nuclear-waste

Basically the way I understand it coal contains trace amounts of radioactive substances like uranium and thorium. When the coal is burned the remaining ash is enriched in these radioactive substances because they don't burn off. The ash is therefore relatively high in radiation.

The coal plants themselves and the areas surrounding the coal plant can have high levels of radiation. Not that this makes tritium leaks any less of an issue...
    
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post #43 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaxel View Post
Tritium has a half life of a couple weeks. It's not as if it is building up in ground water.
Or 4,500 days... You were only off by about 300X.

http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/halflife-html.cfm
    
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post #44 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope View Post
I got curious about the coal radiation claim so I went reading and found this.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...-nuclear-waste

Basically the way I understand it coal contains trace amounts of radioactive substances like uranium and thorium. When the coal is burned the remaining ash is enriched in these radioactive substances because they don't burn off. The ash is therefore relatively high in radiation.

The coal plants themselves and the areas surrounding the coal plant can have high levels of radiation. Not that this makes tritium leaks any less of an issue...
Hmm, one major thing stands out to me.

The evidence is based on a paper written in 1978 I would like to see something from this decade. There have been substantial changes in emission laws at power plants. I'd like to see how much of that stuff is getting out NOW.

Also, no breakdown on the quantity of each radioactive element released.

Uranium-238 has a half life of 4,468,000,000. Uranium-239 has a half life of 23 minutes.
Edited by FuNkDrSpOt - 6/21/11 at 5:48pm
    
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post #45 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wr3ckin_Cr3w View Post
Well if ingesting it is more harmful and it's getting into the water supply...what does that mean? I don't understand what the problem of keeping the companies accountable for their property. If their pipes are leaking a substance that isn't naturally found there..why is it a problem to call them out on it?
There isn't a problem with holding those companies accountable. They absolutely should be held accountable. But, laying the blame at the foot of the corporation, and ignoring the bigger picture is irresponsible and naive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alltoasters View Post
Part of this is down to the anti nuclear campaigns. There was next to no progression in the nuclear industry from the 70's onwards because all the protests hurt funding. This wouldn't be happening if the reactors were newer, better ones. But we are stuck with mostly 40 year old ones. This isn't just an American problem either.
^ This. The same went with petroleum refineries. People naturally want access to cheap efficient energy, but no one wants a Nuclear Plant in their backyard any more than John Kerry wanted a windfarm in his.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvjavs View Post
Good ol BP ignoring safety concerns and the CEO not giving two craps.
What are you talking about? Your just another cog in the problem. You can't lay sole blame for any of the business practices currently dominating the market at the feet of corporate US or the rest of the globe. Taking a pot-shot at a company who isn't the sole propitiatory of this problem is again naive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t00sl0w View Post
they are too busy trying to maximize profits
t00sl0w I think we're all beginning to see a pattern in your posts in this thread. I think it's safe to say your opinion is clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanPitts View Post
It's nothing new, the big corporations are all about making a fast buck by not maintaining their facilities. Nuclear power is a dead end because big business can score far more profit on our dwindling supply of oil, and everyone knows, corporates have more fun fowling the environment will billions of barrels of oil spilled out of their decaying infrastructure (or their derilect boats operated by drunks) - and the Nuke execs want part of that fun by doing what they can to spoil the environment for short term profits.
Really? Nuclear Power is dead because of economic reasons. Your statement is wrong. Pure and simple. Have you read anything about the US current nuclear stance? Obama has been preaching about the need to open 20 more nuclear power plants before 2035 as part of his green energy stance, but that horse died before it left the stable. Again, do you have any clue why? Economics dude. The EPA's regulations on nuclear power make it more expensive than fossil fuel alternatives. Why would any company look into nuclear power plants if it would result in bankruptcy to pursue? That's why these old nuclear plants are still running. Not because they operate at some ungodly profit margin, but because they were grandfathered in to the regulations required at the time of construction and can afford to remain operational. Seriously dude. Go read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuNkDrSpOt View Post
I understand that the US doesn't look favorable to nuclear energy but this is a pure cop out. Are you seriously suggesting that the EPA would stand in the way of a plant addressing a health issue? No, they wouldn't.

Simply put, the plants know about this and let this happen b/c they're corporations and corporations only care about money.

