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Southron

Nuclear Power in the South

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24 of 30 currently proposed new US reactors are in Southern states. TVA is restarting a reactor at its Browns Ferry plant in Alabama next month, the first reactor to come online in the US in over ten years. TVA may also add two new reactors at another Alabama plant that was mothballed before it ever opened, or possibly finish a second one at a Tennessee plant.

Nuclear power is supposed to be much safer now, so maybe these new reactors will help our growing and power-hungry states move away from coal-fired plants over the long term. What do you all think about this nuclear power comeback?

Birmingham News blog report here.

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:offtopic: From the News report: According to the Energy Information Administration, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida are net electricity importers among the Southern states.

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The French have come up with an interesting recycling system for nuclear waste. There are many pros and cons, but they reprocess it so that they can reuse the fuel rods. It works in such a way that in converts 1 ton of nuclear waste into about 26 gallons. This reprocessing reduces the volume of the deadliest material by a factor of 20. It cuts the amount of waste significantly. The major problem is that it is currently illegal to do this in the US.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/specials/eternity/d3.html

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Nuclear power has the same issues that it has always had. That is, disastrous results due to bad management and human error. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl were caused by gross mis-management including cover ups and poorly trained operators and badly built operators due to inadequate inspections and time pressures. Nuclear power can be made very safe as demonstrated by the Navy nuclear program which has been running a very reliable program since they build their first reactor in the 1950s. The difference is they spend the money necessary to build safe reactors and have military discipline to enforce safe operation amongst the management and technical people. I am not convinced the commercial power companies, whose primary concern is profits, would put the same focus on the operation of their reactors if there is a vast expansion. These are, after all, the same companies that fight the government tooth and nail against regulations to put clean air technology on their coal burning plants.

The other issue is what is to be done with the nuclear waste? The by products of nuclear fission are some of the most poisonous materials known to man, and are highly radioactive for 100,000s of years. Not to mention they can be used to make WMDs and even nuclear bombs.

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^As far as I know, the Nevada site you mention is not opened because the residents of that state don't want to become the dumping ground for other state's nuclear wastes. Subsequent lawsuits have stopped the transport of the material to that location and thus all of the plutonium is being stored locally, usually at the nuclear reactors themselves.

Lets keep in mind that you don't have to have a lot of waste to kill millions of people.

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Dominion Virginia Power is requesting federal approval to be able to build 2 new reactors at their North Anna Nuclear Power Station.

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^As far as I know, the Nevada site you mention is not opened because the residents of that state don't want to become the dumping ground for other state's nuclear wastes. Subsequent lawsuits have stopped the transport of the material to that location and thus all of the plutonium is being stored locally, usually at the nuclear reactors themselves.

Lets keep in mind that you don't have to have a lot of waste to kill millions of people.

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Yeah, so they are storing it in South Carolina instead <_< ....."temporarily," of course.

The French process that I mentioned would cut down on nuclear waste dramatically and recycle the spent fuel rods.

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I am not convinced the commercial power companies, whose primary concern is profits, would put the same focus on the operation of their reactors if there is a vast expansion. These are, after all, the same companies that fight the government tooth and nail against regulations to put clean air technology on their coal burning plants.

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the tva is hardly a "commercial power company". i supply welding and safety supplies to several of the plants, and safety is a big deal over there. if i trusted anyone to run nuclear power plants, it would be the tva.

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Nuclear power has the same issues that it has always had. That is, disastrous results due to bad management and human error. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl were caused by gross mis-management including cover ups and poorly trained operators and badly built operators due to inadequate inspections and time pressures. Nuclear power can be made very safe as demonstrated by the Navy nuclear program which has been running a very reliable program since they build their first reactor in the 1950s. The difference is they spend the money necessary to build safe reactors and have military discipline to enforce safe operation amongst the management and technical people. I am not convinced the commercial power companies, whose primary concern is profits, would put the same focus on the operation of their reactors if there is a vast expansion. These are, after all, the same companies that fight the government tooth and nail against regulations to put clean air technology on their coal burning plants.

The other issue is what is to be done with the nuclear waste? The by products of nuclear fission are some of the most poisonous materials known to man, and are highly radioactive for 100,000s of years. Not to mention they can be used to make WMDs and even nuclear bombs.

