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Nuclear power: After the flood
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Aurora



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:26 am    Post subject: Nuclear power: After the flood Reply with quote

Quote:
The Guardian - 15/03/11

The tendency in Britain to postpone politically painful choices about building new nuclear stations is dangerous.

Article continues ...

See also:

Quote:
The Guardian - 15/03/11

Another rod to beat the nuclear industry.

Article continues ...
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nexus



Joined: 16 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where, in all this debate about the terrible safety record of nuclear vs the terrible CO2 emissions of coal plants is any discussion of reducing our energy consumption?

Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

It's as though the Western way of life is non negotiable and even if we have nuclear accidents and tip into runaway climate change it's all fine because up until the point that TSHTF we've been able to tumble dry our clothes, fly half way round the world for some sun, drive everywhere and watch our flat screen TVs.

Lets hope it's all worth it.

I really do despair.
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nexus wrote:
Where, in all this debate about the terrible safety record of nuclear vs the terrible CO2 emissions of coal plants is any discussion of reducing our energy consumption?

Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

It's as though the Western way of life is non negotiable and even if we have nuclear accidents and tip into runaway climate change it's all fine because up until the point that TSHTF we've been able to tumble dry our clothes, fly half way round the world for some sun, drive everywhere and watch our flat screen TVs.

Lets hope it's all worth it.

I really do despair.

+1
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post, nexus. I might use that. Very much like 'nuclear power has an impressive safety record' or 'flying is the safest form of transport'.

Remember - what was it? - 'the American way of life is not negotiable' and there are some extremely thick people around.
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phobos



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Germany has temporarily shut down seven of its nuclear power plants while it reconsiders its nuclear strategy.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12745899

Im no fan of nuclear, but I dont see how we can generate enough power in the Uk without it :/
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clv101
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phobos wrote:
Quote:
Germany has temporarily shut down seven of its nuclear power plants while it reconsiders its nuclear strategy.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12745899

Im no fan of nuclear, but I dont see how we can generate enough power in the Uk without it :/


Why not? Don't overestimate nuclear's contribution. Nuclear's only expected to provide 10-15% over the coming decade or so. Cutting demand back by that much isn't a big deal at all?
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet Bernard Ingham appears on Question Time this week Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phobos wrote:
Quote:
Germany has temporarily shut down seven of its nuclear power plants while it reconsiders its nuclear strategy.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12745899

Im no fan of nuclear, but I dont see how we can generate enough power in the Uk without it :/


Enough power for what?
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2 As and a B



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite apart from all the issues with nuclear power of resource supply, safety, waste, cost and the requirements for a continuing high-tech society and central government policing...

How difficult would it be, really, for a determined saboteur to cause havoc in a UK nuclear power plant? I'm sure it could be done if someone was so determined. Or fly a plane into one? What about war with another country in 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years time? Nuclear power plants and oil refineries would be absolutely prime targets in wartime.

I can see NO REASON on any level why nuclear is a good idea.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foodimista wrote:
I can see NO REASON on any level why nuclear is a good idea.


It does provide low carbon electricity, with high activity factors.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

foodimista wrote:
I can see NO REASON on any level why nuclear is a good idea.
Er, it keeps us humble, reminding us of the frailty of our existence, the folly of our greed and our utter insignificance in the face of the awe-full forces of the Universe. Looking into Fukishima #2 will be equivalent to entering the Total Perspective Vortex.

That's why they're not showing us any pictures.
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phobos



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:

Why not? Don't overestimate nuclear's contribution. Nuclear's only expected to provide 10-15% over the coming decade or so. Cutting demand back by that much isn't a big deal at all?


I thought that quite a few alternative fossil fuel power stations were due to shut down over the next few years, and Nuclear was going to replace some of those. Sorry Im misinformed.

emordnilap wrote:
Enough power for what?


42 Plasmas of course Rolling Eyes Very Happy
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2 As and a B



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101, Yes, but too late, I humbly submit.

And, as everyone else is doing it...

foodimista wrote:
I can see NO REASON on any level why nuclear is a good idea.

Interesting post on Transition Culture by Alexis Rowell: Ten reasons why new nuclear was a mistake even before Fukushima: a guest post from Alexis Rowell
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nexus wrote:
Where, in all this debate about the terrible safety record of nuclear vs the terrible CO2 emissions of coal plants is any discussion of reducing our energy consumption?

Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

It's as though the Western way of life is non negotiable and even if we have nuclear accidents and tip into runaway climate change it's all fine because up until the point that TSHTF we've been able to tumble dry our clothes, fly half way round the world for some sun, drive everywhere and watch our flat screen TVs.

Lets hope it's all worth it.

I really do despair.


+! Crying or Very sad
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nexus



Joined: 16 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great blog post from Ran Prieur:

Quote:
Why do geeks love nuclear power? More precisely, using Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, why do people with high logical-mathematical intelligence like nuclear power so much more than people with high intelligence in other areas? Framed this way, it's an easy question. In the world of logic and numbers and predictable machines, nuclear power is totally safe. Chernobyl doesn't count because, for political reasons, the plant was not designed, regulated, or run correctly. Fukushima doesn't count because, for political reasons, the plant was not built to withstand an 8.9 earthquake and tsunami. Nuclear power would be perfect if only you stinky primates would obey our beautiful science!

Of course, the anomalies that cause nuclear accidents are not the exception, but the rule. In this post, Stuart Staniford writes, "I have been deeply impressed at the ability of nuclear facilities to act as a multiplier of other kinds of disasters." And Sharon Astyk argues that we should design for failure:

...the costs of building levees to withstand category 5 hurricanes, and deepwater drilling platforms with automatic shutoffs, and nuclear plants in safe zones to withstand higher earthquakes are enormous -- at a time when the US alone has 3 trillion dollars worth of delayed infrastructure work... We seem to be reaching a point where Joseph Tainter's observations on the diminishing returns of complexity become strikingly obvious.

My own argument... is that we should turn it around and presume failure. That is, we should ask ourselves "what strategies are most effective and least risky in failure situations...given that systems failures happen all the time." In this model, distributed systems are less dangerous than centralized ones, and those that give partial return even if projects aren't completed or if models break down are more valuable than those that give more but only if we front-load a huge investment to them. It creates, in the end a different way of looking at our world...

To be fair, even with accidents, nuclear has killed far fewer people than coal. But even if it were physically harmless, it's still socially harmful (along with most other present sources) because it's centralized, and humans will inevitably turn centralized energy production into centralized political power. And even if they invent "Mr. Fusion" and we all have home energy plants, I still think it would be a disaster, because the more energy we have, the bigger mistakes we make using that energy, especially if the source allows us to become detached from other life. The ideal energy technology is home-scale, home-fixable, integrated with other life, and produces only enough for modest fun and comfort.

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