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06:03 AM on 03/17/2011
"Adult" as in X-rated? --pornographic and violent?? An "Adult" conversation about energy would begin with parents protecting their children and themselves and the planet from permanent damage from nuclear power by abolishing it. Nothing Green here. You have shifted the term "green" so that it is meaningless. You mean, let's accept relative levels of contamination so we can keep our energy consumption levels at obscenely high "adult" rates.
06:42 AM on 03/17/2011
"Nothing Green here."

I disagree:

1. zero carbon emissions (unlike coal, oil, etc.); even so-called "green" energies like solar and wind have carbon emissions due to the need to supplement them with coal/oil/etc. to account for the fact that the wind doesn't always blow and the son doesn't always shine.

2. less land usage (ex. it takes a wind farm 60x the size of a nuclear plant to produce the EXACT SAME amount of energy)

"You mean, let's accept relative levels of contaminat­ion so we can keep our energy consumptio­n levels at obscenely high "adult" rates."

The above statement also applies to coal/oil/natural gas pollution as well as the toxic disposal of used up solar panels (which are far from environmentally friendly).
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aligatorhardt
Cut on the bias
07:49 AM on 03/17/2011
Get a clue. Solar panels are a small, one time hazard during manufacturing, then they operate totally pollution free for 30 years. Solar panels are 90% recyclable. Coal and nuclear power require carbon intensive mining and transportation every day of every year they are in service. Nuclear power has the unmatched ability to kill and sicken millions of people. even those far away. Already solar, wind and hydro power are all cheaper than nuclear power, are faster to bring online, can provide local jobs, are the biggest job creators,  Coal power is also more expensive when you add in the estimated $500 billion a year for it's health care costs in the US. The use of wind power in different locations allows them to back up each other as wind always blows, night and day and a local decrease is offset by the other turbines. Energy storage with flywheels, batteries, pumped water storage, hydrogen production all make solar power useful beyond daylight hours. In addition hydro has no limit of on time, geothermal has no clock, fuel cells and hydrogen run all night. Daytime power needs are the greatest because businesses all run during the day and air conditioning costs are highest during the day. Power needs and demand is also variable so load leveling is needed no matter what the source of power. with modern computer controls monitoring and switching power supplies is standard practice. Our power grid is old technology and needs improvement anyway. If you are interested in being able to talk with knowledge, visit  www.renewableenergyworld.com
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Gebby
artist gebhardtart advocate for a better world
08:02 AM on 03/17/2011
cant believe you said even solar has carbon emissions. amazing how things get re-defined.
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HeevenSteven
20 Minutes into the future.
05:58 AM on 03/17/2011
We can't have adult conversation in the current corrupt "main stream" media environment either. All I see on tv and major print media is "balance"---a steady stream of right-wing "think" tankers demonizing governments and taxes.

We have a largely technologically illiterate public, a congress full of lawyers, who have their staffs full of industry lobbyists. Watching cable news anchors trying to wrap their heads around the gulf spill and now the nuc disaster is so disheartening..
05:14 AM on 03/17/2011
"The adult conversation about nuclear power needs to start."

Sure. Let us know when the politicians and 'experts' are willing to act, speak, and treat us like adults.

Oh. And when you decide to do that, maybe you can explain why you've insulted our intelligence by telling us that even though mercury, various other forms of pollution, and even dust from the Sahara routinely make it's way here to the U.S., radioactive fallout won't.

While you're at it, maybe you can explain why the term 'critical mass' has been STUDIOUSLY avoided in these discussions, in even the form of a denial?
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Romeover
Civilization is for weaklings.
05:07 AM on 03/17/2011
"As adults, we need to consider that our world has limited resources, limited atmosphere, and limited space."

