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Old 11-03-2018, 07:03 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,425
Originally Posted by RaftPeople View Post
My point was not to discount nuclear as an option. The point was that simply stating that nuclear power is not a problem because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste due to regulation, is simplistic and not really acknowledging the full scope of challenges and risks.
I did not say it is "not a problem because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste", I said that it is much more expensive than coal because the companies are "required" to account for radiation and waste.

The post was entirely about a comparison in cost structure and financial challenges based on the differing regulations. You would note that that of mine post that you responded to specifically called upon coal plants to be regulated to release less radioactivity into the atmosphere. Just because you didn't quote that part doesn't mean it wasn't there.

If the point you were trying to make is as you state in this post, that you are objecting to "simply stating that nuclear power is not a problem", then you have fundamentally misunderstood the words that I have posted, as I did no such thing.

Coal plants release more radiation into the environment during normal operations.
In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.
Now, if we want to talk about non-normal operations, then coal plants also have the problem of having the wastes that they do capture from the stack held in pools that have dams that can break or be overtopped if they have a hurricane, spilling all that waste directly into the environment.

Waste pools overtop or break far, far more often than we have releases of radioactive materials from reactors.
Let's just focus on Fukushima.
We can do that, but first, real quick, why did you bring up Three Mile? Was it because you thought that there was actually a dangerous level of radiation released? If so, did you learn something new today that you didn't know before that may change your perception of nuclear power? If not, then why did you bring it up as an example of radiation released to the environment?
You responded something along the lines of "well, if X or Y did or did not happen then we would have been ok.".
No, I responded with a (brief) critical analysis of what went wrong, and what could have been done to prevent it. That it would have been easy to prevent this problem with just a bit of foresight means that we don't need to scrap nuclear, we just need to have a bit of foresight.

I also pointed out that the nuclear concerns were actually a very small issue compared to the 15k+ dead, and the million structures destroyed or damaged. This includes oil refineries that created quite a bit of environmental damage over much wider areas, but no one talks about that, because they only want to talk about nuclear.

Ask someone on the street how many people died in the tsunami that damaged Fukushima, then ask them how many of those deaths were related to he nuclear plant. I bet they get both quite wrong. That is the problem with nuclear, people think it is much scarier than it actually is.

That is exactly what I'm talking about. It's challenging to create safe nuclear reactors because of the number of variables (human and nature) that need to be accounted for.
It's a challenge, to be sure, but one that I think that we can easily meet. There is also the fact that we have newer, more efficient, safer designs to try out. For one, spent nuclear fuel pools are designed to be passively cooled now, preventing what happened at Fukushima from happening again, even if they did end up losing power.

We should be building new reactors that are safer, and taking these older ones offline that are not only showing their age, but are also showing the limits of our technology and understanding when they were built.