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Question: That's 4.5 miles from a Nuclear Power plant
Yes. - 29 (67.4%)
No. - 14 (32.6%)
Total Voters: 43

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Author Topic: Would You Buy a house within 5 Miles of a Nuclear Power Plant?  (Read 1621 times)
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ATB
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« on: May 03, 2009, 01:25:33 PM »

We currently live 7.3 miles from a nuclear plant that was built in 1987.

A house we're looking at is 4.5 miles from said plant.  Distances are as the crow flies as measured on google earth.

The research i can find says cancer rates go up closer to nuclear plants but i cannot find a study that shows the increase over distance beyond 5 kms or 3.1 miles.

Is it a legit threat or is this in the everything causes cancer and will eventually kill you vein?

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Jiffy
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 01:43:17 PM »

I live < 4.5 miles to what is known as 'Chemical Valley' here in Ontario, which is numerous oil and gas refining plants. These plants I would imagine are FAR more toxic (as they release numerous chemicals into the air, though in very minute quantities) than a Nuclear Power Plant. I still have no issue with where I live, as far as health concerns. So, I would have 0 issues with 4.5 miles away from a nuclear plant, considering you already live just ~7.3 miles away now. I'm not sure if the concern is with a meltdown, or just prolonged exposure, but at that distance simple exposure I can't imagine being a concern, and with a meltdown...well 7.3 miles you are still likely within that zone anyways. smile

Also, there appears to be a report saying there is some correlation between cancer rates and people living within *30* miles of a nuclear plant....so you are screwed already if that's the case.   ninja
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 01:48:23 PM by Jiffy » Logged
Kurt Stevens
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 01:44:41 PM »

Although, I don't have any hard evidence to support my feelings but I wouldn't.  On the other hand, you already live close so I assume you are comfortable living in the area.  We have a plant about 30 miles from my house and that is close enough for me.  I'm worried about an accident as opposed to increase risk of cancer at this distance.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 02:05:34 PM »



No.
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ATB
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 02:43:15 PM »

i did some numbers crunching and we're talking 1000ths of 1 percent on the cancer increase rates...

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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 03:02:50 PM »

I wouldn't be too worried personally as long as it's a better deal/fit. Chances are a helluva lot higher you'll have a car accident than anything will happen to you due to the plant. But it's a personal decision on how much you'd have it in the back of your mind.
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 05:08:01 PM »

since it's not me I say yeah, it's perfectly safe  icon_twisted
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Zinfan
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 05:50:37 PM »

It would certainly cut down on my commute time to work  icon_lol.  I've worked at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant for the last 25 years and while I'm no rah-rah supporter of the company I work for, I'd have no trouble living that close to the plant.  As for what I do out there?  Chemistry and Radiation Protection technician so I actually sample the release paths and I know what they are discharging and in what levels, there are very strict procedures and limits on those things.  As Jiffy pointed out I'd be more concerned if it was a chemical plant, I hate some of the things we work with (Hydrazine being one of them) since they are very toxic and wouldn't want to be near where they are produced.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 05:52:16 PM »

Oh and what plant is it?  I'm curious since we hear good and bad things about each plant and how it's run.
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disarm
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 07:03:22 PM »

i say go for it...not really a significant difference from where you are right now.  any increase in everyday exposure from moving two miles closer is going to have a very minimal effect on anyone, and you're already close enough that you're screwed in the event of a meltdown.  you really wouldn't be any worse off than you are already, and i'd feel pretty safe where you are now.
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 08:26:58 PM »

I think the reasonable answer here is 'it depends'.

If this is THE house it can't be replicated within your budget somewhere less, you know... glowey, then chances are pretty damn slim of anything bad happening.  On the other hand, all things being equal, I'd stay away from the nukes.

gellar
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 09:54:57 PM »

I live about 15 miles from the Duquesne Light nuclear plant in Beaver, Pa.  I really don't feel I am at any more risk because of it.
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2009, 10:56:59 PM »

Well, I'm about 45-50 miles away from one myself (Palo Verde in Arizona), and I have no fears or worries about it. Of course, it's not exactly in my backyard, either.
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Moliere
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2009, 11:22:03 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 03, 2009, 10:56:59 PM

Well, I'm about 45-50 miles away from one myself (Palo Verde in Arizona), and I have no fears or worries about it. Of course, it's not exactly in my backyard, either.

