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(pbs.org)   Why do Americans fear nuclear power?   (pbs.org) divider line 591
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26547 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Dec 2004 at 3:56 AM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-12-12 06:47:57 PM  
Americans don't, neocons do.
 
2004-12-12 06:52:18 PM  
What?
 
2004-12-12 06:52:49 PM  
huh?
 
2004-12-12 06:53:46 PM  
Uh, what the hell Vampslayer?
 
2004-12-12 06:55:45 PM  
I dont' think it's nuclear power that people fear, it's nuclear weapons they fear, right?

Of course, the incredibly dangerous and hard-to-get-rid-of waste product of nuclear power isn't a walk in the park either.
 
2004-12-12 06:56:42 PM  


Whaaaa?
 
2004-12-12 06:59:56 PM  
camarugala

Somebody was going to say it, so I just got it out of the way.
 
2004-12-12 07:00:19 PM  
Because we don't want to glow in the dark!
 
2004-12-12 07:03:54 PM  
 
2004-12-12 07:04:28 PM  
Somebody was going to say it, so I just got it out of the way.

I really don't think a "neocon" would say that, then again, I'm still trying to figure out what a "neocon" is.
 
2004-12-12 07:04:55 PM  
Because we like choking on the smog from coal-fired power plants. We also like the higher medical bills from breathing said smoke.
 
2004-12-12 07:08:32 PM  
Are there Neolibs? Because really, it's a stupid term.
 
2004-12-12 07:09:34 PM  
Also, if we had more nuke plants, then we would have the power available to make hydrogen during off-peak hours. With clean-burning hydrogen for our cars/buses/trains how are we supposed to support middle eastern dictators, kings, and religious fanatics? Submitter needs to keep buying oil, breathing coal smoke, and stop asking questions.
 
2004-12-12 07:14:05 PM  
I don't. It's safer than any other form of power developed.
 
2004-12-12 07:14:27 PM  
Because anything containing the word "nuclear" brings up thoughts of bombs, explosions, radiation, etc.

Nuclear power is the cleanest and most efficient way to produce electricity. It has less impact on the environment than hydroelectric power, even.

But people are people, and the word "nuclear" scares the shiat out of them. It's irrational, really.
 
2004-12-12 07:21:29 PM  
It's the nucular power I worry about.
 
2004-12-12 07:23:23 PM  
Nuclear power has it's problems. We need to allow reprocessing of 'spent' fuel to reduce waste. Also, we need to vitrify the waste and decide where to put it (back in the uranium mines?) However, these problems are dwarfed by the huge health and environmental costs of our current forms of base-load power generation (power that can generate all the time, as opposed to when the wind is blowing or it is daylight).
 
2004-12-12 07:23:29 PM  
I like nuclear power.

/works within site of Three Mile Island
//dosen't glow in the dark.
///much.
 
2004-12-12 07:31:06 PM  
If anyone's afraid of the possibility of a meltdown, do a GS for "Pebble-bed reactors". The South Africans have really got a great idea there.
 
2004-12-12 07:32:10 PM  
Fossil fuels make me sad.
 
2004-12-12 07:33:30 PM  
My dad works at a nuclear power plant (he's literally Homer Simpson) and has my entire life. Last time I checked, I have no physical mutations and don't glow in the dark.
 
2004-12-12 07:35:22 PM  
Because too many people have read books, heard stories, or seen movies, etc., where radioactive material causes huge problems. Given, if a meltdown does happen, it can be bad. However, from what I've read, most of the ways they contain the material now-a-days is fairly safe.

However, at this time, especially with the terrorism stuff going on, a lot of people are going to hold against it. Especially because many people just take what they read or see for fact, and don't bother to research themselves.

A sad fact.
 
2004-12-12 07:38:50 PM  
Who needs nuclear power when we have all this coal that is just asking to be burned?
 
2004-12-12 07:39:56 PM  
I think that the objection is due mostly to the radioactive waste.

As for the reprocessing, it's a great idea, except that IIRC, the result of reprocessing is plutonium which would make the plants even more tempting targets.

Having said all this, I think that nuclear power is the way to go. I wish that 100% of our power came from nuclear.

/works with radiation nearly everyday
//not dead yet
 
2004-12-12 07:40:08 PM  
Atvar
If anyone's afraid of the possibility of a meltdown, do a GS for "Pebble-bed reactors". The South Africans have really got a great idea there.

A Chinese university has also demonstrated one of these reactors. They simply turned off all the controls and watched what would happen (a la the Soviet experiment that led to Chernobyl). Unlike Chernobyl, the pebble-bed reactors simply shut down due to the laws of physics - no manual or automated safety devices needed. They also talked about using the power to produce hydrogen, so they wouldn't have to import oil to power cars. I think the link was from a Wired article - can dig it up if there is interest.

Good luck getting that here - we'll still be importing oil while China, S. Africa, France, and others enjoy a cleaner environment.

btw, France produces over 75% of electricity from nukes, has become a net electricity exporter (since they have some of the cheapest power production costs in the EU).
 
2004-12-12 07:41:50 PM  
dang, i just did a paper on the same topic 2 weeks ago for physics.

Naturally, when I said I "did a paper," it means i copied and pasted from several different websites until i met the required length, and got enough information in there to actually sound like I did the work...

I got a 97 on the paper, which was a major grade...
gotta love the internet
 
2004-12-12 07:46:14 PM  
Does anyone know how I could get a job at a nuclear power plant? Difficulty: not an engineer, and don't want to be a janitor.
 
2004-12-12 08:01:24 PM  
Maybe because we unleashed 2 nuclear bombs on an enemy once and that kind of horror at our hands has made us wary.....

