Nuclear power

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Courier, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    I have a question for all our members in Europe or in other places where nuclear power is big, how safe do you feel with nuclear power or how do you feel about it in general? I'm in an argument with a bunch of people on another forum but it's looking pretty good to me being in a country that depends on fossil fuels.
     
  2. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Carbon Dated and Proud

    Feb 23, 2006
    Nuclear is the only way to go. It's very safe.
     
  3. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    That's what I'm trying to tell them. :?

    I've learned that apparently people can't tell the difference between nuclear reactors built in the 60's and a modern nuclear reactor. Comparing them is like comparing a WWI biplane to a F/A-18 jet.
     
  4. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    The debate on nuclear power following Japan was a bit silly. Their plants were not up to code, having received several warnings from the IAEA, and most plants aren't in similarly risky areas.

    Nuclear fission isn't the long-term answer to anything, though, since the supply is still finite and the garbage is a big problem. Here, such nuclear waste is often transported by trains do be stored or for further use and then storage, and neither the transport nor the storage are always as safe as people assume.
     
  5. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    The problem with nuclear energy never was safety (well, a little, incidents like Tchernobyl are kinda striking but simply can't happen with modern regulations, Fukurishma doesn't count when a 8.9 earthquake and a friggin tsunami are involved), it was that producing such massive amount of extremely durable and deadly waste is nothing like a long-term solution. France learns it the hard way, and it's barely been 50 years since they started to really build the plants. Plus, the supply is more finite than most ressources (admitedly you need less of it).
     
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Funny.

    You know I am neither for nor against nuclear energy. But I am always surprised how nuclear energy is declared as "completely safe" and yet when something happens like Fukushima, Chernobyl etc. those are suddenly "exceptions". Well excuse me Mr. But I do not see this "technology" without risks (I know BN will agree). Every technology regardless if a nuclear plant or driving your car is full of potential risks. What ever if you are now for nuclear energy or not you have to simply accept that as fact. Is the risk small ? Sure. But it is still there. Thinking "it is completely safe" is just as wrong like expecting every plant to blow up at the same time.

    The real problem with nuclear plants is that we actually do not even really need them. And there is a huge lobby/industry behind it. Particularly as you can not separate the civilian and military sector. The current boom in the nuclear industry is rather worrisome from a neutral perspective because a higher use also includes naturally a higher risk and more military use. The people responsible for the Indian bomb - namely Abdul Qadeer Khan - got their education in the west and they had no problem to negotiate with Libya to help them in their nuclear weapons program. Which they luckily canceled.

    The problem is a bit more complex then just safety inside the plants or potential risks of a nuclear meltdown. It is much more likely that in a possible future nations which have nuclear plants today or plan to get them could very easily change from a domestic to a military use which as the past has shown can happen quite fast. There are signs that nations show ambitions to eventually expand their nuclear programs to the military sector (see Brazilian nuclear submarine programm) even though they claim it to be not that way and only for a civilian use. Of course it is easy to claim a peaceful use when you do nothing with it the equipment. But who is going to believe that ? It has a reason why no one really believes for example the Iran in his claims for a civilian/peaceful use only for their nuclear program because the technology can be very easily changed to generate weapons grade uranium and/or plutonium. Europe and the US know that it is only a very small step from nuclear reactors to nuclear weapons. And if there is something a sane person can not really want. Then it is a more spread of nuclear weapons. Claus Kleber and Angela Andersen have shown in their report/documentation the dangers of nations and their interest in nuclear technology and weapons are real. Sadly the military side gets often enough ignored in the aspects of nuclear technology. But it is very difficiult to fight against nuclear weapons if we do not conect it with the civilian use.

    I say. If there are viable alternatives to nuclear technology. Why should we not use them ? BN already said. It is not a solution for long term.
     
  7. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    Of course there are risks when using nuclear power, there are also risks with wind power and fossil fuels. Pretty much the only energy source that doesn't have any safety issues is solar, and right now solar technology isn't a viable alternative.

    I think we need to use nuclear power as a transitional power source until either renewable energy technology or fusion technology becomes advanced enough to rely on them, we should start phasing out fossil fuels and going nuclear until we have something better available that makes nuclear fission obsolete.
     
