The Instigator
Con (against)
8 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Nuclear power should be banned

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,392 times Debate No: 21700
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)




1st round acceptance
no semantics with the title
8000 characters
you (my opponent) have the BOP, as you advocate a change in the status quo.

Nuclear power:
Power, especially electricity, the source of which is nuclear fission or fusion.



I thank my opponent for re-instigating this topic for me. This is an acceptance round so I'll just post my model (so con knows what he's arguing against, more exactly).

My contention is that, by international treaty, nuclear power should be outlawed. Obviously this could not be done overnight - reactors take an awfully long time to shut down, and then there's thousands of nuclear-powered weapons to take care of. An exception would be made for some scientific research, under very carefully controlled conditions. In general, no such experiment should involve the generation of very large amounts of nuclear power except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only very briefly. The ICC would be empowered to arbritrate if nuclear power use was suspected, either in a civil or a military capacity.

I wish my opponent very good luck for the debate and look forward to reading his opening round!
Debate Round No. 1


Before I start I would to point out we are debating the energy source of nuclear power, not the weapons. (see definitions and visual)

C1: Nuclear power is a green energy

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: Safety of nuclear power

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! Future development keeps plants safer and even more reliable. [15] Banning it would mean stopping production and advancements while we take the long amount of time to take them down. This means the power will become more dangerous while the deconstructions begin as they will be old models. Keeping it going means they get safer.

C3: Cost

Nuclear power is comparable to other cheap forms of energy. [12] The actual fuel costs for nuclear power are relatively small. [12] The costs of nuclear power re cheaper then coal (a cheap power source), natural gas, and oil/ [12] Nuclear power currency supplies 1% of the worlds energy at low costs. [13] The plants are cheap to operate and are only costly when building the plant. [13] Nuclear power competes in prices with all energy forms as nuclear production is cheap. [13] People are making thorium nuclear power which CANNOT melt down ever or be weaponized. They are also cheap. [14] These new plants mean the future of nuclear power will be cheaper and safer. [14] Nuclear power is 25% cheaper then coal and less then 25% if the cost of gas. [16]

C4: Jobs

The nuclear industry is expanding, even in the bad economy. [17] One nuclear power plant alone hires 1-2000 people. [17] And others in temporary building procedures. [17] Not only is this power green and safe, but would create thousands of jobs in the US. [18] In Canada alone they employ 66,000 people. [19]

---> Conclusion

Need I say more? Nuclear power ought to be allowed as one of the green energies of america.

Sources: [1] [2]\Anonymous&site=website [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]


Yay, I managed to get this short enough at last!

I thank con for getting this going. In doing this debate, I follow in the great tradition of New Zealand's former prime minister David Lange. In 1985 at Oxford Union, in a debate so intense even the US president tuned in, he fought against Jerry Falwell, a noted friend of then-US-president Ronald Regan, arguing against the motion "nuclear weapons are morally indefensible". Lange became the first person in decades to recieve a standing ovation from both sides of the house [1]. Today I am arguing against nuclear energy. Not just big civilian nuclear power plants. Not just nuclear weapons. Not just nuclear clocks or submarines. I argue that the use of nuclear power in all its forms is morally indefensible.

After Lange's awesome speech, New Zealand abolished nuclear weapons. Despite claims by the US that we'd need nuclear power plants, nuclear submarines patrolling our shores, and so on and so forth, we have remained nuclear free to this day [2]. And guess what? We're not facing an energy crisis. Our national defense is far less at risk than that of every single nuclear country. And our people have never regretted the decision.

Recently, Germany, a major nuclear nation, said they will move toward doing the same as New Zealand by 2022. So far progress has been good, indicating that it is not beyond the realm of possibility for other large nations to follow our lead.

