[UPDATED] Nuclear power is the way to go, no ifs, buts or maybes

Kernkraftwerk_Grafenrheinfeld_-_2013 small.jpg
Picture from Wikipedia showing the Kernkraftwerk Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant.

Time to bust the myths that nuclear power is dangerous and kills lots of people so shouldn't be considered. It doesn't and never has. Even the big meltdowns like Chernobyl and Fukushima that everyone knows about actually only ever killed very few people each and those accidents were worst case scenarios, unlikely to happen again with modern technology and processes.

Uranium reactors are safe enough, even with their radioactive by-products that people are so scared of, but thorium is on another level of safety. On top of that, the energy extracted from thorium is an enormous 200x that of uranium! We have enough reserves on earth to last thousands of years, making renewable energy unnecessary and that energy is available on demand, a key criteria. Building thorium reactors are therefore a no-brainer.

Fusion would be even better, but that's proving such a tough technological nut to crack, that we can't consider it for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. Scientists just have to keep plugging away at developing viable reactors.

China's building a test thorium reactor and the West should do so too.

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UPDATE 27.11.2022

Please see post 13 for a new video about this subject.

 

Retro

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They're not "nuclear rockets". Where did you get that from?

Seriously, I don't see why you're afraid to look at the facts about nuclear energy. Please do have a look.
 

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I'll read that and you read mine. Deal?

You really can't reject something if you don't have the facts, can you?

Nuclear power stations really aren't about making nuclear weapons, but generating clean power.
 

Tiffany

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Nuclear power used correctly, under the right circumstances and safe guards can harness a tremendous amount of energy to provide substantial power to a larger amount of people than just through electric, coal, gas, wind, solar and hydro. I do get any hesitancy about nuclear power as the world has had three examples of nuclear failure: Three Mile Island. 1979, in Middletown, Pa, Chernobyl in Ukraine of 1986, and Fukushima in Japan, 2011. All of these power plants failed under the most extreme and abnormal circumstances. I've always questioned the location of Fukushima near the sea, but then I'm not a nuclear scientist. I do wonder why would the Japanese engineered their nuclear plant at sea knowing that their island is in the Ring of Fire and is subsequently at high risks of earthquakes and tsunamis? Maybe they didn't have a choice and the sea was a natural resource to cool a reactor in an emergency?

Most aren't aware that we are exposed to radiation naturally every day from multiple sources. Radiation from medical sources have the highest power of exposure. This link below shares the natural, environmental and medical radiation exposures. This of course, doesn't validate that exposure to radiation, however there are ways to reduce your risks to radiation.

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If that were to happen everyone would have to don the safety gear
It's now clear that you have no interest in looking at the facts and hence making an informed opinion that can be debated rationally. Sure, that's your prerogative, but it does mean that your criticism of nuclear power stations has now lost all credibility as it's not founded on anything other than misinformation and prejudice. If you ever do decide to look at the evdence, I'll be happy to discuss this further with you and clarify anything you're unsure of.

btw, I did my part and looked at your link. It in no way contradicts what I'm saying, or what @Tiffany said above.
 

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I've always questioned the location of Fukushima near the sea, but then I'm not a nuclear scientist. I do wonder why would the Japanese engineered their nuclear plant at sea knowing that their island is in the Ring of Fire and is subsequently at high risks of earthquakes and tsunamis? Maybe they didn't have a choice and the sea was a natural resource to cool a reactor in an emergency?
I think I can answer your question, with the proviso that I'm not an expert either and the info is from documentaries I saw, plus news stories and vaguely remember. :)

Yes, the sea location is primarily for cooling, since water is essential for all nuclear power plants. Without it, they'd all go into meltdown pretty quickly.

If I remember correctly, the plant was a 1960s design which made it significantly less sophisticated than later ones and, crucially, wasn't properly maintained, plus there should have been a sea wall to protect against freak waves, which is why it failed like it did. On top of that, I think the reactors are actually housed above ground at the top of the reactor buildings, rather than underground like they usually are in other plants, which isn't the best design and no reactor built today is made like that (famous last words).
 

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I think I can answer your question, with the proviso that I'm not an expert either and the info is from documentaries I saw, plus news stories and vaguely remember. :)

Yes, the sea location is primarily for cooling, since water is essential for all nuclear power plants. Without it, they'd all go into meltdown pretty quickly.

If I remember correctly, the plant was a 1960s design which made it significantly less sophisticated than later ones and, crucially, wasn't properly maintained, plus there should have been a sea wall to protect against freak waves, which is why it failed like it did. On top of that, I think the reactors are actually housed above ground at the top of the reactor buildings, rather than underground like they usually are in other plants, which isn't the best design and no reactor built today is made like that (famous last words).

Well, that totally makes sense. The history part of it is interesting too, because had engineers built a wall that would have helped a lot from the effects of tsunamis, or at least lessened damage. I don't think much could have helped in 2011? That was a terrible earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan.

I also didn't realize the reactors are normally built underground. I believe Three Mile Island was built underground, but also had a moat of water surrounding all of the reactors too.
 

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I don't think much could have helped in 2011? That was a terrible earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan.
Reactors can be built to withstand these earthquakes, especially if built underground and I believe it would have made all the difference here. Note that I don't have any data to confirm or deny it though, just my general knowledge of the subject. What happened here, was a bit like when there's an air crash: it's a perfect storm of factors coming together to make it happen. Here's a particularly awful example that I posted about the other day.

