The current “nuclear power safety” of mankind is still based on the technology of the nuclear power plant itself! Despite the continuous advancement of technology, once natural and man-made disasters cause nuclear power plants to go out “what if”, the most technologically advanced countries will have no good way.
Although Japanese officials emphasized that the nuclear sewage to be discharged into the Pacific “has been properly filtered and treated to ensure compliance,” it does not eliminate people’s worries. This is because there have long been media reports that “Canada, the west coast of the United States, and the Bering Strait have all discovered radioactive pollutants from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing marine life to mutate.” People naturally think: if the millions of tons of nuclear sewage are non-hazardous and qualified water, why not pour it directly into Tokyo Bay or Lake Biwa in Japan?
The world’s top marine scientific research institution, the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre in Germany, once conducted computer simulations on the spread of nuclear sewage dumped in Japan. The results showed that more than half of the nuclear radiation would have spread after 57 days, and the high-dose radiation would have spread over a large area in half a year. The United States and Canada would be contaminated in only 3 years, and the entire Pacific Ocean would be contaminated in 10 years—the content of radioactive elements would be at least Expand 1000 times. The plan of discharging a steady stream of nuclear sewage into the sea is tantamount to putting all coastal countries under the threat of radioactive pollution, allowing the world to pay for the endless troubles of the Fukushima nuclear leak.
The handling of the Fukushima nuclear accident is unprecedented in the history of human nuclear power. Due to the existence of many major technological bottlenecks, Japan, which is itself a technological power, has long sought help from the international science and technology community to overcome difficulties. However, little progress has been made and many problems have not yet been solved. The current predicament of Fukushima’s nuclear sewage is not so much that Japan has “no choice,” as it is that the world’s highest technological level is at a loss.
Therefore, the lessons and warnings from the Fukushima nuclear accident cannot be overemphasized.
Nuclear power is not clean energy
The international definition of “clean energy” is that energy does not produce pollution during its production and use. Even if an accident occurs, the consequences of the damage to the human environment are one-off. According to this definition, nuclear power is not only a clean energy source, but the most troublesome source of pollution for mankind, and there is no solution yet.
Because at present, all nuclear power plants in the world use nuclear fission energy to convert into electrical energy. This process will inevitably produce radionuclides (more than 250 kinds), and there is a risk of large-scale release to the environment, and the consequences are very serious: There is no physical and chemical method to eliminate long-lived, highly radioactive nuclides, and they can only be decayed to a harmless level. The time scale of this process can be as long as tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of years. Therefore, although the amount of waste generated by nuclear power plants is much less than that of fossil fuel power plants of the same power generation scale, they have received the most global attention. The occurrence of radioactive leakage accidents is not limited to nuclear power plant reactors (such as major nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima), but also includes intermediate storage of spent fuel, spent fuel reprocessing, reactor decommissioning, and final disposal of high-level radioactive waste. High-risk links. If a major nuclear accident is only an accidental risk, then nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning of nuclear power plants are inevitable and inescapable dangerous burdens for all nuclear power plants. At present, no country in the world has found an absolutely safe and permanent way to dispose of high-level radioactive nuclear waste, and nuclear leakage accidents happen from time to time. Therefore, senior international nuclear power experts pointed out that nuclear power is “easy to please God and hard to send to God”. The use of nuclear power by mankind is tantamount to overdrawing the future.
In addition to extremely strong radioactivity, the radioactive materials produced by nuclear power plant reactors are also highly toxic. For example, the radiotoxicity of nuclides such as strontium 90 and cesium 137 must be isolated for 300,500 years to reach a safe level, while the radiotoxicity of nuclides such as plutonium 239 and technetium 99 must be isolated for hundreds of thousands of years to reach a safe level. After the Fukushima nuclear accident, Japan announced several times that plutonium had been detected in the soil around the nuclear power plant, which aroused great concern because plutonium has extremely high radiotoxicity as well as a chemically toxic substance. 1 microgram of plutonium can cause death.
It is precisely because the nuclear power industry chain has endless troubles beyond people’s imagination and there is no way to deal with it. Therefore, developed countries in Europe and the United States have “reduce and abandon nuclear power” after the Fukushima nuclear accident, unanimously turning to the technical difficulty and environmental cost and cost. Renewable energy is also much lower than nuclear power, and the number of newly built nuclear power plants in the world has also plummeted.
