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Author Topic: Vertical Wind Turbine
Godot
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A wonderful design for a wind turbine that is more efficient than propeller models, smaller and doesn't smack birds out of the sky.

* 2.5 - 3.5 cents/kw-h
(convention energy sources = 4-6 cents/kw-h)
* works in a much broader range of wind speeds
* less noise
* less obtrusive
* scalable

Hope this is all they says it is. If so, it will revolutionize wind power.

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Adjudicator
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This seems to be a really good idea. As I recall, australia is building one of these to try out. I really hope that they succeed spectacularly.
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JoshuaD
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How soon do you think it will be until the wind turbine stops being the savior of the environmental movement and becomes the scourge?

You can't slow that much wind down without causing serious environmental repercussions.

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Wayward Son
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It will take a while, Josh. After all, there is a lot of wind. And we would only be harnessing (initially) the wind close to the ground. [Smile]
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tonylovern
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what possible negative effect could slowing the wind down have? i understand that it would slow down weather cycles, lock moisture into a region, it wouldn't have stayed in before. but how would these things negate the benefits of more energy sources?
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Koner
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Windfarms are going to become huge eyesores if the technology is embraced. Putting up one or two turbines hear and there isn't really going to help much.

I was wondering about how/if this would effect weather patterns. I would imagine that it would take some very large windfarms to make much of a difference though. But who knows, that whole butterfly effect thing. I don't see these as having anywhere near the environmental/ecological impact that hydroelectric power plants have.

What really concerns me about the windfarms is where they are going to be located. They certainly aren't going to be placed in the suberbs of large cities because the will be huge ugly places. This means that they are going to be put out in the open country where the rural folks who are largely outnumbered are going to have to deal with them blocking their view.

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The Drake
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It's a better idea than my immigrant gerbil-wheel, whereby the mexican border is plugged not by a fence, but by enormous energy capturing cylinders...

They refused my grant.

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Koner
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quote:
It's a better idea than my immigrant gerbil-wheel, whereby the mexican border is plugged not by a fence, but by enormous energy capturing cylinders
Once they generate a certain number of kilowats of electricity they are granted a green card?
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Jordan
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And why would wind turbines slow down wind more than, say, skyscrapers, forests, cliff-faces, mountains etc.?
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canadian
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Slowing the wind down?

Is this scientifically proven?

I lived in Southern Alberta for years and they have been planting wind farms there like they are going out of style. I don't think anyone has commented on the lack of wind from a couple thousand wind turbines. Wouldn't trees slow down the wind even more?

Doesn't the fact that they are only, at best, 200 meters high massively minimize their influence on an atmosphere stretching kilometers in height?

[ February 01, 2006, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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Koner
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According to the article older types of windturbines extract between 20 and 30% of the energy in wind. These newer verticle designs are capable of removing over 40% of the winds energy. I'm not sure of the energy efficiency of skyscrapers and natural obstructions but I kinda doubt its anwhere near 40%. Its all about energy conversion. Steal 40+% of an airmass's energy and it would tend to effect at least the local weather patterns I would think.
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Kent
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In Utah, right off the freeway, there is a wind turbine similar to the one shown in the illustration; used to power an individual's home/farm. It has been there for well over 10 years and it looks fine.
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DonaldD
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So why not turn these things loose where they're needed most - around trailor parks in hurricane zones?
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Koner
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Kent, its not the one or two of them that are here and there that are the eyesore. Its the giant windfarms where there are going to be hundreds of them planted side by side that are going to be ugly eyesores. Check out this picture.

It might not look too bad, but would you want to see it out your living room window for the next 40 years?

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canadian
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Better than nothing at all.
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Lifewish
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I'd wager that the slowing effects of wind turbines are nothing compared to the vortexes created by skyscrapers. The motive energy of the air gets converted into smaller and smaller cycles of turbulence and eventually becomes heat once it's disordered enough.

So the only effect that a wind turbine will have versus a house is that the energy becomes electricity rather than directly becoming heat. In this age of global warming, that's probably no bad thing.

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The Drake
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I'd much prefer graceful wind turbines instead of a grubby blank hillside. You could paint them in delightful colors. (Why are they always white?)

In fact, you could get corporate sponsorship - look outside your window:

pepsi...whoosh...

pepsi...whoosh...

pepsi...whoosh...

pepsi...whoosh...

pepsi...whoosh...

pepsi...whoosh...

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canadian
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What is this 'whoosh' product? It sounds fantastic!

