Nuclear energy and society

France has 58 nuclear reactors, and has never had anything approaching a serious accident.

Chernobyl is the worst nuclear accident in history. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the total number of deaths from Chernobyl, up to now and indefinitely into the future, will not exceed 2500. Those 2500 deaths are pretty much all deaths from nuclear energy in history.
Needless to say, there are other bodies who don't have a vested interest who have a different estimation
Hydroelectricity has killed many thousands from dam bursts and from assorted accidents. Coal burning has killed hundreds of thousands from respiratory illness.
can we include exposure to DU ammunitions too?
Of the Big Four electricity producers, only natural gas has a better safety record than nuclear. Of those big four, only nuclear can be expanded almost indefinitely. Coal is too environmentally destructive. Hydro is almost at maximum potential already. Natural gas is good, but is limited in abundance.
expanded almost indefinitely?
I thought the consensus was a few hundred years ....

I predicted that my idea for dissolving nuclear waste in seawater would attract irrational and emotional opposition, and it did.
Emotional responses are the norm to idiotic suggestions based on figures that have no precedent in reality
:eek:
 
expanded almost indefinitely? I thought the consensus was a few hundred years ....

. . . with the easily-obtainable raw uranium we have. With reprocessing you can expand almost indefinitely. It's an advantage that fossil fuels definitely do not have.
 
Needless to say, there are other bodies who don't have a vested interest who have a different estimation

can we include exposure to DU ammunitions too?

expanded almost indefinitely?
I thought the consensus was a few hundred years ....


Emotional responses are the norm to idiotic suggestions based on figures that have no precedent in reality
:eek:

Exposure to DU?

DU has even less U235 in it than natural Uranium, which is perfectly safe to use as a paper weight. That is why it is called "depleted". It is the tails product of the enrichment process, where the more dangerous U235 is removed for fuel use. You can even order natural Uranium ore online, and have it shipped by UPS:

http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_76&products_id=461
http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=87&products_id=211
http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_76&products_id=464

I still get a kick out of that website. Looks like it was made in 1998.

Anyway, there is a toxic aspect to Uranium, as a metal, but that is very similar to lead...which comprises most munitions. As far as radioactivity, DU is not a concern.
 
Exposure to DU?

DU has even less U235 in it than natural Uranium, which is perfectly safe to use as a paper weight. That is why it is called "depleted". It is the tails product of the enrichment process, where the more dangerous U235 is removed for fuel use. You can even order natural Uranium ore online, and have it shipped by UPS:

http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_76&products_id=461
http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=87&products_id=211
http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_76&products_id=464

I still get a kick out of that website. Looks like it was made in 1998.

Anyway, there is a toxic aspect to Uranium, as a metal, but that is very similar to lead...which comprises most munitions. As far as radioactivity, DU is not a concern.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#The_Iraqi_population

Just in case you think its a rag head issue, its actually part of an ongoing bullshit dialogue

for example

compare this

A group concerned about the use of depleted uranium weapons say overseas tests have confirmed two Sunshine Coast Gulf War veterans have been exposed to depleted uranium.

Pauline Rigby from the Depleted Uranium Silent Killer organisation says the men's urine samples were tested at the Uranium Medical Research Centre in Canada and the JW Goethe University in Germany.

She says the tests prove the veterans were exposed to depleted uranium during their time in the Australian Defence Force.

"The maspectrometry does not lie. It very carefully analyses the four uranium isotopes in the urine and there's a considerable presence of depleted uranium in the urine of these veterans 15 years after their service in [the] Gulf War," she said.


with this back in 2001

The acting Minister for Defence, and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Scott, today announced a five-point plan to deal with the possible exposure of Australian Defence Force personnel to depleted uranium munitions used in the Balkans.

Mr Scott said the plan will:

1. establish the risk to personnel from exposure to depleted uranium munitions,
2. identify and contact ADF personnel potentially at risk,
3. conduct health screening on those personnel,
4. provide support and counselling services to those members and their families, and
5. provide for continued health monitoring at least every five years


and finally

I COMMEND The Sunday Mail for raising the subject of depleted uranium and our military personnel's fight to have their medical conditions recognised by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Vietnam veterans know all too well their long fight for compensation over their contact with Agent Orange and how the Government fought to the death rather than acknowledge their conditions were caused by the chemical.

Governments of both political persuasions never have a problem with spending billions of dollars on someone else's wars but will haggle over a fraction of that denying veterans compensation for war-related injuries.


