posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 02:01 PM
"Exactly. correct me if I'm wrong, but nuclear waste is "recycled" into nuclear warheads, right?"
It can be. You can also make the recycled nuclear waste into fuel for another reactor or nucleotides for medical purposes.
"But, nuclear waste is just that: nuclear waste. Nobody wants it in their back yard."
TANSTAAFL, Birddawg. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
Nuclear waste is a bad thing, but it is not nearly a bad a thing as the waste from billions of kilograms of burning hydrocarbons, which are linked to
global warming, cardiopulmonary disease, cancer and genito-urinary ailments, erosion of granite and marble buildings as a result of acid rain,
decreased visibility, and all around plain ugliness of the landscape and the air.
And let's not forget the way we are forced to damage the land in our extractive efforts, our transportation efforts (remember the Exxon
Valdiz?) our refineries, and the ground pollution as that oil and gasoline sinks out of their underground tanks into the aquifer.
And did I mention that the people who have the most of of the oil are foreigners, which is killing our balance of trade?
And that those people are jacking their prices up and down on a weekly basis as they adjust their extraction to reach their own agendas, which can and
does impact our entire economy?
How about the fact that most of those people don't like us very much and never did, and they will adjust their pumping sometimes for the sole purpose
of screwing us over, and that large portions of their dollars they took from us seems to find its way into the hands of Really Bad Guys who want to
kill us all?
And perhaps I forgot to mention that this appears to be a finite resource and sooner or later it is going to go away -- maybe not in my lifetime, but
probably in yours and your kids'?
"Look at the nuclear waste spread out over south western Russia at Chernobyl, and the rest of the world for that matter"
Actually, Chernobyl is in Ukraine, not Russia, but your point is well taken. If you have sloppy engineering and questionable safety procedures,
coupled with paranoid secrecy which leads to not warning the rest of the world when such a disaster strikes, then we are all going to pay a price.
But that's an indictment of bad design and engineering, not of the existence of nuclear fission. I mean, do you blame the pollution on Prince
William Sound on the hydrocarbon industry -- or the fact that the Exxon Valdiz was poorly designed without a double hull and the captain was
drunk? Probably the latter.
If you want to use a nuclear fission incident as representative of reality, why not mention Three Mile Island? Just about everything that
could go wrong from a procedural point of view did go wrong, and what was the health upshot?
There wasn't any! None of the radiation escaped the Containment Building!
Sure, the plant had to be shut down and the operators (and customers) lost millions of dollars. But the bottom line was that, through sound
engineering, TMI did not turn into a giant bomb and blow us and kill us all; indeed there were no deaths, long-term or otherwise, tied to the accident
Birddawg, there is no magic bullet.
There is no such thing as a cheap, non-polluting, and reliable energy source. Even leaving science fiction stuff such as "ZPE" out of the picture,
all the substitutes mentioned: PV, wind turbines, Stirling-cycle engines, tidal hydroelectric, etc., simply aren't cost effective.
We have to start phasing in other power sources now, so we won't get caught with our toes in the wringer when the oil starts to go away.
Why on Earth would you argue against nuclear power, given that it's the only feasible replacement for hydrocarbons?