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Worldwide Support For Nuclear Power Drops

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the neutrons-are-scary dept.

Power 324

ProbablyJoe writes "A poll for the BBC shows that worldwide support for nuclear power has dropped significantly in the past 6 years. However, while support has dropped in most countries, the UK has defied the trend, where 37% of the public support building new reactors. Unsurprisingly, support in Japan has dropped significantly, with only 6% supporting new reactors. The U.S. remains the country with the highest public opinion of nuclear power, though support has dropped slightly. Much of the decline in approval has been attributed to the events in Fukushima earlier in the year, although a recent Slashdot poll indicated that many readers' opinions had not been affected by the events, and there was an even split between those who found the technology more or less safe since the events. With reports on the long lasting effects in Fukushima still conflicted, is nuclear power still a viable solution to the world's energy problems?"

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Less radiation, more calcium. (1, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166916)


Hurray! The less people who want nuclear power, the better! People are learning on their own about the dangers without listening to the lies from the Power Industry's astroturfers.

What I would love to see is a way to make power from calcium. The world has huge amounts of calcium (limestone, etc.) Early rock samples of the planet have little calcium. As life evolved and creatures died, their skeletons slowly and continuously added to the amount of calcium. Much compressed into calcium carbonate, limestone, etc.

There has to be a way to reverse this trend or one day in the distant future Earth will be a calcified, lifeless sphere. Using calcium as a power source is a win-win solution: we help slow the process of planetary calcification and create power without radiation.

The current strategy of making power from radiation is sheer folly. Aside from the accidents and deaths that get covered up, There have been many reports of Chiropractic offices near nuclear plants as having more patients with more severe subluxations that the general population. The radiation that leaks out in the toxic steam cloud causes severe subluxation in the general population.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (5, Insightful)

trparky (846769) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166982)

First of all, people who live near coal-fired plants get more radiation exposure than those living near nuclear power plants. You're burning coal, which has been known to have bits of uranium (and other radioactive components) in it and sending all that coal smoke right into the air.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167252)

Let's not forget the mercury output, carbon monoxide, and all the other nasties of burning that shit.

I'll take a nuke plant over coal any day.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (4, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167456)

Even worse, there are all the issues that happen from coal *mining*. Never mind what happens on the burning end, coal mining kills people and ruins huge areas of land.

If you're comparing basically anything to coal, coal is worse.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167628)

Wrong.

Compare deaths per terawatt produced between coal and nuclear.

You will see a BIG difference, and that is why people rather have a good ol' coal plant nearby.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (4, Informative)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167650)

"long lasting effects in Fukushima still conflicted" huh compared to Chernobyl there are very few efects - Chernobyl had wards full of firemen and conscripts dieing horrific slow deaths from radiation poisoning - Fukushima nothing.
people seem to forget that >25k people died in the Tsunami - the effects of Fukushima are trivial compared to that.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167648)

Or the lakes of toxic coal sludge stored near coal plants, often in above-ground containers that can rupture and cause toxic coal sludge tsunamis.

+1.5 for nuke over coal (I get another 0.5 for Lived Near Nuke Plant bonus)

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167284)

Until a catastrophic failure of the nuclear plant, then it quickly passes the coal plant in toxic emissions.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167476)

Until a catastrophic failure of the nuclear plant, then it quickly passes the coal plant in toxic emissions.

Of course. It's also not nearly as likely as coal miners being trapped underground, or you dying because of your silly fear of RADIATIONZ! and insistence on burning coal next to your house. So, do you prefer to live next to a nuclear plant, or a coal-fired one?

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167400)

The problem is people do not understand the concept of trade-offs and the fact it they effect every decision. And while people have short attention spans they tend to focus more on the long term problems then the short ones on hand.

Right now people are dying from cancer and other illness due to coal power plants, it is adding tones of carbon to the atmosphere. Nuclear solves these immediate problems. Are their potential future problems? Yes they are. But after we fix our current problem we have time to fix the next set of problems.

It isn't a perfect world, But doing nothing will only make it worse.

"Green Energy" isn't quite there yet. The longer we wait putting off those "Greener Energies" in hoping you will get Good "Green Energy".

