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McCain Backs Nuclear Power

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-it-takes-is-peak-oil dept.

Power 1563

bagsc writes "Senator John McCain set out another branch of his energy policy agenda today, with a key point: 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030." So it finally appears that this discussion is back on the table. I'm curious how Nevada feels about this, as well as the Obama campaign. All it took was $4/gallon gas I guess. When it hits $5, I figure one of the campaigns will start to promote Perpetual Motion.

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nuclear powered first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853883)

ha!

Seriously, WTF? (5, Insightful)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853923)

Nuclear is the best option. Equating it with perpetual motion shows YOUR ignorance. Hate makes you stupid.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (4, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853989)

Nuclear is the current best option yes, but you shouldn't dump all your eggs into one basket either.

There is a very limited supply of easily accessable fissable material on earth. The more plants we build the more the cost of *THAT* will go up.

People really need to start investing in sustainable renewable energy, things like tidal, wind, solar, and what IMO is the most untapped, geothermal. Seriously, we have all these active volcanos around the planet exerting kilotons of energy spewing gasses into the air and creating massive amounts of heat, why aren't we harnessing that more?

Re:Seriously, WTF? (4, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854111)

There's plenty of fissionable material, especially if you include the recyclable secondary material, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 years' worth I once heard. I'd hate to strip mine half the planet to get it, but I suppose it's a better choice in the near term than burning all our oil.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (3, Insightful)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854447)

1000 years worth assuming how many reactors covering how large a percent of our energy needs?

And recoverable at what cost (money and/or energy)?

it doesn't help much if we have a 1000 years worth of fissionable material if the cost of mining a large chunk of it is so high it's not cost effective for most uses.

Not saying nuclear isn't an option, but while a number like "1,000 years worth" might sound high, it might also be very low if it's a measure of how long the materials will last at current usage levels.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854367)

Because volcano's don't conveniently locate themselves next to large population centers?

Solar and Wind are nice and all, but it's Nuclear power that's going to pull our eco-bacon out of the fire; it is the cleanest source of power per kwh that we've got. Once we start reprocessing the waste, we'll be able to sustain output for a long time.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (5, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854495)

Because volcano's don't conveniently locate themselves next to large population centers?
You've got the logic reversed. Large population centers wisely do not locate themselves near volcanoes.

See: Pompei

Re:Seriously, WTF? (5, Funny)

hatchet (528688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854395)

We only need enough fission fuel to last us for 50 years... after that we can count on fusion. Fusion is the future.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (1, Funny)

Norwell Bob (982405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854493)

Fission is nuclear, fusion is nukuler, right?

Re:Seriously, WTF? (2, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854501)

There's plenty of U238 around anyway (thousands of years' worth) - it is only U235 which *may* be in short supply.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854449)

I agree that we should be looking at geothermal more seriously. But if the environmentalists get word that the source of geothermal heat is radioactive element decay deep in the earth's mantle and crust, they'll make sure it'll never get a chance.

Nukes could solve a lot of issues (2, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854503)

Nuclear power could provide a lot of benefits outside of its low carbon footprint for electricity generation.

How about a 2 gigawatt plant dedicated to pumping and desalianting seawater for the Southwest's water supply? Not only could this provide a primary source for drinking water, it would provide the immense environmental benefit of stopping the drain-to-dry on the rivers and aquifers.

How about a 2 gigawatt plant dedicated to producing hydrogen from seawater and allowing a bulk source of hydrogen? The hydrogen could be shipped elsewhere and used for electricity generation, fuel for more mobile vehicles, etc.

Building the plants and using the majority of the power on site has big benefits, too, since you won't lose half your power to transmission loss -- it's like getting a free power plant.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (3, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854539)

I have a friend of mine who is an engineer for the public power district out here. He mentioned that Nuclear power has come a long way in being efficient with it's waste product. Eg recycling it back into the plant and whatnot. So I think as we get more nuclear power plants going and more resources pushed in that direction we will see even higher efficiency levels.

However, the greatest untapped energy source is, and always will be the sun. Things like using solar panels at your house and being more energy efficient will be our greatest step towards solving our energy problems. People themselves need to start taking their energy use into their own hands. Their are entire neighborhoods in the US who are self sufficient and actually give energy back. There is no reason why this idea cannot spread to more of the US. So rather than relying on 3rd party for all your needs, start thinking of how you can help at home.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854087)

I thought it was TeeVee that made you stupid...
Oh, right, watching TV makes you hate (think Faux News). Got it.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854167)

I don't think it was actually ignorance, it was just showing his irrational bias against nuclear and trying to lump it into fantasy land to influence peoples thinking.

But i agree with you, it didn't really have the effect he was thinking.

However, i would go so far as to say while nuclear is an very important piece of the domestic energy puzzle and needs to be brought back on track, its just one piece.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854227)

Nuclear promotion? Good start. Let's hope they couple it with breeder reactors, to really stretch the fuel and decrease the waste.

