The Long Shadow of Chernobyl

Viewing 40 posts - 241 through 280 (of 473 total)
  • The Long Shadow of Chernobyl
  • I_Ache
    Member

    ernie.

    The name comes from the ancient Greek “????” (Arkh?), meaning “beginning, origin”.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I should like to go on record that neither side of this argument is succesfully making their point.

    But do carry on.

    zokes
    Member

    transapp – Member

    Im still after the proof that 10’s of thousands died as a result of the op subject. Seriiously TJ, i’d like to see it but I can’t find it. Pointers please?

    There’s apparently “plenty of proof”, only problem is that TJ is the only person on the planet with access to this, and he won’t share it with anyone else.

    I should like to go on record that neither side of this argument is succesfully making their point.

    But do carry on.

    Well, I’m unsure what’s meant by this. TJ has made several wildly inaccurate statements but failed to back them up when challenged. He’s also asked several questions which have been answered by myself and others many times, usually on a point-by-point basis for easy digestion. I’m not quite sure how more plain I can be without drawing pictures or acting it out through the medium of mime 🙄

    I appreciate that the subsequent head banging against the faith-healer’s brick wall probably isn’t very easy reading for the impartial, but this is what happens when TJ closes his eyes but carries on typing. Have a look on other threads with the tag “TJ Argues” for proof of this.

    I’d actually quite like to carry this discussion on with Edukator and others in a much more civil manner, only without installing Chrome and Killfile for TJ, I’m not sure that can ever happen on this topic.

    Thank you I_Ache, but what I was confused by was this :

    Australia has been about for billions of years

    …..it was mainly formed in the early archaean age – the clue’s in the name

    I wasn’t aware that what we know as Australia has been about for billions of years, nor do I see a clue in the name, other than the fact that both words contain the letters A and R.

    Of course I could very easily be missing something but I have no idea what it is.

    zokes
    Member

    The clue’s in the name of the geological age in which it was formed i.e. the Archean. This is what I meant.

    I believe the etymology of the name Australia is from the latin word for southern.

    I wasn’t aware that what we know as Australia has been about for billions of years

    Well, unlike TJ facts, this is an actual scientific fact 🙂 Every day’s a school day an’ all….

    Oh ok, I thought you meant there was a connection between the words Australia and Archean, my misunderstanding. I also thought Australia was a bit newer/more recent.

    zokes
    Member

    Some of it (Victoria in particular) is much newer, but what most people associate with Australia i.e. the red centre is certainly of the order of billions of years old, which to a human whose life expectancy is about 80 years, whose modern civilisation has only been documented for around two millennia, and whose species as a whole has only been around for 50,000 years, is an incomprehensibly long time. The Gawler Ranges (about 800 km NE of Adelaide) are reckoned to be amongst the oldest rocks on the planet.

    Kit
    Member

    I suppose “just sticking it in a hole in the ground” might be an improvement, if it can be kept there for eternity, seeing as CO2 doesn’t decay at all…

    It can be kept there for an eternity, and decay doesn’t come into it, but then you already know that?

    zokes
    Member

    It can be kept there for an eternity, and decay doesn’t come into it, but then you already know that?

    If you can keep something that wants to be a gas in a hole for eternity without it escaping (and I am happy to believe the science on this), then presumably you can also keep something that is a solid, and that there will be much less of (e.g. vitrified nuclear waste) there too? Or am I missing something?

    Edukator
    Member

    Put glass in humid and possibly corrosive conditions and it weathers quite fast. The next time you visit a cathedral with original glass have a look at the state of it. However, I examined samples of glass from the surface of the moon and they are in perfect condition despite being billions of years old. The trick then is to keep the glass dry and away from potentially corrosive conditions.

    If you remember governments were trying to cinvince us (especially the French) that underground tests were safe as the whole lot would end up as stable glass due to the high temeperatures. Well that hasn’t beeen the case. I know that link is biased but France 2, our state propaganda, has also shown programmes demonstrating that the atols are leaking radioactive isotopes.

    Radioactive glass needs to be kept clean and dry or it weathers and releases radioactive material. Australia does indeed offer some of the best disposal sites on the planet, but why should a country that doesn’t use nuclear power and has already been irradiated by foreign testing take the stuff off us?

    ahwiles
    Member

    because they’ll make a lot of money if they do so.

    they already make a lot of money digging stuff out of the ground, some of which is quite nasty, this way they can make even more money by filling a few holes.

    or not, their choice.

    but why should a country that doesn’t use nuclear power and has already been irradiated by foreign testing take the stuff off us?

