Think anyone will ask Rubio about it? I mean besides Trump who likes to ask Rubio questions ... a little! Do republicans ask questions about leaking nuclear power plants?
I wonder if Trump will decide to become a permanent part of the plutocrat pundit press pontificating on our problems with pompous panache and personal pettiness?
Okay I liked the Lil Marco crack but only because Rubio is a republican...it was funny and kind of effective at rattling the Rube. Lol
I bet Rubio really was a classroom monitor...he has that demeanor. We who hurried to take the seats in the back of the class can always tell.
I encourage people to watch this short documentary. This group, SOTT produces a 24 minute montage EVERY month and when one sees the impacts of waves in strange places, huge storms, droughts, floods, newly activated volcanoes, and so many other weather-climate anomalies, it's more than clear that the norms that lent a sense of safety to yesterday's nuclear power plants no longer exist.
Nuclear power is so dangerous... as Fukushima keeps reminding.
And U.S. nuclear power plants are mostly over 40 years old. They were not designed to last much longer, but routinely get rubber-stamped permission slips to stay in operation. Furthermore, as many know, the radioactive detritus produced by these plants has yet to find a "home."
If they discuss infrastructure in the debate they will need to address the cost of the seawall that must be built to protect the nuclear plant as climate change continues to increase sea level.
In our fervor to do away with fossil fuels we tend to ignore the damage done by nuclear waste still millions of years after the atmosphere has dealt with any greenhouse gases we will ever produce.
There is a good reason, why Germany is closing down ALL remaining nuclear reactors by 2022, just a short 6 years from now.
Sure, we can contain the radioactivity from the wastes for decades, maybe even a century or two, but that containment is bound to break down in what amounts to just an instant in the life time of the the dangers, we summon up so easily.
At one day last September Germany achieved 78% of her power grid with renewable energy helped by the fact, that in the north of the country, where the sources are predominantly wind turbines, had high winds and the south, relying mostly on solar collectors had lots of sunshine.
By 2020, a short 4 years from now, that is expected to be the standard. And by 2022, six short years from now, when the last nuclear plant has shut down the share of the the renewable energy will be even higher - and growing.
It took them almost 15 years to finally admit the core had melted at 3 Mile.
Leaky plants are going to look trivial when Diablo Canyon goes.
Sister design to Fukushima, built on the ocean next to the San Andreas fault.
Years later they found additional much more dangerous lateral fault lines running through the immediate area.
So anyone think California is headed for a full tilt shaker sooner than later
Still PG&E needs to keep this bomb online
Actually here in the US the conditions for solar are much better than in Germany, with our deserts in the south and stretching all along the west of the Rockies from Mexico right up to Canada. Those are conditions the Germans can only dream of.
AND THEN THERE IS FUSION
There are a lot of serious research projects going on in terms of fusion. The fuel supply is practically endless I have heard it said that 1 liter of sea water holds the same energy potential as 300 liters of oil (?).
The only radioactive component is tritium (H3) with a half live of 12.5 years, which in most designs does never have to leave the plant. Compare that with a half live of Uranium, now used in nuclear power generation, of several billion years.
The big problem has been containment of the plasma at fusion temperatures (min. 40,000^C). That has been achieved at Wendelstein 7-X under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute achieved today, Dec. 10, 2015.
That is a huge milestone!
. Here is my list of ongoing serious fusion research projects (probably not complete):
- Fusion Development Corp.
- Dynomac (Spheromac)
- General Fusion
- Helion Energy
- Lawrenceville Plasma Fusion
- IEC Bussard Physics
- Tri-alpha Energy
- Lockheed Martin
The Wendelstein 7-X achievement is part of the ITER project, not my favorite (that is General Fusion), but a very important breakthrough nevertheless.
We have more than 100 of these things across the US --
ironically they have to have a connection to a water source though they are threatened
by floods -- and droughts.
There are two on Lake Erie -- a source of drinking water.
In other words, Global Warming is here and we need to shut these damn things down!
Internationally, there are many more.
Moving these things into earthquake-prone Japan must have relied on a lot of corruption.
In fact, their scientists advised government to shut down the Fukushima reactors about
5 or 6 years before the event. Evidently, W sent a team to Fukushima and when they
left the reactors were still operating but the government had been changed.
Florida wants rising sea levels discussed in the debates -- they got a bit in tonight.
Just for anyone who doesn't know -- during the Sandy Storm here in the NY/NJ area --
Manhattan Island was flooded by the Hudson River and the East River rising to cover
Manhattan Island up to 39th Street. And this wasn't some simple puddling around the
streets. This was major flooding.
Actually, this plant has been studied within the industry extensively because it has had so many problems. So also the one above New York--in a still worse place, at least arguably.
Tech note: The link to the PDF of the study has a space character at the end which leads to a 404 (not found) error. The URL shows "%20" which is hexadecimal for 32 (character-string 32 which is a space). It would be easy to miss as a space character, by definition, is not "seen" as such. So it needs to be removed from the link. In the meantime anyone clicking on the link can just take off the "%20" from the end of the URL and hit the "Return" button to get the report.
