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The Real Reason They Hate Nuclear Is Because It Means We Don't Need Renewables

By rd6B follow rd6B   2019 Jul 2, 4:18pm 771 views   21 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/02/14/the-real-reason-they-hate-nuclear-is-because-it-means-we-dont-need-renewables

After World War II, the working class in developed nations become materially rich, undermining the case that only a radical, socialist transformation of society could end poverty.

"All the problems which had haunted capitalism," acknowledged Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, "appeared to dissolve and disappear."

What could Marxism mean, Hobsbawm wondered, to workers "who now expected to spend their annual paid vacation on the beaches of Spain?"

In response, radical critics of capitalism shifted their focus. The problem was no longer that capitalism was causing material poverty but rather that it was destroying the environment.

In the 1970s and 1980s, France and Sweden proved they could decouple air and water pollution from electricity production simply by building nuclear plants, which replaced their coal and oil-burning ones.

The problem posed by the existence of nuclear energy was that it proved we didn’t need to radically reorganize society to solve environmental problems. We just needed to build nuclear plants instead of coal-burning ones.

“Even if nuclear power were clean, safe, economic, assured of ample fuel, and socially benign,” said the god head of renewables, Amory Lovins, in 1977, “it would still be unattractive because of the political implications of the kind of energy economy it would lock us into."

What kind of an energy economy would that be, exactly? A prosperous, clean, and high-energy one. “If you ask me, it'd be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it,” explained Lovins.

"Real climate solutions," she insisted, "are ones that steer... power and control to the community level, whether through community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture, or transit systems genuinely accountable to their users…"
1   rd6B   ignore (1)   2019 Jul 2, 4:19pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Just contrast Germany and France. Germany has done much of what the Green New Deal calls for. By 2025 it will have spent $580 billion on renewables and related accoutrement, while shutting down its nuclear plants.

All that Germany will have gotten for its "energy transition" is a 50% increase in electricity prices, flat emissions, and an electricity supply that is 10 times more carbon-intensive than France’s.

France, by contrast, just built nuclear plants.

But then, over the last decade, as it tried to copy Germany, France spent $30 billion on renewables and saw the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and electricity prices, rise.
2   NoCoupForYou   ignore (5)   2019 Jul 2, 5:00pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

d6rB says
"All the problems which had haunted capitalism," acknowledged Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, "appeared to dissolve and disappear."

What could Marxism mean, Hobsbawm wondered, to workers "who now expected to spend their annual paid vacation on the beaches of Spain?"

In response, radical critics of capitalism shifted their focus. The problem was no longer that capitalism was causing material poverty but rather that it was destroying the environment.


And began pushing Gender/Sex/Racial issues
3   jazz_music   ignore (15)   2019 Jul 2, 5:14pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Yeah, that and Fukushima Daiichi Japan sitting there glowing in the dark sending its radiation to Monterey, CA, as two years after the disaster, contaminated water reached the shores of North America.

The cleanup is expected to take 4 decades.

They are trying to dump all the radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean right now.

It's enough to make you swear off seafood, sushi at least.
4   jazz_music   ignore (15)   2019 Jul 2, 5:16pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

d6rB says
"All the problems which had haunted capitalism," acknowledged Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, "appeared to dissolve and disappear."
Roosevelt said that he was saving capitalism.

Maybe he did just that.
5   The_Weeping_Ayatollah   ignore (5)   2019 Jul 2, 5:50pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

No need even for nuclear. Just stop playing stupid games and creating artificial energy scarcity.
6   socal2   ignore (2)   2019 Jul 2, 6:05pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

jazz_music says
It's enough to make you swear off seafood, sushi at least.


The horror!

But we are being told we have only about 10 years to save the planet - right? Time for extreme measures if we truly believe we have to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in a decade. We either nuke up fast or we need to bomb the shit out of China and India's coal and oil power plants.
7   Tenpoundbass   ignore (16)   2019 Jul 2, 6:18pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Obama squandered 8 years of renewable energy initiative. It went to shit the minute he cut Solyndra a check.

There is nobody more skeptical than me, but the idea of a highway pavement that could generate energy that was a keeper.
Of course the idea was floated the minute Solyndra got that check. There was never another creative idea floated.

The ingenuity just stopped and we've been rehashing the same failure Solar and Wind since.
8   Rin   ignore (4)   2019 Jul 2, 8:36pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes, there is a way to make nuclear safe ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor

With less temp/pressure, cooling requirements, and waste management (300 years vs 10K+ years).
9   NDrLoR   ignore (0)   2019 Jul 2, 8:56pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

d6rB says
In response, radical critics of capitalism shifted their focus
In 1993 Hillary Clinton gave us the Politics of Meaning

d6rB says
Amory Lovins, in 1977
Nuf sed! Actually "she" is a he, this was long before it was popular to be conflicted about one's gender.
10   rd6B   ignore (1)   2019 Jul 3, 7:48am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

jazz_music says
Yeah, that and Fukushima Daiichi Japan sitting there glowing in the dark sending its radiation to Monterey, CA, as two years after the disaster, contaminated water reached the shores of North America.

