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View Diary: Worried about nuclear waste? I have the solution! (84 comments)

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  •  nuclear idiocy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, Urizen, Joy Busey

    You decry those opposed to nuclear for their failed logic and yet you actively promote a technology that:

    1. yeilds radioactive amterials that must be secured from terrorist hands for hundreds (thousands?) of years
    1. has failed every test in simulated terrorist attacks
    1. that has a wonderful safety record (if we only ignore the coverups) but would instantly be transported into another realm if there actually was a serious accident
    1. is completely unnecessary. There ARE other thechnologies that ARE cleaner and cheaper.


    •  4 read herrings! Modest count, but solid (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, bryfry, TylerFromNE
      1.  There is a bigger worry of terrorists getting their hands on nitrogen fertilizer than nuclear waste.  For starters, it actually happened.
      1.  How many of those attacks on nuclear plants did we have?  Highway overpasses are more tempting, if we should judge on the record.
      1.  Somehow I failed to grasp this point.
      1.  The only cheaper technology is coal, and coal, my dear friend, is not cleaner.
      •  On "4" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy Busey, matador

        Cost has many components.  If one only examines initial cost, without factoring in legacy expenses and the clean-up of the manufacturing process then indeed nuclear is relatively cheap.

        But when you consider the other long-term aspects, wind and concentrated solar are cheaper.  And the potential exists that geothermal might eventually beat them all.

        •  AND. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy Busey

          geothermal is everywhere and continuous. The energy is just below our feet. In nearly every state, there are hot springs. But even where there are no hot springs, and drilling must go deeper, the energy is still there. Where it has been attempted, it has been enormously more succesful than expected.

        •  solar and wind costs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bryfry, TylerFromNE

          Number one, solar is still rather pricy, wind is competitive in some places.  But both sources are interminent, so as the major energy source they would require energy storage, and this at least doubles the cost.

          By the way, there were articles about provinces in Afghanistan that have hardly any electricity.  Quite possibly, wind power would make perfect sense -- mountains normally have slopes and ridges with strong winds.  However, I suspect that wind turbines could be targetted by terrorists.

      •  sheesh (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy Busey
        1. because something else is worse we shouldn't worry about these dangers. sheesh. In mock attacks on nuclear facilities, the mock terrorists were able to secure weapons grade materials in over half of the ten incidents.

        2)We don't know. One attack was thwarted in Africa and covered up. It's doubtful we would ever know. We also don't know how many died from 3 mile island

        1. simply read it again. It aint in greek and it aint rocket surgery
        1. bullshit
    •  Please consult a basic engineering text. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, bryfry, KroneckerD
      1.  yeilds radioactive amterials that must be secured from terrorist hands for hundreds (thousands?) of years

      For which numerous disposal and recycling methodologies exist. Again, dubious problem created by the anti-nuke cult for the sake of throwing up a strawman against nuclear power.

      1. has failed every test in simulated terrorist attacks

      Don't suppose you've got a source on that?

      Even giving you the benefit of the doubt, why assume that air defense improvements and/or ground fortifications are either not viable or economical? They almost certainly would be both. In any case, terrorism is a terrible thing, but we cannot allow it to dictate our lives.

      Moreover, as I've discussed many times, without nuclear, we're headed for a new dark age and a reduction of the world's population by 3-4 billion people. I mean, really - faced with a looming holocaust of unimaginable proportions, you're worried about a potential terrorist attack on a plant which could kill, at most, a few hundred people?! Get the fuck out of here.

      Terrorism my ass... what you're advocating is, at very best, economic terrorism - though more likely, the practical and moral equivalent of genocide.

      1. that has a wonderful safety record (if we only ignore the coverups) but would instantly be transported into another realm if there actually was a serious accident

      Chernobyl was a total catastrophic meltdown of a very large reactor. Now, notwithstanding the fact that it is physically impossible for the same thing to happen here, the results were tragic, period. They were not cataclysmic; its total effect on humanity overall was negligible - indeed, the irrational fear it inspired of all reactors, not just poorly-designed, poorly-engineered, poorly-maintained Soviet RBMK's operated by incompetent maniacs, was its most significant effect.

