Watch the music video - then see the documentary!
Talk about edgy! London rapper Example's new video is shot in the radioactively contaminated post-nuclear zone at Chernobyl. While he there, Example also filmed an 18-minute documentary in the post-apocalyptic ghost towns and their deserted schools, hotels and funfairs - places frozen in time for twenty years.
Read More about Example's trip to Chernoybl here »
You can download the documentary here (you'll need Quicktime, Windows Media Player or Realplayer to watch it):
The making of "What We Made" (mov, 57mb)
The making of "What We Made" (wmv, 59mb)
Kirk - "V for Vendetta" was the name of a movie that came our recently. At no point did I suggest that anyone should launch a vendetta - please don't put words in my mouth.
Sorry about that. My apologies.
My quote referred to how the road to a messed-up environment can be paved with good intentions - I'm sure that in the past there have been plenty of people involved in the nuclear industry who believed in a future of safe, clean energy.
I agree wholeheartedly.
The reality, however, has turned out somewhat differently to what they envisioned.
Yes, and "why" that has happened has been some of the biggest surprises to me. When the Atomic Energy Commission was formed in 1946, as a sort of civilian continuation of the Manhattan Project, the production of weapons-grade nuclear material (highly-enriched uranium, weapons-grade plutonium) was their first, second, and third priority. Making electrical power from nuclear reactors was scarcely even on their radar.
I was surprised to discover that when Rickover began working on his nuclear submarine project in 1949, no one in the Navy supported the project. They wanted someone to figure out how to send nuclear bombers off aircraft carriers because that was "where the money was".
Rickover launched Nautilus in 1954, and at the time, it was the only reactor producing electrical (or shaft) power in the whole country. And it was floating in the water!
What shocked them out of their complacency was when England and Russia turned on their first power reactors in 1956. Then Eisenhower turned to the Navy and basically said, we need a power reactor yesterday!
As Weinberg relates in his book, the Navy was all too happy to oblige, by taking a reactor design they intended for a future nuclear aircraft carrier and putting it on the ground. That was the Shippingport reactor in Pennsylvania, that went critical in 1957.
Weinberg, who held the patent on these light-water reactors, advised the Navy and the AEC against building LWRs for civilian power. He knew about the potential of fluid-fueled thorium reactors and was actively in the midst of developing two different kinds at ORNL (the liquid-fluoride and the aqueous homogeneous). He knew these reactors had safety features far beyond LWRs and that they could burn thorium, enabling energy for millenia.
But the gov't, driven by political expediency, forced the development of LWRs and then strong-armed the utilities into building them. They didn't want to. It took carrots like the Price-Anderson act, the promise to take spent nuclear fuel, and finally a threat to nationalize utilities to finally make them start building reactors.
21 October, 2006 at 15:15
It has been hinted at here, but the historical fact is that we have civil electrical power reactors that are based directly from weapons technology and every country to this day (from Iran to the US) all claim to have legitimate civil power needs to justify operating them. Nevertheless, the safer and more efficient electrical power-generating reactor is a liquid fuel system based on thorium. Whether you like nuclear power or not, the science and engineering is pure and simple – it is not easy to make bombs from a liquid system. The nuclear inventory is very low in a thorium-based system and you cannot afford to steal many neutrons since the reaction stops fairly quickly (another safety benefit). There is no enriched fuel material being transported about and thus no proliferation/terrorist issue. And if you care to read all the details, there are many other obvious benefits from a system that was operated successfully at the start of the nuclear age. You can join the rest of the world and lie to yourself that there is no difference or you can recognize that the approach using solid fuel, uranium reactors is to keep a highly-skilled weapons capability available, whether you are a small nation wanting a single device or a major player. Sometimes, I start to believe the conspiracies and think the left and the right advocacy groups are just all part of the same system to “keep the status quote” as is. Otherwise, there would be more interest in debunking the technical if it was just another form of the same old nuclear technology we have today.
24 October, 2006 at 23:59
Here is a synopsis outlining the dangers of mined Thorium. I vote no to new extraction, and no to new Nuclear plants. Other technologies are already available...and advanced technology breakthroughs are coming!
Germany proved you can move forward quickly to establish renewables through better incentives and community-based generation.
It does make some sense to shift some existing plants to use up as many man-made nuclear waste by-products as possible. Still, this substance Thorium is NOT an affordable, or safe form of nuclear fuel.
Equivalent investment in PV Silicon manufacturing will vastly reduce the cost of Solar, and this electricity and heat source requires NO refueling. We are working to develop new PV Silicon manufacturing in the Northwest USA now.
With fair cost analyses Solar is already on par with Coal. 40 year panels are still in use, & warranties extend to 20-25 years. Eliminate Least-Cost planning restrictions and factor in operational savings to get a more accurate Cost Basis adjustment. New PV Silicon manufacturing can and will make the difference. STOP ALL NEW NUKES & COAL.
Thorium info Source:
Thorium-232 has a half-life of 14 billion (14x109) years, and decays by alpha emission, with accompanying gamma radiation. Thorium-232 is the top of a long decay series that contains key radionuclides such as radium-228, its direct decay product, and radon-220. Two other isotopes of thorium, which can be significant in the environment, are thorium-230 and thorium-228. Both belong to other decay series. They also decay by alpha emission, with accompanying gamma radiation, and have half-lives of 75,400 years and 1.9 years, respectively.
