11
Jan
08

IS NUCLEAR THE FUTURE ?

Hola, Peter Dobbie here with news of today’s World Have Your Say, on air at 1800 GMT :o) Today:  
IN NUCLEAR POWER THE ONLY OPTION ? 
The British government’s go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations has provoked heated debate, among the ‘pros’ and the ‘antis’ – those for, and those against. This follows the announcement that a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK has been given formal backing by the government. The official line is that it will be a “safe and affordable” way of securing the UK’s future energy supplies while fighting climate change. Any plants would be built at, or near, existing reactors by private firms, with the first one completed “well before 2020”. That date is significant – stay with me to find out why. 
Anyway, has the British government got it right —
IS NUCLEAR THE FUTURE ? 
Lets put this in context: Several countries already obtain large parts of their energy supply from nuclear, without any obvious problems. Some choose not to.  
FRANCE has more than 50 nuclear power plants, which produce 79% of its electricity output. The nuclear fleet meets just under half of the nation’s energy needs.  
An estimated 12% of GERMANY’S electricity consumption in 2006 came from nuclear power. However, Germany plans to shut down all its nuclear reactors by 2020.  
RUSSIA opened the world’s first nuclear power plant in 1954. Industry expansion slowed down after the Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear power plants produced 6% of the energy consumed in 2005. The industry is now growing again, with the government aiming to produce more nuclear energy for export.  
The UNITED STATES is the world’s largest supplier of commercial nuclear power, with more than 100 licensed commercial nuclear power plants. In 2006, these generated about 20% of the country’s national energy production, and met 9% of the country’s energy needs.  
AUSTRALIA produces no nuclear power. Plans to review whether the country should develop nuclear power were abandoned after Kevin Rudd, who opposed the move, was elected prime minister in 2007. Has Mr Rudd called it right, are we saying “go Ruddie” ?  
Who’s right and who’s wrong in this debate ? Do we buy the ‘climate change’ argument ? Is it really only about ‘climate change’ or is the world inicreasingly aware of a possible lack of supply, be it from (or not as the case maybe) Russia or the Middle East. What about the safety argument ? Yes, there have been problems (Chernobyl, Three Mile Island) but those problems were decades ago – so, what’s the risk now ?  
Also, what about the renewable argument. What about us, all of us, using less energy. Leave the car, cycle, ride a motorbike – walk someplace ? Walk ! Yeah, right. Fossil fuels are running out, but what can we do to make the most of what we have ? 
Is this however just too little, too late. The gloom mongers (read Greenpeace) say this will only save us 4% in emissions that harm the environment by the year 2025. Remember the 2020, date – that’s a shortfall of 5 years, even before it gets going. So, whatever we do, is this still the wrong move ? Please get in touch and tell us, and the rest of the world, what YOU think. 
IS NUCLEAR THE FUTURE ?  
As ever  WORLDHAVEYOURSAY.COM 
TEXT: +44 77 86 20 60 80 
PHONE: +44 20 70 83 72 72 
Later, Peter :o)  PS don’t forget we’re on Facebook these days, and if you want us to remove you from the e-mail list, just let us know and we’ll delete you straight away.  
On air 1800 GMT.  Peter  
Peter Dobbie
Presenter / Anchor
BBC World TV and
BBC WS Radio
  


51 Responses to “IS NUCLEAR THE FUTURE ?”


  1. 1 Brett
    January 11, 2008 at 14:35

    In my opinion, nuclear is NOT the smart choice for future. Renewables are. True, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were decades ago and nuclear technology is claimed as ‘safer’ now. However, with a growing population and more densely populated areas the effects of a disaster are sure to be far greater. And what is done with nuclear waste? Burry it under ground? Bravo, wonderful idea; Out of sight, out of mind right?
    Kudos to Austrailia for going a non-nuclear route. There are far better renewable alternatives than Nuclear, even if they are not as cost effective, they have a much lesser cost and potential cost for the environment and civilization than does nuclear power.

    Perhaps we should show the effects of nuclear disasters and radiation disasters and exposure next to the effects of solar pannels and other renewables…. Has there been any?
    Renewables take up more space, I understand that, but there is plenty of unused space in the world not suitable for farming or aggriculture which would likely be an argument by the nuclear supporters that renewables such as solar require land that could be used for other purposes.

