submitted 6 months ago by sv1sjp@lemmy.world to c/world@lemmy.world
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[-] flossdaily@lemmy.world 471 points 6 months ago


Anti-nuclear is like anti-GMO and anti-vax: pure ignorance, and fear of that which they don't understand.

Nuclear power is the ONLY form of clean energy that can be scaled up in time to save us from the worst of climate change.

We've had the cure for climate change all along, but fear that we'd do another Chernobyl has scared us away from it.

[-] originalucifer@moist.catsweat.com 134 points 6 months ago

imagine how much farther ahead we would be in safety and efficiency if it was made priority 50 years ago.

we still have whole swathes of people who think that because its not perfect now, it cant be perfected ever.

[-] danielbln@lemmy.world 95 points 6 months ago

So uh, turns out the energy companies are not exactly the most moral and rule abiding entities, and they love to pay off politicians and cut corners. How does one prevent that, as in the case of fission it has rather dire consequences?

[-] Carighan@lemmy.world 57 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

Since you can apply that logic to everything, how can you ever build anything? Because all consequences are dire on a myopic scale, that is, if your partner dies because a single electrician cheaped out with the wiring in your building and got someone to sign off, "It's not as bad as a nuclear disaster" isn't exactly going to console them much.

At some point, you need to accept that making something illegal and trying to prosecute people has to be enough. For most situations. It's not perfect. Sure. But nothing ever is. And no solution to energy is ever going to be perfect, either.

[-] Semi-Hemi-Demigod@kbin.social 24 points 6 months ago

An electrician installing faulty wiring doesn't render your home uninhabitable for a few thousand years.

So there's one difference.

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[-] dojan@lemmy.world 35 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

I mean it's not the companies operating the facilities we put our trust in, but the outside regulators whose job it is to ensure these facilities are safe and meet a certain standard. As well as the engineers and scientists that design these systems.

Nuclear power isn't 100% safe or risk-free, but it's hella effective and leaps and bounds better than fossil fuels. We can embrace nuclear, renewables and fossil free methods, or just continue burning the world.

[-] The_v@lemmy.world 27 points 6 months ago

The worst nuclear disaster has led to 1,000sq miles of land being unsafe for human inhabitants.

Using fossil fuels for power is destroying of the entire planet.

It's really not that complicated.

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[-] BrokebackHampton@kbin.social 67 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

That is factually false information. There are solid arguments to be made against nuclear energy.


Even if you discard everything else, this section seems particularly relevant:

The long lead times for construction that invalidate nuclear power as a way of mitigating climate change was a point recognized in 2009 by the body whose mission is to promote the use of nuclear power, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “Nuclear power is not a near-term solution to the challenge of climate change,” writes Sharon Squassoni in the IAEA bulletin. “The need to immediately and dramatically reduce carbon emissions calls for approaches that can be implemented more quickly than building nuclear reactors.”


Wealer from Berlin's Technical University, along with numerous other energy experts, sees takes a different view.

"The contribution of nuclear energy is viewed too optimistically," he said. "In reality, [power plant] construction times are too long and the costs too high to have a noticeable effect on climate change. It takes too long for nuclear energy to become available."

Mycle Schneider, author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, agrees.

"Nuclear power plants are about four times as expensive as wind or solar, and take five times as long to build," he said. "When you factor it all in, you're looking at 15-to-20 years of lead time for a new nuclear plant."

He pointed out that the world needed to get greenhouse gases under control within a decade. "And in the next 10 years, nuclear power won't be able to make a significant contribution," added Schneider.

[-] NUMPTY37K@lemmy.world 55 points 6 months ago

Long lead times against nuclear have bee raised for the last 25 years, if we had just got on with it we would have the capacity by now. Just cause the lead time is in years doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

[-] davepleasebehave@lemmy.world 37 points 6 months ago

when is the best time to plant a tree? 30 years ago. When is the second best time? now.

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[-] Jumuta@sh.itjust.works 35 points 6 months ago


the largest fission plant was literally working 5 years after construction started

fission plants are just more expensive now because we don't make enough of them.

I guess safety standards changed but even wind power kills more people per watt than fission so ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

Nuclear could've easily worked if people didn't go full nimby in the past few decades

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[-] echodot@feddit.uk 45 points 6 months ago

The daft thing is that even if another Chernobyl happened (unlikely given superior technology and safety standards) it wouldn't be anywhere near as damaging as climate change.

The radiation would only affect a small area of the planet not the whole world, and technically radiation doesn't even cause climate damage. Chernobyl has plenty of trees and plenty of wildlife, it's just unsuitable for human habitation.

