1. With an Administration hostile to nuclear energy and with an anti-nuke as NRC Chairman, what exactly did you expect? And don’t go on about how many times Obama spoke in favor of nuke power. It’s what he does that counts. BTW, you voted for this. And Andy Cuomo whom you deride is a Democrat just like you.

    1. @ioannes – I am pretty confident that I have never claimed to be a Democrat. I did vote for our current President. Those are two separate statements.

      1. Fortunately, you don’t have to register a party affiliation to participate in the primaries in Virginia. It’s easy to remain an independent voter.

  2. At least the German utility RWE sued against the irrational order to shut down a perfectly safe plant, while the Japanese utility Chubu Electric just caved in to the request of Prime Minister Kan to shut down Hamaoka, without even bothering to ask for compensation.

    I share the frustration, especially the day after the German Parliament just about unanimously decided on the shutdown. To add insult to injury, they plan to use the sites for coal plants, and use funds from the European emission trading system to give said coal plants subsidies.

  3. I think the UK is doing a fine job in recognizing the role of nuclear in producing cheap & clean energy and acting accordingly.

    It’s not all bad everywhere. Plus one of the foundation of buddhism, the main religion in Japan, is to fight ignorance and seek the truth. This should help.

    Things will settle down in Japan and soon the senseless restrictions on some of the evacuated zones will be lifted (mid July). This will open some eyes.

    Fukushima is a blessing in disguise in my eyes and the nuclear plants in the US (Nebraska and Los Alamos) are doing quite well so far in resisting the stress they face.

    1. Japan is divided now, it seems. The utilities and industry are pro-nuclear, but Japan’s PM, Mr Kan, has jumped to the other side. In a recent statment, he said he wants to reduce cost of solar panels to 1/6th of what they are now by 2030. Also he talks about feed-in tariffs, forced buying of renewable energy, subsidies, solar roof mandates etc. All of this resembles exactly the failed model of central planning and force in the name of going green, that has been tried in Spain among other places. A familiar anti-nuclear argument Mr Kan uses is that nuclear is the “status quo” in Japan, and those that advocate the status quo are not “progressive” enough (in other words, when you have found a technology that works and has great potential, abandon it after a few years or face criticism for being old-fashioned).

      1. The price of solar panels is not going down anytime soon. Rare earth minerals, located in China, are required to build those.

        That’s right, rare earth minerals, and China knows it and is shrinking supplies to the world.

        You can kiss solar good bye. And no one has yet proven the business case for it when subsidies are taken out and no one has told the truth on the toxic byproducts left behind by this industry.

      2. Some solar panels contain silver, too. Mr Kan started talking like this after he attended the G8 meeting, along with all those other anti-nuclear countries’ (except France) leaders. Seems like he has been infected with the solar utopia virus. We live in a crazy world now, there’s only a few sane people left.

  4. Is there a ‘nuclear industry’ in the same way there is a natural gas industry? Not really, with very few exceptions (and most of those sketchy start-ups) most players have horses in other, sometimes competing areas. Does GE care if they sell a reactor or if they sell a dozen gas turbines? As well its been mentioned several times on these pages and elsewhere that power companies don’t care what fom of generation they use.

    Industry organs tend to cover too much ground, with not enough funds, and antinuclear forces have poisoned the well both with the media and with politicians, making lobbying a very difficult task.

  5. Seriously, i’m just curious Rod, where does your propaganda campaign(because thats all it is. PR and spin, dressed up all pretty) get its funding from?
    Are the studies and peer reviewed papers that you link to truly worthy of critical appraisal and are they authored by scientists with no conflicts of interests to the nuclear industry at all? Are these scientists never guilty of cherry picking or feathering their own nests at the expense of truth? I seriously doubt it. In my experience most people(scientists especially) have an agenda, or some compartmentalised protocol to follow
    I find it staggering, the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe the “no problem” occurring in Japan right now.
    If you are so confident about how minimal the effects of this horrible situation are going to be, why don’t you fly over and check out the fukushima dachii plant for yourself. Although you might want a little more than a paper suit to avoid those pesky little gamma rays. Better still, move to tokyo and enjoy the warm, metallic tasting northerly winds that caress your face. In twenty years when you develop any number of cancers or other immune deficiency issues, you can sit back with your smug little smile, look lovingly at your two headed grand children and celebrate the marvels of the brand of science that you promote.
    An interesting little snippet that shows the lengths that you powerful lobbyists from the nuclear industry will go to:


    Its no secret that the nuclear power industry is one of the biggest lobbyists and campaign contributors to pretty much all governments in the developed world. For example Exelon Corporation was among Barrack Obama’s biggest campaign donors. Exelon has donated $270,000 to his campaign thus far. Obama appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his commission on America’s nuclear future. Gee, no conflict of interest there.
    The absurd belief that no one will be harmed from Fukushima is perhaps the strongest evidence of the pattern of deception and denial by nuclear officials in the industry and in government. And also the nuclear shills that promote nuclear power as being all sunshine and lollypops.
    Why is nuclear power even an option when there are numerous and abundant renewable energy sources? Because the big energy conglomerates and oligarchs of this world own that technology. And they aren’t sharing with anyone.
    Peace guys.

    1. Christopher, do you care to share with us your experience with scientists that has convinced you most of them have an agenda?

      I have an agenda, I’ll admit it. I want to live a full life supplied by clean water, food, shelter and energy. Can renewable energy supply us with all of those things? Not by a long shot.

      Exelon’s contribution is peanuts. The nuclear industry is way down the list of lobby contributions. NEI spend around 1.6 million for a year recently. The carbon lobby spends over 400 million. Guess who has more clout?

    1. thanks christopher, it’s always heartening to hear someone admit defeat in an argument when presented with strong evidence, like you did.

      now, I just wish that your associates in the ‘environmental’ movement would *also* realize exactly how much their wrong-headed campaign against nuclear power serves the fossil-fuel companies…

  6. @Rod, The question I ask is why are we relying on representatives from the nuclear industry to go on the “offensive” against competing energy sources? Did JFK wait for industry to stand up on a podium and advocate for expanding the US space program? I think part of the problem is that our government leaders (elected, appointed, and uniformed) appear to be lacking in vision and are relying too much on industry to set the course for the US. For example, the USAF is spending millions on installing solar panels at bases in the California and Nevada, but haven’t made any budget moves to develop small modular reactors to be used in the CENTCOM AOR, where the cost in treasure and lives to transport liquid fuels for electricity is exceedingly high. If I wasn’t so busy with school I would like to attend the US Army – US Air Force Energy Forum in Crystal City, VA.

    1. John,

      the same exact argument you make came out in May at the Platts SMR Conference.

      In light of the promised GHG reduction of 28% by 2020 by all the Federal Government (thus including the Military), as stated here:
      I definitely agree with you that the President should focus a whole lot more resources on SMR, particularly at the NRC and DoE level.

      Luca Bertagnolio
      Futuro Nucleare
      Milan, Italy

  7. I just *love* some of Christopher’s statements! 🙂

    “Its no secret that the nuclear power industry is one of the biggest lobbyists and campaign contributors to pretty much all governments in the developed world.”
    it is no secret to whom, I am sorry? It looks to me that the biggest lobbyists are in the oil and gas camp, not so much in the nuclear field. YMMV, obviously, but whenever I read “it is no secret that…” I always have great doubts on the statement that follows…

    “For example Exelon Corporation was among Barrack Obama’s biggest campaign donors. Exelon has donated $270,000 to his campaign thus far. Obama appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his commission on America’s nuclear future. Gee, no conflict of interest there.”
    you can never make some people happy. Exelon has invested in President Barack (only one “r”) Obama’s campaign (and I am pretty darn sure they did invest in McCain’s too…) and their CEO was appointed to a role dealing with nuclear. At least we have someone who should know the field they will contribute in. But no, this is not good enough for Christopher. Clear like water, but still not good enough. Go figure.

    “The absurd belief that no one will be harmed from Fukushima is perhaps the strongest evidence of the pattern of deception and denial by nuclear officials in the industry and in government.”
    maybe you can point us to peer-reviewed documents that state otherwise, Christoper? Or maybe you are waiting for the input from the infallible Helen Caldicott?

    For all I know, the ones who are already harmed by Fukushima are the many Japanese citizens who are living in a country left in pieces by an earthquake and a tsunami that swept thousands of lives away in just a few minutes, and now don’t have enough energy to go back to business as usual, as most nuclear plants are still offline.

    “Why is nuclear power even an option when there are numerous and abundant renewable energy sources?”
    because your statement is simply wrong? Very wrong, infact.

    I suggest you might want to inform yourself by reading a book like “Sustainable energy – without the hot air”, it will be a good investment of time for you:

    Luca Bertagnolio
    Futuro Nucleare
    Milan, Italy

  8. Christopher…you are looking through rose colored lenses, it appears. The nuclear “industry”, by all means, please define this. The oil industry and gas industry are almost wholly homogeneous. They lobby FOR solar and wind because their is a direct marriage between solar and wind and natural gas. This has been exposed here, and other places, many times.

    Do you seriously want to do a comparison between “$270,000” to Obama and what the fossil fuel industry gave? Seriously?

    Your ‘checkmate’ remark is out of line and, stupid.

  9. Hi,

    please bear with me citing the Preface to Fear from


    The most significant obstacle to nuclear power is the public’s fear.

    People fear

    * invisible radiation, cancer, and mutations
    * nuclear power plant melt-downs
    * hazardous waste
    * nuclear weapons, and
    * terrorism.

    None of these are totally unjustified, but the risks are very small, especially compared to life’s other risks.