  8. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    yes but the nuclear technology is one of those few ones that can be rather easily changed from a civilian to a military project. Which is in my eyes the highest risk as we face today much more nations armed with nuclear weapons or the potential to get their hands on them compared to the conflict of the cold war. Not to mention that the political situation is a completely different one as the cold war followed his own rules each side not willing to destroy them self without attack while there is eventually a higher risk to see nuclear weapons used eventually in small scale conflicts or even in the hands of extremist groups today regardless if we are now talking about the real nuclear weapons or dirty bombs. This will be a serious issue in the near future. So much for sure.

    As said. As long there is a growing civilian nuclear sector. We will see an increase in the military potential as well. We can not separate the one from the other. Hence why I would like see nuclear technology go sooner rather then latter. I am not saying that we should close all the plants tomorrow which is unrealistic. But instead of getting more independent on the technology many nations actually plan on building more plants and expanding their programs. Currently we have a boom in the nuclear industry. And it does not seem that Fukushima has put an end to that - see the Russian nuclear industry which is expanding. A rather dangerous evolution. More nations with access to nuclear technology will mean more military use eventually one way or another. I mean Pakistan alone is a always possible brake-down point with its poor economy and population which is unhappy with their regime and they posses already nuclear weapons. Same with North Korea another rather unstable region. And the situation with Iran we all know. It might not be even far away to assume in the future that even Japan once might get their hands on nuclear weapons as many nations see them as a "shield" against aggression. The danger is though that the rules which have been in place during the cold war do not count for the political situations today. Even Kissinger mentions that it is more dangerous today then during the cold war considering the use of nuclear weapons.
     
  9. LinkPain

    LinkPain Mildly Dipped

    540
    Jan 18, 2011
    I can't really tell. It definitely is not safe, as it is not safe to walk in the highway to up your adrenaline. Over time plants did evolve for better and they are needed. I just don't like the overuse of dangerous things as we humans usually fuck up sooner than later.
    But countries like Japan can't create sufficient energy in any other way. Other countries have more options.
     
  10. Verd1234

    Verd1234 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    337
    Jan 16, 2009
    I'm sorry if what I am about to say sounds arrogant or mean but my ancestors are all from India and I must say something.

    Abdul Khan was a Pakistani not an Indian. Very important fact.

    Just letting you know for the future....some other Indian people can get really angry about this sort of stuff haha...

    :)
     
  11. Alphadrop

    Alphadrop A right proper chap.

    Aug 21, 2008
    I like Nuclear Power, always gives me a nice warm World Of Tommorow glow when I think about it... actually I hope the glow is from that.
    Water power (well dams) have killed more people than all other power sources put together.
    Nuclear power suffers the same problems as airplanes, statistically it's damn safe but when it goes wrong it looks really scary.
    Germany promising to cancel their nuclear program and shutting down their plants after the Fukishima thing was downright retarded though, tidal waves don't tend to happen to Germany. Current gen power reactors work completely differently to older gen ones, including the way the way they generate heat so it's incrediably hard to get one to meltdown, well from what I remember of the New Scientest article I read on it.
     
  12. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Carbon Dated and Proud

    Feb 23, 2006
    Japan's reactors were built in the 60's, got hit by a gigantic earthquake, a tidal wave, and godzilla and nobody died.

    Quit being a dramaqueen.
     
  13. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    The new Generation IV reactor that will be appearing throughout the next twenty years solves a lot of people's concerns with nuclear power, from the wikipedia page:


    Unfortunately a lot of people do not understand that the Fukushima reactor is not a modern nuclear reactor.
     
  14. Dead Guy

    Dead Guy Senate Board Director oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 9, 2008
    The knee-jerk reaction following Fukushima is regrettable. As Alphadrop says, it's really strange how big a reaction they're getting in Germany.

    If indeed noone died in Fukushima, then Nuclear Power is obviously safer than Japan.

    Seriously though, it supposedly has the lowest deaths per Twh of any energy source today. People use disasters in old reactors as arguments against nuclear power, but as mentioned, generation IV reactors should be much more safe, and if you choose to accept the idea of anthropogenic global warming, an unfathomably bigger catastrophe is lined up on the fossil fuel powered horizon.

    It's not a long-term solution, but there isn't a long-term solution at all right now.
     
  15. Baron

    Baron First time out of the vault

    8
    Jun 19, 2011
    To be honest I'd much rather have nuclear power than fossil. But here in Finland our green party is only focusing on the "NO NUCLEAR POWER FUKUSHIMA CHERNOBYL" campaign.

    But wind and solar power would be the best options regarding the future imo.
     
