Round 3. Memoryshock v Sublime620: Uranium- the other green energy source

page: 1
7

log in

join

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 04:07 PM
link   
The topic for this debate is "Expanding our nuclear power infrastructure is a viable short-term solution to the problems presented by fossil fuels".

Memoryshock will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Sublime620 will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.


There are no limits on the length of posts, but you may only use 1 post per turn.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations


Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each invidual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.
Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.


The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceeded by a direct answer.

A new time limit policy is in effect
Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extention of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extention begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extention request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.


Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 03:26 PM
link   
I would like to thank The Vagabond, my esteemed opponent Sublime620, and the audience. I would also like to apologize for the lack of cohesive organization present in this opening, due to time constraints, and assure you that will be ameliorated throughout the course of this debate.
 



Three-Mile Long Island. Chernobyl.

What do each of us think about when someone says, “Nuclear Power?” Chances are, the first thing that pops into our head is something related to the above: A Nuclear Disaster.

And who can blame us? The cessation of combat after World War II led us into a new world filled with mushroom clouds and radioactive decay. The world was under the thumb of the Cold War for decades, wondering whether the communist threat would pull their itchy trigger finger first.

Nuclear Power received a very bad rap because of the associations that naturally come along with it.

But the disasters mentioned in the first breath of this argument don’t give any credence to the paranoia that has been ever present regarding nuclear power. I will show throughout this debate many things, one of which is the fact that there is very little risk, in actuality regarding a nuclear disaster that can even come close to matching the devastation of our worst nuclear fears, much less the correlative health risks and deaths that are incurred through the procurement of coal or the installation of hydroelectrics.

In fact, the health risks/death stats are indeed where I will begin this debate. As the debate continues, I will show the benefits of nuclear power, I will look at waste associated with our energy industries and will of course present for your consideration the viability of alternative energy sources. I also would like to present the fact that there are many nuclear facilities in operation around the world and the implementation of fourth generation nuclear power plants have already been constructed and ordered for construction.

It is without doubt that the biggest enemy of nuclear power is the misconception of the possibilities as well as a fundamental ignorance regarding the perception of a plant meltdown and pre and post scenarios of such an instance. Consider the following:



By June it was realized that the average effective radiation dose to the population of Greece would not exceed 1 millisieverts (100 mrem)[snip]

It was estimated that in Greece during the period of concern following the Chernobyl accident, i.e., during most of May 1986, 23% of early pregnancies at perceived risk were artificially terminated and that during the whole of 1986 about 2500 otherwise wanted pregnancies were interrupted because of perceived radiation risk.[1]


A functional lack of comprehension resulted in tens of thousands of unnecessary abortions. This does not include the more immediate locations in Russia which experienced similar atmospherical effects, but illustrates perfectly the lack of functional awareness retained and propagated through our societies.

Now the mass hysteria regarding the perception of radioactivity resultant of a breakdown can be illustrated by The Linear Hypothesis, or rather the lack of direct evidence in support. This hypothesis is meant to track the occurrence of cancer in time periods following a nuclear accident. In many cases, including Hiroshima, incidence of cancer was markedly lower than was expected.

Now the incidence of thyroid cancer occurrences in the aftermath of Chernobyl experienced an increase, yet there are many factors to include. For one, there is natural exposure to varying radioactive levels as well as measures that could be instituted in a populace to decrease the likelihood of exposure to higher levels.



Since radioactive iodine is short lived, if people had stopped giving locally supplied contaminated milk to children for a few months following the accident, it is likely that most of the increase in radiation-induced thyroid cancer would not have resulted.[2]


As well, the number of people who were exposed to high levels of radiation were those involved in relief efforts, notably, only 28 people died as a result of direct radiation exposure. This number pales in comparison to coal mining related deaths as well as casualty rates associated with dam bursts.

We have learned from our past. Coal was a cheap and readily available source for our energy needs, but was utilized without either concern for its’ miners nor an adequate knowledge of the long term environmental effects as well as associated health risks. The building of dams, has produced its’ own problems as well its’ own disasters.


Regarding the Three Gorges Dam
“The Government knows it has made a mistake. Now they are afraid that the catastrophe that they cannot prevent will spark civil unrest. So they want to go public before the troubles start,” she said.[3]


The Three Gorges Dam has a “total power generating capacity of 22,500 megawatts” which makes it the largest Dam in the world. But the environmental consequences are proving to be much more problematic than the endeavors of the CCP had foreseen, a relevant subject in its’ own right much much too comprehensive for my opening.

"Expanding our nuclear power infrastructure is a viable short-term solution to the problems presented by fossil fuels".

Indeed, it is an incredibly viable option when one considers that the Chernobyl incident could have been averted had adequate preventative measures been instituted, especially the construction of an outer casing for the reactor core. But we see these safety considerations in third and even fourth generation designs, which have already been constructed in China.

The safety reasons for continuing nuclear power sources in our own country amount to uneducated social stigma. France gains 77% of their energy from nuclear sources and China is increasing there reliance on this bountiful means of energy production already.

As well, the safety reasons for our dependence on coal and hydro power sources almost necessitate a more overt transition to nuclear power. I will show throughout the course of this debate that casualties, direct and indirect, from these two industries far surpass that of past nuclear associations and as well have their own geographical influence to rival radioactive exposures.

I will also discuss the economic factors surrounding each industry as well as focus on the environmental impact each method of energy production has had. By the end of this debate, there will be no doubt as to the viability of expanding our nuclear power infrastructure and a need for this conversion will be seen as necessary to retain national and international technological and economic prosperity.

Change is something that we as a societal whole have been resistant to. Nobody is sure what can happen when a new technology or social more becomes a prevalent concern or possibility precisely because we can not predict what will result from implementation.

But without change, where would we be? We would still be stuck taming horses for the Pony Express. My esteemed opponent would have to wait days…or even weeks to receive my opening, which was made available to the entire internet world in less than 10 seconds. Nuclear Power is a major solution for our energy concerns.

I submit that nuclear power is not only viable…but necessary. Just ask China.

[1]

[2]

[3]



[edit on 18-3-2008 by The Vagabond]



posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 05:54 PM
link   
Giving Thanks

    To The Vags: you’re the man. Thanks for taking the time to set all this up, especially if you run as busy of a life as people say. Also, I guess I need to wish good luck to my opponent, though not too much luck. I don’t want to put myself at that much of a disadvantage.

Opening Statement

    I do not really want this debate to turn into a game of semantics, however, let’s review the question at hand real quick to clarify my point of view:

    "Expanding our nuclear power infrastructure is a viable short-term solution to the problems presented by fossil fuels"

    Emphasis mine.

    I just want to make it clear, right off the bat, that I am not anti-nuclear power. I will not be arguing that nuclear power is a bad plan, and that it will ruin the earth. To the contrary, I am simply saying that nuclear power is not a short term answer. In fact, there is nothing short term about nuclear energy.

    Let’s first dissect some of the important facts and figures of nuclear power:

    First Source
    Second Source
    • It costs about 2.6 billion dollars to build 1,400 megawatt nuclear plant
    • It will take 6 ½ years to build that plant
    • Currently nuclear plants create only 1/5 of US electricity consumed
    • Some of the highest radioactive waste will take over 20,000 years to decay
    • Land appears to be the most viable place for storage (over under the sea and in space)


    Obviously the reactors themselves are a concern, though not much of one. Waste and storage are a major concern. Also, financially, it would take staggering amounts of money to put all of this together.

