Its a Nuclear Dooms Day Device.
The Clock Is Ticking, Time For An Alternative
The Measure of Safety and Efficiency in any form of Power Generation is not measured Solely on how many have died...so far...there is more to the cost that the public must bear than just someone's death and there is more at stake than a few years of power generated from Nuclear Fission. Power generation as well as in all industries, should be focusing on creating a zero sum damage to the environment and the planet, so that it will be able to sustain life indefinitely...I know some of you are only going to live 100 years and you don't really care what happens after you are dead...
The True Stake, the one Pro-Nuclear and Climate Change deniers tiptoe around is the fact that Radioactivity from a Nuclear Plant explosion or multiple explosions and the tens of thousands of tons of waste we have to store from this method of power generation; once accidentally released, cannot be cleaned up and can potentially over time and dispersal kill all life on this planet, not for a few years, not even for a few hundred years, or even tens of thousands of years but, for 300,000 years or more.
The quantity of any radioactive element will diminish by a factor of a thousand (1 000) during the span of 10 half-lives. Thus, in 16 000 years, one gram of radium-226 will decay into a milligram of radium-226 and 999 milligrams of other decay products. Similarly, in 760 000 years, one gram of thorium-230 will be reduced to a milligram (because of the 76 000 year half-life of thorium-230,
Plutonium Half-Life chart from Nuclear Power or Weapons grade Plutonium Usage:
Table Derived from CRC Handbook Of Chemistry and Physics. Version 2011
Our own US Geological Survey actually plots a more horrific picture in their estimations of toxic radioactivity spanning 10 MILLION+ Years from our nuclear power waste products...
Not even if we burned all the coal in the world can it boast the potential of killing all life forms on the planet for 300,000+ to 10 MILLION years. With respect to the pollution created by coal to the air, water, and ground, the planets equilibrium would eventually kick in and Life would begin again, Life on this planet...not necessarily humans (but I believe a few would survive) but life, could and would survive a dramatic climatic shift and a return to planetary equilibrium...That can not be said or happen with the potential for High Planetary Radioactivity from accidental radioactive releases. If an area is contaminated and no one can maintain Nuclear Power plants cooling ponds or radioactive waste storage then they will eventually breach, leak, and potentially meltdown or explode, adding more and more toxic levels of radiation into the atmosphere and the surface of the planet.
We are seeing proof of this right now from the lands and waters around Chernobyl still radioactive after 25 years and now from the lands, waters and ocean contamination at Fukushima, Japan. Or our own nuclear bomb testing grounds at white sands missile range in New Mexico, where even 66 years later hundreds of square miles are toxic to organic life. Or the hundred+ square mile dead zones in our worlds oceans that are chemically or radioactively lethal due to illegal dumping.
Nuclear Power is Inexpensive
The Nuclear Industry claims that Nuclear power generation is a low cost, cheap form of electrical power generation. In point of fact it costs More to build and maintain a Nuclear facility than any other type of power generation station.
Why does it cost more you ask? There are a few reasons:
The Power Industry knows the dangers and liabilities of nuclear power and will not pay for the building of nuclear power plants, nor will they insure them against catastrophes. You the American public must foot the entire bill to build and insure these power plants. Then a private company will come in and lease or purchase over a duration of time (usually a 20 year purchase contract) the power plant to sell electric power to their customers, namely the American consumer. We then get the luxury of paying for our electricity, nuclear waste packaging and storage from our own investment. So we the American public in reality get to pay twice for the creation of this facility and it's power...funny I don't remember ever getting a dividend from the creation or power generation of a nuclear power plant...did you?
We still, even when the power plant is in operation have to pay the liability and catastrophic insurance for accidents and the costs for containment and storage of nuclear waste by-products because...the industry was able to leave that part of the "operation" contractually to the US Government.
Electric customers have paid $24 billion into a fund Congress established in 1982 to pay for such storage. The charge – a penny for every 10 kilowatt-hours – would typically add up to about $11 a year for a household that received all its electricity from nuclear plants.
users pay as taxpayers, too – for dry storage.
Utilities that have run out of storage space in pools successfully sued the Federal Government for breach of contract, because it failed to keep to the 1998 deadline to establish a long-term storage facility. By law, the money for dry casks cannot come from the nuclear waste fund, and must come from the federal budget. So we get to pay again to cask and store a private companies nuclear waste.
Nuclear Waste Storage Costs
It is estimated that presently in 2011 there is 71,862 tons of Hot Nuclear Waste material in the USA. Most of the waste is stored in cooling pools similar to those at Fukushima, but capacity is full—in some cases, experts say there's four times as much waste as the pools were designed to handle. Meanwhile, the amount of waste keeps growing at the nation's 104 operating reactors at a rate of 2,200 tons every year. And there's no long-term storage solution in sight.
