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orangebomb
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Nuclear Energy Mar. 13th, 2011 @ 10:57 PM Reply

Over the last 60 years or so, nuclear energy has been a huge energy source for people, not just in America, but all over the world, and recently was considered {along with solar, wind, etc.}, as a replacement for coal and oil. But there is a danger to nuclear power plants, which consists of possible meltdowns of the core, and how to deal with nuclear waste away from the people.

Of course we all know by now about the horrors of Chernobyl, {which was a poorly built Soviet plant with no protection}, the scare at 3 mile island, and even now with Fujishima Nuclear Plant in Japan. {which IMO was really a perfect storm of events that led to the meltdown of the core, earthquakes, tsunami, and the fact that it was over 40 years old.} Even with all that, I'm a big proponent of nuclear energy because the benefits of cheap and plentiful power outweigh the risks, and it is a viable option to coal and oil power plants, compared to solar and wind power {in terms of cost.}

Your thoughts?


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 12:17 AM Reply

At 3/13/11 10:57 PM, orangebomb wrote: Your thoughts?

Most safety concerns dealing with meltdowns, radiation leaks and waste disposal are outdated. Current technology is safer than coal plants, cannot melt down, and reduces waste to the point where it can be used in other applications. The hysteria behind the specter of nuclear technology is hyperbole propagated by people who don't understand it. That we don't have multiple plants currently under construction nationwide is a supreme failing of the government on several fronts.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 12:50 AM Reply

</thread>

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 07:43 AM Reply

At 3/14/11 12:17 AM, Ravariel wrote: That we don't have multiple plants currently under construction nationwide is a supreme failing of the government on several fronts.

The way I see it, the single greatest shortcoming is that outdated plants aren't being taken out of commission, or at least refurbished and upgraded to produce energy more efficiently and more safely. Surely, nobody could be against that?


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 07:55 AM Reply

Overall, I am in favour of nuclear power, because I think it's a decent source of energy and it leads to quite some research on improval and eventually maybe fusion. Banning it for solar power, in my opinion, is like saying no to science.

Anyway, I must admit, even if everything is really secure and all, even a single freak accident is one too many. I can get why people are sceptical.
Now I know a couple who is really anti-nuclear power. The government issued pamphlets informing about the uses , benefits and disadvantages of nuclear power and they insisted on it being propaganda and lies. Don't know for sure, though. One of the major problems that forces them to oppose nuclear power is the waste. Because it takes eons for waste to become stable and you'd be naive to assume that the waste is always been dealt with properly.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 10:21 AM Reply

At 3/14/11 07:55 AM, RubberTrucky wrote: Because it takes eons for waste to become stable and you'd be naive to assume that the waste is always been dealt with properly.

As a general rule of thumb, the less radioactive a material is, the longer it'll take to fully decay. You could probably go up and poke some contaminated low-grade material without suffering much ill consequence, but you wouldn't want any of that stuff to lie around and possibly leak into something important - like say for example ground freshwater.

Prime example of how not to store long-term radioactive refuse, children.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 11:38 AM Reply

I completely understand how safe nuclear power is. The qualm I, and many others, have is not the chance of disaster, but the effect & magnitude of disaster that would occur.

Nuclear power has the worst possible outcome if things went wrong. The question here is that are we willing to reap the benefits over the risk, however slight, of complete and total loss?

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 11:46 AM Reply

At 3/14/11 11:38 AM, Camarohusky wrote: Nuclear power has the worst possible outcome if things went wrong. The question here is that are we willing to reap the benefits over the risk, however slight, of complete and total loss?

Nothing truly great happens without some risk involved. Besides, its not like a huge earthquake/tsunami damaging nuclear reactors is a common occurrence, so I think we're still good..


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 11:56 AM Reply

I am no scientist, but I have heard that nuclear energy has many advantages and disadvantages. With today's technology, I think the best thing to do is look for ways to properly maintain it. I do not believe it is a resource we will run out of eventually, such as oil so it has that going for it. In terms of comparing it to gas or hydrogen, those things are already explosive. It is a form of energy that can used for good or evil in the right or wrong hands.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 12:24 PM Reply

With the current state of dwindling resources I really do think that Nuclear Power is going to be vital in the future. There are people that would say we can do fine with other power supplies like solar, wind etc. but they just don't generate enough energy to make up the difference. The truth is, until we have developed proper fusion reactors, our best bet for energy will be Nuclear. Of course the fact that most people are still terrified by the word nuclear is making any advancement fairly difficult. It's true that there are large risks with nuclear power, but because the potential damage is so high it has some of the strictest regulations around. The only way there could be a disaster in a modern nuclear plant is if something similar to what's happening in Japan happened, a succession of unpredictable natural events.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 03:04 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 12:24 PM, SomaGuye wrote: The only way there could be a disaster in a modern nuclear plant is if something similar to what's happening in Japan happened, a succession of unpredictable natural events.

