I respect descenting views but here are my thoughts on this carbon copied to the discussion group (HINT-HINT):
The alternatives to nuke power are without exception either not workable at the scale required (wind, solar, tidal) or dirty and primitive and of increasingly tight supply (fossil fuels). Nuclear power is the most technologically advanced form of energy doable at the scale required and the best alternative we have.
The waste problem is 100% a political problem that is caused by the two-party duopoly converging with NIMBYism and extremist environmentalism along with societal hysteria driven by ignorance and fear-mongering. The Europeans are handling their waste just fine and so can we if we stop acting like irrational children. Technological innovations are being worked on such as recycling of nuclear waste that will help with the waste issue in the future especially if enough societal focus (R&D + funding) is directed that way.
Why are the Japanese and Europeans who are generally better educated than we are and who are generally more environmentally-conscious than we are more okay with nuclear power than we are?
Japan, following a M9.0 megathrust quake and towering tsunami had four of six reactors catch fire or blow up with three of them experiencing partial core meltdowns and not a single person was killed and the environmental damage although significant is not overwhelming and will be manageable. This outcome has given the lie to the anti-nuke crowd's orgy of fearmongering over the years. In any other human endeavor of a technological nature we humans have never shrunk away from the challenge but sought to find safer ways to go about doing things... think commercial aviation: when there is a big crash that kills all aboard we don't discuss discontinuance of passenger jet travel but try to figure out what went wrong and learn from it. Why does the anti-nuke crowd not respond in like fashion to nuclear power?
We had 2010's Gulf Oil Spill which triggered guilt-mongering and excessive recriminations over offshore oil drilling and fossil fuel use more generally even while the same crowd condemns nuclear power and likewise the same crowd is divided over solar power (those for it are at odds with those who oppose large solar farms harm to habitat) and are divided over wind power (those for it are at odds with those who oppose it's harm to birds) and divided over tidal power (those for it are at odds with those who oppose it due to harm to off-shore habitat).
We need to look forward not backward for the fuel to drive our civilization. If not nukes then something even beyond that in sophistication.
Just my opinion, but I am against stockpiling nuclear waste in ANY centralized location. I used to support nuclear power, but now believe that the waste is bound to come back and bite future generations in the butt and I would like to spare our prodigy the task of cleaning up our messes.
From: Kim Noyes <email@example.com>
To: CaliforniaDisasters <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sun, Jun 26, 2011 4:19 pm
Subject: [californiadisasters] Diablo Canyon Nuclear Waste Becoming 'Terrible Burden'
Diablo Canyon nuclear waste becoming 'terrible burden'By David Sneed
The Tribune, San Luis ObispoPosted: 06/26/2011 08:47:14 AM PDTUpdated: 06/26/2011 08:48:51 AM PDT
Diablo Canyon Power Plant, like many other nuclear plants in the nation, is becoming its own mini Yucca Mountain -- a growing repository of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.For years, the identified solution was to bury the waste in a centralized underground storage facility at Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert. However, the Obama administration has canceled those plans.This means that spent fuel stockpiles at places such as Diablo Canyon won't be going anywhere for the foreseeable future. This angers many local elected officials who feel betrayed by the federal government."This is a terrible burden that we weren't supposed to and shouldn't have to bear," said County Supervisor Adam Hill, whose district includes Diablo Canyon.State Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, agrees. He describes seismically active San Luis Obispo County as "wholly unsuitable" as a long-term nuclear waste storage site.<SNIP>
View entire article here: http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_18357313?nclick_check=1
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