    Now, I’d much rather spend those staggering amounts of money on energy, such as nuclear, solar, and other alternative sources of power, than blowing it in the Iraq war. However, investing this much money into a project is far from “short term”.

    Third Source

    According to this website, there are approximately 104 reactors currently operating in the US. With the previous statistic that showed that nuclear power only created only 1/5 of our power, that means we’d need approximately 416 more plants. Multiply that by our previously mentioned 2.6 billion, and our total cost to get this country under total nuclear power is:

    One trillion 81 billion 6 million dollars

    That, my friends, is not short term. That is a long term investment.

    I realize this post was short. This debate will be very fact driven. I cannot use too many sources in this post, and I don't want to dive too deep into the discussion just yet.

    In my first rebuttal, I will talk futher about other options and action plans we need to take.

    For now, I look forward to MemoryShock's first rebuttal.



posted on Mar, 19 2008 @ 02:52 PM
link   
The intention behind my opening was to address the fact that there have been no nuclear plants ordered in America since 1973, due to concerns regarding safety. From Sublime620’s first source, we see that this is still a major motivation against nuclear reactors…



Critics see a giant mushroom cloud.[snip]
She recalled the fate of the Shoreham nuclear plant in New York, which was shut down after construction in 1985 because of public opposition.[1]



Many plants were scrapped due to public opposition regarding the potential safety of nuclear power. For this reason, it is a necessary to not only consider the public outcries, but necessary to look at the advancement in the industry regarding prevention and even take a look at the average human reaction to low level radiation exposure(Threshold Hypothesis), which are comparatively lower than the physiological impact of other industries.

While the concerns are understandable, we have to consider the lessons learned since in those twenty years as well as consider the fact that many other nations consider nuclear power to be a viable short and long term solution. We have not only learned how to better design them but have learned much in the aftermath of these accidents to better predict physical reactions of low level radiation exposure over a regional space. For all intents and purposes, unless my esteemed opponent would like to return to the public safety concerns, I for now will shelve my voluminous amount of online resource on that direction in favor of addressing what has been presented.
 



Originally posted by Sublime620
I do not really want this debate to turn into a game of semantics,[snip]


Indeed, I would not necessarily be inclined to make this a debate on semantics, but the fact of the matter is that the debate topic does not stipulate which national/international group uses nuclear power and the implicit admission of short term viability regarding the implementation of nuclear power plants.

In other words, if discussion of 'such' precludes an admission of ‘viability’ then the construction and commercial application of 'such' is the proof of admission regarding viability.

“Tianwan-2”and Lingao-2 , the names of two Chinese nuclear reactors went operational in the last two to three years with plans for at least twenty five more by 2018.

China has indeed acknowledged, and thusly provided proof, regarding the short and long term viability of nuclear power.[2]

Oil will run out, at least with regards to mass consumption and there are too many people who want it. There is a pressing need for alternative energy sources and nuclear power has already proven to be an excellent provider. It has been established by many countries as a relevant secondary source of energy and is even the primary source of energy for France and Belgium.


Originally posted by Sublime620
One trillion 81 billion 6 million dollars

That, my friends, is not short term. That is a long term investment.



One trillion some odd dollars is indeed a long term investment. But I would like to draw attention to the fact that the debate topic is indeed not focused on making nuclear power the sole source, nor even necessarily a primary source, of energy in any region. We are establishing whether or not an increase in nuclear power plants may be a valid integration into a region's power supply in light of fossil fuel depletion/ravaging effects on the environment and the status of completely clean, efficient, and cheap renewable energy sources that our collective future will no doubt produce. The emphasis on economics by Sublime620 is a very relevant concern when one considers that full societal integration of these clean renewable factories or production centers will indeed make said integration decidedly more long term than the mere six and a half years for a tried and true method of power production.

We can also see that his economic projections were omitting of comparative data for other industries.

Sublime620 suggested that the cost of building a nuclear reactor would run approximately 2.6 billion dollars.

The following is a monetary projection for only one of the Dams originally proposed in 1986. The original proposal called for two dams and the original price tag was $5billion…if inflation were to be considered for today (due to the reintroduction of the Susitna proposal because of an influx in oil revenue) then the price tag would be a staggering $10 billion!


The cost of building the Susitna Hydroelectric Dam
"We should take $3 billion, set it aside to backstop bonds and build the Susitna dam," Wilken said,"to bring competitive electrical power to 70 percent of Alaskans that will pay off for the next 100 years."[2]


The alternative costs more. And the Susitna is still in the discussion stages. The actual cost of the Three Gorges Dam in China is estimated to be about $29 billion. Granted the Three Gorges is the largest Dam in the world but the price tag is more than the price of 10 nuclear reactors, using the price schedule of Sublime620 of $2.6 billion.

It is also relevant to mention that the Three Gorges Dam has taken 14 years to date and is not 100% operational[4].

14 years vs. 6.5years. I ask the reader, which would be considered more of a ‘long-term’ action?

China is still building more nuclear reactors. Price is not an option when considering their desire to stay on the international playing field.

Fossil Fuels, i.e. the coal industry is falling. It is time for a change and the trend will be towards more renewable, cheap and clean means of energy production. But the coal industry is still producing factories. American coal reserves are the most abundant in the world and make us the ‘Middle East’ of coal. With that much money already allocated and invested into coal we can be sure that the world is not ready for a full and complete transition. The long term must not only include viable alternatives but a change in public perception as well as public institutions. The gas station is going to be a thing of the past if thermal depolymerization[5] doesn’t take. Indeed, the societal transition to more clean fuel is the greater likelihood. This potentially necessitates a complete revamping of the industrial infrastructure.

That could take a many decades longer than the short term solution of nuclear power.

Change doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come overnight where society is concerned.

We need a brace for the wall we are putting up. An increase in nuclear power is that brace.

[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]

The floor is yours, Sublime620.



posted on Mar, 19 2008 @ 04:51 PM
link   
First Rebuttal

    My opponent is throwing out some pretty impressive statistics. Do not let him fool you with them. No one is planning on providing the entire country with hydroelectric power.

    What is our end goal? Is it to get off oil because the reserves are getting low, or are we more concerned with actually keeping our environment clean? Nuclear power is doing okay as it is. Growing the industry is just creating a new problem for us to deal with:

    Where do we store all that waste?

    My opponent has done an amazing job convincing us how safe the reactors are. He is, of course, mostly correct that the reactors themselves are safe. In fact, with the proper protection, they are fairly safe from terrorism.

    The waste on the other hand is a major concern. We have to worry about earthquakes causing a leak, we have to guard it to keep it safe from terrorism, and even with perfect conditions many experts believe that the waste will eventually begin to leak out after a few centuries.

    So I suppose if we are looking to just relax the grip oil dependency has on our country, nuclear power is a decent short term solution. Long term, however, it’s a terrible solution. What will we as a country, or more importantly, as a world, do with all of this waste?

    How can we commit to using nuclear power before we’ve solved this problem?


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    France gains 77% of their energy from nuclear sources and China is increasing there reliance on this bountiful means of energy production already.


