Nuclear Energy in 2019

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Is Nuclear Energy Screwed?

Yes
2
22%
No
2
22%
Maybe
2
22%
I don't know
3
33%
 
Total votes: 9

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brimstoneSalad
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Re: Nuclear Energy in 2019

Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:20 pm

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:10 pm
My view is that Chernobyl killed hundreds or thousands so perhaps it was 100 or perhaps it was 3000 and it can't be known for sure because we know x people died from cancer but we don't know what portion would have died from cancer anyway because of the nuclear accident.
I don't think there's any evidence that it killed or will kill even hundreds.

The death toll is thirty-something from the accident IIRC, and I think it's limited to people who worked there. Due to improved screenings, for all we know *negative* people in the general public will ultimately die.
The only significant increase is in thyroid cancer, and it's the only one that would really be expected, and it's an extremely treatable form of cancer.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:10 pm
In a way it doesn't matter whether the number is <100 or whether it's thousands because either why it's a tiny fraction of the total fossil fuel deaths.
It does when we're comparing alternate sources of energy, though, and it's one reason people might oppose nuclear on the basis that they believe solar to be safer.
Also, people aren't perfectly rational and self sacrificing. If they believe Chernobyl killed so many civilians in the surrounding area even if they may support nuclear in the abstract they would be likely to oppose it in their cities.

Hundreds of thousands would give the impression that anybody living near a plant was actually at risk vs. the real risk which is both very small and limited to workers.
People need to know that approving a plant in their cities isn't playing Russian roulette.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:10 pm
I'd like to see nuclear and renewable advocates focus less on fighting each other and more on joining up to defeat fossil fuels.
With nuclear advocates it's more defensive than offensive. It's the other side that refuses to accept plans including nuclear. Nuclear proponents aren't trying to cut solar out of the deal as an option even if solar does have limited utility in practice.

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Post by Jamie in Chile » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:42 pm

Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:25 pm
Unnatural Vegan recently uploaded a great video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8_u5TqnznA

I like that she addressed the confusion on relative vs. absolute risk
A great video thanks, and I will check out more of her stuff since I'd never heard of her. Must take a huge amount of hours of work to make these videos unless you're really quick witted and slick with editing.

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Post by Jamie in Chile » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:58 pm

Actually, I thought she was a bit harsh on solar. "Most solar technology just isn't viable at a large scale" wasn't a fair statement in my view.

The things I learned from the video were that in theory you could just tip all the nuclear waste in the ocean and according to her it would be OK (ish).

And the other thing she was saying was that uranium (not enriched) wasn't that hard for a rogue nation to obtain and that you can just get it out of rocks. I didn't realise how easy it was to get uranium.

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Red
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Post by Red » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:10 pm

Jamie in Chile wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:58 pm
Actually, I thought she was a bit harsh on solar. "Most solar technology just isn't viable at a large scale" wasn't a fair statement in my view.
It isn't really though. I didn't watch the video (I'll take a look later), but solar isn't viable at a large scale due to intermittency and general ineffectiveness (things like industry and cities can't be powered by solar alone, for those you need a nuclear plant). A small town that gets a pretty good amount of sun year round would be a viable place for solar though, since building a nuclear energy plant there probably would not be practical.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:58 pm
The things I learned from the video were that in theory you could just tip all the nuclear waste in the ocean and according to her it would be OK (ish).
I don't think that's even necessary. I think I said that all nuclear waste only fills up about two football fields? Either way, nuclear waste is extremely manageable.

Hell, even if nuclear waste was a big issue, I'd still be all in favour of nuclear due to the benefits outweighing that disadvantage.
Jamie in Chile wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:58 pm
And the other thing she was saying was that uranium (not enriched) wasn't that hard for a rogue nation to obtain and that you can just get it out of rocks. I didn't realise how easy it was to get uranium.
Well, the uranium used in Nuclear Energy is low-enriched, while the uranium in nuclear weapons is highly enriched. Such a rogue nation can not make nuclear weapons with such uranium. AFAIK you can increase uranium's enrichness, but I doubt rogue countries would have the money or scientists and engineers to do such a thing.

I don't know if this is adequately addressing your claims, but I'm just giving some info.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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Post by Minos » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:27 am

The problem is, that people don't know nothing about radiation in general. Most people doesn't even know, that you are exposed to radiation during flights.

Somewhere I found, that radiation on Pripyat is now around 1 uSv (microSV) / h. Background radiation on plane can be 4 times as much (see Thunderf00t's video or tweet - https://twitter.com/thunderf00t/status/ ... 9719159808)

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Post by Jamie in Chile » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:21 pm

Red wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:10 pm

Well, the uranium used in Nuclear Energy is low-enriched, while the uranium in nuclear weapons is highly enriched. Such a rogue nation can not make nuclear weapons with such uranium. AFAIK you can increase uranium's enrichness, but I doubt rogue countries would have the money or scientists and engineers to do such a thing.
In the book The Quest by Dan Yergin, he says that for nuclear power plants you need to enrich uranium to 3%-5%, whereas for nuclear weapons it needs to be about 90%. However he said that once you have set up a nuclear power plant with a process than makes 3%-5% enriched uranium, you can just pass the 3%-5% enriched material back through the process over and over again steadily increasing the enrichment and in theory make nuclear weapons. That's just roughly and from memory.

Do you think that sounds right?

I'm not going to be checking forums much in July, but I'll try and remember to come back to this thread tomorrow or next week.

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