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Nuclear energy-Is it worth the risk?!


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#1    AztecInca

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 11:11 AM

Debate Topic: Nuclear energy-Is it worth the risk or are alternatives the way to go to meet our future energy consumption needs?

Subtemperate will be debating that it is the worth the risk while Universal Absurdity will be debating that alternatives are the way to go.


This will be a 1v1 formal debate.
An Introduction, 5 bodily posts and a conclusion from each participant. No Flaming, bad manners or profantities will be tolerated.

There is a point deduction for debaters who fail to make a post within the 7 day time frame. The deductions will be 2 points for every day the participant fails to post after the 7 days.

This is to ensure that debates continue in a timely fashion. If for any reason you cannot post within the 7 days, please ensure that you let myself, Lottie or Tiddlyjen know to avoid having the points taken off your debate.

If, however the participant does not then attempt to make a post for up to 2 weeks after the 7 day rule has started an immediate disqualification will occur.

Good luck!

Aztec.

Edited by AztecInca, 10 May 2006 - 10:05 AM.


#2    Universal Absurdity

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 01:32 PM

Introduction


While Nuclear power is a convenient form of harnessing energy, the arguments that I  present will not only prove that alternate sources are safer, but more efficent, reliable, cost-effective, and a wiser choice for the future of our society.

I wish Subtemperate luck with the opposite side of this debate.

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#3    Subtemperate

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 09:09 PM

Introduction

With the rate the world is being harmed at the hands of our current energy needs, and the ineffectiveness of current methods, Nucelar power is worth the risk.    I am not here to argue that it is completely safe, nor that there are not alternatives, but I will present to you my arguement which is that it is the better alternative and worth the risk.

I also wish UniversalAbsudity luck with his side of the debate.

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#4    Universal Absurdity

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:50 AM

Body post 1:

While Nuclear energy is a reliable source of energy that has been used, the con's outweigh the pro's when it comes to alternate sources of energy.

Nuclear energy creates radioactive waste. There are alternate means of storage and re-use of the waste produced by nuclear power plants. Currently in the US, re-use of nuclear waste is not an option due to the high levels of radioactivity, and the proximity to it in which people must be to refine it. There are other countries that do allow this, but not all waste is re-used. The storage of nuclear waste causes concerns in many places. Underground facilities are generally used to store the waste, but other options, showing a need for the expansion of waste facilities have been a cause of concern to many. The facility proposed to open in 2010 at Yucca mountain, in Nevada for one. The reason for concern is that Nevada is not a state that uses nuclear energy, the waste has to be brought to the facility by train. The state government in Nevada has opposed the facility (on government property) so much that they have cut off water to the area, forcing the contractor to truck it in.
Nuclear waste is a real concern due to high levels of radiation, possible theft of waste materials that can be used for nuclear weapons, and contaminents from leaks that werak havoc on the envornment. In people, nuclear waste has been known to cause many problems, including illness, radiation poisoning, cancer, and even death. The problems arising from small exposures to high levels of radiation.

If the future of power lies in nuclear energy, there will be a greater need for storage facilities, and a higher risk of accidents. Currently in the US only 15% of the enegy used is created by nuclear power. There is already a problem with storage of waste. Need I say more?


Most alternate forms of energy production are harmless. Wind generators, solar panels, and hydro-elecricity are more commonly used forms of energy production that have no ill effects on enviornment, or people. The energy produced from these sources far exceeds the worth of the materials used to attain the energy. The cost of maintenence for all the above mentioned sources is considerably low compared to the cost of running a nuclear power plant, as it involves the actual running of the plant, transportation of waste, scientific research (for finding locations suitable for waste),and creating the facilities for waste. The largest cost of all ? The risk of contaminating enviornment and people when there is no need to take a risk at all.

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#5    Subtemperate

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 11:19 AM

Body Post 1


With any aspect of harnassing energy there are many pro's and con's for each, however when it comes to Nuclear energy the pro's do in fact outweight the cons.

Nobody, even those on my side, would sit and argue with many of the facts that UA has brought to the table in the above post.   Nuclear energy waste is highly radioactive, and there are risks of contamination.   However these are things that can be handled, as long as the people responsible for these aspects take the proper precautions.

In the US, they may be having problems with the storage of their current waste... but lets also add the information that the usage of Nuclear Energy has enabled the US to save 12 billion dollars through the reduction of importing oil.   Surely when savings like that are apparent, and the fact that Nuclear Energy will actually help protect the environment by reducing the CO2 and greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere, surely anyone would have to admit thats a pretty big benefit.   Whether there are costs involved or not, it is the most reliable form of harnessing energy... so unlike others such as wind farms or sloar... you always get what you pay for.

When some think of Nuclear energy, the automatic assumption is that its harmful to the environment.   Who has not watched the simpsons, and seen the way they view a nucelar power plant.   I myself was always misled into believing that the towers were giving off smoke or greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, however I was wrong.   All that gas that you can see coming out of those towers in a great amount is actually Water Vapour.   This is actually good for our enivronment.

Now UA seems to think that these negatives for Nuclear energy make it a bad idea, and other ways of harnassing energy are far better.   However he did not attempt to even compare the negatives of these.   Ill take one example, to show you that EVERY aspect of energy harnassing has its drawbacks.   Wind Energy.

To those living in areas where wind farms are located, there are constant complaints that such farms create an eyesore.    There are arguments that the positive energy effect is reduced by the visual effect it has on the countryside.   Wind famrs, only work when there is wind.   Therefore they would require a back up form of energy and it is currently believed that wind farms generate only 25% of their current potential.   The Cost of Generating Electricity report, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering, found wind power to be more costly than conventional methods of generating electricity. This is partly because of high set-up and maintenance costs, and partly because of a need for standby generators.   The Ministry of Defence is concerned that offshore wind farms could interfere with costal radar systems and that onshore farms affect low-flying aircraft training.

That is a few of the negatives that have been listed with wind farms.   This is my point, ALL aspects of energy have their negatives.   Using one countries problem with handling nuclear waste, doess not detract from the positives the method creates.   France for example gets 78% of its billed energy from nuclear poweer reactors, however they don't seem to have the problems with the waste that America seemingly does.   I am not here to say that Nuclear suites every country in the world, but I believe America is better of for introducing the amount of Nuclear energy they currently have.

