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    Your argument is one big straw man.

    The anti-nuclear lobby often come forward with nonsense arguments about how nuclear is so dangerous. We are often reminded of Chernobyl and more recently Fukushima. They often put forward comments like "when nuclear goes wrong, it really goes wrong". Well, let's start off by saying that the worst disaster in terms of energy generation was in fact to do with hydro power - Banqiao Dam disaster.

    Another thing we should acknowledge is that Chernobyl is a terrible argument over nuclear power. The only thing Chernobyl is suited for, in terms of argument, is that to argue that safety protocols are vital. Chernobyl was a Soviet era plant which had all of the safety protocols turned off - those protocols exist for a reason, when they are turned off of course something will go wrong, that's obvious.

    If we look at Fukushima, on the other hand, such a disaster would never happen in Europe or more important the United Kingdom. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, we don't experience those kinds of natural events, they don't happen here. Secondly, the technology that failed in Fukushima is 1960s technology and, if I recall correctly, doesn't actually exist in the UK. Newer power plants have completely different cooling technology.

    So we have ruled those two examples out, both of which are straw man arguments if you ask me because they are heavily reliant on massive natural disasters which would damage any nuclear power plant; but as I have mentioned, those kind of natural events don't exist in the UK, or, they are heavily reliant on safety protocols being ignored and over ridden a la Chernobyl.

    So, why should we go with nuclear power, what's so good about it?

    Well quite simply it's cheap, reliable, carbon-free and pretty damn safe. Unlike renewable energies, it doesn't require large amounts of space and nor does it blight the landscape as with wind farms but it achieves brilliantly in terms of producing energy at low carbon cost.

    Now people will often then get onto the issue of radiative isotopes and that evil substance uranium. Now, uranium isn't a pleasant substance, but people who criticise nuclear on the basis of this resource are out of luck.

    There are a few substances which can be used as nuclear fuel and one of those is Thorium. Thorium is, in my view, a miracle substance. It has all the benefits of uranium and none of the downfalls.

    Unlike uranium, thorium does not produce weapons grade fissionable materials, that is to say that the likelihood of creating nuclear weapons from it is extremely small and cannot be done safely.

    Thorium produces between 10 to 10,000 times less radioactive waste than uranium which means disposing of it is incredibly easy in comparison. Furthermore, it doesn't remain radioactive for as long as uranium.

    Unlike Uranium which is about 0.7% usable isotope, Thorium, when extracted from the ground is 100% pure usable isotope - no need to enrich it at all. That makes it incredibly more efficient and incredibly cheaper.

    Another huge bonus of thorium based nuclear plants is that thorium cannot, I repeat, cannot sustain a nuclear reaction with priming, that is to say, when you turn the plant off, fusion stops. In the case of Japan, if they were using a thorium based reactor, turning off the plant should have turned the reactors off resulting in absolutely no problems what so ever.

    This next reason for thorium based power plants is perhaps my favourite. Unlike most other fuels, thorium is ridiculously abundant. In the United States alone, there is enough thorium to maintain the countries current energy consumption for the next millennium. As we can see it's incredibly abundant and will last us for centuries if we want it to; we could use it until we have mastered various other energy techniques such as cold fusion.

    Thorium can do something else as well - it can burn up existing nuclear stocks and medical waste.

    President Barack Obama could kill America's dependence on oil if he pushed for thorium based plants. Both India and China have made huge pushes to thorium based nuclear plants because they recognise the fantastic potential of this technology and we should be doing the same. We should be ignoring the fanatics and pushing ahead with more investment in thorium based nuclear plants.

    Unlike with renewable energies, thorium will result in the closure of oil and gas plants. It means we can genuinely become a low carbon economy. It means we can really get to grips with pollution from energy production. It means we can destroy the hideous coal and gas plants and replace them with clean nuclear power plants.

    I will end on an answer to a question I get asked a lot. "Would I care if a nuclear plant was built near me?" NO I wouldn't give a damn. There is no where to build one without destroying green belt land, but if it were possible, I would welcome it - it would create huge job opportunities in my town as well as creating cheap, clean energy.

    Nuclear is the future. Yes thorium will require a lot of investment, however, until such time as it is in widespread use, we can rely on uranium. Nuclear power is an incredibly clean form of energy generation and it's no wonder the French rely so heavily on it.

    The issue of cost often props up when discussion nuclear power. You always have people screaming that nuclear power is expensive compared to other technology. At the current time, in comparison to fossil fuels, nuclear power is more expensive in purely financial terms. However, when we consider environmental impact, nuclear power is very cheap my friends; we don't have the massive emissions from fossil fuels.

