Re: SV: [OPE] Power

Date: Fri Feb 15 2008 - 11:40:56 EST

In France, 37 plants are located near rivers and lakes. During the warm summers of 2003, 2004 and 2006 these got so heated up, that many reactors had to shut down or downgrade their production. At other plants, the shortage of water in the lakes also made the "petering out" of radioactive fuel insufficient, and the levels regulating this ratio had to be changed, thus leading to even higher heating up of the water temperature than what should be allowed in the first place. In Spain, they were made to shut down the reactor procuring 20 % of the country's supply when the water temperature became to high.  

Hi Martin:

Thanks for making the case more convincingly than I did.
Re the above, it should also be noted that massive fish
and sea life kills can and have resulted from the heating 
up of water. Although anecdotal, there are lessons to be 
drawn from the following story. When I was in high school 
(in my sophomore year, if I recall correctly) our Oceanography teacher took his class on a field trip to the infamous 
Millstone Power Plant in Waterford, Connecticut which is on the North shore of Long Island Sound.  There was a small pond
to the side of the plant in which the surface was so thick
with dead fish that you couldn't see any water! They were
killed by thermal pollution, it turned out, since the water
released from the plant had caused the water temperature in the
pond - which was used for breeding by this species - to increase
by several degrees. A classic example of externalities. I doubt
that either the power company or the NRC knew in advance that
this would be a consequence but their decisions were made with indifference to the environment and a 'third party' (in this
case, the fish) died as a consequence.  This, more broadly,
is a major problem historically with nuclear power: the companies
and governments are in a rush to get plants up and running and hence beginning to realize a return on their investment. But,
they have no idea what will be the _total_ social costs of doing so. Unless we know and accept the total social costs of a technology, then diffusing that technology from a public perspective is simply reckless. I don't want to sound 'anti-technology' (since I'm not) but almost every day there is a news report about how some product has been shown to have unanticipated
or hidden negative health and environmental perspectives. In the case of nuclear power, the damages can be far-reaching indeed! How many years will it be before it is safe to live near Chernobyl?

In solidarity, Jerry
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