The kinds of people who support or oppose nuclear power plants

 

I think there are three kinds of people when it comes to support of or opposition to nuclear power plants:

1. Rabid opponents who are just against anything nuclear, regardless of the facts. They are scared of the word nuclear itself and can’t be talked to about safe radiation levels, the benefits of relatively clean energy and historical safety records. They will never budge from their position because their political dogma doesn’t let them admit error.

2. Rabid supporters who are in favor of nuclear power plants for political reasons and like to sneer at “tree huggers” opposed to it and who think of themselves as being rational about it, when they are not, like Ron Paul. Come hell or high water (or low water in this case) they will never budge from their position because their political dogma doesn’t let them admit error.

3. People like me who have some scientific background, or an intelligent lay-person’s knowledge of nuclear power, have always disliked excessive fear-mongering, were not activists against nuclear power, preferred other clean energy sources but basically accepted it as necessary to meet energy demands and more-or-less thought it was under control in the hands of experts. People in our group are not wedded to nuclear fission by any political philosophy and are willing to change our position depending on new facts and events. In other words, we aren’t dogmatic.

I think people in my group have moved into the “reasoned opposition” camp after this week’s events.

We see how nuclear power plant accidents, unlike with other energy technologies, cannot be isolated to just the few who work providing the energy and find that unreasonable.

We see unacceptable risks now, and a technology too prone to unknown circumstances and failed backup systems.

And we see a technology that wouldn’t naturally exist if the free market had to bear the entire burden of the risks and liabilities. Without government-imposed limits on liability it would be an uninsurable technology and people would simply come up with something better and safer.

Basically, I think the events at Fukushima have re-awakened reasonable, open-minded people to giving the technology a “sanity check” and find it lacking.

doug


Comments

The kinds of people who support or oppose nuclear power plants — 4 Comments

  1. Doug, We agree with you but do we trust government to make sure private industry keeps nuclear power safe? Who knows but you just be safe. Love, Mimi and Muttle

  2. I sure don’t trust the Japanese government to make sure private industry keeps nuclear power safe. And I sure don’t trust the U.S. government to do it either. So I guess the answer is, no, I don’t trust government to make sure we are kept safe.doug

  3. Risk Factor, Practically everything we do as human beings includes a risk factor. Our batting average depends on how thoroughly we consider the positives/negatives before execution. Where nuclear potential applied as a primary energy source is concerned there is too much at stake and there are too many negatives which outweigh its advantages. And those negatives are socially unacceptable. There is no such thing as a completely fail-safe system as long as the human element is a part of the operation. There are alternatives today that would provide an unlimited supply with much less risk. The big question mark is why we do not already have a world-wide energy power grid in place and already operating. And, here again, I would like to quote one of my favorite Americans who was ahead of his time: The history of manis a series of conspiracies to win from nature some advantage without paying for it. R. W. Emerson And from where I stand, the nuclear power conspiracy we are watching unfold to the north of us is fartoo costly at any price. Dave Fisher

  4. > “Basically, I think the events at Fukushima have re-awakened reasonable, open-minded people to giving the technology a “sanity check” and finding it lacking.” Yes, and in former days, this is what we would call, “closing the barn door after the horse is gone”. Dave Fisher

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