    Perhaps France is looking pretty good right now, but they have still failed to address this major concern:

    First Source

    It is difficult to give precise costs because France hasn't decided on a strategy on long-term waste management," said Yves le Bars, chairman of ANDRA, the national radioactive waste management agency in France, the EU's biggest nuclear power.


    How typical of us humans, always eyeing the short term benefits and never caring about the long term.

Socratic Question 1

Can something be a short term solution if it ruins long term goals?


    Is France really gaining from nuclear power? Sure, they are probably receiving cheaper power, the air may be a little more clean, but let’s talk to France in a few hundred years. What country do you suppose they will be trying to bribe to dump all of that waste on?

    Calling nuclear energy a plausible short term solution is like saying Bush’s tax refunds are going to fix the economy. Perhaps the refund will fix the economy for a few months, but the actual problems were never addressed. The same applies to nuclear energy. It may detox us from our oil addiction, but it is no way helping our environment, unless you consider immeasurable amounts of radioactive waste buried underground helping the environment.

    More from the previous source:


    At present highly radioactive waste is put into interim storage where it has to sit for 30-40 years for its radioactivity and heat production to decline. It is still hazardous and should be stored somewhere permanently.


    In many countries it is unclear who will pay for the cost divided over hundreds, even hundreds of thousands of years. Utilities could end up with a bigger bill than expected.
    Most high-level waste, the most dangerous kind, is spent fuel from the over 400 nuclear power reactors in more than 30 countries.

    So, we have to store the waste, which will add the cost of our utilities.


    Experts say technology exists for secure underground deposits which could last millions of years. Most countries plan to seal the highly hazardous waste in containers and store it 500-1,000 meters (1,640-3,280 feet) underground.
    Sceptics say it could be safe for decades or even centuries, but at some point it would be bound to leak or be attacked by terrorists.

    Another factor that my opponent has ignored is transportation of this waste. For instance, we as a country chose Nevada as a proper storage site:

    Second Source

    Supporters of the site said Yucca Mountain had been studied for two decades and at a cost of nearly $7 billion. They said a central storage facility would provide increased security for material that is to remain dangerously radioactive for 10,000 years.

    So it cost us 7 billion to study this facility. That’s chump change, I suppose. I mean, 7 billion and then we’re done. Not to bad.

    Under the current schedule, the first shipments would arrive in 2010 and continue for 24 years.

    This is our great plan? Really? 24 years and then what? We build a new one? What about when that runs out?

    That is 24 years with the reactors we have! Can you imagine how fast these dumping sites would fill up if we doubled, tripled, or quadrupled our nuclear power production? Next would be Alaska, and then it would be your state.

    How is this a short term solution when it just puts us in the opposite position? Instead of having too little of a polluting fuel, now we have too much of a dangerous substance? Or maybe we can spend a few hundred billion every few years to shoot it into space, where it’ll undoubtedly hit some sort of asteroid and knock it into a collision course with our planet knowing our luck.


    So not only are we having to fill up the ground with nuclear waste, but the waste has to get there first. That means we'll be having truck drivers or trains transporting highly toxic nuclear waste across states and possible some across the country.

    I don't see any accidents happening out of that.

Any better ideas?

    I suppose if I am going to trash my opponent's "solution" I should at least provide a better idea. It is only fair.

    Solar Energy and Electric Cars

    You know, the thing about nuclear energy is that it only helps our electricity problems. I doubt we will be driving around nuclear powered cars, but I have been wrong before.

    Third Source

    Over the course of a day, the amount of energy in sunlight striking the continental United States is more than 2,500 times the amount of the nation's daily electricity consumption.


    The energy is there folks. We just have to go out and get it.

    In this article, MSNBC claims the reason solar energy has lost ground against other energy sources is a lack of silicon. Well, not a lack per se, just that we consume so much of it for our electronics that it has driven the price up.

    Sort of quagmire eh? And no I am not talking about the guy in Family Guy, giggity goo.

    So we need a good source of energy to power our electronics, and soler power could do just that, but our electronics consume too much of the very thing that solar panels need.

    Silicon is abundant in sand, by the way. Perhaps we'll see America attacking the Middle East for sand, instead of oil, in the future. That would be weird.

    I digress.

    The best short term option is to continue research. Look into carbon capture technologies as a short term solution. Begin building solar panels to start aiding in providing power. Most importantly, leave nuclear technology the way it is. Do not build any more, and do no decommission any plants.

    We can use all three together, minimizing the downsides of each technology. We will have less carbon emmission, due to reduced usage and carbon capture technologies. We will have no more nuclear waste to have to worry about storing, and we'll have a safe, clean energy in solar power.

    Meanwhile, we can use these technologies to power our awesome electric cars that we should be driving already. The technology exists to have fairly cheap electric cars that can drive up to 200 miles without recharging. In fact, the technology exists so that after 200 miles, a combustion engine can be used so that you don't have to be inconvenienced with a stop.

    In my next post I will be diving further into the interests of solar techonogy, and offering rebuttals to the claims I am sure my opponent will have versus that source of energy.


Back to you MemoryShock.



posted on Mar, 20 2008 @ 12:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by Sublime620
So I suppose if we are looking to just relax the grip oil dependency has on our country, nuclear power is a decent short term solution. My Emphasis


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sublime620 for agreeing with my proposition. In no way does the topic stipulate why nuclear power is a viable/decent short term solution. I will accept your reasoning.



Originally posted by Sublime620
I suppose if I am going to trash my opponent's "solution" I should at least provide a better idea. It is only fair.


Trash my solution? After an explicit agreement? I do think that my opponent has gotten ahead of the debate trend we have established. While I will go into my analysis regarding the various alternatives of mass energy production, I feel obliged to interact with my opponent’s argument, beginning with the answer to the Socratic Question.


Originally posted by Sublime620
Can something be a short term solution if it ruins long term goals?


Absolutely. If the ‘question’ is that which is merely pertaining to the course of action in a specified ‘foreseeable future’ time period, then the course of action undertaken in said time frame by default becomes the application(or lack thereof) of the solution. If long term goals become ruined, then another question regarding the new string of ‘foreseeable future’ becomes necessary and it may possibly become a vicious cycle of repetition.

But that does not necessarily apply to nuclear power. Perhaps we should investigate further...

In so far as nuclear waste is concerned, we don’t have to store it for centuries. Perhaps not even decades and I am sure we will refine the technology I am about to present to be included in the process of nuclear energy production for sixth generation, maybe even fifth generation nuclear reactors. Sure, storage was what we have done in the past and invariably, we will continue to do so, albeit on a limited level. But waste disposal is a world wide concern for all of our industries, not just nuclear. Seeing as it is a universal concern, it would stand to reason that someone, some where has taken the initiative to figure this out.

And someone(s) have done just that.

And we have a solution, a solution that will invariably become utilized in our future as environmental concerns rise to the forefront of national, international and even corporate concerns. And it works on radioactive waste

Plasma Gasification Melting (PMG) technology.

The above technique is a method devised by an Israeli company, Environmental Energy Resources, within the past few years.






A chunk of black, lava-like rock, the result of the process invented by EER to transform radioactive waste into an inert, safe substance, which was sitting on the table in front of everyone’s coffee cups at a press briefing from Polaris (now Pitango), one of Israel’s most lucrative venture capital funds.[1]




“EER is certainly giving a fresh meaning to the expression - one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. But, in EER’s case, ones man’s hazardous waste may very well be EER’s goldmine. [1] My Emphasis



Nuclear waste is actually just a corporate playground. We developed nuclear capability for war, much like radar. Radar begat microwaves, a household item that it seems no one with first world status can live without. The first household appliance I ever purchased was a microwave.

