Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

Chris Anderson: We’re having a debate. The debate is over the proposition: “What the world needs now is nuclear energy.” True or false? And before we have the debate, I’d like to actually take a show of hands — on balance, right now, are you for or against this? So those who are “yes,” raise your hand. “For.” Okay, hands down. Those who are against, raise your hands. Okay, I’m reading that at about 75 to 25 in favor at the start. Which means we’re going to take a vote at the end and see how that shifts, if at all. So here’s the format: They’re going to have six minutes each, and then after one little, quick exchange between them, I want two people on each side of this debate in the audience to have 30 seconds to make one short, crisp, pungent, powerful point. So, in favor of the proposition, possibly shockingly, is one of, truly, the founders of the environmental movement, a long-standing TEDster, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, someone we all know and love, Stewart Brand. Stewart Brand: Whoa. (Applause) The saying is that with climate, those who know the most are the most worried. With nuclear, those who know the most are the least worried. A classic example is James Hansen, a NASA climatologist pushing for 350 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He came out with a wonderful book recently called “Storms of My Grandchildren.” And Hansen is hard over for nuclear power, as are most climatologists who are engaging this issue seriously. This is the design situation: a planet that is facing climate change and is now half urban. Look at the client base for this. Five out of six of us live in the developing world. We are moving to cities. We are moving up in the world. And we are educating our kids, having fewer kids, basically good news all around. But we move to cities, toward the bright lights, and one of the things that is there that we want, besides jobs, is electricity. And if it isn’t easily gotten, we’ll go ahead and steal it. This is one of the most desired things by poor people all over the world, in the cities and in the countryside. Electricity for cities, at its best, is what’s called baseload electricity. That’s where it is on all the time. And so far there are only three major sources of that — coal and gas, hydro-electric, which in most places is maxed-out — and nuclear. I would love to have something in the fourth place here, but in terms of constant, clean, scalable energy, [solar] and wind and the other renewables aren’t there yet because they’re inconstant. Nuclear is and has been for 40 years. Now, from an environmental standpoint, the main thing you want to look at is what happens to the waste from nuclear and from coal, the two major sources of electricity. If all of your electricity in your lifetime came from nuclear, the waste from that lifetime of electricity would go in a Coke can — a pretty heavy Coke can, about two pounds. But one day of coal adds up to one hell of a lot of carbon dioxide in a normal one-gigawatt coal-fired plant. Then what happens to the waste? The nuclear waste typically goes into a dry cask storage out back of the parking lot at the reactor site because most places don’t have underground storage yet. It’s just as well, because it can stay where it is. While the carbon dioxide, vast quantities of it, gigatons, goes into the atmosphere where we can’t get it back — yet — and where it is causing the problems that we’re most concerned about. So when you add up the greenhouse gases in the lifetime of these various energy sources, nuclear is down there with wind and hydro, below solar and way below, obviously, all the fossil fuels. Wind is wonderful; I love wind. I love being around these big wind generators. But one of the things we’re discovering is that wind, like solar, is an actually relatively dilute source of energy. And so it takes a very large footprint on the land, a very large footprint in terms of materials, five to 10 times what you’d use for nuclear, and typically to get one gigawatt of electricity is on the order of 250 square miles of wind farm. In places like Denmark and Germany, they’ve maxed out on wind already. They’ve run out of good sites. The power lines are getting overloaded. And you peak out. Likewise, with solar, especially here in California, we’re discovering that the 80 solar farm schemes that are going forward want to basically bulldoze 1,000 square miles of southern California desert. Well, as an environmentalist, we would rather that didn’t happen. It’s okay on frapped-out agricultural land. Solar’s wonderful on rooftops. But out in the landscape, one gigawatt is on the order of 50 square miles of bulldozed desert. When you add all these things up — Saul Griffith did the numbers and figured out what would it take to get 13 clean terawatts of energy from wind, solar and biofuels, and that area would be roughly the size of the United States, an area he refers to as “Renewistan.” A guy who’s added it up all this very well is David Mackay, a physicist in England, and in his wonderful book, “Sustainable Energy,” among other things, he says, “I’m not trying to be pro-nuclear. I’m just pro-arithmetic.” (Laughter) In terms of weapons, the best