“We have no reason to be against nuclear energy other than prejudice & stupidity” – Dr Patrick Moore


In Part Two of the BizNews interview with Dr Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace and the most prominent figures in the field of environmentalism, Moore makes a compelling case for nuclear energy. Moore shares why he was silenced on the topic of nuclear energy during his years at Greenpeace and provides excellent insight into both the misconceptions around the risks of nuclear energy and why nuclear energy is not inherently evil in any way.

Moore argues that we should conserve the most precious fuels we have, which are fossil fuels, by replacing them with nuclear energy where feasible. A brilliant perspective on the world’s current energy dilemma and the best way forward.

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May 31, 2023 6:13 pm

The background in the video and his clothing suggests this man practices what he preaches. Conservative and realistic outlook.

May 31, 2023 6:23 pm

but that would be pro-human

Jeff L
Reply to  heme212
May 31, 2023 7:24 pm


May 31, 2023 6:30 pm

And talking to plants DOES increase growth – a burst of 40,000ppm does wonders for growth rate.

Reply to  RickWill
June 2, 2023 2:35 pm

The extra humidity in your breath doesn’t hurt either.

Walter Sobchak
May 31, 2023 7:28 pm

Oliver Stone, who is as far as I can tell, a left wing lunatic has declared himself in favor of Nuclear Power. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/01/oliver-stones-movie-says-nuclear-power-is-a-climate-change-solution.html

James Hansen, the godfather of global warming, is pro nuclear.

Nuclear Power is the dividing line between people who want to solve a problem and people who want to be problems. Sadly, the former camp is much smaller than the latter.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
June 1, 2023 2:09 am

Oliver Stone is no lunatic imho – his dissection of the investigation into the assassination of JFK is very compelling – off topic I acknowledge; nuclear power in the 21st century is vital, delivers the energy required, scalable ( up and down viz. SMR ), loved by the EU as green through necessity (…..!?) and shoots dead the fox of the AWG/CC deluders.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  186no
June 1, 2023 4:25 am

In his film “JFK” he showed how many entities had a reason to want to get rid of Kennedy- so I’m not sure it added anything- though I enjoy most of his films- they are riviting if not truthful. It’s art- doesn’t have to be true. His film “Nixon” was powerful. What I really don’t like about him is that he seems to adore Putin- who I detest.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 2, 2023 6:44 am

I was not talking about his film, apologies, and I agree it was a fictional draw based on real events.

However, may I suggest you look at his 4 part documentary “JFK: Destiny Betrayed” and its other version ( which I have not seen in the UK) What I remember most is the manner in which he shows that the Warren Commission was bereft of the thoroughness and independence you would have thought was necessary.

Richard Page
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
June 1, 2023 3:59 am

The majority of the climate enthusiasts don’t want to solve a problem. They want to be told that they have always been the good guys; the blueprint for the future – that the vegetarianism/veganism, cycling, recycling, reduced carbon footprint and low energy lifestyles that they have been advocating for years must be adopted by the entire world. They want the hair shirts for everyone because they, and they alone, believe we all deserve them.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
June 1, 2023 5:52 am

The politicians who support Climate Alarmist activism are just doing so for personal power and attention. They have no principles, just a thirst for power.

May 31, 2023 7:44 pm

A friend of mine puts it this way (about new, poorly understood things by the public):

Anything new or not understood is to be feared and beaten.”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  _Jim
June 1, 2023 1:58 am

Exactly right, in the UK there is widespread resistance to Genetically Modified food, known as Frankenfood by the gutter press.
However the same people who destroy GM crops will happily eat or use any one of the many foods developed using ionising radiation for example rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava, and sorghum. Because they are unaware of how it was developed, all that matters is that it was grown organically

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 1, 2023 2:13 am

“Show me any food that grows – ignoring animal derived – that has not been genetically modified over many millennia by the sheer force of nature as well as by accident through early human interventions” – that may be very unscientific sophistry to some but it occurred to me a long time ago all life on this planet is genetically modified – the timescale and technology is the only difference …?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 1, 2023 4:28 am

genetically modified- in other words, having evolved (by chance or human effort) – ergo, not necessarily anything to fear, unless proven

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 1, 2023 5:57 am

A lot of modern major food was improved by selection and regular breeding of high-performance natural strains.
I have not seen recent figures for the portion of improvement using nuclear radiation to cause mutations rather than using natural mutations, but I think most is natural ways.

