Is Nuclear Energy the solution?

Is Nuclear Energy the solution?


This video is sponsored by Skillshare Growing up, I lived 12 miles away from Indian
Point Energy center, a nuclear power plant that supplies one quarter of New York City’s
energy, which is a massive amount of power when you consider that over 10 million people
live in the city and its metropolitan area. But despite the plant’s huge energy output,
residents constantly worried about pollution and safety surrounding the 57 year old power
plant. My mom would often lay out an emergency escape for me and my siblings in case Indian
Point failed and there was a disaster on par with Chernobyl, Fukushima, or Three Mile Island.
These three disasters have persisted as spectres in the imaginations of the world, including
many New Yorkers, and as a result, have led to a backlash big enough to decommission the
Indian Point Nuclear center for good in 2021. But considering that this nuclear power plant
has provided ¼ of all of New York City’s energy for over fifty years, is this actually
good thing? What I really want to know is what role does nuclear power play in a full
transition away from fossil fuels and towards a zero-carbon future? As I came to realize while researching this
video, the debate behind nuclear power is complicated, and in order to really analyze
the value of nuclear power as an energy source, it’s important to look at emissions, waste,
cost, and safety. Let’s start with emissions, which are a
huge factor when trying to understand whether nuclear power is a serious option for mitigating
climate change. Many proponents of nuclear point to the lack of greenhouse gas emissions
from power plants as a major reason to increase nuclear energy production. While this is true
for the actual nuclear fission process that creates energy, the processes surrounding
nuclear, like uranium mining and refining, demand emissions. A life cycle assessment
of various fuels conducted by the IPCC reveals that the average greenhouse gas emissions
of nuclear power production is relatively the same as renewable counterparts. But, when
compared to natural gas and coal, nuclear emissions are drastically lower. So as an
alternative to gas and coal, nuclear power is certainly less emissions heavy, and could
be a viable low-carbon energy option. But waste also comes hand in hand with emissions.
This is big sticking point for the anti-nuclear movement, and rightfully so. No one has really
implemented a viable long term solution for nuclear waste storage. There are currently
three main options right now: onsite storage, long term deep storage, or reprocessing fuel
for use in other nuclear energy plants. Reprocessing spent fuel sounds like a perfect solution,
but it’s not. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, one consequence of reprocessing
spent fuel could be the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The by-product of this recycling
process is more plutonium, which can be easily used to build weapons. In addition, only a
little bit of the reprocessed waste can be used again, and you’re still left with a
host of other radioactive materials. And on top of all of that, recycling this waste has
a substantial cost tied to it. So, ultimately, the only answer right now to our current nuclear
waste is long-term storage. Unfortunately, the only country that is currently setting
up a facility is Finland. The rest just stockpile their waste onsite, with no options or outlooks
for long term storage. The other two main elements that really hold
back nuclear are cost and safety. Combined, the drawbacks of these make nuclear an infeasible
solution to a swift decarbonization of our global electrical grid. “The cost of nuclear
power is extremely prohibitive and it’s very slow to build.” That’s Arjendu Pattanayak,
a professor in the Carleton College physics department, who teaches a class on sustainable
energy policy. And this cost is in the range of an average cost of $9 billion per plant
in the U.S., with the possibility of the plant taking up to “I don’t think $30 billion
in 30 years is an unusual number to hear for a single plant.” With that kind of price
tag, nuclear energy production becomes almost twice that of other fuels, all while needing
someone with deep pockets to finance the whole operation. Once a nuclear power plant is built,
the energy may seem low cost in part due to the small amount of physical fuel needed to
be shipped to the plant, but the actual construction and decommission costs of these plants are
huge financial burdens, especially when you consider that they often run over budget and
way past schedule. At this point, you might be thinking, “Hey, but what about a country
like France?! Doesn’t it support 75% of its energy consumption with nuclear power,
and hasn’t done so for many years.” Unfortunately, France is an outlier, not the norm. Partly,
this is due to France’s strong nuclear initiatives and top-down political approach: “France
is top-down political system…the bureaucrats called their friends and said what should
we do? And they said let’s go nuclear, and they said ‘okay’ and they just kept on going.”
In the U.S. and other countries lacking clear plans for nuclear power, however, the opportunity
to use Nuclear as a transitional fuel to solar and wind has passed. “It would take so much
momentum that doesn’t seem to exist for nuclear power to have legs.” Indeed, if we are trying
to rapidly decarbonize an energy grid like the U.S.’s within the next 10-30 years,
Nuclear power just isn’t the answer in terms of cost and time. Part of the prohibitively slow and expensive
nature of Nuclear comes from safety concerns, which when you look at death tolls, seem to
be more a product of the public perception than an actual occurrence. “Nuclear power
per capita is actually the least harmful.” According to a tally accumulated by Forbes,
deaths caused by nuclear energy are much less when compared to coal, natural gas, or even
wind and solar. But, this low death rate could be due in part to the heavy safety regulations
put on nuclear power plants, already. Ultimately, Nuclear power is a contentious
source of energy. As a result of both the public imagination and the complexity of its
system, nuclear requires a large chunk of initial capital and time to become a feasible
source of “clean” fuel. A fact which professor Pattanayak agrees with, “I personally don’t
see nuclear roaring back.” A transition away from fossil fuels will definitely involve
current nuclear power plants, but renewables like solar and wind have nowhere near reached
their potential, especially once we’ve sorted out battery storage. Not only are renewables
cheap compared to nuclear, but they can also be produced quickly and spread widely across
the globe in a decentralized fashion. While nuclear does have the benefit of a massive
power output, it is a slow and cumbersome beast. If we are to swiftly and effectively
transition away from a fossil fuel reliant energy grid, we have to explore other energy
options. If you want to learn more about how to make
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100 COMMENTS

    Are you pro-nuclear energy or against it? I would love to hear your thoughts. Rebuttals and counter-arguments are welcome!

