Japan: massive anti-nuclear protests planned for June 11

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120 Responses to “Japan: massive anti-nuclear protests planned for June 11”

  1. Ugly Canuck says:

    For me, it is a question of comparing risks.
    for me, global warming, climate change, is the problem:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1006425–if-you-think-it-s-hot-now-just-wait-50-years?bn=1

    …a problem which we have known about for thirty years now.

    And how’s the response been so far? Not good:

    http://www.livescience.com/11220-2010-record-greenhouse-gas-emissions.html

    Anti-global-warming = pro-nuke.
    That’s where I’m coming from.
    Comparative risk analysis.

    • John says:

      “.a problem which we have known about for thirty years now.”

      Probably by experts over 100. ;) Thirty years ago was the time we could afford more wiggle room in our decisions. Thats past. Its mitigating this disaster now and reducing losses.

      There is no time for fear and conspiracy in making reasonable energy decisions.

  2. Falcon2001 says:

    I think one of the biggest problems facing us when it comes to renewable energy isn’t just building it or improving it, it’s dealing with the inherent problems of energy storage being incredibly inefficient. Are there solutions being worked on? Sure! And best of all, the whole tinfoil hat crowd doesn’t have a ton of room to stand on when you consider that the tech to make energy storage more efficient couldn’t be blocked by ‘big oil’ because it’s so useful to so many other practices, such as computing.

    Regardless, I’ve yet to see a compelling reason that nuclear power is in any form worse than coal, and handwaving ‘LETS GET GREEN POWER WORKING NOW NOW NOW’ just shows you have done absolutely no work or research into the actual issues that green power researchers and supporters are trying to solve. I’m entirely in favor of green energy (all the way, 100%, excited as hell about it), but I’m also aware that saying the choice is between nuclear and green is a fallacy, as much as saying the choice is between nuclear and cold fusion.

    • Cowicide says:

      I think one of the biggest problems facing us when it comes to renewable energy isn’t just building it or improving it, it’s dealing with the inherent problems of energy storage being incredibly inefficient. Are there solutions being worked on? Sure!

      There are many solutions that are ready now. We only need to invest more in them and DO THEM.

      Maybe if you performed some work or research into the actual issues that green power researchers and supporters have solved you’d know about compressed air tanks and flywheel energy storage among many other solutions/options.

      And best of all, the whole tinfoil hat crowd doesn’t have a ton of room to stand on when you consider that the tech to make energy storage more efficient couldn’t be blocked by ‘big oil’ because it’s so useful to so many other practices, such as computing.

      Comparing laptop batteries to sequestering electrical energy for an entire cities only shows how little you’ve bothered to actually research this issue.

      And you are also lacking in research if you don’t think the energy companies have FAR MORE lobbying power than the computer industry. Annual lobbying on computers is around the 100 million mark ALL combined. Energy companies (including mining for coal, etc.) are at about half a billion dollars.

      handwaving ‘LETS GET GREEN POWER WORKING NOW NOW NOW’ just shows you have done absolutely no work or research into the actual issues that green power researchers and supporters are trying to solve.

      Haha…. Speak for yourself. Speak for yourself.

  3. grimc says:

    Is it “burgeoning” or “long-dormant?” I’d really be interested in a history of the no-nukes movement in Japan.

  4. Pedant says:

    Although different sources will use different sources for deaths, it is quite interesting to look at deaths per twh for different energy sources.
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html

    • Cowicide says:

      Although different sources will use different sources for deaths, it is quite interesting to look at deaths per twh for different energy sources. http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/deaths-per-twh-for-all-energy-sources.html

      Um… Pedant? You know what’s really interesting about the link you give there from those supposed “think tank” statistics that try to prove how great and safe nuclear energy is and how shitty sustainable energy is?

      That link, nextbigfuture.com, is run by people like Alvin Wang who happens to currently be the Business Improvement Manager at Edison International who runs nuclear power plants.

      I guess they just forgot to mention that part of his resumé on that glorious bullshit site there.

      Once again… can’t you guys at least research your way out of a wet paper bag and find some sources that aren’t straight from the nuclear power industry?

      Man, either there’s a ton of shills for the nuclear power industry in here or just a bunch of people inept at research…

      fuck’s sake, people. I AM GOING TO CHECK YOUR LINKS… Keep it up and keep embarrassing yourselves, it’s up to you.

      • Pedant says:

        Cowicide, as I said in the link, different sources will include different deaths, however as the link was in general agreement with other figures I’ve seen & time was short I thought it reasonable to post.

        How about New Scientist then? http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.600-fossil-fuels-are-far-deadlier-than-nuclear-power.html
        “When, in 1975, about 30 dams in central China failed in short succession due to severe flooding, an estimated 230,000 people died. Include the toll from this single event, and fatalities from hydropower far exceed the number of deaths from all other energy sources.”

        • Cowicide says:

          Sigh… where have I mentioned even ONCE that I support dangerous, hydroelectric dams in 1975? Actually, I haven’t. But, nice try!

          How about New Scientist then? http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.600-fossil-fuels-are-far-deadlier-than-nuclear-power.html

          Dammit, I was just going to reiterate like I have multiple time in this thread how much I just absolutely LOVE fossil fuels. Now that you’ve posted that link, I’m just going to have to rethink that love affair I have for it that I’ve mentioned over (and over and over and over and over… ) .. you know, how much I love fossil fuels.

          I now refer you to this post and check out about halfway down to see what I say very clearly in bold no less for the “comprehension-disabled”.

          • Pedant says:

            Sigh… where have I mentioned even ONCE that I support dangerous, hydroelectric dams in 1975? Actually, I haven’t. But, nice try!

            Fine, but if a place is largely reliant on wind power then the easiest way to store the energy for lulls is probably to pump water into reservoirs which as we see are potentially liable to failure.

            From your previous comments I believe any link I provide will be shot down by you with a claim of bias, so perhaps you care to provide one that you trust with deaths per energy source?

            Finally, I suspect no-one on here is in favour of outdated nuclear power stations from the 1970s or 80s. Those of us in favour of them tend to want the old ones scrapped and nice new shiny ones built.

          • Cowicide says:

            Fine, but

            Fine, but… you move the goal posts once again. It just never stops.

            And once again… all you guys focus on is everything that could possibly (no matter how unlikely) could go wrong with the sustainable energy sources I’ve mentioned and keep espousing the greatness of nuclear energy and every single time I show the extent of your FUD, you either ignore it or move the goal posts again and again and keep focusing like a laser on any possible negative you can dig up whether it’s based on relevant facts or not, it doesn’t matter.

            You very obviously are biased and every obviously rely on biased sources to back up your bias. It’s not science, dude. It’s biased bullshit.

            Tell me this… is there ANY sustainable energy you think is safer than nuclear energy? Oh, that’s right, but none of it is viable because the energy companies told you so…

            Give it up, dude.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This global backlash against nuclear power just makes me sad. I’d much rather if everyone only used renewable green power, but that’s just not possible at the moment. People really need to be realistic, if you don’t use nuclear what are you going to do in the mean time?

    • astrodude says:

      That’s the typical nuclear argument, “renewable is not possible, because I say that it’s not possible, so nuclear is the only way.” It’s a circular argument, and it’s just not true. The fact is that renewable expansion hasn’t even begun. Renewables are just getting started. And unlike nuclear or fossil-fuels, renewable technologies get more efficient and cheaper, not more expensive. Nuclear is what is impossible, not renewables.

      • Pedant says:

        Actually, using renewables for a large part of our energy generation is not possible because they don’t feasibly create enough power. (Feasibility may change by country :)

        Please read this digest http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/20/mackay_on_carbon_free_uk/ or the linked book(pdf.)

        For the UK to become largely renewable energy based would require remodelling the landscape into a concrete structure based nightmare.

        • Cowicide says:

          Actually, using renewables for a large part of our energy generation is not possible because they don’t feasibly create enough power. (Feasibility may change by country :) Please read this digest http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/20/mackay_on_carbon_free_uk/ or the linked book(pdf.) For the UK to become largely renewable energy based would require remodelling the landscape into a concrete structure based nightmare.

          Right.. sustainable energy would be a nightmare. This all coming from the guy within your link who just so happens to be the chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change which is heavily lobbied by (and often cows to) the nuclear power industry.

          More FUD, please! Not enough bullshit in this thread already. Please.. tell us more about how sustainable energy will be a bloody nightmare for us all. You know, it’ll kill every man, woman, child and bird on this planet.

          Sustainable energy is death!

          • Pedant says:

            Firstly, he performed this study before he was made chief scientific advisor.
            Secondly, I don’t agree with your slurs of bias against a department that has a stated principle of “to put ourselves on a path to cutting CO2 emissions by some 60% by about 2050, with real progress by 2020;”
            Thirdly, from your attempt to attack the man, not the book he has written, I presume you haven’t read the book nor made your own informed opinion as to whether what he has laid out is correct or tosh. He has at least attempted to calculate what impact different energy futures would have on our environment and lifestyles. Please go away, read and attempt to point holes in his cases, or say which one you want to live with.

          • Cowicide says:

            I don’t agree with your slurs of bias against a department that has a stated principle of “to put ourselves on a path to cutting CO2 emissions by some 60% by about 2050, with real progress by 2020;”

            Right and they want to do it with nuclear power instead of focusing mostly on sustainable energy. That is, until there’s a popular uprising that forces them to stop.

            Please go away, read and attempt to point holes in his cases, or say which one you want to live with.

            I challenge you to go way and actually research the DOCUMENTED cases in which the nuclear power industry pumps money into the Department of Energy and Climate Change to influence them (and it obviously works quite well if you look at their policies).

            Thirdly, from your attempt to attack the man, not the book he has written, I presume you haven’t read the book nor made your own informed opinion as to whether what he has laid out is correct or tosh. He has at least attempted to calculate what impact different energy futures would have on our environment and lifestyles.

            You assume too much. I read in detail from his book in PDF form here:
            http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/book/tex/sewtha.pdf

            It has a nice shout out from Royal Dutch Shell on page 3. And, I love page 169 where he talks about “Inherently safe nuclear power” and doesn’t give any consideration to earthquakes, etc. but hilariously mentions the dire hazards of earthquakes when it comes to geothermal energy on page 98. He glaringly doesn’t mention that you can easily control the risk by keeping the size of the fractures small to control the water flow rates and pressure.

            And the truth is after 35 years of solid data, geothermal hasn’t triggered any real damage and it’s only getting safer as we go/learn.

