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

The US Should Subsidize Nuclear Power

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 909 times Debate No: 76854
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)




Since I haven't found an opponent yet, anyone can accept this now.

First round is acceptance only & no new arguments in the final round. Burden of proof is shared.

Subsidize: Support (an organization or activity) financially. (1)
Nuclear Power: The use of nuclear reactors to release nuclear energy and thereby generate electricity. (2)



I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I had to rush this argument, so if it seems rushed I apologize in advance.


In this debate I need to prove that the US should provide subsidies to nuclear power. This means if I can show any source of nuclear power should be subsidized, I win. Essentially, if I can show the Pros outweigh the Cons and that it should be provided financial assistance from the government. This does not mean that only nuclear power should be subsidized, but simply that nuclear power should be among the electricity sources subsidized (if there are others).

C1-Environmental Concerns:

While producing electricity nuclear power produces no greenhouse gas emissions. (1) This is because all nuclear energy is, is simply mass which has been converted to energy, explained by the formula: E=mc^2 Where “E” is energy, “m” is mass, and “c” is the speed of light. (2)

This is extremely important due to the Greenhouse Effect (3):

The downsides of having more heat in the world are that it leads to coral reefs dying, dangerous weather patterns, extinction of certain species of animals and plants, among other things. (4) With these problems it is clear that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced, especially in the US which releases 15.6% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world (despite having only 4.43% of the world’s population). (5, 6) Examining where the US releases much of its emissions we can see that electricity is one of the largest sources at 31%: (7)

For this reason it is clear that any form of energy which doesn’t emit any greenhouse emissions must be prioritized or else the whole planet is in huge trouble, so therefore it is absolutely critical nuclear power is subsidized.

C2-Large Electricity Source:

Nuclear Power can produce a huge amount of energy, to help power the country, which will greatly lower the need for coal, natural gas, and oil based electricity. Also, it will bring a lot of money into the country. In fact, nuclear power itself is much more efficient than using fossil fuels for electricity. (8) This is why France, which generates over 75% of its electricity from nuclear power is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity. This also helps France gain over €3B (about $3.3B) a year. (9, 10) What also makes nuclear power provide so much electricity is that nuclear fuel can be recycled, presuming it has more fissile materials. This helps France generate about 17% of its total electricity. (9) For this reason, nuclear power is a very strong option for electricity, as it would generate a huge amount of electricity and eventually bring in some money, and therefore should be subsidized.


Although it is a large upfront cost (hence the subsidies) nuclear power is overall a cheap energy source. Uranium is cheap and since that is the main component in nuclear fissions reactions, it lets electricity be generated cheaply. (11) For this reason, the French pay very low amounts for electricity. (9) Due to cheapness electricity can be generated, nuclear power should be subsidized.

C4-Thorium Reactors & Nuclear Fusion Reactors:

Currently nuclear energy is primarily generated through nuclear fission of uranium, but in the future it may be done through thorium reactors and/or nuclear fusion which are both even better options. Nuclear fusion would be a greatly powerful energy source (more powerful than fission), but would have no nuclear waste (which is a problem with many present nuclear fission reactors) & would be much safer. This would make nuclear fusion reactors an almost perfect energy source, as there are no significant downsides, but it would be the most powerful energy source ever. In fact, with funding by 6 countries (including the US) and the European Union, a fusion reactor is currently being produced in France. (12) Seeing how close we may actually be to generated electricity by fusion on a large scale, the US really should begin to subsidize the industry.

Another alternative nuclear reactor could be a thorium reactor. It would generate less nuclear waste than current uranium based nuclear fission reactors, would be cheaper, and potentially safer. (13) It will require more research (so subsidies are needed), but currently both Canada & China are producing a modified CANDU style nuclear reactor which will use thorium as fuel. (13) This is all great, but without funding it will have a lot of problem taking off the ground, so the US would be wise to fund it.