    Nuclear power is the logical future of energy. Peoples fear and ignorance will not make it happen. France is the perfect example of this technology functioning, so there should not be an argument against it. There is a solution to energy needs, pollution and the so called global warming but if you fix the problem then there is no more complaining.

    Pure quality content. Congratulations and thanks!!
    Watch out for the barrel signs in the animation. They're for biohazard waste. It's a small detail but impacts credibility.

    I have loved most of your videos so far, but you were really lacking depth in this one. How about new technologies? How about the Uranium in the world not even being enough to sustain the world for 30 years? How about that we need a baseload of power to compensate renewables being inconsistent in power production? How about Nuclear fusion? [yeah its different, but you use the word nuclear here and not nuclear fission]
    I think you failed to touch on many important areas.

    I think you are ignoring the latest molten salt reactors, much quicker to build, much cheaper and safer. You are only looking at light water reactors

    So solution is to believe in something that doesn't exist yet, or, exists but it didn't reach required potential yet (and might never will) , but it does pollute the earth quite a lot (which you failed to mention, although the focus of this video is not on that tech)

    I am against nuclear power because there is so much wast at the end and they dont store the wast on sight thank of how much radiation is leaking out to the city's around the plants

    You can stop the video at 2.waste and know that nuclear power needs to end, otherwise we'll be leaving radioactive toxic waste for our grandchildren to deal with.

    You claim that Nuclear has "relatively the same CO2 emissions" as Wind and Solar – that is a relatively misleading narrative. Nuclear has much lower CO2 footprint when the chart is properly scaled (even your chart indicates solar is 200% and wind is 400% – those weights matter when deciding for the entire World!). When you talk about Waste Storage, you speak exclusively about Nuclear Waste, while ignoring Solar and Wind waste. Old panels need to be replaced and recycled, including the toxic materials they contain. Wind turbines have life cycles as well, and are energy intensive to recycle. Nuclear Waste is concentrated in a relatively small package, while Solar Panel and Wind Turbine waste is distributed and will require massive amounts of transportation to recycle.
    You also failed to mention that Solar and Wind require Batteries on an unprecedented scale – otherwise the have to be supplemented by Gas/Coal/Oil, which are all very dirty.
    A. Pattanayak claims that Nuclear is expensive to build – relative to what? Nuclear is the only technology that deals 100% with it's own waste and all the worst case scenarios during construction. Solar Panel builders don't have to account for any of the disposal costs. Wind Turbines don't have to pay for the cost to the environment of the birds they kill and the waste they produce during maintenance or recycling. Nuclear is paying all such costs in advance, and is getting less subsidies, and still costs within the same order of magnitude per KWh. You should show all your data on the same scale – per KWh.
    9 Billion to build a NPP sounds like a lot. What is the equivalent cost to build Wind Turbines + Batteries for the same Power Output?
    Claiming that France is an outlier is manipulative – it is only an outlier because of mismanagement in the USA and other countries where subsidies were given to Oil and Gas, while Nuclear was subjected to a concentrated attack by Film and TV propaganda (funded partly by the same industries Nuclear threatened).
    Since we all accept Climate Change needs to be systematically addressed, we should all accept Nuclear Fission, whether Uranium or Thorium based, as the ultimate solution. Just like the Green Parties call for revolutionary changes in the power sector using Renewable, they could be calling for a smarter plan involving Nuclear. The fact that they do not indicates that they are either ran by dumb people, or are deeply dishonest.

    I'm definitely pro-nuclear! I think that this argument ignored the fact that there are many methods to harnessing nuclear energy and that these can be explored. Maybe wind and solar aren't where they need to be–just because we've already used nuclear, it doesn't mean that it's already where it needs to be. We need to throw more energy behind research and find a cheaper way to use nuclear.

    totally disagree about the last part.
    nuclear doesn't have to be centralized, it can be as decentralized as solar , it just requires development and incentive

    What kind of nuclear power are you even talking about? You didn't name it but I'm assuming you mean the classic water type.
    Thorium in combination with liquid salt rules out many of the cons standard nuclear power has which still wouldn't outweigh the pros imho.

    You should really look into China's efforts in developing thorium reactors.

    What you say about reprocessing is simply not true, once again the ideology of anti nuclear blinds the concerned scientists intellectual honesty.

    The plutonium is already present in the waste and can be reprocessed by anyone who wants to make weapons if they would choose to do so.

    It's however highly unlikely that a nation state actor would choose that route to get hold of fission material as there are far easier and more reliable ways to get it.

    The nuclear fuel that comes out of the reprocessing, weather that is mox-pellets or any form of liquid fuel would be pretty useless to a third party actor such as terrorists to make bombs and it wouldn't even be a good candidate for a dirty bomb.

    The unprocessed nuclear waste that still contains all the fission products would make a much better candidate for dirty weapons.

    If we remain intellectual honest and re-examine the reprocessing alternatives, which must include the option of burning it in fast breeder reactor, then the nuclear fuel cycle is for all practical reasons closed and won't have any long lived waste worth worrying about.

    Currently light water reactors produce a lot of waste, it's about 10 grams per person and year in the USA, if all electricity the person consumed was produced by nuclear power

    Even though the current about 70 000 tonnes of nuclear fuel gathered in the USA sound like a lot – it would still fit on football field. Don't forget that the current waste include all leftovers from weapons production, which civilian power production shouldn't be blamed for. Call your elected representatives and ask them why there still is nuclear weapons on our planet.

    Reprocessing + fast breeder reactors would bring down the amount of waste to about 1 gram per year, and since all the remaining actinides are re-cycled it's only the radioactive fission products that are left – and they would only require about 300-400 years before reaching the level of normal background radiation.

