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View Diary: Why I'm not freaking out about the Fukushima nuclear plants (126 comments)

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  •  As opposed to CO2 forever? (5+ / 0-)

    The nuclear waste issue isn't something to be considered in isolation. As the diarist notes, most of the extremely radioactive waste decays in decades rather than centuries. Still a problem, but not a 'forever' problem.

    Look at coal power instead, and nuclear starts looking better. First you mine coal, destroying entire mountains in the process. You leave billions of tons of acidic and toxic waste behind- waste that will always be toxic. It never 'decays'.

    Then you burn the coal, producing millions of tons of carbon dioxide and bringing the collapse of modern civilization via anthropogenic climate change that much closer. And producing clouds of particulate (soot) emissions that are known to kill tens of thousands of people yearly via lung disease. Oh, and you're also generating millions of tons of toxic ash, which also has to be disposed of, and remains toxic forever. And releasing thousands of tons of mercury into our food chain. Mercury which remains toxic forever. No time limit, no half-life. Forever.

    Oh, and did I mention radiation? Mining and buring coal inadvertently but unavoidably unearths and  burns many thousands of tons of 'low level' radioactive stuff- and because of the colossal amounts involved, this adds more radiation to our evironment than all the nuclear plants in existence.

    •  Clap harder. n/t (1+ / 0-)
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      •  Snipe, "n/t" and away! (0+ / 0-)

        Standard operating procedure for 2dimeshift.  Let us know if you ever think of anything longer than 140 characters to say.

        •  You seem to ignore the ones large than 15 (0+ / 0-)

          like this one

          You complain about not arguing in good faith

          While uprating comments by people who accuse the diarist of trying to harm future generations by merely telling her story.

          Nuclear power is such a boon to humanity that it never has a down side worth mentioning. Anyone that has any trepidation about it whatsoever is to be met with derision and treated as a lunatic conspiracy theorist. That is good faith?

          What is happening at Fukashima is supposedly impossible. Now it is only happening because of a rare earthquake (as if those can't happen in the future). Soon some pro-nuker is going to suggest that water moderated reactors aren't safe and that these shouldn't be in operation (if they haven't already). Too bad they weren't saying that very loudly two weeks ago.

          I think what I am saying is that you pro-nukers are myopically supportive of a technology that has distinct downsides which whenever they are pointed out you say: "At least it's better than coal".  Guess what, in some circumstances, IT ISN'T. It would be very big of you to acknowledge that this is a case where nuclear power plainly sucks.

          Fukashima is 10x worse than TMI and not as bad as Chernobyl. It is creating a huge problem in a country that already has more than its share of huge problems. Cordoning off a 50 mile circle in the middle of a tsunami/quake disaster area is a huge deal. Nuclear contamination of the wreckage is going to be a huge problem.

          BTW, this is something I am well aware of as a first responder who has participated round tables with FEMA on disaster preparation. Nuclear radiation is going to complicate this mess exponentially. Also, I believe the Japanese officials about as much as I do the ticket agent who says that they will begin boarding my delayed flight "in ten more minutes"for the third time. Call me a conspiracy theorist and I'll call you a rube.

          •  I'm not calling you a conspiracy theorist. (1+ / 0-)
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            I'm just getting irritated with snide comments that don't help advance the discussion.  Thank you for posting something that I can actually talk with you about.

            Yes, I uprated some pronuclear voices in that discussion because it started out pretty histrionic and they were demanding that people actually look at things rationally.  But I called out others for being out of line.  And I've posted a fair number of times during the last four days that I think the aging reactor fleet needs to be phased out and replaced.  I'm not a fan of the industry.  I've just done enough reading and actually tried to get enough solar PV installed to know what the harsh realities are in terms of financing, energy infrastructure and the basic technology of what's being proposed.  I'd love it if we could make the whole system powered by renewables, but that's not something that's going to happen as long as coal is cheap.  And it's not going to happen without some really massive HVDC transmission infrastructure.  And without proven power storage.  If you want to talk about how to tackle those problems I'd be really happy to talk with you, even argue with you about it.  If you keep posting snide n/t comments I'm still going to call you out

            •  What is the discusssion at this point? (0+ / 0-)

              How 30 year old reactors are safe? That was the argument two weeks ago. I'm for a modernized nuclear generation capacity but I don't see how downplaying this disaster and clapping harder does anything to promote that end. How does clapping harder and spinning the disaster that is and pretending it isn't going to impact Japan, the "discussion" and future policy worldwide help advance the cause of newer safer generation?

              When I see pure unadulterated spin and ridiculous rose colored glasses speculation consistently based on the best case scenario my bullshit detector starts going off. And guess what? My patient starts getting short with fools who claim to be "experts".

            •  And rational is telling (0+ / 0-)

              a childhood cancer survivor who claims to have been told by her oncologists that her cancer was from exposure to radioactive isotopes (found outside a nuke plant) that her diary is hurting future generations?

              Okay, what do you call histrionics?

    •  False choice as usual. Cut it out. (0+ / 0-)

      I've already explained that we could supply the entire world with solar power right now, it's simply expensive, nothing more.

      So stop posting this crap.  Nuclear power is better than powering our civilization with the crushed skulls of babies, too, I suppose, but who gives a damn?  We don't need to do either.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 11:22:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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