In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:18 am UTC

ucim wrote:
sardia wrote: we are including nuclear accidents, radiation and all when we compare it to coal. Coal is so much more dangerous. Coal plants emit more radiation than nuclear plants.
It's not that I'm in the tank for nukes, its just that coal is really really bad for the world.
Twenty pounds of nuke fuel gone missing is quite a bit worse for the world than twenty pounds of coal gone missing.


Coal uses about 1 kilogram to produce 8 kilowatt-hours, versus 24,000,000 kilowatt-hours for 1 kilogram of uranium. It's more like 60,000,000 pounds of coal going missing...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:44 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Coal uses about 1 kilogram to produce 8 kilowatt-hours, versus 24,000,000 kilowatt-hours for 1 kilogram of uranium. It's more like 60,000,000 pounds of coal going missing...
Material is lost or stolen or "goes missing" by the pound, not by the kilowatt-hour.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:00 am UTC

Yeah but there being less of it means it's much easier to notice if some of it goes missing, while at the same time making it easier to store/guard.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KrytenKoro » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:26 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Look, I wouldn't be surprised if "Genuity VT Double PRO RIB Complete Corn" by Monsanto were discovered to cause cancer or something. But that's the level of detail and criticism that I'd expect from the scientific community. A vague term like "GMO" is literally meaningless.

This doesn't get said enough.

Twenty pounds of nuke fuel gone missing is quite a bit worse for the world than twenty pounds of coal gone missing.

"Oops, the safety valve wasn't turned" is worse in a nuke than it is with coal.

An earthquake (they don't happen, right?) is worse for a nuke than it is for coal. And it's even worse when it's combined with a tsunami. But that'll really never happen.

Yes, coal pollution is terrible for the world, but it's not something we're doing by accident or even by willful negligence. It's done deliberately with full knowledge of the consequences. In addition to that, we screw up. What concerns me about nuclear power is the screwups. There have been three so far, each worse than the other. In two out of the three, the affected area is big enough to be visible on a globe.

Yeah, this is some rank bullshit. The actual numbers show that nuclear power is -vastly- safer, it's just a political hot potato.

Exactly like GMOs. You feed people propaganda film after propaganda film about how scientists are spooky, creating toxic abominations in their lab, and they'll deny the numbers as hard as they can when the question of safety is quite simple -- who's dying more from one vs. the other? GMO saves more lives. Nuclear saves more lives. It's vastly more important to save lives now than to worry that maybe those who didn't already die will get some hypothetical cancer via some unpredictable means in the future.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:38 am UTC

There are sixteen thousand kilograms of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium missing. Granted, it's missing from shipments the US has made to other countries, but if the entire United States Government can't keep its eye on nuclear fuel, I hardly trust a profit-making company to do so. 100 grams of enriched uranium was found in a Rotterdam scrap-metal yard in 2009; it probably came from a Soviet nuclear facility. And it's not to point a finger at "them" who are not as careful as "we" would be... newspapers are full of stories about slipshod and dishonest work - by government, corporate, union, and individual members of society.

I don't think it's all that easy to store, or guard, nuclear fuel. It's also a high value target. And it's not being noticed that it's about to go missing, before it goes missing (or even for quite some time afterwards).

People are not good at being careful, and the consequences of not being careful are much greater in nuclear. I'd love to be able to go nuclear, but that "being careful, being honest, being responsible" is a kicker.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:05 am UTC

ahammel wrote:
So, GMO's: adulterated by definition. Then Honest Abe's used car salesman gets his megaphone out and yells, "Step right up, get some BT corn. Don't worry about that BT toxin, Rube, we tested it and it's perfectly safe: you definitely won't die before tomorrow night."
As a point of interest: simply spraying the BT toxin on non-GMO corn is an organic farming technique.

But BT toxin is on the organic corn, not in the organic corn, wash it off. And I would like to not-so-delicately remind everyone that Monsanto promised public and regulators that BT toxin could not enter the bloodstream, so there was no possibility of it having an effect on anyone. Now we find it's in the bloodstream of animals, in people, in the blood of the unborn human fetus. Where was Monsanto's wonderful science when it came to noting that?

I'll tell you where it was. Either they assumed it couldn't cross the barrier from the gut to the blood, or else they knew it and concealed it. Either way, their assurances were a lie. So now we're back to pooh-pooh and 30 years before there's enough accepted proof that it's harmful, to get something done. And long before then, BT corn is going to be gone anyway because corn borers are developing immunity...which wasn't supposed to happen either, Monsanto promised that as well.

