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Forum Post: Want a small Nuclear plant in your backyard? I don't.

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 30, 2012, 1:21 a.m. EST by Shule (2638)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Should anybody out there want to take time out from major political issues, there is this one little issue that needs attention. Actually, its not exactly little. It involves some $500 mill dollars of the taxpayer's money, and quite possibly the future of our planet.

There are these bills (HR1808 and S512 I believe) about to go through Congress and the Senate right now to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to require the Secretary of Energy to carry out programs to develop and demonstrate 2 small modular nuclear reactor designs. The idea is to mass produce and place small reactors all around the country. Not very smart. Talk about nuclear proliferation after Fukushima! Imagine a nuclear plant in your backyard. The Obama administration is actively promoting this folly against the wishes of his green supporters. As there is no real market for these stupid reactors, what this amounts to is a scam to provide some welfare to some businesses in the nuclear industry ( Westinghouse, B&W, and a few others.) If anybody has a moment, please write your Senator or Congressman to oppose these bills.




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[-] 2 points by DanielBarton (1345) 11 years ago

Actually your microwave will give off more radiation than these nuclear power plants

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

beats coal or oil burning pollution

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

many years ago I applied for a job at a site that had a nuclear plant and coal plant on the same site, the coal workers could not visit the nuclear side because they could not pass through the radiation detectors to get into the plant....

the new units seems relatively safe but earthquakes and company officers are still concerns

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 11 years ago

your right

[-] 0 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Microwaves don't make plutonium.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

Microwaves don't alter DNA like gamma rays

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 11 years ago

no they dont

but there is worse in the world

and to alternatives look in my profile i know all about energy production

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

One last option to look at is the dramatic reduction of energy consumption.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 11 years ago

that will happen overtime but can not done in our lives nuclear is the way to go

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

All one has to do is turn out a light.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 11 years ago

better would be a redo of the wire system

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

lights really don't use much energy

cars use 2 tons to move 150 pounds

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Very true, and so it will not take much to obviate the need for nuclear power. In the U.S.A. nuclear power comprises only around 20% of our energy portfolio.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I don't follow

lights don't use 20% of the energy

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

I was using the word lights for the symbolism. Yes in actuality it would take a little more than just turning off lights.. but just a moderate restraint on everyone's personnel electricity consumption habits can easily make for enough energy savings to obviate the current quantity of electricity which is generated by nuclear power in the U.S.A..

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Can I just say that you make a very important point.

There is nothing more effective, nothing that will save more energy, nothing easier to do than if we convinced EVERYONE to use less energy.

It can easily cut the 20% you cited in your current nuclear generation number.

Getting Americans to cut use is a major challenge!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

people feel smug turning off lights because of such "symbolic" talk

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

The new development in liquid metal battery storage will hopefully make electricity generation and storage a new age in reliability.

However, we are chronic users of power, there's no doubt about that. After living out of my vehicle for 18 months while travelling, it's obvious that I can survive off a car battery and inverter, and still have lights, phone, laptop, camera, video, etc. Westerners have just been trained to rely on power always being there.

Here's a photo of Korea. The north is in complete darkness, and the south is lit up like a christmas tree.


[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Interesting. I lived some time in the Philippines for a while in an area where there was no grid electrical power (They did have batteries to power their cell phones), and lived quite comfortably I add. Also, there are the Amish here in the U.S.A. who live very well without electricity because they think it is a devil's thing. I too am convinced electricity is entirely optional.

One comes to realize most electrical power is created and put up for consumption, (which we all foolishly consume) just because some 1% wants to make some money.

The question then becomes given the dangers of uranium fueled nuclear power, as well as the alternatives which others on this post are pointing out, is it worth it? I say no.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Build it, and they will come.

It's the same with pharmaceuticals. I don't use any. People have been convinced that they need them. Lots of studies out there show that a placebo works just as effectively as a drug, in many cases. I'm not saying that we don't need medicine, or research, I'm saying that the one percent have hijacked that industry too, and are pushing their products on children, the elderly, and everyone in between.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Off topic. The focus should be on regaining our economic and political equality.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Energy, economics, and politics entangle in complex ways. Much of our economic and political dependance is the result of our dependance on the energy by the 1%.