Current nuclear reactors are better for the environment and generate much more electricity for less money (after construction) than current fossil fuel reactors, and therefore should be subsidized. Also, with the potential for thorium based reactors and nuclear fusion reactors which will be even better than current fission reactors, their research and production should also be subsidized.





NP = nuclear power
WWS = power from wind, water, and sunlight


If the US wants to reduce global warming, air pollution, and energy instability, it should invest only in the best energy options. NP isn't one of them. WWS is cheaper, cleaner, safer, and faster to deploy (a critical factor given the tight timeframe re: global warming). And WWS has better impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, national security, water supply, wildlife, water pollution, reliability, and sustainability than NP.

Most importantly, WWS is technologically and economically feasible. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions doesn't require building a global network of NP. Researchers at Stanford have shown how the US can provide 100% of its energy with WWS by 2030. [1] Why should the US invest in NP, the more expensive, less efficient, and more harmful energy source? Pro offers no answer to this question. And Pro offers no answer because there isn't one.

NP is fraught with unsolvable infrastructural, economic, social, and environmental problems. These problems include immense capital costs, slow deployment, reactor safety issues, waste storage issues, vulnerability to the effects of climate change, weaponization of uranium, vulnerability to terrorist attack, and even reliability issues (since it depends on foreign sources of uranium). WWS is better on every front.



Global warming requires quick reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Pro agrees that greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced. In fact, Pro's entire argument focuses on impacts from global warming and emission reductions. But Pro doesn't seem to recognize the urgency or scale of the problem. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, we'll soon reach a tipping point, after which runaway climate change will make the planet uninhabitable to humans. [2] The high-albedo Arctic ice is disappearing, and when it does, it'll trigger rapid positive feedbacks to warmer temperatures by uncovering the low-albedo ocean below. Time is of the essence. Emissions need to be reduced very quickly if we are to avoid a planetary ecological catastrophe.

It takes about 11-19 years to build a new NP plant. [3] WWS, on the other hand, only takes 2-5 years. That means the US can lower greenhouse gas emissions much faster by investing in WWS instead of NP. This is why it's possible for the US to provide all its energy with WWS by 2030. [1] The same cannot be said about NP. Moreover, because WWS is rolled out more quickly, the cumulative greenhouse gas savings from WWS far outweigh those from NP. [3] As Mark Jacobson, a researcher and professor at Stanford, notes: "if we invest in nuclear versus true renewables, you can bet that the glaciers and polar ice caps will keep melting while we wait, and wait, for the nuclear age to arrive. We will also guarantee a riskier future for us all." [4] These are powerful words. I urge Pro, voters, and anyone else reading this to heed Jacobson's warning.


NP is expensive. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the average cost of electricity produced by a next-generation nuclear plant (which is cheaper than current plants) is $0.1084 per kilowatt-hour ("kWh"). [5] Comparatively, WWS is much cheaper. Solar, which is more expensive than wind or water, is already as low as $0.0508/kWh. [6] That's half the cost of NP. And costs of WWS are decreasing, whereas costs of NP are going up as uranium is depleted. Moreover, EIA's estimate is lower than it should be because it doesn't take into account the costs of building, insuring, and decommissioning plants, as well as storing radioactive waste. Decommission costs $3 billion per plant. [7] Waste management was $96 billion 2008 -- and that cost is ongoing and rising, because nuclear waste keeps building up, and it lasts thousands of years. [8] Finally, there's the costs of cleanup after a meltdown (e.g. costs of Fukushima were estimated at $100 billion). [9]

Former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Peter Bradford put it best: "If asked whether we should increase our reliance on caviar to fight world hunger, most people would laugh. Relying on an overly expensive commodity to perform an essential task spends too much money for too little benefit, while foreclosing more-promising approaches. That is nuclear power's fundamental flaw in the search for plentiful energy without climate repercussions, though reactors are also more dangerous than caviar unless you're a sturgeon." Bradford continues: "nuclear power is so much more expensive than alternative ways of providing energy that the world can only increase its nuclear reliance through massive government subsidies like the $8 billion loan guarantee offered by the federal government to a two-reactor project in Georgia approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this year." [10]