The problem I have with this statement is that while the earthquake and tsunami were unpredicatable, they were definitely probable.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 04:41 PM Reply

I'd fully support fusion, but nuclear fission is just too inefficient and dangerous. Look at Japan. One earthquake, and the nuclear power plant has irradiated pretty much the whole country.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 04:50 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 04:41 PM, camobch0 wrote: I'd fully support fusion, but nuclear fission is just too inefficient and dangerous. Look at Japan. One earthquake, and the nuclear power plant has irradiated pretty much the whole country.

As well as to the previous posts, yes there are those risks, but considering it took an earthquake that has almost destroyed an entire country to put the reactors in a position where they might meltdown shows how safe they mostly are. Just compare it to the oil leak last year, which was caused by a few mistakes.

As for fusion, at the moment we don't stand a chance of developing efficient fusion reactors before the shortage of resources becomes apparent. The way I see it, Fission Reactors are going to be a short intermediary step, possibly only lasting 50-100 years.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 05:31 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 04:41 PM, camobch0 wrote: I'd fully support fusion, but nuclear fission is just too inefficient and dangerous. Look at Japan. One earthquake, and the nuclear power plant has irradiated pretty much the whole country.

A small area isnt exactly the whole of Japan.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 06:01 PM Reply

I'm a proponent of Nuclear power, As i see it, it's a way better alternative to wind and solar as far as meeting demands go, you can get a nuclear plant to take about 50 acres and the amount of wind and solar in that same amount of space would be expodentially less than nuclear. Hell i read somewhere that a single pellet of uranium ore can produce as much energy as a ton of coal.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 07:00 PM Reply

At 3/13/11 10:57 PM, orangebomb wrote: Of course we all know by now about the horrors of Chernobyl, {which was a poorly built Soviet plant with no protection}, the scare at 3 mile island, and even now with Fujishima Nuclear Plant in Japan. {which IMO was really a perfect storm of events that led to the meltdown of the core, earthquakes, tsunami, and the fact that it was over 40 years old.} Even with all that, I'm a big proponent of nuclear energy because the benefits of cheap and plentiful power outweigh the risks, and it is a viable option to coal and oil power plants, compared to solar and wind power {in terms of cost.}

I think you're forgetting the bigger picture, when someone in the planning department dropped a massive bollock, by allowing a nuclear power plat to be built on the coastline, on the pacific coast of Japan, where more earthquakes (and therefore Tsunami) happen than on the West Coast of the island. You know, the coast alongside the sea of Japan may not be the ideal place to put it either, but surely it would have been a better idea.

Fukushima has been dogged with issues much like Chernobyl in 1986 - safety measures weren't enough to prevent this from happening, with the diesel pumps running out of fuel, leading to the first explosion. As I write, this could get worse, as talks of meltdown are abound. It's a dirty word, but these natural disasters are not something that no-one has ever seen before in Japan.

By and large, Nuclear power is safe. I personally think that there are much better alternatives in the offing, such as wind farms all over Britain, solar panels in the desert and so forth, to get the most out of the natural resources, without destroying the world around you. Yes, they may look ugly to some, but would they rather sit there with a coal power plant belching out smoke all the time, or a nuclear plant which could make things a lot worse if it goes tits up?


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 07:19 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 07:00 PM, Coop wrote: or a nuclear plant which could make things a lot worse if it goes tits up?

It really comes down to risk vs. reward, because at the moment, nothing even comes close to nuclear in terms of energy output.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 08:17 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 07:19 PM, SomaGuye wrote: It really comes down to risk vs. reward, because at the moment, nothing even comes close to nuclear in terms of energy output.

That's a two dimensional l;ook at a three dimensional issue. To borrow the B>PL formula from tort negligence, this is a p>PL issue. Productivity (p) has to be greater than the probability of loss (P) and the extent of the loss (L).

Nuclear power has phenomenal productivity, and a very low probability of loss, but the extent of loss when it happens goes from total to catastrophy.

Coal power has decent productivity and a low extent of loss (nasty pollution) but the probability of this loss is 100%.