May 31, 2023 8:13 pm

Patrick Moore makes perfect sense here and it is one of the aspects of the ‘Greens’ and all their ideological allies that I can never make sense of. They are never for the obvious logical solutions to their bugbears, but always promote the worst, most environmentally destructive alternatives such as destroying landscapes and wildlife with wind farms and massive solar arrays. How any ‘environmentalist’ can drive by one of these abominations without becoming enraged, I have no idea.

Why do they never promote solutions that would make the world a better place? The only answer seems they don’t want people to have abundant energy and pleasant lives. They don’t really care about limiting damage to ecosystems or preserving the flora and fauna, but only want to maximise their intake of revenue by keeping their adherents in a perpetual state of fear and despair. It is all a con and one that the corporate state finds very useful.

Leo Smith
Reply to  macromite
June 1, 2023 4:32 am

Socialist crusaders dont want to solve problems, Their existence is all about crusading. It really is that simple in this case. I believe they find the modern world complicated and confusing and technology – because they never studied it – scares them.

Being part of an anti- something movement – be it anti-vax, anti-abortion, anti-nuclear or anti-carbon dioxide, gives their lives a purpose and meaning and a peer group that an atheistic world otherwise does not.

Its all a replacement for religion. Gaia replaces Jesus. Soshul justiss replaces the ten commandments.

Marxism/socialism dumped religion but failed to remove the need for it. Which is why the socialist movement is so piously moral about everything it does.

Reply to  Leo Smith
June 2, 2023 2:38 pm

There aren’t many socialists who are anti-abortion.

Reply to  macromite
June 1, 2023 8:54 am

Macromite, it makes perfect sense when you understand that antinuclearism was deliberately fostered and financed as a Soviet disinformation program. It was created by Yuri Andropov when he was KGB head in the 1960s and 70s. It’s purpose by targeting European Greens was to encourage Germany to become dependent on the only export the USSR had: oil and gas. The success of this program is one of the main reasons why Andropov was selected as Brezhnev’ successor.

May 31, 2023 8:43 pm

I’’m still suffering post traumatic stress from the Israeli news interview which I consider a proxy for the state of intellectual debate these days: 3 to 1 . 3 biased morons vs 1 well informed reasonable man.

Even with the credibility Moore has there is no magic fix for stupidity and unreasonable people ( many are actually mentally unstable , narcissistic, and in the political realm believe in tyranny/ communism or some failed social construct.)

But with that aside I still cannot believe how many people with undergrad and graduate degrees have not learned to do proper research, think logically and exercise well honed critical thinking skills. Something went horribly wrong with western world’s educational system . People that still cannot sort this out are not deserving of their letters.

Reply to  John Oliver
May 31, 2023 9:43 pm

I heartily agree with what you have written above.
The problem with the greens is that the green movement was born out of the fear of a nuclear winter with Russia attacking Europe and North America.
Patrick Moore saw the light but so many greens are still anti nuclear .
Our now departed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on taking office stated that she had had a nuclear moment and promptly banned all new oil and gas exploration and development around the New Zealand’s Coast.
The nuclear mention goes back to the sinking of the a French ship the Rainbow Warrior in the Auckland harbour that was going to disrupt atomic bomb testings in the atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean .
Our government then banned all nuclear warships and submarines from our coastal waters.
The problem is that the greens and other lobby groups are anti nuclear despite many successful nuclear power operating around the world .
Nuclear is like a bug in their heads and the keep dredging up the two nuclear power plants that have failed .Chernobyl in the Ukraine and the Fukushima reactor in Japan.
There is enough expertise to plan and build very safe nuclear power plants to provide base load electricity across the world.
The problem is that those in “political power” do not want our world to prosper .
They want to make us all poorer which is inevitable once electricity becomes scarce and expensive .

Reply to  Graham
June 1, 2023 3:55 am

Had the back up diesel generators been positioned at the top of their housings instead of at/around ground level, the Nuclear antis would have had to find some other excuse….how to blot out the Sun perhaps….