If you want to reduce the amount of pollution going into the atmosphere, and also reduce the cost of that current methods currently create, then I believe that you like me would be a fool to rule out Nuclear energy based on assumptions that it can not be handled properly.

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#6    Universal Absurdity

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 06:11 AM

Body Post 2

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Nuclear energy waste is highly radioactive, and there are risks of contamination. However these are things that can be handled, as long as the people responsible for these aspects take the proper precautions.

Humans make mistakes. If that were not the case, there would be no debate.
The question is if the risk is worth it. No. plain and simple.

Some examples of accidents with horrific results
Chernobyl for one, be sure to click the health and enviornment effects links to the left. The increase in cance rates in such a high area. Very sad indeed.
Everyone knows about chernobyl, obviously because of the size of the disaster, as well, it brought the risks of nuclear power into the public eye.

What the public is largely unaware of, is the amount of accidents that happen all the time.
Entirely too much to quote, i offer another link Callendar of accidents.

Some examples, chosen for relevance of this debate.

Quote

-1961: Explosion in reactor Idaho Falls (USA); three people killed
-1970: Incident involving a vehicle at a French nuclear test site in the South Pacific causes a plutonium spillage into the ocean
-1977: Kozloduy nuclear power plant affected by an earthquake (Bulgaria)
-1978: Release of two tons of radioactive steam from Brunsbuettel nuclear power plant (Germany)
-1980: Pump failure causes accidental release of radioactive water at La Hague reprocessing plant (France)
-1981: Tornado washes nuclear waste from Moruroa into the lagoon (Pacific)

Those rumors, and humor you referred to in the simpsons had to come from somewhere. To top off human error, mother nature also has a way of causing accidents with dreadful conseuences. Think of what kind of disasters there would be if nuclear power became out #1 source of energy. Humans would probably not be around very much longer, and suffer on our way to extinction if this were to happen.

Nuclear weapons havent even been brought up in this debate, even though they create far worse waste, and are far more dangerous for obvious reasons. Weapons are not the topic of the debate, but the main source of nuclear materials used in them are created in nuclear power plants. You'll notice on the callendar of events, they are also part of the problem.

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Nuclear Energy has enabled the US to save 12 billion dollars through the reduction of importing oil. Surely when savings like that are apparent, and the fact that Nuclear Energy will actually help protect the environment by reducing the CO2 and greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere, surely anyone would have to admit thats a pretty big benefit. Whether there are costs involved or not, it is the most reliable form of harnessing energy... so unlike others such as wind farms or sloar... you always get what you pay for.
Is money really worth it? Sure windfarms, and solar power have downtime, but energy can be stored, and there is absolutely no possibility at all for accidents that would cost lives, cause cancer, or have ill effects on a populace for generations. Would you tell the people still suffering from the chernobyl accident that at least they saved a buck? What of the fish in the ocean, that you may one day eat, contaminated by radiation? is your dollar worth the radiation poisoning that you could get?

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To those living in areas where wind farms are located, there are constant complaints that such farms create an eyesore. There are arguments that the positive energy effect is reduced by the visual effect it has on the countryside.
I'm sure the complaints of cancer far outweigh eyesores. Have you ever seen them btw? the size itself is breathtaking. Could'nt keep my eyes off of them, it was enjoyable.

Quote

The Ministry of Defence is concerned that offshore wind farms could interfere with costal radar systems and that onshore farms affect low-flying aircraft training.

How could stationary giant fans affect radar and low flying aircraft? They have lights on them just like cellphone towers   huh.gif    They are not much taller either.

QUOTE
France for example gets 78% of its billed energy from nuclear poweer reactors, however they don't seem to have the problems with the waste that America seemingly does.
Oh no, france has much worse problems with their waste, as the US is only having problems storing the waste (bad enough as it is) France has one of 3 industrial nuclear waste refinement facilities in the world. The exposure of radiation to the workers, as well as enviornmental contamination has its consequences, mostly to children.
QUOTE
La Hague (France) is one of the three nuclear reprocessing plants operating in the world on an industrial scale (the other two are Sellafield, England, and Dounreay, Scotland). In recent years there has been considerable scientific and public interest in clusters of leukaemia in children in the vicinity of the British plants, which are still considered as being a matter of concern. Subsequently, Gardner et al reported that occupational exposure to ionising radiation in fathers before conception of the child yields an eightfold increase in risk of childhood leukaemia and could explain the cluster observed around Seascale.....
.....The aim of our case-control study, which is the first to be carried out in France although heavy investment in nuclear energy has been made there, was to examine whether childhood leukaemia among young people near the La Hague reprocessing plant is associated with established risk factors or with factors related to the plant. (Source)
The connections are at every nuclear reprocessing plant. There is alot of money in nuclear power. Unfortunately money talks. Personally, the consequences of reprocessing fuel would not allow me sleep at night, if i were responsible for debating that the connections were coincidence. It seems obvious they are not.

QUOTE
If you want to reduce the amount of pollution going into the atmosphere, and also reduce the cost of that current methods currently create, then I believe that you like me would be a fool to rule out Nuclear energy based on assumptions that it can not be handled properly.
Money and Clenliness... Dont seem worth the suffering and, oh yes, far worse pollution than what you have assumed Subtemperate, Much far worse than any alternate source of energy.

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#7    Subtemperate

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 01:02 PM

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Humans make mistakes.


This is absolutely true.   I have never claimed that there is not a possibility of mistakes being made, I just class the possibility of mistakes worth the risk.

I noticed you bring in the short list of accidents (in total you include 6 accidents that occured over 20 years).   I would also like to add a list of accidents that have occured.

Quote


January 3, 1999, Virginia, Wytheville, explosion at natural gas substation, 1500 customers lose service, visible 20 miles away, house and business destroyed. Roanoke times.

1/4/99 Ohio Oregon fire

1/5/99 Illinois Chicago HS release

January 5 1999, Minnesota, transformer explosion at Prairie Island nuclear power station affects plant operations, caused one reactor to shut down.

