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Japan Robotics Earth Science Technology

Excessive Radiation Inside Fukushima Fries Clean-Up Robot (gizmodo.com) 307

"A remotely-controlled robot sent to inspect and clean a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be pulled early when its onboard camera went dark, the result of excess radiation," reports Gizmodo. "The abbreviated mission suggests that radiation levels inside the reactor are even higher than was reported last week -- and that robots are going to have a hell of a time cleaning this mess up." From the report: Last week, Gizmodo reported that radiation levels inside the containment vessel of reactor No. 2 at Fukushima reached a jaw-dropping 530 sieverts per hour, a level high enough to kill a human within seconds. Some Japanese government officials questioned the reading because Tokyo Electric Power Company Holding (TEPCO) calculated it by looking at camera interference on the robot sent in to investigate, rather than measuring it directly with a geiger counter or dosimeter. It now appears that this initial estimate may have been too low. Either that, or TEPCO's robot is getting closer to the melted fuel -- which is very likely. High radiation readings near any of the used fuel are to be expected. Yesterday, that same remotely operated robot had to be pulled when its camera began to fail after just two hours of exposure to the radiation inside the damaged reactor. Accordingly, TEPCO has revised its estimate to about 650 sieverts per hour, which is 120 more sieverts than what was calculated late last month (although the new estimate comes with a 30 percent margin of error). The robot is designed to withstand about 1,000 accumulated sieverts, which given the failure after two hours, jibes well with the camera interference. This likely means that the melted fuel burned through its pressure vessel during the meltdown in March of 2011, and is sitting somewhere nearby.
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Excessive Radiation Inside Fukushima Fries Clean-Up Robot

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  • Money to be made... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If someone could figure out how to make tech that could survive in such environments. Aircraft have to deal with more radiation than normal, as do spacecraft. Something that survived for say a day in such an environment might survive for a very long time in an aircraft and work without errors, which is equally important..

    • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @10:55PM (#53844045)

      There are radiation resistant electronics but it isn't something you'll find off a shelf. Plus if its a hot neutron source pretty much no electronics they I know of are going to work properly.

      Still one would expect they had a more accurate and cost effective way to measure the level of radiation before sending an expensive robot in.

      • Still one would expect they had a more accurate and cost effective way to measure the level of radiation before sending an expensive robot in.

        Death row inmates?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Strange to say, some older microprocessors are more resistant to radiation. The components in modern microprocessors are much more tightly packed and a gamma ray is more likely to hit something critical. This is why NASA uses special microprocessors that are less densely packed and thus more resistant to the radiation in deep space. Sounds to me that they might want to consult with NASA about how to deal with radiation.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Strange to say, some older microprocessors are more resistant to radiation. The components in modern microprocessors are much more tightly packed and a gamma ray is more likely to hit something critical. This is why NASA uses special microprocessors that are less densely packed and thus more resistant to the radiation in deep space. Sounds to me that they might want to consult with NASA about how to deal with radiation.

          The NASA special microprocessors are old 8086, 80386, etc and not so special. The drawback is computing speed and features. They still won't work close to a hot neutron source.

      • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @02:43AM (#53844827)

        +1. What aircraft are exposed to are mostly gammas and a few heavy ions, not neutrons (alongside massive amounts of gammas as well). There's nothing close to neutrons in terms of causing damage, they'll penetrate almost anything and then activate it so you get the whole mix, alphas, betas, and gammas inside the sensitive devices that you're trying to protect. You can make electronics that's somewhat resistant to radiation, but it can't do much against neutrons. In any case all the rad-hard stuff is designed for space/military use, and that's gammas, not neutrons (and accompanying alpha, beta, and gamma).

        There really isn't any easy way to do this. One approach I guess would be to have all the control electronics a long way from the robot and only basic actuators and sensors on the robot itself. However, video is still control electronics...

      • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @03:59AM (#53845007)

        Random suggestion--

        Use a trailing fiber optic pickup, with the actual CCD and robot controller hardware OUTSIDE the reactor.

        Similar in concept to the imaging system used for laparoscopy.

        In this case, the "mobile" portion of the robot is made using the "more radiation resistant" larger discrete components, with a fat data cable and fiber optic line dragging behind it, leading to the actual logic controller portion of the robot, parked outside.

