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Is Nuclear Power the future?





Miniwood
According to this BBC report Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to have decided that Britain needs nuclear power.

Quote:
The prime minister told the CBI annual dinner that the issue was "back on the agenda with a vengeance"


The main reason seems to be that he thinks it will help reduce the country's CO2 emmissions and thus help prevent global warming. Some environmentalists agree with this while others think that nuclear power will cause far more damage than it prevents.

There are political reasons for his decision as well. Britain used to have plenty of it's own natural gas, coal and oil to make electricity with but that's all running out. In a short few years the country will be dependant on imported fuel and countries that sell this fuel, Russia for instance, can use it as a politcal tool. Russia did this recently to the Ukraine.

I tend to think that the PM is much more interested in the political aspects than saving the world from global warming. I also think nuclear power is a bad idea. We are still trying to figure out what to do with the waste from the last generation of nuclear power stations and that waste will be dangerous for thousands of years. Also the stations are not run well enough, 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl are small examples of what can go wrong.

My old physics teacher used to tell us that nuclear power stations would be perfect if they were run as well as gold refineries. "Did you ever hear of a leak in a gold refinery?"

I think that we, as a human race, should be exploring new ways to produce energy, from renewable sources like wind and wave power, not committing ourselves to huge nuclear projects that take years to follow through and do no one, except construction companies, any good.
benjad
As much as I hate to admit it, nuclear power is far from the answer.

In the short term, it is a great source of cheap energy. In the long term, we have no clue how much it is going to cost us to safely store the radioactive waste for 1,000 years. Most plants here in the US still store their waste on site, so clean-up isn't totally understood yet.


Everything has a cost, hydroelectric dams segregate rivers and interrupt flood cycles, mining in any form is pretty destructive, solar is barely making it onto itself. Biofuels are all the rage here now, but people don't understand the amount of energy required to make biofuels compared to the energy produced is very minimal.

The next person that tells me about how fuel cells are going to save the planet will get hurt badly...
otiscom
I believe the only way to resolve this question is change the way we live.
By that I mean the western society with all it's capitalist values must change.

The people with all the monetry control in this world have got the rest of us to 'need' consumer goods and therefore energy to run this life style.

Until such time unfortunately, nuclea is the only way.
Bondings
Miniwood wrote:
I tend to think that the PM is much more interested in the political aspects than saving the world from global warming. I also think nuclear power is a bad idea. We are still trying to figure out what to do with the waste from the last generation of nuclear power stations and that waste will be dangerous for thousands of years. Also the stations are not run well enough, 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl are small examples of what can go wrong.

Well I highly doubt the waste will be a problem of thousands of years. There are already a good number of ways being researched to handle that waste, even to make electricity from it. Also the third-generation nuclear plants are generating much less waste and are much safer.

About Chernobyl, if you don't care about security, then of course one day it will go wrong. The 'normal' reactors all over the world are completely different.

Also, nuclear power is not only the current fission, but also fusion and does not necessarily need to create any dangerous waste at all.

And the power usage will most likely only increase exponentially in the next century. There won't be another choice than to use nuclear power as that's were the energy is located.
Miniwood
Bondings wrote:
There are already a good number of ways being researched to handle that waste, even to make electricity from it.


They are being researched but all they've come up with is burying it under concrete and putting up a sign that says do not touch for a thousand years. The reactors that have been proposed to run on waste produce even more waste than was used as fuel, so they increase the total amount of waste. Since the waste exists then research has to be done into where to put it. Until there is a safe way of storing it, or getting rid of it, I think it's irresponsible to create more. The ractors that were developed to run on waste produced even more waste than was used as fuel.

Bondings wrote:
About Chernobyl, if you don't care about security, then of course one day it will go wrong. The 'normal' reactors all over the world are completely different.


Since Chernoby it is unlikely that the owner of a reactor will cause an accident, I agree with you there. But someone could still fly a plane into it.