Zero confidence in Monsanto's promises. Not much more in any big company's promises.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby curtis95112 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:15 am UTC

ucim wrote:There are sixteen thousand kilograms of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium missing. Granted, it's missing from shipments the US has made to other countries, but if the entire United States Government can't keep its eye on nuclear fuel, I hardly trust a profit-making company to do so. 100 grams of enriched uranium was found in a Rotterdam scrap-metal yard in 2009; it probably came from a Soviet nuclear facility. And it's not to point a finger at "them" who are not as careful as "we" would be... newspapers are full of stories about slipshod and dishonest work - by government, corporate, union, and individual members of society.

I don't think it's all that easy to store, or guard, nuclear fuel. It's also a high value target. And it's not being noticed that it's about to go missing, before it goes missing (or even for quite some time afterwards).

People are not good at being careful, and the consequences of not being careful are much greater in nuclear. I'd love to be able to go nuclear, but that "being careful, being honest, being responsible" is a kicker.

Jose


Hiroshima every year would still kill less people than coal. I don't think you're grasping the magnitudes of the numbers involved here. No amount of worries about accidents and screw-ups will be at all convincing while more people die to coal every year than all the people that have died to nuclear accidents and deliberate use of nuclear weapons in war in all of history ever.
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Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:42 pm UTC

Yes exactly, you're placing some hypothetical danger over an actual, real, this-is-killing-people-right-now danger, even though the latter is killing more people than the former ever could.

I like asking people which energy source has caused more deaths in accidents in history: nuclear or hydroelectric. For some reason, even though everyone can name Chernobyl, which killed around 70 people, they've never heard of the Banqiao Dam disaster, a hydroelectric dam that failed in 1975 and killed 171,000 people.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:16 pm UTC

curtis95112 wrote:Hiroshima every year would still kill less people than coal. I don't think you're grasping the magnitudes of the numbers involved here. No amount of worries about accidents and screw-ups will be at all convincing while more people die to coal every year than all the people that have died to nuclear accidents and deliberate use of nuclear weapons in war in all of history ever.
The assumption is that we will magically somehow quit using coal. Whatever deaths are caused by nukes as compared to coals is pointless. Coal isn't going away quickly no matter how many nuke plants are built. The deaths are additive.

And the dangers of nuclear weapons and radiation releases in the wild aren't well understood. Above ground nuclear testing was banned because of fears of strontium 90. Indications existed that suggested that it was present in humans in increased amounts after a period of testing. This is what is keeping people from returning to Bikini Atoll. And you can't run tests on humans to test the response to radiation except when it happens with weapons and accidents. Japan and Russia are both research experiments into the long term effects on exposure to low level radiation. In addition the accident rate at reactors was sold as a low probability occurrence. Yet in my lifetime I have seen three accidents that melted core material.

And then their are the political problems. Israel may go to war over the danger of proliferation by Iran because of the secondary uses of reactors sooner or later. When was the last time someone bombed a coal plant because it was producing weapons grade coal? We are going to use nukes but anyone with any sense knows that it isn't simple or non dangerous.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby sardia » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
curtis95112 wrote:Hiroshima every year would still kill less people than coal. I don't think you're grasping the magnitudes of the numbers involved here. No amount of worries about accidents and screw-ups will be at all convincing while more people die to coal every year than all the people that have died to nuclear accidents and deliberate use of nuclear weapons in war in all of history ever.
The assumption is that we will magically somehow quit using coal. Whatever deaths are caused by nukes as compared to coals is pointless. Coal isn't going away quickly no matter how many nuke plants are built. The deaths are additive.

And the dangers of nuclear weapons and radiation releases in the wild aren't well understood. Above ground nuclear testing was banned because of fears of strontium 90. Indications existed that suggested that it was present in humans in increased amounts after a period of testing. This is what is keeping people from returning to Bikini Atoll. And you can't run tests on humans to test the response to radiation except when it happens with weapons and accidents. Japan and Russia are both research experiments into the long term effects on exposure to low level radiation. In addition the accident rate at reactors was sold as a low probability occurrence. Yet in my lifetime I have seen three accidents that melted core material.