The more NP expands, the more opportunities that become available for using (or diverting) nuclear material for non-peaceful uses. These risks must be taken into account. And they're not entirely speculative. Historically, the growth of NP has increased the ability of nations to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. "The historic link between energy facilities and weapons is evidenced by the development or attempted development of weapons capabilities secretly in nuclear energy facilities in Pakistan, India, Iraq (prior to 1981), Iran, and to some extent North Korea." In fact, "one of the factors leading several countries now without nuclear power programs to express interest in nuclear power is the foundation that such programs could give them to develop weapons." [3] Moreover, NP plants are a major target for terrorists. If a plane were flown into a nuclear plant, the disaster would be immeasurably worse than Chernobyl. 9/11 would be tiny by comparison. Terrorists could also target waste sites, for a similar effect.


Extreme weather, flooding, and storm surge have increasingly made NP unsafe to operate (e.g. three plants were shut down in the wake of Hurricane Sandy). [15] Anticipated effects from global warming will interfere with NP, making NP an unreliable source of power. Moreover, rising seas and flooding don't just create a risk of shutdown, but also a risk of releasing hazardous materials, like what happened at Fukushima. Global warming increases the risk and uncertainty associated with NP. Given the high upfront costs of building new NP plants, and the difficulty of adapting them to climate change, WWS is a better option going forward. WWS sources are decentralized, small, and easier to move, making them more reliable in the case of extreme weather.


Should failure occur, the consequences are probably the worst of any high risk activity that humans engage in. There have already been four nuclear accidents: Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Each accident was unique, and each was supposed to have been impossible. Yet each happened. Failures like these can and will continue to happen. The risks and costs are too high.



(1) Environment

Pro is wrong that NP doesn't produce any greenhouse gas emissions. Vast amounts of fossil fuels are burned to mill, mine, leech, transport, and enrich uranium, and to build and decommission nuclear plants. [3] In fact, many NP plants are nearly as carbon-intensive as a coal plant. [11] For instance, "in 2002, the Paducah [uranium] enrichment plant [in Kentucky] released over 197.3 metric tons of Freon, [a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide]." [12] And the emissions produced by NP are only increasing because the deposits of rich ores with the highest uranium content are depleting, leaving only lower-quality deposits. [13] As ore quality degrades, more energy is required to mine and mill it, leading to greater greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, by 2050, NP will produce as much greenhouse gas emissions as today's fossil fuel plants. [14]

Compared to WWS, NP results in 25 times more carbon emissions, due to emissions from uranium refining and transport and reactor construction, the longer time required to site, permit, and construct a NP plant, and due to greater loss of soil carbon due to the greater loss in vegetation resulting from covering the ground with NP plants. [3]

(2) Re: Pro's C2: All energy needs can be met through WWS. [1]

(3) Re: Pro's C3: Addressed above. NP is extremely expensive. If it were cheap, the market would choose NP. The government wouldn't need to subsidize it. But as is, NP requires billions in subsidies per plant. WWS is cheaper.


The US shouldn't subsidize the building of thorium or fusion. There's no indication that thorium or fusion is even possible. To date, no thorium or fusion power exists. And most physicists don't think controlled fusion will ever be possible. [16] [17]

We're facing serious problems from global warming, air pollution, and energy instability. The US needs to invest in solutions to these problems before it throws away money on a wild goose chase. The US needs to focus on today's pressing issues, not on building a power plant that might never be built. The urgency of today's problems require that we invest in WWS. That's the first thing we need to do. Investment in fusion may come after we solve today's problems. But first, the US needs to focus on ensuring our species survives a looming catastrophe.