[ February 01, 2006, 03:35 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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Richard Dey
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Well, I wasn't impressed with Mary-Sue Halliburton, the copy editor. "She does much more than catch errors in writing ...," but didn't catch enough!

A neighbor of mine has a VWT LLC. http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2004/Feb/1024329.htm It's amazingly quiet -- but it cost him about $350K; on the other hand, that's only 10% of his house cost, so -- what the hell! especially with power down about 10-15% of the time. He faces the trades, so most of it he can sell.

I just hate the propellar models. They make the ground shake, they're electrostatic beyond belief, and they're just ugly. They should go the way of windmills in Holland -- tied down because of the racket.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Koner:
Kent, its not the one or two of them that are here and there that are the eyesore. Its the giant windfarms where there are going to be hundreds of them planted side by side that are going to be ugly eyesores. Check out this picture.

It might not look too bad, but would you want to see it out your living room window for the next 40 years?

Actually, yeah, to some extent.
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The Drake
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New Pepsi Whoosh! Collected from our environmentally friendly wind farms, Pepsi Whoosh has ZERO calories, ZERO additives, and ZERO preservatives. In a head to head taste test against Coke Extreme Air, Pepsi Whoosh was preferred by 3 out of 4 testers! When the smog has got you down, open up a can of Whoosh!

[they gotta do something with all that slow air]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
It might not look too bad, but would you want to see it out your living room window for the next 40 years?
I'd prefer that over a strip mine extracting coal, or an oil rig off the coast.
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Richard Dey
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At least there's fresh coffee at the oil rig off the coast; the windmills off the coast (of Cape Cod) will offer nothing but fog horns. [Wink]

That was a joke. A foghorn is 1 part cranberry juice, 1 part blueberry liqueur, 1 part vodka, a twist of something I forget.

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canadian
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Because I simply had to know...

FOGHORN
1 oz Vodka
1 oz cherry mix \ 1/2 sweet sour mix \ 1/2 cranberry juice
ice (shake) \ rocks
Add 2 oz flavor mix or Schnapps for a Cherry,
Peach, Blackberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, or
Wildberry Foghorn

Can one substitute Coke Extreme Air?

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Cytania
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Better eyesores than plutonium cancers!
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nemes_ie
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What about offshore windfarms? This one is a few km offshore, decreasing the aesthetic problems considerably

Offshore windfarm

It's not huge at the moment, but was meant to be a proof-of-concept design. I appreciate that the US, having a far larger landmass, has conseridably less shore, relatively speaking, but, isn't most of the population along the coasts? Also, what about the Gulf- if oilrigs can stand up to most hurricanes, surely wind farms can too.

GS

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Koner
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quote:
Better eyesores than plutonium cancers!
Over the course of your life you will recieve FAR more radiation exposure from medical X-rays than you will from a nuclear power plant. After working in the nuclear power industry operating and maintaining nuclear reactors for 16 years my total whole body exposure to ionizing radiation from a nuclear reactor is only 678mrem. 678MILLIREM spread over 16 years is nothing. A chest x-ray at the doctors office will give you about 60mrem.

Source

quote:
By far, the most significant source of man-made radiation exposure to the public is from medical procedures, such as diagnostic x-rays, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy. Some of the major isotopes are I-131, Tc-99m, Co-60, Ir-192, and Cs-137.

In addition, members of the public are exposed to radiation from consumer products, such as tobacco (polonium-210), building materials, combustible fuels (gas, coal, etc.), ophthalmic glass, televisions, luminous watches and dials (tritium), airport x-ray systems, smoke detectors (americium), road construction materials, electron tubes, fluorescent lamp starters, lantern mantles (thorium), etc.

So avoid going to the doctor, wearing watches, smoking cigarettes. Remove the flourescent lamps and smoke detectors from your house. And don't drive on the roads because you are going to get far more radiation from those natural sources than you will from the nuclear power industry.

quote:
This chart shows that of the total dose of about 360 millirems/year, natural sources of radiation account for about 81 percent of all public exposure, while man-made sources account for the remaining 19 percent.
So 19% of your total annual exposure to radiation is from man made sources (about 75mrem/year). Of which, exposure from nuclear power plants is the minority contributor.

60 years of research has now been done on the survivors of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The research has shown that other than a SLIGHTLY higher incidence of cancer they have shown no other abnormal long term health effects from the very large accute doses of radiation they received that measured in REM, in some cases hundreds of REM.

You really need not concern yourself about cancer from nuclear power.

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Cytania
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And to that Koner all I can say is... Chernobyl. How much radiation did I absorb from that? (Given that the UK was in the wind shadow for months afterwards)

No one has to argue about what windfarms are doing to people even a few yards way from them and when they're decommisioned you just send in a couple of guys with harnesses and a welding torch.

