Australian news, and some related international items

The nuclear lobby’s spurious argument about the dangers of solar power

abbott-derekDerek Abbott No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia  Thought for the day: Nuke lobbyists love to state that more people die falling off roofs whist tinkering with their solar panels that people have died from nuclear power stations.

If we take the USA, for example, there are about 1 million (in 2016) domestic rooftops with panels. And yes, unqualified people do silly things on roofs when they shouldn’t be there.

By contrast there are about 60 commercial nuke power plants in the USA run under a strict set of guidelines. The waste from those plants is kept indefinitely above ground in dry casks that corrode and have a lifetime of ~50yrs. So when it comes time to start handling those dry casks and repackaging that fuel, on ever increasingly tight budgets, there is going to be a major safety problem.

The alpha particles emitted from the spent fuel in the casks create helium bubbles inside the fuel pellets. The fuel pellets crack. So repackaging the fuel is not simple, given one is dealing with fragments, dust, and particulate matter. This will lead to enormous escalating costs that have not been budgeted by governments. Repackaging runs into many tens of billions of dollars.

The dangers of falling off roofs are immediate, whereas the dangers of spent fuel management have been deferred into the future with dry cask storage that has not yet been taken to the next step. So the qualification of the danger of nuclear has not yet seen full practice.

Question to nuke advocates: given the choice would you ride a horse or a stroke a venomous spider? The statistics are zero deaths per year due to spiders, but 70-80 horse per year by horses. The facts are the raw statistics are not the whole story. Would you prefer to live in a world proliferated with horses, or would you prefer a proliferation of venomous spiders?

January 20, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety

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