General discussion


The Nuclear debate rages on...

By Benevolence ·
George Ou recently opened up a particularly large can of worms recently when he wrote an article discussing the myths surrounding Windows XP and power consumption. Much of the debate has turned into a discussion on how to best produce power whilst reducing pollution.

One thing many people seem to agree on is that whether or not humans are contributing to global warming, it is in our best interests to reduce the effect and protect our environment.

Some of us believe we need to move toward nuclear energy production, and some of us believe this is a bad idea.

With so many new developments in energy production, and so many differing arguments, what do you think is the direction we should head in?

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Many needy person no longer qualify for Food Stamps,

by deepsand In reply to Hav we broke a law ?

owing to well intentioned but poorly planned and executed changes in the qualification requirements and the implementing regulations.

Along with this, the Federal government's contributions of surplus food stocks to local food banks have been on the decline for quite some time.

Both of these, coupled with the fact that the Federal minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation, have resulted in a good number of citizens still suffering from "extreme food insecurity."

In fact, some recipients of our foreign aid now have a more reliable source of food, and a nutritionally better diet, than do some of our own.

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All I'm saying is that GM was not designed to and will not

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Hav we broke a law ?

address insecurity about food across the world.

The problem is distribution, and that's a function of the market.

we are paying people not to grow food, we are paying people to grow food we throw away. we are growing food that is deemed uneconomical to sell.

Now you could say GM could make it more economical to grow food, but is that function going to translate into more food in the mouths of the hungry?

The hungry can't afford the price now, and GM is not going to cut it.

GM foods in Africa, or the china might address some issues in africa, in america or europe not one.

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Spoken like a well-fed elitist. Sounds like "let them eat cake".

by georgeou In reply to Hav we broke a law ?

"All I'm saying is that GM was not designed to and will not address insecurity about food across the world."

Tell that to people trying to grow food on their own locally in a harsh environment. Tell that to the poor countries that can only afford to feed their children rice which lacks all the vitamins and try and tell them not to use golden rice.

It's rather sickening to me when I see people who can afford to sip their latt? and cappuccino espouse the virtues of organic farming to third world people. Kind of reminds me of the "let them eat cake" attitude.

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Let them eat cake? Why not?

by shardeth-15902278 In reply to Hav we broke a law ?

We throw enough of it away here in the "civilized world". It would seem to me that somehow there should be a way to cost-justify redistributing all that waste to people who need it rather than redistributing it to landfills.

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Again, people need to be able to grow their own food

by georgeou In reply to Hav we broke a law ?

Healthy countries grow their own food and don't rely on others to give them food. I would suggest reading these two articles about food.

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Healthy countries grow their own food?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Hav we broke a law ?

So america and europe aren't healthy then?

Actually given the obesity problem (also in europe) you could have a point there.

As I said GM, for say drought resistance, disease and pest resistance could have in impact in the constantly hungry countries.
Note that latter is a losing battle, life adapts.

They aren't going to reduce acreage in order to sell off the land for a golf course.

It would bring more land into a viable productive state. Unless the west is going to grow food specifically for unhealthy countries as a gift, we do not need to get more agricultural use out of the land we already have.
What we 'want' to do is dedicate it to more financially rewarding applications.

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That's not quite true.

by Benevolence In reply to That's speculative FUD th ...

Actually, if we don't recycle the 'waste', the fuels will run out in around 40 years.

Also, when you recycle the rods removing the contaminants, each time you lose a small but significant amount of useful material. That is just the nature of using ANY non-renewable fuel source.

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Not sure about that recycling potential

by DelbertPGH In reply to That's speculative FUD th ...

I think you're wrong about the assertion "Nuclear waste recycling can recover nearly all of the material for reuse." A lot of what comes out of a fuel rod is pretty hot, and not what you'd want to put into a reactor. Reactors are designed to run off a fairly homogeneous mix of fuel, not a minestrone soup of weird isotopes and decay products.

You can recover plutonium, sure, and use that for fuel, but only at the rate of about a pound per megawatt per year. You could even design specialized breeder reactors to turn U-238 into plutonium at better than the rate of a pound per megawatt, and thereby maybe extend you fuel supply for centuries.

But, I don't think that was your argument.

Incidentally, "scare stories" are not just tactics put forward by somebody trying to perpetrate a fraud. Often people are genuinely scared, very concerned. There are some genuinely scary possibilities in the nuclear thing, which need to be thought out. After all, if we're satisfy the world's energy needs with a hundred-fold growth in the number of reactors, with the things maintained by locally trained operators in every town from Duluth to Swaziland, we'll require designs that frustrate every human method of screwing things up.

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by shardeth-15902278 In reply to That's speculative FUD th ...

That was the point of the article I read. He was making the case that the limited supply could be extended by recycling the Fuel, but:
1: He said it could be extended indefinitely. So I can't say that I trust his judgement there. I think he was being overly optimistic in his sale of Nuclea power. I woudl like to see some hard numbers on that.
2: Recycling brings up the concern of creating weapons grade material, which brings up the concern of controlling access to it.

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Ignoring recycling doesn't remove the threat of weapons

by georgeou In reply to Actually.

Ignoring recycling doesn't remove the threat of weapons. You better believe there are governments that want to "recycle" right in to their weapons stock pile. But the fact that western nations aren't recycling doesn't prevent dictators from making weapons. They're completely unrelated issues.

However, we could offer cooperative nations nuclear material for energy IF they return the spent fuel rods for us to recycle. Having an officially sanctioned "trade-in" recycling program would make it less likely that spent fuel rods would be converted to weapons.

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