- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Still more guff from Frenchy.

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on December 12, 1999 at 18:17:16:

In Reply to: Does this mean you no longer care? posted by Frenchy on December 11, 1999 at 21:14:39:

: : Nuclear power stations need a) a lot of energy used to produce fuel,

: Huh? I thought that nuclear power stations produced energy by using fuel...could you expand on this?

Pitchblende is a relatively rare mineral and you need to dig a *lot* of the stuff out of the ground to produce enough uranium to make fuel pellets; thus, you have to make a pretty major energy outlay before you can actually produce enough uranium to make a fuel pellet.

: b) a very very thorough safety procedure and c) produce waste that hangs around pretty much forever.

: In France they bury it in a granite sheild, seems to work. What's wrong with that? If there is something wrong with that, let's find a solution.

It doesn't work forever; neither does it stop gamma radiation; and the idea of using that method in anywhere with any seismic activity at all is silly.

Not to mention the fact that getting rid of spent fuel that way is damn expensive; which is why reprocessing plants like THORP (the THermal Oxide Rerocessing Plant) at Sellafield exist. And which example did I use to show that nuclear waste does get out into the surrounding environment? - why, the THORP plant at Sellafield, of course - like I said, the amount of Tc-99 in the Irish Sea is now high enough by EU regulations to make it a "nuclear disaster area".

: : It takes someone with the brains of Homer Simpson to believe that nuclear power is a real, sustainable solution.

: : And as soon as someone tries to maximise profit by cutting corners on safety, *foom*; and you can kiss goodbye to a couple of hundred square miles of arable land.

: Ahh, the old bugaboo, 'profit' nasty! NASTY!! Course the same thing cannot be said of Chernobyl where profit wasn't an issue, but lousy technology was.

Of course it was. The Soviet government tried to cut corners on costs by replacing trained technicians with raw recruits who didn't really understand the operating principles and safety procedures. These were cheaper labour, but had the bright idea of trying to run one of the Chernobyl reactors with no control rods in and the safety interlocks disabled, just to see what would happen. They tried to cut operating costs and that's what caused such an elementary mistake at Chernobyl.

Technology isn't an issue there; if you try and run a chain reaction with no control rods, it will go critical very very quickly; and that goes for any nuclear plant, whether Three Mile Island or Windscale.

(You know what happened to Windscale? - they were threatened that if they didn't improve safety procedures they would be shut down; and the UK government changed the name of the plant; they changed it to Sellafield; so that they could truthfully say "there has never been a nuclear accident at Sellafield Power station"...)

: : Now, are you going to try and argue my points, or are you just going to cover up your ignominious retreat with a few cheap jibes?

: I've mentioned the unpredictability of future technologies a number of times. Nuclear power stations today may have drawbacks, although I believe that those drawbacks are exagerrated for political reasons.

In my qualified opinion you have little to no understanding of where the drawbacks lie.

: Whereas you limit the future to one possibility,ie; reduced consumption, I place no limits on the future. That includes of course everything from nuclear holocaust to a Troll being elected to the Presidency of the United States (with dire consequences for the likes of SDF and anyone else who committs Trollism).

See my smoking analogy; take up a 50-a-day habit, then go and tell the doctor you're suffering from a sore throat; and see exactly how much sympathy you get.


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