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Power Hardware

Italy Votes To Abandon Nuclear Power 848

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-progress-the-boot dept.
ElementOfDestruction writes "Italy has joined Germany in halting the production of energy from atomic power generation. This differs from Germany in that the Italian decision was made by a public vote, rather than a government mandated shutdown. 57% of Italian Households voted in this public measure. While democracy should trump all, is it wise to hold majority opinion so high that it slows down progress?"
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Italy Votes To Abandon Nuclear Power

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  • You were too late to save us from human intuition.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by epiphani (254981)

      "US coal power fleet kills 10,000 a year; Fukushima will kill under 100, total. We are very bad at evaluating risks."

      - David Keith, Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment, University of Calgary

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        preposterous. obviously indirect deaths don't count for nuclear yet they do for coal. what a bankrupt comparison
        • Re:Alas, Rev. Bayes (Score:4, Interesting)

          by epiphani (254981) <epiphani.dal@net> on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:46AM (#36435826)

          Sorry, if you have a logical argument as to why this is preposterous, please feel free to cover it. I'll add credentials to the above quote just for good measure, so you're aware of the source of this statement and why he may be in a position to make such a statement:

          Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment
          Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary
          Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary
          Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

          David W. Keith is a Canadian environmental scientist. He is director of the ISEEE Energy and Environmental Systems Group at the University of Calgary. He is a geoengineer and published research scientist. He is noted for his work in carbon dioxide air capture, and has been featured on Five ways to save the world on the Discovery channel.[1] In 2006 Keith was selected by Canadian Geographic as Environmental Scientist of the Year and Time's Heroes of the Environment (2009).[2]

          By all means, please now back up your statement that his comparison is bankrupt with some form of proof. I think given the scale of air pollution, mining dangers and associated health issues and such makes his comparison quite a reasonable assertion.

          • Re:Alas, Rev. Bayes (Score:5, Informative)

            by SilentStaid (1474575) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:13AM (#36436324)
            Are you challenging an AC to make a concession in an argument which he has already determined his beliefs in? Well sir, welcome to Slashdot.

            And while I totally agree with the sentiment - I'd say that it is hard to consider Keith objectively when he has always been against fossil fuels at seemingly any costs (which he should be). So in the spirit of actually contributing something to the conversation:

            Risks from reactor accidents are estimated by the rapidly developing science of "probabilistic risk analysis" (PRA). A PRA must be done separately for each power plant (at a cost of $5 million) but we give typical results here: A fuel melt-down might be expected once in 20,000 years of reactor operation. In 2 out of 3 melt-downs there would be no deaths, in 1 out of 5 there would be over 1000 deaths, and in 1 out of 100,000 there would be 50,000 deaths. The average for all meltdowns would be 400 deaths. Since air pollution from coal burning is estimated to be causing 10,000 deaths per year, there would have to be 25 melt-downs each year for nuclear power to be as dangerous as coal burning.

            From: http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/np-risk.htm [isu.edu]

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          It's not bankrupt, the existing comparison you are trying to enforce is. It's one of the basic facts of the two industrys that a whole hell of a lot less people are killed mining uranium or transporting either raw ores or processed fuels than are killed mining coal or transporting it. It's admittedly sloppy of the parent poster to compare US and Japanese deaths, but unless the Japanese are doing 10 times better on everything from mine safety to particulate scrubbing, you could total all the indirect deaths

      • Re:Alas, Rev. Bayes (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:50AM (#36435904)

        "Last week’s E. coli outbreak in Germany - potentially traced to an organic farm - was more deadly than the largest nuclear disaster of the last quarter-century."
        -
        "According to World Health Organization statistics on E. coli deaths, in just the past two years, more people have been killed by the disease than all fission-related events since the dawn of the nuclear age - even if you include the use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

        To put it into perspective.

        • Nice statistics. So you deliberately exclude Chernobyl and assess Fukushima knowingly way before any long-term effects could have set in. Why don't you just roll some dice instead? Your argument boils down to "The random number i just rolled up is larger than the number of victims of the largest nuclear disaster of the last quarter century". And what, by the way, is the point of comparing two completely unrelated causes of death, anyway? Not like the decision to go with or to abandon nuclear power has any e
          • by GFLPraxis (745118)

            Nice statistics. So you deliberately exclude Chernobyl and assess Fukushima knowingly way before any long-term effects could have set in.

