Nuclear > Wind
Resolution: "Looking to the future, we should fund Nuclear energy rather than Wind energy"
I will be arguing for the resolution, my opponent will be arguing against.
Rules of the debate
1. No abuse of semantics.
2. No resorts to insults or personal attacks.
4. Breaking any of the rules constitutes a forfeit and the voters are then not justified in giving that person any points.
Structure of this debate
Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Arguments
Round 3+4 - Rebuttals
**Carbon Dioxide emissions**
i) Direct emissions
A report by Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University shows that the difference in carbon dioxide emissions between Nuclear energy and wind energy is "either insignificant or none" .
A report from parliament gives a similar conclusion, stating that wind energy saves "little or no CO2" .
ii) Carbon footprint
Wind Turbines, on a per megawatt basis, use 5-7 times the amount of steel and concrete that nuclear power plants do .
i) Gross jobs created
Statistics from the Nuclear Energy Institute [NEI] show that nuclear, on a per megawatt basis, creates 10x the amount of direct jobs that wind energy does .
ii) Impact on jobs indirectly
A study by consultants Verso Economics has shown that currently, the 'green' sector, of which wind creates a plurality in Britain , destroys 3.7 jobs for every job it creates .
Whereas in the case of nuclear energy, the NEI has proved that for every 100 jobs in the United States created by nuclear energy, an additional 66 jobs are created, and another 726 jobs throughout America .
**Unreliability of Wind**
The unreliability of wind energy was highlighted in figures from December 21st 2010, where wind turbines created only 0.04% of all energy created that day , despite the fact that wind made up approximately half  of all non-Hydroelectric renewables in Britain that year, and that category created 6% of Britain's energy that year .
Calculations show that wind turbines, on a per terawatt basis, cause 3.75x the amount of deaths that nuclear power plants do .
**Creating a sustainable economy**
In late April of 2014, Germany's economics minister and Vice Chancellor to Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel, said that Germany's 'transformation' into renewable energy is "on the verge of disaster" .
**Effect on Human health**
Experts warn that wind turbines can cause psychological stress , and in the worst instances, could make you deaf . These statistics are particularly worrying when you consider the fact that the American Nuclear Society [ANS] have estimated that it would take 2,077 wind turbines to create the same amount of energy as one nuclear power plant .
Problems caused by Wind Turbines' noise affecting health are often referred to as Wind Turbine Syndrome [WTS], which is confirmed by research from Canada .
**Wind Turbines' susceptibility to the weather**
When the wind is too strong, wind turbines have to be manually turned off in case they combust. Over the past three years in Britain, wind farms have been paid 70 million pounds of Tax payers' money to turn off their turbines .
In July of this year, it was found that cases of wind turbines catching on fire are ten times as common as previously thought . Considering the facts that a Wind Turbine has a life-span of 20 years , reports from UCL & the University of Edinburgh showing there being 117 fires globally per annum & 200,000 turbines worldwide , approximately one in every 85.4 wind turbines will combust at some point in its lifetime.
Number of objects/(Number of incidents per year * How many years the object lives for)
George Taylor Ph.D. calculates that the costs of wind energy can be as much as double as what is advertised by the Energy Information Administration [EIA] due to hidden costs . Similar figures come form Chris Heaton-Harris MP, leader of the Together against Wind campaign, who estimates that when hidden costs and subsidies are included, wind costs at least twice as much as nuclear, with wind costing "100/MWHr, whilst nuclear and other fossil fuels cost "50/MWHr .
**The effects of Fuel poverty in Britain**
From 2012-3, there were 31,000 extra winter deaths in England & Wales , 30-50% of which can be attributed to fuel poverty. By funding costly energy sources that have a net negative impact on job growth, we are fueling these deaths.
 [The video] https://www.youtube.com...
Contention 1: The dangers of nuclear power.
A) Every dollar spent on nuclear is one less dollar spent on clean renewable energy and one more dollar spent on making the world a comparatively dirtier and a more dangerous place, because nuclear power and nuclear weapons go hand in hand, says"Mark Z. Jacobson, an American scientist (1). If we rely on nuclear power for energy, we are opening ourselves to the temptation of nuclear weapons.
B) There are now over 148,274 invalids on the Chernobyl registry in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. There is widespread agreement regarding a rise in thyroid cancer in those who were exposed to the radiation when they were very young. There are reported rises in other thyroid diseases, immune system disorders, and learning problems in children. There are extensive reports of high rates of heart and blood problems and lung and gastrointestinal disorders. However, the cause of these problems is not agreed among scientists and professionals. Some contribute these conditions to the stress of having been exposed to radiation and to the decline in medical care and income following the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Many of those exposed at the time of the accident have now reached adulthood and are having children. There are some indications that these children may be suffering from radiation effects on their parents (2). Nuclear power is very dangerous, as it involves radiation. Radiation has very dangerous health effects. As shown in the data above, many people are still having medical complications from Chernobyl's nuclear meltdown in 1986."