What personal commercial application will converted nuclear waste yield? Failing a personal consumer application, what about industrial commercial use? It is already earmarked for tiles and blocks (or molds thereof) in the construction industry.

The relevant safety concerns regarding waste disposal expressed in the meat of my opponent’s previous argument were lacking a full acknowledgement of the facts regarding the admittedly quiet front that is nuclear research. But the research is under way and it is in full swing with regards to the long term problem of nuclear waste. Why?

Because we already have nuclear waste. And it’s a potential cash cow. What better reason is there than money?

Which answers, or rather rephrases, the question Sublime620 posed…


Originally posted by Sublime620
What country do you suppose they will be trying to bribe to dump all of that waste on?


….or, Which company will France be trying to commission for the conversion of that waste?

 


Which is where I begin my analysis of solar energy and electric cars. Money. Sublime620 has already expressed the problem with solar energy and that is the demand for pure silicone in various other industries which has helped prevent a mass implementation of solar energy to be even feasible on a theoretical level, much less a realistic level.

Realistically speaking, the world we live in is ruled by corporate interest. Who are the major players? The old timers…Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Beef, etc. The guys who have been around forever and probably were the guys who started some of our more modern endeavours (cough Dupont). My point is this:

A full scale revamping of our commercial infrastructure is unlikely as long as the current money holders are holding the cards. Big Coal, Big Oil (just look at Cheney ties with Bush and the Saudis via Carlysle) will not transfer until the alternatives are either bankrolled by them or they are punted away. My money, btw, is on the former.

But I digress and this debate is not necessarily centered on the specifics of our societal economy in the context of status quo.

Solar energy is not a feasible implementation as of now due to the large amount of space required to install solar cells needed for the huge amounts of energy our industries and our persons use on a daily basis. Personal use of solar cells are currently the trend and even then, the cost isn’t usually offset for quite awhile. Corporations can survive a losing investment for a short while…individuals find it a bit tougher.

There are many other disadvantages to solar energy, which Sublime620 alluded to addressing and I will wait for his presentation as my word count is dwindling.

Electric cars are a great idea as well. But energy production is not solely for our vehicles…indeed, how will they be made? How will many other aspects of our daily convenience be produced?


Originally posted by Sublime620
The best short term option is to continue research. [snip]

Most importantly, leave nuclear technology the way it is. Do not build any more, and do no decommission any plants.


Research is always happening as I have shown above in just one context. Offering research as a short term solution is akin to saying, “Go on and keep sleeping at night until you don’t.”

It’s going to happen anyway.

As far as leaving nuclear technology the way it is? Many of the reactors we have currently were designed in the fifties and sixties. They are dinosaurs compared to what we have designed and will design. We have a much better grasp on what the concept of nuclear is and how it affects our reality. Remember, we have only known about it for less than one hundred and fifty years. We have just figured out a way to convert its’ waste into harmless materials. What else have we figured out? Our decision to expand our nuclear infrastructure should be based on our current comprehension and subsequent application, rather than the oublics' antiquated perception.

Nuclear Power is a cleaner energy then current fossil fuels. It is safe. It is not only disposable, it is convertible. And it is cheap. It already fits into our current industrial infrastructure. There is no reason why we shouldn’t use such an incredible energy source. There is every reason to increase our reliance on Nuclear Power during the transition away from fossil fuels...as Sublime620 as already agreed to above.

"Expanding our nuclear power infrastructure is a viable short-term solution to the problems presented by fossil fuels".


[1]
[2]

[edit on 20-3-2008 by The Vagabond]



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 10:37 AM
link   
I must invoke my 24 hour extension. I haven't had time to make the post, but I should be able to tonight.

Thanks.

[edit on 21-3-2008 by Sublime620]



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 10:37 PM
link   
First, may I apologize for the delay. I took a trip to our nation's capital and have been out most of the time. I am returning home tomorrow so there will be no more delays.

Also, since I was able to fly there, many ATS'ers can rest easy knowing they will not be added to any no-fly watch list for being here. If I can go to the capital, you guys should be fine.


Second Rebuttal

    Excellent rebuttal, MemoryShock. I had never heard of plasma gasification before. It is a pretty phenominal techonology.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sublime620 for agreeing with my proposition. In no way does the topic stipulate why nuclear power is a viable/decent short term solution. I will accept your reasoning.


    I am willing to concede facts. Nuclear energy is a decent source of energy. It just makes tons of radioactive waste that is indestructable and takes forever to be safe. It is not the ideal source of energy for this country or any.

    Though I am sure you are aware of it, I will clarify for the judges that the statement he quoted was sarcastic. It is not responsible, or ethical, to move towards this technology until we find an efficient way to deal with the waste.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    Trash my solution? After an explicit agreement?


    Yes, I apologize. That came off completely wrong. I meant to say "trash on", as to imply that if I am going to disagree with you, then I should at least provide my own ideas.

    I was in no way trying to say what it looked like.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    Absolutely. If the ‘question’ is that which is merely pertaining to the course of action in a specified ‘foreseeable future’ time period, then the course of action undertaken in said time frame by default becomes the application(or lack thereof) of the solution. If long term goals become ruined, then another question regarding the new string of ‘foreseeable future’ becomes necessary and it may possibly become a vicious cycle of repetition.


    I honestly have no idea what the first part means. However, I think your logic is flawed on the second point. Just because "another question" about the new events is made, it doesn't make the original action a solution. In fact, quite the opposite. A solution, as I have always understood it, solves the problem at hand in some way.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    But waste disposal is a world wide concern for all of our industries, not just nuclear.


    I am glad that my opponent agrees with me on that topic.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    And we have a solution, a solution that will invariably become utilized in our future as environmental concerns rise to the forefront of national, international and even corporate concerns. And it works on radioactive waste

    Plasma Gasification Melting (PMG) technology.


    As I said before, awesome technology. It should be utilized as much as possible in the future. However, I must say, I believe my opponent may have gotten ahead of himself on this process.

    Let's examine his source a bit closer:


    “The cost for treating and burying low-radioactive nuclear waste currently stands at about $30,000 per ton.”


    This is only used for "low-level" radioactive waste. As far as I am aware, low level waste is generally not the actually materials used in the process. This is generally stuff used to handle the waste, like gloves and radiation suits.

    I've double checked this with quite a few sources, and they all say that it is for low level radioactive waste.

    First Source

    The difference between most other plasma gasification systems and Longo’s is that he designed it to accept almost anything you throw into it. The only thing it can’t break down is nuclear waste because it is indestructible.


    In fact, it seems that it does not work for regular nuclear waste at all. Just low-level waste, as I mentioned before. It is mostly for trash, but it is still an amazing technology.

    So this still leaves the question of, "What will we do with all this waste?"


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    Realistically speaking, the world we live in is ruled by corporate interest. Who are the major players? The old timers…Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Beef, etc. The guys who have been around forever and probably were the guys who started some of our more modern endeavours (cough Dupont).


    Look, installing any new infrastructure for energy is going to be expensive. The price of solar panels are expensive now, but only because they are not being mass produced. The price could be quite a bit lower. In fact, for us regular folk, it could end up being quite a money saver in the long run.

