Why do people fear nuclear power?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Stokes Pennwalt, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member


    I proimse you, that less than one in ten of the protesters at anything radiological could do so much as draw the main steam cycle of a PWR plant, let alone carry on an informed, detailed, conversation about reactor operations. Damn shame that. Damn shame.

    But it's not like we didn't already know this, right guys?
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  3. Eggsited Registered Senior Member

    totaly no what ya mean, i've noticed that a lot of protesters don't do there home work

    the proscess of fusion is completly diferent from fission
    and thiers no radiation or fall out

    ov coasrse every one that went to school knows about this but what aboot them hippie's and farmers
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  5. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Yeah, I think those people who are afraid of nuclear energy basically have a low opinion of themselves and humanity so they don't want people to have control over their own destinies. These paranoia ruled factions would rather embrace technologies that require well armed police forces, compromises against privacy and liberty to thwart any terrorist possibilities and big well equipped armies to help keep the masses from gaining freedom and security. The only problem with this is that it presents a negative feed-back relationship that promises escalating accidents and violence.

    Consider the world as power factions fighting each other for supremacy, as a dog-eat-dog scenario. Proceed to trying to be the meanest S.O.B. in keeping with this piss-poor perspective. You then not only lose your own humanity but you have little faith in people having power for themselves. "They" are afraid and don't want to embrace nuclear energy because they don't trust the people to have power and would rather we all continue in a state of perpetual dependence and crisis fomenting conditions.
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  7. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

    In defence of those who complain about nuclear power, there was originally a legitimate problem:

    If memory serves, nuclear plants were originally sold as being cheap, clean, reliable and lasting forever. The reality (as with nearly all technology) is that it turned out to be more expensive, less reliable, require more maintenance, produce nuclear waste, and generally not be quite as good as it was originally purported to be.

    Also, last I recall the US was relying on uranium mines in other countries for their supply of radioactives, so the nuclear plants aren't really self-sufficient in a USA sense, and there were those who were concerned that US dependency on other sources could give other countries leverage.

    Generally, this isn't what you hear on TV, but when was the last time a protester was depicted fairly on TV anyway? Usually they're just shown shuffling around in circles waving signs that say "No No Bad Bad" and no effort is made to examine what they are trying to say.

    Also, the visible radiation is blue, not green. A sort of pretty blue... Cherenkov blue...
  8. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Oh, ah, gee. The nuclear energy I was talking about is the major one, you know, the one we've been using all of our lives and which actually seems to have mostly fueled life's evolution in this wee bit portion of universe. I know a lot of so-called scientists will show how they are business men first rather than scientists by claiming that we don't yet know how to use fusion energy but that is just bull. Solar energy is fusion energy is nuclear energy and some are really too scared to embrace it and use it to its maximum and most efficient potentials. Those are the people I was talking about in my previous post. These people work for and believe in the sanctity of such things as Kerr-McGee, Con-Edison, and General Electric, bastions of paranoia and power tripping fantasies. Afraid I didn't embrace the ignorance and illusionss that were assumed by the starters of this thread. Sorry if I confused anyone.
  9. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

    Chips: Well... I assumed that Stokes was talking about nuclear fission plants, mainly because that's what he said.
  10. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    I look back and don't see it BigBlue. Ah, am I being blind? Happens some times. Oh, and solar energy is not just fusion.

    BTW, do you see that this thread was started with a straw man argument approach? Stokes, you are beginning to look quite predictable to me. One of the few times you are able to make a reference and it is to some guy discussing things in an editorial, second and perhaps even third, fourth and who knows how many times removed from any cardinal science.
  11. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, well, solar energy is nice and all, but it is also completely impractical for all but a few esoteric applications. Solar flux at noon on the equator is 750w/m^2. Even the most efficient photovoltaics top out around 12% efficiency, so you're going to need a 10m^2 area just to boil a pot of coffee. Add on top of that that most people don't live on the equator, and noon has the nasty inconvenience of occurring only once per day around the world, and you see where the intrinsic shortfall of solar energy begins to surface.