            Chernobyl cannot happen again; it was the result of an ancient design not built to any safety specifications. Further, it's forty years old. A series of stupid decisions lead to that disaster. It's like using Titanic as a reason we shouldn't build boats.

  • Solution? (Score:2, Insightful)

    What do you do when the voters are conditioned and misinformed and the majority is wrong?

    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      What do you do when the voters are conditioned and misinformed and the majority is wrong?

      Let them sit out a winter shivering in the dark. We *need* nuclear power. Wind power isn't a solution, because the turbines only last a few years and cannot easily be refurbished - and they don't work if there's no wind (like today) or too much wind (like last week). Hydro-electric? Yeah, let's just flood a few thousand square miles of mountain wilderness, that surely won't have *any* ecological impact!

    • That's actually why we are a representative democratic republic and not a pure democracy. The "mob" doesn't always know what's best for itself and tends to be just a wee bit reactionary at times.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by hort_wort (1401963)

      What do you do when the voters are conditioned and misinformed and the majority is wrong?

      I had a nightmare once that Bin Laden was trying to recruit me. He started his pitch with this exact sentence. Creepy.

    • by martyros (588782)

      What do you do when the voters are conditioned and misinformed and the majority is wrong?

      One of my co-workers is Italian. He's pro nuclear power in general. But he's against nuclear power run by Italians. He's very pessimistic about the amount of corruption in that country. He is confident that safety will be compromised to reduce costs and increase graft. And nuclear power is not something that you want to be playing around with, safety-wise. He seems perfectly content buying nuclear power from Franc

  • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:31AM (#36435582)
    We did it de facto instead of de jure but the fact that we haven't built any new plants in 30 years means we have ultimately also given up on nuclear. The politicians caved to public fear and so made the process of permitting a plant to be so expensive as to make it economically impossible to continue to build new facilities. We will ultimately shut down our current plants and shift that generation to something else, it will just take longer.
    • by tmosley (996283) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:36AM (#36435682)
      Actually, what we did is much, MUCH worse. From fear of nuclear power, we have halted all progress in nuclear technology, leaving ancient reactor designs in deployment, while new, safe designs sit on the drawing board.

      In a real way, fear of nuclear power caused Fukushima. That plant should have been decommissioned a decade ago in favor of one of the new generation of power plants, maybe even one that burns thorium, meaning they could have gotten rid of all that waste they instead stuffed into the attic hoping no-one would ever find out.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:46AM (#36435816)
        This whole conversation reminds me of the guys who insist that Vietnam was winnable. Nuclear died because it was uneconomical, costs were greater than just deaths (such as massive economic costs and long term illnesses), the Japanese who are about as efficient as any group on the planet couldn't do it safely -- as the Onion Put it "Nuclear Plants Perfectly Safe -- Unless Something Goes Wrong."

        It's not that the majority is irrational, it's that you guys are as emotionally tied to dead nuclear as others are to a lost war.

        • by squizzar (1031726) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:16AM (#36436380)

          What's uneconomical about it? There's a huge investment cost, made worse in some cases by the amount of legal objection to building plants, but after that's paid off the plants print money. Have you seen how much tax the German government is taking of Nuclear power plant profits?

          • by jmauro (32523) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @11:02AM (#36437178)

            It's cheap until you ignore dismantling, cleanup costs, and insurance for if something goes wrong (think 100's of billions of dollars). This is what the US made the Nuclear operators consider in the 1970's for their proposals and why they became uneconomical.

            • by geekoid (135745)

              Yes, by todays stands 1950's designs are uneconomical...shocking.

            • by khallow (566160)

              It's cheap until you ignore dismantling, cleanup costs, and insurance for if something goes wrong (think 100's of billions of dollars).

