Germany has some solar panels. Please feel free to explain why they are better than nuclear reactors. Just because Germany built them doesn't automatically mean that they are the better choice. Your reply really makes no sense an indicates a lack of reading comprehension on your part. I claimed that there are some good niche applications for solar and you essentially replied, "But Germany built lots!". Okay. So what? You don't think that qualifies as an argument do you? It barely even qualifies as an observation.
I admit I misread that line. However, one humongous advantage that solar has in comparison to nuclear power is the speed of building additional power production capability. For quite obvious reasons (maintaining the high safety standard it has mostly had so far), building new nuclear plants is a very costly and lengthy affair - beyond the mere fact that it requires tons of investment in very large plants, which drastically limits the group of companies (and completely excludes individuals) capable of building one. In comparison to that, pretty much every schmuck with a few thousand dollars can put up solar production. This has lead to massive speed of adoption - so that the problem in Germany, for example, is that it is being adopted too quickly for the current government to keep up. Such a development is simply impossible with nuclear (unless you handwave away reality).
I am in the one living in the real world. My statement that you quoted was in reply to someone that made a claim, that the ideal power grid would include generation from multiple technologies. I asked for justification of that claim. The people living in the fantasy world are the ones assuming that the "greeniest" technologies must be the best because.... "Green! No radiation! Exponential fits should last forever, right? Yuk yuk yuk."
And I provided that justification. Thats why I'm for an "All of the above" approach - as long as they reduce CO2 output.
So how much experimentation do you think we need? We've been building nuclear power reactors for over 60 years and solar panels aren't exactly new. What is your recommendation? To spend a fortune building, say, 50% solar power production and then just see what happens? There are more sophisticated ways of deciding what technology to use (hint: it involves actual engineering).
Solar panels aren't new, but cheap, mass-produced solar cells are new - and getting better and cheaper by the day. The cost-curve of nuclear on the other hand is in the opposite direction: getting more expensive by the day.
Overall, the speed with which which new developments, technologies, approaches, etc are appearing with regards to renewable power sources makes it pretty much impossible to come up with a "best" solution that is then adopted. Thats why you let the market decide (which is telling nukes to fuck off, and embracing renewables whole-heartedly).
Nice weasel wording there. Nuclear "appears" safer because it is safer.
You're right. Solar carries different risks, and those risks cause more deaths. The result is that solar is more dangerous to human health. But feel free to ignore this and focus on radiation exclusively, because radiation is the only thing in the universe that can harm someone, right?
There is a reason why most people are more afraid while traveling in a plane than in a car, or while walking - even though the highest death rate per mile traveled is while walking, and traveling by plane is one of the safest methods of travel. Its the same thing with nuclear: Nuclear power is safe most of the time - safer than any other power generation method when compared to the amount of power generated. However, when something goes wrong with nuclear power - it has massive local and regional impact. You might not like that view, or find it stupid, but thats the way the vast majority of humanity thinks. Thats why nuclear is nice on paper, but mostly hopeless in reality.
By the way, no commercial nuclear power plant constructed after 1968 has ever released any dangerous amount of radioactivity to the environment, period. What you're doing is equivalent to claiming that automobiles are dangerous because 60s models cars didn't have airbags. The newest nuclear designs (such as some Gen IV nuclear designs) are almost entirely melt-proof, have enormously high thermodynamic efficiency, and consume much less nuclear fuel. Even currently installed 3rd Generation plants have logged decades of accumulated operation with a perfect operational record. The solar fanboys should stop pretending nuclear technology isn't improving continually as well.
Yes, nuclear power technology is improving. The difference to solar power is that solar power is getting cheaper all the time, while nuclear power is getting more expensive all the time.
And I find it especially ironic that you're making such a big deal about rendering a land area uninhabitable to humans. A grid powered by solar panels would render thousands of square kilometers uninhabitable by humans, by design, because they'd be covered in solar panels!
Unless you put them on - gasp - roofs. Of course, in addition, they are (just like wind turbines) generally all spread around, lessening their impact, in comparison to if they were all in one huge square in the middle of the country.
So what's worse? A small chance of sealing off a few square miles (temporarily) due to nuclear accidents, or devoting thousands of square miles to solar panels, perpetually, for as long as those panels existed?
The public has spoken: Solar panels, wind turbines, farms producing biofuel, etc spread all around, not making huge impacts on the population living there, are not as bad as having to suddenly evacuate tens or hundreds of thousands of people from hundreds or thousands of square miles of territory.