    It's a great contingent and complimentary source of power, to be sure, but not the holy grail of nostrums that some of the eco-nazis tout it as. The same goes for tidal, geothermal, or hydro - great in a niche, but unable to scale to meet demand.
    The premise of the editorial is that fear and opposition to nuclear energy is based on things like an irrational fear of a technology by critics with a poor understanding of it, rather than concerns founded in legitimate scientific practice.

    What variant of strawman apparition are you hallucinating this time?
  12. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    You are insinuating, as well as that garbage you referred to that does not have one referring citation to facilitate substantiating any of its claims, that if you consider nuclear power as unsafe it is because you do not understand it. I say this is PURE UNADULTERATED STRAW MAN WEAK ARGUMENT SET UP. You can without too much difficultly show that most anyone you would talk to would not know the details of nuclear energy use (or abuse) without touching any reasons, logic, statistics, studies, research, ANY THING REAL OR RELEVANT TO WHETHER OR NOT NUCLEAR POWER IS SAFE.

    I stoop so low to attempt to reason with you. Gawd. I am always continually amazed at the depravity of some people, the extent and persistence of their dysfunctional ineptitude.

    Hey, though Westinghouse was able to arrange the burning of, if I remember correctly, tens of thousands of this book to help keep you and others ignorant and lapping at the teats of "big money," it is now available free on the web at http://www.ratical.org/radiation/SecretFallout/

    Of course, if the evidence doesn't match your love affair with being ardently as thick as a brick, (gee, is your real name Smithers?), just ignore this book.
  13. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Looks to me that you are just plain ole paranoid, scared, afraid of that nuclear energy stuff so much that you must stretch the limits of reason beyond science to make your plea to living a life of servitude to megalithic power utilities. Solar energy, which is the major incidence of fusion and fission nuclear energy, gives us electricity through oil, coal, natural gas, biomass, wind, hydro, etc. It's is not so little and piece meal as you would delude yourself and others to believe. There is also the little thing about wires, The North American grid now spans, guess what, NORTH AMERICA. All we need are a few good cables to the Eurasian continent and it hardly matters where solar power is collected, it can be distributed to virtually any part of the globe http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/images/powergrid.pdf .

    Ah, one can never expect to be drawn into a debate with peers on a public forum. I really should just get on with the science and logic I need to develop rather than waste my time with sheep. I have just about had enough. I find my faith in humanity suffers when in converstaion with someone who could give a damn about reason or logic or factual evidence or intelligence or rationality. Boy, I am sure glad I got my life and it is not yours.
  14. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Mr. Chips, I'm not sure what you're ranting about, but I have to tell you that you don't sound very rational. Stokes is correct about the infeasibility of solar energy. The most efficient (and most expensive) solar panels are only about 14-15% efficient. That just isn't efficient enough, especially for people far into the northern or southern hemispheres. Solar panels are certainly a very promising technology, and lots of people are continuing to research them, but at the moment they aren't viable.

    You've accused Stokes of setting up a straw-man argument, but I don't see why you would believe this. A straw-man argument occurs when someone refutes a weaker version of an opponent's argument rather than the strongest version. Stokes isn't attempting to refute any particular anti-nuclear argument; he's merely claiming that most anti-nuclear activists are ignorant and uneducated. While this might be insulting to anti-nuke activists, it doesn't have anything to do with creating a straw-man argument. If anything, it's an ad-hominem fallacy.

    Your assertion that solar energy is somehow the same as nuclear energy is simply bizarre. Although everyone knows that the sun is powered by fusion, it's commonly understood that 'nuclear energy' refers to electricity produced in earth-bound nuclear reactors. Sunlight is nuclear energy only in the sense that fossil fuels and biomass are nuclear energy.
  15. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Here they come, out of the wood work.

    Not too long ago as far as human history goes, it was thoroughly bizarre to consider that the earth revolved around the sun, that the earth was round, that humans could fly. Myriad mass misassumptions have plagued humanity by keeping researchers and technology sequestered for development and management by the so-called nay-saying experts (You've heard of YUPPIES, well, NOPIES are Normally Objective Professionals).

    Nasor, there is absolutely no need to limit use of solar power to where it is collected. You need to ignore that fact don't you. Me thinks you are paranoid that egoism will be proved culpable. Paranoia, fear of a working world with enough for all, wow, what sociopathos.

