Risk and Nuclear Power Plants

By Andy May

The financial risk is too great.

Updated post (2/21/2017)

In any discussion of the future of energy, nuclear power generation is brought up. Once a nuclear power plant is built and operating, it can produce cheap electricity reliably for decades. Further, in terms of human health, some claim it is the safest source of energy in the U.S. Others, like Benjamin Sovacool, claim the worldwide economic cost (worldwide total: $177B) of nuclear accidents is higher than for any other energy source and nuclear power is less safe than all other sources of energy except for hydroelectric power. Some of the costs could be due to an over-reaction to nuclear accidents, especially Chernobyl and Fukushima.  Others have much lower fatality estimates than Sovacool, it is unclear how many later cases of cancer are, or potentially will be, due to Chernobyl.

Permitting a new nuclear power plant and building it is a problem because there have been more than 105 significant nuclear accidents around the world since 1952, out of an IAEA total of 2,400 separate incidents. Thirty-three serious nuclear accidents compiled by The Guardian are listed and ranked here and mapped in figure 1. As figure 1 shows these incidents have occurred all over the world, some are design flaws, like the Fukashima-Diachi 2011 disaster and some are due to human error, like the loss of a Cobalt-60 source in Ikitelli, Turkey.

Figure 1: All nuclear power plant incidents, source The Guardian.

There is an ongoing debate about the safety of nuclear power. Roger Graves has written persuasively that:

“… there is no justification for singling out nuclear power as being especially dangerous. The fear of nuclear espoused by much of the media is vastly exaggerated.”

There have been either 4,231 fatalities due to nuclear accidents since 1952 or fewer than 100 depending upon who is estimating.  The biggest difference is how many died due to the Chernobyl disaster.  Was it the 31 who died right away or were there thousands that died later due to radiation induced cancer as Benjamin Sovacool argues?  Either way, this is small compared to the number of fatalities due to hydroelectric dam failures, like the 171,000 people who died when the Shimantan Dam and 60 other dams, including Banqiao, broke in China in 1975 or the 4.3 million who die every year due to indoor air pollution from burning biomass or coal indoors. So, do we irrationally fear anything that glows in the dark? Or, are Benjamin Sovacool’s arguments more valid than Roger Graves? The differences are mostly due to what fatalities and costs are included in the calculation, both use reasonable methods and criteria. Either way nuclear is different from other sources and the risks are different. I’m not sure a valid safety comparison between nuclear and other sources of energy can be made.

If we include all air pollution from coal as a cost, coal becomes the most expensive and dangerous, except for hydroelectric. Yet, most of the problems are from personal, household use of coal or antiquated coal power plants with no pollution control equipment. Modern coal plants, used in western countries for decades, produce very little pollution and are safe. Households do not have nuclear power, nor do they have personal hydroelectric dams, so this seems like an invalid comparison.

It seems that nuclear power is here to stay, there are nuclear power plants all over the world after all. Why is it so hard to permit and build one? Why did Germany shut down so many nuclear plants? How serious are the dangers? We will not answer these questions here, but we can present what data we could find.

By nuclear we mean fission reactors. Fusion reactors always seem to be 20 years away and this seems unlikely to change. The most recently completed U.S. nuclear power plant, Watts Bar Unit 2 in Rhea County, Tennessee entered commercial service October 19, 2016.

Figure 2: Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear power plant, source TVA.

Unit 2 was 80% complete in 1980. Construction was stopped at that time due to a projected decline in demand. Construction resumed in 2007. The Fukushima-Daichi disaster in 2011 caused construction to be halted again and the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) ordered some design modifications. The delays and the late design modifications caused the initial estimate cost of $2.5B to almost double. The final cost, when it was completed in 2016, was $4.7B. So, this older generation “2” nuclear reactor, from beginning to end, took over 40 years to build. Over the 40 years the cost doubled.

TVA has also spent more than six billion dollars on two partially constructed nuclear plants at their Bellefonte site near Hollywood, Alabama. These were to be Units 1 and 2. They have also applied for permits for two more plants, units 3 and 4. Recently, they announced they have no plans to finish the first two plants and withdrew their permit requests for the second two. Obviously, nuclear power plant planning and construction has its problems. The problems seem to be the uncertain permitting process, high initial costs, and the very long construction period. The long permitting and construction times complicate financing and mean that revenue, profit and demand forecasts are obsolete long before the plants are completed. Thus, as the plants are being constructed, markets change, there are periods when the project appears uneconomic, and construction is shut down. Once shut down, any project is hard to restart.

There are two big problems here. The first is a perceived danger to the public, that may or may not really exist. The second, partially caused by the first, is the huge length of time from inception to completion and the very high and uncertain front end costs. I think anyone who has ever worked in a capital-intensive business will instantly see the problem. The problem is not safety per se, it is risk. This is not an industry that can survive in the marketplace without government guarantees, the risk to capital invested and the potential liability costs are so large no private company would ever touch it. Or stated another way, only a government would be foolish enough to put their money into building a nuclear power plant.

Without a viable business outlook, nuclear is probably doomed unless the design to completion timeline is shortened. The permitting time needs to be shortened and made more certain. This means the industry needs to mature and standardize the components of their commercial reactor designs, so approval of the standard components is guaranteed. Second, construction times need to be radically shorter. Standard components will help here as well. You must be able to propose, design, permit and build a plant before your economic forecasts become useless. There is no way around this, cash flow is king, design to startup times must be short and predictable. Time is often the most expensive component in long term projects, ask any construction company or oil and gas company.

Consider what Hollywood, Alabama Mayor Frank “Buster” Duke, who worked as a pipefitter helping build Bellefonte from 1974 to 1984, said about the TVA Bellefonte construction site:

“I think this was one of the best nuclear plants TVA ever built, but it’s not looking good for any nuclear use of Bellefonte. I’m afraid everything is outdated there now like an old computer. I just hope TVA can do something with all [these] assets.”

The radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is also a serious problem. Every year nuclear power plants, worldwide, produce 200,000 m3 of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste and about 11,000 m3 tonnes of high level waste. In the U.S. there is no infrastructure to permanently dispose of the waste, some of which is dangerous for many thousands of years or more. Some countries, including the UK, France, Germany and Japan, reprocess their high-level waste and recycle the remaining uranium and plutonium which decreases the volume of waste. For a list showing how various countries dispose of their waste see this report by the World Nuclear Association.

Waste products are also a problem for thorium molten salt reactors. Besides generating waste, thorium reactors are a nuclear proliferation threat, as discussed by Ashley, et al., 2012 in Nature. This is because one of the waste products is 233U and 8 kg of 233U is enough for a nuclear weapon.

Nuclear power plants have many attractive features, if they don’t leak any radioactivity to the environment and their waste is safely disposed of, they are pollution free. If you can get one permitted and built (no small feat) it produces cheap power and little waste. But, it seems unlikely to be a significant source of new electricity generation due to the public fear of accidents and the high financial risk. To be sure, the actual accidents to date have not caused a lot of injuries or deaths, relative to other energy sources, but the economic cost of the accidents, and the builder and operators liability, is extremely high.

Nuclear power generation has produced no deaths in the U.S. or in the UK. A Caithness Windfarm Information Forum (CWIF) compendium tabulated a yearly UK average of 164 windfarm accidents from 2012-2016 inclusive. Over the same period, 34 of the UK accidents were fatal. In total, in the UK, there have been at least 170 fatalities due to wind farms, so by this measure nuclear is safer than wind. While the safety record of nuclear in the U.S. and in the UK is quite good, the concern is the potential catastrophe. Certainly, the economic costs of nuclear accidents are much higher than for any other form of energy at least according to Benjamin Sovacool here. Sovacool has also shown that 94% of accidental electricity generation fatalities are due to hydroelectric dams, especially one large accident at Shimantan Dam in China. The nuclear catastrophe that can be imagined is horrific, particularly with regard to terrorism. Plus, we have all that nuclear waste being stored on the surface in temporary facilities. To quote Sovacool (source):

“… , nuclear power is less safe than alternatives. When overall fatalities from other energy sources are compared independent of the amount of energy they produce, nuclear power ranks as the second most fatal source of energy supply – after hydroelectric dams – and is responsible for more onsite deaths than oil, coal, and natural gas systems (Sovacool 2008).”

Coal mining is very hazardous, especially in China. But, elsewhere it has become much safer, especially in the U.S., in recent years. Urban indoor pollution, from burning biomass (wood, dung and charcoal) and coal indoors, kills 4.3 million people each year per the World Health Organization. This is the largest killer of all energy sources.

So, although we have estimates of how many have been injured or killed by nuclear accidents that range from less than 100 to over 4,000, both numbers pale in comparison to the deaths caused by other power sources, especially biofuels, coal and hydroelectric.  By this measure, nuclear is safer.  The problem is the perceived danger from a possible nuclear accident or terrorist attack, not the actual safety record.  This fear causes expensive actions (over-reactions?) to be taken when an accident occurs, raising the accidents cost and the potential liability of the operator and builder of the reactor.

It is unlikely, after 60 years of building nuclear power stations, that the cost and time to build them has to be what we see today.  After this much time, there is no need for every reactor to be a one-off and approved piecemeal one at a time.  But, this is where we are.  It is a capital intensive business with high front-end costs and the regulations and lack of standardized pre-approved components drag out the construction (no-revenue) period and private companies cannot get into the business.

I suspect that if a standardized power plant design can be agreed upon by the government and industry, a permanent storage facility built for the waste and permitting and construction streamlined; nuclear would be a success. But, until that happens, I doubt it will ever succeed. No one, outside of government, is foolish enough to invest in the industry the way it is now.

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crosspatch
February 20, 2017 11:56 am

Organic bean sprouts in Germany and cantaloupe in Colorado killed more people in 2011 than have so far died from Chernobyl. Fukushima was an absolute worst case with three melts on one site — 0 dead, 0 injured, 0 sickened and the initial projections of any future issues now have to be scaled back because it has been determined that the radiation dose received by the nearby population was only half what it had been initially estimated to be.
Nuclear power is expensive because of lawfare. People seem to be much more afraid of radiation than they need to be. More people died at Deepwater Horizon than died at Three Mile Island. An oil train burned dozens of people alive in a town in Quebec, Canada. It is only the massive war against nuclear power than makes “renewable energy” even a consideration in Germany.
Nuclear power is expensive because of what I believe are quite idiotic regulations. State regulations prevented replacement of San Onofre heat exchanger tubes that had been discovered to have a manufacturing defect and as a result, that plant has closed. It’s just idiotic. Spent fuel should be reprocessed ON SITE to provide new fuel and prevent shipment of nuclear fuel around our highways. Instead we have engaged in an idiotic “burial” disposal process that will probably never actually happen for fuel that has had only about 5% of the potential energy used up.
The WHO estimates that the greatest health impact from Fukushima will be stress due to inaccurate reporting.

MarkW
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 12:44 pm

The only reason why terrorists with nuclear materials is a problem at all is because of the irrational fear so many people have of radiation.
If there is a dirty bomb, the solution is simple.
1) Stay out of the area for a few weeks.
2) Set up traps in all the sewers then pressure wash all the streets and buildings in the area. No need to wash higher than the second or third floors. Retrieve the traps and transport to a facility that can handle radioactive waste.
3) Repave all the streets and paint all the building.
NOTE: Step 1 may not be necessary depending on the size of the bomb and the exact list of materials used in it. On the other hand, it may take a week or two to construct and install the sewer traps anyway.

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 12:52 pm

Government (and media) over-reaction was a problem for Three Mile Island, but Chernobyl and (to a lesser extent) Fukushima were serious and avoidable nuclear accidents. Both were exacerbated by poor government communications.
In both cases of Fukushima and Chernobyl, the most significant harm was to the employees. Three Mile Island didn’t hurt anybody, but boy was it exciting. I got out of school for three days.

Janice The American Elder
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 1:54 pm

Chernobyl was not a nuclear accident. It was an industrial accident that happened to involve some nuclear material. And other than those killed in the immediate steam explosion, nobody else should have died. Simply rotating in new people would have kept exposures to safe limits. The people in charge of the response were, in exact terms, idiots.

Greg
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:27 pm

Thank you Andy. This is possibly the first and only honest and objective discussion of this topic I have read.
Usually all articles about nuclear power is highly partisan one way or the other. A refreshing change.

Coal mining is very hazardous, especially in China.

94% of accidental electricity generation fatalities are due to hydroelectric dams, especially one large accident at Shimantan Dam in China.

OK, so China is a walking disaster zone. Workers are plentiful and easy to replace. Maybe we should recalculate the risk assessments for the rest of the world.

MarkW
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:54 pm

How is a report that uses highly inflated and undocumented counts of nuclear deaths be “honest and objective”?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 4:42 pm

MarkW, it seems that a terrorist in possession of nuclear materials is a bigger threat to himself than others from a radiation dosage perspective…

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 4:54 pm

Markw @ 2.54 Which part used inflated nuclear deaths? Unless you mean the first part which was (as far as I can tell ) taken from the “Guardian” news paper. And not Andy’s report. I could be wrong but I thought Andy wrote his answer in support of nuclear power.

Simon
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 6:27 pm

Markw
“The only reason why terrorists with nuclear materials is a problem at all is because of the irrational fear so many people have of radiation.”
And an irrational fear of terrorists. The US kills far more of it’s own with guns (around 10,000 a year) than any terrorist is going to manage. Still Trumps loves guns and hates terrorists…. go figure. I’m not saying terrorists don’t cause problems, but their impact is pale compared the slaughter that is homicide by shooting.

snedly arkus
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 12:44 am

Chernobyl was NOT an accident. Prior to a shutdown the experienced first shift was going to do experiments on the reactor trying to make the reactor do things it was not designed to do. The night before the man in charge of the less experienced 2nd shift took it upon himself to do these experiments and to do so all safety measures that would automatically shut the reactor down in case of problems were disabled. It was not an accident, it was not a faulty reactor or design, it was plain old human stupidity gone out of control. People rant on about Chernobyl but never take the time to learn the true story.
In the case of Fukushima it is supposedly the loss of power to the cooling pumps and the plant that created the situation. TEPCO located the backup generators down by the water behind a seawall. Thus they were put out of action with the surge. TEPCO had been ordered to move the generators to higher ground but never did. They also did not have a backup plan in case the generators did not work. It seemed to me as the disaster unfolded that everything TEPCO did was based on an analysis of the situation and took the cheapest alternative at every step not the best. The US offered it’s best experts and TEPCO refused possibly fearing a loss of face. The whole disaster was started by the Tsunami but it was the incompetence of TEPCO then and up until today that created this mess. Again, human stupidity.

MarkW
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 6:26 am

I love the way trolls are so hung up on guns.
If you aren’t a gang banger or suicidal, you have nothing to fear from guns.

