Nuclear Power: The Lesser of Two Evils?

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posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 11:39 PM
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Many people object to nuclear power, partly because of the word “nuke” and partly because of the serious consequences of a big accident. But I have to ask which is worse: A CO2 polluted world in which huge amounts of ocean life have been killed due to the acidification of water by the fact half of the CO2 released since the industrial revolution has ended up in the ocean (this is due to carbon dioxides solubility in water). One of the threatend ocean species is a bacterium which excretes a chemical vital in cloud formation.
Its a world where there are huge droughts and the Amazon (lungs of the earth) has turned to desert, and one where when it does rain massive floods and soil erosion is guaranteed to be caused.
England will be minus 50 due to the collapse of the Gulf Stream, as well as much of Europe and Northern America. Meanwhile China (one of the few countries thought to benefit global warming) will experience more rainfall and altogether be even richer than its going to be anyway. Most of Gods species will be extinct and there will be a shortage of food which can only be solved by covert biological warfare which should turn today’s 3rd world into a food exporter (and hence feed what’s left of the Western world).

Now let’s look at the “radiation world”. Here life expectancy may be 30-40 (un less we find a cure to cancer) but the sun still shines bright over Europe and America and the trees are still green. Food can still be easily produced although somewhat contaminated (hence in part the low life expectancy). Also there are no mass extinctions of gods creation (in fact natural selection may speed up to 10,000 times due to the chance deformities caused by the radiation). Likewise ocean is still pretty fine, and you might get to glow in the dark which is quite cool.
Meanwhile birth deformities in man could be eliminated using IVF. Best of all though the worst effected areas may remain contaminated for thousands of years but for everywhere else it is likely to be in the hundreds and less.

In comparison the effects of global warming are practically irreversible and are likely to last 10 or 20 thousand years at least. Global warming will cause an ice age that is completely unnatural, and what natural effects there are taking place, are likely to be accelerated with unpredictable consequences.
Which do you choose? Glow in the dark, or freeze in the ice?

Of course the best thing about nuclear power is that we can nearly always control it and so prevent most of the above from happening. By burning up more of the unstable products; today’s reactor designs can generate up to 30% more electricity for the same amount of waste produced by one in the early 1980’s.
Yeah nuclear power has gone wrong before and it is arguable that sooner or later anything man made will. But its funny the most notable example of nuclear power gone wrong is Chernobyl in Russia. There the reactor monitors broke all "5 top golden rules on how to run a nuclear reactor". Things like “don’t turn of your safety systems” things like "build a concrete lead lined dome over the reactor" so that if does catch on fire the waste will be contained. Things like that really, ah those Russians! They sure have their people interests at heart!!!
But Chernobyl wasn't just manslughter of the Russian people, but of the reputation of the nuclear industry as a whole.

In Europe we are phasing out our nuclear power and importing more fossil fuels from Russia. Insanely this has led to the Russians keeping more of their unsafe reactors open for longer (they never build a concrete dome over the reactors in Russia).
Generally Russia is using nuclear power more and more often so that it can export more fossil fuels to Europe. Due to cost safety measure cutting; nuclear energy in Russia is even cheaper than fossil fuels.

Who do we have to blame for this? Organisations like Greenpeace of course.
They say: “No, you aren’t going to build more nuclear power because we want you to use alternatives like wind and solar power instead.”
I’m all in favour of putting a wind turbine on the lawns of Congress or one outside No10 Downing Street (apparently they make an ultra sound which keeps you awake) but unfortunately our governments aren’t doing these things nearly enough. Nor do they really have to when you see the price difference between nuclear and “greener” forms of energy (avoid statistics from Friends of the Earth by the way). In England you would have to cover an area the size of Wales to meet all our energy demands from wind. The only reason wind makes money is because it is heavily subsidised at tax payer’s expense.
In fact the best way the government could avoid green energy would be to do what they do now and give the consumer a choice between “green” and “brown” power companies. After all it’s democratic isn’t it?
So even though it isn’t exactly what we might want when the government says: “we’ll give you 10% green energy and the rest nuclear energy” should we really boo? Because right now in the U.K. nobody complains about the other 90% (22% of which happens to be nuclear thanks to the 70’s and 80’s) but the rest of which is mostly coal.
After all there are only two political parties in America with any real chance of gaining power before global warming causes the next ice age, and really there only 2 in the U.K. (despite the Liberal Democrats nearly being there). And with “democratic” options like making the consumer accountable to the cost of green energy shouldn’t organisations like Greenpeace quit the clouds for once and take what’s offered so long as it isn’t gas let alone coal?
Nobody wants to live near a nuclear powerstation which is why someone came up with the concept of an "off-shore nuclear energy". Protestor and terrorist proof alike, you don't have to think about it every time you pass the plant on route to work. In the event of a acident its acturally safer than one on land because the radiation will be diluted far more quickly at sea than at land. Bad news if your a fish but good news if your an earth worm i suppose.

But according to “Newscientist” it’s thought we have about 100 years to avoid the next ice age at most and about 10 years at minimum. Global warming isn’t funny anymore. So what do you say? Glow in the dark, or freeze in ice; the way of atom peace, or “Greenpeace”?




posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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Ooh, I want to glow in the dark! I'm all for nuclear power plants!


Seriously though, you made several good points for nuclear power. Although I think you took the worst-case scenario for it, I'd still go for that world, especially because the cure to cancer is close, or is already here but hidden (my view is that it's here, but that's just me
). I would think that it would be better though because nuclear plants don't exactly spontaneously explode and our technology is constantly improving on it, lowering the explosion rate and the severity of explosions.

Just my 2 cents.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 12:11 AM
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I have always been a proponent of nuclear power. I've been told its cheaper than coal, and the likelihood of a nuclear disaster is minimal. The bad press about nuclear power is mostly just half truths spread by the liberal media.





 
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