Passing legislation which promotes small uranium fueled nuclear reactors for every town in America amounts to the geek equivalent of repealing the Glass -stegall act. 99% of us will get seriously screwed, and 1% will walk away with a pile of money. I agree the issue I bring up here is not one for OWS to put a great effort on, but I'm sure most folks have a moment to voice their opposition to the proliferation of nuclear power for the primary purpose of making money; something which is plain crazy. It would be a good guerilla hit on the 1%.

[-] 1 points by Clancy (42) 11 years ago

America will never have a situation like Japan. All our reactors are land locked. If anyone has another form of power that is clean and not that hard to produce that we can use in the next ten years then please say so.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

All commercial reactors in the U.S.A. are like the one's in Japan. They all rely on a continuous supply of coolant to the reactor core to keep the uranium inside from melting. All it takes is some unforeseen event to knock out electric power to stop the coolant pumps from running. it does not have to be a tsunami, it could be a hurricane, tornado, terror attack, lightening strike, power grid failure, mis operation, etc. Some of the reactors in the U.S.A. are built near earthquake fault lines. Every reactor is susceptible. It is only a matter of time. It is a roll of the dice. For each reactor a failure calculation has been made. The chances of winning the lottery are less than the calculated possibility of a major reactor accident. Most people buy lottery tickets. Yet they discount the possibility of a nuclear accident. Please, think for one moment. Interesting in Germany the chancellor there has a PHD in nuclear quantum chemistry. She came to the conclusion the risk is not worth it, and directed all reactors in that country shut down. Reactors running on uranium are not clean, aside from producing plutonium and other high level waste for which there is no disposal solution, current reactors produce all kinds of lower level radioactive wastes which are constantly farted out in gases, and spilled to the environment in liquids. There also are some really nasty tailings and chemical byproducts in the processing of uranium for fuel. You might not see it, but its all dangerous stuff. Get a speck of it in your body, and you are done for. I'm no fan of coal either, but that is actually safer.

[-] 1 points by funkytown (-374) 11 years ago

Are you giving them away? I'll take one.

[-] 2 points by Area51 (31) from Alamo, NV 11 years ago

Smart thinking funkytown. Then you can sell it to Iran and become a member of the 1%. At the same time you'll be preventing WWIII.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 11 years ago

I think you're just pulling my leg. It was the Dems who sold uranium enriching tech to the Chinese, who gave it to Pakistan, while lending aid to Iran.

I want safe reactors everywhere in this country within two decades. And I shall have them.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Then you certainly don't want one of these small modular reactors. They're not safe.....

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

What do you propose then for an energy source? Wind and solar alone are decades away from being adequate to supply our needs. More coal and oil perhaps, how about more fracking for natural gas?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Nuclear power is only 20% of our nation's energy portfolio. That can be easily covered by everybody using LED lightbulbs in their house, and energy saving measures like that.

Personally, I bicycle to work. But seriously, as with all other forms of energy, I'm not really against nuclear power. I'm just against the irresponsible proliferation of it.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

If they are thorium reactors - I don't think I would have a problem with it - But I would want to see what the whole proposition is 1st before giving any approval.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Unfortunately they are not. These reactors are light water reactors; basically the same thing as the large commercial reactors in present use. There are some differences like the steam generators are placed inside the reactor vessel thus obviating the need for reactor cooling pumps. In a sense, they are safer than present commercial reactors because they can be passively cooled in the event of an accident, but the basic issues like waste disposal, possible melt down, and nuclear release to the environment remain.

Actually, I'm not against nuclear power per se. There is such a thing as inherently safe nuclear power, and manageable waste. Thing is with what is being proposed by these small modular reactors the technology is not going that way... You can research more via google if you like.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

If they are thorium reactors - I don't think I would have a problem with it - But I would want to see what the whole proposition is 1st before giving any approval.

[-] 1 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

So how do you want your energy? Name a source you find palatable.


[-] -2 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

Its a serious question but clearly you arent bright enough to answer. Let me answer for you

Solar? Nope very ecologically damaging.

Wind? Even more ecologically damaging and inconsistent, plus the best wind areas are far from people

Coal? climate warming.

Oil? same

Atomic? what do you do with the waste? What if it has a leak?

