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On Topic Of: Nuclear Power

Someone posted something about nuclear power being the cleanest power we're capable of; I responded. It's almost like a blog, so why not post it one? On the topic of: nuclear power.

But how about solar power? It's just like a nuclear reactor, except it runs without maintenance, can't be hijacked by terrorists, isn't susceptible to natural catastrophes and doesn't give us any of that radioactive fallout that we still don't know how to store safely for future generations. Compared to the alternatives, nuclear power has the potential to quickly become, at any moment, the dirtiest power we're capable of.

The problem is that radioactive fuels can't be disposed of, nor can they be properly stored.

Even if old waste was properly recycled and current nuclear reactors received the necessary funding to effective them with all the newest technology, the waste would still last a hundred years minimum. Currently stored waste will last tens of thousands of years minimum, and the best method of storage we've developed thus far is canisters made of copper, which we know will corrode/leak within a hundred years or so. That's not even 1% of the necessity!

These canisters are stored deep down underground, but once they start leaking how easy won't it be for all that radioactivity to make its way into the groundwater and poison pretty much our entire water supply? Even a tiny radioactive leak has severe consequences, and you'd think people would've noticed this with the recent meltdowns!

Nuclear power is still such a new form of energy. The first reactor was built 60 years ago this year, and it's crazy that it's being so widely used even though we know that even without the potential side-effects of a natural disaster (applicable as much to active power plants as to all stored material) or human error/abuse, there is no safe way to deal with all the excess waste. Earthquakes for example are becoming increasable common even in parts of the world they've never previously occurred - they could easily rupture old containers in places we might previously have thought were safe harbor.

Nuclear power vs fossil fuels?

Fossil fuel pollution has much milder side-effects, none that affect hundreds or thousands of future generations, or in a worst case scenario make the world complete uninhabitable. As far as fossil fuels are concerned they're still being used for most vehicles, factories etc for other purposes than electricity. Nuclear power is being used and greenhouse gases are still being emitted simultaneously, it's not just a case of using one over the other, and you need to take into consideration how much cooling a nuclear plant actually needs to function. As for the production of solar panels and cells generating greenhouse gases, it's the same thing with anything we produce, even nuclear plants.

Just imagine if we were pouring as much money into the research of efficient solar power as we are into nuclear power, which is as far as I'm concerned a dead-end source. Think of everything we could achieve! Solar power is a resilient, external, automated and virtually harmless and eternal (as far as the human species is concerned) source of energy that could easily satisfy the entire planets hunger for power many times over.

Seems to me that all who favor nuclear power aren't seeing the bigger picture, or taking into consideration the possibility that things go wrong. Things do go wrong, and with nuclear power the results can be catastrophic. Is it really worth that risk?

Comments

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  1. S3C
    Thursday Dec/4/2014

    Solar power, it's like nuclear power, except not at all :P
    it's considerably less powerful, and not constantly available.

    The new way is a combination of solar, water, wind, algal, and other bio (including my favorite- photosynthetic!!) power. Wind isn't reliable. Solar is reliable but like I said not always available. Water is always available and renewable, but not always practical or useable. Bio fuels are always available, becoming more useable, but have the potential to be harmful (some organisms produce harmful metabolic wastes like carbon dioxide. Even if there was more funding and research in the past, the technological wonders of today wouldn't be possible with the more readily understandable and efficacious fossil (and nuclear) fuels...

    Nuclear power has already f*cked the world big time...but like one of the (unintentional) fathers of biological engineering, Erwin Chargaff, predicted "the technology of genetic engineering poses a greater threat to the world than the advent of nuclear technology"...who knows, i just want clean, efficient, inexpensive, energy so I can live out this GOT DAMN digital fantasy...if only plants could photosynthesize google searches...if only harmful wastes and stored energy could be located inside planetary bodies in outer space...well I guess that would just require a greater amount of net energy and I'm not some kid in a candy shop with a full piggy bank what can I say!

  2. Cyber
    Thursday Dec/4/2014

    It's always available somewhere! And if the clouds get in the way, they can just release some chemtrails, which they're apparently doing anyway, without letting people know...

    Wind is so obtrusive too, and water dams. Haven't read about the latter bio options you mention... Yeah, fossil fuels reap all the profits. I believe in the sun though, and on that research topic: I'm thinking most of researching efficient storage for said energy.

    Mmm, if GMO spreads it could kill off all resistant plants we have, and make us completely dependent on artificial sustenance to grow our crops. Hellish potential futures.

    Thought a lot about how any radioactive waste could just be sent off into space, but thinking that I'm reminded of how people in the old days used to just throw anything into the sea/lake/other untitled body of water thinking that'd take care of the problem. Space may not be a fragile ecosystem per say, but everything's connected! I'm hopeful though, at least Germany stands on the forefront of solar innovation, if they manage to tackle the problem so can we!

  3. Doomroar
    Sunday Dec/7/2014

    Is rare but i am with Cyber D on this one, Wind is not always there to lend the energy, and harnessing water brings more damage in the long run, Solar on the other hand is the best option we have now, because as cool as it sounds photosynthetic power is too underdeveloped to be taken as a practical solution to an energetic power, it will take some years before it can replace solar panels, and it will take some years before those can take the place of nuclear and fossil energy.

    As for nuclear energy, if only we could do it right without fucking ourselves with it...

  4. Cyber
    Sunday Dec/7/2014

    Glad we all agree! :D Kinda.

    Yeah, if the potential risk was somehow easier to contain and/or take care of it would be a pretty neat source of energy! Though if we could do THAT with nuclear energy, just imagine what we could do with the sun!

  5. Doomroar
    Monday Dec/8/2014

    I do believe that with time with traditional solar panels, and the development of photosynthetic power we could get to have a planet (as far as electrical energy goes, because the planet itself is already dependent on it) that is mainly dependent on the power of our sun.

  6. Cyber
    Monday Dec/8/2014

    Ditto! :) Just hope it doesn't take great nuclear disaster(s) to get there!

  7. Doomroar
    Monday Dec/8/2014

    Time will tell. That's the passive way of it.

  8. Cyber
    Tuesday Dec/9/2014

    Mmm, the corporate idea right now: don't plan ahead, see what happens.

  9. Doomroar
    Thursday Dec/11/2014

    And if it goes wrong you can act ignorant about it.

  10. Cyber
    Thursday Dec/11/2014

    Yupp, or let some other company/country/lower ranking individual be the fall guy.



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