1. Joined
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    16 Apr '09 22:35
    I'm wondering what you think about Nuclear power?

    Ages ago I did a project on energy & remember there being 4000 years of uranium, it being more common then silver (?) so have been in favour of it ever since.

    But now reading more history it seems nuclear power and weapons have never been that seperate. And most of the nuclear accidents have involved facilties that do both. I never understood why Green peace opposed it, compared to coal... but perhaps for this reason?

    I know there are plans to renew nuclear submarines (so hit tec and undetectable ... they can bump into one another....) . It seems a bit of a waste this money & science is not spent on powerstations.
  2. Cape Town
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    17 Apr '09 07:11
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    I'm wondering what you think about Nuclear power?

    Ages ago I did a project on energy & remember there being 4000 years of uranium, it being more common then silver (?) so have been in favour of it ever since.
    Nuclear power has four major drawbacks:
    1. The initial investment is large.
    2. The spent fuel is dangerous and can be expensive to store.
    3. The technology has weapons applications so encouraging nuclear power in nations that do not have nuclear weapons is unwise and security surrounding the whole technology is a major concern.
    4. The risk of disaster is quite high. Although, as with aeroplanes, attention to safety procedures can reduce the actual risk, there is always the human factor.

    I personally support the use of nuclear power but think we do need to proceed with care. We also should not neglect other good sources of power.
  3. London
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    17 Apr '09 08:01
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    I'm wondering what you think about Nuclear power?

    Ages ago I did a project on energy & remember there being 4000 years of uranium, it being more common then silver (?) so have been in favour of it ever since.

    But now reading more history it seems nuclear power and weapons have never been that seperate. And most of the nuclear accidents have ...[text shortened]... ne another....) . It seems a bit of a waste this money & science is not spent on powerstations.
    I’ve always wondered about the long term availability of uranium, anecdotally I’ve heard of 100 years supply (economically available) at the present rate of use and that it is possible to recycle for further use. Does anybody know anything about this, the feasibility and costs involved?
  4. Joined
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    17 Apr '09 08:24
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    I'm wondering what you think about Nuclear power?
    I think (hope) that fission nuclear energy production is a paranthesis in history.
    I hope (think) that we soon will have a breakthrough in hydrogene fusion nuclear production.
  5. Joined
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    17 Apr '09 10:24
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Nuclear power has four major drawbacks:
    1. The initial investment is large.
    2. The spent fuel is dangerous and can be expensive to store.
    3. The technology has weapons applications so encouraging nuclear power in nations that do not have nuclear weapons is unwise and security surrounding the whole technology is a major concern.
    4. The risk of disaster ...[text shortened]... t think we do need to proceed with care. We also should not neglect other good sources of power.
    Of course, the disadvantages of 2, 3, and 4 only apply to nuclear fission.
    But, on the other hand, nuclear fusion (not to be confused with nuclear fission) potentially has only 1, as its disadvantage -i.e. its initial costs.
  6. Cape Town
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    17 Apr '09 14:01
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    But, on the other hand, nuclear fusion (not to be confused with nuclear fission) potentially has only 1, as its disadvantage -i.e. its initial costs.
    And the fact that we haven't done it yet, or is that only due to the initial cost?
  7. Cape Town
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    17 Apr '09 14:06
    Originally posted by jonevery
    I’ve always wondered about the long term availability of uranium, anecdotally I’ve heard of 100 years supply (economically available) at the present rate of use and that it is possible to recycle for further use. Does anybody know anything about this, the feasibility and costs involved?
    There is a type of reactor called a 'fast breeder' reactor that can produce more fuel than they consume.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_breeder_reactor

    I see France has had one since the 70s.

