Next Generation Nuclear Power: Understanding Nuclear Power Plants: 1 day ago   34:54

Kaia Rose
Next Generation Nuclear Power: The Solution to Climate Change?
Columbia University, April 8th, 2015

Does nuclear energy have any role in stopping climate change? Kicking off the first of three days highlighting nuclear energy at Columbia University, CUCSD presents a screening of PANDORA’S PROMISE followed by a panel discussion with experts. Introduced by Nobuo Tanaka, President of Sasakawa Peace Foundation and former Executive Director of the IEA, a keynote by Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and author of Undeniable, who will also join our panel, Academy-Award®-nominated director Robert Stone, Gernot Wagner from Environmental Defense Fund and author of Climate Shock, and moderated by The New York Times’ Andrew Revkin. The atomic bomb and meltdowns like Fukushima have made nuclear power synonymous with global disaster. PANDORA’S PROMISE asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe.

Comments 258 Comments

Yes I agree - VERY disappointing talk ... WTF was THAT about? Yes the old style reactors make waste that had to be stored ... so what? The next gen reactors are liquid salt such as Thorium Floride etc that if used in breeder mode generates bugger-all waste compared to today’s 50 year-old solid fuel reactors. It’s true that probably the first molten salt reactors may not be breeders but even they are “walk away safe” and generate half as much waste as the status quo. The REAL catastrophe is imminent PLANET melt down and renewables are only viable for about a third of our power needs ... only nuclear can replace the CO2 fossil status quo - even light water reactors are preferable to that and have orders of magnitude less deaths associated with them than fossil and renewable sources of energy - let’s get REAL with the priorities here! PS I have nothing whatsoever ever to do with old or new nuclear organisations - in fact I used to be a Helen Caldicot fan boy ... those days are OVER!
this guy is an idiot and nobody should take his opinion seriously. He has no scientific credentials to speak of, unless you count putting a sundial on a mars rover or something silly. He's a fucking hack. A kid's show host. I don't know why anyone cares what he thinks about nuclear energy
Paul Richards
​ @NACAM42​ wrote: ' seem to think that our current state of affairs of spewing hundreds of tons of CO2 into the air every second is somehow preferable to clean and cheap nuclear...'

Firstly; nuclear energy over the last seventy years has a history of not being clean, that's the point.
You can turn a blind eye, as many do, that's ok. However, the public record about the nuclear industry is real, verifiable at any reference library in the developed world, as is the endemic secrecy in the whole nuclear industry.

Secondly; energy cartels dump their waste polluting our atmosphere, land and seas are part of the same corporate state that includes the whole nuclear industry. A corporate state who always put profit before "Commons", the common good, all while they have been given government subsidies year in year out.

Thirdly; the trend up in the cost of nuclear reactor builds has grown, not decreased, as the demand for safety and security have increased. All while nuclear fuel has been at record lows. Yet it hasn't been able to compete on a Levelized Cost of Energy audit by credible independent auditors with carbon energy and large scale renewables.

Fourthly; the whole nuclear energy industry is integrated with the military industrial complex. Even the IAEA^ is on record overseeing, medical, mining, reactor production, along with unspent fuel, contaminated material and decommissioning waste storage. Including reprocessing excess radionuclides out of reactors into weapons arming material.

That these processes are put into accounting and media silos isolating them means nothing in the real world. They are all integrated into one nuclear industry overseen by the IAEA, who answer to no governance except, the UN Security Council P5 nuclear nations: China, France, Russia, UK, USA.

Primary objective for all military culture throughout human history is to:

"Take ground off the enemy at all costs, everything else is collateral damage", regardless if it is legitimised in law or not.

The UN Security Council represents our planets military culture, and the IAEA only answers to this group.

Those four serious issues are lightly covered by Bill Nye, more so by my comments and I have never read anyone who can legitimately refute them.

Conveniently ignore them, yes.
Accentuating only the positive, yes.
Is doing this true critical thinking. No.

