The use of Reason and reasonable argumentation, the reclaiming of the idea of Progress and the struggle against dogma. In this post-modern world, reinventing Enlightenment is of the utmost importance.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Nuclear power?



We live in a World where the need for energy is growing exponentially and where at the same time carbon emissions are threatening the stability of the planet. Our main source of energy is oil and this source is a very “dirty” one.

Many are now advocating a revived turn towards nuclear energy. Supporters for nuclear claim that renewables "like solar, wind and biomass can help. But only nuclear power offers clean, environmentally friendly energy on a massive scale."

And what is more they say that,“Fortunately, this urgently needed expansion can now build on a half-century of tremendous advance in the safe and secure operation of nuclear technology.”

The argument is a very simple one: it is cheap, it is clean and it is safe. Sounds almost perfect, does it not? Well, like always, it is not simple at all.

The pic that comes with this post depicts a recent disaster at an oil depot in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. You might have heard about in the news. Nobody knows what happened, but detectives are treating the case as an “accident”. Whatever it was it is clear that something went wrong and the consequences, albeit not dramatic, are not pleasant.

Now, nuclear energy promoters would take this example and say: see what happens when you use oil? This would never occur in our state of the art, ultra safe nuclear power plants. What they claim is that the new generation of nuclear plants have so many security checks that it would be almost impossible for an accident to happen.

Need I say more? The trick as you see is in the “almost” word. In its day the Titanic was considered the almost unsinkable ship, and we all know what happened next.

Also, I’m wondering what the people in charge of the oil depot in Hertfordshire would have replied if someone asked them about their security checks, the day before the accident…

Another issue of a somewhat relevant nature is what terrorists are thinking on the matter of creating accidents in the vicinity of a nuclear power plant…

Supporters for nuclear say: "We are confident that an informed public debate - focused on facts rather than myths - will demonstrate that nuclear energy is indispensable to sustainable global development."

You want facts? Here are a few: shit happens, accidents happen, terrorists happen. You want cheap and clean energy? Put your money into researching renewables sources; in the end of the day it will still be cheaper than a nuclear disaster.

2 Comments:

Blogger James Aach said...

You might find this an interesting learning experience: a book featuring a nuclear power plant from the inside, including a potential disaster. "Rad Decision" is the new techno-thriller novel about the American nuclear industry, written by a longtime nuclear engineer. Both sides of the nuclear argument will find plenty to like and dislike in Rad Decision.

"I'd like to see Rad Decision widley read." - Stewart Brand, founder, The Whole Earth Catalog

11:51 PM

 
Blogger Goncaluskas said...

David, I think this is your best posting so far. It is sober, concise and very orginal in how you put the issue. keep up the good work

8:15 AM

 

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