    I would like to submit that there’s another important source of intense antagonism among the public, which is left entirely out of the equation:

    * Severe and historically well founded distrust towards the people and organizations with vested financial or political interests in nuclear development.

    Contrary to the risks mentioned in the document, this problem can’t be simply waved away with half baked technological arguments. The industry’s record as regards ethics – do not cheat, do not kill, do not conduct medical experiments on humans, do not get involved in political wheeling and dealing, don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you – is quite appalling, to put it mildly. Enthusiastic proponents’ incessant denial doesn’t do any good either.

    I do contend that any treatise on above subject which fails to seriously take these considerations into account is doomed to futility. Naturally, if the presentation’s goal is primarily propagandistic, it’s a different matter.

    1. Nikky – you say (emphasis added)

      Severe and historically well founded distrust towards the people and organizations with vested financial or political interests in nuclear development.

      Can you provide some explanation or links to explanations of the history that you say creates the distrust? That’s something new to me. Thanks.

    2. ‘The industry’s record as regards ethics – do not cheat, do not kill, do not conduct medical experiments on humans, do not get involved in political wheeling and dealing’

      Examples (from reputable sources)? Humans are not perfect wherever you find them, but I doubt the nuclear power industry would fare poorly against — fossil fuel companies, other mining companies, or how about financial institutions?

    3. Good point: given the low state of US education, many of the defenses of LWR nuclear are forever going to be dismissed as mere propaganda. A suggestion: since one scary, valid anti-nuclear argument concerns the lack of believably safe disposal of radioactive waste: how about persuading the nuclear establishment to use its influence to build a few Thorium LFTR plants for the sole purpose of DESTROYIJNG these waste products; that would enable the industry to say: yes , there is a feasible plan to get rid of this stuff without waiting for 17,000 years, or whatever the time period is calulated to be at present.

  10. Hallelujah! This is what I have been saying to anyone in the business who was interested (mostly no one) since 1980.

    The stark reality is, there is no American “Nuclear Industry”. The bulk of the infrastructure is in power plants, and every nuclear division CEO sits at the boardroom across from his fossil division counterpart. Talking about the multiple drawbacks of gas/oil/coal would be like remarking on how ugly your brother-in-law’s wife is.

    Entergy had proposed breaking off their six merchant nuclear plants into the first stand-alone all-nuclear entity called Enexus. This was shot down by their continuing nemesis, the great state of New York, whose bureaucratic infrastructure, even the nominally scientific divisions, has been so thoroughly politicized they make the NRC look like paragons of rational impartiality.

    Also, some sharp investigative reporter needs to follow the money trail that leads from the gas wells to the politicians. They need to be able to track it through the various NGOs, foundations, and PACs that provide for (technically legal) laundering.

    Just as Germany will become a subservient energy serf to France and Russia, based on what’s going on at Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim, and Indian Point, I can foresee the renewables-infatuated (but actually methane-powered) North eventually becoming an energy-dependent colony of the nuclear South. Serves ‘em right for continuing to elect smarmy scumbag hacks like Cuomo, Spitzer, Markey, Saunders, R. Kennedy, Shumlin, et all.

    1. If they could build a transmission line all the way to China, this would solve all our problems, in the same way that outsourcing “solved” all the impossible demands that government regulators and environmentalists made on our industries.
      Power generation survived the first wave of outsourcing to China, due to lack of a long range transmission capability. The next wave could be regional outsourcing of power plants. China, the Arab countries, and Eastern Europe are going to have a lot of nuke plants in two decades from now. By about the same time, those countries that invested in wind&solar will be bankrupt and natural gas prices will be sky high. Everybody will wonder… “how could this have happened?”

      1. Jerry, we all know that cheap energy is directly linked to quality of life. It is one of the few axiomatic causality relationships that has been proven across all countries and civilisations.

        China, India and those who embrace nuclear energy will soon take economic leadership of this planet while Germany and the western world will breathe and inhale what we deserve.

  11. Ok David, i’m not going to get into a battle of wits with you. Maybe the checkmate comment was a little brash, condescending even. For that i apologise.
    As for the rose coloured glasses, well i live under no illusions about the “nuclear power industry”. However, i don’t live under any illusions about the lobbying power of big oil or natural gas either. I am aware that they would also contribute soft money to support congressmen to get their agenda advanced. If you read my post you would see that i made reference to ONE contributor from the nuclear power industry, not the WHOLE industry.
    I personally don’t think finite resources(such as oil and natural gas) that just happen to be major polluters of all biological systems, are a viable future alternative to the energy needs of our planet. But neither is using radioactive isotopes such as uranium-238 with a half life of 4.47 billion years.
    So please Dave, don’t make assumptions about the point i am trying to make when you clearly have misinterpreted what i am getting at.
    As i said, i apologise for the checkmate comment. Not appropriate.
    Peace to Dave and all you other Nuclearphiles out there.

    1. @Christopher
      Why are you worried about U-238 ?

      1) Its radioactivity is extremely weak (0.1 watt per ton)
      2) It is abundant on this planet (why is Uranium so abundant on earth if it is bad for us?)
      3) Along with Thorium, it balances the heat supply on the planet and tends to maintain friendly temperatures by counterbalancing the cooling forces

      Stop worrying about U 238. There too much of it around.

    2. Chris,

      It may be that the proton itself has a half life, even longer that that of U238. That makes everything “radioactive”, with a super long half life. We don’t know yet.

      You need to know, that the longer the half life, the less ionizing radiation for a quantity per unit time. Big numbers are … scary to you, but in this case, the bigger the number, the less “dangerous”, unless of course you have a U238 ‘dart’ incoming to your tank at supersonic speed.

      It’s much safer to have a speck of Uranium in your hand than a speck of some other common heavy metals that might be found in windmill generators or Solar panels.

  12. And Dave… I have an IQ of 160, so referring to me as a stupid is perhaps a little obtuse. Presumptuous even.

    1. IQ of 160? Why didn’t you say so from the get-go? We could have all packed up and gone about whatever idiot business we were up to.

      Controversy resolved. Chris will put his massive intellect to work and figure out for us how to make the wind blow continuously, and import Chinese sunshine to light up Times Square at night.

      The rest of us can go back to pushing our brooms.

    2. Christopher – David did not call you stupid. Please read his comment more carefully. He said that your remark was stupid. Even the brightest people can say dumb things.

    3. oh jesus..

      if you have an IQ of 160, please use it!

      The danger of radioactivity is largely proportional to how *intense* it is (also whether it decays in alpha, beta or gamma fashion). Hence the longer the half-life, the lower the intensity, and the safer the material.

      The energy density of the materials being used also guarantees that the AMOUNT of nuclear ‘waste’ being produced is small, and hence the amount of material needed to be mined is small as well. This lessens the environmental footprint.

      Read up on nuclear power before you start spouting these things. The environmental activist Gwyneth Cravens has a great book ‘Power to Save the World’ which mirrors her journey from anti-nuclear to pro-nuclear activist. It may just be helpful in both clearing up some misconceptions as well as giving you some perspective.

  13. Thank you for the link Luca. I will put aside time from my busy schedule to review this. I will be the first to eat humble pie if there is critically appraised research, conducted by scientists with integrity and no conflict of interests, that back up your claims.
    Always appreciate good, informative links.

  14. Those who believe that CO2 emissions are killing our oceans and that the consequences will be serious should start to act alike and admit that nuclear power has, for the last 40 years, provided the safest and cleanest base load electricity on this planet.

    The more one knows about climate change, the more one is worried.

    The more one knows about nuclear power, the less one is worried.

  15. Why the pomposity and condescension? I only mentioned my IQ because i was referred to as stupid. I can assure i am not.
    This isn’t some territorial pissing of “who is the brightest kid on the block”, because that title obviously resides with Atomikrabbit.
    That’s why your ego was so affronted, and you felt compelled to belittle me to save face in front of your fellow nuclear cheerleaders. Anyway, speaking of broom pushing, i hear there is a lot of dust and debris around the reactors at fukushima. That should keep you busy for a while. 😉
    I hear it’s nice and warm there, send me a post card
    Frankly, i don’t give a flying fukushima.

    1. I think your initial references to “checkmate” and your Einsteinian IQ required someone to bring out the anti-pomposity serum. I was happy to do the job.

      I’m just tired of people who have never had the responsibility, let alone the education and training, required to synch a 1000-megawatt generator to an actual power grid trying to tell me about their fantasies for electrical energy production.

      Don’t let the wind-blown screen door hit you in the ass.

      1. Amen. Someone finally said the obvious which is opinions without facts are worthless. Fantasy does not provide megawatts. Dreaming of alternative power doesn’t provide megawatts. Solar will not provide megawatts. Wind does not provide megawatts. Gas can provide megawatts but at what price going forward. Megawatts is what the grid and all of us need. Nuclear energy provides megawatts and does it, safely and reliably, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

  16. I am sure Rod will defend himself, but I cannot sit on the sidelines. Christopher wrote:
    Are the studies and peer reviewed papers that you link to truly worthy of critical appraisal and are they authored by scientists with no conflicts of interests to the nuclear industry at all? Are these scientists never guilty of cherry picking or feathering their own nests at the expense of truth? I seriously doubt it. In my experience most people (scientists especially) have an agenda, or some compartmentalised protocol to follow

    This is precisely why there is a process of peer review. The authors of the various papers will certainly have their own opinions, just as Christopher does. The reviews will have their own set of different opinions. But authors and reviewers will agree on the facts. There is an illustration of the old maxim: “You are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts.”

    Christopher wrote:
    I find it staggering, the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe the “no problem” occurring in Japan right now.

