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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Chernobyl's coffin is cracking

    Crumbling Chernobyl Shelter Poses Danger
    By MARA D. BELLABY, Associated Press Writer
    Sat Apr 22, 12:44 PM ET


    Chernobyl's coffin is cracking. Birds and rainwater have gotten inside the steel-and-concrete shelter hastily built over the reactor that blew up in 1986, and officials worry about what is getting out.

    The "sarcophagus" over reactor No. 4 is reaching the end of its life span. A multinational $1.1 billion project to build a new shelter a giant steel arch designed to last 100 years is still on the drawing board.

    "Twenty years have already passed since the accident, but the risks and the hazards posed by the reactor are still there," said Yulia Marusych, a spokeswoman for the power station.

    The sarcophagus of nearly 700,000 tons of steel and 400,000 tons of concrete was hastily built to seal in an estimated 200-ton mix of radioactive fuel and materials like concrete and sand that fused when the explosion spiked temperatures to 1,800 degrees inside.

    No one knows exactly how much radioactive fuel remains since only 25 percent of the reactor is accessible. Some estimate it all was discharged during the 10 days when the reactor spewed out its insides. Others counter that as much as 90 percent is still there. Sensors constantly check for signs of new reactions taking place.

    "Could it begin again? It would need certain conditions and we can say that today those conditions do not exist," Marusych said. "But the chance that a chain reaction could be triggered is not zero. The danger remains."

    Didier Louvat, a radiation waste expert with the International Atomic Energy Agency who studies Chernobyl closely, sees no reason for alarm "The situation is stable ... at the moment the conditions are not a matter for concern."

    Some accuse the Ukrainian government of playing up the dangers to get more international aid for the new shelter. But Yuriy Andreyev, head of the Chernobyl Union, an advocacy group, accused the government of not doing enough. He said water accumulating under the reactor is highly irradiated and could leak into the region's groundwater.

    Authorities said the priority now is stabilizing the sarcophagus. The roof is not sealed properly. The water inside is weakening the concrete and metal. The shelter's original west wall is leaning precariously.

    While a collapse would be unlikely to spark another explosion, it could release a huge burst of poisonous radioactive dust.

    For now, while talks continue on who will build the new shelter, construction crews are working to shore up the aging sarcophagus. They have to work in 20-minute shifts to minimize exposure to radiation.

    "About the danger? Well, everybody knows where he works and everybody realizes the real hazards, the real risks of working here," said Yuriy Tatarchuk, a Chernobyl official.

    Good website I found last year...
    http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chernobyl-revisited/

    This is the highest building in town. On the day of disaster, many people gathered on this roof to see the beautiful shining cloud above the Atomic Power Plant.


    The plant was closed down for good in 2000. They must build a new sarcophagus soon, because the original one was hastily constructed and is disintegrating. Only a very small amount of the radiation inside of there had so far actually escaped. More then 90% is still under sarcophagus. I heard with all the concrete they put down, the construction became heavy.. some day it may fall down, get in subterranean waters and leave Europe with no water.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Eddymon's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:37 PM
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    Default HE'S COMING!

    That can't be good, you know whast next then.

    'Old Van Halen, when I was in it-classic Van Halen-makes you wanna drink, dance and screw, right? And the new Van Halen encourages you to drink milk, drive a Nissan and have a relationship.' - David Lee Roth.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 08:12 PM
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    Just finished reading the article about this in the current National Geographic. Frightening stuff. Even more disturbing is the current eco-friendly green movement on clean nuclear power, as new technology and safety procedures seem to placate many modern environmentalists looking for solutions to cleaner energies (nuke power plants don't have nearly the amount of carbon emissions like coal and oil plants produce for electricity). It's a facade; yes, improvements in design and structure and fail-safes will decrease the likelihood of accidents, but will not deter any consequences should accidents occur in spite of them, and the future problems with the half-lives of most reactor waste far outweigh the current needs for sustainable power.

