Why I’m kinda pro-nuclear April 25, 2011Posted by olvidadorio in Earth, Economics.
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As Bill Gates succintly makes the case for, as a global society we’re running into an energy/fuel crunch at the same time as we’re heading into a global climate catastrophe. Ramifications are pretty harsh. In this environment the Fukushima reactor melted, Germany decided to take its nuklear plants off the grid and everybody else is pushing off construction of new ones. Pro-nuke flaks have been re-iterating this one chart which supposedly shows nuklear to be so un-deadly compared to other sources of energy while using the severly downplayed version of statistics on Chernobyl – no, I don’t believe only 40 people died as a result of that, inflating numbers for coal – anybody with a bad lung is eligible, and ignoring the perils of long-term storage of nuclear waste (who’s going to guarantee a stable political system 500 years from now). But exactly that concern about stability makes me support widespread nuclear research and deployment. I really don’t see any of the renewable/sun-based energy sources cutting their mustard; they just do not have the necessary energy density to power an industrial society. And to make things worse, all those new-fangled wind and solar farms can only be constructed so relatively cheaply using an industrial process that’s heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Even more general, all our transportation is reliant on fossil fuels and will become much more difficult and potentially inefficient when based on electricity (which we’d have to produce somehow, don’t ask me how).
So if we don’t build lots of nuklear power plants (preferrably of the breeder type and the like, otherwise peak Uranium bites us in the butt) we’re going to run into some serious power-shortage. And with it, shortage of eerything, very much so down to food. And if those kind of things happen, people will start wars. And if wars happen, nuklear plants will become much more of a target.
So building nuklear plants might make us safer from nuklear meltdown. Because they keep us fat and happy.