Also...let's start drilling for our own oil reserves!! We have bans on drilling off of the east coast, the west coast, and even the eastern part of the Gulf. We have the capability to drill safely these days. Who knows...we might hit the motherload like Brazil did recently that I hear of?

We have TONS of shale oil that is starting to get cost efficient to process.

Why not do all these that are possible now to help our oil needs WHILE putting tons of money and research into the other alternative fuels?? I'm excited about ramping up , wind, solar and biofuels (particularly the algae and other processes to make fuel out of waste)...but, we need more oil now to ease the pain till the switchover.

In the US, we have got to get over the NIMBY. The gulf coast has carried the 'burden' for the drilling and refining for decades...we have to start having the whole country contribute...repeal the bans on drilling....

Re:Seriously, WTF? (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854517)

The oil problem is that the big fields are all tapped already, so while there is plenty left, you have to set up tons of small pumping operations to keep up the quantity, and that's going to drive up the price regardless of whether we're doing more or less drilling.

I think we need to work more on adopting alternatives than trying to keep the oil rush going. An increase in efficiency (with attendant drop in demand) will keep the prices down even if the supply doesn't significantly expand.

And it's only taken 2.9 decades (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854265)

...to start reversing the DEPLORABLE conditions started by Jimmy "I'm a fucking moron" Carter.

You know - the guy who thought that if the US didn't RECYCLE nuclear waste back into fuel (which would SOLVE the "nuclear waste storage" issue) it would be an "example" to tin-pot dictatorships and insane genocidal religious nations like North Korea, Pakistan, India, Iran, Syria, China... and they wouldn't try to get nuclear weapons. Yeah, how'd that work out for us?

The guy who coddled so-called "environmentalists" to the point where we haven't built SAFE, CLEAN electrical power generation anywhere because nobody can get past the permits process and NIMBY enviro-wacko whining.

Think about it - even the founder of Greenpeace [wikinews.org] (who long ago left the organization when it became obvious the commies and inmates were running the asylum and not interested in real, rational discussion) says we need nuclear energy because so-called "renewable" sources are inherently (a) unreliable and (b) limited in the scope of what we can do with them.

Re:And it's only taken 2.9 decades (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854423)

I always put "nuclear waste" in quotes, since it should really be fuel for fast breeder reactors...

There's still waste after that, but much less.

But if you think there's resistance to nuclear power now, just wait until you try to build a 70ft tower full of liquid sodium.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854373)

1.) Cost of resources. Uranium (or other fissable resources) costs energy resources to harvest. When I studied environmental sciences about 5 years ago the supply where it was economical (you gain more energy than it costs to bring it up) was calculated to 50 years at todays usage. Add years for better extraction methods, subtract years for more plants worldwide.

2.) Risk of meltdown. Minor risk, but major effect. Personally I don't think this is a big issue.

3.) End storage. Personally I think that the difference between storing 100 tonnes and 1000 tonnes isn't all that great, you still need the infrastructure. But the cost for building this infrastructure (manpower and energy cost) has to be included.

4.) Hazardous mining. Today Uranium is extracted by strip mining using some very toxic chemicals. This is both an environmental problem and a worker safety problem, especially in under developed countries. Safer methods are available, but again, that increases costs.

True, Nuclear Power is an option, and not one that should be ignored. But building a lot of reactors and thinking it's a long term solution is wrong in my opinion.

Renewable energy and/or decreased energy consumption is sadly the only way to go (except for killing of a good portion on the world population) in the long run.

Re:Seriously, WTF? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854551)

Nuclear is the best option. Equating it with perpetual motion shows YOUR ignorance. Hate makes you stupid.

Wow, someone has to turn on his sense of humour...

btw, anyone here in slashdot has experimented with electro static [linux-host.org] energy?? The other day I spent some time looking for that... it would seem to me that Electrostatic + HHO generator could be a promising source of energy...

Of course, maybe I am talking bollocks, that's why I am really interested in reading from someone who knows more about the subject.

Obama better support this too (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853925)

I once wrote a paper for a class about the importance of adopting nuclear power. If Obama is against this, I'm voting McCain.

Re:Obama better support this too (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853961)

I suspect he will. But he's going to have to twist it in such a way that doesn't make him look like he's copying McCain,... Perhaps he'll call for increasing nuclear power while also allocating more money for physics education and research spent towards developing nuclear fusion?

Re:Obama better support this too (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854139)

More likely he will say that, "Nuclear is an important part of our national ongoing energy strategy, along with clean, renewable energy in the form of wind and solar and whatever."

Means the same thing really; McCain pushed so-called "clean coal" at the same time as he pushed Nuclear, [washingtonpost.com] which is a bit more Republican of him, since coal states are red states, and big electric has no desire to stop building coal plants.

Nuclear is the best of a lot of bad options, and regardless of presidents, the return to nuclear power has already begun, as witnessed by the resurge in permit applications since last year. [msn.com]

Re:Obama better support this too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854257)

Congratulations, once again you've said nothing of substance while including two links to whore karma.

