A discussion about nuclear power

It is not an escape of any kind. The society is just akin to what you called Earth neighborhood. I live in The Netherlands, so I am part of the society of The Netherlands but also of Benelux and EU and Europe and Earth and what not. It has nothing to do with ‘god help us’, religion has nothing to do with this, as its not a belief system, its a social contract, akin to how a democracy works (but beyond that since climate change affects us all).

Nuclear waste is not forever that is what certain eco terrorists want us to believe, it has a certain half-time, and besides that it does not matter if its stored securely. Yes, the fact we need to store nuclear waste sucks, but its better than coal.

Coal’s dump isn’t short-term, the Co2 effects are there, which nuclear fission and fusion do not have. We have climate change problem right now, so it makes sense to get rid of all the coal stuff and replace it with nuclear (since there’s more demand that sustainable can yield).

In short, if the choice is between coal and nuclear, the choice is simple: nuclear, ASAP (cause it takes time to implement). Every day we wait is one day too much on coal.

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@JeroenH @amoun Although this is a nice discussion, let’s stay on topic, so people can keep posting their transport habits :wink:


This is indeed off-topic here, but I’m not able to leave this completely unanswered. So I’ll keep it as short as possible:

  • I’m not an eco terrorist
  • About 1 Mio. years (to have enough halftime periods for making waste harmless) is not “forevever” but I’m very concerned for the legacy we leave for thousands of generations
  • I regard it as impossible that mankind can store something “safe” for about 1 Mio. of years!
  • Nuclear energy is IMHO not the right way to fight CO2 emissions

Yes, it’s off-topic, but I can’t be quiet there either, sorry.

One interesting thing about such a half-life, by the way, is that it is a half-life. After this time, the activity has dropped to half. So all the crap has to be safely put away for much longer than the half-life.

By the way, I find the term eco-terrorist rather disrespectful for people who care about their own survival, the survival of their children and the survival of other people.


And one more addition: until all the pretty and safe and almost waste-free Fukushima, Three-Mile-Island and Chernobyl clones are built that we would need on a planetary scale to replace fossil fuels, we have unfortunately already turned the earth into an oven uninhabitable for the majority. The recent history of nuclear energy is not exactly full of fast constructions.
But in 50 years, when nuclear fusion works, a few privileged people, protected by private armies, can begin to build a new civilization.


Haha yes perhaps I should’ve appended “in this topic” to that sentence.

I was brought up without any such beliefs in my household, so it’s definitely not a major factor in our niche :slight_smile:

I’ve always thought think what makes me (and perhaps the rest of everyone in this niche) different is that me (we) value sustainability and/or social responsibility much more than most. There’s nothing wrong with being in it for yourself, of course, that’s just not me.


We’ve been held hostage by fear mongering of an anti-nuclear power crowd, empowered by accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

For example, the amount of nuclear waste we have currently, is almost completely military, and also it is hosted in countries which have nuclear power (arguably there is no NIMBY).

With regards to 1 million years, it is going to depend per isotope. That you don’t trust future generations with nuclear waste tells us something about your lack of faith in humanity and their ability to deal with nuclear waste securely.

Nuclear energy is IMHO not the right way to fight CO2 emissions

What is your solution?

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I think the question actually reasonably goes to you as well. Given the construction times of nuclear power plants (and the not even proven technical feasibility of nuclear fusion with a positive energy balance), you would have to answer where the nuclear energy is supposed to come from that will enable the world to keep to the decarbonization path that is needed to keep Paris, a warming of 2°C or even only 3°C.


Correct, we’ve waited too long with going nuclear fission, but if we build them now, we can meet the targets for 2030. For now, we are dependent on Russia. Sure, that’s gas, but electricity is also generated by gas as of now. People who don’t have a lot of money right now, are getting blasted by the energy crisis.

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Please stop this off topic discussion now.


It’s only fun for a limited time to discuss with people who refuse to acknowledge scientific facts as the basis of a discussion.
But this is very off topic, I’m out.

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OK, will stop it here now.

I’ve moved the posts relating to this rather spirited nuclear power discussion from this thread to this new one.


Hey great we have a separate topic whoopee!

Here’s a starter :slight_smile:

Scientific facts and semantics. With vague words it’s difficult to understand another, without the language barrier. So excuse my English it’s all I have at my disposal.

First there is this repeated word ‘we’, it does not include me and so either I will leave those who seem to decide for me to their own devices, nuclear or otherwise or ~

On the nuclear issue: Some, many, people are not happy with it, but like wars the actions continue to the benefits of those wielding the power through consumer investment, but this applies generally to the ‘sustainability’ brigade.

So what is this new and clear discussion for?

The more I hear people proposing a solution for ‘everyone’ ‘society’ I just want to throw up, please leave me out of the ‘do good’ platoon.

