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Where do people, generally, stand on Nuclear Power (both Fission and Fusion), in terms of being for or against?
Clarification: Yourself and those around you. (i.e. friends, family, classmates, co-workers)

This topic is oriented for Nuclear Power for the production of energy, but obviously may branch into weaponry.


I, over the past couple of days, had the experience to visit Hiroshima, sparking a few questions - what do people think of nuclear power these days, with more than two years of cool down from Fukushima.

Being stationed in Japan, I see plenty of posters protesting the US having a carrier stationed over here - with some talking about it as an "epicenter," as if it could explode, with the George Washington having two nuclear reactors on board.

As a Reactor Operator, I'm generally pro-nuclear power - I believe all old nuclear power plants, at least BWR and PWR, can be, and should be, upgraded with fail-safe safety systems that would have prevented such cases as Fukushima and Chernobyl, as doing so is not relatively hard task. (Relatively as in - for the workers, yes, but not an overwhelming financial task for a government.)

However, being stationed in a foreign country, all my experience with Americans since Fukushima has been little more than face-palming at internet posts.

While I'd like to ask your general opinion, as well as a sampling of those of people you know, a few questions I'd like to ask:

How many people do you know (or do you yourself) think of nuclear reactors as little different from nuclear bombs in their destructive power?

Future of Nuclear Power (Savior? Pointless? Etc.)

How many people actually know how it works?

How many people want it done away with?

Why do people want it gone (Obviously, many reasons are known. More of a sampling of which ones.)?

Suggestions on how to improve? (Waste disposal, general design, etc. )

How many people actually know what the hell they're talking about and how many are getting on political bandwagons and making assumptions with little to no research themselves?
Dieu des hommes's avatar

Enduring Prophet

I think that nuclear power needs to be exploited to meet our energy demands. Fusion research does need more funding, but fission can produce enough energy to meet our the rising demand. Especially as fossil fuels become less abundant and more expensive. I don't see the malfunction of reactors as something to be particularly worried about. Modern nuclear reactors are incredibly safe when compared to reactors that have malfunctioned, such as the ones in Chernobyl and Fukushima. With a lot of waste disposal and containment problems being much safer and efficient than they have been.

That being said, nuclear power isn't some save all for the energy problem. The prospect of nuclear fuel being weaponised is a problem that cannot be ignored, making nuclear power relatively unsafe in politically unstable regions of the world. It also cannot be our sole source of energy, we cannot simply ignore renewable energy sources because we can use nuclear power.

I think there is no getting around the fact we will need to start using nuclear power much more.
chainmailleman's avatar

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Skyburn
Where do people, generally, stand on Nuclear Power (both Fission and Fusion), in terms of being for or against?
Clarification: Yourself and those around you. (i.e. friends, family, classmates, co-workers)

This topic is oriented for Nuclear Power for the production of energy, but obviously may branch into weaponry.


I, over the past couple of days, had the experience to visit Hiroshima, sparking a few questions - what do people think of nuclear power these days, with more than two years of cool down from Fukushima.

Being stationed in Japan, I see plenty of posters protesting the US having a carrier stationed over here - with some talking about it as an "epicenter," as if it could explode, with the George Washington having two nuclear reactors on board.

As a Reactor Operator, I'm generally pro-nuclear power - I believe all old nuclear power plants, at least BWR and PWR, can be, and should be, upgraded with fail-safe safety systems that would have prevented such cases as Fukushima and Chernobyl, as doing so is not relatively hard task. (Relatively as in - for the workers, yes, but not an overwhelming financial task for a government.)

However, being stationed in a foreign country, all my experience with Americans since Fukushima has been little more than face-palming at internet posts.

While I'd like to ask your general opinion, as well as a sampling of those of people you know, a few questions I'd like to ask:

How many people do you know (or do you yourself) think of nuclear reactors as little different from nuclear bombs in their destructive power?

Future of Nuclear Power (Savior? Pointless? Etc.)

How many people actually know how it works?

How many people want it done away with?

Why do people want it gone (Obviously, many reasons are known. More of a sampling of which ones.)?

Suggestions on how to improve? (Waste disposal, general design, etc. )

How many people actually know what the hell they're talking about and how many are getting on political bandwagons and making assumptions with little to no research themselves?


