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I am a Nuclear Environmental Engineering Ask Me Anything

25 replies

Kursk · 08/07/2018 00:07

I am using DW’s account. I work in Nuclear powerplants and other facilities around the world. Let me know if you have any questions about radiation, or environmental impacts of nuclear power/weapons.

OP posts:
CarcerDun · 08/07/2018 00:28

Do you do the same job as Homer?

CoffeeAndToffee · 08/07/2018 00:31

Do you glow in the dark?

Kursk · 08/07/2018 00:39

No, not the same as Homer but I know people who do his job.

OP posts:
Kursk · 08/07/2018 00:39

I don’t glow in the dark, if I did that would be a bad day.

OP posts:
sparklydust · 09/07/2018 18:28

What does exposure to radiation actually do to people? Can it be like the movies when the poisoning mutilates the body?

Hawkie · 09/07/2018 20:52

Oh this is another good one @Kursk

I would like to know a few things, I hope it is OK to ask more than one question.

Are the wild salmon are really affected by the nuclear disaster that happened in Japan?

What is the best way to remediate an environment after it has been contaminated?

Did we learn a lot from the period of Chernobyl or was the site so destroyed that it hasn't been possible to use it to advance knowledge/science?

Kursk · 09/07/2018 23:00

What does exposure to radiation actually do to people?

Radiation sickness is basically the result of chemotherapy. Genetic birth mutations (not as bad as the movies) can happen.

OP posts:
Kursk · 09/07/2018 23:03

Are the wild salmon are really affected by the nuclear disaster that happened in Japan?

Some have been effected, but not badly.

What is the best way to remediate an environment after it has been contaminated?

Time. For instance after a Nuclear bomb has been dropped the best thing to do is avoid that area for 6 weeks.

OP posts:
Kursk · 09/07/2018 23:05

Did we learn a lot from the period of Chernobyl or was the site so destroyed that it hasn't been possible to use it to advance knowledge/science?

Yes we have learned a huge amount from Chernobyl, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima. In fact they are the ONLY real life experiences we have.

OP posts:
TheHulksPurplePanties · 12/07/2018 18:36

Was going to start something similar. Thanks OPWink

tedx · 14/07/2018 07:18

What's your education history?

How much do you earn!

Kursk · 14/07/2018 13:43

I earn the equivalent of £50k year.

My education was CDE at A level and a 2.2 at university.

OP posts:
LikesAnimalPark · 14/07/2018 13:59

How many miles would you want your kids to live, away from, say AWE Aldermaston and its questionable safety record which is now coming to light?

Kursk · 14/07/2018 14:08

How many miles would you want your kids to live, away from, say AWE Aldermaston and its questionable safety record which is now coming to light?

Average wind direction in the UK is west to east, I would probably say 20 miles to the east 10 miles on the west. For airborne. Anything else would be in groundwater and would be contained close to the site.

Most of what AWE deal with would have relatively short half lives so any spill would decay to a safe level within a few months.

OP posts:
RandomMess · 14/07/2018 14:13

I had a go on a nuclear plant simulator- it was fab!!

Do you anticipate nuclear use diminishing with the rise of other eco energies?

BeyondRadicalisationPortal · 14/07/2018 14:14

My dad has done Homer's job Grin

Okay, my question - do you have a long term contract in a UK plant, or are you flitting off all over the country/world as and when?

Kursk · 14/07/2018 14:18

Do you anticipate nuclear use diminishing with the rise of other eco energies?

Nuclear is carbon free. I think it’s use will increase outside Europe as green energy source.

OP posts:
waxy1 · 14/07/2018 14:18

“Radiation sickness is basically the result of chemotherapy.”

No it’s not.


“Genetic birth mutations (not as bad as the movies) can happen.”

Genetic disease caused by ionising radiation must happen, but has not been observable in human populations.

Kursk · 14/07/2018 14:19

do you have a long term contract in a UK plant, or are you flitting off all over the country/world as and when?

I am based in the USA, our company works worldwide. I travel probably about 6 weeks a year.

OP posts:
BeyondRadicalisationPortal · 14/07/2018 14:22

Sorry - I just assumed you were in the UK then Grin
Do you travel anywhere nice? And do you get chance to enjoy the places while you are there, or is it workworkwork?

Kursk · 14/07/2018 14:36

Yes we do get downtime to enjoy the country we are in. However nuclear facilities are normally in the middle of nowhere!!

I tend to want to work, get the job done and get out.

OP posts:
HopelesslydevotedtoGu · 17/07/2018 20:47

Are there any nuclear power plants in the world that worry you from a safety perspective?

Are there international laws on nuclear power plant safety regulations that all countries need to follow? Or can a country decide to have less strict standards?

Heysham 1 and 2 in Lancashire have had their use extended beyond their original intended lifespan, is this OK to do?

Do you think the public are disproportionately scared of nuclear power?

If you work in a plant regularly do you need any special medical monitoring?

You can do tourist trips to Chernobyl with a hand held Geiger counter to check you don't stay too long. Do you think this is nuts or is it safe enough?

stopfuckingshoutingatme · 17/07/2018 20:53

How worried are you abiut all the nuclear waste that can’t be stored safely / I refer to sellafield

stopfuckingshoutingatme · 17/07/2018 20:54

How high is the risk of ‘human error’

As that what scares me . We are so so fallible and for me this is the major risk

VelociraptorRex · 17/07/2018 21:20

@HopelesslydevotedtoGu I'm very familiar with the Heysham plants (actually all of the EDF plants, similar position to OP, hope you don't mind me jumping in @Kursk) - if you're local it's really worth popping in to the visitor centre at any of the EDF power stations and getting a tour - they're fascinating and the guides are really knowledgeable if you have questions.

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