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SCI/TECH: Bush Calls for More U.S. Nuclear Plants

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 01:28 PM
Thank you for this examination of the Bush administration's interest in increasing U.S. usage of nuclear power. Currently, some in the U.S. government and the media claim that nuclear power offers the advantage of being "green", as in not contributing to global warming. The reality, however, is that the total economic and environmental costs of nuclear power make it a non-green technology. Two examples (which explore the question of "total cost") come to mind:

1. In February 2005, Wired magazine printed a "nuclear technology as green" article that was rejected in the subsequent weeks by an unusually large number of their readers (see for the story and reader responses).

2. Last month, the website of the Nuclear Power Research Institute (a think tank sponsored by medical activists and others) posted an interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott and others which describes many of the fallacies and incomplete paradigms used by pro-nuclear power politicians and the pro-business lobbyists. That website is:

PS: That interview is the currently their first listed posting on their home page.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 01:43 PM
Hey Subz;
If you liked that Time article you read, you might like another one about the voyage itself and the man guiding it.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 02:03 PM
FutureLibrarian suggests that two articles, cited b elow, epitomize the "... reality, however, is that the total economic and environmental costs of nuclear power make it a non-green technology."

1. In February 2005, Wired magazine printed a "nuclear technology as green" article that was rejected in the subsequent weeks by an unusually large number of their readers (see for the story and reader responses).

Using the archive search mechanism at "Wired", I reviewed each day of February 2005 in a fruitless attempt to find the article in question. If FutureLibrarian has a direct link, or could provude us with an overview of the article and the rationale of the responding posters, I would be most grateful.

2. Last month, the website of the Nuclear Power Research Institute (a think tank sponsored by medical activists and others) posted an interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott and others which describes many of the fallacies and incomplete paradigms used by pro-nuclear power politicians and the pro-business lobbyists. That website is:

"...think tank sponsored by medical activists and others..."? I suppose you could call it that.

However, the site's cutline describes itself as "... Creating consensus for a nuclear-free future". In other words, the "think tank" is an outright anti-nuclear site, featuring Helen Caldicott, one of the most articulate of the anti-nuclear activists.

Now this doesn't mean it is wrong, it just means it is biased. I believe that FutureLibrarian, in a move to underline her dedication to the truth required for her putative chosen profession, should at least provide us with articles from equally biased entities on the other side of the debate, such as the Nuclear Energy Institute ( ).

It is only be looking at all sides of the issue can we make a decision regarding our energy future. It's a given that no energy source is perfect; each has its own set of positives and negatives.

If we refuse to accept that the only sane way to determine an energy policy is to do tradeoff studies of possible energy sources rather than rejecting them outright or accepting them unquestioningly, we are not doing our part to deny ignorance.

posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 02:18 PM
I completely agree, Off_The_Street. Insightful, truthful, and ever entertaining... Here's a WATS for ya.


posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 02:25 PM
I think there have been lots of near misses with N power plants..I live near 3 and have heard of them..even documented in the newspaper (sorry, it was several years ago)..Also, what about having to take the money to defend these you have been talking about...Biiofuel sounds good to me and they are even starting a plant up in Central NY where an old Miller brewing plant was.

[edit on 6/24/2005 by mercury19]

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 09:21 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying to questions raised by Off_The_Street previously. The Wired magazine website is time-consuming to navigate unless you know the category in which the article of interest is filed. Here is the link to their latest in-depth article on nuclear power:

The other website I mentioned:

includes a page listing their Board of Directors; several scientists are members, although none are physicists.

The Spring 2006 issue of OnEarth, the environmental magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council, (winner - for general excellence - of the UTNE Independent Press Awards 2005 - for its well-researched articles), does feature a 2-page interview (on nuclear power and global warming) with Tom Cochran, their lead physicist. This article is not currently on their website, although prior articles featuring Cochran are listed. Just search on the word Cochran to find currently available articles:

The Spring 2006 issue's (pp. 46-47) interview with Tom Cochran is titled: "The Nuclear Option: Some think it's a solution to global warming, but atomic energy is still plagued with problems of its own."

The "hard science" perspective is evident in all of Cochran's answers. For example, in response to the question, "Are reactors really safe?", Cochran states: "While the risk of a catastrophic core melt-down at a reactor in the United States is considered to be much lower today than it was two decades ago, dangerous precursor events still occur. The next serious nuclear accident is most likely to happen in China, India, or Russia, where reactor safety standards are still less stringent." In response to the question, "What are our alternatives?", Cochran's reply is: "Our national electricity needs could be met, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent or more, through a combination of increased energy efficiency, wind power, solar power, advanced coal-fired plants with carbon capture and storage, and high-efficiency natural gas turbines. It certainly doesn't make sense to spend tens of billions of federal dollars to subsidize just a few new nuclear plants when we have so many other, more promising options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That course of action will simply drain research and development funds from more efficient and more cost-competitive non-nuclear technologies, thereby slowing achievement of meaningful carbon dioxide reductions."

Last, a book review by Mariana Gosnell currently available on the NYTimes website:

reviews a new book on global warming. The book: Field notes from a catastrophe, by former N.Y. Times reporter Elizabeth Kolbert. The book review quotes a physicist who is working on finding carbon-free sources of energy: Marty Hoffert, a physics professor at New York University, says for example that "turbines suspended in the jet stream could generate wind power".

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 09:37 PM
Looks like G8 is jumping on the nuclear powered bandwagon too.

