[ExI] EP and Peak oil
kevinfreels at insightbb.com
Tue Apr 1 20:21:05 UTC 2008
> I very much agree: this looks like a promising way to go.
> However, my concern is mostly with the procedures and management
> infrastructure surrounding such plants. The technology is improving,
> but people (especially malicious people) find ways to do stupid,
> dangerous or malevolent things with the technology, so what matters most
> of all is researching the management around the reactors, to find the
> best way to stop problems from coming out of left field.
True. But stupid and malicious people are no reason to remain
stationary. If they were, we would still be in the stone age. I'm afraid
we're stuck with those people. So far there have been plenty of them who
have found ways to do dangerous and malevolent things with fertilizer
and gun powder. We just need to do the best we can and move forward.
> For example, the original scientists and engineers devised safety
> measures to ensure nothing bad could happen in places like Chernobyl and
> Bhopal, but after a while the management on the ground lost interest or
> tried to cut costs, with the result that (e.g.) workers in Chernobyl
> were routinely doing such things as carrying open buckets of radioactive
> waste around by hand.
> Even with the pebble-bed reactors, what matters is the unexpected
> gotchas lying hidden away in the system as a whole (people plus technology).
True again. But remember, that plant was devised in a communist country,
not a free market with a free flow of information. Such a thing would be
tough to pull off these days. Of course, new and exciting things to pull
off are always just around the corner, but again, it shouldn't be a
barrier, only a place to stop, ponder, and do our best. Hindsight is
always going to be 20/20, but the only other possible way to go is to
remain stagnant and I fear that option more.
> Overall I am optimistic that this can be done, but not if people are
> locked into a mindset in which the main problem with the nuclear
> industry is that idiot environmentalists have been bollixing the work of
> the captains of industry.
There is however some subtle truth to this. I wouldn't say many are
locked into a "mindset" about this. I think Eli was just acknowledging
that the modern day environmentalist movement is indeed the main reason
nuclear power has been much ignored while we continue to burn off our
fossil fuels. There is some good debate here as to whether or not global
warming is caused by these emissions or even whether or not global
warming itself is bad. But for the most part everyone here knows that an
alternative needs to be found long before the oil runs out so this issue
trumps global warming. I personally like the green people - until they
stand in the way of progress. But many get their priorities out of whack
so while Eli's statement may not apply to everyone that is "green, it
certainly applies to many.
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