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Thirty years ago, Americans stood in shock watching unfold what had been officially deemed by federal officials as "incredible"—a major accident at a nuclear power reactor. Americans watched their fellow citizens flee their homes and businesses in panic, watched as regulators and utility employees tried to address the accident, watched and tried to understand why poisonous radiation was being released into the atmosphere when they had been told such an outcome was impossible.

The accident at Three Mile Island was a watershed moment in American history. It is perhaps difficult for people who did not live through it to understand just how momentous the event was. People throughout the country realized their government had been lying to them: that nuclear reactors could in fact—just like the movies said—cause severe disruption and possibly destruction across large parts of our country; and, just as many Americans feel today about the breakdown in regulation that is in no small part responsible for our economic crash, that the regulatory system they had counted upon to protect them had failed.

Thirty years after Three Mile Island, unfortunately, not much has changed. Indeed, the regulatory system intended to protect Americans from the inherent dangers of nuclear power has become more lax and complacent than ever. A very brief aggressive period of regulation immediately following the accident, which brought about a Three Mile Island Action Plan that resulted in numerous improvements to nuclear reactors, has long since been replaced by an attitude that not only allows, but encourages a regime of self-regulation by the nuclear industry; that is sluggish to respond to demonstrated safety issues; that is encouraging licensing of new reactors at the expense of meaningful safety reviews and public participation; and that will, inevitably, lead to another Three Mile Island—or much worse..

This laxness and complacency on the part of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) manifests itself in a myriad of ways, each disturbing on its own: together they are potentially catastrophic. Aging reactors are subject to cursory oversight and inspection even while the NRC expends great resources on efforts to prevent public and governmental participation in nuclear reactor license extension proceedings. Major safety issues, such as fire protection at reactors, are allowed to fester and remain unresolved for years—even decades--as the nuclear industry searches for ways to reduce regulatory requirements and meet remaining requirements in the cheapest manner possible, regardless of public safety concerns. Basic security issues, such as providing adequate protection against potential terrorist attacks or sabotage are given short shrift by the NRC, even while the agency ignores existing laws such as that requiring distribution of potassium iodide as a precautionary measure for people living near nuclear reactors.

Rather than thoroughly evaluating new reactor designs, as envisioned by Congress when it enacted 1992 legislation establishing a new reactor licensing process encouraging the use of standardized, pre-certified reactor designs, the NRC is bowing to nuclear industry pressure and attempting to approve reactor designs at the same time it is attempting to approve Construction/Operating Licenses (COLs) for new reactors using those as-yet unapproved designs. The result is insufficient evaluation of reactor designs, inadequate understanding of how designs interact with specific proposed reactor sites, substantial difficulty for the public and governmental agencies to effectively participate in the reactor licensing process, and ultimately, a licensing process that will not meet NRC or utility goals of predictability and certainty, nor Congressional goals of improved reactor safety. Instead, we have a process that will likely result in reduced safety, less certainty for utilities, and, in most cases, are likely to be finally decided in federal courts rather than NRC administrative processes.

From a public participation perspective, NRC actions over the past two decades have only made meaningful public involvement—including that of state and local governments—close to impossible. Yet these restraints are not resulting in a commensurate increase in safety margins. Indeed, the opposite is the case. We recognize that there is a substantial minority in Congress who believe there should essentially be no public participation in reactor licensing or re-licensing proceedings. We reject this notion categorically. Public participation has never resulted—in the entire history of the Atomic Age—in the rejection of a single license application for a new reactor. But effective public participation has played a major role in exposing and correcting major safety defects at nuclear plants and is continuing to do so—despite enormous obstacles—at exposing safety deficiencies in the licensing and re-licensing of nuclear reactors, as demonstrated vividly at Oyster Creek, New Jersey, for example.

Organizations currently intervening in NRC licensing and license extension proceedings represent millions of Americans concerned about nuclear power issues. We are on the front lines: spending a great deal of time, money and effort to improve nuclear safety, to challenge what are too often mere assertions in utility license applications, attempting to improve the NRC’s regulatory approach. We are frustrated with decades of NRC indifference and hostility toward even modest efforts to improve nuclear safety and regulatory transparency.

Some initial recommendations for reform are pretty easy:

President Obama should:
*quickly appoint a new chair of the NRC
*quickly appoint qualified individuals with a commitment to public safety and public participation to open seats on the NRC

Congress should:
*initiate oversight hearings on the licensing process for new nuclear reactors. Is the NRC’s Part 52 licensing process working the way Congress intended? Should reactors be licensed before reactor designs are completed and/or certified?
*initiate oversight hearings on the license extension process for existing reactors. Is it really good public policy, for example, to deny a hearing on every issue that might be generic—i.e. apply to more than one reactor—just because it may be generic? Doesn’t that mean the issue is never considered anywhere?

Some other recommendations have wide support in the intervenor community:

  1. NRC pre-emption of local and state jurisdiction should end;
  1. The NRC’s Waste Confidence Rule is outrageous and unscientific and should be revoked;
  1. "Reference man" must be retired as a radiation protection standard and replaced with standards that are protective of the most vulnerable victims of exposure (Reference Embryo);
  1. The Price Anderson Act is no longer necessary. Nuclear reactor licensees should pay for their own liability insurance up front, just like citizens and other businesses have to;
  1. A Citizen Advocate should be seated on the NRC.

Thirty years after Three Mile Island, 35 years since the NRC was formed to break up the perceived nuclear industry influence of the Atomic Energy Commission, we find ourselves having come full circle. Like the AEC before it, the NRC has become the captive of the industry it was created to regulate. The system is broken, it must be repaired.

Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Takoma Park, MD
Public Citizen, Washington, DC
Beyond Nuclear, Takoma Park, MD
Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes, Monroe, MI  
Don't Waste Michigan, Holland, MI
Citizens' Resistance at Fermi Two, Monroe, MI
South Carolina Chapter, Sierra Club, Columbia, SC
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, San Luis Obispo, CA
Grandmothers, Mothers and More for Energy Safety (GRAMMES), Normandy Beach, NJ
Citizens Awareness Network, Syracuse, NY
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Glendale Springs, NC
Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, Austin, TX
NC Waste Awareness & Reduction Network, Chapel Hill, NC
No Nukes Pennsylvania, Wilkes Barre, PA
PHASE (Public Health and Sustainable Energy), Spring Valley, NY
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Poughkeepsie, NY
Susan Zimet, Ulster County Legislator, Nepals, NY

End note: you can hear a great radio program (Voices from Three Mile Island) first aired on 65 public radio stations on TMI’s 1st anniversary, plus watch the original CBS News with Walter Cronkite reporting on the accident, and read March 24, 2009 Congressional testimony by Peter Bradford, who was an NRC Commissioner during TMI, by going here: http://www.nirs.org/...

And you can find lots of information on the accident and its 30-year aftermath at Three Mile Island Alert’s website at http://www.tmia.com

Originally posted to nirsnet on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We need nuclear energy (6+ / 0-)

    if we really want to reduce carbon emissions.

    •  We Need Nuclear Energy? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey, allenjo

      Like we need more collateralized debt obligations.

    •  we absolutely don't need nuclear energy (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnnygunn, bobnbob, Joy Busey, pixxer, allenjo

      ...to reduce carbon emissions. Go to www.ieer.org and download Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy.

      Or go to the NIRS website, www.nirs.org, and look at some of the studies posted there (start with the latest one by German Space Agency, which also believes a nuclear-free, carbon-free future in the U.S.is not only attainable, but necessary.

      In fact, by diverting the resources necessary to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, nuclear power would worsen climate, not improve it.

      By the way, while the reactors themselves are very low carbon (except for a little radioactive carbon...), the nuclear fuel chain that supplies the nukes is not carbon-free. Nuclear is a low-carbon energy source, not a carbon-free source, and is responsible for much more emissions than renewables.

    •  If the country had had a clue and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey, TomFromNJ

      switched from light water reactors early on (to a technology with a negative temperature coefficient, for example), perhaps we would have a relatively safe set of reactors by now. OTOH, the reactor itself is only one part of a long chain of fuel transactions, starting with mining, ending, possibly, with reprocessing (and theft?), each of which has its own dangers.

      The idea that we "need" nuclear energy may be based on a failure to imagine just how much conservational technologies can do (i.e. cogeneration, recapture and reuse of lost energy).

      The law in its infinite majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.
      - Anatole France

      by pixxer on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:22:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joffan, Mcrab

        If the country had had a clue and switched from light water reactors early on (to a technology with a negative temperature coefficient, for example)

        Light water reactors do have a negative temperature coefficient.

        The water heats up, it becomes less dense, the amount of moderation decreases, and the reactivity goes down. Voila! Negative temperature coefficient.

        It is interesting to observe that the quality of the anti-nuclear posts on DailyKos has not been allowed to suffer, even in economic hard times such as these. When it comes to providing the most scientifically illiterate nonsense per word of text, the anti-nuclear folks here are unrivaled. In some strange way, I suppose that this site should be proud for exhibiting such rare and exceptional talent for getting things wrong. (But I suppose that they get help from the pros, like the folks who work for NIRS.)

        Speaking of getting things wrong, I see that that perpetual idiot Joy Busey has recommended this erroneous comment, further demonstrating her complete ignorance of anything scientific and her complete misunderstanding of anything nuclear.

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:25:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you'd be searching for other means (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey

      if you lived near TMI 30 years ago.  I did, and I am.

      One error, one accident, one tiny mistake = catastrophe for generations.

  •  TMI was worse than we thought. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pixxer

    Coal is worse than most of us think. Which one is worser (not a word, but useful)? Let's go with the less worst, this is what choice is about. Of course, there might be a least worst, but it is not now available and will not be anytime soon.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:30:13 AM PDT

    •  Umm, which one is worse . . . . (4+ / 0-)

      Coal kills 30,000 Americans *each* year . . .

      Commercial nuclear power killed a few hundred uranium miners a few decades ago . . . .

      Ugh, I give up, my head hurts, there's no way to figure out the math . . .

      •  here's your aspirin (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnnygunn, bobnbob, Joy Busey

        uranium miners are still being killed--since we're still mining uranium...

        World Health Organization estimates 9,000 deaths from Chernobyl; independent estimates are 30-90,000.

        Dr. Steve Wing of University of North Carolina makes a convincing case people died at Three Mile Island. His latest work will be posted on the Three Mile Island Alert website today or tomorrow (www.tmia.org).

        And, finally, the choice isn't nuclear v. coal--fortunately! Esp. since we're against coal as well.

        The choice is nukes vs. renewables. As Electricite de France is now arguing in the UK, you can't have both...EDF has told UK to cut back its wind power installations, otherwise EDF can't build new nukes....that's the real choice folks, and that's an easy one.....

        •  No, the problem with the uranium mines has (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joffan, Mcrab, rickrocket

          been fixed - the problem was a lack of ventilation, which led to a build up of radon gas ( just like in my basement!) that killed the workers.

          That problem was fixed in the 80s.

          •  Not only that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joffan, Mcrab, rickrocket

            If you look at photos of miners back in the day, you'll usually find several items in common on their persons:

            Helmets
            Lights
            Cigarettes sticking out of their mouths

            Smoking + Radon + inhaled heavy metal dust = Not Very Healthy

            It's not just the radon, but dust control is taken very seriously as well.