Typically, waste must sit in pools at least five years before being moved to a cask or permanent storage, One cask model, selling for $1.5 million, (that is per cask folks) places spent fuel inside a stainless steel canister, which is placed inside an "overpack" – an outside shell composed of a layer of carbon steel, 27 inches of concrete and another layer of carbon steel. When in place, the system stands 20 feet tall and weighs 150,000 pounds.
The National Academy of Sciences report on Nuclear Waste containment and Storage, representative Scientist Kevin Crowley said No cask is totally invulnerable, but the Academy report found that radioactive releases from casks would be relatively low in frequency and have a localized affect...I did not see in the report where it mentions the level of radioactivity or it's lingering Half-life, Nor did I find the report mention the environmental impact if it was breached and leaked into one of our Nations Aquifers...
Great! You say, see no problem the Industry has it covered.
The problem is casks have a storage containment life of roughly 100+ years and then the radioactive material and the old cask need to be RE-Casked...And we have seen how the Nuclear and Chemical Industries have been so perfect and above board on managing their waste products right? We the US and other chemical and nuclear power producing nations used to just dump all their chemical and nuclear waste in to the deep ocean creating miles of Toxic or Hot Radioactive dead zones where not even microbes can survive and the dead zones from these early ocean dumping are still growing daily and may be, in my opinion, the major cause of global climate change and increased releases of CO2 into the atmosphere.
If we tip the balance of our oceans ecosystem you can kiss your... goodbye, there will be no human interventionist way to save our planetary ecosystem.
Here is the big issue with the waste that the Industry fails to mention to the public...
Radioactive Half-life vs Containment System
Spent nuclear fuel is about 95 percent uranium 235. About 1 percent are other heavy elements such as curium, americium and plutonium-239, best known as fuel for nuclear weapons. Each has an extremely long half-life – some take hundreds of thousands of years to lose all of their radioactive potency. The rest, about 4 percent, is a cocktail of byproducts of fission that break down over much shorter time periods, such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, which break down completely in about 300 years.
That is 300 years just for the weakest radioactive particles to half-life degrade to a safe level...The waste products other 95% takes upwards of 300,000 years just to half life degrade their elements into more dangerous and longer lasting half-life degradation of 704,000,000 years in the case of Uranium 235 that is 704 MILLION years for the half-life folks....And the Industry just keeps sticking it into the ground pretending it does not have any potential for disaster...One cask leaking into a Major US aquifer would contaminate, poison and kill a very large amount of the populous if not all life that it comes in contact with... and it would Continue to kill for 300,000+ years!
Even coal can't brag about their potential organic death for 300,000+ years or shall we just admit the truth and say all life forever on this planet?. I would live with coal power and coal pollution any day over a potential for everlasting total annihilation of all life on the planet from radiation contamination. Although there are proven valid alternatives I will discuss later in the article...
Oh, bull you say, radioactive releases and contamination.. it can never happen we have regulations in place to prevent it or it will be so minimal and localized...it won't affect humans or the environment...Tell that to Fukushima and our own West Coast now detecting the effects of only a partial meltdown. Fukushima is no where close to being stabilized and still has a potential for critical explosion and contamination of great areas of the US. Oh and the 104 Nuclear power plants in the US? According to our own 2010 NRC report 94 of them currently are leaking Tritium from failing or corroding cooling systems.
Nuclear Power is our only choice to meet current power demands.
The Nuclear Industry claims they are the only source of power generation that can handle providing power to the Nation and the World...
Lets take a look at what is possible today and what we should be doing now to get off Nuclear and even Coal generated power.
Smart Grid. Duke Energy. A leader in ideals!
Duke Energy has devised and designed "Smart Grid" power management which when mapped out is eerily similar in designs utilized in ATM OC-48 unfolded Ring redundancy in data transmission. They proved their proof of concept design and that not just a small area but the Nation could be redesigned to transmit power along a smart grid much more efficiently to the scale of 300% more efficient...and with next to zero black outs due to the redundant nature of the grid. In addition this "Smart Grid" was designed to be 90% underground and EMP protected.
***There is the first piece of the puzzle a Smart Grid Nationwide that all power generation enters.
The current power brokers of Nuclear and Coal claim that new emerging technologies cannot compete...This is just a fallacy. Their primary premise that they frighten the public with is that "there is no reliable storage medium" (deep well batteries) for when the sun or wind or waves are not active...therefore in their eyes you will have no electricity.
In the first place, even if these partial operating solutions Solar, Wind, Wave do not have a current reliable deep storage system really does not matter. What matters is the fact that adding their power to the grid now reduces the demand on current nuclear and coal power systems. Eventually with a Smart Grid and Hybrid technologies implementation we will be able to greatly reduce the need for nuclear and coal power generation.
