Instigator / Pro

Nuclear energy is a better replacement for fossil fuels than alternative energy sources


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 2 votes and with 6 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

BoP is shared. This debate is for the february debate tournament.


Thank you for voting.


Thanks. I really enjoyed this debate about such a concrete physical question and digging deep into the nitty gritty details. Definately the most interesting debate of the tournament. Good luck climbing the ladders.


Congrats on the win. Glad I had the luck if opponents to not face you prior to the finals.

I will definitely do my homework if I do a science debate again, they're very nitpicky which is nit my forte.


I’ll be voting myself sometime over the next few days.

With ADOL's vote removed, it looks like more votes are needed for this debate


I used a template for writing this and forgot to remove the name I had inserted last time. It's correct now.


Why did you say 949havoc?


>Reported Vote: ADreamOfLiberty // Mod action: Removed
>Voting Policy:
>Points Awarded: 6 to Pro
>Reason for Decision:
Full analysis:

So this debate was not won deductively by either side, therefore the points I award cannot be justified certainly. It is tempting to try and damn Con for not understanding that dams are dangerous (pun intended) but the relevance is not particularly high. Overall Con simply did not do any kind of quantitative analysis which would be required to compare different factors between wind/solar and nuclear. Pro granted nuclear was more dangerous in round 1, yet Con kept making a big deal out of it. If Con wanted more than the admission of "safer by a slim margin" he needed more than the presumption that nuclear was a lot more dangerous than Pro's references claimed it was because "devious". Con failed entirely on reliability. Pro's essential claim which he finally backed in round 3 was that it didn't matter if nuclear was slightly more dangerous than a solar panel because it was safe enough to be ignored, meanwhile nuclear reactors could actually be built fast enough and cheap enough to replace fossil fuels in a generation.

There is no absolute or agreed upon way to balance risk to human life against dollars and joules but the notion that there is no acceptable tradeoff is pure emotional appeal. No human has ever lived without some risk, anything less risky than driving a car should not be used as an objection in serious and honest debate.

It is my judgement that Pro made more important points than Con and defended them.

>Reason for Mod Action:
While the voter provides more than sufficient analysis of the arguments in the debate to warrant the allocation of those points and the source points are borderline sufficiently justified, the conduct point is not sufficiently justified. The use of a strawman fallacy, by itself, is not sufficient reason to award this point and the voter appears to recognize that. If this vote is posted again minus the conduct point, it will be sufficient under the voting standards.

More votes needed on this, perhaps


We'll take a look at it when we get a chance.


Please can a vote mod address ADOL's vote at some point. It definitely is not justified in its conduct point and I would also report it for the 'sources' allocation.

I am probably losing anyway but I really think it's an unfair vote.


I mean, I definitely thought I was debating against nuclear fission, considering that nuclear fusion is extremely new in terms of it being done in any effective manner.

That said, I am willing to take the L here as I do see it as a very 'this or that' debate, it comes down to how one interprets the resolution and sees our points clashing. I went for a very 'counter' style rather than building a straightforward case for him to attack, this seemed to displease the other voters so far.


We could hardly agree on a topic so no we didn't have time to properly agree on everything beforehand. However, both I and RM had the opportunity to define and dispute terms as in any debate. I did indeed provide sufficient justification for my usage of the term nuclear energy by citing encyclopedia britannica. What did RM do? Well, he ignored my defintions as well as my entire framework. The argument from common usage could have been used by CON to attempt to dispute my definition of the word, but he didn't even try to define the word in the first place. Why would you even want to pretend that he did? I mean, failing to define a term differently than the opponent -- in a debate -- is itself a silent nodding of agreement or unwillingness to disagree. Unless encyclopedica britannica is outright lying and providing a totally invalid definition, the definition that I used is the applicaple one for this debate.


I am currently reading through this debate with the intention of voting, but I noticed something on my first skim-through that I need cleared up first.

In general the term "nuclear" is used as shorthand for "nuclear fission". This is the way RM seems to use the term. Benjamin on the other hand seems to use the term in a highly non-standard way, using it to refer to both fission and fusion. Since the definition of the term is not specified in the description I need to ask... was the definition of "nuclear" agreed to beforehand? For example in PM or in a forum thread? If not, I am going to be forced to read "nuclear power" as equivalent to "nuclear fission" since that is how 100% of the population uses the term. This would lean my reading to vastly favor RM, so I encourage Benjamin to show evidence that both contestants agreed to use the non-standard definition before the debate began, assuming this is the case. I will continue my reading of the debate once this has been addressed.

