Don’t mention the Nuclear Option to Greens

Greens want every possible intervention except one which “solves” their useful crisis

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

‘Drill Bit Dana’ has been at it again, trying to claim that we don’t “accept the science”, because we are ideologically opposed to their solution – massive government intervention.

guardian_convinceThere is just one problem with this argument – its an utter falsehood. The reason its a falsehood, is massive government intervention is not the only, or by any measure the best, route to reducing CO2 emissions. Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

We have no reason to reject alarmist science, other than we think it is wrong. 

Take the example of America. The USA has substantially reduced CO2 emissions over the last decade, because of fracking – the switch from coal to gas, even though energy use has gone up, has reduced the amount of carbon which is burned to produce that energy.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/02/us-co2-emissions-may-drop-to-1990-levels-this-year/

Of course, America’s coal producers are still mining as much coal as they ever did – and exporting it to Europe, whose disastrous policy failures have increased costs and CO2 emissions.

In the case of fracking, the reduction of CO2 emissions might have been incidental, but fracking has produced results. Surely when it comes to CO2, results are what count?

But the real elephant in the room, with regard to emissions reduction, is the nuclear option.
James Hansen likes nuclear power.
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/index.html

George Monbiot likes nuclear power. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima

Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/16/quote-of-the-week-the-middle-ground-where-agw-skeptics-and-proponents-should-meet-up/

James Delingpole likes nuclear power.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100080636/japan-whatever-happened-to-the-nuclear-meltdown/

Jo Nova likes nuclear power.
http://joannenova.com.au/2010/09/australia-can-meet-its-2020-targets-with-just-35-nuclear-power-plants-or-8000-solar-ones/

The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power.
http://blog.heartland.org/2013/11/global-warmings-mt-rushmore-wisely-embraces-nuclear-power/

So why isn’t nuclear power the main focus of everyone’s attention? Why do far too many alarmists persist with antagonising us, by pushing their absurd carbon taxes and government intervention, when they could be working with us? Why do alarmists keep trying to force us to accept solutions which we find utterly unacceptable, when there are obvious solutions which we could all embrace?

Perhaps some alarmists are worried about the risk of nuclear accidents – but, if climate change is as serious as they say, how can the risk of a nuclear meltdown or ten possibly compare to what alarmists claim is an imminent risk to the survival of all humanity?
Why do alarmists persist with pushing falsehoods about the motivation of their opponents, when they could, right now, be taking positive, substantial steps to promote policies which actually would reduce CO2 emissions?

What was the motivation of Phil Jones, Director of the CRU, when he wrote the following Climategate email:-
http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0837094033.txt

“Britain seems to have found it’s Pat Michaels/Fred Singer/Bob Balling/ Dick Lindzen. Our population is only 25 % of yours so we only get 1 for every 4 you have. His name in case you should come across him is Piers Corbyn. …  He’s not all bad as he doesn’t have much confidence in nuclear-power safety.”

Does Phil Jones really think that nuclear safety is more of an issue than global warming?
The easy answer to this dilemma is that most alarmists are being dishonest – that they don’t really believe CO2 is an important issue, that its simply a convenient excuse to push their political agenda. But surely they can’t all be bent? Monbiot seems sincere about embracing nuclear power. Hansen, and the authors of the open letter, seem sincere about promoting nuclear power. Are they really the only honest participants on the alarmist side of the debate? Surely this can’t be the case.

What am I missing?

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284 thoughts on “Don’t mention the Nuclear Option to Greens

  1. Well the main reason in the UK Eric is the current proposal is the most expensive nuclear power station in the world. And with strike prices at £90 kw/h it’s barely cheaper than onshore wind at £95 kw/h. Compared to the current strike price of coal and gas at £50 mw/h it doesn’t seem such a bargain as going flat out for gas……But I’m speaking as someone who’s expected to pay for it of course, not as someone overly concerned about the differences between switching to gas, and building nuclear on CO2 emissions for no significant purpose.

    I’d probably prefer Lockheed Martins T4 compact fusion to either, in the fullness of time.

  2. The right path is absurdly simple, stay with coal, oil and gas until it GENUINELY begins to reach peak supply, then switch to nuclear.
    All the rest of these Heath Robinson solutions be damned, Unless there is a technological breakthrough – this is the only sensible course.

  3. First post from Roger Sowell directing us to the ~24 part series of posts on his blog where he explains how nuclear energy is too expensive without government help and is too dangerous and always has been and always will be despite the technology advances as the extreme risk and cost is inherent, will be showing up in:

    3..

    2..

    1..

  4. Most greens have been anti-nuclear for as long as they can remember, so to countenance an embarrassing about-face from a lifelong (and passionately held) position to ‘tackle climate change’ is anathema to their pride.

    The other big problem isn’t so much that nuclear carries risks – historically it’s been ultra-safe. No, the risk they least want to face is that it will work too well – which at a stroke renders their anti-capitalist stance royally buggered.

    More and more it’s obvious ‘Big Green’ is the chosen vehicle of global political restructuring. Look at this for a perfect example:

    Guardian reader event: Naomi Klein
    In her provocative new book Klein argues that radical political change is needed in the fight against climate change. She will be in conversation with columnist and writer Owen Jones

    http://www.theguardian.com/reader-events/naomi-klein-guardian-reader-event

  5. “The question arises: Were the decisions concerning this enormous funding for global warming research taken out of genuine concern that the climate is allegedly changing as a result of CO2 industrial emissions, or do some other undisclosed ideas stand behind this money, IPCC activity, Kyoto, and all the gruesome catastrophic propaganda the world is now exposed to? If this concern is genuine, then why do we not see a storm of enthusiastic environmentalists and United Nations officials demanding to replace all fossil-fuel plants with nuclear plants, which have zero emission of greenhouse gases, are environmentally friendly, more economical, and much safer for plant workers and much safer for the general population than other sources of energy?”

    - Zbigniew Jaworowski

  6. http://climateandcapitalism.com/2014/01/10/300-groups-urge-hansen-to-rethink-nuclear/

    Environmentalists urge Hansen to rethink nuclear

    300+ groups say: “It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind.”

    In the letter posted below, 311 U.S. and international environmental and clean energy groups say that, while they respect the climate change work of Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic colleagues, they take strong exception to the notion that nuclear power is the solution to global warming.

    The joint letter was released January 8, in response to a November 3, 2013 statement from Dr. James Hansen and three of his academic world colleagues, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, and Tom Wigley, in which they voiced support for increased use of nuclear power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The statement, organized by the Civil Society Initute  and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), urges Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.

    Gentlemen,

    Although we greatly respect your work on climate and lending it a much higher profile in public dialogue than would otherwise be the case, we read your letter of November 3, 2013 urging the environmental community to support nuclear power as a solution to climate change with concern. We respectfully disagree with your analysis that nuclear power can safely and affordably mitigate climate change.

    Nuclear power is not a financially viable option. Since its inception it has required taxpayer subsidies and publically financed indemnity against accidents. New construction requires billions in public subsidies to attract private capital and, once under construction, severe cost overruns are all but inevitable. As for operational safety, the history of nuclear power plants in the US is fraught with near misses, as documented by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and creates another financial and safety quagmire – high-level nuclear waste. Internationally, we’ve experienced two catastrophic accidents for a technology deemed to be virtually ‘failsafe’.

    As for “advanced” nuclear designs endorsed in your letter, they have been tried and failed or are mere blueprints without realistic hope, in the near term, if ever, to be commercialized. The promise and potential impact you lend breeder reactor technology in your letter is misplaced. Globally, $100 billion over sixty years have been squandered to bring the technology to commercialization without success. The liquid sodium-based cooling system is highly dangerous as proven in Japan and the US. And the technology has proven to be highly unreliable.

    Equally detrimental in cost and environmental impact is reprocessing of nuclear waste. In France, the poster child for nuclear energy, reprocessing results in a marginal increase in energetic use of uranium while largely increasing the volume of all levels of radioactive waste. Indeed, the process generates large volumes of radioactive liquid waste annually that is dumped into the English Channel and has increased electric costs to consumers significantly. Not to mention the well-recognized proliferation risks of adopting a plutonium-based energy system.

    We disagree with your assessment of renewable power and energy efficiency. They can and are being brought to scale globally. Moreover, they can be deployed much more quickly than nuclear power. For instance, in the US from 2002 to 2012 over 50,000 megawatts of wind were deployed. Not one megawatt of power from new nuclear reactors was deployed, despite subsidies estimated to be worth more than the value of the power new reactors would have produced. Similarly, it took 40 years globally to deploy 50,000 megawatts of solar PV and, recently, only 2 ½ years to deploy an equal amount. By some estimates, another 100,000 MW will be built by the end of 2015. Already, renewables and distributed power have overtaken nuclear power in terms of megawatt hour generation worldwide.

    The fact of the matter is, many Wall Street analysts predict that solar PV and wind will have reached grid parity by the end of the decade. Wind in certain parts of the Midwest is already cheaper than natural gas on the wholesale level. Energy efficiency continues to outperform all technologies on a cost basis. While the cost of these technologies continues to decline and enjoy further technological advancement, the cost of nuclear power continues to increase and construction timeframes remain excessive. And we emphasize again that no technological breakthrough to reduce its costs or enhance its operation will occur in the foreseeable future.

    Moreover, due to the glacial pace of deployment, the absence of any possibility of strategic technological breakthroughs, and the necessity, as you correctly say, of mitigating climate risks in the near term, nuclear technology is ill-suited to provide any real impact on greenhouse gas emissions in that timeframe. On the contrary, the technologies perfectly positioned now, due to their cost and level of commercialization, to attain decisive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the near term are renewable, energy efficiency, distributed power, demand response, and storage technologies.

    Instead of embracing nuclear power, we request that you join us in supporting an electric grid dominated by energy efficiency, renewable, distributed power and storage technologies. We ask you to join us in supporting the phase-out of nuclear power as Germany and other countries are pursuing.

    It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind.

    We would be pleased to meet with you directly to further discuss these issues, to bring the relevant research on renewable energy and grid integration to a dialog with you. Again, we thank you for your service and contribution to our country’s understanding about climate change.

    The energy choices we make going forward must also take into account the financial, air and water impacts and public health and safety. There are alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear power and we welcome a chance to a dialog and debate with each of you.

    For the full list of signatories, see: http://www.nirs.org/climate/background/hansenletter1614.pdf

    See much more here: http://climateandcapitalism.com/category/nuclear/

  7. “Well the main reason in the UK Eric is the current proposal is the most expensive nuclear power station in the world. And with strike prices at £90 kw/h …”

    That’s the price for a first-of-a-kind plant. What’s the cost for an n-th-of-a-kind plant?

  8. From Eric’s post …
    “Of course, America’s coal producers are still mining as much coal as they ever did – and exporting it to Europe, whose disastrous policy failures have increased costs and CO2 emissions.”

    Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. I follow some coal companies, and they are in the dumper. For example, one coal company I follow is Alpha Natural Resources.

    “Coal miner Alpha Natural’s quarterly loss widens”

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coal-miner-alpha-naturals-quarterly-110637487.html

    “1,100 layoffs planned at Alpha coal mines in W.Va.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/31/1100-layoffs-planned-at-alpha-coal-mines-in-wva/13428945/

    Since West Virginia is a blue state, one silver lining might be that they finally start voting for conservatives or libertarians.

  9. I blame Jean-Jacques Rousseau for all this nonsense. Rousseau argued that the progression of the sciences and arts causes the corruption of virtue and morality. Modern Greens still believe this.
    Pointing out to them that the Mongol hordes that ravished Europe 1,000 years ago didn’t have art, science OR virtue and morality falls on deaf ears. “Got to get ourselves back to The Garden, man.”

    Rousseau has been dead for roughly 250 years now, but that’s obviously not long enough.

  10. The nuclear power people know, and that has had problems was designed and built in the 1960s. The public discussion about nuclear power today is like trying to deal with people who think TV is a big monsterous wooden box in the living room that gets 11 channels of black and white programming in analog and has crappy monophonic sound. That’s old nuclear power and nobody wants more of that. Modern modular reactors can’t melt down. Believe it or not, we’ve made progress over 60 years. How to you explain a 60 inch HD flat screen TV with 7.1 surround sound to someone from 1968? The problem is we don’t have much to show people yet. but modular reactors are planned to be built soon in GA, and TN.

    http://www.energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-new-investment-innovative-small-modular-reactor

  11. “I’d probably prefer Lockheed Martins T4 compact fusion to either”

    Well, who wouldn’t prefer fusion over any other energy producing power source? Sadly I think fusion is still a pipe dream. I had a friend who worked on fusion at Oak Ridge for the last 25 years of his career. He used to say the joke was that, regardless of when you asked, practical fusion power was always ’20 years away’.

    The work at National Ignition Facility (Lawrence Livermore National Labs) on a practical fusion generation also bears watching.

  12. OT, but too stupid not to post.
    I saw an actual TV commercial (at first thought it was a parody)
    “THE ARCTIC IS MELTING”
    “POLAR BEARS ARE DROWNING”
    [illustrated by bears bobbing their heads above holes in the ice"]

    Seriously .. the URL helpbears.org is legit – from the “Center for Biological Diversity”

  13. I bet Hansen and Monbiot are only pro-nuclear as a tactic to try and kill off coal and gas. Once someone actually tries to build a nuclear power plant relatively quickly, they will mobilize their fanatical green drones and oppose it.

  14. The greenies suffer from what is known as the BANANA Syndrome:

    Build
    Absolutely
    Nothing
    Anywhere
    Near
    Anything

  15. If nuclear power was really as good as the advocates claim (i.e. cheap, safe, reliable, etc), then

    1 Why has nuclear power achieved only 11 percent of world power production, after more than 5 decades of competition?
    2 Why do small islands have zero nuclear power plants, but burn expensive oil or diesel resulting in power prices of 25 to 35 cents per kWh?
    3 Why do nuclear utilities never, ever, ask for a rate decrease when they build a nuclear plant?
    4 Why did France install nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power, and no other country in the world followed their lead?
    5 Why does France have higher electricity prices than does the US, even with France heavily subsidizing their electricity industry?
    6 Why does nuclear power in the US require heavy subsidies from government – and almost total indemnity from costs of a massive radiation disaster?
    7 Why are nuclear plants shutting down in the US, with owners saying they are losing money?
    8 Why are there so many near-misses on meltdowns in US plants, on average every 3 weeks?
    9 Why were there three serious meltdowns worldwide in just a bit more than 30 years? (Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island)
    10 Why are new reactor technologies being researched and developed?

    Despite all its drawbacks, nuclear power plants continue to be built in many countries, but it is because natural gas exporters (Russia) charge as much for natural gas as for oil, on a Btu-equivalent basis. When directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas is widespread worldwide, as it is in the US, natural gas prices will decline and nuclear will be uneconomic everywhere.

    More at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-30.html

    In addition, Professor Derek Abbott asserts that nuclear power is simply not possible as a long-term solution for electrical energy. His 15 reasons are sound. It is time for the world to abandon nuclear energy and pursue the truly safe, clean, economic, renewable resources of wind, solar, and ocean energies.

    see .http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/nuclear-power-highly-impractical-for.html

  16. I am always puzzled that the greens insist that we use unperfected wind and solar technologies right now by claiming that they are advancing technologies that will improve but reject the idea that nuclear or carbon-based fuel technologies can be improved.

  17. Nuclear power in the hands of the power companies is dangerous. Anyone who advocates this ignores this danger. The advocates of nuclear power pretend that such danger does not exist, safer than our highways blah blah. And are we now to shift our point of view on CO2 and join with the global warmers on screeching about its evils.
    All at the prompting of the nuclear power crowd and for their pockets?

  18. “The statement, organized by the Civil Society Initute and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), urges Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.”
    “Nuclear power is not a financially viable option.”

    What they left out:
    “Mostly because we’ve spent most of the last 60 years making it as expensive as possible due to extreme ‘environmental’ restrictions that make no sense with modern designs.”

  19. Rather than focusing on our differences, a push could be made to focus on a solution that is commonly accepted, nuclear power.
    From the article:
    “But the real elephant in the room, with regard to emissions reduction, is the nuclear option.
    James Hansen likes nuclear power.
    George Monbiot likes nuclear power.
    Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.
    James Delingpole likes nuclear power.
    Jo Nova likes nuclear power.
    The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power.”

    I can have philosophical differences with someone and still support a common solution that is agreeable to all parties involved. I don’t care why someone would want nuclear power, just a long as the end game would be to have more available..

    How about a test case? Some greens don’t like nuclear because of the concerns on safety and with the environment, as related to contaminating water that is used to cool the reactor. But choose a state like Nevada for a Thorium plant. No cooling water is needed. Plenty of remote locations to place a Thorium plant away from population centers. Close enough for power transmission to Nevada residents, and also California. Place it between Las Vegas and the California border. Use it to power the bright lights of Las Vegas and the excess for California. When it’s a success, the Cali residents will be clamoring for the cheap, safe Thorium alternative. No government $$$ needed, there would be enough private capital to build such a facility. We just need the NRC to approve it and have them block the wacky greens from laying challenge after challenge to the plant.

    A win-win for all….

  20. “Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.” That doesn’t go far enough. Power sources that most skeptics support have reduced CO2 emissions vastly more than all the power sources greens support.

  21. @ mpainter
    You are full of BS. Show us the data proving nuclear is more dangerous than driving a car.

  22. The greens feed on fear, scares and have an agenda to wreck economies, at least that is the Australian outcomes of the fearful scaremongering to prevent anything working. Mention nuclear and they just about faint, the blood rains from their faces, brains go into mortal lockdown and common sense or any semblance of coherent conversation ends and a scattergun rant erupts.
    Seems that the mere mention conjures up images of devils and accusations of environmental vandals.
    I simply prefer that whatever emissions that we cause are the cleanest for the environment and that whatever energy that were need for daily life be produced at the lowest clean environmental cost.
    On that basis I look for the day that we eventually replace those energy sources with the best range of nuclear devices under the safest controls. Even better if we can reduce the size and complexity of those nuclear generators that it becomes viable to give them to poorer economies as a form of peaceful aid so they can develop basic clean cooking, bathing, heating/cooling to lift their people out of poverty.
    This may mean continuing to burn/consume cheap fossil fuels while these small safe reliable reactors are developed in a way that the by products cannot be used for military purposes and several of the modern reactor proposals seem to be viable in that respect.
    We already remove most of the particulate and chemical mix from the emissions in the developed world and it seems a no brainer to ensure the energy needs of the human race are supplied and new sources of energy harnessed for the true benefit of mankind AND the planet we inhabit.

    But try explaining this to a greenie you will draw a blank every time, its not in the Great Green songbook of agenda!

  23. @ Roger Sowell says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am
    *****
    You are full of BS too. If Frech nuclear power is as expensive as you say it is, why do other countries buy it?

    From the article:
    As of 2012, France’s electricity price to household customers is the seventh-cheapest amongst the 27 member European Union, and also the seventh-cheapest to industrial consumers, with a rate of €0.14 per kWh to households and €0.07 per kWh to industrial consumers.[7] France was the biggest energy exporter in the EU in 2012, exporting 45TWh of electricity to its neighbours.[8] During very cold or hot periods demand routinely exceeds supply due to the lack of more flexible generating plants, and France needs to import electricity.[9][10]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France

  24. fenbeagleblog says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:02 am
    Well the main reason in the UK Eric is the current proposal is the most expensive nuclear power station in the world. And with strike prices at £90 kw/h it’s barely cheaper than onshore wind at £95 kw/h.
    ———————————————-

    I think comparing kw/h between energy sources can be mis-leading.

    In 2012, the average nuclear power plant in the United States generated about 11.8 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). A 1.8-MW turbine can produce about 5 million kWh a year using an average wind speed of 12mph. I know where I live we do not manage 12 MPH windspeeds annually, but lets use that number. It would take about 2,400 wind turbines to equal one nucluer plant in annual output, again assuming 12mph average wind. Can’t imagine the logistics of a 2,400 wind turbine farm nor the impact to the environment.

    And then there is the issue that the wind don’t always blow, so power output from wind is not 24/7 as nucleur power would be, requiring further mitigation and expense or a change to our lifestyles.

  25. Roger Sowell:

    Your post is amusing- you fight nuclear at every point and then ask why there isn’t more of it.
    I have the inclination but not the time to dispute you point by point so I will focus on one item only.

    You ask why France, despite having so much nuclear power has such high electric power prices.

    I refer you to page 16 of this

    http://www.eurelectric.org/media/60787/taxes_and_levies_on_electricity_2011_-_final-2012-560-0006-01-e.pdf

    which lists all the taxes placed on electric power in France. Read it, and I think you will find out why electricity is so expensive in France.

  26. Roger Sowell:

    At August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am you ask

    If nuclear power was really as good as the advocates claim (i.e. cheap, safe, reliable, etc), then …

    You know the answer. Any nuclear power proposal is inhibited by Luddite activists such as Roger Sowell providing obstacles of cost and trouble.

    Richard

  27. “What am I missing?”

    That these people never admit when they’re wrong. If they admit to themselves that nuclear is the way to go they’d have to face the awful truth that due to their resistance to nuclear in the past is the reason our energy production is as CO2 emission intensive as it is. The Kaya Identity illustrates just how awfully misguided they were not to embrace nuclear a half a century ago. If these “progressives” had not stymied progress back then we’d be in a much different position now. If they admit they were wrong then they might have to acknowledge that they could be wrong now. Their foresight would be called into question and we simply can`t have that.

  28. I’m reminded of a great book by Petr Beckmann called The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear. As a counter example, for all of John Daly’s great work with documenting a lack of sea level change and fighting consensus climatology, he was quite rabidly against nuclear power.

  29. Eric if you’ve missed something, it would be that your statement here panders to the wants of the warmists’, and doesn’t speak for all as you imply: “Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.”

    Significant CO2 reductions are not necessary at all when CO2 has nothing significant to do with the weather or climate. Trying to appease warmists by agreeing with their basic premise is a losing strategy that will be turned against all skeptics and the public in general, something everyone should keep in mind. Give the warmist’s NO QUARTER – ever!

  30. Birkenstock liberals are not about solutions – they are about the unrestricted show of caring for the down-trodden in all walks of life except for white males who are fair game. The only way to care in their world is by way of government programs that ensure the down-trodden will remain so thus satisfying the “unrestricted” requirement. There’s nothing happier than a caring liberal with a good cause to bray about and a good tax lawyer to ensure someone else pays for the programs.

  31. Alx
    …I wasn’t trying to make a case for wind :-D…..It’s possible I might know the problems with wind inside out, too…..But in the UK at this moment gas has cross party support, and nobody can put forward an argument for not using it big time….Apart from the Greens who also oppose nuclear, coal and oil.

    …There is no debate on this, apart from hold ups by regulations, lack of investment (particularly while the CMA investigation is underway) And local opposition whipped up by irresponsible media and Vivien Westewood, Greenfleece, friends of the Girth etc.

  32. The waste issue was always there. However, I recall a conversation I had a while ago with someone for the life of me I cannot recall who (senior moment). The issue of containment is pretty much settled. In the UK we’ve tested the steel encased concrete surrounded waste vessels by colliding them with trains moving at 100mph, or there abouts, & they survive. The conversation moved on to storage & or disposal. What was proposed was to fill a tanker with the waste, & the ship be fitted with doors open to the sea, obviously such that the vessel remains seaworthy. The ship is then taken to the nearest subduction zone & the waste guided down to it. In theory once subsumed into the Earth’s crust it would never be seen again! I thought it had merit although it would horrify the Greens despite informing them of the origins of the original material being disposed of!

  33. Imagine- Eric Eorral comes here to peddle nuclear power on the basis that it will reduce CO2 emissions. Did you forget that this is a skeptics blog? We do not wet our britches over greenhouse gas like they do at SepticalScience. That is where you should go to peddle your “save the planet” pitch for nuclear power.

  34. The Margarita Declaration at the UN backed conference in Venezuela last month makes their position totally clear

    The Margarita Declaration was issued at the end of a four-day meeting of around 130 green activist groups, which the Venezuelan government hosted in order to raise the volume of civil society demands in UN discussions on climate change.

    “The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,” the final declaration said. “To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system.”

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/venezuela-climate-summit-calls-for-end-to-green-economy/

  35. I know not all areas are conducive to hydro-electric power generation, but the greens blissfully oppose that very renewable option too.

  36. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:11 am

    First post from Roger Sowell directing us to the ~24 part series of posts on his blog where he explains how nuclear energy is too expensive without government help and is too dangerous and always has been and always will be despite the technology advances as the extreme risk and cost is inherent, will be showing up in:

    3..

    2..

    1..

    ——————————————————————————————–

    KD,

    It took him 18 minutes. Do you have any picks for the Lotto next week?

    Richard

  37. “What am I missing?”

    ——————————-

    When one reviews the punitive nature of green initiatives, the term “misanthrope” in green clothing comes to mind.

  38. From Roger Sowell on August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am:

    In addition, Professor Derek Abbott asserts that nuclear power is simply not possible as a long-term solution for electrical energy. (…)

    From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the world-class geniuses behind the famous “Five Seconds to Midnight” Doomsday Clock:

    THE ENERGY ISSUE
    05/30/2013 – 16:18
    Limits to growth: Can nuclear power supply the world’s needs?
    Derek Abbott

    (…) One particular resource limitation that has not been clearly articulated in the nuclear debate thus far is the availability of the relatively scarce metals used in the construction of the reactor vessel and core. While this scarcity is not of immediate concern, it would present a hard limit to the ultimate expansion of nuclear power. This limit appears to be a harder one than the supply of uranium fuel. An increased demand for rare metals—such as hafnium, beryllium, zirconium, and niobium, for example—would also increase their price volatility and limit their rate of uptake in nuclear power stations. Metals used in the nuclear vessel eventually become radioactive and, on decommissioning, those with long half-lives cannot be recycled on timescales useful to human civilization. Thus, a large-scale expansion of nuclear power would reduce “elemental diversity” by depleting the world’s supply of some elements and making them unavailable to future generations.