Debate Round No. 2


I agree with Con that global warming is an urgent matter. However, it is impossible to know how long it will take to reach this tipping point. For example, the UN predicted in 2014 that over the next 15 years we must cut emissions dramatically. However, they also said back in 1982 that we’d reach the tipping point by the turn of the century; despite this, emissions haven’t went down, but we still haven’t reached the tipping point. (1) Some scientists even have the prediction as early as 2020. (2) So it’s obviously impossible to predict the tipping point, and it could be much longer than anyone expects.

Let’s look at the 2020 prediction. Pro shows how WWS could only take 2-5 years to setup. I agree with that (remember I’m not arguing that only nuclear power should be subsidized). However, his numbers for the 11-19 years for a NP plant are far off. There are 5 power plants currently under construction in the US (although one of them saw its construction shut down decades ago and just recently is being started up again, so I’ll omit that one in the analysis.) Southern Nuclear’s Vogtle plant is getting a 3rd and 4th unit. They first applied for permits in 2006. Construction then began in 2013 for both of them and Vogtle 3 is expected to be done by 2016 and Vogtle 4 by 2017. (3) SCE&G’s VC summer plant is getting a 2nd and 3rd unit as well. They applied for a permit in 2008, construction began in 2013 and are said to be done by 2017 and 2018 respectively. (4) So that’s 9-11 years including the permit. Construction itself only takes 3-5 years. Permits are necessary, however, the US government could step in and try to speed up the permit process or even construction. Either way, if needed the government could speed it up. They could also be sped up by converting carbon plants to nuclear plants. Taking a quick look at the designs: (5, 6)

In fact, the opposite has happened before. A nuclear plant which almost completely done production ended up being converted to a coal plant. (7) Obviously they were internally similar enough, so this could be another way to save time, while also reducing carbon emissions directly. Overall, Con admits that it wouldn’t even be until 2030 when the country can be fully powered by WWS, so even if nuclear reactors don’t start popping up in the 2020s it could greatly speed up the process of phasing out of coal, oil, and natural gas. If a coal plant is shutdown to be replaced by a nuclear one there will be a net reduction in emissions, so it would only be a net positive, so it makes the whole contention useless.


Con says that a solar plant costs about 5 cents per kWh. However, I’m going to quote Con’s own source here, “That 5.79 cents per kilowatt-hour is a low number...seemingly half of what has typically been paid for projects of this nature.” (7)

So in that case a solar power cost about the same as nuclear power. Not to mention, it’s in New Mexico which is one of the sunniest areas in the country. As I’ve already shown last round the French pay little for electricity because of their nuclear power plants. Also, a nuclear power plant would produce more power. A 1GW nuclear plant could produce 7889GW of electricity per year. However, a 3.6GW solar plant would be needed to produce the same amount of power, because nuclear is much more efficient (sun’s not always shining). (8) In fact, Tracey Durning of the Energy Options Network said ““In 2014, one of the cheapest utility scale solar plants in the US had an expected installed price of $2,000 per kilowatt. But since US solar plants operate at only about 25 per cent capacity factor, the cost per capacity-adjusted kilowatt is $8,000.” (8) However, the average initial capital cost of plants setup in the US is $6500 per kW. (8) When you consider nuclear power is much more efficient, it really is the cheapest option. In fact, the amount of power nuclear plants generate is why as I mentioned last round France makes billions of Euros exporting electricity. Also, the cost for enriching uranium could be avoided with CANDU style reactors (which doesn’t use enriched uranium), which are also more efficient and safe. (11, 12)


The first part of Con’s argument has nothing to do with terrorism. He’s merely talking about countries wanting to develop nuclear weapons with them. Of course, this has nothing to do with the US as they already have a huge military, including a large nuclear weapon arsenal.

However, he does talk about the risk of a plane being flown into a nuclear plant (like during 9/11). The chances of that happening are extremely low. First of all, that’s never happened. Also, ever since 9/11 the US has increased airport security and has never had a plane hijacking since.


