Nuclear Power Works: That’s Why The Wind & Solar Industries Hate It So Much

Only the most delusional climate alarmist still believes that wind and solar power can help in their global crusade against carbon dioxide gas.

As we have said repeatedly, nuclear power is the only stand-alone power generation source which is capable of delivering power on demand, without CO2 emissions being generated in the process.

Perversely, notwithstanding that Australia is in the top 3 uranium exporters, it’s the only G20 country with a legislated prohibition on nuclear power generation.

The French use nuclear power to generate around 75% of their electricity and they pay around half of what it costs retail customers in wind ‘powered’ South Australia. Anyone claiming nuclear power is expensive, clearly haven’t been paying attention.

A bit over in September 2017, we reported on one of America’s leading eco-warriors, Michael Shellenberger and his road to Damascus moment. Michael has turned on wind and solar with a passion, and is among America’s leading advocates for an all-atomic energy future.

The reasons for his grand nuclear push are simple: nuclear power generation generates reliable power without generating CO2 gas. Whereas wind and solar are a childish nonsense, as Michael details below.

The Real Reason They Hate Nuclear Is Because It Means We Don’t Need Renewables
Forbes
Michael Shellenberger
14 February 2019

Why is it that, from the U.S. and Canada to Spain and France, it is progressives and socialists who say they care deeply about the climate, not conservative climate skeptics, who are seeking to shut down nuclear plants?

After all, the two greatest successes when it comes to nuclear energy are Sweden and France, two nations held up by democratic socialists for decades as models of the kind of societies they want.

It is only nuclear energy, not solar and wind, that has radically and rapidly decarbonized energy supplies while increasing wages and growing societal wealth.

And it is only nuclear that has, by powering high-speed trains everywhere from France to Japan to China, decarbonized transportation, which is the source of about one-third of the emissions humankind creates.

For many people the answer is obvious: ignorance. Few people know that nuclear is the safest source of electricity. Or that low levels of radiation are harmless. Or that nuclear waste is the best kind of waste.

To a large extent, I agree with this view. In order to address widespread fear and ignorance, my colleagues and I have created The Complete Case for nuclear, which summarizes the best-available science.

But ignorance can’t be the whole story. After all, the leaders of the anti-nuclear movement are public intellectuals — Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein. They are highly-educated, do extensive research, and publish in fact-checked publications like The New Yorker, The NationThe New York Times.

Is the problem that progressives unconsciously associate nuclear energy with nuclear bombs? Without a doubt that’s a big part of it. Psychologists have since the seventies documented how people displace anxieties about the bomb onto nuclear plants.

But anti-nuclear Millennials like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, grew up more in fear of climate change than the bomb.

And few things have proven worse for the climate than shutting down nuclear plants.

The Unconscious Appeal of Renewables

Ordinary people tell pollsters they want renewables for the same reason they buy products labeled “natural”: they are in the grip of an unconscious appeal-to-nature fallacy.

The appeal-to-nature fallacy is the mistaken belief that the world can be divided into “natural” and “unnatural” things, and that the former are better, safer, or cleaner than the latter.

In reality, solar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants.

And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.

But because of our positive feelings toward sunlight, water and wind, which we view as more natural than uranium, many people unconsciously assume renewables are better for the environment.

By contrast, renewable energy advocates and investors like Gore, McKibben, Klein and the heads of Sierra Club and NRDC know perfectly well that solar and wind farms have huge environmental impacts. They have to deal with the public backlash every day.

Google for a few minutes and you’ll find widespread resistance to solar and wind farms around the world. It’s the kind of grassroots opposition championed by Gore, McKibben, and Klein  — but only when it’s against nuclear and fossil fuel plants

Consider the environmental resistance to this solar farm proposed for Virginia:

Residents still have raised concerns that severe weather could damage the panels and allow the cadmium telluride to leach into the soil or water.

The company said the panels are designed to withstand severe weather and that “our real-time monitoring systems will allow us to identify and replace damaged panels instantly.

The solar and wind industries respond as marketers often do when faced with environmental problems: they insist there really isn’t a problem.

Specifically, solar promoters suggest panels can and will be profitably recycled, while wind promoters note that ordinary house cats kill more birds than wind turbines.

Such claims are misleading. House cats kill small, common birds like robins and sparrows, not large, endangered and threatened birds like eagles. And experts agree it’s not profitable to recycle solar panels. Buying fresh materials is cheaper.