    Also consider for a moment that fossil fuels are, by their very nature, inherently finite. That means they will begin to diminish and we all know how the market works right? The more fossil fuels become rare, the higher the price which inevitably means that nuclear power will become the cheapest form of energy generation is the foreseeable future.

    There is no way on this Earth renewable energies can become the majority source of energy; they are too inefficient and too weak to do so. Nuclear is the only option we currently have in terms of ensuring we drastically lower emissions, reduce pollution and reduce environmental degradation as a result of energy generation; environmentalists should be proud to support nuclear and one famous environmentalist has done so - George Monbiot.
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    I apologise for the long post. The summary is: Nuclear Power is good.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Your argument is one big straw man.

    The anti-nuclear lobby often come forward with nonsense arguments about how nuclear is so dangerous. We are often reminded of Chernobyl and more recently Fukushima. They often put forward comments like "when nuclear goes wrong, it really goes wrong". Well, let's start off by saying that the worst disaster in terms of energy generation was in fact to do with hydro power - Banqiao Dam disaster.

    Another thing we should acknowledge is that Chernobyl is a terrible argument over nuclear power. The only thing Chernobyl is suited for, in terms of argument, is that to argue that safety protocols are vital. Chernobyl was a Soviet era plant which had all of the safety protocols turned off - those protocols exist for a reason, when they are turned off of course something will go wrong, that's obvious.

    If we look at Fukushima, on the other hand, such a disaster would never happen in Europe or more important the United Kingdom. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, we don't experience those kinds of natural events, they don't happen here. Secondly, the technology that failed in Fukushima is 1960s technology and, if I recall correctly, doesn't actually exist in the UK. Newer power plants have completely different cooling technology.

    So we have ruled those two examples out, both of which are straw man arguments if you ask me because they are heavily reliant on massive natural disasters which would damage any nuclear power plant; but as I have mentioned, those kind of natural events don't exist in the UK, or, they are heavily reliant on safety protocols being ignored and over ridden a la Chernobyl.

    So, why should we go with nuclear power, what's so good about it?

    Well quite simply it's cheap, reliable, carbon-free and pretty damn safe. Unlike renewable energies, it doesn't require large amounts of space and nor does it blight the landscape as with wind farms but it achieves brilliantly in terms of producing energy at low carbon cost.

    Now people will often then get onto the issue of radiative isotopes and that evil substance uranium. Now, uranium isn't a pleasant substance, but people who criticise nuclear on the basis of this resource are out of luck.

    There are a few substances which can be used as nuclear fuel and one of those is Thorium. Thorium is, in my view, a miracle substance. It has all the benefits of uranium and none of the downfalls.

    Unlike uranium, thorium does not produce weapons grade fissionable materials, that is to say that the likelihood of creating nuclear weapons from it is extremely small and cannot be done safely.

    Thorium produces between 10 to 10,000 times less radioactive waste than uranium which means disposing of it is incredibly easy in comparison. Furthermore, it doesn't remain radioactive for as long as uranium.

    Unlike Uranium which is about 0.7% usable isotope, Thorium, when extracted from the ground is 100% pure usable isotope - no need to enrich it at all. That makes it incredibly more efficient and incredibly cheaper.

    Another huge bonus of thorium based nuclear plants is that thorium cannot, I repeat, cannot sustain a nuclear reaction with priming, that is to say, when you turn the plant off, fusion stops. In the case of Japan, if they were using a thorium based reactor, turning off the plant should have turned the reactors off resulting in absolutely no problems what so ever.

    This next reason for thorium based power plants is perhaps my favourite. Unlike most other fuels, thorium is ridiculously abundant. In the United States alone, there is enough thorium to maintain the countries current energy consumption for the next millennium. As we can see it's incredibly abundant and will last us for centuries if we want it to; we could use it until we have mastered various other energy techniques such as cold fusion.

    Thorium can do something else as well - it can burn up existing nuclear stocks and medical waste.

    President Barack Obama could kill America's dependence on oil if he pushed for thorium based plants. Both India and China have made huge pushes to thorium based nuclear plants because they recognise the fantastic potential of this technology and we should be doing the same. We should be ignoring the fanatics and pushing ahead with more investment in thorium based nuclear plants.

    Unlike with renewable energies, thorium will result in the closure of oil and gas plants. It means we can genuinely become a low carbon economy. It means we can really get to grips with pollution from energy production. It means we can destroy the hideous coal and gas plants and replace them with clean nuclear power plants.