        That would help with costs, and service life of the robot. (Expensive controller hardware stays outside the reactor, only the driver part needs to be discarded as radioactive waste, and the imaging sensor array is not inside the reactor.)

        • by irving47 ( 73147 )

          Darn you, I was thinking the exact same thing. Except having the fiber pointing forward, and just looping around to the back, wehre the CCD is "exposed" but the rest of the camera just layered in lead.

        • by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:56AM (#53845601)

          Agree. You could have individual air lines or hydraulic lines to each wheel actuator. Send the fluid one way for that wheel to spin forward, the other way for reverse. Then a minimum robot is just 2 drive cogs, then a fiber optic line for vision and a second fiber optic line for light. No reason it couldn't sit directly next to the molten fuel and work indefinitely. Have an internal chamber and a scintillator tube with a fiber optic line that can relay an image back. From the light intensity - how often the tube is getting stimulated - you'd be able to measure the radiation level. Probably have to use special tubes made just for this.

        • From a quick google search I get "Neutrons as particle waves follow the same law for the total reflection as light waves."

          Makes me think anything that carries focused light, will carry focused neutrons. Although I imagine it would reduce the exposure of the camera to the size of the lens.

    • Use vacuum tubes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @02:53AM (#53844861) Homepage

      You laugh, but tubes aren't affected by ionizing radiation.

  • How does that work? I would think a robot would not be affected by radiation.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      Electronic components are sensitive to static electricity. I can just imagine them being blasted by nuclear radiation at point blank range.

      • They need to go old school and replace the tech fancy robot with a remote using hydraulics to make it move, and a mirror /periscope system to see what it sees. Fiber optic perhaps? You can manipulate the valves with cabling to avoid using anything electric.

    • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @10:38PM (#53843989)
      The primary cause of instrument and control failure in spacecraft is radiation. High energy photons and energetic particles get past hulls and shielding and go right through sensitive integrated circuits, damaging them in much the same way they damage living cells. We're talking about circuit paths with widths measured in nanometers. Such tiny constructs can easily be smashed by radiation in much the same way my thumb can be smashed by a hammer.

      I speak from experience on the latter.

      • I'm not sure I want anyone handing you a hammer so you can speak from more experience on what a hammer can smash, but personally, I like smashing walnuts and pecans with hammers.
    • by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:05AM (#53844319)

      In this case the "radiation" is the emission of high-energy neutron particles. Neutrons will run into anything *... and when they do, they transfer a ton of their energy into whatever they hit... causing "damage cascades" as atoms get tossed around (Wikipedia has a decent animation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] ).

      That atom-scale damage adds up after a while... causing material failure... regardless of the type of material.

      For instance, inside of a reactor all of the steel holding all of the fuel in place is constantly bombarded... leading to all sorts of effects like radiation induced swelling and embrittlement.

      In humans the primary issue is when those neutrons hit DNA / cells and damage them. It actually happens to us all day long from radiation around us... but our bodies can deal with a certain amount. Too much damage though... and your body can't cope any more.

      In robots / electronics the issue is much the same. The neutrons run into _everything_ and degrade it. More sensitive pieces (like camera sensors) will degrade rather quickly while larger components (like structural steel) will most likely be fine for long periods of time.

      * The probability that a neutron will hit a certain type of atom is called a "cross section" (XS) and is an _extremely_ well studied phenomenon. You can look at some here: https://www.nndc.bnl.gov/sigma... [bnl.gov] for instance, this is the probability for a neutron running into Hydrogen: https://www.nndc.bnl.gov/sigma... [bnl.gov]

      • Displacement damage isn't a problem in this case, it accumulates over years. The primary concern there is radiation embrittlement of pressure vessels, standard 316 stainless contains nickel which captures neutrons and forms an unstable isotope of nickel with an even larger capture cross-section, which decays into iron and (eventually) helium. So you end up with voids created as displacement damage from the neutrons that fill up with helium, which is not a good thing in a reactor vessel. Still, that takes

        • It doesn't take years if the flux is high enough and the components are sensitive. Direct neutron damage really can be a problem for electronics.

          You are definitely right about all the high energy secondary particles. They cause a whole heap of problems for electronics (including signal spikes etc).

