Nuclear power

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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copehead
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby copehead » 12 Jan 2022, 14:23

I think Fission power generation is a very expensive white elephant, it was only ever really pursued as it was needed to make nuclear weapons.

The vast oodles of money put into that should be put into things that may save us from civilisational collapse in the next 100 years, which nuclear power generation is never going to do.

Top of that list would be carbon capture and sequestration and next would be ways of stripping CO2 from the atmosphere and fixing it.

Both of these are engineering rather than scientific problems and just need money

Eventually the goal should be controlling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to mean no global warming and no more ice ages.

Things like that properly funded may just save the current civilisation we have.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby copehead » 12 Jan 2022, 14:26

Qube wrote:potentially more expensive than Hinckley C,.


If you believe that Hinkley C will be the first ever nuclear power station to come in on budget.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Deebank » 12 Jan 2022, 14:34

copehead wrote:
Qube wrote:potentially more expensive than Hinckley C,.


If you believe that Hinkley C will be the first ever nuclear power station to come in on budget.


To be clear the £25 bn mentioned is wildly over the original budget which was something like £4 - 6 bn.

The reasons why the Severn barrage project was shelved included massive cost and (I think) environmental impact. Given the roughly comparable cost of Hinkley C (I strongly suspect £25 bn won't be the ultimate bottom line) and the environmental Impact of the massive building project, its colossal sea defences and huge mid-channel cooling water intakes/outflows, it does seem like a golden opportunity was missed.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Qube » 12 Jan 2022, 16:45

It may well be, having reasonable competing options for large carbon-free electricity almost seems like a nice problem to have.

Building nuclear power plants is also an engineering issue, not a scientific one (and hey, "they just need money" wouldn't hurt here too). Costs can be greatly reduced by standardising reactor designs and construction. Construction may be an expensive up front cost in general but production is cheap and reliable after that, what cost are we drawing the line at for massively reducing our carbon emissions? What price is too much for a habitable future?

We should be investing in carbon capture and other technologies, but it seems idiotic to rely on silver bullets when we should be doing all we can to reach net zero in the meantime. Or I guess we could just use some solar and wind with natural gas and coal as the backbone in the meantime and spew out carbon until it's too late...

I often wonder what it would take for someone to change their mind who is hell-bent on their opinion, I don't just mean this to be for the anti-nuclear fault (but for the purpose of this thread, sure), I ask myself that question for things I'm against.

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Re: Nuclear power

Postby mudshark » 12 Jan 2022, 18:21

That's a good question Qube. I think I always like to keep an open mind (except on religion. I simply hate all religions and that will never change). With the Nuclear issue I understand the potential benefits. If somebody could convince me the downsides (radio-active waste, risk of accidents with a catastrophic result, risk of terrorist attacks with idem results, and several more) can be mitigated I think I could be persuaded to jump on the nuclear bandwagon. I think the problem the world faces with virtually all debates is that there is just too much (mis-)information around. I've been trying to read up on this as objectively as possible and now I can't see the trees for the forest. It's becoming the same with the COVID debate: it was quite clear-cut to me, but now? a special Omicron vaccine, a fourth booster, schools open but 40% of the people that are getting ill are going to school (and going home afterwards). What's right? My 16-year daughter tested positive yesterday so all 6 of us at home are in quarantine. She was sick for exactly half a day. Feels good if not great now. So when people say: let's all get some of that omicron and create a herd immunity I'm thinking: why the hell not? But Fauci says no, and some Spanish fucker says yes. Apologies for digressing but it's the same with the nuclear discussion. On a sidenote: anybody watched the move "Look Up" on Netflix?? in the context of my ramblings it's a must-see.
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Re: Nuclear power

Postby Qube » 13 Jan 2022, 18:03

Ramble away (I try not to use the word hate, but feel similarly on religion)! I sympathise with anyone getting fatigued about anything to do with the pandemic after two years, we've all been through a lot (although for the record I 100% trust the experts on the matter).

Everyone always has to weigh up the pros and cons on any subject, and it's hard to trust someone on any matter that isn't open about potential problems.

Nuclear waste is clearly a problem of sorts, it comes down to how much of a problem you think it is. As I posted somewhere in this thread, it isn't some green ooze swashing along in barrels with yellow stickers on it. It can be compacted down into concrete blocks, it doesn't take up much room at all, newer reactors can use most of the waste that already exists, cutting it down further. I'd rather us have to wonder what to do with a football stadium's worth of radioactive concrete (about the total amount of nuclear waste generated in the US to date) that does at least have an end-life, than all the carbon we may not ever be able to do anything about. I don't want to sound flippant, but I do think the worry about nuclear waste is vastly overblown. Indeed, we get exposed to radiation all the time in our every day lives that people don't think a jot about. Here's a good thread: http://www.world-nuclear.org/informatio ... ities.aspx

In terms of catastrophic events, only Fukushima and Chernobyl have the highest classification of disaster events for nuclear. Clearly rare, terrible events are bad and we have to plan for them as best possible, but nuclear's safety record is excellent. I've probably posted this link before, but it's a good, and fairly short resource, with a lot of data: https://ourworldindata.org/nuclear-energy

I posted somewhere in this thread, but we've done tests and studies as to whether a nuclear power plant could withstand a plane being flown into it, and even if terrorists did get a hold of the materials, you have to do a lot to turn the uranium that is used for nuclear energy and enrich it further to be able to be used in a nuclear bomb.

If we're worried about rare, catastrophic events, nuclear isn't even near the top of the worst things that have happened to man-made structures. Should we have stopped building damns? Should we not have any hydro power because damns are unsafe in rare, catastrophic events? Or do we accept that (in theory) we learn from mistakes and make improvements on designs and policies: https://timeline.com/structural-failure ... 402a25bb65

For me, the elephant in the room is rising temperatures leading to climate change, if we don't get our emissions under control, we're kinda screwed (well, not anyone on this forum, we'll probably all be dead before climate change poses true disasters). There's an argument about the semantics here, but that's my belief, and since that's my angle, I don't see a way around it other than using nuclear energy. Indeed, I think that anyone who has influenced the closure of an existing nuclear power plant, or new ones being built, has done a huge amount of harm, and I hope they can study the data and come around.