New Finnish reactor lacks 'a proper design that meets the basic principles of nuclear safety'

Posted by jossc — 14 May 2009 at 11:16am - Comments

The new EPR site at Olkiluoto, Finland

The OL3 European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) project, under construction at Olkiluoto, Finland, is seen by the nuclear industry as the blueprint for a new generation of reactors they'd like to see being built all over the world.

Already well behind schedule and way over cost, serious problems were uncovered two days ago in the primary coolant pipes, only a week after documents leaked to Finnish media revealed that designs for the most vital and fundamental part of this untried and untested nuclear reactor - the safety systems - are still not yet in place.

Read more on our Nuclear Reaction blog »

Greenpeace calls for cancellation of Olkiluoto constuction permit »

It seems that the Finns have learened nothing from the nuclear disaster in ther near negbour's in the Ukrain when one of their reactors entered meltdown the result of which is still felt round the world many years after.In Wales in the UK hill farmers are still not allowed to sell their livestock because of radiation.I for one don't care if the Finns blow themselves up by I do object to them taking the rest of us with them.

Please see:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17pUBYESQBk
Please also do your homework and check you history. Global warming is NOT occuring. Even if it were it would be a change that has occured throughout history and always will. It is not the fault of the human being as we only cause 0.5% of the carbon emmissions. Stop being fooled by this because all you are doing is enabling the elites to make money on carbon taxes (ie. taxing the air we breathe - I used to joke about this but now it's happening).
I accept that the very elites who will profit from carbon taxes are the ones destroying the environment but that is different to global warming. Please do your research because if you continue along this path of global warming you will be putting us all in danger - the elites are a threat to us and you are helping them!

Hey, As a conscious decision I'm no longer going to bother arguing with people who state that climate change isn't happening, etc. Do your research, or take a moment, step back, try and see your argument objectively, and ask yourself what makes you right, and the entire credible scientific community of peer review wrong. Cheers, Christian @ GPUK

So you think global warming is not occurring.
So why bother posting a comment on an article about the safety of a nuclear reactor??

Worried about criticism of nuclear energy?

Doesn't seem much point really if you don't believe in AGW.
But then logic has never been a strong point in the denialsphere.

To be honest, I don't think that it matters if there is some doubt weather Global Warming is actually occurring. What matters, is that the consequences of taking action when we didn't need to are dwarfed by the consequences of not acting when we did need to.

And besides, taking action would mean that the air in cities would be much better, there would be very few cars on the road, people would be happier and obesity levels would drop, and we'd as a whole be more active. Not to mention that there's a little thing called "Peak Oil." Look it up sometime.

Hey TransitionEggman,

You're quite right - in acting now we've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

But there isn't any doubt that the planet is actually warming up as CO2 levels rise...

Cheers,

Christian
@ GPUK

*Big Yawn*

More melodrama about nuclear reactors. Will they all 'blow up' ??? Nonsense.

How about a news article on Finnish nuclear reactors that explains how Finland could provide alternative power supplies ?

This anti nuclear stuff is old news and completely lost in the bigger climate change picture.

Move on and try and convince me you have a real alternative to Nuclear in the short term. I'm waiting......

Hi SteveJL,

Glad that you think building any kind of power plant - or any large infrastructure project, in fact - without proper plans for safety systems can be dismissed as 'nonsense'. But, I guess once you've nailed your colours to the mast as a nuclear cheerleader, who cares about fairly straightforward breaches of health and safety?

It's interesting that you're trying to suggest nuclear is the obvious choice when it comes to the 'bigger climate change picture'. I don't personally think that the weight of evidence points to me needing to convince you that there's a 'real alternative to nuclear in the short term'. Real alternative to nuclear? I think *you* need to persuade *me* that nuclear has any role whatsoever in our future energy mix.

Put aside the questionable safety record, the fact that we still have no plan for what to do with the waste, the link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation. You don't even need to consider any of that stuff to realise that nuclear is a waste of time - because of the need to cut our emissions quickly.

The bottom line is we in the UK are committed to cutting our emissions 80% by 2050. We're committed to cutting emissions 34% by 2020. That's in 11 years time.

If you think we'll have any nuclear reactors built by 2020, you're dreaming. Experience shows that nuclear is not in any sense a technology that can be effortlessly deployed to help us in the 'short term'. Like it or not, reactors take a long time to build. There's a pretty comprehensive record of grand plans announced to build large numbers of reactors always get scaled down massively (Sizewell B, anyone?). If we doubled the size of our nuclear fleet, the most we could expect to cut emissions by is about 8%. And how much time and energy would we have spent to achieve that?

