Nuclear Power, Constitutional Rights, and Politics

Philippines
July 1, 2011 5:27am CST
Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the ongoing crisis in Fukushima have demonstrated that going nuclear for energy, the construction and location of nuclear power plants are issues that touch people's lives, liberty, and property directly and in a fundamental way. Because of this, going nuclear, the construction and location of nuclear power plants are indeed basic Constitutional and political issues. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree that going nuclear, the siting and construction of nuclear power plants should be issues directly passed upon and voted by the people?
1 person likes this
6 responses
@petersum (4526)
• United States
1 Jul 11
It's much to late to be asking such questions now! Nuclear energy is going to kill us all sooner or later. It's much to early to be talking about shutting down the nuclear plants too! The so-called scientists don't know how to shut a reactor off. It's like kids playing with a new toy. Do you think politicians know anything about this subject?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
1 Jul 11
Politicians should grapple with the science, if we are to survive. Scientists must dabble in politics too. And we the people must hold the politicians' and scientists' noses to the nuclear grindstone... hahahah... But first the people must recognize the fact that nuclear energy issues must migrate from the corporate board rooms and from the ministries of energy, industry, economics, whatever, to the citizens' councils and township meetings.
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@petersum (4526)
• United States
1 Jul 11
The nuclear energy issues are already migrating into the soil and the sea! By the time it reaches the councils, we wont be here!
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• Philippines
1 Jul 11
There may still be hope. Or at least in the Philippines, people were able to make sure that the planned Bataan Nuclear Power Plant would not operate as a nuclear power plant. It's still mothballed.
1 person likes this
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
1 Jul 11
Well Chernobyl was the only case where serious damage was done this was because of the construction of the Plant. When they released the Pressure it the superheated Hydrogen combined with other hydrogen in a heated reactor room that was within a protective measure of the keeping the Radiation in and when the preasure was released the superheated Water broke down to Hydrogen that reached a pressure to explode. That is what caused the area around Chernobyl to be radioactive to this day. Stoping a Reactor is pretty much impossible as well the whole point of the Rods is to react that is what they are designed for. The only way to really cool down the rods would be to put them in Liquid Nitrogen which would create for several hours Nitrogen Isotopes that would be radioactive. like N-16. The small amount of radiation that is released by plants have 12 years of Half-life so about 24 years of total life. Also the energy created by Nuclear power plants is far more efficient than any current tech beyond Geothermal and even then Nuclear power is far more efficient in that we are taking a very fundamental reaction of the Universe and using it to power us. These of course are far more controlled than lets say space. But really Nuclear Power Plants should be located in places that are as far away from major population centers and away from the coast or areas that have a chance of a natural disaster. They should be designed to handle a multitude of issues like the power going out and have back ups for the back ups. I mean the one in Japan did have these but in the planning a massive earthquake like the one that hit wasn't planned for in the design and neither was the massive waves that happened. In the design of any new plants it should be taken into account. Also a lot of the media is fearmongling on the whole danger of well build Nuclear Power Plants. They are quite safe if they are well managed which for the most part they are because the businesses that own them they cost Millions if not Billions to build and they want to protect there money from massive government fines you think $20Billion for the Oil Spill is bad in the United States if it was found that kind of neglect was done to a Nuclear Plant that company would be forced to close its doors. Also the future is moving toward Fusion Reactors anyway. Thats right mini suns being created here on earth.
1 person likes this
@bigal3 (1231)
• Thailand
2 Jul 11
Hi "dark_jove", There's one factor in my opinion you have left out of the equation. What about "HUMAN ERROR"? There's "ALWAYS " "X" the unknown factor to consider.
@dark_joev (3043)
• United States
3 Jul 11
Well hopefully they try as hard as possible to limit Human error when we are talking about a Nuclear plant I mean their isn't much you can really do and Murphy's law will always find that point and when we are talking about power generation you really do just have to be very careful in your design and back ups routines to try and avoid murphy's law having a massive effect. And sometimes thats not enough I mean look at Apollo 13 it had like 4 backups for every function and it was suffering from like 4 Master Alarm errors which they where talking of being impossible. Or the Dams that have been destroyed by systems not letting the water be drained Through design error or machine error.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
3 Jul 11
How about geothermal, or biomass as alternative sources of energy? The science and technology of both have already reached the stage where their viability and profitability can be pegged to near precision. They are ubiquitous and they lend themselves to economies of scale. Which country does not have a mountain or two, or which does not generate waste and garbage? The Netherlands may not have a mountain, but her people surely generate biomass. The results of malfunctions from human errors and natural causes are also not as rapid, massive, as final and long-lasting as that of nuclear plants gone critical.