            Look, I’ll stop here. What your hero leaves out in his book is very telling. He obviously slants towards the safety of nuclear and the dangers of sustainable energy by leaving data out.

            he performed this study before he was made chief scientific advisor.

            And he was rewarded handsomely for towing the line and got his sweet position, didn’t he? Just a year later, I think it was?

            I also find it interesting that you overlooked what I said about your other link here where you linked to absolute FUD from the nuclear power industry who’s also trying to convince us all that nuclear energy is great and sustainable energy is unfeasible and even dangerous.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sorry but that’s not true for Nuclear and even coal technologies improve over time it’s not like they made a gen one plant and go geez this is the pinnacle of nuclear/coal power plants lets just stop improving. Also Solar power and wind power is just early days we need something that’s zero(not sure if it’s zero but it’s closer to zero then coal)emissions and can handle the base load aka Nuclear…

        Ps talking about Solar power, I live in Australia and with the rebate plan that some of the states have. They also allow you to sell back extra kw/hr you don’t use. The problem that the people who don’t have solar power get an increase in their power bills due to power companies buying power off people with solar power. So basically here it’s becoming like the haves can get cheap power the have nots get more expensive power.

  6. Joseph Hertzlinger says:

    I’m waiting for the protests against potatoes … and cashews … and rhubarb …

  7. astrodude says:

    FYI, using fast-breeder reactors aka “nuclear recycling” is not possible. They have been trying for over 65 years, spent trillions of dollars into it and they still have no working fast-breeder reactor. And even if there was a working fast-breeder reactor, it still produces high-grade radioactive waste that you can’t do anything about when you extract plutonium (the one that you need) from uranium.

    Some quotes on fast-breeder reactors:

    http://www.nirs.org/reactorwatch/newreactors/fastbreeder21710.pdf

    Frank von Hippel, Ph.D., co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, and professor of Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, said:

    “The breeder reactor dream is not dead but it has receded far into the future. In the 1970s, breeder advocates were predicting that the world would have thousands of breeder reactors operating by now. Today, they are predicting commercialization by approximately 2050. In the meantime, the world has to deal with the legacy of the dream; approximately 250 tons of separated weapon-usable plutonium and ongoing — although, in most cases struggling — reprocessing programs in France, India, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.”

    Mycle Schneider, Paris, international consultant on energy and nuclear policy, said:

    “France built with Superphénix, the only commercial-size plutonium fueled breeder reactor in nuclear history. After an endless series of very costly technical, legal and safety problems it was shut down in 1998 with one of the worst operating records in nuclear history.”

    Thomas B. Cochran, nuclear physicist and senior scientist in the Nuclear Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said:

    “Fast reactor development programs failed in the: 1) United States; 2) France; 3) United Kingdom; 4) Germany; 5) Japan; 6) Italy; 7) Soviet Union/Russia 8) U.S. Navy and 9) the Soviet Navy. The program in India is showing no signs of success and the program in China is only at a very early stage of development. Despite the fact that fast breeder development began in 1944, now some 65 year later, of the 438 operational nuclear power reactors worldwide, only one of these, the BN-600 in Russia, is a commercial-size fast reactor and it hardly qualifies as a successful breeder. The Soviet Union/Russia never closed the fuel cycle and has yet to fuel BN-600 with plutonium.”

    • jacobian says:

      FYI, using fast-breeder reactors aka “nuclear recycling” is not possible. They have been trying for over 65 years, spent trillions of dollars into it and they still have no working fast-breeder reactor.

      Your post conflates an immense number of different problems all into “fast breeder reactor”.

      Sodium-cooled fast breeder reactors have largely been shown to be deeply problematic because of the volatility of sodium. There is no question about that. However, they have had sodium cooled fast-breeder reactors, and they have worked.

      In addition there are other fast-breeder reactors which are not sodium cooled which are working now, and use, for instance, lead-bismuth eutectic. These have interesting problems in themselves, but exploding because of contact with water is not one of them. So again, fast-breeders which work, aren’t even particularly explosive.

      Breeding is really a flexible concept. Lots of reactors breed. Usually breeders reactors are considered to be those that make more fissile fuel than they use. In any case, being a breeders reactor does not mean one has to be a fast breeders reactor. You can be a breeder reactor in the thermal or epi-thermal neutron spectrum as well.

      Aside from all this, the question is really about dealing with waste. The waste problem should be dealt with either by making use of liquid core reactors with high-burnup (close to 99%) and tuning the burn to be of isotopes whose by-products we can easily handle (with short half-lives) or by developing effective transmutation or reprocessing. In either case this means we should probably be looking much more seriously at Aqueous Homogeneous Reactors (AHR) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSR).

      Neither of these technologies are pie-in-the-sky. Both of them represent technologies that were developed and put into practice a long time ago but never given the same level of interest as BWR (Because of simplicity and production of fuel for fast breeders) PWR (Because of its use in subs and ships) and Fast-Breeders (Because of plutonium breeding).

      All of these were chosen primarily for military reasons. In fact AHR and MSR were both chosen initially for their military applications (Breeding and Nuclear Airplanes respectively) and dropped like hot rocks when they didn’t meet their targets.

      It doesn’t help to confuse breeding, burnup and waste disposal with particular technologies whose primary purpose was plutonium manufacture. It’s additionally confusing to say that fast breeders have never worked – they absolutely have. Fast breeders were never intended to make electricity, they were intended to make nuclear bombs, and they filled their purpose brilliantly.

      • astrodude says:

        Your post conflates an immense number of different problems all into “fast breeder reactor”.

        That’s because a fast-breeder reactor was supposed to be the magical bullet for the “nuclear recycling” program, which never really worked out in the end. Some people are also still confused that “nuclear recycling” is possible, and that France is doing it when they aren’t. I needed to get that straight.

        However, they have had sodium cooled fast-breeder reactors, and they have worked.

        So, which one? I’m talking about commercial-grade reactors that can generate electricity, of course.

        In either case this means we should probably be looking much more seriously at Aqueous Homogeneous Reactors (AHR) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSR).

        Which are just as complex as fast-breeder reactors, cost a shit ton to develop and research and won’t be used until “Gen IV” reactors are deployed, which like the fast-breeder reactors, won’t likely be deployed until 2050 at the earliest.

        Fast breeders were never intended to make electricity, they were intended to make nuclear bombs, and they filled their purpose brilliantly.

        Fantastic, but we need to make electricity, not bombs.

  8. JayByrd says:

    Nuclear has never been viable in a free-enterprise economy. In the U.S., the first to jump ship was the insurance industry, which correctly assessed the risk in the 1950s.
    Private capital fled nuclear during the 1960s-70s nuclear building boom when cost over-runs threw a wrench into return-on-investment calculations.
    So, now nuclear is an industry that requires vast sums of public dollars, which precludes investment of money and talent into better long-term options like conservation and renewables.
    Nuclear requires a socialist or autocratic government to survive because it needs to lie to the people paying its bills to survive.
    Japan (and a lot of other countries) went nuclear because GE wanted to sell its wares and the U.S. government provided the financing. Some of that salesmanship resulted in nuclear weapons programs in places like Israel, Iran, India, Pakistan — and coming soon, Saudi Arabia.
    I find it almost funny that scientific guilt about Hiroshima and Nagasaki created the “Peaceful Atom” and it came home to roost in Japan. Trillions of dollars, the creation of thousands of tons of milennially toxic waste all to meet a human need that could have been met by the longer-lasting light bulb.

  9. pmhparis says:

    Hey anon(ymous cowards) #18 etc, sign on why don’t you?

    The dangers of emotion based decisions (like most of those pushing for the elimination of nukes without a clearly viable replacement) are that they very often end up worse that the existing status-quo. The period called “the terror” & the hundreds of thousands of deaths that ensued throughout Europe following the french revolution were a perfect example.

    The problem that people who have functional brains have with idiots who label fukashima a planetary disaster is that you have to ignore facts in order to believe the lie.

    Earthquake + tidal wave: Over 13 thousand dead. A coastline devastated & uninhabitable over hundreds of kilometers.
    Fukashima: Zero dead. A 20 km evacuation zone.

    Somehow anti-nukes turn these facts into the Disaster is Fukashima with the earthquake+tidal wave being footnotes.

    Where are the calls for evacuating all coastal areas & fault zones? *crickets*

    What is truly disgusting is that people are calling for major changes while completely ignoring all the consequences. Quick! A fire alarm went off, everybody jump out the windows! We’ll look to see if the alarm was really a problem & what happens to people above the ground floor later. Oh, there will be deaths? Those industry shills should have been living on the ground floor like us.

    To astrodude: Nuke power production in the west has been provably cleaner than all other base-load candidates. There are technologies that would use the spent fuel as combustible and eliminate all the long lived isotopes. Why are anti-nukes all against the development of these technologies? Because it would take away from one of your talking points?

    To the proponents of geo-thermal being an acceptable nuke replacement. Can you guarantee that this will not render an already unstable area even more dangerous? Why did the Germans ban further experimentation after experiencing quakes? Are future deaths from quakes/tsunamis somehow purer/more acceptable than the zero deaths from nukes in Japan so far? Why?

    To anon #39: Right now the germans are just exiting the windows & everyone is just fine. Once the bodies start hitting the ground however…

    To Cowicide #41: Why are all unsolved problems to developing green power mere excuses while problems in western nuke plants that have yet to produce a fatality a mortal sin? Personal bias?

    To Cowicide #41: Corporatists are all inbred products of unwed mothers? I suppose it makes you feel morally superior to think so but do you have proof?

    To Cowicide #43: Do something for everyone else. Get off your behind & turn off your computer. Calling incontrovertible facts “corporatist talking points” does not change their status.

    To Cowicide #57: All bow before cowicide who has defeated reality through his mighty willpower… Get out of Moms basement much?

    To Ugle Canuck #58: Check your timeline. Gorbachev was Premier & the Cold war was pretty much over. I remember being surprised that Gorby with all his talk of perestroika still tried to hide the unhidable.

    Note for Xeni/mods: Cowicide has a foul mouth in #22, #23, #42. Will you disemvowel his posts to render them less objectionable or once again are all posts that agree with you acceptable while those that do not get sanctioned?

    • Cowicide says:

      The period called “the terror” & the hundreds of thousands of deaths that ensued throughout Europe following the french revolution were a perfect example.

      Nice red herring.

      The problem that people who have functional brains have with idiots who label fukashima a planetary disaster is that you have to ignore facts in order to believe the lie.

      “Planetary disaster”? Another red herring! Fantastic. I haven’t heard too much along the lines of “planetary disaster”, but I think most with functional brains (as you say) do believe it to be a disaster for the country of Japan. But, maybe you think we’re idiots for thinking such things, I don’t know.

