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Comment Re:40% (Score 1) 470

It's not really a problem. There are already a few pumped-storage hydroelectric plants (many were blocked so far by 'too green' people; this is changing now). Switzerland has lots of mountains duh.

Well, a few gas turbines will be required as well, plus some wind turbines (there are very few so far). Both Italy and Austria don't have any nuclear power plants by the way, but they import electricity, something Switzerland will not do over a longer time.

Comment Re:Because tsunamis are a huge risk in Switzerland (Score 1) 470

It's not clear yet if the tsunami was the main reason. Besides, one of the Swiss nuclear power plants is not in good shape. Also, there have been reports the controlling instance for nuclear safety is not independent enough (their boss getting money from the nuclear power plant operators and such).

Comment Re:The nuclear safety paradox (Score 1) 964

> Unless you can point out some way in which the reactor operators in Japan were extraordinarily lucky

I just said it could have been worse. Or do you claim the hydrogen explosions were desired or controlled in any way? Actually it did get worse now.

> I don't think luck can really run that long.

You can, as there are only around 500 nuclear reactors worldwide.

> people are more afraid of radiation than they should be.

True. The land price issue is directly related to that. This is a psychological problem, something engineers can't "fix" or change.

Comment Re:Sensationalism and denial (Score 1) 1122

The problem is the cost, not how many have died. The main cost is long term: the land price around Fukushima will drop to virtually zero. People will have to build new houses elsewhere. Not sure what this means for Fukushima, but for Switzerland the cost of a similar accident was recently calculated to be 4000 billion dollar (because half of Switzerland would have to be evacuated). Nuclear plant owners require insurance for up to 1 billion dollar currently. The rest of the bill is payed by the public. This is also called "hidden subsidy" or "socializing the risks". Of course it's somewhat similar with coal and oil.

Comment Re:The nuclear safety paradox (Score 1) 964

If you want to live near a nuclear plant, go for it. Land is cheap there :-) And in the aftermath of an accident, land will be even *a lot* cheaper (see Chernobyl). > Fukushima had 4(?) operating reactors Actually, 6 reactors with fuel, and 5 have been operating at that time. Obviously, if something happens in one reactor, it's likely this affects the others as well. Otherwise, there would be no holes in the building of block 4 (caused by the explosion in block 3). So it's not 4 roles of the dice. It's more like one dice. > probably representative of the worst that is likely to happen Uhm, no. It could have been worse, and it might get worse. Most likely, land will be very cheap in the next 100 years next to the accident, because people don't like radiation. See Chernobyl. In Switzerland, this would be the big cost, and land owners will most likely not get reimbursed. As I wrote: the solution to would be to require full insurance coverage by nuclear plant operators. That would make operating a plant so costly that they would build wind turbines instead.

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill