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12 Comments

  1. Well you will get no argument from me on this matter. However when I look at “movements” like Occupy [whatever] or other protests that can put a significant number of boots on the ground I have to wonder how we can do the same.

    One thing we lack is a simple positive message delivered without qualification.

    We have been maneuvered into taking a defensive posture trying to answer the manufactured fears of radiation and proliferation and these have been framed in such a way that even our counter arguments serve to give these notions more creditably than they are due. I believe it is time to let these go and instead focus on promoting the positive. After all fossil fuel has managed to keep going despite being under constant attack for its environmental burdens, and dangers and I don’t see them constantly making hand-wringing excuses.

    Also, (and I’ve said this before) we desperately need to start to cultivate grassroots support among the young at the secondary and post secondary levels. We need people from this age group willing to organize at these levels. If we continue to wait until they see the light themselves, we will also continue to loose potential supporters to the renewable side. And that’s the other thing: deep understanding of nuclear energy isn’t needed. If you look at most renewable supporters you find that they have bought into a general idea, not its specifics. This is the sort of support we need; we cannot wait for everyone to see the technical argument in detail – a superficial understanding is enough.

    1. The message I would like most send to these young occupiers is that the United States does not have to fight wars and occupy foreign lands in order to secure sources of uranium. Imagine a poster with a picture of a G.I. with a prosthetic limb. The poster could pose the question, “Why are we still fighting for oil?” and include a slogan. Nuclear Fission…plentiful, affordable, and clean.
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      1. One problem is that oil is used overwhelmingly for transport, an area which nuclear fission can only power indirectly.

        1. @George – a larger than understood portion of our oil is used to power ships, which have been known to be technically capable of carrying small, safe, flexible nuclear propulsion systems for about 57 years. Large, ocean going transport consumes about 6% of the world’s oil.

          I have not found any good sources for numbers yet, but inland shipping with vessels large enough to accomodate nuclear energy is also a significant oil consumer.

          Then you have such obvious opportunities as electrifying more rail, using more electric space heating to displace oil furnaces, using smaller reactors to power oil dependent places like Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam, and helping oil producing nations that currently use indigenous oil in power plants. I figure that even without any plants to take advantage of nuclear fission heat to upgrade carbonaceous fuels to liquid hydrocarbons, fission could reduce our current oil demand by 20-30%. That would be more significant than finding 2-3 more Saudi Arabias

          My analysis shows that the primary reason we did not take this sensible approach to using less oil 3 decades ago is that the oil and gas industry wanted to sell as much product as possible before they were made less important by the inevitable acceptance of atomic fission as a better source of heat energy.

        2. Electric Cars will be available in a time-frame that will fit nicely with a nuclear build-out.

      2. There is a reason why after 10-years of driving submarines and spending 95% of my deployed time in the Middle East that I left the Navy and started working on how nuclear power can provide our transportation fuel without having to fight wars.

        We have more than enough coal to produce diesel and gasoline at current consumption for the next 150-years. Every time I go to the airport and see those young men and women, that I get so angry. There is no need to induce such a loss of innocence. We should be fighting to protect it.

  2. One big problem with all Western economies is that their currencies are overvalued relative to Asian currencies, making their industries uncompetitive. Devaluation would have far less negative consequences if we weren’t dependent on imported fossil fuels…,

  3. You are old fashioned, living in the past, while conning yourselves you are the future. Nuclear was thought of as the great hope way back in the fifties and sixties when even cars would be nuclear in the future, planes also, energy would cost nothing by the 21st century … blah blah blah. Didn’t happen, ain’t gonna happen. And the world still has the [growing] stockpile of highly radioactive waste it doesn’t know what to do with. Great. You are fantasists, and Caldicott is gleeful precisely because people are waking up to the con and opposing it. Why wouldn’t she be glad? Huh? Have a read this link to see what the latest research is telling us http://planetark.org/wen/65576. You lost the argument years ago. But like all cults you just hang on. Germany has closed most nuclear plants and the remaining ones will be closed within a few years. Recently Germany’s power needs were half provided by solar! That’s 50%, and although it was for just a few hot days, this is a work in progress and shows what is possible.

    1. @Peter Simmons

      Don’t forget to submit an invoice to your fossil fuel industry employers after posting that comment.

      Nuclear fission is millions of times more energy dense than fossil fuel combustion and it does not produce any greenhouse gases.

      The “waste” still contains 95% of its initial potential energy and we KNOW how to extract most of that remaining energy.

      Germany’s solar industry celebrated and issued press releases when, for a few hours on a sunny mild Saturday afternoon, 50% of its electricity needs were supplied by solar energy. They neglected to mention that solar output just 8 hours later was ZERO and is regularly ZERO for 12-15 hours per day.

      No one has issued any press releases for the 8760 hours per year for the past 20 years that 80% of France’s electricity needs are supplied by emission free nuclear energy. It is not news, it is just routine fact.

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