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ODT: The U.S. should increase its nuclear energy development.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/16/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,211 times Debate No: 24740
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)




Resolved: The U.S. should increase its nuclear energy development.


1. Should: implying an action resulting in a benefit

2. Nuclear energy: atomic energy; the energy released by a nuclear reaction for purposes other than nuclear weapons proliferation.


1. No semantics

2. Drops are concessions

3. No new arguments in the last round

4. forfeit(s) will result in a loss

*Rd. 1 is for acceptance


I agree with all definitions, and I agree with all rules. I wish my opponent the best for this debate for the first official DDO Tournament.
Debate Round No. 1


C1: Nuclear power efficacy [1]

We know that nuclear power is efficient and cheap energy, as demonstrated by France, Germany and now even China. France has developed safe nuclear energy to the point of generating 75% of its energy from nuclear power.

WNA writes,

“France is the world's largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this…As a result of the 1974 decision, France now claims a substantial level of energy independence and almost the lowest cost electricity in Europe. It also has an extremely low level of CO2 emissions per capita from electricity generation, since over 90% of its electricity is nuclear or hydro.”

C2: Nuclear power, transition and the economy [2]

As oil supplies decrease and “green energy” prospects glim due to an unfavorable market and economic manipulation on the part of the Chinese the U.S. is in a difficult position to secure energy development and security. An answer to this is nuclear energy. The technology is available, the infrastructure is available, the private and public capital is available, the only thing that needs to get out of the way is government mandates blocking nuclear development. As opposed to oil, nuclear energy can be created and unlike “green energy”, nuclear energy is economically viable. Thus, in order to break oil dependence and in order to transition our economy towards economically viable “green energy” the U.S. should increase its nuclear development.

Fertel writes,

A single nuclear plant will create 1,400 to 1,800 jobs during construction and 400 to 700 employees during the 60-year operating lifetime of the plant. Based on economic studies of 22 U.S. nuclear power plants, each year a new reactor will produce $430 million in local expenditures for goods, services and labor; generate more than $20 million in state and local tax revenue; and produce at least $75 million in federal tax payments. Construction of a new reactor also will provide a substantial boost to suppliers of commodities and manufacturers of hundreds of components.

C3: Nuclear power reduces air pollution [3] [4]

CNA writes,

Nuclear power reactors emit no carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides or sulphur dioxide. In nuclear power plants the energy to generate the electricity comes from a nuclear reactionentirely within the uranium fuel inside the reactor. Since there is no combustion there areno emissions. The 438 nuclear power reactors operating around the world generate aboutone sixth of our electricity and emit no global warming, smog or acid rain gases. In 2009, Canada's nuclear stations generated about 15% of our electricity. The nuclear power plants in Ontario produced 55% of the electricity used in that province. If the electricity produced by Canada's nuclear power plants were generated by coal, there would be an additional 90 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted into our atmosphere each year. Canada's emissions of nitrous oxides and sulphur dioxide would also increase by about10%, adding to smog and acid rain.

And, this prevents unnecessary deaths.

NIEHS writes,

“Lives saved by research on the health consequences of environmental pollutants can be counted in the millions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimates on air pollution, the commitment to new air quality standards and cleaner air will prevent 23,000 premature American deaths, 1.7 million cases of asthma attack or aggravation of chronic asthma, 67,000 new cases of acute and chronic bronchitis, 22,000 respiratory-related hospital admissions, and 42,000 hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease…”

C4: Nuclear power and the War on Terror (CiRrK signature) [5]

IAGS writes,

"The line between the barrel and the bomb is clear. It is oil wealth that enables dictatorial regimes to sustain themselves, resisting openness, progress and power sharing. Some semi-feudal royal families in the Gulf buy their legitimacy from the Muslim religious establishment. This establishment uses oil money to globally propagate hostility to the West, modernity, non-Muslims, and women.

This trend is likely to continue. Both the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy currently project a steady increase in world demand for oil through at least 2020. This means further enrichment of the oil-producing countries and continued access of terrorist groups to a viable financial network which allow then remain a lethal threat to the U.S. and its allies."

Saudi Arabia

“It is no coincidence that so much of the cash filling terrorists' coffers come from the oil monarchies in the Persian Gulf. It is also no coincidence that those countries holding the world's largest oil reserves and those generating most of their income from oil exports, are also those with the strongest support for radical Islam. In fact, oil and terrorism are entangled. If not for the West's oil money, most Gulf states would not have had the wealth that allowed them to invest so much in arms procurement and sponsor terrorists organizations…Most wealthy Saudis who sponsor charities and educational foundations that preach religious intolerance and hate toward the Western values have made their money from the petroleum industry or its subsidiaries. Osama bin Laden's wealth comes from the family's construction company that made its fortune from government contracts financed by oil money. It is also oil money that enables Saudi Arabia to invest approximately 40% of its income on weapons procurement.”


