Smoking Gun research continuing in earnest

In 1993, after I had made a decision to resign my active duty commission and design a small atomic engine, a colleague warned me that “the oil companies will never let you succeed.”

At the time, I was pretty naive, so I didn’t heed his warning.

Over the years, I have gradually learned more about the nature of the world’s most important commodity business and realized that he was onto something important. The opposition to nuclear energy that really matters does not come from the vocal opponents that claim to be concerned about the potential for accidents, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the release of small amounts of radioactive material or even the high cost of building the plants. The opposition that really matters comes from individuals, companies, organizations and even whole countries that have a vested interest in selling competitive products.

Many of my nuclear industry colleagues dismiss my logic as “conspiracy theories” or make statements indicating that they do not understand how the law of supply and demand actually works. They might say something like, “we need all energy sources”, but they don’t recognize that the fuel business has always been more worried about oversupply and gluts than about finding enough fuel to supply the market.

Exploration and extraction companies — they often refer to themselves as “production” companies, but they don’t actually produce anything that does not already exist in nature — have long known that they could find and supply more fuel than the market could use, especially if they did not have adequate transportation. Though fuel suppliers sell something that people really need or want, they have always had to worry that they would lose sales if someone else offered the same or similar product at a lower price.

This concern has generally been addressed by producer cooperatives, trusts, cartels or outright monopolies that were able to impose production discipline and avoid profit-destroying price wars. One of the primary methods of imposing discipline and matching supply to demand has been through control of the logistics side of the business.

The structure of the energy industry, therefore, shook a little when a few scientists figured out a way to unlock the energy that has always been stored inside the atomic nuclei of certain heavy metals known collectively as actinides. Energy industry leaders started engaging in a series of distributed defensive tactics once engineers had completed some machines that turned large quantities of the densely concentrated heat released by fission into useful products like electricity and motive force.

Energy suppliers were warned as early as 1930 that their business was going to be disrupted by atomic energy when Sir Arthur Eddington gave a keynote address to what was then known as the World Power Conference. During that speech, Eddington told the crowd, representing the world’s largest fuel suppliers and customers, that “subatomic energy would provide the plain diet for engines previously pampered with delicacies like coal and oil.”

By 1939, suppliers who were paying attention learned that Fredric Joliot, Madame Curie’s son-in-law, was “trying to find a way to make a $2 pound of uranium give up as much heat or power as is obtained from burning $10,000 worth of coal.” (“URANIUM SOUGHT AS COAL SUBSTITUTE”, New York Times, June 18, 1939) That news would have been welcomed by most people, with the obvious exception of the people who were involved in extracting, transporting, and selling the $10,000 worth of coal.

By 1940, even suppliers that did not pay close attention to news articles about scientific developments had to recognize atomic energy as a potential threat to their market share when information about fission chain reactions was published on the front page of the New York Times, with a full page of supporting details.

As most of us know, the atomic scientists went quiet soon after that front page article was published. There were some complicating political events in progress that stimulated many of the scientists to do something they did not really want to do — build bombs — an activity that would saddle many of them with lifelong guilt and regrets.

However, those scientists were accompanied in their uncomfortable task by a large army of industrialists, including people who were keenly aware of the long term competitive implications of the discovery of an extremely energy dense source of heat. As just one example, the Dupont engineers who built the Hanford production reactors and concerned themselves about effective heat removal for safety reasons understood that heat is not a waste product. They knew that heat is a desirable input for producing motive power in a thermodynamic “heat engine.”

Though many scientists got together after the war to discourage the use of weapons, politicians who liked power decided that they should build lots of atomic weapons. Those politicians also determined that they needed to attempt to monopolize the technology if they wanted to retain their power. At least some industrialists saw the secrecy rules as highly desirable because they reduced the potential for competitors and because they helped to maintain constraints on overall supply of energy.

The public got excited about the possibilities of atomic ships, trains, and power stations. Some even believed that atomic automobiles and airplanes were just around the corner. Most people who purchased fuel on a regular basis thought that it would be terrific if there really was power that was “too cheap to meter” but anyone who sells anything has to recognize that the established fuel suppliers could not have been pleased with the possibility of such low prices. After all, many of the most wealthy and powerful entities in the world were in the business of selling fuel at a profitable price, not one that was too low to meter.

From the point of view of the time, atomic energy projects seemed awfully slow to develop, but by 1970, just 25 years after the end of World War II a large amount of momentum had developed. In the US, nuclear power plants dominated the new build market and the plants that started being built in the early 1960s were beginning to produce electricity and reduce sales of competitive fuels.

US supply of non combustion energy

US supply of non combustion energy

There is no coincidence in the fact that 1970 also marks a significant change in the stridency with which people started fighting against nuclear energy development. At that point, it was not just the fact that machinery suppliers that had been selling equipment designed for fossil fuel combustion had to figure out how to make equipment designed for actinide fission, it was also that the hydrocarbon fuel suppliers started losing sales.

A few months ago, I picked up a 2011 edition of a book titled A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order written by F. William Engdahl and first published in 1992. That book includes some incredibly damning tales about the ways that the established energy industry along with its friends in government, transportation and banking have worked hard to manipulate public opinion and use proxies in “the environmental movement” to effectively slow the development of nuclear energy.

I am well aware of the fact that anyone who uses the term “new world order” or talks about “The Trilateral Commission” or mentions how the “Bilderbergs” run the world leaves themselves open for dismissal as a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Since I honestly want to share information that gets believed, accepted and acted upon, I have spent quite a lot of free time in the past couple of months reading additional books and articles from a wide variety of sources to confirm what I found in Engdahl’s book. Here is just a sampling of the reading material I’ve consumed during that effort.

Chernow, Ron Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller
Rockefeller, David Memoirs
Heinberg, Richard Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils our Future
Zuckerman, Gregory The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters
Mitchell, Timothy Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil
Marriott, James and Mino-Paluello Mika The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London
Powers, Bill Cold, Hungry and in the Dark: Exploding the Natural Gas Supply Myth
Leibovich, Mark This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral
Lynas, Mark Nuclear 2.0: Why a Green Future Needs Nuclear Power
Levi, Michael The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future

I’ve also attended a conference titled OPEC +40 that featured talks by some of the same players featured in Engdahl’s book, including Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger. Nothing I learned in those books or by listening to the speeches was inconsistent with the stories that Engdahl told, so I am pretty confident that he is at least as right as an historian can be who was not actually in the room at the time that strategies were discussed, plans made, and decisions implemented.

Therefore, I feel reasonably confident that I am sharing the truth, even if I am not totally comfortable with the possible results of making that decision. What I want people to understand however, is that my main goal is to recommend a course of action for the future, not to spend too much time trying to affix blame for events that have already happened. (Of course, there is some blame to be assigned.)

In a chapter titled “Running the World Economy in Reverse” Engdahl describes a period starting in about 1970 lasting through 1974 when the world’s multinational oil companies and their financial backers accepted and adjusted to the reality that about 70% of the world’s oil resources — the ones that were the easiest to get out of the ground — were located in countries that had determined that they wanted to control those resources. Those countries had also determined that they, not the multinational oil companies who had somehow obtained long-term “concessions”, should be obtaining the majority of the profits from selling those natural resources.

The subheadings in this chapter include:
Nixon pulls the plug (This describes Nixon’s decision to get off the gold standard.)
An Unusual Meeting In Saltsjoebaden (This section describes a Bilderberg group meeting that took place five months before the Arab Oil embargo of October 1973. During the meeting a strategy was discussed for responding to a 400% increase in revenue by oil producing nations.)
Kissinger’s Yom Kippur oil shock (This section describes how Henry Kissinger orchestrated both the attack and the response.)
The economic impact of the oil shock (The impact was bad for consumers and the overall economy, but it was a windfall for oil producers and banks that handled the petrodollar recycling strategy developed in Saltsjoebaden.)
Taking the bloom off the ‘nuclear rose’ (I will add some specific quotes from this section below.)
Developing the Anglo-American green agenda (This section is also pertinent to my smoking gun theory)
Population control becomes US ‘national security’ (This section discusses the growth in power of the self-proclaimed neo-Malthusians.)

Here are some of the quotes from Engdahl’s important work of history that qualify as smoking guns.

One principal concern of the authors of the 400 percent oil price increase was how to ensure their drastic action did not drive the world to accelerate an already strong trend towards construction of a far more efficient and ultimately less expensive alternative energy source — nuclear electricity generation.

Kissinger’s former dean at Harvard and his boss when Kissinger briefly served as a consultant to John Kennedy’s National Security Council was McGeorge Bundy. Bundy left the White House in 1966 in order to play a critical role in shaping domestic policy of the United States as president of the largest private foundation, the Ford Foundation. By December 1971 Bundy had established a major new project for the foundation, the Energy Policy Project under direction of S. David Freeman, with an impressive $4 million checkbook, and a three year time limit. Precisely in the midst of debate during the 1974 oil shock, Bundy’s Ford study titled ‘A Time to Choose: America’s Energy Future,’ was released, in order to shape the public debate in the critical time of the oil crisis.

The Ford study correctly noted that the principal competitor to the hegemony of petroleum in the future was nuclear energy, warning against the ‘very rapidity with which nuclear power is spreading in all parts of the world and by development of new nuclear technologies, notably the fast breeder reactors and the centrifuge method of enriching uranium.’ The framework of the U. S. financial establishment’s anti-nuclear’green’ assault had been defined by Bundy’s project.

As one prominent anti-nuclear American from the Aspen Institute put their problem, ‘We must take the bloom off the ‘nuclear rose” And take it off they did.

Later on, in the section under the subheading of “Developing the Anglo-American green agenda” Engdahl writes:

The Stockholm 1972 conference created the necessary international organizational and publicity infrastructure such that by the time of the Kissinger oil shock of 1973-74, a massive anti-nuclear propaganda offensive could be launched, with the added assistance of millions of dollars readily available from the oil-linked channels of the Atlantic Richfield Company, the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, and other such elite Anglo-American establishment circles. Among the groups which were funded by these people in this time were organizations including the ultra-elitist World Wildlife Fund whose chairman was the Bilderberg’s Prince Bernhard and later Royal Dutch Shell’s John Loudon.

Indicative of the financial establishment’s overwhelming influence in the American and British media, is the fact that during this period, no public outcry was launched to investigate the probable conflict of interest involved in Robert O. Anderson’s well-financed anti-nuclear offensive, and the fact that his Atlantic Richfield Oil Co. was one of the major beneficiaries from the 1974 price increase of oil. Anderson’s ARCO had invested tens of millions of dollars into high-risk oil infrastructure in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and Britain’s North Sea, together with British Petroleum, Shell, and the other Seven Sisters.

Had the 1974 oil shock not raised the market price of oil to $11.65/barrel or thereabouts, Anderson’s, as well as British Petroleum’s and Exxon’s and the others’ investments in the North Sea and Alaska would have brought financial ruin. To ensure a friendly press voice in Britain, Anderson at this time purchased ownership of the London Observer. Virtually no one asked if Anderson and his influential friends might have known in advance that Kissinger would create the conditions for a 400 percent oil price rise.

I’m going to keep digging and sifting in an effort to tell a compelling, historically accurate story about how people interested in maintaining hydrocarbon hegemony have worked hard to fight nuclear energy – often using surrogates who wrap themselves in astroturf. The main reason I have for sharing this information is to help well meaning people to understand that the energy conversation is more about industrial competition than any real safety or security issues.

I believe that people who recognize that they have been used and lied to will be more open to changing their mind and recognizing that atomic fission is an incredibly valuable and capable tool for addressing many of humanity’s most pressing challenges, including global climate change, Peak Oil, and world hunger.

This story may very well end up being told in book (or series of books), but in the spirit of works of public information related to the energy industry, I plan to share sections of the story as they are developed in an serial format. It may sound a little paranoid, but I think it might be safer if I don’t try to hold on to this stuff too long without sharing it widely.

About Rod Adams

169 Responses to “Smoking Gun research continuing in earnest”

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  1. Daniel says:

    Rod,

    Excellent factual story telling as usual.

    I believe that nuclear is the ultimate energy equalizer and that in a world of information and knowledge, it will find a way to prosper thru the greed of the western politicians. If you focus outside the western world, nuclear energy is taking off.

    There are too many newcomers to the civil nuclear community. Even yesterday, I learned that Uganda was being pressed by the IAEA to get its act together to reap the benefits of nuclear energy. All resource stricken countries will have no choice but to embrace the atom. Russia is willing to finance those projects if they can charge for the electricity generated. (the economic hegemony model of the future based on energy supply)

    On a side note, Xmas may finally have arrived for Fort Calhoun. They got a green light.

  2. Daniel says:

    Rod,

    You have a link in the middle of your post :

    US supply of non combustion energy

    It does not work with Safari and it does not show with Google on my Apple.

    • Daniel says:

      But the graph is coming out fine on my iPhone with Safari …

      • Eric_G says:

        It comes up fine on Safari on my iMac.

        • Daniel says:

          All is fine now. The little people are satisfied.

          Impressive data.

          • Daniel says:

            Of course, a point of contention on the graph.

            It would not cut it in Brussels were the EU council has recently determined (with no influence from Germany) and certified that nuclear is NOT a zero emission source of energy like wind, solar, geo thermal and hydro.

            Therefore it must be a combustion energy source.

          • Smiling Joe Fission says:

            It is incredible that they can say this about nuclear but then ignore the fossil fuel use that goes into every part of acquiring the materials, building the pieces, constructing the wind mill, and servicing it.

  3. Eric_G says:

    Carlin on conspiracies:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAFd4FdbJxs

    These guys all know each other, they all have the same advisors, and they all know the way things work today. There’s plenty of reason for them to want to maintain the status quo.

    Berkshire Hathaway owns BNSF railroad. Every day I lived in Fraser Colorado I saw 5 or 6 mile-long coal trains going through town from the coal mines in western Colorado and Wyoming on their way to the generating stations in Pueblo and south to New Mexico, then the westbound trains with their hopper cars empty. The guys running the trains have steady income, get home after their shift, and BRK stays at its “premium” status. The Sun rises in the east, the coal trains run on time, all’s right with the world. Why rock the boat?

  4. Meredith Angwin says:

    Rod

    In the Rutland Herald (behind a paywall) there’s an article by Susan Smallheer called
    Shumlin: “We’re working away on Yankee pact.” Here’s a very brief excerpt from it.

    In this article, it seems that Shumlin has finally figured out that the VY site won’t immediately be used for another employer. (See some of my recent yesvy blog posts for these type of fast-reuse claims and my rebuttals.) Before, Shumlin was in a big rush to get VY cleaned up fast “to use the site again.” He has changed in this regard.

