TED Conversations

Vivienne Eggers

Writing Thesis on Gaia Peace Philosophies Intl Law & Global Gov , Founder Gaia Life Way Intl Peace Institute

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Nuclear Energy is threat to life. Nuclear clean energy is a spin doctored myth that ignores the huge footprint of nuclear waste clean up

The debate about whether nuclear energy as a power is a commercially viable and clean energy source is ongoing.

Advocates of the nuclear position argue that if you read the 'facts' nuclear energy is even 'green' energy with zero or low carbon footprint.

I contend the position to say nuclear power has a zero footprint when this most lethal, toxic waste is virtually indestructible for millions of years. In scientific engineering, the risk cycle of nuclear power reactors cannot be fully validated as safe until waste can be permanently removed, stored, degraded.

Should governments have a policy to create more nuclear power plants before there is clean up and before 4th generation and further advanced technology can be adequately trialled and tested? Should replacement of old be the necessary policy before any new can be built?

The facts are that although nuclear power makes up 16% of the worlds energy supply - a significantly high incident and failure rate has been experienced since early inception. Every year there is at least one accident.

With the above fact in mind I wish to address the issues of waste solutions. How can we eliminate the critical risk of devastation to human?

What about solutions to degrade or transform it?

How might we remove it? (and permanently remove the risk)


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  • Nov 17 2011: With the current technology we have, nuclear is always unsafe to some degree. If not the actual processes involved in deriving energy from nuclear fission / fusion, then the waste by-products of this process.

    There is a substance called 'Thorium' that is said to have no isotopic residue and thus is deemed a 'clean' form of nuclear energy. Apparently the Chinese are researching the method; but I'm unsure why there isn't more focus on this form of nuclear energy generation, if it is in fact as safe as it's touted. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same reason industry drags its heals on other 'green energies' (i.e., we still have fossil fuels to exploit).
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      Nov 17 2011: "nuclear is always unsafe to some degree"
      and chemical plants? they are safe? how about dams? cars?
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        Nov 19 2011: 70% of Japanese residents have stated they don't want nuclear power any more.

        You seem convinced its 'good' for you. I could arrange for you to go and live in the North of Japan - or just stay there - with contacts and you could do a 'see I told you all' video - how about it?

        By the way I've just met someone who wasn't even in Japan at the time of the Earthquake - was away - and she's gone back - only to Tokyo. She's showing loaded signs of radiation poisoning. Never been anywhere north.

        Chemical plants are generally unsafe also - Australia has recently experienced issues of dioxide gases spreading with windrift - affected drivers on motorway - accidents as well as the more serious underlying issues. US case law has several significant corporate battles with chemical poisoning.

        Cars - well we are hoping they get cleaner.

        Dams - in India in 1996 that Multi-national partnership to the Indian power company decided to flood a river valley - the company neglected to evacuate and relocate thousands of people. Elderly, children were left stranded - climbed on their roofs above rising water. You might know of the author Arundhati Roy - who was called to court over her statements around this. I believe those that drowned and were left abandoned, homeless, sick etc. felt that dams are very dangerous.
        They do have serious ecological implications - in terms of EFA or global footprint. They are negative on the water table , salination as well as direct erosion and the long term impact of dam construction - drains lower deltas.
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          Nov 20 2011: please note a few things.

          1. i didn't use the term "good". a technology can not be "good" in itself. it might or might not serve a certain purpose. it has characteristics. in my post, i was talking about risks, not being "good" or "bad". we should respect facts rather than value judgments.

          2. no matter how many people likes or hates something. facts are still facts. i use facts to convince people. you use majority opinion to maintain majority opinion. see the difference?

          3. anecdotal evidence does not count. there is no excuse for it. using anecdotal evidence is simply bad science, and dishonesty.

          4. are you advocating not using dams and chemical plants either? fine to me, but i bet that the popularity of such notions will fall greatly behind the popularity of anti-nuclear sentiments.
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          Nov 22 2011: "Cars - well we are hoping they get cleaner." Ok, fine. Same answer for nuclear then. Interesting how only nuclear safety seems to warrant scrutiny. I agree with Krisztian, anecdotes and opinion are not facts.
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      Nov 19 2011: Because nuclear is the 'new oil' thats why. This is all about money and nothing more. 'Clean' means quick and dirty cash savings.,

      Vanadium is another that might get off the ground. Most who have been involved in real 'green' technology will tell you their hard luck stories over the years - nothing to do with technology and viability - jut where the big buck lies.

      It's only that climate change and imploding economy that has impelled any kind of research funding and development. This is not an attack on capitalism - it is just one of the negative ways in which the system works. Now there are drivers - insurance companies know the statistics for increased natural disasters worldwide - they are not a left field imagining. Many years ago I remember reading a bible story - warning about the man who builds a house on sand or rock - meaning - build on something solid. Well - when it comes to nuclear energy there isn't anything solid. Not yet. When there is, then its the time to talk about using it - not generations after people have been nuked in numerous ways.
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        Nov 22 2011: Vivienne, I mean no offense when I say this, your comments have almost no scientific reasoning what-so-ever. Nuclear energy is clean, safe (if properly secured), and efficent. In many of your recent arguements you have not stated any scientific evidence that nuclear power plants are bad in any way. Having Nuclear Power Plants does not mean a nuclear war, it means a way to create energy cleanly and efficently.
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          Nov 23 2011: Thanks for your clearly stated opinion Jake - no offense taken - because at least its stated with maturity.