    Money. It’s an industry, isn’t it.

    Gotta say, this thread is awesome. Please carry on, it’s stopping me getting bored on a middle eastern bank holiday.

    zokes
    Member

    Interesting stuff Edukator. I’ve just spent the past 10 mins or so poking Web of Knowledge for papers discussing leaching of nuclear materials from test sites, but I have to say I couldn’t find anything. Admittedly this is partly due to the fact that both the search strings “atom*” and “nuclear” have meanings other than power or explosions in science. So just because it doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean the evidence isn’t out there.

    I’d happily accept that such research may well be carried out by state science organisations and as such not published in peer-reviewed literature, which doesn’t help. One thing to bear in mind is that the force of a nuclear explosion at the test site would obviously disturb the geology somewhat, and this wouldn’t be the case in a repository, so it’s not a perfect comparison.

    But, assuming it can be in some way encased in a material that isn’t vulnerable to humidity, (PTFE might be an idea), sticking it in a hole does seem like a logical option.

    The topic of an international repository does crop up from time to time down here, as does nuclear power. We do after all have the potential to export large amounts of uranium, why not make money selling it, then make even more taking it back! Also, we have one shut down and one operating research reactor, as well as numerous hospitals and research facilities (including my own) that generate various levels of nuclear waste. So as a country, Australia does deal with some amount of HLW waste already (not to mention the tons of VLLW from digging up U in the first place).

    transapp – Member

    Im still after the proof that 10’s of thousands died as a result of the op subject. Seriiously TJ, i’d like to see it but I can’t find it. Pointers please?

    Lots of different studies giving lots of different answers.

    One aspect to be considered is that is there a threshold below which radiation does not cause deaths? Some say there is, some say there isn’t. Makes a big difference to the numbers of predicted deaths.
    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_no-threshold_model ) I believe this linear no threshold model is the most likely and numerous scientific bodies do as well.

    UNSCEAR has conducted 20 years of detailed scientific and epidemiological research on the effects of the Chernobyl accident. Apart from the 57 direct deaths in the accident itself, UNSCEAR predicted in 2005 based on Linear no-threshold model (LNT) that up to 4,000 additional cancer deaths related to the accident would appear “among the 600 000 persons receiving more significant exposures (liquidators working in 1986–87, evacuees, and residents of the most contaminated areas)”.[107] Later this number was revised slightly up to 5,000. The number of excess deaths among 5 million people living in the less contaminated areas is estimated at 3,000–5,000. The number of excess cancer deaths worldwide (including all contaminated areas) is approximately 27,000 based on the same LNT.[108]

    That may well be the most rigourous but almost certainly a pessimistic view.

    27 000 deaths.

    Teh torch report gives 60 000

    http://www.chernobylreport.org/torch.pdf

    “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” published by the new york academy of sciences gives a figure of a million.

    Given this to say tens of thousands of deaths is not unreasonable I believe

    Lots more references from Wiki.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster#cite_note-Union_of_Concerned_Scientists-109

    Edit – the 27 000 prediction in not unescar – its a prediction made from using their methods and projecting them over the rest of the irradiated area.

    Teh 5000 deaths unescar predicts is only in the most contaminated areas

    Aha –

    ~zokes – are you now accepting that actually no one knows what the effects of burying waste for thousands of years is?

    IE there is no solution to the issue of high level waste.

    If you have one you really should apply for your Nobel prize.

    Pigface
    Member

    Genius TJ and herr zokes going head to head, some perverse form of perpetual motion has been created. This will last forever 😆

    Na – I only wanted to give an answer to a question I was directly asked and couldn’t resist another poke and Zokes for ” chuck it in a hole and forget about it” with no detail given at all.

    I have had enough of it – its clear the pro nukes will simply continue to evade as there is no answers given or even known to the pertinent questions

    Edukator
    Member

    I’m another “no threshold” supporter that puts the Chernobyl premature death rate in thousands.

    On the nuclear waste front though there are lots of alternatives:

    Burial in subduction zones: in the ocean floor if international agreement can be reached or in a continental zone if not.

    Very deep burial using oil drilling techniques to reach geologically capped structures.