          My point really was that there's nothing special about the interaction between radiation and biological intitities (as the original poster was implying). Neutron radiation (including secondary effects) will dama

    • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`evi' `at' `evcircuits.com'> on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:33AM (#53844437) Homepage

      Gamma rays break down the crystalline structure of things like the chips. Even low-level radiation will wash out a camera, but about 10-25Sv for "long" periods of time will have some effect, 650Sv pretty much instantly destroys everything, even things like the metal the robot is constructed out of will eventually become harder and more brittle as the atoms get knocked out of the structure (eg. if someone suggested pneumatics, plastic, rubber and metals would also deteriorate).

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:41AM (#53844491)

      You would think very wrong. This was, incidentally, already discovered at Chernobyl at much, much lower radiation levels. All the robots sent from the west failed pretty soon. The whole nuclear power industry is built on the assumption that such accidents do not happen and hence it is not at all prepared for them. That makes it exceptionally unprofessional from an engineering point of view.

      • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @05:16AM (#53845145) Journal
        In other words, the morons screaming hysterically about nuclear energy are in large part being enabled and encouraged by the morons responsible for designing and implementing it.

        Rather like web security, then.
        • by mvdwege ( 243851 ) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Saturday February 11, 2017 @05:58AM (#53845189) Homepage Journal

          Actually, a lot of the resistance against nuclear energy is people who are (rightfully, it turns out) distrustful of the nuclear industry.

          Let's face it, we've been fed a diet of PR, if not outright lies from the very start about the risks and costs of nuclear energy. By now, anything that comes out of an industry shill's mouth can be assumed to be untrue by default.

          • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @06:35AM (#53845235) Journal
            It's an onion of bullshit opposed by bullshit, though. Nuclear is fundamentally rather cheap and rather clean, using sane designs (not designs where it fucking melts into oblivion if it doesn't have constant active cooling, jesus christ what is wrong with those people), and using reasonable accounting based on rational pollution opportunity cost comparisons.

            That is true *fundamentally*. In practice, nuclear has to spend so much on safety as to cause less than 1/100th the deaths of fossil fuels and even then people are still completely terrified over non-events (from a harm to human life standpoint) like Three Mile Island, people talk ominously about half-lives without ever once mentioning phrases like "Love Canal" or "Centralia" as points of comparison, economical designs are opposed by blowhards like Carter, etc.

            It's worth focusing on alternatives mostly because there's too much bullshit to cut through, too many misconceptions and assholes protecting their jobs to make nuclear reform realistic. Unfortunately, there's not an ideal drop-in replacement for nuclear, particular not for larger megaproject sizes that could put a serious dent in pollution whilst simultaneously raising capacity and lowering costs in anticipation of the electric automobile revolution. Maybe they could drop a huge geothermal plant in Yellowstone... yeah, I'm sure the Greens would be perfectly OK with that, if it meant stopping global warming.
            • It's an onion of bullshit opposed by bullshit, though. Nuclear is fundamentally rather cheap and rather clean, using sane designs

              OK, but how many reactors which were built like shit are still in operation? We have a multitude of plants which are just as shit as Fukushima Daiichi operating here in the USA. They are literally built on the same shit design.

              • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                OK, but how many reactors which were built like shit are still in operation?

                Not a lot because they were all quietly closed down after TMI or upgraded to solve various problems (mostly instrumentation).

                just as shit as Fukushima Daiichi

                Oh, moving the bar from obviously dangerous to the level of just being a lot less than ideal? In that case all of them even the AP1000 reactors under construction (1980s design with tweaks). There's nothing really more modern than the Fukushima reactor at the scale required f

                • Not a lot because they were all quietly closed down after TMI or upgraded to solve various problems (mostly instrumentation).

                  Anyone who's idea of process safety is upgrading instrumentation shouldn't be working in process safety.

                  Nothing is solved, the likelihood of some incidents have been reduced. Nothing more.

              • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @08:43AM (#53845463) Journal
                Yes, but coal is shit [wikipedia.org] and oil is shit [wikipedia.org] and they both kill [wikipedia.org] people [wikipedia.org] all the time. And also cause global warming, contaminate fish with toxic heavy metals, etc.

                The argument against shitty nuclear designs is (for the sane and knowledgeable among us) thus more about cost than risk to human life, and since you're talking about already-built stuff then most of the costs are already sunk and if there's no easy migration path you're probably better off simply spending more effort on backup equipment and contingency plans. This is completely ignoring the public relations aspect of nuclear, which I've no idea how to manage and at this point probably isn't fixable.

