[FoRK] why the nuclear energy industry is dying

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Jun 18 09:40:22 PDT 2013

On 6/18/13 8:34 AM, mdw at martinwills.com wrote:
> ...
> Personally I am ambivalent over nuclear power generation, all of the
> energy production methods suggested by the author contains cost statements
> that don't properly account for all of the costs of any of the power
> generation solutions cited.

Additionally, costs under the current regime are treated like facts of nature when they are the result of lack of innovation and 
over-striving for zero risk, far less risk in many aspects than alternatives like oil, coal, and natural gas.  There's no reason 
that decommissioning a nuclear plant has to cost billions of dollars.  First, poor design.  Second, there are simple ways to 
optimize that down to thousands, if that's the problem: Put the plant at the bottom of a bedrock carve out with no water table 
interaction and seal the old plant off every 100 years, putting the new plant 100 yards over.  Or, perfect a plant-eating and 
deradiation munching machine, reusing the metal and material for the next plant perhaps.  This whole area is open for innovation 
beyond the primitive and painstaking solutions we apparently have now.

Additionally, arguing that nuclear is already a failure when it would cost about what electricity costs now is a pretty lame 
argument.  Oh no, things would continue like they are now?  Uh, ok.

There are plenty of problems with nuclear.  Running out of uranium and not figuring out thorium would be a problem.  Safety is 
always a concern to address.  Better designs, that include cheap decommissioning, are needed.  But it doesn't seem hopeless.

What do you call a fetish for hopelessness?

> Regards,
> Martin


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