Pro-nuclear advocates are so used (in their minds) to their critics being one type of person (namely alarmist, un-scientific hippie) that they're literally unable to process critiques based in material costs, social structures, time/space/resource constraints, STS & ecology
I'm not really scared of nuclear radiation or of meltdowns (though, on the scale of nuclear required, fission plant meltdowns would basically be a regular inevitability), except inasmuch as these represent other downstream risks (militarization, social planning, etc)
But the question here is of the relative costs of different techniques--even with regular fission meltdowns, there's a likelihood that the net deaths from nuclear as opposed to fossil fuel pollution & accidents, is probably lower. This has never really been my critique.
My critique is based in a mix of political economy, planning/organization theory, STS, ecology, implementation theory/incentive compatibility, geography, information constraints, sociology, risk amplification theory, military studies, logistics, throughput constraints etc.
Typically vociferously pro-nuclear advocates tend to be dismissive of arguments from outside the most basic, pedantic, scientistic view of engineering (they rarely consult natural, but not practical sciences, let alone social sciences, humanities, practical works, policy etc)
This is incredibly convenient for them because it lets them pretend that the only people who criticize nuclear are coming from a sentimental & aesthetic, hippie dippie aversion to radiation & technology, something I, for example, very distinctly lack in this case.
Faith in techno-fixes, especially high modern, high throughput, militarization, big state/corporate ones is literally going to get us killed.
The other issue is this--either we're talking about the present moment, and actually existing reality, in which I think it would hard for a leftist to make the case for nuclear anyway, not to mention that implementing it requires collaboration with the state & with capital.
But, if we're talking a post-social transition, post-emancipation society, much of the concern is mooted anyway--indeed, we could get 40% energy reduction SIMPLY by changing extractive, property, productionist & capital incentive dynamics, in a very short period of time.
So either, we're discussing the actually existing situation, where it's a mixture of both a bad idea AND something over which we have no control, OR, we're talking about the idealized situation, where its necessity is largely mooted anyway.
Meanwhile, the information, material cost, spatio-temporal, ecological, social structural, regulatory, and other issues don't just dissipate, whether or not we're some post-emancipation society.
Even Fusion--on which I have repeatedly said I support R&D (as well as into nuclear waste recycling), and investment into 4th generation small plants, as a transition fuel-- bears these risks, costs, constraints etc (not to mention it doesn't exist yet lol)
So, then the question becomes--if we agree that in the context of the state & capital, nuclear is a bad idea, and since I've already expressed agnosticism in general, and willingness to pursue R&D and investment, there theoretically shouldn't be any disagreement.
But since my expression of the above has literally NEVER quelled the anti-anti-nuclear argument, this, for me, is a very convincing data point, namely, if even compromise agreement doesn't satisfy, the issue is anger at anything short of 100% gung ho advocacy
This obviously doesn't bear on the nuclear issues itself, but it does bear, sociologically, on the advocates & advocacy of nuclear, and, in line with the facts about who else advocates it (military, neoliberals, corporations, conservatives), should give people pause.
Nuclear is a weird issue, bc it always evokes immense emotional responses, and its advocates tend to take anything short of 100% endorsement as blasphemy--I have to say, that admittedly, encountering such attitudes only hardens my skepticism, even if it theoretically shouldn't
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