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Cambridge March 2001 PowerPoint Presentation
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Cambridge March 2001

Cambridge March 2001

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Cambridge March 2001

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  1. Reason for Supporting Nuclear Power Richard Wilson Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics (emeritus) Harvard University Cambridge March 2001

  2. 1939Nuclear fission discovered (Hahn and Strassman)Neutron chain reactionpossibility shown! (Joliot, Halban and Kowarski)Euphoria!The "nuclear age" had come! Cambridge March 20th

  3. 10,000,000 times more energy per unit weight of fuel compared to coal.Less miningChemical processing before use possibleChemical processing after use possibleWaste can be kept out of the environmentEven if only U 235 (0.7%) is useda factor of 100,000But bombs 10,000,000 times more powerful are possible. -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  4. The energy from burning is more concentrated in a nuclear reactor. We run at a power level so that water can take the heat away make steam and generate electricity. This concentration makes it cheaper

  5. Easy to shut down a reactor in an accident. BUTAfter nuclear fission has stopped:heat is still 8% of full owerAfter 10 hours it is 1% But not down to 0.1% for a year.We need to remove this heat or the fuel will melt and release radioactivity

  6. Nuclear Power has led the way in thinking about large accidents1949 DEFENSE IN DEPTH1976 FORMAL EVENT TREE ANALYSISLearning from mistakes

  7. Multiple Barriers between fuel and usFuel in pellets which hold much of itpellets in zircium rods which are tightrods in water in pressure vesselpressure vessel in containmentBUTKeep water there to cool

  8. The possible NightmareTheft or "Diversion"of enough fuel to make aBOMB! 9 countries have made bombs None have a bomb made with reactor fuel IIS TOO EASY TO DO IT DIRECTLY A world wide nuclear power community can create the openness that is a major (maybe ultimately the only deterrent) North Cambridge March 20th

  9. DEMAND FOR ENERGY1970Demand increasing(particularly electricity)electricity use X 2 every 9 yrs.President Kennedy advocatedcheap energyoil and gas prices were droppingpolitically and morally acceptable to "spend" energy North Cambridge March 20th

  10. Since 1973 demand increase has slowed BUTa 30% increase in world demand for oil is expected within 15 years

  11. COALEnough for 300 years in USnone in JapanOILLikely Supply in Saudi Arabia flatteningGASMore than we thought especially if we crack underground rocksSOLAROf course solar has always been our major source but solar electricity still minimal and expensiveNUCLEAR FISSIONFuel for 100,000 years

  12. Issues are:EnvironmentalCost

  13. COAL is cheap in US and transportation costs reduced in last 20 yearsOIL is too cheap at $100/bbl easy to transport. GAS cost is tied to oilSOLAR Electrcity still double other costsNUCLEAR cost depends on us

  14. Busbar Cost of Nuclear Energy 1971 and 2002 Costs in mills (1/10 cent)Description 2002 1971Unit investment cost of plant, dollars/kw. $1700$255Annual capital charge rate per year 0.13 0.13 kilowatt-hours generated per year per kw. capacity 7,446 5,256Cost of electricity, mills/kwh.: Plant investment 29.76.31Operation and Maintenance 15.0 0.38 Fuel 2.051.87TOTAL 46.758.56 North Cambridge March 20th

  15. 1998 operating cost1.4 cents/kWhe (S.Texas)1.5 cents/kWhe (Seabrook)1.7 cents/kWhe (Palo Verde)1.9 cents/kWhe (Av.USA) (McKoy) -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  16. PUBLIC PERCEPTION DOMINATES NUCLEAR CONSTRUCTION COSTS

  17. LARGE ACCIDENTS1948 DEFENSE IN DEPTH (multiple barriers)1976 formal analysis of events1979 TMI1986 Chernobyl 2011 Fukushima

  18. PUBLIC PERCEPTION CHANGES 1973 Arab oil embargo1979 Iraq- Iran war 2000 Climate change concerns2011 Fukishima -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  19. Major disasters500,000 Fatal cancers caused by arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh from exposures already accumulated200,000 Earthquake in Haiti20,000 Earthquake and Tsunami in JapanFatal cancers from Chernobyl in next 60 years (calculated probabilistically)4,000 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine20,000 world wide6,000/yr Cancers from Natural Background in US0 Cancer fatalities from Three Mile IslandMy prediction 0-1 from Fukushima

  20. UNDERSTANDING HISTORY“He who does not understand history is condemned to repeat it”What have we learned? And what will we learn from Fukushima? North Cambridge March 20th

  21. Effect of accidental doses. Radiation dose of 300 Rems (3Sv) or more within a week leads to ACUTE RADIATION SICKNESS the body fails within weeks. At Chernobyl about 200 plant workers and firemen got this much and officially 31 died. No one in the general public got acute radiation sickness.This happened at no other nuclear power accident

  22. If someone gets a dose just less than 200 Rems over a period of years then he or she has a 10%-20% addition to his cancer rate. This of course is about what one gets from cigarette smoking. NO INDIVIDUAL can be identified from the Chernobyl area who we know got his cancer from radiation. For low doses we calculate probabilisticallyWe should do this also for chemicals, air pollution etc.but do not always do so

