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29 Comments

  1. Clean coal. Don’t make me laugh!

    Nice ad, but it’s preying on the ignorance of the sheep uh sorry, *cough* people.
    Ignorance about energy? Well I was sitting on the train going into Cardiff (The nearest city, and our capital) When I heard some American accents. One of those people said something about coal and all the others (4 in all) said almost in unison:

    “Uh, like, What’s coal?”

    Needless to say it raised a few giggles and nasty looks from the locals. South Wales was for some time among the world leaders in coal mining. We also had our (un)fair share of disasters and the waste tips are as high as any of the mountains around my home town of Caerphilly.

    My apologies for such a badly constructed reply. Spent a little too much time drinking with friends and family last night!

  2. The problem is that there is no actual Nuclear Industry similar to the coal industry. Since the energy density of nuclear fuel is so high there is not a large mining industry similar to coal, and the refining of fuel is run by the government and they don’t particularly care if the business continuess or not. We also have reactor manufacturers who are more interested in competing with each other rather than forming an industry group to promote their product.

    1. Can’t you see it with your own eyes? At the finale the electric cord IS ACTUALLY PLUGGED INTO A LUMP OF COAL!

      Neutrons are way too small to have electric cords plugged into them. Didn’t anybody ever learn you any science? Geez…

      1. I saw that at the end of the commercial, but when I stuck the cord to my microwave into a lump of coal I received for christmas last year, it didn’t do anything. They lie.

        ;P

  3. If ones government is bought by the hydrocarbon industry there is little any academic thinker, let alone public “sheep”, can do about it. Russia is all but owned, now that industry is going private, by “God’s chosen People”. This assessment of humans was made by the same ones calling us homo sapiens…chuckle. See what MMK industries and Viktor Rashnikov is doing for Russia and the Zionist movement. He lives in London in a palace fit for the Queen. If my number were “41” for the oar I power (See Ben Hur) and Jews rather than Romans ruled this ship we call Earth, I can only hope that the skipper sees value in what I have said to him.

  4. The industry just needs a good slogan…

    Nuclear fission: the power to end a global war; now the power to end global warming

    1. Gwyneth Cravens has a good one adapting the title of her book, “Nuclear Power: The Power to Save the World”

      I would counter the new slogan with nuclear power needs a new mindset.

      The power is in what you do. Nuclear can do a whole lot and we need to start looking past just pushing electrons down a wire.

      Unfortunately, current actions are on a pipe dream. I may be proven wrong, but after talking with one of the directors about NGNP, I don’t think I’m too far off on calling it a pipe dream.

      The program is not evaluating how to integrate NGNP into process heat applications, or even what process heat temperatures would be needed. The lack of integration philosophy fails to take into account reactivity feedback mechanisms from process heat users and the impacts that that would have on reactor safety. These are not trivial issues.

      From a market standpoint if those are not addressed NGNP derivatives will only be useful for making electricity. Yeah they are more efficient, but incase if you haven’t heard uranium is cheap. NGNP would have to compete in the electricity market against existing LWR reactors. NGNP’s thermal efficiency would not make up for its capital inefficiency. It would be DOA.

      For those engineers who read this blog, start thinking about how to crack the nut of using existing reactor technology for process heat applications. It is not simple.

  5. The Conoco-Philips ads (the campus and farmer’s market ones with the ever irritating eco-naggers) are even more vexing. It could’ve been a pro-nuclear ad if you swapped two words. David Andersen brings up a sobering point that explains MIA nuclear ads; how can you run an ad campaign for an industry that technically doesn’t exist?

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

      1. Wow, I stumbled upon this interesting bit of information while searching “when was coal first used.”

        “During the Middle Ages in England, coal was commonly thought to be a curse. People thought it filled the air with dangerous poisons. In 1306, King Edward I of England issued a proclamation that declared the use of coal punishable by death”

        found when reading http://www.youaskandy.com/questions-answers/28-articles-series-1990/2540-when-was-coal-first-used.html

        And history attempts to repeat itself.

  6. Y’all are missing the beauty of coal. It is pretty remarkable in several regards:
    1. It is a large source of fixed carbon.
    2. We have a mining and rail infrastructure that produces and moves 1 billion metric tons of coal per year. So much for “16 tons and what do you get.”
    3. We have a lot in this country that is readily accessible.

    These facts do not take away from the facts about the combustion of coal.
    1. It releases a whole bunch of gunk into the air. SOx, NOx, CO2, Hg, particulate, ozone, etc
    2. Pollutant mitigation is expensive, very expensive.

