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Mon, March 19th, 2007   #1
Dark Jaguar
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Default We have the solution to our energy needs...

And we've had it for a while. Nuclear power!

We have lots of technology to deal with the waste now that we didn't have before, including, for example, recycling the waste material into usable fuel again and transmuting the material into something safe. 3 mile island was safely contained. Chernobyl used methods no longer in use. Leaks aren't really a concern any more. I personally would have no problem with having one in my backyard, as they are run safely and more cleanly than coal plants. Further, the fuel is relatively plentiful and doesn't polute.

Why aren't we using nuclear power to solve our energy and polution problem? I mean it's not perfect, there's the cost of building it and it won't solve the problem of vehicle fuel needs, but it's a major step.

Fact is, there's environmentalism guided by science, and environmentalism guided by some love of the "earth mother" fueled by nothing but emotion. This whole problem with nuclear energy, at this point, can be relegated to hairy hippies who don't know what they are talking about.
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Mon, March 19th, 2007   #2
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It's that filthy-hippie fear of all things nuclear that keeps nuclear power so rare.

Personally I would love to see all electric power in America go nuclear.
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Mon, March 19th, 2007   #3
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Some areas can use wind power and solar power for small things works, but both are just far too inefficient to do the job. After going nuclear for a while, sure let's keep researching other forms of energy, and if something else does a better job, we can switch to that, but for the mean time we need something to replace fossil fuels and we already have a solution that fits the bill. Nuclear power? Stick it right in my back yard! A lot of people protest, and to hear all the propaganda, I can understand why. I mean Captain Planet had a villian named "Duke Nukem" right in there and the whole series was about villians that actually WANTED to actively destroy the planet (which is unrealistic, as it's corporate indifference that destroys it, not a wanton Kefka-esque desire to destroy the planet).

They go on with silly displays like a glass of milk from the udder of some goat that lived by a nuclear plant saying "would YOU drink THIS?" and I would have to say "well yes, because the amount of radiation detected near a plant is no greater than that given off by someone sleeping next to you". Shock value like that isn't science. And, when you point out that nuclear plants don't, in fact, destroy the life around them, they always pull out the "they are all in on it" conspiracy trump card.

It's sad really. They mean well, and really using old technology, or worse badly funded and poorly regulated plants like chernobyl is something we can all say we are against. But, one with current technology with the same extremely high safety standards of operation that current nuclear power plants use, that'll solve a lot of our problem. You want a solution to the global warming issue? We've got a big step, but unfortunatly misinformation is holding it back... This isn't the only tech that some misguided emotional stuff is holding back these days of course. I liken it to stem cell research.
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #4
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Nuclear power does have a pretty bad stigma, but it is much better than what is widely in use now. Real environmentalists would realize it is the best option we have right now. I definitely agree it should be put into wider use.
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #5
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Let's start making nuclear-powered cars too!!
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #6
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Now taking that comment seriously, cars would be a problem for a large number of reasons, not the least of which is safety. A power plant is much easier to manage than several thousand cars owned by individuals. Maybe, MAYBE some public transportation vehicles can have that set up, but really the only model we have for this is our nuclear subs. I just don't see nuclear as a safe or viable option for transportation. We'll need some other solution for that.
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #7
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Something like this? The compressed air car sounds interesting, but it is definitely a long ways off before it would become economically viable.
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #8
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Aircraft carriers are nuclear powered too, not just subs.

... but yes, it's certainly no answer for any transportation vehicle that would be on a road, that's for sure...
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #9
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Nuclear-powered rollerskates!!
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #10
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Coming soon, drunk drivers with their nuclear-powered flying cars?
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #11
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I'd accept that risk if it meant that flying cars actually existed.
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #12
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Risks like that are probably why they don't exist.

As far as nuclear power, I don't like it at all, and it's not completely a "renewable resource" since it uses mined resources, but they do have larger stockpiles than oil and stuff I believe, so it certainly would last a lot longer... but until we figure out what to do with the waste, I don't think we should be making any more nuclear plants. We should work on solving that problem, though... you're probably right, even though I really, really dislike the idea of having more nuclear power, if oil and natural gas starts to run out, what else can we do? Coal, even those so-called "clean coal" plants, is incredibly polluting... nuclear is too of course, with the waste... yeah, there are no good answers.
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Tue, March 20th, 2007   #13
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Nuclear waste can be pretty well self-contained if enough effort is put into storage. And, of course, there will always be research into safer and more efficient methods. This research will progress much faster if there is a demand. Unfortunately, we seem too frightened of nothing to pursue the energy, even though there are nations like France that derive a majority of their energy in this fashion.

The Anti-nuclear crowd needs to realize it's not the 1970s anymore. Technology will improve. Eventually, there will be a safe method of disposal, and what we have now is hardly bad, all things considered.

It's a lot better than coal dust and spent hydrocarbons.
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Wed, March 21st, 2007   #14
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Yeah but when a dynamo shorts and catches fire it's replaced and none are the wiser, maybe a black out for a while or the lights flicker yunno. Nuclear plant has an issue? Giant flesh eating worms, ants the size of Leer jets and men who can focus laser beams from their face. Come on, Russia EXPLODED from this kind of thing.

Am I the only one who remembers the aftermath of Tokyo's 17th consecutive destruction at the hands of "Gorilla whale"? Yeah, this nuclear talk is just scary, you want me to microwave my pizza rolls or vacuum the couch with the same technology that MELTED PEOPLE in Hiroshima? hey sign me up, it'll be like in the Simpsons with 3 eyed fish and plant workers throwing glowing rods of radioactive material in to our STREETS just because it was poking his shoulder or some other such (minimal) offense, nearly hitting his own child who was passing by on his way from school.

NO thank you.
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Wed, March 21st, 2007   #15
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Cartoons and giant monster movies and a completely different utilization of nuclear power are exactly the same thing as good reasons not to use this power source (which, I might add, is already being used in a lot of places). Also, what an odd idea, that the electricity from the power plants is, ITSELF, radioactive, and it corrupts your toaster with radiation somehow.
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Last edited by Dark Jaguar : Wed, March 21st, 2007 at 10:40 PM.
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