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Fritz
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It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« on: 2011-03-14 19:06:27 »
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As the "faux  news" yet again sets the only real alternative for global energy back into the stone age yet again through it's irresponsible reporting and stupidity, I am just dismayed. The oil industry is for sure fueling this anti nuclear rhetoric as they have time and time again over the last 40 years to ensure we have no option but to pollute and contaminate the planet burning  fossil fuels. We should already be using 3 generation nuclear plants yet the old problematic facilities are limping along and as in Japan having serious problems coping with a disaster. This has been as a result of socially criminal behavior on the part of the media, fueled by political gamesmanship by politicians (Merkel in Germany yesterday for example) and self serving greed on the part of the Oil and Coal industry .... Nuclear power could by now be cleaner and safer then any alternative for the environment ... yet another example of why the human race is unable to manage it's self, in any way for the future. We are not going to make it !

As I see it anyway.

Fritz



Why does the US (and Japan) refuse to build true fail-safe nuke plants ?
Source: http://www.americablog.com/2011/03/why-does-us-and-japan-refuse-to-use.html
Author: John Aravosis (DC) on
Date: 2011.03.14

A knowledgeable reader writes:

    Looks to me like the nuclear industry is set for another 25 year set back. The fundamental problem here is not the technology, its the lying.

    All told I spent six years in nuclear physics and high energy physics labs, and discussed nuclear power with many of the physicists.

    As for the current situation in Japan, depending on who you believe there is no problem or we are on the verge of a meltdown. The fundamental problem is that the Japanese nuclear authorities have lied in the past (as have the UK authorities).

    So it comes down to what the source of the hydrogen that was vented is. Whether it is the water molecules disassociating or the zirconium casing round the rods reducing the water. In other words a metal fire. They burn under water as most metals are above hydrogen in the reactivity series.

    That in turn will depend on whether they have managed to fully insert the control rods or not. That should be easy in normal operation, but what if the earthquake damaged the core?

    As an engineer I know that the Japanese designs are not 'fail safe' as the term is understood outside the nuclear field. If the designs were in fact fail safe the loss of the cooling system would not cause a safety problem. What they have is a fundamentally unsafe designs with a series of safety controls intended to allow a shutdown. Despite redundancy, the controls have a common failure mode (vulnerable to earthquake) so there is a major crisis.

    There are nuclear designs that are genuinely fail safe. The Canadian CANDU system that uses a heavy water moderator is fail safe, If the reactor overheats, the glass tubes containing the moderator crack and the moderator drains away - failsafe.

    Unfortunately and rather predictably, the designs being proposed for new nuclear stations are more of the same, the light water designs that the US power companies know how to build and operate. These are described as failsafe to gain approval, but like the Japanese system this is a convenient lie.

    20% of US power comes from nuclear. The plants are old and dilapidated. The choices on offer now are to continue to operate unsafe plants, to build new unsafe plants or to stop using nuclear and burn more carbon fuels.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to build some prototype reactors of genuinely failsafe designs?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scientific American Magazine has had informative articles over the years [Fritz]
http://www.scientificamerican.com/report.cfm?id=nuclear-future
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #1 on: 2011-03-15 09:49:59 »
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The fact that we can all still easily count and name all the accidents in the history of nuclear power - 1)Three Mile Island, 2)Chernobyl, and now 3)this Japanese plant - tells me that despite these incidents, nuclear energy is much safer and cleaner than fossil fuels. All of the natural gas explosions, oil spills, coal mine explosions, the health problems and shortened life spans caused by its pollution, and of course almost all of the excess CO2 fueling the greenhouse effect far outweigh these three accidents. There is simply no real comparison. Nuclear accidents make the news especially because they are so rare. Accidents and problems caused by fossil fuels are so mind-numbingly common that most of them don't even make the news, and when they do they are often soon forgotten unless they are accidents of world record breaking proportions - Exxon Valdez, the Deep Water Horizon, etc.
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #2 on: 2011-03-15 10:14:56 »
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Fritz points out how interests backed by fossil fueled energy businesses have an anti-nuclear energy bias, but there also remain some contingent on the left as well who are biased against it. I assume that this is some hangover from the cold war where the connection between nuclear energy and nuclear weapons fueled their opposition. Perhaps this connection still disturbs them despite the absence of a superpower nuclear arms race. In any case, here I present an example of hysterical anti-nuclear energy propaganda:


Quote:
"This proves once and for all that nuclear power cannot ever be safe. Japan's nuclear plants were built....to withstand natural disasters, yet we still face potential meltdown" disaster.

Nuclear expert Helen Caldicott said atmospheric cesium-137 and iodine 131 releases pose grave human health risks. "All of these substances can cause cancer and genetic diseases either in the near or long term." Why are "we mad enough to introduce this disastrous form of energy into our lives," knowing major catastrophes are inevitable, especially in earthquake prone areas like Japan, California, and other vulnerable locations, many throughout the world.

full article:http://www.opednews.com/articles/Coverup-and-Denial-in-Japa-by-Stephen-Lendman-110315-305.html
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #3 on: 2011-03-15 12:44:01 »
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Good points Mo.

Google "safety of nuclear power" and what you get is a very CoV  concerned result. Belief, Dogma, Religion of Nuclear power merged with Nuclear Bombs. The facts and scientific method for getting at the real issues and alternatives are summarily ignored. The Memes we are impregnated with from the cold war seems to make it impossible for western society to get behind Nuclear Power. It is the religous brain washing the seems to have crippled us as a society to being able to look at this problem and solve it intelligently. One of many I suspect. As you point out Mo, the crunchy granola crowd as well as the Fossil fuel business interests are playing us. Yet another example of why religion harms us.

Grimacing

Fritz
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #4 on: 2011-03-15 13:34:09 »
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I've noticed a number of people have pointed this out and in a reply to this artilce as well by: alan.