      Somehow anti-nukes turn these facts into the Disaster is Fukashima with the earthquake+tidal wave being footnotes.

      Oh, I’m sorry… is this the earthquake-tidal wave article we’ve all stumbled into and just started spouting off about nukes out of the blue? Our mistake. I could have sworn this article has something to do with massive anti-nuclear protests planned for June 11th, but I guess I was mistaken.

      All kidding aside, I hope to god you aren’t talking about the Japanese protesters in Japan. If that’s the case, you really are an insensitive creep insinuating they consider the death and destruction directly from the tidal waves a “footnote” just because they don’t agree with you on the safety of nuclear energy.

      Why are all unsolved problems to developing green power mere excuses while problems in western nuke plants that have yet to produce a fatality a mortal sin? Personal bias?

      Actually, I’ve shown facts to back up my assertions against the onslaught of vapid excuses to only have the goal posts moved afterwards and get thrown hyperbole, half-truths, half-baked assertions, red herrings and bullshit stats proven to be from the nuclear power lobby.

      What’s your problem with facts? Personal bias?

      Do something for everyone else. Get off your behind & turn off your computer. Calling incontrovertible facts “corporatist talking points” does not change their status.

      Dude, calling corporatist talking points “incontrovertible facts” does not change their status.

      All bow before cowicide who has defeated reality through his mighty willpower… Get out of Moms basement much?

      Hey look, more hyperbole! Fantastic. If you bother to read my posts I’m pretty heavy on facts. I notice you’re pretty heavy on hyperbole. I guess your trying to make up for a lack of something, aren’t cha?

      Note for Xeni/mods: Cowicide has a foul mouth in #22, #23, #42. Will you disembowel his posts to render them less objectionable or once again are all posts that agree with you acceptable while those that do not get sanctioned?

      CowTip: Leave moderation up to moderators. Maybe focus more on challenging my facts than attacking me with hyperbole instead?

  10. mordicai says:

    Oh good, they can start buying coal from China! Or oil from the Middle East!

    Or they can use the magical perpetual motion machine that everybody seems to assume will allow them to keep using their internet & air conditioner.

  11. quicksand says:

    What are they proposing? The only realistic alternative for Japan is coal power stations and they have a whole different set of problems (including major contribution to global warming, for starters).

    • Victor Drath says:

      True, it’s got serious problems, but as far as I’ve heard it dosn’t render large portions of the earth literally uninhabitable until the end of time. This one accident, this one plant will not be cleaned up or made safe in our lifetime, or any foreseeable future, nor is there a safe place to put the material if it could.

      Nuclear is quit horrifying the more you learn about it.

      • Agies says:

        Strip mining and global climate change sure sound like great ways to render large portions of the earth uninhabitable. But maybe you wouldn’t mind living under water?

        • Victor Drath says:

          I don’t support coal. I’ve been well aware of it’s effects for many, many years. But commonly occurring natural disasters won’t produce nightmare scenarios with coal like it very easily can with nuclear. I support geothermal more than anything else, but apparently it would put a lot good people in the opposing industries right out of business and we just can’t have that.

          Cowicide, I also take my hat off to you, but people just have things set in their minds that can’t be changed no matter what you say. Now if you were some schmuck sitting behind a news desk, or a politician flapping his gums behind a lectern, they would eat up your every word like it came from the mouth of god himself. People like to be lead and told. They don’t like to wonder things, question or think. Thinking is best left for those with authoritative sounding voices and slick speeches, pretty faces, or a combination of both.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not just nuclear, it’s MOX. It’s also the reactor design being unsafe, it’s also the location of the reactor being unsafe. Kind of like needing a babysitter but the only person available is Charlie Manson. Guess we don’t need nuclear power since the industry can’t even adhere to the basic safety standards. Greg Palast puts it into perspective with the Nuke plant backup diesel generators nicknamed “Snap Crackle and Pop.” GE and Toshiba should stick to lightbulbs and crapped out laptops.

    • travtastic says:

      Well, it’s either nuclear or coal. So I guess they want coal. I heard some dudes were working on ways to generate power from sunlight, the wind, the waves, and heat underground, but that stuff’s all really new and still in the prototype stage. So coal. Coal.

  12. asuffield says:

    Man, either there’s a ton of shills for the nuclear power industry in here or just a bunch of people inept at research…

    Well there’s certainly one guy who’s working for the oil industry.

    • Cowicide says:

      Well there’s certainly one guy who’s working for the oil industry

      Dude, I’m tracing their links to “statistics” that lead right to the nuclear power industry as their source. If you’re going to make accusations against me at least have some backup, buddy. Or maybe you’re just being obtuse? Either way.. put up or shut up.

      You’re just another shill that gives the false dichotomy of nukes versus coal.

      Go ahead, send some links my way via the nuclear energy lobby. Waste my time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if there will be beatings and illegal detentions like so many government responses to protest in the rest of the western world.

  14. pmhparis says:

    Yeah because all those deaths from those explosions clearly justifies renouncing a technology that results in little CO2 per KW/H…

    Except that Fukashima has resulted in ZERO deaths!

    • astrodude says:

      The people who are saying that “It has resulted in zero death, blah blah blah” just don’t get it. The effects of radiation are long-term. There may not be immediate deaths, but it’s going to cause cancers in decades from now. Infants and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of radiation.

      The people who saying that “It’s nuclear, or coal” also just don’t get it, since that argument is only presenting a false dilemma. The real alternatives are renewables. And yes, it is possible. Renewables are getting cheaper and more efficient over time, just like CPUs and LCD panels. It won’t be long until renewables get so cheap and so efficient that it just makes financial sense to install them. And we can store the electricity in nano-engineered fuel cells, which is already available today. CO2 will also be reduced by renewables.

      The fact is that nuclear is not sustainable, it’s not clean, it’s not safe, it’s too expensive, and it just doesn’t make any sense to go nuclear.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, you might have to revise that if you included Death-Sentences. Getting hit with radiation isn’t like getting hit by a car.

  15. David A says:

    Well, Japan has some of the best potential Geothermal resources in the world.

    And that’s not even using the more advanced EGS / HDR Geothermal. (Or the even more advanced version of that that uses supercritical CO2 as a working fluid).

    Pretty amazing stuff if they can get it to work.

    Since in theory, it’d have a low levelized cost, comparable uptime capacity to nuclear, and would be theoretically possible on 95% of the earth’s land surface surface.

    All while an accessible resource that represents 25000x more energy than is presently consumed annually.

  16. John says:

    Nuclear is still far safer and cleaner than the fossil fuels. Even in this, the worst accident in decades there is yet to be one radiation causality. By LOWEST estimates of coal casualties here in the US since this accident occurred there has been 1644. In China its probably in the 10s of thousands by now including mining accidents and coal for cooking use.

    But even that will be dwarfed by the consequences and casualties of climate change. Not to mention toxicity of mercury (no half life), ocean acidification and related extinctions.

    But fear is easier for most people to understand.

  17. Nonentity says:

    I’ve always found it interesting how so many anti-nuclear people respond to any argument against them with accusations of shilling.

    Keep milking that persecution complex..

    • Cowicide says:

      I’ve always found it much more interesting how so many pro-nuclear people respond to any argument against them with links to “facts” that have ties to the nuclear power industry.

      So, if you have any facts to add to the discussion that don’t… it would be great… or you can keep milking the hyperbole, it’s up to you.

      • MertvayaRuka says:

        Cowicide, I salute your efforts but you’re fighting against the tide here. What this all boils down to is people who don’t want to feel guilty about using fossil fuel derived power but also don’t want their comfortable tech-heavy lives disrupted too much and don’t want their blind faith in engineering questioned.

        We all need to accept that nuclear energy is clean and problem-free, because nuclear plants apparently grow straight out of the good earth with no need for mining, transport vehicles for material or construction equipment. Nuclear plants don’t need the citizens to shoulder the vast majority of the cost for their construction and operation (or their cleanup). The nuclear industry has no history of malfeasance or criminally incompetent behavior. Radioactive material is perfectly safe because it doesn’t cause death within seconds of exposure (funny how toxins from coal get a pass on that) and cancer doesn’t count, besides we’re all ghouls for even talking about cancer and shut up that’s why. Mouthpieces with financial ties to the nuclear industry and the odd “environmentalist who had a revelation” are the only trustworthy sources for for information about nuclear power. And green technology will kill you, your family and everyone you fucking know and love along with birds and puppies and kittens if it’s not stopped right now.

        Remember citizens, it’s either nuclear or death. Remember it now and repeat it often. Some dirty fucking hippie starts talking about solar or geothermal or wind or tidal power, just shout about how they’re obviously in the employ of Big Coal and they’re trying to destroy human society through global warming. Claim they’re basing everything on emotion no matter how many factual sources they throw at you and continue the accusations even when they point out that all your information is coming directly from people with a vested interest in the proliferation of nuclear power.

        Trust the big nuclear energy corps, people. After all, it wasn’t big energy corps that got us in the fix we’re in now just so they could turn a profit, was it?

      • Nonentity says:

        “So, if you have any facts to add to the discussion that don’t… it would be great… or you can keep milking the hyperbole”

        It’s not hyperbole to point out that certain commenters are attacking people more than the facts. You’re not making your side look any better by throwing around wild accusations and trying to shout down anyone who disagrees with you.

        Of course, I there’s always the possibility that you’re just being a troll.

        • Cowicide says:

          It’s not hyperbole to point out that certain commenters are attacking people more than the facts. You’re not making your side look any better by throwing around wild accusations and trying to shout down anyone who disagrees with you. Of course, I there’s always the possibility that you’re just being a troll.

          Nice way to fight insults by implying I might be a troll. Ya know… another insult.

          You very conveniently only point out “certain commenter” (a.k.a., me) for attacking people when you very selectively left out the horseshit hyperbole antics and insults I’ve been getting from your side of the fence there, buddy. Little things like how “I’m very eager to start seeing and counting the deaths from cancer in Japan”. You know, shit like that on top of people basically accusing me of murder because of my evil actions of promoting sustainable energy? Oh yeah, and somehow I really dig fossil fuels… just love em’

          Of course, they just might be trolls… or maybe you are as well, hypocrite?

  18. David A says:

    Nuclear weapons also poses one of the greatest threats to humanity.

    Geopolitically it’s not feasible to stop the North Korea’s and Iran’s of the world, while ramping up our facilities at full bore.

    Granted I agree with not tearing down existing nuclear plants, however building more would be foolish. Especially considering they are incapable of financing themselves on private risk capital.

