1. In November 2011 I interviewed John Sackett at the ANS Winter Meeting held in Washington,DC. Sackett and a group of colleagues examined the technical documentation available on the IFR. They concluded that there was sufficient information to form the basis for a license application under Part 50 to the NRC. The article cited in the URL contains a link to the review and to the documentation itself.


  2. Indeed sad that EBR/IFR was terminated by invalid nonproliferation concerns. Our Secretary of State lets North Korea continue to threaten the world with nuclear weapons because he can’t intervene. He negotiated a 10-year nonproliferation agreement with Iran because that’s all he could get. He shut down EBR/IFR because he could.

    1. Yeah, it never ceases to amaze me how people can claim proliferation as a reason for the US or Europe not to use nuclear energy technologies. We ALREADY have nukes, we’re not giving them up, and us using civilian nuclear electric plants doesn’t have anything to do with N. Korea or Iran getting nuclear weapons – they are building their own nuclear “research reactors” for those purposes.

      IFR is not a good way to get bombs. It’s simply harder than the other available alternatives.

    2. Yes, the agreement is all which is possible IMO.
      Since the boycott is eroding, US has little choice:

      Either negotiate such agreement with Iran, or enforce the boycott by military means which implies a far more difficult war than in Iraq and Afghanistan with much higher death toll.

      Especially since nearly everybody in Iran will fight as all remember the 25years after the US lead putsch in 1953.

      Remembrance of the US stimulated invasion by Saddam Hussein plays also a role. During that war US delivered weapons and (satellite & spy plane) info to Saddam and banned weapon delivery to Iran. So Iran had to fight Saddam off with inferior weapons, which did cost them nearly half a million deaths. Not strange they want advanced weapons since then.

      1. @ Bas

        “Either negotiate such agreement with Iran, or enforce the boycott by military means…”

        Neville Chamberlain was faced with a similar decision, and made the same decision Obama has now made…let’s hope with better results.

        1. @david davison

          Maybe it’s time for another internet rule akin to Godwin’s Law regarding the introduction of Neville Chamberlain to criticize any action of diplomacy with which the user disagrees. There are many examples in history where the decision to negotiate and compromise was exactly the right call.

          1. @ Rod

            “…time for another internet rule akin to Godwin’s Law…” and “…where the decision to negotiate and compromise was exactly the right call.”

            Because others may have over used the comparison, it doesn’t minimize the similarities of these deals. No one knows the future and this may turn out to be “the right call” but the gravity of the situation if Iran cheats demands we hold the president accountable to keep all options on the table (little late now). His failure to place America and American’s interests above his own and his actions vis a vis Iran have not given me confidence the deal he promotes is a good one.
            As the deal seems sure to be rammed through, I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

          2. “His failure to place America and American’s interests above his own and his actions vis a vis Iran have not given me confidence the deal he promotes is a good one”

            And how has he done this, placed his own interests above those of this nation? Explain that. I doubt you can rationalize that accusation with anything resembling honesty or logic. Yet another clown that gets his world view in a partisan media tunnel, containing an agenda driven narrative, you repeat idiocy by tote.

            So go ahead, David, explain your accusation without anything other than inane prattle.

            And maybe you can give us a feasable alternative to this deal. Oops, I forgot, Rush and Sean haven’t given you that script yet, have they?

          3. Who woulda guessed I’d ever link to Pat Buchanan???

            Perhaps David can take Buchanan’s points, made in defense of this deal, and rebut them one by one.



            “Surely, the first is the avoidance of war, which would further destabilize the Mideast, be a disaster for the world economy, and leave Iran a disintegrating wreck. Another common interest is in a secure and open Persian Gulf, where oil can flow freely to the West.”

            “Third, Iran is now a critical ally of a Baghdad regime in whose survival we, too, have a stake. Fourth, Iran is also critical to the survival of the Syrian regime and preventing ISIS and al-Nusra Front from bringing down Bashar Assad and taking Damascus.”

            “We have enemies in common.

            Moreover, as the largest Shiite nation in the Middle East, and most populous nation in the Persian Gulf, Iran, absent a ruinous war, is going to become a regional power. When Bush 43 smashed Iran’s great rival, overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein, then disbanded the Sunni-led Iraqi army, “W” guaranteed it.”

          4. @ POA

            Take a chill pill POA.

            During the government shutdown, Obama did all he could to inflict the maximum pain on ordinary Americans because he figured the media would blame it on the Republicans, thus helping him personally. see here:


            For two weeks Obama lied about the murders of our ambassador and 3 others in Benghazi claiming it was the result of an internet video. He did so to help him with his reelection campaign, placing his needs above the country’s. After the British and Red Cross had been attacked, they left leaving only the Americans in Benghazi. Obama and Hillary not only didn’t pull our Ambassador out of there, they reduced his defense team leaving them naked and exposed to the attack that was a foregone conclusion. Chris Stevens was the first American Ambassador killed since 1988 (that ambassador died in a plane crash) and Obama and Hillary are directly responsible for leaving them so undefended AND not sending them help.
            To claim this was a spontaneous riot when it occurred on 9/11 and where this spontaneous crowd showed up with mortars and rocket launchers is insulting. Who were the people that believed this cock and bull story?

            His administration used the IRS to target conservative groups, something that Nixon, in part, had articles of impeachment brought against him for.

            Blew half a billion dollars on a pet project, Solyndra (shoring up his base at the expense of the rest of America), which promptly failed. see below:

            Thomas Pyle of U.S. News wrote an article on the issuance of new loan guarantees to additional green companies despite the Solyndra scandal. “Now here we are, $535 billion in wasted taxpayer dollars later, and it seems that the administration is intent on going full speed ahead. In fact, the president recently said in an interview that the Solyndra deal was ‘a good bet.’ Talk about a disconnect.” (I think he meant million, not billion)

            Obama has injected himself in a negative and divisive manner in regard to race relations. When blacks have been shot by white cops or also in the Trevon Martin case, his meddling, though politically helpful to him, made matters worse and indeed, people died during some of the rioting. Totally neglected is the far more wide spread killing of black people by other blacks in places like his own Chicago, but speaking out here would not cater to his base. For heaven’s sake, he uses Al Sharpton as an advisor on these matters and Sharpton isn’t known as a calming influence.
            His lighting up the White House with the rainbow following the Supreme Court decision on homosexual marriage was a stick in the eye to social conservatives and illustrative of his divisive actions.

            Obama traded 5 top Taliban generals for an apparent deserter, one whose activities caused the deaths of other Americans. Obama added insult to injury by meeting with the family and claiming, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Bowe Bergdahl had served honorably.
            Contrast that with his leaving a marine to rot in a Mexican jail who by ALL accounts, did serve honorably. His retrieval wouldn’t have cost 5 Taliban generals.

            He is rightly described by some as the “divider in chief.”

            For these reasons and more, I feel Obama has “demonstrated unreliability” and I neither trust his wisdom nor his character. However, with all that said, we still don’t know the future and the deal could turn out to be the “right choice.” It all depends on the Iranians. I do hope all goes well.

            With all the computer hacking, just how thoroughly compromised do you think our negotiation strategy was?

          5. Brian. We are talking about the Iran deal, not other issues. I am NOT a fan of Obama, and am not inclined to defend him. There is much he has done that is a huge disappointment to me, some of those disappointments are described by you. But most dissapointing was his turning his back on the rule of law, and not pursuing indictments of the criminals that ran the Bush administration. And before you offer the character assasination of Hillary as some sort of argument that has anything to do debating about the Iran deal, be aware that I would put that witch on the same bus that should be taking W and Cheney to a federal prison.

            However, I see you linked to Breitbart. There is absolutely no reason for me to go there for an unbiased account, because obviously thats not what I will find there. It would be like me linking to Rachel Maddow, and expecting you to take it with more than a grain of salt. But it does explain quite a bit about you, and how and where you develop your world view. And your list of RW talking points, absent reflection on your part, cements my opinion abou the depth of your indoctrination, and your jello like malleability when it comes to parroting a partisan and scripted narrative.

            Deflection seems to be your sole manner of engagement. You have yet to offer substantive argument opposing this Iran deal. You completely ignored my suggestion that you rebut Buchanan, point by point. I am hoping Rod will put a few other comments on thread that contain links to ACTUAL SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMENT, by people far more knowledgable than you or I, in defense of this deal. As these links were stopped by Rod’s moderation protocol, the hope is that he will allow their appearence. Perhaps then you will offer substantive rebuttal that offers more than shallow finger pointing and partisan blather. But I highly doubt it, because no one yet has programmed you with such an ability. I have no doubt, though, that eventually some pundit or partisan media hawker will put the words in your mouth for you, and you will actually think you said something worthwhile.

          6. @ POA

            “…my opinion abou the depth of your indoctrination…”

            You make the mistake in thinking I give a hoot n holler what your opinion of me is.

            I didn’t provide an alternative to the Obama plan because I had already done that in an earlier thread. However, I failed to mention that the Obama administration should have made it clear to the Iranians that if they persisted in developing a nuclear weapon, we would incinerate their entire nation…and he would need to be believable (I’m not proposing we actually follow thru).
            I could elaborate further but frankly, I’m not interested in feeding another bombastic, blogging blowhard.

          7. ROFLMO!!! Exactly what I expected from you, David.

            And, uh….about you guys bitchin’ and moaning about the Iranian’s constantly threatening Israel with inihilation …..

            “I failed to mention that the Obama administration should have made it clear to the Iranians that if they persisted in developing a nuclear weapon, we would incinerate their entire nation……”

            To say nothing of more than one threat, offered by members of Netanyhu’s cabinet, of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran. We have even seen, here, such a threat offered by one of our own senators.

            And the RW protests in Israel, with settlers chanting “death to the arabs”? Hmmmm… never have much to say about that, do you?

          8. CIA Cover-Up Thwarted FBI’s Nuclear Diversion Investigations

            Evidence that missing uranium went to Israel withheld .

            According to formerly top-secret and secret Central Intelligence Agency files (PDF) released August 31 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit(PDF), the agency’s long retention of key information ultimately stymied two FBI investigations into the 1960s diversion of weapons-grade uranium from a Pennsylvania-based government contractor into the Israeli nuclear weapons program.


        2. “FWIW, I think the guy’s name is David.
          Oops, yeah. Sorry Brian”

          My neighbor raises sheep for 4H kids, and has an ewe named “Betsy”. When Betsy is in with flock, I can’t tell her apart from the rest, either.

        3. Camberlain faced a total different decision.
          He agreed that aggressive Germany also could occupy Sudetenland.

          With this agreement Obama defends aggressive Israel who doesn’t follow UN resolutions to retreat from occupying areas. Who steals Palastinian land in the occupying areas by putting up new villages, atacks elsewhere when it thinks it is in its interest (also murdering Iranian scientists), etc.

          While Iran never started a war in modern history! To the contrary.
          US lead putsch installed in 1953 a criminal regime, murdering thousands of Iranians/year. When it was replaced and US lost its influence in Iran, US stimulated an attack by Saddam Hussein, helping the aggressor.

          Nervous US navy also shot a just started regular Iranian airliner which was climbing to cruise flight level, killing some hundreds of Iranian.
          The navy apparently didn’t take the small effort to explain the daily flight schedule of the nearby Iranian airfield to its crew, or to put that schedule at the ships..
          Apparently a life is nothing if it’s a non-US life.

          It was shown that Israel could read the reports of the IAEA inspectors (despite Israel not being member and the secrecy of those reports).
          So not strange that Iran wants restrictions to those inspections, as without restrictions it allows aggessive Israel to get all military info.

          It’s amazing that Iran trusts US despite all its aggression towards Iran.
          We should thank Obama for that. He created/restored much of the name of US being a reliable trustworthiness country.

          Iran could have helped the Taliban in Afghanistan, just as Pakistan. But Iran helped US a lot by keeping its borders closed.
          US also sends spy-planes violating Iranian airspace as shown by a plane the Iranians succesfully enforced to land on their airfield.

  3. The technology is not lost. What are the essential differences between these sodium cooled fast reactors. Is there a nice table anywhere?

    IFR, the pyroprocessing?
    GE Prism, the offsite fuel processing?
    TerraPower TWR, the internal fuel-shuffling?

    1. @ Robert Hargraves:
      EBR-II was a research prototype for EBR-III, and at 62 MWt roughly on tenth IFR’s power. I’m not sure the distinction between EBR-III (which was never built) and IFR. But the IFR project had two commercial collaborators, General Electric and Hitachi. When IFR was terminated in 1994, GE and Hitachi picked up their marbles and went home to sulk.

      And to refine the IFR design over the next fifteen years to their now-ready commerical product, GE-H S-PRISM.

      GE-H Senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Jerald G. Head sent NRC with a 500 page pre-licence application “Submittal of Licensing Strategy Document For PRISM” in March 2010. NRC’s reply:


      Dear Mr. Head:

      Thank you for your March 15, 2010 letter responding to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) Regulatory Issue Summary 2010-03, “Licensing Submittal Information for Small Modular Reactor Designs,” dated February 25, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. ML100260855) concerning the Power Reactor Inherently Safe Module/Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) design. The staff will use this information during its scheduling of resources to support its pre-application and application review activities. The NRC staff plans to continue to interact with the Department of Energy and small modular reactor (SMR) designers over the next several years to identify and develop resolutions to policy, licensing, and key technical issues. Although the staff discusses a number of potential policy issues concerning many different types of SMR technologies in SECY-10-0034, “Potential Policy, Licensing, and Key Technical Issues for Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Designs,” dated March 28, 2010, we are primarily focused on our preparations related to the Next Generation Nuclear Plant program and integral pressurized water reactors. For fiscal years 2010 through 2011, the staff will, because of resource constraints, continue to limit interactions with the designers of other advanced reactor designs to occasional meetings or other non-resource-intensive activities. Should you submit a design review application during this time, the staff will conduct an acceptance review of the application when it is received. The design review will commence once resources are available. While resource constraints may limit our interactions, we encourage your continued participation in generic activities related to SMRs and please keep us informed of your plans related to the development of PRISM-related design or licensing applications.