MarkW
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 12:49 pm

Make that little to fear, rather than nothing to fear.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 1:57 pm

This discussion should include the Plutonium bombs that the US dropped on a small village Spain in 1966. It was a mid-air collision including a B-52. I believe 2 of the bombs exploded as they were designed if not armed: To disperse the Pu so that the bomb cannot be reused by someone finding it. Nobody on the ground was hurt, and the Americans had several hundred people there cleaning up.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-06-01/palomares-h-bomb-and-operation-moist-mop

Menicholas
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 8:39 pm

I feel strongly that any such discussion of the safety or danger of nuclear power should include some reference to what is now known about radiation hormesis, and the implications this affect has on projections of cancer deaths from low level radiation exposure.
In fact, people exposed to non-fatal levels of radiation have less incidence of cancers compared to people with no such exposure.
The majority of the public is still completely oblivious of this finding, and making it a part of the common knowledge could go a long way towards dispelling the irrational fear of radiation and all things “nuclear”.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 10:18 pm

Found this from the UK business insider:
According to a March 2011 data analysis by reporter Phil McKenna at New Scientist, dams may be among the riskier power sources in the world. The magazine compiled data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Energy Agency, and other sources. The analysis calculated the immediate and later deaths that occurred for every 10 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of power generated globally — as a point of contrast, the world makes about 20,000 TWh of electrical power a year. The data give a range of deaths for each type of power, but the ranking consistently places hydroelectric power as more deadly than nuclear energy and natural gas:
• Nuclear — 0.2 to 1.2 deaths per 10 TWh (least deadly)
• Natural gas — 0.3-1.6 deaths per 10 TWh
• Hydroelectric — 1.0-1.6 deaths per 10 TWh
• Coal — 2.8 to 32.7 deaths per 10 TWh (most deadly)

Walt D.
Reply to  crosspatch
February 20, 2017 12:22 pm

” More people died at Deepwater Horizon than died at Three Mile Island.”
I remember the slogans:
“More people died in Ted Kennedy’s car than died at Three Mile Island.”
Latest score:” Chappaquiddick 1 Harrisburg 0″

James Francisco
Reply to  Walt D.
February 21, 2017 2:37 pm

And still the majority of folks in Massachusetts voted Ted into office for years afterwards.

MarkW
Reply to  Walt D.
February 22, 2017 6:05 am

Free stuff is more important than someone else’s daughter.

Neillusion
Reply to  crosspatch
February 20, 2017 1:36 pm

Your trivialization and none negative reporting of the effects of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster diminishes to zero the perceived value of anything you have to say.
Only .5% of the energy in uranium is extracted.
[“None negative reporting” ?? .mod]

Neillusion
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 1:48 pm

@ crosspatch

Neillusion
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 1:52 pm

Mod – see what you mean… but to explain…None negative reporting – there are a lot of terrible consequences – negatives to associate with the nuclear aspect of the accident – none were mentioned.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 1:59 pm

That’s because there aren’t any.
Apart from the cost .

Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 2:06 pm

N, three points. 1. Fukushima was an (in hindsight) improperly designed and sited gen 1. Its sister gen 2 Fukushima Daini complex just 10 km away shut safely after the earthquake. 2. There have been no,deaths or injuries from radiation despite the mess. Japanese officials over reacted, both to Fukushima Daichi and generally.
That a low percentage of uranium energy is extracted is a food reason to research gen 4 designs, not give up.

Neillusion
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 2:26 pm

@Leo – Aren’t any? Really.
It is only right to acknowledge (that there are) serious aspects of nuclear disaster in the debate. To claim/say/suggest no one died so nuclear is ok just diminishes respect for the author of that comment. The case for nuclear is strong, very strong, on nearly all the facts/comparisons. But a disaster has many aspects and a balanced argument would acknowledge these.

Neillusion
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 2:37 pm

@ristvan. Acknowledged. My point was more about the fact that there are serious consequences when something does go wrong. Radiation release, land, sea, nature, food, housing contaminated for decades, 1000’s of people lose their homes towns livelihoods . To just say no one died from radiation does not do the issue justice.

les
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 3:02 pm

I’ve always supported nuclear power – properly built. But if anyone takes Tepco/Japanese Gov. (they are one an the same) stats on this story at face value, they you should all be part of the fabled 97%… Was there a single piece of truth they did admit to without skeptics first making it impossible to do otherwise?? Just sayin…

Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 3:05 pm

N, your point is well taken. But of that sort of incident, there are exactly 2: Chernobyl and Fukushima. Chernobyl,was bad. The thing should never have been built, and the erringnoowrators paid with their lives. Fukushima is harder, because al lot ofbthe anciliary costs seem due to Japanese over reaction from what I have read. Since notbthere, hard to know for sure. No doubt the site is a disaster that will take decades to clean up. But that workers are there cleaning up raises real questions about the possible over reaction in the surrounding countryside for many kilometers.

Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 10:13 pm

“It is only right to acknowledge (that there are) serious aspects of nuclear disaster in the debate. To claim/say/suggest no one died so nuclear is ok just diminishes respect for the author of that comment. The case for nuclear is strong, very strong, on nearly all the facts/comparisons. But a disaster has many aspects and a balanced argument would acknowledge these.”

Double talk.
A) No one died. period.
B) Radioactivity released, very little.
C) Radiation injuries are virtually nil.
D) Permanent, in human terms, radiation; contained within the reactor.
Few of your claims are clearly stated; leaving readers confused.
Your accusations, inclarity and slurs are without documentation and frankly are not supported by any official or expert reports.
Leaving your confusing series of words vague, contradictory and without basis.
The author above performed an admirable job of reporting on an article published in the Guardian.
After reading Guardian’s rationale and cause descriptions for what they term accidents, I remain completely unconcerned.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  Neillusion
February 20, 2017 11:54 pm

This article seems to contradict itself. Nuclear is the worst of sources nuclear is the best of sources. Then the death rate for a year of wind farms is tallied higher than two generations of nuclear power. And that Guardian article listing all nuclear accidents not only those concerning nuclear energy. Are we supposed to include accidents with medical equipment or in radioisotope labs, or accidents that occurred in producing U-235 and Pu-239 for bombs. How are these relevant? Surely the many lives saved by the use of radioisotopes is on the plus side. More demonization of nuclear power is throwing away one of the great promises. With breeder reactors producing more fuel than they consume using 50 tonnes of fuel over a 50 year life cycle. So little waste with actinide depletion that it could be stored in the volume of second bedroom. Energy for the entire world for more than 10000 years with present proven resources. Research the perils and promise of nuclear but look beyond the Guardian.

Neillusion
Reply to  Neillusion
February 21, 2017 1:34 am

@ athrok – Not sure who/what am dealing with here
– please tick ‘I am not a Robot’ or ‘I am Human’
Just to pick one point ref B & D, radioactivity released was huge and via contaminated water most of which went straight into the sea.
I made one point about the reporting, that’s all. Anyone who can click a mouse can find ‘Fukushima disaster’ and, tho’ thankfully no-one has been reported to have died, from radiation, see the disaster was real. I merely wanted due respect/acknowledgement that it was a disaster, balanced reporting. When someone brushes this disaster off with ‘no one died’, I am not inclined to read/trust the rest of what they have to say.
I am for nuclear, especially Thorium MS when it gets here. Taking the ‘disaster’ aspects of the various power generation mechanisms and the numbers who died, I think nuclear comes out very well.
You might check the criticisms you cast at me against your own comment. The original point I made goes for you too, I think.

skorrent1
Reply to  Neillusion
February 21, 2017 7:13 am

What % of the “energy” (E=Mc^2) in coal is extracted?

Yawrate
Reply to  Neillusion
February 21, 2017 7:27 am

See Transatomic for a much safer reactor design that uses nuclear waste for fuel.
http://www.transatomicpower.com/

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Neillusion
February 21, 2017 7:44 am

“Only .5% of the energy in uranium is extracted.”
Actually. About 5% of the U-235/Pu 239 in the fuel rods used in existing (mostly Gen 2) water cooled reactors, fissions before the rods must be replaced. A rational response to that fact would be to recycle and reprocess the rods which would reduce the amount of high level waste by a factor of about 20. This is what they do in France.
Our problem is that the genius “nuclear engineer” President Carter decided to abandon that process and shut down all attempts at building a recycling plant in the US. His partisans, like the Thief Harry Reid, then conducted a 30 year campaign to block the building of a high level waste repository. They object to the storage facility on the grounds that it might leak thousands of years from now. In fact, the future of any such repository is that the fuel rods will be removed and reprocessed for the for use in a small span of years. As soon as the idiocy of anti-nuclearism and environmentalism decays to its background level.

ripshin
Editor
Reply to  Neillusion
February 21, 2017 10:56 am

Neillusion,
Fair points, but it also bears mentioning that the non-nuclear related effects of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Fukishima were far greater than the nuclear related effects. Meaning, loss of life, injuries, property damage, etc, from the earthquake/tsunami were the real story. Not the fairly benign release of radiation to the surroundings resulting from, ultimately (iirc) the diesel tanks washing away (not the generators, as is often cited).
With regards to the seawater release, which, btw, does continue to this day, the effects have yet to be determined. And, not to trivialize it, but imprecise descriptors like “huge” aren’t necessarily fair or accurate either.
Finally, and this applies to the conversation in general, we fundamentally have a catch-22 of sorts. The current prohibitive costs of nuclear power are, in large part, due to burdensome regulations…which we complain about as hindering the industry. These regulations dictate everything from siting studies, seismic and other probabilistic risk assessments, redundant safety system designs, over-engineered components, and astronomical quantities of concrete (a surprisingly significant % of the cost of a new reactor).
But, out of the other side of our mouth, we fiercely argue that every significant event/accident is due to human error, design deficiency, or both. All of which are the very reason for these burdensome regulations. So, we can’t honestly claim the safety of nuclear power and argue against costly regulations. The two, largely, go hand in hand. And that, fundamentally, is the problem.
At the end of the day, despite a VERY motivated industry, the costs are still too prohibitive for the very smart and creative, and often well-funded, lovers of nuclear to make a solid case for new reactors. (Certain exceptions notwithstanding.)
rip

Reply to  Neillusion
February 21, 2017 11:11 am

“Neillusion February 21, 2017 at 1:34 am
@ athrok – Not sure who/what am dealing with here
– please tick ‘I am not a Robot’ or ‘I am Human’
Just to pick one point ref B & D, radioactivity released was huge and via contaminated water most of which went straight into the sea.
I made one point about the reporting, that’s all. Anyone who can click a mouse can find ‘Fukushima disaster’ and, tho’ thankfully no-one has been reported to have died, from radiation, see the disaster was real. I merely wanted due respect/acknowledgement that it was a disaster, balanced reporting. When someone brushes this disaster off with ‘no one died’, I am not inclined to read/trust the rest of what they have to say.
I am for nuclear, especially Thorium MS when it gets here. Taking the ‘disaster’ aspects of the various power generation mechanisms and the numbers who died, I think nuclear comes out very well.
You might check the criticisms you cast at me against your own comment. The original point I made goes for you too, I think.”

Illusionary neil:
“Just to pick one point ref B & D, radioactivity released was huge and via contaminated water most of which went straight into the sea”
Straw man distraction. Without documentation, it is simply your claim.
Searches for anything Fukushima and nuclear bring up many spurious claims. Your suggestion to mouse click is bogus.
The relevant government agencies, which are still involved, have searched extensively and meticulously. Their results prove all claims of oceanic disaster are false.
You fail to make any point in your earlier comments. Your writing rambles through fragmented sentences, jumping subjects without providing clarity.
The Guardian is responsible for it’s own reporting, though most will agree that the Guardian is heavily biased progressive left; which means the Guardian posits Fukushima as much of a disaster that they can prove.
Your inclination to read/not read is solely yours. The authors here and most commenters have established their credibility over years.
Andy May, whose article brought us the report about Guardian’s article, is quite reputable and reliable. His research tends toward meticulous and extensive.
Disagreement with article claims here, in general, require the commenter to provide proof for their personal opinions and claims. If articles here counter your opinions or beliefs, it means you need to check your sources assiduously, not flail and hand wave accusatory words here.
You provide copious noisy disconnected blather, but zero proof. Proof needs to be explicit, definitive and from reliable sources.
‘Tu quoque’, is not a reply nor a rebuttal; beyond the third grade bully stage. It is rather pitiful that you resort to such responses in what should be a learned converse.

Latitude
Reply to  crosspatch
February 20, 2017 1:49 pm

except for hydroelectric power…
No different…either one, if not built correctly..like Chernobyl or Lake Oroville..it’s the same

Reply to  crosspatch
February 20, 2017 5:25 pm

Crosspatch
You are right, all the obstacles and challenges of nuclear power are completely artificial – they are there because of policies and choices society has made. Not based on physical reality.
The challenges Andy lists are all addressed in third and fourth generation reactor designs, if they will only be given a chance by rational policy making:
Capital costs are reduced
Modular design makes dealing with radioactive waste cheaper and easier
Passive safety makes criticality and meltdown virtually impossible
Proliferation risk from actinides is substantially reduced

Slipstick
Reply to  crosspatch
February 20, 2017 6:31 pm

I doubt those organic bean sprouts and cantaloupe will be responsible 4000 premature deaths due to cancer or a 1000 sq mi exclusion zone.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Slipstick
February 21, 2017 2:14 pm

And yet, hundreds of studies of people living in areas with high levels of background radiation have shown *fewer* cancer cases with elevated background. It’s only the governments of the world enforcing the zero credibility LNT (linear no threshold) rules that give rise to such fears.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477686/

skorrent1
Reply to  crosspatch
February 21, 2017 7:02 am

How can an article on nuclear safety be written without mention of the safety record of the navies around the world? These bouncing, jostling powerplants have been operating for 60 years, and as far as I know, there has been only one nuclear incident, involving a Russian (of course) sub.

Betapug
February 20, 2017 12:02 pm

If only Green frustration of anything nuclear (keeping Europe dependent on Russian gas and oil) would allow the development of nuclear waste burning reactors like the Copenhagen Atomics proposal.
“The primary purpose of the reactor will be to destroy Plutonium and actinides from nuclear waste through transmutation and fission. Therefore Thorium will be used instead of Uranium, to avoid breeding new transuranic elements and to avoid enrichment of Uranium. None of the isotopes produced in the reactor can be used for atomic bombs in any meaningful way.”
http://www.copenhagenatomics.com/

higley7
Reply to  Betapug
February 21, 2017 5:22 am

From the article above: “Besides generating waste, thorium reactors are a nuclear proliferation threat, as discussed by Ashley, et al., 2012 in Nature. This is because one of the waste products is 233U and 8 kg of 233U is enough for a nuclear weapon.”
Clearly the author simply wants to dismiss liquid salt reactors. The waste they create is minuscule compared to solid state reactors. And he is wrong, U-233 cannot be used in a bomb as it is too radioactive and would advertise its presence to the word as well as probably kill those trying to build it as well as breakdown the electronics needed to make the bomb happen.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  higley7
February 24, 2017 7:11 am

Right, U233 isn’t a waste product, it’s the fuel.

February 20, 2017 12:08 pm

Risk? From NP? Let’s talk about coal plant emissions …

MarkW
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 12:45 pm

Solved in the US and other western countries 30+ years ago.

Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 1:05 pm

Only a portion of the overall ‘issue’, then, has been addressed.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 1:14 pm

Everything relevant has been addressed.

Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 1:26 pm

No.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 1:39 pm

Yes

Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 2:15 pm

A parliamentarian’s voice in the well of the assembly says “The noes have it.”

