FML General Thread [6]

Yeah. You read right. This is for everything that doesn't have anything to do with Eva.

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:50 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:When they've been indoctrinated with a standard party line against key positive technologies like nuclear power and direct genetic modification?

As someone who's been somewhat involved with both of these, I couldn't agree more! All I can say to the next generation is that I believe I've done my bit to a fair extent, and I hope that the damage done by others is not too much to be undone.
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Postby robersora » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:00 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:When they've been indoctrinated with a standard party line against key positive technologies like nuclear power and direct genetic modification? Way more than we need be.

As I've said elsewhere, the environmental groups of the 1970s succeeded so well back then that ever since, they've just had to keep ratcheting up the scare purely to justify their own continued existence.


In Austria we have no nuclear energy, it was decided by popular vote that Austria doesn't want to partake in nuclear energy AFTER they built the reactor. Now we have a never used fully functional nuclear reactor in Austria. You can take tours and sometimes there are concerts there. Well I get, that nuclear energy is great in some aspects, but as long as there is no solution for the atomic waste I can't see it as inherently positive either.
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Postby pwhodges » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:03 am

Just because you can measure such waste with a Geiger counter doesn't mean that it is more damaging to the environment overall than the waste from fossil fuels. One is merely more conscious of it, which is a good thing if it stops us getting complacent.
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Postby Shinoyami65 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:58 am

Really starting to question who my real friends are. Was feeling a bit down today, and for the entirety of the day the people who I thought were my friends wandered away while I was left alone to rot. None of them ever direct a word at me if they don't have to and they completely ignore whatever I'm saying. I never get invited out, I have no idea where they go or when they hang out but every Monday I get to hear about what a great time they had without me over the weekend. I've known these people since forever but they don't treat me like a friend, despite what they claim.

Help always seems to come from unexpected quarter, and that's probably why I haven't gone over the edge yet, although now I'm stuck between clinging to my stagnating social circle or just cutting my ties and mixing with people who I can actually engage in long conversations with. But I'll have to put up with my old 'friends' for another year, anyway, so I'm not sure if I want to be antagonising them right now.
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Postby Catamari » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:37 am

View Original Postrobersora wrote:In Austria we have no nuclear energy, it was decided by popular vote that Austria doesn't want to partake in nuclear energy AFTER they built the reactor. Now we have a never used fully functional nuclear reactor in Austria. You can take tours and sometimes there are concerts there. Well I get, that nuclear energy is great in some aspects, but as long as there is no solution for the atomic waste I can't see it as inherently positive either.
The majority of nuclear waste is Uranium 238 (around 96%), which is primarily a weak alpha emitter (there is a small chance of beta decay). Storage is trivial, it's just a political nightmare due to the large amount of disinformation and the general public's lack of education on the topic. Many nuke plant store the spent fuel rods on-site in large tanks of water.
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:53 am

View Original PostCatamari wrote:The majority of nuclear waste is Uranium 238 (around 96%), which is primarily a weak alpha emitter (there is a small chance of beta decay). Storage is trivial, it's just a political nightmare due to the large amount of disinformation and the general public's lack of education on the topic. Many nuke plant store the spent fuel rods on-site in large tanks of water.


That's a bit of a handwave, Cat.
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Postby robersora » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:12 am

^
Ok, I'm obviously very uneducated about this topic, since in Austria everybody and their dog is more anti-nuclear energy than Americans are anti-
What about the other 4% of waste? What about the other risks, do you think it was a good idea to plant a power plant almost directly besides the coast in Fukushima? Also, we are told that the process of nuclear meltdown is very complex and difficult to handle; the slightest problem could cause a catastrophe. And we don't want that. You should know that we in Austria have been directly afflicted by Tschernobyl's fallout; even today it's not totally cool to eat mushrooms from the woods because they are still radiating more than they should.
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Postby Catamari » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:12 am

Forgot about that one. High level, sure. But it's mostly beta decay, which, although more of a challenge to shield against compared to alpha decay, is still fairly easy to accommodate. Beta decay is composed of electrons and can be effectively blocked by few centimetres of aluminium or concrete. Shielding capability largely scales with mass.

Just for comparison's sake, the US alone produces around 612000 tonnes of trash, annually. Given that 12000 tonnes of fuel, the world over, it's only about 1% of that. Also, basketball courts aren't that huge, it's not an urgent problem of storing the stuff. Shit, an Amazon.com warehouse is about 1 million square feet. At our current rate, it would take a little over 200 years to fill (just in terms of area, not volume).

What about the other 4% of waste?
1% is Plutonium 239 and Plutonium 240, another two alpha emitters. The remaining 3% of the waste is largely the fission products of Uranium 235, which is pretty much everything between Zinc and the Lanthanide series (starting at atomic number 57).