Bondings wrote:
Also, nuclear power is not only the current fission, but also fusion and does not necessarily need to create any dangerous waste at all.


I'm all in favour of research into nuclear fusion. Like you say it produces no dangerous waste and is much more powerful than fission. The trouble is that research is at a very early stage and we may not have practical fusion reactors for centuries. The new reactors being proposed now will all be fission reactors.

I still think the huge amount of money that new nuclear reactors will cost would be much better spent on developing renewable sources of energy. Wind farms may look ugly but they will not give you cancer or wipe out your neighbourhood.
benjad
Miniwood wrote:

Since Chernoby it is unlikely that the owner of a reactor will cause an accident, I agree with you there. But someone could still fly a plane into it..


Funny you should mention that. Reactor domes are built to withstand a 747 being flown into them (supposedly without being damaged).


Chernobyl was a result of 'tinkering' with a live set-up. No one does experiements on a live large scale reactor like they did.


Also, I really believe in the US, that net energy use will actually begin to level off. We are getting more and more efficient, so even as more applicatoins are developed, the same amount of energy could be used.

Eg... compact flourescent bulbs, LED's... etc...


[BTW, if anyone is really bored... most things around here run off 12v power. How much 'energy' is lost when converting 120v to 12v (heat), and then even worse at substations ...)
Soulfire
I don't think it's as great of an option as some other options, namely Hydrogen. With nuclear energy, there's still problems (Nuclear Meltdowns) and it's quite a dangerous practice. With Hydrogen, the only thing that goes into the environment is water.
Bondings
benjad wrote:
Also, I really believe in the US, that net energy use will actually begin to level off. We are getting more and more efficient, so even as more applicatoins are developed, the same amount of energy could be used.

Eg... compact flourescent bulbs, LED's... etc...

Sure those things may lower it a bit, but more and more applications will need more and more power. And the small decrease will only be noticed for a while in portable devices. Everything in our cities, houses, clothes and streets will soon need a lot of power for all the electronics inside it and other uses it has.

If you want to warm the sidewalks in order for the snow to melt in the winter, don't you think that will need a lot of energy? And it's not energy that can be reduced, or at least not considerably. And similar things will certainly become normal in big cities in the future.

Quote:
The trouble is that research is at a very early stage and we may not have practical fusion reactors for centuries.

Well actually, it's not really at a very early stage. The only problem is that currently more energy is needed than you get out of it. And it's mostly just a question of scale, it is you need a bigger reactor to actually gain some energy.

I would rather say it is 20-25 years or even sooner if more money is put into it.
alexcheng
[quote="Miniwood"]According to this BBC report Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to have decided that Britain needs nuclear power.

Quote:
I think that we, as a human race, should be exploring new ways to produce energy, from renewable sources like wind and wave power, not committing ourselves to huge nuclear projects that take years to follow through and do no one, except construction companies, any good.



How about when you get power in your house... is that not doing you any good?

The problem with renewable sources is that many of the technologies are not economically feasible.
Miniwood
alexcheng wrote:
How about when you get power in your house... is that not doing you any good?


Fair point, the power is doing me good, but my point is, at what cost? I'm quite happy to have power in my house but nuclear power comes with two costs. It is very expensive to set up and needs a huge Government subsidy to attract companies to get involved. This subsidy is paid from our taxes so that we don't have the cost passed to us in our utility bills. People take less notice of the Government's expenditure than their own. The second cost come when the nuclear power stations are old and need to be decomissioned. The cost of demolition, removal and storage of waste and decontamination of the site is again borne by the tax payer, if we take current decommissioning activities as an example. Furthermore, the actual cost of waste disposal/storage is unknown because no one has come up with a way of doing it yet. Businesses are all in favour of nuclear power because they get a big fat subsidy to build the station, they make a profit selling the energy and then they hand the dirty mess back to the tax payer. Which leads to your second point:

alexcheng wrote:
The problem with renewable sources is that many of the technologies are not economically feasible.


