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Thread: Why I advocate for Nuclear Power

  1. Top | #11
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's just science. It's so basic. Anybody who knows science support nuclear. Because without it our planet will die and our civilization will collapse. We have litterally no other realistic option available. And we should all do the shift as soon as possible.

    Those who aren't well versed in science will never get it. Why waste energy (lol, pun) trying to explain it to them? If they haven't got it at this point they never will. Also... USA voted for Trump and the UK for Brexit. Sweden recently closed one of it's nuclear power plants with the goal to abandon it. This isn't the age of Enligtenment. This is the age of idiocracy. Good luck shifting to full nuclear.
    You are right. But I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I think humans can get things right, if enough smart people push for them to do so.

    And I can't just sit back and let people disseminate counterfactual propaganda without challenge.

  2. Top | #12
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's just science. It's so basic. Anybody who knows science support nuclear. Because without it our planet will die and our civilization will collapse. We have litterally no other realistic option available. And we should all do the shift as soon as possible.

    Those who aren't well versed in science will never get it. Why waste energy (lol, pun) trying to explain it to them? If they haven't got it at this point they never will. Also... USA voted for Trump and the UK for Brexit. Sweden recently closed one of it's nuclear power plants with the goal to abandon it. This isn't the age of Enligtenment. This is the age of idiocracy. Good luck shifting to full nuclear.
    You are right. But I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I think humans can get things right, if enough smart people push for them to do so.

    And I can't just sit back and let people disseminate counterfactual propaganda without challenge.
    I'm certainly not going to try to talk you out of it. But the OP was an argument using sciency. There's no pictures of starving children and kittens looking all abandoned because they haven't got their nuclear shot. Without this your argument will fail. You have to talk to idiots using idiot language.

    Remember GMO's and Frankenfood? The anti-GMO crowd litterally have zero arguments. Not any ever. It's still illegal in several European countries. It's a debate that won't go away. If there's debate on this trivial topic where one side is right in every way and the other side has nothing but stupid slogans and conspiracy theories, then I think nuclear is fucked.

  3. Top | #13
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    While I agree that people tend to turn their brains off and stop listening the moment the word "nuclear" is used, and while you have very good arguments, let's not forget that the real reason you advocate for nuclear power is self-serving bias.



    For example, you seem to think that the duck curve is reason to abandon renewable energy sources entirely, while glossing over things like the need nuclear power has for large amounts of government assistance (in America, nuclear power is only economically viable because the government limits the liability of nuclear power companies in the event of a disaster; if the local plant melts down and makes your convenience store unfit for human occupation, the insurance company will only pay you pennies on the dollar).

  4. Top | #14
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    But yes, people do overreact to the word "nuclear."

    A great example of this is discussions about the radiation levels in the spent uranium used in certain American munitions.

    America has no business using those munitions in anything but the most dire circumstances*, but most people have the wrong idea about why spent uranium shells are a health concern. Because it is spent nuclear fuel, everyone fixates on the fact that it contains trace amounts of radiation. Some of the munitions do vaporize in use, and people do breathe it in, but the amount of radiation you would get from that is probably less than the normal background radiation you get every day.

    The danger of spent uranium munitions has nothing to do with radiation. The problem is with the chemical properties of uranium, and those never go away no matter what the half life of a particular isotope, and the trace amounts people living near a battlefield breathe in are more than enough to cause horrible birth defects for a long time to come because of the chemical properties of uranium, not the radiation.

    It's like people's brains turn off the moment they hear "nuclear" or "radiation" and some little goblin in their heads starts chanting "Bad bad bad bad BAD!"

    Heck, the name of MRI had to be changed to remove the word nuclear so that people wouldn't freak out.

    * I would argue that in the event of, say, invasion during a WW2-style war of annihilation, that America would be justified in using spent uranium munitions, but then it would be our own future babies getting those horrible birth defects, not some foreign population.

  5. Top | #15
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    But yes, people do overreact to the word "nuclear."

    A great example of this is discussions about the radiation levels in the spent uranium used in certain American munitions.

    America has no business using those munitions in anything but the most dire circumstances*, but most people have the wrong idea about why spent uranium shells are a health concern. Because it is spent nuclear fuel, everyone fixates on the fact that it contains trace amounts of radiation. Some of the munitions do vaporize in use, and people do breathe it in, but the amount of radiation you would get from that is probably less than the normal background radiation you get every day.

    The danger of spent uranium munitions has nothing to do with radiation. The problem is with the chemical properties of uranium, and those never go away no matter what the half life of a particular isotope, and the trace amounts people living near a battlefield breathe in are more than enough to cause horrible birth defects for a long time to come because of the chemical properties of uranium, not the radiation.

    It's like people's brains turn off the moment they hear "nuclear" or "radiation" and some little goblin in their heads starts chanting "Bad bad bad bad BAD!"

    Heck, the name of MRI had to be changed to remove the word nuclear so that people wouldn't freak out.

    * I would argue that in the event of, say, invasion during a WW2-style war of annihilation, that America would be justified in using spent uranium munitions, but then it would be our own future babies getting those horrible birth defects, not some foreign population.
    Why are you talking about weapons? That's completely off topic in this thread. This thread has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with weapons of any kind.

