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hmnguyen

  • Guest
Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« on: Nov 16, 2004, 07:07 »
Hello all,

Many of you are big shots, or at least, have a healthy bit of nuclear power experience under your belt.  Some of you may then actually have a very good idea where the industry is headed.

This leads me to my question.  With as much effort as possible in giving an objective assessment, do you guys see nuclear power making it big in the states as we already see in France?  I've had the opportunity in speaking with many experts in this sort of thing, ranging from power systems engineers to the former Secretary of the Air-force under the Clinton administration (I'm serious, we had PIZZA, it was part of this frat thing).  Anyway, I've gotten many mixed predictions.  Many say that the safety issues with Nuclear Power are completely gone and that the threat of a meltdown is almost 0%.

Also, new methods in storing the nuclear waste should now push nuclear power foward in the states, despite flawed public perception. The new methods I refer to are the storing of nuclear waste in areas where radiation levels are already high.  So instead of storing in salt mines and caves, where a leak could make its way to the water, etc, we store them in areas where a leak would pretty much be unnoticable, because there's radiation occuring naturally all around anyway.

Critics argue that nuclear power will never over-come the negative publicity it gets and thus, never fully accepted as a energy source.  People will never accept the risks involved, no matter how safe-gaurded against...

So what do you guys think?  I am very curious as to what yall think.  I personally would like to see progressive movements being made into a more stable energy source, as opposed to just digging our way out of a projected upcoming energy crisis.

I'm a UT Austin student studying Electrical Engineering.  I want to move my career into power systems, particularly, alternate and renewable energy.  So, any information from experts in the field would greatly be of help.

vinman

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #1 on: Nov 17, 2004, 03:28 »
I have been in the nuclear business for 14 yrs. Not as long as some of the old timers though.  But it is my belief that in this climate of unstable oil prices and recent droughts, nuclear power will make a come back if they control construction costs.  You have to remember that not only did Three Mile Island make people re-think nuclear power, but the high cost and re engineering of safety features made the business of building nuclears plants a bad business decision.   It is our own fault that we did not educate the public on the Industry.  They onluy saw the bad aspects.  I we had taken the time to educate them we probaly would have some started.     There already new designs approved by the NRC and Utilities looking into construction permits. So yes I think that there will be plants being built.   

hmnguyen

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #2 on: Nov 22, 2004, 10:03 »
I'm somewhat more skeptical, it seems with this administration, we'll see new COAL plants before we'll EVER see new nuclear plants...  This bothers me because the amount of pollutents released from this type of power generation would be far worst than any radioactive waste nuclear plants could ever produce... at least that waste can be contained.  The only containment we'd see from COAL pollutants would be in our lungs.

Also, there's big talk about solar now.  I've heard numbers around 20% of all load in the US would be reduced if every house in America had at least a modest solar panel on their roof.  That's a big deal and not at all unfeasible.  The only thing is, that talks been around for about 50 years now... and nothing has happenned.

From the looks of things though, looks like we won't have any PROGRESSIVE movements looking into ANY new energy sources, America is content with DIGGING its way out of its current energy crisis... even if it means stepping on any middle-eastern nations...  (IRAN... you're next).

vinman

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #3 on: Nov 24, 2004, 05:52 »
I disagree.  Early in this administration a study was headed up by VP Cheney to explore that very thing.  It emphasized that Nuclear energy had to be apart to our culture for years  to come.  SInce then Utilities have been granted construcion.  Licenses by the  NRC for possible  new units.  Republicans have historically been pro-nuke.  I do believe that if we do not start building in the next 4 years then it cou be awhile but eventually it will happen

Surveyors_mato

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #4 on: Nov 25, 2004, 01:53 »
I have worked COAL fire plants. Damn nasty places. As the news indicates more each day, the west is drying up. Rivers and manmade lakes are drying up to the point that some are down to where the old towns they covered are now being seen again.  Coal kills just as surely as radiation. Look to the mercury, arsenic, PCB's and other harmful chemicals produced.

  Look at the rivers with postings that say you can't eat the fish. With bad or low water, there won't be any fish to eat anyway. Nuclear can solve this problem I feel. Look to our European counter parts. Nukes are a big part of there lives and like them or not, they are proving that it can be done safely.  America needs to wake up to this. The mid west and west, particularly. I have to say it, France......I think I heard that all there plants are the same. What's that called? Standardizing? I mean damn, if they can do it we can.

  With the advances in controls, plant operations, a better trained Radiation Protection field staff(us), Nukes could be far more useful. Today I think, more than in the past, people want their power and their environment. with COAL and damming of rivers, they get one but  hurt the other. Greenpeacers are starting to see this but it's going to take time. And understanding on their part.

