Hansu

What is wrong with nuclear energy?

33 posts in this topic

It seems like many green people oppose nuclear energy. But why?

I have pondered if its because of fear. There is Fukushima and Chernobyl. Yes, they were devastating disasters but both were caused by human error, not nuclear energy itself being dangerous.

Another argument I have heard against nuclear energy is that the waste lasts for centuries. Thing is, we already have developed technology that can use nuclear waste to make more energy. Also the waste is not environmentally dangerous when sealed off safely.

Use of coal for energy has grown in Germany as they close their nuclear power plants. Why is this better? Why is it better to tear down landscapes in search of coal, then burning that coal and releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while a single 12 foot long rod in a nuclear reactor lasts for 6 years?

Is there something Im not seeing that someone on the green sees?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Hansu said:

Yes, they were devastating disasters but both were caused by human error, not nuclear energy itself being dangerous.

Lol

And human error is a big deal.

When your baby gets irradiated, someone telling you "But it was just human error" will not console you.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Lol

And human error is a big deal.

When your baby gets irradiated, someone telling you "But it was just human error" will not console you.

Both Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters could have been avoided with stricter regulation. Chernobyl was caused due to tests done without safety systems being online, Fukushima was caused by neglect on maintenance and the fact, that the reactor was built on tsunami area.

When ships sinks or otherwise causes an environmental disaster, we dont demand a ban on every ship. We take action to make ships safer. For example, double bottom ensures that when the ship's hull is punctured, the double bottom stops oil leakage to the ocean.

Then again, when I put myself in the perspective of someone who has been green all their life and does not even have a basic idea of the regulations that run industrial world or basic idea of energy production ("Electricity comes form the wall" type of people), that would be a very good reason why nuclear is a nono since the rare occasion of devastating human error makes an accident that is emotionally devastating to majority of people in the world. "When does it happen to my local power plant? What if it explodes? What if one day I come home from work and my children and I am incenirated by nuclear explosion?"

Makes me wonder if that position could be changed with education.

Edited by Hansu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest issue with nuclear energy is essentially that it's unnecessary. The biggest argument in favour of it is that it's CO2 free whilst also being able to meet the same demands as coal / gas etc. But you know what else  is CO2 free and can meet the same demands as coal and gas? Wind, solar, water, geothermal!

It's essentially a symptom of not enough consciousness when it comes to thinking how we can tackle the carbon problem. The answer is there. We all know what it is. But due to manufactured concerns about "wind and solar not being ready yet" (they are), nuclear seems like a respectable "middle ground" between fossil fuels and renewables.

And don't get me wrong, this is coming from someone who used to be on board with nuclear energy when I was younger. I used to think it ridiculous that environmentalists didn't consider it!! and all that. But as I've grown in consciousness and awareness of the energy grid, it just seems silly to me that we'd spend billions of dollars on technology that still has its own drawbacks despite being CO2 neutral instead of spending on billions of dollars on technology with no drawbacks.

Edited by Apparition of Jack

“All you need is Love” - John Lennon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After people learn to operate nuclear power plants safely, we can build more nuclear power plants.

Actuality is different from theory.

Edited by CreamCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about we first exhaust solar and wind. Then if we still need more energy we can consider nuclear.

In the long run solar is the ultimate energy source. We just need to scale it up massively.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Leo Gura Yes, this seems like the most reasonable approach. And once we figure out how to produce a functioning fusion reactor, we basically have free, clean energy forever B|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hansu coal was a political decision. it is more complicated than this, multiple factors leading to that decision, on one hand it`s worker related and socialdemocratic nostalgia, on the other it`s about being independent in the transformation phase but still being able to get some energy from abroad until we make it completely.

also the atomic powerplants in some regions in europe are not in their best years, so there is not only the risk of human errors. well it would also be a human error to overlook or miss that. enough reasons to work on it with higher pressure. (we seem to love challenges :D)

Edited by remember

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Apparition of Jack said:

being CO2 neutral instead of spending on billions of dollars on technology with no drawbacks.

No drawbacks?

Do tell me how we can use renewable energy to heat 1.4 million homes when the sun dont come up for 23 hours (Opposite of nightless night), the weather is -20 celsius and wind goes stagnant.

Unless we jump huge leaps in technology and develope reasonable ways to store renewable energy to be used almost all through winter, then renewable energy just wont cut it. Using electric cars to store energy is a good idea, but not enough if we need to rely on stored energy for months.

Fusion reactor would work, but according to my father we have been hyping a breakthrough in that technology since 70's so despite the recent advances, Im still a little skeptic about it.

EDIT: As someone who works in the field Im open to suggestions how we could resolve this conundrum. It would be genuinenly amazing if the country I live in could switch to usinc renewable energy alone!

@Leo Gura

I understand the idea behind this. Im also for renewable energy when it does not harm the environment, but why is it that in environmental rallies focus is on nuclear energy and not on more harmful means of energy production like dams and coal energy?