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 2:53 pm

Jim,
So what other issues with coal have not yet been addressed? And if you say CO2, then GONG, you get the hook.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 2:56 pm

I suspect that _Jim is either a troll who’s only objective is to sidetrack the conversation, or he actually is as dumb as he makes himself sound.

Hivemind
Reply to  MarkW
February 21, 2017 4:07 am

“So what other issues with coal have not yet been addressed?”
How about the emission of thousands of tons of radioactive C14 every year?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MarkW
February 21, 2017 8:54 am

Hivemind,
OK, that’s ture, but pretty innocuous. C14 is a low level beta emitter and is a common, naturally occurring element. The total estimated exposure to C14 from all sources is about 1mrem/yr. The proportion due to C14 releases from coal plants isn’t even measurable. To put it in perspective, your increased exposure to living at high altitude (like Denver) is many times higher. Even moderate air travel is a greater exposure. So it’s a non-problem.

BobM
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 3:22 pm

_Jim February 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm
“Only a portion of the overall ‘issue’, then, has been addressed.”
OK, so which portion of the overall ‘issue’ has NOT been addressed ??

Steve
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 6:58 pm

Be specific…are you referring to the radionuclides released or gases or particulates?

Paul Penrose
February 20, 2017 12:08 pm

Almost all the problems with siting and building a new nuclear power plant are due to government regulations and fear whipped up by green organizations. Natural gas electrical generation would be too expensive it if took 30 years and several redesigns along the way to build one! And we have a storage site for “spent” fuel, but the green activists saw that it was never approved for use, even after spending billions of rate-payer dollars (in the form of fees) building it. And the government is still collecting those fees! Even though they have reneged on their promise to build and open this site.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Paul Penrose
February 20, 2017 2:04 pm

Hear Hear. If you exaggerate the dangers, lie about the death toll, and generally make people panic,, you can justify draconian ‘safety regulations’ and ensure that insurance is massively expensive by specifying ridiculous decontamination criteria for trivial releases.
Use of legislation based on public perception, engendered by faux nuclear news, such as this article is based on, is the commercial way to suppress nuclear power -0 eh only real rivall to Big OIl.
Nearly every ‘fact quoited in this article is disingenuous at best, or at worst a simple lie.

Macha
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2017 12:42 am

Similar for deep sea oil exploration….Only happens coz no one allows it near their back yard. Nimby’s.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Penrose
February 20, 2017 2:57 pm

I love the way the activists use legal shenanigans and political dirty tricks in order to make nuclear more expensive. Then they turn around and tell us, in a oh so reasonable voice, we have to abandon nuclear because it’s too expensive.

Tom Halla
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 3:04 pm

Exactly! Green chutzpah

February 20, 2017 12:08 pm

The risk of nuclear power is far less than hydroelectricity. When the Banqiao Dam failed in China in 1975:
Eventually:
90,000 – 230,000 people died as a result of the break.
To protect other dams from failure, several flood diversion areas were evacuated and inundated, and
several dams were deliberately destroyed by air strikes to release water in desired directions.
26,000 people died at the province from flooding and
another 145,000 died during subsequent epidemics and famine.
about 5,960,000 buildings collapsed, and 11 million residents were displaced
Given the cost of nuclear disasters seems to be in today’s money, let me translate this too:
5.96 million buildings. Let’s say $100k each = $596 bn
4 major dams. Let’s say $5 billion each = $20 bn
90,000 people = $2m each = $180 bn
Notice how I deliberately undervalued everything ignoring the cost of handling 11 million displaced persons?
Total damage at least $800 bn

Reply to  mark4asp
February 20, 2017 12:54 pm

I thought that dam was intentionally blown in order to stop some disease outbreak.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Well, that’s what I heard.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  lorcanbonda
February 20, 2017 2:55 pm

The truth is, we don’t know to this day. I’m not sure we ever will.

MarkW
Reply to  lorcanbonda
February 20, 2017 2:58 pm

If the Chinese kept records, we might find out when the Bamboo Curtain falls.

February 20, 2017 12:10 pm

In 1962 the AEC recommend to JFK to build all civilian nuclear plants using the ORNL Molten Salt Reactor design due to it’s inherent low-pressure safety; It can’t blow up, melt down and walk away safe due to its gravity drain cooling tanks with a freeze plug.
MSRs will be 1/3 the cost due to no pressure domes, 70-150 atmosphere plumbing, triple redundant cooling and power backup systems.
Thorium breeding isn’t a proliferation problem, they tried to make a nuclear bomb with 233, it was a failure as weapon material and the active radiation is high enough to not be useful for a terror dirty bomb attack.
http://www.egeneration.org

Reply to  visionar2013
February 20, 2017 11:13 pm

The U-233 bomb worked. Not as well as U-235 and Pu-239 bombs, but they hadn’t as much experience with U-233. So U-233 is a proliferation risk; as are U-235 and Pu-239.
On the plus side, I’d argue that a thorium molten salt reactor can be designed to leave almost no transuranic waste. All the fuel could be burnt up leaving only fission products. Atom bombs can’t be made from fission products. Both the US and Israeli military did studies showing dirty bombs are no military threat – just a psychological one. For U-235, after 300 years only 21% of the fission products remain as long term waste with half-lifes between 200k and 15 million years. The situation should be similar for U-233. This kind of material is not a threat.
In proliferation terms, waste fuel of a thorium molten salt reactor can represent best practice. None of it can make a fission bomb. In contrast, existing light water reactors leave about 22 tonnes of spent fuel each year per Gigawatt reactor. All of that spent fuel contains 0.8% Pu-239. About 1.8 tonnes of Pu-239 per GW reactor, per year. Despite being contaminated with Pu-240 and Pu-241 it is possible to make fission bombs with impure plutonium. Not good bombs, but way more harmful than so-called ‘dirty bombs‘. In UK we built a reprocessing plant to extract plutonium from spent Magnox fuel. The plant is not economically viable. It appears to have been made just to clean the Magnox waste. It will shut when there is no more Magnox spent fuel to reprocess. Naturally, that’s not the ‘official story‘. The official story has it this reprocessing plant was built to make money. Of all reactors built Magnox has the cleanest plutonium, so was the greatest proliferation threat. That didn’t stop us selling a couple of reactors to Italy and Japan.
The present practice of leaving vast amounts of spent fuel is far more of a proliferation threat than a best practice thorium molten salt reactor would be.
Finally, reprocessing thorium molten salt reactor fuel should be far cheaper than the current PUREX process. If we can reign in the crazy regulators, it will be safe and profitable.

Gil Paton
Reply to  mark4asp
February 21, 2017 10:51 am

The Magnox reprocessing plant at Sellafield was never built to make money. It was built to extract plutonium from the Windscale Piles and later from the Calder Hall reactors in a race to explode a nuclear bomb. It has been used since to reprocess fuel from the other UK Magnox reactors.and those from Italy and Japan. Another reprocessing plant, the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) was built at Sellafield to reprocess oxide fuel mainly from reactors in Japan, Germany and Swizerland as well as the UK AGR and PWR reactors. This was built as a commercial venture and at the time of its completion in 1994 cost-plus contracts had been signed for over 10,000 tonnes of fuel. A full report on the history of the Thorp plant appeared in the April 1994 edition of Atomwirtschaft Atomtechnik.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  mark4asp
February 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Do we have a hint as to who the new head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be? That’s a presidential appointment.

Reply to  mark4asp
February 21, 2017 7:55 pm

U233 id going to be contaminated with U232 as will all the other U products in a thorium molten salt reactor as it is way to difficult to separate U232 isotopically. U232 is a high deadly gamma emitter and no one can work around it.

Janice Moore
February 20, 2017 12:13 pm

Mr. May, you obviously did a lot of research for your article and it includes many facts which show that nuclear power is the best source of energy production for the U.S. and how regulation artificially excludes it from the energy market. Overall, nevertheless, your article’s potential to mislead FAR outweighs any good it might do.
You:

There are two big problems here. The first is a perceived danger to the public,…

Yes. And your erroneous writing (despite all the truth sprinkled throughout) loaded with misleadingly inaccurate qualifiers is only exacerbating that public irrational (in the U.S.) fear:
(this is not an exhaustive list — just a couple of examples)
1. may or may not {be a significant danger}
This qualifier is nonsensical in the U.S. there is such a lack of facts to support it.
2. … some claim it is the safest source of energy in the U.S. But, worldwide, the economic cost (worldwide total: $177B) of nuclear accidents is higher than for any other energy source and nuclear power is less safe than all other sources of energy
This comparison is disingenuous — “the world” and “the U.S.” are far too different for such a comparison to be any rational basis for making a decision. And you lead off with this monstrosity of inaccuracy in the opening paragraph!
Come now, Mr. May. You are better than that.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 3:09 pm

Andy,
Number 1 is primarily a problem outside the US. The only issue in the US in this regard is the refusal to open Yucca Mountain despite the fact that the US government is required by law to provide a long term nuclear waste repository, and is in fact still collecting fees to do so. If a company were in such obvious breech of the law, it would have been shut down by now and the head(s) put in jail. Number 2 can be easily fixed by Congress, but they are cowards. It seems the only things they are afraid of is being labeled a Trump supporter, a racist/bigot, or a supporter of Nuclear Energy.
The truth is that we are in an inter-glacial period and eventually the ice will return. It is just a matter of time. And if it returns anytime in the next 100 years or so, we will need some form of nuclear energy to survive. Even then, the tropics will not be able to support the current population. We will need some place else to go, so let’s quite kidding ourselves and for the sake of future generations stop holding back energy production for the “sake of the planet”, otherwise the planet will kill us.

DonM
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 4:21 pm

“…the fact that the US government is required by law to provide a long term nuclear waste repository…”
Did not know this. Looks like there is room for collusion lawsuit against government … sue, settle, take a cut for the newly established [and make believe] “SAFE” (safe and for everyone) energy coalition, a 501c3 non-profit organization.
Start working on standing, and then researching good jurisdiction decisions.
And If things go well you can negotiate an “efficient” settlement that then leads to other more lucrative lawsuits in the future.

Steve
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 5:37 am

Don M…plenty of lawsuits and settlements have already occurred…essentially, the government (DOE) is now paying the cost of onsite storage of spent fuel at commercial nuclear plants. Every nuclear plant pays fees (I.e. a part of your electric) to fund the NRC and to pay for the long term storage/disposal site (Yucca Mountain)…they will continue to pay for onsite storage until they complete the long term storage/disposal site…btw, utilities have paid in over $25 billion towards the long term site…

Paul767
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 8:29 pm

One correction, if I may: It is expected that Thorium MS Reactors will eventually consume most of the fuel. An added benefit is the use of U235 waste to generate the reaction, thus using up our waste U235. A third benefit is the fail safe design with a freeze plug and automatic dispersal of the reaction if a “runaway” occurs or other operating problems. Another benefit is the MSR’s can be made much smaller so (fail safe) reactors can be built near towns or cities reducing the transmission network.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/thorium.aspx
SINAP sees molten salt fuel being superior to the TRISO fuel in effectively unlimited burn-up, less waste, and lower fabricating cost, but achieving lower temperatures (600°C+) than the TRISO fuel reactors (1200°C+).

Walt D.
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 20, 2017 12:54 pm

Here are a few points:
The public has been educated to equate nuclear power plants with nuclear bombs.
One of the reasons why there were costs overruns at Diablo Canyon and Hanford was faulty engineering – I seem to recall that one unit was built backwards. Also the high cost of the overruns what exacerbated by short term borrowing rates being above 10% in the early 80’s.
More recently, SCE’s nuclear power plant at San Onofre was closed down due the faulty maintenance.
Most nuclear power plants in the US were built over 35 years ago. Technology has improved.
Comparing Chernoblyl to a modern nuclear plant is like comparing a Yugo to a Lexus.

Tom Halla
February 20, 2017 12:14 pm

What would fission power plants cost without the lawfare from the devout anti-nuclear advocates? Given the time value of money, delays are expensive, and much of the cost is due to endless appeal of the byzantine approval process in the US, and currently in Europe.
Some of the problems in the US are a holdover from the malevolently mischievous administration of Jimmy Carter, who banned reprocessing of spent fuel in the US to set a good example on proliferation. Carter did not seem to care that no country has used reprocessed power plant fuel to create a bomb, either before or since, but his policy remains in place. This gives the anti-nuclear advocates the talking point that spent fuel remains dangerous for a very long time, and there is no means of “safe” disposal.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 20, 2017 2:10 pm

The estimates I have read are from a third to a half less. Not so much actual plant construction as all the time delays, permit lawyering, legal,challenges, and other soft construction overhead costs.

Tom Halla
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 2:14 pm

IIRC, another problem with the construction/permitting process was the lack of standardized design, where the regulators were requiring a one-off design for each plant.

Reply to  ristvan
February 21, 2017 8:09 am

Over-regulation doubles or trebles the cost of nuclear power plant construction. Cost at Kudankulam, India, of 2 × 1GWe nukes = $2.57 bn ~ $1.3bn each. Optimistic cost in UK to build 1 AP1000 (1.15 GWe) = $5 bn. Cost in China to build something similar to AP1000 ~ $2bn.
The important point about nuclear power plant safety is we now know what can go wrong now and how to stop it. Expecting the same nuclear disasters today because decades ago the Soviet Union built a badly designed power plant, run with a ridiculously high positive void of 4.5 (so: unstable / hard to control), no outer containment, operated by badly trained personnel. Then: in between shifts they ran an unscheduled emergency shutdown ‘test‘. That kind of cowboy operation will never be seen again – regulators or none.

MarkW
Reply to  ristvan
February 21, 2017 9:04 am

Another point is that what do we do about the fact that over regulation and lawfare are making nuclear power way more expensive than necessary.
From his comments in this post, it seems to me that the author of this article feels that we should just admit defeat and give up on nuclear power.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  ristvan
February 21, 2017 2:29 pm

Rud: Here’s an excellent report on the cost of building plants as a function of year started and what country. My summary is that nuclear power in fact is cheap in countries that allow it to be. Dan
http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/The-Myth-Of-Expensive-Nuclear-Power.html

February 20, 2017 12:15 pm

I’m going to mention this just once – SunCell; debuting in a ‘test’ on Feb 28th (sans the PV assembly) about a week out. Conduct your own due diligence accordingly going forward on how this may effect ‘conventional’ generation resources..

AP
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 12:50 pm

So let me get this straight Jim: some solar cell startup company is doing a public trial minus the solar photovoltaic cell?

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 12:55 pm

No.

SlyRik
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:02 pm

I think he means this… http://brilliantlightpower.com/suncell/
smells like BS to me but a professional looking website (not that that means anything)

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:12 pm

SlyRik February 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm
I think he means …
We could do w/o the slander on NO factual basis other than ‘wild hairs’; meanwhile DO you own due diligence. If you lack the ability to evaluate emerging technology then stay OUT of the market and stay OUT of the discussion. If you THINK it is a scam, It IS as simple as that to avoid ‘falling prey’.