OK Natural Gas Fraking has an environmental impact. But it is better then strip mining.

Nuclear Energy needs to be highly regulated and maintained and its by products are toxic for thousands of years, but that is better then toxic gasses floating in the air you breath.

Can we get coal to burn even cleaner? How many cars can befit from hybrid technology? We as a world culture is spinning our wheels on trying to get a perfect solution. There isn't one... Sorry... But why don't you get off you butts and stop opposing everything and start supporting better solutions that are available now.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166998)

I think we should power our society by burning chiropractors.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (3, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167102)

Oh, no -- that's a serious pollution hazard -- chiropractors are uniformly toxic.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (3, Insightful)

buzzn (811479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167258)

You're proving that we should power our society by burning stupid people. It's an infinite resource.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (1)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167294)

That's FUNNY, not Overrated. Stupid mod dropdown! Posting to undo.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167074)

Hi Grub.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167122)

You are wrong on two counts:
Calcium is not created somehow by biological processes, at best it would be extracted from the atmosphere. Also carbon is more common, are you sure you don't confuse the two?

The chemical element with the least energy is iron.
Therefore, if everything reached the least energy state due to nuclear fusion and fission, everything would be iron, not calcium, and it would be really really difficult to generate energy from it by fusion or fission.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167174)

You are wrong on two counts: Calcium is not created somehow by biological processes, at best it would be extracted from the atmosphere. Also carbon is more common, are you sure you don't confuse the two?

The chemical element with the least energy is iron. Therefore, if everything reached the least energy state due to nuclear fusion and fission, everything would be iron, not calcium, and it would be really really difficult to generate energy from it by fusion or fission.

Isn't iron where the fusion reactions of stars stop and they "explode"?

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (2)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167336)

Yeah but they explode as a result of being unable to fuse iron into anything heavier. Iron is extremely hard to fuse. When the star converts everything into iron and stops burning there's no radiation pressure to support it anymore, and when you consider just how sodding massive a star is, that's pretty serious. It starts to implode, and the temperature rises. In previous times when it exhausted a fuel (when it stopped burning hydrogen, for example) the increase in temperature reached a level at which the star could fuse a heavier element such as helium. This cycle stops when it's onto iron, and the collapse continues, and continues, and the enormous envelope (still mainly hydrogen and some helium) falls faster and faster until it slams into the iron core, and bounces. This bounce is enormously energetic and provides enough energy to restart the entire sequence, and the envelope rapidly fuses its way through hydrogen all the way up to iron - and beyond. (Incidentally, the only natural way to produce even a trace of heavier elements that I'm aware of is in a supernova.)

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167218)

You had me up until "subluxations".

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167268)

Hey Bob, I thought you'd given up on your trolling naw that your real identity has been discovered?

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167280)

now* dammit.

Re:Less radiation, more calcium. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167326)

Guess what, there's a reason the calcium is all locked up in carbonate rocks. It's a nice low energy state for the metal. If you want to use Calcium to power something you're going to have to use energy to extract it from the rocks first. This applies to virtually all metals on the planet except a few like Gold that require very specific conditions in order to react. It's why people plead that every bit of reusable refined metals, such as aluminum cans, is recycled rather than thrown away. It takes less energy to melt and reuse the already refined metal then to refine fresh metal out of metal ore.

If Calcium preferred to be in it's metallic state it would be leeching out of the rocks on its own. Ah, wait, it's a very reactive metal and that's why you want to use it to generate power so once it leached out of the rock it would react again and get locked up again.

Doesn't really tell the full story... (5, Insightful)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166960)

What do they think of nuclear power in comparison to the other options?

I don't think anyone was ever truly a fan of nuclear power, it's still way more dangerous than hydro electric, geothermal, solar, etc. etc. But it was the best of a bad set of options.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167016)

Especially since being opposed to new nuclear power stations effectively (given the lack of alternatives) means that you are in favour of old nuclear power stations, many of which are passed the end of their intended operational lifespan already. I bet 'shut down all existing nuclear power plants over the next ten years and replace them all with modern, safer, designs' wasn't one of the poll options...

Personally, I'm opposed to nuclear power and would like to see everything powered by magic (which is non-polluting and 100% sustainable). In the absence of commercial magic power plants, I'll go with nuclear...