    The article also says:

    The future use of the Vernon site would likely be in another generation, and focus on use of the electrical transmission system, and he (Shumlin) said there are plans to extend natural gas pipelines to nearby Greenfield, Mass.

    But any future use of the Vernon site would be for “future generations,” he said, rather than a more immediate impact.

  5. jmdesp says:

    Rod, you already documented this earlier but I think it’s worth saying again that we are talking about the same Robert O. Anderson who gave $200,000 to David Brower to found/fund Friends of the Earth, after Brower quit Sierra Club over opposition to the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. And $200,000 back then is about 1 million dollar today.

    No “mal à propism” above :-) , the meanings are different but both can be equally adequate here.

  6. Jeff Walther says:

    “people interested in maintaining hydrocarbon hegemony have worked hard to fight nuclear energy – often using surrogates who wrap themselves in astroturf”

    I think that is the most clear and succinct explanation I’ve ever seen of what seems to be going on. I found this site (after months of hunting around other bits of the internet — one day found a lucky link from Robert Bryce’s page), because I was looking for some explanation of **WHY** our society not only makes insane decisions, but why a large part of the public seems to think those decisions are a good idea.

    It may not solve the problem, but it sure is nice to finally have some understanding of, “why”. It sure beats the utterly puzzled, helpless and hopeless feeling I had before.

    • Steve Foster says:

      I found the BBC documentary by Adam Curtis called “The Century of the Self” incredibly illuminating. It describes the history and founding of PropagandaPublic Relations in the early part of the 20th century. It describes how new theories of human behavior based on Freud’s psychoanalysis were deployed by his nephew Edward Bernays to create the discipline of mass advertising and public relations in commerce and politics.

      I no longer doubt for ONE SECOND that what the masses believe to be true or false, right or wrong, is in large measure a commodity that is in fact bought by those with great power, i.e. Big Money. Why else do the wealthy, like Murdoch, buy and run outfits like Fox News? Why own radio stations, newspapers, TV and cable networks? It is less for the money they make and more for the Power they buy through the ability to direct and control public opinion, even to the level of what the public knows and understands, including worldviews and cultural frames of reference.

      Fox is an egregious example, but the same principles are in play at NBC, CBS, ABC, Time/Warner, and Hollywood. The fact that the hydrocarbon business in a trillion-dollar global enterprise, and the basis of American power in the 20th century, gives all the mean, motive and opportunity necessary to support Rod’s thesis.

      • Rich Lentz says:

        And, possibly Murdoch’s motive is purely monetary! Look at this from a different angle. Assume you lived in a area where 40% of the people drove Fords, 40% drove a Chevy and 20% drove an import. You look around and notice that there are 8 Ford dealers and two import dealers, the nearest Chevy dealer is over 150 miles away. Would you open another Ford dealership or a Chevy dealership?

      • Rich Lentz says:

        Even Government owned broadcasters are not exempt from your observations. Google “BBC secret climate policy meeting. ” Also, ask why the LA times does not allow skeptical views AGW to be printed in their paper.

        I can still recall, vividly, how CBS explained how a nuclear power plant works on a kids show during the weeks after the TMI accident. They showed the Bikini atomic explosion, multiplied it several hundreds of times so that there were about a thousand little bombs. Then they shrunk this into the “reactor.” The first question out of my boys mouth was “Daddy, are you safe working there?” Then “How do they keep the explosion inside there.” I have seen similar examples on ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and even CNN. And those reading this blog wonder why this generation has animosity towards nuclear power. It will take generations to have a population that is not afraid of and favorable to nuclear power.

        The question I have about those opposed to Yucca Mt. is “How much of the contamination of the ground water you are worried about caused by the nuclear tests in the same watershed?” “Which source is the most probable?”

        Until, and only if, those reading Rods essays start complaining to ABC,CBS, NBC, etc. you will never see a “Nuclear Renaissance.”

        • Rod Adams says:

          @Rich Lentz

          Until, and only if, those reading Rods essays start complaining to ABC,CBS, NBC, etc. you will never see a “Nuclear Renaissance.”

          What is stopping you from doing just that? We need the renaissance to start; therefore we need to take action to make it happen.

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Steve Foster

        I apologize for having missed this comment when you first posted it. It expands on some important concepts.

        If you are looking for some good reading material that can help you understand the duration and expanse of big money’s use of popular media to spread its propaganda, I highly recommend reading Upton Sinclair’s “Oil” to learn about the relationship between southern California oil magnates and the nascent movie industry growing in Hollywood during the 1920s.

  7. Joris van Dorp says:

    Great article Rod Adams and excellently composed, IMO.

    A dynamite topic and very valuable for people who might have caught a whiff or two of the kind of high-level planning could well be (and apparently is!) behind the myriad seemingly independent and ‘grassroots’ – but obviously problematic – developments that we see around us, and throughout history, but who didn’t go and do the work of trying to dig into this complicated and misty topic. If not for fear of inadvertently going down a blind alley into a misguided and flawed sort of conspiracy thinking, then for fear of becoming too detached from the ‘normal’ way of looking at things which can be important for maintaining social ties to friends and colleagues, or simply for not having the time or even the competence and determination to attempt it to its conclusion.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this, freely, for everybody’s benefit, as you have been doing with all your work throughout the years. It will IMHO certainly cement your reputation as an investigator, communicator, and bona-fide pro-nuke, pro-human, and pro-environment activist yet further.

    Just had to write this, for what it’s worth.

    • Joris van Dorp says:

      Almost forgot to ask, if I may, what do you think of the fact that Royal Dutch Shell (and perhaps other oil majors?) did at one time pursue nuclear energy, but dropped out again? Any one else venture an explanation or a guess?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Dutch_Shell#Other_activities
      (wikipedia is not the best information source, I know, but I couldn’t find the better source that I thought I knew where to find again.

      • gmax137 says:

        How about Exxon’s nuclear business? They made reactor fuel for awhile. Sold in 1986:

        http://www.nytimes.com/1986/12/24/business/company-news-exxon-plans-sale-of-nuclear-unit.html

        COMPANY NEWS; Exxon Plans Sale Of Nuclear Unit
        By the Associated Press
        Published: December 24, 1986
        The Exxon Corporation, which earlier this month announced the sale of two of its large assets, said it would sell its Exxon Nuclear subsidiary to West Germany’s Kraftwerk Union A.G. The companies, which announced the sale in a joint statement, declined to disclose a price. The deal is expected to be completed before the end of the year to take advantage of more favorable tax laws, an Exxon spokesman said.

        Exxon Nuclear, founded by the world’s largest oil company in 1969, designs, manufactures and markets pressurized and boiling-water reactor fuels and provides related services for electric utilities. Exxon would not release figures on the subsidiary’s earnings. In recent weeks, the company has announced the sale of its Reliance Electric Company subsidiary and of its interest in the Exxon Building in New York.

        • Brian Mays says:

          How about Exxon’s nuclear business? They made reactor fuel for awhile.

          The facilities still make reactor fuel, but they are now owned by the company that I work for, AREVA.

      • George Carty says:

        The reason is that the price breakdown of nuclear energy is very different from the price breakdown of fossil fuel energy. In fossil fuel energy you make the most money by selling fuel, while in nuclear energy you make the most money by selling engines.

        • Rod Adams says:

          @George Carty

          Actually, most of the revenue in nuclear is widely distributed to the highly trained and motivated employees in operations, engineering, manufacturing, licensing, and security. Perhaps one of the reasons “Wall Street” is not a big fan is that there are not huge, concentrated financial rewards associated with nuclear energy.

          • Fred says:

            It is often claimed that if Nuclear was so viable as a source of energy, then Big Oil would quickly buy into it and make serious $ selling that. Nope. Manufactured goods like Nuclear Reactors are wide open to vast competition and price-cutting and take real skill and competence to produce. No giant profit margins their.

            Big Oil loves buying politicians and political favor, their greatest skill, they get Oil & Gas leases, pump Oil out of the ground in Iraq or Kuwait for $4 per barrel and sells it for $90 to $150 per barrel. A gravy train like that is at least an order of magnitude beyond what they could hope for selling Nuclear Reactors. Assuming they were competent enough to successfully compete in industrial goods production & sales – they ain’t.

            The taxpayer bought-and-paid for wars in Iraq & Afghanistan were all about making huge profits for Big Oil and their Bankster overseers. So Obama intends to stay in Afghanistan now past 2024 so that they can secure a pipeline route for dirt cheap conventional natural gas to one of the world’s largest new markets, India, from the world’s largest reserves in ex-Soviet republics. Pump conventional natural gas from Turkmenistan for $0.50 per mmbtu and sell it in India for $15-20 per mmbtu. Another wonderful gravy train for Big Oil/Banking. And of course they can’t allow India to become energy independent with their own indigenous thorium based nuclear program. Interesting all those protests at every nuclear power plant being built in India, with funding traced to foundations of the super-rich & wealthy ENGOs in America & Europe.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            “And of course they can’t allow India to become energy independent with their own indigenous thorium based nuclear program. Interesting all those protests at every nuclear power plant being built in India, with funding traced to foundations of the super-rich & wealthy ENGOs in America & Europe.”

            The Indian government seems to be aware of the problem, and is acting on it.
            http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-02-29/news/31110826_1_visa-rules-tourist-visa-home-ministry

          • Fred says:

            The Big Oil/NG/Banksters have responded to the Indian governments restrictions on western ENGOs and foundations of the super-rich funding anti-nuclear protests by using the Catholic church to fund and organize anti-nuclear efforts. Hard to stop them from being funded, quite powerful in India. Easy for Banksters & Oil Barons to funnel money into the Catholic church in return for its help in blocking the competition to their big NG/LNG plans for the region.

            Got to make that Afghanistan war pay off, sending NG from Turkmenistan & Azerbaijan to India, and also a good market for LNG from Qatar and Australia.

          • Bas says:

            I think many in India remember Bhopal and the way its aftermath was handled.
            They do not want a worse repeat.

        • Fred says:

          You mean people in India shouldn’t want another Bhopal, similar to the thousands in India killed every year from Coal mining deaths, Coal pollution, Oil and Gas explosions, fires and pollution, and biomass burning. Many thousands of children killed. And your buddies in the World Bank supports and finances all of the above. But it won’t finance clean, green Nuclear energy that doesn’t kill anybody.

          • Bas says:

            Fred,
            … clean, green Nuclear energy that doesn’t kill anybody.

            Chernobyl will kill ~a million, Fukushima future death estimates are now more than 10,000. The heredity effects alone take already an heavy toll and will trouble many generations after us.
            Moderator note – the above is a bald-face lie. It is unsupportable by any credible evidence or sources.

            Renewable do not.

            Burning material (uranium. thorium) is not green.
            Furthermore it adds a lot of heat to the earth atmosphere (renewable do not).
            Renewable is green.

            And it is not clean either, leaving thousands of generations after us with the burden of careful watching the radio-active waste without getting paid as NPP’s reserve only few % of what is needed.
            The result of this irresponsible policy becomes visible in a.o. Sellafield. The UK tax-payer now has to pay ~$100 billion to clean the mesh, and fishing in the nearby Irish sea not allowed due to radiation.
            Renewable do not.

            And renewable supply more reliable electricity against a ~70% lower price in Germany than new nuclear will do in UK.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            “Burning material (uranium. thorium) is not green.
            Furthermore it adds a lot of heat to the earth atmosphere (renewable do not).
            Renewable is green.”

            Wrong. A solar panel will turn more than 70% of the incoming solar radiation into heat. If it is mounted on a light reflective roof or on light sand (such as desert sand) it will produce more waste heat than even thermal heat engines. Without the solar panel, most of the solar radiation would be reflected back into space.

            Wind energy also generates heat, because the conversion of wind to energy is far from 100% efficient, thus generation significant amounts of heat.

            In any case, this kind of heat production from renewables or thermal generation doesn’t matter for the climate. It is completely dwarfed by the radiative forcing due to greenhouse gas emissions.

            “The result of this irresponsible policy becomes visible in a.o. Sellafield. The UK tax-payer now has to pay ~$100 billion to clean the mesh, and fishing in the nearby Irish sea not allowed due to radiation.”

            Sellafield is a very old facility and contains a legacy nuclear weapons factory which contributes mightily to the difficulty of decommissioning it. Conventional Nuclear power plants built in the ’70′s are relatively easy to decommission and the operators pay into a fund to take care of it. There is no denying this.

            You are grasping at straws again Bas. Stooping to lies and misinformation in order to support your stupid crusade against nuclear energy.

          • Bas says:

            Rod (moderator I assume),
            I see you handled my Dec. 8, 3:27PM post somewhat less decent.

            If I underpin my statement regarding the million Chernobyl death, with
            scientific study results based on low level radiation effects, etc.

            What will happen than?

            I like to know in advance as it takes quite some time to summarize all in a few short posts. Seems to me the best if I do that at the end of this blog/threat so the interaction to my illustration is easier to post and read.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            I’ve been more patient with you than most of the readers here think is justified by the low value of your stubborn contributions. I’ve covered the completely discredited Yablokov work here numerous times. It is dangerous propaganda financed by an immoral organization and printed in what appears to have been a very shady arrangement.

            If you attempt to cite it, or repeat its nonsensical conclusions hear, you will not be happy with my reaction. Go push the lie somewhere else.

          • Fred says:

            Bas claims: “..my statement regarding the million Chernobyl death, with scientific study results based on low level radiation effects…”

            Mars Curiosity measurements for a six month trip to Mars, 500 days on surface and six months return are a 1.01 Sv radiation dose. ESA claims that will yield 5% increase in lifetime cancer risk and does permit for a 1 Sv lifetime dose for its astronauts.

            So Bas, your low dose calculations MUST indicate a 100% chance of radiation death during that voyage. Are you gonna put money down on that?

          • Rich Lentz says:

            Then WHY is Germany building plants that use lignite, one of the most polluting forms of coal, to bridge the gap in Germany’s energy mix and rein in the second-highest electricity prices in the European Union after Denmark’s?

          • jmdesp says:

            @Rich Lentz : Actually there’s an easy explanation coming just now from Germany. It’s because lignite you know is actually a clean energy source as we’re being explained by it’s lobbyists that are openly turbocharged to posqition in the German government :
            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-11/merkel-embraces-coal-as-rookie-spd-lawmaker-makes-mark-on-policy.html

          • EL says:

            Then WHY is Germany building plants that use lignite, one of the most polluting forms of coal, to bridge the gap in Germany’s energy mix and rein in the second-highest electricity prices in the European Union after Denmark’s?

