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Old 03-17-2011, 06:41 AM   #1
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why does the media do it?

seems to me that the news media loves to whip the american public into a frenzy....its ~630am and CNN is listing how many people live near some of the nuclear reactors in the US....

doesnt this whole thing (discussing shutting down reactors) seem like such a knee-jerk reaction to whats happening in japan?

however, i bet you couldnt go wrong right now buying some stock in radiation detectors....lol
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:19 AM   #2
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Yeah , It would be time better spent by going after the turds dumping toxic goo into our waterways even as we speak!
They do like to make a problem where it doesnt exist.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:33 AM   #3
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More people die from lightening strikes than from nuclear power plants. It's ridiculous to even suggest they are dangerous especially weighing its benefits.

In fact, much, much more people die building wind turbines than working at nuclear power plants. And wind power is a joke.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #4
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to answer your first question barb, its America and news sells advertisement spots, so the more people you stir up and manage to put them in front of TV the more $$$ you will get, even though there might not be anything of essence. Plus it is always good to put the scare into people. I stopped watching CNN long time ago, they are not the network they started as, with something to prove and unbiased and uncontrolled by the corporations. I watch BBC as they seem to be the most objective of the whole bunch.

As for nuclear power, sure short term they are safe, i.e nobody really dies when everything is well , but it makes up for the deaths when something goes wrong. I mentioned in the tsunami thread, that I lived through and experienced the Chernobyl disaster having been only 840km away from the site where it happened. The problem with nuclear technology is the radiation, the Chernobyl power plant area is a wasteland for the next 1000 years, ground water is contaminated, the soil is contaminated and everything around it is glowing with radioactivity. Not to mention of the thousands of people that are living and dying because of the accelerated growth of cancers caused by the radiation. Should there be a discussion about nuclear power, of course. Should nuclear power be abandoned, no BUT there should be a very tight and rigorous oversight and extremely tight measures enforced on the companies exploiting nuclear power. Also no corner cutting should even be contemplated when building the power plants (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima), the politicians and policy makers and CEOs should listen more carefully to the scientists and engineers who design these things and not try to save money by cutting corners. You should watch a 1979 (I believe) movie called The Chinese Syndrome explains pretty much what could happen, Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda and Jack Lemmon play in it.

@kal-el wind power is not a joke, if you are trying to compare wind power to nuclear power you just can't there is no comparison. But as for a self-sustaining small home (or mobile home)wind power can be very useful, you can get a starter kit for around 5000$, turbine and all the electronics necessary to get the power flowing.Wind farms are also beneficial, although the maintenance cost might be prohibitive for some states/countries. Geothermal power is also clean and reliable and efficient, except right now it is still expensive to implement up to 35k$. What seems to be the future for coastal states/countries/cities is wave generated power. That said nuclear power if used in conjunction with other sources of energy can be extremely beneficial IF strict safety policy is enforced backups on top of backups are implemented and every possible scenario thought of and even the ones not thought of should be anticipated
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Fear drives America...buy a gun
Or 10 just in Case, buy iodine cause japanese radiation is coming,killer bees,Muslims,Mexican cartels are overrunning the border,fear sells things !
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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all the media do this...
at every country...
they are the goverment
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal-El View Post
More people die from lightening strikes than from nuclear power plants. It's ridiculous to even suggest they are dangerous especially weighing its benefits.

In fact, much, much more people die building wind turbines than working at nuclear power plants. And wind power is a joke.
So because there hasn't been a major nuclear catastrophe yet we shouldn't worry about it? We should wait until something bad finally does happen? The potential threat is greater for nuclear power plants than wind energy. That's just the bottom line. You can't in anyway dispute that.

But I agree the media shouldn't be whipping up fear over nuclear power plants here in the states just because of what's going on in japan. They should be doing it all the time. Sorry but you don't fuck around with radiation. Nothing bad has happened here in the states yet. But why wait until it does?

Also when someone dies working at a wind farm it's most likely a worker. That is unfortunate and terrible, it really is, but that's the most it's ever going to affect. The only people put in any real danger are the people who are directly engaged in the maintenance of a wind farm. When we are talking nuclear it impacts everyone around the facility. Not just the workers at a plant. People who don't have shit to do with the plant can still become victim to it's malfunction.

The fact that people are so cavalier about NUCLEAR energy really blows my mind. These plants are just going to get older and older. So talk your crap now but our kids may not have the luxury of being so brazen about it. Time just isn't on our side in this case.