    I think we can manage that amount of waste, as I can't think of any other way to produce reliable and safe power that produces less waste.

    Of course the anti nuclear maniacs hate reprocessing, as if we implemented it properly their main arguments against nuclear would be void and null.

    Which tells me a lot about their character as human beings, they would rather lie and leave the nuclear waste as a huge and extremely long lived problem for our children to handle.

    I can think of no better way to handle the problem of waste than to burn it in a fast reactor to get rid of it and get more energy at the same time.

    So basically the only real problem of nuclear as a replacement for coal/oil/natural gas is the upfront cost. Renewables are fine, but not with our current technologies (mostly long-ish term storage, for when it's cloudy and not windy and when there's so much of sun and wind, that not all of it is used at that time). Even storage is not really a problem, I'd rather have it stockpiled on site rather than have all of it dispersed into the atmosphere like it's with current fossil fuels.

    Solarthermal is obiously the best renewable energy source and I think we all knew that already.

    Now check out 31°00'33.8"N 6°51'44.4"W This is the largest Solarthermal Powerplant on earth, it can provide up to 580MW during daytime.

    I highly advise you to look at the size of these 3 fields. They are kinda like manhatten and you would need 4 of these fields to replace Indian Point. They have to be built in areas with hot climate so even if there was somehow enough space anywhere near the east coast it would not work. They also stop generating energy during night time btw.

    Once our fossil fuels are getting harder and harder to extract, everybody will love nuclear power. It's a miracle that we managed to got this to work and it is the only realistic hope we have for the future.

    What I learned from the 3 famous nuclear disasters

    1) TMI didn't have enough sensors at the right places for the operators to make correct decisions

    2) TMI operators had to make critical decisions within minutes

    3) Fukushima was placed in a bad location

    4) Chernobyl was a bad design when taken out of normal oerating mode to do tests, had no confinement building, and again, complexity requiring critical decisions to be made in a few minutes

    If those problems can be solved in new designs, I'm for nuclear

    I don't consider the waste storage to be anything more than a political problem.

    your theory in the cost of nuclear power has a hole being that its proven all around the world especially in France, nuclear power is by far the most cheapest. So in reality it dose not matter how much a plant cost to run. Also your predictions are based on old reactor technology. China has built the first 5th gen reactor that was no where near your statistics. You need to do more research.

    Don't pay attention to this channel. This guy is engaging in the same tactics as global warming deniers, he's interviewing a single crackpot scientist to give an illusion that what he's saying is backed by scientific community (it's not). In reality renewables are certainly going to be a much slower path to decarbonization, compared to nuclear, if at all posible, since it requires invention and development of new technologies and total redesign of the current energy grid both of which will take decades and will cost tens of trillions of dollars and may not work in the end anyway. Realistic timescales to energy grid fully powered by solar and wind are on the order of 50 years. The build time of a single power plant is not a relevant factor here, since that is not the bottleneck.

    This video is misleading. Basically all of the drawbacks to nuclear power is only true if you consider using Uranium 235 as fuel. Modern nuclear research is more about Thorium and Fusion. Thorium is much cheaper, safer and quicker to build, and if you use Thorium, you can take existing nuclear waste, basically mix it with Thorium, and burn almost all of it away! Whatever tiny amount remains, only has to be stored for 300 years. Take a look at Copenhagen Atomic's nuclear waste burner! Thorium is the future!

    In harmony with the guidelines of your other videos at the least we keep existing nuke plants going for as long as possible. In addition we continue to do research on next gen nukes. Yes wind solar etc are critical, they will never be enough. Moving forward assuming we agree to minimum living standards for all humans the need for electricity will be exponentially higher.

    This is a 1970's anti-nuclear narrative. France's nuclear ecosystem, with 58 reactors for 65 million people, overcomes most of your objections. You need to re-visit this topic with better information. A lot of what you say is misinformed, out of date or just plain your own confirmation bias. France could build ultra modern, new generation nuclear plants for the whole world as it is doing in joint ventures in China, Finland and many other countries. No one is saying only nuclear, but it probably should be largely nuclear. Again, update your information and be more open. I can go anywhere in France by High Speed Rail running on nuclear generated electricity at 300 km/h with a near zero carbon footprint. Pretty good solution if you ask me!

    I was a fan of your videos up until now, this video didn’t make a convincing argument and seems like your personal bias as a child towards nuclear energy skewed your own findings. I’ll be unsubscribing because Kurzgesagt does a much better job.

    4B dollars per GW of power for nuclear. Plants proven they can operate for more than 70 years and only decommissioned because they are "old".
    5.5B dollars per GW. Uses way more space, doesn't include storage, actually produces no more than 70% of the nameplate capacity and will last at most 20 years. This is built in a low latitude.

    True cost of solar:
    Double the cost for inefficiency during lifetime 11B add another 5.5B for the storage, multiply by 4 for the short lifespan compared to nuclear, decommissioning costs will be about the same (where do you put solar panels reinstalling will be just as time consuming as installing).
    Actually solar is at least 10-15 times as expensive as nuclear. Not counting way more expensive food, land, electrical grid and gas power plants to prevent black outs.

    Tbh honest we should just switch to using thorium instead of uranium when it comes to nuclear energy. It's easier to mine, easier to control, and it's difficult to weaponize. There's a great Sam O'Nella video you can watch as a primer on the subject if you're interested.

    Fact is renewable energy will never cover the distance we’re nowhere near close enough for battery storage for anything not to mention the fact that most batteries require more carbon creating mining same as nuclear and none of these problems go away if you don’t start working on them now that’s 30 years isn’t going to get any shorter if you wait another 20 nuclear power stations should be being built now. America was within an inch of having a safe storage facility in Yucca Mountain but it was shut down near completion because of fear mongering and lack of understanding. Pollution still kills more people every year did Chernobyl ever dreamed of.