1/9/99 California Southgate fire & explosion

January 10, 1999, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, ABERDEEN AMERICAN NEWS, natural gas explosion in the base's environmental plant.

1/13/99 Arkansas Smackover Cross Oil Naptha Valve, 3 deaths

January 14, 1999 Duluth, Potlatch Corp strandboard plant, propane-fired pollution control device exploision, DULUTH NEWS-TRIBUNE

January 22 (?) 1999, Alabama, Bridgeport, natural gas line explosion, 3 killed, dozens of businesses damaged. LEDGER-ENQUIRER

January 26, 1999, California, Long Beach, "plant explosion," PRESS-TELEGRAM, "gas may have ignited boxes".

January 27, 1999 Canada, British Columbia, Taylor, Solex Gas Liquids Plant Explosion (caused by accidental gas leak)



February 1, 1999 Michigan, Dearborn, power plant at Ford Rouge plant explodes, several workers killed, Ford manufacturing system thrown into disarray.

February 7, 1999, Canada, Alberta, natural gas pipeline explosion, creates mushroom cloud seen 62 miles away. The Arizona Republic.

February 17, 1999, Missouri, Kansas City, power plant explodes.

2/24/99 California Martinez Tosco refinery

2/24/99 Indiana Lamont crude oil unit fire

February 24, 1999, Miami Florida, Transformer fire (near I595 and US 441)

February 26, 1999, California, San Bernardino County, STORAGE TANK BLAZE CAUSES EVACUATION OF POWER PLANT: SOLAR FACILITY: LIQUID EXPLODES; AIR TRAFFIC HAS TO BE RE-ROUTED.

Published on 03/08/99, Michigan, Plainwell, natural gas line explosion THE JOURNAL GAZETTE GAS PIPELINE BLAST LIGHTS MICHIGAN SKY PLAINWELL, Mich. --

3/25/99 California Richmond Chevron refinery; due to a glitch, warning phone calls relating to the explosion went to Martinez instead of the nearer neighbors in Richmond.

4/2/99 California Torrance isobutane leak

April 6, 1999, Ohio, East Akron, Forest Technical Corp, tank explosion (wax vat)

April 8, 1999, Tampa, Florida, TECO Energy Company power plant explosion (hydrogen leak), 3 killed, 49 injured, 39 hospitalized (Miami Herald, eventually blamed on worker) On April 9, 1999, article appeared in the Bradenton (Florida) Herald, stating that almost all power plants use hydrogen to cool their generators. . . "It must be used in a closed system." I am reminded of the Hindenburg (not an explosion story, just a reminder.)

April 14, 1999, Arizona, Tempe, Heraeus Amersil, hydrogen supply line explosion, Arizona Republic

April 14, 1999, Tampa, Florida, power plant explosion (hydrogen leak), 2 killed (? same as April 8 above?)  

April 15, 1999, Indiana, Notre Dame, fire and explosion in power plant of Notre Dame University, 2 injured.

April 15, 1999, Tennessee, Toone, Kilgore Operations Plant explosion (munitions)

April-May 1999 (date uncertain), Holly Power Plant, Austin, Texas, fire.

July 14, 1999, Chemical reaction container overheats, sends 25 to hospital, Azusa, California

July 16(?), 99, California Richmond Chevron (2nd at 03-25-99 plant incident)

July 16, 1999, Maryland, Baltimore, Bethlehem Steel (explosion during a spraying/coating operation) (Baltimore Sun)

Sometime around July 19-20, explosion in Oolagah, Oklahoma, perhaps a transformer fire at a generating plant (still accumulating details on this one).

Sometime around "week before July 29th", 1999, Board of Public Utilities Nearman Power Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, conveyor fire takes plant out of operation.

July 25, 1999, Cartagena, Colombia, transformer/generator explosion, six killed, "during routine maintenance."

August 5, 1999, Bulgarian power plant "unexpectedly" shuts down, blackout throughout Kosovo.

August 10, 1999, Chevron Gas Plant, Wortham, Texas

August 10, 1999, gas pipeline explosion, Austin, Texas


http://www.justpeace.org/explosions.htm

This shows the problems associated with Plants in general, not just Nuclear facilities.   Lets remember m view is Nuclear power IS worth the risk, and it is quite obvious it can be compared directly to the current main method of creating energy - fossil fuel burning - which in itself is doing major harm to our environment.   I am looking at a reliable source of energy to replace the existing one.

As for chernobyl, noone would claim that that was not a disaster.   However this was a badly built, and badly run station.   See below.

Quote

Q. Can a nuclear plant blow up to a lesser extent?

A. Yes, if it is sufficiently badly designed and operated. The Chernobyl plant reached 150 times its normal power level before its water turned to high pressure steam and blew the plant apart, thus extinguishing the nuclear reaction. This only took a few seconds.


Quote

Q. What about Western nuclear power plants?

A. The Chernobyl accident depended on the specific characteristics of the RBMK reactors, of which the Soviets built 16 before switching to designs more like those used in the rest of the world. (It may be that the North Korean reactors are similar). The relevant features of RBMK reactors include


"positive void co-efficient of reactivity". This means that if the reactor gets too hot and some of the water turns to steam, the rate of the nuclear reaction increases. In most other power reactors, the void coefficient is negative. If some water boils the reactor tends to stop.

RBMK reactors don't have containment shells designed to prevent radioactive materials from getting out.

Quote


Q. Yes, but perhaps Western reactors have other faults that might make an accident serious.

A. There are three answers.


The Three Mile Island accident destroyed the reactor, but the core itself remained confined. Radioactive gases were vented, but there is no accepted evidence that this harmed the public.

Fault trees for possible failures have been generated and studied. However, there could be something not taken into account.

At the end of 1998 there were 9012 civilian power reactor years of experience throughout the world, and Chernobyl is the only nuclear power plant accident harming the public. The U.S. Navy has been powering ships with nuclear reactors for 50 years and has had no nuclear accidents.

