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Difference between revisions of "Safe nuclear power"

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[[Nuclear energy]] is potentially low carbon [[energy]], but many important questions need to be answered before claims of '''safe nuclear power''' can be made:
 
[[Nuclear energy]] is potentially low carbon [[energy]], but many important questions need to be answered before claims of '''safe nuclear power''' can be made:
* Is the plant on a tectonic fault line?
+
* Is the plant on a tectonic fault line, at risk of damage from [[earthquakes]]?
* Is the plant in a potential tsunamic zone? (Add a large margin of error for the "[[unknown unknowns]].")
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* Is the plant in a potential [[tsunami]] zone? (Add a large margin of error for the "[[unknown unknowns]].")
 
* How can we be confident in the competence of the operators, including those running the plant in decades time... who may not even be born during the planning stages.
 
* How can we be confident in the competence of the operators, including those running the plant in decades time... who may not even be born during the planning stages.
 
* Who is the insurer of last resort? The [[UK]] government's refusal to take this role effectively kills nuclear there.{{fact}} That makes sense - subsidized insurance for nuclear industry (corporate welfare) distorts the market. But of course, until there's a price on carbon, the market is already distorted.  
 
* Who is the insurer of last resort? The [[UK]] government's refusal to take this role effectively kills nuclear there.{{fact}} That makes sense - subsidized insurance for nuclear industry (corporate welfare) distorts the market. But of course, until there's a price on carbon, the market is already distorted.  

Revision as of 08:04, 30 March 2011

Nuclear energy is potentially low carbon energy, but many important questions need to be answered before claims of safe nuclear power can be made:

  • Is the plant on a tectonic fault line, at risk of damage from earthquakes?
  • Is the plant in a potential tsunami zone? (Add a large margin of error for the "unknown unknowns.")
  • How can we be confident in the competence of the operators, including those running the plant in decades time... who may not even be born during the planning stages.
  • Who is the insurer of last resort? The UK government's refusal to take this role effectively kills nuclear there.[verification needed] That makes sense - subsidized insurance for nuclear industry (corporate welfare) distorts the market. But of course, until there's a price on carbon, the market is already distorted.

Comparison with coal

‎The ash produced by a coal-burning power plant carries approximately 100 times more radiation into the surrounding environment than a nuclear power plant, for the same amount of energy, under normal operation. This assumes no nuclear meltdown or other disaster, and no theft or leakage of nuclear material at any stage of the life cycle, and these assumptions are not always true.

Thorium

Thorium reactorsW have been proposed as a safer alternative.

Notes and references

See also

Interwiki links


External links

  • Atomised, post by George Monbiot, March 16, 2011, on the tradeoffs of nuclear safety, climate change and alternative energy sources.


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