In Washington D.C. many protests are unannounced. I was down at Lafayette Park next to the White House to check out the protest scene on 3/20/11 and listened to music and speeches from a small group protesting nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Obviously nuclear power has its drawbacks but if oil keeps getting more expensive many countries have the unpleasant alternative of accepting nuclear power if the price is more reasonable. Everything from homes to electric cars can run off of electricity. If gas costs as much as $10 a gallon would you accept nuclear power as an alternative to run your electric car? Nobody has found a foolproof way to generate this type of energy. The recent disaster in Japan points this out. I would try to develop other sources of energy such as solar and wind power first since the idea of having to move out of my house in the event of nuclear contamination does not appeal to me.
In Japan many people have had to abandon their homes including all their prized possessions such as furniture, jewelry, photo albums, keepsakes etc. Whole cities such as Chernobyl in Russia had to be relocated-maybe now people can start to move back in. Countries around the world have some difficult choices ahead as the oil fields start to run out.
I totally agree with you, Elifanssens! Italy had a referendum in 1998 and citizens decided to stop with nuclear energy. It would be a non sense to spend a lot of money to build up new nuclear factories: they would be ready after almos ten years. For that date probably many countries like germany will stop their nuclear plants (they are oriented in green energy to stop with nuclear one). Japan tragedy must be a message for all that still think at nuclear factories as a good affair. Yes, it could be, but for few companies interested in making up lot of money without taking care of the environment (where do we put the rubbish?) and of the people! Can be a nuclear plant a safe place? Not at all! We can't say not in my garden, but not in our garden, as a nuclear disaster is a problem for a very large part of territory: the radioactive cloude is arrived in europe (even if with low radiations)!
The Italian government was just planning on introducing nuclear plants, even though a referendum (decades ago) made it clear that Italians do not want this kind of energy. The government did not want to come back on their decision, not even after what happened in Japan. Now the local governments have decided for them, none of them want a nuclear plant on their territory. Some say the terrain of their region is not suited, others say that they are autosufficient, others are in areas with earthquake risks and so on. Apparently not everyone is convinced that it's a sufficiently safe solution.
Strangly, against common sense and against a global trend, the government also cut down incentives for alternative energy, such as solar panels. Entire companies, who invested in green energy, are going bankrupt because of this. Maybe, once again, nuclear energy is sponsored not because it is safe... but because somebody will make large amounts of money with it.
Maybe I'm wrong but I get the feeling that the prices of solar panels and other accessories are kept artificially high so to force us to keep going with fossil energy (oil, coal...). Some people have invested heavily in that direction. Why change course and deprive them of huge profits ? My point may be simplistic but I think solar panels are made from easy to get materials like silicon. Not that much expensive. We do have manufacturing costs, all right but there's no spill, no reactor burning down, no radiation - no long term threat to our world.
I found this interesting link on solar power costs. Initial investment is high around $40,000 for a conventional home. This makes solar power quite expensive but maybe there are ways to reduce this cost.
In my opinion, one need only use only alternative energy sources like wind and solar energy, nuclear energy would be anti-economic costs of installation of power plants, and the risk of having a disaster without a possible control by anyone; I like to say that the third image is very "realistic ".
Agree with what Shootalot and Egomezta has to say. The risk is not worth it. The Earth has a lot of wind and solar energy which can be tapped and used. Wonder why we are not thinking in that direction......
I saw a tv show on green planet about a retired couple in baja mexico who get all of their electric power from solar panels. They live too far away from the grid so solar is their only choice. If every house and business was outfitted with solar panels It might provide quite a bit of electricity. Only problem is cost-might be expensive.
I guess the risk is not worth... But for countries like Japan that don't have natural resources like oil, coil, etc., it may be very tempting to use nuclear power. Now after this tragedy all countries should increase the security and maintenance of nuclear plants to resist even the most unimaginable events.
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