In 1999 Japanese technicians mixing up fuel for an experimental reactor violated the safety procedures and created a critical mass of uranium which caused an increasing nuclear reaction until the container with the mixture boiled over and stopped the reaction. Three people were hospitalized, two of whom died. The press, especially AFP which is anti-nuclear billed this as the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986. Losing two people in 13 years isn't much. That's good for an energy source.


As for the argument that Nuclear Waste is used for creation of nuclear weapons, it is believed that if we were to get rid of such power plants, there would be greater risk of war.

QUOTE
Q. Then what about giving up on nuclear energy because of the danger of nuclear war?

A. Giving up on nuclear energy is unlikely to reduce the danger of nuclear wars. In fact it is likely to increase the danger, because of the advantage it would give to whoever would first reintroduce nuclear weapons. Also the poorer world that would result from the abandonment of nuclear energy would be more likely to have wars.


http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/nuclear-faq.html

As for Solar power being a different method, i am talking about a reliable source of energy.   Solar is not reliable at all.   In Australia people who are hooked up to Solar power are still connected to the main electricity methods, due to the fact that MOST of them cannot get the amount of energy required by their solar panels to power their household effectively, let alone store some for other use.   Solar for example doesn't work at night.

Lets not forget that Solar power can be unreliable unless you're in a very sunny climate.

QUOTE
In the United Kingdom, solar power isn't much use except for low-power applications, as you need a very large area of solar panels to get a decent amount of power.


http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/solar.htm

As you can see, with current methods Solar power is not only unreliable, but it is also not useful for some in some geographic areas due to the weather patterns they have.  

As for wind farms, a report by professer David Simpson for the British government on the logistics of Wind power states as follows:

QUOTE
Simpson contends that the cost of generating electricity from wind power is twice as high as from nuclear power and gas. The extra costs of renewable energy are currently adding about 2% to domestic electricity bills, he says, and this is going to grow.

He claims that if the government achieves its target of generating 20% of electricity from wind power by 2020 it will cost consumers between £1.2 billion and £2bn extra each year. Between £2.5bn and £4bn will also have to be invested to upgrade the electricity transmission and distribution networks.

Because turbines only turn when the wind blows, the amount of power they provide inevitably fluctuates. Simpson says they will never produce more than 20% of Britain’s electricity and “can make no substantial contribution to a reduction in carbon emissions”.

He suggests the erection of large numbers of tall turbines would also damage beautiful scenery, kill birds and interfere with military radar, and that this is why proposed wind farms have provoked “passionate hostility” in many parts of the country.


http://www.sundayherald.com/41335

As you can see, wind farms and Solar are highly unreliable.   Since they do not generate enough power, they require other forms of power to back them up.   I am in no way saying we should abandon Wind Farms, or Solar Power methods... I am simply stating that Nuclear Power's reliablility, cost effectiveness for environmental and ozone layer protection simply outweigh the negatives.

This is not just saving a feew dimes.   On energy bills in australia you currently get a choice to pay for some renewable energy source to be put into the system, via varying methods.   However, the high costs associated with this option mean that its not suitable for those on low incomes, and most people simply opt not to do it.   Whether its a few bucks or not, in the end the cost will always come to the tax payer, and if your bill suddenly doubles or triples due to the fact you must pay for the energy methods the government tells you to (wind farm, etc) then the money aspect WILL become an issue.

Lets not forget that we live in a society with millions starving, how can you simply say 12billion in costs could not be os use elsewhere, when it is obvious that Nuclear power plants have no greater problems associated with them, then the current fossil fuel burning plants.   With the current way these plants are run, and the fact they are NOT the same as the plant in chernobyl, I can't see why you would claim spening the extra money is worth it... especially when current methods are degrading the ozone layer.


Storage is an issue, in as far as it is not agreed what the best method of storing nuclear waste is.   It is mostly thought that burying it deep underground is the best method, as after a certain amount of time the waste ceases to be toxic.   It can take thousands of years, or at least it is assumed so... But, each counry would have its own methods of getting rid of the waste.   One way of doing so, would not be suitable for another country.   For example the US had plans on disposal, but due to politacl issues and law suites... The basic follow through of their plans won't begin supposedly to 2010.

Only after that time, will we be able to see how Nuclear Waste and storage effects the US, but for country's that currently use Nuclear power, yet have problems disposing of the waste, surely it says a lot about cost and the positive effects, that these countries push on with their nuclear power programs.

As for leukaemia being a conern around these plants, i do look at this differently.   People who work at these plants in britain surely would have come down with the same affliction, if the handling of toxic products was to blame.   They are closer, and around the materials, surely they would be more effected... and to my knowledge, I am unaware of any mass walk out of workers due to unsafe working conditions.

Leukaemia is a disease that effects many, it is a disease that occures elsewhere in nature... other then around power plants.   While the fact that there seems to be a pattern around certain british plants, the problem is you can not rule out other environmental effects.   For example, do they live under power lines?   Are there any other possible links like certain substances in the soil.. that are not associated to nuclear waste.   When looking at things on face value, sometimes the real substance is not uncovered.

If..these people have been effected by nuclear material in such a way, I do not suggest that the Nuclear power plant is unsafe.   I suggest that methods of control be moved up a gear, and a full safety inspection carried out.   Since not all power plants around the world have people contracting Leukaemia around them, I cannot see a viable conclusion that they are all unsafe, rather that certain ones need to be better maintained.

QUOTE
Money and Clenliness... Dont seem worth the suffering and, oh yes, far worse pollution than what you have assumed Subtemperate, Much far worse than any alternate source of energy.


With people dying of Aids, Cancer, starvation... And the fact that current sources of energy cost more then the nuclear energy methods would cost, I say the same back to you.   Surely instead of spending this money on energy, we should be aiming to reduce costs to attempt to help the people who are really effected by suffering?



"Not only do I not know the answer, I don't even know what the question is" - Metallica

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#8    Universal Absurdity

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 06:19 AM

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I noticed you bring in the short list of accidents (in total you include 6 accidents that occured over 20 years). I would also like to add a list of accidents that have occured.
Regarding your list, The topic is not on the dangers of current methods, it is wether or not the added dangers of relying more on nuclear power is worth the risk. The dangers associated with waste, leakage, radioactivity, and accidents from human, mechanical, and mother nature far outweigh accidents at conventional fossil fuel power stations. Not that pointing out the accidents, and other problems associated with conventional power stations is even relevant to the debate.
Fossil fuels are currently being used, I am looking into generating power from renewable, alternative sources.

