Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 9 years ago

What is wrong with nuclear power along with wind and solar power?

So, why do we need nuclear power? The truth is that our choice is not between nuclear power vs renewables. It is between nuclear power and coal. Where nuclear power plants are not built, coal power plants are built. For every nuclear power plant which is not built because of wind and solar power, there is a coal plant which might not have been built and/or could be decommissioned we had nuclear power along with wind and solar power.

Why not end our dependence on fossil fuels and then decide whether we still want nuclear power?


Hey Dook

"You have left out one of the greatest and most cost effective sources of energy, and surely the safest and greenest: reducing WASTE."

I have nothing against reducing waste. I also hve nothing against geothermal, hydroelectric or tidal power. We are at a critical juncture where every zero carbon option must not be rejected out of hands. I also have not make a rant against reducing waste. Someone on YA did make a rant against nuclear power.;_ylt=Ai...

Update 2:


"As I've said on numerous occasions we must dismantle all nuclear power stations all around the world."

Yeah Bruce, let's all live in caves instead.

14 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Can I give you a short Answer for the big Question. Nuclear power is a constant supply of energy, whereas wind fluctuates in velocity. Coal is labour intensive and more expensive in most geological regions and is seen as a heavy air pollutant. Industrial and domestic demand is generally constant. Coal and oil is exhaustible. Solar power is good and will become better when newer storage capacity and amplification become available. For now we can't chuck out the Nuclear power. If the Sun was just invented everyone would say what a great idea. Many countries have dropped their dependence on coal because like Britain Industrial demand has changed. We don't use steam engines. Coal did have political power which became unwelcome in the 80's in Britain through the Conservatives. Oh alot to say.

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  • 4 years ago

    The best thing the government can do is get out of the way. Hyperion Power is going to be selling small units (the size of a hot tub) that will produce enough power for 25,000 homes. These units will use material that quickly cools when exposed to air and would be very difficult to weaponize for nuclear weapons. A meltdown is impossible due to the nature of the construction. But Hollywood has demonized nuclear plants to the extent we may never be able to commission new ones, unless Obama actively campaigns for it. That seems unlikely since his supporters would object. Another choice may be on the way that poses even fewer problems than nuclear. Solar power satellites will soon be going up, barring unforeseen delays. In a high-orbit they're geosynchonous and get sunlight far longer than any surface station, and the sunlight is unfiltered by atmosphere so they're vastly more efficient. A single satellite could produce 10 gigawatts of energy that is then beamed down to an Earth-based receiving station. The beam itself is far less harmful than the noonday sun. In 2016 Solaren plans to launch a satellite that will power 250,000 homes and Japan is planning similar launches. The only drawback is that such a satellite would be vulnerable to space debris, solar wind and attack but each of these could be overcome. If you really want solar, why not go all the way with such a system? Once the initial cost is paid back the electricity is very inexpensive and it's available 24/7 if you have multiple satellites feeding the grid.

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  • 9 years ago

    Nuclear power on the current model won't help at all. The projects are just too big and too long-term. Finding $10 billion or so in private capital that is patient enough to wait even 5 years before seeing any return is impossible - that's why all nuclear plants need government loan guarantees. Political and population volatility means that average lag times are more than 20 years, and nobody has proposed any solution to either.

    Smaller, inherently safe nuclear powerplant designs exist. The regulatory problem is nowhere near as complex as the megaplants, neither is the siting problem. They could be the basis for really useful nuclear if private industry went that way, but all the big utility companies have found "business as usual" to be more profitable.

    For $10 billion and 20 years, you can do the science to found several completely new industries, found companies based on the science and run a couple of boom-and-bust cycles to shake out the worst ideas. The entire history of solar photovoltaic represents about $10 billion in public R&D money worldwide.

