Nuclear energy discussion

The point of this thread is to decide whether to expand usage of nuclear energy along side green energy in order to replace coal, oil and natural gas. I am very much in favor of it for a number of reasons. I’d like to here other people thoughts especially if they believe that we should build more or even decommission what we do have.

Let’s just start out simply:
Should we have nuclear power?

  • More nuclear power = more better
  • Big no-no

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Nuclear is good as a temporary measure right now as the only pollutant it creates is radioactive waste, but with proper disposal measures, it’s not that bad. It’s better than oil plants that spew lots of greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. I heard it’s also very efficient, but it just requires a large volume of water at all times because of the steam, so it may not be feasible for all terrains.

I think #science would be a more appropriate category for this discussion.

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Also, Nuclear power plants today are extremely dated. They have remained fundamentally the same since the 1970s or something, and if a newer model could be created, it could use a far safer element: Thorium.

" Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium. It is fertile rather than fissile, and can only be used as a fuel in conjunction with a fissile material such as recycled plutonium ." - World Nuclear Association

What does fissile mean? It means that the element is able to undergo nuclear fission, or in other words, blow up. If Thorium can’t do this, than it can’t be used in nuclear weapons (so everyone wins)

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But doesn’t the entire process revolve around blowing the atom up so then energy created boils the water into a steam machine?

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IIRC this is also a big reason as to why we know so little about it compared to uranium, since the war effort funded a lot of the uranium research in order to develop the atom bomb.

But still, we just do not have the required technology to properly use thorium, and it’ll still take a long bout of research, after which it may already have been too late.

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Fair enough…
If that’s the case then, I suppose uranium will have to do, unless nuclear energy has some scientific breakthrough in the next few years. But as far as I know, no one is really working on it.

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Problem solved. I agree with replacing fossil fuels with nuclear energy, especially for space travels. Maybe we could use the new synthetic elements’ isotopes unless there is no more stable isotope. Element 115 or Ununpentium (AKA Elerium in XCOM) could probably used. The only problem I see for it is its very short half-life. Apart from that, harnessing its energy would be a major breakthrough. What do you think about it, @Omicron?

However, we shouldn’t go too far with nuclear power, or…

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I meant for this to be a discussion and debate thread but we (almost) all seem to be in agreement that nuclear energy is good until we can replace it with fusion.

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Maybe we could then discuss HOW we could replace fossil energy with nuclear energy. How to improve it even.

Or we could conduct a witch hunt to weed out that one anti-nuker.

JKJK don’t persecute people because of their beliefs, respecting their opinions doesn’t mean you’re forced to agree with them.

What’s JKJK, OmnipotentFNarr?

Does it mean it’s a “joke”?

JK = Just Kidding.

I thought putting it twice would reinforce the unseriousness of the statement.

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So, I was researching some more eco-friendly alternatives to Uranium, and it narrowed down to Plutonium. However, from my limited atomic knowledge, the most I could grasp is that it would be too unstable or dangerous to just use Plutonium, because the power would be generated too fast or something, but that a mix between both that and Uranium can work. It’s a shame, because its half-life is only a couple of decades, compared to Uranium 238’s half-life of 4.5 billion years.

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Note that we are turning uranium into krypton and barium. We also recycle uranium left over from used fuel rods and use it in the creation of new fuel rods.

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Does that mean that the less half-life an element has, the more unstable it is? From what I recall, ununpentium (element 115) has an half-life of less than a second, and it is very unstable.

Yes that is how it works. The half-life is the time it takes for half of the atoms inside a material to decay, and the shorter it is, the more the atoms decay per second, so the more energy is released per second.

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But does it give more power in the end?

That depends on the atom, while usually the atoms which give the most energy per atom often have the shortest half life, they are not directly correlated.

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So “Elerium-115” wouldn’t necessarily produce more energy than uranium?

Note: By “Elerium-115”, I mean “Ununpentium.”