Dear John McCarthy:
I'm in favor of nuclear energy. But you're looking at the problem from
a non-realistic, ivory tower point of view.
All you say is probably true, but the public has an exaggerated fear of
anything nuclear. That has to be taken into account.
The nuclear energy industry has done some really stupid things. The
Shoreham (LI) facility is just one example. If you're going to build a
reactor somewhere and require an evacuation plan, don't build a plant
there, then when the opposition to it has just about prevented it from
ever opening, you shouldn't activate it for even 1 second.
Operating a nuclear plant should be held to the highest standards. The
plain fact that coal mines don't is no argument. I repeat: If someone
else operates illegally, irresponsibly, or unethically does not permit
Indian Point to operate their plant(s) in the same manner.
If Entergy is able to refuel its plants in 2 weeks, where normally it
would take 2 months, I would put the new process under a magnifying
glass. If all is OK and fine - more power to them (pun intended). The
argument remains that safety is of paramount importance because of the
potential problems and dangers.
Now, if someone could come up with a use for the heat generated by
nuclear waste while it cools off, that'd be great. Breeding reactors
would be fine too (in about 50 years) if the dangers of plutonium could
be contained. Not only proliferation, but non-radioactive toxicity as
John, you could probably highlight the dangers of nuclear energy better
than I can - I'm just a biochemist who occasionally uses low level
radioisotopes such as 14C and 32P.
Thanks for initiating a discussion.
However - have you noticed that people move to be close to the airport, then
complain about the noise?
Or agitate for a prison to be sited nearby for the jobs it creates, then
begin public meetings about the danger of escapees?
Since companies can't vote, people get heard, even when they've done to
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Walt Kelly
Han, you are much too kind! I am amazed at how a deluge of "facts" can be
used to support one's (political/religious) biases. His reasoning is scary!
I'm not against nuclear power--I know that is what is going to happen, but,
well, let's just say I wouldn't want him to be in charge--of anything.
I try to avoid posting off-topic subjects on the wRECk so, no more.
(Robatoy--thanks for the link. It is always good to consider a different
point of view.)
And of course you're also planning to throttle down the Sun to just what we
need so that it doesn't run out of hydrogen sooner than it has to. Or is
that too long a time frame for you to be concerned about? And you
criticize others for thinking short term. Shame, shame.
No problem. After the hydrogen is consumed, it will burn helium, for a
while. The real problem will be when it becomes a red giant and expands to
a size somewhat larger than the Earth's orbit. You'd better hope they've
come out with SPF 1E+12 sun screen when that happens.
Actual estimation--depending on who you talk to it could be 5 billion to the
red giant stage. And at that stage if we haven't done something we're all
dead--Earth is going to be inside the sun at that point. So is Mars.
But that is so far off that most people think that it means "never".
I once helped write a computer monitoring system for a nuke plant. It
was very clear that it would never be used, but the feds required the
plant to have it. Very discouraging to work on a useless system.
And I was a big proponent till I saw the quality of the workers and of
the security system. No thank you.
And that's not even considering the waste disposal problem. All
industry has such a good record at cleaning up after itself :-).
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