    I usually like your videos but this one is so heavily biased…you talk about the costs of nuclear but as some of the other commenters have said, you just don't see that in real life. I live in France and the cost of electricity is only 3/4 of the European average, meaning we pay much less than countries like Italy (73% fossil fuels), Spain (74% fossil fuels) or Germany (79%), the 3 most expensive countries in Europe in terms of energy costs. In fact, the European leaders in nuclear power (France, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic…) usually have the cheapest electricity. Yes, nuclear requires a big initial investment but that clearly pays off and it's those kinds of long-term investments that benefit us in the long run. Renewables are useful but it's absolutely impossible to base a country's energy on renewables as they're so unreliable and they're more expensive than nuclear because they don't generate electricity all the time. The best example of this is the fact that if Germany (the world leader in renewable energies) had invested the $1/2 billion into nuclear power instead of renewables, it would already be generating over 100% of its energy for electricity and transportation from clean, more carbon-free sources.

    Also, you talk about safety and I'm glad that you mentioned the fact that nuclear is the safest energy source. However (and this might just be my interpretation), it seems like you're suggesting the already tough regulations are a negative aspect. They're really not. The deaths that are caused by fossil fuels and renewables are mostly from air pollution and heavy metals, which cannot be regulated (unless you use very expensive carbon-capture tech). The nuclear power plants can be more thoroughly regulated by using safer processes (thorium reactors that are meltdown-proof but can't get enough funding because of public fears of nuclear energy) and more efficient software to completely eliminate the aspect of human error (which by the way was the main cause of the Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island Accidents, look it up). Even so, there isn't much of a need to improve safety anymore because nuclear is undeniably the safest energy source.

    As for nuclear waste, this isn't a problem either. France has produced a total of around 2 300 cubic meters of high level nuclear waste (the stuff that needs to be buried) because it does in fact recycle it's waste. This equates to an American football field stacked about 0.5 meters high (1.6 feet). Even though France is currently building a geological repository for this waste, the reason many country don't bother is that repositories won't be needed for very much longer and the low amounts of waste they currently have is stored safely. ITER has already begun the construction of a functioning experimental nuclear fusion reactor (fusion, the fusion of small particles together, as opposed to fission, the process of splitting larger atoms currently used in nuclear power plants) which would offer even more efficient electricity with minimal waste (almost negligible waste that will decay in less than 30 years). The first nuclear fusion plants for commercial use are planned for around 2040-50 so geological repositories just won't be needed by then.

    I'll be adding my sources in a reply to this comment.

    You're hand-waving away grid battery storage. It's a trillion dollar problem and you're acting like it's no big deal.

    Almost everything you say about recycling (at least in France) is false, plutonium is not a product of recycling but of the fussion itself, 98% of "waste" are recycled in France, and then for the real waste, the only solution is indeed to bury them which require to make a big facility and a lot of regulation, but I prefer this 100% safe burying, than high CO2 output, because CO2 affect the whole world.

    Nuclear is expensive but considering its huge power output, wouldn’t it mean that it has a good power output to cost ratio?

    Discounting nuclear in favor of renewables is silly. We need both. Even if we can find a way to stop wind from destroying ecosystems and make easily recycled solar panels, they would still require enormous tracts of land and, yes, batteries. Developing ways to use safer and more easily produced nuclear fuels could solve so many of the issues brought up here, including cost.

    Yeah… it's expensive… except when you actually compare how much energy a plant generates in its lifetime with other sources instead of just going "30 billion? Wow, that sounds expensive. How much is that?" Well it's less than 0.75% of the US yearly budget, extremely effective, and yes, extremely safe. There are tons of safety regulations for everything. If you actually run a nuclear plant the correct way, it's safe.

    Nuclear waste is virtually immortal and extremely detrimental to our health. There is no discussion here in my mind.

    This video addresses the problems surrounding nuclear power.
    Unfortunately that is not the real problem we need to solve.

    Our for-profit energy industry will always assume that their job is to provide all of the power “demanded” by the population. This makes “perfect sense” to energy profiteers because to do otherwise would be tantamount to throwing away billions of dollars in profits now being hoarded by a small group of people.

    The framing of this video is the same framing used to create our current for-profit energy industry. As Einstein said:

    “You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it.”

    We need to re-frame this entire discussion.

    The “real problem” is: How can we evolve our society into a sustainable society that works for the benefit of all people in harmony with our global ecosystem?

    If you think we can do this without changing our fundamental values, culture, and infrastructure then you are either insane—or you are an economist…, or, perhaps an engineer…or, possibly, an energy extraction profiteer?

    Looking at our for-profit energy system in isolation is not helpful. We need to start thinking more creatively and broadly about things like smart grids that will include the hidden and externalized costs of energy production and that will therefore incentivize load-timing, conservation, urban planning and building codes.

    Why do we all need to drive to distant worksites at the same time of day in private cars?

    How many lawn mowers do we really need in each suburban block? How many washing machines?

    Why are we building so many McMansions that few of us can afford to buy or to even heat and cool?

    What is “The Good Life?”

    These are the kinds of questions we really need to ask.

    I don’t agree that we have built such an “awesome world.” Our modern way of life is rife with negatives that—if we really take the time to look—far outweigh the “awesomeness” we are trained to see in our current existence.

    Our capitalistic society and for-profit media are designed to make us crave the products and gadgets that bring obscene amounts of money to the few but do not really improve our lives and actually separate us from the natural world and haunt our existence. Thousands of hours of propaganda by for-profit companies have conditioned us to seek out the “latest” fashion, gadget, or craze that we can spend our time and money on. We should really ask ourselves WHY are we so easily captivated by this advertising?

