Archives for category: nuclear

Again and again we are told that there has not been found a solution for the used fuel from nuclear plants.
Trying to bring an end to this (deliberate?) misunderstanding, the following should be considered.
After use, the radioactive fuel elements are stored under water.
– Three years at the power plant.
– Thereafter some 30 years at a temporary storage.

Thus, after almost all radioactivity has “evaporated”,

there are several possibilities.
1) “Wait and see” (Waiting for new regulations or possibilities)
2) Final disposal deep underground. (Almost abandoned)
3) Safe storage for future use. (Most sensible)
4) Reprocessing (As done in France)

About Reprocessing

During use, different harmful elements build up in the fuel rods and they should be removed before there is risk of cracks developing.
However well over 90 % of the original energi is still left, together with different useful elements.
But still
As long as the market has plenty of cheap uranium reprocessing is not economically feasible.
It is the reason for “Safe Storage”.

Dear unknown reader

Somehow I think the above notes should answer the question about nuclear waste.
If you want further details: Have a look at

However, I have a request:
This post was ment as an answer to the repeated statement that

“The problem related to used nuclear fuel has not been solved.”

Assuming that it is not based upon your own observation,
I dare to ask you – –
Go to the sources of this obviously wrong “information” and ask them to stop their (deliberate?) misinformation of the public.

Greetings and good reflection
Thorkil Søe


Usually it is agreed that climate change is mostly due to global pollution with CO2.
It is a huge problem that calls for many imaginative solutions.
The following is a proposal that may be a realistic solution.

Click at yellow text for more details.

A bit technical

  • The earth’s temperature depends on a delicate balance between radiation from the sun.
    And the other way (long-wave) radiation back into space.
    (Sometimes called cold heat radiation.)
  • Even very small changes in these two parameters will have a major impact on the climate.
  • White marble has little absorption of sunligt and great radiance back into space.
    Old galvanized iron (corrugated iron): Just the other way around.
  • Greenhouse gases (CO2) inhibit the emission.
  • Ice at sea and in Greenland is predominantly white as white marble.
    While the sea is black as galvanized iron.
    This results in a dangerous self-reinforcing effect.
  • The Little Ice Age was (perhaps) triggered by a large volcanic eruption at Tambora in Indonesia in 1815
  • Volcanic eruptions in Iceland are claimed to be a contributing factor to the French Revolution.

A few solutions

  • Paint the roads white.
  • Spray up seawater and get some white clouds.
  • And totally unrealistic:
    Extract CO2 from the atmosphere – quite a lot – a few billion tons.


To avoid misunderstandings, I have to point out that I do not have the prerequisites to make a quantitative assessment of what I am proposing.
However, I would like to stress that even a very expensive solution will be justified if it can solve a huge problem.


Hydrogen filled balloons
black – Flying without control at altitudes above maximum flight altitude.
black – Be white (on the upper half.)
black – Be as cheap as possible.
black – Be able to contain the very small hydrogen molecule.
black – Be able to cope with the harsh climate (radiation).
black – Have a reasonably long life.

Even a “micro-meteor” will punch a hole and let the gas escape – slowly.
If deemed necessary: A radio-controlled “suicide mechanism”.

Proposals come forward like mushrooms in the forest.

Some almost negative remarks.

  • Even a lot of energy from sun and from wind will never be able to cover more than a small fraction of the world’s needs for energy.
  • Even if we “in time” – some 35 years ago – had gone hard in for nuclear power, we would still be in trouble.
    But nothing compared to what we have now messed us up into.
  • The proposal will not help with the acidification of the ocean.
    But it is argued and justified that more CO2 in the atmosphere will promote both agriculture and growth in the forests.
  • To me, it seems totally irresponsible that we have just banned fertilization of the ocean.
    In my opinion it will perhaps be the only realistic method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere.
    Maybe also increase the fish stock.
  • Of course
    For good reason it is emphasized that it will be irresponsible to do something that may have negative consequences for others eg in Bangladesh.
    “We” in the industrialized and rich part of the world have already caused climate damage in other countries – without being held accountable.
  • It is stated that
    More than two million people have been displaced during the year due to natural disasters linked to climate change.
  • AND
    I think almost militarily and would argue that a small risk – for a few.
    It will be outweighed by expected great benefits – for the many.

Greetings from Thorkil Søe
I am a civil engineer, retired.
Brogårdsvej 60 – 307 Gentofte, Denmark
Phone +45 5117 1936


J-value or Justification Value.


Often we are faced with the problem:

Shall or Shall Not

We have classic dilemma:
“The Fat Man and the Trolley”
or shall I kill one, in order to save five?