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

            Strangely enough, I happened to be out in NM shortly after TMI melted. When a tailings dam at a mining concern near Gallup failed and deposited uranium salts up to 3 inches thick on the banks of a river the locals used for drinking and stock and irrigation water - it was Indian land, so of course there was no intervention or cleanup. A little uranium never hurt anyone, and Injuns don't count, right?

            Same time period when Los Alamos was ordered to shut down their linear accelerator because they refused to stop blasting commuters on the highway beyond the target zone during rush hour every day...

            Radon in your basement? Did you ask them if they made that concrete out of uranium tailings? Seems to have been quite the popular material, just behind fly ash...

            •  Radon comes from soil (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joffan, bryfry

              If you live in SF or Denver, you are exposed to tons of radon, for instance.

              •  and? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy Busey

                and what's the point? we should add to radiation exposure we can't avoid with radiation exposure we can avoid?

                Especially when the carbon-free, nuclear-free alternatives are there and ready to go?

                Why on earth would we do that?

              •  And uranium, and granite, and... (0+ / 0-)

                ...coal fly ash, and some kinds of brick and cement, and...

                Radon's a decay product of certain elements. I d on't live in SF or Denver, nor am I too concerned about the background I am getting from the in situ rocks. 'Normal' releases of radioactive contaminants from nuclear facilities should concern everyone downwind. And ultimately, we are all downwind.

                •  Posts like that one is why it is difficult to (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bryfry, Mcrab

                  take the anti-nuclear power folk seriously.

                  From the EPA radiation calculator you can calulate your annual exposure to  radiation.

                  For most Americans, it is about 300 mREM.  Of that 0.009 mREM results from living in the vicinity of a nuclear power plant (much less than a coal fired plant, btw).  

                  So puzzle me this - why are you so scared of the one part out of 33,333 parts of radiation that you are exposed to the comes from the nuclear power plant?  Your body can't tell the difference . . .

          •  Been to Niger Lately? (0+ / 0-)

            France's lovely, perfect nuclear program is based upon exploitation of uranium resources and people in Niger and keeping a compliant neocolonialist government in place.  It seems that the Tuareg people aren't exactly thrilled with France's uranium mining.

            •  And how is that different than diamond mining (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joffan

              in Africa?

              Really, you seem to be conflating a couple of vastly different issues here - worker exploitation and energy policy . . . .

              Would it be OK if we just go ahead and buy all our uranium from Saskatchewan?

            •  Yes, I have been,And my brother just came back (0+ / 0-)

              from Niger. On a stint for the German YMCA to train local craftsmen. Obviously you haven't been there.
              The people who get well paying jobs there are considered very lucky. It keeps them from dieing of hunger and disease otherwise in the streets.
              Stop pushing BS about something you obviously know nothing about.
              The Tuareg people BTW do NOT work in the mines. They still live as nomads in the desert and move with their livestock from Oasis to Oasis.

        •  there are no reactors (4+ / 0-)

          in the US that are anywhere close to the design of Chernobyl, nor could there ever be.  Not a valid point of argument.

          "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

          by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:09:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, valid argument (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joy Busey
            1. nuclear power is a worldwide issue, not just U.S. And so is DailyKos. So indeed, Chernobyl is relevant.
            1. true, Chernobyl reactor design is different than U.S. designs. Also true that Soviet engineers were convinced it was absolutely safe, just like U.S. engineers are convinced their designs are safe. Chernobyl proved the Soviet engineers wrong; TMI proved the U.S. engineers wrong.

            Reactors are built and run by people. They are not infallible machines and neither are people.

            There is also the potential for accidents, radiation release and catastrophe. Fortunately, it's a small potential, but it does exist. The potential for catastrophe does not exist with wind turbines, photovoltaics, solar thermal power plants, etc.....

            •  OK (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, bryfry, Mcrab

              so by your argument, cars are run by people and people are killed in car accidents every day, so we should stop building cars.

              You obviously have no idea what actually happened at TMI.  It was not an engineering problem or a concept problem.  We know that our reactors are inherently dangerous.  That is how we train.  Nothing can be engineered into complete safety.

              Read about what happened at Chernobyl.  Pay attention not only to the mechanics of what happened, which were unbelievable in their own right, but how the culture of their operations allowed them to cast aside all of their safety instincts.  

              At the risk of sounding condescending, and I am sorry if this comes out that way, I really think you are protesting something you really do not understand fully.

              "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

              by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:19:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes you are condescending (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy Busey

                and yes you are wrong. The common thread in TMI and Chernobyl (and Browns Ferry fire, and really Davis-Besse hole in the reactor vessel, and every other reactor mishap in the world) is human error.

                Error in building the plant, error in operating the plant.

                Humans make mistakes. Nuclear power is not a particularly forgiving technology--certainly mistakes at nuclear reactors have the potential for much graver consequences than mistakes at a wind farm....

                Yes, Chernobyl was caused by stupidity in large part--bad design, dumb operator decisions, I'd argue dumb social system....but that doesn't negate the fact that we do some pretty dumb things over here from time to time as well....

                And I understand this stuff pretty well....

                •  Apparently, as a technology, nuclear (0+ / 0-)

                  is a lot more forgiving than, say, what the food industry uses:

                  We estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Known pathogens account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths.

                  (source)

                  Are you going to write to President Obama to tell him that we should outlaw public restaurants, or that we should replace and restructure the Food and Drug Administration too?!

                  These food-related deaths happen every year. You have to reach back 23 years to find a noteworthy nuclear event that compares with this and you have to reach 30 years now to find a noteworthy event in the US, and even that event has cost no lives ... certainly not 5000.