The 'real alternative' as you put it, is, like it or not, using a mix of renewables and energy efficiency measures to dramatically cut our carbon emissions - quickly and cheaply. There's no one word answer. But I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you're suggesting that there can be any such thing. Big power plants feel like an easy answer, whether they're coal or nuclear, because it's how we've always done it. But do the maths, consider the economics, and get a dose of historical context, and it's pretty clear that they ain't going to cut it.

You'll notice I'm not referencing any of this stuff. As I said, the onus is on you to persuade me that nuclear isn't a waste of time, not the other way round. If you (or anyone else), would like to send me any papers or reports which you feel back up your position, please do:

christian.hunt [at] greenpeace.org

I'll read them, and get back to you.

Cheers,

Christian @ GPUK

(Hey look, I wrote a blog post by accident!)

Since all know a nuclaer reactor radiates harmful radiations which normallly affected workers working at that place.
Construction of such type nuclear reactor will safed workers
working in it and also boosted other to work at nuclear reactor.
Which will be an other option for employment.
Neil Jones

Christian says “There's a pretty comprehensive record of grand plans announced to build large numbers of reactors always get scaled down massively (Sizewell B, anyone?).”

Sizewell B took a long time to build because of deliberate delaying tactics, which Greenpeace are so fond of, which meant the Sizewell inquiry was spun out for ages.

Still, at least we got a bunch of renewables instead of a fleet of new reactors. Oh wait, no we didn’t, we got a bunch of fossil fuel powerstations instead. Nice one Greenpeace.

The same happens everywhere: oppose nuclear power and you end up using fossil fuel instead. It’s happening in Scotland now, because the SNP wants to build a coal plant to replace Hunterston. It is happening in Germany because the Green coalition insists on phasing out nuclear power, and paving the way for 26 new coal plants.

Wake up. Renewables should be used to displace fossil fuel. They should not be squandered simply to displace nuclear. That saves no carbon.

Everybody from the IEA to the IPCC realises that nuclear has to be part of the solution for decarbonising the global energy supply, along with renewables. Even environmental gods such as George Monbiot and Mark Lynas have joined Patrick Moore and James Lovelock in agreeing that there is a role for nuclear power.

If you have not already read it, look at David Mackay’s Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air. It makes the case for nuclear power implicitly. As he says, he is not pro-nuclear, just pro-arithmetic. It is not logistically feasible to replace fossil fuel by using renewables alone anytime soon.

http://www.withouthotair.com/

In this context, every anti-nuclear comment makes the Greenpeace membership sound more and more like apologists for fossil fuel.

The article demonstrates total misunderstanding of reactor design by implying that a safety system is only a component of a reactor. Reactors work by basically being a safety system for a nuclear reaction.

It seems that the Finns have learened nothing from the nuclear disaster in ther near negbour's in the Ukrain when one of their reactors entered meltdown the result of which is still felt round the world many years after.In Wales in the UK hill farmers are still not allowed to sell their livestock because of radiation.I for one don't care if the Finns blow themselves up by I do object to them taking the rest of us with them.

Please see:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17pUBYESQBk Please also do your homework and check you history. Global warming is NOT occuring. Even if it were it would be a change that has occured throughout history and always will. It is not the fault of the human being as we only cause 0.5% of the carbon emmissions. Stop being fooled by this because all you are doing is enabling the elites to make money on carbon taxes (ie. taxing the air we breathe - I used to joke about this but now it's happening). I accept that the very elites who will profit from carbon taxes are the ones destroying the environment but that is different to global warming. Please do your research because if you continue along this path of global warming you will be putting us all in danger - the elites are a threat to us and you are helping them!

Hey, As a conscious decision I'm no longer going to bother arguing with people who state that climate change isn't happening, etc. Do your research, or take a moment, step back, try and see your argument objectively, and ask yourself what makes you right, and the entire credible scientific community of peer review wrong. Cheers, Christian @ GPUK

So you think global warming is not occurring. So why bother posting a comment on an article about the safety of a nuclear reactor?? Worried about criticism of nuclear energy? Doesn't seem much point really if you don't believe in AGW. But then logic has never been a strong point in the denialsphere.

To be honest, I don't think that it matters if there is some doubt weather Global Warming is actually occurring. What matters, is that the consequences of taking action when we didn't need to are dwarfed by the consequences of not acting when we did need to. And besides, taking action would mean that the air in cities would be much better, there would be very few cars on the road, people would be happier and obesity levels would drop, and we'd as a whole be more active. Not to mention that there's a little thing called "Peak Oil." Look it up sometime.

Hey TransitionEggman, You're quite right - in acting now we've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain. But there isn't any doubt that the planet is actually warming up as CO2 levels rise... Cheers, Christian @ GPUK

*Big Yawn* More melodrama about nuclear reactors. Will they all 'blow up' ??? Nonsense. How about a news article on Finnish nuclear reactors that explains how Finland could provide alternative power supplies ? This anti nuclear stuff is old news and completely lost in the bigger climate change picture. Move on and try and convince me you have a real alternative to Nuclear in the short term. I'm waiting......