    The corporate overlords who drive our society have successfully externalized the true costs of all this junk. The “awesomeness” we see in our lives has brought immense suffering to millions of people—most of whom do not, themselves, realize the true source of their own struggles to survive. Sure, it’s great to watch a new NASA rocket blast into orbit on your iPhone. But we should pause and ask: What the real cost of this pyrotechnic show to all of us?

    By getting our society off of fossil fuels—and nuclear energy—we can give our children cleaner water, fresher air, better food, stronger communities, better health, better education, less war, and better medical care. It would bring us into closer contact with the true awesomeness of the natural world that sustains us. Most of us would live closer to sustainably managed farming communities. We would get more exercise and have more contact with our friends and neighbors. We would be more involved in the decisions that affect our lives. We would, in short, have a truly “awesome” society that we would have no reason to feel guilty about.

    There are few downsides to this transition. If you disagree, then I would suggest you ask yourself where your values came from. Maybe you should consider taking a break from the corporate media and go for a walk in the woods. That might be truly awesome.

    Your arguement for solar power over nuclear power is false in the sense that nuclear power has not yet reached it's full potential yet, either. Have you heard of thorium?

    You're really cool but you're wrong, and i am still hopeful that nuclear energy is the future.

    2:20 that is a very sleazy quote. Nuclear power isn’t “comparable” to renewables, it is more clean than them. Nuclear is the gold standard for environmental impact, length of service, power output, and consistency.

    Keep up renewables

    A great case of perfection being the enemy of good. For decades people have said that nuclear isn't the right solution and decided to sit on their butts waiting for the "perfect" solution and now they want to say it's too late/expensive to implement nuclear energy while still offering no faster/cheaper options. Sure nuclear has its drawbacks (like everything) but it would have bought plenty of time at least with respects to the carbon emissions dilema. Also, we have experience in solving the problems associated with nuclear energy (they're mostly structural problems afterall). We can build more secure facilities in anticipation of natural disasters and create better sealed storage facilities (at least we can store nuclear waste instead of releasing it into the air) but does anyone know how to reverse climate change caused by carbon emissions?

    the problem with nuclear energy is jow it is perceived as a singular type of energy production with one set of risks costs and benefits. the classical type uses uranium and water pressure. this reaction is a controlled runaway process that has the nuclear spent fuel problem and the reaction cannot be stopped once active. it also produces weapons grade plutonium.

    But a newer variant of nuclear production is the LiquidSalt-Thorium reactor. this is a process where the reaction requires a continuous stream of new two new fuels. which are both moved around in molten form. you then mix these (namely thorium and liquid(molten)salt). this process doesn't produce (or just not nearly as much, don't remember everything about it tbh) any plutonium and has two built in 'off switches'.

    it's still in a somewhat early stage this variant. but if i remember correctly there is atleast one of these types of reactors running allready.

    if we can get nuclear fusion to work that will be our best option since it requires nothing but hydrogen (the most common compound in the universe) to fuel it.

    To power the grid…

    Tridium + Dueterium Fusion

    Algae (97% solar efficenty)

    Solar thermal (75%)

    Solar concentrated (44%)

    Solar (25%)

    Solar (20%) / Wind (both off and on ocean)

    Geothermal

    Algae (0.5 – 2 %)

    Thorium Fission

    Tidal

    Uranium Fission

    Biomass (0.1%)

    Hydro

    We, as in humankind, have spent some 80 years researching and testing nuclear power, figuring it out very well, having invested billions into it and sacrificed people's health in the process. As a reward, we've created the cleanest and most efficient form of energy, which powered our exponential growth during the boom in the 70s-90s. And now, after all that, we just say nope, fuck it. It's ridiculous.

    For example, manufacturing solar panels produces insane amount of CO2 emissions. They are not only inefficient, they are useless, because they only produce energy during sunny days, when no one actually needs it. We can't store the energy, even if we made lots of batteries, manufacturing them is insanely emissive as well. "Solving the battery problem" is for now a utopia. But sure, we "just need to figure it out". Right after we figure out teleport.

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    Bán đấu giá sáng chế (phát minh ""Nikola Tesla"") năng lượng sạch "giải pháp chung cho cả thế giới" để xây dựng nhà máy điện . Giá khởi điểm: 50,000,000USD (năm mươi triệu đôla mĩ ) . +84 983 048 194 . Sáng chế có tiềm năng cạnh tranh với các nhà máy (( thuỷ điện, địa nhiệt , điện hạt nhân, điện gió, điện mặt trời … )) Bởi chi phí tạo ra điện giá thành siêu rẻ, chủ động , không giới hạn lượng điện , không độc hại, không nguy hiểm, ít rủi ro xảy ra thảm họa, thiết bị dễ chế tạo , khai thác ở đâu cũng được. nếu quốc gia , tập đoàn , hoặc công ty nào đăng ký sở hữu được bản quyền sáng chế thì lợi ích sẽ rất vô cùng to lớn. Tôi bán sáng chế là bởi do tôi là 1 cái nhân , vốn ít , không kham nổi công việc này. 50,000,000 USD mà mang lại sự thịnh vượng , thu lãi vài trăm tỉ USD thì số tiền bỏ ra mua sáng chế là quá nhỏ bé. Ai mua hãy liên lạc bằng tiến Việt Nam cho tôi, bởi tôi là người Việt Nam