“If Saudi Arabia is the financial engine of radical Sunni Islam, its neighbor Iran is the powerhouse behind the proliferation of radical Shiite Islam. Iran, OPEC’s second largest oil producer, is holder of 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and has the world’s second largest natural gas reserve. With oil and gas revenues constituting over 80 percent of its total export earning and 50 percent of its gross domestic product, Iran is heavily dependent on petrodollars. It is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and supporter of some of the world’s most radical Islamic movements such as the Lebanese Hezbollah…As the world’s demand for oil increases, Iran grows richer --Iran’s oil revenues have jumped 25 percent in 2005…”



[3] CAN. Nuclear Facts: Clean Air





As this is a debate with an equal BOP, I assume we go with a normal 4 round Format
R1) Acceptance and Definitions
R2) Contention
R3) Rebuttals
R4) Closing Arguments

C1: Nuclear Power Plants have a risk of High Environmental and Societal Damage [1][2]

Nuclear Power Plants always come at a high risk for a disaster. Almost any environmental change or Natural Disaster could lead to the plant not producing nearly as much energy, could close the plant, or, even worse, could leak out radiation. This was seen recently with the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster last year. Some, but not all of the environmental changes and natural disasters that would alter Nuclear Power Plants are: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tropical Depressions/Storms/Hurricanes, Heat Waves, Reduced Precipitation Levels, Tornadoes, and Hurricanes.These environmental changes and natural disasters occur almost every place in the United States[3]. Seawater is also highly corrosive to Nuclear Power Plants, so it is Extremely Dangerous to put it on an ocean coast. Nuclear Power Plants themselves don't produce CO2, but all other parts of the Nuclear Fuel Chain, mining, milling, transport, fuel fabrication, enrichment, reactor construction, decommissioning and waste management, all require Fossil Fuels, hence those other parts all produce CO2. Also, it would be quite a challenge to dispose even more Nuclear Waste. Decommissioning the plant safely would be occupationally dangerous, as would working in a Nuclear Power Plant.

C2: Nuclear Power Plants are Uneconomical[1][2]

Nuclear Power Plants require high capital costs to build them. True, during the expected Nuclear Power Plant lifetime of 60 years, that Nuclear Energy is cheap itself, but you have to also pay all of the workers, and you would have to pay them a lot, since you are working with Uranium. It also requires money and Fossil Fuels to fulfill the rest of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Once the Nuclear Energy stops producing energy, Nuclear Plants have to go through a process of Decommisioning, which normally costs $300 Million-$5 Billion per plant, as you have to pay the workers to decommision the plant, and you have to fulfill certain standards to decommision, which also requires a lot of money. The process of Decommisioning also takes a long time, as no Nuclear Plant in the U.S. has finished Decommisioning.

C3: No Fossil Fuel Independence[2]
America has recently been trying to break away from Fossil Fuels. Nuclear Energy would not give us Fossil Fuel Independence. All other parts of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle require Fossil Fuels to run. Therefore, we still have to pay money to import oil and other Fossil Fuels from other countries. Nuclear Energy is not the way to break away from Fossil Fuels. Other power sources break away from Fossil Fuels, such as Wind Turbines and Solar Panels[4][5]

Debate Round No. 2


C1: Nuclear Power Plants have a risk of High Environmental and Societal Damage [1][2]

My opponent essentially argues that accidents happen which harm the environment and society with nuclear energy.

Twith this analysis is that its comparatively non-unique to other forms of energy especially oil and fails to take into account technological advances. I don’t need to remind everyone about the BP oil spill in the gulf and various other oil disasters. Just because a risk exists does not mean one should not pursue the beneficial goal nor try and minimize the risks.

Weinburg in, Social Institutions and Nuclear Energy, points out that the disasters of nuclear energy (1) are rare in comparison to other energy disasters, there has really been only 3 disasters in the whole history of nuclear energy but more importantly (2) those disasters would most likely not occur in the United States due to immense safety precautions, oversight that would exist and technological advances in safety measures.

Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace writes:

"The multi-agency U.N. Chernobyl Forum reported last year that 56 deaths could be directly attributed to the accident, most of those from radiation or burns suffered while fighting the fire. Tragic as those deaths were, they pale in comparison to the more than 5,000 coal-mining deaths that occur worldwide every year."

Thus, comparatively nuclear energy is much safer and my advocacy would eventually lead to a mass decrease in the need for coal and oil since there would be a reduction in demand. As such, nuclear energy’s minor risks subsume the higher risked fossil fuel ventures.