    It is not the efficiency of the solar cell output which continually increases that is the sole critical factor, it is the economic feasibility that is more crucial. Mass production and easier incorporation gives one company the idea that even just 8% efficiency still makes for a large market. http://www.mhi.co.jp/topics/topics.html#01

    Solar energy is not just cells, there is also convection as another concurrent thread, http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=517108#post517108 , reports of a new installation being seriously considered for Australia, wind farms are popping up all over, http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=largest wind farm.

    There is also the virtually ignored potential for energy production from ocean thermal differential power plants.

    Okay, so the scientific perspective appears bizarre. Get over it. I do believe though that we are not going to illicit any answers to humanity's inability to see outside of the boxes that run away power mongering has given to you and others as main stream media and so-called science in an online forum. Go ahead, be duped. Tow the company line. Science is bizarre.

    Incredulity is not a measure of reality but more a determinate in how much denial can be sustained in the face of truth. So it goes..

    You don't see the straw man? LOOK, HE HAS PICKED A WEAKER ARGUMENT, POSTULATED IT TO START RATHER THAN DIRECTLY ADDRESS THE SAFETY OR LACK THEREOF OF NUCLEAR POWER. You got a problem with understanding what a straw man argument is? Sure there is the ad hominem component but its strongest use is as SOMETHING TO DEBATE THAT IS EASIER TO ADDRESS THAN THE ROOT ASSUMPTION, THE SAFETY OF NUCLEAR POWER, for which Stokes has provided no supporting data, NONE. NIL. NADA, just some guy ranting.

    I've given you some real data. You want rants? Keep spewing then. .

    Boy, Nasor, I waste my time here, hey?.

    P.S. As far as the definitions of "straw man" argument I am able to find, the ploy is one of an adherent inventing the weaker argument as a supposed corner stone of their supposed opponents for the ease of refutation rather than addressing the core issues directly. Here is Ultra Lingua's definition: http://www.ultralingua.net/index.html?text=straw man&service=ee . Maybe you could show me some definitions that are more in keeping with your stated interpretation. Try to refrain from editorials as your sources please.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2004
  16. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Okay, Nasor. Upon further thought I have to admit that Stokes' approach here appears to be more of an ad hominem fallacy than straw man. Heck, he wasn't really looking for any debate, just some slaps on the back or some joint chest beating. Thanks for pointing that out. As far as the rest of my expurgation, I see nothing wrong except maybe that first line, "Here they come, out of the wood work." That looks like a lil' ad hominem slur done by yours truly. Sorry about that.
  17. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    Sorry, but you're going to have to do better than that. You can't just type "nuclear+power+radiation+danger+sucks+write+my+post+for+me" in google, post a result, and expect to be taken seriously. If you want to discuss one of the particulars highlighted therein, such as TMI, Chernobyl, the decay process, fast breeders, or what not, then please afford the forum the courtesy of doing your own legwork.

    Yet that in no way obviates the attenuative effect that the atmosphere has on solar flux. There is simply not enough energy impinging upon earth's surface to generate a useful output, and there still wouldn't be even with a 100% efficient conversion process.
    Another nostrum for two reasons:
    • Restricted by location
    • Inefficiency through heat exchanger entropy
    As I said, it'll work great in a few spots, just not many. There is no existing mode of energy production that can rival the potency, density, reliability, and most importantly, scalability, of nuclear fission. In a way you proved my point for me.

    No matter how many capital letters you use it won't make what you say any more right, more potent, or less dogmatic.

    As far as safety goes, are you really prepared and willing to discuss it? I'd love to, but I'm not so sure that you are, and I'm not inclined to begin unless you can promise to spare us from a page-long, confusing, and inarticulate diatribe.

    The best part? There haven't been any strawmen in my posts.
  18. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Regarding: http://www.ratical.org/radiation/SecretFallout/

    I've read that book numerous times (and thanks for the opportunity to describe it further). Every time I find it in a book store I buy it and then give it away so that others can see what was actively suppressed in the fascist USA. Tens of thousands of that book suddenly were no longer available after a Westinghouse affiliated book publisher bought out Ballantine Books apparently with the major idea of destroying the copies. You don't care for the truth, do you. You think that was just a flippant quick posting of an URL, well you are wrong. That is the stuff that shows nuclear power is not safe. That URL is of some of the definitive statistics that shows the huge number of deaths that have and continue to be caused by "legal" emissions from current power plants. But I don't think you care. If the evidence doesn't match your desired belief, then it is just a "write+my+post+for+me" off-handed escape from directly confronting you, right? Easier to say that than look at the data, dogmatic in the extreme goose stepping true believer.

