The Instigator
Colebster
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
ScarletGhost4396
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Australia Should Go Nuclear

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
ScarletGhost4396
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,862 times Debate No: 20906
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (6)

 

Colebster

Pro

Throughout the world, we need every energy source we can get - including nuclear. Nuclear has a number of advantages that warrant its use as one of the many methods of supplying an energy-demanding world. Even with conservation efforts, energy demand has been and will continue to increase. Other factors can accelerate that increase, for example the proposed shift to electric cars to meet environmental air quality goals. In using each and every one of these forms of energy production, we need to make sure we conserve as much as we can so we leave sources for future generations. Energy suppliers need to ensure that they do not contribute to short and long-term environmental problems. Governments need to ensure energy is generated safely to that neither people nor the environment are harmed.
ScarletGhost4396

Con

I'd like for everyone to pay close attention to what my opponent states here: "Energy suppliers need to ensure that they do not contribute to short and long-term environmental problems. Governments need to ensure energy is generated safely to that neither people nor the environment are harmed." I completely agree with my opponent in this regard, and when it comes to the context of nuclear energy, it is for this very reason that I must oppose Australia or any country for that matter utilizing nuclear energy. On the surface, nuclear energy seems like a powerful alternative to many mainstream sources of energy (particularly fossil fuels considering their pollution of the environment). However, when looking at the acquisition of resources in order to feed nuclear power plants, this is when the environmental damage seeps in: the mining for uranium in order to acquire resources to power these plants. The mining of uranium (a radioactive metal) has caused numerous instances of cancer and other health complications due to the exposure of radioactivity in communities. The actual process of the mining also destroys the surrounding environment, which is not environmentally friendly either. The disposal of nuclear waste is also a problem, where the amount of places where the uranium can be stored in order to prevent the afflictions of the community are limited and any "good" solutions are only temporary. This is not even to mention the environmental damage that would result in the destruction of a nuclear facility through meltdown or natural disaster, as shown by the instances of Fukishima in Japan after the tsunami or Chernobyl during the 1980s (where radiation from the nuclear plant still remains today and has caused radiation poisoning among many visitors).
Debate Round No. 1
Colebster

Pro

Nuclear power is safe and even though there have been two accidents in Fukushima and Chernobyl, these are but sporadic incidents when compared to the rate of accidents which occur in fossil fuel industries, coal mines and gas pipelines, which have a history of eruption. The precautions taken to prevent a meltdown are very effective. Nuclear power is one the safest methods of producing energy. Each year, 10,000 to 50,000 Americans die from respiratory diseases due to the burning of coal, and 300 are killed in mining and transportation accidents. In contrast, no Americans have died or been seriously injured because of a reactor accident or radiation exposure from American nuclear power plants. There are a number of safety mechanisms that make the chances of reactor accidents very low. A series of barriers separates the radiation and heat of the reactor core from the outside. The reactor core is contained within a 9-inch thick steel pressure vessel. The pressure vessel is surrounded by a thick concrete wall. This is inside a sealed steel containment structure, which itself is inside a steel-reinforced concrete dome four feet thick. The dome is designed to withstand extremes such as earthquakes or a direct hit by a crashing airliner. There is also a large number of sensors that pick up increases in radiation or humidity. An increase in radiation or humidity could mean there is a leak. There are systems that control and stop the chain reaction if necessary. An Emergency Core Cooling System ensures that in the event of an accident there is enough cooling water to cool the reactor.
ScarletGhost4396

Con

No one is saying that fossil fuel industries or the safety thereof are any better an alternative to nuclear plants. What I am trying to prove here is that Australia nor any other country should be investing in nuclear power because of the serious danger that these facilities pose if they are to be destroyed by natural disaster or nuclear meltdown and the indirect dangers they would cause by the fact that uranium must be extracted from the ground and exposed to the public, which will lead to increases in cancer rates, sicknesses, and birth defects. My opponent made no sort of argument against the mining of uranium, so this can be extended across the flow entirely. He has also made no argument about the nuclear waste either, so extend this as well. When it comes down to the safety that nuclear plants put in order to prevent these meltdowns and leakings from occurring--sure, my opponent is correct in the idea that they place a lot of safety in these facilities. My question is, however, what would happen if even all of these precautions were to fail? We all know what happened in Chernobyl and Fukishima, where in Chernobyl, radiation is still existent throughout the region and causing illnesses even after about 30 years since the explosion, or Fukishima, where radiation has seeped into the ocean. The question that it really comes down to is whether or not the people of Australia should take the risk at all of having this occurrence happen to them and forever become the next Chernobyl.
Debate Round No. 2
Colebster

Pro

My opponent states that "Australia nor any other country should be investing in nuclear power because of the serious danger that these facilities pose if they are to be destroyed by natural disaster". I clearly stated earlier that the reactor can withstand a jet crash, let alone an earthquake. As for the safety implications for the public and environment, in the USA, Nuclear Power operators are charged 0.1 cents per KW-Hr for the disposal of Nuclear Waste. In Sweden this cost is 0.13 US cents per KW-Hr. These Countries have utilized these funds to pursue research into Geologic disposal of waste and both now have mature proposals for the task. In France the cost of waste disposal and decommissioning is estimated to be 10% of the construction cost.