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:14 pm

SlyRik February 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm
I think he means …
We could do w/o the s l a n d e r on NO factual basis other than ‘wild hairs’; meanwhile DO you own due diligence. If you lack the ability to evaluate emerging technology then stay OUT of the market and stay OUT of the discussion. If you THINK it is a s c a m, It IS as simple as that to avoid ‘falling prey’.

SlyRik
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:23 pm

From Wikipedia… (yeh iknow but the quote is verifiable)
“Critics say it lacks corroborating scientific evidence, and is a relic of cold fusion. Critical analysis of the claims have been published in the peer reviewed journals Physics Letters A, New Journal of Physics, Journal of Applied Physics, and Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. These works note that the proposed theory is inconsistent with quantum mechanics, and that the proposed hydrino states are unphysical and incompatible with key equations that have been experimentally verified many times.”
duy diligent enough??

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:32 pm

SlyRik February 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm
From Wikipedia …
A MOST reputable source.
Fail.
(If you note, moron, THEY can’t even CORRECTLY state Mills’ CV, so DOUBLE FAIL.)
Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.
.

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:34 pm

-Jim, this is the latest reincarnation of Randy Mills hydrino scam. Right there on the front page of the website. I eviscerated 3 previous incarnations plus his supposed underlying physics theory as an illustrated example in The Arts of Truth. The theory is gobbeldygook; for example, the math is not Lorenz invariant, a requirement for this universe. This is a long running scam that has already cost gullible investors in previous reincarnations (Blacklight Power, Catalyst Induced Hydrino Transition (CIHT) electricity generation, 1000 mpg from water cars…) over $60 million at the time (2012) I wrote the book. You need to do more due diligence, and stop hyping an obvious con here.

SlyRik
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:36 pm

ooo oooo oooo being called amoron by someone I have never met on the internet… oooOOOOoo that hurts…
(do I need the /sarc tag???)
put your money where your mouth is … remortgage your house and sink all your savings into it.. 😀

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:59 pm

ristvan February 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm
this is the latest reincarnation of …
You’re not credible on this subject anymore, restvan.
Your ‘work’ is *dated* and was on dated material, and DOES NOT take into account nor reflect ANY experiential work (WHICH I take it you REFUSE to examine) since then.
‘nuf said.
AS I wrote above, “I’m going to mention this just once” and to which I would add: Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.
To others I would advise DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE.

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 2:18 pm

-Jim, anything having to with Mills and hydrinos is not dated. There is no such thing as a hydrino, and that information is timeless. So there can be no credible experiment comcerning them—unless you assert that all of quantum physics, with its myriad experimentally proven predictions (including the quantum base state for hydrogen, the only atom for which the Schroedinger wave equation can be solved exactly) is wrong. That assertion is part of how you can determine Mills is running a delusional con. Your indignation says you either did not do due diligence (you would not be alone), are a shill, or both.

MarkW
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 3:02 pm

ristvan, it’s beginning to sound as if _Jim is in on the scam or is somehow hoping to recoup his investment.

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 5:13 pm

MarkW , 3.02 He is probably invested and has just realized it is a scam.

Reply to  AP
February 21, 2017 8:18 am

If you lack the ability to evaluate emerging technology

1878: Augustin Mouchot displayed a solar power generator at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. 5 years later in 1883 there was a rooftop PV solar array built by Charles Fritts on the rooftop of 42 Nassau Street, NY.
How can 139 year old technology be called ‘emerging‘?

Dan
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 1:28 pm

Everything that _Jim says is 100% truth except that the plan is to have the ‘test’ on February 29th for the next 3 years.

SlyRik
Reply to  Dan
February 20, 2017 1:33 pm

well… since Jim doesn’t say very much… that’s not saying very much

Reply to  Dan
February 20, 2017 2:04 pm

To: SlyRik
Perhaps reading comprehension is not your strong suite? NOTE the opening line: “I’m going to mention this just once”.
Anthony’s blog on an off-topic is not the place for this. I do this out of respect for Anthony and WUWT. Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.

SlyRik
Reply to  Dan
February 20, 2017 2:23 pm

With all due respect you opened the topic so must expect some response.. as for your latin.. I’m deaf not daft unlike some on here
finally has anyone ever met anyone with their head shoved so far up their own rectum he doesn’t know from which orifice he speaks?? reading comprehension wha??

Javert Chip
Reply to  Dan
February 20, 2017 4:02 pm

re Jim
At least he’s (probably) not Griff. This whole troll thing has me guessing that folks who live long-term in their mother’s basement are congenitally cranky and don’t develop the ability to interact with anything other than a keyboard.
But I digress:
I’m in awe of Jim’s powers of persuasion (an uncharitable few might say the thinness of Jim’s skin is only exceeded by that of the logic in his arguments). Couple of Jim’s antics befuddle me:
1) His espoused respect for WUWT and staying on topic, yet he’s taken us off topic, but at least Jim promised to only say it once (I guess that makes it ok, ya know, because Jim says so).
2) I gave up impressing people with my Latin in the 7th grade
So, Jim, I’m only going to say this once: cuius cerebro cogitet. Oh yea, and adios.

george e. smith
Reply to  Dan
February 21, 2017 11:25 am

So _jim is only going to mention this once, but I think he has mentioned it at least three times so far.
g

Paul Penrose
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 3:18 pm

Jim,
I’ve been watching these people for a long time produce nothing practical, so I’m skeptical. But we will see in 8 days time if they finally have something useful to show. If not, then it is just another failure in a long series.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 3:29 pm

_Jim February 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm
“To others I would advise DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE.”
As one of the “others”, why? If it works it works. Period. No need to get testy and call people names. Are you trying to get people to invest in it? If you have invested, and have faith in it, great. You will get to laugh all the way to the bank.
Your remarks appear panicky as if the lack of enthusiasm by some commentators here will jinx it.
If you have invested in this enterprise and a lack of agreement to it’s utility by some people here causes you this level of anxiety, perhaps you might consider a reassessment.
Best of luck
michael

February 20, 2017 12:16 pm

My neighbour explained the dangers of nuclear to me in some detail. Droned on for a considerable period of time about all the different cancers it can cause, and how that justifies laws that prevent people from being exposed to such awful substances.
Then she calmly lit a cigarette…

Reply to  davidmhoffer
February 20, 2017 12:55 pm

… have to ask her next time if she’s had her house tested for Radon Gas …

Reply to  davidmhoffer
February 20, 2017 1:37 pm

DH, it is true that the dangers of nuclear power have been overstated. And it is also truemthatnthe consequences have worsened nuclear generation economics. But it was never good even before 3 Mile Island. See comment below.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  davidmhoffer
February 20, 2017 6:17 pm

“Then she calmly lit a cigarette…”
This is a risk when working in nuclear power. I was representing my church at convention (near TMI). My minister introduced me to an NRC employee thinking we had a common interest. A woman overheard this and jumped into the conversation with the usual anti-nuke rant. The NRC guy declined to comment as it would be a conflict of interest which it would have been. If the question had been raised at a public meeting he could have provided the NRC position.
Her wrath to me. I declined to answer because it was neither the time or place. She continued to badger me. Even after others pointed out I did not want to argue about nuclear power at a church function. Finally I gave in, telling her that I can explian risk to someone with a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other, with a deep suntan, wearing high heels.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 20, 2017 10:22 pm

I assume you meant “can’t explain”, in which case ROFL

Leo Smith
Reply to  davidmhoffer
February 21, 2017 12:28 am

ROFL. Reminds me of my ‘green’ sister decades ago getting very incensed when I told her that Germany actually had lots of nuclear power plants (she lives there). As we drove down the autobahn she was getsici8lating and getting hysterical about ‘the danger it represented to her children’ who were sitting bemused in the back seat.
I mildly pointed out that in fact the greatest danger to her children was being driven down the autobahn by a hysterical woman at 130km/h with no seat belts worn by them.
Things went very quiet….for a while

Ozonebust
February 20, 2017 12:31 pm

A major consideration that is constantly overlooked is where they are currently located, and where they are building new ones. Also the location of waster storage.
Most are located where the ice sheet in the next ice age will cover. Given the number of them, the reluctance for anyone to act swiftly in decomissioning, The cost, the long time period required to decomission and the available specialists poses a huge risk. They can be built to the highest spec, but it wont match a 3 km high moving ice sheet.
This interglacial is well advanced, with some specialists recently predicting that an ice age is imminent. Those that have studied ice ages will know that things can change fast. Access to them may be a problem.
Again there is little focus on any future climate movement, as its only going to warm according to the AGW crowd.
Crazy ??? – we will see

MarkW
Reply to  Ozonebust
February 20, 2017 12:55 pm

Even if a new ice age were to start, it would take hundreds of years for the ice sheets to reach the places where nuclear plants are located.
That gives plenty of time for decomissioning and cleanup. Your irrational panicking is noted and duly ridiculed.

Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 1:15 pm

MarkW
Not irrational, no panicking. Comment only. Your ridicule unwarranted.
It may take years (number unknown, unless you have data to the contrary) for the ice sheet to build to that height, but these places may become very difficult to access and work in.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 3:24 pm

We may not know the exact number of years it would take for ice sheets miles high to form, but our experience with mountain glaciers, the Greenland ice sheets, and the Antarctic ice sheets tells us it will be many decades and probably hundreds of years. Plenty of time to decommission the nuclear plants. On the other hand, if we don’t get going now to build up our energy technology, old nuclear plants getting bulldozed by the ice sheets will be the least of our worries.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 3:36 pm

ozonebust February 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm
These are nuke power plants remember? Just get some big space heaters and long extension cords……
michael :->

Matt Bergin
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 3:37 pm

Plus I don’t think the ice would survive the waste heat from the plant. Should cure the cooling issue though.:-)

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Ozonebust
February 20, 2017 6:24 pm

“Your ridicule unwarranted.”
MarkW was being too nice. Stupid and clueless fits better for ozone.

MarkW
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 21, 2017 11:49 am

I think that is the first time anyone has said that about me.

Reply to  Ozonebust
February 21, 2017 6:42 am

We can just launch some power-sats and microwave the ice and melt it back a bit

Eustace Cranch
February 20, 2017 12:33 pm

“4,231 fatalities due to nuclear accidents”
Misleading. How many fatalities from commercial nuclear power plants?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:38 pm

why pick scary sovacol when you could have accurate UNSCEAR?
Axe to grind?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:44 pm

Did you bother to research who sovacool is?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_K._Sovacool
Zero qualifications in anything other than political and science journalism. He is an IPCC policy advisor
Currently hangs around a third rate UK and Danish universities, and makes a living out of publishing green smear .

Barbara Hamrick
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:49 pm

The numbers (4,231 Chernobyl-related deaths and 5 Fukushima-related deaths) are not valid. Deaths that are attributable to Chernobyl disaster are under 100 (most were plant operators and first responders; there were also 20 or so deaths from thyroid cancer in children). There were 0 deaths (attributable to radiation) at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and no latent cancer deaths distinguishable from background are expected. Simply put, the risks from low-dose/low dose-rate radiation exposure have been highly exaggerated.

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 3:44 pm

Over 4,000 of those 4,231 fatalities are inferred (estimated additional cancer deaths from Chernobyl). The direct loss of life in all non-military nuclear accidents since 1945 totals less than 200 people. Most of the deaths, apart from Chernobyl, were the result of radiotherapy and radiography mishaps.
The verifiable death toll from Chernobyl was less than 30 people, most of whom were fighting the fires…

Mortality

According to UNSCEAR (2000), 134 liquidators received radiation doses high enough to be diagnosed with acute radiation sickness (ARS). Among them, 28 persons died in 1986 due to ARS. Other liquidators have since died but their deaths could not necessarily be attributed to radiation exposure.
An increased number of cancer deaths can be expected during the lifetime of persons exposed to radiation from the accident. Since it is currently impossible to determine which individual cancers were caused by radiation, the number of such deaths can only be estimated statistically using information and projections from the studies of atomic bomb survivors and other highly exposed populations. It should be noted that the atomic bomb survivors received high radiation doses in a short time period, while Chernobyl caused low doses over a long time. This and other factors, such as trying to estimate doses people received some time after the accident, as well as differences in lifestyle and nutrition, cause very large uncertainties when making projections about future cancer deaths. In addition, a significant non-radiation related reduction in the average lifespan in the three countries over the past 15 years caused by overuse of alcohol and tobacco, and reduced health care, have significantly increased the difficulties in detecting any effect of radiation on cancer mortality.
Although there is controversy about the magnitude of the cancer risk from exposure to low doses of radiation, the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII Committee, published in 2006, a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, and concluded that the risk seems to continue in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold (this is called the “linear no-threshold” or LNT model). However, there are uncertainties concerning the magnitude of the effect, particularly at doses much lower than about 100 mSv.
The Expert Group concluded that there may be up to 4 000 additional cancer deaths among the three highest exposed groups over their lifetime (240 000 liquidators; 116 000 evacuees and the 270 000 residents of the SCZs). Since more than 120 000 people in these three groups may eventually die of cancer, the additional cancer deaths from radiation exposure correspond to 3-4% above the normal incidence of cancers from all causes.
[…]
WHO

The worst non-military nuclear accident in history killed 28 people.
It possibly caused an additional 5,000 cancer deaths out of a population of 5 million people – This is also impossible to verify. It’s almost too small to even measure. It would only represent a 0.6% incremental increase over the expected cancer death rate for that population over the period from 1986-2000.
The death rate from cancer (neoplasms) was rising in Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus before Chernobyl and continued to rise until 1993…

How Many People Have Really Been Killed by Chernobyl?
Why estimates differ by tens of thousands of deaths.
By Mary Mycio|Posted Friday, April 26, 2013
When the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded in 1986, experts predicted as many as 40,000 extra cancer deaths from the radiation spewed onto parts of what was then the Soviet Union. Friday is the 27th anniversary of the disaster. How many people has Chernobyl killed so far?
We’ll probably never know. That’s partly because even 40,000 cancer deaths are less than 1 percent of the cancer mortality expected in the affected population. Statistically, the deaths are undetectable. Even if they weren’t, science usually can’t say that a particular cancer was induced by radiation rather than something else.
One exception is thyroid cancer, a very rare disease in children that skyrocketed to nearly 7,000 cases in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine by 2005. There is no doubt that radioactivity from Chernobyl caused them, including about a dozen fatalities. We also know that two people died in the explosion and more than 100 people, mostly firefighters ignorant of the dangers, received doses high enough to cause acute radiation syndrome. Of them, 29 died within a few months, followed by 18 more deaths over the years. The group seems to be at higher risk for blood cancers.
[…]
Slate

chernobyl_zpsdef0a526
There was no significant change in the slope of the function after Chernobyl.
While, there is little doubt that Chernobyl did cause some cancer deaths, the impact is statistically undetectable.
Chernobyl was a really bad accident caused by a fatally flawed reactor design and grossly incompetent operating procedures.
Fukushima was the next worst accident in nuclear power history. It was caused by a tsunami generated by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded. Its death toll stands at zero-point-zero.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 6:37 pm

Andy
Repeating a lie is still lying.
For example, ‘5 at Fukui plant(2004)’, was an example of a problem that has occurred at many steam plants.
Before you say that the statement was only misleading, that is just another form of lying that shows intent to lie.

Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 8:24 am

The same Sovacool who had an incompetent and wrong paper (about nuclear power) retracted in 2016?

