Nuclear Power Debate

Nuclear power is the one and only hope we have to combat climate change.

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Thanks Canada


Also, we have renewables. But base load will have to come from somewhere until battery technology gets to a point that large scale batteries beyond dams used for hydroelectric are feasible .

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I fully support renewables to contribute, but we can’t destroy the environment to put up the wind/solar farms required for them to be baseload. You can’t argue against the energy density of the atom.

It’s a shame the discovery came in such a tense political time. Otherwise, I’m sure we’d be carbon free now.

I didn’t though.

Something to remember with nuclear is the impact of mining and disposal.


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Molten salt breeder reactors solve that problem, and any uranium mining is surely infinitely better than mining or burning coal.

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It’s not great.

No mining is great for the environment though. So you could say it’s net net.

Have you read the EPA requirements for cleanup of uranium mining in the US?

They are extremely strict, and the cleanup of old sites is ongoing.

Most of that report was from a previous era of mining, and almost every miner in the Navajo minds that got cancer was also a heavy smoker and repeatedly lied about exposure time in order to get more work.

I’m not sure about Canada.

But you miss the obvious, the EPA needed to enforce strict clean up of uranium mining. Not a good thing.

On canada, look at BC and hydro. Inplaces it is feasible, infinitely better than nuclear and everything else. Not ideal here unfortunately.

Nuclear in taiwan is always a worry because of disposal and geology. Taiwan has been lucky, not diligent. I would be thrilled to see the ne plant cancelled. Even more thrilled to see the old ones closed, especially pingtung!

I agree about utilizing hydro, but they’re is a hard limit to its contribution, and climate change could lower it substantially.

New nuclear designs are extremely safe, even in geologic danger zones because they are incapable of having meltdowns. Sub seabed waste disposal in clay beds is geologically sound for millions of years, more than enough time to render them harmless.

Nuclear for baseload is the only way to meet climate change goals unless you want to rely on adaption to climate change rather than mitigation. The evidence is clear.

“base load” is mostly fictional. It exists only because (historically) it was hard to switch power stations on and off, so the power companies had to convince consumers to buy power 24-7. Off-peak power consumption is now abnormally high. Demand patterns in general have been manipulated to conform to constant supply capacity. This isn’t what you want in a renewables-driven economy.

There is no actual human or economic reason why base load has to be so high; nor is there any reason why load matching can’t be done more intelligently. Sure, some specialised capital-intensive industries have unusual requirements for highly-reliable constant power, but many industries are inherently capable of matching their load to the source, at least up to a point.

Nuclear waste isn’t even THAT bad. Seriously they may be “radioactive for 10,000 years” but probably within a few years the waste will have decayed to the point that as long as they’re inside a container they’re not dangerous. Actually even those pools where they store the waste in is safe to swim in. The only likely cause of death swimming in there is lead poisoning… as in nuclear power plants are secured facilities. Breaking into one is likely to get you shot.

Nuclear power is key in decreasing climate change. It releases no carbon, and produces a lot of energy, energy industries need.

Green energy only works if you go back to the stone age.

And consider that nuclear power has such insane energy density… it’s almost like cheating.


If you reprocess the fuel (which nobody will do because of politics) the same waste could be used almost endlessly. Consider that a PWR is refueled every 18 months, replacing something like a third of the fuel pellets… for a coal plant to match the energy output they would need many trainloads of coal, burning daily, while spewing crap all over the air.

No. They couldn’t manufacture semiconductors in the stone age.

Only in a very narrow sense. The footprint of a nuclear power station, all things considered, is not radically different to (distributed) PV installations with a comparable power output.

PV installations require constant sunlight. Won’t work on cloudy days or night. Also geographical limitations such as it not working well above certain latitudes. Nuclear power will produce power 24/7. So with PV you will need double the necessary capacity and store them for night or cloudy days. That is something that will win someone Nobel prizes if he can solve that.

I don’t understand all this hate for nuclear power. I suspect the fossil fuel industry had a hand in that.

What? PV requires up to 75 times the space for equal output.

Plus the batteries would require enormous space. Lots of unnecessary damage to the environment/landscape.

Everyone ignores the heat required for industrial use too. Solar and wind cannot provide it.

Since the 60s. It’s well documented.

Especially aluminum refining. It requires electricity, LOTS of it. As a result aluminum refining plants are often built next to power plants to take advantage of the minimal loss going such short distance. 1kg of aluminum has about 15kwh of electricity in it.

Not hating on nuclear power. You’re correct that it’s suitable for certain locations and certain applications (good luck trying to install solar in Norway). But it’s not a no-brainer that you can just drop down anywhere and expect it to work.

So what? This is only a problem because we’ve made it so. The way we use electricity today, it’s not nearly as much of a problem as the conventional industry makes out.

The same sort of assumptions are made when people proclaim CAFOs to be more “efficient” than pastured beef. The reality is that they’re less efficient. The sleight-of-hand is achieved by ignoring all of the support structures required to make it work.

A nuclear power station is not merely a reactor and a turbine. When you consider all the ancillary plant (and manpower) involved, there’s really not a lot to choose between PV and nuclear. Depends greatly on the location and the (anticipated) loads, of course. The two are not directly comparable - it’s like asking “what’s better, a boat or a train?”. Loosely speaking they both do the same thing in that they get you from A to B. But which one you choose depends, at minimum, on the nature of A and B.

As I said above, there isn’t any genuine need for large storage capacity. Sensible load matching would do the job.

Sometimes, sometimes not. Solar thermal is waaaaay cheaper than nuclear electricity. Something like one-third of the cost. It’s more difficult to set up and manage, but hands-down more cost-effective if you only require heat in the 90-300’C range. I suspect the main hurdles are in design and regulatory issues.

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