    Again, the argument has valid points on both sides. I, personally, oppose nuclear power.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va

  2. 2 SANGARE
    January 11, 2008 at 14:36

    I think world powers must do there best in order to prevent terrorists to possess technological powers because the day they will get it, they are able to do bad things with it. in these circumtances nuclear energy is one of most dangerous things man did, world’s future is very compromised with it.

  3. 3 steve
    January 11, 2008 at 15:15

    I think nuclear power is a good short term solution to the energy issues we have, SO LONG AS the reactors are not built by the lowest bidder. I don’t think any expense should be spared, and no saving a buck when burying the nuclear waste. Hopefully within 20 years we can come up with a better alternative, but until then it’s nuclear power or oil.

  4. 4 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    January 11, 2008 at 15:32

    I agree with the comments of:
    -Brett, January 11, 2008 at 2:35 pm &
    -SANGARE, January 11, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    To save my time & for the reading pleasure (or displeasure!) of those who don’t regularly read the HYS (500-charac.-type) debates, I reproduce below my comments to that debate.

    Ist published comment:

    Added: Wednesday, 9 January, 2008, 22:07 GMT 22:07 UK

    N O! BIG NO NO!
    U ranium or Plutonium stolen by terrorists?
    C ancer risk!
    L ong-term storage-where?
    E xpensive; if ALL ‘cradle-to-grave’ costs are considered.
    A s a very temporary solution: MAY BE.
    R esponsibility for Proliferation, A.Q. Khan: whose?

    P rivate Co.’s: A ‘Bhopal,India’ happens? Who pays & __when?
    O verrated. Who pays de-commissioning costs?
    W hat about Mutation(s)?
    E verlasting storage & theft issues. Half-Life too high!
    R etrograde step.

    TIME TO THINK LONG & HARD!!

    [MaxMaxmilianMaximusI], Indian Caesar in, Singapore

    2nd published comment:

    Added: Wednesday, 9 January, 2008, 21:20 GMT 21:20 UK

    Many believe that nuclear energy is efficient & clean!?

    Haven’t they heard of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, radiation & half-life of radioactive elements?

    Google ‘half-life’ & see for yourself. DON’T believe me. Just ONE eg: Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.46 BILLION years.

    US alone has 45,000+ metric tons of dangerously radioactive spent fuel & 90+ million gallons of ‘high-level’ waste! US records are likely to be quite accurate; what about ex-USSR?

    What if terrorists steal some?!

    [MaxMaxmilianMaximusI], Indian Caesar in, Singapore

    3rd ‘awaiting-publication’ comment:

    Added: Thursday, 10 January, 2008, 12:54 GMT

    Re:10 Jan 07:53
    ‘Which means it’s actually pretty stable-it hardly gives off much radioactivity. The isotopes to be worried about are those with half lives between a few days & a few million years. These are both very active and remain around a long time. U238 is not one to be particularly worried about..’ Erwin Schrodinger

    Contradiction in Terms! Definition of a radioactive element IS that it decays (while emitting HARMFUL radioactivity) UNTIL it reaches stability. You’re a scientist? Ha!

    [MaxMaxmilianMaximusI], Indian Caesar in, Singapore

    Which was in response to:

    Added: Thursday, 10 January, 2008, 07:53 GMT 07:53 UK

    “Google ‘half-life’ & see for yourself. DON’T believe me. Just ONE eg: Uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.46 BILLION years.”

    Which means it’s actually pretty stable – it hardly gives off much radioactivity. The isotopes to be worried about are those with half lives between a few days and a few million years. These are both very active and remain around a long time. U238 is not one to be particularly worried about – it is used in depleted uranium shells for its density, not radioactivity.
    Erwin Schrodinger

    Borrowing the words of Ms. Isabelle Grynberg (from the debate “Does everyone have the right to own a car?”

    Re: January 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm
    “Unfortunately, I do not think the solution is to drive up the living standards elsewhere, but to reduce dramatically our living standards here in the West.

    Yet I doubt many will agree to do that.”

    Her words & perspective apply to this debate too. That is PART of the way forward. Or, it is a temporary way forward until humans can technologically develop a non-polluting, sustainable energy source(s).