1.) Their power is the same. It's the time thats different. One at a time or all at once.

2.) Both Fission and Fusion. I have a goal in the near future to build a fusion reactor similar to Farsworth's Original with a few modifications.

3.) I would like to see fission done away with. It's not as efficient as people think.

4.) Fission reactors go boom (except thorium). Fusion reactors just stop.

5.) Waste products from fission can still be used in breeder reactors and such. Americium for example is in most household smoke detectors.

Fusion is a long way off for a reason. Lack of adequate funding for the right methods of fusion. Magnetically Confined reactors are horribly inefficient and will never accelerate anything up to or past luminal velocity. Electrostatic devices are very practical as high school students build them. They offer the potential of higher velocities with less input energy as well as ease of manufacture.

Nuclear power for real world use in my opinion is a joke. It's cost of construction and maintenance is almost even with the cost of it's power output.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

This probably isn't the right place to ask this (since there are a lot of sciency people here), but, probably the majority of people don't care, so long as safety restrictions are in place, but also probably most people don't realize how much electricity is nuclear.

Some 20% of our nation's power is from nuclear, only from 106 power plants or so.


With about 5 times that, we could completely replace our power supply, and I believe it's cheaper than coal, and it also has less emissions.

So long as the waste is contained properly it shouldn't be an issue. Also I believe that some of those reactors are a lot more powerful than other reactors; so, we'd need less than that, but idk how much.


I mean there are already uranium mines that have huge amounts of radiation in them right? You could convert that space back into a uranium holding place and there's basically no way of leaking out. Just put some armed guards around and you're golden. It's not as if you could blo up or break into a mountain, right? So no chance of terrorist attacks.

Unless you used a couple of nukes but then it wouldn't really matter as much.


We could use CANDU reactors, which I believe are cheaper and have a higher power output, as well as having some proliferation resistance.

Also liquid salt should just be the stuff used, since it can store like 200 times the heat energy, regardless of which type we use.


Personally, I think we should use thorium, mainly because it is inherently safe, allowing it to be a lot cheaper, which is where I want energy to go, and because it's somewhat more available and we really don't have as use for it at the moment, even though we have a lot of it stored up (technically classified but!)

On that though, I has a question; how much of uranium's cost, do you think goes, to it's protection/prevention of a nuclear accident; ooh, and the breeding process?
Liquid salt - I'm wary of. Sure, it'll do great things, but the second you expose it to air at all and you're done for. Makes chemistry control more complicated. Lead and/or bismuth, perhaps.
IMO, sodium-cooled is a bad idea - the second you have a big enough problem, you've screwed yourself and the public opinion of nuclear power, because you will get an explosion, or at least major fires.

Disposal? This one I got from PopSci:
Wrap it in a tungsten ball. Drop it to the bottom of the ocean.
Done.


chainmailleman


1.) Their power is the same. It's the time thats different. One at a time or all at once.

2.) Both Fission and Fusion. I have a goal in the near future to build a fusion reactor similar to Farsworth's Original with a few modifications.

3.) I would like to see fission done away with. It's not as efficient as people think.

4.) Fission reactors go boom (except thorium). Fusion reactors just stop.

5.) Waste products from fission can still be used in breeder reactors and such. Americium for example is in most household smoke detectors.

Fusion is a long way off for a reason. Lack of adequate funding for the right methods of fusion. Magnetically Confined reactors are horribly inefficient and will never accelerate anything up to or past luminal velocity. Electrostatic devices are very practical as high school students build them. They offer the potential of higher velocities with less input energy as well as ease of manufacture.

Nuclear power for real world use in my opinion is a joke. It's cost of construction and maintenance is almost even with the cost of it's power output.


Fission reactors don't "go boom." If nothing else, they melt down, yes, and that's bad, but it's not as bad as a nuke going off.
Any modern built reactor will stop that, as well. Something bad happens and they shut themselves down.

Fission's actually incredibly efficient. Yes, each plant is expensive, but per mW-hr, it's on par with Solar, which is in many places the cheapest - except Solar is also getting more government subsidies. Without such subsidies, fission is actually the cheapest, with the most bang-for-your-buck.