    Limits to Growth, the famous “Club of Rome” publication useful for justifying the incidental extermination of 13 out of every 14 people on Earth? Good reference to start with.

    Welcome once again to the “reserves misunderstood as resources” discussion, with the addition of metals that are byproducts of looking for other metals. From Forbes, by Tim Worstall on 1/24/2013 @ 11:16AM:

    It’s 2013: Let’s Check Those New Scientist Claims About Running Out Of Terbium And Hafnium

    With hafnium this problem is even worse. Their misunderstanding of metals and metals extraction that is. On this chart they seem to have global reserves of hafnium at 1,124 tonnes. Which is a number that had me howling with laughter when I saw it. This is simply nonsense.

    Here are the USGS numbers for hafnium. You will note that there are no statistics for world production of hafnium. And most certainly none for either reserves or resources. That is, there are no reserves. But you will see this:

    Typically, zirconium and hafnium are contained in zircon at a ratio of about 50 to 1.

    Ah, OK: 2% of zircon is hafnium. So, what are the reserves of zircon then? 52 million tonnes: meaning that there’s about 1 million tonnes of hafnium out there. That’s reserves recall: not resources. This is the stuff that has been measured, weighed and drilled.

    So how can we have these people insisting that reserves are only 1,124 tonnes? Quite simply, because they are ignorant of how the market for this metal works.

    Hafnium and zirconium are chemically very similar indeed. So much so that we usually don’t bother to refine the 2% of Hf out of the Zr. The only time we do care is for the nuclear industry: Hf is opaque to neutrons, Zr transparent. Thus when we make the zirconium to make reactors out of we have to extract the Hf. And this is where the world’s supply comes from. It’s waste from the nuclear industry. This is where we get the few hundred tonnes a year of Hf that we actually use from. The other 25,000 tonnes a year that’s in the zircon we don’t bother to extract and we just let it get used with the zirconium/zirconia for non-nuclear uses.

    This Derek Abbott fellow that Roger Sowell trusts sounds like a really smart guy, for someone aligned with anti-nuclear Malthusians.

    To mention it, even though (from first link) “Derek Abbott is a professor in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Australia”, I haven’t found any direct relation to Tony Abbott, current Australian PM.

  39. A very real problem with nuclear power that I have not yet seen mentioned is terrorism. Unfortunately, no matter how efficient, or how safe the reactors can be made, nothing can reliably protect against acts of terrorism or war. Think “black swan.” Given the world today, this concern is not merely theoretical: We are in the midst of an unbelievable medieval religious war in the 21st century with terrorist thugs having no respect for human life and routinely inflicting obscenely cruel and barbaric punishments on their victims; not to mention their own women and children. Who would have thought this possible twenty years ago? Coupled with a destructively incompetent (if not worse), sociopathic Obama presidency and political leadership, ignoring the growing peril that surrounds and menaces us every day.

  40. Roger Sowell,
    I have a question regarding your post: What is your position? Do you favor coal, oil, and natural gas while we have it cheaper than nuclear? Or do you prefer wind and solar at its high cost? Just seeking clarification, thanks.

  41. Modern modular reactors can’t melt down. Believe it or not, we’ve made progress over 60 years. How to you explain a 60 inch HD flat screen TV with 7.1 surround sound to someone from 1968? The problem is we don’t have much to show people yet. but modular reactors are planned to be built soon in GA, and TN. —-

    Absolutely true for the Westinghouse AP1000. Completely passive shutdown and standby, (if needed). The design is completely documented on their website.

    Had the Fukashima reactors been AP1000′s, they’d be back up generating now.

    BUT I digress, and I tire of the battle.

    Max

  42. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) will be what powers our future because it’s the cheapest, cleanest, safest, most efficient, scalable, unlimited and energy dense form of energy ever developed.

    The Thorium Age officially starts next year when China’s first test LFTR goes online. This event will force Western nations to either quickly develop LFTRs or commit economic suicide. If China is allowed to pursue LFTR development exclusively, at some point, a huge second wave of production will flood China’s shores to take advantage of cheap unlimited power.

    The great thing is that LFTR technology could easily be completely financed and developed by the private sector. Unfortunately, governments will, of course, force themselves into the LFTR market and establish a huge and cumbersome bureaucracy to administer the myriad and expensive licensing, rules, regulations, building standards, nuclear waste disposal protocols, etc., which the private sector would have naturally established at 1/20th the cost of what it’ll cost the government to run, but, hey, “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”……

    Anyway, from a geo-political perspective, the inherent and worsening political instability of the Middle East and Russia will hasten the need for LFTR development, especially as petroleum increasingly becomes an economic and political weapon and oil profits continue to finance international terrorism.

    Thorium is abundant (as abundant at lead) and is found in vast quantities all around the globe; we’ll never run out of the stuff. One average-sized rare-earth mine accidentally produces enough “waste” thorium to supply the entire world’s energy needs for 1 year…

    All that’s required is for feckless politicians to establish the LFTR bureaucratic monstrosity to authorize and allow LFTRs development and then the private sector could easily finance The necessary infrastructure. There will obviously be considerable opposition from enviro-wackos, leftists and the fossil fuel industry, but economic and political realities will eventually make their opposition moot.

    LFTRs will be the impetus for a second renaissance with incredible economic, political and social implications. All that is lacking is the political will to make it happen…. Again, it’s astoundingly dumb governments that are holding back mankind’s advancement…

  43. Perhaps some alarmists are worried about the risk of nuclear accidents – but, if climate change is as serious as they say, how can the risk of a nuclear meltdown or ten possibly compare to what alarmists claim is an imminent risk to the survival of all humanity?

    Amen.
    This is where alarmists lose me. I’m a lukewarmer. I’ll grant that given our uncertainties, we have no reason to expect anything but some warming from increasing atmospheric CO2. I’m not persuaded that it’ll be much, and I’m not persuaded it won’t be benign.
    But I’m a reasonable man. I’d meet the alarmists halfway if we could agree to push for nuclear power, a proven technology and the only CO2 free alternative that has demonstrated the capability of supplying power on the scale industrialized nations require.
    Yet the alarmists won’t meet me halfway. Abruptly, the goalposts change. With a straight face they ask me how to guarantee environmental safety from radioactive contamination for thousands of years to come. What? I thought the AGW was immediate and dire and that we have to act yesterday! I read WWF’s position on the subject and see the list of additional requirements they tack onto any solution, from promoting small scale power supply and energy services (why should I care about this) to employment criteria requirements.
    It won’t do.
    TO Any AGW activists reading, get serious. Explain why anyone who is not already in your camp should take you seriously when you oppose the only realistic solution available to the problem you claim to care so much about. Either this or meet the rest of us halfway and lets talk about nuclear power.

  44. . Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
    ===============

    I don’t give a fig whether CO2 emissions are reduced or not. CO2 is only beneficial. Reduction of CO2 should not be a consideration when discussing power generation.

  45. I’m with fenbeagle. Nuclear is expensive.

    With regards to risks, whether you think they are large or small, nuclear involves taking particular risks which can be avoided for the foreseeable future. The ALARP risk principle (as low as reasonably practical) guides us to the conclusion there are better ways to produce useful power and heat today .They’re good for at least the next couple of centuries, and there is no reason to go nuclear right now.

    Nuclear potentially has a valuable role to play in energy supply (absent better solutions), but it can do so in 200 years’ time. By then we will have developed much better technology with 200 more years’ progress along the learning curve. If the technology is better, the risks should be lower (ALARP) and we should be much better at making maximum use of limited nuclear resources.

    Nuclear liabilities will always make their way back to the taxpayer. There is no better place for society to manage long term waste security and liabilities. And the taxpayer cannot escape the millstone of the default “insurer of last resort” if or when things do go badly.

    It’s not necessary in my lifetime, and probably not for a couple of generations after me.

  46. Back in the Seventies, I was a “public scientist” of sorts at a museum. Energy conservation and less use of fossil fuels was an issue even back then. After much reading, I realized nuclear power was better than most other power sources, save for one problem: too many people turned into frothing fanatics when they came anywhere near the idea. So I regretfully laid that option aside.

    Today the balance is different. We have frothing fanatics on ALL facets of the energy equation – and Iran and North Korea prove that frothing fanatics are going to go for nuclear power whether it’s readily available or not. If fanatics are going nuclear anyway, why shouldn’t the rest of us? It WILL cut down on carbon emissions.

  47. rcs says: Greens are fundamentally opposed to anything that works.

    Oh it’s nothing to do with whether it works or not, they oppose everything.

    Propose a large tidal generator in the Severn estuary that could provide a large part of the power needed in Britain every day and they will be wailing about a “unique ecology” on some nearby salt marshes that will get dried / flooded / get more salty….

    Ecology is now spelt N-O.

    No, no. no ! What did you want to do again?

    Many who are pushing CO2 alarmist science know they are grossly exaggerating. Schneider made that clear decades ago. They think they have to provide scare stories to get action on what they perceive as a possible long term danger.

    Many of the woolly hatted grass-roots have probably swallowed it all hook, line and sinker.

  48. I find that what I support most is the actual policy evolution that is taking place, slowly and surely. Let places like Germany and the UK tax and regulate their energy sources to death. All they will do, in the end, is to destroy their economic competitiveness and send all of their manufacturing jobs to areas with more competitive cost structures. At the same time, other areas (Texas! North Dakota! Oklahoma! Western Pennsylvania!) are allowing the development of large amounts of cheap and easily available energy, which translates into cheap electricity, which translates into a huge advantage for any heavy manufacturing which uses energy. (btw, don’t get pulled into the trap of trying to compare retail electric rates, because a large enough plant is always able to get long term contracts at a steep discount, or to just generate the power they need themselves from the available source)

    So, the end game is that these areas with lots of cheap energy are going to draw all of the job growth that happens not just in the US, but in the world, and as such their wealth, power, and influence are going to grow, and those areas that stick to the Green Dream will continue to see their wealth, power, and influence decline. (Case in point: Great Britain, which in international affairs has now become the illegitimate offspring of an afterthought and a joke – how sad, really, to see the one-time seat of empire sink into total irrelevance and obscurity, as it has today)

    To put it in its most simple terms – so you want to give us all of your money and become slaves to the people who think more clearly than you do? Okay, whatever. Your choice.

  49. I am actually working in a non peer reviewed essay – not especially climate related – but definitely in the arena, on how vast numbers of people – let’s say 97% – can end up believing utterly in something that is completely wrong without there actually having to be an organised conspiracy of deception.

    Unfortunately it paints humanity as creatures of innate and necessary prejudice, so greens will totally reject it, because they think through every issue from first principles and never ever let their ideas be guided by fashion, peer group pressure or selfish motives, and never ever act out of sheer denialism.

    The great thing it discovers is that that people who reject prejudice overtly, can thereby excuse themselves of examining their own ideas for its existence.

    I call that the art of convenient lying.

  50. There are two main issues here.
    The first is that many greens long ago bought into Maurice Strong’s agenda which is to de-industrialize the west while not-industrializing the rest of the world so that everybody (except certain special greens and their political cronies) will be living in a glorious green non-industrial world where poverty is the rule and life expectancy is half what it is today. Oh and populations die back so the planet is only carrying <1billion persons for a "sustainable" future. This is pure misanthropy but the greens don't think they'll ever be in the non-essential 6 billion who will have to go. I'mm mnot making this up you can find this policy promoted several places on the www by people whose names you know well.
    The second is that greens never keep up with science and technology – mostly because they don't understand it and can't be bothered to learn. So their anti-nuclear stance is based on the fact that there are nuclear weapons (though they likely couldn't distinguish between an atomic weapon and a hydrogen weapon even though these are quite different technologies) which are BAD and nuclear power stations have had accidents. The fact that the accidents happened with poorly engineered first generation reactors built forty years ago while today's nuclear technology is quite different and can be engineered to be very safe and will solve their "CO2 problem" goes unnoticed. These guys are stuck somewhere back in history and will drag us all into some medieval "paradise" if we let them.

    In a nutshell ideological hatred of modernity, wilful stupidity, wilful ignorance.

  51. Dr Phil Jones is wrong about something else, too:
    “Our population is only 25% of yours…” No it isn’t. The UK’s population is 20% of the USA’s.

  52. The reason the Greens are opposed to “anything that works” type energy, is because they want the world’s population reduced by a factor of a thousand. Cheap, effective energy works against their plans. Their attitude that people are a cancer on the planet implies they would prefer no people at all, including themselves.

  53. MikeH says: August 9, 2014 at 6:33 am

    But choose a state like Nevada for a Thorium plant. No cooling water is needed.

    Why would anyone think that a Nuclear plant would not require cooling water?

    Is it a heat engine?

  54. So now we are being told that nuclear power reactors are like TV sets and all we have to is buy a fine new reactor and it has all the up to date gizmos and no need to worry just sit back and enjoy. So what do you know, here they come, hawking their latest sets “This here is guaranteed never to melt down. That one there is the very latest in reactor technology- liquid fluoride, clean as a whistle it is. And so forth.

  55. I wish someone would poll nuclear physicist who have been published in peer-reviewed journals on their opinion of the safety and desireability of nuclear power plants. Any doubt what the “consensus” would be?

    If the warmests refuse to accept data, we could bury them under their own BS.

  56. The post WWII technology of plutonium generators that we are still using today are expensive and risky. Note the way the UK government in the new deal with EDF recently, had to DOUBLE the strike price of nuclear power AND take on the responsibility of cleaning up the mess if there was ever an accident.

    Not much sign of the “cheap and safe” claims there.

    The irony is that in opposing “dirty coal” even when it’s a clean modern power plant, what the greens are doing is locking us into risky technology and preventing the time for R&D into more stable and less polluting forms of nuclear power generation.

    The roughly 80 BILLION GBP ( add another 40 for cost over-runs ) that has just been committed to build two plants in Britain is 80 bn that will not go into developing better nuclear technologies.

    That’s what happens when you lie about what the problem is, you force solutions that are expensive, harmful and do not address the problem.

    If the greens want to reign in rampant consumerism ( which I suspect is what is behind a lot of it ) then they need to come out and say so and see how it could be done.

    I’m sure a lot of people are tired of spending their lives working long hours to buy crap that breaks in 12 months + 1 week and they then need to work again to buy another one.

    We are all chasing our own tails, running round in circles trying to out consume each other. Like hamsters in a wheel no one knows how to slow down.

    I don’t see anyone around here getting richer, but the hours are getting longer.

  57. While everybody debates their favourite nuclear position, it might be instrumental to remember that the problem to be solved here is not CO2 emissions, climate change or global warming, it’s Dana Nuccitelli…

  58. Byes-a bye, when did the stupid “like” buttons get turned back on again? Didn’t think WUWT was about “building consensus”. :(

  59. Chris Moffat @ 8>27 pretty much nails it.
    I have no reason to reject alarmist science.
    I just wish they would produce some, you know good old fashioned testable ideas.
    At the moment their efforts are Opinion.
    Their conjectures of Global Doom brought on by the rising production of that magic gas, CO2, are not science.
    They are soothsaying.
    I for one would love to see some Alarmist Science.
    How about they do this;
    Define their terms.
    Definite and document their data.
    Test their ideas.
    Acknowledge history.
    Refrain from hysterical pouting.
    There is very little Alarmist Science, this has always been the cause of scepticism.
    Dressing up in white lab coats and cloaking oneself in the authority of the institution does not make ones utterances science.
    Unsupported opinion remains the only “proof” of the magic gas theorem.

  60. …Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.
    James Delingpole likes nuclear power.
    Jo Nova likes nuclear power.
    The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power.

    So why isn’t nuclear power the main focus of everyone’s attention?

    Because:

    Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.
    James Delingpole likes nuclear power.
    Jo Nova likes nuclear power.
    The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power….

  61. @ kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Further to your post, this is a similar situation with regard to Argon and the other noble gases with the exception of helium.

    For a while I was involved in the atmospheric and specialty gases industry. It was there I was told that no one would ever build a plant specifically for the extraction of Argon, etc. It would be far too expensive. Those gases are available because LOTS of people have a need for cryogenic nitrogen and oxygen; they are “byproducts” of the process to liquify O2 and N2.

  62. “Roger Sowell, I have a question regarding your post: What is your position?”

    Mr. Sowell is a lawyer who works for oil companies. His position is whatever the person writing his paycheck says it is.

    His arguments are so stupid that I think that his employers are being ripped off.

  63. The Westinghouse AP1000 is a so called gen 3 design. All nuclear accidents including Fukishima were in various gen 1 designs. An important policy question is whether and to what degree to go with gen 3 now, or continue to build USC coal and CCGT (depending on where in the world and what resource is available) while further developing the various gen 4 ideas, of which LFTR is only 1. There are several others, including but not limited toBill Gates TerraPower traveling wave reactor, MIT’s Transaromic (both solving the rad waste problem), General Atomics modular fission SMR EM2, and the Lockheed Skunkworks moonshot for high beta modular fusion (one TED talk does not make a working demonstration).
    China is doing all three: one USC unit about every two week through 2016, 28 of their version of AP1000 also under construction, a pilot LFTR under construction, and negotiation with TerraPower about a first demonstration unit.
    In the US, thanks to shale gas, the obvious path is CCGT plus aggressive development of gen 4 ideas. The former is happening thanks to simple economics. CCGT takes three year to construct rather than USC 4 years, costs at most 1300/kWe versus about $4000/kWe for USC, and runs at about 60 rather than 42-45% net thermal fuel efficiency. The latter is not happening due to Green/liberal/OBummer obtuseness. As Mr. Worrall deftly points out.

  64. pyeatte says: “Their attitude that people are a cancer on the planet implies they would prefer no people at all, including themselves. ”

    The cancer analogy is valid to a point. Humanity is an organ of the planetary organism, we are each cells of the organ. Having dominated all predators and developed technology to circumvent the usual limits of food resources, that organ is growing beyond the natural restraints of the system. In some ways that is analogous to the growth of a tumour.

    The difference is we are not single cells but allegedly intelligent beings.

    The question is then do we continue to grow uncontrolled until we kill the host, like a malignant tumour, or do we use our alleged intelligence to ensure we don’t suffocate life on the planet.

    Surgical removal of a large part of the tumour is a solution that tends to be only temporary. Maybe if we put our 7 billion heads together we can find an alternative.

    Somehow I don’t see “free” markets, driven essentially by personal greed as being likely to have the right controls built into it.

  65. What am I missing?

    Have you forgotten? There is no need to limit CO2.

    With nuclear power there are numerous issues that get short shrift, such as security. Nothing can be made fool-proof because fools are too ingenious. Anything built by man can be hacked by man. In addition to considering what nature might do, we also have to consider what foolish men or foolish regimes might do.

    We don’t need nuclear power, nor do we need wind and solar polar. All of these power generation technologies cost far more than they are worth and entail various liabilities often swept under the carpet, i.e. Fukushima.

    We have abundant reserves of fossil fuels, and we are expert at exploiting these resources responsibly. Arguments and restrictions against coal read like something from the pages of Swift or Pynchon…surely such fools could not trespass on the realms of reality? But there they are, in all their folly, participants in the Great Carbon Dioxide Scare, and here the reader must finally turn to the telling question:

    Who profits?

  66. “Who profits?”

    Fossil-fuel companies under your preferred energy portfolio. I thought that would be obvious, Steve.

  67. Greg:

    re your post at August 9, 2014 at 9:09 am.

    Humans are NOT a cancer on the planet. We are sentient beings who – in common with all other organisms in nature – modify our environment for our benefit.

    And we only inhabit a small part of the fifth of the world which is not covered in water.

    Richard

  68. In the years since Kyoto most of the efforts to improve energy production have been forced by the green lobbies and the legislated funding for renewable sources. Because the renewable sources are diffuse and intermittent, they rely on the grid rather than replace it. Almost unnoticed, during this same period, very dense sources of energy have been developed with nearly no help from the Federal or State laws or funding. Some of these sources are becoming mature enough to be brought into the market in the very near future. They will eventually remove the need for a grid and replace all current sources including hydro.

    Look at Blacklight Power who have developed a power source with a million times the power density of a car engine with an anticipated cost of less than 1 cent per kilowatt hour. They project 100 KW units ready for distribution in 14 to 16 weeks.

    Or Solar Hydrogen Trends who have developed a process to produce hydrogen from water at an energy equivalent cost of 1.3 cents per kilowatt hour.

    Or Lawerenceville Plasma Physics who are nearing proof of concept on a small hot fusion generator that generates no radioactive waste and electricity at a tenth the cost of coal facilities.

    If a tenth of the money thrown away on wind and solar had been aimed at “cold fusion”and related technologies we would not have any concern about fossil fuel pollution and the power players would have to think of another crises to control our lives and pocketbooks.

  69. Greg says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:09 am (responding to)

    pyeatte says: “Their attitude that people are a cancer on the planet implies they would prefer no people at all, including themselves. ”

    The cancer analogy is valid to a point. Humanity is an organ of the planetary organism, we are each cells of the organ. Having dominated all predators and developed technology to circumvent the usual limits of food resources, that organ is growing beyond the natural restraints of the system. In some ways that is analogous to the growth of a tumour. …

    The difference is we are not single cells but allegedly intelligent beings. Somehow I don’t see “free” markets, driven essentially by personal greed as being likely to have the right controls built into it.

    Gee, Greg. Can we start by killing those who propose killing others?
    If humans are a tumor on the planet, then I “know” you have already castrated yourself and sterilized everybody in your immediately family, all of your children, every one in your political party, and everybody you work , right?

    Oh, wait! I’m sorry. You only want the ones YOU disapprove of and who are “officially” branded by YOUR party and YOUR religion of Gaea and “The Earth” as “undesirable” to be killed. To die in cold, filth, hunger, and poverty.
    You, yourself, have no intention of getting killed. Because “saving the planet” is not worth YOUR life.
    Somebody else’s life? Worth less than you.

  70. Come to think of it that the whole global warming scare was initiated by rightwing Margaret Thatcher to promote nuclear energy and break the the coal mine unionists.

  71. Steve P. has put his finger on the nub of the matter- he asks: “Who profits?”

    He had furnished the answer before he put the question: Those who would cash in on The Great CO2 Scare. And now it is the nuclear power industry trying to ride the wave.

  72. Roger Sowell’s greatest hits:

    “2 Why do small islands have zero nuclear power plants, but burn expensive oil or diesel resulting in power prices of 25 to 35 cents per kWh?”

    Taiwan, an island only 27% larger than Hawaii, has three nuclear plants hosing six reactors. I guess Sowell will now declare that this is not “small” enough. Apparently, this lawyer won’t be satisfied unless Robinson Crusoe has his own nuclear reactor.

    “3 Why do nuclear utilities never, ever, ask for a rate decrease when they build a nuclear plant?”

    First of all, there is no such thing as a “nuclear utility.” There are only utilities who use a variety of technologies in their electricity generation portfolio. Exelon, the largest operator of nuclear plants in the US, gets 35% of its electricity from fossil fuel plants. The question should be, why do utilities never, ever, ask for a rate decrease when they build a power plant?

    A more pertinent question would be, why do utilities get to pass along the volatile cost of fuel, such as natural gas, to their customers without any additional oversight?

    “6 Why does nuclear power in the US require heavy subsidies from government – and almost total indemnity from costs of a massive radiation disaster?”

    Do you really want to compare subsidies provided by the US government? When it comes to energy, the largest recipient of subsidies from the US government, by far, is the oil companies.

    “7 Why are nuclear plants shutting down in the US, with owners saying they are losing money?”

    Why are owners of nuclear plants paying exorbitant fees to relicense their plants to run an additional 20 years? Do you really believe that they would volunteer to pay regulatory fees in order to lose money for 20 more years?! Could it be because these plants are cash cows?

    “8 Why are there so many near-misses on meltdowns in US plants, on average every 3 weeks?”

    Mr. Sowell should stay off the drugs or back up such ridiculous claims.

    “9 Why were there three serious meltdowns worldwide in just a bit more than 30 years? (Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island)”

    For something that provides 11% of the world’s electricity and 5% of the world’s total primary energy supply, I’d say that only three events in 60 years is a pretty damn good record.

    Compare that to the environmental impact of oil, coal, and natural gas. If you want to talk about serious accidents, try the Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill, the Exxon Valdez spill, and Deepwater Horizon. Those in glass houses ….

    “10 Why are new reactor technologies being researched and developed?”

    Because technology moves on. Why would anyone want to develop those darned horseless carriages when we have horses or those darned aeroplanes when we have boats?

  73. Roger Sowell: “4 Why did France install nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power, and no other country in the world followed their lead?”

    Simple. Because France’s nuclear program was driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal, not civilian power generation.

    Nuclear programs have been first and foremost driven by military objectives, not power generation. That is why cost has never been the main criterion and why it has always been generously subsidised and underwritten.

    Whether one supports military nuclear objectives or not, it is foolish not to recognise that it has never been a purely commercial venture, required to stand its own two feet in competitive terms.

  74. Hans Erren:

    At August 9, 2014 at 9:51 am you assert

    Come to think of it that the whole global warming scare was initiated by rightwing Margaret Thatcher to promote nuclear energy and break the the coal mine unionists.

    Thatcher did start the global warming scare but not for the reason you assert.

    Her political party was willing to go along with her global warming campaign because they were opposed to the coal unions and they wanted the UK nuclear power industry both to displace coal and to provide necessary materials for nuclear weapons production.

    The facts of these matters are here.