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Graham
June 1, 2023 4:35 am

“Jacinda Ardern on taking office stated that she had had a nuclear moment and promptly banned all new oil and gas exploration and development around the New Zealand’s Coast”

Did she have the power to do that all by herself?

So your nation doesn’t want nuclear weapons in your waters. I wonder if it would reconsider if the China threat increases? Oh, then call the White House begging for help. At least Australia is starting to wake up on this issue- with their decision to purchase or build nuclear subs. It won’t be long before that nation builds nuclear power plants.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 1, 2023 3:54 pm

Hi Joseph,
Jacinda Arderns government then passed this shortsighted law as the Green party kept her in power .
New Zealand has large untapped oil and gas fields off the coast .
An oil refinery was built but it was owned by the major international oil companies and it could not process New Zealands crude because of high sulpher content .
So our crude is shipped to Singapore.
Our refinery has now been closed down and I am told that the pipes have been filled with concrete to stop any one from restarting it . It could be a rumor.
New Zealand has a urea plant in Taranaki run on natural gas but we still import thousands of tonnes of nitrogenous fertilizer.
How can politicians be so short sighted shutting down oil and gas production when half of the worlds population rely on food that is grown with nitrogen fertilizer?
How can politicians be so blind that they cannot see that their actions will lead to major restrictions on the availability and cost of such an essential product, which will inevitably lead to drastic food shortages right around the world?
Greenpeace have been collecting signatures for petitions to ban the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizer because of the perceived ” risk ” of nitrous oxide emission’s warming the world .
They would be happy to see half of the worlds population starve to prevent point .001C degree warming .
I am sure if New Zealand was attacked for any reason nuclear warships would be welcome but this ban just shows how stupid and short sighted politicians have become.

Reply to  John Oliver
June 1, 2023 3:51 am

I agree 100% with you but may I say that a University education in and of itself is not the Litmus test although I know that in recent times even Universities with a reputation garnered over a long period are not what they were ( two children with Uni careers in two radically different subjects were a revelation to me given the egregious behaviour of some lecturers across both courses straddling the scam of CV19) – I am not Uni educated and was taught, for a while, English Comprehension as a teenager in the late ’60’s; professional qualifications required me to develop critical and lateral thinking plus heavy technical knowledge.

Scepticism for me is the other side of the critical thinking coin, whether you come to realise through experience ( me, very very bad ) or a lightbulb moment at the “right time”. May I also say we do not have an education system in the public sector UK within part of which I am familiar – it is a largely left wing, now woke, bandwagoning exercise in mind control of minors as opposed to and enabling exercise to develop the brain and the skills you mention. Teachers of the left are (imho ), in large part, fiercely anti conservative (sic ), anachronistic, dangerous, manipulative, “unhappy with their lot”, and their own personal interests are seen by them as more important. Striking at key times for kids preparing in the run up for final year exams/dissertations/final year assessment causing these kids huge stress ( as with one four children) tells me all I need to know.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  186no
June 1, 2023 4:36 am

The worst nightmare for those teachers is that they might have to go get a real job.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
June 2, 2023 6:45 am


Reply to  186no
June 2, 2023 2:44 pm

I recently read a story about a university professor who required proof that the student had donated money to one of several left wing groups, in order to get a passing grade.

Reply to  John Oliver
June 1, 2023 1:18 pm

John, much of western education at post secondary level has nothing to do with proper research and thinking logically. It should be evident by now that many of the so-called degree programs in universities have no practical use whatsoever. They are simply an extension of modern primary and secondary education intended to “babysit” supposed adults, train them to think the proper way, and then employ them as the expendable shock troops in various “protest” movements such as XR, Greenpeace, Antifa, BLM or any of a host of other worthless causes.

Worthless degree programs have been proliferating in universities for at least the last 30 years. We are now in a post-knowledge environment where learning, knowledge and experience is irrelevant. We now have artificial intelligence which can create original writing or research pieces to contest nearly any examination.

Green antinuclearism is no accident. It was the deliberate creation and funding of the Soviet KGB in the late 1960s-70s by Yuri Andropov. The intent was to ensure that Germany would be so traumatized by nuclear power that it would become dependent on the only export the Soviet Union had – oil and gas.

It worked, and that’s why, despite his KBG background, Andropov was picked to succeed Leonid Brezhnev as head of the Soviet state in 1982.

