News & Analysis
End of Nuclear Power?
Nuclear renaissance melts down over Japan disaster ... After more than two decades of stagnation, the global nuclear power industry was just coming back to life. Power utilities had launched proposals for more than 300 new reactors, most of them in Asia, and dozens were under construction. Then came the Japanese nuclear disaster, shocking the world with images of two explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan, near the epicentre of Friday's earthquake. The disaster threatens to end the nuclear renaissance. A slowdown has already begun. – Globe and Mail
Dominant Social Theme: Too bad. Nuclear power is the solution to global warming.
Free-Market Analysis: Yesterday we provided something of an update on Green technology, which in some instances is not proving anymore successful in the 21st century than it did in the 1970s. We concluded by suggesting that the Green movement was more about centralizing power and control in order to buttress the power elite's goal of one-world government than it was about caring for the environment. Now the Japanese earthquake disaster has lifted the lid on the nuclear power "renaissance" and what it has revealed is positively loony.
There is no doubt that after some 30 years of societal pushback to nuclear power because of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, nuclear power was staging a comeback. It was a kind of quiet comeback but as the article (excerpted above) explains, the scope of nuclear expansion is absolutely startling for those not directly involved in the industry. Here's some more from Canada's Globe and Mail:
The revival was driven by soaring fossil-fuel prices and the scientific acceptance that carbon dioxide output, a notable byproduct of coal-fired plants, was accelerating the pace of global warming. Countries that had slowed or ended nuclear development, including Sweden and Finland, reversed course. In the United States, 16 new plants are in the proposal stage, according to the World Nuclear Association, though only two are under construction. The nuclear revival seemed assured, as billions of dollars of investments in design, engineering and construction were committed. In an interview in Moscow in February, Russian billionaire industrialist Oleg Deripaska said he saw a bright future for nuclear development "because only nuclear could provide a real solution" to global warming.
The Globe and Mail quotes Ira Helfand, a member of the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the United States, as saying, "These reactors are inherently dangerous. They contain the equivalent of 1,000 nuclear bombs." Think about that for a moment. How does the Green environmental movement go from criticizing oil and coal-fueled plants as being bad for the environment to endorsing (or at least not protesting against) nuclear plants containing the equivalent of "1,000 nuclear bombs."
Their answer seems obvious to us: the environmental movement is not about "saving the environment" and never has been. The movement, generously (if secretly) funded by oil interests has always been about manipulating prices, consolidating energy alternatives and, as we pointed out above, creating a command-and-control energy platform that would be ever more amenable to the world-spanning plans of the global elite. There really is no other answer. Do we really believe that the Green movement goes from fighting against coal-powered plants to supporting the emplacement of nuclear power in various municipalities around the world? Do we?
This is all about control and bigness. The powers-that-be love complexity, whether it is regulatory or technological. The bigger the project, the more complex it is, the more difficult it is for the average person to replicate. It also makes life's simplest necessities mysterious and seemingly out-of-reach. It is a way of ensuring the average person feels increasingly helpless.
Want economic growth? It is necessary to have a central bank and tens of thousands of regulators to make sure that the awesome power of high-finance does not implode with disastrous results. Want transportation? It is necessary to buy a car with more online computers than a spaceship. Want energy? Its provision is to be offered via titanic nuclear plants with power sources that verge out of control during any given natural catastrophe.
So what's going to happen now? The Globe and Mail quotes Toronto energy consultant Tom Adams as saying that the Japanese disaster will put "new nuclear development on ice." He predicts that vast shale gas resources around the world will eventually make gas-fired plants efficient electricity generators of choice. There's also natural gas. John Rowe, CEO of Exelon, in a speech on March 8 in Washington, is quoted as saying, "Natural gas is queen. It is domestically abundant and is the bridge to the future." Rowe reportedly noted U.S. gas supplies have recently increased by about 60 per cent, making the US number three in gas production after the Middle East and Russia.
There are also renewed mutterings about more radical forms of energy such as "cold fusion" – which seems to reoccur as an option every decade or so and then peter out. In Italy, Andrea Rossi's Nickel-Hydrogen Cold Fusion technology has attracted a good deal of attention along with claims that he has built a power-producing prototype. A year-long testing program at the University of Bologna is said to have commenced along with the promise of the construction of a one-megawatt plant in Greece by late October. Rossi keeps making demos of the technology, but only to hand-picked observers.