I'm against old nuclear plants (3, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167144)

And plants with outdated designs.

Bring on the new designs.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167184)

You forget that the magic tends to overwhelm the magician, especially the unskilled ones, and at the end they become so evil, and they do so many bad evil things, that even Fukushima becomes a wet dream for the poor victims. If you don't believe me, ask the dwarves and the elves.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (2, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167208)

The problem with nuclear power is, that even though the risk of a meltdown may be very small, the consequences if it does happen are unbearable.
If a nuclear reactor in France or Germany should experience a meltdown, it would be a catastrophe. France and Germany are relatively small, densly populated countries. A meltdown could expose more than 10% of the countries land area to dangerous radioactive contamination. That could mean evacuating ten million people or more and leaving entire strips of land unusable for decades. The country's economy would collapse, leading to a further economic and social meltdown. It takes just one nuclear reactor to blow to ruin an entire country, with all of the consequences to the european and world economy. Japan was lucky that the wind was blowing the other way and there's nothing but sea on the other side. That is not the case in central europe. The risk is just not worth it.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (4, Informative)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167354)

Risk is one thing, another is viability. Nuclear power is the only viable means to generate the power most European countries need. Due to the population density with the combined energy demand per person you need a lot of energy 24/7. Windmills are beautiful things, unless if they're in your backyard. Not to mention there are several dangers attached to those as well. There's only so much space available where you can put these windmills. Solar panels are a joke without good energy storage systems (good luck on that one with current battery and capacitor technology, and pumping water up a level difference is rather inefficient). In the end nuclear power is one of the most efficient ways to generate electricity in terms of space usage.
And lets not forget how reliable and predictable it is. A nuclear reactor is certain to output a set amount of energy in a certain configuration no matter what. Not a single one of these "renewable" sources are capable of that. None of the current replacement suggestions are worth it.

Unlucky that there's nothing but sea (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167408)

That's what knocked out the backup generators.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (0)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167520)

Sounds easy when you say it like that but consider what would actually be involved in building new plants. If you want thorium reactors then you need to develop new designs, prototype and test them which will all take at least a decade. At the end there is no guarantee that there will be much demand for them, especially since some of the worlds largest economies will be nuclear free or well on their way by then. You can't export nuclear to just anywhere, but renewables have a global market that is rapidly expanding as developing nation's power requirements increase.

Even if you pick an existing design if it isn't your own then you will have to get it certified for use in your country, get people up to speed on running it and checking its safe operation, maintaining it etc. You also need to secure a supply of fuel and spare parts for 30+ years minimum, and decommissioning for as much again. In fact UK power stations that were closed in the the late 80s are not scheduled to be completely cleared until 2080.

I bet 'shut down all existing nuclear power plants over the next ten years and replace them all with modern, safer, designs' wasn't one of the poll options...

Seems to be a popular move in Germany and Japan. You assume people wouldn't vote for it but I think you are wrong, especially when they can see other countries are doing it and that it will ultimately save them money. Some technologies are just too expensive and despite some advantages have to be abandoned, like supersonic passenger aircraft or the Space Shuttle. One day we will go back to them, but for the moment there are better alternatives.

And no, I'm not talking about coal.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (4, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167048)

You mean it's less dangerous, don't your?

Take all the people who died from Chernobyl [wikipedia.org] . Add the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima [wikipedia.org] . Still killed fewer people than hydro power [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167080)

Ah, well... yes certain types of hydro electric are quite dangerous. There are also very safe and responsible versions (tidal, being a key one).

But point taken

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167340)

People keep bringing up tidal. There are 3 operating tidal generation stations in the WORLD (Canada, France, Russia). The largest one uses the largest tides in the world, located only in Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy (recently rejected as a wold heritage site I believe), and it generates something like 80MW of power. It was also very expensive to build, as nothing like it had been constructed before.

So no, tidal really isn't a key one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power [wikipedia.org]

If you are talking about the type that just uses flow like wind power, good luck generating any kind of real power with that (having to build thousands).