[-] grue@lemmy.world 77 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

The daft thing is that even if another Chernobyl happened (unlikely given superior technology and safety standards) it wouldn’t be anywhere near as damaging as climate change.

Here's my favorite way to put it: because of trace radioactive elements found in coal ore, coal-fired power plants produce more radioactivity in normal operation than nuclear power plants have in their entire history, including meltdowns. And with coal, it just gets released straight into the environment without any attempt to contain it!

And that's just radioactivity, not all the other emissions of coal plants.

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[-] apollo440@lemmy.world 40 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

I totally agree that current nuclear power generation should be left running until we have enough green energy to pick up the slack, because it does provide clean and safe energy. However, I totally disagree on the scalability, for two main reasons:

  1. Current nuclear power generation is non-renewable. It is somewhat unclear how much Uranium is available worldwide (for strategic reasons), but even at current production, supply issues have been known to happen. And it goes without saying that waiting to scale up some novel unproven or inexistent sustainable way of nuclear power production is out of the question, for time and safety reasons. Which brings me to point 2.

  2. We need clean, sustainable energy right now if we want to have any chance of fighting climate change. From start of planning of a new nuclear power plant to first power generation can take 15 or 20 years easily. Currently, about 10% of all electricity worldwide is produced by about 400 nuclear reactors, while around 15 new ones are under construction. So, to make any sort of reasonable impact, we would have to build to the tune of 2000 new reactors, pronto. To do that within 30 years, we'd have to increase our construction capacity 5 to 10 fold. Even if that were possible, which I strongly doubt, I would wager the safety and cost impacts would be totally unjustifiable. And we don't even have 30 years anymore. That is to say nothing of regulatory checks and maintenance that would also have to be increased 5 fold.

So imho nuclear power as a solution to climate change is a non-starter, simply due to logistical and scaling reasons. And that is before we even talk about the very real dangers of nuclear power generation, which are of course not operational, but due to things like proliferation, terrorist attacks, war, and other unforseen disruptions through e.g. climate change, societal or governmental shifts, etc.

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[-] DumbAceDragon@sh.itjust.works 244 points 6 months ago

Normally I'm not a "lesser of two evils" type, but nuclear is such an immensely lesser evil compared to coal and oil that it's insane people are still against it.

[-] solstice@lemmy.world 33 points 6 months ago

I spoke with a far left friend of mine about this. His position essentially boiled down to the risk of a massive nuclear disaster outweighed the benefits. I said what about the known disastrous consequences of coal and oil? Didn't really have a response to that. It doesn't make sense to me. I'll roll those dice and take the .00001% chance risk or whatever.

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[-] qfe0@lemmy.dbzer0.com 244 points 6 months ago

For the love of everything, at least let's stop decommissioning serviceable nuclear plants.

[-] GiddyGap@lemm.ee 73 points 6 months ago

Looking at you, Germany...

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[-] Uncaged_Jay@lemmy.world 41 points 6 months ago

For real, God forbid we keep the actual safe, clean nuclear plants running

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[-] elouboub@kbin.social 184 points 6 months ago

Anti-nuclear people in here arguing about disasters that killed a few k people in 50 years. Also deeply worried about nuclear waste that won't have an impact on humans for thousands of years, but ignoring climate change is having an impact and might end our way of life as we know it before 2100.

They're bike-shedding and blocking a major stepping stone to a coal, petrol and gas free future for the sake of idealism.

The biggest enemy of the left is the left

[-] legion@lemmy.world 57 points 6 months ago

People tend to overrate the harms from potential changes, while simultaneously vastly underrating the harms that already exist that they’ve gotten used to.

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[-] archonet@lemmy.world 148 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

do not let "perfect" be the enemy of "good enough"

edit: quick addendum, I really cannot stress this enough, everyone who says nuclear is an imperfect solution and just kicks the can down the road -- yes, it does, it kicks it a couple thousand years away as opposed to within the next hundred years. We can use all that time to perfect solar and wind, but unless we get really lucky and get everyone on board with solar and wind right now, the next best thing we can hope for is more time.

[-] havokdj@lemmy.world 31 points 6 months ago

I completely agree with everything you said except for ONE little thing:

You are grossly misrepresenting how far that can is kicked down, for the worse. It doesn't kick it down a couple thousand years, it kicks it down for if DOZENS of millennia assuming we stay at the current energy capacity. Even if we doubled or tripled it, it would still be dozens of millennia. First we could use the uranium, then when that is gone, we could use thorium and breed it with plutonium, which would last an incomprehensibly longer time than the uranium did. By that point, we could hopefully have figured out fusion and supplement that with renewable sources of energy.