We did a little research of our own and came up with yet another alternative source of energy: tidal or wave power. According to unep.org "small-scale wave power initiatives – from 100 kilowatts (kW) to 2 megawatts (MW) – are now going ahead in more than a dozen countries. Scotland had an experimental 75kW OWC on the shore of the island of Islay for 11 years: this has now been replaced by a 500kW model, named the Limpet, clinging to rocks facing waves sweeping in from 3,000 miles of the Atlantic."
Portugal has set up an oscillating water column device to capture wave energy in the Azores. The Netherlands has something called the Archimedes Wave Swing; an American company is working on a buoys-based system off the south coast of Australia. India, China, Sweden and Japan all have wave-energy programs in the works. "The technical problems have been steadily overcome," unep.org informs us solemnly, "but the only practical applications have been on a small scale. Wave energy is crying out for 2,000MW power stations in the deep ocean."
That's probably so, but excuse our cynicism. Wave-energy technology is so darn complicated that the larger energy industry had to turn to constructing "simple" nuclear power plants? The obstacles to harnessing the power of waves are so immense that the only alternative was to go nuclear? Something doesn't pass the smell test.
There are plenty of ways to generate energy in this world – considerable amounts of it. With nuclear energy – the preferred option of the power elite because of its complexity and general barriers to entry – seemingly on the way out once again, suddenly shale and natural gas pop up as energy alternatives. Natural gas has always been a possible source of great amounts of energy, but energy companies are in the habit of flaring off the nasty stuff to get to the oil beneath.
We figure the reason that wave-power hasn't been more aggressively pursued is not because it is necessarily such a complex technology but because it is in actual fact fairly simple. It's clean, efficient, and there are plenty of waves around. This is anathema to the Anglosphere that seeks the most dangerous and complex solution whenever possible.
We would not be surprised, in fact, if nuclear power limps along despite the latest setbacks; maybe with new "improved" designs. As with so many other of the elite's damaged dominant social themes, the chosen solutions stagger ever-forward like brain-dead zombies. The more gruesome they are, the more appeal they seem to have to the world's decision makers. How else does one end up seeding power plants containing the force of "one thousand nuclear bombs" around the world as the chosen antidote to the environmental crisis?
Conclusion: One can argue of course that modern nuclear power is in fact "safe" and that the current crisis is Japan is overblown. Given the coverage in the mainstream media (fairly negative) such supicions may be somewhat warranted. Of course it is just as likely that a media coverup is going on and things are actually WORSE than they appear to be. Either way, we can't help but believe nuclear power is something of a hammer in search of a nail. Whether it's global warming (human breathing is toxic) or the "energy crisis," the power elite can be counted on (in our humble view) to create ever-more questionable solutions that are then treated ever-more seriously by universities, think tanks, major media and, ultimately, politicians in pursuit of global governance. The faux "nuclear industry" seems just one more example.
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Posted by Emilie Lattella on 03/16/11 11:55 PM
"No. It is a specific theory."
Oh. Well then, never mind.
Posted by Neil on 03/16/11 08:42 PM
Nuclear Power. Please be do a story on all other existing reactors and their locations across the world, especially ex-USSR states. All these particular plants are situated next to natural rivers and these rivers flow along fault line depressions in the region. Safe? Also, all these power plants operate continuously at or near maximum output with very many maintenance problems. Chernoble has six reactors and only one blew up.
Cooling water. Natural rivers tend to dry up during earthquakes, that's means 17 very old style dry, overheated nuclear power plants each with five or more reactors in the region and Japan is nothing really to what could happen. Not to mention mixing ex weapon materials into fuel rods that shortens the reactor vessel wall life at these plants, apparently the cost of reactor vessel maintenance there is so high that all are pushed to the safe working life limit and no one can do anything about it, please look into this for us?
is it true that it takes more CO2 output to produce a nuclear fuel rod that the fuel rod can save in its entire working life when compared to coal fired power plant outputs? Buy Coal shares quick!
Ps, next time you fly international on a big jet there will probably be a type BUII Mo-99 liquid medical isotope transport container in the cargo bay with over 1000Ci of the most extremely radioactive substances produced by man in it, but rest assured, only one has ever leaked so far.
Posted by 10hawks on 03/16/11 07:24 PM
"Nuclear power is the solution to global warming."
I have today your sense of humor is positively sardonic!
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 03/16/11 07:09 PM
The End of Nuclear Power?