Today, I argue that such a model would be beneficial to the whole world, for one simple moral reason. Every nuclear device, when it generates energy, generates waste that we cannot safely dispose of. Take, for instance, the United States in America. The very latest in nuclear technology. The wisest of scientists and engineers. And yet even they dispose of most of their waste by throwing it to the bottom of swimming pools. Incredulously, some people at the NAS actually bothered to examine whether this was dangerous or not, and their results were exactly as you would expect [3]. Some waste is thrown to the bottom of "sealed" tunnels, and my opponent's source suggests this is ideal (though they agree it is not what's currently happening due to "political will"). But consider this - the EPA was recently told, in America, that many of their nuclear deposits could last a million years [4]. No seal can survive that long. Even pure diamond, several meters thick would crack and break, just as all the diamonds from the past million years have cracked and broken. The ground may be stable now, but as it has been unstable in the past million years, so too will it be unstable again.

The problem with the waste is that it's radioactive. According to almost every expert, there is no safe level of radioactivity [5]. A Geiger counter only measures how quickly you are approaching your death. We know that miners and plant workers who recieved only mild doses of radiation have died of various cancers [6]. People die from nuclear energy, even when done correctly (mind you, human error doesn't help).

Construction costs are rising, construction is taking longer, operational costs are rising [8], and while there are promising next-generation reactors (some of which my opponent mentioned) they should not be legalised for construction until they have been properly scientifically tested. All this is to fund the creation of over 12.3 million kilograms of toxic waste every year, from the United States alone [7]. No renewable energy source has a by-product that dangerous or large. This is immoral, because of the heavy cost in human lives. Just as nuclear weapons are bad because of the immediate cost in human lives, so nuclear power is bad because of the long-term cost in human lives. Never forget that just one month before Chernobyl, the Economist said nuclear power was "as safe as a chocolate factory."

The danger of nuclear weapons is already well-known. A nuclear power station is nothing more than an extremely slow nuclear weapon, not designed to unleash its power in one explosion, but designed slowly to poison.

And now on to con's case.

Con gives four reasons why recklessly and dangerously polluting the world is OK. I'll deal with them in reverse order. Jobs, his fourth point, is moot because any jobs lost from not having nuclear might equally be gained from having another power source. So instead of people checking on the safety of nuclear reactors, perhaps they can employ engineers to monitor tidal energy constructions.

Thirdly con says we get cheap electricity. The US Department of Energy researched this in their "Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2011". They found that an advanced nuclear power plant could produce electricity at $109-$124 per megawatt hour. That's cheap - but wind energy was only $81-$115. Geothermal was only $91-$115. Hyrdoelectric was $58-$121. Biomass, still in its infancy, was already just $99-$133. So clearly nuclear is far from the cheapest option! Con's sources are largely from the lobby group "World Nuclear Association" - in their words, they are "promoters" and "supporters" of nuclear energy [9] so not exactly an unbiased group! Their membership is comprised of companies who all have a financial stake in nuclear power [10]. Just because my opponent sources some assertions by this unscientific lobby group doesn't mean their claims hold water. His only other relevant source states "I’m quite frankly more interested in cheaper solar and fuel cell options, which is where I think the primary future of energy generation is headed (with some supplementation from wind and geothermal)" (emphasis added).

Secondly con says nuclear power is safe. I agree completely that nuclear is just as safe as other energy. The only problem is that when a solar panel breaks down, a couple of people moan because the electricity goes out. When a nuclear plant breaks down, the whole planet jumps up and starts screaming. As I've already sourced, nuclear plants are on a trend of becoming more expensive, countering that part of the argument. And his Wikipedia source about workers being competant states there is a serious accident once every 8 years or so. When dealing with things so contaminative, so dangerous, this is completely unacceptable. And con thinks he can hold these things for a million years after they're in the plant without anything ever going wrong! And we can keep making advancements with my exemption for scientific research. Until we know how to properly contain the waste, we should not deal with it.

Firstly, con says nuclear energy is cleaner. There is a danger, I think, of environmentalism being confused with climate change. Climate change is one problem - we face MANY more, including a radiation-filled environment which causes cancers and death. So while nuclear emits less CO2 than solar (if you foolishly exclude construction emmissions and refinement emmissions), the point is that they have a wildly different effect on the environment anyway. I believe renewability may be a problem (uranium is a finite resource) but even if nuclear power was totally sustainable, the sustained destruction of our planet and people would be still worse than temporary destruction. And that thing he says about waste being safe and containable... oh look, that's another unsupported assertion from our new favorite lobby group, the World Nuclear Association. Nuclear power is not green.