Recently it has been attempted to quantify this recurring dilemma using J-value.
For good and for bad it has been necessary to include the value of human life and human wellbeing.
From the link in the heading, I quote:

  • How much should a nuclear power plant spend on protecting its workers?
  • Is it cost-effective to install a new safety system for railway signaling?
  • Should the Government be spending more to prevent road deaths?

I will ask:

  • Do you take on a bullet-proof west before you go out to post a letter?

From my time in Africa I have tried to face the problem:

  • How to spend the limited funds available if you want to give
    (some of) the countless orphans a better future life?

In my opinion a lot of the discussions should be modified considering the philosophy related to J-value.
The following are a few examples.

Relocation measures following nuclear power plant accidents.

From the highlights to a very detailed net-paper,
I refer that
75 % of the evacuations at Chernobyl and ALL at Fukushima were not justified if the evacuations were evaluated considering J-value.

Or more specific:
You consider years lost from the (very limited) radioactive pollution, assuming the alternative “Just stay at home.”
This is then compared to the years lost as a consequence of the mandatory evacuations.

Personally I will claim that the many “evacuation-casualties” has been a result of the reckless fight to demonize nuclear.


From the above mentioned paper I quote:
It balances the costs of a safety scheme against the improvement in quality of life of those affected as a result of implementing that scheme.

Going back to the example with the run away trolley you have:
blaThe scheme: Shifting the
bla – direction of the trolley.
blaCosts: Killing one man.
blaImprovement: Saving five
bla – lives.
blaJustification Value: 5 saved compared to one killed.

Relationship between radiation and harm

Originally – and to be sure – it was assumed that “No matter how little, all radiation is harmful”. (LNT or Linear No Threshold)
Without finding it specified, I understand that this assumption has been used in the above mentioned paper.

However, there are strong evidence showing that even 1000 mSv per year is not harmful if it is evenly distributed, thus giving the human “repair mekanisme” time to do the job.

For obvious reasons there is an enormous confusion about radiation and the above mentioned 1000 mSv/year is 50 times the limit used at Fukushima where people were evacuated – mandatory? – if the radiation was more than 20 mSv/year.
If this is considered there will be even less justification for the many evacuations.

Value of human life

For good and for bad it has been necessary to discuss the value of human life.
It has been done in the above mentioned paper.

In order to set it in perspective, I refer from a lecturer given by a German visiting professor in Dar es Salaam.
He did not shy away from difficult explanations and I remember the following:

  • In the good old times a lot of Germans had at good holiday in the then peaceful Yugoslavia.
    -mm –Some came home in a cuffin.
    -mm –You know: Bad roads and bad drivers.
    But one year one man came home with only one leg because the other had been eaten by a shark.
    The following year the flow of tourists was halved.
    Of course, it soon came back to normal.

Sometimes we can not shy away from the classic “Trolley Dilemma” where it is discussed: trolley_problem
“Shall I divert the train and kill one in order to save five?”

Still it is relatively easy.
But it is also asked: You stand on a bridge
bla Will you push one man to death in order to save five?
bla And what will you do if this man is a friend of yours?
bla Jump yourself.
An Indian soldier saved his group.
He got the Victoria Cross Post mortem.

Noise from windmills

What is the value of human life and welfare compared to the wish for
so-called green electricity?
See part of the discussion on

Contaminated / Uninhabitable Areas

More than half of all people live in contaminated sites.
Most air pollution or contaminated drinking water.
Whatever, our choice is in fact based on J-value.

Cleanup at Hanford

During the war and later during the Cold War, plutonium was produced at the Hanford US plant.
As with almost all military activity, there was a poor safety culture.
And, as it is usually the case with “nuclear clean-up”, there have apparently been exaggerated demands.
Unfortunately, it has been difficult to find anything but alarming information.
Typically, the account of a tunnel that collapsed.
The cleanup will be both expensive and late.
From the daily newspaper Information: A bombs require US victims.

Despite much search, it has not been possible to find factual information:
(Persons Injury / Death – mSv / ?? or Bq / ?? )
If you, my unknown reader, have factual information, write to me at


In connection with a political struggle between the English Government and the coal miners, it was decided, in fact demanded, that the plant for Plutonium production should also provide power.
As we know, this urgent decision resulted in a very poor security culture and much pollution.

From the Danish paper Information, which usually is anti-nuclear:
bla The British nuclear plant Sellafield houses Western Europe’s most
bla harmful buildings with tons of unknown radioactive material
bla stored in pools.
bla The cleanup will cost the British taxpayers unimaginable sums and
bla will last decades.

As usual, one should try to assess the situation as it was at the time of the Cold War and the political conflict.
Was it justified? J-value

A supporter of nuclear power feels that it should be added that spent fuel elements from nuclear power, along with other highly radioactive material, will be stored in pools under water for up to 30 years.
Of course, because it’s safe and convenient.

