How Fear of Nuclear Ends | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxCalPoly

A couple years old, but still relevant~ctm

140 thoughts on “How Fear of Nuclear Ends | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxCalPoly

  1. “Around the world people look to California for leadership on clean energy”


      • Many of the “people” in California are migrating to Texas. Everyone is welcome, but nobody here wants to see the state Californicated. Anybody who wants big government, high taxes and regulation and a nanny state to micromanage everyone’s affairs should stay in a blue state.

        I live in the Austin area and the lefties migrate here like moths to a flame. But if they want California’s policies, they should stay in California. Texans have lower taxes, higher employment, lower housing costs and lower cost of living. Why move here and ruin it? Sometimes I think the left-coast expatriots are like the invaders from Independence Day. They destroy their home states until unlivable, move to a new states and start over. They also seem to have a hive mind.

    • I think a lot of morons around the world do “look to California for leadership on clean energy.”

      The fact that they are misguided does not alter the fact that they think California’s energy is clean.

    • If it’s building them in states run by idiots such as the ones running California and New York then that’s the last place they should be built. It would be handling a live hand grenade to a 5 year old. Imagine the control rooms staffed by “disadvantaged people” and druggies who flunked the test but were hired anyway for diversity reasons.

      For another reason look at how California has created the wildfire situation out there with shoddy electrical systems and their “green” energy. Nukes are the last thing they should be allowed to have.

      • Bear …

        I’m thinking more along the lines of Chinese designed, manufactured, constructed and operated nuke plants in number as the global consequence should Schellenberger’s thought process succeed globally. Not exactly handing a live grenade to a 5 year old, but not exactly the ideal outcome either, especially if those Chinese nuke plants are Chinese built in many African nations.

        The USA is certainly ready for nukes but lots on the planet are not.
        At the same time, the West has decided to become ignorant in the skills and experience needed to design and construct these things, but China takes the opposite outlook.

        G**gle : World Nuclear Association China
        for some realistic information.
        Some quotes from that website:
        “Mainland China has about 45 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 15 under construction, and more about to start construction.”

        “China has become largely self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle, but is making full use of western technology while adapting and improving it.”

        • Oh, I’m all for nuclear, but not in the Peoples Republic of California as I stated. It’s not the design it’s that they can’t be trusted to operate it safely. But then I watched Chernobyl and don’t trust any buearocrats to run a kiddy car let alone a nuke.

    • Bob,

      Chernobyl was way less anti-nuclear than I thought it would be. My takeaway was that Soviets’s were corner cutting cheapskates (they ran out of other people’s money) that didn’t allow ANY questioning of authority. In the end, it was way more damaging to Bernie Sanders/AOC style socialism than it was towards Nuclear power.

      The “Hero’s” of Chernobyl were nuclear scientists. They obviously believe in nuclear power.

    • A more balanced coverage would include the information that Chernobyl has become a wonderful wildlife preserve because humans are still mostly excluded from the area.

      We should not be surprised by these findings, says Smith. “There have been a lot of radiobiological studies over the decades to find out what it takes to really damage animal populations, to do some serious reproductive damage. And across most of the exclusion zone, the doses aren’t really high enough to have that effect.” link

      So, life is thriving at the site of the worst radiation accident ever.

      There is a theory that radiation damage is cumulative and that, therefore, even the tiniest amount of radiation is dangerous. It’s called the linear no-threshold model. Surely the experience at Chernobyl should put that one to sleep.

          • The data is the research that only mentions numbers of wildlife, and not their health and longevity.

          • Show me in any research that besides simply counting numbers of animals studied health and longevity of animals. Requesting such is not irrational fear, it’s the scientific approach.

          • Animals have a certain lifespan and a certain number of times a year the females are in season. To get a large number of animals in an area, there must be increased numbers of breeders. You can only get that by either having a high birthrate or long-lived breeders. Take your pick.

          • Researchers admit that the larger number of animals in the exclusion zone are due to man’s absence. So there really are no data (as far as I know) that quantify what their numbers would be with or without the presence of ionizing radiation.

          • Here’s some data:

            “A-bomb survivors who received high doses exhibited shortened lifespan and increased cancer mortality, but at low-dose radiation the ratios of cancer deaths in A-bomb survivors are smaller than those of Japanese averages.

            In Taiwan recycled radio-contaminated steel was inadvertently used in the construction of over 100 apartment buildings causing the long-term (10 years) exposure of 10,000 people. The average dose rate was 50 mSv/year and a subset of the population (1,000 people) received a total dose of over 4,000 mSv over ten years. In the widely used Linear No Threshold (LNT) theory used by regulatory bodies, the expected cancer deaths in this population would have been 302 with 70 caused by the extra ionizing radiation with the remainder caused by natural background radiation. However the observed cancer rate was quite low at 7 cancer deaths when 232 would be predicted by the LNT theory. Ionizing radiation hormesis appears to be at work.”


          • Termites is what they are. They did that to Oregon about 30 years ago. Oregon was a solid Red state before people from California came here. There was a (not serious) proposal to put a sign at the California border saying “Welcome Californians. Visit but DON’T stay.”