Okay now you got to work with me on this .............Greenpeace Radiation protection Techs.LLC..........what do you think?...................No, I'm not kidding.My kids live in this world too and I want them to have a better place to live and all the power that they will need without having to worry about where they are swimming, living.....ect. Nukes can work in this way without crapping up many square miles of land with runoff, settling lakes.....ect. Think I kidding, go to the nearest COAL plant to where you live and look.

   Old fashioned ways of producing power worked when the overall demand was low. Now that populations are booming  more and more is needed. Only Nukes, as I see it can fill the bill. How many non operating plants are in this country?

  Take TVA. I heard I think, it's something like 12 non functioning plants in the system. That alone could solve many power production problems out west. Heck they're buying water why not just buy readymade electricity?  Maybe I'm lookin gat this to simplistically.

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« Last Edit: Nov 25, 2004, 04:19 by Surveyors_mato »

hmnguyen

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #5 on: Nov 29, 2004, 02:31 »
To Vinman

Interesting!  I was under the impression that this current administration wasn't taking any progressive steps towards energy production.  I'll have to look more into it.  I was basing my thoughts on the fact that when asked what plans he had for a forcasted energy crisis, Bush called for, "New, cleaner methods of coal energy production" and other things that didn't make me feel very comfortable (but that's what I get for thinking Bush knows whats going on...).

To Surveyor_Mato

Yes, I agree.  Standardization, along with more effecient storage of waste, will work.  Public perception is the only realy problem.  I myself am only 21, but that makes me all the more perceptive on how our nation will solve its upcoming energy crisis.  Not only will it affect my career, as I would like to get into the Power Systems field, but it will affect my life as I get older.  So, in a way, I am one of the "kids" you've mentioned, only, unlike my peers, I am cognizant of how the public policies can affect me.  I like the air I breath and the water I drink too!

Surveyors_mato

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #6 on: Nov 29, 2004, 07:47 »
To Surveyor_Mato

Yes, I agree.  Standardization, along with more effecient storage of waste, will work.  Public perception is the only realy problem.  I myself am only 21, but that makes me all the more perceptive on how our nation will solve its upcoming energy crisis.  Not only will it affect my career, as I would like to get into the Power Systems field, but it will affect my life as I get older.  So, in a way, I am one of the "kids" you've mentioned, only, unlike my peers, I am cognizant of how the public policies can affect me.  I like the air I breath and the water I drink too!

   After reading your reply, I should apologize for the "Kid" ref. I appreciate, as I'm sure others do, your attention and concern as to the state of our environment. I too am caught between a rock and a hard place. This is my career and like everyone else, I want my electricity and fuel. I also want a completely pollution free world and that ain't gonna happen. At  least not until there are more people like us. KArma to you!

hmnguyen

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #7 on: Nov 30, 2004, 01:01 »
After reading your reply, I should apologize for the "Kid" ref. I appreciate, as I'm sure others do, your attention and concern as to the state of our environment. I too am caught between a rock and a hard place. This is my career and like everyone else, I want my electricity and fuel. I also want a completely pollution free world and that ain't gonna happen. At  least not until there are more people like us. KArma to you!

I didn't take any offense to the comment.  And yes, as arrogant as it sounds, there should be more people like us!  It's just hard for many people, inlcuding many public officials (referring to President Bush's comment about how he didn't believe global warming is happening), to realize that enery production and the enviroment are two equally important, yet conflicting, issues.  Truthfully though, I don't think there will be any real progressive changes until it becomes a necessity... ie. peopel have to start wearing gas masks to breathe and boiling their water every time they would like a glass...

So what steps do you all think should be taken to get Nuclear Power to take off here in the states?

Surveyors_mato

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear Power Industry Direction
« Reply #8 on: Nov 30, 2004, 01:50 »
Oh Damn! Thanks for asking this!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Okay, we have been here before in this thread I think. Greenpeace.....! yes. A Nuclear coalition comprised of Nuke lovers and earth lovers. More use of alternative power, ie; Solar, wind........Power cells? fossil fuels are what is killing us. Hydro is killing us because it is killing the land by destroying habitats. I regret the need for nuclear because of how it is mined and where it comes from. Native people in the southwest are exposed to 800 times the limits that we are yearly. Yes 800, look it up. There could be a better way to extract the oar. And it lasts so much longer than equal amounts of coal or oil or natural gas.

  We in America should look to the Europeans. Take politics out of the picture and look to their facts. Their system is working and even though they are industrial nations, their polllution problems are fewer than are ours. Granted that they have smaller populations than we, still we could use that as a benchmark for our own standardization.Yes on a larger scale. Cost is obviously the primary issue.
  But how much are environmental cleanup  projects costing us now? We can go on and on with this. Maybe what we are arguing is moot. Education is key. Our children are learning more about environmental issues than ever before.It will be up to them.

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