  19. David A says:

    Nuclear weapons also poses one of the greatest threats to humanity.

    Geopolitically it’s not feasible to stop the North Korea’s and Iran’s of the world, while ramping up our facilities at full bore.

    Granted I agree with not tearing down existing nuclear plants, however building more would be foolish. Especially considering they are incapable of financing themselves on private risk capital.

  20. Ancient says:

    This is bullshit)))
    The fault is not with the NPP – it’s with the government and the TEPCO for not making it safer considering it’s built in a seismic zone…

  21. Mister44 says:

    Considering ~30% (the numbers vary) of their electricity is generated by their nuclear plants – perhaps they should rethink their protests. If Japan shut them down for a week, you would see millions begging for the power to be turned back on.

    For sure Fukushima taught all of us some valuable lessons – but to base their future energy generation on emotion and fear is foolish.

    Alternative energy would be great, but they are not a viable option at this point. Until they are, nuclear power is probably the best power source in the mean time. Also – Thorium plants might be a viable power plant in the future.

    • astrodude says:

      Actually, right now only about 10% of their electricity is being generated by nuclear since only 19 out of their 54 nuclear plants are operating due to the earthquake. So the quake has managed to shutdown 60% of their nuclear plants. If they really wanted to, they can shut down entire nuclear plants within 10 years. But I don’t think that they will do that just yet.

    • grimc says:

      But Japan is shutting down its nuclear reactors. To be precise, as they get shut down for regular maintenance checks, they’re not receiving permission to restart. The Japanese government is calling for citizens to make strong efforts to reduce their electric usage this summer because many (most?) reactors will remain shut down for the near future.

      Millions begging for the power to be turned back on? I think you underestimate the influence of discipline and sacrifice in Japanese society.

  22. taj says:

    So was it massive? I didn’t see or hear anything. But I was only travelling about central Tokyo on Saturday. Here we have better things to do and worse things to focus our time and energy on.

  23. Laroquod says:

    I hope Cowicide and Ugly Canuck both get sent hacker password that allow each to access his own three-hundred-foot tall mech, one powered by nuclear energy and one powered by mystery energy. One will start in Okinawa, Japan, and the other will start in Upper Sandusky, USA. They will have 72 hours to cross the intervening space and find each other and battle to the last. Whichever is the last mech standing after 72 hours will be incinerated, along with all of both participants’ computer equipment, so that they both pass finally into Boing Boing legend and, sadly — *beats breast* — are never heard from in the comments sections again.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post, Xeni.

    I was checking out the comments to see if there was any mention of solidarity rallies, but instead there’s about a dozen comments on here so far, and most seem to be in the “they need to realistic”-”Nuclear better then coal” camp. It reminds me of the “…but Mubarek maintains stability!” crowd a while back.

    Of course there’s always the option to use LESS energy while using/investing in existing green alternatives as the country lowers its dependence on nuclear/coal/oil. I believe thats what the anti-nuke folks are saying. Nothing unrealistic. That’s what the Germans are doing…

    In any case, Japan is a small country and people there are under a lot of stress for months over the ongoing nuclear and political crisis (not mention the Tsunami itself and it’s aftershocks). Is it really so confusing that they would be upset and organize protests?

    Also, the comment (or rather, INDUSTRY TALKING POINT) that there have been no deaths from Fukushima is really disgusting. Does one really need to quantify the ways in which people there are suffering in order for this be considered a massive catastrophe?

    • andrei.timoshenko says:

      What the Germans are doing is buying a bunch of nuclear-generated electricity from France, which, mind you, has never had much trouble with nuclear.

      Nuclear energy is not a panacea, but banning it on principle, simply because it scares you is not a good response.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, that is ONE of things the Germans are doing WHILE developing renewables and lowering consumption.

        I’m not talking about “banning it on principle”. My (and others) opposition to nuclear energy (both the associated risks & the for-profit corporate/political apparatus that supports it) is based on what is going on in the real-world.

        Fukushima isn’t a nuclear disaster in principle; it’s a nuclear disaster in practice.

        • andrei.timoshenko says:

          Nuclear electricity from France, together with more coal being burnt, is the main thing that Germany is doing. The efficiency and sustainable energy initiatives are more greenwashing than anything else.

          Due to the power of the major energy players, the spinelessness of politicians, and the human tendency to put things off until those things bite us in our collective arses, in the REAL WORLD sustainable energy solutions will simply not be introduced quickly enough to avert the dramatic of fossil fuel consumption on the global climate.

          Nuclear, on the other hand, could. Not because it is such a great energy source, but because it requires little conceptual revolution from fossil fuels. Nuclear has been matured and proven over time scales that energy companies, regulators, and utilities understand. It does not require much change in the balance of power within the sector. It still follows the model of massively centralised production and inefficient distribution.

          Is sustainable energy the future? Absolutely. But it is unlikely to arrive fast enough to avoid some significant negative effects of relying on fossil fuels until its arrival. Will a push for nuclear today actually delay its arrival? Yes, unfortunately, that will happen too. But I cannot bring myself to sacrifice the well-being of hundreds of millions of people on the altar of my ideals.

          Being able to dream of one’s ideal future is, indeed, critical for changing the world for the better. But being able to understand the way the world currently works is no less important. Efforts spent on the total and immediate abolition of nuclear energy would be much better spent on ensuring that nuclear energy is as safe and environmentally conscious as possible.

          In this way we would not be cramming six nuclear reactors in one poorly suited region (as in Fukushima – which was the result of significant environmental lobbying to keep reactors from spreading out across Japan), and we would not be relying on 30 year old technology. Oh, and we would actually have had a chance of the second half of this century not being defined by a climate disaster. Post Fukushima, I guess we now have to start focusing on mitigation strategies…

          • Anonymous says:

            Sounds like we both have read about what the Germans are doing and developed different opinions about it. You’re convinced that the whole thing is a “greenwash” in where Germany buys expensive energy from France. I remember reading about (and being impressed by) Germany’s current and future expansion of wind farms and energy saving tech. I’m sure there’s plenty of backroom nonsense going on, but overall the Germans seems pretty serious… in my view.

            “But I cannot bring myself to sacrifice the well-being of hundreds of millions of people on the altar of my ideals.”

            This brings up the other, equally important, point that so few people seem to grasp, on these comments and else where, which is:

            WE CAN USE LESS ENERGY NOW!!!

            LESS!

            LESS!

            LESS!

            No well-being need be sacrificed. People in rich countries can massively reduce consumption and live perfectly comfortable lives.

            Furthermore, what about the current sacrificed well-being of people in Fukushima? Not too much the worldwide suffering (wars, mining, environmental destruction) due to our current general approach to energy.

            By accepting the status quo of nuclear energy and current consumption levels you create a very narrow definition of “well-being”, which doesn’t allow for any deviation from that status quo. Anyone who disagrees doesn’t understand the “real world”. Again, I must repeat, the Fukushima disaster and it’s wider consequences are REAL. My opposition to nuclear energy has little to do with ideals.

          • andrei.timoshenko says:

            I find the Kaya Identity to be a pretty good general framework with which to consider the broad trends of human impact on the environment. The identity is:

            F = P*g*e*f

            where “F” is the total CO2 output, “P” is the global population, “g” is the global GDP per capita, “e” is the global energy intensity of economic activity (total primary energy consumption divided by global GDP), and “f” is the carbon intensity of energy production.

            Barring any global-scale calamity, two trends will be immutable, at least for the next half-century:

            1. Global population will continue to rise at a near exponential rate.
            2. No region of the world will tolerate an absolute decrease in real GDP per capita, and many regions (India, China) of the world will drastically raise their per capita GDP.

            So that just leaves us e and f to play with. Again these are not free from constraints. Given Trend 2, energy efficiency measures that have a material adverse impact on per capita GDP growth will never be seriously considered either by the general populace or their elected representatives (or for that matter by powerful corporate lobbies). Given both trends, a lot of both the population growth and per capita GDP growth will be happening in the world’s poorer regions so investment in energy sources will be ranked by shortest payback period rather than greatest lifetime ROI (the poorer you are, the more applicable Keynes’ adage of “in the long term, we’re all dead” becomes). Furthermore, if we rule out nuclear energy a priori, our ability to play with f becomes further constrained.

            Considering these very real practical challenges, as well as the scale of the challenge (there is very strong upward pressure on F from trends that will not be reversed in the medium term), I believe that we should maintain all de-carbonising energy sources in our arsenal. I will fully agree that nuclear is the most imperfect of these on environmental and social grounds, but it is also the one that can be implemented the quickest on a truly massive scale (again, the technology is mature and it does not require other revolutions before it can be mass adopted). Besides, pretty much all energy sources except for solar will face some sort of NIMBY-ist resistance, in response to both real and imagined grievances (e.g. Cape Wind controversy, Basel’s Deep Heat Mining, food price instability allegedly linked biomass production, environmental opposition to the Three Gorges Dam, etc.). Yes, all of these negative impacts are much, much, much, much lower than those of nuclear, and some of the opposition is just stupid. But this does not mean that such opposition will go away and that potentially promising projects will not be dramatically S-L-O-W-E-D as a result.

            Given all of the above, I reiterate my position. While taking all of the significant practical costs of nuclear into account, we presently do not have the luxury of choosing to ignore its significant practical benefits. This is where my accusation of idealism is coming from – I agree with the major practical disadvantages of nuclear, I just want the major practical advantages to also be acknowledged. As such, I believe that the energy currently being spent on banning nuclear outright would be much better spent on ensuring that it is made as safe as possible. I certainly hope that nuclear does not play a central world in a low carbon economy, but I do think that it has some role to play.

          • Cowicide says:

            The efficiency and sustainable energy initiatives are more greenwashing than anything else.

            [citations from anyone aside from nuclear and fossil fuel industry sorely needed]

          • andrei.timoshenko says:

            The policy was passed by the centre-right CDU and their right-wing coalition partner FDP after negotiations conducted behind closed doors and only occasionally involving the opposition Greens and SPD.

            The governing coalition was formerly staunchly pro-nuclear even annulling the previously enacted phase out of nuclear power in Germany 6 months prior to their about-face.

            The policy reversal came after a combination of the Japanese earthquake and a string of important electoral defeats for the governing coalition.

            The plan expects Germany to abandon nuclear energy, decrease CO2 output by 40%, and lower energy costs all by 2022. It gives no specifics about how to actually do any of this.