And then their are the political problems. Israel may go to war over the danger of proliferation by Iran because of the secondary uses of reactors sooner or later. When was the last time someone bombed a coal plant because it was producing weapons grade coal? We are going to use nukes but anyone with any sense knows that it isn't simple or non dangerous.
That's it? 3? How often does coal ash spill out into the community? A lot more than 3 times.
Again, it's not nukes are x, it's that coal is a very very shitty power source. The only thing dumber and worse than coal is burning logs and trees. You know those romantic images of people sitting by a fire or wood stove? Completely wasteful and even more harmful to the environment.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:19 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Coal isn't going away quickly no matter how many nuke plants are built. The deaths are additive.


:?:

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:50 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
ahammel wrote:
So, GMO's: adulterated by definition. Then Honest Abe's used car salesman gets his megaphone out and yells, "Step right up, get some BT corn. Don't worry about that BT toxin, Rube, we tested it and it's perfectly safe: you definitely won't die before tomorrow night."
As a point of interest: simply spraying the BT toxin on non-GMO corn is an organic farming technique.

But BT toxin is on the organic corn, not in the organic corn, wash it off.

I am curious as to how you determined that's an effective way of getting rid of it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:22 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Coal isn't going away quickly no matter how many nuke plants are built. The deaths are additive.


:?:
Coal isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Nuclear investment is price restricted, coal is cheaper. Countries like India or China are moving too quickly to go exclusively Nuclear even if they can afford them. So coal use will rise near term, not fall. Therefore any statistical deaths from nukes is likely additive to the statistical coal deaths. World Energy Outlook.
sardia wrote:Again, it's not nukes are x, it's that coal is a very very shitty power source.
I agree. So? I'm not against Nuclear, I'm against the idea that it solves more problems than it causes. Using it will solve carbon emissions problems and add new ones.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:26 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Mutex wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Coal isn't going away quickly no matter how many nuke plants are built. The deaths are additive.


:?:
Coal isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Nuclear investment is price restricted, coal is cheaper. Countries like India or China are moving too quickly to go exclusively Nuclear even if they can afford them. So coal use will rise near term, not fall. Therefore any statistical deaths from nukes is likely additive to the statistical coal deaths. World Energy Outlook.


Coal and nuclear power stations both generate electricity. The more nuclear power plants we have, the fewer coal plants we need. Even if coal use increases over all, the more nuclear plants are built, the fewer new coal plants will be needed.

Obviously. Your logic is insane.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

Maybe. The argument seems to be is that nukes will reduce deaths from coal. What it might do is to reduce the increase in deaths due to coal.
Mutex wrote:I like asking people which energy source has caused more deaths in accidents in history: nuclear or hydroelectric. For some reason, even though everyone can name Chernobyl, which killed around 70 people, they've never heard of the Banqiao Dam disaster, a hydroelectric dam that failed in 1975 and killed 171,000 people.
This is called magical thinking. You know how things turned out. You have no idea what will happen if nuclear reactors replaced all coal fired plants. Your statement on Chernobyl is disingenuous. The 40( I don't know where the 70 came from) is direct deaths, not secondary. The data isn't sufficient as yet to make any accurate assessment, though the article on the Wikipedia suggests an additional 4000 excess deaths due to cancer. Hydro electric dam failures are what they are. You picked an outlier. 26000 direct deaths, the rest were secondary. And the whole business says more about China in the seventies then it does about dams.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:45 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
ahammel wrote:
So, GMO's: adulterated by definition. Then Honest Abe's used car salesman gets his megaphone out and yells, "Step right up, get some BT corn. Don't worry about that BT toxin, Rube, we tested it and it's perfectly safe: you definitely won't die before tomorrow night."
As a point of interest: simply spraying the BT toxin on non-GMO corn is an organic farming technique.

But BT toxin is on the organic corn, not in the organic corn, wash it off.


The toxin was applied throughout the life of "organic" corn, from the point the thing was a seed. As ahammel points out, how can you be sure that the toxin wasn't absorbed into the porous food? I mean, we've all done the food-coloring experiment with flowers, right?

Image

If you apply a chemical to a plant, the plant absorbs the chemical. Toxic metals, such as uranium and lead, definitely are absorbed through the growth process and persist in plants. And benign chemicals, like the food coloring example, demonstrates the fact visually.

As for the rest of your post... the anti-Monsanto rant is fine and all, but I don't see why it fails to apply to the pesticides company that non-GMO farmers would use. Pesticides companies promise that herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are safe to spray on plants... but "is it really" ???