Reply to  Eustace Cranch
February 20, 2017 1:16 pm

I agree. I tried to verify that number, and I can’t find supporting information for it. As near as I can figure:
1) Most of these deaths (~4,000) are estimates from Chernobyl for excess cancer deaths in the region around the plant. The number is likely valid, but it’s hard to condemn an entire industry for terribly shoddy practices in Soviet Russia. Estimates range from 56 direct deaths to 985,000 deaths (a ridiculous figure.)
2) Several other nuclear disasters in Soviet Russia, both military and civilian are most of the remainder of the total. The 2nd worst disaster was Khyshtom in 1957 with no reliable estimates on deaths. (Submarines K-431, K-27, and K-19 are also serious accidents with a total of 27 deaths and 162 exposed.)
3) The next worst accidents were a uranium metal fire in Windscale UK (1957) — part of their atomic weapons program (estimated 33 excess cancer deaths) and Fukushima (six employees died and an estimate of 1600 excess deaths reported from “evacuation stress.” — that’s right, the evacuation was worse than the accident.)
4) There have been many incidents of “radiotherapy deaths” all across the world. For instance, there were 17 deaths in Panama and 13 in Costa Rica. The worst in the United States was in Houston in 1980 with 7 deaths (one year after TMI with 7 more deaths — why didn’t that receive seven times the coverage?)
5) The worst nuclear accident in the United States was SL-1 in 1961. Three people died.
So, outside of the Soviet Union, there have been very few commercial nuclear accidents which have created risks to the public since 1961.
That’s a pretty good track record. However, we should actively pursue an end to radiation therapy. {sarcasm intended.}

Paul Penrose
Reply to  lorcanbonda
February 20, 2017 3:29 pm

Think of all the people that get radiation therapy and still die of cancer. Isn’t that a failure of radiation therapy? /sarc just in case

Retired Kit P
Reply to  lorcanbonda
February 20, 2017 6:44 pm

“six employees died”
How did they die?
Pond scum use personal tragedy to support their sick agenda. They have no concern for safety. One was in a crane when the earthquake occurred. Two drowned because of the tsunami.
The safest place to be in a natural disaster is working at a nuke.

Reply to  lorcanbonda
February 20, 2017 9:03 pm

Retired Kit P — the six deaths are Fukushima are still attributed to the use of nuclear power. Not one died from radiation exposure. However, the point I was making is that 1600 people died due to the stress of the evacuation. That’s when you have to wonder about our priorities.

Reply to  lorcanbonda
February 21, 2017 8:45 am

Most of these deaths (~4,000) are estimates from Chernobyl for excess cancer deaths in the region around the plant. The number is likely valid

Those 4,000 deaths are a projection using the no safe dose – linear no threshold model (LNT) for carcinogens. That hypothesis dates back to, at least, the 1920s. I think we know a lot more about radiation, the genome, etc. since then. We even discovered DNA in the intervening years. Since 2015, science officially recognises Nobel prize winners who characterized several DNA repair mechanisms in organisms too. LNT is wrong. 4000 people did not die as a consequence of Chernobyl.
Here is my transcription of Mohan Doss’ submission to the US NRC, Nuclear Regulatory Commission arguing and presenting evidence for new radiation protection standards. A link to his original (pdf) is also there.

Keith J
February 20, 2017 12:39 pm

Fission power works great in the US Navy. There is the model to follow.
And get rid of that Jimmy Carter hobble. He’s got one foot in the grave already…

MarkW
Reply to  Keith J
February 20, 2017 12:56 pm

He’s been brain dead for decades.

Keith J
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 1:39 pm

At least five decades by my count. Comparing soviet era fission to PWR is like comparing a Trabant to a Porsche. Both are German but the rift starts right after that fact.

Reply to  Keith J
February 20, 2017 1:23 pm

Fission power works great in the US Navy. There is the model to follow.

Indeed – Adm Rickover literally wrote the book on safe operation of nuclear systems and there was no compromise allowed in the personnel or procedures. I’ve always had a bit of a problem allowing public nuclear utilities being run ‘for profit’. If making money is an incentive for the bottom line, safety may be compromised as an acceptable & allowed risk. The US Nuclear Navy does not allow risk to be compromised and it shows in their record of safety.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  JKrob
February 20, 2017 6:59 pm

I spent the last 35 years after the navy in commercial nuclear power. About one third of the workers in the commercial nuclear field have a navy background.
And it ‘shows in their record of safety’ which is perfect. No one has ever been hurt by radiation from a commercial PWR or BWR.

MarkW
Reply to  JKrob
February 21, 2017 6:43 am

One of the costs of business is insurance. Both liability and health.
One of the best ways to keep both costs down is to operate safely.
Every place I have ever worked has had yearly, mandatory safety seminars. Additionally, if a manager caught you doing something unsafe you were written up, and fired if it continued.

Reply to  Keith J
February 20, 2017 2:21 pm

KJ, Navy stuff cannot be ported to civilian use. The reactors use highly enriched uranium (close to weapons grade) and are never refueled. Just buried at Hanford after 20 years operation.

EW3
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 2:29 pm

I think you may want to check your facts.
CVNs and Subs have been getting refueled for the last 50 years.
The newer reactors that last longer do not require refueling but it’s because of improved efficiencies and methodologies.

Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 2:54 pm

Navy Refueling involves replacing the reactor, not refueling what is in it. Google is your friend here.

Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 3:56 pm

The main reason CVN-65 USS Enterprise can’t be turned into a monument/museum is the fact that they would have to cut open the ship to remove the reactor & fuel. While this can be justified for a mid-life SLEP for a $4 billion (2015 USD) capital warship, it is prohibitively expensive for a museum.

Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 5:11 pm

ristvan said:

KJ, Navy stuff cannot be ported to civilian use. The reactors use highly enriched uranium (close to weapons grade) and are never refueled.

how stupid – of course they can ‘be ported to civilian use’…because they were. Rickover chose the PWR design because it was already established. *ALL* PWR use highly enriched uranium fuel and.of course they are refueled. Follow your own advice concerning Google…

Navy Refueling involves replacing the reactor, not refueling what is in it. Google is your friend here.

yes, Google is your friend…when used properly 😉
In a nuclear-powered ship, the nuclear fuel is essentially a solid inside a reactor core which is inside the ship’s nuclear reactor. Once a reactor core has gone critical, meaning it has been used during a reactor operation, highly radioactive nuclear fission products have formed in the core, and the core has become highly radioactive. Refueling involves taking the expended core out of the reactor and putting in a new core with fresh nuclear fuel.
I was in the Navy & served on a nuclear ship…please, I thought you were smarter than that…

Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 5:17 pm

JKrob said:

*ALL* PWR use highly enriched uranium fuel

Oooops – my bad. not all PWR use HEU (Highly-Enriched-Uranium)…but it is irrelevant whether HEU vs LEU is used.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 7:12 pm

“Just buried at Hanford after 20 years operation.”
Spent navy fuel will end up at Yucca Mountain. Activated components like the reactor vessel go to the low level landfill at Hanford.

emsnews
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 7:53 pm

Yucca Mountain was stopped by Obama. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository
The project was approved in 2002 by the United States Congress, but Federal funding for the site ended in 2011 under the Obama Administration via amendment to the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, passed on April 14, 2011.[2] The project has had many difficulties and was highly contested by the general public, the Western Shoshone peoples, and many politicians.[3] The Government Accountability Office stated that the closure was for political, not technical or safety reasons.[2]
This leaves the US government and utilities without any designated long-term storage site for the high-level radioactive waste stored on-site at various nuclear facilities around the country. The US government disposes of transuranic waste at WIPP in New Mexico, in rooms 2,150 feet (660 m) underground.[4]
My comment here: it is interesting to me, I grew up in Arizona and lived next to the Papago reservation and dumping stuff where the Tribes live is…ahem…well…’not in MY backyard’ stuff.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Keith J
February 20, 2017 6:51 pm

Spent 10 years in the US nuclear navy with my last job being radiation safety officer. No one has been hurt by radiation from the reactor on a US navy ship.
Just for the record, POTUS Carter entered the nuclear program but left before getting qualified. I am not suggesting they he could not have qualified but he he had dumb ideas about energy.

Joe Public
February 20, 2017 12:40 pm

The irony is, those expressing concern about nuclear risk have no fear about using the output from renewables.comment image
There’s no reason to suspect the UK’s electrical safety record is worse than that of most other countries.
Source:
http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/what-we-do/policies-and-research/statistics/

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Joe Public
February 20, 2017 7:17 pm

If you have a fire at your power plant and it is on the roof of your house, tell me why solar is safer for your family.

AP
February 20, 2017 12:41 pm

Thank you for presenting the facts on Nuclear power. Ultimately coal is by far the most superior fuel for electricity generation.
I would rather live beside a coal plant than a nuclear plant any day of the week.
In terms of “pollution” from coal fired power, even the ageing plants in the Hunter Valley do not have a discernable signature above background levels at the nearest population centres. This was proven by the Upper Hunter Particle Characterisation Study which is available online. Interestingly, in these mining towns the largest source of particulate matter was from household wood fires.

MarkW
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 12:56 pm

You get more radiation from living next to a coal plant than you would get from living next to a nuclear plant.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 7:27 pm

So!
A coal plant does not have the risk of harmful levels of radiation.

emsnews
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 7:55 pm

A nuclear plant releases very little radiation until…there is a flood! Then it can blow up like Fukushima! I would suggest that this is a very scary thing.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 21, 2017 6:47 am

Kit P, make it a chemical processing plant, or any of the hundreds of types of commercial facilities that handle toxic materials.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 21, 2017 6:48 am

ems, first it was a hydrogen explosion, not a nuclear one.
second, the release of radiation was small and has been cleaned up
third, had they moved the generator as the regulators had requested, there never would have been a problem.

Reply to  MarkW
February 21, 2017 9:13 am

@Retired Kit P:

A coal plant does not have the risk of harmful levels of radiation.

So I guess you think LNT is nonsense. Because LNT says all radiation is harmful. In which case you are only worried about large scale radiation which escaping confinement. Molten salt reactors, MSR, can be made with no possible mechanisms leading to widespread radiation contamination.
So you must support MSRs and oppose LNT – you are most of the way to being a pro-nuke already!

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:00 pm

Natural gas on CCGT plants … they produce 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine, which generates ‘extra power’ normally otherwise wasted …

Reply to  _Jim
February 21, 2017 9:17 am

One can’t really store the gas. That makes natural gas susceptible to economic / political disruption. That’s why the French built their nuclear fleet – in the 1970s their mostly diesel generated electricity was badly hit by the oil crisis.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 7:22 pm

AP
I do not have a problem living next to a coal plant or a nuke plant and have done both.
Nuclear is a superior fuel if you do not have coal.

Leo Smith
Reply to  AP
February 21, 2017 12:34 am

I would rather live beside a coal plant than a nuclear plant any day of the week.

I wouldn’t. I’ve visited both.
Apart from anything else, coal plants emit more radioactivity than nuclear plants do.
Fly ash is as radioactive as ‘low level nuclear waste’ but its routinely made into blocks and has houses built from it.
Coal is cheap but filthy.
Nuclear is very very clean and has almost zero emissions of anything except heat and electricity.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2017 6:07 am

So Leo where do you live?
I visited the location of the worst US coal ash spill at Kingston, Tennessee.
What a beautiful place? It would be nice if I could afford a house on the lake looking at the power plant.
Cleaning up the mess cost TVA rate payers more than the TMI cleanup.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2017 4:26 pm

Suffolk. Near (40miles) the UKs biggest nuclear plant. Not that you would notice it.

February 20, 2017 12:44 pm

Nuclear accident = limited & local. Predicted CO2 catastrophe = total & global.
Most opposition from the greens (warmists) to nuclear stems from fears of a catastrophic accident. The warmists think that CO2 emissions will cause a global catastrophe on an unprecedented scale, while the damage of even the worst conceivable nuclear power accident would be primarily confined to a local area. Arguably the most influential warmist, NASA’s James Hansen, has warned of “the oceans boiling” in a runaway greenhouse effect if CO2 emissions are not checked and cut by like 90%. If that threat and the other threats the Chicken Littles squawk about from CO2 were true then it makes sense that *everything* be done to limit that threat, and the most obvious thing to do is develop non-CO2 emitting nuclear power to the hilt. Again, even the worst conceivable nuclear accident would have minimal and essentially local impact versus the bs predictions of “boiling oceans” and global destruction caused by CO2 emissions. But most all warmists oppose nuclear. That seems nonsensical but is consistent with the idea that in truth climate has nothing to do with what motivates the ideologically driven prophets of doom.
I add that the greens support of fanciful wind and solar can be seen as little more than a smokescreen to camouflage their opposition to energy itself. Arguably wind and solar increase emissions because of the complex economics involved in their production. Regardless, costly wind and solar would economically destroy and bankrupt countries before they ever were able to truly provide for a country’s energy needs.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
February 20, 2017 1:01 pm

Renewables can’t actually generate enough energy ever, in most national scenarios. Their energy sources far to weak, diffuse and intermittent to meet current demand, when needed, never mind the tripled electricalenrgy levels required after fossil.
I do a lecture on the physics of this, here’s a key summary slide.comment image or let Sir David MacKay FRS the UK DECC Chief Scientist from 2008-2014 and author of world renowned “Sustainable Energy – Without Hot Air” , explain: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay?CMP=share_btn_fb
As for safety, what is this “some say”. It is te clearly documented fact nuclear is the stand out safety winner on the record of decades. No opinion relevant. You can check the nuclear record in the UN UNSCEAR papers but this summary is well referenced and supported by the base data. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#7d8ed65449d2

Leo Smith
Reply to  Eric Simpson
February 20, 2017 2:36 pm

Greens are by and large not very technically ‘ept’. Any technology scares them because they dont understand it, they probably didn’t do science and certainly didn’t do it at university level, or did science that has little to do with climatology or nuclear physics.
I spent Xmas with sister and in-laws and HER in-laws. Three men, with nuclear physics, geology and engineering degrees, two women with arts qualifications. Guess who believes in climate change and scary nuclear power. You guessed it, the ‘liberal ‘ arts not-even-graduates.

Reply to  Eric Simpson
February 21, 2017 9:28 am

Predicted CO2 catastrophe = total & global.

Hardly anyone believes in that here. Those who do probably hate nukes. There are many other reasons to support nuclear power too. You should tailor your arguments to your audience. E.g.
* security of supply. It is easy to store a decades worth of unused nuclear fuel at a plant.
* It is the safest form of electricity generation,
* it is one of only 2 forms of baseload electricity generation which is ‘non-carbon’,
* the other form of RE baseload is far more dangerous and is resource limited,
* we will eventually run out of fossil fuels, …

Mark - Helsinki
February 20, 2017 12:48 pm

More people probably die transporting coal to power stations than Nuclear has ever harmed

AP
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
February 20, 2017 12:56 pm

Two can play that game. More people probably die constructing nuclear plants than coal plants.

MarkW
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 12:57 pm

Not even close to being true.

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:04 pm

That is rubbish. did you make it up? This is a discussion of technical fact. Please give references to the source data that proves your assertion.

