Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Overheard on CNN.com: Is nuclear energy too dangerous?

 

Comment of the day: “Build a reactor in my backyard and place an oil drill in the front. Odds are nothing will ever happen.” – focker

 

Japanese crisis sparks U.S. concerns

 

Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, says Japan is facing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl and that lessons of the nuclear emergency will be crucial for the U.S. industry. CNN.com readers shared their opinions regarding nuclear plants, the energy they generate and the safety concerns they create.

 

moiraesfate said, “EVERY house needs to have mandatory high-efficiency solar panels installed on their roofs. Yes, this means that some people will be out of jobs as the power plants are shut down, but new jobs will be created to maintain them.” poink said, “We need to stop harnessing nuclear weapon tech for power and use something like LFTR (liquid fluoride thorium reactor) to accomplish the same thing. We can build reactors that shut down rather than melt down when things go wrong and harness fuel materials that are more abundant, less dangerous, and can't be readily converted for use.” phoenixzion said, “Solar and wind do work. They are not allowed to compete realistically though because of heavy incentives to every other form of energy.”

 

drac812 said, “Nuclear energy is one of the safest/cleanest ways outside of wind/solar to produce energy. This article seems to take advantage of a tragedy and try to push some kind of hidden agenda. Like coal mines don't collapse or oil drilling rigs don't explode right? Drill baby drill correct?” LaJollaRich said, “Nuclear power is the cleanest, safest option we have to date. And we still burn too much fossil fuel.” But Tacitus6 responded, “No technology that creates thousands of pounds of waste so toxic that it can kill on contact, which remains deadly for millenia, and for which we have not even a hint of a plan for disposal, can be called "clean."

 

dkdshie said, “Oil also creates catastrophic events, like Iraq! Pick your poison and stick with it.” And geologyj said, “When a nuclear power plant fails, it's a spectacular disaster; but the ‘failure’ of the other forms of energy production is like a slow, unseen drip of a faucet, probably much more dangerous in the big picture. And ‘clean’ energy appears neither all that efficient or as clean as touted.”

 

U.N. division frustrates

 

The U.N. Security Council is considering a new draft resolution that includes a no-fly zone over Libya, but council nations remain divided on the no-fly zone proposal. The United States declines to take a public position.  With the rebels losing ground to Gadhafi’s forces, CNN.com readers were frustrated by the inaction and mainly with the United Nations.

 

jdvoo said, “The U.N. should go in and arrest Gadhafi for genocide then they won't need a fly zone. Brian1776 said, “Who cares if they are divided? Give it another week and all the revolts will have been squashed and the people who revolted will be buried. Then it won’t matter what the U.N. decides.” libdisorder said, “The U.N. is always divided over something. Other than wasting money, the U.N. serves no purpose.” lkevin said, “Dear U.N.: Take your time deciding, but if you click one story over you can read about how Gadhafi is ‘pounding’ rebels in another town to take it back. Maybe that will help [you decide].” ANDROCLESTOP said, “Franklin D. Roosevelt, the father of United Nations, would never have dreamt of a U.N.'s inability to take decisive action against Gadhafi's tyranny. The U.N. needs to produce a new policy of making quick decisions during world crisis.” moneywagon2 said, “Good. We'll just wait on it because that worked so well in Rwanda/Bosnia/Somalia, etc., etc., etc.”

 

Coming soon: A new Duggar baby

 

Three months from now, the super-sized Duggar family will add another baby to its clan. Josh Duggar, 23 -- the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle -- and his wife Anna, 22, are expecting their second child. If you’re counting at home, that will bring the Duggar’s immediate family size to 24 (including Jim Bob’s wife). Some CNN.com readers remain mystified by the Duggars’ need to breed while some supported their right to choose.

 

jurby said, “Hopefully they have the brains to cap their brood at a couple rather than being like his parents and breeding a frickin’ herd.” Scree said, “This is Bob Barker here to remind you to help control the human population. Have your Duggar spayed or neutered.” Janders1975 said, “The Duggars are no different than animal hoarders or shopaholics who can't stop buying shoes. They just choose to hoard people instead. There has to be some kind of pathology that goes along with their obsession for having more and more children and for never feeling like they have enough.”

 

georgetown said, “I personally would not choose their lifestyle, and I'm definitely not a believer in the bible. But guess what? Michelle is a very kind and likable woman. If her kids are half as nice as she is, she can have 50 and the world would be a better place." bgoins23 said, “I met this family and I can say that every single one of them are the kindest, most down-to-earth people. The children formed their own thoughts and expressed themselves very well without being told what to do and what to say. Very well mannered children who have their own personalities.” RendarSelin said, “Congrats to the young Duggars for their second child. May God bless him and your family! I might not agree with the Duggars, but to wish them ill is terrible and very disturbing. We're all people. Let's wish God's blessings on us all!” And dalis said, “Funny how "her body, her choice" falls by the wayside when someone has more children than the (birth) control freaks approve of.”