      Michael E. Mayfield, Director
      Advanced Reactor Program
      Office of New Reactors

      Mr. Head resubmitted his submission one year later, and received an identical reply. Google “ADAMS Accession No. ML100260855” if you’d like a copy. A brief 2004 history of EBR-I and EBR-II is Vision and reality: The EBR-II story. (The cover photo alone is worth the price of admission.)

    2. I’ve covered the first three in a separate comment. To my knowledge TerraPower TWR does no fuel shuffling. TWR is a sodium-cooled fast reactor with oxide fuel pellets, apparently consisting of a small U-235 core surrounded by a spherical depleted uranium blanket. In operation as the U-235 is consumed it breeds Plutonium in the blanket, which takes over the fission duties as the initial U-235 is finished. TWR is intended for developing world markets. Its fuel life is estimated at 40 – 60 years. I don’t know if it is then refueled in-situ, or the core module (with coolant?) shipped offsite for re-fuel.

      Anyway, TWR is supposed to give high burn-up similar to IFR without the fuel shuffling.

      I don’t know of BWR-600, perhaps you meant BN-600? The latter is a long-running Russian sodium-cooled combined research / fast neutron flux / commercial power reactor that pretty much by default became international center of FNR and fuel-cycle research after cancellation of US IFR. (INL still collaborates on fuel research; I don’t know what they do for neutrons after Hanford’s FFTF was decommissioned)

      1. I dont think Terrapower are pursuing the Traveling Wave variant for the initial design. It will be a somewhat conventional design with periodic in-core fuel/ blanket shuffling.

        Interestingly – if I remember correctly -the design differs from the IFR in that there is no sodium bond between fuel and cladding in the interests of nuetron economy. Thats a major departure from one of the IFRs innovations. Presumably the fuel /cladding metallurgy has advanced somewhat.

  4. ….”they are building their own nuclear “research reactors” for those purposes.”

    Yes, NK does have nukes. But what evidence do you have of Iranian “research reactors”?

      1. I don’t think there’s any evidence they’ve used it to breed WGPU though, is there? Although that potentiallyl remains a possibility, I suppose?

        1. Bushehr was shut down in October 2012, about 60 days after start up.
          The shutdown period was bout 8 days.
          Three different conflicting stories were given for the shutdown.
          Solomon S and Barnes J, WSJ 2012-12-02.

          It’s a safe bet the Iranians have some fuel elements with WG Pu.
          I have seen no evidence that they have a Purex style separation capability.

      2. I’m kinda baffled by this. Is this so-called “research reactor” currently running? And, considering the Israeli policy of assassinating Iranian scientists, is the facility fully manned and completely operational? Rod’s link seems to be dated, and ststesthat Iran would run out of the argentinian supplied fuel in 2011. As a consequence, is the reactor in a full shutdown?

        1. Hmm……this seems to answer my question….


          In terms of proliferation, which seems to be the loudest argument against Iran, I don’t recall medical isotopes being brought up as a counter argument. Why shouldn’t any signers of the NPT be allowed to create their own medical isotopes?

          Am I straying too far here? Trying to understand the direction a topic such as Rod introduced with this piece is hard for a lay person such as myself to understand. On a superficial level I understand that the base premise … that technology was developed in the past that made the operation of a NPP a safer endeavor, yet that technology was cut short due to political manuvering and fearmongering following the event behind the Iron Curtain?

          Well, aren’t we witnessing a renewed campaign of fearmongering and FUD aimed at disallowing a member of the NPT to use the atom for peaceful and humane applications? I wonder, have experts in the field of medical nuclear science been asassinated due to this fearmongering and political interference in the rights of the Iranians to pursue the production of medical isotopes?

          1. @poa

            My opinion – “non-proliferation” is mostly about ensuring that only a select few have control over nuclear weapons. It has not really been about whether or not they were in the hands of “the good guys,” as long as they were kept in the hands of the powerful. Ever since the earliest days of atomic energy — the inklings of which were being known well before WWII — there has been nervousness about the disruptive implications of tiny masses that stored enormous power. That meant that even small groups or individuals could perform feats formerly reserved for large organized groups led by carefully selected elites — or ruthless autocrats.

            The non-proliferation movement has also been used to add cost and schedule uncertainty to nuclear projects. That movement hates the idea of small reactors, especially when taken to the extremes of power plants small enough for commercial parks, individual factories, strip malls, suburban blocks or even individual homes. They also hate the idea of cheap, abundant energy sources that can run for decades without new fuel deliveries/sales.

            Think of all of the powerful interest groups whose livelihoods might be threatened and whose capital assets would be reduced in value — perhaps all the way to zero.

          2. Why shouldn’t any signers of the NPT be allowed to create their own medical isotopes?

            The US can’t even produce its own medical isotopes.

          3. Rod – “Can’t” … “don’t” … it’s the same thing. Last time I checked, the US imports 90% of the medical isotopes that it uses.

            1. @Brian Mays

              Apparently you missed that day in elementary school. “Can” refers to capability, “don’t” or “may” implies that a choice has been made.

              My mom, the English teacher, had a good way of reminding us that “Can I go to the bathroom?” does not mean the same as “May I go to the bathroom.”

              The US has chosen to import most of its medical isotopes because Canada was selling them at a low enough price to dissuade any investment in our own capability – that and the fact that the NRC erected enough barriers to add too much extraneous cost.

          4. “Rod – “Can’t” … “don’t” … it’s the same thing.”


            Can’t and don’t have two distinctly different meanings. Those different meanings are especially obvious and relevent in this exchange about the NPT.

            But you knew that. So what are you REALLY trying to say?

          5. If you don’t have the will then you can’t do it.

            The truth of the matter is that, today, right now, in 2015, the United States cannot supply it’s own medical isotope needs. It simply does not have the capability to produce all of the medical isotopes that it consumes. Do you disagree with this basic premise, which was my original point?

            Why are you wasting everybody’s time arguing hypotheticals and semantics? It seems so pointless to me.

          6. Well, Brian, because you offered the playful semantics.

            There is a huge difference beteeen “can’t” by choice and logistics, and “can’t” by virtue of being forcefully prohibited, through threat or sanction, of doing so.

            Apparently Iran CAN produce their own medical isotopes. So why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so?

            Is the United States PROHIBITED from doing so, by treaty, or forceful prohibition?

            Brian, it is YOU that is playing word games.

            And point of fact; INRE to my question; “Why shouldn’t any signers of the NPT be allowed to create their own medical isotopes?”, it is irrelevent whether or not we CHOOSE to produce our own medical medical isotopes or not.

          7. Nonsense. I’m not playing with words. It was the English Major, who started that. My point was straightforward, and while I was deliberately terse, it should have been clear, but if you need it spelled out for you, here goes.

            If a country as large as the US can get by without producing its own medical isotopes, why can’t a smaller country like Iran? Whether or not this is a choice that has been made by the US is irrelevant.

            I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that Iran should not be able produce its own medical isotopes, as long as they don’t do it with 20 wt% U-235. Why 20%? Because if Iran has enough uranium that is enriched to 20% and has enrichment capability, then it is about 90% of the way to having a nuclear bomb. poa – Your own link explains that they don’t need 20 wt% U-235 to produce medical isotopes, if they update their facility.

            Given Iran’s history of trying to hide its clandestine nuclear weapons program (the US, by comparison, has not had a clandestine nuclear weapons program since WWII), this theocracy simply cannot be trusted and does not deserve to be trusted with this material.

            1. @Brian Mays

              Well if Iran doesn’t “need” 20% enriched U, why do our medical isotope suppliers in Canada “need” HEU of unspecified enrichment?

              It is not a matter of need, but ease and cost. If all else is equal, it is simpler and cheaper to produce useful fission product isotopes from material that is purer in fissile isotope concentration.

              I don’t care who has bombs or the capability to produce them. I care who uses them to kill people.

              If most of the countries in the world had atomic weapons, the world MIGHT be more threatening, but I believe it would be substantially less likely to engage in warfare.

              One more thing – it is much easier for the US to choose to import items of strategic value since we have rarely, if ever, been the victim of sanctions. (One memorable exception is the Arab Oil Embargo, which Iran helped mitigate for us.)

          8. “If a country as large as the US can get by without producing its own medical isotopes, why can’t a smaller country like Iran”

            Apparently, we can’t “get by”. There have been a number of shortages due to the age of the foreign reactors supplying our need.

            And as far as Iran goes, our open hostility, coupled with our imposition of sanctions, is plenty.of reason for Iran to seek the ability to make their own medical isotopes.

          9. BTW, Brian, aren’t you supposed to be an advocate for the American nuclear industry? Are you sure you want to pusue this argument just for the sake of maligning Iran? Wouldn’t you rather we were producing enough medical isotopes, domestically, to meet our needs, and possibly export?

          10. Brian,
            Due to the boycott, Iran had trouble to get (medical) isotopes and some other similar stuff.
            So I can imagine that they want to prevent a repeat.

            US had secret nuclear weapons programs after WWII.

          11. The medical isotope suppliers in Canada are using outdated technology that they keep running because nobody is building new facilities. It’s scandalous.

            Believe me. I’d like nothing better than to work on a new medical isotope production reactor (MIPR). Do you remember (the late) Russ Ball? You might have met him at a Virginia ANS meeting. He always had a great idea for a MIPR — it was his baby — but nobody wanted to fund its development.

            If most of the countries in the world had atomic weapons, the world MIGHT be more threatening, but I believe it would be substantially less likely to engage in warfare.

            Yeah, Richard Gatling thought the same way:

            “It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine — a gun — which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease [would] be greatly diminished.”

            But the armies just got bigger and we had two world wars that featured descendants of his gun design. The first world war was followed immediately by the Spanish Flu pandemic.

            The only reason that the Cold War did not end in an apocalypse is because there were only two superpowers, and they balanced each other. More players destabilize the game.

            US had secret nuclear weapons programs after WWII.

            Bas – Classified is not the same thing as clandestine. At no time after WWII was anybody fooled into believing that the US was not developing and improving its nuclear arsenal.

          12. “Why shouldn’t any signers of the NPT be allowed to create their own medical isotopes?”, POA asks in seriousness.

            “Yadayadayada”, answers Brian deflectively.

            “Gosh, that sure was a long and fatuous way to avoid answering the question, Brian”, replies POA with a pitying snicker.

          13. Brian,
            “like nothing better than to work on a new medical isotope production reactor”
            We upgraded our reactor in Petten recently, may be they have a position there.

            Regarding 20% enrichment by Iran:
            I have not seen any valid reason to forbid Iran, as all countries are legally allowed to do that (the NPT allows it)???

          14. @JohnGalt

            With proxy wars involving nuclear armed countries, there should be enough historical data to assess this opinion (as probably false) by comparing rates of warfare between non-nuclear countries versus rates involving nuclear armed countries.

            Guess that depends on your standard for comparison. Compared to complete peace, you’re right. Compared to the world’s record of warfare prior to the Atomic Age, looks like we are improving.

          15. can you imagine if Timothy McVeigh had access to a source of HEU, Pu, or even a small LEU reactor plant?

            Yes.  I’ve just finished my third or fourth session trying to get a single small engine running, without success.  I’ve rebuilt the carburetor, tested flow through all its passages, and now replaced the fuel line and it still doesn’t run.

            Now I imagine even a pair like McVeigh and his compatriot, working with material that’s innately dangerous to handle and easy to detect from a distance, and they have to get everything right on the first attempt or their whole effortis for nothing.  Their chances of doing any serious damage would be nil.  That’s why I want would-be terrorists to try using nuclear materials instead of ANFO; ANFO is a lot more dangerous in their hands.

            Nobody’s ever managed to steal SNF, and it’s useless as a weapon anyway.  We don’t need any security beyond locked doors, cameras and security guards.  If anyone tries to get away with anything the geiger counters will rat them out.  Why are you even concerning yourself with such trivia?  The next big terrorist bomb will be chemical; they know the stuff and they have a track record of making it work.

          16. @EP,
            Once in a while there are innovative terrorists, as shown by 9/11.

            As those organizations become bigger now (thanks to our stupid reaction to 9/11), they also recruit more and better engineers…

            Crippling e.g. (all or most of) NYC, or Paris, or London or … is an attractive idea.
            As it brings more damage and fame than Bin Laden!

          17. Bas,

            Crashing a plane into a target can’t possibly be thought of as “innovative”.

          18. “Crashing a plane into a target can’t possibly be thought of as “innovative””

            I don’t know, man. Doing it so perfectly, with two separate airplanes, that you actually get three buildings to collapse within their own footprint might actually qualify as being “innovative”. Surely it qualifies as utterly amazing, in the very least. In fact, almost surreal in its improbability.

          19. That is one of the things that has me so jaded. It is truly disheartening that these inept and corrupt far right wing criminal fanatics, like Cheney …

            And this has to do with nuclear power how exactly?

            Geez … at least Ioannes has worked in the nuclear industry and therefore occasionally posts a comment that is topically relevant, technically accurate, and interesting.

            You’re the “Ioannes” of the Left, but without the competency. You’re also the reason why many people don’t bother to read this blog much anymore.

