Drill Baby Drill!!!

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There will never be another Chernobyl. Chernobyl had an unsafe design which is not employed by any other operative nuclear reactor in the world.

The threat of meltdown would always be a possibility, just reasonably easily mitigated with decent safety systems, but still always possible.

For a risk vs reward scenario I'm not sure the reward outweighs the risk..

I understand the technology has improved but nuclear just scares the bejebus out of me.

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The threat of meltdown would always be a possibility, just reasonably easily mitigated with decent safety systems, but still always possible.

For a risk vs reward scenario I'm not sure the reward outweighs the risk..

I understand the technology has improved but nuclear just scares the bejebus out of me.

Sure, technology is scary. But nothing about nuclear power is scary disproportionate to the gain. How many people died every year because of lack of refrigeration for food, or the various other improvements of modern life? Unless you can get us off the oil teat with an actual working solution, you're really just advocating the abandonment of modern life.

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I understand the technology has improved but nuclear just scares the bejebus out of me.

And that's the problem. No one minds coal plants spewing tons of toxic substances. But god forbid an actual accident be responsible for the emission. If it were standard order of business it would be OK. Nuclear's big mistake was that they try to safely contain and dispose of the waste rather than just grinding it up and tossing it into the atmosphere or the ocean.

Same for the words "nuclear" and "radioactive", and long half-life. God forbid something have a half-life of millions of years, but if the half-life is much longer than that then it's perfectly safe. God forbid things be "radioactive" as if the food they eat isn't radioactive (and has been for all of known history). Nevermind that the only problem of radioactive stuff is that they can be carcinogenic but of course non-radioactive stuff can be even more carcinogenic (and also toxic besides).

So yes, nuclear = scary. Coal = dangerous & dirty, but it is consistently so, so there's nothing to be afraid of. Same as how some people are afraid of flying because of the news coverage, despite it being so much safer than driving.

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So yes, nuclear = scary. Coal = dangerous & dirty, but it is consistently so, so there's nothing to be afraid of. Same as how some people are afraid of flying because of the news coverage, despite it being so much safer than driving.

That's an incredibly solid point you just made there, Mr Skeptic. Well done, man.

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So yes, nuclear = scary. Coal = dangerous & dirty, but it is consistently so, so there's nothing to be afraid of. Same as how some people are afraid of flying because of the news coverage, despite it being so much safer than driving.

I'm certainly not disputing this, coal and oil power plants are also unsustainable and just plain stupid.

It may be true that there is no real option other than nuclear, but I would hope that we switch to it, and then make headway towards cleaner/safer/better power production rather than another 100 years of reliance on something thats also not sustainable in the long term.

I wish I knew the answer to this problem, I would certainly be a gazillionaire if I did.

Surely there is a way to harness the power of the earth, low head turbines in rivers & oceans, solar, wind...there simply has to be a better way!

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I have to say I'm kinda curious why you feel that coal/oil are unsustainable, but global warming has not been sufficiently proven. Doesn't the evidence for both suppositions more or less reach the same level of incomplete detail?

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Well primarily, coal/oil are exhaustable, although theres plenty of speculation and BS about how long these stores are around for, so who knows how long we actually have on that, 100's of years maybe at current consumption levels?

Secondly, pollution is a factor, there's only so long we can put mercury into the system, that plus other pollution that it causes, lets assume population growth globally (conservatively) at 1% per year.... in 100 years thats alot of power needs to be met with an exhaustable resource.

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The threat of meltdown would always be a possibility, just reasonably easily mitigated with decent safety systems, but still always possible.

Meltdown in the style of Chernobyl can no longer happen. Modern nuclear reactors are designed so a coolant failure stops the nuclear reaction, as opposed to Chernobyl, where it caused the reactor to go critical.

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the only way a meltdown can happen in a modern(and even quite a number of old nuclear reactors) is if somebody shuts down the reactor, rearranges the core, control rod system and a bunvch of other vital components in a process that will take years and millions in cash and then cranks up the power while disabling all of the remaining safety systems.

this, i'm sure you'll agree, is an unlikely scenario and it will not go unnoticed if someone decides to try it.

but lets say that someone does manage it for some reason and our lovely little reactor core is turning into a puddle. what would happen?

well, due to the fact that engineers are not morons of the highest calibre, they designed a containment structure that is capable of containing just such an occurance. all that will happen is that the molten reactor will hit the floor and spread out until such a time as its geometry makes the chain reaction stop. what you will be left with is a thin disc of highly radioactive material that is safely contained until such a time as it can be disposed of properly.

coal on the other had pumps all that crap out into the environment as normal operating conditions.

coal is crap from many many standpoints. the only good point i can think of is that it's easy to burn.