True — many renewable energy promoters are in it for the money, and show no reticence in their alliance with natural gas interests. Even Amory Lovins grew wealthy working for big corporations.

But most renewable energy advocates, and progressive and socialist leaders, are motivated by deep beliefs, not just money. What is it?

How Nuclear Threatens Renewables

After World War II, the working class in developed nations become materially rich, undermining the case that only a radical, socialist transformation of society could end poverty.

In response, radical critics of capitalism shifted their focus. The problem was no longer that capitalism was causing material poverty but rather that it was destroying the environment.

“The needs of industrial plants are being placed before man’s need for clean air,” wrote socialist-turned-environmentalist Murray Bookchin in his 1962 book, Our Synthetic Environment.

Capitalism was creating contradictions between humans and nature, not just between humans. The “pernicious laws of the marketplace are given precedence,” wrote Bookchin, “over the most compelling laws of biology”

But they had a problem: nuclear power. Everyone had known since the 1940s that it could power industrial civilization while slashing pollution and shrinking humankind’s environmental footprint.

In the 1970s and 1980s, France and Sweden proved they could decouple air and water pollution from electricity production simply by building nuclear plants, which replaced their coal and oil-burning ones.

The problem posed by the existence of nuclear energy was that it proved we didn’t need to radically reorganize society to solve environmental problems. We just needed to build nuclear plants instead of coal-burning ones.

And so the New Left environmentalists attacked nuclear energy as somehow bad for the environment. They didn’t have a lot to draw on, but they worked with what they had.

They made a fuss about the slightly warm — and clean — water that comes out of nuclear plants. They led the public to believe nuclear waste was liquid, green and dangerous, when in reality it is solid, metallic, and never hurts anyone.

Most of all they tapped the latent desire among Baby Boomers traumatized by duck-and-cover drills and endless nuclear weapons testing in the fifties and sixties to get their revenge on weapons by killing power plants.

In the pages of respected liberal publications like The New Yorker and Foreign Affairs, they made the case for renewables as better for society, not just the environment, using identical arguments to those advanced for the Green New Deal.

“Even if nuclear power were clean, safe, economic, assured of ample fuel, and socially benign,” said the god head of renewables, Amory Lovins, in 1977, “it would still be unattractive because of the political implications of the kind of energy economy it would lock us into.”

What kind of an energy economy would that be, exactly? A prosperous, clean, and high-energy one. “If you ask me, it’d be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it,” explained Lovins.

Eight years ago, the socialist-turned-environmentalist writer, Naomi Klein, made the identical arguments as Bookchin and Lovins in a long piece for The Nation called “Capitalism vs. the Climate.”

“Real climate solutions,” she insisted, “are ones that steer… power and control to the community level, whether through community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture, or transit systems genuinely accountable to their users…”

Klein expanded her argument into a book. To underscore the totalizing nature of her agenda, she titled the book, This Changes Everything.

“In short,” explained Klein, “climate change supercharges the pre-existing case for virtually every progressive demand on the books, binding them into a coherent agenda based on a clear scientific imperative.”

Little wonder, then, that the Green New Deal includes every progressive demand on the books: retrofitting buildings and power grids; subsidizing sustainable agriculture by family farmers; public transit; restoring ecosystems; cleaning up hazardous waste; international aid; worker training. This list goes on and on.

“It is in no context a ‘program,’” observes Charlie Cook in National Review. “It is, rather, an all-compassing wish list — an untrammeled Dear Santa letter without form, purpose, borders, or basis in reality.”

True — and one that is simply unnecessary for reducing greenhouse gas emissions if you have nuclear power.

Just contrast Germany and France. Germany has done much of what the Green New Deal calls for. By 2025 it will have spent $580 billion on renewables and related accoutrement, while shutting down its nuclear plants.

All that German will have gotten for its “energy transition” is a 50% increase in electricity prices, flat emissions, and an electricity supply that is 10 times more carbon-intensive than France’s.

France, by contrast, just built nuclear plants.

But then, over the last decade, as it tried to copy Germany, France spent $30 billion on renewables and saw the carbon intensity of its electricity supply, and electricity prices, rise.

France and Germany and every other real world situation prove that nuclear power is the only way to significantly, deeply, and cheaply decarbonize energy supplies, and thus address climate change.

The problem with nuclear is that it doesn’t demand the radical re-making of society, like renewables do, and it doesn’t require grand fantasies of humankind harmonizing with nature.

