Arnie Gunderson: June 7 CNN – Radiation worse than reported. Japan Today: Evacuation Zone may Expand

June 8, 2011

Japan Today:

The government is considering expanding the scope of its evacuation order to include people from certain spots that are emitting high levels of radiation as a result of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March, government officials said Monday.

The government will be discussing with municipalities these so-called ‘‘hot spots’’ suffering from radiation exposure that would exceed the yardstick of 20 millisieverts during the course of a year.

A hot spot refers to an area that has a high level of radiation following rain or as a result of landscape or wind conditions that affect the direction in which radioactive materials travel after being released into the air.

Normally, radiation spreads concentrically but under such conditions, radioactive materials spread randomly to various spots.

Below, Gunderson’s June 5 video on emergency plans for nuclear plants.

34 Responses to “Arnie Gunderson: June 7 CNN – Radiation worse than reported. Japan Today: Evacuation Zone may Expand”

  1. Eclipse Now Says:

    First off the problem for solar and/or wind grids is seasonal storage, not daily storage. Second if you truly care about the environment you must care about the crazy amounts of metals and concrete that are used for the solar and pumped storage as their environmental footprint is considerable.

    Solar is about 10 to 20x nuclear in metal and concrete use. The pumped hydro makes that worse because nuclear only needs 5-10 hours whereas solar needs more like 500 to get the same level of load carrying capacity.

    The Japanese seawater pumped hydro system is not cheap at all, 30 billion Yen for 30 megawatt peak, this is around 10 dollars per Watt peak. For 5 hours full load this is 0.21 capacity factor, it thus costs 48 dollars per average Watt compared to 6 dollars per average Watt for Olkiluoto. This is 8x as expensive as Olkiluoto, just for the storage (ie solar panels cost nothing assumption!).

    Click to access Annex_VIII_CaseStudy0101_Okinawa_SeawaterPS_Japan.pdf

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_Yanbaru_Seawater_Pumped_Storage_Power_Station

    http://www.sustainability.ie/pumpedstoragemyth.html

    The dismal reality does not add up.

  2. BlueRock Says:

    > …the problem for solar and/or wind grids is seasonal storage…

    Not at all. It’s simply a case of having a portfolio that can cope with periods of low sun or low wind. Much the same as having a grid that can cope when multi-GW nukes fail. Although, the big difference with nukes is that they can trip offline in seconds and without warning. That doesn’t happen with solar and wind – the variability can be accurately predicted many hours or days in advance.

    > Solar is about 10 to 20x nuclear in metal and concrete use.

    Obviously not true – there is no concrete needed to install solar PV. Thin film solar requires no metal or concrete and can be applied to existing surfaces.

    A much better measure is EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested):

    * EROEI of electricity generation. http://oco-carbon.com/2010/05/19/eroei-of-electricity-generation/

    Solar is about the same as nuclear. Wind and tidal are much better. Expect nuclear to become worse as uranium ore deposits are depleted and more mining energy is needed for the same amount of fuel. Conversely, solar will become better as efficiencies increase.

    > The dismal reality does not add up.

    Many expert scientists and engineers disagree with you. Many investors with billions of $$$s at stake also disagree with you. Many government analysts in multiple countries also disagree with you. Many energy companies, including nuke giant Areva, disagree with you. I guess they could all be wrong.

    P.S. I assume your repeated failure to provide a cite for your earlier claim re. “serious climatologists” publishing renewable energy analyses means that you cannot.

  3. Eclipse Now Says:

    @ BlueRock,

    > The prototypes do.

    Amazing! They must be top secret. Are they in Area 51? 😉

    You mean you can’t even WIKI a subject before you blurt ignorant lies all over the place?

    The U.S. Department of Energy built a prototype (the Experimental Breeder Reactor II), but the IFR project was canceled by the US Congress in 1994, three years before completion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor

    Denmark, like all (??) European countries, is connected to a Europe-wide electricity grid and makes use of it as necessary. This is not a sign of failure – it is evidence of how to make energy systems more economical, flexible, robust and reliable.

    That is a good point, and I agree! I’m also not AGAINST renewables, and love the various experimentation going on. I’m just not convinced they will be anywhere near as economical, and you stated the case why better than I have when you said:

    Also, I never said “100% wind and solar” – renewables come as a complimentary portfolio, including hydro, biomass, biogas, geothermal, etc.