An issue I have with the current nuclear debate is “nuclear” is a very generic term. IMHO this an issue with the MSM and jo-public (the electorate) perceiving anything with “nuclear” in the title = evil.

Gail, its a very minor nitpick, but could you be more explicit when talking about Nuclear? Although that doesnt distract from another very fine article.

We currently use Uranium/Plutonium fission. Thorium fission reactors are in the pipeline (China & India) which are apparently safer than Uranium fission (I’m not an expert) . Although qualifying the type of fission gets complicated (too complicated for this article)

Nice to see a few sentient beings left on the planet.

Cheers

Fritz


What would happen if we discontinued nuclear electricity?

Source: Our Finite World
Author: gailtheactuary
Date: 2011.03.14



We are very much reaching limits in the field of energy. This seems to mean that we ending up taking more and more risks, so that there is a greater risk of things going wrong. At the same time, the world’s population is so high that without a good deal of external energy, we cannot provide basic necessities for nearly 7 billion people. So we almost have no choice but choose energy sources which are almost out of our reach.

With the problems with nuclear energy in Japan, the question arises as to what would happen if we just discontinued nuclear electricity. How big an impact would this have?

Since many plants are near the end of their originally planned lived, such discontinuation could come simply by not extending any more licenses, and not permitting new facilities. Since such decisions are made by each country, it is highly unlikely that a coordinated decision in any direction might be made. In fact, what we are likely to see is a mixture of different decisions. I thought it might be helpful to have some numbers to look at, to get an idea as to what role nuclear currently plays in generation around the world. I also discuss some other implications–for example, for electric cars.

1. The biggest impact of nuclear discontinuation would be in the OECD countries–that is, the “developed” countries, since these countries disproportionately are the users of nuclear energy.


Figure 1. OECD Electricity Generation, based on BP and EIA data.

Figure 1 indicates that nuclear accounts for about 22% of electric generation in OECD countries. “Renewables” is the sum of all types of electricity generation (other than hydroelectric) that are referred to as renewables–including burning wood for electricity generation, wind, solar photo voltaic (PV), geothermal, and biogas. Renewable amounts are from EIA data; the other amounts are from BP data.

The Former Soviet Union (FSU) would also be affected if nuclear electricity were discontinued, although to a lesser extent than OECD.


Figure 2. Former Soviet Union electricity generation, based on BP and EIA data.

Figure 2 indicates that the FSU gets about 18% of its electricity from nuclear, and this percentage has been rising. Since the Russia (and some of the other FSU countries) are big exporters of natural gas, if this area were to lose its nuclear, it would probably substitute natural gas, while reducing exports to other countries–especially Europe.

What I have called the “developing countries” (calculated as the World – OECD – FSU), have very rapidly growing energy use, but historically, very little nuclear use-a little over 2%. They would be least affected, as long as they could continue to expand their fossil fuel use (mostly coal) and their hydroelectric. These are big ifs, of course, as the world is running into limits with both fossil fuels and hydroelectric. Some of these countries (including China and India) are planning big increases in nuclear production in the future.


Figure 3. Developing countries electrical generation, based on BP and EIA data.

2. Within the OECD, vulnerability to a loss of nuclear power varies significantly.

A number of OECD countries have no nuclear electricity generating capacity. These would include Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Turkey.

At the other end of the range, some OECD countries have a very high percentage of electrical generation from nuclear. These include France, 76%; Belgium/Luxembourg, 56%; Hungary, 43%; Switzerland, 40%; Sweden, 39%; Czech Republic 34%; Finland, 33%; South Korea, 32%; Japan, 25%; Germany, 23%; United States 20%, United Kingdom, 19%; Spain, 18%; and Canada, 14%. (These amounts are based on BP statistical data for the year 2009.)

Within the United States, there is also variability in the proportion of electrical power from nuclear, with the largest concentration of nuclear power being on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

Figure 4. Map created by EIA showing nuclear electrical generating sites by state.

The two facilities in California are built on the coast, near the earthquake “ring of fire”. Diablo Canyon near San Luis Obispo is reported to be built to withstand an earthquake force of 7.5; San Onofre near San Clemente in San Diego County is built to withstand an earthquake force of 7.0. Both of these are far lower levels than the recent earthquake in Japan, which is now rated as a 9.0. California has limited power availability currently (it imports more power than any other state), so would likely have difficulty replacing lost nuclear power.

It might also be noted that Europe, right now, is at risk from declining North Sea natural gas. Replacing this with imports from elsewhere may be difficult, in and of itself. If declining nuclear production is added to the list of problems for these countries, there could be major difficulty.

3. Without nuclear electric power, electric cars seem very unlikely.

We would need more, rather than less, electric power to run electric vehicles. In the years ahead, it may not be all that easy to add electrical power of any kind. If areas were to lose nuclear electricity, they would be at a particular disadvantage.

4. Rolling blackouts would likely result in many areas, because of the difficulty of making up the shortfall in electricity from renewable or fossil fuel sources.

We are seeing rolling blackouts in Japan, when some of their nuclear electrical generation plants are taken off-line. I expect the same result would occur in at least some locations otherwise. The prices of coal and natural gas would likely rise, in an attempt to get more production. Oil prices might even rise also, since oil can also be used for generation.

Countries with a majority of their production from nuclear would likely lack alternate facilities for generating electricity. Even where such facilities are available, it is doubtful that coal and natural gas production can ramp up enough to provide to make up the shortfall. For example, in the US, nuclear and natural gas provide a similar amount of electrical generation, so it would likely be difficult to double natural gas production of electricity, to make up the nuclear shortfall.


Figure 5. US Electricity generation by source, based on EIA data.

There would be pressure to ramp up renewables other than hydroelectric, such as wind, solar, and biogas, but they are starting from a small base, and tend to be expensive relative to other fuels. For these reasons, it is doubtful that they would be able to replace more than small portion of the shortfall. Wind and solar PV are also intermittent, so pose additional challenges when substituting them for other fuel sources.