RWturner
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:34 pm

Most claims in the article were rubbish with no source or poor sources, so why not just make up more rubbish in the comments?

Keith J
Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 1:42 pm

Name one person killed in construction of a fission power plant.
My cousin was killed in construction of a natural gas fueled power plant. Game, set, point.

Reply to  AP
February 20, 2017 4:06 pm

More people died at Chappaquiddick than at Three Mile Island… 😉

Reply to  AP
February 21, 2017 9:30 am

Obviously wrong. The safety procedures one must follow doing any kind of civilian nuclear are out of this world.

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
February 20, 2017 2:20 pm

Mark – Helsinki February 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm
More people probably die transporting coal to power stations than Nuclear has ever harmed
Analysis: True.
See, for instance, coal train accidents:
https://www.google.com/search?q=education+CV&rlz=1C1AOHY_enUS708US708&oq=education+CV&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=coal+train+accidents

Javert Chip
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 4:11 pm

Never heard of anybody evacuating hundreds of thousands of people & establishing a lifetime 20-mile radius exclusion zone around a train wreck. I could be wrong.

Javert Chip
Reply to  _Jim
February 20, 2017 4:14 pm

Oh yea, Jim, I forgot: e pluribus unum!

Leo Smith
Reply to  _Jim
February 21, 2017 12:41 am

On the night of 2-3 December 1984, over half a million people were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other dangerous chemicals. The government of Madya Pradesh region confirmed 558,125 injuries and a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.

Maybe they SHOULD have been evacuated.
Of course whilst chernobyl (1986, <100 dead), and three mile island (1979, no dead) remain fixed in public memory by continuous hysterical follow-ups, who even remembers Bhopal?

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
February 20, 2017 7:37 pm

So!
A coal plant does not have the risk of harmful levels of radiation.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 21, 2017 12:42 am

Coal plants generate more radiation than nuclear plants do.

G. Karst
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 21, 2017 8:38 am

Leo – replace the word “generate” with “release” for a more accurate statement. GK

Leo Smith
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 21, 2017 4:27 pm

‘release’ would apply to nuclear plants as well.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
February 20, 2017 7:45 pm

According to Cohen transportation is the most significant risk factor in making electricity. The most dangerous occupation is being unemployed but at least there are not safety meetings.
“Name one person killed in construction of a fission power plant.”
Construction is a dangerous occupation but has improved at power plants. One worker was killed working on the EPR in Finland.

G. Karst
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 21, 2017 8:50 am

I have commissioned 8 reactors in N.A. We lost 4 workers while constructing in total. All due to falls. Two by a failed temporary construction elevators and two falling off the structure. Blood alcohol was suspect on those that fell. Nuclear construction is like any large construction. They are not idiot proof and accidents will happen. GK

arthur4563
February 20, 2017 12:54 pm

I’m astounded that Andy May is so ignorant of the new nuclear power designs that will make all of his rather exaggerated negative claims obsolete. Molten salt nuclear reactors will cost less than a third what current light water reactors cost,can be built and operated virtually anywhere with not the slightest risk or danger to man nor property. They will be built in factories and can be installed very quckly. They also can burn nuclear wastes and are extremely resitant to proliferation and do not produce plutonium, unless built to be fueled by Thorium, something that is not recommeded by the designers. Andy must be living on Mars or has zero conections to the field of nuclear power to be so completely ignorant of the most revolutionary change in nuclear designs in the past 80 years. While the design of molten salt reactors goes way back and several experimental reactors have
been built and operated , previously they were impractical due to the mass of the moderator required , which limited their efficiency unless highly enriched uranium was used, a no-no for commercial power plants. They also lacked a sufficiently corrosive resistant material that could withstand molten salt environment. They have such materials now, and alternately some designs use sacrificial material. There are three companies currently proceeding well along with their varying designs, and also the Chinese govt is rushing to build such plants. They will have a
levelized cost of power that is the cheapest of any technology, less than 4 cents per kWhr,
with a build cost under $2 per watt, about a third of the cost of current nuclear plants. They can be built and deployed very rapidly. The reactors do not require massive structures, as the fuel
(radioactive) side of the plant is not under any significant pressure, rendering any unlikely breaches as innoculous events. They are walk-away safe and fission operations cease almost immediately
after an accidental shutdown. They do not require water for reactor cooling or any operator actions to shut down quickly and safely should something go amiss. Core meltdowns are physically impossible and it is impossible for the fission process to go out of control, regardless of what may occur to the plant. A terrorist bomb would be of no significance. They are the future of nuclear power, not the current light water reactors we are building today.
But I must point out that Andy May has exaggerated the danger of current reactor (light water) designs. Regardless of what he imagines has happened in the past (quite frankly, not much – the greatest accidents ever -Three Mile Island, Fukushima – resulted in zero human casualties, excepting what happened at a primitive Communist reactor at Chernobyl, where less than 30 were killed). Today’s light water reactories are so much advanced that past history makes any attempt to label them dangerous , using events that occurred with completely different safety designs,an ignorant, anti-nuclear fraud. Considering also the two sites maintained in this country that have the ability to airlift emergency equipment to any nuclear plant in trouble, May also grossly exaggerates any safety concerns for even the older model reactors. The newer models are thousands of times less likely to ever experience a meltdown or ejection of radioactive material int the environment. As for the cost and time requred to build, the U.S. is not the place to go to to understand the current state of affairs, as virtually all of the 74 or so reactors currently under construction are being built elsewhere. Here in the U.S., just recently the first new reactor went online at TVA in Tennessee, and two AP1000s are being built in South Carolina (making their total 9 reactors, and over 80% nuclear generated electricity) and two more in Georgia. But these, in my opinion, will be the last of the non-molten salt design that will be built. Peter Thiel, a Trump associate has invested in Transatomic Energy’s design of the molten salt reactor. Terrestrial Energy and Moltex Energy are also proceeding quite nicley with their alternative molten salt designs. All can render current nuclear wastes easily stored for the relatively short time required for their very reduced radioactive status to achieve background levels. Molten salt reactors can extract such a large amount of the energy that remains in our nuclear wastes that those wastes can provide all of the power this country needs for hundreds of years. Fuel costs are totally insignificant for molten salt reactors, regardless of whether that fuel come from nuclear wastes, terrestrially mined uranium, or uranium extracted from sea water (and endless supply and newly improved by Standford scientists just recently).

Reply to  arthur4563
February 20, 2017 2:26 pm

Those are all gen four designs. Not have been demonstarted even at commercial pilot scale. The bery early ONR molten salt that operated as PoP for a few years could not have been scaled. IMO, Transatomic Power’s white paper is the best summarynofmthe remaining engineering challenges to be solved, and possible solutions. None yet tested at. Ommercial pilot scale. For at least the next decade, nuclear means current gen 3 designs with associated cost overrun and spent fuel disposal issues.

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 3:59 pm

Time is always the enemy of capital expenditures.

george e. smith
Reply to  arthur4563
February 20, 2017 4:16 pm

Where is there one of these operating commercially, with some track record for performance and safety.
If they are that good they should be all over the place.
G

Reply to  george e. smith
February 21, 2017 9:37 am

They will be. Give them time. Remember this the the most over-regulated industry on the planet.
Apart from the lower cost another great thing about the MSRs is they can be built faster than coal plants. So a large part of the risk will be removed from the equation. MSRs should take no more than 18 – 24 months to build once the tech is established.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  arthur4563
February 20, 2017 7:58 pm

“But these, in my opinion,…”
Do you have any experience with design, construction, or operation of nuclear power plants?

Pablo
Reply to  arthur4563
February 20, 2017 11:50 pm
Bindidon
February 20, 2017 12:55 pm

Many thanks to Andy May to what, as an European person, I consider one of the best US-originating problem reviews I read in the last years concerning the use of nuclear energy for electricity production.
I lack the time today but I’ill try tomorrow to give some more precision on what this my opinion is based on.
One thing is evident: it is a well-done trial to offer readers a kind of ‘360° overview’ over a really difficult context.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Bindidon
February 21, 2017 12:56 am

Its not a US originating problem review. Its recycled anti-nuclear waste from green smear sources in the UK, namely sovacool.
” Professor Sovacool is the founding Editor-in-Chief for the international peer-reviewed journal Energy Research & Social Science”
WTF has social science got to do with energy research?
Sovacool has written over a dozen books all purporting to be scholarly reports on energy, and how we shopuld all go green.
This article is simply a regurgitation of the rubbish spouted in his book
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contesting_the_Future_of_Nuclear_Power
Pure ‘concern trolling’
Just take one aspect. He insist that CO2 emissions of the nuclear power cycle would rise as uranium gets harder to mine, and needs more energy to do it. This is monstrously stupid extrapolation. If Uranium gets more expensive to mine
1/. You build breeders to turn all the fuel into energy instead of 1% of it
2/. You extract it from sea water at an energy and real dollar cost of about 4 times current mining costs.
Sovacool is fundamentally a green ‘concern troll’*, faking up spurious data to ensure that the average Champagne socialist who buys his book, will feel comfortable in his confirmation bias that nuclear ain’t worth the candle.
* I agree with you but I do have these ‘concerns’….

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2017 10:07 am

Don’t forget his joke anti-nuclear paper from last year. ‘Peer reviewed‘ (by his mates?) then but now retracted. His fellow researcher (ha ha!) took 27 rows from a published table of data. Subtracted the number in one column from another (27 subtractions). Somehow managed to get 26 of their numbers completely wrong. Then they tried it again in a proposed addendum. They even managed to get some of those subtractions wrong! Did Sovocool somehow miss his primary education? Then the addendum was scrubbed and they just accepted defeat with a retraction.
Just for a laugh. Here are his colleague’s errors
Correct values are in column ‘2005-2012’
Published paper (retracted values) in column ‘OLD DATA’
Attempted correction (but withdrawn) in column ‘CORRECTION’

February 20, 2017 12:58 pm

“Although, there have been 4,231 fatalities due to nuclear accidents since 1952”
Where did this number come from? For power plant accidents, more like 100 than thousands. Source, please.

Reply to  Bob Cherba (@rbcherba)
February 20, 2017 4:00 pm

It includes the estimated excess cancer deaths from Chernobyl.

Leo Smith
Reply to  David Middleton
February 21, 2017 12:57 am

The output of a completely debunked ‘model’

David L. Hagen
February 20, 2017 1:01 pm

Andy May
Thanks for the review. Please correct “Shimantan Dam” to “Banqiao Dam”
See Forgotton Legacy of the Banqiao Dam Collapse.
Typhoon Nina–Banqiao dam failure Britannica

David L. Hagen
Reply to  David L. Hagen
February 20, 2017 3:11 pm

Andy May Yes, the Shimantan Dam did fail first, but it was on a separate tributary/catchment from the Banqiao Dam. See The World’s Most Catastrophic Dam Failures: The 1975 collapse of the Banqiao and Shimantan Dams Yi Si. Several sources indicate that all told, 62 dams failed. A week later they dynamited some remaining dams to drain the flood waters and rescue people.
A Profile of Dams in China Shui Fu

By 1980, 2,796 dams had collapsed, including two large-scale dams (the Shimantan and Banqiao dams). One hundred and seventeen medium-sized and 2,263 small dams had also collapsed. . . .The official death toll resulting from dam failures came to 9,937 (not including the Banqiao and Shimantan collapses, which had a combined estimated death toll of up to 230,000).

February 20, 2017 1:02 pm

This is a complex subject. I wrote a thesis on it a few decades ago. Was able to rigorously show back then that nuclear was likely uneconomic in the greater scheme of things. Method was to develop then employ dynamic input/output analysis. Situation has since gotten worse for three reasons, at least in US. 1. No spent fuel repository and no fuel reprocessing. 2. More adverse regulatory/safety environment. (Which is bankrupting Toshiba at gen 3 westinghouse AP1200 designs Voglte 3 and 4.) 3. Development of inexpensive shale gas plus cheap efficient CCGT. Units can be emplaced in 2-2.5 years at an all in capital cost under $1500/kw, with thermal efficieny 61%.
At least for the US (and probably UK) this provides decades of time to develop one or more gen 4 fission concepts. These all have three defining features: inherently safe, fuller consumption of nuclear fuel, and reduced radwaste. Wrote about the more interesting ones in essay Going Nuclear in ebook Blowing Smoke.

Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 1:20 pm

YES. Shale gas wil give the UK time to deploy trials of various nuclear technologies. US too. We have time, UK at least 40 years to get enough Nukes on stream to meet base load while we max out decarboisation by replacing coal with gas. Al this is on grid based sites, no renewable eco vandalism required – i fact quite pointless in science fact. . BTW someone said the US had enough nuclear base load – at 20%? Not really. Good mix is 80% nuclear and 20% hydro, that can handle the daily variations, keep the fossil fuel for other chemical stuff and essential transport use, not baseload generation we can do sustainably for ever with nuclear.. You won’t get any more highly energetic portable hydrocarbon fuel unless you synthesise it expensively with nuclear electricity by sucking it our of the air. .

Matt Bergin
Reply to  brianrlcatt
February 20, 2017 4:09 pm

Brian there is absolutely no need to De-carbonize whatsoever. In fact we should produce more CO2.

Leo Smith
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 2:30 pm

Of and by itself nuclear is highly economic . Its what the cost to assign to insurance, cleanup and fuel reprocessing that alter it as well as the regulatory library you have to fill out to build.
Around 85% of the cost of nuclear is directly or indirectly the result of political legislation.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 20, 2017 3:34 pm

The beauty of dynamic I/O was it captured all these indirect effects. Why Harvard granted my undergrad summa thesis Ph.D status. So the technology of the time was uneconomic. Gen 4 (as commented above) addresses the main excess cost drivers: instinsic safety, much better fuel utilization, and much lower and easier to handle radwaste disposal. Hit that trifecta, we have a new nuclear ball game.
My view is fracked shale gas gives us the decades to figure this gen 4 stuff out correctly. But we should start to do so now.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 8:05 pm

“I wrote a thesis on it …”
Do you have any power industry experience? Idiot!

Retired Kit P
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 20, 2017 8:19 pm

It always amazes me that the benefits of an Ivy League do not include common sense. Like John Kerry ristvan is an over educated idiot.
With an intercity education, I figured out how not to get wounded in Viet Nam and still serve. I have the greatest respect for combat vets but not rich kids who do it for political reasons.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Retired Kit P
February 21, 2017 2:01 am

Course not. Costing a project like a reactor and working with O & M costs is something only engineers have a chance of actually getting near.
Its clear from the things ristvan handwaves into the arena that he has no intrinsic understanding of the real costs risk and engineering aspects of nuclear power.
Example: He claims that gen 4 or breeders would improve costs by using the fuel more efficiently.
Actually no, they wouldn’t. Today there are almost no breeders running, because URANIUM IS SO CHEAP that the extra cost of a more efficient reactor wasn’t justified.
EDF who run France and the UK’s reactors have stated that Fully finished fuel rods represent 15% of the final cost of the electricity., The actual cost of the raw uranium going into them is a tiny fraction of that. Actual raw uranium costs barely move the needle on the cost scale.
But to an uneducated mind, the idea that ‘uses less fuel = cheaper’ transported over from fossil to nuclear, has traction, as does the idea that ‘renewable energy is free’
These are typical ways to mislead the public used by the green energy brigade.
Likewise Prof. Cohen made the very clear point, that watt for watt, building a nuclear plant uses no more materials and labour than a coal plant, until you add in the regulatory stuff.
http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/
Two thirds of the cost of building a nuclear plant is making sure it meets the most swingeing of regulations.
And yet the worlds expert in radiation effects on living cells, Wade Allison, estimates from a lifetime experience in the lab dealing with nuclear medicine, that we are by an order of TWO TO THREE MAGNITUDES being more paranoid about radiation than we need to be
http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/Public_Trust_in_Nuclear_Energy.pdf

So for all practical purposes there is a threshold of risk at 100mSv – what happens at lower doses is unmeasurable, even when nuclear bombs are dropped on two major cities and the health of the survivors is followed for 50 years.”

