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More nuclear power - yes or no ?
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Are we happy to have more nuclear power in the UK ?
Yes
75%
 75%  [ 9 ]
No
25%
 25%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 12

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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 704
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 23/11/05, 09:17    Post subject: More nuclear power - yes or no ? Reply with quote

In the light of alleged recent changes in government thinking on the necessity for continuing and probably increasing our use of nuclear power stations in the UK, are we happy to go down that route ?

Is there a viable carbon-neutral alternative in the short- to mid- term ?

Are the risks too great ?

Would using less energy be a better alternative ?
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 23/11/05, 22:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that there is one aspect that must rule out a return to building nuclear power stations and that is the question of nuclear waste. We are far from solving the problem of what to do with that which has already been created.

If we as a society democratically, and it is not just another of Blairs trust me ideas, wish to run the risk of nuclear accidents, terrorist attacks on nuclear installation, nuclear proliferation and contamination of the environment OK. That would be our choice but to saddle future generations with coping with our nuclear waste is quite untenable.

Would using less energy be a better alternative ?

Whatever we do this should be part of the whole packet. And as a mystery guest said elsewhere, “It is time for action, and uncomfortable action at that” . A good start would be to put a realistic tax on aircraft fuel and discourage gas guzzling cars such as 4 X 4s with much higher road tax.
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 704
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 24/11/05, 08:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I would tend to agree about high taxes on 'leisure fuel', but my original post was more about generating the electricity that our race seems to need in ever increasing quantities.

I agree that the nuclear option brings with it unpalatable problems, but nighmare-ish as they are, surely they are small in comparison with the long-term problems that we could be causing by burning so much fossil fuel (ie global warming)

G
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oliver



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 117

PostPosted: 24/11/05, 16:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think yes because if it is used correctly then it will be safe but other wise i would have voted no...
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Fiona



Joined: 07 Oct 2005

Posts: 13
Location: Uplyme/Norwich

PostPosted: 24/11/05, 22:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

The disposal of nuclear waste is clearly a massive problem and it has such a long half-life that it hangs around for ages. I'm worried about any accidents like chernobyl (we can't guarantee that nuclear power stations are safe) and terrorist attacks . Nuclear power stations don't have a long lifetime (unless we put ourselves at even more risk and use them for longer) and they'd have to be rebuilt every 20 or so years. And at some point the uranium, which uses up lots of energy in its extraction and will use up even more as it becomes scarce, is going to run out just like oil. Then we will have to switch to the alternatives of renewables like wind and solar energy. Why not start using those renewables now?? Nuclear power just doesn't look like a wise option, I think Blair is once again resorting to taking the easy path.
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oliver



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 117

PostPosted: 25/11/05, 16:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

but the altenatives are expensive and un-productive in other words you spend alot but dont get much...
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Fiona



Joined: 07 Oct 2005

Posts: 13
Location: Uplyme/Norwich

PostPosted: 25/11/05, 20:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe we have come to a point where we can't always put the economy first, we need to take into consideration the future of our planet and the people and animals in it.
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gepalmer



Joined: 15 Oct 2005

Posts: 4
Location: Harcombe

PostPosted: 26/11/05, 12:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a word, Yes. We should have more nuclear power.
The UK is never going to be able to rely upon wind or solar as viable alternatives. Hydro capacity is already determined (and limited) by our own geography.
This government (?) has suddenly woken up to the fact that the EXISTING nuclear power plants are nearing their expiry dates and they have not even made a decision about replacing them, let alone faced the problem of global warming.
Logically, the UK needs MORE nuclear not less, and soon, if we are to satisfy Kyoto etc and ensure our power supply.
I would not trust Tony Blair (or any politician) to decide such an important, long-term and technical subject.
IMHO
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 28/11/05, 10:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

gepalmer wrote:
This government (?) has suddenly woken up to the fact that the EXISTING nuclear power plants are nearing their expiry dates and they have not even made a decision about replacing them, let alone faced the problem of global warming.