The cleanup is expected to take 4 decades.

They are trying to dump all the radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean right now.

It's enough to make you swear off seafood, sushi at least.

Well, if we assume that CO2 is the cause of most global warming, and that we need to do something about CO2 emissions, we can:
(1) do nothing - wrong assuming our premise
(2) engage in New Green Deal - and in process drop our life standard, thus causing election of Trumps for foreseeable future and cancelling Green deal, and even if it is not cancelled, results in Germany show that their carbon emissions are flat.
(3) build up nuclear power, develop technologies which are safer and can not be used for nuclear weapon proliferation, and which are the only technologies that have shown to decrease carbon emissions AND not reduce life standard of population.

Which do we want to pursue?

With respect to nuclear accidents, there are ca. 5000 deaths from coal mining every year in world. There have not been 5000 deaths from nuclear accidents total.
11   HEYYOU   ignore (46)   2019 Jul 3, 11:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Anyone watch "Ice on Fire"?
12   WookieMan   ignore (5)   2019 Jul 3, 12:06pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

d6rB says
With respect to nuclear accidents, there are ca. 5000 deaths from coal mining every year in world. There have not been 5000 deaths from nuclear accidents total.


And even if there were more deaths from nuclear, there's no telling how many people developed other ailments that cannot be specifically traced back to coal burning. I've never understood the resistance to nuclear (obviously the coal and nat. gas lobby). When you think about what's actually happening in the process and the fact there's been public risks in maybe a handful of instances in first world countries, it's pretty fucking safe.

jazz_music says
They are trying to dump all the radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean right now.


How many gallons (or cubic feet, whatever measure you want to use) is going to be dumped into the ocean? You're probably talking 0.0000000000000000000001% of the worlds ocean getting some radioactive water. It's not good, but it's not a big deal. Keep up the hype though.
13   TrumpingTits   ignore (3)   2019 Jul 5, 1:22pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

d6rB says
With respect to nuclear accidents, there are ca. 5000 deaths from coal mining every year in world. There have not been 5000 deaths from nuclear accidents total.


Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass 12
Peat 12
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)


Deaths per TWh for all energy sources: Rooftop solar power is actually more dangerous than Chernobyl
14   marcus   ignore (12)   2019 Jul 5, 2:17pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

I don't hate nuclear. It is difficult though becasue of safety issues, and becasue of the time frames involved for construction virtually guarantee better versions available by the time reacotrs go online. And there are always a lot of different versions competing to see which can do it best and the most safely. How do we decide which to go with ?

Still, I would love it if we were progressing faster with nuclear.

Thorium ? Let's do it. Molten salt ? What are we waiting for ?

I believe big oil and coal are a bigger lobbying factor working against nuclear than the folks fighting for renewable ever could be. But it will happen.
15   HeadSet   ignore (3)   2019 Jul 5, 2:30pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thorium ? Let's do it. Molten salt cooling ? What are we waiting for.

It does not exist. Many governments world wide are working on it, though.
16   NoCoupForYou   ignore (5)   2019 Jul 5, 3:08pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HeadSet says
It does not exist. Many governments world wide are working on it, though.

We built one at Livermore 60 years ago. Chinese hackers downloaded the plans from an Archive, are working on a ton of them.

It also pairs nicely with Solar.

https://steelguru.com/power/china-s-first-100mw-molten-salt-solar-plant-hits-maximum-power/542890
17   HeadSet   ignore (3)   2019 Jul 5, 6:35pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HonkpilledMaster says
HeadSet says
It does not exist. Many governments world wide are working on it, though.

We built one at Livermore 60 years ago. Chinese hackers downloaded the plans from an Archive, are working on a ton of them.

It also pairs nicely with Solar.

https://steelguru.com/power/china-s-first-100mw-molten-salt-solar-plant-hits-maximum-power/542890



This is interesting, but is not the molten salt cooled Thorium reactor under discussion. This "molten salt" in your article is about using an array on mirrors to heat that salt solution, and store the heat for later use. This is an alternative to solar cells and batteries/capacitors, not nuclear power.
18   NoCoupForYou   ignore (5)   2019 Aug 19, 3:03am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Oops, my bad, must have copied over the wrong link.

The first Molten Salt Thorium Reactor at Oak Ridge, 1960s. This is an intro to the history of it, and how it works:

https://www.ornl.gov/news/msres-50th
19   The_Weeping_Ayatollah   ignore (5)   2019 Aug 19, 8:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

In other news: Fukusima station is running out of storage capacity for contaminated water.
20   HEYYOU   ignore (46)   2019 Aug 19, 10:35am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

At least there isn't waste to deal with from nuclear power plants.

Rep/Cons are fools!

"Oregon’s GOP Chair Wants to Sprinkle Nuclear Waste From Airplanes"

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/oregon-gop-art-robinson-nuclear-waste-airplanes/
21   BlueSardine   ignore (3)   2019 Aug 19, 12:06pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The Atlantic Salmon fisheries are trying to corner the market...

WookieMan says
jazz_music says
They are trying to dump all the radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean right now.

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