    Also recycling of fuel is possible.
  8. London
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    17 Apr '09 14:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And the fact that we haven't done it yet, or is that only due to the initial cost?
    There is the old joke, fusion power has been 20 years away for the last 20 years. Joking aside I hope the latest projects do make some headway.
  9. Germany
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    17 Apr '09 15:37
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Nuclear power has four major drawbacks:
    1. The initial investment is large.
    2. The spent fuel is dangerous and can be expensive to store.
    3. The technology has weapons applications so encouraging nuclear power in nations that do not have nuclear weapons is unwise and security surrounding the whole technology is a major concern.
    4. The risk of disaster ...[text shortened]... t think we do need to proceed with care. We also should not neglect other good sources of power.
    If the risk of disaster is so "high", how do explain oil and coal plants have caused many times more fatalities in the last, say, 15 years?
  10. Joined
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    17 Apr '09 18:31
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And the fact that we haven't done it yet, or is that only due to the initial cost?
    ….And the fact that we haven't done it yet,..…

    -that’s why I used the word “potentially” in that statement -first research must find a way of making it economic and practical.
  11. Joined
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    17 Apr '09 19:031 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    If the risk of disaster is so "high", how do explain oil and coal plants have caused many times more fatalities in the last, say, 15 years?
    Unlike nuclear power stations, coal plants don’t generally cause fatalities by specific “disastrous” events that kill many people at once (such as by blowing up etc) but rather cause fatalities by individual industrial accidents that kill one person at a time and also by killing people slowly over a long period of time by air pollution. Somehow people don’t tend to classify these fatalities as being as a result of “disasters” even though it can be argued that they ARE the result of “disasters” (sort of). But people DO tend to classify the event of a nuclear power station blowing up as being a “disaster” -this is just a matter of psychology I think.

    I have no doubt that coal plants have caused many times more fatalities in the last, say, 15 years. But have you taken into account that that could at least be in part because there are more coal plants than nuclear plants and the world generates more electric power from coal than nuclear? Also, I think there is some irrational psychology going on here -people (including myself) are somehow irrationally much more frightened by large sudden dramatic events that cause many fatalities at once (such as a nuclear plant blowing up) rather than either an extremely slow event that causes many fatalities only over a long period of time (such as the regular release of air pollution) or lots of little small-scale events each of which only kills one or two people at a time (such as industrial accidents) -if you think about this, this is quite irrational because the end result in the long run is the same!
  12. Joined
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    17 Apr '09 19:571 edit
    It seems nuclear power has never been allowed to become an industry , rather tacked onto millitary spending. I remember from that project, storing waste is a problem. If everyone wanted Fission power we'd need an island the size of greenland to deal with it safely.

    Fusion Power never gets the funding or coverage it deserves.
    Perhaps people are scared of it? ... they think the controlable oil based economy is better... when it fails on basics like demand exceeding supply / ice-caps melting ... perhaps that sounds dumb - But it's true. n there's no way to power factories on windmills.

    I have this vision of 2100 of all these tanks run out of gas in the middle of afganistan n the soldiers saying well what the f*** now. When we can build power stations instead, right now. I have hopefully another 50 years around and it worries me how slack some people are.
  13. Germany
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    17 Apr '09 20:11
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    Unlike nuclear power stations, coal plants don’t generally cause fatalities by specific “disastrous” events that kill many people at once (such as by blowing up etc) but rather cause fatalities by individual industrial accidents that kill one person at a time and also by killing people slowly over a long period of time by air pollution. Somehow peopl ...[text shortened]... u think about this, this is quite irrational because the end result in the long run is the same!
    Even if you correct for the number of plants, you will find that coal plants kill a lot more, but I agree, it's mostly just irrationality - people tend to overestimate very small chances of something dramatic happening. This is why lotteries and Greenpeace exist.
  14. Joined
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    18 Apr '09 02:35
    Originally posted by Black Star Uchess
    I'm wondering what you think about Nuclear power?

    Ages ago I did a project on energy & remember there being 4000 years of uranium, it being more common then silver (?) so have been in favour of it ever since.

    But now reading more history it seems nuclear power and weapons have never been that seperate. And most of the nuclear accidents have ...[text shortened]... ne another....) . It seems a bit of a waste this money & science is not spent on powerstations.
    Fossil fuels are destroying the planet don't you know. Even at that, it does not seem as bad as nuclear power to those on the left. LOL.
  15. Cape Town
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    18 Apr '09 14:36
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    If the risk of disaster is so "high", how do explain oil and coal plants have caused many times more fatalities in the last, say, 15 years?
    For the same reason that we have less fatalities for aircraft than we do for cars. We are more careful about how we run our aircraft. If we had equivalent safety procedures for nuclear and coal powered power stations the coal powered ones would have fewer fatalities.
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