Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Loppan Torkel, Jun 8, 2011.
Well maintained nuclear power plants are safe. I wouldn't trust Russians to maintain them well, no
Well, thanks, Slavic bro.
Who then, the Japanese?
Well, it works like this: a nation's nuclear plants are 100% safe until one of them has an accident, after which all nuclear plants are 100% unsafe.
And you've kinda inherited the Ukrainian issue with that whole Soviet Union thing.
I think we, western people, should trust Russia and use only their natural resources. Nuclear energy is unsafe and buying Arabian oil means supporting Islamic fundamentalism.
I was half-kidding.. Having said that, I lived a bit too close to Chernobyl when that crap went down so I don't exactly trust the competence of soviet or post-soviet russian nuclear junk maintenance staff
It's not a matter of nationality, but economics do play a part.. The Japanese have a lot of money to pay for competent staff.. and you know what? They messed up anyway. I trust Canadian nuclear power plant operators
False dichotomy. There are no absolutes in managing energy needs, especially with respect to the future. A portfolio is needed.
Given the price is the same - independence is always better then dependence.
Funny thing is: Even during Cold War (western) Germany imported large quantities of Russian gas and oil. As most of the gas and a large part of the oil is used for heating it's only indirectly related to power generation. So even if there would be an even larger quantity of nuclear power generation (which will at least in Germany not happen due to the Atomausstieg) the dependency on Russian energy resources would still exist. I think there must be a third way using neither petrol nor nuclear power in the long term based on mixed alternative energies and a decentralized power generation in a European high performance energy network.
Very true. I would not trust Russians with providing energy (just ask Ukrainians why)
Europe tying itself in with the Russians aint so bad. In fact, it would seem to make sense from Europe's point of view to get a bit more interdependence going. The problem is whether it actually is interdependence or just dependence, I guess. AFAIK there are already collective deals on energy security in place in Europe specifically to deal with issues that may arise with Russia, so I don't really think it's that bad an option to pursue.
Im going to add a serious consideration to the, well it's not an argument above but whatever. Nuclear upfront costs are astronomical compared to renewables. Whilst many of you don't seem to think that renewables deliver the same bang for buck (this is false, btw just saying) the lower upfront costs will drive govenrnmnets and corporations to use renewables simply becuase they are so short sighted.
It's the "look what we built", vs "well we planned this" at the completion of their terms that governments grapple with.
So in essence they will pair with Russia whilst they develop their independency
Depends on the latitude, I suppose. At least here the energy usage peaks in the cold winter months (heating) when there is not much sun or wind to speak of (hydro is already well developed). So the coal plants would need to be kept on stand by anyway
Also see: The Kursk, Beslan, 2002 Moscow Theatre siege, please feel welcome to google "collapsed building Russia" at your leisure.
Its not racist if theres evidence.
No one remembers Kyshtym.
And why do you trust them? I certainly don't. Nor do I trust the German operators.
The problem remains that at a certain point nothing can be done anymore to control the nuclear reaction, no matter who operates the plant. It was said just today that the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima already happened 5 hours after the quake. Three months later after the whole incident we are allowed to know some of the facts (despite that just about every nuclear expert in Germany, apparently in contrast to other experts, already said on day one that it such a meltdown was a given for them). Why do you think that it wouldn't be all the same in the US, Canada, France or Germany?
Because my people are better than your people!
They're not foreign for starters.
The problem with that is that Russia has a history of using that dependence for political and economic blackmail. Their government needs to change before they can be trusted.
Yeah, that's definitely a problem that Europe would face. But that's why they'd aim for interdependence over dependence, and have their 'collective energy security' arrangements (whatever they actually are) to fall back on. If Europe becomes involved in the Russian economy, then Europe would be only as vulnerable to Russia cutting off the gas as Russia would be to Europe cutting off the investment.
Interdependence would be a very hard thing to achieve. Because the fact is that, economically, there just isn't much in the way of long term dependence. For the US, as an example, is there any trade partner we could loose, and not make up the difference in a decade or less? Not really. Not even Canada. And the US and Canada are almost a single economy.
Energy dependence is a one way street. Manufacturing interdependence is a short run problem, like the way the Japanese crisis has hurt the US auto market. But not a long run problem, because given time someone else will try to get that market share. And most service sectors can be done anywhere and shifted around rapidly.
Military interdependence isn't really on the table either. I know I've argued recently that Russia is no longer a World Power. But they are certainly strong enough for their own territorial integrity. And so don't need Europe. Europe, on the other hand, their main military threat remains Russia. So militarily, the interdependence factor is Europe against Russia, and vice versa, not all of then interdependent.
Russia can also be independent in food and resources other than energy.
Add all of that to a predatory government, and Russia should only be trusted at the margins. And not depended on too heavily.
What would change the equation is a change in the fundamental behavior of the Russian government.
Yeah, it's something that would probably be quite difficult to achieve, but I certainly don't think it's an impossibility. To use the example of trade partners, remember that 'Europe' is effectively more than one trade partner. The US might not be dependent on any one of it's trade partners, but there are those that would be dependent on the US. And likewise, as far as trade goes, Russia could potentially become dependent on 'Europe', because it's such a massive and powerful bloc. Conversely, we're saying that Europe would be dependent on Russia for energy, so if that can occur, then it would seem feasible to work the other way too. Energy dependence in itself is a one way street, but it's still essentially a part of 'trade', and Europe's very powerful in that regard.
I think Europe would rather stay militarily independent too, but perhaps this works in the favour of retaining a good energy deal with Russia. If no military interdependency exists, then Russia, when looking at the situation in terms of national security, should be finding interdependency in some other field. It does that through energy, but Europe's not going to allow that to be a one-way street.
That's perhaps a key point. Europe won't enter into a one-way street. It wouldn't allow itself to become entirely dependent on Russia without some way to maintain power in the relationship. It's a matter for them, I suppose, of finding whereabout they can gain that power.
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