However, Man-made thorium isotopes are rare, and almost never enter the environment.
How does thorium change in the environment?
As thorium-232 undergoes radioactive decay, it emits an alpha particle, with accompanying gamma radiation, and forms radium-228. This process of releasing radiation and forming a new radionuclide continues until stable lead-208 is formed. The half-life of thorium-232 is about 14 billion years.
6 November, 2006 at 0:42
For those who think that Greenpeace hassles the nuclear industry and not anyone else - last week we temporarily shut down a coal-fired power station in the UK:
Activists shut down UK's Didcot coal-fired power station
Didcot Power Station: Greenpeace occupation ends!
7 November, 2006 at 11:50
pdxJules, to say "no" to thorium because it is radioactive makes no sense. Gaia, Mother Earth, however you want to think about it, has dispersed millions and millions of metric tonnes of thorium across the world. It's in every rock; it's in the Moon, Mars, and every asteroid--it's everywhere.
Life is still here, after billions of years of the radioactive "onslaught". So maybe you have to consider that thorium's not so dangerous?
One thing that people forget is that long-half-life = very low radioactivity. You can't be radioactive for 14 billion years (about the age of the universe) if you're throwing out lots of radiation. Thorium decays exceedingly slowly (as does uranium) which is why it's still around.
7 November, 2006 at 15:38
two things: About the Thorium nuclear plants, I refer you to Hamilton Press, September 10, 2008, page 11: an article by Alista Fow talking about what he seems to be hopeful for: a New Zealand Thorium nuclear power station, using West Coast, NZ, thorium from the beaches. I'm alarmed for more than one reason. I've been researching on the net, and typing an article to post anywhere about Thorium nuclear power plants. No-one has said anything about "depleted uranium" type weapons, so I'll bring you up to date about the USA in the Middle East: the USA Defense Department got it's hands on some old radioactive waste, powdered it extremely finely, gave US troops a new type of face-mask, and then dropped the "depleted uranium" onto the land, water, air, all of it, and then someone from the USA Defense Dept. was quoted in reply to a woman in Iraq who said: "our children are playing in radioactive dust, what do you say about that?" He said: "oh,that's only depleted uranium: AND IT DOES NOT HURT". Of course, when the first few radioactive particles get to someones' bones, it cannot be felt, it's agony, yet, we ALL KNOW that cancers hurt most of all of almost any disease, as bad as aids or worse. About the new anti-radiation fighting suits with those new masks: practically speaking, the USA Defense Department was unlikely to continue with that for it's own troops, since the particles and radioactivity was too fine and found it's way into the noses of the troops. They called THAT a problem. Really.
IF any nation had a Thorium reactor, and says: "oh,it's ok since it won't meltdown and it cannot EASILY be used for nuclear bombs", that's also silly. D.U. or ANY ARTIFICIAL SPLIT ATOM PRODUCT, is a real menace, since someone made it up as a "great way to get rid of our radioactive waste, we'll powder it and drop it on the people we hate the most" (sometimes called: hurting anyone we LIKE: what a lie: it's hurting anyone we HATE.
Thats' the menace of Thorium made into an artificially split atom. Its' against The Logan, from Spirit, the Law, including Kharmic Law, states, according to Silver Birch, "do NOT split the atom". Greenpeace does know all about why we, humankind, is NOT to do that, at all.
I do note from my printing trade (bad stuff) experience, in fact, that they go on about: "not EASILY made into weapons-grade fuels". That's not quite the same as: "cannot", its' not easy, however, if I'm right about this: it CAN be done with difficulty. And, the way the nuclear scientists are going they will if paid enough for long enough, find their new bombs from Thorium products: a new type of bomb. I do feel, a sense of: probably, already, some high-ranking official in some Defense Dept. somewhere, is signing huge cheques to fund secret research, on the books as "medical research" or similar (since medicine does use isotopes, you see their manipulations of the truth, done always by half-truths and IMPLICATIONS)? Some researchers will, I think, already be researching all that from thorium, with other scientist talking, theorizing and working on similar probjects. Scientific research? Some of this is only about logic, a terrible one that says: since weapons of mass destruction are being made, there's probably more on the way, with more and worse, as long as it SEEMS it can wipe out a nation, they will research it. LACK OF MORALS is causing that, and I do NOT like the look of this world, already.
I'm very concerned about the Thorium in New Zealand BECAUSE OF THE TIMING OF THIS, RIGHT BEFORE AN ELECTION, it's due in November 8th or 9th (that was announced on the radio yesterday), so we need to find more and more ways to prevent the NEXT Government avoiding the issue and then rushing through a new Thorium plant, since there have been no mentions of d.u. and other radioactive waste powders as a weapon, well, what to do? I SUPPORT GREENPEACE, as much as I can, I do have confidence. The risk of nuclear power is TOO GREAT.
My mum died of cancer, her body was in agony for months, her body hurt more than any of ourselves, as we wept, cared about her, cared for her, and could not believe the number of months she moaned in agony on her deathbed: and then some stupid person says: "d.u. does not hurt" (and it's because it decays rapidly), no, the split atom ACCUMULATES, unless another new technology comes up and re-balances it, and thats' the fact for most poeple, around 9.999999 people. The only person I think would be immune to cancers from that, if exposed long enough, would be The Lord Jesus Christ Himself, I'M NOT JOKING.
14 September, 2008 at 21:09
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