The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Countries ought to prohibit the production of nuclear power

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 978 times Debate No: 98320
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Terms defined by Oxford Dictionary

"Ought: Used to indicate duty or correctness

"Prohibit: Formally forbid (something) by law, rule, or other authority

"Nuclear Power: Electric or motive power generated by a nuclear reactor
Contention One: Nuclear Energy is the most efficient energy source on the planet
An independent research company, Nuclear Matters, found that over the last fifty years nuclear power has proven to be most efficient of all energy sources, from both the human health and environmental perspectives. In total, to produce a trillion kWh of electricity, nuclear takes less land, uses less steel and concrete, has less emissions, kills fewer people, and has lower life-cycle costs than any other energy source. America has 62 nuclear power plants with 99 operating reactors comprising over 100 thousand MW of installed capacity that produces 800 billion kWhs of electricity each year " about a fifth of America"s power and 75 percent of France"s power. The Nuclear Energy Institute found in July of 2016 that Nuclear power plants generate electricity 24/7 at a 92 percent capacity factor. This is more efficient than other types of energy such as combined-cycle natural gas, with a 56 percent capacity factor; coal-fired at 55 percent; and wind at 33 percent.

Contention Two: Nuclear Energy is good for the economy

The National Academy of Sciences says nuclear can produce electricity at or below the cost of wind, solar or coal with carbon capture. Renewable sources seem cheap only because they are subsidized with billions in government money and because they have not yet been built to scale. At current rates, taxpayers would have to shell out $170 billion to subsidize the 186,000 wind turbines necessary to equal the output of 100 reactors. Much has been made of "green jobs" created by renewable energy, yet, according to an American University study, 80 percent of the $2 billion in renewable subsidies from the "stimulus" package went to overseas manufacturers. More red, white and blue jobs will be created by low-cost, reliable nuclear power than by high-cost, intermittent power from renewables. Low-cost, reliable and clean nuclear power is essential to build a stronger economy, create jobs, and increase our nation"s competitiveness.

Contention Three: Nuclear Energy pollutes less than Fossil fuels
Nuclear power also has a lot fewer greenhouse emissions. It has been determined that the amount of greenhouse gases have decreased by almost half because of the prevalence in the utilization of nuclear power. Nuclear energy has the least effect on nature since it doesn"t discharge any gasses like methane and carbon dioxide, which are the primary "greenhouse gasses." There isn"t unfavorable impact on water, land or any territories because of the utilization of nuclear power, except in times where transportation is utilized. Columbia University found in a 2013 study that, "despite the three major nuclear accidents the world has experienced " at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima " nuclear power prevented an average of over 1.8 million net deaths worldwide between 1971-2009. This amounts to at least hundreds and more likely thousands of times more deaths than it caused. An average of 76,000 deaths per year were avoided between 2000-2009. Likewise, we calculate that nuclear power prevented an average of 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent net GHG emissions globally between 1971-2009. This is about 15 times more emissions than it caused. It is equivalent to the past 35 years or 17 years of CO2 emissions from coal burning in the US or China, respectively. In effect, nuclear energy production has prevented the building of hundreds of large coal-fired power plants." There have been over 5,000 reported deaths due to Nuclear Power and from 2005 to 2007 Coal killed an estimated 192,840 people. As I stated in my Value Criterion, the goal is to save and protect lives because life is a means to happiness and the happiness of others as loved ones feel pain when those they love die. Nuclear Power is deadly and kills many people, which decreases happiness and detracts from the welfare of society. There have been ZERO reported deaths from Biomass, Solar, Wind, Hydroelectric power which maximize the quality of life and positively contribute to the welfare of society.


My opponent didn't lay down any argument rules, so I hope it doesn't bother anyone if I start off with some rebuttals.