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Coal is cheap and widely distributed. Power plants can be built quickly and cheaply. Plenty of advantages.

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Meltdown in the style of Chernobyl can no longer happen. Modern nuclear reactors are designed so a coolant failure stops the nuclear reaction, as opposed to Chernobyl, where it caused the reactor to go critical.

I did not know that....

Well if that is true, and people could somehow be convinced of it, I think the likely hood of nuclear power being accepted would be greatly increased.

Sorry to detract from the OP, the path just kind of lead this way...

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I thought it might be interesting to revive this thread in light of more recent developments. For one thing it looks like my speculation that the spill might never cause much damage has proven false -- it looks like a pretty terrible event for a wide range of areas.

I guess ANWR's looking a lot better these days. Ironically, a power outage on the Alaskan Pipeline cause a spill of several thousand gallons there today. But I think that's an interesting point -- several thousand gallons is nothing compared with the near-7-million gallons that probably in the Gulf already due to this ongoing situation.

The conservative side of politics seems to have launched a new initiative, with Sarah Palin leading the way late last week with an attack on President Obama's big oil contributors that seemed to me to be one of the more audaciously hypocritical moments in recent politics.

But setting her audacity aside, I think there's some real blowback here for the administration in several areas:

- Timeliness of response

- Level of response

- Type of response (technology)

In addition, the administration's threats to push BP out of the way kinda beg the question "and replace them with whom?"

What do you all think?

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I thought it might be interesting to revive this thread in light of more recent developments. For one thing it looks like my speculation that the spill might never cause much damage has proven false -- it looks like a pretty terrible event for a wide range of areas.

The conservative side of politics seems to have launched a new initiative, with Sarah Palin leading the way late last week with an attack on President Obama's big oil contributors that seemed to me to be one of the more audaciously hypocritical moments in recent politics.

But setting her audacity aside, I think there's some real blowback here for the administration in several areas:

- Timeliness of response

- Level of response

- Type of response (technology)

In addition, the administration's threats to push BP out of the way kinda beg the question "and replace them with whom?"

What do you all think?

I don't see what the government can hope to do that the oil company wouldn't already be trying to do.

The main thing that concerns me, is that it appears that the initial response was based around salvaging the pipeline, and as much oil as possible without focusing on just shutting it off. I think the time has been and gone weeks ago for this approach, and now the focus needs to be on how do we shut the darn thing off!!??

I see the danger of just dumping explosives down there, it has the potential to actually make the flow faster. What is the projected amount of fluid contained in this well? Surely it's not bottomless? This has to be one of the worst disasters of all time, given that the oceans all connect this toxic gunk has potential to travel very far afield from it's origin.

In a sense we are all to blame, our oil addiction caused it...

I think For Sarah Palin to say those comments is pretty stupid as it's not even slightly possible to pin blame for any of it on Obama. This disaster is simply unprecedented...The damage will be decades in the unravelling.

Very very sad and horrible to see this has not been shut down yet!

Also regarding type of response, I saw a documentary the other night on a guy developing remote controlled submarines designed for harsh climates to explore one of the ice moons near jupiter. Surely NASA has something in development - this would be a perfect time to test it out!

Edited by Double K
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Well, I do have one serious question about the BP response, and it does lead directly to the difference between a Government response and a business response.

It seems to me that the "Kill Shot" being attempted today, as reported, has the best shot at closing the pipe of all the efforts tried so far. Why is it being tried a month later rather than week later? Early on BP appeared to be still hoping to salvage this well. but packing it with concrete pretty much kills that hope.

Had the government been the one making the decision I have to think they would have gone for the "Kill Shot" first rather than throw a bunch of experimental fixes at it.

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The government trying to take this thing over too early would have almost certainly resulted in supreme backlash from the people who are mad as hell about size of government. The same people who are pissed off about the bank and auto bailouts would have been burning signs of Obama as Hitler and Stalin in effigy had the government stepped in too soon here with the oil spill. I can hear it now, "Now Obama is taking over the oil business, too!1!! Don't you people realize he's a socialist nazi communist illegal immigrant who hates america?!?"

In short, I can understand a reluctance to jump in too soon.

Further, in my mind, it's one of those situations where they're damned if they do, damned if they don't. Who knew this thing would still be gushing after a full month? When I first heard the story, I thought for sure they'd close it off within the week. If officials had a similar impression, it's no wonder they chose to avoid feeding the frenzy of anti-big government nuts out there and decided to let BP handle it per their express responsibility to do so.

