The Instigator
TomGomez
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Jevinigh
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Nuclear energy is clean and safe

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 627 times Debate No: 52062
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

TomGomez

Pro

The media show it as pollutive and highly dangerous, but I think that it's just misunderstood information. Nuclear energy is safe, clean and efficient.
Jevinigh

Con



To call Nuclear power as it exists today,safe is to ignore all real world implications of its product and Bi-product. Thank you for hosting this debate pro, I hope hope you are prepared to defend your assertion fully.
Debate Round No. 1
TomGomez

Pro

My first argument is that a nuclear reactor can't explode as a nuclear weapon.
Nuclear weapons require uranium-235 or plutonium-239. When the nucleus splits, the huge energy comes from the enormous forces that hold the nucleus together. To split the nucleus of uranium, all you have to do is hit it gently with a neutron. When a nucleus is broken, the pieces fly apart with great energy. The energetic breakup is called fission. Typically, two large fission fragments and two additional neutrons fly out. The extra neutrons fissions in other nearby nuclei. Four mour neutrons emerge, followed by 8, 16, 32 and so on. Each doubling is called a generation. The whole process is called a chain reaction. The kinetic energy of the fission fragments is turned into heat, vaporizing all nearby material, and that's what makes the explosion.
Well, the physics of the nuclear reactor is very similar to that od nuclear bombs, that why people fear them. In both, the energy is released from a chain reaction of uranium-235 or plutonium-239. The bomb uses doubling to get all the fission to take place in a millionth of a second. In contrast, the reactor uses a sustained chain reaction, with no doubling (I skip the explaination on how this works just to make the argument shorter, if you want i can explain it). In the reactor fission releases two or three neutrons, but on average only one of those goes on to hit another nucleus and trigger another fission, so the rate of reaction doesn't grow. Energy is released at a constant rate, heats water, and produces steam, which in turn runs a turbine that runs a generator that produces electricity.
A nuclear reactor CANNOT explode like an atomic bomb. The physics reason for the safety of the nuclear power reactor is the fact that the presence of lots of the uranium-238 in the core means that the nuclear chain reaction will stop if the neutrons are not moderated. Unless the neutron are slowed down, they will be absorbed by uranium-238 and the chain reaction will cease.

This are the physics involved in the nuclear power. I explained it as simply as I could and without making it to long to read it. To finish my argument, i would like to repeat my main idea: Nuclear reactor can't explode as an atomic bomb does.
Jevinigh

Con

Than I will start by refuting safety. While its true that a Nuclear power plant is not capable of exploding Like a Nuclear Weapon, a Core melt down is in many ways far worse. The Nuclear fuel of a power plant has Exponentially more fissile material than does a Nuclear bomb and rather than "blowing up" a Nuclear core Burns ... for a very very...very...very,very,very,very,very,very (etc.) Long time. As in, when Our sun begins its transformation into a read giant and scorches the earth-eventually burning it up in its corona, Cheynobl will still be melting down. Because of this the nuclear materials are released far slower and are released into the environment. The Most Infamous of which is Cesium-137 the principle element of contamination from nuclear disasters. But unlike the bomb which uses a relatively small amount of fissile material designed for a faster matter to energy conversion, A nuclear core once more has VASTLY more fissile material designed for more sustained energy release.

Though the official death toll form Cheynobl was tallied at under 40 people, there are all sorts of reasons why that number is not credible. Unsafe levels radioactive material ( again most infamously Cesium 137) have been found 100's of miles beyond the exclusion zone in cheynobl even many years after many of the areas have been considered safe. Cases of birth defects and cancers of various sorts are still at obscene levels in the area around the cheynobl.

It will likely be the same for Japan, Already cases of thyroid cancer following the 2011 Fukushima disaster are as high as 40 times above average by some counts, and despite the Government's attempt to cover it up. A large portion of Japan is no longer usable land. The stakes for a Nuclear disaster are much,much higher than just a Nuclear blast.

The land that suffers a full scale melt down is land that can cannot be reclaimed. It will be unsafe for human and animal life for the rest of their worlds ability to sustain life.


But the greatest risk of a failure is not from the primary core it self, Regulations in place make today's power providers have a number of fail safes and fail safe containment to prevent core melt downs ( but I Remind you, even if the chances of a Melt down are remote, the stakes of a Melt down are still extreme) the biggest risk instead comes from the hugely dangerous, far more vulnerable and far lesser regulated-Nuclear waste produced by today's Nuclear power plants in the form of spent Nuclear fuel rods. Containment breaches of these spent rods are liable to release equally large amounts of Nuclear contamination that gets into the environment for Decades, causing cancer,birth defects and more if the nuclear material can find its way into the water supply or food chain.

While some of this spent fuel is sent off to be buried in the mid west, large amounts of it is parked on a lot outside of the Power plant, or stored in Spent Fuel pools. Again these facilities are grossly under regulated and do not poses the same fail safes to prevent breaches.

Current U.S. Regulation :

Does NOT require Spent fuel pools to have a secondary water pump.
Does NOT require the fuel pools to have a secondary containment vessel.
All in all, current Regulation requires no real fail safes to prevent disaster from the Spent fuel rods at all and the facilities that store these fuel rods are not anywhere near as defended against attack as is a active reactor.

These facilities are used BECAUSE ITS CHEAP and if Fukushima has reinforced any lesson to us... its that when faced with the responsible,safe thing to do or saving a buck and cutting some corners.... The corporations that run these massively expensive operations... will chose to save the buck, every time. In the absence of strict regulation, Nuclear plant operators cannot be trusted to spend extra money on safety of their own accord, and they don't.


In the realm of safety, Nuclear power plants are a gamble with dire consequences that extent far into the future should something go wrong. 23 reactors in the United states still use the vulnerable Ge.Mark I and Mk.II Boiling Water reactors. There is nothing truly safe about it. Nor is it clean when the Danger and permanence of the waste product is considered.
Debate Round No. 2
TomGomez

Pro

TomGomez forfeited this round.
Jevinigh

Con

Pro has Forfeited round 3.
Debate Round No. 3
TomGomez

Pro

TomGomez forfeited this round.
Jevinigh

Con

I am very disapointed that Pro has forfeited this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
TomGomez

Pro

TomGomez forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
kbub
Well, except for the nuclear waste. And earthquakes.
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