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In light of current events, do you agree with nuclear power? watch

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  • View Poll Results: In light of current events, do you agree with nuclear power?
    I agree with nuclear power, and I did so before the events in Japan
    173
    81.99%
    I agree with nuclear power, and I did not prior to events in Japan.
    2
    0.95%
    I do not agree with nuclear power, and I disagreed before events in Japan.
    22
    10.43%
    I disagree with nuclear power, but agreed with it prior to events in Japan.
    7
    3.32%
    I don't have an opinion on nuclear power.
    7
    3.32%

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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Resources aren't the issue, the fact that renewables are not a currently viable solution is.
    The term "not viable" keeps being banded around. What do you mean by "not viable"? Google defines viable as; "feasible: capable of being done with means at hand and circumstances as they are". I don't see how we couldn't implement fully renewable sources right now if we wanted. There are already geothermal plants all over the world. There are already huge wind farms all over the world. There are already many tidal barrages and solar is already implemented in many different ways.

    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Why can't I tell you that? Quoting a figure of 510 billion square miles is all well and good but it's also meaningless. 2/3 of that is ocean, most of which is unsuitable for building wind farms or similar - ever noticed that offshore wind farms are only relatively close inshore? Add to that renewables have a very low generation density, highly variable output and an ever growing demand for energy and to try and meet demand using renewables alone would require an absolutely vast area of land. Then take into account that a lot of land is urban, much of it is unsuitable and it'd be nice to keep some land to grow food on. Yeah, I can tell you there isn't enough space.
    There are huge areas of desert all over the world that could be used for photovoltaic installations. Also as I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty sure photovoltaic paint has been invented which could be put onto all future walls and roofs which would require no space.

    Geothermal plants take up no more room than nuclear plants.

    There are huge portions of countries such as the US which are relatively uninhabited which would be perfect for huge wind farms. Look at the pink bits on this map.

    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    If we already had the technology and expertise to provide complete renewable infrastructure why is there relatively little of it, but a lot of research into it?
    Isn't the reason for that pretty obvious? Most of the monetary influence on the planet is held by oil companies which have a vested interest in not supporting renewable energies.

    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Try limited generating capacity, limited availability and unknown ecological impact of renewables for starters.
    Renewable sources do not have a "limited generating capacity". This link for example shows how the US alone has the potential to get 9 times it's current electricity demand from wind.

    As for the ecological impact, look how many lives have been ruined in the last century from nuclear technology. Last time I checked, solar panels don't kill people.
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    (Original post by sean_c)
    Isn't the reason for that pretty obvious? Most of the monetary influence on the planet is held by oil companies which have a vested interest in not supporting renewable energies.
    why do you think most oil companies have rebranded themselves "energy" companies and spend a lot buying into other energy sources??

    As soon as renewable sources become profitable then bet your bottom dollar that the oil companies will use their massive wealth to buy it up and control the energy supply.



    also your ideas about using massive amounts of desert for energy production is all very well, but do you really think people will share these resources??? it will be just like now with OPEC except it will be with renewable energy.

    The eco idea of all of us cooperating and sharing to save the planet just isnt going to happen, full stop. Its just not profitable.
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    I agree with nuclear power still, and I'm pissed off the fault line has even brought this discussion up. Especially in a UK forum, where we have no natural disasters approaching Japan-scale.
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    More people have been killed in aircraft accidents, and way more in traffic accidents. Shall we ban cars and aeroplanes?

    For some reason people are overly sensitive to the dangers of nuclear power, it's probably the fear of becoming a mutant :mmm:
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    (Original post by Craig_D)
    More people have been killed in aircraft accidents, and way more in traffic accidents. Shall we ban cars and aeroplanes?

    For some reason people are overly sensitive to the dangers of nuclear power, it's probably the fear of becoming a mutant :mmm:
    That's a ridiculous comparison. There aren't alternatives available for cars or planes, unlike for nuclear power.
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    (Original post by l4ith)
    That's a ridiculous comparison. There aren't alternatives available for cars or planes, unlike for nuclear power.
    yes, but would you want to live next to this



    At least nuc is only dangerous when a 8.9 earthquake happens...
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    1. It would not be secure, because those other nations would control our energy supply.
    2. It would not be technically viable, because transmitting over a distance of thousands of kilometres from the source of its generation is highly inefficient
    This. Especially the first point.
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    (Original post by sean_c)
    The term "not viable" keeps being banded around. What do you mean by "not viable"? Google defines viable as; "feasible: capable of being done with means at hand and circumstances as they are". I don't see how we couldn't implement fully renewable sources right now if we wanted.
    I know precisely what viable means, and with the technology currently available renewables cannot be the sole source of our current and future energy needs. Hence they are not viable.
    There are already geothermal plants all over the world. There are already huge wind farms all over the world. There are already many tidal barrages and solar is already implemented in many different ways.
    .. and despite all this renewables are still only a tiny proportion of worldwide power generation.