I haven't read the debate, but yeah pro is on the correct side here.

After further review of previous votes I agree I should have not scored conduct. In short it gets so much worse than a single strawman.

I would say that ADreamOfLiberty should have kept conduct tied, but arguments and sources to PRO is fair game.

The future is actually Nuclear Fusion power. Fusion does not create any long-lived radioactive nuclear waste. A fusion reactor produces helium, which is an inert gas. It also produces and consumes tritium within the plant in a closed circuit. Tritium is radioactive (a beta emitter) but its half life is short.

I've flagged ADreamOfLiberty's vote for review. Per the code of conduct's guidelines on voting, it does not seem to me that the gap between the quantity and quality of sources on both sides differ sufficiently for pro to be awarded points for better sources. Furthermore, I see no reason that con acted in a way that was excessively abusive (as is necessary to award conduct points according to the CoC) such that they deserve to be penalized.

"the conspiracy theory that hydropower kills a lot of people"

This is the problem. PRO already proved this to be true by showing hydropower caused the deadliest energy accident in the world (deadlier than Chernobyl with more deaths) and it has been proven that hydropower is 50% more dangerous than nuclear power.

That is not a conspiracy, that's one of the most justified points of the whole debate.


I can actually see some ways that led to my defeat here, though to me it comes down to interpretation of strong vs weak points.

Firstly, I should never have let Pro push me into the debate for 2-day Rounds. The 2 day deadline led to me rushing Rounds, that extra day would have let me research and lay out my case far better.

Seondly, even with 2-day Rounds, I should not have been scared that Pro has a habit of focusing hard on 'dropped points' by the other side if they don't dedicate Round 1 to rebuttals. Instead, I should have built a case for renewable energy much more and worried about rebuttals as a secondary priority in my Round 1 if at all. Then, in Round 2 I should have directly addressed the points about land space, the conspiracy theory that hydropower kills a lot of people and the specific problems as well as advantages that Pro brought, regarding nuclear.

I should have spent far less effort and characters on the devious past of nuclear energy as well as not focused so much on Chernobyl. Instead, I should have found ways renewable is just even better in reliability and cost effectiveness and really focused hard on that.

I realise now how I led to this defeat. I really do not respect my opponent as a sportsmanlike debater though, he really played dirty in arranging things and hit me with the challenge last minute to force me to accept it, I even had an issue with the wording because we had not established what 'better' meant but he forced that too.

That said, in the future I will take this on board and follow a much more constructive format as the default in scientific debates.

It is my instinct as a debater to first destroy/attack the opponent's root case but I need to remember that if they have a decent root case, it is in the nitckpicking that the winner is actually decided. If I had embraced nitpicking and built a case with many points (like the advantages I list in Round 2 at the end being in my Round 1 for all renewable types) I could have forced Pro to need to spend more of Round 2 on rebuttals, enabling me to attack him and defend myself wherever seemed most viable.

I also should have been much nerdier about the topic but that really was difficult with being busy irl and the 2-day deadline.


The worst part is if even if I argued a lot for renewable energy, you and novice would vote against me for being too constructive and not attacking Pro's case enough, so it was a lose-lose debate for voters like you. I am certain if I'd spent more directly building, you'd say I failed to attack his points.


For literally every point I make, you argue against it yourself pretty much throughout your analysis but for every single point Pro makes, you go out of your way to agree with it. I'm not imagining this, it's literally for every point pretty much.

@RationalMadman, Yes I read your round two, go to the thread if you want to discuss it where you'll be able to quote specific things I said. Several time's Pro used your own sources to make a counter-point. I didn't see very specific guidelines on sourcing but that does leave the impression that he read your sources better than you did.

Also you blocked me so you won't even get notified of this message, isn't that fun. It's like it's designed to annoy someone into ignoring the person who blocked them and nothing else.

Anyway, I take it on board, I guess people wanted more numbers or something, I am not seeing how I didn't address what they're saying I didn't address but what I'm extremely not seeing is where they say Pro tackled my points of danger etc. in any manner other than saying 'it is like plane crashes'.


What you did with my dam question is literally debating for Pro and acting like Pro said it.