Also, Corporations like nuclear power plants not self-regulating are the primary reason for all the laws that those same plants complain about.

To those of you who say that it's not harmful, you're being naive. You simply don't know. It may not be enough to give someone cancer but for instance it may significantly increase the chance that a pregnant mother has a child born with autism or ADD, which coincidentally, we have 10x more of here in the US.
@FuNkDrSpOt: I agree with the last of your statement. I would love that all energy was 100% efficient and that none of my commercially grown crops would ever be exposed to pesticides and wish that my beef was never subjected to hormone injection to up the lb per hoof. And these are all things that can be worked towards. But in regards to your statement about corporations profit-mongering, I submit you are being naive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t00sl0w View Post
they have to build new facilities and convert over to the new reactor systems, logistics, etc.

right now, it looks like most american corps are more interested in immediate gain vs long term/whats better for me/you.

the immediate gain is to continue to use the old systems because they are paid off and the only thing they have to pay for is the overhead.
Wow it's t00sl0w again. Let me check , was this last quote something new? Darn, guess I'll keep hoping. Your sounding trite dude.



I simply find it astounding all of the corporate bashing in this thread. I don't want to come across as crass: but do you all live at home? P&L is every companies primary concern. It's mine too. Last I checked my bank wouldn't accept an IOU for my mortgage. Does profit-mongering exist? Surely. And are some of these companies probably guilty? Absolutely. But who do you think regulates all that crap and allows the corporate environment to maintain the status quo. The good ol' governemt. Lay blame where blame is due. Whether it is B.P. or Conoco-Phillips, do you think it really matters? A company exists to make money. Knock either of those companies out of the picture and another company will just take their spot in line. If you want them to change their practices, then change the regulations that govern them. (Which admittedly, I know zilch about. However I would speculate the EPA zealous policies are what make nuclear power impossible until energy costs are greater than 8$ per thousand cubic feet)


And now I'm afraid flaming may commence.
Edited by Senator - 6/21/11 at 5:22pm
    
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post #46 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
@FuNkDrSpOt: I agree with the last of your statement. I would love that all energy was 100% efficient and that none of my commercially grown crops would ever be exposed to pesticides and wish that my beef was never subjected to hormone injection to up the lb per hoof. And these are all things that can be worked towards. But in regards to your statement about corporations profit-mongering, I submit you are being naive.
In what regards? Do you know the incredible harm to the environment, ecology and jobs that some businesses have done purely in the name of profits?
    
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post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuNkDrSpOt View Post
Are you seriously suggesting that the EPA would stand in the way of a plant addressing a health issue? No, they wouldn't.

Simply put, the plants know about this and let this happen b/c they're corporations and corporations only care about money. Also, Corporations like nuclear power plants not self-regulating are the primary reason for all the laws that those same plants complain about.
The bolded section is why I assert my statement. I think you and I agree on a lot of points, but we perhaps differ in two regards. I don't hold companies solely responsible, and I don't begrudge them following the bottom line. I submit that the EPA has done exactly what you have claimed they would not by making it unprofitable for companies to be more safe. I lay the blame for companies cutting corners not only on the companies themselves, but also on the group that stepped in to hold these companies accountable: the government.

Poorly crafted regulations make it foolish for a corporation to enter into the energy looking for a nuclear alternative when it is nearly double the cost. As mentioned above, this has little to do with the availability of new reactors and the availability of reactor fuel sources, rather it has to do with the enormous cost inherent in becoming certified by the EPA and being OSHA compliant. While I absolutely agree that those regulatory organizations exist for the safety of our workers and the common man (you and I), and are necessary, I would point out that as a corollary to their existence that the manufacturing of new plants is non-existent and energy costs are higher than ever before.

Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, as listed above.

Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews. My guess as to why? Because they know no corporation in in right mind would want to jump into construction of a new nuclear facility when it is unprofitable. A veritable Catch-22 if you will.
    
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post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
The bolded section is why I assert my statement. I think you and I agree on a lot of points, but we perhaps differ in two regards. I don't hold companies solely responsible, and I don't begrudge them following the bottom line. I submit that the EPA has done exactly what you have claimed they would not by making it unprofitable for companies to be more safe. I lay the blame for companies cutting corners not only on the companies themselves, but also on the group that stepped in to hold these companies accountable: the government.
1. The EPA's job is not to make it profitable to be safe. The EPA's job is to monitor and control emissions.