Rembrandt Koppelaar showed this summary of electrical generating costs, based on an IEA analysis, in a recent Oil Drum post.


Figure 6. Median and cost ranges for seven different electricity sources at a 5% and 10% interest rate. Amounts exclude charge for cost of carbon.

The table indicates that coal, natural gas, and nuclear are the least expensive sources of electric generation, and renewables tend to be more expensive.

5. Countries losing nuclear electric power would likely experience much higher unemployment, reduced tax revenue, and other financial problems.

Unless there were a way of replacing the electricity, industrial and commercial activity is likely to be scaled back, leading to widespread layoffs of workers. If those being laid off have loans outstanding, some are likely to default on them. Lower demand for homes is likely to reduce home prices, and indirectly, taxes based on the values of homes. Governments will also receive less revenue based on the salaries of people in the area, further adding to their financial problems. All of this will make it difficult for governments to pay their debts.

6. To the extent that fossil fuels are able to scale up to replace nuclear, CO2 levels are likely to be higher.

The fossil fuels most in use for generating electricity are coal and natural gas. To the extent that more of these fuels are burned than today, CO2 levels can be expected to be higher. Both of these fuels have other issues as well. Coal also has huge pollution issues, in addition to CO2 issues. Natural gas is now increasingly being extracted using fracking, a technique which has become controversial, especially when used in populated areas. Its price will likely need to be much higher in order to significantly raise production, making it less affordable for homeowners than either coal or natural gas today.

* * * * * * * * *

In spite of all of these issues, phasing out or scaling down nuclear electric may still be the way to go, especially in earthquake prone areas. We are also seeing rising political instability. It seems like building nuclear facilities in countries with political revolutions could prove to be disastrous.

If there were good choices available, decisions would be easy. The problem is that we need electricity for many things, including

    * Keeping up industrial production
    * Keeping oil pipelines moving crude oil and oil products
    * Keeping gasoline stations pumping fuel for cars
    * Keeping refineries refining oil
    * Keeping offices, restaurants, and other businesses open
    * Allowing medical equipment to work
    * Allowing refrigeration of food

So it is hard to walk away from a source of electricity that looks like it has a chance of being made to work, without too much damage to the environment. Except for Chernobyl (which was an exceedingly poor design choice) the outcomes have not been too bad–especially in comparison to the alternative of rolling blackouts, or more fossil fuel use.

If only the choices were easier!
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #5 on: 2011-03-16 12:52:01 »
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Reports: Lax oversight, 'greed' preceded Japan nuclear crisis
Reports suggest that greed within the worldwide nuclear industry, combined with an insufficient UN watchdog and lax oversight of Japan's nuclear plants, contributed to the Japan nuclear crisis.


This photo shows the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reactor no. 4 (c.) and no. 3 (l.) in northern Japan on March 15.
Tokyo Electric Power Co./Reuters


I express some minor incredulity in the #virus IRC channel about media attributions of the Japanese nuclear plant failure. references to the article included.

http://www.churchofvirus.org/bbs/index.php?board=;action=chatlog2;channel=%23virus;date=2011-03-16;time=09:47;start=0;max=30

10:01:01   MoEnzyme   Jumping Jesus! Why can't media just accept the obvious explanations for a disaster. The Japan nuclear power plant disaster was caused by the biggest fucking earthquake they've ever had since the invention of the Richter scale. Somehow I thought that was obvious.
10:01:02   MoEnzyme   But now we get stuff like this ---> http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0316/Reports-Lax-oversight-greed-preceded-Japan-nuclear-crisis Oh yeah, right! Forget the earthquake. The power plant meltdown was caused by not enough government! WTF?
10:01:28   Sat   * Sat chuckles
10:01:52   Sat   Ya, and 40 year old nuke plant tech built in an earthquake rich zone
10:02:08   Sat   It's amazing how stupid humans are.
10:02:20   Sat   May we all get what we deserve.
10:02:34   CruelOctopus   * CruelOctopus cringes at the thought.
10:04:50   MoEnzyme   Well, that's true, but this earthquake was off the scales compared to what they typically plan for even in Japan. I mean sometimes Mother Earth is just gonna beat the fuck out of you.
10:05:17   MoEnzyme   So I don't they really deserve it. Bad shit just happens sometimes. You can't plan for everything.
10:05:43   Lucifer   it was a black swan
10:05:56   CruelOctopus   Nicholas Taleb, call your office.
10:05:56   MoEnzyme   exactly. What Lucifer said.
10:06:08   Lucifer   just like all the other black swans we've seen flying around the last few years
10:06:20   Sat   It was the perfect storm!
10:06:36   Sat   * Sat chuckles
10:07:58   MoEnzyme   Really the earthquake itself and the Tsunami caused a lot more damage and loss of life than than the nuclear plant meltdown will.



« Last Edit: 2011-03-16 13:45:05 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #6 on: 2011-03-16 13:29:30 »
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Japan crisis causes run on anti-radiation pills in U.S.
By Rob Stein, Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 12:44pm


I'll just post in the chatlog from #virus where I quoted this. You can see the entire article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/japan_nuclear_crisis_triggers_run_on_anti_radiation_pills/2011/03/12/ABIdRIe_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage

permanent chatlog containing introductory quote at http://www.churchofvirus.org/bbs/index.php?board=;action=chatlog2;channel=%23virus;date=2011-03-16;time=11:00;start=0;max=30