    Not enough solar flux? Is that why we should use nuclear energy in ways that are proven dangerous and death dealing (unless you want to deny the evidence as that seems to be your approach)? There are other energy sources but I don't want to get drawn into your humongous giant blatant scare crow of a straw man here. What about the surface of the oceans? What about the solar satellite arrays? What about that link I gave you that shows a now current solar cell array that can be structurally embedded in roofing material, that opens up a lot of surface. There is more than enough without us having to use nuclear energy in an unsafe manner which is basically the difference between how you define it and how I define it.

    Looking at the history of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plants, http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/nb1.html , I don't think your criticism is with foundation, but if you could give me some supporting references, even though I know you are against using the scientific method in this way, giving evidence to back your claims, as you found "Low Level Radiation" by Sternglass to be just totally ignorable.

    Nuclear fission power plants are scalable? I thought you either had one or you didn't. What, you mean it would be worth while to make some for individual households as well as cities and countries like the nuclear energy that is solar? What the heck are you talking about when you claim that your version of nuclear energy, having reactors on earth are "most importantly" scalable?

    You can not debate whether or not your concept of nuclear energy is safe. Instead you want to debate that those who oppose it are "eco-nazis" who can not hold an informed discussion. Yes that is ad hominem fallacy but it is also straw man, not any real information, no statistics, no reference to studies, no expert testimonies. You do not and can not address the real issues.

    Too confusing and long for you? Ha Ha Ha. Maybe you are the "eco-nazi" who can not carry on an informed discussion. Tell you what, I'll make another post, a very short one, and I'll draw my data directly from Sternglass' work. I wont pretend to be a know it all. I must share. You are left to your wits, ha ha ha, what wits you got. There are other scientists who have underscored and come to similar understanding as Dr. Sternglass but I'll just try to keep things simple for ya'.
  19. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Okay, Stokes or anybody. I see that Dr. Sternglass appears to adhere to the LNT or Linear No Threshold theory, perhaps more so than the NRC or the IAEC but both institutions do claim that they accept the theory as reasonably valid as well. So basically, the idea, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that radiation from any source and any strength causes damage. The body does have natural repair mechanisms that have allowed it to survive and repair damage due to its having evolved with existant background radiation. So, the exposure to the contaminants from the power plant effluents are not considered to be without risk by admission of the NRC and the IAEA.

    So without recourse to the waste management problem, the potential for accidents, sources of materials for dirty terrorist bombs, or targets for terrorist activities we see that the design and operation of nuclear power plants involve a risk factor. For a specific population the use of such plants can be expected to cause some deaths just from the increase of radiation exposure they necessitate.

    Technically the claim that "Nuclear Energy is safe" is false due to the statements of the major regulatory agencies on the planet that license the plants for operation.

    To keep this simple enough for those who become confused easily, I'll stop here for now though this does not get into the more salient of the dangers.
  20. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    This is a little off-topic, but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents (25 cents?) on solar power.

    Solar energy in the US currently costs around 25 cents per kw/hour to produce. Since in most places it sells for around 2 cents per kw/hour, solar energy can't compete at the moment. Keep in mind that the 25 cent per kw/hour solar electricity mostly comes out of the southwestern deserts, which is pretty much the best place for solar power production in the country; the price would go way up if you tried to produce it in places with less ideal climates.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that solar energy has great promise. If we can develop a solar panel that's 30% efficient and can be manufactured for a few dollars per square yard, we'll have gone a long way toward solving the world's energy problems. We just aren’t there yet, and it will probably require many more years of research before it's possible.
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    They don't want another Chernoble to happen.

    They don't want another Three Mile Accident to happen.

    They are worried where the Radioactive waste is going to end up.
  22. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    Congratulations on reading it. I'm happy for you. However, it is representative of some rather poor science.

