Friday, September 18, 2015

The world could go nuclear

SciAm reports on a new book:
In just two decades Sweden went from burning oil for generating electricity to fissioning uranium. And if the world as a whole were to follow that example, all fossil fuel–fired power plants could be replaced with nuclear facilities in a little over 30 years. That's the conclusion of a new nuclear grand plan published May 13 in PLoS One. Such a switch would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly achieving much-ballyhooed global goals to combat climate change. Even swelling electricity demands, concentrated in developing nations, could be met. All that's missing is the wealth, will and wherewithal to build hundreds of fission-based reactors, largely due to concerns about safety and cost.

"If we are serious about tackling emissions and climate change, no climate-neutral source should be ignored," argues Staffan Qvist, a physicist at Uppsala University, who led the effort to develop this nuclear plan. "The mantra 'nuclear can't be done quickly enough to tackle climate change' is one of the most pervasive in the debate today and mostly just taken as true, while the data prove the exact opposite."
The safety concerns are mostly fictitious. The cost concerns are mostly in dealing with political and regulatory problems. If there were the will to build the plants, they could be built cheaply.

When you hear someone who says that there is an urgent need to do something about global warming, but who is also against nuclear power, then he is just a leftist ideologue who is abusing the science for political purposes.

Some global warming alarmists, such as the most famous one, James Hansen, are in favor of building more nuclear power plants.


  1. Environmentalist are just against the modern world. Global warming models have all overestimated the warming, left out the role of oceans and can't properly determine cloud feedbacks. Researchers downplay the role of cosmic rays, ignore the fact that ocean levels have been rising for about 200 years, ignore the ice core records that show our warming is not even major and downplay simple solutions such as cloud seeding and iron fertilization. Some say we can even use salt water spraying! All of this is dramatically less costly than carbon credit global government regime. Not only is the life expectancy of developing nations strictly correlated with energy consumption but the Lancet has shown that cold weather kills way more than warm weather. The recent drought has nothing to do with global warming but a "warm blob" in the Pacific.

  2. "If there were the will to build the plants, they could be built cheaply."

    So we can end up living in crammed concrete slab apartments like pigs? And replace the cars with trains? What a leftist paradise.

    At least roof solar + energy storage + room temp superconductor keeps the dream of the sanctity of a house and sound money alive. Sure beats all the corruption that surrounds the funny money big oil bankers or the uranium equivalent.

    "Cheap" centralised energy, whether its fossil fuel based or uranium, leads to ever concentrated wealth and global government.

    If the right wants a leg to stand on, try fusion. That tar sands needs humongous amounts of fresh water, heat, and electricity. And since fusion requires processing lots of seawater to get the deuterium, it fixes several problems at once without leaving a ton of long term radioactive waste. Worth talking about instead of the quantum computer and string theory garbage.