C)"If a meltdown were to occur, the accident could kill and injure tens of thousands of people, leaving large regions uninhabitable. And, more than 50 years after splitting the first atom, science has yet to devise a method for adequately handling long lived radioactive wastes (3). We have no way to completely control nuclear energy. The waste is to dangerous to be dealt with."
Contention 2: Nuclear power is not as environmentally friendly as wind.
A)"The front end of the cycle is not clean. Every gram of 20% uranium ore brings to the surface some 3000 becquerels of Radium-222. Radium also gives off radon which gives off alpha radiation--a hazard for mine/mill workers (4). The waste put off by nuclear power is extremely hazardous. There is only so much of it we can safely contain before an accident is bound to occur."
B) Moreover, nuclear reactors themselves give off tritium radioactive gas into the air--not so clean after all! (4). This radioactive gas goes into the atmosphere. There is no effective way to deal with it.
C)"Some 93% of the refrigerant chlorofluorcarbon produced in the USA is used in the enrichment of uranium fuel for nuclear power. These compounds are 10,000 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, and therefore are a potent destroyer of the ozone layer in the stratosphere (4). While nuclear power may not emit as much c02 as oil and natural gas, it instead emits a gas more potent than c02. Switching to nuclear power will not help to stop or decrease global warming but instead will increase it.
D)"Wind energy is a source of renewable energy. It does not contaminate, it is inexhaustible and reduces the use of fossil fuels, which are the origin of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. In addition, wind energy is a "native" energy, because it is available practically everywhere on the plant, which contributes to reducing energy imports and to creating wealth and local employment (5). Wind energy does not emit greenhouse gases or much less radioactive particles. It has no greenhouse effect associated with it, making it a much better option than nuclear when looking at the environment."
E)"Wind energy does not generate waste or contaminate water"an extremely important factor given the scarcity of water. Unlike fossil fuels and nuclear power plants, wind energy has one of the lowest water-consumption footprints, which makes it a key for conserving hydrological resources (5). Wind power has no water footprint either. While nuclear power takes water to work and in turn contaminates it with radioactive waste, wind power neither relays on, or contaminates water.
Contention 3: Wind energy is favored by the people.
A)"No fewer than two in three Americans want the U.S. to put more emphasis on producing domestic energy using solar power (76%), wind (71%), and natural gas (65%) (6). Americans want wind over nuclear power. America's survey results are a sample of what the world wants. If governments across the world drop wind energy in favor of nuclear, they are causing strife between them and their people.
B)"WASHINGTON, D.C.///March 22, 2011///While a drop in public support for nuclear power would be expected after an incident like the Fukushima reactor crisis, the nuclear disaster in Japan has triggered a much stronger response among Americans, a majority of whom would freeze new nuclear power construction, stop additional federal loan guarantees for reactors, shift away from nuclear power to wind and solar power, and eliminate the indemnification of the nuclear power industry from most post-disaster clean up costs (7). As if the survey wasn't enough, this will further show that people do not want nuclear power any more. They instead want wind energy, a better, safer, cleaner alternative.
Con quotes Mark Z. Jacobson on how nuclear weapons are linked to nuclear energy, however Mark Z. Jacobson is hardly an unbiased or respectable source, as it's been shown that his attempts to quantify the death toll of fukishima are junk science .
But to quote Margaret Thatcher, "A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us" .
Con talks about the danger of being tempted by nuclear weapons, but this was notably demonstrated to thaw the cold war, once the world's two greatest superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, saw how disastrous the concept of nuclear war really was .
Con cites the disaster at Chernobyl as a reason why nuclear power is dangerous, however this doesn't even remotely apply to modern nuclear power plants for the following reasons;
- Chernobyl was the product of a severely flawed Soviet-era reactor design, combined with human error
- Key differences in modern Western reactor design, regulation, and emergency preparedness makes it 'highly unlikely' that a Chernobyl-type incident could happen in the modern Western world
- One of the main reasons Chernobyl was so bad was because the government did not begin emergency evacuations until 36 hours after the event
- The government in Western nations, after a disaster such as this, would monitor and test any food/water that could be unsafe (see: the Three Mile Island incident in 1979) 
All modern Western nuclear power plants have extensive safety features to prevent large-scale accidents and radioactive releases. The Chernobyl reactor had none of these and was unstable at low power levels.
Even with the poor reactor design, the officials could have averted many radioactive exposures to the population with an effective emergency response.
But still it is a point of interest that the levels of radiation at Chernobyl are similar to the levels of radiation you'd be exposed to is the same as you're exposed to on a commercial jet .