You need to back this up a little. As I've said nuclear power is not economically feasible as currently proposed and implemented. Which renewable technologies are you talking about?
systemicerror
I do think nuclear is the way of the future. Scientific america recently did an article on new nuclear technology. The waste produced would have a masively significant reduction in amount and time it takes to reach a safe level of radiation. Unfortunately I'm not sure where that article is at the moment but its no more then a few months old. They are at the stage where they need to build the prototype reactor. This is ofcourse a costly endevor. But if the waste was reduced as significantly as it stated I feel the trade off is more then worthwhile. I'll try and find that article so I can have some more concrete information. Smile
myonline
The thing is that neclear power is in most of the ways much more suitable than any other available methods. In many ways it is cheeper too though not always. The negative fectors are the risks of any disaster that can be huge and the technology misuse.

I favor a nuclear weapon free world but for energy sake everybody has the right to it. It's the duty of the world agencies to make possible ATOM ONLY FOR ENERGY use.
fkmax
I don't think Nuclear is the only answer power. if every country starts to have a nuclear then one day it is the nuclear that gonna kill us all. It is not a good solution.

It is really a bad choice of power, It seems that humans never learn from the mistakes until they themselves make one.

Once they have a nuclear station then they can build nuclear and the terrorist can also use the nuclear if they get a chance to use it.

Therefore i think we should not use nuclear at all....
GDG
I am currently studying physicis 11 at school, almost finishing it thank god! Anyways I had to research nuclear power and some other stuff! I studied the CANDU rector in Canada, alone one generting station power almost 17% of Canada's electricity!

So 5 of these guys and you have the whole of Canada powerd, for America I see it as about maybe 8 or 9 of them. Britain probably less than Canada! nuclear power is not too dangerous if kept safely stored and underground after use which is what they do with it. Yes there are other ways of getting energy but currently most of them use more energy than they make! the only two other left right now are nuclear power or fuel cells, and Nuclear power makes more.

So I would say yes I think it is the future for now until we dvelop better generating stations!!! Smile
nopaniers
Energy is a worry. As China and India grow bigger and bigger middle classes there's going to be more and more demand for power. It means high prices for oil, and coal too. Once you start to think about it, we do use a lot of power in our everyday lives (4kW per household or so), and without it life would be a lot different.

If we go nuclear then we create waste, but there aren't a lot of viable options for the future. Nuclear has the advantage that it's comparitively cheap and CO2 free.

One possibility is wind. On the back of an envelope I figure that it would pretty much take wind turbines along Britain's entire coastline and 1km inland to power us using wind power. Each household would have to pay around 8,000 each for that privelege. That's a lot... in fact more than a lot. Wind is very expensive, but personally it's a price I'd pay considering that after you install the turbines they are up, and there's no more fuel to buy.

There could be more coal, but there doesn't seem much future in it. It's cheap, but it just means more CO2 and rising prices.

Solar just doesn't seem practical as it's still more expensive than wind... and this is the UK we're talking about Wink, although solar hot water heating on each home might help. It's not practical to tell everyone they have to get solar hot water though. I know I live in a flat, and don't even have a roof.

Personally I'd like to see a massive investment in wind power here in the UK, even though I doubt it will ever fill the entire energy needs. They recently started a large new wind power project in Scotland, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3980233.stm and I think if the UK invested now it would be a wise investment. Perhaps it could replace some of the jobs lost in manufacturing, and we could begin making windmills not cars? It could be a very valuable export market as other countries do the same.
DMAonline
otiscom wrote:
I believe the only way to resolve this question is change the way we live.
By that I mean the western society with all it's capitalist values must change.

The people with all the monetry control in this world have got the rest of us to 'need' consumer goods and therefore energy to run this life style.

Until such time unfortunately, nuclea is the only way.