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Koner
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quote:
And to that Koner all I can say is... Chernobyl. How much radiation did I absorb from that? (Given that the UK was in the wind shadow for months afterwards)

Here is the answer to your question about how much radiation you received in the UK from Chernobyl Cytania.

Source


quote:
Radiation has the same effect, whether from natural or man-made sources. Most people receive their greatest exposure to radiation from the naturally-occurring radioactive gas radon. It is produced as a result of the decay of uranium - which is present in all rocks and soils. We all breathe it every day and it accounts for about 50 per cent of our total radiation dose.

In fact, about 85 per cent of our total dose is the result of naturally-occurring radiation. Medical sources, such as x-rays, account for a further 14 per cent. The fall-out from past nuclear weapons tests and incidents such as Chernobyl amount to 0.2 per cent and discharges from the nuclear industry (including AWE) total much less than 0.1 per cent.

In the United Kingdom, therefore, the average member of the public receives 5,500 times as much radiation from natural sources as he or she does from the entire nuclear industry.

The rate of decay of radioactive atoms (or radioactivity) in any material is measured in Becquerels - named after Henri Becquerel, who discovered radioactivity more than 100 years ago. One Becquerel is equivalent to one atom decaying every second - about what you would expect to find in a gram of coffee. Sixty Becquerels is the average amount of decay of natural potassium-40 in every kilogram of the average person. That means that 60 potassium atoms decay in every kilogram of our body weight every second.

Radiation doses are expressed in terms of energy deposited in the body by radiation. It is usually measured in units called Millisieverts and Microsieverts. A Millisievert is approximately the radiation dose from five modern medical x-rays, or that received from 100 three hour flights in a jet aircraft. A Microsievert is 1,000 times smaller.

The average annual radiation dose from all sources - natural and man-made - for the UK population is 2.6 Millisieverts. In Cornwall, where there is more naturally-occurring radioactive radon gas emanating from uranium-bearing granite rocks in the area, the average total dose rate is 7.8 Millisieverts. Around Aldermaston, where the soil is predominantly chalk and clay, the dose rate - including the tiny fraction from our operations - is lower than the national average at around 2.2 Millisieverts a year.


Not a whole lot. In fact I really hope that you don't live near Cornwall. Because as you can see people who live in Cornwall receive almost 4 times an much radiation from natural sources as people who live in Aldermaston. Regardless of whether you live in Cornwall or Aldermaston though the extra .2% of radiation exposure you have received from the fall-out from past nuclear weapons tests and incidents such as Chernobyl is pretty insignificant.
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Cytania
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Koner, before you start reassuring read these links relating to food contamination from Chernobyl in the UK in the 21st century;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2819769.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1071289.stm

http://www.food.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/2000/jun/cumbriasheepmonitoring

Then read this on Chernobyl;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_accident

Koner your argument is like the sewage company saying to residents right next to it's proposed new treatment plant 'well think how much **** is in your homes, just think of how much **** you get in your lifetime'.

Or perhaps what you are saying is that Chernobyl doesn't matter as it's far away in Russia and all those tens of thousands of displaced Russians can't complain as they aren't actual sick... yet.

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Koner
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Here is a little bit more information about how much radiation the effects of Chernobyl.

Source

I can't copy the text from the pdf file so I'll just refer you to page 15 of the report. In the first paragraph on that page it says that the doses received outside of the former Soviet Union vary depending on where they were from very low doses of a few up to 10's of microsieverts outside of Europe to an upper extreme of 1 or 2 millisieverts in some specific areas in SOME European countries.

Just to refresh your memory, if you live in Cornwall you receive 7.8 millisieverts per year from NATURAL background radiation. Assuming that you are in one of those "specific areas of some European countries" and you received the full 1 or 2 millisieverts of exposure from the initial fallout, you still didn't receive a very large dose from Chernobyl.

I'm used to measuring radiation exposure in Rem and Millirem, so I had to look up what the conversion is from those to Sieverts/millisieverts/microsieverts. 100 millirem = 1 millisievert. So basically in terms of what I am used to seeing if you recieved 1 or 2 millirem exposure from Chernobyl you recieved between 100 and 200 millirem. Going back to my earlier post where I showed what my lifetime exposure to ionizing radiation from operational nuclear reactors is I haven received 6.78 millseiverts over the course of my career as a nuclear power plant operator.