disarmament tool so far is nuclear energy. We have been taking down the Russian warheads, turning it into electricity. Ten percent of American electricity comes from decommissioned warheads. We haven’t even started the American stockpile. I think of most interest to a TED audience would be the new generation of reactors that are very small, down around 10 to 125 megawatts. This is one from Toshiba. Here’s one the Russians are already building that floats on a barge. And that would be very interesting in the developing world. Typically, these things are put in the ground. They’re referred to as nuclear batteries. They’re incredibly safe, weapons proliferation-proof and all the rest of it. Here is a commercial version from New Mexico called the Hyperion, and another one from Oregon called NuScale. Babcock & Wilcox that make nuclear reactors, here’s an integral fast reactor. Thorium reactor that Nathan Myhrvold’s involved in. The governments of the world are going to have to decide that coals need to be made expensive, and these will go ahead. And here’s the future. (Applause) CA: Okay. Okay. (Applause) So arguing against, a man who’s been at the nitty, gritty heart of the energy debate and the climate change debate for years. In 2000, he discovered that soot was probably the second leading cause of global warming, after CO2. His team have been making detailed calculations of the relative impacts of different energy sources. His first time at TED, possibly a disadvantage — we shall see — from Stanford, Professor Mark Jacobson. Good luck. Mark Jacobson: Thank you. (Applause) So my premise here is that nuclear energy puts out more carbon dioxide, puts out more air pollutants, enhances mortality more and takes longer to put up than real renewable energy systems, namely wind, solar, geothermal power, hydro-tidal wave power. And it also enhances nuclear weapons proliferation. So let’s start just by looking at the CO2 emissions from the life cycle. CO2e emissions are equivalent emissions of all the greenhouse gases and particles that cause warming and converted to CO2. And if you look, wind and concentrated solar have the lowest CO2 emissions, if you look at the graph. Nuclear — there are two bars here. One is a low estimate, and one is a high estimate. The low estimate is the nuclear energy industry estimate of nuclear. The high is the average of 103 scientific, peer-reviewed studies. And this is just the CO2 from the life cycle. If we look at the delays, it takes between 10 and 19 years to put up a nuclear power plant from planning to operation. This includes about three and a half to six years for a site permit. and another two and a half to four years for a construction permit and issue, and then four to nine years for actual construction. And in China, right now, they’re putting up five gigawatts of nuclear. And the average, just for the construction time of these, is 7.1 years on top of any planning times. While you’re waiting around for your nuclear, you have to run the regular electric power grid, which is mostly coal in the United States and around the world. And the chart here shows the difference between the emissions from the regular grid, resulting if you use nuclear, or anything else, versus wind, CSP or photovoltaics. Wind takes about two to five years on average, same as concentrated solar and photovoltaics. So the difference is the opportunity cost of using nuclear versus wind, or something else. So if you add these two together, alone, you can see a separation that nuclear puts out at least nine to 17 times more CO2 equivalent emissions than wind energy. And this doesn’t even account for the footprint on the ground. If you look at the air pollution health effects, this is the number of deaths per year in 2020 just from vehicle exhaust. Let’s say we converted all the vehicles in the United States to battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles or flex fuel vehicles run on E85. Well, right now in the United States, 50 to 100,000 people die per year from air pollution, and vehicles are about 25,000 of those. In 2020, the number will go down to 15,000 due to improvements. And so, on the right, you see gasoline emissions, the death rates of 2020. If you go to corn or cellulosic ethanol, you’d actually increase the death rate slightly. If you go to nuclear, you do get a big reduction, but it’s not as much as with wind and concentrated solar. Now if you consider the fact that nuclear weapons proliferation is associated with nuclear energy proliferation, because we know for example, India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons secretly by enriching uranium in nuclear energy facilities. North Korea did that to some extent. Iran is doing that right now. And Venezuela would be doing it if they started with their nuclear energy facilities. If you do a large scale expansion of nuclear energy across the world, and as a result there was just one nuclear bomb created that was used to destroy a city such as Mumbai or some other big city, megacity, the additional death rates due to this averaged over 30 years and then scaled to the population of the U.S. would be this. So, do we need this? The next thing is: What about the footprint? Stewart mentioned the footprint. Actually, the