What about the other risks, do you think it was a good idea to plant a power plant almost directly besides the coast in Fukushima? Also, we are told that the process of nuclear meltdown is very complex and difficult to handle; the slightest problem could cause a catastrophe. And we don't want that.
Putting Fukushima Daichii near a coastline, in a country that commonly experiences earthquakes and tsunamis was a terrible idea from the outset. The thing about meltdowns is that they become more dilute as the melted fuel moves along it's path to freedom. A lot of the danger of radiation is exaggerated and people lap it up because they don't know any better. You can't really blame them, either, years of disinformation and no correction of said disinformation will do that.

You should know that we in Austria have been directly afflicted by Tschernobyl's fallout
To be fair, Chernobyl happened in 1986 and it wasn't exactly a high quality reactor. 30 years of nuke technology moving forward have made accidents like that less likely to occur.


Radiation is really quite fascinating. If you're still curious, PM me.
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Postby pwhodges » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:42 am

Chernobyl was the highest level of incompetence as well; it was close to deliberate, in that the staff were trying an experiment on the live reactor and had consciously turned off the safeguards (my wife, who once worked on the biological effects of radiation, used to give lectures about it).
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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:09 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:even today it's not totally cool to eat mushrooms from the woods because they are still radiating more than they should.
A more relevant test would be whether they are any more radioactive than bananas, weight for weight.
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Postby Trajan » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:03 pm

Nuclear power is great as long as it's not located in a disaster prone area (i.e. A place with earthquakes and tsunamis or tornados and hurricanes) and there is adequate oversight so as to avoid Chernobyl-level incompetence. Waste is a bit of a problem still, and it's not suited for every region so it's not the end all be all to global power woes. It's a much more complicated issue than proponents and detractors would have you believe.

As for genetic modification...yeah, that just seems like a textbook example of humans fucking around with something they don't totally understand leading to disastrous consequences." We're better off living with nature and not trying to control it as far as I'm concerned.
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Postby Chuckman » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:18 pm

Are you saying that the arrogance of man.... is believing nature is in our control?
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:19 pm

View Original PostTrajan wrote:Nuclear power is great as long as it's not located in a disaster prone area (i.e. A place with earthquakes and tsunamis or tornados and hurricanes) and there is adequate oversight so as to avoid Chernobyl-level incompetence. Waste is a bit of a problem still, and it's not suited for every region so it's not the end all be all to global power woes. It's a much more complicated issue than proponents and detractors would have you believe.


Oh my gods yes. Between the detractors saying the sky is falling and the advocates saying "it's harmless, really!" I wanna scream sometimes. It's safe and useful if used responsibly, but there are problems and there is waste and that is a big deal. That doesn't mean we shouldn't use it where appropriate, but handwaving the problems away does us no favors.

As for genetic modification...yeah, that just seems like a textbook example of humans fucking around with something they don't totally understand leading to disastrous consequences." We're better off living with nature and not trying to control it as far as I'm concerned.


Meh. There are unintended consequences from time to time, but this while "live with nature" thing is bogus; Mother Nature is a bitch, and she is not your friend. Tweaking a gene here or there is no crime if we're aware of the consequences and act responsibly. Sadly, many companies (*cough* Monsanto *cough*) don't.
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Postby Trajan » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:28 pm

Thing is, humans adapt to nature, nature adapts right back and you've got new problems plus the complications from your earlier "solution". Nature is harsh and unsentimental, not cruel, and you just have to deal with that because no matter what you do, you'll never be able to change that underlying fact.
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:37 pm

View Original PostTrajan wrote:Thing is, humans adapt to nature, nature adapts right back and you've got new problems plus the complications from your earlier "solution". Nature is harsh and unsentimental, not cruel, and you just have to deal with that because no matter what you do, you'll never be able to change that underlying fact.


Which is why GMOs are fine as long as you know what you're doing and act appropriately.
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I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
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Postby Vegeta 20XX » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:36 pm

View Original PostTrajan wrote:Thing is, humans adapt to nature, nature adapts right back and you've got new problems plus the complications from your earlier "solution". Nature is harsh and unsentimental, not cruel, and you just have to deal with that because no matter what you do, you'll never be able to change that underlying fact.


No, no, nature is literally cruel - life exists to suffer, reproduce, and die, ensuring that more life suffers and dies for aeons to come.

And it is indeed possible for Homo Sapiens to completely break nature. That doesn't mean that absolute control won't kill all other life on Earth, and us by extension, and doesn't even mean that we have any control at all, but we can certainly remove the natural world's ability to adapt to the damaging effects of human technological progress.
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Postby NemZ » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:34 pm

This thread needs more people angsting over an interpersonal crisis or living arrangements and less discussion of energy policy. So yeah, TOPIC.
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Postby Chuckman » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:48 pm

I saw a chick on OKCupid with a quote from American Psycho as her self summary.
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Postby Ray » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:00 pm

Summer is supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation. . . am I allowed to rest and relax? NO, my parents just had to guilt trip me into taking more summer classes. Now I have literally no time to write or go out with friends because of all the work these History professors keep shoving down my throat.
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Postby Blue Monday » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:09 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I saw a chick on OKCupid with a quote from American Psycho as her self summary.

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