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Old 03-23-2011, 09:42 PM
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Default The Triumph of Coal Marketing

I just read this article & it's got me thinking a bit. I haven't really formed a solid opinion, but I figured y'all might want to read it, too:

Quote:
Do you have an opinion about nuclear power? About the relative safety of one form of power over another? How did you come to this opinion?
Here are the stats, and here's the image. A non-exaggerated but simple version of his data:



For every person killed by nuclear power generation, 4,000 die due to coal, adjusted for the same amount of power produced... You might very well have excellent reasons to argue for one form over another. Not the point of this post. The question is: did you know about this chart? How does it resonate with you?

Vivid is not the same as true. It's far easier to amplify sudden and horrible outcomes than it is to talk about the slow, grinding reality of day to day strife. That's just human nature. Not included in this chart are deaths due to global political instability involving oil fields, deaths from coastal flooding and deaths due to environmental impacts yet unmeasured, all of which skew it even more if you think about it.

This chart unsettles a lot of people, because there must be something wrong with it. Further proof of how easy it is to fear the unknown and accept what we've got.

I think that any time reality doesn't match your expectations, it means that marketing was involved. Perhaps it was advertising, or perhaps deliberate story telling by an industry. Or perhaps it was just the stories we tell one another in our daily lives. It's sort of amazing, even to me, how much marketing colors the way we see the world--our reaction (either way) to this chart is proof of it.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:47 AM
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when i made this post i misunderstood the test results. anyway i watched a guy drive a grader off a coal ash land fill today. if he hadn't baled off the machine he would have been killed. i wounder if that would have counted.
most of the eastern us is powered by coal. here's a map. the guy totaled that grader today at the big dot in east TN

there are more than 600 coal burning power plants operating in the us today. over 300 within the states surrounding TN.

I'm going to a power conference in Chicago may 10-12 all the big power producers in the us and Canada will be there ill send you a ticket if you want to learn more its huge you'll learn more about power production than you ever wanted to know. i bet nuclear will be the hot topic this year.

Last edited by TENNESSEAN; 03-24-2011 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:09 AM
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I am pro nuclear power. I was born and raised in a town that was put on the map by a nuclear power plant, the Hanford Nuclear Site. It was established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, its specific job was to produce the plutonium that was eventually used in the first atomic bomb used on Nakasaki, Japan. Like nuclear power or not, you can't argue it won the war for us! The government came in and took the land under eminent domain authority, brought in 50,000 workers and my town was born. Construction began in August of 1943, finished a year later on September of 1944. The reactor went critical in late September, produced its first plutonium on November 6th and the rest is history! By the way, fewer than one percent of Hanfords workers knew they were working on nuclear weapons project...I always thought that was interesting.

Okay, so obviously I was raised around it, my dad worked his entire career as a nuclear scientist, retired and was even brought back in to decommission the fuel rods, my brother works there and I worked in the Public Relations educating people on nuclear power and the plant itself (if ya hadn't guessed by my rambling). People tend to fear what they do not know or understand, so yes, I did know about the statistics and I'm glad to see them! By 1963 we had nine nuclear reactors which not only fed our weapons programs but medical advancement research as well. Nuclear energy is a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions. If I remember right it provides about 10% of the worlds energy and close to 20% of the worlds electricity (France by the way, produces about 80% of energy from nuclear reactors). Its had its problems, accidents and deaths since the inception, building and perfecting of the power, but look at the statistics and tell me which one kills more. I know, I know, I'm gonna get the EPA haters on me but its been my entire life and its just what I believe. Have another option? Love to hear it, but until then..... Oh, and yeah I know Japans reactor isn't looking so good, however, my dad assures me ours all have secondary fail-safes and he was floored they didn't!

Trivia for those of you that stayed w/ me on my memory lane tour of my jobs past...no cheating or googling it.... What was the name of the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb? If your a smartie pants and know that, tell me who flew it and where the name came from! To end this rant with a bang (pun intended) what was the name of the bomb??