Iain Reid
May 31, 2023 11:19 pm

I’ll say again, excluding hydro generation which is limited in scope, nuclear is the only source of non CO2 emitting generation that works. It’s Hobson’s’ choice.
While there is little chance of getting governments to question CO2’s influence, there must surely be a chance to persuade at least some governments just how poor renewable generation is?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Iain Reid
June 1, 2023 4:37 am

Indeed. My aphorism is that nuclear power is not an alternative to fossil fuels. It is the only alternative to fossil fuels, and we (Western society) have wasted trillions of dollars,and two decades, proving it empirically, because no one with a background in cost benefit analysis and electrical engineering was ever listened to.

June 1, 2023 1:50 am

I’ve met and spoken to Dr Moore twice. Very compelling speaker and makes a lot of sense.

June 1, 2023 2:17 am

One thing Patrick Moore overlooked in his comments on Chernobyl. He stated that few people died – which is true, however, the last restrictions on the movement and sale of sheep in the UK were only lifted in 2012. Cumbria, Scotland and Northern Ireland were heavily impacted, and North Wales was hardest hit.

But it was in my opinion another sloppy experiment, one no other nuclear power has tried to my knowledge. 

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  strativarius
June 1, 2023 2:50 am

There was the Windscale fire in 1957 one of the worst nuclear accidents, It is estimated that the radiation leak may have caused 240 additional cancer cases caused mainly by Iodine 131 I think, with 100 to 240 of these being fatal. Windscale, like Chernobyl had a poor track record in safety, the fire being the culmination of a series of accidents. As a schoolboy I remember the big worry about Strontium 90. All of this was kept quiet by the UK government for various reasons including relations with the USA which weren’t that great after Suez.

On the other hand plant irradiation resulted in over 2000 new varieties of plants including varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava, and sorghum.
Nuclear radiation is used to extend shelf life of many products.

So probably in the lives saved versus deaths the balance is in favour of saved

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 1, 2023 3:05 am

Yes, I know about that, but I was dealing with the points raised in the video.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 1, 2023 6:07 am

It is estimated…by the now totally debunked LNT theory. Windscale was a big release. Britain’s mini Chernobyl. And yet there are no cancer clusters recorded. It never happened. There are and were articles in the Guardian and on the BBC and in the New Scientist etc. all predicting deaths, but like Chernobyl, no evidence that they actually ever happened.

And I know this, because a (late) friend of mine claimed, like you, that this had happened and he had read it in the New Scientist, and it was on the radio at the time.

But it wasn’t. What actually happened is that some professor predicted this from the regulatory model and wrote it up in the New Scientist. And it got picked up by the Guardian and the BBC. There was no actual story documenting a cancer blip, then or ever, that a day’s research could uncover.

You say it was all kept quiet. It wasnt. We all knew that Strontium 90 and Caesium 137 levels in local milk were elevated and that the meat in Cumbria was quarantined, because the BBC told us it was.

I remember my mother being quite worried about it, and not knowing quite what to do. I had never heard of Strontium 90. It sounded exciting. Like something out of ‘Dan Dare’

What did happen is that lefty academics claimed it was all much much worse and was being covered up, But the evidence we have today is consistent with my memory of what we were told (I was only 7 years old) back then, That there was a danger, it was a bad accident, radiation had been released, levels were being monitored and any food products that exceeded statutory limits would be destroyed.

Chernobyl did result in ~3000 documented thyroid cancers from I-131. The authorities failed to issue iodine pills.. Thyroidectomies and thyroxin for life fixed those. There were few if any actual deaths.

And that was the sum total of the deaths apart from those from acute radiation poisoning from the workers who put the fire out. IIRC 50-75 or thereabouts. A very small price to pay for a dreadful engineering mistake.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 1, 2023 10:06 am

Windscale….Graphite with air cooling turned out to be a bad idea. They had to turn the cooling air off to stop their high tech coal from burning…..and hit the embers with every firehose and water pump they could get their hands on. It was the end of the air cooled idea….A few of the firefighters died of cancer after a few years. Yet remarkably many highly exposed individuals lived to an old age.
A 50 year later study was inconclusive,


Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 1, 2023 1:25 pm

DM, graphite moderated reactors were only used to produce plutonium to make nuclear weapons or naval propellant fuel. This was true in all the nuclear weapon states – US, USSR, Britain, France. Graphite piles were cheap and dirty assemblies that could be put together rapidly to produce a lot of plutonium quickly. Only the British were foolish enough to try to use graphite in actual power production reactors such as the Magnox and Advanced Graphite Reactors.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
June 2, 2023 2:50 pm

Here-in lies the problem.
Estimated deaths are being presented as if they had proof that the deaths actually occurred. In reality those deaths were “calculated” by using the linear no threshold method (LNT). They assume that if high doses in a small population can kill, then small doses in a large population will kill the same number.