Belgian nuclear power 2018

Following the public debate, it may be felt that the Cold War is replaced by a new war For or against nuclear power.
In 2018 it appears that 6 out of 7 Belgian reactors were taken out of service due to incipient damage at connecting buildings.
blaThese buildings contained the pumps to be used if everything else
blafailed. And the buildings might not withstand a crash by an airplane.
On Ingeniørens Netavis (Nov 2018), this is addressed with the almost mocking headline:
One [not closed] out of seven is actually pretty miserable.
At the end of over 125 submissions, an assessment was proposed based on J-value.
In any case, such an assessment would have shown that the closures could only be defended as “politically motivated” and driven by an inflated popular mood.
This attempt to reach the core was not well received.

German resistance to nuclear power

In Germany, there is a popular fear of everything with Atom.
Apparently this can be traced back to a study, allegedly showing that children who lived near nuclear power plants had more cases of leukemia and other forms of cancer.
Although the original study has been disputed, an analysis based on J-value would have been appropriate.

  • In a desperate (and fruitless) attempt to find a connection between the clearly contradictory information, I ask if this (very small) deviation can be explained by Neutrinos.

But again, I emphasize that this, like so much else, should be assessed using the J-value philosophy.

Military Considerations

Although the term J-value was not used at that time, it must have been an almost inhumane task, e.g. deciding whether the invasion of Normandy should be postponed due to bad weather forecasts.

mSv (milliSivert) er et mål for den biologiske virkning af radiation.

  • Baggrundsstrålingen, som vi alle udsættes for, er normalt 2 mSv/år
  • Enkelte steder over 10 gange så meget.
  • 500 mSv som engangspåvirkning vil give svage symptomer på strålesyge, men er ikke livstruende.
  • 2000 mSv som engangspåvirkning vil ofte være dødelig.
  • Selv ved væsentligt mere vil der være en periode på op til flere måneder (næsten) uden symptomer. (Walking Ghosts) eller vandrende spøgelser.
    Den endelige dødsproces kan være lang og meget pinefuld.
  • Overlevende vil ikke have varige skader.
    Dog bortset fra få måneders kortere forventet livslængde.
  • Næsten i en fodnote angiver at 1000 mSv/år
    jævnt fordelt vil give organismen mulighed for at reparere skader løbende og således ikke er skadeligt.
  • Efter katastrofen ved Fukushima blev befolkningen tvangsevakueret fra områder hvor strålingen var over 20 mSv/år.
    Dette var kun 2 % af det der har vist sig ikke at være skadeligt.
    Til gengæld kunne man konstatere et stort antal dødsfald som følge af evakueringerne.
    Alt for sent blev dette taget op i forbindelse med beregningsmetoden J-value eller Justification Value.
  • Der er aldrig konstateret genetisk betingede skader på efterfølgende generationer.

Enheden Sivert og tilsvarende, er et mål for biologisk påvirkning.
Det skal ikke sammenblandes med den anden enhed Bq eller Becquerel, der angiver antal af radioaktive henfald pr sekund.
Der er ingen (tilgængelige) oplysninger om sammenhæng.

Sivert er en meget stor enhed og man taler normalt om milliSivert.
Til gengæld er enheden Becquerel en meget lille enhed og fra naturens hånd er vi alle udsat for over 2000 Bq eller 2000 radioaktive henfald pr sekund.

Fra en lang og grundig norsk e-bog
Radon, lung cancer and the LNT model
(52 sider) refereres:
Meget mere: Se
– – LNT eller “Liniar No Treashold” angiver at
– – “Lige hvor lidt så er stråling altid skadeligt”
1. Radon in homes: It is evident from this long paper that we can forget about most of the remedial actions for reducing the average radon level. This would save a lot of money for those involved.
2. Nuclear power: In the fight for reducing the CO2 release to the atmosphere, nuclear power could be a considerable contributor to the worlds energy supply. The world energy consumption increases annually by approximately 2 %. Also the use of fossil fuel with CO2 release increases. A significant contribution to halt and even reduce the CO2 release would be to increase the contribution from nuclear energy. It is a surprise to us that environmental organizations that worry about global warming – are not pro nuclear.
3. Reactor accidents We have had two major breakdowns of nuclear reactors which both have been treated according to the LNT-theory. For both Chernobyl and Fukushima consequences have been calculated using collective doses and LNT. In Chernobyl a number of people were hospitalized with acute radiation syndrome and 28 died within 3 months. There has also been recorded thyroid cancer to children that was drinking contaminated milk (I-131). Altogether 11 deaths have been recorded. Whether these cancers have been caused by the Chernobyl accident is rather douptful since similar changes in the thyroid have been observed without radiation. Furthermore, the thyroid doses from I-131 after the Chernobyl accident have not been measured and they are very poorly determined. Cancer deaths in combination with the reactor accidents are based on LNT. No threshold and no hormetic region has been considered. However, the most significant and serious decision taken after the reactor accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima was to evacuate several hundred thousands of people. The decision was taken based on the LNT-theory and the use of collective doses. No attempts were made to compare the radiation level in the contaminated areas with the level found in the HBR (High Background Radiation) regions. If such a comparison had been made, the most negative of the reactor accidents could have been avoided.