There is no myth in nuclear safety
current nuclear power technology in the world, regardless of the second or third generation, cannot be 100 % Guarantee “absolute safety”. Whether the so-called “safer” third-generation pressurized water reactor nuclear power technology is more reliable and safer than the second-generation technology needs to be tested throughout the world, because the current “safer” is still probabilistic safety, and It is only a “theoretical calculation result”, and the consensus that has been formed in the international nuclear power community is that the probability calculation of “nuclear safety” is unreliable, and the risk of nuclear power technology innovation is great. Advanced technology does not mean more reliable and safer. Starting from a number of pilot projects, it can only be promoted after several years of practice.
It is particularly noteworthy that when the domestic nuclear power industry analyzed and easily explained that “the graphite reactors used in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the boiling water reactors used in the Fukushima nuclear power plant have their own design defects” and concluded that “China Without these two types of reactors, there will never be a major nuclear accident like Chernobyl and Fukushima.” As everyone knows, before the nuclear disaster, both Chernobyl and Fukushima were also “technically advanced.” Countless experts have slapped their chests to guarantee that nuclear power plants are “absolutely safe” and people are confident in their “safety”.
Chernobyl was the largest and most advanced nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union at the time. The then president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Alexandrov, declared: “The graphite reactor is safe enough to be placed on the Red Square, like a tea stove. There is no difference between tea.” At that time, people believed that graphite piles would not explode anyway, at best, the water tank would explode; they firmly believed that Soviet nuclear power plants would not have any accidents, just as safe as the use of coal and charcoal.
After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the Japanese nuclear power industry has always emphasized that “the boiling water reactor technology used in Japanese nuclear power plants is different from that of the Soviet Union. It also has a containment to block radioactive materials and multiple protection systems. If an accident occurs, it will automatically stop. Absolutely safe”. From the prime ministers of Japan to the ordinary people, they firmly believe that “Japanese nuclear power is the most advanced in the world, and major nuclear accidents that occur abroad will never happen in Japan.”
However, it turns out that although Fukushima did not have a terrible explosion like Chernobyl, it had the worst nuclear accident like the latter. Whether it is Chernobyl or Fukushima, it was not until the occurrence of a nuclear disaster that the technologically advanced “nuclear safety myth” was shattered, and the technical flaws that had been severely underestimated and ignored before were exposed and concealed and concealed layer by layer. Management problems only surfaced. But it is too late, and the consequences of the disaster are irreversible. These two lessons fully show that there is great uncertainty in predicting the future with existing knowledge. “There is no problem at present” does not mean that “no problem will occur in the future.”
To prevent major nuclear accidents, the “nuclear safety myth” must first be broken. After the major nuclear accident in Fukushima, on March 9, 2012, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano issued an appeal to the world: countries with nuclear reactors should be “more cautious” about nuclear power projects because “there will still be The possibility of similar accidents cannot be completely ruled out.” Although the technical standards for nuclear power construction in the world have been continuously improved after the Fukushima accident, the French Atomic Energy Commission specifically pointed out: “It is impossible not to make mistakes. There is no technological innovation that can eliminate human errors in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.” This is the current “nuclear power” The reality that “safety” cannot be avoided, all countries with nuclear power plants should avoid being led astray by the “nuclear safety myth” of social perception and government decision-making.
Too much helplessness in front of the nuclear accident
Fukushima nuclear accident once again warns us: Humanity’s current “nuclear power safety” “It is still based on the technology of the nuclear power plant itself! Despite the continuous advancement of technology, once natural and man-made disasters cause nuclear power plants to go out “what if”, the most technologically advanced countries will have no good way. It is difficult to even control the spread of pollution, let alone eliminate nuclear pollution completely.
At present, the various problems encountered in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident are not unique problems of a certain company or country, but at the current level of technology, humans still have too much control and control of “nuclear power safety”. Too much helplessness and blankness. Some people may wonder: Why did the Fukushima nuclear accident have so many problems? Why can’t we use a huge sarcophagus like Chernobyl to “let a letter” of the nuclear reactor? In fact, Chernobyl’s approach is nothing to do, no solution, and the huge risk of nuclear pollution has not been solved. Not only has the former prosperous and prosperous land turned into an uninhabited area of nearly 3,000 square kilometers, but also how to prevent the radioactive material stored inside from infiltrating into the groundwater and endangering the water supply of 3 million inhabitants of Kiev will be suspended in Ukraine for at least the next 100 years The sword on the head of the government.