          • icisil,

            Prior to the 1986 Chernobyl incident, about 120,000 people lived between the towns of Chernobyl and Pripyat. Now, save for a few hundred holdouts who refuse to leave, the immediate area surrounding the former power plant is devoid of life. Though the disaster released radiation levels 400 times that of the Hiroshima bombing, flora and fauna have begun to thrive over time. In 2015, researchers from the UK released information showing that there were likely more animals present on the site now than prior to the disaster.

            In fact, elk, deer, fox, wolves, and many more species roam the land, taking advantage of human absence to firmly plant their roots. Rare species like the Przewalski’s horse and European lynx, which were thought to have disappeared from the area, were sighted within the Exclusion Zone. Interestingly, this increase in mammals is the reverse of the overall trend in parts of the former Soviet Union, where mammal populations are on a decline.


        • Google Taiwan radioactive apartment blocks and learn a surprising story. Radiation prevents cancer.

          • Holy S**t !!

            the incidence of cancer deaths in this population was greatly reduced—to about 3 per cent of the incidence of spontaneous cancer death in the general Taiwan public. In addition, the incidence of congenital malformations was also reduced—to about 7 per cent of the incidence in the general public. link

            That means the exposed people had 1/30 the chance of dying from spontaneous cancer. They had 1/14 the chance of congenital malformations.

            In medical studies you just don’t see that kind of results. Normally, people get excited if there is a ten percent change.

          • You have no basis for saying that. I’d live in a stone house if I could. With granite counter tops… 🙂

          • Yet even smaller increases in radiation cause you to utterly loose your ability to think rationally.

          • Radiation prevents cancer.

            And it is a prerequisite of mutation – that is, gen variability: variety of individuals.

        • If they weren’t healthy and living a normal life span, the numbers would not be there either.

          Face it, radiation is not as bad as you so desperately want to believe.

        • Let me be a little more clear.

          You said:

          Thriving in this case is defined by numbers, not health or longevity.

          So, YOU provide some data to back up your contention.

      • The LNT model has been officially put to rest in professional dosimetry. Which is why flight personnel does not die at thirty and Kerala is habited roughly since the time begun.

        Animals can’t read, that’s what saves them at Chernobyl and as far as I remember, photoshop besides, no unicorns or supersonic sparrows were identified over the years.

        Further down that update class, we were told that about 3’000 people work in the area on a daily basis in many of the research and training facilities.

        If there were so many, like zillions of death cases due to radiation worldwide as the greens claim, then they should have names and medical histories to prove it.

        None of that, nor the mountains of corpses are accounted for.

      • You could go anywhere and find people who disagree with anything.
        However the facts remain that low levels of radiation are not harmful and may even be beneficial.

        • Low level is fine in most cases. Receiving the maximum yearly dosage in a few hours or days, as happened in some Fukushima-affected areas, is not healthy and, in fact, very dangerous.

          • The number of lies you eagerly believe and repeat is utterly amazing.

            BTW, even the maximum yearly dose is still a very small number.

          • So do you want to (supposedly) save the whole planet, icisil, by replacing fossil-fueled power plants? Or do you think it’s more important to protect a very small number of people from very rare accidents with possibly negative effects from nuclear power which doesn’t add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

          • Then you reject the idea that anthropogenic CO2 is an existential threat to this planet? If so, icisil , you should make that clear whenever you post here to avoid damaging your credibility.

  2. Fear mongers can only be defeated by education and knowledge. Most people are technically incompetent and easily swayed by hysteria.

    • icisil has been presented with the data over and over again.
      Religious convictions can’t be eliminated with data.

    • Radiation is frightening to even supposedly educated people because it’s invisible. It’s magic and it’s connected to atomic bombs. Invisible death.

  3. Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Nagasaki survivors, as well as a few others from submarine incidents tell the story on extreme radiation exposure. IIRC, if you are not dead within a few weeks, you have a statistically higher incidence of certain cancers, esp. leukemia, for the rest of your life. Your children conceived after the incident will not be affected. Minor radiation exposures are harmless, and may even be good for you (Hormesis). This is despite the current “settled science” which holds there is no lower threshold for harm from radiation exposure.

    • ” Your children conceived after the incident will not be affected.”

      That appears to not be the case in Chernobyl-affected areas. Kids with mutations were born to survivors.

      • Data please, nobody else seems to have been able to find these children.
        PS: The rate needs to be above the background rate of mutations.

        • From what I’ve read, there’s been a 200% increase in Chernobyl-affected areas since the disaster.

          • If you go back and check what you read, I’ll bet you can’t track those claims to anything resembling a study or authoritative source. Which means you are just spreading rumors.

          • Icisil

            I challenge your claim. It is untrue. There is no data for people born in the exclusion zone because only one family refused to move.

            There is no evidence that radiation causes evolution or genetic mutations, even though the originator of that idea got the Nobel Prize in 1937. Ionizing radiation does no more than blow holes in DNA so the “incidence” of mutations would not have increased in the first place.

            Damaging DNA is not the same as mutating it. Spider-Man mutants are the stuff of comic books.