    AUCTION PATENT
    (Invention Nikola Tesla)
    STARTING PRICE: 50, 000, 000 USD (fifty million US Dollars)
    Contact Number: +84983048194 viet nam
    “CLEAN ENERGY: BEST SOLUTION FOR THE WHOLE WORLD”
    The invention has the great potential to compete with factories such as, hydroelectric power, geothermal power, nuclear power, wind power, solar power, etc.
    By the cost of generating electricity at a super cheap price, pro-active, unlimited amount of electricity, non-toxic, non-hazardous, low risk of disasters, this invention is the best solution. Furthermore, it is easy to manufacture and easy to export anywhere.
    If a country, corporation or a company registers to own the invention’s copyright, the benefits will be massive. I choose to sell the invention because I am just an individual with limited funds, and can’t afford this project. Your 50, 000, 000 USD capital can give you an earnings of hundred billion dollars.
    For those who are interested to buy, please contact me in Vietnamese through my phone number above.
    Bán đấu giá sáng chế (phát minh ""Nikola Tesla"") năng lượng sạch "giải pháp chung cho cả thế giới" để xây dựng nhà máy điện . Giá khởi điểm: 50,000,000USD (năm mươi triệu đôla mĩ ) . +84 983 048 194 . Sáng chế có tiềm năng cạnh tranh với các nhà máy (( thuỷ điện, địa nhiệt , điện hạt nhân, điện gió, điện mặt trời … )) Bởi chi phí tạo ra điện giá thành siêu rẻ, chủ động , không giới hạn lượng điện , không độc hại, không nguy hiểm, ít rủi ro xảy ra thảm họa, thiết bị dễ chế tạo , khai thác ở đâu cũng được. nếu quốc gia , tập đoàn , hoặc công ty nào đăng ký sở hữu được bản quyền sáng chế thì lợi ích sẽ rất vô cùng to lớn. Tôi bán sáng chế là bởi do tôi là 1 cái nhân , vốn ít , không kham nổi công việc này. 50,000,000 USD mà mang lại sự thịnh vượng , thu lãi vài trăm tỉ USD thì số tiền bỏ ra mua sáng chế là quá nhỏ bé. Ai mua hãy liên lạc bằng tiến Việt Nam cho tôi, bởi tôi là người Việt Nam

    I get a little frustrated that Thorium is not mentioned in the nuclear power debate.
    Thorium – The Future of Energy?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1lIfFcxVuY

    Nuclear isn't just nuclear fission, it can also be nuclear fusion. It's almost criminal that you don't make the distinction because in the following decades nuclear fusion could actually become a thing and its benefits should not be underestimated. It has zero waste, runs off of the most abundant elements in the universe, hydrogen, and can create an insane amount of energy with very little. All in all completely clean and sustainable like no other fuel. Scientists managed to make it happen in the lab, but it is extremely difficult at the moment. Still, it looks very promising.

    Nuclear power is the way. It is the only power that result in the least death. The world should go nuclear.

    ANOTHER GREAT VIDEO. PLEASE DO A THOROUGH COMPARISON BETWEEN NUCLEAR POWER VS. HYDROPOWER. WOULD LOVE YOUR TAKE ON THIS ISSUE. THANKS AND KEEP RESEARCHING AND PRESENTING!

    This video is such BS. He makes the cost and slowness of nuclear one of the major downsides and then tells us to just sit tight and wait for battery storage technology. So he'd rather have us sit on our hands and wait for a technology that may never happen and even if it did present its own environmental problems, instead of using the technology we already have to build new nuclear reactors. I wonder who this "Our Changing Climate" group is bankrolled by…

    The waste isn't that much of a problem, even if we only resort to long-term storage, it still would be a good option considering how dense the waste is it could fit in a few warehouses. As for the cost and how long it takes to build, that's largely in part due to the heavy regulations the government has on it. it's incredibly hard to get approval to make a nuclear power plant in the first place, and they put so many hurdles it takes forever to build one. Consider the fact that in the past 20 years the US has commissioned 15 nuclear submarines. that's 15 battle-ready nuclear reactors along with the submarines they come in built in the last 20 years. We have the ability to make nuclear power work, it's simply the politics that again the way.

    Something completely missed in this video I feel is how to regulate the large flucations in wind and solar today. I believe we don't have time to wait on better battery technology and with this in mind as you scale renewables up you also have to upscale other power sources like natural gas to keep the grid going.

    Where did this guy grow up? I live quite close to Indian Point and I’m actually upset it’s closing since it’s good for the environment.

    You forgot to mention all the research spent on solar and wind compared to nuclear. Nuclear is nowhere near its potential either and is operating on 1970’s technology.

    This is a weak incongruous video nuclear energy. Expand your research on the topic. The phone interview seems chopped and cherry picked to inflate the bogus narrative.

    There is no need to fear nuclear energy because the three biggest accidents killed less than 5000 people in total and 7million people die if air pollution each year most of which is caused by natural gas and fossil fuels and less than one percent of energy is solar and the materials in solar panels are toxic and the materials in batteries are also toxic and only about 30% of the time solar and wind produce energy and there's currently not enough batteries to store the power and one tonne of thorium is equal to 200 tonnes of uranium which is equal to 3500000 tonnes of coal and thorium reguires plutonium to work and that stops accidents from happening by having a meltable cork if it over heats to move it away from the plutonium also nuclear is the only energy source that contains it's waist also after a few hundred years nuclear waste becomes vastly less deadly and most nuclear power plants are over 25 years old meaning the less safe than new ones and most power plants are light water reactors which aren't the safest or most efficient

    Technically… Humans have relied on nuclear energy from the start. The sun is a big ole nuclear furnace. If we keep adding hydrogen and other lighter elements, we could use it as a kiln for everything iron and lighter. Eventually we could siphon them out, once we develop such technology. Critical thinking is key for a sustainable and environmentally friendly future. We've come a long way in a century, be a shame if was the last as well.

    Reprocessing spent fuel creates more Plutonium? Ugh… What the f**k? NO. Hard no. If you fission Pu²³⁹ or U²³⁸ you end up with smaller elements… Splitting an atom does NOT result in more of the same atom. It creates two smaller isotopes plus a few extra neutrons that are released to continue the Nuclear process. Congrats. You spent a lot of time and effort producing completely BS "facts." You should really, honestly, do your research.