    Nuclear Fusion is the BEST. But technology is not ready. Solar is developing fast. Look at it from another viewpoint: The Sun generates energy by fusion & sustains our solar system & ALL life on Earth. It is the only God that we will ever see! We must learn from the Sun. Who or what created the Sun? That Q is TOO BIG for me!

    Ciao!

  5. 5 Mark
    January 11, 2008 at 15:38

    Having worked on a nuclear power plant design and construction project for a large engineering consulting firm a long time ago, it was by far the most complicated thing I ever worked on. It was also the most expensive. In the United States, meeting the requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an extremely arduous process, one which requires extraordinary attention to detail and planning for every conceivable contingency. For example, in the environmental impact statement, an explanation for what would happen if an extinct volcano in the general vicinity of the plant which had been dormant for millions of years ever became active again was required. Nobody has solved the problem of what to do with the many highly radioactive spent fuel rods. A government proposal to store them in Nevada where they would be in a geologically stable place and far from any major population center has been strongly resisted by local residents and of course there is the problem of what would happen if there were an accident one day transporting them there from all over the country. Meanwhile, thousands of these rods continue to pile up in storage pools at reactor sites. The risk of an accident to a well designed well operated and maintained nuclear plant are very small but the consequences should one ever occur are potentially enormous such as requiring evacuation of large regions. Then there is always the threat of sabotage by terrorists.

    The vast cadre of engineers, designers, project managers, and contractors familiar with the special requirements of this kind of project in the United States no longer exists because one hasn’t been designed or built in around 30 years. If the government thinks one day it can turn on a switch and say OK, here’s a few hundred billion dollars, go build them, they are kidding themselves. All of the people who worked on them have retired or died or are close to retirement and you don’t train a new cadre from the existing stock of talent in a matter of a year or two the way you can train computer programmers, the process is a slow one which takes five to ten or more years. And you can’t bring in people from other countries who have worked on designs built to foreign standards as even a temporary substitute for those familiar with American standards. Meanwhile, many of America’s existing nuclear plants are reaching the end of their usable lives and will have to be decommissioned soon, not a simple process either. America has neglected much of its physical infrastructure for a long time at its own peril, its immediate financial profits taking precedence over long term needs and faces the consequences of failing to meet them. Soon it will pay the piper. As for conservation being a viable substitute for achieving CO2 emissions reductions in America, it’s a joke. Ask your own BBC correspondents in America how they’d like to lower the temperature in whatever places they live and work 10 or 20 degrees in winter, raise them 10 or 20 degrees in summer, and face driving on the same roads as huge semi-rigs needed to transport everything America uses on America’s highways in golfcartlike Tata Ninos? Those are just not options, Arnold Schwartznegger’s ludicrous pie in the sky Euro style rhetoric about conservation which will prove empty promises notwithstanding.

    Is this all too little too late with China and India virtually indifferent claiming their own right to produce as much CO2 in the future as the US and EU have produced in the past and the EU’s promises under Kyoto having proven empty gestures? I think so. My advice, move to high ground away from coastlines. That’s what I’ve done.

  6. 6 John D. Anthony
    January 11, 2008 at 16:24

    Nuclear power is a short-sighted solution. In the long run the only energy source that makes sense is hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, supplemented with solar, wind and tidal energy.
    All we have to do now is convince industry that making sense can be profitable.

    John in Salem

  7. 7 Vikram
    January 11, 2008 at 17:18

    Nuclear energy does not come without it’s own set of problems such as spent fuel disposal, nuclear plant meltdown etc., but considering the looming threat of global warming nuclear energy looks a whole lot cleaner and environment friendly than the coal powered power plants. It should be used as a stop gap solution till greener alternatives such as solar, wind etc can produce enough power to replace the current power plants.

  8. 8 Isaac
    January 11, 2008 at 18:08

    For me its like a mimic play for elders who have stop thinking. There are just so much contraverse on these issues. One EU country say we are closing our reactors another one is planing to open even more. What do humans real want! self distruction. The warning of global warming has not be enough. If what scientist are saying 2025 is D-Day for our world emissions catastrophy, one doesnt know what next. Or those making decision have an dont care attitude saying after all by 2025 will be dead. The question still remains open who can provide the world with clean energy without environmental damage? I thought green houses gases and new technology could have answereed this problems. Is someone losing out of business?