            The standard max exposure is 100 milli-Sieverts per year. The people living in the Taiwan apartment building received on average almost 500/yr. There was a marked improvement in their health. No experiment investigating this topic failed to find positive health results for low level ionizing radiation.

          • You commented one minute after I did, so I doubt you read the article. Israeli and Ukrainian scientists have come to a different conclusion than you have.

            And btw the max safe exposure for non-nuclear workers is 1 millisievert per year (not 100). For nuclear workers it is 20 millisieverts per year (whatever sense that discrepancy makes).

          • From what I’ve read, your claim is utter nonsense.

            BBC? Might as well cite the Onion.
            At least the Onion admits that they make up stuff.

          • icisil, fear of radiation appears to have rotted your brain.
            You have two posts, one at 8:16 am and one at 10:16 am. Both of them make ridiculous claims.
            Why do you assume Crispin is responding to your second post, rather than the first one?

          • icisil,
            You said “I’m not interested in spending the effort to research that specific point…”. Then don’t post that unverified crap, or admit that you are making it up and/or just spreading rumors. That would be the honest thing to do.

          • Really? I have been to the Chernobyl exclusion zone 3 times and to the reactor site once. I also own a suberb Geiger counter which i took with me.

            The radiation levels on the flight to Europe were FAR higher than almost anything even at Chernobyl itself. Moreover my Galaxy bench top registers higher too.

            The only official study i know of of Chernobyl related illness shows the same as the Iran and Taiwan studies – a REDUCTION in cancer, not an increase.


            But hey – trust one of your own perhaps if you prefer arguments from authority – one of the greates nuclear scientists in US history – Galen Windsor (who by the way died of non-cancer Parkinsons at 82. Skip to the second half if you want to see him eat Uranium.

            I could say much more but ypu appear to want to live in fear of radiation rather than adjusting your mental models to new information.


  4. This guy couldn’t even work out that the confected fear and outrage about Nuclear power back then is no different than the confected fear and outrage about Coal and CO2 today.

    … and the utter misanthropy of these eco extremists is breathtaking. They are always on about getting rid of half the population. They are pathological.

    • But if he can use the fear of CO2 to support Nuclear Power, I’m not going to stop him.

  5. He’s incorrect about TMI. It was a partial meltdown, not a full meltdown as he said several times.

    Nuclear’s wonderful as long as there are no accidents, but when they do happen it’s the worst by far. Minimizing fear of what it can do when things go wrong is probably the worst thing that can happen, because that increases the likelihood that profit will be prioritized over safety considerations, which is exactly what caused the disaster at Fukushima (which was, btw, 3 full meltdowns).

    The way to minimize fear of nuclear is to eliminate this issue by developing safer (so they say) technology like gen 4, that actually kills 2 birds (at least) with one stone: providing safer power while consuming the 176 million lbs of spent fuel rods sitting in cooling pools in the US. It makes no sense to continue with the technology that keeps adding to the growing “waste” problem when technology exists that can use that “waste” as fuel. That’s a win-win situation for everyone.

    • The same thing could be said about commercial airline travel: extremely safe, but when things go wrong, hundreds die at a time.

      Doesn’t keep people from flying. Shouldn’t keep us from using nuclear power.

      • There’s a big difference between external radiation (like cosmic radiation received on airline flights, as you mentioned) and internal radiation from hot particles of man-made isotopes (e.g., cesium-###, strontium-## and iodine-###) that are ingested/inhaled into the body and are metabolized into cellular structure.

        • It is not so much whether the radiation is externally or internally delivered as it is the dose delivered. We get a daily dose of radiation from both internal and external sources. As the radiation is emitted two things might occur: ionization of molecules (the dose) in the body or the radiation may pass harmlessly through/out of the body. If ionization of a molecule(s) occur, the next question is what are the ramifications of this ionization. As we are mostly water (~80%) the H2O molecules are ionized the most. Two resultant things can happen from this reaction: 1) the OH- molecule and free H molecule get back together and there is no harm, no foul: or 2) the free radicals interact with other molecules which may or may not lead to cellular misfunction. Of course the radiation can interact with any other molecular structure in the cell, e.g. DNA, RNA, mitochondria, cell walls, et cetera. Whether or not the changes lead to cell misfunction depends on whether or not the cell can repair the damage. At low doses (little damage) the cell has a reasonably high probability of repairing the damage (the basis of the hormesis theory). As the delivered dose increases, so does the chances the cell may misfunction or die. At this point it becomes the job of the whole body to recognize the damaged cell(s) and remove them. The big question is always whether or not the body can repair the changes from ionization due to radiation. It must also be understood that a ton of chemically induced ionizations are constantly occurring in our bodies. As biological entities, our cells have repair mechanisms for miscreant ionization results. Obviously these repair mechanisms can be overwhelmed and fail at some point as may happen in high doses of radiation, chemical or traumatic accidents.