    OK, so we’re going to build 100% capacity from wind for when the wind is blowing at night, we’re going to build 100% capacity for solar for when the sun is shining, we’re going to build 1005 capacity from hydro to cover those weeks when wind AND solar are down in an overcast, quiet period…. get it yet? I *KNOW* that normal grids have overbuild, but what 100% renewables advocates are talking about is ridiculous. The overbuild assumptions just keep on growing out of all proportion. So while it might be technically possible to build a 100% renewable grid, how much overbuild and extra cost will there be than if we just helped GE commercialise their S-PRISM faster?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-PRISM

    I’m for a renewables AND nuclear grid.

    As neighbouring countries (particularly Germany) deploy more renewables, it will reduce the overall reliance on fossils

    I’m glad you raised Germany. They recently vowed to close all their nukes, and simultaneously developed plans for 8 more coal fired power stations. Getting it yet?

    P.P.S. Again: do you have a cite for the “serious” climatologists who have published on the economics of renewable energy systems?

    Did I say that? I was mainly pointing to Hansen’s support of the Science Council for Global Initiatives. Also try his book, Storms of our Grandchildren, where I understand he mentions nuclear power. (I have not read it myself).
    http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/

    Just look at all the signatories.

    Dr. James Hansen
    Dr. Evgeny Velikhov
    Tom Blees, President
    Dr. Yoon Chang
    Steve Kirsch, MIT S.M.
    Dr. George S. Stanford
    Joe Shuster
    Dr. Barry Brook
    Dr. Dan Meneley
    Dr. Louis J. Circeo
    Dr. Charles Till
    Dr. Eugene Preston
    Dr. Ray Hunter
    Dr. Baldev Raj
    Dr. William Hannum
    Leonard J. Koch
    Dr. Jeff Eerkens
    Bruno Comby
    Dr. Charles B. Archambeau
    Dr. John Sackett
    Graham R.L. Cowan

    Try this BlueRock. Every time you say ‘portfolio’ try writing “Unbelievably expensive capacity overbuild”. That would help!

    • BlueRock Says:

      > You mean you can’t even WIKI a subject before you blurt ignorant lies all over the place?

      Rather than me being a liar, it appears you are incapable of following your own conversation. You claimed prototypes existed for Gen IV reactors. They do not. They are nothing but a collection of concepts. You need to separate techno fantasy from reality.

      Much like your claim about “serious” climatologists publishing papers on renewable energy costs appears to be another fantasy.

      Maybe a video will help you grasp the concept of a balanced portfolio of renewables – as opposed to your simplistic and flawed “100% wind + 100% solar + 100% hydro” belief:

      * How Germany will achieve 100% clean, safe, renewable energy by 2050 – regardless of what the weather does. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR8gEMpzos4

      > …weeks when wind AND solar are down in an overcast, quiet period…

      The wind and sun do not disappear for weeks on end. The sun rises every day – solar PV still works when it is cloudy. The wind is always blowing somewhere – and the wider the geographical area, the more reliable wind becomes.

      > …get it yet?

      I do. I got it a long time ago. You need to consider whether you have not got something in light of the reality that entire countries are already committed to 100% renewables. Are they wrong or are you?

      > I’m for a renewables AND nuclear grid.

      * Renewable Energies and Base Load Power Plants Are Essentially Incompatible. http://www.unendlich-viel-energie.de/en/details/article/523/campatibility.html

      > They recently vowed to close all their nukes, and simultaneously developed plans for 8 more coal fired power stations.

      Got evidence for that? Or did you just read it at Barry Brook’s blog?

      * “…analysis by the German environment agency … concluded that Germany can close the reactors within five years and do so: Without power outages; Without importing nuclear power from other countries; Without building new coal plants; With only a modest increase in the cost of electricity” http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/06/we-can-do-it-says-german-environment-agency-on-nuclear-phase-out

      The reality is that Germany are moving to get rid of nukes and coal plants as quickly as possible. The German people are very educated about climate change. They will deploy some natural gas generation as a stepping stone towards 100% renewables.

      Also, it’s funny how this propaganda against Germany often originates in countries that produce 2 or 3 times the CO2 per capita that Germany currently does. Someone is clearly threatened by what Germany is doing – it’s difficult to push propaganda and fool the ignorant and credulous when reality exposes that propaganda.

      > Getting it yet?

      I’m getting a lot about you – mainly that your claims don’t match reality and that you cannot follow a conversation.

      > I was mainly pointing to Hansen’s support of the Science Council for Global Initiatives.