    Seriously consider the environmental impact of Solar and storage. Just solar PV cells alone average 42-48g CO2 / KWh. Compare it to 12g CO2/KWh for Nuclear. Then consider EVERY Tesla vehicle produced up to Q1 2019 would be required to take California completely Solar and Nuclear. Now extrapolate to a global scale and you'll realize you have to be insane to suggest such a thing.

    This video, like many others pushes to ideas that are wrong. Cost and the claim that its too late. When it comes to cost we always compare the cost of a nuclear plant to the cost of solar or wind but fail to factor in or consider the cost of batteries which are needed to ensure stability in such networks. Failing to do so is like not including the cost of a cooling tower in the cost of a nuclear plant or the cost of coal mining in the cost of a coal-powered plant. Moving onto the claim that its too late, you say that if the US is to move to rapidly reduce its carbon emissions in the next 10-30 years nuclear cannot achieve that, while failing to acknowledge that we have no hope of achieving it anyway. Isn't some progress better than none?

    This is a factually terrible video…

    Finland is far from the only country with long term storage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_geological_repository). You forgot that France is also building a huge repository in Bure for long term storage and the demonstration lab is exploited since 2007 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse/Haute_Marne_Underground_Research_Laboratory), the long term storage license for the USA in Yucca mountain is still valid and they have the WIPP storage in operation (https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-waste/storage-and-disposal-of-radioactive-waste.aspx), and Sweden has been operating a 50m storage since 1988 (http://www.euronuclear.org/events/topseal/transactions/Paper-Session-III-Skogsberg.pdf).

    You also clearly overlook the fact that a nuclear power plant produces as much energy as litteraly thousands of solar panels/wind turbines, that 30 years is a gross overestimate, and that even 10 years is a bad case scenario (http://euanmearns.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-a-nuclear-power-plant/). Pattanayak is cherry-picking bad examples without looking at the reality. If you asked him about EPR technology he would point at the hugely delayed Flamanville and forget the already working Taishan reactors.
    The finance argument is bogus, renewables are more expensive per unit of power, there have been huge renewable projects, and several actors can associate to operate a power plant. By the way the "momentum" of solar and wind is called *subventions*.
    The argument about France specificity completely overlooks the fact that the US also built over 100 nuclear power reactors, that Japan has 55 or that South Korean, the UK, Canada have around 20 nuclear reactors each (https://timeforchange.org/nuclear-energy-and-nuclear-weapons-per-country).

    Go with  Smart Grid , Renewable  Energy, and  then Thorium   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6BXvw6mxtw   A  Thorium  Nuclear  power plant the uses Stirling Cycle Free Piston Engines can blow up like a steam turbine plant .  We are up to our ears in Thorium it's everywhere and there is waste that  but far less waste that is only dangerous  for three hundred years and produces no weapons grade anything.

    Oak Ridge Thorium Reactor film   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyDbq5HRs0o&t=11s  Kinda cool.    Patent 672256, 3190554, 3013505 .

    In the future we really should use nuclear but instead of uranium we should use thorium. IT was just that the government made the @$# bullshit
    Choice to use uranium because it was better at making bombs.

    “Renewables like solar and wind have not reached their potential” I agree but neither has nuclear fission, I haven’t heard of thorium rector development and implementation yet.

    If germany would want to cover it's whole enegry only by renewables it would have to cover the whole country with wind turbines, solar panels and punp storages. Much fertile ground would have to be replaced with concrete, forests would have to be cut down – I would be okay with this – but nature wouldn't. If germany and the whole world would do that, we would destroy our planet – and u didn't mention recycling of batterys, solar panels and wind turbines. And there hasn't been a fully built-out battery storage system for cities. All of these are unsolved problems that would not be there with nuclear. I am not against renewables – but I would be cautios to overuse it and to blend out other carbon-low energy sources.

    "Is Nuclear Energy the solution?"
    It's the only solution while we transition to renewables. It has killed less than every energy source out there, it emits the least amount of pollution, it works 24/7, and it's here right now . As technology advances with Small Modular Reactors, Molten Salt Reactors, and Fusion (forever 20 years away) we would have the perfect energy source for the foreseeable future while solar and geothermal tech get perfected.

    Pity you ignore molten salt nuclear designs. Projected construction costs are now in the order of $1 per watt. Generation of power is somewhere in the range of 4 to 8 c per kWh. Negative temperature reactivity provides load following capability. Additionally the technology has awesome desal capability.

    Don't forget that there is no foreseeable way to transition away from fossil fuels without nuclear. Wind and solar simply cannot be used to provide the brunt of any large area's power needs. The fact that energy production is intermittent with renewables precludes them from ever being used as our main source of power. Nuclear is the only way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. And as far as moving away from them entirely, there is no way to make electric air travel feasible anytime soon. If we had a cheap and readily-available source of electricity (like nuclear), the building of high-speed rail lines across the country could supplement or even supplant a decent amount of domestic air travel, thereby also reducing carbon emissions further. It's good to protect the environment, but rapid "decarbonization" isn't realistic. Any politician who promised to force an entire country to immediately get rid of their ICE vehicles would never get elected.

    Thorium produces less waste, and is harder to use for weapons, if that is a bad thing. Even if Nuclear Weapons are made, it will just increase MAD.

    Allot of mistakes on cost and waste. This also makes the conclusions too negative.
    Also on renewable your too optimistic, especially storage.

    Nuclear have NO role in a fossil free future. The reason? Cost. ITS extremely costly as proven in the latest projects in France, Finland, UK. The cost of Offshore wind is becoming grid parity. And solar is now the cheapest source of electricity in a growing number of places on the globe. Cost of Energy storage is falling. So I see a future of solar + offshore wind + enery storage.

    yes nuclear is the way. it wins every field. enormous ,stable & cheap output, complete control at any time unlike all the rest, actually way safer if you look at the actual casualities ever recorded compared to how many workers die in other sectors of energy every year, it's petty peanuts. each time a dam fractures, it often kills more people than dropping a tactical nuke on the area, just so you realize what is what. third world people dying in work accidents thanks to the renewable insdustry is also worth multiple 9/11 attacks worth of dead people each YEAR. but this, western liberal mid class snowflakes don't give a fuck about, as long as it's not them.