          My statement is that nuclear waste is not safe until there is a safe method to degrade or permanently dispose.

          I do actually have scientific basis - but I didn't think it was necessary to write a thesis - I thought people in this forum would know the difference - but its obvious the topic is just so emotive that people revert to childhood.

          I am simply stating that your argument above much as I respect and agree with your words - STILL DOES NOT DISPUTE THE FACT THAT THERE IS CURRENTLY NO METHOD FOR SAFELY DEGRADING OR PERMANENTLY DISPOSING OF NUCLEAR WASTE.

          I do risk management - I look at the impacts on people - the risks highlighted by insurance companies and those who don't want the information published.

          In a risk management life cycle - something isn't safe until it is completely checked off at milestones and validation points - consider the V method test matrix. If you can't validate then ISO IEEE standards (and I do not list the Nuclear standards but they have been developed and challenged for the same reason) are it is not safe. I've also worked on many government mission and safety critical projects where public exposure is involved - I know how to risk manage for projects like this. I really am not just an airhead who thinks a nuclear power plant is a bomb. But a nuclear power plant IS a bomb.

          Statements like cars are dirty and planes drop from the sky. When you analyse risk you establish a matrix. You look at not just the severity of the risk (of which Nuclear is Code Red or A1 critical) you look at the frequency of it occurring. Sometimes extreme destruction risks (e.g. an asteroid hitting California) are so remote in occurrence that they receive a low rating. But nuclear power plants are not in the same category of remote occurrence - they have a high rate of failure through historic stats.

          Lets 'face the facts' work on solution
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        Nov 23 2011: There is no way to dispose any waste of any form of energy that is effective and commerically suitable. Every form of energy will create a byproduct whether it be air pollution, chemical waste, or even a product like plastic. We will always have waste, however like someone stated earlier, it takes 250,000 years to only create the size of Manhattan in waste. Nuclear plants can easily become safe and practically sealed off complelely given the right funding and resources. The reason why, in the past some nuclear power plants have failed is because of a natural disaster that caught them unprepared. Through history we have learned that nuclear energy can be dangerous but we have also learned how to use it effectivly, safely, and responsibly.
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      Nov 22 2011: I find it interesting that you can comment on the byproducts of an energy that doesn't exist yet (nuclear fusion) says alot.
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        Nov 23 2011: Well I commented on 911 before that existed. I commented on Foot and Mouth Disease and the mass burning in the UK before that existed. I commented on the Sari Bar bombing before that existed. I commented on the Tsunami for ten years before it existed. I commented on Hurricane Katrina before it existed. I warned of NZ and Japan earthquake. In all these circumstances and so many many others I commented and risked my life trying to save lives. I warned 'powerful' people - But still people didn't listen to me then either. Instead they attacked me just as you do. That's what an incarnate is - coming down here - the curse of this life - for you lot. There are people all over the world who personally know this.

        Just because you are not functioning on higher consciousness - doesn't mean I cannot utilise science AND be super natural in my sentience. Just because I don't speak with your rhetoric doesn't mean I don't hold the intelligence. I have that IQ also recorded as 'fact' from childhood.

        But in your world psychics are just 'stupid' people who make up stories with no real facts and have no intelligence. Go ahead kill yourselves and all life - then you can present the facts on it. Lets talk science and physics. What do you think about radiation patterning?
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          Nov 23 2011: "Well I commented on 911 before that existed. I commented on Foot and Mouth Disease and the mass burning in the UK before that existed. I commented on the Sari Bar bombing before that existed. I commented on the Tsunami for ten years before it existed. I commented on Hurricane Katrina before it existed."

          I would just like to say that I can list off a random series of events that could/probably will happen in the next 100 years. I can say that we will have another deadly hurrican, that we will experience bad weather, that there will be an earthquake, there will be a tsunami, a financial crisis, a revolution, etc.

          We can go on and on about what might/probably will happen in the future, but what does that prove? Does it mean that I can read the future? That there will be a nuclear crisis just because I say so? No, it means that I have guessed a random amount of events and based on history, these events will happen again, perhaps in different circumstances.
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          Nov 23 2011: That post was directed to Sablcious Faux who talks about the current waste produced by fusion. The problem is of course that no energy whatsoever is produced by fusion currently. So that comment came off as completely ignorant.

          And yes, psychics are stupid people who make up stories with no real facts and have no intelligence, that is entirely correct. At least, this is the judgment I'll make until a 'psychic' can successfully win the James Randi's challenge. Apparently, they are also cowards now. I contend that anybody who knew about 911 and didn't do anything about it is a total jerk. Completely crazy or absolute coward, make your pick.
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      Nov 23 2011: Yes - although I believe they have actually started production - it is not as efficient as other 4gen - but 62% is better than 1 by far.

      China is a great concern with the number of earthquakes in the region. Fossil fuel continues to boom.

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