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Comment Re:Actually (Score 1) 252

I taught C lab class to 2nd year CS and EE students for a couple of years. The first assignment of the semester the EE students invariably ignored the style sheet and stuffed the whole program into main() with the only comment being their name and student number. So I made 'style' worth 50% of the mark on the second and subsequent assignments, I have to hand it to the EE students, they're fast learners. :)

Comment Re:It's simple... (Score 2) 194

Nuclear power is so reliable, safe, and inexpensive that using wind and solar becomes nonsensical.

Reliable and safe yes, inexpensive no. Economics and a very long lead time to build are the major issues holding back the use of nukes. Numbers vary but solar and wind are now cheaper per kwh than importing brown coal to countries like India. Costs per kwh are still steadily dropping for wind and solar, whereas costs for nukes are stagnant or rising.

people will freeze to death because the sun didn't shine and the wind didn't blow when we needed it to..snip...people will die needlessly.

That's just silly fear mongering, every bit as ignorant an mis-informed as the anti-nuke people you are arguing against. Local weather variations are irrelevant to a national solar/wind grid, climate wobbles such as the el-nino phenomena mentioned in TFA have a minor impact on output because they change the average weather conditions over the entire planet. Note the impact of natural climate wobbles on output can also be positive, it just happens that the one on TFA is negative for the US (it's likely the same climate event had a positive impact on Australian renewable output).

I have no ideological problems with nukes, the appear to work very well in parts of Europe apart from the occasional political spat. However the costs and long lead times associated with building nukes means they will continue to be used in the future only where renewables are impractical. Worse still for the nuke industry, the economic niches for profitable nukes are shrinking as the renewables industry steadily continues improving their technology and ROI numbers. One thing is certain, king coal's crown is slipping, "book values" for coal assets are falling fast, the world bank, IMF, etc, have all recently stopped investing in coal and advised other to follow, nobody wants to be stuck with a "stranded asset", except the luddites running the fucking country down here in Oz, who are doing everything in their power to build the port/rail infrastructure to service "the world's largest coal mine", the mine itself is likely to fall into the "stranded asset" basket before it is even constructed.

Comment Re:Nukes are safer than coal. (Score 4, Interesting) 248

The same explosion of wildlife was seen in Korea's DMZ, a strip of land that cuts the peninsula in half and is chock full of landmines. It appears that the mere presence of urbanised humans is more detrimental to wildlife than a nuclear disaster. As a science based greenie I have to tentatively conclude that nuclear disasters are a very effective way to create large wilderness areas.

Disclaimer: I would welcome a properly managed nuke replacing the local coal plant (Hazelwood - said to be the dirtiest coal plant in the world), I say "well managed and modern" because even with the spectacular benefits nuclear disasters have to the natural environment, I'm still NOT ok with a nuclear disaster in MY backyard. ;)

Comment Re:Nukes (Score 3, Insightful) 248

Plain old economics is what is holding back nukes, not "envirowackos", if "envirowackos" had that sort of political power then why are we still building new coal plants? The fact that changing to renewables for electricity generation is both good for the environment and good for the economy has been recognised by sane capitalists since the "Stern Report" (2005 IIRC). The insane ones still believe AGW is a UN plot to strip mine their wallet and their "freedoms".

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 1) 576

you are less likely to get blown up or murdered by the government while in the US than elsewhere.

The US is the only western nation still executing people, on that score it's roughly on par with China. The US also locks up it's citizens at a higher rate than ANYWHERE else in the world, eg: ~7X the rate at which China imprisons people.

"Gort, klaatu nikto barada." -- The Day the Earth Stood Still

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