Nor does nuclear provide cover for funnelling billions to progressive interest groups in the name of “community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture, or transit systems.”

All nuclear does is grow societal wealth, increase wages, and decouple the economy from pollution and environmental destruction.

No wonder they hate it so much.
Forbes

The reason they hate this man, is because he loves nuclear power.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  2. Nuclear power is inherently dangerous and allows for no human error. Why not just face the truth that the global warning scam is just that? Use fossil fuels. Splitting atoms just to boil water (for steam to turn the turbines) is really the limit, really too much.

  3. Nuclear reactor components require the highest standards of manufacturing. They are designed to run for decades without problems and even a slight flaw is not acceptable which contributes to the high initial cost. They also have to include disposal, decomissioning and insurance costs as well – and that’s still not counting the Greenies changing the rules every five minutes.

    But the toy windmills can be slapped together on the cheap with crap materials and barely any quality control at all. If they fall apart, catch on fire, leak lubricants, throw blades, fall over or break down or simply don’t work after a year or two – not a peep is heard from the usual crowd. And for decomissioning and disposal – just dump it in some thrid world country and leave the concrete in place.

    If Nuclear quality standards were applies to the ‘renewable’ industry they would go bankrupt overnight.

  4. David Waterhouse says:

    Hi STT editors, Thanks for the daily emails. I recently signed up and like what you are doing. I have been looking around for any info on a supposed class actio*n in Victoria regarding Bald Hills Wind farm. When I google it all news seems to have stopped from September 2018. Have you got anything current? regards David

  5. Yes.
    Modular molten salt nuclear reactors are the solution which SHOULD resolve the purported CO2 problem.
    Sceptics would be happy with that but the Green CO2 Dragon currently will have nothing to do with it.
    The Dragon needs to be slayed.before it gets its claws into the well-being of humanity.

  6. The Jersey Electricity Company in the Channel Islands has some interesting statistics on their web site. Their network is 10 times more reliable than the UK!

    The company has a power purchase agreement with EDF Energy in France to import from low carbon nuclear and hydro sources until 2027. Quote… “Distributed electricity one tenth the carbon intensity of UK”.

    Renewables. So last season!

    Quote…

    KEY FACTS
    * Jersey Electricity was established as the Jersey Electricity Company on 5 April 1924
    * We became Jersey Electricity plc in March 2010
    * The States of Jersey own 62% of the Ordinary Share capital
    * We are the sole supplier of electricity in Jersey, Channel Islands
    * Almost 50,000 domestic and commercial customers on supply
    * Unit sales in excess of 630 million
    * £100m+ annual Group turnover
    * 178MW Island record demand recorded 1 March 2018
    * 1,703km of cable in network comprising:
    * 87km 90kV submarine cable
    * 58km 90kV cable
    * 17km 33kV cable
    * 408km 11kV cable
    * 1,070km 415V underground mains cable
    * 63km 415V overhead mains
    * Controlled via almost 800 substations
    * Ten times the reliability of UK network
    * Distributed electricity one tenth the carbon intensity of UK
    * Employ in the region of 320 staff across two sites, La Collette Power Station and the Powerhouse administration headquarters and retail shop
    * Helped reduce Jersey’s overall carbon emissions by 40% from 1990, despite a 40% increase in demand for electricity in that time, by switching from on-Island generation to importing low carbon power from France
    * Installed first interconnector to France, 55MW EDF1, in 1984
    * Installed second interconnector to France, 90MW Normandie 2, in 2000 along with Jersey-Guernsey link GJ1
    * Formed Channel Islands Electricity Grid (CIEG) with Guernsey Electricity in 2000
    * Decommissioned EDF1 in 2012
    * Installed and commissioned third interconnector, 100MW Normandie, 3, in 2014
    * Recovered EDF1 cable from seabed in March 2016 in readiness for the installation of its replacement,Normandie 1
    * 100MW Normandie 1 cable installed August 2016 giving Jersey three live links to France
    * Supply agreement with EDF guarantees all imports are generated from low carbon nuclear and hydro sources to 2027
    * Awarded States of Jersey ECO-ACTIVE Business Level Three Leader status in 2012
    * Awarded British Safety Council Sword of Honour for Health and Safety excellence in 2013

    https://www.jec.co.uk/about-us/about-us/key-facts/

  7. Peter Pronczak says:

    So many people just don’t get it.

