“Our freedoms can
be maintained by the advancement of technologies that serve mankind—
advancing technology puts Freedom at Risk and
our freedom is
threatened because we
don't take the time to
participate in it” GJD
In an attempt to stay updated these books and articles
may help, they help us!
When we began our trek in 2005 we were in the process of scheduling Dr.
Cohen for our second public presentation about nuclear energy. Due to his
doctors request for restriction on travel we had to cancel that event. Much
of our initial research and study was initiated and inspired by Dr. Cohen’s
book, particularly portions where he openly assails the media for their
continued participation in misrepresenting scientific evidence and FACTS
about nuclear energy and its radiation environment.
grassroots mission although scorned by some continues to be ADVOCATE and
AGITATE! Having reviewed our mission statement and grassroots educational
directive, Dr. Cohen agreed to serve as an Advisory Board Member for the US
Nuclear Energy Foundation.
Professor Emeritus of
Physics at the
University of Pittsburgh.
He has been a staunch opponent to the so called
Linear no-threshold model
(LNT) which postulates that there is no safe
threshold for radiation exposure.
Cohen has written six books,
including Heart of the Atom (1967),
Concepts of Nuclear Physics (1970), Nuclear
Science and Society (1974), Before It's Too
Late (1983), and The Nuclear Energy Option
(1990). He has also written about 135 research
papers on basic
nuclear physics, about
200 scientific papers on energy and environment
nuclear power, health
radioactive waste, risks
in our society), and about 60 articles in popular
magazines such as
Catholic Digest, and
American Legion Magazine.
Cohen has received the
American Physical Society
Tom Bonner Prize
(1981) for his nuclear physics
research. He was also elected to Chairman of the
A.P.S. Division of Nuclear Physics (1974–75).
For his research on energy and
environment, Cohen received the
Health Physics Society
American Nuclear Society's
Walter H. Zinn Award
Public Information Award, and
Special Award. He was also elected to membership in
National Academy of Engineering, and to Chairman
American Nuclear Society
Division of Environmental Sciences (1980–81).
BOOK ON ALIBRIS
Dr. James Mahaffey:
Hard to estimate with engineering accuracy. I signed the contract
with Pegasus to write Atomic Awakening on 5 February 2008, and the
research was full time, 10 hours a day. However, I had signed
another contract with Facts On File to write a 6-volume set of books
on nuclear power on 29 October 2007. The first book in this series
is "The History of Nuclear Power." Although it seems very similar
in theme to Atomic Awakening, it's actually a completely different
book, written for a different audience, using the National
Scholastic Education Standards as a style guide. The two books
required basically the same research, and are written from the same
filing cabinet of notes. The Facts On File set is written as a
reference for high school juniors, seniors, and college freshmen.
Upon seeing my first sample chapter, the editor at FOF had to warn
me, "Don't be cute. Follow the guidelines." Atomic Awakening, on
the other hand, was written for the general audience, for as many
people as it can reach. It was written specifically to be a fast,
Nuclear Street Interview
With Dr. James Mahaffey, Author Of ATOMIC AWAKENING:
A NEW LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER
BOOK ON AMAZON
EDITOR'S NOTE: from the red book to the white
When AREVA was formed in late 2001. CEO Anne
Lauvergeon asked me to produce a reference book on
nuclear energy. The idea was to provide the new
group's employees with a shared pool of knowledge on
this subject. For a whole year thereafter, a score
of volunteer authors wrote the chapters of the book.
After some heavy editing, for which I take full
responsibility, the first edition of "All about
nuclear energy, from Atom to Zirconium" appeared in
March 2003. Two slightly updated versions followed,
along with an English translation and a bilingual
version on CD-ROM. The "little red AREVA book" was
widely distributed throughout the group, its
popularity quickly growing beyond original
expectations. It was also distributed freely outside
the group, with the result that it is now out of
The magnitude and speed of change in the world
energy situation, which we could never have
predicted, prompt us to publish a completely revised
edition supplemented by new topics, such as nuclear
fusion. In fact, global awareness of the threat of
climate change, the rapid emergence of giants China
and India, the vulnerability of oil and gas supplies
and the sudden rise in their prices have reawakened
interest in nuclear power. The signs of a "revival"
can be seen just about everywhere on the planet,
including in the European Union, going so far as to
return recycling, the key to the "sustainability" of
nuclear power, to its place of honor.