          You mention birth defects and cancer induction in other comments. It is estimated that 20-25% of all humans are born with some sort of birth defect ranging from no-big deal to severe handicap. Not sure of the latest numbers, but in my teaching days it was ~25% of humans will get a cancer in their lifetime. One must be very careful when presented with statistics of radiation induced cancer or birth defects. A 10% increase in a cancer in which there is a relatively low incidence will still be a relatively low incidence. You cite a 200% increase in a cancer or birth defect (I didn’t bother to look at the citations as I have refuted such citations before). I can state that almost all of the increase is more likely due to the fact that tracking and reporting of these categories was almost non-existent in the Ukraine region prior to the Chernobyl incident. When the data was adjusted for this issue, the only cancer that appeared to have an statistically significant increase was thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer is easily treated.

  6. Second try, let’s see if this works. The first went into moderation, I think because I used the word “k!lls”. It happened to me before with the same phrase.
    Shellenberger’s incorrect about TMI. It was a partial meltdown, not a full meltdown as he said several times.

    Nuclear’s wonderful as long as there are no accidents, but when they do happen it’s the worst by far. Minimizing fear of what it can do when things go wrong is probably the worst thing that can happen, because that increases the likelihood that profit will be prioritized over safety considerations, which is exactly what caused the disaster at Fukushima (which was, btw, 3 full meltdowns).

    The way to minimize fear of nuclear is to eliminate this issue by developing safer technology like gen 4 (so they say), that actually k!lls 2 birds (at least) with one stone: providing safer power while consuming the 176 million lbs of spent fuel rods sitting in cooling pools in the US. It makes no sense to continue with the technology that keeps adding to the growing “waste” problem when technology exists that can use that “waste” as fuel. That’s a win-win situation for everyone.

    • How many died as a direct result of Three Mile Island? How many died as a direct result of Chernobyl? How many died as a result of the nuclear element of Fukujima (as opposed to the tsunami)?

      Come to that, how many people have ever died as the direct result of a nuclear accident at an electricity generating plant?

      • TMI: 0, Chernobyl: 31, Fukushima: 0

        I don’t include several people in the Fukushima area that died as a direct effect of authorities botching the (unnecessary) evacuation.

      • How many can conclusively prove that a cancer was caused by radioactive fallout? No one can. That’s what we’re dealing with here.

          • Science can prove, and has proved, that ionizing radiation is damaging to DNA and causes cancer.

            As far as increases in cancers in Chernobyl and Fukushima, I’m pretty sure that they did increase (especially thyroid cancers in Japan). I really don’t feel like researching that to prove my point, but if this online format was a typical forum where replied-to comments are bumped to the top, I definitely would.

          • Science has proven that high levels of radiation is damaging.
            There is no evidence that the low levels that we are talking about here are dangerous.

    • The three accidents you mention were minor, only one killed anyone, there is no evidence that the other two even made anyone sick.

      PS: The whales in the Pacific are still not all dead.

    • Talk to Jimmy Carter and the democrats who passed and implemented legislation that does not allow the reuse of waste reactor fuel. No breeder reactors.

      Worst president ever!

    • There have been only three accidents, two caused no deaths or injuries, the third was the result of a bad design, chosen because it was cheap, cost cutting during construction and incompetent operations.

      Even Chernobyl is nowhere near as bad as the anti-nuclear nut cases want to believe.

    • The only reason there is 176 million lbs (assuming that is correct) of “spent” fuel rods sitting in cooling pools in the US is a policy decision, not a technical one. I seem to recall that the French, whatever else they can’t do right, at least get reprocessing right (or at least, do it well enough). As for the worries about proliferation during reprocessing – pffftttt! With proper safeguards (easy enough here in the US), MOX fuel wouldn’t be a problem.

      That said, I don’t disagree with your other comment about advanced technology nuclear power. The damn politicians getting in the way of engineers and physicists…yet again.

      • “…assuming that is correct…”

        The 176,000 lbs derives from the (easily researched) 80 tons of spent fuel rods sitting in US cooling pools. I read, or assumed metric tons, which would be 176,000 million lbs. Otherwise it would be 160,000 million lbs. Store it or “burn” it in gen 4 reactors? I think the latter is more sensible and better for humanity.

    • Half the core melted in the Three mile island boiling water reactor failure, due to a level control error.

      There was also a small TMI hydrogen explosion. The TMI reactor has roughly a month old.

      We are stuck at the childish talk about how much will do or do not ‘like’ or hate ‘nuclear’ power, ignoring the fact of past problems with water cooled, fuel rod reactors.

      We do not need cheer leaders for nuclear power. We need safe, cheap, fission power that really is safe and hence is supported by the general public.

      In every other industry except in the nuclear industry the optimum design is found. Why is taking so long to ‘fix’ the nuclear industry? Any ideas why?

      The optimum fission reactor design was found, built, and tested 50 year ago.

      The optimum fission reactor design:

      1) Does not require a containment building to contain explosions as there is no possible explosion source due to optimum material selection and reactor design.

      2) It is unbelievably simple, compared to a pressure water reactor or a boiling water reactor. It is small (can be trucked to site 600 MW unit), and can be massed produced in any technical country.