                  An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
                  -- H. L. Mencken

                  by bryfry on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:49:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  um.... you fail to remember that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy Busey

                a couple of days went by BEFORE the people in the area were notified of the danger at TMI

                folks were still trying to figure out what happened, what to do and tried to make it early on - not a "crisis"

                A lot of my friends, who happened to be at sporting events in the vicinity have grown to have a wide variety of diseases - others in their family do not.  The rates of disease and early deaths in that area is staggering, and everyone of us(girls) have always told our OBGYN where we are from.  

        •  Will you respond to my comment this time NIRS? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joffan

          The choice is nukes vs. renewables. As Electricite de France is now arguing in the UK, you can't have both...

          Do you mean this Electricitè de France?

          As I said earlier, NIRS can't even lie worth a damn!

          An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
          -- H. L. Mencken

          by bryfry on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:31:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This argument is like the one Creationists make. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy Busey

        "Evolution has problems, therefore Creation is necessarily correct."

        "Coal has problems, therefore nuclear is a necessity."

        Couldn't we possibly be missing the fact that there are more than two alternatives, and that this is a false choice? For example, freeing up electricity by using direct solar for some current wasteful uses of electricity: heat, or pre-heat, household water using direct solar power, to minimize (gas or) electric water heating.

        The law in its infinite majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.
        - Anatole France

        by pixxer on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:27:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, I've always said that we should entirely (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bryfry, pixxer

          cover NJ with solar panels - which when the sun is shining would pretty much provide the entire country with adequate electricity - I have no idea, however, why no one has actually carried this out. . ..

          •  Note that I made no mention of solar electricity. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joy Busey

            The point is to REPLACE idiotic uses of electricity by better means, To minimize the necessity of generating it. Electricity is probably the least effective use of solar power (a guess, not a fact). But people obsess about it b/c they can't conceive of more sensible ways of doing things like heating water. {{sigh}}

            The law in its infinite majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.
            - Anatole France

            by pixxer on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:35:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The nuclear lobby has clearly... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pixxer

          ...determined to pit itself against coal primarily in order to frame the debate as an either-or situation (even though it's not). Sure, they'll dismiss all other alternatives - especially renewables - out of hand, but their whole model is highly concentrated energy production in opposition to diversification and decentralization.

          Because if nukes are to have a future, they will need at least 150% of all the money in the world earmarked for energy R&D and implementation, being all told the most outrageously expensive form of energy humans ever invented.

  •  Ramming the New Nukes - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy Busey

    Down our throats -
    Is part of the agenda of the nuclear industry and its public relations outlets.  Unfortunately, too many people involved in climate change issues have bought the carp - hook, line, and sinker.

  •  Thanks for this diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnnygunn

    The pretense that our choices boil down to nukes or coal is monumental sleight of mind and must be dispelled if we are ever to move forward.

    We have an opportunity to move in a different direction, we should take it. Diversification of our generation sources and supply is required. All technologies so expensive or so concentrated or demonstrated to rely upon lies, coverups and official protection rackets should be taken off the table immediately.

    The nuclear industry - top to bottom, in and out of government - has demonstrated itself to be most primarily a criminal enterprise with serious ramifications extending 10,000 years into the murky future. We shouldn't even be talking about "nuclear renaissance."

  •  zzzzzzz (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, bryfry, Mcrab

    Where do you get all of this information?  It amazes me how people get all of this official sounding information that is mostly nonsense.  Licensing for new reactors is a ridiculously tedious and thorough process.  My plant is probably going to be issued the first new license for construction in over thirty years.  The interface with the public has been continuous since the licensing process has started. The design and supply chain for parts for the new reactors are proven and tested (in Japan) for over 10 years of operation.  The licensing process takes about 4 years to complete, and that is only because we have been very prepared to go through the process.  If the NRC and INPO were the regulatory agencies for any other industrial business, and those businesses were held to the safety and operational scrutiny that we are, every plant would be shut down pending upgrade.  Commercial nuclear power is the safest and most regulated industrial environment in the world.  I would challenge any company to meet our standards and our safety culture.  

    Three Mile Island was the turning point for safety in commercial nuclear power in the United States.  Our processes, equipment, and training were radically upgraded due to the lessons we learned from that incident.  I ask my students what other industry can have a complete failure of a plant system, with the worst possible scenario, and have no injuries or deaths.  There was not any environmental impact, like the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Are you protesting against the use of oil tankers?

    The fear of commercial nuclear power is a fear based on a fallacy that we just license and operate our plants by the seat of our pants.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

    by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:07:40 AM PDT

    •  Unless the whole and accurate truth... (0+ / 0-)

      ...about what happened at TMI has been told, fully analyzed and translated into real regulations with meat on their bones, nothing has changed. What specific new features and regulations were applied to address the issue of core/fuel failure and scram failure? What new procedures are in place to ensure evacuation based on highest estimates of releases rather than lowest? Who holds the insurance to pay out for devaluation of real estate, health effects decades down the line, and lost business in the event of accident or future 'dead zone'? Is it AIG? What are the new rules of evidence that allow claims for cancer, genetic anomalies and other effects when utilities/NRC cover up or won't admit to releases?

      •  OK (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry, Mcrab

        Your first question doesn't really make sense.  Fuel failure and scram failure weren't even the problems at TMI.  Instrumentation and operations culture were the problems.  And since when are release evacuations based on the lowest estimates?  I participate in several E-Plan drills every year, and it would be news to me if that were the case.  The catastrophic accident that you are predicting cannot possibly  happen in the reactor designs that are approved in the US.  Three Mile Island is proof of that.   Who holds the insurance for the rest of the power plants in the United States, which are far more of a risk to the public?