I’ve been vegan for 50 years, used exclusively solar for 40, use rainwater, wood to keep warm and grow all my own veg including maize and wheat and more etc.

But I don’t do this for the environment or the ‘society’ I do it as it’s simple and I can sustain that.

I can’t invest in nuclear, or society even though I am born into it. I use it third hand.

The furniture may be a bit cleaner once the dirt ahas been washed to the sea, some of the materials embedded in ~ heat storage stones ~ tarmacadam ~ depleted uranium munitions ~ the dumps are endless for quite a while.

The river near me has tritium regularly dumped in it. OK so a half life of 12.3 years ~ here’s a graph I made when it was brought to local attention, 20 years ago.


I do maths and stats and things, I’m not anti nuclear in any shape or form but I am equally not purporting it as any ‘solution’

Here’s another table, you will see that smoking one cigarette a day is 10^n times more harmful than the background radiation from weapons, power and Chernobyl etc. But note that this is daily background radiation spread over the whole planet, not for someone living near a power station or a dump, or in the line of a depleted U235 munition disintegration.



Do you have any reliable source for that? For me it sounds like fake news.

Leaving such waste to thousands of generations to let them pay for dealing with it only for creating temporary advantage for the current generation sounds very egoistic to me.

People must learn to consume less, to recycle more, to save energy. Future cost (CO2 consequences and here cost for dealing with the waste for so long) must be part of the energy price created. This would make it unprofitable at once.


According to this study, nuclear power is about as safe as renewable sources and causes similar CO2 emissions. So while I do agree that it’s not the best solution and that no new power plants should be built (they’re a lot more expensive per KWh and they take 20 years to build, which is time we don’t have anymore), turning off nuclear power plants before turning off coal, oil and gas plants (like Germany is doing right now) is just idiotic and is going to cost lots of lives.


That may be true for the big ‘society’ but for individuals there’s another perspective, well at least for me.

It is not about which is better to curtail by switching from from one form of exploitation to another.

It’s an individual’s sense of morality not ethics. Giving up that which requires others to do dangerous work is the issue (for me) not the consequences of the dirty work on the big ’ dirty society’.

Coal was the ‘fuel’ for the engine, and is still important. Nuclear is an alternative. It is no better to kill 10 people than 10 million unless you are hooked on ethics and not morality.

Apologies if this seems like an ‘attack’ on another, it is just that I responded to words, not the person.

In my opinion it absolutely is. Saying anything else devalues the lives of the other 9.999.990 people.

I’m mainly not hooked on philosophy. Philosophy is just old white fancy people overthinking things.


German society has different and way lower death tolls by coal considering mining and energy production which are the only deaths considered in that statistic.
Just a little play with numbers: German hourly energy production by coal nearly never decreases 10GW/h and has a capacity of 45GW/h electricityMap | Live CO₂ emissions of electricity consumption . This would account for approx >90TWh leading to >2.2k deaths/year. Here do hardly work 100k directly and inderectly in coal mining and I can only think of nearby working agricultur people who are affected by air pollution in a measurable way to be accounted in the statistic you quote.
At least the ones involved directly with their jobs have their unions saving their jobs, not tackling their so super risky workplace conditions - which they would be if >1% of them would die annually.

So unfortunately in germany coal miners don’t support the exit from coal mining which would make any transition easier.

However at least considering the quoted statistic, german government is not ignoring as many deaths by this decision as one might be illusioned into. This statistic is highly impacted by worldwide coal mining sites, and especially the ones underground don’t apply with the mayority of coal used for electric energy in germany.

Nevertheless: I don’t like this display at all. Firstly, the accidents and air-pollution could’ve been split easily which would make it way more understandable where the risks with harvesting resources (only reasonable way to account air pollution deaths for solar panels and nuclear, hardly doubt there are any with wind turbines) and actual setup+usage accidents are. Then, there is high uncertainty with the Chernobyl death toll - which will have the highest impact on nuclear deaths and is not mentioned in graph itself. It is unclear if it is just considering 43 official, 4k wordwide accepted & implied or some 100k actually involved. If it would, this easily would need to be accounted by a unprecision factor of 10. This is not accounted for by displaying a number 0.07 instead of a measure of error. I find it interesting to just read Fukushima deaths seem to be mainly due to lost infrastructure.
And lastly, death can only be considered a proxy for risk assessment. Otherwise parents would be trying to replace school bus by plane in order to have children transported the safest way possible :stuck_out_tongue: For germany a nuclear catastrophe near Hamburg is economically inacceptable. Only the whole society can bear such damage. In germany there is no mayority in doing so anymore.

Finally it would be nice if every country would have its own Honest Government Ads AND act accordingly :wink:

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