    Two summers ago I presented an idea at the ANS annual meeting in San Diego where we more effectively managed the bad of coal, and capitalized on the good to solve a myriad of problems, including greenhouse gas reductions.

    The idea involves two key concepts:
    1. Repower coal plants with moderate temperature nuclear reactors (e.g. GE’s ecomagination S-PRISM)
    2. Use the coal as a chemical feedstock to produce synthetic fuels using a portion of the heat from nuclear reactor. All of the bad stuff is captured in the chemical process.

    The funny thing is we have all the pieces and parts necessary to do this in the private sector.

    Our problem with coal is that we keep on burning it.

    1. We should do with coal what we do with gold … Get it out of the ground, melt it and put it back into the ground in vaults.

      Smart.

    2. Wish there were more emphasis on preserving coal and oil only as the source for the synthetic materials we need instead of mostly burning it for electricity which nuclear does best. You’d think conservationists and greens would jump on this reasoning.

      James Greenidge
      Queens NY

      1. I am in the midst of reading Blees’ book ‘Prescription for the planet’. A book that supports nuclear IFR technology.

        With plasma converters and the recycling of Municipal Solid Wastes into Hydrogen and Carbon, we could have an unlimited supply of synthetic oil (which is of better quality than natural oil).

        So instead of letting our Municipal Wastes turn into methane, we could recycle them into oil and leave a footprint that is 20 times less polluting than methane.

        Blees’ book also puts nails into the hydrogen future. The stuff can’t be stored or distributed with our current knowledge. He sees boron as a the futuristic source for automobile energy.

        Worth reading, lively and very well written.

        1. I don’t see how you could have an unlimited supply of synthetic oil produced from waste. After all, isn’t the amount of oil used to make plastics and other chemicals negligible compared to the amount used as fuels of one type or another?

        2. I just read the book and am no expert on the field of plasma converters. But there is a huge amount of municipal solid waste that is carbon based.

          Those plasma converters are able to separate the carbon and hydrogen and put hydrocarbons back together to produce synthetic oil.

          There are prototypes in production I believe but I do not know if the technology has picked up commercially since Blees wrote his book in 2008.

          One interesting material produced from plasma converters is Rock Wool. It could be used as a basic raw material for many applications, including sending it to the bottom of the oceans to rejuvenate coral reefs.

        3. The concept is of closing the material flows of the economy. Something that is strongly advocated in sustainability circles. Unfortunately, they tend to forget the second law. Where we take a relatively higher entropy waste product and from a relatively lower entropy sun fuel with an input of useful work. It doesn’t just happen through wishful thinking, it takes work. On the scale of our economy and at the pace of our economy it would take a whole lot of useful work.

          I think the only way that this can be done is with nuclear fission. It is the only known and viable energy source with a high enough energy density to make this work.

          It was on this or another post that someone commented on greens for the most part being Luddites. The environmental movement through its actions is seeking a deconstruction of our economy (eliminating all low cost, reliable power sources for unreliable high cost power sources through regulation and political maneuvering.) Our economy needs power to work. If we are going to make it more efficient it is going to take more power. That may seem an oxymoron, but it isn’t.

          Thus if we are going to do anything more meaningful with nuclear power we have to get it out of just making electricity.

  7. I am watching the football game on CBS… Patrick Moore is doing a commercial on the tarsands areas that have been restored to a fresh & never seen before habitat from after the mining has taken place.

    The European lobby against the filthy tarsands oil is kicking in.

      1. Then, the question must be asked, since no energy industries — even those also owning nuclear plants — seem to want to step up to the plate to hawk nuclear (that includes Thorium too), then is the whole effort and blogs like this supporting and advocating (at least commercial) nuclear power a lost cause?

        James Greenidge
        Queens NY

  8. I’ve been saying this for FOUR years – the problem is the folks in the nuclear industry holding the purse strings are also in the COAL industry. They will not be aggressive in the promotion of NUCLEAR because they also have too much vested in coal …
    Its called a “Conflict of interest.”
    Deb

  9. Why doesn’t America’s nuclear community run ads like this? 35 years ago while doing some chemical engineering support work at my company’s coal plants, I discovered the relatively high radioactive levels of coal fly ash while leak checking the Alpha sources used to detect coal feeder blockage. I compiled a report, submitted it to my boss, and he tore it up before my eyes, sternly admonishing, “Coal money builds nukes. We don’t bite the hand that feeds us. Plus, we don’t need an anti-coal-radiation movement [screwing] things up like with nukes.” I think a similar executive perspective exists with America’s utilities to this day. Coal is still king, and they want to keep it that way. Nuke competition is to be shunned.

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