    Rod is not saying that there is no problem. He is saying that the situation needs to be looked at with some perspective. The troubles at the Fukushima power plants are minor in comparison to the 20,000+ killed directly by the earthquake and tsunami. And indeed a few excess cancers may result in some power plant workers who have been heavily exposed to radiation. Once again perspective is needed. Perhaps Christopher could tell us how many people did NOT die because of these power plants (hint 1 – had they not been nuclear, they most likely would have been coal-fired) (hint 2 – the answer comes out in multiples of a thousand).

    Christopher wrote:
    An interesting little snippet that shows the lengths that you powerful lobbyists from the nuclear industry will go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/30/british-government-plan-play-down-fukushima

    An interesting snippet. Let’s look at a bit of it as an example:
    The company [Westinghouse] admitted its new reactor, AP1000, “was not designed for earthquakes [of] the magnitude of the earthquake in Japan”, and would need to be modified for seismic areas such as Japan and California.
    Well, duh. This is the baseline design for areas that a seismically stable. What safety is gained by building in earthquake protection for areas where there are no earthquakes? For areas such as California, the NRC would require a modified design with additional bracing. What is the scandal here?

    Christopher wrote:
    Why is nuclear power even an option when there are numerous and abundant renewable energy sources? Because the big energy conglomerates and oligarchs of this world own that technology. And they aren’t sharing with anyone.

    Or maybe it is because renewable energy sources, abundant as they may be, are cannot be relied upon to provide power when I or Christopher need or want it. Or maybe because in an attempt to make them reliable with energy storage, they become really expensive. Here is an example in the Canary Islands where the plant costs about $23/watt assuming a reasonable 33% capacity factor for the wind turbines and no loss in the pumped hydro storage. A nuclear power plant is cheap compared to this. Or maybe engineering is the art and science of doing for $1 what any damned fool can do for $3.

  17. Rod – thanks for the post, and thanks to all who comment. I like your nickname – puts me in mind of Taz in the Warner Brothers cartoons. I’ve been following you for a while and I’ve noticed you spinning up; I don’t think you’ve reached full rpms yet…:)

    @Luca Bertagnolio – thanks for replying to Christopher. I’m not sure that Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air will be scholarly enough for him, but we’ll see.

    Christopher – another book I’d suggest is The Nuclear Energy Option, Bernard L. Cohen, 1990. The two books complement each other nicely, IMO.

  18. To Chris and other Spooked Ones:

    The proof of the pudding is Show us the Freaks.

    Sorry to sound callous or flippiant about it, but this is EXACTLY one of the top scares the anti-nuke lobby hawks to the generally science illiterate public when the outright/immediate full/near meltdown death rates are too damn low or non-existent. Send in the back-up bogeyman brigade of god-awful tumorous mutants and ten-headed kids and Rodan sparrows that nuclear exposure will spawn when just one radioactive atom invades an innocent body — guaranteed! Okay, we’ve nearly SEVENTY (7-0) years worth of chances and proof of such occurring ranging from Hiroshima to Nagasaki (yea, nuclear energy’s gotta pay for the uniquely evil horror done those cities!) to Oak Ridge and Los Alamos and Bikini Atolls and every other nuclear accident (including all meltdowns) and test explosions and “spills” occurring up to this day around the world. Seventy years and many hundreds of major and minor chances for the great mutation and freak show to rear its head. So where are they? Where are the legions of freaks? Where are all these grossed-out genetic victims of the atomic age? I mean realistically I’d exact a lot more than just a few popping up given the toxicity of elements involved, but for petesake, has anyone Googled pictures of the great radioactive mutant infested deserts Hiroshima and Nagasaki are today? Or told the fish and corals infesting the Bikini Atolls that they shouldn’t be hanging out the very center of atom bomb tests much less ought be having normal baby fish? Even realms around Chernobyl don’t appear in that bad a shape with the blue unicorns and glowing creeping blobs feeding on them over there — oh, there’re not? I must be getting skewed news. WAY skewed. I mean, if all these atomic mutations since long ago really existed en masse, wouldn’t it be ideal anti-nuke fear fodder for reading outside the National Enquirer? We don’t need to let anti-nuke factions ply scare speculations and forecasts to mislead and sway the public when we’ve actual historical proof all over that it’s grossly exaggerated and bogus hype — IF we we remember to tap it and not LET the anti-nukers get away with beguiling the public. Of course there are accident/normal use-induced mutations out there if you look close enough, but give them all a pass becomes atoms ain’t involved.

    Oh, somehow Fukushima’s going to be different from all the above? Really?

    On renewable: When my Boy Scout troop went camping in autumn in the Catskills eons ago, they always had a lesson for the lost; You don’t burn what you can eat. Made a whale lot of sense even back then when you want to cheaply feed the world. You know, outside nuke plants with those monstrous cooling towers (they really ought trade those in!), nuclear plants have very small almost inconspicuous industrial footprints if you care about majestic vistas and scenery and property values. You can drive past one in thirty seconds and not have a trace it was there. No rambling facilities, no lines of massive railroad cars packed with tanks or bins to feed hungry boilers. Yet you can literally spend minutes driving by a wind or “solar farm” and worst — see it coming dozens of miles away, horizon to shining horizon. Finally some in Vermont are getting the idea that the Green Mountains and rolling countrysides and riversfronts are lovely enough without topping them off with great massive whirligigs that will will lose all their cuteness and green romanticism after the first couple of weeks once it sinks in that you’re stuck with them marring your window and scenic cruising view as long as you need your AC and TV.

    As for the nuclear waste “problem”, what a sham. Strip all the damn politics and get it done. I mean greenies are worried about “guarding waste sites a thousand years”. Hey, I’m no engineer, but seems to simple little me that if you blow a big cavern a half mile deep in solid basalt to dump the stuff in that you won’t have to worry about anyone just tripping over it like a log in the woods for a thousand years, com’on! Then you hear qualms about the stuff just being there no less. So what! It’s not like anyone’s going to build condos down there next the stuff! Let’s get with it, Washington!

    James Greenidge

    1. The mutations have no basis in fact, it’s not officially recognized by any medical association. Yet repetitive fearmongering by Greenpeace pseudo-scientists have created an *urban legend* that these exist. It is what inspired the mutations jokingly shown in “The Simpsons”, it inspired the recent bestseller video game “STALKER” that depicts the Chernobyl exclusion zone surrounded by zombies.

      This urban legens is one of the anti-nukes most potent weapons because it appeals to the middle class. The more prosperous people get, the more they value their health and life above economic wealth, so claiming the nuclear industry is an attack on “our children” and health makes the middle class willing to sacrifice economic wealth for the perceived health benefit. Tragically, anti-energy policies will rob them of *both* health and wealth. They’ve done the same thing before with manufacturing, it’s gone along with many high paid jobs that denied many a chance to prosper. The next wave is going to be energy, causing even more damage.

    2. James – Some people may accuse you of over-simplifying the waste issue by suggesting that you can just blast a hole and dump it in. I mean, look at all of the research and effort that has gone into studying Yucca Mountain. The truth is though, is that you really could just blast a whole in the ground to bury the stuff and the population would be fine. The transport and storage casks are really quite resilient, they could give you quite a few years of protection. UO2 is also quite stable and would help keep the fission products from leaking out en mass. A look at uranium deposits around the world (including the Oklo natural reactors) shows that transport in ground really is quite slow.

      But even though a whole in the ground would work, why would we want to do that. There are many solutions that could be employed to deal with the waste. Reprocessing technology is quite improved and no longer requires all of the toxic chemicals that previous UREX and PUREX cycles have used. The Uranium and actinides could be used as fuel for advanced reactors (not even breeder reactors, VHTRs are very robust and can handle a wide variety of fuels). Waste is strictly a political issue, not technical.

      As to your point of mutations, I think many people in the public would be surprised to know how radioactive some of the particles that we work with in the lab are. Some of our stuff is much hotter than anything that has been released from Fukushima. I get upset by all the anti-nukes who try to make a point by saying that if Fukushima is so safe, why don’t I go over there. You know, it may not be a bad idea, I would probably get a lower dose.

      1. You can outsource the waste problem by having Russia take all of it, reprocess it over there and sell us the recycled fuel back at a profit.

        We have let the leadership of the nuclear industry go offshore, might as well let the science of reprocessing the waste, that still contains energy, go to the Europeans or Asians or anyone else that wants to make money by actually contributing to their national output by creating value.

        The only way we can think of to make money is to lend it. The ‘greens’ have just basically stalled all of the major infrastructure projects that could put America back to work.

  19. Welcome to my world. Your experience working in the government did not prepare you for the reality of having the government as an adversary. You are naive to think that the producers should “stand up” to unreasonable government. They have all the guns and have a myriad of tools including OSHA, EPA, IRS, FTC, DOE, EEOC to punish any business they want.

    Nuclear development is just about impossible until the Obama Administration collapses or decides that they can actually squeeze more money out of the industry by letting them build again. FDR attacked property rights and built a big government structure that has continuously replaced freedom with “security” and “safety”.

    No serious innovation is allowed any more in this country without the approval of the government. Anything meaningful has to be managed politically, because the “losers” have to be paid off or they will use all the “activist” tools and obstruct and delay development.

    The shale gas development is a perfect example. You are correct that new nuclear with all the union, government and environmentalist “payoffs” cannot compete without subsidies against combined cycle gas turbine plants run on shale gas. Your strategy of creating FUD about fracking and long-term viability due to market manipulation is validating the political capitalism that has stopped nuclear power.

    You seem to distrust capitalism. It is a terrible system, harsh and unfair. It is the worst system, except for all the others.

