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Floating nuclear power plants a bad idea
Russian floating nuclear power plant makes its maiden voyage The only floating nuclear power plant in the world has gone up the sea for the first time. The Russian Akademik Lomonosov left St. Petersburg, where it was built. It is towed through the Baltic Sea, around the northern tip of Norway to Murmansk, where the reactors are filled with nuclear fuel. The Akademik Lomonosov was built in nine years and will be operational this year 2019 off the coast of Chukotka in the far east of Russia. There, the power plant must provide energy to remote factories, port cities and oil platforms. It will replace two nuclear reactors which, according to the Russian nuclear power company Rosatom, are technologically outdated. Shocking The project is heavily criticized by environmentalists. Greenpeace calls it a floating Chernobyl. "Nuclear reactors that float in the Arctic Ocean are a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment that is already under enormous pressure from climate change," says Jan Haverkamp, ​​nuclear expert at the environmental club. Nuclear energy is not safe at all The atomic lobby deliberately omits the enormous risks of nuclear power plants, says Els de Groen, writer, journalist and former MEP for the Greens / European Free Alliance. Now that coal, oil and gas consumption is warming up or shaking the earth, the call for nuclear energy is getting louder. Complete with the old mantra: major accidents, small opportunities. Hydropower, particulate matter and natural gas production are all much more dangerous than nuclear energy ... Chernobyl was the fault of the Russians and Fukushima was hit by a tsunami, and the numbers of victims are based on speculation. It is time to put an end to the demagoguery of nuclear lobbyists as emeritus professor Jan Goudriaan. The expertise they carry out does not sink in anything that they conceal. Never do they mention the  waste problem and the long-term consequences. During uranium extraction, during reprocessing and decommissioning, large quantities of waste occur that remain highly radioactive for hundreds of years (cesium) to tens of thousands of years (plutonium) and even billions of years (uranium). On that scale we are one-day flies, although it is with a footprint that no dinosaur can match. Experts never tell us that the calculation of 'safe' doses is always based on an average person. The four to ten times greater radiation sensitivity of women, children and unborn babies is not taken into account. For the Netherlands this means that three-fifths of the population may be exposed to unacceptable radiation levels. The annual dose of 1 millisievert experiences a fetus as 10 millisievert or half the annual dose of a radiological worker! Moreover, the sensitivity of tissues and organs, expressed as a percentage, is cast into a system that does not allow any correction. If we discover tomorrow that our lungs are more sensitive than has always been assumed, then we must lower the sensitivity of another organ, because the sensitivity of all organs must remain 100%. However, this inadequate system is used to calculate the permissible burden on, for example, the bladder and then to decide whether or not to send workers an infected space or to evacuate members of the population or not. Last year, all Dutch people received a iodine tablet in a radius of 100 km. If saturated in time, the thyroid gland, causing the radioactive iodine-131 is no longer absorbed. What experts do not tell you is that there is more to it: strontium, for example, that accumulates in our bones, or plutonium that seeks out the red bone marrow. There are no pills against that. The sensitivity of the thyroid is only a fraction of the total sensitivity. After a service period of thirty years, most nuclear energy stations are gone. In Doel, Tihange and Borssele there are power stations of forty years old. There are thousands of cracks in various reactor vessels, so-called hydrogen flakes. This leads to a dilemma: the fuel rods have to be cooled permanently, but the cracks force us to drastically increase the temperature of the emergency cooling water. Nevertheless, the power stations remain open. There is no budget for demolition, no premium was paid for accident insurance or the costs of evacuations. There is not one insurance company that dares to run the risks. If a  nuclear power plant had four wheels, it would be taken directly from the road. Why does not that happen? I would like to quote Einstein: "The unchained atomic force has changed everything, except our way of thinking ... The solution of that problem lies in the heart of the people. Had I known that, then I would have become a watchmaker. Not everything we discover is good, but apparently it takes courage to admit mistakes". Els de Groen. Cover photo Фото: greenpeace.org/russia https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Russian floating nuclear power plant makes its maiden voyage The only floating nuclear power plant in the world has gone up the sea for the first time. The Russian Akademik Lomonosov left St. Petersburg, where it was built. It is towed through the Baltic Sea, around the northern tip of Norway to Murmansk, where the reactors are filled with nuclear fuel. The Akademik Lomonosov was built in nine years and will be operational this year 2019 off the coast of Chukotka in the far east of Russia. There, the power plant must provide energy to remote factories, port cities and oil platforms. It will replace two nuclear reactors which, according to the Russian nuclear power company Rosatom, are technologically outdated. Shocking The project is heavily criticized by environmentalists. Greenpeace calls it a floating Chernobyl. "Nuclear reactors that float in the Arctic Ocean are a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment that is already under enormous pressure from climate change," says Jan Haverkamp, ​​nuclear expert at the environmental club. Nuclear energy is not safe at all The atomic lobby deliberately omits the enormous risks of nuclear power plants, says Els de Groen, writer, journalist and former MEP for the Greens / European Free Alliance. Now that coal, oil and gas consumption is warming up or shaking the earth, the call for nuclear energy is getting louder. Complete with the old mantra: major accidents, small opportunities. Hydropower, particulate matter and natural gas production are all much more dangerous than nuclear energy ... Chernobyl was the fault of the Russians and Fukushima was hit by a tsunami, and the numbers of victims are based on speculation. It is time to put an end to the demagoguery of nuclear lobbyists as emeritus professor Jan Goudriaan. The expertise they carry out does not sink in anything that they conceal. Never do they mention the  waste problem and the long-term consequences. During uranium extraction, during reprocessing and decommissioning, large quantities of waste occur that remain highly radioactive for hundreds of years (cesium) to tens of thousands of years (plutonium) and even billions of years (uranium). On that scale we are one-day flies, although it is with a footprint that no dinosaur can