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Nuclear May Be Green After-all

July 9, 2016

Radical environmentalists may be having regrets over their campaign to kill nuclear energy.

After decades of demonizing nuclear power, some environmental groups are rethinking their opposition to nuclear power.

Unfortunately, they may be too late in the United States and Germany, and possibly France.

Germany is on the path to shutting down all its nuclear power plants by 2020.

In the United States, several plants are on the verge of being shut down, and it’s clear all existing nuclear power plants will be shut down over the next 80 years as they fail to get their operating licenses renewed, and that no more new nuclear plants, other than the four being built now, will be built.

See Nuclear Fallout and U.S. Nuclear Demise Amid Increases Elsewhere.

Radical environmentalists killed the coal industry in the United States, while ignoring and campaigning against the only method for generating base-load electricity that doesn’t emit CO2 … nuclear power.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that environmental groups were rethinking their opposition to nuclear power. The Sierra Club is, according to the article, “debating whether to halt its longtime position in support of shuttering all existing nuclear-power plants earlier than required by their federal operating licenses.”

How can they now say nuclear power is safe, when for decades they have been warning people against the threat of radiation and the China syndrome?

Suddenly, there is no threat from radiation?

Suddenly, there is no threat of the China syndrome?

Chernobyl reactor 4, courtesy of RT

Chernobyl reactor 4, courtesy of RT

Actually, the China syndrome was a creature of radical environmentalists’ imagination, so as to scare people from using nuclear power. The China syndrome could not happen, but it had the appeal of being able to scare people into thinking thousands, if not millions would be harmed by radiation. See Destruction of America’s Nuclear Industry.

Were the radical environmental groups lying then?

Or are they conveniently changing their stripes now?

Was nuclear power dangerous last year, and for the last 70 years? So why isn’t it dangerous now?

The perfidy of radical environmental groups is appalling.

How can they be trusted?

They have misrepresented the dangers from radiation. They have misrepresented the dangers from nuclear power plants. They have hastened and promoted the closure of existing nuclear power plants.

Now … they want to save nuclear power?

What else have they been lying about?

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Appendix, explains why nuclear power is dying in the United States.

Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon:

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

* * * * * *


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13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2016 11:35 am

    I live in a state (NJ) that get over 50% of in-state generated electricity from our 4 nuclear reactors. One is on board to be closed (it does not have a cooling tower and discharges water to a bay). I always surprise people when I tell them this (including all my students). I have this topic as one that I use for student posters and the students are both surprised and interested in learning about our reactors. It’s a topic that always gets at least 2 student presentations. I personally feel that many educators have short changed our young people by not teaching them objectively about energy sources and their applications.

    • July 9, 2016 11:38 am

      Thanks. I agree. Students should be taught the scientific facts about all methods for generating electricity. Hope my articles can help.

      • July 9, 2016 11:43 am

        They do. I bought your book and have been incorporating parts of it into my courses – particularly the Duck Curve.

  2. July 9, 2016 11:49 am

    Thank you very much.
    Please let me know if there is anything in the book that needs further explanation.
    Let me know if there is a particular subject, in addition to those covered in the book, about which you would like me to write an article.

    • July 9, 2016 12:05 pm

      Yes there is one that I just learned about –
      Emissions Catalyst Issues for Fast-Start Combined Cycle Power Plants

      In NJ we have been building Combined Cycle Plants (we are fortunate to have gas lines in the northern and central regions) that receive natural gas from the Marcellus. Our state has a Renewable Energy Portfolio and we even have a solar carve out (percent solar). Maintaining base load may become an issue in the not so far off future.

      • July 9, 2016 12:31 pm

        Thanks. Excellent article. I wrote last year about the damage that cycling does to steam turbine generators, but did not focus on NGCC units. The article you referenced provides a very good description of what happens when these units are cycled. It’s another hidden cost of imposing wind and solar on to the grid.
        I’ll try to write a new article covering NGCC and steam turbine units.

  3. Don Shaw permalink
    July 9, 2016 1:59 pm

    Donn, good article., wish our Democrats running the NJ Legislature would read and understand it.
    You are correct, I have a summer home on the Barnegat bay near the oyster Creek Power plant. It is now scheduled to be shout down in 2019 ahead of schedule. The locals want to keep the plant running because it provides jobs and pays a lot of taxes. Outsiders want to shut it down and the Governor finally caved to the pressure of the enviro’s.
    The latest claim is that they must install cooling towers rather than use the bay for cooling..

    New Jersey already has high electricity cost which will only rise dramatically base on plans to increase renewable sources to 80% for electricity generation.
    Eighty percent of all electricity sold in New Jersey would have to come from renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power if a bill that cleared a Senate committee Monday becomes law. I don’t think they realize what they are doing!

    “The measure mandates that starting with 11 percent by 2017, the percentage of renewable energy increases 10 percent every five years until it reaches 80 percent, a schedule the bill’s sponsor Sen. Bob Smith called “pretty aggressive” but not when compared to what other states are doing.”

    “New Jersey needs to be a leader in renewable energy because we are so impacted by global climate,” Smith, D-Middlesex, said shortly after the Senate Environment and Energy Committee he chairs voted unanimously to refer the bill for a vote by the full Senate.

    “The truth is that renewables are becoming cheaper and cheaper,” Smith added. “It’s good public policy. It’s good for the rate payers. It’s good for our health and it helps reduce global climate change.”

    Critics of the measure, however, predicted the bill would drive up already high bills by forcing utilities to buy more costly wind and solar power rather than rely on coal or natural gas and a free-market approach.

    Mike Proto, communications director for the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity – a group funded by the energy billionaires Charles and David Koch – cited one study that predicted the bill’s cost to New Jersey rate payers would increase by $1.05 billion by 2021.”

    My proposal is that the Legislature in Trenton should live by the rules they propose before the common person is subject to their harsh proposals including the proposed 23 cent increase in gasoline tax.

    • July 9, 2016 3:16 pm

      Don – you got me searching because I was wondering what our major utility (PSE&G) who owns 3 of the state’s reactors had to say about this topic.
      The link to their position paper is remarkable.

      • July 9, 2016 8:56 pm

        PSE&G is correct, except that the cost of building new nuclear power plants is very high at $6,000 per KW, versus $1,100 per KW for an NGCC plant. The problem is that wind and solar are really very expensive, and their costs will not get as low as NGCC or coal. The people who say that the cost of wind and solar is coming down, don’t realize how high they were, and that the will not get to be as inexpensive as wind and solar.

    • July 9, 2016 8:51 pm

      The Democrats have no idea of wht they are doing. They are absolutely insane.

  4. donb permalink
    July 9, 2016 2:37 pm

    For nuclear power to place a significant and growing role in the US power future will require more than just keeping existing reactors open for a few more years or decades. Nuclear currently has two problems, reactor cost and public concern. To address reactor cost probably requires a concerted effort to develop safe, reliable, and modular reactors easier and less expensive to build. France addressed this issue to some degree years ago in constructing their reactors. It may require US government support to develop the thorium reactor, which might lessen public concern. It also will require a public education effort.
    I don’t see Greens going that far. A broad political and public commitment would be required. Perhaps AFTER the public discovers the higher cost and unreliability of renewable energy?

  5. donb permalink
    July 9, 2016 3:44 pm

    Several international, well-funded groups have worked for decades to make fusion energy commercially viable. No luck yet. Any predictions on when that will occur are guessing.

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