1. Thanks for linking to my essay. Note that I welcome criticisms of all sorts as I hope to clean up the work and repost a corrected version after.

  2. The growing need for affordable and reliable energy as well as the threat of climate change are global issues, but the construction of new nuclear power plants is a local issue. For example, in western states, the availability of water is a greater concern than the safety of proposed reactors. A farmer in Utah may wonder if his ability to irrigate his land in times of drought will be threatened by a nuclear plant that would be built mainly to supply customers in other states (such as California). People in rural areas may perceive that city folks want them to accept the risk of a nuclear power plant without the benefits, and in some ways their perceptions are correct. I guess my point is that nuclear proponents should be careful not to vilify people who are involved in efforts to stop nuclear power development and dedicate more time to addressing these “local” concerns.

    1. It’s about private property rights. Nuclear exceptionalism seems to allow that property rights are trampled by a majority mob. So called “referendums” are held, in which the majority decides to deny the plant owners the use of their property. Sometimes farmers who consume more subsidies than they pay taxes, together with professional anti-nuclear demonstrators, create a few days of circus for the media, and voila, another billion dollar investment is destroyed, while the people who are paying for such costs through their electricity bills were hard at work at their job and didn’t have time to be there. This is mob rule and just because it’s nuclear power doesn’t mean it’s OK.

      1. I understand your concerns since the Green River watershed may be tapped for Blue Castle project.

        And as much as I support of nuclear power, I also accept that not every area is a good area to build a reactor complex. Blue Castle may fall into that catagory since it is a project has a long way to go before it reaches a consensus. If they don’t handle the PR and technical issues correctly, they may face angry property owners and water users which will tie the project up in courts for years.

      2. My point is, we can’t leave property rights to majority rule, they are supposed to be inalienable. So long as someone can prove in a court of law that he is not endangering other people’s property, i.e. his nuclear reactor has reasonable safety, nothing, not even a million anti-nuclear activists demonstrating fanatically for months, should be able to stop him.

        What if events like Fukushima are successfully hyped by the anti-nuclear lobby, resulting in referendums that ban the use of nuclear power for, say, the next 1000 years? (see Italy) Is it ok to deny the future generations of the next 1000 years the ability to safely make use of nuclear energy on their property, just because in the spring of 2011 a large majority of the voters thought it was a good idea?

    2. Mr. Englert,

      Good points,

      Propety issues are always sensitive problems to deal with since it involves property owners that have spent their time, money and talents to increase the value of the land they bought.

      My question is if you believe your points only apply to nuclear power?

      The same issues about water rights can be said for large solar facilities and the co-gen natural gas facilities that will be required to back up said solar installations. These large facilities can only be installed where water is already scarce, i.e. deserts, due to land availability and of course that is where the sun shines sufficiently to make a solar facility even close to being economical. Even then large subsidies are needed both in direct cash but also in large giveaways in publicaly owned land and water.

      Oil shale in Colorado is projected to require millions of gallons of water depending on the type of extraction process used to refine the shale.

      So the same farmer in Utah may end up having the same water concerns no matter what type of facility is installed near the water source he or she uses.

      What about industrial wind facilities that various independent power producers and some utilties are installing after trampling property rights by having right of way access given to them by the government property condemnation process? There is a court case in Montana right now where the owners believe their property rights are being stripped from them for the right-of-way access to install transmission lines to transmit power generated from industrial wind facilities in that part of the country to out-of-state consumers. They are facing having their propery condemned by the State to allow access for those power lines.

      This case involves possible legislative shennigans that favored Big Wind interests over the property owners.

      My point is that nuclear power is not the only industrial sized power generator that is subject to the issue of property rights or legislative favortism.


      1. “My question is if you believe your points only apply to nuclear power?”

        Short answer, no.

        I happen to believe that nuclear fission is the most environmentally benign of the major sources of energy. I’m also realistic and understand that nuclear technology and the industry is going to have to be much better than the competition to be accepted and is fighting an uphill public relations battle.

        I do have extra sensitivity for local, grassroots organizations, because of the efforts of my mother and her friends who worked to oppose a water project in Southwest Colorado. These people were not zealots or ideologues. They were engineers, housewives, teachers, Republicans, Democrats, etc.

  3. Environmentalism after colonialism, the story of WWF national parks in Africahttp://fusione.altervista.org/environmentalism_after_colonialism.htm

  4. The views that G. Filipponi has expressed in comments to this post, along with the fact he also seems to be an AGW sceptic, make me think “LaRouche movement activst?”