Mr. Cavnar, how about mentioning that "as adults" we need to consider population limits?
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aligatorhardt
Cut on the bias
07:58 AM on 03/17/2011
People will regulate themselves if contraception is available at low cost and the religious fanatics would get out of the way. Well educated societies all have reasonable birth rates. Catholics have denied birth control to many uneducated and poor people in order to get the most money out of them instead of helping them deal with their problems of overburdened food supplies.
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HeevenSteven
20 Minutes into the future.
08:35 AM on 03/17/2011
Yeah, good luck with that. The Republican congress and right wing Christians won't even acknowledge global warming is real, let alone a problem; they'll treat overpopulation the same way.
03:36 AM on 03/17/2011
Why aren't the adults discussing geothermal?
ThinkCreeps
Seriously, it's time.
10:04 AM on 03/17/2011
Because it doesn't really work.
01:54 AM on 03/17/2011
saw some documentary tclaiming hat a solar plant half the size of california could power usa... any truth to that?... but they treated such a project as just too much acreage to accomplish... is it really? I've seen some vast empty space in the midwest. Same doc said nuclear wasn't an option as that much nuclear energy would use up our source of radium within 20 years...
03:25 AM on 03/17/2011
I think I saw the same documentary. The problem is we don't have the infrastructure to support solar energy. We should have started building that infrastructure years ago, but it's nearly impossible to get politicians to make that kind of investment.
05:18 AM on 03/17/2011
Yes. Well. They're about to not have a damned choice in the matter.
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aligatorhardt
Cut on the bias
08:05 AM on 03/17/2011
They would rather spend the money bombing and occupying other countries and steal from them instead of investing in self sufficiency at home. It is time for many new people in Congress that will represent the citizens instead of just the richest.
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04:36 AM on 03/17/2011
There would have to back up sources of energy production for when the sun is not shining, like when its cloudy or night, there is no way to store the energy.
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Romeover
Civilization is for weaklings.
05:11 AM on 03/17/2011
There are many ways to store the energy, from the obvious batteries to pumped hydro storage to chemical storage (eg disassociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen).

If you want to be negative, how about just saying "there is no way to get Americans to change"?
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Tribal Knowledge
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!
01:00 AM on 03/17/2011
Agree with the author.

The first thing that the Japanese will do is to rebuild those reactors. They need them. We do as well. There is not enough corn in the world, or whale oil, or salad oil, or solar panels, or windmills - to power our economy. Period. We will not run aircraft on solar panels or coal or wind, either...and until we manage to harness the matter/antimatter reaction in a Warp Engine, we are going to be stuck with certain realities.

Bearded, ponytailed, bespectacled yahoos with time on their hands to lie flaccid and bleat out shrill protests, of ENERGY, are able to do that by driving to the events, and under the lights provided by nuclear power.

In the US, NO ONE has ever died in a nuke accident. We have a 100% safety record. We cannot say that about oil burning, coal burning or even wind farms - where people have died. NOBODY in nukes has.

Let's hope to God that the Japanese can stem this disaster.
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robadeaux
Your labels have expired....
03:34 AM on 03/17/2011
You are so wrong... neither we nor they "need" them. As long as you are making YOUR livelihood from Nuke pwoer, you are a biased and therefor unreliable witness.
And, you are delusional.
Plenty of people have died. They are dying now. How many people have died of thyroid cancer (and others) in the communities down river of Hanford in WA state?
I once drove the haul road from Deadhorse Alaska to Fairbanks with a driver named Bud Shadden.
He was put out into the desert with several hundred other soldiers to "witness" an atomic bomb detonation.
He had lived with the pain and agony for 30 years of radiation poisoning, and most of those soldiers died of cancers directly as a result of those tests.
You can hope to whatever god you wish, but this is human caused, by greed and selfishness, and you cannot escape the culpability.
You are another of the "I was just following orders" crew.
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04:43 AM on 03/17/2011
An atomic bomb is not the same as nuclear power generation.
Also, I probly wouldnt put too much trust in anyone named Bud from Deadhorse.
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aligatorhardt
Cut on the bias
08:09 AM on 03/17/2011
You are making fun of environmentalists while planning on Star Trek technology? Who is delusional? No deaths from nuclear power? Such lies from nuclear power advocates and you wonder why we won't listen to you.
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Andrew Lopez
Invisible Gardener
12:46 AM on 03/17/2011
Everyone look up thorium. It a safe alternative for use in nuclear energy. No radioactive waste and no radioactive dangers.
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marco01
01:15 AM on 03/17/2011
Why isn't it being used or even proposed?
05:21 AM on 03/17/2011
I'll give you three guesses, but the first two don't count.
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Gebby
artist gebhardtart advocate for a better world
08:07 AM on 03/17/2011
it is ... look up lightbridge.
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Guitarsandmore
devoted father, community activist, musician, reti
12:29 AM on 03/17/2011
When was the last time we had to evacuate people because of solar panel melt down / failure? Never!

