Thursday, June 17, 2010

Does the world need nuclear energy?

Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.


  1. I think they should have also discussed the costs. Renewable energy is more expensive than fossil fuels + nuclear energy.

    In my opinion nuclear energy is inevitable. Scientists have not yet found other cheaper alternatives. In France 78% or their energy is nuclear. They started using nuclear energy from 1956.

    Another thing, how much does it cost to store nuclear wastes. I supposed the reactors are based on nuclear fission of uranium. What if uranium is finished? I think the French are working on reactors for nuclear fussion. Is it feasible? SN the physicist can tell us more.

    On the issue of Nuclear weapons,we go to the question, Is science a blessing or a curse?. It is how it is used by man that makes it a blessing or a curse. If the make nuclear weapons, that shouldnt stop on going research on nuclear energy.

    Thats my 2 cents.

  2. Unfortunately, I am not a nuclear physicist. Anyway, since I can kinda understand "the language", I will try to write a good article about what's going on in nuclear energy research (in Europe).

    For now, I will just outline the only EU project I am aware of:
    1) ITER ( - Nuclear fusion tech.
    2) It's still at the research step
    3) For graphic geeks: (It's going to be HUUUUUGE!!!)
    4) Plan -- to build fusion power plants in Southern France
    5) I don't think they will use Uranium; the Deuterium-Tritium (D-T) reaction is the way (Google that :))
    6) The main wastes are the harmless Helium and neutrons.

    (found this from their website)
    "Neutrons will lodge in the vessel walls and produce heat and activation of materials. ITER is an experimental facility and is not designed to produce electricity; the heat produced by the fusion reaction will be evacuated by water circulating through the components inside the vacuum vessel and by water circulating in the vacuum vessel walls."

    "In ITER, two independent circuits with cooling water will pass through primary and secondary heat exchangers that lower its temperature before being stored in cooling towers, where most of the water will evaporate."

    I know someone mentioned Uranium during the debate.. it's just politics as far as this ITER project is concerned. But -- maybe -- the Americans are planning to use a different technology which I suspect the dude was referring to.

    I will have to dig deep and see what Americans are doing and write a good and balanced article.

  3. I was just listening the news coverage of the BP oil well spill. I can only imagine if that happens to a nuclear waste storage facility. All hell would break looooooose! The consequences would be devastating.