The only issue that would stem from this would be having TOO much energy, which itself would create a new problem which is heat from electrical usage.

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[-] Sentau@lemmy.one 108 points 5 months ago

I am not sure when the narrative around nuclear power became nuclear energy vs renewables when it should be nuclear and renewables vs fossil fuels.

We need both nuclear and renewable energy where we try to use and develop renewables as much as possible while using nuclear energy to plug the gaps in the renewable energy supply

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[-] HawlSera@lemm.ee 95 points 6 months ago

Don't get scared off by the N Word

Nuclear isn't the monster it's made out to be by oil and coal propagands.

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[-] Blackmist@feddit.uk 94 points 6 months ago

I live less than 2 miles from the last remaining coal power station in England.

I would much rather have nuclear instead of a chimney chucking god knows what into the air (and subsequently into me) for my entire life.

[-] Gormadt@lemmy.blahaj.zone 62 points 6 months ago

Fun fact, coal plants produce more radiation into their environment than nuclear plants

Modern reactor designs are so damn safe it's insane

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[-] chaogomu@kbin.social 55 points 6 months ago

Greenpeace was founded to be an anti-nuclear organization. See, most of the founding members were members of the Sierra Club (another environmentalist organization) but the Sierra Club was actually pro-nuclear power. The Sierra Club was actually fighting against the installation of new dams due to the effect of wiping out large swaths of river habitat and preventing salmon runs and such.

Anyway, in 1971 there was an underground nuclear bomb test by the US government in an area that was geologically unstable. (there were a bunch of tests to see just how geologically unstable). Protesters thought that the test would cause an earthquake and a tsunami.

Anyway, the people who were unhappy with the Sierra club not actively protesting nuclear power, wanted to protest this nuclear bomb test too, so they formed an organization called the "Don't make a wave committee". They sued, the suit was decided in the US's favor, the test went off, and no earthquake happened (which is how the earlier tests said it would go).

At some point, the "Don't make a wave committee" turned into Greenpeace.

Also about this timeframe, Greenpeace started receiving yearly donations from the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Rockefeller Foundation is the charitable foundation created by the Rockefeller heirs that "uses oil money to make the world a better place" but they kind of don't. They've been anti-nuclear since the beginning, and even directly funded some radiation research in the 1950s that lied about safe exposure limits to radiation, claiming that there was no safe limit. That research went on to shape international policy, and by the time new research came out, the policy was already written and thus hard to change.

As a side note, another alumnus of the Sierra Club was approached by the then CEO of Atlantic Oil and directly paid a sum of something like $100k (in 1970 money) to found another anti-nuclear environmentalist organization called Friends of the Earth.

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[-] eestileib@sh.itjust.works 55 points 6 months ago

100% right.

It doesn't make any sense without reprocessing though, have to do both. Fortunately France and Finland have active programs.

The US needs to both learn how to do reprocessing again and build more plants.

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[-] Relo@lemmy.world 49 points 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago)

Why go nuclear when renewable is so much cheaper, safer, future proof and less centralised?

Don't get me wrong. Nuclear is better than coal and gas but it will not safe our way of life.

Just like the electric car is here to preserve the car industry not the planet, nuclear energy is still here to preserve the big energy players, not our environment.

[-] flipht@kbin.social 30 points 6 months ago

Renewable instead of nuclear, but nuclear instead of coal.

We need a mix. Centralization isn't the biggest problem. Literally anything we can do to reduce emissions is worth doing, and we won't be going 100% on anything, so best to get started on the long term projects now so that we can stop turning on new plants based on combustion.

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[-] Stoneykins@mander.xyz 34 points 6 months ago

Wind and solar > nuclear > fossil fuels

Nothing really against nuclear except how it is being weilded as a distraction from better, cleaner, energy. We need to be going all in on converting everything to wind and solar, with batteries and other power storage like water pumping facilities filling the gaps.

Nuclear needs a few more issues figured out, like how to actually cheaply build and get power from all those touted newer cleaner reactor styles.

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[-] creditCrazy@lemmy.world 31 points 6 months ago

One thing I don't see a lot of people talking about is how nuclear is probably better for the environment due to how you don't have to cut down a Forrest to generate a viable amount of electricity meanwhile nuclear only requires two factory sised buildings to generate more than enough electricity to be viable and that's assuming you have a sister breeder reactor to generate power from the waste

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[-] Barack_Embalmer@lemmy.world 25 points 6 months ago

I don't really know anything about this topic, but I heard there are new designs of nuclear fission plants that are much safer and "unmeltdownable"? Called Molten Salt Reactors https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor

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this post was submitted on 30 Aug 2023
2110 points (94.1% liked)

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