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[NYT] U.S. Pushes for Nuclear Power, Regulators Lagging

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/bu...gy-environment

Quote:
WASHINGTON — In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed giving the nuclear construction business a type of help it has never had, a role in a quota for clean energy. But recent setbacks in a hoped-for “nuclear renaissance†raise questions about how much of a role nuclear power can play.
I've always been a fan of nuclear power. The only real risk now-a-days is people getting pissed at the site of a reactor (which I don't find all that unattractive) and capital investment. Particularly now that we have Generation IV Reactors coming out that can use waste from older power plants as fuel. Nothing to steal? Nothing to pollute? Clean, free, energy?

Just a shame that United States citizens were scared off by a few incidents, which were largely human error and experimentation, and some green groups that forgot to mention how coal and gas put out more radioactive / toxic material per year. Oh yeah, and they spew it in the air. Not into molten pellets.
    
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post #2 of 126
I wrote a 20 page term paper on why nuclear power is good last year, and we've advanced leaps and bounds in safety, security, and efficiency. Most things people are scared of have been turned irrelevant. I think the only issue we have is the disposal of waste, but thats nothing we can't solve with a powerful magnetic accelerator cannon aimed at the sun (unrealistic for the near future, but I can dream).
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post #3 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthjoe229 View Post
I wrote a 20 page term paper on why nuclear power is good last year, and we've advanced leaps and bounds in safety, security, and efficiency. Most things people are scared of have been turned irrelevant. I think the only issue we have is the disposal of waste, but thats nothing we can't solve with a powerful magnetic accelerator cannon aimed at the sun (unrealistic for the near future, but I can dream).
Remember the unwarranted firestorm around Cassini's RTGs?

Nuclear power is a PR nightmare. Might state was fined 100s of millions of dollars for backing out of a nuclear waste compact. The result of backing out? Nuclear waste already here is stuck unable to move or go anywhere. It is mostly low-level medicinal sources, and is still in 55 gallon metal drums in an open-air lot just outside of downtown. It was deemed to risky too bury, and too risky to move, but evidently it is just fine to let it sit above ground just outside of downtown.
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post #4 of 126
My brother john builds power plant simulators and it kinda reminds me of homer simpson lol. I believe nc power is the way to go for now, oil is running out and solar energy isnt that great (no offense to the people who spend 30000 bucks on a system).
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post #5 of 126
Nuclear power is awesome.
post #6 of 126
The USA has lagged far behind when it comes to implementing nuclear power sources. Compared to the primitive designs from decades ago, the new designs are incredible safe.
Nuclear power is a great option if we want electric cars with very little impact to our environment.

Scientists are also making strides when it comes to recycling the waste products. There are also reactor designs that can make use of spent nuclear material to produce more power from the waste.
Edited by AtomicFrost - 2/9/11 at 2:37pm
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post #7 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
Remember the unwarranted firestorm around Cassini's RTGs?

Nuclear power is a PR nightmare. Might state was fined 100s of millions of dollars for backing out of a nuclear waste compact. The result of backing out? Nuclear waste already here is stuck unable to move or go anywhere. It is mostly low-level medicinal sources, and is still in 55 gallon metal drums in an open-air lot just outside of downtown. It was deemed to risky too bury, and too risky to move, but evidently it is just fine to let it sit above ground just outside of downtown.

Three Mile Island was a minor failure caused by faulty equipment and human error, and compounded by the movie "The China Syndrome", which swayed public opinion away from nuclear energy. Chernobyl was a similar situation...faulty equipment, inadequate training...compounded by an attempted government coverup which failed spectacularly. While it's true that even a minor failure is a big deal, these could have easily been avoided with proper oversight and training.

In all honesty, every form of power generation has drawbacks, and they are all potentially fatal. The main problem with nuclear power generation is the waste, which America is unprepared to deal with in a reasonable manner since we stopped trying to develop methods of disposal in the late 70's/early 80's. With time, effort, and funding, this issue could be cleared up.
 
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post #8 of 126
Nuclear power, Ok. Just don't build it next to my house.
Edited by Trigunflame - 2/9/11 at 5:30pm
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post #9 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mojo View Post
Three Mile Island was a minor failure caused by faulty equipment and human error, and compounded by the movie "The China Syndrome", which swayed public opinion away from nuclear energy. Chernobyl was a similar situation...faulty equipment, inadequate training...compounded by an attempted government coverup which failed spectacularly. While it's true that even a minor failure is a big deal, these could have easily been avoided with proper oversight and training.

In all honesty, every form of power generation has drawbacks, and they are all potentially fatal. The main problem with nuclear power generation is the waste, which America is unprepared to deal with in a reasonable manner since we stopped trying to develop methods of disposal in the late 70's/early 80's. With time, effort, and funding, this issue could be cleared up.
Not really man. The French are the #1 builders of nuclear reactors and they have issues with the waste too. They're already quoted as saying that they'll run out of room in 100 years if a solution is not found. No one really knows how far off we are from being able to completely remove ALL radioactivity from the waste but it's too big of a potential issue to just put to chance.

Imagine going to nuclear as our main source of power for 100 years and in 100 years having ALL those barrels but still no way to remove the toxicity. Do you understand how many barrels you'll already have? The US's entire stockpile plans are only built out 100 years into the future and the barrels stay radioactive from anywhere from 10,000 to 1,000,000 years.

To me, the whole idea of nuclear extremely short sighted.
    
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post #10 of 126
Thread Starter 
If we haven't found out how to deal with radioactive waste in 1,000,000 years, I will be quite disappointed in my species.

Having said that, new reactors can use the waste of old reactors for fuel.
Like I said, no problem. Just have to put more effort and work into getting the designs finalized.
    
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