Tag Archives: nuclear power

Good Signs (for the fight against Russia)

There are good signs in the news today about the world coming to terms with other countries being nuclear powers.  First, India is now able to buy supplies for its nuclear power plants on the open market.

Slashdot | India Joins Nuclear Market
figona brings news that India will be allowed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). A waiver was approved yesterday that provided an exception to the requirements that India sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. This means India will be able to buy nuclear fuel from the world market and purchase reactors from the US, France, and Russia; something it has been unable to do since it began nuclear testing in 1974 (which inspired the creation of the NSG). 

Second, there is news that Shimon Peres (the President if Isreal) opposes strikes against Iran.   Peace with Iran is important if we are serious about responding to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.  (This follows earlier news that America and Iran have seriously toned down their rhetoric).

Real grand strategy means prioritizing.  Russia’s invasion of Georgia was a crime against peace more serious than anything since the 9/11 attacks or Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  Weakening Russia, strengthening the New Core around Russia, and absorbing Seam states on the frontier with Russia, are thus important goals of the United States.  More important than enforcing dead-letter nuclear proliferation treaties, that would deny India and Iran nuclear power… and nuclear weapons.

Safe Nuclear, Deadly Conventional Sources of Energy

Nuclear lobby gathers steam but can expect severe reaction,” Telegraph, 21 May 2005, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml;sessionid=GW3FEXENGK2NPQFIQMGSM5OAVCBQWJVC?xml=/money/2005/05/21/ccnuc21.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2005/05/21/ixcoms.html&menuId=242&_requestid=26511 (from Tim Worstall through Macroblog).

Geogreen isn’t just a good strategic decision — it’s healthy, too

The 1986 blast at Chernobyl – from a combination of poor design, sloppy construction and negligent maintenance – was the probably the worst accident imaginable at a nuclear plant. About 45 people died as a result of the explosion but the 1988 Piper Alpha fire claimed 167 lives on the North Sea oil rig, and not one person was lost in America’s Three Mile Island reactor leak.

Even Greenpeace’s anti-progress numbers don’t change the arguments

Greenpeace says it would expect 30,000 deaths over a 30-50 year period from Chernobyl, including many who contracted thyroid cancer as children. Yet, an independent report estimates that the increased chance of cancer in the affected area is 0.1pc over 40 years. If the latter figure is correct, the number of people who have been killed by nuclear power is tiny compared with deaths in other parts of the power industry.

In British coal mines fatality rates still run at 11 a year per 100,000 employees and show no sign of falling. In Russia, which exports coal to the UK, the death rate is more than twice Britain’s. All heavy industries kill people and it is not clear that modern reactors are particularly lethal.

Good points. Read the whole thing.

Geogreen Labour to Embrace Nuclear Power

Blair planning revival of nuclear power,” by Roland Gribben, Telegraph, 3 May 2005, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2005/05/03/cnucp03.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2005/05/03/ixcity.html (from Tim Worstall through macroblog).

After Tony Blair wins reelection, one of his biggest plans is to increase British use of nuclear power

Downing Street policy advisers, with Mr Blair’s blessing, have been taking the lead in encouraging major industrial users, including chemical companies, glassmakers and brickmakers, and investment bankers to start discussions on building atomic plants in anticipation of a post-election change in energy policy.

One senior Government adviser has advanced the case for nuclear power accounting for 35pc of electricity generation, against 23pc currently. It could fall, on present trends, to a projected 4pc in 2020 when all but one of the early plants will have been mothballed.

The reasons given are both geostrategic and green — a perfect marriage of the two movements

While nuclear power hardly figured in the Labour manifesto, Mr Blair, briefly shadow energy secretary before he became party leader, has been signalling his support for a revival of the industry because it offers a ‘clean’ route to help meet targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr Blair and his advisers recognise there will be considerable problems in “selling” the rebirth of nuclear power to the public, hence the emphasis on “environmental benefits”. The need for security of supply and “protection” against the rapidly rising cost of energy is also one of the points being made by pro-nuclear advocates.

Britain gets it. China gets it. France — which gets 70% of its energy from atomic energy plants — also gets it. We should too.

China Leads the Way (Red Chinese Geogreen)

Official: China Plans 40 Nuke Power Plants,” Associated Press, 6 April 2005, http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-china-nuclear-power,0,3921264,print.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines (from Roth Report).

China gets the geogreen bug

China plans to build 40 nuclear power plants over the next 15 years, making them the main power source for its booming east coast, a government official said in remarks reported Thursday.

China is expected to be the world’s biggest developer of nuclear power stations in coming decades as the government tries to meet soaring demands for electricity while reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Nuclear Power makes sense. It is clean, it has caused many less diseases or cancers than coal, and it allows for energy self-sufficiency. I’m no energoprotectionist, but it does not make sense to subsidize decaying energy-producerstates. It is neither safe nor wise to allow leach regimes to ignore economic development while bribing the people.

China gets it. We should too.