EDIT: also i'm really not trying to be a jerk about this. and though i quoted you Kal-El, i'm not directing all this entirely at you. just feel pretty strongly about the subject is all. so i apologize if i come off a little, uh, snippy.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by frownonfun View Post
So because there hasn't been a major nuclear catastrophe yet we shouldn't worry about it? We should wait until something bad finally does happen? The potential threat is greater for nuclear power plants than wind energy. That's just the bottom line. You can't in anyway dispute that.

But I agree the media shouldn't be whipping up fear over nuclear power plants here in the states just because of what's going on in japan. They should be doing it all the time. Sorry but you don't fuck around with radiation. Nothing bad has happened here in the states yet. But why wait until it does?

Also when someone dies working at a wind farm it's most likely a worker. That is unfortunate and terrible, it really is, but that's the most it's ever going to affect. The only people put in any real danger are the people who are directly engaged in the maintenance of a wind farm. When we are talking nuclear it impacts everyone around the facility. Not just the workers at a plant. People who don't have shit to do with the plant can still become victim to it's malfunction.

The fact that people are so cavalier about NUCLEAR energy really blows my mind. These plants are just going to get older and older. So talk your crap now but our kids may not have the luxury of being so brazen about it. Time just isn't on our side in this case.

EDIT: also i'm really not trying to be a jerk about this. and though i quoted you Kal-El, i'm not directing all this entirely at you. just feel pretty strongly about the subject is all. so i apologize if i come off a little, uh, snippy.

Totally understand your argument. I didn't mean to suggest there is no danger in nuclear energy. It would be foolish to suggest that.

Still. the worst nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, killed 30 people. A shame, but not at all catastrophic.

"The initial explosion resulted in the death of two workers. 28 of the firemen and emergency clean-up workers died in the first three months after the explosion from Acute Radiation Sickness and one of cardiac arrest."

And Chernobyl didn't have nearly the safe guards that today's plants have. It didn't have a containment system and deaths were still minimal.

Of course, lingering radiation created some health issues and cancers but wasn't considered extreme.

In contrast, 115 people die each day in car accidents in the US alone (and we have the most stringent safety standards).


The thing is, is that creating energy will always have some type of drawback. No matter how clean or safe they are considered to be. If we are not prepared to take those small risks, we may as well revert back to being cave men. Forget even just flipping that light switch.

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Old 03-17-2011, 06:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kal-El View Post
Totally understand your argument. I didn't mean to suggest there is no danger in nuclear energy. It would be foolish to suggest that.

Still. the worst nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, killed 30 people. A shame, but not at all catastrophic.

"The initial explosion resulted in the death of two workers. 28 of the firemen and emergency clean-up workers died in the first three months after the explosion from Acute Radiation Sickness and one of cardiac arrest."

And Chernobyl didn't have nearly the safe guards that today's plants have. It didn't have a containment system and deaths were still minimal.

Of course, lingering radiation created some health issues and cancers but wasn't considered extreme.

In contrast, 115 people die each day in car accidents in the US alone (and we have the most stringent safety standards).


The thing is, is that creating energy will always have some type of drawback. No matter how clean or safe they are considered to be. If we are not prepared to take those small risks, we may as well revert back to being cave men. Forget even just flipping that light switch.

ok listen, I'm sorry but you are totally wrong, not sure where you got your figures but the intial deathtoll was above 50, with many more dying in weeks that followed. Add to that the million or so that died and/or became sick as of 2010, I hardly call this minimal. The figures that state just 28 people died are based on a Soviet government "study" read cover-up. So please don't be so naive and believe the hype that power companies are trying to push. To quote a famous Soviet:" One death is tragic, a thousand is a statistic."

Also the Chernobyl disaster was a result of sloppiness and not safety standards, their standards were actually very high, but again the soviet government and people with vested interests wanted results faster. The disaster struck while they were doing a safety check/drill.

Research a bit before you put figures that have no merit
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:07 PM   #10
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But isn't one of the biggest problems with nuclear power plants, is where to put the still-radioactive waste? I'm by no means a nuclear scientist, but through my less than stellar understanding of this stuff, is that it takes a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very (you get the point) long time for it to be inert.

A quick google search shows that most of Europe's radioactive waste is currently being stockpiled somewhere in the Ukraine.

Everyone has the attitude of "not in my backyard", but if/when nuclear becomes in-vogue, then it will be in everyone's backyard. Eventually, there could be a lot of waste that has to be stored somewhere.