The problem is that all the data that exists shows that LNT is false. Low levels of radiation are not dangerous, and there is evidence that it may even promote health.

The odds are that nobody died, but the alarmists don’t get traction by providing the truth.

Leo Smith
Reply to  strativarius
June 1, 2023 5:11 am

If you examine the reason why what you state happened, the answer lies not in the actual affect that Chernobyl had, but in the regulatory standards that surrounded and still surround nuclear power, that were based on almost zero data on the actual effects of chronic low level radiation.

Back in the 1950s. when these standards were set, we had some data points. Background radiation without any nuclear power provided one. Death rates at Hiroshima and Nagasaki provided some others. And there were a scattering of data points from workers using radioactive materials. And that was it.
Three data points. Obviously there was a need to set regulatory standards. But at what levels?

So they drew a straight line between the data points and made an assumption that chronic exposure to a low dose – that is a cumulative dose – posed the same danger as a single high level dose of the same total radiation, asked the nuclear power sector what levels they could reach, and made that a regulatory limit.

It’s known as the LNT model. Linear, No Threshold.

And so the myths that ‘according to the governments own standards, the sheep are 20 times over the allowable limit’ and ‘chernobyl will kill an estimated 200,000 people from cancer, according to the regulatory model’ were born.

As with climate models, the radiation models were utter junk. Vested interests used them to spread fear of nuclear war and fear of nuclear power.

The man who is at the bleeding edge of investigating the biological impacts of radiation, in a properly scientific manner, because that is his field of study. Is Wade Allsion, of Oxford Univesrity. Over decades he has exposed cell cultures to radiation in the laborartory to essentially see what happens. His conclusions are shattering. Low level radiation below a certain threshold causes no increases in cancer at all. The cells simply die, because the damaged DNA pairs do not match. This is the natural result of life having developed in a radioactive environment. Above that threshold, which is about 1000 times higher than the ‘regulatory’ limit for a single dose, cancer rates increase. What matters is how long you are exposed to really high dioses of radiation, above the threshold where the possibility of modifying the two parts of DNA identically, so the cell does not die, becomes more than negligible.

Only by managing to get highly concentrated radiation at a single spot is there a danger. E.g. swallowing KGB polonium, kills you in weeks. As will handling a cobalt 60 source.

In short the danger is not chronic exposure to low level radiation, it is single occurrences of high level radaition, like a CAT scan, that represent the most danger.

Chernobyl can never happen again. Even the Russians no longer build reactors without secondary containment. A core meltdown or any other catastrophic failure is contained. As it was at Fukushima and Three Mile Island. And the advent of small modular reactors makes those failure – that of force cooling a scrammed reatcor – impossible too. The reactor won’t melt down if it has no cooling pumps because it is too small. Convection in the water is enough to do the job.
And even if a core meltdown happens as at Fukushima, there is nothing to worry about. The radioactive release at Fukushima posed no danger to anyone at all. Wade Allison flew there to tell the authorities that. All to no avail. The people were scared, so the politicians had to Do Something. And it was easier to evacuate people and kill them through that, than explain why evacuation was totally unnecessary.

The problem with nuclear power, as with climate change, is not technical or actual, it is perceptual and political.

There is a problem because the public have been told, and have believed, that there is a problem.

Reply to  Leo Smith
June 1, 2023 1:29 pm

Leo, exactly so. The only purpose of building the RBMKs was to produce plutonium for the Soviet intermediate missile program of the early 1980s. So there’s no reason for anyone to ever build one of these fatally flawed devices ever again.

As for Fukushima, the principal problem was the excessive evacuation ordered by the government and the absurd regulatory apparatus which existed only in Japan.

