Nuclear fuel will last us for 4 billion years

Nicodeamus

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Breeder reactors can power all of humanity for more than 4 billion years. By any reasonable definition, nuclear breeder reactors are indeed renewable. However, billion-year sustainability does require advances in seawater uranium extraction, reactor construction performance, and public acceptance. We have developed breeder reactors in the past, but they remain a small minority of our current fleet.

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Norrad

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I suppose some people can argue that this isn't sustainable...
It's not the sustainability that people worry about with nuclear energy, it's the safety. Sure the plants are technically safe, but when mother nature or terrorism play out it opens the possibility of making large areas uninhabitable. An earthquake or attack on a wind farm or solar array will simply result in some broken equipment that will need to be replaced.
 

Gnome

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It's not the sustainability that people worry about with nuclear energy, it's the safety. Sure the plants are technically safe, but when mother nature or terrorism play out it opens the possibility of making large areas uninhabitable. An earthquake or attack on a wind farm or solar array will simply result in some broken equipment that will need to be replaced.
Opposed to open pit mining which you need to get all the material to build solar panels which need constant replacement. Or the dead dinosaurs you need to dig up to burn in coal plants?

Do you have any understanding of modern nuclear reactors? Neither of those situations are a risk. The risk is old nuclear power plants that aren't being upgraded.
 

Norrad

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Opposed to open pit mining which you need to get all the material to build solar panels which need constant replacement. Or the dead dinosaurs you need to dig up to burn in coal plants?

Do you have any understanding of modern nuclear reactors? Neither of those situations are a risk. The risk is old nuclear power plants that aren't being upgraded.
Open-pit mines can be rehabilitated and depending on the environment it can be done pretty quickly. I've visited an old open-pit mine in the Philippines that closed not too long ago. The jungle and farmers have quickly reclaimed the area. Try doing that in an area bathed in radiation that has the ability to spread via air and sea currents. I'm not for open-pit mining, definitely not for fossil fuels and 100% against nuclear energy in its current form. Once we perfect fusion-based reactions I will probably rethink my position, but I won't change my view on fission-based reactors.
 

LazyLion

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It's not the sustainability that people worry about with nuclear energy, it's the safety. Sure the plants are technically safe, but when mother nature or terrorism play out it opens the possibility of making large areas uninhabitable. An earthquake or attack on a wind farm or solar array will simply result in some broken equipment that will need to be replaced.
Those natural disasters have actually shown us that Nuclear Power is indeed safe enough for widespread use.

 

Norrad

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LazyLion

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So have you bought a bit of land around Chernobyl to relocate your family to?

 

Neuk_

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It's not the sustainability that people worry about with nuclear energy, it's the safety. Sure the plants are technically safe, but when mother nature or terrorism play out it opens the possibility of making large areas uninhabitable. An earthquake or attack on a wind farm or solar array will simply result in some broken equipment that will need to be replaced.

Don't forget to add in human stupidity as a major cause of nuclear disasters such as those at Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island.
 

Gnome

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Open-pit mines can be rehabilitated and depending on the environment it can be done pretty quickly. I've visited an old open-pit mine in the Philippines that closed not too long ago. The jungle and farmers have quickly reclaimed the area. Try doing that in an area bathed in radiation that has the ability to spread via air and sea currents. I'm not for open-pit mining, definitely not for fossil fuels and 100% against nuclear energy in its current form. Once we perfect fusion-based reactions I will probably rethink my position, but I won't change my view on fission-based reactors.
Firstly, fusion is not "clean" it produces enormous amounts of neutrons, just like fission power plant, in order to generate heat. Bombarding any element with neutrons moves it to an unstable high energy state. So you 100% get radioactive elements out of a fusion reactor. No doubt about it. Those elements are not as long lived as some of the transuranic elements from a fission reactor, but the most dangerous elements from a fission reactor is actually the short lived ones (the shorter the half-life the more energy it gives off in a short amount of time).

Secondly, fusion reactors have a fundamental problem, in that they require containing a reaction that happens at heat levels that no material can withstand. In fact you need that heat level just for the reaction to be possible. Fundamentally why fission is so much simpler, it doesn't need heat for the reaction to be possible. And that fundamental problem is why it is taking so long and why creating a commercial and cost effect reactor is probably likely to never be a reality. At best you can create a reactor that is incredible expensive.

Once they actually realize one of these reactors, inevitable one will blow up and release radioactive material into the atmosphere and it'll be fission all over again. (OMG IT IS SO UNSAFE WEWEWEWEWE)

Lastly global warning is a reality. Even if you don't believe it is a reality, the consequence of being wrong is so severe that it is stupid to even take the risk. Using fission until something more viable is available is far more realistic than pinning your hopes on something that may not materialize ever. And more importantly it has enormous benefit of doing something about global warming while we still are able to do so.
 

konfab

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It's not the sustainability that people worry about with nuclear energy, it's the safety. Sure the plants are technically safe, but when mother nature or terrorism play out it opens the possibility of making large areas uninhabitable. An earthquake or attack on a wind farm or solar array will simply result in some broken equipment that will need to be replaced.
Statistically you are wrong.
death-rates-from-energy-production-per-twh.png

And when you get rid of Nuclear like Germany did, and then ramp up coal power, you end up killing more people because we don't have an alternative source of stable electricity.
 

Gnome

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Don't forget to add in human stupidity as a major cause of nuclear disasters such as those at Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island.
The human element can and IS being removed through automation. Something that was not possible with the old plants because computers were not capable of it. Today it is a different ball game entirely.
 

RVQ

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Open-pit mines can be rehabilitated and depending on the environment it can be done pretty quickly. I've visited an old open-pit mine in the Philippines that closed not too long ago. The jungle and farmers have quickly reclaimed the area. Try doing that in an area bathed in radiation that has the ability to spread via air and sea currents. I'm not for open-pit mining, definitely not for fossil fuels and 100% against nuclear energy in its current form. Once we perfect fusion-based reactions I will probably rethink my position, but I won't change my view on fission-based reactors.
The Eden Project in the UK is also another great educational example of reclaiming land from mining, I really enjoyed visiting this place....

 

konfab

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The human element can and IS being removed through automation. Something that was not possible with the old plants because computers were not capable of it. Today it is a different ball game entirely.
It isn't even automation. The new reactors from Nuscale are designed such that they will shut down and self-cool without any operator or computer action.
 

Gnome

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The Eden Project in the UK is also another great educational example of reclaiming land from mining, I really enjoyed visiting this place....

You guys are missing the point. The mine itself releases radioactivity into the environment while it is being operated. The entire planet has unstable elements in the ground and they congregate around certain material we mine. The more you go that sh#t up the more you release it into the atmosphere. You can't just look at the after. You need to look at the before and during.

Combine that with depleting natural resources and the fact that you are destroying natural habitat and there is no world in which mining is better than not mining.
 
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