Every time I see your name attached to a post I know it's going to be the intellectual equivalent of a rice-cake.

Re:Obama better support this too (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854429)

Congratulations, once again you've said nothing of substance while including two links to whore karma.

Every time I see your name attached to a post I know it's going to be the intellectual equivalent of a rice-cake.


Soo....what you're saying is that he could get an awesome math score on his SAT? /ducks

2 words (1, Offtopic)

airdrummer (547536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854191)

why i can't vote 4 mccain: mccain-feingold:-P

and yet another reason:

McCain, co-author of the McCain-Feingold law that abridges the right of free political speech, has referred disparagingly to, as he puts it, "quote 'First Amendment rights.' " Now he dismissively speaks of "so-called, quote 'habeas corpus suits.' " He who wants to reassure constitutionalist conservatives that he understands the importance of limited government should be reminded why the habeas right has long been known as "the great writ of liberty."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/16/AR2008061602041_pf.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Obama better support this too (1, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854199)

Obama doesn't support this - remember, it's about "hope" and "change." Apparently, "hope" that magic pixies will bestow unlimited energy on us or something.

Obama opposes our drilling for our OWN oil resources, which is about FAR more than gas: think about how much plastic, rubber, oil-based lubricants, you use in your daily lives: it ALL comes from oil. That pen in your pocket? OIL. The plastic bag you used for your groceries, and the plastic involved in 90% of the food packaging (plastic sealed pouches virtually everywhere, plastic milk jug, plastic lids, etc)... OIL. Your tires on your car or even your bike? That's right, OIL involved. Half of your car's structure? Plastics - OIL again.

Just about everything you use in your daily life comes from petroleum in some fashion, most likely directly some chemical derivative in ADDITION to the heat generation for the melting/forming processes.

Obama is on record that "I am not a nuclear energy proponent", and claims the only energy bill he pushed in the IL senate is an ANTI-power plant bill.

Re:Obama better support this too (5, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854337)

I also oppose drilling for our own oil resources. Why the hell should we? Let's use up the oil resources of the people who hate us while it's still relatively cheap, then tap our own resources at $300 a barrel and make them come crawling.

Re:Obama better support this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854491)

Still, the counter argument [time.com] can be made as to why we shouldn't even bother drilling offshore or in Alaska.

Re:Obama better support this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854359)

How can moving from being dependent on oil to uranium be a good thing? there's limited uranium, it's good for solving the problem now, not in the long run.

Re:Obama better support this too (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854473)

In that case, vote McCain. Obama's energy independence policy is more of a wet dream than a realistic programme for the future.

His cap-and-trade system for emissions will only work when the entire world abides to it, so Obama's vision depends on the rest of the world more than anything else.

Combatting deforestation? I'm all for it, but again he's making a promise of which the fulfillment depends on the rest of the world to not harm their or their suppliers' rainforests.

Renewable energy sources are a good thing, of course.

But cutting energy consumption? Is he serious? There is simply no way we're going to use less energy anytime soon. No way. Absolutely not. Won't happen. We should consider ourselves lucky if efficiency innovations progress rapidly enough to keep us at current levels.

Re:Obama better support this too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854481)

wedge issues for the win! If you let ONE issue, be it nuclear power, abortion, fetus tissue research, gun control, you name it, decide your vote for the presidency, you are a moron who doesn't deserve the vote our forefathers put in your hands.

no American power plants burn Oil (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853927)

So why does $4 gas == need for nuclear power?

Oil burning plants were eliminated after Carter's oil crisis.

If we want cheap gas we need to do what Mexico does (for their $2 gas). Regulation and forbid speculation on a "critical" national resource.

(Or just get an ebike!)

Re:no American power plants burn Oil (4, Informative)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854131)

Yeah, and Mexico's ban on private capital investment in oil production is why Mexico imports 25% of its gas from the US, even though it's the world's 5th largest producer.

You know why?

Economics 101: Price controls create shortages. Every. Time.

Re:no American power plants burn Oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854385)

Regan introduced oil speculation just after a period of extreme shortage so go explain the logic in that economy.

Prices were doing just fine before that (and strangely enough were also fine eight years ago before a certain someone took office and they skyrocketed).

Re:no American power plants burn Oil (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854151)

Pull out your calculator and critical thinking skills for 5 minutes. 1 barrel of oil (42 gallons) currently costs ~$130. That's refined into ~42 gallons of other stuff (~20 gallons of which is gasoline), which puts the raw cost of gasoline at ~$3.10/gallon. If mexico is selling it for $2/gallon, it's because they're not buying oil on the open market (Mexico has nationalized oil reserves). Let's do what mexico does = nationalize oil companies and drill the oil in our backyard.