Quote

As for Solar power being a different method, i am talking about a reliable source of energy. Solar is not reliable at all. In Australia people who are hooked up to Solar power are still connected to the main electricity methods, due to the fact that MOST of them cannot get the amount of energy required by their solar panels to power their household effectively, let alone store some for other use. Solar for example doesn't work at night.
If every home in america had solar panels on their rooftops, you dont think that would put a considerable dent in the amount of power needed from power plants? The benefits from using solar panels alone would cut electricity bills in half at least. Not to mention should you go on vacation, or anytime power is not being used, its still being generated, power lines work both ways, surplus energy can be put back into the grid for credit. Refine wind generation, to be more practical and functional, and there really does not seem to be a need for nuclear power at all, let alone the risks involved with it.

The cost of a single nuclear power plant alone would be suffiecent for enough research to re-define wind generators. to make them more cost efficent and reliable. In the long run this is a far better alternative. I'd much rather live close to a windfarm than a nuclear power plant any day. Its doubtful that anyone would disagree.

Quote

I am simply stating that Nuclear Power's reliablility, cost effectiveness for environmental and ozone layer protection simply outweigh the negatives.

Do you know what caused the depletion in the ozone layer in the first place? CFC's (cluroflurocarbons) Which have for the most part been banned, and are no longer used. The holes are still closing, and are very small in comparison to the peak of CFC usage. Banning of the product was the only solution to the problem.
Do you know what causes global warming? Every gas in the atmosphere, aside from oxygen, and nitrogen. That is methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen (yes water vapor) and any other gas man can produce un-naturally. The only possible cure for global warming and ozone woes is simply to plant more trees, as carbon dioxide is the major contributor.
I understand you using the points you've attempted in your debate, however i do feel the need to point out the irrelivance of these arguments that you have made more than once.


Quote

Lets not forget that we live in a society with millions starving, how can you simply say 12billion in costs could not be os use elsewhere, when it is obvious that Nuclear power plants have no greater problems associated with them, then the current fossil fuel burning plants. With the current way these plants are run, and the fact they are NOT the same as the plant in chernobyl, I can't see why you would claim spening the extra money is worth it... especially when current methods are degrading the ozone layer.

12 Billion in costs to add to the problem? I dont follow you here. Building more nuclear plants increases the risk of contamination of radioactive materials into the enviornment. The decay rate for some of the waste is hundreds or thousands of years. That is to say, any leak, accidental spilling, release of radioactive gas, spills, accidents involving moving the waste, even storing the waste itself has the potential to affect the enviornment long after your children's children have passed. This has effects on the human body ranging from radiation poisoning, to death, even worse cellular and molecular damage with adverse genetic effects. This CAN NEVER BE FIXED! The only solution is to wait out the damage.
Also as i stated above, the problem with global warming has an antidote, its not nuclear power. (thats what fossil fuel burning does btw, add to global warming, it does not deplete the ozone layer)

In regards to your return arguments on the leukemia clusters, coincidence may be well enough for you, i understand your side of the debate. I'll have to agreee to disagree with you on the opinions posted. Clusters around every single waste recycling plant, directly, and indirectly involving the workers, and surrounding water supplies is enough evidence for me.

Quote

With people dying of Aids, Cancer, starvation... And the fact that current sources of energy cost more then the nuclear energy methods would cost, I say the same back to you. Surely instead of spending this money on energy, we should be aiming to reduce costs to attempt to help the people who are really effected by suffering?

Funny you mention cancer, as its pretty harmful to your side of the debate, radiation does cause cancer. So do accidents involving it.
Do you really think money saved from the reduction of energy costs would go to aid starving people in another part of the world? Third world countries have yet to use nuclear power, or most any other power sources, and third world countries are usually where the most suffering in the world is going on. I assure you electricity is the least of their worries. Money we save isnt going anywhere but a pocket that has more of it now. Dont steer the debate in the wrong direction. Saving on energy is saving for the person paying for it.

And i'm pointing out that saving isnt worth the risk.


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#9    Subtemperate

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 01:57 PM

Body Post 3

Quote

Regarding your list, The topic is not on the dangers of current methods, it is wether or not the added dangers of relying more on nuclear power is worth the risk. The dangers associated with waste, leakage, radioactivity, and accidents from human, mechanical, and mother nature far outweigh accidents at conventional fossil fuel power stations. Not that pointing out the accidents, and other problems associated with conventional power stations is even relevant to the debate.


Your wrong, it couldn't be more relevant.   This debate is whether Nuclear power is worth the risk, and if you bring in statistics that try to show that blunders in nulcear facilities costs lives, and are dangerous... I am quite right to show you the other current power plants issues, as it shows that a nuclear plant (with statistics from other incidents at other types of plants) is of no greater risk then the current methods.   The statistics show this, and that fact is relevent in the arguement that safety is a major issue.  

Quote

If every home in america had solar panels on their rooftops, you dont think that would put a considerable dent in the amount of power needed from power plants? The benefits from using solar panels alone would cut electricity bills in half at least. Not to mention should you go on vacation, or anytime power is not being used, its still being generated, power lines work both ways, surplus energy can be put back into the grid for credit. Refine wind generation, to be more practical and functional, and there really does not seem to be a need for nuclear power at all, let alone the risks involved with it.


Again, not only have you backed down... seemingly admitting the the wind power aspect is not up to current needs, but you also try to broaden your arguement by bringing in aspects that are not only cost innefective, but totally illogical.   There is NO possible way for every house to get solar panels, on cost alone.

In case your wondering where I am getting that from, let me tell you that solar panels are expensive.   Now, lets say every house in america got one of these.... Do you know how much it would cost to replace these panels, as they are not "weather" proof.   Places like florida would not even consider having such a system, as the benefit would not be gained at all.   If your going to give us alternative methods of power generation that can do the work a nuclear power station could, please give us some that could benefit all of us, rather then a select few.

