Tag Archives: Nuclear Power

Why solar is not the solution to the energy crisis, by Michael Shellenberger

Solar doesn’t hold a candle to nuclear. From Michael Shellenberger at stevekirsch.substack.com:

Next gen nuclear power is clean, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Most of the waste products can be recycled over and over and the remaining part is short lived. Why was it killed?

Read this tweet thread about solar power from my friend Michael Shellenberger:

The best alternative for generating massive amount of clean power: next gen nuclear (fast reactors)

The best alternative for energy generation is next generation nuclear power (fast-reactors). They combine safety, efficiency, and a small land footprint into an ideal power system.

These next generation reactors, such as the sodium-cooled integral fast reactor (IFR), are extremely safe because if the cooling goes bad, the reactor safely shuts down based on the laws of physics. These reactors also recycle their own waste on site so the nuclear material can be used over and over again (a method known as pyroprocessing). There is a very small amount of “waste” product but it can be safely stored and becomes “safe” after less than 100 years (and we know how to store things safely on those time frames vs. thousands of years required for traditional nuclear waste).

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Beyond the Peak, by John Michael Greer

For various reasons primarily related to physics, none of the proposed alternatives to fossil fuels cut it. From John Michael Greer at ecosophia.net:

Earlier this week I spent a while looking through some of the early posts I put up on my original blog, The Archdruid Report.  Maybe it’s just the rose-colored reactions of middle age gazing back on the follies of youth, but it all seems so innocent now. I was part of a movement in those days, the peak oil movement, which hoped to shake people out of their fond delusion that an infinite amount of fossil fuels can be extracted from a finite planet. The last attempt along those lines, back in the 1970s, was far enough in the past that many of us managed to convince ourselves that this time, we could get people to notice that the laws of physics really do matter.

We were wrong. There’s no kinder way to put it. While we helped some people to grapple with the hard realities of fossil fuel depletion and come to terms with the consequences, they were very much in the minority. Most people dismissed the peak oil message out of hand.  They had plenty of help doing this, because a certain loud fraction of peak oilers ignored the hard lessons of history, and insisted that fossil fuel depletion would cause the entire world to crash to ruin sometime very soon.  Those of us who knew better, and said so, were shoved aside in the rush to proclaim the apocalypse, which inevitably failed to arrive.  That failure was then systematically used to discredit the movement as a whole. It’s an old, ugly story.

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Why Nuclear Energy Is More Relevant Than Ever, by Josh Owens

Nuclear power is getting a well-deserved second look. From Josh Owens at oilprice.com:

  • Nuclear energy has long been deemed too dangerous, too expensive, and too slow to build, with governments and companies alike eschewing nuclear power and pursuing solar and wind.
  • More recently, nuclear energy has been having a renaissance as countries around the world attempt to meet their ambitious climate goals.
  • Today, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a global energy shortage, the importance of nuclear energy in terms of energy security has been thrown into stark relief.

The global energy market is in turmoil, with electricity bills around the world soaring and scant options when it comes to securing new supply. A combination of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, years of underinvestment in new projects, and the rapid return of demand after covid have overwhelmed the energy market. The price of everything from coal to natural gas, oil, and even lithium is soaring. And while it may be impossible to conjure up new supply in the short term, now is certainly a good time to reconsider how best to invest in our energy infrastructure going forward so as to fortify it against future crises. In particular, it is time to revisit the debate over nuclear power, consider why it fell out of favor, and if it is time to bring it back.

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We Already Have Clean Energy, by Paul Rosenberg

Nuclear power is as clean as you’re going to get for a non-intermittent energy source. From Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

The phrase “clean energy” has emanated from official podiums, world over, in recent years. The implication, of course, is that the energy sources we’ve been using are filthy. That, however, is not the case. We already have and use clean energy. And it is far, far better than replacements the podiums expect us to suffer for.

We use clean energy every day, and it works exceedingly well. I think we should be happy about that.