There is enough solar energy deposited on the Earth each day by the sun to provide electricity for every man, woman, and child on the planet. All we have to do is collect it.

Solar panels contain no radioactive core with hundreds of tons of nuclear materials.
Solar panels require no fuel and will work 30 years with little or no maintenance.
Solar panels do not burn anything and do not emit carbon into the atmosphere.
Solar panels do not generate toxic waste of any kind that needs to be guarded for a thousand years.

Solar panels can be installed on the as built architecture in the United States so that no natural habitat needs to be displaced or disturbed. If the as built architecture is used no wind farms, solar farms will need to be constructed.

If a solar panels stop working they just stop working. Nothing toxic or dangerous happens.

At the end of the 30 year life of a solar panel they can be recycled and used again.
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Tribal Knowledge
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!
01:01 AM on 03/17/2011
No, there is not. Not even close.
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Shaun Hensley
The American Experiment has failed
02:28 AM on 03/17/2011
If solar worked so well, more people would install them on their own homes and get off the grid or sell the excess back to the power company.
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robadeaux
Your labels have expired....
03:35 AM on 03/17/2011
No, most people are either too lazy, or don't have the time or were-with-all to do it... yet.
05:22 AM on 03/17/2011
Distributed power would be much better than a grid, imo. Wind might be better than solar. http://inhabitat.com/ridgeblade-wind-turbine-silences-nimbys/
12:23 AM on 03/17/2011
We need nuclear power but we need it to be safe and not slipshod. We need regulation even some that may seem ridiculous. The NRC needs the power to shut down plants the don't comply. Our biggest problem is this. Nuclear plants are run by and decisions are made by stockholders, not the nuclear people. We need to get this under control so that the bottom line doesn't keep our plants from being built and maintained properly. Now lets get to oil. There is an oil deposit in Southern Canada, North and South Dakota and Montana. Named the Bakken. Per the US Geological Society there is enough crude there to take us well over 1000 years, actually they report 2041 years worth of oil that is retrievable with todays technology, new technology would provide more. Why are we not reading about this? Why aren't we taking advantage of this American oil and putting our foreign competitors out of business here in the US. We need to begin using this oil and keeping it all here, not selling it everywhere else. Keep it here and do away with the other oil. We cannot allow this resource to just sit there unused while we seemingly have a crisis. We need to put it to use before it is no longer useful. Check out the usgs on line to find out about this you will be surprised and angered to find we have it and aren't using it.
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Tribal Knowledge
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!
01:02 AM on 03/17/2011
We have a complete, 100% safety record in the nuke industry. 100%, which if you look it up is, actually, as high as you can get.
05:31 AM on 03/17/2011
That's nifty. Now. What happens when it fails just once? How many ways can it fail? If you call that a 'safety record' and not 'a string of unbelievably good luck', I think that you must be as high as you can get.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Gebby
artist gebhardtart advocate for a better world
08:09 AM on 03/17/2011
Three Mile Island? The first disaster was in Pennsylvania. Try solar has 100% safety record
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marco01
01:29 AM on 03/17/2011
Sorry, you've been hoodwinked concerning the Bakken reserve.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/bakken.asp
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rsaillant1
He who argues facts wastes time, his & mine.
08:58 AM on 03/17/2011
Did some research on the Bakken thing for my sister,
who received a copy of a right-wing leaning Email that was
making the rounds on the Internet, and blaming President
Obama for the current oil prices and everything else.

