Wow, Lynas tells it like it is.

This is in the UK Daily mail today, and it’s like sacrilege to the greens to have one of ther own say this:

This sums it up, he writes:

Our environment and energy problems are solvable — but can be tackled effectively only with pragmatism, rather than ideological wishful thinking. And the litmus test for that may well be the issue of nuclear power.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2010981/You-mustnt-believe-lies-Green-zealots-And-I-know–I-one.html#ixzz1R7Tu9FjG

h/t to Barry Woods

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150 thoughts on “Wow, Lynas tells it like it is.

  1. Let’s not get carried away here. This guy still ‘believes’ CO2 is a problem when it clearly is not.

  2. Jazznich +1 , its not a U turn just a mild bend in the road, Moonbat has the same view on Nuclear but he is still a fruitbat.

  3. Hearing any ‘viro seriously examining The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear (Petr Beckmann, 1976) is encouraging.
    Who cares what his religious beliefs about anthropogenic carbon dioxide (aCO2) are supposed to be? If he can demonstrate a capacity to think rationally about nuclear fission, it’s proof sufficient that even the clinically brain-dead can be resuscitated.

  4. Well this story By Christopher Booker may have helped some of the people in the UK Government to move an inch towards reality http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8612716/Proof-that-the-Government-is-tilting-at-windmills.html
    “Centrica and other energy companies last week told DECC that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.”
    I must admit that I find it hard to accept that we here in UK can be governed by people of all parties who almost to a man (and woman) live in a parallel universe or dream land if you like.

  5. Agree JohnH – I also noted that wonderful phrase “In my new book………..”
    But his analysis of the Greens is spot on.

  6. At least some in the Green movement appear to be facing reality when it comes to electricity generation, though, not just demanding that we all go back to grubbing in the fields and making candles from beeswax.
    it’s a start, Fair play to Lynas.

  7. Jazznick: “This guy still ‘believes’ CO2 is a problem”. True, but for most Greenshirts energy security comes way behind their carbon dioxide obsession. I welcome Lynas’s rethink. Let’s hope that he’ll read Justthefacts’s superb recent posting on WUWT and ditch the carbon monomania.

  8. The process of the evolution/transformation of ones deeply held views is necessarily a slow one.
    Necessarily…
    I count myself as one who swallowed whole what the green movement generally had to offer. The change over time was a rather uncomfortable one but that’s not unusual. Lynas etc should at least be given due regard for their public change of mind. They will feel uncomfortable too.
    I have come to the conclusion that the ‘green’ movement is simply about a different set of power elites running the show and bugger all to do with general eco-wellbeing.
    This is not to say that conservation and sustainability are not desirable and appropriate ends (they are) it’s just that the likes of Gore et-al view such things in terms of THEM having the goodies while the rest suffer.
    Well screw that.

  9. whilst Mark clearly still believes that CO2 is major problem, what it will allow is some rational debate, ie a recognition that windfarms and solar will not provide the UK’s energy needs.. if the greens just shreak, climate deniar at anybody who discusses this, or say he must be in the pay of big nuclear, the public/politicians will take note
    Then that will be yet more evidence to the general public to challenge the green zealotry and to take a hard look at the cliams vs the uncertainties of climate change science. ie it could be aGw, instead of AGW, or CAGW.
    Mark Lynas and George Monbiot have allready been called ‘Chernobyl Death Deniers’ by senior greens, and in the pay of big nuclear, I think the general puplic might draw some paralells.

  10. Lynas has engaged with people in a civil and open-minded way; he’s already demonstrated that he won’t act dogmatically where he believes evidence / pragmatism point in a different direction.
    His belief in evidence for the problematic nature of man-made CO2 seems honourably held, but based on sources he trusts, rather than his own expertise (and he admits as much). Nothing much wrong with that.

  11. Any change in direction from Lynas, however small, is welcome, but he has not said a word about his former position on disastrously rising seas due to rising CO2 in the atmosphere which he insisted, among other disastrous effects, will swamp the Maldives. Trumpeting his new belief in the use of nuclear energy is not much of a U-turn and I will believe he takes a realistic and non-alarmist view of climate and weather when he makes his thoughts known. I am not holding my breath in anticipation.

  12. “Had the Green movement of the Seventies and Eighties supported nuclear power — instead of violently opposing plans for greater use of atomic energy, a move that led to more coal power plants being built — we would not be facing the climate crisis we are today.”

    … right. Hmm. Pillock!

  13. Churlish lot. If a sinner repents the Heavens sing with joy. Surely one green engaging with reality should be an occasion for charitable responses?

  14. There was a story yesterday about the supposed terrible workmanship at the Dai-ichi nuclear reactors in Fukushima. Claims of cracked pipes, corruption, Yakuza, and cover-ups. The idea was to cast doubt on all of the nuclear power plants in Japan.
    It turns out 10 km up the road is the Dai-ni nuclear power site with 4 slightly newer reactors run by TEPCO as well. Nothing has been reported about Dai-ni, because nothing bad happened there. The reactors were shut down without incident. No hydrogen explosions, no meltdowns, no radiation leaks.
    There is no systematic problem with Japan’s nuclear power plants.

  15. I’m starting to like this Lynas guy. Ok, yeah, he still needs a little education re CO2’s effect on the climate, but he shows promise.

  16. Until nuclear power is privately insurable, that industry should never be private sector – they’re getting a freebie like the banks, profits privatised, losses socialised.
    How much will Fukushima cost to clear up? Nebraska?
    This industry seriously needs to clean up its act. That means complete transparency with the general public. TEPCO and the Japanese Government engaged in months of lying over Fukushima.
    And Lynas’ endorsement – someone who has demonstrated spectacular failure of judgement in the past – should not be cause for celebration. It should strike fear into any supporter of nuclear power.

  17. @- “Our environment and energy problems are solvable — but can be tackled effectively only with pragmatism, rather than ideological wishful thinking. ”
    This sensible admonition applies to both ‘sides’ of the debate.
    Both to the green zealot who claims that equatorial temperatures will rise to fatal levels and sea level will flood most of the inhabited coastline in less tha a century.
    And dismisses anything but a return to stone-age hunter-gathering societies as ‘unsustainable’.
    AND to the rejectionist dogmatic that in the face of overwhelming scientific aggreement still asserts that the CO2 rise is not a problem, despite the fact that it is a bigger impact on the atmosphere than a Yellowstone super-volcanic eruption each month when it comes to CO2.
    Both are driven to ignore Nature in favour of an ideological preference.

  18. Nitpick Larry’s stoopid question of the day. Who are we talking about here; Mike Lynas or Mark Lynas? Both names are used in the article.

  19. Leopards do not change their spots. He still believes in CAGW due to man made greenhouse gas emissions. This belief is not supported by the science or observations.

  20. Interesting that Lynas published this in the Daily Mail. Our US brethren may recall this paper being compared to the National Enquirer on this site just yesterday (ps Happy Holidays).
    Quite possible that the Grauniad and the Indy refused to print it.

  21. In some ways his position is morphing into that of Bjorn Lomborg, whom Lynas famously pied in the face. Perhaps we ought to send Lynas some pies…

  22. Anyone who still believes CO2 is a problem is still very confused
    But agree with him on nuclear. Especially if the world moves down the 4th generation route. Or plants to use old nuclear waste like the prism plant. Nuclear waste is really a very valuable unused fuel.

  23. So this guy was able to understand, per kWh produced, nuclear power is safer than any other form of bulk electricity generation, and thus that there’s no empirical evidence for the charges that nuclear power is unsafe – but he’s unable to understand that there is no empirical evidence to substantiate the AGW thesis, and thus that human-produced CO2 poses no threat whatsoever.
    ‘E’ for effort. Thumbs up for making it half-way to reason, I suppose, but it takes some serious brain damage to be able to reach such a mutually inconsistent conclusion.

  24. It doesn’t matter how sharp the bend but the fact that he is bending. A lot of people see him as a policy leader so some will follow him around the curve. It’s all good.

  25. Mark Lynas is parroting the official establishment lines, and his views exactly match the current views of his national governmnent. What a surprise.

  26. As I have stated before, the likes of Monbiot and Lynas may turn out to be unlikely allies, at least give them credit for thinking outside the Green square.
    Eventually we will have to replace fossil fuels with the next best alternative. Whether a skeptic (I am) or a believer, the solution is the same: replace fossil fuels with nuclear.

  27. For anyone that doesn’t know UK green politics and environmentalist thinking
    For him to write in the Daily Mail is sacrilege alone….
    For Mark To write in the Daily mail; Green zealotry and don’t belive in the Green LIes, is the ultimate heresy..
    The greens wil no doubt react in such a negative reactionary and abusive way to this, that any member of the general public and the ‘brighter’ politicians will start to question anything the greens say.

  28. Have any of you pro nuclear people ever tried to finance one? Nightmare, because of the high capex alone. And why would you when there is a predicted boom in shale gas and China is just putting its first shale gas licences out for bids. And seeing as we need gas fired generation to cover the inefficiency and inadrquacy of windpower, why not just go primarily for gas fired generation for now? Nuclear from 2030?

  29. In the Daily Mail article there is a picture of cooling towers belonging to a power plant, either coal or nuclear. This text is below the picture “Pollution: Man-made carbon emissions is contributing to climate change”
    Cooling towers are not polluting or emitting any carbon. The “smoke” from them is pure clean steam. Nothing else.

  30. Heh! I thought this was in today’s paper! Not so.
    I guess I will read all about tomorrow.

  31. He says Huhne has seen the light? That would be an even more implausible miracle.
    Nuclear is pretty expensive up front. The UK would be far better off putting the same resources into coal and frak gas. Much more bang for the buck. And a much heftier contribution to fighting the CO2 famine.

