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Thread: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

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    Re: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    Why would he care? He's not running again is he?
    neither was clinton in his second term,but people remember him as a great president,even though most his achievements on the deficit were from comprimise.
    “[The metric system is the tool of the Devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I likes it!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson”

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    Re: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    No, i do not think so. I'm just going by the example you presented as an "incredible risk", which I believe to be nonsense.
    But, again, I'm sure you'd have said the same thing if you lived in Japan, right before you and 100,000 others were evacuated, and your house and belongings left behind in what will be a contaminated nuclear wasteland for a few decades. The total costs will exceed $100 billion, perhaps more than double that. Those kinds of costs would fund a lot of 'green' subsidies....

    I agree the risks are small, which is why I spend no time worrying about the risk from the local nuclear plant. Just see no reason to prefer nuclear over the alternatives, which don't carry a 12 figure risk of loss, unknown risk of loss of lives, should they 'fail.' Especially since nuclear energy wouldn't exist without taxpayer subsidies and backstop for the losses in the event of a disaster.

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    Re: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilly View Post
    Nuclear really isn't that dangerous.

    Some radiation numbers

    As far as nuclear disasters go, the fukushima death toll currently stands at 0. Predictions of future deaths range from 0-100-1000 (the 1000 being a non peer reviewed guesstimate). On the other hand, the worst hydroelectric power accident was Banquiao Damn, which caused 200,000 deaths, eclipsing even Chernobyl.

    In terms of domestic terrorism, reactor grade fuel isn't enriched enough to be weaponized. Proper enriched stuff would be incredibly difficult to get a hold of. As far as the fallout from such an accident, living in a house 10 miles from Three Mile Island during the accident endows a similar radiation dosage as living in a brick house for a year. It's unlikely terrorists could turn the area surrounding a nuclear plant into a wasteland, their best bet would probably be getting hold of waste materials and pouring them into the water supply, note that the only suitable materials here would be high level waste, which accounts for less than 1% of a reactors total waste (95% of reactor waste is low level waste, which are things like cups and plates that have been used onsite). This would probably increase cancer rates over a number of years, hardly the impact terrorists go for (of course, the terrorists themselves would die awfully painful deaths due to the high doses when retrieving/opening the waste).
    I'm not sure how you're measuring the risk. Just as an example, we know the potential problems - we've seen them with the Fukushima plant. Terrorists could cause it or maybe an 1,000 year flood like they had in Nashville a few years ago, like other similar, once in a 100 or 1000 year natural disasters that happen with seeming regularity somewhere in the country. And many of our plants are located on or near rivers, while Fukushima was able to dump the contaminated water from their reactors into the vast Pacific. Is there some analysis on the damages if nuclear waste water finds its way into the Mississippi?

    And the analysis really isn't about the risk of instant death by radiation etc. It's a matter of costs, and subsidies, and picking which of various forms of energy to subsidize. Nuclear if it exists is subsidized by taxpayers - that's just a fact of life. So the question is how to allocate those dollars, not whether some terrorist will blow up the plant near me and incinerate my family. That's not going to happen, but there is a real risk of an eventual nuclear disaster that will cost hundreds of billions in damages, and the question is whether that's what we should allocate scarce resources to, or how much of those resources should we allocate to energy sources that carry that kind of risk.

    Renewable is great in theory but realistically doesn't provide enough to replace fossil fuels.
    Similarly, that's not the question. No one suggests that in our lifetimes we will replace fossil fuels. The question is what should be our national energy policy with regard to fossil fuels, renewables, nuclear. They will ALL play a roll for the foreseeable decades. And we can certainly replace a good SHARE of the fossil fuels currently being burned - we've already done it, with wind producing up to a quarter of electricity in some states.

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    Re: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    I'm not sure how you're measuring the risk. Just as an example, we know the potential problems - we've seen them with the Fukushima plant. Terrorists could cause it or maybe an 1,000 year flood like they had in Nashville a few years ago, like other similar, once in a 100 or 1000 year natural disasters that happen with seeming regularity somewhere in the country. And many of our plants are located on or near rivers, while Fukushima was able to dump the contaminated water from their reactors into the vast Pacific. Is there some analysis on the damages if nuclear waste water finds its way into the Mississippi?

    And the analysis really isn't about the risk of instant death by radiation etc. It's a matter of costs, and subsidies, and picking which of various forms of energy to subsidize. Nuclear if it exists is subsidized by taxpayers - that's just a fact of life. So the question is how to allocate those dollars, not whether some terrorist will blow up the plant near me and incinerate my family. That's not going to happen, but there is a real risk of an eventual nuclear disaster that will cost hundreds of billions in damages, and the question is whether that's what we should allocate scarce resources to, or how much of those resources should we allocate to energy sources that carry that kind of risk.

    Similarly, that's not the question. No one suggests that in our lifetimes we will replace fossil fuels. The question is what should be our national energy policy with regard to fossil fuels, renewables, nuclear. They will ALL play a roll for the foreseeable decades. And we can certainly replace a good SHARE of the fossil fuels currently being burned - we've already done it, with wind producing up to a quarter of electricity in some states.
    Well all energy sources are subsidized by the taxpayer, I'm not sure why you're singling out nuclear on that regard.

    You're right, our energy solution moving forward should be a combination of different sources. However, issues with renewable energy such as intermittency (you need to build ~4x the required capacity to account for efficiency issues) and practicality (some states simply don't receive much wind/sunlight) means that it is incredibly unlikely that it will be able to meet the bulk of our energy needs. Nuclear energy can. The current split for energy in the US is around 70-20-10 (fossil/nuclear/renewable). I would advocate for something like a 70-30 (nuclear/renewable) split, with renewable only at 30 because countrywide that's probably the highest feasible %. If we can get that % higher, great, but we won't be able to phase out fossil fuels (which should be our overarching energy priority) without investment into nuclear.

    I'd also like to add that funding into nuclear does not just mean fission. While the current major international effort into fusion (ITER) is currently way overbudget and is not even thinking about commercialization until 2050 onwards, fusion represents the pinnacle of energy production. It essentially bypasses a layer of inefficiency present in wind/fossil/solar by going straight to the source, fusion as it occurs in the sun.
    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK

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    Re: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    But, again, I'm sure you'd have said the same thing if you lived in Japan, right before you and 100,000 others were evacuated, and your house and belongings left behind in what will be a contaminated nuclear wasteland for a few decades. The total costs will exceed $100 billion, perhaps more than double that. Those kinds of costs would fund a lot of 'green' subsidies....
    And the 'green subsidies' will be as wasted as those previous handouts. If people live in constant fear of tsunami earthquakes, no houses would have been built there, or in California and most places in the world, for that matter.

    I agree the risks are small, which is why I spend no time worrying about the risk from the local nuclear plant. Just see no reason to prefer nuclear over the alternatives, which don't carry a 12 figure risk of loss, unknown risk of loss of lives, should they 'fail.' Especially since nuclear energy wouldn't exist without taxpayer subsidies and backstop for the losses in the event of a disaster.
    Life has risks and we can acknowledge that without living in fear of natural disasters. There has been reference to the "Three Mile Island disaster" in which no one was injured or exposed to radiation, but enough was made of it to slow down its development for years. Barring a combination of tsunami/earthquake proportions they are among the safest and practical sources of energy for heavily populated areas.

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