              Most of this is just failures of society to rationally deal with risk and liability, not some intrinsic feature of nuclear power. Radioactive waste is treated far more stringently than similarly hazardous non-radioactive waste (or radioactive waste that manages to be classified as non-radioactive).

        • by geekoid (135745)

          "uneconomical" no, it's not. It died from fear. Plain old, logical fallacies and fear.

          It's about numbers and sciences, nothing more.

          I am n more emotional tied to Nuclear then I am emotional attached to Solar. Or any power generation.

          The numbers clearly favor Nuclear power, over all, right now.

          Modern reactors don't have ANY of the problems old reactor do.

          Please attempt to understand the science at put aside the media and Greenpeace's lies and ignorance.

          And to be correct: It wasn't winnable they way it was be

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          This whole conversation reminds me of the guys who insist that Vietnam was winnable. ... It's not that the majority is irrational, it's that you guys are as emotionally tied to dead nuclear as others are to a lost war.

          This is a rather strange argument.

          Electric power is basically a necessity these days. We have to get it from someone to continue our societies; with this population, we certainly can't go back to burning whale oil and the like. So the question is, where do we get it from? Burning fossil fue

      • we have halted all progress in nuclear technology, leaving ancient reactor designs in deployment, while new, safe designs sit on the drawing board.

        No design, I repeat no design is safe against corporate mismanagement.

        All the engineering in the world is not going to prevent your plant from exploding when faced with an MBA CEO with a lust for profit.

      • by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:03AM (#36436134)
        In a real way, fear of nuclear power caused Fukushima. Not true at all, had they located their backup power high in the air like the Gen II plants I've worked, everything would have been fine. Laziness, greed, incompetence caused Fukushima. And, were they trained properly by the classic nuclear engineering texts such as I have on my shelf, they should recognized the signs of melting fueld, and have just let the fuel melt into containment system without pouring in water. Well known there comes a point when hot fuel cracks the water and causes explosion that can burst containment in that type of reactor.
        • by jafac (1449) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @01:38PM (#36439438) Homepage

          No amount of backup power would have saved Fukushima.

          The whole story still is not out yet, but all three operating reactors at the time of the quake experienced major cooling loss prior to the tsunami. It's been publicly reported about Unit I. But it is also the case for II and III, and this truth will come out in time. It is in the details of the IAEA findings. They will be forced to report it as soon as they get workers into Units II and III to actually view those RPVs. I *do* find it amazing that they completely melted down, and the RPVs remained mostly intact, and contained the molten fuel. They were able to cool it somewhat with the seawater, I guess.

          Bottom line is, all three units did not withstand the quake that they were designed and certified to withstand. The tsunami was a fortunate side-effect, to cover-up this fact.

        • by he-sk (103163)

          According to Tepco's own documents, reactor 1 experienced problems with its cooling system immediately after the earthquake and before the tsunami struck.

          Source: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110517p2a00m0na008000c.html [mainichi.jp]

          So your (implicit) assertion that the reactor survived the earthquake is a myth. Granted, the problems would be much less severe than they are right now, but that is no excuse to allow facts fall off the wayside.

  • Impartial? (Score:5, Funny)

    by am 2k (217885) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:32AM (#36435598) Homepage

    Holy biased summary, Batman!

  • by gorim (700913) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:32AM (#36435604)
    Yes. Majority opinion should be held so high, even if it trumps conceited arrogance assumptions of what is progress. Let me be clear, I fully support nuclear power, I think it should be expanded greatly, safely using advanced techniques. I think these countries are idiots for closing it down, but it is their democratic right, and don't anyone dare take that away from them.
    • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:38AM (#36435706)

      Sooo. If 51% of Americans voted to teach only creationism in schools and evolution should be illegal that should be ok by your rules?

      • As stupid as that would be, yes - i makes sense. The people get the government they deserve. You can always become a politician and try and change people's minds or leave. Your choice.

      • If 51% of Americans so vote, it wouldn't matter anyway. Rule of law only exists insofar as it has popular support; if the majority of your population disagree with the standing interpretation of law, they will either ignore it or bend it to fit (as it has already happened with US Constitution).