            There are not really any specific technical analyses of the feasibility of the plan because the plan is so far lacking any technical specifications. As a result, if you choose to believe that the current German government will actually act to materially deliver on the spirit of its promises, more power to you. To me, on the other hand, it seems startlingly close to a situation in which the Republican party suddenly comes out with a plan for strong financial regulations.

        • Cowicide says:

          Yes, that is ONE of things the Germans are doing WHILE developing renewables and lowering consumption. …. Fukushima isn’t a nuclear disaster in principle; it’s a nuclear disaster in practice.

          Great response. I wonder if any of that will sink in? I hope so.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Of course it has sunk in…that nobody has died, or is likely to, from the radiation released from Fukushima.

            Although folks like you cannot wait to a start counting the “deaths from cancer” which you seem so very very eager to see.

            PS : Did ya notice that fully 85% of the positions in the “futures market” in oil is held by not by end users, but by speculators?

            Oil is grotesquely over-priced as a result. Why not ban that speculation, instead of nuclear power?

          • Cowicide says:

            Although folks like you cannot wait to a start counting the “deaths from cancer” which you seem so very very eager to see.

            You are a sick person, you know that? You can apologize for that absolutely obtuse, shitty statement right now.

            You resort to things like that because you know you’re WRONG and it eats you up inside, doesn’t it? I can feel your torment when you make ludicrous, desperate statements like that.

            Please, stop talking to me. Thanks. I honestly hope you get some mental health treatment. I’m not saying that to be mean. I’m saying that because I’m being honest with you, Canuck.

  25. querent says:

    Thought maybe I’d get in before anybody said “it’s nuclear or coal.” I was very wrong. Quick draw false dichotomy ftw.

    So what’s up with Germany these days? Didn’t I hear that something interesting might be going down in energy policy thereabouts?

    Alright, this is coming off as snarky, and I don’t want to be snarky. But I’ve looked at some numbers, and I just don’t believe that renewable energy is not viable. Lots of people say it, but I don’t believe it.

    A determined populace could do a hell of a job on a retrofit, and that makes a ridiculous difference. It’s like changing the algorithm instead of just putting faster hardware behind it.

    A please don’t tell me retrofitting for energy efficiency would cost too much. To go from “it’s not possible” to “it’d be too expensive” sounds suspiciously like the wriggling of climate change deniers on the hook.

    I’ve always considered nuclear to be an inelegant solution. You know, with the radioactive waste and what not.

    • travtastic says:

      Retrofitting with insulation is probably the most cost-effective method available, really because we’re starting out so inefficient.

      http://www.mdpub.com/SolarPanel/index.html

    • John says:

      All nuclear NOT UTILIZED for the last 30 years became coal. Reality is hardly a false dichotomy as Greenpeace suggests. Germany touted as the green beacon of energy is constructing MORE coal and gas plants.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can cite one nuke plant that went to natural gas, not coal. Be careful with all and none.

      • querent says:

        “Germany touted as the green beacon of energy is constructing MORE coal and gas plants.”

        The link you provided is speculative. From the link:

        “Germany is committing to a course of more fossil fuel use in both the short and long term. I hate to be so cynical but I see no other conclusion knowing the implications and from the actions, statements, and previous history of fossil fuel use. Not to mention its continuing history of Lignite production.”

        So it was just speculation from some random persons blog. Doesn’t merit treatment as fact.

    • prentiz says:

      Querent, Germany’s policy is not just about increasing renewables, but also about a) building more coal-fired capacity and b) importing electricity from France. In France 75% of electricity is generated by, err, nuclear. Renewables are great – but they can’t generate base capacity very easily. Doing so with no CO2 needs nuclear.

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s the typical argument because it’s fucking fact. As you say, renewable energy is just starting up, which is to say: It cannot supply our energy needs at this time. Don’t use a strawman only to light him on fire. We need other sources of energy for the next several years at least. How many new nuclear plants have been built recently? How many are being shut-down at the end of their operational lifespans (clearly not all that should e_e). I call to question whether your turfing is really appropriate. Oh, is that too blunt? Your commenting history (or lack thereof) speaks for itself.

    Nuclear energy has gotten more efficient and safe since fukushima’s designs. And the only reason renewable sources are increasing in efficiency so dramatically is because they are so inefficient.

  27. Flyne says:

    You’re hilarious. Talk about cherry picking. You left out every fact I brought up and every link. Go back and read my posts without your desperate cherry picking and get real.

    I’m not trying to attack your position here. I’m asking that we try to have this conversation in as civil a manner as possible. No matter how correct you are, “What is wrong with you people?” is not a question which should ever enter a debate. And yes, plenty of other people are losing their cool, but you are by far the most serious and most vocal example.

    (Mods: Originally posted this without having signed in, sorry about that.)

  28. Cowicide says:

    You people think things like floating wind farms are “impossible”. Geothermal? Impossible!

    How about this?

    People eating up corporatist energy company propaganda fucking bullshit? Easy

    Check your sources, folks. It’s the energy companies feeding you lies through bullshit “think tanks” sponsored by evil entities like the Koch brothers and such, and you lap it up like idiots.

    Alternative energy IS feasible. The only thing stopping it is energy companies and the morons who believe them. You are the cogs in progress. If we could get a popular movement for alternative energy investment and production, we could make this happen.

    But people like you are fucking it all up with your ignorance and your arrogant inability to take ANOTHER LOOK at alternatives energy sources beyond the bullshit think tanks.

    • Mister44 says:

      re: “Alternative energy IS feasible. The only thing stopping it is energy companies and the morons who believe them. You are the cogs in progress.”

      Feasible as in ‘it works’ or as in ‘it’s affordable’.

      If the current technology is such a cash cow there would be people milking it for all it’s worth. Billionaires don’t get to be that way by not exploiting a lucrative niche.

      FWIW, I think geothermal sounds the coolest.

        • Mister44 says:

          Awesome. As the technology becomes more and more profitable – you will see more and more investments like this.

          @cowicide – it is just hard to take you seriously sometimes with your portrayal of the rich as monocle and top hat wearing ‘Monopoly Men’ caricatures – sitting on bags with dollar signs, fiddling with their mustaches and admiring their new baby seal skin bunny slippers, while sipping on their Johnny Walker Blue Label served by a smuggled in 10 year old Thai boy.

          I am sure there are some who don’t want the current energy scheme to change, but one does not continue to be relevant and profitable in business with out insight into the future and the ability to adapt to it.

          On top of that – it just makes no sense. “Let me get this straight… I build a XXXX plant (wind, solar, geothermal, etc), and after the initial cost building it, other than the cost of maintenance and to staff it, it costs me NOTHING to fuel? And yet I get to charge people MONEY? No no, free money is a horrible, horrible idea. I’d rather make less with more hassles with a coal or oil plant.”

          And when you say “Nuclear Power isn’t safe”, I have to ask “Compared to what?” 20,000 people will die in China this year in coal mines. Over 2000 in the US. There have been fires and explosions at fossil fuel plants in the past. Nuclear power has risks involved, but of all the plants in operation, there have been what, 2 or 3 really hazardous situation?

          And to make it clear, I am all for new technologies and even thing the gov. should spend more on research (That’s right – me supporting gov. spending. Look outside real quick and LMK if you see any horsemen.)

          • Cowicide says:

            it is just hard to take you seriously sometimes with your portrayal of the rich as monocle and top hat wearing ‘Monopoly Men’ caricatures – sitting on bags with dollar signs, fiddling with their mustaches and admiring their new baby seal skin bunny slippers, while sipping on their Johnny Walker Blue Label served by a smuggled in 10 year old Thai boy.

            You’ve got quite an imagination. Hyperbole will get you nowhere with me. The rich have proven throughout history and definitely in recent history that they could give a damn about their country (see offshore tax havens) or taking care of the health of the people (see all the lobbying to be able to pollute like hell).

            Instead of jumping to conclusions and getting ridiculous, maybe read up and research who we’re actually dealing with here. If you haven’t noticed the rampant corruption at the top, you must be blind.

            I am sure there are some who don’t want the current energy scheme to change, but one does not continue to be relevant and profitable in business with out insight into the future and the ability to adapt to it.

            That’s very quaint. But I’m not basing my opinions on thin air. It’s well known that energy companies have been actively slandering sustainable technology. Just look at this thread filled with corporatist FUD attempting to prop up nuclear energy and denounce sustainable energy. Those who actually research this matter know that the companies do plan to eventually switch to sustainable energy, but they are dragging their feet as long as they can until it reaches critical mass.

            The problem is by the time the corporatists (who have a proven track record of putting greed ahead of common sense) come around, it’ll be too late. And, in the meantime, we are suffering NOW.

            Now please, before you spew any more hyperbole at me, read that article and take a long look at those photos and tell me the corporatists give one shit about this Earth and the people that live in it? Be sure and choose the size of 1280px so it’s nice and IN YOUR FACE.

            On top of that – it just makes no sense. “Let me get this straight… I build a XXXX plant (wind, solar, geothermal, etc), and after the initial cost building it, other than the cost of maintenance and to staff it, it costs me NOTHING to fuel? And yet I get to charge people MONEY? No no, free money is a horrible, horrible idea. I’d rather make less with more hassles with a coal or oil plant.”

            The initial cost is higher than just continuing the status quo. What part of that don’t you understand? And your childish explanation of the situation makes it difficult for me to take you seriously at all.

            And when you say “Nuclear Power isn’t safe”, … Nuclear power has risks involved, but of all the plants in operation, there have been what, 2 or 3 really hazardous situation?

            I just don’t say “Nuclear Power isn’t safe” out of the blue here. If you bothered to check out the sources that BACK ME UP you’d know that. As I already said here in this previous post, the Union of Concerned Scientists have made it quite clear there are serious safety and security risks with nuclear power that should not be ignored.

            I have to ask “Compared to what?” 20,000 people will die in China this year in coal mines. Over 2000 in the US. There have been fires and explosions at fossil fuel plants in the past.

            I’ve also already said this until I’m blue in the face in this thread, but I’ll say this yet again for the comprehension-disabled…

            I’m comparing it to sustainable energy. There, now it’s in bold. That means it’s an important statement you should consider. Maybe even think about. I’m not defending fossil fuel plants. I hate fossil fuels and that’s why I support sustainable energy. Clean energy.

            So please, everyone… stop with the stupid questions implying I think fossil fuels are some sort of amazingly safe and wonderful alternative energy source. My point is, the energy companies (nuclear AND fossil fuel) spend an enormous amount of money lobbying and using bullshit “think tanks” to try and discredit the viability of alternative, clean, safe energy.

            They attempt to make alternative, sustainable energy seem unattainable in the near term so they can cash in on their current investments and current infrastructure.