As the world leader in this sector, AREVA is fully
part of that momentum, with EPR reactors under
construction and several other EPRs ordered or
projected, mining operations undergoing a vigorous
restart, conversion capacities being upgraded, and
construction of the Georges Besse II uranium
centrifuge enrichment plant well on its way.
Offering the complete range of technologies for
nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel cycle,
transmission and distribution of electricity, AREVA
owns the unique capacity to provide its clients a
large choice of integrated services adapted to
New situation, new book. Only its title remains
unchanged, an indication of the permanence of the
authors' goal: that every reader, whether occasional
or regular, may learn everything there is to know —
or almost — about nuclear energy.
Bertrand Barré Scientific Advisor of AREVA
LINK to Chapters 2 & 8 are available
for review on his website.
is a veteran journalist. Educated at Amherst
College, his work has appeared in Harper’s, the
Atlantic Monthly, the American Spectator, the Weekly
Standard, National Review, Reason, the New Republic,
Reader’s Digest, the Wall Street Journal, and
many other publications. His articles have won the
John Hancock Award, the Gerald Loeb Award, the Amos
Tuck Award, and he was a finalist for the National
Magazine Award. His books include Progress and
Privilege: America in the Age of Environmentalism;
Vigilante: The Backlash Against Crime in America;
and The Excluded American: Homelessness and Housing
Policies, which won the Mencken Award. His
forthcoming book is entitled
Terrestrial Energy: How
a Nuclear-Solar Alliance Can Rescue the Planet.
Right now there are 103 operating
nuclear reactors in America, but
most are owned by utilities (which
also own coal plants). The few
spin-offs that concentrate mainly on
nuclear—Entergy, of Jackson,
Mississippi, and Exelon, of
Chicago—are relatively small
players. As for a nuclear
infrastructure, it hardly exists.
There is only one steel company in
the world today that can cast the
reactor vessels (the 42-foot,
egg-shaped containers at the core of
a reactor): Japan Steel Works. As
countries around the world begin to
build new reactors, the company is
now back-ordered for four years.
Unless some enterprising American
steel company takes an interest, any
new reactor built in America will be
cast in Japan.
is an extraordinary fate for what was once regarded
as an American technology. France, China, Russia,
Finland, and Japan all perceive the enormous
opportunity that nuclear energy promises for
reducing carbon emissions and relieving the world’s
energy problems as reflected in recent soaring oil
prices. Yet in America, we remain trapped in a Three
Mile Island mentality, without even a public
discussion of the issue. As folk singer Ani
Di-Franco puts it, the structure of the atom is so
perfect that it is “blasphemy / To use it to make
bombs / Or electricity.”
BOOK ON AMAZON
The Case for Terrestrial (a.k.a. Nuclear) Energy">
The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on
January 29, 2008, during a conference on “Free Markets and Politics Today,”
co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von
Mises Lecture Series.
There have been a host of debates this year between the Democratic and
Republican candidates for president. Many of these candidates believe that
among our top priorities is to address global warming by reducing carbon
emissions. All or most seem to agree that decreasing America’s energy
dependence is another. Yet few if any of the candidates have mentioned that
nuclear energy—or, as I prefer, terrestrial energy—could serve both these
It is time to step back and question whether this prejudice makes sense.
All living things exist by drawing energy from their environment and
discarding part of it as “waste,” so there is nothing inherently shameful
about energy consumption. Almost all our energy derives ultimately from the
sun. Plants store solar energy by transforming it into large carbon-chain
molecules (the process we call photosynthesis). The entire animal kingdom
draws its energy from this process by “eating” this stored solar energy.
About 750,000 years ago, early humans discovered that they could also draw
solar energy from a chain reaction we call “fire.” When heated, the stored
energy in carbon chains is released. This heat energy can break down other
carbon chains, which causes combustion. Fire has been the principle source
of energy throughout most of human history. When historian William
Manchester wrote a book about the Middle Ages called A World Lit Only By
Fire, he was describing the world of only 700 years ago.
