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PostPosted: Sep 12, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Luke wrote:
This is starting to resemble the global warming debates we used to have, and to some extent is such a debate by proxy. It was long ago established that such debates invariably descend into shouting matches and personalised attacks, change no-one's opinion, and detract from one of the main objectives of the site, building the broadest possible consensus for the view that LFTR's are a potential solution to many interrelated problems of resource depletion, pollution, and economic development for the world's impoverished majority.

Agreed, which is one of the reasons why I don't bother discussing my own views on climate change here or almost anywhere. I have concluded that my opinion in that area is largely irrelevant and has absolutely no bearing on the merits or demerits of MSR/LFTR technology. MSR/LFTR is simply the most sustainable and least cost (economically, socially, and environmentally) of any power generation option that I know of and I know all the commercial technologies pretty well, it's my job.

Cyril R wrote:
I don’t mean to attack Lindsay personally, I think he’s a great guy, has technical savvy and is supportive of nuclear. That’s great. I do try to poke people bit to think about the consequences of increased reliance of natural gas, and the effect of marginal unproductive non-dispatchable energy sources that are not ther most of the time (let me make it easy, the consequence is natural gas lock-in unless you happen to have lots of hydro like Lindsay has).

Likewise Cyril, I'm quite happy to poke the borax at some of the the statements that you might make, but when I do, it's about the issues not the guy. As we would say in NZ in Rugby parlance "Play the ball, not the man".

Yes we do have lots of hydro and that's good, but we have few opportunities to expand the fleet due to environmental sensitivities that go like this, "Changing a river to a lake is destroying the existing ecosystem, therefore it should not be permitted". Somehow here and in other places people have gotten mixed up and equate 'change' to 'destroy' so it is unlikely that we will see an significant increase in hydro-electric power generation here ever. So perversely, we are in a similar position to others with regard to new capacity or how to deal with increasing demand. What we do have are some great hydro schemes that will if maintained appropriately have an extremely long if not infinite life, so at lest we have dodged the aging plant bullet that many have to contend with.

Right now for new capacity we are looking to wind and geothermal with a focus on getting to 90% renewable as the government's stated electricity development policy. Ironically both geo and wind are effectively non-dispatchable, but with grid upgrading and the ability to 'swing' on the hydro's we are in pretty good shape to tolerate both with some minor changes, but we are seeing more open cycle peaking gas turbines creeping into the mix to backup wind as well as the occasional frequency excursion caused by wind turbines. Sadly I don't think that we are likely to see a nuclear power plant built here for a very long time, the current LWR's are too big for the power system, a single unit of 400 -500 MW is the absolute max that can tolerated at the moment. And while we have popular and reasonably priced renewables (albeit more expensive than CCGT's on gas) in the form of wind and geo, they will tend to be the focus here for a while longer. And certainly for as long as low GHG emissions are a focus of government policy.

Acting Energy Minister, NZ Government wrote:
The Government has renewed its commitment to having 90 per cent of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2025, but says development of New Zealand's gas and oil supplies is also necessary.

Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata this morning released the New Zealand Energy Strategy at Parliament.

Parata said New Zealand's renewable energy levels were the second highest in the OECD, behind only Iceland. In 2010, 74 per cent of electricity came from renewable sources.

The use of renewable energy would have an economic advantage as the price of carbon set in and significant investment in the sector was expected.

The Government said it was looking at way it could support the use and development of geothermal energy and was also promoting marine energy.

But the goal of 90 per cent sustainable electricity from renewable resources must not endanger supply security or reliability, the strategy said.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5530208/Government-reaffirms-renewable-energy-goal


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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2011 2:06 pm 
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http://www.energyfinancemagazine.com/?p=1069

Quote:
German manufacturing giant Siemens is to withdraw from the nuclear sector following Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in March. Speaking to Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine, CEO Peter Loescher (pictured) said that the decision reflected “the clear positioning of German society and politics for a pull-out from nuclear energy”.

Siemens built all 17 of Germany’s existing fleet of nuclear power plants, which account for about 23% of the country’s power output, but will not build any more. “The chapter for us is closed,” he added. In addition, a long-planned joint venture with Russian nuclear specialist Rosatom will also be cancelled, although Loescher said that Siemens would continue working with the company “in other fields”.

That deal with Rosatom had only been struck in 2009 and followed the withdrawal from a nuclear power pact with France’s Areva.