footprint on the ground for wind is by far the smallest of any energy source in the world. That, because the footprint, as you can see, is just the pole touching the ground. And you can power the entire U.S. vehicle fleet with 73,000 to 145,000 five-megawatt wind turbines. That would take between one and three square kilometers of footprint on the ground, entirely. The spacing is something else. That’s the footprint that is always being confused. People confuse footprint with spacing. As you can see from these pictures, the spacing between can be used for multiple purposes including agricultural land, range land or open space. Over the ocean, it’s not even land. Now if we look at nuclear — (Laughter) With nuclear, what do we have? We have facilities around there. You also have a buffer zone that’s 17 square kilometers. And you have the uranium mining that you have to deal with. Now if we go to the area, lots is worse than nuclear or wind. For example, cellulosic ethanol, to power the entire U.S. vehicle fleet, this is how much land you would need. That’s cellulosic, second generation biofuels from prairie grass. Here’s corn ethanol. It’s smaller. This is based on ranges from data, but if you look at nuclear, it would be the size of Rhode Island to power the U.S. vehicle fleet. For wind, there’s a larger area, but much smaller footprint. And of course, with wind, you could put it all over the East Coast, offshore theoretically, or you can split it up. And now, if you go back to looking at geothermal, it’s even smaller than both, and solar is slightly larger than the nuclear spacing, but it’s still pretty small. And this is to power the entire U.S. vehicle fleet. To power the entire world with 50 percent wind, you would need about one percent of world land. Matching the reliability, base load is actually irrelevant. We want to match the hour-by-hour power supply. You can do that by combining renewables. This is from real data in California, looking at wind data and solar data. And it considers just using existing hydro to match the hour-by-hour power demand. Here are the world wind resources. There’s five to 10 times more wind available worldwide than we need for all the world. So then here’s the final ranking. And one last slide I just want to show. This is the choice: You can either have wind or nuclear. If you use wind, you guarantee ice will last. Nuclear, the time lag alone will allow the Arctic to melt and other places to melt more. And we can guarantee a clean, blue sky or an uncertain future with nuclear power. (Applause) CA: All right. So while they’re having their comebacks on each other — and yours is slightly short because you slightly overran — I need two people from either side. So if you’re for this, if you’re for nuclear power, put up two hands. If you’re against, put up one. And I want two of each for the mics. Now then, you guys have — you have a minute comeback on him to pick up a point he said, challenge it, whatever. SB: I think a point of difference we’re having, Mark, has to do with weapons and energy. These diagrams that show that nuclear is somehow putting out a lot of greenhouse gases — a lot of those studies include, “Well of course war will be inevitable and therefore we’ll have cities burning and stuff like that,” which is kind of finessing it a little bit, I think. The reality is that there’s, what, 21 nations that have nuclear power? Of those, seven have nuclear weapons. In every case, they got the weapons before they got the nuclear power. There are two nations, North Korea and Israel, that have nuclear weapons and don’t have nuclear power at all. The places that we would most like to have really clean energy occur are China, India, Europe, North America, all of which have sorted out their situation in relation to nuclear weapons. So that leaves a couple of places like Iran, maybe Venezuela, that you would like to have very close surveillance of anything that goes on with fissile stuff. Pushing ahead with nuclear power will mean we really know where all of the fissile material is, and we can move toward zero weapons left, once we know all that. CA: Mark, 30 seconds, either on that or on anything Stewart said. MJ: Well we know India and Pakistan had nuclear energy first, and then they developed nuclear weapons secretly in the factories. So the other thing is, we don’t need nuclear energy. There’s plenty of solar and wind. You can make it reliable, as I showed with that diagram. That’s from real data. And this is an ongoing research. This is not rocket science. Solving the world’s problems can be done, if you really put your mind to it and use clean, renewable energy. There’s absolutely no need for nuclear power. (Applause) CA: We need someone for. Rod Beckstrom: Thank you Chris. I’m Rod Beckstrom, CEO of ICANN. I’ve been involved in global warming policy since 1994, when I joined the board of Environmental Defense Fund that was one of the crafters of the Kyoto Protocol. And I want to support Stewart Brand’s position. I’ve come around in the last 10 years. I used to be against nuclear power. I’m now supporting Stewart’s position, softly, from a risk-management standpoint, agreeing that the risks of overheating the planet outweigh the risk of nuclear incident, which certainly