Watching pro-nuclear and antinuclear polemics play out in the ideas marketplace is very interesting to me. My son alerted me to a Facebook share from a neat blog called The Logic of Science, whose author prefers anonymity, that mostly targets unscientific nonsense. The Logic of Science suggested taking seriously a blog on radioactive waste from a young Finnish scientist, Iida Ruishalme (photo from her website), who blogs under the moniker of Thoughtscapism. So I read her post “Nuclear Waste: Ideas vs Reality.” Most fascinating.
But what is especially intriguing is the spiral of comments, here on her post and here on The Logic of Science’s Facebook share. Ruishalme’s original post has attracted (at my time of writing) some fifteen comments, with consequent interplay, that barely touch on her reasoned analysis. I like how ardent their pronuclear feelings are and how readily they cite future plans, commercial proposals, even some typical Russian propaganda, without really getting to the heart of her arguments. An air of unreality pervades the entire thread. Of course blog discussion isn’t meant to substitute for formal debate but I must admit my historical research has often come across such scattergun opinions.
The thread of comments on Facebook is longer (23 posts) and is similarly enthusiastic but with some antinuclear arguments/assertions. I enjoyed some of the “risk assessment” discussion, though it lacked much nuance.
As with many nuclear power topics, I didn’t and won’t offer my own views, simply because dumping conclusions from a book-in-progress leaches power from the latter, but seeing debate on this important energy source invigorates me.