Nuclear power

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Rorschach
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Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 03 Jan 2022, 15:00

Are you for or against?

Personally, I'm a big fan of nuclear and I think it's a vital element in any medium term energy strategy that hopes to mitigate climate change.
I also think that if the world had fully embraced nuclear instead of running away from it in the latter part of the last century, then we wouldn't have anything like the climate crisis we have now.

However, a lot of people think differently. A lot of politicians and NGOs are up in arms about the EU commissions attempts to label nuclear (and gas) as green energy sources and I suspect most of the general public will react similarly.

What do you think?
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Samoan » 03 Jan 2022, 16:07

Given the current UK issue which started in 2021 with soaring gas prices due to a paucity in resources/supply, the consequent collapse of so many very small green suppliers and the prediction that this will only worsen this year, I'd have to think seriously about favouring nuclear.
I realise I'm commenting on the escalating UK fuel poverty situation rather than global climate change but I think worrying (sleeplessly sometimes) about paying household bills will take precedence in concern, alongside avoiding Omicron, at this point in the year.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby mudshark » 03 Jan 2022, 17:17

In the past the two main issues with nuclear power were accidents and nuclear waste. While I think new reactors will probably be a lot safer than the ones that were built in the 70's, I don't hear much about where the waste would go.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Six String » 03 Jan 2022, 18:21

Indeed Mudshark. Who’s going to bury the waste in their backyard?
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 03 Jan 2022, 18:44

Well that's the thing, the new generation of nuclear reactors can use most of the waste that was created by the earlier generations. As the technology improves, less and less waste is created. Even now, one of the big advantages of using nuclear is that it would clear up most of the waste that we already have.

I'll find a suitable link when I have a minute.

This from Wikipedia
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Positive Passion » 03 Jan 2022, 19:12

It is clearly tge way forward,but there are still problems to be solved. I also read fairly recently that nuclear fusion reactors are closer than the gen pub thinks, and that would be a good thing.

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Hightea » 03 Jan 2022, 19:41

Nuclear Fusion yes if they ever figure it out.
Nuclear Fission no way

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 03 Jan 2022, 19:44

Hightea wrote:Nuclear Fission no way


Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 03 Jan 2022, 19:50

Positive Passion wrote:It is clearly the way forward, but there are still problems to be solved. I also read fairly recently that nuclear fusion reactors are closer than the gen pub thinks, and that would be a good thing.


I think the ultimate way forward is wind, solar, etc. but they're nowhere near ready to do the heavy lifting. I think we need nuclear to supplement the renewables rather than using coal and oil, until we have sufficient capacity from the renewables.

Fusion would be lovely but I'm not confident it's going to happen any time soon. I'd be bloody happy to be proven wrong.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby mudshark » 03 Jan 2022, 20:07

Germany has closed 4 of their 7 nuclear reactors and the other 3 are supposed to close this year. This was already decided shortly after Fukushima. Because that's also something to worry about. IF something goes wrong it's an absolute disaster. The aftermaths of Chernobyl and Fukushima can still be felt. And it's virtually impossible to estimate how many people have died as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear Energy obviously has a lot of advantages but I'm not sure if these outweighs the risks (accidents, terrorist attacks, radio-active waste).
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Hightea » 03 Jan 2022, 20:54

Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Nuclear Fission no way


Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.

see mudshark's reply

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Six String » 03 Jan 2022, 21:11

Yes, as long as humans are involved mistakes and accidents will happen and when they do they are never little problems.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby souphound » 04 Jan 2022, 00:52

I wonder if in a century or two, assuming there is still some life on the planet, they will have figured out how to use gravity as a source. You harness that and you have plenty of available power sources everywhere in the universe.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Six String » 04 Jan 2022, 04:20

souphound wrote:I wonder if in a century or two, assuming there is still some life on the planet, they will have figured out how to use gravity as a source. You harness that and you have plenty of available power sources everywhere in the universe.


The earth will survive just fine. It’s the humans that might outsmart themselves and leave.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 07:58

mudshark wrote:Germany has closed 4 of their 7 nuclear reactors and the other 3 are supposed to close this year. This was already decided shortly after Fukushima. Because that's also something to worry about. IF something goes wrong it's an absolute disaster.


