Nuclear power bites the dust
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13-06-2011, 03:04 PM
Nuclear power bites the dust
I was born and raised in Italy and still get to vote there through the Embassy. So this weekend they had a few referendum, one of which is to outlaw the construction of nuclear power plants. The referendum passed, which means no power plants will ever be built in Italy for the foreseeable future. This saddens me in a number of way.
- This is a total knee jerk reaction. Yes, Italy got some of the Chernobyl radioactive cloud. Yes the Japan earthquake happened unfortunately close to the referendum. But is it really possible for a whole nation to always think with their emotional instead of rational part of the brain? Italy gets a good portion of its electricity from the French nuclear reactor. Has there been any disaster? No. But of course, it's not the non-disasters that make the news and tug at people's heart strings.
- While a large portion of Italy's energy comes from French nuclear plants, a much bigger one comes from Libya's oil. Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, Italian money has gone into the deep pockets of such an upstanding human being as Mr. Geddafi for decades! How many people has that murderous psychopath killed, tortured and maimed? And how has he gotten away with it? Because of oil! So Italians have basically said with their vote that they don't care how many people die or are hurt by oil, how many wars have been fought or not because of oil, because, after all, it all happens in other countries, to other people, so much better that THEY die than WE get the remote risk of nuclear problems. On a side note, another reason they don't care about the oil related wars is that, as Gates pointed out recently, Italy and other countries don't ACTUALLY go into those wars, they only CALL for them... right!
- The anti nuclear crowd will retort that they are actually environmentalists, they love nature and want a clean place. Uh, well, let's see, I thought nuclear power was cleaner than fossil fuels... All these are people in favor of green, eco friendly electric cars, but guess where the electricity has to come from? Solar? Of course not! Solar power cannot be scaled to industrial size. And Italy is very densely populated, where do we put square miles of solar panels? or wind turbines? So we want the cake and we want to eat it too? And how about the various Exxon Valdez and BP spills? How green are those? Oh but right, they happen to somebody else, so why worry?

There, that was my rant for the day.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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13-06-2011, 03:57 PM
RE: Nuclear power bites the dust
It is sad to see nuclear energy pushed aside again, but nuclear energy wasn't going to be a solution to our energy problem. Nuclear was nice though because it's quite mature and fairly safe, though we truly need the renewables to get up to speed if we're going to keep on developing. The energies like Tidal and Geothermal need to be on an industrial scale, but I can supply my own energy needs from half a dozen solar cells or you could place them on the roofs of homes and businesses to help an entire city. The silver lining is that more research and development will go into renewables, even if it's only because that's all we have left to choose from.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

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13-06-2011, 04:07 PM
RE: Nuclear power bites the dust
I totally get where you are coming from. I really does my head in when you get a knee-jerk reaction to a one off event like this. This sort of thing is why I have no faith in humanity or society as a whole. The rational/intelligent among us always seem lost in a tide of idiots!

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
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Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
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Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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13-06-2011, 04:15 PM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2011 04:39 PM by sy2502.)
RE: Nuclear power bites the dust
(13-06-2011 03:57 PM)Glaucus Wrote:  It is sad to see nuclear energy pushed aside again, but nuclear energy wasn't going to be a solution to our energy problem. Nuclear was nice though because it's quite mature and fairly safe, though we truly need the renewables to get up to speed if we're going to keep on developing. The energies like Tidal and Geothermal need to be on an industrial scale, but I can supply my own energy needs from half a dozen solar cells or you could place them on the roofs of homes and businesses to help an entire city. The silver lining is that more research and development will go into renewables, even if it's only because that's all we have left to choose from.

True, nuclear isn't renewable, but unfortunately renewable energy is a tough one. Solar is very expensive, and cannot be scaled to industrial size. Sure it's great to warm up your bath water. But the majority of electricity isn't consumed by home water heaters, it's consumed in industrial applications, and solar cannot at this time produce enough energy and reliably enough for that. And we don't know if or when it will ever be fit for large scale industrial use. Moreover not all countries have large supplies of sun, tides, or geothermal energy. So what do we do? I am not a eco-nazi, far from it, but shouldn't we start doing something NOW? I know that global warming is in the future, but the BP spill happens now, the wars in the Middle East happen NOW, oil companies are making their record profits NOW.
I guess what irks me so much is the inconsistency with which the emotional argument is applied. We get emotional about Chernobyl but not the Gulf? We get emotional about Japan but not Iraq or Libya? We get emotional about radioactive waste but not oil spills? As I said, my gut feeling is that as long as these things happen to somebody else, we don't really care much. If there was a spill in the Mediterranean as big as that in the Gulf, maybe they would care after all.
(13-06-2011 04:07 PM)hughsie Wrote:  I totally get where you are coming from. I really does my head in when you get a knee-jerk reaction to a one off event like this. This sort of thing is why I have no faith in humanity or society as a whole. The rational/intelligent among us always seem lost in a tide of idiots!

Don't get me wrong, I am not minimizing what happened in Japan, the lives lost, the contaminated soil, etc. But why not the same reaction for the Exxon Valdez or BP? Why didn't we have a "ban oil forever"? Isn't the ecologic disaster in the Gulf bigger, after all, than what was caused by the Japanese reactors? Or is it just that nuclear is scary since the Cold War and the giant mutant ants B movies or what?

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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