1. As a fellow sailor Rod, I can only mourn the loss of Shoreham and curse its replacements and their effects on the Long Island Sound.
    On a slightly different topic, I recommend the, somewhat, recent article in Wired about the anti-vaccine movement. Amy Wallace has made a terrific rendition of this particular anti-science movement and it struck me that much of the article, with a few substitutions, would give an accurate account of what the Nuclear Industry has suffered through in the last 35 years. I’m just looking for the money trail that would profit off the decline of vaccines.

    1. At least to me, the war on vaccines is batshit crazy. By decreasing herd immunity, vaccine non-compliant parents endanger not only their child but all children, in general.
      People have to understand that all things come with risk, and that yes, theoretically, every time you pick up a piece of paper you could get a theoretical paper cut that could theoretically get infected by flesh-eating bacteria that could theoretically kill you. That doesn’t mean that it’s very likely, and your personal risk assessment of the dangers of paper cuts from paper does not make your “Ban All Paper – Host of Flesh Eating Bacteria!” campaign credible. Or your ban water fluoridation campaign, where you talk about fluoridation sapping your “precious bodily fluids.”
      Instead you suck risk up, accept that freedom is not free, that everything has a small degree of residual risk, from cars to vaccines to sheets of paper to trains to aircraft – you suck it up, and live your life. If you can’t do that, you owe it to yourself to understand it before you become afraid of it, so learn everything that you can, and see if there is anything to really fear.

  2. Liberal Democrat governor Mario Cuomo shut Shoreham down. Now his son, Andy Cuomo (NY State Attorney General) is trying to shut Indian Point down.
    But Rod Adams can’t once mention that his liberal democrat comrades are responsible for the Shoreham shutdown, the fight in NY against Indian Point, or the fight in VT against Vermont Yankee.
    The Demon-craps are anti-nuke and anyone who ingratiates themselves with the Demon-craps deserve what they get. Freeze in the dark, liberals, the whole lot of you.

    1. Guest, I fully recognize that most opposition to nuclear power comes from within the liberal side of US politics. However, due to reasons discussed at length in other posts, I come from a liberal perspective. Kind of “paleoliberal” in some ways, but liberal nonetheless. Nothing that you say is going to change that. I respect conservativism – and conservatives – as my fellow Americans – but profoundly disagree with them on quite a few issues – speaking generally. I disagree with contemporary, post-modern liberalism on a few issues, too, but not nearly as many as conservatism.
      In any event, I realize that I can work with my fellow Americans on both sides of the aisle to advance my views when they aren’t in harmony with those who I am in coalition with.
      Comments like this – calling Democrats “Demon-Craps” – don’t win you friends, supporters, or respect. Being nice – and arguing your point in a gentlemanly fashion – refraining from personal attacks on commenters or the author of this blog – or outright namecalling against groups – but rather criticizing ideas and suggesting ones you consider are more positive – are far more effective.

  3. Let me guess, following the shutdown of Shoreham the total fraction of Shoreham’s electricity supply from solar amounts to fuckall?

    1. Soylent, 60% of LI’s electricity is made by burning oil. Most towns have diesel generators. Which is why when you fly over LI there is often a yellowish pall of smog. Solar and wind are negligible–less than 1%. Fortunately LI gets some electricity from nuclear power from the Millstone plant in CT. But the result of shutting down Shoreham is a steady uptick in fossil fuel combustion. I don’t know of any survey about the effects of all the waste from it on the lungs and hearts of LI residents, but the impact must be significant.
      As an anti-nuke in 1970s-1980s, I campaigned to shut down Shoreham. LILCO was guilty of corruption, unsavory dealings with wise guys, steamfitters on the night shift that destroyed the work of the day shift ,etc. A nuclear engineer who worked there and who now works at Indian Point told me that finally LILCO had to build cages around completed construction so that the contractors with crews wielding acetylene torches could not get at the pipes.
      Now that I understand much more about nuclear power I wish that some small modular reactors could be installed around LI. We’d have much cleaner air, particularly in the summer when more diesel is burned to power air conditioners.

      1. Towns in Long Island use diesel generators as prime power? No wonder they have high electric rates. I know that Long Island has like the last oil power plant that was built prior to the end of the oil era in electric power…but I could never imagine that they actually use diesel generators. That’s crazy.

