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New Film on Indian Point Explores 'Nuclear Power in the Age of Fukushima'


#1


#2

The plant has only 2 operational reactors. Unit 1 was closed down 40 years ago and had all of its fuel removed, leaving units 2 and 3 still operating.


#3

Oh and where is that spent fuel? It does not matter when 2 of the 4 reactors closed. The legacy of spent fuel , where to store it , and the hazard it poses (France has been dumping theirs in waters off poor African states and the US Goverment wants to store theirs on Indian reservations ) will be with us long after you and I all dead.

I would offer one suggestion. Just as I fell members of Government should be forced to serve in the front lines in wars they voted for, the supporters of Nuclear power should be storing all that spent fuel on their property.

It safe after all is it not?Y


#4

After 40 years following shutdown the Unit 1 fuel is in safe storage and poses no risk to the public outside the plant from an accident because of the decay of radioactivity in the interim.
Indian Point Unit 1 (IP-1) was shutdown in October 1974. Some decommissioning work associated with spent fuel storage was performed from 1974 through 1978. The NRC order approving SAFSTOR was issued in January 1996. IP-1 spent fuel is in dry storage at the Indian Point Energy Center ISFSI in 5 casks.
IP-1 operated commercially from August 1962 until October 31, 1974. The plant was shutdown because the emergency core cooling system did not meet regulatory requirements. By January 1976, all spent fuel was removed from the reactor vessel.
Levels of groundwater contamination have been identified as originating at IP-1. The primary radionuclides involved are Sr-90 and tritium, and appear to be leaking from the spent fuel building. Entergy has moved IP-1 spent fuel to dry storage, has drained and cleaned the IP-1 spent fuel pool, and will continue long-term monitoring and reporting of site groundwater.
Estimated Date For Closure10/01/2026


#5

"That there are consequences to our insatiable demands for energy and there are no easy answers for how to capture that energy safely.

That, says it all... then, there is this...
"even more pressing, since we are currently using nuclear power across the country and the globe, nuclear power plants must be regulated, and we need to be certain that our regulatory bodies are not compromised by their relationships with industry."
....and what, that means we HAVE TO KEEP USING THEM?... and what about as fossil fuel energy goes by the way side... will we have enough to use to shut these nuke plants down?... or will we be up the creek w/out a paddle when that time comes... ???? ....I say SHUT THEM ALL DOWN NOW...


#6

I see four future scenarios for the world. One includes greatly decreased global energy consumption, no nuclear power, no fossil fuel energy, and vast deployment of wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal and benign forms of biofuels. This is the Solartopian ideal. This is also not at all the course we are on, nor do I see any operational plan for how to move the world in this direction.

Another is a world with increased energy consumption, severely constrained nuclear, moderately expanded wind and solar, and greatly expanded burning of fossil fuels, fuel crops, and trees. This is the future which anti-nuke green efforts are most likely to help bring about.

Another is a world with increased energy consumption, a moderate expansion of the kind of nuclear power we have now (inefficient fuel use, large waste profile, not impervious to meltdowns), moderate increases in wind and solar, and continued expansion of burning fossil fuels, fuel crops, and trees. This is basically the trajectory we are on right now.

And then there is a world with increased energy consumption, massive deployment of much cheaper, cleaner and safer forms of nuclear power, general displacement and dismantling of old nuclear, large expansion of synthetic fuels, marginal expansion of wind and solar, and greatly reduced burning of fossil fuels, fuel crops, and trees.

Without better forms of nuclear power, scenario 4 simply can't happen.. With better forms of nuclear power, it becomes almost inevitable--overwhelming the odds of scenarios 1, 2, and 3. And there are dozens of projects trying to develop better nuclear underway right now, so sometime very soon, greens will need to decide: do they want to hold open the sliver of a chance for 1 even if it means also holding open the much greater odds for 2 or 3, or is scenario 4 good enough to let go of 1 for the sake of defeating 2 and 3?


#7
  1. h t t p :// thoriummsr. com/ intro / pros-and- cons list/
  2. h t t p :// www. quora. com / What- are -the-cons-of -thorium-energy

  3. No thorium molten salt have ever been built, but experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory back in the '50s and '60s found that in principle a "molten salt" reactor could generate the needed heat.

  4. h t t p :// www. physicscentral. com/buzz / index.cfm/postid - 5353 7849 1711105
    from above:
    PRO: The waste produced by thorium reactors is a small fraction of the waste produced by traditional nuclear power plants. Dangerous radioactive elements can be removed from the liquid with processing, condensing the dangerous materials into a tiny volume.

