Archive for Nuclear Power Generation

The Iran Dilemma

Posted in Al Quada, America, Britain, European Union, Iran, News, Nuclear Proliferation, Politics, Terrorism, United Nations with tags , , , , on 25/06/2015 by floroy1942

I have for a long time believed that a nuclear deal with Iran will never turn out satisfactorily. Ever since the USA accused them of attempting to make nuclear weapons in 2003, negotiations have been on-going to reach an agreement that would stop the Middle East nation from acquiring these weapons. Iran insists their work is for ‘peaceful purposes’ directed at providing nuclear powered electricity only, and not weapons. however, most of the evidence puts this statement into doubt.

IAEA Inspection Team

IAEA Inspection Team

Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have shown Iran is enriching uranium far beyond that needed for a nuclear reactor to produce electricity. Last year it was revealed that they have successfully created a nuclear trigger which is required to initiate a nuclear explosion. What do they need such a thing for if all they wish to do is produce electricity? Since that time serious negotiations have been taking place to make sure this practice is stopped, and to make Iran agree not to ‘go nuclear’.

At every step of the way through the negotiations since 2004, Iran had placed one roadblock after another to prevent an agreement. But after more than ten years of negotiations some countries cannot see ‘the writing on the wall’ and still live in hope. But the interesting thing is, the research is still going on at secret locations.

Iran Leader Khamenei

Iran Leader Khamenei

Now the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stepped into the ring and stated coldly that Iran will not accept the agreement thus reached and dismantle its nuclear infrastructure unless all sanctions are dropped immediately instead of the phased plan proposed by the USA, no freeze on research, or IAEA inspections of military sites. This means that their research can continue at military sites without the world knowing about it.

So its looks to me that the last eleven years of high level meetings have been all for nothing, and Iran is still determined to go its own way. Put in simple terms, Iran has no intention of giving up its nuclear ambitions which is what I always thought.

For a country that has openly funded and provided weapons to terrorist organizations like al Quada, Hamas, I.S. etc. to have nuclear weapons is probably the most serious threat to peace the world has ever known. The consequences of such an event are unthinkable.

Iran Nuclear Faciclities

Iran Nuclear Facilities

All the years they have been negotiating with smiles on their faces, but I believe there lurks behind the smile a deadly purpose, to become a nuclear power. Nuclear weapons would make them king of the Middle East who could dictate to all the oil rich nations what they should and should not do. With their insane hatred of the USA, they could pass on nuclear weapons to terrorists with the intention of destroying major American cities like Washington or New York and then claim their innocence, that they knew nothing about it.

It may be easy to say, “Oh but they are not that crazy”, but they are Muslims with a belief that when they die they will all get their 72 virgins.

Who Is Aiming At Whom?

Who Is Aiming At Whom?

And what of Israel? If Iran became a nuclear power it may be their plan to follow through on their threat to nuke the country and “remove it from the face of the Earth.” If Iran ever became a nuclear nation there is no telling what they would do with the power. The dangers of a nuclear war in the world would become extremely high if these nutters get the bomb.

Israel has already said that if they proceed and get the materials and ‘know-how’ to make a bomb they will nuke the country to stop it happening. This would be a massive gamble, for it would turn every Muslim on the planet against them, even though secretly  many would be happy they had.

I am sure that every country in the Middle East does not want to see Iran become a nuclear power for their own safety. The leaders of Saudi Arabia have already made it known they would seek to become a nuclear power if Iran does, so where does that leave us?

Reagan and Gorbachov Sign Nuclear Treaty.

Reagan and Gorbachov Sign Nuclear Treaty.

To date the balance of power and the agreements signed between the United States and Russia have removed the threat of an all-out nuclear war on the planet, but if Iran goes nuclear what will happen then? They will become to a great extent a threat to the peace of the world. It could take only one nuclear missile launch to destroy the peace we have known since World War Two. If missiles start flying across the globe there is one thing for sure, mankind will not live to produce another generation.

I sincerely hope I am wrong, but to me there could be hard time ahead for the world. Whichever way you look at it, I am glad I am not a teenager with the whole of my life before me, for if they achieve their ambition dangerous times are ahead.

Roy.

Are The Iran Nuclear Negotiations Worth It?