 

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Reactors can be built to withstand these earthquakes, especially if built underground and I believe it would have made all the difference here. Note that I don't have any data to confirm or deny it though, just my general knowledge of the subject. What happened here, was a bit like when there's an air crash: it's a perfect storm of factors coming together to make it happen. Here's a particularly awful example that I posted about the other day.

Understandable what happened in Japan was a perfect storm of events. I think for anyone looking at what happened in Japan, they would feel more secure with nuclear energy if they knew that what was gained in knowledge from this horrific incident, was applied to all future nuclear plants in prepared precautionary scenario's. The public can only have faith in nuclear power through the best education and I believe that starts in the science classes in school to college.

I have always felt the more knowledge I had the more power I have to make good decisions on anything. Understanding how nuclear power is harnessed is pretty complicated and I don't need to understand it in depth, though knowing some of the basics, history and the mechanisms that make it function, helps to give a better perspective of the pros and cons. Sure, the thought of nuclear seems scary, but just like any subject, knowledge is power. Nuclear, indeed is the quintessential choice over all forms of power providing the best engineering and precautions are in place and I believe the understanding of nuclear energy has come a long way since the 1960's.

Wasn't the first nuclear sub designed in the 1960's?
 

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I think for anyone looking at what happened in Japan, they would feel more secure with nuclear energy if they knew that what was gained in knowledge from this horrific incident, was applied to all future nuclear plants in prepared precautionary scenario's.
It's better than that though as although lessons were learned, more modern designs and better working practices would stop a failure like this from happening again anyway.

I've just found the Wikipedia article on the incident. For those who fear the "terrible spectre" of deaths from a nuclear accident, they should know that no one died because of it, @aussiefooty take note, but "given the uncertain health effects of low-dose radiation, cancer deaths cannot be ruled out", so essentially no one died even though this was a pretty bad accident. Hardly the nightmare that those fearing nuclear power envisage. There's more deaths from coal powered stations, if anything and even coal is a little radioactive, which isn't something that people know about.


I have always felt the more knowledge I had the more power I have to make good decisions on anything.
Exactly. That's why I'm trying to educate people about nuclear power here on NerdZone and reduce misinformation and disinformation as much as possible.

Unfortunately, there's currently no one power generation method that has it all, so we must us a blend of them and keep on researching better ways to create that power that's so critical to modern life.
 

aussiefooty

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Think the point you're missing is the fact that nuclear rockets, nuclear powerstations and whatever else are going to be just has harmful as gas and electricity power stations.
What we need isn't nuclear energy.
We need to have a reduction of how much things cost.
Gas and electricity are still part of everyday living.
Many households can't actually change over things in a jiffy.
It takes time.
Everything takes time.
I remember when i first started renting everything was low even the price of electricity and gas.
Rent alone is now above many people on welfare's means.
We all gotta have the money to pay for what we use.
 

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That energy has to come from somewhere, you can't simply reduce the price* of it, problem solved. That energy must come from somewhere, so where do you propose that should be? I'm telling you, it needs to be from a blend of different sources, because of every current method of power generation has major downsides, including nuclear, as explained in my sources above.

Again, you really need to educate yourself about nuclear power if you're going to slag it off, or as I said above, what you say has no credibility as it's proving. Please do read those posts that I pointed you to, they won't bite, I promise.

It's not clear what you mean by households having to change over. Yes, households run on gas and electricity the world over and that won't change anytime soon. Ideally, they'd be all electric and that could happen with more nuclear power stations that generate abundant electricity.

*Leaving aside rampant profiteering by the energy companies which angers me too.
 

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Turns out we've had the means to use nuclear waste to create more useable nuclear fuel, a form of recycling, since the 1960s. So, it's not even a new technology. This greatly reduces the problems associated with spent fuel storage and long term radioactivity, so why isn't it more widely used? This video explains it all.

Oh and it further demolishes the arguments from the ignorant anti-nuclear lobby. Don't get sucked in by their propaganda.

If and when nuclear fusion is perfected and becomes a viable way to produce energy on a commercial scale, then that will be the holy grail that mankind is looking for that will last for eons.

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So....we've had this technology for over 50 years and we aren't using nuclear waste in a recycled way to make power? What is wrong with this picture? Good video, and an eye opener!
 

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Sabine debunks the exaggerated time and cost it takes to build nuclear power plants spouted by anti-nuclear protesters who claim around a decade to build and along with way more expensive. It's actually around 6-7 years to build (twice as long) and about 2-3 times as expensive, so very doable, especially for the significant benefits that nuclear power brings.

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Did you know that Britain relies on Russia for its uranium supplies? In today's hostile climate cleated by Russia, that's clearly not a good idea so Britain has started a project to remove us from this dependence.

Britain is to become the first European country to launch a programme for high-tech uranium so the next generation of nuclear reactors are not dependent on imports from Russia.

The Government has allocated £300 million to develop high-assay low-enriched uranium (Haleu) in a bid to cut Vladimir Putin out of the UK’s future energy needs.

While the current nuclear fleet primarily runs on uranium fuel enriched up to 5 per cent, the next generation of reactors require uranium enriched to between 5 and 20 percent – known as Halue.

However, this fuel is currently only commercially produced in Russia, potentially leaving Britain at the mercy of Putin as the Government prepares for the launch of advanced reactors in the early 2030s.

By launching the UK’s own programme, ministers hope to sidestep Russia and carve out an opportunity to supply the world with specialist nuclear fuel.

 

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This new finding strengthens the case for nuclear further.

 
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