Quote

The cost of a single nuclear power plant alone would be suffiecent for enough research to re-define wind generators.
  

As I stated above, you anre now openly admitting that windfarms cannot meet the demands that would be needed, and that more work needs to be put into them to make them efficient.   I am talking about options that can be put into place, or planned for with current methods.   Within our current methods, and meeting our power demands... Nuclear power can meet the needs, as well as be economically profitable in the long term.  

Quote

Do you know what causes global warming? Every gas in the atmosphere, aside from oxygen, and nitrogen. That is methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen (yes water vapor) and any other gas man can produce un-naturally. The only possible cure for global warming and ozone woes is simply to plant more trees, as carbon dioxide is the major contributor.


Indeed, I may have got my thoughts confused on this idea, however in looking it up I see that the effect the water vapuor has on global warming is great when the atmosphere has more carbon dioxide pumped into it.   Therefore, my point, is that the Nuclear power stations are for a start no worse off to our atmosphere... and perhaps with the reduction in fossil fuel burning, and the reduction of CD going into our atmosphere... it is possible it would lessen the current effects... However this in itself isn't relevent, however that fact that its better then our current reliable methods is a point I am tying to make.   This, in the end, is the only reliable source of energy we have.

Quote

Building more nuclear plants increases the risk of contamination of radioactive materials into the enviornment. The decay rate for some of the waste is hundreds or thousands of years. That is to say, any leak, accidental spilling, release of radioactive gas, spills, accidents involving moving the waste, even storing the waste itself has the potential to affect the enviornment long after your children's children have passed. This has effects on the human body ranging from radiation poisoning, to death, even worse cellular and molecular damage with adverse genetic effects. This CAN NEVER BE FIXED! The only solution is to wait out the damage.


Again, frightening people with the worse possible scenario, even though with current methods and government followed safety procedures make this imposible.   If we are going to go down this line, how about I bring in some things that are possible.. but highly unlikely... like the sun burning out, or wind stopping altogether.      While the fact is that accidents happen, with the mistakes that have been made in the past the lessons have been learned, and the proper methods and precedures have been put in place.

QUOTE
In regards to your return arguments on the leukemia clusters, coincidence may be well enough for you, i understand your side of the debate. I'll have to agreee to disagree with you on the opinions posted. Clusters around every single waste recycling plant, directly, and indirectly involving the workers, and surrounding water supplies is enough evidence for me.


Ok, if you won't take my thoughts Ill give you some more ideas in regard to this:

QUOTE
Researchers from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund have found that in areas
around nuclear sites in Britain there is a small general excess of leukaemia in
children – the risk is about 15% higher than in the country as a whole. However, the
researchers also found a similar excess around sites that had been investigated as
possible locations for nuclear power stations, but where construction had never taken
place.

Studies in France, the USA and Canada have not found excesses of childhood
leukaemia near nuclear installations.


QUOTE

Dr Kinlen of the Cancer Research Campaign has
hypothesised that leukaemia is a rare response to a common infection and may
occur more frequently when populations with different histories of exposure to
infection are mixed together. He has found excesses of childhood leukaemia in new
towns established in rural areas and in those communities which experienced the
greatest increase in commuting levels between the 1971 and 1981 UK censuses. He
has also linked excesses of leukaemia in young children living in rural areas of
Scotland to movement of workers in the North Sea oil industry.


http://www.iee.org/Policy/Areas/EnvEnergy/...cts_nuclear.pdf

As I stated before, there are many effects and things we can't explain.   To use these as examples for why we should not do something, when it is not sufficiently proven, is the equivilant of condemning someone before the trial.

If you do not accept my thoughts on that, please accept the findings of the cancer research fund... which showed similar likelyhood of leaukemia in areas where NO nuclear site was found.


QUOTE
Funny you mention cancer, as its pretty harmful to your side of the debate, radiation does cause cancer. So do accidents involving it.
Do you really think money saved from the reduction of energy costs would go to aid starving people in another part of the world? Third world countries have yet to use nuclear power, or most any other power sources, and third world countries are usually where the most suffering in the world is going on. I assure you electricity is the least of their worries. Money we save isnt going anywhere but a pocket that has more of it now. Dont steer the debate in the wrong direction. Saving on energy is saving for the person paying for it.


How is that harmful to my side of the debate?   Studies have shown that the radiation received to those living around powerplants is in line with the radiation they receive from nature.   Everyone receives an amount of radiation, whether near a power station or not... lets not make it look like the only place you get radiation is from a nuclear plant shall we.

No I do not believe the money that could be saved would go into the correct area, I am speaking hypothetically... and those thoughts are about as rational as thinking every house can maintain solar panelling.   Perhaps I can see that we are alike in some ways, my ideals for how money should be used... when they wouldnt be... could be said to be similar to your ideals for how renewable energy methods could be used.   Both of those aspects are up in the air, and completely out of our hands.

...However I still maintain that given the safety standards that are maintained, and the studies which have found that linking of cancer and nuclear plants are unfounded... that nuclear power is a method of making energy that is worth the risk.   We need a reliable energy source, and while you can argue about effectiveness of the solar... or how you would work on the wind farm system.... you can't possibly argue that these systems could be relied upon.



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#10    Universal Absurdity

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 08:20 PM

Quote

Your wrong, it couldn't be more relevant. This debate is whether Nuclear power is worth the risk, and if you bring in statistics that try to show that blunders in nulcear facilities costs lives, and are dangerous... I am quite right to show you the other current power plants issues, as it shows that a nuclear plant (with statistics from other incidents at other types of plants) is of no greater risk then the current methods. The statistics show this, and that fact is relevent in the arguement that safety is a major issue.
No greater risk? Lives can be lost in most any profession, industry, or accident. Statistics may show a close amount of accidents between nuclear and conventional plants, but the effects of accidents vary greatly. What i cant comprehend here is that you dont see the greater risk involved. You point out that i am giving worst case scenarios, in comparison to risks at conventional power plants, any nuclear accident is a worst case scenario.