Out of curiosity did you even read my Round 2 at all? Also what did you base your sourcing and conduct point on?

Okay, let's just see what whiteflame and the other voters do, because I have a feeling they will agree with me.

It doesn't bother me, I was sure you'd come up with some BS to vote against me, you've been itching to all tournament. It's petty and pathetic and if I keep whining about it, I will be stooping to your level.

You are one voter with a grudge, it is better for me to focus on getting many voters rather than fixate on your one wrong one.

I have a feeling that most people will vote in the way I did because I don't think this debate was very close, and not nearly as close as I anticipated.
But, please, more people vote. By all means

"By doing that, you failed to address the specific issues listed for each point. Just listing some advantages in response to specific issues is not a good rebuttal."

That is verbatim what Pro did in this debate. You are okay when he does it to handle the drawbacks of NP I brought forth.

It is possible you genuinely lack the ability to comprehend how you are blindly ignoring my points, it would explain how you lost both times you vsd me.

I do not really care whether your erroneous vote is due to genuine lapse in understanding or bias against me, it doesn't bother me in the long run as this is probably the last and only tournament which will be open-voting.

Since I am here I can address your arguments though.
1. Novice doesn't take note of any of my points against Pro or for Renewable energy, only Pro's points and twisting everything.
Common, I don't even think you believe this.

2. Yet when Pro does this throughout the whole debate, you accept it.
What I mean to say is this. This is your exact quote: "If Pro wants to tell you drawbacks to RE, I will outdo every drawback by several advantages. If this is a listing battle, I'm happy to fight it that way"
By doing that, you failed to address the specific issues listed for each point. Just listing some advantages in response to specific issues is not a good rebuttal.


The debate (tournament final) is now complete, if you wish to vote please do.

Wait, hold on.
Do you actually think you won this debate? Be honest

" Simply listing out some benefits of your power sources does not address the disadvantages and issues brought up, it essentially just avoids them."

Yet when Pro does this throughout the whole debate, you accept it.

The bias is so incredibly obvious when Novice doesn't take note of any of my points against Pro or for Renewable energy, only Pro's points and twisting everything.

That's okay though, bitter haters are a part of this. It's ashame they get a vote though.


Arguments: PRO
CON was heavily cornered here. He argued that because of rare nuclear power accidents (constantly referring to Chernobyl) nuclear power is presumably a worse replacement for fossil fuels than alternative energy sources, but PRO flips that completely against him by pointing out one of his power sources is significantly more dangerous than nuclear power and has caused the worlds deadliest energy accident. CON fails to address both points. By his own assertion, he is essentially giving us reasons to be against his position.

He talks about the "devious history," but seems to not address or pay to the devious impacts of his own sources of energy.

PRO brought up a series of negative impacts of CON's energy sources, and rather than countering them or addressing them, CON says we will "outdo" them with positive energy sources without really addressing the harms PRO continues to bring up.

In terms of benefits and advantages, PRO argues much more strongly, especially in round 3. Hitting back on points of reliability, and sustainability. Ultimately what won this debate was PRO opening his case to emphasize the efficiency, benefits, and future of his case, while CON's major arguments went directly against him.

Sources: PRO had much more and sourced most to all of his claims while CON had significantly less. Regardless, I will call it a draw because both sides provided good sources.
Conduct: tie
Spelling and Grammar: tie

All things considered, PRO is winning this debate, and I think he firmly seals the deal in this round. PRO comes out very well by promoting the safety and safety considerations made by nuclear power plants to address past issues. He once again emphasizes the issues with renewable sources, using CON's own source for solar power against him. PRO shows that Chernobyl was not the deadliest energy accident, rather it was the collapse of a cascade of Chinese dams during a flood in 1975, using CON's own argument against him. If CON truly was concerned about accidents and safety, why does he continue to support hydropower? PRO hits back on every point: sustainability, reliability, and area usage. Reliability and area usage go clearly to nuclear power. I don't believe PRO sufficiently proves the sustainability front for nuclear power, but he is correct in stating that CON also fails to prove it is a restricted resource.

CON points out that to even acquire the materials needed for nuclear energy, energy is required, but PRO already pointed out how nuclear power requires less space and is more reliable, and that these environmental impacts apply to hydropower as well. CON calls nuclear power "a non-renewable highly dangerous and not at all passively available resource," but PRO has proven the latter two of these characterizations to be false.

