Monday, June 16, 2014

Nuclear Propaganda: "Safer Fuel"




Associated Press (2014, June 15). Fukushima No. 1 meltdowns stir industry quest for ‘safer’ nuclear fuel Designs by U.S. researchers offer hope of heading off future meltdowns. The Japan Times, available http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/06/15/national/science-health/wake-fukushima-disaster-industry-explores-accident-resistant-fuel/#.U58DI7G9YpM

[excerpted] In response to the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, the U.S. government dramatically increased funding to develop tougher protective skins for nuclear fuel, hoping to spur innovation in designs that had not changed much in years.

While the Department of Energy was spending $2 million on fuel designs before the March 2011 meltdowns, the funding reached as much as $30 million afterward.

Now scientists at multiple institutes are in the middle of developing designs that could start finding their way into test reactors as early as this summer, followed by larger tests later on.

The goal is to create nuclear fuel that is more resistant to damage and melting in extreme situations and less prone to a chemical reaction that makes its metal wrapping brittle and produces explosive hydrogen gas....[ end]


Majia here: Implicitly acknowledged in this passage is the following truth:

Nuclear fuel is subject damage and melting, which cause the release of genotoxic DNA and explosive gas

Despite its truth-telling, this story was designed as propaganda because it aims to persuade readers that safety can be successfully engineered into nuclear energy, when it cannot.

After seventy years, our best engineers have not come up with successful strategies for containing nuclear waste at every stage of the cycle - from mining, manufacturing, reactor use, and long-term storage.

Radioactive elements are not easily contained by human engineering, but they are sequestered by nature as they bio-accumulate in biological bodies, including human ones.
 
 

3 comments:

  1. Indeed, nuclear can never be safe and cheap, even safe and extremely expensive is an impossible comibination.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The problem is that the basic design is unsafe from the start. It's a system that is unstable without active cooling and prone to runaway reactions.

    From a practical standpoint, I don't really have a problem with them trying to make fuel rods that are less prone to meltdown. However all of their efforts had gone into making "hotter" fuel rods that melt down more quickly, and "safer" rods would likely produce less energy.

    In fact, I think this industry wouldn't hesitate to tell the public the rods are safer and in reality make them hotter, and less safe. After all, they've proven time and again that they really don't plan for meltdowns and they won't let the truth out when one happens.

    James

    ReplyDelete
  3. For a few dollars you can purchase all the equipment you need to write a masterpiece of literature if you have the genius for it. These days if you want to make a name in any science you need large sums of money from the gov and/or corporations, plus a laboratory, etc. You also need an advanced degree whereas our writer might do better to eschew "higher education" entirely!

    So when we want to know things about nuclear power and radiation we have little choice but to turn to the people who really need gov and corporation support who see in science weapons and big profits. We might just as well ask a CEO or Senator about the dangers of radiation as ask a professor at MIT or Cal Tech or Stanford. Asking these most knowledgeable persons will be asking them to commit career suicide. The same of course goes for the medical end. Sudden waves of ignorance flow over the academic land. Obviously those working in the world of nuclear engineering and science are not going to jettison their jobs to be good guys.

    Thus we are thrown back on our own resources and intuitions. And we can read things never intended for our purposes. Then it becomes obvious that since the late '40's the "need" for nuclear bombs has taken precedence over human survival and health. And whenever some experiment would further the purposes of either the gov or corporations the justice due the human has been secretly set aside by whispering "national security".

    My Conclusion: survival of the fittest, culling the herd, radiation as the wolves the get the weak deer . . . so many things cause cancer that they can always blame it on one of those. E.g. USS Ronald Reagan sailors.

    ReplyDelete