                But yeah, you've fully grasped one side of the coin: "Nuclear experts are full of shit."[1] The other side of the coin is the comparison to alternatives, and speculating how much cheaper nuclear could go if we reduced certain safety measures[2] while still keeping the death toll lower than fossil fuels, which is something virtually no one bothers doing. Nuclear being expensive remains a self-fulfilling prophesy as long as you refuse to take off the blinders.


                1. This is true of most experts, but particularly experts in controversial or highly politicized fields who have grown insular, defensive and/or polarized over time.

                2. Not relaxing the safety measures to prevent catastrophic "everything is now fucked" incidents like Fukushima so much as allowable radionuclide release during normal operation, perhaps allowable radiation exposure levels adjusted to end up being as dangerous as working in a coal mine, etc. Also, there's some common sense shit like designing reactors and sites that can store all of their waste on-site that no one seems to be talking about, but is perfectly doable in principle and would at the very least least nerf one very common complaint.
            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              "not designs where it fucking melts into oblivion if it doesn't have constant active cooling, jesus christ what is wrong with those people"

              It's not easy or even necessarily better to do it another way. Having a gravity activated emergency cooling system isn't foolproof either, especially in a country like Japan where earthquakes are the biggest risk. Massive lateral forces can jam mechanisms, so it may be better to have a non-moving system with pumps and battery backup, for example.

              The problem with new desi

            • When one looks at the AP1000 design, while more safe than current reactors, there are still problems. Several systems have to function for cooling to occur, even though you do not need a generator. If a cooling line is physically destroyed, coolant will not get where it needs to go, for instance.These things also have a tank that has to be filled after a few days, assuming the coolant lines from the tank to the reactor are not damaged. There are valves that have to be activated by control systems to open th

              • by Shane_Optima ( 4414539 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @01:14PM (#53846197) Journal

                Your non-chalant attitude about radioactivity downplays the risks

                It does not. It *compares* them. And nuclear power has been responsible for far less death and suffering even if we include Chernobyl. Without Chernobyl, we're deep into 'more people have been killed by pillow fights' territory.

                A meltdown and loss of control can cause it to spread wide as it has with Fukushima.

                And Fukushima has been a *financial* catastrophe. It has not been a public health one compared to the other risks we accept all the time with fossil fuels.

                Radioactivity has toxicity properties in its own class

                Just pure white noise. I understand that sentences like these (which are being posted by many people, not just you) are meant to be persuasive, but it's just a complete non-starter. I don't care if it's different. Toxic heavy metals can be terrifying enough [wikipedia.org], thanks. "Different" doesn't matter. Severity does. And the numbers I've seen show pretty convincingly that nuclear isn't nearly as bad.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      In this case, it sounds like the robot was blinded, not "fried".

      Unsurprising since the camera sensor is designed to detect radiation. But through the lens.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Radiation is, by definition, the transfer of energy through space. So yes, a sufficiently high flux will cause an electronic gizmo to fail just as surely as baking it in an oven would, provided the radiation is of a nature that is absorbed by the kind of matter you find in electronics.

      Here we're concerned about neutrons.

      Neutrons can penetrate deeply in to materials, and when absorbed by a nucleus can generate gamma rays. This damages materials in multiple ways, such as pitting, swelling, cracking, and m

    • Semiconductors work by having a "tipping point" after which they become conductive. High energy electrons (beta particles) are way higher than the bandgap of basically any semiconductor. They will cause the migration of ions embedded in the semiconductor that enable it to be semiconductive.

      Additionally, you have things like hot neutrons, and gamma rays. Hot neutrons will cause fission type interactions with the doping atoms embedded in the semiconductor, changing them into 'something else', and releasing

    • by irving47 ( 73147 )

      Depends on the component. Google around how a camera flash too close tto a raspberry pi causes a reboot (slightly older versions, like the early releases of v2)

      Also, a ccd is a charged coupled device... Its just *waiting* for radiation to hit it. It sounds like the cameras are the first things to go on these probes/robots.
      Things like a motor, hooked to a battery, not so vulnerable.

  • Replicant (Score:3, Funny)

    by CanEHdian ( 1098955 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @10:48PM (#53844017)
    That is why we need replicants. They can withstand anything, even the C-beams that glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
  • FAKE NEWS! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @10:53PM (#53844033) Journal

    It's clean, safe, and too cheap to meter.