All of con's arguments just don't hold water.

Recently the world has been angry at Iran for developing nuclear technology. I think they're right, but the rest of the world shouldn't be so hypocritic about it! Nuclear power is dangerous. I'll continue my case in a moment, once con has had a chance to respond.

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Debate Round No. 2


~Refutation to the Pros case~

It seems as though my opponent seems to worry about the nuclear power being weaponized, and its byproducts. He implies weaponized as he diverges into nuclear weapons, and as I stated in the definitions this debate is about electricity.

R1: Weaponization

We are not arguing whether or not it is justified to have nuclear weapons, so I assume you mean they may be weaponized therefore need to be banned. This argument is fairly faulty. The technology to actually make uranium enriched enough to be used in weapons is a process that has nothing to do with nuclear power. [1] Further more the plants use techniques with the uranium basically rendering it useless for weaponize techniques. Nuclear fuel it enriched from 3-5%. [2] You need 90% enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. [3] Linking Nuclear weapons to nuclear power is absurd. [1] Also you claim their defense is less at risk. New Zealand is not like the US, they are peaceful and out of the way. [4] Their peace may not be their nuclear abolishment, rather they do not patrol the middle east.

R2: Waste

My opponents main case is the waste. He claims the waste is unstoppable and radioactive. Lets refute first his views on the storage. Many plants store them in huge metal vaults (under security big time) filled with water, this keeps the radiation inside. [5] The waste actually overtime becomes non hazardous. [6] The EPA and the NRC constantly regulate and check the disposal to make sure the storage is safe, unlike you claim. [6] Further more my opponent claims a byproduct so "large". This is actually false. The Nuclear industry actually emits less byproducts then other industries. [7] The only waste problem that you cite that makes any sense is what the waste is. Also the nuclear industry takes FULL responsibility for their waste is any problem occurs. (like they have to pay for it). [8] Why does this matter? Because they now have a financial reason to keep the storage system safe. Nuclear actually emits less waste then coal. [8, 9] (this ties in next). Methods for Safer underground storage sites are being researched. [8]

Then my opponent claims the byproducts from nuclear are the most hazardous. Before we do this, let me cite things about our buddy coal. Well our buddy coal has more radioactive waste then Nuclear. [10] Who would have though that? Well sorry coal, we are not buddies anymore. Now, as I have proven Nuclear waste is stored with great regulation hindering it safe. Now, what about the byproducts from, lets say solar? Some solar cells have many nasty byproducts as well. They use many toxic materials. [11] Now, how is this worse then nuclear? Nuclear Stores the waste in safe facilities, whereas solar cannot store the waste. So in a comparison your argument is false as coal is already more radioactive, and solar has toxic byproducts that are not even stored. Further more (economically speaking) solar has a terrible type of problem: China. China imports most of the solar cells in the US. [12]

Also objections to the nuclear power/weapon see above.

Defense of my case

~ Jobs ~

My opponent claims this is false. As I stated the nuclear industry woudl make 3,000 jobs or more per plant. The Solar industry can only make 10,000 new jobs total. [13] In this case Nuclear is better then this green energy. For wind, 11% of the jobs are building the turbine, 5% for maintenance. [14] Why is this significant? Because this means 15% of the jobs wind creates are temporary jobs. The Nuclear business has 56,000 people working for it. banning this energy means 50,000 people lose jobs. [15]

~ Cost of nuclear Power ~

My opponent claims it costs 109$ per killowatt hour. I disagree:

"Since 1987 the cost of producing electricity from has decreased from 3.63 cents per KWHr to 1.68 cents per KWHr in 2004 and plant availability has increased from 67% to over 90%." [16]

2$ is far off from what you claim! Nuclear Power is cheaper then all of the fossil fuel types, and competes with coal, a very cheap Fossil Fuel. [17] Also this:

