Gransnet forums


nuclear power no thanks

(77 Posts)
carboncareful Wed 08-Jun-11 20:43:51

Other countries including Germany are going to give up nuclear power altogether. Why are we still dithering about it?

crimson Wed 08-Jun-11 21:22:07

Germany are giving up producing it but, according to [I think] Newsnight, they are still going to buy it from France as they can't produce enough power from other sources. Curse the day we closed down so many mines; will cost a fortune to reopen them. Stop using nuclear power and they'll probably start looking for gas under the South Pole. Know what you mean, though; nuclear power is terrifying. Not sure what the solution is.

carboncareful Tue 14-Jun-11 18:28:33

Why is nobody interested in nuclear power? Does nobody on gransnet care whether we have another round of nuclear power stations. Conveniently placed in estuaries so that when the sea rises .................

crimson Wed 15-Jun-11 12:03:52

carboncareful; you haven't commented on the point I made about Germany.

baggythecrust! Wed 15-Jun-11 12:21:13

I'm interested in nuclear power. I'm especially interested in the sort that doesn't create so much waste but which, since it didn't lead to bombs, was not investigated. I believe thorium is involved rather than plutonium, and possibly 'fusion', but I'm not a nuclear scientist even in my wildest dreams. However, it is a cause of new hope which is nice with all the current hype and gloom and doom. Have some hope in humanity's ingenuity, carbon.

crimson Wed 15-Jun-11 21:28:56

Wasn't that fision rather than fusion [or vice versa?]. I had great hopes for that but I don't think they found a way to do it. At the end of the day they wanted plutonium for bombs anyway.

baggythecrust! Wed 15-Jun-11 22:06:14

crimson, I'll need to check that out, but I thought I had heard recently that whatever the alternative to plutonium fission or fusion, they are now making progress with it, which does sound hopeful to me.

crimson Wed 15-Jun-11 22:43:55

Oh, I hadn't heard this [no longer married to an engineer!]. Wikipediad it and fission sounds more dangerous that fusion, so perhaps I've got it wrong. When we heard Tony Benn talk the other week, he said that we should run the country in peace time as if it were war time..when you think of the major breakthroughs in science and technology that we had during both world wars, you'd have to think that all things were possible if enough effort was put into discovering solutions to the worlds problems.

baggythecrust! Thu 16-Jun-11 06:36:27

In theory I'd like to agree with Tony Benn. In practice, it doesn't happen because the extra motivation isn't there, by which I mean the political will. We could solve a good number of the large problems of the world already — we have the resources and the know how — but somehow we are not getting on with it, perhaps because of mankind's innate disagreeableness! There's always someone who wants to go to war about something!

Joan Thu 16-Jun-11 13:20:13

I have supported nuclear power for many years, but only when the nuclear power stations are situated somewhere safe and stable, both geologically and politically. I cannot believe Japan put them on the coast in an earthquake zone, risking tsunamis.

Re other methods of generating power, I live in the sub tropics and would love there to be a lot more solar power. I'm deeply unscientific, but it seems to me that solar power on every roof would surely be a huge help, especially those systems where you can sell the unused power back to the grid. I also believe building codes should make building insulation mandatory.

carboncareful Fri 24-Jun-11 15:28:37

Baggythecrust. re your post about thorium (instead of uranium - not instead of plutonium - plutonium is what you end up with so that you can make bombs). The trouble is that thorium reactors are not being researched here. It is the Chinese who are investigating using thorium instead of uranium. Then they will probably end up selling the technology to us I suspect.
Thorium reactors are far less dangerous than uranium reactors, don't need gallons of water for cooling, don't produce dangerous radioactive waste in anywhere near such quantities. But the reason we have not gone down that road is because we were intent on making plutonium for nuclear bombs.
Its all very logical.........I don't think!

carboncareful Fri 24-Jun-11 15:36:42

crimson, sorry I have not commented on Germany - have to do some research on that. However its interesting what you say about coal mines. At the time I thought it was dreadful, and still do in the political sense of the time it happened and why. However I realise now that it would not be a good idea to reopen the mines as we have to cease using fossil fuels as soon as we can. Using the fossil fuels up gradually will not do either because CO2 accumulates and it would just delay the timing of the tipping point. The tipping point is when its too late and everything goes pear shaped!!!! It has been calculated that if we use up all the estimated fossil fuels we shall not be able to prevent reaching the tipping point....

carboncareful Fri 24-Jun-11 15:41:33

Joan, they put them on the coast because they need lots of water to cool them. What they think will happen when the sea rises heaven knows.

The sea expands when it gets warmer so its not just melting ice that will cause the sea to rise.

baggythecrust! Fri 24-Jun-11 16:09:12

Actually, if you want nuclear bombs, which our government did, it's perfectly logical to research making nuclear power from plutonium. It may not be ethical but you said it wasn't logical, carboncareful. It is logical and there's no denying that.

There is no good evidence that sea level is going to rise faster than we can cope with it, indeed have been coping with it. See articles about Long Island, Manhattan. Deltas such as the one a lot of Bangladesh is on, have always been subject to flooding and always will be. It's the nature of deltas. They also have a tendency to grow rather than shrink.