    PCC studies and the likes of Al Gore have laboured to shed more light on the dangers of Co2 emission. We can slowly phase out anything that is damaging to our lives. Solar energy is a solution. Imagine if all house could have solar energy in the next 10 years.Just next to where I stay I witnessed how an old house was modernized and today it use solar. I just imagine the kind of good and health air they breath in inside and the contribution they are making in reducing CO2 emission which in turn saving a number of trees.

    Isaac

  9. 9 Nathaniel
    January 11, 2008 at 18:12

    One of the guests mentioned that we cannot power our cars or kettles off of nuclear. How is that? Electric powered cars are very much coming back into play and I’ve just finished heating our latest pot of tea with electricity.

  10. 10 Lamii Kpargoi
    January 11, 2008 at 18:19

    With the looming energy crisis facing the world, it is my view that going nuclear is all but inevitable. Cry as all the greens might, it would sooner or later dawn on them that there is no turning back from this energy crisis. Crude oil quite recently brook the physchological barrier of US$100.00. Who can tell if it is not going to go above this and reach the US$200.00 mark even before the 2020 crunch year?

    With all the wars on going in the Mid East, this situation is set to continue. If the Palestainains and Israelis can find peace, then there would be no need for going nuclear, because there would be a stable Mid East and the price of crude oil would also be stable. But it is like crying for the moon, because we all know that those two peoples are never going to live peaceful — at least not in our life time.

    The only drawback I see for the nuclear argument is that it is not a technology that is open to us all. There is an exclusive class of nations that have a monopoly over it. They even threaten war when others try using it.

    Lamii Kpargoi

  11. 11 Alex Elliott
    January 11, 2008 at 18:21

    While nuclear power is a carbon dream, it is a toxic waste nightmare. We are spending ever increasing amounts of money on saving the waste for future generations in the hope that they will be able to deal with it safely. If they can’t, we have a problem that will not get any better for half a million years at the very least. I just hope our faith in the future pays off in that respect.

    Meanwhile in the here-and-now, centralised power generation is not the way to go, be it nuclear, coal or even renewable. The amounts of power lost on the grid itself is the first argument. But the best argument is the possibility of generating energy on a more local scale by and for the local community. If a single wind turbine can power several streets, why shouldn’t individual streets be helped to invest in a wind turbine? The cynical answer is that that does not benefit the big and influential generators, EDF, Powergen, EON et al.

    Alex Elliott
    Reykjavik

  12. 12 Lise
    January 11, 2008 at 18:22

    Opponents of solar, wind and other types of alternative power say these types are too expensive, but nuclear power is MASSIVELY expensive and that doesn’t even take into account cleaning up a disaster or the future babysitting of the waste. Anyone remember Three Mile Island? Chernoblyl? Homer Simpson?

    Lise
    Portland,

  13. 13 William Rucker
    January 11, 2008 at 18:24

    If nuclear power becomes more prevalent, or electric power more cleanly available.. why does your green peace panelist believe we will continue our dependence on carbon fuels? Secondly, I agree nuclear waste is problematic, but why should a very small, and contained volume of waste be worse than emmiting tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and the pollution involved with fuel mining and spillage (both at the pump, during transport, and capture?

    Surely nuclear waste is an improvement on carbon fuels.
    William Rucker

  14. 14 Dennis Young
    January 11, 2008 at 18:32

    nuclear power is the only option….because
    OIL CONSUMPTION is increasing at a
    HIGH rate!

    i am very afraid of the chernobyl explosion…..but in the western world – United Kingdom, Australia, France and others can put in HEAVY AMOUNTS of SECURITY and
    resources to protect the PLANT…..

    Nuclear waste is something different!
    Dennis Young, Jr.

  15. 15 Jeremiah Chienda
    January 11, 2008 at 18:36

    Unfortunately, mainly because of its economic viability, nuclear technology is definitely one for the future. ‘Unfortunate’ not only because it’s environmentally unfriendly, but because it gives leeway for ‘unscrupulous’ governments to advance their injurious desires.

    Jeremiah Chienda, Blantyre, Malawi

  16. 16 Jim Edelson
    January 11, 2008 at 18:38

    The speaker’s statement that energy efficiency doesn’t reduce need for supply, or reduce use, is absolutely incorrect.

    Energy efficiency is actually the least expensive option for providing the services that electricity provides. It IS equivalent to supply. Because of energy efficiency programs over the past 30 years alone, a Californian use 30% less electricity per person than the average American. This is an historical fact.