C2: Nuclear Power Plants are Uneconomical [3]

My opponent makes a few errors in his economic analysis:

First, my opponent is solely looking at costs and not gains. From the analysis I provided on France above, it demonstrates that the economic benefits very much outweigh the costs. The majority of costs are in the beginning stages of development, which is a non-issue since one wouldn’t build a nuclear facility unless has the funds to do it, and at decommissioning which as the evidence indicates is subsumed by the capital gained when exporting energy from the nuclear facility. The WNA study, “In assessing the economics of nuclear power, decommissioning and waste disposal costs are fully taken into account… they [decommissioning and waste] contribute only a few percent to the investment cost and even less to the generation cost. In the USA they account for 0.1-0.2 cent/kWh, which is no more than 5% of the cost of the electricity produced. The study concludes that when analyzing all the major countries which use nuclear energy the economic benefits of exporting nuclear energy has both the economic effect of cheap and abundant energy, but also an economically sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The company in the majority of cases always are economically green (the company subsumes the initial costs). The study also indicates that there are plenty of opportunities for tax assistance and private assistance in the nuclear energy field which helps bring down the initial investment cost.

Second, it is good for the economy because as my opponent indicates it will hire people and other companies for the building and maintenance of the facility. This isn’t a bad thing as my opponent tries to indicate. If he believes this is a bad thing he must provide the appropriate analysis, which he has not done.

Third, his analysis of uranium is false. The evidence indicates that uranium is actually abundant and relatively cheap in comparison to other fuel sources.

C3: No Fossil Fuel Independence [4]

My opponent argues that even with nuclear energy we would still need to use fossil fuels for power, transportation etc. The problem with this argument is that it mistakes a huge reduction in the use of fossil fuels, with a utopian unconditional independence from fossil fuels. Under my opponent’s advocacy there will be zero action taken to make us independent, but under my advocacy we are at least doing something to reduce our dependence.

And, from an environmental standpoint nuclear makes all the difference. Schultz writes,

“Roughly 700 million metric tons of CO2 emissions are avoided each year in the United States by generating electricity from nuclear power rather than some other source. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, that is nearly equivalent to the CO2 released from all U.S. passenger ­cars.” 90% of our power is taken from fossil fuels, the 5% produced from nuclear already equalizes that of all cars in the U.S.; under this comparison no matter what fossil fuels are needed to initially start the process, having the U.S. increase its production from 5 to say 20%, 30% or 40% the amount of environmentally deadly fumes and C02 would be reduced outweighs the initial amount by an inconceivable number.

Moreover, my opponents claim that solar and wind are better is completely false. His argument negates this claim: to build wind and solar energy devices transportation and initial building would still use fossil fuels. The importance is that both systems inevitably reduce the overall need for fossil fuels.

Source Critique

My opponent foresaw my objection to his use of Wikipedia. It is ok to use Wikipedia one or two times to reference statistics or such but using Wikipedia as your only source is absurd. Wikipedia is unreliable due to user interpretation of the texts and essays and worse even manipulation of the arguments in the texts. I won’t object to Wikipedia on the argumentation level, though I ask the readers to highly evaluate using just Wikipedia as a misuse of a source.

[1] Weinburg. Social Institutions and Nuclear Energy.

[2] Moore. Going Nuclear, a Green makes a Case.





I shall forfeit this debate, as my rebuttals for this round were completely erased by a bug in DDO.
Debate Round No. 3


Kk, he conceded.



Vote Pro, or me and Koopin's love child won't be a piece of KFC.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
Wow, a resolution I agree with Serk on. Nuclear is the new green bro.
Posted by CiRrK 6 years ago
Net benefit. Ill be utilizing a basic impact calculus.

If you are a non-debater (havent debated on a circuit) I suggest you read it.
Posted by daytonanerd 6 years ago
Yeah, I am going to need clarification on if you mean any benefit or net benefit if we move on. I know you said no semantics, but the voters do go by semantics.
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
I would think the standard by which one measures a benefit would be more important.
Posted by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
"1. Should: implying an action resulting in a benefit"
Do you mean any benefit or net benefit? If the former then lol @ that definition.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by baggins 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded. In any case, his R2 argument was not sufficient to negate the resolution.
Vote Placed by Contra 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded. Pro also had some incorrect statistics. The clean air standards sounded similar to those proposed by Obama, not by nuclear energy exploration. And, nuclear energy is not really affordable like Pro mentioned, the only reason many can actually afford it is because it is heavily subsidized by the fed gov't. Pro overall gave a good case though why nuclear energy should be expanded carefully and with due execution and procedure.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's failure to use a word processor apparently cost him this debate. While that situation is understandable, debaters should generally not write up their original arguments in the text box when it's very possible they may be lost. Live and learn. Conduct for FF. Congrats CiRrk.