(data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
Fukushima exclusion zone is less than 20mSV per year similar to parts of Dartmoor in the UK, which is so ‘radioactive’ that it would not be possible to build a nuclear power station there under current regulations, as workers would receive an illegal dose over a year even if there were no reactor running….

The reasons for the fear of radiation are instinctive and historical. It is natural to shun what is powerful and unseen, and the legacy of the Cold War with its weapon of nuclear fear has added to that. Although the public accepts moderate to high doses of radiation when used benignly for their own health, non-medical international safety standards are set extremely low to appease popular concerns – these specify levels found in nature or as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Yet modern biology and medicine confirm that no harm comes from radiation levels up to 1000 times higher and realistic safety levels could be set as high as relatively safe (AHARS).
Indeed the local damage to public health and the social economy caused by ALARA regulations imposed at Chernobyl and Fukushima has been extremely serious and without benefit.

.
There is an organised effort by parties unknown, but suspected, to ensure in anyway possible that nuclear energy fails. Sovakool is just one of many…
Cui Bono?
It is notable that once you perform even a perfunctory analysis of Renewable Energy ™ http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/Renewable%20Energy%20Limitations.pdf you will ascertain it is uncompetitive against fossil fuel, and therefore it is of no commercial disadvantage to fossil fuel operations. The world needs fossil fuel and renewable energy cannot replace it.
But cheap nuclear power, engineered to reasonable safety levels, could destroy for sure the coal and gas baseload electricity markets, and if cheap enough, could undercut fossil fuel in all except transport applications. Renewable energy becomes even more pointless than it already is with nuclear providing an emission free generating standard.
Cheap nuclear means profits will be lost in coil, oil, gas, renewable energy markets.
To stop it, needs two prongs of attack. Firstly, on the Green side, you challenge the ‘zero emissions’ orthodoxy by claiming that actually, unseen, huge amounts of fossil fuel WILL be used in mining and milling it, based on the false premises that it will get more difficult to extract, and that there is no alternative to using vast amounts of it.
As I pointed out earlier, these are false assumptions both: Anyone basing arguments on these assumptions is either ignorant of the subject, or deliberately misleading the public – or indeed both.
The second prong is the concern troll approach to costing and safety – yes it would be lovely if it were only cheaper and not so dangerous….
Point one, Real examination of the hard data, instead of discredited model outputs, shows it is in fact alarmingly safe. Very few peole have died from radiation induced by nuclear power accidents, with one notable exception. In the UK 2000-3000 people a year die from radiation induced cancer, from lying in the sun too long. That big fusion reactor in the sky that powers all those solar panels and windmills kills a world trade centre of people every year in the UK alone.
Point two, it is expensive precisely because public perception of danger has been whipped up over many years by agencies with skin in the game. In the days when commercial reactors handily bred plutonium for bombs, attacking the power industry attacked the weapon’s industry. CND was part funded from the USSR, and organised there. It morphed into the politically correct cultural Marxism (sorry ‘Liberalism’ :-)) of today, and the Green movement. Both have proved entirely useful in achieving commercial goals once they have been subverted to the cause of profit: Legislation can change the price of anything and environmental politics can justify it.
And that is precisely why nuclear power is so expensive. Its been legislated into near extinction. Its easy to see how this escalates beautifully.
First of all, set ridiculously low radiation emission standards. OK they can be met, BUT what then happens if an accident happens?. They are breached. Then its EASY to claim that massive evacuations and cleanups at enormous expense are needed because regulatory limits have been breached. That means operators now must carry enormous insurance premiums.
Or take waste and decommissioning. Frankly 99% of nuclear waste put in steel embedded in concrete and dropped in the bottom of the ocean would be 100% safe forever. So we can’t allow that, its far too cheap. So let’s object to each and every proposal on how to deal with waste, and spin that into ‘nobody knows what to do with the waste or how much it will cost’.
And the same line is applied to decommissioning. Its standard practice to leave a reactor once the fuel is extracted for around 40-60 years before starting to cut it up. That way its safe to do so with no especial precautions.
That becomes ‘no single reactor has ever been decommissioned’ …’and we dont know how much it will cost’…so its OK to throw in whatever inflated cost you think will support your fundamental thesis that ‘nuclear power is too expensive and dangerous’
Sovacool and Andy May are both witting or unwitting parts of that process. Unbeknownst to them they are in the pay of Big Something. The normal Marxist phrase is, IIRC, ‘Useful idiots’.
Nuclear power is to be stopped because it threatens a lot of very deep pockets.
Deep enough to get this post written on the most important skeptic site in the world, and to pay enough people to up tick the post and comment on how great it is, when fundamentally its a pack of lies and greenspin.
Civilisation as we know it won’t survive without nuclear power.
If that is of any concern to anyone.

ron long
February 20, 2017 1:02 pm

These “nuclear power plant incidents” source the Guardian, appear to be a mixture of actual serious incidents and no pasa nada. The one in Argentina, at the Atucha 1 nuclear power plant is a good example. There a worker exceeded by a small amount the annual dose limit, determined by personal dosimeter. This type of one worker exceeding the limit is almost certainly due to some conduct outside the established safety protocol. I personally consulted with ARN (Agencia Regulatoria Nuclear) in Argentina in establishing a safety protocol for the company I was managing and found them to be up-to-date in protocol (but a little under-funded with respect to modern personal dosimeters). We had outcrops saturated with uranium to the extent that the modern scintillometers sounded an over-dose alarm at the reading, but we never exceeded ten percent of the monthly limit in any worker! Remember dose is time-rate.
There are only two events that represent actual excursion into the danger zone, Chernobyl and Fukushima, and only Chernobyl, a human-induced failure, actually did damage to people. Nuclear is the safest and least expensive way to go, and for sure fusion is coming soon. The actual biggest safety issue is eco-terrorism!

Reply to  ron long
February 20, 2017 1:43 pm

Not aure about fusion. The idea is to put the sun in a box. The difficulty is the box. Only even quasi credible thing out there is Lockeed Skunkworks high beta magnetic confinement. And then only because of the Skunkworks reputation, plus fact program has gone dark.

Leo Smith
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 2:27 pm

Internal combustion fusion reactor.
Take a V8, attach a deuterium tank to the inlet, replace the spark plugs with pulsed high energy lasers, crank her up and hear that V8 burble..

george e. smith
Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 4:26 pm

Can’t put the sun in a box.
The sun is powered by ….. GRAVITY ….. And gravity sucks; VERY VERY weakly !
We don’t have any place nearly big enough to put enough material in a box to create enough sucking to produce nuclear fusion reactions.
The EM force does not suck; it blows (pushes) and it needs something outside of it to push the stuff inside small enough to give fusion reactions. Earnshaw’s theorem says no such thing exists.
The Livermore Whack-a-mole machine is still trying to light the match. Charles H. Townes told them all years ago, they were all nuts if they thought laser implosion was a way to fusion energy.
G

Reply to  ristvan
February 20, 2017 5:27 pm

GE, completely agree. Trashed the inertial fusion effort at Stanford in the named essay. Coulombs Law is very difficult to overcome. =Like charges repel, opposite charges attract. And per the four forces of nature, there are exactly two EM charges, positive and negative.
Sun’s gravitational field overcomes Coulomb’s Law in its core enough to sustain fusion. Otherwise, the box is very difficult.

Barbara Hamrick
Reply to  ron long
February 20, 2017 2:57 pm

Good point, Ron. A regulatory violation (exceeding the annual dose limit by a small amount) doth not a “nuclear incident” make. It occurs with some frequency in interventional radiology suites around the country…much more likely to happen there than at a nuclear power plant.

george e. smith
Reply to  ron long
February 20, 2017 4:29 pm

For sure, fusion is NOT coming soon; or even later. And you wouldn’t believe just how damn dangerous it is to get close to a working fusion reactor.
Even 93 million miles might be too close to get on a steady basis.
G

Leo Smith
Reply to  george e. smith
February 21, 2017 4:30 pm

yeah but that’s a gen I fusion reactor without even primary containment.

Wharfplank
February 20, 2017 1:06 pm

Nuclear power generation is expensive for the same reason that capital punishment is expensive.

EW3
Reply to  Wharfplank
February 20, 2017 3:20 pm

lawyers

Reply to  EW3
February 20, 2017 3:39 pm

Plus many. Too true.

george e. smith
Reply to  Wharfplank
February 22, 2017 11:40 am

Capital punishment is expensive because it is never used.
There is no record of a criminal, administered capital punishment ever committing a crime of violence again; or any other crime.
The recidivism rate is zero.
Studies of the effectiveness of the deterrence of capital punishment universally exclude subjects who ever received such punishment. They only study persons who are not in the class of capital punishment recipients. Idiocy; excluding the only subjects you should be studying.
G

February 20, 2017 1:17 pm

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=653&q=chernobyl+children+mutations&oq=Chernobyl+children
Russians found out valuable information from the destroyed DNA of Chernobyl’s victims. The DNA does NOT recover!
Nuclear power has to answer for millions to billions of deaths, not a few thousand, which is just a lie. Look at the pictures. After these pictures, ask Google Images to show you the depleted uranium mutations from Iraq and Afghanistan we Americans are all responsible for. It’s disgusting.

MarkW
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 1:48 pm

The p@ar@noid fringe has been heard from.
So nuclear is responsible for everyone who has died since the first nuclear plant went on line?
Really, that’s the story you want to go with.
DNA does recover, that’s been shown over and over and over again. In fact if DNA didn’t recover life would have died off a few thousand years after it got started on this planet, since the planet is and has always been radioactive. BTW, you’ll get more radiation from a banana than you will get living next to a nuclear power plant.
As to depleted uranium, it is less radioactive than the ore that was taken out of the ground.

Butch
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 2:12 pm

You cant be serious ?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 2:23 pm

Oh dear oh dear.
The lunatic fringe are out tonight

Leo Smith
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 2:24 pm

Depleted uranium is a poisonous heavy metal, like lead.
Its a carciniogen, but not because of its trivial radioactivity.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 20, 2017 2:30 pm

Especially dangerous when fired as a bullet. Identical result to lead bullet ‘poisoning’. Good old A10 (Warthog) tank killer cannon. 4 depleted uraniums followed by 1 HE round.

MarkW
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 20, 2017 3:06 pm

The 4 DU crack the armor, than the HE cooks the inhabitants?

Tom Halla
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 3:11 pm

Not quite. The depleted uranium at that velocity is pyrophoric, i.e. it spontaneously catches fire with great intensity. The HE is for soft targets, i.e. not armored.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 3:32 pm

What exactly do depleted uranium armour-piercing shells have to do with nuclear power stations generating electricity?
That’s a whole issue on its own that has been swept under the rug by governments, as far as I can tell, but it has nothing to do with fission reactors. The words “straw man” and “red herring” come to mind when reading your silly comment., Larry.
BTW “uranium” as an element with nothing but negative connotations in the minds of the less well informed has now been replaced by “carbon”, which can do many, many things, all of them bad
Better add /sarc, you never know around here..

Reply to  Smart Rock
February 20, 2017 3:47 pm

Well, its a blog, and off tooic trolls showed up trashing almost not radioactive depleted uranium as causing horrible radiation stuff in Iraq and Syria. So we fired some depleted uranium bullets at the off topic trolls. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Reply to  Smart Rock
February 20, 2017 4:03 pm

“Depleted” ought to be a pretty good clue… DU ammo has never irradiated a T-72… But it probably sieved a few… 😉

Leo Smith
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 21, 2017 4:33 pm

Well exactly. In essence nothing, but the linkage between bad deaths due to depleted uranium, and implied deaths die to radioactivity from uranium powered reactors can be forged there easily in the New Left Mind and kept alive by constant repetitions…

Leo Smith
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 21, 2017 4:36 pm

actually DU (U238) is very very very slightly radioactive. With a half life of 4.468 billion years, says wiki

DDP
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 4:36 pm

Highly unlikely there would be much if any usage in Afghan seeing as there is no need to use more expensive DU rounds when simple HEI does exactly the same job for far less. As the Taliban has no armour capability, there is no need for AP. rounds. Put simply, you don’t bother using rounds designed to penetrate the armour of tanks, on mud and brick buildings. It’s expensive overkill and the DOD doesn’t like the bad PR surrounding the usage, or the potential fallout from having NATO/ISAF troops operating in a DU dust filled environment.
As for birth defects in Iraq, do you know how many chemical plants were hit in 1991? DU gets the blame, but there were far bigger sources for contamination in the air. Those same kids who grew up in that environment after being slimed in 1991 and lived in the area for a decade, were having the deformed kids in the early 2000s. I recall seeing a news report back in 2004 about birth defects in Anbar province, focusing on Fallujah that blamed the use of DU for birth defects but ignored the fact that a fair number of chemical plants were hit near there in Desert Storm, including the infamous ‘Baby Milk Plant’. But never let facts get in the way of the narrative, and/or a potential legal suit.
Post 2003 invasion, see the above on Afghan. No point on firing a kinetic energy AP round at a building when HE or even non explosive practice round will do the job with far better results, and to which they were designed to do. Were DU munitions used, absolutely. You load ammunition type for the job requirements, when armour was no longer a threat the amount used would have been non-existent. That applies to both armour and aircraft.
Birth defects happen, and at a higher rate when incest and inbreeding come into play. Looking at you Afghanistan.
As for billions of deaths, pffft. Ridiculous claim with no merit, or any facts whatsoever.

MarkW
Reply to  DDP
February 21, 2017 7:00 am

The earth’s population is only in the 8 billion range. He’s saying that 1/8th the world’s population has been killed by nuclear power.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 20, 2017 5:17 pm

Larry, this is a science site, not a hysteria vent. The most dangerous and costly thing one can do is not nuclear, it is lap up the BS on the internet. This has cost Trillions to society. People with an agenda can pollute the internet, Wikipedia has handlers that take perfectly good information and trash it with neomarxbrothers poison.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_power_accidents_by_country
Here you are, I’ll even give you Wiki, which even you know is in the hands of the “brothers”. Count the nuclear accident deaths. Note that most were high pressure steam explosions. UK has had zero deaths, US has had 3 and these were at a testing facility at Idaho falls. France, the most nuked country has had only one and this was in a spent fuel processing plant – not mention of how it happened – could have been a forklift accident. Here is a test. Without looking it up, how radioactive do you think Hiroshima is? If you answered what I think you did, you will get the drift if I tell you it dropped to background levels within one year. They rebuilt it and live in it. 4000 of Chernobyls “deaths” were based on anti nuclear modeled expectations at the time. They never materialized. Like CAGW, if your purpose is to spread scare and promote dismantling of western civilization, your models are going to give you what you want or you will change them. They even change the data to suit as well.