    California’s energy efficiency programs have been exactly equivalent to, and have substituted for, building dozens of new power plants.

    Energy efficiency is equivalent, and far cheaper, than nuclear power.

    Jim Edelson
    USA

  17. 17 Tim Isom
    January 11, 2008 at 18:40

    Funny to still be hearing the same old spin after all these years ie;
    Wind Power won’t work
    Solar Power won’t work
    Electric cars won’t work
    The ONLY thing that works is more of the same – large multi-national corporations dolling out power over inefficient distribution networks that maximize profits regardless of the environmental consequences.
    Hmmm, I wonder who’s funding the “experts” who continue to tell us that there is only one way – centralized power stations.

    Tim

  18. 18 Tom in USA
    January 11, 2008 at 18:41

    I predict that hydrogen generation and storage will be used to timeshift windmills and will be the future of energy. Nukes wil be minimally used as a base load!

    Tom D Ford

    USA

  19. 19 raini
    January 11, 2008 at 18:42

    our efforts need to be focused on creating better solar energy technology. it is an ever available source.

    Raini

  20. 20 Chernor Jalloh
    January 11, 2008 at 18:45

    If Britain, USA and Isreal has got nuclear reactors, whether they are for energy use or other wise, they will be dagerous to humans,animals and plants altogether. Scientists should look for other means to energy supply rather than building these plants.

  21. 21 John Duckworth
    January 11, 2008 at 18:46

    I believe it is wrong for us to keep creating a dangerous type of garbage that we hope can be taken care of by our children and grandchildren. I can remember when we believed that problems such as racism and poverty would be solved by now too.
    John Duckworth – Ohio

  22. 22 Richard Beers
    January 11, 2008 at 18:49

    Fossil and coal sources are not durable solutions whereas nuclear is the best alternative at present, based on world technology levels. As for the waste, science continues to develop technology that reduces its envromental impact. In time, renewable energy may become more readily accepted but until then, yes, nuclear energy is main stream necessity.
    Richard Beers

  23. 23 Edouardo
    January 11, 2008 at 18:49

    Someone made the comment that there are windmills in south-central California that power the cities nearby. I live in that general area and to my knowledge they do not. I think they are more of a curiosity and were originally some kind of tax write-off scheme in the 70’s and 80’s. They may contribute to the overall energy supply but I don’t think they contribute significantly.

    Edouardo Penie,
    Sacramento, California

  24. 24 Muhidiin
    January 11, 2008 at 18:51

    If we are talking abour energy we have keep our acount of the population, if the population is huge the gas and other energy will be like it but if its small it is not important.

    Muhidiin, Somalia

  25. 25 Robert
    January 11, 2008 at 18:52

    What if we took the billions of dollars / euros / pounds that is being planned to spend on Nuclear Power plants into fusion research. Fusion power is clean but more money needs to be devoted to research before we can develop power plants that could be built around the world.

    –Robert
    San Diego, CA

  26. 26 Mason
    January 11, 2008 at 18:52

    Nuclear power is NOT a clean source, additionally the cost is high, and given the waste issue it will be much more expensive in the long run. True the wind doesn’t always blow, but batteries store the energy, and the worlds energy issue is not going to be answered by one source. A combination of renewable sources spreads the infrastructure, thus improving security, We need to use wind, wave, geothermal, and small amounts of nuclear. We should spend our money on developing these sources and drastically improving battery efficiency, or we are doomed.

    Mason, Utah, USA

  27. 27 Dr R.M Watson
    January 11, 2008 at 18:55

    No one who has spoken so far has understood the problem. Its a generation and distribution problem,. Nuclear is proabably necessary to maintain national grids without aggravating carbon problems. However the solution for energy use in the long term is the dispersal of generation; the use of the existing grid in small community trading units, and the development of local storage systems (pumped hydraulic storage, compressed air, batteries etc.). Energy will become much more expensive and users will adapt and share. Economicsand financial constraints will be meaningless when global warming effects kick in.

    Dr R.M.Watson
    Resource Management & Research
    Renewable Energy Feasibility Planners

  28. 28 Dr R.M Watson
    January 11, 2008 at 18:56

    How would we feel if ancient civilizations thousands of years ago, had left us saddled with tons of nuclear waste which needed to be monitored for thousands of years. We do not have the moral right to impose nuclear waste on future generations.