        I am not trying to be unduly argumentative, or state that the nuclear industry is perfect by any means.  However, the point I am trying to get across is that the fear of anything nuclear is unfounded and that fear is perpetuated by sensationalism such as talking about "dead zones" and accidents that can't possibly happen.  

        "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

        by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:10:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, that's a nasty can of worms Ollie... (0+ / 0-)

          ...but the truth isn't what you've been told. THAT is my problem, since if a conscientious pro-nuke like you doesn't know what really happened at TMI, how can anybody trust that things are hunky-dory all these years later?

          FYI, the NRC [via Lake Barrett] arbitrarily chose a release figure (despite knowing exactly zip about accident releases) a full million curies BELOW the low end of the actual range estimate [13m instead of 14m cs133], and a full 20 million curies below the high end estimate of 34m, then looked at percentages of total core inventory released [per Bettis on RCS sample 3-30-79] for cs vs. iodine [52% cs, 48% iodine] and claimed less than 1.5 curies of iodine got released. The Hershey chocolate company, btw, did its own monitoring. They found iodine in milk from farms 250 miles away.

          The catastrophic accident that you are predicting cannot possibly  happen in the reactor designs that are approved in the US.  Three Mile Island is proof of that.

          Bullshit. TMI proved it can indeed happen - and DID. Rod group 8, ringing the center of the core. At 27% when the accident began, at 27% 3 years later when they finally got a look at what was left of the core. Big boron injection pre-accident, 4 pounds of uranium (that's fuel, btw) clogging the secondary's demineralizer resin transfer line, before the accident. Where do you suppose that came from?

          If you don't know this, then you don't know what happened at TMI. If you don't know what happened at TMI, you can't assure anybody that everything is just fine, can you?

          •  Ah yes ... The truth is out there (0+ / 0-)

            isn't it Scully ... er ... Joy.

            An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
            -- H. L. Mencken

            by bryfry on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 07:56:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Rod group 8? (0+ / 0-)

            If I recall correctly, rod bank 8 contains axial power-shaping rods, which are short control rods used to control the vertical distribution of power in the core.

            This is not something that has any real impact on scramming the reactor.

            An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
            -- H. L. Mencken

            by bryfry on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:08:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  where do we get this information? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey

      If you'll look at the list of signers, we're the ones attempting to intervene in the licensing processes and participate before the NRC and state agencies. This is all based on first-hand knowledge....

      •  How's that working out for you? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry, Mcrab, rickrocket

        What's the score? On re-licensing, your score is ZERO.  EVERY re-licensing has gone ahead. Oh, yeah, you mean on the new builds? A long process, I don't think any actual NRC votes on new builds are actually scheduled until the end of 2010, correct?

        David

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:09:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  David (0+ / 0-)

          I knew I would hear from you on this topic.  Good to see you.  :)

          "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

          by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:10:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  if you'll read the post.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy Busey

          you'll see that the licensing process is not intended to stop new or existing reactors, it's intended to improve safety and regulation....We're not so naive as to think a process intended to approve something is going to end up denying it instead....

          No reactor has ever been stopped through the licensing process--but a lot of safety improvements have been made, including in license extensions, such as at Oyster Creek.

          This is a call for reform of the licensing process and of the nuclear regulatory system. But of course, if you'd actually read the post, you'd know that by now.

          •  That's always good then. By 'reform' I wonder (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mcrab

            what you mean. We have discussed on other forums better ways of making the whole procedure shorter but more safer for all stakeholders. There is a huge redundant discussions in these hearings on reactor models, for example, something that should be settled. Same with procedures, staffing and SNF. We believe we can get the whole thing down from the 3 1/2 to 4 years it takes now to 1 1/2 to 2 years.

            I think we need more regulation during the actual construction process but that's where I've focused more on in the last few years.

            Haven't you guys however, gone after RE-licensing?

            David

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:17:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  who's this we? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joy Busey

              "We" meaning the nuclear industry looking out for its own self-interest? And here I thought you were a disinterested blogger.....

              Probably the licensing process would be shorter if the utilities were better at providing information. But right now, the utilities are submitting applications to build new reactors using designs that have not been approved and in some cases barely even exist...that's not the way to a speedy licensing process.

              And even those designs that have been approved are a moving target: Westinghouse is now on its 17th revision of its AP 1000 reactor design, and an 18th revision is coming up....

              And yes, we are currently engaged in litigation at Oyster Creek's re-licensing, which has already resulted in some safety improvements--though nothing could make that ancient reactor safe enough....

              •  We are pro-nuclear activists and bloggers (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mcrab

                with no connection to "The Industry". I for nationalizing their butts anyway so they don't like me for that. But...

                Probably the licensing process would be shorter if the utilities were better at providing information. But right now, the utilities are submitting applications to build new reactors using designs that have not been approved and in some cases barely even exist...that's not the way to a speedy licensing process.

                The EPR has been submitted as has the APWR. But I don't see how this is a problem: why shouldn't they submit BOTH designs and new build apps? Why extend the process to make them run in series instead of parallel? The former makes it longer to get approval for a new build the latter makes it shorter (and cheaper).

                And even those designs that have been approved are a moving target: Westinghouse is now on its 17th revision of its AP 1000 reactor design, and an 18th revision is coming up....

                ...asked for by the NRC in everycase I know of.

                And yes, we are currently engaged in litigation at Oyster Creek's re-licensing, which has already resulted in some safety improvements--though nothing could make that ancient reactor safe enough....

                Excellent work then, if true. I'm sure it's safe as it hasn't done the repeat of TMI. Or created an area the size of Pennsylvania....