    Corperations could, and should, be funded by the government to begin the switch.

    Not converting to solar energy strictly because it expensive to do is irresponsible and silly. These major companies, that you alluded to before, should be funded but forced by the government to begin implementing use. Until they are forced, they will not switch until they have milked oil and coal dry.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    Solar energy is not a feasible implementation as of now due to the large amount of space required to install solar cells needed for the huge amounts of energy our industries and our persons use on a daily basis. Personal use of solar cells are currently the trend and even then, the cost isn’t usually offset for quite awhile.


    Not enough land is a lame excuse and you know it.

    Second Source

    The hot oil will flow around the 400-acre project and into a building where it will turn water into steam. It, in turn, will turn a steam turbine, which will make electricity.

    ...enough to power 40,000 homes in the Las Vegas area during the hottest part of the day.


    Third Source*
    So every acre of desert powers about 100 homes. So, for instance, California has over 10.6 million acres of desert. If we used only half of that, it would power 530,000,000 homes. That would pick up a little slack, wouldn't you say?

    *This is about a different type of solar energy, but it is for reference. This is refering to solar thermal energy.

    With personal use, that is, having solar panels on your roof or in your yard, it could be quite beneficial to the user. If the panels produce enough to power the house alone, they would not pay electric bills. Even better, if it is a second home, and they are not there all the time, it will produce electricity that will be fed into the grid and the owner would be credited for it.

    So if it was your second house, and you weren't there, all the electricity your panels absorb would be earning you money. Not bad.


    Originally posted by MemoryShock
    As far as leaving nuclear technology the way it is? Many of the reactors we have currently were designed in the fifties and sixties. They are dinosaurs compared to what we have designed and will design. We have a much better grasp on what the concept of nuclear is and how it affects our reality. Remember, we have only known about it for less than one hundred and fifty years. We have just figured out a way to convert its’ waste into harmless materials. What else have we figured out? Our decision to expand our nuclear infrastructure should be based on our current comprehension and subsequent application, rather than the oublics' antiquated perception.


    I am not against upgrading or building new reactors. I just do not want a bunch of new plants built without decommissioning others first. We do not need to be creating more nuclear waste. We have enough as it is.

    I do not want to end up like France in a century wondering what we'll start doing with nuclear waste. Especially since we do not have a way to convert it into harmless material, unless you have information that I do not.

Short Recap

    We have covered a lot of information here. I want to sum it up real fast:

    Nuclear energy is a cheap source of energy, but expensive to build the plants. It is not a short term solution for two reasons:

    • There is nothing short term about nuclear energy. If we invest in nuclear energy, you can expect that to be our source for many years to come. The plants would cost around a trillion dollars to produce, and the waste would take centuries to decay. That is not short term.

    • It is not a solution. It cannot be a solution if it destroys the end goal. The end goal in my opinion is a cleaner source of energy, which it is not.


    Plasma Gasification Melting does not appear to solve this problem at all.

    Solar panels are a clean and safe source of energy. It is common sense that we would use the biggest energy source in our solar system to help power our lives.

    That is all for now.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:54 PM
link   
I will start this rebuttal with an examination of “short term”.

As far as an application of our current industrial infrastructure is concerned, nothing happens immediately. We have to consider that there are not only many different industries vying for economic positioning, but we have to consider that the industries already in place have priority. Coal harms the environment. Oil does as well. But these industries are the livelihood of not only the ‘rich folk’ but of lower class families. These industries also associate indirectly with the transportation of goods that allow people to fill their homes with furniture and various ‘things’. These industries also allow for services to be rendered when desired or needed by everyone in a first world society.

What happens to the families who are dependant on ‘coal’ for their paycheck and subsequent livelihood if we transferred to another means of energy production over night?

Nothing good.

With that in mind, ‘short term’ is relative to the means of society, to the capacity to integrate the very real concerns of the individual as applied to the overall need.

Coal is waning. It is an American cash cow that can be sustained for at least a century and half. We are in no need currently to transfer our industrial infrastructure. But we do have a mind for the long term, despite Sublime620’s comment in his second post. The long term necessarily carries with it an inherent concern for the individual and family structure. The long term is concerned with insuring not only an efficient and consistent power source, but the effects that will be experienced by our collective environment.

The short term is concerned with this very transition. The short term is concerned with instituting change, physical and economic change, while making as much concession for the comfort of the individual as possible. Change must occur. But we have the capacity to make that transition as seamless as possible. Instead of thousands of lives being adversely affected, we can make it hundreds….exact numbers are of course variant, but the difference is real.

When we are discussing short term, we are not discussing a matter of six years. We are not discussing ten years. We are not even necessarily discussing twenty years. Because we have enough coal for one hundred and fifty years…at least. Short term is relative to the realization and physical integration of clean, efficient and renewable energy, which is the long term goal.

We are going to have negative consequences. Sublime620 suggests that nuclear waste is unamenable to our livelihood. But what of the greenhouse gases that we as a world have lived with for about a century?

What of the pollution we breathe through our lungs everyday?

As a rudimentary answer, storing nuclear waste means we don’t have to breathe it. And it can’t be suggested that our men and women haven’t considered everything that can go wrong and haven’t implemented safeguards.

We already have radioactive waste. We live with it everyday. Who reading this has been impacted by high levels of radioactive waste in their lives? Who reading this knows someone who has been harmed by the transportation and storage of the radioactive waste we have and are currently producing?

Who reading this has been affected by air pollution caused by our current means of energy production?

We do not have detailed plans, designs or industry backing for implementation of a clean, renewable energy production. Period. It is all still in the realms of theory and possibility. That is not to say that we won’t. But we can’t expect it to happen overnight when there aren’t even designs for solar plants to power the whole of California.

We must rely on what we have currently. We have nuclear reactors. They work. And we have better designs then what we used decades ago. They are clean and we have the capacity to convert the waste into usable materials. Not just low level radioactive waste, either. Intermediate levels as well. Consider that fifty years ago we couldn’t say that. Twenty years from now, we will probably be converting high level waste.



The technology is an economically and environmentally superior alternative to the conventional methods used today for the treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW), medical waste (MW) and low and intermediate level radioactive waste (LILRW).[1]
Emphasis Mine



Sublime620 is still omitting facts, despite his own admission that this debate will be ‘fact driven’.


Originally posted by Sublime620
Let's examine his source a bit closer:


Shall we? I present the exact same quote my opponent deferred to with the above quote…however, I also include the next sentence. It’s more than a bit relevant…and I will thank my opponent to accurately present the facts in the future.



“The cost for treating and burying low-radioactive nuclear waste currently stands at about $30,000 per ton.” EER projects a cost $3,000 per ton, although there may be some fudging as to the 1% per volume solid byproduct.[2]
Emphasis Mine



Originally posted by Sublime620
I honestly have no idea what the first part means. However, I think your logic is flawed on the second point. Just because "another question" about the new events is made, it doesn't make the original action a solution. In fact, quite the opposite. A solution, as I have always understood it, solves the problem at hand in some way.


The answer necessarily follows the question, whether events transpire as intended or not. That is what the first part was intended to convey. If we are trying to distance ourselves from coal and oil, then whatever happens is the solution. Building another coal factory is a solution because the overriding question is, “Where will we obtain energy?” We have the energy, but we still have coal. A solution was provided albeit not the ideal solution.