Look, you may be all worried about BT-Corn. But I'm personally more worried about Organophosphates. You know, the stuff they used before Bt-Corn (which also happened to be used by the Military as Nerve Agents and Chemical Weapons). A specific one that was used very commonly was Diazinon, and that chemical had a lovely set of known and provable symptoms.

Farmers need to regularly poison the food so that it can stave off insects, fungi, and weeds. It is a fact of modern industrial-scale agriculture. And for all intents and purposes, GMO-Corn looks a HELL of a lot safer than other techniques. So yes, if we've got "The Devil we know that causes nausia and death", vs "The Devil we don't know, which doesn't seem to kill anyone". I'm betting on "The Devil we don't know", while being fully aware that GMO-corn may have long term risks... they surely can't be as bad as Diazinon.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Deva » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:51 pm UTC

Cornered a suspected shoplifter on a roof. Demanded three doughnuts and milk before coming down.
Source wrote:A man who ran from Phoenix police and holed up on the roof of a motel wouldn't come down till his demands were met, police said Tuesday. His demands: Three jelly-filled, powdered doughnuts and a bottle of milk.

It happened at a Motel 6 at Black Canyon Highway and Northern about 7 a.m. Police say it started when they were investigating a shoplifting at a nearby Walgreens. They found a car at the motel they believed to be the perpetrators', and one of their suspects ran, ending up on the roof of the motel, according to police.

He refused to come down till he got the items he wanted. One of the officers, Lt. David Adams, went in search of the specified confections. After striking out at one shop, Adams was able to get a man working at a nearby Dunkin' Donuts shop to specially make the doughnuts.

Police were able to get them to the suspect, who they say ate them and then came down without incident. Officers say the man had a warrant for parole violation and told them he did not want to return to prison.

Police say he threw some items off the roof, but wasn't targeting officers.

Explains the stereotype about police officers. Helps tense situations.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:14 pm UTC

So, umm, free jelly donuts in jails for people who behave nicely? No saving them, because there's no need for more reasons for someone to get shanked.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Deva » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:06 am UTC

Sounds nice in theory. Votes no, however. Predicts conflict over chocolate sprinkles.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:18 am UTC

Only have one type of donut?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Deva » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:41 am UTC

Is that viable? Presumed largely unsold product from doughnut vendors. (Cuts expenses. Expects little support for increased prison funding towards doughnuts. Hears complaints about "treating criminals to doughnuts, but failing to fix roads" already.)

Hrm. Could find traction as a psychological study. Funds that easier. Gains more future support with positive data.

Edit fun fact: Spends 7.5 million dollars daily for war in Iraq. Totals ten million doughnuts (based on Dunkin' Donuts's price for one dozen). Estimated 1,561,500 prisoners at the end of 2014. Equals 6.4 doughnuts for all prisoners daily, good or bad. Easily covers well-behaved inmates.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:43 am UTC

That's if the US can't just get a bulk deal on donuts. I'd imagine each donut costs like 15 cents to make at most, and that's before the subcontractor cuts the flour with sawdust fortifies the donuts with fiber.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:12 pm UTC

ucim wrote:I don't think it's all that easy to store, or guard, nuclear fuel. It's also a high value target. And it's not being noticed that it's about to go missing, before it goes missing (or even for quite some time afterwards).


Nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons material are not necessarily the same thing. Granted, there's a relationship there, and even for regular fuel, you don't particularly want to misplace it or treat it carelessly...but even though we HAVE on occasion done that, the actual costs of doing so have been relatively low.

morriswalters wrote:The assumption is that we will magically somehow quit using coal. Whatever deaths are caused by nukes as compared to coals is pointless. Coal isn't going away quickly no matter how many nuke plants are built. The deaths are additive.


It matters. The point isn't getting rid of coal quickly. The point is to displace new construction. In terms of added capacity for the US in 2014, what, .5% was renewable energy or something?

We're not talking about getting rid of all coal, but we CAN at least reduce the rate at which we add to the death toll.

morriswalters wrote:This is called magical thinking. You know how things turned out. You have no idea what will happen if nuclear reactors replaced all coal fired plants. Your statement on Chernobyl is disingenuous. The 40( I don't know where the 70 came from) is direct deaths, not secondary. The data isn't sufficient as yet to make any accurate assessment, though the article on the Wikipedia suggests an additional 4000 excess deaths due to cancer. Hydro electric dam failures are what they are. You picked an outlier. 26000 direct deaths, the rest were secondary. And the whole business says more about China in the seventies then it does about dams.