  32. He might still be a believer, but is starting to think like a rational human rather than an alarmist. Once rational thinking takes hold, discarding of all ridiculous beliefs is not far off. Once rational thinking clears cloudy thinking, and evidence and results based reasoning takes over, it won’t take long. The only difficulty for someone like this is a way back out of the mess while saving face and not getting thrown under the bus by former ‘friends’.

  33. Perhaps Lynas might care to dissociate himself from Greenpeace for starters. I mean they’re running the show at the mo. I mean even Lomborg was member until he rumbled them and had the guts to publish.

  34. the watermelons are responsible for much of the world’s problems…..not solving them, but causing them.
    Roger Pielke analyzed nuclear power, and if the greens had allowed only the nukes that were proposed to come online, US CO2 emissions would be at levels not seen since the 1950s.If that rate had continued, then US emissions would be at levels not seen since the 1930s. of course, concurrant air pollution would also be similarly reduced.
    If greens allowed DDT, 10s of millions now dead, would still be alive.
    If greens had not stopped all forest fires, then floor fires would have encouraged a healthier forest, with less pine beetles and less massive fires.
    Even in the matter of bedbugs, if the greens had not banned the popular pesticide used (Dursban), then there would not be a boom in bedbug infestations.
    and the beat goes on….

  35. Thats the trouble with the Titanic, you either jump or wait for it to sink and I think Mark maybe putting his head through a life jacket.

  36. It’s too little, too late… Hardly worth mentioning really! His missive still has the fundamental AGW error at its core.

  37. Total tosh! I’m sorry but birds and bats die in a huge variety of ways and wind turbines would account for a tiny proportion of wildlife deaths. To use this as an arguement to support a tecnology which basiscally leaves a radioactive footprint for hundreds of years is pretty poor. And so what if solar takes up alot of space – so do houses and roads. We’re in it up to our necks anyway, so let’s use roof tops and roadsides for solar panels.
    The AGW arguement is dead in the water anyway but the energy independance issue is where it’s really at. In which case, I would prefer honestly to see a combination of coal plus renewables than the nuclear nightmare.

  38. So Lynas admits he was a lying green zealot. Hhuhhh???
    While I have a pragmatic attitude to nuclear power I am not inclined to despise people who do not. This whole Lynas thing looks suspiciously like a fanatic changing his spots and fanatics of any colour I don’t take seriously.

  39. What Lynas doesn’t get s that its not what he believes … which seems to charge with remarkable rapidity ….. but HOW he believes. He just has to drop words like ‘belief’ etc … and start to accept uncertainty and the possibility of other things.

  40. I don’t suppose the news that gas prices are going to rise nearly 20% this year has led to Mr Huhnes “eureka” moment ?
    Building new nuclear on existing sites gets around the planning, unlike starting drilling for shale gas….and the greens are SO good at stalling planning permissions.

  41. quote :
    Tucci78 says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:48 am
    Hearing any ‘viro seriously examining The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear (Petr Beckmann, 1976) is encouraging.
    Who cares what his religious beliefs about anthropogenic carbon dioxide (aCO2) are supposed to be? If he can demonstrate a capacity to think rationally about nuclear fission, it’s proof sufficient that even the clinically brain-dead can be resuscitated.
    /quote
    what few seem to realise is that this exactly why we have the CO2 AGW myth in the first place. It is a final desperate attempt by the nuclear industry and their stooges in in government to make NP appear economic by inflating fossil fuel costs by creating a carbon tax.
    Nuke has never been economic without subsidy in one form or another: Now they need to set up ficticious AGW tax to rig the “free” market.
    Monboit and number of greenies seem to be swallowing it hook line and sinker.

  42. onion says:
    July 4, 2011 at 1:22 am
    “…This industry seriously needs to clean up its act. That means complete transparency with the general public. TEPCO and the Japanese Government engaged in months of lying over Fukushima.
    And Lynas’ endorsement – someone who has demonstrated spectacular failure of judgement in the past – should not be cause for celebration. It should strike fear into any supporter of nuclear power.”

    Spot-on Onion! There are many incidents each year at nuclear plants around the world which we never get to hear about either because they were successfully dealt with or the radiation hazard wasn’t at levels noticeable by the public. Until we have all the facts about the risks, it isn’t possible to arrive at a logical conclusion on the further development of nuclear power generation – transparency is paramount.
    Like you, I think Lynas has little credibility and neither do our politicians. Until more is known I think new coal and gas power stations are the safest option for the foreseeable future.

  43. Quote from the article:
    “Surprisingly, nuclear power may be be more environmentally friendly than many types of renewable energy…”
    Nope. Desastrously false. Ask the now-homeless people who lived near the Fukushima nuclear plant at times of the Tsunami. They would exchange their experience with nuclear power for a host of wind turbines at the horizon every day.
    Think – then talk.

  44. izen says:
    July 4, 2011 at 1:23 am
    @- “Our environment and energy problems are solvable — but can be tackled effectively only with pragmatism, rather than ideological wishful thinking. ”
    This sensible admonition applies to both ‘sides’ of the debate.
    Both to the green zealot who claims that equatorial temperatures will rise to fatal levels and sea level will flood most of the inhabited coastline in less tha a century.
    And dismisses anything but a return to stone-age hunter-gathering societies as ‘unsustainable’.
    AND to the rejectionist dogmatic that in the face of overwhelming scientific aggreement still asserts that the CO2 rise is not a problem, despite the fact that it is a bigger impact on the atmosphere than a Yellowstone super-volcanic eruption each month when it comes to CO2.

    Alas, izen, your belief in Science-by-Consensus, in “overwhelming scientific agreement”, and your comparison of manmade C02 to the destructive violence of super-volcanos going off every month shows you to be an ideological zealot who is immune to reason or rationality.
    Lynas’s “about-face on nuclear is merely a tactical one. I’d trust him about as far as I could throw him.

  45. Ooops…. found the article on page 28. The picture of Gaddafi on the adjoining page distracted me. Not exactly a conversion for Mark Lynas but at least a step in the right direction.

  46. He’s still a fool, BUT there is very good news in this story! This will set two factions of the Greens at each other’s throats in an ideological purity war. Now, the ones like Lynas will eventually lose and be driven out of the movement – he’s not quite crazy enough to be a true Green anymore. But along the way their fighting should do a great deal to tear apart their movement from the inside.
    And we are at a state of the world now where *anything* bad that happens to the Greens is good news for us!!!

  47. At the end of the day, the greens will have been a 50 year speed bump on the road to nuclear power.

  48. This is a surrealistic nightmare in some kind of parallel universe.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Margaret Thatcher that started down this path in the 70’s / 80’s?

  49. jazznick says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:40 am
    Let’s not get carried away here. This guy still ‘believes’ CO2 is a problem when it clearly is not.
    Jazz don’t knock it, the nuclear message is the important thing.
    Believing CO2 (plant food) is amusing; building windmills to try solve the non problem is a disaster, both economic and environmental.

  50. Green zealot giving special dispensation for nukes? But still spreading the gospel of CAGW?
    The only society where genuine conservation can be practiced is a rich, highly developed and chaotically capitalist world making abundant use of petrochemicals and burning lots of coal – which things will never peak or run out, but be replaced by something better. It is not a society or economy that can be “modeled”…which is why it works.
    In such an untidy society, full of surprise but dominantly middle class with naturally modest population growth, genuine conservation can and will be practiced in earnest. The rest is cant.

  51. jazznick says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:40 am
    Let’s not get carried away here. This guy still ‘believes’ CO2 is a problem when it clearly is not.
    correction
    Jazz don’t knock it, the nuclear message is the important thing.
    Believing CO2 (plant food) a problem is amusing; building windmills to try solve the non problem is a disaster, both economic and environmental.

  52. Does a leopard change its spots?
    The answer is NO!
    Mark Lynas appears to have made WUWT become somewhat dew-eyed, and the article in the Daily Mail is interesting reading to be sure.
    But……with the likes of George Monbiot bigging up nuclear with the scary/hilarious “Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power” and now Lynas, one remains extremely wary of these cameleons, both now openly displaying the ‘kings shilling’ in the bottom of their ale mugs.
    As John L Daly noted in his 1988 book The Greenhouse Trap, he had the suspicion that the Chernobyl disaster & assent of the Global Warming Scare were not mere coincidence. In his eyes, the Global Warming Scare was the attempt to rehabilitate the nuclear industry; a
    long game which – post-fukushima – appears to be in serious trouble again.
    Now that AGW is effectively trumped, the likes of Monbiot & Lynas have no alternative but to leave the long grass & display their spots in the open savanna.
    Don’t be so ready to welcome shills into the fold…..the ‘boy who cried wolf’ was eaten & I -for one- don’t like the idea of a revisionist Aesop.
    Daly was right.

  53. Admitting he has been wrong but just cannot bring himself to admit he gets it all wrong!
    Lynas is simply a hack on the same low level as Monbiot and is not to be trusted. The only thing that has changed is the fact that Greenpeace followers now distrust him more than we do and will gang up on him.

  54. Why in the world does that article have a photo of cooling towers with the caption:

    Pollution: Man-made carbon emissions is contributing to climate change

    I guess once they’re done banning carbon they’ll realize the alleged CO2 they were so worried about was actually water vapor, and since that’s a greenhouse gas too, then they’ll get to work on banning water, or at least they will try for as long as they can hold their breath.

