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Nuclear is best, but it gives me the creeps

Prior to university (in the 70s) I was generally in favour of nuclear power because I thought it was clean, efficient and relatively safe. A school visit to the experimental reactor at Winfrith, and a sight of Cherencov radiation did nothing to change my mind. However, working with radio isotopes at UMIST made me see things from a different perspective. I saw the precautions that were taken in handling and transporting even the smallest quantities or lowest level radiation sources. I became opposed to nuclear power stations mainly because I really found it hard to be believe that we were capable of maintaining that level of vigilance over the lifetime of both the power station and the storage of its waste.

About 20 years ago I changed my mind. I'd been wondering about our post oil future, and where the energy we were going to need to maintain an ever growing world population was going to come from. I came to the reluctant conclusion that nuclear was the only option. It may not be clean or safe, but I still don't see any alternative.

In 50 years time we may have fusion, we may also have PVAs with efficiencies that mean we won't have to carpet half the earth with them, and there will also be batteries to store what they generate. Who knows, perhaps it'll be possible to incorporate them into every roof, road and pavement at low cost. But here, now, I just don't see we have any alternative to nuclear.

But I still don't like it. It's an accident waiting to happen, and when it does, the consequences will be dire and long-lasting.

Some years ago I worked on a system used for searching air accident reports. I happened to read about one incident in which a plane had suffered a fuel leak/engine failure. There were no fatalities, and the plane made a safe landing on its remaining engine. It turned out that a part with a non-return valve had been fitted the wrong way round. The engine manufacturers were aware of the potential for this, and had deliberately made the part in such a way that it could only be fitted one way. The person who fitted the replacement had put it in a vice and bent it out of shape so that it could be fitted incorrectly...

Steve Crook


Is there any particular reason that comments aren't allowed on this article? Perhaps your title is disingenuous? Maybe someone would bring up the ever increasing piles of nuclear waste with nowhere to go? Unless, of course, you count the depleted uranium munitions being used against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to bombing ranges in your and my country. Why would you put out such a one-sided article? You obviously knew the reaction was not going to be positive from tree-huggers or the comment section would be enabled.

Thanks for making me aware, the Reg is as untrustworthy a news source as any other mainstream news outlet. I look forward to your next biased article. I hope you don't have children, what a world you are preparing for them.

PCMcGee

So if our views don't align with yours, we're untrustworthy.

I can see the logic. ®

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