Re: [asa] Re: Renewable energy

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Tue Mar 31 2009 - 16:40:33 EDT

A comment on one component of the nuclear power issue. One of the arguments
against nuclear is the cost of building new plants. I wonder how much of
the expense is due to lengthy review & appeal processes & safety precuations
that go beyond what is really necessary - both the result of opposition to
the very idea of nuclear power. I.e., opponents drive up the cost & then
use the cost as further reason to oppose it.

Lest that seem like an unrealistic argument, I'll point out that just that
has happened with capital punishment in the US. Opponents of the death
penalty argue that it costs more to execute a person than to confine him/her
for life. The reason for that is the lengthy series of appeals that are
required before a death sentence can be carried out, a series that can mean
that someone condemned to death will serve at least a 10, & perhaps much
longer, prison sentence before execution, with accompanying expense.

I hasten to add that I am not arguing here against the possibility of
appeal, or for that matter for the death sentence, but simply pointing out a
parallel to what may be the situation with nuclear energy. & with regard to
that it should go without saying that I am not arguing for a lack of safety
precautions with nuclear power.

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Murray Hogg" <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
To: "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 4:07 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Renewable energy

> Hi Burgy,
>
> I checked out the article you cited below (note that there is a typo in
> the address - should be .../what.htm rather than .../what/htm) and I would
> say that given the time-frames and definitions in that particular article,
> then nuclear probably could be called a "renewable" resource.
>
> Personally, however, I would opt for calling nuclear "long-term" rather
> than "renewable" - it certainly is the former, it certainly isn't the
> later. It might take a couple of thousand years, but sooner or later the
> Uranium supply will peter out.
>
> Putting aside the definitional quibble, the treatment of nuclear in your
> piece is, I think, about right as it stands - you correctly point out that
> something significant will need to happen in order for nuclear to become a
> viable alternative to fossil fuels. Absent such developments, however, and
> discussions about a nuclear future are entirely academic. Your also clear
> on the time-scales involved so I don't think a careful reader should be in
> anyway misled.
>
> I'm not sure whether I need to add a rider to the above in order to
> satisfy Janice - her response to my last post makes clear that she missed
> the point of my remarks. The ONLY issue I was addressing was whether
> nuclear is a renewable energy supply and everything I wrote should be
> taken in that context - including my remark about the left not "playing
> games". Hence, NEITHER the citation from Adam Smith nor the 32% figure who
> oppose nuclear on environmental grounds are of any relevance whatever -
> unless, of course, Janice wants to suggest that I've been taken in by the
> vast green-conspiracy and that the truth is that one really can keep
> digging Uranium out of the ground forever.
>
> Blessings,
> Murray
>
> John Burgeson (ASA member) wrote:
>> On 3/30/09, Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au> wrote:
>>> Hi Burgy,/
>>>
>>> If one is strictly speaking of RENEWABLE energy then nuclear is excluded
>>> because it's not a renewable resource.
>>>
>> What I have seen in several places, Murray, is that the above may not
>> be true. It seems to be true of plants built on past technology -- but
>> there are other nuclear technologies (breeder? ) (fast neutron?)
>> (thorium?) etc. that use fuel at a rate that could last 1000s of
>> years. Joe Schuster, in his book BEYOND FOSSIL FOOLS, makes this
>> argument -- he has a web site which goes into detail. Strictly
>> speaking, the energy sources proposed for these are at least as
>> renewable as fusion technology.
>>
>> I don't claim to have sorted all this stuff out. Yet. My recent
>> article in the Bugle (www.burgy.50megs.com/what/htm) assumed nucular
>> was not a renewable. I may have to write a retraction.
>>
>> Burgy
>>
>> Burgy
>>
>
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Received on Tue Mar 31 16:41:39 2009

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