  4. A few thingees…
    Shoreham was screwed as soon as they poured concrete. A mob controlled Laborers Union did their best to make the plant the most expensive built in the US. I read the original reports (I drove out from NYC to the demonstration there to participate). I’ll be honest here: I might consider this to be correct, even in hindsight. There were really major, major issues with the costs of this plant. Well, I’d still be for it since the alternative really, really sucks, as we all know. And every point is accurate that Rod makes in his blog post here. It’s an excellent post.
    The biggest issue for me in this is the ‘evacuation’ plan nonsense. EVEN if it was planned before we knew for sure 100% that after TMI, very little radiation would escape and what there was appears to have been irrelevant to the biosphere. The idea that “All of LI” would have to be evacuated even in a WORSE CASE scenario fantasy shows the uspsurd of the anti-nuke claim.
    Lastly, the conservative Republicans were as *guilty* as shutting down the plant as liberal Democrats. D’Amato made his very conservative career on this NIMBYism. He was, and remained, the most conservative Republican NY has EVER sent to the US Senate, bar none (even more than Jim Buckley!). Luddism knew no party then, no ideology it’s own.
    The way we will win nuclear energy is to make it as thoroughly non-partisan as possible. Lobbing marshmellows at “liberal democrats” is hardly the way to go.

    1. R – have you seen the Propane ads on television where the muscular guy wearing the t-shirt with Propane emblazoned on it disses electricity as a source of heat, hot water and cooking? As a Floridian, you may not get the regular diet of radio commercials from local oil distributors trying to capture customers from natural gas. At the local business level, gas comes from a pipeline and gets distributed by large corporations as a utility while oil gets delivered to tanks at homes by a local company operating trucks. They are definitely in competition with each other, though the fuel itself probably comes from the same major oil/gas company.
      My purpose with these ‘smoking gun’ posts is not to demonize business and advertising. It is a very important part of our economy. What I am trying to do is to educate nukes about what I believe is the appropriate way to compete. We need to stop fooling ourselves into thinking that it is “the liberals” or “the environmentalists” who have led to the lack of new plant orders or who have led the battle. They may be the vocal and visible leaders, but the real power and financial resources come in because there is a LOT of money at stake in who gets to sell energy.

  5. Yes I have seen the propane ads and they are quite funny.
    I am still unsure about the fossil fuel companies. My reading of history is more that they tried to get in on nuclear and found it relatively difficult, so they pulled out and are “sticking with their knitting”. If they REALLY wanted to kill nuclear, they could have lobbied Congress after TMI to make NRC inspect to the level of INPO and have all of it public (instead, the deal was industry to have INPO which is private but looks more closely at utility practices).
    It appears that the oil/gas companies want some use of nuclear, but to keep it a small percentage of generation until oil/gas supplies run low enough to make it worth their while to get back into nuclear. I agree with you that they are not supportive of a near-term large scale expansion.

  6. Rod. This is a fascinating post and has gathered great comments.
    About being a liberal and pro-nuclear. In my family, my mother was very active in SANE, which fought for the end of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Being active in SANE was the right thing to do.
    She never said a word against nuclear power, however. I think she loved the fact that Rickover was Jewish (as we are) and that he had done such great things for the Navy. She was hopeful about nuclear power as the plants were being built.
    My mother wasn’t a scientist, but she could tell the difference between radioactive fall-out and a well-controlled power source. Something the anti-nukes haven’t figured out yet, all these many years later.

  7. Meredith, a great comment! Thanks for that!
    I was on ban the bomb demos in the early sixties, being dragged, tuchas high, behind *thousands* of screaming Jewish ladies (like my own mom). I must of been about 8 or so, in the early 60s. THAT I’m proud of very much of.

  8. Autumn – though you may be right, I believe that we still have the opportunity to choose to succeed. We cannot give up now.

  9. To wit, smog and acid rain are preferrable to safe clean nuclear power. Unstable solar, based on acreage invensive collector farms and photovoltiacs that have a few issues in production, e.g. haz waste generation common to Silicon chip production.
    Not many are really serious about conservation, else we’d skip the compact flourescents (EPA forbid that you break one, Hg being pointed at more than a NORM aplha emitter to hasten starting) and go right for LED lamps for lighting… Wally world is condescending to offer a few.

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