The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Nuclear power Vs Natural Gas

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/29/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,956 times Debate No: 21609
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




First part acceptance. I argue Nuclear power is better then natural gas.


I argue natrual gas is better.
Debate Round No. 1


My first arguments will be promoting Nuclear power, and a few comparisons, then I will attack natural gas. *pft* *ew stinky* XD

C1: Nuclear power is clean energy (shower time)

Nuclear power is regulated by the epa [1] It has no emissions when in the fission process, and the "smoke" is actually steam. [1, 2] It only emits population indirectly (mining uranium). Although not renewable, it is sustainable and green. [2, 3] Some newer in development reactors are are very sustainable and would power us for 5 billion years! [2, 4] That is the lifetime of the sun btw. [5] Another type of reactor takes the uranium from sea water, and this amount replenishes and never runs out, so would in fact be essentially renewable. [3, 6] One misconception is the waste is bad for the environment. The waste is easily containable and actually is being safely contained today. [7] Nuclear power is clean, and this is comparable to other power sources like solar, but function at much more higher efficiencies. [7] Also the goverment is pressing for greener energies, and nuclear is on the page for a green energy. [8]

Now, the claims about nuclear power being dirty is false as they cannot emit CO2 and other gases directly, and if need be I will pull up stats showing they even emmits less then solar!

C2: Nuclear power is safe (no green hands)

Nuclear power plants are very durable and rarely break down, and their safety record compares to other energies. [9, 10] One argument is terrorists attacks, they have safeguards preventing this and other security systems. [9] Also its never happened. [9] Also the plant will not explode as the uranium is only enriched to a 5% level. Their newer reactors usually have competent workers and are safe when the workers do their "thing". [11] The safety of nuclear power is great!

C3: The dangers of gas: fracking (yes that's how you spell it)

Fracking/fracing have many environmental concerns such as ground water pollution and risks to air quality from releasing gases. [12] Studies show that fracking has hurt Colorado's air quality. [13] This epa site shows that in wyoming they took samples of a aquifer and it had contamination of fracing chemicals. [14] The industry claims safety to the water, but the epa and other people point to studies showing it pollutes the ground water. [15] At first the poor water was a mystery, the epa finally found the source: natural gas fracking. [15] Another study shows fracking makes water from the sink flammable! [16]

So the way you get gas is well dangerous.

C4: Dangers if gas pollution

Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, but does emit a fair amount of CO2. [17] It emmits more CO2 and carbom monoxide then oil. [17] There are regulations on the buisness as their pollutants well polute and case cancer. [18] The actual plant of natiral gas is a significant poluter and causes many global warming problems, [19] The polution from gas is enough to dow a bad image over the substance. [20]


I. Compare emmisons


Natural gas has almost as many polutants directly as coal, and nuclear has none. Indirectly, making plants, mairnence, other costs are shown in white. Nuclear has the least maximum white, and the second lowest minimum per year. Nuclar power is green.

II. Compare costs


The point is if younotice gas is much higher then nuclear, even coal. But nuclear is the cheapestof all the Fossil Fulels. So my point is gas is much more expensive per killowatt hour.


Nucleat power is a supeior power source then gas due to costs, enviromental effects, and he dangers of gas fracking. I also debunked th emyth of unsafe nucar power, and gas may be more unsafe! remember, the polutants from natural gas cause cancer. [18] The point is gas is not the best power source, nuclear trumps is in almost any way conceivable, I urge a PRO vote.

[Sources] [1] [2] [3]
"Breeder reactors: A renewable energy source" American Journal of Physics [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]


I would like to thank my opponent for his quick response.


.I Chernobyl is a prime example of a nuclear accident that has ruined the land and it will stay dead for a very very long time. Natural Gas cannot do that to a place, it is much safer.

.II Nuclear power is cleaner, but is somewhat easy to get and can be used for atomic weapons. Massive downside and having Nuclear power means more and more of the material for nuclear energy is on the market. Making it easier for terrorists to get their hands on it.

.III Millions and millions of GOVERNMENT dollars, unlike natural gas which is mostly corporate. Meaning that nuclear power in a country with a free market is simply illogical.

I have shown that nuclear power has many downsides.

Debate Round No. 2


extend arguments.