  55. I agree with Grumpy. A sinner repenting is a Good Thing.
    Readers outside the UK may not appreciate the significance of Lynas publishing this in the Daily Mail. The Mail is viewed with complete loathing by the Left and the Greens….as a written embodiment of a combination of both Bushes, Mrs Thatcher and Hitler – all having bad hair days.
    For Lynas to publish there at all is an apostasy of great weight…to espouse nuclear power there is blasphemy and heresy beyond belief. He will not be on Greenpeace’s Xmas card list ever again!

  56. The industrialized countries are so focused on greenhouse gasses, by which they mainly mean CO2, yet nobody seems to care how much CO2 was emitted by the recent volcano eruptions in Iceland. Those eruptions may have swamped any human reduction efforts for several years.
    I can only ask, what is at work when the only factor in the popular media and public policy deliberations is how much CO2 that human activity emits, yet there is no concern over natural emissions? Clearly this is NOT about CO2 at all, but about squelching our prosperity and liberty.

  57. The CO2 meme will be eradicated over the next years as climate fails to follow the computer models and Arctic ice cycles upwards.
    The immediate serious threat to our economies comes from the Alice in Wonderland world of our politicians and their drive for renewable energy.
    Any ‘green’, especially a relatively prominent one, who realises the futility of wind and solar should be welcomed with open arms.

  58. His endorsement of Huhne’s statement that nuclear electricity is needed to “get off the oil hook” reveals how little he and most enviros understand about energy. In the US at least (I’m assuming it’s roughly the same in the UK) petroleum products are not burned to produce electricity, except in minor amounts for diesel generators, peaking and startup turbines when natural gas isn’t available and occasional purchases of otherwise unusable resid for power plants. Oil is far too expensive. The overwhelming use of oil is for vehicle fuel – gasoline, diesel, jet fuel – for planes, trains, automobiles, trucks and boats, and secondarily for furnaces that heat homes and commercial buildings. Going 100% nuke or 100% wind or solar would do virtually nothing to get us off the oil hook. By and large, we don’t import oil to make electricity, and we don’t use electricity to power vehicles. There’s little intersection between the two.

  59. Physical safety issues aside – – how can anyone remotely guarantee the POLITICAL safety of a nuclear waste site for, say, a mere 10,000 years? Every nation on earth has experienced civil wars, revolutions, coups, and military occupations – even jolly, old England had its brutal Civil War in the middle 1600s. And what, exactly, were humans doing 10,000 years ago? I’m sure they were imagining i-phones and Priuses.
    To suggest that we could even remotely understand the complexities involved in long-term storage – let alone guarantee its safety is laughable.

  60. onion says:
    July 4, 2011 at 1:22 am
    Until nuclear power is privately insurable, …
    How much will Fukushima cost to clear up? Nebraska?

    There’s nothing radioactive to clean up at Ft. Calhoun. Nothing. The plant is safely shut down and all its systems are working properly. Flood clean up at Ft. Calhoun will not be much different than it will be for the tens of thousands of people up and down the Mississippi, Missouri and Souris Rivers who’ve been flooded this year. How about “Until flood insurance is privately available, people shouldn’t be allowed to build in flood plains…”
    http://www.omaha.com/article/20110627/NEWS01/706279901/1101#flood-test-not-over-for-nuke-plant

  61. Doc Watkins is right. The green shift has already gone to energy and away from AGW. They don’t even argue AGW any more (it is settled, you see).
    My sense is that nuclear energy is going to be the door that many AGW types use to walk away from AGW policies. They have no other avenue by which to leave the movement, and like all cults, one doesn’t challenge the central meme, but splinters from the edge of the belief system. Nuclear energy offers that.
    As well, many AGW types are, at heart, true environmentalists and they see traditional environmental issues being sacrificed on the alter of AGW and it’s minor alters of wind power and solar power. I am seeing opposition to “biofuel” as well, based on the amount of land needed to generate sufficient fuel to become a rival to fossil fuels.
    The way out for those who care most deeply about conservation of ecosystems is going to be nuclear. Expect more defections.

  62. Repeat after me…
    “Through research, I found that much of what I believed about environmental issues had little, if any, basis in science.” – Mark Lynas

  63. You guys are missing the forest for the trees.
    This is not about nuclear. This is not about CO2.
    This is about people admitting that greens are lying zealots. Hmm if they lie and exaggerate on this topic, perhaps they are not to be trusted elsewhere?? Big story in that respect.

  64. From the author of “Six Degrees” this is indeed a big surprise. He is thinking and is able to see some of the errors of his radical warming buddies. Is it possible that he can also be persuaded to give up his belief that carbon dioxide is warming up the world? It is not as Ferenc Miskolczi’s study or IR absorption by the atmosphere shows. And it is not because satellites cannot see this warming as I have demonstrated. He can learn about it by reading the book “What Warming?” available on Amazon.

  65. There are a lot of aging BWR reactors dotting the globe that have been granted extended leases far beyond thier design lifetimes, plus all the spent fuel rods still containing 95% UO2 lying about in pools of water waiting for an accident to come along and spread the joy. These 2 problems have to be dealt with, else there are going to be a lot more Chernobyls and Fukushimas. Anybody who has worked at an aging Industrial Facility knows how bad it can get. Stuff breaks all the time.

  66. If you examine past activist efforts like man-made cancer and anti-nuclear, you find that the typical cycle comes to an end when (a) past stalwarts start converting and (b) the public does not see the predicted change or harm.
    But don’t rest, because there is a wide societal group that moves from one discontent to another. Thus, the remnants of man-made cancer campaigns moved to chemophobia and infiltrated gardening with the silly organic variety. The nuclear people stuck a bit more to the same theme but the options became narrower until about all that was left was radwaste storage and tall tales of Chernobyl. Some of them went on to the bandwagons of solar and wind power where they remain as bloody ignorant nuisances.
    In my younger days we used to control them better because industry did much more research in-house and so we were willing and able to squash silly propositions before they took hold. After I retired the vigilance seemed to drop and the number of activists getting the ears of policy makers increased. It’s time to start moving the research back from academia, where there are too many impossible dreams. We need again to have big teams like IBM Thomas Watson, 3M, Lockheed Skunk Works – that type of structure that is dedicated to either delivering the goods or dying.

  67. Sera says:
    July 4, 2011 at 3:36 am
    And no sooner than this story praising French nuclear, guess what?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/04/french-nuclear-power-plant-explosion-safety-fears
    Bad timing, or what? FYI- I am all for nuclear power plants, and have lived near them all of my life (Miami, Savannah)
    This is the grauniad lying through their teeth to provoke a backlash. You should believe NOTHING you read in the UK press and certainly not the grauniad.
    In france, it is obligatoire to report ALL incidents in their nucléaire central even if it is that the tap drips. There have been no incidents classed as major for many years.

  68. I note that Germany has killed more people with its organic bean sprouts than with its nuclear plants, many times over. So what do we ban? The nuke plants of course… Doh.

  69. Notwithstanding Latimer Elder’s excellent points re sinners repenting, I took the trouble to go out and buy a Daily Mail today and read the print version carefully. Lynas has NOT repented or recanted or renounced anything Green except the ridiculous Green aversion to nuclear energy. According to Lynas, everything else in the Greens’ playbook is real and earnest and based on ‘the science’ is in and unquestionable. He has a considerable way to travel on his Damascene road yet!

  70. Nuclear is nuts.
    As I’ve written before, if nuclear power is such a be-all and end-all for power generation, why then are there no medium-sized islands with a nuclear power plant as their sole source of power? By medium-sized, I mean population of roughly 1 million. Most islanders must pay very high prices for electric power, typically 25 cents per kWh or higher.
    see http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/nuclear-plants-on-islands-nutty-idea.html
    Leaving aside, for the moment, the issues of operating safety and long-term safe-guarding of deadly radioactive nuclear waste, nuclear power plants cost far too much to ever consider.
    Even the loony state of California has determined that nuclear power plants are the most expensive form of reliable, base-load power (see link). Note that peaking power plants are more expensive than nuclear, as indicated by the three entries for Simple Cycle power plants. Also, the costs shown in the link for constructing and operating new nuclear power plants are far too low.
    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/levelized_costs.html
    If Greens want reliable, affordable power, they should build natural gas fired plants and coal fired plants. The alternative, and I encourage all Greens to strive to accomplish this, is to develop a cost-effective and reliable means of time-shifting the power produced from wind and solar. There are many systems for grid-scale energy storage, but none are yet cost-effective. The exception is pumped storage hydro-electric, but that is not available in sufficient quantity. Some of the energy storage means include batteries, capacitors, high-speed flywheels, underground compressed air storage, phase-change systems such as molten salt, and hot oil storage.
    Forget the nuclear fusion nonsense. The only safe nuclear fusion reactor is the sun, conveniently located a good distance away. Nuclear fusion is simply a means for some people to obtain research grants for further study. Good work, if you can get it.
    This being the Fourth of July holiday here in the States, I won’t be around to follow this thread and the comments until tomorrow. It promises to be an interesting discussion, though, as nuclear topics on WUWT always are.

  71. onion says: ” And Lynas’ endorsement – someone who has demonstrated spectacular failure of judgement in the past – should not be cause for celebration. It should strike fear into any supporter of nuclear power.”
    Precisely.

  72. Michael Schaefer says:
    July 4, 2011 at 4:34 am
    Quote from the article:
    “Surprisingly, nuclear power may be be more environmentally friendly than many types of renewable energy…”
    Nope. Desastrously false. Ask the now-homeless people who lived near the Fukushima nuclear plant at times of the Tsunami. They would exchange their experience with nuclear power for a host of wind turbines at the horizon every day.
    Think – then talk.
    How many deaths at fukushima?
    Think then type

  73. Interesting, in that when this “CO2 thing” all began, the opinion that it was just a reverse ploy to get the oil companies out of oil because there is so much of it and other “fossil fuels”,i.e., glut, and into control of nuclear power came up between friends. Of course, it was ridiculed by the majority and labeled conspiracy theory. Seems the minority may have been on the right track — especially when you add in all the recent drilling mishaps, plant explosions and and gas line spills that have cropped up almost overnight. Naturally you are to believe they are all coincidental, and who knows maybe they are, but shouldn’t the negative events be balanced by some positive ones if it’s random? Don’t oil companies maintain their investments?