All this began to change about 400 years ago when human beings discovered an
older source of stored solar energy—coal. Our most common fossil fuel, coal
is the compressed remains of vegetable matter that covered the earth 300-400
million years ago. Coal is superabundant and we will probably never run out
of it. It was the fuel of the Industrial Revolution, and it is still the
world’s largest source of energy. It is also the most environmentally
destructive substance ever utilized. The EPA estimates that it kills 30,000
Americans each year through lung diseases (and in China it is doing far
worse). It is also the world’s principal source of carbon dioxide emissions.
Oil, another fossil fuel, is rarer and is believed to be the remains of
organisms that lived in shallow seas during the age of the dinosaurs. It was
first drilled in 1859, but was used only for lighting and lubrication until
the invention of the automobile. Now it constitutes 40 percent of our energy
consumption and is perhaps the most difficult fuel to replace. American oil
production peaked in 1970 and is now declining rapidly—a fact that explains
much of our subsequent foreign policy. The Arab oil embargo occurred three
years following the peak, when the producing states realized we were
vulnerable. The question now is whether world production will reach a
similar peak and decline. As Matthew Simmons has written: “We won’t know
until we see it in the rearview mirror.” If it does come, it may not look
much different from the quadrupling of oil prices we have witnessed in the
last three years.
Natural gas is generally considered the most environmentally benign of the
fossil fuels. It gives off little pollution and only about half the
greenhouse gas of coal. Natural gas was put under federal regulation in the
1950s, so that by the 1970s we were experiencing a supply shortage.
Deregulation in the ,80s led to almost unlimited supplies in the ,90s. Then
we began the fateful practice of using gas to produce electricity, resulting
in a price crunch and the loss of many gas-dependent industries, such as
fertilizer and plastics factories, which have since moved to Mexico and
Saudi Arabia to be near supplies. Now American gas production seems to have
peaked and we are importing 15 percent of our consumption from Canada. Huge
gas supplies have been discovered in Russia and the Middle East, but will
not do us much good since gas cannot be easily transported over water. Thus
China, India and Europe will be able to buy pipeline gas much more cheaply
and are already out-competing us on the world market.
Given the precarious state of these fossil fuels, people have begun talking
of “alternative” and “renewable” fuels—water, sun and wind. The term
“renewable” is somewhat misleading: no energy is “renewable” insofar as
energy cannot be recycled (this is the Second Law of Thermodynamics). The
term “renewable” usually describes tapping flows of solar energy that are
supposedly “free.” But coal and oil in the ground are also free. It just
takes work—and energy—to recover them. So, too, solar “renewables” can only
be gathered at a cost. They are often limited and may require extravagant
use of other resources—mainly land.
What about water? Hydroelectricity is a form of solar energy. The sun
evaporates water, which falls as rain and then flows back to the sea,
creating kinetic energy. Rivers have been tapped since Roman times and,
beginning in the 19th century, dams were built to store this solar energy.
Hydroelectric dams provided 30 percent of our electricity in the 1930s, but
the figure has declined to ten percent. And all the good dam sites are now
What about wind? Wind energy has captured the imagination of the public and
is touted by many as the fastest growing energy source in the world. All of
this is driven by government mandates—tax credits and “renewable portfolio”
laws that require utilities to buy non-fossil sources of power. The problem
with wind is that it is completely unpredictable. Our electrical grid is one
giant machine interconnected across the country, in which voltage balances
must be carefully maintained in order to avoid damaging electrical equipment
or losing data on computer circuits. Wind irregularities can be masked up to
around 20 percent, but after that they become too disruptive. At best,
therefore, wind will only be able to provide the 20 percent “spinning
reserve” carried by all utilities. In addition, windmills are large and
require lots of land. The biggest now stand 65 stories tall—roughly the
height of New York’s Trump Tower—and produce only six megawatts, or about
1/200th the output of a conventional power plant. In the East, most are
sited on mountaintops, since that is where the wind blows strongest.
What about the sun? Solar energy is very diffuse. A square-meter card table
receives enough sunlight to run only four 100-watt electric bulbs. At best,
solar could provide our indoor lighting, which consumes about ten percent of
our electricity. But keep in mind: gathering and storing solar energy
requires vast land areas.
