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NUCLEAR RESEARCH . . . A DOUBLE FACED CONUNDRUM

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NUCLEAR RESEARCH . . .  A DOUBLE FACED CONUNDRUM Empty NUCLEAR RESEARCH . . . A DOUBLE FACED CONUNDRUM

Post by sol_drethedon on Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:26 pm

NUCLEAR RESEARCH: A DOUBLE FACED CONUNDRUM

Nuclear power plants are fundamentally unsafe. The history of nuclear power is a list of major accidents and near catastrophes. At Wind scale, England, in 1957, a fire and a partial meltdown of a nuclear core spread radioactivity across miles of pastureland, and thousands of gallons of contaminated cow's milk had to be dumped. In 1966 another partial meltdown occurred at Unit One of the Fermi plant near Detroit. In 1970 fifty thousand gallons of radioactive water and steam escaped from the reactor vessel of the huge Common wealth Edison plant near Chicago.

At Browns Ferry, Alabama, in 1975, a single candle started a fire at a nuclear power plant that burned for seven hours, caused 150mllion USD worth of damage and loss to the plant, and - according to some experts - very nearly caused a catastrophic release of radiation. Even after the Rasmussen report supposedly analyzed everything that could go wrong with a nuclear reactor, a malfunctioning water gauge led to yet another nuclear melt down, at the Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, in 1979. Taken together, all of these accidents show that the risks we run in operating nuclear power plants are intolerably high.

In spite of the wide spread fear and resistance they often generate, nuclear power plants are fundamentally safe. From 1972 to 1975, a thorough study of nuclear power plants was made at a cost of 4million USD under the supervision of Norman Rasmussen, professor of Nuclear Engineering at M.I.T. Given the time, money and expertise devoted to this study, it's results must be reliable; they are also reassuring. After examining, identifying, and with computer analysis - establishing the risk of every possible accident that could release

radiation from a nuclear power plant, the Rasmussen study concluded that in any given year the odds against a single death from a nuclear plant accident are five billion to one.Obviously therefore, nuclear power plants are at least as safe as anything on earth can be.

In 1976 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gave the Public Service Company of New Hampshire permission to build a nuclear power plant in the town of Sea brook, forty miles north of Boston, on New Hampshire sea coast. The proposed plant would house twin reactors with a total capacity of 2300 mega watts, which is enough electricity for a city of 2million. In the new generation of nuclear plants, Sea brook would be of merely average size. It would by the largest estimates, 2billion USD, and it would occupy some forty acres about a mile and a half from the ocean. The reactors would be cooled by sea water, approximately a billion gallons of it a day. The water would be taken in and out then discharged, with its temperature elevated some 30 or 40 degrees through two long, deep tunnels running and salt marsh and clam flats out to point nearly a mile offshore. Biologists have expressed considerable uncertainty about the effects of this heated water on marine life. In addition, the plant would lie in an area where a significant earthquake could occur, and within five miles of some popular beaches.


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