    There are huge areas of desert all over the world that could be used for photovoltaic installations. Also as I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty sure photovoltaic paint has been invented which could be put onto all future walls and roofs which would require no space.
    Ever heard of sandstorms? Ever seen sandpaper used on glass? Now think of the effect on of the surface of a solar panel which needs high optical conductivity to function. Or the logistics of generating large quantities of energy where there is very little use for it.

    Geothermal plants take up no more room than nuclear plants.
    But require very specific geological conditions to be built.

    There are huge portions of countries such as the US which are relatively uninhabited which would be perfect for huge wind farms. Look at the pink bits on this map.
    The fact they're uninhabited doesn't automatically make them suitable for wind farming. What't the terrain like? What's the current usage? If you covered the Great Plains in wind farms where would you grow the food that's currently grown there? Also bear in mind that the wind power figure given has to be multiplied by 0.5 and then by .15 to .2 for availability (assuming you have at least ten widely dispersed wind farms) and the power figures suddenly don't look so great. Even so, the energy requirement in the US is huge, and whilst the wind holds that power, it's not possible to extract much of it (most power is at high speeds, when turbines shut down).


    Isn't the reason for that pretty obvious? Most of the monetary influence on the planet is held by oil companies which have a vested interest in not supporting renewable energies.
    I love this conspiracy theory. As Warrenpenalver said, they're energy companies - ever heard BP's slogan 'Beyond Petroleum'? They are actively trying to get a good foothold in future power generation systems, but there's no holy grail yet.



    Renewable sources do not have a "limited generating capacity".
    Yes, they do.
    This link for example shows how the US alone has the potential to get 9 times it's current electricity demand from wind.
    That's a very poor website as it doesn't state what basis it's using for those figures. Is that the total energy in the wind? As stated above, you cannot extract all the energy from the wind (Betz limit etc.). Does that figure take into account variability? Is it nameplate capacity or actual output? Does it account for the fact that wind turbines only operate in certain wind ranges, and above or below that they generate no power? It might have some credibility if the provided source linked to a page that actually exists, but as it doesn't it has no credibility in my eyes.


    As for the ecological impact, look how many lives have been ruined in the last century from nuclear technology. Last time I checked, solar panels don't kill people.
    Excluding nuclear weapons, very few. Yeah, there was Chernobyl, but an incident like that won't occur again, and wouldn't have occurred if it weren't for the Soviet Union's love for ideals above facts. As for killing people, I take it you've not seen any of the wind turbine self destruction videos? They won't kill on a large scale but cop a turbine blade in the back of the head and you're unlikely to come out of it best. Anyway, ecological impact considers other things - tidal or wave systems will have a dramatic impact on the local environment. What's the long term impact of extracting large quantities of energy from the wind? That's about as well understood as releasing CO2 was a couple of hundred years ago.

    In any case, you've still failed to address two fundamental points: one is availability of wind or solar power generation, and the second is future power needs. The modern western lifestyle requires a vast amount of energy to sustain, but at present the number of people living that lifestyle is relatively few. Do you think that's going to be the case forever? When India and China start approaching energy usage requirements to the same per capita scale as the west we will need a huge amount more energy. Throw in growing populations and basing your argument, even with it's other flaws, around current energy needs is just ridiculous.

    Oh, and do feel free to keep going on about wind power. As part of my engineering degree we studied it quite extensively and no-one - not the lecturers, or even a friend of mine who's a research engineer for Vestas - claimed it was suitable for anything other than supplemental power generation. It has it's place, but it's not going to power the world.
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    (Original post by sean_c)
    Renewable sources do not have a "limited generating capacity". This link for example shows how the US alone has the potential to get 9 times it's current electricity demand from wind.
    Can you please stop posting that link?
    Or at least find a less biased source.
    A website that focusses on renewables, reporting on a study done by the body that represents the wind energy industry, is NOT going to be credible or accurate.
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    (Original post by l4ith)
    Alternatives include biomass, geothermal, tidal, hydrogen fuel cells, solar etc.

    All of these are areas that, with investment, could really progress and potentially provide large amounts of energy. Solar power has already progressed immensely. All the methods mentioned involve a reduction in the amount of harmful waste produced. Biomass can be accessed by many nations; the key is to balance biomass needed for food and biomass needed for power.

    There are plenty of alternatives, they surely just need investment?
    When you do the maths, renewable energy resources all have very low energy output densities, and biomass has the lowest. When you consider how much of the world's energy must be generated without fossil fuels by 2050 in order to avoid major global warming, it is physically impossible to do it without nuclear, and lots of it.

    Add to this, many renewable resources are nowhere near as good as they seem. For biomass, the amount of fossil fuels required in the farming and refining processes make it almost not worthwhile. Same for hydrogen cells.



    It's entirely ridiculous for this incident to make people scared of nuclear power. Only one nuclear accident in history has ever killed people; if anyone dies from this, which is unlikely, it because a from a 9 richter Earthquake. How is that relevant to the UK or most places? People seem to be unaware of how many nuclear plants exist and work fine for years. We have 10 nuclear plants operating and France generates 75% of its electricity from nuclear.

    If we are going to be put off by disasters then we will be put off hydroelectric, an energy resource responsible for about 150,000 deaths. But funnily no-one seems to be against that.
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    I like option 2: I agree with nuclear power, and I did not prior to events in Japan.