            So, please for the love of gawd, stop with the obtuse comparisons that imply I think fossil fuels are some great alternative to nuclear energy. It’s stupid. Stop it.

            And to make it clear, I am all for new technologies and even thing the gov. should spend more on research (That’s right – me supporting gov. spending. Look outside real quick and LMK if you see any horsemen.)

            It won’t be the government that does it. It’s going to be the common people of the world that rise up and demand it. The FUD is thick (as we can see by this thread and all the bullshit think tanks) and the FUD is working. But, there are many people like me that have critical thinking skills and will RESEARCH beyond the corporatist bullshit.

            When the popular uprising for sustainable energy comes, then the corporatists will have no choice at that point because even many of them know they have to appease the bewildered herd once it becomes informed of their doings. But if we wait for the corporatists to make the changes on their own, it may already be too late.

      • querent says:

        Those billionaires got existing infrastructure up and running.

        And I ain’t known nuclear to be “affordable” without government subsidies. That money could go elsewhere.

        Personally, I think renewable is less attractive to the wealthy because it’s more inherently decentralized. At least potentially so. Nobody wants to sell you a phone, they want to sell you the contract. Money makers don’t like you buying a durable that you won’t need to replace for 5 decades. They like monthly checks coming in. My theory. Also a reason that renewables are so attractive to me.

      • Jake0748 says:

        Sorry to jump in here after reading about 1/3 of the comments, and sorry to reply to cowicide for no better reason than I’m tired and lazy.

        BUT… The whole freakin world should right now decide to focus it’s energies on renewable power sources. Enough of the naysayers. It just needs to be done. Yeah, big oil and all kinds of entrenched business people will say “It can’t be done”. Well, fuck that, it needs to be done, soon.

        Or we will all die sooner than we need to.

        • Nettdata says:

          The whole freakin world should right now decide to focus it’s energies on renewable power sources.

          Google is doing just that. In case you’ve missed the announcement, you can read about it HERE

          It may “only” be $350 million, but it’s a hell of a start, I’d say.

        • Cowicide says:

          sorry to reply to cowicide for no better reason than I’m tired and lazy

          There usually is no better reason, really. ;D

      • Cowicide says:

        If the current technology is such a cash cow there would be people milking it for all it’s worth. Billionaires don’t get to be that way by not exploiting a lucrative niche.

        Corporatists are some of the laziest, inbred bastards you’ll ever meet. They love the status quo and fear nothing more than true competition and true free enterprise. If they can lazily milk their current infrastructure, they will. Past history is proof enough.

        Among many other reasons, there’s also what querent said above which I’m basically repeating.

        FWIW, I think geothermal sounds the coolest.

        In Japan? Yes. And many other options are at their disposal from the ocean.

  29. Cowicide says:

    Oh… and to all the assholes who said I was full of shit about the scope of the disaster throughout this entire sordid affair?

    READ THIS:

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3241508.htm

    I doubt I’ll get any apologies since you are probably incapable of such things, but so be it.

  30. querent says:

    It does seem that Cowicide traced a lot of “facts” offered up about nuclear back to industry sources. Thanks.

    Also, if I’m incorrect about Germany, I apologize. I don’t know that I am, though. I’ll look into it.

  31. Mister44 says:

    Good news, everyone! I’ve attached the Thingmonger to this thread to capture the rising currents of hot air and it has produced enough energy to power my portable Margarita maker!

    PS – I am not currently a shill for any entity, but welcome the chance to become one. If any organization is interested, please find a way to contact me.

  32. John says:

    Yea I get it – I also get that toxins have no half life and no one want to live here either. ( http://i2.ytimg.com/vi/62_vUAaa-wA/0.jpg ) or here ( http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Category:Coal_waste )

    Under normal operation fossil fuels release more radioactive particles than nuclear. ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste ) I also get that the antinuclear groups have mislead on the dangers of low dose radiation ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world ) and are indirectly pushing more fossil fuel use ( http://diseaseclimate.blogspot.com/2011/05/german-green-charade.html ).

    Build all the alternate energy you like – don’t shutter clean energy though until you can at least replace it with the like. Remember, Natural gas is the basload standby on an inefficient grid.

    BTW there are other angles to the anti corporatist perspective:
    Antinuclear Activist Has An Epiphany ( http://youtu.be/oBFpm9UHX-0 )

    • Cowicide says:

      Build all the alternate energy you like – don’t shutter clean energy though until you can at least replace it with the like.

      Referring to nuclear as “clean energy” is ridiculous.

      • John says:

        Actually no – its not. If you read the science and reports. All the studies, its not that ambiguous. Nuclear is safer and much more environmentally friendly.

        Referring to the anti nuclear movement as reasonable is probably what is ridiculous.

        I think I need to figure out on level ground the risk assessment of closing nuclear plants. We’ve heard the horror stories of what ifs, but really its what about what can expected. We know the health disasters of fossil fuels but the environmental realities are also there.

        Before I thought it was reasonable to assume that each nuclear plant closed and a fossil fuel plant kept/built meant at least more than one extinction, when considering the number of species at risk from climate change.

        The number of projected extinctions proposed was recently reduced in some research I am reading so I will get back on a better number for that. Its still rather dismal.

        And Regardless the real historically proven consequences of fossil fuels outweigh the risks of Nuclear Power by a incredible margin. Whether you want to accept it or not.

        • Cowicide says:

          Actually no – its not. If you read the science and reports. All the studies, its not that ambiguous. Nuclear is safer and much more environmentally friendly.

          Actually, yes is IS ludicrous to call Nuclear Energy “Clean Energy”. It’s far from it.

          You’re full of semantic bullshit and if YOU read what the scientists have to say… they say it’s NOT worth it:

          http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/nuclear-power-global-warming-0087.html

          Once again… nukes are not safe and it’s idiotic to choose that route when we can put our efforts into sustainable energy sources that ACTUALLY ARE far safer and much more environmentally friendly.

          Your FUD is showing. You read the “science and reports” that the energy companies WANT you to read and leave everything else OUT (i.e. the dangers of nuclear energy). That’s not basing your opinions on FACTS, that’s basing your opinions on corporatist drivel.

          Sustainable energy is the only route to.. sustainability. What is wrong with you people?

        • Cowicide says:

          And Regardless the real historically proven consequences of fossil fuels outweigh the risks of Nuclear Power by a incredible margin. Whether you want to accept it or not.

          Nice false dichotomy there… too bad, your drivel doesn’t work on me.

          You completely leave out sustainable energy. You are towing the bullshit corporatist energy company line that the ONLY choice is fossil fuels or nukes. Whether you want to accept it or not.

          Nice try. Play again.

  33. elNico says:

    Dear pro-nukers,

    Where can we store radioactive waste for a bit longer than a decade in a close-to-final destination without having to fix the leaky floor? Or ship it all somewhere else again? Or accidentally forget what’s actually in those containers exactly? Possible applicants, please proceed to insurance.

    Call me a pessimist, but these long-term tens of thousands of years commitments probably won’t be adequately addressed by current governments, busy grappling with, say, their social media integration.

    The massive costs of waste maintenance, which can’t really be calculated, never make it into the comparative cost of electricity supply. Shame, it would make other options look a lot more attractive and worthy of stronger investment.

  34. Flyne says:

    Renewables will be feasible. In ten years. In some areas they’re feasible now – for some fraction of the energy needs of a country. Yes, they’re fantastic in principle, some utterly incredible tech is starting to emerge, but they’re not going to put electricity in every home today. Even if the newer tech were fully developed it would take years to deploy, versus reactors we have in place today.

    In the short term, being anti-nuclear means being pro-coal. For every nuclear plant you shutter, you’re going to have to burn an equivalent amount of coal. And that goes beyond foolish: that’s dangerously stupid. Dangerously stupid, as in, it’s likely that you personally – not your protest collective, not your movement as a whole, but you, individually, for your part in it – are responsible for someone dying who would not otherwise have died.

    Have some thoroughly sourced stats:
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/the-triumph-of-coal-marketing.html

    along with a striking visual:
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/03/the-triumph-of-coal-marketing.html

    • Cowicide says:

      In the short term, being anti-nuclear means being pro-coal

      You’ve got your corporatist talking points down pat, don’t you?

      Being anti-nuke means being pro-sustainable energy that can be developed RIGHT NOW if we force the powers that be to GET OFF THEIR ASSES AND DO IT NOW.

  35. Flyne says:

    Cowicide:

    Alternative energy IS feasible. The only thing stopping it is energy companies and the morons who believe them. You are the cogs in progress. If we could get a popular movement for alternative energy investment and production, we could make this happen.

    But people like you are fucking it all up with your ignorance and your arrogant inability to take ANOTHER LOOK at alternatives energy sources beyond the bullshit think tanks.

    I doubt I’ll get any apologies since you are probably incapable of such things, but so be it.

    Seriously. Quit finding excuses and look at the facts….

    Corporatists are some of the laziest, inbred bastards you’ll ever meet.

    You’ve got your corporatist talking points down pat, don’t you?

    More excuses and selective fact spewing…

    You resort to things like that because you know you’re WRONG and it eats you up inside, doesn’t it? I can feel your torment when you make ludicrous, desperate statements like that.

    Please, stop talking to me. Thanks. I honestly hope you get some mental health treatment. I’m not saying that to be mean. I’m saying that because I’m being honest with you, Canuck.

    Sigh… not that you’ll read this, but maybe I can offset the polluted FUD you spew by also mentioning this as well:

    Actually, it counters your FUD and once again, the fact remains you are eager to give up on sustainable energy at every turn and defend nuclear at every other. Once again, you are blinded by ideology that keeps you from seeing what CAN be done with sustainable energy… You are defeated.

    Your FUD is showing. You read the “science and reports” that the energy companies WANT you to read and leave everything else OUT (i.e. the dangers of nuclear energy). That’s not basing your opinions on FACTS, that’s basing your opinions on corporatist drivel.

    What is wrong with you people?

    Nice false dichotomy there… too bad, your drivel doesn’t work on me.

    You are towing the bullshit corporatist energy company line that the ONLY choice is fossil fuels or nukes. Whether you want to accept it or not.

    Nice try. Play again.

    More FUD, please! Not enough bullshit in this thread already.

    Man, either there’s a ton of shills for the nuclear power industry in here or just a bunch of people inept at research…

    fuck’s sake, people. I AM GOING TO CHECK YOUR LINKS… Keep it up and keep embarrassing yourselves, it’s up to you.

    Nice red herring.