    Richard

  75. Nuclear power is not going away, and is ever evolving.

    Here is information on Generation III Reactors:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_III_reactor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP1000

    Examples of US construction:

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Construction-underway-of-second-Vogtle-AP1000-2211134.html

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/09/us-usa-nuclear-nrc-idUSTRE8182J720120209

    And we are all afraid of radioactive elements, actinides, but burning coal releases radioactive elements into the environment:

    For comparison, according to NCRP Reports No. 92 and No. 95, population exposure from operation of 1000-MWe nuclear and coal-fired power plants amounts to 490 person-rem/year for coal plants and 4.8 person-rem/year for nuclear plants. Thus, the population effective dose equivalent from coal plants is 100 times that from nuclear plants.

    http://web.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html

    Spent nuclear fuel frightens many; but much of it could be (and some of it is) reprocessed:

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Fuel-Recycling/Processing-of-Used-Nuclear-Fuel/

    In the USA, no civil reprocessing plants are now operating, though three have been built. The first, a 300 t/yr plant at West Valley, New York, was operated successfully from 1966-72. However, escalating regulation required plant modifications which were deemed uneconomic, and the plant was shut down.

    The second was a 300 t/yr plant built at Morris, Illinois, incorporating new technology which, although proven on a pilot-scale, failed to work successfully in the production plant. It was declared inoperable in 1974.

    The third was a 1500 t/yr plant at Barnwell, South Carolina, which was aborted due to a 1977 change in government policy which ruled out all US civilian reprocessing as one facet of US non-proliferation policy. In all, the USA has over 250 plant-years of reprocessing operational experience, the vast majority being at government-operated defence plants since the 1940s.

    In France a 400 t/yr reprocessing plant operated for metal fuels from gas-cooled reactors at Marcoule until 1997. At La Hague, reprocessing of oxide fuels has been done since 1976, and two 800 t/yr plants are now operating, with an overall capacity of 1700 t/yr.

    Nuclear energy generation is not going away – not for all of our fears, and opinions, perceived costs, and alleged safety issues. Hundreds of plants are under construction world-wide. There are a lot of us on this planet and we all need electricity.

  76. Mods:
    I know why my reply to Hans Erren has gone into the mod bin, but it is annoying.
    Richard

  77. Re kencoffman says: August 9, 2014 at 6:51 am
    “I’m reminded of a great book by Petr Beckmann called The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear.”

    Another great book by Petr Beckmann is “A History of Pi”.

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/history-of-pi-peter-beckmann/1013291417?ean=9780880294188

    An excerpt from the Preface explains how this book is a must-read for the present climate “crisis”: “The history of [pi] is a quaint little mirror of the history of man. It is the story of men like Archimedes of Syracuse, whose method of calculating [pi] defied substantial improvement for some 1900 years;. . .and it is also the story of human folly that made mediaeval bishops and crusaders set the torch to scientific libraries because they condemned their contents as works of the devil.”

    The late author’s preface to the third edition in 1974 was prophetic: “. . .Meanwhile, a disturbing trend away from science and toward the irrational has set in. The aerospace industry has been all but dismantled. College enrollment in the hard sciences and engineering has significantly dropped. The disoriented and gullible flock in droves to the various Maharajas of Mumbo Jumbo. Ecology, once a respected scientific discipline, has become the buzzword of frustrated housewives on messianic ego-trips. Technology has wounded affluent intellectuals with the ultimate insult: They cannot understand it any more.

    “Ignorance, anti-scientific and anti-technology sentiment have always provided the breeding ground for tyrannies in the past. The power of the ancient emperors, the mediaeval Church, the Sun Kings, the State with a capital S, was always rooted in the ignorance of the oppressed. Anti-scientific and anti-technology sentiment is providing a breeding ground for encroaching on the individual’s freedoms now. A new tyranny is on the horizon. It masquerades under the meaningless name of “Society.”

    “Those who have not learned the lessons of history are destined to relive it.

    “Must the rest of us relive it, too?”

  78. RACookPE1978 says: Gee, Greg. etc.

    How about read all the bits you chose not to quote and try again before trying to misrepresent what I said?

    richardscourtney says:
    Humans are NOT a cancer on the planet. We are sentient beings who – in common with all other organisms in nature – modify our environment for our benefit.

    As individuals we are sentient beings , that was part of what I said you may recall. The question is whether, having over-come the usual limitations that limit natural species, we are “sentient” enough collectively to chose between being an over developed brain or a malignant tumour.

    “And we only inhabit a small part of the fifth of the world which is not covered in water.”
    How large does metastasis have to be to kill the host?

  79. I used to be anti-nuclear, until I read the glowing reports about it. Ba-da-boom!
    Jokes aside, the big issue with it are the capital costs, making its power more expensive than coal, and perhaps more than NG. Still, it is good base-load power, and should continue to be a good chunk of the big 3 (coal, NG, and nuclear). Indeed, one could argue that if they are going to continue shutting down coal plants, what other options are there? Fairy farts?

  80. Brian@10:03am evades the very pertinent issue of paying the cost of a massive radiation disaster.

    Brian will never address that issue nor will any advocate of nuclear power.

    Brian, for your benefit and for the benefit of all, let me put the question directly to you:
    Who pays for cleaning up a massive radiation disaster?

  81. The best source of nuclear power will be thorium. The fact we haven’t even explored this option is rather short sighted. It should be a Greenies best friend, no CO2 and no radioactive waste.

  82. There are alternatives that have been suppressed that would be cheaper than nuclear.

    30 years ago a close friend was involved with a small start up company that had developed a working engine that produced 40% of the power of a comparable sized gasoline engine. The difference being that a $20 canister of catalyst could run the engine for 50,000 miles. As they were preparing for their IPO big oil came in with an army of lawyers threatening patent infringement. They had to fold even though they believed they had valid patent rights because their lawyers said it would take at least 10 years and 10′s of millions of dollars to defend themselves.

  83. Of course, America’s coal producers are still mining as much coal as they ever did – and exporting it to Europe, whose disastrous policy failures have increased costs and CO2 emissions.

    Nope…coal producers, over the past few months (probably not showing in available data, yet), at least here in WV have slowed production and will be slowing it even more. ‘Warn notices’ for at least 1100 miners just went out, a few days ago. These are lay-off/shutdown notices. They will be taking effect over the next several months, and this is just for one company. Since earlier this year, there have other lay-offs, mostly at smaller mines/companies.

  84. Hans Erren says:
    “Come to think of it that the whole global warming scare was initiated by rightwing Margaret Thatcher to promote nuclear energy and break the the coal mine unionists. ”

    She had already broken the back of organised labour by that time. The objective was remove labour intensive industries, where the average worker could organise and have some say, form the economy and rely solely on the financial sector as the mainstay of the economy.

    The government now has to go cap in hand to the bankers and ask them really nice, pretty please, could they be a little less obvious about raping the country and still giving themselves big bonuses. Not that they are against rape, you see, ” just be little more discrete if you would. “

  85. In the article, Nuccitelli talks about social science answering the question about his perceived disconnect between scientific experts and public opinion on climate change. But, if he can claim my observations are invalid because I’m not what he has built in his mind as a “climate scientist,” isn’t his opinion about he thinks are social science analyses equally invalid?

    Of course, I think I answered my own question…

  86. Greg:

    Your post at August 9, 2014 at 10:34 am is silly.

    Humanity is NOT a cancer on the planet and we do only inhabit a small part of the fifth of the planet which is not covered by water. We would need a method to inhabit other planets for your metastasis analogy to be possible.

    Simply, your misanthropic assertions are daft.

    Richard

  87. ” Greg says:
    August 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

    RACookPE1978 says: Gee, Greg. etc.

    How about read all the bits you chose not to quote and try again before trying to misrepresent what I said?

    richardscourtney says:
    Humans are NOT a cancer on the planet. We are sentient beings who – in common with all other organisms in nature – modify our environment for our benefit.

    As individuals we are sentient beings , that was part of what I said you may recall. The question is whether, having over-come the usual limitations that limit natural species, we are “sentient” enough collectively to chose between being an over developed brain or a malignant tumour.

    “And we only inhabit a small part of the fifth of the world which is not covered in water.”
    How large does metastasis have to be to kill the host? ”
    _____
    This discussion is nonsense. There is no reason to conjure up proxies to describe human population dynamics. We are following fairly standard pop curves for most generalized species. All that differs are the rates. We simply haven’t reached the oscillating plateau that most species eventually reach once their resource limits have been reached. Our ability to overcome population limiting factors isn’t infinite, as we will find out eventually. Nature might impose a few new ones along the way (as an epizootiologist, Ebola comes to mind to me at the moment…). It’ll be interesting to see if the limits will be externally natural or internally sociological….

  88. mjc
    “Nope…coal producers, over the past few months (probably not showing in available data, yet), at least here in WV have slowed production and will be slowing it even more. ‘Warn notices’ for at least 1100 miners just went out, a few days ago. These are lay-off/shutdown notices. ”

    Crap. So this is no longer and intellectual, scientific argument. The stupidity and deceit is starting bite.

  89. Most skeptics are supporters of power generation solutions which would, as a byproduct, significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
    ————
    Source for this assertion?

    I realise that I am just one person and two cats, but we consider co2 emissions a non-issue.

    We support/reject power generation solutions on the basis of their practicability and TRUE environmental impact.

  90. cnxtim says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:11 am

    The right path is absurdly simple, stay with coal, oil and gas until it GENUINELY begins to reach peak supply, then switch to nuclear.

    ==================

    I agree with the first half. Let the people of the future decide the second half. Maybe they’ll go nuke, maybe not. It’s not our call.

  91. Greg:

    Your post in reply to Hans Erren at August 9, 2014 at 10:47 am is confused.

    Yes, Thatcher did have the disastrous policies you state but they were not her reason for starting the global warming scare. If my post at August 9, 2014 at 10:10 am ever comes out of moderation then it will probably be here: it provides a link to an account of how and why Thatcher really started the global warming scare.

    Richard

  92. i have come to the conclusion that evirowackos will go against anything which does not give them control over the populace. Control of CO2 was that magic wand but it is rapidly fading and they are desperate to retain control.. This has always been about agenda and control.. it always will be. They place stupid regulations and taxes on products making them extremely expensive like Nuclear power and they do the same to every other item which would threaten their control.

  93. Greg says:
    “… Because France’s nuclear program was driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal, not civilian power generation.”

    No other country has been driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal? Sorry, but your answer doesn’t explain why France installed nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power and other countries haven’t. Other countries also have nuclear arsenals but haven’t done what France has done. There must be other reasons.

  94. Paul Coppin: “This discussion is nonsense. There is no reason to conjure up proxies to describe human population dynamics. We are following fairly standard pop curves for most generalized species. All that differs are the rates. We simply haven’t reached the oscillating plateau that most species eventually reach once their resource limits have been reached. Our ability to overcome population limiting factors isn’t infinite, as we will find out eventually. Nature might impose a few new ones along the way (as an epizootiologist, Ebola comes to mind to me at the moment…). It’ll be interesting to see if the limits will be externally natural or internally sociological…. ”

    Leave the proxies out if you prefer. It does get emotive.

    “Our ability to overcome population limiting factors isn’t infinite” Indeed the planet if finite however clever we get at devouring every last resource.

    It may be better if we are smart enough to limit ourselves ( preferably without resorting to genocide ) instead of suffocating the host or counting on nature to defend herself and deal us some negative feedbacks like ebola.

  95. Paul Coppin:

    At August 9, 2014 at 10:49 am you wrongly assert

    There is no reason to conjure up proxies to describe human population dynamics. We are following fairly standard pop curves for most generalized species. All that differs are the rates. We simply haven’t reached the oscillating plateau that most species eventually reach once their resource limits have been reached. Our ability to overcome population limiting factors isn’t infinite, as we will find out eventually.

    All of that is absolutely untrue.

    The fallacy of overpopulation derives from the disproved Malthusian idea which wrongly assumes that humans are constrained like bacteria in a Petri dish: i.e. population expands until available resources are consumed when population collapses. The assumption is wrong because humans do not suffer such constraint: humans find and/or create new and alternative resources when existing resources become scarce.

    The obvious example is food.
    In the 1970s the Club of Rome predicted that human population would have collapsed from starvation by now. But human population has continued to rise and there are fewer starving people now than in the 1970s; n.b. there are less starving people in total and not merely fewer in in percentage.

    Now, the most common Malthusian assertion is ‘peak oil’. But humans need energy supply and oil is only one source of energy supply. Adoption of natural gas displaces some requirement for oil, fracking increases available oil supply at acceptable cost; etc..

    In the real world, for all practical purposes there are no “physical” limits to natural resources so every natural resource can be considered to be infinite; i.e. the human ‘Petri dish’ can be considered as being unbounded. This a matter of basic economics which I explain as follows.

    Humans do not run out of anything although they can suffer local and/or temporary shortages of anything. The usage of a resource may “peak” then decline, but the usage does not peak because of exhaustion of the resource (e.g. flint, antler bone and bronze each “peaked” long ago but still exist in large amounts).

    A resource is cheap (in time, money and effort) to obtain when it is in abundant supply. But “low-hanging fruit are picked first”, so the cost of obtaining the resource increases with time. Nobody bothers to seek an alternative to a resource when it is cheap.

    But the cost of obtaining an adequate supply of a resource increases with time and, eventually, it becomes worthwhile to look for
    (a) alternative sources of the resource
    and
    (b) alternatives to the resource.

    And alternatives to the resource often prove to have advantages.

    For example, both (a) and (b) apply in the case of crude oil.

    Many alternative sources have been found. These include opening of new oil fields by use of new technologies (e.g. to obtain oil from beneath sea bed) and synthesising crude oil from other substances (e.g. tar sands, natural gas and coal). Indeed, since 1994 it has been possible to provide synthetic crude oil from coal at competitive cost with natural crude oil and this constrains the maximum true cost of crude.

    Alternatives to oil as a transport fuel are possible. Oil was the transport fuel of military submarines for decades but uranium is now their fuel of choice.

    There is sufficient coal to provide synthetic crude oil for at least the next 300 years. Hay to feed horses was the major transport fuel 300 years ago and ‘peak hay’ was feared in the nineteenth century, but availability of hay is not a significant consideration for transportation today. Nobody can know what – if any – demand for crude oil will exist 300 years in the future.

    Indeed, coal also demonstrates an ‘expanding Petri dish’.
    Spoil heaps from old coal mines contain much coal that could not be usefully extracted from the spoil when the mines were operational. Now, modern technology enables the extraction from the spoil at a cost which is economic now and would have been economic if it had been available when the spoil was dumped.

    These principles not only enable growing human population: they also increase human well-being.
    The ingenuity which increases availability of resources also provides additional usefulness to the resources. For example, abundant energy supply and technologies to use it have freed people from the constraints of ‘renewable’ energy and the need for the power of muscles provided by slaves and animals. Malthusians are blind to the obvious truth that human ingenuity has freed humans from the need for slaves to operate treadmills, the oars of galleys, etc..

    And these benefits also act to prevent overpopulation because population growth declines with affluence.
    There are several reasons for this. Of most importance is that poor people need large families as ‘insurance’ to care for them at times of illness and old age. Affluent people can pay for that ‘insurance’ so do not need the costs of large families.

    The result is that the indigenous populations of rich countries decline. But rich countries need to sustain population growth for economic growth so they need to import – and are importing – people from poor countries. Increased affluence in poor countries can be expected to reduce their population growth with resulting lack of people for import by rich countries.

    Hence, the real foreseeable problem is population decrease; n.b. not population increase.
    All projections and predictions indicate that human population will peak around the middle of this century and decline after that. So, we are confronted by the probability of ‘peak population’ resulting from growth of affluence around the world.

    The Malthusian idea is wrong because it ignores basic economics and applies a wrong model; human population is NOT constrained by resources like the population of bacteria in a Petri dish. There is no existing or probable problem of overpopulation of the world by humans.

    Richard

  96. I am astounded by the sheer ignornace displayed by
    the anti-nuclear folks.

    Several points :
    Nuclear safety:
    Accidents generating electricity per
    Giga Watt electric year 1966 to 1996
    Fatalities Injured
    LP Gas 3.1 15.0
    Hydro 0.9 0.2
    Coal 0.35 0.07
    Wind 0.17 0.35
    Nat Gas 0.09 0.21
    Nuclear 0.009 0.11

    As can be seen, nuclear is by far the safest form
    of power generation. Accidents at Three Mile Island
    and Fukushima resulted in zero deaths and one small
    hand injury to a plant worker in Fukushima. No plant
    workers in the accident received radiation beyond the
    internationally agreed-to (VERY conservative) limit of
    50 millisieverts per year and no civilians received other
    than trivial amounts, far below the normal background
    radiation levels of that area. Only at Chernobyl, a
    Communist Russian designed plant that did not meet Western
    standards for nuclear build safety, did anyone ever die
    from nuclear radiation during a nuclear accident. In that
    accident, far and away the most severe nuclear accident in
    55 years of nuclear operation, a mere 2 dozen workers were
    killed as a result of radiation poisoning during the core
    meltdown and civilians received an extra 1.6 millisieverts/year
    radiation above their normal 6 millisieverts per year of normal
    background radiation.I might point out that residents of
    many areas around the world absorb natural backgroud radiation
    at levels far above the maximum levels allowable to nuclear
    workers (50 ms /year) : Southwest France – 80 MS/yr,
    Ramsar Iran 700(!!!) MS/year (and no health issues).
    As for costs of nuclear power, in the U.S. nuclear became cheaper
    than coal several years ago, and currently the cost of production is
    roughly the same as coal.The cost of building a nuclear plant these
    days is easy to determine simply by examining the (usually) fixed
    price contracts made over the past several years. China nuclear
    builds are the cheapest due to low labor prices (although the
    components are often mostly supplied by a Western nuclear power
    company, such as GE, Westinghouse, Areva, or Rosatom). The cost
    for their plants generally run around $4 billion, while the two
    plants (Westinghouse AP1000s) currenty being built in South Carolina
    at the VC Summer site by SCG&E are running under budget (less than $6
    billion per unit) and ahead of schedule (36 month build time from
    first pour), as also are the two being built at Georgia’s Vogtle site.
    The consistent pricing for new nuclear build of a 1100 to 1500 MW
    power plant throughout the world falls in the area of $4 to $6 billion,
    which amounts to less than one penny per kWhr produced during the first
    50 years of their guaranteed 60 year lifespan (likely an 80 year lifespan
    in practice). There may be added costs, especially for the first plant
    at a new site, for infrastruture (power lines) and generalsite development.
    That can make for a misleading cost estimate, as every site these days
    contains more than one plant, and additional plants at the site do not
    have to repeat these preperatory operations. China has some sites with
    8 or more power plants, which all share cooling facilities and
    infrastructure.
    One anti-nuclear cloudy-minded fellow claimed that nuclear plants
    are poisoning the cooling lakes they use with radiation. ANY radiation
    leaks are dealt with under the guidance of the NRC. Some small, totally
    insignificant leaks in some nuclear plants have been exaggerated out of
    all rational proportion, shown by the fact that the NRC didn’t consider
    them even worthy of a plant shutdown for repair (or even a warning to
    th public) – they were repaired at the next refueling shutdown many months
    away. Anti nuclear folks take advantage of the ignorance most Americans
    have as to the dangers of radiation, or even know how much background
    radiation they are receiving every day of their lives.

    There are NO govt subsidies for commercial nuclear power aside from some
    (very few) guaranteed govt loans. The Federal govt charges nuclear build
    companies upwards of a billion dollars to approve a new power plant design.
    Today’s nuclear build process is enormously different than that of previous
    periods, (where anti-nuclear folks seem to dwell), and virtually assures
    that there will be insignificant cost overruns or extended build times:
    nuclear plants in todays world receive generic approval from the NRC for
    the plant design,which means that a plant design does not have to go thru
    the lengthy and expensive approval process every time a new plant is built.
    This also means no plant design changes, a factor that in the past led to
    significant cost overruns.
    Today there is only the need for build site approval for each new plant.
    Licenses are also now issued as combined build and operate licenses, which
    means that, unlike in year’s past, the operator does not have to go thru the
    process of getting the build license,building the plant, and then going thru
    another lengthy process to get an operating license. Build times are actually
    often guaranteed these days, as modular construction of many of the plant’s
    components allows for offsite construction not subject to weather delays,
    and where build quality can be more easily controlled. Anyone who uses cost
    overrun figures from previous builds in the past displays enormous ignorance
    of the way nuclear plants are designed, licensed and built in today’s world.

    It is quite easy to calculate the cost of nuclear by examining its component
    costs : 1) build cost & interest : less than 1.5 cents per kWhr for the first
    50 years, at which point the build costs will have been paid in full 2) ops
    and maintenance costs – currently 1.45 cents per kWhr, U.S. national average
    per power plant, with variance from 1.34 (South Carolina, the lowest) to
    around 1.6 cents as the highest. 3) Fuel costs : 3/4th of a cent per kWhr and
    that figure has remained steady for decades and with the current oversupply,
    will stay low. 4) govt payment for nuclear waste disposal 1/10th cent per kWhr,
    and that figure has resulted in too large a fund for nuclear waste and much has
    been refunded to the power plants 5) decommissioning costs when the plant is
    retired : total costs vary from $300 to $500 million, which amounts to roughly
    1/10th of a cent (or less) per kWhr. That’s it , folks. Roughly 4 cents per
    kWhr, where wind power has had published total levelized cost estimates as high
    as 18 cents per kWhr.
    Anyone who thinks nuclear power is not popular around the world is totally
    out of touch : China currently has 37 nuclear plants under construction
    (and has just ordered 25 more from Westinghouse and plans for 500 by 2050 and
    1600 by the turn of the century). There are 75 plants worldwide currently being
    built, 5 in the U.S. China, with the assistance of Westinghouse, is now capable
    of building virtually all of the components of a nuclear plant (including the
    core reactor) and has their own version of the an enlarged AP1000, ready for export.
    Someone claimed that “near core meltdowns” are occurring virtually on a weekly
    basis in the U.S. That’s probably the biggest, (not to mention dumbest) lie
    I think I’ve ever heard. It is true that every few weeks or so a nuclear plant
    in the U.S. reports a power-down of the reactor as a safety precaution because of
    some anomaly (usually a breaker tripping, etc) which is considered a very low level
    event. All of these events are a matter of public record and are made known
    immediately by the NRC. A “near meltdown” is considered an event of the highest
    severity and would result in news coverage nationwide. There is no conceivable way
    to “hide” such an event. Looking at the history of the 100 nuclear plants operaing
    in the U.S.for the past 55 years, plus an additional 200-odd plants in the Western
    world that have been operating for many decades, there have been a total of two
    core meltdowns – Fukushima and Three Mile Island, in which there were zero
    fatalities and zero radiation emissions of any concern. There are more human
    fatalities and casualties just in Californa every hour of very day than there have
    been in all the nuclear plants in history. Every worker in a nuclear plant carries
    a radiation counter badge, and any levels out of the ordinary are immediately known.
    Todays Gen 3+ nuclear plant designs (i.e. like the Wesinghouse AP1000) are
    estimated to have a core meltdown probability at least 1000 times smaller than
    previous generation plants, whose two core meltdownshave been of no concern. Also,
    within the past 6 months, the U.S.has established two sites which contain emergency
    equipment to deal with any potential meltdown situation : diesel power generators
    (which would have prevented the Fukushima meltdown), water pumps and hoses, and
    additional backup elecric control equipmment, all of which can be airlifted or
    trucked within hours to any U.S. nuclear plant that needs assistance.
    Anyone who worries about nuclear power safety (like Bill Gates) is wasting
    their time.
    Anyone who thinks nuclear power is expensive doesn’t know the costs involved
    or is confusing their costs. Just look at the details of the contracts that
    are being signed on a weekly basis by many countries around the world with the
    4 or 5 major nuclear power plany builders. The costs are always published, and
    the contracts are almost always fixed price contracts.
    The current economic problems faced by some nuclear plants are due to abnormal
    situations, in which wind power is often sold even below the cost of production
    because of heavy govt subsidies and must be bought when available, which reduces
    the power bought from nuclear plants, which are designed to run as base power
    plants, with capacities typically above 90%, and which cannot quickly alter
    their power output, up or down. The costs of wind power are also always hidden
    in govt subsidies. The current low cost of natural gas power is also an issue.
    South Carolina is mostly powered by nuclear (56%) and shortly will attain
    over 80% nucear power. Neither the state nor the Federal govt has subsidezed
    this nuclear power and South Carolina power rates are “honest,” unlike California’s
    rates, which do not reflect the true cost of the power.

  97. ‘Drill Bit Dana’ has been at it again, trying to claim that we don’t “accept the science”, because we are ideologically opposed to their solution – massive government intervention.

    There is just one problem with this argument – its an utter falsehood.
    ————
    No it isn’t: their solution preceded their science. Their so-called science has been constructed around the goal of implementing their political agendas.

    We reject both.

  98. Richard:” it provides a link to an account of how and why Thatcher really started the global warming scare.”

    Sounds interesting. Could you repost it without hitting the moderation trip?

  99. classicalhero7 says: “The best source of nuclear power will be thorium. The fact we haven’t even explored this option is rather short sighted.”

    What’s the rush when we have FF for an estimated 200 year. If we get around to serious thorium development about 150 years from now, it will be in plenty of time.

  100. rcs says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:00 am
    Greens are fundamentally opposed to anything that works.
    ———————————————————
    Not exactly, although it is okay if a program doesn’t work.
    They don’t want to improve people’s standard of living by improving power generation but rather reduce consumption and power use worldwide.
    They don’t want to improve the lives of billions but rather eliminate those billions.
    Their philosophy on poverty is reduction through a slow die off.
    It’s worked every time it’s been tried.
    cn

  101. Expecting sense out of Dana is like expecting to be able to walk on water , a total waste of time.
    Meanwhile the Greens know their energy idea will not work , in fact that is the point by pushing ideas that cannot work they hope to force unto people ‘energy saving measures’ , such has no more personal motorised transport, that otherwise they would never have any dealings with .
    They want an energy crisis has they see it has an ‘opportunity ‘ to further their ideology and there more than happy to pay in the price in bodies . For although they longer say it public , the greens still regard energy has to cheap and to easily available despite what everyone else thinks.