:eek:

You do realize that there is a distinction between uranium ore and du?
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#The_Iraqi_population

Just in case you think its a rag head issue, its actually part of an ongoing bullshit dialogue

for example

compare this

A group concerned about the use of depleted uranium weapons say overseas tests have confirmed two Sunshine Coast Gulf War veterans have been exposed to depleted uranium.

Pauline Rigby from the Depleted Uranium Silent Killer organisation says the men's urine samples were tested at the Uranium Medical Research Centre in Canada and the JW Goethe University in Germany.

She says the tests prove the veterans were exposed to depleted uranium during their time in the Australian Defence Force.

"The maspectrometry does not lie. It very carefully analyses the four uranium isotopes in the urine and there's a considerable presence of depleted uranium in the urine of these veterans 15 years after their service in [the] Gulf War," she said.


with this back in 2001

The acting Minister for Defence, and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Scott, today announced a five-point plan to deal with the possible exposure of Australian Defence Force personnel to depleted uranium munitions used in the Balkans.

Mr Scott said the plan will:

1. establish the risk to personnel from exposure to depleted uranium munitions,
2. identify and contact ADF personnel potentially at risk,
3. conduct health screening on those personnel,
4. provide support and counselling services to those members and their families, and
5. provide for continued health monitoring at least every five years


and finally

I COMMEND The Sunday Mail for raising the subject of depleted uranium and our military personnel's fight to have their medical conditions recognised by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Vietnam veterans know all too well their long fight for compensation over their contact with Agent Orange and how the Government fought to the death rather than acknowledge their conditions were caused by the chemical.

Governments of both political persuasions never have a problem with spending billions of dollars on someone else's wars but will haggle over a fraction of that denying veterans compensation for war-related injuries.


:eek:

You do realize that there is a distinction between uranium ore and du?

I do. Uranium ore is more radioactive than DU.

However, any purified form of uranium, depleted or not, increases its toxicity. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot known about the toxicity of Uranium, as there is about metals like Lead. It is entirely possible that it is far worse than lead...I have no idea. But I can speak about DU and its radioactivity, as I work in the uranium enrichment industry, and come into contact with DU on a daily basis.

The problem with claiming "DU exposure" as a cause of anything is that there just isn't enough data to support the claim. It very well could be true. But if that is the case, it is more likely due to handling DU, thus introducing it into the body, than "exposure" to DU, which implies radioactivity to be the culprit, which simply makes no sense, as its level of radioactivity is very low. You can sit in a chair on the beach with a canister of DU in your lap, and you will get more of a radiation dose from the Sun than you will the canister of DU.

The one thing I can think of that is really a concern about DU, as a component of ammunition, is from something I read once about it. Apparently, when a DU round hits a target, a lot of the material shatters and forms like an aerosol. If DU does have a high toxicity, that would really be a problem. And that would explain why an area where a lot of DU rounds were being fired might have particulate DU floating around being inhaled by the populace. That definitely makes sense, and would be a cause for concern in using DU for ammunition.
 
I do. Uranium ore is more radioactive than DU.

However, any purified form of uranium, depleted or not, increases its toxicity. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot known about the toxicity of Uranium, as there is about metals like Lead. It is entirely possible that it is far worse than lead...I have no idea. But I can speak about DU and its radioactivity, as I work in the uranium enrichment industry, and come into contact with DU on a daily basis.

The problem with claiming "DU exposure" as a cause of anything is that there just isn't enough data to support the claim. It very well could be true. But if that is the case, it is more likely due to handling DU, thus introducing it into the body, than "exposure" to DU, which implies radioactivity to be the culprit, which simply makes no sense, as its level of radioactivity is very low. You can sit in a chair on the beach with a canister of DU in your lap, and you will get more of a radiation dose from the Sun than you will the canister of DU.

The one thing I can think of that is really a concern about DU, as a component of ammunition, is from something I read once about it. Apparently, when a DU round hits a target, a lot of the material shatters and forms like an aerosol. If DU does have a high toxicity, that would really be a problem. And that would explain why an area where a lot of DU rounds were being fired might have particulate DU floating around being inhaled by the populace. That definitely makes sense, and would be a cause for concern in using DU for ammunition.
Its certainly a relief to the veterans that its not the radioactivity of DU that is killing them ... but that aside, its yet another down side to the nuclear energy debate if the waste materials are used to manufacture crap like this, so perhaps Skeptical can reassess his figures on health costs and fatalities of contingent on the industry
 
but that aside, its yet another down side to the nuclear energy debate if the waste materials are used to manufacture crap like this

So DU is OK to use if it's not part of nuclear fuel manufacture, but isn't OK when it's part of it? Would you be happier if you were sickened by uranium (or lead, or thorium) if you knew it came from a coal plant, rather than from a nuclear power plant?
 