          20. “You’re also the reason why many people don’t bother to read this blog much anymore”

            If only that would include you, Brian. Go ahead, man, make my day.

          21. “You’re also the reason why many people don’t bother to read this blog much anymore”

            I’m willing to defer to Rod on this. Should he ask me to stop participating here, I would honor that. I would also honor the results of a vote, taken amongst the regulars here, abut whether or not my participation is unwelcome.

            I notice that you are undisturbed when others stray off topic. What is it about my comments that you are so afraid of, Brian? Are you unable, or too immature, to simply tune me out? Or are you fearful that some of my opinions and linkages may resonate with others here?

            1. @Brian Mays and poa

              While there are billions of people who don’t bother to read Atomic Insights, more than 16,000 unique visitors read something here in the last month during nearly 30,000 sessions.

              Those numbers aren’t huge, but I also have some statistics on the origin of the users. Those help me to confidently say we are doing okay in reaching the people who need to be reached right now. There’s always room for improvement, and thoughtful commentary about issues that cannot be separated from energy policy and decision making is generally welcome. I think it’s part of the value that keeps people coming back.

              Back-biting, on the other hand…

          22. “……at least Ioannes has worked in the nuclear industry….

            I know.

            Scary, isn’t it?

          23. Scary, isn’t it?

            “Pissed Off American” – Scary? Why?!

            When he has commented on the parts of the industry in which he works he has demonstrated nothing but solid competency. I certainly cannot remember when someone has corrected him on any of these technical points. Does anyone else remember an example that they can share?

            In terms of technical competency, his record is far better than yours.

            Frankly, I would find it much more scary if you were working in the nuclear industry. But since I work in the nuclear industry and know what their standards are … I seriously doubt that you could cut it. And I don’t find that scary at all. I find it reassuring.

          24. “If a country as large as the US can get by without producing its own medical isotopes, why can’t a smaller country like Iran? ”



            Sanctions and Medical Supply Shortages in Iran


            Siamak Namazi

            The pronounced role of sanctions in creating shortages of life-saving medical supplies and drugs in Iran may have been unintentional, but it is also irrefutable. Iran’s own mismanagement of the situation has aggravated the problem, but it is not the root cause of it. While the list of issues leading to the supply crunch is long and complicated, at the heart of it all are the obstacles that sanctions have created in denying Iran the necessary banking operations and limiting its access to hard currency. Namazi presents findings based on a recent study that he and a number of Iranian consultants carried out.


          25. “Given Iran’s history of trying to hide its clandestine nuclear weapons program (the US, by comparison, has not had a clandestine nuclear weapons program since WWII), this theocracy simply cannot be trusted and does not deserve to be trusted with this material.”



            Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won’t come clean?



            Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.

            The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.

          26. “Scary? Why?!”

            Religious zealotry scares me no matter what faith is perverted by it. You like to tally the human cost over the ages that we can attribute to the muslims. Well, lets use the same gauge in our consideration of Catholicism, over the ages. And now? Interesting that even the most vicious cartel leaders in south and central america, as well as Mexico, all seem to keep religious shrines in their residences. Gee, I wonder what religion they practice? So should we paint all catholics with a broad brush? Or just be leery of the zealots? Paul repeatedly talks of a deep hate against liberals, and has insinuated his hatred of Islam. In fact, he once commented here that the unradicalized muslim was the exception rather than the rule. founded in his faith. How is that different than a radical muslim describing his hatred of infidels? Frankly, considering percentages, dangerous religious zealots are a tiny fraction of the whole, no matter what religion we are discussing. So, it can logically be surmised that such dangerous fanatics are in fact unhinged. So, is it your contention that we can discern the unhinged zealot merely by the description of his faith? “Crazy” can only lurk in the mind of a Muslim?

            Read a few of Paul’s comments.

          27. @JohnGalt,
            “With proxy wars involving nuclear armed countries, there should be enough historical data to assess this opinion …”

            That assesment is more difficult than you think:

            IN 1982 and 1992 I travelled in NE Pakistan (Kashmir) climbing mountains. In 1988 I was in NW-India (Kashmir). At both sides of the border huge military activity.
            Both liason officers explained that there was a war going on, who killed some thousands of soldiers a year. India occupyed the Siachen gletscher which belongs to Pakistan according to the peace treaty (all west of the McMahon line in Kashmir = Pakistan).
            Both countries fought a ~25years long bitter battle at an altitude of ~5000-6700meter on the uninhabitated Siachen.
            That battle ended with a reconfirmation of the McMahon line.

            Last year I cycled short (6weeks) in India near & along the Pakiatani and Chinese border.
            The Indian army now has small fights with Pakistan south of Kashmir (Jammu)…

            The major battle is now between India and China about some land in the north of Kashmir (not clear who the aggressor is). We saw long columns of military cars including houwitsers passing each day,,,

            This all occurs between nations who have nuclear weapons!
            Apparently politicians do keep the wars small if nuclear is involved, as they don’t want to get killed themselves.
            So Israel may behave more civilized if Iran indeed has a nuclear weapon.
            A more civilized Israel would improve our name in the Arabic countries.

        2. The Israeli stopped murdering Iranian scientists after Iran tried to kill some Israeli diplomats.

          1. @ Rod

            “…but I believe it would be substantially less likely to engage in warfare.”

            That holds true to the extent the leaders put a premium on self-preservation. Any here feel confident about Iran’s leaders in this regard?

            1. @david davison

              Anecdotal evidence of the advanced ages reached by Iran’s supreme leaders tells me that they might encourage others to sacrifice, but they are interested in self-preservation.

          2. I would say Israel is the one showing disregard for self preservation at this point.

            Alienating its greatest ally, sabotaging any possibility of a two state solution, disregarding the basic human rights of the Palestinian people, expanding settlements in direct violation of international law, and saber rattling against a powerful foe that is not near the pushover that Iraq was. The entire region is destabilized, much due to the actions of the United States and Israel. Rather than tempering the destabilizing rhetoric and behaviour, the Israelis, under Netanyahu’s leadership, have become far more extreme, and have dragged our own right wing along with them. Netanyahu and our own republican party are boiling a pot of water, and they have shown us these last to decades that they can’t avoid scalding themselves with it. And here, Netanyahu has managed to divide our jewish community, and drag AIPAC out of the shadows, starting a debate that has been far too long in coming.

          3. I’d like to add that at least, this time, if the right, in league with Netanyahu, manages to derail this deal with Iran, they will have to own the results.

            There is no question.The sides are clearly defined. They can’t hide from their actions, and displace blame, like they have attempted to do with the epic disaster their invasion of Iraq has become. That is one of the things that has me so jaded. It is truly disheartening that these inept and corrupt far right wing criminal fanatics, like Cheney, still have the ear of great numbers of american citizens.

            They should be in prison and humiliated. And here they are, attempting to tap the same ignorant ill-informed constituency they tapped to launch their last debacle. God help us if they succeed.

          4. @ Rod

            “…but they are interested in self-preservation.”

            Let’s hope so, but are you willing to bet the lives of perhaps millions on this?

            1. @david davison

              At some level, the lives of nearly everyone on the planet are being bet on a similar basis regarding the leaders of the US, UK, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. I haven’t seen any evidence indicating that adding Iran to that list would increase the overall risk by a measurable amount. Though they have many faults and questionable traits, please do not try to convince me that their overall track record regarding peace, war and human suffering is more worrying than that of many others on that list.

          5. To imply that the iranian people, or its leadership, are suicidal, is the hieght of islamophobia. Bigoted to the extreme.

            Do you really want to advance the premise that Iran would attack Israel or the United States, realizing that it would bring about the deaths of millions of Iranians, and the complete devastation of their country?

            Egads. Unbelievable how utterly indoctrinated into fantasy and fearmongering some of you are.

          6. Do you really want to advance the premise that Iran would attack Israel or the United States, realizing that it would bring about the deaths of millions of Iranians, and the complete devastation of their country?

            I recall that the Iranian regime sent waves of children into Iraqi minefields to clear them for the advance of troops.  Lives appear very cheap to them.

            1. @E-P

              Some of our greatest allies have, over relatively recent history, demonstrated a similar carelessness about human lives when they were trying to survive as a country and defend their borders. Note, however that the waves did not include members of the upper leadership.

          7. “Human Wave Attacks in the Iran-Iraq War”

            “Many people claim that the Iran-Iraq conflict spawned a particularly gruesome variant of the “human wave” attack. The Iranian clergy, with no professional military training, were slow to adopt and apply professional military doctrine. The country at that time lacked sufficient equipment to breach Iraqi minefields and were not willing to risk their small tank force. Therefore, Pasdaran forces and Basij volunteers were often used to sweep over minefields and entrenched positions developed by the more professional Iraqi military. Allegedly, unarmed human wave tactics involving children as young as 9 were employed. One unnamed East European journalist is reported to have seen “tens of thousands of children, roped together in groups of about 20 to prevent the faint-hearted from deserting, make such an attack.”[12]”

            “There has been a suggestion that girls were more commonly used for front line mine clearance, and boys for unarmed “assaults.” Reliable firsthand accounts of the use of children in human wave attacks are rare, however. The most serious contemporary firsthand account recently surfaced at the end of an article by the technology journalist Robert X. Cringely], who relates the experience of a trip to the front for an unconnectedPenthouse magazine assignment.[13] However, in recent years the credibility of Cringely’s claims have suffered after it was revealed in 1998 that Cringely had falsely claimed a Ph.D. from Stanford University.”

            (Link to source in following posting.
            Wanted to make sure this excerpt made it onto thread)

          8. EP…..

            Your assertion is an often contested allegation that has, to my knowledge never been validated by actual investigations conducted by human rights organizations. Like the mistranslations of MEMRI, this commonly used allegation seems to always come from the far right. A person prone to critical thinking might want to keep in mind that these kinds of allegations are brought to you by the same sponsors of untruths that sold us the Iraqi WMD fantasy.

            It intrigues me the selective consideration so many of you have for human rights and inhumane practices of war. You like to cite Saddam’s use of chemical weapons. Yet you never cite where he got thise weapons. You like to bring children up as examples of wartime atrocities, yet you ignore the great cost that the sanctions, and our wars, impose on the children of our foes. And you completely ignore Israel’s devastating effect on the children of the occupied territories. I guess they are just brown people to some of you. You once, a few weeks back, made the statement that you do not accept that Israel has committed human rights abuses against the Palestinians. Such an assertion can only be made from someone completely ignorant of the facts, or someone that is hopelessly and shamelessly bigoted. Only you know which of these categories fits. I give you the benefit of the doubt, however, and sincerely hope that you bother to inform and educate yourself on the topic.

          9. @ POA

            “To imply that the iranian people, or its leadership, are suicidal, is the hieght of islamophobia. Bigoted to the extreme.”

            I must confess that for the first time I’m tempted to use an acronym I’ve grown to loath…LOL.

            You’ve criticized Israel so many times that any unbiased observer would conclude you are at a minimum, anti-Isreali. The suggestion, or accusation that your are anti-Semitic has brought numerous complaints from you to the contrary. It is ironic that the mere suggestion that we consider the possibility of Iran’s LEADERSHIP being suicidal should bring out the bigotry charge…from YOU.

            National suicide is not particular to either Islam or Iran. Recall from an earlier thread our discussions about Japan and how they were willing to fight to the last Japanese citizen. Only two atomic blasts ended that willingness.

            Perhaps Iran’s habit of recruiting hordes of suicide bombers and expending its youth in reckless charges during the Iran/Iraq war with a profligacy not seen since WW1, and their consistent calls for the destruction of Israel, have led some to consider their LEADERSHIP, suicidal. I’m not one to take that possibility off the table although I note many intelligence analysts have offered that Iran’s actions, apart from their words, are rational.
            Alas, our knowledge is only as good as the information we receive.

          10. I am, absolutely, anti-israel. When one digs past the narrative of Israel being “the only democracy in the middle east” and “the IDF is the most moral of armies”, one finds a country that is practicing aparthied in EVERY SENSE OF THE TERM, and a military that almost daily rains terror and injustice upon the Palestinian people. To say nothing of Israel’s constant meddling in our affairs of state, particularly as it applies to our foreign policy in the middle east.

            And I do not back off of my insinuation of bigotry that I apply to those that deny the abuses Israel heaps upon the Palestinians, and those that depict the Iranians as a murderous horde intent upon self destruction and global chaos.

            Certainly, any informed person can judge for themselves which nation in the middle east has invaded its nieghbors, has actually used weapons of mass destruction against non-combatants, (such as cluster munitions and white phosphorous). And has directly, through collective punishment, been responsible for the deaths of thousands of children. Deny all you want, but history cannot be undone, it can only be denied.

          11. “Human Wave Attacks in the Iran-Iraq War”
            “Boys attacking Iraqi soldiers with only some knife or so”
            “Young children used to clear minefields”

            I aked Iranians about it when I travelled there.
            People were realy amazed.
            They knew of volunteers to fight off the invasion, but those were older (youngest estimate was ~16yrs).

            I cannot imagine that Iranian parents would allow there 12years old sons (and particular not their daughters) to go to war.
            Even this war which was about the existence of their new democracy, or the return of the hatred previous western supported regime.
            If that occurred there would have been an outcry in Iran.

            So I think that those stories were part of the propaganda war (US is good in that). Saddam (and involved US people) had to explain his loss against the poorly armed Iranians.

    1. Regarding research reactors, that was in regards to N. Korea more specifically. Iran has been pursuing uranium enrichment instead of breeding weapons-grade plutonium – another route to weapons.