Taking out the nuclear fuel debris that has melted off the reactor is one of the most important tasks in the aftermath of a nuclear accident. Due to the Chernobyl 4 reactor explosion, all equipment for handling nuclear fuel was completely destroyed, and the entire reactor room was filled with highly radioactive materials and became a “place of death”. The Soviet government had to give up the idea of taking out nuclear fuel debris. A sarcophagus was hurriedly built to surround the entire computer room and completely enclosed the nuclear fuel fragments (including 100 kg of plutonium with lethal toxicity). However, the amount of radiation at the bottom of the sarcophagus is still exploding. The heavy cement sarcophagus has been severely aged and cracked after being used for more than 20 years. After rainwater penetrates in and contacts radioactive materials, it becomes nuclear sewage flowing into the lake and flowing downstream along the river, threatening The source of water supply for the city of Kiev. Today’s Ukraine has to spend huge sums of money to gather the power of the world to design and build a larger vault to wrap the sarcophagus. Only in this way can Ukraine proceed to clean up the unstable sarcophagus and remaining nuclear fuel. Engineers estimate that this process will take at least 100 years, and when the disaster site will be completely safe is still unknown.
After the Fukushima accident, how to remove the nuclear fuel debris became the biggest difficulty in the aftermath. Japan is one of the countries with the most developed robots in the world, but the existing robot technology cannot withstand the harsh working environment of high temperature, high humidity, and high radiation, so it is still unable to accurately grasp the true conditions inside the three melted reactors. There is no other way but to continuously inject water to cool the molten nuclear fuel inside the reactor. The plan to use large frozen soil walls to block the flow of groundwater into the nuclear power plant has also failed.
The purification treatment of nuclear sewage is not as simple as the treatment of domestic sewage. The Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the United States in 1979 was only a level 5 accident involving partial meltdown of the core, and radioactive materials did not leak outside the plant. However, the United States still paid a huge price for nuclear waste cleanup and reactor decommissioning: The recovery of nuclear fuel debris was completed in 11 years, and the 9,000 tons of nuclear sewage produced took 14 years to be processed. (It can be imagined how long it will take for Japan’s existing more than 1 million tons of nuclear sewage to be processed, not to mention nuclear sewage. Increasing at a rate of more than 50,000 tons per year), the damaged computer room on Three Mile Island was sealed off after removing the radioactive material inside. It has been 40 years and it is still under close monitoring, and the time for dismantling has not been determined.
The aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident has challenged the limits of human technological capabilities in all aspects. Whether hundreds of tons of extremely radioactive molten nuclear fuel can finally be taken out, when to take it out, where to store it, and how to store it, the world’s highest-level scientists cannot give an answer. When it will happen in the future is still unknown.
Site selection must have restricted areas and red lines
is precisely because “Nuclear power is not a clean energy source. At present, all nuclear power technologies No accident can be 100% guaranteed, and once a nuclear leak occurs, it is an irreversible disaster, and the most developed countries are helpless.” Therefore, if China’s nuclear power development is to fully learn the lessons of Fukushima, it must carefully consider the rational layout of nuclear power plants. Especially in important strategically sensitive areas such as the Yangtze River Basin and the Bohai Sea Rim, whether nuclear power plants can be launched must not be based on the demand for energy reduction and investment stimulus, nor should they be based on the optimistic assumption that nuclear power plants will not go wrong. We must fully consider whether we can deal with the water crisis, land crisis, food crisis, and social stability crisis once a nuclear leak occurs.
The Yangtze River Basin is the center of gravity and vitality of my country’s economy, and the basin economy accounts for half of the country. After the South-to-North Water Diversion Project is fully completed, the population of drinking water from the Yangtze River will reach 800 million. The Bohai Sea is an almost closed inland sea with very poor self-purification ability. The Bohai Rim region is the political and economic center of our country, and it is a densely populated area more than inland. The construction of nuclear power plants in these important strategically sensitive areas that are related to the survival of the country will not happen because there is no “big tsunami” and the reactor type selected is not a “boiling water reactor”, and a major nuclear leakage accident like Fukushima will not occur. In the event of a nuclear leak, the Yangtze River will flow eastward, and the Bohai Sea will become the “sea of death” where radioactive pollutants have accumulated for a long time.
To truly implement major national strategies such as “Greater Protection of the Yangtze River” and “Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Coordinated Development” and protect the safety of China’s political center, the Yangtze River Basin and the Bohai Sea Rim should be designated as nuclear power forbidden zones, and “high radioactive pollution risks” should be listed as Negative list of major investment projects. With the current energy options that are far safer, cleaner, and more economical than nuclear power, we have no need to take the huge risk of nuclear leakage in these strategically sensitive areas.
This should be the biggest warning given to us by the three major nuclear accidents, especially the Fukushima nuclear accident.