Fallout from Chernobyl 400 million people exposed in 20 countries ChernobylвЂ™s political fallout вЂў Stimulated GorbachevвЂ™s glasnost (openness) вЂў Stimulated nationalism in Ukraine, Belarus, and other republics that lost clean-up workers. вЂў Growth of environmental opposition вЂў Questioning of the heart of technocratic power вЂ“ Soviet leaders were engineers, not lawyers вЂ“ USSR collapsed within 5 years. Radiation and Health вЂў Health effects as a result of radiation exposure: -increased likelihood of cancer -birth defects including long limbs, brain damage, conjoined stillborn twins -reduced immunity -genetic damage 8,000 deaths in 14 years 3.5 million sick, one/third of them children My grandmother, by Luda Death of my life, by Marina Chernobyl is war, by Irena Beauty and the beast, by Helena Nothing escapes radiation, by Irena Chernobyl, our hell, by Eugenia Self-portrait, by Natasha вЂњIt CanвЂ™t Happen HereвЂќ вЂў U.S. reaction to Chernobyl, 1986 вЂ“ Blamed on Communism, graphite reactor вЂў Also Soviet reaction to Three-Mile Island, 1979 вЂ“ Blamed on Capitalism, pressurized-water reactor вЂў No technology 100% safe вЂ“ Three-Mile Island bubble almost burst Three-Mile Island, PA 1979 Health around TMI вЂў In 1979, hundreds of people reported nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and skin rashes. Many pets were reported dead or showed signs of radiation вЂў Lung cancer, and leukemia rates increased 2 to 10 times in areas within 10 miles downwind вЂў Farmers received severe monetary losses due to deformities in livestock and crops after the disaster that are still occurring today. Plants near TMI -lack of chlorophyll -deformed leaf patterns -thick, flat, hollow stems -missing reproductive parts -abnormally large TMI dandelion leaf at right Animals Nearby TMI вЂў Many insects disappeared for years. вЂ“ Bumble bees, carpenter bees, certain type caterpillars, or daddy-long-leg spiders вЂ“ Pheasants and hop toads have disappeared. Nuclear reaction вЂў Chain reaction occurs when a Uranium atom splits вЂў Different reactions вЂ“ Atomic Bomb in a split second вЂ“ Nuclear Power Reactor more controlled, cannot explode like a bomb History of nuclear power 1938вЂ“ Scientists study Uranium nucleus 1941 вЂ“ Manhattan Project begins 1942 вЂ“ Controlled nuclear chain reaction 1945 вЂ“ U.S. uses two atomic bombs on Japan 1949 вЂ“ Soviets develop atomic bomb 1952 вЂ“ U.S. tests hydrogen bomb 1955 вЂ“ First U.S. nuclear submarine вЂњAtoms for PeaceвЂќ Program to justify nuclear technology Proposals for power, canal-building, exports First commercial power plant, Illinois 1960 Economic advantages вЂў The energy in one pound of highly enriched Uranium is comparable to that of one million gallons of gasoline. вЂў One million times as much energy in one pound of Uranium as in one pound of coal. Emissions Free вЂў Nuclear energy annually prevents вЂ“ 5.1 million tons of sulfur вЂ“ 2.4 million tons of nitrogen oxide вЂ“ 164 metric tons of carbon вЂў Nuclear often pitted against fossil fuels вЂ“ Some coal contains radioactivity вЂ“ Nuclear plants have released low-level radiation Early knowledge of risks вЂў 1964 Atomic Energy Commission report on possible reactor accident вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ 45,000 dead 100,000 injured $17 billion in damages Area the size of Pennsylvania contaminated States with nuclear power plant(s) Nuclear power around the globe вЂў 17% of worldвЂ™s electricity from nuclear power вЂ“ U.S. about 20% (2nd largest source) вЂў 431 nuclear plants in 31 countries вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ вЂ“ 103 of them in the U.S. Built none since 1970s (Wisconsin as leader). U.S. firms have exported nukes. Push from Bush/Cheney for new nukes. Countries Generating Most Nuclear Power Country USA France Japan Germany Russia Canada Ukraine United Kingdom Sweden South Korea Total MW 99,784 58,493 38,875 22,657 19,843 15,755 12,679 11,720 