11:02:16   MoEnzyme   More irrational market behavior cause by unhinged media hysteria re: Japanese Nuclear Plant Damage ---> http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/japan_nuclear_crisis_triggers_run_on_anti_radiation_pills/2011/03/12/ABIdRIe_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage
11:02:34   MoEnzyme   Japan crisis causes run on anti-radiation pills in U.S.
11:03:07   MoEnzyme   The Japanese nuclear power plant crisis is triggering jitters about radioactive fallout hitting the United States, even though experts say that is highly unlikely.
11:03:10   MoEnzyme   Fearful residents have flooded health officials in western states such as California, Washington and Oregon with anxious questions, and some authorities have begun issuing updates about air monitoring for radiation.
11:03:24   MoEnzyme   “We opened a hotline and have fielded hundreds of calls from the worried public,” said Michael Sicilio of the California Department of Public Health.
11:03:39   MoEnzyme   The two U.S. companies that make potassium iodide, which can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer from exposure to iodine-131, are being overwhelmed by demands for the medication from individuals, pharmacies, hospitals, day-care centers and others.
11:05:01   MoEnzyme   “People are terrified,” said Alan Morris, president of Anbex Inc., of Williamsburg, Va. “We’re getting calls from people who are crying and saying things like, ‘Please. Can’t you help me? Can’t you send me anything?’ ”
11:05:26   MoEnzyme   Both companies, along with state and federal officials and independent radiation experts, have been trying to reassure people that the chances of significant amounts of radiation reaching the United States from Japan are negligible, making such precautions unnecessary.
11:08:06   MoEnzyme   Mo: Ironic even, to hear the company itself trying to quell the very hysteria which is probably driving its profits way up at the moment. I guess after you've run out of the product, and hence no longer able to profit even more, the incentives for truth telling return somewhat.
11:08:26   CruelOctopus   * CruelOctopus sighs.
11:10:24   MoEnzyme   I guess it makes some sense. Since you can't really meet the demand anymore, that might be a good time to start telling the truth just to quell the customer dissatisfaction at the moment.
11:11:49   MoEnzyme   Plus you wouldn't want your competitor to get too much of an advantage over you. I notice that there were no quotes from the other company producing the same medicine. So the quotes are coming from the company which ran out of product first.
11:12:58   Sat   I've read that taking those ant-radiation pills without radiation exposure gan fuck up one's thyroid.
11:13:32   Sat   It'd be kind of ironic to have a bunch of people damaging themselves unnecessarily.
11:14:12   MoEnzyme   Sat, yeah, well if that's the case, publicizing the lack of necessity can lay greater liability on the other competitor who continues to profit from the hysteria.
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #7 on: 2011-03-20 21:43:39 »
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Ya don't say .....  !

It still doesn't take away from the horrific ordeal the citizens in the area and especially the plant workers are going through to ensure this out come.

Cheers

Fritz


Shameful media panic very slowly begins to subside

Source: The Register
Author: Lewis Page
Date: 2011.03.18




Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA

The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in Japan, badly damaged during the extremely severe earthquake and tsunami there a week ago, continues to stabilise. It is becoming more probable by the day that public health consequences will be zero and radiation health effects among workers at the site will be so minor as to be hard to measure. Nuclear experts are beginning to condemn the international hysteria which has followed the incident in increasingly blunt terms.

Seawater cooling of the three damaged reactor cores (Nos 1, 2 and 3) at the site continues. US officials and other foreign commentators continued to remain focused on a spent-fuel storage pool at the No 4 reactor (whose fuel had been removed and placed in the pool some three months prior to the quake).

Despite this, operations by Japanese powerplant technicians, military personnel and emergency services at the site focused instead on cooling the spent-fuel pool at the No 3 building, and on restoring grid electrical power at the plant. Japanese officials continued to contend that water remained in the No 4 pool and the situation there was less serious than that at No 3. Police riot vehicles mounting powerful water cannon and fire trucks were used to douse the spent-fuel pool at No 3 with water, causing steam to emerge – confirming that some cooling at least was being achieved. One of the fire trucks was reportedly lent by US military units based locally, though operated by Japanese troops.

World Nuclear News reports that radiation levels have generally decreased across the plant, though they remain hazardous in the immediate area of reactors 2 and 3; levels also climb temporarily when technicians open valves to vent steam from the damaged cores in order to allow fresh seawater coolant to be pumped in, prompting teams to retreat before venting is carried out. Nonetheless 180 personnel are now working within the site where and when radiation levels permit them to do so safely.

An external power line has now been laid out to the plant and latest reports indicate that this will be connected to its systems by tomorrow: final hookup has been delayed by steam-venting operations from the cores. Powerplant technicians hope that this will restore cooling service to reactor cores and spent-fuel pools across the plant, in particular to the pools at reactors 3 and 4. If normal water levels can be restored to the pools high levels of radiation above and immediately around the buildings will be cut off by the liquid's shielding effect. The buildings' roofs would normally help with this, but both have been blown off in previous hydrogen explosions.

Meanwhile, plant operator TEPCO said that on-site diesel generation serving units 5 and 6 – which are safely shut down, but which also have spent fuel in their storage pools – has been restored. The plant's diesels were mostly crippled by the tsunami which followed the quake: the wave was higher than the facility's protective barriers had been designed for. The prospect of any trouble at these reactors now seems remote.

The IAEA seems to accept that things are settling down: a senior official at the agency tells Reuters that the situation is now "reasonably stable".

Radiation readings at the site boundary remained low through Friday morning in Japan, dropping to 0.26 millisievert/hour. Personnel at the site are normally permitted to sustain 20 millisievert in a year: this has been raised to 250 millisievert owing to the emergency.

Normal dosage from background radiation is 2-3 millisievert annually: a chest CT scan delivers 7 millisievert. The highest radiation level detected anywhere beyond the site was a single brief reading of 0.17 millisievert at the boundary of the evacuation zone, but on average (Japanese government PDF/72KB) readings at the zone boundary are hardly above background.