  23. On Saturday 12th March the operators had no outside helpAll helicopters doing more important workno one to immediately reconnect electricityBy Thursday March 17thelectricity reonnected helicopters available.Water started cooling eveythingMy prediction (made first on March 12th):Few, maybe no one will get Acute Radiation Sickness. With no large cesium releases the number of CALCULATED cancers will be close to zero

  24. At FukushimaAll operating reactors shut down when the eatrthquake cameNo offsite poer: but battery operated emergency systems and emergency diesels worked for 1 hour (maybe more)Then water boiled away till after an hour or to fuel began to meltZat 19000 degrees F zirconium oxidizes leaving hydrogen behindWHY DID THEY DELAY PUTTING IN SEA WATER?Salt water corrodes and the plant will never operate again

  25. THE MEDIA PANICKED ON WEDNESDAY. I DID NOT(1) The staff at the Fukushima power plant seem to have got over the initial shock and seem to be behaving well and even heroically(2) The decay heat that must be removed has gone down from 8% of full power to less than 1% although it is now dropping more slowly(3) The hydrogen explosions have been outside the reactor containments and have not stopped cooling the core(4) More helicopters are now available from a multitude of international sources to do what is necessary(5) Although it is hard to get precise information from the power plants (I do not have the telephone number of the control room as I had at TMI) the Japanese are hiding nothing and are asking for help.(6) There is a reliable report that electricity has been available since Thursday at the plant site(7) The pessimistic report of NRC Chairman Jazco to a US Senate committee on Wednesday was contradicted by the Japanese because he had his facts wrong.

  26. Fatal cancers caused by arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh 500,000Earthquake in Haiti 200,000Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan 20,000Fatal cancers from Chernobyl in next 60 years (calculated)4,000 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine20,000 world wideFatal cancers from Natural Background in US6,000 per yearCancer fatalities from Three Mile Island 0cancers from Fukushima 0cancer increase from evacuation (1% or 1,400)

  27. Thank you for your attentionMy notes on Fukushimahttp://physics.harvard.edu/~wilson/Japanese_reactors.html

  28. ????????????The early plants were TURNKEY. Construction costs generally have risen since 1970 We had good management and personnel in 1972 - now we don’tMandated retrofits after TMI????????? -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  29. Over-regulation(Towers and Perrin 1995)Prescriptive not PerformanceDresden-II staff 250 (1975) -> 1,300+ (1997)unnecessary safety-grade equipment -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  30. INCREASING FOSSIL FUEL1850 coal will run out in 30 years!1912 UK control of Anglo-Iranian1947 UK electricity rationing 1962 (King Hubbert) - 90% of oil discovered (in the USA)1978 (Vienna) UK Cabinet MinisterN. Sea oil < 1 million bbl/day(all gone in 20 years - today)yet: 1999 N. Sea 4 million bbl/day2011 Cracking underground rocksfor natural gas -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  31. Is excessive regulation inevitable?YES: unless the utility industry fights in the courts as much as the antinukes.Is there hope?Chairman Jackson emphasized that this area is vitalAm I optimistic?NO!There is no proof that people are sensible -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  32. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORSforair pollutionglobal warming(Meeting Kyoto commitments) we do not need the breeder reactor. -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  33. 1998 construction cost$1,690 per MWe(GE reactor in Taiwan)four cents per kWheMUCH higher than $600/MWe -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  34. The LONGER TERMIf promises are met for:safetyproliferation resistance costa fast neutron reactorwill be usefulfor waste disposalefficiencyYEAR 2100 + -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  35. -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  36. -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  37. "Fermi's dream!”Benedict’s conclusion (1991)The expensive uranium would increase cost 50%Build a Breeder as soon as Possible! -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  38. "Fermi's dream!”Breeder reactor U 238 -> Pu 239 (100 times as much energy per gram)High efficiency in fuel use Transuranic elements consumedWaste fission productsT1/2 < 30 years -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  39. FAST NEUTRON REACTOR IMPROVEMENTSFuel burn up (metal fuel) was 1%NOW > 20%SAFERCheaperPyroprocessing possible(proliferation resistance)WHY DIDN’T THE COSTS COME DOWN? -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  40. THE THORIUM CYCLE1959Indian Point designed to allow thorium Thorium reserves = 6 xUranium reserves -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  41. The interpretation of theBenedict/OECD numbers has changedBusbar cost is now 5 c/kwhThe difference in costis negligible -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  42. Only uranium 235 fissionable by slow neutronsOnly 3 suppliersJoachimstal, Czechoslovakia Union Minière, CongoEldorado mining Co, CanadaThe "nuclear age" was to be short lived! -North Cambridge MArch 20th

  43. Fissionable elements: A = 4N - 1(Bohr and Wheeler)Plutonium 239 discovered(Seaborg, McMillan, Ramannod and Wahl)Uranium 233 and others discoveredMcMillan and Seaborg - Nobel prize "Fermi's dream!" -North Cambridge MArch 20th