  102. SAMURAI says:
    August 9, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) will be what powers our future because it’s the cheapest, cleanest, safest, most efficient, scalable, unlimited and energy dense form of energy ever developed.

    ==================

    It hasn’t been developed. You ascribe to it imaginary properties.

    Maybe the Chinese will get it to work. Even if they do, it’s not economically feasible at this time. Your declaration “If China is allowed to pursue LFTR development exclusively” sounds like a certain president telling us “we can’t let China get ahead of us in developing solar power.”

  103. Greg:

    re your question at August 9, 2014 at 11:07 am.

    Sorry, but it is the link which puts that post in moderation.
    I am more irked by my post at August 9, 2014 at 11:03 am also being in moderation because I don’t have a clue why.

    Both should appear soon.

    Please note that – as the article explains – the analysis of the origin of the global warming scare was part of a paper I produced in 1980 which predicted the global warming scare would happen. That prediction was rejected as being far-fetched.

    Richard

  104. Greenishness by its very nature is a collectivist ideology. Collectivists love Big government.

    Those green avant-la-lettre activists who are essentially individualists, such as Patrick Moore, founding member of Greenpeace, ceased to be involved with Big Green the moment they realised that it had turned into yet another leftish ideology. Others, possibly more astute, were so wise not to become involved in the first place.

  105. Off topic from nuclear energy, I’m looking at the Guardian article referenced at the top of this post (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/aug/07/facts-can-convince-some-conservatives-about-global-warming) and a post on WUWT from yesterday (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/08/ugly-msnbc-host-wants-reducation-for-climate-deniers/) and I’m sensing a common “conservatives need to be educated, why won’t they just learn science?” theme. Is there a shadow CAGW strategy group that decides the theme of the moment and then sends it out to all the MSNBCs and Guardians of the world to promote it?

  106. Greg: “Simple. Because France’s nuclear program was driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal, not civilian power generation.”

    Let’s see … France tested its first nuclear weapon in 1960. France’s all-out program for nuclear-generated electricity didn’t occur until after the 1973 oil crisis (rising from just 63 billion kWh in 1980 to 394 billion kWh, six times as much, in 2000.)

    Greg, please try not to put the cart before the horse.

  107. Environmentalists urge Hansen to rethink nuclear

    300+ groups say: “It is simply not feasible for nuclear power to be a part of a sustainable, safe and affordable future for humankind.”

    =============

    As if these groups or Hansen or WE had any say in the existence of nuclear power generation in the world.

    Nuclear WILL EXIST in CHINA, INDIA, RUSSIA, and any other country that wants it. They aren’t asking US.
    From World Nuclear Association website:
    (
    Mainland China has 20 nuclear power reactors in operation, 28 under construction, and more about to start construction.
    Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world’s most advanced, to give more than a three-fold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020, then some 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
    The impetus for increasing nuclear power share in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants.
    )
    Coal fired plants….China currently brings a new on onstream EVERY 5 DAYS. By 5 years from the present, it will have 350 MORE than today.
    India is on its way on both counts.

    Oppose nuclear all you want, it is already a done deal, no matter WHAT Hansen or ‘environmental groups’ or anyone else says about it. Further, China will likely be one of the major suppliers of the technology in the coming years, with its own designs, installers, operations companies and manufacturers.

    Just a fact of life in the 21rst century. Better to get really good, safe, current designs out there than pretend it is going to go away.

  108. Col Mosby: lengthy but interesting comment. You seem to know a fair bit of detail about the US industry. However, don’t generalise to the rest of the world:

    “The costs are always published, and the contracts are almost always fixed price contracts”

    Recent UK deal was 80bn GBP (50y IIRC) index linked.

  109. Col Mosby resorts to calling those opposed to nuclear disaster as “ignorant”. Like other advocates of nuclear power generation he pretends that Chernobyl, Fukajima, Three Mile Island did not happen or posed no threat. As put above, you cannot build a fool-poof nuclear power reactor because fools are ingenious.

    Nor does he address the question “Who pays for the cleanup of a radiation disaster?.”

  110. Lee L:

    China is a dictatorship and you espouse their policies as suitable here. Well, here the public has some say and note that we are not building nuclear power plants. Let’s see you tell John Q. Voter once again that we should as they do in China. Or perhaps you could get Mos by to tell them that they are “ignorant”.

  111. “The Malthusia:n idea is wrong because it ignores basic economics and applies a wrong model; human population is NOT constrained by resources like the population of bacteria in a Petri dish. There is no existing or probable problem of overpopulation of the world by humans.”
    __________
    Richard, what hell are you talking about? I never mentioned Malthus, petri dishes, or overpopulation. Every species has a limit constrained by the dynamics of the carrying capacity of its environment: physical, ideological, sociological or biological. All you did was elaborate the sociological. The human curve will have a lot more noise in it than most vertebrate species, but it will approximate a plateau at some point. Note: I’m not talking about overpopulation – think homeostasis.

  112. Col Mosby says: “There are NO govt subsidies for commercial nuclear power aside from some
    (very few) guaranteed govt loans.”

    The issue is that nuclear power liabilities fall within the scope of potentially unlimited liabilities.

    Private business is based on limitation of liability.

    A potentially unlimited liability on the balance sheet of a private company will immediately cause its value to drop to zero. The company would have no means to mitigate risk, giving it no credit rating and the private capital markets will not touch it. A private company with potentially unlimited liabilities would be starved of funding and would not survive.

    The only thing that can balance potentially unlimited liabilities is an unlimited guarantee. You do not get these from the private sector because anybody giving such a guarantee will have a potentially unlimited liability (see above).

    The only place you can get an unlimited guarantee is the public sector. The taxpayer dime.

    The detail may be difficult to track down, but society ultimately bears the “potentially unlimited” part of nuclear risks and liabilities. There’s your subsidy.

    Nuclear cannot exist in the private sector alone. It is absolutely dependent on pubic sector as the “insurer of last resort”.

  113. What am I missing?

    You are not missing anything. You hit the nail on the head.

    James Lovelock, the father of the Gaia hypothesis loves fracking and nuclear. When he used to worry about co2 I believe he was sincere. When he realized it was exaggerated, I believe he was still being sincere. That’s why he was baffled about nuclear opposition and fracking.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/james-lovelock-nuclear-power-is-the-only-green-solution-6169341.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jun/15/james-lovelock-interview-gaia-theory

  114. Gamecock says @11:16 am:
    It has not been developed yet

    Referring to liquid fluoride thorium reactors.

    Now I understand the push behind all nuclear power hurrah we have seen lately. They want public funding for design and development and of course that will be in the billions. They are trying to get their face stuck on the public teat and reap the ensuing benefits.

    And people who do not swallow the bait are called ignorant by our would-be experts.

  115. mpainter trolls: “Nor does he address the question ‘Who pays for the cleanup of a radiation disaster?.’”

    In the case of the Three Mile Island “disaster” (and I use that term loosely), the insurance purchased by the owner of the plant paid for everything. This is not idle speculation, this is history.

    Had the “disaster” been worse, the pooled insurance scheme that was set up by the Price-Anderson Act and is funded by all nuclear plant licensees would have paid for the “disaster.” Nevertheless, in spite of all of the hemming and hawing and gnashing of teeth by the likes of Greenpeace, the nuclear “disaster” was so meager that this additional insurance was simply not needed. It’s there, just in case, but in the 57 years since Price-Anderson was passed it has never been needed.

  116. James Hansen likes nuclear power.
    George Monbiot likes nuclear power.
    Anthony Watts likes nuclear power.
    James Delingpole likes nuclear power.
    Jo Nova likes nuclear power.
    The Heartland Institute likes nuclear power.

    I used to fly B52′s, and I like nuclear power.

  117. Brian@12:00pm sidesteps, as I expected, the question “Who pays for the cleanup in the event of a radiation disaster?”

    Jordan, @11:47 provides the answer: the public pays, as the source of last resort.

  118. jim2 says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:17 am

    From Eric’s post …
    “Of course, America’s coal producers are still mining as much coal as they ever did – and exporting it to Europe, whose disastrous policy failures have increased costs and CO2 emissions.”

    Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. I follow some coal companies, and they are in the dumper. For example, one coal company I follow is Alpha Natural Resources.

    “Coal miner Alpha Natural’s quarterly loss widens”
    …………………

    “1,100 layoffs planned at Alpha coal mines in W.Va.”
    …………………….

    I’m sure you know more about coal companies than me. I have just found something.

    July 28, 2014
    5 things to know about how US coal exports shift global warming problem onto other countries
    By Dina Cappiello, The Associated Press
    …..2. U.S. COAL EXPORTS HAVE SOARED TO MEET RISING DEMAND. The U.S. exported more coal in 2012 and 2013 than any other year since 1949. Exports surpassed 100 million tons for the first time in more than 20 years in 2011. Exports are down this year because of higher natural gas prices and a colder-than-average winter at home. But the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts coal exports to grow to 161 million tons by 2040 without policy changes. In 2012, the U.S. comprised 9 per cent of the global coal export market, the latest data available…….

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/things+know+about+coal+exports+shift+global+warming+problem/10068659/story.html

    Forecast.

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/coal.cfm

  119. Note also that Brian @12:00pm refers to me as a troll because I had raised the issue of “Who pays for the cleanup of a nuclear disaster?”.

    I am no troll but a regular commenter here and a confirmed skeptic. What about you Brian? Do you dare repeat that I am a troll?

  120. Paul Coppin:

    Your post at August 9, 2014 at 11:45 am clearly demonstrates that you did not read my reply to you which is at August 9, 2014 at 11:03 am and is here.

    Your response that I am replying asks

    Richard, what hell are you talking about? I never mentioned Malthus, petri dishes, or overpopulation. Every species has a limit constrained by the dynamics of the carrying capacity of its environment: physical, ideological, sociological or biological. All you did was elaborate the sociological. The human curve will have a lot more noise in it than most vertebrate species, but it will approximate a plateau at some point. Note: I’m not talking about overpopulation – think homeostasis.

    NO! My post you query explained that you assert a blatant falsehood when you say humans are “constrained by by the dynamics of the carrying capacity of its environment: physical, ideological, sociological or biological”.

    The start of my post you query quoted your words and then said

    The fallacy of overpopulation derives from the disproved Malthusian idea which wrongly assumes that humans are constrained like bacteria in a Petri dish: i.e. population expands until available resources are consumed when population collapses. The assumption is wrong because humans do not suffer such constraint: humans find and/or create new and alternative resources when existing resources become scarce.

    The remainder of my post explained why there is no resource constraint or – as you choose to call it, “carrying capacity” – which applies to humanity.

    I have provided a link back to my post you query to assist your finding it so you can read it.

    Richard

  121. Roger Sowell says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am

    10 Why are new reactor technologies being researched and developed?

    Quite likely for many of the same reasons new internal combustion engine technologies are still being researched and developed. GE is spending huge amounts of money developing new turbofans for jetliners — their customers seem to think it’s important. And Westinghouse is still trying to improve on Tesla’s original designs for transformers, generators and AC motors, after more than 100 years.

    The simple fact is in technology very few things are ever perfected to the point no more improvement is possible; it’s really just a matter of circumstances changing to the point “possible” becomes “necessary”.

    I know 10 is a nice round number to have, but this is really unworthy of you. Find a replacement or cut your list down to 9. Besides if you really don’t like nuclear power for the other 9 reasons, how will you ever be satisfied except by new reactor technologies?

  122. Paul Coppin August 9, 2014 at 10:49 am

    This discussion is nonsense. There is no reason to conjure up proxies to describe human population dynamics. We are following fairly standard pop curves for most generalized species. All that differs are the rates. We simply haven’t reached the oscillating plateau that most species eventually reach once their resource limits have been reached. Our ability to overcome population limiting factors isn’t infinite, as we will find out eventually. Nature might impose a few new ones along the way (as an epizootiologist, Ebola comes to mind to me at the moment…). It’ll be interesting to see if the limits will be externally natural or internally sociological….

    It is you, who is talking nonsense. Population explosion was over two decades ago, even if the mass media remained silent on this happy sequel for whatever reason. Check out World Population aged 0-14, you’ll see it is stable (well below 2 billion). World population is still increasing, but that’s because of increasing life expectancy (a good thing), which can’t be exponential (a young girl can never produce more than one hag by getting old).

    The underlying cause is not resource depletion (it is not imposed by nature, the more resource a country has the more pronounced is this effect), but decreasing infant and child mortality along with formal education of girls (education of boys is insufficient in this respect). You can call it “internally sociological”, but the fact is, humans (especially women) are rational beings.

  123. It has been said but it bears repeating: We do not need nuclear power and conventional power is both cheaper and safer.

    And do you raise the bugaboo of CO2 on this skeptic’s blog? This makes me smile that you would come and try to pass the coin of the alarmists.

  124. Alarmism about nuclear is similar in nature to CAGW alarmism. It is mostly based on emotionalism.
    Having said that, we should not be shutting down coal in favor of nuclear. That is wrong-headed energy policy. We need both.

  125. mpainter – Someone who keeps repeating the same question, taunting people to answer it, and ignoring when they actually do is simply trolling. It’s no more possible to engage in a debate with such as person than it is to debate with a brick wall. If that’s all you’ve got, then you’ve got nothing.

  126. What you are missing, Mr. Worrall, is the same as what the greens are missing or what that incompetent propagandist that is Dana is missing, namely, the burden of responsibility. It simply means that you, they, and he can say whatever all of you please without any consequences. This is fine, of course. It frees us (me too) from needing to weight all the factors and then be held responsible for any of the consequences of our words and actions. We can remain ignorant and naive, we can continue to believe we are entitled to steal the attention of the room with our antics because, in the final analysis, we are children and it is the adults who will fix the problems in whatever magical way they do. Our job is to demand presents, theirs is to be Santa (“consensus expert” in this case).

  127. mpainter says:
    August 9, 2014 at 11:44 am
    “China is a dictatorship and you espouse their policies as suitable here. Well, here the public has some say and note that we are not building nuclear power plants. ”

    You don’t because you still get Oil imports for Dollars. That is about to change.

  128. Brian,
    To the question ” Who pays for the cleanup in the event of a radiation disaster” Jordan @ 11:47 gave the correct answer, and very authoritatively, too. This issue is most important and I am not surprised that you would eschew giving such an answer as “the public, as the source of last resort.”
    It does not help your cause to call me a troll because I address this important issue. And Brian, please understand that I do not engage you for the same of debate, but rather to demonstrate to others the faults of the proponents of nuclear power.

  129. More ignorance from the anti-nuclear crowd – many labor
    under the misconception that there is no NRC presence
    at nuclear plants. To the contrary, several NRC
    inspectors are permanently assigned to each nuclear plant
    site.
    For those massively ignorant anti-nuclear folks out
    there, I should also mention around-the-corner future
    conventional nuclear plant designs. Specifically fast
    reactors, often referred to as 4th Generation nuclear
    plant designs. These types of reactors, several of
    which have been operating for years around the world,
    usually as experimental platforms, but often producing
    commercial power to the grid. In terms of safety
    considerations, there are none. It is impossible for
    these reactors to experience a core meltdown. Of more
    importance, since the current Gen3 designs make meltdowns
    a non-issue,the fast reactors have the ability to burn
    nuclear wastes, which typically still contain 98% of
    their energy. In fact, the energy extractable from just our
    current U.S nuclear wastes is sufficient to provide
    all the power this country needs for the next 1000 years,
    and in the process,enormously reduce the volume of that waste,
    as well as its level of its radioactivity (to virtual
    insignificance).
    Mining uranium from ocean water thru extraction via filters
    currently costs about 3 times as much as conventional mining.
    But since fast reactors only need about 1/10th the supply
    of fuel as conventional reactors, they can be fueled very
    economically via ocean water extraction. And the oceans contain
    so much uranium (and more every day) that the world could
    totally depend upon just that source of energy for hundreds
    of thousands of years. It is, for all intents and purposes,
    an inexhaustible source of energy. Fast reactors have recently
    been contracted from Russian companies, the world’s leader in
    this advanced technology,and will be supplying commercial power
    to several eastern European countries.

  130. DirkH:
    Your comment seemed as a non-sequitor to mine.
    We do not burn oil in power plants.
    So what do you know about oil and dollars that is about to change, pray share your information.

  131. Col Mosby

    If it can be argued that a nuclear design reduces the probability of uncapped liability is zero, the investment community might be persuaded to stand fully behind nuclear power stations and to underwrite ALL liability.

    As a technologist myself, I don’t think there is an argument to say that nuclear technology can ever reduce the probability of nuclear liabilities to zero. It may be analogous to the concept of there being no absolute proof of a hypothesis in observational science.

    There is one thing I can suggest which does reduce the risk of nuclear liability to zero: don’t use nuclear technology. And you can see many examples of wholly private sector investment in other power generating technologies.

    There may be “massively ignorant anti-nuclear folks” out there, but right now this includes the entire global private sector community. That’s what you are up against. Sometimes it makes sense to kinda just accept the way it is.

  132. Nuclear Energy sure brings out the opinions.
    I shall surrender to the eco-nasties.. Nuclear energy is evil.. quick let us extinguish the sun.

  133. Roger Sowell says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am

    If nuclear power was really as good as the advocates claim (i.e. cheap, safe, reliable, etc), then

    1 Why has nuclear power achieved only 11 percent of world power production…

    Right at this moment 69.1% for Ontario, Canada.

    http://www.ieso.ca/

  134. “The Margarita Declaration at the UN backed conference in Venezuela last month makes their position totally clear…”

    And how many Margaritas per attendee were required to achieve this total clarity?

  135. Good piece. But, true ‘greens’ support nuclear power because they recognize the key parameter for environmental benefit — power density.

    Even present nuclear is ~500,000 times more power dense than the best combustion (hydrogen). advanced nuclear will be even better…

    http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/4/planId/15102

    And it will be absolutely necessary ASAP because of what folks like Kochs, Heartland, the US Chamber of Commerce… have succeeded in doing to fool legislators & enviro groups and delay nuclear roll-outs that even JFK knew were needed: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa

    So, indeed self-proclaimed ‘greens’ are ignorant, arrogant & naively co-opted by combustion folks to be against nuclear, and are as guilty of adding to death & disease from emissions as are cynical interests like Heartland. How do I know? I’m a Sierra Club member who with other members have tried to get our board to rise above donation politics and return to the original, pro-nuclear club policy. No go.

    So, we just have years, not decades, to avoid the most imminent & costly effects of >1.5 trillion tons of fossil fuel CO2 emissions…

    http://tinyurl.com/n2qnos6

    Feel free to step up and help. Kochs welcome. Our descendants are watching.

    Dr. A. Cannara

  136. Dr. A. Cannara:

    Your name links to a web site which is not your own. And your post at August 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm shows other indications you are a troll.

    Please state “the most imminent & costly effects of >1.5 trillion tons of fossil fuel CO2 emissions…” which you claim exist and say why you assert we only have “years, not decades” to avoid them. Your claims of ocean acidification being a problem are mistaken so there is no need to iterate those.

    Richard

  137. Dr. A Cannara, thank you for that refreshing mix of sour grapes, conspiracy wackiness and apocalyptic claptrap. OA is yet another fantasy and I wonder why you fell for it? Yet in the midst of it all you hit the right conclusion: We are better off we abandon the irrational and unfounded fear of nuke power and proceed back to the nuke path.
    Frankly I bet you will be amazed at how the “combustion industry” will welcome a rational energy policy that prominently includes nuclear power. But leave the OA/slr/doomsday/cabal behind. It is not needed nor is it required or correct. Not to mention that Lewandowsky will pigeonhole you most annoyingly.

  138. “Our descendants are watching.”

    My predecessors worked hard to free themselves from grinding hard labour, impoverishment, conflict, hunger and disease. They handed over to me the best technology they could develop (and good stuff it is too!). I will do my best to be responsible by seeking to emulate the efforts of my predecessors for the benefit of my descendants.

    I have a moral duty to my predecessor to NOT squander all of their hard-fought achievements with anti-science chicken-little-mindedness. Who knows Dr. A. Canarra, I might help you avoid squandering the efforts of your predecessors.

    Not thanks needed, you are welcome!

  139. mpainter says:
    August 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    It has been said but it bears repeating: We do not need nuclear power and conventional power is both cheaper and safer.

    And do you raise the bugaboo of CO2 on this skeptic’s blog? This makes me smile that you would come and try to pass the coin of the alarmists.

    The Greens are imposing unworkable “renewables” and have conned or coerced politicians into going along with this mad plan. Nuclear power is the only politically salable way of avoiding their wrecking our economies.

    (Actually, I’m hopeful about the various LENR innovations in the pipeline mentioned in a comment above by DMA at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/09/dont-mention-the-nuclear-option-to-greens/#comment-1705667, plus Rossi’s. See http://www.e-catworld.com )

  140. Roger Sowell ( August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am) asked:

    1 Why has nuclear power achieved only 11 percent of world power production, after more than 5 decades of competition?
    A: Intense opposition from greenies.
    2 Why do small islands have zero nuclear power plants, but burn expensive oil or diesel resulting in power prices of 25 to 35 cents per kWh?
    A. Their economies are too small.
    3 Why do nuclear utilities never, ever, ask for a rate decrease when they build a nuclear plant?
    A. Capital investment is high, as are future uncertainties.
    4 Why did France install nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power, and no other country in the world followed their lead?
    A. Capital investment is high. Others chose less capital-intensive paths. Intense opposition from greenies may also have been a facvor.
    5 Why does France have higher electricity prices than does the US, even with France heavily subsidizing their electricity industry?
    A. The US has large supplies of coal (and now gas). Power prices are higher in Germany (thanks to Energiewende) than in France.
    6 Why does nuclear power in the US require heavy subsidies from government – and almost total indemnity from costs of a massive radiation disaster?
    A. Capital investment is high and lead times long. Companies are very reluctant to commit to that amount of investment if they are then at risk of government whim.
    7 Why are nuclear plants shutting down in the US, with owners saying they are losing money?
    A. There has been a surge in gas production, leading to low gas prices and a surge in power production from gas.
    8 Why are there so many near-misses on meltdowns in US plants, on average every 3 weeks?
    A. Many industries are dangerous. Nuclear power generation is no exception. The near-misses are in older reactors, new reactors are much safer. Stringent safety processes have kept deaths and injuries close to zero (yes we do have something to thank the greenies for!). By contrast, thousands of miners have died just in the 21st century, many of them coal miners https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_accident.
    9 Why were there three serious meltdowns worldwide in just a bit more than 30 years? (Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island)
    A. Only three, worldwide over all time. That’s impressively good. And designs and procedures are improving all the time.
    10 Why are new reactor technologies being researched and developed?
    A. Now that’s just a dumb question. There’s always a drive to improve performance, reduce costs, be more competitive, improve safety.

  141. Richard

    Oops, my iPad changed speech to preach!

    Tonyb

    [Nah, the iPod was write. Preach is probably more accurate. 8<) .mod]

  142. Tonyb:

    Yes, I get that. But the link from the name of Dr Cannara is to the organisation and not himself. In other words, his link proclaims that he is advocating the organisation’s interests.

    And his post links to his speech on acidification.

    I await his answers to my questions.

    Richard

  143. Nuclear energy? are you freakin kidding me!?

    It doesn’t matter whether or not you are in favor of nuclear energy or wind turbines: either way you are a victim of some serious brainwashing, brought on by the culture creators/ruling elite.

    Energy is over-rated- plain and simple. And I highly doubt that any of you will be able to fathom that statement; which just indicates your level of ignorance.

    Ponder the following:

    You need all this energy because…..

    -there’s steaks being kept in the freezer
    -maybe you can’t live without all that street lighting
    -or you need to watch 5 hours of t.v every night
    -so you can run the dryer for 2 hours
    -run the A.C (which is making you sick, but you don’t know it) after all 25C is now just to hot for most.

    Keep boring holes into the Canadian Shield and maybe one day an earth-quake will bring all that sh#t back to the surface.

    Keep signing over the rights to your land for a freaking tax break and some extra income while some foreign owned Corporation erects a turbine next to your home for 40 years.

    pathetic…..

  144. Reflecting on the 9th International Climate Change Convention earlier (in July), there were many moments when I agreed with the words that were spoken, but there were also a few moments when I cringed. I also muttered a few quiet words at times, such as “BS” or “Not true!.” I didn’t quite do a Wilson and yell out YOU LIE!!!, but I did feel like I could have.

    The moments at issue were those when somebody at the microphone said something pro-nuclear energy. I cannot recall who, nor the exact words. What concerned me most was the obvious approval across the room, and it is a big room. It comfortably held 600 people seated at round tables. There was a smattering of applause. I knew before the convention that many, if not most, climate skeptics are pro-nuclear. I knew I would be in a small minority, perhaps a minority of one at the meetings.

    I remember thinking, if only they all knew what I know about nuclear power. I wish I could convey to each one of them the truth about nuclear power, have them read and understand the many, many issues that show nuclear power is not economic, not safe, and will not ever be safe nor economic. Instead, it appears they have blindly accepted the talking points from the nuclear advocates. (a 30-part series on Truth About Nuclear Power is available on SowellsLawBlog)

    This is just a bit odd, because nuclear advocates have taken to cheering for nuclear because it emits no carbon dioxide – it is “carbon free power” in the latest incarnation of their talking points. Yet, as climate change skeptics, why would anyone want a power source on that basis? Surely, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not harming the planet, so why use a source that produces zero carbon dioxide?

