Indian Energy Experts Baffled by Green Hostility to Nuclear Power

January 7, 2016

Someone should explain to the Indians that “Green opposition” is a matter of faith, not reason, and so doesn’t have to make sense.

Watts Up With That?

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Hindu reports on a fascinating top level debate occurring at a conference in India, between politicians and energy experts. The energy experts are struggling to understand why nuclear power is not the favoured Western option for reducing CO2 emissions.

… Pointing out that countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria were either committed to closing down nuclear plants or opposing nuclear renaissance, he [Governor P. Sathasivam] stressed the need to formulate a new approach between nuclear enthusiasts and opponents. A former Ambassador and governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Mr. Sreenivasan said India, China, and Russia were the only countries enthusiastic about nuclear power today.

Striking a different stand, Ashok Chauhan, Director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India, said the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions posed a greater threat to the world…

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My mom was worried when I was given a chemistry set.

August 4, 2011

Imagine how she would have felt if I had asked for a home nuclear reactor kit:

Swedish police have detained a 31-year-old man in Ängelholm in western Sweden who was discovered after he sought advice from authorities on the legality of building a nuclear reactor in a domestic kitchen.

Richard Handl began his experiment some six months ago and has reportedly been open about his plans to construct a nuclear reactor in his apartment in the small Swedish coastal town, maintaining a blog of his nuclear adventure.

Handl, who explained that his interest in nuclear physics was awakened as a teenager, ordered some radioactive material from overseas and acquired more by taking apart a domestic fire alarm.

Despite the Handl’s frank and full disclosure of his experiment, his activities only came to the attention of the authorities a couple of weeks ago when he contacted the Swedish Radiation Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) to inquire if it was legal to construct a nuclear reactor at home.

Handl was told that somebody would be sent to measure the levels of radiation in his flat.

That “somebody” turned out to be the police, who arrested him. Handl was later released, probably after having his Junior Nuclear Destructo Kit(tm) taken away and being told not to do that again.

Anyone else just a wee bit concerned that it was so easy to just order nuclear materials online?

I wonder if Amazon has free shipping?

via WUWT

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Anthony Weiner: serious question

June 2, 2011

Okay, yesterday I was laughing, but something occurred to me this morning: Congressman “I’m a big deal” Weiner sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. That committee includes the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, the jurisdiction of which is:

National energy policy generally; Fossil energy, renewable energy resources and synthetic fuels, energy conservation, energy information; Energy regulation and utilization; Utility issues and regulation of nuclear facilities; Interstate energy compacts; Nuclear energy; The Clean Air Act and air emissions; and, All laws, programs, and government activities affecting such matters.

(Emphases added)

Weiner does not sit on that subcommittee. But, since the full committee’s purview includes areas considered by the subcommittee, that means Representative Weiner almost certainly has a “top secret” security clearance so he can be properly informed when considering issues dealing with our nuclear power plants, not just technological secrets but also their physical security in an age of mass terrorism.

Think about that.

Anthony Weiner has just shown the world how irresponsible and careless he is. Forgetting for a moment his apparent inclinations toward infidelity, his childish “sexting” makes him vulnerable to blackmail (1). The Soviets used to do it all the time, and you can bet our enemies would be happy to do it today:

“So, Tony. What’s it going to be? Do we get details of the security at San Onofre, or does your wife get to see those other pictures, the ones that you thought were safe, when she opens tomorrow’s ‘Post?'”

Sure, the dialogue is corny, but the situation is potentially quite real.

So, let me ask: Is there any reason why this juvenile dope shouldn’t lose his security clearance and be consigned to the Committee on the House Cafeteria?

(1) Anyone willing to bet that this is the first time he’s done this, and there aren’t more photos out there? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

The future of US nuclear power after Japan

March 18, 2011

Reason Magazine has a good article online looking at the the implications for the just-reviving nuclear power industry in the wake of the Sendai earthquake and tidal wave. After reviewing the damage at the Fukushima plants (they actually withstood the temblor surprisingly well, but the tidal wave that killed power to the cooling systems was the back-breaker) and the situations of nuclear plants in the seismically active American West (including California’s San Onofre), Ron Bailey examines newer technology that would make for safer reactors, even in the event of a huge natural disaster:

One hopeful possibility is that the Japanese crisis will spark the development and deployment of new and even safer nuclear power plants. Already, the Westinghouse division of Toshiba has developed and sold its passively safe AP1000 pressurized water reactor. The reactor is designed with safety systems that would cool down the reactor after an accident without the need for human intervention and operate using natural forces like gravity instead of relying on diesel generators and electric pumps. Until the recent events in Japan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was expected to give final approval to the design by this fall despite opposition by some anti-nuclear groups.

