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Nuclear Energy..........why not??
Old 11-16-2007, 09:35 AM   #1
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Nuclear Energy..........why not??

Seems to me nuclear energy would be an easy way to lower our dependence on natural gas and coal.

I don't think we've built a new nuclear plant since the 70's. However, one of my friends just got back from Europe and he said they have nuclear plants all over the place. I think 40% of France's power comes from nuclear plant.

One of my clients is a retired nuclear engineer, and he swears it's the cleanest safest way to go.........

Thoughts??
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:16 AM   #2
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There have been some rumblings in my neighborhood about a new facility being built...

AEHI Signs Letter of Intent to Construct Nuclear Plant

But even with modern technologies, better material handling, and all the rest, there are still plenty of NIMBYs making their voices heard.

Google 'bruneau nuclear plant' if you'd like to learn more...
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Because popular musicians told us not to in 1979.

Musicians United for Safe Energy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shouldn't our energy policy be set by people who can play guitar and sing? I mean, why not?

Hmmmm, some of our popular musicians today are taking a strong stand on some environmental issues. Deja' vu all over again?

-ERD50
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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While I wouldn't agree that it is the safest way to go, we definately should have more nuclear power.
Combined with more solar, lots more wind, tidal and geothermal
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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While I wouldn't agree that it is the safest way to go, we definately should have more nuclear power.
Combined with more solar, lots more wind, tidal and geothermal
On a comparison basis, I think he was saying that is was safer to the environement on a NET basis than natural gas, or coal.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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I completely agree with that FD. The amount of radioactive waste, mercury and such that are emited from coal plants are really scary.
And I suppose there is some danger from a wind generator, it could fall on you
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #7
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If the US could somehow over the next 10-20 years get most of our cars running as plug ins (electricity) with the power from coming solar, wind and nuclear power plants, can you imagine how much less oil we would need? Would there be any reason to have a presence in the middle East anymore?
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:02 PM   #8
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No new nuc plants permitted in the last 30 years. Thank an environmentalist. France generates 80 % of its power from Nucs. Unable to drill for oil off our coasts on in ANWAR. Thank an environmentalist. Chinese drilling for oil off our southern coast in conjunction Cuba thank an environmentalist. Higher fuel prices and our nation held hostage to oil from crazies in the Middle East. Thank an environmentalist. Who wines most about the high price of oil. Those who have supported this misguided policy of failing to develop energy independence.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by USK Coastie View Post
No new nuc plants permitted in the last 30 years. Thank an environmentalist. France generates 80 % of its power from Nucs. Unable to drill for oil off our coasts on in ANWAR. Thank an environmentalist. Chinese drilling for oil off our southern coast in conjunction Cuba thank an environmentalist. Higher fuel prices and our nation held hostage to oil from crazies in the Middle East. Thank an environmentalist. Who wines most about the high price of oil. Those who have supported this misguided policy of failing to develop energy independence.
Are the environmentalists that strong anymore, or are they ALL in the US Congress??
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:58 PM   #10
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Nukes are definatley cleaner than coal. Debatable vs. other power sources. The problems with nuke ae:

- Liability: who is going to insure lots of new plants? You want the feds taking that one on?
- Spent fuel: What will we do with it, especially if there is a lot more of it?
- Sourcing fuel: I am under the impression that nuke fuel isn't that readily available and is very expensive and dangerous to mine.

I think nukes are worth pursuing, but there are some problems to be solved.
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Don't Forget Yucca Mountain
Old 11-16-2007, 02:03 PM   #11
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Don't Forget Yucca Mountain

A government/private consortium has spent Billions of $ over the last decade building a deeply buried and very isolated site for storing the nation's nuclear power generation wastes. ALL of the Dem presidential candidates (and Harry Reid) are against this project. Jeez, who electsthese morons? Oops, we do.
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
- Liability: who is going to insure lots of new plants? You want the feds taking that one on?
I think the feds covering the risk is the only way it would fly, in the post 9/11 era.......

Quote:
- Spent fuel: What will we do with it, especially if there is a lot more of it?
What ever happened to all those abandoned salt mines we used to have?