But when is a government going to wake up to the fact that the waste issue still has not been solved Question

The UK’s first commercial nuclear power station Calder Hall was connected to the national grid in 1956 and we still have no answer. If this problem were solvable surely it would have been in the last 50 years.

I think that what recent events have told us is that before introducing new potentially polluting technologies the first priority is how to clean up the mess that it will create.

If you want to remove your head from the sand and see just what a problem this is just Google “waste storage nuclear uk” Knock off the “UK” and you will see that it is not solely a UK problem.

"In the half century of the nuclear age, the U.S. has accumulated some 30,000 metric tons of spent fuel rods from power reactors and another 380,000 cubic meters of high-level radioactive waste, a by-product of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. None of these materials have found anything more than interim accommodation, despite decades of study and expenditures in the billions of dollars on research, development and storage,"
Chris G. Whipple, Can Nuclear Waste Be Stored at Yucca Mountain? Scientific American, June, 1996

Take a look at these two websites for a start.

http://www.etsu.edu/writing/3120f99/zctb3/nuclear2.htm

http://www.bellona.no/en/energy/nuclear/sellafield/35152.html
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gepalmer



Joined: 15 Oct 2005

Posts: 4
Location: Harcombe

PostPosted: 28/11/05, 20:22    Post subject: Nuclear Power Justification Reply with quote

Please read:

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Development/devtwelve.html
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Homer



Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 53
Location: Hawkchurch

PostPosted: 28/11/05, 20:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

why not just do what we always do and blast it into space?
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oliver



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 117

PostPosted: 29/11/05, 16:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you not seen that episode of Futurama?
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 704
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 30/11/05, 09:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waste disposal remains a problem, we have got into a state where our entire society relies upon huge amounts of power being generated.

So, initially we have two simple options, we can choose to either hugely reduce our energy needs (not just reduce the rate of increase) or we have to replace power stations which are reaching the end of their service life.

Now, whether we go for more gas/coal or for nuclear there will be waste issues to deal with either way. In the case of nuclear the waste, at least it can be contained in a solid form which can be safely stored until future technology provides a means of safe disposal. If we choose the fossil-fuel route, the climate-changing waste is CO2. This does not give us the opportunity to contain the problem.

Also, I don't understand why you think gepalmer has his head in the sand, when he is engaging in polite debate on the subject ?

Geoff.
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RichardH



Joined: 30 Oct 2005

Posts: 6
Location: Whalley Lane, Uplyme

PostPosted: 30/11/05, 10:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's too simplistic to see nuclear as a carbon-free option to help in the fight against global warming. Although it may be almost carbon-free when it is up and running, it will take the best part of two decades before we get that far, and in the meantime the plants have got to be built and the uranium mined. The cost of building the things is stupendous. The "government" (that's us) surely can't simply invest in them, and what private company is going to set aside a few tens of billions in the hope of an operating profit in 2030? OK, maybe Eurotunnel. And then the plants will have to be replaced again, relatively soon afterwards.

If we are going to invest large sums of money - which we will have to - then this will probably have to be spread across a range of technologies, including local generation, such as micro CHP and mini turbines. This would reduce transmission losses, and make people more aware of generation and consumption. A lot will have to be done in educating people to change their ways, anyway. Was anyone else as annoyed as I was during our recent mini-winter, seeing people starting their cars in the frosty mornings and just leaving them to run until the screen was clear and the inside warm enough for their cossetted toes? I was sorely tempted to reach inside and turn the engine off.
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 01/12/05, 00:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

geoff wrote:
In the case of nuclear the waste, at least it can be contained in a solid form which can be safely stored until future technology provides a means of safe disposal.

We cannot afford to rely on future technologies coming to bail us out. The spending of millions of US dollars in the last 50 years hasn’t.

geoff further wrote:
If we choose the fossil-fuel route, the climate-changing waste is CO2.

But technologies for carbon retention and storage have already been proposed. At this very moment delegations are in China trying to sell them the idea.
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