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  • 9 years ago

    Nuclear reactors are well-designed and natural disasters are unlikely to cause a significant release of radioactive material. Human stupidity or malice are significant risks. Nuclear reactors are not designed to survive a direct hit with a nuclear bomb. A nuclear reactor consumes about 25 tonnes of uranium per year and over a 40 year life may accumulate 1000 tonnes. The activity is about 211 E9 Bq/tonne for 5 year old fuel, which equates to about 60 E6 Sv/yr or 3 trillion chest x-rays/yr. That dose would be spread over several thousand km^2. A nuclear power program is a prerequisite for a nuclear weapons program. If the nuclear industry is expanded, there will be more nuclear facilities in politically unstable regions and the fate of humanity will be in the hands of the LEAST stable terrorist. In a choice between the worst global warming case scenario and a nuclear attack on a nuclear power plant, I would take the worst case global warming.

    A world without large concentrations of fissile material would be a safer world. There are better options.

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  • 9 years ago

    It's all about MONEY & POWER & that's what drives the nuclear power industry. Honestly when you compare the total mega-wattage produced by just one nuke plant, wind & solar can come close. Of course when you factor in that low to high level radioactive waste jazz people pretty much ignore it. Naturally consumers safety concerns are of an entirely different matter but not too much of an obstacle.

    Drawbacks to these so-called green alternatives

    Expensive wind turbines require lots of wind...

    Those solar cells require lots of sun...

    You see even though nuclear fission is primarily used to boil water thus, create high-pressured steam to spin those steam turbines, it's still a thousand times more efficient than wind & solar.

    Fortunately, although these big energy giants will never commit to such a revolutionary super green technology, there is a third alternative that they all fear big-time? (Partial Perpetual Motion)

    We shall see if I can perfect this, before they get me too.

    Source(s): Scientist
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  • 9 years ago

    You have left out one of the greatest and most cost effective sources of energy, and surely the safest and greenest: reducing WASTE. Take a look at the Los Angeles freeway network during an average weekday rush hour, for one small example. You are right that there is a key choice between coal and nuclear -and it is probably unavoidable that we will have more of both for at least some years to come- but that does NOT require us to ignore other options.

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  • 9 years ago

    Nuclear power leads to incidents such as the chernobyl spill and the recent one in Japan with the nuclear reactors

    Solar power is very expensive. Not many people can afford it, but other than that there is nothing wrong.

    Wind generators chop up birds and bats that are attracted to the irritating sound given off by the turbines and the noise has also been known to make people sick.

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  • 9 years ago

    As I've said on numerous occasions we must dismantle all nuclear power stations all around the world barring none as this form of energy derivation not only destroys the ozone layer but the radioactive radiation released during nuclear disintegration poses tremendous danger to all life on earth and is completely unknown to nuclear physicists on earth at this time.

    We must get off from nuclear power altogether and this includes energy derived from the solar, coal and wind power.

    We must pressure the non-elected f***ers up the food chain who make irresponsible decisions based solely on their lust for power and profits to expose their conspiracy in suppressing free energy generating devices that taps into the quantum vacuums of space based on Tesla's revolutionary ideas that are nearly a century old.

    To do this the grass roots must inform themselves of the real hidden truth of the world order and how the real politics of the world actually works.

    For this to be possible each person must be willing to bear the responsibilities of educating him/herself through hard work by first extirpating the atavistic tendencies to believe in assumptions because they it was always assumed to be true when in reality it is not.

    Belief driven mentalities poses the greatest challenge to man kind today because once something that lacks any factual premise becomes an ingrained belief which is assumed to be true, the consequential effect arising from such illogicality is irrationalism which brings on negative consequences and there are ample evidence to prove this phenomenon.

    There is absolutely no justification for any nation on earth to be using energy derived from the dangerous nuclear process.

    The alternatives available to us is essentially revolutionary even though its many decades old.

    The question is are the masses ready to handle the truth from the revelation of the existence of free energy generating devices that carries with it many forbidden secrets that were suppressed by the scums who have diverted enormous tax payer funds on highly illegal black budgeted Unacknowledged Secret Access Projects of which there are many including these types of technologies having been funded to the tune of billions of dollars for their own power greed and lust.

    What I have just mentioned is just the tip of the ice berg yet it'll still test the incredulity of many people who are not initiated into such a reality that is as tangible as the two eye balls we are reading these words with.

