Science nuclear-reactor

Published on March 27th, 2008 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

13

Going Nuclear: Live Debate in GO Forums Focuses on Nuclear Power

nuclear-reactor.jpgThe new Green Options Media discussion forums have been live for almost two weeks now… have you stopped by to join in the discussion? If not, here’s a good excuse: today, we started our first “Live Debate” with a topic sure to generate some heat: nuclear power. Forum moderator Mark Seall has pitted Rod Adams, a nuclear proponent and the founder of Atomic Insights, against Matt (no last name listed), a sustainability consultant, regular contributor to Talk Climate Change, and “vocal opponent of nuclear power.”

Rod and Matt have started their discussion, and your invited to join in by 1) voting in the poll at the top of the forum, and 2) starting your own discussion on the topic in the Renewable Energy forum. While they’re focusing on a potential British-French partnership to ramp up the production of nuclear power, the topic and arguments have implications for all of us. So, whether you’re in London or Lincoln (any Lincoln), stop by and weigh in on this critical topic, regardless of where you stand on the issue.



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



  • http://www.atomicinsights.blogspot.com Rod Adams

    The photo accompanying this post suggests one reason why I think you might enjoy visiting the debate. Those three large structures shout “nuclear” plant to many people, largely because they resemble the images that have often been published of the Three Mile Island site.

    Interestingly enough, those structures are cooling towers that are identical to those used by many coal fired steam plants. In fact, based on the stacks that are also visible in the photo along with the somewhat square shape of the only building visible in the background, I cannot say for certain whether the photo actually depicts part of a nuclear plant or not.

    The real characteristic nuclear plant shape is a rounded dome that is less than 1/4 as high as the pictured cooling towers. If the plant is one like Diablo Canyon, which is cooled by ocean water, there will be no cooling tower at all.

  • http://greenadine.wordpress.com nadine sellers

    As a residual peripheral survivor of the Tchernobyl disaster, i can attest to the anxiety caused by such inevitable catastrophes. By peripheral i mean far edge of the radiating cloud map, in France.

    The Lovins school of rationalization appeals to me for the sheer safety factor. Wind/solar/hydro aspect of renewable resources also seems more accessible.

    Whatever material is leftover from fission must be stored and transported, this worries me because the earth where several sites have been proposed, Skull Valley and Yucca Valley is too close to dormant volcanic fields.

    Transporting dangerous material is gambling with uncertainties, do we want electricity so badly? Or could we reduce our appetite collectively in order to ensure a greedless grid…

  • http://ecoscraps.com/2008/03/29/fallout-from-coal-burning/ Philip Proefrock

    I just posted an interesting piece at Ecoscraps noting the radioactivity of coal fly ash is higher than the radioactivity of nuclear power plant waste.

    That is only one of many variables in a ‘coal vs. nuclear’ debate.

    But the dividing lines may not always be where we think they are, and there are always more consequences to our actions than we initially expect.

  • http:www.yahoo.com Bobby B.

    Nadine,

    Do you foresee any “inevitable catastrophes” resulting from the green movement’s actions? We know that electric generating windmills have a history – although improvements have been made – of killing endangered birds or prey. We are already hearing about how the rising price of ethanol feedstock (i.e. corn & grains) is causing food shortages in the impoverished world. Ergo, world hunger is back in the limelight and the green movement is getting the blame. What about the possibility of negatively impacting the very lowest members of the food chain that feed on wastes by converting the wastes into biofuels, thereby by causing a ripple effect throughout the eco-system? What about converting natural algae into biofuel? How does that affect the oceanic food chain since it is basically the starting point of all sea life? Are you willing to admit that some of the green movement’s ideas are being forced upon the public without adequate research?

    Yes, Chernobyl was a terrible accident, but every action comes with an element of risk. Do you shun driving a car because of the number of accidents and deaths associated with them? Do you avoid flouridated drinking water because of the potential aluminum-Alzheimer’s link? Do you not take prescription medicines because they might have produce side effects? If you sit back and think about it, we are all willing to take risks when the benefits appear to outweigh the risks. It’s interesting that nuclear power always gets a skewed review, and makes you wonder if it would be our staple had it been discovered before “fossil” fuels.

  • http://greenadine.wordpress.com nadine sellers

    Bobby.b,
    allow me to walk this one backwards, first.
    yes i do shun driving a car for all the right reasons, i walk and bike, it took me 6 months to use over half a tank. Yes i avoid fluoridated water, no i never take medicines. i live by my own principles within comfort.

    inevitable catastrophes due to green actions?
    yes wind towers are as much of a risk to birds as airplanes and cars.
    biofuels were not straight out of the green think tank, they were high-jacked by the same corporations which have served us dangerous chemicals, household bio-hazards and genetic agronomy.
    bio-fuels rob water, land and fossil fuels to produce, process and promote– not to mention transport and combustion, pollution and safety concerns in a world famine exodus.
    always consider the source when allocating blame, no self respecting green would use agricultural lands to feed belching monsters in the land of too much milk and no honey.
    and algae? yes i agree, harvesting more from the sea would imbalance a precarious post Cousteau world.

    Finally, i would propose a solution, use the biofuel incentives to promote and subsidize the expansion of home retrofits–insulation–solar panels–solar roofs–direct grid connectivity–small roof turbines for businesses. go small-go solar/wind– go personal-
    and thank you for the opportunity of civilized discourse.

  • lepedgevy

    Is this gonna end someday??

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