"The nation’s 103 nuclear reactors were the lowest cost electricity producers of any source of expandable, baseload electricity in 2002." [18]

~ Safety ~

"I agree completely that nuclear is just as safe as other energy. "~ My opponent

He basically conceded, and is only saying he is worried of a melt down. The NRC has many rules and regulations so it would be harder for melt-down situations to occur. [19]

"the design and operation of nuclear power plants aims to minimise the likelihood of accidents, and avoid major human consequences when they occur. " [20]

My opponent forgets the only accident recently is fukishima, which could be easily prevented with newer reactors. Chernobyl for example was due to a flawed design. Newer designs and regulations prevent these instances. As these accidents are rare, and when the happen are easily controlled (3 mile island) [21], and therefore your argument is mainly a consesion as these instances are rare and are easily controllable. The workers in these plants have rigorous training and can prevent and be able to stop the incident occurs, and control it if prevention measures fail. [22]

~Green energies~

My opponent first goes after the emissions. My opponent concedes they Emmit's less emissions than solar. His counter is the construction. If It emits less then it will eventually even out and bet solar. There are actually methods that make nuclear powers uranium last forever by getting uranium from the sea. [23] So your worry is over... Also as I stated last round, these reactors work on thorium too, therefore will last longer there too. Worry on your part over. *Low on room*


My opponent has not fulfilled his BOP (he has it all, 1st round) and in my opinion has no reasons to do with the energy forever. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]


I thank my opponent for his counter-argument.

Let's take a look at the total amount of byproducts produced by various forms of generating energy in the USA:
Wind - nothing
Solar - nothing
Tidal - nothing
Geothermal - nothing
Hydroelectric - nothing
Nuclear - 12.3 million kilograms of toxic waste

So the idea that nuclear emits less toxic byproducts than other industries is a complete lie. Now, is it safe to produce 12.3 million kilograms of toxic waste per year? You can have all the regulation in the world and it still wouldn't be safe! He claims that the huge metal water-vaults (aka toxic swimming pools) are safe, and yet I've already provided a scientific study showing that they're not. Finally he says that there is a financial incentive for the companies to keep them safe. I agree, but I contend that they cannot be kept safe. The companies are going for short-term profit over long-term environmental protection.

I agree that coal isn't a good alternative, but how about not comparing nuclear to other crappy forms of energy, and instead comparing it to good energy? If the motion was for abolishing coal-based power plants then I'd be all for it, but right now let's deal with the topic at hand.

Then he says nuclear byproducts are less toxic than solar ones. First, those aren't byproducts of electricity generation, they're construction byproducts. Second, the byproducts we're talking about are things like lead and mercury. They're dangerous if handled frequently, but completely safe inside a cell (like how mercury is safe in thermometers or lead in lead-acid batteries), particulary a cell that isn't handled frequently. If a solar panel ever leaks, it can be simply and safely recycled, unlike radioactive material. It is far safer for mercury to be inside a solar cell than for it to be out there in the environment. Same thing applies to lead. The differences to nuclear are that:
1) the byproducts are not byproducts because they are part of the cell, not buried or drowned, and
2) there is a much smaller quantity of them than 12.3 million kilograms, and
3) enriched, spent uranium isn't a naturally-occuring thing we are removing from the environment, rather we are adding it.

That's why nuclear is worse.

Finally he talks about China importing the solar cells. Oh no, you're boosting your exports! I doubt you'll find an economist who says that more money for American businesses is bad for the American economy.

Let's take a step back. What is a nuclear weapon? defines it as "an explosive device whose destructive potential derives from the release of energy that accompanies the splitting or combining of atomic nuclei." Now what is a nuclear reactor? gives the very unhelpful answer of "a reactor", but defines it as "a device in which a nuclear reaction is maintained and controlled for the production of nuclear energy". So, the differences are that one is explosive and destructive, and the other is maintained and controlled. Other than that, the two are exactly the same. A reactor is a maintained and controlled bomb. As to required enrichment, it is true that one requires a different critical mass for a nuclear chain reaction compared with just a slow nuclear reaction, but BOTH are harmful to people and the environment. Both solutions are therefore bad.