      The bigger point is, how does denying nuclear energy to ourselves, reduce the threat of other nations getting nuclear weapons, at all? Does the USA and Europe not using the IFR reduce the threat of proliferation at all? Clearly not.

      1. If they were *really* trying to prevent proliferation, we’d have a world wide reactor development effort to so advance the technologies to maximize burnup with low cost electrical and process heat generation along with an international monitoring regime that the current “Manhattan” rooted efforts would be moot.

        I think too many influential world wide elite actually want to keep proliferation as a danger and an argument to advance their own agendas.

        1. “I think too many influential world wide elite actually want to keep proliferation as a danger and an argument to advance their own agenda”

          Exactly. That is precisely why Israel’s nuclear arsenal is not part of the debate about the Iranian nuclear program. If it was really about proliferation, Israel’s arsenal would be part of the debate, as it is an incentive for an arms race in the middle east.

          1. Thanks for the link, poa — it answered a lingering question I’d had before writing my congresspersons urging their support.

          2. Stop with the constant anti-semitism. The Iranian govt kidnappped and held hostage Americans during Democratic Carter’s presidency. The Israelis are our Allies. 6 million Jews do not present a threat to 1.2 billion Muslims, but the Muslims at least in the Iranian govt have repeatedly vowed to drive Israel into the sea. Thus an undeclared nuclear deterrent is essential. PS, you like Iran so much? Go live there and see how long they put up with your liberalism. BTW, what about those 2 American servicemen and a Brit who stopped a Muslim terrorist attack aboard a French train the other day, receiving France’s highest decoration? I hate liberalism as much as I do radical Islamic Jihad.

            1. @Ioannes

              Criticizing Israel is NOT equal to being anti-Semitic. Zionism is not equivalent to Judaism.

              The Iranian students that took over the American Embassy might have had some associations with the revolutionary government, but they were not a government agency. There is no proof that they were working under orders of the government.

              They did, unlike fringe groups in many of our allied countries, free all of their hostages. They also did not attack the embassy with suicide bombers set out with the sole purpose of causing terror. The takeover was much more of a political statement than a violent statement.

              There is a reason why I favor Iranians over Saudis as people with whom I would prefer to develop diplomatic and economic ties.

          3. “Stop with the constant anti-semitism.”

            Show me one single example of anti-semitism, from me, or anyone else on this blog, Paul.

            Of course, you can’t. So, instead, please, get help.

          4. “They did, unlike fringe groups in many of our allied countries, free all of their hostages”

            This past decade the Israeli IDF has killed and maimed american citizens, engaged in peaceful protest, with nary a peep from our media, and those such as Paul.

            And if we are going to reach back in history, lets reach back to the Liberty, where 34 of our sailors were killed, 200 injured, in an Israeli intentional attack on an american warship. The attack an intended false flag, designed to draw us into conflict. The intent was to sink the ship, kill all on board.

            Is Israel capable of one more false flag, designed to derail the Iran deal, and involve us in a war with Iran?

            With Netanyahu at the helm, and realizing the bios of his defense minister and UN Representative?

            One must answer; absolutely.

          5. Ioannes,
            The 1953 coup d’etat was organized by the CIA, who had it’s office at and worked from the basement of the US embassy*).

            The students, who blocked it, were afraid that US embassy would organize a second putsch to end Khomeiny. And Khomeini liberated them from a terrible regime (installed by US!) whose Savak imprisoned thousands/year without any process (many were killed or vanished).

            Considering history, the reaction against US embassy was mild in my eyes.
            I talked to many (though all educated, English speaking) people in Iran during my holidays in 2003. Many admire USA and want to emigrate, but made also clear that they will fight a repeat of major US influence (as with the Shah).

            It’s a full democracy now with guaranteed presence of minorities in parliament. Such that those minorities (incl. Jews!) have more seats than their numbers would justify.
            As they consider it still possible that other countries (US) would organize or bribe puppets and get them elected (money for publicity does a lot), they regulated that every candidate needs approval of the high leader. Many think that the leader is too strict, but I spoke nobody who wanted to stop that undemocratic rule.

            – The idea that Iran targets to wipe out Israel is based on a translation error. Their leader said; ~ Israel will vanish (itself through its aggressive behavior). Iranian’s are Shia, the tolerant persuasion. Saoudi’s are Sunni, just like ISIS. So there were Saoudi’s under the 9/11 hijackers, but no Iranians.

            – Of course they feel a need to have nuclear weapons. It would solve the threat of a US attack. US has many bases all around its border, raided its neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. Other neighbors (Pakistan, Russia) have those too.

            – The >80milion Iranians are well organized, tough, etc. Better than e.g. Iraqi and Pakistani (visited too). So I think that Obama did the right thing with the NPLT agreement.
            War is no real option unless USA is prepared to go all out. Still a repeat of Vietnam looms.
            *) The putsch ended the free democratic chosen parliament & government, and installed a terrible regime in Iran during 25years (the Shah was a marionette whose presence helped to conceal the crimes against humanity).

            I realize it’s off topic, but I feel a connection with them since my long visit in ~2003. They are friendly. It’s cheap skiing there, but bring cash. Only national ATM’s because of the boycott.

          6.  “The idea that Iran targets to wipe out Israel is based on a translation error”

            Error? Actually, the mistranslation is a purposeful propaganda tactic, originally spawned by MEMRI. Here is an article that is somewhat overly sympathetic and forgiving towards MEMRI, yet still manages to explain the mistranslation…..


  5. Thanks Rod for this article and video. It is hugely disappointing that development of safe nuclear energy is being prevented in the western world by the negative philosophy of a percentage of its inhabitants.

  6. It would be rational to conduct a rational comparison between the LFTR and the IFR. The LFTR and indeed all thermal LLFT breeders as well as LFTR 1 to 1 converters, whould offer significant advantages in several areas over th have a big advantage over the IFR. These include include safety. Ya, I know the party line about the IFR being perfectly safe, except Sandia does not think so, and you never hear about what Sandia saif from IFR advocates. You also run into the problem of scalability. You can start up to 10 IFRs with the ammount of U-235 or Pu-239 it takes to start one IFR of comprable power rating. The third problem would be costs. The real cost of the IFR has not been openly estimated. Thus the cost and advantages of both LFTRs and IFRs should be evaluated before the c
    hoice to fund IFRs is made.

  7. I learned that breeders contain much (10 times?) more radio–activity than LWR/PWR’s?

    Assuming it’s true: Then if somebody/people cause the release of that material, we would have a much bigger disaster than Chernobyl.*)
    Such projections killed the German breeder Kalkar (was ready, but didn’t get a license to start).

    But may be somebody can proof that nothing/nobody/no-group can cause that release?

    Note that there will be foolish operators, engineers, etc.
    Comparable (or worse) to the pilot who choose suicide by flying his airliner against a mountain in the French alps. Luckily he didn’t choose the dome of one of the nearby NPP’s in the Rhone-valley.
    *) Many of you think that the danger of Chernobyl’s radio-activity is overrated, while I think that it’s underrated. But that is another discussion. Suggest we put that aside and use the official standards for now.

    1. 1) Kalkar was killed because it would have demonstrated nuclear power as a completely domestic and inexaustible energy source. This was unacceptable to the coal industry that always advertised the security of “heimischer Kohle”. Sadly, Kalkar is located in coal-country Northrhine-Westphalia, so for coal-friendly state prime minister Johannes Rau from the coal-party SPD, any excuse to kill this project was welcome. So instead we now have marvels like Neurath, which release toxic waste and destroy the environment and the climate 24/7. But of course you are completely unconcerned about that.

      2) Containments are very robust structures, see the video of an f-4 phantom vs concrete wall.
      Chemical plants, on the other hand, have zero protection against aircraft impact.
      The venting of a single tank at Bhophal killed 8000 in a week and left over 100000 with life-changing and lifetime limiting injuries. Orders of magnitude worse than chernobyl.
      Strangely, I never saw a demonstration in Germany with the theme “Bhopal mahnt: BASF jetzt abschalten”.
      Why not? The reason is of course, that, unlike nuclear power, BASF is no threat to the coal industry. BASF is a 10 square kilometer chemical plant right next to the cities of Mannheim (300,000 inhabitants) and Ludwigshafen(160000 inhabitants). Nuclear plants have evacuation plans, BASF has an emergency hotline. The hypocrisy of the nuclear exceptionalism is breathtaking.

      3) As for the inventory of breeders vs LWRs, the activity of short lived fission products, like I-131, quickly stabilises at a level where they decay as quickly as they are produced. This level is proportional to the thermal power of the reactor and independent of the technology.
      For longer lived products like Cs-137, the activity is proportional to the thermal power times the average age of a fuel rod in the reactor. Fast reactors tend to have higher burnup, but similar refueling schedules, which simply means they have less fuel in the core, but with a higher fissile content.

      1. @RRMeyer,
        1. Neurath replacing Kalkar?
        Kalkar was 300MW. At the time Neurath had already ~2GW.
        Now Neurath has ~4GW, but I assume that the older 2GW will be closed soon as that is base load.

        2. If the 9/11 attack was with such unarmed F-4 phantom, flying at that speed, the WTC would still stand upright.

        3. German nuclear physicists, whose opinion played important role at the time, thought different about it.
        Another ‘killing’ factor was their prediction of the speed the power would increase, hence very little time (remember vaguely >10times less than with LWR/PWR) to stop the reaction off. The phrase was: “fast breeder is also fast explosion”.

        1. 1) Kalkar was a prototype, so on its own incapable of replacing huge coal plants, but the technology was a clear and present danger to the coal industry. Besides, there where 2 other power reactors in Northrhine-Westphalia (NRW).

          a) Muehlheim-Kaerlich, a 1300 PWR was forced to shut after only 3 years of operation on a legal technicality. Humanity pays the price with another unnecessary 6000 deaths from coal polution and 600 Million tons of CO2 in the atmosphere that this single reactor could have prevented in 60 years of operation.
          b) The 300MW high-temperature pebble bed reactors.
          So coal-country NRW was particularly ardent about shutting down nuclear. Coincidence?

          2) See Rod’s comment below. Besides, you have not answered why you only worry about nuclear plant risks and not the much larger chemical plant risks.
          If you really believe that commercial aircraft are an effective weapon against thick concrete walls, you should also worry about attacks on hydro dams, which would be much more deadly.

          3) So you were wrong about the higher fission product inventory, and just change subject. Regarding “less time to kill the reaction off”: Kalkar, like any other German reactor, had passive safety, i.e. controlled power transients entirely by negative feedback and never relied on fast insertion of control rods to control such power transients.
          A few physicists, for whatever reasons, did indeed choose to oppose nuclear power. These were of course the darlings of the press, while the huge majority of physicists was never heard. The anti-nucleal movement is all about phrases, with a complete disregard for facts.

          1. @RRMeyer,
            Humanity pays the price with … 6000 deaths from coal polution
            That is based on highly biased studies such as that of James Hansen.
            German government, scientists, and public do estimate that NPP’s are far more dangerous.

            E.g. Chernobyl alone will take a million lives or more. Read e.g. the NYAS book, or inform yourself about the decreased life expectancy in highly contaminated areas compared to light contaminated areas, or the huge increase in serious birth defects in even light contaminated areas.

            So the first priority of the Energiewende, the transition to 80% renewable in 2050 (now 30%), is all nuclear out (done in 2023).

            why you only worry about nuclear plant risks and not the much larger chemical plant risks…
            If those risks were larger than I would really worry. But those are many times smaller than those of nuclear:

            – Nuclear reactors are not safe at all.
            History shows that at least 4 reactors exploded in 14,000reactor years. That implies a chance of more than 1% that a reactor explodes during its lifetime.

            The chance that an airliner crashes during its similar lifetime is 5-25 times lower!

            One of the major problems is the wrong mentality of involved nuclear management/staff. They fight the (rules of the) regulators (NRC, etc), while they should cooperate.

            The sneaky behavior of top-management of SONGS is a typical example. They (mis-)used a modification ruleset to install completely new designed SG’s (should have been tested before installing).
            Worse, they even didn’t follow that modification ruleset fully! If they had, they might have detected the problems beforehand.
            It’s unthinkable in the airline industry that pro-arline people would defend such behavior…

            – Even normal operating nuclear facilties affect our DNA and that of next generations, harming health. Shown by e.g. the significant increased m/f sex-ratio of newborn after NPP’s start, from fathers living up to ~50km from the nuclear plant.

            – nuclear accidents (can) create(d) huge amounts of deaths as with Chernobyl. Fukushima would show similar, if the lucky Japanese hadn’t have the ocean going wind during ~97% of the time.

            – nuclear accidents create huge permanent excluzion zones.
            If our only NPP would have a real accident, with major winds from SSW, then Netherlands will be totally crippled as its economic heart (Rotterdam) will become a desolated area.

            Why have such huge risks and the DNA damage, while wind+solar+storage offer a safe method which is also becoming cheaper and cheaper and improves delivery reliability as recent history in Germany shows?

          2. E.g. Chernobyl alone will take a million lives or more.

            The radiation levels from Chernobyl are a fraction of those in parts of the world like Kerala and Guarapari where no adverse effects have ever been observed.

            Read e.g. the NYAS book

            The NYAS published it.  It did not review it or endorse it.  It happens to be a translation of a bunch of un-reproducible claims, originating in a country which has enormous financial interests in destroying the nuclear industries of its trading partners so it can sell them oil and natural gas.

            How is it that you can afford to wander the world climbing mountains and cycling hinterlands, Bas?  I can’t.  Who’s paying you, and for what?

