Backers of the most expensive, dangerous and insane way to generate power are trying to make a comeback with nuclear power. This time they are planning well ahead and doing an effective soft-sell using corrupted and bogus environmentalists and pseudo-alternative media.
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, has proclaimed “There is now a great deal of scientific evidence showing nuclear power to be an environmentally sound and safe choice.” What Moore isn’t telling you is that he has made himself available to any corporate criminal that will pay him as their spokesperson and is now all for the destruction of the environment as long as he gets paid well. He also hasn’t presented a single shred of independent “scientific evidence” that conventional nuclear power is safe.
James Lovelock, the Englishman who made lots of money from his trademark “Gaia” theory of the earth being a self-regenerating organism, has proclaimed nuclear power as “the only green solution” to power supply woes. The Brit-twit conveniently forgets to mention that there is simply no safe way to store the nuclear waste that will continue to haunt future generations for tens of thousands years. He also doesn’t mention that clean energy technology is well developed and affordable but is being suppressed by the same corporate interests that also happen to back nuclear power.
The alternative LA Weekly newspaper recently had a two-part feature touting nuclear power. Various other ‘alternative’ and ‘liberal’ publications are running articles pushing a nuclear soft-sell also.
The big new lies are:
Nuclear power is the only way to stop global warming.
After fifty years of trial and error the technology is now clean, safe and affordable.
Both lies are easily dismantled by the facts and logical thinking.
Clean Energy Solutions
Clean forms of energy are readily available but not supported as actively as they should be. In some cases clean energy and technology are suppressed.
Wind energy is affordable and easy to deploy, yet is not always supported where it should be. The Province of Nova Scotia, Canada, could easily supply all its energy needs from the abundance of wind, yet land used by wind generators is taxed at a rate twenty times higher than in other Provinces. Why does one of the windiest Provinces prevent wind power by taxing it to death?
Some countries are rapidly expanding their wind generation capability. Germany now produces about 6% of its power from wind and 10% from all clean technologies. It has 17,000 turbines in an industry that employs 60,000 people. It expects to double its clean energy sources by 2020.
The U.S. gets 52% of its electricity from coal, and coal-fired utilities pull in some $350 billion in annual revenues. More than 75,000 miners dig 1 billion tons of coal out of the earth each year in the U.S. The dirty industry can be made more clean with clean coal technology that strips the carbon out and puts it back in the ground. What is left is clean burning hydrogen.
Solar power is growing by leaps and bounds and in many areas could provide 100% of household power at reasonable costs. Tax incentives and financing would expand its growth even further, as proven in California. New homes could be built to be energy self-supporting at a slightly higher price but most banks won’t include the cost in home loans.
Automotive technology is deliberately ineffecient. Cars should all get 70-150 mpg. The technology is well proven but has been heavily suppressed. Gasoline can be easily converted into vapor and used as a gaseous fuel at vastly greater efficiency. When burning gasoline in liquid form most of the energy is wasted and burned up in the catalytic converter.
The Honda Hybrid “Insight” gets up to 77 mpg but only a few hundred a year are sold because Honda doesn’t market them very effectively, the car is a 2 – seater which further reduces its market potential. The Toyota Prius sells much better and is more widely advertised but Toyota won’t make enough of them to meet demand and the waiting list can be up to a year. Mercedes’ “Smart” car gets 75 mpg but the efficent diesel version is banned in the US. Mercedes deliberately makes the cars of extremely low quality and limits production. Putting a small turbo diesel into a Geo can mean getting up to 150 mpg. but the people who have tried to promote it have been harrassed. In the 1980’s Ford made a full-sized diesel “Escort” that got 70 mpg but was only sold in California and only if one happened to know it existed, was willing to pay a premium and willing to wait a year for delivery.
The fact is that people will generally only buy the cars they are ‘sold’ and no one is selling them clean automotive technology and the people who tried were quickly put out of business.
While natural gas carries a fairly heavy environmental price, it is a quick way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. Yet, efforts to further utilize the cleaner fuel are met with opposition. When Nova Scotia Power wanted to convert one of its dirty diesel powered plants to cleaner and locally available natural gas the local Utility Board said “No”. Nova Scotia has ample supplies of natural gas offshore but uses none of it for generating electricity and instead sends it all to the US where it is converted into power and heats homes.
When Xcel Energy in Colorado wanted to convert one of its coal fired power plants to cleaner natural gas the Governor blocked it on the grounds that it might put a few Colorado coal miners out of their jobs. The Governor didn’t meantion that most of the coal the plant used didn’t come from Colorado anyway and the natural gas industry employs many times more people in the state than mining coal does.