Also, I think the US would be much safer if they were peaceful and stayed out of everybody's way too, but I digress. The point is that nuclear technology is NOT required for a strong national defense - if anything, it just gives foreign countries and terrorists another thing to attack.

Remember how I said Germany is getting rid of their power plants? At a time when unemployment in many places, such as almost every single nuclear nation, is at a record high, guess who are enjoying their lowest unemployment rate in two decades? That's right - Germany - with the interviewed economist even noting that "all available indicators still point to a further improvement of the German labour market" [3]. So why is my opponent so wrong?

Firstly he says that solar could only create 10,000 jobs total. If you look at his source, however, he has missed a zero at the end of that number, so it should read 100,000 jobs - and that's not the "total" jobs, that's just the initial ones, for as it says "jobs would only go up over a longer period". He then states that 11% of wind energy jobs are in construction, and 5% are in maintenance. If you look at his source, it doesn't state these percentages anywhere, so he's clearly just making stuff up. I agree that the nuclear industry employs 50,000 people - but when solar energy ALONE, ignoring all the other forms of green energy, will generate 100,000 jobs right from day one if expanded, you bet jobs would boom. Just like they boomed in New Zealand after we banned it, and in Germany after they banned it.

My opponent has simply mistaken megawatts for kilowatts. 1 kilowatt = 0.001 megawatts. Bearing this in mind, my source actually estimates the hourly cost of nuclear even cheaper than many of con's sources. And I agree that nuclear is cheaper than fossil fuels. However, green energy remains the cheapest. His source asserting that nuclear energy is the cheapest did not take into account any green energy production, only fossil fuel.

A meltdown is not the only way nuclear energy can break down, so meltdown regulation is a bit of a waste of time. Our favorite lobby group, world nuclear, tells us they try hard to minimise accidents, but the fact is we're still facing a major accident every 8 years or so, despite all these "newer" designs (by the way, the idea that nuclear is too modern to break down predates Chernobyl by a few decades, and was in that Economist article I talked about last round). Then he cites another lobby-group article saying the accidents are easily controlled, using the example of three-mile island. That's where 40,000 gallons of radioactive waste water was dumped into a river, 140,000 people were evacuated, and $1 billion was spent on the cleanup [1]. That's far from being "easily contained" - the accident wasn't contained at all! That's the worst accident in the US involving nuclear power plants. The worst involving solar power? Nobody cares what that is, because when solar power fails, there is zero health risk. Same for all the other green energy solutions by the way. And given how long the list of nuclear power plant accidents is [2] (and that's excluding incidents and accidents at the Springfield power plant), I doubt that any level of training will help the situation.

Again, I don't care what emits more CO2. Don't confuse environmentalism with climate change (though my opponent is wrong about the CO2 thing - solar has zero running emmissions, only construction emmissions from mining minerals used in solar cells, but nuclear power plant construction takes longer and emits more). I also don't care about sustainability, which my opponent tries to talk about twice. A sustainable nuclear power plant is a bad thing, because all that while it will be killing you and your descendants, among other harmful effects. On my part, I do worry about that. I worry about it a lot. We don't need to poison ourselves with more radiation. There are other, cheaper, and most importantly, cleaner alternatives available. My opponent continues to ignore this. We don't need nuclear power to save the planet. We don't want nuclear power to pollute us.

My opponent's arguments are wrong, his sources are either lobbiests or misquoted, and he has failed to respond to my case. The motion stands.

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Debate Round No. 3



Waste for SOLAR:

Solar panels contain some of the most toxic metals in the business of electricity generation. [1] These modules last about 20 years so when you throw them out you are throwing out potentially toxic waste into the environment. [1]

Waste from WIND:

Other then the mining involved, the wastes for wind are another story: Money. [2] further more wind power can only power 500 homes per turbine on average. [3] So it is efficient and costly. Nuclear is one of the most efficient power sources. [4]

Wastes from GEOTHERMAL:

Actually geothermal has some radioactive waste products and emits many poisons gases into the air. [5]


There is a lot of investment needed in hydroelectric costs and evaporate the water and displace local fish populations, and kill others. [6]

So, all of his nothing statements are FALSE.