    Lloyd Johnson

  29. 29 Jazen
    January 11, 2008 at 19:00

    Nuclear power is not the answer, the waste and risk are clearly catastrophic. Please discuss the fact that there are at least three categories of new energy sources which are being significantly suppressed as they don’t offer monumental profits to the few elite in the way current power sources including nuclear do.

    The first is new hydrogen physics or “cold fusion.” Much information on this topic is available online, and the reality is that one gallon of water holds the energy equivalent of 300 gallons of gas.

    The second is Vacuum Energy otherwise known as Zero Point Energy, which has been repeatedly scientifically proven.

    The third is Environmental energy, in the form of sensible thermal energy and molecular motion which is clearly possible through extensions in the second law of thermodynamics.

    We do not need nuclear energy, give clean autonomous energy its due recognition!

    Jazen

  30. 30 Gabriel Langston
    January 11, 2008 at 19:05

    Why can’t we send this material into space, directed out of the solar system? The only problem would be using fossil fuels to power the rocket engines, but with proper development there is no reason not to use nuclear power for the vehicles as well.

    Gabriel Langston

  31. 31 Edward Blackburne
    January 11, 2008 at 19:40

    Talk about the elephant in the room.
    People keep saying nuclear is the main alternative to fossil fuel. What is the case against geothermal power?

    Geothermal power needs no significant new technology. You can utilise existing power station sites. It will outlast everything except wind, wave, tide and solar by millions of years. It should be cheap to build and fast to build. It is less unsightly than wind, wave, tide and solar and would need less of the earth’s resources to build. It is more reliable than wind, wave, tide and solar. It has the least environmental impact.

    It has one massive drawback. If it becomes established, it will completely revise the global economic system which is currently based on expensive energy from oil.

  32. 32 Brett
    January 11, 2008 at 19:47

    This is just down-right sad. The argument for Pro-nuclear against supplies being limited and waste piling up is that “This is a temporary solution to fix the carbon issue and rising fuel costs”.
    Why make it a temporary solution until solar and other renewables can be further developed? That is pathetically leaning on a crutch while pushing to the back of the table, the innevitible need for a new source of power in 40-50 years at best. Why not implement renewables and spend the wasted money on nuclear on renewables and de-centralized distribution methods/grids now?!

    I want to know what the argument against hazardous waste and the limited supplies of Plant Fuel is….

    All of the arguments for Pro-Nuclear seem to be utopian ideas of best case scenereos. While they rely on saying Anti-Nuclear is banking on worst case scenereos

    Yes, nuclear would be wonderful if the waste could be managed without threat (although the threat is ENORMOUS not just human but geologically (storing it underground pppffffttt…. who will deal with it when the time comes to have to?)).
    Yes it could be wonderful if it didn’t come with the high risks of disaster.
    Yes it could be wonderful if supplies werent limited.
    Yes it could be wonderful if it did not require massive amounts of energy to refine the fuels.
    Yes it could be wonderful, yes it could…..

    And in 50 years, when all fuel is spent…. What happens next? With all of the capital spent towards these plants which will then be obsolete…. What a waste of money for a short term ‘band-aid’ of a solution. We are left with no advances made by nuclear for a new source of energy, piles and piles of waste which will not be safe for a million or so years, obsolete plants littering countries, their workers out of a job, a loss of land for use of these waste sites and now obsolete stations….. Its sad, it really is.
    Stop using the excuse that its a ‘temporary’ fix….. spend the money, fix the energy crisis now.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va

  33. 33 George
    January 11, 2008 at 19:51

    No Nuclear is not the only option but clearly you are being told it is.

    Renewable energy can be placed in operation throughout the UK and USA rapidly and successfully, all it takes is deciding to do it.

    When WWII threatened your existence you had Chamberlin tell you the only alternative was to appease the Nazis.

    That did not work and the alternative was slavery.

    Churchhill said, we will never give up, we are going to win.

    The nation was mobilized, it was tough, and you won.

    What will it be UK?

    A rerun of doing what you are told is the only alternative?

    Or doing what you must because there is no alternative in what you have been told?

    Forget Nuclear power plant monopoly slaves, mobilize and go renewable now as if your existance depended on it, just as you did in your finest hour.