Hydrogen is the perfect fuel, abundant everywhere but requires separation from whatever it is chemically bonded to. The best source can be water, however energy is required to separate the hydrogen from oxygen. In the mid 80’s, Dr. Armin Julius Bickel – a former German scientist brought over to the US under Operation Paperclip, developed a low energy hydrogen extraction system using high-frequency sound and specific frequencies of electricity. Bickel used the highly effecient and suppressed Bourke engine and was able to get the equivalent of over 100 mpg of water, generating the hydrogen while driving. However, his technology was stolen by a govt. agent going by the name Chris Verjah. Bickel’s life was threatened and so he didn’t try to pursue the technology again and died in 2002 at age 96. The ideas behind Bickel’s work surfaced in the 1996 movie called “Chain Reaction” with Keanu Reeves.
In the mid 80’s a company based in the Denver area called “Hydrogen Research Consultants, Inc.” had hydrogen powered buses running in California and had a hydrogen powered pickup running across the US. They clearly demonstrated that hydrogen power was viable, affordable and ready for prime time. However, the company was put under contract by the Federal govt. to conduct ‘classified’ research, publicly disavowed all their previous research and pulled their vehicles off the road. Not long afterwards the nearby National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado ran an 8″ hydrogen pipeline into their building, but have revealed only portions of their publicly funded research.
Sunline Transit Agency in Riverside, California used one of the first hydrogen buses developed in the 70’s and in the mid 90’s converted their entire fleet to cleaner fuels. They currently operate some fuel-cell buses and a hydrogen electric bus.
Clean nuclear power in the form of cold-fusion is a reality but requires further development. Various proven ‘free-energy’ sources are also viable but have the same hurdles of suppression and lack of funding.
In all the disccussions about global warming and clean energy the most essential topic left out of the discussion is conservation. The US consumes grossly more than its share of energy and resources. The first step in addressing global warming must be to simply use less energy, which is a quick and easy step that requires little or no investment. Individuals can choose to drive less, turn off lights they aren’t using and not heat or cool rooms that aren’t being used. Cities can fund clean mass transit. Businesses can switch off their signs when closed and conserve energy in countless other ways.
The issue is not one of technology but one of suppression of clean technology and not supporting energy conservation. As a society we must ask why clean energy is not more widely supported and seek to change the policies that prevent clean energy from being supported.
Nuclear power is the most expensive form of power because it is also the most dangerous. The potential for a mega-disaster is always present so great care must be taken in the design and operation of the plants, all of which costs huge amounts of money. Most of the nuclear power plants in the US have been horrific boondoggles costing tax payers billions of dollars. Many of the plants were forced to shut down not long after opening because the cost of running them was so great. The cost of shutting them down also ends up being very costly, raising utility rates and taxes for decades to come. The cleanup of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power plant disaster has cost over $1 billion. The billions spent cleaning up and shutting down nuclear plants could instead go to funding mass transit, clean coal, hydrogen, solar and energy awareness campaigns.
The people pushing nuclear power are the companies that build and operate the plants and don’t have to suffer the consequences of the technology. Those who get the contracts to build and operate plants don’t have to pay for the waste disposal costs and they are often the same ones that get paid to de-commission the plants. Bechtel and General Electric and other large criminal corporations make money whether the plants work or not. The taxpayers are the ones who foot the bill.
The most glaring problem with current fission nuclear power is that it produces large amounts of extremely hazardous waste that stays very dangerous for a very long, long time. Currently there is no technology for making it safe and no permanent or long-term storage solution.
The cost of nuclear waste disposal is never considered by nuclear power proponents and they seek to avoid the entire waste issue. Yet, the cost is astronomical. So far, the proposed Yucca Mountain storage facility has cost $7 billion and isn’t storing anything. The facility is being fought vigorously by the state of Nevada and may never store waste. If it is opened the cost will exceed $58 billion to store the 77,000 tons of existing nuclear waste, not including storage costs to date. There is so much nuclear waste just in the US that if Yucca Mountain is opened it will require trucks running 24 hours/day for the next 20 years to just move what already exists. The same type of problem exists around the world and other countries also have no good solutions. Producing more waste from nuclear power is pure insanity.
Imagine what kind of world we could have if the tens of billions wasted on nuclear power had instead been spent on clean forms of energy and mass transit. There likely wouldn’t even be an issue of global warming.
When someone tries to sell you more nuclear nightmares, please consider all the facts and let them know what you think. Encourage others to not swallow the nuclear lies.
By Bill Phillips Bill Phillips