"Nuclear wastes are neither particularly hazardous nor hard to manage relative to other toxic industrial wastes." [7]
"The amount of radioactive wastes is very small relative to wastes produced by fossil fuel electricity generation. " [7]
"Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology which takes full responsibility for all its wastes and fully costs this into the product. " [7]

Really if waste is the main issue, then most electric industries should be banned, solar, and fossil fuels. If this is a major reason then we might as well say bye to all energy types.

Now my opponent wants to ban coal?!?! Coal is a needed ingredient for steel making. [8] Still: If waste is an issue all fossil fuels and solar energies should be banned too. Your reasoning is very circular.

Then my opponent talks about mercury. Actually it has lead and other metals that are linked to kidney and lung damage. [9] Solar panels are the FUTURE of toxic waste. Once again if waste is a problem then almost all energy types should be banned. This argument is all fallacious and has very circular reasoning. He drops all of my argument regarding SAFE waste disposal, regulations making it safe, and NRC and EPA checks making it safe.

Actually the imports from china Solar cells hurt the US solar company's. [10] I found a whole bunch of economists on my side. Challenge accepted.

~Weapons! YAY! wait...~

SPLITTING THE ATOM!!!!! MY opponent basically conceded here. Nuclear plants create nuclear fission which is where we let the atoms decay releasing photons and neutrons. [11] In that case, nuclear power has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, therefore you have basically unknowingly conceded. What you are referring to is known as a dirty bomb. [12] It is pop a grenade off goes the nuclear plant! The only way you can do this is if a crazy gets into the plant, there are many regulations, laws, and training that prevent this. [12] Also you then claim the plant can go boom like bomb, false. There are many barriers inside and outside of plants preventing these radiation leaks. [13]


Q. Can a nuclear plant explode like a nuclear weapon?
A. " Absolutely not. A nuclear explosion is impossible in a commercial nuclear power plant. A power plant doesn’t contain the type of fuel in the amount which is needed to make atomic bombs." [13]

Your argument about weaponize is utterly false. Drops my enrichment argument.


I seriously think your reasoning is well, a fallacy. Banning the power would mean thousands of people out of a job, and you try to claim it is ok. How? If they are fired they will not instantly get a job again! This reasoning is utterly false. Nuclear power has created new 15,000 jobs in only a few years, and solar only 7000. [14, 15] Nuclear power increases state economic worth and creates more revenues. [14] Even if other energies are better (name one in job creation), Nuclear still deserves to stay, and in my opinion your arguments are all just "I'm scared, so is Greenpeace, lets ban it" which is kind of a poor argument.


Um... OK he wants megawatts XD Nuclear in the US costs 67 cents per MWH. [16] On the table its the cheapest one except its tied with geothermal and barely over wind. Need I say more? (dang sources take up all the room... have to be brief).


Lol time for 3 miller! The amount of radiation exposure to people was so small it was harmless. [17] It gave less radiation exposure then an X-ray. [17] "There were no injuries or adverse health effects from the Three Mile Island accident. " [18] No accidents, little exposure, it must have been contained to only have this minor effects. He drops the majority of my round 2 case on the subject.


Emitting less pollutants is needed for a green energy! Preventing climate change is needed for being green. As I stated above Nuclear is actually very efficient (see above). My opponent claims I ignore the radiation. No I have not. I have stated many times how the workers keep it contained, have blocks preventing radiation leaks, and have proven many times that nuclear is safe. Also, you have cited no other single alternatives! Also, alternatives constitute a ban? If so then that is absurd! Macs in many peoples eyes are alternatives to PC's, wanna ban PC's? No. Wanna ban Macs because PC's may be alternatives? NO. The point is having alternatives doesn't constitute a ban, and I have proven the arguments of "crap radiation!" are false, and well fallacies. All of the arguments presented are circular as you have provided no reasons they are not green except for waste, I refuted this with great facts and you totally act like its not there and claim it is still dangerous. I have refuted all of this, and you have not countered my refutations. I am forced to extend much of my argument from round 3. Here's a pretty graph about polluting! [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]