Posted in America, Britain, European Union, Insurgents, Iran, Israel, News, Nuclear Proliferation, Terrorism, United Nations with tags , , , , on 09/04/2015 by floroy1942

Do you believe that Iran is seeking to make nuclear weapons or that, as they say, it is for peaceful purposes only? This thorny issue has been of major concern to many countries for the past twelve years. For more than a decade negotiations have been on-going, and in my view are still far from an agreement.

Says It All Really

Says It All Really

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

In a recent statement Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, “I have never been optimistic about negotiating with America. While I was not optimistic, I agreed with this particular negotiation and supported the negotiators.” He went on to say, “We will sign no agreement but the one that immediately abolishes all the economic sanctions on the first day of the implementation of the agreement.” It would seem he wants ‘to have his cake and eat it too’.

The negotiators on the other side of the table are insisting that sanctions will be lifted gradually once it is seen that Iran is abiding by the terms of the agreement. I would consider this to be a much more sensible approach than that stated by the Iranian Leader.

Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

To demand the removal of all sanctions on the day the agreement is signed is no guarantee that Iran will fully take the steps required to limit its nuclear programme.

There will need to be a system of inspections by the  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure conformance with the terms of the agreement, otherwise Iran could just continue with their activities in secret. This all takes time to arrange, and verification will be a long process. In my view, Iran has been stringing out these talks for more than ten years while in the background they have been continuing their quest for fissionable material. After so many years of negotiation it is highly possible they already have sufficient material to make at least one nuclear weapon, crude though it might be. It would be easy to hide this away somewhere out of sight of the IAEA inspectors.

Nuclear Site

Nuclear Site

It is worthy to note that when they first allowed these inspectors into their sites a couple of years ago they allowed inspections of all but one, and then some months later allowed the inspectors into that site while refusing them entry to another. Smells fishy to me, how about you?

If over the intervening years Iran has managed to make sufficient nuclear material for a bomb, what would they do with it?

Their two main enemies are Israel, and as stated on many an occasion, the United States of America. So if you were them, and had a secret nuclear bomb what would you do with it?

Tactics

Tactics

The whole idea of Iran becoming a nuclear nation is a horrific one, for being a staunch Islamic nation which has shown its hatred for the West on many occasions, with atomic weapons it is capable of anything.  Iran has been a very active supporter of terrorist groups across the world, supplying them with arms and funds for their inhuman activities, so who is to say they will not provide someone like al Quada or Islamic State with a nuclear weapon?

A Terrorists Dream

A Terrorists Dream

There are without doubt more than enough terrorist organizations that would love to have a nuclear weapon, no matter how crude. They make no secret about who their enemies are, and would love the chance to blow up Tel Aviv or New York for example. Who is to say Iran would not initiate a devastating nuclear attack on Israel, their sworn enemy?

'Diplomacy' At Work

‘Diplomacy’ At Work

Iran as a nuclear nation would also be a great threat in the Middle East, for it would give them control, and if you remember, that’s where most of the world’s oil comes from.

This insistence by Iran that all sanctions are lifted as soon as the agreement is signed could spell the end of the negotiations. It remains to be seen if the western powers will cave in to this, but if they do it will set a dangerous precedent.

Roy.

World-Wide Electricity Crisis

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Germany, Nuclear, Security Council, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 26/04/2011 by floroy1942

At 01.00hrs this morning the switches were thrown to shut off the electricity generators prior to taking the nuclear reactor offline at Gundesheim power plant in Eastern Germany. Gundesheim was the last operational nuclear power plant in the world.

Nuclear Electricity Generation By Country – 2008

As a result of the Fukushima nuclear emergency following the earthquake and tsunami, public opinion and daily demonstrations across the globe finally forced nations to come together at the UN. This resulted in Resolution 1992 which demanded all nuclear power plants across the world be shut down within six months. The first country to complete the shutdown was France, followed by India, Pakistan, Brazil the United Kingdom and Spain.

The net result has been a massive 25% drop in power generation across the world. Consequently, cities have been forced to reduce underground rail and tram systems that rely on electricity by 40%, and electric powered train services across the world have been cut by 57%.