  74. I am going to admit, I am obviously not very educated about this, as you all are, but the only thing that worries me is the waste…what do we do with it? (I mean I know what we do with it, but…) And then there was the sunami in Japan, that was scary. There was also just a big wild fire in N. Mexico, that came within (100’s of?) yards of the nuclear plant…it’s a little scary. I wked – off and on – at Palo Verde Nuclear Plant for about 10 years, it is a very safe place, the safest environment I’ve ever worked in, because everyone has to be screened, educated, and soooo careful. It is the things that are out of our control that scare me about nuclear power. God Bless everyone. Happy 4th of July to those of us in the US 🙂

  75. What I am waiting for is someone like Schmidt to do a “drunk rant” along the lines of a Dudley Moore in the movie “Arthur” (1981) or Dean Martin anytime in which he babbles on about how much he loved his heat-transfer/radiation computer model of Gaia and was so believed that someday it would yield some connection to a natural process in the world, if only those horrid “Deniers” had been patient for another few decades. /sarc
    Then someone like Mann could do something similar about how he felt bad that his high flying career was based on nothing more than finding correlations between two sets of numbers that shared no physical connection whatsoever but he could not give up the good life until he found that all his thoughts had become about correlations between two sets of numbers whose names looked good together. /sarc

  76. This is the second such story from Mark Lynas. What I suspect he is doing, like Judith Curry at Climate Etc., is building himself a lifeboat. I suspect he can see that the good ship CAGW is very likely to sink. Those like the Royal Society, and the American Physical Society, who have nailed their colors to the mast, will go down with the ship. But if you have a lifeboat handy, then with very little effort, you can get into it, and row safely to shore. Just say, and support, a few things against CAGW here and there, and lo and behold, a lovely little lifeboat. In the meanwhile, he can still go on supporting the hoax of CAGW.

  77. The ever sceptic in me, especially with Govn’t and media “announcements” like this, suggests this is a diversionary statement. This reminds me of the “Trojon Rabbit” from Monty Python, they forgot to put soldiers in it. Meaning empty!

  78. I’m not really sure I understand how going nuclear will get them ‘off the oil hook’, unless oil is used for power generation. I guess there are some diesel powered generators that can be replaced, but I’m sure there aren’t many. Windmills and solar panels are little more than oversized science projects, so nuclear makes sense. But I don’t think nuclear power generation will make much difference in oil consumption.

  79. In the full article, Lynas writes:
    “Also, as much as Greens are enthusiastic about solar electricity, in cloudy countries such as ours it is extremely inefficient and expensive.”
    The man has finally been able to get his mind around some of the facts of his environment that have been staring him in the face for decades. Britain is way far North. The north of Scotland is just a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle. And, yes, Britain is cloudy. Because of these facts, if you covered your entire British cottage with solar panels you might be able to bring a teapot to boil on a good sunny day. Big parts of the US suffer a similar problem. Anyone ever spent a year in Michigan, say in Ann Arbor or East Lansing? The sky goes gray November 1 and stays that way until May 1.
    In Central Florida, a solar system that is designed to provide energy for a water heater works beautifully March through November. At other times, showers are cold. Did I mention that this system has an electric boost? I am told that I can add a second electric boost to cover November through March.
    People who move from the middle or upper midwest to Florida experience for a few years what is best described as rapture of the sun. In other words, if you are an American and have not lived in a place like Florida, you have no idea what sunlight is. Yet even here solar power is an iffy proposition. In addition, there is no evidence whatsoever that the solar system reduces electricity bills.

  80. Les Johnson says:
    July 4, 2011 at 3:21 am
    ….the watermelons are responsible for much of the world’s problems…..not solving them, but causing them.
    You mention a few problems they’ve caused, Les, but there’s also Brent Spar and their campaign to ban chlorine followed by the Peruvian cholera deaths aided and abetted by the EPA. What a record to savor.

  81. Michael Schaefer says: July 4, 2011 at 4:34 am
    Quote from the article: “Surprisingly, nuclear power may be be more environmentally friendly than many types of renewable energy…”
    Nope. Desastrously false. Ask the now-homeless people who lived near the Fukushima nuclear plant at times of the Tsunami. They would exchange their experience with nuclear power for a host of wind turbines at the horizon every day.
    Think – then talk.

    Admirable advice, thinking first.
    The ‘now-homeless’ people who lived near the plant are dead, drowned or crushed by the 5-story wall of water that obliterated their homes and 20,000 of their neighbors. They’d be quite dead with wind turbines, too.
    Japan’s over-response to the Fukushima leaks is understandable, much like our hysteria over TMI, which did no more than trash a couple hundred millions worth of equipment. It was the kind of story folks who get their global warming data from Katie Couric find exciting, though.

  82. “banjo says:
    July 4, 2011 at 8:13 am”
    Miniscule compared to say, road deaths.

  83. P. Solar says:
    July 4, 2011 at 4:11 am
    orkneylad says:
    July 4, 2011 at 5:12 am

    A conspiracy theory should a least be credible.

    Michael Schaefer says:
    July 4, 2011 at 4:34 am

    What gives you the authority to speak for the Japanese people? How arrogant to use the earthquake and tsunami, and their suffering to further your own agenda. Disgusting.

  84. At 4:11 AM on 4 July, we find P. Solar taking issue with my earlier post about The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear (Petr Beckmann, 1976) and the ability to think RATIONALLY about nuclear fission, writing:

    what few seem to realise is that this exactly why we have the CO2 AGW myth in the first place. It is a final desperate attempt by the nuclear industry and their stooges in in government to make NP appear economic by inflating fossil fuel costs by creating a carbon tax.
    Nuke has never been economic without subsidy in one form or another: Now they need to set up ficticious AGW tax to rig the “free” market.

    I could admonish this schmuck to read the frickin’ book (which provides a very robust assessment of the actual relative risks associated with all then-prevailing modalities of power generation, including the potential for those creaking, abysmally inefficient un-recyclable bat-manglers so beloved of the “renewables” confused wool), but fuhgeddaboudit. This isn’t being written for the benefit of people like P. Solar.
    What makes nuclear fission relatively more costly than other options available to the industrialized world has nothing to do with the technology of the hardware or of the nuclear fuel cycle (including the disposition of spent fuel elements). It’s the ‘viro application of lawfare in the civil context.
    In the real free market, enterprises have to be conducted with the best possible efficient use of resources in order to make it worthwhile for people to put those resources into a particular project. Those resources broadly divide into the categories of “land, labor, and capital.” The most liquid of these is capital, and its importance is well-recognized.
    Capital – real capital, not the unbacked inflationary Keynesian counterfeit crap issued by governments in schemes like “Quantitative Easing” – represents deferred spending by real human beings, creating liquid potential purchasing power which the owners are willing to lend (directly, or more commonly by way of their agents, who aggregate that spending power in various kinds of operations) in return for the prospect of profit.
    One of the reasons why the free market system is called “capitalist” is that the employment of capital to achieve the creation of material goods and services is the key element. The first industrial revolution couldn’t have happened without increasingly efficient systems of employing capital. The land (natural resources) and labor have always been there. It took capital to get the machinery going.
    This is one of the reasons why “greens” and other ‘viros are commonly called “Watermelons” (“green on the outside, red to the core”). They hate the free market, and every semblance thereof.
    Departing Austrian Economics 101, let’s return to the ‘viro Luddite sons-of-indiscriminate-parentage waging “lawfare” against the nuclear fission industry.
    In order to build with any prospect of economic efficiency, the nuclear power entrepreneurs not only have to take care of the “land” and “labor” factors (which they do quite well) but they’ve got to get “capital.” Like everybody else in the free market economy, they have to borrow on the basis of a projected time scale. Planning any start-up comes with an estimation of how long it will be before the activity will begin bringing in the profits required to pay back the costs of initiation and operation, and then the profits start coming in.
    Profits provide the incentive to do the job in the first place. Our “Watermelon” greens also hate the concept of profits.
    Because most nuclear power plants are built by people working together as incorporated entities (“corporations”), they not only have to get almost all their funding out in the open but also inform their stockholders and other investors about how they plan to accomplish what they’re doing. This information enables the ‘viro bastiches to “read” the entrepreneurs’ timeline and then to use government regulations and government courts to very effectively impose both direct legal costs (able shysters don’t come cheaply) and even more expensive delays on the construction of these power plants.
    Because capital borrowed has to be repaid, and additional time means additional interest charges which impose a penalty cost that increases greatly with every unplanned delay, ‘viro “lawfare” is a form of sabotage.
    This “Watermelon” NIMBY/BANANA sabotage is what actually pushes up the costs associated with nuclear fission in these United States. When people like P. Solar maunder about how “Nuke has never been economic without subsidy in one form or another,” the reference is to government thugs forbearing to go along with some (never all) of the ‘viro Luddite “lawfare” tactics so viciously effective in making the monetary expense of construction so damned high that profits aren’t possible.
    If that’s a “subsidy,” then my personal refusal to look up “P. Solar,” put my thumbs around his neck, and start squeezing down on his windpipe until he quits wriggling constitutes cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
    Industrial civilization requires electrical power generation to survive and to meet future needs. Nuclear fission represents the single safest and – absent “lawfare” – most economical method currently available to the Western nations of meeting that requirement.
    As for coal…. Hoo, boy. Is there anybody reading here who doesn’t know that coal-fired power plants release into the environment (just in the form of Thorium radioisotopes in the massive amounts of ash that have to be dealt with) far more radiation per megawatt-hour of electricity generated than does any pressurized water uranium fuel cycle reactor in operation in these United States?
    I suppose you don’t have to be stupid to be a ‘viro….
    No, I take that back. You do.