      Again, that was about as bad an accident as is possible for ANY reactor, and far worse than any conceivable disaster at an American plant. Now, as with all power sources, there are risks to nuclear power. The comparison, however, is not between nuclear power and some perfect ideal, but between nuclear power and other alternatives.

      As for the nuke industry's misconduct - sorry to disappoint, but you're not going to bait me into defending the greedy cocksuckers managing the industry. I'm advocating for the technology, not the companies or the people running them. In fact, I think the whole damn industry ought to be nationalized, but that's another issue.

      1. is completely unnecessary. There ARE other thechnologies that ARE cleaner and cheaper.

      Stop lying. That's total bullshit, and you damn well know it. To cite a single example, even Greenpeace was forced to accept a 2006 worst-case analysis report by the British Department of Business and Enterprise, which showed nuclear to be around 10 and 20 times cheaper than offshore and onshore wind, respectively. When you add in the costs of carbon abatement, nuclear is vastly cheaper than any other source of power known to humankind.

      The only way you could possibly arrive at your dubious conclusion (not that I expect you're doing anything other than parroting talking points) is if you dishonestly include all of the extraneous costs created by all of the nonsensical barriers to nuclear your type has thrown up, and if you exclude all of the indirect costs (e.g., supply consistency, transport, etc.) to the mythical cheap alternatives you speak of. That's not even an apples-to-oranges comparison - it's more like apples-to-asteroids.

      Finally, and in any case, the idea that cost-effectiveness ought be the determinant of energy supply is ridiculous. Why? Well, there's a number of reason, first and foremost, without power and lots of it, the cost of everything will skyrocket. This is known to economists as a positive market externality: the benefits of nuclear power are diffuse across every industry, business, and individual.

      The "costs" you speak of - though, once more, you're totally wrong about them - are determined by the forces of supply and demand in a market, and the laws of the market are always trumped by the laws of physics - every single time, absolutely no exceptions. We need to plan to deploy about 60 TW of power worldwide, and there's simply way to do that without nuclear - none whatsoever. Without adequate power, the rest of "costs" are totally beside the point. If you can show how we can practically get that much power (again, POWER is the relevant factor, not energy) with some other source, I'd be happy to revise my position. However, I've this topic quite extensively, and nothing else comes even remotely close.

      In the mean time, stop repeating a bizarre mish-mash of talking points from the disparate cults of market fundamentalists and Gaia-worshipers, and pick up an intro to engineering textbook. Also, get head on straight, and realize that when it comes to energy policy and the uber-manipulated, speculation-crazed, wholly inefficient energy market, it's ALWAYS a matter of watts, not dollars. We must spend what we need to spend to get the power we need: period, bottom line, end of story. Everything else is immaterial, and with very rare exception, completely fallacious.

      Far-left wing and damn proud of it. Check out my blog: The Daily Elitist

      by TylerFromNE on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:20:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  honest to god (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy Busey

        I have other things to do besides do your homework for you. You have a google button on your computer. . .get off of your idealogical ass and look it up for your self like I did.

        That's just for starters. That is just one tiny part of the overall mix of potential for wind and other energy sources. I could go on but am sick and tired of going back and forth between my searches and control c and control v. Really, I should not have to do this for you. The information is right there at your idealogical fingertips. There are many varied alternatives available to compete with coal fired plants. There is absolutely no reason, except perhaps as a temporary "mend", to resort to inherently dangerous (again. . .use your search button) nuclear. Nuclear just is not necessary. Your notion that we must adopt nuclear or there will be widespread genocide is absurd. No single type of energy can meet the demands but many varied approaches can, should and ultimately WILL.

        •  Yes, I'm aware there are windmills in Texas (0+ / 0-)

          however, since you're apparently obsessed with fictional metrics of financial profitability and accounting cost, they probably never would have been profitable without the rampant commodities speculation and energy market manipulation that's been allowed to go on unimpeded.