Re:no American power plants burn Oil (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854365)

Then what would we do for the rest of it? The US consumes about 20 million barrels per day, and imports 10 million bpd. Mexico produces 2 million bpd and imports 1.2. What works for Mexico would not work for us, not to mention that nationalizing oil companies is just a tad on the socialist side of things. Wouldn't go over too well with investors who also happen to be voters.

Re:no American power plants burn Oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854527)

... drill the oil in our backyard.
I'd rather not drill the oil in our backyard. And not from any environmental concern, but rather from a pragmatic concern regarding peak oil.

Now I'm not one of those peak oil nuts who claims peak has already passed or will be very soon. I'm just of the opinion that seeing as the oil supply is almost certainly finite then leaving our oil reserves in the ground is probably the best way to go.

If the oil supply begins to really dwindle and prices skyrocket far beyond what we see today then we'll still have our reserves for our own use and can tell everyone else to go pound sand.

Haaaaay AC! You're wrong. (1)

biolysis (1303409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854427)

You said

"Oil burning plants were eliminated after Carter's oil crisis."

Which is wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel_power_plant#Gas_turbine_combined-cycle_plants [wikipedia.org]

See those? They use oil. And as it happens, a quick search reveals where you can find them, like Texas

http://www.power-technology.com/projects/midlothian/ [power-technology.com]

Re:no American power plants burn Oil (3, Interesting)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854455)

If we want cheap gas we need to do what Mexico does (for their $2 gas). Regulation and forbid speculation on a "critical" national resource.


Um no. Regulations is exactly why we are in this problem. In the US the red tape that you have to cut through to drill new wells or even just to refine oil prevents many companies from opening new wells and refineries. In the rest of the world (Chindia, Mexico, etc...), the socialist policies that have capped and subsidized gas prices have led to the continued high demand even while prices surged. In a normal market economy demand would have already slowed (as it has in the US) and prices would have come down. I'm expecting demand in China to finally slow when they start removing gas subsidies after the olympics.

Nuclear is a great idea. (5, Interesting)

Meor (711208) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853937)

I would support this and would allow it in my back yard.

Re:Nuclear is a great idea. (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854251)

Hell I WANT it in my back yard. I have a Coal plant within 30 miles and it is an eyesore of the comunity. the piles of coal and the huge ships coming and going are ugly ugly ugly. and the days when the scrubbers fail or are offline you can see the crud going up in the air.

Re:Nuclear is a great idea. (3, Insightful)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854307)

I already have. Where I live in Michigan there are two (up and running) nuclear reactors within 30 miles of me. Those two plants supply most of the power to southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. I went to college at Purdue, one of many college campuses that have operational reactors on site (granted it's a small one) and that didn't bother me one bit - even though it was housed in the basement of the building I spent most of my time in. I'm all for it.

That said, I too agree that we need to find viable renewable energy resources. Some combination of wind, solar, and geothermal is my current favorite. Barring those, aren't there enough Scientologists we can put on the pyre? (yes that was a troll/gaff, no I don't apologize :-p )

Re:Nuclear is a great idea. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854467)

That damn thing couldn't power a 100W light bulb :)

Current "Oh Shit" discussion is how to replace it when it 'runs out' in a few years because the current EE building was built around it. That and it's stored under some massive column of water.

Not sure when you were there but a few years ago there was a big 20/20 or Dateline fear mongering story about how 'easy' it was to get access to with just a press pass and how all of our children would die.

Boiler Up, et al.

Get it right, John! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853943)

It's pronounced "nukular," you insensitive clod!

-- The Republican Party

Re:Get it right, John! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854157)

It's pronounced "nukular," you insensitive clod!

-- The DEMOCRATIC Party
You forget Jimmy Carter. So I fixed it for you.

Considering Barack Obama wants to be the second coming of Jimmy Carter, it's appropriate.

Brainwashed (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853951)

I'm curious how Nevada feels about this, as well as the Obama campaign

I'm curious how Illinois (iinm the most nuclear state in the union) feels about this, as well as the Barr campaign, as well as the various Greeen candidates.

Neither McCain nor Obama will get my vote.

Re:Brainwashed (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854321)

Ah, but at least you'll vote.
Participation matters as much as the outcome, and it's win-win:
You either feel like you've chosen correctly, or that you did what you could to prevent the slide of the country in a subjectively odious direction.
Just don't mention the elephant herd in the room: http://perotcharts.com/ [perotcharts.com]

Really? (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853959)

Is there really somebody out there that is comparing nuclear power to perpetual motion machines? Nuclear power is the leftist crackpots "Intelligent Design". Statements of faith entirely contradictory to science lead them to believe the rants and opinions of people far disconnected from scientific knowledge.

http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/magazine/16-06/ff_heresies_08nuclear [wired.com]

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Dolohov (114209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854383)

To be fair, the sun (a large unlicensed fusion reactor) is the closest thing to perpetual motion/energy we're ever going to have.

And it's only taken 2.9 decades (-1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23853967)

...to start reversing the DEPLORABLE conditions started by Jimmy "I'm a fucking moron" Carter.