Fusion just needs to work on it's efficiency.
Touching Hair's avatar

Friendly Regular

People have an irrational fear of radiation and seem to think radiative waste is a horrible viscous green ooze that dissolves anything it comes into contact with when in reality 99.9% of radioactive waste is low level and completely harmless, comprised of paper, desks or anything else that just happens to be in or near the reactor complex that gives of any level of reactivity.

People fear what they don't understand, media scare mongering doesn't help either. Education is the problem, schools alocate very little time to nuclear energy, radioactivity and its effects on organisms.

Nuclear is the future. Solar, wind, tidal, coal, oil, etc aren't practical long term solutions to Humanity's always expanding energy needs.
I basically have circle jerk conversations with my science literate friends about how great nuclear power is and how people that think they can explode like a bomb are such backward cavemen.

I don't associate with many people that are anti-nuclear power, but that's more because they won't tolerate me talking about complicated things or just zone out if I present even the most watered down explanations.
Vestri Umbra's avatar

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People tend to be a little unstable, on this particular subject.

rofl
chainmailleman's avatar

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Vestri Umbra
People tend to be a little unstable, on this particular subject.

rofl


After Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and now Iran's reactor, people have a very legitimate reason to be "unstable" (lol).
chainmailleman
Vestri Umbra
People tend to be a little unstable, on this particular subject.

rofl


After Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima, and now Iran's reactor, people have a very legitimate reason to be "unstable" (lol).
Okay. So be unstable on reactors older than the parents of most people who post here. They're more stable than said parents are, anyway. What about new ones?
'Sup nuke. Coner here. (well, you're a skimmer on a bird farm, I'll be suprised if you know what coner means.)

The thing is, you're stationed in Japan, the only country to ever be attacked by nuclear weapons, and the most recent nuclear power disaster. (their fault for putting a reactor without enough fail-safes on a tier-1 seismic fault line, if you ask me) I know I'm stating the obvious but you need to see it from their point of view. All they understand is atomic holocaust. Oh, and ***** and giant robots. wink

You gotta realize that the locals have very little appreciation of any kind of fission system.
Ursarkar Creed
'Sup nuke. Coner here. (well, you're a skimmer on a bird farm, I'll be suprised if you know what coner means.)

The thing is, you're stationed in Japan, the only country to ever be attacked by nuclear weapons, and the most recent nuclear power disaster. (their fault for putting a reactor without enough fail-safes on a tier-1 seismic fault line, if you ask me) I know I'm stating the obvious but you need to see it from their point of view. All they understand is atomic holocaust. Oh, and ***** and giant robots. wink

You gotta realize that the locals have very little appreciation of any kind of fission system.
Heh, most of the guys who teach A-school and Power School are subs. I know what a coner is. And that you guys are at least better than topsiders (which isn't saying much. Most topsiders are dumb. Especially Airdales (aka Skittles)).

I know what Japan's going through. I don't entirely blame them - they don't start out with a good connotation.
But the thing is, from what I see, it's not just Japan.
And they're not entirely fixated on the nuclear bombs. Though it was a bit awkward to visit Hiroshima.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

So what do you think is so bad about liquid salt?
Suicidesoldier#1
So what do you think is so bad about liquid salt?
Good for land-based.
Terrible for Sea-based.

I don't know how good their protection systems are in the liquid salt.
Liquid salt is absolutely horrid if you aren't as a**l-retentive as America is about reactors right now.
Suicidesoldier#1's avatar

Fanatical Zealot

Skyburn
Suicidesoldier#1
So what do you think is so bad about liquid salt?
Good for land-based.
Terrible for Sea-based.

I don't know how good their protection systems are in the liquid salt.
Liquid salt is absolutely horrid if you aren't as a**l-retentive as America is about reactors right now.


Well, liquid salt designs are a lot safer because they can operate at higher temperatures and have something like 200 times less expansion than water, so sudden spikes in temperature wouldn't have as much pressure.

I guess if it did have problem you could empty it out into a large container, like another pipe, not much of a problem but you'd likely lose your fuel and your liquid salt.


As far as I'm aware it is more thermally efficient, maybe twice as much, but idk.

Part of this is being able to operate higher temperatures. xp


I guess it would be bad for the sea.

It could be smaller, theoretically though. xp

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