                David

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:48:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  first hand knowledge from whom? (0+ / 0-)

        are you getting your information from engineers or operators or anyone who really knows what they are talking about?

        "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

        by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:12:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  from whom? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobnbob, Joy Busey, rickrocket

          Why yes, we do get some information from engineers...

          though the concept that only engineers and operators know what they're talking about is part of the problem of the arrogance of the nuclear power industry.

          I've been working on nuclear power issues for 24+ years now, and know quite a bit about the subject. I've debated utility execs one-on-one, and usually know more than they do about their own reactors....

          And the groups signing on to this statement include dozens of people who have devoted decades, in some cases lifetimes, to nuclear issues.

          The public does have rights you know, and the public is often way ahead of engineers and reactor operators and utility suits as well....

          •  i will even rec your comment (0+ / 0-)

            because I agree with you.  The public has a right to know what is being built in their backyards, provided that the information is true and honest from all directions.  

            I have worked in nuclear power for over 20 years and I have seen a lot of ideas and trends come and go.  One thing I have never seen is the intentional compromise of safety, integrity, or genuine concern for the workers of the plant and their families and community nearby.

            Your voice is welcome, and your scrutiny is welcome also.  Please continue to keep us honest, just make sure your perspective remains objective.

            "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

            by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:35:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  maybe not objective, but certainly honest (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobnbob, rickrocket

              I'm not sure I can call us objective, but yes, we are honest. And the NRC licensing boards certainly don't let us get away with putting in anything dishonest, irrelevant, or frivolous!

              Right now the pendulum has swung too far, and it's very, very difficult (and very expensive) for the public to participate in licensing hearings--that's one of our main complaints.

              But I'll also agree with something you said: I have not seen an intentional compromise of safety, etc. from reactor operators either. They're just like the rest of us--good people, for the most part.

              Human error isn't intentional, but it happens; designing around it for a nuclear reactor is an awfully big job. It works most of the time; it's the few times it doesn't work that are the problem....

              •  good (0+ / 0-)

                I'm glad we could have some good debate.  The public was and continues to be a huge part of the licensing process here at my plant.  I would hope that it is the same in other locations.

                "If you are going to dance with the Devil, you might as well lead."

                by rickrocket on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:59:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  TMI is the subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mcrab

    of this diary but we of course discuss the implications. To wit:

    There has been only one TMI incident (lots of smaller ones, for sure). But since TMI, unit 1 has been functioning fine with no partial meltdowns. Nor for any other of the worlds LWRs (or HWRs). It is also true that if the US didn't built the 105 operating nuclear plants, at last half the GWhrs produced would of been produced by coal.

    The big thing I like about Dr. Hansen and Dr. Chu and an avalanche of scientists is they recognize coal specifically and fossil fuel use in general  as the problem. This is why more and more scientists and others, including the population at large see nuclear as at least part of the solution. They know nuclear CAN phase out and shutdown coal.

    None of the 'grand plans' to get rid of nuclear and coal have or are close to being even seriously proposed. What is proposed is renewables and MORE fossil. Every ACTUAL plan being implemented that decreases or phases out nuclear phases in coal and nat. gas. The RMI's plan does this. The West German plan...you know...the one that IS being implemented, has them building more coal plants.

    We know that nuclear is and has been safe and that's far more preferable to coal. This is why the world is increasing it's use of nuclear.

    I expect, politically, that we will see massive increases in both nuclear, coal, natural gas (especially this) as well as so-called 'renewables' like solar and wind.  If you step back and look at what IS being planned (as opposed to speculation) you will see that all forms of generation are occurring. And nothing it stopping it (well, some coal has been stopped, which is a good thing).

    David

    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

    by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:32:01 AM PDT

    •  We agree to a point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey

      We agree on fossil fuels. They need to go. The issue is not nukes vs. coal.

      As I noted in a comment above, diverting our resources to nuclear power will prevent adequate resources from going to the truly clean and safe technologies--renewables and energy efficiency--that can both provide our electricity needs and address climate.

      That's the point.

      No Nukes, No Coal, No Kidding!

      •  Nirsent, renewables can't get rid of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry, Mcrab

        baseload fossil. This is why no country, even those wacky wind loving Danes are not planning it. This is why this debate tends to be circular. Ideally from a compromise and actual grid level engineering point of view, nuclear is the only thing that can handle the baseload and back up renewables, renewables can do some/most of mid-range and peak loads, maybe.

        Every "renewable" plan everywhere, uses coal or gas back up. You have to ASK why this is?

        This is why in Germany THEIR renewable industry asked that nuclear be shut down because it can't complete with cheap German nuclear. It wants a non-competitive advantage.

        David

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 09:14:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  go read CFNF (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy Busey

          David, just go read Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (for those who have missed my earlier posts, the url is www.ieer.org).

          And then come back with some specific counterpoints.

          Don't tell me something can't be done when it absolutely can be done, and if we want our children to actually be able to live on this planet in a few decades, it had better be done....

          •  It's a utopian fantasy at best. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bryfry, Mcrab

            His table 1 shows continued use of natural gas for example, as I noted above. So that's a huge flaw right there (an not just because of it's CO2/particulate, but because he doesn't adjust at all for any price fluctuation, which as to be ADDED to the cost of his plan).

            He comes up with figures like this:

            "An investment in efficiency (including geothermal heat pumps), combined heat and power, and solar hot water
            heaters of $15 to $20 per square foot overall is estimated. These figures are part of the Reference Scenario
            developed in Makhijani 2008."

            So...for a 1500 sq ft home like mine I'm out $25,000? No thanks.

            Secondly, it implies universal adherence and laws for everyone to do this, not just the yuppie-few who can afford this. BTW...the ideas are good but not applicable even in the majority of cases. And, the Solar PV doubles this price, easily.

