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10
6
For Against
Debate Score:16
Arguments:14
Total Votes:17
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Nuclear Energy

With fossil fuels becoming more scarce, and climate concerns growing it is becoming more and more apparent that we need alternative sources of energy. One possible and controversial source would be nuclear energy.

Should nuclear energy be a significant part of our future energy supply?

To help people get the debate started, please watch this debate from TED that does a good job of presenting the two sides.

For

Side Score: 10
VS.

Against

Side Score: 6
1 point

I support Nuclear energy as a cleaner (overall in waste produced versus fossil fuel power) and more efficient means of producing energy. ITER and DEMO also appear to be good contenders for extremely efficient (in terms of energy to waste) power, but it will be decades before we see the results. In the meantime, Fission power plants in the present generation are safe, relatively clean, and would break part of our dependence on foreign oil.

Side: For
2 points

I agree that we need to move away from fossil fuels, however I don't believe that nuclear is the best option.

Although nuclear energy does produce less waste than coal plants, the waste produced does not go away. Any storage facility would have to ensure that the waste was protected for billions of years, and over time the radioactive waste would build up, meaning that we would eventually have another problem on our hands. This however, is more of a long term issue with Nuclear energy and I can understand why people don't take it too seriously.

What nuclear energy does still require is mining sites to find the necessary elements for these fission reactions. Strip mining tares up large portions of land and can seriously damage the ecology of some areas.

The U.S., by adopting nuclear energy would also make it more likely other nations would switch to nuclear energy. Nations such as Pakistan and India both began with nuclear power and then secretly created nuclear bombs in these plants. By promoting nuclear power we would be making it easier for developing nations to attain these massively destructive weapons.

In addition, every nuclear power plant and every vehicle transporting nuclear materials would become a terrorist target. Even if terrorists aren't successful the resources spent protecting these plants would be significant.

Instead of using nuclear power, we should instead rely more on renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal power to power our nation. Countries such as Germany have had excellent results with wind, and we wouldn't have to worry about all the issues that exist with nuclear power. In addition we would be setting a great example for the rest of the world to adopt.

Renewables don't require mining or large plants, but instead can be spread out and easily incorporated into any existing power grid, until eventually power sources such as coal are phased out completely.

Side: Against
aveskde(1935) Disputed
1 point

Although nuclear energy does produce less waste than coal plants, the waste produced does not go away. Any storage facility would have to ensure that the waste was protected for billions of years, and over time the radioactive waste would build up, meaning that we would eventually have another problem on our hands. This however, is more of a long term issue with Nuclear energy and I can understand why people don't take it too seriously.

We'll no doubt be transitioned into fusion before the end of the century, fission is merely a cleaner steeping stone from fossil fuels. As for nuclear waste, I would suggest keeping it in a facility for several decades until a practical way is found to hurl it into space.

What nuclear energy does still require is mining sites to find the necessary elements for these fission reactions. Strip mining tares up large portions of land and can seriously damage the ecology of some areas.

So we don't use strip mining, or invest in better technologies. I still must think however that due to the sheer efficiency in nuclear power, the damage from these activities would be way less than current fossil fuel imports and spills.

The U.S., by adopting nuclear energy would also make it more likely other nations would switch to nuclear energy. Nations such as Pakistan and India both began with nuclear power and then secretly created nuclear bombs in these plants. By promoting nuclear power we would be making it easier for developing nations to attain these massively destructive weapons.

I'm dubious of this, because the uranium used in these power plants isn't pure enough to be used in a weapon. But giving you the benefit of the doubt, the crackpot in me wants to see these countries like Pakistan get into nuclear war, if for no other reason than to cleanse the earth of some really sick societies in that part of the world. However, in seriousness, I endorse nuclear power for industrialised nations, basically the west.

In addition, every nuclear power plant and every vehicle transporting nuclear materials would become a terrorist target. Even if terrorists aren't successful the resources spent protecting these plants would be significant.

This wouldn't be a problem in the US.

Instead of using nuclear power, we should instead rely more on renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal power to power our nation. Countries such as Germany have had excellent results with wind, and we wouldn't have to worry about all the issues that exist with nuclear power. In addition we would be setting a great example for the rest of the world to adopt.

These simply aren't as efficient, and they depend on the region. At best they should be supplements, I think.

Renewables don't require mining or large plants, but instead can be spread out and easily incorporated into any existing power grid, until eventually power sources such as coal are phased out completely.

As supplements I agree, not as a primary source, however.

Side: For

don't be against. it will kill you instantaneously! warning you peopleses!

Side: For

I believe the human race ought to go back to a pre-industrial society. It'd surely solve most of the problems afflicting humanity today. Obesity would be a rarity, seeing as how people would walk much more frequently; we'd have farm animals rather than polluting machinery. Weapons of Mass Destruction would disappear along with all the other monstrosities (er, conveniences) which science has brought us. Homicide and other crime rates would decrease as the urban population dispersed to rural areas; AIDS and other 'epidemics' would reduce along human interaction. Divorce rates would decline as spouses became dependent on each other, which one would argue is good for society, especially children.