Abandoned Subway System:

All electronic or electric advertising signs have been switched off, and a limit of 10Kwh per household per month imposed which necessitated the removal of household appliances such as coffee makers, mixers, high wattage vacuüm cleaners and the like. Gone also is sphere lighting in our homes for we are allowed only one low energy lamp per room.

Production Ceases!

Many of the goods that people have come to rely on like cars, computers and other electronic gadgets are no longer being made because of the drain on power reserves during their manufacture.

In cities across the planet with well known features like Times Square in New York, Tokio centre in Japan and Piccadilly Circus in London have become dark and sombre places after all the electronic hoardings and advertisements were switched off and replaced by the occasional dim street lighting.

Los Angeles in California has become a virtual ghost town after all the lights went out and the casino’s were forced to close their doors in order to conserve energy. The world economy has been turned into chaos, and millions world-wide have lost their jobs due to factory closures caused by the number of ‘non-essential’ goods which may no longer be produced to prevent a final meltdown of the power generating system.

All this has been necessary to ensure sufficient power for essential services, but power cuts are still a daily occurrence in most of the developed world as we are starved of energy.

Anti-Nuclear Protesters

When instigating the plan, the United Nations Leader, Ban Ki-Moon, stated the will of the people could no longer be ignored. After the nuclear incidents at Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, the people of the world became so incensed against the use of nuclear power and its dangers that the question could no longer be ignored.

Anti-Nuclear Demonstrations:

Nuclear Electricity Production – 2008

This is of course fiction, but gives a snapshot of life across the world should we give in to the demands of demonstrators currently voicing their grievances. Rallies in Germany and France last week have shown that many people want to see all nuclear electricity generating plants shut down, sooner rather than later! But those who make such demands do not think past their own ideology and imagine what life without nuclear energy would be like. They are lacking the essential foresight to imagine how we would satisfy our ever-increasing demands for power without it. To quote an old saying: ‘They can’t see the woods for the trees’!

There are currently more than 440 nuclear plants across the world providing in excess of 20% of our energy requirements. It does not seem much when you look at the figures for other sources like coal, but to close down all nuclear plants would be catastrophic for the world economy, business and the people. Some countries are already suffering power shortages as our appetite for energy expands. More and more gadgets in the home, increasing transport requirements and even the introduction of electric cars all take their toll on our energy supplies. We are at the moment locked into a vicious spiral that must burst apart at some time in the future.

The Nuclear Rector – How It Works:

In my opinion, we cannot do without nuclear power, and until some scientific breakthrough is made with something like cold fusion, we are stuck with it. Our efforts would be more usefully channeled into making it safer.

Fukushima – Lessons Learned?

The idea of building a six-reactor plant on the coast in a known earthquake and tsunami area to me was a big mistake, which has been born out by recent events.

Fukshima Accident Explained:

It would have been obvious to me that such things as reactor cooling systems, in their entirety, should have been better protected against the sea. It does not help to protect the reactor core, if the power generators for the cooling pumps are vulnerable. OK! This is all with hindsight, but these are the type of lessons that need to be learned, and measures taken to see it can never happen again. I am sure there are many other safety measures that can be taken to protect a reactor from ‘going critical’ even in an earthquake zone such as Japan.

Typical Nuclear Plant

Perhaps the United Nations should consider gathering the world’s foremost experts in this field and have them inspect every nuclear facility on the planet with a view to increasing safety.

Nuclear power is not a demon, it is a tool in the hands of man that can be controlled and used safely, providing all the necessary safety measures are in place and adhered to. It is only when mistakes are made that things can go wrong, and yes, ‘to err is human’, but with our increasing computer abilities it should not be too difficult to have electronic fool-proof safety measures backing up the operators. We already have plenty I know, but I am sure they could be improved.

2008 Energy Production

There is of course another alternative to placate the demonstrators, and that is a return to coal-fired power stations. But considering we turned to nuclear energy as a relatively clean method of generating power, this seems a retrograde step, and lets not forget the effect it has on our planets atmosphere.

Greenpeace Action Against Coal-Fired Plants:

Nuclear power generation has proven its value when it comes to our atmosphere. It has been calculated that the nuclear energy programme world-wide has prevented 38 billion tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, as opposed to continuing with coal-fired power plants which would have added four times as much. It is also just one-twelfth of the total amount pumped into the air during 160 years of electricity generation using coal, gas and oil.