Quote

Again, not only have you backed down... seemingly admitting the the wind power aspect is not up to current needs, but you also try to broaden your arguement by bringing in aspects that are not only cost innefective, but totally illogical. There is NO possible way for every house to get solar panels, on cost alone.

Well i have done my research, and wind power is in need of refinement. Cant see how you would consider that backing down, nuclear power is always in need of refinement. If there were as many improvements to windfarming as there have been with nuclear plants, i doubt we would be having this debate. Unfortunately there has yet to be an absolute need, unlike in nuclear power.
As for my 'illogical' arguments, we're talking best case scenarios on both sides here arent we? The efficentcy compared to safety in solar panels makes the investment worth it to anyone who has the funds to get them. Transitioning completely, would probably require government involvement. I dont see that happening, as the cost of closing some power stations due to lack of need is not a prime motivator. Pity.

Quote

If your going to give us alternative methods of power generation that can do the work a nuclear power station could, please give us some that could benefit all of us, rather then a select few.

I believe i have already mentioned Hydropower.
Some other links of interest from the DOE site on alternative energy:
Fuel Cells - Not just for cars, fuel cell technology could very well be the future of electricity as we know it. While still in infantcy i see great promise with this technology. Water is after all, free, and the only by-product is, well more water. Transitioning to fuel cells as opposed to any conventional means will be difficult, only due to money being made by those involved with convential methods.
Bio-Mass, Converting organic waste into usefull energy, and fuel.
Geo-Thermal power is accessable nearly anywhere in the world, it is a reliable source of energy, not used enough. 'Farming' heat from earth's interior can be done with adapted oil drills, its as good as digging for treasure and finding it.

There are many alternate sources of energy. Aside from fuel cell technology, i chose solar and wind power for their 100% renewable qualities. Having done this research, with the combined efforts of using all alternate power sources, there really isnt a need to take the chances and risks involved with nuclear power, when risks involved with so many other sources are none.

Quote

How is that harmful to my side of the debate? Studies have shown that the radiation received to those living around powerplants is in line with the radiation they receive from nature. Everyone receives an amount of radiation, whether near a power station or not... lets not make it look like the only place you get radiation is from a nuclear plant shall we.
Accidents happen, and lethal doses of radiation are a risk involved with nuclear waste, leaks, accidental releases of radioactive steam...etc. I thought i got this point across with just the examples i posted from the hundreds listed in the nuclear accident callendar. I'm not attempting to say that nuclear waste is the only source of radiation, it is a needless one. Far more dangerous than any other, because it is in human hands.

I admit, i got pretty wrapped up in arguing against the safety of nuclear power, This has been a concern of mine for some time now. The other sources of energy i posted above are indeed worth the efficentcy in regard to their safety. Some are more reliable than others, none can produce WMD, destroy the enviornment for thousnads of years, poision, cause cancer, or any other needless risk ive mentioned.

The choices seem clear.


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#11    Subtemperate

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 04:36 PM

Body Post 4

Quote

No greater risk? Lives can be lost in most any profession, industry, or accident. Statistics may show a close amount of accidents between nuclear and conventional plants, but the effects of accidents vary greatly.


Please show me the effects you speak of.   If the accidents are not comparable, due to after effects of the nuclear waste and such, surely you can list many examples with Chernobyl not being amongst them.

I list many different views of scientists, who are experts in this area who dismiss the arguements that "it is to harmful to risk".   As below.

Quote

Nuclear power technology produces materials that are active in emitting radiation and are therefore called "radioactive". These materials can come into contact with people principally through small releases during routine plant operation, accidents in nuclear power plants, accidents in transporting radioactive materials, and escape of radioactive wastes from confinement systems. We will discuss these separately, but all of them taken together, with accidents treated probabilistically, will eventually expose the average American to about 0.2% of his exposure from natural radiation. Since natural radiation is estimated to cause about 1% of all cancers, radiation due to nuclear technology should eventually increase our cancer risk by 0.002% (one part in 50,000), reducing our life expectancy by less than one hour. By comparison, our loss of life expectancy from competitive electricity generation technologies, burning coal, oil, or gas, is estimated to range from 3 to 40 days.


Quote

Risks from reactor accidents are estimated by the rapidly developing science of "probabilistic risk analysis" (PRA). A PRA must be done separately for each power plant (at a cost of $5 million) but we give typical results here: A fuel melt-down might be expected once in 20,000 years of reactor operation. In 2 out of 3 melt-downs there would be no deaths, in 1 out of 5 there would be over 1000 deaths, and in 1 out of 100,000 there would be 50,000 deaths. The average for all meltdowns would be 400 deaths. Since air pollution from coal burning is estimated to be causing 10,000 deaths per year, there would have to be 25 melt-downs each year for nuclear power to be as dangerous as coal burning.


So surely if your point is Nuclear is too dangerous, you should also clarify to those reading this argument that current methods are far to dangerous, and are MORE dangerous in many ways to nuclear power.

http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/np-risk.htm

There have been 2 major accidents in the 50 plus years of nucelar power....

Quote

There have been two major accidents in the 50-year history of civil nuclear power generation;
Three Mile Island (USA 1979) where the reactor was severely damaged but radiation was contained and there were no adverse health or environmental consequences
Chernobyl (Ukraine 1986) where the destruction of the reactor by explosion and fire killed 31 people and had significant health and environmental consequences. The death toll has since increased to about 56.


http://www.uic.com.au/nip14.htm

Chernobyl was poorly designed and badly maintained.   It in itself can not be compared to todays nuclear power plants... which leaves the other, which as you can see caused no damage.

Quote

Cant see how you would consider that backing down, nuclear power is always in need of refinement.


Theres differences between refining something, because it is currently unalbe to meet the need is is desired to, and refining something as to make it safer.   As it currently stands Wind Power plants could not be used to take over from fossil fuel burning and such, and to do so they would need to be changed... surely this is backing down, as If we need to make a change in our power sources, an argument saying "this way, but not yet wait till its better" wouldn't work...


QUOTE
I believe i have already mentioned Hydropower.


Hydropower isn't generally considered renewable energy ..