      3) It produces end heat at 600C (47% thermal efficiency) rather than the PWR 315C (36% thermal efficiency). The higher temperature opens up trillion of dollars of heat applications and enables the use of standard turbines, rather than custom turbines to handle wet steam that are only built at one factory, as wet steam turbines are only used by the current nuclear ‘industry.

      4) It is six times more fuel efficient because it uses liquid fuel rather than fuel rods and cannot blow up or melt down because it uses liquid fuel. The molten salt which contains the uranium and all of the fission products melts at 400C and boils at 1400C.

      5) It has no exothermic reactions (it uses only one liquid that is safe in any operating mode) including loss of power or loss of controls to the reactor.

      6) It is walk away safe because it can be passively cooled using convection without pumps. It does not use water hence does not have any problem with hydrogen explosions.

      7) It is sealed so it is possible to have zero radiation leaks. There is no level control in the reactor. It is filled and sealed for roughly 3 years at which time a small amount of fuel is added. The optimum reactor design has a life of 7 years, limited by its graphite core. At the end of the seven years it is drained and replaced with a new simple reactor. There are no future dismantling costs. Every reactor has the most up to date technology.

      7. It operates at atmospheric pressure as compared to a PWR that operates at 150 atmospheres. Due to the high pressures and its size (largest pressure vessel in the world) the large PWR is constructed out of 8 inch plate that can only be bent in one factory in the world.

      The optimum liquid fuel, no water, no fuel rod reactor was developed and tested at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) led by the Director of ORNL Alvin Weinberg who has the patent for pressure water reactors, 50 years ago, in the 1970s.

      The optimum fission reactor design test was completely successful. There were no outstanding engineering or scientific issues. The reason why the optimum fission reactor design is not used today is there was no public test summary sent to congress and the detailed test results were hidden.

      In the 2000s a NASA engineer Kirk Sorensen a NASA engineer while looking for a reactor design that could be used for a moon base heard about the 1970s test and found that there was no documentation of it.

      He located some of the original scientists and engineers who worked on the test and located the detailed test documentation in the local library. Kirk found out the liquid fuel reactor test was a complete success. Kirk went on to get a PhD in ‘nuclear’ power.

      Kirk found his nuclear engineering professors had no knowledge about the liquid fuel, no water, no fuel rod test and nuclear ‘engineering’ taught at university was primarily talking about the faults and fault mitigation of pressure water/boiling water reactors.

      This is Kirk Sorensen talking about the Oak Ridge test in the 1970s in this 1 ½ minute video which includes a sort clip of Alvin Weinberg famous PWR/BWR are not safe in the larger sizes as catastrophic failures are naturally possible.

      Alvin Weinberg Questioned Safety of PWR – High Pressure – Containment Breach

      • Watching a Kirk Sorenson video is what converted me from being “anti”-nuclear (since I was a teenager) to being pro-gen-4-nuclear.

      • I suspect the pressurized water reactor/boiling water reactor concepts are a legacy of their original design for use in shipboard applications, where large amounts of high-pressure steam were commonly used – steam turbines were used for propulsion, electricity generation, aircraft launch catapults and arresting systems on carriers, etc.

  7. Nuclear power works, is generally safe and is undoubtedly low carbon…


    It is just too expensive… the electricity rate needed for a return on investment in new nuclear is astronomic: look at UK’s planned Hinkley plant. 2 further UK nukes are suspended/cancelled because they can’t be financed.

    Also the end of life costs and decommissioning is never fully costed… look at EDF, functionally bankrupt over France’s nuclear fleet.

    • In Sweden end of life costs and decommissioning and final storage of fuel is fully costed, and nuclear power is still competitive.

      And a government can make anything uneconomic by adding enough taxes and bureaucracy.

    • Griff,
      Your comment is not correct. Pressurized/Boiling water reactors are too expensive partially because it is very expensive to protect against all of the faults. A fission reactor design that is generally safe is not good enough.

      There is however a fission reactor game changer that is walk away safe (no catastrophic failure modes and has a passive backup cooling system that does not require water flow, electricity, or pumps) cheap as coal fission reactor. See my above comment.

      If AGW was a problem, the liquid fuel reactor is a practical, economical, safe solution.

      P.S. I see the Germans have stopped subsidizing both solar and wind as they can use any more variable power. Green energy is too expensive and has limited value if our objective to reduce human CO2 emissions.

    • In places where they keep the green economic terrorists in check, nuclear power is much less expensive.

  8. Michael Shellenberger is a lobbyist. His pro-nuclear lobbying organization, Environmental Progress, has a $1.5 million budget. It would be interesting to know who is funding his work.

    • He is a cofounder of the Breakthrough Institute. I would start with the website for the organization but it appears to be down at the moment.

      To me, he appears to be another grant seeking parasite that gets some things right but is mostly wrong.

      • You don’t understand basic greenie propaganda techniques: never ever discuss anything, never ever provide data, concentrate on ad hom attacks.

        Unfortunately they are often successful.

        • Way to make your opponent’s point! Can you say “own goal”? Sheesh, are you 14 years old?

        • Are you having a contest with yourself to see if you can be even more juvenile than yesterday?

          PS: Thank you for admitting that you are incapable of actually dealing with data and would rather fling emotional attacks instead.