Most obvious fault was that 2/3 rd's of that deposit
is in Canada, and like the rest of the deposit,
is safely stored beneath the Rocky Mountains. Talk
about some tough and expensive drilling. Not like dropping
a well in the sands of the Sahara or elsewhere in the
Middle East. For those of you who will wish to mention the
capability of sideways drilling, I'll remind you that mountains
do not sit like big stones on the surface, they extend to great
depths beneath the Earth's crust.

Solar, wind, thermal, tidal, and the rest are all viable, at this time.
My wish shall be that some thought is put into analyizing the
long term cost to the planet in the manufacturing and installation
of any of these methods.

This "thorium" theory thertainly thounds therious, tho I'll think
about it and do thum rethearch. Thee ya' thoon.

I wished to conclude on a lighter note. Apologies to Daffy Duck,
I just could not say "thoruim" without thmiling. Thtill can't.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
realitytrumpsbull
Two 'alves of coconut!
11:11 PM on 03/16/2011
"...caused by our 2-year election cycle..." That one, you can leave alone. I'd rather have the refreshing aroma of unsullied, fresh politicians, and no electricity, than otherwise. As for the Precious Juice, well, this is an engineering challenge. Are we up to it? China just put the kaibosh on new nukes since this accident. Frankly, you can get a lot done in 12 hours, out in the good old sunshine, and put paid to a lot of the artificially lit, climate-controlled Habitrail Habitats we have going, and save megawatts, gigawatts, even. Who, by show of hands, wants a meltdown in their back yard? Nobody? Ok, then. 

I move for more windmills, working more on coal emissions(my pet idea is a hydrogen afterburner to super-duper-heat the coal exhaust and make it as nothing, and pull more BTU's off that process to make more steam, there), and also looking at  expanding our use of solar thermal, geothermal, and next-generation hydroelectric that spares the fish and still puts out usable power. I also like the wave power stuff. But, nukes? Only after careful review and redesign, with the currently occurring bitter lessons of Japan fresh in everybody's heads. Some things just have to be done RIGHT the first time, or forget it.

Condolences for the Japanese. This didn't have to happen.
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RRK70
11:10 PM on 03/16/2011
I'm continually amazed at how renewables are constantly relegated to the role of "alternatives" that are bit players when, in fact, renewables were the predominant source of energy throughout human history

And yet we're being bombarded with the notion that nuclear power is the solution despite decades of false claims and lofty expectations.  These reactors will be costly and it will take decades to construct the scores or hundreds which are being proposed.

We're to believe that today's scientists, engineers and  technicians  have achieved something never before seen in history: technological perfection, foolproof design, perfect engineering and flawless performance, all at low cost that will allow corporations to generate profit! 

And so as to not burden future generations with the horrors of global climate change the "adult" response being proposed is to burden them with being caretakers (or victims) of  nuclear waste for the next 10 or 20 thousand years.  I thought "adults" would wish to set an example by not leaving others to clean up there mess and to act in a responsible fashion...I guess I was wrong.
11:59 PM on 03/16/2011
Agreed. And who says we need to continue feeding our current energy needs? In some ways, it seems we are seeing the results of a rapacious appetite for growth for growth's sake, and a manic desire for more of everything. The 80s are over. It is indeed time to grow up, and start being more rational about how we can continue living on this planet.
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Tribal Knowledge
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!
01:03 AM on 03/17/2011
That worked way back yonder.

So did whale oil.
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RRK70
02:16 AM on 03/17/2011
a rather flip, pointless remark, but to each their own. 
05:45 AM on 03/17/2011
Sure until all but a pitiful few of the whales were gone. Then we went to ground oil. Now that's almost gone. Same with fissile materials for nuclear reactors. Sensing a pattern here? And the only reason is because if you buy even minimal gear, they can't charge you for sunlight. Yet. They're Mr. Burns level evil though, so I'm sure they'll find a way to put a giant mylar sunshade in orbit before too long. Then they'll turn the earthward side into a giant billboard for advertisers so that forever afterward when humanity looks up to gaze out into space, they'll be sure to know that 'Redbull gives you wings!'

