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Japanese Nuclear Power Plants: Do Meltdowns Change Your Opinion on Nuclear Power?

Fef 2011/03/12 19:36:38
Japan's magnitude 8.9 earthquake may lead to nuclear power plant meltdowns. Some argue that we should build more nuclear power plants offset the pollutants of oil and coal power plants. The Japanese earthquake has re-opened the debate of the safety of nuclear power.

Japan has 55 nuclear power plants that power 20% of the country's power. The earthquakes have forced shutting down 11 of those nuclear plants and may cuase nuclear meltdown. "It's a very serious situation for the reactors and might ultimately render those reactors unusable," said Howard Shaffer, a former Navy submarine engineer and a member of the American Nuclear Society's public information committee.

California has several nuclear power plants that generate about 13% of the state's power. California, like Japan, rests on acive earthquake fault lines and has a history of serious earthquakes.
In what may become the most serious nuclear power crisis since the Chernobyl disaster, the explosion followed large tremors at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 reactor Saturday afternoon, injuring four workers who were struggling to get the quake-stricken unit under control.

Earlier, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) had warned that the reactor, whose cooling system had been crippled by the giant earthquake Friday, could be nearing a meltdown and that two radioactive substances, cesium and radioactive iodine, had already been detected nearby.

The Japanese nuclear plants having the most problems don't have the newest available seismic safety features. Architects can also can learn to mitigate the dangers by anticipating them after analyzing Japan.

Read More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...

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Top Opinion

  • Steve Johnson 2011/03/12 20:24:07
    Steve Johnson
    +7
    The opinion of the Japanese people is more interesting, especially since they are the only people that nuclear weapons were used against in war.

    Prior to this, the Japanese people were overwhelmingly in support of using nuclear power. Unlike the US, they have no domestic energy sources other than small amounts of coal. Almost all of their non-nuclear energy has to be imported.

    Nuclear power has its risks and rewards,and it isn't the solution to all energy needs. But ignoring it would be a huge mistake.

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Opinions

  • kyle 2011/03/20 22:50:18
  • kevracer 2011/03/15 06:13:25
    kevracer
    +1
    yes, clearly the technology to avoid earthquake is not well enough developed.
  • Andrew 2011/03/15 00:12:01
    Andrew
    +1
    No, but I do think we have to be more careful about them.
  • Icedragon1969 2011/03/14 22:33:49
  • wombat 2011/03/14 16:48:33
    wombat
    +1
    I was always anti Nuclear technology. Today and next week you will see why.
  • Seeker of Truth - War Wizard 2011/03/14 14:31:29
    Seeker of Truth - War Wizard
    +1
    I'm just surprised that they wouldn't have had earthquake-resistant redundant failsafes. To say that the failsafe (which just dumps water on the reactor core) failed indicates there was only one valve or inlet for the water. Hell, get some buckets and a radiation suit!