Reply to  Leo Smith
June 1, 2023 4:13 pm

Thanks for that Leo,
A scientific paper with all these details with verification on all points should be sent to every politician in every free country in the world .
Then some common sense might prevail and new safe nuclear power stations will start being built around the world.
There would still be mobs of protesters against nuclear but at least countries would have base load electricity with out blackouts .

Reply to  strativarius
June 1, 2023 6:05 am

But how many sheep or cattle were harmed by that small extra bit of radiation, as opposed to harmed and/or killed by bureaucratic actions?
I do not recall any significant animal, bird, etc deaths or lesser harms directly from escaped Chernobyl radiation. Pleased to be corrected by solid science papers, not interested in NGO myths. Geoff S

Reply to  strativarius
June 2, 2023 2:47 pm

Even if the restriction on the sale of sheep was necessary at first, which I doubt, it should have been removed after a year or so.
Keeping it in place for so long was nothing more than fear mongering by those who tremble at the thought of tiny increases in radiation level.

I’m willing to bet that everyone who was in favor of that ban, had flown many times during those same years.

June 1, 2023 2:22 am

Leftys simply don’t do reasoned tradeoffs and nuance-
EV batteries pose big risks — and new figures reveal how much hazardous waste they could create (msn.com)
It’s all about emotional absolutes for them.

Leo Smith
June 1, 2023 4:22 am

If socialists were to actually solve the problems they identify, there would be no socialists.
Turkeys dont vote for Christmas.

Reply to  Leo Smith
June 1, 2023 4:35 am

Or Thanksgiving…..

June 1, 2023 5:08 am

Thorium liquid salts cooled reactors can provide safe abundant low cost electricity.

Reply to  antigtiff
June 1, 2023 8:23 am

One must recognize that the usual claims about thorium reactors not being a source of nuclear weapons grade material are bu11sh1t. Leaving us with uranium.


Leo Smith
Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 1, 2023 8:57 am

Indeed. You can make a bomb out of U233, but it’s a massively nastier substance to use than Plutonium, because it typically comes with highly radioactive contaminants, that WILL kill you at short range ( U232 decay products – U233 is fairly safe on its own).

So whereas its pretty easy to separate plutionium out of reactor fuel, that you can handle with no more than a pair of gloves, the same isn’t true of a thorium waste fuel rod.

Thorium reprocessing is a whole new ball game, and we simply do not have it yet.

That is not to say we won’t,m but thorium is simply not a ‘real, safe, here now and cheap’ alternative. It’s tricky, undeveloped, and has potential issues that may take a long time to solve. So it’s little better than renewable energy in that respect, untried, untested and a huge unknown in terms of the details.
There is no doubt that India will in time build credible thorium reactors because India is awash with thorium.
But elsewhere we would be well advised to stick to what we know, and cost-reduce it and make it more palatable to hoi polloi. Any existing nation that is running niclear power has plenty of Plutonium left over to fuel reactors. And an existing Uranium fuel manufacturing capability

Leo Smith
Reply to  antigtiff
June 1, 2023 8:43 am

Thorium isn’t ‘better’ – just ‘different’
Any nuclear reactor that is cost competitive will do.
Currently the cheapest safest and quickest to market looks like some sort of small modular pressurised water reactor.
Running off low enrichment uranium or mixed plutonium/uranium. The technology to make the fuel the supply chaines and the waste disposal are all established.

June 1, 2023 5:50 am

The rationale for SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) is that the design and regulatory costs are spread over many units,

Wikipedia has a list of SMR projects. There are a couple already working and about four under construction. The disappointing thing is that none of the working, or near working, designs are being followed up by a horde of others of the same design.

I’ve followed a number of technologies that progressed beyond the pilot plant stage and then died. The reason was usually economic, ie. they couldn’t compete in the marketplace.

Fossil fuels are still cheap. The only reason for all the windmills is subsidies. We have plenty of examples that they aren’t close to economic, and will never be.

Nuclear power can be economic, windmills can’t. Nuclear power might allow civilization to continue. Windmills can’t. I am more and more convinced that the whole CAGW fraud is just a front for de-industrialization. ie. back to the stone age.