This is so true. In Australia at the moment there is debate with PM Howard saying that nuclear energy is the best way for the country to go. We have huge supplies of both coal, gas and uranium, but they dont want to sell it to china or india for 1) fear of them developing a uranium enrichment facility to make weapons grade uranium and 2) to produce even more CO2, which both china and india are producing a hell of a lot of, as they are just starting to be industrialised.

Through new developments and efficencies, it is estimated we can cut down on energy loss or wastege by about 20% per household. I think western society is taking its place and high technology for granted, and complaining about what everyone else is doing.

I think that with the rise in oil prices, we should be looking at using nuclear energy for a transition phase and reduce the introduction cost of renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind/ hydro etc, and use the extra time to develop them into viable mass sources of energy. This will allow time for us to cut down on our personal energy usage and co2 emisions, with out sacrificing too much in the way of life. Otherwise if we keep debating it will come down to traveling being too expensive because we have no other form of transport and all our plastic prices, (so cheap now) will go through the roof, increasing the cost of living. Oil should be seen as a feedstock for making plastics etc. Hence i am for nuclear power Smile
yhadie69
nuclear power is making a WAR and RADIATION.......!!!!! i hate nuclear power Evil or Very Mad
shaggly
The fact remains that in order to address the immediate energy shortage in some countries, that an immediate answer needs to be started upon. The onyl fiscally viable form of mass producing energy at the moment is Nuclear Power, and therefore it needs to be used.

I'm all in favour of researching alternate forms of energy production, but it's an indisputable fact that Nuclear power is the most financially efficient form at the moment, and with the world economy seeming more fragile by the day, we don't appear to have a lot of choice.
hunnyhiteshseth
Yes, its true that nuclear waste is an issue. But there are certain ways to dispose off that can be pretty safe. For eg. shipping all nuclear waste to another planet like venus or mercury.( not moon or mars because they are our potential future homes)
The only problem which I see is if the vehicle carrying the waste blasts mid-way, then all nuclear waste will be spilled all over.
However, if we can find a suitable container that can withstand that, I dont see any problem.
chirag
Quote:
I believe the only way to resolve this question is change the way we live.
By that I mean the western society with all it's capitalist values must change.

The people with all the monetry control in this world have got the rest of us to 'need' consumer goods and therefore energy to run this life style.

Until such time unfortunately, nuclea is the only way.
Rolling Eyes
diddle
I was wondering with all this talk about "waste" and stuff. Can't they just send it into space? Like a crash course for the sun.... but something might happen and it could come back to earth or explode before launch. I dunno.
hunnyhiteshseth
diddle wrote:
I was wondering with all this talk about "waste" and stuff. Can't they just send it into space? Like a crash course for the sun.... but something might happen and it could come back to earth or explode before launch. I dunno.


Have you read just 2 posts above? I posted same thing.
CyanEyed
Miniwood wrote:
According to this BBC report Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to have decided that Britain needs nuclear power.


yes i agree, risk the lifes o the future generations to save money. Great idea Blair
sub-zero
i like your avatars lol
Dustylunchbox
I think New Zealand needs nuclear power. its such a backward country we hardly ever achieve anything and i doubt most people that read this wont even know where New Zealand is. we could esily plop a nuclear power plant on one of the many islands we have around us that only have like 30 people living on them and if one goes bang no biggie cause theres noone around cept alittle sea. Very Happy win win for all cept them thirty people on the chatthams!!!!! get of it you idiots!!!
but yea nuclear power for the brits aint the best idea to many people i mean should one go bang they'd all be buggered
frozenhead
In my opinion, it's really a powerfull source though the real problem is there's no way containing and controlling it because of it 's exponential growth. Idea
shaggly
frozenhead wrote:
In my opinion, it's really a powerfull source though the real problem is there's no way containing and controlling it because of it 's exponential growth. Idea


That's not accurate. Nuclear Fission is not an exponential growth, it diminishes in the same way as most other processes.

There are many places on the web that you can read about the Nuclear Fission process, but the energy created from the split merely blooms and then slowly dissapates.
Lied
Unfortunately the only means of producing energy is nu clear power. The alternative forms cannot be used in such a scale to power the needs of a country.