    “Dilute and disperse” is a technique used for lots of pollutants. Mix high level waste with uranium mining waste and put it back where it came from (if Zoke’s countrymen/women are prepared to take it).

    Burial in tunnels in safe geology. So far the safe suggestions have proved less safe than originally thought and the projects I was aware of have been cancelled.

    There’s also the shoot-it-into-space idea but I’m trying to keep this sensible.

    zokes
    Member

    I’m another “no threshold” supporter

    This is a huge bone of contention amongst scientists, as it’s impossible to prove one way or the other. As the golden rule of HSE is to err on the side of caution, the official line is often to assume the model is linear unless evidence presents itself to the contrary i.e. the null hypothesis. You could write several health physics PhDs on this and not get close to the answer. Any scientific report on Chernobyl worth reading will certainly have discussed these issues in some depth, even if this isn’t apparent from the summary.

    There is actually lots of rational argument against the LNT model though. People are exposed to ionising radiation every day from UV the sun, from potassium-40 in everything they eat, from radio-medicine, x-rays, from cosmic rays when flying. The latter is usually the greatest source of radiation exposure for people who travel a lot, yet I’m not aware of any peer reviewed evidence to substantiate that air crew are more at risk of cancer than any other demographic.

    I actually work with radiation (14C to trace carbon through ecosystems) on a daily basis for my research, and the maximum dose that I’m allowed to record on my dosimeter per year is 20 mSv. For medical staff I believe it’s around 5 mSv, and for the general public, it’s 1 mSv. All these are thresholds. If the LNT hypothesis was correct, these thresholds would be 0 mSv.

    However, you are exposed to 0.007 mSv for every hour you’re on a plane. So to get the maximum 20 mSv a radiation worker is allowed to be exposed to in a year (and not be considered at risk – that’s the important bit, i.e. not 0 mSv), a pilot would have to be in the air for 7.8 hours a day every day of the year assuming they work 365 days a year. Now I don’t know much about air crew shift patterns, but assuming they work 200 days a year, and are in the air either at rest or working on long haul flights, that’s only 14 hours a day for 200 days, which sounds quite reasonable for someone on a long-haul route.

    You would assume that as these different thresholds exist for the general public (and curiously given what I’ve just presented, pilots etc) vs me indicate a level of risk then. If so, and if air-crew receive around 20x the maximum permissible annual dose from anthropogenic radiation for non-radiation workers, why is there no strong evidence highlighting that they are 20x more likely to die from cancer than the general public? If the LNT model holds, there should be good evidence of this, and there isn’t.

    zokes
    Member

    And on another note, anyone worried about contamination of groundwater from energy production had better have a read about CSG and fracking, then stop using gas asap.

    Edukator
    Member

    There is evidence linking low levels of naturally occuring radiation and increased cancer risk, Zokes. I read something about it recently. I’ll Google “naturally occuring radon and cancer” later but I’ve got some investments to look after this morning (including some in “développement durable” 😉 ).

    Edukator
    Member

    I have stopped using gas, Zokes, and as a geologist that used to work for a water company talk of hydraulic fractures raises my blood pressure.

    zokes
    Member

    There is evidence linking low levels of naturally occuring radiation and increased cancer risk, Zokes.

    Yeah, I’m aware of this – yet another reason not to live in Aberdeen 😉

    So clearly it’s a very interesting point, but as the sievert is a very good unit incorporating both the energy of the absorbed dose (in greys), and the relative biological efficiency of each type of radiation (i.e. you may receive a large number of Gy of one type of radiation, but it may not be as dangerous for what ever reason than a lower Gy dose of another type).

    So comparing between radiation types in Gy is impossible, but doing it in Sv is equivalent. Therefore, assuming the LNT model holds, long haul pilots should be more at risk from cancer than the rest of the population. But yet, I’m not aware of any research demonstrating this to be true.

    I need to have a read up on the exposure in Sv of these ‘cancer clusters’ to Rn before can say anything else on that topic. And right now, I really need to read up on what I should be doing!

    Anyway, I still want proper answers to my questions!

    I cannot see any option other than to, at the very least, ‘top up’ electricity generation with nuclear given what’s possible today.