For now yes, just as the Deepwater Horizon was the end of offshore oil exploration in US waters. As with the Horizon, the events in Japan are being grossly exaggerated by both the main stream and alternative media. The purpose of course is to assure world dependence on "safe" bio-fuels supplied by Britain and the Middle East. If you were inclined to purchase power generated by atomic energy or domestic US production, you lose. That choice has been taken off the menu at the Chef's discretion.
Nobody has died as a result of the nuclear "disaster" in Japan. So far, all safety systems in place have worked as expected. Nevertheless, a mediated catastrophe is in progress; if it didn't really happen it sure as heck SHOULD have. The US AEC/DOE along with the IAEC are taking no prisoners on that topic.
Yes, for the medium term Nuclear Power is dead.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 03/16/11 06:02 PM
Is that a typo or a digital stutter?
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 03/16/11 05:43 PM
"there is the idea that the earth is continually expanding"
Hah! Relative to WHAT exactly! What a complete crock! Beetle Tracking 101. Does anyone REALLY want to make sure the genetic patterns that create this kind of bull need to survive in the human gene pool?
Some of the quantum weenies have decided the entire universe is expanding at an increasing rate! I got a real hoot out of that one. "We're all getting bigger faster!"
Oc course nobody noticed because we were ALL getting bigger, faster. I just love this sh*t :)
Reply from The Daily Bell
No. It is a specific theory. The earth was much smaller a million years ago than it is today. As the earth expands, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are the result. It is an alternative theory to the idea of tectonic plates. It has fallen out of favor, but it is surely an alternative theory, whether one believes it or not.
Posted by Gavin on 03/16/11 05:03 AM
Time will tell ;)
Posted by Adrian W. on 03/16/11 04:57 AM
Results from research of great minds such as Tesla seem to have been swept under the rug. Much of his paperwork now inaccessible. What type of free energy gifts these minds may have brought to mankind if allowed, we now may never know. Even Generous Motors has bought up inventions in the past, allowing automobiles phenomenal gas mileage only to scrap them on the shelf because they don't fit their ideas of how to make a buck off us suckers.
Didn't Argentina solve their fuel problems economically, by using alternative fuel sources?
Why not pond scum? Algaes have been used to filter burnt coal fumes effectively. Neutralizing the Carbons and aiding in its growth which in turn may be used for its lipids.
I think communities may have to rely on themselves and grass root solutions to "get off the insidious power grid" that is bleeding the average citizen dry. Perhaps, with the internet good ideas may be shared throughout the world conceiving solutions for all to freely use against the controlling demands of the power elite. Necessity is the mother of invention and with more and more people's survival depending on a better solution to our problems more grassroot solutions will play into the world at large.
Reply from The Daily Bell
If you look at the history of Big Oil and price manipulation, you will see that prices are often pushed to the brink but not beyond. The whole idea seems to be to maximize revenue via mercantilism without causing a social rupture that will generate enough human action so that people set off on their own to create alternative supplies. It is an uneasy balancing act ...
Posted by Gavin on 03/16/11 04:47 AM
Warning: time for one of my Maya rants :)
The last level of the 9-tier pyramid began last week on March 9th. At the very beginning of the 7th level in 1755 there was a magnitude 9.0 quake " the Great Lisbon Earthquake " which killed 100,000 people. In the Lisbon quake there was also a tsunami.
Perhaps a coincidence but it happened at exactly the same latitude and not far from opposite longitudes, which follows the Mayan pattern of where the wave of energy is supposed to fall on the Earth depending on the level of the pyramid. More details at the link.
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
This sounds like a bad movie, Gavin. Sorry.
Posted by Gavin on 03/16/11 03:11 AM
@Danford Vander Ploeg
"Furthermore, given the correlation between sunspots and earthquakes, it seems quite possible that earthquakes are triggered by electricity.... And yes, the Sun is very active right now."
Piers Corbyn, the guy that continually puts the UK meteorological agency to shame with his forecasting thinks that together with the position/effect from the Moon, it was an X-level flare from the Sun which triggered the earthquake. He says that the period from March 24-27 could be a time to batten down the hatches as the place where the sunspot X-flare erupted from returns after its trip around the Sun.
Click to view link
It's also funny (or maybe not) that "experts" were writing off people's concerns based on past events that the Moon presently being so close would cause more seismic activity on Earth than usual. From the Daily Mail on March 9th:
"Could 'supermoon' next week disrupt Earth's weather? -- Moon comes at its closest approach for 19 years"
"It doesn't take much to get the Internet's lunar-tics out in force."
