CHOICE membership

Nuclear power


A post was merged into an existing topic: Climate change and CHOICE


A post was merged into an existing topic: Climate change and CHOICE


So no one died as a result of Fukashima? Chernobyl killed an entire community over time and descendants of that community continue to suffer the effects of DNA damage to this day. Five mile island killed all life within it’s perimeter and ongoing disease to he surrounding community. I could add more, but your comparison with motor vehicle accidents seems to compare immediate deaths and not the ongoing deaths caused by radiation exposure. You are being economical with the truth.


Modern reactors produce very small amounts of waste, and are very safe, but having said that, we have huge amounts of coal and modern coal plants are much cleaner (I laugh at so called “clean coal” projects) than the older ones and they provide the cheap power we need when we need it.


Hi Everyone,
Many thanks for all the thoughts on nuclear power and energy supply. I commend everyone for the calm and civil discussion so far. Energy is a consumer product and CHOICE is involved in commenting on energy markets, and is currently developing consumer tools to better understand and take advantage of the energy market, especially the retail energy market.

Generally speaking, we like to keep things focused on consumer issues. As we explained in our climate change thread, it is unfortunately a very politicised area and while we as an organisation support science and saving money, our focus is on consumer issues. While we do deal in other areas where they intersect with consumer issues, including environmental issues and human rights, we approach these problems from a consumer perspective.

With that in mind and considering there are also many places to debate and discuss climate change online, places with detailed information available to inform the discussion that CHOICE does not provide, we are not entertaining a fully fledged climate change debate at this time. We thank you in advance for respecting this, and we still encourage further discussions on this issue and any others from a consumer perspective.


That page dispels some myths, but it doesn’t conclude that Thorium is not useful or could not be a better option than Uranium cycle.


[quote=“rgolubev, post:138, topic:14728”]
… doesn’t conclude that Thorium is not useful or could not be a better option than Uranium cycle.
[/quote]All things are possible, but none of the discussions here has established that nuclear reactors of any type are necessary or desirable. Whether thorium would be “a better option than Uranium” is questionable. The sheer volume of failures is indicative.


I did a lot of research on nuclear power as part of my Masters Degree on Sustainable Development back in the late 90s. A problem with Nuclear Power that people seem not to be aware of is the absolutely enormous cost of decommissioning these plants. It takes decades and costs tens of millions. The Magnox pressurised water reactors in UK were bad enough to decommission . Check out the costs. Look up also what is happening at Fukushima as they try to make nuclear power come back in Japan…

Narelle Lovell


For anyone who has no worries about nuclear, it still seems some have worries.


Not from nuclear power, but illustrative of some issues.


Not the least of which the issue of convincing governments to take responsibility for mess they make … the story of Enewetak and the literally dozens of tests done there - up to in excess of 10 megatons, using triggers and detonation modes that generated extreme amounts of fallout - is such a sad story … and its only one of many such stories of nuclear testing where whole communities were displaced and cleanup was a farce, and not just the US of A …

If there’s one thing that seems very common when it comes to nuclear testing, it is the presence of sand - in the desert, remote islands - probably because those in power feel comfortable when there’s lots of sand around, given that’s where they usually bury their heads … with a couple of notable exceptions like space testing …


This goes back to my point about our ability to consider periods of hundreds of thousands of years, when in less than one hundred years ‘the unforeseen’ is occurring.

Tell that to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On a broader scale, did you know that you (if you are average) are producing much less viable sperm than your father, and his father,…? (Apologies, but I have had some difficulty finding the source for this - it is something I read originally several years ago regarding ‘shrinking testes’ and then earlier this year. Here is one article, though.
And another.) We simply do not know all of the damage that has been done whether through industrial pollution or radioactive pollution over the last hundred years, but it is highly likely that humans are suffering along with every other living thing on this planet! Building more nuclear plants, or more coal-fired or gas-fired plants, will not stop the human destruction of our environment and the concominant destruction of our own health. Yes, we are living longer than ever - thanks to science; but are we also poisoning ourselves? You betcha, and the trouble is we just do not have the science yet to say how badly we are doing it.

We don’t know why men’s balls (er, testes) are shrinking - just that they are (per above, citation lacking)! We don’t know why women are reaching menarche younger - just that they are! As for the number of deaths from all of the nuclear accidents - we have no real idea, because it is hard to figure out whether this particular individual died a slow, agonising, death because of exposure to radiation or because of the aftershave they use.