    Nuclear chain is the cleanest of all means available CO2 wise, also least reliant on fossil than any other existing source, it's also the least cumbersome system unlike what you pretend, as it converts energy from its densest form avaible by breaking atoms. one freaking gram of U238 puts hundreds of ugly ,massive, cumbersome , noisy and unreliable wind powered units to shame for a fraction of the cost. if you had to subsidize a nuclear power plant for wind, you'd need to fill the fuck out of the land with those over dozens of miles. Sorry a thousand windmills are just way more cumbersome than a tightly packed nuclear facility, that is a fact.

    You're completely wrong on the cost man. the "over budget" thing is not an argument. any big project ever went over budget. constructing the eiffel tower went crazy over budget, the eurostar tunnel linking paris to london went crazy over budget, going on the moon went over budget, any weapon research program goes over budget. most of those were still worth it. not mentionning the cost of nuclear is all about construction. once it's built you're pretty much done with the heavy financials for as long as the plants is able to run, unlike renewable which on top of being unreliable energetic shite costs a fat ass carbon print and billions to maintain.

    The reason we're getting over budget and over schedule regarding nuclear plants NOW is because of nuclear fearmongering. had we spent the last 40 years getting better at nuclear and forming skilled labor instead of being irrationnally scared of it and deserting the field, we'd be expert at building plants. The reason why you see people struggling with power plants building logistics is because the people who successfully built the first reactors are now retired or passed away, meaning the people in charge of nowadays nuclear construction projects are rather inexperienced at it and crush budget and schedule because of that . You can't expect people to suddenly become experts again at building power plants when it's been 40 years they havent built any plants. by building plants, you actually make their cost go lower & lower as well as being safer because the more you build the better you are at it.

    That's exactly like america not being able to go back to the moon without re-studying the subject. The people that did it in the first place are gone or retired, and the skills necessary to put people on the moon went with them. same thing happened with nuclear.

    not mentionning nuclear has a tremendous tech progression margin that no other energy sector has and already boasts many methods of extracting nucleide's energy with various pros and cons you can choose from depending on the needs. classic fission, very safe thorium salt based fission, different reactor moderators available, upcoming magnetically sealed fusion, laser triggered fusion and many other things the sky is the fucking limit, and the fuel is literally unlimited.

    Renewables can't be maintained without fossil fuel anyway so once fossil is exhausted, your renewables are inherently doomed because they can't be manufactured or maintained but by 100% fossil dependant industries, nuclear can do with minimal fossil, renewables just can't and they'll get exponentially more expensive once fossil fuel availability really drops. that on top of not being able to properly sustain the grid in the first place making fossil mandatory to be exploited as a backup. what a shit idea.

    Not even mentionning barely anyone reuses the heat exhaust of nuclear plants, which rivals its electrical output in energy. Meaning a nuclear power plant is not only the best source of electricity , it's also your unexpected best source of heat. The technology required to transfer that heat on long distances without significant loss, unlike that fantasy electrical storage you'd need for solar and wind, actually exists.

    In france if you produce 900k through nuclear powered turboalternators , you actually also produce 800-850 K as heat waste that can actually be used in peoples house instead of radiating away. they just didn't bother setting up a heat network or fit plants with such a system but they could in the foreseeable future, and if they did, they simply would save dozens of billions on heating.

    as far as the waste is concerned, nuclear waste can be stored and contained at least. while fossil & renewable fossil dependent manufacturing waste ends up stored directly into people's lungs , and it's less than people think (france's total waste stack since it went nuclear half a century will still be roughly equivalent to a medium habitation building total, including containers. that's what 60 years of the most by far nuclearized country on earth waste looks like, a well contained stack of barrels the size of the average appartment building. and that's the 2030 "potential" estimation, meaning it "could be" reaching this by 2030, it's less than that.

    the real reason people lobby against nuclear despite being objectively the only way out of the environnemental mess, is because it's hard to get quickly rich from selling nuclear tech and their only goal is money.
    they are big, high tech quality controlled ,very regulated devices, that your government will force you to be responsible with and they have been thought as the best way to provide cheap energy, not as the best way to pull a quick money scheme and get away with it.

    that's why the new green capitalists don't like nuclear : it's not meant as a scam and puts all their renewable scams to shame in all regards, meaning if there were no nuclear, they would get very very rich by making their junk chinese photovoltaïc devices and shit electrical windmills the only way to access energy and make the cost skyrocket. that's what they are trying to do.

    Note that they are willingly trying to deprive mankind of the only known working solution to keep the environnemental issues in check without triggering a world wide energy financial crackdown (and likely the world war that ensues) with the end of fossil ,out of pure capitalist greed on the basis they'll likely be dead when shit hits the fan. People advocating for renewables nearly all have an obvious financial interest for doing so, either by getting paid or wanting to sell renewables themselves, they obviously don't give a fuck about the environnement .Common people advocating for nuclear are mostly concerned with REALLY lowering C02 through the most rational way available and hold no share in any energy sectors.

    These people's head should be promptly removed from their body as if that's not a crime against humanity, I don't know what is.

    my final opinion is that we should go all in nuclear for mass production, and use renewables for what they are fit to do : practical small scale solutions for powering things that don't need more than that.

    Hey! I loved the video, i'm a bit late to the party but can you make a video exploring the proposition Bill Gates offered with using impoverished uranium to generate nuclear power with his new Power Plant Prototype? Thanks!

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