"The web was yesterday awash with apocalyptic warnings that the movement of the moon will trigger tidal waves, volcanic eruptions and even earthquakes next week."
"The conspiracy theorists claim that on March 19, the moon will be closer to Earth than at any time since 1992 " just 221,567 miles away " and that its gravitational pull will bring chaos to Earth.
"However, astronomers have dismissed the claims as pure nonsense.
"The bizarre rumours centre on a phenomenon called the 'lunar perigee'."
Click to view link
Posted by Bexar Mann on 03/16/11 12:33 AM
The best form of energy that is not being allowed to be utlized is zero point as invented by Nicholai Click to view link is developed but being suppressed...the Great Pyramid of Giza utilize tunnels underneath to generate energy waves from the Earth...elitists are suppressing this and hydrogen programs...this must be overcome soon. Please google: Thomas Bearden for more information on zero point.
Posted by Findingthetruth on 03/16/11 12:28 AM
Why is it that this US government has tested over 100 nuclear bombs at testing sites and we don't hear a word about "fallout"?
How is it that we BOMBED Japan, yet no nation ever cried "nuclear" fallout? This in Japan is NOT a bomb, a nuke, but a power plant for god's sake. Don't we even know the difference?
This knee jerk reaction spawned in grade schools while hiding under desks for nuckear drills MUST CEASE! If you want sky high utility bills and same at the gas pump---push for a ban on nuclear! I workded for an oil company and they love you for your fear!
Reply from The Daily Bell
Hm-mm. The "fallout" situation in Japan just went from bad to worse.
Posted by PHC on 03/15/11 07:53 PM
May I suggest a very contrarian viewpoint?
Click to view link
Posted by Gnome on 03/15/11 06:51 PM
"U.S. Cyber Command has blocked access to 13 commercial websites from Defense Department networks to conserve bandwidth needed to support relief operations in Japan. ...
Cyber Command blocked access to these commercial websites:
Click to view link
A word to the wise: peer to peer.
Posted by Huh on 03/15/11 06:22 PM
I know a green technology promotion when I see one.
Click to view link
Isn't it curious how the smoke stack emissions are green? What is the secret messaging here?
Posted by Jacob on 03/15/11 05:18 PM
Several years ago I read (I don't recall where) that nuclear power energy efficiency is abysmally low compared to using fossil fuel for electricity generation, after energy expended mining, refining and disposing of nuclear fuel is compared to energy expended recovering, refining and burning of fossil fuel.
If such is true, then DB's observation, that nuclear energy is another element of PE global control, has increased validity. What else might justify pursuit of less efficient electricity generation? Reduction of global carbon dioxide? For each unit of electricity generated, the same article may have also asserted that more carbon dioxide is generated mining, refining and disposing of nuclear fuel than from recovering, refining and burning of fossil fuel for primary electricity generation.
I would appreciate corroboration supporting (or disproving) the above.
Posted by WalkingHorse on 03/15/11 05:16 PM
The last time Green Technology was employed on a widespread scale, it was probably 14th Century Europe. The results then were no more appealing then than they will be now, the reason being *energy density*. No alternate energy approach posited as "green", which people appear to translate to "no risk", is likely to support the energy demands of our current civilization. [It is worth noting some in the environmental movement will explicitly state that they advocate a devolution to a pre-industrial economy and are strangely at peace with the attendant human carnage. I cannot help but wonder what darkness inhabits such souls.]
Nuclear power is almost surely the least damaging power source for electrical power that can support the requirements of the existing civilization. It can be argued that Thorium might be a less problematic fuel source, given the waste products. Inside the US, the execrable decisions on 'breeder reactors' made during the Carter Administration, still hobble a disciplined exploration of the technical alternatives.
The politics and the opportunism of those grasping for power and those hoping to maintain power degrade the prospects for a feasible and honorable approach to maintaining our civilization.
Posted by Adrian W. on 03/15/11 04:56 PM
It would seem to me that there have been many alternative energy solutions offered out to the world in the last century. All with varying degrees of success. Efficiency comes with constant perfecting of these options. The real problem seems to be the Powers-that-be, which tend to block any advancement that does not fit their agendas.
Posted by Summer on 03/15/11 04:23 PM
"That's probably so, but excuse our cynicism. Wave-energy technology is so darn complicated that the larger energy industry had to turn to constructing "simple" nuclear power plants? The obstacles to harnessing the power of waves are so immense that the only alternative was to go nuclear? Something doesn't pass the smell test."
Very good, I laughed aloud!