            @Richard Lentz

            Perhaps this has something to do with it (and the utilities lobby, as jmdesp suggest):

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-13/berliners-still-fighting-to-pull-the-plug-on-coal-fired-utility.html

            East Germans don’t yet have control over their grid. Vattenfall has a monopoly (at least for another year), and coal has been very cheap (because of collapse of carbon trading markets). Renewables make only 2% of electricity in Berlin.

            Voter efforts at to “re-communalize” the grid, as has been done elsewhere in Germany (and in US) and obtain a greater share of renewables and control, was popular but failed to secure a total share of the turnout. 83% of voters favored the move, but vote fell short of the total needed.

            Competitive bidding starts next year (and Berlin has made major steps in this direction, but may lack the funds to pull it off).

    • Steve Foster says:

      Thanks a lot for sharing this, freely, for everybody’s benefit, as you have been doing with all your work throughout the years. It will IMHO certainly cement your reputation as an investigator, communicator, and bona-fide pro-nuke, pro-human, and pro-environment activist yet further.

      I will second that!

  8. Engineer-Poet says:

    I’ve been trying to get through to some Greens that they’ve been sold out by their own, but it’s been a tough row to hoe.  Maybe others could elaborate on points and perhaps help convert a documentarian to at least neutrality?

    http://climatecrocks.com/2013/12/05/new-video-making-the-plio-scene-what-the-past-tells-us-about-sea-level/comment-page-1/#comment-34643

  9. Joel Riddle says:

    Rod,

    Seeing S. David Freeman’s name within this article almost instantly made my blood figuratively boil.

    Expounding solely on some of his subsequent actions, even as recently as with the San Onofre Steam Generator issues, should give you fodder for 3-5 separate posts.

    Put me down for an order for your book compiling all of the Smoking Gun information that you’ll be working on over these next few years.

    • Joel Riddle says:

      Additionally, your sense of paranoia seems warranted, in my opinion.

      This is valuable, behind-the-scenes information that should be brought to a much wider audience and can provide insights into many different aspects of history within the past 71 years and 3 days (since the first Merry Critmass) beyond simply Atomic Insights.

  10. SteveFost says:

    Further to this discussion, slightly at a tangent, is an excellent article on the CIA’s business with US media as exposed by the Church Committee proceedings etc. Carl Bernstein discusses the nature of these matters, and how sensitive the material was concerning the role of journalists and cooperation of media organizations with the CIA. There is no documentary evidence of CIA involvement in domestic affairs and the media, but I think one can use one’s imagination. We never would have guessed that signals intelligence would come home – the government doesn’t spy on domestic communications, right – impossible because of this Constitution stuff, right?

    I think the point is clear: when it comes to power and money on a planetary scale, as is the trillion-dollar business of oil and gas, we enter the world of mass manipulation via propaganda, intelligence scheming, dark ops, assassinations, war and more. Any threat to business at this level is a threat affecting the destiny of nations. This is a very dark and nasty world – history is clear on that. That kind of power isn’t just going to say, OK, we’ll just go away now.

    All that being said, however, Rod I don’t think you have much to worry about. You’re just a blogger. If your influence grows too much, you would probably become “only” a media target for character assassination – just ask Scott Ritter who had the audacity, as a former US weapons inspector in Iraq, to have a conscience and called BS on Bush/Cheney’s plan to invade on the basis of WMD. He was mercilessly ridiculed in the media because he had the cred to challenge the propaganda machine that sold the war (aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds… remember?)

    That’s how “the machine” deals with dissenters. But, you / we are just so much noise from “little people.” I would put the efforts here as a few more drops in the ocean of change. One day these drops will unleash a flood, but when that day will come… who knows.

  11. Fred says:

    Yes, of course it is the International Banking Cartel, which are often affectionately known as “the Banksters”, that is the primary force behind curtailing any major Nuclear expansion. Banksters are rent-seekers and debt-mongers. Can’t have nation states not borrowing $US to buy Oil & LNG. Got to maintain those consistent payments in $US for Oil, Gas & Coal. If not outright owned by the Banksters, they always get to skim $billions off of the trade. Wouldn’t be acceptable to have free & independent nations to be able to stand on their own two feet with a 10 or more year stockpile of nuclear fuel, cheap nuclear reactors in all sizes, manufactured by dozens of countries with strong competition at a low price. No debt payments to the Banksters. How can you control nations like that? Documents leaked by their arch-enemy Wiki-Leaks show the Banksters total paranoia about free and independent nations states.

    You see how it is. Victims just don’t like having parasites sucking their blood. They try to shake them off. So the parasite must stop that from happening. Best way is to make sure the victim doesn’t know the parasite has latched onto them. 2nd best is to keep their victims sidetracked on other issues. 3rd best is to make sure there is no way the victim can shake them lose. The Banksters, whom JFK called “the Secret Society” in a speech on April 27, 1961, are masters of all three methods.

    The real power of the Banksters comes from the incredible gift, our sycophant politicians give them, the ability to create virtually all of our money supply. This is the greatest instance of welfare in the history of human civilization. Nothing else comes remotely close to it. Called Fractional Reserve Banking, it allows private banks to create money out of thin air and charge interest on that. Much more so, it allows them to seize physical assets, when their cost-free loans are defaulted. And even more allows them to control politicians, political parties, corporations & media by their ability to stifle or freely give out credit.

    So Banksters don’t want a new Nuclear renaissance, so they tell Entergy Vermont Yankee is serious credit risk, and they must either shut it down or they will have to pay much higher interest rates. But if they cooperate, and claim economic reasons for closure, they will get easy credit and perks for the executive, of which the Banksters are well known for providing to any & all who play their game.

    • starvinglion says:

      “Wouldn’t be acceptable to have free & independent nations to be able to stand on their own two feet with a 10 or more year stockpile of nuclear fuel, cheap nuclear reactors in all sizes, manufactured by dozens of countries with strong competition at a low price. ”

      Probably because WITH nuclear reactors, you get 33000 barrels a day of oil equivalents and with imports you get 2 million barrels a day.

      Tough decision, isn’t it? Better develop a taste for grass, o’nuclear wise one.

      • turnages says:

        Another post from starvinglion that is high on sneerage and low on rational argument.

        Of what are you talking?

      • David says:

        What????

        Exactly what is your point? That nuclear power cannot produce as much power as imported oil? How in the world do you conclude that? I would love to see the math on that one. Mind defending your 33,000 limit?

  12. Fred says:

    If you want understand how Nuclear power is being suppressed by the International Banking Cartel, you need to understand money. One of the best videos on that are the Money as Debt series by Paul Grignon:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqvKjsIxT_8

    Another good source of information is Ellen Brown’s Web of Debt book & series:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU0XiklHPMc

    This site gives a lot of information on how Banksters/Plutocrats/Oil Barons are funding the Green Movement, $billions per year, and what they hope to achieve by that:

    http://ecofascism.com/review26.html

    One solution, publicly owned banks, North Dakota, the only state that has one:

    http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/

    Another solution, the Monetary Reform Act:

    http://www.themoneymasters.com/monetary-reform-act/

    • Bas says:

      Fred,
      Just check how frequently new to build NPP’s:
      – did overrun budget;
      – did overrun time schedules;
      – did not deliver the amount of electricity promised (some never started, some stopped after some months/years, etc.)
      – did stop prematurely for whatever reason (SONGS, etc)
      – did not deliver the financial yield due to lower than scheduled electricity prices (VY, etc. Will happen with Hinckley)

      Can you tell me then what the risk is that:

      1. I won’t make any profit if I invest in building this NPP as a bank (assuming no government loan guarantees shifting the burden to taxpayers, etc)?

      2. I won’t get all my money back?
      Assuming no government subsidies, such as guarantees, etc.

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Bas

        For a financial investor who does not understand the technology and merely bets on averages, nuclear fission has been a poor gamble that has not frequently paid off.

        As I have been documenting in the smoking gun posts, many of the ill informed bets were made in a rigged game to begin with.

        However, as I have also documented, there are success stories in situations where there people running the projects understood the technology, resisted the sabotage efforts of the Establishment, and created reliable, clean energy production facilities that have provided large quantities of power. Some of those facilities have operated in excess of 50 years.

        I understand the technology and know which companies are competent builders and operators. My personal, nuclear-heavy portfolio is doing rather well, even though there is a great deal of upside that is not fully recognized by other investors – yet.

        • jmdesp says:

          There’s also a number of cases where renewable energy has been a complete failure, but Bas is ignoring them.

          In March of 2012, the gearbox of the costly, built at a cost of around 3 millions $, turbine of Portsmouth started to have serious problems, and in June was fully broken. It has not generated a single kWh since then. This happened early after the 2009 commission of the turbine planned to be working for 20 years, and the town is since every month paying interests on the associated 2,3 million $ of debt without any revenue.

          Actually the company that installed it had installed 5 turbines in the area, and 3 of the 5 have had a similar gearbox breakage. It was already out of business when the 2012 breakage happened. Worse, the manufacturer of the turbine is also bankrupt. This meant the town had to pay the full price of the repair, at around half a million dollar. And they never could complete a full root cause analysis that would demonstrate if the construction itself is not involved in the problem.
          As a result, the bigger issue is that nobody is willing to offer an extended warranty for the repair that will ensure it’s full cost will be covered by the operations.
          The latest bid here issued last May has failed again : http://www.cityofnewport.com/vendor/bids/documents/P13-019%20Wind%20Turbine%20Project.pdf

          As time goes, there’s more and more a real possibility this wind turbine will simply end up at the scrapyard.

          They are of course many other problematic examples, like the offshore in Germany that’s years late, the government now has officially strongly reduced the amount of offshore wind that will be built.

          Onshore is not that better actually, years of low capacity factor follow on from each other, currently the wind production is lower than 2012. The December month then was almost 5,6 TWh and the best month until now this year has been 5.5TWh. So it’s quite possible the year will be slightly worse than 2012, which was 6.2% down 2011, despite an increase in capacity from 29.9 GW to 32GW. This translate in a capacity factor of 15.8%. But if the *average* is that low, then some of the less productive wind farms are even lower, and their investors are having a horrendous time.

          So Bas will try to isolate every failure for nuclear, and never do the same for renewable.

          • jmdesp says:

            Precisely, I meant the results for the first 11 month, given the increase from 29.9GW to 32GW, translate into a capacity factor of 15.8%.

          • Bas says:

            @jmdesp
            Good illustration that wind turbines are still in their infancy phase (solar as well, but that for different reason).

            Reading the story at page 2, it seems to me Portsmouth did a bad maintenance & purchase job.
            Maintenance: Probably not in time exchange of oil(filter) in the gearbox (metal shavings in the oil, clogging in the oil filter system). Neglecting error codes about oil pressure for months…
            Purchase: A new model from a small factory, probably rather new in the field, without good references regarding this model.
            No long term (20years) maintenance agreement with guaranteed operating time with compensation clauses. And, as it is a small supplier, no bank guarantees.
            No type Certificates from independent expert organization.

            So the town did a lot (not), to turn this into a failure.
            Why didn’t they not agree an alliance with a regular utility that operates numerous wind turbines?

            government now has officially strongly reduced the amount of offshore wind
            Merkel said that the Energiewende levy for consumers should not rise, so offshore target reductions.

            capacity factor of 15.8%
            Production of the bigger wind farms is now remotely controlled by grid management. So they may turn the turbines ofter off (as that is easy). That may be the explanation of that somewhat strange phenomenon.
            Note: Turbine owners get compensation for lost production due to grid management.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @Bas

            Note: Turbine owners get compensation for lost production due to grid management.

            From whom? If there is compensation paid to wind suppliers because their output is not needed at the time it is produced, who pays the bill?

            Is similar compensation offered to the owners that invested capital in other types of power generation assets who are not able to sell the product they produce because the market doesn’t need it at the time they produce it?

            Does the current German electricity market situation really make sense to you?

          • Bas says:

            jmdesp
            I found the time to read the expertise report.

            The:
            – the log of iron particles in the gearbox oil vanished (or never was used);
            – the metal shavings in the oil, clogging in the oil filter system found;
            make me conclude that (intentional?) failing maintenance is probably the main cause. Was the (oil)filter ever replaced? I estimate for sure not by the second maintenance company (after the first one broke down).

            The log of the iron particles in the oil would show improvement after exchanging the (oil)filter. So by reading that, anybody can check if and when replacement was done, and the quality of the replacement (did the take any clogging/dirt out)…

            The experts conclude that the life span of the gearbox may have been some years longer if turbine management had reacted shortly after the oil pressure alarms. They did not conclude anything about the effects of failing maintenance. Gave that apparently ‘the benefit of the doubt’. I’m more skeptic.
            May be the technicians found the long climb to the nacelle to much, or their management saved money.
            I think the gearbox would have operated >10years, may be 20years, with correct maintenance.

            Portsmouth management attitude gives the impression of “penny wise, pound foolish” as they say in UK.

            Nevertheless, an high quality gearbox should be able to continue more years despite failing maintenance. The gearbox manufacturer has some excuse that the turbine producer (who also went bankrupt) changed the design of the wind turbine, hence changed strains on the gearbox.

          • Bas says:

            Rod,
            Wind turbine owners compensation: “From whom?”
            I assume grid management, in line with policy of German Bundesamt. So grid management turns the turbines only off if really needed. Assume Bundesamt has the point of view that grid management should do its forecasting job better.

            One of the financial disasters of grid manager Tenant, which costs me money as Tenant is Dutch state owned, is the connection cable to a new big German wind park in the North Sea. They forgot to ask about explosives in the route. Not strange as we removed all those many decades ago, and remove any explosive detected. But the Germans are more at ease with explosives.

            When the cable laying ship started in May along the licensed route, massive WW2 explosives in the river (known by local municipality), stopped the ship.
            Of course local municipality refused to license another route. So Tenant had to remove the explosives (ready in Aug.), but then the cable ship was off for other jobs and could only be hired next Feb. So now Tenant has to compensate the German wind park owner for missed income during ~8months, as the wind park was ready according to schedule.

            similar compensation offered to others?
            Of course not. Free market rules the waves. It is against competition rules. Brussels would fine (and those are high). Only innovative (and comparable) developments are allowed to such preference treatment. A country has to ask/tell Brussels about it so Brussels can check whether it is allowed and/or add/change conditions. Same for Hinckley.