This is politics. At least own it, ​not green or whitewash it, NACAM42.
^ IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency
Paul Richards
LFTRnow wrote: I've never been more disappointed in Bill Nye'
Because Bill Nye had the balls to call out, the 'trust us'.
As if it is a sound line of logic that only needs to accentuate the positive in science. Come on, get real.
Hard critical thinking requires setting aside biases, both personal and cultural. Then analyse the data and come to a conclusion.
Nothing Bill Nye said contradicts an integral perspective, where our species must by default use true critical thinking to survive.
John H.
Bill Nye is a fraud. He has a BS in engineering that he gained in 1977. Since 1988 he has only worked as a "comedian". I don't know why we listen to him and not a real scientist with a phd or even masters who hasn't worked in television for 99% of their carrer.
Next Generation nuclear power starts at 31:45
I listened 15 minutes but he still hasn't said anything about nuclear power except "It has always been linked to nuclear weapons".
Richard Frans
Very disappointed in this talk. Nothing of value here at all!
Delphino Aleon
Completely lost all respect for this guy!
Oh look, Mechanical Engineer Bill "Gender is a Social Construct" Nye parroting greenie talking points and talking about a topic outside his field.
Corrine Tsang
China probe to the moon to mine Helium-3 for a 5th generation nuclear fusion.The US stopped building a 2nd generation nuclear reactors.China has trained 500 nuclear professor and 5,000 nuclear engineers for a 4th generation pebble bed ,helium cooled nuclear reactor.One is being build in Rongcheng,China.
Steven Curtis
Where do I start? The credibility of this talk is suspect and not worthy of the name "Bill Nye". What happened to you, Bill?

1. UF6 - Yes, this is a problem, but UF6 is not the most deadly stuff you can have.
2. The do not bury naval reactors forever in Idaho as you implied. In fact, they are going to recycle the material starting very soon because it makes so much sense not to waste all the material already made.
3. Three Mile Island - "Almost a big problem" (not explained what a "big problem" is, so scare them, right?)? Three Mile Island was an example of how reactor safety works. No injuries, no significant releases (the I-131 measurement at the boundary of TMI was more for Chernobyl (thousands of miles away) than it was for the TMI accident), and the core never threatened any other damage. Yes, it was an accident and humans make mistakes, but why don't you put that in perspective with the thousands of people killed in the coal industry compared to the nuclear industry? Just because it is hard and dangerous, we do not do it? OK, maybe we should just move to caves and give up all our luxuries? There is danger in gasoline transport, chlorine transport, and sodium cyanide transport, but that never makes the news even though it is orders of magnitude more dangerous than nuclear material transport (no environmental damage or injury in 50+ years)
4. Homer Simpson - This is pure and simple hyperbole and not remotely indicative of any objective scientist to mention. nuff said.
5. 432 nuclear plants in the world. Will there be another accident? Of course there will, but you forgot to mention the safety features implemented because of Fukushima (Gen III+), the incredible record of safety by the nuclear industry in general, and the passive safety of Gen IV reactors and the extremely low risk to benefit ratio of nuclear power.
6.Yucca Mountain - There is no stream (a dry stream bed, maybe) at Yucca Mountain. The proposed location if the spent nuclear fuel is 900 feet above the water table. The water table does not even flow through Las Vegas. Nobody in Nevada wants nuclear waste? Aside from a few paid pundits and the political delegation, the vast majority of Nevadans have supported the vast economic benefits that could be had. Do we want to bury it? Of course not. It is too valuable. Recycling it is the key to efficiency in light water reactor (and even more for fast reactor) fuel. It is easy to scare people who are ignorant of the science, but it is unethical to use your position to stretch the truth in a biased way to make yourself sound important, especially for someone of your stature. Isn't it?
7. Dangerous for 10,000 years? I have heard this figure, but neither you nor anyone else who uses this scare tactic has explained why 10,000 years? I would like to hear you try.
8.Paducah, Ky. Yes, centrifuge and gaseous diffusion uses UF6. Yes, the Government failed to turn the UF6 back to U3O8. It is sitting in large tanks in huge fenced-in areas. The question is why has the DOE not been funded to handle it further? Maybe the Congress is the culprit, but you do not mention that. Maybe your point is to try to encourage more responsibility from Congress, but you do not say that.
9. Dry Cask Storage at Nuclear Power Plants - Why would terrorists break in to a dry cask storage facility to get spent fuel? How would they use it? People like you never explain further. Again, taking advantage of nuclear science ignorant people for your own glory. This just does not suit your otherwise great reputation. The spent fuel ages in pools of water for at least 5 years before it is put in 30+ ton reinforced concrete containers for storage on site. Don't you think there are easier targets for terrorists that are more accessible and could cause more terror? Why has this not been tried at Connecticut Yankee which has has spent fuel stored behind a chain link fence with barbed wire for 2 decades with no guards and it has not been touched. Please try to think before you hype.
Break in, steal spent fuel, put it in a suitcase and "pick up the guy with his suitcase and cause trouble? Really? I guess some people believe this coming from you, but you are certainly smarter than to believe what you say here. It is scary that any scientist, let alone you, try this level of hype talk simply to look good to an audience.
10.You spent less than 10 minutes of your 34-minute talk about "Next Generation Reactors" with any reference at all to "Next Generation Reactors". You did not mention that the Plutonium actually fissions as well as the U235, so very little is left. The mechanical moving of fuel in the reactor is just one of at least 50 Next-Gen reactor designs and the market place will decide which ones are valid. Why did you pick this one to mention? You failed to mention that more than 50 start-up companies are capitalized with $1 Billion in investment money for next-generation reactor designs. This is not government work, not secret (beyond intellectual property), and certainly extremely regulated. Why the short shrift in a very biased and strangely stated narrative?
11. A minor point, but Seaborgium is element 106, not 168. Simply a slip of the lip, I am sure, but worth mentioning.
12. Pt could not have been used as the symbol for Plutonium, because it is the symbol for Platinum making your story about Glen Seaborg very suspect. Too bad you could not find a different story to tell about a great scientist who spent his life advancing the science of heavy element research. You made him sound petty and trite and he was anything but