 

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

 

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

21 Comments
March 16, 2011
Click to view Seanywauny's profile

Please visit my new website! I create logos for companies and products.

funkygraphics.webs.com

March 16, 2011
Click to view NY15's profile

Its only as safe as those operating it ,, so Yes to risky

March 16, 2011
Click to view bobbyg1's profile

Egypt could end this in 3 days if they chose to.

March 16, 2011
Click to view Annexian's profile

The most expensive way to boil water YET devised by mankind.

 

 

Consider, esp today due to CorpoFascist corruption in government and economies:

 

IF-A nuclear plant is produced, they will demand---

 

1.  A "Damage Cap" - that is, say they go Chernobyl on us and do $3 trillion in damages, they'll have a nice, cushy max $300 million liability, so no matter how much suffering and despair they cause, they won't pay more than a fixed amount.

 

 

2.  Even #1 is paid for, by US.  They demand a special "Insurance policy" paid by us, controlled by them.  Just look at the "Vaccine Court" and how the US Supreme court upheld their rights to deny claims from parents who's children are maimed into Autistics by their poisons...

 

 

3.  A corporation exists to make MONEY.  They literally are built around "Avoiding Responsibility".  This is no "leftist/anti-capitalist" it's pure, real history, right back to the "Golden age of Piracy" when they formed, to protect shipping investors against losing their investment.

 

 

Therefore, let's say some engineer and goes:

 

"Sir!  I've worked out a $20,000 back up system that in case of our Nightmare Scenario double-whammy will protect our plant from going critical and doing $3 trillion in damages!"

 

 

Will, for even a PENNY some stuffed shirt coprorate SWINE, take this measure!?

 

 

Just look at BP's Deepwater Horizon last year....  They got special permission from Cheney to not have to buy a $50k safety device that would have shut that disaster off with hardly a barrel spilled, likely also having saved the drilling platform...

March 16, 2011
Click to view bobbyg1's profile

As for the nuclear site. The process is safe for it's benefits. One must ask why so many spent rods were not taken to a disposal sight? Why a site built in the 70's didn't upgrade the storage pools to underground locations like the newer plants? It's about the Electric company buying off the regulators and politicians.There should be a warrant out for the CEO of the utility Company.I bet the orders all over the Globe have gone up for the transportation of spent rods to be shipped to a permanent storage location.

March 16, 2011
Click to view ChemGuy23's profile

Its not the most expensive way to boil water, but it may be the worst way to boil water. We need to figure out fusion and convert it to electrical energy directly.

March 16, 2011
Click to view anonyname's profile

Nuclear fission is a danger to all life on this planet.

ALL nuclear reactors leak.

ONLY nuclear fusion is safe, but we'll never see it because

there's too much money behind fission.

They couldn't care less who gets hurt if it puts money in their pockets.

March 16, 2011
Click to view Frangible's profile

You cannot replace nuclear energy with solar -- which is very heavily subsidized and can't even generate the energy it took to manufacture the panel.

 

More modern and safer plant designs exist, but these were blocked by so-called "environmentalists", instead extending the life of existing plants.

 

Over 99% of nuclear "waste" can be recycled.  France recycles 96% of theirs.  We do not do this because so-called "environmentalists" blocked it by executive order under Presidents Clinton and Carter.

 

With breeder reactors, the sun will go supernova before we would run out of fuel.

 

The only true alternative to nuclear is coal.

 

Coal generates more nuclear waste than nuclear energy per megawatt because of the naturally occurring thorium and uranium in core.  And this is not safely stored, it is vented into the air, in addition to CO2 and many toxins.  Coal kills far more people than nuclear energy.  Period.

 

You could take the U/Th from coal and use them in a reactor, and get more energy than if you had burnt the coal!

 

Nuclear energy is natural.  There have been natural "pebble bed" type reactors that occurred when high-grade uranium ore collected at the bottom of rivers.  Today the U235 concentrations are too low for this, but natural uranium can be directly used for power in a heavy water reactor.

 

Hydroelectric is difficult to develop much more than we already have, as there are only so many locations that work for it.

 

Hydroelectric has also killed hundreds of thousands of people.  A single dam break in China recently killed tens of thousands-- more than nuclear energy ever has.

 

What if Hoover Dam was hit by a 9.0 earthquake?

 

Wind is great but can only contribute about 12% max of the power supply.  So you need something to fill that gap.

 

Fusion energy is actually dirtier than fission... not to mentioned it doesn't work.  In D-T fusion, the easiest kind to attain, it has an incredibly high neutron flux.  Neutron radiation is the most deadly kind, and anything around a high neutron flux is transmuted into a different element entirely, usually radioactive.

 

Solar energy is not efficient enough to matter, but even it is superior to nuclear fusion.  In a way, solar energy is fusion energy.

 

If profits cause nuclear safety concerns, then let the government operate reactors.  The US Navy has a perfect nuclear safety operational record, so clearly there is a precedent for this.  Do you think Three Mile Island would have happened if the US Navy was running it?

 

The USS Ronald Reagan -- America's flagship -- got to Japan as quickly as it did to help out because it had two Westinghouse A4W reactors aboard.

 

Bottomline is this: nuclear energy kills people.  All sources of energy do.  Most, far more than nuclear does.  Just in less dramatic ways.