is possible and is a very real problem. However, I think there may be a win-win solution here where both parties can win this debate, and that is, we face a situation where it’s carbon caps on this planet or die. And in the United States Senate, we need bipartisan support — only one or two votes are needed — to move global warming through the Senate, and this room can help. So if we get that through, then Mark will solve these problems. Thanks Chris. CA: Thank you Rod Beckstrom. Against. David Fanton: Hi, I’m David Fanton. I just want to say a couple quick things. The first is: be aware of the propaganda. The propaganda from the industry has been very, very strong. And we have not had the other side of the argument fully aired so that people can draw their own conclusions. Be very aware of the propaganda. Secondly, think about this. If we build all these nuclear power plants, all that waste is going to be on hundreds, if not thousands, of trucks and trains, moving through this country every day. Tell me they’re not going to have accidents. Tell me that those accidents aren’t going to put material into the environment that is poisonous for hundreds of thousands of years. And then tell me that each and every one of those trucks and trains isn’t a potential terrorist target. CA: Thank you. For. Anyone else for? Go. Alex: Hi, I’m Alex. I just wanted to say, I’m, first of all, renewable energy’s biggest fan. I’ve got solar PV on my roof. I’ve got a hydro conversion at a watermill that I own. And I’m, you know, very much “pro” that kind of stuff. However, there’s a basic arithmetic problem here. The capability of the sun shining, the wind blowing and the rain falling, simply isn’t enough to add up. So if we want to keep the lights on, we actually need a solution which is going to keep generating all of the time. I campaigned against nuclear weapons in the ’80s, and I continue to do so now. But we’ve got an opportunity to recycle them into something more useful that enables us to get energy all of the time. And, ultimately, the arithmetic problem isn’t going to go away. We’re not going to get enough energy from renewables alone. We need a solution that generates all of the time. If we’re going to keep the lights on, nuclear is that solution. CA: Thank you. Anyone else against? Man: The last person who was in favor made the premise that we don’t have enough alternative renewable resources. And our “against” proponent up here made it very clear that we actually do. And so the fallacy that we need this resource and we can actually make it in a time frame that is meaningful is not possible. I will also add one other thing. Ray Kurzweil and all the other talks — we know that the stick is going up exponentially. So you can’t look at state-of-the-art technologies in renewables and say, “That’s all we have.” Because five years from now, it will blow you away what we’ll actually have as alternatives to this horrible, disastrous nuclear power. CA: Point well made. Thank you. (Applause) So each of you has really just a couple sentences — 30 seconds each to sum up. Your final pitch, Stewart. SB: I loved your “It all balances out” chart that you had there. It was a sunny day and a windy night. And just now in England they had a cold spell. All of the wind in the entire country shut down for a week. None of those things were stirring. And as usual, they had to buy nuclear power from France. Two gigawatts comes through the Chunnel. This keeps happening. I used to worry about the 10,000 year factor. And the fact is, we’re going to use the nuclear waste we have for fuel in the fourth generation of reactors that are coming along. And especially the small reactors need to go forward. I heard from Nathan Myhrvold — and I think here’s the action point — it’ll take an act of Congress to make the Nuclear Regulatory Commission start moving quickly on these small reactors, which we need very much, here and in the world. (Applause) MJ: So we’ve analyzed the hour-by-hour power demand and supply, looking at solar, wind, using data for California. And you can match that demand, hour-by-hour, for the whole year almost. Now, with regard to the resources, we’ve developed the first wind map of the world, from data alone, at 80 meters. We know what the wind resources are. You can cover 15 percent. Fifteen percent of the entire U.S. has wind at fast enough speeds to be cost-competitive. And there’s much more solar than there is wind. There’s plenty of resource. You can make it reliable. CA: Okay. So, thank you, Mark. (Applause) So if you were in Palm Springs … (Laughter) (Applause) Shameless. Shameless. Shameless. (Applause) So, people of the TED community, I put it to you that what the world needs now is nuclear energy. All those in favor, raise your hands. (Shouts) And all those against. Ooooh. Now that is — my take on that … Just put up … Hands up, people who changed their minds during the debate, who voted differently. Those of you who changed your mind in favor of “for” put your hands up. Okay. So here’s the read on it. Both people won supporters, but on my count, the mood of the TED community shifted from about 75 to 25 to about 65 to 35 in favor, in favor. You both won. I congratulate both of you. Thank you for that. (Applause)