    Two of the cases are most telling.

    First, the issue of generational chromosomal damage in the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This has nothing to do with nuclear power although I'll allow the minor derail. The problem with his (and others') analysis is that the genetic damage dose is beyond the threshold required to cause sterility, and in most cases, death, so generational defecits from radiation sickness have never been recorded. Ever.

    Second is his inference that I-131 poisoning was somehow related to low SAT scores in students proximal to nuclear facilities. That's using correlation to imply causality; a textbook logical fallacy.

    As Nasor said, the yield/cost ratio doesn't justify it.

    Check your own source.
    Hydro, Geo, and Tidal are 100% a function of geography and the sites are limited. Additionally, there's a maximum energy in those systems that can be recovered in any given time frame. To double you're output you may wind up in a situation of needing to construct ten to fifteen times as many plants. That is why I say they won't scale well enough for future needs. Neat ideas. Sound engineering. It makes me happy that we have people sharp enough to build these things. But I don't forsee them delivering enough power to run the world of the future.

    Wind is has a lot of the drawbacks of the previous ones but the constraints are less geographic and much more meterological. Which means the future of these facilities is dependant upon some of the most eratic forces on earth. I almost support this idea because it will force the development of some very impressive storage and planning systems, but I don't see it being nearly practical as the others. Also: I always ask the wind supporters if they did one of their enviornmental impact surveys for the energy they're taking out of the wind and how that's going to effect down-range ecologies. The one and only person I've run across that was familiar with the results said that it would be an insignificant risk. Strangely, it's the same answer about nuclear power, and that's a technology we've already developed.

    Solar power is limited by the absolute maximum solar flux at the surface of earth combined with the maximum theoretical efficiency of collectors. Since the average summer solar flux is running about .75 Kw/m^2 (which is a very generous number) and say with 25 years of development we get a 30% efficient solar cell, we get .225 Kw/m^2. To get a terrawatt out of that we'll need about 4.669x10^9 m^2. And that's about it. It's a reasonably fixed value, and to meet power needs of the future we need larger and larger areas. For any given technology level there's going to be a practical limit on an area that can be effectively managed and maintained for consistent power production, and that will be the scaling limit.

    There's a host of others too, none of which are forthcomming to me at noon on a Saturday, and probably a bunch I'm not familiar with. I may be wrong. But before that happens, I want to know why, in all the gorey details. I'm reasonably confident that not one is going to give us the consistency of power on demand that fission (and later, fusion) will.

    At the same time I'm reasonably confident that the inherient mistrust the public has developed for anything that can be described as "radioactive" we're not going to see a great power revolution until fusion arrives. I forsee the near-term future of power production as being a great big combination of concepts, some of which are already here, some of which are on the horizon, some of which will be well developed and others not. But out of all them I bet there will only one or two that are greatly successful.

    Because you can always build them bigger, and you can always build more of them, and you can build them wherever they are needed. They don't need running water, sunlight, or oxygen to work. Fuel energy/mass yield is extremely high (a 5% enriched U235 plug the size of the tip of your forefinger is the equivalent to 1,470 pounds of coal), and they do not need to have their cores replaced very often, at all.
    You've just joined the ranks of "sciforums members who can't properly identify fallacies", along with our cantankerous little nico. Good show.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2004
  23. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

    Let's remember Chernobyl, for a moment.

    Chernobyl was a danger prone when it was built because of the graphite moderator in the RBMK design. This was a feature necessary for the soviets to use a lower grade of uranium than what is commonly found in western reactors when chernobyl was built in the late 1970s. The pressurized water reactors that were available since the 1950s are an inheriently safer design because water acts as the coolant, moderator, and reflector, and when it boils off, the reaction stops. The advances since then don't contribute the overall safety in this regard since PWRs are inherently safer from a conceptual standpoint and are immune to this kind of failure, because water is both the coolant and moderator - if the reactor overheats, the water boils off, and the reaction stops. The western reactors haven't learned a great deal from Chernobyl or advanced beyond it. We were never at risk of that sort of thing.

    Also, the Chernobyl staff was well trained, they were just wantonly stupid when they systematically removed each of the 31 safety locks that were designed to prevent exactly that kind if runaway reaction.