Loescher said that Siemens would continue to make components, such as steam turbines, for the conventional power industry, which can also be deployed in nuclear plants and backed the German government’s plans to phase out nuclear and switch to renewable energy, describing it as the “project of the century” and the German government’s target of generating 35% of the country’s power via renewable sources as achievable.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced at the end of May this year that all of the country’s nuclear power stations would be shut down by 2022, with renewables filling the gap. It marked a sharp u-turn for the Christian Democrat politician who had earlier pledged to extend the life of existing nuclear reactors by an average of 12 years while a new generation of nuclear power plants were built.
.

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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2011 3:15 am 
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I'm frustrated by the lack of prominent news on the repopulation of the exclusion zone.
Measurements appear to show acceptable levels over most of the exclusion zone, with less than 20 square km or so showing levels that would be unacceptable would one stay there for the whole year; and the levels not reduce significantly during that year.

I understand that one very important reason for the exclusion zone is a sociological one; that of excluding looters from the area; until it can be made practical to live in. There was a devastating tsunami, which wiped out all infrastructure; including roads, electricity, water, sewage; that need to be re-established before people can move back into the area to live a civilised life.

A web search of "fukushima exclusion zone" has thousands of fear-mongering reports from ignorant commentators and those who seek to benefit from the ignorance and fear of the general public.

An very little at all from the IAEA, METI (which I understand is responsible for taking the important measurements) and TEPCO, which owns the power plant. Those ignorant of the roles of such organizations would probably not ever see http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/iaea/iaea_110911.html which is the report to the IAEA by METI from September the 16th.

I won't pretend that I've read the whole report yet, but nothing has cropped up that's particularly frightening/surprising. Not at all suprised that a significant number of people already lived in areas where radiation exposure surveys are frustrated due to the natural, background radiation.

At this stage, I still don't know when people wil be moving back in large numbers. Obviously, rebuilding takes priority.


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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2011 5:21 am 
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Thanks for the post and welcome to the EFT Forum Berfel.


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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2011 6:44 am 
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'I understand that one very important reason for the exclusion zone is a sociological one; that of excluding looters from the area; until it can be made practical to live in.'

The area is worth nothing economically until it is repopulated, so the losses from looting cannot possibly exceed those from leaving it empty.
I would have thought fears of excessive looting in Japan of all places would be limited - it isn't New Orleans.


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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2011 8:57 am 
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About 99.9% of the exclusion zone is safer than living in Tokyo. Tokyo has considerable air pollution which is harmful and kills many.

Even London is much more dangerous than the area around Fukushima.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/ ... .pollution

Since we are not considering evacuating Tokyo or London or any other major city for that matter, the evacuated people from Fukushima should all be allowed back to their homes.

Chernobyl taught us that fear of radiation and being displaced from ones home, is far more deadly than the radiation itself. And Chernobyl was far worse than Fukushima in terms of radioactive emissions.

Apparently we haven't learned this important lesson from Chernobyl. Once again, however, we have learned that radiophobia is still strong and the standards set to radiation are completely unreasonable compared to anything else (chemical, air pollution, greenhouse gasses, etc.). Moreover the standards are based on faulty models that can be easily rejected on simple biological and empirical grounds - the linear no threshold model, which is so silly I'm not going to say much about it. This theory states that taking 52 aspirins in one hour is just as bad for you as taking one aspirin a week for a year. And, if you divide the number of aspirins sold each year globally by the lethal single dose of aspirin, that you will know how many people die each year due to aspirin overdose. Uhm, yeah. Enough said.


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PostPosted: Sep 29, 2011 1:27 am 
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http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-swi ... phase.html

Quote:
The Swiss parliament's upper house on Wednesday approved plans to phase out the country's nuclear plants over the next two decades in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2013 7:25 am 
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Ok, I finally found out what happened to the unit 1 isolation condenser:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima- ... 2_03-e.pdf

There were two systems. One system was opened for operation, but later when hydrogen build up from radiolysis and zirconium oxidation, it clogged up the system, effectively insulating it from heat transfer. The other system wasn't actuated, and had motor operated valves - AC and DC power was lost, so that made thing inoperable. And even if the valves were opened, it would have clogged up with noncondensables as well.

Yet another design flaw - they should have had a purge pipe connecting the isolation condenser with the torus, so that hydrogen is removed. Since the debilitating effect of noncondensable gas accumulation in heat exchangers is well known, it again goes to show the basic level design flaws that the designers made, the regulators didn't catch, and Tepco didn't know or care about.


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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2013 9:33 am 
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Axil wrote:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-swiss-parliament-nuclear-phase.html

Quote:
The Swiss parliament's upper house on Wednesday approved plans to phase out the country's nuclear plants over the next two decades in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.


