banning nuclear energy development
Debate Rounds (3)
1) I would like to address the mentioning of Chernobyl, even though it is out of order, because it is the most misunderstood argument that is used against nuclear power. "The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel."  We also need to note that Chernobyl was a steam explosion, not a nuclear explosion. And was caused by a combination of very poor decisions, from the lacking of basic safety, even for that era, to poor training, to management personnel that was more interested in not looking bad then real issues. The safety issues that happened at Chernobyl were already impossible in the US because of the mechanical safety features we had back in the 80's and our safety has only gotten better.
2) "There is no way to permanently and securely store nuclear waste." I have to disagree with this on two points, first, we don't have to "store" it. The most common nuclear material is U-235 (Uranium) and it is found naturally across the planet.  If we have to be completely safe, it is possible to de-rich uranium (though it is more costly then storing it is depleted and takes up much more space) so that it can be put back in the ground just as it came out, as safe to nature as it has always been. But even without going through that much effort, the storage of fuel is actually extremely safe. The Science behind the yucca mountain shows that it is a safe storage , and actually the main fear is that water will corrode the containers if it rains too heavily over enough decades. However, it is possible to upkeep the containers (since we upkeep all our roads and buildings and everything else from corrosion), and we can even design the containers to be extremely immune to corrosion  so that the life span goes from decades to centuries to possible millennia.
Nuclear power plants also don't produce that much waste, about 20 tons a year per plant.  That's the same amount of waste (by weight, not volume) as about 25 people, per year.  So when we stop and think about it, it really isn't that much.
Going back to safety. Nuclear waste containers have some of the best safety features of any engineered structure.  And to show the kind of tests these have to go through.  They test those buggers for everything! We have PBRs (Pebble Bed Reactors) that add a whole new level on safety.  A PBR is "a reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete." We also have Fusion reactors which are starting to pick up steam (couldn't resist the old energy pun from the steam power days). And they too have their safety built in the laws of physics  in that if something happens that jeopardizes the power plant, the nuclear reaction will come to a stop on its own, rather then snowball out of control.
That is a simple look at the science of the safety, now lets look at the history of the safety, since this is the only aspect where nuclear power have blemishes, since certain nations choose to let their safety slide, they have become bad marks on the entire nuclear concept. But in the USA, not a single human being has EVER died from an incident related to a nuclear power plant or its waste.  The most famous incident in US history is the TMI incident, which actually should have been a beacon of hope and success. A most basic back story, in 1979, the TMI nuclear power plant had to be evacuated because a partial meltdown began to happen. The wonderful part about what really happened was that the plant managed to cool itself down on it's own. The built in mechanical safety features protected it from anything really bad from happening. While just over the vent stack, readings up to 1,200 millirems were recorded (indicating that radioactive material was making it out into the environment. The government maintained a registry for 18 years of the 30,000 people that lived in the vicinity and found that they did not experience ANY health fallout (no increased rate of cancer, no increased rate of birth defects, no increased rate of brain issues). 
Research has shown that nuclear workers will, on average, be subjected to about 1,000 millirem per year (compared to the average individual who gets about 360 per year), and that will, on average, lessen the workers life by about 50 days, compared to being 15 pounds overweight (lessens your life by about 2 years) or smoking a pack a day (6 years).
It is also only fair to compare this energy source to other ones, such as coal or oil. Those industries can only wish for the environmental and safety history of US nuclear power plants. If my opponent wishes to challenge this argument, I'll provide sources then, but right now, it is getting late, so I'll end this round here.
 The youtube video
ohhaiivonne forfeited this round.
ohhaiivonne forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by phantom 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeits. Pro had poor S/G. Arguments went uncontested. Con used sources heavily.
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