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If You Want Me To Take Green Energy Seriously, Include Nuclear

Short post, inspired by yet another Facebook group. This time, it’s “Scotland for Green Energy”. I’ll be as brief as possible. My point is this: we can reprocess fuel and significantly cut down on waste, making nuclear fission attractive ecologically (read up on it, some keywords: pebble bed, thorium reactor, breeder reactors).

However, I’ve still yet to see an ‘official’ green supporter advocate nuclear power plants. Instead, we get tripe like:

The UK government has decided the best way to “plug the gap” is just build a new generation of nuclear power plants. This will create targets for terrorism in this new age of anything-goes extremism, potential danger zones in the event of leaks/meltdowns, and the headache of hundred of thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste with nowhere to go for many centuries ahead.

Okay. First up, if you wave the terrorism flag, you lose, sorry. I can (and may) write a whole post about that, but suffice to say that if ‘terrorism’ is a reason not to do something, the terrorists have won. I say that very solemnly.

Secondly, leaks and meltdowns? With newer designs, highly unlikely to be a problem. If you looked up pebble bed reactors like I mentioned earlier (hardly a new design!), you you will see what I mean.

Thirdly, waste? Reprocess it! Suck all the useful radioactivity out of it (heeugely simplified, but hey, I’m keeping it brief) and you’re left with something with a relatively short half-life.

A little bit more:

Thankfully, the Scottish Government have pledged that there will be no such generation of nuclear waste in Scotland, simply because there is NO NEED in a country as rich in natural, clean resources. The best investment will be in Green Energy.

That’s a real shame. If we embraced nuclear power in Scotland we could provide a surplus of energy much more easily. Of course, we should embrace renewable resources. The sooner we do away with coal and oil the better. However, my ideal solution would be nuclear for the base load, with wind and tidal to top it up. Hydro as well, possibly, although I am a little concerned at the ecological implications of that. I think reducing energy usage by increasing efficiency would help too.

Basically, we live in a world where nuclear power could provide a glut of ‘green’ energy (well, if you mine properly, and do the plants properly, and do the rest properly…), but we find a lot of people uninformed about it. I would like to hear more from greens (and the Greens) about it – if they still reject it, they are entitled to that, but I want a more modern view.

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