            Thirdly, he assumes, incorrectly, that most energy use is residential. It's not. Energy use by homes and apartments is about 20% across the US of all energy use (electricity and heating). Doesn't address industry and commercial uses.

            On nuclear energy he sets up a fake dictotomy between going all out for his plan and accepting the status quo for nucelar:

            "Industry estimates put the number of reactors that can be built at 4 to 8 in the next ten years. Assuming six reactors and a total installed capacity of about 8,000 megawatts
            becoming available between 2016 and 2019, the total expected cumulative generation from new nuclear power plants in the next decade would be on the order of 130 billion kWh. This amount cannot be increased significantly for a variety of reasons, including limited industrial capacity, lack of sufficient trained manpower, and the need to scrutinize new designs that are either not certified or
            certified designs that are being modified."

            Really? So...he's asking for a huge sea change in EVERYTHING for his fantasy but not for nuclear? We can do EXACTLY the same thing with nuclear, stream line approval (approve the designs, PLAN for 50 GWs a year, FINANCE it, etc), if the will is there and that is the 'plan'. Same method. But he doesn't do this.

            By contrast, 7,500 megawatts of wind capacity, the equivalent of about two large new nuclear reactors
            of about 1,300 MW each,19 were added in 2007.

            Of course this almost amounts to an outright LIE, expecting no one to think that 'capacity' is the same for wind as nuclear. If you multiply the wind capacity by FOUR (and it's expense) then you get closer to the truth.

            Concentrating solar thermal power and solar PV are much smaller industries than wind today, but they are growing rapidly and their costs are coming down. Generating ten times as much electricity cumulatively from new wind and solar installations during the next ten years is well within the achievable range.

            Well, prices took a bump, now, didn't they? Same pressures as there is with wind and nuclear. and of course EVERY KW of solar needs backup (in real world, 'storage' in his fantasy world).

            Efficiency and smart grid elements can greatly increase the reduction of emissions.

            Two different things. There is no smart grid, it's increasing incrementally and, of course, with nuclear it becomes less important because there can be an abundance of power.

            Over the next decade an emphasis on nuclear would result in hundreds of millions of metric tons of additional CO2 emissions compared to going ahead with efficiency and renewables. The additional emissions due to the deficit of low CO2 sources in the nuclear case would continue for many years after the first decade, since the low CO2 generation gap would persist for some time.

            Oh stop. This is so silly. If we build what is planned for, and expand it, triple and quadruple the "plan", since we are talking "plan vs plan", then it's the opposite, isn't it? He's comparing his fantasy, 'would of/could of/should of' to the delays, lack of financing, industry stupidity and gov't largess as if thats all there could be to what we NEED. His "plan" vs, say, my "plan", which is the Chinese plan and then some.

            By the way, his much vaunted efficiency, listening to his buddy, Lovins, is why this "plan" doesn't take into effect actual growth of load and why California ended up the way did by consciously NOT building power plants and relying on conservation. It worked. And then we saw prices sky rocket and more and more power imported, NIMBY like, from outside the state.

            The common assumption that nuclear energy is needed to address CO2 issues arises partly from a theoretical notion about the role of baseload power in future electricity systems. This notion is misplaced; it does not take into account available technology in efficiency and storage. Neither does it consider the advances in electronics and information technology that allow smart grids to be
            implemented. Moreover advocates of a large role for nuclear energy have not put forth a comparative CO2 reduction schedule that would demonstrate the compatibility of that approach with the urgent imperatives CO2 emissions reduction for climate protection.

            Wrong. There is no storage systems that are available now. Which is why they are not being built but only in small scale, expensive experiments at some solar thermal (none for PV of course, or wind). "Available" my ass. He doesn't even have costs for his "storage". Doesn't exist. Stupid, stupid man. Every nuclear plant equals a MW-per-MW reduction in CO2. You don't need a spread sheet to see this. Build a nuke, shutdown a coal plant. And it is that simple.

            His plan is a typical 'advocates' plan, as is the Germans' "plan" (everyone of them are anti-nuclear supporters and probably tied into the German natural gas (Russian) GASPROM flanking maneuver than got the nuclear phaseout started in 2000 anyway. That's speculation on my part only).

            Nirsnet, if we do "plans" we do them. Back to back. But simply to counterpoise what we are doing now to what we should be doing with only ONE choice is a bad way to go. What we should do is to put forward different plans and compare them. This is why I say "just build 'em" when it comes to nuclear. Renewables, like the IEER plan means more fossil. Nuclear means ending fossil.

            David

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 10:22:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  glad you looked at it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joy Busey

              I'm glad you at least looked at the book. And I've got to get back to work now, let's have a larger debate on CFNF later--I'll do a posting on that so the debate can begin in earnest.

              But just a couple points:

                 

              By contrast, 7,500 megawatts of wind capacity, the equivalent of about two large new nuclear reactors
                 of about 1,300 MW each,19 were added in 2007.

              Of course this almost amounts to an outright LIE, expecting no one to think that 'capacity' is the same for wind as nuclear. If you multiply the wind capacity by FOUR (and it's expense) then you get closer to the truth.

              David, add it up: Two reactors at 1300 MW each = 2600 MW. He's saying that 7500 MW of wind equals 2600 MW of nuclear. I think you're pretty close to agreeing here. He's multiplying by 3 instead of 4, but c'mon, that's defensible--hardly an "outright LIE"....

              And, as I've said before and you ignore, nuclear power is NOT carbon-free, so it is not a MW-per-MW reduction in CO2. It's less than that. No way around it. And the carbon reductions are greater for renewables and efficiency. No way around that either.