I'm about 75 miles from Palo Verde. I'm not sure if that would make a difference in the event of an accident. Maybe the difference between Harold and Marcus.
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2009, 11:26:20 PM »

Quote from: Zinfan on May 03, 2009, 05:52:16 PM

Oh and what plant is it?  I'm curious since we hear good and bad things about each plant and how it's run.

Shearon Harris.

It has had...some issues with the NRC. But I'd be interested in an insiders POV.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2009, 11:32:43 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on May 03, 2009, 11:26:20 PM

Quote from: Zinfan on May 03, 2009, 05:52:16 PM

Oh and what plant is it?  I'm curious since we hear good and bad things about each plant and how it's run.

Shearon Harris.

It has had...some issues with the NRC. But I'd be interested in an insiders POV.

Shearon Harris isn't a plant that we hear much about (that is a good thing) but I'll have to ask a few people at work who have been there.  I think they actually have applied for a permit to build two more reactors on that site, this can be good or bad for you.  Good could mean higher property values for homes in the area while construction is underway and afterwords for housing the additional permanent plant staff.  Bad would be increased traffic during construction.

by the way I hear things about Palo Verde,  ninja
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2009, 11:33:41 PM »

If I lived nowhere close to a nuclear power plant then I wouldn't be keen on moving close to one.  But considering that you live so close to one already I really can't see the difference that 2.5 miles makes-except that you'll die about 1.5 seconds sooner than everyone else when it all goes to Hell biggrin
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Moliere
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2009, 11:43:57 PM »

Quote from: Zinfan on May 03, 2009, 11:32:43 PM

by the way I hear things about Palo Verde,  ninja

It's all good.  paranoid
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2009, 12:49:02 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on May 03, 2009, 11:43:57 PM

Quote from: Zinfan on May 03, 2009, 11:32:43 PM

by the way I hear things about Palo Verde,  ninja
It's all good.  paranoid

Strangely enough, I looked through the Wiki entry before posting before. That and I had to Google the thing because I wasn't sure how to spell it.
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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2009, 01:33:31 AM »

In the 1970s I used to march against nuclear power. I was in a punk band called Your Mother. "Atom Death Boogie" was one of our most popular songs. We actually got a crowd sing-along going at an anti-nuke rally once. We wrote it right after 3 Mile Island. It went like this:

Quote from: Your Mother
Pennsylvania got a brand new beat
Everybody dying in the street

Do the atom death boogie
Do the atom death boogie
Do the atom death boogie, we'll be dying when the morning comes

Watch your hair fall out
Watch your teeth glow white
Watch the population decimated overnight

(Chorus)

Life is so angry
Life is so hard
They're building a reactor plant in my back yard!

(Chorus, over and over and over again)

Who would have guessed that I'd become a nuclear power supporter 30 years later? Things change. Go ahead, live next to a nuke plant. I would.

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« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2009, 01:47:43 AM »

Zinfan:  small world.  My uncle works at Diablo and has been there for a very long time.  Lives in Morro Bay.

My dad also works in nuclear power for TVA.  He's going to die early but it won't be because of radiation.   He smokes.  He drinks like a fish.  He's a workaholic.

Regarding the question:  I would have no issues living that close.   The only concern would be property value based on people's unfounded fears.

- shaggy

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Zinfan
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2009, 06:21:50 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 04, 2009, 12:49:02 AM

Quote from: Moliere on May 03, 2009, 11:43:57 PM

Quote from: Zinfan on May 03, 2009, 11:32:43 PM

by the way I hear things about Palo Verde,  ninja
It's all good.  paranoid

Strangely enough, I looked through the Wiki entry before posting before. That and I had to Google the thing because I wasn't sure how to spell it.

