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Here's a interesting article on Nuclear Energy I found. I think it's a interesting read, so I suggest checking it out. Basically, it says that Nuclear Power is safe. The article is about 8 years old (written in 199, but I still think it's valid.
So, do you agree with the article? Do you think Nuclear Power is safe? Why, or why not?
I feel the potential unsafeness of nuclear power has already been demonstrated. After all, no form of power is abseloutely safe.. who knows, a low flying aircraft might clip a wind turbine one day and suddenly everyone will be shrieking about how dangerous they are.
The question, I think, is whether that (very high, as the article points out) level of safety is tollerable compared to the advantages.
I guess, in the end, it comes down to aesthetics for me. I tend to look back nostalgically on the innocence of the early pioneers of nuclear power, who honestly believed that the nuclear age would bring all these fantastic improvements to people's lives. Perhaps it never did, but I'm still not entirely convinced it couldn't.
Nuclear manipulation is the triumph of the modern age, it's the ultimate symbol of human power over the world. Some people would ask 'who are we to wield that power.' But the reverse is also true.. who are we to deny it?
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; July 11th, 2006 at 21:57.
I used to be 100% against nuclear power. Most of that was based on the waste, and where it should be sited. It's still the one factor that worries me. Since the oil spike I'm not so sure anymore that it's as valid as it seemed. I imagine future generations will be smart enough to do something useful with the stuff.
Oil has always been a hit or miss affair. Basically you have it or you don't. Nuclear power can go anywhere stable enough to have it. It evens the odds for everyone to have electricity and step into the 21st century. It could lift the Third World to the First very quickly with less air-quality and deforestation issues.
He mentions Three-Mile Island in the US, but what about Chernobyl in 1986? Even that seems to have been manageable. Thirty people died immediately. Cancer rates have increased, but thyroid cancer, the one that they talk about the most, has gone from 4-6 deaths per million to 45 deaths per million. Still not stellar rates.
Last year all over the world, even just in China alone, mining accidents in coal mines claimed more folks than that lost at Chernobyl.
As for wind power... a wind turbine field that could provide enough energy for a quarter of Boston, MA's reidents was slated to go into the sound off Cape Cod... but was blocked by wealthy residents who didn't want their view ruined (The plants would look 1/4 inch tall from shore) and could drum up "ecological ramifications to flying seabirds" from "respected ecologists". So... No matter what power you choose, someone's going to complain.
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The whole anti-nuclear argument is based on facts and fears from 20 years ago. Since then, the safety protocols and technology have improved dramatically. Since Chernobyl there have been more than 200 nuclear power stations built around the world. How many have gone super critical? I can't remember hearing about any, because you can be damned sure it would have made world headlines (but I could be wrong).
The two biggest arguements against nuclear power are the dangers, "what if" something were to go wrong; and what to do with the waste it produces and how to store/dispose of it.
How much waste has been pumped into the atmosphere but coal burning plants since industialization? Is that waste any less dangerous to the environment than sealed barrels locked in underground bunkers? I don't believe so. Infact, I would almost have to say it is worse, because it is more insidious. What do you think someone from 300 years ago would think of the air quality that we accept as breathable today? Major cities have daily smog warnings, people willingly breathe in deadly chemicals to relax (cigarettes), and cancer and genetic malformations are common place
But how do we deal with waste that lasts for thousands of years? People fear that the barrels in the bunkers could leak or degrade, spilling into the ground, and poisoning the planet. Fair enough, anything's possible. But they do not offer alternatives, other than no nuclear power. I can understand the concern about it, but I'd rather see an alternative (how about a massive railgun to shoot the barrels into space?) than just a blanket ban on the whole thing.
Until useful fusion (hot or cold) can be developed, nuclear power is the most efficient way to produce the power that the world craves.
Mysterious Member of the ANZAC Clan
3 mile island could actually have been the same as chernobyl, after all the accident was fairly similar. The difference is that western reactors, like all modern reactors today, had two reactor casing layers instead of just one. A simple safety feature which saved many lives at the cost of being slightly more expensive in construction.