The closing of the German reactors is a disaster for Germany and the rest of Europe. If one country could be trusted to do nuclear safely I think it would be them but, due to public ignorance and panic, their politicians promised to close them all down by the end of this year. The decision to close down the reactors is a political move, not a public health move.
The idea was to replace them with green energy but that's not ready and won't be for a long time so they're using coal instead. That will kill a lot more people than died as a result of Chernobyl. (They use a lot of gas too, which is much greener, but it also makes Europe hostage to Russia because that's where most of it comes from.)

mudshark wrote:The aftermaths of Chernobyl and Fukushima can still be felt. And it's virtually impossible to estimate how many people have died as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear Energy obviously has a lot of advantages but I'm not sure if these outweighs the risks (accidents, terrorist attacks, radio-active waste).


Please don't think that I'm suggesting that nuclear energy is safe or that Chernobyl and Fukushima weren't terrible disasters; what I'm saying is that coal is worse and green alternatives are nowhere near ready yet.
Have a look at this article from the Economist (I have to admit that they are generally quite keen on nuclear. You'll find many of their articles explaining why.). In it they suggest that if nuclear had taken off in the 70s we wouldn't really have a climate problem. That may, or may not, be an exaggeration, but it indicates just how damaging the use of non-renewables has been.
Apart from the fact that using non-renewables causes enormous environmental damage, which is going to cost future generations dearly, they are going to run out, quite possibly before we have alternatives to supply our energy needs.
And they kill.
As I linked to in a previous post, serious estimates put the number of lives that will be saved by current usage of nuclear at about 7 million. This is a hell of a lot more people than have died as a result of nuclear disasters. Imagine how many would be saved if we used a lot more. Nuclear accidents are terrible things but the damage they do is nothing compared to the damage done by not using nuclear.
It’s like plane crashes. Every time we hear of one it’s terrifying and headline news, but air travel is the safest form of transport. What happened at Chernobyl was a disaster that shouldn’t have happened but humans are humans and politicians are politicians and these things will happen.
But they’re still not as bad as life without nuclear.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 07:59

Hightea wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Nuclear Fission no way


Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.

see mudshark's reply


See my reply to Mudshark.

So again: Why not?
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 04 Jan 2022, 09:47

mudshark wrote:In the past the two main issues with nuclear power were accidents and nuclear waste. While I think new reactors will probably be a lot safer than the ones that were built in the 70's, I don't hear much about where the waste would go.



I would add cost to that list. Nuclear is incredibly expensive.

The French EDF and the Chinese ( :roll: ) are currently building Hinkley Point C up the road in Somerset at a cost of 23 billion!

How many local green / renewable schemes could be built for that sort of money?

And how secure is it?

They had to build a massive sea wall (at considerable extra cost) around the site just in case it ever has to deal with a tidal wave (I think the Severn Estuary did have such an event in the 17th century). The whole thing is fucking mad.

But on the plus side, many of my colleagues in the construction and plant industries are making their fortunes there.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 04 Jan 2022, 09:50

Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Nuclear Fission no way


Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.


How many were saved at Fukushima and Chernobyl?
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Rorschach » 04 Jan 2022, 10:05

Deebank wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Hightea wrote:Nuclear Fission no way


Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.


How many were saved at Fukushima and Chernobyl?


And your point is?

How many died in the UK as a result of Fukushima and Chernobyl?
How many were saved in the rest of the world by burning coal?
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 04 Jan 2022, 10:52

Rorschach wrote:
Deebank wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
Why not?

Nuclear power already saves lives.


How many were saved at Fukushima and Chernobyl?


And your point is?

How many died in the UK as a result of Fukushima and Chernobyl?
How many were saved in the rest of the world by burning coal?


That is hard to say - just as that 180m lives saved figure is very hard to prove one way or the other, I would be interested to know where that came from and would trust very little of the info generated by the nuclear industry and its lobbyists.

I'm not defending coal but nuclear has proved to be at best a massive disappointment and at worst a deadly problem to solve, with a half life of 20,000 years* .

My stepfather was Safety Officer at Bangor University at the time of Chernobyl. He brought home a Geiger counter a day or so after the explosion and we measured the radiation in the gutter on our balcony- it was something like 50 times higher than normal.In Anglesey, North Wales. He advised us not to walk around outside bare footed for a while.

My point is that part of the disappointment I mentioned above is the nuclear fission clearly wasn't and isn't the solution, it is really just a by product of the nuclear arms race.


*OK, I admit I pulled this number out of my arse - I know fuck all about nuclear physics :) .
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