            Anybody who has an interest and thinks Brussels decided against the rules (e.g. German incumbent utilities) can go to the EU court of justice in Luxembourg.
            So Greenpeace has to find somebody in UK who has ‘substantial’ interest, prepared to complain about Hinckley. Then they can go to Luxembourg if Brussels decides to allow Hinckley. Good success chance, if rules are not changed (rule change need the consent of Merkel…).

            Does the current German electricity market situation really make sense to you?

            Very sensible market design.
            You will agree if you measure that market with the German targets in mind (in order of importance):
            1. Nuclear out
            2. Democratize energy
            3. 100% renewable
            4. Less CO2
            5. Affordable costs
            etc.

          • jmdesp says:

            @Bas : Thank you for making this situation the fault of the municipality, others will be warned. You forget that 3 other gearbox of this same model also failed quickly, it seems that a defective fabrication was much more at fault that maintenance. Do you realize they are almost 25 000 turbines in Germany (according to the latest thewindpower.net data), is it realistic to require that people constantly climb on top to check ?

            But in fact you are quite right, they are enough pitfalls in the operation of a wind turbine that only large scale operators and not small municipalities have the scale needed to have learned from experience what not to do, and also be able to write off a few turbines without suffering too much. Which is why the “Bürgerbeteiligung” operations in Germany aren’t the great idea they are purported to be. In my opinion, they are likely to form a large part of the investors getting a very bad return on investment.

            It does not sound very likely the requests for curtailment were really the reason for the low capacity factor this year, considering lower productivity reduces the number of highly productive hours requiring curtailment.
            During the winter tempest of the last few days, the production reported by EEX was able to reach 27 GW despite curtailment. My numbers above were based on the Fraunhofer report, which itself is based on the EEX values.

            Also about your list of motives to do the energiewende, you seem to forget that it’s explicitly written in the EU rules that the purpose of the renewable subsidies is to lower CO2 emissions, it’s one part of the whole EU CO2 emission reduction legislation, together with the detailed registry of emissions, and cap&trade. If after all the priority of Germany wasn’t that at all, then maybe it’s correct those subsidies should be outlawed.

          • Bas says:

            @Jmdesp
            You forget that 3 other gearbox of this same model also failed quickly
            That is the reason I speculated about the turbine design changes, which deliver different strains to the gearbox (for which it is not designed).

            Another reason may be that the German gearbox maintenance manual says that filter change should occur the moment the level of metal particles in the oil is more than xx and that additional clean up operations should occur if the level of those particles is still more than yy after filter change, and that anyway a filter change should always occur after max. nnn days (etc)..

            May be the Canadian windmill producer changed all that into a filter change after the same nnn days. And did not connect the sensor to the SCADA system (may be they had trouble reading German). Then the filter is almost always changed far overtime. And the gearbox will only continue to operate in wind turbines that get little wind (the 2 that still operate?).

            Another option is that installation people forgot the connection. The option of maintenance technicians pulling the sensor connection seems to me rather far, as that would be real deliberated fraud. Anyway a good SCADA system then delivers alarms.
            So the windmill producer not installing the sensor connection wel seems more likely.

            Portsmouth should have made the reporting of the monitoring system free on-line available for anybody. If someone with more knowledge would have checked, he then would check maintenance at the German gearbox site, and may have noticed something was wrong before…

            But is also possible that this gearbox was new.
            As new Canadian windmill producer I would choose a proven design, but it seems their designers & managers were rather clumsy so … (they went bankrupt).
            As producer I would always check the installed turbine, whether all sensors operate on the screen etc. (you know how install people work). Further spend a day to advice and instruct my customer to monitor himself all relevant aspects, such as the clearness of the oil. Especially since the customer can do that at a screen at home or office or a meeting with another customer (Internet is fantastic).
            As new producer you know you only can sell with happy customers…

            … is it realistic to require that people constantly climb on top to check? …
            No. Also not needed as the monitoring SCADA system is accessible via Internet (WEB-site).
            Even the offered small solar installation on my house has an Internet accessible site (maintained by the supplier) at which I can see all details, compare with others, etc.

            … enough pitfalls in the operation of a wind turbine that only large scale operators …
            That is not quite true, as shown by many successful “Bürgerbeteiligung” operations in Germany (and NL). You need someone with procurement experience and someone with know how regarding such wind turbines.
            And here you have those at hand as similar turbines operate only 10-20 miles further and the owners are prepared to advice and help for free. Owner groups compare on-line reports of their wind turbines via Internet, putting up improvement questions to the producer, etc. Like mothers talking about their baby.
            So the failing report regarding oil quality would have been detected by another owner or interested guy shortly.
            But other forms, such as an alliance with specialized utility, are also common.

            … does not sound … requests for curtailment were really the reason for the low capacity factor this year …
            That is possible. I speculated as they now have ~8% more installed, so normally should have more production.

            … you seem to forget that it’s explicitly written in the EU rules that the purpose of the renewable subsidies is to lower CO2 emissions…
            I know. That does not hinder as long as the Energiewende also helps to reduce CO2.

            Btw.
            If CO2 was the only EU target, then nuclear should qualify for the subsidies. But the attempt of NPP operating EU countries (I thought few months ago, stimulated by UK) to reach that situation, failed. Now UK will have real trouble to get approval for Hinckley.

  13. Dave says:

    IMO, it appears to me that nuclear is hindered most by ignorant greens, radiophobic paranoids, disproportionate government regulations, and just plain exaggerated public fear driven partially by reporters looking for drama than a shadowy conspiracy of oil and coal companies.

    (This is excepting some recent action by gas industry frackers like CHK who I suspect may well be in cahoots with greens to shut down vulnerable plants like VY and Indian Point so they can sell gas to the replacement plants.)

    If the Manhattan Project never happened, and the industry was developed by scientists, industrialists, and engineers, rather than the USG and military, I guess nuclear would be far more technologically advanced and in a very strong position in the electric industry. You might even see nuclear hydrogen substituting for natural gas, eventually.

    • starvinglion says:

      Yeah right. The Nuclear Engineers just love to invent economical fuel cells in their spare time.

      • Dave says:

        ??? Fuel cells? That’s chemical and maybe mechanical engineering, not NE. If you’re talking about hydrogen, it can be used for everything natural gas does – not just fuel fuel cells.

  14. John Tucker says:

    CO2 emissions rise 2.2% in 2012, driven by coal-burning in China

    Other significant CO2 increases occurred in Japan (+6.9 percent) and Germany (+1.8 percent), pushed by a switch to coal to offset dependence on nuclear energy. ( http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/co2-emissions-rise-2-2-in/891474.html )

    Total EU and US emissions fell.

    • John Tucker says:

      and speaking of japan and conspiracy:

      Japan approves new state secrecy bill to combat leaks

      The Japanese move has been welcomed by the US, which wants a stronger Japan to offset China’s military rise. ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25102915 )

      The ruling party in japan frames it more as a device for encouraging nations like the US to share secrets knowing they can be kept. To me it doesn’t seem like a direction they should go or one we should be encouraging.

      • Bas says:

        John,
        How do you then expect that Japan, Philippines, etc. defend against the Chinese claims?
        The Chinese may have some rights regarding the East China sea, but the Chinese claim in the south violate international standards around sea rights.
        These claims seem to be primarily to exploit the (deep) sea oil and gas in those areas.

        Three years ago I visited two conferences about oil/gas exploration, one in Shanghai/Pudong and the other in Being (two ‘competing’ global scientific organizations in this field; the one in Being was a week later on. So there is some coordination).
        It became clear that the Chinese put lots of money in developing & building all what is needed to explore and gain gas & oil in the sea at +1000m depths (we also visited a huge shipyard building tankers and rigs).

        Considering their investments, these disputes will only be solved peacefully if Japan/US show real naval/air strength and preparedness to use that. E.g. forcing all Chinese subs to the surface at a moment tensions grow (as at the Cuba crisis). China may estimate that US is not prepared to really use that force (and risk losing ships). Japan showing those muscles is far more convincing.

        So Japan needs US military secrets in order to stay ahead of the Chinese. If they loose this, then big chance the S-Chinese sea is also gone and then the Chinese may claim more.

        Btw.
        I was shocked to find how bad designed the BlowOut Preventer of the Deepwater Horizon was from a telecom & security point of view .
        One would expect that they are designed to seal the well automatically once all (redundant) connections to the oil rig fails. And that they had at least also wireless connection (low frequency and/or acoustic). But none of that. So the well stayed open by design when the rig exploded.

        • John Tucker says:

          Well you are the absolute last person in this forum that I would have expected that opinion from. I guess thats why its best to try to avoid stereotypes and generalizations.

          As for the blow out preventer; to be honest I think anyone can get away with nearly anything as long as no one is looking or paying attention, and even then its still true, It just gets more expensive for them to deal with.

        • John Tucker says:

          As much of your anti nuclear sentiment like many others is rooted in irrational fear and paranoia I dont think its wise to fan the flames Bas.

          Anti-nuclear, civic groups targeted in large-scale cyber-attacks ( http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/11/10/national/anti-nuclear-civic-groups-targeted-in-large-scale-cyber-attacks/#.UqJtwSdZy9I )

        • jmdesp says:

          You know Bas, until now we’ve never learned much about you except for your very anti-nuclear views, as well as on the surface pro-renewable views but actually never really concerned about whether or not they deliver what they promise.

          It’s interesting to learn about how you’re sometimes sent to expensive professional oil/gas conferences far away from your home country dedicated to deep sea hydrocarbons extraction, also visiting tankers and rigs building shipyards.

          I believe the intent of Rod is to allows everyone to freely express his views on this site, whatever the industry he works for.

          Still it’s interesting to have an idea of where people “talk from”, and to find out that the very concerned Netherlander very much afraid and worried about all the bad effects of nuclear, and also constantly optimistic about what renewable power will bring, appears very likely to be working for the fossil fuel extraction industry.

  15. starvinglion says:

    “atomic fission is an incredibly valuable and capable tool for addressing many of humanity’s most pressing challenges, including global climate change, Peak Oil, and world hunger”

    What complete bs.

    *NUCLEAR* France

    Total oil production in 2010: averaged 33000 b/day

    Oil imports in 2010: 2116000 b/day.

    98% of oil consumption was imported.

    Before Fukushima, NUCLEAR Japan imports 5 million b/day.

    C’mon nuclear proponents. Tell those 2 nations to stop importing oil and see what happens.

    • Eamon says:

      I think you’re suffering under the illusion that most electricity produced in Japan and France are from oil-fired power plants. That is not the case.

    • George Carty says:

      Except on small islands (and in major oil-producing nations, but decreasingly so even there) oil is used overwhelmingly for transport, not electricity generation.

      If Big Oil is fighting nuclear energy, it is to protect natural gas revenues, not liquid oil revenues.

      • starvinglion says:

        Fission aint money because while breeding may be possible, the electrification of the rest of industry and transport has not occured in the USA or France. Both have aging fleets of reactors and no solid basis for industrial growth if you take the oil away. The stupid fool nuclear industry just simply cares about its gov loan guarantees for providing electricity to an infrastructure that is based on fossil fuels. Where is the industrial leadership? The physicists live in glass towers and play silly games of dealing with nuclear waste and other such low priority endeavors. Big oil is subsidizing nuclear energy now and has it own problems with a natural gas infrastructure. France can’t rebuild its nuclear fleet without oil money. The fool Fission money that Adams promotes is hyperinflation.

        • Rod Adams says:

          @starvinglion

          Why can’t you see that actinide fission is simply a more concentrated source of heat than oil combustion? Oil’s value is mostly due to its ability to produce heat when burned. Sure, it is also a terrific raw material for plastics, fertilizer and petrochemicals, but the vast majority of the sales every year are converted into heat.

          Uranium, plutonium and thorium can all provide heat. If we used them instead, there would be enough hydrocarbons available to serve mankind’s material needs indefinitely.

          (BTW – in case you didn’t know, I was once in the plastics business. I purchased and processed a large quantity of polystyrene, polycarbonate, polypropylene, glass reinforced Nylon, polyethylene, and several brand name specialty plastics. I have a pretty fair, but somewhat dated understanding of the petrochemical enterprise.)

          • George Carty says:

            Oil does have one HUGE advantage over actinides, namely that it can be used in small, lightweight engines (needed for transport) while actinides cannot because their heat production is accompanied by deadly radiation that can only be stopped by hundreds of tons of shielding.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @George Carty

            I like hydrocarbons. They’ve been a terrific boon to humanity and I want them to continue being useful and available in abundance for millennia to come.

            That’s why I don’t want to waste them in power plants that can be supplied just as easily by fissioning actinides.

            BTW – effective shielding for small nuclear engines does not weigh “hundreds of tons.” Tons, maybe. My evidence: NR-1 was a nuclear powered submarine built with 1960s vintage technology. The entire ship weighed just 400 tons.

          • G.R.L. Cowan says:

            Rod Adams says

            BTW – effective shielding for small nuclear engines does not weigh “hundreds of tons.” Tons, maybe. My evidence: NR-1 was a nuclear powered submarine built with 1960s vintage technology. The entire ship weighed just 400 tons.

            Let’s compromise: tens of tonnes.

            In chapter 9, “Families of Optimal Spherical Shields”, of Robert D. Woolley’s master’s thesis “Optimal Design of Mobile Nuclear Reactor Engines to Power Manned Vehicles On Mars”, Woolley finds that a reactor that provides heat to an engine producing 10,000 shaft horsepower can have mass of 45.671 tonnes. Just about all of this is shielding.

            (ftp://ftp.pppl.gov/pub/rwoolley/FinalThesisSubmission/rwoolley_000267809_thesis_FinalVersion.pdf )

            If you’re underwater, and are taking advantage of shielding by water, it’s free, but due to its low density, the parts of it that are doing the shielding are indeed hundreds of tonnes.

          • George Carty says:

            Thanks for correcting my shielding weight estimate, but it doesn’t change the conclusion that it’s extremely unlikely that cars or aircraft will be powered any time soon by on-board fission reactors…

          • Rod Adams says:

            @George Carty

            Agreed, but petroleum will last a lot longer if it is only used for planes and cars and if nuclear heat is used to improve the quality of coal and heavy crude to make distillate liquids.

          • Mitch says:

            George Carty
            December 6, 2013 at 5:22 PM

            Thanks for correcting my shielding weight estimate, but it doesn’t change the conclusion that it’s extremely unlikely that cars or aircraft will be powered any time soon by on-board fission reactors…
            Rod Adams
            December 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM

            Maybe I’m wrong but according to Google the Air Force was on its way building a nuclear prop plan but had to politically drop it, not because of shielding issues.