    • Disgusted by all the alternative facts above. I have some VERY GOOD FRIENDS who have personally benefited from the health enhancing nature of radiation. Aka stuff from the SUN aka the natural energy God made for us people.

      We can't live without the sun, yet radiation is bad? YOU CAN'T EXPLAIN THAT. My friend would be very angry with you lieberal hippies. You wouldn't like him then.

      I'll sign him up for one of those "ask person a question" things, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. You'll see, believe me. Believe me.

  • Inconceivable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @11:00PM (#53844075)

    Why, I read on Slashdot just the other day that a few remote controlled bulldozers could have Fukushima cleaned up in a month and that tree-hugging anti-growth enviros should shut their pieholes about that accident.

    sPh

    • Yeah that was a comment from an AC. Don't read those...
    • Re:Inconceivable (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MrL0G1C ( 867445 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @06:06AM (#53845205) Journal

      Yeah, all the radioactive waste has short half-lives and by 2016 they'll be able to clean up the mostly harmless waste. [sarc]

      Seriously though, Tepco lied and said the reactor cores didn't melt down, so what else have they lied about.

      We're told the clean-up is safe and no-one is getting ill. Then we're told the Yakuza are in charge of hiring, they're hiring homeless people and workers rights are being ignored. That doesn't sound like a recipe for safe working conditions to me.

      How the Yakuza went nuclear [telegraph.co.uk]

      Atomic mafia: Yakuza âcleans upâ(TM) Fukushima, neglects basic workers' rights â" RT News [rt.com]

    • Why, I read on Slashdot just the other day that a few remote controlled bulldozers could have Fukushima cleaned up in a month and that tree-hugging anti-growth enviros should shut their pieholes about that accident.

      sPh

      Nuclear is safe if you don't build it in a tsunami zone, don't build it on an earthquake fault, don't build it from substandard parts to maximise profit, don't trim the staff down to the point where people are working 10-12 hour days in order to streamline labour costs, don't nix safety procedures to cut down running costs, don't economise on maintenance in order to minimise running costs, don't run the reactors at or above than rated maximum capacity in order to increase profitability or suck up to your bo

  • What would I be doing without sites like Slashdot pointing out basic arithmetic for me in the summaries of their home page? Thinking, that's what!
  • 600 sievert / second sounds an awful lot!
    • ? The upper limit to radiation? Well at a certain density of radiation flux, matter itself is spontaneously being created. Such as near the surface of a black hole.

  • Genom Corporation is proud to anounce that they are working on their new generation of Robots, the Voomers, to handle this and other situations like it.

  • But we have been assured that things are under control and it is only the conspiracy theory nut jobs that keep claiming that thing there are far worse than Japan is willing yo admit.
    • Things are under control.

      The radiation problem is inside the containment building (you know, where it's supposed to be), and so far has harmed exactly zero of the general public.

      And if it stays that way for the next century (it won't - that's what half-life means, after all), the general public will have sustained an estimated zero casualties as a result.

      Do remember that police officers in the USA have shot more black males than in the last year than all the deaths due to nuclear power in the USA (I'd in

  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:09AM (#53844331)

    We need a radiation cleanup robot cleanup robot.

  • That's pretty stupid.

    The third most obvious thing to do would be to send in a robot with a tether, and include a fiber optic cable, and have the camera outside with the pneumatic drivers for the pneumatic servos and other equipment actually on the robot, making the robot entirely free of all electronics, other than lights.

    The second most obvious thing to do would be to load all the spent fuel that's contributing to the ongoing radiation leakage onto the end of a long train, and distribute them around to all

    • Fiber optics goes black very quickly in high radiation.

      Getting the extremely radioactive and hot fuel onto a train would be rather tricky.

      Burying in cement is not a bad idea, but they probably need to make sure that the radioactivity isn't generating so much heat that it would melt its way out of an enclosure.

      • Fiber optics goes black very quickly in high radiation.

        Organic plastic, yes; glass light-pipe (old-school, like that used in 1976 Buick Station Wagon instrument lighting): not a problem.

        Getting the extremely radioactive and hot fuel onto a train would be rather tricky.