Occasional brief readings of slightly heightened radiation – occasionally reported in scaremongering fashion as "10x normal" – have been detected as far afield as the outskirts of Tokyo, but these are insignificant in a health context. Even if they persisted unbroken for a year, local dosages at such a level would be no more than powerplant workers are allowed in normal times: and nuclear powerplant workers' cancer rate is actually lower than in the general population. Measurable blips in background radiation may be detectable around the world in coming weeks, and will no doubt be heavily reported on, but they will be more insignificant still.
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #8 on: 2011-03-20 22:13:25 »
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Interesting set of numbers, no matches of info here with the foaming at the mouth media reports. This is a snip of the site which is well worth the visit.

Cheers

Fritz


Source: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

Comparing deaths/TWh for all energy sources

I wrote this back in 2008 and with one new death that is somewhat nuclear energy related (a death at one of the japanese nuclear plants following the 8.9 earthquake) the statistics are not changed. Japan should have had sealed backup diesel generators or updated some of their designs. However, nuclear still compares very, very well to the other energy sources.


Energy Source              Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average          161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China                      278
Coal – USA                        15
Oil                                      36  (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas                        4  (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass                  12
Peat                                  12
Solar (rooftop)                    0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind                                    0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro                                  0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)    1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear                              0.04 (5.9% of world energy)



The 10 most dangerous jobs

Occupation    Fatalities per 100,000
Timber cutters                  117.8
Fishers                                71.1
Pilots and navigators          69.8
Structural metal workers      58.2
Drivers-sales workers          37.9
Roofers                                37
Electrical power installers    32.5  [also, solar power related]
Farm occupations                28
Construction laborers          27.7
Truck drivers                        25


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; survey of occupations with minimum 30 fatalities and 45,000 workers in 2002
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #9 on: 2011-03-21 02:29:15 »
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Thank you so much, Fritz. Indeed the numbers do not lie. While it's surely quite frightening for those stuck in Japan with those reactors, the death from nuclear power accidents post earthquake, post tsumami, are probably not much greater than the Anthrax deaths which occurred in the US post 9-11. You remember those dontchya?

Just a case how terror can briefly cripple our thinking no matter how incredible the story and non-credible the numbers. Sometimes we even remember them, like Anthrax? Well, Maybe not. But it was a big story at the time of course.

-Mo


Quote from: Fritz on 2011-03-20 22:13:25   

Interesting set of numbers, no matches of info here with the foaming at the mouth media reports. This is a snip of the site which is well worth the visit.

Cheers

Fritz


Source: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

Comparing deaths/TWh for all energy sources

I wrote this back in 2008 and with one new death that is somewhat nuclear energy related (a death at one of the japanese nuclear plants following the 8.9 earthquake) the statistics are not changed. Japan should have had sealed backup diesel generators or updated some of their designs. However, nuclear still compares very, very well to the other energy sources.


Energy Source              Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average          161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China                      278
Coal – USA                        15
Oil                                      36  (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas                        4  (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass                  12
Peat                                  12
Solar (rooftop)                    0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind                                    0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro                                  0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao)    1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear                              0.04 (5.9% of world energy)



The 10 most dangerous jobs

Occupation    Fatalities per 100,000
Timber cutters                  117.8
Fishers                                71.1
Pilots and navigators          69.8
Structural metal workers      58.2
Drivers-sales workers          37.9
Roofers                                37
Electrical power installers    32.5  [also, solar power related]
Farm occupations                28
Construction laborers          27.7
Truck drivers                        25


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; survey of occupations with minimum 30 fatalities and 45,000 workers in 2002
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #10 on: 2011-03-21 10:45:20 »
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[Blunderov] I'm against nuclear energy. It's too dangerous.

“ The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”

Albert Einstein.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x4780461

WHO Warns of "Serious" Food Radiation in Disaster-Hit Japan 
Source: Reuters

By Junko Fujita and Kazunori Takada
TOKYO | Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:31am EDT

(Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Monday that radiation in food after an earthquake damaged a Japanese nuclear plant was a "serious situation," eclipsing the first clear signs of progress in a battle to avert a catastrophic meltdown in the reactors.

- snip -

The health ministry has urged some residents near the Daiichi plant in Fukushima to stop drinking tap water after high levels of radioactive iodine were detected.

Cases of contaminated vegetables and milk have already stoked anxiety despite assurances from officials that the levels are not dangerous. The government has prohibited the sale of raw milk from Fukushima prefecture and spinach from a nearby area.

"Quite clearly it's a serious situation," Peter Cordingley, Manila-based spokesman for the World Health Organisation's (WHO) regional office for the Western Pacific, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "It's a lot more serious than anybody thought in the early days when we thought that this kind of problem can be limited to 20 to 30 kilometers ... It's safe to suppose that some contaminated produce got out of the contamination zone." [Bl.] (My underline.)

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/21/us-japan-quak...

[Bl. Nuclear waste is very very toxic and it remains so for a long, long time - even unto our childrens' children. It is, IMV, immoral to place such an enormous danger on those to to be born in the shallow interests of our grubby little expediencies. It costs 10 times the money to decommission a nuclear plant as it costs to build one. Thus there is a clear economic incentive, an imperative even, to run plants way beyond their sell-by dates. This means there WILL be more disasters as surely as night follows day - the consequences of which are unfathomable.

I also do not like the nuclear priesthood which it requires. It monopolises energy in the hands of elite corporations which, as has been shown repeatedly, have about as much social conscience as the average Nile crocodile. Nuclear is undemocratic. I would prefer a chain of interlinked green energy resources: hydro, solar, wind, sea, geothermal and whatever else might engender dispersed local energy economies that would, in turn, provide employment for real people instead of bonuses for banksters and all their twisted friends.

That said, it's not going to happen. So, if we have to go nuclear I prefer the  small modular reactor strategy.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-03/beyond-fukushima-daiichi-can-better-reactors-provide-safe-nuclear-powered-future

Can Next-Generation Reactors Power a Safe Nuclear Future?