One innovative approach to using nuclear energy to produce electricity safely is to develop thorium reactors. Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive element, which, unlike certain isotopes of uranium, cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction. However, thorium can be doped with enough uranium or plutonium to sustain such a reaction. Liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR) have a lot to recommend them with regard to safety. Fueled by a molten mixture of thorium and uranium dissolved in fluoride salts of lithium and beryllium at atmospheric pressure, LFTRs cannot melt down (strictly speaking the fuel is already melted).

Because LFTRs operate at atmospheric pressure, they are less likely than conventional pressurized reactors to spew radioactive elements if an accident occurs. In addition, an increase in operating temperature slows down the nuclear chain reaction, inherently stabilizing the reactor. And LFTRs are designed with a salt plug at the bottom that melts if reactor temperatures somehow do rise too high, draining reactor fluid into a containment vessel where it essentially freezes.

While recent research shows that the United States has far greater reserves of coal, oil, and gas than previously thought, nuclear is still the cleanest economical alternative energy source around and has to be a crucial part of any coherent* national energy strategy. Rather than react in panic (as we did after Three mile Island) and again cripple the development of nuclear power, we must recognize that there is no risk-free magic solution and should instead draw the appropriate technological, engineering, and disaster-planning lessons from Japan’s trauma, apply them to our own situation, and keep on a rational path toward energy self-sufficiency.

Our future prosperity and national security depend on it.

*While I give Obama props for sticking by nuclear power, his energy policy is anything but coherent or rational.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Tuesday links fiesta!

October 27, 2009

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to leave you some links to chew over. Just remember to chew thoroughly before swallowing…  Clown

The Jihadi War

Our enemies assert the absolute moral and spiritual superiority of Islam over the decadent Christianity, Judaism, and the West itself. But did you know that Islam has a 1,300 years-long history of taking and trading in slaves? Jihad Watch has posted a series of videos detailing the Arab Islamic trade in African slaves. (Here are links to part two, part three, part four, and part five.) I don’t know the background of the author or authors, but the videos are interesting. By the way, slavery continues to the present day in Islamic lands.

Here in Los Angeles, an Iranian Muslim woman who converted to Christianity has won her request for asylum, but doesn’t know it because she is on the run from Muslims who would kill her for the crime of leaving Islam – apostasy.

The brave, brave jihadis of al Qaeda have struck again, this time murdering over 160 Iraqis in their quest to restore the Caliphate and return the world to the seventh century.

More information on the officially unexplained FBI raid on a Muslim slaughterhouse in Illinois. Just why did the Bureau need over 100 armed agents, plus snipers and helicopters?

Finally, Ed Morrissey awards the Captain Louis Renault “Shocked, shocked!” award to Western leaders surprised to realize that Iran has been playing them for suckers.

Global Warming

I’ve mentioned several times before the interesting theory of Henrik Svensmark, the Danish scientist who argues that clouds are a regulator of the Earth’s temperature and that cloud formation -and thus the heating and cooling of the planet- is governed in large part by the ability of cosmic rays to reach the Earth. Now Svensmark has published a paper (PDF) that he claims validates his thesis. (via Heliogenic Climate Change)

A warming climate may actually stimulate the growth of the Pacific rain forests.

More Svensmark: the growth of trees may be linked to cosmic rays.

The humble midge provides more evidence of the Medieval Warm Period, when the world was likely warmer than it is now, all without those nasssty greenhouse gases.

Government policies meant to respond to a crisis that doesn’t exist may drive one-in-four Britons into poverty.

Meteorologist Roy Spencer argues that the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has all the characteristics of urban legend.

Finally, do you really want to save the planet? Then stop eating meat, you selfish carnivore. Just don’t ask the prime proponent to do the same…. (For the record, they’ll take my steak the day they pry it from my cold dead hands.)


Maybe she’s learning from President Obama? Argentina’s President Kirchner has launched her own war against a free press.

William Jacobson sounds the alarm about the most monumental power-grab you’ve never heard about.  At the risk of repeating myself, there’s a certain book you should read.

Sarah Palin reviews the East Coast political races and reminds us why they’re important. And you might want to have a look at her forthcoming book.

Sister Toldjah rubs her eyes in disbelief as the Associated Press fact-checks the progressives’ smear of the insurance companies.

Power Line looks at the debate over nuclear power and decries reactionary American liberalism.

And, to end it all, California’s Democratic treasurer calls out the Democrat-dominated state legislature for being too far in the pockets of the unions to govern the state effectively. As Ed writes, if the state GOP doesn’t have this clip in a commercial soon, they’re more incompetent than ever suspected.

That’s it for today! Be good, and I’ll see you tomorrow.  Big Grin