Hi SteveJL, Glad that you think building any kind of power plant - or any large infrastructure project, in fact - without proper plans for safety systems can be dismissed as 'nonsense'. But, I guess once you've nailed your colours to the mast as a nuclear cheerleader, who cares about fairly straightforward breaches of health and safety? It's interesting that you're trying to suggest nuclear is the obvious choice when it comes to the 'bigger climate change picture'. I don't personally think that the weight of evidence points to me needing to convince you that there's a 'real alternative to nuclear in the short term'. Real alternative to nuclear? I think *you* need to persuade *me* that nuclear has any role whatsoever in our future energy mix. Put aside the questionable safety record, the fact that we still have no plan for what to do with the waste, the link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons proliferation. You don't even need to consider any of that stuff to realise that nuclear is a waste of time - because of the need to cut our emissions quickly. The bottom line is we in the UK are committed to cutting our emissions 80% by 2050. We're committed to cutting emissions 34% by 2020. That's in 11 years time. If you think we'll have any nuclear reactors built by 2020, you're dreaming. Experience shows that nuclear is not in any sense a technology that can be effortlessly deployed to help us in the 'short term'. Like it or not, reactors take a long time to build. There's a pretty comprehensive record of grand plans announced to build large numbers of reactors always get scaled down massively (Sizewell B, anyone?). If we doubled the size of our nuclear fleet, the most we could expect to cut emissions by is about 8%. And how much time and energy would we have spent to achieve that? The 'real alternative' as you put it, is, like it or not, using a mix of renewables and energy efficiency measures to dramatically cut our carbon emissions - quickly and cheaply. There's no one word answer. But I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you're suggesting that there can be any such thing. Big power plants feel like an easy answer, whether they're coal or nuclear, because it's how we've always done it. But do the maths, consider the economics, and get a dose of historical context, and it's pretty clear that they ain't going to cut it. You'll notice I'm not referencing any of this stuff. As I said, the onus is on you to persuade me that nuclear isn't a waste of time, not the other way round. If you (or anyone else), would like to send me any papers or reports which you feel back up your position, please do: christian.hunt [at] greenpeace.org I'll read them, and get back to you. Cheers, Christian @ GPUK (Hey look, I wrote a blog post by accident!)

Since all know a nuclaer reactor radiates harmful radiations which normallly affected workers working at that place. Construction of such type nuclear reactor will safed workers working in it and also boosted other to work at nuclear reactor. Which will be an other option for employment. Neil Jones

Christian says “There's a pretty comprehensive record of grand plans announced to build large numbers of reactors always get scaled down massively (Sizewell B, anyone?).” Sizewell B took a long time to build because of deliberate delaying tactics, which Greenpeace are so fond of, which meant the Sizewell inquiry was spun out for ages. Still, at least we got a bunch of renewables instead of a fleet of new reactors. Oh wait, no we didn’t, we got a bunch of fossil fuel powerstations instead. Nice one Greenpeace. The same happens everywhere: oppose nuclear power and you end up using fossil fuel instead. It’s happening in Scotland now, because the SNP wants to build a coal plant to replace Hunterston. It is happening in Germany because the Green coalition insists on phasing out nuclear power, and paving the way for 26 new coal plants. Wake up. Renewables should be used to displace fossil fuel. They should not be squandered simply to displace nuclear. That saves no carbon. Everybody from the IEA to the IPCC realises that nuclear has to be part of the solution for decarbonising the global energy supply, along with renewables. Even environmental gods such as George Monbiot and Mark Lynas have joined Patrick Moore and James Lovelock in agreeing that there is a role for nuclear power. If you have not already read it, look at David Mackay’s Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air. It makes the case for nuclear power implicitly. As he says, he is not pro-nuclear, just pro-arithmetic. It is not logistically feasible to replace fossil fuel by using renewables alone anytime soon. http://www.withouthotair.com/ In this context, every anti-nuclear comment makes the Greenpeace membership sound more and more like apologists for fossil fuel.

The article demonstrates total misunderstanding of reactor design by implying that a safety system is only a component of a reactor. Reactors work by basically being a safety system for a nuclear reaction.

About Joss

Bass player and backing vox in the four piece beat combo that is the UK Greenpeace Web Experience. In my 6 years here I've worked on almost every campaign and been fascinated by them all to varying degrees. Just now I'm working on Peace and Oceans - which means getting rid of our Trident nuclear weapons system and creating large marine reserves so that marine life can get some protection from overfishing.

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