I thank my opponent for a fun debate. To voters, don't think that just because con cited a million lobby groups he has any credibility. He has misquoted and twisted sources, as I have shown, quoted personal opinions of lobby group members as facts, and ignored almost all of my sources. But on to what actually matters in the debate - the arguments:

First, on solar energy. I've already said solar panels can be safely recycled. My opponent's source is an article detailing how solar companies are setting up recycling programmes. Con also drops pretty much all of my counter-arguments from last round, such as how their quantity is much smaller than nuclear and how we aren't "throwing out" anything, only REMOVING these dangerous chemicals from the environment and putting them into solar cells.

Second, on wind energy. Hey look, it's a new argument in round four! My opponent claims wind is a waste of money. Well, that's much better from a moral perspective than a waste of human lives, which is what nuclear does! My opponent's main source that wind is a waste of money is a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing an extremist opinion (and the author is the executive director of an organisation sponsored by nuclear lobbyists called "Great Lakes Wind Truth"). I've already provided evidence that wind is not any more costly than nuclear, and in fact the US government says it's cheaper. The wind lobbyists claim their turbines cost only five cents per kwh (cheaper than coal by a mile!) [1], and I think they'd know better than the nuclear lobbyists. 500 homes is quite a bit considering that most wind farms have hundreds, if not thousands of turbines.

Third, my opponent notes radiation occurs with geothermal energy. Wow, more new arguments. That's because geothermal requires an energy input - usually it requires about 1kw for a geothermal plant to generate 5kw. In the USA (con's source is from the US government), this initial current is usually generated with a nuclear reactor. I say - why not do what NZ does, and use hydroelectric or wind to generate that initial 1kw? No radiation is generated as part of the geothermal generation process, and NO byproducts are generated unless it's broken (waste fluid is re-injected back into the Earth).

Fourth, hydroelectric. As with wind energy, don't believe con's assertions that it's more expensive. It isn't. Fish population displacement is a problem, so any potential site would need to be evaluated for this purpose to check that fish can still breed etc. Many newer hydroelectric dams have elaborate systems to allow fish to be elevated up and down the dam, circumventing this problem.

Next my opponent sources three more lobby-group assertions (seriously, stop quoting World Nuclear!) to boost his sources count. All three assertions I have already countered.

It's not just that waste is the main issue. It's the danger that the waste poses to human lives. Con has never specifically addressed this fact. No other industry has so much waste - indeed, no green energy has ANY toxic byproducts from electricity generation. I never said I wanted to ban coal, I said I'm against coal power plants, so my opponent's coal assertions are irrelevant.

I didn't drop any of the argument concerning safe waste disposal because it didn't exist. My opponent made no case in round three that it was safe except for a breif assertion that I answered with reference to a scientific study that I had already cited. Regulations do not make waste safe. No regulation can stop a major environmental disaster breaking them open, or the radiation that we KNOW is leaking out. More importantly, no regulation IS doing it. Also I did talk about Lead at the same time as I talked about Mercury - ever used a lead-acid battery, con?

And about the economists who don't like solar cells, the Chinese point out that to make the solar panels they use American equipment, and sell them to America so that America can make money off them. It's really a win-win for both countries. Also my opponent confused exports and imports last round. I guess some economists really are stupid... [2]

My weapons analogy was not to show that a nuclear power plant behaves like a nuclear weapon. My point was to show that they are the same except one is operating in a controlled fashion. That's not conceeding the debate, or even the argument. Con has never even addressed the point. I'm not referring to a dirty bomb or any explosive device at all. I'm just saying that the same dangerous effects felt by places around a nuclear bomb in ten seconds are felt in places around a nuclear power plant in 1000 years or so.