58 thoughts on “Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

  1. And what’s the operating life of wind turbine professor?

    How about California lower its emissions?

    Texas and California have the highest emissions but Texas emissions include majority of US oil refineries what’s California’s excuse?

    Everyone in this country has to deal with emission regulations on their cars that cost us more money for maintenance, repair and requirements to update cars all because California is irresponsible and wasteful typical do as I say not as I do mentality.

  2. First speaker you refer to NUC power as clean power, really , well until you have a meltdown, which has happened 3 times now. Our pacific ocean and all the life in it are being killed off, its made its way to the west coast.. Your insane for supporting this. Its just a matter of time b4 we have another NUC accident in the U.S…

  3. Deaths from a nuclear weapon included as deaths related to pollution? What?! Is like saying that because a village has a blacksmith making horseshoes, then they will soon massacre the neighbouring village with swords… That is reaaaaly far-fetched. Anyway, both speeches were compelling, though personally I like the pro-nuclear one more. I don't see a reason why we can't have sun/wind/hydro/wave and nuclear… Are we so advanced in energy generation that we can afford to be picky?

  4. if each person uses the equivalent of one pop can of nuclear energy through their entire life. How much space is required to house 8 billion pop cans of nuclear waste.

  5. This is 9 years after this debate. We still don't have SAFE nuclear reactors. We still don't have thorium reactors even though the pro nuclear guy mentioned them….they still don't exist. A reactor that could be venurable to accidents like chernobyl or fukushima and can supply nuclear weapons is a step backward and no one is making the advances we need for safe nuclear power because they can't make bombs from it,

    Marc Jacobson's famous 100% renewables plan for America calls for:-
    * 5 Megawatt wind turbines standing 100 meters tall. How many? Only half a MILLION of them! Yup, 500,000 gigantic wind turbines.
    * 18 BILLION square meters of Solar PV panels which even if allowing for a 40 year lifespan (and MOST don't make it that long!) will in 40 years require 1.23 MILLION solar panels recycled every single day, forever!
    * These will be scattered into about 50,000 wind and solar farms scattered across America.
    * 75 MILLION residential rooftop systems
    * Will cost over $15.2 TRILLION dollars (plus backup and storage which could take it out to over $22 TRILLION) and was planned to take to 2050. The 2017 American GDP was $19.4 TRILLION.

