Delmieth wrote:Where to start...
I am not asking for highly specific facts, but rather facts that are straightforeward and clear. 
I did not mean to attack your opinion or experience however if you look at it from my point of view, one person saying they have experienced the safety of nuclear technology first hand should not be taken as absolute truth. 
Thirdly, you state that I can make little difference just having my opinion. I make no pretence that I am an expert in this field of debate, but this seems a preconcieved conclusion at best. If everyone had this dysmally apathetic idea, then nothing would be changed for the better. 
Also, I do not live in the US- I was under the impression this was a global debate- but the 'People in Charge of Everything" have not made up their mind at all, it is still very much open for debate. You can give an example of France utilising nuclear power, and I can bring up Iceland who have used renewables to supply something like 70% of their energy requirements for a long time now. 
And finally, mine are not generic fears at all, and I believe I have made that clear. My concerns only extend to mining, and waste disposal, as well as the availability of alternatives. 
 I didn't make this point very clear, but it's difficult to quantify the relief or sense of safety that I feel with current best practices in place. It's a little bit like seeing the Great Wall. You can't really imagine in your head just how big it is, but when you're actually there it kind of hits you in a way that escapes words and phrases. That is what I was trying to get across. It's just difficult convey why current practices are so good.
 I don't think you attacked my opinion at all, and I agree with your point completely.
 I can see that was poorly worded. What I was trying to convey was the realistic point of view of the matter in general. From my perspective, I have seen the ins and outs, the beginnings and endings and middles of the process of 2 different plants located in different countries - and what I saw in both cases was that sort of 'whoa-Great-Wall' kind of thing that I mentioned earlier. The men (and women) working in these plants have complete confidence in their practices from beginning to end. The trouble with nuclear is that it has a lot of bad press that just doesn't apply anymore. Bad press is easier to disseminate than years of study and practice. Any major concerns that anyone can dream up will already have been thought of and addressed by thousands of others - that is the state of the field today.
It is important for people to have concerns and to voice them, but unfortunately in a highly specialized technical field like this, one can only look to the experts.
 I don't live in the US either. I'd argue this is a Western debate - most everyone else seems like they'd like very much to have nuclear power.
Most of the nuclear programs in the world are not independent. That is to say, they are derived with help, information, expertise, and so on from others. What happens here is that the practices and methods get passed from one place to the other. More often than not, when a country is putting together a nuclear program, they will look towards the NRC.
The 'people in charge of everything' I was referring to are those who run and manage the plants. There is really no debate in their circles, all of it is political.
On the subject of individual states, I can hope they will all choose to become part of the international nuclear 'group' and collaborate with each other on new ideas and so on, but sovereign states will do what they will. Just to head this subject off, the issue of what SOME states might do with nuclear is not really in question. The issue at hand is, 'using modern practices, is nuclear safe/worth it?'
I certainly have no desire to get in a point-counterpoint type of argument as that won't add anything to this discussion. If we all lived Iceland, we wouldn't have to have this discussion in the first place
 In that case, I'm sorry I didn't catch that. I can't say anything about mining, but I can about the other two.
Waste disposal is the biggest political issue right now in the debate. Putting some of our waste in a mountain range somewhere is a reasonable solution, but I don't think it's a necessary one. I (and others) think it'd make more sense to set up ways to use the 'waste' as fuel until it's REALLY gone. I think the thread merged into this one had a man that actually worked at a plant explain the waste management processes. I would recommend scouting the earlier bits of this thread.
I don't think there's any realistic alternative to nuclear power, globally speaking (curse those Icelanders
). Our power demands (globally) are just going to skyrocket as the seconds count forward. Mathematically, there is nothing even close to the power output of a nuclear plant. Because of this enormous mathematical presence, nuclear is also much safer per Watt than other sources. It's just a matter of raw numbers.
I think solar on houses and other buildings in places like California is a fantastic idea - electric cars too. Similarly, if there's a place where we can extract enormous wind power, do it. But the only fuels that work everywhere are nuclear and fossil fuels, and they also have a bigger output for the effort. Where efficient alternatives are available, there's little reason not to use them. But if we want to avoid fossil fuels, nuclear is simply inevitable in the long run.