    I will end on an answer to a question I get asked a lot. "Would I care if a nuclear plant was built near me?" NO I wouldn't give a damn. There is no where to build one without destroying green belt land, but if it were possible, I would welcome it - it would create huge job opportunities in my town as well as creating cheap, clean energy.

    Nuclear is the future. Yes thorium will require a lot of investment, however, until such time as it is in widespread use, we can rely on uranium. Nuclear power is an incredibly clean form of energy generation and it's no wonder the French rely so heavily on it.

    The issue of cost often props up when discussion nuclear power. You always have people screaming that nuclear power is expensive compared to other technology. At the current time, in comparison to fossil fuels, nuclear power is more expensive in purely financial terms. However, when we consider environmental impact, nuclear power is very cheap my friends; we don't have the massive emissions from fossil fuels.

    Also consider for a moment that fossil fuels are, by their very nature, inherently finite. That means they will begin to diminish and we all know how the market works right? The more fossil fuels become rare, the higher the price which inevitably means that nuclear power will become the cheapest form of energy generation is the foreseeable future.

    There is no way on this Earth renewable energies can become the majority source of energy; they are too inefficient and too weak to do so. Nuclear is the only option we currently have in terms of ensuring we drastically lower emissions, reduce pollution and reduce environmental degradation as a result of energy generation; environmentalists should be proud to support nuclear and one famous environmentalist has done so - George Monbiot.
    Too short did not read.

    Anyway I think this is all this thread needs. Really it should be locked after this post

    Thread/
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    The problem I have with the anti-nuclear brigade is that they're really quite naive about what will be used instead. Typically coal, oil and natural gas. I highly doubt nuclear kills more per unit energy than any of those
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Too short did not read.

    Anyway I think this is all this thread needs. Really it should be locked after this post

    Thread/
    I hope you actually read it Aj
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    I hope you actually read it Aj
    I did, but I thought a thorium reactor was still fission not fusion?
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Your argument is one big straw man.
    My argument is one big straw man?

    Until your edit removing your straw man arguments left me with this.

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Well quite simply it's cheap.
    This quite simply is not true.

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    If we look at Fukushima, on the other hand, such a disaster would never happen in Europe or more important the United Kingdom. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, we don't experience those kinds of natural events, they don't happen here. Secondly, the technology that failed in Fukushima is 1960s technology and, if I recall correctly, doesn't actually exist in the UK. Newer power plants have completely different cooling technology.
    If we look at the number of nuclear plants around the world then it seems to me inevitable that a few will be hit by natural or man made disasters at some point. The UK is not without its own disasters and to believe that one could never strike a nuclear plant here seems a little naive, the kind of naivety that led to Fukushima. A 1953 storm surge would surely be a little worrisome to those at Sizewell or Bradwell for instance. Given the huge cost of Fukushima just one of these is making nuclear seem far from cheap.

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    The issue of cost often props up when discussion nuclear power. You always have people screaming that nuclear power is expensive compared to other technology. At the current time, in comparison to fossil fuels, nuclear power is more expensive in purely financial terms. However, when we consider environmental impact, nuclear power is very cheap my friends; we don't have the massive emissions from fossil fuels.
    At the current time, in comparison to renewables, nuclear power is cheap, however nuclear is not getting any cheaper where as renewables are and will no doubt overtake neclear within the new neclear plants lifetimes.

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    There is no way on this Earth renewable energies can become the majority source of energy; they are too inefficient and too weak to do so. Nuclear is the only option we currently have in terms of ensuring we drastically lower emissions, reduce pollution and reduce environmental degradation as a result of energy generation; environmentalists should be proud to support nuclear and one famous environmentalist has done so - George Monbiot.
    Of course we need nuclear, but over reliance at the cost of renewables seems extremely short sighted.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    I did, but I thought a thorium reactor was still fission not fusion?
    I didn't say it was fusion did I??

    (Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
    My argument is one big straw man?

    Until your edit removing your straw man arguments left me with this.
    Actually my edit didn't remove a thing, it merely expanded it.


    This quite simply is not true.
    It is quite cheap and as I made clear, when fossil fuels become more finite they will become more expensive. When that happens, nuclear will become an even more attractive prospect.

    If we look at the number of nuclear plants around the world then it seems to me inevitable that a few will be hit by natural or man made disasters at some point. The UK is not without its own disasters and to believe that one could never strike a nuclear plant here seems a little naive, the kind of naivety that led to Fukushima.
    If you genuinely believe a Fukushima type disaster will happen in the UK you are beyond help.


