Nuclear Power Update

Speaking of things nuclear, Rod Adams has the latest on nuclear power over at Atomic Insights. As usual, Rod has the anti-nukers in his crosshairs:

I wonder how NIRS, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Nuclear Energy Information Service, and Missourians for Safe Energy (all of these groups were also represented in the press release and the conference call) like carrying water for the coal and natural gas industries, which will be the major economic beneficiaries from any laws that continue to keep nuclear energy projects out of consideration for the on-demand, affordable electricity supplies that developed societies both need and desire.

It’s literally true that the professionally pious anti-nuclear crowd is carrying water for the coal and natural gas industries. Of course, they like to pretend to themselves that they are really promoting some “environmentally benign” alternative. Back in the days before anyone was worried about global warming, I recall seeing a bumper sticker that said, “Split logs, not atoms.” Nowadays their tastes run more to covering thousands of square miles of the environmentally fragile desert southwest with solar collectors held in place by millions of tons of steel and concrete, all apparently to be manufactured using some “environmentally friendly” process. Whatever. The current reality is that decisions not to build nuclear mean that coal and other fossil fired generating capacity will be left on line instead. In general, they also mean that new fossil fired capacity will be built as well. So much the worse for the environment. Global warming is only significant to our current crop of “environmental activists” as a vehicle for striking noble poses. The pose is always what matters to them, not the reality. If the reality happens to be that part of the solution to global warming is nuclear power, alas, they will turn a blind eye as Florida sinks slowly beneath the waves. You see, nuclear power is unfashionable. One cannot pose as a heroic savior of mankind and support nuclear power at the same time.

Germany, for example, is the epicenter of anti-nuclear sentiment in Europe. Always behind the curve when it comes to the latest intellectual fads, the hapless German “progressives” still dutifully trudge off to anti-nuclear demonstrations long after they have become “so yesterday” in the rest of Europe. Heaven forefend that they should listen to cooler heads like Wulf Bernotat, who point out that taking nuclear plants off line will require Germany to burn more coal. After all, Bernotat is the head of an evil corporation. Meanwhile, back in the real world, as Germany’s amusingly misnomered “Greens” preside over the shutting down of her nuclear plants, she continues to burn coal full blast. To top it off, 26 new coal-fired plants are planned. Thus the reality of the “fight against global warming” in the world of the poseurs.


Author: Helian

I am Doug Drake, and I live in Maryland, not far from Washington, DC. I am a graduate of West Point, and I hold a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin. My blog reflects my enduring fascination with human nature and human morality.

6 thoughts on “Nuclear Power Update”

  1. It amazes me how the Europeans push to cut CO2 pollution in public. But, when push comes to shove, they will do what is needed to protect their economy.

    In Michigan the only thing on the table for discussion for power generation is Wind and Solar power. No coal, no nuclear, just wind and solar arrays.

    Imagine solar power in Michigan… It boggles the mind.

    Thanks for the link!

  2. The idea of solar panels in the desert has one big flaw – among many – that no one seems to have noticed. Desert = sand = dust. The panels WILL get dirty and need to be cleaned. What is the defining characteristic of a desert? This is not a trick question.

  3. Solar, wind, water,nuclear and clean coal are great ideas. Nuclear does make waste, yet they’re lookn for a use for it. In my opinion,
    Nuclear is the most economicly friendly and earth friendly.Only 2 nuclear disasters havent happened since 1986 and the chances of 1 plant having this happen 1s 1 in 450. Nuclear is the way to go.:)

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