No. Extrapolating rates from historical rates is pretty normal. It isn't magical. And Chernobyl is an outlier, as it's literally the worst example on record. One could honestly say that it says more about the USSR than it does about nukes.

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Djehutynakht wrote:In an apparent move to aspire towards Hollywood-style villainy, Indonesia has proposed to build a prison guarded by crocodiles.

Apparently he believes in the moral goodness of crocodiles and their apparent immunity to bribery.

I'm sure we'll find a way to bribe crocodiles. It's only a matter of time...



An update on this:

He has now upped the ante to include Tigers and Pihranas as well in addition to the crocodiles guarding the museum.


God, do I want to see this ecosystem.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:44 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:We're not talking about getting rid of all coal, but we CAN at least reduce the rate at which we add to the death toll.
Yes I noted as much.
Tyndmyr wrote:No. Extrapolating rates from historical rates is pretty normal. It isn't magical. And Chernobyl is an outlier, as it's literally the worst example on record. One could honestly say that it says more about the USSR than it does about nukes.
Their is no historical precedent for the scenario I suggested. Chernobyl wasn't an outlier, Fukushima Daiichi was also a Level 7 on the scale and their have been 9 other accidents where all or part of the cores have melted. On the other hand their was no dam failure of a hydroelectric dam any where near the scale of his example.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

And all those incidents combined killed less than Hiroshima, which killed less than coal in the last three months. No point in arguing Chernobyl is typical (it isn't), when, if I may repeat myself,

curtis95112 wrote:Hiroshima every year would still kill less people than coal.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:07 pm UTC

Do you even know what a meltdown even is? A meltdown is where the steam turbines stop operating but the core is still critical (for nuclear, "critical" just means "on") so the core overheats and damages the reactor, "melting down" to the bottom of the containment. That doesn't mean anything escapes containment! Most plants in the US could have a meltdown and no one would be hurt. They are designed with meltdowns in mind. Chernobyl was not.

So what is criticality? When nuclear fuel decays, it releases particles such as beta and alpha particles. These can be absorbed by other atoms, transmuting them into unstable isotopes which in turn decay, releasing more particles. But most particles escape the fuel. When enough fuel is in one location, enough particles are absorbed by the fuel so that the fuel generates enormous amounts of energy in self sustaining nuclear reactions. The mass needed by nuclear fuel to achieve criticality is dependent upon shape as well, so there will be a ring of fuel and rod that is inserted, causing criticality. To shut down, the rod is removed. In nuclear weapons, a "gun" shoots a rod into a ring (oddly with the first bombs, the ring was shot onto a rod), triggering criticality. That or a sphere of fuel is squeezed by conventional bombs, causing criticality.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diemo » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

curtis95112 wrote:And all those incidents combined killed less than Hiroshima, which killed less than coal in the last three months. No point in arguing Chernobyl is typical (it isn't), when, if I may repeat myself,

curtis95112 wrote:Hiroshima every year would still kill less people than coal.


Where are you getting these stats? Sorry if it was linked to earlier.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Dauric » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:46 pm UTC

Everyone keeps referencing Chernobyl. Does no-one reference the Three Mile Island incident? is it just not dramatic enough to be a reference point?

The Three Mile Island facility was built in 1968-1970. Construction on Chernobyl began in 1972. Both incidents were the result of user error and mechanical failure of the reactor (as opposed to a result of a natural disaster in the case of Fukushima). Three Mile Island's incident was rated a Five on the International Nuclear Incident scale, and even at that point the observed rates of cancer increased by such a small margin that they didn't exceed the natural variation over time. The Chernobyl incident really says more about their reactor design and the way they ran their administration than it does about nuclear power.

Damn Interesting article on Chernobyl
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:59 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Everyone keeps referencing Chernobyl. Does no-one reference the Three Mile Island incident? is it just not dramatic enough to be a reference point?

The Three Mile Island facility was built in 1968-1970. Construction on Chernobyl began in 1972. Both incidents were the result of user error and mechanical failure of the reactor (as opposed to a result of a natural disaster in the case of Fukushima). Three Mile Island's incident was rated a Five on the International Nuclear Incident scale, and even at that point the observed rates of cancer increased by such a small margin that they didn't exceed the natural variation over time. The Chernobyl incident really says more about their reactor design and the way they ran their administration than it does about nuclear power.