            @George Carty

            Agreed, but petroleum will last a lot longer if it is only used for planes and cars and if nuclear heat is used to improve the quality of coal and heavy crude to make distillate liquids.

            I think NASA in Pop Science wrote they wanted to study jets flown with hydrogen produced by hydrolysis by reactors to save as much oil as possible and cut carbon pollution.

      • Fred says:

        “…extremely unlikely that cars or aircraft will be powered any time soon by on-board fission reactors…”

        Who needs that. Easy to run them on Nuclear electricity stored in batteries.

        • George Carty says:

          Cars maybe (although electric cars are still very expensive, and have limited range), but aircraft no way!

          • Fred says:

            They are expensive because they are made in low volumes. Unlike the ICE vehicle they are far from mature tech. The range is getting quite good, over 250 miles, with fast charge, faster than filling a car engine. Very large portion of the market would be covered with that.

            And electric aircraft are very likely the future. There are already battery-electric small planes and the electric drive is being developed for larger aircraft. For range an added fuel powered generator would be used.

    • John Tucker says:

      Please stop publicly embarrassing yourself. Its disturbing.

      • starvinglion says:

        Look at Frances oil consumption going down since 1980. Guess what happens when France’s aging nuclear fleet that was built in the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s needs a third of it replaced? Oil consumption will skyrocket because of nuclears continuing complexity increase and escalating costs… Oil that seems to be getting ever more expensive. Oil they don’t have and no international influence.

        Its obvious that France can’t finance nuclear itself because now it needs a rebuild of its reactor fleet AND it has to electrify transportation AND the rest of industry, which would imply a massive increase in electricity demand.

        Westinghouse gave the nuclear crown jewels away by handing over all the technology of third-generation AP1000 reactor to the chinese. France now can’t sell very many reactor builds around the world.

        • John Tucker says:

          So this is the cost thing again. Ok that explains it better but you make many generalizations there I am not sure are true.

          All I know about markets really is “preexisting markets favor preexisting and accepted profitable market practice.” (my words)

          You’ll note there is nothing in there about future viability, environmentalism, justice, ethics, efficiency, progress, freedom and/or autonomy.

          Everything also is very complicated. I dont understand criticism of nuclear from that perspective alone.

  16. Bas says:

    Last year the world created ~100GW renewable and ~1GW nuclear (3 new NPP’s, 6 stopped).
    Renewable install rates growing with double digits.
    The future of especially PV-panels look sunny if you look into technical feasibilities.

    Cost prices of full installations now at ~€92/MWh in Germany going down with ~10%/a despite the EU import tax and restrictions.
    Just as the last ~30years. With the coming of:
    – The advent of flexible thin solar sheets which can be glued on walls, cars, etc.
    – Further yield improvements from the ‘standard’~16% toward ~40% (the solar cars racing through Australia have those);
    – Further production automation as it becomes a mass product;
    prices will reach €20/MWh in 2030 and ~€10/MWh in 2040.

    With these prices solar will take a real major share away from fossil.

    So that may evoke a reaction from the fossil industry.
    Shell did invest in solar, but sold. Solar is such different business that their know how is a big handicap for a successful undertake.

    But what will be the reaction of the incumbents?

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Bas

      You continue to ignore the very obvious fact that a solar panel is useless, idle capital for about 75% of the time.

      Even when it is noon on a clear day at the equator, a car covered with 100% efficient solar cells would only be able to power a 5-6 KW motor. Even taken to this absurd, impossible extreme, it should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that solar energy is a dead end. There is a reason it has been so vociferously promoted by BP, Shell and other hydrocarbon hypsters.

      • Bas says:

        Rod,
        So the Germans, supported by research institutes etc, invest massively in solar, conversion of electricity to fuel/gas, etc.
        And they live far more near to the north pole than e.g. Boston.

        Regarding cars.
        Those are parked in the sun in sunny areas (e.g. S-California) while the driver works.
        Then that 5KW delivered ~25KWh at the end of his workday to drive back. That will do if he lives less than an hour driving away and drives not very fast. And during the night he can load using the plug at home.
        It is not fantastic but it saves the driver substantial energy/fuel and in the end money.
        Agree that this will not work in Finland, etc.

        • John Chatelle says:

          You aren’t listening. 5 KWs, especially for your “floppy” solar panels is absurd. BTW: This time of year it’s dark when I go into work, and it’s dark when I leave; It isn’t laughably equator-ish high noon all day. It’s also cloudy here most of the time, as it is as I look out the window right now.

          We realize you’re all about in one ear -out the other, and you’re locked into a single line of thought; the beauty is, when you post here, I detect a bit of panic. What *is* your scoop anyway? Why do you insist on holding on to that obsolete, obviously bad line of thinking, ceaselessly repeated? What can you possibly get out of it? Do you work for Shell, or some ancillary business?

  17. Yokohama Michael says:

    Rod,

    I have to admit that the first time I heard this idea I thought it very unlikely. However, though I’m still not completely convinced, over time the argument is growing on me.

    Here in Japan the greatest bureaucratic obstacle to restarting the nuclear fleet is Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, which has drawn up prohibitive new guidelines in the name of safety that have to be adhered to before reactors can restart. It has been estimated that it will cost 100 million dollars for each reactor to match the guidelines.

    The NRA has also done numerous other things that can make you believe their goal is put up barriers to nuclear restarts. For example, in the name of earthquake safety they redefined an ‘active’ geological fault from one that has moved in the last 120,000 years to one that has moved in the last 400,000 years, thus substantially increasing the number of plants they can order to remain closed in the name of safety. I’m no geologist, but planning for the risk of something that happens every 400,000 years seems a bit excessive.

    It occurs to me Rod, that if your line of thinking is correct, there should be evidence that the NRA is indirectly supported or funded by pro-fossil-fuel elements in the Japanese bureaucracy or government.

    If this were the case though, it would actually be the opposite of what is supposed by many anti-nuclear elements, who seem to believe the NRA is a servant of the nuclear industry.

    I have kept my eyes open, but I haven’t come across any evidence for this NRA-fossil-fuel link in the media. That doesn’t mean however that there is no link, as the Japanese government-bureaucracy is notoriously murky. To me this issue remains a puzzle. It just seems too improbable that Japan would let itself be damaged in this way. Somebody has to be making a profit somewhere.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Yojohama Michael

      Japan imposes a significant tariff on imported fossil fuels. Perhaps you could find out how much the government is collecting as a result of the additional fossil fuel purchases. There are also large trading companies making bank on the additional fossil fuel trade.

      Though the current government ran on a platform that sounded “pro nuclear”, so did Jimmy Carter.

    • George Carty says:

      Maybe some Japanese politicians, like Gerhard Schröder in Germany, are on Gazprom’s payroll? IIRC Sakhalin has large natural gas reserves, and the most obvious place to export such resources would be just across the La Pérouse Strait in Japan.

    • Bas says:

      Yokohama Michael,
      After another nuclear disaster, all nuclear will be finished in Japan.

      So you can also conclude that NRA tries to save as much as possible by preventing a next disaster at all cost, and showing to the public that they indeed are much more strict than their predecessor.

      Abe’s successor may think different about nuclear, and then they really have to proof that the security situation is totally different compared to before 2011.
      Especially since it may be easier to close all NPP’s at that time, taking into account the speedy introduction of solar, and (though still less) wind.

      • Mitch says:

        After another nuclear disaster, all nuclear will be finished in Japan. – Bas

        How was it a “disaster”, Bas?

        Do you or biased Green media know the meaning of the term? A disaster is massive death and widespread carnage. Like oil and gas plant explosions. Dams breaking. Fuku was neither.

        If you had to have a major industrial accident you should pray it was like this one. And it took wild rare mother nature to do it. Not opinion. Fact. Even better news are that nuclear accidents are not inevitable like most all anti-nuclears wish.

        • Eamon says:

          Yup, it must have been a disaster, and I must be typing this from beyond the grave.

          Bas is right on one thing, the NRA is determined to show how much more strict they are than their predecessor, rationality be damned.

          I was watching a piece on one of their review panels on NHK a few months ago. A utility had installed extra emergency batteries in a reactor building. There were now three batteries, one in the upper part of the building, the other two a few floors down in connecting rooms. There was a circus of NRA experts there, and apparently the only thing they could ask was “why are the lower batteries in adjoining rooms?” The answer is probably obvious.

        • Bas says:

          Mitch,
          Your definition of disaster Fukushima is so far off, that all radiation experts and almost all people will qualify it as not relevant.

          Amazing that you call a huge area uninhabitable for 300(?)yrs, ~100K people off their land forever, etc. despite that 97% of all radio-activity went into the ocean thanks to favorable wind, ~$500billion lost, etc.
          not a disaster.

          Eamon,
          … NRA … more strict … than their predecessor, rationality be damned.
          It is very rational from the NRA. If they do not, then they enhance the chance that next government will close the few NPP’s that then still operate.

        • Atomikrabbit says:

          A Mainstream Media guide for new writers and editors:

          1) any reference to the highly engineered, intensely studied repository at Yucca Mountain must refer to it as a “nuclear waste dump”;
          2) any story using the word “nuclear” must have a primary focus, either directly or implicitly, on “safety” (or preferably, lack thereof);
          3) all references to renewable energy facilities shall use theoretical nameplate values, or units of “capable of supplying X number of homes” – the concept of Capacity Factor shall not be discussed;
          3) the only allowable use of the term “disaster”, when no one is actually killed or injured, is a “nuclear disaster”.

      • jmdesp says:

        The added solar this year barely will produces more electricity that the 600 MW ultra super critical coal unit that has just been committed at Hirono.

        And the 1.6 GW coal about to be added in total will be much more power :
        http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/tokyo/japans-tepco-to-start-up-16-gw-of-coal-fired-26521229

        • jmdesp says:

          And also the 1GW coal plant of Haramachi is now restarted. It is a few kilometers to the south of the Fukushima dai-ni nuclear plant, and was basically as damaged by the Tsunami as that one was. In other words, if Tepco had been allowed to work on repairing Fukushima dai-ni, that could be fully completed now.

  18. John T Tucker says:

    Its uncanny how after the incompetence that occurred in japan, and the fact that no radiation deaths occurred, and little if any are competently expected, everyone is left attacking and/or defending the technology.

    And people say it has been a PR “disaster,” even as the nameless slither away.

  19. Eino says:

    Well – I like conspiracy theories. They are a lot of fun. However, one simple fact gets in the way of the oil industry killing the nukes in the USA. Nukies are not oil’s competition.

    Coal is used for electricity much more than oil. I’ll grant you that at the present we have a rush of combined cycle gas turbines, but that’s still not oil, it’s gas. Coal is nuclear’s competition.

    Now if you’d turned up a lot of evidence of the coal industry nukin; the nukes, it would be more plausible. However, even then I’d find it hard to believe that big coal would have that much power. Big coal is getting burnt too. You can’t build a new coal plant, many are being shut down due to EPA regulations and those that aren’t are having to spend beau coup bucks on emissions controls.

    Maybe, there’s some guy on a coal blog right now saying it was killed due to a nuclear conspiracy.

    Thinking a bit further reminds me of the close link between the economies of the US and Canada. I believe I read in one of Rod’s articles that 70 % of Ontario’s electricity was supplied by the CANDUs. Canada is a big provider of resources to the world. Oil companies have a big influence there. If oil wanted to kill nukes, would they have permitted such an example of nuclear success just North (& East) of the US?

    Why would the oil barons want to kill nuclear? Have they ever made liquid fuels using nuclear? Has anyone ever applied to build a nuclear Fisher-Tropsch plant? ( I think they should, but that & $2.00 will get you a good cup of coffee.) Nukes were not competition. Oil and nuclear are differing energy markets.

    I don’t think it is a conspiracy that has blocked nukes in the United States. Nor do I concede that it is the invisible hand of the marketplace. The most obvious answer is usually the answer that matches reality. In the case of nuclear power, it is simply FUD that has blocked the industry, (I hate acronyms. Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) To which I will provide Mr. Adams the compliment of attacking all three.

    A less ignorant populace will both permit and applaud the building of new nuclear plants. A less ignorant populace will encourage research into alternate nuclear technologies like the LFTR.

    The Truth Is Out There. We just all need to learn what you guys already know.

    • Fred says:

      You don’t know that Big Oil = Big NG? Exxon is the largest NG producer in North America. Read future plans of the Big Oil companies, NG IS their future. The plan is to replace dwindling & increasingly high priced Oil with much more plentiful and lower priced NG. And yes Coal is taking a beating from the same corruption, lobbying, “conspiracy”, payola that is hindering Nuclear Energy. Quite convenient how USA, Canada and other countries are setting maximum CO2 emissions from new power plants at a level just above what Big Oil’s NG power plants produce, makes it hard to impossible for Coal to compete. Of course, quite amazing how they conveniently ignore or underrate the methane emissions from NG and especially Shale Gas, which puts NG power on about par with Coal for GHG emissions. You think Big Oil spends $billions/yr on lobbying, advertising, disinformation, rabid anti-nuclear ENGOs because they like throwing money away? Big Oil = Big NG, both of which are the favorites of Big Banking.

      Also Oil power generation is still quite significant in the world, in spite of its ridiculously high price, 5% of world electricity production. But Nuclear can easily sub out a whole lot more than Oil electricity. Small Modular reactors can readily replace the high Oil heating demand. That was the plan for the Slowpoke III in Canada which was ready to supply heat & power to Northern communities in Canada, replacing Oil. And you aren’t aware of the very high supply-demand volatility of Oil. A 1% drop in Oil demand can easily cause a 10% drop in Oil price and an even larger drop in Oil production profits.

      And cheap Nuclear Electricity can directly replace Oil products most commonly used in transportation with Nuclear powered shipping – easy to do, Electric vehicles, Electric trains.

      And with a rapid expansion of Nuclear the effect is inevitable – there is this thing called Energy Substitution. It is hard to figure out Nuclear energy can replace all other energy sources, if it is cheap & commonly available. Any idiot can see what would happen if the Nuclear Juggernaut was unleashed.

      So what you label “conspiracy theories” is in reality, the everyday business of modern government, often called the corporatocracy.

      • starvinglion says:

        “…easy to do, Electric vehicles, Electric trains.”

        Batteries in trucks and tractors? Nuclear powered shipping is the same nonsense as me finding a nuclear reactor/fuel cell/battery under the hood of my 3/4 ton truck. It simply does not work.

        Whether it chronic low dose radiation or the “Reactor is a potential bomb”, the only thing unleashed is packs of lawyers burying any private nuclear enterprise.