Quote:
- Sourcing fuel: I am under the impression that nuke fuel isn't that readily available and is very expensive and dangerous to mine.
Uranium as a source ore and uranium stocks have gone through the roof in the past 3 years.......wonder why.........
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:22 PM   #13
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There is no safe way to store spent fuel. Still.
Here's just one link that reiterates what I remember reading several places:
IEER: If not Yucca Mountain, then what?
Zooming ahead with nuclear power without any good way to store the waste for tens of thousands of years is analogous to running up big credit card balances and expecting other people to pay them off somehow, sometime, later. IMHO.
We should do it because France does it? Sounds like keeping up with the Jones's, the opposite of the basis of this forum. Again, IMHO.
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat View Post
There is no safe way to store spent fuel. Still.
Here's just one link that reiterates what I remember reading several places:
IEER: If not Yucca Mountain, then what?
Zooming ahead with nuclear power without any good way to store the waste for tens of thousands of years is analogous to running up big credit card balances and expecting other people to pay them off somehow, sometime, later. IMHO.
I don't know the answer, but let me phrase the question differently. The question should not be:

"Is Nuclear safe?", but:

"Is the total risk of Nuclear greater or less than coal?".

Include environmental damage and lives lost from mining, transport, and the waste. The trouble with just pointing to nuclear waste is it ignores the mercury, particulates, CO2, etc from coal. None of this stuff exists in a vacuum.

Nothing is 'safe'. Wind power kills birds, but it probably saves more birds than it kills by reducing pollution and reducing environmental damage from mining.

We need to look at the big picture, not just eliminate something due to X, Y or Z.

To para-phrase: Zooming ahead with nuclear coal power without any good way to store deal with the waste for tens of thousands of years after we spew it all over the planet is analogous to running up big credit card balances and expecting other people to pay them off somehow, sometime, later.

The reality is, that for every nuclear plant we don't build, someone will be building a coal fired plant. There are consequences. I don't recall any of those No-Nukes musicians abstaining from using electricity (no 'un-plugged' concerts don't count ).

-ERD50
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofrugalformycat View Post
There is no safe way to store spent fuel. Still.
Here's just one link that reiterates what I remember reading several places:
IEER: If not Yucca Mountain, then what?
Zooming ahead with nuclear power without any good way to store the waste for tens of thousands of years is analogous to running up big credit card balances and expecting other people to pay them off somehow, sometime, later. IMHO.
We should do it because France does it? Sounds like keeping up with the Jones's, the opposite of the basis of this forum. Again, IMHO.
You do not understand what I am trying to say. Is it better to stripmine large tracts of land for coal or to invest in a technology which has proven to be reliable and safe?
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:21 PM   #16
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ERD50 wrote: I don't know the answer, but let me phrase the question differently. The question should not be:
"Is Nuclear safe?", but:
"Is the total risk of Nuclear greater or less than coal?"."

I agree.

FinanceDude wrote: "You do not understand what I am trying to say. Is it better to stripmine large tracts of land for coal or to invest in a technology which has proven to be reliable and safe?"

Obviously the reliable and safe technology is better. Are you referring to solar, wind, geothermal or something else? Surely not nukes. What exactly do you think I do not understand?

My college buddy majored in nuclear engineering and got a masters in it at MIT. He got a job at Trojan nuclear power plant on the Columbia River. When that plant was closed down, he went back to school to go into a different engineering field. When I asked him why, he said, "There's no future in nuclear. They haven't figured out how to store the waste." His opinion influenced me greatly. He's a brilliant guy.
It's true coal is dirty and mining is dangerous and destructive, but it could be a lot better if the industry was regulated better. The Bush administration has done untold damage in particular. Here's just one article:
White House Minimized the Risks of Mercury in Proposed Rules, Scientists Say - New York Times
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:28 PM   #17
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To all those who have expressed support for more nuclear power in the US- would you agree to have a new plant built in your town? How about in your neighborhood? Would you like to own a house near Three Mile Island? That is what I thought.:confused:

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Old 11-16-2007, 03:46 PM   #18
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To all those who have expressed support for more nuclear power in the US- would you agree to have a new plant built in your town? How about in your neighborhood? Would you like to own a house near Three Mile Island? That is what I thought.:confused:

Grumpy
Grumpy - get real.

The choice is not between a Nuclear Plant and a nature preserve. The choice is between a Nuclear plant and a Coal plant and a strip mine.

How close do they put coal plants to homes? I probably would not want a Nuke any closer.

As far as other alternatives, they can only supply a small % right now, so we will still end up wither adding coal or Nuke to supplement.

-ERD50
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:23 PM   #19
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To all those who have expressed support for more nuclear power in the US- would you agree to have a new plant built in your town? How about in your neighborhood?
Grumpy, since you asked, yes I would. As a matter of fact I would much rather have a nuclear plant in my town than a coal plant. Of course, given the choice of any power plant, my first choice would be a wind generator system

So, ERD and I have answered you, your turn. Would you rather have a coal plant built in your town/neighborhood or a nuclear plant?
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:39 PM   #20
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Gosh, I thought this thread was about safe nuclear reactor design. I'm all for the pebble-bed reactor proposals.

But it seems we're discussing politics, zoning, and environmental radicalism. Never mind.
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