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How much exposure would one person have to endure to do all this recycling. Cause, it seems that somewhere during the process, someone has to get closer than usual to it. Or, is it all mechanized?

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Chernobyl wasn't really mismanagement though. It was a flawed reactor design. Scary thing is, Russia still has a lot of those operating like nothing's ever happened. ...

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Well, here's a short article about the first reactor to start up in the United States in over a decade. It's a Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant just outside of Decatur, AL.

Browns Ferry reactor splits first atom in 22 years

The long-dormant Browns Ferry Unit 1 nuclear reactor was restarted Monday and achieved a nuclear reaction early today, some 22 years after it was shut down for safety reasons.

Federal regulators gave TVA, which operates Browns Ferry, permission to restart the reactor last week, culminating a five-year, $1.8 billion rebuilding effort.

TVA said its operators will increase power over the next several days and test related plant systems to ensure proper operation.

Testing on the reactor will continue for several weeks, TVA said, and will include "brief connections to the power grid, followed by deliberate 'automatic' trips, or shutdowns to ensure the plant safety systems operate correctly."

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Last I heard from just a few days ago, that Browns Ferry had to be shut back down because something when wrong.

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They usually have problems with the fluid lines and hydraulics. It's really nothing huge that would actually hurt people if they hadn't imediately stopped the reactors.

The hydraulics are there incase the coolant lines fail. The hydraulic stuff (don't know the technical term) draws water from the Tennessee if the coolant system fails. Backup stuff.

Anyways, Browns Ferry Unit 1 remains at 9%.

http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/n...530/fails.shtml

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Starting up a plant that has been closed for 22 years would worry me. No doubt the people who are experience with the quirks of that place, as well as the original designers are probably retired and have long forgotten about it.

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The point that I was making and stand by is that nuclear power has just as many problems now, as it has ever had.

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Starting up a plant that has been closed for 22 years would worry me. No doubt the people who are experience with the quirks of that place, as well as the original designers are probably retired and have long forgotten about it.

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You want to give us a better explanation? Chernoybl has been responsible for the direct and premature deaths of thousands and required the evacuation of a city and a sizable portion of a very productive part of that country. It will remain uninhabitable for hundreds of years. And as state above, the byproducts of this industry, even when operating in a safe manner, are some of the most dangerous materials known to science and can be used to make WmDS.

Seems to me you might be understating the danger.

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Coal kills people all the time. Mining and power plant accidents easily trump nuclear accidents by orders of magnitude, despite coal being in far more widespread use, and being a much more mature technology. How many people have been injured or killed in a nuclear accident, outside of Chernobyl?

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I totally agree with all you have said. It is high time we build nuclear energy plants, and we need to start building them quickly. Compared to fossil fuel burning plants, nuclear energy is the best alternative for cheap power that is green and does not pollute. It takes years to get each one on line, and the demand for electricity is about to skyrocket, so it's high time we start in earnest. I predict a new era in transportation just a few years, and will need abundant electricity The will be the era of plug-in hybrid vehicles. These vehicles promise the deliver up to the equivalent of 160 miles per gallon of fuel, and the cost of the electricity in terms of fuel costs will be the equivalent of about $.80 / gallon. This new technology promises to rid us from our dependence on imported oil from places like the Middle East, and dramatically reduce the cost of transportation. Couple this with nuclear energy and we also dramatically cut green house emissions. This, I predict, is a picture of the future ahead for us, and it's not a bad picture either.

I fully support the efforts of TVA and other power companies to get nuclear power construction back on track, and I predict that there will be a day when nearly everyone will be glad they did.

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Nuclear power is definitely the way to go. It's very safe, and is cheap and clean. Heck, I believe 80/90% of France is powered by Nuclear Power. Not everyone lives on a river that can be damned up to provide Hydroelectric power, nor do many people live in areas that have strong prevailing winds to provide Wind Power. Coal is not clean. Geothermal is a way to go if you live in a geothermal active area (not many do). Nuclear can be provided to most anyone.

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Nuclear power is definitely the way to go. It's very safe, and is cheap and clean. Heck, I believe 80/90% of France is powered by Nuclear Power. Not everyone lives on a river that can be damned up to provide Hydroelectric power, nor do many people live in areas that have strong prevailing winds to provide Wind Power. Coal is not clean. Geothermal is a way to go if you live in a geothermal active area (not many do). Nuclear can be provided to most anyone.

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