Statistical numbers used for comparison just can't convey the higher risk associated with this type of energy.

The media is the media, and they need something to make money with, but there's nothing wrong with re-evaluating something after a disaster occurs at one of the most technologically advanced places in the world.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:12 PM   #11
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sooo....this is actually a pretty serious deal. I'm in xray school and my teacher has been following this story (she is a radiographer and is married to a radiologist). She kinda caught our class up to speed yesterday on the severity of these reactors. A few things she said (paraphrased of course) were like: reactor number 3 contains elements more extreme than your normal radiation. Everyone knows that too much exposure to radiation can cause problems (that's how they use radiation to destroy your thyroid in case it has spreading cancer). Well apparently xrays deal with electron interactions which are relatively small compared to the neutron interactions that take place in reactor number three. I think she said the difference is like 18000x greater. Can't remember exactly. And constant exposure(which living so close they constantly receive) to the radiation starts by weaking your immune system, later causing nausea, and depending on how much radiation you get can lead to LD50/30 which means that of all the people who get this exposure, about 50% will die in 30 days.

Now im starting to ramble and im sorry. And i know some of you won't credit my teacher and her husband as physicists or understanding the complexity, however, i do. She wanted us to understand the downplay of radiation dosages that the plant workers/owners are puting out there. They don't want panic. But the radiation will cause permanent damage and ruin the environment.

But yeah, sucks.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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I can see the need to downplay it though, in an administrative point of view.

Does anyone want to see mass panic and attempts at mass exodus? Contaminated people wearing contaminated clothing, with their contaminated stuff mixing in with the general non-contaminated population.

What about a mix of contaminated/non-contaminated/partially-contaminated people flying out of Japan and seeking refuge in other locations in the world? Wouldn't that also lead to them contaminating others as they go from place to place?

Who/how/when to test them for radiation? At each airport? Wouldn't that be too late?

I just find it very grim when they first told people within a certain radius to evacuate, and now, they're being told to stay where they are, and that radius has increased.

It's just a bad, bad situation that seems to be getting worse.

In light of this disaster, I can understand the fear of living close to any nuclear power plant, and the need to question our so-called authority figures as to what the plans are in case something like this were to happen.

Under a worse case scenario, what would happen here in the US (or anywhere else for that matter)? Japan is an island, so it's relatively easier to control entry and exit from the entire country. How will they do that when we're not on an island? Using the Military with guns?

Knowing what I know... I believe that by the time it comes to that, I would be resigned and logical enough to know that it would probably be too late. But then again, I am armed to the teeth and have a very strong desire to protect my family...

I just shudder to think about such things.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleTimeTim View Post
sooo....this is actually a pretty serious deal. I'm in xray school and my teacher has been following this story (she is a radiographer and is married to a radiologist). She kinda caught our class up to speed yesterday on the severity of these reactors. A few things she said (paraphrased of course) were like: reactor number 3 contains elements more extreme than your normal radiation. Everyone knows that too much exposure to radiation can cause problems (that's how they use radiation to destroy your thyroid in case it has spreading cancer). Well apparently xrays deal with electron interactions which are relatively small compared to the neutron interactions that take place in reactor number three. I think she said the difference is like 18000x greater. Can't remember exactly. And constant exposure(which living so close they constantly receive) to the radiation starts by weaking your immune system, later causing nausea, and depending on how much radiation you get can lead to LD50/30 which means that of all the people who get this exposure, about 50% will die in 30 days.

Now im starting to ramble and im sorry. And i know some of you won't credit my teacher and her husband as physicists or understanding the complexity, however, i do. She wanted us to understand the downplay of radiation dosages that the plant workers/owners are puting out there. They don't want panic. But the radiation will cause permanent damage and ruin the environment.

But yeah, sucks.


thank you!
and a radiographer and radiologist even though they do not have a physics degree still need a solid base and deep understanding of the phenomenon they are using as a tool.

Just to add to your explanation which is right on btw, there are three main types of radiation that can be emitted from a particle: alpha, beta and gamma. Gamma and X-rays are closely related and there is discussion on when x-rays actually fall under gamma radiation. Gamma radiation goes through almost anything but doesn't have the "range", but that is not the main problem, the problem is that the particles that emit the radiation catch a lift on air currents, rain, soil and spread their energy (radiation) around.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:52 PM   #14
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ok listen, I'm sorry but you are totally wrong, not sure where you got your figures but the intial deathtoll was above 50, with many more dying in weeks that followed. Add to that the million or so that died and/or became sick as of 2010, I hardly call this minimal. The figures that state just 28 people died are based on a Soviet government "study" read cover-up. So please don't be so naive and believe the hype that power companies are trying to push. To quote a famous Soviet:" One death is tragic, a thousand is a statistic."