        • Icisil … Ah Good Sir, you are either being sarcastic or you simply don’t understand Ad Hominem and fallacious arguments from authority (your former) nor Loaded Questions (your latter). You are mischaracterising soming asking you to attack the argument and not the man by conflation or confusion with Loaded Question silliness. Theses logical concepts appear to you to be simply convenient pejoratives to fling rather than epistemological tools.

          Embarrassing Amigo …

          • Mike you don’t know what the h3ll you’re talking about. Someone accused me of ad hom when all I did was point out that the person was a lobbyist for nuclear power. That helps understanding why his words are full of inconsistencies, and he comes across as having some kind of agenda other than simply speaking the truth (which I am able to discern from my knowledge of the subject). Ad hom would be if I said don’t listen to this person because he is a nuclear lobbyist, i.e., attack the person rather than his argument. That’s not what I did. You folks committed the fallacy of assuming I did something I didn’t do.

          • Icsil – you really are unusual. You literally reclarify your ad hominem attack AS YOUR DEFENSE. Thanks for the confirmation.

            Even a quick Wiki seach would have shown you the Guilt by Association Ad Hominem. Quoted below:

            “Guilt by association can sometimes also be a type of ad hominem fallacy if the argument attacks a source because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.[9]

            This form of the argument is as follows:

            Source S makes claim C.Group G, which is currently viewed negatively by the recipient, also makes claim C.Therefore, source S is viewed by the recipient of the claim as associated to the group G and inherits how negatively viewed it is.

            An example of this fallacy could be “My opponent for office just received an endorsement from the Puppy Haters Association. Is that the sort of person you would want to vote for?””


            You are casting doubt on the person because of their association or source of funding or background. While this can be relevant if the argument was about the person’s credibility as a witness is the topic of discussion (likely because you have no other direct access to evidence) this is not tge topic here. You attack his argument by casting innuendo about his other associations – the very definition of attacking the man and not the argument.

            Sorry but if you can’t see that by now as you even reclarified one if tge 3 classic types of ad hominem AS YOUR DEFENSE then, well, … all the best mate.

      • A rational, informed person cannot be pro fission reactor if the word fission reactor is a fuel rod, water cooled, high pressure reactor.

        That is the point. There is a technical problem and there is a problem that we cannot get left and right to talk about something real and good and to make a change.

        In a rational society it should be a no brainer to go with the best fission engineering solution.

        The liquid fuel reactors that are six times more fuel efficient and walk away safe would make the fuel rod industry obsolete and pressure water reactor business obsolete and would result int super downsizing the regulatory agency. Why would the current nuclear industry players support a change?

        There was 80 years supply of uranium. The PWR/BWR are burning that up six times faster than a liquid fuel reactor.

        Further more, the uranium pellets in fuel rods are made of a fused material that melts at 2500 celsius making it very difficult to separate the uranium and plutonium after use from the pellet.

        Cutting the pellet up proved to be dangerous as plutonium can form ultra small particles that can easily float in the air and make the facility dangerously radioactive.

        In the liquid fuel reactor the uranium and all of its by products are tightly bound in the Fluoride salt. Uranium and plutonium that is in the salt, can be easily chemically separated from the other elements in the salt mass by melting the salt (melts at 400C) and using standard chemical separation techniques.

  9. I’m not quite sure why climate “skeptics” love nuclear power. Regardless of any danger associated with it, nuclear can only survive with enormous government subsidies, which in other contexts (e.g. renewable energy) you seem to think is close to Stalinism. Inconsistent, a little?

    • The subsidized aren’t as large as the anti-nuclear types claim.
      Secondly, government regulations, as well as constantly changing regulations are largely responsible for the cost of nuclear.

    • No subsidies needed. We have had cheap, reliable nuclear power in Sweden for 50 years with no subsidies. As a matter of fact it is so cheap that our red/green government has had to invent a special tax (“effektskatt”), applied to nuclear power only, to make it uncompetitive.

    • My guess is that a lot of the most vocal are somehow affiliated with the nuclear power industry, and view this point in time as a golden opportunity to revitalize the industry. I think that would be great, but revitalize it by developing gen 4 technology and not by maintaining the PWR status quo.

      • About the only thing I agree with you on is developing and licensing the Gen IV technology. Right now it’s nigh impossible to license a new Nuclear Plant design, so progress is slow. This is truly a problem that only the Federal Government can solve, because they created the problem with their labyrinthine regulatory processes. It needs to be streamlined and protections put into place to quickly squash meritless lawsuits that only seek to delay projects and make them too expensive to pursue.

        • It takes four years of diligent work to get a new reactor design approved by the NRC — assuming the applicant works with the NRC as a partner in doing a professional job of implementing reactor safety, as opposed to treating the NRC as an adversary.

          NuScale submitted its application for their small modular reactor (SMR) design in 2016 and has worked closely with the NRC to keep the review and approval schedule on track for completion. The bulk of the NRC’s review work has now been finished and final approval is expected in 2020.