Secondly they attempt to disparage current 24 hour power generation systems created by Hydro and Geothermal that we could be tapping into in a vastly larger percentages thus again removing the need for so many nuclear and coal burning power plants.
Finally and the most critically important to many of us...
Alternative Technologies and Hybridization
There are greater alternatives already being tested.
If you combine new technologies together you can operation 24/7 365 to generate electrical power and clean the environment at the same time.
Some examples of new innovation and some cost restricted innovations, due to the Power Lobby's push to remove tax rebates and incentives for alternative power applications.
Pressure injecting waste water into geothermal generators to destroy and sterilize the waste and generate power from the steam produced...As a secondary they could collect the hydrogen and methane and run it as a secondary generation source. This is like all Geo Thermal power generation 24/7, it just adds the addition of processing human waste and a secondary power generation capability.
The New Solar Surface
Currently scientist have been refining a solar collecting road surface tough enough to withstand heavy equipment and snow plowing. The collectors are 26% efficient in solar collection. According to the Federal Highway Administration 2008 statistics, there are 2,734,102 miles of paved public roads in the United Sates, with an additional 1,324,245 miles of unpaved public roads.
THAT is a lot of energy potential!
Currently MIT has shown a proof of concept that they can, by using a auto focusing 8 foot parabolic mirror array in combination with water and a steam engine produce more than enough electrical energy than a home can utilize and in addition send power back to the grid...This at a reasonable initial investment with no need to cover a vast area with solar panels. the single parabolic mirror array is self standing. Yes without a storage system they would lack power without active sunlight but again...they are reducing their need and consumption of grid power and actually adding incrementally to the power grid.
If you add the current battery technology and you could be off the Grid for good.
Black Gold Fluid Dynamic Battery Electrical Storage System
MIT scientists once again are on the cutting edge of innovation with a quick rechargeable viscous fluid battery that could make HOME power storage a thing of the Present! This new technology can be implemented at a greatly reduced cost compared to Lithium Ion batteries and has a much longer operational life than standard deep well batteries.
Solar Thermal Combined Electrical Conversion
MIT once again have developed an economical thermal to electric conducting surface that can be combined with existing Solar arrays or with parabolic arrays to greatly increase electrical output... In addition this surface could be placed on motors, power converters, power inverters and anything that generates large amounts of heat that could be then converted to electrical energy...! Way to go MIT.
Advanced wind turbine designs are now much more efficient and not as cost prohibitive.
Too bad all the tax incentives have been removed for the home owner and the anti-wind lobby are finding many ways to restrict or outlaw the utilization of this technology.
Solar Nano Technology
Solar Panels started out at a poor 3% photo-voltaic conversion rate and used Deep-well acid batteries for storage. Current Nano voltaic cells are producing 30% photo-voltaic conversion using Lithium Ion batteries for storage...While still not a superior technology, deep-well batteries and Lithium Ion Batteries are greatly improved and much cheaper now from $150-300 each, rather than their original price of $1500 per battery...if there were tax incentives and rebates again it would allow most home owners to add this as a combined system with the current power grid reducing their power costs by 65% up to 100% and pay for itself over a period of 3-7 years. With the introduction of the new fluid dynamic battery system from MIT we are talking about a battery life of 20 years before the elements would have to be replaced in the fluid increasing your initial rate of return on investment to 2-5 years.
The newest kid on the block and the one that has Nuclear and Coal wetting themselves are the new combined hybrid Hydrogen-Methane Waste Water Treatment generation plants and Hydrogen Desalination plants.
You see at first we had an extremely cost prohibitive problem with water Hydrolysis requiring expensive platinum plates and extremely dangerous high pressure storage of hydrogen for the generation of power.
This is not the case today.
Today there are many companies world wide such as MARIETTA, GA's GridShift Incorporated, that have developed a new water electrolysis technique that can produce hydrogen at a cost of $2.51 per kilogram. This breakthrough technology is half the cost of current hydrogen production and effectively makes hydrogen a more affordable alternative than gasoline at an equivalent cost of $2.70 per gallon of gasoline.
Over 90 percent of today's hydrogen comes from steam-reformed natural gas, which produces large amounts of carbon dioxide along with the hydrogen. Hydrogen made by current electrolysis methods is low-rate and typically uses platinum catalyzed electrodes that are prohibitively expensive. GridShift's and other companies new water electrolysis techniques use no precious metals as catalysts and when coupled with a solar array or wind turbine, it has a zero carbon-footprint. GridShift's new method for hydrogen generation produces four times more hydrogen per electrode surface area than what is currently reported for commercial units today.
Ok so there is the first part of hydrogen processing...