Damn Interesting article on Chernobyl


I was fine with the article until:

Uranium is the only material known to support a nuclear chain reaction.


Seriously? Someone was not paying attention in high school physics and Did Not Do the Research.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:19 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons material are not necessarily the same thing. Granted, there's a relationship there, and even for regular fuel, you don't particularly want to misplace it or treat it carelessly...but even though we HAVE on occasion done that, the actual costs of doing so have been relatively low.


You mean... "We've been lucky so far."

Yes, I know there are differences between bomb material and reactor material; that's not the point. Nor is (as stated several times downthread) whether it "says more about Russia than about reactor safety". My point is that human nature, being what it is, we will cut corners whenever we think we can get away with it. Comments I'm reading seem to imply that we still think we can get away with it.

While nuclear power is in theory safe, until that changes, it won't be in practice, safe enough. (Note - this is not just nukes, but any high energy density endeavor).

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:23 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Nuclear fuel and nuclear weapons material are not necessarily the same thing. Granted, there's a relationship there, and even for regular fuel, you don't particularly want to misplace it or treat it carelessly...but even though we HAVE on occasion done that, the actual costs of doing so have been relatively low.


You mean... "We've been lucky so far."

Yes, I know there are differences between bomb material and reactor material; that's not the point. Nor is (as stated several times downthread) whether it "says more about Russia than about reactor safety". My point is that human nature, being what it is, we will cut corners whenever we think we can get away with it. Comments I'm reading seem to imply that we still think we can get away with it.

While nuclear power is in theory safe, until that changes, it won't be in practice, safe enough. (Note - this is not just nukes, but any high energy density endeavor).

Jose


Luck is merely something people invoke to explain what they do not understand.

If you are simply willing to ignore decades of history by calling it luck, you are the one engaged in magical thinking.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:31 pm UTC

I have a conjecture that Donna from Finance is actually a space alien that is going to suck out all our brains and make sweet alien love to our corpses. She's just waiting for the right moment. The fact that we haven't had our brains sucked out is because we've just been lucky so far. But to be safe, we should drop Donna in the middle of the ocean.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:32 pm UTC

This response is off topic, as in not humorous..
Spoiler:
CorruptUser wrote:Do you even know what a meltdown even is?
Yes
curtis95112 wrote:And all those incidents combined killed less than Hiroshima, which killed less than coal in the last three months. No point in arguing Chernobyl is typical (it isn't), when, if I may repeat myself,
Two Level 7 events in two locations reads similar to me, I suppose your mileage varies. In terms of how many they killed, what's your point? My point, if I even remember what it was, is that what safety people said was suppose to be a rare event, turned out not to be rare, I'll support that but not in this thread. The bombs dropped on Japan were air bursts, designed to maximize flash and blast damage. Had the bombs been detonated at ground level the radiation effects would have been much worse even though total deaths might have fallen.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Chen » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:07 pm UTC

How do you not consider 2 events, in something like 60 years, rare?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:19 pm UTC

Uh, labeling both of those as level 7 should get you rather different conclusions. First off, the two events were very different. There's a reason that, when discussing worst case scenarios, most people still turn to Chernobyl, not to Fukushima, despite the latter being far more recent. An incident on the level of Fukushima every several decades is just really not scary at all, if you're actually looking at the numbers.

I have no idea why you're discussing details regarding the a-bombs. It was a scale comparison, not a tech comparison.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:22 pm UTC

How many people died as a result? Because 3 mile island killed HALF a person; that is, statistically, it's expected to kill half a person. Not even instantly, just 30 years down the road. That's less than a coal truck running over a single person.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:32 pm UTC

ucim wrote:You mean... "We've been lucky so far."


This is plane vs auto-mobile logic.

Lots of people are terrified of flying but they're happy to drive to the airport or even drive the journey they could have flown despite it being far more likely that they'll end up burning to death trapped in a car wreck or get their spines shattered by a semi that ignored a red light than dying in a plane crash for the same trip.

Because when a plane goes down it hits the news, it doesn't even make local news when someone dies in a car crash but your vague feelings about relative risk are not equivalent to real probabilities.

At some point,if human lives matter to you, you have to shut up and multiply and it would literally be better to have a nuclear disaster on the scale of Chernobyl or Fukushima every 25 years (assuming no improvement in safety or technology) than continuing with our current use of coal as far less people would die.