These people seem to be of the opinion that all our power requirements can be met using wind, solar panels and hydro energy, but the reality is, its impossible!

We Need To Keep The Electrons Flowing

Hydro-energy for example provides us with less than 18% of our needs, while wind energy only contributes approximately 3%. Not all countries have rivers, and how do you provide wind energy across Africa? Are we to cover every free acre of ground on the planet with wind farms? There is little doubt in my mind that we will have to make the best of nuclear power until a scientific breakthrough is made with some other form of energy production.

The Future Of Nuclear Power:

Complaining about it, and demonstrating against it will not solve our energy needs, we just need to use our brains and make it safer for all concerned.

Roy.

Fukushima – A Disaster Waiting In The Wings?

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Nuclear, Oceans, Radioactive Waste, Toxic Waste with tags , , , , , , , on 13/04/2011 by floroy1942

Should we be concerned at the latest news of a hike in the severity level at the Fukushima nuclear generating plant to 7, bringing it on a par with Chernobyl?

Chernobyl Reactor Building

We can all remember what happened at the Russian plant, but the experts tell us there is no danger of a repeat. Now that is reassuring news, certainly to the Japanese, and probably for the rest of us too.

The whole episode however leaves me with some questions, most important of which is, why was a nuclear plant built on the coast in an earthquake/tsunami zone? Reactor One was opened in July 1967, and since then another five have been built on the same site.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Noqk78bjE-Q

The Cause Of A Tsunami

It is safe to assume that we did not know as much in 1967 as we do now about earthquakes and the effects, but even so, it seems to me the Japanese were taking a big chance in building such a facility right on the sea shore.

I can well imagine their desire to have a ready supply of water for cooling the reactor, but then surely, better precautions should have been taken to protect the installation against the possibility of a tsunami.

The Tsunami Strikes

History has shown us on many occasions that earthquakes under the sea cause tsunami’s, so it should be obvious, even in 1967, that the site would be prone to just such an event.

I freely admit, I am no nuclear scientist or structural engineer, but it seems to me that building such a plant on the coast at Fukushima, knowing the possibilities, should have received more attention.

The main difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima is that in the former accident the reactor vessel ruptured, releasing large amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere, whereas in the latter, this did not happen and the reactor vessel remained intact. Contrary to popular opinion, there is never a chance of a nuclear explosion at a nuclear power plant, even if meltdown does occur.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Z69rtx3YlE0

Fukushima Reactor

Each reactor at the Fukushima plant has a secondary containment vessel which is designed to prevent the release of radioactive particles into the atmosphere even in the event of a reactor containment vessel breach. This was not the case at Chernobyl and indeed, very few Russian plants had such a safety facility (lessons learned).

Furthermore, The Chernobyl reactor was ‘fired up’ at the time of the accident while experiments were carried out on the power generators for the emergency cooling system. At Fukushima the reactor shut-down automatically when the earthquake was detected.

Typical Reactor Cooling System Generator

It would seem that the problems began at Fukushima when the various backup cooling pumps, that supply the core with water to keep it from overheating, lost power when the tsunami destroyed the generators supplying the pumps. It would appear that perhaps more protection should have been given to these vital components.

Fukushima Damage

The disaster at Fukushima, though of natural causes, does indicate that more attention must be given to the siting of nuclear power plants, especially in earthquake prone countries around the famous ‘Ring of Fire’ bordering the Pacific. It indicates that all nuclear plants should be inspected to see what improvements can be made to the operating systems when a natural disaster strikes, and most specifcally, protection of the cooling apparatus.

Anyone wishing for a simple straight-forward explanation of the events at Fukushima should visit the following site:

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/13/fukushima-simple-explanation/

Its all well and good for armchair ‘experts’ to give their opinions, and as we all know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I should hope that some valuable lessons have been learned from this disaster and steps are taken to see such an event is never repeated.

Fukushima Heros

In the meantime, we should not forget the brave men and women who have been working tirelessly to prevent a major disaster at Fukushima at the risk of their own well-being. I salute you!

One thing is sure, we are a long way from doing away with our nuclear power plants despite all the hype that has been generated, for until the scientists come up with something better we are stuck with it. At this moment in time we have no other way of keeping up with the ever increasing demands for power.

Roy. 

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