Wood? Burn millions and millions of trees.

So where are we left? In caves, I guess.


[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Let me put this in perspective. 1gram of plutonium can wipe out a small town. There 250 something tons of it around the world, and the 1% want to make more just because they are greedy.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

I bicycle to work, and have LED lights throughout my house.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Cool. How do yo like the led's? Any solar panels?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

LEDs super. I had a few small solar panels running garden lights at one time. ' hard to justify them on any scale. HIgh cost, HAZMAT, and what's on the market today don't really work as claimed.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

I assume you had compact fluorescents before. What do you like most about the Led's? I hear they are more expensive and about the same efficiency, but of course much longer life. Is the light whiter or more pleasant?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

LEDs are 10x more efficient than fluorescents, and contain no loose mercury. Light is white, and great, but not every LED is like that. Careful when you buy. Yes they are expensive.

(talking about getting off topic....)

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Occasionally I slip into hypocrisy.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Why is a mobile phone more reliable than a nuke? Relative to complexity and cost the mobile phone is much more reliable because it is mass produced (zero defect, six-sigma manufacturing) and reliability is designed in instead of tested out. This is the way to improve the performance, safety, and reliability, while reducing the cost of electricity. Power could be nearly free using this approach.

Basement sized nukes have been used in Japan for several years. These are small fail-safe devices that did not fail during the Tsunami.


[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Researching fusion is a very positive way to go. There are very many other alternative nuclear options which look very promising too.

However, what I'm talking about are uranium powered fission plants which are essentially scaled down versions of large commercial power plants. I don't think you would want your neighbor to have one of those in his basement.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Fission reactors are already very safe. 85 people have died in wind turbine accidents in the last ten years. Number of people killed in or around US nuke plants (ever): zero.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

There is a study out in the "International Journal of Health Services, December 2011 edition" which claims some 14,000 excess deaths in the U.S. alone being linked to the radioactive fallout from Fukushima in the fourteen weeks following the meltdown. The authors Janette Sherman, MD, and Joseph Mangano appear to have pretty good credentials. Of course, one can argue the numbers. We know fallout numbers are very political and get whitewashed both ways. Least it be said Fukushima is an ongoing disaster of major proportion which has already upset many lives. We can go on to say Fukushima is in Japan, and a such nuclear accident won't happen in the U.S. We must remember Fukushima's reactors were built by a U.S. company. The commercial reactors here in the U.S. are of similar design. The potential exists, and it is only a matter of time.

The key reason nuclear power has operated as safely as it has in the States is because of the strict regulations and safe guards on it. If those regulations and safe guards were to be mitigated as like for the purposes of proliferating nuclear power to many small communities as is being proposed with these small modular reactors, the current U.S. nuclear safety record can likely change dramatically.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Today the US has a great opportunity; similar to Japan and Germany after WWII. The infrastructure in these countries was largely destroyed after the war and they were able to start rebuilding using the latest technology. The US is about to do the same thing with nuclear power. We have not built a new reactor in almost 35 years, so we have the opportunity to leap-frog the rest of the world in terms of safety and performance.

The micro-nukes can be an important part of that renaissance; and may come to displace larger plants mainly because they are safer and more economical. Having one in your "backyard" may also help with public relations. It is ironic that there is more support for nuclear power among folks that live near plants than those that enjoy he benefits from a distance.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Until you solve the fundamental problems with nuclear power, not in my backyard please.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

At one time folks feared cell towers (some still do) until they discovered that they could earn $100k per year having one located on their property. Now they saying goes, "Not in your back yard".

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Surely you're not suggesting for some money it is worth dealing with something making plutonium in your yard ?

There are still many people who don't value money that much.

Instead of proliferating the world with a problem, how about figuring out how to make plutonium and other transuranic wastes go away first? Nuclear would be a much better sell then.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Microwaves or gamma rays, you're just as dead. It is just a question of fear. Are you more afraid off power generation or mobile phones?

