One of my favorite aspects of hosting a topically focused site like Atomic Insights is attracting active participation from people with varied backgrounds who join together to discuss their shared energy interests. I hope you delve into the comment threads; they are often more informative than the initial post that starts the conversation.
A few days ago, Joris wrote about his job. He is apparently a consultant who puts together long range energy master plans for major facilities like airports, industrial parks, university campusses, hospitals and datacenters. He often tries to include a small nuclear plant option in those plans, since they are conceptual and designed to last long enough that such a technology might be an available option.
He described the strong resistance that he gets from well-educated people who do not even want to consider such an option. Instead, they want to be told how biofuels, wind and solar can make them carbon free in a reasonable period of time at a price close to what they are used to paying today – after all, that is what they have been told so many times already.
David responded with a comment that I thought was worth elevating to the position of initial conversation starter. He gave me his permission to copy and republish, but refrained from providing anything more than his first name for professional reasons.
Thanks for continuing to mention Nuclear. I understand the reactions. The image of Nuclear power is so negative in the minds of most that it is apriori EVIL. This is mainly due to the fact that the authoritative voices in our modern society say so. That is – they rarely if ever come out with a genuine support of Nuclear power. Instead, according to the current meme – Nuclear can be an evil path taken to avoid a more evil path – Like CO2 but it can NEVER be a good choice.
This is reinforced by movies that constantly portray these types of energy choices as being possible but forbidden by more civilized societies. I can’t think of a specific name right now but several of the Star Trek movies and TV shows have this theme.
When you have been labeled as Evil – how do you reverse that?
In my case it was from a great deal of study, but I am a geek in that regard. I have worn out my family and friends talking about this so I don’t go into it often now. (I do hang out on blogs and continue to try to convince others). My energy study was started by living in an energy poor country in South East Asia. I began to look at every renewable type of energy on the basis that once installed they could provide power to these back water villages. A couple of years of hobby research into every conceivable type of power generation left me with a deep respect for the energy content and portability of gasoline and diesel fuel. About 2007 I ran across an MIT sponsored design for a modular Nuclear Power Plant. I knew nothing about Nuclear at the time but began to read. After a while I came across Adam’s Atomic Engines and then from there Rod’s blog. I took the time to listen to every single pod cast, to read some of the books he recommended and to look up basic information.
It was Nuclear medicine that finally tipped the scales from being interested to seeing the deep lie that is the current state of radiation protection. Somewhere in the long hours of podcasts, I heard a medical doctor say that they expose a tumor to 2 grays and the surrounding tissue gets 1 gray. The healthy tissue recovers in about 10 hours from the exposure and they continue the process 24 hours later. The tumor dies while the healthy tissue recovers. I was amazed at this and checked with a fellow church member who work in nuclear medicine to see if this was correct. He verified it. At that point I knew that the “protection” we are asking from Nuclear Power Plants is literally 1000 times what is necessary to protect anyone from actual radiation sickness.
I have lived on islands and visited many islands where Electricity from Diesel costs 40 cents a kwh. When the generators run. I am deeply attracted to Hyperion’s design and Rod’s Atomic Engines because these type of simple designs can be run safely by people with a few months of intensive training and are still safe even if people walk away from them. I love the simplicity and I love the reliability.
I have become a nuclear Nut case.
I pray that you will be very effective as you present options for those looking to power various sites.