        • Rod Adams says:

          @starvinglion

          Nuclear powered shipping is the same nonsense as me finding a nuclear reactor/fuel cell/battery under the hood of my 3/4 ton truck. It simply does not work.

          What are you talking about “does not work?” There have been nuclear powered ships operating on the oceans since January 17, 1955. Far too few have been commercial ships (NS Savannah, Otto Hahn, and several Russian ice breakers plus ore carriers), but nuclear ship propulsion works fine. Sure, it looks a little pricey at this point, but any manufactured product that is produced at an uneconomical production rate will be costly.

          By the way, essentially all of the rail shipments in France run on nuclear powered electricity. A major portion of the electricity (perhaps 30-40%) that operates the New York subway system comes from Indian Point.

        • Fred says:

          starvinglion I would have no problem whatsoever converting your 3/4 ton truck to electric drive. It is being done as we speak to thousands of trucks, cars & buses. If Obama really wanted to quickly electrify US transportation he would subsidize and facilitate rapid conversion of existing vehicles to electric drive.

  20. John Tucker says:

    Any insights? Im not surprised at the escalation given the kind of rhetoric to emerge from the international anti nuclear movement lately:

    Anti-nuclear protester booked for explosion which killed 6 near Kudankulam N-plant

    Anti-nuclear activist S P Uthayakumar has been booked for the explosion last night near the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, in which six people, including two children, were killed.

    The police say the blasts took place at the Tsunami Colony in Idinthakarai village, inside a house where bombs were being assembled. ( http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/anti-nuclear-protester-booked-for-explosion-which-killed-6-near-kudankulam-n-plant-451282 )

    • John Tucker says:

      Greenpeace has a write-up of contact with this guy:

      Meeting SP Udaykumar ( http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/Blog/Community_blogs1/meeting-sp-udaykumar/blog/42428/ )

      • Mitch says:

        More to point, why should incidents like this have any bearing on how people view reactors?

        • John T Tucker says:

          It should have none of course. But I wouldn’t ignore it.

          Perceived security issues and a air of perpetual controversy most likely are the major misconceptions that could occur. But ham handedly forcing those could probably lead to them going in the opposite direction.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @John Tucker

      One insight is the loose use of the word “near”. The site of the explosion was about 14 km from the plant.

      • John T Tucker says:

        So 506880 distant inches away? ….. or on the other hand only 8 miles or .0000000000013 of a Single Light year close!

        J/k, sorry, I see now all the headlines of that story made a point of mentioning proximity of the nuclear plant although it wasn’t even specified as a target.

        This is however related to all that hubbub with NGOs in the India anti movement and their violent protests:

        Centre pulls the plug on three NGOs ( http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2929241.ece ) – February 24, 2012

        One killed in Indian nuclear power plant protests ( http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/us-india-nuclear-idUSBRE8890ZE20120910 ) – Sep 10, 2012

        People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy:

        India faces people power against nuclear power ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-radio-and-tv-15835060 ) – 22 November 2011

        I did just read:

        Local fishermen have been upset with PMANE leadership for bringing about 100 families from another fishing village called Koothanguli, notorious for bomb wars.

        These ‘outsiders’, including Viyagappan, had fled from one such violent clash to take refuge in the vacant Tsunami Colony a couple of months back. ( http://www.deccanchronicle.com/131128/news-current-affairs/article/dead-pmane-activist-was-bomb-maker )

        Which would seem to suggest that Mr Udaykumar could/may not have been directing the bomb stuff but very well could be implicated in it or at least in fostering violence.

        It also suggests there is not any broad local support for this type of activity.

        Cutting to the chase the two things I am most concerned with in all this lately is

        1. Too much of the wrong kind of emphasis on the anti nukes giving them a kind of political validity (as in generic government harassment giving them protester/dissident cred; as I hope to seen them utterly disappear into obscurity like those fearfully opposed to electricity and the steam engine in past).

        2. The ease of other movements in co-opting the naive anti nukes. (we’ve probably seen this with the Israeli influence in the Iranian anti nuclear movement and I imagine other outside geopolitical influences in other arenas).

        We simply don’t have time for all that.

      • John Tucker says:

        Well to further confuse matters it seems the intended targets were “sand mafia” members that were further away?! ( like Tatooine ?? ) :

        Anyway from another article.

        ….the incident took place hardly two kilometres from the live plant.

        ….The only relief for the agencies is that the blast of powerful home-made bombs was not the handiwork of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which has been spearheading the agitation. Having realised this, the Tamil Nadu police have dropped the names of PMANE leaders Uthaya Kumar, Pushparayan, Mukilan and their several associates from the case. ( http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bomb-blast-exposes-chinks-in-the-security-of-kudankulam-nuclear-plant-1926476 )

        Im not sure about the distance thing rod. “Lost in translation” would be an improvement here. It doesnt help that the issue dropped off the face of the earth immediately in the media as well.

        Its still looking like more like a guilt by association and possibly like material support in groups of people finding overlapping interests. So in the short term I think id also like to know if western NGOs were involved to supplying aid and/or some degree of willful astroturfing in this mess.

        • jmdesp says:

          Tucker, those article are interesting but let’s try to get the facts straight :
          - They are some villages in the area where there’s constant infighting using bombs
          - Down to the point where the Indian police doesn’t dare enter them
          - PMANE recruited several persons in those villages, and encouraged some of them into coming to the location nearest to the nuclear plant
          - The familly that has been killed in the explosion has all been identified as such PMANE activists
          - PMANE claims to have warned them against continuing to built bombs, at the request of worried local villagers

          So even if PMANE may not have a direct responsibility in the bomb, it seems they are making people known for their violence and also not directly in the vicinity of the nuclear plant to come near it to assist them in their protests.

          • John T Tucker says:

            You forgot 3 NGOs were recently (2012) charged with being involved in political matters there. Also a few stories state the anti nukes were involved in advocating and relocating these people.

            So yes its sad but you kinda do have to take responsibility for your actions.

        • jmdesp says:

          About the “sand mafia”, things will probably become clearer after reading this (as well as the comment) :
          http://www.deccanchronicle.com/130930/news-current-affairs/article/different-take-beach-sand-mining “Different take on beach sand mining”

          So those people are desperate for a job, even an industry that directly pollutes the sea will get a pass if only it gives them some jobs and a little money. The Kudankulam construction company just screwed it by not understanding that trying to hire the locals on the construction site, even doing the lowest job, maybe not really useful and paid very little, would have immensely helped them.

  21. EL says:

    Perhaps it’s not oil companies falsely claiming that supplies of inflexible baseload power are insufficient to meet variable demand on a cost effective and controllable basis in a highly diversified energy market. Two recent stories would seem to point to significant challenges and very high costs associated with nuclear (for operating older power plants and building new).

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/french-german-power-spread-widens-to-most-in-year-on-record-wind.html

    Rising cost of electricity (already highly subsidized) in France due to seasonal supply shortfalls and unscheduled shutdowns, and the largest price spread with Germany on record: “German day-ahead power settled 28 percent lower at 34.32 euros a megawatt-hour while the French contract rose 4.4 percent to 74.92 euros on Epex.” Future liabilities are also rising with only a 55% of anticipated decommissioning costs covered. Price gap with Germany “could be expected to widen on average next year.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-05/czech-atomic-expansion-deemed-hopeless-by-cez-without-aid.html

    Temelin seen as non-starter in Czech Republic without large up front subsidies and FIT guaranteed rate structure (comparable to Hinkley Point). “The Temelin project would only be profitable if the market price of electricity held above 115 euros a megawatt-hour, according to the study. Benchmark year-ahead power in neighboring Germany traded at about 37.24 euros a megawatt-hour yesterday.” According to CEZ executive: “We won’t build without state guarantees … It’s simply impossible.” Hinkley may have caused more harm than good for the future of nuclear power on the Continent.

    Anybody want to say it’s time to put a serious price on carbon yet?

    • Bas says:

      EL,
      Predictions for next years seem to indicate higher prices in UK too. NL gradually becomes a transit country for German electricity moving towards UK.
      Preparation for the exceptional high prices of Hinckley?

      But may be that solar+wind take off in UK. It should be with their ~35% higher FiT’s.
      However UK made the financial picture far more complicated than Germany. So it is not easy to see for a normal person that panels on his roof deliver big profits.

      This completely contradicts my idea about the Germans making things complicated by detailing everything.

    • jmdesp says:

      You know EL, if really the price of electricity is high in France, then there’s no need to subsidize it, just selling it at market price will bring enough money ?

      Let’s see what horrible things happened actually with French nuclear, oh well out of the 54 French reactors, one (Fessenheim 1 and not 2, they got the wrong number) was off-line from the 2 of December at 16h up to the 3 at 7h51.
      Yes actually opposite to what Bloomberg says, it was already back on line on the 4. Also the planned maintenance of Cruas 2 was extended by one day, the horror !

      And, as usual when I check the unexpected shutdown page on the RTE site, there’s more data about fossil unit events than nuclear, even though they produce more than five time less than nuclear. So yes sometimes the nuclear plant shut down unexpectedly, but the fossil ones do it more often, and when you tout renewable, actually you plan to use them as backup but don’t consider that maybe the backup just won’t start.

      Bloomberg themselves reported that this just meant instead of a usual availability of 90% in high demand winter, availability of French nuclear was reduced to a a despairing 88%.
      Do you realize that 2% is the unescapable margin of error of wind prediction from one hour to the next ?

      They report that availability of export lines from Germany to France was reduced to 1.2 GW (but actually the RTE data is that imports from Germany varied between 2GW and 3GW, and from what I see it’s not possible to go higher than 3GW, up to the reported 4.8 GW except by sending some though Belgium probably, which seems however to be limited to 1.6GW itself).

      So as the connexion between France and Germany was saturated, it was not possible to export the low 34€ price resulting from wind, and utilities could sell power in France at 74€. Well guess what, in Europe now is the best period in the year for the utilities to make some profits, compensates for the losses they had during the summer holidays with little demand, so pay salaries, have some money to be able to invest into more capacity. Instead even at that time prices in Germany get so low that they may pay the variable cost of coal plants, but won’t finance their capital cost.
      The price in France was a bit high, but this doesn’t happen every day, and just makes the average price is more reasonable wrt what is needed to operate the plants profitably, which is not the case anymore in Germany.

      There’s an interesting last thing. When I check the complete data from RTE, actually France has on that day being exporting all day long to Switzerland, Italy and most of the day to Spain. This could only happen because those countries had a higher market price for electricity than France, so in other words, France has been importing electricity at low price from Germany to sell it at a much higher price to Spain and Italy.

      About the dismantling : EDF complies to the regulation with enough money to pay for it’s estimated cost. I don’t know what the numbers reported there are supposed to mean, but maybe it’s linked to the deal EDF and the government made early this year. The government was supposed to pay at least 4 billions euro for renewable energy to EDF, and instead it gave EDF an acknowledgment of debt that it approved EDF would put inside it’s dismantlement found instead of cash. So everyone is happy, the government that’s short on money at the moment doesn’t have to pay now for wind and solar, and EDF doesn’t have to put cash in the found, but instead a debt on the state that well should be paid except if French state goes bankrupt.

  22. John T Tucker says:

    Obama administration will let some wind companies kill or injure eagles

    Under the change announced on Friday, companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than they have estimated they would, or if new information suggests that eagle populations are being affected. The permits would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill. Presently such reporting is voluntarily, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information. ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/06/obama-administration-will-let-some-wind-companies-kill-or-injure-eagles )

    Unbelievable. It it actually worked as claimed to replace FFs Id be a bit more forgiving. But it really doesn’t.

    • EL says:

      Yes … the first liability waver or indemnity act for wind. Does this mean they have graduated to the big leagues?

  23. Eino says:

    “And with a rapid expansion of Nuclear the effect is inevitable – there is this thing called Energy Substitution. It is hard to figure out Nuclear energy can replace all other energy sources, if it is cheap & commonly available. Any idiot can see what would happen if the Nuclear Juggernaut was unleashed.”

    My goodness! Just ready to cook my breakfast and being called an idiot. You know that just plain isn’t nice. Fred must be a big city boy. His sentences weren’t quite right, but I got the idea.

    We’ve got our choices already. People can buy electric cars today. You face the same problem with an electric car that you do with other energy. Batteries just don’t have the same energy capacity as liquid fuel. Since liquid fuel carries some of it’s energy from the oxygen in the air, it has an inherent advantage. Electric trains are possible and more should be built for commuter traffic. These things are possible with or without nuke plants being the source of the electricity.

    “Small Modular reactors can readily replace the high Oil heating demand. That was the plan for the Slowpoke III in Canada which was ready to supply heat & power to Northern communities in Canada, replacing Oil.”

    Why haven’t they? Is it the conspiracy at work? Could it be that the units are still a bit too complicated for installation? I don;t mean the operation. Maintenance may present quite a lot of additional training for any municipality attempting this. What do you do with the thing after it’s worn out? This seems like it could be a high cost. The devil is in the details. People running cities infrastructure have enough problems already. They are looking for technologies to solve problems and not to create them. I don’t think the oil companies are directly involved in the operations of most cities.

    Just the same, I’d like to see one tried. Maybe, you’d have enough spare heat to melt the snow from the sidewalks.

    I think the same is true for industrial processes. The capital cost is high and the perceived risks prevent this investment. This is in addition to over-regulation. Oil companies may have influenced this regulation, but I’ve not heard of this.

    Most posts here seem to accept the conspiracy idea. Big oil has big money. Big money means big power and influence.

    History has shown us that companies do use tactics to their advantage with little to no consideration for society at large. Ole J D Rockefeller and Andy Carnegie were a couple of examples. Teddy Roosevelt had to bust up Standard Oil. I figure the oil barons have got smarter since then and have nearly all the politicians in their hip pockets.

    Tucker had a better car and was kept out of the car business. Armstrong invented FM and Sarnoff of NBC prevented this superior technology from being adopted. Maybe big oil si doing the same. I’m sure there are lots of other examples. I’m still waiting for the 200 mpg carburetor.

    Does the influence of big oil extend world wide? They are building a lot of reactors in China and Russia where big oil may not have as great a grip. Russia does have a lot of oil of their own and maybe the big oil barons are kept out.

    It seems somewhat of a great coincidence that fracking came about just about the time the US was poised for a nuclear renaissance.

    Hey! Oil companies have a lot of geologists. Maybe, they even caused the earthquake and tidal wave that messed up Fukushima.

    Who do the oil companies serve? Is it their stock holders or are they independent entities? If they are as powerful as some believe, maybe my retirement money ought to be heading in that direction.