2. No matter what you do, it will ALWAYS be unprofitable for companies to cut emissions/pollutants or increase safety. Come up with a way to cut costs AND emissions/pollutants and you will be a Billionaire overnight.

If you made it legal to dump toxic waste into the surrounding soil, 95% of those plants would do it. If you made it illegal to dump toxic waste but did not fine for it, 90% of those plants would do it. Profits and shareholders rule all.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Poorly crafted regulations make it foolish for a corporation to enter into the energy looking for a nuclear alternative when it is nearly double the cost. As mentioned above, this has little to do with the availability of new reactors and the availability of reactor fuel sources, rather it has to do with the enormous cost inherent in becoming certified by the EPA and being OSHA compliant. While I absolutely agree that those regulatory organizations exist for the safety of our workers and the common man (you and I), and are necessary, I would point out that as a corollary to their existence that the manufacturing of new plants is non-existent and energy costs are higher than ever before.
Those poorly crafted regulations are only in effect b/c the industry showed at one point it was incapable of policing itself. Please show me a business regulation that was signed into law BEFORE some company exploited the loophole. Please. Corporate regulations and laws are 100% reactionary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, as listed above.
But then that would be a contradiction of your previous position, b/c regulators shouldn't be needed b/c businesses can regulate themselves and all these laws are unnecessary.

And yes, the EPA unfortunately does weaken its standards based on who is in office. We had 8 yrs of an extremely weakened EPA under Bush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews. My guess as to why? Because they know no corporation in in right mind would want to jump into construction of a new nuclear facility when it is unprofitable. A veritable Catch-22 if you will.
Adjustments are fine if needed but as I've stated above, you should understand politics and the views of the administration plays a large part in it too.
Edited by FuNkDrSpOt - 6/21/11 at 7:23pm
    
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post #49 of 70
No. I a not, nor was I, arguing that the EPA or OSHA, NRC, etc. are unnecessary. I simply point out that regardless of who has been in the white house since the 70's (don't drag partisan politics into this please or thread will go lock), there has been what amounts to an unofficial moratorium on the construction of new Nuclear facilities. I am pointing the finger at the government as being responsible for that. I do not deny the possibility corporations care more about the bottom line than potential environmental concerns. The fact is that nuclear energy is not viable not because the cost of that energy is too high, but rather because poorly crafted regulations make it that way.

Since you seem to feel my statement holds a contradiction somewhere, by all means point it out, and I will correct anyone's misconception. To reiterate, I completely agree that corporate QC failures resulted in the need for the EPA,NRC, etc., however it is those very same regulatory committees that now are responsible for the stagnation of energy development. My point about the NRC has no choice but to weaken the policies on older reactors, as they have made the construction of new ones a fool's errand.

You want to blame someone for the nuclear waste problems, the lack of more efficient facilities, and our continuing dependence on fossil fuels? Blame uncle sam every bit as much as you blame corporate america.
    
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post #50 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
No. I a not, nor was I, arguing that the EPA or OSHA, NRC, etc. are unnecessary. I simply point out that regardless of who has been in the white house since the 70's (don't drag partisan politics into this please or thread will go lock), there has been what amounts to an unofficial moratorium on the construction of new Nuclear facilities. I am pointing the finger at the government as being responsible for that. I do not deny the possibility corporations care more about the bottom line than potential environmental concerns. The fact is that nuclear energy is not viable not because the cost of that energy is too high, but rather because poorly crafted regulations make it that way.

Since you seem to feel my statement holds a contradiction somewhere, by all means point it out, and I will correct anyone's misconception. To reiterate, I completely agree that corporate QC failures resulted in the need for the EPA,NRC, etc., however it is those very same regulatory committees that now are responsible for the stagnation of energy development. My point about the NRC has no choice but to weaken the policies on older reactors, as they have made the construction of new ones a fool's errand.

You want to blame someone for the nuclear waste problems, the lack of more efficient facilities, and our continuing dependence on fossil fuels? Blame uncle sam every bit as much as you blame corporate. america
Fair enough. All very valid points. I would have to get into politics to dispute the last sentence though so I won't.
    
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