Despite the idea being around for nearly 100 years about using tidal power, only a few sites ever built, all experimental, none big contributors to any power mix.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167526)

Well they sure aren't going to be using it in the middle of the dessert.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no non-economical reason that costal towns and cities can't run (almost) entirely off of tidal generation. They're not cheap, but I never said they were (I said they were safe).

Niagara falls is also a very safe HE generator that isn't based on tides. You do need a large waterfall for that though.

You're effectively arguing against points I didn't make. As part of a complete solution to a power grid HE can absolutely be used (and is currently) both safely and effectively

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (2)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167570)

Actually going to disagree with you. Read your own article, the first two tidal power plants it lists are around 250 MW, it lists a lot more than three, and lists several currently under construction that are over 1000 MW.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167158)

well, if you get to add nuclear bombing - we need to add drowning in the hydro to the equation, which makes it far deadlier than nuclear power.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (2)

drobety (2429764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167298)

This is silly. There is more than just "number of immediate deaths": There are the long-term effects causing deaths or illnesses (not being ill also matters to a majority of people I dare to say).

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167378)

I think you are missing the point that adding nuclear bombing IS silly, but just trying to reinforce how safe nuclear power really is. If you want to include long-term effects for hydro power, just add skiing accidents, drownings, choking on fish bones caught from the lakes. This way, we can REALLY be silly.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167480)

The article linked by GP does include information about the long term effects as well.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167572)

Chernobyl estimates account for actual deaths, deaths that MAY have been reasonably caused by radiation exposure, and expected long-term deaths in the future. If you add in illnesses, it's still less than this one dam accident.

That is if you exclude ideological-based estimates, such as from Greenpeace, which give ridiculous numbers.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (5, Informative)

tomstockmail (2056752) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167220)

I don't see how nuclear power is in any way more dangerous than hydro electric. There have been significantly more people killed by hydro electric power, not to mention the massive effects it has on the environment.

When the Banqiao Dam in China collapsed, 26,000 people died immediately. This is the worst accident in the history of hydroelectric. Chernobyl had 31-56 direct deaths and this is the worst nuclear power accident. In both cases they were from direct negligence. Banqiao continued to kill more, just like Chernobyl. Banqiao killed 145,000 additional people within a few years and Chernobyl killed/will kill ~6,000 eventually (various estimates change). Banqiao directly effected 11 million people and Chernobyl displaced the entire town, 49,400 people, and it's a mere fraction of Banqiao. The fact is the deaths from nuclear power is significantly less than hydroelectric and always will be. A nuclear power plant does not blow up like in video games such as Red Alert 2, Chernobyl was the absolute worst case scenario (for one reactor, Chernobyl would be worst if all reactors that were there blew).

The Three Mile Island incident shows the lack of education for the public. People continue to "monitor" Three Mile Island but what they don't know or are too dense to know is that their basements have more radiation than Three Mile Island outputs.

Oh, lets note that Chernobyl continued to operate the other reactors until 2000.

Banqiao Dam source [archive.org]

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167330)

Another poster already commented with the exact same point.

Yes, there are damaging and dangerous hydro electric schemes. There are also completely responsible and safe ones (ie. tidal).

Keep in mind that the full effects of chernobyl are still not really known environmentally (although nature seems to have enjoyed the reprieve from us and not minded the radioactivity too much). There is also the mining and eventual disposal of nuclear fuel. Aside from one or two seriously egregious cock-ups with HE generation nuclear is definitely more environmentally damaging.

I'm not saying you're wrong, because you're completely right. Every type of generation has potential dangers when used irresponsibly. The point is that even used *perfectly* nuclear (fission) is not as good as the ideal options.

Re:Doesn't really tell the full story... (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167610)

What exactly are the "ideal options"?

It's surely not your expensive and low energy output tidal generators?

How many die from coal? (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167638)

Thousands of coal mining deaths per year, probably a huge number more attributable to air pollution caused by coal. I couldn't find any appreciable numbers for uranium mining deaths.

And the radiation. How much radiation has coal burning put into the environment? How does that compare to TMI, Fukushima and Chernobyl combined?

Re: straw man alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167588)

there is no way that hydro electric, geothermal, solar or even 'etc' could be scaled to even become 'other options'. Unfortunately, at this point in time, it's either nuclear or fossil fuels. When we compare the absolute numbers, fossil fuels are a much, much un-healthier option, what with climate change, respiratory & heart diseases and the myriad of other ills burning oil brings us.