    Successive Australian governments have been hypocritical over the prior continuing existence of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, yet continue the stupid ban on modern nuclear power.

    That Lucas Heights produces medical isotopes is immaterial, it uses uranium that governments have continued to sell to other countries. Again this is hypocrisy, just like selling our coal but denying these two power sources to be used ‘at home’.

    It should be understood that our main political parties and the touted ‘free speech media’, are merely puppets and it’s about time that it is recognised who exactly is pulling their strings in the anti social agenda of transferring common wealth to the elitist few.

    If as the RE people state, that climate change along with all the extreme weather events are generally accepted as man-made, then the insurance industry must remove the natural events and acts of God clauses, from all insurance policies.

  8. A thoroughly sensible and logical approach, cheap abundant energy for everyone.

  9. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  10. There have been good developments in the area of self-contained molten salt reactors. Very safe and reliable plug-in units. One of these or hundreds of acres of bird-chomping eco-crucifixes, to use James Delingpole’s phrase.

  11. Paul the Alarmism Recusant says:

    The real ‘climate change’ debate has little to do with science. It is political. It is really all about who controls the lawmakers that sit in Australia’s parliaments. In yesterday’s “Australian” newspaper (25 Feb 2019), the financial journalist Robert Gottliebsen made the observation that: “China considers Australia to be a country blessed with immense wealth, but is governed by morons”. This would have to be one of the most profound insights I have ever seen about Australia. But why?
    The answer is that to comprehend what is happening and how the ‘climate change’ alarmism system really works, it is important to understand that politics is fundamentally driven by money. Without money nothing can happen in politics. To run activist anti-coal campaigns such as those funding the fake “independent” candidates in Warringah and Wentworth, you need a lot of money – truckloads of it. So, to identify who is backing the drive to demonise coal and lock-in the taxpayer-subsidised “renewables”, you need to ask “cui bono” – “to whose benefit?”. Or in plainer language, “follow the money trail!”.
    So, where does the money trail lead? The answer is that it leads to the “renewables” investor lobby – the well-hidden, but very cash-rich entities that represent the interests of “renewables” investors in Australia. These investors are heavily dominated by foreign corporations and they have bought influence with (or silence from) a large number of Australia’s elected political representatives.
    But why pour so much money into anti-coal activism and why the big push to remove Tony Abbott from parliament? The answer is that cheap coal & Abbott’s continued presence in parliament represent an existential threat to the lucrative “renewables” business model.
    “Renewables” are the only type of business activity in Australia that have a revenue stream guaranteed by legislation – together with a captive customer base made up of ALL electricity consumers. Forcing subsidised “renewables” onto our electricity grid by legislation has driven electricity prices to obscene levels – but it delivers a river of gold to the “renewables” investors. Our electricity is triple the price of that our competitors are paying and this is resulting in the deindustrialisation of Australia’s economy and its reduction to Third-World status. The result will be the impoverishment of all Australians – except the “renewables” investors, and the morons that govern us.

  12. If you want 1MW of continuous nuclear power to heat a factory process, you can buy now from Leonardo Corporation.
    http://www.ecatskdemo.com/

    This new nuclear process is fuelled by Lithium and Hydrogen, with Nickel as a catalyst :
    Significant discount to current energy costs
    Suitable for all industrial sectors
    No emissions – carbon/pollution free
    Temperatures up to 600C
    Leonardo Corp. install and operate heat source
    Customers to pay only for heat provided
    Certified for industrial use

    With 600C heat you can drive a steam turbine to make electricity. A gas turbine system is underdevelopment. It is the start of the end game for intermittent unreliables.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-h-bailey/interview-with-andrea-ros_b_8248624.html
    Is also a good read.

    • You mentioned the word “nookalar” you wont get it through Australian customs. Change it to Thorium reactor and you will be ok because the morons here dont jack about science or power generation.

    • Just another dream that will fall by the wayside. What is the cost per MwH when scaled up to 2000 MW continuous output ???? So many of these wonder machines have appeared and disappeared over the years. One can remember the Blue Gen power cell that was so clean and only used LPG or LNG to operate. But when the numbers were crunched the unit itself cost around $50,000 and needed a constant supply of gas. Now I don’t know if any one here checks their Electricity bill but you can buy a lot of power for 50K and the cost of the gas on top of that which probably equilled the normal cost of supply from the grid. Einstein wrote you don’t get something for nuthing in this world son.

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