You know - the guy who thought that if the US didn't RECYCLE nuclear waste back into fuel (which would SOLVE the "nuclear waste storage" issue) it would be an "example" to tin-pot dictatorships and insane genocidal religious nations like North Korea and Iran and they wouldn't try to get nuclear weapons.

The guy who coddled so-called "environmentalists" to the point where we haven't built SAFE, CLEAN electrical power generation anywhere because nobody can get past the permits process and NIMBY enviro-wacko whining.

Think about it - even the founder of Greenpeace [wikinews.org] (who long ago left the organization when it became obvious the commies and inmates were running the asylum and not interested in real, rational discussion) says we need nuclear energy because so-called "renewable" sources are inherently (a) unreliable and (b) limited in the scope of what we can do with them.

Re:And it's only taken 2.9 decades (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854263)

Yea, because Carter, the only president to have ever had any formal training in any sort of nuclear technology, and also the only president ever involved in the cleanup after a nuclear accident [wikipedia.org] , is all irrational and uninformed where nuclear power is concerned.

The 70's were a different world. Nuclear power meant nuclear weapons, and the public opposition then to nuclear power is hard to even imagine today. Don't blame Carter for the hysteria of the day.

Wow. Modded "troll" for speaking the truth. (-1, Offtopic)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854313)

Amazing how messed up Slashdot's moderation system is.

Re:And it's only taken 2.9 decades (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854417)

so where are you goin to put all of this waste that will not be safe to be around for hundreds of thousands of years? Yucca mountain *is* in my back yard.

Re:And it's only taken 2.9 decades (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854507)

you are an uninformed idiot. Without Carter's ban on reprocessing there would be NO NUCLEAR WASTE. We had the technology then, we have it now. This is how European countries generate tons and tons of nuclear power without the waste problem.

Explain to me who high gas prices help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23853977)

So, you get a nice little hard-on about sticking it to "selfish jerks" who drive SUVs.

What about the really poor people in the world? You know, the ones living on the edge of starvation? High oil prices drive the cost of food higher, kicking the poorest in the world that much closer to death.

Yeah, that's nice.

And some hypocritical jackass like Hugo Chavez gets praise for throwing a few thousand barrels of oil at the poor - all the time while he's militantly supporting a cartel that drives up food prices for hundreds of millions of other really poor people.

And a "windfall profits tax"?!?! How the hell is a regressive tax like that going to help? Make gas more expensive? Yeah, that's good.

Now all we need... (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854001)

are 45 backyards in which to build them.

Seriously, the NIMBY (not in my nackyard) and BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything) mentalities have held back nuclear power as much as anything else, especially after TMI. Getting local communities to agree to construction will be no small task.

$4 for gas, come on (3, Insightful)

Mopatop (690958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854011)

I'm so sick to death of this "$4 for a gallon", my heart fucking bleeds.

Come live in the UK for a while.

Re:$4 for gas, come on (4, Informative)

JustKidding (591117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854239)

I don't know the current gas prizes in the UK are, but here in the Netherlands, the current price is 1.62 euros per litre, which Google calc converts to...

9.50 USD per gallon.

I can't recall when we had gas for 0.68 per litre (=4 USD per gallon), that must have been like 10 years ago. Quit whining.

Re:$4 for gas, come on (2, Informative)

k_187 (61692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854443)

Yeah, doubling in 10 years. The price has doubled in 1 year in the US. How would you feel if it went up to 3.24 euros/litre over the course of the next few months?

Who cares about the Netherlands? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854555)

Go back to smoking dope.

Re:$4 for gas, come on (1)

cephah (1244770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854241)

Aye, at the moment we pay 8.6 dollars per gallon in Denmark.

Re:$4 for gas, come on (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854301)

No our fault your gas is taxed out the wazoo.

However, ours should be too.

Re:$4 for gas, come on (5, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854323)

Don't think that all Americans are as naive as CmdrTaco. I, for one, realize both that $4 for a gallon of gas isn't extravagant, and that the cost of a gallon of gas has little to do with global nuclear energy politics. McCain is simply following the Bush stance on 'alternative energy' which is to say, any alternative to oil that will net equally high profits for equally large, heavy lobbying companies.

Re:$4 for gas, come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854535)

I hear you! I live in Denmark and we pay ~$3.5 - per litre! (There you SI-geeks;)

Bigfoot Smallfoot (-1, Flamebait)

DustyCase (619304) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854015)

Nuke looks nice at the point of generation, but it looks less nice when you look at the emissions and environmental impact of mining uranium and processing it into fuel rods. And then there is that nasty disposal problem. And then you have siting and permit issues. And the cost of construction.

OK, Here's my offer: Just pay no attention to the fine print and McSame has a good point!

STOP!!! DON'T READ THAT!!! THE FINE PRINT IS NOT PART OF THE DISCUSSION!!!

Re:Bigfoot Smallfoot (1)

AtlantaNetGuy (1272702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854163)

The alternative is coal. And coal mining is a far greater disaster than uranium mining, not to mention the pollutants that it releases when burned. Neither wind nor solar can provide a base generation level. Solar is still expensive there are problems with centralized solar. Wind is fine, but ugly and mechanically unreliable. Drive by a western wind farm and count how many generators are off line becuase they're down for maintenance!

Wha-huh? (5, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854019)

Nuclear seems to be working pretty well for various foreign countries. It takes a while to get a reactor on-line, and it's not a perfect solution... But it's better in many ways than the fossil fuel options.

Wind and solar are great, and I support them also. But, $4 gas or not, all energy options should be on the table. And they should've been for about the last 30 years.

Re:Wha-huh? (1)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854377)

...they should've been for about the last 30 years.
They would have, were it not for a couple of [nrc.gov] minor accidents [wikipedia.org] . Alright, so one was a minor accident, the other a catastrophe, but you get the idea.

$5 a gallon? (5, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854055)

Didn't you hear, opec has decided they pushed the bubble far enough and is going to scale back the 'waters testing'?

We go thru this all the time with them, they push prices up to where they get worried we might actually go find an alternative, then bring it down just enough ( but higher then before ) to quiet us down and lose interest in alternatives.

Its a cycle that most people are too stupid to see, and thus we are stuck in it.

Re:$5 a gallon? (2, Insightful)

scsirob (246572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854437)

I'm always amazed to hear Americans complain about gas prices. We pay 1.70 Euro per liter of regular gas. That is (1.70 x 1.55 x 3.78) $9.96 per gallon. And guess what, we are still driving our cars and our economy is still running. Sure, people are mad about it, but it's not the end of the world.

For starters, get your fat *ss out of your SUV when going places less than a mile away...

Well yah. (1)

Retting (940379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854063)

What do you do when you faced with a problem. Do you speculate on it for years and years or do you choose an option. CHOOSE! ACT!

McCain making steps in the right direction lately (3, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854065)

Last couple of days he has been pushing hard for oil and energy independance. I was pretty dissapointed with the party's nomination choice a few months back, but McCain is proving he can step up and fight the conservative battles to move this country in the right direction.

We need to be drilling in Anwar, we need to be drilling offshore, and we need more nuclear energy. These factors will help us last until something like Fusion power is ready.

Re:McCain making steps in the right direction late (4, Insightful)

pooh666 (624584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854245)

Yeah what a great guy. Interesting that he is pushing for a "solution" that only works with massive amounts of very centralized investment. I mean why would anyone want to encourage a wide range of smaller but much safer and more sustainable solutions? Solar, Wind, Geo, are only held back by the standard economic factors. Government intervention that leads to increased usage and production could solve that problem and reduce those costs almost overnight and the consumer wouldn't then have to be slave to yet another(or the same) energy masters.

Re: Fusion power (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854303)

Re: Fusion power

Unfortunately, fusion power has been in the "will be ready for commercial use in about 50 years"...oh...for about 50 years now.

I'm all for this, IF... (5, Interesting)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854089)

I'm all for this, if it includes research into IFR technology [nationalcenter.org] . If you haven't read this article, please do. I know it's biased toward IFR technology, but even if 10% of what the scientist says is true, we should be researching the hell out of it! Here's Wikipedia's take on the IFR [wikipedia.org] .


The current reactor design is antiquated and hobbled by President Carter's decree that we will not reprocess nuclear fuel [pbs.org] . So instead of extracting 90+% of the energy in the fuel and having 100 year nuclear waste, we extract 2% and have 10,000 year waste with the once-thru fuel cycle [wikipedia.org] . Real smart, Jimmy. And he was a 'Nucular Engineer'!

Re:I'm all for this, IF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854293)

"And he was a 'Nucular Engineer'!"

IIRC he was the Captain of the boat, not the engineer.

Excellent! (0)

Mentorix (620009) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854113)

Although i regard it as one of the first sane things this man has come up with, it's high time to start rolling out the new nuclear plant designs. As far as nuclear waste goes, we've already produced as much as we're ever going to make and current designs will be able to run with practically no nuclear waste at all.

At this point, getting nuclear fuel reserves built up should be one of the priorities.

Nuclear power is not the solution (-1, Flamebait)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854123)

I have a more elegant solution that all sides can agree on. We round up all the Republicans, wire them into an AI system like the Matrix and derive our energy from them to power our homes. In return they can continue to live in their fantasy land and enact whatever laws they want - prayer in schools, privatization of everything, and a constitution where the second amendment is bolded and underlined. Hell, we'll even resurrect Reagan and code him in as the permanent president.

Global Warming (5, Insightful)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854135)

You can not think global warming is both human caused and a genuine threat and not be for nuclear power. Yes nuclear power has its own problems, but far better than the purported consequences of global warming. Keep your eyes open for "environmentalists" that are against nuclear power. Those people have other interests in mind. "Environmentalism" is just their tool.