No slight on Soviet engineering, which was in many cases very good, but it often had different priorities to the West, and safety wasn't always key. I don't think you can compare a reactor like Chernobyl with the reactors used in the Western world today.
That said, I don't think Chernobyl can be written off as negligable. It's not just cancer rates, you need to look at things like the the immune systems of children born in the area, which are often quite poor and may lead to deaths from other diseases which won't show up on the statistics.
My problem with energy policy in general is that, no matter what form it takes, be it a coal-fired plant, a natural gas plant, a wind turbine farm, a nuclear power plant, whatever, nobody ever wants it "near them". The Boston, MA example cited earlier is a great example of this. As is Nevada's refusal to store nuclear waste when its own national-level politicians favor nuclear power.
I just want to shake these people. If you like having air conditioning, heat, television, computers and the internet, phone service, supermarkets, refrigerated food, and so on and so forth, and all on demand, then you're going to have to pay for it! And I don't mean just with your money. If it means sacrificing your view slightly, deal with it! If it means a power plant is within a mile of your house, too bad! If it means putting up with more pollution, then you'd better darn be willing to pay for its clean up and management. It's either that, or you should follow through on the logical extension of your thoughts and get rid of every powered convenience that you can't live without. Take yourself off the grid. Go live somewhere in Africa or Asia where -- yikes! -- people are poor and clean water is hard to come by!
As for nuclear power itself, the danger the plant itself poses causes me no pain whatsoever. I do think, however, that the spent fuel is a kind of pollution that is orders of magnitude more difficult to deal with than any amount of the usual carbon-based pollutants we've been spewing. The planet can, over a reasonable amount of time (sometimes in only a few decades or centuries), clean pollutants out of its system. (If it couldn't, the planet'd be covered in volcanic ash and there'd be no life anywhere.)
But the earth really can't handle radioactive material. It will always be dangerous, no matter where it ends up, because its breakdown is not subject to the usual processes responsible for the breakdown of detritus. And my resistance to nuclear power is based solely on this fact. If we come up with a reasonably safe solution to eliminating radioactive waste -- and a mechanical railgun that launches crap out into space actually sounds pretty good to me! -- then it becomes just one more energy tool at our disposal that I am happy to embrace.
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014
I'm all for Nuclear Power, not only because it provides more power than any other type of energy generation system we currently have, but also because I read an article somewhere about how modern nuclear power techniques don't produce the tons of highly radioactive waste that they did before. I can't remember the mechanics of it, but it was basically saying nuclear power is now more viable than ever. A few nuclear power stations could replace most of the coal and gas fired stations and produce vastly less waste.
Since Chenobyl and Long Island, safety procedures and construction techniques have also improved greatly, so the chances of any kind of nuclear disaster occurring because of a fault is negligible. Of course, there's always the chance of some lunatic terrorist trying to blow one up, but I think something like that could probably be averted or contained.
"Peace, through superior firepower."
psst, Tzeentch, Frank Castle was quoting an Ancient Roman proverb from Vegetius.
number6: You have an excellent point, man. It's amazing how folks want someone else to take the burden of their convenience, and will dream up incredible rationalizations for it. It's at the base of everything from NIMBY syndrome to slavery.
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I'm for it. It is painfully obvious that we need an alternate source of energy. We have one until we can find something even safer. I say go for it.
Hell yeah, go MalSeraph, go! Together we shall stand against the forces of saying no!
In Oz, there's much ado about nothing as far as Nueclear power is concerned. All you need is water, salt water that's crap even. The huge thick clouds that rise from those 'smoke' stacks is just water vapour. The only way the system can go >Dong< like Windows XP Home is when the station isn't well maintained.
The lack of good maintainnence destroying the place is the central Anti argument agsinst it, but the protesters are blockading the station and not letting workers in. How the hell can they maintain the place when they can't get in through the ****wits protesting that they won't maintain the thing?
Though there is a good side to these protesters... when they deny the workers access to the station long enough, they'll be the 1st to die from the meltdown they caused. Good riddance to bad wastes of breath.
Post your army lists in the ARMY LIST section! Not that hard!