    1. Yup. Smells like a LaRouchie to me. Particularly this amusing obsession with the British Monarchy.

      With this kind of friends, nuclear energy doesn’t need any enemy 🙂

  5. I am cross-posting this from comments on Deregulate the Atom

    @ Rod – Necessarily I had to leave a great deal out of this essay simply because the subject was far vaster than I imagined when I began. Almost every paragraph could be expanded into something almost as long as the work itself. Since my objective was to show how antinuclear activities have evolved and how the motivations of the players have changed I was forced to leave out much that would have been in a more complete history.

    For example I did not touch on Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan, among others, that have active antinuclear movements that have had an impact, nor did I expand on the European situation which is much more complex that I have shown.

    As for letting fossil fuels off too lightly, perhaps that is true; however I am unwilling to go into much more depth on any of the groups without providing reference lest I come off as ranting. Perhaps in another essay I will address this in detail, for the present I just wanted to name all the players and show what positions they have in the game, in depth analysis can come latter.

    Nevertheless we should not dismiss the others ether as to my mind, the group I identified as the NIMBY’s have punched well above their weight on many occasions, and I consider them to be very serious opponents.

  6. @Wippans&Carty To be clear. I am just a supporter of my ideas and it is a fact that the WWF was founded by Prince Philip of England and Prince Beranrdo of Holland and that the prince Carlo (the most nerd Prince of the world) is a radical environmentalist. If the next king of England supports the nuclear I will vote for the monarchy

    1. I once received Prince Charles’s book “Harmony” as a present (because I mentioned I agreed with some of his views on architecture). When I read it I was chilled to the bone.

  7. @ George Carty and Friakel Wippans

    If the nuclear community had listened to LaRouche and opposed the anti-nuke groups and their founders and funders from the beginning, instead of impotently cozying up to them in hopes of lenient treatment, nuclear power would be in much better shape today.

    I say this with the authority of having fought for nuclear (and fusion) for nearly 40 years, in association with the LaRouche political movement.
    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com .

    And you are defending the British Monarchy? Prince Philip is a Malthusian genocidal maniac—read what he writes. His co-thinker, Prince Bernhard, was a Nazi. Julian Huxley was a Malthusian eugenicist. These are the “fathers” of today’s anti-nuclear movement.

    We need fission (and fusion) because only the most advanced, energy-flux-dense power sources can support an industrial society and provide a decent living standard for a growing world population.

    You can’t play “nice” with those who are trying to kill off 5 billion people, using the so-called environmental movement as their troops on the ground. If you don’t tell the truth about them and the consequences of their beliefs and “opinions,” you’ll lose the fight.

  8. Never read anything by Prince Philip (although I had seen the “reincarnated as a killer virus” quote), but I mentione before that I once received one of Prince Charles’s books as a present and was chilled to the bone when I read it.

    Prince Charles may have a point on the ugliness of modernist architecture, but hey, a knackered clock is right twice a day. 😉

    My main concern about the LaRouche movement seems to be its personality-cult nature.

    Oh, and if you think I’m “playing nice” with the enemy, I once went trolling on Helen Caldicott’s Facebook page, and here’s what I posted once in response to her ranting about the “danger” of nuclear power:

    “Danger” is another word for “risk”. Nuclear power certainly does have risks, as do all useful technologies. But what is the alternative?

    Pre-industrial methods of agriculture are only capable of supporting a global population of roughly …2 billion people. Our current planetary population is about 7 billion people. Given that wind and solar power are too hopelessly diffuse to power an industrial civilization, aren’t anti-nuclear campaigners effectively condemning 5 billion people to death when the fossil fuels run out?

    Red Army soldiers fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad faced FAR greater dangers than any of us will ever face from nuclear power — the average life expectancy of such soldiers was 24 hours. But would surrendering to the Nazis have been a preferable alternative?

    No — given that the Nazis’ plans were to depopulate European Russia as part of their Generalplan Ost programme (basically the German equivalent of Manifest Destiny, with the Slavic peoples paralleling the American Indians). The choice was between PROBABLE death versus CERTAIN death.

    And thus supporters of nuclear energy will always respond to fearmongering with “Not a step back!” (Or as the Red Army would have said, “Ni shagu nazad!”)

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments from our Readers

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Avatar
  4. Avatar
  5. Avatar

Similar Posts