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It's the sad truth that people seem very for nuclear, but no one wants to live near it. Of course, I've seen articles regarding people who don't want to live near wind turbines, so maybe people are just far to fickle.

Nobody wants to live by garbage dumps either, but I'm not aware of that ever being a problem. I mean, the fallout radius of a garbage dump is smaller but it seems like that's basically a non-issue with modern reactors as well.

I feel like the crux of the problem, as usual, is education (and likely trust). If you're not aware of modern reactor tech, or you don't believe those telling you, then you're probably just expecting an inevitable Chernobyl.

I think more nuclear power is the way to go, but I don't want (heavily subsidized) privately owned nuclear plants in my back yard.

For how long did TEPCO fake their safety records? Private capital is far too single minded and powerful to be responsible for nuclear power plant safety.

People object to living near: * Nuclear plants (fallout fear) * Wind turbines (ruins the view, kills birds) * Offshore wind turbines (ruins the view) * Coal/oil/gas plants (polluting) * Hydroelectric (house is now underwater, dam breaking) * Geothermal (for pretty much the same reasons as fracking)

About the only sources of power that people don't object to are photovoltaic solar and tidal, which produce only piddling amounts of energy (and probably most people don't know enough about tidal to find some reason to object to it).

In truth, no one wants to live near anything that smacks of industry. Even trying to find places to put the trunk power lines or substations can find a lot of resistance, so sticking power plants in the middle of nowhere doesn't really solve the NIMBY problem.

> trunk power lines

Germany found a solution for that: Underground.

When I was studying, we had an active (research) reactor running on the campus under thousands of student dorms. Less than 10km from the center of the capital (Helsinki) too. Most people do not even know it's there. Most people don't know that a lot of hospitals on densely populated areas also house running reactors.

The power plants generally are pretty dull industrial sites. I don't blame for people not wanting them in their back yard. Luckily, one does not need to build them near habitation. There's plenty of space.

MIT has a nuclear reactor on campus right on Massachusetts Ave, between Harvard and Boston. (It's not a power-generating reactor.) There is also a cogeneration plant that produces electricity, steam heat, chilled water, and compressed air. I've never heard anyone complain about either.

Most people don't know or care except if it's super obvious (generating tons of obvious smoke/steam). However, they will raise all sorts of fuss while it's being proposed.

Sure. UIUC had one for many years, also Rolla, and no doubt many other engineering-oriented universities. My office was literally in the next building over from the UIUC reactor for a while, and I never worried about it. That's about as "in my backyard" as you can get. :-)

WPI has one also: I remember when they switched out the HEU fuel to reduce the proliferation risk.

Have you ever stood next to giant wind turbines? While driving through an area with hundreds of 100 meter wind turbines, I stopped to take a closer look at them. They are genuinely fear inducing, and feel alien. I could not stay close to one for more than a few minutes before I was overcome with dread.

Energy policy should not be based on irrational fears.

While driving south on I-65 through Indiana from Chicago, there is a huge wind farm just north of Lafayette. Each one of the elevated turbines, as a potential hazard to air traffic, has a blinking red light on the top.

At night, you can look out across the flat terrain and see dozens of red lights, blinking in unison. Every time, I think to myself, "This place wouldn't be half bad for riding out the zombie apocalypse."

Though now that you mention aliens, the first strikes of an alien invasion are far more likely to hit the more centralized generator plants, so areas served by wind farms might just retain grid power long enough to organize some form of resistance. Or at least until the second-wave bombers arrive.

When I stand next to one, I just think "free electricity" and sometimes also "free bird stew", but usually "Why don't these things get covered in graffiti?"

How do you feel about windmills like this:


Genuinely curious. I've never heard of a phobia like yours before, is it just because of the motion, or is there something different about steel towers than stone ones?

I think a few aren't too bad, it was just the sheer numbers that unnerved me. The wind was quite strong, it felt I was standing next to many powerful jet engines.

People have been migrating to cities for years and years now, the rural areas of America are less populated than ever. I'm sure there's some middle ground where we can put new power plants that are relatively unpopulated.

Transporting electrical power over long distances is expensive. If most demand is in cities, most power plants need to be relatively near cities.

High voltage transmission lines are actually pretty efficient. We routinely distribute power over hundreds of kilometers. There are a couple that are over 2,000 km long, and numerous examples over 1,000 km.


Cooling water availability is a major factor in plant siting. So you're looking for unpopulated areas on coasts, lakes, or rivers, which is probably a smaller set.

Chernobyl was in the middle of nowhere, too— the meltdown destroyed some of the best farmland in eastern Europe.

The solution to that is to strip local governments power to interfere with power plant construction. Or just put the plants in the middle of nowhere and pay the transmission line loss cost.

> but no one wants to live near it

Source? Can I buy a house near a nuclear plant for 50% off? If so I'm down. I'll even increase my "risks" by buying a Ferrari with the savings I made off the irrational fools :)

I can't imagine there are many people who would want to live near a coal mine or coal power plant, either.

Frankly any energy production other than solar is rather undesirable to live near.

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