As nations around the world rush to reconsider their nuclear plans, nuclear experts look toward a future of smaller, safer reactors designed to greatly reduce the likelihood of a Fukushima-sized catastrophe

By Clay Dillow
Posted 03.17.2011 at 12:18 pm 33 Comments

At this time last week, the Nuclear Renaissance was in full swing. Plans were moving forward to use the $36 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors in President Obama's 2012 budget. China was approving reactor stations at a steady pace, and nations across Europe were considering new nuclear sites of their own. Seven days later, the push toward more and better nuclear power has come to a full stop, as the crisis at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi power station threatens to unravel into the worst nuclear disaster in history.

But amid a strong, worldwide nuclear backlash, it's important to remember that the next generation of nuclear reactors are designed to prevent exactly what went wrong at the 40-year-old Fukushima Daiichi plant. Which is good, because according to the experts, a future weaned from fossil fuels will include nuclear power whether we like it or not. Here's what that future may look like.

In the days since the 9.0-magnitude quake and resulting tsunami heaped human tragedy and potential atomic disaster on Japan, things have gone from bad to worse at Fukushima Daiichi, sparking a flood of conjecture about the future of nuclear energy worldwide. Switzerland quickly suspended the approval process for three new plants, Germany's Chancellor announced that country would undertake a "measured" exit from nuclear power, and even China--the vanguard of the global nuclear energy charge--showed apprehension, freezing all new approvals for new nuclear power plants.

“When someone dies in a car accident we don’t stop using cars. We work to make them safer.”It’s too early to begin tallying the lessons learned in Japan, but technically speaking most of what’s gone wrong with Fukushima Daiichi's 1970s-era reactors has already been learned and accounted for in the latest nuclear power plant technology.

Keeping a nuclear plant safe means keeping it cool in any circumstances, including those in which man-made or natural disaster knocks out the usual cooling methods. This highlights the importance of safety features built into so-called Generation III-plus nuclear plant models, the latest feasible plant designs. These redundant and passive safety systems work without the help of an operator, or even electricity, during times of duress, be it man-made or natural.

Generation III-plus includes a handful of high-tech plant designs, many of which still await regulatory approval. Others, like France-based Areva’s Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR) and Westinghouse’s AP1000 (both are pressurized water reactors) are already under construction, and they are designed to withstand exactly the crisis the 40-year-old Japanese reactors are failing to deal with, whether operators are around to trigger emergency countermeasures or not.

“The new reactors really have a lot of features that were not available thirty, forty years ago,” says Michael Podowski, a visiting professor in MIT’s department of nuclear engineering and an expert on nuclear plant safety systems. “These new advanced reactors will employ more passive safety systems that will make them safe without any external intervention.”

Areva is currently building four EPR reactors, two in China and two in Europe. The design includes four independent redundant cooling systems, two of which are engineered to survive an airplane crash.

Westinghouse’s AP1000 packs a battery of passive systems that use natural air flow, gravity, and other natural phenomena to remove pumps and valves from the equation; if the plant begins to overheat these measures will automatically cool the core for up to three days with no external intervention whatsoever.

The Akademik Lomonosov: An artist's rendering of a floating nuclear power station currently under construction in Russia  Wikipedia

Of course, not everyone is sold on these systems. While it’s fair to say that the latest generation of reactors would have weathered the power outage at Fukushima Daiichi better than the existing reactors have, it’s hard to predict just how secure even they might be after a devastating earthquake-tsunami one-two punch.

Ed Lyman is a physicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists and an expert on nuclear plant design, and while he agrees that designs like the EPR far exceed the minimum safety standards set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he is careful to note that there’s no accounting for the unexpected. “Some new designs might be more robust than others, but generally I think they share flaws in that if you are going into uncharted territory with a severe accident case--which is where we are now with Fukushima--that all bets are off,” Lyman says. “I’m not sure that once you reach that point there would be any clear significant advantages to the new designs.”

Truly safe, secure nuclear power requires plants that simply cannot melt down, and that means going smaller rather than bigger. Podowski thinks one potential future relies on many smaller, distributed nuclear plants--so-called small modular reactors--that would contain a small amount of nuclear material, power a small area of the grid, and be protected by a smattering of passive mechanisms.

Because these reactors don’t concentrate too much heat in one place, no active cooling systems would be necessary to cool them--excess heat would be dispersed in the ambient air. By definition, Podowski says, these small reactors will be safer.

“The small reactors are inherently safe because nothing can happen at the small reactors,” Podowski says. “If something goes wrong they will be shut down automatically, the heat will be dispersed, and it will bring itself basically to a neutral state where there will be nothing coming in or out.”

Whether or not the pursuit of these designs is blunted by the Fukushima Daiichi event remains to be seen. Dr. Yaron Danon, a professor of nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is waiting to see whether the Japanese crisis will have the same effect on young people that previous nuclear accidents had on prior generations.

“It’s interesting to see how young people will react to this, the ones who don’t remember Chernobyl or Three-Mile island," Danon says. "Will they say we shouldn’t build or will they try to design better reactors?”

The Japanese crisis is a human tragedy and an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and re-evaluate the future, he notes, but giving up on the nuclear age in its adolescence would be a mistake.

“I don’t see a reason why we should eliminate this technology,” Danon says. “When someone dies in a car accident we don’t stop using cars. We work to make them safer.”*
.
[Bl.] *A specious analogy I think. Perhaps if the cars contained fuel that could poison the ecosystem for generations we might think twice about using them. Or not.



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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #11 on: 2011-03-23 12:34:49 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2011-03-21 10:45:20   
[Blunderov] I'm against nuclear energy. It's too dangerous.

“ The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”

Albert Einstein.



This is not Fission power but a weapon of mass destruction; yet the meme entrenched seems to give us difficulty differentiating them.


This is an example of hundreds of thousands, of Fossil Fuel power screwing up and killing people.; day after day after day ....


