I hope you jest, if we don't use solar energy the sun will still be there :-) I live in the country with the highest rate of skin cancer an simply wear a hat. I'd like to see a hat that holds back nuclear fallout.
Nuclear waste disposal: material taken down in a subduction zone may resurface in vulcanism, but the time involved is on the order of a million years. Loose sediment may build up on the nose of the oceanic plate rather than being subducted, but even so, it is pretty permanently buried. Marine geologists shudder at the thought, but so far, no one has been able to point me at a published analysis suggesting that this is not a safe and inexpensive disposal method.
I would suggest encasing waste in steel tubes and depositing the tubes parallel to and in the bottom of a deep-sea trench, where there is a good chance of them acting like roller bearings. (And obviously, you do this in someone else's trench, in the standard colonial manner.) One might even contemplate burying them in anoxic mud at the time of disposal, minimizing oxidation of the container and getting a head start on subduction.
If one fears failure to subduct, or fracture too close the surface, one might perhaps drill into the subducting plate far enough to ensure integrity. Drilling holes in the sea floor is a known art, as are re-entry and capping. Granted, trenches are deep, so maybe one does this part way down the descending slab.
What am I missing here? Can anyone point me at a rebuttal?
This world is troubled. Even technology cannot save us. I am very unhappy to read the risk associated with nuclear power. It does not worth it. Let us go back to the stone age and at least die when nature calls.
I believe Colin mentioned that the Diesel back up got flooded; Cummins, CAT, they all have packages that range up to 2.7 MW
(5000 horses I believe). These are very reliable pieces of equipment but in case intake manifold gets flooded you are in trouble.
They probably followed procedures and started up the diesel backup without checking the integraty.
Colin also mentioned that looking backwards it was overlooked (mistake) not to place the back up at higher ground - besides there is a cluster of blocks rather than just a couple.
It also helps to put things in perspective when evaluating the performance of this plant. It was designed to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2.
Nuclear energy is a very viable source of energy.
This issue, among others, is addressed on RationalWiki's page analyzing the various "Arguments against nuclear power" (see the "Economic arguments" section):
Yeah! Right on! Power to the people! Don't stop at nuke power, though... let's make every power producer "responsible and require they hold appropriate reserves based on unlimited liability. No one would even think of building (any kind of plant) if they were held responsible for potential damage." How 'bout all those birds that are slaughtered every year migrating thru wind turbine blades? That ought to be worth a couple billion dollars to screw some greedy capitalist! Heck, let's apply this logic to every manufacturer of anything, huh? Don't know 'bout you, but I've already stocked my cave with buffalo-chip fuel!
(...geesh, give it rest!)
The fundamental issue is the nuclear power business is protected and subsidized by government dollars and liability caps. Nuclear plant backup systems are determined by actuaries based on some acceptable level of risk given history and potential capped damage limits. Get government out of the nuclear power indemnification business and let the industry settle at a true cost equilibrium. Remove the laws that cap damages and make the companies who own and build these plants responsible and require they hold appropriate reserves based on unlimited liability. No one would even think of building a plant if they were held responsible for potential damage. If nuclear power is as safe as we are being told have those that own and build the plants put their money where their mouth is, otherwise just shut up about nuclear power and focus on something more cost effective.