1. I would not enjoy having to debate with you on nuclear matters, Rod. I would likely burn 1,000 calories/hour in the process.

  2. “It began leaking at a rate of less than 150 gallons per day which is about one tenth of a gallon, less than two cups, per minute”

    That looks to be a typo, (150/24= 6.25). What did you mean to write?

    1. @Jim Baerg – I might have misplaced the “less than two cups” part for full understanding, but please note that I wrote “per minute,” not “per hour.”

      150 X 1 day/24 hrs X 1 hr/60 min = 0.104

      1. Don’t know how I made that reado (or is there an existing word for that sort of error).

  3. I am new to the site — don’t know if you have elsewhere addressed the following concern:

    First, I have no financial interest at stake, yet I am certainly anti-nuclear.

    Here is why — an accident here or there may be negligible as you have suggested. Yet, a couple hundred accidents at once…not so negligible.

    Yes, good ol’ solar flares.

    Nuclear energy is playing with fire. In a big way. A solar storm strong enough to wipe out the power grid is, admittedly, rare. But over a few hundred years? Inevitable.

    Lack of a suitable alternative of course is a problem, though I have some ideas in this regard (GEO-THERMAL!!!). But, its simply not worth the catastrophic risk; I’ll gladly suffer fossil fuels in the meantime over “clean” nuclear energy.

    Please do correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. @Andy

      If a solar flare wipes out a completely non nuclear power grid, it would cause at least as much injury and loss of human life as would happen in the case where the same event happened in a grid with nuclear plants operating. We live in a society that has many dependencies on electricity distributed through a reliable power grid. That civilization is far less dangerous and more livable than the one that it superseded.

      All nuclear plants have sources of backup power that would not be affected by the hypothetical solar flare event that you say you are worried about. Most, if not all, would be able to cool down without any damage. As the power grid is restored, those plants would be able to restart and provide their emission free contribution to the grid.

      Of course, if you somehow posit that there is also massive flooding at nuclear plants and widespread infrastructure destruction affecting not only power lines but also roads, rails, airports and ports that slows power restoration efforts then there MIGHT be some minor radioactive material releases from some plants. Those releases would still cause few, if any, negative health effects.

      1. Thanks for the response, Rod.

        But, I don’t know how your first sentence can be anywhere near true — unless, of course, it is indeed the case that most or all plants would in fact be able cool down without issue.

        My understanding was that many are in fact vulnerable to solar flares. I’ll have to study up on that one.

        Take care.

    2. Let’s not forget that geothermal energy is also derived from the planet’s original store of long-lived radioactivity. Kelvin computed the age of the Earth on the basis of how fast molten iron and rock of a sphere that size would cool off.
      He got 20 to 100 million years, probably 40 million.
      We now know, in spite of Kelvin’s magisterial effort, that it was wrong by a factor of a hundred. The difference is the presence of thorium, uranium, and radioactive potassium, the last of which internally bombards every healthy adult human internally at a rate of about 4000 Bq (becquerels, nuclear decay events per second).

  4. I had already put Barbara Boxer on my list of no-help pseudo-liberals, because a person with an un-examined dogma is no liberal. It was clear that the actual numbers for the danger from the dreaded “radioactive water” were not being examined.

    So I am delighted at the clarification to the effect that the radioactive component is a nitrogen isotope.

    Thank you.

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