I was confronted with this fact quite some years ago, while working on an alternative energy project. Here are the pounds of particulate matter (aka, dirt), produced when generating a billion BTUs (British Thermal Units, a measurement of heat):

Coal               2,744

Oil                      84

Natural Gas        7

Nuclear               0

As you can see, we already have clean energy, in the form of natural gas and nuclear power. (Burning wood in a fireplace, by the way, dwarfs all the figures above.)

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Germany’s Russian Gas Problem, by Jack Raines

When a situation is really screwed up, it’s a good bet that not just one but multiple bad decisions have been made. Germany’s dependence on Russian gas is certainly such an instance. From Jack Raines at youngmoney.co:

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

…You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

– 16-year-old Greta Thunberg at the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit, 2019

*slow claps*

Climate change. The existential crisis that has filled every Gen-Zer with dread since they entered grade school. Politicians, CEOs, and other powerful figures fly their private jets to summits around the world each year to condemn the fossil fuel industry as a vile plague that must be destroyed at all costs.

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Doug Casey on Why Uranium has Enormous Upside Potential

One of these days, and it may not be too far in the future, most people will recognize that nuclear power’s advantages far outweigh its disadvantages and new nuclear power plants will be constructed in the U.S. That’s bullish for uranium. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Upside Potential

International Man: What makes uranium attractive as a speculation?

Doug Casey: First of all, consider simple physical reality. Uranium is the cleanest, cheapest, and safest form of mass power generation. I understand that most people will be shocked to hear that, so let me explain.

It’s the cleanest. Unlike coal—which generates millions of tons of pollutants that need to be buried or are dumped into the air—a large nuclear power plant only turns out waste that can be measured in cubic yards.

It’s the cheapest. Of course, this is something that’s very hard to determine since the nuclear industry is burdened with so many counterproductive regulations, controls, and requirements. But uranium itself amounts to less than 5% of the overall cost of running a nuclear plant. In a free market—which we don’t have—nuclear would be, by far, the cheapest type of mass power generation.

And it’s the safest. Notwithstanding what happened at Chernobyl—which failed because of backward and shoddy Soviet technology, or Fukushima, which had literally a one in a million chance of occurring—nobody has ever died of because of nuclear power. But many thousands of people die every year from the pollution caused by burning coal. And when a dam producing hydropower collapses, typically thousands of people die. There are risks and costs to absolutely everything.

I’m not mentioning wind and solar because, contrary to the huge volumes of propaganda touting them and the hundreds of billions malinvested in them, they’re only viable for select and isolated applications. They only produce a couple of percent of the world’s power and do so at great cost. They’re not viable alternatives for an industrial civilization.

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Nuclear Energy: Systemic Risk or Climate Change Cure, by Geoffrey Pohanka

The climate change activists shun the most efficient and one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy: nuclear. From Geoffrey Pohanka at realclearenergy.org:

Many of the world’s political leaders and people of influence have made it very clear that they view climate change as an existential crisis. President Joe Biden in his first days in office declared climate change the “number one issue facing humanity.” The UN warns that we have but twelve years to avoid a climate catastrophe, that searing, unrelenting heat could lay waste to large swaths of the planet, killing millions who have no means to escape a massive climate event. Unabated carbon pollution will spawn heatwaves exceeding the absolute limit of human endurance. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), net-zero CO2 requires “transformative systemic change.” The International Energy Agency calls decarbonizing the energy sector “perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has faced.”

Many of the world’s leading climate scientists state that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even a half degree will significantly worsen the risk of droughts, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Vice-President Kamala Harris has determined that climate change is “driving migrants to the U.S. Border.” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says the world needs a ‘wartime mentality’ to combat climate change. Even Hollywood is engaged with Angelina Jolie saying climate change will force hundreds of millions into refugee status and Rosanna Arquette warning that fossil fuels ‘will be the end of mankind.” Rising CO2 levels are also being named as a potential cause of the condominium collapse in Surfside Florida.