I hate the press. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166964)

The press will screw up the world just to get headlines. Nuclear power is incredibly safe.

its because of the time scales (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38166970)

Nuclear accidents can make areas uninhabitable or unfarmable for many generations. It isn't a one-time event that gets cleaned up in a few days. It's something with lasting impacts on the environment and habitability of the area, over generations. In a country the size of Japan, the effects are even worse because they don't have so much land area to be throwing parts of it away like that. The exclusion zone around Fukushima is now unfarmable.

And just like after Chernobyl we were all assured by the nuclear proponents that "there can never be another nuclear disaster", we're being assured that now too. But there will be. It WILL happen again. If we are lucky, it won't be as bad as Fukushima. If we are unlucky, it will be much worse. The only certainty is that it will happen, and it will be because of something unprepared for that is only obvious in hindsight.

Captcha: "Trauma".

Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (0)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166974)

Nuclear fission power cannot be made safe. No matter what precautions are taken, nature and the mistakes of man will inevitably cause a disaster.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (4, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166992)

Life cannot be made safe. No matter what precautions are taken, nature and the mistakes of man will inevitably cause a disaster.

FTFY

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167002)

Life cannot be made safe. What do you suggest we do?

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167020)

The vast majority of nuclear power plants which have not failed prove that nuclear can be made safe.

All Fukashima proved was that building a nuclear power station next to the sea in an area prone to earthquakes and tsunamis, then building a defence wall that might be a little bit low and placing the backup generators at a level that would be "below sea level" if the wall failed is a bad idea.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167300)

All Fukashima proved was that building a nuclear power station next to the sea in an area prone to earthquakes and tsunamis, then building a defence wall that might be a little bit low and placing the backup generators at a level that would be "below sea level" if the wall failed is a bad idea.

And that, even then, the tsunami caused far more harm than the damage to the reactor.

The anti-nuclear nutters could save more lives by demanding that no-one is allowed to live in a tsunami zone anymore.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167590)

This is the thing that everyone misses -- just how damned big that earthquake was. Twenty thousand people got washed out to sea -- whole trains, whole villages. While there are lessons to be learned from Fukushima, people seem to miss that it was in the context of a 9.0 quake.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (0)

buzzn (811479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167356)

You make an incorrect inference. Past non-failure does not predict future failure. Past reasons for nuclear failure were unanticipated, or considered low risk; yet they happened.

As far as Fukushima, it also proved that humans often fail to understand what makes a good or a bad idea. You, however, have not shown that a similar error in judgement has not been made at other power plants.

In fact, the industry is well known for construction problems, cutting corners to save a few bucks, lax self-policing, insufficient training, and foisting the cost of cleanup and spent fuel storage on the public.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167044)

given the extensive use of fission-induced nuclear power, the extreme complexity of the whole process, and 2 major incident in what ? 40 or 50 years, I'd say that it's pretty safe. Overall, airlines should have caused more death (not only accident, but the whole chain, petrol, aircraft construction, ....) than nuclear power plant have.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167046)

Fukushima was probably the worst of the worst when it came to design, anyway. It was terribly flawed because of cost-cutting.

That is like saying the entire human race is worth shit because some drug addict killed a thousand puppies.
Its terribly ignorant.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167058)

Stupid comment of the day... seriously... You're an idiot.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (5, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167140)

No, Fukushima proved that, given a disaster that killed at least 15,000 people, with many thousands still unaccoutned for, that the entire world will forget it and focus on a dangerous yet manageable situation which has thus far caused no deaths directly, and might, given a worst-case-scenario playout, cause 1,000 cases of cancer, not deaths.

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (2)

enigma32 (128601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167440)

Yup.

And unfortunately the number of idiots living in the world far exceeds those that use their brains to think about the world around them.
I fear for the future of nuclear power. We'll soon be in some backward world where the crazies have forced us to use "renewable" resources that damage the environment far worse than nuclear power would ever be likely to. And how will people ever support fusion if they've rid the world of fission power through their ignorance?