      No, you claimed “many peer-reviewed scientific papers are starting to come out from serious climatologists”. You have ignored repeated requests to provide evidence for that claim. I suspect the reason for that is because these alleged papers do not exist except in your imagination.

      > Just look at all the signatories.

      A list of names is not an argument or evidence for anything. I could just as easily produce a list of PhDs that advocate 100% renewable energy. More importantly I can produce a list of credible analyses that describe how to achieve 100% renewable energy:

      * 100% renewable energy? We are spoilt for choice. http://www.reddit.com/r/RenewableEnergy/comments/gjw19/100_renewable_energy_we_are_spoilt_for_choice/

  4. Eclipse Now Says:

    Obviously not true – there is no concrete needed to install solar PV. Thin film solar requires no metal or concrete and can be applied to existing surfaces.

    Solar PV only works about a quarter of the day. Sydney has about 3 weeks of rain ahead. How does that turn off our coal plant? Note: I’m not against it if the technology comes down in price enough, but it’s not going to replace coal. At best it PREVENTS an extra coal plant being built to cope with peak demand in the afternoons when all our heaters/or air conditioners are on, at worst it sucks money from the BIGGER hitters in renewable energy like higher ERoEI wind with hydro backup. The following report SMASHES rooftop solar, as does George Monbiot. Repeatedly!
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/renewable-subsidies-too-costly-productivity-commission/story-fn59niix-1226072665830

    • BlueRock Says:

      > Solar PV only works about a quarter of the day.

      Mid-winter in Sydney gets about 10 hours daylight. This is not a revelation. Do you think you’re the first to realise this?!

      * Zero Carbon Australia Energy Plan. A ten year roadmap for 100% renewable energy. Baseload energy supplied by renewable sources. Affordable at $8 per household per week. http://www.beyondzeroemissions.org/zero-carbon-australia-2020

      > The following report SMASHES rooftop solar, as does George Monbiot.

      The Australian? It’s becoming clear the real reason why you are so ‘confused’. Will you ‘cite’ Murdoch’s Fox News next?! 😉

      George Monbiot is a very unreliable source of information re. energy – his views on solar are based on a widely debunked report from a rightwing German think tank. Monbiot is easily fooled – he was one of the very few that fell for the stolen CRU email scam.

  5. Eclipse Now Says:

    Hi BlueRock,
    thanks for the international Reaction to Fukishima wiki, I’ve passed that on to Brave New Climate where they seem to think I’m PRO-RENEWABLES! I copied and pasted a comment there above, the one with the more technical costings of hydro.

    I’m not very technical myself, but was won over by Barry Brook’s blog a year back. The *arguments* just make sense to me. I don’t pretend to run the figures myself — which is why I just realised I’d better own up to copying the hydro-costings. (From a comment on the following thread, where I’m about to dump the Fukishima reaction wiki).

    Cheers mate. I hope renewables can do it, because Fukishima has — rightly or wrongly — spooked the horses.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/06/07/open-thread-16/

    • BlueRock Says:

      The *arguments* just make sense at WattsUpMyArse if you know nothing about climate science.

      Are Barry Brook and his acolytes right? Or is Germany, Scotland, Spain, Denmark, etc. etc. right? The facts and credible arguments are not in favour of the anti-renewable / pro-nuke fan club.

  6. Eclipse Now Says:

    @ BlueRock
    Rather than me being a liar, it appears you are incapable of following your own conversation. You claimed prototypes existed for Gen IV reactors. They do not. They are nothing but a collection of concepts. You need to separate techno fantasy from reality.

    I was in the middle of another heated debate yesterday and maybe some of that ‘heat’ transferred here. Apologies for calling you a liar, maybe you are just misinformed.

    This is the EBR2, the prototype you were asking for. In I.T. parlance they’d probably call it Windows 8 in Alpha stage testing.

    Sure there’s the Beta testing and a few more kinks to work out. Sure they’re moving from a commercially proven Windows 7 product up to 8 and there’s no copy of 8 out on the market yet. But it is in development. The wiki even uses the word prototype.

    The original emphasis in the design and operation of EBR-II was to demonstrate a complete breeder-reactor power plant with on-site reprocessing of metallic fuel. The demonstration was successfully carried out from 1964 to 1969. The emphasis was then shifted to testing fuels and materials for future, larger, liquid metal reactors in the radiation environment of the EBR-II reactor core. It operated as the Integral Fast Reactor prototype. Costing more than USD 32 million, it achieved first criticality in 1965 and ran for 30 years. It was designed to produce about 62.5 megawatts of heat and 20 megawatts of electricity, which was achieved in September 1969 and continued for most of its lifetime. Over its lifetime it has generated over two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, providing a majority of the electricity and also heat to the facilities of the Argonne National Laboratory-West.

