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We might be able to have very sensible debates (indeed there has been) on parts of the spectrum that forms the "nuclear question" as long as all participants agree to leave confrontational attitudes at the door.

As soon as it comes to just pro/con the whole question it tends to quickly go downhill. And with generalising insults (your side is stupid!).

Other factors then the ones Migeru stated are the low risk of anything happening versus the heavy consequences if they do. Risk (very low) * Consequence (very high) = though equation. Almost 0 * infinty... And there is a tendency to emphasise one of the numbers, which then tips the equation. I think we (humans) are not really very good at probabilities.

And there is the societal aspects of having a nuclear industry. Centralised vs. decentralised energy production, waste issues, dirty bombs, isotopes for science and medicine, funding for physics department, potential for getting nuclear weapons, and I guess the list goes on.

Depending on frame anyone of these can probably be important enough to decide the question. Which means there are a number of pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear stances. Thinking about it, it might be interesting to have a poll on how many reactors the world should have, and see if it really is such a divide between the camps.

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Mar 23rd, 2007 at 11:05:49 AM EST
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How about writing an diary about this???
by Fran on Fri Mar 23rd, 2007 at 11:11:04 AM EST
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There's always De Anander's The Nuclear Skeptic, Part 1: Sketching the Playing Field (May 22nd, 2006).

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 23rd, 2007 at 12:09:28 PM EST
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