 

Nuclear safety can be enhanced.  Nuclear waste can be all but eliminated.

 

Maybe someday, solar will be crazy efficient and we can derive most our power from that.  But that day isn't today, nor will it probably happen in our lifetimes.  Until then, nuclear is the lesser evil.

March 17, 2011
Click to view commenter77's profile

Human nature makes nuclear energy too dangerous. For example it is considered a frailty in most circles to say "I don't know". We are taught that we should always know. What we end up with is very few who really know and a lot of talking heads that are good at acting like they know what they are talking about. There are few politicians who come from a science background. Big money controls the political system and, in general, the politicians, especially these days. The people that really know are not the ones that are making the most important decisions. The most important decisions are made by the people who are best at acting like they know what they are talking about and we call these people politicians.

March 17, 2011
Click to view svann's profile

Compare the total number of deaths from nuclear technology with the number of deaths from coal fire technology.  I think there is no question that coal is more dangerous in the long term.

March 17, 2011
Click to view nybaker's profile

CNN ... About that phone call about how Japan was dealing with it's power plant.

      Please don't make those poor brave souls feel any worse than they already do. Maybe take one minute to put your self in their place before you speak to people on the phone in front of the world.

     Say what you have to say...but interject more compassion along the way. The call and it's content had to happen. But do we want to be thought of as "An arrogant people". That is how it looked to me.

But hey keep up the great reporting ladies and gentlmen!!

March 17, 2011
Click to view poohlacey's profile

We've had an uncontained nuclear meltdown Santa Susana California aka Sim valley 93063,in 1959 check out the site please Nancy 'secrets of the Santa Susana field laboratory'. nuclear melt down in L.A.'s backyard.lots of us that lived there like me for over a decade,grew up there have been effected,and they covered it up.It's already contaminated on the west coast.thank u Nancy,for all the good u do.

March 17, 2011
Click to view mimichigan's profile

"Is Nuclear energy 2 Dangerous"..Little 2 late to B asking that question, wouldn't ya say?

 

March 17, 2011
Click to view Acaraho's profile

To svann: let's wait and see how many people die from nuclear technology after the 160,000 year half-lives of some of its spent fuel isotopes before you claim that coal is more dangerous than nuclear.

March 17, 2011
Click to view eaglewray's profile

Michio Kaku says we're a type zero planet. It looks to me like some risky behaviors or decisions have dire consequences when considerations for public safety are second to the profit motive that fuels the nuclear lobbies efforts to dampen alternative energy sources as a possible solution to our energy needs. Reason is emerging, and you can't fool all the people watching this tragedy playing out. I lived through the Three Mile Island accident, and lived in an abandoned apartment building while the rest of the residents went for a long drive. It took ten years and a billion dollars to clean up that mess, which, by the way, had a problem with credibility in reporting by the media after being misled by the corporation and the white-washing of the dangers we faced. If we keep investing in this dangerous form of energy, we just might remain a type one planet.

March 17, 2011
Click to view mikey1985's profile

considering that a 10 gallon gas tank only has the same amount of energy as a 1 millimeter pellet of nuclear fuel, until nuclear fusion is attainable, nuclear fission is a good performer when supported with renewable sources. Also, we shouldn't forget that countless numbers of nuclear weapons have been detonated on our own homeland for years, so a leak from a much less intense power source over 5,000 miles away shouldn't shake up opinion this bad.

March 17, 2011
Click to view CT2011's profile

Due to the oil issues in this country nuclear energy is an option.  Nuclear energy needs a higher level of regulation than it has now.  The NRC has been loosing authority as the corporations owning nuclear power plants continue to grow and with the help of the nuclear industry lobbying group NEI.  The issue of spent fuel needs to be resolved before anymore plants are built and more importantly safety is taking a back seat to profits in states with a deregulated utility market.  The nuclear plants in Connecticut are a prime example of putting profits in front of safety.  The site in CT has laid off workers to save on labor costs and a great deal of stress has been placed on the remaining workforce which has been documented by the large number of mistakes being made at the Connecticut site.  The remaining workers dare not say anything due to retaliation and I suspect it is happening elsewhere.  This type of behavior seems to be acceptable to the NRC indicating a possible loss of authority. So bottom line resolve the spent fuel issue, more regulation and do not allow nuclear power plants operate in a deregulated environment.

March 17, 2011
Click to view RonH1's profile

Is it possible to air lift a Nitrogen transport tanker (Semi Truck Trailer) to the Nuclear plants to cool it down. 

 

Just my opinion.

March 18, 2011
Click to view votu's profile

Why don't Japanese blow out the nuclear plan by missle in the direction that all the nuclear material will shater to the ocean, this will stop the redio active from the rods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

March 21, 2011
Click to view grandpa180's profile

Call it what you want. The fact is we should not be going to such extremes to accommodate a huge population rather than control it. 

June 3, 2011
Click to view sergiocodon's profile

Human nature makes nuclear energy too dangerous.it is therefore our responsibility to try to reduce the danger that comes with it. wishing Japan all the best.

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