              And wind turbines and solar plants and PVs don't routinely release radiation (one of the few absolutely proven carcinogens, btw, according to National Academy of Sciences) in normal operation the way reactors do.

              I think you should tone down the rhetoric and stop accusing people who disagree with you of lying. You'd have a better chance of winning an argument...

              •  You are right, I missed it. (0+ / 0-)

                Agreed, we can re-discuss it in another diary or venue. Good give and take between us, for once :)

                David

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:00:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  OK, on one thing (0+ / 0-)

                "And, as I've said before and you ignore, nuclear power is NOT carbon-free, so it is not a MW-per-MW reduction in CO2. It's less than that. No way around it. And the carbon reductions are greater for renewables and efficiency. No way around that either."

                Well, the life-cycle carbon release of wind, solar and nuclear are statistically irrelevant. This is why Dr. Hansen points out that nuclear represents "70% of our carbon-FREE generation". Not exact but good enough for horseshoes.

                Within the debate around carbon only renewables and nuclear can be considered "carbon-free".

                David

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Prices Wrong (0+ / 0-)

              Where I live, geothermal heat pumps have an additional cost of about $3 per square foot. The lifetime of the loop is indefinite.  There are credible people that believe the unit itself will last the life of the building (with a big saving on maintenance and replacement).

              And anyway, even if the cost was $25,000, if it pays for itself in adequate time compared to conventional power (which does not have environmental and social cost externalities built in), then why not do it?

              It make more sense than granite countertops or hot tubs to me.

    •  Gee. I recall many decades' worth... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of good money after bad down the black hole of fusion research, gigantic multi-armed super-lasers and superconducting supercoils and promising every year at budget time that THIS nuclear energy would finally make the ridiculous "clean, safe, too cheap to meter" claim real. Then they finally figured out Lyndon LaRouche was a complete basket case and quietly changed their tune. We'll be getting 'trons from cold fusion before we ever get sun-in-a-jar.

      Another opportunity the lastest greedhead cash-out gifts us with is the chance to turn from our economic dependence on gross overpopulation and forever-growth. If this planet cannot support 10 billion human beings, then it will not support 10 billion human beings. Reality has always been pretty harsh, but it is what it is. We may have to learn to live with it.

  •  The most catastrophic fallout from TMI is the (0+ / 0-)

    generation that we lost in studying and improving safety and reliability and reduction in costs of nuclear plant construction and operations.

    •  How'd that work out for you, pee dee? (0+ / 0-)

      When did the cost of nuclear come down? Remind us again of which power plants in the world came in on time and on budget, because that figure seems to have escaped me for the moment...

      Or is this another "privatize the profits, socialize the risks" deal? Let's see if that works out for economics before we claim it works for dumping radionuclides on innocent citizens, 'k?

      •  The last 2 ABWRs in Japan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mcrab

        came 'down' on budget and ahead of schedule. I believe the VVERs are also did they built in China. Cheap, actually. Under $2000 KW installed.

        D.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 11:04:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Nano is cheap too (0+ / 0-)

          but not licensable in the US, and neither is the VVER. You usually get what you pay for, in cars, nukes, and everything else in life....

          ok, back to work...

          •  Well true, neither is a CANDU (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mcrab

            but I was talking world wide. We can DO a lot if we adopt such a perspective. BTW...VVERs have good records so far, better maybe than the US current fleet of Gen II reactors. China just put a few online and at least 2 more will go in. A lot more CNR-1000s and AP1000s, but the Chinese do diversify.

            As it stands now, I see lots of everything going in but not enough to lower coal burning.

            David

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 01:21:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  IF the VVERs have a better record.... (0+ / 0-)

              than western reactors, we are all in very serious trouble.....

              I've been  to one of the old VVERs, in Bulgaria, which was running on Windows 95 btw--perhaps the scariest thing I've ever seen in a nuclear reactor! The newer VVERs are, of course, said to be better, but I sure as hell wouldn't live near one.....

              Did you know China is the only country in the world that has a cabinet-level Department of Renewable Energy?

              They realize their current approach is not sustainable, they're working madcap on ways to bring sustainability to their system.....I hope they succeed.

              •  Not surprising (0+ / 0-)

                Did you know China is the only country in the world that has a cabinet-level Department of Renewable Energy?

                Well, if I were a country that had a project as large as the Three Gorges Dam, I'd give the guy in charge of it a cabinet post too. Let's just hope than China can improve on its poor record of using renewable energy.

                And you're worried about nuclear?

                An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
                -- H. L. Mencken

                by bryfry on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 08:24:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Please read more carefully, JB (0+ / 0-)

        My point is that because we've not been building nuclear power plants for 30 years, we haven't exercised our nuclear technology resources (universities and industry) with sufficient vigor to reduce costs while assuring safety.  IMO, the next few nuclear power plants will incur extra costs and delays precisely because the last generation of builders is retiring before the next generation is trained.

  •  SHUT ALL NUKE PLANTS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy Busey

    the lie that no one died at TMI is horrific.   these victims are American citizens who deserve justice and have been denied it.  it's time for a national truth commission on the death toll from nuke power and for these people to have their day in court.  the "problem" is that such an event would doom the lunacy of the "renaissance" of building more of these radioactive disasters.  STOP NUCLEAR POWER!!!  it's time for Solartopia!!!

    •  Look who shows up, finally. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryfry, Mcrab

      You don't even comment on your OWN diaries here Harvey but you come to someone elses? You just got your butt handed to you on your own posting here and you act like a dear caught in headlights.

      You didn't offer proof anyone died. MORE NUCLEAR POWER, Harvey. MORE.

      David

      Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

      by davidwalters on Thu Mar 26, 2009 at 10:24:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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