Sunshine can be harnessed directly in two ways—as thermal heat or through
photovoltaics, the direct production of electricity. In the 1980s,
California built a Power Tower that focused hundreds of mirrors on a single
point to boil water to drive a turbine. The facility covered one-fifth of a
square mile and produced ten megawatts. It was eventually closed down as
uneconomical. Last year, when Spain opened an identical Power Tower in
Seville, U.S. News & World Report ran a cover story hailing it as a “Power
Revolution.” That facility, of course, is completely subsidized by the
Photovoltaic cells have more promise. They are thin wafers where solar
radiation knocks the electrons off silicon atoms, producing an electric
current. At present, an installation about half the size of a football field
could power one suburban home—when the sun shines, of course. The problem is
that photovoltaics are enormously expensive; using them to provide
one-quarter of an average home’s electricity requires investing around
$35,000. Their greatest benefit is that they are able to provide electricity
precisely when it is most needed—on hot summer afternoons when air
conditioning produces peak loads.
Nuclear or Terrestrial Energy
There is one other form of alternative energy often mistakenly grouped with
solar: geothermal energy. Geothermal is produced when the natural heat of
the earth comes in contact with groundwater. This can produce geysers and
“fumaroles”—steam leaks that are now being harnessed to produce electricity.
Where does this heat come from? Temperatures at the earth’s core reach 7,000
degrees Centigrade, hotter than the surface of the sun. Some of this heat
comes from gravitational pressures and the leftover heat from the collisions
of astral particles that led to the formation of the earth. But at least
half of it (we don’t know the precise percentage) comes from the radioactive
breakdown of thorium and uranium within the earth’s mantle. This is
“terrestrial energy,” and a nuclear reactor is simply the same process
carried out in a controlled environment. In order to harness terrestrial
energy in the form of uranium isotopes, we mine it, bring it to the surface,
concentrate it, and initiate a chain reaction that releases stored energy in
the form of heat—the very same process as that used to harness solar energy
When Albert Einstein signed the letter to President Roosevelt informing him
of the discovery of nuclear energy, he turned to some fellow scientists and
said: “For the first time mankind will be using energy not derived from the
sun.” This possibility emerged in 1905, when Einstein posited that energy
and matter are different forms of the same thing and that energy could be
converted to matter and matter to energy (as reflected in the famous
equation E = mc2). The co-efficient, c2, is the speed of light squared,
which is a very, very large number. What it signifies is that a very, very
small amount of matter can be converted into a very, very large amount of
energy. This is good news in terms of our energy needs and the environment.
It means that the amount of fuel required to produce an equivalent amount of
energy is now approximately two million times smaller.
Consider: At an average 1,000 megawatt coal plant, a train with 110 railroad
cars, each loaded with 20 tons of coal, arrives every five days. Each
carload will provide 20 minutes of electricity. When burned, one ton of coal
will throw three tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We now burn 1
billion tons of coal a year—up from 500 million tons in 1976. This coal
produces 40 percent of our greenhouse gases and 20 percent of the world’s
By contrast, consider a 1000 megawatt nuclear reactor. Every two years a
fleet of flatbed trucks pulls up to the reactor to deliver a load of fuel
rods. These rods are only mildly radio-active and can be handled with
gloves. They will be loaded into the reactor, where they will remain for six
years (only one-third of the rods are replaced at each refueling). The
replaced rods will be removed and transferred to a storage pool inside the
containment structure, where they can remain indefinitely (three feet of
water blocks the radiation). There is no exhaust, no carbon emissions, no
sulfur sludge to be carted away hourly and heaped into vast dumps. There is
no release into the environment. The fuel rods come out looking exactly as
they did going in, except that they are now more highly radioactive. There
is no air pollution, no water pollution, and no ground pollution.
Objections to Nuclear Energy
What are the potential problems with nuclear power?
First, some fear that a nuclear reactor might explode. But this is
impossible. Natural uranium is made of two isotopes—U-235 and U-238 (the
latter having three more neutrons). Both are radioactive—meaning they are
constantly breaking down into slightly smaller atoms—but only U-235 is
fissile, meaning it will split almost in half with a much larger release of
energy. Because U-235 is more highly radioactive, it has almost all broken
down already, so that it now makes up only seven-tenths of a percent of the
world’s natural uranium. In order to set off a chain reaction, natural
uranium must be “enriched” so that U-235 makes up a larger percentage.