        Fundamentally, the only two options are tyranny of the majority and tyranny of the minority. Any democratic form of government is the former under various layers in disguise. You can dampen the effect somewhat, but it

      • by hey! (33014)

        You make exactly the point I was going to. What's interesting about this thread is that I agree both with you AND GP. Arrogant pricks running things sucks, whether they do it directly or they use their media clout to strike fear into the hearts of the timid masses.

        I guess I'm for a world in which the masses don't rally behind brand X or Y because they are driven by fear. In such a world "elite" wouldn't be the next thing to "child molester" in the emotional lexicon of politics, so people who knew what th

      • Sooo. If 51% of Americans voted to teach only creationism in schools and evolution should be illegal that should be ok by your rules?

        [Assuming a scenario where First Amendment has already been repealed.] It wouldn't be "ok" but it would have to be allowed. America has the right to self-destruction, if that's what we really want.

        Let's say we answer the question with "no, that would be completely intolerable and would have to be forcefully resisted." How could that be done?

        One answer would be to have a

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Yes. Majority opinion should be held so high, even if it trumps conceited arrogance assumptions of what is progress. Let me be clear, I fully support nuclear power, I think it should be expanded greatly, safely using advanced techniques. I think these countries are idiots for closing it down, but it is their democratic right, and don't anyone dare take that away from them.

      Mod parent up. If the majority of people cote for something then they should get it, except when it directly infringes basic human rights of others (i.e. where most people want to kill the Jews/Gypsies/Blacks etc.)

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      I agree. I would also add that if nuclear power has lost the support of the majority of people in the country, then those who view it as necessary for progress need to go out and start trying to convince people to change their minds. You don't just say "I know better than you", in a democracy. You convince other people to join you.

      You know, try to educate people.

      The other thing I would say is that these types of decisions aren't "forever". The Nuclear Industry can still operate in some countries, and if th

    • > but it is their democratic right

      Which is why the US Founding Fathers rejected democracy as a terrible idea. They understood the idea, knew the problems with it and designed us a system of a Constitutional Republic instead. The Constitution is intentionally hard to change but not impossible. This protects against temporary insanity in the other balances of government. The People are at the core of the system (all just power derives from the consent of the governed, etc) but the rest of the governmen

  • Misleading summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by mischi_amnesiac (837989) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:33AM (#36435612) Homepage
    The summary is a bit misleading. In 1987 after the Tschernobyl disaster Italy had a public vote to abandon nuclear energy. The last reactor was shut down in 1990. This was only a vote against a re-entry into nuclear power, something Berlusconi was pushing forward.
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:39AM (#36435720) Homepage Journal

      Funny but they have not abandoned nuclear power. They are pretending they have to make themselves feel good. They import no less than 16% of their electricity from France. They have just move the responsibility for the reactors to another nation. As Italy needs more power they will import more from France and use even more nuclear power outside of their own control and regulation. This should be called the Grand Delusion. They are just going to use more and more nuclear power while taking no responsibility for it themselves.
      Welcome to reality 101.

      • You make it sound like we're doing a smart thing, paying other nations to handle the nuclear hassle for us.

        Not really, since we ended up having nuclear plants on our borders [bbc.co.uk] anyway (notice that trend going on in western Switzerland/southern France?)...

  • >> is it wise to hold majority opinion so high that it slows down progress?

    Sometimes.
  • Germany's at least committing to trying to do this in a nonpolluting (i.e. non-fossil-fuel) way, and they actually have the infrastructure and engineering acumen to pull it off (maybe).

    Where's Italy going to get their power? Russian gas? Somebody's coal? Magic space faeries?

    Fukushima notwithstanding, nuclear power is reasonably safe (a hell of a lot better than coal), very environment-friendly, and economical (compared to things like large-scale solar). The only reasonable alternative I can think of is to b

    • You are missing the fact that italy droped out of nuclear power 20 years ago. The voting in this case was about the question whether they build new nuclear reactors or not. (in other words the last decades they produced their own power and imported the rest via the european grid)

  • Next, a democratic majority of voters will elect to replace water with Brawndo.

    http://brawndo.com/ [brawndo.com].