Reply to  Larry Butler W4CSC
February 21, 2017 8:07 am

Wow, some really serious photoshopping skills there, but I’m more an H. R. Geiger fan.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 1:17 pm

there have been 4,231 fatalities due to nuclear accidents since 1952

Andy: what’s your source for this figure? This is an order of magnitude higher than I have found from other sources. The total actual deaths from radiation or other nuclear reactor accidents since 1947 is less than 200 (not including China and N. Korea, for which there are no published figures). Nearly half of those were from radiography accidents.
There are wildly varying estimates of excess cancer deaths attributed to reactor accidents, for example Chernobyl:

Estimates of the total number of deaths potentially resulting from the Chernobyl disaster vary enormously: Thirty one deaths are directly attributed to the accident, all among the reactor staff and emergency workers.[4] A UNSCEAR report places the total confirmed deaths from radiation at 64 as of 2008. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests it could reach 4,000 civilian deaths, a figure which does not include military clean-up worker casualties.[5] A 2006 report predicted 30,000 to 60,000 cancer deaths as a result of Chernobyl fallout.[6] A Greenpeace report puts this figure at 200,000 or more.[7] A disputed Russian publication, Chernobyl, concludes that 985,000 premature cancer deaths occurred worldwide between 1986 and 2004 as a result of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl.

I question the methodologies used when the estimates range from 4,000 to 200,000 or even more.

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 1:45 pm

All but IIRC 23 deaths t Chernobyl are later excess mortality attributed to the incident. Very sketchy.

MarkW
Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 1:53 pm

Might as well take Larry Butler’s millions to billions of deaths.

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:20 pm

Andy
I think your source is wrong. The UN (UNSCEAR) did a close tracking on health effects of all major nuclear accidents.
Chernobyl caused 63 fatalities in total according to UNSCEAR. Your source is mentioning 4,056 without detailing it.
I also doubt the other fatality numbers from Sovacool. In total it’s hard to find more than 100.
Source: http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:47 pm

Update:
Unscear says 28 of the people which were exposed to severe radiation died within 4 months, further 19 died up to 2004 whereas not all of those cases can be attributed to radiation. Of the 6,848 people with thyroid cancer 25 died until 2005. Also there the attribution to the accident is not 100%.
In total 62.

Reply to  Andy May
February 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Sorry: 15 instead of 25

MarkW
Reply to  Andy May
February 21, 2017 11:54 am

The length and unpredictability are due entirely to enemies of nuclear power.
We have two choices, fight or surrender.
You seem to be advocating surrender.
The problem with that is those who oppose nuclear power won’t go away. These same people oppose anything with a perceivable risk, they will just move on the the next target, all the more emboldened.

RWturner
February 20, 2017 1:30 pm

Yaaawwwwwn, wrong…

Paul Nevins
February 20, 2017 1:40 pm

Why is Fukushima considered a nuclear accident at all? It was caused by an earthquake a full order of magnitude greater than it was built to withstand. Wouldn’t it more fairly be considered a natural disaster? Even worse the unstable dual purpose reactor at Chernobyl was not something that could happen in most places simply because no one would build one like that for power generation alone..
Comparing the costs of nuclear to other sources of power will show nuclear cheapest in terms of clean up and ongoing costs as well if we use anything approaching a fair measuring stick.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Nevins
February 20, 2017 1:54 pm

Depends on whether your goal is an honest accounting of the facts, or an attempt to scare people.

Coeur de Lion
February 20, 2017 1:44 pm

Coupla points
Safest place away from radiation is dived in a nuclear submarine.
Fukushima deaths by radiation – none.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 1:44 pm

Andy: the Sovacool report which you reference claims 4,056 deaths from Chernobyl, but does not give a reference. If you look at the UNSCEAR assessment, they list 28 deaths within three months among the group of 134 highly exposed workers, and another 28 deaths in the years 1987-2004 “of various causes not necessarily associated with radiation exposure.” The report also says:

Among the residents of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, there had been up to the year 2002 about 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer reported in children and adolescents who were exposed at the time of the accident, and more cases can be expected during the next decades. Notwithstanding problems associated with screening, many of those cancers were most likely caused by radiation exposures shortly after the accident. Apart from this increase, there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident. There is no scientific evidence of increases in overall cancer incidence or mortality rates or in rates of non-malignant disorders that could be related to radiation exposure. The risk of leukaemia in the general population, one of the main concerns owing to its short latency time, does not appear to be elevated. Although those most highly exposed individuals are at an increased risk of radiation-associated effects, the great majority of the population is not likely to experience serious health consequences as a result of radiation from the Chernobyl accident. Many other health problems have been noted in the populations that are not related to radiation exposure.

This is from an exposed population numbering about 340,000, going by the number evacuated in the years following the accident.
I think the Sovacool report includes all the cases of thyroid cancers among as fatalities. Depending on type and stage, thyroid cancer survival rates are mostly above 50% and in early stages close to 100%. So while many of the child thyroid cancer cases are likely due to radiation exposure, not all of them are and not all them resulted in deaths. I have not seen a more detailed assessment of post-Chernobyl thyroid cancer deaths.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 1:55 pm

I would like to know how many thyroid cancers would normally occur in such a population.

RWturner
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 2:18 pm

If it’s the same report I’m familiar with, it also attributes most of the 4,000+ cancer cases to a much higher rate of screening, which has led to a higher rate of diagnosis and a much earlier diagnosis than would normally be found. So for the ones that would have got thyroid cancer regardless, the accident ironically helped save or prolong their life.

Barbara Hamrick
Reply to  MarkW
February 20, 2017 3:04 pm

They do not have good numbers for the background rate of thyroid cancer in children for that population (i.e., no reliable cancer registry). Although they eventually began a large screening program, when you screen symptom-less children you will find many more pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions than if that population were left to simply head to the doctor when symptoms occur – thus, screening leads to the identification of a large number of cancers above what would have previously been seen in the population even if there were a registry.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 2:06 pm

…and another 28 deaths in the years 1987-2004 …

The figure 28 was mis-typed by me; the correct figure is 19.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 2:20 pm

The sovacol is the usual LNT model output result. Based on the principle that if 5 Sieverts kills half the people exposed to it, a lifetime dose of 5 Sieverts spread out over 50 years (100mSv/yr) will also kill half the people exposed to it.
In fact no single does below around 100mSV shows any cancer probability increase at all. Response to low level chronic radiation is non linear.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2017 7:26 am

That is misleading. The LNT only applies to the rates of cancer and leukemia induced by varying but low dosages of radiation; it does not encompass the high dosages that will cause acute radiation syndrome.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 21, 2017 5:12 pm

I can assure you that LNT applies to ALL levels of radiation, or purports to.

The linear no-threshold model (LNT) is a model used in radiation protection to quantify radiation exposure and set regulatory limits. It assumes that the long term, biological damage caused by ionizing radiation (essentially the cancer risk) is directly proportional to the dose. This allows the summation by dosimeters of all radiation exposure, without taking into consideration dose levels or dose rates. In other words, radiation is always considered harmful with no safety threshold, and the sum of several very small exposures are considered to have the same effect as one larger exposure (response linearity). (wiki)

In other words a straight line is drawn between Total dose4 sieverts 50% chance of death and total dose 0, zero chance of death and the regulations are framed around that.
And yet cancer patients receive massive total amounts of radiation, in smaller doses and survive. And peole live in places where whole life doses are massive, and show no signs of cancer.

Ramsar’s Talesh Mahalleh district is the most radioactive inhabited area known on Earth, due to nearby hot springs and building materials originating from them.A combined population of 2,000 residents from this district and other high radiation neighbourhoods receive an average radiation dose of 10 mGy per year, ten times more than the ICRP recommended limit for exposure to the public from artificial sources.[9] Record levels were found in a house where the effective radiation dose due to external radiation was 131 mSv/a, and the committed dose from radon was 72 mSv/a. This unique case is over 80 times higher than the world average background radiation.
The prevailing model of radiation-induced cancer posits that the risk rises linearly with dose at a rate of 5% per Sv. If this linear no-threshold model is correct, it should be possible to observe an increased incidence of cancer in Ramsar through careful long-term studies currently underway. Early anecdotal evidence from local doctors and preliminary cytogenetic studies suggested that there may be no such harmful effect, and possibly even a radioadaptive effect.[11] More recent epidemiological data show a slightly reduced lung cancer rate[12] and non-significantly elevated morbidity, but the small size of the population (only 1800 inhabitants in the high-background areas) will require a longer monitoring period to draw definitive conclusions

30 years at 130mSv/a is just under 4 sieverts total dose. Which is about a 50% mortality rate if taken in a single dose. If radiation at that level had been that dangerous people in ramsar would be dying of radiation induce illnesses like flies.
Average background is 3mSv/a.
That’s what set Wade Allison on track.
The data shows that peak single doses are far far more damaging than chronic low level exposure.
Just as one day of bad sunburn is way more dangerous than living in a sunny place with a good tan all year round
LNT is a busted flush, but its what current regulations are built upon, and it allows people with axes to grind to say:
“There is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation”
“Its over government limits so its must be dangerous”
and so on ad nauseam.
And that’s the reaosn for the HUGE discrepancies in death tolls.
There are deaths that are unequivocally due to radiation – acute radiation sickness that got around 50 workers at chernobyl. Plus data that is statistically significant. 3000 excess thyroid cancers in Pripyat post Chernobyl, though few were fatal.
Those are the facts.
THEN there are ‘projections ‘ or ‘model outputs’ Do I hear WUWT readers laughing…of course, LNT is a ‘model’ and like all ‘models’ its only as good as its ability to predict, and its frankly useless.
LNT predicted upwards of quarter of a million excess deaths from cancer long term in the whole of NE Europe.
You cant hide quarter of a million blip in cancer statistics. Well my ‘green’ sister claims that governments can do that, but then believes that the givernment , that supports LNT, is terribly right about the dangers of nuclear energy.
She has a degree, but sometimes she’s not very bright…or she has learnt to double think. I am never sure whether the government which regulates nuclear power out of existence in Germany, is the good guy, or whether its responsible for ‘suppressing the true facts about nuclear energy’. Sigh.
Anyway, Sovakool and et Guardian (US readers think NYT) reading LeftyBrains like the sound of models that make it all scary, because it supports their emotional narrative. And they never let facts get in the way of a good anti-nuclear scare story. And it works:
A CND friend assured me that a professors had proved that there were some excess leukaemias due to the accident at Windscale UK, and that back in the day he had ‘read it in the New Scientist’.
I searched online, and all I came up with was that a professor had predicted that there would be excess deaths due to something or other.
NO story about there having BEEN any REAL deaths was to be found.
And that is how propaganda and myths are spun for very unpleasant reasons of commercial profit and fighting of cold wars.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 21, 2017 8:24 am

The thyroid cancer aspect of it would have been highly preventable simply by giving iodine supplements to reduce I131 uptake.

Barbara Hamrick
Reply to  Paul Jackson
February 21, 2017 9:23 pm

With respect to the experience at Chernobyl, there were a number of contributing factors resulting in the excess childhood thyroid cancers, including the lack of KI distribution, delayed interdiction of milk, failure to effectively communicate milk interdiction orders to rural populations dependent on locally-produced milk, and low iodine in the local diet (resulting in higher uptakes of the radioactive iodine in the milk and leafy vegetables). That is not to say the releases from Chernobyl are not to blame, they are; but, the entire response was mishandled, and made the situation much worse than necessary.

February 20, 2017 2:00 pm

This extensive detailed assessment shows nuclear power to be safest. Safer even than rooftop solar.
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html
The perception that nuclear plants can not be designed to load follow is nonsense. Think submarines.
Thorium/molten-salt reactors should be cheaper and eliminate many concerns.
Radioactive waste disposal is a red herring.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
February 20, 2017 2:15 pm

Reactors can be designed to load follow reasonably well and a large number of French reactors do, although the process is not without issues.
http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/0203_Pouret_Nuttall.pdf

RWturner
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
February 20, 2017 2:20 pm

Yes, almost all accidents were from gen II reactors. Gen IV reactors will be very safe and produce little waste.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 2:03 pm

A 2008 update on the UNSCEAR report states:

The contamination of milk with I(131), for which prompt countermeasures were lacking, resulted in large doses to the thyroids of members of the general public; this led to a substantial fraction of the more than 6,000 thyroid cancers observed to date among people who were children or adolescents at the time of the accident (by 2005, 15 cases had proved fatal).

So I make that 28 immediate deaths, plus 19 among the heavily exposed over the following 15 years, and 15 thyroid cancer deaths likely due to I-131 exposure. Total comes to 62.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 3:19 pm

Unless thyroid cancers were unknown in this population prior to the accident, at least some of those cases would have occurred anyway.

emsnews
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 3:22 pm

Oh this hurts so much: When I was young, my family was involved in the entire nuclear bomb thing in the Mohave Desert and the ranchers living downwind from the nuke bomb tests of the 1950s were told, radiation was no problem.
But it was a ‘problem’. One of my dear friends died as a child due to nuclear radiation exposure from living downwind. I freaked out after her funeral and had a fight with my father about this.
These deaths never made the news back then! But inside the ‘machine’ there were raging arguments about nuclear bomb side effects with downwind radiation being a major issue. Thus, the push for underground tests.
It was signed and the above ground tests stopped but not after doing grave damage.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  emsnews
February 20, 2017 8:58 pm

It takes an enormous amount of radiation to kill someone. How did friend get so much and no one else did?
It is human nature to want to find blame.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 20, 2017 4:53 pm

Alan, I recall it was Strontium-90 in milk. I’ve made it to within a year of 80 so far and I’m feeling pretty good – still working, too.

Leo Smith
February 20, 2017 2:12 pm

The total number of recorded deaths from all nuclear POWER – as opposed to other radiological accidents – is less than 300.
Any figure higher than that is an estimate based on a model – the LNT model – that is even more discredited than the Climate Change model
See Wade Allison http://www.templar.co.uk/downloads/Public_Trust_in_Nuclear_Energy.pdf and the late Professor Cohen http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/ for a far more balanced view of radiation and financial risk

michael hart
February 20, 2017 2:13 pm

“…compiled by The Guardian..”

Stopped reading at that point.

Reply to  michael hart
February 20, 2017 2:20 pm

“Stopped reading at that point.”
Pity, you may have learned something not seen on Fox news or Alec Jones.

MarkW
Reply to  Gareth Phillips
February 20, 2017 3:20 pm

He might have learned something true.
Learning something true on the other hand is contraindicated.

Reply to  Gareth Phillips
February 21, 2017 1:26 am

MarkW.
He might have learned something true.
Learning something true on the other hand is contraindicated.
Yes, he may well have learned something true, however,
Do you think Fox news, Alec Jones and Breitbart are paragons of truth? Really?

MarkW