    .

  34. 34 gary
    January 11, 2008 at 21:15

    Hello All,
    Nuclear power as the only option!? It isn’t even one of the options! While guarding fuel supplies, sequestering waste and preventing harmful emissions are technically possible, the necessary level of political, social, and economic continuity has never been achieved in human history. Come on guys, humans can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. You expect power company executives to spend the monies necessary adequately to secure nuclear waste for thousands of years? Stop dreaming! Also, stop wasting electrical power (Ask your local astronomer to comment on the degradation of viewing caused by stray light in the night sky. What are we illuminating up there any, moths and mosquitoes?). Live closer to your work place and walk. Screen-savers on your computer? My goodness! Turn the stupid thing off! It’ll be woefully obsolete before anything in it fails due to switching it on and off. Use LEDs for background lighting and fluorescents for everything else. Turn the heat down. Wear jumpers, and flannel PJ,s, or sleep next to someone warm. Keep a good list of shopping needs and get them on a single trip. Saving energy saves your money. If you think and seriously observe energy usage by yourself and on your behalf, it is easy to see half of it going to total waste. When the waste is stopped, then supply become much more manageable with environmentally friendly technologies. Pay no attention to the nuclear power advocates; they are completely naked.
    later,
    g

  35. 35 haider meghjee
    January 12, 2008 at 04:19

    only Iran shoul have nuclear energy!!!

  36. 36 Will Rhodes
    January 12, 2008 at 17:59

    We should use nuclear – but nuclear fusion, not fission. It is being tested as we type.

    There is a new opening in cold fusion reactors – use Google and you will find the links.

  37. 37 Ruan
    January 13, 2008 at 11:51

    Why not invest in reneweble energy and environment friendly energy. Wind? Solar? Hydro? We need to become experts in these fields if we want to truly cut carbon dioxide levels. America and China should lead the way in this as they pollute exponentially more than the rest of the world.

    I think the only selution to the problem is cutting the birth rate. More people demand more energy. China and India ignores their “birth traditions”. The birth rate is polluting our planet.

  38. 38 Alex Elliott
    January 14, 2008 at 13:29

    Hi WHYS,

    While nuclear power is a carbon dream, it is a toxic waste nightmare. We are spending ever increasing amounts of money on saving the waste for future generations in the hope that they will be able to deal with it safely. If they can’t, we have a problem that will not get any better for half a million years at the very least. I just hope our faith in the future pays off in that respect.

    Meanwhile in the here-and-now, centralised power generation is not the way to go, be it nuclear, coal or even renewable. The amounts of power lost on the grid itself is the first argument. But the best argument is the possibility of generating energy on a more local scale by and for the local community. If a single wind turbine can power several streets, why shouldn’t individual streets be helped to invest in a wind turbine? The cynical answer is that that does not benefit the big and influential generators, EDF, Powergen, EON et al.

    Kind regards
    Alex Elliott
    Reykjavik

  39. 39 Lise
    January 14, 2008 at 14:48

    Opponents of solar, wind and other types of alternative power say these types are too expensive, but nuclear power is MASSIVELY expensive and that doesn’t even take into account cleaning up a disaster or the future babysitting of the waste. Anyone remember Three Mile Island? Chernoblyl? Homer Simpson?

    Thanks for this show,
    Lise
    Portland, OR

  40. 40 William Rucker
    January 14, 2008 at 14:49

    If nuclear power becomes more prevalent, or electric power more cleanly available.. why does you green peace panelist believe we will continue our dependence on carbon fuels? Secondly, I agree nuclear waste is problematic, but why should a very small, and contained volume of waste be worse than emmiting tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and the pollution involved with fuel mining and spillage (both at the pump, during transport, and capture?

    Surely nuclear waste is an improvement on carbon fuels.

  41. 41 Dennis
    January 14, 2008 at 14:49

    nuclear power is the only option….because
    OIL CONSUMPTION is increasing at a
    HIGH rate!

    i am very afraid of the chernobyl (ukraine)
    explosion…..but in the western world i.e.
    United Kingdom, Australia, France and others
    can put in HEAVY AMOUNTS of SECURITY and
    resources to protect the PLANT…..

    Nuclear waste is something different!