My opponent argues that an "independent" research company, Nuclear Matters, has found nuclear energy to be the most efficient energy source. I'd like to call into question the "independence" of said company, and point out that even the name is a red flag. I have taken a look at thier website, and I really think it's more of a special interest group. Beyond that, their claim that nuclear is most efficient, I feel is not only a stretch, but is outright false. Energy points(EP) an energy analysis company that studies all energy sources, and takes into consideration the cost of the fuel, the cost to produce it, and the cost of the environmental litigation. EP, consider the nuclear efficiency turnover rate 7th on a list of 9. It was behind coal, natural gas, and wind as far as true efficiency goes. When you consider cost per megawatt hour, nuclear fails to be the most cost-effective as well, ranking below wind, coal, hydro, natural gas and others. If we consider the cost of making, producing, and the energy needed for conversion into electricity (yes, it takes energy to convert nuclear energy into electricity), nuclear is almost at the bottom of the efficiency list!!!

My opponent argues that nuclear energy is good for the economy, and claims, renewables seem cheap because they're subsidized with government money because they have not been built to scale. I don't dispute that claim, but I would like to point out that the nuclear industry is swimming in government subsidies as well, and IS built to scale. Physicians for Social Responsibility(PSR)points out that subsidies, loan guarantees, and extended liability insurance result in taxpayers being responsible for 60 to 90% of the levelized cost of power from a reactor, which can be up to 13 billion for a single reactor. Givin that line of thought, if there are 99 working reactors in America (I got that number from my opponent, I don't know if it's true) at so many billions in cost for each reactor, and taxpayers covering 60 to 90% of each reactors levelized cost, how good can it truly be for the economy? Government subsidies in renewables are an investment in a new, promising technology, who's costs are continuously falling and the debt to the taxpayers can be paid back in the savings on energy costs. Government subsidies in nuclear energy, boils down to a BAILOUT, to keep failing companies out of bankruptcy, and for environmental litigation, and health costs. That's not economically sound!!!!

My opponent argues nuclear power pollutes less than fossil fuels. I disagree. If we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we would see global temperatures begin to normalize within a decade, both in the air and in the sea. If we stop using nuclear energy today, we will still be dealing with its highly radioactive byproduct for hundreds of thousands of years to come. These spent fuel rods need to be buried behind steel walls (usually in abandoned mines), they have to be monitored for leakage, and guarded because of its appeal to terrorists. The mining and processing of the uranium needed for nuclear energy isn't very pretty either. Just like coal mining, uranium mining requires huge amounts of water, which can and has polluted local water supplies and river systems. The waste rock left over from the mining is radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years and needs special treatment like the spent fuel rods. Furthermore, nuclear reactors emit thermal energy, which has a powerful greenhouse effect. That's not my idea of environmentally friendly. In my opinion, along with many in the scientific community(not to say I'm a scientist, cause I'm not), nuclear energy is the MOST harmful to the environment out of all the energy sources. The nuclear industry has no plan on how to deal with the pollutants, choosing only to continually kick the problem down the road for future generations to deal with, hoping someday, someone will figure out what to do with it.

Waste Annihilating Molten Salt Reactors(WAMSRs). Promise of a new age, or threat from the nuclear industry?

WAMSRs, are supposed to be the next-generation reactors. They do yield far less radioactive waste(still have the disruptive mining and enriching process), and I don't dispute that they are far more safe, and "virtually" meltdown proof. They have the ability to use up 90% of the spent radioactive waste made from older reactors, but when you run a fine tooth comb through all the "promise" of this new technology, I think you'll find a few gnats. First off, it sounds more like a threat by the nuclear industry, as if to say, we must use this new technology, OR ELSE!!! Or else, we can't clean up the radioactive mess we made with the old reactors. I have questions about the effectiveness of WAMSRs to clean up the nuclear waste. True, it can use up 90% of the spent fuel rods, but think of the massive steel cages that the waste was stored in, do they go away? What happens to all that steel, or all the water needed for additional cooling for fire prevention, or even all the radioactive air inside those cages, does that go away? No matter how much, or how little radioactive waste is inside those cages, the cages will remain, for the same hundreds of thousands of years the spent fuel rods need to remain. The true damage has already been done by the nuclear industry, and in my opinion their "fix" for that problem is too little too late.