    At the current time, in comparison to renewables, nuclear power is cheap, however nuclear is not getting any cheaper where as renewables are and will no doubt overtake neclear within the new neclear plants lifetimes.
    Renewables are unable to produce the sheer amount of power that a nuclear power plant can produce, they require massive amounts of space, some are responsible for the declining population of animals (take wind farms and bats).

    of course we need nuclear, but over reliance at the cost of renewables seems extremely short sighted
    Not when nuclear can see us through several centuries.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    I didn't say it was fusion did I??
    .
    "when you turn the plant off, fusion stops"

    Should it not be fission stops rather than fusion?
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    I didn't say it was fusion did I??
    Actually my edit didn't remove a thing, it merely expanded it.
    Exactly. Before your edit it was one big straw man.

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    If you genuinely believe a Fukushima type disaster will happen in the UK you are beyond help.
    Did i say that? No. But it isn't beyond possibility that a Fukushima sized disaster could happen in the UK and that it's likely Fukushima will not be the last nuclear disaster worldwide.

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Not when nuclear can see us through several centuries.
    But costing more than renewables. Then whats the point?
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    (Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
    Exactly. Before your edit it was one big straw man.
    No it wasn't - everything I wrote was central to my argument. However, when I posted it I realised I hadn't mentioned much on the cost side, so I edited it in. Your argument is a straw man - it effectively says nuclear is bad because a giant disaster stopped it working. Whereas my argument is about the science of nuclear.

    Sorry Mr Straw Man.



    Did i say that? No. But it isn't beyond possibility that a Fukushima sized disaster could happen in the UK and that it's likely Fukushima will not be the last nuclear disaster worldwide.
    The worst energy generation disaster wasn't nuclear it was hydro-electric. The UK doesn't get the sort of natural disasters you are talking about and even if we did, which we don't, the technology in our plants are different. The system that went faulty in Fukushima doesn't exist in the UK any more (as far as I am aware).

    But costing more than renewables. Then whats the point?
    It doesn't cost more than renewables and if we move to thorium it will be even cheaper.

    (Original post by Aj12)
    "when you turn the plant off, fusion stops"

    Should it not be fission stops rather than fusion?
    Yes I do apologise. My mistake.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    No it wasn't - everything I wrote was central to my argument. However, when I posted it I realised I hadn't mentioned much on the cost side, so I edited it in. Your argument is a straw man - it effectively says nuclear is bad because a giant disaster stopped it working. Whereas my argument is about the science of nuclear.

    Sorry Mr Straw Man.
    My arguement was only ever about financial cost and the costs of past and the inevitable future mistakes surely needs to be included.


    (Original post by Teaddict)
    The worst energy generation disaster wasn't nuclear it was hydro-electric.
    On what measure?



    (Original post by Teaddict)
    The UK doesn't get the sort of natural disasters you are talking about and even if we did, which we don't, the technology in our plants are different. The system that went faulty in Fukushima doesn't exist in the UK any more (as far as I am aware).
    Seriously again? I never said a Fukushima was possible in the UK, only that believing any nuclear disaster to be impossible in the UK is a little naive.


    (Original post by Teaddict)
    It doesn't cost more than renewables
    But almost certainly will in the near future.
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    (Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
    On what measure?
    Death and cost.

    Seriously again? I never said a Fukushima was possible in the UK, only that believing a nuclear disaster to be impossible in the UK is a little naive.
    ". But it isn't beyond possibility that a Fukushima sized disaster could happen in the UK"

    That makes it extraordinarily clear that you believe such a disaster or scale of natural disaster could happen.

    Of course a nuclear disaster could happen, however, as the result of geological/natural disasters? not likely.


    But almost certainly will in the near future
    I don't buy it, but perhaps.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Death and cost.
    How much?

    (Original post by Teaddict)
    ". But it isn't beyond possibility that a Fukushima sized disaster could happen in the UK"

    That makes it extraordinarily clear that you believe such a disaster or scale of natural disaster could happen.

    Of course a nuclear disaster could happen, however, as the result of geological/natural disasters? not likely.
    What exactly is wrong with that statement? You yourself just agreed with it.

    By Fukushima sized i ment the neclear disaster not the earth quake and tsunami, but of course that isn't totaly beyond possibility either.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    Death and cost.

    ". But it isn't beyond possibility that a Fukushima sized disaster could happen in the UK"

    That makes it extraordinarily clear that you believe such a disaster or scale of natural disaster could happen.

    Of course a nuclear disaster could happen, however, as the result of geological/natural disasters? not likely.