Even if a NP plant had to be shutdown due to environmental concerns, it still would generate more electricity for a long time than WWS, as certain areas may not get enough exposure to sunlight or wind. Plus, global warming affects hydropower in the same way it does nuclear. (9)

As for storage of hazardous materials be released, we can learn from the mistakes in Japan. We can store them in better ways. We can’t stop doing something all together, because one thing was not done well enough in the past.

The chances of another major meltdown are happening is low. Not counting Fukushima it has been decades since one has happened. People are obviously being safer and increasing precautions. Also, many countries which use a lot of nuclear power (e.g. France) have never had a major nuclear meltdown. So why did Fukushima happen? The regulators were reluctant to adapt global safety standards. (10) Nuclear meltdowns are in reality very rare and assuming the US sets up safe reactors the chances of a reactor causing a total meltdown is low. Also if Japan had used the safer CANDU reactors it may have been avoided less severe. (13)

As mentioned CANDU reactors don’t need to be enriched. However, even light water reactors are good for the environment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found the lifecycle emissions for many energy sources. Using the median values, nuclear power generated 12 gCO2eq/kWh (grams of equivalent carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour), which was tied with offshore wind and less than solar (which depending on the type varied from 27-48 gCO2eq/kWh & hydropower which was at 24 gCO2eq/kWh). (14) Also, in fact, they found that nuclear power generated less infrastructure & supply chain emissions than all of the WWS sources except wind. (14)

C2-Large Source
I indirectly addressed this above.

The reason the free market doesn’t adapt it is because it’s expensive to start compared to coal and other sources. I didn’t deny this, but said once generated it is cheap and potentially a profit maker.

C4-Thorium & Fusion
Con’s main argument is that it could take a long time to develop and that WWS sources should get the money right now due to the urgency. However, putting some money in fusion & thorium could be useful. We may be a lot closer than previously thought as I already said last round a fusion reactor is being made in France (produced by the US, EU, China, India, Japan, Korea and Russia) and thorium reactors (produced by China & Canada) are currently being produced.




Pro says the government could speed up NP construction. That is very unlikely. Constructing NP involves so many variables, millions of moving parts, and is always susceptible to human error and unanticipated cost overruns. The US already does everything it can to speed construction, yet construction still takes much longer than projected. [20] Of 66 plants “under construction,” nine have been so for 20 years, four for 10 years, 45 have no start-up date, and 23 have experienced significant, protracted construction delays. [21]

In fact, Pro's entire argument rests on outdated projections for the Vogtle and Virgil plants. The Vogtle expansion was originally to be completed in 2016 and 2017. But delays and cost overruns have pushed the schedule back to 2019 and 2020. [18] And “additional challenges in its fabrication, assembly, delivery, and installation of the shield building and structural modules” could lead to even more delays and added costs. The SCE&G plant has also been delayed until 2019 and 2020. [19] As such, construction time for these plants is closer to 13 or 14 years, and further delays may extend construction time beyond that.

Pro's idea that we could speed up construction is simply absurd. And Pro's other idea, turning coal plants into NP, is also absurd. NP plants are far larger installations than coal, requiring complex infrastructure and millions of parts that coal plants lack. [20] Finally, there simply aren't enough engineers with the required expertise to build new NP plants; there aren't even enough to sustain current levels of NP let alone to build new plants. [21]

WWS can replace coal much faster than NP. And as a result, WWS leads to cumulative greenhouse gas savings. Studies show that these cumulative savings make WWS seven times more effective at fighting climate change than NP. [3] [20] [26] That alone is reason to vote Con in this debate. Remember, Pro admits that global warming poses a threat to human survival. Pro also recognizes the urgency in solving this problem. Solving the problem of climate change as quickly as possible needs to be our #1 priority. The best solution is investing in WWS, not NP.


