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polydigm
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[*] posted on 3-7-2012 at 16:20


I just wish these people would stop fucking around and just go nuclear. Everyone's carrying on like we've still got bags of time.

BTW, above I mentioned National Service. Jesus I can be thick, it's called National Insurance.




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[*] posted on 1-8-2012 at 18:24


Hah! At last I find something where I disagree with Poly - nuclear power!
I hope you won't hate me for it, but I'll give you my reasons quite briefly.

a) Safety - if the Japanese can't run nuclear power stations without accident, what hope is there for the rest of us?
b) Waste - noone's worked out what to do with it.
c) Big business - not very nice lobbyists have invested heavily in it, since the 50s, in some cases actively hindering research in other areas.
d) Peace - you can build nuclear weapons as a result.


Surely Australia is the ideal country to develop solar power?

However, at least one of my best friends supports nuclear power (her husband's an atomic researcher); I'd be interested to hear why you think it's a good idea.
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[*] posted on 1-8-2012 at 20:36


Absolutely. Nuclear power is NOT a renewable source for reasons of waste, and it's sad that it took another Chernobyl to make people realize what a bad solution it is. It didn't work for Poly, unfortunately, so maybe he needs a three-eyed fish on his plate.




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polydigm
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[*] posted on 2-8-2012 at 11:24


I'm exhausted and I'll get back to this, but when it comes to the environment there are no win-win solutions. Nuclear is way better than carbon. The other side of the coin is that current nuclear researchers will tell you that they already have solutions to the current nuclear waste problem that don't provide bomb type products, that require an economic commitment to realise properly. It's not the technology, it's the will. We're all going to hell in a picnic basket.



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[*] posted on 2-8-2012 at 11:40


Does that bring down the dangers of a meltdown?



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[*] posted on 2-8-2012 at 23:41


Yes. The point is that the technology has come a long way since the beginnings of the anti nuclear lobby back in the sixties, but a lot of the working reactors out there are old technology and this requires money and commitment to fix. If capitalism is a reason to fear potential solutions to our long term environmental problems then in turn capitalism is responsible for not fixing them up. You can't have it both ways.

The newer technologies that are possible with nuclear power are not going to make anyone rich in the short term and threaten the current pecking order in the energy business but they are hugely long term solutions with a tiny, tiny carbon footprint. Even with older technology, how badly has nuclear power gone in France? Even people like Ian Lovelock have turned pro nuclear.




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[*] posted on 3-8-2012 at 10:38


Sorry, not convinced: I don't know very much about it and won't be able to understand much if I tried either, but I do know that Fukushima was considered to be able to withstand all earthquakes and tsunamis, just like the Titanic was unsinkable, and with the lives of millions of people and risk of radiation disease in case of disaster, failure always being an option: the consequences are too great to take that risk.
No reason to juggle eggs over a Persian carpet as long as the forces of wind, sun and water aren't being exploited to the fullest.
If solar panels are installed on every house, windmills as far as the eyes can see, every brook has its own hydropowerplant and that's still not enough, then you should start thinking about anything as hazardous as nuclear power.

Me, I'm thinking of installing human-powered dynamos in fitness centres all over the western countries. Kill two birds with one stone: keep the fitness entry free for all, should rid us of obesitas as well. There's an enormous amount of chemical energy stored in us, going to waste on a jog or on the football field.




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[*] posted on 3-8-2012 at 19:54


Analysis is showing that solar and wind will not be enough. Consumption of energy in private homes is not the key issue. It's the energy cost of our industry that is the major factor in the problem. The ratio of energy consumption per square metre is way too high for a solar solution to work without unrealistic predictions of its possible future improvement.

Fukushima is an example of what I was saying about older technologies. Scientists already have designs for nuclear power plants for which Chernobyls, Fukushimas and so on would be impossible and that would go a long way not just to avoiding large build ups in waste but that would also use up much of the currently existing waste from the use of older, much less efficient technologies without producing products that can be used in bombs. But we have to have the will to spend the money required - it's current economic modes of existence that are destroying the environment.

You say you're not convinced, but nuclear energy not being implemented properly is the same class of problem as the level of inaction in the face of our current global environmental problems. If we decided to go nuclear en masse but were not prepared to take the proper effort in implementing that nuclear solution we'd still be less worse off than current predictions of what will happen if we don't. There are no solutions without some kind of cost.




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[*] posted on 4-8-2012 at 19:34


What makes me slightly worried about the claims that they've sorted out nuclear power is that very similar people said the same thing 10, 20, 30 years ago - and it wasn't absolutely safe.
The trouble with nuclear as far as I'm concerned is that the risk might be minimal, but the consequences of an accident are enormous.
I also think that major companies have no interest in developing an energy source which makes you indepedent of them (e.g. solar).

[Edited on 4-8-2012 by Caputh]
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[*] posted on 5-8-2012 at 23:32


This is my main point. The negative consequences of nuclear power generation so far have not escalated. For instance, many of the problems that occurred in the US early on in the nuclear era have since been avoided and other countries that have followed have avoided similar problems. Meanwhile, the cost of oil, gas and similar forms of energy have continued to increase up till the current global crisis we are facing with an already far greater list of negative environmental impacts.



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[*] posted on 14-3-2023 at 01:26


I'd forgotten about this thread.

My point about nuclear is that you have to compare it fairly with the alternatives.





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