I am sure you made this talk because you have a personal aversion for nuclear energy. That is fine. But to lower yourself to scare tactics that are questionable at best in front of an audience obviously ignorant of nuclear physics is deplorable and not worthy of a scientist of your caliber. Shame on you.
29:57 when he talks about new reactors a full second. At least the other bill(gates) knows what up. Oh bill nye thing the TWR is meant to shuffle thorium WRONG! Bill nye hasn't the slightest clue.
does bill nye honestly expect me to believe that no one would notice if nuclear material went missing. On top of that you would need a shit ton of reactor grade fuel to make a nuclear bomb with it. However a dirty bomb(a bomb that disperses radioactive material not a nuclear bomb) is almost a terrorists bestfriend. You probably need spent fuel if you want that to pose even a little bit of extra damage which begs the question how is one meant to handle the same waste which is dangerously radioactive yet not be noticed at the same time. You also can't put it in a briefcase. it causes lots of terror but not really so much harm realistically about as harmful as a normal bomb. That's why bill doesn't want to tell you how to do it because it's horribly unrealistic and you can't do it. The worst a terrorist could do is try to create a melt down at a plant and good luck with even doing that.
tickle me and I'll kill you
Bill Nye is not even a nuclear scientist he's an engineer worked on airplanes at Boeing he doesn't Know Jack shit about nuclear power and much of anything else except wiring aircraft he is fake like Al Gore
Daniel Decker
I've been disappointed by Bill before, and I'm disappointing again. So little actual science in this, and some of the science mentioned is actually wrong, it is mostly conjecture and fear mongering with no facts to back it up. "Dude. Dude!" is not evidence or a convincing argument. Nuclear energy is safer than coal, solar, or wind energy, cheaper than all of those, and has ZERO carbon emissions. Just plain ignorant Bill.
I've lost respect for bill nye *smh
Glen Mccarthy
8000 cubic meters per second , is the current melt rate from the Greenland ice sheets.The collapse of the cyrosphere is unstoppable.Cheers
King Miura
This guy is one unfunny comedian. He once participated in an experiment that used a couple of large glass jars and 2 infrared heat lamps and thermometers and one jar was CO2 and the other just ordinary air. After about 1/2 an hour the CO2 jar supposedly showed 1 to 2 degrees hotter than in the air jar. Some people tried to duplicate this little display and he result was the air jar was a fraction of a degree hotter but cooled faster after the lamps were turned off. No scientist would consider the results of such a display as useful whatsoever....unless the objective was to present propaganda to an uneducated audience. Al Gore and Billy Nye are hucksters.
Les Price
What an amazing display of ignorance!
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Understanding Nuclear Power Plants: Next Generation Nuclear Power: 1 day ago   11:30

This CNSC video shows the progression of an accident scenario involving a total station blackout at a Canadian nuclear power plant. It describes multiple safety system layers and highlights that even during an extremely severe accident, nuclear reactors in Canada will safely shut down and contain radioactivity.

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