          3. @EP
            “How is it that you can afford to wander the world climbing mountains and cycling hinterlands, Bas? Who’s paying you, and for what?”

            Together with my friend (Ronald Naar) we became the Dutch top-mountain climbers (first Dutch climb of many famous steep faces such Eiger-N.face; new routes, etc.). So we were on TV, ec. That generates interest of companies trying to promote things, hence lot of sponsor money!
            My friend became professional climber after his study (theoretical mathematics). Few yrs ago he didn’t survive a climb in Tibet. A great loss.
            I arranged a special position, allowing extra time off, at a telecom company. Then moved to even better (paid) positions in international telecom.
            My girl-friend has a 85% job.

            We have one 20yrs old studying daughter. Have ~2 family holidays a year (1week skiing, longer summer vacation, this year a journey through Java and Bali, last year Iceland).
            My oldest daughter got angiosarcoma after a rowing accident, I made a WEB-site for her.

            In addition I go off 2-4 times a year for a short or longer period (1 week to ~2 months). As I’m no longer in my physical top-years, no longer extreme climbing. Hence no sponsoring.

            But cycling cost little money as we normally camp. We (usually I’m with a friend) take the tent (2kg) with us incl. cooking stove. Taking the bike in the plane costs ~$50. Flying is cheap nowadays.
            The big freedom benefit of a tent is that you never have to worry whether you find a sleeping place or can eat… In countries such as India, Argentina, Chile we often stayed in cheap bed&breakfast or people offered a room at their home =good chance to learn how they think!

    2. Last I checked, a mountain is a lot bigger than a containment dome. A much easier target to fly your jetliner into.

      1. Gosh, Wayne, doncha know these muslimical terrists are ace pilots???? Real Chuck Yeagers, these guys.

        Heck gee golly, with just minimal trainin’, lookee what them there heathens accomplished on 9/11!!! I had one of Standard Oil’s corporate pilots, a customer, tell me it was truly ace flyin’.

        Must be inate or hereditary or sumthin’ , this amazing skill they possess.

    3. Bas, the concern over radioactivity releases is mainly with low-vapourising-temperature fission products with short to medium term half lives, such as iodine 131, cesium 137, and strontium 90. When a water cooled reactor overheats, these boil out of the ruptured fuel, and the high pressure water vapour can push them out through breaches in containment. A sodium cooled reactor such as Kalkar operates at much lower pressure, so there is nothing forcing the radioisotopes out, but in addition, elements like I, Cs and Sr bind to the sodium coolant. The same is true for the lead or molten salts proposed as coolant in other Generation IV reactors. These reactors can all operate at much higher temperatures than PWRs, which are limited by the exothermic zirconium-water reaction which attacks the fuel rod cladding above about 400 C. By operating at higher temperatures, some Gen IV reactors reach thermal efficiencies of 45% or higher, compared to about 34% for light water reactors, so they make more electricity for the same number of fissions, and so for the same amount of fission products.

      1. @John,
        Hot sodium burns the moment it comes in contact with normal air. As the Japanese experienced at Monju with a small leak through a broken thermocouple.
        The fire killed their multi-billion project emotionally.

        So molten salt seems to me a lot safer.

        … Kalkar operates at much lower pressure … same is true for the lead or molten salts proposed as coolant in other Generation IV reactors.”

        Amazed about your suggestion that Kalkar was Gen IV?

        1. Hot sodium burns the moment it comes in contact with normal air.

          With a fairly cool flame which doesn’t do very much.  The Na2O residue is easily cleaned up with dilute acetic acid.

          The fire killed their multi-billion project emotionally.

          No, the project was fixed up in no time.  It was the paranoid reaction promoted by the nuclear-phobes which killed the project, and that only happened because the secret was leaked.

          Should news of the fire have been leaked?  Obviously, not for a long time.  The project should have gone on and the fire reported only after things had been fixed up, running and positive results obtained.  That would have prevented the professional paranoids from stopping it.

          So molten salt seems to me a lot safer.

          But are you willing to accept it as safe enough?  So far, nothing has been safe enough to suit you.  Nothing nuclear, that is.  You’re willing to burn fossil fuels and kill the climate to climb far-away mountains, but not split atoms to save the ecosystems.

          1. @EP,
            You forgot the word “emotionally” at the end of my sentence.

            (burns) With a fairly cool flame which doesn’t do very much.
            You assign different meanings to “cool” and “doesn’t do very much”. But may be my poor English hampers me. So I checked at Wikipedia and read:
            “The heat was so intense that it warped several steel structures in the room.”

            …the project was fixed up in no time … paranoid reaction.
            No time was 5years Doesn’t fit with my impression of “no time”.
            Yes. Other problems + the public reaction, took another 10years.

            … that only happened because the secret was leaked.
            Wikipedia states that the secrecy caused “massive public outrage” in Japan

            The secrecy of nuclear was and is by far the biggest booster for the green, anti-nuclear movement in Germany. Having experienced the fascist regime until 1945, they want an open democratic society.
            Many greens argue that such is impossible with nuclear.

            … fire reported only after things had been fixed up, running and positive results obtained.
            This arrogance demonstrates why nuclear cannot be trusted. Why a democracy needs scrupulous accurate control authorities regarding nuclear.
            In a democracy the voters and their representatives should be in control.
            Not engineers. Those tend to create narrow targets, forgetting the wishes of society who they should serve.

            The mentality behind your sentence, resembles almost the lies of the asbestos and tobacco industry. A league nuclear shouldn’t belong.
            It implies fading away …
            And I want increased fusion research as that may deliver electricity for <$5/MWh.

            "… willing to accept it as safe enough?
            Not in combination with the mentality that Japanese nuclear and you demonstrate in your comment.
            I’m convinced that high democratic societies perform better in the long run.
            I admire Switzerland because all involved citizens vote about every possible substantial decision. Secrecy doesn’t fit with that.

            Such gen.IV reactors should be safe underground as MSR will emit even more fast neutrons than PWR/LWR. Also because:

            – those emitted fast neutrons cause substantial DNA damage via inhaled ionized argon-41 at people living up to 50km from the reactor. Second part of this presentation (by Kusmierz) explains.

            – I estimate that a colliding 200ton airliner will create a disaster.
            The collision damage together with the heat of the kerosene fire will take (burn) nearly all electric circuits out, and damage pumps, valves, etc deadly.

        2. As a sodium cooled fast reactor, Kalkar was one of the half-dozen proposed Generation IV design types. Any new design can be expected to have development problems – the Russian BN350 reactor had tens of leaks, and several fires, in its first ten years, but the operators just put them out, cleaned up, and carried on. There were no fires in the next twenty years, and no radioactivity leaks, as it was sodium from the secondary circuit involved, not from the activated primary circuit running through the reactor. The American EBR II ran for thirty years with no leaks or fires. The French Superphénix had a leak of secondary sodium from the fuel handling drum into an internal cavity, prompting a redesign. Again, no radiation got out. Fermi I had a coolant blockage and partly melted a couple of fuel rods – no radioactivity release.
          If you’re worried about hot sodium, you’ll no doubt be vehemently opposed to the sodium-sulphur batteries which have been used to try to balance the erratic power output of wind farms. Unlike inside a reactor, where the sodium is carefully segregated from chemicals it might react with, the battery has to keep the molten sodium and sulphur apart with only a thin, semi-permeable membrane. As a result, battery bank prototypes have been demolished by violent fires, compared to the manageable ones at prototype reactors.
          Apropos the World Trade Center, it wasn’t the impact of the jets that destroyed the buildings, it was heat from the burning jet fuel causing the uninsulated steel floor girders to sag. The metre thick, massively reinforced containment dome of a reactor would be far more resistant to such a blow, there’s nowhere for spilt fuel to pool, and penetration of the dome would be most unlikely to lead to breach of the pressure vessel. Despite which, the four AP1000 reactors at Vogtle and Summer power stations were forced to delay and redesign, after final sign off, just to make the extremely improbable scenario impossible.

          1. @JOhn ONeill

            The 911 planners chose their weapons based on good weapons engineering information. FAE – Fuel/Air explosives are the way we create some of our biggest non-nuclear booms. Jet fuel contains significantly more releasable energy per unit mass than even the most sophisticated true explosives because it does not have to include the oxidizer. That is available wherever the bomb is released as long as there is a dispersal mechanism or there is a way to take advantage of a less explosive, but longer duration energy release.

            A commercial jet loaded for a cross-country or international flight carries A LOT of jet fuel in rather thin tanks that can be easily breached with a collision into a tall or large building. That fuel does a vast amount of damage if the collision penetrates the target and delivers the fuel inside a building.

            It wouldn’t have close to the same effect if the aluminum can of the airplane crushes against the outside of a thick, rounded, steel reinforced concrete dome or cylinder even if the pilot is skilled enough to hit the much smaller and lower lying target.

            IMO the Aircraft Impact Rule was a purposeful antinuclear reactor creation of Greg Jaczko, though he was enabled by a lot of other exceedingly risk averse people.

          2. I’m not worried about sodium fires, but about the indirect effects those may create. Those are small in a battery but may become big in a NPP.

            I understood that NRC now requires increased thickness for the domes of the new NPP’s at Vogtle, etc. That is in line with the EPR, who has a dome with two separated armed concrede walls.
            There was discussion here about the airline resistance of the EPR. Areva only guarantees that the EPR can withstand an unarmed F-16 (=16ton only).

            Areva did not deny that they also did simulation studies involving airliners, but they simply refuse to tell anything about it… I assume that they would tell if those studies delivered good results (=no real accident)

            Now the issue is how much the much weaker old reactor domes can resist. Considering previous info, I feel rather sure that those won’t resist a 200ton airliner.
            Consider also the heat with 100ton burning kerosene dispersed all around the place. It may roast all electric wiring and pumps. Ending all real cooling options.

            Fast reactors
            As far as I can evaluate none of those is a (commercial) succes.
            – UK failed in Scotland.
            – Even France’s third, Superphénix, had a CF of ~10%.
            – Japan failed with Monju
            – Russia. Not clear. What was the CF of the BN600??
            The fact that they decided to build only one successor of only 30% more capacity indicate not a total failure, but neither a success.
            May be similar results as France who is now developing a successor (Astrid).
            – India, China only research reactors yet.

            All in all, this 50years long history won’t invite private investors to invest.
            So why would tax-payers?
            Better to invest in fusion as that may bring electricity for <1cnt/KWh, assuming we can avoid the expensive steamturbine-generator combination.

          3. Fast reactors
            As far as I can evaluate none of those is a (commercial) succes.
            – Russia. Not clear. What was the CF of the BN600??

            Have you ever tried looking for information (at least, beyond your list of echo-chamber sites)?  You might even find the capacity factor figures for a number of years.

            All in all, this 50years long history won’t invite private investors to invest.

            All in all, GE is willing to build not one but TWO S-PRISMs in Britain with its own money.  All it wants is a contract to dispose of Britain’s excess plutonium and a rate for the electric generation; all the risk of non-performance would fall on GE.  So there you’re wrong.

            Better to invest in fusion

            Yes, you always say we should invest in something that has no prospect of coming to market in less than 20 years.  Safer for the fossil-fuel interests you’re protecting.

          4. @EP,
            Thank your for the link to the interesting presentation regarding the BN600!
            World-nuclear.org lost trust with its “facts & figures” (one of the reasons we now have the world nuclear reports from Schneider etal).

            After reading the BN600 PPT the questions became more urgent:
            – Why don’t the Russians try to export the BN600 (as with other reactors)?
            – Why only one successor? Why not sooner? Why only now when BN600 reaches end of life? Why no real scaling-up?

            Assume your statement about GE willing to build two S-PRISM is correct, then the question is:
            – Why would UK then sign such expensive contract for Hinkley C??

            The present contract will cost UK ~€100billion in subsidies according to the official accountants of the EU.
            Subsidies concerning high guaranteed price (inflation corrected since 2012, now >15cnt/KWh already) for all electricity produced during 35yrs, loan guarantees, decommissioning and waste cost guarantees. In addition to the usual accident liability restriction subsidy.

            Why? Especially since S-PRISM could solve a part of the ~£100billion waste problem at Sellafield.

            Considering that no bank will invest the many billions needed for its development and construction because all consider it extremely risky (I estimate the boardroom of GE too), I think that GE demanded even far more guarantees and extra subsidies than EDF/Areva combined with a much longer building period (e.g. 20yrs in stead of the 10yrs for the EPR).

          5. Bas, it would be nice if you’d pay attention sometime.

            After reading the BN600 PPT the questions became more urgent:
            – Why don’t the Russians try to export the BN600 (as with other reactors)?
            – Why only one successor?

            You just answered yourself.  The BN600’s successor, the BN800, has been exported to China.  The BN600 is a research machine rather than a pre-commercial prototype like the BN800.

            – Why would UK then sign such expensive contract for Hinkley C??…
            Why? Especially since S-PRISM could solve a part of the ~£100billion waste problem at Sellafield.

            Again, you answered yourself.  I don’t have a name for a thought disorder which allows someone to write an apparently original statement that they themselves fail to understand, but that appears to be what you have.

  8. Bas, Fast Breeders do contain as much as 10 times as much fissionable materials as thermal breeders, all of which breed thorium rather than uranium. Aircraft attacks on breeder reactors can previnted by moving reactors breeder reactors underground. The cores of Molten Salt Reactors can be cleared of radioactive fission daughteprocucts and actinides by use of a variety of chemical processes, even while the reactors operate.

    1. We agree that MSR’s should be put underground.
      Also because they will emit more fast neutrons compared to LWR/PWR.
      Because of the “fast neutron => ionized argon-41 => DNA damage” problem, they should be covered by a lid that is thick enough to stop nearly all fast neutrons.