    If that’s the case, you really are an insensitive creep…

    Actually, I’ve shown facts to back up my assertions against the onslaught of vapid excuses to only have the goal posts moved afterwards and get thrown hyperbole, half-truths, half-baked assertions, red herrings and bullshit stats proven to be from the nuclear power lobby.

    What’s your problem with facts? Personal bias?

    Hey look, more hyperbole! Fantastic. If you bother to read my posts I’m pretty heavy on facts. I notice you’re pretty heavy on hyperbole. I guess your trying to make up for a lack of something, aren’t cha?

    Or maybe you’re just being obtuse? Either way.. put up or shut up.

    You’re just another shill that gives the false dichotomy of nukes versus coal.

    I’ve always found it much more interesting how so many pro-nuclear people respond to any argument against them with links to “facts” that have ties to the nuclear power industry.

    So, if you have any facts to add to the discussion that don’t… it would be great… or you can keep milking the hyperbole, it’s up to you.

    Look, you’re making good points in some of your posts. Providing sources is excellent, and it’s worth tracing other’s sources if they go back to something biased. But stuff like the above is not effective for actually convincing people. Insulting people is one of the worst possible things to do in a discussion, no matter how good it feels. Assume other people are acting in good faith – in this community, at least, they probably are. Just because people disagree with you does not mean they’re shills for industry, and yeah, it’s possible people have just been eating the corporate line, but screaming “OPEN YOUR EYES” is not going to do much.

    • Cowicide says:

      You’re hilarious. Talk about cherry picking. You left out every fact I brought up and every link. Go back and read my posts without your desperate cherry picking and get real.

      But, let’s look at what you have to offer…

      In the short term, being anti-nuclear means being pro-coal. For every nuclear plant you shutter, you’re going to have to burn an equivalent amount of coal. And that goes beyond foolish: that’s dangerously stupid. Dangerously stupid, as in, it’s likely that you personally – not your protest collective, not your movement as a whole, but you, individually, for your part in it – are responsible for someone dying who would not otherwise have died.

      You completely dismiss sustainable energy and regard anyone who disagrees with you as “foolish” and “dangerously stupid”… (nice fear-baiting!) and then basically accuse me of murder for my part in it.

      Hahaha!!!

      And then for YOUR backup?

      You go on to link to nextbigfuture.com! Which is nuclear industry FUD hidden in a blog by Alvin Wang who happens to currently be the Business Improvement Manager at Edison International.

      Edison International has a 78% share in San Onofre Nuclear.

      Just because people disagree with you does not mean they’re shills for industry

      Right, and I already mentioned other options aside from shills, but you selectively left that out too. You also very selectively left out the horseshit hyperbole antics and insults I’ve been getting from your side of the fence there too. Little things like how “I’m very eager to start seeing and counting the deaths from cancer in Japan”. You know, shit like that on top of people like you basically accusing me of murder because of my evil actions of promoting sustainable energy? Oh yeah, and somehow I really dig fossil fuels… just love em’

      Assume other people are acting in good faith – in this community, at least, they probably are.

      Dude.. dude.. dude… look in the mirror. Your glass house is full of holes.

      • Nonentity says:

        “You also very selectively left out the horseshit hyperbole antics and insults I’ve been getting from your side of the fence there too.”

        Your very first post in this thread contained these little gems:

        People eating up corporatist energy company propaganda fucking bullshit

        It’s the energy companies feeding you lies [...] and you lap it up like idiots.

        But people like you are fucking it all up with your ignorance and your arrogant inability to take ANOTHER LOOK at alternatives energy sources beyond the bullshit think tanks.

        If you’re going to set the tone like that from the very start, you don’t get to whine about “antics and insults”. Maybe if you hadn’t started throwing mud you wouldn’t find yourself covered in it.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I live in Japan and not one bit of this disaster surprises me at all. I’m willing to bet that contamination is not only more severe than has been admitted, but much more widespread. They do their best to avoid finding the problems. For instance, if they find a radioactive spinach shipment, they will “ask” the company to voluntarily stop shipping it. They will do nothing about the cucumbers, tomatoes, tea, cabbage and carrots growing in the same field, and they won’t test them in the fields. After all, “there is no evidence of a problem with anything but the spinach”. This is happening with virtually everything grown in the area…no widespread testing, and most contamination is caught only after it’s been distributed. I am fortunate to live in Kyushu, and can pretty easily buy only local produce. I buy nothing from north of Osaka because I have no reason to trust anything the authorities are saying.

    In Japan, despite their image, there is no safety culture at all. No one will blow whistles, no one will so much as glance at a problem that is not strictly in their domain, no one will tell their boss bad news. There is virtually no accountability beyond endless deep bows and meaningless apologies.

    I can guarantee you a few things:
    -that nothing will happen to the top executives
    -nothing will happen to the bureaucrats who were supposed to be regulating, and they will all move into positions with power companies as soon as they retire.
    -food contamination will turn out to be widespread and severe, but as it’s hard to prove harm years from now, no one will be held accountable
    -pro-nuke apologists will continue to say that since no one has dropped dead in a glowing heap, there is no evidence that any harm has been done at all
    -nuclear power will be phased out at the expense of future growth of the economy and everyone’s comfort
    -the rational response of a total revamp of the regulatory agencies, stricter siting and operation requirements, and replacement of older reactor with newer, safer designs will not be done because the govt and the industry has utterly lost the trust of the people. Including me.

    • Cowicide says:

      I can guarantee you a few things: … -pro-nuke apologists will continue to say that since no one has dropped dead in a glowing heap, there is no evidence that any harm has been done at all

      Yep, like death and taxes.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Japan already has geothermal plants, wind farm and solar power facilities and they are all still too piddly in their output. Once you look up the real numbers greens/alternatives are still a pipe dream for the scale needed. List of power stations by country and size on wikipedia gives you the numbers.
    What makes the math even more depressing is when you realize that the largest operating wind farm capacity is 782MW and takes up 400Km2 while Fukushima I was 4600MW capacity. The only thing green in this large of a scale is hydroelectric and plenty of environmental activists are against dams especially if its going to be 3 Gorges size. Geothermal output in Japan is only 535MW total spread over 15 facilities yet that is 5% of world total.

    In 2005 Japan’s population of 128 million consumed 963,852,000 MW h/yr – a per capita of 868. If you think that’s a lot look at some other countries for a good scare.

    For perspective the largest tidal is 240MW; largest solar thermal is 150MW; largest wave 2.25MW; largest geothermal 233MW. And you really don’t want to know how much pollution solar panels leave behind in manufacturing or how much energy is needed to make them; they don’t grow on trees that’s for sure.

    • Cowicide says:

      Japan already has geothermal plants, wind farm and solar power facilities and they are all still too piddly in their output.

      Only because MUCH MORE need to be built. If you spent the same amount of investment money and effort on dirty energy its output would be “piddly” as well.

      Geothermal output in Japan is only 535MW total spread over 15 facilities yet that is 5% of world total.

      Once again, far more should be built. You have all kind of facts and figures but for some very strange reason you missed this “little” tidbit below:

      Japan has 108 active volcanoes (10% of the world’s active volcanoes) — Can you now understand why it’s strange that there are so few geothermal plants despite the MASSIVE potential there?

      Seriously. Quit finding excuses and look at the facts…. Take another look at THAT figure… how on Earth did you miss that before?

      Maybe because the sources you use do NOT look for THOSE figures, huh? Once again… Japan has 108 active volcanoes. Let’s build some fucking geothermal plants there NOW instead of throwing tons of money at nukes.

      In 2005 Japan’s population of 128 million consumed 963,852,000 MW h/yr – a per capita of 868. If you think that’s a lot look at some other countries for a good scare.

      Once again, build FAR MORE offshore wind farms, you also tellingly left out wave energy, tidal energy, ocean thermal energy, and more….

      You’re finding EXCUSES instead of actually looking at all the brilliant, much more sustainable alternatives and the dire need to build MORE of them NOW. You’re eating up what the energy companies are selling you and using their excuses to make your own excuses for being flaccid on sustainable energy that is viable NOW.

      And you really don’t want to know how much pollution solar panels leave behind in manufacturing or how much energy is needed to make them; they don’t grow on trees that’s for sure.

      Once again, looking at excuses instead of facts. The panels far offset the pollution it takes to make them and that will only improve over time as more and more research and technology is put into them. Not to mention, using sustainable energy to make them will do wonders as well.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        Vast fields of wind turbines…how many golden eagles die each year now because of wind farms? 50 or so a year in california, already, right? How many birds are to die in the vast fields of turbines ion the future?

        http://www.theolympian.com/2011/06/10/1682112/turbines-killing-protected-eagles.html

        • Cowicide says:

          More excuses and selective fact spewing…

          You left this out:

          Wind turbine design has undergone dramatic changes in the last few decades. Unlike older models with latticework frames that attract and imperil birds, the new turbines are solid, offering no space for birds looking to perch. The blades also have a greater surface area and don’t need to spin as fast to generate electricity, resulting in fewer bird collisions. But the biggest change in the wind farms is the setting of the turbines. All new wind farms have to be planned for bird-friendly spots. They cannot be built in migratory pathways, in areas with special features that could attract birds in the future or in areas that have high bird populations. There is also a growing trend toward building offshore turbines, which cause fewer bird collisions than land-based ones.

          source

          AND… as your own article link says:

          Environmentalists have persuaded the energy industry and federal authorities – often through litigation – to modify the size, shape and placement of wind turbines.

          So, let’s stop with the excuses on focus on the facts. You are so willing to give up on sustainable energy at every turn and yet you defend nuclear at every other.

          You seem blinded by ideology and it keeps your from seeing what CAN be done with sustainable energy. All you seem to focus on is obstacles… but they are obstacles that are surmountable if you bother to LOOK.

          By the way… THIS.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            That does not change the facts as the are, nor does it address our problems: no nukes = no life, thanks to our history of using fossil fuels.

            That’s the way the numbers stack up, like it or not, for the next generation or three.

            But if it helps, I DO agree with the push to get as much of our power from carbon-free sources as is humanly and physically possible – and I think we ought to tax fossil fuels to the gills to pay for it!

            But the low carbon high power sources cannot be ignored (we are an industrial civilization), and the new generations of reactors really are designed so as “unplug it and walk away without worries” is the protocol in case of disaster.

            Who uses tech from the late 60s or early 70s?
            People who have been prevented by law from using more modern designs. No one else!

            The problem with nuclear power is not health and safety, not technological – it is purely political.

          • Cowicide says:

            That does not change the facts as the are,

            Actually, it counters your FUD and once again, the fact remains you are eager to give up on sustainable energy at every turn and defend nuclear at every other. Once again, you are blinded by ideology that keeps you from seeing what CAN be done with sustainable energy. All you focus on is obstacles.