Con also brings up the point of nuclear waste, however this problem is avoided with the use of Fast-breeder reactors, which would 'dramatically decrease' the amount of high-level waste [28, 29], Roger Helmer MEP writes.
Con raises concerns about the amount of radiation that is produced by nuclear power plants, despite the fact that nuclear power plants emit radiation at such a level that the average person living with 50 miles of one is exposed to the same amount of radiation as they are from their smoke alarm .
Con uses one source to argue against the tritium radioactive gas and chlorofluorcarbon that nuclear power plants produce, however this is extremely misleading, as the data the source bases its claims on is from 2001 data on a 1950s power plant . Besides previous evidence given of how big the problem of types of radiation produced from nuclear power plants really are, as it's pointed out, current strategies of using highly efficient gas centrifuge technology will use no CFCs and will therefore avoid these problems.
Con claims that nuclear is not renewable, but it actually is, using nuclear fusion, a process which uses hydrogen and means that we will be able to have an unlimited supply of (significantly cleaner) nuclear energy [28, 32]. He also, in the same paragraph, implies that wind is significantly better than nuclear because of their difference in greenhouse effect. However, as scientific evidence from Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University and Parliament shows [1, 2], the difference between wind and nuclear in Carbon Dioxide emissions is either insignificant or none.
But even if we didn't have this evidence, that wouldn't be a reason to use wind energy over nuclear energy, because as Google engineers in IEEE spectrum Ross Koningstein & David Fork pointed out after Google's rejection of renewable energy (3 years after cancelling their project RE
Con's final point to support his contention that nuclear is not as environmnetally friendly as wind is that nuclear energy "contaminates water", however this does not appear to be a problem in modern Nuclear technology, as even the incident at Fukishima posed 'No threat' to water .
Con's last contention is that wind energy is more supported by the public, and I concede that if you do a survey and ask people what sounds like a good idea, wind energy/renewables or fossil fuels/nuclear, they will opt for wind, but numerous incidents in the past have shown us that when people actually experience what it is like living close to a Wind Turbine, they often develop a strong opposition;
- Petition in Alabama, to stop Wind Turbines, started by a 6-year-old girl, receives over 1,000 signatures 
- Over 2,000 people march against Wind Turbine proposals in Ireland (2013) 
- Over 7,000 people march against Wind Turbines in Dublin, Ireland (2014) 
- Three families in Wisconsin leave their homes because their symptoms of WTS are so severe 
- WTS recorded in Denmark 
- Research in Canada confirms WTS 
My opponents evidence states there is little or no difference in co2 emissions between the two. I have no problem with that argument in itself. It's a great advantage for both side. However, I will direct your attention to contention 3, sub point C, which states that methane, ten times more powerful than co2 is emitted from nuclear power plants. More on methane by saying, Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities. (1) and"If methane is allowed to leak into the air before being used"from a leaky pipe, for instance"it absorbs the sun's heat, warming the atmosphere. For this reason, it's considered a greenhouse gas, like carbon dioxide. (2)
*concerning carbon footprints*
I do not find the amount of concrete it takes to build something to be an issue. Wind does not have as huge of an impact as my opponent makes it seem."
All forms of energy extraction and generation entail land use and habitat impacts, whether in terms of mineral extraction or emissions. Wind energy projects do not contaminate or pollute the land upon which they are built, or any adjacent waters. (3)
concerning job creation
Great. More jobs. However at this time I would like to point out that this argument is not unique to nuclear power. Any business anywhere will create jobs, including wind energy. Planning, building and operating a typical utility-scale wind farm creates 1,079 jobs over its lifetime (4). Developing, constructing and operating a windpark requires coordinating the efforts of many different teams and individuals. Each of the three stages involve different steps:
During the pre-development and development phase, jobs created include:
Environmental managers and consultants
Legal and permitting support
Administrative and office support.(8, used again below) I would also like to point out that his source, the nuclear energy institution, has the possibility to be biased. From their about us section 'our mission is to foster the beneficial use of nuclear technology.'(5) This source has a strong chance of bias, and therefore cannot be trusted."
Concerning the unreliability of wind.
In this argument my opponent uses a study and data that took place over a single day as his first source. If this is intended as an argument, more data that is gathered from several days is needed to provide a more accurate representation. We also must consider the information that is left out of these arguments, such as how many wind turbines are used in Britain, as a small number of turbines will result in a small amount of electricity.
Concerning the death wind causes"
This information is outdated. The opening sentence from the article used is"I wrote this back in 2008. (6). There are also very strict rules about wind turbines and plants as well. "Where danger could arise from pressurization, the plant will have vents."(7). I give you one sentence from a 43 page document on wind energy rules.