    Did you know that wind turbines are made from steel (the same stuff tanks and guns are made from), and that that steel is painted to stop it from rusting (and many types of paint historically contained highly toxic lead)?

  6. Top | #16
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    While I agree that people tend to turn their brains off and stop listening the moment the word "nuclear" is used, and while you have very good arguments, let's not forget that the real reason you advocate for nuclear power is self-serving bias.



    For example, you seem to think that the duck curve is reason to abandon renewable energy sources entirely, while glossing over things like the need nuclear power has for large amounts of government assistance (in America, nuclear power is only economically viable because the government limits the liability of nuclear power companies in the event of a disaster; if the local plant melts down and makes your convenience store unfit for human occupation, the insurance company will only pay you pennies on the dollar).
    Nuclear power doesn't need any such assistance. The idea of such an uninsurable disaster has been demonstrated to be nonsense.

    The worst case scenario is Fukushima or Chernobyl - and these rank as a minor industrial accidents of the kind that happen many times a year in other industries. Only the needless overreaction sets Fukushima aside from other industrial accidents. Chernobyl was far less damaging than the (almost contemporary) Bohpal disaster - which most people have completely forgotten, if they ever heard of it in the first place.

    Nobody opposes the chemical industry on the basis that it cannot survive without government assistance to protect it from such uninsurable liabilities. It's unreasonable to single out nuclear power and pretend that this is a sufficient justification to abandon its massive benefits.

  7. Top | #17
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    The danger of spent uranium munitions has nothing to do with radiation. The problem is with the chemical properties of uranium, and those never go away no matter what the half life of a particular isotope,
    Um, I'm confused.
    The whole point of half-life is that the material stops being uranium. Is it still chemically Uranium after it has turned into the daughter products?

  8. Top | #18
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's just science. It's so basic. Anybody who knows science support nuclear. Because without it our planet will die and our civilization will collapse. We have litterally no other realistic option available. And we should all do the shift as soon as possible.

    Those who aren't well versed in science will never get it. Why waste energy (lol, pun) trying to explain it to them? If they haven't got it at this point they never will. Also... USA voted for Trump and the UK for Brexit. Sweden recently closed one of it's nuclear power plants with the goal to abandon it. This isn't the age of Enligtenment. This is the age of idiocracy. Good luck shifting to full nuclear.
    You are right. But I am not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I think humans can get things right, if enough smart people push for them to do so.

    And I can't just sit back and let people disseminate counterfactual propaganda without challenge.
    I'm certainly not going to try to talk you out of it. But the OP was an argument using sciency. There's no pictures of starving children and kittens looking all abandoned because they haven't got their nuclear shot. Without this your argument will fail. You have to talk to idiots using idiot language.

    Remember GMO's and Frankenfood? The anti-GMO crowd litterally have zero arguments. Not any ever. It's still illegal in several European countries. It's a debate that won't go away. If there's debate on this trivial topic where one side is right in every way and the other side has nothing but stupid slogans and conspiracy theories, then I think nuclear is fucked.
    I direct those who don't like facts and figures to my second post in this thread, where I have even provided a cute cartoon for the hard of thinking.

    Seriously though, I am not trying to get through to the idiots in this thread - It is a response to a question from another member here who expressed a genuine interest in the subject.

    I have plenty of simplistic memes I could post that also support nuclear power (or at least contradict the more common fallacies used by the anti-nuclear mob); I generally save those for Facebook.

  9. Top | #19
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    The danger of spent uranium munitions has nothing to do with radiation. The problem is with the chemical properties of uranium, and those never go away no matter what the half life of a particular isotope,
    Um, I'm confused.
    The whole point of half-life is that the material stops being uranium. Is it still chemically Uranium after it has turned into the daughter products?
    Dr Z is talking about depleted uranium, not used reactor fuel. Depleted uranium is the (mostly) 238U left over after enrichment has removed the more readily fissile isotopes.

    238U has a half life of about 4.5 billion years (with a 'b'). It's by far the largest isotope present in depleted uranium, which is what's left when to take out the 235U to use in bombs. But uranium is chemically no more toxic than lead (also widely used in munitions). And as nobody ever gets exposed to uranium from nuclear power plants, its chemical toxicity is irrelevant to tbe topic of the thread. If you want to talk about weapons of any kind, please do so somewhere else.

    Note that Uranium enrichment is used for some power reactor designs, but the degree of enrichment is far lower than for weapons grade uranium, and the byproduct isn't the depleted uranium used for projectiles. Note also that many reactor designs (such as the CANDU heavy water moderated reactors used in Ontario and elsewhere) run on natural uranium without any enrichment at all.

  10. Top | #20
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    The danger of spent uranium munitions has nothing to do with radiation. The problem is with the chemical properties of uranium, and those never go away no matter what the half life of a particular isotope,
    Um, I'm confused.
    The whole point of half-life is that the material stops being uranium. Is it still chemically Uranium after it has turned into the daughter products?
    Although the U235 (the radioactive uranium isotope) does decay into byproducts, there are other uranium isotopes in fuel rods such as U238 (a non-radioactive uranium isotope). This U238 is the uranium that is used effectively in kinetic weapons because it has greater mass than lead. The primary danger to humans this has (other than the impact ) is heavy metal poisoning like lead, mercury, and other heavy metals.

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