          Second, you spelled "ideological" wrong. Twice. Now, although I'm "left" on the largely dubious left/right spectrum, I fail to see how my position on nuclear power is an ideological one. Pray tell, what ideology do you suppose I'm advocating, anyways? The nuclear ideology? Ha! Methinks you're projecting here... definitely.

          Third, apparently, you still don't get the physics of the thing. There is absolutely no realistic scenario in which human beings will be able to get even half - hell, even a quarter - of the 60 or so terawatts of power that will be needed globally over the next few decades. Do you know how much 60 TW is? It's about 60 million large windmills worth. We have the equivalent of around 40,000 of them right now, and even in 2008, with oil prices over $100 a barrel on average for the year, we were still only able to crank out a measly 9,000 turbines for the year. Even if you could build out the necessary capacity, there's just nowhere to put that many of them. For solar, it's an even worse picture, as the total power to be had from inbound solar energy at ground level is hopelessly small. And then there's intermittentcy and transmission as well... it's just not gonna happen.

          The only real use for "renewables" is that which you advocated for nuclear - as a stop-gap measure in certain locales until we can build out the requisite nuclear generating capacity.

          Finally, how do you figure my prediction of required population reduction is false? You don't have to "do my homework" for me, but some specifics does sort of help the credibility thing along. And I want facts and solid plans, too - talk is cheap, rhetoric is worthless. Don't tell me how great wind or solar is - I've heard such sophistry countless times before - tell me what you're going to do to work it. For example, a brief summary of my plan is thus:

          - Nationalize the nuclear industry. Standardize the designs for both industrial and small-scale reactors of both the second and third generation varieties.

          - Take all of these brilliant scientists off of working on basically useless DoD weapons research, and get them developing 4th gen thorium reactors and nuclear fusion.

          - Take the present slack manufacturing capacity, especially in the auto sector in the US (and have we ever got of it here), as well as in nations, and put people to work churning out nuclear plant components assembly-line style.

          - Set a bold target of global independence from oil in 20 years' time. If we had the leadership, we could get nearly 500 new 1-1.5 GW reactors built out within 7-10 years, and 2000 of them within 15-16, and onto the rest of the solar system within 30-40.

          If Obama did this, he'd be remembered not only as the greatest US President ever, but probably the greatest world leader of all time. Just think of it; this would be the most profound and astounding gift the United States of America could possibly give to the rest of the world, the gift of development.

          Not handouts, not food aid, not medical care as such, but real, lasting, broad, shared development. That's right - by helping other nations develop peaceful, fully transparent nuclear programs, our nation and our generation can solve peak oil, climate change, poverty, hunger, most disease, energy scarcity, and very possibly even war and ethnic conflict - for all time.

          In short, we can solve the problems which have plagued us since time immemorial. To quote JFK, our problems our man-made, and they can therefore be solved by man. It can be done, I know to the core being that it can be done, and I know precisely how to do it.

          I am totally serious - this is not some pipe dream, some fantasy of a distant century. It is a vision realizable right now, by us, and in but a single generation. It is fully within our power to accomplish these aims, but nuclear development is the essential catalyst. At the very least, is that not a future worth trying for? Is that not a future worth fighting for? I think it is.

          Time and time and time again, history has shown us that our biggest limitation is not physical, nor environmental, nor economic, nor ethnic, nor religious, nor geographic. To the contrary - the largest and most substantial barrier is that which we construct for ourselves; that arbitrary limit we place on our own imagination, and that insidious conservative sentiment which says "best not fully leverage our creativity."

          It is a choice which we must make, both individually and collectively: forward with civilization and development, and upwards on to the stars, or retreat into cynicism and barbarism, and back to caves or at best, feudalism. It is indeed a matter of choice, and it is up to you to chose which. For reasons dictated by the laws of the universe itself, nuclear power is merely a small but absolutely essential piece of the future which we must now choose.

          I'll leave you with that, and my desire that you and others choose wisely.

          Far-left wing and damn proud of it. Check out my blog: The Daily Elitist

          by TylerFromNE on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 08:00:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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