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Reply #107: I stick by my opinion. Backups to backups, which themselves are... [View All]

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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. I stick by my opinion. Backups to backups, which themselves are...
...backups to backups IS excessive. AND IS asking for trouble and failures. Failures of the sort you love to post about, in the alarming format: "The last ditch cooling pump failed yesterday." while failing to acknowledge that the three pumps it was "covering" were performing flawlessly.

Too many redundant systems results in problems like the tritium leaks from lost/forgotten pipework in Vermont.

If by inadequate, you mean fails to cover every single possible imaginable scenario, then that argument can of course always be made. If however, you mean there are credible and appreciably likely high risk failure modes not adequately addressed, then I say you are wrong.

Even the most inherently unsafe designs (uncontained, graphite moderated piles) perform reasonably adequately UNLESS a deliberate effort is made to cause the reactor to fail.

More recent designs accept the possibility of a runaway reactor core and arrange to have it "Deconstruct" itself in a controlled and fully contained manner. Much more simple safety systems and operational protocols for day to day operation and specially designed in "weak points" that cause the reactor core to come apart safely in the event that all control is ever lost.

"Always have fatal flaws" Now that's a massive overgeneralisation. A fatal flaw in my lexicon would be one caused by an incorect understanding of the science involved. AFAIK the vast majority of what you refer to as "flaws" are far better characterised as engineering hurdles. We know what's required and we know that it is physically possible to achieve those requirements. It's the how (to do it cheaply enough) that eludes us.

Yes. I do expect you to allow me the luxury of future developments. The same demand is made often enough on behalf of solar cells, batteries, and other green technologies and I reasonably allow them. The basic shape of development is discipline independant. Just as you can point to a curve graphing the improvement of photovoltaic devices, I can apply a similar curve to the known sciences of transmutation, glassification and isotopic separation and project: that it will be possible to transmute longlived waste; that shortlived waste can be adequately sequestered away from the environment until it no longer presents a danger.

A cycle of objection, delays, shifting goalposts and ever increasing costs seems like a reasonable enough explanation for the abandoned projects. You speak of government support as if it were coming from all corners and not the true situation that sees different levels of government and different govt. departments at complete cross purposes. A local authority legislates for a recent improvement to a safety system and the whole project stalls while the "modified" design in reapproved.

And what else is new? They just want what the banks got. Free money.

Offer them their 100 billion dollars of immediate accident coverage at an ongoing cost of y percent of revenue per annum. Make the fine for non payment one (1) operational nuclear power plant. Reward low incident rates with lower premiums. Offer them exactly what they ask for, simply insist they pay a fair market price.

If we were able to abandon pressurised light water reactors in favour of "inherrently safe" designs, worst case scenarios contaminate only the reactor site itself. There is no need to provide Chernobyl level coverage if such incidents can't occur. Cleanup costs also would be within the industry's financial reach.

I'm not saying I or nuclear power have all the answers. I'm saying the questions aren't unanswerable. And I'm saying that if properly tamed and with a properly managed waste stream, nuclear power (as part of a larger hyrid system) ticks the largest number of boxes when it comes to meeting the baseload needs for a post greenhouse world.
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