Also the Chernobyl disaster was a result of sloppiness and not safety standards, their standards were actually very high, but again the soviet government and people with vested interests wanted results faster. The disaster struck while they were doing a safety check/drill.

Research a bit before you put figures that have no merit
Well here's a few legitimate sources below. One thing is for certain, 30 people died shortly after the accident (3-4 months). And this is mainly the rescue/cleanup crew who were unprepared and unprotected from the radiation.

The ongoing debate is the deaths that have occurred over the long term. Of course, many thousands, even 100's of thousands have eventually gotten cancer which may or may not be attributed to Chernobyl.

Then again, cancer is the number one killer of Americans never even exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation (it just passed heart disease).

I also referenced car accident deaths earlier for comparison purposes. 42,000 people die each year in car accidents in the US alone. Should we ban cars?

My point is that if you or anyone else has a better idea than nuclear to produce the power we need, your idea is welcome to change the world.

Wind and solar can only produce a minuscule percentage of what we need even if we drastically increase their use, so we'd end up burning a lot more coal if not for nuclear.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

Quote:
Health of plant workers and local people

In the aftermath of the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, of whom 31 died within the first three months. Most of these were fire and rescue workers trying to bring the accident under control, who were not fully aware of how dangerous exposure to the radiation in the smoke was. Whereas, the World Health Organization's report 2006 Report of the Chernobyl Forum Expert Group from the 237 emergency workers who were diagnosed with ARS, ARS was identified as the cause of death for 28 of these people within the first few months after the disaster. There were no further deaths identified, in the general population affected by the disaster, as being caused by ARS. Of the 72,000 Russian Emergency Workers being studied, 216 non-cancer deaths are attributed to the disaster, between 1991 and 1998. The latency period for solid cancers caused by excess radiation exposure is 10 or more years; thus at the time of the WHO report being undertaken, the rates of solid cancer deaths were no greater than the general population. Some 135,000 people were evacuated from the area, including 50,000 from Pripyat.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/chernobyl/inf07.html

Quote:
- The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.
- The resulting steam explosion and fires released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere and downwind.
- Two Chernobyl plant workers died on the night of the accident, and a further 28 people died within a few weeks as a result of acute radiation poisoning.
- UNSCEAR says that apart from increased thyroid cancers, "there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident."
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-co...rnobyl-bg.html

Quote:
Health Effects from the Accident

The Chernobyl accident caused many severe radiation effects almost immediately. Among the approximately 600 workers present on the site at the time of the accident, 2 died within hours of the reactor explosion and 134 received high radiation doses and suffered from acute radiation sickness. Of these, twenty eight workers died in the first four months after the accident. Another 200,000 recovery workers involved in the initial cleanup work of 1986-1987 received doses of between 0.01 and 0.50 Gy. The number of workers involved in cleanup activities at Chernobyl rose to 600,000, although only a small fraction of these workers were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Both groups of cleanup and recovery workers may become ill because of their radiation exposure, so their health is being monitored.

The Chernobyl accident also resulted in widespread contamination in areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine inhabited by millions of residents. Radiation exposure to residents evacuated from areas heavily contaminated by radioactive material from the Chernobyl accident also has been a concern. Average doses to Ukrainian and Belarusian evacuees were 17 mSv and 31 mSv, respectively. Individual exposures ranged from a low of 0.1 to 380 mSv. However, the majority of the five million residents living in contaminated areas received very small radiation doses which are comparable to natural background levels (1 mSv per year).

