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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 60034  
Subject: Re: The American Middle Class Is No Longer the W Date: 4/29/2014 5:18 PM
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. . .But you were implying (perhaps unintentionally) that non-nuclear options were risk free. They aren't.

Not only did I never imply that, but I never would. You have taken up the methodology of the faith based believer in nuclear power. Accuse those who question of ignorance and fear. Belittle them and then ignore their questions.

Coal has proven to be much more dangerous to health and environment, but people still fear nuclear more.

Think about this for a fraction of a second instead of spouting such nonsense. I have two objects, a pound of coal and a pound of spent nuclear fuel. You have to choose one to store under your bed. Which do you choose? The difference in the health and safety record between coal and nuclear energy has nothing to do with the potential risk of the material and everything to do with other factors (ie. relative number of plants using each, time frame of the experience, cost and amount of regulation applied to each over their entire history, effectiveness of the nations using each, . . .)

Rather than assume that anyone who questions nuclear power is a fearful idiot, I happen to think that most people understand that the only thing keeping them from nuclear disasters is very strict and heavy regulation overseen by the government. While that has worked relatively well over the last 50 or 60 years, that timeframe is not long compared to the danger half life of the material. In fact, the danger half life of this material is extremely long compared to even the half-life of all previous governments on earth. So I don't think people who are skeptical are idiots. I think they are skeptical because they have the sense to consider larger issues and ask questions that you apparently will not.

Your information on France is wrong, or at least out of date. They are quite responsible. They have different facilities for different grades of waste, and are opening (or maybe have already opened) a site for long-term containment of the really nasty stuff.

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/what-fran......


NO. Unless something has changed very recently, you are wrong. France has a well-documented plan that has been in existence for at least a decade. Pro nuclear advocates love to trot that plan out and claim France is dealing with it. But like Yucca Mountain, that plan has real world problems and has not been implemented. Please at least read the title of your own link: "What France plans to do with its nuclear waste".

And, if you had read the wiki, you would know that the US is far behind. That wasn't conjecture. I was making a statement (supported by the link). So you are wrong about that, too.

I disagree with wiki. I imagine the wiki author had a political motivation for writing that. In some ways the US is behind many other countries. Yes. But I disagree with the characterization, "far behind". Still, that is irrelevant since I never made the claim in any of my posts until you credited me with it. And since it has nothing whatsoever to do with the facts and arguments I have presented.

The biggest threat to humanity today is climate change. . .

Hmmm . . . It is certainly a problem that needs attention, but this is hardly a quantifiable or provable hypothesis. Still, even if we all believe this to be true, that does not make the widespread proliferation of nuclear energy the responsible solution. You understand that, right?

Yes, nuclear waste is a concern. Especially if we use uranium reactors. We have the technology to deploy better systems (like thorium), we just have to get the will to do it. And to deal with the waste responsibly.

And this is where we disagree. You have a faith based belief that science and technology can and will solve the remaining risk issues of nuclear energy and are willing to trust the governments of the world now and 10,000 years from now to do the right thing. You will gladly saddle the next several hundred generations of humans on earth with this risk based on your faith.

I, on the other hand, have taken a very detailed look at the history of the nuclear industry and government regulation . . . and on the history of civilizations and have considered the actual timeframes of the nuclear risk. I do not see good reason to trust that science and technology will find financially and technically viable solutions any time soon, nor that modern governments will exhibit long term stability and continuity greater than all those that preceded them. I think caution is advised and that we need to invest more in energy solutions that are safer and cleaner than what we do today. That investment would include research into nuclear energy and nuclear waste but also into methods of extracting energy from carbon sources that are far cleaner than current techniques. There are, in fact, many other alternatives to explore and develop.

If you want a habitable planet for future generations then nuclear is one of the few options we have at the moment.

That's not really a good argument for proliferation. Hey, we could launch an effort to kill off 90% of the humans on the planet. That option would really help make the planet more habitable for a long time. That fact doesn't make it a good idea.
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