Leo Smith
Reply to  commieBob
June 1, 2023 9:05 am

Amen to all that. Fast to deploy, safe, relatively cheap capex at about $4bn/GW and capable of better than 95% availability and capacity factor and a 60 year lifespan.

Compare with an offshore windfarm at around the same capex/GW, but unreliable and only delivering a 30% capacity factor/availability at best, over a 12 year lifespan.

I don’t have figures on the O & M costs, but I’d be willing to bet a windfarm takes more maintenance.

June 1, 2023 6:07 am

Never underestimate the power of prejudice & stupidity. They have driven much of human history.

June 1, 2023 6:08 am

Jane Fonda recently and famously called for the rounding up and arrest of all white men because climate change is caused by racism or something equally idiotic. It would be more effective to round up everyone in Hollywood who ever made an anti nuclear propaganda movie (China Syndrome for example) which have retarded the growth, research and advancement in the industry.

Beta Blocker
June 1, 2023 9:00 am

For those of you who live in the US Northwest, you might be interested in the debate which has been going on for the last three decades concerning how to save the salmon runs on the Snake and Columbia rivers. That debate focuses on what would be the most effective approach for preventing the region’s salmon runs from going extinct. 

In early April, 2023, Northwest Public Broadcasting and the PBS science show Nova hosted an event in Moscow, Idaho, focusing on climate change issues as these affect the regional issue of how to save the salmon runs in the US Northwest. 

NOVA | NWPB ‘Climate Across America’ Event, April 6th 2023

The YouTube caption reads: “The Northwest is known for its carbon-free, affordable power. It’s also known for its iconic salmon runs. In a battle over dams and salmon, what will happen when one side wins? If the dams on the lower Snake River are removed, it would be the largest dam removal project in the Northwest. How can the Northwest survive without these dams? How can it survive with them?”

The April 6th NWPB/NOVA event included a panel discussion which explores the energy versus environment issues associated with the Snake River dams. The panel discussion packed a lot of information into a relatively short period of 1-1/2 hours.

The point was made in the course of the discussion that wind and solar cannot do the whole job of replacing America’s legacy power generation. Or even come close. Nuclear must be an essential part of any plan to decarbonize electric power.  

The current approach to managing salmon runs in the Northwest uses a combination of fish hatcheries, fish transport, fish ladders, and water flow management policies over and through the Snake River and Columbia River dams. It works after a fashion, but its long term success is far from certain.  

The alternative approach being pushed hard by the indian tribes and by regional wildlife conservation groups is to remove the four major dams on the Snake River in Washington State. Those who support removal of the four dams and those who oppose their removal have each marshaled climate change issues to support their respective positions. 

Salmon runs and the Snake River dams has always been an exceptionally complex issue from every perspective. Environment versus economy, modern culture versus traditional tribal culture, and water resource management versus power demand management. Bringing climate change issues into the debate adds further complication in that the four dams supply carbon free power to the Northwest.

Prior to the beginning of dam construction in the mid-1930’s, salmon runs in the US Northwest had already been reduced by roughly 70% from a combination of mining, agriculture, habitat loss, and over-fishing. The construction of Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930’s, and Hells Canyon Dam in the 1940’s, closed off the upper Columbia River and upper Snake River salmon spawning grounds, further reducing the size of Northwest salmon runs to less than one percent of what they had been in the 1850’s. 

None of the Columbia River dams is a target for removal, nor are any of the Snake River dams in Idaho. It is politically impossible to remove those dams because they supply a large portion of region’s electric power, and because the cost of removing all of these dams could approach 500 billion dollars or more. Removing the four Snake River dams in Washington State is by itself a 30 billion dollar proposition. 

A study by National Marine Fisheries in the late 1990’s concluded that 48 years might pass after these four dams were removed before Snake River salmon runs were restored to pre-1960 levels. Removing Hells Canyon Dam in Idaho could reduce that recovery period considerably, but removal of the Snake River dams in Idaho isn’t on the table.

The four Snake River dams generate a total of 9.8 Terawatt-hours of electricity annually. For comparison, the single nuclear reactor at the Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Washington, produces 8.5 Terawatt-hours annually. For the 30 billion dollars it would cost to remove the four Snake River dams, two AP-1000-sized reactors could be added to the Richland site, thus adding another 17 Terawatt-hours of capacity to the Northwest’s power supply. 