  85. Its hard to get excited when it still shows that our future depends on know-nothing ideologues changing their minds. Why don’t we let engineers decide what we should do. Should Greenpeace and their party decide on how a bridge should be built or whether we need one?

  86. Daily Mail continues the propaganda: Nice picture illustrating the REAL “greenhouse gas” – water vapor from the cooling towers, yet you label it “Pollution”!
    As I’ve noted here in the US most of the scientists and engineers have been moved out of the commissions the government initiated, and replaced by lawyers that have little background in anything but misdirection and obfuscation. Yes, we need lawyers, but are they the best way to legislate laws, interpret laws, and finally judge those laws? Shutting down the rules, regulations, and policies made without voter approval would go a long way toward correcting a lot of our societies ills.

  87. Roger Sowell says:
    July 4, 2011 at 8:10 am
    There are many systems for grid-scale energy storage, but none are yet cost-effective. The exception is pumped storage hydro-electric, but that is not available in sufficient quantity.

    One of the issues of alternative energies is scale. An analogy is making chocolate at home or in a small store front and viewing the vats and watching the production line for Hershey’s Kisses.
    An actual example of pumped storage can be seen using Wikipedia and Google Earth. Of interest is the “pumped storage” associated with Kinzua (kin-zoo) Dam in northern Pennsylvania. Read about it here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinzua_Dam
    Use these coordinates [ 41.839736 n, 79.002619 w ] to get a better look. Zoom out until you can see the entire reservoir and compare it to the small circular storage basin on the ridge-top to the south. Can you scale this up to be really helpful? In whose back yard?
    Here’s an idea: Disband the UN-IPCC and its nonsense and divert all the money and brainpower to study electricity storage possibilities.

  88. “Had the Green movement of the Seventies and Eighties supported nuclear power…we would not be facing the climate crisis we are today.”
    Now he blames the Greens. How I love the irony!

  89. I hate seeing people say this, whenever I see someone state “renewable” I always get a little ahead of myself. What is renewable about mining “rare-earth elements” for use in wind turbines which is actually renewable? I mean we can mine coal and we can mine “rare-earth elements” but to state that both are different somehow misses the point. Rare-Earth elements would not be called rare if they were common on the Earth, so therefore this is directly opposite of renewable, and more along the lines of fitting some “peak wind” theory then oil would..but I digress on that point. (Which I just point out to show that greens just ignore facts when it does not suit their agenda.)
    Wind turbines in addition to that are made to last only 30 years and then you have to replace them from scratch, so no the myth of a wind turbine being built and lasting forever is just a myth….
    In addition, solar panels have a similar issue. In real experience, neither source last as long as they are designed to due to weather issues such as cold temps. In the end, there is no such thing as renewable power, its just a buzzword that has no meaning. Back to the drawing board I think, maybe if we put money into research and development of new technology that was actually BETTER then what we have now, it would be something we could use to replace current power sources. Until then, might as well just forget solar and wind except for those costly times when they are the only solution available and spending the extra money is the better bet.
    Sure, they have their usage, but they will never be better then high efficiency coal or even nuclear. Subsidies are not the solution to anything. And for any environmentalist to pah or ignore birds being killed is not a true environmentalist. Not sure what else to state about this…but I saw several posts that had comments to that effect.
    As far as energy goes, we should demand a good and reliable power grid. If nuclear is a way to save the world, I am willing to listen even with higher energy costs as long as the talk is about facts and about why we should do it. But I am not willing to accept the age old green mantra of “Anything is worth it to save the world” when they have been wrong on just about every topic they advocate. I prefer my facts to be facts and not based on feelings.

  90. Following the link to the Daily Mail story we find this photo caption “Pollution: Man-made carbon emissions is contributing to climate change” on a photo of nuclear plant cooling towers releasing water vapor.

  91. Oops. My comment is redundant. Just saw PhilM (July 4, 2011 at 9:46 am) noted the same thing.

  92. jazznick says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:40 am
    Let’s not get carried away here. This guy still ‘believes’ CO2 is a problem when it clearly is not.

    We don’t know that it is not a problem. But we need to stop pretending it is until we do understand it.

  93. Roger.
    The reason why no “island” ( i guess england doesnt count as an island) uses nuclear as its SOLE provider of energy is rather simple. It’s not about the cost. Its not about the risk.
    It’s about the necessity of diversifying your supply. If for example you had a middling size island where one nuke could supply 100% of the supply, guess what? you would need two. It can also be about available space to build.. take hong kong for example.
    I suppose if you get to residential sized nuke then you’d see uptake. The only people who want to rely 100% on one nuke for ALL their power are people who are ordered to. guys in subs.

  94. At 12:04 PM on 4 July, Bystander had responded to BenfromMO, who had observed that “In the end, there is no such thing as renewable power, its just a buzzword that has no meaning,” writing:

    I’m not sure the people of Denmark would argue with you Ben. In 2009, wind power production accounted for 19.3% of domestic electricity supply, compared with 18.8% in 2008 and only 1.9% in 1990.

    Still doesn’t work. The great unrecyclable whirling noisy bird-whackers require not only considerable unrecoverable investment of land, labor, and capital to erect, but also electrical power to maintain in operable condition (when you see them turning, much of the time it involves the consumption of electricity to prevent the machinery from succumbing to the stresses imposed by the weight of the blades when there’s not enough wind to keep ’em milling around), replacement parts, lubricants, maintenance personnel, and what-not else.
    And they do most definitely have limitations on their service lives. I don’t know about the Danish, but honest economic assessments of wind farms in these United States indicate that they deliver a really crappy return on investment, skating along on the thin edge of just barely generating enough salable electricity to achieve a payback on what it costs to put ’em up and to run ’em.
    What this means is that resources which could – heck, should – be put to use in more effective, more efficient modalities of power generation are instead being diverted to this windmill idiocy. There’s a helluvan opportunity cost being imposed upon the private sector (i.e., the productive sector) of human society, and for …. what? So ‘viro idiots can feel good about themselves?
    Why the heck d’you think that the power companies won’t build and run these things without beaucoup government arm-twisting to screw the consumers into coughing up more for this “renewable” bullpuckey?
    That increase in the percentages of windfarm generated electricity in Denmark? You wanna bet that the monetary costs suffered by the average Danish private person in order to pay for his electricity (and the goods and services dependent on that power) haven’t increased by even higher percentages?

  95. PaulH: the concept of nuclear “getting us off the oil hook” is simply stated. Use nuclear power to produce hydrogen or electricity for electric vehicles.
    The statement is simple but the reality is far more complex. The problem with electric cars is and always will be the low energy density of batteries and their very long recharge time. The problem is essentially insoluble, as all of the possible electromotive series were all identified decades ago.
    With hydrogen there are several problems. The first and smaller one is low energy density if burning elemental hydrogen. Along with that is the problem of storage and production. The most effective way to store and release hydrogen is through fuel cells, but these have proven to be extremely expensive despite all the technology development of this in the 1990s. This may well be the transportation technology of the future, but not until the price of oil and production of gasoline has risen high enough to make it economic.

  96. It looks like Mark Lynas’ new book will be a rehash of the recent (17 May 2011) Stockholm “Humanity on Trial” sustainability symposium.
    He’s a quick writer … and opportunist? 🙂
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10549/
    Here the esteemed Nobel Laureatres published a list of “dynamical boundaries” that should not be crossed … or else!
    They demand: “… the ‘strengthening of Earth system governance’, which calls for a range of institutions to be created or given greater power to ‘integrate the climate, biodiversity and development agendas’
    Mark Lynas writes proudly of finally climbing out of the Green anti-Nuclear hole as he now falls right into the “ecological boundaries” cesspit.
    Mark should watch where he is going.

  97. P. Solar says:
    “Nuke has never been economic without subsidy in one form or another: Now they need to set up ficticious AGW tax to rig the “free” market.”
    Actually in most EU countries, and I believe USA, nuclear power was expensive because it was new technology when most plants were built, and has become expensive due to the illegality of building new and approved ones, plus a whole assortment of national and local law prohibiting everything else other than maintenance and the occasional efficiency boost.
    It’s actually not that different from hydro power in rivers and stream in EU, because that to the greenbillies made sure pretty much prohibit new ones, thereby making it horrendous expensive compared to what it would have cost otherwise.

  98. jazznick says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:40 am
    Let’s not get carried away here. This guy still ‘believes’ CO2 is a problem when it clearly is not.