Or maybe it's because we're asshats that believe everything every one of our crooked politicians tells us.

I think have to go with answer #2
 
2004-12-12 08:04:22 PM  
Atvar:

Does anyone know how I could get a job at a nuclear power plant? Difficulty: not an engineer, and don't want to be a janitor.

Start out as a security guard, and move your way up from there. Around here several people do so, and that's how me pappy got his start.
 
2004-12-12 08:09:22 PM  
Why do you hate America?
 
2004-12-12 08:12:10 PM  
I'm not sure. Perhaps most of it comes down to a matter of trust.

Americans have a proud (and wise) history of distrusting their government.

Really large businesses can only be trusted to chase the allmighty dollar. Skepticism of them as well is important.

Also (and sadly) Americans also have a limited trust of science. Sometimes, (not nearly as often as in the first two cases,) this is justified, such as when dangerous drugs slip the FDA's scientific testing methods.

We do indeed rely on and benefit from Big Government, Big Business and the scientists each and every day. And for the most part, things work out fine.

Still, there's no shortage of examples of each of those three screwing up.

A Nuclear power plant is a big, expensive, complicated thing. So, in order to build a bunch of new nuclear power plants, we have to trust big government, big business, AND those wierdo nerdy scientists.

If any of those three fark up once,JUST ONCE tens or hundreds of thousands of people could die.

Yeah, I can see the concern there.

On top of all that is another universal truth: shiat happens. No matter how well designed, built, and managed a nuclear plant may be, something bad could happen.

A terrorist might infiltrate the plant's security staff and blow it up. Hell, a meteorite might fall out of the sky and cause disaster. Dozens of other things I would never think of could happen.

Those pebble bed reactors are a brilliant design. As I understand it, they do have a flaw, though: The pebbles' outer coating is graphite. The pebble bed can get hot enough to burn graphite if the pile was exposed to air.

Not likely, of course, but still...
 
2004-12-12 08:17:21 PM  
ChildMolestingPriest:

"Because we like choking on the smog from coal-fired power plants. We also like the higher medical bills from breathing said smoke."

Coal power plants increase radioactivity in the surrounding area more than well maintained nuclear plants.

Discuss.
 
2004-12-12 08:25:23 PM  
I fear nuclear waste - as in, storing tons of it 90 miles north of my home.
 
2004-12-12 08:33:19 PM  
Does anyone know why we don't just mix the waste with dirt until it is same radioactivity as uranium ore and then stick it back in the mines where we got the uranium in the first place?
 
2004-12-12 08:38:45 PM  
Because the facilities were built by the lowest bidder?

Are any other farkers using electricity produced by nukes? Is your electricity expensive? Every time I move away from nuclear power, my electric bill goes down.

/nu-cu-lar
 
2004-12-12 08:43:56 PM  
btw, France produces over 75% of electricity from nukes, has become a net electricity exporter (since they have some of the cheapest power production costs in the EU).

Wow, cool! So, where are they putting all the nuclear waste?
 
2004-12-12 08:48:31 PM  
little miss
Wow, cool! So, where are they putting all the nuclear waste?

if they are smart, back in the uranium mines where the nuclear material came from in the first place
 
2004-12-12 08:50:33 PM  
Americans do not fear nuclear power. Hippies fear nuclear power. (Think about the people that protest it)
 
2004-12-12 08:53:03 PM  
Because eco-freaks have a religious bent against anything that smacks of technology beyond fire.
 
2004-12-12 08:56:18 PM  
LordZorch
Because eco-freaks have a religious bent against anything that smacks of technology beyond fire.

- unless it is a gas-guzzling pollution-belching '70s VW van -
 
2004-12-12 09:06:54 PM  
Because the facilities were built by the lowest bidder?

I hear this argument a lot. At least a version of it. I deal with contracts that are either on the federal, state or local levels all the time.

Yes, the government *usually* goes with the lowest bidder, but only if the contract meets the specifications that are already laid out.

Would you like to pay more for a power plant, bridge, or fighter jet just because it isn't going to the lowest bidder?
 
2004-12-12 09:33:11 PM  
Oh cool!



This is gonna be fun.

:-p
 
2004-12-12 09:41:18 PM  
Warchild: "This is gonna be fun."

The only reason it'll be a flame fest is because the 'liters won't read what we've said before they post.
 
2004-12-12 09:59:08 PM  
one word:

Chernobyl
 
2004-12-12 10:02:29 PM  
Because one of my houses is 30 miles from Indian River and I kinda like the place, not to mention I kinda like my 20,000,000 neighbors.
 
2004-12-12 10:04:00 PM  
vampslayer:

Americans don't, neocons do.

DO WHAT?!
 
2004-12-12 10:08:29 PM  
Why do Americans fear marijuana, boobies, and black people?
 
2004-12-12 10:10:34 PM  
Is the question:

Why do Americans fear nuclear power?

-OR-

Why do Americans fear a nuclear power?

That would result in two completely different flamewars.

/Enjoys reading the mass confusion about to ensue beneath this post.
 
2004-12-12 10:33:17 PM  
pshaw - hey, one flamewar at a time goddammit! ;)
 
2004-12-12 10:56:26 PM  
Warchild: Are there Neolibs? Because really, it's a stupid term.

It wasn't coined as a slur, it was coined by people to describe themselves and their particular conservative beliefs. See Newt Gingrich.

Big time kudos to Riche for the post at 2004-12-12 08:12:10 PM.

I know it borders on straw man, but I have to tell about an "I'm so much smarter than everyone else" guy whom I heard several times tirade about how "people don't understand that the accidents that have happened at nuclear plants have been because of human error, not because of nuclear technology." Well, I'm sure that's really reassuring to the victims.
 
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