    All paranoia aside, anybody living within a thousand square miles of any nuclear power plant would be doing themselves and their families a giant favor by having a supply of potassium iodide on hand in their emergency supplies. Three Mile was a hiccup compared to Chernobyl. And only one of Chernobyl's reactors blew. If two, three, or four of them did, in any conventional American nuclear plant...and with terrorist threats on the rise, and with disposal systems for fuel rods being shoddily protected and stored...well, it ain't rocket science.

    There are plenty of alternatives to cheap, renewable and clean energies that could easily replace nuclear, coal, and oil industry, including but not limited to wind, solar, biomass, biodiesel, geothermal, ethanol, and amalgams of the preceding.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    First off, American nuke plants are different than this Russian design.

    The biggest mistake the US ever made was backing away from nuclear power. The second biggest mistake was to not pursue the breeder-reactor designs for all power plants, that way there is no nuclear waste to store, only more fuel.

    People living down-wind of coal-fired plants are exposed to dangerous doses of radiation from the coal dust. Nuclear power should play a big part of our future.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    It's a myth, Axx. Putting aside the billions of dollars of government subsidies and federal insurance, nuclear electricity has proven to be notoriously expensive, and although construction costs have been paid off on the older models, lower capital costs for new reactors won't offset long term output. As a mature industry, nuclear power will never stand on its own without federal assistance. Despite the assertion of our president that nuclear energy is a renewable energy source, it's not...the US Army Engineer Corps states that uranium supplies are projected to only last another 20 years at present consumption rates. New plants, it'll go even faster. Those breeder reactors used in Europe and Japan extend limited uranium supplies, but those plants are historically more unstable, plus they generate the fissionable materials for nuclear weapons.

    Any time a highly concentrated fuel source is confined in a small space, it's a risk. But nuclear power is a considerably more volatile energy, and is too prone to potentially widespread contamination.

    As mentioned previously, there are a variety of methods that will create equally cost-effective power, without the potential downsides of radionuclide leakage.

    You can bet if a Chernobyl happened here in the States, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. It's always cool 'til it ain't. You and I are situated about the same distance from Diablo Canyon; guess what happens if simple human error - terrorist sabotage BS aside - causes a meltdown like in Russia. Worldwide economic collapse, that's what, if the fifth largest regional economy in the world becomes uninhabitable.

    But the biggest problem with nuke plants? The waste. Radioactive for millennia, and no permanent or efficient way as of yet to store it or render it inert.

    There are better and cheaper ways.
    Last edited by Van Squalen; 04.22.06 at 05:56 PM.

  6. #6
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 04:51 PM
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    For those of you that havent seen this website. Its a great read. A Russian gal rides her Ninja 1000 through the dead zone, great pics and a extremely interesting read.
    http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html

    Some say its all fiction, some dont. Either way its a cool read.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Breeder reactors make zero-waste. They produce more fuel, that's how they get their name.

    The Nuclear industry has operated for almost 40 years and has only one major accident, 3-Mile Island. I have at least one small reactor near by used by the government, there's never been a problem there either.

    If anything, NOT having more nuclear power plants has killed more Americans than the body-count in Chernobyl. Pollution from coal and acid rain have killed thousands over the time span that nuclear power has been available. Then you've got moments like the Exxon Valdiez and the hundreds of accidents that happen each year at refineries that release toxins into the air.

    Then there is our presence in the Persian Gulf, we're there because, as President Carter said, the free flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf is in the direct interest of the National Security of the Untied States. All that has occurred in Iraq is because we need oil, and we need oil because we have limited alternatives for power. So we kill thousands of Iraqis so we don't have to have a nuclear power plant down the road, this isn't about blood for oil it's about blood for a nuclear-free zone.

    We all have been victimized by the "No Nuke" gang from the late 70s and today we are behind the rest of the world, even Iran, in nuclear power. Europe, China and Japan have continued on with their domestic nuclear power development and this has given them a huge advantage over the US in that should OPEC impose another embargo or Iran launch a nuke on the Saudi oil fields; those countries can still function because their electrical grid will still be online without interruption.

    I'm not saying that nuclear power should be the sole enegry source, I think that solar, wind, hydrogen and natural gas should be used along WITH nuclear power. Nuclear power isn't the boogeyman that some have made it to be and shouldn't be feared. Yes, it can be dangerous but that's why it's layered with so many fail-safes that make accidents almost unheard of. The factual history of nuclear power, in this country and globally, doesn't warrent the bad rap it's gotten.