I almost can't wait for us to destroy ourselves. Better than the madness and death we invite now. Even animals get to be put out of their misery when they're terribly sick and rabid.

We have to start getting our species off-world. But if we leave Earth like we are, we'll be a plague upon the stars themselves before the end.
garystartswithg
el sueno de la razon produce republicans
10:33 PM on 03/16/2011
We need adults in the room to start the conversation, and the people in control are raving lunatics in diapers. You can't argue reason with crazy people, it doesn't work.
10:14 PM on 03/16/2011
I made an grizzly analogy today but I think it fits. Suppose someone goes on a killing spree and kills 100 people. Then they are corned with a hostage. All attention is paid to the standoff and not the 100 dead bodies. This is what is going on now in Japan. There are tens of thousand of dead people from the quake and tsunami. But almost all attention is being paid to the ongoing nuclear crisis because it has yet to be concluded. There is something in the human mind that finds suspense very attractive.
garystartswithg
el sueno de la razon produce republicans
10:36 PM on 03/16/2011
The 10,000 bodies aren't going to wash ashore in San Fransisco, some nuclear fallout just might. That is all the difference. Any good American has one concern -- themself.
05:49 AM on 03/17/2011
Actually, we're paying attention to the ongoing crisis, because we're all hoping that the folly of nuclear energy doesn't put ANOTHER 10,000 or more bodies on the ground.

You can't do a damned thing for the dead, man. But you can work like hell to save the still living.
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MikeWebster
Always happy.
09:54 PM on 03/16/2011
It is important that we begin to bring renewables into the energy mix. It is important that the industry, and more importantly the Govt.s of the world invest a lot of money into new energy technologies. In the meantime, faced with the choice between building a new Coal fired power plant, or a new Nuclear power plant, it's clear that Nuclear is the safer choice.

People have extremely distorted views of risk. Many people, myself included are afraid of flying - despite the fact that it is probably safer to fly than driving a car. The world is in a state of hysterical fear over this Nuclear power plant, when even the worst case scenarios would never lead to as many health consequences as happen from cigarette smoking each year in Japan.

The key existential threat to our lifestyles, our civilisations, and even the existence of the species, is AGW. The Nuclear industry has had very few deaths. Chernobyl being the obvious case where a large accident occured. If Nuclear power is able to be decoupled from weapons and proliferation, then Nuclear is clearly a safer technology for short term use, than coal. We need to get lots of plants built very quickly if we want to have a chance to save the lives of the billions who are threatened by climate change.
12:11 AM on 03/17/2011
To my mind's eye, the building of nuclear power plants is the perfect illustration of human hubris. We think we can harness, safely control, and glean energy from a process that is so inconceivably powerful that the next most powerful element in the universe we can think of is the SUN. It takes 8 YEARS for spent fuel rods to cool down AFTER they have been used for 4-6 years at high temperatures in a nuclear reactor [my source is a Princeton Physicist]. The waste last about 20k years. Could we build a facility just outside of your town? I know I would fight like h-e-double hockey sticks before I let it be built outside of mine!
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Shaun Hensley
The American Experiment has failed
02:31 AM on 03/17/2011
Yes. I would like to see more nuclear facilities in my area.
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Tribal Knowledge
Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!
01:04 AM on 03/17/2011
The US nuke industry has had ZERO. The ONLY deaths have been the Russians, with a terrible design, no containment vessel, and Soviet apparatchiks running the works, not nuke engineers.
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RRK70
02:23 AM on 03/17/2011
That's not true.  There have been lethal incidents.  At Hanford, people exposed to atomic tests, low level radiation causing leukemia and cancers from TMI. 

23 of the plants in this country are the same design as the ones melting down in Japan, and the government has just given most of them a 20 year operating extension!  Nothing like a nuclear plant with a flawed design operating  past it's designed operational life while also operating beyond it's designed optimal power output. The Vermont Yankee plant has been leaking like a sieve and had a wall collapse (no earthquake....just gravity!)