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Go Green, Go Nuclear, by John Stossel

Nuclear power is the most efficient form of energy, and release no greenhouse gases. From John Stossel at pjmedia.com:

Clouds move in over the South Texas Project nuclear power plant Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, near Bay City, Texas. Expansion plans would make the plant the largest in the U.S., doubling the number of reactors to four and marks the first nuclear plant license application in nearly 30 years. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

This Thursday, Earth Day, politicians and activists will shout more about “the climate crisis.”

I don’t think it’s a crisis. COVID-19, malaria, exploding debt, millions of poor children dying from diarrhea — those are genuine crises.

But global warming may become a real problem, so it’s particularly absurd that Earth Day’s activists rarely mention the form of energy that could most quickly reduce greenhouse gases: nuclear power.

When France converted to nuclear, it created the world’s fastest reduction in carbon emissions.

But in America, nuclear growth came to a near halt 40 years ago, after an accident at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania.

The partial meltdown killed no one. It would probably have been forgotten had Hollywood not released a nuclear scare movie, “The China Syndrome,” days before.

“People saw that and freaked out,” complains Joshua Goldstein, author of “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change (with nuclear power).”

One of the people still freaking out is solar activist Harvey Wasserman. “I live in terror of the next accident,” he says in my latest video.

His anti-nuclear argument has basically won in most of the world. Nuclear plants are being shut down.

Why? I ask Wasserman. No one was hurt at Three Mile Island.

Wasserman replies that after the accident, he went to nearby homes and people showed him “their tumors, their hair loss, their lesions.”

“It’s bunk,” I tell him. “It’s been studied. People lose hair and get cancer and they attribute it to Three Mile Island, but it’s not true.”

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The Unexpected Consequences Of Germany’s Anti-Nuclear Push, by Irina Slav

How about that, there are no free lunches in energy production. From Irina Slav at oilprice.com:

Nuclear plant Germany

Germany, the poster child for renewable energy, sourcing close to half of its electricity from renewable sources, plans to close all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. Its coal-fired plants, meanwhile, will be operating until 2038. According to a study from the U.S. non-profit National Bureau of Economic Research, Germany is paying dearly for this nuclear phase-out–with human lives.

The study looked at electricity generation data between 2011 and 2017 to assess the costs and benefits of the nuclear phase-out, which was triggered by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 and which to this day enjoys the support of all parliamentary powers in Europe’s largest economy. It just so happens that some costs may be higher than anticipated.

The shutting down of nuclear plants naturally requires the replacement of this capacity with something else. Despite its reputation as a leader in solar and wind, Germany has had to resort to more natural gas-powered generation and, quite importantly, more coal generation. As of mid-2019, coal accounted for almost 30 percent of Germany’s energy mix, with nuclear at 13.1 percent and gas at 9.3 percent.

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Thorium, by Alvin Lowi, Jr. and Chas Holloway

Thorium powered nuclear reactors may be the most sensible, economical, and greenest source of energy available. From Alvin Lowi, Jr. and Chas Holloway at lewrockwell.com:


The late 1800s.  A time in America of unlimited freedom.  A time of the rugged individualist.  Tom Edison, deep in his Menlo Park laboratory, creating the Electric Age.  Nicola Tesla, the immigrant competitor, with his electric motor and alternating current.  It was the Golden Age of America.  A time of invention, entrepreneurialism, and genius set free.

At least, that’s the popular myth.

But did you ever wonder what happened to those early American electric companies?  Where is Edison’s company today?  Where is Westinghouse’s company?  In fact, where is any private enterprise electric company?

In 1878, Thomas Edison (and English electrician, Joseph Swan) invented the electrical-resistance-heated, carbon filament, incandescent light bulb.  Self-contained, clean and long-burning, the light bulb was the first popular application for electricity.

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