So then how to we tell Iran they cant build any? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854159)

If we are going to build Nuclear Plants how are we going to tell Iran they cant, or any other country?

We are going to build 45 plants, no plants for you!

Re:So then how to we tell Iran they cant build any (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854345)

We aren't telling Iran that they can't build reactors. It is the weapons that will come from the gas centrifuges colocated with the reactors that are at issue.

Re:So then how to we tell Iran they cant build any (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854353)

this argument is specious. France gets more than 50% of their power from nuclear plants, yet they are one of the strongest voices against Iran building plants.

Bravo! (1, Funny)

Maimun (631984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854171)

Yet another reason to support McCain.

how will we then tell other countries NOT to build (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854173)

If middle-eastern countries or other unstable parts of the world want to build nuclear plants (which then can be used to create the materials for bombs) how will we be able to tell them "NO" when nearly our entire country will be powered by it?

Do as we say but not as we do?

McCain is ancient and he'll be dead in a few years (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854215)

Seriously, one of the more classic political tricks is to promise something way ahead in time, something that would have to be achieved by someone other than you.

It is just more obvious because of McCain's age. Don't get me wrong, nuclear is currently the safest, greenest option that is economically viable, but promising things 20+ years into the future is pretty bad.

No Republican Nukes (3, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854283)

I have nothing against nuclear power, I just do not trust deregulation-happy business criminals to run them. With proper designs, regular inspections, and a safety-first mentality, nuclear power is clean and safe. With Enron-style profit-raping and criminal evasion of government regulation, we'd be fucked and glowing in the dark. I wouldn't put it past them to try and build crappy Chernobyl-style reactors just to give the finger to the Greenies, the same way they have the hard-on for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

Economic arguments (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854289)

From the NRDC: the cost of setting up new nuclear reactors makes them *economically non-viable*. Granted that their opinion should be taken with a grain of salt, but there is a legitimate argument against nuclear energy outside of a fear of mutants.

http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/plants/plants.pdf

I'm not surprised... (2, Insightful)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854419)

I'm not surprised that a tech-savvy audience like slashdotters would support nuclear power. I haven't studied the issues of safety and environmental impact, and therefore really shouldn't make claims or arguments based on hearsay. However, as a geek, I consider how much science (nuclear, materials, environmental), and technology have advanced since the last US nuclear plant was built, and I have to think that much of the fear of nuclear power is based on 1960's/1970's (Three Mile Island) and/or Soviet (as in 'back in the days of the Soviet Union', and fears about Chernobyl) technology.

Computer control and monitoring has got to be vastly improved since then. I'd also imagine we have learned much about containment and recovery from the aforementioned accidents that would help prevent anything similar in the future. Again, I haven't got enough personal basis to make any claims, but these thoughts have occurred to me.

Add to that a story I recall about someone coming up with a direct nuclear-to-energy conversion material, (line the walls of the core and of high-level storage facilities to generate additional power from previously untapped/unused radiation/byproducts), and I figure nuclear could really give us a decent chance at meeting our energy needs while reducing greenhouse gasses and dependency on foreign oil.

With enough cheap, clean power, plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles might actually make sense (since those technologies may eliminate emissions at the car, but still require the generation of power elsewhere ... often not the cleanest generation at the moment).

Anyhow, IANANS (I am not a Nuclear Scientist), so I really can't offer any facts, and IANASP (I am not a stinking politician) so I can't really offer any FUD, but I believe we should give nuclear power a chance, and it appears that a lot of other geeks (for their own varying reasons) seem to believe the same.

arnodf (1)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854421)

"Across Europe there are 197 reactors in operation, and nations including France and Belgium derive more than half their electricity from nuclear power." Duh, we're living with 10,500,000 people with a population density of 892 per square mile here. The only other electricity-producing thing is one hydroelectric plant and if you look carefully you'll find windmills close to the sea. We simply don't have any place for other ways of producing electricity. The government planned to build a new windmillpark in the sea but the court ruled against it because people didn't want to loose there precious 'view'.

In addition to Carter, here's who to blame... (4, Informative)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854439)

...for our current backwater nuclear power status. From Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]


With the election of President Bill Clinton in 1992, and the appointment of Hazel O'Leary as the Secretary of Energy, there was pressure from the top to cancel the IFR. Sen. John Kerry (D, MA) and O'Leary led the opposition to the reactor, arguing that it would be a threat to non-proliferation efforts, and that it was a continuation of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project that had been canceled by Congress. Despite support for the reactor by then-Rep. Richard Durbin (D, IL) and U.S. Senators Carol Mosley Braun (D, IL) and Paul Simon (D, IL), funding for the reactor was slashed, and it was ultimately canceled in 1994. [Just 3 years before completion.]

Emphasis mine. See all those bold 'D's for Democrat? Uh huh.