    Dennis

  42. 42 Tom D Ford
    January 14, 2008 at 14:50

    I predict that hydrogen generation and storage will be used to timeshift windmills and will be the future of energy. Nukes wiil be minimally used as a base load!

    Tom D Ford
    Bend, OR USA

  43. 43 Jim Edelson
    January 14, 2008 at 14:51

    The speaker’s statement that energy efficiency doesn’t reduce need for supply, or reduce use, is absolutely incorrect.

    Energy efficiency is actually the least expensive option for providing the services that electricity provides. It IS equivalent to supply. Because of energy efficiency programs over the past 30 years alone, a Californian use 30% less electricity per person than the average American. This is an historical fact.

    California’s energy efficiency programs have been exactly equivalent to, and have substituted for, building dozens of new power plants.

    Energy efficiency is equivalent, and far cheaper, than nuclear power.

    Jim Edelson

    Portland OR USA

  44. 44 Tim Isom
    January 14, 2008 at 14:57

    Funny to still be hearing the same old spin after all these years ie;

    Wind Power won’t work

    Solar Power won’t work

    Electric cars won’t work

    The ONLY thing that works is more of the same – large multi-national corporations dolling out power over inefficient distribution networks that maximize profits regardless of the environmental consequences.

    Hmmm, I wonder who’s funding the “experts” who continue to tell us that there is only one way – centralized power stations.

    yt,
    Tim

  45. 45 John Duckworth
    January 14, 2008 at 14:57

    Dear Commentators,
    I believe it is wrong for us to keep creating a dangerous type of garbage that we hope can be taken care of by our children and grandchildren. I can remember when we believed that problems such as racism and poverty would be solved by now too.
    Thanks,
    John Duckworth – Akron, Ohio

  46. 46 Richard Beers
    January 14, 2008 at 14:58

    Fossil and coal sources are not durable solutions whereas nuclear is the best alternative at present, based on world technology levels. As for the waste, science continues to develop technology that reduces its envromental impact. In time, renewable energy may become more readily accepted but until then, yes, nuclear energy is main stream necessity.

  47. 47 Richard Beers
    January 14, 2008 at 14:58

    You have to take the decision-making power out of the hands of business and place it in the hands of real scientists and citizens who are affected by it!

    Tom D Ford
    Bend, OR
    USA

  48. 48 Muhidiin
    January 14, 2008 at 14:59

    I am Muhidiin from Somalia . If we are talking about energy we have keep our acount the population, if the population is huge, the gas and other energy like it but if its small it is not important.

  49. 49 Malcolm Drake
    January 14, 2008 at 16:20

    Hi,

    Malcolm is right, you can’t have a society use wind as the sole source. DUH. But we can have wind for a huge percentage of it.

    We need a form of energy to act more or less like a storage battery. Hydropower fills that need nicely, thank you very much! When the wind power is a bit low, let a bit more money out of the hydro dams. Lots of power? Let the reservoir behind the hydro dam fill up for a few minutes or hours.

    Malcolm, you’re wrong that we can’t have a society powered “only by renewables”. Rubbish. Hydro is renewable, for instance.

    By the way, even wind generators can store their power, either in batteries (there are folks working on using plug in hybrids for this purpose), and/or the excess power can be stored as water, raised in elevation by pumps when wind power is high, then used to power generators when wind power is low.

    By the way, there are solar trough generating stations in both California and Nevada, as well as other countries, which store excess power in the form of superheated oil, which can even generate power at night.

    Get a grip.

    Malcolm Drake
    Josephine County (Oregon) Energy Task Force
    Grants Pass, Oregon

  50. 50 Malcolm Drake
    January 14, 2008 at 16:20

    Yes, you can use natural gas. And yes, it generates fossil fuels. But you can also use hydroelectric to regulate the fluctuating power of the wind generators.

    Malcolm Drake
    Grants Pass, Oregon

  51. 51 M.Asif khan noorzai
    September 11, 2009 at 22:08

    In my opinion, we have to stop getting energy from the nuclear, because we all know what it is impacting on the world in which we are living.if some thing happen to this world than there is no place to go and live, because we have the only home in which we have to live. so for that we have do not have to use nuclear we have to thing about solar systm energy and we have research for more other things from which we can get energy. the world is a dangerous place to live not bcause of the people who are evil , but bcause of the people who don,t do anything about it.


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