CON: There's a lot of debate as to how much radioactive material ca actually be processed out and how small that volume can reasonably expected to get. In addition, the condensed waste would still be highly radioactive, and the fluoride used in the molten salt has a tendency to interact with air over long periods of time, meaning that it has to be continually reprocessed while stored.

5.. http :// bellona. org/news / nuclear-issues / 2008-10-thorium-is-not-an-environmentally-safe-alternative-type-of-nuclear-energy-norwegian-report-says
....... The report shows that each form of thorium extraction, whether by open-pit mining or underground mining, will lead to negative burdens on the environment. Extraction will produce radioactive waste in the form of slag heaps that can lead to an escalation of radiation for humans and the environment, and the spread of radioactivity.

  • 6." but thorium can’t be considered a safe nuclear substitute because it is highly radiotoxic. While it may produce much greater energy yields, it can also have much more dire impacts on a human being's health. If someone were to inhale an amount of thorium the bone surface dose is 200 times that if they inhaled the same amount of uranium." from h t t p:// www. nationofchange .org/myth-safe-thorium-nuclear-energy- 1400770307
    7.It also needs something like plutonium-239 to operate the nuclear reactor. The World Nuclear Association also admits that, “there are several tonnes of plutonium in our biosphere, a legacy of atmospheric weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s. Plutonium is a highly toxic substance. same source as number 6 ....

  • UN Scientists See Largest CO2 Increase in 30 Years: ‘We are Running Out of Time’
    The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that the increase of atmospheric CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million (ppm), the largest year-to-year increase in 30 years. ...and so, since we do not have any working Thorium plants yet... and proponents are still arguing the merits of R&D for this type of plant....( from me...... I think we are running out of time to scale up for this kind of ...extremely problematic and unsafe type of energy generation)...from: h t t p:/ /www .nationofchange. org/un-scientists-see-largest-co2-increase-30-years-we-are-running-out-time-1410361126

So, if you want to keep talking about this.........


#8

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#9

You are wrong Finston. A B-747 will penetrate the reactor if it crashes into Indian Point because the engineering was done on that plant in the 1950's and the B-747 hadn't been built yet. It can't withstand 800,000 plus pounds at 350 knots. Thousands of B-747's fly right by Indian Point every year. I used to fly 747's by it all the time. Missiles like the one that downed TWA 800 are also a risk if one is inadvertently fired by the Navy by mistake.

Your abandoned Frankenplants are a huge risk to the public for thousands of years.


#10

And what are the odds of a B-747 crashing directly into 5 dry storage casks at Indian Point? And what would be the consequences after 40+ years since the chain reaction ended and the vast majority of the radioactivity had decayed away? Vanishingly small in both of these areas of your concern, TJ.


#11

For more details about Mr. Jaczko's resignation see:


#12

Who in there right mind, would build Nuclear power plants in a country like Japan. That receives 80%
of earthquakes in that area of the world. Besides there was never really a good reason for Nuclear power in Japan. When geothermal water is in abundances because of the volcanic sources. After all we're only talking about a way to heat water for electric power.

Both Fukushima and Chernobyl have proven that Nuclear power is unsafe and cost ineffective. We must transition to safer forms of electric power. Enough is enough, stop polluting the earth, oceans and are food sources.


#13

"There's a lot of debate as to how much radioactive material can actually be processed out..."

We already know that sufficient neutron poisons can be processed out to sustain iso-breeding (making as much new fuel as is consumed). More efficient neutron poison removal would allow the breeding of surplus fuel, and there is some debate about what surplus production rate can be attained. As for the other fission products, there are differences of opinion as to the best time to remove them, but no question that they can all ultimately be processed out either during or after reactor operation.

"and how small that volume can reasonably expected to get."

That part isn't a matter of debate. We know to very precise levels what amount of fission products will be produced for given levels of heat production. The amount produced per unit of electricity will depend on efficiency, but we're talking about an uncertainty range of from slightly under 5 lbs. per gigawatt-day up to nearly 7 lbs. This level of uncertainty hardly counts as a CON.

"In addition, the condensed waste would still be highly radioactive"

Some of the fission products would be intensely radioactive, but wouldn't need to be removed immediately, so they could decay down in the reactor. But even the intensely radioactive isotopes which would need to be removed immediately would lose radioactivity quickly. The more radioactive an isotope is, the faster it goes cold.

"and the fluoride used in the molten salt has a tendency to interact with air over long periods of time, meaning that it has to be continually reprocessed while stored."