    It's been my experience that the people who use Three Mile Island as an example generally don't have a clue what happened there. A feedwater pump in the secondary loop tripped offline, and the loss of coolant immediately shut down both the turbines and the core. Without the cooling the natural decay heat in the core began causing the temperature and pressure to rise, and in and of itself this is not a bad thing since the reactor is designed for it. The pressurizer relief valve, that relieves pressure over 2300 psi in primary loop lifted when it was supposed to, but didn't reseat after relieving 3%-6% of the pressure. The valve stayed open continuing to vent pressure to the pressurizer relief tank (or quench tank), but the panel indicator showed that the valve had closed normally. Elsewhere in the plant, the emergency core cooling system failed to start properly because a valve was misaligned following a test two days earlier. That problem was recognized quickly and the valve was reopened in a matter of minutes, allowing the ECCS to operate normally. Now that the core and steam generator was being cooled, the pressure in the system dropped back to normal, and then continued to drop because of the open relief valve. The pressureizer, as it's supposed to, continued to pump water into the system to try and stabilize the pressure, but with the valve stuck open all it was doing was effectively pumping primary coolant water into the relief tank. Eventually the relief tank filled to capacity, and overflowed to an auxillary tank outside the containment building. That tank filled too and then overflowed into the wells of the building, and some of the vapor escaped through some fairly impressive vent filters. The vapor that did make it out was exposed to the overflow water, which was water from the pressureizer, which was water that at one point was exposed to primary coolant, which is circulated through a radioactive core. This is the leak that everyone is OMGOHSODANGEROUS about. In all it was just under 100 curies. The major constituents of the vented vapors were the non-condensable gasses common in most reactors, such as Xenon 135 and Krypton 85, and then a small about of dissolved Iodine -131.

    Meanwhile, back at the core, the uncontrolled venting caused the core coolant pressure to drop and eventually some of the water started flashing into vapor. The situation was easily controllable since the operator could have flooded the system with more and more water, but the venting at the top of the pressureizer gave a false indication that the system was at capacity when in fact the water level continued to drop. Eventually a steam bubble formed in the core and delaminated some of the zirconium cladding on the fuel rods. The zirconium oxidized with the steam, and generated a hydrogen bubble at the top of the core. The top of the core was exposed to the hydrogen bubble for about 7 hours before system pressure was fully restored (thereby compressing the bubble) and was removed over the next few days by careful use of air-ejectors elsewhere in the cooling circuit. While exposed, some of the zirconium plate and upper fuel rods became hot enough to become kind of plastic and core damage was extensive, but there was no "meltdown"...especially since the jury is still out on what that word actually means.

    PWRs are popular in the west because their fundamentals prevent that sort of thing from happening (despite what the Jane Fonda movies would have you beleive). I'm fairly knowledgeable on this subject and I'd be willing to discuss it at length. But taking this "because it just might" stance is foolish when it's not grounded in some kind of relavent facts.

    As far as the average radiological contamination from TMI, it was just shy of 10 millirems, or the equivalent of a few chest X-rays. Oh the horror.


    We already have many solutions. The Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) in New Mexico is supposed to house the stuff for a few thousand years in some fairly impressive salt/lime deposites. Supposedly the facility can be taking materials for several decades to come, but once it's full, I bet it won't be too much longer until we it up and do just what you propose: off to the sun, only with cheap rockets before the elevator.

    And high level reactor waste is 99% inert after only 300 years. Yes, this is still a long time, but it's peanuts on a global time scale, and certainly less than the 4 billion years number that Greenpeace constantly spouts off about.

    Also, for the general discussion, we really only need fission to hold us for the next, say, 100 years or so until we can get fusion going, and then wait for it be become cheap and prolific. As a matter of purely personal openion, I'd rather see a field of fission reactors tucked away in a quiet corner or the world and WIPP filling up fast than some idiot spoiling my desert horizons and valleys with a buch of fucking windmills, or doing something stupid to my bays so that they can get a few measely megawats out of it. I mean damn, these people are supposed to be the concervationists? They want to cover how many square miles in solar cells just so that they can have a clear concious while sitting in an air conditioned coffee house? Anyway, not meant to be inflamatory, just my feelings on it.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2004

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