    You can’t have it both ways. You need to pick either freedom or technocracy. I stand up for the market and am happy to promote nuclear as the cheapest way to make power and fight for the right to innovate and risk my own capital and sell power on the open market. You seem to want to try and make everyone else uncompetitive by raising their costs and restricting their access to resources based on unscientific FUD.

    I, for one, much prefer this country to Europe. France has banned fracking to protect their expensive nuclear power. Germany is committing economic suicide by paying 10 times as much for solar and shutting down their nuclear plants early and building more coal as replacements. That is what happens when you let government manage production.

    1. ‘France has banned fracking to protect their expensive nuclear power.’

      Why do you call France’s use of Nuclear Power expensive? I have read that they have the cheapest (or nearly) electricity in Europe. They might want to ban fracking (I worked on fracturing fluid formulations in the 80’s for Schlumberger) because since they have nuclear they might view it as pointless and potentially environmentally harmful.

      1. Electricity in all of Europe is all overpriced by being burdened with all sorts of taxes and favors. France may be relatively cheap in Europe, but clearly not competitive without subsidies. The Koreans and Chinese will soon be selling economical nuclear plants to anyone who can pay them with real money. Eventually the superiority of nuclear will be apparent and available to everyone who is not prevented by incumbent providers or their governments (usually coordinating the story of why nuclear shouldn’t be used there).

    2. The unacceptable thing here is the *double standard* that favours natural gas while pretending to be against oil companies and pretending to get energy from wind power, all the while demonizing and blocking nuclear. If all the government controls were taken off and laissez faire capitalism restord, I for one wouldn’t have the least agains natural gas producers.

      1. I really don’t think there is a double standard that favors (US spelling please) natural gas. The oil and gas industry pays heavy taxes and royalties and it is the main target of all the environmental laws.

        The choice of removing all the governmental controls is not realistic. What we should be doing is removing as many as possible rather than trying to gain an advantage over the competition by unreasonably burdening them.

        For example, rather than complaining about how nuclear power is held to a silly ALARA standard for their operations while naturally occurring radioactive materials are treated differently, we should learn from the extraction industries and cooperatively develop more rational standards. More needs to be done to reassure people that radiation is harmless and ordinary. It is foolish to raise fears about the radiation from coal burning and radon in natural gas. Most people still have the unscientific fear of invisible poisons to explain the random tragedies that befall us all. It is the biggest political problem the industry has. Until people are educated about the real risks of radiation and radionuclides, it will be an uphill battle.

      2. There is a double standard when it comes to economic externalities with electricity generation. Nuclear has to account and provide the funds for handling the waste and the decommissioning costs of each plant.

        Oil, gas and coal do not have to worry about all the garbage their put in our lungs. Arsenic and mercury have no half lives. They’ll stay potent forever.

        And yes, nuclear has wastes but it stays in place, it is visible and manageable and does not travel very far or very well.

  20. Wimpiness is a very rational strategy when faced with government power. Commerce is no longer ruled by law; it is ruled by regulators. BHO is punishing Boeing for building an assembly plant in South Carolina. This is the most vindictive administration this country has ever had, probably because we have more laws than ever, which gives government more power than ever. The only reasonably strategy to survive is to bow and scrape and pretend to accept the premise that government is good and not just a bunch of thugs.

    “Activists”, like our current president, get power by agitating envy. They cannot produce anything for themselves, so they extort what they can. More laws give them more power to selectively steal from whoever is most successful. They are all parasites masquerading as protectors. Not at all different from the small time thugs that walk into a shop and say “Nice business you got here, sure would be a shame if something happened to it”. All that lobbying money is the cost of doing business when we gave government the power to destroy by regulatory fiat

    Although it is entirely appropriate and necessary to point out favors granted to competitors at your expense, unjustly injuring them is a strategy that just makes us all poorer. There is plenty of demand for energy all over the world. We will all do better if we work to bring reason back into government and stop accommodating environmentalism, which is an irrational belief system. Note the “ism” at the end of the word. There are many spoiled Americans out there that do not care about the people who have to work for a living, much less people cursed by being born in misgoverned lands. They will happily pull up the ladder to paradise and leave everyone else behind if you let them.

    1. Peter – I think you have been hypnotized by a writer who was not much of a “producer” herself. The oil and gas industry does not really qualify as “producing” anything – they simply extract what god – or nature if you prefer – endowed the earth with millions of years ago.

      You even consider royalties to be taxes. From my point of view, they are simply part of the materials costs. When the materials are under publicly owned land, they belong to all of us, not just to the oil&gas companies.

      I freely admit that I am not a worshiper of the market. All markets have some involvement of the government; without checks and balances greed would rule even more than it does.

      If the government in the US is too involved with business, that is because businesses like it that way. They own far more politicians than the rest of us do.

      1. I don’t know what writer you are alluding to. I use many sources and judge facts for myself. I find hard facts like prices and production to be the most convincing evidence. Regarding your devaluation of oil and gas extraction as not as productive, as compared to what? All production of material things requires use of resources. Even a farmer is “just” managing the God-given sunshine, rain and soil. Why shouldn’t everyone “share” those resources.

        Your characterization of royalties is legally correct, but is it really optimal to force producers who risk their own capital to share the rewards before they even recover their costs? There are virtually unlimited resources underground and the only limit is the technology to extract then economically. There is a huge uranium resource right here in Virginia, but we can’t even use it because our “leaders” want to protect “the public”.

        I fear that you have “gone native” with so many years in and around the Federal government. I believe in American exceptionalism and that flows from a bunch of very wise men who designed limited government that respected property rights. Idealists think that smart people can make rules that will keep people from failing so much and they seized their chance in the Depression to “fix” the economy. FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court to force that utopia on us. 80 years later his nightmare is almost complete. You probably know that the People’s Republic of Maryland has outlawed trans fat and makes chain restaurants report the calories on their menus. I hope you are being discreet about your fondness for Maryland/DC/NoVA now that you are in Lynchburg. Even here in the Virginia capital we generally shake our heads about the arrogant culture up there, even though we benefit from the gusher of taxes collected nationwide that indirectly support the rest of Virginia. Did you know that 4 out of 5 of the highest median income jurisdictions in the US are around DC? Falls Church has median income over $140,000 per year.

        There is no substitute for the freedom to fail.

        We are about 80% back to the French path of mob rule on average, about 97% in California. (78.3% of all statistics are pulled out of thin air). When people are allowed to vote for a living, they will naturally vote to steal under the guise of “sharing” and “fairness”. Our Republic is on the edge of collapse because the 49% of us that pay Federal income tax are getting pretty tired of supporting the 51% that don’t.

      2. Peter – I suspect that Rod is referring to Ayn Rand. However, if that is the case, it is a bit ironic considering some of his earlier writing (exibit 1, exhibit 2).

        1. @Brian – as you point out, I have read Ayn Rand, and find her novels to be thought provoking. However, i do not classify myself as an Rand acolyte. I believe in productive action; I reject the notion that there is something wrong with occasional altruism. I agree that regulations can be abused, but I also believe that unconstrained markets often result in short-sighted decisions that benefit already wealthy and greedy people who have no desire to see others prosper.

          In other words, I like to think of myself as a complicated individual who continues to think for himself and to integrate new information as time goes along. Heck, if I was a politician, I would probably brag about flip-flopping!

      3. @Peter – it would be hard for me to “go native”. I was born “native.”

        Without the generous help of several taxpayer funded hands up, I would most likely be an uneducated dirt farmer in southern GA raising enough food to feed my family and perhaps have enough left over to sell for a few dollars worth of “cash money” once in a while.

        Instead, the New Deal that you revile gave my grandfather a decent job building things and later driving a bus. My dad joined the Navy right after graduating from high school. That was not an unusual choice for the high school class of 1942. After some excellent electronics training, he served in the Pacific repairing gyrocompasses until 1945. The GI bill helped to turn the former farmer into an electrical engineer who paid more in taxes every year near the end of his career than the college tuition investment cost those taxpayers.

        Mom was a union school teacher and the daughter of a single mom who took advantage of an excellent in state university system with low tuition to send both of her daughters to college.

        In other words, I can personally testify that there are a huge number of potential producers out there who can be enabled by government investments in their capabilities.

        On the other hand, having spent 9 years in DC, I am also well aware of the fact that there are a number of corporate-welfare-dependent rich folks who THINK that the government charges them too much in taxes.

        Those greedy b€£€tards think it is terrible that the government provides welfare checks to non-working moms; they complain about it all the time while on the golf course in the middle of their work day and while lounging around the pool at the resort hotels where their conferences are being held. (I have been there to hear the conversations.)

        As Brian correctly guessed, I recognize the Ayn Rand-inspired thrust of your arguments. You may think you have been inspired by a number of different thinkers, but the words are all the same. I believe your sources are largely a chorus of people who view Rand as justifying greed and selfishness. I do not think those deadly sins are a good source of inspiration for useful living. (I have read both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged several times. They are interesting novels, not manuals for abundant living.)

      4. Rod – At the core of Peter’s comment, however, is a very real danger.

        The main problem with regulation is that it is too easily corrupted by political influences. The EPA has been political for so long, that it’s now basically worthless for its original purpose, to protect the environment. Witness how it was recently used as a political bargaining tool — that is, a strong-arm tactic — in the unsuccessful attempt to ram through cap-and-trade legislation in Congress.

        We’re only now beginning to see a disturbing politicization of the NRC. What’s worse is that this change required only the appointment and promotion of just one man, Gregory Jaczko. Sadly, it’s that easy to turn regulation into a weapon that can be used to take down, or at least cripple, an industry.