In theory, a combination of wind and solar backed by grid-scale batteries could replace the 9.8 Terawatt-hours now generated from the four Snake River dams. (In theory.) But there is this huge problem with replacing the four dams with wind and solar.

The United States consumes 3930 Terawatt-hours of electricity annually. The Biden Administration has a policy goal of achieving Net Zero in the electric power sector by 2035, with a technology focus on wind and solar backed by grid-scale batteries, plus the construction of many thousands of miles of new power transmission lines. The greater part of the necessary technology and equipment must come from China and from other suppliers in Asia and in Europe.

Competition for limited supplies of renewable energy technology will drive up its costs. Only those willing to pay whatever the Net Zero technology costs will gain access to the limited supplies of wind and solar equipment which will be available between now and 2035. California, New York State, and other states in the US Northeast and in the mid-Atlantic will be getting the bulk of the wind turbines, the solar panels, and the grid-scale batteries purchased within the next twelve years.

Simply because those states are more than willing to pay whatever the technology costs.

Net Zero is being strongly pushed regionally and locally all across the nation. Fossil-fueled power plants will be closing faster than they can be replaced. Could near-term new-build nuclear close an emerging power generation shortfall?

Not a chance. Not by 2035. Too much work is needed in the short term to rebuild America’s nuclear industrial base, a process which will not be complete until the mid 2030’s at the earliest.

Energy conservation is now the order of the day. Within the next decade, we here in America must learn to live with roughly two-thirds of the electricity we consume today, while paying a larger portion of our incomes for the privilege of using it.

old cocky
Reply to  Beta Blocker
June 1, 2023 3:14 pm

That information on the salmon runs was, indeed, very interesting and informative.

Thank you for taking the time to provide it.

CD in Wisconsin
June 1, 2023 9:53 am


“ATLANTA — Workers have begun loading radioactive fuel into a new nuclear reactor in Georgia, utilities said Friday, putting the first new American nuclear reactor built in decades on a path to begin generating electricity in coming months.

Georgia Power says workers will transfer 157 fuel assemblies into the reactor core at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Augusta, in the next few days. There are already two reactors operating at the plant, with fuel being loaded into a third unit and a fourth unit still under construction.”


Glad to see this happening. Nuclear does not deserve to die out here in the U.S. or anywhere in the developed world. Germany should not have shut down their three nuclear plants — makes no sense.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 1, 2023 1:37 pm

Encouraging German antinuclearism was a deliberate, largescale program of the KGB in the late 1960s-1970s. It was to ensure that Germany became dependent on Russian oil and gas – the only exportable commodities that the USSR had. This is why Yuri Andropov became Brezhnev’s successor. His environmental infiltration and takeover program worked flawlessly.

June 1, 2023 9:56 am

I hadn’t though of that approach but his remark about Germans love of nature is spot on. Part of the NAZI movement included back to nature. It pushed the out of doors making the party attractive to the common man. Taking it back another step, Marxisms major selling point was you would return to a natural existence and cities would become a thing of the past. The NAZI party was big on science mostly with the aim of better weapons but also to produce a better soldiers. where Marx was into the science of government. In both cases the science was somewhat flawed but they stuck to it like a religion.
Yes I know that Marx wasn’t exactly german however Germany lapped it up with great vigor. It sounds like some of the solution to their problem will be a better understanding of themselves.

June 1, 2023 11:59 am

I’m a proud petroleum engineer and I agree with him. Even as peak oil has proven false multiple times, and we keep getting better at finding and extracting resources, they still remain finite in human terms. They are precious resources and should not be squandered (especially to produce and harvest intermittent energy sources). We need to keep moving up the energy density chain, not down, and fission is our best currently available and practical hope for plentiful energy.

Reply to  JPadrick
June 1, 2023 12:09 pm

Fusion would be great if we ever get it. I remember seeing it mentioned in the late 1950s and it was 20 years away. For now, thorium and breeder reactors will be our best bet for years to come.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Dena
June 1, 2023 12:35 pm

For the next fifty years, it is nuclear reactors having a reliably predictable cost per megawatt-hour — not the panacea thorium reactors (PTRs) or the breeder reactors — which are the key to putting nuclear on the table as a reasonable alternative to fossil fuels and to the wind and solar renewables.

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