A solution to a problem could very well be the putting off of the ideal until it is feasible.


Originally posted by Sublime620
It is not a solution. It cannot be a solution if it destroys the end goal. The end goal in my opinion is a cleaner source of energy, which it is not.


Cleaner energy is the end goal. Complete implementation of a means to produce energy cleanly, efficiently and cheaply would be the long term goal. But we have to get away from coal and oil way sooner than we are capable of the long term goal. Nuclear Power is the transitive. And as I alluded to earlier, fourth generation designs specifically produce less waste and carry with them exponential improvements regarding safety.[3]

Nuclear power does not destroy the end goal. Sublime620 has not provided any evidence to this assertion.

As well, Sublime620 has not yet produced any other alternatives. He loosely refers to solar energy but has yet to provide any data regarding plans or blueprints for the utilization of solar energy on a mass scale.


Originally posted by Sublime620
Not enough land is a lame excuse and you know it.


Tell New York City that.

Socratic Questions:

1) Have we in our societies lived with the waste of our current industries(coal, oil)?

2) Have more people been adversely affected by the waste produced from coal and oil than the waste from nuclear sources?

3) Do you recognize that China has already utilized nuclear power as a short term solution to their projected energy needs?

4) Can a short term solution be the same as a long term solution?


[1]

[2]

[3]

The floor is yours again, Sublime620...



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:49 PM
link   
Response to Socratic Questions

Socratic Question 1: Have we in our societies lived with the waste of our current industries(coal, oil)?

    Sort of. For years we were not aware of the effects that oil and coal had on our planet. We have been irresponsible in fixing the problem since, though.

    That is the difference in the situations. We are aware of what nuclear waste is and what it can and will do to our environment.

Socratic Question 2: Have more people been adversely affected by the waste produced from coal and oil than the waste from nuclear sources?

    Again, sort of different in situation. Both oil and coal have been responsible for many deaths, and the environment has been affected almost immeasurably.

    Nuclear energy, on the other hand, is an infant in technology. It has already affected many lives, but has the potential to be safe in operations. Dealing with the waste, however, is still a major problem. See below for more information on why my opponent has not solved this problem yet.

Socratic Question 3: Do you recognize that China has already utilized nuclear power as a short term solution to their projected energy needs?

    I believe my opponent knows my thoughts on this. It is not short-term, nor is it a solution. China is setting itself up to be completely dependent on nuclear power, and it has no plans to stop. As far as China is concerned, this will be their fuel source, and for a long time. So China has it set up a long-term solution to getting away from oil and coal. However, it has no long-term solution for helping its environment.

    It will take its toll on their environment. Unless my opponent believes that having a healthy environment is not a major long-term goal, then it fails the logical test of being a solution.

Socratic Question 4: Can a short term solution be the same as a long term solution?

    Sure. In fact, often times it would. The key word is solution. Because it solves the problem at hand, which is why it is a solution, it very may well end up being the long term answer.

    But even if you consider centuries to be short-term, because of the fact it is detrimental to the end goal of fixing the environment it is still not a solution. So really, nuclear energy fails on both sides of the test.

Final Rebuttal

    We need to first examine my opponent’s last post. He again made an oversight, and due to this, has not solved the problem that I have presented him. He actually hurt his case more, as I have found out more information than I did before.


    Sublime620 is still omitting facts, despite his own admission that this debate will be ‘fact driven’.


    He claims that I have omitted facts. I left out intermediate waste, to which I would say, “My bad” but it was not even in the source he originally presented anyway. He had to go out and search for something else it supposedly fixes to make his case look better.

    Unfortunately, it does not help his case, it actually worsens it. I have decided to define all the wastes first, just to get any confusion out of the way:

    First Source

    Low-level waste (LLW) is a term used to describe nuclear waste that does not fit into the categorical definitions for high-level waste (HLW), spent nuclear fuel (SNF), transuranic waste (TRU), or certain byproduct materials known as 11e(2) wastes, such as uranium mill tailings.In essence, it is a definition by exclusion, and LLW is that category of radioactive wastes that do not fit into the other categories.


    So, we have learned the low-level waste is not anything in particular. It is miscellaneous things that are radioactive, mostly low radiation. It also represents the bulk of nuclear waste.

    Second Source

    Intermediate level waste (ILW) contains higher amounts of radioactivity and in some cases requires shielding. ILW includes resins, chemical sludge and metal reactor fuel cladding, as well as contaminated materials from reactor decommissioning. It may be solidified in concrete or bitumen for disposal.


    Okay. So intermediate level waste is also destroyed with my opponents “miracle waste destroyer”, perhaps he is right. That means, the depositories won’t fill up as fast, and it will not be as much of bother.

    Oops. Wrong.


    LLW should not be confused with high-level waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF), the disposal of both of which is slated for Yucca Mountain or some similar yet-to-be-developed repository.


    And in intermediate wastes?


    As a general rule, short-lived waste (mainly non-fuel materials from reactors) is buried in shallow repositories, while long-lived waste (from fuel and fuel-reprocessing) is deposited in deep underground facilities. U.S. regulations do not define this category of waste; the term is used in Europe and elsewhere.


    Emphasis mine on both.

    Neither short-term or intermediate waste were ever stored in the depositories we were talking about. That means Yucca Mountain will still fill up with high-level waste and spent fuel within 24 years, and then they will be digging a new hole in your town.

    That is a problem!


    Shall we? I present the exact same quote my opponent deferred to with the above quote…however, I also include the next sentence. It’s more than a bit relevant…and I will thank my opponent to accurately present the facts in the future.


    My opponent then tried to divert the conversation in another direction in the above quote by accusing me of leaving out facts, again. May I remind you his source did not contain the facts the first time, and this time, they were irrelevant. Sorry for staying on topic.

    I was not posting about price. I even highlighted what I was talking about in the quote for easier reading! All I was pointing out was that his “miracle trash destroyer” does not fix the problem. It only works for low-level waste, and now from his new source, intermediate waste. Neither actually addressing the issue of toxic dumps filling up in 24 years.

    My opponent then spent an insane amount of time talking about short-term versus long-term. Look, I will let that topic speak for itself. Do you think doubling, tripling, or quadrupling our nuclear reactors is a short-term move in anyway? I’ll let the judges decide for themselves. I will not waste time arguing semantics.


    We do not have detailed plans, designs or industry backing for implementation of a clean, renewable energy production. Period. It is all still in the realms of theory and possibility. That is not to say that we won’t. But we can’t expect it to happen overnight when there aren’t even designs for solar plants to power the whole of California.


    This is my opponents reasoning for dumping nuclear waste in our backyard. “You got a better idea?” Again, yes, I do. There are many different sources of energy, all with their downfalls. Minimize all the downfalls and take advantage of the positives of each by using them all harmoniously.

    Why do we have to stick with just one source? Why corner the market in nuclear energy’s favor?


    We must rely on what we have currently. We have nuclear reactors. They work. And we have better designs then what we used decades ago. They are clean and we have the capacity to convert the waste into usable materials. Not just low level radioactive waste, either. Intermediate levels as well. Consider that fifty years ago we couldn’t say that. Twenty years from now, we will probably be converting high level waste,


    According to your technology, high level waste is indestructible. We are stuck with it for thousands of years. I am not going to place the world’s future on a bet that we may someday be able to not die from dumping it everywhere.