        Regulation is necessary. Wise regulation is beneficial. Regulation for political ends, however, is something that should be fought.

      5. I have not come to my belief that government is the major problem from reading Rand. I was an avowed socialist in college, believing that reason and analysis was more efficient than the messy market. I even went to DC to see if I could get a job with EPA or DOE to help solve the “energy crisis”. Fortunately RR had just come into office and had a hiring freeze so I had to go out and do real work.

        I gradually realized that what I’d been taught about the the way government was supposed to work was far from the reality. As an Eagle Scout, I considered myself an environmentalist. The scales fell from my eyes when my company was punished for reducing emissions without getting permission first. Then later I was prosecuted criminally for having a recycling business that city officials decided was a hazardous waste facility. And now I just had my recycled wood fuel business shut down by another city fire marshalll because they think there is a fire hazard, in spite of the fact there was no fire and now they want to make me prove there is no hazard.

        The New Deal programs I object to most were the failed programs to “manage” prices by imposing quotas and force unions on businesses. I doubt that your grandfather was paid by the Feds to build anything or drive a bus. And if he was part of the CCC or some other Federal Work program, he was just one of the winners picked by the Feds that was paid by taxes imposed on everyone else. The New Deal was a failure and only the technologies of automobiles, aircraft, and radio kept the economy from totally collapsing. The economy never recovered until WW2 got going.

        I’m glad your family thrived, but the public in general suffered greatly and our American Exceptionalism took a big step back.

      6. @Peter

        One of the threads that runs through Atomic Insights posts dating back to the earliest posts in 1995 is the notion that there is NOT “plenty” of demand for energy at today’s prices. As Tom Price of Chesapeake Energy clearly explains on Atomic Show #170, the demand side of the equation requires a lot of focused action by energy suppliers who want to sell high priced energy. They have to work with their partners in the “environmental community” to drive out lower priced competitors like “filthy coal” – Price’s words, not mine.

        The demand for cheap, clean, reliable energy is probably inexhaustible, but that is not a terribly profitable product to sell when the extraction, processing, transportation and distribution costs are higher than the market price.

        Therefore, I am convinced that traditional fuels extractors – including such non-American players as Russia’s national fossil fuel companies, OPEC, and multinational enterprises like Shell, ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron have worked diligently in cooperation with “environmentalists” to keep nuclear energy suppressed. I have described the effort using the analogy of the Lilliputians who tied Gulliver down with thousands of threads.

        Allowing nuclear to play in an energy market governed by objective rules for safety, cleanliness, reliability, and waste management would open an enormous, nearly unconstrained supply of energy that would drive energy prices back to late 1980s levels and put a lot of marginal production out of business. There would be no need for environmentalists to campaign against deep water drilling, Arctic oil production or tar sands because no one would be investing in those high cost areas anymore.

        Even with all of the artificially imposed threads that constrain commercial nuclear fuel production – like that stupid law in Virginia that outlaws uranium production for “environmental” reasons in a state that hosts 147 licensed coal mines – the “all in” cost of fuel for a light water reactor is just $0.60 per million BTU. How much fracking do you think could be done profitably in a free market where that is a reasonably available fuel alternative?

        Why would anyone invest in a gas burning plant if nuclear energy plants were rationally regulated for safety – not regulated as they are today in response to 5 decades worth of a well-funded FUD campaign that has been partially sponsored by competitors?

        Your company would not have been fined by a govnment organization for “reducing emissions without permission” because whatever kind of fuel business you were in (recycled wood?) would not have existed in competition with an emission free source of heat available for $0.60 per million BTU.

        That cost is an upper bound for nuclear fuel – there are many ways to increase the amount of heat released from the same amount of material. With current generation nuclear plants, we only use about 0.5% of the potential energy of mined uranium and we are not even starting to make use of the fuel potential of thorium.

      7. Why wouldn’t deep water drilling, Arctic oil production and tar sands still be issues of concern even with abundant nuclear energy? Oil after all is used overwhelmingly for transport, not electricity generation…

  21. First it is a given that nuclear energy has a PR problem. Part of the problem can be attributed to historical events while another part appears to be based on irrational fears surrounding nuclear technology. But certainly a significant part of the problem surrounding public perceptions about nuclear energy can be traced to mass media portrayals of real and imaginary nuclear events. Whether it is sensational and/or uninformed reporting of news events or fictional portrayals of our worst nuclear nightmares, the media have been steadily building a case against nuclear in the court of public opinion.
    However the situation has not been helped by nuclear energy’s friends. While a good deal of blame can be placed at the feet of the industry, (such as it is) they are not the only ones responsible.

    Those that support nuclear energy tend to have other things in common: almost all are ether well educated or independent thinkers, and often both. They have come to the conclusion that nuclear energy is a good thing as the result of examining the facts, not generally because they are followers. Some like the author, entered the debate via the antinuclear side, and quickly saw how false it was. Others had people close to them in the industry, or lived in communities near nuclear power stations, but nevertheless had to wade through the sea of antinuclear media that is so prevalent and make their own decision. As a consequence, pronuclear supporters seriously underestimate both the opposition, and just as importantly the public when it comes to this subject.

    People who have come to a position by intellectual means to have a tendency to overestimate the power of reason to convince others and when faced with a purely emotional argument often assume that their opponents are simply stupid. They react by either pedantry, or dismissiveness neither of which advances the argument. Proper outreach must be tailored to the intended audience, and we have been very bad at that.

    Another major error most are guilty of bending over backwards to accommodate the opinions of the antinuclear side in a debate, granting them far more status than they warrant. This always backfires as it lends credence to the silly ideas the antinuclear side bring to the table.

    Finally we are guilty of thinking that there is some top-down path to a nuclear future: this is naïve almost to the extreme. The only thing that will push nuclear energy forward is public pressure, and very little has been done to generate such. I know I have beaten this drum in the past, and I am also aware that this is easer said than done, but I do think that it needs careful consideration and it might be that a bottom up insinuative is possible if we tear a page from the oppositions playbook.

    Public attitudes can be changed radically with relatively little effort. Consider the fact that a stripper whose claims to fame are a Playboy photospread and a marriage to a professional jackass managed to convince a very significant number of people to put their own children at risk for acquiring a potentially fatal disease with absolutely no qualifications or scientifically valid arguments. Surely we can do better than that.

    What we need is a highly visible spokesperson, preferably a woman in entertainment, with no direct industry ties, to mount a campaign in support of the nuclear option. The appeal has to be the person first, the message second. This person should be willing to become the face of the pronuclear side, and be prepared to deliver a fundamentally emotional message based on global warming, energy security, and the perfidy of the fossil fuel companies.

    In doing this, the stock objections to nuclear power that have been uttered by our opponents, should be addressed with derision rather than long technical explanations and at no time should there ever be a face-to-face debate permitted. Tactics like “show me the dead bodies” and “banana dose of radiation” and other such rhetoric should be the tools used to answer critics. Above all the message must contain a strong component of insinuating that ‘they’ are trying to stop nuclear energy to maintain control over our lives. Above all the emphasis needs to be on the attack rather than defense. The quality of the argument should be secondary to the force that it is delivered yet at the same time the aura of a lone voice speaking for an suppressed truth should be maintained.

    I know this is a tall order but there may be someone willing to take on this role – what we need to do is find this person. Keep in mind this will not be a altruistic effort, no more than Helen Caldicott’s is, but it will take some effort to develop a following in the beginning.

    Maybe this is dreaming in color, but as I wrote above, if bimbos can talk people into putting their own children at riak, then this as as good a shot as any to work too.

    1. I have given some thoughts for a spoke person for civil nuclear energy and came up with someone who is trustworthy and believes that climate change is impacting the planet.

      We have to link the carbon emission problem with base load electricity, where nuclear excels and has a niche market.

      Unfortunately, the leader that I was thinking of believes that CO2 emissions are killing the planet but does not dissociate nuclear military proliferation from civil nuclear applications. There are no connections between the two.

      That person could swing things around and I cannot understand why such a great mind has not figured out that the genie is out of the bottle as far as nuclear weapons are concerned and that civil applications do not represent a source of concern in that regard. Humans can do bad things even without nuclear weaponry.

      The person in my mind is Dr Stephen Hawking. That guy alone could swing the ball out of the park. And he should. No one could touch his credibility and independence.

      Its time to act Dr Hawking if you truly believe that the climate change threat is serious.

      1. @Daniel – The problem with high profile intellectuals like Hawking is that they are not people whom most individuals can relate. The antivax movement had success because it was being pushed by people outside the medical profession, and that somehow gave them far more cred than they were due.

        Although vaccine refusers seem motivated to avoid personal risk, they are really acting from misinformation and a one-sided view of risk. Medical professionals have tried to transfer their considerable knowledge to those fearful of vaccination. But they are up against the Internet, which makes plentiful both good and bad information.

        Moreover, lay people can be confused by publicly available scientific information because they don’t understand the scientific method or conversations scientists have among themselves. If a scientist were 99-per-cent certain that something is true, the scientist would reveal and discuss the 1-per-cent uncertainty.

        There is a cult of ignorance in the West, and there has been since the end of the Enlightenment. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through Western political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’ It is this factor that was leveraged by the anti-vaccination movement and as much as I abhor the method, it’s what we have to leverage too. God knows the antinuclear movement has been doing it for years.

        1. I think for anti-vaxxers the calculus is something like “if my child dies of a disease preventable by vaccination, that child doesn’t cost me any more money, and I can always try again, but if my child ends up autistic due to vaccination, I’ll be burdened for life.”

