Lecture 19 - Energy Resources part 5

Lecture 19 - Energy Resources part 5 - Nuclear Power Why no...

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Why no new nuclear power plants in U.S.? Nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl Problems of nuclear waste disposal Continuing proliferation of fissile material High capital cost Nuclear Power
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Chernobyl, April 26, 1986 Operators were testing emergency core cooling system Power rose rapidly Steam explosion followed by hydrogen explosion Graphite moderator began to burn Substantial but inadequate containment structure ~30 workers were subjected to lethal radiation dosages Nuclear Power
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Chernobyl, April 26, 1986 Local people were not informed of danger for several days 115,000 were evacuated I 131 has a half-life of 8 days Thyroid cancers in children increased significantly Twenty years later: UN concluded that other cancers have not shown an increase Psychological stress on evacuees worst health effect Nuclear Power
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Effects of Chernobyl explosion 6 days later Nuclear Power
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Radioactive Waste Repositories Low-level waste Medical or commercial sources equipment, fabric, wood, plastic, glass, sludge, acids Irradiated material from reactors Each state is supposed to have a repository where material will be isolated for 500 years Fifteen sites available Nuclear Power
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