Isn't time we explore the nuclear option. With peak oil approaching we need to have something in place. Let's stop messing around with low power wind turbines here and there and get right to addressing the issue.
A good size fast breeder thorium based reactor would be perfect.
What are people's thoughts, if you going to make points or raise concerns please keep it factual and provide credible reference.
After what happened in Chernobyl and then what nearly could have happened in Japan there is no way I would support it. I'm all for advancements but not something that can cause as much damage as nuclear fission. If someday fusion became a workable idea I would consider it as I've read its not as dangerous.
Technology has moved on greatly since Chernobyl, look at what caused the accident to happen and you'll see how that could not happen again.. Remove the media hype from Japan and explain what exactly happened that would put you off.
Come on guys, I did ask for a good debate not AH style replies.
Saying "no to nuclear" because of Chernobyl is like saying no to using ships and ferries, because of the coffin ships that carried emigrants from famine-era Ireland to the U.S back in the 1840s.
As for Fukushima, yes that was a serious accident too, but nowhere near as severe as Chernobyl. Tepco, the Japanese government and people have clearly stated their intention to clean up the excess radiation and I am confident that they will be able to do so.
Noone has died as a result of the Fukushima reactor failure.
Ted is right about Thorium, from what I understand they're even safer than good Uranium reactors and even more efficient. For example this:
Could supply a person with nuclear electricity for a entire lifetime.
Under every concievable measure, cost per kw/h, reliability, dependability, CO2 produced per kw/h, land taken per Gigawatt, air pollution per kw/h and even in some cases radiation emissions per kw/h, nuclear electricity is the best, or near the best in class.
If we choose to irrationally say no to nuclear, we WILL pay the price!
I was once a pro nuclear supporter but now can't support the idea.
Saying previous disasters won't happen again is not saying new disasters won't happen. Noone can predict what will happen and the possibility of having that type of polution in Ireland is unthinkable.
Especially with the type of politicians/government we have where corruption 'seems' rife and the brown envelope is deemed more desirable that the people's well being. (This may be a bit overboard - but stating nuclear energy is safe is similar)
I can't see it as a card to be played in Ireland and would hold out for fission (whenever it comes!)
I agree with this point so why don't you abide by it?
Where are the facts and credible references in the OP?
well i was just opening the discussion.
Each year WHO claim there are over 300,00 deaths caused by the burning of Fossil fuel. now granted 40% of fuel is used for transport, so approx 160,000 are due to generating heat and electricity.
this alone is enough to convince me that the couple of thousand deaths caused since nuclear started is enough to warrant its roles out.
there's some interesting read here, especially the comments.
There's another thread on Nuclear power on the Environmental Science forum, a lot of the issues regarding nuclear are begin discussed particularly the storage of nuclear waste.
You should have a read of it OP.
I rather Ireland stay a completely green country, We should work on environmentally friendly energy sources and then buy energy from the UK if we need to, the cables are being laid right now.
Nuclear is green. What other environmental friendly methods of energy conversion are truly viable?
It has a potential massive environmental risk though. 99% of the time it is a green energy. If we properly rolled out wind, wave, hydroelectric and solar energy sources we could produce a decent amount of energy, then we always have the backup. If we had approx 5 wind turbines for every decently sized town we should power nearly everything from that.
Three things that I have come across lately give me pause for thought;
From New Scientist
Yet there is a solution for future generations of nuclear plants: build all reactors and their primary cooling circuits underground. Decommissioning would then involve little more than sealing the entrance and walking away. The non-radioactive surface plant could be removed like any other obsolete building or industrial structure.
sounds like a progressive idea
Resilient reactors: Nuclear built to last centuries
Using materials like molten salts or helium gas to cool the reactor and transfer its heat to turbines, "Generation IV" reactors will burn fuel with greater efficiency and could generate far less highly radioactive spent fuel than their predecessors. India plans to kick-start the Generation IV programme with the commission of its Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor early in 2013.
Fast-breeders burn plutonium and other long-lived radioactive isotopes in spent fuel. More than that, they turn it into new fuel, turning waste into energy.
A critical issue is finding materials that can better withstand the stresses created by the chain reactions inside a nuclear reactor.
progress being made
We will be importing nuclear generated power directly very soon (rather than through NI!)
Cable to connect Irish and British power supplies
The world's largest cable-laying ship is in Dublin to work on the first direct electricity line between the Republic of Ireland and Britain.
The underground option in intresting. I know there also building moderator release systems into the ceilings, that will auto release a moderator to slow down the chain reavtion, should a need arise.
As regards exporting wind energy, I don't understand why we should be subsiding energy then exporting it. Exporting wind is truly a PR excerise.
Tell me, last time you bought a loaf of bread, did you have to queue outside a warehouse for two weeks? Go on a 14 year waiting list for your car? Last time you visited someone in hospital, did you have to bribe the nurse with 3 packs of (scare) Marlboro cigarettes?
No? I didn't think so - but you would have had to do so in the Former Soviet Union which is where the Soviets basically blew up their reactor through a combination of grave RBMK reactor flaws, gross incompetence by all concerned, errors caused by the extreme authoritarian nature of everything there, and just a sprinking of unfortunate timing.
Few if any will claim that an accident cannot happen. Consider:
"This ship cannot sink" ... said of a certain RMS Titanic which you might have heard something about recently, or:
"This reactor is so safe you could put it in Red Square" ... said of the Chernobyl plant by its designer.
The point I'm trying to make here is that a good nuclear program would avoid the type of conceit you refer to. Everyone involved from the lowest plant operators up to the nuclear regulators, would have to always assume that an accident could happen, and always consider what could cause an accident.
Re: Chernobyl, I don't think I've ever said it could never happen again, only that the environment in which that accident occured is not relevant to the Western world.
Subject to taking proper precautions though, there is no reason whatsoever why we should not chase the vast array of benefits that a nuclear solution would give us.
To those promoting nuclear power, how do you suggest to deal with the practically eternal legacy of the radioactive wastes generated?
I'm not shooting down Nuclear power,(I'm only learning about it) but proponents never suggest how to deal with it.