    One of the speakers mentioned that Germany’s government is shutting down nuclear plants because, and I believe I have the quote correct, “Chancellor is afraid a tsunami will hit Germany.” That line drew laughter from the audience. The Chancellor is well aware that a tsunami will not hit Germany – but she is also keenly aware (after Fukushima) that nuclear plants will meltdown with devastating consequences for any number of unforeseen circumstances. In short, if the grid goes down for an extended period, and the backup generators fail, the nuclear plant and surrounding population are in a world of trouble.

    I have also read in other places the talking points that nuclear power is low-cost (it is not), the fuel is readily available for thousands of years (it is not), the reactors are perfectly safe and new ones are much safer (they are not), nuclear power reduces dependence on foreign oil (not true, unless a country is actually burning oil for power, which almost no country does), nuclear plants use very small land area (true only in some cases, but not for those that built their own cooling lake such as South Texas Nuclear Project, and the land area does not consider the uranium mining and processing plants). Few web sites mention the points raised by Professor Derek Abbott, that both uranium fuel, plus raw materials for the plants are limited and running out, and that suitable plant locations are few and getting fewer as more plants are built.

    Also, almost nobody mentions the huge consumption of cooling water in a nuclear plant – four times that of a comparable gas-fired combined cycle plant.

    I also read in other places that nuclear plants are highly reliable, yet I wonder if those people who repeat that talking point know the truth: nuclear plants shut down at a moment’s notice and with great regularity. Upon shutdown, the grid operator must somehow find 900 to 1200 MW of power rather quickly, as in a few minutes, or drop some load to balance the grid until the replacement power is humming. These same pro-nuclear voices complain that wind power and solar power are both unreliable, that they must have “full-time backup” power. Actually, every nuclear plant also must have 100 percent backup for the times when they shut down.

    I also read that nuclear plants “last for 60 years,” which they do not.

    Finally, I read that alternative energy technology requires subsidies for their very existence, that no wind turbines and no solar power plants would be built absent these substantial subsidies. I wonder, though, how many of these people making those subsidy claims are aware that nuclear plants also are heavily subsidized, that nuclear plants would not exist at all unless the government takes on the substantial liability of a major nuclear accident – a meltdown with radiation release that injures or kills people.

    Yes, I felt a bit sad at the ICCC9 when people were applauding the pro-nuclear power statements. I suppose it is best to forgive them (for now), for they know not what they do. Hopefully, they will someday (soon) understand the truth. Whether they will follow the data and question the dogma from the nuclear industry, as they have done with climate science, is another matter.

  145. kenin

    Well done for giving me a good laugh. Your post is like a scene from Monty Python’s “Life Of Brian” (What have the Romans ever done for us?)

  146. Jordan says:
    August 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Col Mosby

    If it can be argued that a nuclear design reduces the probability of uncapped liability is zero, the investment community might be persuaded to stand fully behind nuclear power stations and to underwrite ALL liability.

    ===================

    Nope. Politicians have poisoned the well. When government can decide to destroy a billion dollar investment on a whim, private money will stay out. It happened in New York a few years ago.

  147. Tragic. I have been an avid watcher of doings regarding Warming,in the US, since the late seventies. I believed then, and I believe the ensuing decades have proven my early read correct, that counting clouds and disentangling omni-scale vorticity would prove stubbornly intractable to applied math. If we have to make such profound judgments in the face of persistent uncertainty, a minimal cost shift from coal power to nuclear was an obvious early beginning. That the enviro-left was as enduringly opposed to this first step was sin enough, but that the right never rallied to nuclear was just tragic. Instead, they have organized around their never-ending attack against science itself–and appear to the younger generation as both uncaring and retarded.

    Incredibly, the American voter has been given by this circumstance, no opportunity to vote for that first step, and even today, with the craft crews rotating off assignment at Watts Bar, their skills will soon go fallow. As have the SoCal plants in California, the Florida plant, and soon, Vermont Yankee.

    Instead of plowing so much intellectual energy into your endless guerrilla campaign here, sniping and propagandizing amongst the shadows for a program that is intrinsically lethargic, why not shift some effort towards active remediation? After all, the warmists concede in their conventional depiction, that enduring three-fold uncertainty attends their theoretical anxieties. The minimalists harp on about their doubts, but never quite own up to the implications that they also, wield no magic knowledge that the planet will ultimately not register an outcome for posterity in the upper range of unpleasant possibilities.

  148. If it’s been happening every three weeks for over forty years with almost no meltdowns, it seems a stretch to call it a “near miss.”

  149. Rogerknights@3:32pm:

    Let us not be stampeded into nuclear power by some imagined fear of Green power.

  150. mpainter says:
    August 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    “So what do you know about oil and dollars that is about to change, pray share your information. ”

    Saudi has flipped to the East. Petrodollar is toast.

  151. Dr. A. Cannara says:
    August 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    “Good piece. But, true ‘greens’ support nuclear power because they recognize the key parameter for environmental benefit — power density.”

    Could the “true greens” first kick out the false greens from their green parties – i.e. the Maoists – because I have never talked to a Green who would even have been capable of comprehending the term energy density.

    Or maybe you go and found the True Green party with actual intelligent people. That would be quite the novelty.

  152. “I remember thinking, if only they all knew what I know about nuclear power.”

    Ha ha ha! Mr. Sowell, with all due respect, the truth is that you know almost NOTHING about nuclear power.

    I’m very familiar with your writings on this subject, and if you’ll forgive me for being blunt, you’re just an ignorant shill lawyer who is paid by fossil fuel companies to say this stuff (as you explain on your own web site) and who knows nearly next to nothing about what you are hired to be a mouthpiece against.

    Your stupid talking points are cookie-cutter stuff that are taken straight from Greenpeace and similar organizations and that have been rebutted ad absurdum (even in the comments section here). You make claim after claim that you simply can’t back up. Even when it comes to arguing like a lawyer, you’re totally incompetent.

  153. mpainter,

    Don’t forget Canada.

    I’m sure I am not the only one who sees that every policy that is bad for America and the West is favored by the enviro groups, and vice-versa. If I didn’t know any better [and I don't], I would think that those groups are being controlled by the FSB [successor to the old KGB] and Chinese interests. There is a large movement that would like to see the U.S. hobbled, if not destroyed. ‘Greens’ always seem sympathetic to that view.

    I think any student of human nature would see the same thing. Like with Obama, never listen to what they say. Watch their actions instead.

  154. DMA says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Is that a shortlist of the top three pseudo-scientific scams?

  155. mpainter says:
    August 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I hope you never fly in airplanes. You realize you get 5-10 times as much radiation up there as you do on the ground.

  156. This forum is international: “we” (the US) may only import 18 – 20% of our oil from Saudi Aria-Persian Gulf region, but the rest of the world has little choice in their sources. (Since the US greens are successfully destroying US oil pipeline/shipping/refining/production/export options now as well.)

    From: http://www.marcon.com/marcon2c.cfm?SectionListsID=93&PageID=771

    Oil Exports
    The U.S. received about 18 percent of its net oil liquids imports in 2006 from the Persian Gulf region. U.S. gross oil imports (mostly crude) from the Persian Gulf averaged to 2.2 million bbl/d during 2006. The majority of Persian Gulf oil and petroleum products imported by the United States came from Saudi Arabia (66 percent), with significant amounts also coming from Iraq (25 percent), Kuwait (8 percent), and small amounts (less than 1 percent total) from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Iraqi total liquids exports to the United States reached 553,000 bbl/d in 2006. Saudi exports fell from 1.54 million bbl/d in 2005 to 1.46 million bbl/d in 2006. Overall, the Persian Gulf accounted for about 18 percent of U.S.net oil imports and approximately 11 percent of U.S. oil demand in 2006.

    Western Europe (defined as European countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD) averaged 2.8 million bbl/d of oil imports from the Persian Gulf during 2006, a decrease of less than 0.1 million bbl/d from 2005. The largest share of Persian Gulf oil exports to Western Europe came from Saudi Arabia (44 percent), with significant amounts also coming from Iran (33 percent), Iraq (13 percent), and Kuwait (7 percent).

    Japan averaged 4.4 million bbl/d of net oil imports from the Persian Gulf during 2006. Japan’s dependence on the Persian Gulf for its oil supplies increased sharply since the low point of 57 percent in 1988 to a high of 83 percent in 2006. About 35 percent of Japan’s Persian Gulf imports in 2006 came from Saudi Arabia, 29 percent from the United Arab Emirates, 12 percent from Iran, 12 percent from Qatar, 10 percent from Kuwait, and over 1 percent from Bahrain and Iraq combined. Japan’s oil imports from the Persian Gulf as a percentage of demand continued to rise to new highs, reaching 80 percent in 2006.

    And from NPR, in a 2012 story highlights…

    ‘Where The U.S. Gets Its Oil

    In 2011, net imports accounted for 45 percent of U.S. petroleum demand. Of that, 52 percent comes from the Western Hemisphere.

    The top sources of crude petroleum and oil products: Canada (29 percent), Saudi Arabia (14 percent), Venezuela (11 percent), Nigeria (10 percent) and Mexico (8 percent).”

  157. So why isn’t nuclear power the main focus of everyone’s attention?
    ==============
    Because it is a messy, dirty, stupid & dangerous way to boil water; because it is heavily subsidized; because the slow deaths from cancers are statistically easy to hide (like 1/2 a million Vioxx deaths were easy to hide, and nobody cares anyway): because nuclear power is an industry built on a volatile core of lies and subsidies. Because Homo Simian is a lying and conniving animal. Because the word “tsunami” was made in Japan.

    “Too cheap to meter!” – the nuclear promise.
    Too cheap to meter – the hydrocarbon-based electrical reality in Qatar.

  158. Gamecock says:
    August 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “It hasn’t been developed. You ascribe to it imaginary properties.

    Maybe the Chinese will get it to work. Even if they do, it’s not economically feasible at this time. Your declaration “If China is allowed to pursue LFTR development exclusively” sounds like a certain president telling us “we can’t let China get ahead of us in developing solar power.”

    ======================

    There is nothing “imaginary” about LFTR technology…..

    All theoretical properties/concepts of LFTR technology have been proven to work through proof-of-concept experiments conducted at Oak Ridge Labs in the 60′s.

    LFTRs are by far the most economically feasible form of power generation because they convert 99% of thorium to energy, as opposed to Light Water Reactors (LWRs), which can only burn about 0.5% of U235 before Xenon gas degradation destroys the expensive fuel pellets and require expensive reprocessing.

    In addition, LFTRs run at single atmospheric pressure so no expensive containment domes are required, LFTRs heat inert gas to run gas turbines so, they require no water source (no need for expensive cooling towers), and unwanted waste material can be removed during operation allowing 24/7 operation. Furthermore, LFTRs have only ONE passive safety system that uses gravity; as long as gravity works, LFTRs are safe.

    LFTRs require no expensive and cumbersome U235 fuel pellet processing/reprocessing; just dig thorium out of the ground, purify it and burn it… LFTRs really neat trick is that the decay chain of thorium231 creates U233, which can easily be removed and pumped back to the neutron core…

    China’s 2MW test LFTR goes online in 2015; a mere 4 years of establishing their LFTR program…

    A brief explanation of LFTR technology:

  159. Eric Worrall asks a highly pertinent question in the lead to this thread. A large part of the answer lies in the historical roots of the modern environmental movement. It began with the “Ban the Bomb” movement in the late 1950s and 1960s, reaching a crescendo after 1. the Cuban Missile Crisis, and 2. the discoveries regarding the effects of atmospheric weapon testing that led to the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty.

    Antinuclearism is to this day at the very core of Green ideology. Dr. Patrick Moore has documented this fairly extensively in recent years. Their opposition as illustrated by a few commenters such as mpainter is visceral and absolute. This is not a matter of empiricism. All of Col Mosby’s statistics may be correct, and they make absolutely no difference. The Green opposition to nuclear power is theological, not empirical.

    It’s no surprise that this is found most strongly in Germany. West Germany spent 50 years as the front line between two superpowers, both armed with tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. And the Greens have never made any particular distinction between civilian and military applications.

    The modern environmental movement is more than just the “Ban the Bomb” types. It was reinforced starting in the late 1970s by increasingly large financial support from a number of charitable foundations, particularly in the United States. A significant part of this funding came from the oil companies, recognizing that nuclear could pose an existential threat to their business. Even as late as 2006, Enbridge was still funding the Ontario-based Clean Energy Alliance, an overtly and primarily antinuclear organization.

    Without lavish corporate funding, the environmental movement would still be largely what it was in the 1950s, a gaggle of bare-ass hippies that one one either paid attention to or cared about. Instead today, it’s arguably the largest and best funded political lobby organization in both Washington and Brussels. And it’s corporate money, the commercial opponents of nuclear power, which put it there.

    And that they have lavish funding for antinuclear activities is amply demonstrated by such antinuclear shills as Roger Sowell here present

    The second reinforcement of the environmental movement came with the collapse of Soviet communism in 1990. As has been well established, the disintegration of various communist political parties over Western Europe in the 1990s resulted in their former members largely flocking into nascent Green parties. What they brought with them was the ability to organize politically, something the Greens in the 1980s and 1970s had notably lacked.

    So these are the three main elements of the modern Green movement: visceral antinuclearism; corporatist funding; and a haven for communist/socialist political refugees from the collapse of state communism. None of them can be readily separated out from each other. Antinuclearism was and remains the central driving passion of the Greens. It does not matter that nuclear power is by far the safest way to produce electricity, and with existing technology. It does not matter that fissile materials will be available for fission at reasonable cost for tens of thousands of years at virtually any scale of use. There are NO facts or logical positions which can affect the antinuclear dementia in the slightest. There is only the Green theology and the paid shills of the fossil fuel companies, neither of which is subject to persuasion or reason on this matter.

  160. Climate alarmism has nothing to do with climate. That was proven by the instantaneous switch from cooling alarmism to warming alarmism by leading alarmists like Stephen Schneider as soon as thermometers indicated that the global temperature trend had switched in second half of the 70′s from cooling to warming. Their prescriptions remained identical. The trend was caused by human burning of fossil fuels, and unless fossil fuel burning was stopped the trend would rapidly accelerate with catastrophic consequences.

    It isn’t fossil fuel burning per se that the alarmists are trying to block. It is economic growth, which these idiots believe is gobbling up the natural world. Really they are just a bunch of failed economists. They don’t understand that economic growth, which comes primarily from technological progress, does not harm the natural world but allows us to tread more lightly, doing more with less. The absolute best thing for the environment is human economic growth. THAT is where the environmentalists go wrong, with that totally ignorant economic mistake, thinking that economic growth is hurting the planet instead of helping the planet.

    And so they seek to block the energy sources that power economic growth. They are against ALL energy sources. If “renewables” actually worked they would be against those too. In the 1980s Paul Ehrlich was horror struck by the possibility that “cold fusion” might actually work:

    the prospect of cheap, inexhaustible power from fusion is “like giving a machine gun to an idiot child,” Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich says.

    Ehrlich is the mentor and ideological soul-mate of Obama’s “science czar” John Holdren. The mainstream eco-left actually thinks this way, they are something close to pure Luddites, and they are in power. We might as well have the Unabomber as president.

  161. cgh says:
    August 9, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Very well said. I couldn’t have put it any better.

    The anti-nukes, as far as I am concerned, are incapable of (or at least unwilling to) engage in careful, objective critical or analytical thought using facts and reasoning when it comes to nuclear power. The CAGW alarmists are the same way. Their emotional and spiritual devotion to their anti-nuke theological belief system trumps all else, facts be damned.

    For them to suggest that we should listen to them instead of nuclear physicists, engineers, and other scientists with advanced nuclear education, training and experience is patently ridiculous and demonstrates the irrationality of their mode of thinking. I could try to explain the radiation hormesis hypothesis to them so they might understand that low-level radiation does not necessarily need to be feared, but it would be pointless.

    If they are in fact being funded by the fossil fuel industry, then that is indeed ironic. This is because I have added up the number of deaths due to natural gas explosions worldwide over the past 50 years and came up with a total of in excess of 2,650.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_disasters_by_death_toll. (Explosions and Industrial Disasters tables).

    I could try explaining to the anti-nukes that this natural gas death toll is many times higher than that of nuclear in the same time frame. Unfortunately, like most attempts at making them understand, it would probably be a waste of time. They would only make excuses to ignore it.

    Like oil and vinegar, rational, critical analytical thinking and the anti-nuclear movement simply don’t mix.

  162. I keep pictures of Nagasaki, Chernobyl on my smart phone as to the long term damage to life by living things. The children are hideous. The animals worst. Now, the new threat to Japan from the nuclear accident just a few years ago reaching Western USA. Wonder what the fish look like down below? Wonder what their future generations will look like and the women that were pregnant during the accident? Wonder what their babies look like now? How many A-Bomb Tests and accidents do we need? There is only so much space. Then there are the lost crops, lost land, lost lives, lost homes, and lost of a way of life. You should go on the web sites that show Chernobyl. Sad.

  163. mpainter says:
    August 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Rogerknights@3:32pm:

    Let us not be stampeded into nuclear power by some imagined fear of Green power.

    1. The greenies are IN power and shutting down coal power plants. That’s not imaginary.

    2. If our side advocated nuclear power as our alternative, and got the GOP to go along, we could have a chance to at least “stalemate” the political situation for a few years until the globe started cooling and pulled the rug out from under CAGW.

  164. The thing here in Australia is the amount of water required to cool a reactor, something like 200,000,000 litres a day! James Hansen reckoned that nuclear would be better for Australia than clean energy that didn’t work. We could use sea water to cool reactors around our extensive coast line. But more than anything, we have got the technicians and scientists to run them as yet, meaning we would have to import their expertise, and we can’t justify the expense.
    Paris had a heat wave back in the 1980s and they nearly had to shut down one of the older reactors because of water reduction. No thanks, I’d rather stick to my grid electricity. It’s safer.

  165. From Paul Pierett on August 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm:

    You should go on the web sites that show Chernobyl. Sad.

    Or better yet, Take The Tour!

    ITINERARY

    We usually start our Chernobyl tour at 9 a.m.

    SoloEast’s staff will meet you at the departure point, check passports, dress code, etc. If you need to be picked up at your location we can do that too – just let us know.

    * Drive to Chernobyl with passing Dytyatky checkpoint (on the border of the 30-km Exclusion Zone). We show you an informative and stunning documentary you’ll like during a 2-hour ride.

    * Entry to the 30km Exclusion Zone. Meeting the leadership of Chernobylinterinform Agency.

    * Arrival to Chernobyl. Introductory briefing on the Exclusion Zone administrative division and regulations, RAW disposal, etc.

    * Sightseeing Chernobyl town: Wormwood Star memorial, St. Ilya Church, Memorial “To Those who Saved the World”, photo stop at the place with robots and vehicles used to clean the radioactive fallout.

    * Entry to the 10 km Zone by passing Leliv checkpoint.

    * On the way to the Power Plant we stop at almost fully buried Kopachi village and check the kindergarten which we can still enter.

    * Sightseeing Reactor #4 from a 300 m distance.

    * Stop near the Red Forest.

    * Sightseeing Pripyat town: Lenin Street, the palace of culture, Polissya hotel, supermarket; Ferris wheel, the stadium, school, swimming pool and the hospital.

    NO ENTRY INSIDE THE BUILDINGS DUE TO THE SAFETY REASONS.

    * Lunch at the Power Plant canteen- all ingredients are brought from the outside and ecologically clean. A vegetarian meal is available upon request.

    * Visiting Paryshiv village, meeting the self-settlers (people who chose to come back to their homes after the evacuation (optional).

    * Important – Rossokha village (contaminated vehicles graveyard) – ACCESS FORBIDDEN BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM APRIL 2008.

    * Passage through Dytyatki checkpoint. Compulsory radiation control.

    * Return to Kiev around 6 p.m.

    NOTE! The itinerary can be changed by the guide depending of weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.

    Wow. Site of the worst nuclear reactor disaster ever, and you can visit the town, see the sites, speak to the people who’ve moved back, look at the reactor building, and even get a vegetarian lunch. And all for a price that’s easily cheaper than a day at an amusement park!

    See the links at the bottom for the photos and videos. The abundant wildlife is spectacular.

  166. Just finished transcribing in-depth interviews conducted by a researcher. Not sure the purpose of the study, but the interviews were with leading figures in alternative energy sources. The final question concerned the possibility of the particular energy source being able to be “swapped into” the existing infrastructure. The consensus was that if they could be scaled up, they would fit into the infrastructure fairly easily. (In one case I doubt it — in another case I concede that it might be possible, but not likely.)

    But what bothered me wasn’t their optimistic predictions of success. What gave me chills, especially hearing it repeated by different interview subjects — was that according to these experts, having an energy source that was clean, free of emissions and met the world’s demands without calling for significant changes in the infrastructure would not solve the “real problem.” And what was the real problem? Our behaviour. In other words, no matter what energy source we use, no matter how “green” or “sustainable” it is, the ultimate aim according to their own words is to change our behaviour in order to cut down our consumption. It isn’t our use of resources that is the ultimate problem — it is the fact that we want to own and do things beyond the absolute necessity to sustain our lives.

    This isn’t about energy. It’s not about resources. It’s not even about the planet. It’s about controlling our behaviour. And the open, smug, and laughing way in which they blatantly expressed this was downright scary.

  167. cirby says:
    August 9, 2014 at 6:32 am
    “The statement, organized by the Civil Society Initute and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), urges Hansen and his colleagues to publicly debate the question of climate change and nuclear power.”
    “Nuclear power is not a financially viable option.”

    What they left out:
    “Mostly because we’ve spent most of the last 60 years making it as expensive as possible due to extreme ‘environmental’ restrictions that make no sense with modern designs.”

    +++++++++++++++

    From my reading of the history the nuclear power industry, faced with a market for weapons grade byproducts and a desire to make as much money as possible, manufacturer chose the most expensive possible technology available with the most expensive possible fuel processing and reprocessing requirements in the early 70′s. G.E.and those guys. The decision maximised costs and therefore turnover.

    The strange union of ideas of the greens to try to make nuclear power as expensive as possible to render it economically unattractive exactly matches the nuclear power industry’s interest in making it as expensive as possible without killing the host, so to speak. The biggest threat to pressurised light water reactors is the much cheaper nuclear and far safer alternative nuclear options. Thorium in particular threatens the reprocessing industry because it is so much more benign.

    Irrational opposition to ‘nuclear’ anything is the downfall of the anti-nuke arguments.

    Re the real cost of power from various sources have a look at Ontario Power’s very public website showing nuclear, wind, gas, solar and biomass generation and cost on an hourly basis. Wind and solar are heavily subsidised by hydro and nuclear. Natural gas compensation stations are required for the wind farms. The whole ‘renewable’ scheme is subsidised by jacking up retail prices.

    The back of my envelope calculation shows a $20 bn price tag for enough wind power to replace a nuclear power station of equal capacity. At that price only the windmill industry is interested in wind power, save for isolated communities.

  168. I can see some vocal anti nuclear people who would of course be opposed to scientists researching the theory that underneath the mantle of the earth is a natural heat producing nuclear reactor keeping all our volcanoes well supplied. I guess you could picket both the scientists and the planet to shut down both – just in case !!.

    As to risks, Nuclear generation plants are proliferating as countries seek ways of future proofing the supply of energy for them, but strangely, those very same vocal people choose to prevent your own countries taking that step, now that seems to me to be head in the sand stuff – but I guess it is O.K. if you so distrust the capability of your designers, engineers, technicians or the competence of your government to overcome safety concerns especially if we prove to be heading into a time of lowered temperatures (little ice age like) colder world.

    Then again it could be equally put that there is more mathematical risk potential in an asteroid impacting on the planet than the realisation of your nuclear fear.

  169. “There is just one problem with this argument – its an utter falsehood. The reason its a falsehood, is massive government intervention is not the only, or by any measure the best, route to reducing CO2 emissions.”

    Guys, please! Learn the spelling of the contraction of it and is. It is “it’s.”

  170. bushbunny says:

    No thanks, I’d rather stick to my grid electricity. It’s safer.

    I usually agree with bushbunny’s posts, but this one doesn’t compute. We would all rather just stick with our present electricity supply. The problem is, that supply is finite. It is not enough, and we need a relible source of electricity.

    That has to come from somewhere. ‘Alternative’ power sources are preposterously expensive, and in the case of wind and solar, they are unreliable, or they work only during the daytime.

    Nuclear is one option. I would personally prefer coal and natgas, but the eco-lobby has hobbled those very cheap power sources. Where will we get the power we need?

    Rather than say “I’d rather stick to my grid electricity”, what are the reasonable alternatives? The enviros want to totally restrict power generation, but that is stupid. People are not going to wash their clothes by hand again.

    So, what are the alternatives? Where do we get the electricity we need?

  171. SAMURAI says:
    August 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    There is nothing “imaginary” about LFTR technology…..

    All theoretical properties/concepts of LFTR technology have been proven to work through proof-of-concept experiments conducted at Oak Ridge Labs in the 60’s.

    ==============

    There was no thorium in the Oak Ridge LFTR reactor.

  172. Louis (August 9, 2014 at 11:01 am) asks “why France installed nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power and other countries haven’t.“. Does it matter? All sorts of different countries make all sorts of different decisions. No matter what the topic is, there will be a country or countries at the top of the sorted list, and another or others at the bottom. Why is Germany currently building coal fired power stations while no other European country is? Why does Germany have (or recently had) a third of global installed solar power while Norway has 0.01%? Who cares.

  173. Gamecock— The purpose of the initial Oak Ridge Lab reactor was to prove molten salt reactors worked, which is precisely what was proven.

    The next experiment was a test LFTR but the idiots at NRC and govt hacks pulled the plug; they coveted the bomb-grade fissionable material that LWRs created– a mistake that has cost the world $100′s of trillions….