I think the best solution was provided by one of the above posts-- burn the stupid people to power the world! It will provide power *and* reduce power consumption at the same time!

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167442)

How many people died from nuclear exposure?
How many people died from big stuff smashing them?

Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167566)

Neither can hydroelectric power. No matter what precautions are taken, gravity and the mistakes of man will inevitably cause some poor bastard to fall off of a dam.

Thorium (4, Informative)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166978)

Maybe it's time to start rolling out Thorium reactors [wired.com] .

Re:Thorium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167176)

Mod this man up

Re:Thorium (2)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167416)

My question is: Why haven't they already? Why isn't everyone building tons of these? What is wrong with it?

Re:Thorium (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167618)

I think they're not really needed, not yet. There is still plenty of uranium, it's cheap, and uranium-fission reactors are a known quantity that we know how to build and that are really pretty safe.

Another example of people thinking reactively (4, Insightful)

thecrotch (2464404) | more than 2 years ago | (#38166990)

There's a problem with a 50 year old nuclear plant built on the coast in an earthquake zone, that means nuclear power is too dangerous for everywhere else! By that logic it's not worth buying a 2011 Mercedes, after all the timing chain broke in my 1961 Dodge that must mean all cars are garbage.

Does the latest BBC survey really show... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167012)

Does the latest BBC survey really show a lack of support for nuclear?
http://world-nuclear.org/wna_buzz/DoesthelatestBBCsurveyreallyshowalackofsupport.html

like all "n% of people said x" headlines there is a lot more info if you look in more detail at the results.

"Safe" (5, Interesting)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167040)

The demands of perfect safety at all times is actually chasing better designs off the table; "no new reactors" means better designs can't be built.

Fukushima is an example of how subtly corrupting the "public/private partnership" can be in privatizing gain while pushing risk onto the shoulders of the public.

Mankind will turn to nuclear power because it is cleaner than the alternatives, because it is energy dense, because it is scalable, and because it is dispatchable (available when we need it). This headline reflects a temporary revulsion from the tsunami, nothing more.

Really Stupid Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167076)

Just wondering, why cant the nuclear reactors, or even the whole facility, simply be placed completely underground? Then if theres some meltdown, nothing would enter the atmosphere.

Yeah, yeah, bash me all you want, its just a question.

Re:Really Stupid Question (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167130)

irradiated soil is the only immediate downside I see of that. You'll have to compete with the NIMBY's though.

Re:Really Stupid Question (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167636)

Want to build one in my backyard? Be my guest. A nuke plant in my backyard pollutes my life far less than a coal plant across town.

Re:Really Stupid Question (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167162)

Probably the simplest answer to this is that it would be expensive.

I mean that in a few ways, the notable two are putting things underground is just plain expensive; the second being that maintenance becomes a giant problem.

Basically putting a nuclear reactor (at least, the traditional design) underground would push the cost of that power higher than solar/wind/etc.

When it comes down to it people don't actually care about safety nearly as much as they do money.

As a side note, I'd encourage you to do some looking at the new generation nuclear plants if you're interested. They include such important design concepts as built-in automatic "oh fuck something went wrong eject the core" failsafes. The newest designs for nuke plants really are *insanely* safe, but they cost a lot of money to build

Re:Really Stupid Question (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167166)

If it enters the ground water, that is bad too.
It might be even worse.

You could build the plant somewhere far away from ground water, like in a salt mine, or one of those underground locations they are planning to store the nuclear waste. But then how do you cool it?

Re:Really Stupid Question (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167274)

Because if there was a meltdown you'd trigger a supervolcano or a megaquake on the San Andreas fault, or annihilate Tokyo or some such rubbish, I'm sure.

(Also, you'd irradiate the soil and the groundwater something rotten.)

Support for new reactors (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167106)

I am generally not in favor of nuclear power.
But my support for new reactors is not that bad. I'd say I even support them.

It is the old reactors still running, those cash cows running at absolute safety limit or bewlow, that I really want to disappear.

Re:Support for new reactors (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167286)

Don't worry; if they're running beyond safety limits they'll disappear sooner or later.