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I'd like to think if the government had any idea how to fix it, they would have done so. It seems to be a pretty hard problem, that MacGyver can't fix in 30 minutes. If the government had stepped in and been successful, there would have been much more complaints about getting it done sooner, oversight, etc. People want big government when there are serious problems. I'm wondering who Pat Robertson blames for this?

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Interesting posts, thanks for the replies.

The government trying to take this thing over too early would have almost certainly resulted in supreme backlash from the people who are mad as hell about size of government. The same people who are pissed off about the bank and auto bailouts would have been burning signs of Obama as Hitler and Stalin in effigy had the government stepped in too soon here with the oil spill. I can hear it now, "Now Obama is taking over the oil business, too!1!! Don't you people realize he's a socialist nazi communist illegal immigrant who hates america?!?"

Nice catch, I missed this completely -- I'm sure you're quite right.

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The government trying to take this thing over too early would have almost certainly resulted in supreme backlash from the people who are mad as hell about size of government. The same people who are pissed off about the bank and auto bailouts would have been burning signs of Obama as Hitler and Stalin in effigy had the government stepped in too soon here with the oil spill. I can hear it now, "Now Obama is taking over the oil business, too!1!! Don't you people realize he's a socialist nazi communist illegal immigrant who hates america?!?

So they didn't jump in too soon because they were afraid of their feelings being hurt?

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It never stopped the administration before, I don't see how this possible socialist perception would suddenly pause them now. I'm quite sure that iNow is right, there would most certainly be that kind of backlash - although it would pale in comparison to TARP, the takeover of GM and the Healthcare Bill. It's a disaster, not a variable speed financial crisis.

And if that's true, then I would challenge his leadership. To allow public perception to affect one to the point they fail to do their job is to follow, not to lead.

But I don't think any of that is true. I think Obama has taken a position: that BP ought to clean up their mess and hold them accountable for it. That may conflict with Obama's implied charge to come to the aid of the citizens affected by this spill, and the environmental cost, but that's the complex nature of things. I don't have any issues with how he's handling it, actually. And while I haven't been following this as much lately, I trust he's still holding firm that BP accept their responsibility.

And to BP's credit, what little I've read seems to suggest they're busting their ass to fix it. My objection still lies in the nature of offshore drilling - or as Pangloss critiqued, perhaps deep water drilling.

So far, this seems like a situation where people are doing what they're supposed to be doing, we're just unhappy with the results since it's more complicated than we'd like.

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It never stopped the administration before, I don't see how this possible socialist perception would suddenly pause them now [...] it would pale in comparison to TARP, the takeover of GM and the Healthcare Bill

Please don't collude TARP with the Obama administration. The bungling (and perhaps malicious aspects) of TARP rests squarely on the Bush Administration/Paulson's shoulders.

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Please don't collude TARP with the Obama administration. The bungling (and perhaps malicious aspects) of TARP rests squarely on the Bush Administration/Paulson's shoulders.

This is true. While Obama was involved, it was inherited I think 2 years after inception and clearly doesn't fit with my point at all. I'll happily take that back.

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Is it really that valid to assume it would have been handled much better under Obama, though? He fully supported TARP and would likely have gone even farther with it.

Reality: The national debt has risen forty percent since Obama took office, and is approaching 80% of GDP. Most of that may rest on previous administrations, but if Obama doesn't address it he's going to end up being responsible for it, and may not get a second term. He's got to do a heck of a lot better than $17 billion in discretionary cuts (meaningless in light of many times that in unbudgeted "emergency" requests) and an equally meaningless "plan" to balance the budget a dozen years after he leaves office. It's time to touch some "third rails". Link to comment Share on other sites So they didn't jump in too soon because they were afraid of their feelings being hurt? No, they didn't jump on it too soon because all indicators suggested that BP was more than prepared to handle it. The other stuff was just very likely to be a factor when making their decision, that's all. Link to comment Share on other sites Reality: The national debt has risen forty percent since Obama took office Well, oddly enough, I just posted a thread on the national debt surpassing$13 trillion.

Not sure where you're getting your 40% figure from. It's way off. The debt was $10.7 trillion when Bush left office and has increased$2.3 trillion under Obama, meaning the debt has increased approximately 21% under Obama.

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Well, oddly enough, I just posted a thread on the national debt surpassing $13 trillion. Not sure where you're getting your 40% figure from. It's way off. The debt was$10.7 trillion when Bush left office and has increased \$2.3 trillion under Obama, meaning the debt has increased approximately 21% under Obama.

Well I think expecting any American president to get this figure DOWN is a longshot. Anyone who isn't American can see that this debt isn't serviceable.

Half of that 21% would be interest alone

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