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@K46620 (1996)
• United States
1 Jul 11
No, I think nuclear, like everything else, should not be subsidized or given any special privileges, but otherwise allowed to run like any other business, where they are held liable for any damages they might case. If they cannot afford this or the insurance needed, that means nuclear is not viable and will not be used.
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@petersum (4526)
• United States
1 Jul 11
I agree with you in most senses but it's quite difficult to claim insurance after mankind has been wiped out.
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@K46620 (1996)
• United States
1 Jul 11
Insurers will have required safety standards before they consider insuring a nuclear power company. That market regulation will help us accident or not. I'm not sure such nuclear plants could wipe man out- I doubt it... but I'm not a nuclear expert here, though
1 person likes this
@bigal3 (1231)
• Thailand
2 Jul 11
Hi again "petersum". Are we the only ones in this conversation that has any idea how much "REAL" danger the world is in if we continue to use NUCLEAR energy? It only takes one, just "ONE" nuclear "accident" that can't be slowed down to somewhat "safe" limits and it's "CURTAINS",the end, "KAPUT", for the "human animal" and everyother life form on this planet for eons! I think they need to re-read your original comment on "how long radiation contamintion lasts" again huh? Insurance indeed; there won't be anything left to be insured or collect on.
• United States
1 Jul 11
matersfish and Blue Goblin said most of what I wanted to say. Nuclear energy is the best we've got but suffers from horrible publicity. You mention the three "disasters" in nuclear energy's history without realizing how low that percentage of problem that is, and the onlt really bad one, Chernobyl, isn't even in the same league as modern nuclear plants. It's alot like airplanes versus cars. It is sometimes difficult to get people to believe that flying is statistically safer. As to whether the public should have a say in where plants go, I know that happens pretty much to everything in America. Many communities rally around denying Wal-Marts to be built in their area, they sure as heck will speak up and find a way to stop nuclear power plants if it came to that. Ultimately though, construction and operation of any type of power plant in America is going to be based on corporate profitability before politics.
• Philippines
1 Jul 11
Corporate profitability should be viewed too in the light of other issues like life, liberty, and property; in the light of the welfare of other species too. How much weight should be ascribed to each? I wish others will speak up as well.
1 person likes this
@bigal3 (1231)
• Thailand
2 Jul 11
"Corporate Profitability" and "Politics" are the the samething since many of the politicians have shares in those corporations therefore where is their motivation to move away from something that might wipe out humanity someday?
@BlueGoblin (1833)
• United States
1 Jul 11
Nuclear power is actually much safer than drilling for oil. Deaths from mining coal, drilling for oil, etc. are much higher. We also go to war over oil. How many lives lost over that? Nuclear energy had some accidents. What about the oil spill in the gulf? the trapped miners in Chile? The alternative isn't much safer. Green energy is the future. Until then nuclear power should be used.
• Philippines
1 Jul 11
These points have to be brought forward too in the decision making process on nuclear energy. Thank you. Perhaps to be looked into too is the rapidity, massiveness, "longevity" and "finality" of impact.
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@bigal3 (1231)
• Thailand
2 Jul 11
Hi again "RBBantiles", Once again well put. I on the other hand do not agree with "BlueGoblin: When oil is spilled in the ocean it is there for twenty or thirty years; when a nuclear accidents and matter is released it will be around for generations. on the same note the world is not informed every time a "mistake" occurs so we have no idea how much this irridiation has already effected our natural enviornment; or it hasn't been made public.
@bigal3 (1231)
• Thailand
1 Jul 11
Hi "RBBantiles", GOOD LUCK getting that one through. Yes, I do agree with you when you speak of nuclear power being a threat not only to personal and businesss properties but to we HUMANS who at the moment occupy this rock in space.
• Philippines
1 Jul 11
I hope you friend Bigal3 and friend Petersum can help raise this thing in the worldwide web and get the people to be more active on the nuclear issue. Our survival and survivability are really at stake.
1 person likes this
@bigal3 (1231)
• Thailand
2 Jul 11
Hi "RBBantiles", I think with this latest thing in Japan which is still going on; and guess what; it's going on and will continue to go on long after we are gone. Depending what fuel they were using dictates how long that area will be TOXIC!