As obesity rates decreased, and healthier foods consumed, illnesses would become less common and, while lifespans may decrease slightly with the lack of medication, they would be healthier and more worthwhile.

While war may still occur, it would do so on a much lower scale.

Side: Against
aveskde(1935) Disputed
2 points

I believe the human race ought to go back to a pre-industrial society. It'd surely solve most of the problems afflicting humanity today.

Welcome back to famines, easy death from lack of medicine and vaccines, and a species extinction event at any time in the future (because they happen about every hundred million years or so).

Homicide and other crime rates would decrease as the urban population dispersed to rural areas;

I guess you never read about the 19th century serial killers, scammers, and massacres.

Divorce rates would decline as spouses became dependent on each other, which one would argue is good for society, especially children.

It wasn't a matter of dependence, it was a matter of social stigma against and difficulty of the lower classes in obtaining them.

As obesity rates decreased, and healthier foods consumed, illnesses would become less common and, while lifespans may decrease slightly with the lack of medication, they would be healthier and more worthwhile.

Look up Pellagra as an example condition that came from pre-industrial farming knowledge. Old ways aren't necessarily healthier.

Side: For
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

How healthy would we be if the world were to become uninhabitable due to bioweapons? What about nuclear bombs? Within a few hours we can be on the other side of the world. How's that for spreading diseases?

Right when I joined there was a debate going on - something like 'Do we live in a short-term thinking society?' The answer most definitely is 'YES!' because it's people like you who prefer medicine to prolong a life along with extremely destructive weapons rather than peaceful life.

There could never have been 'world wars' prior to the 20th century, now could there have been?

I guess you never read about the 19th century serial killers, scammers, and massacres.

I'm rather well-read on this subject; however, as I stated, a pre-industrial society was my proposal. 'pre-industrial' is 18th century. Regardless of the time differences, were they quite as common as they are today? How about vehicular deaths? Just the other day I drove by a 'response team' cleaning up a pile of blood on the sidewalk of a gas station - a cyclist was hit by a car and died. Could that, and many other such incidents have occurred prior to the advent of the automobile?

It wasn't a matter of dependence, it was a matter of social stigma against and difficulty of the lower classes in obtaining them.

Prove it.

I can recall quite a few debates where people - I had believed you to be amongst them - stated that people remained married because, prior to welfare and stuff like that, people relied on family - spouses and children - to care for them in old age. I agree with that scenario much more than yours, especially considering that wives could be sold [for about a penny] in England in the early 1800s.

Look up Pellagra as an example condition that came from pre-industrial farming knowledge. Old ways aren't necessarily healthier.

I know about pellagra; however, as wikipedia states, the disease was first described by a Spaniard in 1735.

10,000 southerners were afflicted with pellagra in 1916. How many are dying slowly of obesity and related issues, including heart disease?

Welcome back to famines, easy death from lack of medicine and vaccines, and a species extinction event at any time in the future

...and goodbye to a habitable planet.

Famines: Famines still happen today.

Lack of medication: Healthier lifestyle can decrease the need for medication. Herbal remedies, urine therapy, etc., could serve as a replacement for modern medicine.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240543/?tool=pmcentrez

about every hundred million years or so

You believe that humans - in one form or another - have existed for what, 35 million years? We've still - by your own timeline - another 65 million years.

Side: Against
1 point

Well I like how you ignore the whole modern medicine thing and the increase in life expectancy over the past century by more than 20 years, but your right...everything was better in the past.

Plus your scenario is unrealistic.

Plus you missed the point of the debate.

Please next time you post in one of my debates (or any debate for that matter) check the title so we don't get dumb and irrelevant comments.

Thanks!

Side: For
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

Well I like how you ignore the whole modern medicine thing and the increase in life expectancy over the past century by more than 20 years

Did I? I had thought I included a section on that...

Well, anyway, what's medicine if the entire planet is destroyed?

but your right...everything was better in the past.

I loathe sarcasm, a trait which I must say is very common amongst liberals.

Plus your scenario is unrealistic.

Is it? I pondered what could possibly bring about such drastic change and arrived at one answer: war. Of course, there are other possibilities. For instance, I read about solar flares:

The National Academy of Sciences framed the problem two years ago in a landmark report entitled "Severe Space Weather Events—Societal and Economic Impacts." It noted how people of the 21st-century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. Smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity. A century-class solar storm, the Academy warned, could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina.

Other scenarios include plague and alien/divine intervention.

Plus you missed the point of the debate.

Did I?

You asked whether the to-be participants of this debate were for or against the use of nuclear energy in future - rather than the long-used 'fossil fuels'. I stated why I am against not only nuclear energy, but also fossil fuels.

Please next time you post in one of my debates (or any debate for that matter) check the title so we don't get dumb and irrelevant comments.

I did read the title. I did read the 'issue description'.

If anybody else had written that argument, would you have written that?

All's I did was to expand on the entire debate premise.

Supporting Evidence: The Sun is Awakening! (science.nasa.gov)
Side: Against