Additionally, Taiwan National Power have produced a catalyzer and storage facility that maintains a low 10 PSI in the hydrogen storage tanks and high compressing it just before ignition producing a SAFE power generation system that could very well be used by anyone, anywhere there is access to water...
Bio-Mass to Hydrogen
and / or
bio-Mass to Methane
If you combine this new hydrolysis system with a bio-reactor waste treatment such as Nanologix uses for Welch foods in PA you have a safe BioMass reactor... Nanologix’s patented renewable hydrogen production method instead of using the traditional energy wasting methods requiring natural gas or electrical power instead creates Hydrogen out of waste water and other biomass using bacteria in a Hydrogen Bioreactor. The natural bacteria eat the hydrocarbons in the waste and exhale hydrogen gas. Not only does this truly create hydrogen energy, it also cleans the water. The Hydrogen can be converted to mechanical or electrical power on site and therefore solves the problem of storage and transportation.
So, in simple words, you are not only cleaning up the waste generated but also producing energy efficiently and economically with this new technology. Would it not be a great idea if we could power our homes with the garbage we throw out every day?
In Taiwan today they use waste treatment Bio-Mass reactions to produce both Hydrogen and Methane from human waste and waste water products. Not to mention this Operates 24/7/365 days a year.
Now lets combine that on a grander scale a County, State, National Scale...and throw in SOLAR panels, SOLAR roads, or SOLAR Thermal to reduce the additional startup cost of initiating the generation of power...
The New National Clean Water Act
If we as a people really want to make a difference and protect ourselves from potential environmental catastrophes from Coal and Nuclear power we would demand ALL Water and Waste Water Treatment plants be converted to COMBINED Waste Water, Hydrogen and Bio-Mass Hydrogen-Methane treatment and generations plants...This would be the FIRST step in creating CHEAP hydrogen fuel cells for the transportation industry; thus reducing the need for Nuclear and Coal power and end our addiction to oil.
We get the added benefits that the byproducts from these processing plants are:
1. Bio-degradable solids rich in nutrients utilized in agriculture
5. Clean H20 reintroduced into our water supplies or rivers...!
Just think of it...Clean Rivers you could drink from again...and we get the added Electrical Power we need!
***This is the first step for cheap hydrogen fuel cells Implementation for transportation needs that can be shipped to filling stations nationwide...and produced at a fraction of the current cost to produce Hydrogen. No more Oil dependency.
***On a side note...current Waste Water treatment cannot filter out many of the dangerous complex pharmaceuticals currently entering our water systems...and some dangerously pervasive bacteria; the newest technology to combat this is super oxygenation treatment to water in a compression vacuum similar to your own home reverse osmosis systems. This can also be done easily at this plant since we are already separating the Hydrogen from the Oxygen we can re-inject the Oxygen into the outgoing water pressure tanks as a last process to guarantee the water is absolutely clean leaving the plant...
CLEAN WATER BYPRODUCT WOW WHAT A CONCEPT...
This goes even further...
The greatest resource we have on this planet is H20 in one form or another.
Currently with the alleged increase of temperatures and melting of the North Polar Ice Caps we can expect the potential of desalination within our seas to increase, also an increase in violent weather patterns with increase sea levels...In addition there is already a world wide shortage of Potable water with the US being the fourth largest holder currently of clean ground water. We can do better...we can make all our water potable.
We can work with our environment instead of against it by returning salts back to the Ocean as needed through the Desalination and Hydrogen Generation Power Plants and/or storing the Sea Salts in salt mines when not needed for salinity, with no potential adverse affects to the environment now or in the future! We would be working with Nature to assist in equilibrium of the aquatic ecosystem and gaining clean water and the electrical power we need...
Parasitic or Symbiotic? It is time for all of us to choose!
As a Symbiotic Species rather than a Parasitic Species we could build Hydrogen/Methane Waste Water Treatment Power Generation Plants miles from the flood plains and Desalination/Hydrogen Generation plants miles inland from our coasts rendering them safe from flooding and disasters and if one occurs instead of an Oil, Coal Ash or Radiation Spill...we would have a Water, Waste Water or Salt Water Spill...we can recover easily from these...
So when people come to you and claim Nuclear Power is currently the only alternative we have for power generation... or that it is the cheapest power generation source, or it is the only reliable clean power generation source you can look them straight in the eye and say...
Y O U L I E !
May you always find water and shade...Drew.
AEC Atomic Energy Commission
ERDA Environmental Research and Development Agency
National Academy of Sciences
US Department of Energy
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Special thx for CCNR.org for a clear half-life break down chart.
Nanologix press releases
GridShift Press releases
Taiwan National Power Press Releases
CRC Handbook Of Chemistry and Physics. Version 2011