Alternatives (2)

number17 (952777) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167116)

The alternatives will be there in the future, but until then we need power and a lot of it. When the oil runs out we will need more power for electric vehicles (if it goes that way). Im an environmentalist and understand the risks. The footprint of a nuke plant compared to the alternatives is huge (with the exception of nuclear fallout).

Nuclear power is safe. (4, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167134)

Safer than coal [scientificamerican.com] , anyway.

There is plenty of evidence of coal mine disasters, OK there are a few uranium mining disasters as well [energy-net.org] , but I don't want to minimise the mortality from either if I can help it: the simple fact of the matter is, you're 4,000 times more likely to die from a coal-related power generation cause and 1,000 times more likely from oil-related power generation than you are from nuclear-related power generation [the9billion.com] . It all carries risk, but the protocols and procedures surrounding uranium handling mitigates the risk to the point where people who actually work it tend to worry less. Fukushima was, in my opinion, unfortunate but avoidable; OK the tidal barrier was inadequate. It could have been higher and it might have diverted the tsunami but that wouldn't have helped with the ground subsidence. The location probably wasn't that well thought out, being that close to one of the deepest ocean trenches on the planet. It was probably the wrong type of reactor to have built there even if it was proved that the location was suitable for a power plant that could potentially (and as it happens, did) crack and go critical after just one good shake and a deluge of salt water. Lessons learned, we all hope, but I wouldn't like to try and assure the surviving families around the plant of that.

Question should be about reactor design ... (5, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167146)

Questions of the nature "is nuclear power safe?" seem more political than scientific. Shouldn't the question really be "is this nuclear reactor design (including its associated fueling, storage and waste handling) safe?

Lets try to take some of the emotion and politics out of the issue. If someone asked you "are cars safe?", wouldn't you want to know which car? Different car designs offer a wide range of safety. Not just due to cost compromises, size/weight and design goals, but also due to when it was designed. Materials, technology, scientific understanding, computer modeling, etc have greatly improved our capabilities over recent decades. I wouldn't feels safe in any race car from the 1940s driving at 100 mph wearing a leather helmet, however I would feel safe doing so in many higher end passenger cars today. Maybe a recent reactor design is far more safe than say some 1960s soviet design?

Science and engineering are making great advances in solar, wind, tidal, etc. Aren't they also making great advances in the area of nuclear?

Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167216)

Questions of the nature "is nuclear power safe?" seem more political than scientific. Shouldn't the question really be "is this nuclear reactor design (including its associated fueling, storage and waste handling) safe?

No, that's only a part of the question. At least as important is the question: "Do we trust the power companies to responsibly run a nuclear plant without compromising safety for cutting costs?"

Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167414)

Questions of the nature "is nuclear power safe?" seem more political than scientific. Shouldn't the question really be "is this nuclear reactor design (including its associated fueling, storage and waste handling) safe?

No, that's only a part of the question. At least as important is the question: "Do we trust the power companies to responsibly run a nuclear plant without compromising safety for cutting costs?"

Of course not. That's why the industry is heavily regulated and monitored. And in the case of the US gov't nuclear power generation may actually be one of those instances where the gov't knows what it is doing. The US Navy may have more experience than anyone else out there.

Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167474)

Except the French. And the Russians. And I'd love to say the British but we sacked everyone a long time ago and started buying in from the French and the Americans, like the morons we are.

Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (1)

buzzn (811479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167546)

The question should also be broadened to include cost effectiveness. When you consider the incredibly high capital cost and long time to plan and build plants, the environmental impact of mining and long term spent fuel storage, large scale centralized industrial operations (which increases cost of transmission), and need for heightened security, nuclear starts to look a whole lot less attractive.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167192)

With reports on the long lasting effects in Fukushima still conflicted, is nuclear power still a viable solution to the world's energy problems?"

Yes. But people are stupid and corrupt. So it'll never go anywhere regardless.

Tech Happy Slash-dotters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167224)

some people want colonies in outer space
some people want life extension through mechanical implants
  or through dish-cultured organ implants
some people want tracking of all people at all times
some people want immersive VR
etc etc
    without really knowing (or caring) about the real world situations that they entail
Its fair to say that some people basically believe that amazing high-tech is great, no matter what

Nuclear power is fine, until its not
the food chain on earth is finite, and subject to poisoning
see The Natural Step for a framework that might make sense to you

Re:Tech Happy Slash-dotters (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167374)

I agree, because technology and science have *never* provided a solution for any problem that may have affected the human race Oh wait, sustainability has mostly been driven by scientific advances.

Doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167246)

Rarely would buy whatever the BBC is pushing.

NE will get more credible when properly insured (2)

Framboise (521772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167256)

It is rather unique in the industry that no insurance company is willing to insure nuclear power plants. The reason is most probably that when the risks are properly estimated the bill increases nuclear electricity to prohibitive, non-competitive levels.

The result of sufficient lobbying is that everybody is believing paying cheap nuclear electricity, while in reality everybody (or the descendants) take a chance paying huge future costs. Just like Japanese now do for the next decades.

Re:NE will get more credible when properly insured (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167332)

It is rather unique in the industry that no insurance company is willing to insure nuclear power plants. The reason is most probably that when the risks are properly estimated the bill increases nuclear electricity to prohibitive, non-competitive levels.

More likely, that the risks are impossible to quantify. Insurers could have made plenty of money insuring reactors for the last few decades, but it would only take one Homer Simpson to really ruin their day.

i trust the engineers with nuclear (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167260)

The problem is, from what I know of management, funding decisions, and the psychology of long term complacency, I don't trust society with nuclear

"Nuclear Power Drops" ? Yummy ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167288)

I love candy and can understand the worldwide support - are Nuclear Power Drops anything like Space Dust ?

You fail It... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167304)

clear ShZe couldn't

Nuclear power drops? (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167306)

I don't care if they have worldwide support. I will stick to my regular vitamin drops, thank you very much.

solution to the world's energy problems? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167334)

is nuclear power still a viable solution to the world's energy problems?

There is only one "solution" to the world's energy problems - demand below renewable supply. Uranium is not a renewable resource. It may seem abundant at current rates of consumption, but the supply is finite.

Well (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167344)

People will change their minds once harsh winter comes and there is not enough power to keep your little baby son warm. Nuclear plays a ver important role in economy and life, it cant just be discarded and replaced by windmills.....

Nuclear not *a* solution, it's *the* solution (2)

Doofus (43075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167392)


No "clean" or "renewable" energy source scales the way nuclear can.

No "clean" or "renewable" energy source can provide on-demand base-load power the way nuclear can.

Reliability can be built into nuclear plants in ways that distributed "small" clean power cannot match.

Safety record of nuclear power generation speaks for itself, esp. when context is provided (coal, hydro).

Waste management is an issue that is primarily an engineering challenge, not an obstacle.

Can designs be improved? Certainly, and much work is ongoing in this space (Toshiba, Hyperion, others).

Over the long term, nuclear is the cleanest base-load power source we have, and it is inevitable that more nuclear power plants will be built and brought on-line worldwide.

Re:Nuclear not *a* solution, it's *the* solution (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167662)

How many nuclear-related fatalities have France had?

Just wondering since 80% of their power generation is now nuclear.

Let's see the safety record of modern reactors (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167398)

Controlled nuclear power was first demonstrated nearly 70 years ago in 1942. The Fukushima plants were based on designs from the 60s and built in 1971 and SURVIVED A QUAKE 10X BIGGER THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE before the tsunami created the real issue. TMI was started in 1974 and was a scare rather than a real disaster. Chernobyl was 1977, but was both human error and Soviet-era design. Today we've got 3x the experience we had when those few incidents, I think we've learned a little about preventing these issues.

No wonder Slashdot-user's opinion wasn't changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38167446)

People who read Slashdot actually are the kind of people who already thought about something like this, who have (reasonably informed) opinions, which come down on one side or the other. So, it's no surprise at all that they are not swayed anymore by some newspaper headlines.

I support Nuclear power (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38167532)

as long as it's the Gov't running the plants. I don't trust private business to invest the kinds of money needed to maintain and improve safety; the profit motive is too strong and always looking for 'efficiency', e.g. corners to cut. Take a look at privately run dialysis clinics vs the gov't run ones. The Gov't run clinics have much lower rates of mortality, and the studies show it's because they don't cut corners by reusing supplies.
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