        Pneumatic/hydraulic remote manipulators: no electronics to fry, and it's outside, so telescopic cameras would be good enough. Plus if they go into large tanks of water on the train, it's not going to boil off in time for it to matter, and a couple meters of water will stop all the hard radiation.

        Burying in cement is not a bad idea, but they probably need to make sure that the radioactivity isn't generating so much heat that it would melt its way out of an enclosure.

        They could talk to the Russians; they've dealt with it before, successfully, with a

        • They could talk to the Russians; they've dealt with it before, successfully, with a hotter meltdown.

          Do we actually know how hot it got? We're still counting on Tepco to tell us, which history tells us means that any statistics we're working with are lies.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Cement lets a lot of water through. Even a glass will do that over time. What you are looking for is Synroc IMHO.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Tiny electronics motors with incredibly fine control is easy. Tiny hydraulics with incredibly fine control, not so much. What you suggest sounds wonderful but there would be an awful lot of invention of components instead of getting bits off the shelf.
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:27AM (#53844411)

    Or rather, excessively more expensive once reality demonstrates the inadequacy of ElCheapo risk management and risk avoidance. Interestingly, cost comparisons never include these factors. If humanity were not so stupid as a group, the refusal of all insurers to ever cover nuclear reactors should have been a really large hint. And we have not even started to tackle the problem of dismantling non-melted down reactors and storing spend fuel. Fun for the next few 1'000 or so generations to come!

    • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @01:32AM (#53844665)

      How will space colonization ever takeoff if the Earth is not made uninhabitable?

    • by DamonHD ( 794830 )

      And we have not even started to tackle the problem of dismantling non-melted down reactors and storing spend fuel.

      I don't understand your claim "not even started".

      What about (say) Dounreay and the work of the NDA?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Rgds

      Damon

    • Let's do a cost comparison as you suggest. Here's a graph of nuclear power generation [world-nuclear.org] over the last 45 years. Generation has been about 2300 TWh per year for the last 20 years. The 25 years before that ramped up roughly as a triangle, so call it 2200/2 = 1100 TWh per year average.

      This gives us a total of 73,500 TWh generated by nuclear power over the last 45 years. 20*2300 + 25*(2200/2) = 73500.

      Using a global average electricity price of $0.20 per kWh, this is $14.7 trillion dollars worth of electric
      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        $436 billion / $14.7 trillion = 0.02966. Or about 3%.

        You are yet to defend these figures from from the last time you posted it. [slashdot.org]

        Chernoby cleanup costs (current and future) are estimated to total $235 billion, Fukushima is estimated to be around $200 billion. Three Mile Island was about $1 billion.

        This is the cost to *ESTABLISH* cleaning up Chernobyl, how do you support that these are the current and future costs? We have not established the clean-up costs for Fukushima, only estimated, incurring and accumu

      • by Uecker ( 1842596 )

        It is a bit arbitrary definition of "major" to include only Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Miles Island. There have been many other major accidents (some more serious than TMI) and many smaller ones. Also "cleanup" costs do certainly not include all costs to society. But anyway, nuclear is not economical anyway. We are just talking about how much less economical it would be, if properly insured.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        Nuclear plants generate massive amounts of power. You need about 10 coal plants to equal a single nuclear plant

        False equivalence.
        You are comparing entire power stations with several reactor units to individual units inside coal fired power stations.
        Shame on you.

        This type of argument one of the reasons why there is such distrust of nuclear power. You are making it worse for the technology that you are advocating.

  • ... or more:

    - Why the fuck didn't they hang a Geiger counter on the robot?
    -- Maybe they don't have one that's any tougher than their robot eye
    -- Maybe they don't wanna know
    -- Maybe they think they know and don't want to alarm anyone.

    - Where are the +5 comments?
    -- I'm serious
    -- I want to learn something
    -- The current crop of comments (including mine) are not helpful

    Thanks.

    • They don't have a geiger counter because geiger counters don't have a range high enough to be able to measure that level of radiation.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @12:15PM (#53845999)

    530 sieverts per hour is an insane level of radiation.

    Since 1 Sv = 100 rem, we're talking about 53,000 REM per hour, a level that would indeed kill you dead in under a minute.

    For scale and comparison, the average dental x-ray image exposes you to only about 2 or 3 millirem.

    So....530 sieverts per hour is like getting ~26,500,000 dental x-rays in an hour.

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