It doesn't even matter if existing coal plants keep running for their expected lifespan, the deaths still keep adding up, tens of thousands per year until you make the switch.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:44 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:
curtis95112 wrote:And all those incidents combined killed less than Hiroshima, which killed less than coal in the last three months. No point in arguing Chernobyl is typical (it isn't), when, if I may repeat myself,

curtis95112 wrote:Hiroshima every year would still kill less people than coal.


Where are you getting these stats? Sorry if it was linked to earlier.


I haven't linked them, so you're right to ask. Wikipedia puts the figure at 1 million deaths/year. Admittedly the cited source is a bit dodgy but the WHO says 7 million premature deaths/year from air pollution (not just coal), which makes me think that 1 million is at least the right order of magnitude.

And order of magnitude is all that matters in this case, because even the most pessimistic estimates for the harm caused by nuclear power fall way too short to make any difference. Compared to the damage caused by coal, Chernobyl is less than a rounding error. And that's before we factor in global warming. As you might expect, coal has a carbon footprint about 60 times smaller than that of coal.

There really is no debate here. It's not that nuclear power is wonderful (although it is in many ways), but rather that coal is a really shitty energy source.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:51 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Chen wrote:How do you not consider 2 events, in something like 60 years, rare?
I suppose it revolves around what you are told to expect.
A 2003 study commissioned by the European Commission remarked that "core damage frequencies of 5 × 10−5 [per reactor-year] are a common result" or in other words, one core damage incident in 20,000 reactor years.[3] A 2008 study performed by the Electric Power Research Institute, the estimated core damage frequency for the United States nuclear industry is estimated at once in 50,000 reactor years, or 2 × 10−5.[5]

Assuming there are 500 reactors in use in the world, the above numbers mean that, statistically, one core damage incident would be expected to occur somewhere in the world every 40 or 100 years, respectively.

Nuclear power was first achieved about 60 years ago. The 582 operational reactors that have been built since account for about 14,400 reactor years. The numbers above imply that this should have resulted in less than one accident. However, of these 582 reactors, 11 have suffered from serious core damage,[6] resulting in a historical accident rate of 1 in every 1,309 reactor years.
That we have never had a breach of containment is a different matter. But unless the probability is zero or close by, if you have enough accidents then a breach of containment is inevitable. The take away from Japan, Russia and the US accidents is that it is a human factors problem. The engineering is sound, assuming the the designs reflect reality.
Tyndmyr wrote:Uh, labeling both of those as level 7 should get you rather different conclusions.
Take it up with whoever came up with it. Reactor design made for different outcomes, but both are severe events.
Tyndmyr wrote:I have no idea why you're discussing details regarding the a-bombs. It was a scale comparison, not a tech comparison.
It was an idiot comparison. I was playing follow the idiot.
CorruptUser wrote:How many people died as a result? Because 3 mile island killed HALF a person; that is, statistically, it's expected to kill half a person. Not even instantly, just 30 years down the road. That's less than a coal truck running over a single person.
Build them then.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Luck is merely something people invoke to explain what they do not understand.

If you are simply willing to ignore decades of history by calling it luck, you are the one engaged in magical thinking.


Nothing truer was ever said. Do you know the difference between Chernobyl being controlled as it was, and being uncontrolled? If you don't, consider yourself in good company...no one else knows either. Your presumption that Chernobyl was controlled because human planning succeeded, is wholly false: the reactor was beyond all planning. It did what it did and, ultimately, nothing humans did had any significant influence. Although I'll focus on Chernobyl, the same is largely true of Fukushima.

Chernobyl did leave containment. It penetrated the reactor vessel, the biological shield, and several concrete floors below the reactor. The original explosion destroyed the containment building above. The conceit that such an accident would not breach containment is proved false, on both counts.

Chernobyl stopped reacting because the molten fuel mixed with enough other melted impurities to reduce itself below criticality. It's a good thing it did, since no one knows how it would have been stopped otherwise. The boron they dropped was later found to have been completely ineffective.

In fact, it was not stopped by anything humans did.

When all people can do is stand there and watch what happens; when what happens "only" removes 1,000 square miles (Chernobyl) from use by humanity forever, and "only" costs $150 billion in post accident cleanup (Fukushima estimate, to be paid by the taxpayers of course), well,...

...some people call that happenstance, fortune, or luck.
In all fairness...


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