If you were to store it in open air for long periods of time, it would need to have the oxides and hydrogen fluoride processed out before use. The chemistry is pretty simple, but this would just be down to whether it is more cost effective to employ air-tight storage or do the final processing just before use. Or just scrape off the outer surface.

"5.bellona. org/news"

Heh, this is a bit like turning to the Institute for Creation Research for information about evolution.

"The report shows that each form of thorium extraction, whether by open-pit mining or underground mining, will lead to negative burdens on the environment."

We're already mining thorium. It comes up with rare earth mining--which greens generally approve of because it is needed for various renewable energies and improved efficiencies. We just aren't using the thorium at this time.

"Extraction will produce radioactive waste in the form of slag heaps"

Extracting the thorium from rare earth tailings will reduce their radioactivity.

" but thorium can’t be considered a safe nuclear substitute because it is highly radiotoxic."

I wouldn't recommend eating large quantities of thorium, but this seems a tad hyperbolic. The residents of Kerala India have been living in a thorium-rich region which has background radiation ranging up to 70 times the global average, and they eat roughly ten times the radioactivity of people in the U.S. or U.K., but their cancer incidence rate is 1/3 that of Australia. (avg. 95 new cancers per 100,000 per year vs. 323 in Australia for equivalent age distributions)

"If someone were to inhale an amount of thorium the bone surface dose is 200 times that if they inhaled the same amount of uranium."

Thorium is a common natural element. You have thorium in your system and in your bones right now. It is found in rocks, soils, water, plants and animals, and it's been that way for as long as there has been life on Earth. But it takes 14 billion years for half of a given amount of thorium to decay (the other half will have zero radioactivity over that time) so the intensity of radioactivity is very low. Virtually all the thorium atoms you will injest or absorb will not decay in your short lifetime, and you have much higher levels of radioactivity in your body from other isotopes.

"It also needs something like plutonium-239 to operate the nuclear reactor."

What it needs is a primer charge of fuel (U-233 or U-235) or an initial source of neutrons, and it would be self-sustaining after that. Plutonium does not burn efficiently in a thermal spectrum reactor, but it could be burned in a waste-burning molten salt reactor (eg. TransAtomic or Copenhagen Atomics) or a fast breeder, and perhaps some of their neutrons could be diverted for breeding thorium into fuel. Or there are a number of fusion projects which would have to deal with a large amount of unwanted neutrons, so for obvious reasons, people are looking into the possibility of hybrid systems, using fusion to breed fuel for fission. (One possible unwanted byproduct of LFTR would be tritium, which is a usable fusion fuel.)

"The World Nuclear Association also admits that, “there are several tonnes of plutonium in our biosphere, a legacy of atmospheric weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s."

True. But that's hardly a reason not to develop better forms of nuclear power, particularly forms which can safely burn existing stockpiles of plutonium, and which produce little to no plutonium themselves. (LFTR's would produce a small amount of Pu-238, but this is useless for bombs. It is, however, very useful for radiothermal generators.)

"UN Scientists See Largest CO2 Increase in 30 Years: ‘We are Running Out of Time’"

Agreed.

"since we do not have any working Thorium plants yet... and proponents are still arguing the merits of R&D for this type of plant....( from me...... I think we are running out of time to scale up for this kind of ...extremely problematic and unsafe type of energy generation)"

To say that we don't have time to develop something that could be deployed faster than anything we currently have misses the reality that we are already on a failure trajectory right now with only meager prospects for improvement. The effort to develop better nuclear isn't competing with the deployment of renewables. In fact, figuring out what to do with thorium would greatly expand rare-earth production, helping the deployment of renewables and efficiency almost immediately--even before thorium reactors go into widespread use (we'd simply start stockpiling the thorium to be used later). The only low-carbon source of energy which nuclear research might be restraining is existing nuclear. Nobody wants to invest a bundle in a technology which might soon be made obsolete without some sort of guaranteed rate of return, and few governments are willing to provide that.

But thorium is far from the only game in town when it comes to better nuclear, and it most likely isn't even the front runner. There are a number of alternate approaches to molten salt reactors which would not use thorium initially (Martingale, TransAtomic, Terrestrial Energy), but which might be later adapted. Other forms which have some potential to be online in a fairly short timeframe (less than 15 years) include high-beta fusion (Dynomak, Lockheed) and aneutronic fusion (Tri-Alpha, Lawrenceville Plasma). And those are just a few of the private enterprises. There are literally dozens of companies and research projects pursuing new nuclear in North America, and Russia and China both have large state-sponsored development projects pursuing multiple reactor types.