Yep the diesel thing is a big one and the fact that management didn't take positive steps to fix the situation is a big flare to the NRC.  Don't live close to Davis Besse , I'm still not sure how the reactor head situation was allowed to continue for so long when they had plenty of signs that something was wrong.
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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2009, 06:39:08 AM »

How about six miles from a nuclear weapons facility?
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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2009, 03:52:10 PM »

Upwind, right!                 eek
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« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2009, 03:52:53 PM »

I'd say "it depends" is the correct answer. From all I've read, the concern isn't so much with an increase in background radiation, but the possibility of a meltdown; i.e. 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl. Those 2 are the only major accidents -at least that we know of - in the roughly 1/2 century nuclear power generation has been in use. If you're comfortable that a meltdown won't occur at a plant near you, then moving a few miles closer isn't really an issue.

I'd personally prefer to not live downwind from a Nuclear plant, gas or chemical refinement plant or next to high voltage power lines. But if economics dictated it, out of the 3 I think I'd be less concerned about a nuclear plant.
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« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2009, 04:57:22 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on May 04, 2009, 03:52:53 PM

I'd personally prefer to not live downwind from a Nuclear plant, gas or chemical refinement plant or next to high voltage power lines. But if economics dictated it, out of the 3 I think I'd be less concerned about a nuclear plant.

This is my view too. Nuclear is so regulated it's likely the safest of the three options.
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« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2009, 05:08:47 PM »

I would imagine anyone that used to be a sailor in the nuclear Navy would certainly say that your risks are low.  Imagine living less than 500 yards away from an active reactor for months at a time.
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2009, 02:13:21 AM »

If I recall, modern nuclear plants have a design based on uranium balls or pellets that make it physically impossible or at least very difficult to meltdown, even without supervision.  Not sure if your plan is an older rod and graphite model.

There's also a lot of stuff saying the waste water from a nuclear power plant's cooling system is less radioactive than beer water, but I'd rather do proper research on it.

Here's the Skeptoid article on nuclear power, Brian Dunning is reasonable skeptic who does his research:
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4092
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« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2009, 02:29:58 AM »

You know, I say you are fine. I drive 30 miles in to the "Chemical Capital of the South" everyday for work, and people have worked at the multiple chemical plants around Hopewell, (terrible name for a dreary town), for over 50 years with no real repercussions. My biggest fear is a spill of some sort or a fire. My assistant manager can see the sulfuric acid tanks among other highly caustic and life destroying chemical tanks from her porch and it's never worried her. She knows to look and the wind sock and run depending on which way it blows...  saywhat  icon_eek puke
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« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2009, 09:21:03 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 06, 2009, 02:13:21 AM

If I recall, modern nuclear plants have a design based on uranium balls or pellets that make it physically impossible or at least very difficult to meltdown, even without supervision.  Not sure if your plan is an older rod and graphite model.

There's also a lot of stuff saying the waste water from a nuclear power plant's cooling system is less radioactive than beer water, but I'd rather do proper research on it.


Shearon Harris is a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) it doesn't use graphite to moderate the reaction, in fact no U.S. nuclear power plant uses graphite.  PWR's use control rods to regulate reactor power in combination with boron concentration in the primary coolant, during normal 100% power operation almost all the control rods are withdrawn except for a control bank that is used for fine adjustment of the neutron flux, the boron is diluted out as the fuel burns up in order to keep the number of thermal neutrons constant and keep reactor power at the required level.

As for the waste water, it depends on which cooling system you are talking about.  At Daiblo Canyon the reactor is cooled by the Reactor Coolant System (RCS) which in turn transfers its heat to the secondary system (turning the secondary system in to steam hence called the Main Steam System (MS)).  The steam is condensed back into water in the main condenser that has seawater running through it.  The Main Steam and Seawater systems are unaffected by the radioactivity of the RCS but the Main Steam system has chemicals added to it to reduce corrosion of its piping systems so I wouldn't want to drink it.
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« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2009, 10:00:43 AM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on May 03, 2009, 01:25:33 PM

The research i can find says cancer rates go up closer to nuclear plants but i cannot find a study that shows the increase over distance beyond 5 kms or 3.1 miles.

But chances of gaining superpowers or extra limbs also go up  thumbsup
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« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2009, 10:49:19 AM »

I live in the ruins of Chernobyl.
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