      1. Bas, I’m not sure where you get this ‘ “fast neutron => ionized argon-41 => DNA damage” problem’, which I’d never heard of before. Maybe this
        ‘ Measurements of plume geometry
        and argon-41 radiation field
        at the BR1 reactor in Mol, Belgium’
        This is an air-cooled research reactor, with ambient air flowing past the 2 MW thermal reactor. The air is about one percent argon, some of which is activated to 41Ar. ( Incidentally, nearly all the argon in the atmosphere is there as a natural product of the radioactive decay of Potassium 40, which exposes you to far more ionising radiation than a reactor.)
        Since 41Ar only has an hour or so half life, and is a noble gas with a mass comparable to that of nitogen and oxygen molecules, it has a vanishingly small probability of releasing it’s dying beta ray inside your lung, and as you know, beta rays don’t penetrate skin. Commercial reactors don’t have air flowing close to a neutron source, they use water, steel and concrete to keep in the neutrons and the heat, which are the source of their profits.
        As for Swiss democracy, Swiss women didn’t get the vote till 1971, 78 years after New Zealand. Referenda sound like a good idea, but they rely on a well-informed citizenry, and unfortunately you can fool a lot of the people some of the time. The California referendum system has been manipulated by special interests for various ends, which has led to bankruptcies of some local governments and a ballooning prison population. In any case, the many referenda in Switzerland calling for the reactors to be closed have all been rejected, albeit sometimes by narrow margins. The Swiss have this to thank for their considerably lower carbon footprint than neighbouring Austria, where a plebiscite on nuclear power in 1978, lost by 0.5% of those voting, led to their brand new reactor being shut down and numerous coal plants built instead.

        1. John,
          Thank you for your expert response and the link!

          My response will take some time.
          For now I can only react to your remarks starting at Swiss democracy.

          The situation regarding women in Switzerland changed totally. Last year 4 of the 7 ministers, incl. the chairman, were women…

          The Swiss are rather sensitive to money (they are the richest country here), so they don’t want to spill money through premature closures.
          The idea is to phase existing NPP’s gradually out at the end of their life and not to build any new NPP.

        2. Btw.
          Austria migrated towards a fierce anti-nuclear position after Chernobyl (they experienced fall-out). Their law forbids the import or transit of all nuclear electricity. Their government leads the competition violation complaints against Hinkley C, at the EU high court.

        3. Sorry, that I almost forgot to react regarding the neutron-ar41 mechanisms (someone reminded me about it).

          I doubt your assumptions, a.o. because:
          – At Mol they measured only gamma radiation, so the decay of Ar41 not only generates alpha but (secondary) also significant gamma radiation, which is far more penetrating in the body.

          – the Mol measurements showed that emitted Ar41 atoms stay already low / gradually come down and move with the wind rather near the ground.
          It fits roughly with the increase of the m/f sex odds. Little in the first km’s, max. at 10-30km away (check sheet 18).

          As the consequences of the measurements of Scherb etal are huge for the state Niedersachsen (they would have to spend many millions), a second independent study was executed.

          To the disappointment of their financiers (Niedersachsen) the other researchers not only confirmed the results, but found more which indicate that the Kusmierz hypothesis is right:
          – 7% increase in m/f sex odds at birth up to 40km away
          – 8% increase in areas east of Gorleben
          – no increase in nearby (~100km away) similar areas (Scherb etal found already no increase for Germany).
          As winds at Gorleben come slightly more from the west, the higher increase in areas east of Gorleben confirms Kusmierz hypothesis.

          You may read the 2014 summarizing report (~70 references).

          Because of the no longer reasonable deniable detrimental healths effects for its inhabitants, the state Niedersachsen took actions.
          In June Federal government and the utilities agreed to close the waste storage site for new nuclear waste.

          An air-tight building (which requires strong cooling as the waste emits lots of heat) in an old deep (100m or so) open pit mine may be the best solution.

          The half life of Ar41 is 109min, almost twice that of your estimation.

          1. @BasG

            I enjoy having you visit and share your enlightening views about radiation and nuclear science. The part I find enlightening is the way you clearly expose your misunderstandings of the topics at hand.

            Radiation that is “far more penetrating” does not deposit much of its energy in any material (including human tissues) as it travels. That is why it is able to penetrate; it retains most of the energy that enables it to travel.

            Ar-41 never decays with an alpha particle. Perhaps your following statement was merely the result of confusion or oversight in proofreading.

            “…so the decay of Ar41 not only generates alpha…”

            In the US, we had a site with five air cooled reactors, each with much higher power levels than the BR1 reactor in Mol. Here is a paper that discusses the rather impressively large magnitude of the routine releases of Ar-41 and the tiny magnitude of the radiation doses to the public after decay and dilution by dispersal.


      2. @ Bas

        Forgive me if I’m stating the obvious, but you seem consistently anti-nuclear, why? You seem knowledgeable, not unaware of the fact that nuclear power can replace coal and by doing so, save and improve thousands lives. You are aware of Bhopal, and that dam failures have resulted in hundreds of thousands of lives lost (property losses and people left homeless). You are aware of the toxic nature of solar panels and that Chinese cities have experienced horrendous industrial pollution from their fabrication (same goes for wind turbine blade manufacturing).
        So, your apparent distaste for nuclear can’t be driven by fear because you don’t seem concerned about these “other” losses of life and pollution. What is in it for you? What do you propose as a wise energy policy for America and for the world?

  9. I believe one of the main advantages of the IFR was to consume the transuranics from spent nuclear fuel using the IFR’s hard neutron spectrum. Periodically the IFR fuel would be processed onsite, somewhat easier due to metal versus oxide fuel rods, to remove the fission products, and the TRUs still present/created would be incorporated in new fuel rods.

    This consumption of TRUs seemed to be the strongest point of the IFR – far better to use the TRUs for power generation vs. burying it in the ground. A relatively small number of IFR-style reactors should be able to consume our SNF in fairly short order, say @ a human lifetime, IIRC. Thus IFR waste disposal issues are reduced to timeframes of roughly 300 years – 10 half lives of the two most common fission products.

    1. “A relatively small number of IFR-style reactors should be able to consume our SNF in fairly short order…”

      Hmm… maybe not. I think you underestimate the amount of lightly-used nuclear fuel we have kicking around, the incredible efficiency of closed-cycle FNR, and the unbelievable amount of energy released per fission.

      One estimates that if the US were to convert its [i]entire[/i] electric generation to fast reactors, they could be powered, at current rates (3,800 TWh/yr), by our current 70,000 tonne supply of lightly-used nuclear fuel for about a century. Perhaps more.

      The approx 470,000 tonne depleted uranium from whence it came would will be good for 9 centuries more.

      This without mining an single additional kilo of uranium, a single additional ton of coal, or the installation of a single additional wind turbine. SOR would be entirely optional. Electricity would still cost, and efficiency would still matter. But there would be no energy poverty, no need for well intentioned green bureaucrats to hose everyone out of their comfortable country cottages and huddle them together into super-efficient urban high-rise.

      Ah, the humanity! Clearly, IFR had to die.

      1. @Ed Leaver

        Your comment reminds me of a lengthy conversation I had a couple of years ago with Tom Cochrane of the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has long been opposed to sodium cooled fast reactors. He served as the UCS point guy on that topic for decades before entering semi-retirement a few years ago.

        He made exactly the same point that you do regarding the length of time it would take to consume all of the current inventory of used nuclear fuel. He thought it would be far quicker to find a place to bury the stuff — just not in Yucca Mountain.

        I pined about how terrible it would be to have to build so many reactors that would run for so long without any new fuel and envisioned what might happen if others recognized that the safe operation of those reactors meant that we could keep building other reactors, mining more uranium, beginning to mine thorium and creating even more fuel for the fast reactors to use.

        Why humanity might have abundant, non-hydrocarbon, non-emitting power for countless generations as a small portion of the population kept toiling away at the Sisyphean task of getting rid of all of that waste material.

        Cochrane was somewhat amused, but, not surprisingly, didn’t really budge on his opposition other than to suggest that maybe he would support having Russia build more reactors.

      2. @Ed Leaver,
        My memory may be faulty, but I thought that the IFR fuel cycle was not intended to consume all/most of the uranium – that it was aimed at the TRUs. Or perhaps I am remembering a variant, which would be using mostly the TRUs from SNF and not trying to also consume all the uranium from the SNF. I believe the reasoning was to have a very hard neutron spectrum to burn up certain elements/isotopes but I also thought a certain amount of uranium needed to be present for neutronics and/or delayed-neutron fractions – but that is outside my expertise. In this scenario, of burning all the TRUs and some fraction of the U, then maybe a more accurate statement would be “to consume our TRU from SNF in short order.”

        1. @ Jim L.
          I think your memory may be faulty. That a certain amount of uranium (and plutonium) must always be present by no means excludes the possibility of eventually burning essentially all the uranium. And that was IFR’s intent.

          IFR’s original design goal was 10% burnup before a fuel rod was recycled. Irradiation experiments at EBR-II and FFTF indicated 20% was probably quite feasible. That still leaves 80% U-Pu for stability.

          When an IFR fuel rod is recycled, the U and TRU’s are separated electrochemically from the fission products, which are removed from the process as “waste”. Fresh U-238 or used LWR fuel (refined to bare metal) are added to the IFR U and TRU’s to make up the lost fission product mass.

          IFR’s fast spectrum does indeed burn the TRU’s significantly faster than a LWR, so much so that TRU’s beyond Pu don’t significantly accumulate on a mass basis. But the radiation of what remains is intense enough to discourage anyone from diverting the Pu/TRU mix for unauthorized intent.

          1. @Ed Leaver,
            I checked for my original memory/source of the IFR project, which I found at https://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA378.html by the late Dr. Stanford. This particular layman-style paper seems mostly focused on Pu destruction, with some added benefit of consuming the TRUs. But this paper does not say to separate the U from the rest of the mix – I apparently misunderstood or extrapolated from it.

  10. Isn’t it ironic that while politicians are lamenting the loss of Lanthanide industrial capacity they’re doing the exact same thing to the Actinide Industrial capacity?

    You hear effectively “Oh no! It’s gonna take us 10 years to regain leadership in Rare Earths!”, We here this as if China will be standing still.

    If they think purposeful exporting and divesting lanthanide technologies was bad, what do they think about doing the same with Actinide technologies? This is going to be much worse. Why isn’t this forcefully pointed out to them whenever the loss of lanthanide capacity is lamented?

    We’re in the process of divesting to foreign interests our hard won Actinide technologies. Why is this realization lost to so many politicians all the while they realize the loss of our also hard won lanthanide expertise?

    1. @John Chatelle

      A significant portion of the reason that you hear politicians lamenting about our rare earth dependence is that people who want to mine those materials here in the US have worked hard to make their voices heard. Quite a few of those people are actively marketing thorium so that they have a demand for a material that would otherwise be an expensive waste product instead of a useful byproduct if they begin producing rare earths in the US.

  11. @Bas: regarding the claims that neutron-generated Ar-41 emissions alter the sex ratio within 40 kilometres of the overground HLW storage facility in Gorleben. You clearly have no scientific background if you give any credence to this bullshit.

    The purported mechanism for this is as follows. The waste containers emit neutrons, some of which activate Ar40 to Ar41, which has a half life of 109 minutes. Hagen Scherb et al posit that the Ar41 is highly ionised an acts as condensation point for water droplets. This is supposed to makes the Ar41 stick close to the ground, where it is carried to the unsuspecting population by wind and then decays.

    However, the lifetime of Ar+ as an ion in air is only nanoseconds. The Ar+ ion would get an electron back in the first collision with an oxygen molecule since Ar has a higher ionisation energy then O_2. The Argon hence mixes with the atmosphere as an inert noble gas.

    The neutron flux from each castor is at most 200/(cm^2*s) in 30 cm distance. Through a cylindrical surface with 5,6m length and 2.6m diameter, this about 1.13e8 neutrons per castor and second, or , for the 113 castor containers stored there, 1.27e10 neutrons per second.

    A lot of these neutrons will be absorbed in floor, ceiling, walls and other castors, but if we generously assume that all neutrons are absorbed by air, and 0.2% of them by Argon40 (as Scherb correctly works out from the cross sections), we get an upper limit of 2.55e8/s for the number of Ar41 nuclei generated.

    Due to the short half life (109 minutes), we quickly get an equilibrium with Ar41 activity of 2.55e8 Bq. This is supposed to affect a 5000km^2 area. Assuming dispersion to 100m altitude, we get a total Ar41 activity of 5e-4Bq/m^3. The solubility of Ar in water is about 1/33, so the concentration in the human body is less than 1.5e-8Bq/kg.

    This is less than a billionth of the 100Bq/kg from natural isotopes in the body. Claims that this has any effect are complete nonsense. It is unbelevable how you obsess about additions of less than a billionth to the natural background of radiation by nuclear facilities and are completely relaxed about the massive amounts of toxic pollution from coal plants.

    1. The DNA damage effect is not only found at surface storage site Goreben, but at all substantial nuclear energy facilities which have enough people living around to show significant differences.

      The effect concerns an increase of up to 5% in the m/f sex ratio, which indicates substantial damage considering the relative small difference in size between the male and female DNA (the difference concerns only the sex chromosome).

      These results are in line with the results of UK research around Sellafield:

      In line with the found DNA damage other UK research group found in 1999:
      “significant positive association … between the risk of a baby being stillborn and the father’s total exposure to external ionising radiation before conception”
      Up to 31 of the 130 stillbirths to the workforce may be attributable to father’s radiation exposure.
      The report in The Lancet.