            Your attacks on wind energy are useless against the facts. You are defeated.

          • Cowicide says:

            Sigh… not that you’ll read this, but maybe I can offset the polluted FUD you spew by also mentioning this as well:

            Even though bird conservationists cite an increase in bird mortality as a result of wind turbines, most of the existing research shows that wind turbines kill fewer birds than other man-made structures and comprise only about one-tenth of 1 percent of all ”unnatural” bird deaths in the United States each year. According to the American Wind Energy Association, natural causes — such as baby birds falling off nests — account for 30 percent of bird deaths. Power lines, windows, pesticides, automobiles, communication towers and domestic cats cause more unnatural bird deaths than wind turbines. The national estimate for turbine-related bird deaths from the 25,000 operating turbines is 10,000 to 40,000 per year, while 1 billion birds die each year from flying into windows.

            source

            And, of course, as I mentioned in my previous post… as more research, technology, better study on placement, etc. is done… the bird mortality rate will be offset even further.

          • Ugly Canuck says:

            Well, part of me appreciates your sincerity and passion on this topic, but not the science and engineering part.

            That part of me says you’re wrong about this.

            If auto transport in the USA is worth putting up with 30000+ deaths and who knows how many bodily injuries every calendar year, then nuke power is worth the far far fewer deaths and injuries caused over the past 60 years ( and I can only think of Chernobyl as causing more than isolated deaths, even though I note it seems that even in that case only some few thousand at most can be attributed with any degree of certainty as to cause) of its use.

            PS – As to Chernobyl – d’ya think the Western press would have, could have, exaggerated that occurrence in any way, as a way of “sticking it” to the Soviet Union?
            Naaaah, they’d never do that!
            We were all buddies during the Cold War!

  38. asuffield says:

    Granted I agree with not tearing down existing nuclear plants, however building more would be foolish.

    No! That’s the worst possible idea. It guarantees that all operating power plants will be based on ancient, dodgy technology that’s been patched up for decades. Messes like Fukushima happen because people think this is a good idea.

    Renewables will be feasible. In ten years.

    Pretty much this. We’ve been needing to get that stuff online for ages, and nothing has changed here. It’s just not online today. We need investment funding directed towards safer energy sources, and in large quantities – not wasted on building coal plants that will then be kept running for decades to repay their investment. If people think they can replace a nuclear plant with something that’s really safe, then go for it – and do that coal plant too while you’re at it. But as we can see in Germany, most people are just planning to build coal and oil plants instead. That has got to be stopped. Nuclear’s bad but it’s much better than coal.

    The people who are saying that “It has resulted in zero death, blah blah blah” just don’t get it. The effects of radiation are long-term. There may not be immediate deaths, but it’s going to cause cancers in decades from now. Infants and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of radiation.

    While this is partly true, I don’t think you’ve looked at the numbers. A coal plant is a giant pump spraying radioactive toxins into the air, ground, and sea. It genocides species, especially marine ones, and kills somewhere around 4000 people ever year just to fuel and run the plants, plus goodness only knows how many from cancer and pollution – infants and pregnant women in particular. If you live in a city near where they’re going to build a coal plant, and you have children, you need to leave – it’s not a risk of harm, it’s a certainty.

  39. Ugly Canuck says:

    Health effects of radiation:

    http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-news/extra-radiation-dramatically-cuts-spread-of-breast-cancer/article2048190/?service=mobile

    Global warming from the burning of fossil fuels trumps ALL of the safety concerns around nuclear power: without reductions in greenhouse gase emissions, nobody stays alive after three hundred years – our climate won’t be able to sustain our form of life, never mind our “lifestyle”.

    People just don’t seem to realize how very badly the use of fossil fuels have damaged and will continue to damage (in fact, that damage is accelerating) our global environment.

    +4, +5, +6, +7 degrees C in one or two hundred hundred years? Good luck with keeping the generators going for your AC then.

    Shut down the Alberta tar sands, or the West Virginia coal pits, not the nuclear power!

    No nukes = no life

  40. Pedant says:

    Seems to me that your points are a small jabs in an pretty poor attempt to discredit the material without giving it proper consideration

    It has a nice shout out from Royal Dutch Shell on page 3.
    Yes, and just above friends of the earth say
    MacKay’s book alone doesn’t have all the answers, but it
    provides a solid foundation to help us make well-informed
    choices

    And, I love page 169 where he talks about “Inherently safe nuclear power” and doesn’t give any consideration to earthquakes, etc.
    Think that is your interpretation. He doesn’t appear to make judgement calls on whether it is safe or not. Indeed he spends more space writing about nuclear material incidents. In a similar manner he also mentions lithium-ion batteries as being potentially unsafe but safer versions being created now.

    but hilariously mentions the dire hazards of earthquakes when it comes to geothermal energy on page 98.
    You’re the only one who mentions dire, it seems to be added as a side comment, rather than an unreasonable consequence.
    (for other people interested, here is the piece)
    we
    first drill down to a depth of 5 or 10km, and fracture the rocks by pump-
    ing in water. (This step may create earthquakes, which don’t go down well
    with the locals.) Then we drill a second well into the fracture zone.

    Look, I’ll stop here.
    please do, else you may actually find something that backs your argument. You’re also yet to dismiss his environmental and achievable outcomes for various energy source mixes

    And he was rewarded handsomely for towing the line and got his sweet position, didn’t he? Just a year later, I think it was?
    Do you really think it surprising that the government would want a scientist who had researched and written a book that was received well by groups ranging from power companies to friends of the earth as their chief scientific advisor. I find it peculiar that in your eyes it makes him obviously tainted and biased.

    I also find it interesting that you overlooked what I said about your other link here
    I’m afraid you missed what was in front of you, which having read your responsed to my other points doesn’t surprise me.

    • Cowicide says:

      Think that is your interpretation. He doesn’t appear to make judgement calls on whether it is safe or not

      Uh.. maybe it’s YOU that needs to take a closer look at his book, not me. When I said, “Inherently safe nuclear power” I was actually quoting HIM. That’s even how he titled that section. Sheesh…

      You’re the only one who mentions dire, it seems to be added as a side comment, rather

      I guess the irony was lost on you that he made no mention of the dangers of earthquakes for nuclear energy but brought it up for geothermal energy when it’s basically not caused any damage in 35 years and really isn’t much of an issue.

      I think your desperate desire to be “right” outweighs your better judgement. So no matter what I point out, you’ll just avoid the main point and keep trying to bob, weave, dodge and shift goal posts around.

      It’s sad, really. Will you at least concede my first point above? He most certainly does appear to make a judgement call on nuclear power! Read the fricken’ title, man. My God.. how desperate are you?

      Do you really think it surprising that the government would want a scientist who had researched and written a book that was received well by groups ranging from power companies to friends of the earth as their chief scientific advisor. I find it peculiar that in your eyes it makes him obviously tainted and biased.

      Actually what really makes him tainted and biased is his bias I mentioned already. I find it peculiar that you couldn’t see how a bias towards the company line doesn’t help someone to move up to an organization that itself is biased towards the company line.

      I’m afraid you missed what was in front of you, which having read your responsed to my other points doesn’t surprise me.

      Oh I see now, it’s where you say it’s “reasonable” to post that FUD link from the nuclear industry posing as a blog by saying this:

      different sources will include different deaths, however as the link was in general agreement with other figures I’ve seen & time was short I thought it reasonable to post.

      Sorry, I think posting FUD is never reasonable. I guess that’s where we agree to disagree. The best you can come up with is a book that brings up the dangers of earthquakes from geothermal but omits that risk for nuclear power.

      You still don’t get the irony in that in light of what happened, do you? Amazing.

      You’re also yet to dismiss his environmental and achievable outcomes for various energy source mixes

      And you’ve yet to make a point in that regard that tells me I’m wrong about sustainable energy. It’s your book reference, dude. And I already showed you where he shows bias by leaving out data. I’m not going to pick out every single instance throughout the book, sweetheart. I picked the topic at hand and already found issues there that you feebly try to refute despite what is right there before you in black and white.

      Besides, that would be fruitless for you anyway… Like I said already, your desperate desire to be “right” outweighs your better judgement. So no matter what I point out, you’ll just avoid the main point and keep trying to bob, weave, dodge and shift goal posts around anyway. That’s your track record.

      • Pedant says:

        Arghh, you’re focusing on so many irrelevant minutiae that you’re even getting me in a muddle as to my original points…

        Links regarding deaths per energy source – point was to show that people often have incorrect beliefs as to current safety of existing energy sources. Nuclear being quite safe, hydroelectric/coal pretty unsafe and the rest trending between. I’ll leave it up to the reader to disprove if they care.

  41. Pedant says:

    (reposting with proper formatting)

    Seems to me that your points are a small jabs in an pretty poor attempt to discredit the material without giving it proper consideration

    It has a nice shout out from Royal Dutch Shell on page 3.

    Yes, and just above friends of the earth say

    MacKay’s book alone doesn’t have all the answers, but it
    provides a solid foundation to help us make well-informed
    choices

    And, I love page 169 where he talks about “Inherently safe nuclear power” and doesn’t give any consideration to earthquakes, etc.

    Think that is your interpretation. He doesn’t appear to make judgement calls on whether it is safe or not. Indeed he spends more space writing about nuclear material incidents. In a similar manner he also mentions lithium-ion batteries as being potentially unsafe but safer versions being created now.

    but hilariously mentions the dire hazards of earthquakes when it comes to geothermal energy on page 98.

    You’re the only one who mentions dire, it seems to be added as a side comment, rather than an unreasonable consequence.
    (for other people interested, here is the piece)

    we first drill down to a depth of 5 or 10km, and fracture the rocks by pump-
    ing in water. (This step may create earthquakes, which don’t go down well
    with the locals.) Then we drill a second well into the fracture zone.

    Look, I’ll stop here.

    please do, else you may actually find something that backs your argument. You’re also yet to dismiss his environmental and achievable outcomes for various energy source mixes

    And he was rewarded handsomely for towing the line and got his sweet position, didn’t he? Just a year later, I think it was?

    Do you really think it surprising that the government would want a scientist who had researched and written a book that was received well by groups ranging from power companies to friends of the earth as their chief scientific advisor. I find it peculiar that in your eyes it makes him obviously tainted and biased.

    I also find it interesting that you overlooked what I said about your other link here

    I’m afraid you missed what was in front of you, which having read your responsed to my other points doesn’t surprise me.

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