Reactor grade uranium—which will simmer enough to produce a little heat—is
three percent U-235. In order to get to bomb grade uranium—the kind that
will explode—uranium must be enriched to 90 percent U-235. Given this fact,
there is simply no way that a reactor can explode.
On the other hand, a reactor can “melt down.” This is what happened at Three
Mile Island. A valve stuck open and a series of mistakes led the operators
to think the core was overflowing when it was actually short of cooling
water. They further drained the core and about a third of the core melted
from the excess heat. But did this result in a nuclear catastrophe? Hardly.
The public was disconcerted because no one was sure what was happening. But
in the end the melted fuel stayed within the reactor vessel. Critics had
predicted a “China syndrome” where the molten core would melt through the
steel vessel, then through the concrete containment structure, then down
into the earth where it would hit groundwater, causing a steam explosion
that would spray radioactive material across a huge area. In fact, the only
radioactive debris was a puff of steam that emitted the same radiation as a
single chest x-ray. Three Mile Island was an industrial accident. It
bankrupted the utility, but no one was injured.
This of course was not the case in Chernobyl, where the Soviet designers
didn’t even bother building a concrete containment structure around the
reactor vessel. Then in 1986, two teams of operators became involved in a
tussle over use of the reactor and ended up overheating the core, which set
fire to the carbon moderator that facilitates the chain reaction. (American
reactors don’t use carbon moderators.) The result was a four-day fire that
spewed radioactive debris around the world. More fallout fell on Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, from Chernobyl than from Three Mile Island. With proper
construction such a thing could never happen.
Another objection to nuclear power is the supposed waste it produces. But
this is a mischaracterization. A spent fuel rod is 95 percent U-238. This is
the same material we can find in a shovel full of dirt from our back yards.
Of the remaining five percent, most is useful, but small amounts should
probably be placed in a repository such as Yucca Mountain. The useful
parts—uranium-235 and plutonium (a manmade element produced from U-238)—can
be recycled as fuel. In fact, we are currently recycling plutonium from
Russian nuclear missiles. Of the 20 percent of our power that comes from
nuclear sources, half is produced from recycled Russian bombs. Many of the
remaining isotopes are useful in industry or radiological medicine—now used
in 40 percent of all medical procedures. It is only cesium-137 and
strontium-90, which have half-lives of 28 and 30 years, respectively, that
need to be stored in protective areas.
Unfortunately, federal regulations require all radioactive byproducts of
nuclear power plants to be disposed of in a nuclear waste repository. As a
result, more than 98 percent of what will go into Yucca Mountain is either
natural uranium or useful material. Why are we wasting so much effort on
such a needless task? Because in 1977, President Carter decided to outlaw
nuclear recycling. The fear then was that other countries would steal our
plutonium to make nuclear bombs. (India had just purloined plutonium from a
Canadian-built reactor to make its bomb.) This has turned out to be a false
alarm. Countries that have built bombs have either drawn plutonium from
their own reactors or—as Iran is trying to do now—enriched their own
uranium. Canada, Britain, France and Russia are all recycling their nuclear
fuel. France has produced 80 percent of its electricity with nuclear power
for the last 25 years. It stores all its high-level “nuclear waste” in a
single room at Le Havre.
The U.S. currently gets 50 percent of its electricity from coal and 20
percent from nuclear reactors. Reversing these percentages should become a
goal of both global warming advocates and anyone who wants to reduce
America’s dependence on foreign oil (the latter since a clean, expanded
electrical grid could anchor a fleet of hydrogen or electric cars). Contrary
to what some critics charge, this would not require massive subsidies or
direct intervention by the government. Indeed, the nuclear industry has gone
through an astounding revival over the past decade. The entire fleet of 103
reactors is up and running 90 percent of the time. Reactors are making money
hand-over-fist—so much so that the attorney general of Connecticut recently
proposed a windfall profits tax on them! The industry is poised for new
construction, with proposals for four new reactors submitted to the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission and almost 30 waiting in the wings.