  • Wrong framing. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:39AM (#36435724)
    "Slow down progress?" That's just terribly obvious framing. Actually by voting this way they're speeding up progress towards modern renewables. After all, nuclear fission technology is not a "modern" technology, it's over a half century old and it's simply not needed anymore (Bonneville Power Administration shut down its nuclear plant for refueling and their coal plant was shut down because it was unnecessary and still had excess power to export -- 100% from renewables so please, please don't post stupidly about "baseline" power.)

    They're in a particularly sunny climate, there are already rolling out solar thermal storage systems so that their solar can generate 24 hours per day, They have tidal sources which France used to generate hundreds of megawatts back in the 60's out of a single installation -- ignoring the efficiency increases of what we can do today.

    Fuel is finite, so fuel based sources are out of date. Meanwhile, renewables just keep coming down in price. Solar dropped 20% last year alone, and is expected to drop another 20% this year. Meanwhile, nuclear keeps increasing in cost. Costs for implementation, fuel, owner's costs, massive grid tie-ins, and let's not even discuss the fact that they don't pay for their own insurance and push that on to the public purse in the event of a catastrophe.

    So "progress?" I don't think that word means what you think it does. The first world has made it's decision and you can flog the dead horse of nuclear, but the only new adopters will be the third world and powers that want to refine for nuclear weapons, such as arabic countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    • Re:Wrong framing. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by scotts13 (1371443) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:48AM (#36435854)

      So "progress?" I don't think that word means what you think it does. The first world has made it's decision and you can flog the dead horse of nuclear, but the only new adopters will be the third world and powers that want to refine for nuclear weapons, such as arabic countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

      Yes, progress. It's clear that fossil fuels aren't viable even in the medium term, and unless we stop our population growth or drastically change lifestyles, "renewable" isn't going to cut it, either. The "future" ultimately, can and must be fusion. And we aren't going to get it by abandoning high technology, high energy density engineering. Though they aren't directly related, fission makes a good trainer for fusion. Teaches you to be CAREFUL.

  • by at_slashdot (674436) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:40AM (#36435730)

    Democracy is not about being wise is about respecting the will of the majority. It's about not imposing stuff, even if you consider it to be better, on the majority. Democratic process doesn't optimize the decision (it doesn't come to the best decision) it (or is supposed to) minimizes the discontent.

  • by DMiax (915735) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:42AM (#36435762)

    There is more to this decision than simple "anti-scientific" feelings.

    First of all there is the trust we can have in people managing these beasts, i.e. zero. Our administrators are not the ones with public safety in mind. Google some info about two years' ago earthquake to see how well regulation on constructions works.

    Second and related, public works in Italy (and many private ones) are often just a way to throw money at your business friends. It is unlikely that something so big will be done in the most efficient and quick way. Most probably it will never recover the expenses, if it ever gets built.

    Third there is the timing problem. We are late to the train. Other countries alread recovered the initial expenses and only have to keep mantaining/improving. They can undercut us easily and we would end up buying from them anyway. (also notice we did not have plans for an erichment plant, so we would have to buy enriched uranium...)

    Fourth and related, the plants will arrive in no less than 20 years. Then this is essentially a bet on the price of uranium in 20 years. With many developing countries building plants I think this bet is a losing one...

    But yes, I am stupid and I only want to slow progress down, laugh at me.

    • by Combatso (1793216)

      But yes, I am stupid and I only want to slow progress down, laugh at me.

      haha.. you made an informed decision..... jerk

  • Start with the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org], I guess.

    You can't just turn off a nuclear power plant. The short version is decommissioning any nuclear power plant is ~60 years of work and billions of dollars. This is a "best case" scenario. Worst case is something like Japan right now.

    I guess the original modernist mentality was that once the plants were ready for the scrap yard, they saved some of their massive profits to pay to take it apart and manage the waste for a few decades.

    The reality turned out to a bunch of corrupt assholes cutting corners for a few decades and now your tax dollars are at work for a new bunch of assholes who get paid astronomically more because no one wants a meltdown situation; with good reason.

  • by hmbJeff (591813) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @09:57AM (#36436022)
    Nuclear is, at best, a faustian bargain--awful, but arguably less awful than a few other choices.