  16. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    the best option would be the wide spread use of many sources. Which also include sources based on fossil fuel.

    The reason why Germany is making such a fuss around it is that slowly people realize we could get rid from nuclear energy without any issues. Those are based on studies made by well-known research establishment but have been hold back by certain politicians which have a very close relation to the nuclear lobby.

    Now people can tell me about "safety" with nuclear energy all they want. But if we CAN abandon it without any issues and without the need to burn more carbon/fossil based energy sources. Then why not ?

    As said. Better getting rid of it sooner then latter. What are we going to loose from it anyway. If we have to do the change at some point anyway we have to start somewhere. Though currently outside of Germany the nuclear technology currently is undergoing a boom. More nations either expand their nuclear programs or plan to build reactors.

    What ever if we take Fukushima as example now or not. But everyone talks about that "some day" we have to get out of it. But I do not see any signs of even seriously having plans how to achieve that.


    And to say this. I can only talk about the situation in Germany as this is the only part I really know. But I assume it might not be to different in other places considering how much Germany pays attention to safety (usually). We had quite a lot of nuclear plants which have been pretty old. And I do not think Fukushima is the great exception because of some strange circumstances. And I am very glad that they finally decided to get rid of those old plants which should have been shut down already YEARS ago. Even if you always keep your car in the best conditions it will get old at some point. Now if even here in Germany they tried to keep those old things running as long as possible (much longer then planed). Why has that to be different anywhere else ? I doubt they tell us everything. The future will show what will happen. But I am not feeling well with the idea to see more and more nuclear plants in the works. Not to mention as this also is increasing the risks of more nuclear weapons.
     
  17. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    According to this link nuclear power is safer than wind power and solar,

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

    and it's just as clean as both. I guess people just don't look at the facts, they just keep screaming "OMG CHERNOBYL, FUKUSHIMA, THREE MILE ISLAND" without even a basic understanding of nuclear power. If I didn't know better I'd swear that these people don't know the difference between a nuclear reactor and a nuclear warhead.
     
  18. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    dunno ... maybe if you enjoy a stay in those areas for a while it might change your mind.
     
  19. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Admin

    Aug 6, 2010
    Fukushima actually isn't that bad if you consider that it was hit by an earthquake, a tsunami and then another earthquake and a lot of the safety features were still in place enough for it not to become a Chernobyl.

    Nuclear power is kind of like an airplane. It could be statistically safer than a car but a lot of people are still afraid of flying because a plane crash tends to carry a large instance of fatalities.
     
  20. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    no the difference is that nuclear technology is showing you actually what little control you have over the events in your life. Literally. Radiation. When it leaks you cant see, hear or smell it. It simply is there. And you might suffer.

    A car for example or many of the other things you do every day just preparing your meal in the kitchen hold as well the danger of getting killed or seriously injured. But you can at least convince your self that it depends more on you. So you have no problem to keep up the illusion of control. - Like that would be really possible as you can not really control a drunk idiot hitting your car with full speed.

    Indeed when comparing the car accidents of the last 50 years (world wide) and place it against the deaths/injuries of all the nuclear accidents you don't need to be a harvard professor to "guess" which technology is more "lethal". But as said that is hardly relevant. Each technology contains an inherent risk of failure. If not from the technology itself then definitely from the human side - more then 30 KNOWN accidents with missing US nuclear bombs for example aka broken arrows and 11 of those booms are officialy still missing those though are just rough estimations because any accident which happened after the 1980s can not be statistically recorded due to secrecy. It is not rocket science. How many the Soviets and other nations loost is not even really known.

    But what I see here does not sound much better either where people paint nuclear technology like every day hardware which it also isn't. The real issue from it comes that there is a huge lobby behind it and people don't even realize it how much politic is behind it. Why don't we get reactors for every house or car for example. There IS a more serious tone behind nuclear technology. That is for sure. And I don't understand why people cant be more neutral about the subject. As long we have it. We should use it. But why the need to suddenly build more nuclear plants ? - Dont people realize that there is a lot of money it ? I have very big doubts that there are only civilian thoughts behind it as well. Now when you consider how many potential super powers are just around the courner (South America, Asia, Middle east). Actually I would even go so far to say that most of those nuclear interest come from the military side of it (if even Kissinger and Mc Namara are more worried about the situation of nuclear weapons today then compared to the cold war which was a rather clear conflict with only 2 sides mainly)