The health of these residents also has been monitored since 1986, and to date there is no strong evidence for radiation-induced increases of leukemia or solid cancer (other than thyroid cancer). An exception is a large number of children and adolescents who in 1986 received substantial radiation doses in the thyroid after drinking milk contaminated with radioactive iodine. To date, about 4,000 thyroid cancer cases have been detected among these children. Although 99% of these children were successfully treated, nine children and adolescents in the three countries died from thyroid cancer. Fortunately, no evidence of any effect on the number of adverse pregnancy outcomes, delivery complications, stillbirths or overall health of children has been observed among the families living in the most contaminated areas.
Apart from the increase in thyroid cancer after childhood exposure, no increase in overall cancer or non-cancer diseases have been observed that can be attributed to the Chernobyl accident and exposure to radiation. However, it is estimated that approximately 4,000 radiation-related cancer deaths may eventually be attributed to the Chernobyl accident over the lifetime of the 200,000 emergency workers, 116,000 evacuees, and 270,000 residents living in the most contaminated areas. This estimate is far lower than initial speculations that radiation exposure would claim tens of thousands of lives, but it is not greatly different from estimates made in 1986 by Soviet scientists.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:34 AM   #15
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Hey kal-el you're a nice internet person so I'll be nice, please don't quote wikipedia when trying to make a valid argument about ANYTHING.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:15 AM   #16
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i've found wikipedia to be right in many cases, but it's also far from 100% accurate so sometimes you run into trouble if that's your ONLY source. still just want to point out there is some value in wikipedia. just my small bit of defense on Kal-El's behalf.

anyway i didn't think nuclear provided all that large a percentage of our energy. i've been taking some electronics courses and one of my textbooks quotes it at 20%. i know that's a significant amount but i also know having worked at a natural gas facility that we don't use near what we probably could using natural gas. and i don't know, ask me if i'd rather we produce steam from fossil fuels or nuclear fission and i'm gonna say fossil fuels.

also i think some of you are really selling wind energy short. it makes up only like 3% of our energy resources but at the same time we haven't been at it for that long. seems like wind energy is still in it's infancy to me. and how long have we been producing energy through nuclear power plants? 40 or 50 years? i think if we wanted to we could replace the 20% we get from nuclear with solar, wind, and water. are we seriously that obsessed with money that we aren't willing to pay a little more for something that doesn't have the possibility of causing cancer and serious birth defects?
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:50 AM   #17
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Totally understand your argument. I didn't mean to suggest there is no danger in nuclear energy. It would be foolish to suggest that.

Still. the worst nuclear disaster in history, Chernobyl, killed 30 people. A shame, but not at all catastrophic.

"The initial explosion resulted in the death of two workers. 28 of the firemen and emergency clean-up workers died in the first three months after the explosion from Acute Radiation Sickness and one of cardiac arrest."

And Chernobyl didn't have nearly the safe guards that today's plants have. It didn't have a containment system and deaths were still minimal.

Of course, lingering radiation created some health issues and cancers but wasn't considered extreme.

In contrast, 115 people die each day in car accidents in the US alone (and we have the most stringent safety standards).


The thing is, is that creating energy will always have some type of drawback. No matter how clean or safe they are considered to be. If we are not prepared to take those small risks, we may as well revert back to being cave men. Forget even just flipping that light switch.

The tragedy of Chernobyl is not the people who died as a direct result of the explosion. It's the mutation and birth defects in the thousand and millions of people who were affected. It's the cancer rate... the child's leukemia, those things are the real consequences of radiation leaks.

You sound like you completely underestimate the dangers of nuclear incidents. Next time you hear of cancer - think of this thread. It's that serious.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:47 AM   #18
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Hey kal-el you're a nice internet person so I'll be nice, please don't quote wikipedia when trying to make a valid argument about ANYTHING.
I know a lot of people like to put down Wikipedia but they are accurate most of the time. More so than general internet searches. Look up anything that you know a lot about (factually) and see if it is accurate, I'm certain it will be. Either way, I did confirm the numbers with other large sources. I do with any research.

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Originally Posted by john21031 View Post
The tragedy of Chernobyl is not the people who died as a direct result of the explosion. It's the mutation and birth defects in the thousand and millions of people who were affected. It's the cancer rate... the child's leukemia, those things are the real consequences of radiation leaks.

You sound like you completely underestimate the dangers of nuclear incidents. Next time you hear of cancer - think of this thread. It's that serious.
I did site and talk about the lingering effects, which are horrible. I'm not naive enough to dismiss it.

I don't want to sound like I love nuclear at any cost. That's not the case.
I just think it's a relatively safe and very effective energy source. There's been a few accidents throughout history which have been horrible, but overall nuclear has a very good track record.

It just seems that people are against gas, against nuclear, against coal, against batteries, ect. I'm simply trying to figure out what people honestly think we are going to switch over to completely for our energy. We can't do it with just wind and solar. I do, however think we really need to ramp up natural gas use. It's hugely abundant in the US.
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