Actually, this is not a good argument. The reactor was old, and the goverment put in place inadequate workers. [1, 2] The reasons it failed:
1. A poor soviet design
2. age
3. poor trained workers. [1]
In today's nuclear world, all of the workers in these plants are highly knowledgeable people and get training, and also better designs has prevented these accidents. No accident like Chernobyl has happened since better designs and better workers came to be, hence all newer plants have very little chance of this accident. [1] All personnel of a nuclear power plant in the US know what to do in these situations. [3]

~Terrorism and bombs~

My opponent claims that if we use nuclear power terrorists will become workers and obtain this weaponry. This would be hard to do. All personnel in these facilities must get federal licenses to work in these plants. [4] All employes also must get rigorous background checks and other history before they can obtain access to the plant. [4] Almost everyone who does through the plant is escorted, and only a select few get the privilege, of being alone [4] Also the plant has many guards and other security measures preventing people from breaking in. [5] The NRC has very high standards in security to prevent terrorist attacks. [5] It is very hard to break into a plant, without being shot or stopped. [5]

Now, so make a nuclear weapon you need enriched uranium. As I stated last round, the uranium in these plants is only enriched by 5%. The uranium in these nuclear lants can only make controlled reactions. [6] In some cases it is only enriched 0.7%. [6]

The point about a terrorist problem is essentially false.

~Government sponsorship~

Um, goverment sponsorship does not make it illogical. Solar, wind, and oil all get goverment money here and there, yet are still widely used. I do not see how the government sponsoring them is bad, it is actually good. This means our goverment thinks this technology is safe, and has benefits. So if anything the sponsorship is good. Also in all reality, fossil fuels get more money then green energies like nuclear plants. [7] The goverment actually cleans up spills from gas plants. [8] The NRC does inspect the plants, and will fix the parts, but the nuclear industry itself would have to pay if there was a spill. [9, 10]

----> Conclusion <----
I have disproved my opponents arguments and proven his arguments false. His case revolved around the assumption that nuclear power is unsafe, this is a myth and I have proven it. He has not even tried to refute my case, and I have proven for a FACT, not an assumption that natural gas causes cancer through pollutants and the fracking causes water pollution. I also proved per kilowatt hour nuclear is cheaper and pollutes less grams of CO2 and other gases, unlike natural gas. Nuclear is ALL fields is superior to natural gas. I urge a PRO vote.

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]


I would like to thank my opponent for his response.


.I Cherynobl was really no ones fault. It is just an example of lack of knowledge and why humans should not be allowed to have that kind of power.


.I Natural gas might be bad for the enviorment but nuclear energy plants have multiple examples of causing medical problems and harming the people.

"With an eye to the first anniversary of the tsunami that killed 20,000 people and caused a partial meltdown at the Fukushima power plant in Japan, a recently formed nongovernmental organization called Rebuild Japan released a report earlier this week on the nuclear incident to alarming media coverage."-'s Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger


This shows how even in Japan, a very advanced first world country was nearly wiped off the face of the earth because of nuclear power plants. Japan now plans to rid of them in 40 years.



Why my opponent makes some good points, he simply does not have a good argument against the massive risks.
Debate Round No. 3




My opponent claims that we should not have access to this power due to the accident. Should we abandon one great power source based off of poor workers and a bad design? I have stated that poorly trained workers in a old and poor model are gonna defect. This debate seems to be american oriented as natural gas is mainly US and well that's where we are both from. Now, the US workers as I have stated get extensive training and need to get federal permits before working one of these plants. This decreases the chances of a Chernobyl accident, and the newer reactors are safer. Every US power plant has extensive emergency procedures to prevent and or stop this accident from occurring. [1] New regulations make it so that there is constant tests of the plant improving safety. [1] The NRC has regulations with plans leading to quick and good response to any nuclear power threat. [2] The NRC forces high quality designs and highly trained personnel to basically he a good defense is a good offense type deal. [3] They have structures that can be quickly accessed to contain the nuclear fuel. [3] The NRC requires plans to prevent these instances, plans to act if this ever happens, and other regulations forcing good nuclear power designs keeping the community safe and preventing accidents. [4] The NRC continually inspects the plants so any worn out materials will be replaced before its to late. [4] Nuclear power is safe to the public communities around the plants due to these precautions. [5]

---> The point is that another problem like Chernobyl was due to untrained people and poor designs. This has been prevented by new regulations and newer designs and better training/ education. Another accident like this is unlikely if we have trained personnel. [6] Due to the fact their trained nowadays your scenario is false.