The market supports WWS. [21] It doesn't support NP. Even 100% construction subsidies offered to new US reactors since 2005, plus operating subsidies slightly greater than those formerly given to wind, have failed to attract private capital. [24] The market doesn't lie. To argue that NP is cheaper than WWS is absurd. Investing in NP over WWS will cost the US billions.

Pro drops almost all my evidence. In particular, Pro drops that wind and water are significantly cheaper than NP. Pro drops that prices for WWS are decreasing (note: by 2017, solar prices will decrease another 40%, as cell efficiency increases and the cost of panels decreases). [25] Pro drops that the price of NP is increasing, as uranium ores are being depleted. Pro drops the fact that producing NP already costs double that of recent solar installations. And Pro drops the huge costs of waste storage, the costs of cleanup after a meltdown, and the costs of decommissioning NP plants, most of which isn't taken into account in any of Pro's sources.

Instead, Pro focuses solely on upfront costs. Three problems with Pro's argument: First, investors don't care about upfront costs; they care about lifetime costs. All my evidence, which Pro drops, refers to lifetime costs, not upfront costs. This explains why investors are so interested in WWS while showing no interest in NP. Ironically, Pro says investors aren't interested in NP because of NP's high upfront costs; at the same time, Pro says NP is cheap based on an analysis of upfront costs.

Second, Pro's only sources don't cite any studies, don't say where their numbers come from, what their methodology is, or anything that makes the source credible. In effect, Pro's sources are much like Pro's arguments: bare assertions without any substantiation.

Third, Pro's numbers are wrong. [Pro's 8] says NP construction costs are $6500 per kW. But that number is low. FPL recently said its NP units were at least $8000 per kW. [20] And a study found that construction costs quoted by trade associations and industry suppliers are misleadingly incomplete because they exclude expenses related to procuring land, building cooling towers and switchyards, interest during construction, inflation, cost overruns, and contingency fees. [20] The study noted that costs typically double when these excluded items are included. Other sources show that NP construction costs have historically exceeded projections by up to 1200%. [22] Pro's own examples, the Vogtle and SCE&G plants, are good examples of cost overruns.

[Pro's 8] says construction costs for solar are $2000 per kW, but are actually $8000 because it runs at 25% efficiency. How do we know the numbers are accurate? We don't because Pro's source simply asserts them without any empirical evidence. Every legitimate source shows actual construction costs of solar around $3000 per kW. [20] [27] Unsurprisingly, Pro misunderstands what the 25% number refers to: solar PV's efficiency at converting sunlight into energy. [20] and [27] already take this number into account. And as technology improves, efficiency will improve, lowering the cost even further. [25]


Pro says NP displaces more carbon per dollar than WWS. But Pro ignores carbon produced in mining, milling, and enriching uranium, unanticipated construction delays and cost overruns, waste storage construction, decommissioning, and millennia-long storage of waste. There is plenty of carbon in this footprint that isn't computed in [Pro's 14]. More specifically, [Pro's 14] fails to acknowledge the astronomic carbon footprint from storing waste for thousands of years. And [Pro's 14] fails to consider cumulative savings from WWS's faster deployment.

Amory Lovins, an American physicist and one of the world's top energy experts, took into account all these factors and found that WWS "protects the climate sevenfold more than shifting a dollar of spending from coal to nuclear." [26] Lovins explains that "for a power source merely to emit no carbon isn't good enough; it must also produce the least carbon per dollar, and must do so sooner that its competitors." The keyword there is "sooner." [Pro's 14] simply ignores much of NP's carbon footprint, including waste storage and all the cumulative greenhouse gas savings from WWS's faster deployment. Other studies confirm these results. [3] [20] Plus, the cost of WWS is decreasing, while the cost of NP is increasing, so the amount of carbon WWS displaces per dollar will continue to increase. Meanwhile, as price of NP increases, NP will displace less carbon per dollar than it already does.