So DU is OK to use if it's not part of nuclear fuel manufacture, but isn't OK when it's part of it? Would you be happier if you were sickened by uranium (or lead, or thorium) if you knew it came from a coal plant, rather than from a nuclear power plant?
we were talking about the health aspects of various energy options .

Skeptical cited dam bursts from hydro and respiratory illness from coal.

I am simply asking him to factor DU in with his analysis of uranium
 
we were talking about the health aspects of various energy options .

Skeptical cited dam bursts from hydro and respiratory illness from coal.

I am simply asking him to factor DU in with his analysis of uranium

Except the amount of people "exposed" to DU is very small. The amount of people affected by the burning of coal is pretty big, and does have a global effect.

And I really do not see the correlation between nuclear energy and choosing to use a byproduct of uranium enrichment in ammunition. If DU is such a hazard, then the choice could be made to no longer use it...but this would have no effect on nuclear energy at all. DU's hazards are not in any way tied to the operation of nuclear reactors. It isn't even really tied to the nuclear fuel cycle. Whether they store DU or make bullets out of it, uranium enrichment can still go on. There might be a minor cost offset, but that's about it.
 
Except the amount of people "exposed" to DU is very small. The amount of people affected by the burning of coal is pretty big, and does have a global effect.
Depends whether some country has just performed operation shit storm in your back yard
And I really do not see the correlation between nuclear energy and choosing to use a byproduct of uranium enrichment in ammunition.

If DU is such a hazard, then the choice could be made to no longer use it...but this would have no effect on nuclear energy at all. DU's hazards are not in any way tied to the operation of nuclear reactors. It isn't even really tied to the nuclear fuel cycle. Whether they store DU or make bullets out of it, uranium enrichment can still go on. There might be a minor cost offset, but that's about it.
Intelligence by hindsight is such a wonderful thing .... but unfortunately its not a question of whether they choose to do this or that with it - they already have - so in the meantime, you have an associated health risk due to materials due from uranium energy
:shrug:
 
On depleted uranium.

I accuse the lead industry in the United States of being responsible for 30,000deaths per year. The reason for this is that the total of homicides and suicides in which people are killed by high velocity lead projectiles adds up to 30,000.

Do you think the above argument makes sense, and the lead industry kills 30,000 per year? If you do, then maybe you can accuse the nuclear energy industry, which makes depleted uranium, also a lethal projectile, of killing lots of people. Except that is wrong. Nuclear energy may be the route by which depleted uranium is made, but the decision to use it as a lethal weapon is that of the military. The military and the military alone are responsible for any DU deaths - not the nuclear energy industry.

Sorry, LG, but that is a silly argument.
 
so in the meantime, you have an associated health risk due to materials due from uranium energy

?? They don't use DU because it happens to be a result of nuclear energy. They use it because it makes a really good projectile. Even if we had no nuclear energy program they'd have it from weapons manufacture.

It's like blaming Brita filters for a failed dam that kills a dozen people. Hey, they both process water, right? It's Brita's fault!
 
On depleted uranium.

I accuse the lead industry in the United States of being responsible for 30,000deaths per year. The reason for this is that the total of homicides and suicides in which people are killed by high velocity lead projectiles adds up to 30,000.

Do you think the above argument makes sense, and the lead industry kills 30,000 per year?
no ... but if however you had a host of complaints from people with lead poisoning from manufactured goods, then you would have a paper trail to chase
If you do, then maybe you can accuse the nuclear energy industry, which makes depleted uranium, also a lethal projectile, of killing lots of people.

You do realize that the OHAS issues that surround DU are not about being directly shot by them? Yes?

Except that is wrong. Nuclear energy may be the route by which depleted uranium is made, but the decision to use it as a lethal weapon is that of the military. The military and the military alone are responsible for any DU deaths - not the nuclear energy industry.

Sorry, LG, but that is a silly argument.
You have an industry and you have a client.
You have a track record of health issues.
You have a connection
:shrug:

Pretending you can talk of uranium energy while exclusively avoiding the key issues of all the crap that is manufactured as a consequence of it doesn't hold

Its simply another theoretical notion in your imaginary world of safety defined by computer models, while the real world grinds on
 
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?? They don't use DU because it happens to be a result of nuclear energy. They use it because it makes a really good projectile. Even if we had no nuclear energy program they'd have it from weapons manufacture.
But since they have it from energy programs you have a surplus ... which is convenient when you have a demand ... so go figure

It's like blaming Brita filters for a failed dam that kills a dozen people. Hey, they both process water, right? It's Brita's fault!
perhaps if the dam was made of brita filters ....
 