match. Experts never tell us that the calculation of 'safe' doses is always based on an average person. The four to ten times greater radiation sensitivity of women, children and unborn babies is not taken into account. For the Netherlands this means that three-fifths of the population may be exposed to unacceptable radiation levels. The annual dose of 1 millisievert experiences a fetus as 10 millisievert or half the annual dose of a radiological worker! Moreover, the sensitivity of tissues and organs, expressed as a percentage, is cast into a system that does not allow any correction. If we discover tomorrow that our lungs are more sensitive than has always been assumed, then we must lower the sensitivity of another organ, because the sensitivity of all organs must remain 100%. However, this inadequate system is used to calculate the permissible burden on, for example, the bladder and then to decide whether or not to send workers an infected space or to evacuate members of the population or not. Last year, all Dutch people received a iodine tablet in a radius of 100 km. If saturated in time, the thyroid gland, causing the radioactive iodine-131 is no longer absorbed. What experts do not tell you is that there is more to it: strontium, for example, that accumulates in our bones, or plutonium that seeks out the red bone marrow. There are no pills against that. The sensitivity of the thyroid is only a fraction of the total sensitivity. After a service period of thirty years, most nuclear energy stations are gone. In Doel, Tihange and Borssele there are power stations of forty years old. There are thousands of cracks in various reactor vessels, so-called hydrogen flakes. This leads to a dilemma: the fuel rods have to be cooled permanently, but the cracks force us to drastically increase the temperature of the emergency cooling water. Nevertheless, the power stations remain open. There is no budget for demolition, no premium was paid for accident insurance or the costs of evacuations. There is not one insurance company that dares to run the risks. If a  nuclear power plant had four wheels, it would be taken directly from the road. Why does not that happen? I would like to quote Einstein: "The unchained atomic force has changed everything, except our way of thinking ... The solution of that problem lies in the heart of the people. Had I known that, then I would have become a watchmaker. Not everything we discover is good, but apparently it takes courage to admit mistakes". Els de Groen. Cover photo Фото: greenpeace.org/russia https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Floating nuclear power plants a bad idea
Floating nuclear power plants a bad idea
Finland
Seven decades into the age of nuclear power, the United States has yet to solve the problem of waste. While the US argues and dawdles, however, Finland says it has found an answer — it plans to build one of the world’s first long-term nuclear waste storage facilities in a labyrinth of underground tunnels.  The Onkalo Nuclear Waste Repository is planned for an island off of Finland’s western coast. According to nuclear policy researcher Matti Kogo, once Finland buries its waste in the tunnels, not much else will need to be done. “The idea is to more or less forget it. It’s based on passive safety,” he says. “There aren’t any plans to put any kind of warning signs or anything like that. There won’t be anything.” Before being “burned” in a nuclear reactor, uranium is only slightly radioactive and easily handled. But after burning, the waste by-products, including strontium, cesium and plutonium, can be a million times more radioactive than uranium. One kind of plutonium is too dangerous to handle without protection for at least 250,000 years. The site at Onkalo will store radioactive waste for 100,000 years. Unlike in the US, where there is broad opposition to using Yucca Mountain in Nevada for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel, the project in Finland has widespread support, according to Kogo. “The local community has quite a close relationship with the nuclear industry,” he explains. “There are local people working at the nuclear power plant and the municipality is also dependent on the tax income from the company. So, we could say that the local community tolerates the waste. In the Finnish culture, in the Finnish society, there is quite high trust in authorities and scientists. And in this case, there is a lot of trust towards the safety regulator.” So, why is the US having so much trouble deciding what to do with its nuclear waste? Lack of foresight and public engagement are the main problems, says Rodney Ewing, Stanford University professor of nuclear security and environmental studies. In the earliest days of nuclear power, scant attention was paid to the question of what to do with the waste, Ewing says. This was partly “benign neglect,” but it also stemmed from the hope that used fuel would be reprocessed. The US planned to build reprocessing plants, but the effort was unsuccessful, mostly due to the economics. “As it has turned out, uranium is not as rare as we thought in the 1950s and early 1960s, so it's much cheaper to just mine new uranium rather than reprocess,” Ewing explains. In the United States, used fuel currently accumulates in pools and dry cask storage at over 70 nuclear reactor sites in 35 states. Pool and dry cask storage were envisioned to last for only a few decades. “So, I would say if you are a community living near one of these sites, one would be anxious about the fate of this used fuel,” Ewing notes. Fuel in dry casks probably can be stored in this way for many decades, perhaps up to 100 years, but it “certainly is not an acceptable long-term solution,” Ewing adds. “The idea has always been, around the world, that geologic disposal can satisfy the long time periods that are required.” But in the US, public engagement around the issue of long-term geologic storage plans has been lacking, as has public acceptance of its urgency. Ewing says a study conducted by the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, which he formerly chaired, looked at the history of nuclear waste programs around the world. It found “from looking at the experience of other countries, that this is a very difficult job,” he says. “It's very difficult to engage both the political and public elements in the process.” “If we look at the countries that are moving forward — such as, Sweden, Finland, Canada and France — a noteworthy characteristic of all of those programs is that the company in charge of the project has a very well-developed program of public engagement that stretches, necessarily, over decades,” Ewing explains. In the US, with its combined state-federal system and its mistrust of authority and science, finding the right solution may prove to be very difficult, Ewing believes. “These projects last over decades. They last for longer periods of time than any administration,” he says. “So, if we want to be successful, we have to design a system that can survive the fluctuations of the political sphere and is based on public acceptance from the state on down and a sound technical strategy.” This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood.
