Ecologic Meeting October 27, 2014
- We don't have the luxury to say no to this
- Risk society - If we don't invest, we won't know how it'll turn out, but if we do, there might be a lot of negative effects
- Social justice issues - Workers' rights (does something seem cheaper because workers aren't being paid enough?)
- Comparisons to fossil fuels and comparisons to solar/wind/etc it will look different
- Government influence
- Very little new research; most done in 50s. Reactor designs also from 50s. Safety could be improved using newer designs.
- Lockheed Martin developed new design for fursion reactor. Many others have done so, as well.
- "Fusion's been twenty years away for the past forty years."
- More deaths in solar industry than in nuclear industry -- casualties in mining for minerals used in solar panels. Greenwashing.
- Rare earth metals used in solar panels aren't renewable. Maybe different solar panels could be designed.
- Regardless of what energy source we use, we'll still need to mine for lithium.
- Though maybe we'll discover or develop a different material instead.
- If we produced helium, that would be good.
- We already have a lot, we just use it for balloons. Also medical devices.
- Many other uses -- crystals, diodes.
- Is the amount produced by fusion more than trivial?
- Old reactors are dangerous. Should we shut them down? But it's a large amount of sustainable power, especially in France.
- Older reactors might actually be safer, because the design has been proven safe, plus we know it's not defective. People are cautious about building new ones.
- Some old reactors (such as in Eastern European countries) were designed to be cheap, and aren't as safe.
- Closing of nuclear power plant in Vermont because it's old and expensive to operate. It had provided 35% percent of the energy consumed by Vermont.
- Fukushima wasn't that bad (editorial note: yes it was). Safety measures weren't in place.
- But exposed people have a higher risk of cancer. Apparently it's only about 6% higher, though.