So it boils down to a guarantee of minor loss with good productivity or great productivity with a very small chance of total loss.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 08:23 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 08:17 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 3/14/11 07:19 PM, SomaGuye wrote: It really comes down to risk vs. reward, because at the moment, nothing even comes close to nuclear in terms of energy output.
That's a two dimensional l;ook at a three dimensional issue. To borrow the B>PL formula from tort negligence, this is a p>PL issue. Productivity (p) has to be greater than the probability of loss (P) and the extent of the loss (L).

Nuclear power has phenomenal productivity, and a very low probability of loss, but the extent of loss when it happens goes from total to catastrophy.

Coal power has decent productivity and a low extent of loss (nasty pollution) but the probability of this loss is 100%.

So it boils down to a guarantee of minor loss with good productivity or great productivity with a very small chance of total loss.

Slight misunderstanding, I know that at the moment coal and oil are better if we're comparing risks, but I was mostly talking about when we have run out of those resources and need to make up the difference with other supplies, and as far as that's concerned nuclear is the only way we can keep up with our phenomenal energy demands.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 09:04 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 07:00 PM, Coop wrote:
I think you're forgetting the bigger picture, when someone in the planning department dropped a massive bollock, by allowing a nuclear power plat to be built on the coastline, on the pacific coast of Japan, where more earthquakes (and therefore Tsunami) happen than on the West Coast of the island. You know, the coast alongside the sea of Japan may not be the ideal place to put it either, but surely it would have been a better idea.

Meh, I suppose they couldn't think of any better alternative at the time. The way I understand it is that Japan has precious little flat land suitable for large construction complexes to work with, and placing the plant on the West Coast might've seemed like a bad idea from an energy conservation perspective - some of the most populus cities line the east coast, which is why I guess it'd make sense to concentrate energy production to areas that are more easily geographically accessible from there.

I doubt they had many choices where to actually place that thing. There would have been a real option for changing the setup for this crisis last month or so when the plant got it's license renewed, extending it's 40-year lifespan with another ten years I've been told. Probably a bad idea to keep older plants around when safer designs are available.

Funny how seawater was exactly what put the reactors in this sad state, and now seawater, being pumped into the reactor cores, are becoming a saving grace.

... Tits up?

I've been encountering this expression a lot lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with me being more observant of the world around me or if the increased frequence itself is indicative of a worsened world state?

Lawlz.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 09:18 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 05:31 PM, BumFodder wrote:
A small area isnt exactly the whole of Japan.

Considering 70% of Japan is covered in mountains, I think it is a pretty large portion of inhabitable Japan.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 09:33 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 09:18 PM, camobch0 wrote:
At 3/14/11 05:31 PM, BumFodder wrote:
A small area isnt exactly the whole of Japan.
Considering 70% of Japan is covered in mountains, I think it is a pretty large portion of inhabitable Japan.

Bum is actually right. The area irradiated is quite small, even is land starved Japan. The fallout area of Chernobyl was quite small. by fallout, i mean the permanently closed down part, not the path of the radiation cloud.

Furthermore, the Northern part of Japan is quite sparsely populated for Japan. I, for one, am thanking all of the luck stars out there that this hit the North East side of Japan and not the South or the Central part of Japan's east Cost. If that were the case, instead of deaths in the low to lower-mid 5 figures, this could be 6 figures and much higher, possibly even in the millions of deaths.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 14th, 2011 @ 11:12 PM Reply

At 3/14/11 04:41 PM, camobch0 wrote: I'd fully support fusion, but nuclear fission is just too inefficient and dangerous. Look at Japan. One earthquake, and the nuclear power plant has irradiated pretty much the whole country.

Nuclear fission plants in most parts of the developed world aren't that dangerous, even in earthquake prone areas, such as Japan, the West Coast of the U.S. and even Missouri. Even in the worst of disasters, there are many different safety features they have that prevents them from going into a full blown disaster like Chernobyl. Even in Japan, where the land is very sparse, the fallout zone isn't going to be very much more than the plant and everything 10 miles around it, at the very worst.

Nuclear fusion as of right now is not possible if only because of the extreme tempratures that are needed to power the materials inside. Maybe in around 50 years or so, then it would be possible for a nuclear fusion plant to operate on an efficent level, but until then, fission is the standard. Going back to the safety issue, what happen at Fukushima is more or less the perfect storm for a meltdown, what with the earthquake/tsunami, and the plant being over 40 years old, which is very old for a nuclear plant. Using the seawater to cool the cores is more than enough proof that the plant will never operate again.


