Rethinking Nuclear Power

The tragedy in Japan is causing many to rethink cost/benefits of nuclear power in the U.S.

Sure nuclear has a low carbon footprint. But the if something goes wrong, it can go terribly wrong and have long lasting damage.

The image is the USGS map of Peak Ground Acceleration in seismic hazard areas.  The least seismic areas look to be America’s bread basket. One might think that that’s the place to put nuclear power plants.   But would it be wise to have nuclear power plants and nuclear waste facilities where we grow America’s grain?

Nuclear is expensive to build, expensive to maintain, and expensive for long term waste storage.  Nuclear requires extensive government subsidies.

Note that these low seismic areas are precisely the areas targeted by T. Boone Pickens for massive wind farms.  Wind farms are cheap to build, cheap to maintain and have no long term waste issues.

Nuclear power is a great idea.  It’s what been powering our planet since day one.  Fortunately our main thermonuclear reactor is a safe 150 million km away from us.



Filed under dnd

23 responses to “Rethinking Nuclear Power

  1. TempeBev

    Obviously, the tragedy in Japan has caused people to rethink nuclear power plants. They’re scary if something goes wrong. The dynamics of a meltdown are explained on this website:

    Hydro power and wind farms are my choice of alternative energy.

  2. I think we can safely say there will be no nuclear plants built in this country in the foreseeable future.

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  4. Dooty

    here at Casa Dooty, we sit about 50 miles or so below the prevailing southern winds from a nuclear plant. Melt down and DFW is toast.

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  6. TempeBev

    There are people who think the US nuclear program is OK. Of course this has nothing to do with politics !!

  7. TempeBev

    I have been considering the purchase of an Acura or Lexus in 2012. I wonder what the state of the Japan auto industry will be like for next years models. I sure hope they’re not recycled tsunami autos. Could they be “hot?”

    • dnd

      There is a Lexus plant in Ontario Canada. My guess is that’s where your Lexus would come from. I think the other three Lexus plants are in southern Japan, far from the Fukushima reactors.

      ps. Fukushima means “good-fortune island.” I’m hoping they have good fortune soon.

  8. TempeBev

    Why has this taken so long?

    IAEA chief to travel to Japan

    By Associated Press
    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – Added 3 minutes ago

    VIENNA — IAEA chief Yukiya Amano plans to go to Japan as soon as possible, saying he hoped to leave Thursday.

    Amano will meet with senior officials and stay one night, saying Wednesday he hopes to come back with “firsthand information” on the situation and address the issue of improving the flow of information to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Amano earlier urged the Japanese government to provide better information to the agency about the nuclear crisis.

    © Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  9. TempeBev

    Thanks D – you’re a good source of info. Did you get my info sheet on the stadium? Just info, not a post.

  10. dog hussein dog

    Japan’s situation is such a wake-up call.

    Only silver lining: I hope it spurs interest in renewable energy technology.

    And conservation. We are likely consuming too much electricity that we could pare back on.

    Local supermarket here in LA area dims its interior lights after 11 pm. (It’s open until the wee hours.) A little startling at first, but you get used to it fast.

    Think of those massive Wal-Marts, open 24/7, and keeping those buildings lit.

    Maybe stores and office buildings could use solar power for their overnight lighting requirements?

  11. dog hussein dog

    St. Patrick’s Day.

    The national drinking holiday.

  12. Dooty

    my sister in law’s youngest son (phd in astro physics) works for the the Dept of the Navy and he just landed about 5 days ago in Japan for a 2 year stint. He is a civilian. He is about 160 miles south of the problem but his mother said he will be evacuated in a few days. What a way to have to spend the next 2 years.

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  14. Two articles this week present the risks to US nuclear reactors from earthquake damage ( and the risk of damage from a variety of natural disasters ( You and your readers may find these articles helpful.

  15. dog hussein dog

    Thank you, Anne.

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