A Note on Nuclear Power
For many years I have been in favor of nuclear power to reduce the catastrophic greenhouse gases endangering our small and finite Earth. Before my understanding of the high level of danger from Climate Change I was against nuclear power.
Nevertheless, there are always dangers with such an extreme concentration of energy.
Here are few ideas we should consider:
Nuclear power is an extremely complex technology, using extreme heat, and the radiation weakens the metals used in the process, just a few of the problems. Mistakes are not tolerable - but they will happen. Nuclear must be treated with the realization that it can melt and contaminate if, if we do not accept that it is always dangerous to the immediate area.
Again, we must treat it as a dangerous technology that must have many safeguards around it.
We are not infallible, we must have humility and not assume that we have or can have all the answers. The future is unpredictable.
Therefore, we must build nuclear power stations with the realization that unforeseen major problems are possible, even likley, and that we could not have the entire safeguard needed and the knowledge in advance what can go wrong.
But we may be able to bracket the danger. First, unlike the Japanese Fukushima concentration of plants to cut costs, build only one plant in one location. If it fails it will not propagate to nearby nuclear stations. Also, installing them in areas with minimum population, further from the ocean, and major water supplies- which is obviously in conflict with the need to cool the plants.
Amazing, to date few people were killed by nuclear power, and many thousand were killed by coal.
And the damage to the environment? Coal is a destroyer of nature on massive scale.
Go to coal extractions zones and look at the trailing, the unusable rivers and lands near them.
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