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 17th, 2011 @ 04:57 PM Reply

I agree with the idea of nuclear energy. The only thing that annoys me is the waste it creates during the process of nuclear fission. If it was nuclear fusion it would be a completly different ballpark. But I think we are a few 100 years away from that. I saw on the discovery channel that they had a propossed plan of using a special satelite and beaming solar enery from the sun collected from the satelite and it is beamed to a special solar energy platform. Think about it. If we had collected all the energy from the sun for one second we can power humanity indefinity.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 03:11 PM Reply

Isn't nuclear fusion mathematically impossible? And if it wasn't, the temperatures needed to perform it are ludicrously high(or so I've been told by a friend, I may just be talking out my ass).


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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 05:13 PM Reply

At 3/20/11 03:11 PM, JMCJoe wrote: Isn't nuclear fusion mathematically impossible?

I just talked to the Sun recently, and it assured that it is possible.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 06:07 PM Reply

Nuclear power is extremely safe as long as you don't build plants on a fucking fault line.


At 8/16/14 11:58 PM, Feoric wrote:
Remember: he was shot in the back 35 feet away from the police cruiser. That's not up for debate.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 06:46 PM Reply

At 3/13/11 10:57 PM, orangebomb wrote: how to deal with nuclear waste away from the people.

How does expelling the radioactive waste into space work? Is it still harmful?

Even with all that, I'm a big proponent of nuclear energy because the benefits of cheap and plentiful power outweigh the risks, and it is a viable option to coal and oil power plants, compared to solar and wind power {in terms of cost.}

Your thoughts?

Nuclear energy is alright. It has it's own drawbacks. Personally I think it's a potential source of energy for a certain period of time. It doesn't release carbon dioxide, so that's good. But there's a lot of issues with it. What do we do if we have too much radioactive waste? What if we run out of dumping sites? How will we dispose of then then? Plus, like you mentioned, there is always a failure rate, and also it's a good place for terrorists to steal uranium/plutonium needed to make nuclear bombs.

Nuclear plants also need cooling water to cool down the plant. This will harm rivers and destroy fish populations by warming up rivers. Nuclear plant lifespans are like 50 years

I think a nuclear fusion plant is perfect for our world. With a fusion plant, we can use the hydrogen in water molecules and smash them together with elections to make helium or other atoms, and the reaction will yield a massive amount of energy. We can then use that energy to power homes. There wouldn't be any byproduct either. Unfortunately to cause the fusion we need the internal plant temperature to be as hot (if not then even hotter) as the core of the sun, which is like 100,000,000 degrees Celsius. If we overcome that, we'll have enough energy to power the world. I'm sure we'll get there eventually, but not yet though.

If we run out of fossil fuels, nuclear energy is probably our best bet to power up the world. Solar and Wind power are nowhere close to supplying enough energy, unless their efficiency can be increased. For now, coal and oil is probably best for the byproduct of burning coal is less harmful than the nuclear waste byproduct of nuclear power plants. I mean radioactive waste is nasty. When fossil fuels run out, it's time to turn to nuclear fission plants to supply electricity until fusion or something more efficient and profitable comes out.

Then again I could be speaking out of my ass this whole time. If I said anything stupid or illogical, feel free to enlighten me (this is my first post in Politics forum).

If we could cover our planet's surface COMPLETELY with solar panels for one day, we would have received enough energy for the whole world to last for an entire year.
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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 10:04 PM Reply

At 3/20/11 06:46 PM, KingLightning123 wrote: and also it's a good place for terrorists to steal uranium/plutonium needed to make nuclear bombs.
At 3/20/11 06:46 PM, KingLightning123 wrote: Nuclear plants also need cooling water to cool down the plant. This will harm rivers and destroy fish populations by warming up rivers.

Oh. Wow.


At 8/16/14 11:58 PM, Feoric wrote:
Remember: he was shot in the back 35 feet away from the police cruiser. That's not up for debate.

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Response to Nuclear Energy Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 11:08 PM Reply

At 3/20/11 06:07 PM, SadisticMonkey wrote: Nuclear power is extremely safe as long as you don't build plants on a fucking fault line.

Yeah, but the main problem is that Japan is really hard up for space, considering Honshu {the main island} is only slightly bigger than the state of Florida. Not to mention, most of the land is mountainous and can't really support huge cities, so they really can't just plop nuclear plants wherever they want.

Plus, it wasn't really the earthquake that caused the problems at Fukushima, it was the tsunami, followed by the subsequent power outages that caused the plant to crap out the way it did.


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