    The Truth Is Out there. You folks can inform the rest of us.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Eino

      Why haven’t they? Is it the conspiracy at work? Could it be that the units are still a bit too complicated for installation? I don;t mean the operation. Maintenance may present quite a lot of additional training for any municipality attempting this.

      I have never alleged a “conspiracy”. I have stated that there are plenty of people whose wealth and power are related to continuing hydrocarbon hegemony. As George Carlin once said, these people do not need a formal conspiracy to understand where their interests lie and to take actions that further those interests. I’m not talking about just “oil companies”, but about people that trade in commodities, people that finance huge infrastructure projects, people that move bulk commodities from place to place, people that supply steel, people that supply treatment chemicals, people that build machinery to burn hydrocarbons, etc.

      Nuclear installations really could be far simpler if they were not hampered by an overabundance of regulations, often caused by irrational fear of radiation that was carefully taught by people with a variety of interests. Bomb builders ridden by guilt developed the notion that they could halt weapons testing if they claimed that the tiniest dose caused cancer. Bomb builders who wanted to make sure that the world trembled and kowtowed to the awesome power of the bomb had an interest in making everyone fear the super weapon. The energy establishment that wanted to keep selling hydrocarbons encouraged heavy regulations and absurdly complicated safety systems in order to add cost and slow development.

      Fission is a simple process. Look at the construction of the CP-1 – a few students and professors stacked up graphite bricks. The Shippingport took less than four years from start to finish. A reactor designed to supply power and heat to an under-ice research station in Greenland took less than 18 months from funding to operation; it was prefabricated in the US, taken apart, packed into containers and delivered to Thule. After the parts were delivered, it was installed by a crew of soldiers in about a month.

      The issue of getting rid of used facilities is also made far more complicated by fear of radiation, but even then it is not all that hard, especially when the pieces are relatively small and when the designers take decommissioning into account from the beginning.

      • Daniel says:

        If I am not mistaken, the chinese are building a ‘light’ version of the EPR with non needed security features removed ….

        • Bas says:

          Which deliver them enhanced risks, to be taken (paid for) by the population without any compensation.

        • Will Boisvert says:

          Daniel, do you have a reference, preferably with a link, that substantiates your claim that the Chinese are building a different version of the EPR that lacks the design’s standard safety features?

          I’ve heard this claim several times from Bas, but he was unable to provide any references for it when I asked. I have looked high and low for such information on the web and have found none. None of the online sources that I have seen on the EPR builds in China mention any deviation from the standard EPR design. If you know of such references, it would be very helpful to me if you could cite them.

      • starvinglion says:

        You’re only shooting yourself in the foot demonizing hydrocarbons and dirty coal, while promoting the elitist concern over emissions. Its obvious industrial revival is no more important to the nuclear elitists than Big Oil. Nuclear needs dirty coal, even for electricity generation.

        Electrification transformation of an existing industrial economy is a pipedream. As long as nuclear advocates promote this fantasy, they are no better than the lunatics that promote unreliables.

        Unfortunately, the nuclear people don’t care about industry much at all. They simply want their *exclusive* right from gov to generate electricity and the rest of the world can go broke for all they care.

        • Mitch says:

          Starvinglion, I hope you’re brushing up to be a comedian because otherwise you’re a pathetic hypocrite. Like I said before, Greens and like-minded ilk swear they’ve a monopoly on caring about people and the environment. To even jest that people involved in nuclear energy don’t give a damn for the health and safety of their families and neighbors and state and world is the height of hubris in condescension and arrogant piousness. Get your head out of where the sun don’t shine and get around real people instead of video games.

  24. James Greenidge says:

    http://nuclear-news.net/2013/12/07/new-study-links-nuclear-sites-to-cancer/

    It behooves nuclear advocates and professionals to actively pay a visit to sites as these to challenge unfounded and often off-the-cuff-off-the-wall assertions. I wouldn’t care if such rabidly anti-nuclear sites sank or swim, but this one and a few others are quoted in mass media whose FUD is relayed on to a clueless and gullible public that votes on energy policy. Nuclear community shrugs them off at our own peril. To not challenge them only endorses the anti’s standing to the public.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    • John T Tucker says:

      I think these people need to be policed by their respective communities as well James. Where is the scientific medical community as all these goofy “studies” continuously pop up. False information harms people. Whey do these people escape reprimand and continuously spew garbage after its been pointed out so many times?

      • Mitch says:

        Whey do these people escape reprimand and continuously spew garbage after its been pointed out so many times?

        They get away with it because nuclear professionals don’t turn out to expose them. Shouldn’t take more than a few hits on their bogus statements to totally discredit them. Like you said their lies do great damage.

        • James Greenidge says:

          Re: Tucker: “I think these people need to be policed by their respective communities as well James. Where is the scientific medical community as all these goofy “studies” continuously pop up. False information harms people. Whey do these people escape reprimand and continuously spew garbage after its been pointed out so many times?
          Re: Mitch : “They get away with it because nuclear professionals don’t turn out to expose them. Shouldn’t take more than a few hits on their bogus statements to totally discredit them. Like you said their lies do great damage.”

          It’s absolutely insane not to nip these FUD-farms right in their nest, especially with the sterling near nil mortality/property-environmental damage record nuclear energy has, totally insane! Nuclear energy has nothing to be ashamed of to hawk itself to the public — the numbers and reality are on our side, so why doesn’t the nuclear community grab the ball and run with it over the groundless lies and fears plowing them into the ground?? This is NOT the time for fact to be shy! I try my bit rebutting on anti-nuke blogs but I’m just another Joe to them. I only regret I don’t have the nuclear credentials to make it more legitimate to the public exposing their malicious lies passing for news. What’s most perturbing to me is that we have a small group of frightened guileful people laced with Doomsday nightmares and Hiroshima guilt hang-ups actively standing in the way of and denying other people clean reliable safe power under their pious pretext that they know what’s good for you and they’re only trying to “protect” you and all mankind against bad nuclear things that MIGHT happen (with the totally insane paranoid notion that a nuclear accident is inevitable with every nuke plant — what a concept to decide ANY technology by!) and will exaggerate and warp and corrupt fact and reality every which way they can to con and deceive the ignorant and clueless that they’re the ones wearing white hats. How selfishly arrogant can you get? Since when has an anti-nuclear ever lit the lights or ovens in one’s home and given the assurance that they will always be on through thick and thin, night and winter? Delivering fear is easy. Delivering real power to real people means putting your sweat and skin on the line to make it so to benefit humanity. I’d laugh all anti-nukers off weren’t for the fact their hypocritical actions are not only denying people around the world clean reliable energy but killing in the process by denying them the means to lift their state of living. I cannot express to you my sheer contempt for anti-nukers and their scurrilous blogs; I’d be booted off every blog. It’s not a debating game to me; it’s a life and death issue because I have “third-world” relatives in places that could’ve used a nuke last year to at least generate clean water weren’t for the pie-in-the-sky activism of Greenpeace and FOE types. Unfortunately it’s mostly just a up-oneupmanship game for most every anti-nuker. Contrary their haughty altruistic pretensions to save us all, they are the most inhumane of hypocrites walking.

          James Greenidge
          Queens NY

    • Bas says:

      James, John,
      This new study is just another which shows this.
      Other studies by other researches showed similar for NPP’s in USA, France, Germany.
      So not strange that people do not like living near a NPP.

      Especially the heredity effects of this radiation (~60% more congenital malformation, neural tube defects, Down syndrome, etc. per 1mSv/a extra radiation) should worry you too.

      A few of the earlier & similar studies:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696975/
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22223329
      http://www.bmj.com/content/331/7508/77
      http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3200/AEOH.58.2.74-82#.UqO_1OJUrFl
      http://www.citizenpower.com/NEED/citations/mangano%20study.pdf
      http://www.nuclearpowerdanger.com/pdf/WS1_thiel_Increased_Leukaemia_childhood_engl.pdf

      • John T Tucker says:

        And yet professional medical organizations ignore them as the garbage they are. No follow up ever. No dose proximity relationships proven. No duplication of results in observed or experimental situations.

        Fodder for people like you to post as legitimate “research.” Fraud for half wits.

        • Bas says:

          John,
          What can medical organizations do?
          Recommend evacuation for all within 20km around a NPP?

          Cities then have to be evacuated.
          Expensive advice, almost impossible to follow.
          So not done unless real emergency such as with Fukushima.

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            Bas, the World Health Organisation is clear about this:

            WHO: “Reproductive and hereditary effects and children’s health

            Given the low radiation doses received by most people exposed to the Chernobyl accident, no effects on fertility, numbers of stillbirths, adverse pregnancy outcomes or delivery complications have been demonstrated nor are there expected to be any. A modest but steady increase in reported congenital malformations in both contaminated and uncontaminated areas of Belarus appears related to improved reporting and not to radiation exposure.”

            http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/index.html

            Why do you continue to ignore the World Health Organisation, Bas?

          • Joris van Dorp says:

            For your information Bas: this is what actual experts on the subject say about the radiological health effects from Fukushima. It is the opposite of the lies that you continue to spread. Please stop spreading those lies, or I will continue to call you a murderer who kills innocent, helpless people by spreading lies which cause deadly radiophobia!

            Below are selected quotes from letters sent by international radiation protection specialists to Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Expert Group. These letters collectively highlight that the potential effects of radiation exposure are minimal compared to the observable effects of stress and stigmatisation on Fukushima residents.

            “In summary, the international experts have concluded that this catastrophic accident has providentially resulted in very small radiation doses in general and therefore in no discernible health effects.”

            Abel J. González
            Academician at the Argentine Academies of Environmental Sciences and of the Sea
            Vice-Chairman of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)
            Representative in the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
            Member of the Commission of Safety Standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
            Senior advisor to the Argentine Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

            “All the scientific evidence suggests that no-one is likely to suffer damage from the radiation from Fukushima itself, but concern over what it might do could cause significant psychological problems. It is therefore important to understand that the risk to health from radiation from Fukushima is negligible, and that undue concern over any possible effects could be much worse than the radiation itself.”

            Geraldine Anne Thomas, BSc PhD
            Professor of Molecular Pathology, Imperial College,
            London Director of Chernobyl Tissue Bank

            “Risks from radioactivity and ionizing radiation as a genotoxic agent have to be taken seriously and assessed with utmost care. Media and political actors often lack the necessary prudence and appropriate knowledge. This results in improper comparisons and the creation of fear from simplistic concepts like the LNT-hypothesis taken out of its radiation protection context.”

            Werner Burkart
            Professor for Radiation Biology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich
            Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

            “Since 2011, I participated in two international projects focused on the assessment of health effects of the FDNPP accident organized by two respected bodies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). Both of them came to similar conclusions that future radiation-induced health effects in the population of the Fukushima prefecture were unlikely.”

            Mikhail Balonov,
            Professor Former Member of the International Commission of Radiological Protection (2001-2013)
            Consultant to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation.

            “Two major international reports (from WHO and UNSCEAR) assess the future health risks after the accident at Fukushima. Although these reports used somewhat different data and methods, they both come to similar conclusions: the health risks linked to radiation exposure due to the events at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant will remain low (though probably not zero for some groups including young people living in areas near the plant).”

            Hajo Zeeb,
            Professor of Epidemiology,
            Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, and University of Bremen, Germany.

            “The health risks from radiation exposure have been studied for over 100 years and are quite well-known. Current independent estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) indicate that the risk of future cancer from the accident is very low although nobody can say a small risk does not exist.”

            Fred A. Mettler Jr. MD, MPH.
            Professor Emeritus and Clinical Professor at the Department of Radiology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine
            U.S. Representative, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
            Emeritus Commissioner, International Commission on Radiological Protection.

            http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/readingroom/healthstudies/fukushima-health-reports.cfm

          • Mitch says:

            The first rule in AA is to admit you have a problem. Bas has to admit he’s an implacable fanatic and green dupe before he becomes open-minded.

  25. Eino says:

    “I have never alleged a “conspiracy”. I have stated that there are plenty of people whose wealth and power are related to continuing hydrocarbon hegemony. As George Carlin once said, these people do not need a formal conspiracy to understand where their interests lie and to take actions that further those interests.”

    George Carlin was a smart comedian. We all need to protect our interests.

    Starvinglion wrote:

    “Unfortunately, the nuclear people don’t care about industry much at all. They simply want their *exclusive* right from gov to generate electricity and the rest of the world can go broke for all they care.”

    A lot of that electricity is sold to industry. Like any industry, i think the nuclear people care about their customers. However, people who run nuclear power plants are unlikely to interface with the end user of the product, electrical energy. This removal from the customer may contribute to a lack of awareness of the state of the customer.

    This discussion did prompt some curiosity on my part. Oil refineries use a lot of energy to make their product.

    The paragraph below is from “Energy Efficient Roadmap for Petroleum refineries in California.”

    “Petroleum refineries are the largest users of natural gas and electricity in the State of California. In addition to a high level of energy consumption, the industry is a major contributor to the productivity and employment of California, employing about 13,000 people and contributing 6% of the State’s total value of shipments.”

    My question is simple. Why don’t they build a reactor to power the refinery? A lot of feedstock and high power bills could be saved by generating their own electricity. Process steam from the reactor could certainly eliminate burning the feedstock. They have the engineering staffs and capital to make this a reality. Over the life of the refinery, there should certainly be adequate payback. Some investment in emissions controls could also be avoided.

    It may not be possible in California, but the Gulf may accept a reactor for this purpose.

    It will be interesting to see is B&W or one of these other small modular nuke vendors will make inroads into these alternate markets for reactors.

  26. John T Tucker says:

    Thursday Obama issued a executive order over doubling renewable energy use at federal sites by 2020. No mention of nuclear power, the only large scale, low impact, dependable and proven successful means of reducing greenhouse gases.

    Section 1 Renewable Energy Target
    .
    (a) By fiscal year 2020, to the extent economically feasible and technically
    practicable, 20 percent of the total amount of electric energy consumed by each agency
    during any fiscal year shall be renewable energy.

    …(c) “Renewable energy” has the same meaning as in
    Executive Order 13514.
    ( http://assets.nationaljournal.com/pdf/131205_EOenergymanagement.pdf )

    From that reference:

    (j) “renewable energy” means energy produced by solar,
    wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave,
    current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or
    new hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased
    efficiency or additions of new capacity at an existing
    hydroelectric project;
    ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/2009fedleader_eo_rel.pdf )

    So including wood pellets and new hydro. What a ridiculous mess.

    • starvinglion says:

      Currency debasement is the real industry. No surprise this leads to energy systems debasement.