I said in round one that I would not instantly fire all nuclear workers. There are many jobs in decommissioning plants (usually even more than are required for their running), plus there would be jobs in all the other things that would need decommissioning. That would give time for capital investment to flow into the clean energy sector and create the jobs. Nuclear power has created more jobs because they've had more investment - and despite this, wind and solar have had far more new capacity additions [3]. I've already proven that solar is better in terms of job creation (see last round). It's not just that I'm scared. It's that there are tangible harms to me being right, and tangible benefits to following my model even if I'm wrong. More jobs is a tangible benefit of following my model.

Again, my opponent shows his ineptitude at reading sources. It doesn't say 67 cents, it says 67 dollars. And it included nuclear power plant tax breaks and subsidies. The study I cited did not include any government market manipulation and was therefore a much better way to evaluate relative costs. It also used a much larger number of data points, using the whole of the USA instead of just California.

I've already provided a source proving that there is NO HARMLESS LEVEL OF RADIATION. Every tiny bit of radiation has some impact. X-rays last a few seconds at most - these people had to live with all that radiation for years! And his only source saying the contrary comes from World Nuclear's spin doctors, not the medical doctors whom I cited. On my opponent's round 2 case, I dealt with that in round 2, and my opponent did not respond - he dropped it, not me.

Less pollutants is needed - so why is con supporting a power generation system that creates 12.3 million kilograms of pollutants for his country alone? Preventing climate change is a start, but not polluting other aspects of the environment is part of environmentalism too. Just ask Lucy Lawless and her Arctic buddies. My opponent continuously reasserts that nuclear is safe, but he does so only by citing lobby group articles, when I have cited scientific research showing the opposite. He has given no responses to any of these. I have shown other alternatives (green energy), and that it is not the presence of alternatives that constitutes a ban, but the danger of the waste produced by nuclear. About the CO2 graph, I talked about CO2 in rounds 2 and 3 already, my opponent is still trying to get me to repeat myself.

Finally, con claims my arguments are circular. Obviously he does not know what a circular argument is. None of my premises have made it into my conclusions. Anybody who has the vaguest understanding of formal logic will be able to see that. And then to claim that I haven't attempted to counter his refutations shows that he clearly hasn't even read any of my round 2 case and is just making stuff up.

It's time that the world woke up to the dangers of nuclear energy. We cannot support a system that creates so much un-necessary waste when there are so many better alternatives available. That's why I'm proud to affirm the motion.

Vote pro!

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Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
Bullsh!t. I hate how all the conservatives just raid 16ks debates and vote for him when he's battling opponents 10 times past his caliber! And then you notice how the 1 non-partisan conservative that never takes sides and is always objective votes for the right person. This is how 16k wins all his debates. Its disgusting.
Posted by FourTrouble 6 years ago
Con only makes two arguments that work: nuclear power is green, and nuclear power is cost-effective. Pro refutes both by comparing nuclear power to other forms of energy that are greener and more cost-effective. Pro's refutations worked in the context of this debate, not because I think they actually work, but because Con's responses were very weak. What Con had to do was show that comparative analysis of that kind was irrelevant to the question of outlawing nuclear energy. Con did not do that effectively, so Pro refutes Con's arguments easily. As for Pro's case, the waste argument was very strong. Con was unable to show that radioactive waste did not pose a risk to humanity in the long-term.
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
I'm very happy with my last round of sources - somehow I got by with just using all of yours lol
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I need less sources still!
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
Gosh I hate it when I write "emphasis added" and forget to add the emphasis. I was meaning to highlight the word "cheaper".
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I did that to avoid a question resolution
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
the resolution is worded awkwardly
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
oh I am not waiting XD
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
I know you're hanging on the edge of your seat for my argument, but there's no need to overdo it... down to 12,000 words now, steady progress is being made. I'm really sorry about the delay but I'm trying my best.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
crap the back of my chair broke!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by FourTrouble 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: There were a lot of reasons for my vote, I name some in comments.
Vote Placed by Deathbeforedishonour 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had better arguments. Pro did not prove the BOP.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had the BOP to prove nuclear power should be banned. His arguments on weaponization where dis proven as I Coj proved the uranium in these reactors wasn't enriched enough, and the process of the nuclear process was one not involved with the process. Also the plants cannot explode. Con proved it was a cheap energy that was good for the environment.