Edited by Hansu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, StephenK said:

And once we figure out how to produce a functioning fusion reactor, we basically have free, clean energy forever

Fusion reaction requires atoms. Atoms don't last forever theoretically. Unless we have new sources of atoms, atoms will disappear at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Hansu said:

why is it that in environmental rallies focus is on nuclear energy and not on more harmful means of energy production like dams and coal energy?

Because nuclear plants cause a lot more shock when accidents occur. People naturally rally around shocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CreamCat Yeah, every last atom will eventually decay and the universe will go dark, but that will be trillions upon trillions of years from now, so it might as well be infinite from a human perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

33 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

How about we first exhaust solar and wind. Then if we still need more energy we can consider nuclear.

In the long run solar is the ultimate energy source. We just need to scale it up massively.

That's like a roman general refusing to invest in catapults to breach a city wall because he gets a vision that future wars are going to be fought with missiles, choosing to keep on shooting the stone wall with a lot of bows and arrows.

Priority number one now is to eliminate the need for coal, oil, and gas power plants. Now I don't say additional investment in new nuclear plants is the solution, but what's certain is that the German strategy to shut down existing nuclear plants and replace them by brown coal power plants is nuts.

I'm not so confident that full focus on renewable energy with the additional stigmatised nuclear smearing is the most time efficient way to go about solving this problem. For renewable energy to work massive investments have to be made to our grid and storage facilities. Our grids need to deliver enormous peaks of energy especially when the sun isn't shining, storage is essential for renewable energy to really replace dirty power. In the meantime existing nuclear power plants should be utilised to deliver power to the grid.

(Side note: I'm not a big fan of wind turbines as these things kill 100 thousands of birds and bats globally every year, they destroy ecosystems, and take up a lot of space compared to what they deliver.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There exists no storage solution for radioactive nuclear waste. Think about that. You want to build radioactive material that will last for 10,000 years with no plan for what to do with it.

That shit will leak into the ocean.

Japan has plans to dump their Fukushima radioactive water straight into the ocean!


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe, we should build as many solar panels and batteries as possible. Has anyone thought about vertical solar farming?

Buildings can do vertical solar farming.

Edited by CreamCat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

There exists no storage solution for radioactive nuclear waste. Think about that. You want to build radioactive material that will last for 10,000 years with no plan for what to do with it.

That shit will leak into the ocean.

Japan has plans to dump their Fukushima radioactive water straight into the ocean!

Finland is the only country on this planet who has been investing in a longterm solution so far. Is that worrying? Yes.

But as far as I have done my research the environmental dangers that will most impact humanity are (brown) coal power and outweigh that of nuclear (per gained kWh that is). In a hundred years nuclear power plants will be banned worldwide, I have no doubt about that. But first things first.

Idealism can stand in the way of true development. Waiting for the perfect solution or believing in some sort of mega expansive research gizmo that no government will ever consider investing in is not the way to go.

It's the same reason why Andrew Yang's UBI is actually regressive. Yes UBI is the future, but first comes single payer healthcare, rent-control, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CreamCat

At this moment batteries are not that effective to put into commercial use. They have been researched and implemented, yes, but they don't have nearly enough capacity for our current needs. One idea is to recycle electric car batteries and put them into these big power banks to store energy, but when that can be enough to store renewable energy in countries that require relatively little heating to survive the winter, not every country is that fortunate.

Collecting energy from solar windows in big cities, and as @remember mentioned sea waves are both promising technologies but they only add to our current renewable energy, not solve the problems that come if we depend too much on renewable energy to reliably power our homes.

Batteries develop very slowly, and every year someone comes up with "brilliant invention" that is supposed to revolutionize our energy storage. Yet we still use bulky lead batteries to store relatively small amount of energy just to start our cars. Lead battery was invented in 1859.

 

@Leo Gura

I had to google that myself to believe. Japan can be so backwards place in some things... This is the exact reason why we need more international regulation when it comes to nuclear power!

I also found out that Japan is not the only country saving pennies to avoid proper preventative maintenance on their nuclear facilities

I must admit that even coal is better choice over nuclear energy when proper maintenance is dismissed. At least the shit that coal burning spews can be collected with technology, radiation is much more trickier when it comes to cleaning it out of environment

As someone who has been studying and working in the field that is not focused but heavily relies on energy production and maintenance of said equipment for 6 years, its shocking to find out this kind of news about the neglect going on around nuclear power plants when in my experience the maintenance of "lesser" sources of energy is extremely strict, regulated and done properly where I come from

I'll have to look into this, but I still think nuclear energy is best of the bad options when implemented properly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bas said:

(Side note: I'm not a big fan of wind turbines as these things kill 100 thousands of birds and bats globally every year, they destroy ecosystems, and take up a lot of space compared to what they deliver.)

well yes and how many birds do you eat per year? if you are a vegan excuse me! also i wonder how many birds and fish die in a nuclear catastrophe, or get born crippled. i`m not saying it is good, but there could probably be a solution like some sound that is displayed on a frequency birds find repellent to work against that - so it`s not something there would be no solution to if it was important enough! also it`s a problem where they are put up sometimes, politics in that direction is also about finding out about where these things create big damages and where it is still holdable. if it is alowed to put them up close to ecosystems that should be protected it`s not the right green direction.

Edited by remember

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now