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  1. Rod, it is good to “look back” in order to pave the way forward. In a hundred years what will we say as we look back at the ridiculousness in which we treated atomic energy? Will it resemble the attitude we had in the early 20th century about the combustion engine and gasoline powered engines? What will the new “horseless carriage” euphemism be 100 years from now? Time will tell.

    1. @Pete Canalichio

      Welcome to Atomic Insights, old friend!

      It would be nice if we can look back at the ridiculousness with which we treated atomic energy. As my little time machine today illustrates, however, our collective approach to the subject has lasted for longer than both you and I have been alive and that is getting too darned close to 60 years.

  2. The parallels between the discussion of the internal combustion engine/horseless carriage and atomic power are numerous and stark. Very nice find, Rod.

    1. @poa

      There isn’t any comparison between the concentrated, clean power from actinide fission and the weak, weather dependent power from the sun and wind.

      Would you compare the material properties of tissue paper to that of fine hardwoods as raw materials for your craft?

      We’ve done the math and have good reasons to criticize. Solar and wind energy are not exactly unknowns; humans have been using them for tens of thousands of years.

      1. Bravo, Rod!
        The saddest example, in my opinion, is illustrated by Turner’s painting, of “The Fighting Téméraire being Tugged to her Last Berth to be Broken.”

        It is a prime symbol of the replacement of wind power by coal-driven steam. There is nothing in the slight improvements (obtained with quite impressive amounts of ingenuity and cleverness) in windmill power production, that could imaginably enable wind driven ships to do better than sail, and certainly not compete with a tugboat, Mississippi paddle steamer, or the USS “United States”.
        Here’s a thought: imagine a wind turbine powered ballista or trebuchet arrayed against a fleet of sailboats. Better still, a battery of them. Who’d win?

    2. POA,

      I have to admit that I am not sure what parallels you are referring to. I find myself often enjoying the takes that you bring to the comment stream here.

      Wind and solar are inherently intermittent. To attempt to argue that they aren’t would be beyond absurd.

      “Energy storage will solve all the intermittency problems.” – that statement often shouted from the rooftops by many folks is all-too-often not accompanied by the critical thoughts regarding all the extra capital expenses that would be required by a build-out of a system that would allow the intermittencies of wind and solar to be smoothed out into a useful product of a reliable electricity supply.

    1. Refreshing seeing such a piece in our compliant and subservient media. Certainly there are powerful players on the right that would prefer such articles are left unseen by our citizens. You can bet that such articles will be followed by a litany of “Yeah buts…” by those whose interests are served by demonizing all things Iranian. Perhaps Israel and its mewling syncopantic underlings in our Congress will advocate bombing this nuclear facility into oblivion. After all, its obviously a facility designed to create a doomsday weapon.

    2. @Ed Leaver

      Thank you for the link.

      I need some help. Is the following line true? If so, why?

      By comparison, he says, the reactor at Bushehr — now turned off — was 1,000 megawatts.

      1. I haven’t been able to confirm the line in question. It is not clear from context whether it was Mr. Saeed who actually made such a statement, or whether it was story reporter Mick Krever, who may have confused Bushehr with Arak and added the qualification to assuage potentially distraught readers.

        Mr. Google reports much ongoing with respect to Bushehr II – V, and potential builds on Iran’s Caspian and Persian Gulf coasts, but nothing to suggest Bushehr I is not online and expected to deliver 7 TWh/yr. WNA’s Nuclear Power in Iran page was updated just last month; I’d think we’d have heard if anything were amiss.

        “Increasingly, part of the rationale for sites on the Gulf is desalination (for ‘sweet water’), giving them priority in planning.”

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