Doing a little bit of math I can see that if I lived in Cornwall and lived to be 80 years old I would receive 624 millisieverts of exposure from naturally occuring sources. Oh my God, I just got another 1 or 2 millisieverts from Chernobyl the end is near!

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Ivan
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It's hysteria like the above (two posts above [Smile] ) that will keep us forever depended on foreign oil....

Cytania- Check the statistics of people dying on oil rigs and in coal mines and then come back and talk to me about the horrors of nuclear power. Or do coal miners and rig workers not matter because they're far away and poor? Megawatt per Megawatt, nuclear power is by far the cheapest and safest and likely has the fewest environmental consequences of any power source around.

As for wind, I find it amuzing that people compalin about the "eye sore" of wind farms and don't seem to mind the "lung sore" of coal plants. And if we are only obsessed with aestetics, I prefer propellers to smog, thank you. You get people going on and on about ending the WoT and when we see an opprotunity to divorce ourselves from dependence on foreign oil (much of which comes from people funneling money to our enemies), they complain about how it might look. I'm reminded of a line from (I think) Clear and Present Danger: We're funding both sides of this war. And one way to stop to to make ourselves less dependant upon foreign oil. Both nuclear and (moreso that I had previously though) wind power give us an opprotunity to do so.

[ February 02, 2006, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: Ivan ]

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Koner
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Cytania, Chernobyl DOES in fact matter very much. It was a significant accident. In fact the worste industrial accident of all time. But it was also COMPLETELY avoidable. It was totally human error that led to the accident. Russian power plant operators were NOT sufficiently trained. They violated their own safety procedures, which directly led to the accident.

From the articles you posted there are 9 farms in Cumbria which have restrictions on them. A total of 11,500 sheep populate those 9 farms. Of those 11,500 sheep:

quote:
"Radiation levels are dropping from the very high levels after the accident in 1986, but we are still seeing one or two sheep each year that exceed our threshold level of 1,000 Becquerels,"
ONE or TWO sheep exceeding thresholds levels is NOTHING. Again, as a resident of the UK, the eposure that you recieve from ALL nuclear tests and incidents such as Chernobyl combined amounts to only .2% of your total exposure to radiation. That is a very very insignificant amount of radiation.
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KnightEnder
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When I came across them in San Francisco I thought they looked pretty cool. They should be all over Oklahoma. That is the windiest place I've ever been. You had to go stand in the porta potties just to get out of the damn wind, and nobody could hit the ball out against the wind. And for some reason every field faced directly into the wind.

KE

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Koner
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I like the idea of the offshore windfarms. Putting a few turbines on the top of tall building in cities is probably a great idea as well. I'm not really against land based windfarms either. I think ANY source of energy that is not coal and oil is a great idea. But I'm also very realistic about the fact that the people in urban areas are NOT going to want them near their cities. This means that the people who live in rural areas are going to be the ones who have to look at them. Its an arguement that is going to happen.
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IrishTD
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I don't really want to try and look this up (work to do, you understand), but IIRC local populations get more radiation from coal-fired power plants than they do from nuke plants.

And has a power company utilizing nukes ever had to buy out a town like AEP did with one of their coal-fired plants (Link) ?

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Richard Dey
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Canadian!! Where the hell is this foghorn, off Prince Rupert someplace? You Canadians get so fancy [Big Grin] .

BTW, whatever happened to the tidal dam generators scheduled for the Passamaquoddy? Did you guys ever build it?

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The Drake
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They should put turbines in the Capitol and finally put the politicians to work on solving the energy crisis. [Smile]

Blah blah blah my esteemed colleague... whoosh

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KonerAtHome
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quote:
but IIRC local populations get more radiation from coal-fired power plants than they do from nuke plants.

I've heard that as well. Supposedly its from the Carbon-14 in the huge piles of coal lying around. But I can't confirm that, nor would I know where to look for it.
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Cytania
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Ivan, oil and coal have never rendered land unusable to the huge acreage and timescales associated with Chernobyl. I also think you are playing with an image of stupid Russian technicians and an overestimation of the Western nuclear industry. Remember Five mile island, it can happen here.

One thing about Russian though is that Ukrainian's and BelaRussians haven't been able to sue their government. Likewise Cumbrian and Welsh sheep farmers aren't able to sue a foreign government.

So you better pray really hard that your confidence in Western nuclear designs and those who monitor it is correct. One real nuclear accident and the US nuclear industry will be sued out of business. Or are states still underwriting all clean up costs? Nothing like government promising to use tax dollars to support an industry that hasn't worked out that it's risk/benefit model doesn't work.

[ February 03, 2006, 05:21 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

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