    When the last page is written on energy disasters , when the body count is tallied, the sad truth is that more people were killed by the state of California when it added MTBE into it's gasoline mixture than the final death-toll of Chernobyl.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 08:12 PM
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    That article in National Geographic mentions the Red Forest, a stretch of pines just outside the city nearest Chernobyl, where the pine needles turned red from radiation. I had a buddy in graduate school who toured the area, he was a Master's candidate in industrial engineering, and he saw that forest too...said it was, quote, 'the fuckin' Max Max - iest shit he ever saw.'; that and the surrounding abandoned urban centers. Red trees. Yikes.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    Breeder reactors do NOT make zero waste. Flat out falsehood.

    It's like saying you're not going to buy health insurance because you know you've never been sick.

    The point was not that nuclear plants don't run cleaner than conventional coal and oil burnoff. They do - but they're not as emission free as the new 'green-nuke' advocates claim. The point was, the problem with nuclear plants is that despite the fail-safes, a significant accident isn't like an oil field on fire, or an electrical grid out for months on end....a natural gas plant or oil refinery blowing up will likely not have an effect worldwide as an entire nuclear facility going up.

    It's too much of a risk, plain and simple, and somewhat contradictory, given the fact we can construct other means of creating energy that will produce the same output for far less money in a far less dangerous fashion. Problem is, we've become a people who are predominately reactive rather than pro-active, and only learn our lessons AFTER we get whacked in the head with hammer, instead of ducking beforehand.

    To date, many governments believe being a nuclear power both industrially and militarily has served them well, but it's a case of degrees...it functions, yes, but it's not optimal, promotes proliferation, and regardless of how many failsafes there are, any system is vulnerable to failure or subterfuge no matter what measures are put in place. If there are more viable and equally prosperous alternatives that don't endanger future generations nor impose long term and irreversible risks to any part of the meager 25% land surface we have on this planet, it's a sign - or not - of an intelligent species to pursue that which has the greatest potential reward with the least amount of potential cost.
    Last edited by Van Squalen; 04.22.06 at 07:22 PM.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Coal-burning plants dump 200 tons of radioactivity into the atmosphere every year. In California we're lucky in that we don't have any coal plants. We have natural gas plants, which means we are at the mercy of guys like Enron, except not as honest.

    The breeder-reactors have never been put into production, the only IFR reactor was shut down in 1994.

    You can read about it here in a PBS/Frontline interview:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...iews/till.html

    Bottom line is that you seem to be worried about something that's already happening back east, which is radioactive conamination. On the flip-side, if we doubled our nuclear capacity we all could tell the Saudis and Enrons of the world to take a long walk off a short pier.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    This is the Oakridge National Labs report on coal pollution:

    http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/...t/colmain.html
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Here's anarticle from BBC News about the amazing recovery of wildlife in the area.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4923342.stm
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300

    Bottom line is that you seem to be worried about something that's already happening back east, which is radioactive conamination. On the flip-side, if we doubled our nuclear capacity we all could tell the Saudis and Enrons of the world to take a long walk off a short pier.
    Nah, it's not a worry, but rather an understanding, albeit a sobering one. I have come to understand the natures of entropy and synchronicity. Murphy's Law and all that jazz. If something can go wrong, it inevitably will. Just a fact of this frail physical universe of ours.

    But we don't have to contribute to the greater whole of risks unnecessarily, and certainly not with industrial needs and motivations that risk propagation of the species itself. It's easily feasible to convert the technologies of the world into enviro-friendly agrarian states, if only we weren't so preoccupied with maintaining the status quo.

    On another flip side, if every major metropolis on the continent delegated 50,000 acres on their fringes to the latest advances in wind turbines and solar panels, if General Motors and Toyota mass-produced the biodiesel-compatible tech that already exists, we could still tell the Saudis and Enrons of the world to take a short walk. And we wouldn't have to worry about irradiated food, thyroid cancer, or no-zone sunburn either.