    Anyway, China is now finishing what Dr. Weinberg started 50 years ago… What a colossal waste due to political incompetence, crony Crapitalism and warmongering.

  174. The utilities decide on power generation options and they have rejected nuclear for mostly economic reasons: power generation by conventional fuel (coal, natural gas) is cheaper cheaper to build and to operate and without the expensive headache of disposing of the dangerous waste.

    So the bloggers here who say “ignorant” and “irrational” to those who express their concerns about nuclear power generation should hurl such epithets at the utilities.
    Concerning LFTR, this technology is still in the development stage and they would have us believe that it is on the showroom floor. So much for the reliability of proponents of nuclear power generation.

  175. I’m against Nuclear power due to the cost. The price of a new plant in the UK will saddle us with debts for years to come owed to foreign governments. We need traditional power generation, but if the money spent on nuclear plant were invested in free or subsidised solar panels for UK homes we could reduce the need for energy generation through fossil fuels at a stroke. There is a major drawback, and that is once a solar panel is installed, it does not continue to generate profits for investors, which makes it unattractive. We will always need some traditional power generation,we have prime sites in the UK for hydro and tidal power generation, but decisions should be informed by a populations need for energy, not just profit.

  176. Gareth Phillips:

    Regarding solar panels instead of power generation, you will need electricity at night and on cloudy days; solar panels are limited in their usefullness, unfortunately.

  177. CD(@CD153), the wiki list you referenced is fine as far as it goes. Better however is the huge analysis done by the Paul Scherrer Institut. They classified energy hazards based on 1. loss of life, 2. injury, 3 economic costs, 4. population displacement, for all energy generation types per unit of energy generated. They’ve also divided the analysis into Global, OECD, and non-OECD nations.

    Per unit of energy generated gives the best measure of the risks any technology poses. PSI produced the original report in 1998, and they produce regular updates to it as new data is added and new events take place.

    In general, per unit of energy generated, nuclear is by far the safest in terms of fatalities or injuries. In general by far, liquefied petroleum products are by far the most dangerous, considerably exceeding coal even on a non-OECD basis. For LPP, the principal hazard is transport. For coal, the principal hazard is mining.

    Even hydraulic poses much greater risk than nuclear, albeit considerably less than coal (exclusively because of dam ruptures). However, the non-OECD rate is at least four times the risk of OECD installations.

    I can post a link to this if you want, but it’s a massive document.

    bushbunny: “The thing here in Australia is the amount of water required to cool a reactor, something like 200,000,000 litres a day!… No thanks, I’d rather stick to my grid electricity. It’s safer.”

    You’re a bit confused on two points. Your grid electricity comes from coal-fired thermal plants in Australia. Their demand for water is not significantly different than that of nuclear plants. Both require cold water to condense the turbine steam. After which, the water is returned to the water body slightly warmer. It is not used up or consumed.

    Also, the intake for water for any thermal plant can be reduced by closed-circuit cooling towers, which again have nothing to do with the type of energy source of the thermal plant.

    The French heat wave to which you refer was about five years ago, not back in the ’80s. Plants had to reduce output, and one had to shut down, not because of lack of water, but that the discharged water would have violated the temperature limits for the river, causing fish kills. This would be the case regardless of whether the plant was nuclear or coal-fired.

    You are correct that Australia does not currently have the expertise to build and operate nuclear plants. But that expertise can be acquired, and the cost is minor relative to the quantity of power generated. What is costly is if you build the infrastructure in human and technical expertise and then DON’T build the power plants afterward.

    You are correct regarding seawater cooling. This is done by many nuclear plants around the world, and Australia is fortunate that most of the high electricity consumption regions are coastal ones.

  178. More than anything, it is crucial that we have a rational energy policy. Under the current administration, we don’t have that. So-called “green energy” makes no sense whatsoever, and can be discarded as being irrational. Nuclear, though, is completely rational, and should be a healthy chunk of the Big Three; Coal, NG, and Nuclear. Currently it provides something like 19%, and there is probably plenty of room for it to grow. 25% is not beyond the realm of possibility.
    There are some Alarmists who apparently are pro-nuclear, but for the wrong reason. They are wolves in sheeps’ clothing. Beware.

  179. “Wow. Site of the worst nuclear reactor disaster ever, and you can visit the town, see the sites, speak to the people who’ve moved back, look at the reactor building, and even get a vegetarian lunch.”

    There was also a “Top Gear” episode a while ago where our intrepid trio were challenged to drive from Sevastopol to Chernobyl. I was surprised by the whole thing – “they won’t be allowed” in, I thought, “no way will they go in”. But much to my amazement they did, and long did they tarry.

    Why didn’t the msm tell us about this? Not pc?

  180. mpainter (August 9, 2014 at 10:41 am) “Who pays for cleaning up a massive radiation disaster?”

    The ocean. Does it matter that the ocean has warmed from about 0.1C on average ostensibly caused by man? No. Maybe someday in the far future. Does it matter that the ocean has a bit lower pH on average due to manmade CO2 in the atmosphere? No, natural variation still far exceeds that decrease in all cases. Does it matter that Japan dumped a bunch of radioactive isotopes into the ocean? Not substantively but it could if they continued.

    “So the bloggers here who say “ignorant” and “irrational” to those who express their concerns about nuclear power generation should hurl such epithets at the utilities.”

    So far your concerns have all been ignorant and irrational. Not only that, but your very first post accused nuclear proponents here of being paid shills.

  181. Well, actually, no, I never said any such thing, not even by a stretch and you cannot show where I said such. The comment is at Aug 9@6:32. Again, a proponent of nuclear power has shown the unreliability of the species.

  182. For most of the duration of the nuclear power generation era, we’ve been informed that a meltdown is the worst possible scenario for a nuclear power plant. Hollywood even made a blockbuster disaster film – The China Syndrome about one such fictional event, where the true extent of an accident was being covered up, in what IMDb calls “a modern nightmare.”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078966/reviews?ref_=tt_urv

    But now that we’ve had three total meltdowns, it turns out it’s no big deal. The ocean will take care of the clean-up. And besides, nobody has died so far, so obviously there are no health issues we need concern ourselves with at all, and we can all go back to counting fairies on pinheads, I mean, further discussions about the true role of the fantastic carbon dioxide molecule as an agent of climate change.

  183. I will proudly wear the badge of “proponent of nuclear power”, and if that makes what I post “unreliable”, then so be it. I will do whatever it takes (Schneider style) to flush out your ilk.

  184. From eric1skeptic on August 10, 2014 at 6:51 am:


    So far your concerns have all been ignorant and irrational. Not only that, but your very first post accused nuclear proponents here of being paid shills.

    From mpainter on August 10, 2014 at 7:37 am:

    Well, actually, no, I never said any such thing, not even by a stretch and you cannot show where I said such. The comment is at Aug 9@6:32. (…)

    From mpainter on August 9, 2014 at 6:32 am:

    Nuclear power in the hands of the power companies is dangerous. Anyone who advocates this ignores this danger. The advocates of nuclear power pretend that such danger does not exist, safer than our highways blah blah. (…)
    All at the prompting of the nuclear power crowd and for their pockets?

    Advocates of nuclear power pretending, at the prompting, for their pockets. That sure can read like you accused those advocates of being paid shills, except for that final question mark that transforms it to an implication, albeit a strong implication.

  185. That’s it! We’ll flush the ocean. And Kirk, Spock and Scotty will beam down to the crushed reactors to retrieve the missing coriums!

  186. I have a suggestion for nuclear plant safety. Build them in Antarctica. It’s a giant wasteland anyway. It might even be possible to use the low temps to increase Carnot efficiency. Water for cooling should be no problem. Since hydrocarbons are the most convenient way to use and store energy, and incidentally account for the vast majority of the energy that the world actually uses, use this nuclear energy to make hydrocarbons. Capture the CO2 and pipe or barge it back to Antarctica to complete the cycle.

  187. I’ve posted before about nuclear electric power deaths since 1950s ~70 and 47 of them were at Chernobyl an egregiously cheaply built, unsafe reactor. Notably France has had just 1 death and it was in an accident involving melting of spent fuel rods – he might even have been run down by a forklift for all I know. Hey, there have even been solar PV deaths in California!! In China, they have recently got coal mining accidents down to ~2000/yr from 6-7000/yr – hey nobody raises protest placards about this – only the CO2 it emits. So with nuclear, they raise cost, a large percentage of which is the cost of dealing with activists and excessive overdesign as a CYA for politicians and bogus danger. The interference by activists have retarded technological development of this energy source which will inexorably one day come to the fore.

    I’m afraid we just have to weather the storms and forge ahead. Windmills will not change much in time: you need to expose the same amount of wind grabbing surface and it has to be up high. Solar, the same: it has to have surface area exposed to the sun. Nuclear could end up the size of a Howard Johnson’s. Sorry about links – google nuclear electrical plant deaths.

  188. This topic reminds me why I do not normally troll through comments on WUWT, despite an often rich source of additional data and links. I come to WUWT for science (and Willis’ occasional travelogues) – and I may be the only ‘greenie’ to do so. I get very depressed by the voice of Middle America. And also somewhat disheartened by the otherwise sharp minds of many sceptics who completely lose their critical faculties when it comes to energy policy, development, economic growth and above all, nuclear power.

    And then there is another issue – the one sceptics share with the greenies in equal measure – a willful blindness to anything that does not fit with their worldview. I am a case in point: I wrote a 400 page critique of global warming theory, with 200 scientific references – it was sent to the greens I knew well in the hope they would see sense, but of course, they would not read it. It was published as ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’. It was endorsed by the drafting author of the Kyoto Protocol (my one ‘green’ convert) who knew me well enough to read it and had the grace to engage in argument. The book had 20 five-star ratings on Amazon UK. It was also reviewed alongside IPCC Houghton’s tome as essential reading by a respected paleo-ecology journal.

    But WUWT would not review it – nor mention my name in any of its references to UK sceptics. A green sceptic does not compute. It is also clear in the book that I am against nuclear power, but support open democratic and grass-roots answers to climate resilience (I am not a closet Stalinist command and control economy by any other name kind of weasel). So I don’t fit the stereotype.

    In addition to having qualifications in ecosystem science, I am also a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute – with an interest in the social dimensions of science and its role in political change. So I keep an eye on who believes what. In my view – limited as it may be, there are no hard and fast rules. Firstly the ‘greens’ are a disparate bunch – my government claims to be green, so do proponents of nuclear power and even GMOs. The Green Party opposes nuclear power – but on paper only – they don’t campaign because without nuclear, the UK would be stuffed with regard to reduced carbon emissions – and carbon, as you know, is God. Greenpeace opposes nuclear power – but again, mostly on paper for the same reason and they hope the supporters don’t notice – or perhaps secretly hope they are listening to their retiring director in UK a few years back, who announced that he saw no alternative but to go nuclear to meet our climate obligations. It is the same for Monbiot – except he has been more open. I believe Patrick Moore – a founder of Greenpeace, feels the same way.

    There is, in fact, no really powerful anti-nuclear movement in the UK. Nor in France. In the case of the latter, where I have lived at times, with its 85% nuclear electric supply – their 50 reactors were forced upon widespread dissenters by bringing in troops, tear gas and stun grenades. The electricity supplier is a state monopoly. That is why it is a lead partner with China (also not known for tolerating dissenters) in building Britain’s first nuclear station in 20 years – just 20 miles upwind from where I live.

    The German government aims to phase out all nuclear stations as a consequence of Fukushima. Madness? No risk of a tsunami, sceptics say! When are one-dimensional sceptic thinkers going to join up a few dots?? WUWT has already reported on the solar tsunami that narrowly missed earth in 2012. Do some research please….on how long the grid would go down, how long diesel supplies would last, and how much land would be contaminated – all from one simple solar pulse, which NASA now estimates a 1/12 chance in the next decade.

    Elsewhere I hear leading sceptics trash all greens – you obviously don’t care about great whales, acid rain, the loss of rainforests, nuclear waste dumping at sea, toxic persistent organic chemicals – all success stories of green activism – by scientists and lawyers. And they say – there is no limit to economic growth, nor resource exploitation, because it helps us walk lightly on the Earth. What absolute tosh – but don’t let rational argument and data spoil the view. Like the advocates of DDT – totally out of touch with the research on loss of eagles, egrets, herons and whatever else at the top of the food chain – heh – worth the risk to protect the poor against malaria? Except that the west when it banned DDT to protect its wildlife and as a precaution because the breakdown products which resemble neurotoxins developed by the Nazis, were accumulating in mothers’ milk, exported the factories to Africa and India, where it is still produced and used to control malaria.If you really have not choice other than eagles or malaria, who can blame them – but other options do exist and are not cheap because industry does not manufacture them in enough quantities. That is the price of eagles and India doesn’t care that much, having just lost 95% of its vultures to a veterinary anti-inflammatory product given en masse to its sacred cows.

    I know it is a lost cause to post this…but I do like the site, generally. Without this kind of blog there would have been no effective opposition to the climate bandwagon.

  189. @mpainter,
    You did say:
    “All at the prompting of the nuclear power crowd and for their pockets?”
    Notice that word, “prompting”. Notice the phrase “their pockets”.
    Offensive, no?

  190. Col Mosby, as usual, your points are false.

    “There are NO govt subsidies for commercial nuclear power aside from some
    (very few) guaranteed govt loans.”

    The truth, which you should know if you hold yourself out as an expert, is nuclear power plants in the US are, and have been, heavily subsidized via

    1) large (many $billion US) federal loan guarantees,

    2) liability relief via the Price-Anderson Act,

    3) relief from some lawsuits during construction,

    4) a form of a carbon tax that shuts down their coal-based competition,

    5) raising electric prices during construction, and

    6) relaxing safety requirements rather than forcing utilities to shut down or comply.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn is US nuclear power plants are heavily subsidized.

    My articles 13 and 25 address these points in detail.

  191. @ Brian who says at August 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    “Ha ha ha! Mr. Sowell, with all due respect, the truth is that you know almost NOTHING about nuclear power.

    I’m very familiar with your writings on this subject, and if you’ll forgive me for being blunt, you’re just an ignorant shill lawyer who is paid by fossil fuel companies to say this stuff (as you explain on your own web site) and who knows nearly next to nothing about what you are hired to be a mouthpiece against.

    Your stupid talking points are cookie-cutter stuff that are taken straight from Greenpeace and similar organizations and that have been rebutted ad absurdum (even in the comments section here). You make claim after claim that you simply can’t back up. Even when it comes to arguing like a lawyer, you’re totally incompetent.”

    Mr. Brian, your libelous statement above is noted, saved, filed, and very likely will be the subject of a defamation suit.

    Your identity will be found out.

  192. Anything has to be better than the UK’s Short Term Operational Reserve (STOR). This is an ever-expanding army of diesel generators scattered all over the country, which do nothing most of the time. But they are paid 12 times the going rate for electrical supplies, when the wind stops. This is the secret truth, that the Green fantasists do not want to talk about.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362762/The-dirty-secret-Britains-power-madness-Polluting-diesel-generators-built-secret-foreign-companies-kick-theres-wind-turbines–insane-true-eco-scandals.html

    It is claimed in the following link that these very expensive generating sets work only 60 hours a year, but I think that is a deliberate misprint to salve the Green conscience. To make economic sense, my calculations indicate that a minimum run-time of 600 hours a year is required to make any return of investment (when power is sold at 12x normal price). And this is just happens to be x10 greater that what this article says, so I think someone has deliberately dropped a zero.

    http://www.flexitricity.com/core-services

    Ralph

  193. Quoting out of context Cobb. Quote the whole comment, if you don’t mind. Then I’ll answer your question.

  194. Roger Sowell says:
    August 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Loan guarantees? These cost money only when they are not paid back. Freedom from law suits – thank goodness for that – the courts in the US are used like baseball bats by activists. Your list is full of thin stuff. The biggest tariff is dealing with antediluvian activists.

    Also Roger, I’m aware of your fixed, immovable position on this. Given some research funds and quiet time, most of the problems with nuclear safety (only 70 nuclear electric plant deaths since the 1950s and 47 of these at the badly designed Chernobyl) and cost would be solved. Aluminum was $1200/kg in 1852. Don’t be like protesters and decriers of airplanes after the first flight. Yes they were very dangerous and didn’t look like they could ever be useful for transportation. And at $1200/kg for aluminum, how were they ever to find a light metal to make them out of.

    . http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele013.html

  195. Greg says: August 9, 2014 at 10:09 am
    Roger Sowell: “4 Why did France install nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power, and no other country in the world followed their lead?”

    Simple. Because France’s nuclear program was driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal, not civilian power generation.
    _____________________________________

    I think the real reason for France going for nuclear, is that they have very few energy sources.

    The UK was finding oil, Germany has massive brown coal fields, Sweden had Hydro, Norway had oil, and France has – well, not a lot really. If France was to prevent being relegated to the back-seat of technological and manufacturing Europe, it had to create a reliable energy system — something that the next generation forgot all about in their dash for Green power.

    And the UK is now going to be dependent on slashing and burning every forest in the US, for our energy. Just how daft do these Greens get?

    Ralph

  196. I just searched the text and all the comments for some mention of space — in the sense of acres or hectares or square miles or kilometers. I’m thinking of the spatial implications of energy sites. Only Paul Pierett at 8:53 mentions space in this sense and then in a context that includes A-Bomb Tests (why caps?), accidents, and Chernobyl. [Full disclosure: my wife and I have contributed to the Children of Chernobyl program and met some of the children.]

    So, consider the current and future energy use as projected using standard methods – that is, no grand 90% reduction in people or energy. Now assume one wanted to phase out all carbon based fuel and replace it with wind, solar, and energy in the ocean. Do this at a 2% per year replacement rate over 50 years.

    How much of this will be wind? Land based or sea based? How much will be solar – utility size or roof top like? For tides, waves, and ocean currents – all possible and all tiny, and likely to stay that way.

    Here is the issue: Start with a simple substitution of all-wind and calculate the land area needed to replace current energy by 2064. One will have to ignore the storage issue for now but should include the transmission lines to move the power to areas where wind doesn’t blow for days. For an example of this issue, see:

    http://transmission.bpa.gov/business/operations/wind/baltwg.aspx

    There has been almost no wind power for the 12 hours beginning at 10 PM PST on Saturday and not much until Tues. or Wed. of the coming week – if then.

    Try some other, more reasonable, mixes of power sources other than all wind. Use the best numbers available and factor in improvements in technology (again, storage is questionable but make a case for it if you can), use reasonable population growth estimates, and increasing per capita consumption.

    I’m old enough that I will not see much change from today as this transition takes place, but maybe you will be here in 2064. If you are one of the ones that expect to be here then – what do you expect to happen regarding this energy transition?

  197. mpainter says:
    August 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    “DirkH
    We buy oil Mexico, Venezuela, Nigeria but how much Saudi? Methinks little if any. ”

    Good luck getting anyone to buy US treasuries when they don’t need them as currency for oil purchases.
    Well actually we’re already there and the Fed absorbs all newly issued debt of the US while the nations of the world dump their remaining stockpile of treasuries or let it mature. (remember Operation Twist? That was to let China exchange US long term debt to short term debt – the long term papers are now all owned by the Fed. The Chinese wanted out of the long term papers, and did.)
    Do you think there’ll be a great demand for USD’s / treasuries globally in the future?

    So, that’s why the Petrodollar dies. Oil was the only quasi backing for the USD and that’s now breaking away rapidly – so many deals in non USD made now you can’t even begin to bomb all nations who participate.

    And that’s that for the Dollar. I would advise the USA to prepare for isolation and autarky but; well, actually it would be pointless… for that you would first have to kick out the Chinese… who already own 30% of commercial real estate in Manhattan, for instance.

  198. John F. Hultquist:

    At August 10, 2014 at 10:07 am you suggest there will be a “transition” to use of windpower by 2064 and ask

    I’m old enough that I will not see much change from today as this transition takes place, but maybe you will be here in 2064. If you are one of the ones that expect to be here then – what do you expect to happen regarding this energy transition?

    By then the scam will be over so the subsidy farms that operate wind turbines and solar power will have been scrapped.

    Windpower was used for thousands of years until it was abandoned when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine.

    Fossil fuels, nuclear power and hydropower are the future for at least this century. Windpower and solar power only exist to farm subsidies: they are expensive, environmentally damaging, and polluting additions to grid systems, and they make no reduction to the need for thermal power stations.

    Richard

  199. To eric1skeptic who say at August 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Here’s Sowell geting thrashed on a pro-nuke forum: http://atomicinsights.com/nuclear-energy-is-cheap-and-disruptive-controlling-the-initial-cost-of-nuclear-power-plants-is-a-solvable-problem/

    Mr Sowell, do you ever get tired of posting the same silly straw men like why are there no nukes on islands? I agree with Brian, you are incompetent, you should at least replace your arguments with ones that haven’t been trashed over and over.”

    Your libelous statement above is noted, saved, filed, and may be the subject of a defamation lawsuit.

  200. SAMURAI says:
    August 10, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Gamecock— The purpose of the initial Oak Ridge Lab reactor was to prove molten salt reactors worked, which is precisely what was proven.

    The next experiment was a test LFTR but the idiots at NRC and govt hacks pulled the plug; they coveted the bomb-grade fissionable material that LWRs created– a mistake that has cost the world $100’s of trillions….

    ===================

    So, you have gone from:

    “All theoretical properties/concepts of LFTR technology have been proven to work through proof-of-concept experiments conducted at Oak Ridge Labs in the 60’s.”

    To:

    “The next experiment was a test LFTR but the idiots at NRC and govt hacks pulled the plug”

    You are incoherent.

  201. I’ve been working nuclear construction and nuclear operations for thirty-five years and naturally have some opinions about this topic. Some random thoughts are posted below:.

    Economic Competitiveness of Nuclear Power:

    The biggest roadblock by far to expanded nuclear construction in the United States is the high upfront capital cost of nuclear power which must be amortized over the life of the plants. As stated in inflation-corrected dollars, the capital cost of a nuclear megawatt in the United States is roughly double what it was two decades ago. These high capital costs have put an end to the nascent American nuclear renaissance as lower prices for natural gas erase the cost advantage nuclear generation had over gas-fired generation in terms of total lifecycle cost.

    For nuclear to become economically competitive with natural gas in unregulated power markets, the price of natural gas must go high in the near term and then stay high for decades on end.

    The reasons for why capital costs for nuclear are so high in the US in comparison with China, for one example, include: (1) the general decline of the US industrial sector for nearly all those industrial capabilities that are important in supporting successful nuclear construction projects; (2) lack of nuclear-capable job skills among both managers and skilled craft; (3) high labor costs for both managers and for skilled craft labor that are far above the global norm; (4), higher taxes and civil infrastructure support costs in the US, and (5) competition for land and for civil support infrastructure from other private and commercial projects.

    Effect of NRC Oversight on Capital Costs:

    Nuclear construction is different from coal or natural gas construction in that an excellent job must be done from one end of the project to the other. What the NRC requires in terms of their approval processes and in terms of their quality assurance requirements for plant construction and operation is perfectly reasonable and appropriate given the risks of nuclear power. The NRC’s oversight processes and procedures are about as efficient in terms of time and cost to implement as they can be relative to the requirements they must impose.

    The Thorium Fuel Cycle:

    The commercial nuclear industry in the United States sees no cost advantages for the thorium fuel cycle over the existing uranium fuel cycle. Thorium is a policy wonk hobby horse for those who think there is a magic technology solution to the deeply entrenched factors which affect the high costs and lack of acceptance of nuclear power in the United States. Thorium isn’t going to happen in this country.

    Nuclear Waste Issues:

    The NRC’s draft safety analysis report for Yucca Mountain – which for political reasons, the Obama Administration refused to publish as a final report — determined that Yucca Mountain was a safe place to store nuclear waste. That issue aside, there is a serious problem with Yucca Mountain’s costs. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) is deeply flawed in that it requires that the spent nuclear fuel stored in any geologic repository must be retrievable for eventual reprocessing, should fuel reprocessing ever become economic.

    But including the fuel retrieval option greatly increases the construction costs and the future operating costs of any deep geologic repository, regardless of where it is sited.

    The policy problem here is that if there is any future possibility at all that any particular store of spent nuclear fuel will be reprocessed, that store of spent fuel will never be placed into a geologic repository, it will stay in its casks above ground for decades on end. Why pay greatly increased costs for including a retrieval capability in a geologic repository when that capability will never, ever be used? The NWPA must be revised to eliminate this deal-killing policy issue before productive work on a geologic repository can be resumed.

    If the fuel retrieval requirement is eliminated from the NWPA, then disposal sites which are significantly less costly to construct and to operate than Yucca Mountain will be under current NWPA requirements now become very much more attractive as a place to dispose of radioactive material which is, and always will be under any conceivable future circumstances, “waste” as opposed to “resource.”

    If the NWPA were ever to be revised to correct this important policy flaw, the salt deposits of southeastern New Mexico then become the most attractive disposal site both from a nuclear safety perspective and from a waste management cost control perspective.

  202. Roger Sowell [August 9, 2014 at 6:29 am] says:

    If nuclear power was really as good as the advocates claim (i.e. cheap, safe, reliable, etc), then

    1 Why has nuclear power achieved only 11 percent of world power production, after more than 5 decades of competition?

    [...]

    10 Why are new reactor technologies being researched and developed?

    Because obsessive compulsive psychos have crippled every facet of the industry from R&D to construction to operation to public relations? Seriously. What EXTRAORDINARY chutzpah is demonstrated by nuclearphobes that purposely and methodically destroyed this industry by making every step as expensive as possible and later open their mouthes and ask why ‘it isn’t taking off’ or ‘is too expensive’. This is the same plan being implemented from the AGW cabal by demanding carbon taxes that jack up fossil fuel costs, and they’ll play the same game this anti-nuke-kook is by saying coal and NG plants are too expensive, and other garbage. P.S. Skimming through the comments I see that others have already hit this exact point. Kudos to them all.