Safe Nuclear Power - Thorium (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854441)

To get 'safe' non China Syndrome nuclear reactors all you have to do is to build them to burn Thorium instead. And the spent fuel is only a problem for a few hundred years instead of several tens of thousands.

nuclear power is fine (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854461)

The problem is the entitlements to the Energy industry and how we are going to deal with the waste. If the nuclear plants can be built without government subsidies beyond perhaps land grants, then that would be great. I do not see why we should support bussinesses that aren'r profitable witout entitlements.

The second issue is that we have to get a nuclear depository up and running. Every year the treasury is paying huge amounts of taxpayer money to the nuclear power plants for storage of waste. Who knows how many of those of payments are fraudulent. Until we get a national nuclear waste dump up and running, nuclear power is going to a magnet for corruption of the public purse.

Misunderstood (1)

unr3a1 (1264666) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854465)

Nuclear power is by far a misunderstood energy source. I am in full support of 45 new nuclear power plants. They could put one in my neighborhood, and I would not care in the slightest.

How gulible are people? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854479)

45 nuclear power stations? In the us? really? Forgetting that people are way too paranoid to let this happen, that's a lot of development for a 4 year term.

As a Native Nevadan... (2, Interesting)

Twintop (579924) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854499)

As a Native Nevadan, I'm for Nuclear power 100% (and to throw the statistics off more, I'm in my early twenties and have been backing Obama since before the Nevada caucus, which I attended). There are a lot of misunderstanding about the Yucca Mountain project, but more importantly the citizens of Nevada (on a whole) are not grasping an important concept.

I'm a citizen of Reno, first and foremost. After that, and in a larger sense, I'm a citizen of Nevada. If there is a measure that is good for the state on a whole and Reno does not get benefit from it, I still vote for it. Why? Because it is for the good of my fellow statesmen. After this, I am a citizen of the United States, and if there is a measure that my fellow American citizens will benefit from while Nevada or Reno might not, I back it, again, because it is for the good of my country and my fellow Americans.

The concept of working together for the greater good has been replaced with NIMBY communities and people who are too self-centered to think of anyone but themselves -- i.e. most of the people in my generation and the generation before me, the same people who took advantage of these Liar Loans and are being foreclosed upon now.

The other argument that I bring up to people that I discuss this topic with is that there is a great deal of money to be made for not only the State of Nevada, but also any and all states that have any railroad lines crossing through them that will be used to bring the nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain. The cut and dry of it is this: in exchange for not fighting to keep this project from happening, cut a deal with the federal government, using the old States Rights trick, and charge a fair rate for every cubic meter/yard/whatever that has to be transported to help cover the potential risk of a spill and for the right and privilege to cross through the state. This would give Nevada and the other states quite a bit more funding, bring the waste in to a place that can store it, and put this damn issue to rest already.

It's not the emissions it's the management (2, Informative)

uberotto (714173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854519)

For those of us who remember the 70's and early 80's which was sort of the Nuclear Power heyday, it wasn't the dangers of Nuclear energy that caused people to turn against the technology. It was the poor construction and management of the Nuclear Power Plants that was the problem. With Three Mile Island, there was the faulty sensor, at Browns Ferry it was discovered that many of the fail-safe provisions had been left out of the construction to save costs. I remember watching the news and seeing Nuclear Waste being stored in leaky, rusty barrels in a parking lot covered by a tarp. It's not Nuclear Energy most of us are against, it's the fact that too many companies were insisting that it cost too much to build safe Nuclear Power Plants. That's what killed Nuclear Power in the 70's and 80's. It wasn't the technology, it was the management of the technology.

Ekh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23854531)

I'm curious how Nevada feels about this, as well as the Obama campaign.
Well maybe you should have watched the Nevada debate in January!

OBAMA: I will end the notion of Yucca Mountain because it has not been based on the sort of sound science that can assure the people in Nevada that they're going to be safe. And that, I think, was a mistake.

OBAMA: Now, with respect to nuclear energy, what I have said is that if we could figure out a way to provide a cost-efficient, safe way to produce nuclear energy, and we knew how to store it effectively, then we should pursue it because what we don't want is to produce more greenhouse gases. And I believe that climate change is one of the top priorities that the next president has to pursue. Now, if we cannot solve those problem, then absolutely, John, we shouldn't build more plants. But part of what I want to do is to create a menu of energy options, and let's see where the science and the technology and the entrepreneurship of the American people take us.

As opposed to what? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23854545)

I read most of the 'progressive' blogs and their general consensus is:

Nuclear is bad, don't do it.
Coal is bad, don't do it.
Oil is bad, don't do it.

Apparently it takes too long to drill offshore for it to have any measurable effect and yet starting new industrial technologies for renewables, from scratch, building out their infrastructure and making it affordable will NOT take too long.

I'd really like to hear their plan, assuming it doesn't involve some post apocalyptic disaster where first we have to unwind the clock back the 18th century and face mass starvation and epidemics in our new preindustrial world.

Maybe a golden talking unicorn will come down on a rainbow and be Obama's running mate too.
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