CON says that "The fact is that nuclear waste being 90% ish recyclable in theory has very little impact on all the other areas of harm and cost involved. To get to uranium, thorium, plutonium, etc the harm to the environment and landscape will be beyond anything Pro suggested hydropower has caused via dams and reservoirs," but he doesn't really justify this, and PRO has provided a more sufficient justification of the contrary.

This debate was a good one. In the end, both sides made their arguments and set the perfect stage for the final round of the tournament, and a successful one at that.

PRO lays out his basic framework in round one. PRO did something interesting; he immediately went after the biggest counter-argument against his case: safety. He strongly asserts that accidents always occur, for example in airplanes, and that does not necessarily remove the safety of the energy system. He also points out that radication levels cause by regular use are not harmful at all. PRO also proves that hydropower is more dangerous than nuclear energy, a significant blow to CON's side. He argues for Nuclear energy's reliability and longevity, additionally showing that nuclear energy is good for the environment.

CON's case is interesting. He gives examples of the devious history of nuclear power. He argues that nuclear power is not renewable because it can only be generated with specific materials. He counters PRO's source showing that nuclear energy is 90% recyclable by arguing that "this doesn't begin to explain how energy-demanding (again, ironically) and complex the recycling of nuclear waste is." He does not provide a source corroborating this, but we can see how PRO addresses it later. He then argues solar panels are recyclable as well and sources that claim. CON now argues on the Chernobyl accident, this is a claim that PRO already directly addressed in round one but CON adds a spin; something like pascals wager; it is weighing the possibility of an accident vs simply not aking a smart investment.

Because PRO initially went after this argument so quickly it fell flat for CON. PRO already proved that hydropower is much more dangerous than nuclear power, so at this point, the argument of CON appears to be self-refuting because he is employing the same or greater "risk" with the renewable energy he is defending.

In round 2 PRO doubles down on this and argues that CON is appealing to emotion by describing the devious history of nuclear energy and describing Chernobyl. He also emphasizes that CON conceded the point on the ability to recycle, and did not provide a source for his objection. He does a good job of defending the point stating that the waste is transported and stored safely and sources the claim. PRO concedes that we only know how to exploit radioactive elements at this time, but argues that in the future science and technology will be able to exploit other resources just as human innovation has done in the past and present. He also argues for fusion energy power, but that is largely theoretical and has not been developed yet. However, it could just connect to his point on human innovation. Either way, I won't weigh in too much on that argument. PRO makes a case for the drawbacks of wind turbines, solar panels, and hydropower. He turns CON's argument directly against him. Given that solar panels are connected to child labor, is their history also devious? We will see how CON addresses this.

CON rebutts the airplane analogy well by showing how it fails to address the scale and impact of damages, but he does not address that hydropower is more dangerous than nuclear power? CON states "Rather than just fixate on Chernobyl, which my opponent equates to a rare plane crash," but it is clear that this is a strawman on his part as PRO equated the rareness of the accidents, not the severities. CON goes on more about the negative impacts of nuclear accidents. CON gives some benefits for each of the power sources PRO listed disadvantages of, acting as if that countered the disadvantages? Simply listing out some benefits of your power sources does not address the disadvantages and issues brought up, it essentially just avoids them.

CON says PRO asserts a conspiracy theory when he said "These two [wind turbines and solar panels] are the only power sources that are responsible for less human deaths than nuclear relative to energy production" (weirdly, this does not apply to the definition of a conspiracy theory at all) and although PRO's claim does seem hasty, he already pointed out that hydropower is 50% more deadly than nuclear energy, and illustrated significant impacts on the lives and health of people. I dont think CON shows this claim is unjustified. He just repeats the impacts of Chernobyl, but what is the point of this if you will not address the direct attack that one of your energy sources has been proven to be 50% more dangerous than that of PRO?


Alright. If Luna confirms, I'll prioritize this.



I mean… does that matter? Is voting restricted to the weeklong period for the purposes of the tournament?

I was pressured for time and apparently missed the intentioned voting period by three week.


It was meant to be weeklong voting periods but Benjamin challenged me to this last minute so if I did not accept it could mean I was the delayer.

Got a couple that I promised to get to before this one, but I’ll get to it.


The debate is now complete, if you wish to vote please do.


The debate is now complete, if you wish to vote please do.


You only have 90 minutes left, please post before its too late.