We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


#4527

Yeah, there certainly could be accidents along the way. I’d think the slim risk would yield fewer overall deaths than the poisons spit into the environment via non-nuclear energy production and environmental change being spurred on by it. Of course, any event would be much more visible than the slow deaths we’re otherwise experiencing, and therefore receive disproportionate concern.


#4528

Nuclear power is a huge step forward in reducing carbon emissions, and I think that some of the accidents and issues with the older plants have caused the public to turn against it as a viable energy source. There has been a lot of work done in new reactor styles which reduce waste and lower the chance of meltdown risks greatly.

But, there just isn’t any funding for the projects. Maybe the Gates foundation can help that, but I don’t know if our science averse public will be able to swallow the idea of “nuclear power is good for the environment”. Because it just sounds so wrong.

The biggest issue with nuclear power is the waste. It just doesn’t go away, and there isn’t a perfect solution for this problem. But it is very clear the the alternatives of coal or natural gas are worse. For every cask of spent fuel put into a mountain for storage, hundreds of thousands of tons of poisonous climate changing CO2 is released into the air.

Green power technologies are also a good area for investment, but they just don’t have the power output needed to supply the world as of yet. Nuclear could be a bridge to that technology.

One intersting fact, coal burning plants actually release more radioactive materials into the atmosphere than nuclear ones.


#4529

Yeah, all the nuclear waste that’s ever been produced by every reactor, ever, only amounts to a block that’s about as wide as a football field, going from the endzone to the 10 yard line, ten feet high.

The stuff isn’t pleasant, but the amount of water is also extremely small. Even if you didn’t contain it at all, you’re talking about irradiating and polluting a very small area, versus carbon emissions which are immense… And really, things like fly ash ponds are just as terrible as anything nuclear plant produce.


#4530

The nuclear power companies just gotta figure shit out like Duke Progress Energy of NC: pollute the fuck out of the local environment with sloppy practices and outright malice, then bribe the literally racially gerrymandered Republican state government into absolving you of any wrongdoing and actually putting the taxpayers on the hook for the entire cleanup process. . . which you also subsequently mismanage and leave more or less incomplete while still pocketing millions.


#4531

Sounds like some graveshitting incoming there…


#4532

Sadly, I’m less confident of my ability to outlive 58-year-old Lynn J Good than I am with 76-year-old Mitch McConnell.


#4533

Good news, everyone.

Corporate America Is Getting Ready to Monetize Climate Change
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-22/muggy-disney-parks-downed-at-t-towers-firms-tally-climate-risk

Climate change isn’t all downside for the largest U.S. companies. Many of those that filed reports with CDP said they believe climate change can bolster demand for their products.

For one thing, more people will get sick. “As the climate changes, there will be expanded markets for products for tropical and weather related diseases including waterborne illness,” wrote Merck & Co. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

More disasters will make iPhones even more vital to people’s lives, Apple predicted.


#4534

Hmm.

Armando, please begin printing these important leaflets to be distributed to the people. Funds will be provided if needed. This is vital information that needs to be widely distributed to all the cities as soon as possible!


#4535

Can’t we just shot the waste into the sun? It doesn’t have to be fast. Just launch it into space, aim it at the sun, and give it a kick. It can take as long as it needs to.

The worry I have with Nuclear power is the heated water used to cool down the react. If just thrown back, it can damage the local environment.

Take care of that, and I am happy.


#4536

I’m developing an app that will allow you to share recipes for cooking and eating neighbors, loved ones and beloved family pets! Not much of a market now but I think it’s a growth industry.


#4537

I think that results in an elliptical orbit where the nuclear waste collides back with the Earth at some future date and gets scattered across the atmosphere.

So basically the same as coal.


#4538

Okay, so you have to give it a slightly bigger kick than. If we can get to Jupiter, and put a satellite around it, surely, we can hit the biggest target in the Solar System without too much effort.

Okay, this answered it.


#4539

Well, I mean, it is a fair amount of effort in terms of cost, esp since you’re launching something you aren’t going to recover a lot of.

And all it takes is one Challenger-esque failure for you to accidentally high-altitude nuke yourself. . .


#4540

Really all you need to do is build a giant artificial lake and dump it in. Radiation reduces geometrically over distance through water. You can literally swim within 10-15 feet of nuclear waste underwater and experience no harmful amount of radiation.

Water is amazingly non conductive for this.

Edit: I am, of course, being slightly tongue in cheek. But the reality is that reactors hosting waste on site in a giant water bath isn’t really a terrible solution.


#4541

Yeah, that hasn’t happened for a while.

Fun fact, Nuclear melt downs produce less radiation than a coal plant over the course of a coal plants life. Take into account that chance of a well regulated Nuclear power plant melting down, and you have coal plants outproducing nuclear power plants by a large margin.

Also, you can always just bury the damn stuff deep underground in concrete. That would be fine. A bit expansive, but probably well worth it if we care about the environment.

Keep in mind, the more you focus on the negative outcome of a nuclear disaster, the more likely you’ll assume the risk of it happening is high.

Page 48 it what I’m talking about. http://www.decisionresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Slovic.pdf


#4542

https://what-if.xkcd.com/29/


#4543

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.589.6788&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Original source. It’s been a while since I looked at it (like 14 years).


#4544

To be clear, I’m fully in support of nuclear and think we should rely on it much more in the short term.

I just don’t think trying to lob the minute amount of waste into the sun is necessarily the best solution to its principle downside.


#4545

I guess you also don’t like the idea a mega corporation building a giant orbital solar panels that can collect energy directly from the sun and beam it to a receiving station because said company might, just might be evil, and use it as an orbital space cannon, do you?

You are so paranoid.


#4546

So long as I have the override codes for the space station and the precise GPS coordinates of everyone who pees on toilet seats and doesn’t wipe it up, it’s fine.