I will begin by saying that tge Germany argument applies to all renewable energies, not specifically wind. That being said this argument could apply partially to nuclear power as well. In contrast to what my opponent says, wind is beneficial to the economy. "Windparks bring economic development to the rural communities that host them.
Developing our nation's wind energy resources creates demands for turbines and turbine components, which stimulates the manufacturing sector.
Wind energy helps to stabilize wholesale electricity costs, which is good for both consumers and for businesses. (8) "The exact amount will vary from state to state and town to town, but a good rule of thumb is at least $1 million per megawatt over a twenty year period. For example, Noble's three Clinton County, New York windparks (located in the towns of Altona, Clinton, and Ellenburg) total 280 megawatts, and are expected bring about $360,000,000 to the local community over the next 20 years." (8.) To sum up this argument, wind energy is a extreme benefit to it's surrounding economy."
I would like to show you the opening quote from the first source given."The study by a panel of independent experts found that the irritation caused by the noise around wind farms can effect certain individuals. (9). I would like to emphasize the CERTAIN. Again from my opponents evidence,"
Scientists dismissed the idea of a "wind turbine syndrome" where the vibrations in the air or the particular sound waves from wind turbines cause headaches, nausea and panic attacks. (9). His evidence as far as wind turbine syndrome is contradictory and therefore must not be considered in this debate. "The Government insisted that wind farms do not have a direct impact on health."(9). If stress is the only side effect and you deem it to be reason enough not to build wind turbines, by the same reasoning stress alone is reason enough to not get married, to not go to school, to not have a social life. Stress can be caused by anything and everything."
I would like to point out at this time that nuclear power plants are also susceptible to mother natures wrath. The Fukushima disaster was caused by a tsunami. I beleive majority of you will agree with me if I say a nuclear power plant being destroyed is more dangerous than a few fires."
Concerning cost efficiency.
The article that states the cost of wind vs fossil fuels has no author or date to be seen. For that reason I will dismiss evidence number 21 as unreliable. My opponent also states the words of George Taylor, saying that the cost could be higher due to hidden costs. I would like to point out my opponent never says exactly what these hidden costs could include. That makes this argument questionable in its logic.
Concerning fuel poverty.
My opponents main argument in this revolved around the fact that wind energy did not create enough jobs, which caused deaths. Again I will direct you attention back to my paragraph concerning job creation, which talks about how many jobs wind creates, as well as provides a small portion of the types of jobs."
Concerning the reliability of NEI
Con addresses the reliability of NEI and says that NEI is biased because it says on its about page that "our mission is to foster the beneficial use of nuclear technology". However, it's not true that supporting a certain cause = bias. Moreover;
NEI has 350 members from 17 countries , agrees to voluntarily measure and publicly report its greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions each year, and owns the only source of long-term trend data on the 'wide variety of questions that are needed to measure and fully understand the different facets of public opinion about nuclear energy' .
But even disregarding all of this, con's hypothesis doesn't give an answer to this question:
Concerning Germany's energy policySources
Germany is one of the biggest users of wind energy in the world , so much so that its wind energy consumption is equal to the 183/196 lowest countries' consumption [44, 45]. If there is any type of energy causing a problem for Germany, it certainly isn't nuclear, as nuclear energy has progressed in the past few decades so much that there have been no disasters caused by nuclear power in Germany post-1990 .
Concerning the amount of deaths Wind and Nuclear cause
Con dismisses the reliability of the source on the basis that the post includes the line "I wrote this back in 2008", however he has clearly not read the source comprehensively, as the source takes note of it and adds the figures for 2011 as well . Despite global wind consumption ~doubling, the amount of deaths wind causes has stayed the same (so have the death count for nuclear) on a per terawatt basis. If Con wants to continue to dismiss this source as outdated, perhaps he would like to provide an example of a development in wind energy in the past 3.5 years that dramatically decreases the death count.
Concerning Wind energy costs
Con questions the reliability of the site www.togetheragainstwind.com, as according to him, there is no author provided and the piece isn't dated, however:
Con also raises concerns on the fact that I haven't mentioned specifically the hidden costs of wind, so I will mention them now:
Concerning job creation by Wind/Nuclear
Concerning Nuclear energy and Methane
Con grasps at straws and emphasizes the word 'certain' in the line in an article I linked to saying "The study by a panel of independent experts found that the irritation caused by the noise around wind farms can effect certain individuals". This practically takes nothing away from my argument, as Con has dropped my arguments on:
Con grasps at straws again to say that the article claims that scientists dismissed the idea of WTS, which is a very weak argument when he has not even addressed on WTS being confirmed by Canadian Research , and WTS being recorded in Denmark .
Therefore, wind is a significantly bigger driver of fuel poverty deaths than nuclear energy is.
Shadowhuntress forfeited this round.