My opponents refutations are not about environmental concerns, rather safety. This could be prevented with once again better design and personnel. [7] The earthquake that cause the plant to partially melt down was a 9.0 and japan was not expecting this. [7] Therefore other plants that actually are made to withstand this will not have these problems. The accident was due to failure of the cooling systems. [8] The FRC continually check these cooling mechanisms in the US to make sure their top quality. [9] This decreases the chance of a problem. [9] Also as I have stated the emergency plans have been updated in the US so if this happens here there will be an efficient response. The US is planning to make 30 new nuclear plants! [10] They are making 2 new plants as we speak, and these new plants are made to prevent all the types of meltdowns or problems, even fukushima. [11]

----> The plants we have are not going away soon, and stalling the production of newer plants is detrimental, the newer plants are not likely to melt down and are very safe. Newer plants are, in fact, going to prevent the accidents my opponent has stated. The unsafe nuclear power is a myth!

----> Just because Japan is getting rid of it means nothing as they will not likely switch to gas (unless if you have proof otherwise). Coal and oil are their largest electricity makers. [12] This will likely be their source as they have abundant coal in the region and import the majority of the gas, making it impractical for them. [12] This argument is odd.

----> My opponent dismissed the risks of gas. It pollutes water and air quality ALWAYS. Nuclear power generally has controlled problems. Only one accident (Chernobyl) was uncontained. [13] Accidents with nuclear power are rare, and their safety record is great. [13] Gas ALWAYS pollutes and hurts water, nuclear power very very very rarely breaks down. If you look at it from this perspective, gas is actually 100% of the time dangerous, therefore nuclear is safer. Many people die of lung cancer, natural gas often causes cancer, therefore gas kills people. [14] 36 people dies because of direct nuclear power problems. [15] Natural gas is a major power source. Natural gas is 24% of power generation, [16] due to that fact is it safe to assume gas has killed more people then nuclear through pollution of the air and water.

Nuclear is safe unlike my opponent has stated, and has likely killed fewer people then gas has, he has dropped many of my arguments from the second round and hasn't disproved the environmental effects or the safety of nuclear power. The fact is nuclear power is much safer then gas in all cases. I urge a PRO vote.

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]


I don't think my opponent seems to understand that billions and billions of goverment dollars go into keeping these Nuclear power plants safe, as a conservative i would think you would find this as a problem. Corparations manage Natrual gas.


My opponent still cannont refute Natural gas not costing gov. money much at all and Nuclear energy being more expensive and dangerous.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ArthurJBreauxIII 2 weeks ago
The age of the Chernobyl plant is not a valid point of the cause of the accident. The reactor, at Chernobyl, even though it's design contributed greatly to the events that lead to it's runaway, was not the root cause of the initiating event.
Chernobyl was undergoing a test that had been planned, however, the staff deviated from the test. The staff overrode safeguards.
The Chernobyl disaster was caused by a culture that did not entrench itself in safety, adherence to procedure, nor did they understand completely the design of their plant.
The argument that uses Chernobyl as an example against nuclear power in the United States is invalid because of the legal requirement for design of the plants (unlike the Soviet designs), the legal requirement to possess and follow procedures, the legal requirement to have the regulator on site monitoring all nuclear plant operations to be in keeping with the license that has been authorized to be held by the operators. Additionally, any attempt to override reactor safeguard systems results in alarms, at first, and then when the second channels would be "overridden" the equipment defaults to immediate shutdown.
There is no physical way to over ride the existing systems of American nuclear reactors without an enormous effort that would be met with an enormous human intervention.
There are too many people who operate the reactors who have a vested interest in it being safe.
The cost argument is extremely invalid. Even with all of the resources used to police, operate, and maintain these machines, the cost earned due to the number of people served greatly offsets the cost of operation.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
Posted by chainmachine 4 years ago
lol i saw it pop up on my home menu. Wanted to debate it.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
um... that was fast
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Holy crap, I have never seen such an army of links in my entire life. Pro did a great job winning the environmental and safety points.