    Ya know, I'm not some pro-Green zealot anti-nuke hippie. I just don't like pretending that dangerous things will always be held in check somehow, someway, because the entire span of human history has shown otherwise. It's a matter of clarity and observation, coupled with probabilities of human nature and motivations for resource allocation. It's really not that complex. To date, we've shown to be a species vastly self-destructive in nature. Nuclear energy and weaponry have for the first time in recorded history given us the opportunity to really perpetuate the end of our line through our own machinations on a global scale, not limited to a particular event in a particular country or hemisphere or continent, a factor self-induced, not a dinosaur-killing asteroid or an ice age or other potentially planet-changing circumstances beyond our control.

    Again...why even consider potentially devastating options when there are others options equally lucrative and far less risky?

    Short answer: We're lazy, and hate starting from scratch, and are the types of beings that almost always require proof of the cons of a thing before dealing with the cons of the thing. And even then, that proof better damn well happen in your backyard. Otherwise, it's somebody else's problem. Reactive, not pro-active. No pun intended.

    What I do know is this...if you grew up in Pripyat during the mid-eighties, you'd feel different.
    Last edited by Van Squalen; 04.22.06 at 08:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    What I do know is this...if you grew up in Pripyat during the mid-eighties, you'd feel different.
    I live in California durring the 1990s when environmentalists tried to poison us with MTBE. I currently live in a country where the FDA has decided to ban Primetine Mist because it had flourocarbines in it. This will lead to an additional 30,000 deaths of mostly poor black children. Nobody cares.

    Why would you be worried about something that MIGHT happen when people are being lethally poisoned by car exhaust and coal dust RIGHT NOW, TODAY?

    The simple fact is that the total power offered by bio-diesel and ethanol are maybe 1/4 of the power that nuclear has already proven to deliver. 100% of Frances electricity comes from nuclear power, do you really want to be seen as a bigger frady cat than the French?

    See, if I were a person of money and influence, I would be building a bunch of IFR reactors in Nevada, Utah and Arizona. I would cut each state in on the proffits by making them co-owners, they could then put their cut into their general fund. As California is the "Salad Bowl" of the nation, these states would become the "Power Source" for the western United States because the power coming from these nuclear plants would go onto the national grid. These plants would be turning a profit in less than seven years. With IFR plants, there is no nuclear waste, therefore no expense for storage. They would be deep in the desert areas of these states, insuring a large comfort.safety-zone. I would build reactors in southern Arizona and New Mexico so I could sell electricity to Mexico too.

    There's a huge oppertunity here, we all would be foolish to not pursue it.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Van Squalen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300
    Why would you be worried about something that MIGHT happen when people are being lethally poisoned by car exhaust and coal dust RIGHT NOW, TODAY?

    I already explained that in detail. You keep ignoring it. The one difference between the ailments we're both describing is, those calamaties you cited don't have half-lives of millennia. It's one thing for a generation, or even several generations, to pay the piper on short-sighted industrial pollutants (like over-toxification via carbon/fossil fuel emissions, as you said), and it's another thing entirely for ALL future generations to suffer the consequences of more volatile mixes. Radioactivity is not synonymous with carbon dioxide or coal dust.

    In short, the earth could snap back and cleanse itself from humans' contributions to greenhouse gases and 'standard' pollution a lot sooner than it could from a major nuclear incident, much less a nuclear exchange. You keep basing your premise on the presumption that a major accident is only a remote possibility. Which you simply cannot guarantee.

    It's a matter of degrees. And the energy sources I've listed could easily compensate and then some for the total electrical output of all existing nuclear plants and future ones, IF we set up the system in an appropriate manner. Rest assured, there's easy and prosperous non-nuclear alternatives to meet all our power needs, even given the continuing population growth, with an excess reserve to boot.

    BTW, while I understand your bitterness concerning the FDA and your inhalers - I remember your post, something dispassionate about all the execs' children getting eye cancer -, and while I myself have similar issues concerning managed health care and pharmaceudical kickbacks, comparing yourself, a citizen of Carmel in the wealthiest state in the union, to a Russian Chernobyl child who was exposed to 400 times the amount of radiation delivered to Hiroshima is somewhat...excessive.

 

 

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