The following is nothing but a slightly improved version of a Google translation of the original Danish site.
Click on yellow text to follow links.

The Ultimate Goal:
100% Wind Power in Europe

On the web page, that is sparkling with enthusiasm for wind power, one finds an overview of the European wind.

The happy reader finds data for the first half of 2017:
Offshore wind capacity 14.0 GW
Onshore wind capacity 145.5 GW
Maximum yield from wind February 22: 75 GW

Upon closer inspection, this data gives rise to interesting considerations.

It is easy to calculate the Capacity Factor for the “Record Date” Feb. 22nd.
– – – 47% that’s just not impressive.
Of course, you can not keep the S-train running using power that was produced last month.
Click on the chart.
Here you can see that on the “Minimum Days” the yield was 20 GW
– – – It gives a capacity factor of 12.5%
Then it’s tempting to consider “The Ultimate Green Goal” where you assume power and heat exclusively from sun and wind.

– – – Of course:
– – – Without the help of polluting power sources like coal and gas.
– – – And of course without the hated Nuclear power.

Thus, in order to maintain power on the net 24-7-365, there must be available wind capacity of at least 8 times the consumption.
Of course, these many wind turbines will stand still or idle for most of the time.
In addition: An almost unimaginable amount of high-voltage power lines will be needed to reconcile supply and demand across the European continent.

Specifically, it means that if the wind power lobby boast of that
“Now it costs only 100 € / kW (capacity)”
Yes, then the consumer must pay well over 700 € / kW extra for the necessary overcapacity.
And at least the same for the necessary high voltage net across the European continent.
These long wires will have a (significant?) energy loss.
This will require even more wind turbines.


That was what happens on “those bad days”
On “the good days” you will have an unimaginable amount of useless energy.
Or have to stop almost all wind turbines.

An Illustrative Review

Click the chart to get full size.
On these pictures you can see more than the usual dream.
The gray areas indicate supply with basic load and different types of

I come with the following (small) objections.
– There will always be some (little) available hydropower.
– At European level there will always be some (little) available wind power.

But if “you’re going the plank out” and assume that all energy should be “green”.
It is easy to imagine the situation:
A lot of unused energy or unused capacity.
In my opinion it should have been shown on a fifth picture.

Of course there is something else

Of course there are other power sources.
In fact, most will only be marginal.
But no matter what; it is impossible to assume that, for example, the
“wind gods” will promise to be active at night – always.


If solar power (PV) is included in the calculations, the situation will at first get more muddy.
But ultimately only worsened.


To avoid misunderstandings, I mention that, even using the most optimistic projections, it will be impossible to pay for batteries to store energy for more than a few hours of the “low time” – Which can easily be more than a week.


If heat can be stored in sufficient quantities and at a reasonable price,
You will get a good help?


will, even with the help of Norway, only be a drip in the European ocean.


has evolved into being the rabbit, pulled out of the hat, when you want to overcome the reality.
At European level, it will hardly be more than a drip in the ocean.
A very expensive drip.

Nuclear Power

is sometimes suggested as backup.
Based on an economic assessment, it is unrealistic.
Due to the risk of Xenon Poisoning and an accident like Chernobyl, it will be irresponsible.


If you want to know why our dream of stable and pollution-free energy, it burst.
So take time to read another page.

Especially for Denmark

Denmark is a little country with good neighbors.
When we buy backups from Norway and Sweden, we pay ONLY twice as much as we get when we export bulkheads.

In this way, Denmark will be, not just the first country to invest in wind power.
But we will probably be the last country to understand that it was an expensive mistake.

Meanwhile, Denmark becomes a backward country with very little electrification.

kWh per person

Now consider the realities

If you, my unknown reader, have come so far, I ask you to take a little break and consider the consequences.

If you would like more, please continue to here .
Or you may see some of my sources.

Why did we jump on this
Limed Twig?

After the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island , we went into panic, mostly in the United States.
Until today, we live with the consequences.

Also in England

25 January 2018 World Nuclear quotes The Policy Exchange.
“Decarbonising our existing electricity system with 100% renewable energy might be possible, but unnecessarily expensive and perhaps unsustainable.”
The topic is discussed but the conclusion is hardly changed.

If you, my unknown reader, have FACTUAL objections, write to me
Otherwise, I say goodbye and have a good time of thought.
Thorkil Søe

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