      Then again Fred loves it too as he wants to give SMR’s to people up north who actually won’t pay for it, and thats what I hate about most nuclear proponents. Like Big Oil, they want the “consumer” (tax payer sucker) to pay for their fake society. Its a big club, as Carlin would say, but apparently, nuclear is no longer in it.

      • George Carty says:

        Sounds like starvinglion is an advocate of Austrian economics then — it doesn’t surprise me, as Austrian economics is the ideological expression of the interests of rentiers like banksters and fossil fuel profiteers (and also retired middle-class people — note the demographics of the Tea Party movement!) against the actually-productive elements of societies.

        • David says:

          George, I guess your rather negative assessment includes me. I agree with Austrian economics in general. Somehow I have seen it working in some very poor areas of the world. Though not a banker, a fossil fuel profiteer and not yet retired I have seen it work. Microfinance works on the principals of Austrian economics. I vastly prefer Microfinance models to the loan shark financing that typically rules in poverty stricken areas.

          Where I disagree with Starvinglion, strongly, is the idea that Nuclear power cannot compete economically – which seems to be the totality of his argument, that since it cannot compete it needs government subsidy.

          I have lived in places where electricity is 24 cents to 42 cents a kwh. These are ideal places to sell SMR’s. No need for any subsidies, just a fair market. Rod corrected my that the cost of electric production from NPP’s in the USA is 2.4 cents / kwh.

          A fair market is one which uses reasonable safety regulations that measure the danger of radiation at the same level as the risks from other industries as measured by actual deaths or sicknesses. The Fukushima panic is not reasonable since the risk of death or sickness is so much smaller than other industries – as measured by actual harm.

        • Smilin Joe Fission says:

          George, citation please.

        • manic says:

          @ George Carty

          An Austrian would say ‘stop subsidising the industry, and stop regulating it, too!’ Starvinglion is just a pessimist and a troll, making negative generalisations about nuclear proponents to incite a reaction.

          Also, Austrian Economics is the antithesis of rent-seekers, even if they occasionally use its vernacular to draw attention away from negative externialities associated with their business.

          A quote from an Austrian nuclear proponent: “Nuclear power has been subjected to an intense campaign of lies; there is probably no other issue (except basic economics, of course) where so much effort has been put into distributing false information.”

    • Fred says:

      Obama is a spokesperson for the International Banking Cartel who recruited him and promoted him to his current position.

  27. EL says:

    Wikileaks takes a stab at oil industry smoking guns.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-05/worst-case-scenario-for-oil-sands-comes-to-life-wikileak-docs-show.html

    They are called the “The Global Intelligence Files” and are a set of five million e-mails from July 2004 to Dec 2011 from Stratfor, a Texas headquartered PR and global intelligence firm that provides consulting services to large corporations and government agencies (Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, American Petroleum Institute, Raytheon, DHS, US Marines, US DOD, and others).

    I did a search for “nuclear”, and it returned 80460 hits. It might be worth the effort for anybody with the gumption and sleuthing skills to have a crack at it. Most of it is dry and boilerplate stuff, but there may be a nugget in there somewhere. Typically, I think data dumps like this are pretty useless (since there is so little context provided in the original source material). Stratfor, in their somewhat disorganized response to the leak, has said much the same. Either way, the stuff is now out there, and more reports are likely to follow.

  28. Fred says:

    Speaking of the Bilderbergers. That is one of the confabs where the International Banking Cartel & corporate executives meet politicians to be indoctrinated in the new religion of Globalism & Corporatocracy. They are given incentives to kowtow the party line, and if they do, they are guaranteed wealth and prosperity for themselves and their family until the day they die.

    Ontario premier Mike Harris attended a Bilderberg conference, came back and promptly set about the destruction of the once great and efficiently run Ontario Hydro, with the lowest power rates in North America. They actually had encouraged customers to save money by going “All Electric” with electric, mostly nuclear electric heat. The rape and pillage of valuable public assets, sold at a fraction of their true value to Bankster corporations has been a hallmark of Bilderberg directives.

    Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty attended a Bilderberg conference, came back and gave Ontario “the Green Energy Act” which overruled all local and municipal authority and rammed down the throat of rural Ontarians environmentally destructive, ugly Industrial Wind Turbines which outraged rural communities. Ontario is now the fastest installer of Wind Turbines in North America, in spite of the fact that the Wind Energy has been proven to be totally useless in Ontario. It is all either causing zero carbon Hydro to be spilled, or zero emissions Nuclear to be dumped or it is being exported at an average of about one cent per kwh. While Ontarians are forced to pay 13.5 cents per kwh for the wind plus additional subsidies including large Federal Tax subsidies. McGuinty was also the guy who ordered police to ignore the law & the Canadian constitution and arrest & jail anyone who was anywhere near the G20 protests. No apologies from McGuinty. So his popularity sunk like a stone and he quit as premier and was given a cushy job with a six figure salary at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, a Henry Kissinger creation. Kissinger being well-known as a favorite lackey of the International Banking Cartel.

    And then there was Gordon Campbell ex-Premier of British Columbia who attended a Bilderberg meeting, came back and immediately instituted “the Green Energy Act” which overruled the historic authority of the BC Utilities Commission and shoved Wind & expensive, mostly springtime Run-of-the-River Hydro plants down the BC citizens throats. All private power, usually referred to as “pirate power” financed & owned by wealthy American Corporations. Forcing BC Hydro to pay 13 cents a kwh for a mostly useless springtime energy source vs their own Hydro plants producing power for less than 2 cents per kwh, and wholesale imports from Washington at around 2 cents per kwh. Mostly springtime freshet power, with wind & hydro being max, and demand being min, it is of low value. So Scampbell set about to destroy the once great BC Hydro, with the lowest power rates in North America, and he also did and sold off for nickels on the dollar other valuable public assets, like BC rail. So Scampbells popularity sunk to a lower level than his shoe size, and he promptly quit and was rewarded with a bonus big-bucks job as Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Now why would the conservative party give their supposed enemy, a liberal, such a cushy appointment?

    And Obama & Al Gore get rewarded for their green energy anti-nuclear crusade with Nobel Peace Prizes, which they unquestionably did not deserve by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Fred

      Interesting. I’d like to have you send me any documentation you have for these pertinent examples.

      James Earl Carter attended Bilderberg meetings. He was also at the first Trilateral Commission meeting, a refinement of the Bilderberg group that added Japan because it was a rapidly growing industrial economy who’s oil imports were skyrocketing.

      That first Trilateral Commission meeting took place in 1973, about a year before an article appeared in his home state’s leading newspaper with the headline of “Jimmy Who is Running for What?”

      http://millercenter.org/president/carter/essays/biography/3

      In other words, Jimmy Carter was a complete no name. Why was he invited to a Builderberg meeting and why did David Rockefeller think he deserved to be on the Trilateral Commission?

      (I have a theory.)

    • EL says:

      Are you suggesting nuclear has trouble competing in a deregulated market?

      I thought it was cost overruns at Darlington and mismanagement at Ontario Hydro that led to it’s break-up, and not a banking conference. They had $6.3 billion in net losses in 1997. 115% debt to equity. Does that sound sustainable to you …

      • Fred says:

        Yes, that is the typical method the corporatocracy utilizes to destroy well managed public enterprises. Bribe politicians to directly interfere in the sound management of the institution, appoint a cadre of political hacks with ridiculously high salaries and even more ridiculously high pensions to run it, give away huge pensions to unionized workers which will ultimately cost dearly when the pensions have to be paid out, plan expensive facilities like Darlington, and then stall, delay or even attempt to stop the build.

        Incredible political interference. This all started with Premier Bill Davis. Then much later when the debts pile up, management is atrocious, so yep, it’s just so bad it might as well be privatized.

        And the Darlington build in spite of all the cost overruns, mostly caused by political interference, is still an incredible bargain compared to what they are paying for Wind & Solar now, even if you were so foolish as to believe they were producing significant usable power.

        And private Bruce Nuclear Power is competing very successfully, 5-6 cents per kwh, vs Wind @ 13.5 cents and Solar at 40-80 cents.

        • EL says:

          And private Bruce Nuclear Power is competing very successfully, 5-6 cents per kwh, vs Wind @ 13.5 cents and Solar at 40-80 cents.

          No … Bruce is not competing. It has a contract price, and the “global adjustment” covers the difference between market rate (some 2.5 cents/kWh) and the contract price. Debt retirement charge is also related to long standing nuclear bills.

          FIT’s are also lower than you have reported, significantly lower for solar. Domestic content requirements are very high in Ontario (so equipment costs are very high). These costs are also dropping, and FITs prices should drop too. Equipment is also run beyond a 20 year time frame.

    • Fred says:

      I should have said “Clean Energy Act” for Campbell’s corporate scam shoved down British Columbia’s throat. It will ultimately lead to the destruction and breakup of BC Hydro just as Ontario Hydro was destroyed by political interference preventing sound management.

  29. Fred says:

    Oh and a Nobel Peace prize for the failed green energy, globalist dictatorship called the European Union. Now what kind of sleazoid would grant a Nobel Peace prize to some screwed-up, unpopular, dismal bureaucratic monstrosity.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Fred

      Obama was also awarded a Nobel Prize.

      One often told myth is that the Nobel Prize was founded by Alfred Nobel from guilt money earned from sales of explosives.

      The more accurate story is that the Nobel family earned its fabulous fortune in the Baku based oil business that was Standard Oil’s only global competitor. Dynamite was just a sideline.

      http://www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai102_folder/102_articles/102_nobels_asbrink.html

      In other words, despite all of the exceptional science, arts and diplomacy the Prize Committee has recognized over the years, it is a vehicle guided by the world’s petrobanking establishment. Occasionally, it has been used to give a large grant and lifelong credibility to someone doing work that is useful to the establishment.

      Hermann Muller also comes to mind.

      • Daniel says:

        And let us not all forget the ultimate of all Nobel Prize.

        HENRY KISSINGER … And the peace prize.

        Tom Lehrer to quip that the award “made political satire obsolete.”

  30. George Carty says:

    Would you subscribe to the claim made by Yanis Varoufakis in The Global Minotaur that the United States actually wanted the big rise in oil prices in the 1970s (while publicly condemning it and blaming it on the dirty Arabs) because it calculated that while the US economy would be hurt, it main economic competitors (West Germany and Japan) would be hurt more?

    • Joris van Dorp says:

      I remember there was a similar type of claim made about the cause of the plunge of oil prices in the late 80′s and 90′s, which is supposed by some to have been meant to push the failing USSR over the edge by crimping its oil export earnings.

      • George Carty says:

        Indeed, the Saudis massively boosted oil production in the 1980s for just this purpose! Osama bin Laden’s boast that Muslims destroyed the Soviet Empire wasn’t too far off the mark — he just had the wrong Muslims in mind ;)

    • Rod Adams says:

      @George Carty

      I agree that the controlling “powers that be” in the US wanted the huge oil price rise. The existence and involvement of the Trilateral Comission, with its membership of influential Western Europen and Japanese, indicate to me that the Establishment in those places also accepted and encouraged the oil price rise.

      The victims were not geographic or national in nature. It was much more of a “haves” versus the “have nots”. The people hurt were the developing world and the people in the developed world that were not members of the upper crust. In Occupy lingo, the winners were the 1%.

    • jmdesp says:

      I hadn’t realized until now, but the part above about Anderson made it clear that for oil producers in America, the oil crisis of the 70′s wasn’t a crisis at all, but a huge increase in profits. Quite a few people know that the crisis came just after oil production had reached a peak in the US. This means that for a long time the obvious way to earn more money for US oil producer was to just increase production, but suddenly when they were not able anymore to increase production and it was at risk of going down for a long time, the rising price was an alternative to keep profits high.

  31. Fred says:

    Here is a good cartoon showing the truth and futility of the US electoral system:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/21137_10201265336900708_2113976161_n.jpg

  32. Fred says:

    Here is a great clip from the movie “the International” that tells the story of how International Banking seeks to profit from oil & gas trade and weapons sales:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B_SxGmSJP0

  33. Rich Lentz says:

    Today, I saw an engagement ring very similar to that I bought my wife 50 years ago. The setting, size diamond and even the PRICE is still the same, yet the price of gold is 35 times higher. Ponder that fact in relationship to the price of OIL, NG, Gold, and the rest of the “limited” quantity minerals. Someone, some organization other than “supply & demand” is controlling the price of essentially everything.

  34. Joel Riddle says:

    The chart in this December 10, 2013 EIA Today in Energy posting seems to be somewhat applicable to this topic.

    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14111

  35. Meredith Angwin says:

    Hi especially to @BAS

    I am planning to use the following quote in a blog post I am writing at Yes Vermont Yankee.

    Does the current German electricity market situation really make sense to you?

    Very sensible market design.
    You will agree if you measure that market with the German targets in mind (in order of importance):
    1. Nuclear out
    2. Democratize energy
    3. 100% renewable
    4. Less CO2
    5. Affordable costs
    etc.”

    I will include the link
    http://atomicinsights.com/smoking-gun-research-continuing-earnest/#comment-69183

    My post is not finished yet, but I don’t want anyone to be surprised when it is posted.

    @BAS, if you don’t want the actual quote posted, please let me know. I can easily write my post with just a link to your comment, if you prefer.

    Best,
    Meredith

    • Bas says:

      Meredith,
      For me it is fine.
      Please let me know where to find the publication.

      Stated so short in this list it looks a little silly.
      But the Germans have good reasons.

      If you want, I can give some illustration regarding the reasons behind those targets (e.g. why nuclear out, is the main objective of most ordinary Germans).

      You can find my E-mail at this page:
      http://sannesfotos.net/Over-site-Sanne_Gresnigt.shtml
      The address is behind the word “link” (underscored and in blue) at the end of the right column.

    • jmdesp says:

      I’m wondering Meredith, will you also use this other comment of Bas where he describes how he gets invited to fossil fuels conference in Asia ? :
      http://atomicinsights.com/smoking-gun-research-continuing-earnest/#comment-69093

      I’m of course interested to hear from Bas, if he thinks he needs to add some clarifications about what this exactly means.

    • EL says:

      I am planning to use the following quote in a blog post I am writing …

      @Meredith Angwin

      Are you going to start with the fact that Germany doesn’t have a 100% renewable electricity or renewable energy policy?

      IEA does well enough summarizing some of the major features. Highlights a balance between “Sustainability, affordability and competitiveness” as central policy ambitions and goals.

      Merkel’s former energy minister (Sigmar Gabriel), leader of the SPD, is heading up Economy Ministry that is in charge of energy overhaul. Now is a good time to have a closer look … lots of discussion of this in Germany now.