    We already have radioactive waste. We live with it everyday. Who reading this has been impacted by high levels of radioactive waste in their lives? Who reading this knows someone who has been harmed by the transportation and storage of the radioactive waste we have and are currently producing?


    Nice try. This technology is new. Do not let my opponent fool you about this. Even if we quadrupled production, things would seem peachy for years. The problem is, we have to put that stuff somewhere. Every 24 years, a mountain will be filled up with waste under our current production level. If we start to use nuclear energy as a “solution”, as if it can be called that, then we will be filling up mountains within a decade.

    I am not cool with that. What will we say to the city who’s water gets contaminated when an earthquake causes a leak? “Sorry”? “Solar energy was too expense, we had other things we wanted to buy”?


    Cleaner energy is the end goal. Complete implementation of a means to produce energy cleanly, efficiently and cheaply would be the long term goal


    Which brings me to my Socratic questions:

    Socratic Questions

    Socratic Question 1: Do you consider filling up a mountain every decade with high-level radioactive waste to be a “clean” source of energy?

    Keep in mind; I am shortening the length of time to compensate for the increase of waste production if we use nuclear energy as a crutch to get off of fossil fuels.

    Socratic Question 2: Since we have learned that Yucca Mountain will still fill up in 24 years with the current level of production (even with your technology), where do you suppose we dump the waste next?



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 03:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by Sublime620
Socratic Question 1: Do you consider filling up a mountain every decade with high-level radioactive waste to be a “clean” source of energy?


Yes.

How many times has someone drunkenly fallen into a mountain?


Originally posted by Sublime620
Socratic Question 2: Since we have learned that Yucca Mountain will still fill up in 24 years with the current level of production (even with your technology), where do you suppose we dump the waste next?


A geographical location that was used for past nuclear weapons testing and as such isn’t usable for much more than waste storage anyway.

The Problem of Nuclear Waste Isn’t As Bad As My Opponent States

We can convert low to intermediate levels of radioactive waste. Excess associated materials are no longer a concern and work to improve the safety of associated individuals.

Fourth Generation Reactors have been designed with efficiency in mind and produce less high level waste than current reactors. This will only improve as we continue to research and refine are knowledge of how these materials interact. This may be assumed easily from the trend observed in the past several decades (we know more than we did and will know more in the future).

Long term storage is a sufficient means of disposal. The only real concern regarding burial is that over time, small amounts of radiation will leak out and contaminate the surface environment.

It doesn’t matter if it does or not. We interact with varying amounts of low level radiation on a daily basis.

My opponent seems to think that we are acting irresponsibly with regards to nuclear power and its’ disposal. What he hasn’t successfully accomplished though is how it relates or compares with other industries.



One pound of uranium produces 20,000 times more energy than one pound of coal. A nuclear power plant generates (high-level) radioactive wastes the size of one aspirin tablet per person per year (a plant’s yearly wastes fit comfortably under a dining room table). Coal-fired plants generate 320 lbs. of ash and other poisons per person per year, of which 10 percent is spewed into the atmosphere.[1]


Nuclear reactors produce a solid, albeit highly toxic, waste. We then take that waste and surround it with a non toxic substance, such as “boron-silicate glass[1]”. We then take “these now effectively non-radioactive artificial rocks[1]” and dump them miles underground inside a mountain.

Incidentally, Yucca Mountain was the location of nuclear weapons testing decades ago. What else are we going to with that area? Build carnivals? Unlikely.

So we have highly toxic waste rendered inside of a thick non-porous casing, or shell as it were, and keep them in an already irradiated location. What is the problem with that?

Coal on the other hand has been shown to produce 320 lbs of ash and poisons per person, with a lot of this waste being automatically sent into our atmosphere. We can’t round it up responsibly, like we can with the waste from a nuclear reactor.

And as I said before, America has enough coal for at least 150 years…how much natural resource do we have to make nuclear power a viable option?



As Bernard Cohen points out in his book, The Nuclear Energy Option (in Chapter 13, which is available online), the supply of uranium 238 on the planet to run breeder reactors will last thousands of years.[1]


What about the amount of energy from this resource?



One pound of uranium produces 20,000 times more energy than one pound of coal.[1]


Nuclear power is looking more and more attractive as a short and long term solution.


Originally posted by Sublime620
That is the difference in the situations. We are aware of what nuclear waste is and what it can and will do to our environment.


Which is why we have many safeguards in place to avoid contamination.


Originally posted by Sublime620
It is not short-term, nor is it a solution. China is setting itself up to be completely dependent on nuclear power, and it has no plans to stop.


It isn’t short term? It isn’t a solution? Let’s see if I have this straight…

China recognizes the need for alternate means of energy production in light of depleting fossil fuel resources.

They have also just spent $29 billion on the Three Gorges Dam, proving that they have no plans on being “completely dependent on nuclear power”.

In light of the short term need for alternate energy sources, they have built nuclear reactors as a short term solution to ease their dependence on fossil fuel.

Short term need was allotted for and solved.

Sublime620 has also stated that a short term solution can be a long term solution…


Originally posted by Sublime620, in response to my Socratic Question 4: “Can a short term solution be the same as a long term solution?
Sure. In fact, often times it would.


So the above quoted from my opponent, “It is not short-term, nor is it a solution,” is patently false. And thusly my proposition is proven.


Originally posted by Sublime620
Minimize all the downfalls and take advantage of the positives of each by using them all harmoniously.


And why would the building of more nuclear reactors not fall into the above scenario?

I would like to state clearly that the utilization of Third and Fourth generation reactors is not intended to be an eventual 100% dependence on nuclear means for energy production.

Building some in strategic locations throughout America is a means by which to ease our reliance on fossil fuels.


Originally posted by Sublime620
Every 24 years, a mountain will be filled up with waste under our current production level.


What else are we going to do with a mountain that is already irradiated? Keep in mind that the radiation imposed on that geographical location wasn’t contained in any way shape or form, unlike the waste we are shipping there for storage.

My opponent seems to think that the mountain is the only place to store this stuff. Nuclear reactors already have their own allotted space for their waste and will continue to do so. Where does my opponent think all of that waste has been sitting until Yucca Mountain was ready?

And whom has it affected in that time frame? What environment has it destroyed during this interim? None.

So where exactly is the problem?

My opponent still hasn’t provided any data supporting any other means of energy production that can even 'breathe the same air' as nuclear power.

Solar energy is not feasible for mass production of power. Wind isn’t a feasible option either. Hydroelectric requires a large body of water and the costs associated with it are actually higher than that of nuclear reactors.

There is no immediate option that compares with atomic energy. Period. There are no other immediate solutions other than nuclear power. Period.

There are many advantages to nuclear power. The only real problem my opponent can muster is that of waste disposal. But we have had the waste for decades already without any public incident. And we’re shipping it to a location that is already cordoned off by our government. There will be no real difference noticed by the public regarding the use of that land.

Transportation is not a problem…because we are shipping the waste encapsulated in thick casings of solid and non-toxic materials.

Let’s revisit the topic of this debate one more time.

"Expanding our nuclear power infrastructure is a viable short-term solution to the problems presented by fossil fuels".

My proposition is proven by China’s use of nuclear power. It is a viable technology that is being used by them to solve the problems presented by fossil fuels. To bring semantics into play one last time, the term “our” does not specifically refer to any one nation or corporate body. “Our” can just as easily be interpreted to mean, “We as a human species and international community”.

With that in mind, I have proven my proposition and look forward to Sublime620's closing arguement.

[1]



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 04:36 PM
link   
So we have reached the end of our debate. Though I will respond to a few of my opponent’s statements and possibly provide a couple of new sources, this post will be mostly for summing up everything we have discussed. A ton of information has been discussed, and I need to make sure that my argument is summed up well.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
How many times has someone drunkenly fallen into a mountain?


My family is Irish, we’ve fallen drunken into many mountains. That’s how I plan on going out.


Honestly though, I cracked up when I read that.

Closing Statements

    My opponent says that nuclear waste is not as bad as I have stated. I want to examine this claim to start off:

    First Source

    WASHINGTON, DC, June 8, 2004 (ENS) - As the leaders of the eight most industrialized countries gather at Sea Island on the coast of Georgia this week, about 150 miles inland at the Savannah River Nuclear Site much of America's most radioactive waste sits in huge tanks, several of which are leaking. Some of that high-level waste will remain in the tanks instead of being enclosed in glass and buried in an underground repository, if a measure passed by the U.S. Senate last week becomes law.


    Emphasis is mine.


    The Savannah River Site is located along 28 miles of the Savannah River between Aiken, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia.


    It is right by our rivers and some of the tanks are leaking. Wow. The article goes on to point out there are tanks just like this in Washington.


    "No one in the region wants to believe that somehow radionuclides are now in the Columbia River, which, in fact, they are, and that it is going to grow to an amount where we cannot protect humans, fish, and safe drinking water," Cantwell said. "Similar leakage is happening at Savannah River."


    I bolded the whole thing due to its importance. Radionuclides are in rivers and drinking water both in Washington State and South Carolina.

    The article is pretty amazing, but I cannot quote the whole thing here. I’ll leave it at that. I just want to point out one thing:

    Second Source

    The biological effects of internally deposited radionuclides depend greatly on the activity and the biodistribution and removal rates of the radionuclide, which in turn depends on its chemical form. The biological effects may also depend on the chemical toxicity of the deposited material, independent of its radioactivity. Some radionuclides may be generally distributed throughout the body and rapidly removed, as is the case with tritiated water. Some radionuclides may target specific organs and have much lower removal rates. For instance, the thyroid gland takes up a large percentage of any iodine that enters the body. If large quantities of radioactive iodine are inhaled or ingested, the thyroid may be impaired or destroyed, while other tissues are affected to a lesser extent. Radioactive iodine is a common fission product; it was a major component of the radiation released from the Chernobyl disaster, leading to many cases of pediatric thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. On the other hand, radioactive iodine is used in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases of the thyroid precisely because of the thyroid's selective uptake of iodine.


    Coming to a water source near you!

Skyfloating v. LDragonFire

    If you enjoyed this debate, you will surely love what appears to be a debate parallel to this one. I am not sure if this is legal or has been done before, but I’m going to steal a quote out of that debate:

    Third Source

    Originally posted by LDragonFire
    Well it seems we are well on our way but wait what’s this?

    Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of generating solar electricity and could power homes and businesses around the globe with clean energy for roughly the same cost as traditionally generated electricity.
    New Low Cost Solar Panels Ready for Mass Production

    Alternative energy is viable, and now its going to be as cheap as carbon based energy, we need to start replacing these old power plants with these newer options.


What have we learned

  • Installing nuclear plants across the country is expensive. While I do believe money should be of no object when concerning our environment and energy problems, the financials and amount of time setting up this system makes my opponent's proposition long term.

  • In no way is using nuclear energy as a crutch to get off of oil a solution to any problem. Calling nuclear energy a solution is an oxymoron.

  • Nuclear energy seems cheap, but that is only because we, and every other country that utilizes it right now, is not properly disposing of it.

  • Even with proper disposing, we will still have numerous underground facilities filled with high-level nuclear waste. Not low level, high level. This is extremely important because the level of radiation determines both whether you get sick and how sick you get.

  • Though long term storage does seem safe, many experts believe they will begin to leak after a few centuries. If we begin to rely on nuclear energy we will have many storage sites, that if they begin to leak, will be leaking into our water supplies and destroying the environment.

  • We are trusting businesses to dispose of radioactive material responsibly. Corporations are designed to be profitable and cannot be trusted with this task.

  • Though MemoryShock’s technology of PMG (Plasma Gasification) is both amazing and beneficial to society, it does not address the issue of high-level radiation at all. Yucca Mountain will still be full in 24 years, and we will still have to find another spot to dump our waste. If my opponent is so concerned about the land solar panels take up, he should be frightened at the amount of land nuclear waste will cover if we switch to this energy source.

  • Nuclear waste is already in our drinking water.

  • Though still not perfectly refined, solar energy is a viable source for energy.

  • Combining all of the energy sources is our best bet. Instead of using just nuclear power, just oil and coil, or just solar power, we should be using our heads and using all three!

    Don't all of your eggs in one basket!

I just want to say thanks to MemoryShock for a great debate. I think we both did the best we could to stay away from an argument on semantics and instead were able to stay on topic as much as possible.

He is truely a formidable opponent.



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 04:17 AM
link   
Memoryshock has won and will advance to Round 4.


It seemed that nuclear power, while hardly a "here today, gone tomorrow" proposition, could be viewed as part of a short term solution given the realistic timeline of the move off of coal.

It was also pretty easy to determine that nuclear power kicks coal's butt- there never seemed to be a serious dispute about the fact that if I can be responsible for a tiny little chunk of horribly deadly poison deep under ground, or over 100 pounds of carcinogenic ash in the air that I have to breathe, the former is preferable.

So it's short term, and it's a solution- not necessarily the best solution since it does still create some waste, but a solution none the less (and hey, if it we expected it to be perfect why would the subject be only short term?) but is it viable? That became the question.

Electric cars were not a very well conceived counter to nuclear power. Cars that don't burn fossil fuels are a joke if the outlet you plug them into is getting power from a fossil fuel burning plant. So electric cars argued for non-fossil fuel power plants, nuclear being one of those options.

That really forced Sublime to rely on solar power for his position, and it just wasn't enough. The dollars and cents of it just weren't there in his argument, nor were the logistics of developing and deploying the technology compared to building more of something that we've been using on a considerable scale for over 50 years. It would have helped if Sublime had diversified- Geothermal, wind, tide, etc all deserved a mention. If he had shown that we could deploy these renewable technologies faster and cheaper than nuclear, then by comparison nuclear would not truly seem viable. In consideration of a short term solution, viability seemed to be dictated more by logistics than optimum outcome, therefore the failure to win on cost and time blunted any edge offered by the pollution argument.

Though Sublime raised very important and very valid points, Memoryshock is the victor.



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 09:34 AM
link   
No surprise here.

Congrats MemoryShock.



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 01:18 PM
link   


To you, Sublime620...may you cause me an insane amount of discomfort and anxiety again at some point in the future....


Truly, you are a formidable opponent.





new topics
top topics
 
7

log in

join


Haters, Bigots, Partisan Trolls, Propaganda Hacks, Racists, and LOL-tards: Time To Move On.
read more: Community Announcement re: Decorum