    So, given that coal & gas will run out and/or become prohibitively expensive to extract, then what will we need for power generation that could realistically meet the demands of today’s society? ‘Green’ power generation is all very well, but I’m yet to be convinced that it can be anything like a viable alternative yet

    Macavity
    Member

    http://timeforchange.org/nuclear-energy

    ALARA As Low As Reasonably Achievable

    Stochastic Effects

    Page 15
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file49349.pdf

    “The relationship between the probability of the occurrence of a stochastic health effect (the response) and the level of exposure to radiation (the dose) at the low levels of radiation exposure routinely experienced at work or in the environment is assumed, for the purposes of radiological protection, to be linear no-threshold (LNT)
    – put simply, the response is assumed to be directly proportional to the dose with no threshold dose below which the effect does not occur. This approach is taken because it is believed to be prudent and so is likely to err in the direction of caution; it is also an approach that has the considerable merit of practicality for those managing radiation protection. The commonly used shorthand statement “There is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation” derives from this assumption of no threshold dose for stochastic effects, but is a distortion of the LNT approach because it equates “safe” with “no effect at all, no matter how small”, which is not correct –
    it is the level of risk upon which a judgement is made as to whether or not an exposure is safe.”

    Cheesyfeet 🙂

    For me it is to look at the countries energy consumption totally and to make saving where we can – and there is a lot possible.

    it will be hard to generate even slightly lessor amounts of electricity without nuclear and reduce co2 output at the same time but there are huge savings to be made elsewhere to offset this

    We also have plenty of coal.

    Look at some of the work the green party has done on this.

    Energy efficency, combined heat and pwer, microgeneration, insulation, heat managements, street lighting, illumination of public buildings etc etc

    it simply needs the political will and an acceptance of the fact that we cannot reduce greenhouse gas production without altering lifestyles.

    So in otherwords there is no viable alternative as it stands today then? If we turned off nuclear, coal & gas right now, then the UK stops.

    Obviously energy consumption is a key issue, and needs to be addressed, but unless there’s some key increases in energy generation efficiency, then our kids can look forward to evenings playing parlour games by candlelight!

    Having said that, the pace of technology advance is astonishingly fast these days, so I’m very confident that it will be all instant cups of tea from the arm of the sofa whilst they are watching the latest blockbuster on the hologram wall!

    zokes
    Member

    Obviously energy consumption is a key issue, and needs to be addressed

    This.

    The trouble is though, people don’t like being moaned at to do things by their government. They dislike it even more when they are being forced to do things by economic penalties such as taxes. They dislike it even more when the tax is to try to prevent something they don’t even believe is happening or our fault.

    The trouble with disliked governments is that sooner or later, they usually get booted out. The alternative usually gets voted in because they promise to repeal or fix whatever the previous government did to piss everyone off. Australia’s Carbon Tax is a good place to start, and that is even designed well enough to try to lessen the impact on low-income households…

    ahwiles
    Member

    something i found that interested me…

    nuclear fission can occurr naturally:

    the oklo reactor

    (basically, a load of uranium ore set itself going while it was still in the ground)

    fascinating. 🙂

    konabunny
    Member

    Still waiting for the proof that Chernobyl is a major drain on the Ukrainian economy and will preclude is entry into the EU.

    hilldodger
    Member

    TandemJeremy – Member
    I have had enough of it
    Posted 1 hour ago

    Oh no he hasn’t 😆

    TandemJeremy – Member
    Posted 39 minutes ago # Report-Post

    zokes
    Member

    From that Guardian article:

    Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union at the time of the Chernobyl disaster and now head of the environment group Green Cross International, used the occasion of the 25th anniversary to say nuclear power was not the answer to the world’s energy problems or to climate change.

    In a statement he said: “Nuclear power has been presented as a financially sound, economically efficient, clean and safe solution that will bring about energy security and drive economic growth. Recently, the so-called ‘nuclear renaissance’ has hitched a free ride on the back of the need to find low-carbon solutions to the climate crisis.

    “The bottom line on the economics of nuclear power is that it simply does not add up. That is why private investment is wisely focusing on better alternatives.

    If private investment was “wisely focussing on better alternatives”, noone anywhere would be discussing nuclear power. I have said all along that I see nuclear as a replacement for fossil, not renewable fuel. So if fossil fuel (which is discounted against the environment) is taken off the table, presumably all these companies would be talking about renewable energy. And they’re not.