QUOTE
Development and operation of hydroelectric plants cause extensive environmental damage, including changes to natural river flows, degraded water quality, blocking of seasonal fish migration, impacts to fisheries, and widespread ecosystem damage from flooding large areas of land. For this reason, some experts do not consider large hydropower a renewable energy resource and question it as a viable option for our energy future.  Large hydropower is not considered renewable energy in the context of "Green-e" renewable energy verification and certification.



Biomass

QUOTE
Carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) is produced in the burning of biomass. Depending on the source of the biomass, emissions may contain a wide variety of air pollutants. Ash produced by burning biomass often contains concentrated amounts of pollutants, creating a disposal issue.


Geothermal

QUOTE
This is another energy resource not exempt from environmental harms. One concern is the potential contamination of groundwater with sulfides and other pollutants if well casings are not done properly. In addition, carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and hydrogen sulfide (distinguished by its "rotten egg" odor) are released by geothermal plants despite the absence of fuel burning processes. Finally, many geothermal reservoirs are located in sensitive and pristine wilderness areas that should not be disturbed.



Above from ttp://lomaprieta.sierraclub.org/greenpower/renewabletech.htm


And fuel cells are currently not an option :

QUOTE
The downside is that they are expensive and technologically they pose quite complex problems. So far they have not proven commercially viable compared to the alternatives but there are a number of successful prototypes which give cause for optimism.


http://www.envocare.co.uk/fuel_cells.htm

QUOTE
There are many alternate sources of energy. Aside from fuel cell technology, i chose solar and wind power for their 100% renewable qualities. Having done this research, with the combined efforts of using all alternate power sources, there really isnt a need to take the chances and risks involved with nuclear power, when risks involved with so many other sources are none.


None?   Apart from the fact many could not cope with the demand needed, I stand by the issues listed above.... This does not solve the problems, and could possibly create many many more.

As I have repeatedly shown, methods that could be used other then nucelar power are still not able to cope with the demand, or are not viable for many.   Nuclear power is, however the only argument against it is "it will kill people" ..... which I have shown sources repeatedly saying it is safe...   Nothing is 100% safe.   But the risks in going with the other methods you mention, in not having enough power and other environmental effects... surely isn't even a consideration.

If you feel that the methods you list above should be used, but need more refinement.. who is to say further refinement of the Nuclear power sector would not make it 100% safe?


QUOTE
Accidents happen, and lethal doses of radiation are a risk involved with nuclear waste, leaks, accidental releases of radioactive steam...etc. I thought i got this point across with just the examples i posted from the hundreds listed in the nuclear accident callendar.


How many of those accidents happened at nuclear power plants, and how many of them report the problem to be with nuclear effects?   At least 2 of the above are from nuclear test sites, something quite different then a nuclear power plant... and a couple of the options listed power plants suffering from explosions.. and effects from earthquakes.... What source of power would not be effected from earthquakes?   And what was the problem exactly, did it just stop powering... or did it unleash a nuclear blast on the people around.

The only thing I can see in those you have listed is strength to add to my argument, that aside from an explosion (which it does not state had anything to do with nuclear material) all your evidense does not show its unsafe, more to the point it shows that even with accidents and environmental effects... it would appear it is very safe, and well protected by procedures.

Every country wanting to make bombs has succeeded as far as is known. None have used material produced in power reactors.
  
QUOTE
Some are more reliable than others, none can produce WMD, destroy the enviornment for thousnads of years, poision, cause cancer, or any other needless risk ive mentioned.


Cancer occurs naturally, due to natural radiation.   As the above information states, the radiation would only add 0.002 per cent of a chance to gaining cancer.   Even if you argue its higher, it does not CAUSE cancer... merely it would increase your chances of getting a disease.

The other methods you mentioned... well most of them, also polluted the environment.   This in itself could lead to many problems, I would class this as poisoning the environment....

I would think my biggest problem with your argument, is that your basis for Nuclear being dangerous is becasue it is looked after and handled by humans... so there will be errors.... whereas, you don't seem to want to discuss the negatives of the others you put up as opposition.   Looking at that, with the information I have given you which shows that there have only been 2 nucelar plant major malfunctions... with only one causing and deaths (and that being in a plant so badly designed they were decommissioned)... you can only say what "could happen" when the current evidense shows that the risk isn't evident.   Even factoring in your thoughts (which I provided sources to with possible dismissal) with the leukemia suffers, it is fact that there are nuclear power plants around that d not have pockets of lukemia suffers around them.  

The evidense against is sketky at best, and the advantages of having a method of power we can actually rely on far outweigh the thought that something in the future might accidently go wrong... when only one problem in nuclear plant history has acutally caused loss of life....

UA, as your side of the debate is clearly against this method being introduced.... claiming it is too harmful... I ask what kind of power you currently have?   Do you have solar, or are you using main lines which gets its power from many areas.. including fossil fuels... which in the most part are more dangerous to us.






"Not only do I not know the answer, I don't even know what the question is" - Metallica

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#12    AztecInca

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 01:56 AM

UA has unfortunately had to pull out of this debate and therfore Subtemperate is the winner be default. However if Subby wishes to have the judges score the debate on what has been posted so far, it will be done.


#13    Subtemperate

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 08:47 AM

I think scoring whats done is the way to go original.gif

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#14    AztecInca

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:58 AM

Ok then, I shall hand this debate over to our judges! thumbsup.gif


#15    aquatus1

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 12:28 PM

An excellent debate on both sides.  Judging such tends to be difficult, with victory measured by only a few points at most.

If any of the debaters wish to know why I assigned the scores I did, I would be happy to provide criticism and review over PM.  I encourage you to do so, so that you may better prepare for any future debates.

Debator 1: Subtemperate
Relevancy:  10
Countering: 9
Style: 8
Persuasiveness: 8
Total: 35

Debator 2: UniversalAbsurdity
Relevancy: 9
Countering: 9
Style: 8
Persuasiveness: 8
Total:34

Hi Aquatus. Just edited your post, you had put bone_collector instead of UA lol!

Edited by Lottie, 03 May 2006 - 12:44 PM.





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