Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Conversations on the nuclear power topic

Today I had 3 short but interesting conversations regarding nuclear power. Let me see if I can share it appropriately here:

[FF] : Jme, so are you FOR or AGAINST nuclear power?
*FF is reacting to my MSN statement*
[Jme]: You mean nuclear weapons? Definitely AGAINST.
[FF]: Me too! But for nuclear power, it seems that at this point in time, it is the most viable energy souce.
[Jme]: Agree.
(which is quite sad because it seems that if we use nuclear power, it is hard to control nations NOT to have nuclear weapons - refer to pillar 3 arguement)

I shared this conversation with K.Ling and she asked me some interesting questions:

[K.Ling]: Why do you think nuclear power is the only viable energy source?
[Jme]: Because we will eventually run out of fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil) AND renewable energy like solar,hydraulic, wind power is neither stable nor adequate to meet the world's demand on electricity. At this point in time, nuclear power is the only stable source.
(My brother later shared with me a new method using hydrogen - water and a new type of car that is powered by this new method)

[K.Ling]: Nuclear power is stable?
[Jme]: At least it can be controlled by man. Renewable energy depends on nature and there is just so many dams you can build for hydraulic power.
(My brother commented that there has been no known nuclear power plant problem at least for the past 10 years)

[K.Ling]: Which countries do you think can be trusted with nuclear power?
[Jme]: ERm....tough question. At the top of my head, I think only a few countries per region require to have nuclear power plants and maybe they can provide this to the surrounding countries??

[K.Ling]: Hmm...these countries will become very powerful.
[Jme]: Yes, I think so. But it is the same situation we have now. Some countries have oil, some countries don't. Therefore some countries are richer than others.

I thought about this more and then I added the following -
[Jme]: Hmm...there should be more than one solution. For instance:-
a) Countries that cannot afford to build nuclear power plant can invest in research to determine how to make renewable energy sources more stable. If they have natural resources like rivers/land, they can become self-sufficient.
b) Countries that can afford to build nuclear power plant but do not have the land to do it can buy electricity from their neighbours. (Like Singapore - but these countries then need to provide services in other ways.)
c) Countries that can afford to build nuclear power plant and have the land to do it can then sell their services to other countries.
d) Countries that do not have money to build or purchase on their own can group together to share.

Anyway, I also read somewhere that some places in Nigeria do not have stable electricity supply at this point in time.

The interviewer asked the Nigerian:" When do you think you will be able to get stable electricity supply" and the Nigerian's reply was:" 2056".

The interviewer laughed and said: "Wow! You are a very patient man to be willing to wait half a century for stable electricity!!!" The Nigerian good-humouredly replied:" I may not be alive when this part of Nigeria gets stable electricity, but so far, we can make do with what we have"

Conclusion: Maybe, we can get use to life using less electricity and yet be happy? Or maybe, we can trade away our lives in this nuclear power gamble.

P/s: If you have any thoughts on this matter, please do write to me and share.


NooBooNooB said...

Well... Since my sis insist, here are the proof (its on google and I cant confirm how authentic it is though :))

Anyway, as interesting as my sis say I am, dun read my blog. Its just me bitching about the world :)

FF said...

All forms of enery sources we enjoy today essentially step from nuclear power, i.e. from Sun. however, these natural conversion of the form of energy storage (from nuclear to fossil, wind, etc) takes long time (millions of years at least, life of earth presumablly). So from this view, in order to keep up with the ever-increasing energy consumption, we have to cut off these conversion step and take energy directly from the source, which is nuclear power.

Jamie Tan said...

FF, that's an interesting thought!! If you hadn't mentioned it, I would have forgotten that the sun is the result of nuclear power.

Although, I must mention that there is a slight difference between the sun and the type of nuclear power we are talking about here. The difference is nuclear fission (Atom bombs and atomic power plants) and fusion (stars).

Also,regarding renewable sources, I'm actually referring to "energy resources that are not destroyed when harnessed." For instance, using kinetic energy of moving air to convert and generate electricity using wind turbines/electrical generators. I might have misunderstood what you meant by "natural conversion will take a long time".

But certainly, certainly, I agree that right now, our current technology of using renewable energy such as wind power is unable to meet the world's demand.