    * But if America just built MOLTEN SALT REACTORS they would build 1515 GW of factory-built MSRs exactly where the power is needed.
    * It would cost $3 TRILLION.
    * But if MSR's aren't ready yet build today's AP1000's to get the job done at about $6.7 TRILLION and then in 60 years switch to the perfected breeder reactor, whether MSR or IFR.
    * Molten Salt Reactors CANNOT melt down as they are already a liquid, have other passive safety features like overheating liquid fuel expanding as it heats to spread atoms out that then cannot fission, and of course being a breeder reactor the MSR 'eats' nuclear waste.
    Job done. Break out the beers. 24 minute youtube by the panel of experts here:
    * In addition to the video above, I've been reading Dr James Hansen, and abandoned my hatred of nuclear power. Hansen is the climatologist that diagnosed our climate problem — but he says believing in 100% renewables is like believing in the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. Renewables are intermittent and too unreliable to do the job. It's nuclear power or climate change.

  7. I changed my my mind. We need nuclear power. Biofuels on a large scale look like a nightmare. That does not mean that nuclear is the only type of power that we need. But we do need to get rid of fossil fuels YESTERDAY. Too bad the wind/solar/etc. guy talks too fast and makes points which have logical conclusions that are clear as mud to me. Simply because the things he mentions do not necessarily follow into the conclusions he is trying to push. He reminds me of a tall and handsome Ben Shapiro with a nicer voice. And just as slippery. Mr. tall, dark, and handsome will make a pretty good con man. If he is not that already.

  8. When your argument is that it takes too long to build a nuclear plant, the answer is to build them faster.

  9. There is, importantly enough, one bunker-buster of a rebuttal to the claim that nuclear energy leads to enriched uranium weaponry. Most reactors run on NATURAL URANIUM. You don't need a centrifuge for making nuclear fuel unless your fuel source is utter garbage at supplying U-235. Most places with centrifuges are making excuses that those centrifuges are needed for fueling the reactors, and many of those places are using centrifuges for weapons. And, if you don't have enough U-235, you can run a fast-spectrum reactor instead, and burn plutonium bred from U-238. Now, in terms of the Stanford professor:

    1) Using California as a template for renewable energy is one of the dumbest blunders of his speech. California is known for its extremely consistent weather and inclement conditions. It is an unfair analog.
    2) The land not immediately consumed by a wind turbine is not safe to be on. Go ahead and check out the documentary "Windfall", which is sadly not on Netflix anymore. People were living right next to a wind farm in upstate New York, and almost immediately, people were having health problems, utilities disruptions, close calls due to safety issues from the turbines catching fire or forming ice sheets on the vanes, the shadows from the blades were distracting as they tried to drive, etc.
    3) Wind turbines are the leading cause of death for endangered bird species in California.
    4) Centrifuges are not needed to produce usable fuel for nuclear reactors. Most conventional reactors use natural Uranium to run. Usually, if a country has centrifuges for Uranium, they're likely trying to procure nuclear weapons.

    To his credit, however, his statistics about the impact of building nuclear power plants isn't completely wrong. He, like many of the other anti-nuclear activists, is focused on the status quo tech, the legacy Gen 1-3 reactors we're currently using. The pro-nuclear guy, however, is focused on Gen 4, which has come a long way in recent years, and they're almost ready. Also, there's a reason almost all of the pro-nuclear advocates are pushing Gen 4 instead of the old water-cooled reactors.

  10. This was 9 years ago and we are still alive. You people need to get with the program. Why don't we switch to liquid boron reactors, or liquid salt reactors?

  11. There is NO need for Nuclear energy what so ever, please consider watching:

  12. There are only two possibilities: 1. Mark Jacobson knows exactly how dishonest his arguments are, which makes him a liar; or, 2.) He actually believes the utter nonsense he’s spewing, in which case he is utterly unqualified to speak authoritatively, either on the pros and cons of “renewables”, or against the proposition that we need nuclear energy.