LG

While I appreciate there is an anti-DU movement and people who claim it is responsible for all kinds of ills, including cancer and birth defects, you need to be aware that there is no sound scientific evidence for that. Such evidence as we have suggests it is not particularly nasty. Admitted that more studies are needed.

I am sympathetic to your views to a degree, but only because I am a wee bit of a pacifist. However, the way to stop conflict is not by throwing shit at the tools of warfare, but to tackle the causes - like idiot American presidents.

However, to consider DU projectiles to be the responsibility of the nuclear energy industry is really not realistic. Lead bullets are not the responsibility of lead miners. War, and the use of the tools of war, is the responsibility primarily of politicians, and secondly the military.
 
LG

While I appreciate there is an anti-DU movement and people who claim it is responsible for all kinds of ills, including cancer and birth defects, you need to be aware that there is no sound scientific evidence for that. Such evidence as we have suggests it is not particularly nasty. Admitted that more studies are needed.

I am sympathetic to your views to a degree, but only because I am a wee bit of a pacifist. However, the way to stop conflict is not by throwing shit at the tools of warfare, but to tackle the causes - like idiot American presidents.

However, to consider DU projectiles to be the responsibility of the nuclear energy industry is really not realistic. Lead bullets are not the responsibility of lead miners. War, and the use of the tools of war, is the responsibility primarily of politicians, and secondly the military.

regardless of who is legally culpable, du and the associated nastiness remains clearly connected to the nuclear industry

talking about how in an ideal world we wouldn't do such things doesn't change the fact about how things really are
 
perhaps if the dam was made of brita filters ....

The dam is not made of Brita filters, and nuclear reactors are not made of DU (and DU is not made of nuclear reactor fuel.) So I guess you're right; DU isn't that related to nuclear power production after all.
 
LG's arguments are a pretty good example of most arguments against nuclear energy: illogical and petty.

Many people just don't like nuclear power, but have no good reason for it. For instance, the argument that the nuclear fuel cycle causes pollution due to the power requirements involved in enriching uranium.

The problem with that argument is that, if a uranium enrichment facility uses power generated by a nuclear facility, then it doesn't contribute to pollution at all. So increasing the nuclear component of power generation would make fuel cycle power requirements less dependent on dirty power generation methods.

The other problem is that the figures used by those who use this particular argument are based on old, antiquated methods of enrichment that did use a tremendous amount of electrical power. The whole fuel cycle industry has been moving to far more efficient methods such as gas centrifuge and even lasers, for decades. There is only one old gas diffusion plant left in the US. That plant will discontinue operation most likely in the next decade, replaced by a new gas centrifuge facility in Ohio. France and Russia, the biggest enrichers in the world, use gas centrifuge technology almost exclusively.

The nuclear waste argument, which is probably the best argument, is one that has solutions. But no matter what solution is presented, it is declared unacceptable by those who hate nuclear energy.

Those who are anti-nuclear would rather we spew the byproducts from burning coal or throw ridiculous amounts of money at pipe dream forms of energy production such as wind and solar, than to simply use a clean form of energy that they just don't like.

In a word: irrational.
 
I found a more recent reference to the cost of various methods of electricity generation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

This is significantly different to the costs from my 2005 source, and most have almost doubled in cost. Possibly due to tighter environmental restraints?

Figures are in American cents per kilowatt hour

Coal 10
Coal with carbon capture 13
Gas 8
Nuclear 12
Wind 15
Geothermal 12
Hydroelectricity 12

So gas is cheapest, coal next, with nuclear, geothermal and hydro third cheapest.
 
I found a more recent reference to the cost of various methods of electricity generation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

This is significantly different to the costs from my 2005 source, and most have almost doubled in cost. Possibly due to tighter environmental restraints?

Figures are in American cents per kilowatt hour

Coal 10
Coal with carbon capture 13
Gas 8
Nuclear 12
Wind 15
Geothermal 12
Hydroelectricity 12

So gas is cheapest, coal next, with nuclear, geothermal and hydro third cheapest.

As far as burning fuel in the conventional sense, I do like natural gas. It is relatively clean, and there is an abundant supply of it. Of all sources, I think geothermal is the best, followed by hydroelectric. But there are limits to where we can use that. I noticed you didn't mention solar, but I lump that in with wind. They are currently expensive, and require far too much space to implement as serious contributors to energy supply. Coal, with or without carbon capture is just too dirty. I'm not even an environmentalist, and I just don't like what coal plants put out, having lived near them.

So I think that leaves Gas and Nuclear as our best current options.
 
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