    Now I’m not in the mood for playing semantic games with you. You made a statement of factual error — man up and admit it. Was there a working prototype for the IFR that ran successfully for 30 years or not?

    Here’s another question. Did it pass Fukishima styled coolant failure tests with flying colours?

    The expansion of the fuel and structure in an off-normal situation causes the system to shut down even without human operator intervention. In April 1986, two special tests were performed on the EBR-II, in which the main primary cooling pumps were shut off with the reactor at full power (62.5 megawatts, thermal). By not allowing the normal shutdown systems to interfere, the reactor power dropped to near zero within about 300 seconds. No damage to the fuel or the reactor resulted. This test demonstrated that even with a loss of all electrical power and the capability to shut down the reactor using the normal systems, the reactor will simply shut down without danger or damage. The same day, this demonstration was followed by another important test. With the reactor again at full power, flow in the secondary cooling system was stopped. This test caused the temperature to increase, since there was nowhere for the reactor heat to go. As the primary (reactor) cooling system became hotter, the fuel, sodium coolant, and structure expanded, and the reactor shut down. This test showed that it will shut down using inherent features such as thermal expansion, even if the ability to remove heat from the primary cooling system is lost.

    • BlueRock Says:

      OK. You can provide evidence for at least one of your claims. I didn’t realise a prototype had been labelled ‘Gen IV’. That’s wonderful – a small-scale reactor built at massive expense was supposedly operated for a short time.

      That does not mean a commercially viable design will come from it. There are many things that can be achieved in the laboratory that never make it commercially due to expense, complexity or inability to scale up.

      Nuclear reactors are not like commercial software. Not close. That’s a false analogy.

      The nuke industry has always operated by talking about the future ‘perfect’ technology in order to distract from what they are selling now. Thorium, Gen IV and fusion reactors have been used for a long time to distract from the dirty, dangerous units they currently offer.

      Also, the complexity of these new generation reactors increases the costs even further than current designs – as we watch renewable energy plummet. Other than to fulfil an ideological wish, there is no need for these massively expensive, massively centralised points of failure that still produce highly toxic waste and still bring risk of catastrophic failure.

  7. Eclipse Now Says:

    Are Barry Brook and his acolytes right? Or is Germany, Scotland, Spain, Denmark, etc. etc. right? The facts and credible arguments are not in favour of the anti-renewable / pro-nuke fan club.

    Except unlike Global Warming where there is a 98% Consensus on the physics of climate change and an IPCC that conservatively reports this consensus, I don’t see a world peer-reviewed body that is prepared to tackle this. That’s why there’s going to be a Carbon Tax in Australia — governments don’t want to ‘pick winners’ because it is all too hard.

    They want the marketplace to make up its own mind. But climate change and peak oil are so serious and imminent the Nazi in me wants the government to just take over and build 50 IFR’s in Australia, mandate the switch to all-electric vehicles for the average driver (with some liquid fuels being made for emergency services), and build the fast-rail around Australia. Then I might have hope that we are going to make it through peak oil.

    As it is… I just don’t know. We are playing with wind farm toys with no baseload capacity, dicking around with little toys that don’t really push out baseload grunt for us. And to top it all off, these toys require 10 to 20 times the steel and concrete of a good, safe, waste-burning IFR nuke!

    Basically BlueRock, I’m a bit scared. I was part of a team 6 years ago that briefed the NSW Upper House minority parties on peak oil. We told them 6 years ago that oil was going to double, and then double again, and maybe the price would only lower if we hit a huge Recession and actual rationing! Then we saw the price of oil super-spike, the GFC hit, the oil dropped off a little, but is now staying around $100. The DAY we briefed these Sydney politicians 6 years ago — I’ll never forget it — the very day, oil hit the newspapers for breaking $60 a barrel. It was an unheard of amount. We walked in and said it would go much, much higher. How did we do on that front?

  8. Eclipse Now Says:

    I of course meant I don’t know whether or not we’re going to make it!

    But thanks BlueRock for the mature and calm reply. I apologised for calling you a liar and this is your response? You’re a real big man. You’re just sulking because I showed that there IS an IFR proto-type. What you say is spelt S O R R Y — write it out 100 times. There’s a good boy. Man up and admit you were wrong.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: