What do you think about Nuclear power?
After watching a sleu of Chernobyl videos on youtube cuz of a wierd chernobyl-related dream I had last night, I believe nuclear power is good. When it is put into badly trained hands, thats when it causes problems.
It's a lot safer than it used to be, that's for sure. The only problem would really be the negligence of the workers.
Nuclear should be more widely used. Folks who don’t know the full story behind Chernobyl and Three Mile Island use misinformation about the safety of nuclear energy to scare themselves and others (lets not forget as Ronald_Jesch hinted on, nuclear power then and now has come a long, long, long way). In fact it is much more efficient than coal plants, cleaner and more cost effective with the ability to provided sufficient demand to larger regions than coal and other alternative means (wind/hydroelectric). When I used to live in California, my county was the only one in that state that got its power from the nuclear power plant in Washington State. When the rolling blackouts hit California 7/8 years ago, our county was not affected because the nuclear plant was more the capable of meeting demand that stretched from Washington to Idaho, Oregon and Northern California. My average power bill was about $34.00 a month, when I moved outside of the service areas a few months later my average bill for the same usage from a coal supplied power plant was about $75.00 a month. Much of Europe and the US are suffering energy shortages and are struggling to meet heating/power needs and the financial resources to keep up is difficult if not impossible as offsetting the cost would result in burdening the end user with an even higher bill. The local energy company (Excel) raised its rates this year from the previous year 300% to offset operational cost and as a result more and more people have had their power/gas shut off this year. Why build 1 to 2 coal plants, to service 3 to 4 million people, when you can build one nuclear plant that can services 20 to 30 million for less while reducing airborne pollution. Ah, but what about the waste? It is recycled. Countries like France already do this. They took American nuclear recycling technology and put it to use. Depending on the nuclear facilities ability 90 to 95% of the waste can be recycled and reused in the plant, or redistributed to new constructs or plants that have a higher energy demand. America and many European nations abandoned the idea because of public opinion (again based on fear and misinformation). Although America mainly did so because of the fear of weapon construction, in part because the refined waste also produces plutonium and our politicians are afraid that it could be used as a bomb – well, duh – but what has stopped nations thus far from obtaining plutonium anyway. Since our abandoning of such recycling efforts nations like India, Pakistan, N. Korean and now it would seem Iran have what it needs to make bombs, and it wasn’t from recycling efforts. Based on current energy options Nuclear is the best option in my opinion.
I agree that Cheyrnobyl was avoidable and tragic.
The problem as I see it is the humans involved in it. Cheyrobyl was caused by human error, Three Mile Island was caused by a sensor error and was not discovered til almost too late.
In my own state of Indiana we have the Marble Hill site debacle. It was originally projected to cost 700 million dollars. When canceled it had already cost 2.8 billion dollars and was only 20% completed. To best of my knowledge it was the last nuclear power plant started in the US. Not one new plant has opened since then, to best of my knowledge.
The work would soon end, however, as on May 8, 1979, it was reported that there were numerous inconsistencies in the construction of the facility (1). Charles Cutshall, a former employee of Marble Hill's general contractor, Gust K. Newburg, filed an affidavit that stated he and other Newberg employees were told to cover up and hide construction defects before inspectors could spot them. The defects that were revealed in the affidavit involved the concrete pouring in the walls of the containment buildings, and were later discovered in the walls of the containment structures where "honeycombs" were discovered. According to the affidavit, had radioactive gas breached the containment structure similar to the situation at Three Mile Island, residents within a 30-mile radius would be affected.
The construction defects became a public relations nightmare for PSI and construction was shut down on three separate occasions during the summer of 1979 alone to correct the growing number of reports of poor construction (1). Public Service Indiana's chairman, Hugh Barker, in an act of desperation to save the Marble Hill project, lashed out against the opposition in an employee magazine titled the "Watts Cookin". In it, he claimed that "one is forced to ask what's really behind the anti-nuclear movement? Who is fanning the flames of fear and irrational emotion?" He then attempted to answer his own question with, "Two British experts on Soviet propaganda accuse the Soviet Union of funding and manipulating anti-nuclear movements in the west...the radicals among the anti-nuclear forces, by whatever name, clearly have as their goal, the transformation of our democratic, free society."
As a result, the Marble Hill Nuclear Power Plant project was officially closed in 1984 (3) when the Governor Robert Orr stated that completion of the plant might cause Public Service Indiana to go into bankruptcy and cause their customers to have huge increases in rates. Over $2.8 billion was spent on the construction of Marble Hill and was only 20% complete when it was abandoned.
The most amazing thing is no one ever was brought to trial for gross negligence or attempted willful endangerment of civilians and/or public property. The amount of contempt shown for the public's welfare was nothing short of disgusting and criminal.
If things had gone bad Louisville Kentucky was only 45 min south and downriver of the plant and would have gotten any radioactive runoff.
Louisville, including suburbs has a population of 1.2 million people and the river runs through downtown. Right across the river is Jeffersonville Indiana, population 28,000.
Let's not forget that we've already tested modern nuclear power on the Warships of the United States. I know of a few modern aircraft carriers that are dependent on nuclear power.
IIRC 13 fleet carriers, all but one are nuclear. Only CV-63 USS Kitty Hawk is not and she is due to be retired in January 2009 with commissioning of CVN-77 George H.W. Bush
All the US subs are nuclear, and last count were well over 50 in active service
Dont have a clue how many other surface combatants.
Nuclear power is efficient and is great to have as long as you are responsible and are willing to have UN inspectors there to supervise. Anyone who wants all the worlds trust doesn't deserve to have it. *cough* IRAN *cough*
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Nuclear power is great while you've got the resources to use it.
Nuclear power is great while you've got the resources to use it.
Actually it is relatively limitless once you set it up and start it but with the fissile materials we have, I doubt the process of nuclear fission will help us more than a few hundred years as I've read in my studies. Either we develop nuclear fusion or renewable sources of energy. Those are the only other options we have. Even better if both are developed!
Nuclear Fission will only be viable for a good hundred years at it's current rate. The nuclear material that's used is not a renewable resource and making more plants is just going to speed up the usage. Another problem is what happens to the material, it has to go somewhere and where ever it goes there will be radiation. Throwing them into the sun is too dangerous as if the rocket were to break up after launch, in the atmosphere, it could spread radioactive particles across the planet via the jet stream.
Chernobyl was the result of a decision, whether the outcome was known beforehand, I can't say, but a call was made for the SCRAM sequence despite all instruments reading normal, falsely, but still reading normal. From the ridiculous test of back up power, to the call, someone made that decision, and it may not have been an accident.