There is a lot of misinformation about climate change, carboncareful, and you seem to have fallen for all of it. I find your badgering about it on gransnet a little over the top. There are plenty of climate change websites — especially the sceptical ones — where you could have a field day. I think gransnetters would like to be a bit more calm in general. Of course, I am happy to be corrected if that's not the case but I think the replies you've had so far tend to suggest that most of us do not think the planet is doomed by the activities of mankind.

baggythecrust! Fri 24-Jun-11 16:10:48

Typo correcton: do suggest

baggythecrust! Fri 24-Jun-11 16:49:03

Oops. Typo correction wrong. Time for a cup of tea.

jangly Fri 24-Jun-11 18:36:30

Its fusion they are working on at the moment.. They are still working on it at JET (Joint European Taurus) at Culham. Its progressing but will be years before they can utilise it. They have built the next stage already in France, so its coming on.

Faye Fri 24-Jun-11 21:36:02

Oh baggythecrust I think carboncareful should be able to have her say on climate change without you saying she is badgering. Surely the gransnetters can disagree without someone telling them off. hmm
I too believe that we don't want nuclear power and I totally agree that the climate is changing! Do people remember the hole in the ozone layer over Antartica. CFCs (man made chemicals) were banned in 1987 to prevent damage to the Ozone layer. Do people remember the iceberg floating past New Zealand. I mean to say a massive iceberg floats past New Zealand and people think that's normal. The last ten years have been the warmest on record. The increase in hurricanes, I could go on and on.. Japan has now been ruined because of Nuclear power. There will never be any guarantees of safety with Nuclear Power and its waste. We can't take the chance on getting this wrong and just burying our heads in the sand. What sort of world are we leaving for our grandchildren.
Here are two interesting sites to read, one from NASA and the other is one I enjoy reading because the author has no political agenda

baggythecrust! Fri 24-Jun-11 21:42:59

Sorry, Faye, I thought carboncareful was telling us off! Of course she can have her say and so can you. Apologies if my 'tone' rankled.

Oldgreymare Fri 24-Jun-11 22:05:09

Well done Faye..... years ago, studying 'A' level geography...was taught that nuclear power stations were sited away from densely populated areas for two main reasons, firstly fewer people to object, secondly fewer people affected if something 'went wrong'!!! Imagine my 'delight' when Wylfa was constructed on Anglesey where I lived at the time...... and now it is on 'the list' again. So many better alternatives, wind, tides and, not fogetting, solar.
Hate nuclear power/love apostrophes!!!!!

baggythecrust! Sat 25-Jun-11 07:10:08

I think it's important to remember that it was an EARTHQUAKE that caused all the devastation in Japan recently. It was the EARTHQUAKE and the tsunami that the EARTHQUAKE caused which detroyed the nuclear power plant. Also, awful though the damage has been to Japan as a whole, Japan is not destroyed. Japan will bounce back as it always has.

We have absolutely no control over earthquakes.

Also, published this month (I prefer to believe these guys)
New peer reviewed study: Surge in North Atlantic hurricanes due to better detectors, not climate change.

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, doi:10.1029/2010JD015493, 2011

I believe in climate change, but I don't think it's our fault. i think it's down to naturally occurring cycles. Others believe otherwise.
"Chacun à son goût"

pompa Sat 25-Jun-11 07:54:48

I believe that our use of fossil fuels in our cars and power stations is damaging the planet, apart from which, they are a finite resource. The extraction of these fuels endangers our planet, as the recent gulf oil spill shows. Also more that 20,000 are killed every year in mining alone. Burning these fuels further damages our planet, only time will tell how significant this is.
Whilst green power is the ideal, practical green generation on a scale to provide a significant proportion of our power is a long way off, and people do not want the blot that these inflict on our landscape, wind-farms, flooding caused by hydro-electric etc..
Nuclear power is, in my opinion, the only current option we have, whilst it is not clean, it is cleaner than fossil fuels, accidents will happen and pollute the environment, but so do fossil fuels. We can engineer safety into nuclear power, every accident make them safer. Extracting fossil fuels become more dangerous as they become scarcer and we take bigger risks to get them.
The disaster in Japan and the devastation caused, was from the earthquake and resulting tsunami, not from the failure of the nuclear plant.
Until we develop cleaner/safer options nuclear fission is our only practical option. (In my opinion -- other opinions are available !)

baggythecrust! Sat 25-Jun-11 09:22:07

That strikes me as a balanced view, pompa, and it is shared by many.

pompa Sat 25-Jun-11 10:26:15

Another vaguely connected comment. The current trend towards electric/hybrid cars etc. Whilst polluting our streets and town less, they still largely rely on electricity generated by fossil fuels, so pollute indirectly.

baggythecrust! Sat 25-Jun-11 12:29:32

Quite! And bio-fuels are not an easy answer either because of virgin forest destruction and the "don't burn food" angle. It's a deeply confusing issue and we haven't found the best answers yet. I wonder how many of us would be prepared to give up our cars and our electricity guzzling gadgets.