          Those who think nuclear power would take off in the United States if only the NRC wasn’t so strict in its regulations are living in a dream world. The American public will not allow nuclear power plants to be constructed and operated in this country without the level of regulation and oversight the NRC currently provides.

          • “It takes four years of diligent work to get a new reactor design approved by the NRC”

            And this is why CHINA is where progress is happening.

          • It’s not the American public who won’t permit it, but a handful of anti-nuclear activists who will use any means necessary to prevent progress in this area.

      • You are a very consistent man icisil. Never a real argument or any data, just ad hom all the way.

        • Ad hom is when you attack the man instead of the argument. Please show how I have attacked anyone.

          • There are half a dozen perfect examples of you doing just that in the page or two above this post.

          • Why don’t you post one example and explain how it’s ad hom? I really think you don’t know what it means.

          • Your words:

            “Someone accused me of ad hom when ALL I DID WAS POINT OUT THAT THE PERSON WAS A a LOBBYIST FOR NUCLEAR POWER. That helps understanding why his words are full of inconsistencies, and he comes across as having SOME KIND OF AGENDA other than simply speaking the truth”

            You literally state as your defense an Ad Hominem atrack, insuating an agenda that may or may not be there AND IS IRRELEVANT TO THE VALIDITY OF HIS POINTS regardless.

            It would not matter if he work for Satan himself and was a paid up member if the professional Deceivers Association – that is irrelevant as to whether or not his claim that say “sunflowers are usually yellow” is valud or not.

            You are merely pointing out the triviality that he may not be DISINTERESTED – but this has no bearing on te truth or not of his assertions and the soundness of his logic.

            This is so obvious that it is ludicrous that you are the one calling others ignorant .

            To quote:

            “The Motte of Propaganda

            An easy-to-defend — but not terribly meaningful — claim is that something is propaganda BECAUSE THE SOURCE HAS ITS OWN AGENDA OR BIAS. In this sense, everything published by a political party, advocacy group, or editorial page of a newspaper is “propaganda.” This is not a claim that the actual things published by those groups are misleading or biased, just that the source or author is not disinterested, which is a trivial truth.

            But, this accusation of propaganda is particularly weak BECAUSE IT’S JUST AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK. Absent evidence that a piece of writing or media is misleading/wrong, the bias of the author is just a reason to show skepticism, not dismiss its arguments.”


            You are embarrassing yourself while doubling down amd even clarifying your mistakes while calling others ignorant.

      • Once again, icisil admits that he can’t deal with the facts and has to invent reasons why everyone who agrees with him is being paid off.

    • “nuclear can only survive with enormous government subsidies”

      Maybe in the U.S., but in France and Germany it is/was paying its way. Ditto Japan, AFAIK. China is building nuke plants, IIRC.

    • Real skeptics love truth, honesty and propper science. Why do you think nuclear power needs enormous government subsidies? Never heard of that.

    • If you are an anti-nuke AND a Climate Alarmist, you are also anti economic development (or you don’t really believe in CAGW). Renewables cannot drive the economic growth required to pull the rest of the world out of poverty. Germany’s failing (and uber-expensive) “renewables” project proves the futility of chasing that unicorn. Real projections are now for over $700 monthly per household forever…to reach zero emissions…unless they go hydro or nuclear. That ain’t gonna fly. Even Germans won’t tolerate that when the nuclear energy option is available. Their economy will not be able to compete. Nuclear works for France…who all you lefties love.

      Next gen nuclear will be very safe. The plants are impossible to melt down and they operate at near atmospheric pressure so any fission products will not go far in an accident (in fact the salts will freeze and go nowhere).

      Fussion product wastes will be “at background” radiation levels after only 300 years and there won’t be much of that waste…especially compared to the literal mountains of waste from coal and solar.

      Solar produces enormous amounts of toxic waste (in
      both manufacture and decommissioning) that will remain concentrated (in place – in waste dumps) for millions of years…heavy metals don’t degrade. Recycling is possible but too expensive…and concentrated wastes after recycling are as bad as nuclear fission products and far more abundant.

      If you Climate Alarmunists succeed in blocking Next Gen Nuclear development…while also blocking coal and oil, world economies will collapse (including your 401k…it’s gone). Millions will die…millions will stay locked in poverty…more millions will be thrust back into poverty.

      These casualties are ok with the left. “Progressives” speak out loud…in public…about reducing the population by half. How’s that less disturbing than the Neo-Nazi’s? As ugly as they are, at least they aren’t promoting depopulation (and Neo-Nazi’s have no paths to power…anywhere…nobody takes them seriously…name just one of their leaders if you can…crickets). Leftists are experts at widespread re-education camps and thinking up massive sterilization plans…followed by the usual Marxist genocides when that isn’t fast enough to please the elites.

      Fortunately, there are still enough Americans around to keep that from happening this time. We’ll build Next Gen Nuclear and spread it throughout the world.

      Help or get out of the way.

  10. Falsely linking nuclear power plants with nuclear bomb explosions to kill nuclear energy is disingenuous .

    Falsely overstating the impact of fossil fuels on hurricane damage, sea level rise, wild fires, floods, droughts, disease etc. to promote nuclear energy is disingenuous.