By the way, this is what everyone in my town eventually looks like

and they say radiations harmful, pfffftttt
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:42 AM
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By the way, this is what everyone in my town eventually looks like

and they say radiations harmful, pfffftttt
Ya know, you do have a certain glow about you in your pictures.

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Old 03-24-2011, 09:37 AM
Bonnie Bonnie is offline
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Originally Posted by philips4 View Post
Trivia for those of you that stayed w/ me on my memory lane tour of my jobs past...no cheating or googling it.... What was the name of the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb? If your a smartie pants and know that, tell me who flew it and where the name came from! To end this rant with a bang (pun intended) what was the name of the bomb??
Well, my brain is having one of those ginko moments so I had to go google so I won't give away the answers. My nanny's (godmother's) first name was that (not the second word).

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Oh, and yeah I know Japans reactor isn't looking so good, however, my dad assures me ours all have secondary fail-safes and he was floored they didn't!
I am shocked also that the Japanese didn't have any fail safes in place especially with their country's first-hand knowledge of what radiation can do and cause.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:50 PM
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The Enola (sp?) Gay, right? And she dropped Fat Boy?

Anyhow, if you click the "image" link in the article I posted, it brings up another website with a pretty interesting graphic displaying deaths per TWh by energy sources. Also, some of the comments are insightful (though most are just knee-jerk "Nuclear's evil, you're dumb!"). Here's a couple of comment-response pairs I liked:

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It's hard, I'd imagine to calculate deaths from nuclear power. Death from exposure to radiation could take decades. It's not immediate.
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Just as radiation poisoning might take years to develop, so too does miners lung. The sources include Chernobyl, Windscale and 3 Mile island accidents. For those commentators who need the sources they are all listed here in the main article: http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/dea...gy-source.html
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So the message is, jut get used to meltdowns every 10-15 years?! Because statistics say, thats still good? We now use ~50 years nuclear power. We got TMI 1979, Tschernobyl 1986, Fukushima 2011. Theres also no preference for nationality. Since Tschernboyl the attitute was, "the russians just botched at engineering". Well, thats over. It happens every now and then. There is no 100% controlled technology like nuclear industry always wanted to make believe (and thus their tendence to camouflage errors)
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At Three Mile Island no one died nor did anyone even get exposed to excessive amounts of radiation. Chernobyl happened because of a combination of design flaws and under-training. Fukushima happened because the Apocalypse decided to do a test run on Japan.

So far that "meltdown" is being contained as efficiently as possible despite the fact the facility is 40 years old, using 50 year old tech, and wasn't even designed to withstand what happened in the first place. This event is only going to make future designs more stable.
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I wonder, would it not be appropriate to include all the other deaths from nuclear power that occurred in Japan in 1945?
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If you think that would be appropriate, I would also suggest you include wars fought over oil, and BTW, Japan attacked the US because of Oil, so ...
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:04 PM
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I'm a fan of natural gas. its clean and safe. if the unimaginable does happen the worse case scenario is a contained explosion. people working at the plant could be killed but the general public are relatively safe. there are no long lasting effects to public health or the environment. natural gas is winning!!
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TENNESSEAN View Post
I'm a fan of natural gas. its clean and safe. if the unimaginable does happen the worse case scenario is a contained explosion. people working at the plant could be killed but the general public are relatively safe. there are no long lasting effects to public health or the environment. natural gas is winning!!
See, I really don't know much about this debate. The more y'all can post pro/con for any & all of the options, I'd really appreciate it. There are a lot of situations and topics on which I know the basic knee-jerk reaction on both sides, but not much about the actual facts, and unfortunately, this is one of them.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:36 PM
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I did a research paper on Nuclear vs Other power sources when I was in 5th grade. Nuclear was clearly the best power source then, according to my research. I'm guessing it hasn't changed.

I vote for Nuke Juice!
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by County Mike View Post
I did a research paper on Nuclear vs Other power sources when I was in 5th grade. Nuclear was clearly the best power source then, according to my research. I'm guessing it hasn't changed.

I vote for Nuke Juice!
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