    I think we should definitely build new plants here in the US. We should build them away from areas prone to earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and alien landing zones (j/k). Where we can't avoid those high risk areas, they should be built to resist the strongest known or expected class of the appropriate disaster. We build skyscrapers that are on foundations that can shift in an earthquake, so the same should be done for a nuclear plant. And any failsafe should have a backup (or 3), and they should be regularly tested to ensure that in a disaster, at least one of the necessary measures works.
  • Superman 2011/03/14 14:18:20
    Superman
    +2
    Not in the slighest. If we build more may I suggest keeping them away from California?
  • Charlie 2011/03/14 13:50:17
    Charlie
    +1
    Well, you build reactors on top of one of the most active faults in the world, it was only a matter of time before this happened. I think most logical people in Japan knew they were sitting on a potential time bomb.
  • Pedro Doller ~Inc. 2011/03/14 03:22:45
    Pedro Doller ~Inc.
    These plants were all built by GE. GE is one of Obama's biggest corporate buddies. They will most certainly be given special consideration and exemptions under Obama. Does this change your opinion of Obama?
  • misterz 2011/03/13 18:56:16
    misterz
    No, I think we need more of them.
  • Armygeek 2011/03/13 16:10:00
    Armygeek
    No, I think the Japanese take shortcuts when it comes to security. Seriously look at anything we buy out of japan, it falls apart in a day. You really think they put better quality fail-safes in place?
  • Racefish 2011/03/13 14:38:59
    Racefish
    It hasn't changed my opinion a bit. We have two plants here and they don't have problems.
    The thing I don't like is these plants in danger are built in seismically unstable areas. Is there any logic in that? But then there will always be those who use no common sense when it comes to their dogma of global meltdown.
  • Shark 2011/03/13 10:00:07
    Shark
    No.
  • rustyshackelford 2011/03/13 09:06:26
  • gidianedwards97 2011/03/13 06:34:22
    gidianedwards97
    +1
    Solar, wind, power would be the answer.
  • Prime T... gidiane... 2011/03/13 19:10:08
    Prime Time Lime
    I agree these are reusable and continual sustaining,and completely clean methods of power and nuclear power should be phased out now.
  • Ken 2011/03/13 06:29:55
    Ken
    Only the need to securely site them and keep them away from the coast and borders.
  • Diverbelo 2011/03/13 05:40:46
    Diverbelo
    +1
    No, I am still in favor of nuclear power.
  • harry 2011/03/13 04:49:20
    harry
    Guess we need to rethink nuclear power, disasters are more frequent.
    2 big Tsunamis in 6 years we never had that before.
  • Bob 2011/03/13 04:17:54
    Bob
    I would need to know more than I do now to change my opinion. If we have the great preference to call wealth those manufactured things that we purchase by manufacturing more things for trade, etc., there will be a need for energy and nuclear power has so far cost far less lives than oil for instance and the varying wars for oil. Perhaps radiation is more fearful and that fear drives many to conclusions and that without including comparitive understandings.
    We have choices in economies. Even in the U.S. we do not see Capitalism in the Constitution but only "commerce". If the Russian economy is there for experience after it went through a big change, we can see a shortening of lifespans by about 4 years in the figures from 1996 - 99. Is that not a cost of lives to change their system? There is an exchange in energy. A tradesman can build things that take time because of his lack of machinery that requires great energy. He extends personal energy but the price he must demand accounts for that energy, just as the price of the machine made items and materials account for the energy from outside sources. The argument never really was about buggy whips. It was about the value of people and nuclear energy is a good way to keep the value of people low.
  • Rae 2011/03/13 03:59:29
    Rae
    Not really; it's never been a secret that things can go wrong. And this is what, the third serious incident in the 30-40 years that nuclear plants have been in operation? How many oil spills or coal mining accidents have occurred in that same span of time?
  • Golden Ratio 2011/03/13 03:49:52
    Golden Ratio
    Nuclear power has never been safe, it's been an acceptable risk when the alternative is outragious utility bills that people can't afford. So you either accept the high risk of a problem, or you pay more, or you don't have electricity. Those are the options, and with those options most people go for the risk, because the risk is cheaper, and it most likely won't happen if you believe the people who operate the plant. Science states problems should not happen if everything goes right. But it's those times that everything does not go right that kill you or make you sick. If radiation is safe, why do they wear hazard suits in the plant, and where is my suit?

    As we can see by watching Japan, when things get dangerous in the plant, they have to vent toxic radiation into the atmosphere to keep the plant from meltind down. That's the fail-safe plan??? To poison the local citizens????
    These are things you never hear when they want your OK to build another nuclear plant. They won't tell you if all else fails then we will have to radiate your butt by venting out into the air you breath poisen radiation that may kill you, but that won't happen because it's a safe power.

    Personally, I would not live next to a Nuclear Power Plant, and if they built one near my home I wo...



    Nuclear power has never been safe, it's been an acceptable risk when the alternative is outragious utility bills that people can't afford. So you either accept the high risk of a problem, or you pay more, or you don't have electricity. Those are the options, and with those options most people go for the risk, because the risk is cheaper, and it most likely won't happen if you believe the people who operate the plant. Science states problems should not happen if everything goes right. But it's those times that everything does not go right that kill you or make you sick. If radiation is safe, why do they wear hazard suits in the plant, and where is my suit?

    As we can see by watching Japan, when things get dangerous in the plant, they have to vent toxic radiation into the atmosphere to keep the plant from meltind down. That's the fail-safe plan??? To poison the local citizens????
    These are things you never hear when they want your OK to build another nuclear plant. They won't tell you if all else fails then we will have to radiate your butt by venting out into the air you breath poisen radiation that may kill you, but that won't happen because it's a safe power.

