QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Jun 14 2011, 09:11 AM)
Japan has given the world a look into a bad-case scenario with nukes.
Yes, they have. They've also given the world a look at what happens when a small dam fails. The difference is, people died from the dam failure. Nobody has died from the nuclear incident at Fukushima, unless you want to count the heart attack fatality.
Now people are aware of what can happen when spent fuel rods lose their coolant.
Really? I doubt that. Lose coolant, bad things happen.
Ergo, the spent rods pile up at any given plant. Eventually, the plant will run out of storage space, at which time it will need to be shut down. Can't transport hot spent fuel rods.
Sure you can. Spent fuel rods can be transported. There's nothing at all technically that prevents it. Heck, you can transport them by truck, by rail, by barge, by ship, and by train. What prevents transporting them is fear
While you're considering the dangers in nuke energy production, are you also including the mining of uranium?
Yup. Uranium mining is just as dangerous as coal mining, only you don't have to do nearly as much of it. Start doing uranium extraction from seawater, and you can vastly reduce the risk.
How's about the production and transportation of fuel rods?
See above re: coal, only the safety procedures are a lot higher, and the # of folks (as well as their training, education, etc) involved differs considerably. You can run a loaded coal train into a spent fuel transportation canister, and all you'll get for your trouble is a lot of coal to sweep up.
If you're going to use hydro as an example of something really dangerous and scary, better include all the dangers of nukes.
I have. All industrial processes have risks. All resource extraction processes have risks. All construction projects have risks. And all power generation processes have risks. The biggest problem I have with those objecting to nuclear power is that they act like all of the alternatives present no appreciable risks, yet practically every day there's a coal mine collapse, or an oil well explosion, or a gasoline tanker rolls on the freeway, or a train derails, or..... most of which nobody outside the immediate area even hears about. The thing about nuclear power is the power density means that you can do less mining, less construction, less transportation, etc, and vastly reduce those
It's really not a matter of good versus bad but clear thinking. It's not very clear thinking to compare the food industry with the energy industry, other than in regards to biofuels.
But it is clear thinking. Food is necessary. So is the energy industry. To grow food organically is no more necessary than producing energy from nuclear fission. Thinking clearly, it's even more of a preference than nuclear power. The point of comparison is that people are kickin the bucket as a result of an unsafe "product." In the case of sprouts, it is at this time
an irreducible safety risk. So why not punt the irreducible safety risk when there are not merely a dozen or less alternatives, but thousands?
Because we aren't dealing with clear thinking, for the simple reason that we're dealing with people.
Why use corn when there are other ways, such as algae production?
Worst case scenario, Cliff Notes edition: Algae mutates, escapes, algae bloom destroys the ocean ecosystem, we all die.
There's also the whole corn lobby thing as well....
Germany has decided that nukes aren't worth the risk.
I simply believe that they haven't been thinking clearly on the matter, but hey, if they choose to handicap themselves, less power to 'em.
They, as with China, are ramping up to harvest energy that's all around us
China is not "ramping up to harvest the energy". You should do some research on exactly how China is going about addressing their burgeoning energy demands. It's a four letter word, and it begins with "c".
The question about nukes is the same as a motorcycle crash. It's not a matter of if but when and how.
Interesting analogy. The German approach now is "ain't no way I'm gonna ride one of them death traps." My response is ATGATT, and don't ride in the snow.
Stuff happens. This can also be said about harmful bacteria in food, so there's a reasonable parallel. Many parts of life are crap shoots, but the idea is to reduce the risks.
No, it isn't. The idea is to reduce the risks without reducing the benefits or incurring substantial costs elsewhere. It's a very important distinction, one that is lost on those who don't think clearly.
Getting off nukes will reduce a lot of risks in Germany.
They could eliminate even more risks by simply eliminating automobiles, but they won't. The benefits are too great. I think the Germans have greatly understimated the costs and overestimated the risks in their headlong flight from nuclear power.