    2. Look how well that strategy is turning out for the climate warmists. Not saying it’s not a valid stragtegy, but it does have it’s weakenesses. Refusing to argue with your detractors can easily be construed to be an indication that you don’t have answers for their arguments.

      Far better to run science against science, spin against spin.

    3. Great post. You are right; the public thinks nuclear spokepeople are like the crew of the Titanic. How about dealing with some of the objections head on: like radioactive waste: wouldn’t it be in the interst of existing LWR operators to build a couple of Thorium LFTRs, which need not be large, so as to be able to truthfully say that there IS a valid way of DESROYING the more hazardous of the wastes?

  22. @DV82XL I do not get your allusion to the former stripper. Perhaps i need to get out and read the entertainment press more often.

    With regard to the thrust of the rest of your argument, I concur – it is time to attack, not defend.

    1. Jenny McCarthy and (ex)partner actor Jim Carrey where the bimbo and jackass I was referring to. The former a stripper in the broad sense of the term.

  23. Nikky.
    That Robert Hargrave presentation was first rate. Definitely a “Keeper”. Here is the link again:

    Christopher has taken up much column space here with what strikes me a hysterical rather than rational appraisal of nuclear risks. The Hargrave paper addresses all of his fears, so I ask him to give us all a break by reading it before making any more comments.

  24. DV82XL,

    I buy your argument that the salvation for nuclear power will depend on support from a majority of the general public. Such support could result from good leadership that communicates the advantages of nuclear power over less satisfactory solutions.

    Countries like France that make nuclear power the major component of their electricity generating capacity will have an increasing competitive edge over other jurisdictions that try to eliminate nuclear power from their portfolio (e.g.Germany and California).

    Cheap and easily available electricity is a major contributor to the “Good Life”, so let us depend on the Internet to tell us which jurisdictions are suffering “Rolling Blackouts” and which are not. After that the ballot box should take care of the problem at least in those jurisdictions that use them.

    1. You can visit the nuclear plants in France. It is part of their pride and their communication plan towards public acceptance of that great source of power.

      I do not know if the US plants are so ‘welcoming’.

      1. It’s probably easier in France. In February this year, we had four highschool students interested in various fields of Engineering visit us on site. Security did the required background checks a few days in advance, and they were cleared to get inside the fence. Unfortunately, they didn’t have state-issued IDs on them (one didn’t even have his driver’s license yet), and their school photo IDs weren’t enough to get them through. My co-worker and I could only show them a cooling tower pump building and the simulator building.

    2. @gallopingcamel – I’m sure you know the stories told of Diogenes of Sinope. Recall the one where he used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing, he would answer, “I am just looking for an honest man.” Part of the problem is that leaders like these are few and far between and the seas could biol before we find on. The advantage of going for popular support via the type of spokesperson I am suggesting, is that this sort seems to be easier to find yet just, if not more effective.

      1. I actually find Steward Brand to be a pretty effective spokesperson, although he doesn’t fit the description you provided. His credentials as an environmentalist are unassailable. He is reasonably knowledgeable, well-spoken and humorous. I don’t know if you have ever seen a slide from one of his presentations, called ‘Renewistan’, which shows the entire globe covered by windmills and solar panels.

  25. I agree that nuclear professionals need to speak out more for nuclear. We too often let others tell our story. And we certainly have a strong and compelling story.

  26. @All (there are far too many to thank individually) – I like the direction this comment thread (and others, in other forums) has taken, acknowledging the importance of storytelling for getting the message out. People are driven by emotion, and stories are enormously effective in sneaking ideas past the conscious censors in our minds.

    Robert McKee, in his book Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting, says (hardcover, p. 129, emphasis mine)

    … no story is innocent. All coherent tales express an idea veiled inside an emotional spell.

    In 388 B.C. Plato urged the city fathers of Athens to exile all poets and storytellers. They are a threat to society, he argued. Writers deal with ideas, but not in the open, rational manner of philosophers. Instead, they conceal their ideas inside the seductive emotions of art. Yet felt ideas, as Plato pointed out, are ideas nonetheless. Every effective story sends a charged idea out to us, in effect compelling the idea into us, so that we must believe. In fact, the persuasive power of story is so great that we may believe its meaning even if we find it morally repellent. Storytellers, Plato insisted, are dangerous people. He was right.

    My life has included documentary and fiction storytelling in movie media of various sorts, and I’m very interested in getting more storytelling into nuclear informational and promotional material, as well as more general fictional movies. We’ll see if I can turn my interest into action. IMO facts aren’t enough – we have to have something engaging to counter Homer Simpson and his evil capitalist boss. And doomcriers like Helen Caldicott.

    Rod, your The Atomic Show #166 – Nuclear Energy Advertising was a great discussion. It’s turning things over in my mind as well.

  27. Perhaps a model for the pro-nuclear community could be the New Atheist movement. I propose the NuEcologists, with a nod and a wink to the above… and well I suppose I don’t have to spell the rest of it out.

    1. Conspiracy? You’re deluded.

      A whole host of anti-nuclear propaganda farms were gearing up to go into overdrive and you think that people shouldn’t discuss how best to combat the lies and misinformation that they’re going to produce?

      The same kinds of discussions were occurring on blogs all over the Internet. Big deal.

    2. @Luke – a conspiracy is an organized attempt to do something illegal. What is illegal about communicating and planning ways to share accurate information? Do you think there is something wrong with the fact that many, if not most, nuclear regulators actually LIKE nuclear energy technology enough to have dedicated their lives to studying it and making it more useful to people?

      You and several others who have recently come to visit and participate in discussions here on Atomic Insights seem to discount the facts provided by anyone who has any financial interest in nuclear energy, including simply having a job working for a nuclear energy company or doing research at the university level on nuclear energy topics.

      Can’t you see how patently absurd that position is? If you need medical advice, do you assiduously avoid asking anyone employed by the medical industry? If you need advice on the kind of automobile to buy, do you make sure that you ask someone who has no interest in the car business?

      1. OK lets call it damage control. But this was going on from the 13th of March. In one of the emails it says to make out the explosions are a safety mechanism. Reactor 3 definitely did not look safe. Now for the person calling me deluded hold that thought as people may be getting charged on this issue. In other words people may be going to jail. Lets wait and see.

        And its great to know when a nuclear crisis is going on that the nuclear industry at least in this case were more concerned about selling the new generation reactors!.

        Tell that to the 10 kids who tested positive to Cesium-134/137 in their urine. Only 10 tested so 100 percent so far.

        So if conspiracy is the wrong word heartless does come to mind.

        Just as a disclaimer I do not think people on this forum are heartless which has been implied before. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. It has always occurred to me nobody here is lying and you truly believe in what you are saying. If you were heartless you would believe it was dangerous and say it wasn’t even with kids exposed. I hope my Australian English makes some kind of sense.

      2. Luke,

        Let’s be thorough and read the entire articles. Here are some bits missing:

        1) The amounts found were measured in becquerels. What is important for the impact on human health is radiation measured in millisieverts. This information is missing and it is not a simple task to convert becquerels to millisieverts.

        2) The amounts expressed in becquerels were insignificant.

        3) The exact levels of contamination can’t be judged by urine tests alone because there is no direct correlation between contamination found in urine and contamination in the entire body.

        4) Masahiro Fukushi, a professor of radiological science at Tokyo Metropolitan University, told The Japan Times it is very difficult to ascertain the dose of internal exposure when radioactivity found in the urine is very small.

        Reading headlines will only get you half the information in some cases.

      3. Reactor 3 definitely did not look safe.

        Luke – Oh really? And your degree in nuclear engineering, civil engineering, or structural engineering is from where exactly?

        I would like to value your professional opinion, but I would prefer to know your credentials first.

        Now for the person calling me deluded hold that thought as people may be getting charged on this issue. In other words people may be going to jail. Lets wait and see.

        Heh … sure. You can keep your hopes up. Meanwhile, I’ll politely refrain from holding my breath.

        So if conspiracy is the wrong word heartless does come to mind.

        So government officials are “heartless” for trying to get information? They’re “heartless” for consulting with stakeholders? In the US, consulting stakeholders is the job of government regulating officials; it’s part of the NRC’s mandate. The NRC would be derelict in its duty if it did not talk to industry in addition to other stakeholders.

        What you call “heartless” I call responsible. The government should be working with the best available information, and the professionals in the nuclear industry are the best source for this information.

        Only a biased rag like The Guardian could see a conspiracy in this, and only a dogmatic fool who reads and believes everything that The Guardian publishes could uncritically swallow this nonsense.

      4. @Brian

        The NRC having been unable to approve a nuclear plant in 30 years and not being able to speed up the process for the 20 or so pending requests it has is nothing to be proud of. It shows a lack of pugnacity.

        I wish the NRC will setup a fast track for the light weight reactors. But I am not holding my breath.

      5. Daniel – Don’t be too harsh on the NRC. They have approved the equivalent of much more than one new reactor in uprates of existing plants over the past 15 years, and they have been quite diligent in reviewing applications for license extensions.

        Yes, the process for new reactors has been quite painful to watch, but industry shares the burden for this tragedy. There are several suggestions that I could make to improve the way that the NRC does things, but considering that this is a government entity, I don’t think that they’re doing too bad.

        The worst thing that I can say about the NRC today is that it has been embroiled too much in politics recently, and that’s the fault of only one man.