    It is not a problem now. But it will be one in several hundred years. Therefore it makes perfect sense to look for alternative energy sources.
    The ultimate solution seems to be twofold. One is certainly nuclear, but not the kind of technology deployed in present day plants, which was optimized to produce as much long half-life fissionable material (primarily plutonium) as possible to provide for nuclear weapons. The cost is extremely low energy efficiency and possible nuclear proliferation.
    With advanced nuclear breeder technology all the long lived stuff can be burned as well, which gives two orders of magnitude more energy for the same amount of fuel than the one we are using right now. On top of that spent fuel only contains short-lived isotopes, so its radiation gets down to background level in several centuries, not in hundreds of thousand years.
    With higher energy efficiency cost of fuel is negligible, even if prices are high, so we can afford to go for low grade ores, even for dissolved stuff in seawater. It makes the process sustainable indefinitely, at least for the rest of time before Earth becomes uninhabitable anyway due to increasing solar luminosity (up to a billion years).
    Of course, we can also use Thorium (instead of Uranium) which is more abundant and has several additional advantages as well. It breeds 233U, which is short lived but is a strong gamma radiator, so not even the intermediate stuff is suitable for bombs.
    The other one is of course solar power. Once we have this huge fusion reactor online (with some 3.8×10^26 W output) anyway and there is no way to turn it off whatsoever, it only makes sense to use it. The biosphere does it for billions of years after all, pretty successfully. However, there is a lesson to learn before it becomes feasible.
    The thing is the sun shines predominantly in daytime during the summer, while we need most of the energy at winter nights. Therefore solar cells should not produce electricity, but some energy rich non-toxic, not flammable chemical compound (like sugar) which can either be stored locally or shipped off where it is needed (to power vehicles for example). Then we need separate devices (fuel cells) to produce electricity on demand using this stuff. With advanced molecular nanotechnology this cycle is entirely feasible and can be made cost-efficient. A closely packed array of micron sized chemical solar and electric fuel cells is the way to go.
    The only caveat is default building material of advanced molecular nanotechnology is carbon (diamondoid sructures, carbon nanotubes and the like). And the most obvious source is airborne carbon dioxide, because it is available everywhere on the face of Earth. However, there is not that much of the stuff in the atmosphere. As soon as heavy industrial usage kicks in, it can be depleted fast. So it has to be replenished somehow (possibly from limestone deposits, provided subsequent ocean basification can be handled) and the current practice of preloading air with it abundantly gives the much needed time for accommodation.
    For Mike Lynas is right in one respect. Any solar technology is in direct competition with plant life (for land area, sunshine and with sufficiently advanced technology for carbon dioxide as well). The most serious problem is land use, because raw land area is one of the two resources for which expanded reproduction is inherently impossible, even with the most advanced technology imaginable (the other one is span of human attention). Therefore in a sane world one would cover rooftops and possibly road surfaces with solar cells, but nothing else. Relative price of land is expected to increase tremendously in the long run.
    It is only outer space in the inner solar system where solar power is unbeatable.
    There is one more reasonable option for solar power on Earth, but that’s also done already (in this case by the climate engine). It is the production of fresh water (which can also be stored as needed). I am sure we can do better than nature. Israel already does this desalination thing on industrial scale with an energy source which, although it could readily be substituted by solar power, but it is not (prices should still fall a bit).
    All the other so called “alternative” energy sources are either unable to scale up or extremely destructive to the environment, because they try to use very diluted sources, so their land use efficiency is awful.
    This is why we need nuclear in the long run, its land use efficiency is a thousand times better than that of solar.

  99. I work at a nuclear plant but we do not NEED nuclear. Coal and nat gas would do just fine. Nuclear costs a lot to build and is cheap to operate. Building nuclear plants simply eliminates inflation from your cost of generating electricity for 60 or so years. No exposure to future changes in the cost of coal or nat gas………that is its advantage…..period. Now I believe it makes some sense to generate some of our electricity from nuclear and eliminate this risk of future price increases…..reasonable people can disagree with me on this point and that is fine.
    On CAGW:
    There is no solution to CAGW without nuclear……….of course there is also no evidence of CAGW.

  100. Why is it that nearly every time that there’s a article with anything touching on nuclear power, and steam coming from a cooling tower there’s a ‘pollution’ or something under it. My brain…the stupid makes it hurt.
    Or it could be an approaching migraine. But I’m pretty sure it’s the stupid this time.
    @Doug Badgero : 3:15
    Nuclear costs so much now because most designs are based off old technology, and current plants are based off even older technology. Take Japan and most of their reactors. First generation BWR’s. The US? Same deal. Most of the ones in Europe? I’m seeing a pattern here. Molten salt, LPS, pebble bed, and so on have a lower per-cost run because they’re safer technologies and don’t require the convoluted methods to stop a reactor from going critical all on it’s own without cooling. PB’s, LPS, and molten salt if something catastrophic happens it will only run with as much fuel as it has then stop all on it’s own. They are all ‘new’ technologies, but until they’re off the ground people will still be building based off old technology that should have been mothballed 40 years ago.

  101. “Bystander says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm
    BenfromMO says July 4, 2011 at 10:12 amIn the end, there is no such thing as renewable power, its just a buzzword that has no meaning.”
    I’m not sure the people of Denmark would argue with you Ben. In 2009, wind power production accounted for 19.3% of domestic electricity supply, compared with 18.8% in 2008 and only 1.9% in 1990.”
    First, thanks for the help tucci, I think most people who defend wind miss the point. I was pointing out how no matter how you cut it, wind turbines are not renewable sources of power. They last in real world conditions ~17 years (they are made to last 30) and they require a very difficult form of mining large swarths of Earth. Not sure what makes these things renewable, but in the end they are no more renewable then coal, gas, oil etc. Now for pumping water up-hill without the huge magnets, sure…wind has been used in that capacity for hundreds of years…and its about the only thing wind power is really good for.

  102. Roger Sowell says:
    July 4, 2011 at 8:10 am
    Nuclear is nuts.
    ***************************
    Alongside all the other statements here, some reasonable, some balderdash, this is the worst. However, I see no point in arguing about what most people see as unproven technology. It’s kinda like arguing about global warming. Time will tell.
    The real problem is that we live in a glorious country that is not working as we were taught it was supposed to, ie a representative democracy where the people’s representatives hire the best experts, debate, and ,make the best choices. Ethanol for fuel in a country the pays sugar cane subsidies to keep the price up? Wind power where the transmission access rights are impossibly costly? Obama said (before he was elected) that he would drive the cost up so high that no more coal-fired power plants would ever be build – when most of our cheap power comes from coal? Wait ’til Congress starts arguing about shale gas and contaminated aquifers, and whether or not people have always had drinking water that caught fire.
    No, we really live in a kleptocracy where purchased representatives put out sound bytes to avoid losing their sinecures. Totally unable to define the word “entropy” and unaware of the total cost of “green” and “renewable. Sites like WUWT are our only hope, if we can maintain a decent dialog and educate the bulk of the minority that actually goes to vote.
    And yes, nuclear is nuts. I can see clearly now that we are precisely where the wandering bands of Neanderthals were when they carried those glowing coals around in a fire pot. Come back in 5 years, when we REALLY invent “nuclear” energy. It’s gonna be beautiful!

  103. When the UK government commenced supporting renewables with tens of billions, he was a campaigner for renewable energy and against nuclear.
    Now that the UK government is putting even more tens of billions into nuclear, he is suddenly a convert.

  104. @Mashiki
    I was speaking of what is credible in the USA today. I agree completely that the biggest tragedy may be our unwillingness to develop this technology fully because we are afraid of the word nuclear.

  105. At 7:56 PM on 4 July, Doug Badgero had written:

    I was speaking of what is credible in the USA today. I agree completely that the biggest tragedy may be our unwillingness to develop this technology fully because we are afraid of the word nuclear.

    Damned good perception. Recall how the diagnostic modality properly called “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging” (NMR) became “Magnetic Resonance Imaging” (MRI) for no reason other than the fact that the average American patient has an insensate, idiotic, uneducated phobia of anything to do with “nuclear.”

  106. NASA flew a fleet of space shuttles for 30 years, built with 40+ year old technology, based on a concept first envisioned about 50 years ago. It’s a similar mess with nuclear power plants. The technology to design and build far better, less expensive and safer spacecraft and nuclear power plants has existed for a long time and is still being improved right now, but governments and anti-everything idiots keep getting in the way.
    The control rooms of the Fukushima plant look like they’re 40 years old because they are 40 years old. Who is responsible for keeping any modernization from being done? With updated control and monitoring systems (which would be technology from ~25 years ago to current) a nuclear plant would have computers and monitor screens displaying everything right in front of the operators, with any problems instantly put in front of human eyes.
    But instead of modernity many power plants are operating with walls full of mechanical gauges, switches and blinking lights spread all over the place, unchanged from the day they were installed. That’s one reason why the worst of the problem with reactor #2 happened at Three Mile Island – the warning lamp indicating the pressure vessel vent was stuck open was on the opposite side of the room from where all the techs had gathered, watching other indicators, trying to figure out WTF was going on. Eventually somebody noticed the light and manually closed the valve. With updated systems the warning would’ve been slapped on screens in such a way nobody could have missed it, and very likely a backup system would’ve closed the valve on its own.
    These older nuclear plants *could* be run for many more years, if updates in the monitoring and control systems are allowed to be done. Most of the hardware doesn’t need changed, only how it’s controlled.
    The Fukushima lesson is that updates need to be made to make the nuclear plants able to run fully self contained, even when all outside power and other services are cut off. An electricity generating plant should not need electricity from *somewhere else* in order to stay fully functional!

  107. Elyseum says:
    July 4, 2011 at 4:26 am
    one more fro australian greenies
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2011-07/04/c_13965032.htm
    this will hurt them big time

    Note the damage control:

    “Global warming doesn’t produce these events, however, it’s pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that global warming has exacerbated the frequency and the intensity of these heat waves,” Prof. Nicholls, who is also a Monash University professorial fellow, said.