The rest of the world is rapidly moving toward nuclear power. France, Russia
and Japan are not only going ahead with their own nuclear programs, but
selling their technology in the developing world. America, which once
dominated this technology, is being left behind. The main culprit is public
fear. Nuclear technology is regarded as an illegitimate child of the atomic
bomb, a Faustian bargain, a blasphemous tinkering with nature. It is none of
these. It is simply a natural outgrowth of our evolving understanding of the
universe. The sun has been our prime source of energy throughout human
history, but energy is also generated in the earth itself. It is time to
avail ourselves of this clean, safe terrestrial energy.
Single multicultural planet seeks
Finally—all the complex conventional and alternative energy
resources are outlined in an accessible, user-friendly way
so that regardless of your education, you can understand the
how and why of energy consumption while taking a look into
the not so distant future. Offering real solutions on how to
conserve energy and dramatically shift international energy
production to address global warming, The GeoPolitics of
Energy: Achieving a Just and Sustainable Energy Distribution
by 2040 by Judith Wright, Ph.D. and James Conca, Ph.D.
is a unique book that is unparalleled and necessary.
The fact is that energy consumption will grow dramatically
over the next forty years regardless of what the world does.
Unlike the previous century, China, India, Brazil,
Indonesia, and other countries are having a greater effect
on energy consumption than the U.S. This does not result
from the 1 billion people already using vast amounts of
electricity or the 1 billion already using modest amounts of
electricity, but rather from the 1.6 billion people that do
not have any access to electricity, the 2.4 billion that
have little access to electricity, and the 3 billion new
people that will be born by 2040 who will also need
electricity. The biggest role that the U.S. can play is in
global leadership, technological development, and economic
incentives, as well as changes in its energy policy and
What the world needs now is for you to read this book and
begin making a difference.
Dr. JAMES L. CONCA is the Director of the New Mexico
State University Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research
Center (CEMRC), a radiochemistry facility dedicated to environmental
monitoring and mitigation of radioactive materials, and the
development of sustainable energy distributions. Conca obtained a
Ph.D. in Geochemistry in 1985, and a Masters in Planetary Science,
from the California Institute of Technology, and a BS in Geology and
Biochemistry from Brown University in 1979. Conca has been
developing and testing laboratory and field technologies for
disposal of radioactive waste, mitigation of dirty bomb effects, and
remediation of metal contamination in groundwater and soil. He came
to NMSU from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was Project
Leader for Radionuclide Geochemistry. Before that, Conca was on the
faculty at Washington State University, was President of UFA
Ventures, Inc, and a consultant for DOE, DoD, EPA, USGS and private
LINK TO HIS BOOK ON AMAZON
If you have the "energy" get it!
The 1 and only solution to
America's energy problem
Posted: August 27, 2008,
1:00 am Eastern
Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. © 2008
Energy. It's the stuff of which our
world and universe are made. It is everything we can
perceive and measure in the physical world. Beyond that
physical world, we "see through a glass, darkly."
engineering and the industries that are based upon them deal
solely with energy – its nature and its uses.
We utilize many forms of energy –
gravitational energy, such as that in hydroelectric dams;
kinetic energy, as stored in a flywheel or the wind; heat
energy, as in a geothermal well; elastic energy, as in a
rubber band; electrical energy, as carried in power lines;
chemical energy, as in gasoline; radiant energy, as in
sunshine; nuclear energy, as utilized by nuclear power
plants; and mass energy, as material objects – mass – are
just another form of energy with the quantity measured by
. . . Then, in the single greatest technological advance in
recorded history, men learned to make heat and electricity
by converting mass to energy in the nuclear reactors of
nuclear power plants. This advance provided the safest,
cleanest, most inexpensive and potentially most plentiful
and useful energy in human history. Man's access to energy
took a giant leap forward.
. . . Inexpensive, abundant nuclear-electric energy should have
caused a vast revolution of technological advances, raising
the living standards of even the poorest people – those in
the United States where the advance was made and eventually
throughout the world – to unprecedented high levels. But, it
did not do so. Why? The answer to this question about the
tragedy of American nuclear energy reveals the fundamental
reasons for current high oil, coal and natural gas prices;
rising electricity prices; diminishing prosperity in the
United States; and much of the world-wide tension that
continually leads to war.
. . . The United States has become a very unfavorable
business climate in which to make things – especially
industrial products such as energy. As a result, the
American worker cannot even successfully compete with those
in some communist countries. A very large part of our
industrial base has already been shipped abroad.
l . . .