    There is so much that is so wrong about his arguments — distortions, half-truths, irrelevancies, disinformation, and outright falsehoods — that only a person who is both uninformed and completely emotion-driven could be influenced by such specious arguments.

    Besides, anyone who is genuinely interested in knowing the truth can easily expose Jacobson’s fraudulent statements with only a little research. We each have the responsibility of separating fact from fiction. Relying on an idiotic format like a TED “debate” as the deciding factor in the question “Do we need nuclear?” is simply irresponsible.

    Lastly, the fact that Jacobson has commandeered and monopolized the use of the term “renewables” exclusively to mean “solar, wind, hydro, and biofuels” shows how little he actually understands about nuclear. Even the fuel-inefficient light water breeder reactors in use today create usable nuclear fuel; in other words, nuclear is a renewable energy source.

    What’s more, it’s even better with some of the Generation 4 technologies, which not only breed fissile uranium from much more plentiful thorium, but actually use existing nuclear waste as part of their fuel cycle. In fact, thorium is essentially an inexhaustible fuel resource. We have enough in the U.S. alone to power the entire world for hundreds of years (very conservatively estimated), and for thousands of years including the entire world’s supply.

    Of course, we probably won’t need nuclear fission for more than another 50 to 100 years anyway. The ITER/DEMO project estimates operability of the first commercial fusion reactor by 2050. The fuel source (deuterium/tritium) for nuclear fusion is truly renewable.

    The sad truth is that the degree to which Jacobson actually persuades people with the kind of drivel he vomited in this “debate” is a testament to epidemic of scientific illiteracy and general irrationality that afflicts most of the population of planet Earth.

  13. 9 years on, still waiting to get blown away by renwables. Wind and solar are great, but only in conjunction with Nuclear!

    It's practically not possible to power the entire earth with renewable such as solar, wind, and etc.



  16. "With climate, those that know the most are the most worried. With nuclear, those that know the most are the least worried" – Steward Brand

  17. Dump the delay in construction of the plant on nuclear energy (Gets taken care of by Small Modular Reactors, less economic capital needed up front as well). Dump the hypothetical deaths due to a bomb on nuclear due to a maybe proliferation (the way my professor told us, the IAEA has such control over countries nowadays that getting to a bomb if they didn't already have one is nigh impossible).

    While all his data is gathered just from California (a tropical sunny place) and he is sure that that data can work for all the countries away from the tropics. And, it's been 9 years today since this was uploaded but I am still seeing Germany (world leaders in renewables) struggling to meet their demands with renewables and going back to burning coal, oh the irony. While France is producing 70% through nuclear and leading Europe in clean energy production.

  18. Non nuclear guy is lying, speaking total half truth and outright illogical non sense. Wind is small foot print? Ha ha. He says just the pole in the ground. In ocean not even land. Idiotic logic and not true. Nuclear power does not proliferate nuclear arms.. nuclear does not put out green house gases. on and on. The audiance even laughs.

  19. They've been decommissioning nuclear power plants before their economic life is up, and it results in higher greenhouse gases because they're replaced with natural gas and coal plants. Why because wind and solar cannot provide enough electricity for the grid 24 hours a day especially at night and when there's no wind blowing and at peak times when demand far outstrips the capability.

  20. I reject the urgency that the planet is in climate crisis. Temperatures go up and down based on the sun and planetary motions and phenomena that we don't have control over. The effect of CO2 is debatable and man is unable to predict the climate in 10, 100, 1000 or a million years from now. We see the climate models and predictions are grossly exaggerated and even today we're seeing reversals and claims of catastrophe being the polar opposite. Pun intended. Antarctica ice cap is growing and getting thicker not melted. Oceans didn't rise many feet they went up an inch. I'm totally for nuclear power it's the obvious choice. And that it'll take time, it'll make more nuclear weapons, the waste transport will be done safely, on and on his moot or irrelevant. Nuclear power has been around for over 50 years and been very safe. The big accidents are well uunderstood.