    The main barrier to renewable energy generation is cheap fossil fuels.

    konabunny
    Member

    Mccavity – I don’t know if you were responding to me (because you never say anything apart from posting links) but none of those three links substantiates any of the suggestions about Ukraine made earlier.

    zokes
    Member

    because you never say anything apart from posting links

    He’s TJ’s pet google-bot

    Junkyard
    Member

    I have had enough of it – its clear the pro nukes will simply continue to evade as there is no answers given or even known to the pertinent questions

    Oh the irony when you simply refused to answer a question given to you re wind generators…you cannot have a go at folk when you do it yourself- well you can :roll:. They have repeatedly answered your claims…you live in a self awareness vacuum.

    it will be hard to generate even slightly lessor amounts of electricity without nuclear and reduce co2 output at the same time but there are huge savings to be made elsewhere to offset this
    We also have plenty of coal.

    Hard it wont be hard it will be impossible; – not theoretically impossible [ well it may even be this but I will accept it is at least achievable for purposes of this thought expirement] if we all change our lifestyle and way of life but realistically impossible in the sense the electorate will never vote for it as per zokes post.

    I am also pretty sure that coal wont be that good in terms of AGW unless of course you want to put the smoke in the hole in the ground and apparently that is not safe

    Now TJ I await a full answer

    Ok how hard will I be what exactly is your master plan and how do you implement it?
    What are the huge savings to be made elsewher?
    Can you quantify them in absolute termss and not just give an incomplete answer?
    How many MW will we be generating in this reduced model?
    How will you reduce these amounts ? Caps / quotas? Reduced food or home energy consumption? Reduced industry ?
    What is the cost? Money , carbon time lost work etc
    I am sure you will be able to provide more than partial answers about how “hard it will be and exactly what your solution is

    The point is you cannot satisfy the same ludicrously high standards you demand of others
    I am vainly trying to get you to the event horizon of awareness of your double standards/posting style [ we dont understand you we have not answered your question defeated by simple logic etc type posts] but I am aware it is an entirely futile exercise.

    I agree with zokes [ who would have thunk it]*

    Energy reduction is the key but they electorate wont vote for it or dp anything till it is too late
    Nukes are a short term fix for fossil fuels power
    Given the later is so cheap it hinders the development of renewable which, coupled with reduced consumption [ not sure how we would achieve this with electric cars mind]

    FWIW I started these debates very much anti nukes But I have changed my mind due to these debates re safety and the choices we have to make. See sometimes these futile debates do result in people changing their opinion.
    I am not a fan But I dint see a realistic alternative that the electorate will buy sadly. They are only a short term fix though.
    Edukator also makes some excellent points about reduction and what we could all do- i used to do so much more than i do currently

    zokes
    Member

    I agree with zokes

    Christ! I’m going to frame that 😆

    FWIW I started these debates very much anti nukes But I have changed my mind due to these debates re safety and the choices we have to make.

    This was my default stance too. It’s not a long-term solution, but the least-worst stop gap before we all:
    a) Wake up and realise we can’t carry on living like this (you first, etc)
    b) Completely FUBAR the place and die
    c) Finally get fusion working

    Sadly I feel we’ll get to (b) before (a) or (c)

    Kit
    Member

    If you can keep something that wants to be a gas in a hole for eternity without it escaping (and I am happy to believe the science on this), then presumably you can also keep something that is a solid, and that there will be much less of (e.g. vitrified nuclear waste) there too? Or am I missing something?

    CO2 storage as a liquid is not the same challenge as storing solid nuclear waste. The main difference is that CO2 is stored in (effectively microscopic) pore space throughout very large volumes of rock, rather than discrete packages of waste. Over long periods of time CO2 mineralises and becomes part of the rock, but even before this there are three other effective trapping mechanisms. So it is dispersed, difficult to access, and is of no intrinsic value to ne’er-do-wells.

    Regarding comments on reducing energy use, I have been told (senior lecturer at Strathclyde in energy policy/politics) that making things more efficient does not reduce actually our energy consumption i.e. a more efficient TV will be used/left on standby for longer, or a more efficient fridge will be countered by increased gadget use, or more fuel efficient car will be used more often or driven faster, etc. Sorry no ref/links – never got round to reading around this subject in more detail!

Viewing 40 posts - 241 through 280 (of 473 total)

The topic ‘The Long Shadow of Chernobyl’ is closed to new replies.