The construction of just one complete 10-reactor Palo Verde
power station in each of the 50 states would be the
equivalent of providing 20 Hoover dams in each state. If
this were done, the United States would have a 20 percent excess
of energy for export rather than a 30 percent
deficit in energy imported. Instead of spending $600 billion
abroad each year, we would have a $400 billion trade surplus in
energy. We could export our oil and coal and run our
civilization more on electricity, or we could use more
hydrocarbons – employing nuclear power to make crude oil
from coal. All forms of energy are industrially
interconvertable, so there are many options.
. . . The only way the U.S. energy problem can be solved is
to remove the obstacles that caused it. The taxation,
regulation, litigation and tax subsidies that government has
placed on the back of the American energy industry must be
repealed. Free men with private capital in a free market
will then be able to build the energy industry we need.
Similar action should be taken for our other industries.
Link to full story, a MUST read!
The Case For and Against Nuclear Power . . . and our take.
MICHAEL TOTTY black text, our comments, blue text.
If the world intends to address the threat of
global warming and still satisfy its growing appetite for electricity, it
needs an ambitious expansion of
nuclear power. Mankind will never fulfill its "need"
for electrical energy. It is the driver of all economies worldwide . . . and
what society wants to curtail its growth?
l Nuclear power
plants, on the other hand, emit virtually no carbon dioxide -- and no sulfur
or mercury either. Even when taking into account "full life-cycle emissions"
-- including mining of uranium, shipping fuel, constructing
plants and managing
waste -- nuclear's carbon-dioxide discharges are comparable to the full
of wind and hydropower and less
than solar power. This is very important because once
the nuclear footprint is established the new generation plants are designed
for a 50 to70 year life cycle.
l More important
from the standpoint of displacing fossil fuel, nuclear can meet power demand
24 hours a day.
Solar and wind can't do that.
Nuclear is the only current technology that fits the bill.
This further indicates that the development of solar
and wind is "speculative" based on "location weather" how often are our
weather forecasters 80% accurate? With these changing variables how can
definitive numbers be accrued from wind and solar?
that the high cost of building and financing a new plant makes nuclear power
uneconomical when compared with other sources of
power. . . . But that's misleading on a number of levels. One reason it's so
expensive at this point is that no new plant has been started in the U.S.
since the last one to begin construction in 1977. Lenders -- uncertain how
long any new plant would take because of political and regulatory delays --
are wary of financing the first new ones. So financing costs are unusually
high. Several factors have affected this. Our learning
factors from past accidents re-wrote many portions of our regulations for
the better. There are several NRC "approved" reactor designs that are set
for "streamline" acceptance by the NRC capable of being constructed in four
years . . . the only delay being that of local politics. Once the public and
business communities "understand" the process, "delay" costs will be reduced
substantially, hopefully eventually negating the entire political slowdowns
when the regulatory systems are pre-approved.
Suddenly, big carbon polluters like coal-produced
electricity are going to look a lot more expensive compared with low-carbon
sources -- in particular, nuclear, wind and hydropower. It's estimated that
a carbon "price" of between $25 and $50 a ton makes nuclear power
economically competitive with coal.
It might be
interesting to note here that during the nuclear development over the years
at the outset they were forced to create their own nuclear "waste fund" to
provide for the eventual permanent storage. For nearly the past 30 years we
have known that coal burning energy plants were causing considerable damage
to our atmosphere . . . we let that slide while hammering the nuclear
Solar and wind advocates say these sources are cheaper
than nuclear -- and getting cheaper. But again, even if true, the
intermittent nature of these sources make them flawed replacements for
carbon-emitting sources. Nuclear is the only clean-energy way to address
that gap. It is only fair here to point
out the importance of absolutes. Nuclear energy production is a known
variable. Solar and wind farms can only estimate a productivity. When
materials, construction, transmission and maintenance costs are added to the
overall cost per KW they cannot "currently" compete with nuclear. As stated
on our home page, we 100% support renewable energy sources but they MUST be
cost competitive to a well established nuclear facility. It is unfair to put
the burden of renewable development onto middle and low income citizens.
These development costs should be applied to our upper income populous.