      1. @Bas

        Regarding the 1999 Lancet report summary to which you linked, I noticed that the overall rate of still births in the area — 3715/248097 = .01497 — is slightly higher than the rate of still births among the offspring of radiation workers — 130/9078 = .01432.

        An honest researcher who was not seeking a grant might have stopped right there, recognizing that if there is a relationship between radiation and still births, it is so tiny as to be not worth worrying about.

        You wrote:

        Up to 31 of the 130 stillbirths to the workforce may be attributable to father’s radiation exposure.

        The summary to which you linked stated it quite differently.

        The statistical models predicted that, were the association to be interpreted as causal, between 0 and 31·9 of the 130 stillbirths to the workforce may be attributable to father’s radiation exposure.

        You are also wearing out your welcome here by continuing your policy of posting useless comments about marginal studies finding and exaggerating the importance of effects that are not distinguishable from zero.

        1. Rod – Are you suggesting (I think wrongly) that The Lancet (one of the most famous medical scientific journals) has published a faulty study?

          I see you calculated from the summary that the frequency of stillbirth in Cumbria since 1950 was higher (1.50%) than that from the Sellafield workers (1.43%). (I salute you for having excellent eyes)!

          You might also consider:

          1.The stillbirth ratio in Cumbria decreased greatly since 1950, from 2.2% in the 1950-1959 period towards <0.5% now. The main reason is probably better medical care and that in the fifties there were relative fewer Sellafield workers.

          2. The Sellafield workers are now far better educated and in in a higher social class, which implies far less stillbirth than average. Social class has a great influence, probably a factor of 2, since Stillbirth is1% for higher social classes and 2% for the lower classes. I believe that the study corrected for these differences, your simple comparison not.

          3. The study also made more corrections.

          The study found: "A significant positive association was found between the risk of a baby being stillborn and the father's total exposure to external ionizing radiation before conception (adjusted odds ratio per 100 mSv 1·24 [95% Cl 1·04–1·45], p=0·009)."

          1. @CaptD

            The study found: “A significant positive association was found between the risk of a baby being stillborn and the father’s total exposure to external ionizing radiation before conception (adjusted odds ratio per 100 mSv 1·24 [95% Cl 1·04–1·45], p=0·009).”

            I’ll admit that I didn’t take the time to read the entire study. However, I can’t help but wonder if the study mentioned the fact that there is most likely a very strong positive correlation between the father’s total exposure to ionizing radiation before conception and the father’s age before conception?

          2. Are you suggesting (I think wrongly) that The Lancet (one of the most famous medical scientific journals) has published a faulty study?

            Sure … why not? They published Andrew Wakefield’s faulty vaccine/autism study didn’t they? Then they took a dozen years to finally retract it.

            The Lancet has a now-well-documented history of publishing faulty studies at about the time of the study that Bas linked to. The Lancet‘s reputation is not all that good these days.

            3. The study also made more corrections.

            Sellafield has been studied to death with respect to all sorts of low-incidence health effects. For example, there was a child leukemia cluster identified around Sellafield, which was originally attributed to the facility there. Then further research could not confirm that the facility was the cause. The latest research has concluded that the leukemia cluster was due to viruses and/or infections. While mosquitoes have been blamed by some, many consider the Sellafield plant the cause, but not due to any radiation releases. Rather, many people who work at Sellafield are not from Cumbria, and when populations from all over mix like this, they bring their own viruses and other germs with them. This type of additional stressor has been observed to cause clusters of cancer (and other health-related problems) before, and the experience at Sellafield is consistent with this.

            So tell me, did the researchers who published that 16-year-old paper in The Lancet correct for that? I seriously doubt it.

            In any case, a 1.24 odds ratio per 100 mSv (with a marginal 1.04 odds ratio per 100 mSv at the 95% CI) is nothing to crow about. Frankly, I’m surprised that The Lancet bothered to publish a paper with such worthless results … but then I remember Andrew Wakefield.

      2. @Bas. Assuming the finding in the Lancet study is correct and the RR for stillbirth is 1.24 per 100 mSv. As I have shown, the exposure from Neutron-generated Argon around Gorleben is no more than 1 nSv per year. Price question for you: how big is the RR risk in that case? What makes the Scherb studies so unbelievable is that, no matter how small the dose actually is, they ALWAYS find a significant effect. They have never published anything where they find no effect. It is plain as day that these guys are fraudsters.

        1. RRMeyer – Look closer. The paper didn’t report relative risk; it reported the (adjusted) odds ratio. This is an important distinction between the two, although not many people are aware of it or what it means.

          For any effect that is identified (i.e., RR > 1), the odds ratio is going to be higher than the relative risk. That is, if you confuse the two, the odds ratio is going to give a more impressive figure for the effect. Odds ratios are only really useful if the effect that is being studied is small, and the smaller the better, because the smaller the effect, the better the odds ratio will approximate the relative risk, but it will still be higher.

      3. @Bas: The DNA damage effect is not only found at surface storage site Goreben, but at all substantial nuclear energy facilities which have enough people living around to show significant differences.
        You should work on your reading comprehension. They found a spatial effect in an average of all nuclear sites and selected individual sites. Of course they do not show us data for the sites where the effect was opposite or non-existent.
        For a temporal link (with the startup of the facility), they went through 60 facilities, and present a temporal link only for Gorleben, and for Dudelange near Cattenom. Not the whole area around Cattenom, but just one village. If this is not cherry picking, I do not know what is. For Gorleben, the startup of the facility (first Castor in 1995) is a very poor proxy for the actual radiation exposure, as the deliveries started in earnest only in 2001. If you try to correlate the m/f ratio with the actual temporary development of the Gorleben inventory, the correlation goes to zero.

    2. Btw.
      – In Gorleben the dry casket’s are stored within a building with thick walls, which absorb part of the escaping fast neutrons (I assume).
      In USA these casket’s are in the open air…

      – As adapting the storage building in Gorleben to minimize the hazardous effects costs millions, the state (Niedersachsen) executed a due diligence study to check whether the found results were as big as Scherb etal stated.*)
      That study confirmed the results.

      You can read it in Wikipedia under the sub-titel “Mögliche Auswirkungen”.
      Sorry that I have no English summary of that, but google translate will help.

      *) It’s relative easy as they only have to gather the data from the birth registers and ask another, independent statistical scientist to execute the tests.

      1. I guess you should read the expert statements in the expert conference organised by the health department of Niedersachsen, as linked by Wikipedia.
        All experts (except Scherb et al if you want to call them experts) agree that while an increase in sex ratio in 1995 exists, a connection with the TLB and its content is extremely unlikely to impossible.
        Prof Kraemer discusses the fallacies of datamining, publication bias and p-tests.
        T Jung (BfS) states that any evidence that radiation exposure alters the sex ration is patchy and inconsistent. For instance, on page 38 we see sex odds for offspring of radiation therapy parents. We are talking Sieverts of exposure here. Still, any shifts are within the error bars and only a few percent. Since radiation is carefully monitored, and apart from marginally elevated neutron exposure right next to the perimeter fence, nothing has ever been found.

  12. The upper limit of 2.55e8/s for the number of Ar41 nuclei generated represents and activity released of (2.55e8/s)/(109min*60s/min*ln(2))=5.6e4 Bq/s = 6.7e8 Bq/h = 5.9e12Bq/yr.
    This activity released is 220 times less than the 1.5e11 Bq/h released by the AR1 research reactor in Mol(Belgium) operating at 1/3 rated power (http://www.nks.org/download/pdf/NKS-Pub/NKS-55.pdf).
    As I have said, most of the generated neutrons will not be absorbed by air, so the actual number for the Gorleben “emissions” is considerably smaller still. This is the reason why the Ar41 is clearly measurable in gamma spectra up to 1.5 km downwind from BR1, but not a Gorleben.
    According to http://unscear.org/docs/reports/annexa.pdf, table 10, the collective dose within 50km from 5.9e12Bq/yr Ar41 source is 5.3e-3 person-Sv. They assume a population density of 400/km^2, so 3.14million people within 50km receiving an average dose of 1.7e-9Sv=1.7nSv, less than a millionth of the average natural background. This is all from external gamma radiation.
    The dose from internal radiation is by a factor of more than a 1000 smaller. From the UNSCEAR table, the average activity density giving rise to this 1.7nSv/yr exposure is (1.7nSv/yr)/(2080nSv/(Bq yr m^-3))=8e-4Bq/m^3, close to my 5e-4Bq/m^3 estimate from assuming uniform dispersion. This gives a concentration in the body of less than 2.4e-8Bq/kg. I guess Scherb et al base their absurd claims on internal irradiation because it sounds more scary. Their whole mission is to scare people, not inform people.
    So why is this nonsense taken seriously by Bas and even by German politicians? Only because it is useful for their agenda.

    1. @RRMeyer,
      Either there are some flaws in your reasoning; or
      there is another explanation (which???)
      for the increased m/f sex-ratio in newborn of fathers living within 50km of substantial nuclear facilities, such as NPP’s, surface storage.

      That other explanation is difficult as:
      – the increases started ~a year after the start of the nuclear facility (so the increase harm of the DNA of the sperm started when the nuclear facility started);
      – the increases are only found for newborn around substantial nuclear facilities, such as NPP’s, nuclear fuel (re)processing, surface nuclear waste storage .
      – the increases are found around all those facilities in a range of countries (provided there live enough people around the nuclear facility to show such statistical significant increases).

      But may be you can find another good explanation??
      The Germans didn’t. So they are now planning to improve the waste storage in Gorleben. It wasn’t in open air as in US, but now the building should get thicker walls, prevent that air around the casketts can escape from the building, etc.
      And there are voices to accelerate the closure of the NPP’s.

      1. But may be you can find another good explanation??

        Yes. I think that the upcoming popular term is P-hacking”. It’s what happens when activists pretend to be scientists and produce a bunch of “statistical” garbage that is intended to fool the weak minded.

        It appears to have worked in your case.

        1. The example in your link shows that the significance vanished after applying the test to extra data.
          Here the significance is confirmed again and again with extra data (=increased m/f sex ratio of newborn around extra nuclear faciliies!*)

          In the fiftes (~1958) UNSCEAR stated in its yearly report to the UN general assembly already that m/f sex ratio measurement would be a good indicator for the DNA damage nuclear radiation causes (then the discussion was primarily about the effects of the atmospheric bomb tests).
          The measured increased m/f sex ratio in areas far away contributed to the ban on atmospheric testing.

          In the sixties, years after Chernobyl, Cuba had food shortages. USSR sent some ships with food from regions which got some Chernobyl fall-out. There was an highly significant jump in the m/f sex ratio of newborn in Cuba. Scientists couldn’t explain why, only unsatisfactory speculations, until they discovered the contaminated food import from USSR. When the food aid stopped the increased m/f sex ratio returned fast back to normal.

          After Chenobyl, the m/f sex ratio in newborn increased in all countries which got fall-out (so most of Europe).

          Knowing the history, the authors started looking at the m/f sex ratio of newborn around main processing & storage facilities.***)
          They then moved forward checking at NPP’s in Germany, Switzerland, France, etc. finding everywhere the same significant increase.

          *) Of course provided that there are enough newborn within 50km from the NPP! No significance possible with e.g. only 10 newborn.

          **) Statistical scientists (the specialism of the first author; Scherb) use a.o. the Bonferroni correction factor when they do multiple tests on samples.
          It was discussed in a scientific journal after one of his publications. He could show that applying the correction would be wrong

          ***) You can find the raw data from the population registers at sheet 16
          The (links to the) scientific publications are stated in the PPT’s.

          1. The example in your link shows that the significance vanished after applying the test to extra data.

            I figured it would be over your head. You didn’t understand the article, because you don’t want to understand the article.

            Here I see

            – Statistical examination of a very small (approaching negligible), inconsequential effect

            – Results with P values that are either suspiciously similar (p = 0.001) or just within the magic “significant” number of 0.05 (p = 0.0482)

            – The results cleanly match the desires and expectations of people with an agenda to push

            – All results are reported by only one team of researchers

            – The work comes out of an organization with a well-known bias on the topic

            This work has all the red flags, not only for faulty statistics but also for scientific fraud.

            I provide a link to an article that mentions that “changes in a few data-analysis decisions can increase the false-positive rate in a single study to 60%,” and this is the best you’ve got?

            Sorry, but you’ve got to do better than that. These jokers have been pushing for a reduction in radiation protection standards for years, which has fallen on deaf ears. That is not surprising. Anyone with a decent scientific background and who is familiar with the broader literature on the subject knows that these clowns are crackpots on a mission, not respectable scientists.

          2. @Brian,
            There is little such research done.

            NRC recently dropped a proposal to similar research with the no money argument (which sounds silly considering the costs and their budget).

            They probably estimated a great chance that similar results would come up for US NPP’s. Also considering the many leaks of radio-active material in USA, e.g. SONGS, Vermont Yankee, Indian Point, etc.
            Similar results don’t serve their target to keep nuclear energy alive in US.
            (in addition they may otherwise they lose their job).

          3. Bas – So “appeal to ignorance” — that’s your chosen logical fallacy?

            There have been plenty of studies done (all showing no effect). You simply choose to ignore them, because you want to rely on your favorite crackpot’s research.