Hugs

Fritz
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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #12 on: 2011-03-27 11:40:39 »
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Even the venerable Globe and Mail ran a story last weekend pointing out the over reaction of the media over Fukushima and promptly beside the article, put a picture of Hiroshima, after the atomic bomb had exploded.

This is a slam and dunk 'conjob' by the fossil fuel industry and a shell game by governments, which serves a two fold purpose; look over there so you are distracted from the failing economies, civil unrest and the war on Libya, and at the same time supporting the oil and coal economic machine.

Maybe Blunderov is right; we are just too incompetent and self serving as a species to play with fire, let alone the atom.

Cheers

Fritz


Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate

Source: The Register
Author: Lewis Page
Date: 2011.03.25



Dead horse long ago flogged down to a mere red stain

The situation at the quake- and tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in Japan was brought under control days ago. It remains the case as this is written that there have been no measurable radiological health consequences among workers at the plant or anybody else, and all indications are that this will remain the case. And yet media outlets around the world continue with desperate, increasingly hysterical and unscrupulous attempts to frame the situation as a crisis.

Here's a roundup of the latest facts, accompanied by highlights of the most egregious misreporting.

First up, three technicians working to restore electrical power in the plant's No 3 reactor building stood in some water while doing so. Their personal dosimetry equipment later showed that they had sustained radiation doses up to 170 millisievert. Under normal rules when dealing with nuclear powerplant incidents, workers at the site are permitted to sustain up to 250 millisievert before being withdrawn. If necessary, this can be extended to 500 millisievert according to World Health Organisation guidance.

None of this involves significant health hazards: actual radiation sickness is not normally seen until a dose of 1,000 millisievert and is not common until 2,000. Additional cancer risk is tiny: huge numbers of people must be subjected to such doses in order to see any measurable health consequences. In decades to come, future investigators will almost certainly be unable to attribute any cases of cancer to service at Fukushima.

Nonetheless, in the hyper-cautious nuclear industry, any dose over 100 millisievert is likely to cause bosses to pull people out at least temporarily. Furthermore, the three workers had sustained slight burns to their legs as a result of standing in the radioactive water - much as one will burn one's skin by exposing it to the rays of the sun (a tremendously powerful nuclear furnace). They didn't even notice these burns until after completing their work. Just to be sure, however, the three were sent for medical checks.

So - basically nothing happened. Three people sustained injuries equivalent to a mild case of sunburn. But this was reported around the globe as front-page news under headlines such as "Japanese Workers Hospitalized for Excessive Radiation Exposure". Just to reiterate: it was not excessive.

Reporters clamoured to know more - in particular how could the water in the basement of the reactor building have become so radioactive - no less than "10,000 times normal". One might note that in general radiation levels 10,000 times normal mean that you could achieve a tiny fraction of an extra percentage point of cancer risk by being exposed for a fortnight or so.

Japanese government spokesmen briefing the press obligingly gave a list of possibilities. Among these was the possibility that the suppression chamber at No 3 may be leaking water or steam due to damage (as well as doing so due to planned venting operations which are being carried out on purpose).

The suppression chamber is technically part of the core's primary containment, though in fact the core itself lives in its own central cocoon at the middle of the doughnut-shaped, water-filled suppression chamber. The plant owner, TEPCO, in conjunction with Japanese government officials, stated that the No 3 suppression chamber might have suffered damage well over a week ago: this possibility was well known. We here at the Reg reported it back then, and not being goldfish we still remember doing so.

And yet we hear "Japan fears nuclear site reactor damage", "Dangerous breach feared at Japanese Nuke Plant" - as if this was some grave new piece of news today.

Related stories

    * Radioactive Tokyo tapwater HARMS BABIES ... if drunk for a year (23 March 2011)
    * Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear (22 March 2011)
    * Chinese man jailed for provoking nuke panic (21 March 2011)
    * Fukushima: Situation improving all the time (21 March 2011)
    * Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA (18 March 2011)
    * Analysis Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now! (14 March 2011)
    * New 'supercritical' generators to boost nuclear output by 50% (7 March 2011)
    * China bets on thorium (1 February 2011)
    * Miracle-tech that could fix almost everything: Major advance (15 July 2010)

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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #13 on: 2011-06-05 19:03:43 »
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This politically expedient self serving freak show called government in Germany is simply breath taking. Make Germany totally dependent on Russian fossil fuels and France's nuclear power, just to buy votes ....

Plugh

Fritz

PS: So does this come into play?
STRATFOR: German-Russian Security Cooperation

The Hidden Fallout From Germany's Sudden Nuclear Shutdown

Source: World Crunch
Author: Thomas Schmid DIE WELT/Worldcrunch
Date: 2011.05.30

Editorial: In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the phase-out of nuclear energy in Germany has been decided so quickly, and with so little thought, that it skirts the edges of democratic legitimacy.

Isar nuclear plant Unterahrain, Germany (bagalute)

BERLIN - The biggest advantage of democracy is the possibility of getting rid of governments you don’t like in a peaceful way. That doesn’t sound like much. Yet it sums up all the wisdom and beauty at the core of a democratic system. In a democracy, you can say A, but you can also say B, just as you can rely on the assumption that nothing has to last forever. Everything can be changed, amended, courses reversed. In short, the very life and soul of democracy is that there are always other options.

Germany’s federal government is now abusing that basic rule in a scandalous way. There can be no doubt that the country needs to be looking at a smart mix of different energy sources for the future, and that developing viable alternatives to atomic power is an urgent necessity. Yet the manner in which the federal government has rushed to its decision to put a definitive stop to the use of nuclear energy by 2022 runs counter to all rules of democratic procedure.

It began when, for politically-motivated and tactical reasons alone, the government went back on the agreement made last fall — just seven months ago — to extend the life span of nuclear power plants. After the Japanese plant Fukushima began leaking radiation, it felt compelled to cede to public pressure by making a rapid move away from atomic power. Backtracking in the blink of an eye, the government moved so quickly partly out of fear of the Greens, and entirely without discussion or reflection.