    I don't buy it, but perhaps.
    UK nuke plant cooling systems are passive aren't they? I was under the impression it was mostly done by gravity so even in the case of a massive power cut or whatever the reactor would still be cooled?
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    (Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
    If barclays decided to place > $130 billion in the asteroid belt and then had it wiped out by a meteorite, maybe.
    Fukushima was avoidable.
    The financial system is flawed as it relies on government insurance, just like nuclear.
    How exactly was fukushima avoidable? Silly japanese, their fault for having a tsunami....

    If we got rid of all the nuclear reactors and built thousands of offshore wind farms which were subsequently wiped out by a hurricaine, the cost would be enormous: many hundreds of times greater than the cost of repairing the relevant number of Nuclear plants.


    (Original post by @*=-+1<>6)
    Nuclear is most certainly not either.
    Nuclear is a lot more efficient (both space and energy wise) than renewables. Nuclear power is also a lot more stable than renewables (i.e. clouds/drop in wind energy and you're suddenly running at <10% capacity) and, despite what the ill-informed media speculate, very unlikely to explode. Since we can recycle fuels, the impact of mining can be dramatically reduced, and they take up a lot less space, which makes them more environmentally friendly than a lot of renewable sources (have you ever considered the impact that flooding a valley for hydroelectrics has on the local ecosystem?). Finally, if you want to get power from an offshore wind station you have to spend millions creating and maintaining a sizeable network of underground cables. These get very regularly severed (there was a BBC programme about this sort of thing a little while back), requiring the entire power network in the area to shut down for several days whilst they are repaired. This is a logistical nightmare (as I'm sure you can imagine). Nuclear power is a LOT easier to maintain and deliver, even if startup is a little complex.
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    (Original post by hungryaardvark)
    How exactly was fukushima avoidable? Silly japanese, their fault for having a tsunami....
    Well it was built in a known tsunami zone. So maybe you know have the back up generators a little less tsunami prone?:eek:

    (Original post by hungryaardvark)
    If we got rid of all the nuclear reactors and built thousands of offshore wind farms which were subsequently wiped out by a hurricaine, the cost would be enormous: many hundreds of times greater than the cost of repairing the relevant number of Nuclear plants.
    Have you heard how much they are paying out in compensation for Fukushima?
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    (Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
    It’s not like we have another option with the banks, but with nuclear we do and what’s more nuclear is a dead end. It’s not the answer to our energy requirements, it will never be commercially viable, it’s becoming less and less so and it’s a finite resource.

    So why are we so happy to plough money into a failed industry?
    Nuclear energy is commercially viable, hence why may countries the world over use nuclear reactors to generate electricity.
    And I would like to hear your suggestion for an alternative to nuclear power. Hydrocarbons are becoming precious and expensive, and really ought to be used more and more as a resource for pharmaceuticals etc. than as a source of energy. We don't have the luxury of enough suitable sites to construct hydroelectric stations in this country, nor will we ever be able to construct enough windmills to meet our energy demands. We can't really justify the burning of biomass fuels if we still can't feed everybody properly and furthermore, there simply isn't enough arable land. We aren't situated in a geologically favourable position for geothermal plants and we aren't situated in a geographically favourable position for solar power to be viable.
    Once you take nuclear out as an option, you are left with a huge gap between the power output we're capable of and the power output we require. Nuclear is a necessity. We are happy to plough money into this industry because it's cheaper than the alternatives.
    I agree, however, that it isn't a solution. The only real answer to the energy crisis would be when we are able to achieve nuclear fusion in a way that is commercially viable, and we believe that could be very close. Until then, we need to continue to produce energy and nuclear power offers the cheapest, safest and most pragmatic alternative.
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    (Original post by JayTeeKay)
    Nuclear energy is commercially viable, hence why may countries the world over use nuclear reactors to generate electricity.
    Errr no, that doesn't mean its commercially viable.

    I'm not suggesting not using nuclear at all i'm suggesting we should keep it to a minimum
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    (Original post by @*=-+1!<>6)
    How much?
    1975: Shimantan/Banqiao Dam Failure
    Human lives lost: 171,000
    Cost: $8,700,000,000

    EDIT: To give this some most context, the Chernobyl disaster was closer to 4000 with the highest estimate at 27,000 (although the higher figure is somewhat dubious)

    What exactly is wrong with that statement? You yourself just agreed with it.

    By Fukushima sized i ment the neclear disaster not the earth quake and tsunami, but of course that isn't totaly beyond possibility either
    We won't get that size of natural disaster in the UK. It would be silly to plan our energy strategy around the idea that it might happen because the probability is so small.


    (Original post by Aj12)
    UK nuke plant cooling systems are passive aren't they? I was under the impression it was mostly done by gravity so even in the case of a massive power cut or whatever the reactor would still be cooled?
    I believe most are, yes.
 
 
 
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