Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Monday, March 21, 2011

Worst-Case Analyses

If I recall correctly, nuclear power plants are supposed to be designed so that we might expect the worst case to occur once every 100,000 reactor years. That means we can expect that an accident that does so much damage that there was a 10% probability of meltdown will occur once every 10,000 reactor years. If there are 400 reactors in operation that will occur about once every twenty five years.

Biomass, to take a typical example of an “alternative” energy source, has its own worst-case scenarios (based on a real incident). There are, of course, other biomass worst-case scenarios.

I won't more than mention fossil fuel worst-case scenarios (no more fanciful than some other disasters) other than to say they have caused the death of a community.


Blogger Anomaly UK said...

Hydro-electric worst-case-scenarios beat all the rest.

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know what I love about your aliquot? It is that it's just numbers, and it is body forth of probability in this imaginary world of perfection, and verisimilitude.

The crux is we have had meltdowns, and unlike your pudding example, the smell, taste, and radiation can not be licked away by a rain shower.

To compare deaths from a determinative tragedy to a meltdown with a perpetual causatum is utopian

3:55 PM  

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