    Who would agree with nuclear power because of a problem with it?
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    Sorry if it has already been posted, but this is a good article about nuclear power and the events in Japan.
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    (Original post by paddyman4)
    We have 10 nuclear plants operating and France generates 75% of its electricity from nuclear.
    Have you found it a bit odd that it's been France's Nuclear Agency that seems to have been doing a lot of the scaremongering, at least early on? I believe it was people connected to it that first suggest the situation should be rated 6 on the INES scale and that it was worse than was being reported. Seems strange for a country with such a dependence on nuclear power.

    (Original post by 69Crazyfists)
    I like option 2: I agree with nuclear power, and I did not prior to events in Japan.

    Who would agree with nuclear power because of a problem with it?
    Possibly because despite being hit by an earthquake and a tsunami both well in excess of any expected to hit it there has been no major release of radioactive material? (Note the difference between radiation and radioactive material - as far as I'm aware all the radioactive material released has been gaseous and with a very short half life. As long as the fuel remains within the containment it can be resealed, even if it is breached - the problem at Chernobyl and Mayak was/is radioactive material scattered over a wide area)
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    Hmm, I've always been wary of it but it is our best choice as oil, gas and coal are running out (or are in politically unstable areas) and renewable's at the moment simply cannot provide enough energy until they are made more efficient.

    My position before the events was a wary proponent of it and I still am a wary proponent of it.
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    Been a major failure of leadership amongst the nuclear industry IMO.

    They should have seen that this is potential PR nightmare with greenies going on about radiation being dangerous and so on so as soon as the fires and explosions started they should have had leaders of the nuclear industry and energy ministers from government etc going on site to see the problem for themselves, then brought in as many workers as possible (not just 50 rotating in shifts) to work round the clock en masse until the problem is resolved.

    When there's a train crash or whatever you have ministers going on site within days being filmed saying what a disaster it is and how they will roll their sleeves up and do whatever it takes to put things right, but I've not seen one minister or leader of the nuclear industry think it a worthwhile use of his time to even visit the site to show his support for the workers.

    They also need to stop this myth that nuclear energy is expensive by guaranteeing that the Japanese taxpayer will not be faced with any bill for decontamination and clean up costs and issue a guarantee that the energy company and its insurers will meet any costs.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Been a major failure of leadership amongst the nuclear industry IMO.

    They should have seen that this is potential PR nightmare with greenies going on about radiation being dangerous and so on so as soon as the fires and explosions started they should have had leaders of the nuclear industry and energy ministers from government etc going on site to see the problem for themselves, then brought in as many workers as possible (not just 50 rotating in shifts) to work round the clock en masse until the problem is resolved.

    When there's a train crash or whatever you have ministers going on site within days being filmed saying what a disaster it is and how they will roll their sleeves up and do whatever it takes to put things right, but I've not seen one minister or leader of the nuclear industry think it a worthwhile use of his time to even visit the site to show his support for the workers. .
    The head of the IAEA has gone to Japan, though I think he may only have arrived today. I assume he'll be going to the plant.

    Also did anyone see the bit on nuclear power on This Week last night? I couldn't watch all of it, some stupid fashion designer with no knowledge whatsoever of nuclear power was given a platform to gob off about it. It made me so angry - not simply because her uninformed views were being given credibility by being broadcast by the BBC, but also because she was making statements that were simply false.
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    (Original post by Craig_D)
    More people have been killed in aircraft accidents, and way more in traffic accidents. Shall we ban cars and aeroplanes?

    For some reason people are overly sensitive to the dangers of nuclear power, it's probably the fear of becoming a mutant :mmm:
    Or, perhaps more poignantly, more people die each year from radiation given by a single hospital (through CT scans, X-rays etc) than the entire combined radiation emitted by UK's nuclear power plants.
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    Just a quick FYI: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12783832

    Japan has raised the alert level at a stricken nuclear plant from four to five on a seven-point international scale for atomic incidents.

    The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi site is now two levels below Ukraine's 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

    At lol @ all the people negging in this thread, rather than having a logical debate.
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    (Original post by sean_c)


    As for the ecological impact, look how many lives have been ruined in the last century from nuclear technology. Last time I checked, solar panels don't kill people.
    Not that many considering how much its used. The one major nuclear accident was because of a poorly designed reactor and badly trained staff. The events in Japan was in an old reactor with flaws all of which have long been fixed as others have told you.

    Also the chemicals in a solar panel are pretty damaging and hard to get rid of. (going by what my old science teacher told me a couple of years ago)

    And this http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/...ly-side-o.html
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    We need to make sure the taxpayer does not get saddled with the costs of subsidising the nuclear industry.

    If it is profitable then there should be no issue with raising the money for the start up costs through the private markets, lenders will provide the money if there is a decent return.

    Also and most importantly to me there should be no liability for the taxpayer of any clean up costs in the aftermath of an accident. Energy companies need to be made to put aside funds and/or get sufficient insurance to cover the full costs of worst case scenario meltdowns of their plants.

    Other than that I keep an open mind to nuclear power along with any other form of energy.
 
 
 
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