10,002 8,170 Nuclear fuel cycle вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Uranium mining and milling Conversion and enrichment Fuel rod fabrication POWER REACTOR Reprocessing, or Radioactive waste disposal вЂ“ Low-level in commercial facilities вЂ“ High level at plants or underground repository Front end: Uranium mining and milling Uranium tailings and radon gas Deaths of Navajo miners since 1950s Uranium enrichment вЂў U-235 вЂ“ Fissionable at 3% вЂ“ Weapons grade at 90% вЂў U-238 вЂ“ More stable вЂў Plutonium-239 вЂ“ Created from U-238; highly radioactive Radioactivity of plutonium Life span of least 240,000 years Last Ice Age glaciation was 10,000 years ago Neanderthal Man died out 30,000 years ago Risks of enrichment and fuel fabrication вЂў Largest industrial users of water, electricity вЂ“ Paducah, KY, Oak Ridge, TN, Portsmouth, OH вЂў Cancers and leukemia among workers вЂ“ Fires and mass exposure. вЂ“ Karen Silkwood at Oklahoma fabrication plant. вЂў Risk of theft of bomb material. Nuclear Reactor Process вЂў 3% enriched Uranium pellets formed into rods, which are formed into bundles вЂў Bundles submerged in water coolant inside pressure vessel, with control rods. вЂў Bundles must be SUPERCRITICAL; will overheat and melt if no control rods. Reaction converts water to steam, which powers steam turbine Technology depends on operators Other reactor accidents (besides TMI and Chernobyl) вЂў 1952 Chalk River, Ontario вЂ“ Partial core meltdown вЂў 1957 Windscale, England вЂ“ Graphite reactor fire contaminates 200 square miles. вЂў 1975 Browns Ferry, Alabama вЂ“ Plant caught fire вЂў 1976 Lubmin, East Germany вЂ“ Near meltdown of reactor core . вЂў 1999 Tokaimura, Japan вЂ“ Nuclear fuel plant spewed high levels of radioactive gas United States Risk of terrorism (new challenge to industry) 9/11 jet passed near Indian Point Nuclear Reactor Structure вЂў ReactorвЂ™s pressure vessel typically housed in 8вЂќ of steel вЂў 36вЂќ concrete shielding вЂў 45вЂќ steel reinforced concrete Breeder reactor вЂњBreedsвЂќ plutonium as it operates Uses liquid sodium metal instead of water for coolant вЂ“ Could explode if in contact with air or water вЂў 1966 Fermi, Michigan вЂ“ Partial meltdown nearly causes evacuation of Detroit вЂў 1973 Shevchenko, Russia вЂ“ Breeder caught fire and exploded вЂў Controversial proposals in Europe, U.S. Reprocessing вЂў Separates reusable fuel from waste вЂ“ Large amounts of radioactivity released вЂў 1960s West Valley, NY вЂ“ Radiation leaked into Lake Ontario вЂў 1970s La Hague, France вЂ“ Released plutonium plumes into air Back end: Radioactive wastes вЂў Low-level wastes in commercial facilities вЂў Spent fuel in pools or вЂњdry casksвЂќ by plants вЂў Nuclear lab wastes вЂ“ Hanford wastes leaked radiation into Columbia River вЂў High-level underground repository вЂ“ Yucca Mountain in Nevada to 2037 вЂ“ Wolf River Batholith in Wisconsin after 2037? вЂ“ Risks of cracks in bedrock, water seepage Yucca Mountain Transportation risks вЂў Uranium oxide spills вЂў Fuel rod spills (WI 1981) вЂў Radioactive waste risks вЂњMobile ChernobylвЂќ to Yucca Mtn. Kyshtym waste disaster, 1957 Orphans вЂ“ Explosion at Soviet weapons factory forces evacuation of over 10,000 people in Ural Mts. вЂ“ Area size of Rhode Island still uninhabited; thousands of cancers reported Radioactive Waste Recycling вЂў Disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and weapons facilities by recycling it into household products. вЂў In 1996, 15,000 tons of metal were received by the Association of Radioactive Metal Recyclers . Much was recycled into products without consumer knowledge. вЂў Depleted Uranium munitions for military. Summary вЂў Nuclear energy has no typical pollutants or greenhouse gases вЂў Nuclear waste contains high levels of radioactive waste, which are active for hundreds of thousands of years. вЂў The controversy around nuclear energy stems from all parts of the nuclear chain.