Will there be challenges and problems in development? Yes. Of course. Will any of these reactors have absolute safety? No. Same as for electricity, or fire, or water, or cars, or bicycles, or bathtubs, or most things in our lives actually. But they have the potential to be among the safest of our energy options. Most of these projects will fail, but that's to be expected. This is a race for first and best, and anyone who arrives late with something not dramatically better is simply going to lose out. But if even one succeeds, that could turn out to be a very important tool in the fight against fossil carbon.


#14

Trog wrote (to theinitiate):

'Thorium is a common natural element. You have thorium in your system and in your bones right now. It is found in rocks, soils, water, plants and animals, and it's been that way for as long as there has been life on Earth. But it takes 14 billion years for half of a given amount of thorium to decay (the other half will have zero radioactivity over that time)...

Are you sure that that's what you meant to write? The half that doesn't decay to radium-228, will be just as radioactive as before.


#15

"Nuclear power is dying a well deserved death."

There are 66 reactors under construction, and the rate of new build contracts is up.

"Renewable energy is being installed at great speed, and is already more than new fossil fuel and far more than new nuclear power."

Okay, first, you are talking about new max capacity rating. Wind and solar will deliver a much lower actual capacity factor in practice, so new fossil fuel generation is still outpacing new renewable generation. Also, wind and solar have a shorter lifespan, so as time passes, an increasing share of new wind and solar will go to replacing old wind and solar.

Second, you are proclaiming victory while solar is still meeting only about 1% of global energy needs. That seems a tad premature. And you are declaring defeat for nuclear while it still generates more clean energy than wind and solar combined.

Third, the source for that article is here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/fossil-fuels-just-lost-the-race-against-renewables
And you can see from the graph at the bottom that even using these forecast assumptions, nuclear is projected to have a growing contribution to new capacity (I suspect the falloff after 2025 has to do with long-range nuclear build plans not being finalized). And you can shrink the yellow and blue bars by 2/3rds to get a more realistic sense as to how much energy they will actually deliver.

Fourth, even if this forecast anticipates slowing growth in the fossil fuel sector, we're still talking about growth in the fossil fuel sector. This is not a prediction of victory over fossil fuels. This is a prediction of new records in fossil fuel burning being set every single year for the entire projection period. It also leaves the huge block of fossil carbon transportation fuels virtually untouched.

"Renewable energy is proven in use, and ready to install. Let's get on with it."

That's happening, but not nearly fast enough, and nobody has come up with a realistic plan for getting the world moving that direction at anywhere near the rate we need. Even with the help of current-technology nuclear, we are still on track for failure in curtailing the burning of fossil fuels. But that projection is predicated on no significant advances in nuclear power by 2030. It is, in effect, a prediction that every single one of dozens of nuclear development programs will produce no significant improvements--even while including projections for major improvements and price reductions in wind and solar. I don't see the justification for that combination of assumptions.


#16

How much radiation is emitted by a thorium atom during a time interval in which it does not decay?


#17

Trog wrote:

'How much radiation is emitted by a thorium atom during a time interval in which it does not decay?'

None, of course. But again, what you wrote is patently incorrect.


#18

Does that come in a spray bottle or is it hand wipe with rag?


#19

What where the odds of two Boeings crashing into the World Trade Center? What were the odds of a B-25 crashing into the Empire State Building in the 1940's?

Clearly, with 440 nuke plants world-wide, the odds are unacceptable.

Since Pu-239 is deadly for 240,000 years, your post is rubbish. The public is in grave danger all the time.


#20

Okay, so you are drawing a distinction between emitting radiation and radioactivlty. By your meaning, an atom is radioactive over a given interval of time if it had the potential to emit radiation, even if it did not emit any radiation.

So I'll rephrase: It takes 14 billion years for half of a given amount of thorium to decay (the other half will emit zero radiation over that time).

This does, however, raise a theoretical problem. How could we know that a given atom is not radioactive? We only recently discovered that bismuth-209 has a half-life of roughly 19,000,000,000,000,000,000 years, and we thought it was stable before that. Maybe the other atoms we think are stable actually just have much longer half-lives.

To put thorium decay in more human timescales, for each hundred million atoms of thorium, one atom will decay each 57.7 years, on average. It would take a kilogram of thorium to equal the atomic decay activity rate found in three smallish bananas. While all the thorium atoms in our bodies may be radioactive by your definition, more than 99.99999% of them will emit no radiation on the timescale of a human lifetime.