But even in that case, the amounds of uranium are not going to last for more that 50 years or so.

Fussion is like blessing, but the funds are not that they ment to be.If a good way of fussion was discovered tomorow the worlds economy would go down the drain.Thats why do not expect any progress in the fussion part untill every drop of pertol is depleted.
diverden
We have the technology to use bio-fuels or hydrogen cars. There are prototypes already out but the price is high and the infrastructure is not in place to charge/fill the fuel cells. With the record profits from the oil companies and a pro-oil, pro-business government over the past 10-12 years, nothing is going to be done. It seems unlikely that the same oil companies that wrote the energy bill will be inclined to do anything about energy savings or alternative fuels. It goes hand in hand with the immigration bill; what is good for lining their pockets is the only real issue, not what is good for the country.
Captain Stupid
Neclear power... future.... Not a chance. Risking a world wide meltdown! And its not the most efficient..
Biodiesel
Nuclear power is an efficient technology because it is highly developed. Any other technology, and by that I mean any could be just as good if we dumped money into it. We should pick a technology that we can produce locally, something that is independent of foreign powers, and something that doesn't end up crapping all over us. Do you want your kids dying of cancer before you go?
romaop
Nuclear power is already the present and I think the future because it's the way to produce huge amounts of energy. The style of life of our society "demands" it. Countries must be competitive. People should benefit themselves by having a better economy in their countries so they can have more chances to succeed.

All is pointing to the nuclear "solution".

The drawbacks are the threat of nuclear disasters and the unclean secret nuclear business. Where are actually all the nuclear wastes? Are they safe for how many years?

Investigatiion on the nuclear production process should be a top concern.

The idea of sending the problem to other places can be very dangerous and isn't ethically correct.

Let's wait and see what energy scientists have got to say about this issue. The future depends on the appliance of new breakthrough ideas.
tamilparks
Nuclear power is the scientific one but nowadays its used for terriosit and for the world domination but no one is thinking that its not useful to us. we can live in a happy way but they are thinking we should be most superior than any other and we have to we the dominant in the world.. so that only all the scienticits are creating a dangerous world now we are in the dangerous egg only so one day it will hatch so that day we have not know what to do. but when a egg hatch the chick may live in the world but when a dangerous egg hatch no one live in the world. this is the scientific world.
S3nd K3ys
Miniwood wrote:

Re: Is Nuclear Power the future?


No.

Nuclear weapons are the future. Wink
Miniwood
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Yes, its true that nuclear waste is an issue. But there are certain ways to dispose off that can be pretty safe. For eg. shipping all nuclear waste to another planet like venus or mercury.( not moon or mars because they are our potential future homes)
The only problem which I see is if the vehicle carrying the waste blasts mid-way, then all nuclear waste will be spilled all over.
However, if we can find a suitable container that can withstand that, I dont see any problem.


What about the mass?

The largest payload we can lift into orbit (let alone send to Mars or Jupiter) is currently 10 metric tonnes:

http://www.physorg.com/news3029.html

Larger rockets were used for the moon missions, capable of lifting 80 metric tonnes. While the US Defense Department alone needs to get rid of 12,000 metric tonnes of weapons related waste:

http://www.sandia.gov/E&E/risk/wast1.html

Here's what it says in Wikipedia about the safety etc. of space disposal:

Quote:
It is arguable that a 5ton payload of high level waste would be immune to accidents if surrounded by 25 tons of steel. A hypothetical big dumb booster could launch such a mission for $100M, leading to a one-time disposal cost of $20,000 per kilo.


That's 2400 launches, at a cost of $240,000,000,000 just to get rid of the Defense Departments waste, which is a tiny fraction of the total amount of waste currently stored on Earth.

Leaving aside the carbon dioxide that would be emitted by a 'moon rocket' launch every day for six and a half years, this hardly makes it the cheapest way to produce electricity.
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