  108. Bystander says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm
    BenfromMO says July 4, 2011 at 10:12 amIn the end, there is no such thing as renewable power, its just a buzzword that has no meaning.”
    I’m not sure the people of Denmark would argue with you Ben. In 2009, wind power production accounted for 19.3% of domestic electricity supply, compared with 18.8% in 2008 and only 1.9% in 1990.
    http://www.ens.dk/en-US/Info/FactsAndFigures/Energy_statistics_and_indicators/Annual%20Statistics/Sider/Forside.aspx

    And are having to actually pay some neighbours to take much of it off their hands when it comes online at inconvenient times. The whole enterprise is massively loss-making.
    So for every MWh they produce, their economy takes another hit. Soon, Stein’s Law will show its teeth:
    “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

  109. Tucci78 says:
    July 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm
    Bystander needs to read Power Hungry: The “Myths” of Green Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, by Robert Bryce. Specifically he needs to read Chapter 10 of that book, which is a well-researched analysis about Denmark and its own wind power. Denmark is primarily an exporter of their wind power, and sneakily tries to claim offsets from its carbon emission statistics because of its export of wind power to countries like Norway, Sweden, and Germany, all of whose CO2 emissions have remained unaffected by the process. Denmark itself consumes a fraction, expressed as barrels of oil equivalent, of their total energy consumption as wind power compared to the hydrocarbons they consume and produce. Denmark is a very poor example to use to try to answer those of us who support nuclear power, and who see wind power as nothing but an illusion posing as a real solution.

  110. One ton of thorium will produce nearly 1 GW of electricity for a year in an efficient thorium cycle reactor. India beaches are full of thorium, it can be scooped up by the railcar load. The path is already laid. Seems France has the only viable ability to create the first commercial thorium cycle reactor. (USA, shame! You had one running decades ago and blew it.)

  111. wayne says:
    July 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm
    One ton of thorium will produce nearly 1 GW of electricity for a year in an efficient thorium cycle reactor.

    Check LPPhysics.com .
    One pound of boron will produce one MW of electricity for a year. No steam, no waste, no radioactive byproducts.
    If all continues on track, commercial licenses for mfr. of small 5MW generators will be available world-wide in about 5 yrs. Less, if its starvation-level private financing is boosted a touch.

  112. This is a sneaky tactic, I’ve heard of other activists getting behind the same idea, these environmentalists are hard core anti nuclear, how this will go down is like this, first they’ll say that nuclear energy is a cleaner, safer energy source than coal, gas and oil, then they will put nuclear energy on the table get legislation passed and begin to shut down coal, gas and oil fired power stations to build nuclear power stations, when coal, gas and oil fired power stations are shut down they will take nuclear energy off the table and campaign against it in favor of wind, solar and tidal energy.
    In the UK during the 80s nuclear was on the table the coal mining industry was shut down and just as quick nuclear was off the table again. People here need to remember that a cheap reliable source of electricity (energy security) is not part of these peoples agenda it’s enemy No.1 as they see it, why do you think any rational person holds to a hypothesis that Anthropogenic co2 drives the earths climate, they are extremely misanthropically minded, they believe in destroying a countrys energy supply to reduce the size of human civilization so that it will have less of an impact on the planet.
    If any of you believe a word coming from the propaganda wing of eco-extremists, Marxists and Malthusian types maybe you should go sit in the corner and think again about what they are up to, they have done nothing but lie for the past 30 years about man made global warming and more recently about all manner of Anthropogenic influences claiming to be driving the earths climate so that they in-turn can influence government policies that effect each and every one of us. Why would anyone believe a word that came from these people?
    Oh that’s right they have never lied or been negligently wrong and deceitful in the past have they?

  113. “despite the fact that it is a bigger impact on the atmosphere than a Yellowstone super-volcanic eruption each month when it comes to CO2.”
    That’s an insane assertion.

  114. Everyone, let us not forget that CO2 being a problem is a scientific conclusion. While the majority here believe it to be meritless, there are rational schools of thought that say CO2 reduction is warranted as a precaution. If people propose rational action to precautionarily reduce CO2, then they should not be derided for it. Remember, it is not the conclusion that excessive CO2 is problematic that is dangerous, but the idea that we must undertake actions that harm humanity.
    Therefore, please do not slip into the litmus test of Warmist/Skeptic, but review each proposal. If we work with the rational warmists on actions that will benefit society whether or not CO2 is a problem, then we can prevent the irrational warmists from achieving too much sway and taking actions that will harm humanity.

  115. Politics makes strange bedfellows. I am surprised it took Lynas so long to realize that not all “enemies of your enemies are your friends”. But it is good he finally woke up to the fact.

  116. @ steven mosher,
    “It’s about the necessity of diversifying your supply. If for example you had a middling size island where one nuke could supply 100% of the supply, guess what? you would need two. It can also be about available space to build.. take hong kong for example.
    I suppose if you get to residential sized nuke then you’d see uptake. The only people who want to rely 100% on one nuke for ALL their power are people who are ordered to. guys in subs.”

    Precisely. That is certainly one of the reasons. But then, most grid-scale power supply systems use multiple generating plants to provide reliability. All plants must eventually be brought down for maintenance and repairs, or in the case of nuclear, for refueling. Some means of supplying power must be provided during those times.
    My point, though, was more related to the cost of a new nuclear power plant, and the price that the utility on such an island would charge its customers to pay for the plant, the operating costs, and make a small profit.
    A further point is that nuclear plants are notoriously difficult to control when called upon to provide load-following power rather than base-load power. Thus, a nuclear power plant on an island would face great difficulty in ramping up to meet the maximum load each day, then cutting back to meet the low load each night. One could, it is true, build an energy-storage system that would charge and discharge to meet the changing load while the nuclear power plant would operate a a steady rate. This would, however, add still more to the cost of the power that the customers would pay.
    Such an energy storage system has just been ordered for Catalina Island offshore California. The capacity is 1 MW, and the technology is a sodium-sulfur battery made by S&C Electric of Chicago, IL. Catalina has power produced from diesel-fueled generators.
    The high cost of new nuclear power plants prevents them from being built unless a government builds them or subsidizes them. Even a modern reactor design, the GE-Hitachi ABWR is far too costly to build, as the South Texas Nuclear Project Expansion was recently stopped when the costs were unveiled.

  117. @George (Jim) Hebbard PE on July 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm
    Re my comment that ” “Nuclear is nuts.”
    ***************************
    Alongside all the other statements here, some reasonable, some balderdash, this is the worst. However, I see no point in arguing about what most people see as unproven technology. It’s kinda like arguing about global warming. Time will tell.”
    I maintain that nuclear power is nuts because it is far too expensive, too dangerous and getting more dangerous with each passing day and month, it produces toxic radioactive byproducts, and it uses a disproportionate quantity of water for cooling compared to the power produced. I’ve written about these issues on my blog.
    see e.g. http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/reconsider-nuclear-power-is-it-ever.html
    I would support a different type of nuclear fission power, if one should ever exist, that 1) is cost-competitive with coal and natural gas, 2) does not produce toxic radioactive byproducts, especially those that can and are used for nuclear weapons, and 3) has a high thermal efficiency so that vast quantities of water are not evaporated due the plant’s operations.
    It may very well be that, someday, nuclear fission will be developed that will make benign byproducts, perhaps even useful byproducts. Apparently there is a shortage of phosphorus in the world, thus it would be a great idea to operate a nuclear fission reactor that produces phosphorus. We don’t know how to do that, to the best of my knowledge.
    It may also be possible, someday, to build a nuclear fusion reactor that produces energy at a price competitive with coal or natural gas, produces more energy than it consumes, does not melt its materials of construction, and has a means for introducing fresh fuel without disrupting the reaction. We can’t do that today, either.
    Until either or both of those types of nuclear reactors are proven, nuclear is nuts.

  118. Roger Sowell: “All plants must eventually be brought down for maintenance and repairs, or in the case of nuclear, for refueling.”
    No they don’t. CANDUs refuel on line.
    “A further point is that nuclear plants are notoriously difficult to control when called upon to provide load-following power rather than base-load power. ”
    Not so. France has considerable experience in using reactors for load following.
    “One could, it is true, build an energy-storage system that would charge and discharge to meet the changing load while the nuclear power plant would operate a a steady rate.”
    More to the point, every utility in the world tries to reduce peak demand. To the degree they succeed in moving peak to off-peak load, they make the grid more favourable to base load sources by increasing base load and decreasing peak.
    “One could, it is true, build an energy-storage system…”
    That’s one way. There’s lots of uses for off-peak power. Hydrogen production is just one. Pumped storage is another.
    “…as the South Texas Nuclear Project Expansion was recently stopped when the costs were unveiled.”
    You like to quote South Texas all the time. Naturally you don’t want to mention Georgia Power and FPL with Vogtle and Turkey point expansions.
    Finally, you keep claiming that nuclear is dangerous. Amusing really, since per unit of energy produced and based on the historical record to date, nuclear is by far the safest of all methods to date of producing electricity.

