Scientific Support for Nuclear Energy

April 10, 2011

George Monbiot’s article, published in The Gaurdian and republished in The Hindustan Times provoked me to seek the truth, and look for scientific evidences for building factories for producing nuclear energy, called nuclear power plants.   I posted the following as a comment at the latter’s  site.  For the record and possibly for a ensuring more eye balls, I am reproducing the comments here.  The context may become clear if you could read the article linked above from either of the source.

Even if the anti-nuclear lobby took advantage of the Chernobyl incident and exaggerated the deaths to be 900,000, or even if Chernobyl did not occur, I still hold that factories for generating nuclear power should not to be touched by human beings on this earth. The reasons are scientific.  So, I seek scientific evidence to the
following:

  1. Artificially accumulating  radioactive substances is inviting trouble.  Even if a group of people are capable of taking care of it in a nicely sealed containers, when it leaks due to an accident it does not specifically take only those who accumulated and took control of it.  It takes the lives of innocent people.  Even if radioactive leak selectively kills the responsible nuclear engineers and policy makers, it is not justified.   Scientists cannot leave such a thing loose and say they are not responsible.  Scientists have no scientific answer to repair this damage.   A deadly poison  (like cyanide)  will have only local effects, it kills only those who take it.  Even fire kills only those who got burnt.  Nuclear material is not of this kind. Nuclear material causes non-local damage.Do we scientifically know how to repair this damage?  I want a journal publication to show that this kind of damage is repairable.  Could the pro-nuclear power lobby provide a scientific claim published in a journal that exposed accumulated radioactive material does not cause damage to lives.  At least 300 people did die at Chernobyl.  Did they die because they got crushed under the rubble of concrete?  Was the death of 300 innocent people cheap?  Are they martyrs for the crazy nationalistic patriotic nuclear scientists pursuit or the private factory that makes justifiable amount of money? I do not see any logic in the author’s argument.  Just because some anti-nuclear activist’s figures are wrong, it does not follow that nuclear energy production problem is scientifically solved.
  2. All other kinds of furnaces and boilers that we use in factories and thermal power plants work at a possible temperatures allowed at this cooled environment of earth where nuclei are mostly stable. Radioactive nuclei are present on Earth, but at a density that allowed life to happen and flourish.  Nuclear energy produces temperatures that are not suitable for this earth.  None of us scientifically know how to live or repair the perturbations caused by that scale of energy.  Even if we can produce with a lot of sophistication nuclear energy, as several nuclear power plants are doing now, there is no scientific evidence that another chernobyl or tsunami does not occur ever in the future.  Is there any scientific reason published in any journal so far that gives pro-nuclear energy gang the confidence that the probability of nuclear accidents of this kind is so low that we can go ahead with the factories producing  nuclear power.

I am still perplexed how scientists can scientifically justify and play with a factory of nuclear energy.

While I will not defend a factory of nuclear energy, I will defend a few nuclear plants for scientific research., since this is not let loose to companies and factory management.

Seeking scientific evidence for the two cases above.

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One Response to “Scientific Support for Nuclear Energy”

  1. Kingsly Says:

    Don’t have the evidence you seek, but wanted to add my $0.02 to

    Nuclear accidents get disproportionate coverage in the news media because “There’s no news, like bad news!”. Same reason why our local media made such a hue and cry over 26/11/other terrorist attacks but are totally unaffected by the fact that 10 or more people die on the railway lines in Mumbai every day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Suburban_Railway#Fatalities

    While I am against the idea of private corporations running nuclear plants with limited liabilities in case of a disaster as envisaged by our “nuclear safety bill”, I disagree with your assessment/conclusion that “I still hold that factories for generating nuclear power should not to be touched by human beings on this earth.”

    How do a bunch of scientists in charge of things make it any safer?
    Here’s what “scientists” were thinking when they set off the first nuclear chain reaction in a populated area… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Pile-1#First_nuclear_reaction

    or during the first nuclear test. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_%28nuclear_test%29#Test_predictions

    There is no reason to single out nuclear energy alone as being harmful to humans, all other mainstream energy sources today are responsible for more deaths than nuclear accidents.

    More people have died in mining accidents alone than from nuclear accidents http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_accident . That is without even considering the other harmful direct/indirect side effects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_coal

    Of course that only covers coal, Oil/Gas is a whole other can of worms, the effects of last years oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and other similar sized “incidents” that have been occurring regularly in the Niger Delta for many years have been impacted a much wider lot of human beings and life forms than nuclear disasters.

    Personally Nuclear Energy is kind of like air travel, in case of an accident your chances of surviving unaffected are remote. But it’s probably still one of the safest options around.


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