      2. My reasoning should be easy enough to follow for anyone with A-level physics knowledge, so have you found any flaws?
        However, when making their extravagant claims the authors should have calculated or estimated the dose that gives rise to the purported effect. They did not present any such calculation because the doses are so ridiculously small. Their calculations on cross-sections show that they are not stupid, they are just habitual liars.
        To illustrate this, look at their presentation on page 33. They claim that the neutron dose in the village of Gorleben (2 km from the repository) jumped by a factor of 2 from 1997 to 1998.
        Now look at their source, especially page 28 and 29. It is clearly stated what happened in 1998. New measurement huts with new instruments and a much more conservative calibration factors were introduced, increasing the reported results in all measurement stations by the same amount, independent of the distance from the TLB. The measurement station MH5 in the village of Gorleben was never meant to detect neutrons from the repository, it is meant to establish the baseline of natural neutron radiation (which changes a bit depending on water saturation of the ground).
        as you can see here, 6 castors arrived in March 1997, but the average dose 1997 was lower than in 1996. Then, nothing arrived until march 2001. How can the jump in 1998 be related to what happened in the repository? Do you enjoy being lied to?
        On page 15 in the presentation, the model a jump in the SOR in 1995. However, until 2001, only 8 castors had arrived, growing to 113 in 2011. That slow growth in the purported cause is not at all reflected in the reported effect.
        With the chernobyl data it is the other way around (page 41). The dose was by far the largest in 1986, but the purported gender gap continuous to grow until 2000. This is what happens if you mine statistical data for ‘anomalies’ and then strenuously try to attribute it to you pet hate (in this case nuclear power). This is like a medieval witch hunt, where witches were made responsible for anything bad that happened anywhere near them.
        Strangely, the sex ratio bullshitters have been rather quiet about Fukushima. Why would that be? In all three boundary units, the number of births was significantly lower than the predicted number by about 3-8% from nine months after the disaster, while the number of marriages in October 2011 was significantly lower than the predicted number by about 25-28%. In October 2011, the SSR in the whole of Japan had decreased from 104.8 (the predicted SSR) to 102.9. The number of births and marriages and the SSR decreased in Japan after the East Japan Earthquake irrespective of locality.
        So, an effect that goes the wrong way is quietly forgotten about, like you would expect from cherry-pickers. The massive decrease in marriage rate in the whole of Japan emphasises the profound psychological impact the disaster had on the whole country. I wonder what share the radiation fearmongers have in that impact.

        1. Checking my calculation again, I found an error, 1.27e10*0.2% is obviously 2.55e7, and not 2.55e8. So the Argon activity is by a factor of 10 lower than I originally stated.

  13. Dick Cheney, giving expert advice on how to sidestep one’s TRUE legacy…..

    “I think it’s going to be a train wreck, and he’s not going to want to claim it down the road. He’ll have to find a way to blame it on somebody else.”

    Exquisite irony.

    1. Yeah … got to give it to Cheney, he knows his guy. After six and a half years, why would anyone expect anything different than the usual from him?

      It’s like expecting him to stop playing golf or vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. Ain’t gonna happen.

  14. Actually Brian, Cheney appears to think history can be denied. I have no doubt that Obama is perfectly capable of denying aspects of his reign that are unflattering. And no doubt that he will do so. But he is going to have to work very hard at it to equal Cheney’s efforts, as Cheney has such an epic and costly disaster on his list of legacies to be denied. When the partisan blame shifting regarding Iraq is replaced by the march of time, the invasion of Iraq will be remembered as the largest, and costliest, foreign policy blunder in the history of our nation. And the lies used to justify it will be recorded as the most criminal deception ever waged against the citizens of the United States. Dick Cheney is evil, in every sense of the word. He has earned a place in history, sharing a page with Adolph Hitler and Idi Amin. His passing into history will be a blessing to all mankind

    1. Oh … you mean like convincing Libya’s Gaddafi to abandon his nuclear weapons program once and for all? Yeah … that was totally evil.

      But now that Obama has been elected and reelected, North Africa has become such a safe place. Hope … change … you know … I’m sure you’ve read all of the speeches.

      So I assume that you’ll be vacationing there sometime this year. Right?

      I’ve heard that it’s such a bargain these days. Guaranteed not to cost you an arm and a leg … but … there are no guarantees on a head.

  15. @ POA

    Would you care to compare Iraq with LBJ’s Vietnam?

    “Dick Cheney is evil, in every sense of the word. He has earned a place in history, sharing a page with Adolph Hitler and Idi Amin.”

    With non-sense like the above, you cannot be taken seriously.

  16. Why do you continue to think that I will defend “the left”, or participate in the diversions you and David offer in your attempts to offer prattle in lieu of substance? Who TF cares about LBJ in this discussion?

    How many have died as a direct result of our invasion of Iraq, Brian? They continue, in huge numbers, to die as we speak. And not just in Iraq. The results of the Bush Administration deception is long ranging and disastrous in far too many ways to list. And we should just ignore the part these criminals such as Cheney played in lying us into this disaster? Ignore Cheney’s role? Evil is as evil does, Brian.

    “Saddam Hussein’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction poses a grave danger—not only to his neighbors, but also to the United States. His regime aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda”

    Source: Office of the Vice President, remarks by Dick Cheney, January 31, 2003.(This is a KNOWN LIE. There WAS NEVER any evidence of collusion between Al Qaeda and Saddam. Are we supposed to ignore this lie?)

    “Saddam has also shown that he is willing to use weapons of mass destruction. He used them in his war against Iran, and has used them against his own people. This gathering danger requires the most careful, deliberate, and decisive response by America and our allies.”

    Dick Cheney had a direct role in Saddam acquiring these weapons. He is as reponsible for their use as Saddam was. It is not “evil” to supply WMDs to a dictator, then decry their use when it becomes convenient to do so? When Saddam was gassing Iranians, with gas we supplied, where was Cheney’s protest against such a crime? WMDs are alright with Dick Cheney, as long as they are used as prescribed. This isn’t “evil”? By Dubya and Cheney’s own wording, isn’t the use of these kinds of weapons “evil”? Isn’t one of the reasons the label “Evil Axis” was created?

    The, lets add torture to Cheney’s resume’ and legacy.

    “Evil” fits, and it is how history will remember him. And he isn’t done yet. Until his batteries run out, he poses a grave risk to the global community.

    Yes, I think “evil” is the perfect term, the only term, by which to describe Dick Cheney.

    1. My earlier comment is held up in moderation. I’ve noticed recently, however, that no matter how long (or insane) they might be, yours never are.

      In other words, patience. My comment is coming. You’ll just have to wait. Meanwhile, I couldn’t care less about what you have to say or who you desperately want declare to be “evil.” None of this has anything to do with the main theme of this blog — whatever that is, I can’t really tell these days.

      It appears to be a one-man soapbox, to judge by the comments here.

    2. Make that two comments now. You’ll understand when you see all of them, if you are allowed to.

  17. I have no doubt, these two missing posts, will be examples of the usual unsubstantive crap you and David are so fond of using as rebuttal.

    Go visit Breitbart. Perhaps you can learn what to say next.

    1. You bring up a good point. At least the Huffington Post has better (or at least more alert) comment moderation. If I want to read what you post, I should just go straight there to the source.

  18. I do not read HP. Are you going to rebut my comments about Dick Cheney? Or just continue to bray?

    Did he lie or not? If you contend he didn’t lie, for instance in regards to my assertion, above, that be lied about a Saddam/Al Qaeda collusion….then defend your position.

    Was he instrumental in Saddam acquiring chemical weapons, or not? If so, do you think he shares responsibility with Saddam for the use of these chemicals? If you live in a fantasy, and want your face rubbed in the facts, then go ahead and deny that he had a role in Saddam acquiring these weapons. Or, like I said, just keep braying, and hee haw your next assinine and deflective little intellectual dingleberry onto this thread.

    1. @ POA

      “…the invasion of Iraq will be remembered as the largest, and costliest, foreign policy blunder in the history of our nation.”

      YOU made that statement and that is what I was responding to. Your claim “Who TF cares about LBJ in this discussion?” is understandable as LBJ and Vietnam are a refutation of your emotional outburst.

      In regards to your comparing Dick Cheney with Hitler and Idi Amin, do you really intend to defend or standby such foolish statements?

      In your apoplectic response to my lack of confidence in Obama, you challenged me to defend my statements. Remember this? “And how has he done this, placed his own interests above those of this nation? Explain that. I doubt you can rationalize that accusation…” In my rather lengthy response, I gave you numerous examples for my statements, examples that were wasted on you. I must confess that I used Breitbart purposely (partially the reason) just to see your reaction and like Pavlov’s dog, you zeroed right in. Criticizing a site’s article without bothering to read it, you missed the long list of examples, some of which I personally saw reported in the news, detailing Obama’s deliberate attack on ordinary citizens in hopes the media would blame it on the Republicans.

      With your unrelenting attack on Israel and your admission that you are anti-Israeli, it is comical to hear you charging me with bigotry. You have claimed in other threads you are tired of the anger and vitriol, or words to that effect, yet you are its chief miscreant.

      You have knowledge, but no wisdom, knowledge, but you use it like a shillelagh to flog your fellow commenters. While giving some sound advice on how to reach anti-nukes, you consistently ignore your own advice in your own writings. Yours is a desire to turn every atomic insights article into your own arena of screed and it is invariably off-topic.
      It may be a tall order, but try to cool the jets of hate and peaceably contribute, preferably, on topic.

      1. Just ponder this, David.

        The common reaction to the alleged iranian leadership’s rhetoric about “inihilating Israel” is to underscore the “anti-semitism” involved in such rhetoric. Now, of course, it goes without saying that anti-semitism is “bigotry”, correct?

        Now, examine this statement. Your statement;

        “However, I failed to mention that the Obama administration should have made it clear to the Iranians that if they persisted in developing a nuclear weapon, we would incinerate their entire nation…”

        So, I guess I get your drift. Such threats, waged by Iran, are a glaring example of bigotry.

        But such threats, waged by such moral giants such as yourself, are just examples of sound foreign policy rhetoric. Do I have that about right, David?

        You’re going to advocate “incinerating” 80 million people because of an allegation about their leadership’s pursuit of nuclear weapons? An allegation we know not to be true, at least as it has stood since 2012.

        And you are advocating throwing this “deal” in the garbage, opening the door for you to make good the threat of incineration? And how has this option been taken off the table by this “deal”, Brian? The truth is, it hasn’t. And I defy you to challenge that assertion with anything resembling knowledge of the actual deal.

        What, you and Dick Cheney are soul mates or something? You just can’t wait to fry a bunch of brown people, can you, David? Excite ya just a little, does it?

        Why don’t you read through this entire exchange, David, and imagine being an unbiased observer, examining the exchange. What have you offered in rebuttal to my opinions and assertions? Wheres the meat?

      2. And by the way, Brian. Don’t you understand the damage that is done by misapplying the term “anti-semitism” and using it to counter criticism of Israel’s state policies? It cheapens the term, and inures society to disregard the accusation, even when the accusation is deserved and apropos.

        I lived in Hayden Lake, Idaho, when that monster Butler moved in and established a rural compound and sanctuary for neo nazis and skinheads. I have seen the ugly face of anti-semitism up close, and marched in the streets of Couer d Alene counter protesting as Butler and his clutch of dangerous racist fanatics marched down mainstreet.

        I suspect you and Brian are young, at least compared to some of us here that are on the taller side of a century. So I suppose I should excuse your desire to belong to a tribe, and your subscription to your tribe of choice’s collective world view. But I can’t bring myself to do so, because our current leaders, of both tribes, are crapping on everything we once stood for. And unfortunately, many people, those like yourself, haven’t got the good sense to put your hip waders on. And its getting real deep. Pretty soon we’re gonna need scuba gear, or we’re all gonna smother together. No matter what tribe you hold hands with.

        1. And by the way, Brian. Don’t you understand the damage that is done by misapplying the term “anti-semitism” …

          While there are several people who have been throwing around that term on this page here, I’m not one of them.

          1. My apologies,Brian. I just can’t tell you and David spart. But my apology is sincere.

            And yes, you did once call me an anti-semite.

            I”m done, Rod



            Scout’s honor.

            Except, I’d like to add…uh..

            Oh, never mind.

  19. You don’t get, do you David? I enjoy this. You and Brian are an amusement to me. So too is Paul Primevera.

    And of course I ignored your list of greviances about Obama. When I asked you to clarify your statement, I was interested in you clarifying it in regards to the current debate about the Iran deal.

    And being anti-israel is in no way anti-semitic. In fact, I feel for the majority of jews in Israel, for their increasingly radicalized RW government is committed on a course that only spells doom for their nation. It is interesting that you keep coming back to that timeworn canard. Is that all you have to counter the very real reasons I cite for being “anti-israel”? Now, if I painted JEWISH ISRAELIS with a broad brush, and accused them all of wanting to inihilate all muslims, then yes, you could rightly accuse me of being anti-semitic. Flip that coin over, and examine your own statements about the Iranians.

    And once more you have offered a long winded comment that really says NOTHING to counter the specifics I have offered in this exchange explaining how I have formed my opinions. For instance, why not counter the reasons I cite for me honestly and sincerely considering Dick Cheney to be an evil human being? Perhaps you don’t share Cheney and Dubya’s reasoning for declaring a person evil? Giving a dictator and tyrant chemical weapons and cluster bombs, so they can be used as prescribed, is not evil? Lying a nation into war is not evil? Instituting a policy of rendition and torture is not evil? Or perhaps its only evil if someone else, some other nation, does it, eh?

    You and Brian are easy, David. And infinitely amusing.

    I see Mark Levin is gonna join Beck, Trump, and Cruz in their shout out to the ignorant masses. Did you reserve your front row seat? Don’t forget to buy popcorn.

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments from our Readers

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

Similar Posts