  119. @Colin: “safest of all methods to date….”
    Stick around…the record is not yet written for all the nuclear harm, disasters, deaths, radiation sicknesses, farmland destroyed, etc. due to nuclear power plants and the long-lasting radioactive products. The nuclear power plants in the US are aging, rusting, creaking, and falling apart. see the AP’s recent expose on this, or my blog entry at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/nuclear-nightmare-approaching-fast.html
    I’m actually hoping that a new nuclear power plant does get built in the US. It will serve as a grim reminder to all utilities to never do that again. It’s a long game, but eventually facts and realities will prevail. The long construction time, startup years later than scheduled, and the cost over-runs mounting into the billions of dollars will certainly happen again, just as they did in the 70s and 80s. Nuclear power is completely inappropriate when so many better alternatives exist. I’ve heard it said that “Building and starting a new nuclear power plant in the US will provide a prime opportunity for the utility involved to CUT their power prices, since “of course” nuclear power is “cheaper than any other form of power.” We can all wait breathlessly for the power prices to drop.” [sarcasm off now]
    We will also see the Nuclear Death Spiral occur – again – as power prices increase, and customers install their own generating systems and remove demand from the grid.
    And even the CANDU nuclear power plants must eventually be brought down for maintenance, even if refueling is not required. Steam generators require routine inspection and repair. So do turbines, condensers, and other equipment that has no installed spare.
    Moving peak load to base load is a grand theory, but the reality is that the sun shines during the peak hours – and that is when air conditioning is required. Also, manufacturing occurs during the day, as does office work. There are indeed alternatives to time-shift part of that load, but most are not economic. One could, for example, install a chilled water system to use off-peak power to produce chilled water (or ice) then use the chilled water the next day for the cooling load. This has been installed in a few places. Where 40 percent of the electric load is residential, as is the case in many utility grids, chilled water systems are simply not economic.
    Energy storage systems come in many forms. None are economic, other than pumped storage hydroelectric. There is a rather good one, tied into nuclear power, in Michigan on Lake Michigan at Ludington with about 1800 MW capacity. The reservoir covers more than 800 acres. If any of the others were economic, they would already be installed. We have had the technology for many years, it is only the economics that are lacking.
    Re France and their nuclear load-following, I have different information on that. France sells power at night to other countries because the nuclear plants won’t turn down far enough. Ever wonder why France doesn’t have 100 percent nuclear power? If 70 percent is so good, why not 100 percent? Load following is at least a part of the reason. If the USA were to follow France’s lead and build nuclear plants so that we, too have 70 or 80 percent from nuclear, what will we do with our excess power each night? Our options are to sell to Canada and Mexico. Canada doesn’t need our power, rather, Canada exports hydroelectric power to the US. We could, presumably, build underwater cables and sell power to Cuba, but it’s unlikely.
    There are plenty of ways to reduce the power produced from a nuclear power plant, without changing the reactor output. One such way is to bypass part of the steam around the turbine and send it directly to the condenser. Of course, that requires far more cooling water and a much more expensive condenser. But, it could be done. One could also use part of the electricity produced for other purposes rather than sales into the grid. Hydrogen production from water electrolysis, and high-pressure reverse osmosis desalination are two such purposes. If either of those were economic, it is curious that they are not being done.

  120. “Stick around…the record is not yet written..” So in short, I’m right, and all you have is prophecy.
    “…even the CANDU nuclear power plants must eventually be brought down for maintenance..” You claimed in your original text that reactors had to be shut down for refueling.
    “Moving peak load to base load is a grand theory, but the reality is that the sun shines during the peak hours – and that is when air conditioning is required.”
    Fact is, distribution utilities have been moving load into base for years.
    For the rest of your piece, your comments on France and US are simply your meaningless strawmen about 100%. The economics of power generation is entirely geographic and situational, never universal. Your claim about load following was refuted, and all of your blathering was simply swerving around the fact that you were caught out. As for “Nuclear Death Spiral”, that’s just another cute phrase invented by you or some other antinuke, devoid of any substance.
    As for condenser bypass, CANDUs do this.
    “I’m actually hoping that a new nuclear power plant does get built in the US.” Of course you don’t. You’re vigorously campaigning to make sure it never happens.
    Fact is, Roger, your just another ideologue. You’re not interested in analysis. You’re only interested in facts when they happen to suit your pre-determined conclusions.

  121. Please understand a few things. Nuclear fission is a TRANSITIONAL energy source, necessary for perhaps another plant lifetime of nuclear fission plants or 60 years at most. Then clean and inexaustible controlled Fusion power produced in Fusion power plants, with little radioactivity or long term wastes can, should, and will eventualy replace both fission and other sources, such as coal and oil, as a power source for all mankind.
    Any idea to use an advanced nuclear cycle such as thorium or new fission reactor designs would take 30 years minimum and tens of billions of dollars to design; and obtain governmental approval for beginning to build them. Note that the advanced and improved LWRs of either the PWR or BWR variety, so called GEN III+ reactors, have been in design and seeking approval for about 15-20 years; and are only a year or two away from final “standard design” approval.
    So any new design from scratch, won’t be available for 25-40 years at the earliest. Existing proposals are nothing but suggestions, for which no detailed engineering has been performed. By that time, some 30-40 years from now, the window for Nuclear fission will have closed, by then. Such development funds would be better spent on creating Fusion based, follow on designs. Other wise we are creating a battle for the new Fusion plants against the newer Fission designs. Somethng we should not want to encourage, as it will delay the ultimate adoption of Fusion.
    Fusion is a scienitfic technology whose Physics R&D is nearing an end; and whose plant design and engineering time is drawing near. The ITER Fusion experiment in France is both the LAST Physics experiment and the FIRST engineering design for a Fusion power plant. We have controlled Fusion, in our laboratories, and already generated tens of megawatts of power from experiments around the World. ITER will scale our R&D to larger sizes and longer durations, suitable for commercial power plants. It has been building for half a decade, and when completed, it will rapidly confirm the R&D objectives set for it. We know that because we have proved all the things that ITER was meant to accomplish, at various laboratories around the World, a liitle bit here, and a little bit there. ITER merely brings it all together, in one place,as a fiinal confirmation.
    As a charter founder of the Union of Concerned Scientists who worked in the power industry, I was criticizing some of the poorly designed or haphazardly constructed nuclear plants, long before the Leftists adopted it as a cause celebre to push their ideology.
    They threw the baby out with the bathwater, and prevented the completion of all nuclear reactors both the good and bad. The people concerned with real issues were easily displaced by leftist politicians, who spent all their time politicing, and nothing on the issues; and were only seeking a handsome ricebowl as managers of tthe enviro organizations, ranging from my UCS, which I quit in disgust, to Patrick Moore’s Greenpeace, from which he did likewise.
    As a consequence many of the ancient obsolescent and most polluting coal power plants were forced to continue in operation from the 1970s and are still operating and polluting today, since there simply was no alternative. In a sense the gentleman is correct. Much of the worst of the coal plants running today, would have been shut down 20 or 30 years ago, if the marxist watermelons, who don’t give a damn about true environmentalism except as it feeds theiir wallets, didn’t fight to stop all fission plants. Both good and bad, indiscriminately.
    Their favorite tactic was the misuse of the Law, with their terroristic lawsuits and financial delaying warfare. Thankfully, those weapons are now ruled illegal except for a limited time, largely expired, in the USA. When construction eventually begins it will proceed to operation with little deviation, unlike the situation of interminable and purposely planned, costly delay.
    Recycling used reactor fuel would eliminate over 96% of the radioactive waste in the USA; and would consume it in the incinerators we call present day LWRs. There are now processes and procedures that transmute transuranic waste. That is the remaining 1% of the waste, and the only long lived waste is transuranic, long lived raidioactive, “waste”. The balance is few percent is irradiated elements made temporarily radioactive in the reactors, that will decay rapidly over at mosta few decades.
    The processes to destroy these long lived transuranic elements, all members of the actinides elemental series, such as Putonium, Curium, Americium falls under the rubric of “Actinide Burning”. If adopted as a course of waste remediation action, there would be NO long lived waste, dangerous for more than several decades, at all. Storing hazardous materials for a few decades is entirely possible and routine; and does not create anywhere near the issues with storage for thousands of years. The issue of long lived radioactive waste is “Red Hering” trotted out by anti-nuclear, anti-technology enviros, to scare the uninformed. I should note that the “actinide burners” range from present day LWRs, to even future Fusion powerplants that can “crack” the tiny bit that is untransmutable by “lazy neutrons” of the LWRs.

  122. Wow, a textbook sample of a classic disinformation rant from a “founding member” of the storied UCS! Such an honour to be on the receiving end of a massive nightsoil dump from a master.
    ITER is a non-commercializable boondoggle of historic proportions, of course, and if it continues to triple in estimated costs every 10 yrs, then Stein’s Law will soon show its teeth: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” I doubt it will make it to 2020, even assuming the EU and Euro don’t implode before then.
    Fusion may well displace fission, but it won’t be a magnetic confinement monstrosity that does it.

  123. Correction: after the ITER noise, much of what the (now repentant) UCS founder is saying is accurate. It is possible to deal with fission wastes as described, and various fission designs are reasonably competent at doing this. However, the ability of the left to throw up and exploit regulatory roadblocks and to inflate and misrepresent nuclear accidents is not to be underestimated.
    Economically, the major challenge in the near term is frak gas, which is the target of a full-on demonization assault. Hyping and mis-attribution of pollution and even seismic events near drilling sites is the current focus, with the all-pervasive anti-carbon meme ready to resume the starring role when needed. But its ubiquity and low cost per kW capacity are facts of life and nature, and globally beyond the reach of EU or US watermelons. LNG is even more fungible than oil.

  124. @Colin, you certainly don’t want to discuss the facts, that much is obvious.
    Each of your points is in error.
    The Nuclear Death spiral, for your information, is absolutely a fact. I lived and worked through that period in history along the US Gulf Coast in the 70s and 80s. But then, facts apparently are not something of which you take much notice. The good folks in Louisiana, and Texas, certainly did take notice when their power prices went up and up due to nuclear power plants starting up. They built cogeneration plants to supply their own power as quickly as they could, but then facts such as this will be ignored or denied by you. Each MW of self-generated power removed an equal amount of load from the utility’s grid, and from their revenue stream. They raised their electric rates as a result. More cogeneration was built as the electric prices went up. Nuclear Death Spiral. Your calling it false does not make it false.
    So, go ahead! Encourage your local utility to build a nuke, or two, or a dozen! Then don’t go complaining when your electric bills skyrocket, as they surely will.

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