I'd like to thank my opponent for letting make my case in a topic I find fascinating. I'm actually undecided about how I feel about nuclear energy. I look forward to a thought provoking debate. I wish my opponent good luck!!!!
Debate Round No. 1


I apologize for not posting the format earlier but the format for the remainder of the debate is as follows.
Pro R3 Post Argument, sum up why you won
Con R3 Rebuttals, sum up why you won
"Nuclear matters is a special interest group"
This claim is simply not true and the feeble argument posted by my opponent has no substance to why it is true. Even if which is a big if, Nuclear Matters wasn't a reliable source, you can't deny the fact that Nuclear power gives us a huge amount of our power and we couldn't afford to lose the efficiency. My study which was done in June of 2016 stating Nuclear Power is efficient trumps my opponents study which was not as recent.
My opponent makes a futile claim that the Nuclear Industry is bad for the economy however they are unable to prove that all of the jobs Nuclear Power is creating are somehow bad.
"Nuclear Energy is worse than Fossil Fuels"
My opponent makes this claim yet I have evidence as recent as 2013 from a top notch University that proves contrary while my opponent has NO evidence proving this claim and no Statistics.
"MSR's sound like a threat"
I challenge my opponent to find a statement about MSRs by a Nuclear or Government Official that sounds threatening. Just because some may feel threatened doesn't mean it is actually a threat. This argument also has no sources or Statistics to back it up so therefore we don't know if it is really true. This rebuttal lacks substance and a true link to nuclear power.


My opponent seems more concerned about the format of my argument, as apposed to the substance of my argument. I wont find anybody stating that MSRs are a threat, because I wasn't quoting anybody, I was just putting forth a viable question about the effectiveness of MSRs to fix the problem of the left over waste made by the nuclear industry.My post may be lackng any links,(because, I don't know how to post a link) but my argument does take into consideration the dangerous radioactive waste the nuclear industry must atone for. Link, or no link, my opponent can't deny that nuclear energy makes radioactive waste. My opponent fails to address the fact that, getting uranium means having to rely on a similiar minning process that coal needs to rely on. I won't let my opponent link nuclear energy with renewables, or try to seperate the nuclear industry, from fossil fuels. My opponent seems unwilling to address anything in my argument, accept how the argument was presented. I implore my opponent to look at the Physsicians for Social Responibility website. I challenge my opponent to address the "futile claim" that the nuclear industry relies on goverment subsidies, instead of simply brushing the argument aside, because I didn't post any links. As far as I'm concerned, the "futile" claims I made still stand. It is my opponents responsibility to DISPROVE these "futile" claims!

I would like to take this time to address the possibility of nuclear terrorism. Dirty bombs, purposeful meltdowns, jet liner attacks, cyber seizure of a nuclear reactor. The threat of terrorism is not exclusive to the nuclear industry, but the terror threat is certainly magnified when it comes to the nuclear industry, because of the magnified danger it could possibly pose to a large number of people. A jetliner attack on a nulclear plant is an undeniable concern. If a terrorist were to get a hold of radioactive waste, they could make a dirty bomb. Terrorists could concievably take control of a nuclear plant, and purpously cause a meltdown. The possible devestation caused terrorism is on a far higher scale when it comes to nuclear power, as opposed to any other energy source, because of how effective radiation can be at devestation. Of course, terrorism is concerning on any level of our infrastructure, but the thought of NUCLEAR terrorism, is of a higher eschalan of terror.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Smooosh 1 year ago
If you would like, we can restart. If you forfeit the rest, so will I. If you want to challenge me with this argument again, I will accept.
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