  28. Well, what’s the best immediate thing to turn the situation and nuclear energy’s public image? The mention of the French public being able to visit nuclear plants at will is a good starter for here; Take the dark daunting mystery out. Second, prompt active challenges to anti-nuke media features or interviews; just a phone letting the TV station know we’re knocking for equal-viewpoints is a head-start. Have the nuclear lobby spend some of that Greenbelt taxi fare toward better more conspicuous use. Put out a call for pro-nuclear music artists to feed fans the facts buried in song — no kidding. Get the music out. How about a pro-nuke themed NASCAR car? Get nuclear energy more popular in films and media again; remember how proudly 2001’s Discovery and the TV Batman’s car was nuclear powered? Remember nuclear Seaview? Even Supertrain was nuclear powered! (well, the stories unnecessarily sucked, but…) Need more positive images for nukes in Hollywood like that today! We could try a PSA visit to non-nuclear waste sites for a little comparison shopping and a visit to hospitals to see what real radiation poisoning is and that doesn’t turn humans into monsters but isn’t that different from what firemen see most everyday. Blow the specious logic of many anti-nuke greens; I’ve mentioned on other pol blogs how my niece’s fourth-grade class has on their window sill a solar-powered pinwheel with an off-switch which was re-labeled “turn off to save energy” (think hard about that!). Yea, we’re supposed to trust the logic and mentality that whipped that up to dictate our energy policy! If only the nuclear lobby tapped the PR firms that saved Tylenol’s bacon, they’d about have it half made.

    James Greenidge

    1. Somehow, I think that most NASCAR fans would already be quite receptive to nuclear power. NASCAR’s fan base is in the Southeast, where most ongoing plans for new nuclear reactors are located. They tend to be practical, working-class folk who can understand and appreciate not only the jobs that a nuclear plant can provide, but also the benefits of low-cost power for manufacturing jobs in the region.

      They are also not likely to listen to some San-Francisco-based Greenpeace “sissy,” when he comes to town to talk to them about the “dangers” of nuclear power. From what I’ve learned from my experience with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, I can say that none of them are NASCAR fans.

      Charlotte, NC, home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, is the headquarters for Duke Energy (a nuclear-heavy utility) and is one of the major office locations for AREVA.

      1. Brian – The fact that NASCAR fans are already supportive of nuclear energy does not negate the importance of building on that fan base to improve the strength of the support for nuclear energy. Market driven companies, like successful preachers and evangelists, recognize that it is important to “preach to the choir” and energize the already converted so that they go out and spread the message.

        Nuclear needs more fans. I like to remind nuclear communicators that the word “fan” is just short for “fanatic”. Nuclear energy is very good, but it has plenty of detractors. It needs active, engaged supporters to overcome many years worth of focused effort to push it off of the enegy market playing field. This thought is uncomfortable for engineering types who think that they should not have to work so hard to teach people to accept the right answer.

  29. @James good ideas. One of my old nuclear friends is a big race fan – he has been promoting nuclear energy using race cars for as long as I have been writing about nuclear energy. At one time, he tried operating a small company called Atomic Racing.

    He is now a professor and still involved with racing related activities like this one with Enetergy sponsorship. All such efforts are useful, just way too infrequent and under resourced.


  30. I know AREVA was advertising like crazy on CNBC on Cramer’s financial show ‘Mad Money’ in the early 2000’s. Do they still air that award winning segment on CNBC ?

  31. That was the ad AREVA had on Mad Money every day for many years:

    This is the french version:


    It was great.

    Areva could have done a much better job of calming things down in Fukushima. They showed a lack of leadership. They have so much expertise and should have spoken against the crazy evacuation zones set forth by the Japanese gov.

    1. I think that one of the problems that AREVA had (as a French international company) is that the French regulators were calling for upping the level on the INES (the rating for nuclear accidents) fairly early after the tsunami hit.

      It’s hard to get the word out that everything is OK when your own regulator is saying that things are worse than the Japanese regulators are estimating.

      1. No kidding. And one guy that stood up early in the ‘hurricane’ was IAN HORE-LACY of the WNA. He made the critical error of speaking his mind on TV shows on the gravity of what just happened and became invisible soon after. He was replaced by his boss, who obviously went mainstream from that point on.

        God forbid nowadays that you can work for a nuclear association and be pro nuclear.

        Who from the NRC, WNA or IAEA is pro nuclear and not afraid to say so. This is a problem according to me.

        I admire you Ian-Hore Lacy.

      2. IAN HORE-LACY said that the real tragedy were the victims of the earthquake and tsunami and that focus and energy should be devoted to helping people. A big no-no it seems.

  32. I would like to get a fleet of airships up floating permanently, with communication and radiation measuring equipment as well as backup power generators.

    That would be useful as an extra security layer (no tsunami or earthquake is going to reach an airship). And there would be no delays in getting backup generators on site from traffic jams, as with the Fukushima accident.

    But it would also of course leave a lot of airship surface space for messaging purposes.

    That could start very small with a couple of weather balloons carrying satellite phones and flashlights.

    1. Dr James Lovelock is not ‘clean’, as with Patrick Moore, he has received remuneration over the years from the pro nuclear industry.

      But I agree that he is an asset.

      1. Dr James Lovelock … has received remuneration over the years from the pro nuclear industry.

        Really? I was not aware of that. Where are you getting this from, if you don’t mind sharing?

        Dr. Moore is a freelance consultant and spokesman for several causes. That is well known, but I hardly think that it disqualifies him from expressing his opinion. On the contrary, I have found that the opinion that he has expressed in various public statements and Op-Eds to be well supported by the facts.

      2. Moore is now funded by the Nuclear Energy Institute to front a pro-nuclear corporate front group, the so-called Clean and Safe Energy Coalition.

        That of course does not mean that he is not competent and trustworhty.

        I think we need new blood.

      3. I erred regarding Dr Lovelock’s financing and confused him with patrick Moore.

        They are both doing a great job of promoting nuclear as the best way to fight climate change and protect the environment.

  33. One of the best way to fight FUD (Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt) is with facts and education.

    Nuclear has other application than electricity. It can be used to desalinate water as it does in the Middle East or in the not too distant future to make clean Hydrogen. (Yes, hydrogen has to be made by man first and then store in some sort of battery)

    One major category missing from this blog is medicine.

    One man who impressed me during the industrial accident at Fukushima was Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN. He said that the radiations were nothing to worry about. (He knows that part of India, Brazil and Iran are exposed to more than 250 msv a year, yet Japan is evacuating towns that merely approach 20 msv a year. That is the frigging tragedy. The undue stress that is imposed on those poor Japanese families will kill them, not the actual insignificant radiation)

    He could be invited to have a medical section on this blog.

    Nuclear medicine saves lives and Technecium 99 injections are used extensively and routinely to diagnose. Also radio therapy saves lives.

    Curie Therapy, where actual pieces of radio active metal are inserted in the human body, are now common practices for certain types of specific cancer in man (prostate) and woman (breast). A hospital near me has doubled its size by building a whole new nuclear medicine department. Yes, the Chalk River nuclear plant does us good by providing life savings isotopes. Maybe Luke and Christopher want to close it down.

    Rod, please add a medicine article here and there on your blog.

  34. Luke,
    In the USA, many states have “Sunshine” laws that are intended to open up government actions to scrutiny except in cases involving things like employee personal information or national security.

    The only problem I have with that correspondence you linked is that far too much information was blacked out. We really need to know who these people are. Are these people offering their opinions or are they setting policy?

  35. I still contend that one celebrity spokes-babe backing an emotional appeal will gain more converts than ten scientists pontificating on the benefits of nuclear energy.

    This is not the way it should be, but it’s the way it is.

    1. I see your point. Years ago when Brook Shields was at the pinnacle of her fame, she came out focefully against tobacco, which sent tobacco companies in a social/political tailspin. They knew they had a problem that would (and probably did) diminish their bottom line.

      I read somewhere on these boards (maybe this one), that household cooking smoke kills 0.5 million children per year in India alone. The world clearly needs a campaign such that each child grows in a household with a 5 Amp service and a microwave, minimum. It could almost be a bumper sticker: “5 amp service and a microwave for every child’s household.”

      Angolina Jolie Adopts, loves and raises children whom might otherwise experience devastating hopelessness. I wonder if she could find it in her heart to save millions?

      5 Amp service for EVERY CHILD.

      1. Why such a technologically inappropriate response?

        Better techniques for the elimination of cooking smoke from the house might be a better solution.. we call these chimneys.

      2. And just why is providing electric power to everyone that wants it and needs it “technologically inappropriate”?

        The problem with cooking smoke is not a lack of chimneys – the problem is the fuel is so dear that not enough of it is burned to get a good draw for a chimney to work.

      3. Christopher,

        The problem of cooking smoke killing innocent children isn’t the only issue. A minimum 5 Amp service can also “brighten” the lives of children in so many other ways.

        You pointed out to us above that you have a phenomenally high IQ. Did you acquire this wonderful characteristic by having to study by candle and Kerosene in the evening? Your achievement of acquiring your high IQ had to be in part that you were lucky enough to grow up where you had reliable electrical service.

        I would like to see that every child can also escape hopelessness, which is why we all need to advocate a minimum: 5 Amp Service for EVERY CHILD.

      4. Chimneys, eh? All that does is dump the pollution into the air for others to breathe. Did you know that the leading cause of lung cancer in the third world is exposure to PAHs from wood smoke? Do you even know what PAHs are? That’s what will happen if you forego clean-air technologies (nuclear) in favor of dirty ones (burning wood, coal, oil, etc). Surely someone with the self-proclaimed IQ that you have can figure that out.

      1. The point I am making is that those here that believe that we can reason with the public and “just explain” ourselves have to take notice of the fact that our opponents are not gearing their message around the truth, or logic. We have to get down and fight on their level if we want to make inroads.