    Steve P [August 9, 2014 at 9:11 am] says:

    With nuclear power there are numerous issues that get short shrift, such as security. Nothing can be made fool-proof because fools are too ingenious. Anything built by man can be hacked by man. In addition to considering what nature might do, we also have to consider what foolish men or foolish regimes might do.

    So we’ve heard, ditto for mobile Ohio and other subs, land-based missile silos, AF and other bases stocked with live nuke warheads and uncountable amounts of conventional high explosives, ammo and fuel. Is it too difficult to imagine new reactors built on or near secured bases? Or do we race to the bottom following this rabbit hole right back to ludditeville? Actually it is not unknown that some bases already have operational reactors already, as do most carriers and subs. And don’t doubt that even in the middle of DC there are not several as well. Securing these things is most definitely NOT the major impediment to implementation.

    nutso fasst [August 9, 2014 at 10:24 am] says:

    A war against reason waged with weapons of mass delusion.

    Right! It seems to be the most common WMD in use these days.

    Gamecock [August 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm] says:

    Politicians have poisoned the well. When government can decide to destroy a billion dollar investment on a whim, private money will stay out. It happened in New York a few years ago.

    Indeed, the father of the current Governor up here in NY was the person that killed the fully constructed Shoreham plant shortly before it was to be brought online, and an enormous expenditure of money was flushed down the toilet. That same fool also took the death penalty off the books and blocked a USN homeport in NYC. ( Guilliani gets blame here too. Interestingly, while people ponder terrorism events such as 9/11 in relation to a local nuke power plant they always fail to mention that missing homeport and the high probability that either or both planes that were hijacked would have been intercepted rather than the infamous futile chase from a faraway base in Massachusetts. ) An undefended NYC is indeed a safe NYC!

  203. Gary Pearse says: “Loan guarantees? These cost money only when they are not paid back.”

    No. Any guarantee is a liability on the balance sheet of the guarantor. And it is equally an asset on the balance sheet of the guaranteed.

    Each guarantee given by a private enterprise or government will reduce its creditworthiness. This results in increasing cost of funding when it looks for cash to support ongoing business.

    In the extreme, an over-indebted balance sheet results an loss of credit worthiness and inability to raise funding. At this point, insolvency/bankruptcy is almost a certainty.

  204. Tom :

    Huh? is the right expression.You have apparently uncovered the diesel powered co-generaters now extant in the US. I would estimate that only a minute portion of our elec is generated by these. The exception proves the rule :Public utilities do not use oil for power generation.

  205. Peter Taylor says:
    August 10, 2014 at 9:14 am

    “their critical faculties when it comes to energy policy, development, economic growth and above all, nuclear power.

    And then there is another issue – the one sceptics share with the greenies in equal measure – a willful blindness to anything that does not fit with their worldview.”

    Peter, respectfully, you do not understand serious skeptics. You lump them in with antideluvian, agenda-driven, unbending, scientific illiterates because that is who the warmists identify as “den_iers” or flat;_earthers and they lump us in with them. Would you be surprised that, like Patrick Moore, the scientifically literate sceptic in most cases actually believed the mainstream cli sci story until, upon examination of the science, they began to critique it. Indeed, that’s Anthony Watt’s story and what brought to you this best on the blog site.

    Now, Ill let you speak for the greenies but you are dead wrong about real sceptics. If you had read more of the posts on this site you would be surprised to learn that the sceptics I have defined here are angry about the neglect of real environmental issues that have been left under-funded and short on the policy end because of the overarching mania about CO2 and the trillions of dollars it is costing. The permits to kill millions of bats and birds by medieval engineering that isn’t delivering 15% of its electrical capacity, not to mention the uglification of the environmment by these expensive monsters, curdles the blood of true sceptics.

    Now look, Peter, you are a rare bird indeed to fly over this site with any appreciation at all – it makes you an honorary sceptic since you haven’t come to disrupt. The nuclear issue is an emotional, not an engineering or even environmental issue. After all, two horrible bombs were dropped that wiped out populations of two cities and that essentially is the source of the hyperbole over nuclear energy. In France, there has only been one death of a nuclear plant worker and no civilians in the most nuclear-bound country in the world. This is a record that no other industry in the world can claim. The rest of the world’s nuclear electrical industry has killed ~70 people, 47 in Chernobyl, one of the negligently designed Soviet plants (please don’t drag out the UN expected deaths from it). If it weren’t for the hiatus in research that extends decades back of the electronic revolution, we would probably have clean, reliable, small-footprint plants.

    Why do we brand lefty-greenies as we do? Do you know Maurice Strong? The Canadian rabid socialist (now living permanently in China) who created the UN framework on environment (yada yada) and the Kyoto protocol and the mission of the IPCC to find a link between human CO2 and planetary disaster? No? Well that’s a good place to start. The purpose, of course is world gov. run by elitists – sounds like “Gold Member” or what ever the spoof was called but this is not light comedy. You have to ask yourself what is in it for guys like Anthony Watts who takes abuse everyday – he is indeed the one saving the planet if there is such a project. Having come this far, I trust you don’t think he’s getting fat checks from big oil. Oh and he has solar panels on his roof, LED lights and drives an electric car, don’t you know.

    Sorry about your book not being mentioned, but, believe you me, there has been no shortage of dragons to slay in this government-UN Ma_lthusian-climate science industrial complex.

  206. Roger Sowell,

    Are you going to sue everyone who disagrees with you? If so, better put me on the list.

    I think there is a place for nuclear power. It doesn’t scare me. France generates four-fifths of its electricity from nuke plants, and I don’t see any big problems with that. What scares me is a lack of electricity.

    Your targets should be the anti-coal and anti-fracking enviro crowd. They are the real problem. With cheap coal and gas, there wouldn’t be any need for nukes.

  207. Roger Sowell says: August 10, 2014 at 10:55 am
    To eric1skeptic who say at August 10, 2014 at 10:28 am
    Your libelous statement above is noted, saved, filed, and may be the subject of a defamation lawsuit.
    _____________________________

    How does one defame a lawyer? I thought they had already defamed themselves, by the profession they chose. Is that not so, Mr Sowell (esq).

    Never yet met an honest lawyer. Never yet met a lawyer who used the law, instead of a campaign of dirty tricks and naked threats. Never yet met a layer who bothered about little things, like the truth. Never yet met a lawyer with an ounce of morality. Never yet met a lawyer who was not the school prat. Never yet met a lawyer who has not turned into a legalized bully, to get his own back for the bullying he received at school.

    Is that you, Mr Sowell (esq) ? Sure sounds like it to me.

    Ralph

  208. Steve P says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

    “We don’t need nuclear power, nor do we need wind and solar polar. All of these power generation technologies cost far more than they are worth and entail various liabilities often swept under the carpet, i.e. Fukushima. ”

    Steve, if Fukushima had been a coal fired plant, just as many people would have died and destruction would have been as bad.

  209. richardscourtney says:
    August 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    What I suggested was that folks who think wind, solar, waves and so on can power the world should try the calculations for themselves. The word “transition” as I used it may have misdirected you. Sorry for that. I actually meant “on paper” because in the real world I don’t think any such transition is possible. When one considers the low power density of wind and the spatial requirements for each tower the necessary land area for “wind farms” becomes quite surprisingly high.
    Again, sorry for the poorly written phrase.

  210. Come, come dbstealey, Sowell is entitled to serve notice when he feels that he has been slandered here. We all are. One can go too far and Sowell was attacked professionally.

  211. If by nuclear we are talking about thorium, Im on board. If we are talking about plants with the potential for meltdowns I find them one of the most short sighted things humans have ever embraced.

  212. Brian says: ” … if you’ll forgive me for being blunt, you’re just an ignorant shill lawyer who is paid by fossil fuel companies to say this stuff …”

    eric1skeptic says: “I agree with Brian, you are incompetent….”

    ralfellis says: “Never yet met an honest lawyer. Never yet met a lawyer who used the law, instead of a campaign of dirty tricks and naked threats. Never yet met a layer who bothered about little things, like the truth. Never yet met a lawyer with an ounce of morality. Never yet met a lawyer who was not the school prat. Never yet met a lawyer who has not turned into a legalized bully, to get his own back for the bullying he received at school.”

    —————————————
    Somebody pass me a bucket, I think I’m gonna be sick.

    Guys – you are handing ammunition to the opposition. If this is REALLY the best you have to say, please do everybody a big favour and stop posting it here.

    Thank you in anticipation..

  213. Gary Pearse says:
    August 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    The critical distinction is that the crisis at Fukushima has not been resolved. Any disaster at a coal fired plant would have local effects of a limited duration.

    A lump of coal can be picked up by hand anywhere any time, except when it’s burning; then you need to use tongs.

    Coriums, I gather, are a little more challenging.

  214. Roger Sowell (August 10, 2014 at 10:55 am) “Your libelous statement above is noted, saved, filed, and may be the subject of a defamation lawsuit.”

    I presume you wrote this blog post here: http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/climate-science-free-speech-and-legal.html That is, unless someone else wrote it or you merely cut and pasted from some other source without actually reading what you cut and pasted.

    The blog post states ” Examples of intentionally false would be “he has no training”, “he is incompetent,” “he makes things up,” “he takes money from oil companies,” and such. ”

    In a lame attempt to deflect from your lack of knowledge about nuclear power you have apparently also published in your blog a voluminous series (at least 30 parts) on the dangers, bad economics and just general badness of nuclear power. That series is full of errors, but it doesn’t matter to you since you are fully aware as a lawyer that the inanimate object “nuclear power” can’t sue you back for defamation.

    Your goal with the series is two-fold. First it is to establish a beachhead against nuclear power in the United States leveraging your climate skeptic credentials. Your series adds to the large amount of similarly false statements about nuclear power made at sites and organizations written by greenies. The second reason is you wish to present yourself as an expert in nuclear power so you can use that “expertise” and “online reputation” as a plaintiff in lawsuits against supporters of nuclear power like “Brian” in this thread.

    That blog post further states “Next, the false statement must have injured the plaintiff’s reputation. Injury to reputation is shown that because of the facts and circumstances known to the reader of the statement (the third party), the false statement tended to injure plaintiff in his occupation, or expose him to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or shame, or to discourage others from associating or dealing with him. This can be shown by testimony, by business records showing a decline, by statements showing hatred or contempt or ridicule, by plaintiff testifying to feelings of shame, or that others were discouraged or actually stopped associating or dealing with plaintiff.”

    When I read that post, it occurred to me that such business records, statements, testimony, etc. could be quite voluminous. It is August and heating season using my wood stove starts in late October here at my home on Stony Bottom Road in Front Royal Virginia. I would very much appreciate if such records, statements, and testimony could be delivered on paper. I prefer higher quality, heavy weight office paper. Please do not send any chemically treated or glossy paper.

    At that point in time, I will make an obviously foolish, belated effort to enhance your reputation as a competent lawyer on this blog (WUWT) by making measurements and a taking photograph of the stack of paper after it arrives at my house, and posting a link to it those in a suitable thread of your or my choosing. I realize that my effort to uphold your reputation will be construed as being further damaging to your reputation, but I am prepared to accept that risk if it results in further deliveries of printed material.

    Sincerely,
    Eric Peterson

  215. Jordan @1:02 pm:

    You wonder why such comments don’t prompt a response from the moderator. It is impossible to imagine such comments being allowed against one or two of the most prominent posters featured at this blog.

  216. mpainter says:
    August 10, 2014 at 6:00 am
    Gareth Phillips:

    Regarding solar panels instead of power generation, you will need electricity at night and on cloudy days; solar panels are limited in their usefullness, unfortunately.

    mpainter. I think you will note that I pointed out we will always need conventional power generation to cover the shortfall at night. I also understand that less power is consumed at night though there would have to be a reserve of capacity.

  217. Gamecock August 9, 2014 at 11:16 am:
    “[Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs)... haven't] been developed. You ascribe to it imaginary properties.

    Maybe the Chinese will get it to work. Even if they do, it’s not economically feasible at this time. Your declaration “If China is allowed to pursue LFTR development exclusively” sounds like a certain president telling us “we can’t let China get ahead of us in developing solar power.” ”

    You are not keeping up with the times, in all your superiority, Gamecock. The Indians have a Thorium reactor designed and have been proceeding to procure parts for it since springtime. A 300Mw system, with a larger one to follow. That first one they plan on having online in 2016 – only 2 years from now.

    Besides which Alvin Weiner in the 1960s completely “developed” the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor. And who is Weiner? Just the same exact guy who developed the light water reactor that is used in most nuclear plant around the world.

    You also do not seem to be aware that it is not only China “developing” Thorium reactors. About 20 to 30 countries are working on developing them, if not ore. The world doesn’t need the USA to do this. The rest of the world’s physicists see the value and benefit in the technology and are going ahead with it. China alone has more than FOUR HUNDRED scientists working on it, though, so they are taking it seriously perhaps the most.

    The world has entered the Thorium age, whether you think so or not.

  218. Renewables create harmonics on the grid, requiring $10 Trillion to upgrade. Green Energy’s waste stream of Rare Earth Elements tosses away enough of the super fuel Thorium yearly that can power the planet in molten salt reactors. MSRs due to no pressure domes, simplified with no backup systems needed for Walk away safe shut down brings a great solution to distributed power. The US, DoE and NRC are fools allowing China to walk away with a $6 Trillion market. http://www.energyfromthorium.com. For the nearly $1 Billion a day spent on AGW and renewables, we could build 600 MWs of MSRs daily. No emissions, 99% fuel burn and for greenies no CO2.

  219. Unlike AGW, which is a theory being used as leverage to enable various social engineering schemes, Nuclear is all about the hard fact and hard science and basic engineering.

    If it is practical, it will eventually be done, if not here, than elsewhere. If it is not practical, than the various projects under construction will prove that as well

    I’m going to be paying a lot of attention in the next few years to the various construction and research projects underway right now. Actual hard, real world applications that will refute, or confirm the arguments for and against Nuclear. I’m looking forward to reading about them here as they come online.

    In some ways it’s very refreshing to be talking about something that at the bottom is hard science and not massaged data and, If, maybe, could be, theory.

    There is no way on earth we will ever be able to prove that the AGW theory is false.

    You can’t prove a null. Is that the correct phrase?

  220. Steve P says:
    August 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Gary Pearse says:
    August 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    “The critical distinction is that the crisis at Fukushima has not been resolved. Any disaster at a coal fired plant would have local effects of a limited duration.”

    Nevertheless, had Fukushima been a coal fired plant, the same number of people would have died. I’m sure you understand that the disaster was a Tsunami and activists are notoriously opportunistic. If a pizza oven had blown up next door, that would be enough for several eco blogs to point to Fukushima. Steve, the fact that nuclear electric plants, despite early experimental aspects to the tech of the 1950s and the negligently designed Soviet plants, have killed only 70 people (47 at Chernobyl should tell you something). France, where the tech is newest has lost only one worker who had an accident (I don’t believe a radioactive one) in melting spent fuel rods. Meanwhile, China was killing people in coal mines at 6-7000 a year!!! until recently -certainly more than 100,000 deaths in a couple of decades!

    Steve, do your own thinking on a blog of this caliber. Most of the information available on the subject of nuclear is from activists – it isn’t worth reading the predictions or even thoughts of the political scientists, lawyers and ecologists who spout this stuff. Roger Sewell on this blog, for example, is a lawyer and believes he should be educating engineers and physicists on this topic. A
    Also, think about this. If CO2 is going to kill a billion people and all the animals, getting rid of CO2 by going nuclear will kill perhaps one person a year. The activists are against it. They don’t really want a solution to problems, whatever they are. They’ve bought into the world gov’t line.

  221. Guys, something to consider in the discussion about nuclear power safety. The people I quoted are *not* suggesting that the current method of producing nuclear power is the last word in nuclear safety.

    For example, from James Hansen’s open letter:
    … As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. …

    Fukishima has created ongoing problems because it required active safety – if the electricity ever failed (which it did, when the diesel backup generators were washed away by the Tsunami), meltdown was inevitable.

    I would not want to live near such a power plant.

    The kind of power systems Watts and Hansen support are *passive* safe systems – systems which are designed from the ground up to never melt down, no matter what goes wrong with the support equipment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_nuclear_safety

    For example, with LFTR reactors, the core, which can only sustain a chain reaction when in contact with its moderator rods, is held in place by a plug of solidified salt, which is kept solid by an active cooling system (a small electric fan). If the active system fails, or if the core overheats, the plug of salt melts, and the core drains into a holding tank, away from its moderator rods. When the core is separated from its moderator by draining away into the holding tank, the nuclear chain reaction stops, and the core cools back to safe temperatures.

    Similarly, with Pebble Bed reactors, the reactor core is a collection of graphite balls at the bottom of a bucket. If the Pebble Bed core overheats, the graphite balls expand. The expansion of the core degrades the nuclear chain reaction, and stabilises the reactor core temperature at a level well below the melting point of the graphite.

  222. Brian said- “Who profits?”

    Fossil-fuel companies under your preferred energy portfolio. I thought that would be obvious, Steve.

    The first thing that I thought when I heard of GHE almost 30 years ago is that someone wants to sell more nuclear power plants. That was reinforced by the “Who killed the electric car” BS. We were being conned into needing more electricity that couldn’t be supplied by renewable sources.

    I was 100% convinced when watching a documentary made by Jason, an organisation started by quantum physicists who had worked on the Manhattan Project. It was on Intelligent Design but instead of any usefull insight into pro/con points of view it took the opportunity to equate belief of it with denying climate change. The mother of all ad hom attacks.

    Do I prefer coal or nuclear. Go fossil until there really is a need for an alternative. I would hate to make these bastards rich.

  223. Gary Pearse says:
    August 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    You’re dealing in hypotheticals, and dodging reality.

    Fukushima is not a coal plant. Can we agree on that? Nor is the crisis there over.

    Until such time as the situation is resolved at Fukushima Dai-ichi, it is impossible to calculate the final costs, either human or material.

    As an electrical consumer of limited means, my interest is that power utilities use the most cost efficient fuels and methods to generate power, so that my cost may be lower, and my service uninterrupted.

    There is no need to limit CO2. Upstream…

    richardscourtney says:
    August 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Thatcher did start the global warming scare but not for the reason you assert.

    Her political party was willing to go along with her global warming campaign because they were opposed to the coal unions and they wanted the UK nuclear power industry both to displace coal and to provide necessary materials for nuclear weapons production.

    It’s a scam. Coal is the most cost-effective fuel, and we have it in abundance. Failure to use all we need is to submit to the scam.

  224. mpainter says:
    August 10, 2014 at 11:32 am
    Tom :

    Huh? is the right expression.You have apparently uncovered the diesel powered co-generaters now extant in the US. I would estimate that only a minute portion of our elec is generated by these. The exception proves the rule :Public utilities do not use oil for power generation.
    ……….

    Evidently you are not satisfied with the hole you have dug for yourself, and insist on digging deeper. Take a look at the first one on the list below. Do you have any idea how the output of that plant compares to the typical coal-fired power plant? Plant Scherer, which is just north of Macon, Georgia, the largest coal-fired plant in the US, produces 3,500 megawatts of power. That’s enough electricity to power three cities the size of Macon. The Martin Oil Plant in Florida produces 4,175 MWe.

    There are oil-fueled power plants all over New England. Many public utilities use oil-fueled power plants. Your are simply wrong, and clearly are speaking from ignorance.

    BTW, outside the US, the 15th largest plant in the world uses fuel oil, and is larger than any coal-fired plant.

    The list below is a SMALL sampling of twenty oil-fueled power plants. In addition to dozens of smaller plants not shown are all the plants in states that follow NY in the alphabet, and some of them are twice the size of the average coal plant (you can look for yourself. I’ve wasted enough time trying to cure your lack of knowledge.)

    Martin Oil Plant FL USA is located at Martin County, FL, USA. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 4175.1 MWe. It has 13 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1980 and the last in 2005. It is operated by Florida Power

    Lincoln Combustion Oil Plant NC USA is located at Lincoln County, NC, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 35.4317, Longitude= -81.0347. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1753.6 MWe. It has 16 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1995 and the last in 1996. It is operated by Duke Carolinas LLC.

    Roseton Generating Station Oil Plant NY USA is located at Orange County, NY, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 41.5711, Longitude= -73.9739. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1242 MWe. It has 2 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1974 and the last in 1974. It is operated by Dynegy Inc.

    Ravenswood Oil Power Plant NY USA is located at Queens County, NY, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 40.7605, Longitude= -73.9447. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 2625 MWe. It has 21 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1963 and the last in 1969. It is operated by TransCanada.

    Oswego Harbor Power Oil Plant NY USA is located at Oswego County, NY, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 43.46, Longitude= -76.53. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1895.6 MWe. It has 2 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1975 and the last in 1979. It is operated by NRG Energy

    Northport Oil Plant NY USA is located at Suffolk County, NY, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 40.9231, Longitude= -73.3417. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1564 MWe. It has 5 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1968 and the last in 1967. It is operated by National Grid (KeySpan Generation).

    Newington Oil Plant NH USA is located at Rockingham County, NH, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 43.0986, Longitude= -70.7842. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 414 MWe. It has 1 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1974. It is operated by Public Service Co of NH.

    Astoria Generating Station Oil Plant NY USA is located at Queens County, NY, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 40.7869, Longitude= -73.9122. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1345 MWe. It has 4 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1954 and the last in 1962. It is operated by U S Power Generating Company LLC.

    PSEG Salem Generating Station Oil Plant NJ USA is located at Salem County, NJ, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 39.4625, Longitude= -75.5333. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 2381.8 MWe. It has 3 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1977 and the last in 1971. It is operated by PSEG Nuclear LLC.

    Baxter Wilson Oil Plant MS USA is located at Warren County, MS, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 32.2831, Longitude= -90.9306. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1327.6 MWe. It has 2 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1967 and the last in 1971. It is operated by Entergy Mississippi Inc.

    Canal Oil Plant MA USA is located at Barnstable County, MA, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 41.7694, Longitude= -70.5097. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1165 MWe. It has 2 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1968 and the last in 1976. It is operated by Mirant Corp.

    Blue Lake Oil Plant MN USA is located at Scott County, MN, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 44.7869, Longitude= -93.4267. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 616.8 MWe. It has 6 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1974 and the last in 2005. It is operated by Northern States Power Co.

    Fermi Oil Plant MI USA is located at Monroe County, MI, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 41.9267, Longitude= -83.5456. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1281 MWe. It has 5 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1988 and the last in 1966. It is operated by Detroit Edison Co.

    Stony Brook Oil Plant MA USA is located at Hampden County, MA, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 42.1953, Longitude= -72.5156. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 530.6 MWe. It has 7 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1982 and the last in 1981. It is operated by Massachusetts Mun Whls Elec Co.

    Millinocket Mill Oil Plant ME USA is located at Penobscot County, ME, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 45.657, Longitude= -68.6809. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 110.7 MWe. It has 4 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1957 and the last in 1970. It is operated by Brookfield Power USA.

    Turkey Point Oil Plant FL USA is located at Miami-Dade County, FL, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 25.4356, Longitude= -80.3308. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 2337.5 MWe. It has 9 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1972 and the last in 1968. It is operated by Florida Power

    Bowline Point Oil Plant NY USA is located at Rockland County, NY, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 41.2044, Longitude= -73.9689. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 1110 MWe. It has 2 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1972 and the last in 1974. It is operated by Mirant Corp.

    Manatee Oil Plant FL USA is located at Manatee County, FL, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 27.6058, Longitude= -82.3456. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 2479.4 MWe. It has 7 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1976 and the last in 2005. It is operated by Florida Power

    Middletown Oil Plant CT USA is located at Middlesex County, CT, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 41.5508, Longitude= -72.5689. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 846.4 MWe. It has 5 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1954 and the last in 1966. It is operated by NRG Energy.

    Montville Station Oil Plant CT USA is located at New London County, CT, USA. Location coordinates are: Latitude= 41.4189, Longitude= -72.0858. This infrastructure is of TYPE Oil Power Plant with a design capacity of 495.3 MWe. It has 4 unit(s). The first unit was commissioned in 1954 and the last in 1967. It is operated by NRG Energy.

  225. Eric

    I like nuclear power. There are two things people don’t like about nuclear power.
    1. Nuclear accidents
    2. Nuclear wastes

    Nuclear accidents are relatively rare. Car accidents are much more common. Yet we do not ban auto manufacturing. It’s all hype, no substance. The worst nuclear accident, Chernobyl, killed less than 300 people – directly attributed to nuclear radiation. The thousands of deaths you always read about Chernobyl are exaggerated projections, not actual dead body counts. Mind you that < 300 deaths are over a period of 20 years. There are more Americans getting struck by lightning (about 40 per year) than the death toll of the worst nuclear accident in history.

    If I have it my way, I’ll throw nuclear wastes in the Mariana trench. Harmful radiation cannot escape 35,000 ft. under the sea. In nuclear plants, the radioactive wastes are stored in just 26 ft. underwater in cooling pools. The Pacific ocean is so huge, larger than all the continents put together, it will dilute the radioisotopes to safe level. Scare mongers claim there is no safe level of radiation. Rubbish. I was injected with radioisotope in nuclear medicine 14 years ago. No harmful effect except my body glows in the dark :-0

  226. Steve P says:
    August 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Gary Pearse says:
    August 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    “You’re dealing in hypotheticals, and dodging reality.”