Radiation protection is based on the understanding that small increases over natural levels of exposure are not likely to be harmful but should be kept to a minimum. To put this into practice the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP) has established recommended standards of protection (both for members of the public and radiation workers) based on three basic principles:

Justification. No practice involving exposure to radiation should be adopted unless it produces a net benefit to those exposed or to society generally.

Optimisation. Radiation doses and risks should be kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA), economic and social factors being taken into account.

Limitation. The exposure of individuals should be subject to dose or risk limits above which the radiation risk would be deemed unacceptable.

These principles apply to the potential for accidental exposures as well as predictable normal exposures.

Clearly, it is safe to have nuclear power, so long as it is maintained. Chernobyl was caused by neglect, but that is not how things operate in this day and age. We need this if we want to cleanse our planet!
ScarletGhost4396

Con

Since this is the final round of the debate, this is the place where I will provide my sources. Considering that my opponent has provided no real sources, the evidence point in this debate should obviously go to the CON. Now, we move on to the final rebuttal in this debate:
The only thing that my opponent has done in order to respond to my arguments about the environment and the public with regard to exposure of uranium radiation, the only thing that my opponent does is provides the iteration of the safety regulations for the disposal of nuclear waste rather than how effective the regulations are, which is what I was explaining throughout the course of my point about nuclear waste. My opponent in no way responds to that point, and at this level, it's clear that this point remains extended along with the point about mining for uranium, which also has remained unargued. Therefore, it is clear that not only that these points are still strong but I have effectively shown already that there are more disadvantages to nuclear energy than advantages, meaning that I am already winning on the argumentation aspect of this debate.
My opponent basically capitalizes on the idea that nuclear reactors are created to be super-strong and whatnot. I don't disagree with that at all. The question that my opponent does not respond to in any way is about the effects that would come if somehow this event would occur. My opponent, for one thing, doesn't really defend the idea that nuclear power plants are completely safe when comparing to Chernobyl and Fukishima because does not explain why these events are just sporadic and a result of mistreatment. My opponent states that nuclear power plants have domes that can resist earthquakes, but it was an earthquake that cracked the Fukishima power plant and caused the radiation to leak out. My opponent basically describes power plants as safe when we have seen the negative effects of a total nuclear meltdown from Chernobyl, causing hundreds of deaths due to the radiation. It's clear that accidents can still occur, and when they do, they are disastrous at the very least.

Reasons for voting CON:
This debate comes down to three things:
-The safety of nuclear power plants
-The disposal of nuclear waste
-The mining of uranium in order to power nuclear plants.
The CON is actuality addresses the fact that nuclear power plants can cause catastrophic damage if a meltdown or natural disasters were to occur while my opponent only goes on about how it's really safe and whatnot, and the CON also takes the argument about the disposal of nuclear waste considering that my opponent only emphasizes on the regulations in place rather than the effectiveness thereof. My opponent in no way addresses the mining of uranium, meaning that the CON also takes this point.

Resources:
Mudd, Gavin M. "Uranium Mining: Australia and Globally." Energyscience, Nov. 2006. Web. <http://www.energyscience.org.au...;.

"Environmental Aspects of Uranium Mining: WNA." World Nuclear Association. Feb. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. http://world-nuclear.org....

"Radioactive Waste: What Health Effects or Risks?" 53 (2005). Web. <http://www.cea.fr...;.

"Uranium Mining Case Studies." EARTHWORKS. Earthworks. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. <http://www.earthworksaction.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ScarletGhost4396 5 years ago
ScarletGhost4396
Oh yes, it's a very sexy font: Georgia
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
Con, which font did you use? It's delicious.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 5 years ago
lannan13
ColebsterScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had sources and that's good enough for me... How can you have evidense and not post sources...
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
ColebsterScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: This should have been a very easy win for Pro, however; he lazily decided not to do any research and collect source information.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
ColebsterScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: She had sources and better args / refutations. But if you research pros arguments are correct.
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 5 years ago
Rockylightning
ColebsterScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con provided more substantial arguments against.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
ColebsterScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had BOP. Pro showed the environment needed protection and Australia needed energy (which isn't necessarily a justification for nuclear power). Con showed that the environment is not necessarily better off with nuclear power. Neg win. Both debaters should use sources throughout the debate (not just right at the end) and perhaps broaden the scope of some of your arguments. Good to see more people from the southern hemisphere on here.
Vote Placed by kyro90 5 years ago
kyro90
ColebsterScarletGhost4396Tied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall, really good but I gave Con Arguments because he had some interesting points.