Seven decades into the age of nuclear power, the United States has yet to solve the problem of waste. While the US argues and dawdles, however, Finland says it has found an answer — it plans to build one of the world’s first long-term nuclear waste storage facilities in a labyrinth of underground tunnels.  The Onkalo Nuclear Waste Repository is planned for an island off of Finland’s western coast. According to nuclear policy researcher Matti Kogo, once Finland buries its waste in the tunnels, not much else will need to be done. “The idea is to more or less forget it. It’s based on passive safety,” he says. “There aren’t any plans to put any kind of warning signs or anything like that. There won’t be anything.” Before being “burned” in a nuclear reactor, uranium is only slightly radioactive and easily handled. But after burning, the waste by-products, including strontium, cesium and plutonium, can be a million times more radioactive than uranium. One kind of plutonium is too dangerous to handle without protection for at least 250,000 years. The site at Onkalo will store radioactive waste for 100,000 years. Unlike in the US, where there is broad opposition to using Yucca Mountain in Nevada for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel, the project in Finland has widespread support, according to Kogo. “The local community has quite a close relationship with the nuclear industry,” he explains. “There are local people working at the nuclear power plant and the municipality is also dependent on the tax income from the company. So, we could say that the local community tolerates the waste. In the Finnish culture, in the Finnish society, there is quite high trust in authorities and scientists. And in this case, there is a lot of trust towards the safety regulator.” So, why is the US having so much trouble deciding what to do with its nuclear waste? Lack of foresight and public engagement are the main problems, says Rodney Ewing, Stanford University professor of nuclear security and environmental studies. In the earliest days of nuclear power, scant attention was paid to the question of what to do with the waste, Ewing says. This was partly “benign neglect,” but it also stemmed from the hope that used fuel would be reprocessed. The US planned to build reprocessing plants, but the effort was unsuccessful, mostly due to the economics. “As it has turned out, uranium is not as rare as we thought in the 1950s and early 1960s, so it's much cheaper to just mine new uranium rather than reprocess,” Ewing explains. In the United States, used fuel currently accumulates in pools and dry cask storage at over 70 nuclear reactor sites in 35 states. Pool and dry cask storage were envisioned to last for only a few decades. “So, I would say if you are a community living near one of these sites, one would be anxious about the fate of this used fuel,” Ewing notes. Fuel in dry casks probably can be stored in this way for many decades, perhaps up to 100 years, but it “certainly is not an acceptable long-term solution,” Ewing adds. “The idea has always been, around the world, that geologic disposal can satisfy the long time periods that are required.” But in the US, public engagement around the issue of long-term geologic storage plans has been lacking, as has public acceptance of its urgency. Ewing says a study conducted by the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, which he formerly chaired, looked at the history of nuclear waste programs around the world. It found “from looking at the experience of other countries, that this is a very difficult job,” he says. “It's very difficult to engage both the political and public elements in the process.” “If we look at the countries that are moving forward — such as, Sweden, Finland, Canada and France — a noteworthy characteristic of all of those programs is that the company in charge of the project has a very well-developed program of public engagement that stretches, necessarily, over decades,” Ewing explains. In the US, with its combined state-federal system and its mistrust of authority and science, finding the right solution may prove to be very difficult, Ewing believes. “These projects last over decades. They last for longer periods of time than any administration,” he says. “So, if we want to be successful, we have to design a system that can survive the fluctuations of the political sphere and is based on public acceptance from the state on down and a sound technical strategy.” This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood.
Finland
Finland's solution to nuclear waste storage may set an example for the world
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