The idea that we know enough to be able to use nuclear energy safely is risible; our ability to even measure the risks falls far short of what is needed to guarantee ongoing survival of multi-cellular life on this planet.

Not someone I expected to make an appearance in this thread, but once again Bruce Schneier is absolutely correct.

This presumably belongs in the thread about self-driving cars. Yes, cars are dangerous. No, we should not be licensing drivers younger than thirty or older than seventy. You bet it’s harder to fix an existing mistake than to prevent one from occurring: the road toll is a problem; reference to one problem does not justify creating other problems.

Thank you. Again, this goes back to what I have hammered on about in previous posts: total cost of ownership. Presumably your work didn’t include the cost of waste storage for a few thousand millennia? Those figures would be handy.


If Choice is to investigate I would hope that the big picture would be considered including:
–time and cost of design, development, commissioning and decommissioning
–waste and storage of same–where, how, how safe, how much etc.
–can safety be guaranteed, and if not what are the likely and possible problems
–different types of nuclear–pros and cons, timeframes, costs, likelihood (Terrapower, supported by the Gates Foundation, is the only one I’ve come across that sounds potentially safe, with no waste issues, and indefinite longevity, but is it really feasible, and if so, when?)
–when would we reach peak uranium, given that demand always increases to meet and surpass supply

In general, a comparison of the energy and other resources required to build and maintain each type of power generation over the life and death of the generator would be useful. Concrete, aluminium, steel, rare earths, etc–for nuclear, solar, wind, thermal etc.

There’s a lot to it, and maybe some of that work has already been done. A clear and consise assessment would be welcome.


Who knew Jupiter was the limit for viable solar power? (according to this article anyway) … probably won’t be directly relevant to all of us, but some interesting reading on how we are spreading our waste problem :slight_smile:


It seems that some of the forum members will benefit from reading through the articles on this page. Its critical thinking and rational debate give a greater perspective to the nuclear problem, and doesn’t keep peddling the old and out-dated myths that seem to be popping up in this thread.

I encourage everyone to read through the articles on this page, but to address specific discussions:


The author of the blog is not an expert in thie field and the blog appears to be the author’s opinions, although not entirely uninformed.

Criticising opinions and their supporting data by riposting with an opinion and its supporting data is at best deuce.


So tell me where they go wrong in the articles, then :slight_smile:

It is one thing to critically analyse and dispute an argument, it’s another thing to totally reject information that doesn’t suit your world view. Let’s have an open and honest debate, using up-to-date information and not using debunked myths.


I am not the expert either, which should make the point that a discussion by non-experts is exactly that.

However you have essentially dismissed that which does not suit your view.[quote=“natural.thought, post:149, topic:14728”]
Let’s have an open and honest debate, using up-to-date information and not using debunked myths

Debunked? From the site you linked? :open_mouth:


You’ve made it clear that you don’t enjoy civilised debate, so I will just leave this nice summary for you to completely dismiss* also :slight_smile:

“Nuclear still has less deaths per electrical output than any other resource and is also the most green too. Takes up less land and Fukushima and cherynobl both are thriving with wildlife.”

*You have completely dismissed all of the academic literature and expert research contained within the articles, because it doesn’t agree with your agenda.


Agenda? I dismiss it because it appears to be mostly pseudo-science and the equivalent of a conspiracy site that has taken data out of context and used what facts there are in ways that do not connect, in my opinion.

A single example, and then I suggest we leave each other on this as we apparently have different views based on our different references.

While the authors are published on the NASA Goddard site and are well credentialed, there is no central inclusion of renewable energy, only nuclear against fossil.

Counterpoint is at an antinuclear site, but is equally compelling and takes many of Kharecha and Hansen’s assertions to task.

nb. I stumbled on the antinuclear site searching for the origin of the graph. It is not sourced from ‘my agenda’.

A belated PS, in the late 90’s I had a very brief interaction with James Hansen and a more prolonged one with Ricky Rood at Goddard, both climate change champions! The dynamics of what they and their peers went through, and there could be a replay in the US today, was ‘ugly’. I doff my hat to all of them. However in the context of this thread the motivation for nuclear has to be considered in the times and politics and that climate change was the overriding motivation, not power generation.