BTW, 100 years from now what we today call nuclear waste will be more valuable than gold.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Nuclear radiation is on a danger level higher than microwaves. Nuclear radiation is ionizing radiation capable of altering cell structures, i .e. causing cancer. Microwaves are not ionizing radiation. They don't alter cell structure, although they do heat up a body, and there is a small danger in that. Unless you are right up against a transmitter for a long time, micro waves don't kill. Nuclear radiation does. There is an added danger with the possibility of loose radiation particles floating around being ingested into the body. I don't have a cell phone by the way. I realized I don't need one.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on the waste part. There are nut jobs, high ranking military people to be precise, who value plutonium right now today. That is a large factor as to why we have this nuclear issue to begin with.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

In100 years nuke weapons will be obsolete and the value of the spent fuel will be inuses that today are not the understood.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

They said that about oil almost 100 yrs ago too...

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

And they were right.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

What's a landline?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

I don't know. I use a carpet. It works good except when I get it too close to the fire ( I burn holes into it), and when the fire isn't generating enough smoke, its hard to send off a message clearly.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Try two cans and a string. Smoke signals are so 18th century; you got to keep up with the technology!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

OH Hell with that money that family would move continue to collect the money and say to hell with the neighbors. Unfortunately this is true of how many would respond to the money.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

That is exactly the not-in-your-backyard thesis. I don't want you to have a cell tower but I sure want one.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

And to hell with the neighbors. Greed sucks.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

I agree that is a pretty classic example, but everybody loves their mobile phones. The towers have to go somewhere.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Not really - it could all be handled by satellite - individual unit reception and all.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

Well, I have some small experience with satellite phones. Think about it like this. The satellite is 485 miles away. The cell tower is 10 miles away. The radiation from your phone falls off with one over the square of the distance. Now think about how much more power the satellite phone radiates compared to the mobile phone. Which one would you rather hold up to your ear?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

One can use a landline, and not worry about it to begin with.

When greedy people release dangerous technologies upon an ignorant, desperate, and also greedy public for the sake of a few bucks, how dangerous do these technologies have to get before these people are recognized as greedy psychos?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

properly shielded? But hell I spend maybe 10 minutes a month on the phone - I do not understand people that have the thing practically imbedded into their ear 24/7/365 - who the hell has that much to talk about?

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 11 years ago

You mean like Iridium? Have you followed that program?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Don't know about iridium - but satellite phones have been around for awhile.

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 11 years ago

Okay. So no nuclear power. Since so called green energy is no where close to being able to power the Industrialized World what do you suggest?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Green energy no where close? Yet Portugal has been able to supply over half of it's energy from renewables in a few short years. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18538813

[-] 1 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 11 years ago

So those are going to replace nuclear power in Japan? What happens during a typhoon? Another tsunami?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Wind mills don't spill radioactive waste all over the planet when they fail.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

they're not even as dangerous as cars

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

You'll have to argue with the engineers. I'm not there nor do I have the specifics to debate with you. I posted the link, what you do with it is up to you.

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 11 years ago

Windmills aren't going to replace oil. No so called green energy is technologically able to replace oil for at least another century. Try again.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

They aren't my mills. Who are you arguing with? If you have something to offer the world in your infinite wisdom, jump on it. I cook for a living buddy, I can't help you.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

See - now that is being resourceful. Wonder if they will start tying them in to the liquid metal batteries for efficient storage and steady delivery.

[-] 0 points by kaiserw (211) 11 years ago

I'll take a Thorium LFTR reactor, they're safe, safer than coal, safer than wind! I don't want to live within 500 miles of a Uranium reactor though. That's just crazy.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

That is exactly what I'm talking about. With these small modular reactors the plan is to put a Uranium plant in every town.

(By the way, I bet you already do live with in five hundred miles of a Uranium fueled reactor plant.)

[-] -1 points by trashyharry (3084) from Waterville, NY 11 years ago

OMG-another 1% brainstorm.Sadly,there is no end to these diabolic schemes.Stop one,and three more even worse ones materialize to thake it's place.

[-] 1 points by FunstonSlabbers (6) from Brunswick, OH 11 years ago

Your solution?

[-] -2 points by oneandone (-67) 11 years ago

Nothing new here...Liberals don't want ANYTHING in their backyard...INCLUDING windmills and solar.

That laughable MSNBC promo with Rachel Mannish in front of the Hoover Dam, touting how great government is...when the fact is that dam could NEVER be built today....because liberals would never allow it to