    We must STOP all nuclear derived energy processes and that includes dismantling all nuclear related weapons and manufacturing.

    The primary radiation isn't the only concern but the effect at a quantum level.

    Unless we have the technology to neutralize the fine radiation, we should never use the nuclear processes for deriving energy or producing weapons.

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  • Trevor
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    With an every growing population, increasing demand for power and diminishing reserves of conventional fuels such as coal, oil and gas; there is certainly a need to develop other sources of power. Nuclear is one such solution along with the ‘renewables’ such as tidal, wave, wind, solar etc.

    To date the nuclear industry hasn’t faired so well. With a few notable exceptions the safety record is pretty impressive but the real downfall is the cost.

    Here in the UK we built the first reactor and have had nuclear power as part of the overall programme of electricity generation for the last 55 years. In recent years the scale of nuclear derived electricity has dropped slightly from a quarter of all production a few years ago to a fifth. Part of the reason for this is that the early reactors are being decommissioned faster than new ones are being built.

    The main reason why there is limited interest in pushing ahead with new reactors is that the costs to date have been astronomical. Nuclear has been by far the most expensive source of electricity and the cost of decommissioning alone is running into hundreds of billions of dollars – several thousand dollars for every household in the UK.

    Events at Chernobyl, Fukushima I, Three Mile Island and other stations have highlighted the dangers and potential dangers of nuclear fission. But we need to keep these in context. These events make world headlines because of the scale of them, but they are few and far between. Conversely, there are frequent accidents and deaths in the mining and power industries but they tend to be confined to the local news.

    Where we have the problems at the moment tend to be concentrated on the cooling and control systems that are needed to contain the nuclear reactions and to prevent a meltdown and release of radioactive material. History tells us that it’s these areas that are most vulnerable and that when things go wrong they can do so with catastrophic consequences.

    Nuclear installations also pose a problem in respect of unstable governments, conflicts and terrorism. We saw what the Iraqis did in Kuwait to the oil fields, imagine what would have happened if Kuwait had nuclear power stations. Similarly, Iran is developing nuclear power and this may well be, as the Iranian authorities state, for purely peaceful purposes. But in a politically and militarily unstable region of the world, such a station would be a prime target for insurgents or military attack.

    One very promising option is that of nuclear fusion. Unlike nuclear fission, which is a chain reaction and is extremely hard to control, once started fusion can be turned on or off at the flick of a switch. The process operates by capturing the energy that is released when deuterium atoms are fused together. This isotope of hydrogen occurs naturally in the environment and is quite harmless, unlike the uranium and it’s isotopes that are used in fusion.

    The drawback with fusion is that incredible temperatures are required to fuse the atoms together, at present we don’t have the capability of designing a system that would contain such extreme heat. In time this may well be developed. If and when this happens then nuclear power may well revolutionise global energy supply and unlike fusion, it could be extremely cheap and safe.

    On the downside, scientists and engineers have been grappling with the task of containing the heat for more than 50 years now. Who knows how much longer it will be before the first fusion reactors come on line.

    In the meantime we have a much more imminent energy problem. Although not an ideal solution, I do think that nuclear fission has a role to play, but we do need to tread carefully. One area in which I think significant improvements need to be made is the siting of such power stations. They have the potential to cause widespread devastation to the human population if things go wrong, but all too often are sited in relatively close proximity to significantly large numbers of people.

    Alongside nuclear I would also like to see an expansion of renewables. We’re doing it in the UK and are in the process of building the world’s largest onshore and offshore windfarms. The capital costs are high but in the longer term there are significant savings to be made. Already the early wind farms have paid for themselves and are now effectively generating free electricity (it’s not free on demand as the power is fed into the national grid and the consumer still has to pay for the much larger costed component).

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  • scott
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    you know... there is nothing bad about nucluar power plants! We will just use those untill cold fusion is invented... Nucular power plants give off little CO2... they work all the time unlike... when it gets dark no solar panel.. no wind... no wind power... No wind - nucular power owkrs. No lite- nuclar power works.. the thing i think we need more of is more water powerd stuff...

    Its just a wind thing under water..

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