For the last few years I have debated nuclear energy in person,on line through Facebook and Twitter and here on this Blog and what I have noticed has me scratching my head in wonderment. Everyday I interact with someone that has questions or concerns regarding nuclear energy and I spend a lot of time (too much according to my wife) researching their claims and supply them with the best answers I know or can find but here is where the head scratching comes into play.
I will cite a recent conversation on some of the cause of the fukushima "accident". The person said that having the diesel generator fuel tanks above ground was a failing of TEPCO and they should have known there was a risk of them being washed away. My reply doesn't matter (the point is coming) because in the strange way that conversations bounce around the next topic turned to Pilgrim NPP and the fact that they are running on backup diesel generators due to in house ?? http://enenews.com/local-tv-nuclear-plants-own-in-house-system-lost-power-due-to-blizzard-about-3-feet-of-snow-in-some-parts-boston-area-video and off site power being lost. I attempted to alleviate their concerns until this sentence was uttered. " Pilgrim has their fuel tanks buried and they are at risk of corrosion and sea water surge mixing with the fuel because of where they are located,underground." HEAD SCRATCH.
That is the moment I honestly realized the futility of debating something with people that are fully entrenched with their preconceived notions and beliefs. Looking back I am amazed at the amount of arguments I have entered into willingly with no chance of success,here is a smattering of examples.
Them, "Old nuclear plants are dinosaurs and should be shutdown."
Me, "I agree we should build new ones with the latest safety enhancements"
Them, "New plants are untested so they shouldn't be built"
Them, "Nuclear waste is sitting all over the place"
Me, "We should bury it or recycle it"
Them, "We cant bury it because it might leak and recycling is dangerous"
Me, "Then what is your solution?"
Them, "There is no solution.Nuclear should be banned."
Them," Nuclear is evil because it's run for profit by faceless corporations."
Me, "So is solar, hydro and wind."
Them, That's not true."
Me, "??? Head scratch"
This contrarian ( credit Rod Adams) form of debate is useless and I have decided that when I am faced with this tactic I will take a deep breath , count to ten , then state my opinion and move on. To continue with someone that stubborn is tantamount to two school kids yelling I'M RUBBER YOU'RE GLUE.
With the near relentless anti nuclear media attention and every armchair nuclear expert spouting their media based views as fact it's a huge miracle that the nuclear industry has survived this long. Especially with their lack of public affairs input. It is time for this amazing energy source to stand up to the contrarians , the doubters, the libelous news reports, the fanatical, the sea of environmentalists and their followers. etc. Damned if you do or Damned if you don't . Futility aside I will always choose "DO".
Will you ?