    Ah, I see now. You think I’m against fossil fuels. No. No. No. and I think CO2 is good for the planet. I was dealing with a small point of error in your mention of Fukushima. No one died of radiation, but many 10s of thousands were killed by a Tsunami and destruction of the cities were caused also by the Tsunami alone. There was a scare of course and a lot of press. If 47 people were killed by the worst nuclear accident in history and some 300 (they say) died over the following 20 years or so, you can be sure that if no one died of radiation poisoning at the time of the accident or since, then we can’t expect too many to die in the future from it. I’m okay to burn coal forever even though coal mining has killed 100,000 people or so globally over the past decade or so. This doesn’t mean I should tolerate hype about nuclear, which will eventually replace them all.

  227. Some of you are under some misapprehension about the current state of nuclear technology, specifically thorium fuel. There already exists today a reactor technology capable of using thorium fuel without any change in reactor configuration. It’s the CANDU reactor, and it’s been in widespread use for more than 40 years. It’s precisely for this reason that India is expanding its heavy water reactor technology. The heavy water, fuel channel reactor using natural uranium fuel is easily converted to breeding Uranium 234 from Thorium 233. So there’s actually no immediate need to develop a new reactor technology; it already exists.

    About the effects of Chernobyl, the definitive research on this was published by UNSCEAR (the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Efffects of Atomic Radiation) in 2000. Its findings were:
    1 that the immediate deaths were 31, 30 by radiation exposure and 1 by building collapse with the deaths divided approximately evenly between station operating crew and the fire crews that night;
    2. that the long term deaths from Chernobyl were an additional 25 premature deaths from cancers induced by radiation sickness. Again, nearly all of these were confined to the station crew and the fire crew that night;
    3. that the total excess incidence of thyroid cancer was 1500 cases in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, which resulted in an excess death toll of 5 (yes, five) over what would have occurred naturally. It should be noted that the natural incidence of thyroid cancer in these regions is about 10 to 20 times that amount. It should be noted that thyroid cancer is readily susceptible to treatment, hence it’s very low fatality rate. UNSCEAR further noted in great detail the possibility of incidence of other forms of cancer, but, given the received radiation dose from the population, these were so small as to be undetectible, now or at any time in the future. The exposed population long ago passed the latency period for incidence of leukemia (about 10 years) with no detectible increase in leukemia or any other of the cancers known to be caused by radiation exposure.

    In fact the total exposed dose received by the most exposed members of the public was roughly equivalent to about 18 months of natural radiation exposure, which is why there’s been no observed rise in cancer incidence for anything other than thyroid. By all means, read UNSCEAR’s report; it’s a massive document readily found on their website. And it’s definitive on this subject.

    Dr. Strangelove, there is relatively little nuclear fuel waste, other than the fission fragments. What there is is used nuclear fuel waiting to be turned back into new nuclear fuel. Seems a waste to dispose permanently of used nuclear fuel that can be used again and again to produce at least 50 times as much energy as if it was just used once.

    Gary Pearse, there were three Fukushima plant workers killed during the earthquake and tsunami. One was killed when a construction crane fell over at the time of the earthquake. Two were killed while they were out in the plant yard at the time the tsunami came over the sea wall. None of these of course are a consequence of radiation exposure. Approximately five plant workers exceeded their workplace dose allowances of 100 mSv permitted under emergency conditions. These radiation exposures resulted in no deaths.

  228. The Fukushima nuclear accident is another example of scare mongering. Only 6 nuclear plant workers got the highest radiation dosage of 250 mSv. Over 30,000 Iranians living in Ramsar city get 260 mSv dosage of natural radiation every year. There is no epidemic of cancer and radiation sickness in Ramsar.

    BTW I saw an interview of a Chernobyl plant worker who was ordered to crawl underneath the blown reactor with radioactive water dripping shortly after the accident. He said he thought he was going to die. Over 20 years later, he is alive and well and giving an interview. He doesn’t look like a mutant ninja turtle.

    cgh, yes fast reactors use nuclear waste as fuel but they are more expensive and some worry that high enrichment will lead to nuclear weapons proliferation.

  229. Steve Garcia says:
    August 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    The world has entered the Thorium age, whether you think so or not.

    ==================

    If we are there, why are all your points about the future?

  230. Just to reiterate what I’ve already already stated above: The Fukushima crisis is not over. Far from it.

    Groundwater continues to flow through the site and on into the ocean. TEPCO is working on an ice wall barrier around the damaged/destroyed reactors, but with unknown results. Presumably, some of the melted cores, or coriums, remain on the site in the vicinity of the ruined reactors, but read on.

    Radioactive “black soil” has been found in many localities in eastern and central Japan.

    Further studies found similar patches of soil–along with high radiation readings–in parts of Tokyo. In fact, the radioactive soil has been discovered as far away as Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures.

    Researchers are now referring to “black soil” to describe these patches of dirt with unusually high levels of radiation. It is a sort of play on the “black rain” term used by victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to describe the mysterious precipitation that seemed to bring strange illnesses and untold suffering.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201206140067

    Worse still, NHK announced on August 9th that tiny 2 micron sphere of radioactive material was found in Ibaraki prefecture Tsukuba city in mid-March 2011.

    Nuke fuel in Tokyo suburbs

    This is very bad news because such tiny particles could easily be borne aloft. Bear in mind that radioactive fallout from Fukushima was already detected in New Mexico in mid-March 2011, just a few days after the accident.

    In my opinion, it will take decades to resolves this crisis. Until that time, it is impossible to calculate final costs, or health impacts, but already the news from Japan is not good:

    a physician and an epidemiologist at Okayama University, has just emphatically stated that in certain Fukushima municipalities there was a clear evidence of a thyroid cancer epidemic
    [...]
    Critical of the commonly accepted notion that health effects do not occur below 100 mSv, Tsuda presented numerous published studies that proved otherwise.

    Outbreak of cancer in Fukushima children

    Finally, and most chillingly, hot particles from the Fukushima catastrophe have been found in Europe:

    The Nuclear Core Has Finally Been Found … Scattered All Over the World

    Fukushima did not just suffer meltdowns, or even melt-throughs …

    It suffered melt-OUTS … where the nuclear core of at least one reactor was spread all over Japan.

    In addition, the Environmental Research Department, SRI Center for Physical Sciences and Technology in Vilnius, Lithuania reported in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity:

    Analyses of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne aerosols were carried out in daily samples in Vilnius, Lithuania after the Fukushima accident during the period of March-April, 2011.
    [...]
    The activity ratio of (238)Pu/(239,240)Pu in the aerosol sample was 1.2, indicating a presence of the spent fuel of different origin than that of the Chernobyl accident.

    In other words, the hot particles from Fukushima traveled to North American, and then to Europe.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/nuclear-fuel-fragment-fukushima-found-europe.html

    The reader is advised to do his own research on the fallout from Fukushima, and not accept the glib dismissals of the nuclear apologists.

    But hot particles in the atmosphere?

    That can’t be good.

  231. Steve P:
    There were over 500 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted at various sites around the world from 1945 to 1980. I doubt if the contribution from Fukushima contributed more than a single percentage of radioactive material to the atmosphere than a single one of those tests.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff. You likely get more exposure to radiation in the produce section of your grocery store than from anything Man has done.

    I can’t understand the angst caused by Fukushima. We’ve exploded thousands of nuclear bombs and destroyed two cities, but a single leaking core from a power plant is a global disaster?

  232. Wow!!
    How low can one man get? Anyone who threatens with a defamation lawsuit on a BLOG…… I repeat a BLOG, where bloggers openly debate and give opinions about a particular subject; and I believe WE assume all conflict associated with that debate, as it comes with the territory- insults and all……

    By the way,

    who blogs in the capacity of “lawyer”?

  233. Jtom says:
    August 11, 2014 at 9:34 am

    There were over 500 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted at various sites around the world from 1945 to 1980. I doubt if the contribution from Fukushima contributed more than a single percentage of radioactive material to the atmosphere than a single one of those tests.

    I’ll overlook your failure to provide a source for your claim, and acknowledge a certain kind of logic in your argument: we don’t need to worry about a little thing like a triple meltdown because the generals have already been blowing up cities and setting off 100s of nuke blasts in the atmosphere anyway.

    But being an empiricist, I can’t help but wonder many meltdowns would it take to justify a little angst, or even simple concern? I guess three is not enough.

    And speaking of those atmospheric tests, how about Starfish Prime back in 1962, part of the 32-shot Dominic series? After several flubs, they had a jolly good blast at 400 km altitude which managed to knock out Telstar, disrupt communications, create artificial radiation belts, and impressive atmospheric glows, among other effects. I don’t think they ever managed to disrupt the Van Allen belts in this particular series of tests, but they took several cracks at it.

    Whatever the scientific or military results of these tests, the public at least cannot help but be reassured at the thoughtful and prudent actions of the men at the controls of these powerful weapons.

  234. Roger Sowell says, in reply to:

    Brian, saying:

    “Ha ha ha! Mr. Sowell, with all due respect, the truth is that you know almost NOTHING about nuclear power.

    I’m very familiar with your writings on this subject, and if you’ll forgive me for being blunt, you’re just an ignorant shill lawyer who is paid by fossil fuel companies to say this stuff (as you explain on your own web site) and who knows nearly next to nothing about what you are hired to be a mouthpiece against.

    Your stupid talking points are cookie-cutter stuff that are taken straight from Greenpeace and similar organizations and that have been rebutted ad absurdum (even in the comments section here). You make claim after claim that you simply can’t back up. Even when it comes to arguing like a lawyer, you’re totally incompetent.”

    You say

    “Your libelous statement above is noted, saved, filed, and may be the subject of a defamation lawsuit.
    Your identity will be found out”

    I say you are trying to squelch protected speech. It is clearly a simple, if heated, opinion to which you reply with a ridiculous, childish threat of legal action. How quaint.
    Will you sue me for ridicule?

    Moving on – if anyone needs further evidence of the Greens’ irrational and inconsistent( in context with global warming hype of disasters to come) opposition to nuclear power as a cause, the following linked piece ends with:

    ,“Defeat the nuclear menace!”,

    http://nuclearfreeplanet.org/thorium-not-green-not-viable-and-not-likely-oliver-tickell-june-2012-.html

    I have every confidence that problems with nuclear energy can be resolved easily within the time frame which the real pace of any global warming allows us. And even if they couldn’t be resolved soon, the relative risk from nuclear power compared to that which Alarmists claim CO2 poses, should be tiny, if you accept their premise of coming catastrophe through AGW.

  235. So many errors and misstatements from Steve P it’s hard to know where to start.

    “The Nuclear Core Has Finally Been Found … Scattered All Over the World”

    The usual hyperbole from antinukes. Of the material in the core, the vast bulk of the radioactive material, primarily uranium, remains within the core. Much less than 1/100th of one per cent of the inventory escaped containment, and nearly all of that fell out within the plant fence line. This was true at Chernobyl, much less Fukushima, which unlike Chernobyl did NOT have a 3 km high steam blast as the transport mechanism.

    The claims about deposition of fission fragments are alarmist rubbish. Notably it does not provide the proportion of Cs claimed to have been found in Vilnius. This is important because I-131 can indeed be transported around the world but Cs cannot by atmospheric means. There are lots more sources in Russia for Cs than just Fukushima, so the researcher has simply assumed that any fresh Cs must have been delivered by Fukushima despite the impossibility of air transport over that distance.

    The claim about increase in thyroid is similarly nonsense. It is utterly meaningless without knowing what the normal pre-accident incidence was. All areas of the world have high variations in thyroid cancer incidence, with high variances even between small areas close to one another.

    Jtom, the natural background of tritium in water is about 10 bequerels/litre. At the peak of atmospheric weapons testing, it rose to about 200 B/l, and it’s been declining ever since (half life of tritium is about 12.4 years, so it’s gone through about six half lives since the atmospheric test ban took effect. Had this large surge in tritium resulted in excess cancers, these would have been seen as a subsequent rise and decline in the cancer rate after about five to 10 years.

    There is no such rise and decline. Even this large radioactive inventory had no detectible biological effect.

    Kenin, be glad that Sowell is as thin-skinned as he is. Threatening lawsuits means he got his ass kicked on this thread. In short, he lost the debate and saw no choice but to try throwing sand out of the sandbox.

  236. mpainter says:

    Come, come dbstealey, Sowell is entitled to serve notice when he feels that he has been slandered here. We all are. One can go too far and Sowell was attacked professionally.

    I like Roger. I agree with him on most issues, but not on nuclear power. I am ambivalent; I would prefer coal power because it is cheap and we won’t run out. But nukes don’t scare me. And I agree that Roger was on the receiving end of some insulting comments that shouldn’t have been posted.

    My problem is this: threatening to sue people because of stick and stones words? There is far too much litigation as it is. I am sure Michael Mann now regrets pulling the trigger on his lawsuit threat. Lawsuits should be a last resort. I agree that Roger was attacked unfairly, but anyone taking an unpopular position on a blog is bound to be attacked like that sooner or later. It comes with the territory. Try arguing for more coal power on SkepticalScience, and watch the personal flaming begin. I’ve been on the receiving end of that crowd. It’s worse than anything Roger has seen here.

    I doubt that anyone here has been attacked as viciously as Anthony Watts. I have seen comments, cartoons, and entire articles on other blogs that would turn anyone’s stomach. But Anthony didn’t sue them. If Roger has cause to sue, Anthony has ten times as much cause.

    Also, being a lawyer makes it too easy. The average guy doesn’t deal in lawsuits every day like lawyers do. Using your expertise to threaten someone seems heavy handed to me. It seems that asking them to stop should be the first step.

    But it looks like Roger has calmed down. Good. This is a blog, after all, not the local TV news. I doubt anyone could hurt someone’s income prospects here, no matter how hard they tried.

    I hope everyone calms down now. Both sides. None of us here are going to make any difference in government policy. That is decided by big money, and by the eco-lobby, and by big business. We’re just expressing our opinions here. People should absolutely not attack Roger for his beliefs, and Roger should use this as a means to learn all the arguments of the pro-nuke crowd, so he can counter them.

    Remember the words of that great street philosopher, Rodney King, after he was viciously beaten by the L.A. cops: “Can’t we all just get along?”

  237. Steve P.
    If you are questioning my statement that there were over 500 atmospheric nuclear tests, I am surprised. Certainly, someone so concerned over radiation events would have read the history of such things before becoming hysterical over present day events. It’s really easy to Google.

    http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/nudb/datab15.asp

    http://www.irsn.fr/EN/publications/thematic-radiation-protection/radiation-protection-stories/Pages/4-atmospheric-tests-nuclear-fallout.aspx

    http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/05/when-we-tested-nuclear-bombs/100061/ (No figures here, just some really interesting pictures)

    The second half of the statement was obviously logical speculation. One can’t reasonably expect a non-violent ground event to throw as much radioactive material in the air as a deliberate air-born nuclear explosion.

    How many meltdowns would it take to justify angst? Clearly, one if I am in the danger zone of radiation. Otherwise, thousands for me to worry about my personal health, since I have survived unscathed from the thousands of nuclear tests done during my lifetime. The number appears not to be very relevant, only the location.

    CGH: interesting info, but I hope you didn’t interpret anything I wrote as being a concern over the atmospheric testing. I was trying to show how minimal Fukushima’s effect must be considering we did all that testing with NO global consequences.

  238. Outbreak of cancer in Fukushima children? Fear mongering. Read this.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140313-fukushima-nuclear-accident-cancer-cluster-thyroid-chernobyl/

    What is the radiation level in Fukushima’s dreaded 20-km exclusion zone? The highest level is 5.0 uSv per hour, or 44 mSv per year. Smoking gives you 160 mSv. Japanese government can save more people from cancer by banning smoking.

    http://radioactivity.nsr.go.jp/en/contents/9000/8775/24/207_20140811.pdf

  239. Steve P
    … But being an empiricist, I can’t help but wonder many meltdowns would it take to justify a little angst, or even simple concern? I guess three is not enough. …

    Remember the context Steve – greens like James Hansen assure us we face nothing less than an extinction event, which could sweep away the human race, because of CO2 emissions. Hansen thinks that if we don’t stop emitting CO2, the oceans will begin to boil, which will trigger a runaway greenhouse effect, ultimately making the Earth as uninhabitable as the planet Venus.

    If James Hansen is right, 3 meltdowns and a handful of deaths does not seem such a big deal.

  240. cgh says:
    August 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Much less than 1/100th of one per cent of the inventory escaped containment,

    Source?

    Conspicuous by its absence in your post is any source or reference for your assertions.

    Jtom says:
    August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    If you are questioning my statement that there were over 500 atmospheric nuclear tests

    Please re-read my post from August 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm, paying particular attention to my penultimate paragraph, which begins “Speaking of those atmospheric tests…” and read on to my final paragraph.

    Dr. Strangelove says:
    August 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    The comments at the Nat’l Geo link make it a worthwhile read.

    Eric Worrall says:
    August 12, 2014 at 2:54 am
    Eric, thanks for the article. I was tempted to let you have the last word here, but not with an alarmist video from James Hansen.

    The runaway-global-warming-could-lead-to-Venus meme was my first whiff of the rat.

    We’ve got plenty of coal and other fossil fuels to generate all the power we will need for a very long time. The Great Carbon Dioxide Scare is a scam. The only real justification for nuclear power plants is to create materials for nuclear weapons.

  241. Steve P, If your so concerned, I would avoid eating bananas.

    Louis says:
    August 9, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Greg says:
    “… Because France’s nuclear program was driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal, not civilian power generation.”

    No other country has been driven by the desire for an independent nuclear arsenal? Sorry, but your answer doesn’t explain why France installed nuclear plants to provide 85 percent of the country’s power and other countries haven’t. Other countries also have nuclear arsenals but haven’t done what France has done. There must be other reasons.

    France had a problem that it has very few sources of energy, and considering it would have to import from countries that it is not keen on (UK, Germany, etc), it pretty much had no other choice!

    Unfortunately for them they seem to have now swallowed the green lies…

    The UK unfortunately has had a problem with all political parties wanting the green vote (Dave cameramoron hugging huskies etc) which has meant we scrapped all our knowledge in building nuclear plants. (Cameramoron cancelled £100mil investment in specialized steel production for nuclear industry as soon as elected!!! What an Idiot!) So instead of building the cheaply about 20 years ago, We have now had to over pay the Chinese to build them, Privatization of the UK energy generation has been a complete disaster.
    Now with recent problems with electric generators, we now have to hope we get a mild winter or the lights go out, people will freeze and Die (last bad cold snap caused 30,000+ extra winter deaths attributable to government policies!).

    If you want to kill people, just keep talking the bullshit and not doing what is required (building nuclear if you want less Co2, or gas/coal if not bothered), our politicians should be in jail!.

    Why do stupid people rise to the top of society? it makes no sense.

  242. Why do stupid people rise to the top of society? it makes no sense.

    It makes no sense if you assume the stupid ones are making it happen. But they aren’t.

    The stupid ones are the lemmings who are along for the ride. They are aided by rent seeking reprobates who are happy to line their pockets by selling out their countrymen. When those groups are no longer useful, they are simply ‘liquidated’ in one way or another by the crooked ones who have taken over.

    The stupid ones are manipulated to do the bidding of devious, intelligent, self-serving, corrupt conmen. Communists especialy have become adept at that kind of manipulation and power grabbing. That’s why they are such an existential threat.

  243. Steve P

    Complete blather. You start with an irrational hysteria over a ground-based event, and end up pointing to what was ultimately a non-event 250 miles in OUTER SPACE (the space/atmosphere boundary is considered to by 60 miles up, btw). Instead of a disasterous health problem, you point to leo satellite failures. You have shifted the goal post from a human health issue to completely off the planet. Health effects were your cause for panic, remember? Not equipment failures in space.

    Can people screw things up? Sure. Can cost a lot of money when they do, too. But the safety margin given to nuclear power is so large that accidents are rare, localized, and result in fewer deaths than fossil fuel, hydro, or wind turbine power plants. It would take multiple large-scale nuclear disasters to cause the same number of deaths already seen in those other type facilities.

    But getting back to the ORIGINAL issue, only an emotional, irrational, uninformed person would believe that the Fukushima incident presents a danger to anyone outside the immediate area.

  244. Jtom says:
    August 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Complete blather. You start with an irrational hysteria over a ground-based event, and end up pointing to what was ultimately a non-event 250 miles in OUTER SPACE

    It was you who first brought up the atmospheric tests to distract from Fukushima,

    And the crisis there is most certainly not resolved; until it is, there can be no accounting of total costs.

    Triple meltdown.

  245. Jtom also says:
    August 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    But getting back to the ORIGINAL issue, only an emotional, irrational, uninformed person would believe that the Fukushima incident presents a danger to anyone outside the immediate area.

    Uninformed? Irrational? The pot calls the porcelain black. You’ve presented exactly zero to support your arm waving and assertions. Woodshop warning: Don’t wave arms near buzzsaw.

    200,000,000,000,000 becquerels/kg in fuel rod materials found near Tokyo… “the material spread globally” — Composed “major part” of worst Fukushima plume — Persists for long time in living organisms — Must reconsider disaster’s health effects

    ENENews Article

    Aug. 30, 2013: The Fukushima nuclear accident released radioactive materials into the environment over the entire Northern Hemisphere […] Although the accident has global impacts, we still do not know exactly what happened in the reactors […] The chemical and physical properties of the radioactive materials released into the environment are not well known.[...] released radioactive material [...] was spread globally [...]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23989894

    My emphasis. Your arms.

  246. Steve P

    If you don’t see the relevance of comparing the global atmospheric results of other nuclear events versus the hysteria you spout concerning Fukushima’s atmospheric impact, then you should not be weighing in on this at all. You seek only to stoke the fear and loathing of nuclear power through ignorance. One of your original remarks accused me of making I claims that could not be supported wrt atmospheric testing, and that I could not provide a link. That reveals not only your own ignorance, but your willingness to slur those who dare to deny you your soapbox, regardless of the truth, emphasized by the fact that you weren’t man enough to acknowedge that you were wrong. That you had never Googled for such basic information before making your apocalyptic diatribes shows that you WANT and HOPE for a disaster for whatever reason. You backed the wrong horse. Virtually everyone on this board recognizes that Fukushima and the other such incidences have had only relatively small, localized inpacts (ANYONE else on this board who agrees with Steve P on this, please respond).

    You would gain more attention and support on boards participated by those uneducated in science. Huffington, KOS, and any board extolling Gore is where you should be commenting.

  247. Steve p -

    Oh, the stupidity must hurt. The paper you cite found a 1.3 micron particle that contained 1 +/- 0.1 Bq. That’s one-percent of what has been declared safe for human consumption. Extrapolating that particle to a one-kg mass along with the radioactivity it contained is a way to normalize the sample for other comparisons. It does not imply that such things exist in quantities large enough to pose a danger. That could be why there hasn’t been any scare stories in the news, ya’ think?

  248. Steve P

    Actually, the research paper normalized the sample to 0.2 TBq/g, and made no specific comment about that sample. Read the literature. Shouldn’t such a ‘danfer be in the first sentence? Now ask youself who – and especially why – someone would express it in kg?
    Deception, scaremongering, driving traffic to a site, raising funds? You have fallen for the scam.

    One more thing, you really DON’T have a friend in Nigeria, despite what those emails say.

  249. Jtom says:
    August 13, 2014 at 8:12 am

    you WANT and HOPE for a disaster for whatever reason.

    Sorry, Jtom, you’ve crossed over into unacceptable territory by making wild, reckless, and unwarranted accusations. Triple meltdown indeed.

  250. “Alan the Brit says:

    August 9, 2014 at 7:18 am”

    Extensive testing was done on the waste flasks as this video demonstrates. Still, the Greens and media stired pulic opinion even after this real live creash test. The locomotive in this test had a weight of 110 impreial tons, each of the cars were 10 tons. The Greens claimed that the engine and cars were “weakend” to cause minimal damage to the flask.

  251. I don’t know much about nuclear other than bombs as my ex flew Vulcan’s in the sixties loaded with H bombs. However nuclear power stations can run on sea water. But – our population or demography is widely spread out along the coastal areas and then only 30% of the population is inland and growing. We in regional areas pay more electricity as it has to come further. It comes down to the expense? As far as water from coal generations, it is one of the best fertilizers you can get. If they use black rather than brown coal, it cuts carbon emission down to 30%. Again we have to accept the way this is going electricity is going to get dearer, not cheaper if they use useless wind and solar. Although I am a fan so far of solar thermal plants. If they can find a way of storing or creating electricity at night. They were talking about using methane to do this. Don’t ask me how. Then there is the Ballina sugar cane refuse plant, it supplies about 500 homes so far. And we have plenty of sugar cane so long as we keep growing it.

  252. This was the 1980′s and nuclear fear was rife in the UK. Many “documentaries” and “what if” (Best way I can descibe them) programs on TV. Greenham common. I recall driving, well being driven, past once watching missiles being unloaded from transports. And all the protesters…having to weed our way through what was already a traffic bottle neck, Newbury and the A34.

    The train, if the Greenies were right (Which they were not) that the whole train was “weakened” it would not have made the last bend at 100mph before crashing. But even though the actual evidence was available, Greenies just didn’t want to hear. So far, as it is today, there have been no isses with the flasks and transport systems. Thats exactly 30 years safe operation.

    Fukushima had been operating with a clean safety record for over 40 years.

  253. There is no point in trying to convince people of the vital importance of nuclear energy to the continued existence of civilization. They didn’t listen when shown the vital role of “load following” and peaking coal generation. No one will listen… until after a grid collapse. The ability to generate power that varies according to varying load demand is the very definition of a power grid. GK

  254. I don’t personally blame this only on the greens, there are a lot of people like myself, who don’t like the idea of a nuclear plant. But look at F it was the tsunami that hit it and caused problems.
    Why build it so close to the ocean? Yes Australia does have lots of uranium but – it is not the type used in a uranium reactor. As far as I know. And it is not a renewable resource. Anyway, we have lots of black and brown coal.

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