    Personally, I would not live next to a Nuclear Power Plant, and if they built one near my home I would move. Just a personal choice, because I know how radiation poisoning breaks down the human Bio. and it's not a pretty sight, nor is it painless. I would use oil lanterns, and solar pannels, before I would risk my life living near a nuclear plant. Watch the birds, because they never fly over nuclear plants, they fly around them every time, because they sense something that is not good for them, just like we human beings should.

    But as life goes on in the world we will be told of the rare times nuclear power has gone wrong, and it's the safest choice for power. But you will never see any of those who profit off of it living near one of those plants, they won't expose their families to that danger, but they will risk your families exposure for the money they make, because it's safe, cheap power you are told.

    I'm thinking of all those japanese families that thought the same thing right now, and how they now wished to god that they did not live near a nuclear plant, because for all the things we can perdict will happen, and how to fix them, it's the things we don't know that happen that I stay clear of nuclear power plants for.
    (more)
  • bigeasy628 2011/03/13 03:48:00
    bigeasy628
    No it was a 300 year earthquake
  • wildcat 2011/03/13 03:41:11
    wildcat
    +1
    No, I still favor the use of nuclear energy sources.
  • mewycg 2011/03/13 03:24:19
    mewycg
    No, all forms of energy generating has it's environmental drawbacks. But this one might be the deadliest in the quickest way when it (the plant using it) malfunctions and pollutes the planet.
  • Michael 2011/03/13 02:54:09
    Michael
    I've always been a little cautious of it.
  • tff~PWCM~JLA 2011/03/13 02:52:01
    tff~PWCM~JLA
    Nope .
  • 56lady☆POTL JLA BTO-t- BCRA... 2011/03/13 02:46:01
    56lady☆POTL JLA BTO-t- BCRA-F's
    no . . . there are risks with each industry

    one oil rig explosion and all drilling stops.
    plane crashes planes still fly
    trains cars they wreck they still move
    We are human and we can not control mother nature . . .
  • Pieter Joubert 2011/03/13 02:37:38
    Pieter Joubert
    Clean and efficient as they are, they are located on the most vunerable places and when they shut down, and dont have working emergency power to keep the cooling system going, they blow up.
  • lee 2011/03/13 02:15:02
    lee
    No, I've always been against using nuclear fission as a power source.

    These plants are hugely expensive and dangerously unstable.
  • WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA 2011/03/13 02:15:00
    WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA
    I will tell you what, I will use power from a nuclear power plant, and all you liberals can live off what you can get from windmills. No cheating.
  • Lester 2011/03/13 01:25:37
    Lester
    I've look at the web news sites and it is very unclear what level of radiation was actually released. There needs to be a careful assessment of what really happened, by professionals who understand the technology not journalists, before jumping to any sort of conclusion. This shouldn't take more than a few months at most--long before any new reactors would be built in the US.
  • ϟMopederϟ 2011/03/13 01:16:12
    ϟMopederϟ
    Nope
  • Lynn 2011/03/13 00:49:14
    Lynn
    +2
    No. My opinion of nuclear power has not changed. The control rods dropped as designed.

    But I'm 100% certain that libs will exploit this to attack nuclear power.
  • DuncanONeil 2011/03/13 00:48:27
    DuncanONeil
    +1
    First of all it is a two plants, out of 19 power plants & 15 research reactors.

    And this is a country about the physical size of the three states on our west coast!
  • Spider20 2011/03/13 00:21:21
    Spider20
    +1
    No....I have always thought nuclear power was a dangerous way to go, because of things like quakes, tornados, and the like....I'll always be of that opinion...
  • Fef Spider20 2011/03/13 00:51:46
    Fef
    +2
    These nuclear power plants haven't melted down and didn't cause an environmental disaster despite the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami. The older power plants may potentially meltdown, but haven't yet.
  • Lester Fef 2011/03/13 01:29:14 (edited)
    Lester
    My understanding is that the containment for the reactors is still intact. As long as that is the case, there is no chance of a repeat of Chernobyl. (The reactor containment is different from the building walls, which did apparently collapse at one facility.)
  • Spider20 Fef 2011/03/13 07:11:08
    Spider20
    Let's hope it stays that way....there is still potential for an accident.....
  • WhereIs... Spider20 2011/03/13 02:15:55
    WhereIsAmerica? ~PWCM~JLA
    Do you have a better solution? Don't even try saying windmills or I will laugh at you.

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