I remain baffled about why so many people who consider themselves to be political liberals fight the use of nuclear energy. It is not only an emission-free, reliable, low cost power source with a demonstrated record of safety, it is also a source of some excellent, career employment at wages that allow people to raise families and do better than just “get by.” Many nuclear plants and nuclear equipment suppliers are union shops.
Here is a short clip from Oswego County, New York, talking about the new training program being started at the local community college.
If you are a liberal with an almost automatic dislike of nuclear energy because of the way that all your friends and relatives have spoken about nuclear power your whole life, I would love for you to develop a questioning, authority-challenging attitude about the topic. Ask your friends who are opposed to nuclear energy why they feel that way, but pay attention to their answers. Look up the real facts using the critical reading and searching skills that you have developed over the years.
One of the major movements happening right now to challenge the establishment is “Occupy Wall Street” – often abbreviated as OWS. That movement has arisen out of a real frustration with the way that greedy gamblers have taken over the “house” of the American financial industry and stacked the deck in their own favor.
If you sympathize with the OWS movement, you might want to read an article that I published here on Atomic Insights more than two years ago titled “Wall Street Does Not Like Nuclear Power” – That’s Great, Because I Do Not Like Wall Street!
Here is an adaptation of my recent contribution to an email list populated by a diverse group of opinionated people whose only common interest is a claim to favor the use of nuclear energy. (Quite frankly, there are some people on the list who appear to secretly favor continued efforts to slow its development as much as possible.)
I wonder sometimes if the japan utilities work with the antis. Just say’n…
Sent from Comcast mobile
From: Rod Adams
I’ve often wondered exactly the same thing about US based utilities and vendors. Jack’s CEO sure gets quoted a lot by folks like Romm, Lovins and even Wasserman. When was the last time you watched a GE ad for their rather sophisticated and passively safe ESBWR?
Speaking of ads, I watched one more of those deceptive “100 year supply” natural gas ads last night. This one was from Conoco-Phillips and was set in a college lecture hall. It looked like the lecture had just ended and some bright students were surrounding the professor at his podium. They were gushing about the good news they had heard about our 100 year supply of clean, safe energy “right under our feet.”
I call those ads deceptive because the rather optimistic evaluation of US gas supply from the Potential Gas Committee at the end of 2010 indicated a total resource base – including proven, probable, potential and speculative reservoirs that were TECHNICALLY accessible (with no evaluation of economics) – was 2170 trillion cubic feet.
We are already using 23 trillion cubic feet per year, yet the gas industry thinks they have sufficient supplies to begin also supplying vehicles (T. Boone Pickens), to fill in where coal plants are decommissioned, to back up massive new renewable installations, to fill in where nuclear plants are decommissioned, and even to begin exporting US sourced gas in the form of LNG.
2170/23 = 94 years. That does not even “round up” to 100 years BEFORE the marketing efforts kick in and increase the annual consumption rate. When is anyone going to take the action of challenging those ads with the FTC? Do you recall how Greenpeace and other groups successfully challenged the NEI’s clean energy ads about nuclear in 1999?
In that case the FTC made the following statement in its finding:
“because the discharge of hot water from cooling systems is known to harm the environment, and given the unresolved issues surrounding disposal of radioactive waste, we think that NEI has failed to substantiate its general environmental benefit claim.”
I wonder how the FTC would rule about the natural gas industry’s continued use of the word “clean” about its product in the face of continued CO2 emissions from burning gas, water contamination associated with the industrial activity required to use hydraulic fracturing, and discharges of hot water from cooling systems used for combined cycle gas turbine power plants.
Our efforts to share pronuclear information are not being helped by corporate America or by the financial institutions that back up almost immoral efforts to deceive Americans about the limitations of fossil fuel. They must think we are all innumerate television addicts.
For the record, I am seriously considering employing my camping skills in certain big city downtown areas once my vacation clock gets reset. (I spent too much of this year’s allotment in efforts to spread calm, certainty and reassurance in the face of corporate-sponsored media hype trying to instill nuclear fears after Fukushima.)