  21. The anti nuke guy is either really stupid or a bald face liar. Nuclear and fossil fuel are the ONLY sources that can meet demand!

  22. Well those 5 years didn't turn out so great did they. It's been 9 years and not only does renewable energy still look hopeless, we also found out Iran wasn't developing nuclear weapons at all

  23. 5 years later and there is yet to be anything that is blowing anyone away about solar or wind.

    Meanwhile, nuclear tech is racing ahead and is showing huge advancements despite the lack of public or private investment when compared to solar and wind.

  24. I think it’s hilarious how that Stanford “professor” thinks that it’s relatively easy to make nuclear weapons out of REACTOR GRADE uranium. Weapons grade uranium needs about an 85% enrichment of U-235 while reactor grade is typically no more than 15-20% enrichment. Also, U-235 makes up less than 1% of all naturally occurring uranium, so good luck making a bomb out of that you chump lol

  25. If you stay in water for too long, you'll die. Does that mean that we should remove all the water in the world?

  26. Without Nano Scale Carbon Nanotube Batteries the Renewable Energy Market has no Argument! #EndOfDebate 🤨

  27. America helped pakistan getting nukes. Isreal and India wanted to destroy the pakistai facility but out bafoon PM foiled the plan.

  28. 10 years after this presentation and the world has not moved forwards on nuclear power. Instead it has moved dramatically forward with renewables. Why? Because renewables work and nuclear doesn't.

  29. We still have nuclear power plants on or near earthquake faults. We still have nuclear power plants dangerously subject to extremes of weather…like another tsunami.

    And, nuclear power plants are the most dangerous terrorist targets on earth.

    Instead of trying to make safe, an astronomically dangerous technology…we should simply look to other solutions.

    If we invest research, time and effort, we can find alternative sources of power that do not have the potential to meltdown, kill 100,000 people and contaminate a continent for the next 300,000 years.

    We do not have to engage those risks at all.

    You can read up about the dangers of nuclear power as presented by any number of professional physicists, including physicists who used to work in the industry. Michio Kaku was originally Edward Teller's assistant (nuclear weapons design), who has laid out exactly how deadly nuclear power is.

    As have organizations like Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists and…the Bulletiin of the Atomic Scientists.

    You take advice from people with a direct financial interest in seeing nuclear power continue, or you can take advice from top physicists, who make exactly zero money from their warnings about the danger of nuclear power.

    All this pro-nuclear is just PR from some board members of energy companies, trying to push spin, so they can upgrade their latest yacht from 150' long to 250' long. That is what is driving the narrative…not science, not societal needs, not safety, not human needs, not energy needs….just the same old, same old…people posturing to maximize their stock price.

  30. So nuclear gets blamed for delays due to government red tape? Since when do wind and solar plants go up instantly? They also take years to get funded, approved, sited and built. That is going to increase over time as NIMBY resistance increases. Blaming weapons development on nuclear is also bogus. The guy talking about trains full of nuclear waste is a mental case.

  31. Fear alone is an adequate impediment to the adoption of nuke power! After living through the Fukushima disaster, where they had explosions in four reactors at a plant with only 3 reactors running, it is so true that fear of nuclear power is affecting it's adoption. After years of vigilant research to determine which supermarkets sold produce from OUTSIDE the contaminated disaster region, it is finally getting easier to trust that we are able to source safe food for our family. If the wind would have been blowing in the opposite direction during the 3 meltdowns and fuel fire, the country would have been cut in two and there would be a huge contaminated no-go zone. As it is, only a few hundred thousand people who lost their homes. I was a true believer in nuclear power until Fukushima revealed the fear and lies that result from the use of nuclear power. You've yet to have your Fukushima or Chernobyl in the US, but that day is coming.

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