Because tsunami's ravage through Switzerland on a routine basis, of course. O yes, a landlocked country hundreds of km from the sea, with elevations well over 1000 meters above sea level.

Very sensible of the Swiss.


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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2013 10:20 am 
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Cyril R wrote:
Axil wrote:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-swiss-parliament-nuclear-phase.html

Quote:
The Swiss parliament's upper house on Wednesday approved plans to phase out the country's nuclear plants over the next two decades in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.


Because tsunami's ravage through Switzerland on a routine basis, of course. O yes, a landlocked country hundreds of km from the sea, with elevations well over 1000 meters above sea level.

Very sensible of the Swiss.


Now you mention it:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -risk.html

Though Geneva has no reactors (unless Cern has something). One of the Swiss reactors is about 100km from me on the Upper Rhine, near Waldshut Tiengen (Germany). Perhaps a river bore from Lake Zurich?


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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed


Under the project, the consortium is to separate methane—the primary component of natural gas—from the solid clathrate compound under the seabed using the high pressures available at depth, officials said.

A huge layer of methane hydrate containing 1.1 trillion cubic metres (38.5 trillion cubic feet) in natural gas—equivalent to Japan's consumption of the gas for 11 years—is believed to lie in the ocean floor off the coast of Shikoku island, western Japan, the officials said.

"We aim to establish methane hydrate production technologies for practical use by the fiscal 2018 year" ending March 2019, a consortium official said.

The move comes as resource-poor Japan has struck out in search of new energy supplies after it shut down its stable of nuclear reactors in the wake of 2011's tsunami-sparked nuclear crisis.

Japan switched off its atomic reactors for safety checks following the disaster that saw a wall of water hit the Fukushima plant, crippling its cooling systems and sending reactors into meltdown.

Only two of the nation's 50 reactors are now operating, with more stringent safety standards and political nervousness in the wake of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 keeping the rest out of action.

This has meant energy costs have shot up for Japan as it has been forced to buy pricey fossil-fuel alternatives.

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PostPosted: May 01, 2013 7:48 pm 
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There is a fairly simple solution to one of TEPCO's main problems. The problem stems from ground water flowing down the hill and infiltrating the cracked walls. Solution, drill some deep wells a good ways up hill from the plant and divert that ground water straight to the ocean. Since it is going to get to the ocean soon anyway, there will be no adverse effect. Indeed, if the water is already a bit contaminated by its passage through the landscape, Tepco could improve things by removing some of the contamintion that would have gotten to the ocean anyway. ... ... Additionally, they should drill some shallow wells between the plant and ocean and also just inland of the plants. They could then inject some of their cleaned water on the ocean side and extract it on the inland side. This would cause the contamination to flow backward away from the ocean. By adjusting the water level with their wells, they should be able to reduce their influx substantially.

If anyone has ties to anyone who... and if you think this might be a good idea, please pass it on.

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PostPosted: May 10, 2013 10:52 am 
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They listened:

Quote:
New Groundwater Strategy

An estimated 400 metric tons of groundwater flows into Fukushima reactor buildings daily and comes in contact with radioactive contaminants. After controlling the damaged reactors, storing that radioactive water soon became the biggest challenge at the plant, with 280,000 tons in surface tanks, another 100,000 tons in reactor basements, and little room to store more. On Tuesday, TEPCO announced it dug 12 wells west of the reactor buildings to pump out groundwater before it reaches the units. If TEPCO receives approval, the Asahi Shimbun reported, the company plans to discharge that water into the sea.


http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_ ... 51002.aspx


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PostPosted: Jun 07, 2013 6:52 am 
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They are now going to investigate whether the isolation condenser worked before the tsunami, and why it failed.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Fu ... 06134.html

The isolation condenser looks like a robust thing that is unlikely to fail mechanically. More likely is the accumulation of noncondensible gasses (hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen) that blanketed the tubes causing the heat removal to be mostly lost. More modern isolation condensers have passive purge lines, but these older ones at Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 likely required active purging, which would not be available without power.


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PostPosted: Jul 09, 2013 11:54 am 
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Hero Fukushima ex-manager who foiled nuclear disaster dies of cancer

Image

It was Yoshida’s own decision to disobey HQ orders to stop using seawater to cool the reactors. Instead he continued to do so and saved the active zones from overheating and exploding. Had he obeyed the order, the whole of north eastern Japan would possibly have been uninhabitable for decades, if not centuries.

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