We humans have often been driven by great money rather than great ideas. Those who control vast wealth have determined our future to greater or lesser degree in many areas of "development" to further their personal quest for profits rather than a wider sustainability, good stewardship, non-polluting systems, things that grow a society rather than just personal wealth.
We have now entered the time of near total domination of big-money and "privatization" over ideas and what good-government can offer. Examples of profit driving direction include health care, education, agriculture, the "free market" and ability/legality to offer almost anything to the public for profit regardless its safety or effects on human health, environmental degradation and decimation of our planet's creatures; environmental protection is viewed as detrimental and a hindrance to vulture capitalism "free market" profits driven by wealth and power, like the fossil-fuel and nuclear industries. Nuclear was hailed as a miracle energy source, given government subsidies and protections, like the Price-Anderson Act. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2008/08/07/202962/how-much-of-a-subsidy-is-the-price-anderson-nuclear-industry-indemnity-act/
Nuclear waste products were generally ignored and a "solution" was always "right around the corner" but all proved deadly in one way or another - corporations that generate power and profits given a free-pass and an entire agency dedicated to protecting nuclear energy created, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) - the "regulatory" should be changed to "protective" as the NRC protects the industry, NOT the public.
Whether on Biscayne Bay or the banks of the Hudson River nuke plants are a grave threat to our environment, future, health ad safety and economy (such as it is) some leaking and cancer-rates increasing, evidence covered-up, and studies manipulated - big-money and political influence still blind/buy corrupt elected reps to ignore the dangers of nuclear plants - protect a dead industry and technology to protect nuclear and fossil-fuel money.
I don't know a lot about those, but I understand, that they use U-235 as fuel rods with a half life of of >700 million years, a lot better than 4.5 billion of some other uranium isotopes, but still not good enough for me to waste a lot of thought on it.
At best it is an incremental improvement without significant environmental improvement over the present standard of nuclear reactors.
As far as "clean, pollution free energy is concerned, it is only for the short term, if you look at the narrow window of greenhouse gases. For the intermediate we may be able to contain the materials for some time, but for the long term it will poison the planet much more than hydrocarbons will.
Liquid fluoride thorium reactors are liquid fuel reactors. There would be no fuel rods. (Fuel rods are only found in solid fuel reactors.) Since the core fuel would normally operate as a fluid, it would not be vulnerable to meltdown, because fluids cannot melt.
And the primary core fuel would be U-233, bred from Th-232. In a thermal spectrum reactor, more than 98% of the original U-233 will ultimately fission (some of it will go through some transmutations first). So a gigawatt year would produce roughly 980 kg. of fission products, and 20 kg. of Pu-238.
This would not only be a very great reduction in the overall fuel output, but it would also be a far more manageable (and even usable) stream of output isotopes.
Already Germany has reached a tipping point for Nuclear and Coal plants.
The plants cost more to operate than they can generate in revenue.
The DM/kWhr is too low to support their operations.
Proton Scientific, originating from Ukraine, appears to be a serious contender as well.
There's also the possibility of hybrid systems. One of the challenges for thorium reactor design is that the neutron economy is very tight, and one of the unwanted byproducts from the lithium fluoride molten salt is the production of tritium. But tritium is a fuel for deuterium-tritium reactors--which happen to produce a lot of neutrons as an unwanted byproduct. A hybrid system wouldn't even need to reach energy break-even on the fusion side.
I'm sure most of us learned in school that Hydrogen (H) has one election orbiting one proton. Nuclear industry insiders and their physicists know Tritium - known as Hydrogen 3, or 3H (superscript 3). It has 2 added neutrons in its nucleus (through nuclear reactor fissioning). Two neutrons are emitted from every individual atom of tons & tons of mainly two fissioning fuels: Radioactive Uranium: U235 & U238 - (and over time their subsequent fissioned radioactive products of which there are dozens).
Now let's get into the radioactive weeds! lol
The neutron particles move at sub-light velocity, eventually to collide with and to be absorbed by, the normal Hydrogen atoms of the millions of gallons of cooling water (H2O). Et voila! We now have made Tritiated water! Our "normal" water now has 2-Tritiums & one Oxygen!
Radioactive Tritium in the contaminated water disintegrates. One of its 2 newly acquired neutrons changes into a proton! A neutrino and a negatively charged (ionizing radiation) Beta particle zooms out from its nucleus. Better duck. lol
We now have a negatively charged 3Helium (2-protons & 1-neutron). 'Nuff said. Back to sleep. NOT!!!
Correction. Whoops! This stuff is so mind boggling! The resulting Helium is now positively charged. Sorry.
I have never heard of the release of neutrons being a problem, so I googled, - couldn't find any.
According to this, there appears to be even an additional energy harvest derived from their emergence:
QUOTE: In almost all large scale commercial proposals, heat from neutron scattering in a controlled fusion reaction is used to operate a steam turbine that drives electrical generators, as in existing fossil fuel and nuclear fission power stations UNQUOTE
But again none of the design concept, which I have heard of, mentioned capture or use of these neutrons.