The Swiss Energy and Environment Minister Doris Leuthard—who had the determining vote in her government’s decision not to build any more atomic power plants and to stop the use of nuclear energy by 2034—stated: “The change needs time, but we also have time.” That deliberate tone is sorely missed in Germany. From the Christian Social Union (CSU) to the greenest of the republic’s Greens, over the past few weeks it’s as if everyone is trying to outdo everyone else in signing the death warrant on nuclear power. It’s a climate that only engenders more excitability, not good sense.

Why the rush?

It is rather astonishing to see how radically the federal government has avoided examining alternative solutions on this issue. Indeed, such an evasion of a debate on the so-called “Fukushima Package,” which comes up for parliamentary vote on July 8, could be said to skirt legality. Hans-Jürgen Papier, a former president of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, not known for making unconsidered remarks, called the moratorium an "illegal measure,’’ and something that “Angela Merkel, the magician pulled out of her hat like a rabbit a couple of days after Fukushima.’’ There was no reaction from Berlin.

The Federal Network Agency, also not known for rash pronouncements, stated that consequences of the moratorium would be ’’questionable in terms of the energy industry, economically inefficient, and ecologically damaging’’—again, no reaction from anti-nuclear Berlin, which steamrolled right over it.

And nobody really seems to be perturbed that the body created by Merkel to wind down the use of nuclear power has impertinently been assigned the name of "Ethics Commission’’—as if the issue at stake were an ethical one, and not one of practical and technical common sense. Supporters of atomic energy comprise a tiny minority of the 17-person commission, and within the government only the most faint voices can still be heard raising a timid "But?....’’ What a wonderful victory for the robust give-and-take that nurtures democracy!

And then there’s Europe. When a founding EU member as powerful as the Federal Republic of Germany wants the continent and the rest of the world to head down a new energy path, then it would be vital not only for that member to take the matter up at the European level, but to give it time -- we need time, and we have it. Germany has shown no respect for the energy policies of other EU countries, and particularly no trace of consideration for the East/West split that exists in Europe over nuclear power. Instead, Germany has chosen to go it alone on this issue, assuming a kind of avant-garde, "moral-high-ground’’ role that is not always going to play well elsewhere.

Sustainability also means not getting caught up in the fluster of every passing pressure. It means taking time, in the clear knowledge that a "no’’ to nuclear power does not constitute an answer to the complex question of how to find viable future sources of energy.

Weighing the pros and cons, hearing out the opposition, putting things in longer-term perspective: we’re not seeing any of this. Instead, there is an unholy alliance between those who want to “govern without hindrance” and those who would usurp the will of both parliament and the people in favor of morally charged environmental pressure. In a rational Germany, haste on such weighty issues should not be tolerated.

http://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentare/article13403650/So-ruiniert-die-Regierung-die-deutsche-Demokratie.html

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Re:It's not Nuclear power; its stupid humans
« Reply #14 on: 2011-06-13 18:38:01 »
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So how do we hold the media responsible for brain washing the hungry proletariat into supporting 'Big Oil' in all it's glory and criminality; I wish I could prove this notion that keeps haunting me. I was hood winked in the 1970's by the anti nuclear power lobby, that was financed by the oil and transportation industry, but it took 25 years to prove it, now here we go again but this time we are out of time. Yes large fission power and aging plants is a serious and dangerous problem; but there are so many better newer proven designs and if built as smaller plants closer to where the power is needed, could get us to other better long term energy solutions.

Something is rotten here; and it does not add up.

Cheers

Fritz


Italian referendum likely to dash Berlusconi's nuclear energy plans

Source: Guardian
Author: John Hooper
Date: 2011.06.13

Prime minister dealt second political blow in less than two weeks as opponents succeed in getting turnout above 50%


Silvio Berlusconi's plans for a big nuclear construction programme and water privatisation look set to be dashed in four nationwide ballots. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP

Silvio Berlusconi was heading on Mondayfor a second defeat in less than two weeks as his government admitted its opponents had succeeded in getting more than 50% of the electorate to vote in popular referendums including one on nuclear power.

The outcome of the four ballots, which will be known later on Monday, looked certain to dash the plans of Italy's embattled rightwing government for a big nuclear construction programme and water privatisation.

Berlusconi said: "We shall have to say good-bye to nuclear [energy]." He told a press conference in Rome that his government would now throw all its energy into developing renewable sources.

The expected outcome would be a huge success for the anti-nuclear movement in the world's first nationwide vote on the issue since Japan's Fukushima disaster. But the ballot was also the latest - and most persuasive - evidence that a majority of Italians has turned against their flamboyant prime minister.

Under Italian law, referendums require more than half the electorate to vote to be binding. The government did all it could to keep turnout low and appealed to the courts for the vote to be declared illegal. Italian television, largely under Berlusconi's sway, almost ignored the approaching ballots until the final days of a poorly funded, low-profile campaign.

Yet the interior minister, Roberto Maroni, said his department's projections indicated the opposition would reach its 50% target, regardless of the turnout among more than three million Italians overseas who are entitled to vote.

Berlusconi's government, which yokes his Freedom People movement to the regionalist and Islamophobic Northern League, first ran into serious trouble on 30 May when his candidate for mayor of Milan lost in a local election runoff. Milan is Berlusconi's home city and has traditionally been a weather-vane, accurately pointing to Italy's future political direction.

Since then, many rank-and-file league supporters have been urging their leader, Umberto Bossi, to cut himself free of Berlusconi. The party leadership has so far remained wedded to the coalition while pressing for a radical change in economic policy that would deliver tax cuts to its lower middle-class electoral base.

Italy abandoned its nuclear programme following a similar referendum in 1987. But the moratorium it introduced only remained in force for five years. Berlusconi had planned to generate a quarter of Italy's electricity with French-built nuclear plants.
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