    While many Slashdotters happily wave away its real-world problems (waste, decommissioning, uninsurability, capital intensiveness, fuel supply, terrorism, non-distributed grid model, construction lead time and yes, slight potential for massive damage to life and property in a large geographic area) as irrelevant, many others are less sanguine. And that is not just because they are idiots--they look at the factors, weigh them and draw different conclusions.

    And there are alternatives that might well be better. A recent study [thinkprogress.org] by the California Energy Commission that looks at estimated costs of 21 types of energy generation facilities estimates that a gen-3 Westinghouse AP1000 1,000 MW Pressurized Water Reactor would generate electricity in 2018 (the first year any of them could be expected to reach operational status) for between $0.17/kWh and $0.34/kWh.

    The cost of solar PV today is already competitive with the high end of that range, and is dropping at a rapid pace [thinkprogress.org].

    This comes on the heels of another new report [bee-ev.de] showing that the free-market insurance costs for nuclear would add from ($0.20/kWh) to a staggering $3.40/kWh.

    If costs are the same or lower for renewable energy technologies that have numerous benefits and far fewer risks, why would rational people choose nuclear?

    • by gnalre (323830)

      If costs are the same or lower for renewable energy technologies that have numerous benefits and far fewer risks, why would rational people choose nuclear?

      well I can think of a few reasons. solar PV does not work at night, wind power is variable, geothermal and tidal sites are few.

      Look I'm in favour of wind technology and solar, but power generation is not as simple as just generating. You have to be able to generate it at the right time and get it to the right place. Which means you have to have a mixture of technologies. Most importantly there is not renewable technology that will create the base load.

      Unfortunately power generation is not like replacing a c

    • by quokkaZ (1780340)

      Something is seriously wrong with the US if it cannot generate new nuclear power for less than a range of $0.17-$0.34 per kWh. The IEA 2010 Projected Costs of Electricity Generation surveys costs around the world. The range is given for 5% and 10% discount rates

      Sth Korea: $0.029 - $0.042 per kWh

      France: $0.056 - $0.092

      Russia: $0.043 - $0.068

      For some reason, the IEA estimates for the cost of new nuclear in the US are comparable to these figures. All estimates include spent fuel management and decommissioning.

  • by hort_wort (1401963) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:01AM (#36436092)

    I happen to be one of those people who owns a Geiger counter. After the incident in Japan, I set it on my desk so I could watch it. A few days after, I noticed that it was registering 3 times the usual background levels (@800 ft elevation). This lasted about a week until it went back to normal.

    Now I know background is slight and 3 times background is really nothing to worry about for an individual, but at this point I'd like to point out that I was on the *other side of the planet* from Japan. While I know the /. crowd enjoys the smug hand waving and proclamation of radiation not being a big deal (myself included), I don't think anyone is qualified to really say the GLOBAL impact that these raised rates could have.

    I try to err on the side of caution with worldwide issues. I urge everyone here to do the same.

  • stupid (Score:4, Informative)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @10:03AM (#36436144)

    I can imagine people think they're being green when voting down nuclear power, but actually their vote is causing much worse environmental impact and global warming by the necessary increase in conventional non-nuclear energy production.

  • To quote TFSummary:

    While democracy should trump all, is it wise to hold majority opinion so high that it slows down progress?

    That presumes that nuclear fission power is progress. Currently it appears that this has been a 60+ year old wild goose chase, and that progress lies in some other direction. None of the expensive problems associated with nuclear fission power have been resolved yet, and none are significantly closer to resolution than they were in 1951.

    Perhaps a blend of renewable resources and reductions in absurdly inefficient life styles, or perhaps fusion, will be the way to true progress. But it is not nuclear fission. Even the lay public can see that, despite the nuclear power industry's 60+ years of trying to fool all the people all the time about their "progress".

  • by Brandano (1192819) on Tuesday June 14, 2011 @03:24PM (#36441076)
    Would you like to have an Italian built and managed nuclear power station in your country? Add to that the fact that there's no zone in Italy that is not a seismically active area.

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