        This will mean making emotional appeals like the “5 Amp service for EVERY CHILD” that John mentions above, not arguing with claims that nuclear energy causes global warming, with idiots like the one that posted the nonsense I kinked to.

    1. I have long thought the point you are making DV82XL. Overwhelming people with facts and technical points does not win the heart. At least not with most people. They want to know their homes are not going to be useless and most would like to know the potential of this resource – so what can it really do?

      A nice and even beautiful spokes person with emotional appeal is what is needed.

      My story is that I tried to use all the “renewable” types of energy and found them lacking. Too expensive, too weak, and not able to meet the need of my friends living on Islands in the South Pacific, or of the schools I was a board member of. I taught classes in a area powered by Hydro Electric during a drought. The rotating blackouts make it even more difficult to teach into the evening. About 4 years ago I Learned about a Modular Pebble Bed design from MIT. That led me to study Nuclear and I have become convinced that this technology really can fulfill the dreams we had 60 years ago. One of the real eye openers was one of Rod’s podcast interviews with a doctor of Nuclear Medicine. When I realized that the levels used safely in Nuclear medicine were far above what is considered “safe” in Nuclear power generation I begain to understand that this was not a uniquely dangerous technology but a wonderful gift. I verified what I had heard by talking with some of the folks at church who practiced Nuclear medicine. They verified what I had head on the podcast. I was sold.

      We can have a world of growing potential where people can love and live in freedom and dignity.

      1. This is one of the reasons why I asked Ron to post a nuclear medecine article once in a while.

        Entire towns are being evacuated for exposure above 20 msv per year in Japan.

        Yet, certain types of cancer have the patient submitted to exposures of up to 20,000 msv over the course of 2 weeks.

        The human body has an incredible ability to mend once exposed to radiation. Plus there is an antidote or measure that can be taken for everything radioactive.

        For example, Technecium 99 is very radioactive. You bombard it with particles for 15 minutes and voilà, you are now the proud owner of Technecium 100.

        Technecium 100 is as dangerous to your health as mud or Jell-O or Plutonium.

        1. @Daniel – I have posted a number of articles about the health effects of low level radiation over the years. I am not a nuclear medicine expert, but I have some friends who are. I will be asking them for guest post contributions about their field to share with you.

  36. Gee, Rod, I guess you sure told EdF.


    My words were poorly chosen — I know that you’ve been writing on natural gas and fracking for some time. Heck, I’ve probably read most or even all of the associated posts.

    What I meant is that “junk journalism” is “junk journalism,” no matter whether its an NYT article on fracking or an AP hatchet job on nuclear.

    And oh, by the way, I am not connected with the nuclear industry — or the oil and gas industry — in any way, shape, or form. My only connection to the nuclear world are the low-marginal-cost trons entering my home that were generated at Calvert Cliffs 1&2.

  37. An inconvenient truth – Part II and back at you Mister Gore

    We have to congratulate Mister Gore for winning the Nobel Peace price and for reaching a very important position in government.

    But like most environmentalists, Mister Gore left out nuclear power – saying that it comes in only one size ‘Extra Large’.

    In ‘An inconvenient truth’, Gore borrowed the work of Robert Socolow, head of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative at Princeton.

    Socolow argues we need seven “wedges” to stabilize atmospheric carbon. He proposes: fuel switching, improved efficiency, energy conservation, alternate energies, reforestation, carbon sequestration, and nuclear power.

    Yet when Socolow’s work is recited in Gore’s movie, nuclear has disappeared.

    The question: Now that small nuclear reactors are making their way in the market, will Mister Gore tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth on Socolow’s work ?

    I think he would not have won the Nobel price if he had pushed nuclear. Now that he has won the Nobel price, will he show great statemanship?

    History will tell us.

    1. Gore’s an easy target. He’s a “C” student who got by on his daddy’s credentials, much like his opponent in the 2000 election.

      As for Gore’s (misguided) message, please consider reading “Has the green movement lost its way?“.

      I predict that history will label Gore a fool.

    1. You’re not going to get much traction playing whack-a-link on this blog. Better to try posting a comment or question in your own words, based on your own understanding of the issue(s). Posting link after link for others to bat down is pretty lame.

    2. Yes, these plants are aged. They were damaged in the earthquake. They are releasing radiation. But the core implication – that this radiation release will drastically harm people, or that now with the reactors shut down there will be some great impact, or massive numbers of people harmed is something that I no longer believe.

      In other words, looking at these plants, poorly run, 40 years old and hit by the most massive earthquake I have heard of I am amazed that so far no one has been killed by direct radiation.

      This testifies to two things – 1. that the training and designs were adequate, even in a compromised condition. 2. That radiation is not as dangerous as has been popularly promoted.

      No one claims there is no danger, but that the dangers are not so high as to be very different than we normally meet in industrial settings. And in fact have proven less fatal.

      I like the passive safe designs from hyperion, Adam’s Atomic Engines, LFTR and the pebble bed reactors. The potential these have for safety is amazing, so that they and their surrounding components can be destroyed and not much is going to happen.

      So, yes, let’s clean up Fukishima and then build new designs. Lots and lots of them.

    3. For the second link, it’s a switchyard step-up transformer under maintenance that caught fire.

      No relation to nuclear power and no impact on nuclear safety, actual or even potential. The same could have happened and does indeed happen in any other type of power plant, coal, gas or even solar if they were big enough to use this kind of transformers.

      Very nice example of “because it’s nuclear” hysteria. Some of the comments are priceless, btw.

      1. Well, keep in mind that this story is coming from a website whose “premise is that Planet X will cause a pole shift in the near future which is an event that can be survived when you prepare for it.”

        Oh yeah, and there are aliens too. They’re called “Zetas.”

  38. Thinking of the US market specifically (happy Independence Day, to you all) the message could just as well be delivered by one of the several Rush Limbaugh type of Right-wing conservative political opinion leaders that seem to like raising Cain on issues like this. If one or several of them took on the task of pushing America toward a nuclear future they might have a huge impact.

    Since they don’t seem to be burdened by the need to tell the whole truth, a campaign centered around energy security might work, and I’d think they would love the conspiracy aspect of fossil-fuel’s involvement. As I understand it nuclear energy is supported by the political Right in the US, so it looks to my naïve eye like these fellows would be a good fit.

  39. I could not agree more with the statement that Nuclear Industry leaders are wimps. The failure of the nuclear industry to respond to the retoric related to Japans problems is part and parcel of the same failure to respond after the TMI accident. We are looking at a 40 year old plant designed to withstand a reasonablly expected earthquake. Instead, it was demolished by what is argueably the worst one-two punch ever encountered and although it will never produce power again, there are to date no deaths related to nuclear specific causes, only industrial safety issues common to any major industrial complex. This has generated a coulda woulda shoulda response by anti nuclear agencies which is based in simple fear of the unknown.

    I don’t see any of these same fear mongers attempting to shut down the organic farming industry in Germany which recently was the direct contributor to dozens of deaths and hundreds of sicknesses.

    1. How did that movie go; “What we have here is a failure to communicate”? One has to ask isn’t there ANY cross-pollination between our and Japanese nuclear blogs/industry on ways and methods to counter the fearmongers? As evident in Jacques’ post, most of these “investigative” journalism outfits are basically social crusaders looking for dragons to slay, like out to stop corporate women and human trafficking as noted in author of that Atlantic Wire. In their eyes the best reactor is a dead reactor, end of story. I have no use for any reporter/journalist with such built-in biases and dead-end predispositions, especially linking any nuclear with war and Doomsday (the “dark stain”). It was these “social conscious” type reporters who just couldn’t wait to splash “50,000 DEAD!!!” all over the headlines with (as worst as you can get) Chernobyl — remember that terrifying act of unbiased accurate reporting? They happily heap impressive pics of reactor site destruction but nix any mention of whatever non-injuries much less death that occured (self-censorship? I thought they were against all forms!). As you said, all their alarmist ammo consists of is “could’ve beens” and “potential of” fed to the clueless and ignorant and not what is or was. They are slyly tacit fearsowers because they don’t present opposite sides or circumstances nor at unchallengable _historical_ proof that, despite near or total meltdowns of public or research or military reactors around the world since the end of WWII, that no hundreds or thousands of people in these vicinities were smitten dead by radiation nor such areas forever uninhabitable. This is not conjecture or opinion but unsung KILLER historical proof — and anti-nukers get away with the mainstay of their bogus argument because our side is too damn dumb to use the main artillary of historical proof. I just don’t understand why the Japanese don’t avail this powerful arrow in their quiver! After all, early nuke alarmists and B-movies had -written off- their own top cities — Nagasaki and Hiroshima — as “forbidden zones” like The Planet of the Apes and expected only twenty-toed two-headed descendents dwelling there today. Don’t they recall that?? It’s in OUR nuclear industry’s best interest to get the Japanese some Tylenol-grade PR air support and nuclear image repair building going for Japanese public acceptence of nuclear energy even in light Fukushima! It can be done; the nearly oldest and most well-known anime character of Japan is Astroboy — whose name in Japanese is “Mighty Atom” — and this regard for the atom only a decade or so after Hiroshima! So their fears and bad image of nuclear energy CAN be fixed with facts and proof — but only if they TRY! If reason and fact can prevail in Japan and even spring new reactors there, maybe it’s still possible to turn reasonlessly fearstruck Germany and Italy around. But the nuclear industry has to hold hands and TRY!!

      I am immensely pleased that Rod plans to berth some physicians familiar with radioactive effects and medicine here! I hope their additional facts dissenimate throughtout other nuclear blogs and hopefully even Japan’s.

      James Greenidge

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