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View Poll Results: Are you in favour of the increased use of nuclear power?
yes 63 86.30%
No 10 13.70%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 29th, 2007, 02:30 AM
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Default Nuclear power: For or against?

Ok, I would have made this a poll, but you can't do polls here, and I wasn't sure if this should go in the pit but decided it could fit in here too. If it has to be moved, c'est la vie.

Anyway, what do you think of nuclear power as an energy source for america?

Personally, I favor it as I am certain that, properly built and operated, nuclear power plants are clean, safe and efficient.

Now as exhibits for my case I present france and japan. Both nations have made extensive use of nuclear power, and france gets the vast majority of it's power from nuclear sources.

Nuclear power is quite economical in both countries, with their kilowatt hours certainly far less than what I'm paying here in my piece of america, I can tell you.

Now we in america hear a lot of things about nuclear power, how it isn't safe, how the waste can't be disposed of, yadda yadda yadda.

Well, in france and japan those problems have certainly been solved. Both nations use "breeder reactor" technology that eliminates most of the waste by converting it back into fuel, and both nations reprocess spent fuel.

As for the waste issue, that's easily solved via a process called "vitrification" which involves mixing the waste with huge amounts of sand, heating it till the sand melts into glass and them storing the glass blocks in desolate areas away from ground water. it's quite easy, safe and not expensive. when done right.

In france and japan, nuclear plants are built to exact standards and specifications, no "alterations" are allowed and any attempt at graft is punished severely. Hence their plants are clean and safe, and operated by well trained, well paid technicians.

So why is it france and japan have such efficient and economical, not to mention safe and widespread nuclear power plants and america hasn't?

Well, america has something france and japan don't: A domestic oil industry. Before nuclear power was developed, america had a huge oil industry and it did everything it could, I believe, to sabotage the american nuclear power program.

Under american nuclear policy, which seems to be written by big oil, we can't build breeder reactors or reprocess spent fuel due to the fear of "bomb making" technology getting out. So our nuclear energy is more expensive as we don't reprocess our fuel and we have a lot of highly radioactive waste to dispose of.

American plants are routinely designed to be as cheap as possible, with the builders allowed to design them individually. graft also plagues the construction process.

Now of course we had the incident at 3 mile island, and looking back we see that this was a mountain being built by the media out of a molehill. True, there was a real incident there, but the bottom line is that no dangerous radiation was released in any dangerous amount, and that, despite inept operators and a construction process riddled with graft, the basic design was so damn good it worked under some of the worst imaginable circumstances. (Graft and incompetence.) The design contained the radiation, there was no leak despite the disastrous confluence.

In one incident, a "news" copter flying over 3MI supposedly picked up dangerous radiation on a gieger counter, when in fact you can see the "newsman" twiddling the control dial on the counter to make it tic and jump.

What we learned from 3MI was that a well designed nuclear power plant can do it's job even when greed and stupidity have almost crippled it, and that the media will go to any lengths to sensationalize a story for ratings.

Of course there was chernobyl. Chernobyl Shmernobyl. The chernobyl plant was of a design so bad it would not be approved in any western nation, and has nothing to do with western nuclear power plants. What happened at chernobyl couldn't happen at a western plant due to radical and fundamental differences in technology.

The bottom line is that france, japan and other countries that don't have large domestic oil industries have used nuclear power for decades safely and economically. It's only countries with big oil and big corruption that don;t have good nuclear programs.

If we copied the french nuclear program (God forbid america ever admit the french can do anything better than we do, of course) we could in all likelhood all but eliminate our dependence on mid east oil.

(If we went nuclear like france and switched to methane powered cars like europe, we could totally cease to import oil...)

If the mid east didn't have western petrodollars flowing in like an emerald torrent, there might be less $$$ to fund terrorist groups, BTW. Also if we were able to, thru nuclear power plants and methane cars, eliminate our need for mid east oil we'd be free of the threat of embargoes or skyrocketing prices.

As to other benefits of nuclear power, it produces no greenhouse gasses, no "carbon footprint" and no acid rain. The waste products could be fused into glass and stored in death valley, the mojave desert, etc. where they could site harmlessly until they decayed to background levels.

So that's my stand on nuclear power. if I could work my will, to quote Ebeneezer Scrooge, I'd turn america nuclear overnight with as many french style plants as possible replacing fossil fueled ones. I'd have america copy the french nuclear model, with severe prison time for anyone, no matter how damn rich, who tried cutting corners for extra profit.

The plants would be staffed with well trained and well paid crews who were eager to do their jobs with proficiency in order to keep their well paying, benefit laden jobs.

I would like to know what my fellow travellers, who often seem an intelligent and informed lot, think on this issue, and if you have nuclear power in your country, please tell us how it's working out for you, how much it costs per kilowatt, etc.

Last edited by The Thing; July 29th, 2007 at 04:01 PM..
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