Urgent Alert -- Secret G8 Communique Revealed!
Draft on "Energy Security" Confirms the 2006 G8 Summit's Alarming New Push For "Nuclear Rebirth"

A secret draft of the "G8 Summit Communique on Energy Security," scheduled to be released officially on July 16th at the July 15 - 17, 2006 G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, has been leaked. The Communique is now posted for the global public to read and review, front and center at

In an astonishing twist of irony, July 16th -- the date in 2006 when the G8 plans to officially release and launch its "Communique on Energy Security" -- also marks the anniversary of the first-ever atomic bomb explosion, at the 'Trinity' test site in New Mexico, in 1945 three weeks before the United States' nuclear bomb assaults on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In addition, 2006 is the 20th anniversary of the former Soviet Union's catastrophic nuclear power plant meltdown at Chernobyl in Ukraine.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Russia, US push nuclear power at G8 energy meet
Putin Reassures G8 on Global Energy Security
US, Russia in nuclear power call

Main stumbling block now is funding. Bernanke's printing presses are going to be working overtime.

[edit on 20-3-2006 by Regenmacher]

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 09:58 PM
Hey look!
You people complain to high heaven when nations go to war over oil, but yet, when those nations look to find alternative energy sources in the quickest manner applicable--more nuclear plants--you complain about that?


The deal is to get off the oil addiction or seriously curtail it.
If building more nuclear plants is the temporary answer, then why complain?


posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 10:50 PM
We just concluded a discussion on basically this same topic a week or so ago. Here is the thread title: NEWS: Nuclear Plant Spills Concern Illinois Citizens, Lawmakers

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 02:44 PM
My assumptions about our response to global warming that includes pursuit of carbonless ("green") energy-producing methods include the following:

1. Human tools, machines, and methods all have both strengths and weaknesses; a range of current and emerging energy-producing methods should therefore receive financial investment. This avoids the mistake of "putting all our eggs in one basket" just when a rapid human response to a changing climate is most needed.

2. National (or at least local) consensus on the definition of what green energy production means is necessary to gain public and political support for both the production methods and the acceptance of relative risks, including the risk of doing nothing. For instance, much of the controversy about whether or not even future improved nuclear power generation can be considered green is caused by very different definitions used by "pro-nuke" and "anti-nuke" defenders. Further, neither secrecy nor deception helps in consensus-building.

3. No single best green energy solution should be used, because of different local and regional needs around the world. Best green energy practices in Berne will differ from those in Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Maidstone, Soweto, Calgary, Alice Springs, New Orleans, Auckland and Kabul. The poster child for the "one size fits all" approach is Severaid's Law (Eric Serevaid, 1970) which states, "the chief cause of problems is solutions." Flexibility and adaptability thus remain needed for successful green energy solutions.

4. Any green energy process requiring software development will require the best planning available. For example, after doing 15 years of software installation work, I can attest to the following formula for developing and installing software: Take your best time estimate, double it, and subtract a fudge factor; the remaining value is the time you can expect for the project to actually be completed.

I hope the process of pinpointing assumptions will help us to build more common ground on these vital topics in the small amount of time at hand.

Thank you, Astronomer68, for naming the similar existing ATS thread. BTW, a Yahoo! internet search on the terms of

Kamen "what's next?"

will find a news article describing Segway inventor Dean Kamen's latest inventions meeting all test expectations in a Bangladesh village - these are refrigerator-sized machines, one which produces clean water from any water source, and an electric power generator which works off any fuel source.

I'll be offline for 2 weeks but will check back into ATS later. Cheers!

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 06:11 PM
If you want to maintain economic growth without messing up the planetary carbon cycle worse than we already have, there aren't a lot of options besides nuclear. O'neill style solar power satellites maybe, but that's about it. And I don't see any leadership on the planet willing to make that kind of long-term, risky, expensive investment.

It's either nuclear, environmental devastation, or lights out for the global economy - and all the horrors that would come with a global economic collapse.

Really, it's a no-brainer.

And the waste problem can be turned into an asset.Integral Fast Reactors can take the long half-life nuclear waste produced by conventional reactors and use it as fuel, using 99.5% of the available energy from the fuel rods (as opposed to 1% in a traditional single use fuel cycle), and producing waste that is far less radioactive initially and with a much shorter half-life.

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 09:01 PM
I caught just a glimpse at a news article that suggested that Duke Energy will be building a new nuclear power plant in South Carolina. It will be the first nuclear power plant built in the US in more than 20 years.

Done a little bit a googling and only came up with this.

Cherokee County, SC site.


Duke Power and Southern Company joint announcement.

With New DOE designs, the production of nuclear energy is safer than getting a suntan.

EDIT: Here's a couple more.

Duke Energy News 1


Duke Enregy News 2

[edit on 21/3/06 by Intelearthling]

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 10:05 PM

posted by ThatsJustWeird: More nuclear plants would be great. It's just, how do you get people over Chernobyl and 3 mile Island?

I believe these numbers. 15,000 square miles around Chernobyl will be unusable for 100s of years. Another 20,000 square miles are still not usable. That’s 35,000 square miles.
If Three Mile Island had the same outcome Chernobyl had, then we would have lost some of the most valuable land in America. IF the average value of the land is put at $5,000 per acre, then 35,000 X 640 X $50,000 = $1.12 TRILLION.

When the Nuclear Power Industry authorization bill was passed many decades ago, the law required each power plant to obtain $750,000,000 worth of liability insurance. WHO WOULD MAKE UP THE SORT FALL? If you say taxpayers, then I want the taxpayers to OWN the plants. And the electricity they produce. If the nuclear power industry was required to PAY ITS OWN WAY, the cost of electricity would be out of sight! Which brings me to COAL. Clean up the smokestacks, and you have your AFFORDABLE energy.

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