NP plants also continuously emit cancer-causing strontium-90 radiation during regular operation. Multiple studies show that radioactive strontium-90 emissions during routine operations increase cancer rates among those who live near NP plants. [21]


Pro admits that expanding NP also proliferates nuclear weapons. This poses a massive security risk, because it creates more opportunities for rogue states and terrorists to obtain radioactive materials and create their own weapons of mass destruction. Every ton of separated plutonium waste from NP has enough material for 110 nuclear weapons. [20] And there's no shortage of rogue states and terrorist groups eager to acquire this waste to make nuclear bombs.

The risks are real. Authorities have documented over 917 incidents of nuclear smuggling, and those are only the incidents we know about. [20]

Pro says a plane hijacking is unlikely, but we know the risk is real, since 9/11 happened. NP plants are prone to terrorist attack and sabotage. And if we expand NP, the risk of terrorist attack increases, as terrorists acquire more potential targets. In response, the US will need to invest in more security for NP plants, uranium mines, and waste storage sites, which would further increase the costs of NP. And even then, no amount of security can guarantee that NP plants won't be targeted by terrorists.

WWS don't have any security risks.


Pro says NP provides more energy than WWS. That's irrelevant. WWS can provide all our energy needs plus more by 2030. That's enough energy.

WWS is "more reliable than current arrangements" if properly distributed. [26] And there's more than enough wind, water, and sunlight in the US to create a reliable WWS power grid. [3] [20] Pro's lack of sources on this point is telling. In contrast, NP often fails unexpectedly; 27% of US plants have failed. Yes, hydro is affected by extreme weather too, but it recovers much faster than NP (full NP recovery takes years). [26] And WWS still withstands extreme weather better because it's decentralized.


The risk of a meltdown in the US is even higher than it was at Fukushima. [23] Indeed, using the most advanced probabilistic risk assessment tools, a team at MIT estimated at least four serious accidents between now and 2055. [20] That is an unacceptable risk. And this analysis was done assuming no new NP plants. If we expand NP, the probabilistic risk increases.

There's no way to design around these risks because they're caused by human errors made during small accidents that cascade to complete failure. And small accidents happen all the time. Between 1942 and 2007, there were 956 small accidents. [20]


The fusion/thorium currently being produced is an experimental project and over 30 years from completion. Even if completed, it won't ever be commercialized because it'll never be economically feasible. [16] [17] [24]

Debate Round No. 3


I have to concede. I don't have time to put much effort into an argument and I really should have prepared for it better. For the record, I still prefer nuclear power, but I did a really bad job defending it.

Vote Con.


Thanks for the debate. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Gondun 1 year ago
Sorry, that was my mistake. I read it backwards and my vote deserved to be removed.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
My apologies, that's supposed to say be "7 points to Pro".
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
>Reported vote: Gondun// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter seems to have the facts of the debate backwards. Pro conceded in R4, not Con.
Posted by RoyalFlush100 1 year ago
@gannon260 Good call on fusion, lol, and thanks for bringing up thorium. Still, even the current uranium based fission reactors I think should be subsidized.
Posted by mentalist 1 year ago
I think the Fukushima accident proved Murphy's law regarding this issue. There are far safer and ecologically friendly methods available. Nuclear power simply allows more corporate control.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
For me I support Nuclear power over other forms of energy. I just believe that subsidizing the industry is a huge mistake.
Posted by 2-D 1 year ago
I'm a big advocate of nuclear power although I don't know if I support subsidies. Anyway, looking forward to the debate.
Posted by RoyalFlush100 1 year ago
@lannan13 At this rate probably. However, I'd rather debate this soon rather than later, so if someone else accepts it, I'll just proceed.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
Will this be open in two weeks? If so then I will actually have the time to debate.
Posted by gannon260 1 year ago
i swear, he/she's probably going with a thorium or fusion energy argument
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.