    The nuclear lobby has promoted misinformation about climate change for 50 years (see Rupert Darwall “Green Tyranny”).

    Sorry to say but what goes around comes around.

  11. CAGW isn’t about the Climate…the Alarmunists DO NOT WANT a technical fix to CO2 emissions.

    Outa one side of their mouths comes: “End of civilization”; “Death on a massive scale”.

    Outa the other: “Nuclear Power is too dangerous”

    Problem is…Nuclear is the safest large scale power source by far. Far fewer death from nuclear than wind and solar. And nuclear is also far cleaner than solar or wind.

    Gen IV NUCLEAR promises to be cheaper and more plentiful and higher temperature (for highly economical large scale industrial processes) than current nuclear…similar in cost to current natural gas.

    Time (and money) will tell, but I favor rapid promotion of Gen IV as an important STRATEGIC TOOL against the International CAGW Alarmunist Cabal.

  12. Back in the 1940s. My brother aged about 6 coming back from church one sunday announced that “ Mummy was the root of all evil.”
    He was not correct and we all had a giggle.

    Back in the 1930s The Nazi Party peddled the concept that “Jews were the root of all evil” Again not correct; but the consequences were very different indeed.

    Today in the 2000s The Greens peddle the concept that “CO2 is the root of all evil.” Again IMO not correct.

    To me there appears to be a strange repetition in the history. All that has happened is that the object for attack has been changed; but the methods involved bare a remarkable similarity. Fortunately today we do not yet see the gross brutality seen in the 1930s and 40s; but nonetheless the signs are there and the evidence of verbal and career attacks on those who dare to question the validity of the concept is very apparent. Deniers beware!

    The Nuclear question is a similar situation chosen by a few as the “Root of evil” employing similar tactics to force their opinion on the rest of us by manipulation of the democratic process by dubious means justified by the ends.

    Incidentally the following may be of interest.
    Robert Hargreaves book:”THORIUM cheaper than coal” which is a good starter to get a handle on nuclear issues.
    And which gives an insight into how dangerous these can be.

    • Not sure of your point. If you looked at similar maps for most, if not all, of the New England states, they would probably look similar to PA. That does not necessarily equate to having “more Radon-infused houses than they can count.”

      Radon potential is strongly controlled by local geology. Some formations naturally have a higher radon potential than others. If a particular formation with a higher radon potential is only present in part of a county, my guess is for the purposes of that map that that color is given for the whole county.

      I used to live in one of those counties identified as high radon potential, and our house had a full basement. Never had any radon problems.

      • I think the point is that people who think nothing of living in a radon infused house will go bonkers at the idea of having a nuclear power plant 30 miles away.

        • MarkW,

          Don’t know if you will see this, but thanks. I hadn’t thought of it like that, good point.

  13. well oil and coal first saved the biomass, so this guy may be nice but still a moron not to say thanks first..

  14. Strange cases of amnesia appearing here : the first major nuclear accident was Sellafield/Winscale in 1957
    That is why Britain was first to deliver safety equipment to Chernobyl – been there, done that.
    The Soviets must have known about this – their design was very similar.
    That was classified until the 1980’s, Normandy was never informed of the polonium fallout.
    So much for the Entente Cordialle.
    Worse, plutonium was flown by Cesna hobby planes north to Scotland in wooden crates.

    There are strange things done under the Midnight Sun indeed.

  15. There was great evil done by Harry S Truman when he anihilated 2 cities with no military purpose – the war was over.
    So why was this done – well obviously to terrorize the entire planet. When McCarthy found out the next target was Korea, he flanked D.C. with Inchon.
    Next came “peacenik” Bertrand Russell with “nuke the Soviets, quick”. He got his answer with Czara Bomba in Novaya Zemlya.

    It is no wonder nuclear fear is rampant. And that peaceful fusion has been actively suppressed leaving us with CO2, fracking, and climate hysteria.
    Harry S Truman goes down in history as the only nuclear terrorist and the uncle of climate hysterics.

    • You obviously don’t know how the Japanese civilian population had been so brainwashed how bad Americans were (they thought we were cannibals) that they would even throw their children over the cliff so save them from the Americans (see what happened at Saipan). From that experience, and the experience of the Kamikaze attacks the best estimates were that if the Atomic Bombs weren’t used the war would go for an additional ten years with the loss of over a million more lives. The Japanese government so controlled all information and the Japanese so believed in the deity of the Emperor (who was a puppet of the military) that they would have fought to the last man, and hated us forever. As it is, we so shocked the with the Bomb that they surrendered, and what shocked them even more was that we applied the Bible’s commands of loving our enemy and did not treat them as they had treated everyone else. To this day-and I have lived in Japan so I know this to be the truth-we are the only non-Japanese they respect. Everyone else they use.

    • Your desperate need to believe the worst of the US and Britain has once again caused you to embrace a lie.
      The war wasn’t over. Not even close.
      Most military experts believed that an invasion of the home islands would have resulted in 100’s of thousands of casualties.
      The number of people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are undoubtedly much, much less than the number of Japanese who would have died during any pacification campaign.

      The next target was Korea? Really?

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